Ohmigoshohmigoshohmigosh!!! (smacks self across the face.) Okay, I'm better. Guess what? I got the chapter up faster! Yay!! Actually, when I posted Chapter 4, I immediately started working on this chapter. When I finished working that time, I had a little over half of it done. My time on this has been really good, considering that I have had rehearsal for Bye-Bye Birdie, which we open on Thursday, February 1st and closed on the 24th. Augh! Anyway…

Since no one got the answer to the last challenge, no one gets the special surprise. But, the answer to the last challenge – "Where does the line, ' And now it's suppertime!' come from?" – was the musical Little Shop of Horrors.

OK, so most of this scene is at the New Year's Ball. I think you'll like Christine's costume.

Disclaimer- I don't own it. But I will.

Chapter 5:

Over the course of the next three months, Erik spent most of his time far beneath the opera house, working furiously on his Opera, Don Juan Triumphant, or, when he wasn't doing that, he would help Christine make their costumes for the upcoming Masquerade Ball on New Year's. They had spent several days sketching designs, and finally decided on two outfits.
Meanwhile, Christine's stomach had grown a quite a bit larger as the weeks dragged by. They had agreed that it would be best if she "disappeared"from the above ground world at least until after she had given birth. She hated being cooped up, but knew that it was for the best.
Finally, the night of the ball arrived. Erik was helping Christine pull her hair up the way they wanted as she embroidered a few last-minute details on the cape he would be wearing. When her hair was in place, Erik knelt behind her and slowly wrapped his arms around her waist. Christine lowered the material for a moment, and then sighed.
"It's a little hard for me to finish if you hold onto me like that." Erik kissed her cheek, then stood and began fastening a belt to his waist. From the belt, a sheath dangled, which Erik slid an ornate sword into. He pulled on a mask, but lifted it up so that it rested on the top of his head. Christine stood and helped him fasten the cape to his shoulders before donning her own mask. Erik smiled and kissed her, and led her through a passage to the opera house.
"Erik," Christine whispered as they snuck through the corridor. They could faintly hear music from the ball. "Do you realize how much of a scandal this will cause?"
"Yes," Erik said, but nothing more. When they emerged, they were in a deserted hallway. The bulk of the masquerade was taking place in the grand foyer. Erik and Christine hid in the shadows where they could see the the celebration, but they themselves could not be seen. There, they waited for the opportune moment to make their entrance.

Masquerade! Burning glances, turning heads
Masquerade! Stop and stare at the sea of smiles around you
Masquerade! Grinning yellows, spinning reds

"Now," Erik whispered to Christine. They moved to the top of the stairs that descended to the ball below. It took a moment for the masked faces to realize they were there

Take your fill let the spectacle astound you…"

Gasps filled the air as every head turned and stared in shock at the pair that had just seemed to appear from nowhere. A man in a blood-red suit and a long, flowing cape of the same color wore what appeared to be a scull's head for a mask. In one arm he carried what looked like multiple sheets of paper in a leather holder. On the other arm, he was escorting a young woman, and it was this woman and her costume which shocked them most. She wore a black dress that trailed the floor. The sleeves of the dressed flared over her small wrists, almost completely hiding her hands. The neckline dipped, but not low enough to show much cleavage. Her stomach was was what surprised them; it was larger than what was proprtionately normal. She also wore a cape, a black one. Her mask was white and covered only the right side of her face. The crowd stared at them in shocked silence while they sang as they made their way down the staircase.

"Why so silent, good monsieurs?
Did you think that we had left you for good?
Have you missed us, good monsieurs?"

Christine stopped singing.

"I have written you an opera.
Here I bring the finished score:
Don Juan Triumphant!"

He threw down the portfolio and drew a sword from his side. Christine pulled out a noose and held it as they looked around at the crowd. They continued singing.

"Fondest greetings to you all.
A few instructions
Just before rehearsal starts…"

They turned to face Carlotta. Erik pointed his sword at her as Christine sang.

"Carlotta must be taught to act
Not her normal trick
Of strutting 'round the stage."

Carlotta gasped. Piangi started toward them, but was stopped by the sword poking his enormous stomach, and Erik picked up the song.

"Our Don Juan must lose some weight.
It's not healthy in a man of Piangi's age."

The couple turned to the managers, and now they sang together.

"And our managers must learn,
That their place is in an office!
Not the arts…"

Erik re-sheathed his sword and turned to Christine as he sang to her.

"As for our star…
Miss Christine Daae…"

The crowd gasped at the mention of the soprano as Christine locked eyes with Erik and stared at him.

"No doubt she'll do her best
It's true her voice is good.
She knows, though,
Should she wish to excell
She has much still to learn
If pride will let her return to me
Her teacher…"

He added in a low whisper that no one but they themselves could hear:

"Her husband…"

He took her hands in his, and they gazed at each other for a moment. Erik heard a noise several feet away, and turned his head. The Vicomte de Chagney was making his way toward them. Erik quickly pretended to be angry with Christine.

"Your chains are still mine!"

He grabbed her shoulders and pulled her close to him.

"You belong to me!"

He pulled her up against him and held her tightly as he stamped his foot on the floor. A hidden door suddenly gave way, and they dropped to a hidden room below. Erik quickly pushed Christine in the direction of the underground lair when he heard the Viscomte drop to the ground. He'd play a bit of cat and mouse with this pitiful boy.
Erik totally screwed up the Vicomte's mind as he stepped into and out of the range of the mirrors, and Raoul swung his weapon at the many images of the Phantom. Seconds after a noose dropped from the ceiling, Madame Giry hurried in, took the Viscomte by the shoulder and steered him out of the room. When Erik was sure they were gone, he raced to meet Christine.

Raoul was panting as Madame Giry led away from that torture chamber. His mind was reeling. Christine had said she wasn't even going to the ball. But…she had! With that…that…monster!! And she didn't scream or anything. And - unless his eyes were worse than he thought- he could have sworn she was pregnant. Something was wrong, but he couldn't figure it out.
"Madame Giry!" The older woman stopped and turned to look at him. "Please. What is going on?" For a brief second, a look of panic came over her face, but it was gone just as quickly. Raoul had caught it, though.
"I know no more than anyone else."
"Liar." Madame Giry looked shocked.
"Even if I did know, I would not tell you…Monsieur!" The last word sounded a bit shirty. With an angry huff, Madame Giry turned on her heel and returned to the ball. Raoul was left standing in the middle of the corridor, more confused than ever.
Christine slid out of her costume, groaning slightly. Her lower back was a bit sore. She needed to be more careful. Just as she pulled her night gown on, she felt Erik's arms wrap around her waist from behind. She sighed and leaned her head back against his shoulder.
"Erik," she said, "We need to be more careful of what I do. My back is killing me." He squeezed her gently and kissed her cheek.
"I'm sorry, Christine." They stood there for several minutes, until Christine remembered something.
"Tomorrow's the anniversary of my father's death," she whispered, and, to Erik, sounded as if she would soon cry. "Do…you think…th-that we—"
"Shh…" Erik silenced her, holding her closer. "Of course, Christine."
Whoo-hoo!! Awright! This one got done much quicker than the other ones. So, let me see…this weeks reader challenge…

What would happen if more than 25 of the air we breath was mde up of Oxygen?

This is a very funny answer. Again, you'll get a special prize. Don't ask me what it is, cause the best kind of prize is a sur-prise. (I love Johnny Depp)

Erik- I thought you loved me.

Me- Of course I do. (Glomps Erik)

Erik- Yay!


Me- Please and thank you.