Challenge #00471 - A096: Behind the Mask

A Monster in Paris! (posted fairly soon after you saw it, but there’s 40 prompts queued up before this one)

I love that movie, and there isn’t enough fanfiction of it. Therefore today’s prompt is Francouer and Carlotta (the lady that runs the Rare Bird, last seen dancing with Pate)

I’m sure she’ll find out at some point what her new star is hiding under that mysterious mask, no matter how shy and retiring he is.

[AN: This pretty much has to happen between the official happy ending and the sunflowers-in-the-Sienne tag scene]

Carlotta rarely crept. She always made her presence known to everyone around her because, though she was a faded rose, show business was forever in her blood.

But this time… this time she needed to sneak.

Because their new massive maestro Francoeur was never seen without his mask. Why he even needed a mask quickly became a mystery she had to solve.

He was in Lucille’s dressing room again. There solely for the piano. He’d shed his hat and was deep into his latest composition. Genius. Always genius… But she couldn’t let the music interfere. She was this close to seeing his true face.

Carlotta snatched his mask of. The ‘aha’ died on her lips as she saw that the face of the genius Francoeur was also the face of the monster. She froze. Breathless. Terrified of what he might do.

Francoeur the monster maestro looked… just as terrified. He trilled a startlingly dovelike coo and carefully plucked the mask from her fingers. As gently and delicately as any human would extract a single blossom from a bouquet.

“…excuse me…” he managed and shrank in on himself as he fit the mask back on his face. His eyes were darting around between watching her and looking for a means of escape.

“You… you’re…”

An eight-foot tall monster cringed and shook like a leaf.

“You’re scared of me?”

Nervous chittering. A frightened nod.

Carlotta almost wondered why out loud, but then she remembered what people like her did when they thought monsters were around. He had good reason to be afraid. “Oh… I’m so sorry I frightened you,” she offered her hand. If she could accept Lucille going out with that eccentric vagabond Raoul, she could accept an eight-foot tall singing flea. “Are you all right?”

Nod. The very beginnings of a smile. He had such a sweet smile.

“You don’t need to be afraid with us,” she soothed. “We’re practically family.”

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