A/N: Follows the manga of both with splashes of the animes. That's because, well, it's very very unlikely that Ed would ever jump to the conclusion that he ended up in an alternate universe without outside help, and I'm not planning for anyone in Konoha to figure it out. Also note, I am making most of the compositions up. I seriously don't know what ratio to everything is. Maybe when I'm finished all my chemistry courses, I'll come back and revise, and maybe some of you could help me out? :)

Prologue: The Truth Behind All Truths

Colonel Mustang,

Here's my last report.

Yeah stop grimacing, I know what you're thinking. Sorry I won't be around to bug you anymore, someone has really got to deflate your ego once in a while. Oh and the 520 cenz? Psht, you're not Fuhrer yet, so don't kid yourself. You have to make the best job of rebuilding Amestris, or I swear I'll come back and haunt you.

How did I get into this predicament you ask? (Yes, I am that awesome, and you're not as unpredictable as you might think) Well, it happened like this:

Right after we defeated The Father and stopped his evil plans, a crazy psycho woman named Dante tried to off me and Al. Anyways, she kidnapped Rose so we really had no choice but to follow, and get this, she used Alchemy! You know how we all thought Alchemy couldn't be used after The Father was killed because the energy we got from transmutations came from him? Well, I found out that's partially true but there is more to it. But more on that later.

Anyways, it was a good thing I learned the Xing way of Alkahestry or else we would have been toast. Even if I wasn't that good at it, I did manage to put up something of a fight. Still, Dante played dirty, and used Rose's newborn babe to summon the Gate. Confused? Yeah, we were too. I think she was meant to be one of The Father's sacrifices, thank goodness for him she never learned of his betrayal. So then, she told us this long sob story about how Hohenhiem had a relationship with her then ditched her. Ha, sounds like that bastard alright. But apparently, he only left after their child died, so Dante tried to resurrect the child and ended up losing the part that would allow her to have children again. The Father found out, but thought that Dante was a few centuries too early, so gave her a few philosopher's stones in able for her to keep living until the time she was needed. Anyways, you know The Father died, but Dante still managed to keep her philosopher's stones. She used those as the energy source for Alchemy.

So, my soul and mind were sucked through the gate, and I ended up occupying another body. There, I found out that due to the fact that I am Hohenhiem's son, my live was considerably longer and I was much like a philosopher's stone with only one soul. Because of the fact that father was the philosopher's stone, and because of the fact that I had healed myself using my own life energy but felt no ill effects, I have developed a hypothesis. As the sons of Hohenhiem, we have inherited part of his longevity without additional souls, simply because our souls are the combined sons of all the souls within father's body. That is why, I am still able to perform Alchemy even when The Father died, even though the source of Amestris's alchemy is his body. I was using my own source. Using Alchemy, I was able to get back to my regular body, but by that time Al was already gone. You know how his soul is connected to mine right? Well, without me there to anchor him any longer, he's… dead.

I can't have that.

Especially since it's all my fault. Haha, confessing on paper is so not my thing, but I guess impending death does a lot to a person. Actually, I'm feeling pretty calm right now. Weird, huh? Maybe it's because I feel like I'm finally fixing my mistakes. I wonder if this was how father felt when he went off to face The Father.

Yeah… I really do need to fix this. Al didn't deserve to have his soul affixed to a piece of armour, and certainly didn't deserve death. I was the one who persuaded him to try to transmute mom back, because I thought I was such a genius. Some idiot I was then, huh? I know you don't approve of my methods, but Al is my brother, and I can't leave him when he hasn't really had a chance to live. I've already had these past four years, the best four years of my life (despite so many narrow escapes with death). I couldn't live right, if I knew that I could only live at the expense of Al. So… don't tell him this alright? I'm trusting you.

Tell him that… I managed to bring him back using Dante's philosopher's stone, which depleted half its power. Dante was furious, and fought with me, in which we both ended up severely injuring the other. For my last moments, I decided to write a letter, which isn't that unreasonable is it? When you guys came in (yes I know you're efficient enough to get here before Al wakes up), the carnage was disgusting so you burned it. It was also a last request of mine from this letter. Don't worry, I'll write in some details in Al's letter, so he'll believe you.

Again, I can't believe I'm saying this but… Thank you.

Hey, hey, while I'm on the thanking bank already, I might as well tell you the other things I'm grateful for. Yeesh, you don't have to get smug, it's just that I'm on death's door and I feel like if I don't do some nice deeds of say, thanking someone for deeds anyone else would have done, I'd have a miserable death. So yeah Colonel, taking us in and allowing me to become a State Alchemist, then not hindering us at all, was pretty cool. Then, that whole episode with Scar and later the Fuhrer… I can't believe I'm saying this but, I do consider you one of the greatest friends anyone could have.

Ugh, that sounded so sentimental. I'd imagine you're feeling equally as disgusted, and that's the only thing keeping me going right now. Don't you dare blame yourself for this Mustang, or else I'll tell Riza to shoot you in my letter to her. Like I said, you have to become Fuhrer, because that's the only way Amestris will be the way I envisioned it. You can't do a good job of it if you're mourning over the dead.

I'll say hi to Hughes for you on the other side. I'm sure he's proud of where you are.

Don't get too cocky,

~Edward Elric, The Fullmetal Alchemist

p.s. Ask Riza out for me, since I won't be able to.

Dear Alphonse,

Yeah, yeah Al, I know it sounds stuffy of me to say 'Alphonse' and all, but since this is my last letter and all, I thought I'd make it at least a bit formal. You know, just in case you forget your name when you're old and grey, haha.

And you are going to become old and grey Al, because I'm not permitting you to try to bring me back. Yes, I performed perfect human transmutation (if you're reading this that is), but that is only because of one special circumstance. I used the philosopher's stone. No, I admit, I'm not okay with it, but the people within the stone agreed. After all, it was either this or get used by Dante to prolong her overextended life.

Unfortunately, Dante wasn't so amused, and here I am dying as a consequence of that. Don't worry, dying isn't all bad. I already died once, anyways. It's a nice world, the other side. I saw father there you know. (Yes, I am willing to call him father this once, perhaps it's because of my impending death?) I must admit, he also redeemed himself somewhat by taking on The Father. Anyway, Hohenheim's still alive and well on the other side of the gate, though I think he's mortal now.

But you must know Al, that the only reason that I can die so calmly is because I know at least I succeeded. You're back, with a real body. You can do everything you want to do now, including eating Gracia's homemade apple pie. In fact, you have to try everything that we didn't do as kids, as a memento to me! I don't exactly want to die, but as long as I know you're still alive, death doesn't seem so bad. So whatever you do, you have to live a long and happy life, or else it'll be an insult to my memory. This means no trying to bring me back, though of course now it'd be impossible. Alchemy after all, no longer exists in Amestris, and I know you wouldn't create a philosopher's stone.

It's been lots of fun these past years, don't you agree? Ha great, now I sound like an old geezer. Still, I'm a bit sad that I can't protect you anymore from Armstrong's hugs of doom. Actually, if I recall correctly you actually enjoyed it… Ugh, promise me you won't get big and muscular okay? I'm having waking nightmares right now just thinking about it.

I'm also sorry that I can't protect you from that psycho chick Mei Chan, even though she was the one who taught me Alkahestry. It was downright freaky when she left for her homeland, but promised to come back to marry you. Man she is crazy, along with Ling and the rest. But you know, if you come to fall in love with her or whatever, I will give you my blessings, and won't fault you in the least… I'll just question your taste.

Haha, well really, that's all. You are the best brother anyone could ever hope to have, and have saved my butt more times than I can count. And trust me, I can count higher than most people. Even though at times our lives sucked, I'm glad we went through everything. It used to be just the two of us, but now we've developed relations with others too. I for instance, will never understand your friendship with Mei, just as you don't understand my willingness to follow Greed. It shows that we can live without eachother Al, so I give you my blessings to continue with your life, and even do some things that I may not approve.



p.s. You'd better take care of Winry Al, 'cause brother or not if you neglect her I'm going to come back to haunt you!

p.p.s And 'doing something things I may not approve' does NOT include getting drunk! If you get drunk… I'll ask Mustang to resurrect me so I can beat the stuffing out of you!

Chapter 1- The Red Eyed Alchemist

The sound of a firecracker split the air, and Edward Elric landed flat on his back, his ears ringing. His body tingled with pain and stiffness, and the hard ground on which he had landed wasn't helping matters.

The newly turned sixteen year old groaned and closed his eyes in defeat, not even bothering to struggle to his feet. He had no idea why he was still feeling things. Wasn't all sensation supposed to disappear when somebody died? It figured that the books on death would be all wrong.

Mustang would definitely have to update the library when he was made Fuhrer.

Edward snorted at the thought, and rolled over to his side, his eyes still closed. The scent of fresh grass assaulted his nostrils, making him wriggle his nose slightly in surprise. He hadn't expected the afterlife to smell exactly like Ames—

Wait just a moment.

It couldn't be… that he wasn't actually dead?

Edward suddenly felt his breath hitch, fearing that he hadn't succeeded. He didn't even want to think that he hadn't. Golden eyes snapped open, the sudden need to see he was still within the underground temple welling up inside him.

And just as quickly as he had opened his eyes, Edward had to squeeze them shut again. Damn, the sun was bright.

Well, at least that meant he wasn't in the temple anymore. Perhaps he was back on the other side of the gate? Laying an arm over his eyes to filter the sunlight until his eyes adjusted, Edward tried opening his eyes again… And for the second time in thirty seconds, Edward came to a realization that shook his world.

The arm that he had laid across his eyes, his right arm, it didn't feel right.

Forcing his eyes fully open and ignoring his blurry vision, Edward lifted his arm slightly above his head and zeroed in on it. His breath came up short.

Flesh… granted, his arm was pale and scrawny looking, but it was flesh all the same. He clenched and unclenched his fist, a feeling of awe washing over him as for the first time in five years, he felt living flesh with his right arm again.

Impossible. How…?

Sitting up suddenly, Edward grasped the black material on his left leg and pulled, revealing not a metal limb, but a normal, completely normal leg. For a moment, the mind of the genius came up blank.

It didn't seem possible of course, that something he had searched for so long was now finally within his grasp. He hadn't sacrificed anything for it- in fact he had intended to die. Edward did not understand how he could have possibly gotten his original limbs back, especially since… especially since…

Especially since his alternate self had died.

Edward hadn't been entirely truthful in either of his letters; he didn't just 'discover' his longevity, he had been forced to draw the conclusion. At the battle at the North Wall, Edward had healed himself using his own life energy, and had suffered no ill effects. It was only reasonable to assume that his alternate self would be the same way. It hadn't happened that way. Possibly because his alternate self wasn't the son of Hohenheim -the philosopher's stone-, that Edward hadn't survived the transmutation. Edward Elric had felt the boy's life leave, as he himself left the body. It was Edward himself, had caused the boy to die by using Alchemy.

Edward shook his head, clearing it of the depressing thoughts. No, no, he couldn't think that way, not now. He needed to check if Al was okay. Or… perhaps Edward was stuck on the other side again?

The golden eyed boy surveyed his surroundings. Well wherever he was, he certainly wasn't underground anymore. Large -and tall, Edward sourly noted- trees surrounded him, somehow still green despite the scorching sun.

The genius alchemist let out a breath, finally realizing exactly how hot it was now that his attention was brought to it. He had been lying in this clearing for who knows how long, and he was getting baked. If he still had his automail, he'd be fried by now. Edward looked again towards the trees, hoping to find a particularly nice one where he could sit at the base of.

It was then that Edward saw him. And he wondered how he had missed the guy before. A boy no older than 12 stood at the edge of the clearing, his red eyes darting back and forth as if searching for something. He wore a really weird cloak with a huge collar, and his features reminded Edward of the people from Xing. He actually looked quite professional, and Edward wondered if the boy were a prince of some sort. Finally, his gaze landed on Edward, "Have you seen anything unusual, civilian?"

Civilian? Edward bristled. Yeah, he didn't exactly like the military, but being called a civilian when he had held the title of Major for over four years was a huge insult. Especially since it came from a snot nosed kid.

"Who you calling civilian, punk?" Edward demanded, his earlier kind thoughts about the stranger disappearing more quickly than his morning breakfast had. "You shouldn't insult your superiors."

The kid narrowed his red eyes, which if Edward were to admit, were kind of freaky. "Superiors? Who? You? You look like you're hardly eight years old yourself."

"Who you calling a lousy little pipsqueak?" Edward demanded, jumping to his feet. Uh-oh, bad move. It looked like using two leg made of flesh instead of one made of metal needed getting used to. A lot like when he had gotten his automail changed to the lighter kind at the Northern Border, actually.

Edward wobbled, feeling uncoordinated and tumbled to the ground again. The blond growled, struggling to get up again. Damn, why was this so difficult? It should have been easier to walk around with a normal leg, not harder!

"I'm not going to argue with a kid who can't even get up." The boy stated coolly, "How old are you? 10? You should go home."

"Stop calling me a kid!" Edward demanded, narrowing his eyes. He wasn't even that short anymore, Winry admitted it. He swore he looked 16, how could he possibly be mistaken for 10? That arrogant red eyed child, was he trying to rile Edward up? Why that little…!

Taking a deep breath, Edward told himself to calm down. He bowed his head, hoping that by taking away the sight of the child, he could finally compose himself.

This was just a child here, he couldn't possibly go beating up a child. Maybe bruise him a little but Edward certainly could kill him, no matter how much he was tempted to. He clapped his hands together, intending to teach the kid a lesson… And then he noticed it.

Edward stared. And stared.

Impossible. That was the only word for it. Somehow, somehow his clothes looked too big for him, and the arms he was seeing were too short to be his own. He hadn't noticed it before because he'd been too occupied with the fact that he had all his limbs, but now… Edward stretched out his arm again, and this time looked closely at his hand. It wasn't the same long, elegant fingers he was used to, but the short, pudgy digits of a 10 year old. Slowly, Edward brought his hands to his face, feeling the baby fat which he had thought long burned away. Impossible.

Except it couldn't be, since it was happening. Edward's mind whirled, trying to hypothesize, think up of some reason why this was happening. He had deaged, but how? And then, he realized it. His right arm, his left leg… really there should have been no way to get those back. The only way for Edward to have them was for… well, for him to be in the body he had before he performed Human Transmutation.

He felt himself laughing uncontrollably, "What date is it?"

"October 11th," The kid replied, a flash of something -concern, perhaps- crossed his face. "Are you alright?"

"None of your business," Edward replied stiffly, not feeling in the mood to deal with some random kid. October 11th, of course: the day that he had tried human transmutation, the day that he had gotten his limbs stolen from him. That would make him… 11 years old. Now here was the question, was his life still ridiculously long, or was he completely normal now? It was a really weird circumstance, after all. He needed to test it.

Taking a deep breath, Edward clapped his hand together, allowing simple information to flow through his brain. 44% silicon, 8% calcium, 10% carbon… comprehension, deconstruction, reconstruction… 62% silicon, 5% calcium, 18% carbon…

Edward slammed his hands into the ground, willing for the atoms to break apart and re-bond to his will. The air around him cackled, flashing blue from the energy of the reaction.

The youngest major in Amestris looked down, feeling no ill effects. A brand new hole was in front of him, and in the very center was a miniature metal replica of Granny's house in Resembol. He could still do alchemy, and do it well. He didn't know whether to feel anxious or relieved about that.

Suddenly, Edward felt the cool edge of a sharp metal knife pressed to the back of his throat.

"Who are you?" A murderous voice hissed, and Edward distantly recognized it as the boy's from earlier. But it sounded different somehow, as if suddenly a light had been switched on, or perhaps switched off in this case. Edward shivered. "I had thought you were just a normal civilian, since I didn't sense any chakra from you, but the thing you just did… you were the alien chakra signature I sensed weren't you? You are coming back to Konoha with me."

Edward swore. Damn it, damn it, damn it, he should have known not to underestimate Xing folk. Ran Fan after all, would have kicked his ass if he hadn't found her weakness. Hm, her weakness… "Are you a ninja then?"


Good, that meant that this kid probably had the same weakness Ran Fan did, and it explained the whole 'sensing' thing. Edward himself, was learning how to sense people, though it wasn't nearly as developed as Mei Chan's. With the advantage of alchemy, Edward was sure he could defeat this guy. The question was, if this boy was a rentanjutsu (alkehestry) user too…

"Rentan… jutsu?" The boy's voice was slightly startled, but it quickly returned to its earlier, authoritative voice. "What is that?"

Oops, had he thought the last bit out loud? Oh well, at least it gave Edward the advantage… wait, how could a civilian from Xing not know about alkehestry? Edward's mind felt like it was going a thousand miles per minute.

Could it be possible that this was actually the alternate version of Xing? Where alkehestry died out much like Alchemy did? Yeah… that made sense. Well, now that he'd found out that much, there was really no need to continue the conversation. He wasn't going to follow the aggressive boy to wherever the heck Konoha was, so it really was time to make an exit.

Slowly, Edward brought his hands together…

"Don't you dare," The boy commanded coldly, "Or else I'll cut your arms off."

Edward froze. He really didn't want his arms cut off, especially when he had just gotten one of them back. But how had this guy known what Edward was planning to do, if the ninja didn't know about alkehestry? There was no way, that he'd know what alchemy did.

Oh wait a minute, duh! Edward had just performed alchemy in front of the dude, so of course the boy would know! The blond could have wacked himself for being so stupid. Of course, there was something else the boy didn't know about.

He let his arms drop again, accidently brushing the fabric of the boy's cloak. Silk… well Organza if he wanted to be specific. Damn… this guy was rich. Edward himself, was only wearing cotton, because he hadn't wanted to spoil expensive cloth for travelling. But this boy…

"Who are you?" Edward asked, clenching his fists so tightly that he drew blood, "Can you really decide whether to disfigure others? Are you that influential, or is this place that messed up?"

"Do not insult Konoha," The boy said fiercely, then seemed to add the next part as an afterthought. "Please. We do not know what grievance we have given you, but I assure you that it was not for a casual reason. I am Itachi Uchiha."

Huh, that was rather extensive vocabulary for a 12 year old. Coupled with Uchiha's ninja skills, Edward suddenly felt sure he was dealing with a prodigy here. Edward played with his shirt, feeling nervous. What if this didn't work? No, no, he couldn't think about that. Lithium, sodium, carbon… "Well good for you, I'm not here to try to destroy your property or anything. I'm just a lost traveller, so can't you just let me go?"

"I am sorry, I am not authorized to release suspicious figures. I- ugh!" The short dagger clattered to the ground, and Edward took the opportunity to quickly slip out from boy's hold. He took a moment to relish the look of genuine shook on the boy's face, but even he had to wince at the large puncture wound on the boy's right thigh. Tapping the rough transmutation circle he had created on his belt, the short knife protruding from Edward's waste quickly melted back into its original leather form.

The boy didn't seem to be paying attention to him, or at least, not his words. "How did you… one handed justsu? Or was that a seal? How come I didn't see…"

Edward held up his hands, giving the boy a pitying look. That wound must really hurt. Edward hadn't meant to hurt the boy quite that much, but transmutations were tricky when it was something as complicated as making leather into steel. They hardly shared any of the same elements. "Look, I'm really sorry, but I'm not going to a place hostile to me. There's something I need to do any-"

He didn't get to finish, because it was then that the boy came flying at him again, looking for all purposes like he was intending to fight. Edward growled, so the boy was one of those types huh? The type who just didn't get it unless they were beaten to a pulp?

Edward clapped his hands together, and slammed them onto the ground. Spikes of rock shot up from the earth, but this time the boy seemed like he was prepared for Edward's alchemy. The boy's movements quickened, to such a speed that Edward had a hard time seeing the boy let alone attacking him.

The blond inwardly sighed; there was really no help for it he supposed. He slammed his hands together again, this time manipulating the air particles around him. He had planned to save this trick for the Colonel, especially since it was Roy who taught air manipulation to him. Edward concentrated, and jumped to the left, just as the other boy blurred beside him, crushing the ground where Edward had been seconds before. Just as he landed, the boy brought his hands together too, though he performed some weird movements with his hands. Suddenly, Edward got a very bad feeling about this.

Following instinct more than anything else, Edward quickly formed another transmutation circle, and forced the ground to rise. And just in time too, because Edward suddenly felt an all too familiar heat blast into the front of the earth wall.

Streak of flame blew past, burning the grass where Edward's wall did not protect. Not wasting this opportunity, Edward slammed his hands into the column of earth once again, this time concentrating on quite a different equation. He blasted the jets of heated rock towards the red eyed boy, not even caring if the molten stone burned the boy this time. Edward had to focus on winning, otherwise he had a feeling he wouldn't even be getting out of this alive.

The boy didn't give Edward any reprieve though. A second after Edward had performed his transmutation, three four sided knives came hurling at Edward faster than he could react. A burning pain lanced up Edward's newly reclaimed right arm, and he had to grit his teeth to keep from crying out in pain. Knowing he couldn't match the boy in speed, Edward clapped his hands together again, changing the concentration of the air particles so he could move through them with less resistance. It didn't exactly give him more speed per say, but to the other boy it would make no difference. Less air resistance equalled being able to move faster than someone who was in a higher concentration of 'hard' air.

Red-Eyes attacked again, and Edward was forced to constantly move to avoid those attacks, not able to retaliate in any way. That was the other reason Edward didn't want to do this technique- it was a pain.

Every second, Edward had to change the concentration of the air particles around him, something that was an ongoing part of a transmutation and couldn't be left alone. Also, it was complicated, and Edward just knew he'd have a headache by the end of this. If he survived, that is. He was feeling dizzy from the blood loss two of the knives had caused, and he didn't know if he could last much longer, especially with his constant strain on both his brain and his muscles. The only thing gratifying about it was, the other boy couldn't seem to keep up.

Still, Edward couldn't get close to the boy, let alone hit him. Air manipulation was hard enough as it was, but getting into close range with another moving person was area that Edward hadn't even touched on.

Obviously, the air concentration would be different, depending on how fast the person was moving, and Edward had neither the time nor energy to calculate that. If he were to get close to the red eyed boy, Edward's transmutation would be shot, and he'd become easy prey. So all Edward could do was run in circles around the clearing, making sure that Red-Eyes was a good distance away from him.

He just had to wait… until the boy gave him another chance.

As if reading his thoughts, the boy smiled sinisterly. Well okay, it probably wasn't meant to be sinister, but on that pale face and with those red eyes Edward thought the smile was very sinister indeed. He didn't think anyone could disagree with him. "I finally understand your power now. You can't move this fast and perform a jutsu at the same time. Then, I won't give you enough time to perform any technique."

Edward stumbled, falling face first to the ground. He couldn't believe that the boy had figured it out already! Uchiha didn't waste any time, and flew towards Edward.

Edward felt a grin stretch across his lips, relieved beyond reason that Uchiha hadn't just blasted him with that fire thing. The trap was sprung. His hands already spread out onto the groves he had made while running, Edward activated the gigantic transmutation circle.

The air cackled with blue lightning, and the clearing within the forest glowed red. The boy stopped his dash, glancing down in alarm. The tomes within his red eyes were swirling madly, as if somehow they could give him the answer.

Edward slowly got up, walking towards the boy warily.

The Uchiha shouldn't be able to move, considering Edward had just transmuted his silken outfit to one of the heaviest material on earth. Tch, Organza, Edward sure loved that material. Okay, so the transmutation was anti-climatic, but it served its purpose. The annoying boy couldn't move, and Edward could finally relax…

Except that the boy did move. Uchiha shouldn't have been able to, yet he was slowly bringing his arms together and making weird signs with his hands again. For a moment, Edward just stood, stunned. Even though Edward was used to heavy automail, if he were wearing the Uchiha's clothes right now even Edward would not be able to move a muscle. Impossible.

A surge of water appeared at the ground at the Uchiha's feet, blasting towards Edward. Uchiha performed more handseals, and suddenly lightning was added to the gushing sea. Golden eyes widened; oh no, this was not good. With hardly any time to react, Edward fell back to his most knowledgeable area of transmutation, and slammed his hands onto the earth.

Water gushed down into the crevice Edward had made, a huge crack suddenly between him and Uchiha. The displaced earth rose around Uchiha, binding him all the more.

Edward wiped his brow, amazed he had avoided that one. He glanced at Uchiha who was on the other side of the split, and had to smile grimly as the red eyed boy seemed to struggle to move. So Uchiha wasn't completely unaffected, then.

"How?" Uchiha asked, his red eyes boring into Edward's golden ones, "The seal is destroyed completely, yet this curse remains."

Oh? So was alchemy for Uchiha a bit different? Edward let out a sigh of relief, plopping down and finally resting his tired legs. But now that he was resting… the pain caught up with him.

Scrunching up his face, Edward turned his head to his right arm, where the odd knife like thing was still embedded. Ripping off a piece from his favourite cloak, Edward quickly pulled out the knife and made a makeshift bandage. It wasn't the best, but he wanted to check out Uchiha first.

Edward looked to the other boy, and had to wince. Ah, his molten rocks had done more than he had wanted them to. Uchiha was covered in burn marks, and the bandage on his leg from Edward's stab wound was dripping blood. Still, the boy didn't seem to notice his injuries, and only looked like he was focused on breaking Edward's transmutation.

Edward sighed, he truly hadn't wanted to hurt the kid. Badly, anyway. But Uchiha was as good as any Homuculus, even better than some! It was Edward's long engrained instinct kicking in that caused him to act the way he did, but it was still no excuse. Edward jumped over to the other side, walking until he was right in front of Uchiha, "How old are you?"

"No older than you are, probably," The red eyed boy said warily, "If you ever see my brother, Sasuke Uchiha, please tell him that he is more important to me than even Konoha. Surely, you can understand that."

Ha… could he ever. But… "Why are you telling me this? It's not like you're going to die or anything right? Oh crap, are your injuries that serious? Feh, I suppose I'll have to heal you then. I can't have somebody's death on my conscious."

"What? Are you not going to kill me?"

Not even dignifying that with an answer, Edward plopped down, ignoring his throbbing head. Remembering Mai Chan's lessons, Edward concentrated on the earth, willing himself to sense the earth's veins. He needed that spiritual, natural energy, if he could ever hope to heal the ninja. After all, alchemy couldn't be used for medical purposes. He needed alkehestry.

And he felt nothing.

Well, not nothing exactly, he felt something from in front of him, where he had trapped the red eyed boy. What…?

Then Edward finally understood. It wasn't that alkehestry died out in this alternate world, it was that it never existed. Instead, it had taken form inside of people, the earth's energy spreading out within them as if they were the focal point for power.

To access alkehestry, one would have to create a circle on people. That was why the guy could move insanely fast while doing what seemed like alchemy. Uchiha was a ninja, so his body was more trained than Edward's, and the boy was an alkehestrest, which meant he could perform transmutation.

Edward glanced up, trying to sense where the earth's veins connected to the kid. It was his mistake. As soon as their eyes met, Edward suddenly felt as if he were wearing lead, and not the Uchiha. His earlier exhaustion seemed to completely catch up with him, and Edward felt his eyes droop in sleepiness.

"I am sorry," Uchiha's voice was soft, and somehow comforting in the rising blackness. "You have honourable intentions, but as a ninja I cannot simply let you go. Do not worry, I am sure the Lord Hokage will not hinder you, he is the kindest person I have ever met."

With those last, confusing words as company, Edward's grip on consciousness faded and he slipped into the all encompassing darkness.

A/n: Sorry for the 1500 word fight scene, if you aren't into that. Actually, I'm not either, but since I don't have pretty pictures to flash, this was the only way I could show the equality between Ed's and Itachi's skills. And yes, Itachi won in the end, using genjutsu. ^^