This is my first fanfiction ever! I apologise in advance for possible grammatical mistakes, since my mother tongue is portuguese, not english. Anyway, I really hope you like it :)
Disclaimer: I do not own anything from POTO. All rights belong to Gaston Leroux, as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber *sighs*
Chapter 1: Prologue
- Erik's POV-
No more talk of darkness,
Forget these wide-eyed fears.
I'm here, nothing can harm you
My words will warm and calm you…
Erik could not believe his eyes. Christine and the vicomte were on the rooftop of the opera house together. Undoubtedly, she had brought Raoul, fearful that his life might be in danger – what other reason could there be? Christine was afraid of him, the monster. And now the young vicomte was singing her a love song.
How come she had done something like this? Little minx. After everything he had done for her, how could she?
The Phantom breathed in deeply, desperately trying to keep the boiling emotions from running wild. The pain that struck him was tearing him to pieces. Innumerous sobs were building up on his throat. How had things come to this? When had his sweet Christine been so frightened of him that she had to run to the arms of that… boy? Erik's heart was dilacerated by pain. Shifting his glance to the floor, he spotted the red rose he had left in the changing room for her. Slowly, he picked it up. Fighting as hard as he possibly could, trying to hold the tears back. Why had this to happen to him? After all these years, during which he had finally managed to make a friend, someone who didn't fear him, everything had gone wrong, and all for a single reason – his face. Had she not succeeded in the outrageous mission of taking his mask off, he would've never acted like that towards her!
- Christine's POV -
Let me be your freedom,
Let daylight dry your tears…
Christine blinked with surprise. A love song? He was singing a love song to her? Oh no. No, no, no, no. This was not the least expected, not at such a time. With all that had been happening in the opera house during the last months – what was that for?
All of a sudden, she spotted a moving shadow, right behind the statue of Eros, just by the place where she had left her rose, not intending Raoul to see it. But the rose wasn't there anymore, was it? Maybe the wind had moved it somewhere else? Christine made a funny face. The rose was nowhere to be seen. Someone had definitely picked it up – the shadow. Her heart started to beat faster and faster. Could it be him?
I'm here, with you, beside you.
To guard you and to guide you…
The moment Christine realized the vicomte was expecting her to give him an answer, she managed to mumble something.
"R-Raoul, I don't think this is the right moment to-"
"What do you mean, Little Lotte?. Raoul's blue eyes were wide open with anticipation. She took a deep breath.
"Let us talk some other time. Please Raoul, I just need some time alone."
"Then I'll stay here with you. I could not forgive myself if you were to be attacked by that lunatic!"
Involuntarily, Christine flinched. Is it my eyes or the shadow just moved?
"I need to be alone. Please, would you mind waiting for me downstairs? I won't be long, I promise. After everything that happened tonight, I just need to think it through". She paused and gave him her most reassuring smile. "It'll be just for a few minutes. Please…".
"All right, Little Lotte", Raoul breathed, defeated by the persuasive brunette. Christine watched him leave with surprising relief.
Alone, at last. Sort of. Trying to gather as much courage as she could, Christine walked towards the statue.
- Erik's POV -
She had dismissed him. Why? It didn't make any sense that Christine would do such a thing. Shouldn't she be afraid of being alone at such a place? Didn't she know that the Phantom could emerge from shadows at any time and take her to his lair for good? Why then would she come near? Why leaving the safe arms of her husband-to-be?
She was breathing heavily, as if she were anxious. It was a ridiculous thing to consider, but perhaps she knew he was here. Even if she knew (which, once again, was the most farfetched thing that could ever cross his mind at that moment), assuming she was certain of what she was doing, it would only be due to what is commonly referred to as "a shot in the dark". For many had tried, but no one had ever succeeded to know here the Opera Ghost hid. He was impossible to track down.
Lost in his thoughts, Erik didn't realize how close Christine was until he heard her calling.
"Angel? Are you there? Pray answer me." If he didn't know better, we would have said that she sounded somewhat expectant. But of course, she was a great actress as well as a sublime singer – he knew that too well for his own good. Being such a master in the art of manipulation, she could bring him to believe just about anything that came out of those pretty lips.
"Why did you kill him?"
The hazel eyes were looking directly at him. She had found him. Even amidst the shadows, she had found him.
- Christine's POV -
Her intuition had not failed her - the Phantom was right where she had thought him to be.
His gaze pierced right through her soul. Icy blue eyes observed her intently.
A tremulous sound left her throat.
"Why would you kill him?"
Silence. She could see the shadow moving, even if ever so slightly. However, before the Phantom could leave, Christine held on to his cape with all her might.
"Why would you do something like that?"
Still no answer came. The Phantom avoided her gaze uncomfortably.
The despair Christine felt since her voyage to the lair started to take a shape of its own.
"W-why? It doesn't make any sense! It possibly can't be because of the pageboy role, can it?". Her grip was so tight on the Phantom's cape that her knuckles were white. Tears streamed down her face and her sobs were growing incontrollable. Could he even understand what she was saying?
"Please, tell me it wasn't because of the role, of a stupid role! Explain it to me, so that I can believe that you're not as they say. Please…"
- Erik's POV -
Erik was shaking nervously, puzzled by what was happening right in front of him. Never before had he been put in this kind of situation, never before had he felt so vulnerable. And she looked so innocent, so pure…Snowflakes were falling gently, getting trapped in her magnificent hazel curls, which made her look the more angelic.
Brown eyes were swollen red, with tears forming at the edges. Her nose adopted a light shade of red, while her lips were quivering. The expression on her face made her look more miserable than one could expect from an actress, even if an outstanding one.
It seemed like an eternity until Christine heard the Phantom's voice.
"Leave me be. You have an opera to star, mademoiselle."His voice sounded as cold as his eyes, unusually formal even for him. He looked straight at her. "And a Vicomte to confort, I assume."
Before she could do anything, he had gone. Christine was all alone.