~Until The End Of Time~

*Chapter X*

Sam and Charlotte ran through the hospital doors, and toward the front desk.

"I'm looking for Christian...uh, Christian...ya know, I never got his last name," Sam suddenly realized.

"Well, that's gonna make this difficult," the nurse said flatly.

"He was hit by a car...hit and run...about forty-five minutes ago."

The nurse stared at Sam blankly.

"Sam?"

Sam spun around, and was surprised to see Satine, standing in front of him, looking tired and devastated.

"Satine? What, uh, what are you doing here?"

"I saw it happen. The bastard didn't even slow down. He killed a woman...and Christian...he won't wake up..." Satine was sobbing, but Sam simply chalked it up to shock, over seeing the accident.

He had no idea how much she loved him.

***

~A few hours later~

"Satine, I'm going to take Charlotte home...do you want to come?"

"No...I want to stay...in case Christian wakes up."

"Okay," Sam agreed reluctently, and led Charlotte out of the hospital. He unconsciously took her hand in his, and she looked at him. Upon realizing what he had done, he stopped, and looked at Charlotte.

"Um..I--" Sam dropped Charlotte's hand, and shoved both hands into his pocket.

"No, it's alright. Really."

Sam grinned, and took Charlotte's hand.

"I don't really want to go home," Charlotte smiled shyly.

"Neither do I."

***

Satine sighed heavily, and plopped down onto the chair that was pulled up next to Christian's bed. He looked...peaceful. She closed her eyes, and was startled by a sudden flash. The image had passed by her so quickly, she wondered if she had actually seen it. She opened her eyes, and looked down at Christian, as her mind tried to wrap around the odd image that she had just conjured up in her head--her and Christian...singing...on top of a giant elephant.

What a ridiculous notion.

***

"Do you think Christian will be okay?" Charlotte asked, as she and Sam took a seat at a small cafe a few blocks away from the hospital.

"I hope so. Satine seemed pretty shaken up by it all."

"How is it going....with you and Satine?" Charlotte had to fight to hold back the cold stab of jealousy that had punctured her heart.

"I actually think...we'll be better off as friends," Sam replied cautiously.

"Oh?" Bitterness melted into elation, and Charlotte fought to hide a smile.

"We just weren't meant to be."

***

Exhaused by the day's events, Satine began to drift off in the overstuffed chair that still sat facing Christian. She was somewhere between the sleeping world and consciousness when she heard Christian's voice.

"It's about love, overcoming all obstacles!"

Satine's eyes snapped open, and she looked over at Christian expectantly. She sat back, deflated, when she realized that Christian was still unconscious, and had seemingly not moved at all.

"I'm losing my mind," Satine said to herself.

She tried to close her eyes again, but, as it had before, a familiar yet unrecognizable image flashed before her closed eyes--it was an image of Christian, smiling and singing a tune she couldn't hear. This was followed closely by a more disturbing image, of Christian, looking lost, devastated, and alone. Disturbed by this latest image, Satine sighed and stood up, relenting to the fact that she would not be getting any sleep tonight.

It was then that a song that she was sure she'd never heard before began to play in her mind.

***

"Thank you for bringing me home, Sam."

"It was my pleasure."

"I, uh, I guess I'll see you later, then?"

"I hope so."

Charlotte turned toward her front door when she heard Sam call her name. She turned, a small smile pursing her lips.

"I was thinking...maybe I could take you to dinner sometime?"

"That would be lovely, Sam."

"Well...good night, then."

"Good night, Sam."

Sam turned to leave, then hesitated. Building up all of his courage, he made his way toward Charlotte, and did the one thing he'd been wanting to do all day. His lips brushed hers, gently, and when she didn't pull away in protest, Sam pulled Charlotte toward him and kissed her.

And everything changed.

***

"Never knew I could feel like this. Like I've never seen the sky before..." Satine sang the song out loud as it came to her, not entirely sure how she knew it, or why she felt compelled to sing it aloud. "Want to vanish inside your kiss...every day I love you more and more. Listen to my heart, can you hear it sing? Telling me to give you everything! Seasons may change, Winter to Spring...but I love you until the end of time..."

Christian's eyes opened, and his dry lips parted slowly, as he smiled up at Satine.

"Satine," he whispered hoarsly, "You came back."

"Christian...I never left."

Satine leaned down, and kissed Christian, and in that moment, everything came back to her...the Moulin Rouge...her trip into hell to save Christian from eternal damnation...the assignment...it was there...all of it.

Satine pulled away from Christian, and as they opened their eyes, they found themselves back home, with Johnathan waiting for them at their front door.

"Come what may," Christian sang softly as they apporached Johnathan, "I love you, until the end of time."