BY : Princess
Category: M through R > Phantom of the Opera
Dragon prints: 5618
Disclaimer: I do not own The Phantom of the Opera movie(s), nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

      “You try my patience, make your choice.”

     Christine looked at Raoul, so handsome and kind, tied to the portcullis. Then she looked at Erik, so hideous and angry, gripping the rope that was hooked around Raoul’s neck. There was no other choice; she knew what she had to do. Her mouth sang the words that would seal her fate, as well as Raoul’s. Christine knew he loved her, but he could find someone else; Erik never would.

      “Pitiful creature of darkness, what kind of life have you known? God give me courage to show you, you are not alone.” Before she knew it, she was in front of him, her angel. His eyes were searching her, and as she slid on the ring, she saw his confusion. She kept her eyes open until the last moment, when her lips met his. She pulled away after a moment and searched his eyes again, knowing she made the right choice when she saw the complete ecstasy there. She kissed him again.

     As they separated, she held his gaze. He looked away, his face collapsing in tears and anguish.

      “Take her, forget me, forget all of this. Leave me alone, forget all you’ve seen.” Christine looked at him, confused. She looked up at Raoul, who silently pleaded with her to help him. She could hear the mob, determined to get revenge for Bouqet and Piangi.

      “Go now, don’t let them find you. Take the boat; swear to me never to tell the secret you know of the angel in hell.” As he spoke, she rushed to Raoul and untied him as quickly as she could. He embraced her as soon as he was free, and she relaxed in the familiar embrace.

      “Go now!” He screamed, and she saw him back on the shore, near the entrance to the bedroom. “Go now and leave me!” They scrambled into the boat as he disappeared. Raoul gripped her hand and she felt the pressure of the forgotten ring. She looked down at her hand, then up to Raoul.

      “I must return it Raoul, please.” He nodded, and helped her back onto the shore. She ran to the room, pausing at the door. She watched in agony as he choked out the words that had seemed to be meaningless until sung by that divine voice, from that wretched face.

      “Masquerade, paper faces on parade. Masquerade, hide your face so the world will never find you.” He sensed her presence and turned to face her. “Christine, I love you.” He sang the words, and her soul ached. She cried as she took off the ring, and as she wrapped his fingers around it, she whispered the words so quietly, she knew he couldn’t possibly hear. His eyes, which were searching her face, saw the lips that had given him his only kiss whisper the words he had longed to hear all his life.

      “Erik, I love you.”

     She climbed into the boat, crying quietly as they rowed away. She wished with all her heart that she didn’t have to make this choice, that part of her could stay with Erik and the rest of her could leave with Raoul. She turned back to see the man who had turned her away standing on the shore, crying still.

      “You alone can make my song take flight; it’s over now, the music of the night.” She watched as he shattered the first mirror, but he was no longer visible a moment later. She said a silent prayer that he left soon, that no one would find him.

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