Disclaimer: Please don't sue. I don't own POTO... All I own is an overactive imagination.
Summary: ErikRaoul slash – one-sided emotionally. Raoul angst. Christine's always there.
Warning(s): slash (that's homosexual content for those of you who don't know)
A/N: Not that long, but a Happy Thanksgiving 2008 fic.
Story note: One-Shot. Angsty. Off of an Alphabet Game drabble, though it's pretty short itself. Haha, cliché title!
Think of Me
By: Lucifer Rosemaunt
Raoul hated himself for it but every time Erik had a faraway look in his eyes, he felt jealous. He knew exactly what Erik was thinking; well, he knew exactly who he was thinking about.
In the beginning, it wasn't as though he hadn't known that Christine would always be foremost in his mind. He'd just been stupid enough to think that it wouldn't bother him. He was just a replacement, and while he could ignore the title for a little while, he couldn't when Erik thought he wasn't looking and that look of longing would cross his features. Raoul never thought he could be so jealous of someone who wasn't even around.
It was a simple fact though. Christine was gone but in reality, she wasn't. She was never gone because she was never far from his thoughts. And Raoul told himself repeatedly that he'd known what he'd been doing when he offered to keep Erik company. He had known so the only person to blame for his current predicament was himself.
In his defense, he hadn't been able to help himself. He'd fallen in love with the man's voice and subsequently the man. It was an absurd thought, or it would've been one at some point pre-Opera Populaire, but it wasn't absurd now. It was perfectly reasonable to fall in love with someone's voice, especially if that voice belonged to the opera ghost. That love turned to obsession: at first with keeping Christine, then beyond, when he'd learned just from whom he was keeping her.
She'd left them both and Raoul hadn't mourned the loss. He'd only seen it as an opportunity to take advantage of her absence. He took advantage of the ghost's grief. It hadn't been difficult. The ghost needed the catharsis.
First, being together had been all about hurting and yelling. There had been fists and insults thrown. Raoul hardly fought back, only fought when he thought that was what the ghost wanted. The only other time he fought back was when he truly believed the ghost was going to kill him.
Raoul found that he didn't mind the pain so much. It was his punishment for wanting the ghost in the first place. It was his punishment for not missing Christine as much as he should have. The ghost's thoughts about Christine had been emblazoned in his wounds, so in a way, he was thinking about her too. So, when he was unable to feel guilty about her absence, he allowed the bruises and cuts on his body take the place of that guilt instead.
The ghost thought of her through his violence. He thought of her in the blood he shed.
Then, there had been that frightening period when Raoul had been ignored completely. He had done everything he could to garner the ghost's attention, but for several weeks, there had been no response. He would go down to the lair and just sit there while Erik continued with his daily routine as though he didn't exist.
Even then, Raoul hadn't been bothered. He'd been able to imagine whatever he wanted while the ghost ignored him. He imagined that his very existence wasn't being ignored, that they were simply experiencing a lull in their conversation. He could imagine that he'd been invited to the ghost's home instead of having to sneak past new and more dangerous traps that were being set up daily. And, of course, Christine was there, a silent ghost in their imaginary life together.
The ghost thought of her in the silence. He thought of her in the many conversations they would hold together with the ghost in his head.
It had been a slow genesis to the softer, gentler touches and eye contact, even longer, but never tentative, to holding and kissing. After that silent period, Erik had stopped being tentative around him because Raoul never declined, never complained about anything the ghost chose to do. He would do anything to be close, and the ghost had easily learned that fact. The ghost took what he wanted and Raoul allowed it.
Raoul would find himself breathless and half-naked. They'd spend almost every moment in each other's company on top of each other, a hand in clothes, against a wall, on the floor, frantic, languid, rough, gentle, and everything in between. And even though those kisses were meant for Christine, it still didn't bother him. It had been enough that Erik had even progressed that far, that they'd made it out of that silent period, a period Raoul thought was going to be the end of them. But, they were still a they and he'd never felt anything as sweet as being touched by the man he'd fallen in love with. The fact that Christine was there in Erik's touch hadn't tainted the fact that Erik was in fact touching him.
Erik thought of her in every gaze, kiss, and touch. He thought of her when the ghost treated him as though he would break, leaving him wholly unsatisfied.
Raoul had even become almost hopeful. He hadn't expected more for a time because patience had taught him he would receive more. They were progressing in a way and he had learned something in their time together. Erik was desperate, oh so desperate to have someone. And Raoul found himself wishing that someone was him, even when he knew he was asking for too much too soon. Maybe that was the problem. There was still hope within him that he would mean more than a simple replacement to Erik. He'd gotten overconfident.
After all, it had actually been a recent development that whenever he saw Erik's faraway gaze that he'd feel jealousy in the pit of his stomach. He could even name when it first started. It started when Erik began to pretend to love him, or perhaps it was the closest thing to love that Erik knew. He'd never said the words. Raoul never expected to hear them, but there'd been more – more tenderness, more shared moments, more kisses, just more. Enough to make Raoul almost believe he'd been patient enough that Erik had finally gave in to his persistence.
He'd thought that Christine was no longer part of them. He'd thought that every single one of those moments that Erik deemed to give him, had been just that, for him. But he'd known it had been too good to be true when he'd first seen that look on Erik's face. At first, he told himself that he was being silly. It was all in his mind, but it took only a short while for him to realize he'd forgotten the one truth he could believe, that Christine was never going to vanish completely. She was never going to leave Erik's mind. He was just fooling himself. He'd gotten selfish and greedy in what to expect, but now he couldn't go back to the way things had been.
Erik thought of her no matter what Raoul did. He thought of her whenever he looked at Erik's longing that was written so plainly in his face and in his actions.
He didn't even hate her, couldn't hate someone he so desperately wished he were.
Which had left him in quite the predicament. He couldn't keep being jealous of her. He could no longer ignore the looks either, looks that saw right through him no matter what he did. The looks of longing that Erik tried to hide but couldn't.
They were even digressing in their relationship. Erik had even grown silent again, and Raoul no longer bothered trying to keep himself in the ghost's good graces. He came and went with less frequency, but he could never seem to stop completely. Now though, he saw their connection to each other for what it truly was, desperation. There was only Erik, Raoul, and Christine. Christine had held them together and with her gone, they were left with nothing but each other. Even then, Raoul's affection couldn't keep them together, the only thing that could ever do so was Christine. So, she did.
The ghost clung to him almost as desperately as he clung back, but Raoul knew the ghost's side wasn't love. It was far from love. It was need. It was something baser than that. The ghost simply no longer wished to be alone, but the cruel twist of fate was the fact that Erik also wouldn't accept anyone other than Christine. For now or for forever, Raoul was just a convenient body, who in some ways reminded him of her. Raoul was certain of it. He knew his place and the pain it brought him.
Yet, even with that realization, he couldn't stop coming back. In the end, none of that mattered. He'd sworn to himself that he'd be happy as long as he could be around him. It was something he'd just have to learn how to deal with. It was something he was forced to relearn every time they were together.
Erik thought of her when he thought of love. He thought of her when he thought of the one love he could never have.
Word count: 1,527
A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!
Chapter review: Could I be any more of a downer? Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like angst.
Know which letter it was? J.