Title: In Good Conscience
Series: Halloween 2012
Author: Lucifer Rosemaunt
Summary: Oneshot. With Christine's soul in the balance, Erik and Raoul find themselves necessarily at odds with each other, a state neither seems to be very fond of.
Fandom: Phantom of the Opera
Warning(s): AU, fluff, momentary angst
Word Count: 6,119
A/N: Why are these getting so long? D: I can't edit this quickly (and I'm sure a lot of things are falling through the cracks and you can hate me for them later). I kind of like this idea a lot though. Then again, all of these Halloween plotbunnies have wormed their way into my good graces.
Story note: Hopefully, you can catch on what is happening in the story easily enough. I mean, the title is a pretty big hint.
Raoul rushed to catch up with the group of six girls that travelled together down the hallway. With all the giggling and conspiratorial whispering, he knew that Christine must be with them. He did not know how his charge managed to lose him so easily and consistently, but at least this time, he had an idea where to find her. He caught a glimpse of her up ahead with Erik on her left and realized that he knew exactly how she kept giving him the slip.
It was clear now that they were heading to Carlotta's room, which meant only one thing. They were actually going to pull the prank that they had all spoken about last night after rehearsal and Erik had once again convinced her to go.
That devil was going to be the fall of them. Erik was going to ruin Christine's life and there would be no one but Raoul to blame for being such a poor angel. He often wished he could see how the other angel-devil pairs worked for the other occupants of the opera house, maybe Madame Giry's because the ballet instructor was always so upright and virtuous. Her angel must be incredibly persuasive or reasonable, or perhaps her angel could actually handle her devil counterpart. It was all conjecture though. Maybe her angel was nothing special and Raoul was just bad at doing his job.
He had heard rumours that if the pair was unbalanced, one or the other could very well simply disappear. They would grow weak and then die because their counterpart was simply too strong and the other was no longer needed. He shuddered at the thought. Between him and Erik, he would be the one to travel the slow, painful descent into oblivion. He worried for Christine's sake. She was a good girl, but she was too easily swayed by her whims, her dreams of adventure and excitement.
By the time he caught up, they were at Carlotta's door. He tried to hide the fact that he was breathing heavily and that his side ached something fierce as he casually slid into place by her right side. Erik smirked at him knowingly and moved from Christine's left to join him. He draped an arm around Raoul's shoulders as Jammes picked the lock to Carlotta's dressing room.
"So kind of you to join us," Erik drawled.
Raoul shrugged off his arm, but instead of that deterring him, the devil draped both his arms over Raoul's shoulders and leaned on him, placing most of his weight on his back. Raoul staggered under his weight, but could not shrug him off. His attempts stopped when he saw that Christine held the actual stole they were going to use to accomplish the prank. Knowing that she was more important, he ignored the extra weight and heat of Erik no matter how distracting it was.
He whispered in her ear, "This is mean." Erik scoffed, but Raoul continued, "Carlotta might be irritating, but she does not deserve this. You do not want to break into her room. Think if your room had been broken into, how betrayed you would feel."
"You would not feel betrayed. You would be angry," Erik retorted right by his ear. Raoul tried to push him to his own side, the left, but he remained pressed tightly against him. Raoul had no choice but to let him be because in order to stay by her side, he was stuck between her, the wall, and Erik. He tried not to take any pleasure from their closeness, knowing Erik was simply using touch as a distraction, but he rather liked the solid presence on his back and the warm breath by his ear. He allowed himself this concession only be redoubling his efforts at helping Christine make the right decision.
"Then again," Erik remarked, "if you were Carlotta, you would expect people to be breaking into your dressing room."
Raoul turned to look at him, but Erik's face was so close that they brushed cheeks. He could feel his face flush; he spoke more earnestly to her, "No one expects to have their room broken into."
Erik pressed their cheeks together purposefully, enough so that Raoul could feel him smirk. "Divas deserve what is coming to them. That is the way of things."
"Erik," Raoul scowled. "Don't lie."
The devil moved back far enough just to give him a look. He stated flatly, "Devils lie."
Raoul frowned, suddenly feeling suffocated. He shifted and squirmed until he managed to free himself from the devil's weight. Erik allowed it to happen only because he left their side to check on how well Jammes fared with the lock. Raoul took in a shaky breath and held it. Shaking his head, he focused on doing his job.
"Being difficult does not mean she should be harassed by others," he pointed out. "No one should be harassed."
"She torments on you," Erik said as he meandered back.
Raoul replied to him, "No she doesn't."
Nodding, the other man conceded, "She would pick on you, if she ever noticed you."
"Christine," Raoul pressed, "You know this is wrong. You all think it is funny now but you are being just as cruel as you think her to be. How is this making her treat you any better?"
Christine took a moment to look around at the other girls all clustered around Jammes. She knew La Carlotta had at one time or another, yelled at all of them. The prima donna was full of herself and she deserved to be humbled, but she wondered if this was the way to do it.
"Doing this will only make her even more self-important," Raoul said, knowing that he was close to making her reconsider. "It will make her treat you all poorly."
"It is a joke." Erik was flippant in a way that he could never really manage. Raoul was certain it was the ease with which he did bad deeds that made it so appealing to Christine. Being good and upright was admittedly a lot of work. "She will laugh."
Raoul scoffed. "Do you find it funny? Would you want this pelt around your neck?"
She lifted up the rat fur stole in her hands and frowned, and Raoul desperately hoped that she would walk away from them now. The wiry pelt made her shudder as she ran her fingers through it.
"No, you would not…" He yelped when Erik slid a hand from his side and onto his stomach, pulling him close. His heart betrayed him by skipping a beat. He had not even seen the devil move around him, but he knew he could not stay there when she was this close to walking away. Raoul struggled to break free from the grasp, jerking away. His stomach felt unsettled and the hallway was too hot though it had been fine moments ago. He glared at Erik accusingly and the devil simply shrugged.
Before Christine could say anything, Jammes unlocked the door with a small cry of victory, and the girls pushed Christine into the room. Raoul and Erik stopped fighting each other to follow her.
A jumble of words followed them. "You can do this." "Just hide her other one." "The one she has been talking about all week."
She looked out at them from within the room, looked at their expectant faces and she nodded. The door was closed for privacy while the girls stayed outside to stand guard and then, they were alone in La Carlotta's dressing room. Christine stood uncertainly by the door.
"Just leave," Raoul said to her, watching the door anxiously. "We should not be in here. You know this feels wrong."
"It feels exciting." Erik pushed him further into the room and he stumbled forward, barely catching himself from falling on the floor.
Christine slowly walked further into the room and to a vanity that was laden with jewelry, costume and otherwise, scarves, and haphazardly discarded hairpins and hats. She trailed her hand over everything, awed by the sheer number of items. Stopping at one of the more intricate hats, she tried it on, fixing her hair and looking this way and that in the mirror.
Raoul discretely glanced at Erik, who was preoccupied with walking the perimeter of the room, doing his own investigation. The deformity was a common sight to him by now and he knew that all devils had deformities. He wondered if the location had any connection to the innate faults of their charge. Christine was vain oftentimes, but she was truly too shy to have it affect her adversely as of yet. Raoul often wondered if he was not careful, then that would be her downfall.
She removed the hat and continued her perusal of Carlotta's things until finally she came to the fur stole that the prima donna was so proud of, hanging over the mirror. It was soft; she could not help but run her fingers through the expensive fur. It was so different from the one in her hand.
Raoul told her, "Do not do this. It is wrong."
"Can you imagine her face when she puts this on?" Erik laughed, rather maliciously, and sidled up against him.
Knowing he would not be able to concentrate, Raoul grudgingly moved to her other side. It felt unnatural being on her left, but it was better than fighting with Erik instead of focusing on Christine.
"You are touching her things. Think of your own belongings." He knew exactly how to convince her to stop. "You hate it when the other girls move it, much less hide it. Remember when they took your red scarf, you…"
Erik interrupted, "Think of how you repaid them so that they would never do it again."
Raoul startled when Erik moved behind him, pressing his groin against Raoul's butt. He nearly jumped forward several feet as he turned in shock. Erik grinned unapologetically, not that Raoul expected anything less from him. Devils never played fairly; Raoul knew that too well.
"Pardon me," Erik smirked, "you were in my spot."
Christine quickly switched the stoles, tugging Carlotta's down. She took a moment to wrap it around her own neck while she looked around the room for a place to hide it.
"No. Just put it back." Raoul begged, "This is not right."
Erik muttered under his breath. "Over there."
She eventually saw the trunk in the back of the room, nearly hidden beneath a pile of her personal clothes. It looked unused and because it was buried beneath so much clothing, Christine knew that Carlotta would not be able to find it any time soon. She pushed the clothes aside and Raoul moved by her side. Erik followed closely, once again moving to crowd Raoul.
"You can still leave this room without switching the stoles."
Erik began playing with strands of his hair and said, "You have already done this much and now, you have the perfect place to hide the stole. Just hide it and go before you get caught."
Raoul stayed as he was, determined not to become distracted once more. He would have thought that after surviving nearly eighteen years with Erik constantly distracting him as such, that he would be used to it by now. However, he could still feel his body reacting and his face burning up because of it. There was always that part of him that told him, he should never let the devil take advantage of him like this, but Christine was still a good person. No one but himself ever hurt from indulging in these moments. He still did his job.
"Return the stole."
She opened the trunk and pet the fur around her neck once more.
"Yes," Raoul whispered furiously even though he twitched slightly when Erik tugged at his hair. "Simply return it and leave. No one has to know."
"The other girls know." Erik rolled his eyes.
Both of them quickly realized that the dilemma Christine faced was not about completing the prank. As clear as day, they heard, No one will notice if I take the stole for myself.
Raoul gasped. He had a hand to his chest, shoulders hunched forward as though in pain. "This is your doing." He stared at Erik even though the proverbial finger he was pointing was at himself. It was his fault that their charge was going down this path, and in a way, he blamed Erik. It was Erik's fault for making him fall in love with him and using it against him so effectively.
"I did not suggest a thing." Erik looked surprised enough that Raoul believed him. Erik never really needed to suggest anything bad because Raoul was the one failing her.
"This is what happens." Raoul pushed Erik away, and he did not let himself hesitate when he used all his strength to do so. Surprised, Erik fell to the ground, physically uninjured but still hurt. "No. Christine, do not do this. You are not a thief. Do you think your father would be proud of you?" He was saying everything and anything to make her stop considering it. "Do you think you will not get caught? And then what? Mama Valerius will be severely disappointed. You will lose all your friends and then become a beggar on the street because of a single fur stole."
If Raoul had not been panicking, he would have realized that Erik was noticeably silent, simply staring from his place where he had been pushed.
A quiet but frantic knock on the door urged Christine forward and both angel and devil held their breaths to see what she would do. She stuffed the stole in the trunk and shut the lid. Messily tossing the clothes back on top of it, she rushed out of the room into the waiting arms of her comrades in crime. They ran back to the stage excited and proud even though they were slightly tardy for rehearsal.
Erik trailed behind Raoul. "She is quite the…"
"No," Raoul turned, hands clenched at his sides. "You do not talk to me. Christine, our charge was going to steal a fur stole." He gestured at her. "She…" He frowned and his hand was clutching at his chest again. He had been such a fool this entire time. He stormed away from Erik.
Madame Giry was currently speaking with Monsieur Reyer about the scheduled scenes to be rehearsed. The ballet instructor was still able to fix the girls with a knowing glare when they tried to sneak with the ballet corps who were going through their warm-ups. Christine was laughing now, whispering to the others even though they should have been on their best behaviour.
"Now we are late," Raoul commented to Christine. "It is disruptive when you are late and it is beneath you."
"She did not steal it though," Erik pointed out. "You convinced her not to." He approached as he was wont to do but Raoul stopped him with a hand on his chest. "The prank was nothing," he insisted.
"But stealing is." Raoul looked pained whenever he said it and Erik could not help the tiny step closer he tried to be every time he looked like that. The angel simply refused to let him any nearer. His expression of distaste whenever they even touched kept Erik at bay.
"I…" Raoul shook his head. "I thought maybe that you understood. Maybe. You know, a balance between but..." he could hardly get his thoughts in order, could hardly stand to look at the devil because they all had weaknesses, even angels. His just so happened to be his devil counterpart. "You. You are my problem." He turned away and moved to stand by Christine's side, mulling over his own failures while pointedly ignoring him.
Erik had never realized just how much a barrier Christine could be with Raoul simply on her other side. He had never seen him so mad. In fact, he had not thought that the angel had it in him and then to actually physically push him away was simply unheard of. Angels were not known to be fighters, at least not the dirty fighting that devils were accustomed to.
He had a feeling though that if he were to move to his normal place by Raoul's side, he would get to see an angel try to punch someone. Raoul would succeed, too, because Erik did not think he would have the heart to stop him. He had heard the stories just like everyone else about angel-devil pairs who were so at odds with each other that they intentionally harmed the other so that their charge would only ever have either an angel or a devil. They would be a person completely good or bad. Erik could not quite imagine it and it worried him whenever he saw Raoul looking so pained.
He supposed this was always how it was supposed to be though. He lingered by her left side as Raoul continued speaking with her, trying harder to make her good. It felt more unnatural than he liked to think, but he decided that he would give the angel the space he seemed to sorely need. He could restrain himself; he consoled himself with the fact that Raoul seemed to not only feel better, but be energized by the experience, working harder than ever before.
"You should not be talking right now." Raoul said, "Simply because Madame Giry is not looking does not give you leave to stop practicing. This is for your benefit as well. This is so you do not hurt yourself when you are performing."
Without Erik whispering otherwise, she soon became quiet and focused. In fact, she was the only one not surprised when Madame Giry returned and pounded her cane on the floor.
Erik said half-heartedly, "You do not need to be good so much as you need good timing."
She grinned at everyone else's gasps of surprise.
Even that did not garner a response from Raoul, not even a glance.
For the rest of the rehearsal, Erik was bored. He was bored and frustrated and he rather hated his side to the left of her. What was worse was that Carlotta was on her best behaviour, too. She only screamed at her own assistants and even then, it had been understandable since they almost tripped her several times. She was admirably keeping up with the staging and not complaining when it was changed – probably because it always suited her, bringing her downstage to be seen better.
Meanwhile, Raoul kept a steady battery against Christine's defenses, and she was feeling guiltier by the hour. Erik tried to chime in every now and then with a comment or two, but his heart was not really in it.
By the time Carlotta called for her fur stole for her grand exit from the stage, rehearsals were not done but her parts had been completed. All the other girls were leaning forward in anticipation. Christine only cringed at the thought.
Raoul was right by her side saying, "And after this we shall not be able to rehearse for another thirty minutes. We will be behind schedule and all of us will suffer. However, her assistant will bear the grunt of this prank of yours, not Carlotta."
Carlotta screeched in horror when the stole was draped over her shoulders. Her assistants had been too harried and too worn down to notice the difference while she was yelling for it. Everyone from the stagehands to the ballet corps laughed as she threw it off her as though it burned. She stormed at her assistant, who backed away in fear. The managers and Piangi were immediately by her side trying to calm her down.
Raoul had been wrong in only one count. It took them an hour to calm her down with promises to the sky and heavens that the culprit would be found and punished accordingly.
Christine had to force a smile and laughter that was wholly unconvincing, but everyone was so caught up in watching Carlotta that no one noticed saved for Raoul and Erik.
"It was successful," Erik commented a little blandly. "Did you see her face?"
"Successful in disrupting rehearsals," Raoul retorted.
Before the managers could start bemoaning their misfortunes, Madame Giry made sure to dismiss them all with a promise of having to wake up earlier to make up for the rehearsal time that had been lost. She looked meaningfully at the six girls who had huddled together to congratulate themselves but did not say anything to them, yet. They rushed away quickly but even the threat of Madame Giry's ire did not stop them from starting to plan another prank.
Christine purposefully avoided them. Meg joined her; she had been unable to join them earlier for the prank because her mother had needed her assistance.
"Do you not want to help with the next prank?"
Raoul immediately responded for her. "No. You do not. Tomorrow Carlotta will certainly already be in a bad mood. Why worsen it? Why continue this attack against her?"
Christine simply shrugged.
Meg stopped her with a hand on her arm. When Christine turned, she placed a hand on her forehead.
"What are you doing?" Christine moved away from her hand.
"I am checking if you are ill," Meg stated. "You must be."
"Well," she thought. "You were not laughing when Carlotta put on that stole."
Christine looked at the ground and admitted, "I found it less funny than I thought I would."
Her friend grimaced, "Yes. She has the volume to make her shrieking sound horrid, and her assistant did look like she was near tears."
"See, even she knows it was not funny," Raoul made sure to point out.
"But that's not all. You…" she finally admitted, "It sounds silly."
Christine started walking again. "I am fine, Meg, truly. I simply want to rest now."
Meg jogged to catch up with her. She grabbed her hand and said, "But you weren't daydreaming during rehearsal."
That observation made Raoul pause because Christine always daydreamed. Erik always distracted her by luring her from the present with fanciful thoughts of the future, sometimes about the past. It always annoyed him because even though it seemed innocent enough, living in the future was no life at all and Christine indulged in it all the time. She was going to miss her life.
Raoul forgot that he was ignoring the devil and leaned back to see what he was doing. His counterpart simply stood by Christine's side taking in everything. He looked bored, but Raoul knew that look meant he was lost in thought.
"There is a part that I was unsure about," she tried to explain, but even she was a little confused about her remark.
"You shouldn't need to give an excuse for paying attention," Raoul commented upon hearing her, momentarily distracted from his observation of Erik. He was beginning to worry because Erik seemed rather lackluster, seemed just as out of it as Christine seemed to Meg. He wondered for a moment if she was being too good and almost wanted to ask Erik to try to lead her astray, maybe daydream about some adventure or another. But, he could not say that.
"I just want to walk for a bit," Christine said, hoping that Meg would understand.
She nodded and headed back to the other girls, promising, "I will keep you informed about their plans."
So, Christine walked and Raoul tried to see if Erik looked to be in any sort of pain. They had almost completed an entire circuit of the opera house and she was still trying to work through the guilt she felt for the prank. He was getting more worried with every step because Erik was walking on her left and he had never noticed just how much time the devil spent on his side, pestering him in one way or another. It was disconcerting.
They were approaching some of the empty studios and Raoul whispered in Christine's ear.
She snuck into one of the studios and lit several lanterns. Erik followed dutifully but in confusion. When she walked to the center of the room, instead of dancing, she began to do her vocal warm-ups. Her voice had been the real reason she had been sent to the opera house and it was the one thing Erik loved more than pranks and insults.
He immediately looked past her for the angel on her other side, but Raoul was not there. Erik turned, searching for the blond and saw him leaning against the doorway, keeping an eye out in case they were caught. It was not forbidden to use the studios; a person simply had to inform Madame Giry or the managers when they did.
When Raoul saw Erik approaching, he stopped guarding the door and stood up straighter. "She's been neglecting her singing," he said defensively, crossing his arms.
Erik could not help but grin because that was as big a lie that Raoul had ever told. It was true that she had been neglecting her voice; it was more true that Raoul had suggested she sing for him, because he knew well enough that Erik loved to hear her sing. More importantly, he knew that if Raoul had been somehow weakened by her desire to steal, then by now, he was recovered and well. Though he felt off somehow, Erik felt no weaker for all the good behaviour that she has been on, but he did not doubt angels were probably more delicate than devils.
Erik kept his distance, trying to gauge the angel's mood. "She still sounds wonderful."
Raoul smiled fondly at her. "She should be tutored."
"By whom?" Erik immediately scowled.
The scowl faltered when Raoul turned that fond smile at him. "I withdraw my statement. You would only convince her to be tardy and miss all her lessons."
"Perhaps." Erik smirked, and he was glad that angels had short memories, that they did not keep grudges because he absolutely needed to be closer to Raoul. He could not wait any longer. Placing his hands on either side of Raoul against the wall, he felt better and the off feeling of before disappeared. It seemed as though he needed to be close to Raoul, and his smirk widened at the thought.
"Erik," Raoul said warningly even if he did not move.
"If she really improved," He leaned forward and felt Raoul tense when he whispered in his ear, "then I might think otherwise."
The angel placed his hands on Erik's shoulders and pushed him back. It was with the same violence as before and Erik pulled away, confused. He kept his arms in place, but he was ill prepared to see the look of disdain on Raoul's face.
Raoul could not believe he had let his guard down so soon. He did not bother asking why Erik persisted in invading his personal space when he knew it was to rattle him and he hated that the devil knew he was weak to his attentions and used it against him. Instead, he simply ordered, "Stop doing that." It was a useless demand, he knew, but he had to say it. He ducked from beneath Erik's arms and tried to walk away but Erik grabbed him around his waist and pulled him back so that he was flush against him.
As the devil began to kiss his neck, he squirmed and elbowed Erik hard enough so that he was released.
"She is singing already. What else do you want me to do for you?" Raoul asked desperately. He was already doing what Erik wanted; he did not want to think the devil was cruel enough to tease him still.
Erik stared at him. "What are you talking about?"
Gritting his teeth, Raoul glanced at Erik's lips and hands. He simply could not let them continue as they had been. Christine was suffering for all of Raoul's weaknesses. "I do not like when you do that," he said plainly.
"When I touch you?" Erik asked slowly, surprised. He had always thought Raoul was just embarrassed, naïve perhaps, and shy. The angel may have shied away, but there had been times Erik had been certain he had leaned into the touches.
Raoul frowned and looked absolutely distressed; he looked ready to run away from this conversation. He stood taller instead. "Yes." That single word hurt as he spoke it because he did like it when Erik touched him. He liked it too much, but it was less of a lie than anything was, he had ever spoken because he hated Erik touching him when it was used simply to distract him, to give him an easier chance at leading Christine astray. It had worked.
"Do not touch me again."
For a moment, Raoul thought that Erik was going to grab him, but the moment passed and the devil suddenly turned and stalked away from him until he was clear across the room. Raoul leaned heavily against the wall and then slid down to the floor, dejected. He did not understand why it felt as though he had done something wrong. He had finally taken a stand he should have made years ago. He would miss Erik's familiarity with him and things would be different, but it would be better that way. Christine would have a better chance at being a good person.
Still, he could not convince himself to feel better even as Christine sang. Erik had wandered over to her side close enough that Raoul could not see him. There was no guarantee that Erik would listen to him, but he did not think Erik was one of those devils that would continue to harass an angel to his breaking point and Raoul hated to admit that he was at his. Erik would simply find another way to tease and mock Raoul that would hopefully hurt less. Erik was ingenious enough to figure it out.
He started when the door beside him opened slightly. Erik looked his direction, his face carefully blank, and Christine stopped singing.
"I have been looking everywhere for you." Meg rushed into the room. Raoul hastily stood up, trying to catch up with her, but the second he reached them, Meg was already dragging Christine back to the door. "The managers are having a late night meeting."
"And?" Christine asked, stopping short of the door. "I was thinking of doing more vocal exercises."
Nearly stomping her foot, Meg insisted, "This is more important."
"I doubt it is," Raoul interjected. He worriedly glanced at Erik, waiting for him to speak, but he did not. Instead, he was staring at Raoul fiercely enough that he was inadvertently glaring. He took several steps away from him, but he was distracted when Meg continued.
"They are speaking with a new patron. I hear he is young and eligible and quite handsome." She sighed, "The others are saving us a spot to see him." She tugged Christine forward again but Christine hesitated.
Raoul was about to tell her not to go when his arm was grabbed. Jerked forward, he crashed into Erik who was still glaring and before he could speak, Erik was kissing him, a hand to the back of Raoul's head to keep him in place as lips brutally pressed into his own. Raoul kept his lips tightly pressed together through the whole ordeal and Erik pulled away not moments later, annoyed at his lack of cooperation.
Raoul tried to push him away but failed to succeed. "I told you to stop that."
"You lied to me," Erik retorted, hands keeping Raoul in place against him.
"Lie to you?" he shouted. "Why would I want you to touch me to make your job easier? Who would want someone to kiss them unless they meant it? So… just stop!"
Erik did stop only to look at him in confusion.
Christine and Meg were almost out the door and Raoul turned to tell her she could wait to see the patron tomorrow, but Erik grabbed his chin and turned him to kiss him once more. And it was not fair because Raoul wanted to kiss him back. His heart raced with the knowledge that Erik's lips were pressed against his, that his hands were settling on his hips squeezing him close, but he could not let himself give in. He turned his face so that Erik kissed the corner of his lips and even then, that did not stop him because he kissed his way to Raoul's cheek, lingering so that it was less a brutal attack and more a gentle press. When he reached his ear, Erik breathed out, "I mean it."
The warmth made Raoul shiver and Erik kissed his jaw. "I meant every single touch. I've meant it the moment I first laid eyes on you."
When Raoul pulled away, Erik let him go, even if it was only far enough to meet his eyes. He did not know if this was another ruse, but Erik seemed sincere and he had never actually lied to Raoul even though devils were known to be notorious liars.
"Really?" he asked and before Erik could answer, Christine let out a giggle as the door shut. Raoul was about to follow, but Erik held him back.
"She can handle herself for one evening."
Raoul looked torn. He should not leave Christine alone, but without Erik by her side, it would be equal at least.
Erik shook his head and tugged Raoul closer. "You angels are so oblivious."
Their lips were so close that Raoul could feel the air from his statement and he knew he should take offense because angels were quite observant. Instead of arguing, he gave into the temptation to close the small distance and kiss Erik. He tentatively brought his hand up to hold his face, fingertips tracing the skin and deformity. He squeezed his eyes shut tighter to better focus on every point of contact they shared, mouth and hands and chest, and Raoul never wanted to separate again.
When Erik moaned low in his throat, he opened his mouth in invitation and Erik's tongue immediately brushed against his own. Erik clutched at him; the hand on his neck angled them so that they could kiss deeply. Raoul lost himself to the sensation but sooner than he would have liked, thoughts of Christine began intruding upon his thoughts.
He pulled away with a groan, and Erik kissed him on the lips several more times before sighing.
"Christine," Raoul muttered, eyes still closed, lips curling in a small grin.
He did not see Erik smirking at him.
"We need to find her." Raoul tried to extract himself from Erik's embrace, but the devil would not release him. "Erik?"
"First," Erik said before he pecked Raoul on the lips. "And, second."
"How was that first?" Raoul laughed.
Erik nodded, seriously. "It was. Second, I need you to know that I touch you because I want to touch you." He ran his hands up and down Raoul's sides. "I think I will always want to touch you."
Raoul blushed at his bluntness. "Well," he muttered, "it is not as though you ever said anything."
"I presume it was because I thought it was obvious." Erik nodded to himself, muttering under his breath something about oblivious angels.
"Fine," he conceded, but when he tried to move, he was not released. "There is a third," Raoul guessed.
Erik nodded. "There is a third."
Erik need make only the barest of movements towards him and Raoul was meeting him for a proper kiss, one that was all lingering touches and caresses.
When they pulled away, Raoul said, "I prefer your third point to your first."
Smirking, Erik replied, "Well, yes. That is only half of the third point. As I mentioned previously, I touch you because I want to. Thirdly, it is merely a bonus that you get distracted so prettily that she listens to me better."
"That is cheating," Raoul said.
"You will have to learn how to fight dirty then." Erik grinned rather hopefully, wondering if angels could actually fall from grace and if he could make it happen.
Raoul narrowed his eyes at him as though reading his thoughts, but he pecked him on the lips regardless. Immediately after, when Erik was still basking in the contact, Raoul pushed him down, rushing to find Christine before the devil could recover.
On the floor, Erik smirked.
A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!
Fic Review: I like how Erik has a soft spot for Raoul. He likes leading Christine astray but he wouldn't want her to really go bad because then Raoul would die. Also, if I had Erik and Raoul for my conscience, I don't think I'd ever get anything done. ;3
Okay and I think I have to say that Erik is so dang self-confident here. It is because their little microcosm of a universe is basically the three of them (Erik, Raoul, Christine. And, even then, it really is just Erik and Raoul). Erik has no way to hide his face and even if he could, it doesn't matter because all devils have a deformity. His just so happens to be on his face; so he doesn't even have to worry about that. Raoul's also an angel… he wouldn't judge. Then there's also the fact that Erik can be as bad as he wants to be and he is given free reign to revel in it. And revel he does. :D