The Art of Imperfection
Summary: In the dead of night, Raoul fights his own personal demons.
Erik/Raoul (kinda). Word count: 1778.
Rating: R (This means porn, yo)
“You don’t deserve her, not like I do….”
You’re wrong. I love her.
His laugh is terrifyingly malicious. It is a laugh that makes every single hair on Raoul’s body stand on end; a laugh that sucks out all the oxygen from the room, leaving only the keen awareness of a soon-to-be death by suffocation. The Punjab Lasso tightens barely a fraction and Raoul chokes.
“But she’s not in love with you, or she’s simply fooling herself. Do you really think she would be satisfied with someone like you? You have no idea what she needs.”
I can give her everything you cannot. Protection. Warmth. Peace. Happiness.
That laugh again. Mocking. Cruel. Thick with scorn. Hot, burning breaths fan against his cheek. Raoul wants to disappear forever into the mattress; wants to sink his fist hard into the undamaged and unmasked side, and create a new disfigurement to match the old; wants so impossibly to turn his eyes away from those powerfully mesmerizing yellow eyes. Frightening eyes.
“Happiness? You took her away from her one true love. Trapped that beautiful songbird in a cage when she should always be free. To sing to the world. And yet you say you love her. Foolish boy.”
No. I – I had to protect her from you!
“And keep her to yourself. Your pretty pet.”
You’re just trying to confuse me again!
The lasso pulls tighter. Raoul feels so dizzily lightheaded that he might have been floating two feet above the bed and would never notice it. In desperation he tries to reach for the rope but the phantom has firmly pinned down his arms.
“Yours was farce and nothing more. I created her. She is as bound to me as I to her. It is only a matter of time before she comes back to her Angel of Music.”
No. You’ve no hold over her anymore. Our love is too strong for you.
“Your love? God, you are a hopeless creature.” He leans close to Raoul’s ear, his lips barely brushing it. “Shall we test this loyalty then?” he whispers in a deeply ominous tone that reminds Raoul of stinking, rotting flesh and snakes coiling around branches.
Let me go, or I shall scream.
The phantom’s gloved hand slithers neatly under Raoul’s nightshirt while his other locks Raoul’s wrists in a painfully tight grip. As if mimicking the movement of his fingers, he slithers his tongue into Raoul’s ear.
“But you won’t, will you?”
He bites and sucks, and Raoul can no more open his mouth to shout than he can think up anything coherent to shout about. The bundle of energy that would have produced noise remains stubbornly lodged against the bottom of his throat. The only noise in the room is a gentle rustling of clothes amid furious wheezes expelled through nostrils. He starts to panic.
The gloved hand descends upon his face, brushing back his hair, smoothing down his burning cheek, like a mother comforting her sick child –
But Raoul has never known his mother.
Velvet covered fingers sift lightly through his pale eyelashes, tickling them; then brush over his bottom lip in an even gentler caress. The terrible yellow eyes glint with wicked intent; the deformed mouth twists into something reminiscent to The Mask of Tragedy.
“So pathetic,” hisses the phantom disdainfully. “Are you even a man to not shun away from these touches?”
Such casually cruel words unjustly spoken, but Raoul does not even feel anger at the insult. Only deeply suppressed shame.
/snaps his father, Le Comte Philibert, when Raoul has dropped the tray of éclairs he was to present to his guests./
/sighs his governess while she marks over his maths homework with thick, angry black strokes./
/says Christine, turning away from him and disappearing into the night as he helplessly looks on./
/says, Raoul. Because it’s true. Because it’s so absolutely, horribly, inescapably true./
He feels hot tears slide down his face and stain onto pristine, white sheets. Feels the noose scratching burn marks against his neck, an elbow digging painfully into his hip, a thumb stroking back and forth over the fluttering pulse in his wrist. Feels dry, broken lips sliding leisurely but deliciously down his face, stopping just at the corner of his mouth.
A hand wipes away his tears. A thick, slimy tongue worms its way between Raoul’s yielding lips, setting his body aflame with sensation. He feels unbelievably confined and hot, but shameful with desire. Dirtied and tainted.
Ugly. Unworthy of her.
The phantom pulls insistently at Raoul’s bottom lip and delves into the warm cavern of his mouth. He is a master here too, playing Raoul like a musical instrument, both physically and emotionally, towards perfection.
“Why do you not stop me?” he whispers not at all seriously as he presses Raoul’s face against the pillows and licks up the side of his neck. The gloved hand wanders down aimlessly but purposefully, rubbing over Raoul’s small hardening nipples, then caressing the soft down of his underbelly.
Raoul doesn’t answer – or cannot. He only shudders and bites his lip to prevent a helpless moan from escaping. He is vaguely aware that his legs are being parted and a hard thigh insinuated in between, shifting, pressing forward, heated and–
The feeling is nothing like Raoul has ever experienced. It is dark and perverted and sick and wrong and
wonderful and glorious and right.
He grinds upward, writhing and twisting, trying to get even closer to that unbelievable friction. Just like a common whore, but Raoul finds he no longer cares. All his concentration has been pooled to the aching area straining painfully for relief. He feels the phantom’s lips forming into a wide smile against his neck and thinks that losing control may not at all be bad.
Oh god, ohgodohpleaseohgod
“Shhh. Come on. Harder now, Vicomte. Faster,” murmurs a voice, urging and commanding.
Raoul pants and cries and whines and shakes. He is so close now; so blissfully, impossibly close now. He can feel the onslaught of pressure building higher and higher as he grinds at a frenzied pace –
“Look at you. What would Christine think if she saw you like this, I wonder.”
And at that exact moment he gasps, arching his back and knocking his head up against the pillow as his world spins and explodes like millions of shattering glass around him. The noose has tightened completely around his neck now, and he sees distant stars plummeting from the skies….
Raoul jerks awake so suddenly that he has to fight the powerful urge to vomit all over his sheets. His heart is beating at a furious pace, seeming not to slow down even as he gradually becomes aware of his surroundings.
Christine is sleeping peacefully beside him. He can hear her breathing slowly and evenly, and what normally had been a calming effect for Raoul mutated into something overpowering and suffocating. He feels he must get out of the room this very instant.
With shaky hands and even shakier legs, he lifts himself carefully off the mattress, afraid of waking Christine, wincing as the floorboards creak with every footstep. The breath he holds is only released once he makes it all the way across the room without additional hindrance.
Once he is on the balcony after clicking the door shut behind him, he leans back bonelessly against its railing, gulping down huge breaths of fresh night air. It is only then that the full impact of his dream comes crashing down on him.
A wave of intense self-loathing descends upon the Vicomte, and his stomach lurches horribly. He only has time to stumble behind a potted plant before relieving his stomach of the contents of last night’s dinner.
Oh God, he thinks and sinks miserably to the floor. Raoul’s nightshirt has been drenched with his sweat; his hair clings wetly to his face; his mouth tastes sour and vaguely bitter of bile; his stomach – is uncomfortably wet and sticky.
His heart pounds guiltily in his chest, and he has to wrap his arms around himself to keep from shivering. It is the hottest month of summer but Raoul feels as if his whole body has been frozen into an block of ice. Never before has he felt so wretched and alone in the world.
What is wrong with me? The dream – the NIGHTMARE – is it just that or does it possess mean? But why should I feel this way if it is only a dream? Why should I think such disgusting and depraved thoughts?
He hugs himself tighter still as he rocks himself gently back and forth, burying his face in the crook of his arm. Just like did when he was a small child; every time he had done something wrong back then, he would go hide in an abandoned room and bury his face from the rest of the world.
And how I wanted…oh, how! Even in my own dreams I cannot control myself from these sick urges.
More than once has Raoul seriously pondered seeing a doctor about his condition. But in the end he never did, for the probability of telling someone of this shame, his deepest, darkest secret and then seeing the look of utter disgust on their faces was too much to bear. He would rather keep this secret deeply suppressed within his self for all of his life than have the world treat him as an abnormal. A freak of nature. A monster.
It was so unfair when all he ever wanted to be was a good person. The good son, the good friend, and now the good husband. With certainty he must find a way to rid himself of these urges before he goes completely mad.
Minutes or even hours might have passed but Raoul has barely moved from his spot on the balcony. Not a sound rumbles except for the cacophony in his own mind. He thinks he should really go back to bed now.
But just a little longer out here. Just a little longer by myself.
And Raoul knows what will happen tomorrow. He will rise with a charming smile and the bright morning sun. He will go and kiss his wife on the cheek and greet his servants cordially. He will have already convinced himself that he is the happiest man on Earth.
It will be like nothing has happened.
And everything will be perfect…Everything will be perfect….