Christian couldn't help but smirk.
The last week had been fairly eventful. Ever since he'd had that fateful meeting with Erik after the performance, things had been going a lot better.
A lot better.
Of course, no matter how hard you try, after you're gone for four days and you'd announced you were in love with the Phantom of the Opera the night before you disappear, saying 'I don't remember' just doesn't cut it anymore; Meg and Christine had taken bets whether he was dead or whether Erik had just gone over the twenty-four hour limits, Madame Giry had simply given him a small knowing smile that hadn't gotten on his nerves and the rest of the staff had asked where he had been for four days, what could he have been doing for four days? They're faces showed other questions; would the ghost be mad at them if they talked about the writer, ever took bets on him again? He'd just shrugged their answers away until he realised what a point of power he was in. Okay, so it was embarrassing for the staff to know who he was in a relationship with, but it had its advantages.
Such as the managers.
Andre and Firmin had been quite close to having a mental breakdown when they finally talked to him.
'So,' said Firmin, pulling his collar away from his neck, 'did you hear that Moulin Rouge was a great success?'
'Yeah, I did,' Christian said, wondering if he should be amused at the fact Firmin was sweating. Both of them looked terrified to say anything, in case one little word came out wrong and they'd have to worry about the Ghost. He didn't think Erik would even bother but that didn't mean he had to tell them for a while.
'Well, that's – wonderful, isn't it?' said Andre, nodding.
'Guess it is,' Christian said, 'so, does this, um, have a point?'
The managers connected eyes then smiled rather fakely at him. 'Yes,' said Firmin, 'we'd like you to stay at the Opera Populaire.'
'Why wouldn't I?' Christian asked, sounding confused, but inside he knew he was really having too much fun with this. Their expressions were priceless.
Andre laughed loudly but just a moment too late. 'HA, that is funny, why on earth would you leave? Priceless...'
Firmin agreed, nodding. 'Yes. Stay as long as you want.'
Christian grinned professionally. 'As you wish.'
Then there had been the chorus girls. He'd be sitting down one minute and the next minute there would be a seventeen-year-old girl by his shoulder and then about a dozen more, asking bluntly if the ghost was handsome.
'I beg your pardon?' Christian said, feeling awkward again all of sudden. He was not discussing this.
'Well, you're handsome, so we're wondering. People say he's deformed,' said one girl, tossing her black hair back as she crossed her arms. She was a tiny little thing, dark hair, dark eyes, pink lips, white face.
'Just tell us what he looks like,' begged another. He saw the mousy haired girl smiling at him, as if she was saying Well done. He winked at her then looked back at the dark-haired girl. 'Use your imagination.'
'About the deformity?' she asked, wrinkling her nose.
'You know, that's a little rude,' Christian said irritably and she shut her mouth.
'One thing about him?' asked a redheaded girl, who reminded him oddly of Satine and Elieutte.
'He haunts an opera house and wears a mask, there, that's two,' Christian recited, rolling his eyes and he heard the mousy haired girl stifle a giggle. The other girls glared at him and he stood up, making to walk away.
'One thing?' he heard the mousy haired girl's voice as the other girls started to gossip. He blinked, turned around and smiled at her. She blushed. 'I won't ask anything else.'
The other girls held their breath, eyes darting from the girl to Christian, wondering what could happen in the next thirty seconds.
To their surprise, the writer grinned. 'Green eyes,' he said then disappeared.
But four days was a long time. Christine and Meg had cornered him later and forced him to tell them.
'Why were you down there for so long?' Christine asked, crossing her arms.
'Oh, come on,' Christian began, rolling his eyes –
'Yes, I believe twenty four hours is one day, not four,' Meg teased.
'Get a life, both of you,' Christian replied, trying to push past them; they looked at each other, nodded, and Meg reached out, pulling his shirt collar down –
'Hey!' Christian snapped, taking a step back, hastily moving his collar around before anyone else saw the fading bruises – bruises that looked strangely like bite marks – that trailed down his shoulder – and ranged randomly from his torso to his hips.
'So, good time?' asked Christine, smirking.
'Any rope burn?' added Meg, covering her mouth with her hands.
'This conversation is over,' Christian snapped, walking past the two girls, whose giggles followed him down the hall. He heard footsteps after him, steps he recognised too quickly, and he whipped around, glaring.
'Raoul, I swear to God, if you even try to tell me we're "back on" I'll –'
'I'd like to apologise,' Raoul said hesitantly. Christian shut his mouth and stared at the Vicomte.
'Uh, that's great,' he said after a moment. 'Too bad I don't care anymore.'
'Well, I'd still like you to know,' Raoul insisted. 'And I was – a fool for not seeing what was right under my nose.'
'That I hated you?' Christian offered.
'Christine,' Raoul said flatly, narrowing his eyes.
'Christine! Right... huh.'
Raoul nodded, sticking out his hand. 'But it won't happen again. I mean it. I guess I'd like us to be friends,' he said, obviously expecting Christian to shake it.
He couldn't bring himself to, though. 'Give me another week,' Christian said, not unkindly. He gave the patron an apologetic look as he turned back in the direction he was going, not bothering to look back and see the expression Raoul de Chagny held.
As he'd walked past the storage room, an album of memories flicked pages in his head.
'Are you planning on getting up?'
Erik always sounded so amused at times like this. Christian didn't open his eyes, ignoring the ghost.
'I don't believe it – you're mad at me. For something you made the deal for.'
'I'm not mad at you,' Christian said honestly; it was simply his tone that made it sound like he was lying. He cracked open an eye as Erik stared at him, arms crossed and one eyebrow raised. He'd taken to wearing the mask just out of preference; he'd also not bothered to put on a shirt this morning. Christian knew that shouldn't thrill him so much anymore but it did; he felt his heart leap.
Erik's eyebrows (or the one he could see) went up and down, in an 'I'm sure' gesture.
'All right, so I'm a little annoyed –'
'I don't think I can move, so yes, I'm annoyed.' Christian glared at him. Erik smirked. 'Your idea, monsieur –'
'Just because it was my idea doesn't mean I knew exactly how it was going to go,' Christian replied, rolling his eyes and moving one hand behind his head – he winced – it hurt.
Erik moved onto the bed, grinning down at the writer; Christian kept up the glare and Erik rolled his eyes. 'Don't be such a –'
'I can't move,' Christian reminded him and Erik couldn't help but look triumphant. Christian rolled his eyes. 'Look, go haunt an opera house, or something –'
'Might I just remind you,' Erik interrupted, turning his back on the writer so Christian could see the various fingernail scrapes on the skin, mixed with the scars. Christian felt himself blushing and he couldn't help it; he smiled at Erik's expression, a mixture of disbelief and amusement at the writer's ignorance. 'Can't move,' he reminded Erik, gesturing to the marks littering his chest and shoulders. Erik didn't have the grace to look embarrassed; he simply smirked, leaning over Christian and pressing their lips together. Christian noticed that Erik was tracing a path with his fingers down the writer's bare chest, stopping teasingly at the waistband of his trousers.
Christian broke off the kiss, glaring at Erik. 'If you even try –'
Erik ignored him and instead moved on to his earlobe.
'Nope, get off,' Christian said, pushing Erik's hand away – the ghost simply moved it down to his thigh.
'I'm serious, Erik,' Christian said in a voice that meant he was obviously not. He tried to sit up, winced and settled for pushing the ghost off him entirely. Erik smirked at him.
'You went over the twenty-four hour limit, you've lost all privileges,' Christian told him, smirking back just as triumphantly; Erik's jaw dropped open.
Christian laughed and said, 'You don't know how good this feels.'
'You're not serious –'
'I'm perfectly serious –'
Christian still couldn't believe how lucky he was, even after a week of realising it was all back to way it was before.
Only it was better than before, even if that seemed impossible. He typed a few more words on his typewriter and smiled as he remembered another incident that had happened only a day ago...
As soon as the ghost had walked in, Christian had known something was up. He was sitting on the floor, cross-legged, in front of the typewriter. Erik glanced at it questioningly and blinked at Christian; he remembered leaving to check how the Opera Populaire was being run this morning and frankly, the Underwood typewriter had not been there. He smirked as Christian gave him a suspicious look and walked into the bedroom, looking smug and taking off his jacket.
'What did you do?' Christian asked, not moving from his spot on the floor but watching the doorway Erik had just disappeared through.
'What makes you think I did something?' Erik replied innocently from the other room. Christian rolled his eyes and continued writing. 'Forget it, I don't want to know,' he called back tiredly. He saw Erik move back into his line of vision, smiling down at him, interested. His heart pounded at that expression. 'What are you writing?'
Christian glanced up at him, still looking stern, hoping his eyes weren't giving him away. Wordlessly he looked back down at the typewriter and wrote a few more words to finish the sentence.
Erik stopped smiling, not noticing Christian's jest. Nonetheless, the writer felt bad for stopping that rare, cute – yes, he called it cute, big deal – smile. He continued typing, pretending he hadn't noticed that Erik was now frowning slightly.
'What?' asked the ghost.
'Nothing,' said Christian, still typing. 'Just curious.'
'About what?' Erik asked, refusing to cross his arms and glare at Christian like a child would – he could picture himself in a cage now, people throwing money at him while his master beat him, great. Nonetheless, it was amusing to think of Christian as a teenager.
The writer looked up at him again, interested. 'What were you looking so smug about when you walked in?'
Erik kept a straight face and shrugged, moving down to Christian's level. 'I wasn't looking smug.'
Christian rolled his eyes at the ghost. 'We've been through this, you aren't good at being innocent –'
'If you spent less time contemplating that, you would have noticed I'm already halfway down the page,' Erik interrupted smoothly and Christian moved in front of the typewriter, glaring at the ghost, who chuckled and raised his hands. 'Okay, so I haven't read anything... when am I allowed to?'
'When it's done,' Christian said firmly.
'And how long will that be?' Erik asked, a glint coming into his eyes that told Christian that within a few moments, Erik would be able to get anything out of him, with the cunning use of charm and his waaay too talented hands. Christian changed the subject.
'So, really, about when you walked in – why the smirk?' he asked sternly, crossing his arms.
Erik shrugged again, standing up. 'I simply sent the managers a notice.'
Christian stared at him, not understanding. 'About...'
Erik let his smirk shine through. 'Us.'
Christian stared at him for a second before lunging up and forward, tackling Erik to the ground. 'You bastard –!'
'They already knew,' Erik said, as calmly as one can whilst trying to stop someone else from punching them; Christian knew Erik could easily overpower him and all he really had was the element of surprise but it didn't matter all of a sudden. 'What the hell is wrong with you?! What did you send them?!'
Erik was now trying not to laugh as he held Christian's wrists in an attempt; the younger man glared at him. 'Not to ask questions if you're gone for long periods of time.'
Christian broke a hand free and managed to get a fairly hard hit on the ghost's chest; Erik rolled his eyes and grabbed Christian's hand again.
'They weren't asking anything,' Christian said through gritted teeth.
'And that would last forever?' Erik replied and the writer knew he had a point. Nonetheless, he was still embarrassed.
He slowly reduced the strength in his hands and Erik let his right hand go, keeping the left in firm grasp. 'Better?' the ghost asked, obviously amused at the writer's reaction.
Christian glared at him. 'No.'
Erik chuckled and moved a few unruly strands of hair off Christian's face, even though the writer knew that was useless. But the ghost obviously didn't care; he seemed to love Christian's always somewhat untidy style. 'Am I still banned from "privileges"?' Erik mocked, moving Christian's hand up to his face and trailing kisses down his wrist.
Christian punched Erik in the stomach, not very hard but enough to make Erik realise he was not off the hook and to let go of his wrist. Christian moved off the ghost and Erik got to his feet within a few seconds. 'Are you really angry?' Erik asked, taking hold of Christian's shoulders and spinning the writer back to face him. He saw Christian was trying not laugh and his eyes narrowed momentarily. Then he smirked wickedly.
'Hey,' Christian said, stopping the laughter immediately at that look. 'Look, sorry if I hurt you. And you're right about the managers anyway, I was just –' He cut off when suddenly Erik was holding him, bridal style.
'Kidding?' Erik finished and Christian realised how close they were to the lake.
'Erik, don't even think about it –'
The ghost smirked and let go.
Christian grinned as he continued typing. After Erik had dropped him in the lake, privileges were back on. He laughed when he thought of how just saying that Erik had taken him seriously.
'What?' Erik asked, looking up at the sound of Christian's laugh.
Christian shook his head and remembered Erik was in the bedroom and couldn't see him. When Christian had come down the ghost had been asleep. Christian had filed that image of the ghost looking so relaxed into his brain. 'Just thinking about a certain someone who threw me into a lake,' he said loudly and Erik grinned, lifting himself up on his elbows as he listened to the sounds the typewriter made. He'd woken up about ten minutes ago to those sounds.
'Right,' Erik called, moving off the bed and out of the room, so he could see Christian. He'd stopped typing momentarily and was staring at a toy monkey with cymbals which had somehow ended up around the floor – it wasn't damaged, it obviously was thought of as a pretty high object to the ghost. As the writer watched, it clacked its tiny cymbals together and a slow music-box sounding tune came out of it.
He looked up at Erik, who sat down behind him, wrapping his arms around Christian. The writer moved back onto the ghost's lap and Erik placed a small kiss behind his ear. Christian felt warmth spread through him and wondered if his heart would burst from pleasure overload. And just as suddenly, everything left his head as the ghost murmured the tune the monkey was emitting.
Paper faces on parade…
Hide your face
So the world will never find you...'
Christian had his eyes closed; Erik had an amazing voice. He smiled – he was a sucker for that voice and apparently the ghost liked it when he sang too. He couldn't understand why for his voice barely lit a candle compared to Erik's yet he had a feeling the ghost would deny that.
The monkey stopped.
'Christian, I love you,' Erik finished, resting his head on the writer's shoulder. Christian wondered if Erik could hear his heart racing. After a minute he asked, 'Are you reading over my shoulder?'
'Not allowed,' Erik recited, and Christian could picture the ghost rolling his eyes. Christian laughed and finished the sentence. 'Can now.'
Erik's head perked up. 'You're finished? That didn't take long,' he added, amazed.
'I knew what I was writing,' Christian shrugged, a little embarrassed.
Erik noticed this and smiled as Christian handed him the papers over his shoulder. The ghost leaned further back so he could read the pages between himself and the writer. 'Planning on showing this to the managers?'
Christian laughed dryly. 'Somehow I doubt it.'
He felt anxious as Erik flicked through the pages, eyes focusing on nothing but the words. When it had been about five minutes and he knew Erik had gathered the information in his head of what the story was about. And when the ghost looked up to smirk at him Christian couldn't help but look at the portcullis.
'This story is about a man who calls himself a ghost that lives in an opera house and a penniless writer.'
Christian felt himself blushing. 'Yep,' he said again, nodding at the portcullis and refusing to look away from it. Erik put the pages down and snaked his arms around Christian's stomach, pulling his writer closer. He smirked at the startled noise that came out of the writer's mouth and nuzzled his neck, before kissing up his neck to his jaw.
Christian grinned. 'Well, I'm glad you like it.' He felt the ghost's lips turn up in a smirk against his skin. He was starting to feel a lot warmer.
'You didn't bother to take the last page out of the typewriter,' Erik said thoughtfully, moving one hand under Christian's shirt comfortably enough.
'Really?' Christian asked, feeling his face heat up. Erik grinned. He loved how he could make the writer blush so easily.
Christian swallowed as Erik read the last page over his shoulder. He found himself skipping to the last sentence and reading it over and over again, waiting for Erik to get there.
The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
He heard the ghost chuckle. 'Couldn't resist that ending?' Erik asked, trying to sound serious as he began to unbutton the writer's shirt from bottom to top.
Christian smiled. 'I can change it if you want,' he trailed off as the ghost moved his hands back down to the writer's stomach.
'I like the hopeless romantic tinge,' Erik smirked. Christian sighed. 'One minute you chuck me in a lake, the next you're just begging me to kiss you.'
'This isn't begging,' the ghost replied sharply and Christian chuckled. 'And if it was?'
'I'd admit to it,' Erik answered charmingly, feeling that he probably wouldn't anyway but he could tell Christian that another time, he decided, as the writer's lips descended softly on his and he felt Christian turning around fully as to kiss him better. Erik felt his insides melt and realised his heart was about to explode from the joy it was holding; he welcomed the feeling.
He realised his eyes were closed when he felt Christian pull back; opening them, he blinked dazedly at the writer, who was grinning at him. 'Satisfied, beggar?' Christian teased, pulling the rest of his shirt off. Erik watched him as though hypnotised before grinning back. 'Are you kidding?' he asked, running his fingers lightly up Christian's sides; he remembered the writer saying he was ticklish. 'And what did you just call me?'
'Don't,' Christian begged, pulling back at the ghost's wicked grin. Then Erik had captured his lips with another kiss and Christian didn't have a mind to think with, which he was grateful for.
The monkey clicked its cymbals again and was very well ignored.
I can't believe that's a wrap! I always get too involved in stories and then I don't want them to end... (cries)
Thanks a heap for the reviews!
Briannabanana79, thanks for the first review and for the word 'mansmex' lol!
J. Gatsby, thanks for the comment, twas very nice :)
Marching Clocks, thanks for the awesome long reviews that made me go 'YES!' fairly loudly while my friend was watching Dracula 2000!
VampiressKatasandra, thanks for introducing me to puppy chow (good stuff!) and for the wonderful reviews on basically every chapter that made me laugh!
BringMeToLife340, thanks for the little comment and I hope you enjoyed the rest of the story!
SuperStarStruck10, thanks for reviewing on every chappie and making the friend who co-wrote this run around her house yelling 'PAAAARRRTTAAAY!!!'
LadyVisionary, congrats for guessing the plot! :D
Trinity Le Faye, thank you for the latest review and I loved your Moulin Rouge poem!
Okay, yeah, that was really sappy but I have to thank you guys ;)!
And my friend/slash co-writer/now an auntie says she would totally love it if anyone wants to write this pairing. Just an idea. And I probably will put more of these stories up, I love these characters too much!!!
Okay, now I'm gonna go Phantom of the Opera out; signing off, grimmy.
P.S. I hope you enjoyed the story :)