Alright, so this is a little something that is the result of a rather entertaining conversation i had with my friend Marilyn yesterday after school. This is the first of a series of I'm not sure how many vignettes meant to answer some questions i and some other people had...enjoy.

Disclaimer: once again, no matter how much i wish i did, i have no rights to The Phantom of the Opera. drat.

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Christine: Is she really as innocent as everyone believes?

She couldn't believe her luck: a whole afternoon off! By the third time the set was sent plummeting to the stage, M. Reyer had just about had a heart-attack. Throwing up his hands in defeat, he stalked off and soon proceeded to lock himself in his office, thereby effectively ending the rehearsal. Good thing, too; here eardrums couldn't take much more of the outraged shrieks being emitted constantly by the overly-dramatic La Carlotta. Even a block away from the Opera House she could still hear it: a high pitched, yet mercifully muffled wail.

She looked back at the great hulking mass of a building; though she'd already had her lesson, she wished she were in her dressing room, talking with her Angel. She vaguely wondered if he knew of her suddenly free afternoon, but was brought back at a sharp tug on her arm.

"Christine!" whined Meg. "You promised you'd go with me!"

"What? Oh, yes. Lead the way."

Ah, yes; the new museum Meg had been chattering about for the past two weeks. Where on earth her friend had gotten such an insatiable thirst for art she wasn't about to guess, so she allowed herself to be led about through the streets of Paris while people threw odd glances in their direction.

She looked around her with an expression of schooled innocence, but feeling overwhelming disdain—that is, until she saw a certain someone's family crest marking one of the ornate carriages coming up the street.

"Shit! It's Raoul! Hide!" she hissed, grabbing Meg's arm and hurrying to lose themselves in the crowd.

She breathed a sigh of relief as the carriage passed without incident. Why that man still insisted on looking for her when she'd clearly told him no over five years ago baffled her. Talk about "freaky stalker", she thought.

"Here it is!" squealed Meg, pushing open a door to her right and sprinting inside, practically mowing down an elderly couple on their way out.

Oh, joy.

She took a deep breath and stepped inside.

The interior was unlike anything she'd ever seen before; certainly nothing like a museum at all. The space was far too cramped, the lights far too dim, but she found herself being drawn inexorably further into its depths.

She looked around; there in a corner stood a strange-looking sculpture, composed, it seemed, completely out of random hunks of metal. But there: a face that stared out at her from the wall behind the sculpture; a face so totally foreign yet completely familiar it made her blood run cold; hers.

Entranced, she made her way over, taking care not to brush against the sculpture as she positioned herself to get a better look at the painting.

She got gooseflesh just looking at it. How vividly she remembered those nights spent in that small, dimly-lit studio, remembered the feel of the flowing red silk draped around her body as she posed for the strange man sitting on the stool in the darkest corner, refusing to talk to her in anything above a hoarse whisper or remove the traveler's cloak that he kept himself shrouded in, the hood pulled up so that his face was bathed in continual shadow.

She smiled wryly as she wondered what Mme. Giry or Meg—or her Angel—would think if they knew of this new occupation. Pure mortification, no doubt. But still…it paid well, and God knew it was so much more exhilarating than parading about the stage on your toes.

"Wow, that's beautiful."

Christine jumped. Looking around, she saw Meg beside her, admiring the painting.

Meg looked at her thoughtfully. "She kind of looks like you, Christine."

"Don't be silly, Meg."

"No, really! Look at it!"

Christine sighed, feigning a preoccupied, impatient air. "We should probably start heading back. M. Reyer might be ready for another go; besides, we're not supposed to be out in the first place."

It was Meg's turn to sigh. "You're right, let's go." She turned to leave and made her way around the sculpture. "What an ugly pile of junk," she said, regarding the piece with an expression of disgust.

Christine smiled.

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please review! i'll love you forever:D