Disclaimer: Please don't sue. I don't own POTO... All I own is an overactive imagination.
Summary: ErikRaoul slash. Time, a 3parts Series. Installment 06. A healthy dose of courting. Fluff/crack alert.
Warning(s): slash (that's homosexual content for those of you who don't know), may be a little too fluffy.
A/N: Last chapter of Installment 06. Thanks to my reviewers and readers (I'd say more thanks to my reviewers :P)
Story note: I think Raoul's an exhibitionist. You know what I just realized. When I think of Raoul I think of someone really young (I know eighteen isn't really young or naïve especially then), but that's just how I seem to write him (I'll have to fix that in the next story I write).
By: Lucifer Rosemaunt
Last time: Erik's disrupting opera life (no surprise there). Madame Giry tells Raoul he has to go stop it. Raoul grudgingly agrees.
As Erik played Raoul's song he thought about Madame Giry's ultimatum. Raoul hadn't given any indication of how he felt towards him, but Erik knew he wasn't as nervous as he could be. It didn't matter that his fingers were trembling a bit and that he had accidentally hit a few wrong notes. That wasn't nerves. It was just an off day.
Raoul had proven difficult to read. Apparently, he could hide his emotions if he so desired, but if he thought about it, Raoul was being compliant. He let Erik touch him, which Erik greatly appreciated, but maybe that was resignation and not desire that he saw in his eyes. Maybe it was simply lust that had Raoul moaning and leaning into his touch. Erik wouldn't mind that either. If he had Raoul's body then the mind would not be that far to follow. He just wished he knew what was going on through the fop's head.
Erik knew that today would be the day that Raoul revealed something.
Raoul listened to their song play throughout the theatre for what he knew would be the last time. He closed his eyes and let the music carry him away from the opera house, away from his nerves.
He was currently in the storage room just waiting. The sound was not as great as it was in the main hall, but he would rather not have this conversation in front of everyone. He had had a meeting with the managers and passed a silent threat from Madame Giry. Today was the last day of Madame Giry's ultimatum. He could understand why she was angry. The opera house should come first and foremost, not Raoul's personal life. He also did not really want to see what she did if he disobeyed.
Raoul had planned to confront Erik the day after Madame Giry had warned him, but it had been too tempting to just wait. After all, that was four more bouquets and notes. It was four more days to listen to their song. It was four more days of… well, maybe Raoul could have avoided Erik's constant groping.
He was here to talk to Erik. There was only one way that he knew Erik would stop and he was reluctant to have their courtship end so abruptly. But, for the opera house, he would sacrifice what he considered the best thing that had happened to him in a while. He'd had time to think about how he felt about Erik. Sure, there was attraction that was obvious. His body reacted whenever Erik was near and sometimes embarrassingly whenever he wasn't. He wasn't adverse to the man's touch if that meant anything. That was mostly lust though. Raoul knew he was just skirting around the truth. Raoul loved the man. He knew he would probably never think of anyone the way he thought of Erik. He couldn't deny that the very thought of Erik not with him physically pained him.
He also knew that this wasn't really right. Erik was a man and admittedly a murderer. His desire and feelings were wrong. Raoul didn't even want to think about how Philippe would act if he found out. He agonized over that fact, but it came down to the simple fact that Philippe wasn't around. He wasn't around and Erik was offering a companionship that he craved.
Because Erik loved him. If this wasn't Erik in love, then Raoul was not sure what lengths he would go to for someone he did love. Erik loved him. No manipulations. Raoul had no doubts of that fact now. He didn't know how he could have doubted Erik before. Christine had definitely left a lasting impression on him. Yet, he couldn't be that angry with her. He doubted that he would have found out just how much Erik loved him if it had not been for his doubt.
It was more than anything he'd really expected, and it had taken quite some time for them to come to this point.
Now, he just had to find the courage to confess his own feelings and hope that Erik would believe him. Or at least find a way to show that he loved him. A simple confession seemed to pale in comparison to what Erik had been doing for him.
However, Raoul realized that if he misspoke, Erik might realize that Raoul had liked him from the very beginning. Erik might find out that he hadn't needed such a long courting period, and Raoul did not want to find out how he would react to that news. He assumed that Erik would be mad. After all, that had been a lot of effort.
He would just have to show Erik in their relationship how much he cared for him.
Raoul hadn't even thought about what would happen after he confessed. It was obvious of course. After courting is marriage, but since they couldn't very well marry, then they'd be in a relationship of sorts. What would that entail? Would they start eating meals together and spend silent evenings across the sitting room reading their separate books and not speaking to each other. That's how the marriages of all his acquaintances ended.
Honestly, Raoul had only been thinking about being able to return Erik's kisses and touches and maybe seeing his home. He hadn't really thought of what confessing to the ghost meant, and it was making Raoul panic. His mind raced. Sure, his feelings were close to obvious, but this wasn't like asking Christine to marry him. They would never be able to have children. God, sexual intercourse. Raoul hadn't even thought about that. Well, he had, a lot, but nothing in great detail.
"Raoul." Erik appeared beside the bed entirely too close to Raoul. Surprised, Raoul scrambled away and fell off the other side of the bed.
Erik watched this was amusement. At least, he wasn't the only one nervous.
Peeking up over the edge, Raoul pretended to smooth out the comforter on the bed as he cleared his throat.
"Erik," he smiled tentatively. "You found me."
Erik smirked, "I never lost you."
Raoul rolled his eyes. Cocky was attractive on the man though. So was smug and gloating. Standing up, Raoul straightened out his clothing. He was stalling and they both knew it.
Erik broke the silence, "I hear that you have something to tell me."
Raoul nodded. It was not surprising that he knew Madame Giry's ultimatum. He had been there to kiss him good-bye shortly after.
"You have to stop what you've been doing."
"Courting you," Erik supplied with a grin.
Nodding, Raoul didn't like having this conversation standing with a bed across from them. He suggested, "Maybe we should sit down?"
Erik nodded. Erik turned away then and took a seat across the room on the throne.
Raoul frowned at his back and followed him. He assumed that Erik already knew what he was going to say. Erik slouched into the seat. Raoul watched this action suspiciously and realized that maybe Erik wasn't sure of what Raoul felt. He thought that he'd been so obvious in his reactions, but Erik was feigning this nonchalance. He was certain that Erik was tense and trying to hide it. That was enough to calm him down.
Erik wasn't giving him a hard time. He was nervous.
Raoul grinned and hopped onto the table near the throne. Maybe this was not so bad having to confront him like this. It wasn't fair to Erik. It wasn't fair that he was doing all the work no matter how much Raoul enjoyed it.
Letting his feet dangle, Raoul thought about what he was going to say.
Erik watched him. He knew it wasn't a very good sign that Raoul was stalling. As anxious as he was to hear Raoul's answer, a part of him knew that it would not matter. If Raoul turned him down, then he would only have to try harder to make Raoul realize there was no other choice but to love him back. He wouldn't just stop. Not after he'd almost memorized the feel of Raoul's body against his though he had yet to explore the taste of his lips. There was no way that Raoul was going to escape.
"This isn't right." Raoul began and wondered why he chose that to start. He was supposed to be telling Erik he reciprocated the feelings not that he was disgusted by them.
Erik frowned. Raoul wasn't looking at him. He'd rather have Raoul look at him than just listen to the words that came out of his mouth. There was more emotion in Raoul's expressions than his words. He had been annoyed these past weeks because Raoul had been emotionless and what emotions he had shown were made always a fraction too late. The disgust though convincing, had Erik always doubting whether it was a true emotion. It was what had put him on edge. It was what pushed him to work that much harder to get him to react. Nothing though. He was not pleased with reticence. He stayed silent though, waiting for what he would say next. Erik had done all his talking with his acts. It was his turn.
"It's disrupting life in the opera house," Raoul looked up at him. Rueful. Tentative.
Nothing there in his eyes that spoke of rejection. Erik allowed himself to relax a bit.
"You need to stop." He added firmly.
Seeing that Raoul was serious about that point, Erik replied, "I won't stop until you say you'll be mine."
"I'm not yours, Erik." Raoul retorted. Sure, he was interested, but he wasn't anyone's property.
Smirking, Erik stood up gracefully from his throne.
"Not yet at least."
"Just stop." Raoul tried to reiterate. "They can't even practice anymore." He tried to keep some semblance of calm even though Erik was sauntering over to him. The man was not playing fair.
"Do you not want me?" He said with such pain that Raoul was forced to look at him closer. When he looked away, he missed the smirk that was on Erik's face.
"It's not that."
Erik knew he had won. Desire and love were different things, but it was one step closer to his goal. All he needed now was to admit it. "Then what is it?"
"Honestly," Raoul had gone through all the problems of having a relationship with this man, but they all seemed to lose their importance whenever he was around. "I don't know."
"Well," Erik stood directly in front of him. "I don't know isn't a good enough answer to convince me to stop."
Raoul swallowed convulsively. He wanted to look away but Erik's eyes had him trapped. Then he took one more step forward and Raoul was physically trapped. Erik placed his hands one on each side of Raoul's legs which forced him to lean forward. Raoul leaned back in response, but it wasn't far enough. Not when Erik's face was right there. The white porcelain mask taunted him, but not as much as those lips that were currently in a smirk. His breath caressed Raoul's lips.
Erik was pleased when Raoul actually let out a shaky breath.
"I'm considering your confession," Raoul stated slowly. The words were no longer coming to him.
Erik nodded and his smirk only grew. He could feel Raoul's heat and he wanted to close the distance, but he wanted to hear Raoul admit he had lost. "And," he prompted.
The butterflies in Raoul's stomach furiously reacted to Erik's triumphant expression. "I-I," Raoul couldn't think. His eyes fluttered close and he did the only thing that made sense. He closed the distance between them. Tilting his head a bit, he tasted Erik, a slow pressing of his lips to Erik's. He explored how it felt to move his lips against the other man's. Over and over again. His hands came up to hold Erik's face to his. His left hand brushed the coolness of the mask, but his fingers felt the warm skin beneath. He let his fingers caress Erik's neck, and he lost himself to everything that was Erik. He tasted heat and passion, and giddily, he thought he could taste Erik's love for him.
Erik held himself back, letting Raoul take the lead. The excruciatingly slow exploration made him grasp the table tightly to physically remind himself to not push Raoul too far. He had thought that Raoul's hands would distract him enough from the kiss that he would be able to control himself, but instead, it drove him closer to losing all control. The caresses made his head spin. He didn't know how long he could keep himself from touching Raoul, but at the same time, he didn't want Raoul's slow, gentle kisses to ever stop. It was like taking a lesson on how to properly kiss Raoul because when he did something right, he could feel Raoul's smile in the next kiss. He wanted to know everything that made Raoul smile and this was the best way he had ever imagined. Though Erik had grown confident in his kissing abilities during the weeks that he had begun to 'attack' Raoul, this was the first extensive study on Raoul's lips. He had been right of course, Raoul was perfect, and though the taste of jam was gone. Erik was certain that Raoul still tasted unbelievably sweet.
Erik finally had his answer. He could make Raoul follow his pace another time.
End Installment 06
Word count: 2,261
A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)
Chapter review: I think it could have been better, but for some reason I don't know what to change. Those last few paragraphs were okay, but I have a feeling they could have been better. I apologize because I only edited this through once. I usually do it at least twice but I wanted to post sooner than later.
Author review: If you know what story this correlates to, then you have an idea of where I got the inspiration for these series and you'll get a fun surprise in the last installment. Well, our definition of fun may vary, but it's fun enough.