This is my first ever fanfic so I would love to know what you think and what improvements can be made. It's basically my take on that old favourite "Christine realises she loves Erik after she marries Raoul". As I'm Irish, some words might be spelt differently but hopefully that won't be a problem.
The de Chagny estate lay shrouded in darkness, under a slim crescent moon. Everything was quiet and still, although the hoot of an owl could be heard at a distance and there was a gentle breeze rustling the leaves of the magnificent oak tree on the front lawn. Inside the imposing chateau, home of the de Chagny family for hundreds of years, the household had settled down for the night and no sound could be heard. All was quiet, as the grandfather clock in the hallway struck 2 o'clock.
Yes, all was peaceful. And yet, in the master bedroom, the new wife of the Vicomte de Chagny, previously known as Christine Daae, was neither at rest nor at peace. She was in a chair by the window, gazing in the direction of Paris, a relatively short journey away by carriage. She was not thinking of her opulent surroundings but of the Opera House, now empty and silent. She was not thinking of her sleeping husband either but of Erik…
"Erik" she whispered as she continued to sit, despite the cold. Her heart beat faster at the sound of his name. She did not dare to speak her next thought out loud. For she could hardly dare to admit it to herself. "I love him!" she thought. She had been married only a week and she knew. She had always known; all the way through the wedding service and the splendid banquet that had followed. She had known even before then, while Raoul, now her husband, had led her away from that... lair, the two of them still shaking from their ordeal at the hands of the man that Christine now loved.
"Why?" she thought to herself, "Why did I allow myself to be led away from Erik? Erik... my Erik…" In those moments after their kiss, Erik's first kiss, she had known. And when she had returned to him, to give him back his ring, she had seen those eyes, those haunted, pleading eyes as he told her that he loved her. He had looked so vulnerable, so pitiful and yet it was more than pity that she felt. Those eyes, that voice… they still haunted her…
No, Christine was not at peace that night, just one week after becoming a bride.
She was not any happier in the morning, all the way through breakfast. For most of that day, she had visitors coming to pay their respects to the new wife of the Vicomte de Chagny. They were wives of barons, vicomtes, and other titled people of various descriptions. Most were spoilt, snobby women with nothing better to do than drink tea in other peoples' houses and share spiteful gossip about anyone within a 30 mile radius. All had sent their visiting cards in advance of course. And all of them had opinions on everything.
"- saw them together at the theatre last week, out in public with no shame!"
"- courting already and his poor wife is hardly cold in her grave!"
"-all those new nobles with their titles, putting on heirs and graces and swanning around the salons as if they owned them.."
" –his family are all in trade aren't they? Horrible, vulgar man, I had to get up and leave when I saw him come in.."
"-that new maid of my sister's, so flighty and impudent! I tried to warn her at the start but she never listens to a word I say.."
Christine did her best. She smiled and tried to be polite and rang the bell for more tea and made all the appropriate responses but found herself clenching her fist under the table. When will they leave?
And later on, the obligatory game of bridge. All those ridiculous rules! She dropped her cards at one point and tried to ignore the sighs and patronising smiles as she bent down awkwardly to pick them up and unsuccessfully tried to reorganise them, while trying not to upset anyone else's cards.
As the group left, she could see them nudge each other and heard whispers here and there. "-Terrible ordeal at the Opera House, poor thing!" one of them was saying. She was glad to see them disappear down the drive in a procession and tried not to think about the fact that she would meet the group again at Madame du Rochfort's home in a weeks' time.
Night had fallen again and Christine was in bed, tossing and turning. Sleep would simply not come. All she could think about was Erik. That voice which had captivated her, had sung to her… She did not fit in here and never would. There would be card parties, dinner parties, balls, goodness knows what else. All those titles to remember, all the different ranks and customs and trying to remember to eat with the right fork. She thought of the obscene amount of food on the dinner table this evening. It was not even a formal dinner, just her and Raoul! Papa and I never saw that amount of food in a week. Or longer sometimes. And as for that wedding banquet.. She would always be looked at, assessed, gossiped about. Always, she would be the ballet dancer who had dared to marry a vicomte.
Rising from her bed, she walked over to the window and looked out. The front lawn was bathed in a silvery glow. She gazed down at the oak tree, her mind spinning with the thoughts of her future. And then she saw him. Standing on the lawn, as formal and mysterious as ever.. "Erik" she breathed. She glanced behind her quickly, but Raoul was still asleep. As quietly as possible, Christine got dressed and tiptoed out of the room.
Her heart was racing as she made her way downstairs and to the front door. Pulling back all the bolts she opened the heavy door. There he was.. She carefully closed the door behind her and made her way over to him. He was watching her, as inexpressive as ever.
"Why are you here?" she asked him suddenly.
"Do you wish for me to leave?" he asked, with a hint of smugness.
"No of course not" she gasped. He stepped closer.
"I had to see you again" he told her, more softly this time, "I cannot stop thinking about you."
"Nor can I" Christine replied, "I am so glad you came. And so glad you escaped. I always knew you would".
They simply looked at each other for a while. The last time they had been together had been so different. Now they had time, so much time..
The two walked around the back of the house, alert to any possible sound of someone waking up or approaching them.
"Raoul must not find you here."
"I know. But I am the Opera Ghost, remember, I can hide from anyone. All I wanted was to see you again."
"I cannot believe this. I have missed you so much. I should never have left you."
Christine was almost in tears now but her angel was here, everything would be all right now…
After they had strolled for a while, Christine began yawning, so they made their way to the back door, which was thankfully open.
"I will return" Erik told her firmly.
"Raoul will be out hunting for most of the day tomorrow. Come back then."
"Ah, the pursuits of the ancien regime! Yes, tomorrow I will return, as we have great deal to talk about, have we not?. My dear Christine.."
He touched her cheek gently and she closed her eyes.
"I am staying at the coaching inn near the crossroads on the Paris road", he told her, "So I will not be far off. Think of me when you are playing your latest role - a vicomtess…"
Christine returned to her room, tiptoeing cautiously upstairs, past the formal portraits of stern looking de Chagny ancestors. Gently, carefully, she climbed into bed beside the man she had married. He stirred slightly and her heart leapt into her mouth. Then he was quiet again. Try as she might, it was even harder for her to sleep now. Her angel had found her. And they loved each other….