I wrote this when I got my Phantom of the opera 25th anniversary concert in the mail. After I did my victory dance, I then showed it to the whole family with Pizza. They'd never seen or heard the entire show before and EVERYONE was in tears! while I was watching it, an idea struck me so here it is. This idea had been kicking around and the video had the last bit of magical inspiration I needed.
I own nothing and nobody except for Nina!
The book cover from an E/C manip. made by Elavielevenstar.
Chapter one: Nina
Erik fought to keep the chuckle at bay. Carlotta had just started singing 'Think of me' that is, if you could call it singing. A certain woman held his attention, two actually.
The first, his love, Christine Daae. The second, a raven tressed girl, Nina Daae. He was certain they weren't related for they looked nothing like each other. This was her first day here and he immediately liked her. Partly because she didn't like Carlotta.
The moment Nina heard Carlotta slaughter her first high note; she hit the floor, clutching her ears. Everyone murmured among himself or herself. Erik was certain it was a joke, except when Christine knelt beside her, he wasn't sure anymore.
"What's the matter with that girl?" Firmin barked.
The girl refused to remove her hands from her ears. Christine waved her hand in front of the girl and she looked up, still clutching her ears. Erik noted her eyes went to Carlotta and she slowly removed her hands from her ears.
"Are you all right?" she asked, tenderness radiating from her beautiful voice.
The girl nodded and stood up. "What ails you?" Firmin demanded. "Haven't you any respect for this great artist?"
Nina shook her head and began frantically signing. It then dawned on Erik that she was a mute. He knew sign language, but never had the opportunity to read it until now.
"What is she scribbling?" Andre demanded.
Erik laughed as he read her hands. That woman! She has the voice of a cat being bathed in turpentine!
For God's sake, shoot her! Put her out of her misery!
"What'd she say?" Firmin asked.
Christine flushed scarlet. "Well…she…Carlotta." She smiled nervously. "Carlotta's voice was so…magnificent…it scared her." At Carlotta's face, she added hastily. "The power of it made her think that the…heaven's had opened."
Carlotta preened and smiled as the girl frowned and continued signing. That's a lie! I thought that the devil himself had started singing! She made a face and began to move off stage. My delicate ears can't take this! Can't she read music? It's a beautiful song and she's murdering it!
"Ladies and gentlemen," Monsieur Firmin said. "our patron! Viscount Raoul de Chagney!"
Erik and everyone's gaze turned toward the man; actually, he was more of a boy. A handsome one at that. A mop of hazel hair and he wore expensive cut clothes.
The boy blushed at being the center of attention. "Uh, monsieur Firmin. My…I was here about those paper's that need to be signed."
"Of course. Of course."
It's Raoul! Go! Christine shook her head. Why not? Christine turned and looked the other way. Nina stood up and moved back towards the stage, towards Raoul. Christine shook her head and gestured wildly for her to stay away. She ignored her and walked right up to Raoul. She smiled broadly and shaking his hand.
"Madame!" Andre said.
She smiled at Raoul who looked completely baffled but he smiled back. "Do I know you?"
She nodded and pulled him towards Christine, pointing madly. Christine blushed hard and dropped her gaze. What about this man was causing his angel to blush so? Raoul studied Christine before a light of recognition dawned in his eyes. "Christine Daae?"
"Yes Raoul." Christine said struggling to contain her excitement.
Raoul let out a laugh and hugged Christine, sweeping her off her feet in front of the whole company. Erik felt anger begin in his shoulders and move down his spine.
"Oh my word!" He said setting her down. "What do you know about this? It's been many years."
She smiled. "Many. I guess you didn't recognize Nina."
Raoul had never recognized her. He always had eyes for Christine. Nina shrugged her shoulders and gestured with her hands. It's all right. But Christine was too wrapped up with Raoul to notice. It had always been like that, and now life was repeating itself.
Raoul shook his head. "I'm afraid I didn't. But, if you don't mind my asking. What happened? She had a lovely voice."
Christine shrugged. "Something happened. She'll never tell us."
Nina diverted her attention. She didn't want to think about that now. She didn't want to hear about it! She didn't want Raoul and the whole company to know about it!
"So, what are you two doing here?" Raoul asked, directing all his attention to a less personal line of converstation.
"We'll I'm dancing and getting singing lessons. Nina is auditioning for the dance. Madame Giry and Meg have been tutoring her privately."
"Oh!" Raoul laughed. "I'd almost forgotten she always wanted to be a dancer." He turned to Nina. "Do you still dance to the donkey serenade? Horrid song, I know. But you turned it into a fun number." Nina shook her head sadly. "For me, for old times sake, please?"
Erik watched as Nina debated before nodding eagerly. Christine gaped as she ran off the stage. I'll go get the music. She signed backing off the stage.
"I don't know what you did, but she hasn't danced to that song in years."
Raoul looked around, eyes falling on Piangi. "Senor Piangi, would you do me the honor of singing the song for my little friend?"
Piangi was always happy to oblige, nodded. "Of course. It's the least I can do for the little mute."
Erik didn't like that and he could tell neither did his angel. She had a name, but being a chorus girl for the time, she couldn't say anything. However Nina would have none of that. She immediately stopped and studied the situation. She shook her head. She walked up to Alex, the slave master and tugged him over.
"Nina, what are you doing?"
I want Alex to sing it. He does it better than that fat one!
"Nina!" Christine gasped. "Now that wasn't polite!"
Alex can sing! You and I have heard him! He deserves this chance! Singing is his life, not dancing!
Either he sings or I don't dance at all!
Christine groaned. "She wants Alex to sing it." Everyone looked shocked. "Either Alex or she doesn't dance the song."
Raoul looked embarrassed. "Then I guess…Alex it is."
Alex shook his head at Nina, but he walked over to the piano. Nina smiled and curtsied waiting for her cue. Raoul motioned for the violinist to come over and he obliged. Alex cleared his throat, attempting to hide his nervousness.
Nina clapped out the rhythm she wanted for the piano player who frowned at Nina, but obliged. The song was a jaunty little melody, very bouncy for an opera house. Alex started vocalizing, on key, Erik noted, and he didn't sound bad. Nina spun by Carlotta grabbing the shawl off her shoulder.
"Oh!" She huffed and stomped off stage. No one took notice.
There's a song in the air, but the fair senorita, doesn't seem to care, for the song in the air. So I'll sing to the mule, if you're sure she won't think that I am just a fool, serenading a mule. Amigo Mio, does she not have a dainty bray? She listens carefully to each little word we play. Si, si, mi muchachito, She'd love to sing it too if only she knew the way.
Erik smiled as he watched Nina spin, leap, jump and twirl around on the stage. Christine was smiling broadly while she wiped her eyes. Raoul was grinning at he watched her, but he was watching Christine out of the corner of his eye. He was going to have to keep an eye on that boy.
Nina was enchanting to watch on the stage, as light as a feather! Alex, his talents seemed to stretch beyond dancing and impressing Carlotta with his muscles.
But try as she may, in her voice there's a flaw! And all that the lady can say is "e-e-aw!" he held the note perfectly and for a long time. Erik watched as Nina spun and listened carefully for Alex's voice to crack, but that didn't happen. Senorita donkey sita, not so fleet as a mosquito, But so sweet like my Chiquita, You're the one for me.
The obnoxious song went on for what seemed like forever. But the sound of the applause broke him out of his thoughts.
"Brava!" Raoul said.
Nina blushed as the applause captivated her. But when Raoul gripped her shoulders, that same fear welled up in her and she pushed away from him. Her eyes widened in terror.
Raoul frowned and Christine patted his shoulder and whispered something. She turned and walked away from him. She didn't like it when any man touched her. That made it difficult for her to be a ballerina, but she had to get over this fear someday.
"Marvelous!" Firmin said. "Definitely prima ballerina."
"You think so monsieur?" Madame Giry said. "Her form was poor. She lost all control and danced about like a mad gypsy!"
Tell her I am a gypsy! She signed to Christine. Christine shook her head and ignored her.
"Tell me," Raoul said. "Are you still singing Christine?"
She shifted and her eyes went around the room nervously. "A little."
"Ha!" Carlotta said.
Raoul shot her a glare, which softened into a smile. "You were always too modest. Will you sing something for me?"
"Indeed!" Andre said promptly. The fool had a huge crush on Carlotta, anyone could see that. "How about it la Carlotta? "If I remember rightly, Elissa has a rather fine aria in Act Three of "Hannibal". I wonder, Signora, if, as a personal favor, you would oblige us with a private rendition?"
Carlotta smiled and obliged. Nina felt panic well up in her chest as Carlotta began to sing. Her head ached and when Carlotta began to crescendo, she closed her ears and hit the ground as another woman screamed. She looked up just as a backdrop hit the ground. She saw a figure leave the catwalk.
She ran after him and she grunted loudly. The figure turned and stared down at her. She couldn't see his face very well.
She held up her hands and signed. Thank you phantom.
To her shock he signed back. My pleasure. You have good taste in music. She waved and blew a kiss and she saw him start visibly at her gesture. Had she been too bold?
"Nina?" A ballerina called and hurried up to her. "Carlotta just quit! Christine is going to take her place!"
She looked up back up to see him, but he'd gone. She sighed and walked back to the stage, wondering who he was and why he'd done that.