A/N: Another Erik/Meg fic, because I've been reading my dear friend, Indes Elfwine's, absolutely lovely fic, Shadows of the Past. (Read and review it, because it will make me dance with joy.) It's probably my favorite phic I've written so far. :) And, because pedophilia is just nasty, I've made Erik only eight years older than Meg.

Dedication: To Indes, for being so awesome, an E/M and A/É shipper and writing me that wonderful Aragorn/Éowyn flungst. I love you. A lot.

Disclaimer: Phantom of the Opera belongs to Gaston Leroux. Not me.

Title: Portrait

Genre: Romance/Fluff (Yes, fluff is now a genre. According to me.)

Rating: PG

Pairing: Erik/Meg

Summary: Maybe this wouldn't be a haunting, musical masterpiece, but it was-no, it is- her. It was her portrait.


"Teach me how to play the organ," she demands.

He looks up from his discarded composition and regards her with a crafty eye. Then he laughs. "You're not ready," he says. He takes her hand, which was restingupon the giant organ,and presses it against his. It's so small, he marvels, compared to his. And yet they are alike. Both are slender, with long, skinny, knobby fingers. Both are pale. But hers are much smaller, considering hers are eight years younger.

He brushes a stray lock of black hair behind her ear. She smiles, and kisses his hand. He almost smiles, but puts on a business-like air. "Marguerite, go elsewhere. I need to write, and I desire space."

She rolls her eyes. "Oui, monsieur le fantome," Meg mutters. She walks away and sits on the cold, hard ground. After she's settled, she hugs her knees to her chest and rests her knees on them.

He is slightly frustrated. No good ideas to compose are coming to him. No music would float out of his house by the lake tonight. No music would capture the souls of wanderers and send them into a trance and haunt them until they slept tonight. Then he looks at her again.

Meg's hair is plaited into two, long braids. They fall over her shoulders, black as ink and shiny. Her dress was soaked when she arrived, so now she is wearing a pair of his black trousers and a white shirt he grew out of. The clothes are far too big for her, and they give her a younger appearance, and she looks almost innocent. But he knows that she is not as innocent as she looks. She is not innocent, but she is not… (he searches for the right word)… dirty.

When she sits and hugs her knees and braids her hair and wears clothes too big and her eyes shine like that, she reminds him almost of a child: bright, eager and small. He smiles fondly at her, and he realizes that he loves her. He loves when she looks at him like that, almost critically, but so lovingly and gently. He loves her impish smile and face, he loves her hair, black as ink, and shiny, and he loves her tiny hands and small physique. But what is love? He muses, for he never knew love before he met Meg. He never really knew anything but pain and hate before Meg.

His hands find their way to the organ's keys. He plays a few notes, and he wonders about what keys Meg would be. Probably higher ones, he thinks. He grabs a piece of paper and jots down a few words. Small, gentle tender, he scribbles. Black as night; big, shining eyes; tiny fingers; an oversized shirt;… Maybe this wouldn't be a haunting, musical masterpiece, but it was-no, it is- her. It was her portrait. He looks over at Meg, and is surprised to find her asleep.

Her cheek is still resting against her knees, but her eyes are closed. A smile is playing about her lips. He picks her up, she is surprisingly light, and carries her to her room. Her arms dangle and her long fingers brush the ground.

He places her gently in the bed, and when she sleeps she looks even more innocent. Slowly, he unties her braid, and when he's done, her hair, now curly and waved, flows around her on the white pillows. She makes a small noise, and, without opening her eyes, mumbles, but her demand wasn't softened by her fatigue, "sing to me." He smiles again. She's so small, she's a brat, she's demanding, and he loves her. He begins to softly sing the wedding song from Romeo and Juliet, one of his favorites, to her. She relaxes and falls back asleep. When he is sure she is sleeping, he kisses her softly and walks away silently.