Angel of Music

Rating: G

Summary: How Erik met Christine.

Written for: Teffy for the Icon Drabbles. She wanted something Phantom.

Archive: A Small Drop of Ink

Disclaimer: Belongs to Gaston Leroux and the Really Useful Company

I should have walked away. I should have turned away from the opera house chapel and went back to the underground labyrinth. I didn't, though. I had been a curious, impetuous youth. Standing in one of the secret passageways, I had heard a little girl crying. Unable to deny my curiosity, I followed the sound.

She was small, probably no older than seven, with dark brown curls that fell down her back. She knelt in front of a lit candle, her head bowed in prayer. When she looked up, I could see tears slowly fall down her chubby cheeks.

"Papa, I don't like it here. Nobody but Meg talks to me. I miss you," she sobbed, her brown eyes fixed on the burning candle.

I sat down on the ground and watched from behind a stained-glass picture of an angel. Quietly, I waited for her to continue.

"Where is he, Papa? You said you'd send me the Angel of Music so I wouldn't be alone." Her brow furrowed in confusion. "Is he busy? Did he get lost?" Her voice cracked on the last word.

I looked away and stared at the ground. This little girl didn't have anybody, just like me. Nobody loved her or cared about her; she was all alone. Even though she looked perfect, nobody wanted her.

As I stood up, a thought occurred to me. I wanted to love and care for this little girl. She could be mine, and she wouldn't be alone anymore. She needed a father. Then I remembered my mask. I would terrify the little girl. Sadly, I turned to walk away.

"I guess the Angel of Music isn't coming," her little voice said.

I stopped. I don't know what made me answer. Maybe it was the defeated tone in her voice or the frown on her face. Whatever it was, I spoke.

"I'm here. You're not alone anymore."

Her head jerked up, her eyes searching for the source of my voice. "Who's that?" she asked as she climbed to her feet. She stepped toward the angel picture.

Panicked, I threw my voice to the other side of the room. "I am the Angel of Music." Before she could answer, I started to sing one of the songs I learned from the gypsies.

A genuine smile crossed her small face, and my heart soared. I had made someone smile. I had never made someone smile before. My voice grew stronger, and from that moment on, my fate was sealed.