Title: Expectations Surpassed
Series: Halloween 2012
Author: Lucifer Rosemaunt
Summary: Oneshot. Erik seeks vengeance for Christine's death, but he is beaten to it. Vampire-verse.
Fandom: Phantom of the Opera
Warning(s): vampire!AU, violence, gore, character death
Word Count: 1,852
A/N: There had been a planned order when I had set this series up but each fic is in varying degrees of finished and all I can do is post whatever I can finish editing first. So, even though there is a sort of pattern, you can't tell what it is so soon.
Story note: Oh, hey! I finally killed Christine. Except it really doesn't count. This is a oneshot. Plotbunnies as always are up for grabs. Just PM me.
Erik had expected this to happen. The world was an unsafe place for humans as well as for his kind, and his Christine had always been too delicate. Turning her had only put an edge to that frailty and more than a tinge of sorrow that had looked out of place on a predator's face. She had hated feeding and had even gone so far as to starve herself, unable to harm neither man nor beast. She would have died those first few nights if Erik had not forced her to feed, forced blood down her throat because not even she could deny the instinct to survive when it was right on her tongue.
No matter what Erik had done to convince her that it was simple nature, it had not mattered. She withdrew and cried herself to sleep every morning. She refused to sing and refused to join him on hunts. It had not taken long before he bemoaned his decision to change her. She should have died as she had once been instead of becoming a shadow of herself, missing a life that he had only enhanced and enriched but had still been too far from what she had once known.
The hunter who had arrived in Paris several days ago was just a passing man with mediocre skills, but to Christine, he had been a godsend. Erik had known exactly what would happen once she heard his warning about him. She would never ask a loved one to kill her and he would have refused if she had. He had always expected to find her ashes on the rooftop of the opera house, but even as she yearned for the sun, for one last sunrise, she could not bring herself to be that self-destructive. No, some instincts were too deeply ingrained to ignore, but if she simply revealed herself alone, weak as she was to a hunter, then the conclusion was already foregone.
Now, he was left stalking the empty alleyways, heading for the outskirts of the city in the dead of night. A new moon kept him in shadows. He could still faintly track her scent; sweet as it was, it lingered in the places she had treaded and he walked those pathways even though they were far from safe. She had been reckless, but then again, she had always been reckless. He had loved that about her. He had already gained the information on the man's lodging though. As much as he had been a blessing for Christine, the hunter would die a slow death for harming one of his own. It was not often that Erik turned others. Christine had been special.
When he arrived at the inn, a run-down travelers' lodge, he wrapped the cloak tighter around himself before entering. The main room was empty, the fire nearly just dying embers at this hour. A hefty man who stank of sweat and alcohol trundled in, offering pleasantries, which Erik quickly stopped with a single look. There was little difference between the look on his face before and the one after when Erik left his mind blank. The man had faltered anyway upon seeing his face and now he would not remember ever seeing him.
He took the key to the hunter's room and walked towards the stairs. Pausing, he watched as the innkeeper stared ahead blankly, swaying slightly where he stood. Erik smirked and tapped him on the back. There was no reaction on the man's face and he took great pleasure in watching him fall face first into the floor, hands not even coming up to break his fall. He could smell the blood immediately; a broken tooth, he assumed. A broken nose, he hoped.
Leaving him on the floor, Erik climbed the stairs. He grinned, imagining the man's reaction when he awoke from the trance in several minutes. When he reached the hunter's room, there was light spilling from beneath the door. He listened but there was no sound of movement inside. He considered waiting until the candle went out, but there was little need for patience. Even without the element of surprise, he would be able to take on such a pitiful hunter who could not even hide his lodgings. Such a man deserved to die. The click sounded loud as he turned the key, but even that garnered no response. He pushed open the door and it swung open with a creak.
The sight that greeted him made him pause in the doorway. He was a mediocre hunter indeed.
Raoul, newly turned foundling who had barely begun to hunt, stood in the middle of the room bathed in blood. His once white shirt now a soggy crimson was drenched in it, and his trousers were darkened and moist. His hands were pink from having tried to wipe them clean on his clothing, and his face was splattered with red droplets. It streaked across his temple and nose while his mouth was smeared in red.
It hardly looked like he had barely fed in Erik's perusal of the room. There was too much blood on the walls and meager furniture. He glanced up and nodded; as he expected, there was blood on the ceiling as well. The room stank of the iron sustenance and Erik felt his incisors elongating against his will. The smirk was entirely voluntary.
Raoul had yet to acknowledge him as he stared at his hands in wonder. Erik knew what he would see; his nails would have shrunk back down, but the blood beneath them would still be there. He took a step into the room, searching for what was left of the hunter. He spotted his body by Raoul's feet, half hidden by the bed. The hunter's face was unrecognizable as human. His throat had been crushed and torn, clawed off, and Erik could imagine Raoul doing so to keep him from screaming. He was still too young of a vampire to know how to do so with a single look. Erik shook his head, tsking. He had no finesse whatsoever. How very Chagny.
As Erik took a slower perusal of the room, he realized it was not only his position at the door and the bed that blocked his view of the hunter completely. It was because the man was all over the room. Lengths of his intestines were by the far wall. A leg hid behind the door, and some torn flesh was on the bed. The rest of him was somewhere in the room, but Erik did not care enough to piece the man together. He had rather hoped to be the one to take him apart, but the deed was done. Vengeance had been accomplished and Christine was finally at rest.
He was more interested in Raoul, bloodied, fanged, and still half-mad, Raoul who stared at his hands, expression having transformed from wonderment to complete horror as the bloodlust finally faded. And maybe after all these long centuries, after so many of his children and loved ones disappointed him time and again and were lost to him, Erik might have fallen a little in love with this one – definitely in lust, though with all this blood it could simply be his own bloodlust.
"I have always underestimated you," he commented as he nudged the severed limb by his foot. He would not be doing so again; he knew all too well that even vampires he sired could be a danger to him.
This truly was a surprise though. Raoul had seemed unchanged despite being turned. He had been gentle even though he had taken to drinking blood as though it were but another meal. The two of them, Christine and he, had banded together and Erik had hated him for it because he had been left alone again. However, Raoul had been the only one who was able to bring the old Christine back to them. She had only ever drunk willingly because he had supplied her with enough blood to survive, fawning over her and doing what he could to cheer her spirits. It had been easy to underestimate him and leave them to their own devices just to hear her laugh again.
Raoul ignored him, but he did finally drop his hands. He looked at the room as though he were seeing it for the very first time, and Erik knew that he was. It was difficult to control emotions as they were; there was too much power within them, too many abilities to abuse and instincts, animalistic and overwhelming that demanded action over thought.
Erik half-expected him to break down and cry, but Raoul stared at what was left of the hunter's body by his feet and sneered.
"When Christine desperately asked me to turn you to save your life," Erik continued talking. Christine had always told him he spoke only because he liked the sound of his own voice too much; he had let her starve that night even though she had been correct. "I did not think you would survive the change, weak thing that you were. Now this." He gestured to the room. He thought back and realized that it had been at least a month since he turned Raoul. It was little wonder that he was this strong, yet so untrained because he had not bothered to try.
Raoul growled, lip curling up to reveal his teeth. Normally blue eyes were blood red and Erik knew that he had glutted himself on the man before tearing him apart like some animal.
"He killed her," Raoul stated, words just as disjointed and broken as the hunter was.
Erik knew he would never be able to tell him that Christine had sought her own death even after denying Raoul his own.
"Come." He ordered and Raoul struggled against his summons. Erik could not help but smirk. He had inadvertently sired a strong one. Still, there was no need to voice the command a second time before Raoul was trailing after him, slowly, reluctantly but with a grace he was still coming into.
He would only grow more beautiful with time, more deadly with practice. He would not falter as Christine had. He would not deny what his instincts told him, and Erik was more excited than he had ever been in decades.
While they were exiting, the foundling did not spare one backward glance as Erik set the building aflame even though the fire threatened to injure them as well. He stared at Erik's back as they strolled out of the blazing inferno, remaining unseen by the screaming occupants desperately trying to escape. He did not attempt to stop Erik from convincing many unfortunate men and women who crossed their path to return to the blaze and their rooms only to have them rouse in the middle of the inferno not understanding what had happened. Erik found great sport in doing so but he did not allow himself linger. He was done with the place.
Once outside, Erik glanced backwards, past Raoul, and made sure to thank Christine.
A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!
Fic Review: Erik is crazy sadistic, and Raoul, poor Raoul is unhinged because of Christine's death, because of what he has become. I do believe he has the capability to go down the road of madness and death. :( Especially with Erik helping him. However, I think he could go the other way as well. He's at a crossroads right now. (Why do I have Interview with a Vampire stuck in my head right now?) You decide how he turns out. Maybe it's decades of murder and death with Erik until some turning point and he goes vegan (as far as vampirism goes, he drinks from animals instead). (Oh, and now I have Buffy the Vampire Slayer stuck in my head.)