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 08 part01. Companion piece to Unspoken Words. Erik's POV.

Warning(s): slash (that's homosexual content for those of you who don't know).

Pairing(s): ErikRaoul

A/N: Installment 08 is here, separated but there are 3 parts.

Story note: This is a one shot but also in the Time Series, but also as said in the summary, a companion piece to Unspoken Words. You don't actually need to read either to read this (which was the point really and the reason I didn't attach it to the other one shots). Enjoy.


Time: One Shots

Part01:Spoken Louder than Words


By: Lucifer Rosemaunt



It had been two years already and Erik was still in awe of their relationship; everything was going against their ever being together or staying together for that matter. They were too different, opposites even. Yet, here they were. Together still.

However, Erik was beginning to think that the longer they spent time together, the more their personalities were beginning to merge. He was not very fond of that idea. After all, he did not want to corrupt Raoul – more than was necessary of course. He loved everything that Raoul was, and he did not want to be the reason that Raoul lost those qualities. Even though their differences seemed like a handicap to their relationship, Erik worried that the more that they became like each other, the further apart they would drift.

And, that was what was happening now. They were drifting apart.

As much as theirs was a happy ending – and it was in the beginning –, there were still so many problems that they needed to work through. Enough so that Erik worried a lot. At first, his main concern had been Raoul's acceptance. He had not really thought about what happened after. And after is when those worries gradually began to increase.

After was when things became awkward. Everything had been awkward. Erik knew that it had been just like Raoul's kiss. They had had to learn how to react to each other. They had to tentatively learn to be with each other and that was not always easy, especially when Raoul was so difficult – though Erik had to admit that he had been a little difficult as well. How did one go from enemies to sparring partners to lovers? Was there even such a thing as an easy transition?

They clashed about every little thing. Okay, so technically that was not completely true. They clashed a lot, but not all the time, and honestly, Erik really had not expected anything less from Raoul. He had not expected Raoul to suddenly become compliant. It was just that after some time, Erik wondered if he should be fighting with Raoul so much. It could not be normal in a relationship, not that their relationship was very normal to start with. He just wondered if it indicated deeper problems – worse than where they should meet and what was considered appropriate touching.

At one point, perhaps around their first anniversary celebration, Erik had known that his life could not have gotten any better, and that was the problem. Didn't that mean that it could only get worse as time went on? He had not been sure if he was truly worthy enough to have what he did have at the moment, but even now, he refused to let it go. He was being selfish, but he deserved some selfishness.

Erik had worked very hard to get Raoul. It had been worth every moment and every effort he had put into getting him though. It had not taken much for the blonde to consume his every thought no matter the situation, the time, the event, or the place. Everything reminded Erik of Raoul: not just the roses or even the errant beam of sunlight that fell on him sometimes as he prowled the opera house. It was a little surprising the depth of his obsession of Raoul and the speed at which it consumed him.

After Erik had confessed his affections, he had gotten Raoul flowers and had even gone so far as to write him a song, which Erik still heard in his head. It was all really just an excuse to go to Raoul's estate and watch him as he slept, watch his reactions to the gifts, and watch his every movement. As a result, Erik had been able to picture how Raoul spent each moment of the day. He needed only to take a breath and he would automatically know what his patron would be doing whether it was eating, riding, or conducting business.

Raoul was exactly as he had thought he would be.

The boy was perfect.

The way he woke up in the mornings when he stretched like a cat – the sheets would be tangled between his legs, which Erik rather came to envy. The way he would give his whole attention to the person or event that he was currently working on. The way he fiddled with his collar when he was daydreaming. Or smiled softly to himself when he thought no one was looking. The way he could become strict and professional in a blink of an eye.

And after they had begun to sleep together, he had learned that Raoul moved a god-awful much in his sleep. Yet, with just a murmured word, Erik could calm him from whatever made him move in the first place. He had learned after several elbows to his stomach, a couple hands slapping his face, and more than one knee to his groin that if he held Raoul close enough to him, the boy would not move. Erik was not very fond of snuggling, but he had never really had the opportunity to dislike it in the first place. However, now that it had the added benefit of keeping Raoul from injuring him in his sleep, Erik was quite fond of keeping Raoul as close as humanly possible as they slept together.

It was sad really, how much Erik had become so used to Raoul's presence – in his daily life: seeing him, being able to touch him, knowing that Raoul would not refuse his touches because so far, and Erik's tried, his touches were never once refused. It was not just that though. Erik was actually sleeping. He had not much use for sleep before. In fact, he had hardly been able to sleep most nights because of mere restlessness or sometimes nightmares. When Raoul stayed the night in his home, Erik found that he did not have any problems going to sleep. Just having Raoul in his arms was enough to lull him into slumber knowing that in the morning Raoul would still be there in his arms. He would have someone wake with him, to smile and share the morning.

But Erik was worried. Of course he was worried. Even after so much time spent together, he was afraid of revealing too much. He was afraid that Raoul still really did not understand the extent of who Erik was. They needed some space apart because if Raoul got to know him too well then he would see that there was nothing to really love about him at all. He was deformed physically and emotionally. Christine had seen to the latter part, but Raoul had been his saviour. He wanted to keep him in the cellar but they had already had multiple conversations about Erik's residence. He was firm in his refusal to move into Raoul's estate even though Raoul looked crushed every time that he declined the offer.

He would eventually become a burden. He did not want to take more than what Raoul could offer because he knew Raoul would offer everything. Hell, Raoul had offered everything and that was why Erik refused to accept the move. Sometimes, Raoul did not really understand what he was doing. It was only his default generosity that told him what to do.

Now, Raoul had stopped asking so much. He stopped offering more, and worst of all he had stopped visiting as often. Maybe Erik had pushed too far. He missed those daily visits. He could not help but think that maybe Raoul was trying to prove a point – but that was not how Raoul's mind worked. It was true however that if Erik moved to the estate then he would be able to see Raoul everyday regardless of the Vicomte's schedule. Erik desperately wanted that, but was not sure if he should tempt fate. More time with Raoul also meant more of an opportunity for Raoul to learn more about him.

Not to mention the fact that moving together would be quite the scandal if anyone ever found out. Raoul being single for so long was already suspicious. He knew that when Raoul went to functions and galas that he always went alone. That would draw suspicion since he should be getting married soon. He and his fiancé should be making public appearances and Erik could not give Raoul that. Erik could not give Raoul a lot and he was becoming more and more aware of his shortcomings every day they spent together. After so long, Erik wondered how he had managed to hide these glaringly obvious shortcomings from Raoul at all.

But, he realized, Raoul must already be seeing them. Those nights that they did spend together, Raoul was usually awake just worrying. Erik could tell because he would pull away from Erik's embrace and when that happened, Erik would never be able to sleep deeply.

He waited. Waited for Raoul to finally say something since Erik knew that the boy wanted to put his feelings into words. He had noticed that about Raoul. Raoul wanted to fill their time together with words. Erik knew words were not always necessary. He could speak his thoughts, sing his emotions, but he wanted more. He wanted them to fight, to kiss, to spend time with each other. Erik had learned how to read Raoul without the words.

Erik knew that the loudest words Raoul spoke were not in his usually impassioned words. It was in his actions, in his looks, expressions, and postures. It was how he talked with his hands or blushed given the right prompting. Raoul would chew on his bottom lip when he was particularly confused. His eyebrows would furrow when he was disturbed by something. Raoul could easily display his displeasure just in his posture. His shoulders would relax the second that Erik had a hand on him, particularly his lower back. He knew that Raoul sighed in three particular moments: contentment, exasperation, and resignation. He was pleased to know that around him, Raoul only did the last two with fondness, and Erik had ample opportunity to hear the first type of sigh while Raoul was in his arms. Erik knew that Raoul had learned how to hide some of his emotions, but Raoul rarely tried to when he was around Erik and that told Erik more than anything else would have.

But now, Raoul was trying. He was not doing that well at hiding his emotions, but he was trying to. Erik did not like this new phase of their relationship where Raoul avoided him and hid from him. It could not really be considered avoidance since Raoul was busy with work, but Erik simply wanted to have Raoul around again.

He had wanted to give Raoul some time because Raoul was confused. Erik had caught that emotion rather clearly when this new phase first started. He knew that fights would have been aplenty if he tried to force a confrontation, so he waited.

He was reaching his breaking point though. Erik was tired of this. More importantly, Erik was tired of having what little time they spent together wasted on their worries. He was tired of not having everything he wanted and the only reason he did not have it was because he was not good enough. As much as he was afraid that Raoul would realize that fact, his reluctance was causing the same amount of harm as acting would have. Perhaps his actions were not speaking the right words. That was something he could change.

Tonight was finally the night that Raoul was staying over. As was the norm nowadays, Raoul was in bed awake and thinking much too loudly for Erik; his body was too close for Erik to miss the tense shoulders or the tight muscles in Raoul's lower back. Raoul was watching him again. He felt the warmth of Raoul's hand even as it lingered above his face even though it had yet to touch him. Erik reached up and grabbed his hand.

"What troubles are you thinking of now?" Erik asked.

"I wasn't thinking of anything troubling," Raoul immediately responded. Too quickly and his body managed to tense even more.

Erik opened his eyes a bit, scrutinizing the man in his embrace. After a moment, he knew exactly what he had to do. It seemed like the only thing he could do to make Raoul stop acting the way he was. He held the blonde tighter, "Why don't you go back to sleep. The sun hasn't risen yet."

He wondered if Raoul would listen to him or if they would argue, but Raoul closed his eyes and snuggled closer to Erik. Erik wanted to sigh. He knew that it was better this way. He would have to risk everything if he wanted to ease Raoul's worries and his own. He felt Raoul drift slowly to sleep as the tension left his body and his breathing evened. Getting up after only a few more minutes of holding Raoul was difficult because he was tempted to just stay a little longer. However, he had several things to put in order before he accepted Raoul's offer to move to his estate. There were so many things to do just to get prepared for the move in general but he would still have to keep his hold on the opera house, that meant speaking to Madame Giry and leaving a note to the managers.

Venturing upstairs, he obtained roses and returned to watch Raoul sleep. He knew Raoul loved roses, but he stopped giving it to him because he had not really thought they were needed anymore to represent how Erik felt for him. Raoul must know how much he loved him already. Wasn't every day they spent together proof of that? However, what better way could he show his renewed passion? Leaving the bouquet on the bed next to Raoul, Erik quickly jotted down a note.

Raoul, love

I have gone up to the theatre to meet with Madame Giry and will be back shortly.

You were sleeping so soundly I did not have the heart to wake you. I know you have been losing sleep to troubling thoughts.

I too have been thinking things over and have decided to inconvenience you by accepting your offer to live at the Chagny estate.

Anything to be closer to you. Anything to ease your doubts.

Yours completely,

I have a new song I would like for you to hear.

He did not want to tell Raoul that every song he wrote was for him, but maybe it was best that Raoul did not know that. Erik was not sure how Raoul would react to the fact that everything that Erik did was for him. That was just the way things worked. Every breath, every thought. It was filled with him.

Raoul's absence was a silence in their relationship that had caused Erik more unease than he thought possible. But now that would be remedied. Erik could not wait to see Raoul's reaction; he could not wait to once again spend everyday together because as long as Raoul was around him, it felt as though they were sharing an unbounded amount of words, conversations, and songs.



End part 01

Word count: 2,558




A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!

Chapter review: Go look for part 02 since they're separate. The next one's a lemon.

Author review: Oh fluff and a bit of angst. It's not like we didn't know Erik was going to move in with Raoul though.