Disclaimer: I do not own the characters from "The Phantom of the Opera". They belong to Gaston Leroux / Andrew Lloyd Webber. The title of the story as well as the chapter titles come from Disney songs, and of course I don´t own Disney. However, this does not mean that the story will be happy fairytale phluff. You´ll see the irony behind it soon.
1) Some day my prince will come
The moment had come, and both of them knew it. Christine stood in front of the large mirror, her heart racing. Any second he would come to her, and they would be together at last. Countless times she had asked him to meet her, and he had always refused to fulfil her wish. But today, after her successful performance in "Hannibal", her teacher seemed to feel the need to congratulate her face to face.
Amazed she looked at the figure which she could see now. Her teacher, her friend, her … angel? No, Christine was certain that he wasn´t the Angel of Music. An angel couldn´t make her feel like that. Never since her childhood had she been that happy. Just hearing his voice caused her legs to tremble. It was a caress much softer than anything she had actually experienced. Often while he was speaking she imagined his lips to meet hers in a kiss both gentle and passionate. It hadn´t taken Christine long to analyze these feelings as signs of love, but she hadn´t wanted to tell him too soon. She had waited for a special moment, a moment like this.
On the other side of the mirror Erik put as much emotion into his voice as he could. He had waited for such a long time, but now his patience was over. Christine had sung wonderfully tonight, just like an angel. This had been the final evidence he had needed that she was indeed the one. Ever since he had first seen her he had found consolation in the hope that she could become the one person to show him affection.
Through the warm sound of her voice and the way she kept watching the mirror during their lessons, even though she didn´t see him behind it, he could sense that his hope might me justified. Erik knew she saw him now and was relieved that she hadn´t run from the room screaming as she had done more than once in his nightmares. The corners of his mouth twitched slightly. An average person wouldn´t have called it a smile, but for Erik it was.
There was only one thing to do now. With trembling fingers he reached for the switch that opened the mirror. His hand hovering inches over it he hesitated as suddenly questions shot through his mind. What if this was much too early? What if he scared her? What if he declared her his love, and she trampled on his willingly displayed emotions because she couldn´t cope with who he was, what he was? Sighing he pulled his hand back. "Christine … I can´t …", he said, his voice barely more than a whisper.
But still the girl had heard him. "What do you mean – you can´t?", she called. "I´m waiting for you. Please, Erik!" The use of his first name, which he had only told her a few days previously, underlined her plea. She couldn´t understand why he was doing this to her, why he let her stand here like a fool, begging him to come to her. Did he think it was funny to keep her in suspense like that? A wave of disappointment flooded her body. And she had hoped that he loved her!
"Christine? Can I come in?" It were the right words, but they were spoken by the wrong man. Also they came from the wrong direction. "Of course, Raoul!", she called, automatically running a hand over her hair. It was strange that Raoul caused in her the wish to improve her appearance whereas she didn´t feel the need to do so for Erik. After all, Raoul hadn´t been on her mind for as long as a second since he had left her dressing room to fetch his hat. But maybe now was the right time to think about him.
Raoul entered the room and looked at Christine, who was still staring transfixed at the mirror. With a few long steps he reached her, stretched out one arm and touched her shoulder softly. "Are you all right? We don´t have to go out tonight if you´re … tired or … something like that.", he told her, feeling very awkward. He wanted to celebrate their unexpected meeting, but if she didn´t feel like it, he wouldn´t force her. They could as well see each other on another day, he didn´t mind, as long as they did see each other again. Until this moment he hadn´t realised how much he had missed his former friend.
Christine was surprised to notice that she liked the feeling of his hand. It was nice and warm and somewhat comforting. At least he was there. After casting a last long glance at the mirror she straightened up and turned around to Raoul. "No, I´m fine. We can leave now.", she said, standing up and taking his hand into hers. He smiled brightly, and together they walked out of the room. "Things have changed, Erik.", Christine muttered under her breath.
Erik watched the dreadful scene before his eyes, unable to intervene. Silently he cursed himself for having forgotten to lock the door. At least he had had enough presence of mind to take a step backwards as the boy had come in, so that he hadn´t seen Erik. Everything was his own fault. If only he hadn´t been such a coward! When Christine turned away from him something seemed to break inside him. "Christine … please … don´t …", he whispered. But this time she didn´t hear him.