Thanks to all you reviewers! You make this world a wonderful place;))

Well, an older phanfic based on Kay, no big thing, a bit crappy but I love it nontheless. It makes me smile and sigh.

What happened, if that darn unmasking hadn't taken place? And what if Christine was a little more mature?

Possibly this:



Slowly I leave my room, letting the shawl of black silk trail behind me carelessly.

He doesn't want me to see him. That much I have accepted. If he believes he needs his mask I can do nothing about it now.

And besides that I want to love him for himself, love him for what he is, and not for what his face looks like - or doesn't look like. I have to lovingly accept the fact that he fears to be seen, too.

But I have to give it a start. I can't stand his hopeless hope anymore - or at least the behaviour I interpret as hopeless hope.

But why should he have brought me here if not to have me near him? And why should he want me near him if not because he loves me? Why else should he be so dangerously jealous of my good old Raoul?

Yes, although he never told me, although he insists on treating me with nothing but distanced civility, I'm sure that he loves me.

And I love him. Although he lied to me - no, did he really lie to me? Can't there be Angels born in a human form so that they will never know what they really are? And isn't the world what you see in it? The source of reality lies right behind one's forehead, doesn't it? The world outside is just an inspiration.

I love him because he taught me to sing as only an angel could have taught me. I love him because he gave me a reason to live when my world lay in tiny splinters around me. I love him because he fears so much to lose me. I love him because I feel that I belong to him. Entirely. Voice, Heart, Soul . . . and Body.

And he belongs to me just the same way.

The hope that one day he will have gathered enough trust, to show me his face of his own accord, is strong in me, as I slowly walk to the fireside chair in which he sits and reads a book.

He's disheveled. Absorbed. And I just stand there, feeling the warmth of the fire on my bare feet, until he becomes aware of my presence.

»Christine, dear, shouldn't you be asleep by now?« he asks with a slight hint of scolding.

»I'm not tired.«

»Then have a seat. I will read to you, if you wish.«

»No.« I refuse softly. »No story tonight. There's something else...« I sit down on the Persian cushion next to his chair and take the scarf on my lap to fold something of it.

»Something else? And what mystery lies before me?« he asks with a kind note of joking.

So I caught him in good humor. That's advantageous. Very advantageous.

»Will I guess what it is?«

»I'm quite positive you'll never guess it.« I smile.

»Are you? But it has to do with the shawl.«

»That wasn't difficult to find out.«

He starts a succession of senseless but funny guesses and I smile and giggle happily until I'm contented with the new form of the scarf. Rather gravely I turn my face to him. It takes some breaths for me to gather enough courage to state my question and set something into motion I will never again be able to control.

»You love me, Erik, don't you?«

His eyes stop smiling and for a moment he just stares into the flames before him. And when he eventually looks at me again his eyes are clouded by a mess of emotions I can't identify.

»Why do you ask this?«

»Because I want to know.« I reply softly.

Again there are several heartbeats of silence. Then he sighs.

»I love you more than I can say, Christine.«

"And I know that you will never feel the same towards me. No one ever will. Love isn't meant for people like me." I know that he adds this in his mind.

»I'd very much like to kiss you now...«

»You want what?« In his widened eyes I can see utter disbelief and a great deal of fear.

»I want to kiss you.«

For a moment he seems unable to move, but eventually he gets up from his seat with a start.

»Don't mock me, Christine!« he growls darkly.

»I'm not mocking you.« I swear to the shadow between the piano and the bookshelves in which he is hiding from me now. For a moment I consider telling him that I love him, but surley that would be too much for him now.

»Come out of there, Erik. I'm sorry if I was too outright. But it's true. I want to kiss you.«

»You have no idea, what you are doing right now.« the shadow answers gravely.

»Do I?« my heart beats as if it were preparing to jump out of my chest and run away.

»Yes, you do! You have never seen my face. If you knew what you are wanting to kiss, you wouldn't want it anymore.«

»I know that you believe this, Erik.« I say in my most soothing voice. »I know that you fear to be seen. And I always respected that, did I not?«

The shadow remains silent but I know that he is still in there.

»I don't want to see you. I'm not interested in what you face looks like. I just want to kiss you with my eyes blindfolded.«

»I said you must not mock me!« the shadow barks at me. But there is not much strength behind his anger. He wants my words to be true far too much.

»I know you don't trust me.«

»I don't trust the species to which you belong. Humans are far too curious. If I know anything at all, than it is this.«

»I'm more than a specimen, Erik. Much more.« I retort with a pinch of anger. »If I weren't, I wouldn't be here, don't you think?«

A wave of silence slowly rolls through the room.

»I can't let you do this.« the shadow eventually mumbles. »If the blindfold slips . . . if you exidentially open your eyes . . . if you see my face one day . . . No, I can't let you do this. It would be . . . it would be unethical. Like giving you some slow poison.«

»You take this all far too seriously.« I hear myself saying.

»No, Christine!« he spits, full of anger again »You don't understand what you are offering me.«

»You are truly afraid, aren't you?« I ask softly. »Afraid of being kissed.«

»I'm not . . . I . . . I can't let you kiss this horrible thing! . . . It . . . it could set something in motion that can't be stopped anymore.« he sighs, as if these were words he never intended to let out of his mouth.

»And if that is exactly what I want?«

»That can't be exactly what you want!« His voice hits me like a fist and I duck behind the fireside chair in a fearful attempt to escape it. »You don't know my face, damn it! You can't want to...«

»I beg you, Erik.« my voice isn't much more than a whisper, but I can't give up now. For his sake I can't give up. And for my sake, too. »I beg you to blindfold me and take off your mask . . . Trust me, Erik . . . Your dream will never come true if you don't let it. . .« Slowly I rise from the Persian cushion and walk to the shadow in which he is hiding. On the last few steps I lay the shawl over my eyes and knot it tightly. When my outstreched hand touches the smooth fabric of his kimono I stop. »Take off your mask, Erik.« I plead softly. And when I hear the thin wooden oval clatter to the ground I let my fingers slide upwards to his neck. I rise to the tips of my toes until my lips eventually meet the cool skin on his cheekbone. I linger there for a moment, then I withdraw.

»That didn't hurt, did it?« I whisper, suppressing my tears and the need to embrace him and never let go.

»No.« He shrinks away from me, breathing heavily.

»Don't leave, Erik . . . I want to give you another.«

»You said one kiss!« he retorts in a strained voice. »Go to sleep now! Please

»Surrender, Erik.« I breathe. My arms find his neck. My lips find his mouth. But he pushes me away.

»You don't know what you are doing! End this game right now!«

»I'm not playing.«

»Oh yes, you are! And you are unwilling to grasp the price you'll have to pay.«

»Am I?« God, stop my voice from quivering like that!

»Yes! And if it's the only way to stop this madness... See it! See it and then leave me!« And with that angry cry he rips the blindfold from my face.

But my eyes underneath are tightly shut.

"Oh, please, please stop being so angry!" I beg him silently, and my voice is all but steady when I state: »I don't want to see it now, Erik. I don't want to see it and I don't want to leave you.«

His fingers claw into my shoulders and draw me towards him.

»Open your eyes, damn it! Open them

»I won't.« I whisper determinedly »And that is what you hoped for, I know it. You longed for someone who wouldn't want to see your face. Well, here I am. Accept it.«

His hands let go of my shoulders. I hear a strangeled sob and the sound of crumbling fabric, as he sinks to his knees in front of me. Then I feel his cool touch on my naked ankles.

»If you leave me I'll die.« he cries softly.

Slowly I kneel down beside him. My hands find his head and gently strike his hair.

»I'll never leave you. I swear it. No face in the world could ever drive me away from you . . . I love you, Erik.«

His head moves upwards under my hands.

»You think you love me? Then open your eyes and look at my face lovingly!« Anger and desperation mixed to something that takes the breath away.

»Do you truly want me to see it?« I ask sternly.

I feel him shake his head slowly.

». . . I don't know. . .«

»Then go on and hide from me until you know it. I don't care how long you'll need, Erik.«

After a moment in which all his feelings and instincts seem to fight each other and send silent sobs up his throat, his fingertips touch my cheek.

»Look at me, Christine, beloved . . . Please. Open your eyes and look at my face.«

Slowly I open my eyes, exploring the dead man's visage in front of me in tiny steps to get used to it and not show him the slightest hint of fear or distaste.

The dim light from the fireplace reveals a strong, angry chin, hidden under a thin layer of pale skin, a mouth, barely recognizable, the lips torn and twisted; there is no nose, only a gaping black hole in the middle of his face. And his mismatched eyes lie deep in their sockets under a forehead with no eyebrows and a strange relief of scars that covers his prominent cheekbones and his sunken cheeks, too.

»I love you even more, now that you trust me.« I whisper through the veil of my sad, happy tears.

»You love me more?«

»My heart will burst if you don't allow me to kiss you right now.« it's a mix of sob and laughter.

»Then kiss me...«

And this I do, finally slipping into the embrace that I dreamed of since I first heard his voice caressing me through the mirror in my dressing room.