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"Hey, you with the big fish ears, I got a bone to pick with you. How does a dead guy win!?"
--Yusuke

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Eternal Flower

by Lady Ayako

Chapter One: Tears and Promises"

Eienwo eienwo
Saitemo karenai
Konomuneno tokimekiwa tsukinai
Dareyorimo dareyorimo
anatawo mitsumete
Hateshinakukonokimochi zutto. . .
(Eternal Flower, Ai Yori Aoshi)

"Yusuke," Koenma started off slowly, "I've got another case for you. You may have some problem with him, he's not nearly as powerful as Sensui or Toguro though."

"What is it?"

Koenma continued: "The mission will take you into the heart of Makai. All we know is this youkai has been murdering other youkai, most of them children. Kurama will be able to guide you through the place, seeing as he's been there so many times. The demon is probably a C, A, or S Class demon."

"Do you know the section we're going to?" Kurama asked.

Koenma cleared his throat and a picture of the place clicked on, "I'd advise you to be extra cautious around here, this place is known for its thieves, nasty demons, and deadly plants. Majority of them however are low class demons. Oh, yea, there are some energy or movement sensitive plants around this area. Most of them are like familiar ones you've seen both sides of Kurama use."

"You mean there are Ojikis lurking there?" Yusuke asked.

"Aren't those the very sensitive plants, the ones with the crown of leaves and huge mouth?" Kuwabara asked.

"The same." Koenma said.

"Uh. . .Kurama will we be safe around them?"

Kurama smiled softly, "Don't worry, I'll be able to calm them down."

"Whew!"

"Also, be careful of the Hallucinations Tree, the Ghost Plant, and the Bloodsucker plant. There are also a few of those Death-Summoning Herbs around as well. The only one you have to be careful of is Ojiki and the Hallucinations Tree. Also watch out for thieves and demons."

"Right. All right. Onto Makai." Yusuke said.

When they entered the section, they ran into trouble midway through the forest and rock ledges. Without breaking a sweat they got past one obstacle. As they walked, many more came into their path, each harder then the last. Kurama quickly changed into Yoko so he could dodge and help destroy the traps. Once they got into a open section in the forest, they ran into the demon.

"So the Rekai Tentai are here to deal with me! Ha! That's funny! Let's see if you can deal with my fire powers!" Yusuke smirked. The demon was Sachi, a A Class Demon like Hiei and Kurama, but some of his attacks as a S Class Attack. Without warning a ReiGun was fired and flew toward Sachi. Sachi immediatly jumped out of the way and into the tree. "Such divine would shine on me. The half-breed Ma-Zoku is part of the group. This should prove interesting."

Yusuke and everyone looked around watching for Sachi who disappeared into the woods. They were unaware of what was about to happen next. . .

. . .when a loud and painful scream pierced the air around them. They turned around and their eyes went blank from the shock "Kurama!!" Yusuke yelled as he stared unbelievingly and with uncontrollable anger.

Sachi had held imapaled Kurama from behind with his deadly sword. The youkai then tossed him away from him, causing the kitsune to fall to the floor with a painful cry. Kurama's head dropped to the right side his silver hair fell onto his face. He stopped moving all together.

"You'll pay for that you big oaf!" Yusuke's demon energy flowed around him and into the air.

Sachi smiled at the satisfaction and attacked, Kuwabara slashed at him before he could come near and Hiei hit him with a slash of his sword. Yusuke aimed his finger at him and loaded up on the attack.

"Shot Gun!" He cried, Kuwabara and Hiei jumped out of the way, but Sachi didn't have the time to jump out of the way. Each bullet hit and hit him in the chest and stomach. Little did Yusuke know that while he shot that Hiei and Kuwabara shot a huge attack as well, all three melted together and turned the demon into a pile of ash and dust after a short scream.

The pile of ash flew away as Yusuke watched it. But his attention was quickly altered when several demons attacked when they heard their master's scream. The attack went on for a few moments in till Yusuke heard a small cry behind him. And stopped the attack only to hit another away. He turned his head toward Kurama, "Hold on, Kurama! I'll be over there in a second!!" He shouted, worry in his voice. "Just try and hang on!!"

Kurama could hear the cry from Yusuke, begging him to hold on. He had too, at least to see Yusuke. He opened an eye and saw the his friends fighting the youkais. He suddenly heard a screech! and looked up, his eyes widening when he saw a red-skinned youkai standing over him, his claws pointing at him in a deadly fashion. "Yusuke. . !" He cried, eyes closing tightly.

Yusuke turned toward him and when he saw the demon about to attack he charged at the demon and kicked him away from Kurama. He stood over him as two more attacked. Kurama looked up and couldn't help but smile when he saw Yusuke standing over him before he fell into unconsciousness.

Yusuke bent down by the kitsune and placed each hand on his shoulders in order to wake the motionless Kurama, "Kurama! Wake up! Come on Kurama, open your eyes for me! Let me know your alive! Wake up! Kurama, wake up!" He cried as he shook him, trying his best to wake the motionless kitsune.

"Easy Yusuke! You'll injure him even more." Kuwabara said.

Hiei bent down by the bleeding kitsune after he was finished, not caring about the blood spilling around them. He took hold of Kurama's wrist and checked for a pulse with two of his fingers and checked for his Ki, which in his case is called Ghostly Ki. Hiei knew it would be hard to track, but for a youkai it wouldn't be too hard. . .

. . .he hoped. "He's alive!" Hiei said in shock. He saw where the sword had hit and was worried. He helped Yusuke turn the kitsune over onto his back to check his wound, to see if it wasn't too bad for him to not survive it. Yusuke lifted him up by his shoulders and neck, allowing Hiei to remove the top of his clothing. It was easy for him to remove because it was like a kimono, but with no sleeves, plus it'll help in trying to staunch the blood.

"Kuso. . ." Yusuke whispered when he saw the gaping wound completely. It wasn't a good sign for the young kitsune. He could tell already that sword had pierced his spine and paralyzed him from the waist down. Basically, he was unable to move his legs. "He's bleeding too much. We have to stop it!" Yusuke quickly removed his coat and then his shirt and ripped it into several large pieces. He took several strips and folded them together, placing them over the wound, applying pressure.

Kuwabara as well removed his own shirt and tore it as well, helping Yusuke to stop the flow of Kurama's blood. Hiei used his shirt to soak it in water to remove the blood from his face. The motionless kitsune moaned in pain from the pressure Kuwabara and Yusuke were applying to his wound. One hand twitched softly, the pain hard to stand.

Kurama moaned slightly, coming to slowly, his ears twitching downward from the pain. Yusuke ran a comforting hand through the kitsune's hair as he tried to move. "Kurama hold still while we try to stop the bleeding." He said reassuringly, but Kurama knew he was lying and that there was little hope to prevent the blood form stopping.

"His Ki is getting too low. . ." Hiei said sadly as Kurama opened his eyes. Everything was blur of light and color and he could only make out the outlines of three people. His breathing was ragged and forced.

"Kurama!" A voice whispered in a sigh of relief. It was Yusuke. But the relief didn't last long when he saw Kurama's eyes beginning to loose focus and close. "Come on Kurama! Stay with us!" He said, tapping his left check softly. It worked.

Kurama's golden eyes focused on his surroundings, and he immediately noticed his friends and the pool of blood around him, his eyes blinking dazedly. He looked down at where they were applying the pressure and noticed that they had finally managed to stop the flow of blood, but wasn't able to stop it completely.

Kurama looked up at the sky and then back down at the deep pool of blood surrounding him. Kurama could feel the blood swirling around his body because of the wind and his friends movements. His head was resting to the side and he could feel the blood soaking even his ear. His eyes moved softly because of the pain.

Yusuke's eyes widened when he saw the golden glow in his eyes began to fade as his Ghostly Ki did. "There's gotta be a way we can help." Kuwabara said, his voice unusually hushed.

"Let's get him to Genkai's place. Koenma should be able to heal him with his Mafukan or Yukina can." Yusuke said, but when he went to place a hand under the kitsune's head, a hand grabbed onto his wrist tightly. Yusuke looked down at the kitsune, shocked by this action. "Kurama. . ?" He asked, worried by this action.

"No. . .It's okay. . .I-I-I-" He stammered. The pain was unbearable and it was hard to speak. "It's okay. . .My energy is. . . unh. . .too low. . ."

"No! I went let you! Not this way!" Yusuke cried. He wasn't about to let Kurama die on him. No this way and not now.

"Yusuke. . .It's okay. . ." He gasped softly, before coughing up some blood.

"But. . ." He began to protest, but he stopped him by placing blood stained finger on his lips. "But. . .Kurama. . ."

He smiled softly. It was hard on Yusuke, he figured it would be if something like this ever happen to him or to Keiko. Yusuke and Kurama shared a special relationship, the same he shared with Keiko. It was going to be hard for Yusuke to except this. And it was going to be even worse when Botan finds out.

Kurama shivered from the cold and loss of blood, but it stopped a little bit when he felt a cotton cloak fall onto his body. He looked up and saw it was Kuwabara's cloak. "You should go. . .more youkai will eventually come. . ."

Yusuke looked at him with a frown on his face and gently took his hand into his. "Hell, no! I'm not leaving here without you!"

Kurama could only smile, his own hand gripping Yusuke's tightly, "At least. . .I'm not dying alone. . ." He whispered, some tears escaping his golden eyes.

"Hey, hey, don't talk like. You here me? Don't you dare talk like that." Yusuke demanded, trying to hide the tears from his own brown eyes.

Kurama could only smile at him, "Yusuke. . .Could you do me a favor. . ?"

"Of course, Kurama. What is it?"

"Could you just. . .hold me. . ?" He whispered, some more tears streaking down his face from a combination of pain and sadness. Yusuke smiled and nodded as he slid his arm under his shoulders and upper back, lifting and supporting the kitsune in his arms. "I'm sorry. . .Yusuke. . ."

"No Kurama, it's okay. I'm the one that should be sorry. If I been fast enough I could've. . ." He stopped and let out a sob as he held the kitsune more tightly, causing Kurama to whimper in pain. ". . .I could've saved you. If only I had seen what he was planning. Don't leave me now Kurama. I couldn't stand it." Kurama only looked at him softly. "Kurama? What is it?"

"I don't feel so well." Kurama said weakly.

Yusuke shifted Kurama's position in his arms, and felt the sticky blood covering Kurama's back, his chest, hands and arms, and his pants, as well as the ground. He suddenly felt cold all over.

"I'm so cold. . ." The kitsune whispered, his body wracked with a shiver after shiver. "It hurts. . ."

"I know. I know Kurama." Yusuke whispered. He tightened his grip around him and pulled him close.

"Don't leave me. . ." Kurama whispered, clutching his arms around his chest and back. Yusuke held him closer, pulling him onto his lap. Kurama let out a small scream and his hands immediately clutched his chest blood spilling out a little too fast now.

"Kurama? What's wrong?!" He cried as Kurama made a small whimper. Yusuke pulled back a little bit to see what was wrong. The injury in Kurama's chest had opened more, causing immense pain for the kitsune. He was used to bad wounds, but never in his life has he had one that ripped open even more and it was hard to bare the pain.

The was blood all over his back, and it felt much too warm and slippery. Kurama whimpered into his chest. He wrapped his arms around his back as Yusuke held him tightly in his arms, hoping it'll lesson the pain. Safe and warm, Kurama felt the pain lesson and go away a little bit. Kuwabara and Hiei could only watch the seen falling before them. Tears fell from Hiei's face and formed into black tear gems on the floor.

"Don't leave me Kurama. Please don't."

Kurama could only hug him softly before looking up at Hiei and Kuwabara, "Hiei. . .Kuwabara. . .Can you leave us alone for a little bit. . ?" They both nodded. Hiei came over to them and both he and Kurama shared a hug. As they did, Kurama felt something light fall into his lap, but he didn't bother to look at the moment.

Hiei then let go and backed away, allowing Kuwabara to give him a small hug. As he got up, their hands were together. . . .

. . .their fingers touching each others. Kurama looked up at him and smiled softly. "Watch over Yusuke for me as well as Botan."

"We will," Kuwabara said as some tears fell from his eyes and dripped down his arm, over their hands, and the kitsune's arm. Kurama smiled and the two let go of each other's hands allowing Kuwabara and Hiei to walk away. Kurama watched them, some silver hair falling into his face.

"Kurama. . ." He heard Yusuke beginning to say and turned to him. He lifted up a hand and shushed him by pressing a finger to the ningen's mouth before he could say something else and then touched his cheek. Yusuke lifted up his hand and placed it over his cold hand, sobbing softly.

"I just wanted to spend some time with you. . ." He trailed off as another spasm ran through his body. "I love you Yusuke. . .I always will. . ."

"I love you too. And I don't want you to leave me."

"Death is not forever Yusuke. . .at least. . .not in my kind. . ." Yusuke looked at him, surprised by what he said. "I will never be far from you. . .remember that. . .I'm always in your heart. . ." Yusuke eyes twitched as he let out a painful sob. Kurama smiled and brough his hand to his face, smiling softly.

As he did, his eyes happened to look down at his lap. There he saw something black and shiny. It looked like a pebble because of how small it was. Yusuke let go of his hand, allowing him to reach down to his lap and pick up the tiny object between two fingers. He lifted it up and let it drop into his hand. "What is it?"

"A black tear gem. . Hiei's tears turn. . .into these tear gems when they. . .hit something. . ." He handed it to Yusuke as he spoke his next words. "Yusuke. . .Do you remember? About our love. . .as roses. . ?" He asked as he took his hand.

"How can I forget. It was the same time you said my love to Keiko is like lilies." He whispered.

Kurama raised his free hand to his blood-stained, silver hair. With a tiny flicker, a rose was produed. The sight took Yusuke's breath away, it was the most beautiful one he's ever seen in his entire life. The mere sight of it, was enough to make any ningen or youkai fall on his knees and speculate about the wonders of the univers. The red stood for their love, and green leaves gave it a sense of piece. The whole thing had a intensity of love. . .

"Yoko. . ." He whispered. It was rare for him to say that part of his name, but it seems in times of death, he'll say anything.

"Take it. . .Yusuke. . .For this one is special. . .This one brightens because. . .of our love. . .and nothing can stop it. . .Not. . . not even death.

Yusuke lifted up his hand and took it from his. He gazed at it with wonder. Was this a symbol of their love? The emblem of the delicate relationship that they had shared together? Yes, he knew this is what this meant. He felt the trickle of a tear run down his cheek.

"You're crying. . .Yusuke. . "

He put the beautiful rose down in Kurama's lap, underneath the kitsune's hand, then he stroke his hand resting on the leaves and the petals. "You're in pain. . .kitsune. . .Let go. . .I shall join you soon--"

". . .No!" He cried in a small whisper. "Don't be foolish. . .Yusuke. . .promise me. . ." His face flushed softly and deeply and his voice faded.

"Let go, kitsune! Now you're in too much pain. Rest now Kurama. I don't want to see you in pain."

Kurama shook his head, some silver hair falling into his face, "No. . .Not before. ..I get your promise. . .You got to continue on living. . .Keiko needs you. . .Everyone needs you. . .Only die if needed. . ."

Kurama's voice pleaded urgently with him and Yusuke's heart gave a twist. To live without him there. Impossible. . .More teras ran down Yusuke's face, and Kurama silently reached up to wipe them away. "I. . .I. . ."

"Please. . .Yusuke. . .Promise. . ."

"No, I. . ."

"Please Yusuke. . !" His voice was urgent now because he knew he was about to die. He didn't want Yusuke to die early, he wanted him to live on, stay with Keiko.

"Idiot kitsune. . .Yes, yes. . .Only if necessary." Truly satisfied, Kurama once more took his hand into his. A stab of pain then shot the dying kitsune and he knew he was going to die soon. Kurama looked up at him with dully eyes. He sobbed lightly, "Don't die on me Kurama. . ." Yusuke held him more tightly in his arms.

"Yusuke. . .you know I'll pass soon. . ." Kurama whispered. Talking any louder was too much of a strain on him. "Just hold on, you'll get through. . ."

"No! I know I promised, but I can't! It'll be too hard!" Yusuke held him tighter to him.

"I love you. . .Yusuke. . .Death does frighten me. . .but I except it when it comes to it. . .I'm not scared. . .I don't want you to be either. . .Did you here me? Don't be scared. . ." His breath was slowing. He retreated into himself for a minute or two, trying to find a way to calm Yusuke. Even at death's door, all I can think of is him, Kurama thought to himself as an image of a smiling Yusuke flooded in his mind. His eyes were closed, so he was remembering the past. He's so sad. . .I could sing to him. . .

"Kurama, please. . !" He sobbed softly. "Please don't leave me. . ."

I'll bring up that song I sang to him and to the others, see if that helps, he thought and reached up to touch his cheek. "Yusuke. . ." He looked into his eyes. "Yusuke. . .Do you remember that song I sang. . .a few week ago at Genkai's house. . ? The one that calmed you. . .and everyone down. . ?"

Kurama saw a smile come onto Yusuke's face, causing him to smile as well, "How can I forget? We all weren't in such a good mood that day." His smile became more bright as he brought him closer to him. "I know your about to pass away, but could you. . ?"

"Yes. . ? Anything Yusuke. . ."

"Could you sing for me, at least one last time? I want to hear your voice once more before you leave me."

Tears steamed down the kitsune's face. Why did it have to be so soon? His mind was wondering that when he got hit, but he realized all might not be completely lost. This song and the rose he gave him symbolizes their love. He and Yusuke kissed deeply; in the back of his mind, he was hoping he could share one last one. "Which one Yusuke. . ?" He asked softly.

Yusuke could feel that the kitsune's time was running out. "The one you sang to us and while you were taking a bath. . ." He allowed a small smile to come on his face when he saw Kurama blush.

Kurama returned the smile and began to sing softly, "I know that you're hiding things"

Yusuke closed his eyes as Kurama's melodious voice floated around him. He would miss Kurama deeply. If he knew that Kurama would be his reward, he'd gladly accept every punishment the wrold had for him just to be with him.

Now Kurama was going to die and for a stupid job.

"Using gentle words to shelter me / Your words were like a dream / but dreams could never fool me"

Every suffering seemed to melt away at the sound of Kurama's voice.

"Not that easily / I acted so distant then / Didn't say Goodbye before you left / But I was listening / You fight your battles far from me / far too easily. . . /

There seemed to be no pain in his voice, Yusuke noticed as he continued. His voice was back to normal. Light began to glow around them.

"Save your tears conside come back / I could hear that you whispered As you walked through that door / but still I saw to hide the pain when I turned back the pages / Drowning by the barley answered / What if I cried my eyes and begged you not to depart? / But now I'm not afraid to say what's in my heart/"

And that's when Yusuke joined in.

"Cause a thousand words call out through the ages / They'll fly to you even though I can't see / I feel them them reaching you / Suspended on Silver wings / Oh a thousand words, a thousand embraces will cradle you / even though your more wary / They seem far away / they'll hold you forever /"

A few feet away, Hiei and Kuwabara could hear the singing and watched as the glow became brighter. "That's Yusuke and Kurama?" Kuwabara asked.

"You're right. That song is what Kurama sang a few weeks ago." Hiei said, they closed their eyes as they heard the melody.

"Oh a thousand words, have never been spoken"

Botan and everyone at Genkai's house heard the singing as it passed through the house as they waited for their friends. Botan went to the door, her blue hair flowing around her. 'Do you know what happened Koenma? Genkai?"

'Something must've happened during their mission. I think that's two of them singing."

"Yea you're right. I can feel Kurama Ki fading slowly, but at the same time. . .flowing with Yusuke's." Genkai said.

"I feel Kurama's KI fading away too. . .as if he's leaving. . .", whispered Botan softly. "But. . .if that's really true. . .then Kurama is about to--!"

"Botan, calm down. Calm down, okay? That's not what that means. . .I'm sure he's just fine. . ." Shizuru said as he touched her shoulders.

"They'll fly to you, and carry you home / and back into my arms / Suspended on silver wings"

Kurama's Ki began to flow with Yusuke's. Creating a bright color around the two. Showing their love.

"Oh a thousand words, a thousand embraces will cradle you / even though your more weary / the same far away / they'll hold you forever"

Kurama took out another rose and lifted it up. Yusuke's hand went around it and they shared a small smiled as it began to glow and open more. They twisted it, aloud the red petals to fall down and then fly around them and into the air. Hiei and Kuwabara were watching from their same place as they flew up before their eyes closed.

"Oh a thousand words, have never been spoken / They'll fly to you, and carry you home / and back into my arms / Suspended on silver wings"

"On silver wings"

"And a thousand words, call out through the ages / They'll cradle you, and all of the lonley is to holy day"

"They'll hold you forever" Yusuke stopped and Kurama sang the last line as the petals disappeaerd into the light and wind.

"A thousand words" As he finished it, their face was close to each other and their lips met one last time as they huggeed, wind blowing their clothing and the shreaded pieces around them. They released and Kurama opened his eyes. Yusuke started crying as he felt the kitsune slip away.

"Kurama. . .I love you. . ." He held him tightly to his chest.

Kurama ruffled his hair with the remaining strength he had, "Same here Yusuke. . .we'll be together again. . .soon. . .I promise . . .Take care of yourself and watch over Keiko. . .and Botan. . ." He said as Yusuke hugged him close to him and as Kurama's breathing began to falter slowly and softly.

Yusuke could feel his Ghostly Ki fading away. "Kurama. . ?"

He moved him back as he felt his hand slipping from his back. Kurama's eyes blinked about three times before they began to close all together. Yusuke's hands were lose and he felt him fall backwards and out of his arms, but he caught him before could hit the floor. Kurama's head fell to the side limply as some hair fell into his face. His eyes began to move softly as he began to sob as tears formed in his eyes. Footsteps began to be heard from behind him, but he didn't even hear it.

Kuwabra and Hiei arrived to see Yusuke hold Kurama still, but his body was in a different position, a hand resting limply over his body, he held him by his shoulders, but in a way to keep his head up. They heard him sobbing softly as he held him to him. Kuwabara moved forward alittle bit, a hand lifting up a bit, "U-Urameshi. . ." He began, but Hiei stopped him, by lifting his hand. Kuwabara stopped and closed his eyes tightly. Yusuke fell forward slightly, his arms gripping Kurama more tightly, not wanting to let go of him.


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