Author's Note: (Dodges flying nooses around her) I AM SO SO SORRY! I know it has been such a long time since I have updated, and I understand the urge you may have to kill me, but please understand it wasn't out of laziness. I'm pretty sure this is some of the WORST writer's block I have encountered as a writer. Trust me, I tried so hard to get inspired to create another chapter, but I've been so busy with school, family, and other things. If I had forced a new chapter it would not have been good.

Please forgive my absence; I am back now with more inspiration, and I am praying this next chapter will live up to my dear readers' expectations. Please feel free to give me any suggestions on how I can improve the story or make it more interesting. The more help I receive in ideas, the better the story will be.

Now then, I would like to remind everyone again that this story (and chapter) does contain spanking of a minor, and I am aware it is not a punishment everyone agrees on. So PLEASE be wise and do not read this story if you're offended by it. Flames are a waste of time and they will merely go un-answered if written.

There is also a big amount of fluff towards the end of the story, so I'm just letting my readers know a head of time. Can't have a punishment scene without the comfort afterwards. As always, constructive criticism is welcome. Enjoy my dears! I doubt we'll have to worry about a long absence until the next update.

Sincerely,

Other Mother

Chapter 15

Christine felt the familiar comforting sheets over her little body, as consciousness slowly re-entered her being. She smiled in her sleep at the soothing sensation, relishing in the relaxation she rarely enjoyed. Being a ballerina was not easy on the body, especially when it belonged to a young child's. The practices were frequent and grueling, and while the results were usually rewarding, the exhaustion Christine felt afterwards did not always seem worth it. While sleep came easier at night, she and the other girls did not even have the luxury of letting ease creep upon them and lessen the ache in their bones. Not before the Sandman would come and promptly send them to Slumber land. The mornings after would often prove to be worse than the night before, and yet, the persistent practice on top of the pains simply made them stronger…

"No pain, no gain" was the phrase every ballerina lived by in that opera house.

Christine subconsciously grinned at the somnolent musings that ran through her mind. In fact, it was these very thoughts that led her mind to wonder how she ended up in her bed in the first place. She could not recall getting ready for bed… what's more, she didn't even remember the day turning to night!

A frown graced Christine's delicate features, and sleep began to slowly drift away as memories of what had happened hours ago flooded her mind.

The auditorium…the chorus…a voice…anger…tears…harsh words…fear…confusion…shouting…laughter…terrible laughter…darkness…screaming…running…hysteria…voices yelling…

Christine tossed in her bed, as images flashed through her mind…

"IT'S THE OPERA GHOST! RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!"

She felt a whimper escape her lips…

Realization…Christine…frozen…horror…alone…on the stage…light…swallowing the darkness…glowing golden eyes…

The little girl felt herself slowly awakening…

Angel…no…

PHANTOM!

Christine's eyes snapped open, as she remembered the horrible truth she discovered before fainting on the stage floor.

The now fearful little girl sat up in bed and looked around her wildly as she tried to calm her rapidly beating heart. Someone must have carried me here…but who?

Christine's eyes suddenly realized the presence of the dark figure that was sitting next to her bed.

She immediately recognized the sleeping form as the one she called her 'angel,' and for a moment she forgot all of her fears at the sight of him. But as awareness slowly took place of the drowsiness that was left in her body, feelings of betrayal and hurt accompanied it.

Her fear evaporated, as anger and indignance swelled within her heart. "You deceived me…" She whispered incredulously at the figure next to her. The phantom suddenly came to life at the sound of her hushed voice.

"Christine! You're awake angel! Oh thank heavens!" He exclaimed with relief before enveloping her in his embrace. The little girl did not return the hug; she merely became rigid in his warm arms.

It didn't take the phantom a long time to realize that something was not right…why wasn't his little Christine return his affection? He pulled away and looked into the silent but fuming little girl's eyes. His stare was met by her cold and bitter gaze, accompanied by the memory of what had happened earlier that day.

Instantly, he released his hold on Christine as if he had been burned. "Christine…darling, let me explain…" He tried to plead humbly as the fire in the little girl's eyes quickly flared.

"GET AWAY FROM ME!" She screeched angrily before throwing the covers off of her and jumping to the opposite side of the bed.

"Now now…" The phantom began while standing and holding his hands up in a surrendering gesture, "there's no need to shout little one."

Christine merely shook her head wildly while backing away from him. "HOW COULD YOU? I TRUSTED YOU! I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY ANGEL OF MUSIC! MY GUARDIAN! THE PROMISE SENT TO ME FROM MY FATHER! THE PIECE OF HIM THAT STILL LIVED!"

The phantom absolutely hated that the one person he loved was currently shouting unwanted truths at him. "Christine, I-I'm sorry! I understand your anger little one, I really do but if you'll just let me explain-"

"EXPLAIN WHAT? THAT YOU'RE A LIAR? A DECEIVER? A FRAUD?"

"Mon ange, I know I'm not the angel you prayed for, but I tried to be. I only wanted to make you happy and ease your sorrows, I hated seeing you despair over your father's death. I heard you those nights you would cry out to God in the chapel, and beg Him to let your father send you the 'angel of music.'"

Christine's emotions were so out of control that the words did nothing to appease her; they only added fuel to her rage.

"BUT YOU'RE NOT HIM! YOU LIED TO ME!"

The phantom shook his head in anguish while holding his arms out pleadingly. "I never lied to you about my love or care for you dear one…my voice is real and it was every time I'd sing to you. I may not really be one of God's angels Christine, but for you, I wanted to be your personal angel. One that could ease your pain and suffering and love you and be there for you when no one else was. Can't you see that?"

Christine had backed herself into the wall as the phantom proceeded to walk slowly towards her. Under normal circumstances, she would have felt compassion for anyone who'd plead to her the way the phantom was. However, finding out that her heart's desire was never truly granted, caused her to go into shock and become blind to self-control.

"This whole time…I've been confiding in and loving the one thing that this whole opera house has been in fear of…" She muttered to herself, almost in a crazed way. "All this time…I've been taught voice lessons and cared for by a being that has terrorized my friends, teachers, and manager?"

She pointed an accused finger at the phantom now, as raw, pent up emotion began to overflow inside of her.

"For a whole year, I've been unknowingly following, devoting my heart and soul, and obeying YOU? THE OPERA GHOST? A SERVANT OF THE DEVIL?"

As much as the words cut him to the core, the phantom was starting to disapprove of the way Christine spoke to him. He knew that he deserved it, but that didn't mean it was appropriate for an eight year old to begin resorting to 'colorful' expressions.

He took a deep breath, trying to let it go seeing as she was still in shock.

"I'm not really a ghost either Christine, I'm just a man! A man who has been hurt by the world and now lives in the depths of the catacombs beneath this opera house."

"JUST A MAN?" The child now shrieked, causing the phantom to grimace at the increase of her voice's decibel. "If you're just a man, then WHY DO YOU BEHAVE AS THOUGH YOU'RE AN EVIL SPIRIT? WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO MAKE YOU SPITE US?"

"Christine…I'm sorry but I cannot explain that to you right now…it is a very personal matter, and it is much too complicated for an innocent child like yourself to hear at this time-"

"BULLOCKS!"

The phantom blinked in disbelief at the word the little girl had just bellowed out. Conviction be damned, wrong he may have been, but that was no reason for Christine to swear!

"Excuse ME young lady?" He replied austerely as parental instincts began to overshadow his guilt.

Christine merely continued as if she hadn't heard him. "I DON'T WANT TO HEAR NONSENSE THAT I'M 'TOO YOUNG' TO HEAR YOUR STORY! YOU OWE ME MONSIEUR GHOST!"

The Phantom frowned while crossing quickly over to the little girl.

"Child, you do not know what you ask of! And I understand your anger little one, you are entitled to it, but I will not tolerate any unwholesome talk coming from you, do I make myself clear? I may not be the angel you thought I was, but I am still your elder Christine."

The little girl, momentarily taken by surprise at his sudden mood swing, merely stamped her foot before quickly running around his advancing form. He whirled around as she flew to the other side of her room, using the bed as a shield between them.

The phantom sighed while pinching the bridge of his nose…he knew he was the most undeserving person to even think of asking Christine's forgiveness, but he knew that without it…he would die of heart break.

"Christine…child, words can't describe how sorry I am for deceiving you. I just wanted to make you happy…your happiness made me happy…please…can't we start over? Could you ever forgive me?" At this point the Phantom found himself on his knees from across the room, desiring nothing more than Christine's pardon.

The little girl merely shook her head indignantly, before grabbing a nearby letter opener that lay upon her dresser. She quickly pointed it in the phantom's direction, as if she intended to stab him with it if he came anywhere near her.

Even though this situation was serious, the phantom had to resist the urge to laugh at the childish, menacing way Christine was positioning herself. "Christine, there's no need for that…please put it down luv, and calm yourself before you do something you might regret."

Christine returned his stare with her own contempt-filled one. "YOU CAN'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO! YOU'RE NOT MY FATHER!"

The phantom began to frown now at the child's refusal to cooperate. "Christine, I may not be your father but for the past year I have loved you like one. Now please, put that letter opener down. You're too angry to think right now and I don't want you to risk hurting yourself."

"Who says I'll hurt myself? I was thinking more of hurting YOU!" She yelled in reply.

The phantom growled at her stubbornness. "Christine, put it down…"

"NO!"

"Young lady, I'm warning you…"

"BUGGER OFF!"

"What did you just say to me?"

"STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM ME YOU FOUL, BLOODY WANKER!"

The phantom's mouth dropped open at the words that spewed out of her mouth. That was it…right or wrong, the little girl had crossed the line, and he needed to act now.

"CHRISTINE ROSE DAAE!" He yelled with severe authority before getting up and striding over to where she was.

Christine gasped and jumped over the bed just as about to reach her. "DON'T COME NEAR ME!" She shouted while holding the letter opener in front of her like a weapon. She jumped upon one of the chairs near her wardrobe and held the object above her head threateningly.

The phantom had swiveled around and was now forcing himself to close his eyes and take several deep breaths. He knew he was going to have to punish his little cherub now, but he did not want to do it in anger.

After a few minutes of intense silence, the phantom opened his eyes with renewed strength, and slowly walked towards the livid, wavering child.

"Give me the letter opener Christine…"

She stuck her tongue out at him.

"Do not make me ask you again little girl, you're already in trouble for swearing after I warned you not to once before. Now, please don't make this harder than it has to be…obey me at once."

He held his hand out expectantly, hoping she would listen to him turn back into that sweet little girl he so loved.

He watched as she eyed him for a few minutes…then, she slowly climbed down off the chair, and grudgingly made her way over to him. He was relieved that she finally seemed to choose the wiser decision of submitting to him.

As she drew nearer to his side, her expression began to take on a very innocent and almost sorrowful one. It nearly broke him to see that look come over her face…did she have any idea how much it affected him?

"Thank you child…" he said as she drew nearer.

However, the phantom didn't even have time to blink before she suddenly threw the object at him with vicious force!

"You welcome!" She sneered, her honey-laced voice dripping with malice and sarcasm as the object came in contact with the phantom's face.

He howled in pain as the object knocked his mask to the ground. Besides the impact, there was no real damage to his skin.

When he realized his guard was down, he quickly hid his face with his hand, while bending down to retrieve the fallen mask. After he had put it back on, he turned to face his naughty little charge. He was surprised to see the door wide open, and could hear the loud pattering of little feet as their owner raced down the corridor.

With new determination, the phantom quickly and silently ran after Christine. She was a fast little sprite, but was no match for his speed and agility. He was after all, the master of magic, ventriloquism, and stealth; he wasn't called the "opera ghost" for nothing.

It was almost humorous seeing the vain effort Christine was using to try and escape his displeasure. In one elegant motion, the phantom had swept the little girl up and tucked her firmly under one arm.

He scowled with disappointment as Christine hollered and screamed, adding every foul word that had ever been invented. Some of them were even new to him! First thing he would do after everything calmed down, would be to ask her where she had heard such unbecoming language.

Upon re-entering the room, the phantom closed the door before immediately making his way over to the bed.

Christine was still howling and struggling violently as he sat down. He said nothing, but proceeded to firmly flip the little girl over his knee. This new position had Christine screaming with so much passion that it would have given Carlotta a run for her money.

The phantom did nothing, but sat still and kept Christine in that position as she beat her little fists onto his leg and continued to throw her tantrum.

He didn't know how much time had passed before the little girl had finally exhausted herself into quiet gasps. "Christine, have you calmed down now?" The little girl did not answer, but she nodded slowly as she realized the position she was in.

"Good…" The phantom replied solemnly, not wanting to do what he was about to. "Now Christine, I understand your hurt and anger at the events that have occurred with me in the past few hours. You have every right to be upset, but there was absolutely no reason for you to resort to swearing, screaming, and hitting me with an object that could have easily hurt you! Do you think there were other ways in which you could have expressed your anger young lady?"

"Yes…" Christine barely mumbled out…

The phantom nodded his head, glad she was at least answering him. "All right then, after this we will discuss ways in how you can handle yourself in the future." There was no answer from her….just terrified, heavy silence.

The phantom sighed before gently stroking his hand through Christine's head full of ringlets. "Christine, do you remember what I said would happen the next time you swore?"

He heard a whimper come from the little girl, but silently waited for her answer. "You said I would be p-punished…" She replied, her voice sounding so small and scared that it made the phantom almost feel guilty.

"That's right, I did. So here's what's going to happen…I'm afraid I am going to have to spank you little one. As much as it pains me to do so, you leave me with no other choice; and then it will be over and we can start brand new. Do you know what a spanking is?"

The little girl nodded her head as tears filled her eyes…she had never received a full spanking before, maybe a few swats from her father when he was alive, but up until now she had never really deserved it. She had however, witnessed her young friend Meg get punished in that way before by her mother in the recent past.

Witnessing it was enough to make her vow she'd never do anything to get herself into that position…and yet, here she was now. Oh the irony…

"All right then Christine. Since I've never done this before and I assume you've never had to have this form of punishment used much on you in the past, I will be more lenient with you than you deserve, but only slightly." The poor girl merely sniffled in response.

The phantom softened his voice as best he could before asking her, "Do you understand why you are being punished Christine?"

The little girl nodded, and after being encouraged to voice the reason, she squeaked out "for swearing, hurting you, and just being disobedient."

The Phantom wasn't expecting such an honest response, but he was relieved because that meant they could get it over with much quicker.

"That's right, and for being disrespectful…"

The phantom then proceeded to lift Christine's blue skirt out of the way, revealing her white cotton bloomers. Since it was their first time in this situation, he decided it wouldn't be appropriate to discipline Christine on the bare…not yet anyhow. Hopefully there would be no need to in the future.

The poor child whimpered fearfully as she felt the fabric being removed, and began to tremble with expectation.

"Shhh I know dear one…I know…" The phantom soothed while rubbing her back in small circles. "I want you to know, that I love you dear one. No matter how much you may hate me afterwards, I will never stop loving or caring for you. And that's why I have to do this now…"

Christine looked back over her shoulder, her eyes brimming with tears before asking "H-how much are you gonna give me?"

The phantom thought about it for a minute, before settling on a number. "I'm going to give you thirty swats Christine. And the last 10 will be with the hairbrush." The poor child let her head fall back down as she gasped out a little sob at hearing this. In all honesty, 30 wasn't a lot considering the seriousness of her offense…but for a child…30 swats seemed like an eternity!

Deciding it was time to begin, the phantom raised and swiftly brought his hand down upon the child's bum. Christine gasped at the shocking feeling…she could already feel the tears spilling over her cheeks from the embarrassment of the whole situation.

She was able to pass swats 2-4 with loud gasps, but by swat 5, she could feel herself beginning to lose her resolve at the stinging feeling, as well as the guilt that began to cloud her mind.

The phantom increased the tempo and intensity between swats 6-10. But it was by the eighth one that Christine finally began to sob in earnest.

Her cries increased by each swat, and she was surprised to find that it wasn't just from the painful feeling, but also from the guilt she was feeling inside of her. That, and she felt like this punishment was helping her release pent up emotion she had stored up inside of her from the past year.

By swat 15, her sobs had turned into desperate pleas. "OWWW! Stop! Oh please stop! Angel, it huuuuuurts!"

It took all the strength the phantom possessed not to stop right then and there at the sound of that sweet, pitiful little voice. He hated hearing his little girl sound so sad…he didn't like causing her pain…but he knew that if she didn't learn now, they would both regret it later in life.

The phantom finished up swats 16-20 with quick, firm precision. Christine was already a bawling mess over his lap, and he decided that he'd have to deliver the last 10 very quickly or else he wouldn't be able to make it.

He let Christine take a minute to control herself, while he caressed her beautiful brown hair. "P-please! No mooooore! A-angel I-I'm so-sooorrrry! Please don't….don't spank me anymore!" She wailed, her sweet little voice full of such brokenness it was almost unbearable.

"Shhh darling, shhh…I know it hurts." The phantom whispered, his own voice choked up from the task at hand… "We're almost done mon ange, you're doing so well. I never want to have to do this again Christine, understand? Please don't ever give me a reason to repeat this okay?"

"Y-yes sir!" Came the tearful reply.

Wasting no more time, the phantom picked up the little brass brush that was on Christine's dresser, and applied the last 10 swats with such vitality that it was over in a matter of seconds. It was obvious that the brush had really left a mark on poor little Christine though, as she kicked her legs quite fervently and attempted to bounce her bum out of the way from the stinging smacks.

By the end of the spanking, she had gone limp over the phantom's lap, and was sobbing so helplessly that it actually caused the phantom to shed a few tears as well.

He didn't allow himself to wait any longer after it was over. As soon as the last swat had been administered, he picked up the sobbing child and wrapped her in his warm, waiting arms. Poor little Christine buried her face in his shoulder and proceeded to weep violently, while clinging to her angel as if her life depended on it.

The phantom shut his eyes tight as he held her, and began to rock her gently, letting her know he was there and she was loved. "There now mon ange…shhh hush little one…it's all right now, it's all over. Shh…all is forgiven darling…it's in the past now luv."

Christine forgot all her previous hatred and rage towards him. Opera ghost, angel, or man…he was still that someone who had been there for her in the last year…and she couldn't simply forget that, no matter how upset she was at him deceiving her.

He did it for you…he wanted to make you happy…he wanted you to feel loved…even you couldn't say no to that you little fool. Christine's mind scolded her as she continued to cry. It was no question that she would forgive him now…he obviously cared enough to discipline her when she was misbehaving.

Even though it hurt her, she never felt more loved. If anything, it brought back little memories of when her father would comfort her after distributing the same, but less intense version of the punishment to her.

What she wouldn't give to be in her father's arms again…to feel the way she was at this very moment…safe in her angel's arms…being comforted through the hurt…being loved through her imperfection.

Surely…I could do the same for him…if he can love me and my flaws, why should that make him any less worthy?

Christine felt herself finally calming down after sitting with the phantom for what felt like forever. She still was crying a little, but the tears were starting to dry, and the cries had reduced to soft whimpers and occasional hiccups.

She closed her eyes contentedly against her angel's shoulder, as he laid both himself and her down on the bed.

He then proceeded to pull the covers up over both of them, and smoothed the little girl's hair across her back. "Angel…I am so sorry…please forgive me…" She mumbled out sleepily, the crying draining her of her energy.

The phantom smiled while planting a kiss on her forehead. "Of course I forgive you my little Rose…that is, as long as you can forgive me too?" He hoped she would…he wouldn't have peace unless she did.

Christine smiled a little at the request, and gladly nodded her head while nuzzling her face into his chest. "You deserve it more than I do angel…of course I forgive you."

I deserve nothing…He thought with humility while beaming down at the little treasure he held. And yet, I've been blessed with more than I deserve…

Christine brushed her hand over his mask without hesitation, before saying quietly, "I love you angel…so much."

The phantom's heart felt like it was going to explode from the joy those first four words brought him! Closing his eyes, the phantom never felt more content than he did at that very moment. It took a lot for the phantom to really feel happy, and this was one of those valuable moments he'd cherish forever.

"And I love you, mon cheri…mon petite ange."

Author's Note: Yaaaay! Aww Erik can be such a softie! Now I know that this side of him seems less similar to how we see him in the movie, but if you think about it, Christine is really the only one he'd ever allow that part of him to see, especially as a child. I envy the innocence of children, it gives them the opportunity to see things that others cannot. Anyway, I hope you all like it! Like I said before, please give me any suggestions if you would like to see this story continue. As of right now, I don't know where to go from here, but I am going to try very hard to continue it. Let me know what you think