A/N: Just another little Leroux plotbunny. Thanks to bee (sparklyscorpion) for the title as well as for convincing me not to stuff it with filler ;) and of course to G. Leroux for creating these characters in the first place.

Christine fell limp where she sat, lulled to sleep by Erik's voice. He watched her sleeping for a moment, both adoring her and wondering what to do now. Should he take her to the Louis-Philippe room and risk her waking? Oh, he had carried her before, this very night, even! But it was one thing to prevent her from fainting onto the cold stone of the passageway behind the mirror, and another completely to take her in his arms now, when the situation did not directly require it…though there was certainly no lack of desire to do so.

The alternative of leaving her to wake stiff and still upright in the armchair seemed worse. Christine was a delicate thing—to leave her like this would be unacceptable. He trembled as he gathered her light frame into his arms, his tremors increasing as he reached the doorway to what would finally be her room, beginning now.

Erik made out the shapes of the furniture even in the darkness, staring at the bed, and images he had tried to repress came flooding into the forefront of his mind. She was an angel, some untouchable creature from heaven, and yet also a woman—a fact which was never more evident than in this moment, her body a warm weight against him, her golden hair mere inches from brushing his throat—and Erik wanted a living bride, more than anything…

He moaned in his misery, biting his tongue sharply after doing so. He glanced down at her and sighed in relief to see that her eyes remained closed. He chose to lay her on the divan and not the bed. If she slept in his mother's bed it would be by her own choosing—he was a foul beast, but noble. Seeing that she was comfortably settled on the settee, Erik lit the lamp on the chest of drawers before retreating and closing the door behind him.

He could have watched her from some shadowed corner in silence all night, but there were preparations that remained to be made for her stay, and letters to be written. Oh yes, there were always letters to write…but the most important would be addressed to her, with his reassurances that he would be a true and dear friend to her, if she would allow him. On this night of all nights he should have been sleepless, and yet after only a few hours of work he found himself crawling into the coffin. Christine was finally with him! Not through a layer of glass, but merely a few doors away, in his home!

His eyes drifted closed much more easily than on the other rare occasions when he succumbed to the need for rest. There were no fears of where Christine was or what she was doing outside of his view, for he knew exactly. Years of living below the Opera, of establishing a semblance of a normal life, and not until this night was his home complete. His thin lips curled into a smile which, though horrible, was an honest expression of his joy. She was here, and tomorrow she would still be here, still be his. Erik slept.