Look! Miss Black Dragon's writing again! IT'S THE SEVENTH SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE!

Anyhoo. This is a good old parody fic, though it's written in prose rather than script form. A parody of Moulin Rouge, in fact. And it's even Ivan/Mia while I'm at it (not to mention a little bit of one-sided Isaac/Mia and something that could be interpreted as one-sided Sheba/Ivan). If you have a problem with that, then don't waste your time complaining about it. Come on, guys, you should read for the fic rather than the pairing. :)

And speaking of parodies, Golden Fantasy VIII is up for adoption. In other words, e-mail me saying why you would like to continue it, and linking a sample of your work, and I just may consider you for its new writer. :)

Moving onwards. Bold, italic, and centered (well, it WAS centered, until ruined it) text is Ivan's writing. I suppose that gives you who've seen Moulin Rouge a major clue who Ivan is playing, but for those of you that haven't - WHAT ARE YOU THINKING, GO RENT IT NOW! Italic text enclosed in speech marks is singing, as this is a parody of a rather musically intensive movie.

I suppose that's all. On with the fic.

Violet eyes stared blankly out at their inner city Tolbi surroundings. Outside, citizens went about their daily lives in what he found sacrilegious ignorance of her death, but inside was a different story. Tiring of the monotony in people-watching, the young man migrated from the window to his typewriter and sighed. It was the same routine, day in, day out. She'd made him promise to write their story, but somehow, he couldn't bear to write of her.

Today was different, though. Today, difference dared to interfere. Today, inspiration blew into the room like the breezes he so loved and spun his mind into a whirlwind of words.

Today, Ivan sat down at his typewriter, fed it some paper, and began to write.

The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

The Moulin Rouge: A nightclub, a dancehall, and a bordello ruled over by Garet Jerra. A kingdom of nighttime pleasures, where the rich and powerful came to play with the young and beautiful creatures of the underworld.

The most beautiful of all of these was the woman I loved.

Mia…

His eyes blurred for a moment, as she hovered at the corners of his mind. His fingers slammed against the keys, balling into fists, his own stubbornness denying him the freedom he sought in spilt tears.

Finally, his vision cleared, and his fingers again began their relentless dance across the typewriter keys.

A courtesan, she sold her love to men. They called her "the glittering ice crystal", and she was the star of the Moulin Rouge.

The woman I loved is dead.

"Don't start that again," he hissed to himself, sheer will power keeping up his fingers' dance.

I first came to Tolbi a year ago. It was 1899, the summer of love. I knew nothing of the Moulin Rouge, Garet Jerra, or Mia. The world had been swept up in bohemian revolution, and I had traveled from Kalay to be a part of it.

[Tolbi Docks, 1899]

Violet eyes glittered as Ivan's anticipating stare swept the Tolbi Docks, so dissimilar yet somewhat familiar to the docks near his home. A suitcase and his trusty typewriter hovered behind him on a carefully controlled breeze (much to the discomfiture of his passersby), and, as his concentration on his Psynergy waned from almost childlike excitement, promptly clattered to the ground. (Passersby were further disconcerted, and the young Adept was henceforth given a wide berth.)

Any concentration Ivan might have had, if not on his Psynergy, then at least on his surroundings, shattered at the sound. He whirled around, and stared in dismay at his now-broken typewriter and open suitcase sprawling on the cobblestones. "Oh, Jupiter," he whispered, hurriedly shutting his suitcase and gathering the fragments of the typewriter in his lap.

Thus the first thing Ivan sprung for in his new life as a self-titled 'bohemian revolutionary' was not, as he had so imagined, a cup of the iced tea Tolbi City was so famous for and a seat at an open air café at which he could begin his work, but a new typewriter.

With new typewriter and closed, locked, tied, and Psynergetically bound suitcase in hand, Ivan stepped forward at the top of a hill and gazed down at Tolbi City.

Just over the hill by Tolbi Docks was the main city of Tolbi. It was not, as my adoptive father had so vehemently proclaimed…

"A city of SIN!" Master Hammet's voice echoed in Ivan's mind, just as clear as the day he'd proclaimed it. Ivan winced slightly, and walked down the hill.

…but the center of the bohemian world…

Ivan stepped through the Tolbi gates (after allowing himself to undergo the customary inspection) and gazed about in enrapturement.

…with musicians, painters, and writers.

Musicians, painters, writers, poets, so many creative people in one place, it made Ivan feel so alive, like the ideas of pictures to be painted in both colors and words really mattered in the real world.

They were known as the "children of the revolution".

Ivan carefully counted out the last remnants of the gold he had brought with him from Kalay. First, he'd spent it on his ferry ticket, then on the new typewriter he'd needed after he'd broken his old one, and now on a place in which to stay. He sighed, handing over nearly all of his remaining gold in exchange for one measly little silver key, and the room that went with it.

Yes, I had come to live a penniless existence, whatever a penny is.

Giving his landlady a nod of thanks, he entered his bleak-looking room and set the new typewriter down on a table. It seemed to be one of those new ones that took forever for the unacquainted to figure out, and it took several sheets of Ivan's precious paper supply to get it started.

I had come to write about beauty, freedom, truth, and that which I believed in above all things, love.

"Always, this ridiculous obsession with LOVE!" Master Hammet yelled in his memories again. Ivan cringed. "Shut up, shut up…" he started to mutter.

There was just one problem, and, contrary to what I'd thought when I began to write, it wasn't that the adoptive father I'd left behind in Kalay was stuck in my head.

Once his adoptive father had been suitably dispelled from his mind, he looked at the blank sheet of paper in front of him, hands posed over the keys, ready to paint a picture in a flurry of words.

I'd never been in love!

The imaginary Master Hammet glowered at Ivan smugly, and Ivan was just about ready to punch something. It took all of his self restraint not to make that 'something' his new typewriter.

Luckily, right at that moment, an unconscious Imilian plunged through my ceiling.

Ivan leapt to his feet with a cry of alarm as an unconscious Imilian plunged through his ceiling.

He was rapidly joined by a stout Xianese fellow, dressed as a nun, strangely enough.

Ivan's door was thrown open as a stout Xianese fellow (dressed as a nun) wandered in and announced his presence with a solemn, "How do you do, sir? I am Hsu Lee."

Ivan stared, rather taken aback at the intrusion. Both intrusions. "What…?" he let out slowly.

"Ever so sorry about this," Hsu continued, "we are directly upstairs, rehearsing a play."

"What?" Ivan repeated, extensive vocabulary completely ignoring his plea for help and going off for a lunch break.

A play - something extremely modern, called "Spectacular Spectacular".

"And it's set in Kolima!" Hsu declared.

Unfortunately, the unconscious Imilian suffered from a mysterious curse, possibly originating from the Proxian mountains.

"Perfectly alright one moment, then suddenly unconscious the next," Hsu informed him. "Never was the same after he came back from Prox."

Ivan made no reply except to stare up at his ruined ceiling in astonishment, which now had three other bohemians (Hsu's companions, Ivan assumed) peeping through.

"He alright?" one of them asked.

The only girl of the group, a Xianese girl with long purple hair, threw her hands in the air out of irritation. (Ivan barely withheld a shout of surprise that she didn't topple through the hole as well.) "Absolutely wonderful," she said sarcastically, "now Alex is unconscious AGAIN, and the scenario will not be ready in time to present to the financier tomorrow."

"He's right, Hsu," a blonde boy even shorter than Ivan remarked, "I still have to finish the music."

"Do not worry, Justin, Feizhi, we'll just find someone to read the part." Hsu reassured them.

"And where are we meant to find someone to read the role of a young, sensitive, Koliman poet and goat herder?!" Feizhi exclaimed.

The three male bohemians shot pointed looks at Ivan, who was still quite inarticulate.

Before I knew it, I was upstairs standing in for the unconscious Imilian.

Ivan stood on a ladder, still extremely stunned, but now clutching a copy of the Spectacular Spectacular script and dressed in Alex's Swiss poet and goat herder costume (which, he found, was rather too big for him). Alex himself lay on a bed in a different set of clothes, still unconscious. Justin happily tapped out The Sound of Music (a main theme in Spectacular Spectacular, Ivan discovered) on the (somewhat out of tune) miniature piano, while Hsu sang the part of the nun as best he could.

"THE HILLLLLLLLS ANIMATE, WITH THE EUPHONIOUS SYMPHONIES OF DESCANT!"

His extensive vocabulary still not having returned, Ivan was forced to try and figure out the meaning of this lyric himself.

"Oh, stop, stop, stop, STOP!" Feizhi yelled.

Justin and Hsu accordingly stopped. Ivan, very close to having figured out the meaning of that lyric, was startled out of concentration and had to start all over again.

"Stop that insufferable droning!" the Xianese girl cried. "It's drowning out my words! Can we please just stick to a little decorative piano?!"

There seemed to be, ahem, 'artistic differences' over Feizhi's lyrics to Justin's songs.

"Somehow, I do not think a nun would say that about a hill." stated the last person in their little group of bohemians (who was later introduced to Ivan as Picard).

"What if he sings, The hills are vital, intoning the descant?" Justin suggested.

"What's a 'descant'?" Ivan squeaked, extensive vocabulary still persistently out on its lunch break. Unfortunately, it being a rather tiny squeak, he was unheard and unnoticed.

"No, no." Hsu refused. "The hills quake and shake…"

"No, no, no, no!" the golden-eyed man (Picard) replied. "The hills…"

All of a sudden, Alex sat up, staring wild-eyed around him. "The hills are incarnate with symphonic melodies!" he exclaimed, before fainting again.

"Somehow, I don't think so." Picard said dryly.

"The hills…" Ivan started.

"No." Hsu cut in. "The hills…"

"The hills…" Ivan echoed.

"The hills…" Hsu repeated.

"The hills are chanting the eternal mantra…" the Lemurian attempted.

"The hills are alive…" Ivan got as far as.

"My cat's stuck in a tree in Imil and I really need to go get her down!" Justin screamed.

Nobody understood what he meant and nobody tried to, so they all turned to incoherent babbling arguments about the lyrics (and cats being stuck in trees) instead, while Ivan stood in sheer bewilderment.

It is amazing what people can come up with when they're stuck for an idea. Several cries of "My cat's stuck in a tree!" and "At least my cat's not stuck in a tree!" were heard. However, I was quite sure that neither Justin nor Picard happened to own a cat.

Suddenly, inspiration (and his extensive vocabulary, though it took a while to notice that had returned) took a late curtain call, wandered in, and smacked Ivan upside the head. Ivan's eyes flew wide open, and he began to wave his arms wildly about to try and get his fellow bohemians' attention.

Unfortunately, Ivan's sense of balance seized that moment to go and have its own lunch break, and this only resulted in Ivan toppling from the ladder. The bohemians continued their incoherent ranting (occasionally punctuated with cries of, "MY CAT'S STUCK IN A TREE!"), completely oblivious. Ivan took heart from this and stood up again, pulling himself to his full height.

"THE HILLLLLLLLLLLLS, ARE ALIIIIIVE! WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC…" he sang out.

The bohemians stopped their rambling (although Picard took the time to finish yelling, "AT LEAST MY CAT'S NOT STUCK IN A TREE!") to stare at him. Silence came back from its own lunch break, and descended on them all.

Alex leapt from the bed, evidently very awake. "The hills are alive with the sound of music! I LOVE IT!" he hollered, then returned to unconsciousness.

An extremely relieved look cast itself over Ivan's features, while the bohemians looked very thoughtful.

"The hills…" Picard tested.

"…are alive…" Hsu continued.

"…with the sound of music!" Justin finished, playing along on the piano. "Yes! It fits perfectly!"

Ivan beamed, and this time, inspiration kicked him in the shins.

"With songgggggs they have sung, for a thousand yearrrrrrrs!" he added.

He shot them all the puppy-like hopeful look only he could pull off, and, much to his silent delight, his companions gasped.

"Incandiferous!" Hsu blurted out, quite blissful in his ignorance that it was not a real word. "Ivan, Feizhi, you two should write the play together!"

"I beg your pardon?!" Feizhi ejaculated.

Hsu's suggestion that Feizhi and I write the show together was not what Feizhi wanted to hear.

"If my talent isn't GOOD ENOUGH for you, then I shall return to Xian and concentrate on kung fu!" Feizhi hollered, kicking open the door. "Paalam, mga itlog ulo!*"

Ivan blinked somewhat, turning to Hsu in confusion. "What…exactly… did she say?" he asked, perturbed.

"She's the only one around here who speaks Hesperian," Hsu replied ruefully.

* Tagalog for "Goodbye, egg-heads!" I wanted to put in "So long, suckers!" in Chinese, unfortunately my Chinese speaking friend couldn't be bothered translating. ^^;;