Once more I'm at it again! This one took considerable time to finish. Now some of the songs and scenes mentioned I just took snippets out of so it doesn't overshadow the story too much. Sadly I have yet to see PotO live and only clips of the more famous productions of it. So the dialogue and scene snippets I referenced from the 25th anniversary at RAH edition (as that and the 2004 film are the only versions I've seen the entirety of). As for which voice Erik uses I leave up to interpretation. As Crawford is my all time favorite I personally envision it being between his and Karimloo's during Angry!Phantom moments, but that's just me.
Also for the idea of this story this is set after Mag has regained her eyesight, referenced in another story I've written 'Blindspot'
And now enough of my blabbing!
'Italics' = Song/Writing
'Italics, underline = Flashback
"Alright, that will be all for today," Erik announced to the class, "Remember, there will be a review on Friday!"
The class hustled and bustled out the door, finalising yet another day.
Erik was marking over handed in assignments, humming absentmindedly, when a knock came at the door.
"Come in," The Opera Ghost called, not bothering to glance up from his papers as Professor Walker stepped in.
"Afternoon Erik," Roy greeted him.
"Et vous Walker,"
"You heard the drama departments announcement? You must be thrilled."
"I'm not sure I would say thrilled," Erik mumbled, continuing to grade the papers.
"I don't understand? Didn't Christian talk to you yet?" Roy asked, confused.
Erik stopped, setting the pen down. "Should he have?"
"Actually yeah, it's your show's thirty year mark! Christian's part of the directorial this year, said he was looking for you to give them a hand. If you were interested."
Turning to the stuntman, Roy had Erik's attention.
"Must say I'm flattered,"
"Yeah, after last year's I think they were regretting not asking you beforehand." Roy joked but his laughter faded seeing the Phantom grimace at the memory of that dreaded sequel.*
"Indeed." Erik nodded, considering the offer. "Is anyone still in the auditorium?"
"Well at least this year you're not in such a sour mood." James remarked.
"An ego boost will do that," Jareth smirked.
"It's not an ego boost," Erik defended, "The drama department simply asked if I would help them with their show, and I said yes."
"And casted you."
The Opera Ghost shrugged with a cool smile, "Is it my fault they asked? It is after all my story."
James laughed off his masked friend's smugness, "Well congratulations at least. Has anyone else been roped in yet?"
Erik shook his head, "Not yet, when I was over there today they were getting ready for other auditions. They just announced it last week so only a few have already gone through."
"Did they ask Christine?"
"I'm not sure, I didn't see her there. But they want me there to oversee further auditions for the remaining cast." Erik explained "So our paths may cross."
"Excellent! We'll be in touch madam," Christian called, jotting a note down.
"Thank you," The fair haired beauty smirked, swaying down the stage. She was the last audition of the day that afternoon stretching into evening.
"I rather liked her," The young writer said,
Erik nodded, "She has a strong voice, and certainly the experience."
"I'm new to the music directorial scene, so you two are my best bet for helping find real talent," Cressida said
They had gone through several auditions within the last week and the callback roster looked promising. Among some of the minor roles left to fill, only a two roles had the production team going back and forth.
"Well with what we've heard, I really do like Ms. Adler's voice to play our Prima Donna." Christian considered. "What do you think?"
Considering the auditions they'd heard among those for Carlotta's role, Irene's was spot on for what was needed.
"I agree," The Opera Ghost replied.
"Hm, and then there's who's lined up to be our Christine?"
"Well, there are a few here that seem promising," Erik mused, mulling over the list.
"This one, Ms. Kelly, has real talent-on the scarier side though," Christian shivered.
"Yes, Ms. Buffay certainly was good." Erik shook his head, "But her high note just seemed lackluster."
"Hm. Well I rather liked this one," Cressida noted, picking up the headshot and scribbled notes attached.
Erik felt his face grow warm glancing back at Mag's photo. He didn't even know she was auditioning until she was escorted in the auditorium.
"I did too," Christian smiled, "Such a voice on her."
"True, true." Turning to the now silent masked maestro, the capitol director said "It's ok to agree Erik. She auditioned fairly like everyone else."
Nodding, Erik smiled "I do think Mag did splendidly, a good sense of pitch."
"Well, no final callbacks until Monday, but I think we're quite unanimous with our castings?"
Jude University's prep for their 'Phantom' production was running smoothly. A week and a half of auditions and they had their cast, Gandalf was kind enough to offer the drama department assistance with the pyrotechnics. And then a surprisingly gracious sum in the form of a cheque was received for funding the show.
"They sent us how much?" Roy asked
"Where did it come from?" Erik poundered
Christian shrugged, "It came from a company, Geno? Geneca?"
"Geneco?" The Opera Ghost scowled, "And why exactly are the Largo's helping fund us?"
"Not sure, but it's rather generous of them."
Erik saw it not so generous and more so suspicious, considering their previous soprano was currently the lead. Perhaps he would need to invoke the dreaded favor with a certain Goblin King for a few protective wards around the auditorium on opening night.
"I can't believe I'm even saying this but..." Erik sighed, as Jareth gave him a cocky smirk "If you do this, I will owe you one."
"You must be worried for Magdalene if you're actually asking me for a favour. Very well, I can do that. In fact, just because of that 'what are friends for' nonsense I'll even do you an extra for free."
"What are you talking about?"
"I'm sure a few special effects could go a ways for your show."
"Forget it, you are not going to drench the set in glitter!"
"Glitter free, I promise!"
"Fine fine, I suppose for you that's surprisingly kind of you."
Shortly after coming to agreement with the blond fae, the phone rang in the next room.
"Bonjour?" Erik answered, "Oui? I see, that's splendid. I'll be down sometime this afternoon to pick it up, merci beaucoup."
Almost immediately after which Jareth watched the Opera Ghost hurriedly grab for his coat and hat. "Be back," He mumbled before shutting the door.
Confused by his roommates sudden urgency after that phone call, and feeling deviously bored, the blond fae snapped his fingers.
With a glittery poof, Kipper appeared in the sitting room.
"Yous called Boss Majesty?" The goblin asked
"Yes, my musical spectre of a roommate's just left, follow him with this." Tossing a small crystal to the goblin who just managed to catch it. "So I can listen in."
"Yes Boss Boss!" With yet another magical cloud, Jareth's minion disappeared.
"Should be interesting," Sarah said, taking a seat as she was accompanied by Christine and James. Shilo and Nathan seated just behind them.
"It'll be so great to see Mag sing again dad!" Shilo said excitedly. Nathan just happy to see his little Shi so happy. Though he did miss it as well, when Marni was alive sometimes she and Mag would sing duets together, long before the latter became famous.
Sarah wasn't sure about bring Toby along after how Christine had told her how the story goes. But here he was scootched in the seat beside her as their father dropped him off to her quite literally at the last moment.
"Yes," The commodore agreed, seated next to Sarah, "'Pony was pretty excited when she told me she got a part."
"Seems everyone's gotten involved in the play this year." Christine added in, on the other side of her roommate.
"I'm surprised that they hadn't asked you Chris?" James asked.
"Oh they did, and while I'm happy for Erik, I didn't feel the same way in returning to my 'role'. Even if it is just for the play."
In truth, Christine felt some jealousy, but she'd come to piece with her former mentor moving on with his life and with someone else. She didn't want him to forever be alone and miserable. He already had to go through that once before. So right now the blonde was just focused on staying positive with all going on.
Looking down at the audience, Erik felt anxious. Even though here he was in his element-tailcoat and all-the Opera Ghost felt a strange feeling well up in him.
"What's with that face? I'd think you'd be overjoyed by this," Jareth asked.
"No I am, everything's going well. That's what I'm concerned about," He tensed up. "I don't want my plans falling apart in one night."
"Is this about the play, or is this about the ring?"
Wide eyed, and an itching need to wrap the lasso at Eric's side around Jareth's neck, "How do you know of that?!"
"It's a wonder how useful goblins can be," The blond fae said, twirling a crystal around his palm. "Lovely color by the way."
Erik's eyes narrowed, "I knew I heard some sort of tiny pitter patter following me that day."
"Now now, don't be like that. I just want to help."
"Maybe because one of us has a chance of getting the girl in the end." Jareth mused,
Erik frowned, "But Jareth, you and Sarah are-"
"It's fine." He interrupted. "Now you'd better be getting ready Phantom, your opera's about to start."
For a moment the Opera Ghost felt some sympathy for the Goblin King. Sure Sarah and Jareth were doing, shall he say, better now, it's still wasn't what the Goblin King had hoped for at the end of his story. Just as Erik had felt when Christine had left him for Raoul.
"Sold! Your number Sir? Thank you..."
Erik's attention was diverted to the stage, as the prologue had begun.
"Little Lotte, let her mind wander..."
"You remember that too!"
So far the crowd was quite enthralled since seeing the chandelier remarkably-some even say magically-repair itself as it rose above the stage. Sarah smirked shaking her head, knowing all too well there was some goblin magic at work.
"She's quite good," Christine quietly said, remembering long ago when she sang like that with Raoul. She had to give respect from one soprano to another.
"Father playing the violin"
"As we read each other dark stories of the north."
"No, 'What I loved best,' Lotte Said, 'was when I'm asleep in my bed, and the Angel of Music sings songs in my head."
Mag was ecstatic when she was told she had the soprano lead. She wasn't expecting to be outright handed it, wanting to fairly throw her hat in for the role. And now here she was, being on a stage again felt so freeing.
And in Erik's story of all places.
"I shan't keep you up late. You must change, I must get my hat! Two minutes, Little Lotte..."*
The Vicomte exiting the scene, Mag was left alone on the stage. Or at least appearing to be alone.
"Things have changed Raoul," She said, hearing the orchestration take on a dangerous chord.
"Insolent boy! This slave of fashion, basking in your glory!" Erik sang, his voice booming throughout the auditorium. "Ignorant fool! This brave young suitor, sharing in my triumph!"
From her opera days, Mag was use to being placed in the acting role, but still had to keep her face from showing glee at the sound of his voice and feigning an expression of surprise.
"Angel, I hear you. Speak! I listen. Stay by my side, guide me. Angel, my soul was weak. Forgive me, enter at last master!"
"Flattering child, you shall know me. See why in shadow I hide..."
Christine couldn't help but feel reminiscent, hearing her former mentor reprise his role. She remembered feeling so mezmerized when he finally appeared before her.
"Look at your face in the mirror. I am there inside!" Erik's presence made known, as if appearing out of thin air within the mirror.
Behind stage, Jareth looked amused whilst watching from the side. Twirling his crystals thrice in his palm as they seemed to glisten with fog and the stage seeming to follow suit as a layer of mist cascaded from the now open mirror. Magic was certainly an impressive substitute to fog machines.
"Angel of music, guide and guardian! Grant to me your glory! Angel of music, hide no longer! Come to me strange angel!" Mag sang as she and Erik's eyes met.
"I am your angel of music. Come to me angel of music!" Erik called, as she reached out to him.
Coaxingly Erik gently grasped Mag's outstretched hand leading her through the passage.
Christine did have to admit, their voices were indeed well matched, listening to their duet. It was entrancing watching their performance. And she had to give the Goblin King some credit, whatever magic he was working was breathtaking. The rest of the audience was just as amazed, it looked as though Erik and Mag were truly drifting down a lake.
"And in this labyrinth, where night is blind" They sang together, candelabras rising from the lake mist as the gondola approached.
"The Phantom of the Opera is here, inside my mind."
"The Phantom of the Opera is there, inside your mind."
Stepping out of the boat, Erik helped Mag to her feet as they reached the shore of the lake.
"Sing my angel of music!" The Opera Ghost commanded, removing his cloak and fedora as the raven haired soprano held that last note. "Sing for me!"
"They sound great," James commented.
"Yeah, and Erik looks so happy" Sarah whispered back. "Hey Chris, does- Chris?"
Sarah turned to her blonde roommate, to see Christine's eyes glazed over, swaying to the music. Almost some would say hypnotically ensnared by the sweet sound.
"Nighttime sharpens, heightens each sensation." Erik sensually sang "Darkness wakes and stirs imagination. Silently the senses, abandon their defences. Helpless to resist the notes I write. For I compose the music of the night."*
"Christine?" Sarah asked as her friend seemed to stay entranced. Then she remembered her roommate mentioning something like this might happen here. It reminded the brunette of when she would see Christine sleepwalk toward Erik and Jareth's apartment. Even after Erik stopped intentionally luring the blonde to his room, sometimes he would forget when composing late into the evening hours.*
"Slowly, gently, night unfurls it's splendor. Grasp it, sense it, tremulous and tender. Hearing is believing, music is decieving. Hard as lightening, soft as candlelight. Dare you trust the music of the night!"
So entranced, Christine clouded thoughts could think of nothing else but to follow her Angel's call.
The brunette could see what could happen next and already came prepared. Taking a pair of earplugs out of her pocket, Sarah placed them in the blonde's ears before she could make a move to stand.
Christine paused, falling out of the trance, the music not echoing so strongly in her head. She felt the earplugs, gestering to them at Sarah, the latter nodding.
"Sorry," She mouthed, as Christine slumped further in her seat embarassed that she let it happen again. She'd thought it stopped.
Albeit muffled by the arplugs, the music still leaked through, but dampered enough for the blonde soprano to stay coherent.
"Floating, falling, sweet intoxication," Erik sang, feeling Mag's palm stroke the masked side of his face, "Touch me, trust me. Savour each sensation.
"Let the dream begin! Let your darker side give in! To the power of the music that I write. The power of the music of the night!" The sheet he grasped fell away, revealing a lifelike mannequin, Mag adorned in a luscious wedding gown.
Seeing it gave the Opera Ghost goosebumps unintentionally feeling the small box in his pocket.
Erik was there to catch her as Mag 'fainted', gently setting her in the gondola, laying his cloak over her like a blanket.
"You alone can make my song take flight," He sang, stroking her cheek, "Help me make the music of the night."
Erik tried not to react hearing the applause, walking away from her to his organ, blaring out haunting notes from his 'Don Juan Triumphant'.
Behind curtain, Jareth could see while peeking out Erik's little gesture when he revealed the mannequin.
"Now will he have the courage to ask her I wonder?" The Goblin King said allowed to himself, being the meddlesome trickster he was. Much of him said no, based on the Phantom's track record. And Jareth said he wanted to help...
"I remember there was mist, swirling mist upon a vast, glassy lake. There were candles all around and on the lake there was a boat. And in the boat there was a man." Mag sang, standing up out of the gondola and approaching Erik-the latter being the die hard composer he was jotting down notes for an aria he had been writing. For him, work never sleeps.
And this was a rather special piece he was working on.
"Who was that shape in the shadows? Whose is that face in the mask?"
Albeit his hand twitched nervously for what was to come next, suddenly feeling his porcelain masked removed. Instinctively he grasped the mauled side of his face.
"NOOO!" He screamed, as she scampered away at his outburst "Damn you! You little prying Pandora! You little demon!
"Is this what you wanted to see?!" Erik gestured to his face, chasing after her. "Curse you! You little lying Delilah! You little viper! Now you can not ever be free! Damn you! CURSE YOU!"
Sarah frowned listening to Erik's declaration of self loathing, all of this due to his face, something he couldn't control. Did he still feel ashamed? He must have as he was more willing to cover his face when the brunette had walked in on him*.
"Stranger than you dreamt it, can you even dare to look, or bare to think of me? This loathesome gargoyle who burns in Hell! But secretly yearns for Heaven! Secretly, secretly..." Erik sang pitifully, his palm over his face. Old habits sinking in as he anxiously wanted his mask. Trying not to pay mind to so many people. People watching him...
"Fear can turn to love, you'll learn to see...to find the man behind the monster. This repulsive carcass, who seems a beast. But secretly dreams of beauty. Secretly, Secretly. Oh Christine..."
"You will curse the day you did not do! All that the Phantom asked of you!" Erik's voice resounded, the Il Muto actors taking a bow, Mag now adorned as the countess.
"GOOOOOO!" He roared, then bursting into maniacal laughter as the prominent chandelier gave way, rushing toward the stage-some people in the audience so terrified screamed as it came tumbling down. Everyone on stage scrambled out of its path, breakaway glass and pyrotechnics of red practically exploding on stage.
The curtain fell and the applause was thunderous.
Walking down from the balcony set as the curtain closed, Erik joined the rest of the cast backstage.
"Fantastic job guys!" Christian said happily. "I was over the edge seeing the chandelier come down like that."
"Yes, just like magic one might say," Jareth smirked. This and some sneaky goblins he had unrigging the mass of light and glass as the pyro had begun to go off.
Erik felt himself turned around a warm kiss planted on his cheek.
"That was enchanting Erik," Mag smiled, having already removed the poofy countess wig, her raven hair flowing freely.
The Opera Ghost smiled, "You were the one that was enchanting, my dear."
Removing his fedora, Mag placed a hand on his unmarred face, giving him a gentle kiss. Parting Erik nervously cleared his throat, his thoughts going back to the full pocket beneath his cloak. His hand reaching timidly for it.
"I should like to. Well I mean I want to say..." Erik rambled, losing his cool demeanour. "Mag I-"
"I'm sure it can wait!" He heard as the stylists were already on them, "We need you both in costume and ready!"
"Don't mind her, Octavia just a little overexcited when it comes to dressing people up." Cinna remarked, leading Erik to the dressing room where the infamous Red Death costume awaited.
"Perfect! Stunning if I may say so!" Octavia gushed as Mag stood in the dressing room, adorned in the pink blue 'Star Princess' gown-with a few of the stylists personal modifications.
"It's lovely," The raven haired soprano complimented, looking at the reflection staring back at her. Her eyes trailed down to the flower she twirled in her hand. On the table had awaited a red rose, dethorned and an infamous black ribbon tied to the stem.
She set it down on the vanity dresser, and paused. She hadn't noticed it before. Under the rose was a note. The writing, albeit fairly neater than Eric's usual scrawl-though she thought nothing on that-read:*
I have a surprise for you when the curtain falls tonight.
She smiled, curious what her masked maestro had in store for her. All the while not noticing the smirking Goblin King hiding in the shadows.
"Bravo Monsieur! Such spirited words!" Erik cackled, hurling a ball of fire at Raoul.
"More tricks Monsieur?!" He called, holding Mag back protectively.
'Well magic I suppose,' The Phantom thought to himself. In his cloak Erik had concealed crystals, lapping flames encased in the orbs and-thanks to some of Gandalf's handywork-exploded upon contact with the stage. ("Completely harmless of course!" The wizard had reassured them humbly.)
"Let's see Monsieur how far you dare go!" He exclaimed, throwing another sphere fireball.
"More deception! More violence!"
"That's right Monsieur! Keep walking this way!"
"You can't win her love by making her your prisoner!
"I'm here Monsieur! The Angel of Death! Come on! Come on! Don't stop!" More flames in tow as the couple fled the stage graveyard. Eric sneered menacingly, "So be it! Now let it be war, UPON YOU BOTH!"
A final explosion of fire, the Opera Ghost exited as the scene transitioned.
He sighed, "I may have gotten a little carried away there."
"Fire's not exactly the way I do things, but for you that's different." Jareth remarked. "Saw your rather awkward encounter with Ms. Defoe. Do you really expect to get your point across with that attitude O.G?"
Erik scowled, "Not a word out of you Goblin King. I'm just...just looking for the right moment is all."
"Fine fine," The masked maestro sighed.
"And you're going to need it since she'll be expecting something now."
"What do you mean?"
With the flick of the wrist, a note appeared in Jareth's hand, giving it to Erik.
The latter scanned over it, eyes going wide with murderous intent in the blond's direction. "WHAT DID YOU DO?!" He exclaimed, punjab in hand-fortunately Jareth was smart enough to obey the whole 'hand at the level of your eyes.' "It wasn't your business to meddle!"
"You wanted an opportunity, well I gave you one." Removing the red lasso. "Just relax Erik! You love her right?"
Refixing the rope back around his waist, he nodded. "Of course."
"Then calm down, don't blow this chance." Jareth reassured his masked friend, handing him a paper cup of water.
"I'm sorry, I know you're just trying to help. I suppose I'm just...well."
"Worried of rejection," Jareth said rather than asked.
Erik sighed sadly, "It wouldn't be the first time it's happened to me." His temper calmed down he took a sip.
"Drink the rest, you look dreadful."
Gulping the rest, Erik waited eagerly for his next cue, not noticing the empty vial Jareth disposed of with the now empty cup. It took some work to defer Severus' protection ward over his potions cabinet, but the Goblin King was able to swipe a sample of the all too infamous 'Liquid Luck'.
'He'll need it,' The blond thought guiltless as prior to handing Erik the cup had dumped the potions clear contents into it.
Pulling the hood further over his head, Erik felt exhilarated, as if he could do anything. The Opera Ghost couldn't understand why he felt such nervous jitters before!
"Passarino, go away for the trap is set and waits for it's prey" He said with confidence.
"You have come here in pursuit of your deepest urge. In pursuit of that wish which till now has been silent. Silent. The Opera Ghost sang seductively. "I have brought you, that our passions may fuse and merge. In your mind you've already succumbed to me. Dropped all defenses, completely succumbed to me. Now you are here with me, no second thoughts. You've decided, decided.
"Past the point of no return, no backward glances. The games we've played 'till now are at an end! Past no thought of if or when. No use resisting. Abandon thought and let the dream descend..."
Watching from afar the potion effects were apparent, the Opera Ghost's demeanour fuelled with passion, whooshing over to Mag adorned as Aminta. As he sang, the passion felt infectious as the raven haired soprano joined him in this duet.
She swayed and waltzed across the stage out of his grasp only to be pursued. Capturing her within his arms Mag could feel Erik's wandering hands run up her bodiced waist.
"Past the point of no return, the final threshold. The bridge is crossed, so stand and watch it burn! We've passed the point of no return..." They sang together, as Mag revealed the Phantom in hiding beneath the hood.
"Say you'll share with me one love, one liftime. Lead me, save me from my solitude..." Erik sung softly. Removing the ring he wore, slipping on her ringfinger. How he wanted to give her the one in his pocket. But not here... "Say you want me with you here, beside you."
Mag felt a fluttering in her chest, reminiscent of that same song they sang when they met.* But it was this point here that gave her that well up of uneasiness. Erik was sensitive of his mask, remembering low long it was before he let her see his face. And so she hated what she had to do.
"Anywhere you go let me go too!" Erik sang, loud and dominating, Mag's hands in his. "Christine, that's all I ask of-"
And pulling her hands away she reached up removing the wig and mask.
"NOOOOOO!" Erik shrieked, his face bare for all to see. Granted most in the audience were oblivious that it was real. Christine glanced away guiltily, remembering that night when she did the same to him.
With a snarl, he gripped her wrist, dropping a pyro crystal as they disappeared in a plume of red fire and smoke.
"You try...my patience," Erik growled standing from the throne chair, glaring down at her, resisting the strange impulsive urge to swoop down and take her in his arms. Mag, adorned in a white wedding dress and veil, groveled at his feet, the lasso around the fop's neck. "Make your choice."
The dark haired soprano rose up, slowly approaching him, "Pitiful creature of darkness. What kind of life have you known? God gave me courage to show you, you are not alone!" And so making her choice with a kiss, her hands grasping Erik's suit lapel pulling him closer.
All he wanted to do was melt at her touch, but he had to appear the part of startled, and was motionless and wide eyed at Mag's advance. But when she brought him in for another kiss, he couldn't stop himself from timidly-or rather this was Erik holding himself back-bringing his arms around her.
Releasing the noosed Vicomte Erik turned away from them, "Take her, forget me, forget all of this." Monotone he instructed, the mob drawing near. "Leave me alone! Forget all you've seen! Go now, don't them find you. Take the boat, swear to me never to tell the secret you know...of this angel of hell!"
That part of him that remembered so much of this cringe, all of the raw emotion spilling out. The hurt in his voice even striking hard with the crew behind stage.
"GO!" Erik shouted pitifully, dropping to his knees. "GO NOW AND LEAVE ME!"
Mag slowly back on stage, her hand fumbling with the ring she held.
"Masquerade..." Erik mumbled, "Paper faces on parade. Masquerade, hide your face so the world...can never find you."
Glancing up, she slumped down to where he was knelt over.
"Christine, I love you" He sang, his voice crackly. Mag kissed the ring, returning it to his hand, and leaning over to kiss Erik's marred face. She stood silently and retreated.
And as the vengeful mob reached the shores of the underground lake, Raoul and I fled the Opera de Paris. Leaving the Phantom behind us... * Sarah remembered Christine telling her when they met. And to see her and Erik's story come alive it was just so sad.
De Chagny and Daee escaping, proclaiming their love, Erik stood.
"You alone can make my song take flight!" He sang alone and defeated. "It's over now, the music of the night!"
Seated on his throne, Erik took the black cloak draped over the chair, concealing himself as while under the sheet he tumbled down the false bottom.
The audience applauded, the clapping emanating throughout the auditorium.
Emerging from the trapdoor behind stage Erik received an ovation.
"That sounded so sad and beautiful Erik!" Eponine said agape, returning from the stage, removing the wig she was wearing as Meg. Even though he had shown his bare face to an entire audience, Erik still felt the impulsive the bring his hand over the mangled side. Understanding, Eponine handed him the porcelain mask she retrieved in the final scene, "Yours."
Feeling self conscious and uncomfortable still without it, Erik accepted the mask turning away so as to readjust it to his face. Stepping aside to fetch and reapply the wig, the Opera Ghost sighed, taking a seat.
He then felt arms encircle over his shoulders,
"Were it me, I wouldn't have left," Mag said.
He smiled, "I suppose now everyone is going to the cast party."
"Yes, but I don't feel up to it myself" She said.
Shaking his head, "Neither do I, what would you say to leaving early?"
"I say lead on good sir," Mag smiled.
Saying goodnight to the others, Erik and Mag departed. Still adorned in his black cloak and fedora, he boldly draped an arm around her shoulder during the moonless walk back.
"You were superb out there," The masked maestro said, as they entered Mag's apartment.
"It felt wonderful to be on stage again," She beamed, "And even more so with your music."
"But your voice is what brought it to life, mademoiselle." He complimented.
"Play for me?" Mag asked stroking her palm against his unscathed cheek.
Taking her hand in his own, Erik walked them to the baby grand in the sitting room. Both seated on the bench, his fingers glided across the keys.
"There is actually a piece in particular I had in mind." Erik smirked, removing pieces of parchment from in his cloak. Propping it up on the stand, Mag could see the handwritten sheet music. And lyrics accompanying it, written in Erik's red-albeit messier-hand writing.*
"If I ever fall in love again,
It would be with someone just like you.
I said I would never fall in love again
But on that night you came my way, I knew.
If I ever fell in love again,
This is just the way it was meant to be,
And if this is really love again,
I'll not leave it to chance, I'd rather see it through with you."
Mag was taken aback. It was a beautiful piece, the lyrics, the notes, all were breathtaking. And Erik's voice made the music all the more breathtaking and soothing.
"But now I know
When my head was saying no,
But my heart's telling me that it's real
I feel no wrong,
If I burst into song,
At the wonder of feeling the way that I suddenly feel"
'Oh Erik,' She thought it was so clear as the music drifting through the air in her ears. He had written this for her.
"If I ever fell in love again,
I would know exactly what to do.
And now I've fallen in love again.
And I know it must be only with you"
Erik poured his soul into the music, his fingers dancing across the piano keys
"The way that I suddenly feel!"
The adrenaline and passion fuelling the surge flowing through the masked maestro as he sang.
"Having now fallen in love again,
I now know exactly what to do.
Admitting I'm in love again.
I cannot see a future without you"
His song complete, Erik's hands rested at his side, looking to Mag for her approval.
"Erik, that was beautiful. I must say the composer is truly gifted with his craft."
Erik felt modest receiving such praise.
"Yes, and he has wonderful inspiration. That of someone who's soul is just as beautiful as her voice."
He had to do it, had to say to her what he had been wanting to all night.
"You said that were it you that night that you wouldn't have left me."
His hand fumbled in his pocket, finding the box he dropped down off the bench to kneel before her on one knee.
"Would you have married me?" Erik asked, opening the box, revealing a gold banded ring, jewelled with a deep red ruby wrapped along a contrasting deep blue sapphire. The Shah of Persia gifted him with many shimmering gifts as appreciation for his malicious 'talents'. Having many precious pieces to choose from Erik selected the most vibrant, crafting the ring himself for nights when he wasn't composing, having the two jewels fused to the ring, finally only needing it to be properly sized.
"I don't see you as I do Christine, I see you as far more than that. You don't make me feel so alone in the night, and have made my music and my wretched soul come alive. So I ask you mademoiselle Magdalene Defoe, will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?"
Mag's hands pressed over where her heart was, as it thumped like loud beating drums seeing him go to one knee. Men had asked for her hand in the past. But out of want for money or fame at wedding Geneco's top soprano. But never was it out of love, like she could see in Erik's mismatched eyes.
Her legs giving way she crouched at his level and bringing her hands to either side of his face, Mag nodded.
"Yes Erik! I will, I will marry you!" She happily said shakily, gracing his lips with a passionate kiss.
The expression upon Erik's face when she pulled back was absolute joy. His hands trembling-attempting to steady his excitement-he slid the ring onto Mag's onto her finger, a perfect fit.
God could strike him down here and now and he would die a happy man.
Sometime later, returning to the apartment, Erik closed the door, leaning against it as it clicked closed.
"She said yes. Ce n'est pas quelque chose de fantastique.../This isn't some igment fantasy"* He said aloud to no one in particular, Erik felt as though he were going to weep from the warm joy he felt.
"I told you!" He heard next, followed by a cloud of glitter. "And it only took some forgery and a potion to get you to say it."
"Jareth blabbed to us," James confessed, "But that's great news!"
"Yes, must congratulate the both of you," Javert nodded stoically.
The three then finally took in Erik's blank expression as he turned the main light on. Due to the Goblin King's sparkly poofing in, the Opera Ghost was coated head to toe in glitter.
"Jareth," Erik said stiffly,
"Merde" Javert groaned as James grimaced, both men knowing full well what was to come now.
"Now hold on!" The Goblin King said, defensively holding his open palms in front of himself, "I can't always help appearing and going where I please, besides it'll wash out-"
But he stopped feeling Erik grasp his forearm in a friendly gesture.
"Thank you." The Opera Ghost said, just as quickly releasing Jareth and stalking back towards his room.
The three men exchanged looks with each other.
"I gave him ten minutes before he snaps out of his love daze and strangles you when he sees all of that glitter." Javert remarked.
"I say fifteen," James chipped in.
Suddenly the door to Erik's room flew open, the Phantom staring murderous daggers holding up the aforementioned glittery cloak and hat.
"JARETH!" The masked man roared with rage.
"Or five seconds," Jareth cringed.
*See "Roommates" pages 320 to 328
*This a slightly alternate version of "Music of the Night" that I suspect may have been a demo version as Michael Crawford is the only Phantom rendition I can find a video of singing this (to which I say look this version up, it's just as beautiful as the original!)
*See "Girls Next Door" page 137
*If you read Leroux's book, it's noted that Erik doesn't have particularly neat penmanship-hence Jareth's neatly written forged note standing out-and that he also writes in red ink.
*Reference to another ErikxMag story I wrote "Duet"
*See "Girls Next Door" page 2
*Again Erik's bad handwriting is bad lol
*I confess I use Google translate, so if any French I use isn't accurate, I apologize.
*The song Erik sings/plays for Mag is "If I Ever Fall in Love Again" By Sarah Brightman (No irony was intended! Didn't realize it was SB until after I had started writing it in XD though I altered the lyrics from the original song in a few verses)
And so many character references! Let's see if you can recognise them all!