If Only You Knew
Disclaimer: I do not own the Moulin Rouge or any of the events or characters therein. I did make up Nini's nickname for Satine - "Sparkles" - but I can't really say I own that either, because it's just short for "the Sparkling Diamond'
Nini, by the way, is the prostitute who told the Duke about Christian and Satine and danced with the Argentinian (along with everyone else) in El Tango de Roxanne.
A/N: If you know the story of Les Miserables, then I highly recommend that you go read my crossover Moulin Rouge/Les Mis, A Second Chance, A Second Play. It's the same story as this one (at least at the beginning), but it incorporates the musical version of Les Mis.
Everything had gone according to plan.
She had not given herself away.
The penniless sitar player was gone.
The play had been a success.
The Indian courtesan had chosen the Maharaja.
All that was left was for the French courtesan to go to the Duke.
But she didn't want to. As she approached the door, her feet dragged, begging her to let them run back to her penniless sitar. But she couldn't let them. She must make them carry her forward. She must . . .
There was a shape at the foot of the Duke's door. As if a very large someone were taking a nap there. Warner? She thought, curiosity quickening her steps. The Duke's manservant – or bodyguard. But why would he be on the floor . . .?
When she got close enough to see, she wished she hadn't. Warner had been shot through the forehead – he was dead.
A gunshot pierced the air.
Satine opened the door slowly, almost afraid of what she would find inside.
The Duke was dead. While Satine had racked her brain for a solution that didn't involve lying to Christian or being forever on the run, killing the Duke had never even occurred to her. She wasn't sure she would've been able to, even if it had – she was no murderer. But then, who? And . . . why?
Satine pulled her eyes away from the lifeless Duke and they landed on – "Nini?"
Nini lowered the still smoking gun. "Go back to the penniless sitar player, Sparkles. You don't belong here." For once in her life, Nini was completely serious – not even her eyes were laughing.
Satine stared at her, in shock. Perhaps it was the shock of seeing the two people she hated most in the world dead. Perhaps it was from seeing Nini with a gun. She felt lightheaded. As if she were free. Free to live the life she wanted. With Christian. And Nini had been the one to make it possible.
"Nini . . ."
"That all you can say, Sparkles?" Nini gave her a small, crooked smile, but her heart wasn't in it like it normally was.
Satine sighed. "Thank you."
"Don't thank me. I don't deserve it." She set the gun down and sat on the bed – Satine shuddered slightly, thinking about what might've happened on that bed . . .
"Yes, you do."
"No! I really don't – but it doesn't matter now. Shakespeare's not getting any closer. Go, Sparkles." Did Satine detect a hint of despair in Nini's eyes? Even tears? Of course not. As far as she knew, Nini couldn't feel – and she definitely didn't cry.
Satine nodded and turned to leave, then stopped. She fumbled with the clasp that held the diamond necklace around her throat and took it off. "Here," she threw it to Nini, who caught it, looking surprised.
"No, Satine –"
"Why would I want it? It's yours."
"I don't know, you could sell it –" protested Nini weakly, already enthralled by the necklace's beauty.
"I have other diamonds. And I wouldn't want to use money the Duke gave me anyway. I don't want it. You do. You deserve it, too." Without warning, Nini leapt up and encased Satine in a hug, which – after a moment of surprise – she returned.
"Thank you!" Nini whispered fervently. "Now go! I'll tell Harold good-bye for you – otherwise he'll try to convince you to stay, you know he will." Satine nodded, sad that she wouldn't see Harold again, but not wanting to waste another moment. I'll come back one day. She vowed silently.
Nini stood on the balcony and watched Satine go, absently stroking the extravagant necklace. She sighed, and turned away as the retreating figure vanished into the night. If only you knew, Sparkles. If only you knew.
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