"Christine, I love you." The Phantom choked as he sang, tears streaming down his scarred cheek. Christine's heart broke. Why was he sending her away with Raoul? She had chosen him! Did he misunderstand that kiss? It was not a kiss to save Raoul's life, it was an opportunity to finally feel his misshapen lips against hers. To finally explore what she had been craving to explore for months. For years.
The music of the night.
"Please," Christine started, kneeling in front of the broken man. Something felt different, she felt light headed suddenly. "Oh. What's wr-" She blinked her eyes, shaking her head. "I-" Christine looked up, slightly startled at first to find that the Phantom sat before her unmasked and unscathed by a bullet. "You're alright." She wrapped her arms around the Phantom in a childlike embrace. She had been so sure that he would die.
"Christine?" He questioned hesitantly, his hand resting on her back awkwardly. He did not know how to embrace another person, to him it was foreign. To him -… the world was suddenly spinning and his head ached with a sudden overwhelming pressure. "Christine." He purred, his hands no longer timid around her figure.
The ache of a bullet lodged in his gut had vanished. The feeling of age creeping up on him was disappeared. He felt young again. Young and tormented.
Christine pulled away from the embrace, cupping his injured cheek in her palm. "If only this Christine had accepted you for who you were in the light." She leaned towards his, ready to kiss away his fears when they both turned to the sound of footsteps on the cold stone.
"Raoul." The Phantom gritted, his voice harsh and cold.
Christine's eyes softened, the ache that she bore for him in her life, her other life, seemed to remain. She was the sole reason that her once handsome, young, vibrant husband had turned into a drunken monster. She had been a cold, dead, replacement for a wife.
"Raoul." His name fell from her lips like a desperate prayer. "I must set it right with him. We have this chance, no matter how terrifying it is."
"No." He snapped, grabbing her wrist and not letting her leave. "We leave together. Now." He snatched his mask from where it lay, discarded on the ground.
"But-" Christine stared back at the walkway towards the grotto as her Phantom led her deeper into his lair. His touch was once again heavy and possessive, what she remembered vividly of their time beneath the opera house. Not as hesitant and as nervous as in the darkness of the graveyard. Or even as frightened and longing as his touch at Fantasma.
"Not buts Christine. We did not gain this chance to waste away what little time we may have here."
"What if we are here forever?"
"Perhaps this is hell for me." He added remorsefully, "I asked whatever god would listen to give me a chance to be with you as we should have been and-" He stopped speaking as he crashed a candelabra through one of the covered mirrors. With his hand around her hand he led her through the dark tunnel.
"I prayed the same prayer. But, I do not understand. As a child I prayed for the very same thing, when my father died. The only thing I gained from that prayer was you. You are not my father are you?"
The Phantom shot her a cold look, "Though I am older than you, perhaps even old enough to be your father. Rest assured, ma petite fleur, I am not your father." As if to prove his point he stepped towards and captured her soft lips in a desperate kiss. For this body it had been mere moments since he had had her pressed against him – but for the mind that dwelt inside the body it had been ten years.
"If I am to go with you," Christine panted as he finally pulled away from her. "I must know what to call you. The Phantom is bizarre and Mr. Y does not suit you."
He stroked his hand across her cheek, brushing her unruly curls behind her ears. He missed those curls. She had tamed them in her later years. "I should tell you the name that I was graced with at my birth? But my name was only ever a word to string along with cruel words and harsh curses. Why would I want it to taint your lips?"
"Because I would make it sound like the most beautiful word ever mouthed. I shall sing it as a lullaby for you." For the past ten years she had wondered what it had been. The time she had spent with him she remembered vividly searching for something in his lair that would bear his name, turning up empty handed every time. "Tell me." Christine pressed her mouth against his again, savoring the ancient memory that she was reliving. The new story of their lives. One where they would not leave each other.
Christine smiled, "Erik, Erik, Erik, Erik, Erik-"
"Track down this murderer he must be found."
"Come we must go, quickly." Erik hissed, taking her hand and running with her up the path that would lead to their escape.
"Raoul will think that you captured me. He will not leave us be! You should have let me tell him. I know him better now, I know what strange thoughts about you and I flittered through his mind."
"Tell me." Erik commanded as he tried to catch his breath. He was younger and perhaps fitter than before, but his body still felt old.
"For another time. For now we must rescue ourselves." Christine pressed a kiss to his hand. "I cannot lose you again."
"Once upon another time, I did not leave you." Erik whispered, cherishing this tender moment with her. He could not, still, comprehend that Christine – the love of his life – wished to run away with him. Vanish into the music of the night. Now he saw how wrong he had been that night. She had given herself to him, twice. The night that the Opera Populaire burned she chose him and he forced her to leave with Raoul. And on her wedding night, she came to him and gave to him what was rightfully her future husband's and instead of honoring that by act they were man and wife, he forced her once again to have no choice but to leave with Raoul. He had been such an ignorant fool. It had been clear and yet he only saw what he wished to see.
Then he had seen himself as man edging closer and closer to forty, hideous as sin with a heart as darkened and blackened by the hatred of the world, desiring the love and soul of a young seventeen year old girl who's soul was as pure as an angel's and who's intentions could only be innocent care for her tormented angel of music.
This time there would be no mistake. He would take what she so lovingly offered to him. He would not hide himself before her, hide his face and hide his heart. They were hers. They had always been hers.
A/N: So what do you all think of the potential of this story? I'm sure you can all guess angst!Erik and angst!Christine and pissed!Raoul.