Disclaimer: Phantom of the Opera belongs to people who are not me. The Kyrie Elesion and Agnus Dei belong to the Catholic church. Plz not to sue, I am making no money off this. Thank you. A/Ns: How I think the story ended - jesus, that sounds stupid. A response to all of those fics where Christine comes back to bury Erik against the wishes of The Evil Fop and Erik spirits her away to a life of devotion and shagging.
The Latin translates as follows, in order of apperance:
A/Ns: How I think the story ended - jesus, that sounds stupid. A response to all of those fics where Christine comes back to bury Erik against the wishes of The Evil Fop and Erik spirits her away to a life of devotion and shagging.
I confess to God Almighty,
To blessed Mary ever virgin,
To the archangel Michael,
To the holy apostles and all the saints,
And to you, Father,
That I have sinned.
In word and deed,
I am guilty, I am guilty,
I am most guilty.
I am guilty, I an guilty,
I am most guilty.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
That was the Kyrie Eleison, for which this fic was named. The last verse is the Agnus Dei, or part of it, and translates as:
Lamb of God,
Who takes away the sins of the world,
Lamb of God,
Grant us peace.
Confiteor Deo Omnipotenti,
Beatae Mariae semper virgini,
Beato Michaeli archangelo,
Sanctis apostolis omnibus sanctis,
Et tibit, pater,
Quia peccavi nimis.
The cellars were dark, now that she was gone.
Of course, they had always been dark. It was silly to think that they were otherwise. He preferred the dark; it could hide him, protect him. The dark was his friend.
But then she had come, bearing light, a warm Persephone for his cold frozen Hades. True, he had abducted her the first time – but she had returned, had she not? She had! She had come back, again and again, bringing hope of sunlight, memories of running water… the things he would dare to do if only she were at his side! For her, he would live again…
And she had left him, had she not? No, not left – been taken by that cursed boy. He had let her go – it had been foolish of him – he had made her go, he never should have let her leave. She would have stayed with him! Hadn't she kissed him, and wept with him? Hadn't he tasted all the happiness of the world through her?
He had let her go.
It was a foolish thing to do; but she would come back. She had promised, and her angel was a stronger pull than that damned boy. She would return, without the boy – for the Vicomte would never dare venture into the underworld again, he was too much of a coward – and this time he was prepared, yes. She would bury a false corpse – she would mourn – she would know his pain, for a time – and then he would appear to ease it, a true angel now, soothing and comforting her in her bereavement as she had eased his torment. Oh, she would surely be angry with him; but she would forgive him. She would understand. She was meant for him; a gift from God, reparations long in coming for His most unfortunate son…
She would stay with him, this time. He would not let her go again… not ever…
Verbo et opere,
Mea culpa, mea culpa,
Mea maxima culpa.
Mea culpa, mea culpa,
Mea maxima culpa.
She was coming now. He could hear her in the passage from the Rue Scribe. She was coming to him, to her angel…
She came out from the passage on the shores of the lake and he drank in the sight of her greedily, stamping her movements indelibly in his memory. She was like water to him, like air –she was the music, she was everything, and he lived only for her…
Someone was with her.
The Vicomte Raoul de Chagny emerged from the passage behind her, bearing a torch and with a shovel and a pack strapped to his back. This had not been in the plan. How could the boy dare venture here? He was too much a coward… he could not love Christine as Erik did, could not possibly be willing to face the darkness for her…
"Christine… are you sure?"
"Yes. Raoul, I promised him."
"I know. I only fear for you…"
"I know you do – but he is dead now. I must say goodbye – and sing a requiem. He would have wanted it…"
Raoul seemed to sigh. Christine walked a little ways ahead of him, then gasped.
She turned and collapsed into the boy's arms, weeping, and he knew she must have seen the corpse he had arranged for her, dressed in one of his suits, hand outstretched to the lake as if he had fallen and died in a final beseeching act.
The boy held her, and said not a word. Her sobs and his chest muffled her words, but he could still make them out.
"Oh, Raoul, I did this to him…"
The passion in the boy's voice shocked him. Erik had not thought him capable. He continued:
"You did nothing to him. He brought this on himself – his madness was no fault of yours! You must not feel guilty for something you could never have prevented."
"But if I had only been able to give him what he wanted… to love him as he wanted…"
"Then things might have been different, but I would not be holding you, so you will forgive my bias."
He smiled gently down at her and she, almost without thinking, smiled up at him, weakly but purely.
Erik had never been able to make her smile so easily.
Raoul dropped a kiss on her forehead, lingering before pulling back and unstrapping the shovel and pack, after wedging the torch in the wall.
"You needn't see to the preparations, Christine. If you need to gather yourself…"
"No. I should do it…"
"Let me dig the grave?"
"I suppose it would take rather a long time if I did…"
"Well, I didn't want to be that blunt about it…"
The Vicomte was already digging into the hard soil a few feet away. Christine drew a long white cloth from the pack – a shroud – and gulped, steeling herself as she began to arranged the corpse, handling and wrapping it with tender care.
"Poor Erik…" she whispered.
Poor Erik, indeed!
How could he carry out his plan with the Vicomte there? He would have to kill the boy… but he couldn't, not in front of Christine.
Soon the grave was finished, and the corpse prepared. Christine wrung her hands.
"I do wish we had a coffin."
"We would have been a fine sight, carrying a coffin through the streets of Paris! I will agree it's not dignified, but it will have to do. Unless you can get the one he slept in…?"
"No… no, the door only ever opened for him. I could not find it…"
The Vicomte lifted the corpse and lowered it into the grave, gently; Erik had almost expected him to drop it, but he was as careful as if it was someone dear to him.
Clods of dirt hit the cadaver with an audible thump as he began to fill in the grave.
Christine began to sing, and the world went away. He had forgotten how beautiful her voice was after all the weeks without hearing it; and now – it was like being born again. Like waking after a long sleep – the first glimpse of the sun for a man freed from prison…
It was different.
Her voice… had changed. Not her voice. The emotion behind it… she…
She was older.
Her voice was a woman's voice, expressing a woman's grief.
Her song died away as the last bit of dirt was smoothed over. The Vicomte thumped it once with the flat of the shovel and turned to her.
"Well… that's done, then."
"Yes. I… oh, Raoul, if only things had been different! If only he could have been happy for me… I miss him so much…"
Christine crumpled. Erik made a move to go to her – but it was the boy she reached for. It was the boy who held her.
It was the boy who dried her tears, who stroked her hair and murmured soothing nonsense.
Her sobs died away to hiccups, and then even those were gone. Still she remained in his arms, her face pressed to his shoulder.
"Raoul – I can never forget him. You do know that?"
"Yes. I – I understand, Christine, though I almost wish I didn't. You've helped me to, these past few weeks – and I can't say I'm sorry he's gone, but that you had to suffer… Christine, if I had the power – if it would make you happy – if I could, I would bring him back to life and let you do… whatever you wished, if only it would heal this wound…"
Damn the boy! Erik knew the sound of a lie – and he was not lying!
How was this possible?
Christine was speaking again.
"I so wish you had met him under other circumstances. You could have been friends…"
"For you, I would have at least tried."
She slipped a hand between them, shyly, splaying it over her stomach.
"Raoul… when the baby's born – if it is a boy, may we name him Erik?"
The Vicomte stiffened, and Erik rejoiced inwardly. Yes – here was the line he could not cross. There were limits to the boy's devotion!
Then the boy relaxed.
"Christine… if that is what you wish – yes, we may name our son Erik. When we have a son."
Christine nestled against him.
"Thank you, Raoul."
He closed his eyes and pressed his face in her hair.
"My only wish is to make you happy, Christine. I love you."
"I love you…"
And that was when Erik slipped away, his heart feeling as though it had been torn from his chest. How could this have happened…?
The boy truly loved her.
He could not love her as much as Erik did.
But if it had been Raoul she had come to bury….
Would he have gone with her? Would he have consented to name his firstborn son for his rival?
Then how could Raoul…?
Because he loves her.
He did not want to face it – could not face it – yet he had to, it was clear as day – he was mad but he was not a fool.
Raoul loved her.
Raoul loved her.
She was happy with Raoul.
She was going to have a child with Raoul.
And Erik… she had said goodbye to Erik. If he revealed himself now, it would only destroy her happiness, unsettle her life... again…
Erik had not paid attention to where he was wandering, so lost was he in his confusion; he avoided his traps through instinct. Therefore it took him entirely by surprise when he rounded a corner and stepped into brilliant summer sunlight. He flinched away and almost fled back into his caverns…
But there was nothing left there for him, was there?
Nothing except memories, and a woman who had not chosen him, in the end… she had chosen him only to save the life of the one she loved… who loved her…
He could not go back.
What other choice did he have?
Erik stepped out into the light, tentatively. It did not burn him. He walked a little ways. The world of men did not shrink from him in terror.
He kept walking.
Qui tollis peccata mundi,
Dona nobis pacem.