Ireland (gallifrey_eire) wrote,
Ireland
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The Phantom's Lullaby c1 (Lullaby)

The Phantom's Lullaby Chapter 1- Lullaby
synopsis: "With his past, how could the future be any less than agonizing? And yet, she had issed him. Twice. In that moment, it had almost seemed like she wanted to stay..." Alternate ending to ALW's PoTO, but with references to Susan Kay's Phantom. E/C
disclaimer: I don't own Phantom of the Opera or its characters. Nor do I own any songs quoted in this fic.
in this chapter: Christine makes a decision, Erik makes his escape, Raoul is gobsmacked. The song at the end is Emmy Rossum's "Lullaby".



Lullaby

It's funny, the things one thinks about while in a boat on an underground lake.

The Vicomte Raoul de Chagny, for instance, was looking forward to a nice hot cup of tea and an evening of sitting by the fire, talking with his beautiful young fiancé.

But for Christine Daaé, calm rational thoughts like the Vicomte's were in short supply. Her head was spinning with the events of the past months. Becoming diva nearly overnight, meeting Raoul again, the murder of Joseph Buquet…and then there had been three months of nothing. Things had been strangely calm. Of course, this fact should have had everyone in the Opera on edge.

When the Phantom reappeared, disrupting the grand masquerade ball, his absence was finally explained. Then the chaos had started again. Fevered rehearsals, learning of Raoul's plot, dealing with her confusing feelings about Raoul and the man she had thought an angel…

Of course, she hadn't told Raoul of the bizarre stirrings she felt in her soul. The deep-rooted feeling that their plan was not right, the compulsion she felt to warn him, the Phantom, of what was to come.

But then it was too late. The opening night of Don Juan Triumphant was upon them, and once again she was swept into trouble.

How did my life come to this? Ultimatums and jealousy…

Even with everything that had brought her to that moment in the Phantom's lair, she had finally believed that it was over. She could put everything from her past behind her, and start the new life that had been slowly unfolding in her mind.

But nothing is ever that easy.

All these thoughts went through her mind in the short minute before she realized what was happening.

"Raoul."

Her fiancé continued rowing as if he hadn't heard her. Maybe he hadn't. The words of the mob echoed around them, getting louder every second, making it difficult to think.

"Raoul, stop!"

His head jerked around, startled at the commanding tone in her voice. But he recovered quickly. Looking slightly annoyed, he let the boat slow and replied, "Christine, we have to hurry. They'll be here any minute." Exasperation colored his voice. He was anxious to be gone from the dark world of the Phantom.

Christine didn't have the patience (or the time) to talk this out with him. She needed to go back.
She wasn't supposed to be here with Raoul. Abandoning her angel of music when he needed her most...

How did he not understand? Why did he send me away? I had chosen to stay with him. Decided to be his wife. Released Raoul to enjoy his life without me.

But then everything went wrong. Her angel had sent them away and told them to forget him. Like there was any chance of that happening, she thought.
Before she could protest, Raoul had untangled himself from the ropes that bound him and pulled her into the boat. Then they were coasting away.
But she wasn't going to let anyone make decisions for her any longer. This was her life, and she had made up her mind on who to spend it with.

"I'm sorry, Raoul. Be safe."

And with that, she slipped out of the boat.

Raoul was too shocked to stop her.

Christine knew he would never be able to understand her decision. Not that she blamed him. To anyone else it would seem like she was giving up a perfectly normal, happy life with her childhood sweetheart for an older man. A disfigured murderer, no less.

Which was technically true. But she knew deep down that the Phantom, her angel, was not a bad person. Life had not been kind to him, and somehow he was always in the wrong place at the wrong time. With a bad temper.

But I can help him. He needs me.
Raoul didn't need her. He had money, a title, a handsome face…any other woman would love a chance to be his wife. But Christine didn't love him. Not any more than she would a brother. He was her childhood friend, nothing more. Somehow it had taken this night of deception and threats to make her realize how wrong she'd been. About everything.

The water was cold, but it was only up to her knees. They hadn't gotten very far. She headed towards the stone edge of the lake as quickly as she could in her mostly-drenched state.

Raoul was shouting something, but she blocked him out. She had someone else on her mind.

Pulling herself up from the water, she tried to remember which direction the Phantom had gone.

XxxX

She is gone. Music. Light. Happiness. Life.
Gone.

He never should have let himself hope for a happy ending. With his past…how could the future be any less than agonizing?

And yet…she had kissed him. Twice. In that moment, it had almost seemed like she had wanted to stay. That she could love him.

But that was a delusion.

Anything she did was out of desperation, to save her fiancé's life.
She was the epitome of goodness. So selfless. Sacrificing herself to save that ignorant boy. He had to let her go; anything else would have been utterly criminal. He couldn't deprive the world of someone so full of light.
It was his only way to make amends for all the things he had done to ruin her life.

“Say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime,
 And I will save you from you solitude…”

It pained him to hear Christine singing to her fop. But her voice was just as beautiful as ever.

Why does is sound as if her voice is getting nearer…?

“Say you’ll need me with you now, and always…”

He sensed movement out of the corner of his eye.

He turned his head to see a lovely young woman with dark curls and warm brown eyes standing hesitantly before him. Her face was flushed but her eyes were bright. She seemed…anxious.

“Anywhere you go let me go, too…”

He couldn’t quote believe his eyes. Why is Christine here, in my room, and not with her precious fop?
Why has she come back?

He couldn't comprehend why she would willingly return to his presence, but he wasn't going to waste his last chance at a proper goodbye.
"Christine, I love you."

She smiled and nodded slightly from her position in the doorway. "We must hurry. The mob is on its way. I assume you have some sort of secret escape route..?"

We? He was utterly baffled, and it must have shown on his face.

"I really don't have time to explain. Quickly, gather anything you will need. We must leave."

He couldn't quite think clearly with Christine holding her hand out to him expectantly, but he tried to regain his composure. At least until they could escape.

Her dress and legs were dripping with water. She was probably freezing. He grabbed one of his old cloaks from a small wardrobe in the corner and wrapped it around her shoulders.

"Thank you." She pulled it tight around her to block out the cold while he retrieved his own cloak from where he had tossed it earlier.

"I don't need anything else. Follow me."

XxxX

Christine was completely lost. The Phantom had smashed a mirror, revealing a passageway not unlike the one behind the large mirror in her dressing room. After turning to make sure a cloth was covering the entrance so they would not be followed, the Phantom took her hand and started off through the tunnels.

They had been walking for ten minutes now, down corridors that all looked the same to her (besides the occasional sloping walkway), making so many turns she was beginning to become disoriented. But the warmth of her angel's hand around her own kept her stable.

Eventually they came to a dead end. There was some sort of metal grate in the wall above their heads, and she could see the flicker of lanterns from the other side.

"We are several streets away from the Opera House. In an alley. Once we get out into the street, keep your head down. I have a small house nearby."

It was the first time he had spoken since they began their journey. Christine simply nodded in understanding and then watched him lift the bars out of the opening.

XxxX

What did I ever do to deserve her company? He was baffled that she had come with him at all.

He had lifted up through the opening in the wall and then climbed out after her, replacing the metal bars to hide their escape. They had hurried through the streets with their hoods covering their faces, his arm around her so they wouldn't be separated.

The "house" was really no more than a small shack, only meant as a temporary hideout. It was sparsely furnished- just a table and a chair, a small cupboard, and a long settee that served as a bed for him during his stays. He was slightly embarrassed that they couldn't sit at the table and talk, but he had never meant for anyone to come here but himself. And really, who would he have brought?

He had offered the settee to Christine as a place to sleep for the night, and chose to spend the night in the chair. He wasn't put out in the least; Christine's comfort was more important than his own, and there was no possible way he would have been able to sleep with her there, anyway.

But when he started to seat himself at the table, Christine insisted that he sit on the settee with her. "It's your house, you should be comfortable. And we can talk more easily if you are here next to me."

He sat on the settee hesitantly, as far from her as was possible, hoping not to make her uncomfortable. She didn't object, so he settled in and looked at her expectantly.

She was fiddling with the fabric of her borrowed cloak, her head down. Several times she would open her mouth as if to speak, but then she would meet his eyes, blush, and look away. She didn't seem to know where to start.

Since it was obvious they were getting nowhere, the Phantom decided to attempt conversation himself.

"Christine...what…..…how…" He now understood her inability to speak, since he was suffering from the same problem. He cleared his throat and began again. "Christine, why did you return to me?"

XxxX

Christine wasn't ready to have this conversation. Not really. But she knew she had an obligation to explain their current situation. To compromise, she started with the question that had been clouding her mind.

"Angel, why did you send me away? You asked me to choose, so I did. But you made me go with Raoul…"

She said this without looking his way, knowing he was probably staring at her.

He took in a shaky breath, steeling himself. "It was wrong of me to do that to you. Make you choose. You and…your fiancé…should be together. I had no right to try and drag you apart, I'm so sorry. Something just snapped and I couldn't…I couldn't lose you." By the end, his voice was shaking and she could see the moisture welling in his eyes.

Suddenly she knew just what to do. To repair his broken heart, to explain her feelings, to make things right between them.

"Angel, you have been a big part of my life since I was young. You were my closest friend, someone with whom I could share my troubles. You helped me through the death of my father and gave me my voice. I owe you so much. You were always there to comfort me, and I wasn't there for you. Not when you needed me. So it's my turn to take care of you." She finally lifted her eyes to meet his gaze.

Tears were streaming silently down his face, but his look of confusion was still prominent.

She was suddenly filled with resolve. "Angel, come here."

She pulled him to her, so that he was lying across the settee with his upper torso in her lap.

XxxX

What is she doing? She must know how much her very presence affects me…and yet she willingly holds me like this…

She carefully removed his mask, ignoring his attempts to stop her. Holding his bare face between her hands, she finally said what he had been hoping for all this time.

"This. This is the face of the man I love. And I don't care if it's not 'perfect' to the rest of the world…to me, it is."

His was overwhelmed with his love for her; he was drowning in a happiness that he still didn't quite believe was real. This must be some sort of dream. The only other explanation is that I'm dead. The gendarmes found me beneath the opera and took my life, and now I'm in heaven.

But that can't be it! A creature like me would never have made it past the gates….

He was interrupted in his frantic thoughts by Christine's voice. As she sang, she still held his marred face, and looked into his eyes lovingly.

“Laying alone with the history that made you
cold and uncertain inside…
Well careful now, deep breath;
the water's still rising,
But your silver lining's in sight

When you feel like you're breaking down
And your body's just giving in
And you can't go on broken like this
Any longer

Close your eyes, don't you cry;
let the sorrow within you subside.
Don't despair, have no fear;
give your weight to me when you hear
This lullaby

He closed his eyes and let himself believe that she really did love him. He was so overcome with emotions, and her beautiful voice was still singing him to sleep.

You say all seems so wrong with the life that you're living,
you're searching for some reason why.
You're so scared to trust; you're feeling unworthy,
aching for comfort tonight.

When your heart's too sore to beat
And you fear it might never heal
And you feel not even beggars want you…
I do.

Close your eyes, don't you cry;
let the sorrow within you subside.
Don't despair, have no fear;
give your weight to me when you hear
This lullaby”

He felt her tears before he even realized that she was crying. Somehow she didn't let it affect her singing.
Worried, he looked up at her with an unspoken question in his eyes. Are you all right?

She smiled through her tears and nodded. "Go to sleep, Angel. I'll be here when you wake."

And with that, he closed his eyes again as she finished his lullaby. He was asleep before the final note.

“Close your eyes, don't you cry;
let the sorrow within you subside.
Don't despair, have no fear;
give your weight to me when you hear
This lullaby

Don't you cry, let the darkness within you feel alive.
Don't despair, have no fear;
you'll find comfort in me like a child
with this lullaby…

Don't you cry…

Close your eyes...”


Chapter 2---->


Tags: box five, phantom, the phantom's lullaby
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