Title: Closer Inspection
Author: Lucifer Rosemaunt

Fandom: Phantom of the Opera
Pairing(s): Erik/Raoul
Summary
: Erik stalks Raoul in an effort to understand what Christine sees in him and to decide for himself whether he's worth losing to.
Warning(s): masturbation, voyeurism, cumplay-ish kink territory
Word Count
: 1,553
Rating: hard M

A/N: Ha, had to research two things. I had to look up how to pluralize last names. I really thought it was Chagny's, but it's not. It's not even Chagnies either. It's actually Chagnys. (Still looks wrong to me XD) And I had to look up the whole pajamas issue. I'm all good with long nightshirts (and nothing underneath because just yes), but it doesn't work as well for what I had planned here. And thank you India for introducing pajamas by the 1900s – or I'm just taking liberties.
Story note: Yeah, it starts all innocuous.

o.o.o.o

Erik has taken to watching the viscount. He surrenders to the compulsion to watch his rival because he needs to know what makes the younger man better. He needs to know what makes the least of the Chagnys somehow more worthy for Christine than Erik, who is the best of all the opera house.

He watches and is left waiting. He waits to be surprised and impressed, but he is only disappointed time and again. Christine should have no difficulty in choosing between them; he has expected more of her judgment. The Vicomte de Chagny cannot offer her anything. There is money and his looks, but both can diminish in time. More notably, there is no music, no excitement, no life. Erik has concluded that the viscount can offer her nothing worthwhile.

The boy's life is naught but a pattern, a repetition, one that Erik is intimately familiar with after only three weeks of surveillance.

In the pre-dawn, the blond goes directly to the stable where he saddles his horse who already knows to eagerly wait for these jaunts. He trots out just as the sun begins its ascent and coaxes a brisk canter as they pass through the city streets until they reach the park where with a whoop – if there is none present, and there rarely is – he kicks his white stallion into a gallop. Erik has had the misfortune of spending quite a long time watching him make a fool of himself, racing against an invisible adversary while Cesar discontentedly snorts at their continued stillness in the chill air, hidden behind trees and bushes. When he finally returns to his estate, he continues to spend near an hour grooming the beast.

The viscount then eats a light breakfast, sharing niceties with his valet all the while, before locking himself in his den, during which time he has a surprising amount of focus. He hunches over his desk, brow furrowed, teeth worrying his bottom lip as he sorts through his missives and contracts. Erik watches him raptly even more so. There is a stillness there that contrasts so vastly to the activity of the morning that the change is jarring; it feels like days have passed between that incorrigible youth and this young businessman when it has only been mere minutes. Erik has expected considerably less of his affairs. It is the only area that he has been proven erroneous about Christine's suitor. Still, Erik's own finances are just as well off if not better than his are.

At noon, he takes his lunch at home. Erik has gathered that he does so because the newly hired cook is the youngest daughter of one of the old crones that still finds employment with the Chagnys. Her cooking smells passable and looks only slightly better, but the blond extols the meager fare at every opportunity in such an obvious patronizing fashion. Yet, the girl curtsies with a grateful look and a blush before taking a hasty leave. Erik has yet to decide whether he compliments her so just to see the girl blush or to make her stop staring at him expectantly. He leans more towards the latter.

There are several exceptions to lunch at home. Tuesdays, he leaves to meet with old acquaintances, mostly from the navy from what Erik can tell of their language and the stories shared between them. Wednesdays, if he has successfully convinced Christine to go out to lunch with him – and if Erik allows it – they spend their mealtime at a small café, a specific café every single time. Erik cannot help but scoff at the routine; he can provide her with more variety.

After lunch, the viscount spends several hours at the opera house being a nuisance, but Erik had already known that much before he began this observation of his life, of his temperament and merit. Within the opera house, there is obviously no comparison necessary. Erik has known that, but truly, with Christine's continued devotion to the insolent boy, he had expected more.

After the opera house, he returns home to eat, read before the fireplace for hours, and sleep. Such mundane days, Christine would quickly tire of such things. His life attempts to be more as some days are punctuated by fencing bouts, soirees, visits to the cemetery, and… And, Erik thinks he is not good enough by a large margin for her still, but some nights, more and more nights, he supposes Raoul can offer her a taste of passion. There is some passion hidden in the dark of night. More precisely, it lies beneath his loose nightclothes.

Erik knows Raoul never bothers to remove his clothing – maybe preferring the constriction offered them or maybe too ashamed of such activities to be completely nude, Erik has yet to discern. He still leaves nothing to the imagination with how his erection tents his pants. He palms himself through the material, free hand tucked beneath the light cotton shirt to play with his nipples and rake blunt fingernails across his abdomen. The red trails peek from beneath the bunched up hem before fading into a blush pink. He teases himself, back slightly arched, knees bent and spread wide, his feet firmly planted on the bed sheets. He grabs and tugs at his erection through the cotton until the damp stain that begins to show through the groin of his pants spreads, and only then does he bother to grab some oil from his nightstand before sliding both hands down his pants.

With a pained look, he curls into himself at that moment, turning to his side. His brows furrow for an entirely different reason. There is no stillness here; there is only motion. By now, his hair is a mess on the pillow. Tangled, stray strands stick to his lip, to his temples as he starts to sweat. He does not moan, only letting out shaky breaths. In fact, he seems to quiet himself whenever he might loose a sound even though he is alone on this floor and his servants know better than to disturb him when he has retired for the night.

He worries his bottom lip between his teeth as he focuses on slow, measured strokes that Erik thinks are meant to torment more than truly pleasure himself. It does prolong the exertion. It does leave him squeezing his eyes shut, gasping and gulping in air as his whole body shudders from the sensations. He brings himself to the edge several times, his hips jerking helplessly forward even as he loosens his grip and stops completely. He breathes for long moments, his erection held loosely and he waits. He waits for some unknown cue before unhurriedly starting once more.

When he is close, when he has finally decided to let himself come, he will get on his knees, legs spread so that the material strains against his buttocks. The material is so flush against his skin that on down strokes of his hands, Erik can see the outline of his testicles. He buries his face into a pillow and balances precariously on one shoulder since both hands remain in his pants. Only then does he allow himself to groan and whimper. The muffled sounds escape through teeth that bite down onto the pillow itself. The noise does not travel far, only about as far as the balcony, which for Erik is far enough. Raoul's hips will start jerking once more, humping desperately into his own hands. He does not loosen his grip then. The outline of his cheeks flexing and relaxing is all too clear in the moonlight.

Erik is certain in these moments that Raoul is not good enough for Christine. When he comes, Erik knows he is not what she needs.

When he comes, he lets out a strangled moan; his movements become erratic and stilted, seemingly more desperate for it. Raoul eventually flops onto his side, legs unable to keep him up and the energy to balance himself on his shoulder spent. He leaves one hand in his pants to stroke himself, prolonging the pleasure, as he pulls out the other, sticky with his own release. He brings it to his mouth, tongue lewdly lapping at his palm, sucking on his fingers deeply, deep enough that his eyes water, moaning all the while.

When he deems that hand clean, he takes his other hand out and starts the process over again. This time, he turns partially onto his stomach, rubbing his crotch in a slow rhythm against the bed. He smiles lazily, eyes half-lidded, lips wet and completely focused on cleaning his other hand. It is a slow, deliberate process. Sometimes, when Erik can think beyond the haze of carnal sights and sounds that envelopes him during these nights, he wonders at Raoul's lack of restraint with his moans and low hums of pleasure, as though he is relaxed beyond caring. It certainly seems so.

Once he finishes, Raoul sighs deeply, content and sated. He falls asleep quickly before the sweat has completely cooled from his skin. He falls asleep well before Erik can ever convince himself he need not watch his rival any longer.

There is passion there, but Erik knows none of what little Raoul might be able to offer can be spared for Christine.

o.o.o.o

End ficlet

A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!
Fic Review: Then, it ends like that. ;3 (This started as a 500ish word pwp and ended a 1000ish pwp.) There is passion that can be spared for Erik of course.

Just realized I wrote this way too close to writing the RHPS one because there are similarities (although there're similarities in a lot of these since I always have problems with writing lemons and such).