DISCLAIMER: If you think I own Naruto, you might be an idiot.

Ronin

Pulled from the Void

Kazahana Koyuki had retired to her room shortly after dinner with the team of Konoha ninjas that saved her home country from the grips of tyranny at the hands of her corrupt uncle.

She had excused herself on the basis of being exhausted which actually held some truth, now that she thought about it, but the real reason was a blond haired Genin from Konoha.

Ever since he had killed her wayward uncle, she had been getting strange feelings around him.

She honestly did not know what these feelings were.

She had, after all, locked most of her emotions up to cope with the way her father died and her subsequent departure from her country to save her life.

A lot of nights when she was hiding as an actress were spent laying awake wishing that whoever had taken her out of the country had let her stay and be killed.

And over the course of her involuntary exile, she let her heart weep while keeping up a cold exterior and eventually it froze the tears her heart wept and encased it in, what she thought, an impenetrable barrier of ice.

But, since being drug back to her homeland to shoot her newest movie by the team from Konoha, Naruto had been chipping away at the ice that had formed around her heart.

The Ice had started to crack when he risked life and limb to make sure she was safe even when she tried to run away.

A huge chunk of the ice was chipped away when he gave her an inspiring speech about never giving up right before using his teeth and a file to escape the prison he was put in and eventually helped her escape from her own confines.

And by the time it came for him to fight her uncle, she felt the ice around her heart about on the verge of collapsing and she decided to believe in him and tore the rest down herself.

Ever since she had not been able to be around him without getting the same odd feelings as earlier and she idly wondered what it could be.

She felt as if when he was near all her problems were insignificant and that he understood her better than she even understood herself.

What really confused her was why he always closed his eyes when someone tried to look into them. As it was, she had only gotten a few glimpses at his eyes but those precious few times had been enough.

The few times she had been lucky enough to catch a small glimpse at them and what she saw disturbed her.

She saw false happiness and a lot of wisdom in them. She also saw something underneath those two blaring emotions…

…loneliness.

His eyes held a great sadness only achievable when someone was forced to grow up too fast. And had she not been an actress and used to faking emotions, she might have missed the happiness being faked.

But loneliness was one thing that was impossible to fake and, had she not know what to look for from her own experience, she would have passed it off at how well he had it covered up.

Overall she figured his life must have been pretty bad for him to have enough practice at hiding what he truly felt.

She was surprised that Kakashi had not noticed it because she had seen a lot of the same emotions to a much minor degree.

She only hoped that he had not noticed his student's plight and was not simply ignoring it.

She quickly pushed that thought back, surely if Kakashi knew he would try to fix the problem.

But, that still did not explain how such a young man of fourteen had already felt so alone that his eyes almost pleaded for someone, anyone, to pull him out of the same abyss he had unknowingly pulled her out of.

She was only two years older and, from his eyes, she could tell that he had already endured much more than she or any other human should have to over their entire lifetime.

And she doubted that if left alone much longer he would be able to free himself from the grasp loneliness had on his soul.

She let her mind wonder and wished there was something she could do to help him escape the stranglehold he was in.

She went through many ideas but all seemed temporary and would not help him enough in the long run.

Just as she was about to give up for tonight, she got an idea that would most likely help him out now and in the future.

Getting up from the bed, she walked over to her door and opened it before calling one of the servants that stayed after her uncle was ousted.

When the servant arrived, she gave her a quick message before she retreated into her room and went to one of the designs on the wall.

She took the letter opener she got from her nightstand and made a small slit on her thumb before putting a little blood on each finger and put her hand right in the middle of the design.

She saw the design covering her objective start to swirl and she started to add a little bit of chakra to dispel the minor Genjutsu covering up the blood seal.

While she might not be a ninja, her father had shown her a little trick with chakra when she was little and she had unlocked her chakra just for the purpose of doing the same thing as him.

It was fairly simple trick and she found that doing it relaxed her somewhat when she was traveling around.

All it took was swirling your chakra in a direction while something was in your hand and the result was the object being spun by the chakra.

The faster you spun the chakra the faster the object spun and it mesmerized her how something so easy could be so fascinating.

Due to her small amount of experience with chakra, she could do simple things like open up a blood seal or remove something from a storage scroll.

Even if she did not have enough chakra to be considered a ninja, the skills that she knew required very little chakra and were very useful when sending and receiving important documents or keeping private things private.

She unlocked the safe and carefully pulled out a small ornate box.

Inside the box there were a few artifacts worth more than anything in Spring country and Fire country combined and she planned on giving one of them to Naruto

She was lucky that while her uncle knew where the true 'treasure' of spring country and the 'legacy' of the Kazahana clan was, she was the only one that could open the seal as the blood had to be an exact match or the person who tried to open it died a very slow and painful death.

She hoped that Naruto would accept her gift and maybe she could get him to open up for her. It was the least she could do for him after all he had done for her and her home.

-0-0-0-0-

Naruto was resting on the thin futon in the room that he and Sasuke shared.

The servants that were still working at the mansion Koyuli had reclaimed were kind enough to lend him one for the duration of their mission in the former country of Snow.

He honestly did not know why Kakashi had made them share the room with one bed with when Sakura and Kakashi's own room both had two beds.

He could not help but hear the little voice in the back of his head that said Kakashi hated him along with everyone else in Konoha and, after a few events that had taken place recently, it was getting harder for him to ignore the voice.

Sure he had never been physically abused, unless the whips he got with a belt instead of a spanking when he got in to trouble at the orphanage counted.

But the feeling of being alone, of going home to an empty apartment that barely counted as a home after a hard day of training was more than enough to make up for it.

So, at the age of five, he had put up a mask to try and cope with the void he was left in.

He would be damned before his abusers got to see the effects of their handiwork.

There really was no one for him to rely on in those early years and even now he only had Ero-sennin, Baa-chan, and Shizune but even they were busy and had very little time for him.

Not to mention he did not want to bother them with his problems with their own lives.

Jiraiya trying, key word trying, to get some young woman to model for his smutty book.

Baa-chan was getting herself acquainted with her new position and Shizune was there alongside the revered medic to make sure she did not just get drunk and shirk her duties off on some pour soul.

He briefly wondered what it would be like to have someone there for him when he needed it most.

Sure the Sandaime was there for him every now and then when he was alive, but he had his duties that he could not push off onto other people and Naruto often got the short end of the stick.

And while he may trust Iruka a little, he still remembers the cold glares he received from the man not too long ago, and that kept him from opening up to the teacher.

And looking at how some of the other Genin teams acted like family, he examined his own relationship with his team.

Kakashi was a lazy, perverted, apathetic, asshole that ignored him for his two teammates who either showed no inclination to become better or expected power to be given not earned.

Sakura was a fangirl plain and simple.

She followed Sasuke around like a pathetic puppy and was an overall waste of space.

By all rights after all the high ranking missions they had, she should have either wised up, been kicked out of the program, or, in a worst case scenario, be dead.

But she was not because Sasuke and he had saved her ass so many times it was no longer funny.

His other teammate might not have been a waste of space but he was the most unstable person on the team.

Sure he might not exactly sane himself but he does not go berserk at the first sighting of someone who had harmed him in a physical or mental way.

If he did, he had no doubt in his mind Konoha would be nothing but a ghost town by now as almost every person in the village had at least sent him a cold glare.

As he was about to fall even deeper into despair, a knock came from the door.

He had left the dining room shortly after Koyuki had left and went to his room to try and wrap his head around the things that were troubling him, so he was the only one able to answer the door.

He got up and put up his mask as he opened the door.

Behind the door was a servant that had been sent by Koyuki to inform him of a request to see Koyuki-hime in her chambers as soon as possible.

He nodded and received the directions and set out to see what the princess wanted from him.

If nothing else, he was glad that he would have something to keep his mind from the darker thoughts he constantly repressed.

-0-0-0-0-

Koyuki had been sitting on her bed for what seemed like forever when a tentative knock came from her door.

"Who is it?" she said, trying to verify it was who she wanted to see.

"It's me, Naruto. You had a servant ask me to come see you." sounded his slightly muffled voice.

She smiled a small smile, "Yes you can come in Naruto-kun."

He opened the door and slowly walked inside taking in the sight of her room.

It was plain, but it could as be described as elegantly tasteful.

It also was not furnished with the most expensive things, but it certainly was not composed of second rate furniture.

The walls were a light tan with a few dark brown designs painted on the walls and on one wall he could see a small safe that he assumed protested something valuable.

After he finished taking in the room, Naruto turned his attention to the lady who was sitting on the full size bed.

"What did you need me for, Koyuki-hime?"

She let the small smile fade and Naruto was about to apologize when she spoke up.

"Please do not be so formal Naruto-kun."

He gave her a smile before nodding his assent.

Her smile returned as she motioned for him to sit next to her.

He slowly walked to the bed before sitting on the edge like she was and noticed how soft the bed felt.

He idly wondered if this was the same kind of bed Kakashi and the res got to sleep on every night they had been here.

He quickly crushed that line of thought.

It would not due for him to lose control of his mask and start angsting to the level only normally accomplishable by an Uchiha.

Once he was seated, she took a deep breath to steady her nerves before beginning.

"There are a few reasons why I asked for you to come. The first of which is contained in this box."

He saw her hold up an ornate box.

It was about the size of his shuriken holster and was decorated in different designs but was really odd was the lid.

It had six different gems with a different Kanji engraved in a space above them.

"Inside this box is contained the legacy of the Kazahana clan. It also has to do with an old legend That I would like to tell you."

Naruto slowly nodded his head, the only thing he liked book wise was legends and myths and he had read all the ones in Konoha's general Library and he was eager to hear another.

Koyuki smiled again and began "About three hundred years ago a young man by the name of Kazahana Jin, a ronin samurai, was asked to perform a task by an old lady who had no money to pay him with.

"Even knowing that she had no money to pay him with, he preformed the task and instead of asking and he even gave her all the loot he collected from the bandits that had been raiding farms in the area and killed her husband along with several other defenseless persons.

"What Jin did not know was that the old woman was actually an angel sent down to find a person worthy enough to receive a gift from the gods.

"After seeing Jin's lack of arrogance and his willingness to help out of the kindness of his heart, the angel suggested Jin to receive their gift.

"The gods agreed and the angel returned baring these," here she opened the box and revealed to be six round stones. They were smooth and looked to be carefully polished.

"Jin was confused when the old woman offered them to him and initially refused to accept them but, he took them anyways as she insisted that they would bring him good luck and she could not expect him to have done her request for free.

"As he was admiring them, he felt drawn to one of the stones and he decided to always keep the stone on his person.

"A week later Jin came to a village that was being terrorized by a warlord.

"Seeing that they were defenseless against the tyrant, Jin took up arms against them the next time they tried to raid the town.

"He cut through the thousand men sent to the town before he reached the warlord himself.

"The warlord was as good as Jin was when he had not been fighting for the past hours against the lords thousand soldiers.

"Eventually the warlord had Jin on his knees and was about to kill him when the good luck charm he received from the old woman stated to grow a bright red before bursting into flames.

"The warlord was shocked by what happened, and he was barely able to jump back from the explosion before he was burned to ashes.

"The warlord looked into the flames after he recovered only to see Jin walking out of the fire unharmed, but that was not the only thing he noticed.

"Jin now had on red armor with two katanas strapped to his back. Without saying a word Jin drew the katanas and put them together at the end of each handle making one long double bladed sword.

"Before the warlord knew what was going on, Jin had jumped into the air and twirled his weapon before shouting something that the warlord could not hear.

"When Jin woke up, he was dressed in the red armor and in front of him ran a trench about a mile long and a mile deep.

"Jin decided to go talk to the old woman and see what the stones really were.

"Upon arriving he was welcomed kindly by the woman.

"When he brought up the armor and the stones and she only got a small smile on her face before she left the world in a flash of light.

"Twenty years later Jin was training his son Shin in the way of the samurai when Shin accidentally found the box of stones given to Jin by the old lady.

"Shin also felt drawn to one and he took it and kept it with him at all times.

"Five years later Jin was dying due to a disease and he entrusted the box to his son Shin. Shin gratefully accepted the responsibility and continued his ways of helping people.

"Shin eventually settled down in a small fishing village where he met and married a young woman.

"A year after their marriage, a great beast attacked the town from the water that the town had depended on for its livelihood.

"Against his wife's wishes, Shin was on the first boat to try and push the beast back.

"As soon as they got within fifteen feet of the monster, it sunk their boat.

"Shin was the only survivor and he was barely holding on when he felt a surge of energy flow throughout his body and he suddenly felt at one with the sea.

"He woke up a week later in his house being tended to by his wife who told him the monster was killed by a giant tidal wave that came from out of nowhere .

"He slowly reached iout to the nightstand beside himself and grabbed th stone he had taken so long ago only for it to merge with his hand and him to be wearing a blue armored fighting suit.

"As he looked himself over he remembered vaguely what happened.

"He remembere feeling at one with the sea before releasing the energy he had felt earlier and blacked out.

"When his son Rikou turned of age he showed him the five stones that he was not using and Rikou like his father and his father's father found a stone that he seemed drawn to.

"Ever since then it became tradition for the Kazahana heir to look over the stones and see if any of them react with the individual.

"This tradition was continued until my father wanted to try and make peace and not war and decided to not to look over the stones.

"I am actually the first ever female heiress in the Kazahana's clan history and, out of the six stones, only four have chosen to be wielded."

Naruto was staring in awe at the stones as his mind was beginning to try and figure out why she was telling him this, and as if reading his mind she continued.

"It has never been tried before but, I wanted to see if one of the armors accepted you as their user."

Seeing him already trying to protest she held up her hand. "Before you try to dissuade me, let me give you my reasoning."

She saw him relax slightly and she took a small breath before continuing.

"You have something that many people lack these days… a pure outlook.

"You are not afraid to fight when you have to but you also try to avoid fighting unless you find it absolutely necessary."

She glanced at him once again before finishing her reasons.

"And your nindo is along the same lines as the Kazahana clan's motto of 'Protect those special and those weaker then yourself and never back down'. So I feel if anyone is going to use it properly it will be you."

Naruto was so overwhelmed by different emotions that he could only nod his assent.

Koyuki carefully gave him the box in for him to look over and he examined each stone carefully.

Naruto was about to call it quits when he saw a small flash on one of the stones. He looked at it a few more seconds and was about to tell Koyuki that none were reacting when he saw the same stone flash with the Kanji for 'justice'.

He slowly reached out and picked it up and admired its smooth flawless beauty when he saw the Kanji flash again and this time he knew for certain that's what he was looking for.

While Naruto was examining the stone up close, Koyuki saw a flash from one of the other stones in the box.

Curiosity getting the better of her, she slowly reached out and grabbed the stone.

She saw the flash again and identified it as the Kanji for 'Life' when it flashed once more, and she was slowly becoming enthralled by the stones rapidly flashing kanji.

She was broken out of her trance when she heard Naruto speak.

"Koyuki-chan, I think this one is reacting to me."

She looked over to him before she took the box back and almost put the one she had taken out back but, decided against it and closed it up before returning the four remaining stones to their hiding place and replacing the blood seal.

After she was done, she turned around to see Naruto still slowly examining his stone. She cleared her throat to regain his attention.

He stopped examining his stone to look at Koyuki.

"One of the other things I wanted to talk to you about is this."

As she finished her sentence, she quickly walked over to Naruto before grabbing his cheeks softly and leaning in and planting a soft kiss on his lips.

Naruto sat there stunned as a princess gave him his first kiss… well second but he had firmly pushed back Sasuke and his accidental kiss to the deepest part of his mind and put it under lock and key a long time ago.

After a few seconds, he started to respond which made Koyuki unexpectedly groan in appreciation as those feeling she had gotten earlier seemed to come back even stronger.

A minute later they stopped and Naruto's mind tried to catch up with the situation.

First, an heiress to a royal clan in Spring country offers him a priceless artifact.

And now said heiress had just kissed him.

Warning bells were going off in his head that she probably had an ulterior motive.

"Koyuki-chan what wa-umph"

His sentence was stopped soon after it started when she kissed him again.

When she had kissed him the first time, she had no clue what to expect.

But the feeling of her body being on fire and the feeling that she got from being around him increasing tenfold was not an unwelcomed feeling.

And after a few minutes of relishing in the feeling this simple, yet complex, action caused, she let it end far too quickly and wished that she had kept her lips on his.

So, when he opened his mouth to say something she jumped the chance and kissed him again.

This time though, she pushed her tongue into his already open mouth.

Koyuki was even more surprised when the feelings from the first kiss returned with a vengeance as she tried to coax him into reciprocating her actions and, after a few seconds, he started to move his tongue against her tongue clumsily but his enthusiasm more than made up for his inexperience.

Truth be told, she only had experience because of her movies but he was learning quickly.

A few minutes later Koyuki pulled back and looked curiously at Naruto who was still trying to pull himself together.

When he finally did, he had a few questions but he choose the one he felt needed to be answered the most.

"Why?"

She gave him a smile before speaking.

"First, I wanted to thank you for all you did for me properly."

Naruto gave her a look that basically said that he did not quite believe her.

"And the other reason?"

She blushed slightly before responding.

"I feel safe around you.

"You're the first person that I feel safe around since father was killed."

Naruto slowly nodded his head as he took what she said in but what she said next threw him for a loop.

"And I can tell you don't have many, if any, people that you can talk to if you had the need to.

"And since you helped me, I wanted to do something to help you and I kind of hoped you would let me help you with your problems."

When she finished she looked away and Naruto was still trying to register what she had said when she spoke again.

"Before I met you I felt as if I was alone and no one knew what I was going through but, you showed up and slowly started to chip away at the icy exterior I put up and eventually you broke through and let me know what it was like to care for something again."

Naruto was off in his own world as he listened to her talk.

He had always felt that he was alone and that no one else could understand what was going on.

She's just like mehe commented in his own mind as he sat stone stiff with tears leaking down his eyes.

He finally could not hold it in anymore when Koyuki pulled him into a hug and he broke down and cried for the first time in almost nine years.

He cried and, at Koyuki insistence, he told her everything…

…about his empty apartment…

…about the glares…

…about Kyuubi…

…about his yearning to know if his parents had loved him…

…about his life in general…

And eventually he passed out in her arms with a smile on his face as someone was holding him for the first time in his life.

Someone cared and even went as far as to try and help him get through what ever problems he had and, as he lost consciousness, felt himself being pulled from a void he had been in all his life.

Seeing no reason to wake the young man, Koyuki set him down softly on the bed before turning out the lights and joining him even if her mind was swirling over all that she had just heard and she doubted that sleep would come for her quickly if at all.

As Koyuki lay awake in bed holding a peacefully sleeping Naruto in her embrace, her mind began to try and work out a way to help alleviate some of his problems on a more permanent basis.

She knew that the root of all his problems stemmed from Kyuubi but she could do nothing about it and let her mind shift to another big source of enmity for the blond…

…Konoha.

Konoha hated him for something h had no control over even going as far as to ostracize him for his burden.

Forgetting her dilemma for a few minutes, she just pulled him in tighter and relished in the feelings that could only be described as a warm and comforting coursed through her as she breathed in his scent.

After a few minutes cold hard logic decided to seep back into her thoughts and snapped her head out of its slightly dazed state.

If things continued the way they were, Naruto might need to be able to get out of Konoha soon as most of his problems had some root in Konoha and, from what she could tell, the Godaime, her assistant and this Ero-Sennin he kept talking about were the only people who have never held any malice for him.

And she also knew from the night's little talk that the only reason he even stayed in Konoha when he was younger was for the Sandaime Hokage.

But, since the Sandaime's death, Naruto had been focusing on all the negative parts of Konoha he had overlooked to keep his 'Oji-san' happy by staying in Konoha.

She racked her brain on different ways that she could get him out of his own personal hell without resorting to drastic actions.

There were couple ways she had already thought of for him to legally escape Konoha, but the easiest and most plausible way was by her becoming the daimyo and formally requesting him to be one of her royal guard.

But there was another way that was almost as assured to get him out.

Since he now owned a piece of the Kazahana treasure, she could technically request him to be her personal clan body guard.

Most heirs and leaders of the Kazahana clan did have a guard that they had usually known since childhood.

For example, her father's guard, Shinji-san, was his best friend growing up and used to watch her when her father had something important to do and could not watch her himself.

But even if she requested him to be her guard there was no guarantee that the Hokage would let Naruto be the guard unlike if she asked him to become her royal guard where Konoha had no choice but to comply or risk a shaky alliance with a highly advanced country.

But the advantages for her requesting him to be her clan guard were that they did not have to stay in Spring country.

Her clan may have settled in Spring country but the clan laws stated that the head of clan could travel as they pleased as long as they did not cause trouble for Spring.

Him leaving the confines of Konoha and seeing the rest of the world would do him a lot of good and would ultimately accomplish a couple of her own agendas.

She would get to figure out what these weird feelings she felt around him and would keep her with him where she could be there for him in his most desperate hours.

She honestly had no idea why she desired him not to be so lonely but she passed it off quickly not wanting to deal with this situation as she was starting to feel sleepy.

She felt her eyelids start to close and she resigned herself to speak with Naruto about what he wanted in the morning.