Yay! Okay, next chapter. You know, Erik's whole past thing was supposed to be only one chapter. Lol, that obviously didn't happen, but I'm hoping you enjoy the extra background.
Anyway please enjoy.
Erik liked being the opera ghost. For him, it was another hobby to spend the day and sometimes night. He has taken to wearing mostly black so that his white mask sticks out more when he allowed people to see him.
He did not do that too often, most of the time his efforts went into harmless pranks. The focused of them were on people who had annoyed him at some point, which was a lot of people, giving him a variety of targets. He would make things disappear then reappear in some random other place. He would drop items onto the stage while there were rehearsals. He loved picking on the singers, they always had a temper. He did not prank the dancers much because Antoinette had raised through some of the ranks and did not want to make things harder for her with his tricks.
Antoinette appreciated the thought but told him he had to, lest people start to get suspicious about the dance group. He did as she requested and pulled more pranks on the dancers but always made sure that Antoinette was within the group but far from being directly influenced by the mischief.
Luckily, companions were forbidden to come on stage during any rehearsal, allowing Erik to not hold back when he wanted to do something because of them.
Farren had taken to amusing herself by playing pranks on the employee's companions.
Of course, unlike Erik, she had to be more careful to not be seen by them as there might be some people who would make the connection that if there was a companion lurking around, there will be its human around, meaning that the person was alive.
Ghost do not have companions after all.
Farren often came with him when he made his trips above, especially the times Erik went up to watch them. Most of the time it was to watch Antoinette and her group dance.
It was because of this that he noticed when things began to change.
One day, he was watching Antoinette from his favorite spot in box five of the auditorium when he saw a young handsome man in a uniform walking on stage and presented a bouquet of red roses to Antoinette.
Erik immediately straightened and leaned forward to watch the exchange. He saw his friend smiling as she took the roses and…was that a giggle? Frowning, Erik watched the stranger and Antoinette talk for a while before the man had to leave. He raised her hand to his lips and bid her farewell.
"Ooh, I think Antoinette has a suiter." Farren chuckled gleefully next to him in the box.
"Is that what that was?" he questioned, still frowning.
Farren nodded. "Most certainly!" she then sent him a side glance. "You do not pay attention to such things so it is no surprise you did not recognize the gesture. I think I have seen him around before."
"Should she be paying that man any mind? Should she not instead focus solely on her dancing?" Erik left the box and began to travel back to his home.
"Come on Erik! If there is a person who could do both it will be our Antoinette!" Farren argued, then she let out a pleased sigh. "Ah, love. What a life changing affair!"
Erik snorted and looked down at the black coyote walking next to him. "You romantic. I think you are getting ahead of yourself a little bit."
However, Farren had not been ahead of herself, because the next time Antoinette and Valere had come visited him, she told him she had news.
"I am getting married!" she had informed him, much to his shock.
"What?" he breathed out in disbelief while Farren let out a "congratulations!" behind him. "But, what about your dancing?"
"I can do both." Antoinette confirmed then had a dreamy smile. "He is a solider, can you believe it? A soldier that likes ballet!"
"Not really." Erik mumbled under his breath.
"What was that?"
"Nothing." Erik answered louder. "I am just concerned is all. You are rising through the ranks of the dancers rapidly now. I do not want anything to distract you and led to that being taken away."
"It will not." Antoinette replied firmly. "Daniel is going to be more away then here because of his job and he has no trouble accepting that I want to continue to dance."
"But Antoinette—" he started but was cut off as she pressed her fingers to his lips.
"Shush. This is my decision and mine alone." She hushed him, she removed her finger from his lips. "Can I expect you at the wedding?"
Erik tensed at the idea of going outside but nodded anyway.
Two weeks later Antoinette was married and she was soon saying goodbye to her new husband as he was sent away to another country. Erik had gone to the wedding, a small thing with her and Daniel, and the groom's siblings in a small church. Erik had scouted the place as soon as she had told him where it was for him to find a place to hide but still see the event perfectly.
That turned out to be the rafters but beggars could not be choosers.
At least Farren got to attend the event like a normal guest. Daniel and his family had given her weird stares at seeing a companion without their human but Antoinette beamed as she spotted the coyote.
"We can begin now. My friend is here." Antoinette told the priest.
Daniel looked around. "Where?"
"Oh…" she trailed off with a grin, her eyes looking upwards, as if trying to spot Erik. He could not tell whether she found him or not. "Here in this room, that is all."
Daniel did not push the question that was obviously on his mind and the ceremony began.
Erik had never been to a wedding but found the music pleasing and, while a part of him thought it was mistake for his friend to be getting married, he could not fault her happiness she showed on that day.
Once it was over, Daniel and Antoinette left the church to celebrate and Erik went back down below. First thing he did upon returning was write down the wedding hymn that had played in his head since the ceremony.
Life went back to normal for the most part. Antoinette danced and visit him, Erik would write and play music, pull his pranks and do what he wished.
That changed again when Antoinette came to him a few months later, distressed.
She had found out that she was pregnant.
Erik had stared at her stomach in disbelief for a moments when she told him the news.
"What am I going to do?! I will be taken out of the company for the season! I cannot take care of a baby! Not now, not by myself." She had cried, pacing in Erik's living room.
Farren head-butted him in the back of his leg and when he sent her a glance she nodded towards Antoinette. Hesitantly, he went over to her and stopped her pacing. He saw the tears in her eyes and wiped them away with his thumbs.
"Please stop crying." Erik whispered, trying to be comforting. "There is, ah, other things you can do…"
He trailed off when Antoinette looked at him with horror. She brushed his hands away and stared at him.
"You…you suggest I get rid of it?!" she accused thickly. "How could you even think about making such a suggestion?"
Erik hurriedly put his hands of in surrender, then clasped them together, not being able to look at her.
"I did not mean that," Erik replied awkwardly, not knowing what to do.
"Antoinette, really, he did not mean for you to take it that way." Farren pleaded next to him.
"Well, he did not approve of her getting married in the first place." Valere growled as she crouched in front of her human.
"I only wanted you to know your options." Erik added desperately.
He heard Antoinette sigh but did not dare raise his head to see why she did. He heard her footsteps coming towards him but made himself stay rooted where he was. He saw her feet stop in front of him but did not move.
"Erik," Antoinette whispered and he felt her hand on top of his head. "You are supposed to be comforting me, not the other way around."
Erik flinched. "I am sorry."
"I want to keep the baby." She replied, causing Erik to whip his head up towards her.
"I can and will do this, Erik." She stated firmly. "Now the question is, will you help me?"
Erik sighed in defeat but nodded. "Of course I will."
The opera ghost began demanding payments every month to stop his pranks.
The owners were not pleased with this at first but Erik made more frequent and dangerous pranks. That was when he became to be called the phantom of the opera. Eventually, they relented.
Half of the amount he made went to Antoinette, she had felt guilty at first but Erik was able to persuade her to keep the money since she was not able to work.
It was for the child after all.
The opera house eventually found out that Antoinette was pregnant and she was forced out for the remainder of her pregnancy. When that had happened, she spent a lot of time in Erik's home, not that he minded. He tried to help when he could but he was limited since he could not go outside to get her things, most of the time he had to steal leftover food from the kitchens and bring it to her.
What he did do for her was build.
He built her a crib for the baby and serval gender neutral toys.
As the months went by, he had to help his friend more and more, plus make sure that she was seen around the Opera Populaire so that the employees would not think she had left them. The last few months were the hardest because nothing was ever right for Antoinette and it got frustrating at times for both of them.
However, when they would both cool down, they would immediately apologize. Erik had also found out that his singing would put the young Madame at ease and it was easy for her to fall asleep to his voice. That discovery made Erik make sure that he was always available to her when it was time for bed.
When Antoinette had gone into labor, Erik quickly brought her to the world above and watched over her until she was found by one of the employees and taken to the midwife.
He did not see her again for a week.
He spent the time placing the child's crib and toys in Antoinette's new living quarters she was given since she was married with a child. He made the place safe for the baby and waited for her to return.
The week came and went. She returned on the eighth day.
Erik had been doing another look over his creations to make sure they were stable when he heard the door begin to open. Quickly, he rushed to a hiding spot that ended up being underneath the bed, and Farren crouched next to him.
"Oh!" he heard Antoinette voice. "Looks like Erik's been here, my darling. You will meet him soon."
"That might be sooner than you think." Erik announced, sticking his head out from underneath the bed.
Antoinette jumped, her eyes wide. She spotted Erik then relaxed.
"What are you doing down there?" she asked, with a raised eyebrow.
"I was checking to make sure everything was fine with my things and heard the door open. I panicked." Erik explained sheepishly and crawled out from the bed, Farren following behind.
"If something is made by you, I doubt there will be anything wrong with it." Antoinette smiled, then shifted.
That was when Erik noticed that she was holding a bundle in her arms and straightened.
"Is that…" he could not say the words therefore, he just pointed at the bundle.
Antoinette giggled, she walked towards him and held out the bundle for him to see.
"Erik, I want you to meet Meg." Antoinette whispered softly with a grin.
Erik looked down and stared at the sleeping baby in his friend's arms. She was bald and had light skin and fair hair, a baby lynx curled up on her chest. A child's companion's first form is the mother's current form and changes a few weeks after the baby is born. Erik was amazed that this was the child that he had help Antoinette take care of while she was pregnant.
"You want to hold her?" Antoinette asked and Erik jumped back.
"I do not think that would be a good idea. I have never held a baby." He declared quickly, holding his hands behind his back.
"She is a baby, not a snake." Valere stated with an amused tone.
Antoinette rolled her eyes. "Yes, and if you want to be her uncle, you will have to hold her eventually."
"Uncle?" Erik gasped.
She smiled at him. "Yes, uncle. If you want it that is?"
"I…yes!" Erik exclaimed then cringed at the volume.
"Then come hold your niece." Antoinette commanded with a grin.
Erik went back to her and slowly took the baby, Meg, from her arms. It was awkward and Antoinette had to instruct him on how to hold her but Meg remained asleep, much to Erik's relief. He sat down on the rocking chair he had made for Antoinette and Farren came up to get a look at the child.
"She's adorable!" the coyote cooed. "She certainly got her good looks from her mother."
Erik had one moment of fear when Meg had shifted in his grasp and he thought she was waking up, but it was only a shift and she did not open her eyes.
"My only hope is that she takes after me and not her mischievous uncle." Antoinette teased.
"My dear Madame, I shall now take that as a challenge." Erik whispered and sent her a grin.
She rolled her eyes but grinned back.
And there we are! Christine is going to come in the next chapter. Their first meeting! Please remember to review!