Disclaimer: I do not own any work of Leroux, Kay, or Webber.

Chapter 1:

Christine Daae listened in slight regret as the sounds of her knitting filled the room. If she attempted to hum a tune to echo in the otherwise quiet atmosphere, she would begin to feel sick. Truth be told, ever since the incident, singing made her head spin at a dizzying rate and her eyes begin to blur the images around her. Because whenever she'd sing, she'd imagine Erik's voice joining in and harmonizing with hers. It was part of his musical teaching; the concept of him being with her whenever she desired for her voice to soar and astound.

But Erik was dead to her now, in every possible meaning of the word. Or, at least she hoped. And in the event that she simply could not resist singing once more, she would first have his flowing vibrato ringing in her head, and then she'd always, despite mental warning, look at some reflective surface…and gaze upon a masked face once more. She would continue to sing to that concealed face, even though at that point she would only want to stop vocalizing. But ending the music was never an option when Erik appeared. The masked figure would extend his gloved hand, and with a pulling motion, would, quite literally, pull the music from her voice. It would be then where the sickness would begin, where her stomach would churn and she'd crouch to the ground in agony. And it would be then where the masquerading man would, in one fluid movement, remove the piece of porcelain from his face and force her to look upon a human corpse once again as his stare burned through her large eyes and made her heart beat in heavy, uneven beats.

And then she would simply lie on the white carpeting of her home and wait for Raoul to return home to help her up.

Christine stopped and smiled for a moment as she thought about him. Ah yes, Raoul. Her love, her protection, her…everything. She pictured his sky blue eyes in her mind, along with his silky skin and rose-petal lips. When he was near, even if there was sleet and snow outside, she would always feel the warmth of summer. She would feel her heart race, exactly as it did when they were mere children, until her face grew red and he would place a gentle hand upon her cheek. It was the perfect storybook ending, exactly what her father, God rest his soul, had wished.

Christine's thoughts were interrupted when she heard the front door click open. Coming in accompanied by a gust of wind, Raoul entered, his cheeks glowing pink as his black coat failed to keep the cold air from coming in contact with his delicate skin. After closing the door behind him, he removed his top hat, letting his sandy hair fall freely on his face.

Christine could not help but grin. Since he had developed, for obvious reasons, a certain dislike for opera, they had spent their trips in the city to various art museums and historical landmarks. Christine, however, was only fascinated by the sculpted angels and men of marble because they held such a resemblance to le Vicomte.

She let her tiny feet carry her to the opposite end of the house where he was standing.

She wrapped her thin arms around him in a warm, loving embrace.

"How was your day?" She said with pure joy in her voice.

"It was alright."

Christine frowned a little. "It was alright?" What had happened to "It was great, darling" or "It could not have been better" or "I cannot think of a man as lucky as I am."?

But she decided not to ask about the response. Whatever had happened that caused his reply, it was probably so terrible that he would most likely decline in talking about it.

Christine, instead, focused on trying to remove the scattered pieces of dust that had fused themselves onto the soft material of his jacket. As she moved her hands up and down along the fabric, Raoul drew back.

Christine frowned again. That was very odd. She had completed that same routine everyday, so why ever would he take a step backwards?

She ignored his actions and continued. But she had accidentally opened the coat by its lapels to reveal, perhaps, what he was trying to hide.

In the middle of his otherwise crisp white shirt was a very noticeable rip mark, too large to even be repaired.

"What happened?" She knew, like Erik, he also was not attracted to her inquisitive nature, but she just had to know.

"Nothing dear, I…it just got hooked to the door of the carriage when I got out, and I accidentally ripped it. But I have many shirts, so this one really is not a loss."

Christine looked down to the floor, still grasping onto the cloth. Raoul was generally a very careful person, and this was the first time something of this nature occurred.

But, as unlikely as it was, even people like him had days that did not go so well.

Christine moved away as he headed towards the coat closet. As he did, he eyed the armchair in the living room, and the knitted object sitting on it.

"What did you sew today?" He asked, trying to switch to a lighter subject.

Christine actually did not know. She reached down to the seat of the chair to hold up the piece of clothing to the light as Raoul was hanging his outerwear.

She nearly gasped as the two eyeholes and slit revealed the object to be a mask.

She quickly hid it behind her back as Raoul came out of the closet.

"Oh, nothing…just another pair of socks.

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