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: Offshoot from Gallery Piece chapter 03. Good graces are often given to those with persistence.
Warning(s): slash, angst
Word Count: 1,033
A/N: Here's a req by Kittendragon. It's extremely late and I'm not sure if it's quite what she wanted, but it's something. I'm trying to catch up on fics I started and owe but have not gotten around to posting. So apologies all around from me.
Story note: As stated in the summary, it's Erik from Gallery Piece trying to get back in good graces with Raoul. Good luck with that after having kissed Christine. D:
By: Lucifer Rosemaunt
Chapter 01 – It Starts
Erik allowed Raoul to leave without any further confrontation only because he was certain that stopping him now would only further exacerbate the situation. If he hadn't just confirmed Raoul's fidelity and the sincerity of his emotions, Erik would have actually believed him when he'd said "I despise you." It would not have been the first time those words had been directed at him. Now though, he knew that the blond was simply overreacting. Once he remembered that Erik had only kissed Christine for their sake, he would calm down. Then, tomorrow, they would continue with their relationship.
Except, Raoul did not return the next day. Nor did he return to the opera house the day after. In fact, the patron of said opera house had not been able to bring himself to even lay eyes on the building, much less be within its walls.
For all intents and purposes, Raoul knew he should be angry. And, he was. He would even go so far as to say that 'angry' was an understatement, but it wasn't as simple as anger. His dealings with the ghost could never be considered simple. After all, if he were simply angry, the obvious response to Erik's test would be to leave him for toying with his emotions so deliberately. However, a part of him wanted to be happy that Erik had, in his own twisted, convoluted manner, proven that he loved him.
He definitely did not trust that part of himself, wondering just how much it had been twisted by his daily dealings with the opera ghost. Infidelity should not reveal how much love a person had. Rather, infidelity should reveal how little a person was committed to a relationship. Not in this case though. No, Erik cared for him enough to set a trap and manipulate Christine. In a way, he had manipulated them both and then had the gall to be relieved when he received what he considered a favorable outcome.
The urge to scream arose every time he thought about it.
Despite his confusion though, Raoul did know one thing for certain. It hurt, physically pained him. It was an ache that spread from his chest to his limbs and made him lose any semblance of hunger at the briefest thought of that day. It did not matter what Erik's intentions had been. Seeing that, seeing them do… he couldn't even finish the thought within his own mind. It had wounded something vital to them and Raoul wasn't sure it could be repaired so easily. He did not know how and with his current indecision, did not know if he wanted it to heal.
Still, he found himself unable to stay away from the opera house when the managers requested his presence. He waited until early evening when he could beg off staying too long. He maintained a strict focus upon arriving. He refused to look anyone else in the eyes, to allow his gaze to wander to dark corners of the opera house, or to allow any noise to divert his path. So focused was he on crossing the stage to reach the managers, who just so happened to be spending the afternoon watching the dancers, he failed to notice a note flutter down from one of the catwalks.
One of the stagehands picked it up, all the while looking up for any telltale signs that the ghost was still present. No one was there, and the man only felt relief that he had been unable to catch sight of him. The terror of the opera house had been rather irate these past weeks, actively frightening anyone who had the misfortune to be alone. It was apparent that something had happened and the only difference as of late had been the viscount's absence. Everyone knew that the managers had specifically called the blond here today in order to speak about this matter.
The stagehand looked at the note with poorly concealed trepidation, as though having it in his possession would call upon the wrath of the ghost, before chasing after the viscount. Tapping him on the shoulder, he thrust the note forward, wanting it out of his hands as quickly as possible. "Vicomte."
Raoul turned, making certain he was smiling politely. It would not do for him to be ornery to people who did not deserve it. He took in the man's countenance before slowly accepting the note, already knowing from whom it was. The stagehand stood there, waiting. In fact, Raoul glanced around the stage; everyone seemed to have stopped what they were doing just to watch him. There was little doubt within anyone's mind that it was from the opera ghost.
Considering his options, Raoul was rather surprised by how angry he was by this spectacle. He should have expected Erik to contact him, but doing so rather publicly made the decision for him. He ripped the note into small pieces and tossed it on the floor.
Despite the humour he should have found in the collective gasp that seemed to sweep the stage, he did not feel any better for having ignored the note. He just became more certain that he should not have returned to the opera house so soon.
All eyes were on him when he continued his way to the managers. "What does this meeting concern?" His voice sounded loud in the sudden silence that had descended.
Both Andre's and Firmin's mouths were hanging open.
Andre's face had gone pale. He spluttered, "I – Did you just…?"
"Do not waste my time," Raoul cut him off gruffly. "If there is something we need to discuss, then let us discuss it." He strode off stage left without waiting to see if the managers would follow him. His rapt audience was grating on his nerves.
The managers followed after Firmin left the others with some hasty words. "Just… continue rehearsal. I'm certain nothing will..." He waved a dismissive hand at them. All the while, he was ducking, eyes cast heavenward, "Ah, just continue." He had had to pull Andre up from the ground from where he had been trying to piece together what had once been the opera ghost's note.
A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!
Chapter Review: And damnit, it started as a oneshot, but I realized the potential it had and have broken down and resolved to do a quick multi-chaptered version of it. (Emphasis on hoping that it's quick)