A bit of (hopefully) amusing nonsense born from one too many readings of Kay and throwing the novel at the wall hollering, "JUST DO IT ALREADY!"

Disclaimer: No, not mine, not at all.

Princess, why you so contagious?

Every single step breaks every single breath

Tell me anything and everything will be okay

Princess, Short Stack


This is not to be borne.

She is innocent, I know it; little more than a child despite her two decades on this earth. She is sweet and kind and naive and beautiful, and she is accustomed to the world above, the way they are ever touching one another, simple little touches that so many take for granted. Yet why she chooses now to lavish them upon me is a mystery; a miasma of confusion takes over my mind every time she touches me. She places her tiny hand on my shoulder when she says goodnight; she takes my elbow whenever we walk more than five metres at a time, and the other day, after our lesson concluded, she held my hand! Oh, the mingled glory and horror of it! How I long to feel her fingers again on mine... and in, well, other places...

Oh, damn my black desires. This must stop, it cannot go on as this. I cannot endure her tiny, subtle attentions; her innocent caresses. Better never to feel the touch of her skin again than to lose control, than to snap completely and take my innocent angel like an animal seeking only to satiate its craven want.

And so I bring her into the sitting room, perch her in my armchair, and stand before the fire, my back to her. All the easier this conversation will be, if I don't have to look at her while I deny myself her.

"Christine," I begin. "This has to stop. You are driving me - well, I cannot bear it any longer."

"Bear it, Erik?" she asks, her gentle wide eyes full of concern. Behind my mask, I grimace in disgust - at myself, of course, longing to do such monstrous acts with this delicate and precious girl.

"You... touching me. Christine, you do it all the time. I know, I know, people above are always grabbing at one another but to be honest, Christine, it's... improper. Exceedingly out of character as well, you know! You're supposed to be young and naive and pure, while I am merely a beast of darkness and ugliness. And Christine, to be frank - it's just inappropriate."

"Inappropriate?" she repeats, thankfully rising from my chair. I sink into it with gratitude. This conversation is far more taxing than previously anticipated. "This is coming from the man who pretended to be an Angel of Music, abducted me, and lives beneath an opera house?" I have never heard her voice this way before, cool and sharp and yes, amused! What has taken over her?

"Yes, Christine, I am aware, but even the lowest of creatures can strive to be proper with the precious young woman in their care - "

"You can stop that nonsense at once," she barks, and I jump. She sounds... well, she sounds a little like me. That shouldn't be so arousing as it is. "I think it's time for me to enlighten you on a few important points. Erik, a girl doesn't let herself get abducted by an 'Angel of Music' if she doesn't expect something inappropriate to come of it!"

"Re... really?" I ask, loathing the tremor in my voice, taking in the sight of her. Hands on hips, eyes bright, chest heaving with the force of her outrage. No. Do not stare. Do not stare at her...

"Yes, really," she snaps, her pretty face wreathed in a scowl of frustration. "Honestly, Erik. I've been waiting for you to make a move for weeks! I've been all shy and delicate and modest, because you seem the kind of man to like a woman that way, and I've been expecting to be seduced for days now! In my bed, in your coffin, on the piano... I don't really mind either way, so long as you get me naked!"

I am completely stunned. Is this a dream, or have I stumbled into some foreign universe where everything is altered, where my Christine is not pure, but a temptress?

"How do you know about such things?" I manage to gasp out.

She scoffs. "Please, Erik, I live in an opera house. Do you know how many of the chorus girls and ballerinas are virgins? One. Me. I've had it. I'm tired of watching people couple against the walls in the dressing rooms or the practise rooms or the orchestra pit or the flies - Philippe de Chagny had La Sorelli in his private box, did you know that? And I saw Meg Giry doing something absolutely vile with her mouth in the manager's office the other day... although Monsieur Firmin didn't seem to be minding much at the time!"

I canonly manage a stunned, "Oh."

"Yes, oh," she replies crossly. "I've had enough. I want to get in on the action. And you! Striding about with your hands and your voice and your cravat... oh, you drive me mad!"

I wasn't following. To me it would have been stranger if I hadn't been 'striding about' with my hands and my voice, cravat notwithstanding. "I don't follow."

She made a noise than could only be described as a scream of frustration. "Do you really think me so foolish? So blind, so naive? A child waiting to be led by the hand by her 'father' as an angel to achieve her higher potential?"

I couldn't really answer that honestly because, yes, that was exactly what I had thought. That she has needed me as a surrogate father figure. My silence must have given me away.

"Oh, you did, didn't you? Bastard! And I supposed you actually thought I believed all of that Angel of Music nonsense too - "

"You didn't?" I gasp. She huffs in exasperation.

"Of course not! I knew you had to be a man, and from the sound of your voice, I was hoping a handsome one - " She stops, eyes suddenly wary.

"Ah," I bite out, my voice clipped in combined sorrow and anger. "Sorry to disappoint you, mademoiselle, but in that regard I am completely deficient."

I am not expecting her sigh, or the way her lips curl up into a predatory grin as she advances on me. "You're not entirely... deficient," she purrs, her voice lowering as she traces one slender finger down the lapel of my evening jacket. She takes my hand and sets in on her waist, her arms wrapping around me. I can feel every inch of her curves and think I might combust.

"Christine - I never thought you would want - with me, of all people - " I stutter and stammer like a fool, certain this is all at best a gross misunderstanding, a warping of her intentions by my own twisted desires. She would never want -

"I want to get naked with you," she says clearly.

Oh. Well, that puts things into perspective.

"That's...well, that sounds bloody fantastic, but what about - "

"Shut up," she snaps, dragging me to the Louis Philippe room and pushing me down onto herbed, fingers working at the buttons of my shirt. "I want to be inappropriate with you."

And well, who was I to argue with the wishes of a lady?

Oh, yes, Christine, do that again...