A/N: Merry Christmas! Or, in twelve days, Merry Christmas!
Here's the deal – last year, I wrote a Teen Titans Christmas story. 12 chapters, one a day in the 12 days leading up to Christmas. The last chapter was posted on Christmas Eve. So I thought, why not do it again but for POTO?
This is a sort of sequel to A Defensive Situation. It's not urgent that you read that, but it might help because there will be some references to stuff in it. And also, it's kinda amusing! At least, I like to think so.
So here it is. In all it's glory (which there isn't much of) and with no further ado, I give you the first chapter of…
A Defensive Christmas
How To Squeeze More Reviews Out Of An Already Successful Story By Writing A Completely Unnecessary Sequel
For those of you who have read A Defensive Situation, you will remember that it ended something like this:
"Erik and Christine didn't quite live happily ever after. They were happy, but had many arguments, many revolving around whether Buffy should be with Spike or Angel. But generally, they got along very well. With the help of many pineapples, cookies, milk and bottles of Nytol.
So the story didn't end there.
It ended here."
A thoroughly satisfying ending for all involved. Unless you haven't read the story. In which case I recommend that you do so, since I'm something of a review-whore and the rest of the story might not make sense. Anyway, where was I? Ah yes. A thoroughly satisfying ending for all involved.
In theory. But, of course, things do tend to carry on a bit further than 'the end'.
It had been several months since Christine and Erik had decided to give it another go. And to be fair, their go was going quite well. As far as marriage, anyway.
And so we join the happy couple in their home beneath the Opera Populaire where we can find the Phantom of the Opera, the Living Corpse, Opera Ghost or, as his friends call him, Erik sat in front of the television, sipping a glass of milk and watching a rerun of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'.
"Erik?" Christine called. Her husband didn't reply, so engrossed was he with the episode.
"Erik, I need to talk to you."
"Can't it wait? Spike and Buffy are arguing and I think there may be some fighting." Erik said vaguely, watching intently. Christine came out of the kitchen and glanced at the screen.
"You've seen this episode." Christine pointed out. "They sleep together and then Buffy goes into denial."
"Well, now you've ruined it." Erik pouted. Christine rolled her eyes.
"Erik, we need to talk about Christmas."
Erik peered up at her.
"Christmas? Why on earth do we need to talk about that? Its ages away."
"It's next Tuesday." Christine said flatly.
Erik stared at her.
"No it isn't."
"Yes, it is."
"You're wrong! Look!" He marched over to the calendar and looked at it. "Christmas is… well, would you look at that? You learn something new everyday."
"So can we talk about it?"
"Oh, that. I suppose so."
He settled back into his armchair and Christine sat down next to him.
"We need to sort out gifts, Christmas dinner and we really should have a party, you know. It's only polite. I haven't seen Meg or Madame Giry in ages and you've been deliberately ignoring Nadir's phone calls."
"He wants more money for his pension." Erik pouted.
"Erik, we get twenty-thousand a month. Surely you can raise his pension a little."
"I most certainly can not! He can learn to live with what he's got!" Erik said snootily. Christine sighed. He really was most difficult at times.
"We can discuss that later. And remember that Raoul and Dennis are coming for tea today."
"I don't like her."
"Dennis is nice. Leave her alone. And you liked her when she was giving you free cookies."
"That's different. She hasn't sent me cookies in ages." Erik sulked. Christine glared at him.
"She's bringing cookies today but you won't be having any with that attitude!"
Erik sighed and straightened up.
"What about the fop? I certainly don't like him and no amount of baked goods could convince me otherwise."
"Don't call him a fop! And you will be polite because he is my-"
"-Childhood friend and he didn't make a big fuss about the divorce." Christine finished.
"That doesn't mean I have to like him." Erik said sulkily. Christine sighed.
"He's not particularly fond of you either, but you'll have to live with it."
They fell into silence and then Erik said,
"So what do you want for Christmas?"
"Erik, you're supposed to surprise me." She said tiredly and looked him over. "When was the last time that you went upstairs to do some haunting?"
"Oh, I don't know. Last week, I think."
"Well, go and do something now so I can tidy the cellar. I hear that they've just ordered a new chandelier, so go and think up a way to destroy this one." She said, pushing him towards the door.
"But… but… Buffy!" He cried but she closed the door in his face.
"Men…" She muttered, pulling out a dust buster.
Erik liked silence. It was comforting and peaceful. At least, it usually was.
With Raoul de Chagny sat opposite him wearing that inane smile, silence became distinctly uncomfortable. Christine was showing Dennis what she'd done with the cellar. Apparently she'd decorated it, not that Erik had noticed. But why couldn't she just tell Dennis that she'd decorated it? Why did she have to show her and leave him alone with… the fop?
Raoul looked around, clucked his tongue and then smiled again. Erik glared at him but Raoul's smile did not fade.
"Is that a new mask?" He asked, making a stab at conversation.
"No." Erik said flatly.
"Oh." Raoul said, somewhat deflated. He tried again. "It looks new."
"Oh… did you polish it?"
"Oh… perhaps you should."
"Christine!" Erik shouted, fighting the urge to reach for his Punjab lasso. The women came out, chattering cheerfully.
"Yes Erik, what is it?" Christine asked.
"We were wondering where you'd gotten to." Raoul smiled.
Christine smiled back, sitting beside Erik. Dennis patted Raoul's hand.
"Christine was just showing me the lovely décor. Isn't it nice, dear?"
"Oh, yes!" Raoul smiled. Erik glanced at his watch. Buffy was on but Christine caught him looking.
"Erik, you can miss Buffy for one day."
He pouted but cheered up considerably when Dennis put a plate of cookies out.
"Here you go, Erik. I made them especially for you." She smiled.
"So you'll both come for the Christmas party?" Christine said.
"We'd love to!" Raoul said brightly.
Erik spluttered on a cookie.
"The party we're holding on Christmas Eve, darling." Christine said sweetly. "Have another cookie."
"Don't distract me with cookies! You never said anything to me about a party!"
"That's because I knew you'd react like this." Christine said airily and looked at her guests. "Dennis, how's your sister? And the other people at the society?"
"I don't really see her much." Dennis admitted. "And I don't really talk to the society anymore. Since I'm not officially a Raoul/Christine shipper anymore."
Dennis had been the leader of the Friends-of-the-Fop Society, a group of Raoul/Christine shippers.
"I hear they don't meet much. I'm considered a traitor now."
"That's a shame." Christine said.
"Well, I don't mind too much. Raoul and I get on so well." Dennis beamed. Erik snorted into his teacup and Christine threw him a menacing glare.
The rest of the afternoon went rather well, if a little uncomfortably. As Raoul and Dennis made to leave, Raoul handed Christine several envelopes.
"Here. Some of the phans still haven't caught on that we're already divorced. They keep posting you threatening letters and lists of reasons to leave me."
Christine took them and sighed.
"I'll have to make another public announcement. Thanks for coming; it was lovely to see you."
"You too." Raoul beamed and held out his hand to Erik, who looked at it blankly. Christine elbowed him and he grudgingly half-shook Raoul's hand, using his thumb and forefinger as though it were something unsanitary.
As their company departed, Christine opened one of the envelopes before rolling her eyes and throwing the whole lot into the lake. Erik darted to the television and turned it on. But Buffy had already finished. He pouted and Christine smiled. He had the most adorable pout.
"Erik, why don't you play some music?"
"Well… I could do." He said, going to his pipe organ. Christine began to clear the tea things away as he played. Playing with his organ always cheered him up.
A/N: End of chapter one. I hope you enjoyed it! Chapter two will be up tomorrow!
This chapter is lovingly dedicated to everyone who is taking part in the Secret Santa at PFN. Except it's down at the moment, so I'm a bit miffed. Anyway, see you all tomorrow!