There was no true magic to the Moulin Rouge, despite the common stereotype of the underworld being overrun with it. There were many who had claimed Satine was a sorceress, a siren, a succubus, her ability to seduce and enthrall nothing short of magic. She would always laugh and say nothing: if it pleased her patrons to believe she was magical then she wouldn't disabuse them of the notion.
She had thought Christian might have been a magical of some kind, up until she'd learned that he was nothing more than another one of Toulouse's bohemians.
Satine would never have guessed that she actually possessed any magic, let alone that she would literally be able to fly away from all of her problems.
One of the perks of being a dragon, as it turned out.
No one, not even Satine herself, knew her family history, so the doctor couldn't be blamed for diagnosing it as consumption. The field of magical medicine was such a small one anyways, mostly due to the fact that most magicals kept their nonhuman status a tightly guarded secret, that he likely wouldn't have been able to correctly identify her ailments even if he had known she wasn't human.
Besides, a dragon's first fire can look a lot like consumption, what with the coughing and the blood and the fever and the lightheadedness.
So, when Satine collapsed and everybody was busy assuming she was dead, she was actually unconscious, burning up from the inside.
Christian was the first one to catch on, given that he was holding her body and could feel her heating up rather than cooling down.
"Satine?" he whispered, barely even allowing himself to hope, tears still streaming down his face.
She made no response, but that was only to be expected as she was still unconscious.
"Satine?" Christian repeated, cupping her face and leaning down. He could feel the faint stirring of her breath across his cheek.
She was alive.
She hadn't expected to wake up.
The flames that had burned through her body had hurt enough that Satine had thought she would die from it. Instead, she had become accustomed to them, and rather quickly too.
Someone was holding her, calling her name. Christian.
She had to get away, keep him away from her so that he didn't get caught up in the flames as well.
Satine lurched out of his arms, the fire demanding to be released, to break free and burn burn burn everything. Sparks kindled in her lungs and spat forth from her mouth, rapidly expanding and billowing out in huge gusts of flame.
The cast jumped back in shock. The audience cheered, thinking it just another part of the show.
Satine could feel her skin hardening, her nails thickening into claws.
"What's happening?" Christian asked.
She wanted to answer him, but she had no idea what was going on either.
Then she saw the Duke, lurking near the exit, and a fiery rage swept over her, all other thoughts driven from her mind. He had tried to kill Christian, had tried to take him from her.
A pair of scarlet wings burst from her back and lifted her into the air.
The audience fell silent, finally realizing that there was more going on than just a play.
Fire licked at the edges of Satine's mouth, but it didn't burn. It cleansed.
Christian was not ashamed to admit that he'd been more than a little startled when Satine had breathed fire and grown wings. He thought for a moment that she might be a demon of some sort, except then Zidler spoke up.
"Of course," Zidler whispered in awe. "It wasn't consumption. My little diamond was just changing into a dragon."
Christian looked at Satine in a new light. She was a magical, and not just any magical but one of the most powerful there was.
She didn't really seem to be in control though, if the way she was attacking the Duke was any indication.
The Duke was shrieking and ducking out of the reach of her fire, the audience looking on in horror. Christian felt that it might be wise to stop this before too many people got hurt.
"Satine!" he yelled. "Satine, he's not worth it!"
When she looked at him, her pupils were slitted.
Satine swooped down and picked him up with a strength that wasn't surprising, considering that she was a dragon. Christian tried not to look at the ground as she flew them up and up, landing on the roof of his apartment building.
She was almost completely transformed by then, a gleaming red dragon with large gray eyes. She was only a little bigger than she'd been as a person, but it was still a very frightening experience to have a dragon stare at you.
"Christian, oh, Christian," she crooned. "I didn't mean to scare you, I just got so angry."
She turned away from him and slumped down onto all four legs, covering her face with a wing.
Christian's heart raced as he crouched down and rested a hand on her wing. "It's alright," he said. "I understand, and I love you. Come what may."
He'd thought she was dead; a little magic wasn't enough to scare him away now.
Satine peaked out from under her wing, gauging his emotions, and then the transformation fell away, leaving a very naked woman who promptly sat in his lap.
Christian took off his coat and tucked it around her, although she didn't seem very affected by the chill.
"Let's fly away," Satine murmured, resting her head against his chest. "The show is over, there's nothing to keep us here anymore."
"That sounds like a brilliant plan," Christian replied, smiling brightly.