When Jeremy Carriere finally arrived to Erik's "lair" he was surprised by the change of the place. Nothing had actually happened but still atmosphere was different. And to his greater surprise he didn't found Erik in the house but outside at the lake. During the day time. With Christine. And they were both laughing. Fact that Erik was laughing alone was incredible, but that he and Christine were laughing like lovers caught Jeremy off guard. It took him some time before he could get closer to them. Erik naturally had seen his arriving.

"Well Jeremy, it seems that you have dementia. I thought I had told you to stay away from here" Erik said, not angry but amused.

"I have came here because I have something we need to talk about, Erik" elder man said. He saw that Christine was trying to leave them so he added quickly "It concerns you also".

"Phil Chagny has been trying to contact you for the past week and is becoming terribly worried. I had to tell you because I'm afraid he may contact police and that would be bad for you Erik".

No shit, Christine thought. She was mentally kicking herself for not answering Phil's calls.

"Why didn't you call?" Erik asked, as if he hadn't heard a word Carriere had said.

"What?" Jeremy said, totally taken back by the question.

"You could have just called me. You have my number. Why did you bother to come here? To make sure I hadn't beaten the crap out of Christine?" Erik said obvious bitterness in his voice.

Jeremy's head went down. He hadn't actually thought about it, it had been subconscious reaction.

Erik was loosing his good mood. What does one have to do to be trusted here?

Christine started to walk to the house. "I'll call him now" she said and looked at Carriere with eyes saying Settle things.

As she left Erik didn't say a word but was waiting Carriere to choose a subject.

"So…" he started carefully "things seem to have gone well between you and Christine".

"Did you expect something else?"

Before Carriere had time to answer Erik continued. "I did. Couple of times I was sure she would leave. Especially after she had first seen, but she didn't leave. She stayed" Erik said, allowing smile to appear on his face. Jeremy had to smile also; this was a rare thing from Erik.

"Do you remember when you first saw your face, Erik?" Jeremy asked. Erik seemed to think about it a moment and finally shook his head.

"It happened here, on this lake. You were probably just five years old. We didn't live around here back then, but we came for a summer here. You were playing at the lake; you had a small boat that you were floating there. Then you happened to look at your reflection at the surface. First you thought it was some a sort of a sea monster…and then you realized the truth. It was not an easy day for either of us" Carriere said with a sigh.

"Did you love my mother" Erik said, after an awkward silence.

"Yes".

"And she let you see my face?"

"She saw nothing wrong with you. To her you were perfection".

"And what did you think?"

"Could have been better". Both men laughed at the comment. Then suddenly Jeremy decided to tell the truth. "This will sound melodramatic but I'm your father, Erik".

Neither of them said anything for a little while.

"I was wondering were you ever going to confess it" Erik said, dryly.

Both of Jeremy's eyebrows rose. He knew? How long?

Now Erik laughed with a dry and sad laugh. "The only thing I can look in my face, without wanting to destroy the mirror, are my eyes. But they are not mother's eyes, they're your eyes".

Carriere sighed. I should have known; just when you think you're going to surprise Erik, Erik surprises you.

"I haven't been the best father Erik, far from it. But there has never been a day with you that I would change" Carriere said. Erik nodded. That was their way to understand each others.

There was a moment of peace. Just before all Hell broke loose. Christine came out of the house saying that she hadn't been able to contact Phil when three police cars appeared. And out came, with few officers Alan Cholet, Ledoux and Phil Chagny.

What now?

Christine was running. She was running in the woods. She was running in the woods with Erik dragging her behind him. The things that had happened after police had come were spinning in her head. She didn't remember that in what order they had exactly happened. Erik had shouted something to Jeremy and he had leaved to the house. Phil had said he loved her. Cholet was demanding to arrest Erik. Ledoux told that he and Phil had planned this after they had met in some bar. They had followed Jeremy to house. They didn't have search warrant but Erik refused to come with them. He had started to lose his nerves. Suddenly he had hit Phil, who had accused Erik for kidnapping, though Christine did argue, right in the face, breaking his nose. And now they were running in the woods. Erik knew the forest better than anyone, but coppers were still coming.

Suddenly they stopped as they became back to river. Christine couldn't believe that river was there, they had just run away from there. Erik could read the question from her eyes.

"We lead them to believe that we ran in the middle of the forest, instead we circled them".

"It won't take long for them to realize that" Christine said.

"No, it won't" Erik said, suddenly turning to Christine. "Christine, do you trust me?" he asked.

Christine was caught off guard. "I…" she started, then without hesitating added "Yes, with my life".

"Listen to me carefully Christine. I'm not going to run away. I would have before this week, but I'm sick of hiding. I want to live in light with you by my side".

He wiped the tears that had dropped to Christine's cheeks.

"I will never admit that I would have kidnapped you, Christine. Nor will I go to prison or make you a fugitive. I love you, Christine".

Christine couldn't hold herself anymore. She threw her hands around his neck. "Erik… don't leave me. Y-you can't leave me. I love you; I don't want to be without you". She closed her eyes, praying that this all would be just terrible dream and that she would soon wake with her head on Erik's chest.

But this wasn't a dream.

"I will not leave you, Christine. Now listen to me and listen to me carefully" Erik said.

Very soon they heard that someone was coming. Before Phil, who was holding a tissue over his blood bleeding nose, came to them, they had already started to rise to the hill, but their run was cut off by reaching to a cliff.

"It's over now, you sick bastard! You can't take her anywhere anymore!" Phil shouted, seeing that there was no way to escape. "Let her go!"

Erik was looking his options. Dead-end everywhere.

"You will not have her, Chagny!" Erik shouted.

"Christine, come here to me. Everything will be okay" Phil gestured for Christine to come.

"No, Phil! I will not come! My place is here! I love Erik!" she was practically hysterical.

"Christine, you're hysterical, you don't know what your saying" Phil said.

"Oh I don't?" Christine asked, then walked from Erik to Phil, kicked him between legs and returned to Erik as Phil fell to ground tears coming from his eyes.

"That's for getting police to my boyfriend's house!" she yelled.

Erik was amused. Not only had she defended him but also called him a "boyfriend". His thoughts were broken by the sound of Cholet, Carriere and one officer, other obviously lost in the woods, coming.

Christine stood between Erik and others while Cholet was giving orders to the officer.

Suddenly Erik pushed Christine roughly to the ground and shouted: "DO IT!"

"I'm…sorry…" said almost whimpering male voice. Every head turn to see what Erik looked at to recognize Jeremy Carrier. Tears were coming from an old man when he raised his gun…and pointed at Erik.

BANG!

Erik's mask fell to the ground in front of Christine. She raised her head and from her tears saw how Erik's body disappeared. Erik fell from cliff and disappeared beneath the surface of the lake.

"Why?" asked a stunned officer from Carriere.

"I…I promised to him…that he wouldn't become a circus freak…he made me promise…so long ago…I never thought it would actually come to this…"

Christine could only slightly hear him. She was crying now openly and held Erik's mask in her hands.

Three weeks later:

Christine was at the train station. She was going to leave the town and opera house. It had been three weeks since Jeremy had shot Erik. She was planning to return for a little while back to Aunt Valerious and then start somewhere else. Where, she didn't know yet.

It was late at the train station. Beside Christine there were only two people, one pregnant woman and a hooded man who seemed to be listen hip-hop or something like that. Christine only barely even noticed them there. Finally she saw train coming. Just as she was about to take her bag and move closer she heard someone calling her.

"I thought I would find you here" Phil said. He was taking heavy breaths so he must have run to the railway station.

"Well thought" Christine replied dryly.

Phil sighed. "It doesn't have to be like this Christine. I know that as time goes we could be happy together. We-"

"No, Phil" Christine said, not angrily. "We couldn't be happy together, Phil. You're sweet and all but we belong in totally different worlds. You have your family name and company and all. All I have is my voice and what I have in…" she placed her hand to her heart "…here".

Phil took a deep breath. "And what do you have in there".

"Music" she said. "His music" she clarified.

In some dark corner of his mind Phil had known that coming after her wouldn't change a thing. It had been that moment when Erik had been shot and his mask had fallen. It had lasted only for a second but Phil had seen Christine looking him with so much love in her eyes. Phil hoped that one day someone could look him like that.

"So…this is goodbye then" Phil said.

"Goodbye, Phil" Christine said, giving him her first smile in three weeks. Then she went to train and Phil watched as train disappeared in the night.

Inside the train Christine was looking a seat for herself. Beside the pregnant woman and hooded man there was no one else that she could see. She waited for a moment for pregnant woman to get a seat, before she sat down. For a moment she just silently stayed put on her place before she couldn't take it anymore. And so she threw herself to hooded man's arms.

"I missed you" Erik said, putting his hands around her.

"I missed you also" Christine said, doing what she had longed to do for three weeks. She kissed him.

When they parted she asked him: "Can we be together now, Erik?"

"Yes, my love, we can".

Christine placed her head to his shoulder and started to think back what had actually happened.

Of course Erik had known the forest better than anyone, so it really wasn't a surprise that he knew from what part of the cliff would be safe to jump. What had been surprise was what Jeremy had done. Shot him with blanks, making it look real. Jeremy had thrown his own freedom away so that his son could have one. Well, Jeremy wouldn't stay in prison for long. Erik had removed every camera and microphone from opera house, so there was no evidence connecting him to that. And they actually did have a contract that allowed Jeremy to kill Erik, in case of him being arrested. No, Jeremy wouldn't stay away for long.

Erik had explained all to Christine on that day in forest, before Phil had come, what would happen.

And yesterday Erik had again been in opera house, like a ghost, without anyone noticing. He had said goodbye to the house that had been his only reason to live for so many years. But now, as Erik looked at the young woman beside him, he had found the real reason to live.

And now, maybe perhaps now, they could be happy together.

FIN.

Well, there it is. My first fanfic in reposted. I've done better since. Big thanks and applauds to Anges Radieux, who helped and inspired me to repost this. Hopefully the grammar wasn't as bad this time as it was then.