A/N: Hello, beautiful reviewers! This is a continuation of Lloyd and Webber's movie, yet it also has some of the elements of the musical, as well. As you know, this is a love triangle between Christine, Erik and Meg. Raoul and Christine are married, yet she is discontent and finds that in her heart she longs to return to the Opera Populair. Meg is still a ballet dancer, yet is terribly unnerved by the fact that her life-long friend has deserted her. Enough of my giving away plot:) Please R&R, and of course, ENJOY!
DISCLAIMER: I sadly do not own Phantom of the Opera, nor its amazing characters. :snaps fingers: Darn. :)
CH 1: The Vaults Below the Theatre
Meg Giry continued to sit upon Christine's bed with her shawl wrapped loosely about her bare shoulders, tears spilling freely past her long kohl lashes until they fell upon her diaphanous white nightgown. To any common passerby it was quite obvious that she was miserable, yet how could they blame her? Christine Daae', her life-long friend and confidant, had moved away to London with her new husband, Raoul de Chatigny.
To say that Meg was jealous would be quite the understatement, yet the young woman refused to let something so trivial as a man ruin her relationship with her best friend. After all, she often found that men weren't worth it in the long run.
Lighting one of the white candles upon the bed table beside her, the lovely blonde watched the newly-lit flames with mild fascination as the soft glow flickered playfully across her tear-stained face, her eyes widening considerably once a strong gust of what felt to be wind extinguished the flames in one full blow.
Gasping, Meg suddenly found herself staring directly into the deep corridor behind Christine's full-length mirror, her heart rate rapidly escalating once she immediately recognized it as the passageway in which her mother had caught her inspecting after Christine's disappearance.
But why had it opened? And where had that strange wind come from? There were no windows open, and yet…wait. What was that?
Straining to hear, Meg carefully swung her long, slender legs over the side of the bed, then tip-toed toward the gaping entrance. There was a voice – a man's voice – singing from somewhere deep within. Whomever it was, she immediately decided that he had a lovely voice; terribly mournful yet, at the same time, as sweet as that of an angel.
Placing a hand upon the sliding mirror, Meg peered warily inside, then slowly took a step forward. Cobwebs bedecked the dull stone walls, abundant droplets of water plummeting from the aged ceiling before splattering upon the stony foreground in numerous puddles. The blonde suddenly remembered the rats that she had encountered earlier on and inwardly shivered. Lucky for her, there were no vermin to be found.
Masquerade, paper faces on parade
Hide your face so the world will never find you…
Meg clutched at the shawl about her tiny frame as tightly as she possibly could upon now being able to discern words from the melody, her breathing quickening upon spotting a gondola in the near distance. So she had been right…she really wasn't alone…
Despite the mere fact that she had already known about the dreaded Phantom of the Opera, she had never really figured that he dwelled somewhere behind Christine's ten foot mirror. The very thought alone was terribly unnerving and she couldn't help but wonder what this strange man had seen. Possibly her best friend during one of her most private moments? It was all enough to make Meg empty her stomach right then and there.
Reaching out a shaking hand, the blonde then took hold of the gondola before clumsily easing herself inside before she felt herself land flat on her back due to tripping over her own two feet. So much for having grace…
"Damn klutziness…one would think I've never been in a bloody gondola before", Meg muttered, irritably rubbing her backside before taking hold of the oar in order to propel herself forward. The path before her was rather self-explanatory, so she figured that it was bound to lead her to somewhere important. Perhaps that man…
'No', she inwardly decided. 'I mustn't think that way…the Phantom is gone. He left when Christine ran off to wed Raoul.'
Pressing her lips tightly into a thin, grim line, Meg couldn't help the dark thoughts from within the back of her mind from invading. They were right…the very prospect was absolutely preposterous. The Phantom didn't even appear to be among the living, so what was to stop him from continuing to haunt the Opera Populair?
Meg immediately caught herself from falling, the gondola continuing to rock about dangerously as she struggled to keep hold of the oar within her tiny hands. Cursing, her grasp loosened and the long object fell into the murky lake with a light splash, her sight suddenly being blinded by an oppressive mist as she desperately sought to fan the fog from her eyes.
It was no use. The mysterious mist was obviously not going anywhere anytime soon.
Gingerly bending her knees so that she was now on her haunches, Meg sprawled out onto her hands and knees and crawled toward the front of the gondola, squinting in deep concentration upon spotting several flickering lights through the translucent shroud of gray.
"Hello? Is anybody there?", she called out, gripping the hull tightly between her hands as she waited for a response.
There was none to be heard.
Frowning deeply, Meg opened her mouth to try again, only to cry out upon lurching violently forward. The gondola had struck land!
Scrambling out of the gondola with the grace of an elephant on skates, the blonde found herself suddenly standing upon what appeared to be an island in the middle of the lake, the hauntingly beautiful array of candelabras being the obvious source of the flickering lights. A small smile coming to her lips, Meg reached out toward an antique table and gingerly touched the old barrel organ in the figure of a monkey that lay atop its surface, a sharp gasp escaping her throat once it began to suddenly play the tune that the mystery man had been singing.
Masquerade, paper faces on parade
Hide your face so the world can never find you…
Suddenly regretting ever touching the barrel organ in the first place, Meg desperately sought to smother the melody with the fear of being caught, her feeble attempts now in vain as all of the candelabras blew out due to the strenuous gust of wind like from before.
Moaning piteously within her open palms, Meg felt herself begin to shamelessly break down like she used to when she was a little girl, her recollections of being deathly afraid of the dark resurfacing so violently within her soul that it felt as if she were being slapped in the face.
"Please…please don't hurt me!", she found herself wailing, tears streaming hotly down her face like wax as she closed her eyes and choked on a sob. "Please, sir…I beg of you!"
Taking in a deep inhalation of breath, Meg found the contours of her soft body suddenly being caressed by what felt to be fingers, the act quite surprisingly leaving her with a feeling of calmness and security as she slowly opened her eyes and blinked.
"Who is there?", she questioned in a breathless whisper, somehow wishing to remain clueless as the fingers traveled along her large breasts and up and over her shoulders before resting loosely upon the silken flesh of her neck.
Before Meg could say another word, however, a hand came down over her mouth and she released a smothered, yet blood-curdling scream, her eyes rolling back in her head as she collapsed limply within her captor's arms and was carried off into the dark shadows of the night.
A/N: Well, what do you think? I'm very sorry for not having Christine in the first chapter, but I thought it best to draw out the plot slowly instead of having everything occurring all at once. Hopefully it wasn't a disappointment! Please let me know if you'd like me to continue in a review! Thanks! ;-)