Disclaimer: I, sadly, do not own the rights to Moulin Rouge, nor do I claim any. The plot in this fic is created by me, so no usurping, please! Thank you!

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Satine's Sacrifice

By: Melanippe

The sun was glaring down the Parisian streets. The roads were surprisingly quiet, something a woman dressed in a gray with a scarf covering her head, noticed immediately. She clutched her four year old daughter to her and glanced nervously around. The ground was littered and dirty, the buildings surrounding the area, old, worn and in disrepair. The two hurried down an alleyway and emerged beyond it. The woman continued through the many turns, and twists, her movements revealing someone who had traveled these streets before. As she reached the last turn in her journey, the place that had haunted the woman's dreams since she was fifteen came into view: The Moulin Rouge.

Yet as Sandrine Delacourt moved toward the building, she noticed something that her over-anxious mind had not noticed before. The stone wall that surrounded the Moulin Rouge was covered in flyers and posters. The massive door that lead into the courtyard and beyond it, the dance hall was closed with an iron lock, and a large sign that read 'CLOSED' in bold red letters. Sandrine frowned. She could see the Diamond's elephant over the stone wall, but she saw no one there. She moved to stand in front of the doors and peered through crack in the middle. The courtyard was deserted with paper and trash covering the ground.

"Mama," the child said, her voice fatigued. "What happened to this place?"

Sandrine looked into the place she had escaped almost ten years ago...but not without help. "I don't know Saline. But we are going to find out, come on." Sandrine grabbed her daughter's hand and together they made their way toward the back of the dance hall. In the back, the stone wall rose higher, and underneath, were several iron grates, all rusted with age. Sandrine paused and began counting from the end of the wall. She smiled and moved toward one of the grates. The grate moved out of place easily, but was quite heavy. After several seconds of huffing and straining, Sandrine managed to move the grate aside, and looked over to her daughter. The child stared at her mother, who smiled. "Lucky number twelve bars. We always snuck in and out this way."

Sandrine helped her daughter enter first, then managed to squeeze her frame through. Standing, Sandrine dusted off the dirt from her and Saline's clothes. Taking Saline's hand, they strode away from the walk and toward the front of the Moulin Rouge dance hall. As they strolled, Sandrine felt the memories of this place wash over her like an all- consuming wave of both pleasure and pain. So many memories here. Not all of them good. Several of them torture. But there was always a light in this place. Now, ten years later, the place seemed more dead than a tomb.

The front steps of the Moulin Rouge came into view. "Stay here Saline," her mother told her, as she rushed up the steps and peered into the large room. What she saw before her was not the Moulin Rouge she had always known. No, there was a large open area, and beyond it, a stage with a dusty red curtain. Balconies and drapes aligned the second floor. Sandrine simple stared. "What happened here?" She turned her back on the room. "What the HELL happened here?"

She looked up and her confused gaze fell on the giant elephant. Her face lit up in a smile. Unlike the other parts of the worn building, it still looked somewhat clean. Without a thought, Sandrine raced toward the elephant, her daughter following clowly behind. She climbed the steps two at a time and burst open the bedchamber doors. "Hello? Hello?" The room smelled of dust and stale perfume. The bed was unused, the room was dank and looked unlived in. Sandrine sat down on the end of the circular bed, fanning her hand in front of her, as a dust cloud rose from where she sat. "I don't understand."

Saline entered the room, and with the wonder of a child, gazed at the contents. "Wow. This place must have looked beautiful."

"It was beautiful," Sandrine murmured. "When she was in it." Sandrine put her head in her hands, and cried.

Saline moved to her mother and placed her hands on her mother's head. Saline gently removed the scarf, and watched as flame-like hair flowed out and around Sandrine's face. "Everything will be okay mother. I promise."

Sandrine looked up at her daughter, and the tears returned. She hugged her child to her fiercely, while Saline stroked her mother's fiery red hair.

"What are you two doing in here?" A familiar deep and annoyed voice asked.

Mother and daughter looked over to the door. A heavy set man with a red beard and beer gut looked at them. The man's eyes clouded, as recognition clicked. "Sandrine?"

The woman stood up, her painfully beautiful face streaked with tears, but still she smiled. "Yes Zidler. I am back."

Zidler eyed the girl he helped raise, sadly. "If only you had come earlier, you could have been spared being told all this."

"Told all what? What is going on Zidler? What has happened to the Moulin Rouge? Where is the Diamond? Tell me where she is?" Sandrine demanded, her voice rising shrilly.

"Satine is," Zidler paused and swallowed back the tears that threatened. "Your sister," he muttered quietly, "Is dead."

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A/N: Okay. Please review. Thank you.