A/N: He's baaaaaack! Yup, I brought Erik back to our time for Christmas. No, this is not necessarily canon to the original stories. I just thought I'd do something fun for him for Christmas. Teehee. As always, I do not own Phantom of the Opera or any of it's characters. And I am not responsible for any loss of sanity you experience. :P

December 3, Same year as his first visit. 6AM. Ugh. Does he not have a sense of need for sleeping in? Apparently not. I grumbled my way to the attic door, my pre-coffee tiredness pushing aside any and all excitement for seeing Erik again. He was knocking at my attic door. At least he had the decency to not destroy yet another clothes hanger. Pulling the door open, I was met with the sight of Erik in full title song garb, yet his expression was distant. He said nothing, but merely handed me a note. Raising an eyebrow, I opened it and read it.

"Dear Sarah,

I've sent Erik back to you, hoping that your family might cheer him up once again. He was doing so well, but with the approaching holiday, depression has set in once again. Marguerite and I tried everything, but he cannot stop thinking about Christine. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Take care.

Sincerely, Antoinette Giry"

I looked back up at Erik's face, noticing a small tear threatening to fall. Sighing, I pulled him further into my room before closing and latching the door. He immediately lowered himself to the piano bench, staring at his favorite keyboard. It was as if I were invisible. Oh no. I'd been missing him, and I would NOT be invisible. "Erik..." Before I could finish saying his name, he burst into tears and fitful sobs. I handed him a tissue, and he stopped long enough to blink puzzled at it. "It's a tissue. You wipe your tears or blow your nose with it."

"Will it last in the washing machine?"

"No...you throw it away after using it. It's not a handkerchief..."

"A waste of paper." He shoved it away, and I sighed.

"Erik, really now...don't I at least get a hug? A hello? An 'I've missed you'?" Perhaps I was being selfish and thoughtless, but he didn't seem to think so as his arm slowly wrapped itself around me.

"I have missed you, Mademoiselle...I've missed you all greatly. That's why I was feeling like this back in Paris...no Christine, no you..." Part of me wanted to squee or melt at his words, how he was grouping me with Christine. But I wasn't about to jump to conclusions.

"Did you talk to Meg?" At this, he slowly dropped his arms and his gaze.

"I did. She explained how she's always been curious about me. Curious. Nothing more."

"Are you sure about that?"

"Of course I'm sure, Sarah! I told you...this isn't one of your fan fictions!" At the absolute hurt in his eyes, I bit back tears and lowered my own gaze.

"It's only been a few months, Erik...give it time..."

"I don't want anyone but Christine, Sarah. I'm sorry."

"Very well." Deciding to drop the subject for the moment, I took a deep breath and looked back up at him. "Now that you're here though...I suppose you'll be wanting coffee?" A trace of recognition flashed in his eyes then, and he rose to his feet.

"My dear mademoiselle...one can never be too heartbroken to manage one cup of coffee..." A smile finally appeared on his face, and I returned it.

"Alright. Let me just get dressed..." He was already on his way out the door, and I quickly changed before accompanying him down the stairs to the kitchen.

The early hour it was, I was once again the only one up. Except the cats. And when they saw Erik, they scattered. I cleared my throat. "Looks like they remember you..." He smiled a bit and nodded.

"Not many people do forget me, Sarah...not even animals..."

"Well, you are pretty unforgettable...I can't wait until the others see that you're back!"

"Well, Hope will be pleased to know that I've cut down on my coffee intake."

"Good! Prices have gone up slightly, and with Christmas approaching, money's tight."

"Ah...about that..." He reached into his pocket then before producing another envelope. When I opened it, I nearly had a heart attack. Rolls of bills were stuffed inside, and it was a wonder how the envelope was still intact. "I...hope this pays for the damages I caused last time..."

"Erik...how much is this?"

"Fifty thousand francs...why? Too little?"

"N—no...it's...I'm...thank you!" As the room began swaying back and forth, the next thing I knew was Erik was gently lowering me to the floor before I passed out. And all I could think of was feeling like Christine at the end of Music of the Night.

The scent of coffee filled my nostrils as I frolicked through the field of roses. Looking around, I saw that the roses were still red, but upon closer inspection, I discovered that the ribbons around the stems were brown instead of black. And then I thought, Roses don't grow in December...

My eyes fluttered open, and the first thing I saw was Erik holding a cup of steaming coffee in front of my face. Wanting to erase the concern in his eyes, I sighed. "You know I like my coffee cold, Erik..." His shoulders went up and down in his sigh of relief, and he placed the coffee on the table. I struggled to sit up, and he helped.

"If it's too much, mademoiselle, I could always-"

"No, it's fine, Erik...it's very thoughtful of you...but you don't owe us anything for the damages."

"I insist. Antoinette pointed out the damages I made to the opera house. I've paid for the repairs there as well."

"That's very noble of you..."

"What's the use if it doesn't bring Christine back?" There was that subject again. I sighed and stood up, choosing to leave that question rhetorical.

"Let's see...if I remember correctly, bacon, eggs, and toast, right?"

"And coffee. I didn't cut back THAT much." He smirked, and I giggled.

By the time breakfast was over, David, Susan, and Hope had all made their appearances. David screamed and ran back upstairs, Hope took one look and nodded in greeting, and Susan knocked him out of his chair with a hug, causing his coffee to spill all over his suit. "Mademoiselle, control yourself!" Susan finally got up, still grinning hyperly.

"I can't help it! I missed you!"

"Oh really, I hadn't noticed!" He grumbled, struggling to his feet. He glanced down at the coffee stain on his vest and sighed. "You're very lucky I thought to bring extra clothes. I will not be subjected to that robe once again." He glanced my way as he said it, and I merely shrugged.

"Oh come now. It looked good on you and you know it." My grin was met with a growl as he returned to his chair. He then realized he had forgotten to set it upright again, and once again he was on the floor. At this point, I would have laughed, but the poor guy had gone through quite enough. I picked up the chair, then extended my hand to him. He shoved it away, stubbornly picking himself up.

"If you'll excuse me, I have music to compose." Without another word, he poured himself another cup of coffee and marched upstairs. I quickly filled in everyone on what had taken place in his time. Nodding in understanding, they went to fix their own breakfasts.

After breakfast dishes were done, I slowly made my way upstairs. No music could be heard from my room. Instead, there was the occasional sniffle. Sighing, I knocked on my door. Which, by the way, seemed a bit odd for me to do. "Erik?"

"I wish to be alone, Sarah..."

"You can't shut me out of my own room you know..."

"I've been shut out of mine." His voice told me that he shouldn't be pushed too far, but for some reason I chose to ignore the threat. Slowly pushing my door open, I saw him not at the keyboard, but flat on my bed, staring up at the ceiling. He had changed into his No One Would Listen outfit, and I tried to keep my gaze above his neck. He didn't seem to notice that I'd come in, or maybe he didn't even care. My entire box of kleenexes had been used up and were now scattered all over himself and my bed, and he clutched the last one in his fist. Finally noticing me, he sighed. "I told you these tissues were a waste of paper."

"Never mind that. Erik, you really shouldn't shut people out. I know you need time and space, but Antoinette sent you here for a reason. We all really care about you, and we're truly glad you're back."

"I should have stayed here. I should never have gone back...at least last time I had the faintest hope that Meg would care...now even that is gone."

"Don't give up just yet, Erik...things can change..."

"Perhaps..." he sighed, "I'm just growing tired of waiting for them to change...only to find out they never do..."

"Well, sometimes you can't just sit around waiting. Sometimes you have to help them along..."

"What are you trying to say?"

"When you go back, Erik...send Meg the roses...send her the notes...let her know how you feel..."

"Those never work! I tried it on Christine, and she left me!"

"They might work for Meg, Erik. You never know until you try..."

"I just don't know if I'm ready to let Christine go quite yet."

"I know...and I'm sure Meg will understand that." I slowly reached over and took his non-kleenexed hand. "She'll appreciate your effort and your honesty."

"How do you know so much about her? You've never met..."

"I suppose...when you write as much as I have, you tend to get inside the characters' minds...besides that, ask any girl and you'll find that they appreciate honesty."

"True...do you think that's why Christine left me?"

"That very well could have been one of the reasons. But I've learned that while it's good to learn from past mistakes, it's pointless to dwell on them."

"And what mistakes have you made?"

"Held a grudge. Grew cold to someone's apologies until it was too late. She ended up dying before I could forgive her. It crushed me."

"It...hurt worse than the pain she first inflicted upon you?"

"Much worse. Death is permanent, Erik...I still miss her a lot. Those fights we had were over the littlest, silliest things...I'd give anything to have those moments back." Silence followed, and then I felt his thumb brush against my cheek. Only then did I realize I was crying.

A/N: Okay, so not as hilarious as the original so far...but hopefully you understand why I can't have too much hilarity when he's feeling like this. Have no fear, this story WILL live up to its name! More to come soon! Feedback is always welcome! Stay tuned!