A/N I know it's been years since I've updated, but I'm now back online and plan on finishing this. To those that are still with me THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE. I hope I didn't lose any readers. If you're a new reader, WELCOME and I would suggest you read "Where the Hurt Is" first, and hope you enjoy this...
From Doctors to Loss
It had been 6 months since the wedding, and Corrine soon realized that her fears of intimacy was in the past. She was now wondering why on earth she was so fearful that first night.
The countries they had visited were so beautiful and even Alec loved learning bits of the languages. Before too long they found themselves in London, England...
"Erik, if you don't mind, I'm going to take a walk this morning", Corrine said as she brushed her hair.
"Do you wish for me to come with you?" Erik asked as he came up behind her and wrapped his arms around his wife.
"No, I want to go alone. I thought maybe you and Alec could spend some time alone together. We haven't been able to spend as much time with him as we should. Thank goodness 'Mamma Giry is with us", Corrine stated as she used the nickname she came up with shortly after they left Paris.
Erik nodded and said "Perhaps Madame Giry would like to have to some time by herself as well. I'm sure it's not easy keeping up with a 6 year old like that. Perhaps Alec would enjoy a day in the park."
Corrine kissed Erik's cheek and said "He will love it. I'll be home in a couple hours."
"1257, 1259, 1261" Corrine read out loud trying to find the address. This was something she had been saving her money for ever since her brother was born, and the excitement was overwhelming....
"1275. Here it is." Corrine took a deep breath before opening the door.
The waiting room was empty. She went to the reception desk, and a young woman was sitting behind the desk. She smiled brightly at Corrine before asking
"How can I help you?"
"I'm here to see Dr Burk."
"Do you have an appointment?"
"No, I do not." Corrine sighed.
"Take a seat and I'll check and see if he can see you now."
"Thank you," Corrine said before walking to the nearest chair.
Only a few minutes went by when an older gentleman came out.
He walked over to Corrine, and shook her hand.
"I'm Dr Burk, how can I help you?"
"Actually it's my brother that needs your help. I heard you are one of the best surgeons, and I was hoping you could help him."
"I see. Tell me about your brother."
"He was born with a cleft lip, and I've been saving money for years to have it fixed."
The doctor slowly smiled.
"Bring him to my office tomorrow afternoon and I'll take a look at him."
"Thank you so much Dr Burk," Corrine said beaming.
Corrine walked into their hotel suite to find that she beat Alec and Erik back. She knew that it was still early so she decided to go to the park and find them. As she walked down the street toward the park she was trying to think of a way to break the news to both Alec and Erik about her visit to the doctor.
When she spotted Alec and Erik in the park, she forgot about the doctor, because the sight in front of her was the cutest... Erik and Alec flying kites. Alec spotted his sister and immediately lost his hold of the kite, which made Erik take a mad jump to catch it before it flew away. Corrine was still laughing as Alec threw his arms around her.
Erik walked over to them out of breath.
"You seem to be in a good mood. Want to let us in on why you are so happy?" He asked as he swooped Alec onto his shoulder.
"You will find out at……" Corrine stopped mid sentence and her face turned white as a ghost.
"Cori? What is it?" Erik asked worriedly.
Alec had noticed who Corrine was looking at and began to whimper as he climbed into Erik's arms and hid his face.
"Take Alec and get out of here… NOW;" Corrine said panic stricken.
"Why?" Erik asked as he turned to see what she was looking at.
That's when he saw her. She looked older, and her hair had a bit more gray, but it was her. Erik could feel his anger starting to boil. How DARE this woman come into their lives again, and how dare she be able to bring fear into his family. He started toward her, but felt Corrine's hand grab his arm.
"No, I'll handle this," she said without taking her eyes off this woman.
The woman spotted her at that moment and stared in surprise and disgust.
"No, we will all handle this as a family once and for all," Erik said as he placed his hand on top of her own.
Together they walked across the street to confront this woman.
"Hello mother," Corrine said coldly.
"I see you still have that thing with you. I told you years ago he would be better off in an institution."
Corrine quickly tightened her grip on Erik's hand. Whether it was to keep her temper in control or to control Erik's she didn't know. More than likely a little of both..
"Alec and I are doing well mother. Oh, have you met my husband?" she coldly said.
Her mother's look of disgust was plain to see. Before she could say anymore, Erik gently said
"Corrine, I believe we need to get Alec back now."
Corrine's attention went directly to her little brother who was sobbing hysterically into Erik's shoulder.
"Of course dear, we must get our little boy home where it's safe from evil strangers. Goodbye mother."
Without waiting for an answer the family of three turned around and headed back to the hotel.
"Yes Alec" Corrine answered
"If I told you something will you promise not to get mad?"
"Of course I won't get mad."
"You won't get mad either right Erik?"
"I won't be mad. What is it?"
"I wet my pants. Do you still love me?," he whispered as he started crying.
Erik wasn't surprised since he felt the boy shivering out of fear, and later felt his shirt getting wet.
"Of course we still love you," Corrine stated as she kissed her brother's cheek.
"You will have time to take a bath before dinner," Erik added.
Later that evening as they were waiting for their food at the restaurant, Erik remembered that Corrine had some news for them.
"Before we were so rudely interrupted this afternoon, you were about to give us some news," Erik stated.
"Oh, yes. Tomorrow afternoon Alec and I are going to see Doctor Burk."
Erik scowled. "For?"
Corrine took a deep breath and quickly took a drink of water before explaining.
"I can't promise anything, but Dr Burk thinks he can….." Corrine stopped and and took a quick glance at her brother before spelling…
"F-I-X his L-I-P"
"What makes you think his L-I-P needs F-I-X-I-N-G?" Erik spelled back.
The stony tone in his voice shocked Corrine. She never thought Erik would dislike the idea so much. She thought he'd be happy for him, but she was obviously mistaken.
"Why shouldn't it be F-I-X-E-D if it can be? It would do him so much good."
Alec had been busy looking around, and just realized they were discussing him.
"What are you saying about me?" Alec piped up.
"Erik we will discuss this later when little ears aren't around," Corrine stated coldly
"Yes, we will," Erik replied equally coldly.
The rest of the dinner was spent in silence.
"Why don't you want Alec to see this doctor?" Corrine asked as she readied herself for bed
"I don't like the idea Corrine. You went behind my back and didn't discuss this with me. We promised each other that we would make disicions together. Remember?"
"Erik, this is something I have been saving my money for years for."
"You could have TOLD me. We could have worked this out together."
"I wanted this to be MY gift to him. You have given us so much, and I couldn't ask for you to pay for an operation for him."
"Cori, I really don't like the idea of him getting his face operated on."
"Why? Is it because you would be jealous that he would be normal, or is it because he won't be like YOU?" She asked with her arms crossed.
That last question made Erik angry.
"YOU THINK I WANT HIM TO BE LIKE ME? YOU THINK I ONLY LIKE HIM BECAUSE OF HIS LIP? IS THAT WHAT YOU THINK? BECAUSE IF IT IS, YOU DON'T KNOW ME AT ALL. I WOULD DO ANYTHING TO KEEP HIM FROM THE HORRORS I HAVE LIVED THROUGH," he shouted.
Corrine knew she had crossed the line, but it was too late to apologize, for Erik left the room with the slamming of the door. Corrine fell onto the bed crying.
Alec heard the yelling, and saw Erik storm out down the hallway. He quietly walked to his sister's door and listened. He heard crying. He knocked, but she didn't answer, so he gently opened the door.
"Cori?" Alec said as he tiptoed toward his crying sister.
She didn't answer her brother, just continued to cry. Alec climbed into bed with her and rubbed her back until she finally stopped crying. He could tell by her even breathing and the occasional small sobs that she had fallen asleep. Alec kissed Corrine's cheek, gently climbed out of the bed and left the room. Once he closed the door he decided to sit at the doorway until Erik came back.
A couple hours later after Erik had calmed down, he decided to go back to his room and apologize to Corrine. As he rounded the corner, he found Alec sitting in front of his and Corrine's room. The frown on Alec's face told him something was bothering him.
"Hello young man," Erik tried to say with as much cheerfulness as he could.
"Erik, you made Cori cry," he said matter of factly as he quickly got to his feet and put his hands on his hips.
Erik sighed "I know, and I'm going to talk to her."
"I think you need to say I'm sorry."
"You're right Alec. I do need to apologize."
"Are you going to wake her up and say it now? Or wait till tomorrow? I think you need to tell her now."
"Ok Alec, I'll tell her now."
Alec moved away and let him pass by.
"What is it?"
"Don't ever make my sister cry again. All right?"
"I will try very hard not to."
"Good night Erik. I love you," Alec said as he gave Erik a hug.
"Good night, love you too."
He entered the room to find Corrine asleep. Her tear streaked face tugged at his heart. "How could I be so cruel to hurt her like that?" He asked himself.
He leaned down and kissed her lips. Her eyes fluttered open.
"Erik? I'm so sorry Erik. I should never had said those aweful things to you. Please forgive me?" She cried as she wrapped her arms around Erik's neck begging for forgiveness.
"I am sorry too. I should never have yelled at you like that. You didn't deserve that," he said as he returned the hug.
"I have been doing a lot of thinking, and I want to go with you when you take Alec to this doctor. I want to meet and talk with him to make sure he is a decent honest man," Erik said.
"Of course you can come with us, and I will never again do anything behind your back again."
The next afternoon they found themselves inside the doctor's office waiting to be called back…
"Alec de Chagny?" the nurse called.
Alec, Erik and Corrine stood as one.
"The doctor is running a little late and will be here shortly. Today's Thursday and it's his volunteer day," she apologized.
The three sat back down. Corrine and Erik exchanged confused looks. "Volunteer day?" Erik asked.
Corrine just shrugged and started to make up a game to occupy her brother. An hour later Dr Burk rushed in.
"I'm so sorry you had to wait. The orphans at the orphan home are always needing a doctor it seems. Other doctors don't want to treat them saying that they need the money. I on the other hand don't mind treating children for free. Please follow me to my office,"
Corrine, Erik, and Alec followed the dr into his office. The office was sparingly furnished with just a desk and a couple chairs. The Dr took a seat behind the desk.
"So, you must be Alec," he stated as he motioned Alec to sit on his lap."
Alec automatically took a likening to this doctor. He was nothing like the doctors he's seen. This doctor actually smiled and felt like a grandfather.
"Yes sir, I'm Alec. How do you do Sir," Alec replied while offering his hand to be shaken.
"You are a very polite child. I wish more children were as polite as you. At least you didn't kick me like one of the children I had to treat this morning. I think I'll have a bruise for a week. But enough about me, tell me Alec, what's your favorite color?"
For close to a half an hour the doctor and Alec were in a deep conversation.
"Alec it has been a great pleasure talking to you, but I need to talk to your sister for a few minutes "I know if you go to the receptionist behind the desk, she has a sweet for you. I only give them out to my favorite children," he winked at Alec.
Alec jumped off the doctor's lap and walked out of the room. Corrine grabbed Erik's hand. This was it. The time she discovers if Alec can be helped.
The doctor sat back in his chair, folded his hands in front of him, and smiled at Erik and Corrine.
"I am pleased to know that he doesn't have too much difficulty speaking, and yes, I do believe I can help him. However, I can't perform the operation until next April."
"That's six months away," Corrine explained.
"If I can get him in sooner, I will let you know. Don't worry about arrangements. I can arrange for you to stay at the Orphan home during the operation, which is next door to the hospital. You will be close to Alec, your meals will be free, and you won't have to worry about paying for a room somewhere."
"That's very kind of you, and we accept," Erik stated.
"That is great news. It's been a pleasure talking to you," the doctor said as he stood up.
"Thank you for everything," Corrine said as she shook the doctor's hand.
They found Alec telling a story to the receptionist, and the receptionist laughing. Once he saw Corrine and Erik he jumped out of his chair.
"Cori, I got a licorice," he explained as he held up the black candy.
"That's great," Corrine smiled as she nodded to the nurse.
They went back to the hotel only to find Madame Giry in tears.
"What's happened?" Corrine asked worriedly.
Madame Giry wiped her tears and looked at Alec.
"Alec, please be a dear and play quietly in your room until we come get you," Corrine gently said.
Alec knew something bad had happened, so he nodded and went to the room he shared with Madame Giry.
Erik opened the door and stood aside as Corrine assisted M. Giry into the room. She sat on the edge of the bed and Corrine sat beside her holding her hand. Corrine waited until Erik took a seat in front of them before asking….
Madame Giry could only hold out the telegram as she cried. Corrine took it, and couldn't help the sob that escaped. She shook her head and handed the note to Erik. He read outloud….
I am sorry to inform you. daughter and son-in-law killed in an accident. Child fine. Sent to Opera house in Paris. Will arrive shortly.
Erik looked at the date, "May 1" That was shortly after the wedding. It took close to 6 months for the telegram to find it's way to them.
"My Meg, my little Meg. I have to go home," Madame Giry wailed.
"We will pack for you," Corrine stated as she got up to go pack.
Erik grabbed her hand.
"How upset would you be if we went home with her?" he asked.
The concerned look in his eyes touched her.
"Actually I was getting ready to suggest the same," Corrine answered gently.
'No, no. You two shouldn't cut your honeymoon short for me. I can go alone," Madame Giry stated as she got ahold of herself.
"They were our friends too," Corrine stated.
"Besides, you are in no condition to be traveling that far alone. We will all go," Erik boldly said.
"I'll go tell Alec to start packing," Corrine said as she left the room..