Title: Christine doesn't know
Summary: There's a lot of things Christine doesn't know about Meg's new life.
Author's note: beta read by the one and only (and lovely) Angela.
Disclaimer: They don't belong to me.
Christine doesn’t know.
Meg always visits her oldest friend in the young Vicomtess’s home. A large building made of stone, with spacious rooms filled with old, expensive furniture. She visits every year and they speak of old times, of new times and of love. However, a few things remain unsaid, things that Christine, despite their friendship, is still blissfully unaware of.
Christine still believes Meg to be alone, without a suitor and every year she tries her best to find someone suitable. Every year Meg declines, smiling of course, and says it’s not needed. Because it is not. Nevertheless, Christine doesn’t know that. Christine does not know many things.
She doesn’t know that Meg entered the Phantom’s lair that fateful night. She doesn’t know that Meg found his mask and kept it. Or, that Meg searched for him and discovered the hidden door behind the curtain. Christine doesn’t know that her oldest friend, willingly stepped into the dark unknown in pursuit of a Ghost, an Angel, a Man. And she most certainly does not know that Meg found him, broken and distraught, waiting to die in the dark.
They chat about the Opera as they drink their tea. Laughing and smiling as always – retelling their old private jokes to each other. Their old secrets and fears. Christine asks if Meg wants to learn how to swim. She can help arrange for an instructor and that the De Chagny’s estate has a rather large lake, which is lovely. Meg smiles and shakes her head, no. It is not needed. Because it’s not.
But Christine doesn’t know that.
She doesn’t know that Meg isn’t afraid of the deep water anymore, because Meg already knows how to swim. The Phantom taught her last spring and now they often swim together in the underground lake beneath the Opera house.
When one of the maids comes to refill their tea, Christine turns for a moment to address her – Marie is her name from what Meg can tell. It gives Meg a chance to look around the room they sit in. It is large; as everything in the house seems to be, with huge windows letting all the sunlight in to brighten it up. It’s bright and it’s warm and completely lacking of magic. Christine once asked if Meg wanted to come and stay here with her. Because she did not like knowing, that Meg lived in cramped ballerina quarters with no room or light. Meg had simply smiled at her best friend - shaking her head – and said she was happy where she lived no matter what.
But Christine doesn’t know why.
She doesn’t know that Meg lives in a maze, in a wonderful enchanted garden built with magic and love. She doesn’t know that the Phantom’s lair is rebuilt again and has exceeded its former glory and grandeur. She doesn’t know that Meg lives beneath the Opera house and that she does not live there alone.
The maid leaves and Meg feels Christine’s eyes upon her again and she turns to find her friend with a frown upon her face.
“Christine?” Meg asks quietly, worried something is wrong, worried that she let something slip. But Christine only shakes her head, smiling apologetically and quickly reassures Meg that it’s nothing, that she was simply wondering when Raoul would be back. He would love to meet with Meg before she leaves.
Meg smiles and says she would love to meet him again too. She has not seen him for almost three years now, since the wedding between him and Christine. He has always been away in business whenever Meg comes to visit. Christine wonders why Meg is not looking for someone to share her life with, like she shares her life with Raoul - does Meg not grow lonely at times?
Meg can only smile at her. She is not lonely at all. She has Erik.
However, Christine cannot know that, because Christine does not know who Erik is. She does not know that her Angel has a name like any other man. She doesn’t know that he sleeps every night next to Meg, in their bed, sheets and limbs tangled with each other. She doesn’t know that Meg already shares her life, her home, her bed and her heart with someone, with Erik.
She does not know about the simple wedding they held a year ago below the Opera house, a wedding with only bride and groom present, just the two of them becoming one before God.
Christine does not know that her best friend is married, in her heart if not in the eyes of the law.
A burst of laughter erupts on the patio adjacent to the room they sit in and both women turn their heads towards the sound.
A small boy – a little boy with light brown hair and bright eyes – is learning how to walk, holding on to his nanny’s hands. He wobbles and falls but does not cry out, instead he laughs with delight.
Christine smiles at her son and one of Meg’s hands drifts to her abdomen, where the slight swelling is hidden beneath her clothes. No, Christine doesn’t know about this either.
She doesn’t know how Erik had cried when Meg told him about the baby, doesn’t know about the beautiful cradle he built that now stands beside their bed, or about the lullaby he sings every night for his unborn child.
No, Christine doesn’t know it, but the Angel of Music is singing again, smiling again.
He loves again.
Christine doesn’t know any of this, and Meg finds no reason to tell her.