Title- Coda
Characters/Pairings- Meg, Erik
Rating- K+
Summary- Just a little tag scene at to the end. Didn't everyone else feel like there was just a little more to Meg's (virtually nonexistent) sub-plot? In the caverns beneath the opera house, Meg encounters the Phantom one last time.


Coda [koh-duh]:
-noun
1. Music: a more or less independent passage, at the end of a composition, introduced to bring it to a satisfactory close.
2. Ballet: the concluding section of a ballet, esp. the final part of a pas de deux.


The sounds of splashes and footsteps echo in the passages behind her, but she is alone in this Phantom's Lair. She crosses the shallow lake, wondering at what she sees, legs numb from the freezing water that climbs to her thighs. She can hardly comprehend this other world that has grown in the darkness beneath her own, this universe of velvet and mirrors and otherworldly impossibilities.

As the men she has led here pour into the cavern behind her, she strides out of the water, looking wildly around for Christine, for she must be here... but she isn't. All that is left is the evidence, and that white mask lying on the rocks. She kneels and picks it up, feeling the smoothness of porcelain, perfectly sculpted to stay in place on a twisted, deformed face.

Still holding the mask, she rises to her feet again and turns, striding deeper into the labyrinth, away from the torches and the sounds of shouting.

Shards of glass, glimmering in the candlelight, catch her eye, spilling out from beneath a gilded curtain. She pushes the curtain aside hesitantly, and finds a shattered mirror that once concealed another passageway. She slips inside and the scarlet material falls away from her fingers, hiding the passage away and her with it. The darkness feels heavy against her skin as she proceeds down the walkway.

Around a corner, there he is: the cause of all this trouble.

The fire in the opera-house has caused a part of the pass-way to cave in, and although he has cleared most of the rubble, one large wooden strut remains, and he is struggling to move it.

.

The footsteps alert him to another presence. He expects the hunters have found him. Just as well, perhaps.

He turns, and finds not quite what he expected. It is Madame Giry's child, Christine's little friend, wearing men's clothing, her blonde hair shining in the dark. He has seen her many times, and knows her face and her voice, which is charming, but nothing spectacular. She meets his gaze steadily and without flinching. She speaks not a word, but crosses to his side and places her hands on the beam he has been trying to shift.

They push together, and at last the piece falls and the path ahead is clear.

"You freed her," she says softly.

"I suppose you'll ask why?"

A little smile crosses her lips.

"Go," she commands. "I'll see if I can keep them from finding this place for awhile."

He can't help but stare for a few moments, not understanding her motives.

She tilts her head to indicate the passage beyond.

He goes, and looks back just once. She is walking in the opposite direction, but, as if she senses him, she pauses and looks back. Their eyes meet, and still she doesn't flinch at the sight of him. Then she turns away and she's gone, past the curve in the passage.

He too walks on, into the blackness beneath the city.