Rescuing Raoul Chapter One: The Meeting

It was a busy day at the headquarters of the Society of R.A.O.U.L, lodged in a secret location somewhere in…wait, that would be telling, wouldn't it?

Mlle. Meg, the founder (not to be confused with Meg Giry, the dancer) was up on her soapbox as usual. The other Rabid Admirers Of Underrated Lovers were gathered around, helping to make "People for the Ethical Treatment of Raoul" banners.

"We must destroy the evil fop stereotype!" she shouted, waving one fist in the air. "It is the bane of fan fiction, and a really obnoxious cliché! Does Raoul deserve to be abused this way? NO! Hey! I can't hear you!"

"NO!" the others shouted.

Meg spread her arms wide, and spun around in a wide circle.

"It is time for us all to decide who we are!

Will we fight for the right to love the viscount of the opera now?"

"Oh, brother," Estella Havisham muttered to Alexis, putting the last of the banners in their pile. "Not again! She thinks she's Enjolras!"

"At least this time she left the tri-colored sash and medallion vest at home," Lexie offered.

"Do you hear the Raoul fans sing?

Singing the songs of angry Phans!

It is the music of the Raoul fans, who will not endorse clichés!"

"Um, Meg?" Rusty ventured. "I hate to interrupt the revolution, but we should get back to business."

"Oh, yeah," Meg replied, stepping off her soapbox. "We need to raise money for a wagon. That song just isn't as effective when you're standing on a flimsy crate, you know?"

"Well…there's that. But we also have to plan our annual siege on Frederick Forsyth's house. Last year the one-ply toilet paper replacement in his house was pretty effective."

"Yeah, that'll teach him to emasculate Raoul," agreed Cheryl. "This year I think we should do the same to him."

"I was thinking more along the lines of throwing copies of Gaston Leroux through his window," Meg responded. "We can attach notes that say, Respect this!"

Without warning, music from an unseen Motown band began to play, as Meg mounted her soapbox again.

"Our vicomte is sweeter than honey.

Even better, he's got money.

So what's up,

With the constant abuse, my friends?

Give him some re, re, re, re, spect, just a little bit!"

"Meg? That's a great song and all," Katey, one of the newest members, said as she stood up to turn off the invisible boombox. "But I don't know if impromptu musical numbers are really the way to go. People are going to think you're crazy."

"Think?" Kim asked.

Meg stopped singing and dancing abruptly. "What we need is to get our message out to the common Phan."

"But the common Phan hates Raoul," Estella put in. "And no wonder, with all the anti-Raoul propaganda."

"Yeah. That graphic novel, for example," Meg said darkly. "Rusty, make a note of that. We need to find out who those people are and switch their toilet paper, too."

Rusty scribbled something on a Post-It, and stuck it to the Post-It encrusted bulletin board.

"Oh, right. And maybe we should have bake sale, so we can afford some tack pins," Julie suggested, looking warily at the unsteady layers of paper attached to the bulletin board.

"Tack pins are for wimps. What we need is—"

Suddenly, the alarm went off over their heads. Said alarm consisting of a midi version of "All I Ask of You".

"Raoul's in danger!" cried Sharon, another new member. "Let's go, ladies!"

Meg burst into song once more.

"Into terror

Into danger

Into lairs, with no place to hide!

You'll find Rabid Admirers ready to fight!"

"Um, Meg? Raoul's in danger, can you wrap this up?" A.J. asked.

"Okay," Meg agreed. "But only if you guys sing, too."

"Oh, all right."

The voices of all the Raoul fans rang out in the meeting room,

"Into terror

Into danger,

Into lairs, with no place to hide!

You'll find Rabid Admirers ready to fight!

Never hold back your views for a moment!

Raoul's a wonderful part of the show!

Raise your flag higher and higher,

And into the sky, here we go!

Into Erik's lair…

Onward ho!"

With that, the Rabid Admirers raced out the door, to their latest mission.

(A/N: Songs parodied in this story are, in order: "Do You Hear the People Sing?" from Les Miserables, "RESPECT" by Aretha Franklin, and "Into the Fire" from The Scarlet Pimpernel. Apologies for the spoilers of 'Phantom of Manhattan', but I may just have saved you six bucks. Thanks to the women of the Society of R.A.O.U.L. for inspiring me to write this, and lending their names to my latest madness.)