This is one of my favorite phics I've written, and in light of teh season I am re-posting it...

I realize that by writing this, I would have to undo the known timeline for the story. We all know that at Christmas time, Christine was still receiving lessons from her Angel and had yet to meet him as Erik, but to do this phic I just bumped things up a bit. It's Christmas time and Christine has already met Erik in person but Raoul is still rather new to the scene. Read on and you will see.
I don't own any of these characters blah blah blah . . . . .

Christine rushed to her dressing room after her performance. She was exhausted from a long day of rehearsals and a very long performance in the chorus. Still, she was suddenly filled with a bubbling energy as she raced to her room to change and wait for her Angel of Music.


How much her life had changed since he came to her and began to instruct her to sing like a celestial angel. Granted, when she first met him, she was absolutely terrified of the idea that a man in a mask living below the opera has deceived her into thinking that he was her Angel of Music. However, she slowly learned to not see the mask he wore and instead began to know the real him. His voice, his movement, the way he taught her to lift her voice to the heavens, entranced her very soul. She was literally intoxicated at the thought of him, despite the strange circumstances that bonded them together tightly. No matter how strange it might seem to someone else, this mysterious new way of life was quickly becoming an addicting habit for Christine and she longed to be with him every waking moment of the day.

Upon entering her room, she called out to him, expecting that he would be waiting for her. Heartbroken disappointment raced through her body as she called again and again with no response from the mirror; the mirror that carried her to another world, much like Alice following the white rabbit down the deep dark hole into wonderland. Her spirits immediately dampened with the shock to find that he had not come for her tonight, as was his habit, she slumped down into her chair, wondering why? A million thoughts raced through her head. Had something happened to Erik? Was he angry with her performance? Perhaps he was just late. She glanced at the clock on the shelf and dismissed the last excuse. Erik was never late.

Christine resolved to herself that he was indeed, not coming for her tonight, and she reached for her hairbrush to comb out her long braids. Her hand encountered a folded paper instead. Her first thoughts were that it had come from Raoul, but she recognized the scripting in red ink and he heart soared as her breath caught in her throat. She jumped up from the chair, giddily breaking the seal on the letter. She read it with feverish eyes, excited and also apprehensive to find out the reason for his absence:

My darling Christine,

Please forgive my nonappearance this evening. You performed wonderfully tonight, and soon you shall astonish the world with your voice. I cannot say why I have not come to you tonight, but I must ask you to meet me here tomorrow night on Christmas Eve. I have a something for you.

Lovingly Yours,

Christine re-read his letter three or four times before tucking it away in her bodice. As she walked home that evening, her thoughts drifted freely. She felt openly confused where Erik was concerned. When she knew him only as her Angel of Music, her heart felt nothing but admiration and love, but one, which could never be realized. The shock of seeing who he really was and the fact that he had to hide himself from all humanity to save his dignity actually did little to change her feeling for him. She finally overcame the anger that he had tricked her so deeply and she slowly became accustomed to his face, masked and otherwise. After all truths had surfaced, a strange new feeling had come over her. The love and adoration she felt for her angel returned, but was changed by the fact that she was no longer limited to suppressing these feelings deep inside and denying herself what she knew in her heart to be true. She loved him.

Then again, there was Raoul to consider. It seemed to everyone around her that good fortune had finally smiled upon her. The young handsome Vicompte, her childhood friend, had taken notice to her and was attempting to court her. She longed for the friendship they once had, but at the fear of losing Erik because of Raoul's insistent advances, she continued to dodge him. Deep in her heart she knew she should ignore him, but the ever-present truth remained; they had once been friends and could easily be again.
Christine was at a loss of what to do. All she could think was to ride it out in the gray. Never choosing a side nor leaning towards one or the other. She realized deep inside that she could not have both in her life, but she still lacked the courage to choose which path to walk.

Christine finally reached her modest flat and changed for bed. She tucked Erik's letter under her pillow in hopes that she would see him in her dreams. So often this happened, that it was as though he never left her side. She sang with him in the mornings and saw him after the rehearsals and performances at night, but still he returned every night to haunt her dreams.

The next day crawled by so slowly that Christine was certain that time itself had declared war against her and was ticking away at a snails-pace simply to anger her. There was no rehearsal today, which made things even worse. Christine cleaned her flat until the entire place sparkled from ceiling to floor and she was exhausted. She didn't seem to notice. It helped pass the time. All the while she wondered, "What sort of surprise did Erik have for me? Will it be a Christmas present of some sort?" Then she realized with horror that she did not have anything to give to him! She glanced at the clock on the mantle and realized that it was too late and all the shops were surely closed by now! She sank to the floor, completely crushed. Erik had done so much for her and she couldn't even remember to thank him with a small gift. She searched through her the house to find something suitable to give him, but nothing seemed to be right. She finally knew what would be the perfect gift for him. She raced into the other room and fetched the small memento and wrapped it quickly in a lace handkerchief and ribbons.

The opera stood silent and foreboding in the cold winter air, but to Christine it was closer to home than her own. She raced up the steps, taking care to gather the skirts of her best dress so they would not become dirty from the small layer of slushy snow that had managed to fall. She checked each door at the entrance to the main foyer, terrified that she had be locked out. She was sure it would have been open! Finally, she tried the last heavy door and it swung open for her. She wondered if Erik had unlocked it for her as she crept into the empty foyer. There didn't seem to be a soul in the place. She made her way to her dressing room through the silent and darkened halls, attempting to soften her footsteps as they echoed loudly through the empty building. Her dressing room door was open a small crack and from within, a small candle flickered on her dressing table. As she swung the door open, she looked in and saw Erik standing in front of the mirror, arms crossed. He was dressed in his finest tuxedo and velour cloak his hat angled over his masked face with a debonair air.

"Good evening, Christine," he said, no more than a rumbling whisper.

"Good evening Erik," she smiled and entered the small room. She didn't know what to say; he had such a strange amused look in his eye. "Erik, I was so worried when you didn't come to me last night. I thought for certain something had happened to you."

He cocked his head to one side, "Oh?"

"Yes, I was rather worried. Until I found your letter that is, but I must confess, it did not put my mind at ease."

Erik seemed highly amused for having Christine so perplexed at his intentional aloofness. 'Curiosity will always kill a cat' he mused to himself. "Would you like your surprise now?"

Christine's eyes lit up, "Oh yes, very much!"

"Very well then," he instructed, "Turn around and close your eyes."

She raised an eyebrow at him, but did as she was told then she felt a soft cloth being tied around her eyes carefully. She could feel his hands trembling as they touched her hair while fastening the knot. He could not help himself as he ran his hands lightly through her soft curls down to her elbow, which he took and began to lead her through the corridor.

"Erik, where are we going?"

He just smiled and did not answer as he led her up the stairs to the auditorium. He was so very careful not to let her trip and cautiously led her up each step and along every walkway. He took advantage of her momentary blindness to stare at her beauty. Even with his silk handkerchief covering her beautiful eyes, he drank in her perfection and reveled in the feeling of her warm skin on his hand where he touched her lightly to guide her way. He fought himself profoundly from gathering her up into his arms to carry her the rest of the way so that he might once again feel her body so close to his.

Christine guessed where they were when Erik sat her down in a lush velvet chair and removed her blindfold. She blinked her eyes to adjust to the dim lights. She was sitting in his seat in Box 5.

"Erik, what are we doing here?"

He knelt before her and said, "Christine, so many nights I have sat in this very chair and worshiped the very sight and sound of you. You have made me so happy, words cannot express how you have changed me," he paused, on the verge of tears of happiness. "Christine, wait here. I want to give you a performance in return. Just for you."

He stood and exited the box leaving Christine to wait. She saw him appear on the stage below and waved to him. He picked up his violin and began to play a bittersweet tune that she was sure only existed in her dreams. No sound so sweet could have come from anywhere else. Then he began to sing. She thought she had heard his voice before, but nothing could describe what her ears experienced then. She listened to the music he had written for her and her heart broke at the flood of love that poured from his lips up to where she sat. Her entire body throbbed with the wonderful torment it felt in hearing the exquisite sound emanating from his throat and fingertips.

The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream-white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips.

When his song died into the echoing emptiness of the auditorium she could finally breathe again. She stood and clapped loudly for his performance and he reveled in an over-dramatic bow. Suddenly his body great taunt and his hand flashed up to silence her. In the quiet air she strained to listen and heard approaching footsteps. It must have been a night watchman making his rounds. If he had heard Erik playing, they were sure to be caught! She looked back at the stage, but Erik was already gone. A small lantern shone into the space from the entrance in the back of the theater. She quickly ducked down behind the box's ledge to hide, only peeking out enough to see the man glance around, scratch his head, then shake it perplexed and leave.

She waited in the box for any sign of Erik. Where could he have gone, she wondered? After what seemed like an eternity of waiting for Erik and worrying that the watchman would come back, the wall behind Christine opened up and startled her. Erik stepped out through the space in the column, closing it quietly behind him. He raised a finger to his lips and motioned to the back of the box behind the heavy curtains. Once the curtains were drawn, they were left in near total darkness, save for the single flame of Christine's dimmed lantern.

"That was close," Erik whispered.

"Yes, I thought for certain we would be caught," she began to giggle as her nerves began to calm from the sudden rush of adrenaline.

Christine then realized how close Erik was standing to her. In the small enclosed space of that box, she could smell the rich scent of his cologne and the faint odor of candle smoke from his home. A silence fell between them as Erik gazed lovingly upon her face, the emotions expressed in his song still present in his eyes. At long last, Christine spoke.

"Thank you for that song Erik. It was so beautiful, I've never heard anything like it," she blushed, "Did you write that just for me?"

"Of course," he brushed his hand just beyond her cheek, wanting to touch her, but daring not to, "What did you think I was doing last night when I didn't come for you?"

Christine shivered as his hand came so close to touching her but not. How can he manage to do that, she wondered? Suddenly remembering, "Oh! I nearly forgot! I have a gift for you as well." She began to search the deep pockets of her gown for the delicately wrapped gift. As she held it out to him, he took it from her with trembling hands.

"You brought me a gift?" he said with wonder in his voice. "Nobody has ever given me anything before."

He carefully untied the ribbon bows and unwrapped the lace from the small heavy object in his hand. There in the middle of the lace handkerchief, lay an ornately carved gold pocket-watch.

"It belonged to my father. He gave it to me for safe keeping before he died."

Erik's hands shook with emotion, on the verge of tears he gasped, "No, Christine! I cannot accept such an important memento from you! This was your fathers watch and he..."

He tried to push it back into Christine's hands, but she closed hers around his and said, "Erik, I want you to have this. I wanted to give you something special that held meaning."

Erik stood silently for a moment and looked at her hands holding his. "Christine, just being with you here is all the gift I could ever dream for." He pocketed the watch carefully and returned his hand to hers, clasping them tightly between his.

There were no words. Nothing felt right for either of them to say. The shared silence was all that existed, until Christine looked up at his eyes, then further to the ceiling to escape his intense gaze. She gasped slightly at what she saw and her eyes darted back down to the floor between them. Erik looked up and saw what she had discovered. Someone, in the spirit of the holiday had hung a sprig of mistletoe in the center of the ceiling. It had been strung everywhere in the opera, but neither of them had taken notice of it.

He knew what the tradition meant and he knew what he could claim from his beloved if he dared. The fear of her rejection was too great and he withdrew and stepped back from her, his chest heaving as his breath came raggedly from the effort to restrain his desires. Christine looked shyly up at him and knew what he was thinking. Did she dare make a move towards him?

'Nobody has ever given me anything before' he had said about the gift. She was certain he wasn't speaking of material objects alone.

Without another thought, she stepped closer to him and gently cradled his face with her hand before placing a delicate kiss on his trembling lips. Erik couldn't think or move. He didn't know what to do. Christine withdrew her lips from his, but hovered near, afraid that she had misread him when he stepped back. Did he not want this, she thought? He silenced her thought as he leaned forward ever so slightly to kiss her in return. It only lasted an innocent moment, but it seemed like eternity. The kiss finally ended and when they stepped back from each other, the love was mirrored in each other's eyes.

"Merry Christmas Erik."

"Merry Christmas my Angel."

Merry Christmas All my Phellow Phans!!!!