A/N: Loving the feedback so far! Keep it coming! As always, I do not own Phantom of the Opera or any of its characters!
Not having any unused kleenexes on hand, Erik was kind enough to donate his shoulder for me to cry on. Once I had cried all I needed to, I slowly pulled back and attempted a smile. "Your laundry pile's growing Erik, and you've only been here a few hours!" At this, he finally smiled back.
"I have plenty, Sarah. No need to worry."
"Feel like helping us set up and decorate the tree?"
"Tree?" He glanced out the window, "Which tree do you mean? They all look set up to me..."
"Er...it's a fake tree. We set it up inside the living room downstairs and put lights and ornaments on it."
"Because it's pretty. And that's where the presents go."
"You know...gifts. For Christmas." I slowly made my way to the attic door. "I'll explain everything later. Right now, I sort of promised the others I'd get you to bring it downstairs..."
"The tree is in there? I didn't see it..." He slowly made his way toward me.
"It's in a box. I'll show you..."
Climbing his stairs, he at first tried to stop me, for fear of me going through to his time. I assured him that the blue glow wasn't there, so all would be safe. Still, he insisted on going up ahead of me, and I made no objection. There might be spiders. I hate spiders. Shivering at the cold and at the thought of them, I watched as Erik looked around the room he never saw before. "So...you use this room for storage?"
"Pretty much..." My face must have changed then. I wouldn't know. All I knew was there was a huge spider dangling right over his head. And it was one of those white, almost glow in the dark ones. Mustn't. Show. Fear...
As I slowly backed away, he noticed me. Oh great. He's gonna make fun of me. I just know it. Yes, he was following my gaze, and when he saw the spider, he smirked. "Something wrong, mademoiselle?"
"N—no...not at all..." He reached up to touch it, and my voice changed into that of a banchee. "DONTTOUCHIT!" He didn't even blink, but allowed the thing to crawl onto his hand.
"You fear this tiny thing, Sarah? I assure you, it won't hurt..."
"ITS NOT THAT ITS THE LEGS GETITAWAY GETITAWAY!" The banchee in my throat was climbing.
"Come now. Surely if you are fine with seeing my face, this innocent spider would be nothing..."
"Your face is NOTHING compared to that that that-" I didn't finish. I rushed down the stairs so quickly I'm sure a hurricane of a breeze blew some of my old papers and books around. Diving under my blanket, I listened as his footsteps descended towards my room again. "Don't you dare bring that into my room!" Silence. I didn't trust him. I really didn't. Especially when in the very next second, the blanket was suddenly lifted up and I immediately felt eight tiny legs crawling up my own. Not wasting any time, I lept in the air, blanket and all, coming dangerously close to the ceiling. "EEEERRRRRIIII IKKKK I'M GONNA KIIIIILLL YOOOOOOU!" Hearing his footsteps once again, I knew he was already on the second set of stairs. Smirking, I went down the other set and cut him off in the dining room. Now it was his turn to jump at my sudden appearance in front of him.
"How did you-?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, was the Opera Ghost out-phantomed?" My face was red. I was seething. But I could tell there was a maniac grin on my face as I glared at him.
"N—now Sarah...it was just a harmless prank!"
"Harmless prank? HARMLESS PRANK? Congratulations, Erik. Until I know for sure that that thing is out of this house, you have won my bed. I will be sleeping on the couch."
"Really, Sarah...you're how much bigger than that spider?"
"I. Don't. Care. I. Will. Not. Set. Foot. In. That. Room. Until. It's. Gone!"
"And I suppose you want me to throw it out into the cold cold snow?" He pouted.
"Oh sure, play THAT card on me!" He was now looking like a little boy who brought a stray dog home. "Just find it and bring it back up to the attic. And I don't want to see it again!" As my glare started to melt, he opened his mouth. "OR FEEL IT!" There went that idea. Pouting again, he went back up to my room to start the spider hunt. Little did he know that the thing was still on me. Little did I know until I saw it crawling down from my shoulder. "EEERRIIIIIKKKK!"
One hour later, Erik was sobbing at the toilet as we flushed his mutilated eight-legged friend. I was glad he understood that I really wasn't trying to step on it. I was freaking out and my foot just happened to land on it. Besides. It was his own fault. We were on the way up to the attic, the spider in his hand safely. But he just HAD to turn around with that smirk on his face and fling it at me. Still, as he wiped at his tears, we made a truce. As long as I didn't see or feel them, he could have as many spider friends as he wanted. The attic was full of them anyway. "First, we need to get that tree down." He nodded, and after several minutes of him double triple quadruple checking to make sure there weren't any spiders in my path, we got the tree and decorations down to the living room, where everyone was waiting impatiently. I might also mention that Hope was trying to fight back a smirk. "Yes?" I glared at her.
"Nothing wrong with spiders..." I glared more, and she and Erik high-fived. Don't ask where on earth he learned that.
"Oh let's just set up the tree!"
"Christmas music!" David spoke up, and Susan got her computer up and running. Within minutes, Transyberian Orchestra was blaring on her speakers, and Erik was back up in the attic, clinging to one of the chimneys.
"Oops...must've had it up full blast..."Susan grinned sheepishly as Hope went to pry Erik off of the stack of bricks. As they came back downstairs, I heard Hope explaining that loudness aside, he really would enjoy TSO, as it was pretty much rock opera. Finally agreeing to listen to the musical story more than the electric instruments, we began operation Christmas tree. More like operation Christmas tree disaster. It was David's year to set up the manger scene, so while he was occupied with sprinkling sawdust everywhere, the rest of us set up the tree. Once Erik figured out the pieces, that part was a breeze. We all agreed to let him put the star on top, and he looked questioningly at the portrait of Jesus in the center of it. Before he could ask, however, Hope was placing the ball of tangled lights in his hands. Within seconds, TSO was being drowned out by our laughter and Erik's yelling as he tried to untangle himself from the lights.
"You aren't supposed to punjab yourself, Erik..." Hope grinned.
"Just get me out of here before I punjab you from the roof!" He glared in response, and we quickly undid the knots he'd managed to tie around himself. At that moment, "What Is Christmas" came on, and we were surprised as Erik managed to sing along without having heard the song before. Watching his face and his frustration, however, we quickly understood. Once the lights were finally wrapped around the tree and not Erik, the madness of finding all our favorite ornaments and filling the tree began, and it wasn't long before Erik was covered in tinsel, his shirt dotted with ornaments and hooks. Glaring at anyone who might dare to come up with a smart remark about his appearance, he marched into the other room to regain his dignity. Ornaments and tinsel came flying into the room at us, and we were soon all on the floor, covering our heads.
Finally, the tree was complete, and we all stood back to survey our work. I watched as Erik's eyes moved between the manger scene and the star, questions filling his face. Hope noticed this as well, and between the two of us, we explained how the Baby in the manger grew up to become the Messiah...the Christ. Erik listened intently to the description of all Jesus did...the suffering He went through...and the sacrifice He made for us. Slowly nodding, he sat down on the couch and kept his eyes on the manger scene. The rest of us quietly left him with his thoughts and fixed our lunches.
The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. Erik spent the majority of the day in the living room, studying the tree, the manger scene, and Susan's Bible, particularly Luke's Gospel. After supper, he retired to my room, and upon hearing the keyboard, I knew he would be in there all night. Oh well. I had said I'd sleep on the couch, had I not? Besides, he had a lot of thinking to do.
A/N: Told you the insanity would return. More to come soon! Stay tuned! :)