Notes: While this one shot didn't set out to handle someone should have really told Christine about the pissing contest of "Devil Take The Hindmost" and that she was a bargaining chip, what I was writing kind of addressed it so I just rolled with it and added that at the end.
"I don't want to go to bed mother, I'm scared!" Gustave would not stand still as Christine tried to finish the last couple of buttons on his striped pajama top.
She sighed as she braced herself against his bed and stood back up, "Finish those yourself. Now what could you possibly be scared for? You had a very busy day and should be exhausted."
"That's just it," The boy sat down on his bed. He looked down at his shirt as he fumbled with the buttons, "I can't get Mr. Y's face out of my mind. I don't want to sleep thinking about it. Has he always been that ugly, mother? You said he was a friend. How do you know him?"
"Oh Gustave, darling you ask too many questions," she sat down next to the boy and pulled him into her arms. "Just go to bed and do not concern yourself with Mr. Y. In a couple days I will perform and we'll be back on a boat heading home, leaving all of this behind us." She patted his head before looking down at him, "Tell you what, if you go to bed and get a good night's sleep, I'll have father take you to the beach tomorrow."
The boy's eyes lit up and all Christine could see was her old Angel of Music in them. "Father wants to take me to the beach?"
"I'll ask him to. It would be perfect since I have rehearsal tomorrow."
Gustave's happiness instantly dropped, "How can I get a good night's sleep if keep thinking about Mr. Y. Didn't he scare you mother?"
Christine smiled sadly as she patted her son's cheek, "The first time I saw Mr. Y without his mask I was scared but it was also my own fault. I wanted to see who was behind it and pulled it off without asking. He was angry and as I ran away he followed me to retrieve the mask."
The boy's eyes widened as he shuffled his legs up and tucked them underneath his body, "You removed Mr. Y's mask! That was very rude, mother!"
Mrs. de Chagny closed her eyes and nodded, "Yes it was. His face did not scare me though, only his actions because up until then he had been…"
"Been what, Mother?" Gustave was now on his knees, his hands on his mother's shoulders. "I need to know more about Mr. Y!"
Ten long years, this has been my secret. Now Erik know the truth and now his son wants to know all about the enigmatic figure his real father is portraying to obscure the truth.
The Soprano blinked the tears away before fully opening her eyes. She pried her son's hands off her shoulders before holding them. "When I was just barely a young woman, a chorus girl in Opera Populaire, Mr. Y heard me sing one evening. I was rehearsing an aria, just warming up my voice and challenging myself. He said he never heard a voice as angelic as mine. He offered to train my voice; said with his guidance I would become one of the greatest opera divas in history."
"He was your teacher!" Gustave jumped up and down on his bed before falling down. "And you are an opera diva, mother!"
The Diva smiled as she stood and pulled back the covers on her son's bed, "I am, but hardly the great diva he knew I could be."
"Is that why we're here? So Mr. Y can teach you again?"
She shook her head, "No, Mr. Y is never teaching me again. You see, he wanted me to stay with him; to continue to make music with him, become that diva he knew I was. But your father was a great patron of the Opera Populaire and we fell in love and…" Christine turned from her son and wiped the tears from the corner of her eyes.
Gustave looked up at his mother confused, "Mr. Y loved you didn't he? And that's why he left for America after you and father got married. But he wants you now to sing for Phantasma. He's created this beautiful world and needs your beautiful voice for it, mother."
Christine pulled at the lace at the ends of dress' sleeves. Sometimes she hated how smart her child was. She took a deep breath and straightened her shoulders before turning around, "Okay, Gustave time for bed." She picked up her son and placed him under the covers. She tucked him in tight before placing a kiss on his forehead.
"I don't want to go to the beach tomorrow with father now," Gustave whined turning onto his side. "I need to see Mr. Y again and apologize for being scared and screaming at his face. A man so kind to you mother cannot be scary."
Christine smiled, "Good-night, Gustave." She kissed him again on the forehead and walked away. She turned off the gaslight in the room and closed the door behind her.
"What an unconventional bedtime story."
He leaned up against the hallway wall next to the door. With the exception of that white mask, his outfit blended in with the shadows. She was not surprised he was there.
"The abridged version of an unconventional love story," She whispered as she walked up to him; their faces only a couple inches apart. "I know you want to see him but come back later when he's fallen asleep; when Raoul and I are both in bed."
The Phantom closed his eyes and sighed, "I am sorry to report, but on the way over I spotted the Viscount at the salon. He probably will not be retiring to his chamber anytime soon."
Christine's face crumpled as she fell into his chest, "I can't, Erik! I can't be strong anymore!" She held onto his lapels; all those tears now flowing down her cheeks.
Mr. Y gently wrapped his arm around her waist and guided her out to the main room. He sat down with her on the settee where she buried her face into his chest. With one hand he caressed her back and the other he twirled his fingers around that single banana curl that dangled from her updo. Oh to stay here forever. To whisk her and my son…our son, away from him. He who pushed her out of her spotlight only to push her back in when it was convenient for him.
"Our boy is smart, Christine," Erik broke the silence. "If he could figure out Mr. Y loved you just from that little story; he has to know what is going on with Raoul and your finances."
"Of course, he's smart," Christine finally looked up her old Angel of Music. "He's a product of our love. It's been like dealing with a bettered tempered, smaller version of you for the past five years."
The old Opera Ghost laughed, "Is there anything I can do to make things better for you?"
Christine gently placed her hand on his mask, "Don't leave this time." In one quick motion she pulled the mask away and let her lips lightly brush his.
Ten long years. He wasn't going to make that mistake again. Ten long years of pent up passion poured through his mouth; devouring hers. She sighed, holding onto both his cheeks, opening her mouth. However, when she moved to position herself on his lap, he pulled away. They both were panting, yearning for more.
"I will not leave you this time, Christine," Mr. Y returned to fidgeting with her banana curl. "The decision is yours, but not tonight; tonight, you are still conflicted. If you sing for me at the performance, I will know after all these years your heart truly still belongs to me." His smiled widened, "You and Gustave can stay here with me, in America. We can be a real family and you can finally be the great diva you were supposed to be."
She caressed his disfigured cheek, "But what about…"
"I can take care of it all," He picked up his mask from where she dropped it on the settee and put it back on. "Go change and get to bed early. You will need your rest for tomorrow night."
She nodded and stood up with him. She pulled him into an embrace yet again, "Are you sure I cannot convince you right now?"
Mr. Y lifted her chin with his finger, "What I wouldn't give to ravish you right now, Christine. But I need to make sure our story ends correctly this time. Our son deserves to hear the unabridged version of our love."
He leaned and kissed her and it took every ounce of will power to pull away. They walked arm in arm back down the hall where Christine left him in front of Gustave's door. The masked man stood frozen in front of it until he thought she was completely in her chamber. However just from the slightest slit in her doorway she saw him open the boy's room and look in. Angel of Music I hope am strong enough tomorrow to sing for you.
The Phantom smiled as he looked at the boy asleep in the bed. Maybe soon I will no longer scare you. Maybe soon you will learn the truth, Gustave, my son. He quietly closed the door. And now off to make that Fool an offer he can't refuse.