Little Conversations Are We
The Vicomte and Vicomtess de Chagny delayed their honeymoon trip only long enough to attend the reopening gala of the Opera Populaire. The de Chagny family had occupied a private box, not Box 5, which, true to Jean's word, was left open as a kind of good luck talisman. Although Meg and Raoul had attended performances at le Soliel prior to their wedding, Meg found being a mere spectator at this particular performance to be a bit more difficult. The opera house had been, after all, her home...her life...for so long. Raoul had noticed his wife's melancholy and worried that she was longing for her former life, but Meg quickly assured him that she would not give him up for all the stages in Paris. If Raoul had experienced his own bout with melancholy at being once again at the Populaire, his wife never saw it.
The newlyweds had soon embarked on a romantic journey through France, and had even spent one week at the seaside in Dover. The little visit had pleased Meg greatly, and Raoul found he could quite happily dedicate his life to his wife's pleasure.
Indeed, it was with great pleasure that Meg would inform her husband a few months later that the de Chagny family was soon to be increasing.
For her part, the suspicion that she carried a child had crept upon Meg slowly, as she had lacked the usual symptoms of such a momentous change. Even the most telling symptom that should have alerted her by its very absence had gone unnoticed, as her body had never really conformed itself to a regular monthly clock to begin with. It was only as her corsets became more uncomfortable and her bodices more snug that Meg fully realized the wondrous possibility and had gone scurrying to the doctor for confirmation.
Cherishing her secret inside, she had practically floated home to Raoul, somehow resisting the urge to fling herself into his arms immediately and tell him her news. Instead she had patiently waited until they'd retired to the parlor after dinner, where she'd ordered him to sit and promptly settled onto his lap, looping her arms around his neck.
After more than three months of marriage, and all the months of their courtship prior, Raoul had come to know his wife fairly well, and the glimmer in her eyes was certainly a warning that something was afoot.
"What mischief are you up to, sweet Meg?"
She raised a brow. "Mischief? Why must I be up to any mischief?"
"Because I know that look in your eyes, love. You had it just before you convinced me that we should visit with Christine and Erik on our honeymoon."
Meg grinned, snuggling closer. "If I recall, you rather enjoyed being convinced."
Raoul smiled back. "I did at that. So what is it to be this time?"
Meg's smile widened. "Well…I cannot say for certain yet. I suppose we shall have to wait another six months or so."
His brows dropped in confusion. "Six months?"
She nodded and reached down to take his hand and settle it over her lower abdomen. "Mm. We've made this bit of mischief together, my love."
His confused look suddenly cleared, turning into one of shock, and his fingers flexed against her belly. "You mean to say…you…we…a baby?"
She smiled, happy tears falling from her eyes. "Yes. You're to be a father, Raoul."
He closed his eyes a moment, savoring the words… A father… and when he opened them again, there were tears of joy. He shifted Meg across his lap so that he could hold her even closer to him, pressing his hand back over the spot where their child grew within her. "Oh, my sweet, sweet Meg…I love you so."
Meg whispered through her own joyous tears. "And I you."
The kiss Raoul bestowed upon his wife's lips was full of reverence, and he was soon asking if she was well, what the doctor had said, what he should do. Meg had laughed and kissed him soundly to stop his rambling, which had led to the question of whether or not they could still...
They could, and they did.
Raoul proved to be the horribly overprotective sort when it came to his wife and unborn child, and Meg really could not complain. Indeed, his fussing only made him all the more adorable to her, even in her more irritable moments, of which there were quite a few. The joy they both felt expanded daily, along with Meg's figure.
Philippe Anton Raoul de Chagny loudly made his entrance into the world just nine months after his parents' wedding night - to the proud delight of both his mother and father. And to the delighted pride of Comte Philippe, who, grinning broadly, had happily told his wife that he'd known all along that their son had made the right choice in his marriage. Elise had merely rolled her eyes and said, of course, dear.
In the years that would follow, Meg and Raoul proved to be loving and attentive parents, and their children benefited much from their father's gentle kindness and their mother's good humor. The de Chagny home was often filled with laughter and music…and much dancing was done.
Life moved along as it must. The couple attended the theater regularly, often sitting in one of the boxes of the Opera Populaire…which Monsieur Ranier had indeed elevated far beyond its former glory. And if that gentleman still took immense pleasure in annoying Raoul through a continued flirtation with his wife, Meg could always soothe her husband in her own unique way.
Naturally, expanding families had taken precedence over old friends more often than not, but Meg all her life maintained a constant correspondence with her dearest friend. From time to time, the de Chagnys would venture to London, where the Rousseaus had eventually settled with their children. When in the city, Meg and Raoul would often attended performances at the London Royal Opera, renowned throughout Europe for both the exquisite talent of its diva, Madame Christine Rousseau, and the brilliant operas composed by her husband, Monsieur Erik Rousseau.
And as for the story of the Phantom…it lived on, changing over time with each telling, until few could remember what was truth and what was fantasy. But for Raoul de Chagny, only one truth of the tale would ever really matter, and he would often smile and look to Meg. He had found his happy ending in the arms of his very own angel.
A/N: Well that's it…we've finally reached the end of this story. I'm sad to have it end, but it's been a joy to write and revise and reread. Thank you all so much for stepping into my world for awhile.
During the course of writing this, I began to feel as if I'd short-changed Erik and Christine a bit, so I am even now revising Angels & Phantoms so that I might be happier with it. I cannot say what inspiration will strike after that.
One final thank you from the bottom of my heart to those of you who took the time to review. I invite you all to let me know what you think of the story now that it's complete.
Every chapter sprang from a 'little conversation' that I envisioned the characters having. Some of you may have noticed my chapter titles have little to do with the actual content (apart from the two interludes.) They are all little snippets from the lyrics of an obscure song by an obscure band that started playing through my head again after I chose the title for the fic. So my thanks to Concrete Blonde for that.
Once again, thank you dear readers for sharing this with me.