Hi guys, I'm back with another SF story. I deleted my older one entitled 'Blind Game' because it was never going to be finished and I didn't like just leaving it there (especially when it needed so much editing). So it's time to start fresh!

I'd also like to note that I choose this pairing because of the wonderful story 'Sick Cycle Carousel', which can be found on my favorites list. Also, Jetice has a lot of great stories, featuring the boys, so check those out, too.

Disclaimer: Don't own it.

Three sharp knocks echoed down the halls of the esteemed Magic Academy. The normally bustling school was quiet this time of the day, but there were still some devoted students lingering in the halls. Blue ignored their quizzical looks as they passed by him, he was more than used to being gawked at by now.

He tried knocking again. "Master, it's Blue."

"…Please come in," answered a strong, solemn voice. Before him, the ancient brass doors creaked open, and Blue stepped into the schoolmaster's study. The older magician smiled faintly as his most prized student stood before him. Blue could just barely make out the wrinkles that were starting to form on the man's face, mostly at the corner of his eyes and mouth. The once glistening raven hair that memorized Blue when he was a child, was now dull and mostly gray. His trademark ghostly smile still remained the same, however.

"Good evening, Master. I have come to pay my respects before I depart," Blue spoke on bended knee. The older man nodded and motioned for him to stand. He was nursing some sort of pipe and it was very fragrant.

"Has everything been explained to you?" Blue nodded, not meeting his master's eyes. Another puff of smoke, and that faint smile had disappeared. "This is a very heavy burden for you."

"I understand. This is the only way," Blue spoke, although it wasn't entirely the truth. He had been prepared for many trails to receive the title of Master Magician, but he didn't completely understand why he had to kill his brother. Had he not done enough to prove his superiority already? Nevertheless, he would spend no more time questioning it. This path had been chosen by wiser men than him.

"Blue," there was something strange in his master's voice, something Blue had never heard before. He chanced a look up at his superior's face. His eyes looked soft. "You are the youngest to ever receive this title. As was I, back in my time. You are expected to follow in my footsteps."

"And I am honored," Blue stared, but his elder wasn't finished.

"Are you willing to do anything to protect your kingdom?"

"Yes," his master smiled, though he didn't seem quite as pleased at this response as Blue had expected.

"Yes…yes, of course," the man's eyes were looking strange again, he looked almost troubled. "In order to achieve the power you want, you are going to have to sacrifice much. I will give you one last bit of advice before you leave," he tapped some ash out of his pipe and Blue waited patiently for him to speak again.

"Try not to sacrifice too much of yourself in the process, or you might end up a hollowed old man with nothing but smoke to keep him company," were his words.

"Sir…I'm not sure I follow," Blue spoke awkwardly, but he didn't receive any explanation, that eerie smile was the only thing that answered him.

Once he was dismissed from his Master's chambers, the young magician left the academy without a word to anyone else. As he opened up the region map in his mind, he was distracted as he replayed their conversation. His master was always a complicated man, but so very powerful, and he admired him a great deal. They were pretty close, at least, as far as student/teacher relations go. Though he never could bring himself to ask why that trademark smile never seemed to reach the man's eyes.

Shaking head, Blue opened up his region map. He couldn't afford to dwell on such things, Rouge had probably already left town by now. Fixing his mind on Devin, a bright light surrounded him, and in a flash, he was gone.

Next chapter will be ready soon, sorry this one is so short. It just felt like a good place to stop.