I was originally going to post this on New Year's, but never got around to it. So, since I used an Elvis song, I decided to post it today in honor of the king, since today is Elvis Presley's 81st birthday. I don't own either of the two songs used, nor do I own Phantom.

"So he replies, "Then how do you manage?"

I dodge the blast, and apologize for collateral damage-"

"Um, Erik? I don't think that qualifies as celebrational music."

The infamous newspaper critic known as The Opera Ghost did not bother to look up from his copy of L'Epoque, deigning to simply turn the page and dryly respond,

"What does it matter to you, Daroga? As I recall, you were just leaving."

"Ah, but my friend," cried the Daroga, dramatically spreading his arms as a grin overtook his face, "It is a New Year; we must greet it in style."

"My dear Daroga, we are not friends; you merely insist on visiting and pestering me every chance you get. I plan on playing something different once you leave me in peace," Erik coolly stated, hoping against all hope that the damned Persian would finally leave; he wanted to play this particular song, but Nadir just couldn't take a hint!

"Alright, alright," he waved his hands placatingly. "I'll just be on my way then."

And for a moment, Erik believed him.

But then he said, "ONLY after I hear the song."

Erik groaned. "Daroga, please; don't make me beg."

As shaken as the Daroga was by the fact that Erik said please (and BEG of all things!), he doggedly (and rather stupidly) refused to back down. "Nope!" was the cheerful reply. "Not until I hear this song that apparently means so much to you."

He sighed. "Fine. Wait here." and with that, he swept out of the room.

The Daroga anxiously fidgeted in his chair, suddenly feeling like he was being watched. He nearly jumped out of his chair when Erik returned, cradling a record player in his arms. He looked an Nadir and smirked.

"Why Nadir, I didn't know I was that terrifying. I apologize for frightening you."

He scoffed. "Nonsense Erik; I was just surprised you owned something so archaic."

"Now now," Erik admonished, "there is no better sound than music on a record player." He plugged it in, and pulled an unmarked record out of its envelope. He placed it carefully on the record player, set the needle with great precision and care. He flipped the switch, and sat back as the music began to play.

"Love me tender,

love me sweet,

never let me go.

You have made my life complete,

and I love you so."

Daroga nearly jumped out of his chair once more, but for a different reason this time. "Erik-"

"Calm yourself, Nadir, I'm not going after her again. I am merely bidding her my final farewell," he calmly responded with a roll of his eyes, yet even Nadir could see the heartbreak in his eyes.

"I am letting her go."

"Love me tender,

love me true,

all my dreams fulfilled.

For my darlin' I love you,

and I always will."

"Then why choose this song? Erik, I can't trust that you won't go after that poor girl again. Give me proof that you will never approach her ever again, and I might believe you."

Erik sighed (he seemed to do that a lot in the Daroga's prescence) and pulled a newspaper clipping from his breast pocket.

'De Chagny and Daae officially wed.'

" I may be a monster, Daroga; but that does not mean I am not honourable."

As soon as Nadir read the headline, and heard the words from his friend's lips (because he was Erik's friend, despite both their protests), he knew he had more than likely pushed too far.

So, without any further words, he carefully folded up the paper, handed it back to Erik, and once it was safely in his pocket, he hugged him.

" Love me tender,

love me long,

take me to your heart.

For it's there that I belong,

and we'll never part."

He froze, almost unsure.

" I'm so sorry," Daroga whispered, tears falling for his friend.

And with those words, he broke.

He cried, tears streaming down his face for how much he had lost. The only love he had ever known, had never loved him at all.

The New Year is welcomed in many ways by many people. This year, it was welcomed by two men in a little flat in Paris, crying over what had been lost.

" Love me tender,

love me dear,

tell me you are mine.

I'll be yours through all the years,

till the end of time."


* The song at the beginning is "Mercenary" by Panic! At The Disco.

* The main song is "Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley.

When looking up the lyrics for this song, I discovered a verse which I had never heard before. It goes like this:

(When at last my dreams come true

Darling this I know

Happiness will follow you

Everywhere you go).

So I hope you had a good day, have a lovely evening, and happy birthday Elvis; you will never be forgotten.

~ Tie-Dyed Broadway