Warning: pseudo-crossover. If you do not want to read one that isn't pure Naruto or pure crossover, then please do yourself a favor so you don't waste your time.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything that can be associated with their respective creator. All characters that will appear in here belong to their respective product and shall remain so on this planet Earth.

…Possible ownership in parallel dimension not impossible but unlikely.

XXXXXXXXXX

All it takes was one thing.

One accident.

One injury.

A single pause.

Or maybe it was an accumulation of little "one things."

One meeting.

One person.

One question.

The time stream had carved another path and thing will never be the same.

XXXXXXXXXX

October tenth was a special day. That was a fact that no one within the Fire Country would argue. To the many that live within the country, it was the day that Konoha's beloved Yondaime Hokage defeated the powerful Kyuubi that rampaged near Konoha nine years ago. To the people that lived in the hidden village since their birth, it was the day they lost their beloved hero. To a small portion of immigrants, it was a day for a festival filled with food and fun.

To one lonely boy it was his birthday.

And in the now eight years old boy's mind, he absolutely hated it.

There were always the glares. The whispers and the snares weren't hard to miss. The way some would purposely went out of their ways just to make him miserable at times.

Oh his birthdays, it always got worst.

They never touched him of course. They never once lifted a finger against him. The worst someone ever did to him was chasing him away with a broom. The kids tended to be harsher, throwing stones and pebbles at him for the younger ones and open bullying for the older ones. Those of his age leave him alone because their parents told them so.

Except that one time… But that wasn't important.

The only ones that ever really paid him any attentions were the ones in the Ninja Academy, and even then it was because he made a fool of himself trying to gain attention.

And he hated it. He hated, despised, and absolutely loathed it.

He hated the parents that whispered at his back, thinking he couldn't hear them.

He hated the kids that bullied him because they could.

He hated the teachers that punished him for things that weren't even his doing.

He hated this village for the way it treated him.

That was why he proclaimed that he will become the Hokage one day. He will gain their respect, and he will change this village.

But to do that, he needed to be strong. He needed to be powerful and skilled. He needed to be the best at what he does; what they do. That was why he was here, in the middle of an unused training ground pounding away at a piece of log, mixing sweat with the blood oozing out of his busted knuckles. The pain was a constant distraction from dark thoughts, and the boy welcomed it so that he did not descend into a state of mind that made him hate himself.

To hate himself would be giving in to those bastards, because then he would bring himself to believe them.

He couldn't do that. He won't do that.

He almost did it once, and it was an experience that still haunted him and gave him nightmares.

Those nightmares were more horrible than reality. The shadowy figures, the white grins that painted their faces and mocking curves that served as their eyes, the pointing fingers and the chants.

And the giant shadow of a fox whenever he looked down at his feet.

A particularly harsh punch woke Naruto up, and the pain that accompanied it made him winced. He apparently broke that hand if the cracking from before was any indication. Whether it was a crack or a clean snap, he couldn't tell. It was starting to get too dark and the hand looked too swollen either way. There was no delusion that he broke the log, because he simply wasn't powerful enough to crack it. Chipped at it, perhaps, but not break it.

A glance at the night sky told him that he should head home. However another glance at the village proper, where light and noise continued to saturate the air made his decision for him.

XXXXXXXXXX

While not a major problem for him, the boy had to admit that the forest was still somewhat difficult to navigate at night. The occasional roots that jutted out of the ground were a headache, and the bugs that appeared at night tended to get rather creepy-crawly. Not to mention he couldn't see spider webs in the dark, and who knew what else was stuck on them.

In short, the forest around the training grounds was a pain at night.

He wasn't bothered though. He knew that should he get lost, the old man would always somehow find him in the end. He will show up when he least expected it, and he would do so with a smile before having one of those mask guys take him home. He particularly liked the one with silver hair and the other one with purple hair. Those ones were cooler than most.

Thus he wondered the forest with no purpose in mind. He treaded the dirt without an idea of where to go and with no focus on where to be.

It may be a good thing that he did, because otherwise he wouldn't have found the girl under a tree.

He paused.

Now that he wouldn't heard the crunching of dirt under sandals, the boy could easily hear her sniffs and sobs.

He probably shouldn't have. Past experiences told him that kids tend to turn on the flip of a dime, being nice one moment and then turning cruel the next. They may not mean it, but it did not mean the boy didn't care. Besides, it happened before: helping a crying girl only to have the girl picked on him the next day.

Really, he probably shouldn't. But he couldn't deny someone in need. Even after all the misdeeds piled on him, there was always that need for him to help people.

A lady may glare at him, but if she someone snatched her purse he'll trip that thief so she can catch them herself.

A fish vendor may ignore him, but he'll keep the stray cats away by switching their attention onto himself.

An old grandpa may snare at him, but he'll lead someone who could help carry his grocery to him even if it meant getting yelled at.

The boy didn't get it, but he wanted to help people, even if said people hated him. If they don't want to see him, then he'll do it secretly, in the shadow and out of sight. The old man often said how proud he was whenever he caught the boy in the act of doing so afterwards. He'll then treat the boy to a meal.

And the boy would always choose that small ramen stand because they could use the money, and he would always made sure to stuff his stomach to the limit because the old man would pay the full amount.

The yummy taste was just a bonus.

So when he found the girl sobbing away under the tree, he couldn't help but walked up to her and asked, "Are you lost?"

She was a small thing, barely reaching his chin even though he was short for his age. Dressed in a pretty kimono filled with flashy patterns and a thick obi of gold, the girl tilted her head up to expose red puffy eyes at him. She was cute, that much the boy will admit. Her face was round with baby fat, but he had the hunch that when she lost them, she'll turn heads easily just by walking down the street. He couldn't quite make out her hair, but it was probably a shade of brown. Her eyes though was green, and the boy was a little shocked that he liked them better than that one girl, Sakura's even though they weren't a startling shade like the pinklette's.

The girl just sniffed a little more. The boy crouched down so that they were eye leveled and asked once more, "Hey, are you lost?"

"I… I can't f-find my ball." The girl sniffed out, making the boy wondered just why she would be playing with a ball in the forest in during the night.

Well… "I see… Do you remember where you last saw it?" The boy asked, but the girl shook her head no. Humming the boy then asked, "What about buying a new one? I'm sure you parents wouldn't mind."

The girl shook her head no once more, but this time she said, "I-it's not from o-otou-sama or okaa-sama. It's from K-Kyo-nee-sama…"

"Eh…" The boy mumbled while scratching a chin, now thinking that there was nothing else but to find that ball. If it wasn't from her parents, then it must be an important gift from someone else… even if it was just a ball. "Alright… what does it look like?"

It shouldn't be a problem right…?

XXXXXXXXXX

Of course it wasn't a problem.

It was a freaking disaster!

Searching for a bright blue ball with a golden star on it was proving to be extremely difficult, especially when the girl lost it first before losing herself in the forest looking for it. Why she did that, the boy didn't know, but then again he wasn't the shining example of wisdom himself. He too did plenty of stupid things and learned many things the harsh way, so he couldn't exactly criticize the girl.

Speaking of whom, she had long since lost her strength to go on, and was now using him as transportation. Piggy backing such a small girl was no problem at all, though he felt bad for ruining her cloth with his blood stained hands.

Then there was the fact that his hand was supposed to be broken, but he didn't feel any pain anymore, so why the heck not?

She said she didn't mind. Then she mumbled something about his hands being big and warm. The boy didn't get it, but if the girl didn't care, then he wasn't going to make a concern about it either.

And then she fell asleep not too long afterward, thus leaving him to search alone.

Still, this was getting them nowhere. The forest around the training ground was large, and to comb it at night was simply impossible for him. If it was one of those masked guys the old man always had with him, then it would be a piece of cake. Not to mention the girl's parents or guardian or whoever was looking after her must be worried sick.

Perhaps he should get the girl to safety first?

…Yeah. He should probably do that first. They can yell at him for her mistake. That way everyone's happy. She'll be safe, her parents won't worry, and he'll take the blame.

The demon boy was after all responsible for all the mischief that happened around here.

With that thought, his steps gained a purpose as he set his direction to the village proper. It was easy to find even if he was in the middle of the forest. The light and noise made certain that he'll never lose sight of it that day.

It was almost as if the forest parted way for him as he marched forward, determined to get the girl to her parents first even if he didn't find her ball. Balls can be replaced since it was just an object despite whatever sentimentality it held.

Life was finite, and there was no replacing her should something happened to her.

Just like that stray puppy stupid enough to follow him. He even warned it not to follow him.

Shaking his head to get rid of potentially depressing thoughts, the boy picked up his pace a little as he treaded through the forest, his goal clear in his head. He would get the girl to her parents. If it required that he asked for help from those masked guys even though they tended to be busy, so be it. If he had to bring her to the old man, then that would be what he'll do. If somehow it meant he needed to search through the entire village, then he would do that too.

He won't trust the task to anyone else. He won't trust the other adults because who knew what they'll do if he asked them for help. The other kids probably wouldn't even bother and instead pick on her with him. The other ninjas that wondered the village may help, but there was no guarantee.

It surprised him on just how dedicated he felt that he must do this, but he will return the girl safe and sound with nary a scratch on her or a hair missing.

So focused was he in his task that the boy was extremely surprised that he bumped into someone. An apology was already flowing out of his mouth when he noticed that he was at the edge of the forest with the village proper just a short distance away.

Was the forest always this small? That couldn't be right.

Putting that aside, the boy looked up at who he bumped into only to felt himself stiffen, for the woman before him could only be described as beautiful and divine. Maybe it was the way the light from the village built a halo of light around her, or maybe it was the white and red priestess outfit she wore, but there was no other way he could describe her. Black hair cut in a neat hime-style and tied in a loose pony tail behind her with gentle brown eyes set upon a surprisingly stoic face. Pale skin that shone with the halo around her, somehow heightened by the white shirt she wore. There was no denying her figure, despite being hidden somewhat by the slightly baggy priestess cloth that even to his childish mind was enticing.

There was also the strange fact that he could feel power within her and knew that it wasn't chakra.

Then he noticed the ball she was holding and blinked. "Oh… there it was."

XXXXXXXXXX

For the Priestess known simply as Kikyo, this event came as a shock.

To understand why she felt such surprise, one would first have to know why she even encountered such an event in the first place.

It was because of the whim of her five years old princess, the small girl that had somehow captured her loyalty through her purity; a purity that needed to be protected in the hateful world of politics that was the Fire Country capital.

The princess had wanted to see the festival that happened only once a year that she heard so much about. A tale here, a rumor there, and perhaps some exaggeration in between had the princess begging to visit.

Kikyo wasn't stupid as to believe that it was simple coincidence that these stories and rumors reached the princess's ears. Despite how pure she was, the princess had her own share of enemies because of how she came to be. They were her enemies not because of her directly, but rather because of whom her sire was.

Regardless of that, Kikyo could not deny her. Not even the daimyo could resist her when she begged with such large excited eyes and large beaming smile. That was why the village hidden in the leaf received the surprise of the daimyo visiting on this particular day.

But before then, Kikyo gave the princess a gift. It was a simple ball, made of processed sticks, rice paper, glue, and – something she'll never admit to even though everyone but her ward knew of it – magic. A spell crafted specifically so that should the princess be in need of help, someone WILL find her and – whether volunteered or otherwise – help her through her crisis.

Be it humans or otherwise, by the eight million kamis someone WILL help the princess, or Gods have mercy on their souls because when Kikyo get her hands on them…

So they came to the village hidden in the leaf. They came to the festival with smiles amidst the cheers of the villagers.

Then when the festival was well underway and the sun starting to set, the trap was sprung.

The princess was lost amongst the crowd and a spell was cast so that no one could effectively tract her. Not even the priestess Kikyo who held a massive amount of holy power. She was never trained as a tracker after all, but more as a healer with some purification mixed in.

But she wasn't worried. Even if the daimyo was on the verge of calling for a village wide search Kikyo wasn't worried. She knew there was nothing that would ever harm her princess because of the spell she cast on the ball. Even if someone took it from her, the spell will still protect her from a distance. Even should someone destroy the ball, the spell will make it so that a beacon would appear that no one in their right mind would ignore. In a village filled with – here Kikyo had to hold back a grimace – professional killers the beacon would definitely not be ignored.

Should someone harm the princess, they would be cursed to receive whatever was inflicted upon her, only much worst.

And should someone kill the princess? Well… the resulting curse would make the perpetrator wished for death.

Harsh perhaps, but Kikyo was quite willing to commit a few… nasty businesses if it meant her princess would remain pure in her heart and soul (purity of mind was simply impossible with the world she was in).

So whoever sprung the trap was either very smart to know that their plans had failed, or was too stupid and messed up with the priestess personally thinking the former. There was no inhuman screams reported, so the princess wasn't harmed or worst. That meant she was allowed to go – most likely without the knowledge of the sinister plot that followed her.

When the priestess felt the protection spell upon the ball activated, she quickly sought it out so she may track down the princess.

When she found the ball, she was rather surprised. The ball wasn't with the princess, but that wasn't the surprise. No, the surprise was because the response was so… minimal, as if all it did was give whoever it targeted a simple nudge.

Or in this case, a little more "oomph" in whatever he or she was doing.

It was also very confusing, because the spell told her to simply wait by the edge of the forest that separated the village proper from the training grounds.

Frowning while lightly chewing on her lips, Kikyo then sent the guards the daimyo ordered to follow her back, saying that it was all taken care of and that she would bring the princess back. A little extra reassurance (and some subtle usage of her power as "pressure") was needed before she was allowed to do as she pleased while they return to reassure the lord that all was fine. Without further prompting, Kikyo set foot towards the location the spell informed her to be at.

She arrived within minutes and waited. Five minutes passed and there wasn't a sign of the princess. Another ten minutes passed and the priestess wondered if something happened or that her spell malfunctioned, but a quick check had her certain that the spell was working and uncorrupted. Another fifteen minutes had her near ready to charge the forest when he appeared.

A small – no, tiny would fit better – boy, smeared with dirt and malnourished at best was marching through the forest, bright blue eyes that held an intensity children shouldn't possess and burned with determination. There was no better way to describe him, for he wasn't walking; he was marching with a purpose.

So set upon his task that he did not notice her and seemed to look right through her even though she was right in front of him. It wasn't until he literally bumped into her legs and was already apologizing that Kikyo was shocked.

There, sleeping soundly with a content smile on his back and supported by hands that looked quite bloody and swollen, was her pure charge.

It was so shocking that she simply stared.

This was what her spell brought? A boy who looked like he couldn't even defend himself, let alone help her princess? Wouldn't someone else be a better choice? Or better yet, a spirit or kami or maybe even a God could do things much better.

But a boy?

She was only vague aware of the boy staring at her in return and was thankful that her training allowed her to keep her astonishment hidden. It would be unbefitting of her if she let it show just how much this strange event affected her.

Seconds passed and the staring contest seemed to continue, and then the boy looked at the ball. He looked and said, "Oh… there it was."

The simple, short sentence was enough to bring Kikyo out of her stunned state, upon which she looked upon the ball she was holding before staring back at the boy. He appeared sheepishly, and would have scratched his head should one of his hands be free. "Well, the girl was looking for it, and she was crying and stuff, so I figured I look for it with her." The boy then looked to the side. "But then I figure it's kind of late, and that her parents would be worried, so I thought it'd be better to find them. I mean, she may think differently, but it's just a ball, and whoever this Kyo-nee-sama could always just give her another one right?" Then he just kept going on and on. "So then I just started walking towards the village. It was kind of funny, because it felt as if the trees were making a way for me, but that's just dump because there's no way that could have happen! And then…"

She had seized listening by then seeing as how he started to babble. There was no denying his maturity however crude and unpolished, something that made the priestess uneasy for reasons beyond her.

What caused her to really stopped listening was how he said the trees made a path for him. A glance at the forest revealed to her the various kamis and spirits that inhabited it, all hiding behind leaves and shrubs as if that would be sufficient to keep them from her sights. Their curiosity was palpable, and easily sensed for one such as her. It wasn't strange, for kamis and spirits often held curiosity for strangers, so she dismissed it quickly. What she didn't understand was why they helped the boy, because the spell only gave him the push and no one else.

There was something else in there too… It wasn't malicious, but not quite benevolent either. It was like it was purposefully holding something dark locked away in itself. It had departed a while ago, but its presence was undeniable.

Perhaps it was a God forgotten by men, but not by others?

"Hey, hey!" A gentle nudge at her shin brought her attention back to the boy. He looked kind of annoyed and was pouting, which if the priestess was truthful to herself looked quite adorable on his whiskered face. Seeing that he now had her attention, the boy looked up with guarded but somewhat hopeful eyes and asked, "Do you think you can help me find her parents or whoever this Kyo-nee-sama is? I mean since you kind of find the ball and seem to know what it is, so maybe you know who she is… Unless you're some bad guy pretending to be a good guy, then that just means I'll have to kick your ass."

"And what makes you think I'm not?" Kikyo asked before she could stop herself. But she really was curious.

The boy grinned. "Because something tells me that you aren't!"

Kikyo blinked. Something told him? What could possibly… "Would you allow me to check something?"

The boy frowned, his guards increased a little and he moved in a way that shielded the princess further. She had to admire his courage (or stupidity). "What are you going to do?"

It really was kind of cute. He was quite protective. "Nothing that would be harmful, that I assure you."

The boy scrunched his face up at her, and Kikyo felt as if he really was peering into her soul before he gave her a careful nod. Smiling a little, the priestess kneeled down to her knees and gently brushed some unruly blonde hair – which was really soft even with all the dirt and sweat caked in them – and touched two fingers to his forehead. A small nudge had her power brushing the boy's own chakra, a task made easier because he was trained to access chakra.

Then Kikyo received another shock. The boy's affinity and potential for the aspects of the spiritual world was simply enormous! His chakra reserve was also miraculous, which only increased her shock because she knew it would keep on growing.

And he was pure. His purity rivaled the princess's on his back, and it was even more astonishing because of what was… in his…

Most curious! So that was what REALLY happened to that fox… There was also something quite different with it too.

"Hey, hey, lady, what did you do? I mean it's kind of ticklish, and there are weird lights appearing and… OH MY HOLY RAMEN GOD, GHOSTS!"

Hmm? A ramen god? She supposed there was one but – wait a minute, what ghosts?

The boy was still screaming as he squished himself against her, somehow managing to keep the princess on his back while pointing a finger at the forest. He did so in such a way that the princess was sandwiched between him and her, effectively changing them into two human shields that would stop simple attacks. How the princess was not awake was beyond her.

Kikyo understood immediately what he was screaming about and had to suppress a smile.

Really, the boy had a protective streak.

"Hmm? Onii-chan? Did you say ghost?" The princess mumbled sleepily, finally waking up from all the commotion the boy was causing. It was enough to give him pause. "Onii-chan? What's the matter?"

"Err… t-there's no ghost. I'm just s-seeing things. Ahaha. Ghost? H-how silly is that?" The boy laughed nervously and quickly set the girl down onto her own feet. He then started to do this little silly dance, making sure to keep himself in front of the princess, effectively shielding her from the forest and the "ghosts." Kikyo was sure the princess wouldn't see, but he didn't know that. "I m-mean everyone knows that ghost didn't exist! They're j-just silly stories!"

The priestess had a pretty good idea of what was happening though.

"Onii-chan… you're weird." The princess mumbles, sending the boy into mock depression (which drew a giggle out of the princess) before finally noticing her. Her green eyes then lit up in joy and exclaimed, "Kyo-nee-sama!"

It was very amusing how the boy's face adopted a confused look before gawking in shock. The accusing finger he pointed at her didn't help her mirth at all.

"Hello hime-sama. I was worried." Kikyo allowed a small smile to grace her feature for the princess. The girl in return threw herself into the priestess's arms and started to speak a mile a second. It was kind of hard to follow, but then Kikyo could just barely make out that she was telling her of her time.

Somewhere along the line the princes had noticed the ball in her hand, and then she switched gear and started talking about how she lost it in the first place. Something about… actually, Kikyo couldn't say because it was completely lost to her.

Just like the boy, the priestess tuned her out a little and instead returned to staring at the boy. He looked different now. Now that he wasn't holding the princess up, the boy looked even smaller. His bright eyes also dimmed somewhat, but they held strong. His grin stretched even wider, something that made her want to wince at just how FAKE they absolutely were.

Perhaps it was best that they go now. "Hime-sama, please thank the boy, for we must be going. The lord was quite worried." Kikyo interrupted her princess's much exaggerated tale of her adventure through the forest. There was no point, because Kikyo had an inkling of what really happened.

The princess blinked. "Oh…" She sounded a little dejected. Perhaps she should make it up to her later?

Gentling letting the princess go, Kikyo straighten up as she watched the girl approach the boy shyly. She fidgeted for a moment before bowing. "Onii-chan, t-thank you for helping me."

The boy grinned, this one not as painful as the one Kikyo witnessed, but still held something to it. He scratched his head before laughing. "No problem! I'm happy to help. Just don't wonder the forest again alone okay? I don't think I'll be able to help you the next time."

"Mm!" The princess replied to the silent promise before leaning forward as if searching for something. The boy appeared flustered at the scrutiny, and Kikyo wondered just what she was looking for.

Then she received her third shock of the day.

"Ne, ne, why are you sad onii-chan?" Her princess asked, and Kikyo had to blink at how she was perceptive enough to notice. Maybe it was her nature as a child, or maybe it was something else, but the boy hid it well. For her princess to notice what Kikyo only suspected was quite a feat.

"I'm not sad." The boy answered, much too quickly in Kikyo's taste. His grin was stretching too wide again. "There's no reason why I'm sad. See this BIG smile? Why would I be sad?"

"…" The girl only narrowed her big eyes at the boy, who started to fidget before those eyes rounded up at her.

Then Kikyo had her fourth shock of the day. It can't be good for her heart.

"Ne, Kyo-nee-sama, can we bring him with us?" The princess asked. Kikyo was just about to scold her when she said, "He's sad here, but I can make him happy!"

Kikyo blinked. The boy blinked. They then blinked at each other before turning as one to blink at the girl. Her face was set in determination, her eyes wide in anticipation. Kikyo knew that face.

It was the face that got them into this circumstance in the first place.

"I'm not a stray dog or a stray cat you know." The boy answered, pouting in hope to distract the girl. The princess only frowned at that.

"That is correct hime-sama. You couldn't simply… oh, excuse me! I forget to ask for your name." Kikyo started before gasping. It was rather rude of her, and certainly a mark against her. She should know better! What would her kind mother (bless her soul) and her teacher think of her?

The boy grinned – for he grinned quite a lot – and shouted, "I'M UZUMAKI NARUTO! THE NEXT HOKAGE DATTEBAYO!"

Ah, a verbal tick. How cute. "It is a pleasure Naruto-san. I am Kikyo."

"And I'm Yurie! And you're coming with me!" The princess declared before grabbing Naruto's hand, not minding how they were dirty and red and caked in dried blood.

"Hime-sama, please be considerate. The boy's parents may be worried about him." The priestess tried to persuade the girl, kneeling down to her level once more. Yurie frowned before turning and asked.

"Do you have parents?"

Really, that child needed some more tact. Of course he-

"Well… no." Naruto answered with his voice low. He looked embarrassed in answering that question.

Oh… "Then surely your guardians?" Kikyo asked, but she couldn't help a frown from appearing, somehow already knowing the answer beforehand.

What kind of guardian would allow a child wondered the forest at night?

"Don't have one either. Jiji wouldn't let anyone do it after… eh, it's not important." Naruto started then trailed off before boosting his cheerful image.

He was grinning once more.

Yurie blinked. "Then who takes care of you?"

"Nobody. I don't need it anyway. I live alone because I can take care of myself." The boy answered as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

Or was forced to learn how to.

And that must have made up Yurie's mind because when she turned her eyes upon Kikyo, the priestess knew there was no way short of a miracle that she'll ever pry the boy away from her princess.

Either he'll come with them, or she'll stay with him.

"Perhaps this could be better discussed in Hokage-sama's office?" A new voice called from over her shoulders, and Kikyo jumped a little before turning to glare at one of those white animalistic masks the village's elite guards ANBU wear. It was a cat she noted, with a head of purple hair under her hood. "I'm sure Yurie-hime-sama and Hokage-sama has much to talk about."

Her action was strange, but Kikyo sensed nothing but good intention from her. In fact, she almost felt desperate.

But there was happiness. She was happy for the boy.

Naruto also trusted her it seems, because he brightened up and quickly latched onto the guard's black cloak. "Neko-san! Where were you when I was in the forest looking for that ball? I was so hungry! Can we go get ramen? Please, pretty please?"

"We can order take out. I think Hokage-sama will want to see you later." The Neko ANBU answered, and there was no denying the smile in her voice. Then she looked back at her and said, "Please follow me. I shall bring you to Hokage-sama, where your Lord Daimyo is waiting."

In this surreal situation, Kikyo can only blink. The events lined up too perfectly to simply be coincidences. She knew what a coincidence was like. These events…

She glanced at the ball, long forgotten in her hand and innocently just sitting in her palm. She then glanced at the forest behind her, where she could still see the kamis and spirits hiding and curious, but glancing at her and the boy – not the ANBU, not her princess, but the boy Naruto. Then she glanced at her princess, who was looking between the Neko guard with confusion and her with determination. She then finally glanced at the boy trying and failing to find an escape from this bizarre situation.

"What happened to your hand Naruto-kun?" Neko's question, filled with concern brought Kikyo to focus on them, paying only half a mind to how Yurie-sama was now clutching her hakama insistently. Indeed, that hand looked more swollen than the other one.

"Well, I was training because I didn't want to attend the festival. And I kind of… punched the log too hard…" The boy mumbled shyly, looking away to the side with one hand scratching at his head. Kikyo raised an eyebrow at that. "But it's fine now! It doesn't even hurt anymore."

That sentence did not register. Rather her mind was currently racing.

He punched too hard?

The ball gave the princess's rescuer a little more "oomph" to it?

The boy carried the name Uzumaki, and her scan had somehow awakened his own spiritual awareness.

Coincidences happened all the time, and sometimes the weirdest coincidence can changed the world for better or for worst.

This series of events may just be one of those coincidences…

Looking up at the sky that now revealed the countless stars, Kikyo scanned it for a sign. Any sign. Something that shouldn't be there or she missed before.

She found nothing… but that was fine.

Perhaps it was high time that she started accepting apprentices, like her sisters – one kind and obedient and the other nagging yet strong – had been telling her.

Kikyo smiled. Yes, an apprentice to pass the art of spirits sounded like fun. They could always use another to fight the never ending forces of corrupted spirits and malicious kamis.

She wondered how he'll turn out.

A medium? He housed that fox spirit just fine, though it may be due to the method of containment.

A barrier expert? His protective streak will make whatever he produce strong and durable.

Perhaps a kannushi? His new found spiritual awareness was already quite formidable to be able to see the ones in the forest so clearly.

No. Those were too blend and specialized… She could feel it in her essence that he was special.

She knew the answer already. What the boy held within him made it quite clear. She had an idea of how to do that too, with or without Konoha's cooperation. What was required wasn't a strange concept either. The idea behind it was different from her training, but it was just a different way from how she did things. She wouldn't limit his happiness like she did herself, forever trapped in her oath to remain pure. And if things go smoothly, the princess will gain a powerful ally.

Oh this was grand! She could already feel the excitement building, and she had never felt this excited except when she finally swore her loyalty to her Yurie-hime-sama.

A miko training an onmyoji… It sounded like fun.

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AN:

A little something that I started a long time ago, but never progress more than what you see here. Having dug it up when I'm trying to get my creative juice flowing again, I figure that I might as well share it and see if anyone will like to pick it up and do something about it.

That said, it will remain a one-shot. I won't be adding more chapter to this and never will. Instead this is going to be a sort of base for some idea I've been typing, retyping, reshaping, rewriting, and redoing. I still lack materials though, so I don't think it'll be done anytime soon.

Anyway, hope you guys enjoy this little piece. For those that still am hoping for updates on my other stories, I can't guarantee anything except that I'm trying to pump them out and keep feeling unsatisfied with what I'm doing.

Well, it'll be buried soon enough in the massive, never ending updates of . Again hope it is enjoyable and somebody somewhere decides to take up where I left up and do something about it.

Until next time… whenever that is.

Pseudo-crossover/Cameo character info: what changed and what didn't.

Kikyo (from Inuyasha by Takahashi Rumiko): A powerful miko skilled in the art of healing and purification via archery. She appeared often stoic, but underneath that was a kind heart rivaled by only a few. Of course here, she isn't an undead and will never be. It might be rather easy to guess who the other "sister" is.

Yurie (from Kamichu by Besame Mucho and co.): A small, cheerful girl. She is clumsy and a little slow, but will always do her best as whichever task that was assigned to her. Instead of becoming a God, here she is the niece of the Fire Daimyo. Her eyes color is a matter of headache for me seeing as how I couldn't be sure if they were green or a shade of gray…