Phantom of the Opera
Disclaimer: Please don't sue. I don't own *insert fandom name from above*... All I own is an overactive imagination.
Summary: Philippe could never deny Raoul anything. He loved him simply too much.
Word Count: 1,370
I've only heard one person even mildly interested in this pairing
and that's Istlandir. And apparently, all it takes is a suggestion
and I'll do what I can to make something happen, if it's in my
power or interest to do so.
Story note: As such, it simply had to be done. Philippe and Raoul are too close and too much for me to be able to keep them apart. Raoul's visiting home from the navy. He's also very… in character, I guess (novel-wise). I think, probably not though.
Chapter 01: Homecoming
By: Lucifer Rosemaunt
Hearing a carriage pull up to the front door, Philippe placed the contracts he was looking over onto his desk, a slight frown marring his handsome features. No one was supposed to come calling today; he had no scheduled business meetings. Expecting the visitor to leave soon, Philippe once again tried to concentrate on the contract through the dying light. Boring as it was, he knew it was nonetheless important.
The carriage left, but instead of his household returning to the quiet he'd become accustomed to after his brother's departure, noisy footsteps clambered up the stairwell and down the hallway.
Philippe stood up, his chair scraping against the floor in the process. Watching his door expectantly, his frown only deepening, he moved around his desk to stand before it.
The door flung open, slamming against the wall. The frames that hung nearby shook. Before Philippe could react, a body, slightly smaller than his own nearly tackled him to the floor. As it was, he fell backwards against his desk barely managing to stay standing as lamp, pens, and ink spilled across both desk and floor.
A distant part of him noted the mess that had been created and the fact that the contract would have to be rewritten, but Philippe could only laugh and hold on tightly. He buried his face in the blonde hair, darker than his own, but no less familiar. Breathing in, he could smell the sun that was now fading beyond the horizon, the one he'd barely taken a second to notice throughout the day. He could smell grass and dirt and the sweat that marked the long distance from the port to their estate.
"Brother," he could barely breathe with the grip that Raoul had on him. His laughter subsided when he realized that Raoul's hold on him was rather desperate, as though he was never going to let go. While the thought itself was not unpleasant, Philippe could not help but be worried, especially when Raoul did not respond, simply choosing to further hide his face while adjusting his hold on him.
His brother was several days early from the date he'd given for his return for shore leave. Maybe something had happened to make him act as such. After all, he hadn't been able to see Raoul's expression as he moved from the doorway to him. Raoul had been too quick.
He hadn't thought much of such a greeting either. Raoul was always affectionate, always enthusiastic about returning home even though he hadn't seemed at all too troubled about leaving for the navy either. After all, it had seemed the obvious next step for him. Raoul had been following in their uncle's footsteps, and Philippe couldn't be prouder. Raoul had gone away and come back a few times already, and each time, he had been just as glad to return as he was to leave.
This was new. Troubled, Philippe held onto him tighter, trying to gauge whether Raoul was losing weight or if he was injured somewhere, looking for anything that might help him understand his brother's continued silence. It seemed unlikely after the lengths he'd gone to ensure his brother's well-being, and after a few moments he could find nothing. Nothing out of the ordinary, but he did notice that Raoul had grown a little taller in their time apart, though he was still shorter by a good three inches. Raoul was also slimming down, but it wasn't the weight loss of malnutrition. His body was not as yielding to a hug as it had been in the past as unnecessary fat gave way to muscle. Hugging Raoul now was different than it had once been. It was almost saddening.
Philippe could remember a young Raoul, a chubbier one who always reached out with both arms to be picked up, to be held. He would never hesitate to hold him, to offer him all the love and affection he could give. Even when Raoul had grown into his teens, he'd rush to Philippe with every perceived and actual wrong against him. His body shaking in Philippe's arms as he sobbed and clung to him. Philippe had done what he always did, told Raoul everything was going to be alright, told him that no matter what happened he'd be there.
Whispering in a low tone, one that wasn't pressing, he asked, "What's wrong? Did something happen?"
Raoul shook his head a fraction and let out a deep breath. Philippe noted it wasn't shaky, which would have been a clear sign that his brother was crying.
"Are you sure? You can tell me if something is wrong."
Pulling away slowly, Raoul looked at Philippe, pouting and eyes wide. It seemed as though he were considering something, his lips pressing together. Philippe knew the best thing to do was wait patiently; he knew that it would be best if Raoul told him of his own volition.
Apparently coming to a decision, Raoul gave a weak smile. "I," he sighed, "I just really missed you."
Giving an indulgent smile, Philippe ignored the fact that his brother was obviously lying. He didn't know why or what the lie was, but although now determined to find out what it was, Philippe ignored his disappointment in Raoul's decision in favour of relishing his return home.
"Good," Philippe held Raoul's face between both his hands and kissed each cheek once.
Raoul crinkled his nose and blushed lightly but did not protest.
"I missed you, too," Philippe said, not releasing Raoul's face, "But what are you doing home early?"
Bringing his hands up to lay them on top of Philippe's, Raoul pressed them a little tighter, enough so that Philippe could feel the slight heat from Raoul's blush. His brother's eyes closed and he sighed once more. Philippe almost mirrored the sigh, wanting to confront Raoul about his behaviour, but sticking to his decision to wait.
Raoul opened his eyes moments later. Avoiding Philippe's gaze, he looked past him to finally see the mess he'd made. Moving out of Philippe's reach, Raoul quickly ran to the other side of the desk, trying to curtail with his hands the river of ink that was dripping onto the floor. Philippe watched his harried motions; Raoul never acted like this unless it was something big.
Though, with Raoul, things were always relative. He always acted this nervous whenever women visited the estate and again when he did something he thought Philippe would disapprove of. The navy had been one of those times when he'd acted as such. How Raoul could have gotten it into his mind that Philippe would be anything but proud was still beyond him.
Sighing, Philippe reached across the desk to still Raoul's hands.
Raoul looked at him apologetically. "I didn't think. I shouldn't have…"
"It's quite alright," Philippe insisted.
"But your paperwork," Raoul motioned to the smudged contract. "Maybe we can save it."
Philippe couldn't help but smile at his honest concern. "It's quite alright. I believe it's a sacrifice I'm willing to take for the return of my only brother."
Smiling weakly once more, Raoul gave in, lifting his hands up from the desk only to stare at them with disdain.
Philippe laughed at his expression. "Best to clean up before dinner," he said between chuckles.
As Raoul cautiously held his hands far from his clothing, he made his way around the desk to stand beside Philippe.
Philippe noted, "Just like when you used to be younger." At Raoul's questioning gaze, he elucidated, "You were always so meticulous about getting dirty."
"I was not," Raoul defended immediately, hearing the teasing tone of Philippe's voice.
"Yes," Philippe nodded, pleased to see that Raoul seemed to get over his initial behaviour, "I was worried you were allergic to dirt with the reactions you gave."
"I didn't like to be dirty," Raoul retorted, "That's not abnormal."
Shrugging, Philippe replied flippantly, "Of course it isn't."
The only warning Philippe had before Raoul reached out to rub his hands all over his face and arms was a slight frown. After that, the two tumbled to the ground, struggling with each other, creating a mess far worse than the one on his desk.
End chapter 01
Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!
Story Note: It was supposed to just be a PWP – like a really quick PWP where I don't even explain how they go there, but I love both Philippe and Raoul simply too much to do that to them. They rather like plot, build up, clumsy/hesitant!Raoul; indulgent!Philippe isn't so bad either.