Title: Phantom of the Opera: The Real Story

Author: LadyJaye

Disclaimers: I own nothing associated with Phantom of the Opera. All names and situations herein are coincidental, any similarities are not intended. The songs included herein are not mine, credit list at the end of the story.

Summary: SONGFIC What if what everyone believed to be fiction were real. This is what really happened. ALW/movie based

Rating: M

Category: Romance/Angst

A/N: Please note that at the beginning of the story Kimberlee is 16, Erik is 18 and Meg and Christine are 14. I will include a song credit list at the end of the story; however I may delete lyrics as I go along so hopefully this story will not be pulled.

Kimberlee Shaw held out her hand to her father Jonathon as he helped her out of the limousine which had brought them to their final destination, Paris' world renowned Opera Populaire. At the age of 16, this would be Kimberlee's first and final trip to Paris as her father had just become manager/part owner of the Opera House. Waiting for them was her father's best friend and the other half of the ownership, her "uncle" Michael Lefavre. The two men had known each other from childhood and greeted each other with a hug and slaps on the back. Kimberlee just stared at the Opera house, at its architecture and wondered about the history of it all. But mostly she wondered why her father had deemed in necessary to tear her away from her friends and the rest of their family now.

Her mother had been killed in a car accident 6 months earlier and since then her relationship with her father had been strained as she tried to move on. As with most girls her age she was busy with friends, social activities and most of all… boys. Kimberlee had a few guy friends, but there was one boy in particular that she liked and they had just started to officially date when her father suddenly announced at dinner one night that he and Michael had purchased the opera house and they would be moving to Paris in one month. Kimberlee of course argued and made it very clear that she did not want to move, but her father told her that she had no choice in the matter, that his decision was final. He had made it quite clear on a few previous occasions that he did not approve of her "boyfriend" because he was a senior and she a junior but he allowed them to continue seeing each other before they moved, hoping that once they arrived in Paris, she would forget all about him.

The night before they were to leave California behind forever, Kimberlee's friends threw a going away party for her and they all made promises to keep in touch. Now as she stood outside the Opera Populaire she remembered all these things and looked at her father as he made his way up the stairs with Michael. She remembered the words she told her friends before she got onto the plane, 'this is a once in a lifetime chance and I am excited. But, I'm not going to let my dad know that or he will think he's won.' 'Kim, just go and have fun, flirt with some French men and drive your father crazy. He'll send you home for spring break if you make him crazy enough' her best friend Amanda told her. Kimberlee took a deep breath and started up the stairs after her father, secretly suppressing a smile at the adventure that lay before her.

As the threesome entered the opera house they could hear the rehearsals taking place on stage echo through the empty halls. Jonathon couldn't suppress the smile on his face imagining his daughter one day on that stage singing as he and her mother had dreamed for her. The group met with the retiring manager Mr. Davis and he led them to the auditorium discussing the business and began introductions. Kimberlee had strayed away from the men into backstage. Almost everyone who had been there was now on the stage listening to Mr. Davis and being introduced to the new managers. She didn't wander too far before a shiver went down her spine. She had the feeling that she was being watched and when she glanced up to the catwalk above, she could have sworn that she saw a figure in black stepping into the shadows. She strained to see clearer but was called back when her father introduced her to everyone.

Once introductions were over, Mme Giry came over to her and personally welcomed her. Kimberlee learned that she would be staying in the dormitories with Mme Giry's 14 year old daughter Meg and her friend Christine Daae. The two girls led her to their room chatting away furiously asking her all sorts of questions, Kimberlee answered their questions as best she could, all the while secretly rolling her eyes. Her father smiled at Mme Giry and nodded his thanks to her as the girls walked away. If there was any way he could keep his daughter in line, Mme Giry had found it putting her with two younger girls, and they would keep her on her toes.

Meanwhile, in the shadows above the catwalk, the man that Kimberlee had seen from below watched the scene unfold before him. He had already heard about the new owners and the girl who was with them. He repeated her name in his head, 'Kimberlee' and then dropped the note to the floor below. He watched as Mme Giry picked up the note and then disappeared back to his home below.

One Week Later

Thanks to some casual mention by both her father and "uncle", Kimberlee was now a part of the chorus at the opera house. She enjoyed singing, but she enjoyed her type of music which was basically everything but opera. Nonetheless, she sung without complaint during the day and once rehearsals were over she would explore the passageways. She dared not tell Christine or Meg about her explorations, she didn't want anyone to find out and try to stop her. One evening after supper she was finding herself much deeper into the passageway than she had ever been before when suddenly her light gave out. She shook her flashlight but nothing came of it. She started to feel around the walls to see if she could feel her way out, but it seemed like she had reached a dead end.

An old childhood fear of the dark came upon her and she started to panic. She sat down with her head between her knees and started to rock and sing to herself quietly. The song she sang was 'Hush little baby', her mother used to sing it to her when she would be afraid and it had always calmed her. Her voice started to carry down the passageway until it reached a vast cavern where the man she had seen in the shadows lived.

He strained his ear to hear where the sound was coming from and then cautiously followed the sound. After what seemed like hours, Kimberlee had calmed herself and was preparing to try to find her way out again when she thought she saw a dim light coming towards her. She stood looking down the passageway; sure enough the light was moving towards her. She froze in fear not knowing what to do she started to step backwards without turning away. She tripped on a stone and fell on her butt letting out a shriek. Suddenly the light was right in front of her and a hand was extended toward her.

"Who are you? What do you want with me?" she stammered.

"My name is Erik. What are you doing here?" he asked

"I was exploring this passageway when my flashlight gave out."

"Take my hand, I won't hurt you."

Kimberlee reached for his hand and when she placed it in his, he gripped it tightly lifting her off the ground.

"Come with me, we should make sure that you have not hurt yourself first."

"Okay" she replied quietly.

She could only see the left side of his face in the light and she was breathless. He was very handsome and probably not much older than she was. She quickly felt her pulse rise and butterflies in her stomach. He continued to hold her hand and led her further underground until they reached the cavern. The sight before her was incredible. Everything was handcrafted and there was an organ in the room also. She saw many more 'hallways' leading to who knows where. He let go of her hand and she suddenly felt disappointment at this. He came back to her holding a first aid kit.

"Sit down; you have a cut on your hand."

He was now facing her and she could see that he truly was a handsome man, curious about the mask he wore on the right side of his face she reached out to touch it. He jerked away from her quickly and looked at her with anger in his eyes.

"No, my mask stays."

"I'm sorry….. I'm too curious for my own good sometimes" she replied quietly.

"I'm sorry I snapped at you, I'm not used to having anyone this close to me, let alone in my home" he said as he cleaned her hand and put a bandage on it.

"This is your home? It's incredible. How long have you lived down here and why?"

"I have lived here below the opera house for 7 years now. As for the why, I do not wish to discuss that, I don't like to talk about my past."

"I understand. I just realized that I haven't introduced myself, my name is Kimberlee."

"I know; you are the manager's daughter are you not?"

"Yes, how did you know?" Then it dawned on her, "I saw you in the catwalk above the stage the day we arrived here right?"

"Yes, that was me, I thought I had hidden quickly, but not quickly enough I see."

"Good, I was beginning to think I'd lost my mind." She looked down at her hand which he had just finished bandaging for her and suddenly she felt weak, if she had been standing she was sure that her knees would have buckled under her. "Thank you Erik, for everything. I'm glad I met you."

Erik looked up at Kimberlee's eyes and saw in them kindness and compassion. Two things he had ached for his whole life. Suddenly he felt something inside him stir and became very aware that he was much too close to her and didn't want to stop himself from leaning in closer. He gently placed a kiss on her cheek, stood up and held his hand out toward her.

"Come, I'll take you back to the dormitories before your father misses you."

Kimberlee was a little surprised by the kiss she'd received from him but managed to compose herself so she didn't appear so shocked. She took his offered hand and stood up. He led the way in silence and she followed, she wondered to herself what could have hurt him so deeply that he stayed hidden away beneath the opera house and didn't let anyone get close. She decided then that she wanted to be his friend, someone he could talk to and spend time with…okay so she also had a crush on him, but she wasn't going to let that influence her at all (yeah right). Once they neared the dormitories Erik told her the rest of the way. Before she left him, he took her arm in his hand and looked at her.

"Kimberlee, I would ask that you keep your knowledge about me to yourself and not to tell anyone how to find me?"

"I will. May I come visit you again sometime?"

"I think I would like that, just don't take the way you took before or you could get lost again. Come the way we have just taken, it's the safest way down below."

"Thank you again… for everything."

She quickly placed a kiss on his cheek before going to her room. Erik watched her go, stunned himself by her kiss, then turning around made his way back to his lair. Had he really just accepted her into his world, even said she could visit him?

Thus began the relationship between Erik and Kimberlee.

A/N Please review, this story is complete (I had no intention of posting it but everyone said I should so I am). The more reviews I get, the faster I will post new chapters.