Title: The Proper Way to Lay to Rest
Series: Halloween 2012
Author: Lucifer Rosemaunt

Summary: Oneshot. Erik will live to regret trying to kill the viscount, at least, regret trying to do so with a noose.
Fandom: Phantom of the Opera
Pairing(s): Erik/Raoul
Warning(s)
: AU, minor violence, dub-con-ish moments
Word Count
: 1,536
Rating: T

A/N: Ha, day 4. Sweet goodness, posting four days in a row? That's just plain evil.
Story note: Always with the deals and prices. My kinks… they're in this. Also, this is a oneshot. Plotbunnies as always are up for grabs. Just PM me.

o.o.o.o

Erik paced within his home. His entire day had been wasted in this one activity: five steps to the water, five steps to the organ, and back again. And again. Most of the candles had long since extinguished and the few that remained lit flickered and danced on mere stubs of melted wax. The darkness, as was the silence, was a welcome friend right now. If someone approached, he would be better able to hear them and react appropriately; it was not because brooding and worrying were more satisfying done in the shadows.

He could, at least, think better in the darkness. He needed light to create, to compose, and he should be composing right now or perhaps even watching rehearsals. Instead, he had chosen to lock himself in his home and linger over a possibly rash decision. It was rash; he could admit that now. By evening, everyone would realize that their precious patron was missing. That viscount was a menace, spending his days gallivanting around the city while spending his nights in the opera house, bothering his pupil. Perhaps they would find the body in the Seine, rope marks around his neck.

Erik was waiting for the fall out. He already knew that he would have to be extra cautious in his tunnels once more. It was just a matter of when the officers and the men simply eager for the chase would invade his tunnels. Life at the opera house would be disturbed once more and his Christine would be distracted and scared. Thinking of her though, he could not help but feel that it had been necessary.

She had been distant lately, constantly tired and irritated with him. Her childhood friend had caught her attention and held it firm, captivating her with stories of adventures and the North. She would sit by his side and bask in his attention. She giggled and swooned. Erik had only been able to watch so much of that, sickening as it was. That viscount had been stealing her away from him. Killing him had been his only option. Ever since the act though, he could not escape the feeling that some terrible repercussion awaited him.

"You are fascinating," a voice from the darkness called, startling him.

Erik searched his home desperately for the source of the all-too-familiar voice. He had not heard anyone approach and that was impossible. There were traps, gates, and doors by land that would stop if not inform him of anyone's presence and if he had tried using the lake, the portcullis was down. There was no other route. He cursed the deep shadows when he could not spot the man anywhere.

"You are alive yet love the darkness so much." The viscount stepped into the light, revealing himself to be by the organ. He was dressed in a stripped down suit, no cravat, no jacket, and no scarf. The vest he wore fit him neatly, a stark contrast to the white shirt. He looked paler, but that was expected; however, he also looked older somehow, the youthfulness he had bandied about now seemed false. His expression was calculating and he stared at Erik as though he were trying to dissect him.

"I killed you," Erik muttered, backing away from him, trying to figure out how the viscount had survived.

"You tried." He stalked forward and Erik had not felt like prey in decades but something about this man put him on edge. He held himself with confidence so unlike the cockiness of before, the one he exuded whenever he had been around the managers or Christine. He no longer had the perpetual smile or the ready laugh; without them, he looked grim, severe.

Erik reiterated, "I know I killed you." He stopped moving away, angry with himself for letting the viscount actually intimidate him. His presence was a surprise, certainly, but Erik had subdued him once. He would be able to do it again, and this time properly. He had not felt a heartbeat nor saw his chest rise and fall, but perhaps he had been too distracted by the implications of his actions to properly check. He would not make the same mistake twice.

"You went about it entirely wrong," Raoul chided, amused at some joke only he was privy to. "A noose?" He laughed, and the derision in it was so cutting that it made Erik look at the young man in a new light.

He had enough of this mockery though. Charging him, Erik was intent on using brute force to choke the life out of him. He often preferred more subtlety, preferred avoiding face-to-face conflict but he had neither the patience nor the time to wait. Between the two of them, he was certain that the stories Raoul shared with Christine of his adventures were nothing but falsehoods and Erik would be able to put him in his place.

When he was close enough, Raoul backhanded him, moving so quickly that Erik did not see it coming and therefore could not deflect it. He flew several feet back, taking down a candelabrum with him. It screeched against the floor and he was showered in wax as his mask clattered away from him. He hardly felt its absence since his face was already going numb. Erik struggled to focus, his head reeling from the blow. His jaw did not feel broken, but he suspected one of his ribs were. Groaning loudly, he rolled off the unforgiving metal gingerly. He spat out the blood that was pooling in his mouth.

Raoul approached, looking for all the world that he had not just struck Erik clear across the room and was instead, confused as to why he had moved away from him. He was still staring at him intently, trying to make sense of some truth Erik had apparently revealed. The disfigurement did not even give him a second's pause.

"Your devotion to that Daae girl is admirable," he stated conversationally.

Erik had enough awareness to notice his phrasing. "Daae girl?" he repeated, mind stuck on the words. What had happened to Little Lotte, Dear Christine? Their relationship had been based upon terms of endearment and hearing each one had only served to frustrate Erik more. So, he knew the viscount would never call her so distantly.

Raoul ignored his question, lost in his own thoughts. "You loveher, but she does not know who you are."

Tonguing the cut on the inside of his lip absentmindedly, he struggled to stand. "You…" He spat out more blood and though he tried, he could get no farther than to his elbows. Even then, his back protested at the movement; the sharp stabbing pain in his chest kept him down. He did not think he would be rising to his feet any time soon.

"Can there be love without honesty?" Raoul mused aloud, "Is such a thing truly love?"

It mattered little how much Erik moved because Raoul crouched down in front of him, too close and too suddenly. He grabbed his face and though Erik tried to pull away, he could not move. It felt as though the grip on his jaw was bruising and unyielding, but if he had looked away from Raoul's eyes, he would have realized the viscount was doing little more than caressing his jaw.

"I will release her from my thrall." He grinned, revealing rather pointed canines. "For a price."

And faster than Erik thought humanly possible, Raoul brought their mouths together in a facsimile of a kiss. Lips pressed against his for only a moment before his mouth opened willingly at the barest of touches of the other man's tongue. The viscount seemed more intent on licking and tasting every part of his mouth and it reminded Erik faintly of drowning, overwhelmed as he was by his intensity. Erik could hardly keep up with him. When Raoul began to pull away, he gently bit Erik's bottom lip, drawing more blood from the cut. He swiped his tongue against the wound before sitting back on his heels, sighing. He licked his lips, a motion that Erik dumbly stared it.

"Sweet," he commented.

It dawned on Erik slowly to wonder why he had allowed the viscount to take his first kiss, why he had not struggled or bitten the tongue that had invaded his mouth. His rib might be broken but he was not an invalid.

When Raoul leaned forward into his personal space again to run his thumb across his bottom lip, Erik's thoughts stuttered to a halt. He could only stare when Raoul licked his thumb clean of the blood he had picked up.

"For that, I will not tell her you tried to kill me." He stood up and Erik could shake some of the lethargy from his mind clear. When he took a step away, Erik could feel the outrage as well as the fury that was building within him. It was still a distant thought though.

"For her freedom," Raoul said before disappearing, "you will have to offer me something more."

Erik still unable to move, more because of his injuries rather than Raoul now, shouted profanities and threats to the ceiling.

o.o.o.o

End ficlet

A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!
Fic Review: Erik getting completely overwhelmed and overpowered by a self-assured Raoul is the hottest thing ever. I like how he uses his abilities without a thought, you know. He doesn't angst over whether or not it's right that he's controlling (even though it's subtly) Erik; he just does it when it suits his whims. I love how Raoul's getting all philosophical about love while he manhandles Erik.