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: Let's Rewrite Our History assumption #8: Raoul's parents did not die.
Word Count: 5,793
Series: Let's Rewrite Our History (The series where anything is fair game, huge assumptions are made, and you simply have to accept them as fact.)
A/N: It's mean, but these oneshots are hundreds of times easier to write than multi-fics even though I do have the urge to continue them sometimes. But plotbunnies seem to refuse to leave me alone. I blame you guys entirely.
Story note: I think Raoul would have been a different person had his parents been alive (not terribly different). I, of course, did change certain other things in his past to make him the man he is in this story, but really, Raoul will always be Raoul.
The Good Son
By: Lucifer Rosemaunt
Raoul hopped out of the carriage, waving off the attendant who had come to assist them. Hardly paying any attention to the congestion of the haut monde and determined social climbers who lingered outside of the theatre intent on being seen this evening, he focused entirely on offering his hand to the woman still in the carriage.
"Madame," he bowed slightly, one arm tucked against his back.
The middle-aged woman laughed lightly at his antics as she took his proffered hand to climb down from the carriage. He kissed the back of her hand before standing, offering her a wide grin.
They presented quite the couple. Both had blue eyes of the same shade and blonde hair. The woman's hair was a platinum blonde, the lighter of the two. It was fixed up in a tight bun that accentuated her long neck, around which was affixed a sapphire choker. Her gown was a blue so dark it could almost be considered black; its taffeta bodice was draped up at both sides, worn over a matching underskirt trimmed with beaded passementerie. Her elbow-length opera gloves were a pale gold much like her hair, which rather complemented her ensemble. It complemented her escort as well. The young man by her side wore a three-piece suit. The coat and trousers were the same blue-black while his waistcoat and bow tie were the exact gold as her gloves. His dark blond hair was worn loosely about his face, reaching almost to his shoulders.
"It is a mild evening," he commented, looking up at the night sky.
She was focused more on him than the evening though. Dusting off his shoulders, she adjusted his bowtie while he dutifully stayed still. He watched her with open fondness.
"You must be more aware of your appearance, Raoul dear," she chided gently.
"Oh, Maman," he smirked, "but then your fussing would be merely for show."
She sighed but did not respond. When he offered his arm once more, she took it with an indulgent smile on her face. Placing his hand atop hers, he did his best to steer them through the opera house, away from too crowded an area so she would not be jostled.
"You needn't accompany me," Raoul's mother insisted for what surely had been the fifth time this evening already.
He gasped in faux shock. "And leave such an elegant lady unaccompanied?" He tsked, "For shame, Madame. What would Father think?"
"Your father," she replied, "is already quite contrite that he had to cancel at the last moment." She ignored his melodramatic response and subtly altered their direction through the opera house. "Philippe could have just as easily accompanied me." She left it unsaid that not going had not been an option; the Chagny presence had to be shown as per the count's orders.
"No," he shook his head fiercely enough that his hair momentarily covered his face. "The duty falls upon this wayward son of yours."
She laughed and held onto him closer. "You are too much."
"And what is it that we are watching again?" Raoul asked. The hallways all looked similar to him. He did not know how his mother even knew which way to go; she seemed to be more interested in quietly pointing out paintings and different rooms than the direction in which they were going. He was certain, however, that they would reach their destination.
"Really, Raoul dear," she gently struck his hand, "You must pay more attention."
He only took her hand and brought it to his lips to kiss. "How could I pay attention when at no point did you mention what opera we were to watch?"
She would not be fooled though, "And the posters outside?"
"Ah," he shrugged, knowing he had been caught. "I was too distracted by your beauty."
She tried to school her features but failed. Smiling, she answered, "Hannibal. We are watching Hannibal. Do you not recall the conversation we had about the lead being that Swedish violinist's daughter?"
His eyes widened in response. "Oh yes," he replied, "Quite the coincidence that is. I hardly know how you remember such facts. We must have only run into them twice during that summer when I was but a child."
"Your father always keeps to date with all the fashionable people," she explained.
Raoul chose not to comment on the only true memory he had of that violinist and his daughter. That memory did not include any of his father's approval of the man nor the stories he had shared. By his father's standards, he had been far too young and impressionable to hear stories of the dark North or angels of music. The musician had simply been too fanciful. Fashionable had certainly not been a trait ascribed to him then. Apparently, fame followed by death changed quite a bit.
He cleared his throat, considering the present to be as good a time as any to ask, "Where is this box that has been reserved for you?"
"We are almost there," she assured him. Jokingly, she added, "I am not old enough to become lost just yet."
He did not jest; instead, he tried to ask innocently, "What number is it again?"
His mother stopped walking, which forced Raoul to stop suddenly as well. He was immediately intrigued with the painting on the wall; however, he could feel her staring at him.
He caved in after a few seconds of her glare and met her eyes. "Are you certain sitting in Box 5 is the best of choices?"
"Your father was adamant," she frowned, an act that highlighted the wrinkles on her face, making her look her age at the moment. "We could not to let these seats go to waste."
"I do not see Father here, do I?" Raoul said heatedly. He quickly shut his mouth though and said in a calmer voice, "I see you though."
She pulled her hand free from his just to cradle his face between her hands. She turned his face to kiss him on the cheek. "You worry too much."
"I know he received a note," he revealed. His father rarely shared any business with him. Philippe was the preferred son, the one that had always been raised to follow in his father's footsteps. Timing had been his only ally; he had just returned home when his father's valet had been told to give the note to the count immediately. He had seen the skull seal and had only needed to wait to interrogate Philippe afterwards to hear of what had been written.
"Your father and Philippe both quickly dismissed it as some ruse," his mother pointed out.
He ignored that statement and said instead, "You do not think it safe either. Do you?"
Her hesitation was answer enough for him and she knew it. So, she stated, "Raoul dear, we cannot miss this performance."
"I am only thinking of your safety." He held her hands in his firmly, hoping to impress just a fraction of his fear to sway her decision.
She only smiled sadly. "I do believe that is why you chose to chaperone me instead of allowing another."
Raoul looked away, guilty. "Philippe would not have been prepared."
"And you are." It was a statement of her trust in him. Whether or not she believed sitting in Box 5 to be dangerous, she would do so because her husband had ordered it. The man was adamant to establish that the box was not haunted. The count and countess had been seated there several times already and nothing had happened yet, but even she could not ignore the dread that seemed to overcome her whenever she thought of sitting there. It always felt as though someone were watching her. In fact, since they had begun sitting in the box, whenever she was in the opera house itself, she felt as though eyes were upon her constantly. Her husband had dismissed such fears as simply her wild imagination.
Raoul did not try to argue with her any longer; she had made up her mind and so had he. He would make sure nothing happened to her. Putting on a cheerful smile once more, which was now obviously so fake since he had voiced his fears, he placed her hand on his arm and began the all-too-short journey to Box 5.
Reaching the curtains, he stopped short. "Please remain here for a moment."
"Raoul," she said warningly.
"Please." He was not above begging if it meant his mother's continued safety.
She sighed and relented.
He entered the box slowly, ears straining to hear for the slightest noise that could be coming from their seats. He heard nothing and when he finally pushed the final curtain aside to see their seats, he saw nothing either. It was empty. He perused the box but nothing was terribly amiss. It looked just like any other theatre box he had ever been in, not one that was supposedly haunted. Despite that, he still felt uneasy about this evening. He scanned the rest of the theatre; it appeared that all the seats had been sold. The managers were across the way, animatedly speaking with one another and pointing out notable attendees.
Knowing he could not stall for very much longer, he straightened and took a deep breath. It was going to be a long night. He ushered his mother in to her seat and sat beside her. It would be a few minutes before the performance and while his mother was now taking note of the others present, he was mentally trying to prepare himself to face a ghost. The procedure for doing so was quite vague to him, and he simply ended up wondering how one could even begin to attack a ghost. If it were truly a ghost – Raoul had heard that the phantom was solid at times. How else could he murder people? If he was solid, then Raoul could certainly injure him and…
He started when his mother placed her hand on his arm.
"Please relax." She looked at him worriedly.
He gave her a winning smile, the one that always reassured her that he would be all right. "I am relaxed, Maman."
She laughed, shaking her head. "Do not lie to your mother."
He smiled at her, it being less forced this time, and squeezed her hand. "I am as relaxed as I ever will be here."
"I suppose," she nodded, completely understanding the sentiment, "that will have to suffice."
The opera began soon enough, but Raoul was still giving only half his attention to the stage. He could not help it. Despite the wonderful lead – his mother had informed him that she was Christine Daae, a name that only faintly sounded familiar – he could not ignore his growing apprehension. He was certain something bad was going to occur tonight; he could feel it in his bones.
He jerked violently enough when an attendant called his name to garner a second look of concern from his mother. He simply shook his head and stood up to see what the man wanted.
"I am Raoul de Chagny."
The attendant was a young man, possibly the same age as him, nervous, and jumpy. He delivered his message hastily, "There is a gentleman who wishes to speak with you in the hallway. He says it is urgent."
Raoul followed him unquestioningly, wondering if it was Philippe or his father. No one else would think to bother him during the opera. When they came out to the hallway though, it was empty. He turned to the attendant to question him when the young man bowed and quickly ran away from him.
He watched him go in confusion before realization dawned on him and he tore his way into Box 5. The curtains were still swaying when he confirmed that yes, it was indeed now empty.
"Maman!" he yelled, looking over the edge. Besides garnering several looks from the surrounding boxes and the seats below, there was no indication that she had fallen – or had been pushed down – over the edge. He quickly moved back into the shadows away from prying eyes, trying to still his pounding heart. He had truly believed that the ghost had murdered her. He only distantly thought of his father; the count would be furious with him that he made their business known to others with that outburst. The more pressing matter of his missing mother rather overpowered the dread of the impending lecture regarding his behaviour. Rechecking the box, he gritted his teeth when he found no sign of her at all.
He left the box in a panic. "Maman!" he yelled again simply because he needed to, though mostly because the hallway was empty; no need to worry about propriety when there was no one to witness it. Now that he thought of it, the hallway was suspiciously empty. "Maman!" He took several steps towards the entrance before rethinking his decision. The only way that he knew of to enter or leave the box was through this hallway, but that could not be true. His mother had disappeared and he had been just outside. She could be anywhere at the moment.
Letting out a frustrated moan, he almost missed the whispered voice.
His mother was the only one who called him such; except, it was not his mother's voice that had spoken. In fact, he was certain that it had been male. He turned around searching for the source, heartbeat pounding so loudly in his ears. He feared that he was in fact just hearing things in his desperation.
Scared, little boy.
He scowled. That was definitely not his imagination. "Who are you?" He looked the down the hallway from the opposite direction. The voice seemed to have jumped from his right to his left, too far a distance to have been able to run between the two points. It must be some trick.
Where is your mother?
It was teasing him now and he found himself answering in anger, "What have you done with her?" He did not care that the voice had once again come from a different location. He chose to go left and walked quickly, almost giving in to the urge to jog already, but he restrained himself, focused more on hoping he had chosen the correct direction. He slowed when he did not hear the voice again. He heard only his breathing which was ragged, only his heartbeat which raced. He cursed himself under his breath. If he wanted to find his mother, he could not let panic conquer him so.
He had only begun to steady his breathing when the sound of the voice sounded directly by his ear and his heart skipped a beat.
Spoiled whelp. I am sick of your family.
There was so much hatred contained in that whispered voice.
He turned around rapidly, but no one was there. "What have you done with her?" His voice shook, fearing the worst. There have been others who had threatened his family, but none had ever succeeded in kidnapping his mother.
Come this way.
Not for a second did he think of refusing. Raoul simply followed the sporadic This way that led him further away from Box 5. The truly amazing thing was that he still had yet to run into anyone else. It was all too easy to fear for his mother when her captor had the ability to bribe so many attendants away from their duty.
Boy, you should have remained hidden behind your mother's skirts.
"Why are you doing this?" he demanded, needing to know why the man had chosen now to act. More truthfully though, he wondered what his father might have done lately to incur this man's wrath.
I have stated that Box 5 should be left empty.
He froze, mind rebelling against what had been revealed by that lone statement. Despite his original fears regarding Box 5, he had immediately assumed the captor had been one of his father's enemies instead of the one person who would be able to orchestrate such a kidnapping. The opera ghost. It had almost been easier to believe that one of his father's associates had managed to trick him. This was so much worse than what he had imagined.
Reaching out a hand, he leaned against the wall, suddenly feeling faint. He had lost his mother to the opera ghost. Every single gory and horrible story he had ever heard of the monster ran through his mind.
"Monsieur, please. Do not harm her."
I will do as I please. And that was the first indication of anything other than hatred in the man's voice. The words had not been whispered but had been seemingly spat out in agitation.
Raoul frowned, forcing air through his nose in an effort to hold his tongue. After a moment, he stated, "Take me instead."
There was no response.
He took several steps forward and repeated, "Take me instead. If you want a Chagny," he begged, "take me." He was about to repeat himself when he finally obtained an answer.
Why would I want a spoiled boy as yourself? A mother's love, a father's demeanor. Money, power, beauty. Doted on by your mother and your father.
"You do not know me," Raoul uttered bitterly, surprising even himself with the outburst. He had felt himself reacting at the first mention of his father; he hoped he was nothing like the count. It had been the second mention that had spurred his revulsion. Covering his mouth with one hand, he closed his eyes in frustration. Now was not the time to lose his composure. He took a deep breath and tried to entice the being behind that voice, "Would it not please you to take that all away from me?"
If it were the ghost, he could be anywhere right now. Raoul knew that he had experienced just one trick from the man, the ability to throw his voice, but if the stories were correct there were hundreds more in his repertoire. He might never find his mother unless he could bargain with him.
Then, tell me something.
"What?" Raoul answered in confusion.
Tell me something, something personal, secret so that I may know you, the voice mocked. His voice became sinister as he finished, So that she may live.
Raoul ignored the attempt to hurt his pride. His pride mattered little when his mother was in danger. He searched his mind for something, anything and spoke the first fact that came to his mind, "I am the youngest of four."
That is not a secret, the voice was quick to retort.
That was true. He simply had not known what else to say.
Hurry, Raoul dear. She is running out of air.
He carded his fingers through his hair and his mind latched onto the ghost's statement, the one he had refuted before he could hold his tongue. "My father," he stumbled over the words, unaccustomed to admitting this truth to anyone, "does not dote on me; he does not like me." He finished the statement with an embittered laugh.
Several uncomfortable moments passed when he was certain the ghost would not accept that as fact. There was no way that he could deny its secrecy though. The Chagny family had a perfect reputation as the loving family who all behaved perfectly. He almost sighed in relief when he heard the taunting voice respond.
Ah, close but not enough.
That relief quickly faded since he knew not how to expound on such a secret. "He-" Raoul searched for any other explanation.
She is looking weaker by the second.
It was something he had always thought but never voiced aloud. The effort of putting a lifetime of emotion and understanding into so few words seemed an insurmountable task. How could he say it now, under such duress? Except, he had to explain for his mother's sake; so, he started from the beginning. "I almost killed my mother." He added haltingly, realizing he was hardly making any sense, "At birth." He smiled sadly. "She is the love of my father's life, the center of his universe. Father has never forgiven me for that." He finished lamely, "I look like her. It is the only reason he can stand to be in my presence."
There was silence once more and Raoul could faintly hear the audience cheering madly. That Daae girl must have finished an aria of some sort. He had thought a weight would be lifted when he finally admitted that fact to someone. Instead, it bore down upon him, making it difficult to breathe. His vision blurred, the carpet fading into a haze before sharpening into focus.
Head hung low, Raoul only noticed that there was another presence when he saw a hand from his peripheral vision. He jerked away in surprise, but the opera ghost was quick enough to catch his jaw. Raoul winced at the rough treatment and was forced to turn so that they could face each other.
He sucked in a deep breath upon seeing the white mask. It nearly glowed in the candlelight, but it was the other half of his face that truly surprised him. The left side of the ghost's face looked so human, a high cheek bone, flawless pale skin and green eyes. The opera ghost was supposed to be evil incarnate, a sinister demon spawned by the devil himself. Raoul realized that he had expected something… more.
Raoul could finally connect the voice to the face. It took him a moment to remember how that statement was relevant to their conversation. "Where is my…?"
The ghost cut him off, "Box 5. Be there alone."
His jaw was released shortly after the curt instruction, but he could not help but stare for a moment longer, wondering if his mother would be there or if he should take this chance to try to subdue the infamous opera ghost and ensure that he would find her.
The command was all he needed before he was running with all his strength to Box 5. Trusting the man was the last thing that he wanted to do, but he had little choice in the matter. Testing the ghost's patience seemed unwise. He was completely out of breath by the time he reached the box. Tossing the curtain aside, he stormed in once again, but this time, there, seated where he had last seen her, was his mother. One of her hands gripped the armrest, the other pressed at the base of her throat.
"Maman," Raoul whispered, not quite believing his eyes.
She looked up at him as though coming out from a daze. "Raoul dear?"
He was immediately on his knees before her, holding her hands in his. "Maman, are you well? What happened?" He kissed her hands several times. She looked pale to him, even in the darkness.
"I-I think I will be all right soon." She slowly looked around the box as though it were her first time present here. "I do not know where I was."
He looked up at her in concern. "We must," he stood and helped her to her feet. "We must send you home immediately." He did not want her to be near the opera house at all, much less within its walls. The opera ghost was still too much a danger.
"But the opera has yet to be finished," she replied forlornly. Her movements were slow and languid, her eyes distant as though she had woken from a dream and could not yet differentiate between reality and fantasy.
Raoul knew she was in shock of some sort. This was not his mother. This doll of a person was nothing like the vibrant woman he knew her to be. While concerned, he was rather glad that she did not struggle against him as he steered her through the hallways. She was silent through it all, staring at the lights and adornments in artificial interest. She was frightened and unable to express it. Not here, not in public because she had been brought up to not make spectacles of herself, not to show weaknesses in public.
Unexpectedly, the hallways were no longer as empty as before. There were attendants stationed every few meters and Raoul scowled at them. Where had they all been earlier? He snapped at the first one he could to send for their carriage. The man had gone posthaste, almost too eager to be relieved from his post. As much as Raoul was focusing on his mother, there was little he could do for her here. She needed to be home. Every opportunity he had he searched each attendant's face, hoping to find the one that had led him outside that first time with a false message. However, the young man was nowhere to be found.
After having helped his mother into the carriage and telling the driver to return home immediately, his mother grabbed his arm. "Where are you going?"
"I need to return," Raoul replied, gently removing her hand from his arm.
"No," she shook her head. He noticed then that several strands had freed themselves from her intricate coiffure. "You must not return," she was adamant, though still just a shadow of the woman she normally was.
Raoul smiled at her his winning smile. "I will be fine, Maman. I will see you at home soon. I leave it to your discretion what to tell Father." At the mention of his father, she stilled. It was cruel to use her husband against her, but he had more pressing concerns at the moment.
He stayed outside until the carriage was gone from sight. By that time, it was intermission; the foyer and hallways were filled with people. It was amazing how the opera house could at times, be both so quiet and so noisy with so many people within its walls. He ducked his head to avoid notice and made his way back to Box 5. When he had turned down the final hallway, he immediately noticed the lack of persons once more. It was to be expected, but Raoul still glanced over his shoulder hoping that someone would appear. In case things did not end so well for him, he wanted someone to hear his screams.
Entering the box seat slowly, he peeked his head through the curtain. It looked empty; that did nothing to assuage his anxiety. He entered fully and stood there uncertainly. Perhaps the ghost had meant that he should retrieve his mother alone, rather then to be in Box 5 alone.
"You take orders well, Raoul dear," the ghost's voice came from behind the curtain. It almost seemed too mundane to think the ghost had used the proper entrance.
Raoul watched the man take a seat, frowning at his apparent ease. "Desist in calling me as such."
The older man looked bored in the face of his anger. "Such gratitude for the return of your mother," the word was spat out like a vile epithet.
Taking a step away from the ghost, Raoul positioned himself between him and the exit. "If you hadn't kidnapped her," he retorted, "she would not have needed to be returned." He wondered belatedly if he should really be speaking with the ghost as such. His mother was safe and he was angry, certainly, but he was also currently in the ghost's domain. The novelty of being in the opera ghost's presence had yet to even fade. He did not doubt that he was in danger.
It was difficult to tell with the mask and the rather constant scowl, but the man did not seem to be offended though.
"You care about… her."
Raoul did not miss the disgust present whenever the ghost referred to his mother. It only worried him further. His mother had done nothing that should warrant such a reaction. "Yes," he answered warily.
The ghost continued, his attention not even truly focused on the younger man. "You care about your family."
There was a hint of question in his statement, but Raoul did not hear it. He took a step forward when he declared, "Do not threaten them."
Still, the ghost spoke as if he had not spoken at all, lost in thought. "Even your father, despite his hatred towards you."
Raoul looked away. It had been a mistake to reveal something so private, so damaging to his person to an adversary. That lesson should have been ingrained in his very being with his father's tutelage, but at the time, it had seemed like such a small price to pay, his own hurt compared to his mother's life. It was a small price to pay.
"You have proven yourself a bargaining man." The ghost stood up and Raoul realized then that he was slightly taller. He too wore a cloak and a three piece suit, as though he had dressed to attend this performance as well. Now that Raoul thought of it, that was probably exactly what the ghost had been doing, watching the performance. It was said that the reason Box 5 should remain empty was for him.
He had little time to further ponder the intricacies of the ghost's interaction with the Opera Populaire though when said ghost took a step forward. Raoul was determined to stand his ground, though he leaned back upon his approach.
"So, let us bargain for both our continued health."
Scowling, Raoul replied, "Why would I…?"
"Would you risk all their lives?" the ghost asked almost conversationally, almost pleasantly, and Raoul wondered if the ghost were truly the madman that he had been touted because at that moment, all their lives could mean either his family or the people present at tonight's performance. It hardly mattered which interpretation because he did not doubt the capacity of the ghost to bring harm to them all.
Feeling defeated already, Raoul tried to hide his reaction to the man's rhetorical question, yet another lesson taught to him by his father. He asked, "What do I possibly have that you want?"
"After you offered your very life," the man scoffed, "what I seek seems to be naught more than a pittance."
"What is it you want?" he demanded a clear response. He was tired of these games. The affair with his mother had been emotionally straining and he wanted nothing more than to sit with her and ensure that she was safe and well. His father would do that for her though; it was the one thing Raoul could be certain of. His mother would be well cared for by him.
The ghost scrutinized him and Raoul tried not to squirm under that shrewd gaze. "Answers."
"Answers?" he parroted. "To what?"
"Every day," the ghost turned away from him to glance at the audience as they began to return to their seats. When he turned back, he grabbed the lapels of Raoul's coat and threw him onto the seat without warning. He stood there, looming over Raoul who was sprawled uncomfortably in the chair, with not a single wrinkle in his attire and completely unaffected by his sudden violent motion. Raoul stared up at him with wide eyes. He dared not move lest the unhinged man injure him further.
The masked man continued as though he hadn't just manhandled him. "You will come to this box at ten o'clock in the morning and remain for half an hour to answer my questions."
Raoul admitted, "I find myself wary of your questions." He wanted to move his leg, which hung over the armrest of the chair, but did not want to risk it.
The ghost actually chuckled and Raoul winced at the rather ominous sound. "You need only be truthful and no harm will come to you," the man was trying to sound pleasant when he answered, but it was clearly a deception.
"And," he asked slowly, wondering if this question would throw the ghost into another fit of violence, "if I refuse?" His back was beginning to feel strained and his arms shook.
The man tilted his head to the side. "To a question or to the bargain in general?"
"Either?" Raoul shifted and the ghost's eyes followed the movement with narrowed eyes. He swallowed with some difficulty. "Both?"
"You forfeit one of your family's lives." The ghost offered him a toothy grin.
"This is madness," he muttered to himself.
The ghost had heard him regardless, offering with completely certainty, "It is what will come to pass."
Raoul wanted to ask 'why?' but knew it was senseless to do so. He had failed his mother tonight and this was the result. His father would not stop using Box 5, although he might now consider investing in some guards or allowing his mother to stop attending the opera. The count was only going to take this attack as a challenge. He would not believe in the opera ghost and Raoul only feared how many people would have to die before he conceded. His sisters had been married off already; they were far from Paris. That left the count, his brother, his mother, and himself. They could not afford casualties.
"I only have my own truths to tell," he replied in response. He did not know what the ghost hoped to gain with these questions, but he would not reveal anything that would be detriment to his brother or his family if he could avoid it. "All other questions regarding my family are not mine to tell."
The ghost waved him off, but it was obvious he was pleased with his answer. "I care little for the truths of your parents or your siblings. I take this to be your ambiguous response to my proposal, but I do need a clearer answer. Do you agree or will I make you regret ever retrieving your mother from me?"
Raoul was certain that his mother would be the first person to suffer if he refused. He stood up, following proper etiquette when it came to finalizing an agreement. The ghost did not move back however, and he was forced to balance himself by gripping the back of the chair with his left hand. "I agree," he held his right hand out to shake on it.
The ghost stared at it for a long moment before grasping his hand firmly, not really shaking it but simply holding onto him. "Tomorrow then." He left with a flare of his cloak.
Stunned for a moment at what had transpired, Raoul hesitated before chasing after him only to find the hallway rather predictably empty.
A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!
Fic Review: What's up with me and deals between these two, especially ones where Raoul's clearly not in the position to say no.
You know Erik was watching Raoul with his mother the entire time and was seething at seeing them together. Oh and his prodding at Raoul… I imagine him being the type to see a sore spot and just want to poke at it.