((Authors notes: I swear my muses hate me. I'm so sorry this took so long to get up. But I wrote it extra long and hope that will make up for it…..hope…

Countess Alana: Heheh I'm glad you like my cliff hanger ending there

Rue Marie: I think when I think of Reyer we go…..Happy school boy automatically don't you?

ModestySparrow: oh no we have to keep your mom away from Erik. Poor boy. No one taught him which fork to use…

Kim-Gordon: the plot was already think. Now it's super thick!

Catmarie: as long as you still read you now will see what happened to these people…

Erin-21: Actually it might take a while for meg to fall for him or will he fall for meg? Hm it's something you'll have to read and to find out. Yes I did I keep Madame Giry alive and active! I'm glad you think I did a good job with her. I tried

Fallingdownonbrokendreams: I failed you. I couldn't hurry but I did update!

ShadowFairy101: I'm so glad you like the story keep reviewing.

LostSchizophrenic: I hope you mean reading the story……….

Well now on with the story))

Meg's eyes went wide as a new born babe's as she stared at Christine. Her face went pale and she looked over at her mother. Her mother looked calm and composed as ever, but fear and panic did creep into the corner of her eyes for a moment. She didn't allow it to affect her though and smiled.

"Come in Christine," she said and moved Meg out of the way.

Christine bent down and put a hand on her friends shoulder so they were eye to eye, saying softly, "Meg are you alright? Your skin's so white."

"She's in shock. Excuse her. She should go get some more sleep. Meg, go to your room and rest," Madame Giry said, motioning to the room at the top of the stairs.

"Yes mother," Meg nodded her as her voice whimpering a little bit. She didn't want to go see Erik, knowing what was to come if she did. She went up slowly for two reasons, mind numbing fear and the pain in her knee. She glanced at Christine, cursing her for coming here.

She went up to the familiar room and opened the door unhurriedly. Meg didn't want to be here. Her eyes found him sitting on his bed looking at his hands. He seemed to be in a odd trance, or maybe he was just sleeping sitting up. His head snapped around and he stared at her. His brows narrowed with suspicion.

"What do you want?" he demanded. She jumped and looked outside at the door. It was far better he didn't know she was here.

"I just wanted to talk to you," she lied and then heard something horrible. She heard Christine's voice from downstairs. She looked down and saw an air vent. Since it was open he could hear everything from down stairs. He'd heard everything her mother had told her. Right now that didn't matter though; he could hear Christine.

He went to the door right away as that was the quickest route. But Meg had already jumped in front of it before he could get there. He went to turn the knob and felt his hand connect with her stomach.

"Get out of my way Meg," he demanded, his voice and body shaking in rage, pain, and sorrow.

"No. I can't let you go out there," she told him, bracing herself for what was to come.

"Is that your Mother's order?" he asked trying to distract her.

"No, that's just what I think," she told him truthfully.

"Meg, I will ask you once more then you will regret the day you did not do all that I asked of you. Now, Meg MOVE!" he yelled at her his fist hitting the wall. She winced.

"No" she said firmly, knowing she would regret it, but it was what was best for him.

He took her by the shoulders and tossed her into the dresser. She gasped and hit it, landing with a loud thump. He watched her with cold eyes.

"That will teach you to…" he said, then stopped, seeing her getting up. What was this girl, a glutton for punishment? He turned his head from her and went to reach for the door knob again. Meg's small hand took his and pulled it back.

"Are you out of your mind? I'll kill you if you don't let me go," he screamed at her not caring if Christine or anyone heard him.

"You can't go down there Erik," she told him holding on for dear life, both her hands around his arm, knowing he could kill her right then.

"Why not? She came for me," he demanded but didn't move his arm. He wasn't sure why he didn't, he just couldn't bare to yet.

"No, no she didn't. She came her to see my mother and I. She had no way of knowing you were here at all," she told him truthfully, "If you go down there you'll just hurt yourself or someone else."

"Why should I care who I hurt? Look at yourself Meg. I just tossed you against the wall like you were nothing. You are nothing!" he yelled at her and swung his arm taking her weak body with it and knocking her against the wall, again.

She hit her head and her body went limp for a moment. Before he could get his arm away she was up and holding it again. Her eyes looked up at him full of tears of pain that she couldn't stop. She tried once more, knowing well it could get her killed. She was fully willing to die for their sake and his.

"She doesn't love you Erik. What would be the point? She made her choice and she picked Raoul. If she had chosen you, she'd be here right now holding you. She wouldn't be downstairs unwillingly having walked back into your traps," Meg told him.

"No, that's not true. She loves me," he growled at her, unwilling to face the truth.

Still the ring of truth in Meg's voice was so clear it drove him mad. He didn't want to have think about having to bare a life where Christine could not love him. Tears sprung to his eyes as he heard her voice. He looked over at the door then let go of the handle. He stumbled forward and into Meg pushing her against the wall, but didn't care. He pushed her right down to the floor.

Erik cried into her shoulder, the pain of his worthless life his undoing. He cried for Christine, for his tormented soul with all his passion and love wrapped in a body she could only hate. Had he been a handsome man he would be standing with her as Raoul would surely be doing soon. Erik would be kissing Christine at the alter, not that boy who knew nothing of love. Why did he have to be born with this face? Why did God hate him enough to make him live past childbirth, to dwell in the tormented halls of this world which held no light or love for a monster like him.

Meg looked down at his crying form and felt horrible. She had landed well, her legs out and his head in her shoulder. His arms wrapped around her and he sat slightly in her lap like a young child. Still she didn't care. She put her arms around him, rocking him gentle as he cried. She listened to him, trying to read his thoughts, but heard something else.

Christine's voice came up clear from downstairs, "He's here isn't he?"

"Yes, but you will tell no one, Christine. You owe him that much," Madame Giry told her strictly. There was a pause, most likely Christine nodding.

"Of course not. I feel horrible," Christine told her once mother figure.

"As you should," Madame Giry snapped at her.

"I just couldn't bare it. Raoul told me everything about your past with him on the way over. Madame why did you never tell me?" Christine whined.

"What would be the point? So you could give him your love out of pity. He deserves far better then that," Madame Giry snapped back again.

"Yes and I hope he'll find it," Christine told her truthfully.

"Well right now, due to you, I've sent my daughter up there to deal with him and hopefully keep him from destroying himself," Madame Giry said, her voice wavering a bit on the end worriedly. The sound of her cane walking off was heard. A long pause followed, then a prayer.

"God give Meg the courage to show him he's not alone. The courage I never had," Christine said softly, then walked off.

The words made Meg remember the last time they talked together, before the beginning of one of the last rehearsals.

FLASHBACK

Meg heard a knock on her door and went to get it. She was more then surprised to find her friend Christine waiting outside the door. She knew right away something was not right with her friend. Meg took Christine inside the very small dorm room she had been using lately. Christine sat right down on Meg's bed. Meg went over and sat by her friend, looking worried.

"Christine what is it?" Meg asked, desperately concerned about how pale Christine was.

"I'm so scared Meg. I don't think I can do this," she said looking over at her long time friend, tears in her eyes, "He scares me so!"

"Who? Raoul?" Meg asked a little confused. Weren't they engaged?

"No. I love Raoul," she said, then looked around as if fearful someone had heard, "It is the Phantom I fear."

"The Phantom of the Opera? Christine, didn't he say he was your teacher? Why would your teacher wish you harm?" she asked a little confused.

"He's more then my teacher Meg. He's in love with me," Christine admitted to her.

Meg nodded, not sure what was so wrong about it. Her memory of the phantom at the time was of a handsome man in a masquerade outfit. It made her smile slightly.

"Oh I see, so two men are you in love with you. Oh, how lucky you are Christine," Meg swooned, smiling. She imagined having two men in love with her as well and it made her smile. As of yet she didn't have one suitor. She blamed it on their fear of her mother. Madame Giry could be an opposing figure to a lot of the men at the Opera House.

"I am not lucky, Meg. Not at all. I…I don't love the Phantom. I can't. For so many reasons…" Christine said, tears coming to her eyes.

"Well you have Raoul. Why don't you just leave?" Meg asked, taking her friends hand trying to support her. Christine felt cold, both in body and soul. She was so withdrawn. Meg could almost taste the guilt the girl was giving off and the fear was filling the room.

"I thought of that. But what would come of you all? Can you imagine what the Phantom would do if I left?" she asked quietly as though she thought he might be listening in. Meg thought for a moment and nodded. She sighed and stroked her friends cheek.

"Oh Christine, I'm sorry you got messed up in this little web, but surely it can not be all bad," Meg tried to reason with her.

"Oh, it is! And tonight I will perform. Tonight I will…I will.." she said with tears in her eyes. Meg watched her concerned.

"You will what?" Meg asked.

"I can't tell you. You'll just have to watch, I'm sorry…" Christine said getting up.

Meg had never felt so distanced from her 'sister'. She hadn't felt close to her since Raoul had come into the picture. Christine had pushed Meg away completely. And she had pushed Madame Giry away harder for some reason, as though they were her problem.

"It's ok. I understand things are hard for you right now. I just wish I could do more," Meg told her.

"I know you do. So does everyone but it is me he wants. He will take me with him back to the darkness, dark as hell, that torments my dreams. He will take me back to the dungeon of his dark despair. I'll get lost again in that voice. I'll be trapped forever in that prison of his mind. Oh Meg I'm so scared," she said falling onto her friend, crying.

Meg put her arms around Christine, sighing. She stroked her back wondering so many things, but half of them she could not ask.

"Christine, why don't you love him? The Phantom I mean. I've heard Don Juan many times now and it's a masterpiece. He must be brilliant. He's a little scary I know but I've met worse. Not to mention he loves you more then anything. He's given you a world of opportunities with that voice of yours. How could you not fall in love with a man like that?" Meg asked her softly.

"You don't understand Meg. He lies to everyone who sees him. He is not what he seems," Christine said as though Meg was stupid.

"What is he then?" she asked, curious.

"He's a monster. His face, it's not human Meg. It's distorted, ruined, disgusting... I can't explain the horror I saw when I took off his mask," Christine told her and started crying harder.

"So….does that make that much difference Christine? Could you not learn to love him and get used to his face?" she asked.

"It gets worse Meg. Not only is he a monster, but he tried to kill Raoul," Christine said hugging Meg tighter.

"Out of love I am sure. Oh Christine. You are such a fool. You got yourself into this situation. I pray for your safety but whatever happens you have brought on yourself. You were foolish to let him teach you and even more foolish to not love him back," Meg told her straight out.

Christine gasped and got up. She walked to the door still crying and opened it. She turned back for a moment and said.

"Good day Meg," she growled, then basically stomped off.

End Flashback

Meg felt her body tense as she remembered her friend's cold nature and cruel words. Meg had always been kind to Christine and treated her well. They had been very close friends until Raoul came and Christine forgot about her. They had promised no man would come between them. Ha, Christine never did keep her promises... Meg listened again trying to hear Christine's voice from downstairs.

"You're the most selfish child I know. I gave you a home Christine and how do you repay me?" Madame Giry said sounding hurt for once.

"I didn't mean you any harm," Christine whined at her.

"I don't care. You brought us all harm," Madame Giry responded, "One thing puzzles me though. Why did he let you go?" Christine took a long pause before answering.

"To tell you the truth….I don't know," she said slowly, "I gave up. I gave in to him. I couldn't watch Raoul die. So I went over and gave him what he wanted. I kissed him even. Then he sent me and Raoul away…."

Meg stopped listening. It was odd. Why would Erik give up that? She even kissed him. What had he been thinking letting her go?

Meg's curiosity got the best of her and she asked softly, "Erik why did you let Christine go? After you'd won and she'd even kissed you……"

Erik looked up at her with the world's saddest eyes. Meg wanted to cry just looking at them. She bit her lip knowing what he had to say would break her if she wasn't careful.

"I had dreamed of that kiss for such a long time. The moment when she would come to me. Touch me. The moment she would look at me without a mask and smile. Then her lips would touch mine and it would be poetry. Completely undeniable perfection. But it wasn'twhen she kissed me. She was forced. I could feel it. No love. No caring. Only hate and pity covered that kiss. Raoul, as much as I hate to say it, was right; she was lying to me. And no matter what I did it would always be a lie. She would never love me as I loved her. She would never truly kiss me. The lie was too much. The lack of love killed me and my dreams. I thought in time she could learn to love me. But I knew at that moment that her hate for me would only grow with the years. And it would make life worse then it was when I was alone. She would hate me. I couldn't bare it. I hated it…." he said and started crying into her again.

Meg felt helpless and simple stroked his hair. There was nothing she could stay or do. She sat helpless and just let him cry into her, trying to help him know she was there for him. She listened again to the vent and heard a door opening.

"Christine we need to go," said Raoul's unwelcome voice. Meg stressed about how Erik would react but he didn't seem to hear Raoul, which was lucky for them all.

"Alright I'm coming," Christine said in a horribly cheerful tone. She truly sounded happy. Meg felt anger bubble in her stomach and wanted to hit the cheer out of her crystal clear voice. How dare she be happy when Erik was so awfully upset?

"Get going before you cause more trouble," Madame Giry said sharply.

"I'll come back and see you soon," Christine told her.

"I think it would be better if you didn't Christine. Meg might come see you but I doubt I shall. For the sake of us all I think it's best if you don't come back or attempt to find us," Madame Giry told her.

"…Alright," Christine said then walked out, her head down.

Meg listened to the door close and sighed. She looked down at Erik who had cried himself to sleep by then. She sighed and leaned her head back closing her own eyes. She didn't know why but she was very tired. Maybe it had to do with the bump on her head.

Madame Giry watched the women she had raised walk out the door and sighed. She felt horrible about her words, but she didn't want to do anything else that would hurt Erik. The risk to her own daughter was too great. Madame Giry looked up at the room where Meg and Erik were. She feared the worst. Slowly she climbed the stairs, not caring about the pain in her leg. She went to the forlorn door and opened it.

Giry peeped inside and looked around. She saw them both on the ground, sleeping. She sighed in relief and smiled.

"Thank god." she muttered, then closed the door to walk downstairs.