A/N:The characters of Phantom of the Opera belong to Gaston Leroux and Andrew Lloyd Webber. If they were mine, I would never let them out of my sight…….. (this is my first story, so please, please, please review!)

"Watching"

Watching from afar was something Erik had become very good at. When you are shunned from the world, there is very little to do but watch. You can learn a lot about a person when they think no one is looking.

He has seen the many love affairs of the chorus girls. He has seen them fawn and swoon over men only to end up used and broken. Many just go on pretending it never happened, and are soon again jumping at the next rich bachelor they meet. Many are not strong enough to do much else but cry and fall deeper into their own personal hell until they are lost. The minds and wills of these girls were weak, not good for anything else but dancing and looking good

Even more, he has seen those who are higher up. While Carlotta may get her way on the stage, behind the scenes it is different. Her obnoxious ranting just pulls her husband into another fight, ending up with Carlotta crying and Piangi drowning himself in wine. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Keeping up such a façade will not last them very long, and it is already crumbling down around them.

Merely turning his gaze, he sees right through the new managers. Drunk from greed and new found power, their pompous, narcissistic souls are filled to their content. Their shame and common sense were quickly forgotten. When not attending plays or extensive parties of the rich, they drink, go through women faster than they could learn their names, and have become, in polite terms, pigs. Overindulged men are nothing more than fools in society. Unfortunately, they are what our society consists of.

Speaking of overindulged, the de Chagny boy comes to mind. He is nothing more than a simple-minded man with money and an unfortunate eye for beauty. Raoul de Chagny was one of those men naive enough to fall in love with the idea of love. True, he believed his love was real, but Erik could see it differently. He was lost in a fantasy of romance, and in his mind he could only see what he wanted to see. He managed to catch Christine in his web.

Christine. He had watched her for many years, starting the night Madam Giry had brought her to the Opera House. She was pure and innocent, something Erik had seen very little of in his life. Hiding in the shadows, he watched her mature and grow. He helped her strive for higher standards, something he felt only she should deserve. He fell in love with her innocence. She was everything that he was not. He wanted to have what she was; he wanted her spirit and her love. He seduced her, showing her his world of music and darkness. She was scared of him, he saw, and that was what he wanted.

When Raoul came back into her life, Erik could see his hold beginning to fail. He needed to be more persistent. He could see the love in their eyes, and he could feel his jealousy beginning to control him. She was his, and he would have it no other way. Yet after she kissed him, he could see in her eyes that he had lost.

Letting her go was the hardest thing he had ever done. However, as he looked down from the beams as they walked out, hand in hand, he saw her glace up, one last time. In that last glance, he was able to smile. She may love Raoul, but he had made his mark. As the years would pass, as time would go on, he would not. He fulfilled an easy way to reach immortality. Now, all there was left to do was step back, and watch.