Come What May

A.N. Hello, everyone! I have returned from the depths of summer laziness and am back with a new chapter! I could write a long note explaining everything I did all summer that prevented me from getting this out sooner, but that would just put off the actual writing. So, here we go. Chapter 10.

Disclaimer: I don't own Moulin Rouge.

"Paris? Satine, why would she be going to…"

"Look, Christian, it's very simple. During our argument one of the things we told her was that she didn't know what it was like there. She's probably trying to get over there so she can investigate."

Although the officer was a bit skeptical, Satine's suggestion was the only lead they had to go on. He explained that the only way to leave the country within the town was the shipyard, and that laws forbid the sale of tickets to children. "However, the clerks do not always obey the laws. Did she have access to any money?" he asked.

"Yes, she had some money saved up, but I don't think it would be enough to buy a ticket. Especially not for that distance." Christian said.

"The amount really doesn't matter. These clerks are desperate to make any extra money they can." The officer explained that given the time Cassandra left, it was very possible that she may have been sold a ticket. "The clerks usually do this late at night. They wait until about fifteen or so minutes before the ship is to depart. After that, the trip is closed off, and the clerk no longer has to turn in money for any of the tickets. If there are tickets left over, however, they sometimes sell them anyway, to make a little extra money for themselves. They'll sell them to anyone. A little four-year-old once bought two tickets, one for herself and one for her stuffed bear. She spent two dollars."

"So, you're saying that Cassandra may actually be on a boat on her way to Paris?" Satine knew that Cassandra was most likely trying to get to Paris, but had never thought of the possibility that she could actually get there.

The officer suggested that they all go down to the shipyard and ask the attendants if anyone had seen Cassandra. After hearing what the officer had just told them, Satine and Christian weren't sure about trusting anyone who worked at a shipyard. However, they agreed to go, if only because they had no other options.

Meanwhile, on the ship, Cassandra was having a wonderful time with Maureen. The two of them wandered the ship, avoiding the other children as well as most of the adults. Thankfully, the subject of the whereabouts of her family had never come up in their conversation, and Cassandra was always careful to make it seem like she had parents on the ship. She ate her meals with Maureen, but afterwards would always say that her parents wanted her back in their cabin, and retire to one of the unoccupied cabins. In the morning, she was careful to make the bed exactly as it had been made the night before before joining her new friend for breakfast.

The journey continued for several more days, while her parents grew more and more worried by the day back home. Cassandra thought of them occasionally, but never for more than a moment. If she did think of them, it was only to give her more motivation to finish this trip and prove them wrong about her level of understanding in the world.

One morning, a ship staff member entered the breakfast hall and announced that they would be docking in Paris in about two hours. Passengers were to gather their belongings from their cabins and prepare to exit the ship.

"So, where are you staying in Paris?" Maureen asked Cassandra as the two of them waited in the crowd of people to get off the ship.

This was the first question that Cassandra didn't have an answer to. "Um...I'm not sure exactly. Some hotel, I'm sure. My parents took care of all that stuff. Speaking of which, I should probably go find them." Cassandra took the first opportunity to escape the conversation, running into the crowd in search of parents who she knew were close to a thousand miles away.

Cassandra and Maureen didn't meet up again during the exiting process. Cassandra purposely stayed at least 20 feet away from her. As much as she hated avoiding her friend, she knew that Maureen would get suspicious if she saw Cassandra exit the ship and go into the city by herself. But, in fact, that is exactly what she did. Without so much as a map in hand, Cassandra carried her suitcase off the ship and out of the shipyard, where the streets of Paris greeted her for the first time.

She walked around awestruck for quite awhile, before remembering what she had come to find. She reached into her suitcase and pulled out a tiny windmill. "This place has to be around here somewhere."

A.N. Yes, yes, I know this chapter took forever. I'm trying to get into some kind of routine with this, but I've been kind of busy doing college-process stuff lately. Anyway, please review!