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Ivan was in Xian, and also in a panic. According to information he'd gotten from Mind Reading Mia, the most beautiful girl this side of the Jupiter Lighthouse (in his humble opinion, of course), Mia's birthday was next Friday. He wanted to do something really romantic for her birthday, and something involving her favourite song, Last Night of the World, as well.

He was staring up at the hills of Xian when it hit him.

However, I never did say was "it" was. "It" happened to be the girl carrying water from the river. She tripped over him, dropping the contents of the bucket on Ivan's tunic by accident.

However, at the same time he got soaking wet, he also spotted something up on the hill that he knew Mia would LOVE.

It was a little Mercury Djinni, sitting on the hill, turned away from Xian, and staring blankly ahead.

With a cry of triumph, Ivan leapt up into the air and ran for the Xian Inn, not noticing the weird looks the water carrying girl gave him.

Ivan sprinted into the Xian Inn, also oblivious to the annoyed stares from the Innkeeper. "Isaac!" he gasped, crashing into a chair.

Isaac, not cured of his silence yet, raised an eyebrow in reply.

Ivan stood up straight, and regained his breath. "Can I borrow the Frost Jewel?"

Isaac shrugged and nodded, handing him the Jewel.

Ivan beamed. "Thank you!" he yelled, running back out of the Inn.

Let's just say that the Innkeeper wasn't the only one shooting Ivan weird looks.

Ivan headed into the Item store with his secret, private stash of coins. He walked up to the counter and set down his coin sack. "Hi there," he said, "Could you tell me where I could find a saxophone?"

The shopkeeper became about the fifth person that day to give Ivan a weird look. "Well, I've got one, but it's not for sale..."

Ivan put on his best puppy eyed expression, and it worked rather well considering how short and young he is. "Could I please borrow it? I promise not to wreck it, and I'll pay you. You see, I wanna play a song for my special someone's birthday..."

The shopkeeper relented, and retreated into the back room. She came back carrying an obviously well cared for saxophone. She smiled and set it down on the counter, starting to put it in its case. "Here you go," she said softly. "Take care of it. You don't need to pay me. Good luck with your girl's birthday."

Ivan beamed again. "Thank you soooooo much!" he cried, before putting the sax case over his shoulder and retreating from the shop.

The shopkeeper stared after him. "Well, you don't see that everyday..."

Ivan stood in front of the hill, Frost Jewel in hand. When the time was right, he tapped the water carrier on the shoulder, making her spill her water again. Annoyed, the girl went back to the river with her bucket for the second time that day.

Ivan held the Frost Jewel tight, feeling its Psynergy flow into him. He knelt down to the puddle, reached a hand out towards it, and murmured, "Frost!"

Fortunately for Ivan, nobody was watching. Icy cold gusts of wind flew from his fingers and into the puddle, chilling it enough to form a large ice pillar.

Crossing his fingers that it wouldn't melt too fast, he raced up the stairs to the local kung fu academy. Instead of entering the Academy, however, he hopped onto the ice pillar and across to the hill the Water Djinni was on.

He walked through the grass until he got to the Mercury Djinni, there he knelt down and whispered to it.

"Look buddy, I'm no Mercury Adept, but I've got a friend who is. I'll make you a little deal. Listening?"

The Djinni attempted to nod.

"OKay, good. Here's the deal. If you do something for me, I'll give you to the Mercury Adept in a week. That, and you'll be the only musical Djinni this side of Mount Aleph."

The Djinni considered it for a moment, then made her version of a nod again and disappeared. The surrounding area changed to the blue of Mercury in Ivan's Psynergetic vision, and the Djinni allied with him.

"Mist, is it?" In Ivan's mind, the Djinni nodded. "Un ally with me, the others will think it's suspicious that I've lost most of my normal Psynergy." Mist nodded again, and was gone from Ivan's mind to sit on his shoulder.

Ivan opened up the saxophone case. "You do have somewhere where you breathe, don't you?"

~~~~~ a week later ~~~~~

Mia stared at the package on her bedside table. As far as she remembered, she hadn't told any of the boys it was her birthday today... She unwrapped the package carefully. A note fell out, and a blue China Dress lay in neat folds in the paper. Mia picked up the note first, and read it.

"Go to the Xian River docks tonight. Wear your China Dress."

Mia blinked, and laid the note aside to try on the China Dress.

To her surprise, it fit her exactly. The dress hugged her figure like it was made for her (which she suspected it was, although how the mysterious benefactor got her exact measurements was beyond her), and was knee length. The blue silk was just a couple of shades darker than her hair and eyes, setting them off yet still complimenting her. The light green embroidery was rather pretty too.

Shrugging, she hung it up in the closet and went out of the inn to shop till nightfall.

~~~~~ that night ~~~~~

Mia walked out onto the dock in her China Dress. Someone in an unfamiliar forest green cloak sat on the edge of the dock, hearing the soft swishing sounds made by Mia's China Dress, he stood up and took her arm.

"May I have this dance?" Ivan asked in a deep voice, as the sounds of a saxophone started to play from a bush.

Mia spun around with him, somewhat curious to this stranger's identity. "The song," she gasped, in perfect timing. "Played on a solo saxophone."

The stranger was dressed in a dark tunic and pants set, with the cloak on top of that, and a black mask covering the top of his face. Unintentionally, they sang the next lines together. "A crazy sound, a lonely sound, a cry that tells us love goes on and on... Played on a solo saxophone..."

The stranger smiled, performing the dance steps perfectly. *Thank you, Lady Layana. I suppose dance lessons came in handy after all.* he thought. Ivan grinned and continued the song, holding Mia closer to him. "It's telling me to hold you tight and dance..."

"Like it's the last night of the world." Mia finished, smiling. The newcomer knew the whole song off by heart, and even knew when to let Mia sing the girl's part of the duet. They spent a long time just singing and dancing on the dock. It was rather romantic, what with the pretty Xian surroundings, the full moon up above, and the night sky reflected into the water...

The song dwindled to a close. The pair sang the last lines together, dancing slower and slower. "So stay with me, and hold me tight, and dance like it's the last night..."

"Of the world."

Ivan was just about to bend down to kiss Mia when he realized - the saxophone was still playing. Bowing, Ivan let go of Mia and retreated to the seemingly musical bush with a call of, "Excuse me, Lady Mia." Sounds of a scuffle were heard, and eventually Ivan returned to the dock, holding a Mercury Djinni. To Mia's astonishment, the Djinni was clinging onto a human sized saxophone. Ivan hit the Djinni over the head with a small leaf, hissing, "It's not mine, and it's not yours! I have to give it back to that lady at the Item shop!" He presented the Djinni to Mia with a flourish. Mia was shocked.

"Uh... Thank you?"

Ivan blushed, and smiled. "Her name is Mist, and though stubborn, she will be a worthy companion on your quest. When used in battle, she will attempt to put one foe to sleep. Mist will raise your health by 11 points and your strength by 4 points. Happy birthday, Lady Mia." He bowed again, then sweatdropped. "Uh, can I have the saxophone?"

~~~~~ later that night ~~~~~

Mia sat on her bed, reading a book she'd borrowed from the Innkeeper's wife. The door swung open and Ivan walked in.

"Heya Ivan," she greeted him happily.

Ivan grinned. "Happy birthday!" he cried, hugging her. Mia raised an eyebrow. The voice of the stranger on the dock was slightly similar to Ivan's...

"How did you know it was my birthday?" she asked accusingly. Ivan sweatdropped and tried his best to think of an answer.

"Uh, I, uh.. Mind Read you! Yeah, I Mind Read you. Eheheheheheh..."

Mia smiled, suspicions going out the window. "OKay then." She reached under the covers of her bed, pulling out..

None other than Mist, the only musical Djinni this side of Mount Aleph. The Mercury Djinni sprang from Mia's grasp and attached herself to Ivan's face. He sweatdropped. "Heh, cute little thing, isn't it?" he remarked cheerfully. "What's its name?" Mist made an indignant chirp that Mia interpreted as 'I don't like being called an it, I'm a she!' Ivan knew Mist's true meaning however.

"Her name's Mist," she replied. "Someone threw me this really romantic one on one birthday party out on the river dock, and he gave me Mist as well. Somehow, he managed to teach Mist how to play Last Night of the World on a human's saxophone. I also think he's the one who sent me a blue China Dress this morning." Mia gestured to the closet door. She sighed, leaving the book on her bedside table and flopping onto her back. "I wish he could have told me his name..."

Ivan grinned, picking up his pajamas and making for the door. "You never know," he said, smiling mischieviously. "He may be closer than you think."

* * * * * end * * * * *

Heh... Way more light hearted than Pure Torture, methinks. As for the Frost Jewel, I know that they don't get it until Altin Peak, but if they didn't have it in the story, Mia would have had to Frost the puddle, and thus the little 'party' would have sorta gone out the window.

If you like it, please R/R! =) Merry Christmas!