Disclaimer: I do not own PotO--they belong to the ever-revered ALW, Kay, and, of course, Gaston Leroux--nor am I making any profits from this phiction. Ha, like anyone would pay to read this...lol

A/N: Ok, just to make things clear, I am changing the following...

1) Erik is in his late thirties--not 50, contrary to Kay

2) Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, and Patrick Wilson are my Erik, Christine, and Raoul

REVIEW! Flames are just a waste of everyone's time so don't bother, however constructive critism is welcome :D

Christine awoke in her bed, the sun's brilliant rays of morning bathing her skin in a golden glow. Stealing a glance at the clock, she noticed it was already nearly noon, and while such a habit would never be tolerated under normal circumstances, she had "taken ill" as of late, and Raoul had granted that small pity on his dear wife. The true cause for her distress was, as she had finally admitted to herself, Erik. It had only been two months since her and Raoul's narrow escape, yet her health and mental state had been deteriorating rapidly. At first she had not missed Erik or felt disgust and hatred towards herself for betraying him, quite the contrary, but nonetheless understandable--why should she choose to burn in Hell with her Angel when her sweet, innocent Raoul could sweep her off her feet and carry her into the sunset?

But all good things must come to an end, and within one week of their marriage and just over a month from their journey back from Erik's inferno the fairy dust began to fade from their happily ever after. Raoul had become Comte as Phillippe, his brother twenty years his elder, had been found dead several days following Don Juan, and as a result he could not spend much time with Christine. To make matters worse, Christine was often completely alone for not only was she poorly received by Raoul's two sisters, his only remaining relatives, but Meg had been busy with odd jobs until she could be hired properly, so she did not have the time to spare her dear foster sister. Christine now spent her days of late sleeping as long as she could and reading to pass her waking hours. Raoul had forbid her to sing save in church, for he figured that the Devil dared not threaten his wife's life again within God's house. He hated to cause her more pain by denying her the arts that she so adored, but he felt as if he had no choice.

Raoul rarely had the chance to spend time with his beloved Christine, save for an occasional dinner or tea during the week and a brief period following mass on Sundays. Even from these short outings he could tell that she was not well. It was apparent that she had lost weight, her perfectly proportioned curves reduced to gradual arcs and angles. Her skin was pale and the blue of her veins was apparent on her arms and legs, giving her a ghostly air. Her chocolate orbs had seemed to widen as her face thinned out and her sienna curls were dull and wispy, nowhere near obtaining the lush shine they once had. Raoul's heart cracked just a bit further each time he saw her, for she appeared to be slipping away from him and away from the life they could have had. She was slipping back into his grasp, and Raoul was sure of it. She would often wake up in the middle of the night sweating and moaning, crying out for her Angel or Erik. Raoul assumed that "Erik" was the name of her "Angel" yet he was still bewildered by the idea of that thing having a personality or identity. To Raoul, Erik would simply be referred to as Him.

As her thoughts drifted from Raoul and her recent past they came to rest upon Erik. Oh, her poor, dear Erik. How she had betrayed him--betrayed herself. Betrayed herself--what was she saying? She didn't honestly believe that she loved him, did she? How could she love a heartless murderer? 'Heartless murderer? What are you saying, Christine? He was never heartless--quite the opposite--simply brash and passionate. As for Buquet's demise, it was of course something he deserved for the countless deadly sins that he had committed. And who was anyone to say that Erik had actually murdered Buquet with his own hands?' No, she was convinced that what Erik had done was horrid, no matter the quality of his victim's soul. 'Soul? Who are you to speak of souls? You, of all the people in this world, Christine De Chagny, you are the one to cry out for the justice of souls when your crime weighed far heavier than Erik's. Yes, Erik may have ended the life of an awful, wretched man's body, but you are far worse. You killed a soul. And not just any soul, mind you. You killed the most beautiful of all the fallen angel's souls. You choked what little life there was left in Erik's heart and spirit. Now he truly is a corpse; a rotted shell of the man he never fully was, and yet the man with your help he had been so close to becoming. How could you blame him for murder and deception when it is you whose guilt in those crimes dwarfs Erik's own? You say you fear his temper, his pain, his passion. Yet to say that, you are admitting to fearing life itself. Now you have turned from living and entered a world where all actions are robotic and meaningless. Erik lived in a world of physical masquerade. You will live in a world of mental masquerade. Erik lived a dark, hellish truth. You will live a fake, gilded lie. And this time there is no Angel to save you. For there is nothing left in you worth saving... Let the masquerade begin.'

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Erik pounded viciously on the piano, one of the few of his personal items left intact after his destructive tantrum. God, he was so weak. How could he let her destroy him like this? For nearly two months now, well many months but these two in particular, Christine had haunted his mind. At one point he had been so close to having her, to winning her over, to subtly forcing her to submit to his power. When she unmasked him he believed things would change, for now she would never think him handsome since she had seen his grotesque personage. He expected that he would have to keep her down with him against her will. But for some strange reason, she treated him no different than before. He dared not mention the incident, for though her actions had not changed and neither had her demeanor, he knew that her bitter truths would sting his ears if he asked her of her thoughts. True, she seemed to fear him more, but yet he sensed that she was also now drawn to him. He once heard her confess to Little Giry that she would never be able to leave him completely, for he would always hold onto part of her soul, her heart, her memory. She had repeated those same words to Raoul, though her difference in disposition had changed the matter entirely. While her confession to Meg had implied a growing fondness and devotion to Erik, her recount of her emotions to Raoul towards her Angel of Music and the Phantom of the Opera, who were in fact one in the same, indicated utter terror. And why shouldn't she be afraid? He was a beast, a monster, a demon. Even his own mother had feared him, and with fear came loathing...'"You ruined my life the day you were born--ruined it...ruined it! I hate you, I hate the very sight and sound of you...your devil's face and your angel's voice! There are plenty of angels in Hell, did you know that? I wish to God you were with them, where you belong. I wish you were dead, do you hear me? I wish you were dead!"'

He hit a particularly offensive chord as the memories pain blazed through him, a searing white hot knife. He had ruined his mother's life by existing...surely he had caused much more damage to Christine by forcing her into his hell. There are plenty of angels in Hell, but Christine was one angel that would never, ever, belong there. Strange though, that she had chosen him when the decision was forced upon her. But she must have done it only with the Vicomte in mind, he was the one where her heart truly laid. Even now she had probably forgotten him...moved on with her life in the world of the beautiful people, found her true place and true happiness with the Vicomte, had a lovely wedding where she pledged her undying love to her childhood sweetheart, perhaps by now she was even with child-- a perfect child free of deformities, corruption, pain. Another series of bitterly bleeding chords resounded in the darkness. Even now she had probably forgotten him...how he wished that he could forget her.