A/N: First fanfiction, feel free to comment on spelling and grammar.

Disclaimer: Naruto and Fullmetal Alchemist do not belong to me.

Of Blondes, Toads, and Cats

Chapter 4

Ed's first thought on falling into the water was a long string of profanities rather than a coherent sentence. His second thought was that he would just swim to shore.

Ed's first thought on realizing he was sinking was another string of profanities.

He did the only thing any person would do on finding themselves to be drowning: he clung to the closest object in his vicinity. For him it happened to be the arm of the stranger who seemed to not float as well as any drowning victim would hope.

Ed flailed trying to propel himself towards the surface. The water above was murky and it was steadily growing darker. He couldn't figure out why this was happening. It didn't seem to be the jerk's fault, he didn't seem to be fairing any better (admittedly because of Ed) and it didn't make sense why he was so completely unable to swim, let alone float! The human body was seventy percent water for God's sake! It shouldn't be this hard to—oh.

It was then that Edward remembered the distinct weight of his prosthetic limbs. Ed had not been swimming since he was little, not since that night he and Al were so stupid...He never thought of how two hunks of metal might inhibit his ability to swim. How silly of him.

The burning in his lungs began to hurt as he and his companion continued to spiral downward. Ed began to wonder just how deep the freaking puddle was when his fellow blonde wriggled out of his weakening grasp. Crap. He was even losing control of his automail arm.

His vision began to darken but not before he noticed something strange. The man he had dragged down with him wasn't frantically swimming for the surface as he expected him to once he was free. Instead he was swimming towards Ed, who had continued to sink once they were separated.

The strange man got behind Ed and wrapped his arms around his torso. His hands met in the middle forming a series of symbols that baffled Ed. He wasn't even sure he would understand even if his brain was working with enough oxygen.

When the hand symbols stopped, Ed was unprepared for a current of water to rush behind them and propel them upwards. The dark water lightened much faster than it had grown dark. On breaking the surface he found that the water current had continued into the air and now the ground was fast approaching.

They landed in a painful on the shore with lots of sputtering and gasping on Ed's part and groaning from his rescuer. Or enemy. Hell if he knew.

Rolling onto his back he noticed Al clunking over to them frantically.

"Oni-san! Oni-san, are you alright?"

"Mm fiiiine, Al. Just swallowed a little too much water," Ed drawled. He sat up to cough a bit and spat up some water as he was inching out of his layers of clothing. "Just a little too much."

Some groaning to Ed's left reminded them they weren't alone. "Forget the water, pipsqueak! Just how much do you weigh? I should have been able to swim even with you dragging me down!" It was then he turned around and opened his mouth to continue. And abruptly closed it again. "Oh. So that's why," he said as he took in Ed's arm. The stranger was suddenly right beside Ed and grabbing his automail. "Wow, this is a sweet prosthetic! I couldn't even tell...And you can still do jutsu, wow...It is pretty hefty, hmm...I wonder." He continued to mutter for a bit, moving Ed's arm back and forth seeing how it bent and where.

Ed was just a little shocked but got over as soon as he realized he'd been insulted in there somewhere. He yanked his arm out of the stranger's hold and then proceeded to give him thorough once over. The stranger was just smiling at him, hardly bothered by Ed's behavior. The stranger's eyes had returned to their sparkling blue instead the steady gold which had somehow signaled some sort of power.

"Hey crazy blonde, what's your name?" the stranger asked. "I can't keep on calling you crazy blonde in my head can I?" He was grinning now, no sign that he possessed this strange alchemy and abilities. "I'm Naruto Uzumaki or as you might know," he paused dramatically, "The Golden Sage!"

Ed, not knowing what the hell Uzumaki's title was supposed to mean just stared. "Um. Cool. I'm Edward Elric and this is my brother Alphonse or Al," he gestured to the looming giant of armor behind him.

"Man...your older brother is huuuuge..." Uzumaki said in awe.

Ed twitched.

"Um...ah, Uzumaki-san, I'm actually younger than Ed..." Al said in his defence.

"Ehhhh? No way! But he's so much tinier than you? How does that work?"

Ed couldn't do it. He couldn't take it. "WATCH WHO YOU CALL TINY, ASS WIPE!"

Uzumaki backed off, hands raised, and an easy grin on his face. "Alright, alright, I get it. But no need to call me Uzumaki-san, that's way to formal. Just Naruto for now." He sighed and leaned back off his haunches. "So, Edo-war-do? Al-fon-su? Strange names...are you foreigners? You speak fine so your not from too far off..."

"Ah, yes, we are traveling from Amestris, it is many weeks travel west of the Elemental Nations. We came here looking for a man practicing illegal forms of Alchemy."

Ed grumbled, "And I'd like to punch the fucker for what he's doing to those people and animals..."

Uzumaki just looked confused. "Amestris? Alchemy? Never heard of either of those...What is alchemy? Is it those odd jutsus you were using against me?"

Ed rolled his eyes. "It's like Alkahestry obviously."

"Umm...what's Alkahestry?"

"Are you serious? Then what the hell were you using against us?"

"Ah, that's just simple nin-jutsu," Uzumaki said like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Does this mean you guys aren't ninja?"

Ed snorted. "Ahaaaaha. Yeah. No. Do we look like ninja. Just look at Al, for God's sake! He a giant hulking thing of armor. Not very stealthy. It's almost as bad as your orange."

Uzumaki pouted but did eye Al again. "But I'm a ninja. I work really well in orange."

Ed and Al both blanched at that, Ed almost choking on air.

"Whaaaaaat? No way are you a ninja! Ninja where black and are sneaky and shit. You're a bright freaking neon sign and bundle of joy compared to Lan Fan."

"Eh? What village is he from?"

"She is from Xing. I don't know what village exactly..."

He was interrupted by a burst of guffaws from the whiskered blonde sitting beside him.

"Pfffft! Xing has ninja? Yeah right. That place could be taken down by a squad of genin. Hahaha, yeah, I can't not see any decent ninja coming from there." Uzumaki snorted again. "See, the reason I wear orange is that even in that color, if I don't want to be seen," he looked side to side, then leaned over and whispered, "then I can't be seen."

He then disappeared without a sound or shimmer or smoke. He just...wasn't there anymore.

Both Al and Ed stood quickly, looking for the blonde, until they heard some laughter from the trees behind them.

"Bwaaaahaha, you should have seen your faces! Ah, that was good. I haven't pulled something like that in a while..." He jumped down from the branch he had been squatting on and landed before them. "Heehee, yeah. So, again, what is this Alchemy?"

Al and Ed were both a little put off by the man's easy going nature but decided to just get it over with.

"Al, you tell him," Ed grumbled as he elbowed Al in the side, making an echoing metallic sound.

"Oh, uh, alright. Um...simply put, Alchemy is the Science of turning one material into another by following the laws of Equivalent Exchange. It's really complicated and people study for years to learn just a certain branch of it. You can use it for a lot of things, like fixing broken items-"

"Or fighting!"

"Or fighting. You can even make things all the way from scratch if you have the right materials. Sort of like cooking..."

"Eh? That sounds awesome...I don't think there are that many practical jutsus...except for Yamato's wood thing. That's a handy ability..." Scratching his head he wondered, "But how do you do illegal stuff with that? Besides killing people. Or whatever your laws claim."

"Well there are a bunch of things but we came here to stop the alchemist from making chimeras. They...they are made from combining two creatures and making it one. Like a lion and a snake or a dog and a..."

"The man is using human's with his chimera," interrupted Ed. "Chimera's are sort of ok, but using human transmutation is strictly against the law," he added grimly.

Al continued. "Colonel Mustang sent us here after we received information on some talking toads from this region. We are to take him into custody."

"Doesn't mean he can't have some broken bones," Ed muttered with a dark grin spread across his face.

"Talking toads...what? Like this?" Uzumaki bit his thumb and slammed his hand onto the ground and muttered "Kuchiyose no Jutsu" with little enthusiasm.

A plume of smoke enveloped them. When it cleared, Al and Ed were face to face with a toad the size of a small house and Uzumaki sat calmly atop of it.

"Gamakichi, say hello."

The toad looked down at them with some scrutiny, but did just that.


A/N: So heeeeeey. Been a year. Had this sitting on my hard drive. Don't expect regular updates unless you urge me to. I suspect this will be a short story that might just finish in the next chapter.

Excuse the grammar mistakes. I didn't even really bother to edit this. I just...want it away from me.