Fandom: Moulin Rouge
Archive: At The Odyssey, the Jack Lives paradise for Titanic-change-lovers.
Feedback: Yes, please.
Part: Third part, only Love to go now. :)
Genre: Freedom, leaving the Moulin Rouge, illusion-story.
Song Credit: Come What May, Your Song...all songs from MR.
Disclaimer: Not my characters, this is fanfiction.
Summary: Less confusing than the last one hopefully. Basically an alternative ending. :)
The Duke was gone for the day, a business trip of some kind, Satine hadn't been paying attention as he told her. All that had been going through her head as he said he would be gone for at least a day, was that that meant that she and Christian could spend the day together, without having to fear discovery, without having to hide.
She smiled as she remembered the picnic only a few days ago, in a lazy village outside Paris, the Duke never noticing the looks she and Christian had exchanged. Maybe they could get away like that today, too? Without the Duke, just the two of them in the wonderful autumn day, dancing, singing, kissing…
Satine sank down on her bed, trying to imagine a world where she and Christian could be together every day, free and happy, able to love each other for the world to see. Away from the Moulin Rouge, that was possible. She frowned.
The Moulin Rouge had been her home for as long as she could remember. Harold had taken her in, she had been walking the streets as a teenager, barely a teenager, trying to stay alive after her mother had died of consumption. Her father had never been around and so, in Harold she had seen a father figure she had so desperately needed. Now, barely ten years later, she actually contemplated leaving.
She thought about Christian. He was handsome, he wrote beautiful poetry, but underneath it all, was he the one she loved? She had never been in love before. Never. She had just given men what they wanted, she had never felt this overwhelming feeling of wanting to hug him, hold him, breathe him in, be wherever he was, all the time.
Sometimes, kissing, touching, it had even felt disgusting to her, pointless. Pointless because it brought her nothing but a safe home, a loving family in Harold and Marie, pointless because she would never have a baby from it, she would never get married, have a normal life.
Away from the Moulin Rouge. That would never work. She would only be a burden to Christian. She didn't know how to work like normal people, all she knew was to be the sparkling diamond. He would surely get tired of her. Coughing painfully, Satine leaned back on the bed, curling up as she tried to force the convulsions to a stop.
Marie glanced inside the room, but left when she saw the state Satine was in. She frowned in sadness, wishing there was some way she could help the young woman. As she walked down the corridor, something struck her as odd about Satine, something more. Something she should have done, but hadn't. Marie shook her head. It was probably not important.
She ran into Christian on her way downstairs and kept him busy with some script problem. The boy seemed unusually excited about something. Of course. The Duke was gone today. Marie sighed. Harold had told her about the two lovers. She frowned again, watching Satine as she hurried downstairs, throwing herself into Christian's arms, knowing for certain that no one was there to see. The problem she couldn't remember about Satine had something to do with Christian, of that Marie felt sure as she walked away.
"Did you hear? Did you hear? He's gone today, Christian, we can do whatever we want…it's like we're free, finally."
Christian hugged her tightly, wishing he could treasure this moment forever. Satine smiling, happy, dancing around with him as if nothing was standing in their way. Right now, nothing was. He kissed her deeply, breathing in the scent of her, her perfume, her lovely air of freedom and beauty.
"So, what are the plans for today then?" he asked as they walked upstairs to her room. No matter how good it was that the Duke was gone, someone might notice them anyway and they couldn't take any risks. The future of the Moulin Rouge was on the line here, Satine thought, her mind on Harold and how hard it would hit him if he lost his beloved Moulin Rouge. She knew he had wanted her to break up with Christian, but how could she? How could she break up with him when all he did when she tried was to sing a song, wrap a blanket of poetry over her, make her forget the real world.
"Oh, I don't know, we could borrow the Duke's automobile, he did say I was free to use it…and we could go driving in the countryside."
Christian frowned. He didn't like the idea of using anything that belonged to a man Satine was supposed to give physical pleasure so that she had a roof over her head, but he loved thinking about them together in sunshine and in freedom, away from this place for once.
It was funny, but the Moulin Rouge didn't hold the same excitement or magic to him anymore. He loved working on the play of course and he enjoyed the dazzling colors, the magical knowledge that anything was possible, that the world could be gray and dark outside, but inside the Moulin Rouge, everything was sparking with color, girls, songs and carefree fantasies.
But, the truth was that Satine was the only one that really mattered to him and she would be the lovely creature she was anywhere in the whole world. She didn't have to be at the Moulin Rouge to be wonderful. How wonderful life is now you're in the world…in the world, not at the Moulin Rouge. Sometimes, Christian wished they could just take off, leave this world behind, and head out for new adventures, together.
He looked at her as she picked up some things to take with her, as she brushed through her long red hair, looking at him girlishly, smiling with such ease.
Sometimes, he wanted to forget about the bohemian lifestyle and just settle down with her somewhere, write simple poetry and have children with her. He wondered if it was the Moulin Rouge and Harold, or he himself writing the play of a lifetime, or Satine wanting to stay here, not wanting to have a family, a life away from here, that was stopping him. The bohemians spoke of freedom. Was anyone here really free?
Christian sighed lightly, envisioning a time when he and Satine would be truly free. Maybe after the play? Maybe Satine would be so successful, his words so successful that they could go anywhere they ever wanted. They could be free, together.
Worry glimmered in his eyes when he saw her sink down on the bed, holding to her chest. Coughing noises could be heard and he sat down next to her, touching her arm gently. He never thought about her coughing, fainting from time to time, feeling sick…like just the other night when he had been waiting for her, thinking she was with the Duke. But at times, a stab of worry entered his heart, like right now.
"I'm fine, Christian," she whispered, looking up at him. Fever was flaring in her eyes, but love overpowered it and he didn't notice. He just wrapped his arms around her, kissing her neck. She smiled over his shoulder, letting go of her own worries.
I just want to be with you, Christian…why can't we get away for real, forever…I don't even remember what was important about being an actress…a real actress. I would love to be a real star, but not if it will take you away from me. I can feel that this will take you from me soon. The Duke will want to sleep with me on opening night, nothing has changed, I'm just glad he doesn't know about our love…yet. After the Duke, someone else will be there, expecting my pretended love and affection. Christian…you're so naïve and so trusting…you will never be able to take it.
What if we did leave? Maybe it's time for me to go away? Maybe we can still be happy together if we leave now? Set out for freedom, for escape, for…no. Dammit, Satine, you can't do that to him. He's got his play and he deserves to finish it, to see what a success it is. You can't just expect him to walk away from this opportunity just because you're willing to.
Come what may…I will love you until the end of time…
"Do you…do you want to go then?" she asked softly, pulling back.
"Yes, of course we'll go…we'll have a great day, Satine, just wonderful…like your eyes," he finished, whispering as his hand moved over her face, getting lost in the tiniest beautiful features, the tiniest parts of her that made him want to write, made him want to get lost in the world of poetry for good…to write about his dream, his vision of beauty that was Satine.
She rolled her eyes smiling at him.
"You need help, Christian…you need help to focus on something other than poetry."
"Oh really?" Christian whispered, staring deeply into her eyes. She felt the familiar wants to sink down into a puddle on the floor that hit her every time he kissed her, touched her, held her. This was all so new to her. In love.
I never knew I could feel like this…it's like I've never seen the sky before…
Who cares about the sky when I can look into his eyes? And wish, wish he wants what I want, to get away from here. Is it even possible anyway? To leave? I'm not sure I could leave. This is my home, making my living by making love is all I've ever done. Can I really live somewhere else? Yes, she decided. If it's with Christian, I can.
Christian was driving the car, carefully steering it as it was his first time ever behind the wheels. He spoke about his father never allowing him to drive his car, since he felt sure Christian would only drive straight into a tree, obsessing over true love and never thinking about anything useful.
Satine laughed at him, placing her head on his shoulder. Together, they watched the Paris countryside fly past them, red, green, yellow, brown colors whirling together in the breeze, the gentle wind creating soothing whistles, making Satine want to fall asleep. She hadn't felt that good all day, it was one of those days when she just coughed and the fever was roaring strongly inside her. Christian mustn't know.
Deep inside, she knew what it was, and she knew she didn't have much time left, but she wouldn't say it aloud, she wouldn't even think it. Not now, not when I'm almost a real actress, when I've found a man I love more than anything.
"You know…when I first came to Paris…I thought Montmartre was the most magical place in the world. It seemed so free, so happy, so colorful. The Moulin Rouge is the source of all of it."
"I don't think it's that magical anymore."
"Oh?" Satine sounded disappointed. Did he want to go home to England, was that it? Was he tired of the play, of her?
"Because you're the magical part of it," he smiled, gazing at her. She shook her head vigorously, her hair flying about her face.
"You're insane," she whispered, but felt very pleased.
It feels like I'm letting go. It feels like I'm escaping the Moulin Rouge, the diseases, the prostitutes, the liquor, the drunken parties, the fake magic…the dirty streets and beggars. Finally, I feel free.
Satine frowned. She had always believed that she belonged with Harold, belonged as the sparkling diamond, the one woman every man wanted to have. She had always believed she didn't have any feelings, that feelings were bad. Up until meeting Christian, the thought of dying had only bothered her because she wanted to succeed first, wanted to be a real actress, not just some lady of the night swinging herself down in a ridiculous chair.
Christian had made her want to…want to simply be with him, lose herself in love. Maybe that was why she had been so careless when it came to hiding the romance? Maybe she just wanted to get away, leave the Moulin Rouge.
Christian was quiet, too. He was wondering what she was thinking about. He hoped she wasn't thinking about what they were leaving behind. He wanted her to think about him, about what at least he felt right now. It felt so right to be going away like this with her. It almost felt like nothing had been real up to now.
He had come to Paris to write about freedom, beauty, truth and love. The only problem was that he had never been in love. He had written. He had fallen in love. Which of the two was more important?
They stopped the car near the river Seine, sitting down on the grass together, opening the picnic basket, eating slowly, talking, laughing, kissing, forgetting everything else. Satine wished deeply that the moment would never end.
"Christian…do you…do you want to go back?"
He looked up, startled to see her face so uncertain. She had been paler than usual all day, but this was something else. She was nervous.
He thought for a moment. No. He didn't want to go back. Why should they have to? This wasn't school, it wasn't prison. They were both adults. Why should she have to belong to the Duke only, why should she have to sleep with him? Because Harold said so. Harold's words were the law. Did she want to go back?
"I…this is beautiful and lovely, don't you think?" he said softly. "I don't have to go back if you don't want to. We can…just leave the car here and find a place to stay in the village and I can write for a living and you can act in the local theater, they must have those here, at least I think so. Of course, if you do want to go back…the Moulin Rouge is your home…we can do that, too. It might be better anyway, but…"
"Oh Christian…you're babbling," she whispered, pulling him into a soft kiss, which quickly mounted in passion, leaving her lying on top of him. He was smiling at her, touching her arms as if he couldn't believe what he was looking at.
"So, we stay?"
Free at last.
Satine was leaning over the bucket painfully, throwing up blood mixing with food. Christian had already left that morning, to go to his job in the restaurant a few blocks away, where Satine worked, too, when she wasn't looking for jobs elsewhere, for both of them. That was what she had told him she was doing today. He had told her it was okay, for the hundredth time, that if they couldn't find anything, they could just go home to England.
Satine swallowed a tired sob, burying her head in the pillow. She felt so tired. It was almost Christmas now and she hadn't been feeling well for weeks. If it wasn't throwing up, it was coughing and she couldn't remember what it felt like not to have a fever.
Christian was beginning to notice her condition now, away from the magic that was Montmartre and he had asked a doctor to examine her. He had been there last night, telling Satine what she had already known. She was dying. He had also, with solemn sadness informed her that she was pregnant. The baby would die, too, he had said with hopelessness shining in his young, experienced eyes.
Satine tried to sing as she sank down against the pillows. Her voice wasn't what it had been. She wondered if this would have happened if she had stayed at the Moulin Rouge, too. If this had been killing her this soon there too. Maybe the magic there would have saved her? But she knew she was just grasping at nothings. She was going to die and she was going to kill Christian's child in the process.
Her hand touched her stomach gently, wishing that she knew how to tell Christian. He would be mad with grief, mad with sadness instead of with jealousy. Which was better? Freedom hadn't helped. The Duke hadn't been the enemy. He had been a minor complication. This was…death.
Painfully, she sat up in bed, writing down a quick, agonizing note to him and then she started putting on as many clothes she could find, wishing against all hope that she could at least live long enough to have the baby, to give to someone to give to Christian some day, telling him that this is our baby, Christian, take care of her and love her like we would have together. But it wasn't to be.
She stood on the freezing platform, waiting for the train back to Paris. She coughed into her shawl. Her teary eyes watched the blood with a mixture of acceptance and anger. Snow danced down on her blood and her tears. The train brought another set of wind and snow with it and she almost fell backwards, feeling how her strengths were slowly dying.
She had been about to board the train when the familiar voice rang out. Christian was standing there, wearing no coat, no shawl, his shirt almost invisible in the wind. He wasn't shaking. His eyes were red with tears, but his arms were strong as he lifted her down again, carrying her along the platform.
"It can't be true, Satine, it can't be true…I love you, you can't die. We're going to be fine." He hugged her tightly, whispering words of meaningless sweetness, whispering that he loved her and the baby, whispering that he wanted her to marry him.
He had been to see the doctor that morning, not believing that Satine had told him the truth – that she was fine – the evening before. He had reluctantly told Christian the whole truth, about the baby and about the consumption. As if struck by lightening, Christian had hurried back to the room they rented to find it empty, with only her tearful goodbye letter, in which she denied her love for him. Lies. All but lies.
It was so cold, but he didn't notice. All he felt was Satine moving in his arms, whispering weak words of love, of regret, even of apologies. She said she was sorry for dying, for taking their baby.
Christian couldn't stand it anymore. He sank down on the snowy ground, holding her tightly in his arms, kissing her cold face.
"You have to go on, Christian. For me. For our baby. We would have been so…" she coughed, spluttering blood all over the pale snow. "So happy together…be happy, Christian…I love you."
He buried his face in hers, kissing her, touching her eyes, her hair, her lips.
"It was lovely…being free," she breathed with difficulty. Her body was heavy in his arms. He sat there in silence, hugging her body in his arms, holding their love in his arms. Freedom had been sweet and it would last. It would last. Hold on Satine. I'll get you home. It's going to be all right. The Moulin Rouge can't hurt us, we're out here, we're free.
She stared unseeingly at him, tears frozen to her cheeks.