Raoul and Erik confront each other in a deserted corridor and start arguing about (what else?) Christine.
Raoul moved swiftly down the corridors toward Christine's dressing room, seething. The Phantom of the Opera would finally meet his downfall... if Christine agreed to go along with his plan. A sudden shadow came from overhead, and Raoul glanced up. There was a window, so perhaps a large bird had drifted past. He dismissed it and kept going. Another shadow, larger this time, fell across the opposite wall. Slightly alarmed, Raoul glanced over his shoulder. No one. He turned to keep walking and almost collided with a man, slightly taller than himself, dressed all in black, wearing a white half-mask and a look that said he meant business.
"Well, well, well. The Phantom of the Opera, at last we meet." Raoul extended a hand in mock politeness, his lip curling. The Phantom glared at him, and Raoul dropped his hand.
"May I assume that makes you the Vicomte de Chagny?" he asked in the same light tone. His voice was deep and melodious. Raoul sidestepped the question with one of his own:
"What do you want?"
"That's quite simple," the Phantom said. "You're in my way." His hand rested on the sword at his hip, and tensed ever so slightly as he said this.
"And I believe you've seen the consequences people receive when they are in my way."
With a lightning-fast movement, the sword was instantly at Raoul's throat.
He forced a laugh.
"My good man, if I am in your way, then all you must do is pass by, or wait for me to pass you. You needn't have such a temper, fit to go around slitting people's throats."
"You know that's not what I meant," the Phantom growled. "How long before you intervene between Christine and I again?"
Raoul's blood ran cold with anger. "Before I intervene? I believe you intervened between Christine and myself. How long have you known her? Four, five years? I've known her all my life!"
The Phantom's eyes narrowed, and a sneer played around his lips. "It may have been five years, but in that time, and even before then, you disappeared from her life." He slowly began to circle Raoul, sword still pointed at his chest.
"You forgot about her, didn't you? Tell me, what was it that made you notice her that first day you arrived here at the Opera Populaire? Ah, yes: nothing at all. You walked right past her without a word."
Raoul was at a loss for words. As much as he hated to admit it, he had not noticed Christine that first day. The Phantom continued.
"It was the night of the Hannibal gala, if memory serves me. You took notice of her because she sang, and especially because she sang the lead role. Well, here's a little something for you to ponder, monsieur: You did not hear Christine. It was I that you heard."
"That's preposterous!" Raoul said angrily. This man was trying to make him feel guilty, and yet wasn't making any sense at all. "It was her voice, not yours. I didn't see you up there; I saw Christine, and I remembered."
"My question is, would you have noticed her if she hadn't sang the lead? For you see, before she came to the Opera Populaire, she knew how to sing, yes, but she couldn't feel the music. It was I that taught her how to let the music flow through her soul, to embrace it, and it was because of me that she won the lead role of Elissa."
Still he circled Raoul, now watching him hungrily. Raoul's face was awash in recognition that the Phantom was right again.
If she hadn't sung the lead role, he probably wouldn't have noticed her again, Raoul admitted to himself. He turned as the Phantom circled, each watching the other. "How can a monster like you ever love an angel? Answer that!" he challenged, and the Phantom's eyes widened slightly.
"She loves me... And because of her love, I have been forgiven. I am able to love because of Christine!" "Like hell you are!" Raoul snorted. "You are a demon. Demons do not love. Demons cannot love. It is only in your twisted, revolting imagination that she loves you. It is only in your mind."
"You think you can be rid of me by turning your guilt upon me, boy?!" the Phantom roared. "You, Vicomte, will never be rid of me. I am the Angel of Music. But above all, I am the Phantom of the Opera!"
They stared into each other's eyes for a moment, hatred coursing between them. Then... sudden, quick footfalls. Someone was coming.
"Monsieur le Vicomte?" Madame Giry appeared down the hall. Raoul, startled by her echoing steps, had turned so fast he feared he'd sprained his neck muscles.
"Madame Giry! Is there something wrong?"
"I was going to ask you the same thing. Are you alright?" She took in his panting breath and slightly disheveled appearance.
"Call the guards! Arrest him!"
"Arrest... whom?" she looked about the corridor, confused.
"The Phantom..." he spun back around, toward Christine's chamber, but there was no one there. "Monsieur, perhaps you have had one too many drinks this evening?" she suggested, and moved off down the opposite corridor.
Raoul glared around. How very like a phantom, he thought, to disappear at the first sign of a disruption. He turned to leave, and heard a quiet, mocking voice echoing to him:
"Yet while I live, I will haunt you till you're dead..."