A/N: Very soon, I'm going to post a companion piece to this. The companion piece is going to fill in all the gaps in this one, such as who Jérome, Monique and Edmund are, and why Jérome left Meg.

Title: Forever

Rating: G/K

Genre: Romance

Pairing: Erik/Meg (What else?)

Summary: The hem of her full white and gold gown brushes the ground and his polished black shoes softly click as they walk slowly, trying to savor the night. They are trying to make this night last forever.

Meg quickens her pace and she nearly starts to run to meet him. Her heart is pounding so fast she feels like it's going to beat itself out of her chest. This is the first party or ball she has been to since Jérome left her. Thinking about Jérome makes tears prickle in her eyes, but she holds her head up high and she is determined to have a good time no matter what.

When she sees him, she stops and stares. She has never seen him look this good, and it stuns her. His mask covers his entire forehead as well as half of his face, and he is wearing a black and red costume. The black cape adorning his shoulders flows down and grazes the floor. He smiles at Meg and walks to her. He picks up her hand and kisses it.

"Meg, you look stunning," he says, and she does. Her white and gold gown and matching bodice glitter, and contrast nicely with her pale skin and hair. Her mask is white, fringed with gold and it covers the upper half of her face. She blushes, and murmurs a soft, "thank you." He offers her his arm, and she takes it, gratefully, because she's afraid her knees will give and she'll collapse.

They walk into the masquerade ball together. Bright color and garish lights nearly blind them the second they enter. Meg blinks and holds his arm tighter. He protectively steers her away from the large crowd. They stop at a free space, and he puts one arm around her waist. Their hands clasp, and her fingers tingle with warmth. Her heart is racing again, and her knees almost buckle again. When she stumbles a little, he smiles and helps her steady herself.

Then they begin to dance, and she instantly forgets everything, Jérome, the prostitute Monique Dupét and the horrifying Edmund Jantot. All she can think about is Erik's arm around her waist and his hand in hers. And for a moment, everything is blissful and perfect. She tucks her head into his shoulder and closes her eyes, and contented smile on her face. Pulling away, she opens her eyes, and she stares into his. He is smiling back, and she feels her heart swell with… was it love?

They dance every dance together, until their feet hurt and their faces flush. He pulls her away and he grabs a flute of champagne for both of them. She takes him out to the rooftop, where it smells like spring and they can see the stars clearly, and they sit down on the cold stone. While they're drinking their champagne, he rests his hand hers, and she doesn't move it. She likes feeling the warmth and the slight pressure.

She takes another drink and smiles, thoughtfully. "You know, Jérome and I would always come out here and watch the stars," she says. "But I like much better with you."

He laughs, a soft, kind laugh. "Do you? Well, perhaps we should come up here more often."

She moves closer to him, and presses her body against his side. "Maybe we should," she whispers. The drink made her feel warm, and she rests her head on his shoulder, very comfortable.

As she's concentrating on keeping her drink from getting knocked over, he kisses her. He tastes like champagne and the food in the Opera house and surprise; nothing like Jérome, she thinks, and she kisses him back. After a few moments of comfortable silence, they stand and start to walk back to the ball. The hem of her full white and gold gown brushes the ground and his polished black shoes softly click as they walk slowly, trying to savor the night. They are trying to make this night last forever.

He kisses her goodbye at her the door to the dormitories, and she begs him to come see her again. Chuckling, he brushes her forehead with his lips. "Nothing could keep me away," he murmurs, "I'll see you forever," though she doesn't really know what that means. Her hand grips his tightly, and as he walks away, she lets it fall to her side, and she closes the door.