okey dokeies! Here is chapter 3. Also I'd like to give a special thanks to ShoMiyagi for being my first reviewer! Hope you like this one, and as usual I don't own any of the characters, I'm just taking them out to play. :)


Chapter 3

Much later that evening, after a wonderful day reacquainting myself with my much beloved city, I prepared myself for an evening out. I took special care washing my face and combing my hair and piling half of it on top of my head, away from my face. I pinched my cheeks to give them a little more flush, and put the smallest dab of rouge on my lips. I wanted to look perfect tonight.

I took a dress out of my closet. It was a deep blue that looked black in the dark. The bodice was tightly fitted and had a row of buttons and lace down the front. The skirt was full and flared dramatically away from my hips, just barely grazing the floor. I pulled a pair of black boots, with little buttons up the side. The finishing touch was a black cape, with a full hood that I draped about my face.

I had packed a small bag with a few trinkets to carry with me and I decided to add the mask Meg had given me earlier to this bag. I pulled the silken drawstring chords shut on the bag.

I looked in the mirror before I went out. I hadn't put this much effort into my appearance in the country and I was quite pleased with the results. Tonight would be a good night, I felt quite sure. I hurried down the stairs of the apartment building. I had already called for the carriage and it was waiting outside. It wasn't until I climbed inside and we were on our way that my nerves finally hit me. I felt a little bundle in my stomach tighten up and clench into a knot. I worried on my bottom lip a little as I watched the streetlights passing by. The carriage came to a short stop before I even realized it. We were here. The driver helped me alight from the carriage.

It was exactly as I remembered it. The opera house had been my home for eight years, and while it was mostly deserted now, it still seemed full of life. I had no real idea of what to expect inside. Meg had told me how all production had ceased for the time being, to repair some of the damages done to the building, as well as to give the public time to recover from the shock before opening the doors again. It would have been unrealistic for the managers to keep the doors open. No one would have come to an opera house where the madman had died.

I followed the familiar paths I had traveled so many times before. I first went to the stage. And the thought briefly crossed my mind to sing a little bit on the stage, but somehow I felt it would only sully my purpose in being here.

My dressing room looked exactly the same, everything from the rose wallpaper to the dressing screen and a little silver hand mirror I used to use to look at my hair from the back. It was completely surreal to see everything the way I had left it. But I hadn't forgotten my purpose here. I went to the long mirror on the wall and unhooked the latch that kept it closed. I slipped down the dark passage. There were no lights that light the passage and I hadn't thought to bring anything with me. I stepped back out into the dressing room. There was a single candle on the dresser and matches in the drawer. This would have to do for now.

I took my candle with me, holding it out high in front of me to light the corridors as best I could. The passages were familiar and I didn't have to struggle too much to remember which ways to go. It grew colder and colder the further down I climbed. Little goose bumps popped up on my arms. It wasn't much further now.

I saw the little boat on the lake in front of me and I practically ran to it. It took a little while to figure out how to get myself moving steadily forward with it. It took me longer than I remembered to push my way to Erik's home. My arms ached like I had never felt before, burning something terrible.

It was dark up ahead, but I had lit the lantern on the front of the boat. I could see the opening to Erik's home. The gate was down, and the boat bumped against it softly. I looked all around, but couldn't see any kind of lever or chord to pull to open it. I felt I would have to either give up, or climb under, and neither option was exciting. But I remembered Erik hadn't pulled any lever when we went here together. I thought for a few more moments and decided to try pressing on the floor with the pole used for pushing the boat. I hoped to find something that would trigger the gate to open. I supposed I must be very lucky because I did find just such a trigger and the gate creaked to life before me.

I steered the boat into the docking area and stepped out. Lighting a few of the candelabras helped breath a little light in the darkened room. I nearly cried out when I saw the state of the place. Sheet music was everywhere, curtains were ripped and torn and singed from fire, many of the organ keys were broken, and the place had been destroyed. It broke my heart to see what they had done to my angel's haven.

Somehow I found myself picking up leafs of music from the floor. They were pages from Don Juan. Tears rolled down my cheeks and a sob escaped my mouth. I wiped at them with the back of my hand. Looking around the room I tried to find a good place to leave the trinkets I had to remember Erik by. I spotted the throne like chair and decided that would have to suffice.

I took out of my little bag a sheet of music; it had been the first aria I had ever worked on in my lessons with Erik. I had also brought a white rose with me. Erik always left me the most beautiful red roses. I had also written a short letter to him, telling him how much he had meant to me. I knew he would never read it, but it didn't matter. In some corner of my mind I believed that if anyone could know what was being left for him after they had died it would be Erik.

I took an extra moment to caress the mask one last time. I glanced around, despite being completely alone, and kissed the cheek of the mask before I left it on top of the rest of the pile. I wiped another stray tear from my face before I turned and walked back to the boat. I had accomplished what I had come here to do. I stopped one last time, tempted to turn around but stopping myself.

"Goodbye Erik" I whispered. Then something stopped me in my tracks and made my heartbeat speed up. I could have sworn I had just heard – oh god and then I heard it again. My name sung on the voice of my angel. I looked around wildly, thinking I must be loosing my mind. But no. There next to the chair stood a vision I never thought to see again. My angel in his white mask and black cape and looking as astounded as I must be. I wanted to run to him, but my feet were frozen in place. And then he spoke again.

"Christine?" And I was throwing my arms around him before I knew what I was doing.