A/N: I just watched Moulin Rogue the other night with a couple of my friends and remembered how incredibly awesome it is. It's such a moving love story, and it's incredible with the singing and acting. This one-shot is just a little look at how Satine's death affected Christian, and how no other woman could even begin to replace her. Enjoy!


There wasn't anyone before her.

Before her he dwelled in a realm of naïve existence, where he knew things but didn't know them, not really. He had kissed and been kissed, but never felt the kind of passion that moved the stars and shook the earth.

After her, he didn't feel anything for a long time.

But the nights grew longer and colder and the bottles grew emptier and sat collecting dust. His hands typed the story that had changed his entire existence, and when it was done he found himself empty and alone.

There were girls after her, if only because he needed someone to hold close, because he needed to close his eyes and pretend, for a split second, that everything hadn't been taken away from him. For the sake of his sanity, he needed to pretend and he needed a warm hand on his shoulder, on his chest. He needed warm lips hovering over his own.

Every morning after he felt horrible guilt rage within him. Not even the little voice in his mind, the one that said she wanted him to be happy, could help to abate the guilt and self-disgust.

There were girls after her. Girls who stayed just a night, or a few days, maybe a week. And then they flittered away, moving on. They had only to look into his eyes to know that they weren't the one he wanted, the one he needed.

They had only to look into his eyes to see the heart-sickness there. The pain that wracked him, the pain that didn't get better with time, didn't get any easier. It stayed within him, a solid pain in his chest, an open sore on his heart.

He could close his eyes and see her, as bright and vivid as if she were standing in front of him. He could hum a song, feel his heart thud, and hear her sweet voice sing the accompanying part. He could catch the scent of her perfume on the street and he went tumbling back down into the glitzy, strange world that they had existed in.

Most of the girls looked into his eyes and saw the sickness that ate a little more of him with every passing day, and packed up their things, moving on. He couldn't help them, couldn't save them, and they couldn't help or save him. There was nothing to do but move on.

But some of them stuck around for a little while, trying to heal him. Trying to fill that hole inside of him, trying to make him forget, trying to make him move forward, move on.

He couldn't let her go, and he wasn't going to try.

The others stayed from some morbid curiosity. They had to know the story behind his eyes. They had to know what kind of woman could make a man's eyes look so broken, so lost, so sad. They had to know what kind of epic romance had destroyed him so completely, and why.

"There was a woman. The most beautiful courtesan in all of the world."

And their eyes would widen, because he had written the story, had spread it to the world, and everyone knew. They would tilt their heads and look at him and say "that was you?" and they would move on. They couldn't compete with that kind of love, and they didn't want to.

There were girls after her, for fleeting moments, but she was always the one and only. She was always the one he wouldn't let go of. She was the one who never left, the one waiting for him when his eyes finally closed for the last time.

Seeing her, hearing her voice call out his name, the heart-sickness lifted and his eyes cleared and the world was brighter than it had ever been before.