Well, ladies and gentlemen... I have returned from my horrible computer-crash and managed to sprout out a lovely story about my current stop in the cycle of obsession... Yu Yu Hakusho!

This story is an AU as well as Yaoi. It will also have blood, murder, and magic in it. You have to remember that I write mostly dark fiction and I do not dull anything for the squeemish. If you cannot handle blood, murder, magic, or your favorite character liking another character of their same gender then I am afraid you will have to turn away now...

Also... why do we bother with disclaimers? It isn't like I'm going to be sued. If it's on this website then it doesn't belong to me. End of story.

On with the show!

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The Mage and the Sorcerer saga

Episode one: Begin! The curse and the mage

Ice-Puppet

Pairings that will be 'canon' for this story: Hiei x Kurama, Yuusuke x Koenma

They will vary, however, and stray from those two a bit.

I refer to Kuwabara as 'Kazuma' in this story because it's his first name. K?

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The world was one of magic, demons, and creatures – dragons run amongst many, while wizards and witches ruled over all.

The sides divided over time, leaving those who stood for good and those who stood for evil. No matter what your heart believed, whatever side you were born on became the side you stayed on for the rest of life. On the side of evil, Sorcerers ruled – evil, magic wielding humans and dragons, as well as the darker of the creatures. On the side of good, Mages sought over all – good, healing humans and creatures, as well as fairies and elves.

However, the mages had quickly been dispelled by the darker of the sorcerer's magic, and as time grew they became less and less until they disappeared into hiding, only a few dozen left.

To stumble upon a mage was an amazing fleet, as they hid amongst the sides of good and rarely revealed themselves as bearers of magic. However, as soon as finding themselves to be a mage they sought out another to teach them the ways – normally a family member or friend of the family (as mages tended to stay together) – and took and oath to never harm another on the side of good.

In the palace of Enma, the Prince Koenma was a good youth. Merely twenty-five, he handled many affairs while his father was away. He was a kind and gentle ruler, with a soft smile and an addiction to a small pacifier that his mother had given him before death. Many envied him not only because of his position but also because of his soft beauty.

Upon greeting villagers both from near and afar, Koenma had been greeted by a longhaired demon dressed in black, violet eyes glowing harshly toward him. Although feeling a bit uneasy, Koenma had greeted the man with nothing but a smile. The man had, as all others did before him, taken the Prince's hand and gave it a gentle kiss…

And then the Prince had fallen.

Cursed by the strong Sorcerer, Prince Koenma had fallen ill, and would have died if it had not been for the very pacifier his mother had given to him – blessed by a mage, it kept him from harm… but the magic was old and was wearing thin under the stress of the curse on him.

It seemed the only thing that could save him now was a mage… a living one.

The mage of the castle had died long ago, but as they viewed over the man's notes they found that before coming to the castle he had fathered a single child – a son, living in the outskirts in a small village but a weeks journey from there by horse. Unable to risk sending a royal carriage to retrieve the mage as they were most likely being watched, two of the strongest guards were sent to retrieve the boy, who the father had stated in his notes was indeed blessed with the powers and had been trained by a village mage.

Urameshi Yuusuke, the high guard and strongest in the kingdom of Enma, and Kuwabara Kazuma, second only to Yuusuke and the man's long time best friend.

"Please, hurry," Botan, Koenma's faithful elder sister, begged of the two as she stood by her brother's bedside, the Prince's only movements the rise and fall of his chest with air and his mouth working the pacifier every few moments, unconsciously bringing more healing power into him. "I fear he will not last much longer."

"Of course, Lady Botan," Yuusuke responded with a low bow, forcing himself not to glance at the bed-ridden Prince. "We will make haste."

"Hey, Urameshi?" Kazuma questioned as they left, using the friend's old habit of calling each other by their last names – a playful sign they had done from their childhood to tease each other in the fact that, although they were close, they still did not get a long. "What do suppose this mage is like?"

"What does it matter?" Yuusuke responded in an almost empty manner, pulling himself up onto beautiful white horse – one of Koenma's, which he had begged Yuusuke to take in one of his moments of being awake.

"Take Usagi," The Prince had whispered to him, his speech not at all muffled by the object clenched between his teeth, as it had been since it was given to him. "He is swiftest."

"But…" Yuusuke had protested, fighting any emotions he had at seeing his leader so weak.

The gentle smile on his face was one he had reserved for only his highest guard. "Don't protest, Yuusuke." He always called the guard by his first name, no matter the situation. "Take him. He will guide you and take care of you."

Looking down to the horse, Yuusuke could not help but pet him slowly, watching as he relaxed under his touch, despite never having met him before. It seemed Koenma's words were correct – the horse seemed to know its master's wishes and would take care of him.

"Why do you get Prince Koenma's horse and all I get is this?" Kazuma protested, looking down to the brown horse below him, which gave a noise of protest. It appeared almost weak and worn down and looked as if it wanted to shove him off at any moment.

"Because he likes me more," was the simple response. "Now shut up and let's go."

No one was there to see them off as they left, horses silent in the dead of night and padding straight toward the forest to be more secretive. Despite being pure white it seemed Usagi could blend in to his surroundings and Yuusuke silently wondered if the creature was some sort of magic-ridden animal, although he did not dare question. Instead, he decided to trust the Prince, whom had never steered him wrong before, and let Usagi guide him.

By the next morning they stopped to let the two horses breathe and drink from a stream, Yuusuke watching the water quietly while Kazuma cooked something for them to eat, grumbling all the while.

"How are we supposed to know who this mage is, anyway?" He murmured, more to himself than to Yuusuke. "I mean, they send us out to retrieve someone but they don't tell us what he looks like?"

"Idiot," the younger man commented, picking up a rock and throwing it toward the water where it hit with a splash. "Didn't you know?"

"Know what?" Kazuma asked in question, nearly burning himself.

"You know how all sorcerers have purple eyes, right?"

"Yeah?"

"All mages have bright green ones."

The other man dropped beside him, handing a bowl of something indescribable before he himself dug in. "I've seen plenty of people with green eyes," was the retort between bites.

"Not the kind of green like that," Yuusuke told him, moving the bowl around as he contemplated eating the mush – he would need his strength, but he didn't know if he could stomach the liquid. "It's brighter… like a sorcerer, their eyes glow."

"How do you know all this?"

"Koenma told me." It was then that Yuusuke realized his slip (calling the Prince by his first name without a suffix) and went stiff, eyes widening.

Kazuma snorted to his slip-up, but decided not to comment. "Well, do we know anything else about this guy?"

Thinking a moment, the guard tried to remember anything important he had been told. "According to the father's records he lives with his mother. He assumes his father was killed. The best we have to go by is the eyes, I suppose."

"Well," the redhead stated, beginning to wash his bowl in the water. "What does the dad look like? Shouldn't they look alike?"

"Mages don't look like their parents," The younger informed. "It's a magic they invented long ago to keep themselves from harm… or something."

A moment of silence passed between them before Yuusuke gulped down the slosh in one swallow and washed out his bowl. Usagi padded over, obviously ready to go, and he mounted him once more.

"You know," Kuwabara commented, as he too mounted his horse. "That horse is kind of weird… I mean, I've never seen a horse with golden eyes before."

--

Minamino Shuuichi was a kind and gentle soul – it was in his nature to be such. Everyone in the small village liked him, although he could tell they feared him… and not simply by their eyes.

You see… Shuuichi - more commonly known as Kurama (as his younger step brother bore the same first name and thus had advised a 'nickname' for him) – was a mage, inherited from his father. Despite his mother having brown hair he himself had bright red, along with the glowing green eyes of a mage.

As a mage, he could feel life around him… hear, feel, touch, taste, and smell it as one. It was almost like an extra body part that was all around, in everyone and everything. The sense allowed him to tell any person's emotions around him, no matter the person and no matter the emotion. It was almost a form of empathy, but it was not as overwhelming and uncountable.

He could also breathe life into dying things, although he could not bring things back from death. He was, by no means, an extremely strong mage… only nineteen, after all. But he was kind and whenever a villager would bring an injured child or a dying dog to him he could not help but heal them.

His one love, however, was in natural objects – flowers, plants… you name it, he loved it. Kurama's specialty lay in manipulating and growing greenery, however only for good. As a mage he had taken an oath to never harm another on the side of good, no matter the circumstances.

Currently tending to a garden he had become famous for, Kurama lifted a protesting flower in his hand and it grew almost instantly from his touch, becoming full with life once more. Giving a soft smile to his one true love, the redhead moved to stand quietly, dusting off his clothes.

His step-father, a cold man whose last name Kurama had never cared to learn (he knew it, actually, but acted as if he forgot every time he was asked) did not quite like the idea of having a child as a mage… even a step child. He had gone to all lengths to attempt to 'cure' the redhead, and upon realizing there was no 'cure' for being a mage, had locked the boy inside of his room for an entire year. It was only when Kurama's mother had fallen ill did he release him from his room to heal her, but the boy was only fifteen at the time and not strong enough to do so.

Upon his mother dying, Kurama had become his stepfather's 'curse'. Although no longer locked in his room and not forced to do anything against his will, instead the boy was blatantly ignored by the man, even going so far as to ignore him when Kurama asked for his attention. Thankfully Shuuichi still spoke to him, although it could be the boy's extremely kind heart and love for all that was the reason.

Kurama, although knowing that mages tended to hide, preferred the airy and easily moveable yet still attractive look of the clothes they used to wear, and thus dressed like one at almost all times. Although most before had worn whites and light colors, he preferred the colors of nature – greens and golds that brought out both the colors of his eyes and skin. He had sewn the clothes himself out of material a woman had offered him for saving her child from near-death.

A small sigh echoed from him as turned to head back inside. Because of what he was, people offered him many things… things that his stepfather was quick to accept despite Kurama's protests, and thus they were slightly well off, although still poor in the small village.

Secretly he wished something exciting would happen… that somehow, he'd be able to leave the small village and see more of the world. But he knew his stepfather would never let him leave… and life would always be boring.

--

"Urameshi!" Kazuma cried as he halted his horse, the other boy riding a bit ahead before he stopped as well. "Aren't we going to stop for the night?"

"Why?" The younger man questioned, turning toward their destination. "The village is right there."

"Yeah…?" His redhead companion motioned as if attempting to prove his point. "I doubt they have an inn… so we'll stop here and approach the mage tomorrow?"

"No time," Yuusuke snapped, moving Usagi forward.

"Oi! Urameshi!" Kazuma cried after him, trotting his own horse forward to keep up. "What's up with you? Its not like a few hours is going to make a difference…"

The image of Koenma lying in bed, breathing his dying breath, only made Yuusuke force Usagi into a run.

The village was not one with a market – instead, the market was a few towns over. Instead, it was only made up of 50 or so small houses, all clumped closely together. Without him realizing, Usagi had darted quickly into the houses and come upon one with a lavish garden and a redhead standing up from a plant, about to go inside.

Usagi stopped. Yuusuke watched the redhead as Kazuma pulled his horse up, both of them gasping for air.

"Urameshi!" He snapped angrily, ignoring the silence that had filled the village. "What-?" As if suddenly realizing, his eyes moved to follow the others and he found himself looking upon the person in the garden. "Wow… who is she? She's… beautiful…"

Bright green eyes turned from the door the person was about to enter and fell upon them… glowing faintly in the darkness that surrounded them.

"He's the mage!" Yuusuke exploded before several things happened at once.

He jerked himself off of Usagi and rushes at the newly found Mage, desperate to grab the boy, go, and explain later. Kazuma let out a cry of his last name and nearly fell off the brown horse after him, grabbing both swords as an afterthought. The redhead gasped loudly and made a break for it, only to have a large white horse cut off his path, making him jump slightly in surprise. It was Kazuma whom caught up with him first, grabbing him around the waist and attempting to hold him while he struggled.

"I'm really sorry about this!" the taller man cried before he successfully knocked the mage out with a swift hit to the back of his neck. Instantly the younger man fell limp in his arms.

"Thanks," Yuusuke breathed, ignoring the glare Kazuma sent him as he took the unconscious boy from the other's arms and lifted him up onto the horse, leaning the thin body against his.

When they reached the outside of the city, Kazuma pulled his horse around in front of Usagi, knocking Yuusuke out of his thoughts and nearly making him drop the boy in his arms. When the brunette looked up, his best friend of many years was sending him a disgusted and angry look.

"What is your problem, Urameshi?" He snapped, casting a glance to the unconscious mage. "You didn't have to attack him! It's not like he was going to fight back!"

"Shut up!" The brown-eyed man cried back, frustrated as he shifted the weight leaning against him. "I… I don't know, okay? God, I'm just so worried about Ko- Prince Koenma! I didn't want to waste any time explaining and risk the chance of him saying no! I just… I want to get back there as soon as possible! Who knows how much longer he has to live?"

With a small sigh, Kazuma sent him a disapproving look and pulled his horse to the side, making it walk once more.

By morning they pulled to the side to let the horses drink and Kazuma cooked up something once more, watching the mage who he had placed on a blanket in order to keep him comfortable.

"Poor guy," he commented to Yuusuke, who was sitting on a rock, contemplating something or other. "He looks so young… what is he, like… seventeen?"

"Nineteen, is what Lady Botan said," the younger man whispered, not moving his eyes from their place on the ground.

"What?" The redhead nearly fell onto the stove. "Nineteen? He's only two years younger than you!"

"I know," was the empty response.

"But he looks a lot younger!"

Brown eyes finally lifted to Kazuma's own dark ones, becoming harsh. "He's probably never seen hard ships like we have, Kuwabara. Did you see that house, and those clothes? He looks pampered."

A groan caught their attention and they glanced over to the mage, whose eyes were clenched together before attempting to open slowly, blinking several times against the light of the sun. Even with his eyes opened only slightly they could see the slight glow of his green orbs.

It took the boy a moment but he managed to sit up completely, looking around before his eyes fell on them. A few seconds later, as if realizing, he went stiff and his eyes widened, fingers curling on the blanket below him.

"Hey, hey!" Kazuma cried, lifting up his hands. "We're not going to hurt you! I promise!"

No response followed, but the boy seemed to relax slightly at the words, eyes appearing to dig into their souls. Once they found what they had wanted he relaxed all the way, but his mouth remained in a thin line and his eyes were narrowed slightly.

"I'm Kuwabara Kazuma," Kazuma stated, returning to cooking his food. "You can just call me Kuwabara. Everyone does. That bastard over there is Uremeshi Yuusuke." Yuusuke snorted slightly.

"We're sorry we scared the crap out of you," the brunette admitted, ignoring Kazuma's cry of 'we?') as he held up his hands as well before letting them drop. "The truth is… we're from the palace. The two of us are the highest guards protecting the Prince, Koenma. I don't know if you've heard or not, but he's quite sick… he was cursed by a sorcerer, and the mage that the palace held previously had you written in his notes." Those green eyes narrowed even more, but the boy said nothing. "He was your father, I think. Kurama, I think his name was?"

The boy nodded then, eyes hard at the mention of his father.

"You're such an ass, Urameshi!" Kazuma snapped, pouring a bowl of the mush before standing up to slowly approach the teen-looking boy, who froze nervously. "I'm not gonna hurt you, remember? What is your name?" With those words he placed the bowl beside the boy.

"Shuuichi," he whispered, voice barely auditable. "But everyone calls me Kurama…"

A small nod from Kazuma was the only response as he moved back to the stove to pour himself and Yuusuke each the rest of the mush, only half as much as he had given the young boy. "Its nice to meet you, Kurama," the eldest stated, shoving a bowl in a rather unfriendly way toward Yuusuke. "Urameshi is really sorry about all this… he's just worried about the Prince and got over worked about trying to hurry back."

Looking down to the food, Kurama felt his stomach turn and placed it back beside him. "I'm not really a strong mage… I don't know if I can even help you…"

"You're all we have," Yuusuke told him sadly, downing the food and trying not to wince at the taste. "Even if you can't completely cure him, I'm sure you could help even just a little?"

"It isn't all that fair… kidnapping me from my home and dragging me to a place I've never been to heal someone I've never met…" Kurama accused, although his voice held no spite. "I'll help you, of course. It's my duty… but, still, the least you could have done was ask." Kazuma sent Yuusuke an, 'I told you so' look before Kurama sighed lightly, causing them both to look back toward him. "Do you know what kind of curse it is?"

Yuusuke shook his head, looking heart-broken. "We only know that it was meant to instantly kill him, but Kura- your father had blessed a pacifier that his mother had given to him as a child just before her death, one he refused to take out his mouth even to adult hood, and it stopped him from being killed… but the magic is old and the curse is powerful, quickly killing it and killing him… the pacifier was also blessed to never fall out and he is the only one able to remove it."

Kurama nodded slowly, eyes growing soft as if in a distant memory. "I see…" he mumbled although they were sure he was barely even listening. "If that's so, then we best leave, hm?"

"You don't need to rest?" Kazuma asked, surprised. "You probably have a headache, or at least a neck ache… I hit you pretty hard…"

The boy smiled lightly, lifting up a hand. "I'm a mage, silly. I can heal myself."

"Oh, yeah!" He laughed, inwardly cursing his own stupidity. "I've never actually met a mage before, so it may take some getting used to… I don't really know anything about them, either."

Smiling weakly, Kurama lifted himself to his feet and shot Yuusuke an amused look. "You're not going to knock me out again, are you?" He questioned as Usagi stepped over to Kurama, the boy's hand lifting to pet him without even sending the horse a glance. "I'd prefer to be conscious, if you don't mind."

Laughing forcefully at the joke, Yuusuke moved to mount the horse and helped Kurama up behind him, blushing as the boy's arms slipped around his waist as if they belonged there, his face resting on Yuusuke's back. "Sorry," he whispered, quiet enough that only the brunette could hear. "I'm not very comfortable on a horse… truthfully, I've never been on one before."

"Really?" The guard questioned, voice at the same level as Kurama's. "I would expect with how well your house looked that you'd have at least three horses…"

"My step father has the horses," the boy responded, eyes closing. "Whatever money he gets he does not give to me. I received this material from a villager whose child I saved, and I sewed these clothes myself."

Realizing he had gotten a wrong impression of Kurama, Yuusuke cursed himself and urged Usagi forward after Kazuma had readied and mounted his own mare.

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And thus ends chapter one of my story. If you liked it by all means tell me and if you didn't please do so as well. Also if you see any mistakes let me know although I assure you I probably won't get around to changing them... I am by no means a bad speller but everyone makes mistakes. That is what beta writers are for... and I don't have one.

(And then there is the fact that I'm lazy and it's summer)

Keep in mind that this chapter is mostly introduction and slightly boring.

The next episode: Trouble! The forbidden child