Fandom: 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: A songfic chronicling Erik and Raoul's relationship. Angst.
Warning(s): slash, graphic gore, abuse
Word Count: 2,109
A/N: Fanmix still available for download (check out my profile or blogs).
Story note: I completely blame the lyrics for how this chapter turned out. Angst with a familiar idea. Oh, and for those faint hearted, do not read. I outdid myself in unnecessary descriptions. D: Final chapter (why must it end like this? Because the song ended).
By: Lucifer Rosemaunt
Chapter 15 – I wanna hurt you bad
i wanna hurt you bad
make you paranoid
and say the sweetest things
His chains rattled as another shiver wracked his body. He feared for his well-being as the clanking echoed, but when nothing happened, he was mostly just reminded of how hopeless his current situation was – as though he needed to be reminded. He hated the way the metal grated against stone, chinked against metal, and ground against bones. How long had he been here to have formed such a detailed impression? To have formed such a strong opinion against chains? He wasn't certain. Too long. The hours dragged on in a state of perpetual fear.
He was going to die here.
Stifling the whimpers that threatened to come out when the shackles chafed his wrists and ankles had become second nature now. The pain often spiked despite its constancy. Seated on the stone ground, his whole body had suffered enough that he almost wished he could simply fall unconscious. His ankles were chained to some point in front of him, close enough that he had to bend his knees but far enough that he couldn't stand, the angle too awkward to keep his balance. His hands were chained above his head, so high that his only option was to sit up straight and even then it was a stretch. The shackles on his wrists were the only things keeping him upright; he would've toppled over long ago from fatigue. His shoulders ached, a blaze of pain that ran from neck to chest and back. In the beginning, he had tried to relieve the pain by planting his feet and bracing himself against the wall, but he couldn't maintain that position for any long duration of time.
He turned his head left and right, blind because of a heavy cloth that had been wrapped around his head from the first moment he'd been taken. Habit made him turn even when he only had his ears to tell him if someone approached. The reason he couldn't allow himself to rest for very long was coming. The sound of tiny claws clicking on the damp, cold stone was familiar, heralding his only consistent company these past few hours, or was it days? The rats.
They hadn't bothered him in the beginning, not when his captor had been present and not when he'd had enough fight to jerk and buck them off him, but they were growing bolder. From what he could tell, his captor had left him alone, but even alone, Raoul refused to let the dirty monsters take advantage of him. He'd ignored the nausea the first time he'd forcefully driven his knees to the ground and killed at least one rat, injuring many others. They'd stayed away for a while after that, but he'd been forced to prove himself several times over already, and each time, he rose to the occasion.
And now, it was about time. They were going to test him again, and they knew he couldn't kill them all. If only they knew that he didn't think he could stand to kill another one. The bodies of their dead comrades were littered around him, pressing against his legs. The tears they'd made in his trousers trying to get to flesh only made it easier for him to feel their fur, made it easier for the blood to reach skin.
They were eventually going to eat him alive.
Fisting his hands, he grit his teeth to bear against the pain as he jerked suddenly, ignoring the shift of rat carcasses around him. A warning, one he hoped would be enough for now. Straining his ears, he heard them scurry away again. He was safe for another hour, probably less. But the motion had cost him; he slumped, letting the chains hold him up. He swept his left knee out to clear some space and dry heaved when he heard a squelch. He hadn't a meal to throw up thankfully.
How many days ago had he been chained here? Perpetually in darkness, there was nothing to keep count of the passage of time but the sound of rats scurrying and running water. In the beginning, he'd been rather hopeful because sewers meant that he had to be in the city still. It would be easier to find him. If anyone was even looking for him.
He was supposed to be out of Paris for a week. Erik had surprisingly taken it well, and by well, he meant that they kept to their usual arguments about travelling. He was always quite insistent that Raoul should not travel so much when he had everything he needed in Paris. Pressing his face against his arm, Raoul nearly sobbed just remembering how easy it had been to kiss him then, calling him smug. Erik wouldn't even be looking for him despite what his dreams showed him.
It had all happened so quickly. Raoul didn't know who had taken him. One moment he'd been sitting in his carriage. The next, someone had stopped them before knocking the coachman and him unconscious. He had long since realized that the coachman might be his only hope. He could've escaped or told someone. Unless his captor had killed him and disposed of the body.
Raoul let out a sob and tensed in fear. He was going to die here alone and Erik would never know, would never find him.
When he'd woken that first time, the chains were already firmly attached to him and the wall. He'd yelled in hopes that someone would hear him. Someone did hear. His captor had struck him hard enough to jerk him against the binds, making him wonder if he'd dislocated his shoulder. He hadn't even realized that someone had been there.
The man said nothing even when Raoul threatened, begged, cajoled. He was only struck time and again. It felt like days of such torture, but it couldn't have been more than a few hours. Though persistent, Raoul did eventually learn. A throbbing head, bruised if not broken ribs, a missing tooth, and the blood oozing from that gaping hole was a lesson well learned, and he realized that his captor either already knew enough about him in order to secure a ransom or he simply wanted Raoul dead. As more time passed, he was becoming certain that he'd been taken for the latter reason.
He couldn't have been here that long though. Three to four days at most. Lifetimes to him. When he wasn't thinking about his bruises, he was thinking about water and food. Though he could barely breathe for want of water, the stomach cramps were the worst – the hunger that ate away within him spread, the muscles in his limbs spasming, tightening so much he thought they would snap right off the bone.
But, the fact that he could still think at all, albeit a little muddled, meant that he could stave off death for at least a couple more days. He hoped. He'd lost consciousness so many times already, and each time he'd woken he hadn't been able to tell if only a minute or an hour had passed. It couldn't have been very long because it felt as though he hadn't slept at all. All he knew was that whenever he woke and dared to yell for help, his captor had been quick to silence him with a well-placed strike to his face. The slightest sound was enough to warrant a strike, and he wasn't willing to be punished for some accidental noise. He tried to remain as quiet as possible, wondering if the man ever left because Raoul could never hear his approach or his departure.
It had disturbed him to think that he would have an audience for his death. However, that thought was somehow better than dying alone, chained to the wall with only rats to witness it as they eagerly awaited the moment.
As his stomach continued to eat itself, the silence prevailed. Any sound made him twitch, his head automatically turning to that direction. It was mostly water and echoes. For a while now, maybe a day or two, his captor hadn't returned – or perhaps he was simply amused at Raoul's battle against the rats. He hadn't tried to call for help though, mostly because if he could hear nothing in this silence, he could not conceive how anyone would be able to hear him. His best hope was to save his energy, hear someone's approach before calling for help. He simply did not know how well used these tunnels were.
Dying in his own refuse had not been the way he'd imagined the end of his life. Hanging his head, he was unable to even feel shame for that. He was too tired, tired and disheartened. Every thought came to the same conclusion. No matter what he tried to do, it proved fruitless. No matter how hopeful he tried to stay, there was no reason to hope.
His eyebrows furrowed when he heard an unfamiliar sound.
Footsteps. Honest to goodness human footsteps approached and despite his initial plan, he couldn't seem to find his voice, his body already anticipating the strike that would fall upon him. Fear kept him from both calling for help and begging for his life. He held his breath in anticipation. When a hand touched his face, Raoul flinched, unable to suppress a whimper. He tensed, cursing himself for his weakness. Instead of another blow though, his blindfold fell to the ground, and he heard his name called.
He let out another sob when he recognized the voice. Blinking rapidly, Raoul tried to will himself to see and through the blurred haze of his eyes trying to focus through the darkness, sure enough, Erik was crouched in front of him, concern so plain to see.
Using his sleeve to wipe Raoul's face, Erik tried to clean the grime away so that he could see the damage done. Closing his eyes, Raoul leaned into the touch and let out a breathy sob again when he felt Erik's hands tremble, trying so hard to be gentle with him. He wanted to tell Erik to press harder because he was here. Erik was somehow here.
But those hands disappeared. At his whimper, Erik explained, "I'm going to remove these chains."
Raoul didn't question how, just bemoaned the loss of Erik's touch as he moved to take the shackles from his ankles.
"Erik," he murmured, his mouth hurting. His lips were cracked, dried blood caked on them as well as on his cheek. There was heavy bruising on his jaw and the left side of his face. His nose had somehow managed to stay unbroken, but that meant very little to Raoul. "How?" He croaked.
Seeing the dead rats around him, Erik was quick to push them away. "I've been looking for you for almost two days." Erik flung the ankle chains behind him. It clanked loudly, echoing in the tunnels. He stroked Raoul's neck briefly in apology when the younger man flinched at the sound. "The man was stupid enough to gloat about capturing you." He moved up to remove the shackles on Raoul's wrists. "He's not alive to be so stupid again."
Once his arms were free, they dropped and Raoul nearly screamed in pain. All he could manage was a groan. Still, he fought through the pain to try and hold onto Erik, body surging forward. It wasn't enough to see him, not when it was dark enough that he couldn't quite see his face. He needed to feel the solid body under his fingers, in his embrace. Those dreams of Erik had been closer to hallucinations, and several times already, he'd woken to rats climbing on him when he'd been certain Erik had already saved him. He'd felt real in the dreams too.
"Don't leave me," Raoul cried, "Please don't leave me."
"Raoul," Erik coaxed, kissing his temple, his hair, anywhere he could reach, holding Raoul possessively against him. "Ask it of me and I will. I will never leave you."
Raoul nodded, crying too hard to truly respond.
"Shh," Erik coaxed, rubbing circles on Raoul's back. "I'll always come for you, always find you. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for you." Raoul hiccupped. Erik continued murmuring, "It was terrible. I know. It's over though. It's finally over and everything will be fine now. I promise."
As Raoul slumped against him, Erik knew he'd never be able to explain just how much this experience had been harder on him than it had been for Raoul. Watching his beloved suffer so had nearly broken him, but they were stronger for it now. Stronger and together.
i wanna help you grow
and for eternity
i wanna be your what's happening
End chapter 15
A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!
Chapter Review: Wow. Talk about being mean to Raoul. The POV switches only at the end because that's when Raoul finally passes out, and yes, the idea's from Glimpses. I think it's number #47, but it definitely wasn't that dark when I first thought of it.
And, yes, though vague, Erik is the one who did this to Raoul (although I give you leave to deny it. That's why I left it vague; part of me denies it, too). The ending of chapter 13 led to this, Erik's brilliant plan (complete sarcasm) to keep Raoul with him. What's the point of fluff if Erik goes around doing things like this?