He was old now, both in body and in spirit. The years, little though they were, had preyed ruthlessly on his already-marred countenance, transforming any and all chances of beauty to a slim glimmer of nothingness. Before, he might have tried to take his own life, take himself away from the pain, from the suffering, but he was apathetic now, waiting coolly in the dark, with only shadows and fragments of memory to keep him company.

Until she came.

He heard her before he saw her. Her small, tentative footfalls echoed hugely in the vaulted halls of morbidity and darkness, preceding her appearance like the swelling chorus of trumpets welcoming the Judgment.

He sprang up to meet her, his form, though world-weary, still nimble. She paused, the corpse-like caress of the waters of the lake dancing about her ankles as she surveyed him, her love, her Master, her Angel.

The years had transformed her as well, but only serving to heighten her already-blinding perfection. Her breathing grew quick as he approached, and, with a satisfied smirk, he reached out and brushed his cold, clammy fingers against her delicately-sculpted cheek. "Why are you here, Christine?" he hissed, eyes on fire.

"I don't know, Angel," she breathed back, looking him full in the face, her eyes lingering on the scuffed scrap of leather still concealing his inferior half.

"But I do," he said, his fingers sliding sinfully down her cheek and resting on her neck. "Would you like to know why, Christine?"

Her eyes grew dark with desire. "Yes."

Drawing closer to her, he whispered in her ear, "Because you want me…am I right?", before teasing his tongue against her earlobe.

The sudden hitch in her breathing was unmistakable.

"I thought so," he replied, before pulling away.

She looked at him, broken, vandalized, and he laughed. "Ah, but you didn't think your Angel could resist you, did you, my love? How does it feel? How does it feel to be disappointed, Christine, how does it feel to be deterred? But you wouldn't know anything about that, would you?"

She looked away from him, and, quick as lightning, her chin was in his icy grasp, forcing her to face him once more. "I asked you a question, Christine," he hissed. "I expect an answer."

"I don't know," she murmured.

"What was that? Really, Christine, a lady shouldn't mumble."

"I don't know!" she whimpered, tears starting to form.

He nodded, wiping her tears away with his thumb as they fell. "I needed to hear it from you, you understand." With his free hand, he reached for one of her own. "Now, Christine, I need you to do something for me."

"Anything," she breathed.

He brought her hand to his mouth, kissing the palm before bringing it to rest against the side of his face. "Remove the mask."

She did as she was told, no resistance whatsoever, and looked at him, unveiled and shrouded in sinister splendor, before colliding her lips with his in purposeful, blissful abandon, drawing the pair of them deeper, darker, never again to rise from the quiet abyss of his shadowy domain.


Hundreds of miles away, Christine de Chagny sleepily embraced her husband, wondering what had become of the man who, it seemed, many years ago, had attempted so desperately to ensnare her in his deceptively-fragile webs of lies, music, and utter madness.