This is a one-shot based on Christine's 'unmasking' encounter with Erik. Note: the mask is straight out of the musical. (white vertical half-mask)

Erik: walks out on stage and clears throat Erik would like to shed some light on Erik's violent dislike of being unmasked. Therefore, Erik will reiterate, in narrative form, the tragic scene of Erik's abasement before the beautiful Christine Daae.

Author: pats Erik on the back He always talks in third person when he's upset. Oh right, I don't own Erik. pulls a remote control out of pocket I'm just heartlessly using him to gratify my own selfish ends. starts pushing buttons. Erik begins to cry

Ok that was the disclaimer. On with the story.

The smooth ivory keys were cool to his touch. Erik ran his hands over the full size pipe organ with no small measure of pride. He could create beautiful music, and maybe, just maybe that fact would outweigh the dreadful secret that he hid behind his mask. And maybe he could make Christine fall in love with him. Heaven knew how much he loved her. It seemed impossible that she couldn't sense it, couldn't feel that her 'Angel of Music' wanted so much more of her than just her voice. But she was so young and innocent. Perhaps he was happier this way. Erik wasn't even sure how to broach the subject. It wasn't easy for him to tell someone that he loved them; no one had ever done the same for him.

For a brief moment, he thought that he heard the silken rustling of Christine's dress, and he turned his head to the side, too wrapped in his music to care if she was there or not. She was there, standing at his side. It made him annoyed. Couldn't she understand that the beauty of this music was not to be interrupted by any mortal? The song was inside Erik's head, grabbing him, making his fingers dance over the keys and play the unending melody. He couldn't help himself, the music commanded and he answered like a piteous supplicant, begging the muse for inspiration.

And then cool fresh air flooded the hidden side of his face.

And Christine screamed.

Before he knew what had happened, he curled instinctively into a ball, hiding his horrible face with his hands. What had she done! What had she seen! But her scream told him enough.

She knew.

His fearful temper wanted to fly into a rage, but the way she gasped for breath and her anguished expression of heartfelt pity stopped him. He sank to the floor and did his best not to cry.

"I'm so sorry Erik. I had no idea." Christine said quietly, penitently, holding his mask out to him once again.

Erik looked at it with spite. Now that she had ripped it away she had the gall to demand that he put it back on. Oh she was young and heartless! "You see now why I wear the mask."

Christine swallowed and nodded her head silently; two large tears made their way down her cheeks.

Erik took the mask and held it in his hands. He let his ugly frightening monstrous face look on Christine and he scowled terribly. "Now you have seen my face. And now you will be mine for eternity."

Christine recoiled and held her hand to her mouth, almost as if to blot out some stench of decay. "How was I to know that half of your face looks just like Raoul?"

Erik pulled the mask back on bitterly. "It is my curse." And truthfully, Erik could think of nothing, nothing worse than to have the image of a fop stamped indelibly on every mirror he looked into. And there was no fop in the world quite so loathsome as Raoul de Chagney.

"Are you like, related or something?" Christine asked.

"Just shut up." Erik grumbled.