"Rain"

Rain. How he utterly despised it, wanted nothing more than to keep to his underground haunts until the weather improved drastically. Still, it kept people and their prying eyes out of the streets, and he needed some fresh air, to walk, to think.

He hugged his cloak about him tighter, pulling his hat down even further, hiding his maskless face. He knew it was probably a foolish, careless decision on his part, not wearing his mask, but the infernal thing was just so difficult to breathe properly in. Besides, he reasoned, if he were to encounter someone in the street, his skills at disappearing into the shadows would come in handy.

As if anyone would stop the intimidating tall and slender figure robed in black as he sailed down the cobblestones, making no noise, practically floating like some Angel of Death; which, he thought with a smirk, wasn't too far from the truth. Christine, at least, thought he was an angel…

Ah, Christine. What was he to do with her? He loved her so utterly, so completely, and yet she had no idea who he was. Well, who he really was, at any rate. She heard his voice every day during her lessons, yet he could not bring himself to reveal his full identity to her quite yet. Soon, though. Very soon. As soon as he got more accustomed to wearing that damned mask so as to not frighten her with his face—

Mind halting in mid-thought, he allowed instinct to take over for a moment, fading into the shadows, out of reach of the light from the sputtering gas lamps. He was at the Opera now, only had to go to his secret entrance around back, and it frustrated him: he'd been out for nearly an hour and had encountered no one.

A carriage clattered by, shocking him for a moment, startling him, throwing his delicate balance of hearing off; to compensate, he narrowed his eyes, squinting, the golden, amber orbs now reduced to two glowing slits as he examined his surrounds.

Someone was outside, out on the sweeping and grandiose staircase leading to the Opera Garnier…but who?

Slowly, he made his way closer, brow furrowing in confusion. Something about the slender figure, the way they moved…

She was dancing.

Yes, he could see it now, see it all so clearly. He could see the girl on the stairs, her dark, stringy hair soaked and trailing down her back, her clothing drenched as well. Though the cold rain must have stung, her arms were bare, the exposed skin strangely pale and translucent. She stopped moving then, save her arms, which she lifted gracefully heavenwards, tilting her head back slowly, eyelids sheltering the great onyx orbs he knew would have been there, staring.

Now. Now was the time to sneak past her and around the building, now while she was distracted by the rain, now while she had her eyes closed. He knew this, knew it well, the thought nagging him. Nevertheless, he found he was unable to move. So he stared at her, drank up the sight of her slender figure, the wet skirts, the droplets and rivulets of moisture collecting on her skin before resuming their inevitable journey to the ground. He watched as she parted her thin lips and simply stood with arms outstretched, head back, mouth open, catching the drops of cold rain on her tongue.

He watched because, in the strangest of ways, it was beautiful, and he smiled.

Then other thoughts of beauty assailed him, thoughts of flaxen hair and shining blue eyes, a figure too perfect to even begin to describe, a voice rivaling that of the archangels…

He shook his head, clearing his mind. Irritated, with bits of anxiety and confusion coursing through his veins, he looked once more at the Giry girl, so calm and serene on the staircase, before deciding.

He strode forward, out of the shadows, startling her as he knew he would. She stared at him, her eyes enormous as he approached, climbed the stairs one by one. Within seconds he was only a meter away, and he dwarfed her with his sheer height. Still she remained, silent, gaping, and he turned his head towards her, tipping his hat, revealing a little of his skeletal face before carrying on, seeming to vanish at the top of the stair.

And he smirked as he watched her still standing, shocked, watched as the water continued to pelt her for a moment before she moved again, dashing up the staircase, not quite caring about the story she would inevitably tell about meeting the Opera Ghost on the stairs in the rain.