The first month it happened she was able to dismiss it. Christine de Chagny knew from her own personal experience and dressing room talk that exasperation could cause this. And with the wedding and honeymoon that was to be expected; this was not a normal schedule.
The second month when it happened, she could not ignore it. Still in her nightgown and dressing robe, Christine bent over the basin bowl of her dressing table coughing up the last bits of bile that burned the back of her throat. The door to her bathroom opened to reveal her maid, Collette, the one Raoul hired for her even before they were wed. Collette was not a naïve girl nor did she seem to have a respect for boundaries. Despite this, Christine never dismissed the girl. She knew Collette was providing for several members of her family. The girl tilted her head as she watched her mistress wipe her mouth with the back of her hand.
"Madame de Chagny, let me get you what my sister took to sooth her morning upset," Collette smiled. "I am an aunt five times so far, you will love it!"
Christine looked wide eyed at the girl, "I don't know what you are talking about. I just over indulged last night."
Collette took The Soprano's hand into hers, "You're an opera singer, Madame de Chagny. It is known you were not like other performers when it came to certain proclivities and your mother died when you were young, but you haven't had any jelly rags for me to dispose of in two months on top of my finding you over that bowl every morning telling me you over indulged last night."
The color drained from Christine's face as she pulled away and rushed towards the bathroom. "Is my bath ready, Collette?" Christine asked not turning around.
"I know I do not have to tell you this, but no word of this to the Viscount. He does not need to know yet. I will take my breakfast in my drawing room. Since you seem to have practice at this, make me something you would to soothe your sister's stomach." Christine now turned around and smiled at the girl, tears in her eyes, "Thank you."
Collette curtsied and exited the bed chamber.
Christine closed the bathroom door and stripped herself of her clothing. She held hands to her stomach, there was no external signs yet but they would come. He was in her mind and now there was to be proof she had let him inside her body as well.
Women should not be down in the catacombs, especially women of status. This should not even have to be spoken about a woman of status with child. However, Christine was down there. She held the lantern out in front of her and her other hand at the level of her eye. She knew what he thought of trespassers and would act first, question later. Her footsteps echoed off the cobblestone as she felt the eyeless sockets of the dead judge her. Judging her for waiting another month to tell Raoul that she was with child, judging her for walking this path once again to return to a man who left her this way.
Yet a smile crept across her face as she reached that trap door. She pulled away the femur that blocked the hole just small enough to stick a finger in and push into the other side of the wall. The damp, warped wood of the door required an extra push but there was the little antechamber and ladder. She sat the lantern down and found climbing the ladder taxing this time. She pushed the door right above the top of the ladder up and found herself once again in that hidden chamber.
It was different this time and not just because of her condition. Christine looked up through small glass panel of the ceiling and was greeted by a full moon instead of a moonless sky. Its glow gave the room a blue hue.
"Erik?" She whispered.
She crawled off of the ladder, into the small room and stood up. Her stomach prevented her from being as graceful as she was used to being on the stage.
"Erik!" she called this time dusting off her dress.
She pulled her scarf tighter around her neck as she looked around. The room was barren, more so than it was when she was there that fateful night. There were no toiletries on top of the dresser, an ink well was tipped on its side sat on top of the small writing desk. She walked over and opened ever drawer on the dresser looking for signs of life; signs of him. There were none. She turned around and trotted over to the smooth wooden panel on that part of the wall. She knew that just had to be the other secret door. The Phantom would never just have one entrance and exit.
"Erik please!" Christine leaned her side into the panel. She then pushed her whole weight into it. "Erik!" She pounded her fist against the wood. "Things have changed. We need to talk!" She stood silent for a few minutes waiting to hear anything on the other side. Tears streamed down her cheeks, "Erik, I am not angry for you leaving me after that night. Please don't be angry at me for coming back but we need to talk. I'm…I'm carrying your child."
Christine let out a sob as she walked over to the bed and sat down. The mattress was only covered with a sheet, there was no other sheets or covers to be found. She ran her hand over the fabric finding a thin layer of dust. More tears trailed down her cheeks.
The doctor opened the bedroom door, walked into the attached sitting room and saw Raoul slumped in the chair; jacket and waistcoat gone, sleeves rolled up. The Viscount looked up, eyes wide as the doctor closed the door behind him.
"Congratulations, Viscount you are the father of a healthy baby boy!"
He stood up, "And Christine?!"
"She's perfectly fine. Give them a few minutes and they will invite you in to meet your son."
"Are you sure he's okay, Doctor?" The man ran his fingers through his blonde locks. "She's a month premature."
The Doctor walked up to Raoul, wrapped his arm around the man's shoulder and pulled him close. "Between you and me," he whispered. "That is a full-term healthy baby. Yours and 'at the time' Mlle Daae's pre-marital secret is safe with me. I keep so many. Yours is not the first and will not be the last." He slapped Raoul's back. "Now come let us have a drink."
The Doctor kept walking but Raoul stood frozen. A full-term baby? His and Christine's pre-marital secret? Maybe he would have that drink. He followed The Doctor down the hall.
Behind the bedroom door, Christine sat propped up on pillows in a fresh nightgown. She looked down at the bundled baby boy in her arms, her heartbeat still calming down from the relief that his face was normal.