Update: Boy, you can never win, can you? Grins Do to mass confusion as to whom was speaking; I have added details to help keep things clear. I'm really sorry about that. I'm currently fixing the next chapter as well so it may take a bit longer to update…
Author's Note: First of all, my sincere apologies go out to anyone who is waiting
for an update on my other stories. Now that this monster is almost
finished, I should be able to get updates posted soon!
Secondly, this story is for Vincent (that's two for you man, now stop requesting these things so I can work on MY stuff!). What can I say; I'm a sucker for requests?
And lastly, a few notes about the story itself. The whole idea is that Mandy (The phan from You Called? – although you don't have to have read that story to understand this one, but feel free to do so) is forcing poor Erik to watch the new movie and basically there isn't a whole lot of action going on. It's kind of like Mystery Science Theater where they talk through most of the movie but hopefully you can still follow along with them. Anyway, this is getting long enough, on with the story!
Disclaimer: I own Mandy and… that's about it.
"Look Erik," Mandy announced as she ripped the plastic packaging off the DVD box. "I agreed not to drag you off to the theater to see the film on the condition that you watch it with me when it came out on video. I now own the movie and you now are going to watch it."
"But why do we have to watch it now?" He complained even as he sat down on the sofa.
"Because there are poor, starving children in Africa who will never get a chance to see this movie and you should be ashamed of yourself if you don't watch it. Think of how grateful they'd be for an opportunity like this, and you're whining about it like an ungrateful, spoiled and selfish brat." Was the reply as the disk inside came free and went into the machine.
"You are evil."
"Yep, have some popcorn." Handing him the bowl, Mandy fidgeted until the FBI warning on screen went away and was replaced with the menu.
"Shouldn't we save it for those starving children you seem so fond of?" He asked, looking down at the bowl sitting in his lap.
"By the time it gets there it will be stale now be quiet and watch the movie." Grabbing a handful she pointedly ignored him as he raised his mask to munch a few kernels.
"A candle? The great opening number of my movie has been replaced by a candle?" He asked over his mouthful.
"Hold on, it just getting started. Your drug-induced overture is coming up."
"Good, it would have been very bad if someone had decided to cut it from the movie…"
"Ah yes, its so comforting to know that despite the sudden fame and fortune that has been thrust upon you, you are still the insane psychopathic murderer we all know and love."
"I do my very best to keep my loyal fans happy." He replied, looking very smug.
"And I'm sure they all appreciate all the effort you put into it." Mandy replied rolling her eyes, and grabbing more popcorn.
"Why is it in black and white? Did the super expensive chandeliers use up all the budget?"
"It's like the Wizard of Oz, it will colorize eventually." He gave her a weird look and she made a mental note to bring home the munchkin movie one of these days.
"Who is that decrepit cripple supposed to be?" He asked, returning his attention to the movie and the popcorn.
"That's the Fop! That's the pretty boy bachelor, beloved of the city!"
"Umm, yeah." Silently she pondered when he became the beloved of anyone else besides Christine much less an entire city.
"Christine has got to see this! She'll change her mind faster than you can say Phantom!" He announced, full of glee.
"Right and that's Madam Giry."
"He's that old and she's still alive? How is that even possible?"
"It's a movie." The sad truth indeed.
"So how old am I?" he asked suspiciously.
"A question that has plagued endless fans across the years." She hedged, reaching for more popcorn.
"Ah yes, Hannibal, that brings back memories…Not sure why anyone would spend that much for such a junky old poster though."
"It is kind of pretty…" At his sneer she faltered.
"An artistic rendition of Carlotta could never be considered pretty." He snarled dramatically.
"You do have a point." She conceded, determined to not fight during the movie it had taken so much effort and bribery to get him to watch.
"Fifteen francs for three human skulls! Good lord, I've been sitting on a gold mine all this time and I didn't even know it!"
"That's so wrong!" she shouted, nearly choking.
"I didn't kill them, they're victims of the commune! We'll at least they were, though according to the date at the beginning that hasn't happened yet so I have no idea how they got there." He looked thoughtful for a moment, apparently pondering how they did get there.
"Still gross!" She muttered, grabbing for her drink.
"This from Mandy, the girl who thought that the Robert Englund version was cool." He too reached for the glass beside him.
"Hey! It has some great moments of cinematic brilliance such as the beautiful graveyard scene and besides, having an intense Phantom was a nice change." Passing him a straw she sipped at her own drink.
"Having the Fop die was a nice change…" he smiled happily and Mandy grinned back.
"Be quiet, they're auctioning off your monkey toy."
"That just sounded wrong." He frowned, arching his eyebrow at the innuendo.
"That's because you have a warped mind."
"Agreed. Who would have thought, a bidding war over my music box! How dare that miserable little Fop even consider buying it! And what exactly is Madam Giry going to do with it?"
"That's not the point." She sighed and set her drink back down. No fighting.
"Thirty francs! That is a priceless, antique, collectable, limited edition, handcrafted…"
"…monkey now owned by your arch nemesis." Ok, well maybe a little friendly teasing wouldn't hurt…
"Where is he, I'll kill him! I guarantee it will still play when he's dead!" Erik snarled, throwing back the Fop's words in fury.
"Shhh! Here's the best part!" Hmm, then again, maybe not.
"The best part of the movie is at the beginning? Doesn't say a lot for the rest of the movie then does it?" He snorted, leaning back on the cushions.
"I will smack you…" She warned, as Erik merely rolled his eyes.
"I love this movie." Was his sarcastic reply.
"I mean it…" She threatened again, and he grinned before returning to the movie as the chandelier burst into life.
"Wow, they really improved the orchestrations of the overture didn't they? Its amazing how much more depth of sound…" He began, trying to cool down the girl who was still scowling at him.
"What is wrong with you? Look at how cool that is! Wouldn't it be awesome if we could clean up your lair that easily?" In an instant her anger was forgotten.
"Or your apartment…" He smirked at the thought.
"Hey, its not that bad…" she began, looking around quickly.
"Grrr, the Fop's back! I hate this movie!"
"They try so hard to make him look cool, driving his carriage around all manly and all but we all know what a wus he really is." She frowned in distaste as the image on screen continued to show that.
"It is interesting to see their interpretation of what was going on behind the scenes." He said as the scene progressed.
"I guess you could look at it like that, or you could point out that they probably just spent at least a million or so on visual junk that is entirely pointless and does nothing to further the plot."
"I was merely trying to be polite. I was under the assumption that you adored this movie." Setting down his drink at last, he resumed munching popcorn.
"Lets just say I love it in spite of its glaringly obvious and numerous flaws."
"Ah, here is Christine!" His entire face lit up with happiness at the sight of her.
"And her little Meg too! Hee hee hee! Sorry, Wizard of Oz crept back in on me" She apologized lamely as he gave her another odd look.
"People like you should come with warning labels."
"Nah, nobody reads instructions or owner's manuals so why would they read warning labels? Besides, you didn't come with one." Brushing aside his comment with ease, she grabbed a chocolate bar and began fighting with the wrapper.
"Yes, but Leroux wrote one for me." He watched as she struggled in vain.
"Well, maybe someday someone somewhere will write one for me and then one day I too can have my own endless spin-offs in theater and movies! Maybe even a Prime Time sitcom!" She growled as the chocolate inside continued to elude her.
"I don't have a Prime Time sitcom." He smirked as he watched her attempt to use her teeth to open it.
"Its not for want of trying I'll bet." She retorted through the plastic in her mouth. Reaching over he gently took it from her mouth and effortlessly opened the package and took a piece of candy.
"Oh no! Please say no! Anything but Carlotta singing!" He suddenly howled as a horrendous screeching filled the room.
"Oh, did I forget to turn the surround sound on? You can't get the true experience without the full sound surrounding you…" Mandy grinned evilly as she reached over and reclaimed her candy bar.
"You are truly evil." He hissed.
"You've said that already." She replied, looking exceedingly smug.
"Doesn't make it any less true." He snarled, knowing he was being mocked.
"You seemed to have missed a bit while you were talking, do you want me to rewind it for you?" Continuing to tease him, she laughed when he visibly cringed.
"Hold on a second!" He interrupted. "What's up with the little guy? I don't remember any little guy…" he let the sentence drag, hoping she wouldn't start cracking more jokes at his expense.
"Carlotta got doggies so I guess Piangi needed some loving too…Eww!" She made a face of absolute disgust and he couldn't help but frown as well.
"At least they left in the elephant thing, though it doesn't really provide the comedic relief that it did in the musical." She commented as the giant thing lumbered onto the stage.
"This is the musical." He pointedly reminded her.
"Oh come on, you know what I mean! In the non-movie version of the musical!"
"Which non-movie musical are you referring to?" He persisted with his obnoxious game.
"I don't care how annoying you try to be, you are still going to watch this movie!"
"Who said I was trying?" he whispered mischievously.
"This is the reason that Nadir didn't want to be in the show isn't it? You would have driven him crazy backstage!" She accused, refusing to rise to his bait.
"I drive him crazy everywhere. He deserves it for leading that pipsqueak down to my house!"
"Be quite or you're going to miss everything! See the managers are talking!" Mandy gestured to the screen even as Erik snorted in derision.
"I've already suffered through countless incarnations of this story not to mention having actually lived it, somehow I think I'll be able to keep track of what's going on." He muttered sarcastically.
"Yeah but this is the first glance of your character. Don't you want to see it?"
"Seeing as how you refuse to let me leave, I am apparently going to see it regardless of my lack of desire to do so." She frowned at him and he handed her the now empty popcorn bowl.
"You sure know how to make a girl feel loved." She mumbled as she went to pop more. Fortunately for once a small apartment wasn't so bad as she could still see the movie from the kitchen.
"You must have very low standards." He shouted over the sound of the microwave.
"And there you are in your dark and mysterious cape, lurking about in the shadows!" she sighed happily, coming to stand behind him.
"You make it sound almost fun." He replied dryly.
"It is fun!"
"So it was you who took my cloak!" In a flash he had whirled and turned to her, eyes blazing.
"Uhhh…here's Christine's big moment." She pointed, attempting to distract him.
"I want it back, right now!" He demanded, in no way sidetracked.
"I'm holding it ransom till you see all of the movie." She announced as he continued to glare up at her.
"Fine, but your paying to have it cleaned!" He replied turning to the movie.
"So you want argue?" He asked turning once more, his golden eyes blazing.
"Good." He resumed his previous position on the couch.
"Meany." She whispered, sticking her tongue out at him.
"What was that?" he asked.
"And here we have presto-changeo number two!" Grabbing the new bowl of popcorn she returned to the sofa.
"Yes. I must say the horses are a nice touch, too bad all they do is stand there."
"Well Christine doesn't exactly sweep across the stage so I guess it works." She mumbled around a mouthful of popcorn.
"She does seem rather still for a dancer, but she's probably just nervous."
"Or unable to move due to the weight of her skirt, same difference." At her reply Erik snorted good-naturedly.
"She's a very good singer though she does need a trifle more practice." He brushed the comment aside and reached for more popcorn.
"Her ability is a highly debated topic and I suggest that if you want to survive, do not comment on her singing ever again." Mandy announced matter-of-factly.
"Having some problems with the Rabid Phans I take it?" he smirked at the thought.
"You have no idea…"
"Is he standing in a sewer?" he shouted in shock at the screen. "Erik would never stand in a sewer! Kill the fop and take his seat! Or just kill the fop!"
"Note to Christine, feel free to move at any time now…or acquire a new facial expression, anything at all…" She decided not to mention the random third person reference for now.
"You know I had a dream once where I was reading a newspaper whose headline was 'Chandelier Drops On Singing Fops'." He commented as the fop in question reappeared.
"Right, well at least it wasn't another nightmare, though I don't see how it could fall on him since he sits in a private box." She mumbled as the film continued.
"I would be more than happy to give you a demonstration." His eyes glittered in the dark and his smile showed too many teeth.
"Do I have to provide my own Fop?" She asked wickedly.
"It shouldn't prove too difficult to borrow that one." He nodded towards the screen.
"Erik, borrowing implies that it will be returned."
"Shh, she's singing." He dismissed her objections causally as he became entranced by the movie once more.
"No she's attempting to sing, there is a subtle difference."
"Be quite!" He hissed as the notes died away.
"The big finish is over, why do I have to be quite?"
"I just thought it might work on keeping you silent for more than two seconds." He smugly grinned down at her and reached for more popcorn.
"Ha ha, very funny."
"Yes, I thought so. Too bad it didn't work."
"Is it my fault that I have a few more working brain cells than Christine?" She asked defensively as he continued to devour the popcorn at an alarming rate.
"Yes it is, but it can be fixed." He teased over a mouthful.
"Angel of Music and Brain Surgery, stay out of my he-ad!" She laughed, singing her made up lyrics along with Christine.
"Hmm, now there is an intriguing thought…" He murmured quietly.
"I really like the actress who plays Meg, she's very believable."
"I'm sure it isn't too hard to politely treat Christine like she's a raving lunatic." He reached for the chocolate bar she had half finished and broke another piece off.
"Creepy Boquet guy, even though he's way up in the flies you still get the feeling he's trying to look down their blouses." She shuddered and watched as Erik continued to steal her candy.
"Yes, I know but don't worry he's on my to-do-in list."
"That's not exactly very reassuring."
"It wasn't really meant to be."
"The return of the Raoul! Ahhh! Run and hide!" She mock-fainted as he entered Christine's dressing room.
"I'm glad you can see the humor in this." Clearly wanting to kill the man who touched his angel, Erik clenched his jaw tightly.
"Look at it this way, out of all the gazillions of flowers crammed in that room, she likes yours the best." Mandy soothed.
"She does, doesn't she!" He lit up once again in happiness.
"Which only goes to show that though you are a very crazy man, you do have good taste in flowers."
"I would be upset but the Fop is leaving so my happiness balanced that out." He growled.
"Wow, am I lucky today or what! I should go buy a lotto ticket…"
"He's locking her in her room? And Madam Giry is just going along with it? These people are sick!" Mandy nodded in agreement before continuing.
"I want to know why the key has a huge doodad thingy on it. Does the Phantom have a problem with accidentally misplacing his key? Its like the tassel things you see on curtains!"
"Leave the poor man alone. You have no idea how hard his life has been." Mandy blinked in surprise. Clearly Phantoms are a very sensitive group. They sat and watched the movie for a bit longer till she broke the silence.
"You know, I hate this part, every time I hear it I want to track down Gerry and beat him senseless! The word is "triumph" not "tri-UMPH!"
"I see," he said, glancing over at her glowering face. "So basically your own insane psychopathic impulses are triggered by the improper stressing of a sung syllable by a man whom I notice you are apparently on a first name basis with."
"Thank you for that analysis Dr. Erik. Now that our session is over with do you mind if we continue with the movie?"
"Not at all."
"You know," He said as the movie Phantom appeared. "I have never understood why the Phantom, who clearly is the undisputed star of the show, has to wait until now to get his first song in."
"Its because he sounds even better after everyone has had to sit through Raoul's singing." Mandy replied, though she was still somewhat upset about "Gerry's" singing.
"Everyone thinks that's plain old fog but come on, it's got to be marijuana or something!" She laughed at the shocked look on his face.
"Why would you think that?"
"Okay, one: a strange man appears behind the mirror and its no big deal, two: she follows him no questions asked, three: she…"
"I get the point. You think he drugged her in order to get her to his lair?" He managed to looked both innocent and knowing, with a sly expression, making her wonder if she was giving him ideas…
"What do you mean "he" did? You're "him"!" She laughed again as his stiffened in indignation.
"No I am Erik, he is "Gerry" as you call him. And besides there are other hallucinogens that would work much better with far more pleasant scents."
"I don't want to know how you know this." She teased.
"What are you implying? I know everything!" He declared as he drew himself up and puffed his chest out.
"Right…," She rolled her eyes at his theatrics. "And there you are, sans hat! I miss your hat! And just look at that, sparkly thingies on your cloak! What is wrong with these people?"
"Is that a guitar in my theme song? I don't remember a guitar playing like that. It sounds like somebody from a country band snuck in." He growled, sinking back into the comfy cushions.
"Your trademark hat is not in your first big scene and all you care about is a guitar?"
"A guitar playing moron is ruining my theme song and you care about my appearance? You do realize that there's a reason for my mask, right?" He taunted.
"So what's the reason for the moving arms on the wall?" She asked, not letting him win.
"Your guess is as good as mine."
"I think that's supposed to be Caesar." She said after a few moments of silence.
"That is not Caesar. If they're going to attempt to follow the book they could actually try reading the book." He sounded like a little boy who was pouting. It really was cute.
"The key phrase there was "supposed to be"." She argued, trying not to smile too much.
"Well sorry, but if it was your life, you'd understand! Details matter!"
"So the color of the horse is wrong, at least there's a horse even if it is totally pointless. Seriously, she never moved on stage yet she's too tired to walk down a flight of stairs?" Mandy's smile broke free as his anger erupted at her words.
"Its more that that, just look! I live by a lake! A lake! Not a glorified gargoyle-covered storm drain! In a house, a real house! With rooms and doors, not this cheesy candle-obsessed pirate's cave!"
"It is rather romantic."
"I'm going to pretend that I didn't hear that Mandy."
"How very noble of you Erik."
"I do try."
"So how come if you can get underwater candelabras to rise and light themselves you can't figure out a mechanical boat?" She asked as the duo approached the lair.
"That would totally destroy the mood!"
"Yeah right." She snickered, rolling her eyes again.
"Is it just me or is there an entire stanza of my song missing?"
"That's not funny." He grumbled.
"And neither are her high notes."
"Wasn't it you who warned me earlier about comments regarding her singing?" He asked as Christine continued to sing.
"Hmm, I think your right."
"I am always right." He proudly puffed up again.
"Of course you are. Anyhow, no talking through the Music of the Night."
"I want you to enjoy all the subtle nuances and you can't do that while talking.'
"This is going to be bad isn't it?" Looking quiet worried, he sipped at his drink.
"Now why would you think that?" She whispered, grinning wickedly.
"Because I know you, you enjoy torturing people."
"No I don't!" she giggled. "Just you…"
A/N: sooo… whatcya think? This seemed a good place to stop, but fear not, I shall post the next chapter ASAP! Tell me if the dialog was hard to follow or not so I can change it if necessary. Anyhow, love it or hate it, just REVIEW it! Please?