A/N: Basically it's the third installation to the Phantom of the Opera and it leaves off right at the end of Love Never Dies – with a twist.
A final kiss. As painful as the curtain dropping on your final performance. As damning as the final glance back as you sail away with another man. A final breath wrenched from your aching throbbing lungs.
Christine gasped again, eyes fluttering open. Her Phantom was still there. Had she not died? But the pain was overwhelming and her breathing was jagged and painful. That was her last breath; she was satisfied in some dark way for her life to end just as it had. But instead she breathed another breath. And another.
"Christine!" Erik sobbed, clutching her to his chest. "My Christine."
"Mum?" Gustave asked, kneeling beside his mother and his father. "Mum!"
"Gustave, Gustave." Christine's words were weak as she tried to focus her eyes on one or the other. Her lover or their son. "Come to me Gustave, let me hold you near." Her hand trembled as she tried to hold it out, reaching for him.
Gustave timidly stepped closer. He wanted to hug his mother but to hug his mother meant to hug Mr. Y. Not Mr. Y – his father. He had so many questions to ask him. So many unanswered questions. Despite fearing the masked musician he pressed himself against his mother, holding her close. "Please live mum."
"For us, Christine. For the three of us." Erik pleaded, rocking her gently in his arms. He wrapped his arms around both Gustave and Christine, relishing at the feel of having a family in his embrace. "We can move back to France, live in the country and be a family."
"Oh Erik," Christine murmured, "If I had been able to find you." She coughed, sputtering on her words. "I would have left Raoul to be with you. To live as this."
"Shh," Erik whispered, pressing a kiss against her hair. "We have more time to talk about this."
"What will happen to father, mum?" Gustave questioned innocently, prying himself away from Mr. Y's arms. "Has he gone back without us?" He looked around the pier, frowning.
Erik watched him, seeing now so much more of himself in the child. "Gustave, can you stay here with your mum?" He pulled away from Christine, glancing down at the crimson stain on her pale pink jacket.
"No! Don't leave me." Christine gasped, clutching for him to stay. "Please."
Erik closed his eyes, glancing between Christine and the looming Coney Island. "I need to find someone to care for you."
"Take me back to Coney Island."
Erik stooped down, scooping her up into his arms. "Gustave, come along." He couldn't expect that moving her was a safe idea, but he couldn't deny her her wishes any longer. He denied her ten years of desires and wishes. Even if it meant her death, she would die happy.
Christine nestled her head against his strong chest. The pain was blinding, her vision clouded with tears and her head foggy with blood loss. How could Meg have done this to her? She had been raised alongside her, they had been like sisters. She had not purposely come to ruin her career or favour with the Phantom. Mr. Y. She hadn't known that he would be there. She couldn't be blamed and now she could die because of a misunderstanding.
There were so many things left unsaid with Erik. That night, that beautiful night beneath a moonless sky. They had forgotten their barriers, their fears; they had whispered and shouted such beautiful phrases of adoration, appreciation, and love. They had become one soul together. Their separate strands combining into one beautiful melody that she never wished to end. She had woke to swore her undying love to him and found him gone. Those were words she thought she'd never say to him. Never hear from him.
She sang that love never dies - his lyrics and his aria, his words and her voice. Was that the only way they were capable of admitting those words to each other? They had danced around the strange possession that he held over her, they skirted around the dangerous passion that lit their eternal flames, they sang the lyrics that words failed them.
"No more talk of darkness." Christine sang weakly, straining against the pressure in her stomach. "Forget these wide eyed fear. Love me, that's all I ask of you."
Erik stared into her face, holding his breath as her words sank in. "Christine." He rasped, breathless and barely audible. "I love you."
The words, the sound – they stung her ears. The memories of when she had first left him. Their parting kiss when she won their freedom. That had never been what she had wanted. She had kissed him because she chosen him. But he misunderstood or couldn't believe. He had sung those broken lyrics when she returned the ring. A quiet promise that she would return to him.
Christine let out a yelp of pain, tears flooding her eyes again as she twisted in his arms. "I am not ready Lord. God don't take me now."
"Shhh," Erik whispered into her ear, pressing kisses to her hair again. "For our son, you must live. For me you must live."
"Mother please." Gustave begged as he followed close beside Mr. Y. They were within the shadow of Coney Island, not far from the world where anything was possible. The world where he knew his mother would survive in.
"Gustave, you must learn to accept Erik, Mr. Y, your father."
Gustave stopped in his tracks, "Is he the man that father said you'd never stopped thinking of? The man who taught you to sing? The reason why father was coarse about music?"
"Come along, Gustave this is not the time to question her. She needs to rest. Then, when she is better, you can ask her all of these questions." Erik pushed through the doors of the theatre, cradling Christine closer to him. He travelled down up the spiral staircase, making his way to his realm.
Laying her down on the dark sheets of his bed. Their bed, one day, if she still wanted him. Their room even, if there was still a chance for that. If God were merciful. If their love truly would never die.
A/N: Most likely a shorter story, only a few chapters. Hopefully it won't span into being 50 some chapters like my others! Woo!