Well I'm starting another story after disappearing off the face of the earth for how long now. If you noticed that some of my stories are missing I removed them, because I lost interest in finishing them. I may post them again I may not.

This story I'm starting is an AU (meaning alternate universe). It's time to answer the age old question of what the Phantom of the Opera would be like if he and Mme. Giry had become a pair? I have a bunch of surprising plots twists and turns to use, so don't expect this to be a normal turn of the notch piece. Hope you guys like it.

The One True Desire
Chapter 1: Friendships

July 14th, 1844

"Oh, Madame is going to be so upset about me being late," Antoinette groaned as she hurried to the dancing rooms.

However she wasn't the only one rushing to lessons at this moment. The whole corps de ballet youth division had gone to the traveling fair last night just for fun. Though a good portion of the girls had nightmares from the sites they had seen and many of them had to do with a small boy that had been named the "Devil's Child."

Antoinette had sat up a good portion of the night listening to the girls go on about the boy. It hurt her, so to hear them be so cruel to someone less fortunate than themselves.

"He was so ugly," a small girl named Lily piped up. "What they do burn his face to make it look that way?"

"I bet they did," another girl named Charlotte agreed.

"I liked seeing him squirm," a third girl by the name of Madeline joined in. "It was about time somebody gave men a good spanking."

Antoinette had had enough. "SHUT UP! Shut up all of you!" Every girl in the dormitories stopped talking and looked up at her as she climbed off her bed to stand in the middle of the room. "Do any of you have any idea of how selfish you're being? I found it disgusting that all of you were laughing at that boy. What if it had been you inside that cage?" she asked turning to gaze at each one.

The girls all looked at one another as if Antoinette had suddenly gone insane. Yet, one girl did speak up.

"You know I do recall Antoinette not coming back to the Opera House with us. Why don't you enlighten us and tell us where you had disappeared to?"

Antoinette knew she couldn't tell them about Erik. He was the real reason she had left the fairgrounds in such a hurry. He was a murderer and an escaped criminal now, but she was not about to let him suffer anymore. The only safe place she could put him was a well hidden cavern down in the fifth cellar. Not everyone knew about those caverns except from past crew members, who enjoyed telling the story of how the fifth cellar was flooded years ago and never used after that.

Erik was down there now resting on a makeshift bed of pillows, blankets, and old curtains Antoinette had collected for him. She felt bad for leaving him all alone, but he was more than grateful for the kindness she had shown him and he would wait for her to return later tomorrow with something to eat. She quickly realized that all Erik had ever wanted was kindness and a chance to be accepted by people even though he never said that.

"Well I came back, because I was so disgusted with the whole place. Those people weren't trying to be entertaining they were trying to frighten us and take away our well earned money. I knew the way back, so I returned on my own."

The other girls seemed to believe her, because many of them just rolled over and started going back to sleep. She felt proud of herself as she climbed back into bed and went to sleep.

"Antoinette you're late!" a shrill voice interrupted her train of thought as she entered the dancing room.

Antoinette prayed Madame would give her a break just this once seeing as she was a fairly good student. She had never been late to class before and she was a fast learner when it came to the dance steps.

"I'm so sorry Madame, but the other girls kept having nightmares and waking me up. I think the fair spooked them."

"Yes, I'm afraid it did. I wasn't so keen on taking you girls, but majority of you wanted to go. Well enough dawdling. Get your shoes and stand at the bar please."

Practice lasted an agonizing 4 hours before the girls were finally released. Antoinette was so pleased and before heading off to the hidden passage way she grabbed some fresh bread from the cafeteria and tucked it into her ballet bag.

Erik was sitting lazily against one of the stone walls, with a pillow between him and the wall as a support, whittling a piece of wood with a knife. His stomach growled for the eleventh time in the past time and he groaned.

"I hope she didn't forget about me. I'm ready to die from hunger."

He worked a bit longer on the wood his stomach growling almost every five seconds until he heard an all too familiar voice call out his name.

"Erik? Are you still down here?"

Erik looked up through the eye holes of his mask and smiled as Antoinette approached. He stood and took a moment to regard her. She was still in her ballet outfit, but he didn't mind at all. "I'm here," he replied

"I am so sorry I took so long. I should have explained that practices can be rather long."

"Yes, I do recall you refraining from telling me that. But I'll let it go. I don't want you to put too much of your time into taking care of me and seeing to my goodwill. I can take care of myself when needed as long as I have shelter and something to eat," Erik said as his stomach let out another annoyed growl.

Antoinette giggled. "Well it just so happens I brought some lunch with me," she said taking out the bread and some juice she had managed to swipe. Also she pulled out some candies she had been saving that her mother had sent her for a birthday present. It was a small meal, but it would do for now.

"Is all this for me?" Erik asked bewildered by what was laid out in front of him. He had never expected anyone to go to such lengths to care for him. The fact that she even risked her life for his startled him.

"No, it's not all for you," Antoinette said with a laugh. "I need to eat too."

"Oh, all right I guess I can share this small feast with you," Erik said moving to sit down and lean back against the wall. As his back touched the cold stone he let out a staggered breathe through his teeth.

"Erik what's wrong?" Antoinette asked as she looked up from pouring the juice.

"It's nothing. Just some old wounds giving me trouble," he replied with a wince as he reached for the pillow again.

Antoinette reached into her bag and pulled out a small bottle. "If you want I can put some of this on your back. It will help soothe the pain."

The corner of Erik's mouth turned upwards a bit as if to smile or to scowl. Antoinette cursed the mask he wore now, because all she could see was his eyes and mouth. That wasn't much to go off of when you wanted to judge feelings by facial expressions. But luckily Erik spoke.

"Do I have to take the mask off?" he asked quietly as he rose up his hand to touch it.

"Don't worry I can get the shirt off without you taking off the mask Erik. But I will remind you that I have seen you're face before and I am not afraid of it. I will never be afraid of your face, but I won't make you take it off."

Slowly Erik's eyes moved from her to look at the floor and the hand upon the mask grabbed hold of the outer part and removed it from his face. He was turned away, so she could only see the better side of his face. It was free of flaw and Antoinette concluded that as the boy grew older that side of his face would become much more handsome.

Eager to comfort him she reached up and cupped her hand around his cheek. His mouth fell open in complete shock, but he did not jump away from her. Using her thumb she caressed the skin with small, steady strokes.

"Antoinette…what are you doing?" he asked as his voice came out in small stuttering gasps.

"I'm proving to you Erik that there are good people in this world. I want you to know you can always trust me to look upon you no different than any other person and I will never laugh at you. I want nothing more than to be your friend."

"I never had a friend before."

"Then let me be the first, please. Allowing this would more than make up for the fact that I rescued you."

As she said this she reached out her other hand and took the marred cheek into it. She slowly had the terrified boy face her and looked deeply into his eyes. They were as blue as the ice covered sidewalks during winter. For a moment Antoinette felt as if nothing matter anymore, but Erik.

"You were going to put something on my scars weren't you?" Erik asked after a couple minutes.

Antoinette let go of him and looked around her. "What's wrong with me? I totally forgot what I was doing."

"Think nothing of it," Erik reassured her as he pulled his shirt over his head revealing a clean, yet very scarred body. He then folded up the shirt and placed it aside. "Well shall we begin?"

"We shall," Antoinette said with a smile as they shared a warm conversation together down below the opera house where they had no worries at all.

I finished a chapter OMG! Things will get better I promise. Also I apologize for disappeared stories again. I hope no one is too upset.