yes, well, this is a songfic (my first, so please be nice if you leave any reviews), inspired by Sarah McLachlan's lovely song "I Love You"

hope you enjoy.

disclaimer: I don't own the lyrics, nor the characters. (forlorn sigh)

I have a smile

Stretched from ear to ear

To see you walking down the road…


She opened her eyes, her face falling a little when she saw Raoul.

"Are you all right?"

Christine sighed, stretching a little in the spacious yet cramped train compartment. Her head rested against the window pane, and she watched the countryside flying by as the train continued on. She nodded, pulling her head away from the cool of the glass. "Of course. Just a little tired."

He reached across the table that acted as a partition between the two facing benches, grasping her left hand, her new engagement ring glinting coldly in the soft light from the gas lamps overhead. "We'll be there soon, darling."

She merely nodded again, somewhat resignedly, and he let go of her hand. She scooted closer to the window, resting her head against it once more. She looked out; the sun was setting. The intense orange rays reminded her of the street lamps back in Paris, and the gentle rocking to and fro as the train moved inexorably forward lulled her back into her daydream…

We meet at the lights

I stare for a while

The world around us disappears…

Yes, there he was again, appearing as soon as she had closed her eyes. There were candles, so many candles, and all she could do was stare helplessly at him, entranced. His dark clothing, the very features of his face served as a stark contrast to the white of his mask. She tried to look away, but his gaze kept its ruthless yet caressing hold on her, pinning her in place. She couldn't move. She couldn't breathe. All thoughts, emotions, hopes, dreams…all had combined and condensed into a single focal point: him. He was her world, the sole reason for her existence; there was nothing, nothing but him.

It's just you and me

On my island of hope

A breath between us could be miles

Let me surround you

My sea to your shore

Let me be the calm you seek…

Suddenly, she found she could move again. She knew of no where else to go, so stepped forward, drawing closer to him.

She could see from his eyes that he was as powerless under her gaze as she was to his. She reveled in this power, this mind-boggling idea that the strength, the complete mystery of him could be unraveled so simply. He was a fallen angel—her fallen angel—too prideful to ask for the grace, the forgiveness, the completion that she gave willingly. Instead of backing down, however, she offered that and so much more to him as she stood on her toes and kissed him, her lips softly brushing against his.

Oh and every time I'm close to you

There's too much I can't say

And you just walk away…

The scene changed rapidly before her very eyes. His mask was no longer there, and he was sitting disconsolately on a ledge of some sort, watching the music box he held in his lap. The subtle confidence he had once exuded was gone; now a fragile shell instead of the stone pillar he had been before, his soul as laid bare as his face for the entire world to see.

She stood there, silent, and he looked up at her, his features tear-streaked and distraught. "Christine, I love you," he sang to her, and her heart melted.

She didn't know what to say to him. She had already given him so much, had told him so much that she didn't think words would be necessary. Yet something was at the tip of her tongue, struggling to fight its way out, but to no avail. Not knowing what else to do, she pulled the ring from her finger and placed it into his palm that she had diligently coaxed out, gently folding his fingers over it and stepping back.

With that backward step, she seemed to be drifting away from him, a mist gathering and threatening to separate him from her gaze. He was standing now, and, with one more glance in her direction, disappeared behind a nearby curtain.

And I forgot

To tell you

I love you…

She cried out to him, but he couldn't hear her; she couldn't hear herself. She was drowning now, pulled backwards and down into the darkness that had once been so comforting…

And the night's

Too long

And cold here

Without you

I grieve in my condition

For I cannot find the words to say I need you so…

The noise of the train coming to a stop brought her back to reality. She felt the tears sliding down her face, and she wiped them away quickly, trying to get rid of them before Raoul could see—

"Christine, you're crying."

She looked up at him. He was standing now that the train had stopped; she could hear the sounds of the other passengers beginning to make their way out of the train and onto the station. She stood, not being able handle the sudden sensation of vulnerability he had evoked in her, practically looming over her the way he'd been doing. She looked away and moved towards the door of the compartment, but Raoul stopped her before she could get there, sticking an arm out, impeding her progress.

"Christine, please look at me. Tell me what's wrong."

She sighed. "It's nothing. I was just…thinking."

He maneuvered his way in front of her and gathered her into his arms. "It's all right… I know this past year has been difficult. But, soon, we'll be married, and we'll be able to leave everything behind. We'll be able to start a new life, Christine. We can finally leave the past behind us."

He let her out of the embrace and she continued on into the hallway, pausing to wait for him. How do I tell him? she thought as he walked behind her. How do I tell him that I don't want to leave the past behind?

They continued down the corridor in silence, and soon reached the platform, moving through the anxious crowd to find their luggage; Christine hoped that her heart would be just as easy to claim.

Oh and every time I'm close to you

There's too much I can't say

And you just walk away…

Later that night, as Christine lay alone on the soft feather bed in the small hotel room, she cried. She couldn't help it. Raoul was next door, and they were engaged to be married…but it wasn't what she truly wanted.

And I forgot

To tell you

I love you

And night's

Too long

And cold here

Without you…

But she could never have what she truly wanted. So she cried, resigning herself to this self-induced torture of her past, present, and future.

I grieve in my condition

For I cannot find the words to say I need you so

please review! i greatly appreciate any and all comments.