I decided to do something unique, something I hadn't seen before. What if Christine didn't allow Erik to threaten her the way he did, instead choosing to fight back? What would happen? Here, is what I would think follow.
When the former Phantom had appeared in her flat, Christine, initially, thought she was hallucinating. The man who had, for nearly all of her childhood, masqueraded as the Phantom and her Angel of Music was supposed to be dead. He had to be dead! She had heard Raoul's words, spent months grieving, and had moved on. That part of her life was over and done with.
Yet, all she had experienced proved against that mindset. He was alive, and not only that, but wishing for her to sing again.
On top of that, he had threatened her son. Her son. Gustave was her pride and joy, the one thing that had kept her going through her hardest moments. This Mr Y dared ruin that?
No, that was not something she would allow, not if she could fight.
It was difficult to rouse herself out of bed the next morning, instinctively glancing in the direction of Gustave's room. She felt the urge to check on him; make sure his real father hadn't abducted him after she forced herself to sleep. She gripped the sheets of the bed nervously. Was he alright?
She left the room under the pretense of making tea to check his room. Sure enough, Gustave was curled up in his bed, blankets pulled up to his chin. She let out a sigh of relief. He is alright, you need to stay calm, she thought to herself, closing the door and leaning against the frame. Next time she saw the Phantom, she would make her opinions clear. No more deceits, no more lies. Her choice to sing would be just that; her choice, and hers alone.
She ought to start on the tea she had promised, Raoul would be up at any moment. Christine settled for making a few cups of tea for their breakfast, filling the kettle with room-temperature water and setting it to boil. It would be a few more minutes before it would be ready, which gave her a good ten minutes to distract herself.
There was a small bookshelf nestled in the corner, filled with old, weathered books. Grasping the first one she saw, Christine flipped through the pages, immersed in the words. An old novel, fortunately in French, was what her hands wrapped around. It was a romance, perfect and with a happy ending. If only she could find such an ending, one where she wasn't stuck in a constant tug of war that she didn't wish to participate in.
Then there went her thoughts, whirling angrily about her situation. The Phantom- or Mr. Y, as she'd been told, was incredibly self-centered, cruel and-
Raoul entered, yawning and leaning on the countertop and pointing at the tea. Christine set back her novel and turned to face him, a reassuring yet frazzled expression on her face. "Good morning," she welcomed.
He nodded. "I think the tea is done by now, dearest."
Oh, right. Christine hurried over, using an oven pad to remove the kettle and inserting the necessary tea leaves. She glanced up at the clock. "I'm surprised Gustave has awoke yet. He typically wakes early." It was only to stir conversation, but Raoul seemed to be thinking deeply about what she had said.
"Do you suppose he is ill?" he blinked at her. Christine shrugged in response. As long as he wasn't in the clutches of the Phantom, she could care less about whether or not he had a cold. Heartless or not, she could think of nothing worse than raising her son with him, after all he'd done.
Perhaps a year or two ago she would have been more lenient. It was only recently that he had threatened her family; perhaps irrevocably in her eyes. She would not stand for it. In fact, she made up her mind then and there.
"Raoul, I'm going out for a bit. I'll see you after rehearsals, alright?" she grinned at him, pouring a good amount of the tea into a porcelain cup. Raoul nodded as she handed him the cup and saucer, then left to grab her cloak. How would she tell him? Face-to-face? Was it even safe? Those thoughts echoed inside her mind as she strode down the cobblestone streets, her eyes staring straight ahead. She had the air of someone determined to achieve her goal, and who would not be deterred easily.
She found herself at the doors of the theatre. Wrapping her hands around the brass handles, she yanked, stepping back as the entrance swung open with ease, fancy and carved. If she weren't so angry, she most likely would have stopped to admire the view. It truly was magnificent.
But instead she strode through, only pausing to ask a few workers for directions to Mr. Y's office. Whether it be how determined she appeared, or some other reason for intimidation, the poor ballerina she stopped looked terribly frightened by her request.
And thus, racing as fast as she could while still preserving some sense of normalcy, she weaved through the hallways. While each hall was identical, they were all well-lit with tall columns reaching up to the ceiling, once again carved with surprisingly realistic flowers into the dark brown furnishing. Every few paces or so hung a small gold chandelier, and underfoot was mahogany wood floorboards. Christine noticed none of it, only stopping when she found herself arrived at a small staircase leading up to a dark door. There was no hint that it was the former Phantom's office other than the gold plaque that was placed above. Mr Y.
Thrice she knocked on the door, running her fingers through her hair. Filled with a sudden wave of nervousness, she tried to quell it with more determined thoughts. This had to be done-for her and her family. She refused let them live in fear. She needed this.
"Come in," his voice announced. Deep, gruff. Even after a decade apart it sent shivers up her spine, gave her a tingly feeling in the pit of her stomach. Ignoring all of it, she turned the knob and pushed through.
Immediately their eyes met, and she felt a little fazed as he appeared surprised to see her standing there. Did he honestly think she would allow him to blackmail her like that? She wasn't a young girl anymore, and she planned on firmly telling him as much.
"Christine." his lone visible eyebrow raised, and he nodded to the seat on the other side of the desk he sat at.
She responded with a glare. "Actually, it's Madame de Chagny. And I prefer to stand." She gave him a thin-lipped smile, and a fleeting expression of dismay at her statement passed across his face, so fast she almost thought she had envisioned it.
"Very well," he sighed. "Why exactly are you here? Are you going to accept my proposal?"
Christine scoffed, planting her hands on the chair opposite to prop herself up. "Proposal? Hardly. First you lure me across the world under false pretenses, second, you threaten my family, and then you dare think I would EVER in my right mind accept?"
She took a deep breath, drawing strength from the bewildered expression on the former Phantom standing before her. "I thought you were cruel before, but now you've really crossed the line. Goodbye."
WIth that she turned, striding to the only exit and opening it once again. Behind her he stood up, circling in front of the desk. "You remember what I told you would happen if you dared leave, remember?"
You would abduct Gustave? She didn't turn to face him, only shook her head. She slammed the door shut behind her as she left.
Waiting a few moments to see if he would follow (he did not,) she felt all her vigor leave, slouching against the wall. She suddenly felt very, very tired.
Upon her arrival at her the hotel room, Raoul was sitting in the parlor, a newspaper in hand. He only glanced up at her as she closed the door slowly. She had not realized she had been holding her breath until she exhaled, closing her eyes for a moment. What had she done?
"Where's Gustave?" she asked tentatively, letting her hands fall at her sides. Raoul shrugged, flipping the newspaper page to read the back.
"Still in bed."
Thanking him for nothing in particular, she opened the door a crack. Gustave's sleeping form hadn't shifted since she had checked in on him earlier. Relieved, she moved into the kitchen to make herself another cup of tea.
A few hours had passed and Gustave had not yet woken. She glanced over at his door. It was then half-past twelve, and lunch had come and gone. Raoul was out at one of the local bars, leaving her and Gustave home alone. "I suppose I should wake him," she murmured to herself, opening the door to her son's room. "Gustave," she called softly. "It's time to wake."
Met with silence, she walked over to touch his form only to find it sunk from her touch. She ripped away the blanket to find a wax mannequin taking his place, falling on the floor as she unveiled the figure. She stepped back, crying out. "Gustave!"
The window was wide open, the curtains waving vigorously in the wind. She stared with wide, doe-like eyes as the former Phantom's words rang in her ear. Vanish here, on Coney Island…
She fell to the floor, her eyes wide. He was gone, her son was missing, stolen by the very same man that had summoned them to this damnable place.
"Phantom," she hissed, her hands fisting in her dress, nails digging into the fabric as she glared at the open frame with anger.
"You will not get away with this, I can guarantee you that."
What are your thoughts? I feel the need to mention that this fic is DEFINITELY e/c.