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: Whispered confessions in the dead of night may serve to prove they were meant for each other.
Word Count: 1,201
It's short, I know. You'll have to forgive me for that, but it's
my birthday and I wasn't going to work at all this week.
Story note: This was supposed to be unabashed fluff, but damnit if it didn't turn out at least a little angsty.
By: Lucifer Rosemaunt
Lying on his side on the bed, Erik propped his head up on one arm to look at the blonde man currently nestled against him. His home was cold. He knew that, but the temperature rarely bothered him. The only reason he gave such things the barest of consideration was because of Raoul. Raoul complained about the chill constantly. Every other statement out of his mouth was usually concerning the frigid temperatures in his home; albeit lately, they'd all been halfhearted, as though it had become so routine to do so, he didn't know how to stop.
Yet, Raoul was quite insistent that he sleep here and then proceeded to move as close as physically possible when they slept.
Erik could find no fault in that. Having him near was a luxury.
He waited until Raoul was asleep, allowing that steady heartbeat and deep breathing to calm him in a way he was certain could not be achieved anywhere or any time else. There was too much to do, too much to be while the sun shone, while in the company of others, even with Raoul himself when they were awake. In the dark of night though, it was only with his disbelief that Raoul would come willingly proven wrong that Erik could even begin to relax.
He worried though, wondered what he would have to do to keep Raoul with him. It had all been so simple in his mind. He hadn't needed to be the opera ghost as long as he could be Erik with Raoul. He hadn't taken into account that he wouldn't know who Erik was, who he was supposed to be. Instead, he did his best to be what Raoul expected him to be. He did his best hide the faults that if Raoul ever truly realized he possessed would chase him away.
Brushing the back of his hand down Raoul's cheek, he tried to memorize the feel. When Raoul didn't stir, he knew he could say the words that would eventually be their undoing.
In a voice that was hardly audible, he whispered against Raoul's ear, "I'm an atrocity. I've killed, killed without remorse. I found joy in terrorizing others. I lie and steal."
He'd gotten this boy under false pretenses. Reformed. He wanted to laugh at the mere concept. He'd lied to both himself and Raoul when he'd said that word and made such poor efforts to become a 'better man.'
He wasn't a man though. No matter how much he tried to convince himself, it was simple fact. "I'm a monster. I'm the devil's spawn."
He said these words, hoping that when Raoul finally did realize the truth that it wouldn't matter, that his reaction wouldn't be as horrible as Erik expected it to be. He hoped Raoul could somehow accept what was fact before he even had to face them. "I'm ugly. I don't deserve you. I don't."
And Erik desperately wanted to keep Raoul by his side. He would do so with as much deceit and coercion as needed. He'd threatened and tormented those that could tell Raoul his true nature. He kept him from the rumours and the small 'incidents' that occurred throughout the opera house.
Still, he knew he couldn't hide his true nature from Raoul indefinitely. So every night that Raoul was with him, every night that he couldn't stand to waste away the precious hours with sleep, he told Raoul the truth. He told him the facets of who he was that even he usually convinced himself weren't true. He whispered them to Raoul and wondered at his own cowardice.
This night, as Erik spoke the words, Raoul began to show signs of waking. Hands fisted his shirt, tugging him closer. He allowed his hand to rest on Raoul's hip and lowered his head to take the strain off his elbow.
"I don't deserve you," Erik mouthed more than spoke.
Raoul made a discontent noise. Erik closed his eyes and feigned sleep. He didn't know how Raoul would take to discovering that he was being watched while he slept. A sharp intake of breath and another slight moan and Raoul was blinking his eyes open.
"Erik?" He whispered.
Erik fought the urge to open his eyes.
Raoul released his shirt slowly and pulled away. Erik fought the urge to hold onto him tighter. Instead of leaving his embrace though, Raoul stopped moving after a distance, and Erik realized he was being scrutinized. Doubling his efforts to seem asleep, Erik stilled as best he could.
Reaching up, Raoul placed a tentative hand against the porcelain mask. It was only through years of discipline that Erik didn't flinch away, but contrary to what he thought, Raoul did not pull it off. Instead he traced its edges, his fingers leaving a gentle trail against his skin, making it tingle with warmth. Once gone, Erik became distinctly aware of the chill of his home.
Raoul sighed and dropped his hand. He tucked his head beneath Erik's chin and pressed close. His breath caressed Erik's neck. Erik almost thought he had fallen back asleep when Raoul spoke.
"I'm arrogant and selfish. I fear I may become too vapid like my peers." Raoul whispered, a near silent enumeration of his own faults dancing across Erik's skin. "I've killed. I've cheated and lied."
He tilted his head back so that he could place a chaste kiss on Erik's throat. His lips lingered there and Erik could feel his own pulse pound an increasingly unsteady beat against those warm lips.
"I'm demanding and oftentimes do not take into account the feeling of others. Truly," Raoul momentarily kissed him again, "I am self-serving." His hands clutched at Erik's shirt again, his hold tight. "I want you. I want you to a fault; it's become an unhealthy obsession with possessing you."
Raoul pressed forward and Erik knew all pretense of his having been asleep had long since been destroyed. Not with his heart thudding so loudly that he had to struggle to catch every word that Raoul said.
"I think about you constantly, dream about you. I fear I would do anything to keep you, and if you struggled…" Raoul exhaled and Erik just barely stopped himself from shuddering at the sensation. As it was, his hold tightened on Raoul. "I think I wouldn't mind making you understand regardless of what you wanted."
Raoul released one more breath as the words lingered heavily between them before settling himself in Erik's embrace again, his own confession apparently done.
Erik was just barely breathing normally; his heart simply refused to slow and he was uncertain if he hadn't just experienced an aural hallucination. Raoul couldn't have said those things. He'd almost convinced himself that he'd imagined everything that was said when Raoul added.
"I also do not appreciate my dreams and thoughts of the man I want being poisoned as I sleep."
Erik's lips quirked and he finally gave into his compulsion and pulled Raoul closer, their legs entwining. He kissed Raoul once on the head, taking in his scent before whispering, "Truly, I don't deserve you."
Raoul's response was muffled. "It's good I don't care how you feel."
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Chapter Review: "While you sleep, I look at you and whisper in the softest voice a confession of the horrible things about me that I usually convince myself aren't true."