Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS, Fullmetal Alchemist or any characters from those shows.

Summary: Through alchemy that creates portals to different worlds, Edward ends up in Washington, DC, in the midst of a murder investigation. What is this strange place, and how will he get home?

Edward tromps towards Mustang's office, a look of supreme annoyance on his face at he passes everyone. Nobody dares to speak to him, for fear of his temper flaring at them.
[That damn Colonel. He knew I was headed home to visit Winry. He knew it, so he called me back just when the train got here!]

"Oh, Fullmetal," Mustang waves Edward in as he spots the bright red coat, golden blonde hair, and over-compensating attitude walking through the door. He waves his subordinates out the door, giving some privacy. Moments later, Alphonse slips through the door, having been ever the gentleman to hold the door for the other men.

"What the hell do you want, Mustang?" Edward stuffs his hands in his pockets.

"I would appreciate you addressing me correctly once in a while, Fullmetal."

"Oh, I'm sorry. What the hell do you want, iasshole/i?" Edward retorts, voice dripping with malice.

"Brother, you shouldn't speak to the Colonel like that.." [Even if he did make us miss ANOTHER train..] He hangs his head a little.

"I called you here for something I thought you might appreciate." Mustang picks up a file on his desk and meets the young alchemist in the middle of the room. He hands the file to Edward. "There have been reports of a.. gifted, but eccectric, alchemist on the outskirts of Central. He keeps telling people he's investigating portals.. to other worlds."

Edward's eyes widen, and he looks at Alphonse. "Do you think he means the Gate..?"

"I don't know, brother.. but I think we should check it out."

"The man has gotten so annoying about it, that the military has been asked to go see what it's all about and take care of him accordingly. I figured this falls under your interests, so I'm assigning this task to you."

"Yeah.. fine. I'll go see what it's about," Ed says, turning to head for the door.


Ed turns to face Mustang. "What."

"Be careful. Your interest isn't the only reason I'm sending you."

"..Got it."

Walking down the street, Edward rubs his right shoulder with his left hand. "Damn winter, damn the cold, damn this metal," he mutters, complaining about everything he think of.

"Ed.. you can't be mad at Colonel Mustang all the time. He is only trying to help, you know.."

"A lot of help he is! He almost sends us to our death and the most we get is a hint here, a tidbit there. I would love to just find the damn stone and never have to deal with him again!"

Alphonse frowns as much as a suit of armor can, going silent and just walking along with his disgruntled brother.

It isn't long before they reach the residence. It's an average building.. but so was Nina's home, and hell breached that house.

A quick knock by Edward, the sound of several somethings hitting the floor, footsteps shuffling, and the door opens. The man looks.. pale, thin, undernourished and underexposed to the daylight. His eyes are big, curious, and his round-rimmed glasses only magnify them, making them appear much too large for his thin face. His long brown hair is messy, slightly oily, and pulled back into a quick, loose ponytail. A quick glance reveals the books that had falled from messily-created stack, knocked over when the alchemist jumped to answer the door.

"Oh-hello, you must be here to hear about my research!" He sounds rather excited, and a bit unsocialized.

"Ah.. yeah. I'm Edward Elric, the-"

"Fullmetal Alchemist! I've heard about you! You and your brother, and your quest for the Philosopher's Stone!"

Edward's face reddens a little. "How-how do-" He quickly grabs Alphonse and gets everybody inside, shutting the door. "We uh, we have come to hear about your research.."

"Oh! Right, my research, wonderful!" He turns away to grab some books, then pauses and whips around, holding out his hand. "Sorry sorry! I'm Professor Goatram."

"Uh, Professfor Goatram. Nice to meet you," Edward replies, returning the shake with his left hand-seeing as the Professor offered his own left hand.

"Yes, yes. Now.. " He grabs what looks like five thick journals and sits them on the table, picking up the most worn one first. "This is my first journal on portal alchemy, I wrote all of my thoughts and notes in there as they came to me.. So many thoughts! The ideas kept coming and coming!" He shoves it into Edward's hands, opening it to explain a few key points, about how exactly it works, and what symbols mean what. However, after thirty minutes and only just getting to the second journal, Edward sets the books on the table.

"Professor.. you still haven't told me where exactly the portals lead to."

"Oh.. oh, that. Ah, you see.. I'm not sure. I haven't met anyone yet willing to test my portals.. they're a bit unstable, but I'm sure you would be able to return the same as you left." He grins nervously.

"It's that easy?" Edward gains an intriuged look.

"Well.. there are some, ah.. risks."

"What are the risks." Edward narrows his eyes at the man, who nods and grabs a small notebook.

"Um, I haven't actually had a chance to test it yet, but.. due to the types of alchemy it uses.." He pauses, opens to the correct page. "..I have a list here of some of the risks. Disembodiment, loss of soul, loss of life, loss of brain function, inability to return to original launch point, no telling what's actually on the other side.."

Edward stares at the professor. "What are you, CRAZY? Why are you doing this kind of alchemy if it's that risky?"

"I'm a scientist, a researcher! Someone has to explore all of the odds!"

"At those risks? You're a maniac!"

"Fine, FINE! If even the military won't listen and won't help me, I'll test it myself! I've been working on this too long to just give up!" He grabs his thickest journal and throws it at Edward's head, it landing smack-dab in the middle of his face, knocking him over.

"Ah! Brother!" Al reaches down to help Edward up, but the blonde is on his feet in milliseconds.

"HAY! GET BACK HERE!" Ed yells in frustration and runs after the professor, who had turned a corner and ran down into the basement of the building. "I'M GONNA KICK YER ASS FOR THAT YOU PSYCHO!"

The sound of alchemy fills the basement, flashing with a vividly multicolored light-the light is shifting colors, almost like a fiber-optic lamp. Ed stops, not even down the stairs yet, to stare at it. The design is ornate.. in a scribbled way, and not entirely round-it's an octagonal outer circle, with foreign writing bordering each of the eight edges.

"Brother, look! He's going to jump!"

Ed's shaken by his brother's cry as the Professor watches the circle eagerly, the center slowly dissolving into a swirling mass of color. Edward runs down the stairs as quickly as he can, running toward the Professor-who jumps just as they meet. "NO!"

A quick yank on the Professor's arm sends the man back onto solid concrete-but Ed loses his balance, falling backward, leaving a horrified Alphonse frozen in terror at the bottom of the steps, too far away to help his brother as he fals to his doom.

At the last moment, Alphonse runs forward to jump into the void after his brother, but just as Edward disappears, the circle vanishes, leaving Alphonse to crash and skid on the concrete. "No.. brother.. NO! NOO! EDWAAARD!" He bangs his fists on the floor, screaming for his brother.