Sooo, somebody on tumblr made the comment that there should be an AU fic of Moulin Rouge with Erik and Charles. And I decided to write it. :B Hopefully I can actually finish a fic for once in my life, considering this is my guilty pleasure movie, and I'm doing it for some very special people. Hope you enjoy it. :)


A year of science, of progress, of art.

A year of passion.

Charles stepped off the train onto the platform, breathing in a deep heady lungful of Parisian air. This city held so much potential, and as he made his way through the station, he knew he would wring every last drop from it. After all, Professor Xavier was not one to waste time.

Professor. He held the title uncomfortably. One needs students to be a true professor. Besides, his expertise was in science, but his heart was in writing. Though it was full to bursting, his briefcase exaggerated its importance. Most of the papers were blank.

To the center of the city, to the pulse of the Bohemian revolution, to the very heart of love itself. That was where he was headed. Where better to find inspiration than there?

His apartment was worn, but not terrible. His neighbors, boisterous but charming. His view, spectacular. The street below was busy, teeming with people from all walks of life. And up the lane, up the hill, was the Moulin Rouge, where it glittered at night like a temple of diamonds and rubies, a monument to passion.

Charles had just finished setting up his desk and his few belongings when his neighbors started up again. With that singing and the odd sounds he assumed was supposed to be music. Normally he wouldn't mind, keep to his own business and all. But the lyrics. They were terrible. No feeling. No sensation or inspiration.

No love.

And then the narcoleptic man fell through his roof.

At least the singing had stopped.

"Monsieur, are you all right?" a man dressed as a nun babbled, bursting . His accent was thick, but understandable. Once the dust had cleared, Charles could get a clear look at his unexpected guests.

"I am Jean-Paul Beaubier," the man introduced himself. He was a tall man with slate grey hair, his steel eyes flashing with a mixture of apology and embarrassment.

"Ah, terribly sorry, but we were rehearsing a play, and Marko here collapsed again. We tried to catching him, but he just doesn't stop, now."

"Is he okay?" a voice called down, and the man yelled back up, "No! He's still out cold."

"But we need to finalize the lines! We're presenting them tonight!" a new voice lamented.

"Those? You're going to present those?" Charles asked nervously, wincing at the memory of the lyrics.

"But of course. It is a play of the century!" the grey man exclaimed, beaming.

"And what is it, exactly?" Charles inquired, unsure of how to tell them gently that their magnificent play was quite possibly the worst thing to ever stumble into his ears.

"It will be nothing if we don't complete the scene and have it ready for tonight!" the voice from above intervened before the man-nun could respond.

"Marko is still out. Where are we going to find someone to read the role of the sensitive young swiss poet goat herder?"

They all turned to Charles, who moments later found himself dressed in lederhosen and surrounded by the oddest people he had ever seen. And everyone was trying to fit the worst songs possible to the strangest sounds to be passed off as music.

"The hills are incarnate with fantastic symphonies!" Marko leaped off the bed screaming, before falling back into a narcoleptic slumber once more.

Nobody could agree on the words, a rising cacophony of voices pounding against Charles' ears. He tried to get his two bits in, but no one seemed to want to listen. The words were climbing in his throat, desperate to escape.

"~The hills are aliiiiiiiiiive. With the sound of muuuuuuussiiiiiiiiiiic.~"

Suddenly everyone froze. Jean-Paul turned to face Charles, awe splashed across his face.

"~With songs they have sung, for a thousand yeeeeeeeeaars.~"

The words poured forth, as easy as breathing. This was Bohemia. Charles could feel his mind spreading, seeking out the love and passion of Montmartre. His attempts to keep it under wraps was failing, but he didn't care.

"We should take him to the financier tonight," they were whispering amongst each other, not that he heard them with his ears exactly. "He'll convince the Gilded Prince with his poetry, and then Stryker will have to accept him!"

"We're going to make Spectacular Spectacular!"

"It will be the play of the century!"

They turned to Charles, cheering as they poured another round of absinthe. That night, Charles found himself in the narcoleptic man's best suit and tasting his first glass of the green alcohol. It burned and distorted and elevated him. His mind exploded open, taking in everyone around him.

He was on his way to the Moulin Rouge, to meet the Gilded Prince.