Summary: (Fullmetal Alchemist/ Naruto crossover) Ed and Al tried to resurrect their Mother but something went wrong. Not only did they fail, their bodies paying the price, but they are no longer in Amestris. They are in a world where all the natural rules aren't always obeyed...
Thanks to ehxhfdl14 for beta-reading.
By Dark Ice Dragon
Ed froze when he saw something black moving out of the corner of his eyes. The only other person in the room was Al, and he was sitting on his right; the movement had come from his left. He turned his head and narrowed his eyes at the familiar figure. Dammit, why was it back? Just to ask another set of stupid questions? He didn't know if the being had been standing there for a long time – half of their attention had been on breakfast while the other half had been on writing words and rules they had missed from their list. It turned out to be a lot of work even after working on it for a couple of days; there was always something else they're forgotten, or something new they'd just been taught. They were starting to develop a system though - what word or phrase went where in a sentence on one page, and the rules on a different set of pages, even if it did mean that they were using a lot more paper. Even with the distractions, they had their backs to where the being was anyway.
Like last time, it was leaning on the wall with its arms possibly crossed. "Have you figured it out yet?"
Ed snatched up the closest thing to hand –his milk-filled cup- and threw it after pausing briefly to aim. "Go. Away!"
Predictably, it disappeared before the cup hit. So, instead of hitting its intended target, the cup smashed against the wall and splattered milk all over the place.
'Great. How am I supposed to give a reason for doing that?' Ed grumbled. He glared at the spot as the milk slowly dribbled down, leaving wet trails on the wall. 'Stupid – Why didn't it stay and let the cup hit it? It would have nailed it in the head!' Except the cup would still have ended up broken, only not in so many pieces.
Beside him, Al was also frowning at the wet mark. "We haven't actually seen it leave any evidence that it was really here," he said quietly. "It hasn't moved anything or touched anything. It didn't even leave a footprint." Glancing down, Ed couldn't see anything - but it wasn't like there was anything there to leave a footprint on. The rooms were swept daily and the floors were concrete and bare, so unless you were really trying, you wouldn't mark your presence by standing on it.
Ed thought back to the last time he'd seen it. He'd been distracted by it just being there to look closely at what it was standing on or if it had changed anything. "What, you think it's a ghost?" he asked incredulously, staring.
Al shrugged, still looking at the wall. "We know it can't be our imagination because we saw it at the same time in the same place, right?"
They'd talked about it for ages after seeing it outside, making sure of what the other person had seen, if it was exactly the same and what that could mean, especially since no-one else seemed to see it. Ed rolled his eyes –it wasn't a very scientific conclusion- and Al reached over to smack him.
Just as Ed was about to defend himself, the door slid open and a nurse walked in to check if they were all right. Unfortunately, it was the nurse who knew about Ed's non-drinking habit, and she eyed the milk-spattered wall suspiciously. "What happened?" she asked him, a single eyebrow raised.
"Uh..." She was going to think he threw the cup because it had milk in it, he just knew it. He'd never been that extreme about milk, though being given it every time she was working was really getting on his nerves. Just because it was there, that did not mean he was going to drink it, no matter how often she gave him it. Not that it'd been wholly coincidental that it was what he had used. Kind of. It really had been the closest throwable thing he could reach. He glanced at the wet patch again. "I no like," he muttered. Like he'd say that he was throwing it at a ghost (or whatever it was) – and he didn't have the words to say it anyway.
The nurse gave him a disapproving stare and then sighed. "No more milk for you." She also said something else afterwards, but Ed wasn't sure what it was before she left with their empty trays. Eh, it wasn't as if he'd wanted the milk anyway. It'd stop her from bugging him about drinking that stuff and maybe she'd be happier when he ate everything now.
Ed and Al waited with eyes glued to where the being had been, to see if it would come back again. Just as Ed was about to turn away, it reappeared. Just... in the space of a blink it was there with no warning, in nearly exactly the same position as before. It probably did that on purpose. Ed started but didn't do anything, though he checked on the closest thing to he could throw: two pens, a few pieces of paper and the pillow. Great. Everything else was either too heavy, attached to the wall, out of reach, or his brother. "What the hell do you want from us?" he snarled.
Al's hand on his elbow stopped him from continuing. "Brother..." Al warned him quietly, a little pale.
Right. For all they knew, it could send them to another world again. Separately. Still, it seemed like it wanted to piss them off and scare them so – he was doing exactly what it wanted. Dammit. Ed glared at it.
The being hadn't moved at Ed's shout or seemed to react to his glare (not that you could tell with its featureless face). It tilted its head slightly and Ed could feel its eyes/attention on him. "Have you figured it out yet?" it repeated.
Ed rolled his eyes. "You already asked that." Maybe it was broken; it definitely sounded like it. "I'll throw something else if you don't have anything else to say." But there wasn't that much heat behind it though; he was getting tired of it popping up and annoying them every couple of days. Hopefully 'something else' wouldn't make too much noise when it hit.
It shrugged, arms bent at the elbows. "It won't hit me." Was it because it wasn't physically there or because it could disappear before anything got near it? ...And then they'd get into more trouble, ugh.
At that moment, the nurse came back with a cloth and a water-filled basin in her hands, as well as a small bag to collect what remained of the cup; as the nurse walked by, the being moved away. Huh. So it could be touched then? Or was it just messing with their heads again? When the nurse finished, she looked at Ed in a way that said 'Don't do that again', and then she left the room.
It was sitting on the other bed now, swinging its legs over the edge. Ed and Al turned to face it, waiting to see if it would say anything new. Probably not. It tilted its head to its side. "If you haven't figured it out yet, I can tell you." Its voice got more childlike with each word - not just sounding higher, but just... younger, a whine getting added to the words, like a child trying to get what it wanted. It hadn't said exactly the same thing as before, but it was close enough. "For a price." 'And that, that was just fuckin' freaky,' Ed thought as he tried to suppress the shiver running down his spine. Just for those three words, its voice had gone back to its original tone, but the echoing had gotten stronger, almost like there had been two people saying the same thing simultaneously.
Equivalent exchange. What could they give it in return? Information? The only thing Ed could think of that they could exchange was the fact that the being was dead. Or was that what they were supposed to figure out? If that was what it wanted them to realise then... "No thanks."
The swinging legs slowed down, but didn't stop. Its head straightened. "You sure?"
Al nodded next to him as Ed glared at it again. "Yes, we're sure."
The being shrugged. "All right," it drawled. A beat, and then it disappeared. Ed and Al waited to see if it would pop back up again, but after a minute, it hadn't and they glanced at each other.
"It's just trying to scare us," Ed scoffed, turning away. Al kept on looking at the spot thoughtfully for a few more seconds before he turned around too. They dived back into fixing and updating their lists for a while, not going anywhere near the topic about what had just happened.
"Ugh," Ed grunted, shaking his head.
Al glanced at his brother half-curious, half-worried, his pen hovering over a page. "What's wrong?"
"That being, the being, it," Ed muttered, not hearing him. His brother put his chin on top of his fisted hand and blew the hair away from his face. He stared at the piece of paper in front of him, not seeming to see it.
"Brother?" Al put the pen down and waited for Ed to talk about what was annoying him. Past experience had taught him that when Ed got like this, he would leave it in a couple of moments or figure the problem out. Explosively. With massive flailing and yelling; it tended to result in spilled inkpots, spoiled notes and a scrabbling for pen and paper either way. At least here, they wouldn't have the problem with the ink. As a precaution, Al found one of the last blank papers, just in case Ed had an epiphany.
Ed threw his hands in the air in frustration. "Argh! Stupid idea," he grumbled, slumping while shaking his head.
Which probably wasn't true. Knowing his brother, he'd probably had a good idea, but then dismissed it because of a small thing. "What were you trying to do?" he asked.
"Huh?" Ed looking at him in mild confusion before waving a hand. "Oh, I was trying to think of a name for 'that being' – it's pretty stupid just calling it that, isn't it?"
Al remembered the last couple of attempts Ed had tried to name something, and smothered a laugh. Ed shot him a dirty look. "What did you come up with?" Al asked, once he'd pulled his hand away.
Ed squirmed slightly and looked away. He said something but Al barely heard him. It was short, but that was all he got from it.
"Ed." He drew the name out and watched as his brother crossed his arms and huffed.
"Ghost," Ed said finally after a couple of seconds and then glared at him. "It was the only thing I could think of!" he protested, before Al had even opened his mouth.
Al smiled, both at the name and at Ed's pre-emptive defence. Any stronger reaction to Ed's idea would have resulted in Ed storming off – or would have if he could, Al remembered with worry, eyes sliding to Ed's stump; they had realised that the doctors were waiting for them to finish healing. When they were outside the room, they'd seen a couple of people with normal prosthetics, not Automail; they were also in crutches, which was slightly worrying. Not surprising, but they really had to get back home soon.
"Well, he is like a ghost," Al agreed placatingly, holding his hands up, "since no-one else can see it and its voice echoes." But it felt unreasonable to conclude that the being was a ghost just based on those two characteristics. There wasn't even scientific evidence that proved the existence of ghosts at all in the first place. But then, what were the things beyond that door? He scratched his head. "The only name I can think of is Shadow," he admitted. They were scientists – that meant if they discovered something, it was named by its physical characteristics or by the family it was from. Imagination didn't play that big part of it. Not really.
Ed snorted. "Better than what I came up with," he said. Knowing his brother, the other names he would have come up with he wouldn't have agreed to in any way. Ed nodded decisively. "Shadow it is then." Not that they'd asked him if he wanted to be named by them or what his real name was, Al realised guiltily.
"How do you think Shadow," –Ed smirked as he said it- "wanted us to pay?" Ed asked, changing the topic slightly.
Al shrugged, mulling it over in his mind, eyes wandering. "We don't know what he was offering us though," he pointed out. "If we don't know that, we don't have a scale to use."
"Hmm," Ed agreed, tapping his pen on a paper. "It's not like we have that much we could give in exchange," he grumbled. Not in terms of money, no. But there were other ways to pay. The way that... Shadow (Al wasn't sure if the name fit, and it was probably going to take a while for him to get used to using the name) had said it, it sounded like they would have to give a lot in the exchange. And that he would enjoy getting what they gave back.
He frowned worriedly. "What could he tell us that could cost so much?" he mused out loud.
It was Ed's turn to shrug this time, dismissively. "Dunno. How to make the Philosopher's Stone? That's if it had anything to tell us – it's probably lying. I think it's got nothing else to do."
"What? It's scaring the crap outta us, calling it helping and its brother – sister – whatever stole our limbs! For no reason." Ed paused. "Okay, that was for True Knowledge." Then he scowled. "Are they trying to get the rest of our bodies or something?"
Al paled, putting the same pieces together. "They – do you think so?" he stammered.
"Why else would it keep coming back and buggin' us?" Ed sighed and leaned his chin on the palm of his hand. "Just ignore it the next time – no-one else sees it anyway and maybe if we do, it'll go away, stay away and annoy someone else."
He shivered and looked around the room, just to make sure Shadow wasn't back. "Yeah, but what if he doesn't? What if he gets mad and tries to eat us? Like the monsters in those stories..." He could hear their bones crunching in his head, along with all the other scenarios his imagination was wildly running with.
"Pfft." Ed waved a hand dismissively. "Those were stories, dummy. They weren't real stories about real monsters." Then he added, "And it doesn't have a mouth to eat us with anyway." That was reassuring for him but didn't completely stop his mind from showing him 'What if...'. "And if it is one of those kinda monsters, we know their weaknesses, right?" Ed grinned at him and started to tick off his fingers. "Wood, silver, a bullet to the head, holy water..." His brother trailed off, a surprised look on his face, staring at his hand before he attempted to muffle a snicker. It didn't work that well. In between his laughter, he said, "Maybe that's why it ran – it thought I was throwing holy water at it!"
Al blinked, and turned it over in his mind. "But... it was in a drinking cup..." Surely he would have known. ...Right?
Ed nodded, still snickering. "Yup. It's not very smart, is it?" He was smirking vindictively.
There was a crash as the door suddenly slammed open. They whirled around to see what was attacking and saw Geki-Mayu's father already halfway across the room, a huge smile on his face. He was also saying something but by the time they'd heard it and were on the way to actually processing it, Ed had already been gathered up, put into a wheelchair and Al had been half-dragged alongside him.
Ed stared at him, wide-eyed. "Any idea where he's taking us?"
"No." They were halfway down the corridor.
"He'd be an amazing kidnapper."
Al agreed with him, but he couldn't say much else since his breath was being used just to keep up.
Iruka rapped on the door to Ed and Al's room and waited. When no answer came, he frowned and nudged the door open. Maybe they were sleeping...?
The room was empty with papers haphazardly lying on top of the bed.
He sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Naruto..." Should he wait or come back later? Try and find them now, he decided. Who knew what trouble Naruto was getting them into or teaching them.
Yeeeeah, sorry for the massive lateness. I'd wanted to edit all the earlier chapters, answer reviews, PMs, and create a buffer before posting this chapter. And then fourth year at uni started.
I'm not sure when the next chapter will be posted because I'm pretty stuck on the next chapter, and I've moved in to another fandom which keeps lobbing plotbunnies at me at all hours.
This fic is discontinued.
Sorry. :/ I've moved fandoms, I'm not really into these fandoms anymore, and I kinda wrote into a brick wall here. However, have a brief summary of what I'd planned to happen:
The gate thing was just doing its job, though doing it really slowly. It was meant to get back Ed and Al and bring them back to Amestris since they just weren't supposed to be on the Naruto world. The problem was, obviously, since Ed and Al would have to travel through the Gate again, they would also have to pay again.
So, yeah, Ed and Al have to pay the toll for crossing through the gate. Their payment? Their memories of the Naruto world.
Since Al jumped out before he payed his full toll, that means the gatebaby would be taking his memories and his body so that he's paid for both his travelling to and from the Naruto world. So then, pretty much the backstory of Ed and Al picks back up in canon in their house when they get back, where Ed's lost his leg, and Al doesn't have his body, no recollection of the Naruto world, and they start their way down the path of the FMA plot.