A/N: This is the companion piece to "Forever" and it fills in the gaps in that one. Note: this fic has attempted rape, so that's why is PG-13. Just so you know.
Pairings: OC/Meg, OC/OC, Erik/Meg (at the very end)
Warnings: Attempted rape
Summary: She feels a hand cup her chin. "Look at me, child. Do not fear me, I am the Opera Ghost."
"Meet me backstage when your practice is over, Meg." He whispers to her. Jérome's green eyes glitter in the candle light. She giggles and smoothes down her hair, which has been mussed in their passion, never more than the odd kiss, mind, because Mme. Giry would have a fit, and kisses him goodbye.
"I'll be there," she vows, and dashes off to rehearsal. The production, Antony and Cleopatra, is tonight, and she has to practice. Of course, she is only one of Cleopatra's maids, but she is still excited to be in the performance at all, because they play quite a big role. Because of her size, Meg rarely gets prominent roles in any of the ballets, so she's thrilled at the prospect at being on stage for more than three or four scenes.
Practice is hard, but it ends soon, because one of the dancers breaks her ankle, and , the ballet mistress,decides that the others need to rest. Meg nearly pushes the other girls out of the way to rush backstage to meet Jérome. She stops quickly at a mirror to run her scrawny fingers through her long black hair and then she's off again to meet Jérome. When she reaches their meeting place, she sees a sight that she did not expect.
Jérome is lying, tangled and almost naked, with a blonde girl Meg vaguely recognizes from a party. She thinks the girl's name is Monique, but she's not sure. The girl came off as very immodest and Meg saw her with at least three different men at the party. Meg's heart rips in two and she feels her throat close over. Tears spring to her those who know little Giry know that she rarely ever cries.
Jérome sits up. His shirt is unbuttoned and there is lipstick all over his face. "Meg! Er, this isn't what it looks like, it, er…" he trails off, and looks at Monique.
"Do you mind, little rat?" The whore snaps at Meg. Meg feels the anger rise in her, and she yanks off the necklace that Jérome gave her for her fifteenth birthday. She throws it at him as hard as she can, and then she turns on her heel and storm off.
When she reaches the hall near her dormitory, she sinks to the ground, sliding against the wall, and she starts to sob. She is shaking, when she hears a voice near her. "Little Meg?" It is Edmund Jantot. He is the handsome stagehand and a friend to Joseph Buquet. She doesn't know him very well, but he seems nice, and he was very handsome, and she let him sit down next to her. "What's the matter, Meg?"
"Nothing," she snaps, and blows her nose on the hem of her gown. She takes another shuddering sigh and lets her head fall back against the wall. He takes her hand and begins to stroke her palm. She's too sad to care. Shebarely notices his hand sliding from her palm to her thigh. However, she does notice when his fingers caress the inside of her upper thigh.
She shrieks and leaps to her feet. "How dare you touch me like that!" She screams and pulls her dress down.
He stands and leers at her. "Come on, Meg," he says, and presses himself against her in a bruising kiss. She pushes him away and tries to scream for help, but he clamps his hand over her mouth and starts to take off her dress. Suddenly she hears him make an odd gasping noise. His face is pale, and his tongue is hanging out of his mouth, bloated and blue.
She sees the lasso around his neck, and her eyes widen. "It's him. The phantom," she whispers to herself. From behind Edmund's still standing corpse comes a tall, imposing man dressed in all black, wearing a sweeping dark cape and a black mask. She tries to scream, but no sound comes out. Instead she drops to the ground, falls to her kneesand starts to cry again. Oh, God, this is how I am going to die. The Opera Ghost is going to kill me.
She feels a hand cup her chin. "Look at me, child. Do not fear me, I am the Opera Ghost." Meg wants to scream again. That is exactly the reason she does fear him. He lifts her chin, and she is face-to-face with the infamous Phantom. She gives a little gasp. "I just saved your life," he says in a most disapproving voice. "The least you could do is thank me."
"Thank you, monsieur," she whispers.
"What is your name, girl?" He asks. His voice softens as he looks at her tear-stained face and swollen, red eyes.
"Marguerite Giry, monsieur," she mumbles. She is still terrified of him, but he is acting almost human. Remembering what her mother said, she relaxes. Never, Meg, upset the Opera Ghost. He only attacks those who he sees as a threat to him. But why, then, had he killed Edmund?
"Are you a relation to the Madame Giry?" He says.
"I am her only daughter," Meg says, although she knows that's not really true. Not technically, anyway. Madame Giry treated all the girls in the Opera house like her own children. The irony of it was Mme. Giry seemed to care less about Meg, her only daughter by birth.
He helps her unsteadily to her feet. Her legs give way, and she falls against him. The dam breaks, and the tears came again, and she began to sob against him. She doesn't know why, but she feels safe with him. He makes her forget everything that just happened. For some reason, he holds her as she cries against him.
After she's cried herself out, she looks at him, Growing suddenly bold, she blurts, "monsieur, why did you kill him?" She points to the corpse of Edmund Jantot.
"He was a man who took advantage of young ballerinas. I have seen him rape them on more than one occasion." His voice is tinged with bitterness. "He had to be stopped before he ruined the ballet."
"Who did he…?" she trails off, not able to say the word rape, not when it almost happened to her. She shudders at the thought of Edmund's hands on her and her would-be fate.
"Many. I do not know their names."
"Why did you save me, then? Why couldn't you have killed him before, when you first saw him?" She asks.
He raises an eyebrow. "I didn't want to. But I saw him assaulting you and…" he stops, abruptly.
She changes the subject, not eager to think about how she looked when she was weak. "May I come and visit you some day? I heard that you lived underground." It would be so fascinating to live underground, she thinks.
He laughs. Not a cold laugh, like she would have expected, but a genuine laugh. "Why do you want to visit me? I'm the Opera Ghost!" He laughs again.
"And you told me not to fear you for that same reason." She counters.
He laughs again. "You are quite like your mother. If you bring her, Marguerite, then I would be most honored by your presence." He gives her a sweeping bow, before starting to leave.
"Monsieur!" She calls after him. He turns, and looks at her. "What if I come alone?"
He cocks an eyebrow. "I'll think about it," and he glides away.