A/N: Hi, everyone! I'm sorry to say that I'm suffering hideous writer's block for "Phishy Circumstances," so i decided to write another little phic. it's kind of rushed, but i hope you'll like it...also, thank you for all the kind reviews! It's really encouraging! So without further ado....

Just Three Words

Erik sat reading one afternoon in his lair when he heard a soft knock on the door. Thinking it might be Christine, the phantom happily abandoned his reading exploits to admit her.

"Come in, darling," he said, as he opened the door, and blushed immediately: it wasn't Christine; was Nadir.

"I didn't think you cared for me so much, Erik, I'm touched," said the Persian dryly as he adjusted his astrakhan hat.

"Oh ha-ha, Daroga," said Erik with a nervous laugh. "Please come in."

"Thanks. Would you mind holding this?" Nadir handed Erik a stack of multi-colored paper.

"What's this?" Erik leafed through a few as he took Nadir's coat.

"Your daily dose of fan mail. I took the liberty of relieving Madame Giry of it."
"Ah, excellent!" Erik rubbed his hands together. Nothing was better for ego massage than a thousand rabid, hormone-raging teenagers all of whom claimed to love you the most at once.

"Need some help?" Nadir sat down and began to sift through the piles of frilly cards, the pink and the hideous neon. The sight of a puce colored one suddenly assaulted him. "Augh!" he cried, "You'd think some of them would be color coordinated."
Erik took the letter from him and read it aloud: "'When I grow up, I will change genders, stop eating, compose brilliant music, haunt a local opera house, and abduct a soprano, all for you. I love you, Erik. Signed, Mary.' Isn't that sweet?"

"Sure," muttered Nadir.

"Oh, dear Daroga is jealous," said Erik slyly. He leafed through the pile and pulled something out. "Look," he said, "Here's one addressed to Nadir."

Nadir looked up in disbelief. "Really?"

"Really. It says, ' Nadir, I can hardly wait for the day I will save up to come to France to meet you. I believe that you are my soul mate. We should marry and have seventeen children together, because seventeen is my lucky number."
"Lucky me," said Nadir.

Erik burst out laughing. "I'll bet," he said with a snort, "it's signed 'love, Bart!'".

Nadir gloomily helped himself to a chocolate meringue from a plate of them beside him. "Just wonderful, isn't it?"
"There now, Nadir, don't be distraught," said Erik encouragingly, "I'm sure you'll find a nice, informative and useful letter soon."

Nadir sighed. "Do phans exist that actually give sane advice?"
Erik didn't get a chance to answer because at that precise moment there was a sharp rap on the door. "Maybe it's Christine," thought Erik automatically. He strode, cavalier like to the door, ready to sweep his love off her feet—

"Hello, Erik!" a jovial young voice cried out. Most definitely not Christine.

"What do you want, fop?" Erik demanded coldly. He stood nose-to-nose with the handsome Raoul de Chagny.

"I was just, er, walking by, so I thought I'd say hello—"
"You've said it. Now get out of here before I change what happened in the musical finale."

"Raoul?" a light, breathy voice came from within the darkness. Christine!
Erik immediately became all kindness.

"Darling!" he said, "You've come, too!"
"Yes, Erik" she said, "Raoul and I have received our daily phan mail, so we thought it might be enjoyable to sort through it with you."
"Come in, come in!" Erik made a motion to shut Raoul out, but ceased after a venomous look from Christine.

"Look, Nadir," he said, "We've got company."
"Hello, Miss Christine, Viscount," Nadir bowed to both of them.

"Hello Nadir," they said.

"Let's sit in a circle and put all the mail in the middle," suggested Erik. They did so, and when they were finished they had a stack roughly the height of Erik, if he stood on Raoul's shoulders.

"These are quite nice," said Christine reading some of hers, "Although most of them seem very angry with me."
"How is that, my dear?" asked Erik.

"Well, they mostly tell me to—"she blushed delicately "—stay with you."
Raoul scowled as Erik and Nadir immediately began whistling nonchalantly. Then, to break the tension, Erik opened one of his. He read it, and began smiling slowly.

"Look at that," he said, "This is interesting. A girl by the name of "bundlesojoy" took a survey to see what phans would say to us if we met them, using only three words."

"Is bundlesojoy a real name?" asked Christine curiously. Erik shrugged, and pulled out little slips of paper. "These have our names on them. Here's yours, Christine—"he gave her one, "and fop, this one's for you." Raoul made a face. Erik distributed the rest although some remained. "There's one for Carlotta and Philippe," he explained.

"Now, let's go around in a circle to see what each one says."
"I'll start," volunteered Christine, as she opened her slip of paper. She read it and frowned.

"What does it say?" asked Raoul.

"Stop being dramatic," said Christine, and Raoul chuckled. "Now you, Erik."
"All right," said Erik and opened his. He smirked.

"What's it say?"
"I love you," said Erik, "Also interchangeable with "Angel of Music," or even, "Hey there, sexy!""

Raoul raised his eyebrows.

"Well, if YOU got that, let me see what I got!" he happily tore open his slip. Then he frowned.

"I hate phans," he declared.

"I see," said Erik innocently, "what did yours say?"
Grudgingly, Raoul showed him, and Erik started laughing.

"What is it?" asked Christine.

""Stop Hogging Christine," said Erik with a grin, "And also, 'Get a brain." I think I really adore my phans."

Christine rolled her eyes.

"Well," said Nadir quickly, "Since she's not here, what does Carlotta's say?"
Erik opened it and started giggling. "Get English lessons!" there was a collective appreciative chuckle at this one (Philippe's said, "stop playing dead."). Finally, Erik raised his hand for silence.

"Everyone, stop," he said. "What does yours say, Nadir?"
Nadir opened his. He read it, and then looked around the room he was sitting in. He saw a man wearing a mask, a young soprano, and a foppish young vicomte. The masked man was absentmindedly fingering a deadly lasso, and the soprano and vicomte were staring avidly forward as though hypnotized. After a moment, the vicomte put his slip of paper in his mouth and attempted to chew it up. Then Erik brought him out of his reverie.

"Well go on, Daroga! We haven't got all day!"
"I think I just got sound advice from an actual phan," said Nadir with a little sigh. "Mine says, "Pick saner friends.""

THE END