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.
Word Count: 1,759
A/N: Happy… Easter. I almost completely forgot that Easter was sneaking up on us. How is that possible with all the bunnies in the stores? Idk. However, here's the required holiday fic.
Story note: I said I wanted a sick!Erik fic, so here it is. However, it didn't really come out the way I wanted. So, maybe there will be a second attempt.
By: Lucifer Rosemaunt
Raoul stood at the very edge of the ocean, the waves lapping at his feet. The sun was hidden behind the dense fog that clung to the seashore, and he shivered against the chill. After that journey, even the chill couldn't keep him from standing here. The need to stretch his legs and just be still after that bumpy ride was too much to ignore. This was also the perfect opportunity to be alone to gather his thoughts. He and Christine had argued the entire way here, which was counterproductive to the stress-free vacation he'd hoped this trip to be. Heaving a deep sigh, he slouched for a moment before straightening. Even the beauty and peace of the ocean couldn't truly calm him.
As though to prove this point exactly, Christine called from the cottage. "Raoul!"
He wondered if ignoring her would make her stop calling him.
"Raoul!" She screamed even louder.
Wincing, he sighed again. He'd forgotten just how strong her voice could be. So much for peace and quiet. He bent over to pick up his shoes before heading back towards the cottage. She called his name four more times before he came into view.
"Yes, Christine." He said dutifully. Seeing her scowl, Raoul wondered if he should've walked faster. He wanted to avoid another argument.
"Don't give me that tone," she warned.
Before she could really become angry with him, he asked, "What's wrong?"
Not seeing the significance of such a statement, Raoul shrugged. "So?"
She looked at him in disbelief. "Do something about it."
Raoul scoffed and turned to head back towards the beach. She grabbed his arm. He stopped only to make this point. "He followed you here, not me."
She stared at him for a moment before laughing. "If you still believe that then now I'm certain you need to spend more time with him."
Before he could respond, she waved and skipped off towards the beach. "Christine." He watched her go. "Christine!"
"Make sure he doesn't die." She suggested with another wave.
He stayed where he was until she disappeared into the fog. Entering the cottage, he walked slowly through the foyer, stopping to look at each painting and piece of furniture. The rug was particularly fascinating. He considered stopping by the kitchen to find a snack, but a thump from upstairs caught his attention. A maid rushed quickly down the stairs, her hair in disarray. She was at the bottom of the stairs when she finally saw him.
"Vicomte." She placed a hand on her chest in shock. "I…" She glanced upstairs.
"It's all right," he said. "I understand."
She looked so relieved; Raoul wondered if she would hug him. Instead, she composed herself as best as she could. "Even though Mademoiselle Daae sent me, he does not wish to see anyone."
He nodded and motioned for her to continue with her work. Reluctantly, Raoul climbed the stairs, muttering to himself. "Old man. If it's too strenuous to ride this far, don't do it. Selfish, stupid." The door to the bedroom Erik currently occupied was ajar. On the floor, halfway in the room and halfway out was a broken candlestick. "Ungrateful, insolent…"
"Fop." Erik said, "I'm not deaf."
Raoul picked up the candlestick on his way in and closed the door behind him. Looking disdainfully at the man confined to the bed, he retorted. "You're also not well apparently?" He surveyed the room and spotted the empty candleholder by the bed. It was within arm's reach; Raoul glanced at Erik for a moment. It was probably the only light thing that could be thrown while being limited to the bed. He briefly wondered how sick the older man truly was.
"I'm quite well." Erik said defensively. He tossed the blanket off himself and struggled to push himself up.
Raoul didn't believe that statement for a moment. The mere fact that he had accepted the bed in the first place was proof enough that he was ill. Erik had even stopped attempting to sit up halfway through the effort. "And I suppose you've kept indoors because you simply wanted to rest?" He kept his teasing light. There was no use angering him too much, as tempting as it was.
Erik glared when Raoul sat at the edge of the bed. Before he could react, Raoul placed a hand on his forehead. Technically, because of the mask, Raoul only felt half of his forehead, but what he did feel was unnaturally warm. Erik smacked his hand away.
"What do you think you're doing?"
Raoul looked at him for a moment before chuckling to himself.
"What's so funny?" Erik scooted away from him, annoyed with himself for not having the energy to do anything more.
Raoul put his hand on Erik's forehead again just to have it swat away. Before Erik could demand an explanation, Raoul said, "You are very sick." He grinned. "You can't do anything."
"I'll kill you," Erik immediately responded.
"Yes, I'm sure you would if you could," Raoul stood up, and grabbed the blankets Erik had thrown off. He pulled them up and tossed them lightly over Erik, who shivered from the breeze the action caused. "But for now, get some rest."
Erik narrowed his eyes. "Why are you doing this?"
"I told you," Raoul spoke as though to a child, something he knew would annoy Erik. "I wouldn't kill you if you didn't try to kill me. And so far, you've only stalked us and gotten ill for all your efforts." When Erik only looked away from him, Raoul wondered if the ghost could always be sick so that he'd be this acquiescent. He walked towards the door saying, "I'll get more blankets since you're cold."
"Who says I'm cold?" Erik groused, but Raoul was already out of the room. He shifted to a more comfortable position on the bed and reluctantly admitted to himself that even sheer force of will would not make him better immediately. That didn't stop him from cursing his luck. Maybe he should've listened to his first instinct and not have followed them here. So far away from everything he knew, he couldn't help but act differently – at least, that's the excuse he gave himself for accepting the Vicomte's kindness so easily. Closing his eyes for a moment, he planned to conserve his energy while waiting for Raoul to return. He had several choice words for him.
Erik didn't remember falling asleep, but once he was under Morpheus' spell he couldn't pull himself any further into consciousness for longer than a few moments at a time. He had a distant awareness of time; impressions of what was happening around him came in swells of feelings and clips of sounds. There was the feel of a heavy blanket draped on him that kept the chills at bay. The bed had dipped to one side as someone sat with him. A cool damp cloth rested on his forehead. Someone coaxed him to drink much needed iced water just at the moment when he'd felt his throat too dry. He heard a soothing baritone muttering nonsense and assurances. And sometime maybe in the very beginning, he couldn't be sure, he'd felt someone remove his mask, but he'd been so far gone that he hadn't fought as he should have.
Then there was nothing.
When he finally woke up fully from the haze of illness, Christine sat in a chair by his bed. Her cool hand held his, but for some reason, it felt so small in his grasp. It felt wrong even though he did not think he had anything to compare it to.
The first thing he checked was to make sure his mask was fully in place. He was pleased when his arm didn't feel so heavy and even more pleased that maybe he'd simply imagined someone taking his mask off since he was still wearing it.
"Good morning." Christine watched him carefully as he awoke, trying not to grin at his disorientation.
He couldn't define why he felt disappointed.
"I'm quite relieved to see you better," she admitted. She let go of his hand with a pat. He immediately moved it to rest on his stomach. "You've been thrashing and burning up for a little more than a day."
Erik looked around the room before shutting his eyes. They were alone. A sudden wave of anger hit him but just as quickly disappeared. There was no reason to be angry; he knew that. The only thing the strong emotion had done was highlight just how tired he still felt. With some effort, he forced himself to relax a little further into the bed.
Moments later, the door opened. Erik kept his eyes closed; however, instead of Christine leaving, Erik heard a second voice whisper.
"Has he woken?"
Erik wondered why he'd never realized how Raoul's voice was just as charming as the rest of him. He struggled not to frown. That thought, he blamed completely on the illness.
He heard the rustle of Christine's dress as she turned towards the door. "Are you going to run away again?" The exasperation was easy to hear, and Erik had to wonder what she meant by that.
"I needed to shower and eat." Raoul said defensively.
Christine glared at him, and even though it was just an excuse, it was also the truth. "I thought you were going to sleep."
"I am going to. I'm just checking that…," Raoul glanced at Erik before quickly focusing on Christine. She smiled knowingly at him. "Good night." He made a quick retreat.
When the door shut, Christine said as though in the middle of a conversation Erik couldn't remember starting. "I was enjoying myself at the beach all of yesterday. It was only this morning, I think, when you started showing signs of waking did he rush me here with instructions to watch you."
Erik didn't need to open his eyes to know she was grinning. He wanted to question the validity of her statements, but if he focused hard enough, sifting through the sensations while he'd been ill, he could recall the near constant feel Raoul's hand in his.
"But now that we know you won't die," Christine stood up, "I'll be enjoying the rest of my day. Don't disappear when you're well enough to get up."
Erik didn't have any intentions of running away.
She was halfway out of the room when she remembered to add, "I told you it was a good idea to come."
A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!
Chapter Review: I think I like slash-fangirl!Christine too much (or should I just call her matchmaker!Christine instead). It's a crutch I should stop using. Either way, this is pure unabashed fluff, isn't it? I'm surprisingly getting a lot of fluff ideas. However, there wasn't as much Erik-Raoul sick interaction as I would like. I'm forcing you to fill in the blanks of how nursemaid!Raoul acted.