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A/N: Salutations and thank you for deciding to give my phanphic a try. This is my first publication here, but I do consider myself a serious writer (in fact, I am a playwright). Therefore, I strive to create intelligent yet entertaining pieces of fiction. As those reading this, I am a huge fan of POTO. The characters touch us because they speak to big human emotions. I am just borrowing the fascinating human beings that Leroux created.

I read Leroux's novel eight years ago, so my memory on it is not perfect (but I at least have that as an authoritative base). I love the ALW musical, but I also performed in the Yeston and Kopit musical (the Charles Dance/Teri Polo film is based on that musical). I have purchased the Kay version but have only read some of it. Therefore, my characters are based on any and all of these various influences. Again, I am just borrowing characters. In fact, the personalities of Erik, Christine, and Raoul are probably more based on the phanphiction I have read than anything else. I am just having fun. I admire the writers who strive for Leroux accuracy, so perhaps I will write something more like that in the future. I have taken some liberties (i.e. Raoul and Christine did not escape to the north somewhere. They are still near Paris. Also, "Erik is not dead."). This piece is just meant to be fun (yet intelligent!).

I do appreciate reviews, but please remember this is for fun. Don't obsess about little comma errors. Just enjoy my story. I am not obsessing about being overly accurate to any one version of the story. Constructive criticism only please. I shall hold chapters hostage until I get reviews! Let me know if I should continue this piece.

I have thought about writing "Diary of a Mad Vicomte" for some time. So many stories are based on Erik (don't get me wrong, I prefer Erik myself!), so I thought I would give Raoul a shot. I think both Erik and Raoul fans will enjoy this. Erik fans, do not fret. He will make a cameo or two later, as will Christine. Otherwise, those two characters are mentioned rather than playing an active role. Raoul is the star of this one! I have given Raoul a very real (yet comical) human emotion. He is perturbed over the fact that he almost lost Christine to an ugly man! Sit back and enjoy as Raoul tries to become more like Erik – and fails miserably! Written in a diary format, each chapter is an entry in Raoul's diary.

Obligatory Disclaimer: I am supposed to do this, right? Well, I do not own any plot devices or characters from The Phantom of the Opera. Those belong to Msr. Gaston Leroux and any subsequent version of the story.

And now, let us begin!

Ch. 1: A New Year's Resolution

December 31, 18--,

Dear Diary,

As the old year draws to a close, and the New Year is about to begin, I cannot help but reflect on the course my life has taken. I have spent the past year as husband to a truly incredible woman. My Christine is wonderfully talented, beautiful, kind, and compassionate – perhaps too much so. I should be happy, so why is it that I am not? The love of a good woman should be enough to sustain most men for a lifetime, and yet that is not all I have been blessed with! I have wealth, good standing in society, an established family name, and a title! I am a count, you see! Certainly, the title and the accompanying wealth did not come under the best of circumstances, and I would instantly forgo such privileges to have my brother return to me! I would gladly return to being Viscount – a second son destined to a life of tedious social calls and efforts to supplement a meager inheritance (as most of a family's wealth is entailed to the oldest male) – if only to see Philippe's smiling face again. However, it is not to be. He made certain of that. Enough of him.

Yes, I should be content. Is not wealth, property, status, and love all that a man could want? I certainly have it all. Certainly, my brother's death – murder – has affected me. However, I fear that the lost of a most beloved family member and friend is not the cause of my unrest. Rather, I fear it is the agent in his death that haunts me. He certainly has experience in the realm of haunting. I try to push him out of my mind, deny he is the source of my discomfort, and refuse to think of him. However, he is not so easily forgotten. One can never forget Erik.

It is not his face that haunts me – though one could hardly blame me if that was the case. It is his entire being. It is the way that his presence still haunts my wife that troubles me. I certainly do not doubt Christine's loyalty to me. She is a good girl. She is easily contented. However, I fear that that is exactly what she is – content. I do not want to settle for that. Yes, she loves me. Her eyes hold the same adoration I feel shining forth from my own as I look at her. Still, part of me fears that – dare I even say it? – part of me fears that I am just not exciting enough for her. I am a good man, I know! But I fear – I can see! – that I do not arouse the same keen interest, fascination, and intensity that that man once did! He held her soul and utter devotion. I hold her loyalty, her admiration, her affection . . . her regard. How I hate that word! It is passive. I am passive. I am . . . safe. If I were a confection, I would be made of vanilla. Erik would be some strange combination of ingredients that should not go well together yet somehow work. Erik would be the chocolate and chili powder that combine to create a delicious mole.

I want to inspire passion. I want to be chocolate with chili powder! Yes, it is true. I, the Comte de Chagny, heir to a vast estate and lofty title, am jealous of the Opera Ghost. When compared to him, I just do not feel adequate. You laugh, I know! I ask you, how would you feel if you almost lost the woman you love to a hideously deformed man who was just a few peas short of a casserole, if you know what I mean? Am I being cruel? Perhaps. At least cruelty and bitterness have some degree of passion.

It is with this thought that I have decided to make a resolution for the New Year. I will do what it takes to prove to my Christine that I, too, can be passionate and mysterious! I almost lost her once. Unless drastic measures are taken, I fear that I could risk losing her again. I will do what it takes. I will do what I need to even if it goes as far as becoming more like . . . well . . . like Erik.