Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters in the story at all.
Meg wasn't sure why she felt called to return to the opera populaire. It had been restored after the fire destroyed it. New owners were operating the opera and hadn't invited Meg to return and dance for them. It hurt her even now and she felt so alone. Christine and Raoul had just recently retuned from the honeymoon. They'd been gone for over four months and Christine had only written her a few letters, even now she had failed to come by and say hello to Meg. Her friend was absorbed in her marriage to Raoul and Meg understood that. It didn't help the loneliness that had settled in her soul.
Her mother who had once been a source of comfort for Meg had also changed dramatically after the opera fire. She constantly worried about the Phantom. Was he alright? How could she have just abandoned him and left him to die? Her mother would ask her these questions over and over until Meg thought she was going to go insane.
Today as Meg walked into the little room that she and her mother shared she knew it would be a rough day. The creaking of the rocking chair her mother liked to sit in was frantic. It was not a good sign.
"Where have you been Meg?" She demanded as soon as Meg entered the room.
"I've been working. It's early yet though, the sun is still up." Meg tried to placate her mother.
"How could you do this?" Suddenly her mother turned on her and glared at her menacingly.
"Do what? I don't understand." Meg was confused by the sudden topic change.
"His mask. You stole his mask!" She yelled loudly causing Meg to shrink back. "That's why he hasn't come out because you took his mask. That's why they haven't allowed you back to the opera. Because why should they if they have no Phantom to tell them what to do. Return the mask." Her mother commanded.
Meg hesitated. She knew that her mother was unbalanced and was scared to tip her off into further madness but she also thought that the Phantom was dead. He hadn't tried to contact anyone, not even Christine or the new owners of the opera. He must not have survived the fire. What would returning the mask hurt? Besides Meg had secretly been wanting to return to the Opera anyway and this was a perfect excuse.
"I'll take it to the opera tomorrow, mamman." Meg told her.
"No! Take it now, right now. It's the only thing to do."
"I can't take it right now. It's late, we need supper." Meg told her.
"If you will not do this, then I will." Her mom stood up as if to go.
"Oh, fine. I'll do it. I'll go right now. Will that make you happy?" Meg asked, willing do anything that might make her mother return to some sort of normal behavior.
"No, but it will make the Phantom happy, and that will make me happy."
Meg fetched the mask she'd taken the day of the fire and began the walk to the opera. It was a long walk and it was a very cold night. By the time she finally reached the opera she felt as is she was frozen solid. The chattering of her teeth was the only thing to break the silence as she walked through the opera and down into the bowels of the opera house.
As she began to thaw from the cold memories began to come back to her. Practicing with the other dancers and performing in front of the crowds. She missed the girls and the sense of family that they gave her. Christine and her goofing around back stage at practice or playing jokes on Carlotta. These were things she tried to forget because they seemed to make her pain worse.
Without even realizing it, she'd traveled to the Phantoms realm. She snapped out of her trance of memories as she entered his lake. It looked unkempt, as if he really no one had been here in months. Some part of her had hoped that maybe the Phantom had survived because she couldn't remember a time in her life without him being there. She walked over to a desk. There were papers and pictures strewn about. The pictures were of Christine, she was so beautiful men always feel in love with her as first sight. On the wall in front of the desk was a mirror. Surprisingly it was not harmed from the fire. She stared back at herself and then looked back at the pictures of Christine. Setting the mask down on the desk she picked up one of the drawings and began to study it. The artist was extraordinarily skilled. She lost track of how long she'd stared at the picture until she herself began to feel like someone was staring at her. She felt a slight rustle in the air causing Meg to being her head up suddenly. She gasped as she looked in the mirror and realized she was not alone. The Phantom of the Opera was standing only inches behind her. He wore the mask she's just returned. Meg must have been so absorbed in the picture that she hadn't noticed him walk up behind her and take the mask.
Meg fought the instinct to scream and run away as quickly as she could. She held herself still, her breathing heavy.
The Phantom just stared back at her in the mirror.
"I...can't believe you're alive." She stuttered, saying the first thing that popped into her mind.
"It's shocking to everyone I'm sure. I've been safe here because everyone thinks I'm dead." The Phantom told Meg, his seductive voice was rusty as if he hadn't used it in a long time.
"My mother has been so worried. She'd practically out of her mind. She begged me to return your mask in hopes that you would come see her if you had it." Meg told him.
He smirked at her and Meg began to realize that she was alone with the Phantom of the Opera and no one except her crazy mother even knew where she was.
"She has been good to me, however, I do not wish for people to know that I am alive." The Phantom told her.
"I won't tell anyone that you're here." Meg said a little desperately.
"I know you won't." He told her before he swung his hand and Meg suddenly felt pain. Then Meg knew only blackness.
a/n: Please review! Any suggestions of where to lead the story welcome also because I only have a sketch for it. So anything you're dying to have happen, just tell me and I will work it in if I can! Thanks! REVIEW!