Kitsune here with THE LAST CHAPTER! SO READ THIS NOTE PLEASE! EVEN IF YOU HAVE NOT READ A SINGLE OTHER ONE!
First off, "Thanks and Thanks again!" to all my readers, reviewers, favers, alerters, and c2rs. I've asked if people know what "Thanks and thanks again!" is from, but no one ever answers...so I'll tell you. "Tiger & Bunny" It's Sky High's most annoying line. He says everything like twice. Good anime, though. If you have not seen it, you should go watch the first three episodes. It's like a reality tv-show...with super-heros. But really, I want to thank you all for sticking with me all this time. This story was something that really grew past what I was expecting. Wow, people, I was only expecting maybe a dozen chapters out of this...and maybe 50 reviews! You guys (and some of your cool ideas, I wish I could use them all!) are the reason this thing has gotten to where it has. Even now that its compete, I know people are still going to read it, so, this thanks is to those future readers, too.
Secondly, I wanna give a special shout out to The Last Anbu. He's been an awesome help in beta-ing the last bunch of chapters for me and offering advice for a long time on Bee, as well as other plot-points and general "you can do it!" He's even put up with my whining 'I don't wanna!' and general tomfoolery... Dude, how many times have you messaged me now and I've been watching an anime or reading something instead of doing what I said I was going to? Seriously, I'm amazed you put up with me half the time. For real, thanks, Anbu-taicho.
Thanks also goes to Lexyaakiddd and Masked Bard of Chaos. Lexy knew first about the fact I was waiting to finish last batch of chapters and gave me some good advice. I hope this story didn't 'kill' you too many times~ Bard of Chaos, even if they don't know it, has made me laugh repeatedly with their stories AND some of our review-exchanges. This is a person who 'get's it' people!
The last thanks will only make sense if you read the bonus. I will say here again that THIS IS THE END OF TRUTH BITES. One day, I may write a series of Omakes for it, and other people are more then welcome to take this story and run with it if it gave you an idea. Just mention where you got the idea, folks. As it stands right now, the Bonus is just for fun, you don't have to read it. But all the same... I wanna thank my Co-worker (who does not have a fanfic acount at this time) for being a fun sounding board and triggering the BONUS. I nearly fell off my chair laughing, and it's a high chair, people. AND I'm short. That would have been bad. Funny as hell though.
Mustang was just glad to be back. The experience at the gate had been...interesting, to say the least, but really, he'd had enough of giant hybrid-ized multi-tailed monsters to last him a life time. The sooner they sent these whack-jobs back to their home, the better, as far as he was concerned. Not to mention, he felt like he'd been at that non-place for at least a week, possibly more, but Alex told him it had only been three days. Once again, he was being messed with by that thing, and he didn't like it.
On the other hand, now that they were back (and so quickly, too) they could get down to the business of chasing down the asshole screwing with his country. He WAS glad he wasn't missing out on that, Oliver would never have let him live it down if he'd missed it. Hell, Hawkeye would have never dropped it, either. It would have been nice if Truth could have just dropped them off where they needed to be, though. The blizzard had thankfully ended, but it had still dumped well over three feet of snow that they had to trudge through. Once again he looked over at the shinobi who were blithely trotting across the top of the snow and growled.
"What?" Naruto grinned, knowing full well what the problem was.
"That's fucking cheating."
"Is not." The teen trotted closer, "It's not my fault none of you guys can use chakra well enough to walk on snow. Kakashi even got Bull and the other nin-dogs to agree to pull a sleigh for you, so I don't see what you're bitching about, matchstick. At least you're warm."
"You know there are too many of us for the sleigh."
"Not my problem."
Roy glared at him, then at the sleigh in question, where Ed was sitting sulkily. The former Alchemist's leg had been giving him trouble in the cold, and instead of risking the joints freezing up or becoming snow-lodged, both he and Olivier had agreed that the boy would spend the whole trip on the sleigh, even if they had to tie his ass to it. Of course, that meant there was less space on the sleigh for the men to rotate on, but none of the dozen officers from Briggs, nor Hawkeye or Alex begrudged the Elric boy. Instead they all marched on in the wake left by the sturdy nin-dogs, and Bee's pair of shaggy ox who barreled through the deeper snow, clearing a path. Luckily his ox stopped talking after Olivier threatened to make stakes out of them. Still, the summons made the trip much faster. If they were lucky, they'd reach the enemy's camp before dawn, the perfect time for a surprise attack.
As it turned out, they made it to the enemy camp after dawn, but not much after. The camp was still silent, with the few guards on duty being easily dispatched by Kakashi. Now, huddled together just yards away from the camp, Olivier glared at Roy, daring him to challenge her right to lead. "My men and I will lead the attack. Mustang, you and your...shinobi provide backup."
Oh, I don't think so. "First, they're not 'My shinobi' if anything, I'd say Killer Bee is yours."
Bee pumped his fist, "Right!"
Mustang smirked, "See? And another, I think maybe my men should go first and yours should provide backup."
"What, all two of them?" She snorted, gesturing to Hawkeye and her brother, "Don't make me laugh, Brigadier General."
"Yeah, what are we? Chopped liver?" Naruto pouted from his spot between the two other shinobi
"Here's a better plan, how about we send the shinobi in, scare the crap out of these idiots, and then you two can pull the military bullshit?" Ed snapped, "The whole point of this is to get them home, isn't it? Wouldn't the fastest most efficient way to do that would be to blitz them with something they've never seen before?" Suddenly a wicked grin lit his face, "Particularly something they've called...Hey, Bee, think you can go all scary-shit on them?"
Bee scratched his chin, "You want me to turn into Hachibi?"
"Yeah. You heard about chimera, right? Well, I'm sure our Drachmanian friends here have, too, right, Generals?"
Roy grinned back at the teen. "Oh, I'm sure they have, thanks to the upheaval a few years ago. Well, what do you say, Olivier? Wanna send Bee and Naruto in to scare the shit out of them?"
"Naruto, too?" Olivier looked at the blonde teen apprehensively.
""Trust me, he'll do just fine. We didn't spend all that time in the gate sitting around, you know."
The teen looked towards his teacher, excitement radiating off him, "Well, why not? Just remember not to overdo it, Naruto. These guys aren't shinonbi, keep that in mind, please. Not to mention, if everything goes according to plan, you'll need your chakra for the battle ahead."
Bee waved off the worry, "Put it out of your mind, we'll be fine!"
"If you think you guys can pull this off..." Olivier growled out, glaring at the shinobi, "I want you to round them up in front of the camp. As much as I hate to admit it, Full...Edward and Mustang are correct, praying on their misconceptions would be safest for us. Play it safe, though. As far as I'm concerned, you're civilians. Don't give me that look, Bee. Round them up, and try not to kill too many of them. It's really hard to get answers out of dead people." All three shinobi nodded and vanished. "I hate it when they do that."
"Me too." Roy muttered. "Well, let's get ready, shall we?"
Alex rested a hand on his friend's shoulder, "What exactly did the boy learn at the gate, Mustang?"
"Hell if I know, Major. All I know is it was impressive enough to get that Truth bastard to sit up and take note." Roy shuddered, "And another thing, that fox is a lot scarier when Naruto's not inside it at all."
"That's what I was telling you, you jerk."
"Shut up, Ed..."
"Boys...If we can get back to the invasion?" Hawkeye pointed out, loading her gun. Just then there was a dull thud and an explosion of snow over to the right side of the camp. A blue-purple ox-head reared out of the cloud of snow, eight tentacle like tails whipping out behind it. The snipper couldn't help her natural reflex, (which was mirrored by all the other military personnel) she aimed her gun at the creature. A second later, she lowered her gun, "Killer Bee?" she asked, blushing ever so slightly.
Roy couldn't help but laugh, "Yeah, that was my reaction the first time I saw Hachibi, too. He's a LOT nicer then that damn fox, though." Screams could be heard inside the camp, "Not that they know that." There was another snow-explosion on the left. This time, the Amstrian military barely jumped as a Golden-yellow fox snarled down at the terrified people below. "Of course, Naruto's come to a bit of an understanding with it now. Hell if I know how."
Olivier nodded, "Well, whatever the reason, I'll take that as our signal. MOVE OUT BRIGGS!"
"Remember, we're only supposed to scare them a bit." Naruto pointed out as he felt his other half's glee. The two of them were trying their hand at a shared body, like Bee and Hachibi did, though with considerably less success.
"Yeah yeah, I know." Kyuubi grumbled, "Spoil-sport." He swung his arm and ripped apart a tent, sending a group of men scrambling. "They're going the wrong way..."
"Kakashi-sensei will get them."
"Pheh. This is not what I agreed to, you know." The fox grumbled, still being careful not to actually crush anyone as he herded them towards their allies. "I'm not a sheepdog, brat."
Naruto sighed, exasperated. "Consider it practice, then!" It was a lot harder to remain in this form then he'd thought it would be...and not stepping on people was a real pain in the ass. At least he/they weren't tripping over the tails anymore. Kakashi came within a safe distance and waved, "I guess thats the signal." He lowered their head, attempting to look his teacher in the eye. "What now?"
His teacher eyed him critically, "interesting look, Naruto. I see training paid off." He waved him on, "Let's go. I think our allies want you too to keep playing the big bad monsters a bit longer."
"Want a lift?"
Naruto and the Kyuubi both grinned, standing up and padding along next to Kakashi. Apparently, while he and Bee had been ripping up tents and basically trashing the place, the others had been busy themselves. Signs of a battle were in evidence, though it was obviously over by the time they arrived. The men who were responsible for bringing him here shrunk back in fear as they approached. Kyuubi growled at them, causing Bee, who was now back in human form leaning next to Olivier to laugh while them men shrieked in terror.
"C...Chimera! Keep that beast away from us! PLEASE! We'll do anything!" whimpered on on the men.
"Brigadier General Edison! What are you doing here? I thought you were executed!" Olivier snapped, holding her sword to the man who had spoken up.
"YOU! You bitch! You turned my beasts against me! AGAIN!" the man spat, "Fools! The lot of you! The new government is soft! It was a simple matter to bribe the medic at the jail and escape...I will not let you foil me a second time!"
The woman calmly ignored him, "Bee, is this the man you saw when you came over?"
"You bet your cash, it was this pompous ass."
Naruto finally got his first good look at the man who was responsible for this whole mess, and he wasn't impressed at all. The guy was old, like...jiji old. His glasses were cracked, and his face was red and splotchy, either from anger or exertion. In fact, Naruto was half expecting the old coot to drop dead any second. In his shock, he lost control over his transformation, turning back into the blond-blue eyed teen. "What the hell? This guy looks like a five year old could take him!"
"YOU! Insolent brat! Do you have any idea what I've gone though?"
"Eh? What you've gone though? Because of you, I've been through hell, you asshole. NOW FIX IT!"
Roy glared at the man, "I don't know how you did it, since you've never been an alchemist, but you'll send them back, former Brigadier General Edison."
"Never been an Alchemist? You conceited fool! You think I spent all that time working in central under Father and learned nothing? And why should I help you?"
Kakashi was there in a flash, "Let me think..." a kunai pressed against the man's neck, "because, if you don't I'll simply kill you and move on to the next person here. I'm sure someone else here will be able to figure it out, hmmm?"
The man blanched. "You...you wouldn't! I'm an important hostage!"
"To them, yes, probably." The joinin acknowledged, "But, I'm a shinobi. I came here just to get my student back, you see. If I have to kill you to do that, I'm sure they'll understand."
Roy and Olivier exchanged a look and both shrugged, "I've got no problem with that, he's supposed to be dead anyway. We'll just say it happened in the heat of battle." Olivier said.
"Happens all the time." Roy agreed.
"Alright! I'll do it! I'll do it! PLEASE!" Edison was obviously terrified. quickly, with shaking hands his drew what Naruto now recongized as some weird kind of transmutation circle in the snow. "I'll send them back right now. Aminsty! The Drachmanians made me!" He snivled, touching the circle.
"What the...?" Naruto looked around, "This place? This is good, right?"
"WOAH, Why the hell are we here?" The blond spun around, seeing Ed and Al right behind him.
"I donno, this wasn't supposed to be part of the show." Bee grumbled, "Truth?"
"Welcome back, everyone~" The godling grinned, "I've been waiting. It looks like you've found your way back, Jinjurikis."
"Oy! That's all well and good, but what about them?" Naruto pointed to the Elric brothers. He sure as hell wasn't planning on taking them back with him, that was for sure. "And another thing, what about your damn fee?"
"They're here on a slightly separate matter. As for your fee... Well." If it was possible, the grin got wider, "let's just say someone paid your return toll."
Bee cocked his head to the side, "Who?"
"If you must know, those toads and oxes offered up the price. Something about being ready for the upcoming battle."
All four humans looked at each other, "Well," Alphonse pointed out, "we were a bit worried about that. I guess if they offered, it's ok."
"But, why are you guys here?"
"Simple." Ed smirked, "to perform a trade, right?"
Al nodded, "Exactly. This is the reason brother and I learned about Chakra."
"So, Alphonse Elric, do you think I would accept this trade?" Truth asked.
"Yes!" The younger brother's eyes were shining, it's fascinating, but it doesn't exist in our world at all. Brother and I have studied extensively, and if you take our combined knowledge and understanding of what we've learned, even you would have to admit it's an equivalent exchange."
"Mister former Alchemist, is this what you want?"
"Trading my Alchemy for Alphonse's body...I'll never regret it. Best trade I've ever made. But yeah, I bet you really want this information, right? That's why you brought us here right now, or am I wrong?"
The being cocked its head to the side, "Humans are fascinating. Always learning, always growing, never standing still. Very well then. In exchange, take care of that problematic person for me. It's annoying having strange people show up." The faceless face turned to Bee and Naruto, "Enjoy your trip back. It's been interesting."
The white room started to spin, "Wa...!"
"ED! AL!" The boys were gone, Kakashi slammed Edison into the snow as Roy's head snapped back and forth, looking for the kids, "What did you do, you bastard?"
The man's eyes took on a slightly wild light, "I've sent them away! Do anything to me and they're never coming back!"
"I'm sure he could bring them back even if I cut off a hand." The silver haired man offered.
"W-what? I sent you're monster friends home, what should you care?"
Kakashi looked bored, though Mustang wasn't fooled, "Did you now? Too bad I don't believe you."
"No. I'll take care of this, Kakashi. You should get back to your own world."
"He could be lying. Even if he isn't, I'm sure Naruto can manage for a little while. I'm not the sort of trash to abandon my comrades in a time of need." Roy was touched.
Still, he shook his head. "No..."
"THE HELL! A LITTLE WARNING NEXT TIME!" Ed shouted from right behind him.
"Brother, I really don't think yelling is going to help."
"Sure it does, Al, it makes me feel better!"
"Edward! Alphonese!" Hawkeye and Armstrong embraced the boys.
"Er. Yeah, nice to see you guys too. Sorry, had some things to take care of..." Ed pushed his way out of the hug and smirked cockily at Roy, "Alchemic things, if you know what I mean. Oh, Kakashi, Bee and Naruto made it back, safe and sound."
"Oh?" Kakashi smiled, "Good. I'm glad you're safe as well." He physically picked up Edison and tossed him towards the briggs Soldiers, "I see the lessons paid off for you. Now, if you'll excuse me. I'd say it's been fun, but, well, it really hasn't. Take care." With that, the man puffed out of existence.
All eyes turned to Edison,"Now...what to do about this piece of scum..."
Tsunade could not believe her eyes. Kakashi had sent word that they were working on sending Naruto and Bee back through this 'Gate' place, whatever the heck that was, but this was not what she was expecting. Quickly, she rushed to the scene, worried not only for the blond who had worked his way into her heart so thoroughly, but for the joint-shinobi army who now found two large Bijuu beast tangled in a pile in their midst.
Killer Bee, she knew, was well in control of the Hachibi most of the time, and even when he wasn't, the creature had mellowed over the years. At least, that was what the Raikage told her as he raced along next to her, determined to reach the site before the beast woke up. They were too late, however. Both Bijuu stirred at the same time. "Damn it!" she cursed, "Where the hell is Kakashi?"
"HACHI! YOU FAT ASS COW, GET OFF ME!" The Kyuubi howled from the bottom of the pile.
"ME? GET YOUR FOOT OUT OF MY FACE, YOU RABBIT WANNABE!" All the shinobi froze, looking up at the squabbling demons as they strained themselves out, "Oh, hey, it's the Kages." The eight-tailed beast waved after finally letting his counterpart up.
"The fox sneered at them, "Ch."
"KYUUBI!" What have you done with Naruto!" Tsunade shouted up at it, "Where's Kakashi?" Red eyes just glared at her, tails lazily swaying before the creature deliberately looked away.
"Ignore him, he's just cranky," The octopus laughed, "Bee and Naruto-kun are just fine. I'll spare you the rap, but Bee says he's feeling a little woozy from the trip. Naruto's probably in the same boat?" he cocked his massive head to the side.
"...The brat says ' Yeah, that first step is a doozy. Don't worry Baa-Chan, me and fluffy came to an understanding and we're gonna kick that guy's ass.' WAIT. WHO are you CALLING FLUFFY? You stupid...I will NOT! ARGH! NO! I DON'T WANT RAMEN OR A COOKIE!"
There was a dull popping noise, "Looks like Naruto's annoying the Kyuubi, huh?"
"Kakashi!" Tsunade spun around, "What is going on?"
"Oh, just Naruto being Naruto, I guess." The man pulled his infamous little orange book out as both Jinchuuriki shifted back into human form, "Obviously, our mission was a success. Now, what was that about a war, Hokage-sama?"
"I say you give me his coat." Roy had that sinking feeling that told him that the shit was once again being aimed at the fan. All eyes turned to the strange voice. It was a teen with black hair, black eyes, and a small scar under his eye. He was shivering badly, being horribly under-dressed in shorts, a button down sleeveless top and sandals. On his head a straw hat collected icicles. The kid looked like he belonged on a beach. "It's REAAAAAAAAALLLLLYYYY Cold." The kid pointed out.
Olivier recovered first, "Who the hell are you?"
"Me?" He pointed at himself, "Luffy. Monkey D. Luffy. Who are you guys, anyway?"
Mustang felt a migraine coming on, "Here we go again..."