Right. I had hoped to write this myself, but reality has shown me that my skill isn't up to par. Or at least my own standards. Between that, work, upcoming college and trying to get into modding I find myself unwilling to start delving into the realm of writing fanfiction. So I'm posting this to get the idea out if anyone's interested. Some of the ideas are solid, some are half-formed, and the rest haven't even been thought of. The original challenge came from nobody102's (author of the abandoned Scorpion's Disciple) bio page: After reading that and starting to think, I came up with more and more parallels between the two series: Both the Death God Summoning Techinque and Edo Tensei both end in the same seal: Clapping your hands together. Like Edward does to do alchemy without an array. They also both deal with death and trading life. Sound familiar? In the manga version of FMA, when the Gate opens there is a giant eye in the darkness. The pupil has multiple concentric rings. Quite like the Rinnegan and the Juubi's eye. Alphonse said in one of the earliest chapters of FMA that although people considered Ed to be a genius (pertaining to his array-less alchemy), the truth was that he had simply done the "work" to get that ability by trading his flesh for the knowledge. (see subelements below) A big part of what the Gate takes as payment is hubris: Ed wanted his mother back to support him, he lost his sole remaining family member and the leg he stands on. Izumi wanted her child back, so she lost the organs necessary to have another. Mustang lost his sight so he wouldn't be able to see the future he wanted to create so badly. Naruto would be trading a quick path to power (Kyuubi) for skill to become a great shinobi (Gate knowledge). I didn't quite get far enough to create an actual plot, but there were some plans for some starter elements and some later plot-points. When Naruto opens the scroll to learn a jutsu, one of the ones he comes across has a description saying something along the lines of making a trade for power or skill or something. Something that would make 13 year old Naruto think, "Ooh, an awesome power-up! Gotta get me some of that!" when comparing it against his 'worst' technique. The 'jutsu' in question may or may not involve drawing a basic seal/circle into the ground. (Quality to the drawing in the scroll doesn't matter, it's the intent behind the drawing). Was maybe thinking of the purple light from the 2003 anime's attempted resurrection coming up upon activation, with Sarutobi getting a horrified realization of what Naruto did based off of previous events. When Naruto 'wakes up' so to speak, he finds himself in the standard Gate room appearance, but with a few key differences: sitting in front of the Gate, there is a desk with a chair in front of it, and sitting behind it is this realities version of Truth (not his name). He may not be the blank version of the summoner, but rather be using a Form You Are Comfortable With. In this instance, a travelling merchant Naruto once bought his jumpsuit from. The circle that was drawn and the jutsu activating it were just to open the door, so to speak. Nothing is promised, and if no deal is made then the summoner goes back to his time-stream undamaged. Although, the only ones who can use the summoning are those who WISH to make a deal in the first place, so it's a moot point. Anything can be traded, but for a cost equal to that which is given. The Yondaime and Kushina (dying anyway, so why not?) tried to trade their lives/souls to trap the Kyuubi in the Gate. Their souls weren't enough of a payment to take all of the Kyuubi in, which would have just made it smaller and madder and loose in Konoha, so one used their soul to seal away the Kyuubi in the Gate, and the other used theirs to seal the remainder in Naruto. (For Edo Tensei, the price is the willing soul of a living person, and a bit of the person to be brought back, either a piece of flesh or a prized possession that still has remnants of their presence on it. I.e., something they used/wore and treasured, and has not been used extensively by anyone else since then. The Shodai Hokage's armor would work, his necklace would not.) Once the back-and-forth dialogue between the merchant and Naruto has passed, the deciding factor in what Naruto decides to get is a line that the Sandaime said when Naruto asked if those with bloodlines ("freaky eye powers") were better than those without. Sarutobi tells him about how he became the Hokage by skill, not power. Naruto says he wants to be the greatest Hokage. The Gatekeeper (tentative title) asks what makes a Hokage so great. Typical Naruto response: "Kickass jutsu" Naruto loses the Kyuubi and its benefits and drawbacks: Far less accelerated healing, greatly reduced chakra capacity but better chakra control, senses are slightly dulled, energy levels are down which reduces hyperactivity, etc. The benefits aren't entirely gone; you don't grow up nine months in the belly of the Kyuubi jinchuriki, exchanging blood nutrients and chakra, then have said Bijuu in your body for the first thirteen years of your development without it having some major effects on your body. If the Silver Brothers can gain super chakra capacity from just eating the flesh of the Kyuubi for two weeks, there's no way Naruto wasn't affected. (That said, it also opens the possibility of there being a "hole" in his chakra network where the seal used to be, with various defects depending on interpretation of what that entails). In exchange, Naruto gains the transcendental understanding of chakra as nobody102 specified. This doesn't mean that he can see a jutsu and list off the technical details, the effects, defects and be able to do the jutsu instantly. He gained understanding, not knowledge. He just grasps the concepts of jutsu theory--which he has to learn--faster, is able to make connections between the concepts of those theories that other people haven't seen, and so on and so forth. He still has to learn each elemental transformation, shape transformation and so forth, but he will do so a lot faster than he would otherwise (maybe same speed he learned Fuuton with the clones in canon?). He isn't smarter--calmer maybe, without constantly being infused with pure yang (physical) energy from the Kyuubi and being effectively on a constant sugar-rush. He's just plain old Naruto--with a far bigger nack for ninjutsu than before. Some of the eventual plot elements I had ideas for basically involved a type of connection between the Rinnegan, the Juubi and the Gate, Orochimaru wanting the knowledge Naruto gained, either through recruiting him or possessing him (note: he doesn't get the knowledge from the Gate himself because he'd have to give up something equal to the knowledge that belongs to him. Nothing he could give up would be equivalent to the knowledge that half of the strongest Bijuu would achieve [Naruto having the Kyuubi inside his body for all his life gives him ownership, so to speak]) Some other random or alternate ideas I had that may or may not apply to this fic: -The knowledge/understanding that Naruto gains is a greater understanding of the physical world and the circle of life, and it is from this that Naruto gains his understanding of chakra and its workings. This also translates into a basic understanding of things ranging from physics to metallurgy to geology to botany and so forth. He's no expert, but he is able to use this knowledge to his advantage, such as knowing which plants are beneficial, identifying weaknesses in metal or stone in order to escape a prison, etc. -Rather than ask for kickass jutsu, Naruto replies that the Hokage is the 'bestest ninja ever'. He gains a broader but less deep understanding of all the shinobi arts, from taijutsu to fuuinjutsu to ninjutsu. The Professor/God of Shinobi path, so to speak. On the Sub-Elements On the kekkei genkai/subelements topic, I have a theory on that. Stick with me, it's a bit complicated. Theoretically anyone, with enough practice and time, can use an element like Mokuton or Hyouton. The problem is that by the time you achieve the skill to use the most basic of jutsu, you are probably quite past middle age. Going off what I remember of Yamato's description, to use wood release you have to manipulate earth chakra in one hand, water chakra in the other, and then combine them. And each jutsu, even the non-elemental ones, use a specific balance between the yin and yang chakras. That means that in order to use an sub-element, you have to master one of the elements completely (MASTER, not just learn to use it, you need a lot of skill), then the other. This step already takes most shinobi into their Jonin years--presumably late twenties going by current generational age bracket. Then they need to learn to combine yin and yang chakra in a certain balance, changing its elemental nature while simultaneously doing the same for the other element (with its own potentially different yin/yang balance), keep them separate until they are combined in handseals (again with its OWN balance between the two), then manipulate that mixture with shape manipulation into whatever jutsu you wish. Hellishly difficult, and not worth the time and energy necessary to learn the skill. What an elemental kekkei genkai does is give a sort of genetic short-cut. The Dovahkiin versus Graybeard approach. It cuts down on the training time immensely, and makes it a viable option for ninja to accomplish. So theoretically, anyone with the time patience and skill can achieve it. Just not feasible without a kekkei genkai. Or knowledge taken from the Gate.