A/N- So, this chapter is dedicated to Lovingcali15 and million. I own nothing.
There had been an accident on the way home from church. Raoul had decided that he would drive himself and his wife to the place of worship that Sunday morning. Everything had gone well on the ride there. Everything was fine while they were there. It was the ride home that the Fates decided to have their fun with the couple.
The horse had been spooked by something unseen on the streets. As Raoul came to try and calm the horse, it reared up on its hind legs, knocking the man over. He tried to scramble out of the way as the horse came down onto its front legs, still kicking all the way down. The Viscount was unable to escape the horse's hooves as they came down upon him with no mercy. It truly wasn't the horse's fault that it had effectively killed the man. It was simply reacting out of nature.
As Christine went flying to her husband's side, she screamed in sorrow and agony at the sight she was met with. The horse had broken his ribs. The bones were sticking through the flesh in some places and blood was dripping from the open wounds as well as his mouth. He was already dead, but Christine begged him to come back to her. What was she going to do without him? They had a son, a three year old son who was still in the carriage. How would she tell the little boy that the horse had killed his daddy? She wouldn't know the answer to this. Her screams had only managed to scare the horse again. It kicked up again, only to land on her back.
The prima donna screamed in agony as she felt something inside of her crack. Somehow she was able to feel blood pooling under her flesh. She wouldn't have much time left before her body's precious life source would be drained away. She now had to save her son, and there was only one way to do it. The carriage was stopped just outside the Opera House. There was one man who she could trust to raise her son once she was gone. She could only hope that he would be willing to help.
Erik didn't really enjoy Sundays. He had always hoped that at some point in his pitiful existence he could take a beautiful woman on a Sunday stroll through the park. It seemed that he would never get the chance to do that. But, he could not allow himself to think on those things. He was forcing himself to move on from the past and try to live a new life. He had planned on composing some new music today, despite the block he had been having. Ever since Christine had returned to his life, trying to compose so much as anything had been a challenge. As he went to sit down and try to find some sort of inspiration, the alarm signaled. Someone was crossing the lake. He had no idea who it could be. He had told the Persian to stay away; then again, the man rarely listened to whatever Erik said. It was an irritating quality the man possessed. But, who else could it be? Certainly not Christine, he figured. She was the only other one who could get in to his lair.
When he heard that very woman's voice crying out to him, seeming to be in both pain and desperation, Erik abandoned his organ. He could compose later. Though he had promised himself that he would no longer care for Christine, he could not take the pain that he could hear in her voice as she continued to cry out to him. She was rowing her way across the lake and seemed to be having a hard time with it. Upon arriving at the shore, she tumbled out carrying a small boy. He fell from her arms, landing at his feet. The boy began crying over his scraped elbow.
Erik knelt over the little boy who looked to be the spitting image of Raoul. He lightly touched his fingers to the boys hurt elbow, trying to hush the boy with calming words that the small wound would quickly heal once cleaned up. The little boy only nodded with tears still filling his large, brown eyes. He may be a big boy now, but he knew that something was wrong with mommy, so that was why he was crying. He explained as much to the masked man. Mommy had said the man with the mask was a nice man who was a kind spirit.
Erik slowly approached Christine, fearful of what he was going to find. He could see blood staining her back and could hear her crying. He was at her side in a matter of seconds, pulling her quickly growing cold body into his own arms. She was becoming so cold. Her heat was leaving her in the form of the blood that was leaving her back.
Her eyes found his mismatched ones and she smiled, a hand coming up to wipe away the tear that was slowly making its way down his exposed cheek. If she had to die in his arms, she would be content with it, for she did love him. It had taken coming to Death's doorstep for her to realize this. Why had she chosen Raoul and not this man who was telling her everything would be okay, who had brought her into his home and into her former room? She took his hand to pull him back to her as he made to leave the room, intending to find something to clean up her wounds.
Christine only shook her head. "It's too late now, Angel." The look of pain that crossed his eyes nearly broke her heart. She was hurting him again. Why could she only bring this Angel pain and nothing more? It made her wish she had never entered his life. With an effort she made him to sit beside her on the bed, as she forced herself into a sitting position. The prima donna rested her head against his shoulder, and asked in a weak voice, "Will you sing with me, one last time?"
Why would she ask for this? Shouldn't she be asking for him to save her and stop the bleeding? Upon looking at the blood she had lost, though, he came to realize that trying to save her would be a futile effort. That didn't make it any easier on him though. He was a fool to think that he could so easily close the door on his past. He did still love her, and now he would have to let her go to the arms of Death, not just some boy. Fate truly was a cruel mistress. Still, he would give her the request she asked for. He would sing for her with all of his worth.
He forced a smile onto his face, and slowly began, "Smile though your heart is aching. Smile even though it's breaking. When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by. If you smile through your fear and sorrow, smile and maybe tomorrow you'll see the sun come shining through for you."
"Light up your face with gladness. Hide every trace of sadness. Although a tear may be ever so near, that's the time you must keep on trying. Smile, what's the use of crying? You'll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile." Christine continued, her voice managing to sound perfect even through the pain.
"Light up your face with gladness," he went on.
"And hide every little trace of sadness," she answered, lightly resting her hand on his face. She was becoming all the more cold, "although a tear may be ever so near."
He slowly removed the masque for her. If she was to die, she may as well remember him for who he truly was, not just the Opera Ghost. She should see him as Erik before she passed. "That's the time you must keep on trying. Smile, what's the use of crying?"
"You'll find that life is still worthwhile," she answered, her voice losing some of its power.
They finished together, "If you just smile."
Christine managed to ask Erik to care for her young son before she finally left the world, but not before giving him a slight kiss to his lips. She died in his arms. Now, there was a chance for him to fully close the doors on his past. He could just put the little boy in an orphanage, move from the Opera House, and never look back. He couldn't do that, though. He wouldn't do that.
The little boy entered the room, looking the masked man-who wasn't wearing his mask-and then to his mother lying lifeless on the bed. He sobbed before throwing himself into the arms of the Phantom of the Opera. The man's deformed face did not bother. He looked with his heart and not with his eyes when looking upon people. This man who was now trying to calm him held sadness in his eyes from a life of toil and tears but also an immense amount of kindness. As this man was to become his guardian, the little boy openly accepted him. When asked his name, the boy replied, "Erik. Mother says she named me after someone she loved even more than daddy."
A/N- Well, that's it. To find the song I used, go on YouTube and look up Tony Bennett's duet with Barbra Streisand called "Smile." Again, I own nothing.