A/N: I honestly cried while writing this. I just felt that I had to. As a tribute to our darling couple - and at the same time o say how much I hate/love 'Lover Never Dies'! Where as I could go on a rant about LND, I won't - I'll spare you ;). Okay well, please review. Thanks!

{Rose Diamund}

No Matter What

The gunshot still rang in Erik's ears, and he felt drops of hot, salty tears drip down his face – but he felt numb, his whole body stinging and burning, his eyes a blur of tears and confusion. His vision cleared, and he felt a liquid stain his hands; it was thick, warm. The body pressed into his chest shuddered, Christine's own face tear-stained, but her sobs didn't come out right. Her breathing hitched and she looked up at Erik with her glassy brown eyes. They were pleading, lined with pain. Erik sucked in a few deep breath, but they only came out again and huge sobs. His Christine – his only reason for life in his arms, blooding seeping from her stomach from the bullet wound. He would kill Meg. Rip her limp from limb. No – no, he couldn't. He was too weak now. He felt his already battered heart crumble and shatter, and his soul seemed to leave his body. His eyes only read pain, and he buried his head in Christine's upper chest, feeling her gasp in pain at his movement. He sang to her, lifting his head. His smoky green eyes were soulless, almost lifeless. His voice was filled with pain and hollowness, and it cracked with each word.

"Once upon another time… A story had only… begun…

I had a taste of joy, the most I ever new…"

He wiped a tear from his Angel's cheek. And he looked down her miserably, feeling her body warm against his. She was his salvation, his love – his life. But now it was over. Now it was all disappearing before it had started. He had once felt so strong, so powerful, and now he was more condemned than before. A thought kept coming to his mind: did I do this? Is it my fault?

My fault, my fault. The words rang in his mind, torturing him to the core. He drew a breath, "Now there isn't any time… and somehow our story is… done…

And, what about the boy?

What am I to do?"

Gustave. Even his own son had been repulsed by him. Tears fell down harder, and he heard Christine trying to take a breath. And then her voice, still as beautiful as ever before, rang out to him, though now it was weak. Cracked.

"Just love, just live… And give what you can give…

And take, the love that you deserve…"

She smiled a weak smile, her breath beginning to slow. She winced in pain, and tears fell harder. She looked up at Erik, her love. Her love. If only she could stay… if only…

Erik shook his head, "Just love… just live… and give all that I have…

And take… the little I deserve…"

Christine flinched in pain, and let out a gasp, the upper half of her body rising and fall quickly. Her breath came in rasps, but she turned her head to see Erik. How she needed him. How she loved him. How she longed, ached to have him near her again… but now all was gone. The past merely memories.

She would be a memory.

"Come closer… I beg you…"

Erik leaned toward her.

"Closer still…" Erik was only an inch or two from her now, and she smiled a bit, feeling safe and secure in the arms of her Angel. The man she had once feared, loved, and lost. He was now here, she would at last sleep in his embrace as she had so longed to. Perhaps she would see him again, in another life. But for now, to know that he was close, to feel him, to hear him say he loved her… It was all she had ever wished for, ever dreamed. She was ready to leave this place now. "Remember… love never… dies…" Her voice was getting weaker and weaker by the minute, and these next words she only barely got out. "Never forget me Erik, never lose me."

"I will… never…" Erik could hardly speak, he was crying too hard. His fingers combed through her hair lightly, "I love you Christine…"

"I will always love you." She said in a small, cracked voice. "Forgive me, Erik… Forgive me for what I've done to you… I should have stayed… all those years ago, I loved you then… I was… I was afraid… Forgive me, Erik, please forgive me…"

"N-no," Erik cried, "You… you'll live Christine. I promise. I won't let you go. Please don't go."

"My love, I must go." Christine whispered, "I must…"

"No! No, please… stay… I promise… just… just… hold on. I promise we will have a life together, with Gustave." Erik could hardly speak, "I promise…"

Christine gave a faint smile, "That sounds… beautiful…"

"S-say you'll share with me… one love, one lifetime… Lead me, save me fro my solitude… Say you'll want me with you here, beside you…" Erik's whole body shook now. "Anywhere you go let me go too! Christine… that's all I ask of you!"

"I wish… I wish, my darling, my Angel… I wish…" Christine looked up at him with tears filled eyes, "Kiss me… one last time…"

Erik leaned down and brought his lips to Christine's tenderly, in a gentle kiss. With all her might, Christine kissed him. She felt tears stain her cheeks, her heart… oh, her heart… She loved him! She needed him! Could… she go? Christine kissed him as hard as she could, pain surging her as she did so. But she never weakened. This man was her life… her love… but no, she had to go. Now.

Erik felt Christine's arms wrap around him, and then…

They went limp.

He kissed her still, searching, pleading, for her to kiss back. But her lips her motionless.

He pulled away at last. Her blood soaked his body, dripped through his fingers. He buried himself in her body, sobbing loudly into her, "CHRISTINE!"

"No, no, no… Don't leave me… don't leave me… Christine, Angel, come back… Come back!" Erik held her close, begging. He lifted his eyes to the sky, "WHY DID YOU TAKE HER?" He screamed, tear fogging his eyesight. His eyes returned to her lifeless body, his hand ran over her cheeks, and closed her eyelids. "It's my fault…" He whispered tearfully, "Forgive me… my darling…"

He felt a cold hand on his shoulder, and he turned to see Gustave staring at him. The boy's eyes were wet with tears, and he couldn't say a word. All he did, was move his hands to Erik's mask.

Erik reacted immediately, holing the mask to his face. But silently, Gustave pushed his hand away. And he took of the mask.

Gustave just stared, tears falling harder. Until in one moment, he threw his arms around Erik, crying into him. Embracing him.

Embracing him.

Erik hugged the boy back. Shock overcoming him.

"My father… you're my father!" Gustave sobbed, hugging Erik tighter.

"Yes," Erik closed his eyes, his heart gathering a bit of strength. This boy… his son… was his future… "Yes, my son."