|Leroux Was Wrong
Author: PHLover213 PM
What if everything you knew about Leroux's great work was dead wrong? What if Erik and Raoul were not competitors for Christine? What if neither of them ever had a chance in the first place? Leroux-based retelling with a twist.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Romance - Christine & Persian/Daroga - Chapters: 5 - Words: 6,010 - Reviews: 31 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 10 - Updated: 10-22-11 - Published: 08-09-10 - id: 6223929
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Before we start, don't murder us.
Erik pulled himself together and prepared to leave my flat. I watched unsympathetically from the window as Darius helped him into his waiting carriage. Frankly, I didn't believe his "I'm dying" story any more than I believed anything else Erik has ever said to me. A little something I've learned about Erik over the years. If his lips are moving, he's lying. Come to think of it, sometimes he's lying even when his lips aren't moving. Damned ventriloquists! But my point is that the whole Erik-dying-of-love routine in my flat that night was just one last pathetic attempt to steal Christine. Let me explain.
I remember very clearly the first time I met Christine. Back then I was like any other patron of the Opera – I went to a few performances, and it was at a gala for one governmental occasion or another, though that particular fact escapes me. She was standing with some other chorus girls, though I noticed she stood apart from them and wasn't joining their conversation. I was having a particularly good evening – this was probably helped by my two glasses of champagne – and thought I would ask her to dance. After all, getting turned down was the worst that could happen.
"Good evening, mademoiselle," I said with a smile.
She glanced up at me and bowed her head, acknowledgement that she'd heard me.
"May I ask for this dance?"
I was surprised by her seemingly eager acquiescence, but I offered her my hand and took her to the centre of the room. I've never been particularly good at dancing, but I tried my best. I was fortunate enough not to fall flat on my face on that occasion.
"What is your name, mademoiselle?" I asked timidly.
"Christine Daaé, monsieur." I remembered having seen her name in the program once – she understudied for Siebel in Faust, though her voice wasn't yet memorable; she hadn't met Erik yet.
"It's an honour, Mlle Daaé." I grinned widely. She was very pretty, to be sure. She had long blonde cascades of wavy hair and her eyes were clear and blue.
"What is your name, monsieur? If it is not imprudent of me to ask . . ."
"Not at all, mademoiselle. My name is Saleel al-Hakeem."
"What a peculiar name!" she blurted out, before looking regretful. "I . . . I mean . . ."
I laughed. "I was born in Persia."
"That's interesting . . ." Christine replied, a vague smile on her pretty lips.
As timid as she was, Christine was intelligent. Surprising as it may seem, given her chosen career and the way she was presented in a certain Gaston Leroux's book (which, you will learn, was rife with inaccuracies, however it was good for a laugh), she was interesting to talk to. She could hold a conversation better than a certain Vicomte, that's certain.
Over the next weeks, I frequented the opera more than before. I did have rather an unashamed desire to see Christine again. And I noticed her more – not her voice, rather the way she looked, and her manner.
I visited her on two occasions after the show. Her dressing room was as far removed from all the others as it was possible to be. I knocked timidly, hoping that I wouldn't be turned away harshly.
A young maid of perhaps fifteen years came to the door. "Yes, monsieur?"
"I'm here for Miss Daaé."
I smiled as she came to the door, her hair still half-done. "Hello, mademoiselle."
"And what brings you here this evening?" she asked, smiling mischievously.
"I am merely an ardent admirer of a great singer."
"You flatter me." she said quietly. "And . . . I haven't any ambition to be famous, really."
I noticed her hesitation, but I couldn't help saying: "Then I shall not have to share you with anyone."
She looked truly perplexed. I glanced over her shoulder at the nearby maid. "Saleel, what are you talking about?"
I sucked in a breath. It was not, then, in my nature to be impulsive like that. "Christine, I want to court you."
What the Hell was I saying?
Christine stared at me for a good minute. I found myself waiting anxiously for a "yes", though why in God's name I had asked such a ridiculous question was confusing even to me. I was older than her, and she was pretty and young . . .
"Erm . . . yes?"
Yes is a wonderful word, don't you find? Yes to the right questions is perhaps the most beautiful word in any language. And I couldn't help but glance at her lovely lips as they formed that word.
I felt a smile forming as I took her hand gently in mine. She was the embodiment of femininity. I cannot exactly remember now which opera it was, but she was dressed prettily and now I unashamedly admired her.
You see? I was suitor number one.
From that day onwards I saw Miss Christine Daaé almost every day and increasingly I admired – loved – her. She loved to tell me about her father and the stories he told her when she was younger. Every fable and legend she remembered and relayed to me with all the same passion and vibrancy as I imagined her father had. One began, "There was a clergyman's wife, and she was the best midwife in all Sweden! Once she was called to attend a Troll . . ." and another "On the estate of Norrhult, in the parish of Rumskulla, the people of old were troubled constantly by terrible ghosts . . ." Yes, she had quite a fondness for the tales of ghosts . . . and at that point neither of us knew that we were about to be plunged into one ourselves!
Of course, at that point I was unaware of Erik's presence in the opera house, though I did know him. I had indeed been banished from Persia, but for a much more ridiculous reason than the one Leroux gave – in essence, Erik and I were drunk one evening, and the trap-door lover had the nerve to say, "I would sooner die than continue to serve the sultana!" You see, he served her in a vastly different way, again, than the way my papers said. He was basically a court jester, though one set in high regard, and he used his skills with illusions and ventriloquism to endear himself. Though, we were banished at the same time.
We went our separate ways, though, to misquote that famous saying, all roads seem to lead to Paris.
Before you Punjab us to death, it's all a comedy . . . please don't kill us. We're joking.
Yeah, and this is a collaboration between myself and BleedingHeartConservative. She's AMAZING. No, seriously, she is.
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