Part One Dear Old Friends
"Over there is the boardwalk, and that is our famous House of Mirrors." Meg Giry smiled as she pointed out the sites around the park. "The Midway is around that corner and the stage
Well you can see the top of it over those trees." Normally she wouldn't be showing people around, but Mr. Y had told her these guests were very special, as they had just arrived from Paris.
There were four people following her around, getting this grand tour. Marius and Cosette had recently been married and the young lovers looked like they were glued to each other at the hip. It was sweet, how much they adored each other. Following behind were Enjolras and Eponine; two friends who were serving as traveling companions to the others. Both of them were quiet and reserved. They had apparently been through a revolution and survived with many mental and physical wounds, which Mr. Y forbade Meg to mention. Eponine looked sullen and fragile and Enjolras kept her close, an arm tightly wrapped around her shoulders.
"Meg? My god, is that you?"
Meg turned at the sound of the voice and just stared at the woman walking briskly towards her. Following behind was a handsome man and a little 5-year-old boy.
The two old friends embraced and laughed happily. Christine's husband also hugged Meg.
"It's been forever since we've seem you," Raoul said. "What a coincidence to find you here."
Meg was suddenly hesitant. "Yes, a coincidence. I'm actually employed here, mother and I."
"So was it your mother who sent us this?" Christine asked. She pulled out a flyer for Phantasma, advertising a "very special weekend" for couples and young people in love.
"I'm not really sure," Meg replied slowly. "Maybe. Who is this handsome boy?"
Raoul smiled and clasped the child by the shoulders. "This is our son, Philippe. Say hello to our friend Miss Giry."
"Bonjour, Miss Giry," he whispered.
"Bonjour," Meg replied. "Oh Christine, he's precious." She turned back to the others. "I'm so sorry, let me introduce you to my friends. I knew them back when we all lived in France. Christine and I were at the Paris Opera together."
"Christine Daaé?" Cosette asked. "The famous Christine Daaé?"
"Not so famous anymore," Christine admitted.
"And not a Daaé either," Raoul spoke up. He pulled Christine close. "She now Madam de Chagny. I'm Raoul, the current Comte."
Cosette clasped her hands together." A Comte and an Opera singer? How romantic!"
Marius leaned in and kissed Cosette. "It's good to see other couples as happy as we are. I feel like things are right again after all the time we were apart. It was worth it, though. Good things come to those who wait. And just think, we owe all our happiness to my dear friend 'ponine."
Eponine looked green.
"So Christine, a married woman now?" Meg said, sensing the tension in the air. "What of your career?"
After everything I decided to devote myself to my family and leave the Opera behind. Maybe I'll go back someday, but I'm content being a mother. But it surprises me that you didn't come to our wedding, we sent you an invitation."
"We never got it," Meg replied quietly. "I just
Mother and I left France right after
you know. "
"Yes," Raoul replied darkly. "That. We've tried to forget about that. About him. And I'm sure your mother didn't want to be implicated in anything."
Meg cleared her throat. "Yes
I'm being so rude! These are my new friends; Enjolras and Eponine. And this Marius and Cosette Pontmercy."
"It's nice to meet you," Raoul said.
Marius shook the offered hand. "And you as well. You know, you look like someone I know."
Raoul managed a smile. "I get that a lot."
"Are you enjoying your time here at Coney?" Christine asked.
"Yes indeed," Cosette replied. "I love it, even if Phantasma is a bit eerie with all the freaks running around."
Raoul's eyes darkened again. "Wait one blasted minute. Why didn't I realize this before?"
"What's wrong, Papa?" Philippe asked innocently.
"Nothing you need worry about," Raoul replied. "I hope. But does anyone else find it odd that Miss Giry works at Phantasma at Coney Island where the main attraction is a freak show?"
I don't know what you're talking about," Meg said quickly.
"Did he die, Meg?" Raoul demanded.
"I don't like all this talk about death," Cosette said. "I might have to excuse myself from this talk."
"I'll go with you," Marius told her. "After all this isn't our business. And I think I saw the tunnel of love. It would be good to spend some time alone with my Cosette."
"Cosette. Cosette," Eponine hissed out. "Always COSETTE!"
"Steady 'ponine," Enjolras whispered. "They're not doing it on purpose."
"Like that makes it any better," she bit out.
"We'll take our leave now," Marius said, offering a bow.
He led Cosette away, holding her tightly as he whispered things in her ear that made her giggle like a school girl. Eponine clenched her hands into fists and fought back tears. Enjolras tentatively touched her shoulder.
"Don't touch me!"
"I can't," she managed through tears. "I have to be alone. I'm sorry."
She ran from the group, looking for a quick escape route. Seeing her chance at getting lost, she ducked into the House of Mirrors.
Enjolras looked frantic. "Eponine
An icy breeze blew past them, a whispering echo. Eponine...
Christine paled. "Oh no
Raoul, you don't really think
" She clutched his arm.
"Enjolras heed my advice: if I were you, and if you have any feeling for that girl, I would go after her," Raoul ordered. "Now. If he gets his hands on her it's all over."
"Who?" Enjolras asked. "I don't understand what's happening."
Part Two The Mirror
Eponine stumbled through the mirror maze, not caring how lost she was getting. As if it wasn't bad enough to have lost Marius to Cosette the two blatantly flaunted their love in front of her. It wasn't fair!
And as much as Enjolras wanted to help her he just didn't understand. He didn't know heartbreak or the pain of his heart being torn out. And getting shot at the barricades didn't count because emotional wounds were always worse than physical one.
Eponine slipped to the ground, back pressed up against the glass of the nearest mirror. Her tears distracted her and she failed to see the flash of black the sweeping cloak that passed through the mirrors like a descending bat.
"Are you alright?"
Eponine jumped at the voice and looked around. "Hello? Who's there?"
"Just someone who is worried about you."
"Where are you?" Eponine questioned, getting to her feet. She turned around in circles, but she was met with nothing but her own reflections.
"I'm everywhere and nowhere," the man said. "This maze was designed by a genius and made so that you don't know if you are looking at a mirror or a pane of glass. Or even an open frame."
A figure dressed in all black appeared before her and held out his hand. Eponine reached forward, entranced, and touched the solid glass. She gasped and the man looked up, revealing his masked face. It was an almost full mask that covered the top portion of his face, revealing only his lips and the very bottom of his nose.
"Who are you?" she whispered.
"I am known by many names," he replied cryptically. "You may call me Mr. Y."
"Why all the mystery?" she asked.
He smiled. "This place is mine and so I know all of its secrets. And there are some of my own that must keep guarded. But I am here because you seem distressed."
"I shouldn't have run away," Eponine whispered. "I overreacted."
Mr. Y took a step to the side and vanished. Eponine turned to find the man directly behind her. "You're safe here, Eponine," he said. "You may hide as long as you want."
"How do you know my name?"
"I saw you outside with your friends," he admitted. "I see the pretty boy blond fop has taken a liking to you."
Eponine looked shocked. "What? Enjolras? No, we're just friends."
Mr. Y's lips quirked. "And mark."
"Eponine! Eponine where are you?"
Eponine turned. "How did you know Enjolras would call to me at that very minute?"
"We both knew he would come after you." He pointed towards the far wall.
"Miss Thenardier?" Raoul's voice.
"I've had lots of experience with these types of men. They make me angry and then I do things that I don't really regret."
Eponine swallowed thickly. "Maybe I should go."
"But you," the man continued, ignoring her words, "your heartbreak is over Marius and that girl. They have wronged you and it is a crime that they are blind to it."
"Eponine, where are you?" Enjolras sounded almost frantic.
"We can go and talk somewhere more private than this," he offered. "There's a place below."
Eponine looked back the way she had come and nodded, stepping closer to the masked man and took his offered hand. She wanted them all to worry about her, wanted to see if Marius and Cosette fretted over her absence.
"Don't listen to his lies, Eponine," Raoul called out. "I know this man; he is a fraud and a murderer. He is the Phantom of the Paris Opera House!"
"It sounds like the two of you have history," Eponine said incredulously. "And what's all this about a Phantom?"
"It's a long story," he told her. Mr. Y pushed a hidden switch and one of the mirrors slid open, revealing a downward staircase. "Come with me and tell you."
"I hope I won't regret this," Eponine whispered.
Part Three Javert's Arrival
"I can't believe you're working for that man!" Christine yelled.
Madam Giry cringed from where she sat behind a desk in the office. A police inspector, the head of security, sat on the edge of the desk.
"Now Madam Chagny, please calm down," Inspector Javert said.
"But what is that man really did take Eponine?" Marius asked. "She could be in danger."
"That man?" Madam Giry echoed. "If I recall you were the one who loved him, if only for a moment. He was your angel and you betrayed him over false accusations."
"He lied to me," Christine told her. "He manipulated me and killed people in my name. Joseph Bouquet, Piangi, Philippe. And then he tried to kill Raoul."
"Those were all accidents," the woman replied smoothly. "Tragic accidents that Erik was blamed for. And as for Raoul, you were delirious from hitting your head
"The chandelier took out half the stage," Christine implored. "Not to mention the section of the pit where Raoul was. And after Philippe died
"You have to help us, we can't find Eponine anywhere in the mirror house," Enjolras said as he skidded into the room.
"Christine, where is our boy?" Raoul asked, coming in on the other man's heels.
"He's with Meg and Cosette," Christine told him.
Javert stood and cleared his throat, glancing between Enjolras and Raoul.
"Oh," Christine exclaimed. "This man is a police inspector and he's going to help us find Eponine. This is
"Enjolras you little wretch," Javert hissed, cutting her off. "What in the name of God are you doing here alive and well?"
"I could ask the same thing of you," Enjolras hissed. "Valjean should have shot you."
"And you should have been laid out across the barricade broken and bloody with your fellow revolutionaries." His eyes narrowed at Raoul. "But I see that your drunken friend Grantaire also survived, although cleaning him up does nothing to disguise his off putting personality."
"I beg your pardon, sir," Raoul said. "I don't know who this Grantaire is, and I am not some drunken man. I've only met Enjolras today. My name is Raoul and I am the Comte de Chagny."
Javert blanched. "I am very sorry Monsieur, you look just like him."
"I didn't want to say anything when I saw you, but I know you too," Marius said. "Eponine's father tried to say that Valjean was responsible for your death, but the last word was that you committed suicide."
"You're that heart-sick, romantic kid," Javert said. "I remember you from the barricade. Eponine saved you. And yes, Valjean spared my life. I had to disappear because of him, because I let him live. So I jumped into the river, prompting everyone to think I was dead. I found my way across the ocean and ended up here, employed by Erik and paid well, so don't speak ill of him."
Enjolras was fuming. "He took Eponine against her will."
"This is a very bad habit," Raoul said. "He's done it before; he took Christine twice."
"Maybe Eponine chose to go with him," Madam Giry said, "just as the Comtesse did the first time Erik swept her away."
"I admit that I went willingly," Christine said. "But that was before his true colors come out. And now I'm scared. Why did he lure us here? What is he planning?"
"I'll not let him harm you," Raoul said. He put an arm around his wife. "I'll put a stop to this madness once and for all."
Part Four The Beauty Underneath
"So because of your
face you were shunned?" Eponine whispered. "Even with all of your talent, knowledge and accomplishments?"
The masked man nodded. "It is a cruel world where you are judged by your looks before anything else."
The two were sitting in Mr. Y's Erik's underground workroom talking over tea like two old friends. Erik had removed full mask and replaced it with a much smaller one; this one only covered the right side of his face, showing off the perfection of the rest of him.
Eponine's heart went out to him. He had been abused most of his life and had been called 'an angel with the face of the devil'. But he was charismatic and charming and a genius. Why he had helped to build the Paris Opera, where he had lived most of his life. And she really couldn't blame him for haunting the building; he hadn't intended to hurt anyone.
"Everything went awry with Christine," he told her. "I just wanted to befriend a sad child. She was so lonely and I knew that pain, so I pretended to be her Angel of Music. Just being there day after day sing with her from the other side of the mirror should have been enough. She was radiant up on that stage."
"What about all those deaths?" Eponine questioned.
"Propaganda," he told her. "Nothing but a hate campaign by those managers who were wrapped around Carlotta's little finger. Even though Christine was a sensation they were being pestered by their jealous diva. So when I gave them an opera to perform - one that would showcase Christine's talent they took action to get rid of me."
they set you up?" Eponine was appalled.
Erik nodded. "I already had a reputation because a stage hand slipped and accidently hung himself. I was blamed because this man, a friend of Madam Giry's, helped spread ghost stories about me. So everyone thought I had silenced him to keep my secrets."
"What happened with your opera?"
Erik stared into his wine glass. "Everyone had been working on this show, making it perfect to bait a trap for me. It was too much for Piangi, their tenor. I heard something in his voice that wasn't right, so I went to investigate. The poor man died of a heart attack and no one knew because he was hidden to make a dramatic entrance. I put on his cloak and went out to sing with Christine because the show must go on. Well, someone fired a shot and it hit one of the ropes holding the chandelier, sending it crashing into the pit."
Eponine's eyes were huge. "That's awful."
"The ropes were ragged," Erik explained. "They were going to replace them soon, but then this happened and the opera was ruined. The chandelier took out the first few rows of the audience as well and Raoul was lucky to crawl out of the pit with only minor injuries. On stage Christine and I were hit by debris and she was knocked unconscious. I took her away to tend to her wounds and; as predicted, Raoul and his brother came after us. Philippe drown in the underground lake and Raoul was beyond reasonable. We fought and he stabbed me, though he'll tell you I tried to kill him. He spirited Christine away and because of her injured she believed everything Raoul told her. Madam Giry and Meg found me and tended to my wounds and we left Paris. We came over here and I bought the freak show on Coney so that people like me could have a place to be themselves. But I never stopped pinning for Christine."
Eponine wrung her hand. "So
so why did you bait them to come here?"
Erik sighed. "Because I'm a shell of a man, Eponine. I've pinned too long for a woman who would never love me. There have been too many sleepless nights where I've tried to think up some way to win her back. But I knew it was hopeless unless she was unhappy with her Viscomte. I needed one last heartbreak to free my mind."
Eponine covered his hand with hers. "So you invited them here to see if they really are in love?"
Erik nodded. "And they are, the boy proves it. Raoul seems to treat her right and she's happy with him. But now they know I'm here and I fear a confrontation because that hot headed fop still wants my blood for his brother's death."
"Maybe we can talk him down," Eponine offered. "They'll listen to me, I know it."
Erik smiled a sad smile. "That's just what Christine said. She told me 'Raoul will not be jealous of my teacher'. That's all I was to her, a teacher." He shook his head. "Eponine, you're young and you have your whole life a head of you, don't make my mistakes."
She squeezed his hand tighter. "What mistakes? All you did was love someone
Oh." She lowered her head. "Oh."
"My pinning for Christine kept me lonely and holed up. Thinking I could make her love me, obsessing over that, has stopped me from trying to find happiness. I've been helping Meg achieve her dreams of being a star, but my passion is gone."
Eponine swallowed thickly. "Maybe someone needs to help you."
"But who would?" Erik questioned. "Who would want to be close to this face? Even my Christine was frightened away."
"I'll tell you who: someone who needs help herself. Someone who knows this pain. I don't want to be with Enjolras and I can never have Marius. Will you help me by letting you help me?" She touched his unmarred cheek.
what are you doing?"
"Finding out who you really are. Erik, please this off and let me see you."
Part Five The Confrontation
Eponine and Erik's discussion was rudely interrupted when the door to the private office was kicked in. Eponine shrieked and jumped up, clutching Erik's arm. He stood but kept his face straight, emotions veiled despite his naked face.
"Unhand her you monster," Enjolras shouted.
"God, he is a demon," Marius said. "Look at that face!"
"I told you," Raoul said. "Foul as sin and just as hideous and horrible as ever."
"Stop it," Eponine yelled. "You have no right to come barging in here and accusing him of anything."
" Marius all but whimpered. "Come on, you're safe now. We won't let him harm you."
"He hasn't," she confirmed. "And it was my choice to come here with him; I need some time away from you to think."
"I told you," Javert said. He went to stand with Erik. "You boys are always stirring up trouble when you should just sit down, shut up, and mind your own damned business."
"Three against two," Enjolras commented. "We can take them."
"We have to be careful," Raoul said. "He's crafty. See how quickly he's plied Eponine's mind to his will?"
"I am quite in my right mind," Eponine said. "Actually, I've never thought more clearly. Did you ever think that I was upset and wanted to be alone?"
"I was trying to help you," Enjolras said.
"Help me?" Eponine laughed. "What makes you think I want you? Just because I loved Marius doesn't mean that I'd instantly fall in love with you Enjolras! One revolutionary is just as good as another?" Her eyes were smoldering. "I went to that barricade to die, Marius; to die with you. And what happened? Oh Eponine, can you take my love letters to Cosette?"
Marius stuttered. "I
I was trying to keep you safe."
"Well you were too late," she yelled. "I was already hurt and bleeding and mortally wounded before I took that bullet for you! And you, you should have left me to die, Enjolras! But you saved me and because of that all I've heard is Cosette this and Cosette that. I hate her, Marius! I hate that woman!"
"She's never done anything to you," Marius said. "There's no reason for you to slander her. Besides, she told me that you and Azelma were cruel to her. Your mother made her a maid forced her to clean the inn."
"We didn't want another sister," Eponine said. "We were happy when Valjean took her away and then father had to go and try to steal her back. I tried to stop it, you know I did. And what happened? You took one look at her and never thought of my feelings again; like right now! You don't care what I want."
"But this man is a murderer," Raoul said pointedly.
"Stop this pointless fighting," Javert said. "These no need to bring up old wounds."
"Like this one?" Erik ripped open his shirt to show a healed stab wound in his abdomen. "This was care of Raoul. Six years ago I was tending to Christine after she was knocked out from a crashing chandelier that
"That you made fall," Raoul interrupted.
"That your police inspectors accidentally shot down," Erik corrected. "You and your brother came charging in without thought and you jumped out of the boat and threw me aide to get to Christine. You brother slipped and got his foot tangled in the tie line. I saw this and went to HELP him. I could have saved him if you would've left well enough alone. He drown because you pulled me away from him."
"No," Raoul said. "No, you held him under."
"I was untangling the rope from his leg!"
"Stop," Javert yelled, coming between the two. "This has gone on long enough."
"You need to arrest that man," Raoul growled. "He needs to stay away from my wife."
"For six years I've stayed away from your wife," Erik countered. "I left Paris and came straight here. Today was the first time I've had any contact with her."
"You lured her here to steal her!" Raoul was becoming unhinged.
"I wanted to make sure she was happy."
"A likely story," Raoul yelled. "I'm putting an end to this here and now."
He pulled a pistol from his belt. Javert ran for the Comte, but the gun went off, thankfully under the inspector's arm. But there was no mistaking the woman's cry of pain.
"Eponine," Enjolras gasped. "Eponine no!"
I didn't mean to hit her," Raoul said, dropping the gun. "It was an accident."
Erik was kneeling, cradling the dying girl in his arms. "It's alright, Eponine. Everything will be alright, we'll get you some help. Someone go get help!"
Javert was restraining Raoul, reading him his rights, so Marius tore out of the room. Enjolras knelt down next to Erik, tears in his eyes.
"She should be in someone's arms who loves her," Erik whispered.
Enjolras pulled Eponine against him. "Eponine
Eponine I'm so sorry
A sad smile crossed her face as she lifted a bloody hand to touch his cheek. "Don't you fret Monsieur Enjolras
I don't feel any pain