Alone in a Secret

Summary: His scars didn't only reside on his face. Then again, neither did hers.

Notes: I'm not following any version really, it's kind of a melting pot of everything. LOL, so that should explain any discrepancies from the usual PoTO story line. Other than that, I have nothing really to say. Just, enjoy.


Alone in a Secret
by MiraJade

He remembers being young.

Younger anyway, with the weight of years already collecting upon his shoulders. He remembered being barefoot and raged, with feral golden eyes shining from behind an ebony mask. Mother had said that the mask would keep the monsters away, and so he had always worn the mask. After all, Mother knew best, didn't she?

Yet, Mother isn't here now, nor will she ever be again.

He ventured into the gypsy camp as a last resort. He had spent days walking upon the dust roads of Northern France, and at that point anyone's stomach would have churned in need. With his mask firmly in place he ventured into the tents.

Just a piece of bread. He told himself. I am no thief, just a piece . . .

When he was caught he battled and hollered like a caged animal – and they responded in kind. When the mask came off all he heard was screams, and his heart curled in fear. They couldn't take the mask off, they couldn't! He didn't want the monsters to come back!

Not once did he consider that he is the monster.

OoO

She remembered being young.

Younger anyway – carefree and unaware of the horrors of the world beyond her little house on the sea. She plays all day in the surf, letting the cool waters caress her. The waves recede and not once does she chase them. After all, they'll always come back. They always come back.

At night papa would play the violin and her and mother would say prayers before bed.

Christine prayed for nothing but her angel.

Danielle Daaé prayed for her family. For she could feel the first signs of the cancer that took the life of her mother and sister, and she knows that her time would soon be short.

Charles watches them both with tears in his eyes – for he knows about the hard times that will soon lie ahead for his little girl. Yet, for tonight he holds her close, and teaches her how to rely on the heavens. He tells her that they will always keep the monsters away.

She soon learns that there are no monsters – only death. The day that she buries her mother she buries her hope in God as well.

When she buries her father she clings to her broken hope in Angels.

OoO

He remembers drifting.

Italy was mesmerizing with its laid back ways and appreciation for art. His early teenage years were spent with masonry and an old spinet in the cellar of a kindly old man who saw him even with the mask.

Yet, Italy fell in a single moment with the broken body of a shallow maid. Her ebony hair framed a halo about her head and crimson spidered about her porcelain skin.

A broken doll.

Luciana . . .

His teenage years were spent abroad – from Spain to Germany to Russia. Russia was punctuated by good tea and barren wastes. Yet, he felt at home in the chill winds that drove most other mortals away. His role as 'magician' meant that people paid to see his talents – not a mask.

Even so, they clamored to see beneath it.

The Devil with the voice of an Angel . . .

Eventually his voice caught the attention of her. The Mistress of Vipers. There in Persia's hot sands he learned to master the dubious art of death.

Still, no amount of death could chase the pain away.

OoO

She remembers drifting.

Her home on the Mediterranean was abandoned for the bustling streets of France's capitol, Paris. The city was brimming with people, but she was alone in a sea of faces. She just missed home. She missed her mother's warm embrace and her father's violin.

Her early teenage years were spent trying to fit in with the other ballerinas at the Paris Opera – her home per her father's will. Yet, she was no dancer at heart, and the other girls could be especially cruel.

Her tears mixed with the wax of the candle before her. This one was almost burned out, and still her angel hadn't appeared. With a determined frown she wiped her tears away with the back of her hand and lite another candle.

Her Angel would come. He had to come.

He promised . . .

OoO

He was a man when he returned to Paris.

The little boy with the clothe mask and fear of monsters was gone now.

After all, he was the monster. Wasn't he?

The teenager with magic at his fingertips had evolved into something more sinister.

After all, music could seduce just as well as magic – humans were so disgustingly fickle that way.

The young man skilled in the art of killing had died.

After all, he had promised a very dear friend. To him he owed his life.

His golden eyes flickered over the front of the Garnier, and a slow smile spread over his thin lips. Yes, this would do. This would do most nicely.

OoO

She was a woman the first time she heard her Angel sing.

Of course, by now the little girl playing in the surf was gone.

After all, she had died with her family – a family united in death.

The awkward teenager in a world of swans had evolved into something more elegant.

After all, song and dance were the same at heart and she now had an angel for both.

The young woman with a hand still in fairy tales had died.

After all, wasn't she in one now?

Her bright blue eyes flickered as she lite another candle. The day past had been the first time she had heard her Angel, and she was still shaking in joy from the encounter. She was in the chapel again, lighting a candle to her father's memory, thanking him for keeping true to his word.

Yet, the flame flickers as she hears his voice again. Her eyes flickered shut in ecstasy as his song slithered around her like some living thing.

Enthralled she may be, but she was more than happy to be so.

OoO

He lived truly the first time he heard her sing.

It had been an accident. He had been exploring the tunnels that slithered beneath the Paris Opera when he heard her – a broken young woman knelling desolate in the small chapel. He had felt a moment's pity the first time his eyes had passed over the pretty little blonde, but nothing more than that and he was on his way again.

Then he heard her sing.

Clear and perfect – like the high pitched tones of a bell with all of the richness of a golden light. Her voice tugged at his soul, piqued his interest. The sheer loneliness he felt was mirrored in her voice and before he knew it he was answering back, answering her pleas for an angel.

Yes, he could be her angel. Her Angel of Music. Not an Angel of Death, or Doom, or Strife. An Angel of Music.

Then, maybe in time, he could heal the loneliness he heard there too.

OoO

She truly laughed the first time she heard.

A Phantom?

Yes, the ballet girls were prone to mischief, and Joseph was prone to stories, but still – was this the best they could come up with?

According the Meg the 'Opera Ghost' was taking over the treater, telling the managers how to run things 'less an 'unimaginable woe' visit them.

It's laughable, ridiculous.

She picks up the rose her Angel left behind and inhaled deeply. Yes, there were Angels, but there were no such things as Ghosts.

OoO

For the past four years he made her soar.

He grew her wings, he pulled the veil from over her spirit, and watched in awe as it grew. Somewhere in the last few years she had grown, grown from a scared little girl to this stunning woman.

He tries to pinpoint the exact moment when he fell in love with her, but it is hard to do.

He has watched her daily, watched as she danced, as she talked and laughed and fretted about little things like gowns and hair. He has been sending notes to the managers, plotting the exact moment when he can lead her into the starlight.

He is thoughtful, and his gloved fingers come to rest on Hannibal's score.

Perfect.

OoO

For the past four years he has made her spirit soar.

He grew her wings, he pulled the veil from over her spirit, and she watched in awe as it grew. Somewhere in the last few years she had grown, grown from a scared little girl to this stunning woman.

Somewhere in the last few years she stopped imagining her Angel as an Angel, and saw her Angel as a man. Was it wicked of her? Was it wicked to love the ethereal? The intangible? The sacred?

Would kissing him be like partaking of Persephone's fruit? Would it taste both divine and bitter? The saint underlined with the sinner. She knows that it is wrong of her to wonder, but she does.

She wonders when she feels his eyes on her - watched as she danced, as she talked and laughed and fretted about little things like gowns and hair. It sends a thrill through her, and she contemplates foolish little things like love and mortality. Never morality, she has strayed too far from that.

That night she finds a copy of Hannibal on her nightstand and a note.

She picks it up, reads it, and smiles.

Perfect.

OoO

He can imagine that she sings for him.

She looks perfect on stage, like a goddess swathed in moonlight, and it makes him shiver. She is a dark creature he realizes. She drapes herself in shades of ivory and virgin white, but he can see the shadows in her eyes. Now the diamonds glint – at her neck, on her hair, on her dress. Bright, fake things that draw the eyes and reflect the light.

The only light in his world.

The notes are reflected through the theater to him, in the depths rather than his customary box – the young Vicomte will have to be taken care of soon, he knows, but for now he just hears her sing, and for a moment he imagines that he is content, alone in their secret.

He can be happy, living in the light she cast. Catching it as it fell in little crimson slivers.

OoO

She sings for him.

She doesn't care that it is wrong – it feels too good to be wrong. In her world everything has long since stopped being black and white, there is no line between saints and sinners – there is just gray and her.

Then, what would that make him?

She shakes her head at the foolishness of her own thoughts, and out of the corner of her eyes she catches the gaze of her childhood friend. The boy she knew is now a Vicomte, and she feels a pang as she imagines what might have been.

Yet, the crowd is cheering, and she can feel her angel's praise in the back of her mind and he is gone. There is just she and him, alone in their secret.

Then, she imagines that she can be happy if he doesn't love her. She is content living in the light he casts, catching the falling ivory rivulets.

It is the place where she is most comfortable.

Still, she catches Raoul's eye again, and can't help but wonder.

OoO

He has come at a crossroad.

He sees the disaster coming in the form of bright eyes and whispered endearments. That boy could ruin everything that he has worked so hard to build.

What has he built?

An imaginary relationship with a girl who does not even know his name? Oh, but she could know, a little voice in the back of his mind wonders, and he is almost swept away by that wonderful thought. Then his hand comes up to cover the mask on his face. Yet, he was no Angel, he wasn't even a man.

He was a monster.

Still, why then did he hope so much?

OoO

She has arrived at a crossroad.

Outside her door Raoul is waiting, and in her mind her Angel sings, once again igniting that little silly hope. She finds herself coming closer to the mirror, for some dark and tangible thing won't let her stray, and in a world where innocence is a sin she finds herself gladly casting hers away. For the hand that reaches out for hers is not the soft and pure hand of an angel, but a black clad hand of a ghost, a specter, a . . . phantom?

Still, his voice is the same, and if his voice is the same, then this must be the angel.

She looks up, and cerulean blue clashes with eerie gold, and she wonders just a little as her gaze drifts over to an ivory mask.

The mask is cold but his hand is warm, and she finds herself following him. Her heart gave a leap as she found that all of her little secrets were misconceptions and she wonders what this new secret will hold. After all, this was not an angel, or even a man.

A monster then.

No.

She knows it is wrong, but she can't bring herself to stop hoping.

She takes his hand, and followed him into the dark, and oddly enough, she was more than content to be there. It soothed her soul, played at her ghosts, and covered the scars that she always knew she had but never admitted to.

His hand tightened over hers and she found herself alone in a secret.

Oddly enough, that was the place that she was most content to be.

FIN

MJ