Disclaimer: I do not own PhofOp.
"Erik? Miss Daae is here. She brought your mask back." Nadir informed Erik. "Can she come in?"
"No." Erik murmured from behind his hands. "Please thank her for the mask and send her away."
He heard Nadir whisper his message and heard Christine's voice answer but could not make out the words. The door soon closed, telling Erik she had left.
"I should really get another. I do not think one is enough, something like this can happen again." Erik remarked, feeling his bed dip from Nadir's weight.
"That's something you can think about later." Antoinette whispered softly as she ran her fingers through his hair. His head was on her lap while she sat on the other end of his bed. The movement caused the hair gel to break but Erik did not mind it, the touch was soothing. "Right now you should focus on feeling better."
"That damn preacher!" Nadir growled. "He should be reported for what he did. I'm pretty sure that could be considered assault. The school would certainly be on our side for it!"
"Maybe we can discuss that later." Erik whispered, opening his fingers enough to see through them.
The room was dark from when Erik had come into his room and covered all his windows with the curtains. Usually he liked the natural light, but he had wanted to sulk in darkness. To not be able to see his face even if he tried to, not that he would. Upon completing that, Erik had collapsed in his bed and sent off a text to Nadir and Antoinette asking to come to his room when they were free. Antoinette had arrived first and when she had taken in the pitiful sight Erik must had made, she began to comfort him. When Nadir had arrived, he had seen Erik curled up in Antoinette's lap and demanded to be told what had happened.
Erik had told them, all the while not removing his hands from his face.
Nadir sighed but nodded. "Yeah, sure. Okay."
"Why are you covering you face? You know both of us have seen you plenty of times." Antoinette questioned, poking at his fingers with her free hand.
Erik sighed but slowly dropped his hands. Nadir held out his mask to him which he took but did not put it back on. Instead, he messed with the mask in between his hands.
"Someone might have seen me." Erik told them, staring at the mask. "My mask was ripped from me and exposed me. It caught me off guard and rapidly, like they just occurred, all those memories came forth, right in the middle of the quad."
"It wasn't your fault." Antoinette soothed. "Not then, not now."
"And I doubt anyone saw you. In fact, Miss Daae told me that after you had left, a small crowd went after the guy. He ran with his tail between his legs." Nadir finished with a satisfied smirk.
Erik's eyes widen at the mention of Christine. "Oh gosh, tell me she did not—"
"I don't know." Nadir cut off. "From how she acted when she dropped off your mask, she either did not see or she does not care."
Erik snorted. "Or maybe her acting classes are paying off in real life."
Antoinette pinched him and he jolted before giving her a glare, which she returned.
"Give her a little credit. She does not seem like the type to care about appearances, especially with those she cares about. Mr. de Chagny too."
"She did seem deeply concerned." Nadir commented. He lifted his foot to rest on the bed and tapped his finger to his chin. "I think you are underestimating her."
"Maybe." Erik stated with a hint of doubt, placing his mask on the bed next to him. Nadir and Antoinette would not let him hide behind it this soon. "But I have had too many bad experiences in regards to my face to not be wary."
"We'll give you that one." Antoinette agreed. "We know you like them."
"Yes, of course, they are good friends to have." Erik stated without hesitation. "And they are great friends to Meg."
"That's not the kind of like, we're talking about." Nadir snorted.
Erik blinked and carefully kept his face blank since he had his mask off. "I have no idea what you are talking about."
"Bull, you don't know." Nadir countered with a scowl.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door and Nadir gave Erik a look that clearly stated that they were not done with the topic yet. He stood up and went to the door. When he opened it, he made sure to stand in a way that blocked Erik from the person at the door.
"Ah look, perfect timing. We could use your help!" Nadir declared in a cheerful voice that made Erik instantly suspicious.
Nadir stepped back to allow the person in and Meg walked through. Her eyebrows were furrowed in worry but what Nadir had said made her curious. She glanced at Erik and made her way to him.
"Christine told me what happened. How are you?" Meg asked, kneeling in front of him to not stand over him.
Erik grinned at her. "Better. How's my pearl?"
"Worried about you." Meg admitted. "Christine was pretty riled up when she talked to me. She was pissed at that guy."
"Apparently a lot of people were." Erik stated, he reached out and took Meg's hand in his and gave it a squeeze. "You do not have to worry about me."
Meg exhaled. "Yeah, like that'll ever happened."
She looked up at Nadir with a frown. "What did you need my help with?"
"Oh!" Nadir smirked and Erik wished that the ground would open up to swallow him. "Erik's saying that he likes Chagny and Miss Daae as friends."
"Only as friends." Antoinette emphasized. Meg's eyes widen in understanding.
"Yes, well you can all leave now, I'm feeling much better." Erik tried to sit up but was grabbed by his shoulders by Antoinette and forced back down.
"Nope! You are staying exactly where you are!" Antoinette declared cheerfully, her grip remaining on his shoulders in warning to keep him from moving. "And so are we!"
"Do we have to do this? I do not like them that way!" Erik protested up at Antoinette whose smile got wider.
"Sure you don't." she teased.
"I don't see why you are denying it this much." Nadir questioned, going back to his previous spot on Erik's bed. When Erik tried to kick him off, he stood up and sat back down again, but this time, behind Erik's legs, the weight of his legs keeping Erik from moving his.
"Now I feel trapped." Erik mumbled and side glanced at Meg. "You going to help them?"
"I don't need to." Meg grinned. She stood up from her kneeling position and walked to his desk. She grabbed the back of his chair, rolled it over and sat down a couple feet away. "I do like the show though."
Erik sighed dramatically. "Traitor."
"Now, are we going to have to do this the easy way or the hard way?" Nadir asked.
Erik raised an eyebrow. "This isn't the hard way already?"
"Nah, that's when we tie you up and force you to listen to rap music." Nadir answered with a smirk that showed he was serious and he would enjoy doing it.
Erik's eyes widen in horror, his body freezing for the same reason. They knew that he hated rap music, to him it was talking with a beat in the back ground, a complete second-rate, poor attempt at music.
"Look! He gets it!" Antoinette cheered.
"Okay. Okay! I will talk!" Erik began to struggle again. "Let me up!"
Antoinette release his shoulders and Nadir lifted his legs to free his. Erik quickly sat up and stood up from the bed to get away from the two of them. He did not want to be close enough from them to go through their threat. He sent them a scowl when he was satisfied with the distance.
"Savages. How dare you own any form of that disgraced form of music in my presence." He stated, placing his hands on his waist.
Antoinette rolled her eyes. "Just a few songs and only to be used to threaten you. We don't actually listen to the stuff."
"And for a genius you can sure be dumb." Nadir added. "How can you not have realized that you like them?"
Erik continued to stare at his friends without saying anything.
"He's realized, he just doesn't want to admit it." Meg suddenly announced, almost causally.
Antoinette gained a look of comprehension. "That would make sense!"
"I'll agree to that." Nadir approved.
Erik sighed shifted from foot to foot before stopping. "You going to decide that on your own?"
"Well, are you going to tell us?" Antoinette countered, waiting expectantly.
Erik stared at the carpet of his room. It needs vacuuming. Bringing his thoughts back into focus, he thought about the couple in question. He knew that he liked them and, maybe, liked them a little bit more than friends. He liked how they were noticeably opposites yet that very fact is what makes them seem perfect for each other. When Erik had learned that they were polyamorous, he had been shocked, he could not think that anyone would be able to make them anymore complete than they already were. That was when he noticed that his feelings towards the two of them were changing. He did not know the exact moment but he grew to care for them deeply.
But why would he believe that anything further than friendship was possible?
"If it helps, they like you too." Meg offered. "Trust me when I say they would be more than happy to start dating you."
Erik's head jerked at the confession and frowned. "How would you know that?"
"I know a lot of things!" Meg bragged teasingly. "You underestimate my knowledge!"
"Then aren't you meddling in things since you know both sides." Antoinette inquired with a disapproving eyebrow.
Meg shrugged. "Maybe a little, but so are you two."
"If we didn't, nothing would get done." Nadir pointed out and the two women conceded the point.
"Then why are you talking to me." Erik deadpanned. "Obviously, the three of you have made your decisions towards everyone's feelings."
"Really? Okay, so you wouldn't mind me telling them myself that you want to date them?" Nadir started to get up as if to leave.
Erik glared. "Sit down."
Nadir held his hands up in surrender but sat back down.
"Come on, Erik, we only wish for you to admit it. It's not that hard." Antoinette pressed. "It's not about your face is it?"
Erik snorted, moving his hands from his waist to cross his arms. "When isn't it about my face? It will always come down to that."
"But Christine said she was fine with his face." Meg stated with a frown.
Erik's world froze at that sentence. The room got eerie quiet the millisecond after Meg had spoken.
Meg took in their looks of disbelief and gained her own. "You didn't know?!"
"She didn't give any reaction that could have been taken as such and she didn't not say anything." Nadir spoke weakly.
Meg started to twist her hands together in her lap, a nervous habit she has been unable to break. "I thought you knew."
"Its fine, Meg." Antoinette soothed, placing her hand on her sister's knee. "That part would have come out eventually."
"She…" Erik whispered to himself in shock, not comprehending anything around him. "She saw my face…"
"Whoa, hey, don't go inside that head of yours." Nadir hurried to stand up and came over to Erik. He grabbed his shoulders and Erik took hold of his hands to use as an anchor.
"She saw my face and was not horrified or disgusted?" Erik demanded, turning to Meg.
"She said it took her by surprise, but that's pretty much a given." Meg answered with no hint of falsehood. "She said that she could easily get used to it if you let her and that Raoul would be the same."
Erik felt light headed and tightened his grip on Nadir's hands to keep himself upright.
"Ridiculous, utterly ridiculous." He giggled.
"Ah, I think Erik's in shock." Nadir stated, watching him carefully.
"Not surprising." Antoinette replied with a shrugged. "He just found out that his feelings might be returned, and that his face won't be a problem. Can you blame him?"
"Stop talking like I'm not here." Erik scowled, to which Antoinette shrugged again.
"How about it then? You willing to take a chance on them?" Nadir asked not taking his eyes off of him.
"I say go for it!" Meg gushed.
Erik grinned. "Sure. Why not?"
The answering cheers made him laugh.
And there we go! Another chapter up. And yes, this is the one before the last chapter. Hopefully everyone enjoyed it. Leave a comment! And, if you didn't already, leave a vote to which of the two fanfics you want up first! See ya next time.