Disclaimer: Please don't sue. I don't own POTO... All I own is an overactive imagination.
Summary: ErikRaoul slash. Christine finds the best Christmas present. Crackfic.
Warning(s): slash (that's homosexual content for those of you who don't know)
A/N: Merry Christmas.
Story note: Where to start? It's crack. Period. Don't expect much, don't even expect good crack. I'm not even good at writing crack! How much of a travesty is that?
Tied with a Bow
By: Lucifer Rosemaunt
"What's wrong, Christine?" Raoul sidled up beside her.
She was sitting on the edge of the stage; not many of the lights were still lit, just enough to cast eerie shadows everywhere Raoul turned. He'd searched almost the entire building for her. Why were people always where he last checked? Meg had sent him saying that Christine wasn't acting normally, and that always worried him. They couldn't really figure out why, but whenever Christine wasn't happy, it ended up that the ghost was incredibly unhappy. No one wanted that, especially Raoul, since it was the opera house that always suffered. When the opera house suffered, the managers complained and then Raoul suffered. Moreover, when the managers weren't happy, Msr Reyer and Mme Giry were unhappy, which made the singers and the dancers unhappy, which inevitably came back to Raoul being unhappy.
He really could never win; so, he'd been looking for ways to be able to stop that particular chain of events before it even started. So far, he thought he was doing rather well.
The past few months had been good, the ghost apparently for the time being appeased. It had lulled him into a false sense of security really. Christmas was tomorrow and the managers had even been feeling rather gracious, so for the month of December, the demands that the ghost had made had been easily agreed to. Even the ghost's requests had been small, insignificant, if he left any at all. The entire opera house had rather breathed a sigh of relief when the notes had stopped coming altogether since the start of the week; of course, the ghost couldn't have stopped before he'd sent the note with that one particular cutting remark about the decorations that had sent the decorator away in tears. The man had let out the most horrendous scream before grabbing the nearest garland, bursting into loud sobs, and running out of the building. Raoul couldn't help but smile at the memory. The entire building had gone silent for a moment staring in disbelief at the space the decorator had vacated. He'd just been trying not to laugh at the spectacle.
He'd believed nothing bad would happen until the New Year. That is, until he walked into the opera house more than fashionably late that evening to their Christmas Eve gala and Meg ran up to him saying that he should go talk to Christine. Then, that relaxed attitude had been replaced with mostly fear.
Raoul looked around the empty auditorium. He was tempted to convince her to go back to the crowd of people so that they could talk, but he knew the second they arrived, she'd simply clam up about what was bothering her. Getting her to talk right now seemed a difficult task to begin with; moving her hardly seemed like a good plan. After all, it was a party. The hall near the main entrance was ungodly loud and filled with drunkards shouting Christmas songs. It was a party he'd reluctantly come to and one he'd showed up to for only about a minute.
What he really wanted to do was go home and spend Christmas in the comfort of his pajamas and bed. He'd even personally decorated the tree he'd gotten by himself, spending days away from the opera house just to relax. Admittedly, the decorations weren't very pretty, but he felt a certain pride in knowing that he'd done it himself. Some time away from the managers had been the real gift to himself though.
But here he was, spending his night at the opera house, trying to diffuse a situation he knew nothing about.
"Why aren't you with the others?" He decided to start with after her silence at his first attempt.
Christine looked at him with a frown. She was tempted to yell at him to just leave her alone, but she knew it wasn't Raoul's fault that she was unhappy. Well, at least it wasn't directly his fault.
Erik had been ignoring her. Not just ignoring her though, he was neglecting her lessons, which was so much worse. After she'd gone through all that trouble to find the owner of the voice that sang in the middle of the night, after she'd risked her life to go to his home, to befriend him, to convince him to teach her how to sing well, he decides a week before her big solo to stop tutoring her. Completely.
It wasn't fair, and she'd only just found out why he'd been acting oddly to begin with, and Raoul was the root of her problem.
What was she going to do about a deformed, murderous ghost who'd just discovered a newfound obsession with the patron of the opera house? And it wasn't even just an obsession. It wasn't even newfound. He just hadn't realized he'd been doing so before. Christine was quite certain the ghost had somehow fallen in love with the Vicomte.
She recanted her past thought. It really was Raoul's fault. If he hadn't gone missing for a few days, then the ghost would never have realized that his stalking of the Vicomte had been indicative of a deeper interest in him. He wouldn't have realized he'd been staring too long and thinking about him too much and apparently if his muttered ramblings in the middle of the night were any indication, he'd been imagining him in much too kinky ways. In short, he wouldn't have realized that a single day without seeing the blonde left him lonely.
Christine really couldn't understand it. The ghost, lonely? He lived in the cellar of the opera house by himself for God only knew how many years and suddenly, one day without Raoul and he was lonely? She rolled her eyes. Why couldn't she have found a tutor that wasn't absolutely insane?
And while there was nothing she could do right now about tomorrow's performance, she could foresee problems in the near future. Erik had locked himself in his home, refusing to speak with anyone. He was being wholly unreasonable of course. Just because he finds out that he finds the Vicomte attractive, which Christine can understand why, doesn't give him any reason to once again become a hermit. She cast Raoul a glance. If only he weren't so pretty or understanding or generous or dedicated to the opera house.
He was really dedicated to the opera house though. Really dedicated to the continued well-being of the Opera Populaire.
She hm'd. In fact, now that she thought about it, she'd never see Raoul with a woman. Of course she'd seen women cling to him at the galas but he'd never actually come to the opera with a lady. That was cause for pause.
"Who are you spending Christmas with?" Christine asked.
Raoul shrugged. Christine hadn't answered his question, but at least she had spoken to him at all. He had begun to think that she was going to tell him to leave; she didn't look very pleased with him. In fact, she had looked downright angry with him a few seconds earlier. "I'm going to spend it alone at home."
She smiled, albeit a little sneakily. "Aren't you lonely?"
"Lonely?" He took a second to think about it. He wasn't that lonely; of course, every now and then he wanted company. No need to tell Christine that though. She looked like she was planning something. "Not really. I'm rather pleased with my life right now."
"But you are not courting anyone?" She pressed.
Raoul looked at her strangely. She was definitely planning something. He could only hope she wasn't thinking about trying to play matchmaker for him. He doubted she knew his type; he actually doubted he'd choose anyone remotely attractive. "No," he answered slowly. "Does this have anything to do with your mood?" He tried to redirect their conversation.
Christine pursed her lips. She knew that Raoul had asked Meg to inform him whenever she was unhappy. She also knew why. One of the only reasons she was ever unhappy was when Erik managed to anger her, and Erik only did that when he was angry. Raoul had been going through many lengths to keep them both happy, and it was only now that she was going to see how far his dedication to their continued happiness could go.
"Raoul dearest," she began, "what would you do for the opera house?"
"What would I do?" Raoul asked, not quite sure he liked where she was going with her question. "I want what's best for the opera house."
"Well," Christine started, "I've just come upon some information on how to keep the opera ghost appeased."
"You know what?" Raoul laughed, thinking it was a joke. Seeing her not join in, he stopped and looked at her in disbelief.
"I know a surefire way to keep the ghost appeased," she restated.
"How?" He asked excitedly. This would be the best Christmas present ever.
"Well, by giving the ghost a certain Christmas present," she replied. Pausing, she added, "But perhaps we should go to the party and get a drink."
Raoul shook his head. He didn't want alcohol; he wanted the solution to his ghost problem, wanted to know what this Christmas present was. "No. I don't need a drink."
Christine stood up and tugged his arm to follow her. "I think you might."
Erik sighed. He'd spent the past few days avoiding everyone. The holidays always made him irritated. All those happy faces and drunken behaviour and prolonged merriment thrown in his face. Then, to make matters worse, he couldn't believe he'd actually started to see the blonde fop as something more than the patron of his opera house.
Raoul was accommodating and made his opera house work almost as well as he could run it. He kept the managers in check, kept his orchestra up to par and more importantly, he kept everything the way Erik wanted it to be done, sometimes before he even requested it to. The boy was perfect.
Perhaps too perfect because now Erik realized he couldn't stop thinking about him. He couldn't go a day, an hour, a minute without thinking about the blonde and that was simply wrong. This was his patron. This was a boy who was constantly surrounded by women and more importantly, someone who would never be interested in him. He couldn't even kidnap him because that would cause too much of an uproar. And if they had to replace him, then that would only make him angrier. His opera house wouldn't be run properly.
He had to admit that the best place for the boy was to be the patron of his opera house. At least then, he could watch him.
Erik just had to convince his impulses of that fact. When Raoul had not shown up at the opera house for days, he had almost gone to the man's estate and taken him back. The only reason he hadn't was initially shock that he'd been thinking about the Vicomte in such a manner to begin with, followed rather closely by self-loathing, which then lead to him locking himself in his lair and ignoring everyone else, trying to figure out how this had happened.
And generally it had worked. Okay, it had worked for about an hour before he was halfway to the Chagny estate. Then, it had once again been self-loathing that had forced himself back down to his home. Having no other option, he'd rowed himself to the middle lake throwing the oars away so that he'd be forced to stay still. Unfortunately, the only thing that left him to do was to think about the blonde and while he'd initially started with wondering how he could allow himself to feel anything about him, it had much too easily gone to the many, many things Erik wanted to do to him.
That had been torture.
He'd roamed the halls once he finally thought he'd had his obsession under control. Raoul was to remain an untouchable. That was simply the way the world worked and while Erik was not usually one to care about how things were 'supposed' to go, there was something about Raoul that made him know he had to keep his distance. The blonde was an angel, one that he was too unworthy to even approach lest he ruin their current situation.
He'd gone up to the party in hopes that he'd at least see Raoul to last him through Christmas, but after the first few hours and his patron didn't show up, Erik had given up. Going to the roof, he stayed there until he saw everyone leave. Christmas was going to be even more horrible. Maybe he would go to the Chagny estate just to see him.
Sighing, he dragged himself back to his home.
Raoul felt as though he'd been waiting hours for the opera ghost. It had been rather surprising to find out that Christine knew the ghost, well, Erik apparently, personally. It made complete sense now that he thought about it. But he didn't know what he was doing naked on the ghost's swan bed. Maybe he should have listened to her when she'd offered him that bottle of wine.
He couldn't even doze. Christine had tied his binds rather tightly. His shoulders hurt from his hands being bound behind him, and his ankles hurt because he was sure the rope was cutting off circulation. She had been entirely too excited and well versed in tying knots to have comforted him with her words. "He'll be too ecstatic to do any real damage."
What had that meant?
Raoul couldn't even imagine. All he knew was that she'd somehow convinced him this was the only way to keep the ghost from interfering too much with the opera house, and he believed her. She did know the ghost in person and was tutored by her.
When he finally heard footsteps, he wondered if he should pretend he was drunk or asleep, but he'd never actually seen the ghost face to face yet. He found himself waiting anxiously just to see him. He frowned when the errant thought that Christine was simply being mean to him crossed his mind. What if this did nothing for the opera house? What if she was mad at him for some reason and this was her revenge? She hadn't looked pleased with him earlier. Raoul struggled with his binds.
Erik slowed when he approached his lair. Something was wrong. He heard a rustling of some sort and followed the sound to the swan bed he'd thought Christine would have liked. She hadn't but he really didn't have anywhere else to put it. He thought it made that particular corner of his lair look more homey.
Pulling the curtain aside, Erik wasn't quite sure he could believe his eyes. He wondered if he'd been outside in the cold too long. Had the ice gone to his brain? Reaching forward tentatively, he pulled the gag from the blonde's mouth.
Raoul didn't say anything, just looked at him expectantly. He held his breath waiting to see some sort of reaction. His mind raced: would the ghost laugh at him? kill him?
Erik let his eyes actually peruse the boy in front of him. He took in the smooth skin and well-defined muscles. The boy was slender but not bony, just enough fat in the right places for tantalizing curves his hands twitched to caress. He could feel himself respond to the sight. He really wanted to adjust his trousers, but decided he couldn't lewdly do so right in front of Raoul in case the boy laughed at him. He didn't know how he was able to control himself. It was probably because a part of him still thought this was some sort of illusion and if he reached out to touch him again, he'd simply disappear. After all, the boy look lucid and he still wasn't screaming for help.
He paused and tilted his head in appreciation at the bow that had been carefully tied around one particular body part. He couldn't help but ask, hoping his voice wouldn't make the image go away either.
"Did Christine tie that bow?" Erik pointed. There was no one but Christine who would possibly dare go into his lair, and possibly the only one that knew what he wanted for Christmas. He smirked to see that the blonde's blush actually travelled down his pale neck.
Raoul looked away. That had definitely been lust he'd seen in the ghost's eyes. Clearing his throat, he answered, "No. Of course not."
Erik grinned; that was good to know. He wouldn't want anyone else to have had the pleasure of that particular gift.
Word count: 2,799
A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!
Chapter review: Tentative!Erik has never been so unappealing. He should stop waffling, but then again, with such a willing!Raoul, why bother chasing when he ends up in his bed regardless? You know, this fic really begs the question. Why do I always picture Raoul bound and naked?
The really dirty part will have to be filled by your imaginations.
It's not really written well, not edited well, and I already know it, but really, this was supposed to be like 500 words of Raoul ending up naked with a bow on his tool. I already spent way too much time on it. It's not even that funny, IMO, but crack it is nonetheless. Merry Christmas (I was late).