Die, fop, die! Muahahahahaaaa.

-clears throat- No, you have to sympathize with him a bit for this phic.

Hope you like it, for I did my best to make it all lerouxesque and beautifully morbid.

(I'm not Gaston Leroux, I only borrowed Erik and Christine from him and will give them back tomorrow.)

He's dead already...

Desperately she clings to Raoul's arm, kneeling on the cold floor of the communard's prison, in the endless darkness below the fifth cellar.

"It will all be good, my darling!" she whispers feverishly. "He will let you go when you're well again. I am his wife now. He has to let you go..."

"Christine!" Erik's voice stirs the dense silence. It's situated in the stone right beside where Raoul's head rests on one of Christine's cloaks that is neatly folded to replace a pillow. "Christine, would you come out of there now?"

"Let him go." she retorts, trying hard to stop her voice from quivering.

"Oh, but I will never do that, my dear Christine. And you know it perfectly well. Now come out. Come out and see what misery you have caused today."

Misery... A sudden wave of nausea twists her stomach. Not again! Please, not again!

"Stop it, Erik! I beg you, stop it! For the love of your wife! Stop it and let him go!" she cries, burying her teardrenched face on Raoul's shoulder. "Help me, Raoul, help me!" But her love is still unconscious, still sleeping, resting, healing... And she has to protect him until he is awake again.

"Christine, you had better come out of there before I break the lock." The tone of Erik's voice has lost nothing of it's gentleness and civility, but his hands rattle wildly at the old rusted gate.

"Don't be afraid, darling." she places a soft kiss on Raoul's moist forehead "I won't let him hurt you again. Wait for me. I'll be back. I'll be right back..." Groaning she streches her aching legs and steadies herself on the wall when a short dizziness grips her.

"Just one moment, Erik love." She wipes the tears from her cheeks, then she staggers to the exit. "I am on my way."

The gaze that meets hers in the pale light of Erik's storm latern when she steps over the threshold, is very stern.

"You spend too much time in there, my dear. It surely is not good for you. It is cold and of course there are rats and cockroaches. Don't they frighten you, dear? I thought it was likely for women to be afraid of rats and cockroaches."

"I have to care for Raoul." she presses out. "And I don't fear anything when he is with me."

"He won't be there for much longer, Christine. Don't you know that all creatures start to disappear as soon as they're dead?"

"He isn't dead!" she sobs angrily "And it would remain that way if you would allow me to carry him to my room! Please, let me carry him to my room! I won't leave with him when he's well again, I swear it! I am yours, Erik, entirely yours!"

"No, you are not." Erik sneers while he turns his back on her to lead the way to the bank of the lake in front of his house. "And Raoul is dead already. He is decaying, dear. Don't you smell it? I can smell it. I can smell it very well. And the rats and roaches can smell it, too. It seems, you are the only one here who truely has no nose."

"He's not dead!" she cries, her voice sounding painfully shrill.

Hastily, Erik presses his hand to her mouth.

"Don't make such ugly noises!" he scolds her. And grabbing her neck, he pushes her forward, out onto the bank of the lake, to show her the misery.

"Raoul is as dead as he can be and there is no one left for you, Christine, no one but me." he explains, like he did so often "You are alone, utterly alone, if you don't change your mind. I don't want your empty promises, I don't want your worthless sacrifices. I want you to love me. And don't you see that it is absolutely necessary for you to love me?"

"Erik, please..." Again, she tries to flee or at least avert her tear blurred view, but he forces her to keep staring at the body of the strangeled young man.

"It's not only me whom you cause grief and despair, not only yourself who is afraid and wishes to flee. No, you cause oh so many innocent people oh so great misery, for, you see, Christine, including the Daroga and your handsome Vicomte, this is the sixth man who died because of you. The sixth in only seven days. If you go on like this, the Opera will have to close it's doors before the next season starts. In the end there will be no more scene shifters and machinists left; I will have to slay the corps de ballet and the choir, the solists, the orchestra, the management... They will all die, dearest. Every single one of them will end up strangeled at your feet... Unless you love me..."

An endless instance of silence passes, in which Christine's sobbing and her newly aroused nausea subside. Finally she whispers:

"I will love you, when you stop killing and let Raoul go."

Caressingly, Erik strikes her hair.

"My dear Christine." his eyes behind the black mask smile at her sadly "My precious little angel, it seems you really don't understand. Raoul de Chagny is nothing more than a rotting carcass. And it is necessary for him to be that. For if he were still alive, you would be entirely unable to love me." He pauses for a moment, then he gently prods the tip of her nose with his long, thin index finger. "Now I see my fault... I should never have permitted you to play 'patient and nurse' with his corpse. Even the presence of his remains distracts your feelings..."

"No..." Christine tries to rip loose, when Erik turns and walks back into the corridor to the communard's prison, dragging her behind him. "No, Erik, don't..."

"No!" he mocks her "No, Erik, don't... I'm getting quite used to hearing that from you. But that will change, my dear, it will change quite soon."

"You promised not to kill him, Erik! You promised!" she cries desperatly "How can I love you when you go back on your word!"

"Don't you dare to talk about broken promises and betrayal, my most beautiful angel." His voice is soft; like a silken shawl, wound tightly around her neck to cut off her air. "And beside this: I am not killing your beloved one, I am merely disposing of a corpse. For this is what he is to me and to the world. A corpse. Dead. You are very alone with your belief of a living Raoul, indeed."

In front of the gate, Erik stops, demandingly stretching out his skeletal hand in front of Christine's white face.

"Now, would you be so kind to give me the key?"

"Erik, please! Please, I promise I will..."

"Be quiet, Christine." His words cut the air like blades of ice. "Be quiet and give me the key before I loose grip on myself."

"But he is not dead!" she sobs "Don't you hear him cough? He's hot with fever and..."

Without another word of warning, Erik slaps her in the face, so that she stumbles against the wall. Then he wobbles his hand around in front of her nose, his yellow eyes filled with intense grief and aggression.

"See what you make me do! Not only must I kill innocent people, but hit my wife! Now, will you give me the key or do I have to rip your dress apart to find it?"

Her reddened face petrified in a state of utter expressionlessness, Christine kneels down before him. And leaning her forehead to his shoe, she whispers "I'll do anything, Erik, anything; just let him live..."

"I don't want anything from you, Christine." he spits, leaning forward to pull her up at her golden blonde curls. "I want something very special, and you know what this is! And you know as well, that there is only one way for me to obtain it." With that he tears open the upper part of her dress and reaches into her decolleté to pull out the key.

Shaken out of her numbed state by the indecent touch of his hand, she begins to fight him. But she is no match for Erik and soon he unlocks the gate of the prison.

"Now, dearest, I would say I put you out of harm's way until I am finished - but of course, I will let you witness how your beloved one disappears in the flames."

"No!" panicked she tries to get around him, to get to Raoul, to protect him, but Erik holds her back, using only one hand to do so.

"My dear, as you seem to believe your beloved resistant to all harm caused by water it is only logical to make his parting graspable for you by burning his remains."

"But he is not dead!"

With a resigned sigh, Erik hits the side of her head.

When she wakes again, she finds herself tied up to a state of total immobility. Her wrists bound to her upper arms, her ankles bound to her thighs, her thighs bound to her waist, and this handy bundle of Christine is fastened to the back of a chair that is leaned safely into a corner of the drawing room.

It's the smell of burning wood that woke her. Fire... fire... He will burn Raoul alive! She wants to scream, but she is gagged. Furiously she begins to fight her restraints. She can't let him burn Raoul alive!

"You have a perfect sense for timing, dear."

At the sound of Erik's velvet voice she freezes.

"I have arranged a nice spectacle for you, and it is about to start. You really should hurry, so you don't miss the beginning." He walks over to her with light steps and picks her up together with the chair, as if she wouldn't weight more than a feather.

On their way to the bank of the lake, Christine becomes conscious of the pain that spreads out from the right side of her head. She twists her face.

"It is a quite big bruise that you have around your eye." Erik comments her grimace "But don't worry, it will heal soon, and you are still the most beautiful woman to me."

On the bank of the lake a funeral pyre blazes, built up artfully to avoid all development of smoke. Some meters away lie two big, longish objects, wrapped up in white cloths, bound with white ropes.

"My dear, the right bundle there is the body of your beloved Raoul de Chagny. You believe me that it's him, don't you? I would never lie to you, Christine, be sure of that." Gently he puts the chair to the ground "The other bundle is my friend, the Daroga. I hope you remember him, for he was my only friend. Since I grant your beloved one a decent incineration I considered it unfair to let my late friend just rot away in the prison... I will sing a requiem for them now, dear. I will sing loud, while I give them to the flame's embrace." He leans forward to sternly look into her wide eyes. "You will hear nothing exept the roaring fire and my voice, singing like the angels in heaven; for you and me, dear, you and me, we are the only living humans here. Your precious Raoul and the Daroga are dead, both of them drowned in the torture chamber after you turned the scorpion and became my wife. They will feel nothing, and you will feel relieved afterwards. Sure you will. Now listen. I will sing Mozart's Requiem as beautifully as I can..."

And while he walks over to the clothed figures with all the elegance and grace of a feline, his voice echoes through the dark labyrinth, sweet like nectar, soft like angel's wings, forming the tones as crystal clear as if the Gods themselfs had sculpted them into the warmed air.

"Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis."

Petrified, Christine whitnesses how he picks up the left bundle and places it on the burning logs as if he didn't feel the heat of the fire at all.

"Te decet hymnus, Deus, in Sion, et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem."

'He is dead.' Christine screams in her mind, when Erik walks over to the second bundle, the bundle that is Raoul. 'He is dead! Dead! Dead! Dead! He must be! He must!' It can't be that he is burned alive. She just imagined that he breathed. She just imagined his fever and his coughing. He didn't drink the water she gave him, he dind't groan in frightful dreams, he didn't cling to her hand in agony. He was just a lifeless corpse all the time and she is gone crazy, crazy!

"Exaudi orationem meam, ad te omnis caro veniet."

It's just the vividly moving light of the flames that make it look as if the bundle would move feebly when Erik lifts it up. It's just the fire that sounds like a muffled scream when the limb bunch hits the embers. The light is mocking her eyes, making it seem as if the bundle would wreathe and cringe and coil in a desperate struggle to escape the sudden inbareable heat. Raoul is dead already. He drowned. He feels nothing, nothing at all. He is as dead as he can be.

"Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis."

When Erik's song ends, both bundles lie still, the flames joyfully gnawing away fluttering cloths and blistering skin.

Slowly he kneels down beside her, the eyes behind his black mask full of compassion and understanding.


She wants to, but she can't take her eyes from the spitting steaming flesh on the pyre.

"Christine, my dear..." gently he grabs her chin, turns her head to him and removes the gag from her mouth. "He did feel nothing. He was dead already."

"He was dead." she consents, her voice barely audible. "He was dead because he drowned."

"That's right, my most beautiful little angel. And now you love me, don't you? For I am the only one who is left for you - your husband, your man."

"Raoul was dead already." Christine repeats expressionlessly "As dead as he can be. He did feel nothing. Nothing at all. He drowned. He drowned in the torture chamber together with the Daroga, right after I turned the scorpion and became your wife. He was dead already. As dead as he can be. He drowned. He did feel nothing. Nothing..."

Gently Erik lays his fingers over her mouth.

"Hush now, my darling one. Don't think about him anymore. He is gone and everything is well. Everything is as it should be... You love me and I love you, Christine, my most beautiful wife."

"I am your wife, Erik." she breathes against his fingertips "I am your wife and I love you."

Likey? Review!:)

Translation of the latin text:

Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,

and may perpetual light shine on them.

Thou, O God, art praised in Sion,

and unto Thee shall the vow

be performed in Jerusalem.

Hear my prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come.

Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,

and may perpetual light shine on them.