Author' note: Wow, I actually got this done finally!! I'm sorry it took so long, I had a few problems with my muse. She wanted to write about Lucian, from that new movie Underworld, and I told her not until I read the novelization. Well, I did and I wrote, so she finally gave in and I finished this. Thanks so very much for the reviews, they help out a lot!!!! Hope ya'll enjoy and please review, help out an addict!!

Disclaimer: Ok, Phantom of the Opera is public domain. But specific movies or plays are not I don't believe. So I am forced to do the stu-, I mean, standard disclaimer. I own nothing and nobody, except for Remus and Simon. They are mine, because they came from my head, not the movie. So don't sue, ok?

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CHAPTER TWO: THE PAST NEVER DIES

Christine stared at her reflection, her tired eyes taking in her pale appearance. She had dark circles under her eyes and the whites were now bloodshot. Three days since the dream had last haunted her, but she was certain that if she had slept more than a couple of hours each night since, it would have been back to haunt her again.

"You look like hell again, Christine," she told herself. She remembered the day Meg - the one from the past - had said that to her. She remembered what had taken place before that as well. Once again, it was him, it was Erik Destler who was the cause for her pallid appearance.

A small push against her legs alert Christine to another presence in the bathroom. Looking down, she saw Remus, her husky, sitting by her feet with his head tilted sideways.

"Well good morning, Remus," Christine greeted him, and his ears immediately perked up. "I bet you want some breakfast, huh? Well, let me rinse my face first, then I'll go fix it for you," she told the half-grown puppy.

Obediently, the dog laid beside her, waiting for her to finish in the bathroom. Remus was fairly calm for a puppy, but he could become quite excitable and hyper at any given moment. But he was a good watchdog, barked at everything it seemed sometimes.

But Christine was thankful for it. When she had finally moved into her own small home outside the city, she had decided to get a dog, for protection. She went to the pound for one, since she couldn't stand it that some of them never found homes, and had quickly fallen for a small, somewhat emaciated Siberian husky pup.

With his dark gray fur and mixed-matched eyes - one brown, another blue - that had stared at her, she knew she'd found her dog.

Even if he did turn out to be pathetic at guarding. But fortunately for them both, he hadn't. Nearly two years old now, Remus was Christine's friend and protection now that Meg - the one from the present - had moved to Miami with her husband.

Christine quickly splashed some cold water onto her face, wiped the sleep from her eyes, and patted herself dry. Making sure she didn't step on Remus, she led the way to the kitchen, a very happy puppy following her.

***

"Mr. Drake, we have a problem down in costuming," one of the stagehands said to a rather weary Erik. He watched his boss as Erik swept past him.

"What is the problem?" he asked. He restrained himself from snapping the man's head off - not literally - and clenched his fists. Tomorrow night was the premiere of the new play and the last thing he needed was a wardrobe fiasco on his hands.

"We don't have Dracula's cape, Mina's final dress, or any of Lucy's outfits," the nervous man informed him. "And we haven't been able to contact the delivery company yet."

"Who did we use again?" Erik questioned.

"Um, UPS sir," the stagehand replied. "But they said it was supposed to have gotten here this morning, and that the guy bringing it hasn't called in or had any emergency that they are aware of."

With a sigh, Erik nodded. "It's probably just the traffic or something. If it isn't here in three hours, we'll need someone to go buy the necessary items from a nearby costume store," he said with exasperation. "Now go, tell wardrobe we might just have to improvise!" he finally snapped, and the stagehand went running towards the back.

"Wonderful, this is all we need," he muttered darkly and shook his head. Tomorrow night his theater company would be performing a new version of Dracula, and of course nearly everything was trying to go wrong. But he had made several back-up plans, save one for costumes, and things were still on schedule thankfully.

He thought of Christine. How everything had gone wrong, how he had lost her to time. And again, when he finally found her once more. Could she not see what she meant to him? Did she even know what had truly happened in the past?

No, he imagined she did not. She probably didn't even remember all of what had taken place back in the nineteenth century. She hadn't even recognized him at first.

Erik once again shook his head, this time to clear his thoughts of Christine. Now was not the time to think of her. He had a company to run, and a lot of mistakes to correct.

***

Christine sat at her kitchen counter, eating a bowl of cereal as the news played on the medium sized TV in the adjoining room. Only half listening, Christine didn't pay much attention when they announced that a small theater company would be premiering a brand new play of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Nor did she even look up when they went inside the auditorium. But when she heard them interviewing the company's manager, major backer, and producer, she started to tremble.

"No," she breathed and forced herself to turn to the screen. She stared in shock at a very familiar face, one that had haunted her dreams and nightmares for the past six years.

Erik's face. With skin, with brownish blond hair, lighter than from the eighteen hundreds, darker than when she had come back. His cold, gray eyes staring at the camera as he spoke.

Christine felt as if he were staring right at her. She went numb, barely acknowledging Remus' nudges against her leg. The blood drained from her face and the room started to spin.

"It can't be, it just can't," she moaned. "I killed you, I killed you." But she knew that was Erik she was staring at, no matter what the screen said his name was. She knew Erik, and she remembered everything he had put her through.

"We have to leave, Remus," she began rambling. "We have to leave the state, the country, we have to get away from him," she told her dog simply acted happy that his owner was moving again. "I can't let him find me."

***

Erik scowled as he walked away from the flimsy reporter. He hated doing interviews, they did nothing but take up his time, when he actually was in need of it. And the people were idiots and hardly ever reported news as they should. Did they really believe the people watched the news for some man and woman's opinion of what was happening?

He shook his head. He could complain about reporters and news broadcasters after he made sure everything was ready for tomorrow's performance. He walked to the dressing rooms and made sure everyone had their costumes ready. Thankfully, the costumes that had been late, had arrived in time, one small blessing he was grateful for.

"Everything is in order, sir," the assistant manager, Simon Daniels, informed him. "Everything is in place for when we open."

"Good, but double check, I don't want to take any chances that something could go wrong," he instructed the young man. As Simon walked off, Erik called out, " and check the ropes. We don't want any sandbags crashing down on the performers."

***

Christine paced her bedroom floor, trying to figure out what she needed to do. Remus lie on the bed, watching her while he chewed on one of his toys.

"I have to leave, I have to get away," she told the relaxed puppy. "Even if he isn't trying to find me, he might catch me anyway, he's powerful. Besides, I really doubt he'd be all that thrilled to see me after what I did to him, not that he didn't deserve it," she ranted on. Taking several deep breaths, she tried to keep herself from going back into hysterics.

She thought about this. Why did she have to run? Leave her new home, her new life? She and Remus were settled and she only went into certain parts of the city when she had to work. She and Erik would be miles away, it was highly unlikely that they would ever cross paths. Wouldn't it be?

Determined not to run like a coward, she faced Remus.

"No, we are going to stay. This is our home, our life. I refuse to let him ruin it. He's done that enough already," she stated, though a part of her wondered, had he completely ruined it? He had helped her voice a great deal in the past, but that was the past. She didn't even know if that was really her.

Perhaps I was reincarnated, Christine thought, not for the first time. She had often wondered what exactly had taken place, how she had ended up in that time. It was more like a dream, a dream that seemed to last a few days but couldn't have been more than a few minutes.

Unconsciously, she rubbed her finger, where the scar from Erik's ring still was. She must have gotten it when she had tried to pry it off. Instead she had only succeeded in drawing blood.

"Oh, Remus, I don't know what to do, what's going on," she lamented and plopped down beside the pup.

Remus nuzzled her arm, then sat up and licked her face.

Christine laughed. "Thanks boy. At least I have you with me. I just hope you don't somehow get involved in this. I pray neither of us will. Why can't he just die and let me live on in peace?" she asked her dog.

Or was she being unfair? After all, it wasn't necessarily his fault completely that he was still alive. For all she knew, he might not even care whether he lived or died anymore. But then again, he didn't strike her as the type to ever give up.

No, he would never give up. Not when it came to something he felt passion for.