Disclaimer: I had often wondered how Christine fared in her marriage to Raoul. I'm sure it wasn't ever the same sweet relationship of their childhood-a loving marriage and a devoted one definately. But I've no doubt that the phantom sobered their relationship, matured it. Please understand I don't own bologna. If I owned Erik I would make him do very naughty, bad things to some people I used to know, perhaps dropping chandeliers on people, who is to say? I realize it's been a year since I've wrote a word on this site-that to some I've been a complete donkey's behind..

I apologize for the death of "A Promise to Erik"-but I believe it just might be dead as I can't write on it anymore (hold out hope though)-it reminds me of the people I based the characters on. (a word to the wise: don't base Erik on people you know, unless you're prepared to be reminded.)

This will obviously be R/C, let this be my own experiment into the whys and hows of what happened next, as it were..

It is part of the Project R.A.O.U.L thingy. Open to suggestions and to comments I am, and your own thoughts on how it might have turned out between them.

Christine De Chagny sat up in bed and took account of her world around her. She had been dreaming just now, the exhausted and frantic memories of a past that was very jagged and acutely painful, like a broken mirror. You are not lost anymore, Christine, she reminded herself, you are wife to your beloved Raoul and are home and safe.

She realized that it was late in the morning, and that the warmth from the sheets where Raoul had lain, was quickly fading. Normally, if she were to have a nightmare, he would wake her and remind her of her whereabouts, make darkness fade from her eyes.

He was always telling her how much he loved her. Seemingly she had gone so many years without hearing three words that she now couldn't picture living without. An 'I love you' seemed to say so many things, a sentence that determined where she was now. For love, seems to rule life itself. No one can escape such a thing.

The dream she had experienced now, came back to her. She only shuddered when she thought of her life before, down in the Phantom's home beneath the Opera House. Somehow it seemed so very far away. Christine could not help feeling how she did, that she loved her childhood friend. That a future just wasn't possible, Erik had frightened her. He had killed.

He wasn't a monster- but a intense being that had never the opportunity to know what love, or even kindness was. The following weeks after Raoul and her had fled from the Opera, started their own life, she could feel his voice slowly start to fade from her mind. She knew now, that he was gone forever, to the heavens that had swallowed so many of her family and friends up. It was better that they never mention the Phantom ever again, Christine had said the moment she had left the Opera all those years ago, and Raoul did not protest. He held her in his hands like a fragile glass vase, and she realized how fragile she might actually be. She knew, however what it was doing to her to hold it all so much inside, the memories of a lair ; a death trap to some, a life sentence-to her a personal hell.

She rested back into the bed, looking out the window that was near her side , watching her daughter play.

Ironically, she thought, she had known she was pregnant with her daughter the moment she knew Erik was dead. How insistent and vital life was, announcing itself in such a way. I am here! I am here!-her daughter let everyone know before her birth. Christine had never known such a bond in all of her life, the strength that motherhood seemed to give oneself.

She instantly reached out to the small bassinet where her son lay sleeping, memorizing the features with the tips of her fingers. How, how could Erik's mother treat him in such a way , just a baby! The more she knew what becoming a mother was like, the more she began to despise this woman for her utter stupidity.

She shook her head in disgust and promised not to think of Erik, at least for now.

Christine was dressed and walked to the music room, waiting for the moment her daughter would run through the open door and tell her the goings on of her day. Christine never discouraged Celeste playing in the open air and sunshine-for now there seemed to always not be enough light. Try as she might, Christine still much feared the dark, unless Raoul was there.

Celeste was bold and brave, even for a small child. It seemed in a large way, that she was Raoul's daughter, through and through.

She sat down in front of the piano, a gift from her husband who understood how much music was important to her. At times it was so difficult for music to come to her, the want to sing, almost gone. She had been afraid to sing for a long time, until she had noticed Raoul singing to their daughter, and had known what she had done by not teaching the child music. Her father would be ashamed of her.

Four was a proper age to let the child learn music, and she vowed to herself that she would make herself teach the poor girl. No matter how much she thought , quite horridly, that Erik would be the better teacher.

"Mama?" a small voice plaintively questioned.

Christine jumped out of her skin, the soft voice jarring her from her thoughts. She turned to face her beautiful child, the ray of sunshine she had so sorely needed. Her short blonde curls framed her heart shaped face, her dark blue eyes searching always for something in what they were focused on.

Celeste had something clasped in her hands, but she always brought something inside to impress her mother with. More then often it was something mothers did not like, toads , worms, spiders...

"Yes precious? "She smiled, putting her hands on top of her daughter's shoulders, "Have you a surprise for me? "

Celeste sat on the piano bench , her face serious. "Watch, mama, watch real close." She opened her hand just a slit and put it up to Christine's eyes.

A butterfly on the small fingers, flexing it's blue wings. "Pretty, mama, it's pretty just like you. "

Christine wistfully kissed her daughter on her cheek and put her in her lap. " Yes, it's very pretty, but do you know something about butterflies?"

Her child nodded , her eyebrow arching mischievously. "They are very hard to catch. "

She laughed. "Yes, that's very true. Celeste, it would be very wrong of us to keep that butterfly inside, you do know that , don't you?"

"She belongs with me, Mama. She's pretty, and I could take care of her, Nanny wouldn't mind."

Christine realized that servants ran the house to an extent, but part of her resented the fact that Celeste was busy most of the day with her Nanny. She was Celeste's mother-and her father certainly didn't need a nanny to raise her. She had hated Raoul's own governess- she was a mean woman who did not like a child who was not born in to nobility playing with her young charge.

"She belongs to the outside world, my darling. It's very wrong to cage beautiful things up like that, even when you love them. I know just how that butterfly might feel."She realized what she had said, but her daughter paid her no mind. Her daughter knew nothing of the phantom of the opera, and Christine hoped that she never would.