Disclaimer: I do not the series Naruto or Fullmetal Alchemist

Rewritten December 5, 2007

Alchemy no Jutsu: Hagane no Shinobi

Chapter 1: Hello Konoha

I want to believe in Equivalent Exchange, but I know, deep down, it is not true. The world just isn't perfect. It never has been, never will be.

-Edward Elric, 17

If someone had asked him, a year ago, what he would have found surprising, Edward Elric would probably have laughed and said 'nothing'. And he wouldn't be far off either – he had survived and experienced first-hand things that seemed to belong in impossible fantasy novels rather than real life. Between human transmutation, fighting homunculi, sealing people's souls into inanimate objects, world-hopping, and even dying once or twice, there just wasn't much more that could faze the blonde alchemist anymore. He had accepted the oddities as something that came with being a genius, and Ed was pretty much a genius in everything he tried. Except, of course, growing taller.

Life had been good, for a while. He had, in the end, managed to get away from Earth via an ancient Stonehenge, a Thule Society, and, of course, the good ol' Gate. God knows what a mess that had been. But those things were firmly placed in his mind as 'Better-Left-Forgotten', and he was working on enjoying life as it was. Hell, Al had gotten his flesh body back, he had a steady job as a State Alchemist and as Colonel Elric at Central (though now, it was as an actual livelihood rather than a means to access research), and who gave a damn about a metal limb here and there?

With all the crap that he had gone through, the missions Central assigned seemed almost like a joke. High-priority, dangerous, life-risk…whatever. After you had faced down a goddamn legion of immortal humanoids with strange powers behind a centuries old conspiracy, a small terrorist group here and there was child's play.

All in all, Life was good. Too good.

Damn it, he should have known that something would have gone wrong. 'Peace and quiet' just wasn't part of his job description.

The latest mission had looked normal on paper. Area with weird happenings, some military personnel coming out of it gibbering mad, alchemy screwing up in the forests, reconnaissance, yada yada yada. Mustang had gone on and on about how the mission would be dangerous for any State Alchemist, and that the Fullmetal had never failed him when it involved, in the General's exact words, 'stupidity, stubbornness, and a bit of brawling here and there'. It was no different from the usual pre-mission sarcasm and antagonizing.

Except, once he had actually stepped into the forest, every 'danger' alarm in his head had gone off, and Ed knew right away that something was very, very wrong. Something was drawing him deeper into the forest, as if an inexorable hand had grabbed him by the collar and proceeded to drag him towards it. Stumbling, cursing, back-pedaling – it didn't matter what the alchemist tried – Ed found himself getting deeper and deeper into the forest with the pulling force getting stronger and the intervals between tugs getting shorter and shorter.

And when it happened, it happened in a flash. For all his brilliance in alchemy, he utterly failed to understand what exactly happened the moment he set foot into the forest clearing. The strange force had given him a very hard, almost painful (and rude) shove forward, before everything dissolved into a swirl of darkness. The next thing he knew, there was an explosion, a flurry of dust and smoke, and then the Fullmetal Alchemist found himself standing in the middle of a bunch of oddly dressed people armed to the teeth. True, it was extremely foreign and primitive weaponry, but what he had dropped in on most certainly wasn't a tea party.

To put it simply, he had been completely bewildered. Ed gritted his teeth. There was a reason he was here. There was a reason for everything, as Ed firmly believed, but at the moment, the older Elric brother had no idea how immense that reason was.

He had no idea that another legend was beginning.

That there was another world to be saved.

Tsunade knew that the Akatsuki was going to cause much heartache if she didn't do something about it soon. She also realized that attacking them directly with their thinly spread manpower was definitely a Bad Idea – if her memory served her right, a single member of the Akatsuki had single-handedly wiped out the Uchiha clan in a night, coming out unscathed. If each one of them was that dangerous, she wasn't about to jump blindly into open opposition. She wasn't tired of life just yet.

As she always did when she reached a dead end, Tsunade, as the Hokage of Konoha, had set out to see Kikyo, the Seer. Now Kikyo was an ancient, withered, old woman who lived reclusively in the forest northwest of Konohagakure and only gave advice in time of need. However, she was also known as a secretive and vague bitch who never said anything straight out. Tsunade had spent half her morning tearing through the thick trees and underbrush to reach the old woman's house, and left the place with nothing more than a strange prophecy and a battered old summoning scroll written in a language she couldn't read.

The old Seer had said something along the lines of, "Seek the eyes of gold and the limbs of steel. Call him forth from world, through Gate, to heart – the one whose soul has seen and shall reveal the necessary lost, forgotten art." If that wasn't cheesy poetry, she didn't know what it was. Still, Tsunade had dutifully opened up the scroll in her study, and then spent countless hours upon hours pouring over the strange language and trying to make heads or tails of the vague prophecy. Still, she wasn't Hokage for nothing, and Tsunade had reached the point where she was fairly certain that the diagrams were an array of some kind, and the strange language was a set of instructions, then a chant.

She called together the best and the brightest of her elite Jounin to attempt the summoning of whoever or whatever it was that they needed to find. It was similar to a normal summoning – they were gathered around the circle and had to channel chakra into the strange design at the same moment. Tsunade and a group of elite Jounin ninja had attempted the summoning, channeling their chakra into the strange, summoning circle the scroll told Tsunade to draw. But the moment the last words of the chant had faded, Tsunade had seen a crackle of brilliant blue light flare along the lines of the array, and a huge amount of chakra was sucked out through her fingertips. The resulting explosion was quite impressive, filling the closed room they were in with dust and smoke.

Tsunade was coughing up dust and grit like everyone else before she spotted the silhouette someone standing in the middle of the circle and wasn't there before. As the dust settled, she could tell it was a boy – one with golden hair tied back in a loose and a fair complexion, albeit a bit lacking in the vertical department. He was wearing a black shirt and pants beneath his red overcoat, all of them of strange and foreign design. The way he was standing was stiff and unnatural, as if something had just caught him by surprise.

Then he turned towards her, and she found herself staring into twin pools of brilliant gold. His eyes were gold.

Seek the eyes of gold and limbs of steel. Summon him from a world apart. He alone knows how, to demons, seal. Learn from him the lost, forgotten art.

Unbeknownst to her, another legend had begun. Another tale of courage, determination, skill, and luck.

Another tale of a world to be saved.

Author's Note:

For clarification, this was rewritten December 5, 2007. At the moment, Edward is 17 and Naruto & Co are also the same age. Sasuke has returned to Konoha and been cleared of charges, but is still seeking revenge on his brother. The trio (Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura) are Jounin, but becoming legendary for their exploits. The Akatsuki is tracking down all the sealed demons (Ichibi, Kyuubi, etc).

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