A/N: So, because I love you all (ignores the sudden attack of coughing) I've uploaded something to make you feel better/worse/very glad about the fact that I haven't updated in...1 and a half months?

I told a certain someone that I would upload a terribly-written, incredibly fluffy piece of...fluff...to counteract her well-written angst.

If anyone's read the terribly terrible Harry Potter fanfic "My Immortal - - which was taken off for so many grammatical, spelling, structural, English, language, and general errors its not funny...that's the sort of thing I was aiming for (minus the spelling and grammatical errors).

Sorry, but I failed.

And this thing...is not exactly fluffy...I think. But I tried.

A one-shot (I think).

This author's note is becoming increasingly nonsensical. Splendid.

Before I forget: I don't own Phantom of the Opera. And I'm glad I don't, because while life can be a (insert word for female dog here), I'm not quite ready to die. I'm still surprised that everyone involved in the creation of the various releases of POTO haven't been tried for causing excess depression to the general population


Gods, the noise, the smells, the colours…the music!

"Why am I here…?!" Christine groaned. Unable to bear the endlessly horrible cacophony of torment on all the senses, her legs carried her out from the spacious hall, into the cool, blessedly scentless winter night.

She could still hear the sounds emitting from the building behind her; loud chatter, backed by warbling French and high-pitched violin.

Weddings…were hell. Torture, in the form of frills and white lace, with overly sweet cake – and the crying, the crying! Why was it necessary for people to cry so much at weddings? Or were weddings merely a hideously fluffy cover for sending someone to hell?

If it were up to me, she thought, I'd choose hell. At least hell doesn't have mother-in-laws.

Christine hated weddings with a passion. In a way, it was stupid – everyone said so, and even she was forced to admit it – but stupid or not, that was how it was.

There was a sudden gust of wind, and she shivered.

Okay, scrap cool – it's freezing.

Freezing or not, she steeled herself and pulled off her jacket. It was a thin affair in any case, see-through material that was there more for show than for any semblance of warmth. Arms freed, she sighed contentedly, looking around her with a bizarre sense of satisfaction.

When her sister had hired the place for her wedding, Christine had been rather indifferent – and unable to understand why her younger sibling was so excited. It was a hall, yes? A place to host and bear witness to the horrors of a wedding? Then what was so wonderful that would be the cause of such enthusiasm?

She saw it for the first time that day, and the large building had lived up to her expectations; that is to say, it was nice, big, expensive-looking, and completely undeserving of any reaction other than 'it's nice.'

Not so for the garden at the back of the hall. It had dazzled her when she first saw it earlier that day; winter sun had shone over still-blossoming flowers and ever-green bushes, had caused the fountain waters to sparkle and glimmer like liquid…magic?

Magic…yeah. This place was magical.

"Hey, Chrissie! What're you doin' here?"

Everything shattered, all the mystical magical beauty gone, in one small, single split second.

Wearily, Christine turned.

Something else to add to the horror of weddings; the inevitability that someone

"Hey, why so down, love?"

…that someone would get drunk.

"Go away, Raoul." Her voice was cool, colder than the winter air.

What was worse, it had to be someone she knew.

"Aww," he groaned mockingly, and she could smell the alcohol rank on his breath even from 10 metres away, "you're being mean, Chris!"

"And you," she retorted, "are drunk!"

He shrugged, staring blearily at her with bloodshot eyes, shirt rumpled and stained. It was disgusting. Only years of experience stopped her from wrinkling her nose in contempt.

"Yeah, so?"

While the drawl (drunken) merely increased her feeling of disgust, something in his voice sent a chill up her spine. Unconsciously, she took a step back, nerves suddenly very alert. For the first time, it came to her attention that – perhaps not surprisingly, considering the weather – there was no one around.

"Come on, Chrissie."

Oh gods, his voice!

Another step backwards, muscles tensing – but to little purpose, as he strode forwards and took hold of her wrists roughly.

"Just one kiss, Chrissie, come on!" Mind blank, she shook her head. The lights of the fountains had been switched on, and the radiance made her eyes hurt, and her head pound. From behind Raoul's head, music played and people chattered inanely. That was probably the worst part, actually (maybe) – the world abandoning her, moving forwards while she was trapped in a tiny bubble of horrifying, fear-filled time.

"C'mon, love…"

No, that wasn't the worst part.

"Leave me alone, Raoul!"

The worst part…

"Jus' one kiss for your ole ex?"

The worst part was that, long ago, so long ago it seemed like another reality, she had loved him.

"Get away from me!" Christine screamed, trying without success to free her hands. He advanced on her, and she retreated further and further till cold stone sent icy dread and terrible fear through her slender frame.

The stench of the drink was strong, and putrid; and it woke her up to reality as nothing else had. A sudden intake of breath, and then she lashed out with all her strength. Elbows scraped painfully against the wall in her mad thrashing, bruises going ignored. A knee flew out to hit the man in the groin.

All it did was make him angry…

Growling in annoyance, he pressed against the helpless girl-woman, trapping her body between the wall and himself.

"Help!"

The music was deafening, it seemed; it drowned out her screams, her pain.

Help…!

One hand held her wrists and the other went to her chin. Was there such thing as horror music? It was around her, in the air, dancing notes, twirling chords, suffocating and claustrophobic. Sight was gone, sight vanished to be replaced by black. Gods, it was in her…!

"If I may intrude…"

The music paused along with her racing panic.

"I believe that the lady has made her distaste for your company fairly evident. If you would step away…?"

Brilliant dark, liquid magic, dark hair, golden eyes, defined jaw-line.

And all of a sudden, she could see again.


And that's the end.

Yep.

Sorry. I thought I'd leave the rest to your imagination - can't be THAT hard, can it?

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Oh, did you really think I was being serious? Of course not! I'm not THAT mean. Um...well, maybe I am. But still...

The one-shot has become a two-shot - such is the process of evolution. I will upload the second half. Eventually...

How was it? Was it bad, was it good, have I improved in writing or have my priorly barely-passable writing skills deteriorated to the point where you could barely bear to look at the page? Reviews are nice. And they're good distraction from my idiotic short film...

Till next time,

Arcèlia