A/N: I don't own "Angel of Music" obviously, but I did bend the lyrics to fit the story. Hope nobody minds! The melody is the exact same, though, and it's done just as Christine and Erik sang it in the movie.

Chapter 1...Aftermath

Whenever he tried to sleep, the same images flashed through his mind: the flames, Christine, the falling chandelier, Christine, Raoul, Christine, screaming people, Christine, losing his mask and being exposed, and Christine. It seemed that every thought he had was tied to her in some way. It had been unbearable at first, but now Christine's face only haunted him in dreams. Erik had not been to the surface for quite some time.

When he woke, it was the same as always: the candles lit all around him, the swan bed that he'd just flopped over on (he rarely slept with blankets), the pillow beneath him still damp from tears. Aside from his friendship with Madame Giry, he had yet any real relationships to speak of, thus he had never learned to regulate his emotions. They were often severe and sudden as a thunderstorm.

Today, he just felt drained, exhausted. He hadn't bothered to wear his mask in a long time. Meg had given it to Madame Giry and she'd returned it to him, but he just passed it without picking it up.

Erik was tempted to go back to sleep, but he knew she'd be waiting there. He sat up, his white shirt and black trousers contrasting with the red sheets. His hair was still a tangled mess and his expression was that of a lost child. He looked around, seeing his monkey, his organ, his music paper (which was mostly blank), and the broken mirrors. Other than the swan bed, he'd destroyed all of his Christine-related things. He'd thought to keep them, but it hurt too much. Surprisingly enough, she'd remained here. Madame Giry told him that she would be staying just until she and Raoul were married. Raoul was working on getting them their own house. To this news, he'd turned away from his best friend to keep her from seeing his tears. Knowing he would want to be alone, Madame Giry only placed her comforting hand on his shoulder as a mother would comfort a son.

"Erik," she said gently, "it's not the end of the world. The two of you simply weren't meant to be. There will be another."

Then, she left.

"How can there be another?!" Erik roared into the darkness, making his voice echo throughout the cavern, "It hurts too much! I won't allow it!"

His voice was hoarse like a wounded animal's as he dropped to his knees, shaking. He saw his reflection in the water and turned away from it. He couldn't bear to see himself after what he'd done to Christine.

Upstairs, hammering, sawing, and other sounds of construction had been going on for months. Now, there was silence, which could only mean one thing: the opera house was going to open again soon.

Erik thought for a moment. He could easily play dead; Madame Giry understood and would bring him food and provisions, but...

Besides playing his organ, there wasn't much else to do down here. Erik was pulled from his own pool of emotions that threatened to drown him by a small saving hand: it was still HIS home, HIS opera house, and it was still under HIS control.

Compelled by desperation and curiosity, Erik ran a comb through his hair until it regained its sleekness. He stripped out of his mussed clothes and resumed his all-black attire. He placed the white mask back on his face. With a swish of the cape, he was the Phantom once more.

A/N: I don't own "Angel of Music" obviously, but I did bend the lyrics to fit the story. Hope nobody minds! The melody is the exact same, though, and it's done just as Christine and Erik sang it in the movie.

Christine stood on the brand new stage. She was completely alone. Vaguely, she remembered the feeling she once had of Erik watching her. Despite being grateful that the whole affair was over, she couldn't help but miss him in a strange sort of way.

"Angel of music,

where have you gone to?

are you gone for good?

Angel, I wish it had gone better

I'd make it so if I could..."

Her voice sounded small on the new stage, but she'd only intended it to be a whisper. He could hear her, but she couldn't hear him where he whispered from the rebuilt Box 5.

"I'm no longer your angel of music...

you have left me behind...

so just go back to your beloved suitor...

enjoy your new life..."

Right on cue, Raoul joined Christine onstage.

"So, what do you think?" he asked her as she examined the surroundings. The new stage was much more elaborately done than the old one.

"It's beautiful. I can't wait until the others return-"

Suddenly, there was a bustle outside. Erik left his box and crept along the hidden paths in the ceiling. He was hidden inside a statue of a roaring lion and was watching through its mouth. The ballet rats and chorus girls had all come in at once, coachmen lugging suitcases behind them. Among them, he could see Meg and Carlotta.



Erik smacked his forehead. Carlotta wasn't supposed to come back! He made himself a mental note to do something to get rid of her.

"I didn't count on seeing you again, Madame," Raoul said, his tone a little too blunt.

"Well, Monsieur, I didn't count on coming back. I was informed that the damned phantom was killed, so he can no longer disturb me."

Erik smirked. Oh, this was funny. He chuckled quietly.

"Well, then," Raoul fumbled for words, "it's nice to have you back."

He looked as though he would vomit as he said the word "back". His face had paled and he'd swallowed hard. Erik shook his head.

Always playing the part of the foppish gentleman, I see. Have I taught you nothing?

Erik watched as everyone went to unpack.

Present-Day California:

"Come on, Squishie! We have to get going!" an impatient female voice yelled. It belonged to a slightly chubby woman of about twenty who was standing in the doorway of a messy apartment. Her curly honey-colored hair was falling in her pointy-chinned face and dark brown eyes and she was staggering under the weight of some suitcases.

A fluffy long-haired dog the color of wheat bread came tearing towards her. She had big dark eyes and was roughly the length of the woman's forearm. For such a small animal, however, she had an awful lot of energy. The dog's hair stuck out every which way, and she shook, making it stand up more.

"Goofy thing," Dawn muttered, shifting all the weight to one side to lock the door, "I sure hope you're not this energetic once we get going. It's a long way to Washington from where we are. And I don't think Dad likes dogs that much."

Squishie "whuffed" and ran around the car in circles, tail wagging. She loved riding in the small black car. Dawn tossed everything into the backseat with a sigh of relief. It was a red suitcase, a guitar and a portable amplifier, and a bag of dog food for Squishie. There was also a red backpack.

"Let's go." Dawn buckled her seatbelt and they left. She adjusted her black newsboy hat so that she could see better.

The weather was nice and sunny for about three and a half hours. "Living on a prayer" by Bon Jovi was playing on the radio and Dawn was bouncing up and down, singing. Squishie had her head out the window, enjoying her view from the passenger side. A storm loomed ahead, but neither dog nor girl noticed. Unfortunately, it was hard to see the road signs once the rain blew in.

"I think I missed a turn," Dawn commented. After driving down an unfamiliar maze of streets, Dawn sighed when she found herself on a two-lane highway. The rain was falling even harder and a strange mist had risen up. Dawn cursed her luck and tried to turn around.

"Of all the lousy luck!"

She screamed when a semi-truck came out of nowhere. The car had died. She unfastened her seatbelt, grabbed Squishie, and bailed out just as the truck barreled into her car. Dawn held Squishie with trembling hands as she watched an inferno of flames shoot up before she lost consciousness.

Back at the Opera Populaire:

Erik had grown bored with the ballet rats and was trying to come up with some way to heckle the managers when a chaos erupted by the entrance. Curiosity got the better of him and he went to take a closer look. A lot of whispering was going on. Raoul was carrying someone inside. He could see a black hat and a mass of curly blonde-brown hair. Beside Raoul, a little wheat-colored dog was running around and barking anxiously. Someone else was bringing in a suitcase and a guitar case and a colorful bag that crinkled like wrapping paper.

"We found her unconscious on the sidewalk," he explained to Madame Giry, "and her dog and her luggage. It looks as though she was traveling."

Without a word, Madame Giry motioned for them to follow her. They carried her upstairs to a spare room.

"Go fetch the doctor," she said, "she has a terrible bump on the back of her head."

No one said anything about the girl's strange manor of dress. She was wearing dark blue jeans (which they had never seen), tennis shoes that had retractable skating wheels, and a black and pink Hard-Rock Cafe T-shirt.

"Ohh..." Dawn groaned, raising a hand to block out the light.

It took a moment for the world to come into focus. Squishie kept showering her with dog kisses. Dawn gently pushed her away.

"Where am I?" she asked, dazed.

"You are at the Opera Populaire. Our patron found you unconscious on the sidewalk," Madame Giry told her, "the doctor will be coming soon to tend that bump on your head."

Dawn shook her head in disbelief. She'd recognized the name of the old opera house. And that meant...

She struggled to keep her surprise from showing. She'd somehow poofed into her favorite story.

"I guess I got lost, although how I ended up in Paris, I'll never know. This big storm came up."

Madame Giry looked concerned.

"We have not had a storm in Paris for quite some time, Mademoiselle."


"The last thing I remember was a storm," Dawn admitted. She recognized Meg by her blonde hair. She was petting Squishie, who thoroughly enjoyed the attention she was getting.

The doctor had wasted no time in getting there. He checked Dawn's heart and lungs, then examined the bump.

"Well, the good news is I don't think you have a concussion," the doctor said, "put some ice on it and get some rest. If it doesn't feel better by tomorrow or you experience any strange symptoms, call me again."

He left without another word.

Dawn stared awkwardly at everyone else around her. How was she going to explain herself?

"I don't suppose you're looking for job," Raoul commented, "we lost quite a few workers when we had to close down the opera house for repairs."

"Well, yeah, I guess I need one now," Dawn admitted, butterflies in her stomach.

"Wonderful. I'm sure our managers can find a place for you."

They informed Dawn that she was going to be one of the opera house maids. Scrubbing floors didn't sound like a glamorous job, but it was better than nothing.

Finding herself left alone soon after, Dawn sighed and sat down on the edge of her bed.

"Man, Squishie, what are we going to do? No one would believe us if we tried to tell them we're from the future and we landed in a story."

The dog wagged her tail affectionately and nuzzled the suitcase.

"So, Squish, what do you think? Should we stay?"

"Arf!" Squishie agreed.

"All right," Dawn sighed, opening the suitcase, "I guess we're a fairy tale now."