Fandom: Moulin Rouge
Archive: At The Odyssey, the Jack Lives paradise for Titanic-change-lovers.
Feedback: Yes, please.
Part: Technically the second part, but I still have to write Freedom Love, too.
Genre: Love and a lot of symbols and explaining a few things about Beauty.
Song Credit: One Day I'll Fly Away, ELM...all songs from MR.
Disclaimer: Not my characters, this is fanfiction.
Summary: A very confusing and symbolic story about the beauty in the movie, the beauty within and in appearances.
Satine stood on the roof of the Elephant, singing at the top of her lungs. It felt like she was flying already, flying away from this place. But where to? She looked down, feeling the usual strain when she took a breath. It was odd that it didn't happen more when she was singing on stage. She paused for a moment, wondering when it would go away.
"One day I'll fly away, leave all this to yesterday. Why live life from dream to dream and…" Her bright and loud voice died down a bit, she was almost whispering now. "…dread the day when dreaming ends? One day I'll fly away, fly, fly away," she sang quietly, sitting down on the bench behind her, watching the sky.
She hugged herself, holding on to the red dress as she looked at the city, below her, above her, around her. It was so beautiful. So incredibly beautiful and still, she felt like she didn't belong, no, not didn't belong, like she wasn't there at all, like she was fading. She felt empty. A sudden noise, weak as ever, made her wince and turn around.
Her movement was quicker when she saw the young man from earlier that night. Gasping she stared at him with surprise. What was he doing there? Had he heard her sing? Her thoughts escaped to the place where he had been singing to her earlier, making her…no, she couldn't. What was his name? Christian? He still had that strange light in his eyes. Beautiful. How could she have thought he was a duke for one minute?
"Sorry, I'm sorry…I didn't mean…I saw…I saw your light on. I climbed up the…"
"I couldn't sleep and…I…I wanted to thank you for helping me get the job."
She felt confused for a while. What job? All they had done was sing a little, dance a little, thought up some strange love story. Oh, right!
"Oh, of course. Yes…Toulouse…Toulouse was right. You are…you're very talented. It's going to be a wonderful show. Anyway I…I better go because we…we both have a big day tomorrow."
Why stuttering? She wondered, swallowing hard as she turned from him. Her voice was strong, sounding like it always did, in control, loud, secure.
More words, more opportunities to really fall in love with him. Christian looked at her as if he had found a diamond. His smile was even sillier when he spoke to her and he tried to surround her, to stop her from leaving. Satine shook her head beautifully, the red locks dancing over her face, shoulders. He didn't stop talking, trying to convince her that love was needed in life.
"No! Love…is like oxygen."
Satine stared at him, feeling like laughing and crying at the same time. This man was such a fool. Love couldn't help, love didn't do one good thing. It just fooled people into thinking there was something more than getting up every day, going to work, smiling, singing, playing a role.
Toulouse watched them quietly from his vantage point on the roof. They were moving now, Christian was climbing up on the glass top, Satine was trying to get him to come down. Her red dress flew in the wind, taking her hair along, creating a vision of color and splendor. Against the dark-blue sky, she seemed like an alive fairy. He sighed lightly, watching them disappear. He could still see them inside, singing.
I told him he was a true bohemian. Only a true bohemian would fall in love with a woman who sells herself. Toulouse shook his head. Beauty…it made you fall, fall hard and it hardly ever gave you anything for it.
"Just for one day. We can be heroes, forever and ever. We can be heroes forever and ever. We can be heroes just because…"
Singing still, their voices strong and hopeful, forgetful of the world outside, of the world that held not beauty, but cold fear and worry. Whispering something to him, Satine leaned closer and they kissed slowly, with building passion.
Outside, the stars answered their love with explosions and fireworks, creating another vision of color.
Oh beautiful love was, Toulouse thought, his hand shaking as he emptied yet another glass of the green fairy potion, pretending it was something more than alcohol, that it was a potion to make him beautiful.
"How wonderful life is, now you're in the world..." he whispered to himself. Jealousy didn't enter his mind. It's hard to believe, but it was true, he would never even think about being jealous of Christian. Beauty. Such a simple word, sung with the bohemians, whispered in the dark. Satine was beautiful, no doubt about that.
He climbed back inside, almost losing his balance on a number of times, but landed safely inside. His head appeared in the window. The Elephant was dark now and he heard giggling voice, laughter and kisses. Toulouse smiled weakly and stepped back, promptly passing out on the floor.
Satine was kissing Christian deeply, letting herself get swept away for the first time in her life. Someone, she couldn't remember who it had been, had told her never to fall in love, that it was bad for business, but how could she not fall in love with Christian? The man who had made her feel truly beautiful, truly wonderful, not just a lovely woman to spend a night with. He loved her, her, not her body.
Tears came to her eyes as they lay back on the bed. The blanket whirled over their bodies. She giggled. He smiled at her, the expression of having won, of having been right, still dancing in his beautiful eyes. She smiled at him, pulling him closer.
She knew how to do this, she knew how to make love to a man. This time, it was different. She was in love with the man in her arms. Suddenly, as she looked at him, she realized that this was how it should be. Not another stranger in the night, but someone she loved.
She was about to say something to the effect of that, not word for word what she had been thinking, she still had her dignity of wanting to be right all the time, when she felt the tightening in her chest, the trouble breathing, the coughing. Black spots danced before her and she drew a deep breath, kissing him softly.
He didn't say a word, he just let his hand move over her face, concern shining from his eyes. She kissed his chest lightly, getting lost in the world that was love, not mere sexual activity.
Remembering how he had sung to her earlier that night made her close her eyes once more, repeating the words of his song to her quietly. He had the most wonderful voice, so strong and beautiful and at the same time, very manly, very secure.
Her face was pressed against his chest for a moment and he felt her hands move, with such exquisite experience, over his body, touching everything just the right way, making him moan and fill with pleasure.
She didn't hesitate, until she faced him again and then he saw the little girl in her, the little girl she had tucked away and hid as soon as she had to, when she had to give pleasure to strangers. Her eyes were big and very blue and very innocent.
The red locks fell in her face and with a graceful movement, he pushed them away, smiling naively at her. Kissing her soft skin, touching her firm torso, her milky-white breasts. She trembled when she felt his touch and he glanced at her slowly, wondering why she would want him to slow down.
It was as if all her years as a courtesan had been stripped from her and she was little again, wondering what to do. His own hands were shaking, passion and excitement running through him.
Innocence and the colors of her hair, the colors of her eyes, it all melted into a beautiful image in his head. She pushed his head closer and kissed him. Her lips, how could he forget them…the red, soft, firm lips pressed to his, her hands moving over his body until he grabbed a hold of them, reveling in their softness, the simplicity that she presented to him. Simplicity of appearance, of loveliness.
"I don't want you to sleep with him."
"He could destroy everything…It's for us… You promised… you promised me you wouldn't be jealous, you pro… it will be alright, yes, it will. He's waiting for me…"
"Come what may…"
"Come what may…"
She left him standing there. His heart was breaking and the pain was ripping a hole inside him. He couldn't bear the thought of her having to give himself to that…that other man, the man who wanted her desperately. She was doing it for them. For them. He had known the pain in her eyes as well as the one in his own.
Her soothing voice, while the pain shone through her, too, taking care of him, reassuring him. Sacrificing herself so that the play wouldn't be ruined, so that the Duke wouldn't do anything worse. What worse meant, Christian had not known then. He had not known when he was singing as they danced the dance of jealousy and violence, as the song tore inside him. He should never have fallen in love with her.
Worse was…when he didn't know what she was doing, what she was giving up and how. Worse was when someone lied.
Loveliness, her face, hidden under the veil, the black veil, foreshadowing something he could not comprehend, yet. Her forced smile. The lovely colors of the scene had changed to darker ones, changing the mood and the feeling.
Something was wrong. The words she spoke were a lie, but he had to believe her. He had to. He questioned her over and over, begging her to tell him the truth, the real truth, but she hadn't. She just looked at him, turned, everything seemed to be going in slow motion, everything seemed to move so fast.
She left. He stopped her in the doorway, putting his arms around her, trying to make her stop, anything to make her tell him what was really going on. She lied once more, but the lie was too deep for him to understand it. She was the Hindi courtesan and she chose the Maharaja. She chose the Duke? Christian couldn't understand it. He simply couldn't believe it.
Pain flickered in her eyes when she saw his. Sacrifice. I'm giving him up for his own good. I can't let them kill him. He has to live. Christian, don't you see, I'm going to die anyway, but you have to survive, I won't let them hurt you. Even if…this way means that you will hate me. Just as long as you survive. Please, just go on…you have so much to live for. You can write that novel now, that story…about freedom, beauty, truth and love. You know what it's like to be in love now…
Tears broke her façade and she stared at him helplessly. Darkness had clouded his mind now and he let her leave, without seeing the look of despair in her delicate face. Without noticing the plea, the useless wish for truth, for a happy ending. It was already orchestrated, but no matter what you do, you can't stop the inevitable.
Music vibrated on the stage. The colors mixed together in a wonderful chaos of noises, music and flowers. In the middle of it all were the two lovers, reunited at last, together, arms stretched out to one another, smiling, singing together, singing alone, singing with the group.
It was a perfect picture of a happy ending. Beauty was truly there, mixing with the love and the freedom. Truth wasn't there. It was all an illusion. Brecht would have shaken his head and left the show, muttering about not being able to see the reality of the situation. But he wasn't there.
He wouldn't have understood it anyway. It gave pleasure to the senses and to the mind, it didn't make you think and wonder what the characters should have done, what they should have noticed, what they should have been able to stop. It was pure pleasure, pure illusion. No one would see the truth, the ugly, naked truth, or would they?
A young girl sitting next to her mother in the third row watched in rapt excitement. All of a sudden, in the middle of the end of the song, her mother looked at her, surprised to see tears in the young girl's eyes.
"What is it?"
"It's so beautiful, mommy, but…it's sad, too, I don't know why."
The mother looked up in confusion, staring at the colorful stage, wondering for a moment if her daughter really ought to read so many books. It gave her too much imagination. That could never be good. The play was going to have a happy ending, that much was clear to anyone with open eyes. Why was it sad?
People cheered, people clapped, seeing only the illusion, the fantasy, the pretend-perfect-ness of the picture. The young girl clapped too, but there was a strange expression of worry on her face as the curtain started to go down.
Hero saves the day. Zidler was a hero, Toulouse was another one. Christian another one, though some might say he could have done more.
There is only so much a hero can do.
The curtain fell. Darkness came with it. No more luminous colors, light laughter, bright voices, singing together in triumph and happiness. No more light.
Satine smiled at him. Smiled. Continued smiling, but her face was strained now. He didn't notice. The clock had finally reached the end of the room, time was up.
She fell backwards, landing safely in a shocked Christian's arms. His hands moved over her cold arms, not understanding. What was happening? She didn't look up.
"Satine!" His voice was desperate. Her loved face was pale and she shook in his arms with even deeper coughs. She sunk deeper into his embrace.
"Satine…tell me, tell me, what's the matter? Tell me…Satine…what's the matter? God…oh my god! Someone get some help!" Blood was trickling from her lungs, escaping her tired body, staining her small mouth, brightening the lipstick.
Weak words escaped her lips. She was having immense trouble breathing already, she was apologizing. Christian didn't believe her. She couldn't be dying. She couldn't be leaving him. He didn't think he could bear not seeing her face for the rest of his life, waking up to seeing her happy, mysterious eyes gazing down on him. Teasing him about his writing, pride shining through her throaty whispers close to his ear.
"I'm cold…I'm cold…cold…hold me…you've got to go on Christian. You've got so much…to give. Tell our story, Christian. Yes, yes…promise me, promise me…I will…I'll always be with you…"
He knew he had spoken at some time. He had said some words that made her calm down, he had promised her to go on, to tell their story, to give her eternal life. But he couldn't think. He had trouble breathing.
Sobbing, he hugged her tightly in his paralyzed arms and all that ran though his mind was that he wanted her to breathe again, that he wanted her to live. It couldn't be over just like that. He had held her when she was cold, sung with her to make jealousy go away, to make a perfect world where only the simplicity of their love lived on, where the bohemian revolution truly lived.
Toulouse felt tears trickling down his face, ruining the makeup, making him look more like a sad clown than a magical sitar. He felt Christian's heart breaking once more, only this time, it was permanent. This time, Satine wouldn't come rushing back, saying she had changed her mind. This time, beauty, of the moment or of the appearance had not helped.
The illusion was complete. No one there to keep it alive anymore. The audience waited in vain to see the happy ensemble again. Christian waited in vain to see his love again.