Author's note: I started writing this story exactly a year ago in the back of a rental car in England. I never liked how, in Love Never Dies, Erik leaves Christine after the night she goes back to him (Beneath a Moonless Sky). He's gotten everything he wants, so why would he leave her? It never made sense to me, so that's why I wrote this story.
This story is mainly musical based, in terms of the events that took place in Phantom. There will also be some references to Kay, especially in the details and descriptions. Some Leroux may have slipped in there too.
The story takes place in 1882. Kay's Phantom sets the story in 1881; in the musical the masquerade is at new year's eve, making it Dec 31st 1881. Hence, everything that happens from that point on, ie the cemetery scene, Don Juan, Christine's leaving with Raoul and so on, takes place in 1882.
Disclaimer: Obviously I am not dead, so I'm not Gaston Leroux. I'm not Susan Kay either because I WISH that I could write like her. And if I were Andrew Lloyd Webber I wouldn't write something like Love Never Dies (shudders). So no, I don't own Phantom of the Opera. I just wish I did.
Chapter 1: Cloaked Under The Night
If someone had been outside the de Chagny mansion at two in the morning, under the star-flecked night sky that early March, they would have seen a feminine figure climb out of a window on the ground floor and, hooded, run through the streets of Paris, under the blanket of darkness. Her feet, petite and delicate, yet hardened from years as a ballerina, pounded the cobblestones, encased only by thin flats. She was careful to stick to the shadows. The hood of her black cloak masked her face.
She approached a grand architectural structure in the centre of Paris. A thousand memories flashed through her mind – when she first arrived here as a child of ten; all the times she had strolled through the front doors; the joy of singing her heart and soul out on stage; the roar of the audience's applause; the night she fled from here like a bird from a burning forest.
And him. His presence was acute in every memory. The gentle voice that comforted her; the strict tutor commanding her to sing; the musical genius that enchanted her; the disfigured demon that terrified her. But behind all of those were the same man – her Angel of Music.
Christine Daae passed by the main entrance of the silent building. Instead she rounded by its perimeter, making her way along the Rue Scribe. She carefully searched for the secret entrance, from which she had exited that night of Don Juan. The doorway was in plain sight, but was so mundane and inconspicuous that if she had not been looking for it, she would have simply dismissed it without a second's thought. Fleetingly, she worried that the entrance would be blocked, but no; it opened. Christine slipped into the dark tunnel, removing her hood. She couldn't see anything, and fervently prayed in her heart that she would not be caught in any of the deadly traps in the passage. With her hand on the rough wall as her guide, she descended down once more into the bowels of the opera house.
She didn't remember the tunnel to be so long. The darkness stretched infinitely before her and she feared more than once that she had lost her way. But the ground beneath her sloped steadily down, and she kept faith that her angel was still in the opera house. There would be no other way for her to find him; she could not afford to lose hope. And so she persisted, blindly hoping that she would eventually reach the house on the lake. Her efforts and faith proved to be worthwhile, for she finally she reached a familiar waterway, with a boat still tied to the dock.
Hope flared once again in her chest at the sight. She rowed across the lake and without fail, saw the house on the lake, only a small distance away from the dock. The front door was ajar; her heart fluttered in terror at its implications. The drawing room was illuminated only by a single, dying candle. By its weak light she could see that it was completely wrecked.
Shattered pieces were strewn across the ground. Glass, cloth, porcelain, metal, wood. She could barely recognize the once familiar room. Among the debris on the ground were torn pieces of paper, sporting the remainders of hand-written notes. She could not imagine how it must have pained him to have his work ruined by the mob.
Not as much as when you left him, she reminded herself, feeling her heart give a painful twist at the accusation that she knew was so true. How much of this damage was done by the mob, and how much by his own hand? Had he lashed out blindly in his rage, after she abandoned him to the solitude that had plagued him his whole life?
A breeze flickered through the room, blowing out the single candle that lit it.
"Of all the people I expected." his voice: so clear, so close. The tenor was as irresistible as she remembered it, harmonious and resonating in the rich timbre. "To what do I owe the honour?"
Her breath caught in her throat, her heart leaped with a strange mix of pain and endless longing that she herself could not explain. "Angel?"
"I am no longer your angel." he spat with contempt. "I thought that we made that clear. I am not the Angel of Music, and you are not the gullible little Christine Daae to whom I fed those lies."
Why did she come here? She had not hoped beyond finding him; actually confronting him was more than she had expected. His presence was intimidating. Her mind was blank; she couldn't remember why she wanted to come. To make peace. The single thought rose groggily to the surface of her numbed brain. To say goodbye. If she didn't end this, she would never get another chance to bring closure to this chapter of her life. This angel and demon would constantly be in her mind, forever haunting her. She had to make one last attempt at farewell. It was the only way she would be free.
She hesitantly took a step towards the general direction of his voice. He was so close; his presence was overwhelming. "Please." She took a shaky breath. "I came to say goodbye."
He laughed – a harsh sound, void of humor. She inhaled sharply; this side of her Angel scared her. This was when he was no longer her Angel, but the terrifying Phantom "So that's why you came. I should have known better, Viscomtesse."
"I am no Viscomtesse." she shot back defiantly. "At least," she added in a small voice that more closely mirrored her uncertainty and nervousness. "Not until tomorrow." She took another step, and heard him draw a sudden breath. She was so close that she could feel the faint warmth of his body, feel his breath on her face, smell his husky scent. "Please; I want us to part on better terms."
"Why? Don't you hate me?" he choked bitterly. "I'm a monster, Christine."
"You're the man that tutored me, you gave me everything." she could reach out and touch him, if she wanted, but she was afraid that the contact would drive him back. And so she proceeded with care, as one would a wild animal. "You were once my everything, and even now… I can't deny that you are important to me."
"Don't torture me this way; don't give me this false hope, only to take it back." he snarled. If he spoke in any other way, his voice would waver and he would have no choice but to take Christine in his arms and never relent his hold on her again. He could not give in; could not harm her any more. He would gladly take another hundred stabs to his already mutilated heart, if it could spare her perfect one from being so much as bruised.
"I'm sorry." her voice shook as she suppressed the urge to cry. Her presence withdrew from his side as she moved towards the doorway. "I shouldn't have come, it was foolish of me." Fiercely blinking to stop the tears – in vain – she turned away. "Goodbye, my Angel,"
She froze. "What?"
"My name. Erik Destler."
A small smile crept onto her face despite herself. "Erik." she took small steps back towards his side, fearing his reaction. "My Angel has a name. Erik." once again, she was close enough to reach out and touch him. And this time, she tentatively slipped her arms around him.
He was stiff under her embrace. Forget his torture chamber with its mirrored walls to drive a man insane; this was a far worse agony. He could almost imagine a life with her – she would hug him this way when she returned home every day, he would kiss her hair, and then her lips… He forced himself back to the present. That life would never exist. Thinking about it would only make the pain of the loss sharper, crueler.
As she raised her head, her forehead brushed his chin. Before he could move, her mouth had, in the darkness, collided with his. There was a long, painful moment when they were both motionless, shocked into stillness. The next instant, their mouths were crashing against each other's with ferocity, their kisses growing heated, lips locked in a dance that was older than civilization, as ancient as mankind itself. There was no tomorrow, no charming Viscomte, no imminent wedding. There was only now, this night beneath a moonless sky, where nothing mattered except for them.
Leave a review and let me know if you like it :]
Edit: Since finals are over, I have time now to edit this story. I'll be uploading two chapters every week – every Tuesday and Friday. I'll also upload this story on Archive Of Our Own, on the same days. If there are any inconsistencies when you read this story, it will probably be because of my editing and re-uploading.