Summary- She is imperfect. He is ruined, probably forever. There is no fairytale, not for them. But there is something. An incredibly short oneshot.
A/N- Not my usual take on Meg or E/M, but somehow it wouldn't let me go. And for some reason Meg had to have blue eyes here, damned if I know why!
He isn't sure what it is that bound them together after that fatal night. Certainly, when they found themselves trapped alone beneath the burning opera house, corralled by fire, it made sense to stay near her. It is afterwards, though, that baffles him. By rights, they should have parted ways then, once the flames had died down. He should have slunk away into the black depths beneath the opera house and died of a broken heart, a suitably romantic end for the legend of the theatrical O.G.
Somehow, though, it didn't quite work out that way. He isn't even sure how it happened, except somehow they stumbled out of the dark and into the cold, bitter light of dawn, both of them covered in soot and neither particularly pleased with the other. They find themselves walking in the same direction, neither sure of their destination, and that, perhaps, is how it starts. Uncertainty.
She is not like Christine, he quickly discovers. Her friend was an transcendent beauty, with a soul made for music, only half-existant as she clung to the ghosts of her past. The little blonde shadow, however, is another sort entirely. She is earthy and ordinary and although she understands music, lives and breathes it, she cannot create it. Well, she can, but her voice is passable at best and she cannot read sheet music. Maybe if anyone had bothered to teach her, she would have been good, but no one took the time and any potential she possessed only achieved the barest minimum.
It is difficult to be around her. There is a lot going on behind those sharp blue eyes, and she challenges him constantly. He always thought of her in the diminutive, an addendum to Christine, not really real, but she is witty and bright and as stubborn as he is and he cannot define what exactly their relationship is. Are they friends? Enemies? He isn't sure. He suspects she hates him a little bit. He thinks maybe he hates her a little bit, too. If nothing else, it irks him that there was so little to the girl he pinned his hopes on, and her shadow, the one he thought of as empty and unimportant, has so much more beneath the surface. It certainly bothers him that she, of all people, who was lucky enough to have for a mother the woman who, in his experience, is the most compassionate woman in the world, yet still she is in pain. In pain because even his erstwhile savior could be cruel and inconsiderate without even realizing, and valued another girl- the same one he idolized- over her own daughter, God only knows why. And the fact that she doesn't suffer from that pain, but transforms it into empathy, makes it all the worse.
Strangely, though, as months pass, the balance shifts. She is imperfect; she is not his angel. He is ruined, probably forever. Neither of them is really quite whole. But there is... something. A sense of heat on those rare days when a smile crosses her pretty face. He doesn't define it. She doesn't acknowledge it. And so they carry on.
The news of Christine's wedding comes, and it doesn't sting as much as it should. It hurts, but it doesn't send him spiraling into despair all over again. Christine has her handsome Vicomte, her luxurious mansion and all the money she could ever hope for. A fairytale existence. Perhaps she deserves that, after all he put her through.
He will have no fairytale. He knows this. Neither will she. They are both forgotten, both just supporting cast in another soul's daydream. The only difference is that he is a creature of the night who secretly dreams that someday someone will lead him into the sun; she is a daughter of the light with enough courage to trespass in the halls of demons where he resides. Christine had some of the same darkness to her that he has, and that was what drew him to her... he sensed that similarity between them, the same emptiness. His unnerving companion does not have the taint, doesn't even seem to understand it or see that it is there, and that terrifies him. She sees his actions and takes them in stride, chastising him but expecting him to simply move on and do better. The duality of it sets him on edge.
No, they will not have a fairytale. There is no palace in the sky for them. But there is something there, between them. Maybe it was always there, from the moment she grabbed his hand and dragged him out of the ring of fire, but the longer they go on, the more he feels it. Maybe it's something like love. He thinks it could be. It isn't the same as what he felt for Christine, but it comes from the same place in his twisted, poorly-used heart. He knows, if nothing else, that she hungers for his attention as much as he for hers.
It isn't what he wants, but maybe it's what he needs. It's something, anyway.