Disclaimer: This story is based on a hodge podge of all things Phantom, such as Kay, ALW, and bits of Leroux tossed in here and there for some wicked fun. I love all of the characters, own none of them.

Side Notes:

Readers, fear not – this story will hopefully please both E/Cers and R/Cers. Sadly, no E/Rers


Paris, 1884

A lone figure walked swiftly along the side of the looming building, her cape billowing around her ankles from a sudden gust of wind. She shivered slightly, clutching the dark wool closer to her throat as she made her way to the corner of the cracked path. She turned her graceful neck to glance further down the way, peering out from the inside of her scratchy hood, watching for any tell-tale signs of movement.

She ducked around the corner and tucked her small frame into the stone, tilted her head slightly in her hood to listen for quiet footsteps, rustling leaves, anything that might warn her to flee. Her heart was pounding so heavily in her chest, up into her throat, that she was certain that they would hear it. How long had she been pressed against the wall…minutes...hours? Flee…go now, one foot in front of the other. There is no time to dilly-dally in dark recesses, waiting for – waiting for whom? She didn't even have a face for them.

The lady heard nothing. They had not followed her. If they had, she would surely have known it by now – they were quick and ruthless, as she had come to discover, tragically, over the past few days.

"Perri, le cher petit," she sighed, softly shaking her head against the vivid images her mind conjured of the little stable boy that had served as a warning to her...

His sad eyes peered up to her with a watery expression once more, shyly asking to touch one of the long curls that cascaded down her back. Laughing, she knelt before him, mindless of the dirt and straw of the stable floor mussing her fine riding habit, and shook her silly head to loose a few curls. He let out an embarrassed laugh as he tugged on the lock, watching it spring up again. "Go find your Maman," she smiled, patting his head as he scurried away like a little field mouse.

He had stumbled upon them somehow, she was sure of it, and had paid with his life.

Mopping away the tears that threatened to glide down her cold cheeks, she dashed to the side entrance of the building, praying that it was unlocked.

"Thank God," she breathed as the door gave way. She swung into the opera house, and carefully shut out the cold, night air of October.