Love, Beauty and Freedom
A Moulin Rouge! Sequel
DISCLAIMER: See chapter. 1
AUTHOR'S NOTE: We have at long last come to the end of this story. Thank you to everyone who continued to read this all the way through! It's been a pleasure writing this and I'm almost sorry for it to end. A special thanks to everyone who reviewed, you know who you are. Thank you! And now for the final chapter...
Chapter. 14 The Final Scene
The gunshot echoed through the theatre. Elise let out a sob. Philippe stood there numb with shock. Ollie went pale as a ghost. Even the Argentinian bolted upright off a rather crushed Zidler. The Bohemians scurried onto the stage crying and trembling. Even the audience seemed to sense that something was wrong. The only person who seemed at all calm was Christian.
His eyes glazed over so he couldn't see the lights of the stage or the faces of the audience. His hand gently drifted to the bloody spot on his chest. It was over. His final scene was now. His eyes drifted skyward before he collapsed to the wooden floor of the stage.
The horrible still moment where time seemed to stop ended as quickly as it began. Then, everything happened at once. Elise looked at The Duke with hateful eyes and then lunged at him like a jungle cat. "Elise!" Philippe cried," Don't! He still has a gun!"
Elise managed to throw The Duke, who was still stunned at what he had just done, to the ground. She collapsed with him across the wooden floor yelling and screaming. The Bohemians swarmed around him. Toulouse yanked the gun out of his grip while the dazed Argentinian managed to get his arms tight around his back.
"You murderer!" Elise screamed as Philippe struggled to hold her back," You hurt him!"
The Duke laughed wickedly at the girl," Oh why don't you try it and prove it!"
"She won't! I will," everyone whirled around in shock. Standing there in the spotlight was Seduce still in her red sequin uniform with a length of rope coiled under her arm. Behind her was two constables looking down at The Duke.
"How did you get out?!" Satie cried.
"It wasn't easy," Seduce said," And don't think you circus freaks are off the hook for tying me up! But seeing as I'm not the star of the show like I was promised I decided to let the cops in on our little secret."
"You ungrateful wench...!" The Duke yelled.
"Take him away, boys," Seduce said to the cops who needed no further bidding. The two constables dragged him off the stage as the audience jumped to their feet with applause.
"No! No!" he screamed," Please! No! Philippe! Do something!" Philippe stared at him coldly. "Philippe!" The Duke wailed. Philippe shook his head. "You're just as bad as the rest of them!" The Duke yelled," As bad as everyone else in this cursed place! I'll never forget this! Never! You'll regret it someday! I'll never forget the Moulin Rouge!" His voice rang out against the walls as they dragged him out to the waiting paddy wagon.
Toulouse cradled Christian's head in his lap," No, Christian! Don't go! Please no!"
Philippe and Elise flew to their friend's side. His face was pale white and the blood was bright red against his skin. A curtain was desperately dropped as the rest of the cast huddled around the fallen writer.
"Christian!" Elise sobbed in disbelief," No! Please Christian! Can you hear me?"
Christian lay there. He could see his friends all around him. They were talking in frantic voices. He knew he was bleeding. That he should be terrified, but somehow he wasn't. He was in no pain. The world was calm and rather peaceful. He didn't hear Elise's desperate pleas, but he heard something else...
Christian sat up, or at least he felt like he did. He got up slowly feeling lighter almost like he was floating. Singing. He could hear soft faint singing though getting stronger by the second. He walked towards it. It was only then that he looked back. He saw his body on the ground pale and sickly. He saw his friends hovering over him crying to people to fetch a doctor. Still he wasn't afraid. He kept walking as the singing got stronger.
A white light shown in the distance brighter than any stage light Christian had seen before. Then, he heard a voice echoing from beyond it. "Never knew that I could feel like this... It's like I've never seen the sky before..." Christian continued walking. "Want to vanish inside your kiss... Every day I'm loving you more and more..." A bright white figure stepped forwards from the light shimmering like the sun. She sang to him," Listen to my heart. Can you hear it sing? Come back to me and I'll give you everything..." she stopped singing. "Christian," she whispered," I love you! Till the end of time..."
Christian froze for a moment and just stared at her. Satine. He stood there in the middle of the aisle and stared in disbelief. He drew a small breath," Come what may." He started to walk towards her," Come what may" Satine smiled and opened her arms. "Come what may!" Christian hurried up the aisle and sang," I will love you."
"I will love you," Satine echoed.
Tears of joy fell from Christian's face as he ran up the aisle," Until my dying day!"
Christian's hands held Satine's as they sang to each other,"Come what may. Come what may!" They looked deep into each other's eyes almost as though they had never been separated and they sang to each other," I will love you until my dying day!"
Satine leaned close and whispered to him softly," Come home with me."
Christian took one last look at his friends before following Satine. He finally left the wonderful magical world of the Moulin Rouge and stepped into the bright warm light. Into a land he could only dream of. A land of love, beauty, and freedom.
Elise wandered alone through Christian's garret. It had been two days since he had died, but she remembered every detail crystal clear. Christian had looked up at her and let out a happy sigh of relief. He had died with a smile on his face and she could hear him sigh," Satine." His last word.
"Why Christian?!" she cried out sadly," Why did you jump in front of that gun?! Why did you have to die to protect me?!"
She sat down on Christian's bed and gazed about his empty room. His vacant typewriter sat in the corner lonely and sad without its writer. A picture of his love, Satine, gazed back at her with vacant eyes. A large script sat on an end table with the words Wonderful Wonderful or Love Freedom, and Beauty written across the top of it sat there. Elise wiped her tears away miserably.
Suddenly, she noticed something sitting on the top of the papers. Sitting there was an envelope with her name written on it. She picked it up and sat down on the bed again. It was the envelope she had seen Christian with earlier. Just some last minute business... he had said. Elise opened the letter and read it slowly.
My Dearest Elise,
By the time you read this I'll surely be dead. Consumption can be fast and cruel to the body. I have witnessed this before. You'll be searching my rooms. Maybe looking for comfort from my things? I hope you find this letter. You once told me that you wished that you had someone to watch over you. From now on, that will be me, your angel. I just want you to know that you are a very talented wonderful girl. Your life and spirit touches everyone you meet. Thank you for reminding me of the love, beauty and freedom this world has to offer. Please don't ever forget this! The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
With all the love I have left in my heart,
Elise was weeping by the time she finished the letter. He knew he was going to die. That's why he saved me! Elise held the letter close to her heart. It had brought her all the comfort she needed. The last thing Christian had written.
Elise glanced around the small garret and remembered the first time she had met him," The first time I saw you I already knew. That there was something deep inside of you. Something I didn't think I could find. Angel of mine." She moved to his small window where he had written almost all of his poems and plays. She gazed up at the starry sky sadly. "How you changed my world you'll never know. I'm different now. You helped me grow! You came into my life. Sent from above. When I lost hope you showed me love. I'm checking for you even though I know its your time. Angel of mine."
She sat down and picked up his story holding it close to her chest. "Nothing means more to me than the love we shared. Nothing in the whole wide world will ever compare. A closer friend I could never find. Angel of mine."
She crossed his garret feeling less heavy hearted as she had when she came in. She let out a sigh as she sang," You changed my world somehow you'll know. I'm different now. You helped me grow. I know you're up there watching me. No longer chained to your sorrow. You're free. I'm checking for ya boy you're right on time." she closed the door to his garret and made her way towards the glittering lights of the Moulin Rouge. "Angel of mine."
Philippe was standing there at the end of the staircase. Elise beamed as she remembered Christian's letter. She hurried forwards as he slipped his arms around her," Are you okay?" he asked.
"Better," Elise said with a smile," Much better."
"It's brilliant, Monsieur Lautrec," the man cried as he leaned in closer to examine Toulouse's painting. Toulouse beamed at the compliment. The other Bohemians were there grinning like jesters at their friend's good fortune. It had been five years since they had left the Moulin Rouge. Ever since Christian had died and Satine long gone the magic the place once held seemed to vanish as well. The time had come to move on. Toulouse went back to his paintings and had become rather successful at it. The rest of the bohemians supported him while pursuing their own interests. Satie was an accomplished composer. The Doctor had a talent for writing lyrics. And the Argentinian (when he was awake) was one of the most sought after dancers in the land. Of course they were all determined to stick together no matter how many people gave them funny looks. The Bohemians would stay together till the end.
"Thank you, thank you!" Toulouse said with a grin. That's when a familiar voice caught his attention.
"Make way! Move aside! I knew that little dwarf before he became famous," Zidler shoved his way through. "Toulouse!"
"Harold!" Toulouse cried hurrying forwards and shaking his hand," How are you?! It's been such a long time! How's the Moulin Rouge?"
"The Moulin Rouge?" he asked," I sold that place ages ago!"
"Sold it?!" Toulouse cried," To who?!"
Zidler's eyes twinkled," A young Bohemian couple. You'd like them." he examined Toulouse's masterpiece before crying out in surprise. "All these pictures are of the Moulin Rouge!" Toulouse beamed and nodded proudly. Zidler looked closer at the picture," Say! If I didn't know better I'd say that those two can-can dancers were Satine and Elise!"
Toulouse grinned as he pointed to the corner," And who would that be, if you knew better."
Zidler peered closer at a young man holding a notebook," By God! It's Christian."
Toulouse didn't say anything. He just winked broadly before returning to his gallery.
"Come on people!" Olivier called out," Move along! What do you think I'm paying you for?!" Sets were being raised and people hurrying around to find their marks for the latest play at the Moulin Rouge. Olivier shook his head," Can't get anything done around here! Shake a leg Nini!"
Nini scowled at him," Oh sure. Mr. Stage Manager. I swear that position's gone straight to your head!"
Ollie puffed out his chest a little bigger," We're all ready, Philippe!"
Philippe sat three rows in with a script in his hand. Wonderful Wonderful had been the last time he performed on stage. Lately, he had taken to directing though he would still sing the occasional duet with his lovely wife when he felt so moved. "If we're ready then where's our leading lady?" Philippe demanded playfully.
"I'm coming!" Elise said stepping out onto the stage," Honestly, Philippe. Sometimes you can be so impatient!" Philippe smiled playfully before settling back into his chair.
"Oh mademoiselle!" A young ballerina cried," You sing so lovely. Whoever taught you?"
Everyone else seemed to stop and stare at the poor young girl. "Oh now you've got her started," Ollie said rolling his eyes," Now she's gonna have to tell the story."
"The story?" the girl asked," There's a story?"
"Yes," Philippe said," And I haven't heard it too long a time. Tell it Elise. Tell our story."
Elise smiled before sitting on the stage. She sang softly," There was a boy. A very strange enchanted boy. They saw he wandered very far. Very far. Over land and sea."
"Where did he go?" the girl asked.
"Somewhere none of us can go," Elise said gently as she felt a cool breeze brush against her cheek. "A little shy and sad of eye, but very wise was he."
A sudden cold breeze blew throughout the theatre. The girl jumped away in surprise, but Elise allowed the wind to blow playfully through her hair and smiled. "What was that?!" the girl cried.
"The spirits," Elise said," They like this story too."
"Spirits?!" the girl asked incredulously.
"Oh yes," Elise said," Spirits of a pair of young lovers." The girl trembled with fear, but Elise couldn't help but smile. They were getting bolder and clearer in these later years. Somedays she could hear singing while she slept and see Christian's warm smile before she closed her eyes.
"Keep going, Elise," Philippe said pressing a kiss to her cheek.
Elise continued to sing," And then one day. One magic day he came my way. And though we spoke of many things. Fools and kings. This he said to me."
"What?!" the girl asked excitedly," What did he say?!"
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn," Elise sang," Is just to love and be loved in return."
The girl let out a sigh," That's beautiful!"
"Yes, it is," Philippe said letting his hand slip into Elise's. The rehearsal continued on without a hitch. Elise and Philippe turned to leave, but as they did two beautiful voices echoed off the walls.
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."
FINAL SONG LIST:
Come What May (finale version)
Angel of Mine by Monica (with a few alterations for the sake of the story)
Nature Boy by David Bowie