Is this fair game to write a bit for? I saw you’d already started something for it…
Go for it - I’d be delighted!
It is my goal in life to make Charles-in-stockings a thing. I really should’ve called the “Charles is a piano player” tag “Charles is wearing stockings and/or frilly knickers”. Everyone should rewatch XMFC and imagine that Charles is wearing a garter belt and stockings beneath his trousers. (Erik could sense the metal in the clasps and straps adjusters.) Because — well, just because.
Okay, that gave me an idea
“Slower,” Charles kept saying during the rehearsals for the opening number, “slower,” as if he were out to drive Erik mad through absolutely every means of frustration available to him.
Erik had no idea why they were taking the top verse at a dirge-like tempo until they did a full dress rehearsal. Playing that slowly, he couldn’t possibly be expected to look at his hands or the sheet music, so he watched Charles come out. Even at that pace, Erik nearly missed a note.
Because after days of rehearsing in flimsy camisoles, frilly knickers and silk stockings, Charles was wearing a suit. A nicely tailored but otherwise ordinary gray suit complete with hat, his head tipped down to let the brim throw a shadow across his face.
His hands came up as if to frame the microphone and instead settled on his tie, and Charles loosened the knot and began to sing, letting every note echo and fade while the tie came undone and his fingers slipped open the shirt buttons.
When the only sound in the empty street
Is the heavy tread of the heavy feet
That belong to a lonesome cop,
while Charles unfastened his shirt cuffs, and let the suit jacket slide down his arms and fall to the ground.
And— of course the act was meant to be… what it was… all week Erik had been watching Charles rehearse stripping out of clothes that were hardly clothes to begin with, but he was still a little scandalized when Charles undid the trousers to the line,
I open shop…
When the moon so long has been gazing down, and now Erik knew exactly why this verse needed to be so slow, because Charles took hold of the microphone, tipped the stand and followed its arc down, letting the trousers slide down with the motion while he bent nearly to kneeling, and on the wayward ways of this wayward town, he rose, his garters and stockings devastating all over again, no matter that Erik had been seeing them all week.
Then her smile becomes a smirk, Charles stood and stepped out of the trousers, kicking them aside, showing off the ankle-strap high heels that went unnoticed under the low hems of the trouser legs. Charles turned and let the dress shirt slip down his arm, singing over his exposed shoulder, I go to work… the hat still shading his face.
Erik kept the notes playing slowly as Charles pivoted to face the empty theater, tilting the hat back to show the waves of his hair and let the light finally find his made-up face, the lipstick he didn’t really need gleaming bright red in the spotlight. The vest he’d worn for all those days of rehearsals finally made sense, as Charles tossed the tie and hat toward the front seats and let the dress shirt slip off completely, leaving him in his vest and knickers, garter belt and garters, stockings and shoes.
Love for sale, the next verse finally began, and now they were at last going at a normal tempo. Erik tore his eyes away from the stage and stared at the sheet music, pretending he could see anything but the afterimage of Charles kneeling in trousers and standing in stockings, over and over again.
Oh. Oh. Oh.
…I want to have children so I can give you them.
[creepy declarations of undying love go here]
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