A/N: Set in the spring after "Spectacular, Spectacular." Christian did not
show up to save her and Satine is not dying. Get it? Got it? Good.
She must have replayed that scene a thousand times over in her head.
"I am the Hindu courtesan and I choose the maharajah."
Her cold tone, his crestfallen expression, the glint of unshed tears in his
eyes, the sharp pang in her heart after the words left her mouth; all of
this, over and over in Satine's distraught mind.
She had never been praised for her intelligence, but this confirmed it.
She was stupid. Completely, utterly, unfailingly stupid. Stupid for
listening to Harold, believing his words. Stupid for taking this damned
position with the Duke, tricking him into thinking she loved him, all for
the damned Moulin Rouge. Stupid for letting the love of her life, the only
one who could have saved her, go.
"I'm so sorry, my dear Duke-" That was the noise nagging on her ear,
interrupting Satine's reverie momentarily.
"Please, darling, call me by my first name."
"Mmm?" Oh, this was a bind! She did not know his first name, as all the
time she had known him Satine had called him "Duke."
"Alfred. But of course you knew that, my dearest Satine. Champagne?"
"Please." She let him pour the amber liquid into her slim crystal glass and
took a delicate sip. Even champagne reminded her of Christian. "Damn you,
Satine!" Her conscience said to her. "You've got to stop this foolishness!
It's the Duke who will give you what you want, not the penniless poet."
"But it's the penniless poet I want," said the other side of Satine's
"Darling? You are distracted tonight."
"SNAP OUT OF IT, SATINE!" Shrieked her conscience, waking her up and making
her leave her thoughts behind.
"Oh, I'm so sorry! I simply have so much on my mind, after the success of
the show and all. You must understand."
"Completely." He held his glass up in the air and she caught her reflection
in it. She was, as always, breathtakingly beautiful, but now that glow
that had once surrounded the Sparkling Diamond was gone. Putting on a
smile to disguise her misery, Satine clinked her champagne goblet to his in
a toast. "To Satine, and all our tomorrows."
All our tomorrows. All OUR tomorrows; Satine noticed his stress on the
word and her heart sank. She looked around nervously, hating the
sweltering wealth consuming her. The red velvet, the elegant, impeccably
polished mahogany, the glistening silver, the maids and the waiters; all of
it sickened her. She would be swallowed by this, both Alfred and his
"Whatever happened to that little writer, Satine dear?"
"I don't know, Alfred. I think he must have left France, for not even
Toulouse has seen him since the day of opening night."
"Ah, very well. He had a habit of putting a damper on things, did he not?"
"Oh, indeed." Indeed NOT, screamed Satine inside. It was you, Alfred, who
did that, never Christian. Never, ever Christian.
Later, having satisfied themselves with a meal fit for Queen Victoria
herself, Satine and the Duke retired to the garden of his France chateau.
Twilight had descended upon Paris; deep velvety purple dotted with diamonds
of glittering stars, far more shining than the jewels about Satine's neck
and wrists. The heavy aroma of English roses filled her brain and all the
wine and champagne consumed had Satine just a bit dizzy. "Lovely night, is
it not?" She asked.
"Very. Not as lovely as you, my darling." He smiled at her, fluttering his
eyelids in a way she supposed he thought to be flattering but was
"You flatter me."
The rose in Satine's hand threaded through her nervous fingers until the
thorns finally cut into the delicate flesh. She watched silently as her
crimson blood formed on the tip of her finger and wished she were Sleeping
Beauty so a prick on her finger would make her sleep one hundred years.
Satine plucked the petals off the pale pink flower, letting them drop to
the ground like the pieces of her broken heart of glass.
"I have a proposition for you," once again, his irritating voice cut into
Satine's trance-like state.
She turned her face to him, eyebrows raised in question. "Yes, my very dear
Alfred rose from his chair and paced beside a rosebush before finally
stopping to stand before Satine. She looked down, pretending to be a
docile female studying the folds of her emerald silk dress.
"You know you are very dear to me."
She dreaded the next words.
"I cannot envision myself in the future without you by my side as my
Satine hoped her eyes weren't bulging out with shock.
"And since we share the same feelings," Alfred dropped to one knee and
pulled out a small box covered in red leather. Satine nearly died of
horror. "I am asking you this. Will you, Satine LaBelle Zidler, be my
wife and the mistress of the Monroth empire and let me give you everything
He flipped open the lid of the jewel box and, nestled in fine creamy silk,
sat the hugest, most glittering, ugliest diamond she had ever seen.
I am a diamond. They paid for me in diamonds. They bestowed diamonds upon
me. My heart is a diamond. A diamond is a stone. Diamonds are beautiful,
sparkling. But they are also hard, heartless stones. I am a diamond, and
this is my fate.
No, no, no, no, no! This wasn't happening. She was drunk on absinthe,
hallucinating. The Duke was not proposing to her and asking her to be the
Duchess of Monroth. Of course not. This was a dream; a nightmare. Satine
would open her eyes and there beside her would be Christian, sleeping
soundly as a little boy, freckled nose and hair rumpled. She would tell
him of her dream and they would laugh together at the sheer insanity of it
"Act overjoyed, Satine," said Courtesan-Satine to the dumbstruck woman in
the garden. "Say yes. He can offer you anything you desire."
"Don't do it!" Instructed the other Satine in her mind. "Refuse politely
and run away, run away as quickly as possible; run to Christian, who loves
"Don't listen to that silly romantic side. Christian doesn't love you
Satine smiled and found the courage to stare Alfred in his watery green
eyes. "Alfred," she said, taking his hand and rising in a smooth motion
from her chair. "I would be very happy to be your wife."
He grinned and shoved that huge rock onto her finger with so much force
Satine had to suppress a cry of pain.
"I would be . . .very happy."