Wow, I'm soooooo sorry for the extremely late update! I know, you guys hate me right now. Bear with me here, I do have a life! Plus, I suffered with some writer's block. I hate those so much. Hopefully, I'll update a lot sooner for the next update. I'll try to update in about a week or two. Can't promise anything.

Thank you so much for all of the reviews, guys! They mean a lot, I adore all of them. Thank you, they can really help motivate me to write some more. Not that I wouldn't. But they do help. xD

I found this cool song called Destination Unknown by Missing Persons. I found that the song matches up with my story, and now I think this song is the song for my story. It just fits- I love the song now. You guys should check it out!

I do not own the Phantom of the Opera, or any songs by Missing Persons. I only own my OC.


. . .

Clare's POV

The angelic voice returned. They sang a beautiful song that I somehow recognized. The song sounded so precious and was filled with its own lighthearted beauty. Yet, it was so haunting with a sad tone shadowing itself in the song. It seemed as though the average person would over look the words, and think it was merely a simple lullaby, and the sorrow sound that lingered, would go unnoticed.

I felt like the words were wrapping around me, forming a blanket. The voice sang in an almost sorrow tone, that secretly wished that someone would hear. A voice that secretly pleaded for help. The words felt as though it took control of my heart, and cradled it in their hands. The sorrow tone in the voice told me of a great loss that belonged to them. I wasn't quite sure what they had lost, but I somehow knew that the voice simply wanted someone to understand. Whatever it was, it made me want to weep in pity. I wasn't sure why, but I felt like I knew this voice with all of my heart. I felt like I cared for them deeply.

"Hide your face, so the world will never find you. . ." The familiar words yanked a string in my heart. But why? Was it because they sounded sad? I thought hard, trying to get my head around the reason of why I felt all of this.

"Masquerade. . .Every face a different shade. . ." I slowly began to make more sense of it. The song would be sung to calm the sad and always alone soul. The soul that who wanted someone to love them back. The soul that suffered a lonely life. The soul that died to hear kind words. The soul that cried for help, and always went unheard. The soul that lost hope long ago. . .

"Masquerade. . .Look around, there's another mask behind you. . ." The voice lulled in my ear. Right as the words cascaded into my ears, an outline of a familiar half mask flickered into my mind. The Phantom of the Opera. . .My mind thought. I then recognized the voice. Erik. . .I thought back to the words I had heard not long ago at all.

Hide your face so the world will never find you. . .

A familiar image of Erik flooded into my mind as the lyrics did. Erik's face was exposed, and he looked at the monkey with the cymbals, with sincere eyes. His eyes almost reminded me of a child. He looked at the monkey with soft eyes, as he quietly sang with the twinkling sound that emitted from the music box. Singing to himself. The words matched with Erik's lips, before the image ran through my mind quickly. The images of Christine setting the ring in the palm of Erik's hand flickered in my mind. Erik closed his eyes, letting unforgiving tears escape, before he faded away from my mind.

I'm sorry, Erik. . .I thought. I'm sorry that no one ever listened. . .Not even her. . .

A touch gently grazed my cheek. I wasn't familiar to the touch. It was almost a touch that would be used to sooth another. It was comforting. The bare touch carefully whipped away a tear I hadn't realized had come from me. "Clare?" Erik asked softly. I opened my eyes, finding topaz blue eyes staring down at me from behind a familiar white mask. Erik's eyes were concerned and frantic all at once. His face was swimming in my eyes. I blinked a few times, hoping that it would help. Everything went clear as the tears leaked from my clouded eyes. I realized that the tears were from pity of Erik. Seeing my tears, Erik used his bare thumbs to gently rub them away. "Clare. . ." He breathed out, relieved.

"What happened?" I croaked. Erik stroked my hair, making my breath hitch in my throat. "You fainted." Erik said softly. His voice was velvet, and I sometimes wondered if he realized how much it affected me. His smooth voice could easily lull me to sleep.

I stared into his deep blue eyes. I almost felt like I was going into a daze. Erik stared back into my green eyes. Through the small daze I swore I was in, I detected concern in Erik's expression. "You almost fell, but I got to you before you could fall." He said, trying to remind me. I felt myself blindly staring into his eyes. After a moment, I found myself staring past, or perhaps through his eyes as his words sunk in. The memory then resurfaced in my mind.

I ran after Erik's shadow hoping to catch him in time. The platform gave out from under me. A scream didn't suppress from me and I desperately held onto the rafter. Spots danced in my vision. "Phantom!"

My voice echoed in my own mind. Erik gently stroked a hand through my hair. "I promised you that I wouldn't let you fall." He said in a low tone. The memory of Erik taking me into his arms ran through my mind.

Don't fret over such a thing, Clare. I won't let you fall.

His words rang in my mind, convincing me that his words would always somehow find a way to haunt me. All of the events came rushing back to me. I closed my eyes, exhausted by the information pooling into my mind, restlessly. "Are you alright, Clare?" Erik asked in a low tone, pulling me from my thoughts. In his low tone, I sensed concern gripping tightly to his words. I suddenly felt a mix of emotions. Part of me wanted to cry and hug him for saving me. The other part of me scolded myself for being stupid, and putting myself in great danger.

You idiot. My mind spat. You could have been killed. Just imagine what would have happened if you had fainted before Erik could have arrived in time, or if the entire rafter had fallen! Or perhaps is Erik never came back to save you to begin with. I gulped, as I tried to suppress a shiver. "I-I guess so." I whispered. Guilt twisted at the bottom of my stomach, upon realizing how much stress I had put Erik through. He had barely managed to save me in time. You idiot. My mind sneered. See what you do? For all I knew, rumors could have been told about me. About a random girl who fell from the rafters and met a gruesome death on the stage. Perhaps if I had fallen, I would have been the one in the papers instead of Buquet.

The memory of Buquet running away, and successfully escaping resurfaced in my mind. Wait a second, Buquet is alive. . What's gonna happen now? I thought. Now that Buquet's presence continued to linger, there was no telling of what would happen. I knew that he was a minor character, but that didn't mean that the storyline wouldn't change. Part of me was relieved that I barely managed to prevent a death from occurring. But now that Buquet was still running around, that meant that there were new opportunities for him, or anyone to get killed, that I had to keep an eye out for. It could happen at any time in the story. . .The story that was now unpredictable because of me. Because of my presence, this wasn't the Phantom of the Opera story that I knew. No, this was something else. This was the story that I didn't know. Because of me, something different could occur. Something that I wouldn't be prepared for.

What was I going to do? I felt so useless, yet, here I found that I had just prevented a death from occurring. What am I going to do, now? I groaned inwardly. Feeling defeated, I had to settle with the thought that I had to simply carry on with what I knew from the story, and go with the flow. I felt my stomach twist again as I realized that I was on my own. It was up to me to prevent anything bad from happening.

Erik reached over, and grabbed one of his black leather gloves that lied on the ground. He slipped his glove back on before standing up. His movements slowly pulled me from my thoughts. I was about to sit up, but stopped when I felt my muscles ache, making me cringe slightly. My upper arms felt like they were moaning in pain, and my fingers felt like they were screaming in agony. I knew this wasn't good for the injuries that I already had on my hand. I looked at the white bandage that was still wrapped around my wrist from the car accident. I had grown so used to the bandages, that I had completely forgotten it was there. The cuts in my wrist burned fiercely, making me realized that I probably strained them. The bruises that were already on my hand and fingers from the car accident grew even worse from the new incident. My hands were throbbing, especially my right hand since it was already suffering from injuries. I could feel new nasty bruises forming on my fingers all over again.

As Erik adjusted his glove, he looked down at me from his full height. "Clare, first I want you to sit up slowly." He instructed in a low tone. I didn't bother to argue when I met his serious eyes. I did as he said, and I hesitantly gathered enough strength to carefully sit up. My back felt stiff, but I managed to prop myself up. I felt my head spin a little, and I then understood why Erik told me to sit up carefully. Silver spots danced in my vision as my head pounded.

Feeling uneasy, I pulled my knees up, and hugged them close to my chest. I put my head between my knees as my head spun, and as the spots swam in my vision. I sat there, hoping the dizziness would pass quickly. I closed my eyes, and waited for the spots to fade. An unexpected touch on my back made me jump a little. Knowing it was Erik, I settled back down. He gently rubbed my back. Erik's kind gesture made me nearly melt. He would never understand how these kind actions made me swoon even more. He would never understand how a simple touch drove me crazy. How his voice actually made me feel closer to home. . .How even his simple gestures always found a way to dazzle me. Did Erik even know how much of an affect these caused for me? He made me want to melt into a puddle of pure bliss. I no longer closed my eyes from discomfort, but from pleasure. Erik continued to rub my back in a comforting manner.

"Are you alright?" He asked once more, quietly. His words managed to make my lips tug up into a smile. "Yes." I was convinced that Erik didn't notice that I was beginning to relish the moment, as he continued to tenderly rub my back. Although the silence must had deceived me, when he then spoke in a slightly questionable tone. "Well, you seem to be feeling better." He said, almost sounding a little alarmed. "Can you stand?" He asked.

Of course I can. I thought, baffled. It's not like I broke my legs. "Of course." I said as I pulled myself off the floor. As soon as I stood up, the silver spots reawakened, and it seemed as though the world began to shift and tip over. I gasped as the world shifted. I landed into something, and I felt it wrap around me. Opening my eyes, I realized that I fell into Erik's arms.

"Without falling?" He bellowed. Erik helped me stand up normally. He examined my posture with his bright blue eyes, before he hesitantly let go of my shoulders. "You stood up too quickly." He said as he watched me carefully, incase I were to fall again. Collecting himself, he then sighed. "Clumsy child." He half heartily teased. Clumsy? I thought. I felt my lips form into a smile. Yes, actually I am. And I've been told that many times.

"What was your first clue?" I teased, feeling my smile growing. Erik's head snapped to look at me. I grinned even bigger at his bewildered expression. He looked as though he had been slapped, and his face was priceless. I bit my lip, trying to hold back a laugh, but I think the smirk on my face gave it away. An amused look then settled on his face. A smile pulled at the corner or his lips, as he narrowed his eyes. "Hmm. . ." He mused playfully. Erik's gaze casted aside, pretending to ponder over his answers. After a moment, he then met my gaze again. "Well, it's a fairly new theory."

I felt a giggle escape from me. "Oh, believe me, it's a fact." Yeah, just ask my family. I thought. The word family that reached my mind, instantly made my smile drop, and twist into a small frown instead. Family. Oh, how hard it was to forget them. . .The sudden pain and emptiness that crawled into my heart made me wonder how I would ever find true happiness. It convinced me that perhaps I never would. I felt so alone. Always to be on my own. I knew that just the reminder of my family would somehow find a way to kill every happy moment I would manage to grasp. I could see it then. One day, I would feel joy, and think to myself, why, I haven't been this happy since I was with my family. Then, that temporary moment of happiness would be ruined. It would be cut short, or just vanish. Instead, a sick sorrow feeling would crawl into the bottom of my stomach, which would always be known as feeling homesick.

I wanted to live a life filled with smiles and laughter, just like how I had always pictured it. Not a sorrow life, filled with bitter tears, and twisting frowns. Would I ever escape from this. . .This. . .Depression?

"Is something wrong?" Erik's concerned voice snapped me away from the dark and mourning sadness that had invaded into my heart. My eyes, that had trailed away, managed to meet Erik's eyes once more. Don't be sad in front of him. I thought. You still have him. Even if he merely looks at you as a friend. That's still something. Some say that friends are chosen family members. You're not alone. I didn't bother to force a smile, since I felt it come naturally. It was smaller, but, it was still a smile.

"No, nothing's wrong." I said quietly. Erik studied my eyes, with his wary ones. "You looked like something was upsetting you a moment ago. . ." I wasn't sure if he was accusing me, or if he was questioning me. Although at the same time, he sounded caring. I felt a bit guilty for worrying him, but I shook my head. "No, not anymore." I admitted. He looked at me with sympathetic eyes. His eyes told me that he understood whatever pain I felt. Perhaps just pain itself. I wasn't sure if I wanted to hug him for caring, or hug him for the pity I felt for him.

Erik opened his mouth to say something, but no sound came out. Instead, he averted his eyes to the ground, and I saw him knit his visible eyebrow towards the other one as he collected his thoughts. "Is. . .Is it something I should be concerned about?" He asked carefully, before meeting my eyes again.

"No. I'm fine." I reassured. I could see in his blue eyes that he didn't fully believe me, but decided not to press on anymore questions. "Alright. . ." He said a bit reluctantly.

Suddenly, a familiar voice echoed from the theater, catching my attention. I recognized the beautiful and flawless voice belonging to Christine. Although, I certainly didn't recognize her voice being in this song. "You cannot speak, but kiss me in my husband's absence." She sang in a lovely high pitch. One that I couldn't reach. I looked at Erik, feeling my eyes grow a little. "Christine got the role?" I asked him. Erik smiled a little, but something wasn't quite right. . .He didn't seem as excited about it as I imagined he would. It was almost. . .A sad smile. . . "Oui, she did." He nodded. His smile seemed fake.

"What about Carlotta?" I asked. Erik's eyes suddenly lit up by the memory of Carlotta's humiliation. His smile then turned into a real smile. Well, it was more of a devious smirk more than anything-but it looked true and not forced. "She won't show her face on stage. Someone else had to play the role of the Pageboy." He chuckled. My grin grew as Erik's did. "Really?" I asked as I giggled a little. A spark of happiness ignited in my heart when I saw his smiling face. Seeing Erik smiling was very rare. Oh, how nice it was to see him light up. . .Erik nodded, with his smirk growing into a real smile. "Oui." Erik glowed like he was proud of himself.

"She deserves it." As the words came from my mouth, Erik's smiled even more. "I agree." He chimed in. Erik opened a door that lead outside. He held the door open, offering for me to go first, as he continued to smile at me as I grinned back.

The world outside was dark and silky like Erik's cloak, that allowed the soft glow from the moon to carefully light the dark world. Snowflakes swirled through the air with the cold breeze. I carefully stepped outside, allowing nighttime's exotic and welcoming splendor to wrap around me. The cold breeze brushed past, and tickled my skin. The wind faintly whispered through the air, and ran through my hair. I felt the fresh snowflakes delicately touch my skin, greeting me, welcoming me to the beautiful night.

Knowing I was on the roof top, part of me panicked, and told me to get Erik out of here as soon as possible. I knew that if Erik saw Christine and Raoul together here, all of the progress I made to heal him would all be for nothing. All of it would go right out the door. Sure, I had only been here for a few days, but it felt like I had been here for much longer. But I knew that he wasn't strong enough yet to see Christine and Raoul so in love together.

I wished that I had arrived here years sooner, just so that maybe he wouldn't have felt so alone this whole time. Even if I was only his friend the whole time, I knew that it still would have made a difference. He probably would have been happier. He would have a strong heart. I would have made him feel beautiful, not ugly. I would have shared sweet and caring words with him, not scream in fear. I would have given him hugs, and wiped away his tears. Not abused him, nor neglect him. I would have done every nice thing that he had yearned for, and had never received from anyone. He wouldn't have had a scarred heart. He. . .He wouldn't be the emotionally hurt man that I knew then. . .

I heard the door quietly click as Erik closed it behind us. Get Erik out of here, now! My mind cried out. What could I do? What could I say? I racked my brain for a solution. Any solution. Anything to keep him from a broken heart. Would I have to stick with my original plan, that I wanted to go back to his lair where I could rest? Would I have to pretend that I was beginning to feel sick again? It worked last time, until Buquet got in the way. My frantic mind then screeched to a halt.

Wait, if Buquet never died, then there's not a reason for Christine and Raoul to come up here tonight. I thought. Realizing that was correct, I gently sighed in relief. True, Christine and Raoul in the storyline met up after seeing Buquet's death. Christine was scared, and she ran to the roof, causing Raoul to follow. Then, Raoul told her kind and sweet words, reassuring her that she would always be safe with him. After proposing, Christine would accept, only to end up breaking Erik's heart and causing several disasters to unfold. And it all happened because of Buquet's death. Sure, Buquet was still alive, but that didn't mean that Christine wouldn't eventually break Erik's heart. Christine and Raoul still loved each other, and they would sooner or later get engaged. I didn't know when it would happen, but I knew it wouldn't happen that very night. It could happen in a matter of a few days, or not until months or perhaps even years. But at least I din' have to worry about that very day. Tonight, Erik is safe from a heart break. I thought.

I smiled gently, feeling some of the tension on my shoulders get lifted off. I allowed my legs to carry me closer to the edge. The snow softly crunched under my shoes as I past the gargoyle statues. I then reached the edge, and I looked out, finding a great view of the city. The cities lights twinkled faintly all around us. The wind gently swept by, and ran through my hair. I realized how close Erik really was when I actually felt the warmth that radiated from Erik's skin carefully cloud over me. I almost jumped when I saw that he only stood a foot behind me. I then settled down, as I felt his warmth wrap around me, without his touch at all.

"I sometimes come out here during night." Erik said in his velvet voice. "In a way, it's my escape from home." He added in.

"It's pretty up here." I said as my eyes scan along the dim city lights. The wind gently blew through my wavy hair, tossing it up into the air carefully until my hair settled back down. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw several snowflakes sticking in my auburn hair. I could feel my nose turning red as I breathed in the freezing air. A shiver ran up my spine. As an instinct, I began to rub my arms, hoping to feel warmth. At least a little. "Are you cold?" Erik asked softly. I tried to suppress a shiver. "Yes, a little." I admitted, finding a cloud of my breath dancing in the air. I felt Erik step back as a rustle of clothing reached my ears. I turned around, finding his cloak swishing gently, as he fumbled with it. "What are you doing?" I asked as he gracefully took off his cloak.

Well, you look quite cold." He explained as he draped his own cloak on my shoulders. His cloak was heavy, but very warm from his body heat. His wonderful scent was thick in his cloak, and I felt his scent and heat cascade around me. "Oh, don't mind me. I'm fine-I don't need it." I said, feeling guilty that he had been so worried for me that whole night. "Anyways, I don't want you to feel cold." I said, as I tried to pull it off. My breath hitched in my throat when he suddenly grabbed a hold of my shoulders. He was very gentle, but I knew that his hands could also be very strong. Although, Erik was nice to only grab a hold of my shoulders, gently, careful not to hurt or startle me, as he simply stopped my movements. It was certainly enough to get my attention.

"Don't fret about me," He said in a stern yet smooth voice. "I don't get cold very easily. Besides, you need it more than I do." His smooth and deep voice was just above a whisper. His voice made my heart flutter, and his kind blue eyes made me want to melt as he stared back into mine, deeply. I felt like I was ready to attack him in a loving hug, but I knew that I couldn't do that to him. Especially since he loved Christine. . .

But did he not know how his kindness made me love him even more? He would never understand. . .I just wanted to him to love me back, but I knew he never would. His heart was set on Christine. Not me. I also wished that I could peek into his mind to see what he thought of me. Was I merely a friend? Would he ever think of me as more?

I felt butterflies dance in my stomach as Erik gently smiled. It was his usual small smile, but it still managed to warm my heart. "If you insist." I said softly. Part of me felt guilty for him acting so nice to me. The other part of me relished it deeply. "Thank you, Phantom." I whispered as I pulled his cloak tighter around me. I saw Erik's visible eyebrow carefully knit towards the other in slight confusion. "For what?" He mused.

For what?! I thought, baffled. Where do I begin?

"For. . .Everything." I whispered. As my words sunk in, Erik continued to look at me a bit taken aback. His eyes asked for a clue, as he fathomed it deeply. "For saving my life. . .Again." I said as I stared back into his eyes. I felt like he deserved a better thanks, but what could I say? There was so much to say, that I didn't even know where to begin. I half expected him to smile in return, but instead his face was straight, and serious.

"I didn't want to see my only friend get harmed." He spoke softly in his velvet voice. He looked so determined-so serious about it. A small sensation sparked in my heart when I realized how important I really was to him. I felt my own eyes soften by his words. Stepping closer, I wrapped my arms around Erik, pulling him into a hug. Erik tensed up a little, still not used to the contact. "Thank you so much." I whispered, as I rested my cheek against his chest. His clothing smelled like candle wax and roses, and I immediately relished the welcoming warmth. After a moment, Erik gently wrapped his arms around my small frame in return. "You're welcome, Cherie." He whispered. My heart fluttered when those words cascaded into my ears. Cherie? I thought. He's never called me that before. . .

I jumped a little when I heard the door click, indicating that someone else was here. Erik tensed up as well, before he pulled away from our embrace. Erik looked over his shoulder, and there we saw Christine and Raoul. "Quick!" Erik hissed in my ear, before he hastily pulled me behind a statue. From behind the statue, we both silently watched the scene before us.

Christine had an uneasy look in her brown eyes, as she stepped outside. She didn't look as panicked as she did in the movie, but something wasn't right. Raoul turned to look at her, utterly confused. "Christine, what is this nonsense that you speak of?" Raoul nearly spat the words, as he looked at her a bit irritated. Christine hesitantly stepped away from the door, as she unknowingly played with the black ribbon that was tied around the rose. "It's a bit hard to understand. But. . .Sometimes, I just feel. . .Unsafe. Sometimes, I feel like something awful is about to happen." She explained as she met his gaze with eyes that slowly grew more and more frightened. Raoul's eyes softened. "Like what?" He asked.

NO! My mind screamed. Why are they here?! This can't happen! This wasn't supposed to happen! Not after saving Buquet's life! No-NO! Erik can't suffer this heart break! His heart isn't strong enough!

. . .

Well, that's the end of this chappie!

Dun dun duuuuuuunnnnnnnnn! So, what's gonna happen now? Here we just saw that Clare had actually saved Buquet's life, and now Christine and Raoul are still coming up onto the roof? Why is this? And, is Clare gonna be able to keep Erik from seeing the All I Ask of You scene? How is he gonna react to all of this? We'll find out next chapter!

Yes, I added some fluff in this chapter, between Clare and Erik. Aww, Erik called her 'Cherie'! For those who don't know what Cherie means, it's French for 'darling' or 'dear one'. Aww, isn't Erik just sweet?

Thank you so much for reading! Please review-I enjoy reading each one. :D