To settle any confusion, this is not a crossover with Valkyrie Profile. I have not played the games. This is more of a crossover with European mythology with Norse myths being the base of it all.

Chapter Four

Naruto looked at these women in front of him, particularly the one who claimed to be his mother, and did something that once again demonstrated his reputation as unpredictable was deserved.

"Nice try." He then closed the door.

On the outside, the two women were quite shocked. They weren't entirely sure what to expect, but this certainly wasn't it.

On the inside, Naruto clenched his eyes, teeth, and fists. 'I will not go thru this again. I will not!'

Since the door wasn't locked, the blonde woman opened it. "That was rather rude you know."

He gave her an angry look. "Get lost. This wasn't funny when I was a kid and it's not funny now."

"What are you talking about?" Kushina asked.

"Like I'm going to talk to complete strangers about my past. Now get lost already!" He all but yelled.

"I'm afraid not young man." The blonde stated. "We've come a long way and we're not going to turn around just because a child tells us to. Now, answer our questions."

Naruto's glare unnerved them both. He glowered at them both like he loathed them down to the very core of their souls for an offense they didn't understand. But he also had tears brewing in the corners of his eyes, which were starting to turn red.

Kushina stepped forward, but Naruto threw a kunai at her then ran upstairs. Kushina's quick reflexes allowed her to catch the weapon, and she gasped when she did. "He... he was aiming for my heart. What happened to make my baby this way?"

"We better find out. But that look in his eyes tells me we may have opened a festering wound." The blonde told the redhead.

Kushina tried to run upstairs, but halfway upstairs she ran into someone and both fell down. Kushina suffered the worst of it because she fell down the stairs, but she wasn't hurt. "Sorry about that." She said before she even saw who her obstacle had been.

She looked up the stairs and saw a man with silver hair and a black mask on half his face. "Wait a minute, Kakashi-kun?"

Kakashi saw her and immediately recognized her. But like Naruto, he didn't believe this was the real Kushina. "Who are you and why are you disguised?" He got up and took a defensive stance, ready for the worst.

"I'm not disguised. It's really me, Kushina Uzumaki."

"Nice try, but I knew the real Kushina and she's been dead for twelve years."

"I know. But I'm back on business."

Kakashi scoffed. "Sure, you came back from the dead on business. Happens all the time. My father was in Konoha last week to oversee construction of a new building."

"I know how it sounds but as Freya is my witness I am telling you the truth Kakashi Hatake."

The blonde waved to the masked jounin. "Hi I'm Freya, one of the Vanir goddesses."

"Never heard of you, so excuse me if I doubt you're any kind of goddess." Kakashi told her.

"Enough! I just want to speak with my son." Kushina insisted.

"Looks to me like he doesn't want to speak with you. And given what happened to him I'm not surprised." Kakashi replied.

"What are you talking about?" Kushina asked.

"I'm not convinced you are the real Kushina, and until your identity is confirmed one way or the other I'm not telling you a damn thing about that boy."

"Kakashi-sensei?" Sakura called out to her teacher, making him turn to face her. "What's going on? I just saw Naruto jump out a window and run off into the woods."

'Damn, he did exactly what I feared he would do.' The cycloptic jounin moaned. "Sakura, Naruto's not in the best of moods right now. You should probably go find him to make sure he doesn't do anything foolish and for your own safety don't hit him for any reason. He might retaliate this time. If you must, take that Haku girl with you since she might prove useful in keeping him under control."

Sakura didn't know what bothered her more here: the fact that her sensei was so quick to believe she'd hit Naruto when he was down, or his worry that for once Naruto might hit back. "I'll try, but what about Sasuke-kun? Shouldn't he help?"

"Absolutely not." Kakashi ordered. "Sasuke would only make things worse, even with his jaw shut. You two go find Naruto, Sasuke will stay here with me in case I need back-up."

"You aren't planning on fighting me are you Kakashi?" Kushina asked, itching to go after her son but staying put since she knew that would only make her look worse here.

"If I must, I must. Sakura, go. Now."

"Y-yes Sensei." The pinkette said before disappearing down the hall to get Haku.

"How can I prove to you I'm the real Kushina Kakashi?" Kushina asked.

"You should already know how to do that, 'Kushina'." He told her, sarcastic in the name use.

Within a minute Sakura and Haku were outside heading in the direction Sakura saw Naruto run towards. Haku was not hard to convince, though she hadn't said why.

"Thanks for doing this. I've heard that Naruto can give even the Anbu trackers of Konoha trouble." Sakura told the hyoton user.

"Well you're in luck. Tracking was one of the many things Zabuza-sama taught me."

"I'm sorry for your lose. I know I shouldn't be, given his background, but I guess even criminals have family that mourn their deaths."

Haku looked a bit melancholy at that to say the least. "Everyone's done something they're not proud of, but Zabuza-sama did have his reasons for the path he took."

"What kind of reason did he have?" Sakura asked, curious about the reasons for becoming a wanted fugitive. While she was aware that ninja did occasionally turn rogue, she had never actually heard why that is, except for those like Itachi escaping the law.

"To stop the blood feuds." Haku said.

"What blood feuds? Was it against your clan?"

"No, it was against bloodlines in general. After the Third Shinobi War the people of Kiri began to see anyone with a bloodline such as hyoton as evil. It didn't matter who or how old they were, if you had a kekkei genkai, you were demon spawn to them all. And a few years ago, the Yondaime Mizukage decided to exterminate all of us with them."

"How did you survive?"

"I escaped when my father was trying to kill me after he already killed my mother. I lost control of my hyoton and killed him and his entire group. After that I ran off, and it didn't take long for me to find a place where no one knew who I was or what I had. Problem was no one wanted to help a street urchin, which is what I became. No one until Zabuza-sama came along and gave me a purpose again." Haku said as they entered a clearing. "Hey, this is where I first met Naruto."

Sakura looked around but didn't see the whiskered blonde. "Too bad he's not here now. Like I said, this may take awhile."

"Tell me more about him." Haku said when they continued their search.

"What would you like to know?" Sakura asked.

"Just what kind of person he's like. Zabuza-sama asked him to take care of me, but I'd like to know if he's the kind of man I want to receive care from."

"Aren't you old enough to go out on your own anyway?"

Haku sighed sadly. "Old enough I am, and capable of surviving I am too. But... I hate being alone. That's why Zabuza-sama entrusted me to him, because he hoped a boy kind enough to spare my life is the kind of person I'd want to live with."

"You barely know Naruto and you're already considering the idea of being with him on a regular basis? Wow, you must really hate being alone." Sakura commented.

"The worst time of my life was when I was abandoned and invisible to others. I'll do anything to avoid repeating that. Besides, are you saying Naruto-san is a poor choice of company?"

"To be honest, he's not my first choice for company, but... I can no longer say I hate it when he's around either." Sakura admitted.

Haku arched an eyebrow, but she came to a stop and crouched down. "His footprints disappear here. He probably took to the trees from this point. Finding him just became harder but not impossible."

"I just hope he doesn't get himself hurt." Sakura said.

"So tell me what you mean by 'no longer'?" Haku asked.

"Uh? Oh that? Well... it's a long story."

"I've got time and we're not searching solo. So start talking. What are your thoughts on Naruto?" Haku asked Sakura.

"I'm still not sure what to think about him. He was the dobe of the class, and Mom always said to keep away from him since he's a bad influence." Sakura answered the hyoton user. "Even though he's my teammate, I don't really know that much about Naruto. I don't think anyone in Konoha does except the Hokage and this one girl who has a crush on him. He has no family and so few friends, and to be honest up until yesterday I never really wanted to be his friend."

"Why not? What's so bad about him?" Haku asked curiously.

By force of habit Sakura came very close to getting into an anti-Naruto tirade, but out of consideration for him and in case he was listening, she took a deep breath and tried to compose her thoughts to be objective rather than judgmental. "I'm not the best person to answer that question. For a long time, I hated the mere fact Naruto even existed. There was even a time where I wished he had died in the Kyuubi attack on Konoha twelve years ago."

Haku's eyes widened then narrowed bitterly. "But he himself is only twelve. He would have been a baby at that time or still in the womb. You hate him so much you'd wish death on him when he was a baby?" She saw Sakura hang her head with a tear running down her cheek. "I really want to slap you and call you a bitch right now for that, but I will give you this one chance to change my mind. But keep in mind I speak from experience that being born different is not a crime."

Sakura looked back at the hyoton wielder, eyes still wet and full of regret. "I have no excuse for my old ways. I was a bitch. I just didn't know it until yesterday when Naruto opened my eyes. I... I used to hit him all the time for any reason and I insulted him left and right."

"Why?" Haku asked, hostility still in her voice. Not because of any affection to Naruto, but because she couldn't stand the idea of someone being victimized undeservingly. And until she had reason to believe otherwise, she was not going to just assume Naruto deserved to suffer. She was not her father.

"Part of it was because he did annoy me, and I wasn't interested in being more than friends like he was." Sakura added.

Haku scoffed. "Sounds more like you weren't interested in being friends in any sense of the word."

"True, I didn't. I mean, I didn't intend to be so bad to Naruto. I just didn't care about him at all."

Haku frowned. "No, that's not true. If you truly didn't care about him you wouldn't let him get to you. You would ignore him, avoid him, or at least ask him to leave you alone."

"I did ask him." Sakura countered.

"Did you?" Haku inquired, sounding like she didn't believe the pinkette. "Did you really ask, or did you just tell him?"

"What's the difference?" Sakura asked.

"Let's say the boy you like kindly requested you to not bother him. Would you do it?" Haku asked. Sakura slowly nodded. "And if he just looked at you and said 'Get lost', would you do that so easily?" Haku added.

Sakura looked down again. She knew from experience what her answer was. Sasuke had already done just that, but did she heed his words? Obviously not. Sasuke had ignored her left and right and on occasion told her directly to not be around him, but she left him alone no more than Naruto left her alone.

"No, I didn't. So I guess I have no right to criticize Naruto for doing the same thing I myself have done."

"Oh well, we really shouldn't keep standing here when we should be looking for him. But before we go, just tell me three things about him you like." Haku told her.

This one simple request would forever affect Sakura in ways she couldn't possibly predict right then and there. At that moment, all the pinkette wanted was to not walk away the bad guy and have this girl who was clearly stronger than her have a legitimate reason to hurt her. Haku clearly wanted to be friends with Naruto, and anyone who came across as his enemy would likely earn her discord.

"He's caring enough to not hold grudges, though I don't understand why. He's never boring to be around, even if he is annoying. And..." Now Sakura looked and sounded like she was struggling. "I know I can trust him."

Haku took this in, looking at Sakura in a way that made the younger kunoichi felt she was being evaluated for her answers. "Fine, thank you. Now let's go find him and you can see for yourself what else you think you know about him."

"What do you mean?" Sakura asked, but Haku already got into the trees, requiring Sakura to follow the former Kiri resident and repeat the question.

"It sounds to me like you don't really know Naruto as well as you thought you do. The fact you struggled to give me three examples of his qualities and two of them came with commentary tells me you don't know him even if you know of him. Maybe you should spend more time trying to know him as a person instead of as just a teammate."

After that Sakura said nothing, but Haku's words had quite an effect on her. 'Naruto, do I even know you at all?'

Hours went by and neither kunoichi could find the whiskered blonde. They checked the woods, they checked the town, they even checked the shore, still nothing. It was as if Naruto vanished off the face of Wave Country.

'How can Naruto hide so well?' Sakura asked herself. 'I mean, it should not be this hard to find a blonde boy wearing an orange jacket.'

The pinkette and her brunette partner had to stop and sit on a bench for a moment. Haku wheezed. "I'll give him this, he's the best hider I've ever encountered. Forget that Where's Waldo guy, he couldn't hold a candle to Naruto."

"It's amazing. I mean, Naruto always wanted to be noticed back in Konoha and in the academy. I don't remember him ever being unnoticeable on purpose. It ever occurred to me that he might be good at hiding when he put his mind to it."

"But what could set him off so badly he'd want to be this alone?" Haku asked.

"It had to be those women Kakashi-sensei was facing in the house. Somehow they did something that really hurt Naruto."

"I take it you don't know who they are."

Sakura shook her head. "Never seen them before."

"You don't have to wonder much longer." A woman told them, and both girls were surprised to see the two aforementioned women before them, with Kakashi alongside them.

"Kakashi-sensei, do you know who they are?" Sakura asked.

The masked jounin nodded. "Yes. It took some convincing," 'And a good use of Kushina's chakra chains tying me up.' He added silently to himself, "But I know who she really is. This is Kushina Uzumaki, my sensei's wife, and Naruto's mother."

"Mother?" Sakura and Haku asked.

"I know you both have a ton of questions for me and I will get to them when I can, but for now my top priority is finding my son. Your questions will be answered after that and no sooner."

Both girls looked a bit stubborn, but they nodded. "Thing is we have no idea and we've checked everywhere we can."

"Then obviously he'd hiding somewhere you can't check." The blonde woman next to Kushina answered. "Name's Freya by the way, no relation to Naruto but Kushina's a good friend of mine. And if Naruto is what we think he is then that's something I must see for myself."

"What do you think he is?" Kakashi asked.

"Does it have something to do with that white armor of his?" Sakura asked.

"We'll answer everything when we find him. I dislike having to repeat myself." Freya told them.

"I'm sorry, what was that?" Haku asked, cleaning her ear for a moment.

"I said I dislike having to..." Freya started, but stopped when she saw Haku's playful grin. "Nice try girl. Most people wouldn't try that with me."

"Haku-san, I suggest you not bother this nice lady here. She's... above your level." Kakashi told the hyoton user.

Haku was smart enough to not press the issue, so instead she asked a different question. "How do you plan to find him when we can't?"

"The way way he found him here. We trace his power." Freya answered.

"Like a sensor?" Sakura asked.

"Sort of. My son's power has a specific feel to it so in a chakra sense he stands out like a sore thumb with an infection on a giant hand. That's how we find him." Kushina told her.

Freya closed her eyes and it looked like a light wind was blowing around her, but no one felt any themselves. Then the wind faded and she opened her eyes. "I found him."

"Where is he?" Sakura and Haku immediately asked, standing right up quite quickly.

"In one of the only places two teenage girls would never think to look for someone. A cemetery."

"A cemetery?" Sakura repeated. "Why would he be in a cemetery?"

"Who goes to a grave looking for a living person?" Haku commented, seeing the reasoning.

"Well what are we doing still here? Let's go already." Kushina said impatiently.

Kakashi chuckled. "Nice to see that hasn't changed about you."

Within ten minutes the group found their way to the nearest cemetery, some graves clearly fresher than others. And on more than two dozen graves there were white poppies among other mementos that probably had more personal meanings to the deceased.

"These must be all the people Gato was responsible for the deaths of." Haku said, looking over the graves.

"There he is." Sakura told everyone, pointing to a tree in the middle of the graveyard. Sure enough, up in the branches there was Naruto, and he looked peacefully asleep.

"Let's get him him down but without waking him." Kakashi said. "I'll do it since he might not respond positively if he does wake up and I may be the one least likely to aggravate him further."

Kushina looked sad but nodded, and Kakashi slowly climbed the tree and picked up her resting son. 'My baby boy, even if the Allfather forbids it, I will never leave you again. I will be for you what I couldn't be before, and help you become what you are meant to be.'

Freya looked at the redhead and with difficulty held her tongue. 'I know what you're thinking Kushina, but I'm afraid it won't be as easy as you using your parental rights. This boy has something no mortal was ever meant to have, especially a male, and I'm no convinced he should have it. Friend or not, if I decide your son is unworthy of the valkyrie power, I will kill him myself and send him to Niflheim. You too if you get in my way, my subordinate.'