Meeting the 'Family'
Disclaimer: I do not own PhofOp.
Okay now I'm bummed because this is the last chapter. SIGH! Enjoy the read!
"You do not have to look so concern." Erik decreed, as he pulled into the driveway of Mme. Giry's home and turning the car off after parking. "You have met the Madame before, and other then that it is only my niece."
Raoul let out a snort from the backseat, before leaning forward to fill the opening between to two seats.
"Need I remind you that while we have met Madame Giry before, she had also threated us vividly about what she would do if we were to hurt you in anyway and we're about to meet the famous niece who, from what we know, seems to practically worship the ground you walk on."
Erik cocked his head, thinking for a moment before conceding. "Well when you put it that way…"
"Oh stop being overdramatic." Christine hushed Raoul while unbuckling her seatbelt. "It'll be fine."
Without waiting for a reply, she opened the car door and let herself out. She took in the worn but comfy looking house in front of her as Raoul and Erik got out.
It has been about two weeks since Erik had invited them to come over to Mme. Giry's house during spring break, having chosen the date because all of them were off during the time. The meeting was not only to get more acquainted with the Madame herself, but to also meet his niece, Meg. Christine had to admit to feeling thrilled that she was going to finally meet the twelve year who was held in such high affection with Erik and she was sure that Raoul felt the same. However, it was a bit nerve-wracking as well.
Because of Erik's obvious love for his niece, Christine desperately wanted to make sure that Meg approved of her and Raoul. It would be terrible if she ended up not liking them, putting Erik in a tough spot as well. Plus, she didn't know how much Meg knew about their relationship so that might bring about awkward conversation. In all, her only hope was that Meg liked them.
The three of them made their way to the door. Erik pushed the doorbell and gave them a sidelong glance.
"So you are aware, young Meg does know the about the sort of relationship we have, but try not to go into many details as she is still young."
Well, got one possible hurdle out of the way already, Christine thought in relief. She saw that Raoul's shoulders got less stiff as well, apparently he had been worried about the same thing.
The door opened and Mme. Giry stood before them. She stared the couple down with her normal squint of her eyes and intimidating frown, causing Christine the want to wriggled her hands but forced them to stay by her sides.
"Now, what is with that expression?" Erik asked smoothly. He grasped Mme. Giry's hand in his, raising it up to his lips for a quick peck. "They are already nervous as it is. Where is my dear sweet Madame?"
Christine watched as Mme. Giry's lips twitched and transform from what Christine was use too as her instructor's exterior. Suddenly she was no longer giving off a frightening presence but instead had a playful grin on her mouth, her posture relaxed and elegant. Squeezing the hand that Erik still held she now turned to them welcoming them with her eyes.
"I had only wanted to tease them a little that is all." Mme. Giry replied, her tone light. "It is not often that I get to put my own acting skills to much use anymore, so I must have my fun when I can."
"Simply wicked Madame." Erik responded but he too had amusement dancing in his golden eyes.
"Come." Mme. Giry gestured towards the inside to her house. "Lunch is about ready."
Erik followed her in easily, Christine and Raoul sharing an unsure glance before going inside as well.
The inside wasn't as spacious as Erik's place, but more people lived in this house, one being a child so it made sense. It wasn't messy, far from it, but there were a lot of items that belonged to someone younger all over. It was warm, though, comfortable.
"Erik, can you go get Meg, she's playing in the backyard." Mme. Giry instructed, the words being a question but her tone making it a command.
Erik nodded and with a brief grin sent Raoul's and Christine's way, he made his way through the house as easily as if it was his own. When the back door closed, leaving the two youths alone with Mme. Giry, who was in the kitchen pulling out dishware from the counters, Christine felt her nerves start up again.
It was weird being in an instructor's house, especially one who maintains a reputation of being a firm and strict one. Christine could personally confirm those statements. However, she felt like it was even more awkward because not only was Mme. Giry one of her instructors, she was also the closet friend of one of Christine's boyfriends.
Yeah, this is not going to be a weird afternoon at all.
Christine heard a girl's squeal and laughter coming from outside and, in the corner of her eye saw Raoul perk up.
"Mr. de Chagny." Mme. Giry called abruptly. "Come help me set up the table please."
"Of course." Raoul hurriedly went over to where Mme. Giry was placing dishes on the table.
The two set up the table, when they were almost finished the back door opened again and Erik walked in. In his arms was a giggling girl with long blond hair and large delighted brown eyes. She had one arm around the back of Erik's neck to keep her balance, the other pawing at his face tenderly where there was smudge of dirt on his cheek. The two had twin smiles on their faces and Christine noted that she had never seen Erik smile so largely.
So this is Meg, she thought as Erik brought the girl into the living room where Christine was seating on the couch.
When Meg spotted her, she patted Erik's shoulder to let her down. When he did, she skipped over to Christine and stopped in front of her. Meg stared at her for a while, not saying anything, appearing to be assessing her, though Christine wasn't sure because Meg was grinning.
Still, Christine was surprised when Meg started singing. She recognized the song from Don Juan Triumphant and it was a duet between two of the female characters in the beginning. Meg's voice was light and pretty and was singing the first part playfully but Christine partly felt like she was being challenged from the way Meg's eyes were gleaming. She shot a quick glance at Erik who was standing against the wall across the room. He only sent her a wink, lips curled up in a grin.
Christine took that as his approval and turned back to Meg who had just finished. Christine opened her mouth and sang the next part. Meg's eyes brightened immediately and she stared at her eagerly as she sang. Christine thought about stopping once she had completed her part but Meg opened her mouth again just as she was about to finished so she took that as a sign that Meg wanted to sing the next part together, like how it is done in the play.
Together they sang the next part, their voices mingling in harmony. Meg was smiling widely as she sung and Christine knew that her own face had a grin as well. When they finally reached the end they stopped at the same time and watched each other.
Christine heard clapping and saw Erik making his way to them.
"Brava, Brava." He praised. "Bravissime."
Christine felt her cheeks flush and Meg turned her head to beam up at him as he came to stop next to her.
"She's really good!" Meg gushed.
"So were you," Erik celebrated, placing his hand on top of her head. Leaning down he placed a soft kiss on her forehead.
When he straightened back up, he tapped his finger on her head a couple times before continuing. "Though, you did get a little too high in your second verse. We will have to practice that in our next lesson."
Meg pouted and crossed her arms. "Always the teacher." She mumbled.
"Don't worry." Christine told Meg, getting her attention. "He corrects me all the time."
"Really?" Meg asked doubtfully.
"Every lesson." Christine reassured.
Meg brighten at that, uncrossing her arms. She looked up at Erik again.
"I like her!"
Erik chuckled, his thumb stroking Meg's head where his hand was rested. "I am glad. Let me introduce you to Miss Christine Daae. Miss Daae, this is my niece Meg."
"Pleasure." Meg greeted, even giving a small curtsy.
"Really. The pleasure is all mine." Christine replied, already in love with the charming girl.
"Lunch is ready." Mme. Giry's voice called out from the kitchen.
Together the three went to the kitchen where Mme. Giry ushered them into the dining room in the next room. Raoul was already inside, placing the last of the food onto the table, he shot Christine a grin.
"We were listening to the two of you singing. Lovely, as always." Raoul then turned to Meg. "And this must be the other voice I heard. The one that I could have sworn had to be from another realm. It being far too beautiful."
Meg face turned pink, and she shuffled so that half her body was now behind Erik, who watched her with an amused smirk.
"Now do not be getting shy all of a sudden." Erik asserted to his niece before turning back to Raoul. "Mr. de Chagny this is my niece Meg. Come now, little Meg, this is Raoul de Chagny."
"Nice to meet you." Meg whispered shyly, still halfway hiding.
Raoul gave her a charming smile. "Nice to meet you as well."
Mme. Giry came in and so they all sat down to eat. Christine sat with Erik on her right and Raoul on her left. Meg sat on Raoul's other side, who was then next to Mme. Giry and then Erik. As they ate, most of the time Meg, having gotten over her shyness, asked Christine and Raoul questions about themselves and Mme. Giry and Erik would speak here and there but mostly kept to each other. Occasionally, Christine would spot a gray and white cat, with a half way torn off ear, walking through the hallway and realized that it was the same cat that Erik had rescued at the theatre. The cat was now completely healed and looked like she gained the appropriate weight, she appeared to be happier and healthier. When Meg had noticed her staring she told her that the cat was named Boots, after the fact that the whites of the cats paws made it look like she was wearing shoes over her gray fur.
Christine was pretty tired by the end of lunch, because she was full and because of all the questions she had answered. Not that she minded, Meg was charming and every time she asked a question she would give her own answer as well, making it so that the three were learning a lot about each other.
She could tell that Erik was pleased, even though he spent most of the time talking to Mme. Giry. He had a constant grin on his lips that would twitch now and again when one of the other three had said something particularly funny, so obviously he was listening.
She herself was happy about the afternoon, her heart warm with love for her partners and relief that both Mme. Giry and Meg were accepting her and Raoul and their relationship with Erik. For the most part it went off without any incident. Almost…
"Hey, Mr. de Chagny, do you still have that problem you get when you hear uncle's singing?" Meg had asked innocently.
Raoul, who had been taking a sip out of his glass, spluttered causing a bit of his drink to spill and he cough into his fist a few times. Christine was likewise surprised but also saw the naughty gleam in Meg's eye.
When Raoul caught his breath, he glared at Erik.
"She knows about the emails?!"
"Mr. de Chagny." Erik began with a smirk. "I hate to tell you this, but both Madame Giry and young Meg have read all the emails that the two of you had sent during that time. They were the ones who told me about them in the first place."
Christine felt her face flush, mortified by the fact that not only had her instructor read such emails, but also a twelve year old! Granted they were not graphic in that way, but still! Raoul obviously felt the same because he dropped his head hard onto the table with a groan.
"Just kill me now." He squeaked, not lifting his head.
"Now that is enough of that Mr. de Chagny." Mme. Giry scolded, but even she carried a small smirk on her lips.
"It's okay!" Meg added happily towards him as he lifted his head reluctantly. "I'm glad that you love his voice as much as you do!"
At that, Raoul let out another groan of dismay and refused to talk for a while after.
When they were all done, they helped clean up. Boots wandering in, probably trying to see if she would be given any food. Erik was the only one who did, giving the cat a small piece of beef. Boots meowed her thanks, eating it quickly before butting her head against his leg. She followed him around after that, purring loud enough that Christine could hear it from a few feet away.
Once everything was cleaned up, they made their way to the living room to say goodbyes. Raoul kissed Mme. Giry's and Meg's hands, the younger gaining her earlier blush in full bloom when he did. Christine shook their hands warmly, Mme. Giry stating that she'll see her on Tuesday for class and Meg not letting her hand go until she was able to extract a promise that she'll come visit again soon. To which she freely and easily gave her word to.
Raoul and Christine waited by the door as Erik said his goodbyes. He was on his knees in front of Meg and was currently saying something to her that Christine couldn't hear but Meg reply helped her guess what it was about.
"I'm happy that you're happy. But I guess I'm just a little disappointed that I won't be able to marry you now." Meg responded to what Erik had said.
Christine had to put her hand over her mouth to stop the giggle that had risen because of the adorableness of Meg's statement and the surprised Erik's eyes held. Raoul wasn't as quick and had ended up letting out a quiet snicker next to her.
"You were going to marry me?" Erik questioned slowly.
Meg nodded firmly. "Yep, as soon as I turned eighteen, I was going to marry you if you weren't seeing anyone at the time."
"Would I have had any say in the matter?" Erik continued, his voice now amused, eyes soft.
"Nope!" Meg stated with a smile.
Erik now turned his attention to glance up at the visibly entertained MME. Giry. "Did you know about this?"
Mme. Giry shook her head, holding up her hands. "I swear I did not. Though I cannot say I'm really surprised."
"But now you got Mr. de Chagny and Miss Daae!" Meg declared. "And I know that they'll make you very happy!"
Abruptly, Meg's narrowed eyes went to Raoul and her. "Or else they'll have to deal with me and mom."
Raoul let out an uneasy chuckle next to her and she could understand the feeling. If one could be scared of twelve year olds…
"My dearest Meg, you are a marvel." Erik stated admirably. "But please stop glaring at them, you would not want them to feel too anxious to come over here, would you?"
"Noo…" Meg now grumbled, turning her attention back to her uncle.
Chuckling, Erik pressed his lips to her forehead and gave Boots one last scratch before he stood up. He kissed Mme. Giry's cheek next in goodbye and made his way over to them. Calling out one last goodbye, Erik pulled her and Raoul out the door, when the door was closed he turned to face them as they walked to his car.
Christine felt Raoul shudder next to her. "It was all great and dandy until I found out that I am now scared of a twelve year old."
When Christine nodded seriously in agreement, the laugh Erik let out was filled with such joy and delight that Christine couldn't help feel but warm and as if she had just fallen in love with Erik all over again.
She didn't know what the future held for the three of them but as she watched Raoul go up to Erik to try to get him to stop laughing, which in turn, only made him laugh more, Christine felt that the future was going to be all the more brighter because she had the two in front of her with her.
So there it is. Last chapter…damn sad moment. I enjoyed writing this, for the most part—sometimes it got frustrating—and hope that my readers enjoyed the ride. I would love to receive a comment from my readers. Favorite chapter/s, line, or just a general overall comment about the last chapter or story. Thank you for reading!