Author: Sarah the Hobbit, Saran VD, Sarah... I go by many names...
Feedback: Rocks my socks!
Rating: PG-13, just in case...
Summary: Found on IMDb: "In original drafts of the script, Satine had a three-year-old child and the story was told in flashbacks, told by Christian to the child."
Assuming that I'm good with timelines (which I like to think I am ^_^), this child is NOT CHRISTIAN'S, for they only knew each other for a year. So, this fic explores the times leading up to this child's birth as well as those after it.
Notes: I think I might be bringing this com back to life! *gasp*
For most women in France, it would’ve been a hellish night. But for Satine, the young and beautiful Sparkling Diamond of the Moulin Rouge, it was just another night’s work. True, the man had been at least 30 years older than her and balding, but she didn’t do it for the sex. She did it for the wad of money she held clenched in her right hand as she stared out the window of the elephant. Sighing, Satine found herself staring at the garrets that were located across from the Moulin Rouge. Dawn was breaking, and the sun was just beginning to peek over the roofs of the buildings.
Satine felt an automatic connection with the poor artists that lived in those garrets. While the rest of the world looked down on them and their dingy places of residence, the artists saw the rooms of peeling plaster as comforting; the tumble-down lofts became beautiful homes where they could just be. No pressure, no enemies, just them and their work, with maybe a friend or a lover thrown in the mix.
This was, in fact, similar to Satine’s situation. Men- mostly well-to-do older ones- often came to the Moulin Rouge, but they also looked down on it. Satine knew that they felt guilty about everything they were doing in the dark, without wives and friends breathing down their necks. She saw it in their eyes every time one of them finished with her. Despite the public’s opinion, Satine found the Moulin Rouge comforting; the garish lights and dancing girls became a beautiful home where she could just be. No pressure, no enemies, just her and her family of the other girls.
Speaking of which…
“What a night.” Satine heard Nini’s voice before the dancer entered the room, followed by Mome Fromage and Travesty. “So many of them clamoring for our attention.” Nini flopped on the bed. “I don’t know how you can stand it.”
Satine turned around to face her friend and shrugged.
“You think she enjoys it?” sneered Travesty, sitting on a chair. “She doesn’t enjoy it any more than we do. She is an actress, after all.” She said “actress” as if it were a worse profession than the one they already had. As if she’d rather be selling her body than performing on a stage (there was a reason, after all, that it was Satine that was the star performer).
“Well, at least you can earn your keep once in a while,” grumbled Mome. “I haven’t made anything all week. I don’t think Zidler will be too happy with that.”
“Honestly, Mome,” sighed Nini, sitting upright and rolling her eyes, “you complain far too much for a woman of your position. You’re one of our veterans, remember?”
“Veteran doesn’t mean respected or useful,” she fretted. “I’ve got nothing compared to Satine.”
This got Satine’s full attention. “Now, Mome, I really don’t know if-“
“Satine, shut up,” Nini harshly advised. “You’ll just make it worse.”
Satine turned to Travesty, who nodded in agreement.
“Is Mome complaining again?” It was a new voice, and it belonged to yet another cancan dancer; La Petite Princess. She was (debatably) the least popular of all the Moulin Rouge’s courtesans, mostly due to her small size. But she considered herself a protector, and it was her that warned the others about anyone shady or out of line.
“Hey, Princess,” Satine said, gesturing for her to join the others. “What was the holdup?”
“Making sure there were no pigs left in here after hours,” she said calmly. “And then I heard Mome complaining about having no earnings for this week, and I thought she should know that she’ll get to stay here.”
“Oh, thank God,” Mome murmured, looking relieved.
“But the week’s not over,” Princess pointed out. “We still have tomorrow night.”
“Friday,” Travesty whispered under her breath.
“Vendredi.” Mome let the word roll softly off her tongue.
“Oui,” said Nini, and she waved her skirts in the air. “Best night of the week!”
“Best night for business, not for us,” Travesty corrected, and Satine nodded her agreement.
“I don’t even know if I can work tomorrow,” Satine said softly.
“What do you mean?” asked Princess.
“Well, it’s been more than a month since I’ve… missed work, you know.”
“And if I don’t miss soon…”
All the other girls inhaled sharply, for they all knew what that meant.
“Maybe you’re just sick,” suggested Mome brightly.
“But I don’t feel sick,” Satine protested.
“She will soon enough,” Nini muttered to Travesty.
“Nini!” Princess snapped.
“No, she’s probably right,” said Satine sadly. “I might as well pack my bags now.”
“Haven’t you been protecting yourself from that?” asked Princess.
“I thought so.”
“Look, Satine, to be honest, I highly doubt that that’s the problem. It’s got to be something else, right?” Mome was pulling at strings, but she didn’t care.
“Mome, there are three of us agreeing that Satine is- that she isn’t sick. The only way to be sure would be to ask a doctor, I think that she would know best,” Travesty replied.
“So, Satine, do you think you’re pregnant?” asked Nini bluntly.
“No,” she said firmly. “I’ve never been very regular, anyway. Let’s just hope I miss tomorrow.”
It turned out that Satine did end up missing work on Friday, much to the disappointment of the customers. While this didn’t bother Satine at all, she did still have a problem with missing work.
The problem was that she didn’t miss it for the right reason. She was literally sick, or so it seemed. She was vomiting quite frequently and was unable to keep any food down. This only confirmed what the other girls had said that Thursday night, and the knowledge made Satine even more nauseous. When Satine told Zidler that she was sick (sick, not pregnant), his first question was, “What’s wrong?”
“I’m just sick, Harold,” said Satine in her gently persuading voice. “I’ll be back at work before you know it.”
“Just make sure to stay with us, my little strawberry,” he said solemnly, while nodding his approval that she avoid work for the time being.
And Zidler said, “Let Satine miss work without penalty,” and it was so. And Zidler looked at his sick little strawberry, and he said that it was not good.
Several months later, the incident was all but forgotten by Zidler and Marie, but not by the other dancers.
“You’re going to have to tell him soon, Satine,” Princess said one night after all the men had left.
“I know,” murmured Satine, and she folded her hands over her abdomen. She was beginning to show, but only barely; no one had caught on yet.
“Honestly, if she doesn’t say anything, I think I will,” Nini snapped.
“Don’t be unkind, Nini,” Mome hissed, but Nini ignored her.
“You’re going to have to tell Zidler sometime, Satine.”
At that moment, who should cross their path but Harold Zidler himself. Satine quickly dropped her hands to her sides. “Hello, Harold,” she said sweetly.
“What does she need to tell me, Nini?” Zidler asked without returning Satine’s greeting.
“Oh, Harold, it’s nothing,” Satine said quickly.
“Nini, what does she need to tell me?” he asked again, more sternly this time.
“Tell her, Satine,” said Nini, grabbing Satine’s shoulders and shoving her forward.
Princess bit her lip to keep from protesting, and Mome smacked Nini’s shoulder in frustration.
“Yes, Satine?” Zidler asked, smiling at his little strawberry. “What’s wrong?”
Satine took a deep breath, locked her eyes on his face and said, “I’m pregnant, Harold.”