Destiny's Loom
A Xenocide Production

AN: Greetings, True Believers. Yeah…I'm starting another fic that most likely won't be paid much attention in between my slow progress on the new chappie of Initial Offensive and life in general. Ah, well. Such is life, no?

Enjoy and review…………please?

Summary: Fortune's wheel is ever turning. Are you strong enough to try your hand at it, boy? A Wheel of Time/Naruto fusion.

Disclaimer: I own neither the Wheel of Time series, which belongs to the late Robert Jordan, nor Naruto of Masashi Kishimoto. I would sell my first born child to any who give me either one. Any takers?

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Prologue: Lace of Ages

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and go, leaving those that went before them to wither in the ageless void of legend.

The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills and it is ever spinning, threading strings of fate through the infinite number of worlds that is woven through the loom into the Lace of Ages.

In one such Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age yet to pass, a tapestry is woven of the Dragon Reborn and his courageous struggle against the Dark One and his will to dominate all life. Does he triumph? Does he fail? The Third Age has not yet given way to a new one and that story has not closed.

But the Wheel of Time does not concern itself with a single thread. After all, one thread cannot a tapestry make. It weaves as it wills, unconcerned with the doings of gods, mortals, demons, and wars.

And sometimes, it starts a new thread borne out of an old tapestry.

In the Stoneheart Mountains, merely a day's walk from Iwagakure, a wind rose to twist among the peaks. The wind was not the beginning. There are no beginnings or endings to the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.

It moaned in impatience as it whipped amongst the rocks and rushed through crevices, delved through cracks, bypassed the stoic gates of Iwagakure, and raced through the hidden places of the world before it found its way to Oki Pass and the old man that traveled it upon an equally old nag.

He shivered at the gust of cold wind and pulled his cloak snugger against his head and torso.

Winter came early to the north and Oki Pass was the only way through the Stoneheart Mountains that was still open, the other larger, more well-traveled passes having long since been filled with snow and ice.

But Oki Pass was a well kept secret amongst the merchant trains that winded their way to and from the capital city of Earth Country as well as Iwagakure. The old man, a shinobi honorably discharged from the ANBU Demolition Corps long ago in Iwagakure, had managed to pry the location of this lesser known trail over a round of sake from a wool merchant.

"But you don't want to be going down Oki Pass at this time of year. Oki Pass is treacherous and only to be used by fools and men who think with their money purse and not their head." The wool merchant had confided in a glibly solemn voice. The old man had merely nodded and then ordered another round of drinks.

He had naught but a few scant years of life left to him and he intended to enjoy what remained. Not a few weeks earlier, he had been set upon by a fierce longing to travel. 'Fool's Feet' his son called it and would hear no more of his father's desire to see the world.

So in secret, he made plans to pass all of his belongings to his son, who loved his father despite his lack of a sense of adventure, and readied his old steed for a quick rush to the southlands. Unfortunately, he had waited too long and all of the main passes were closed. Even the mountain men would not dare to travel the passes.

Oki Pass was his only alternative, and he took it, despite his misgivings.

He leaned down to pat his horse's neck, offering fond words of encouragement.

"Steady there, old boy. Only a little further and then we'll have us some warm sun and green grass, eh?"

The old nag whickered enthusiastically at his master's words. A little warmth would do wonders for his old bones.

"First we'll scour the Blood Wood of Fire Country. I hear tell that a great battle was fought there long ago and the trees are red because of all of the blood they soaked up." The man grinned. "I've always wanted to visit the islands at the very tip of Water Country. The native women there are supposedly very welcoming to foreigners."

A lecherous grin spread over the old coot's face, and the horse tossed his head in amusement.

Late afternoon sunlight reflected the glaring white walls of the narrow pass. The towering faces of stone were so high that direct sunlight could only reach the path at high noon. By the angle of the sun's rays, the former ANBU guessed that he had about two hours of sunlight left. He'd best find a spot to sleep in fairly soon. Traversing Oki Pass at night meant one's death for sure.

Coming around the edge of an abrupt right turn, he brightened at the sight of a small cave, one that showed signs of past human inhabitants. A small stack of firewood, probably left behind by a mountaineer, laid beside a small fire pit ringed with soot covered stones. As near as he could tell, no one had slept here for nearly three months, if the state of the fire pit was any indication.

Dismounting quickly, he led the horse inside the cave and settled him down further back in the depths of the stone shelter, looping the feed bag around his steed's mouth. Shortly afterwards, he had a fire going from the small pile of firewood and a pot of beans and rice steaming merrily with water from melted ice. He whistled an aimless tune as he spread his bedding down next to the fire at the mouth of the cave. Night arrived quickly and brought with it a near deadly chill. The old man was thankful that he had found the shelter so quickly. He and his horse could have froze to death.

With dinner settled in his stomach, he laid down and drifted off in the comforting warmth of the blaze.

Sometime later, he awoke with a gasp and sweat pouring down the back of his neck. The fire was nearly devoid of flames, but the embers cast a cherry red glow. The skin of his scalp was tingling something fierce and an uneasy feeling had lodged itself in his chest.

Something wasn't right.

But what exactly wasn't right, he could not tell. Sometimes, this strange feeling had come upon him during his tenure in the Corps and he had learned to trust it. It had saved his life many a time and the lives of his comrades.

He sat up and turned to the back of the cave to check up on his horse. He was startled to see a eerie blue glow light up the inner confines of the cave. The old nag was awake and whickering uneasily, shuffling nervously away from the light.

Frowning mightily, he threw off the covers and rose to his feet, walking cautiously towards the source of the light. When he came abreast to his horse, he could barely make out a stone about his height set in the wall of the cave. Patting the back of the equine soothingly, he inched closer to the stone, eyes squinting and scalp tingling even worse.

The feeling in his chest was heavy with dread.

"Well now, what do you suppose this thing be?"

It was covered in strange symbols, each more perplexing than the last. Eight symbols in were aligned in a rectangle. Each symbol depicted an arrow in a circle, with each arrow pointing left, right, up or down, and some arrows pierced the circle while others did not.

Realization dawned on him that the stone was actually emitting a faint aura of chakra.

His brow furrowed in puzzlement.

But what a strange type of chakra it was. Almost not like chakra at all.

Only living things had chakra; no inanimate object could manipulate it or possesses it, unless a chakra user imbued an object with chakra, as some swordsmen of old had done. The chakra on the stone did not feel as if someone had put it there, it pulsed as if it resided in a living being.

"Curious." He muttered softly. "I wonder…"

Almost without thought, he tapped into his own chakra and wrapped a bit of it around his fingers, before reaching out to touch the symbol that was slightly larger than the others, a triangle on its point inside a circle.

Something in the back of his mind screamed at him to stop this foolish thing at once, but he was far too entranced by the blue glow and strange chakra. He was always too curious for his own good. His fellow shinobi jokingly told him that it would be the death of him.

His fingers, wrapped in chakra, brushed the symbol. Then the world exploded.

Power screamed through him and an unearthly howl shrieked through the cave. The world began to melt right before his very eyes, though he was in far too much pain from the blue chakra to pay it much mind. The horse screamed in terror as the very air about the two seemed to distort in upon itself.

His last thought was that his comrades had been right. His curiosity had indeed been the death of him.

There was a flash of light and suddenly, the horse and his owner were gone and in their place was a small force of people, some mounted on frantic horses and others collapsed upon the ground. The new arrivals were so many that their numbers filled the small cave and even spilled out into the confines of the pass.

The Wheel weaves as the Wheel will.

At that very moment, a strange thing happened. The Wheel of Time stopped for a brief time. Though this was all but impossible, it indeed occured. A new pattern had been placed upon the loom and it was of such immense proportion that the old pattern had been completely dismissed from the Wheel.

A new Age had begun.

Only no one knew it then.

T-T-T-T-T-T

I have won again, Lews Therin.

Flicker.

That ageless whisper, dry as the desert and hoarse as sand on sand murmured softly in his ear.

I have won again, Lews Therin.

Flicker.

Yet another vision of ruin, of what could be flashed before his eyes.

I have won again, Lews Therin.

Flicker.

All of them worlds where the Dark One had won and the Dragon Reborn had failed to deliver the world from evil.

I have won again, Lews Therin.

Flicker.

Or if he did, the world was destroyed in the saving of it.

I have won again, Lews Therin.

Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker.

I have won again, Lews Therin. I always will.

Despair flooded through Rand al'Thor as each successive world of what could be paraded in from him. What hope had he, a boy with delusions of grandeur, in defeating the Dark One or even offering a token resistance? He was not the Dragon Reborn, though the White Tower seemed to be bound and determined to declare him as a False Dragon in order to use him for their own machinations.

Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker.

He hated the White Tower. He hated all Aes Sedai. He hated the Dark One. He hated himself for being able to channel.

Flicker.

But most of all, he hated the One Power.

It roared through him, filling him to the roots of his hair with unimaginable ecstasy, with a burning light that brought him to new plateaus of pleasure. He felt as if he could move the Creator himself from his throne in the heavens. He ached to draw in more, to drown himself in so much of the Power that he could lose himself in it. But there, on the edges of his joy there lay the taint, the source of every male channeller's woe. Saidin, the male half of the One Power, had irrevocably been fouled by the Dark One's taint long ago, a last measure of revenge against Lews Therin Telamon, named Kinslayer, and his One Hundred Companions.

Flic—

NO! I am Rand al'Thor, burn you!

He would not let the Dark One win and destroying himself by way of the Power would only serve His ends. He struggled to pull himself back, to cut off the flow of tainted saidin to his self. He tried to bring back the flame and the void, attempting to force the routes of the Portal Stone to solidify, concentrating on the location of Toman's Head while keeping the home world symbol fixed firmly in his mind.

There! He could not say how he knew but just within his reach was the path home. If only he could stretch out with a little more saidin…

The flame wavered. Something wasn't right.

The path was fixed firmly in his mind as the one home, but something screamed at him to wait, to look further. But he had no choice. The foul taint that skittered on the surface of saidin was beginning to creep into his mind and he wasn't sure how much longer he could will himself from drawing more saidin and destroying everything in a mile radius.

He stretched out his hand, grasped the path in his hand and pulled it into reality.

With a thunderous roar and flash of bright blue light, Rand al'Thor, along with the entire company that set out to chase Padan Fain to Toman's Head and retrieve the Horn of Valere found themselves in the confines of a cold, dank cave.

Horses were screaming, men were shouting, and the taint fair oozed across Rand's skin. He only had a moment to realize that he wasn't dead and then crashed to the cold stone floor in an exhausted faint.