A/N: So, I got bored and decided to write you people this lovely fanfic! Seeing as you guys mentioned that there should be more Erik/Eponine fics out in the world..this happened... So enjoy and happy reading!

She sighed, leaning on the railing as she did so. The stage was almost ready for the new production of Hannibal. They had put in a lot of work so far-and herself more than some of the others. Eponine smiled to herself as she straightened, adjusting one of the ropes.

It had been three months since she had started working for the opera house. The stagehand job had been the best they could offer-she couldn't dance or sing, and she didn't want to put herself out in public for everyone to see, after all. The others had all laughed at the idea that a girl could be a stagehand, but she had worked to prove herself. She may look small and plainer than some, but life on the street had taught her how to work.

She grunted, pulling up one of the backdrops as Buquet shouted instructions from below. Her life hadn't been all that easy. Especially when Cosette had left the inn. Then her parents had turned to her and Azelma-her younger sister-to work the inn, doing all of Cosette's chores. Not long after, the inn had fallen into bankruptcy and they had been forced to sell it away and live on the streets. She and her sister had both thought it might give them a chance to change-a chance for her parents to live honestly for once in their lives.

That dream had lasted only a few short weeks before they were being roped into helping out with scam after scam. If it wasn't that, it was watching out for the police or distracting the couple so her father and his goons could rob them blind. She always hated that part. What had they ever done to deserve to be robbed? Not to mention the fact that they had only gotten worse as she had gotten older. Before she knew it: it was either work or eat nothing at all.

Then Azelma had died last winter. Eponine could still remember it-could still remember trying to hide every penny from her parents in the hope of buying medicine so she could get better. She had worked more, had gone to places she had never dared go before, had slept with every man who could pay. In the end, it hadn't been enough. To make things worse: her father had found out. He had yelled at her, beat her, accused her of stealing from him.

She tied the rope off, shaking her head as she moved on to the next one. Her steal from him? Though the thought had crossed her mind more than once, the fear of being caught had kept her from it. She had been careful to hide the money she had spent on food, to choose the worst clothing for herself and then make it look worse to fool them.

But that night. That night had been the worst. That night she had fled, terrified of her father, terrified that he might try to kill her one day soon. Why did her parents have to be like that? Rob everyone, cheat everyone out of their money? Make it so that everyone knew them and hated them for it? She hadn't even given her real name when she had applied for a job. They might recognize her then, send her back, and she couldn't have that.

Eponine shuddered, thinking about what might happen if they had sent her back instead of letting her stay. She glanced over her shoulder, peering at the darkness. She shook her head. It was just the thought of her father that made her look.

But then again, there was the opera ghost. The phantom that lived in the shadows, causing accidents to happen, playing pranks, demanding money from the managers. The other boys loved to spook her, popping up out of the shadows, untying one of her ropes.

They reminded her of Grantaire. Her friend from the schoolboys that hung out around the opera house's streets. He always loved to drink, and the more he drank, the louder he would sing and joke-not to mention the louder Enjorlas would yell at him to be quiet.

"Everything's good here, 'Ponine!" Buquet shouted up.

"I'll be going then!" she called out.

"Where're you running off to this time?" he demanded.

"Enjorlas said he's planning something big! He said he's going to announce it this afternoon!"

Buquet chuckled and shook his head. "Fine, you go on ahead! Just be back here in the morning to finish up! Or else the opera ghost is gonna be so mad at you, he'll hang you from the rafters!"

She rolled her eyes and bid him farewell. Before, she wouldn't have slept a wink. Now, she only laughed with him at the supposed opera ghost. Nothing could ever be worse than her father, and certainly no phantom would ever be able to scare her off.