IMPORTANT! AUTHOR'S NOTE! : I edited the ending of the last chapter. You really should go back and reread the last few paragraphs in order to get a better understanding of what's going on. Please?
"What the hell is going on?"
Buildings and trees whizzed by in a blur as the man driving the car rounded a corner, bringing the two one corner closer to their destination. Edward, after vomiting and hyperventilating on the side of the road, had complied with the man's (who turned out to be a police officer) plans of bringing him to a more reserved location for questioning. The alchemist was heavily defiant against the idea of visiting a hospital – despite suffering with a broken arm and ribs. He had a feeling that automail wasn't a very common practice in this world, and he didn't want to see a nurse's reaction to metal appendages (he was even sitting on his automail hand to avoid questioning by the officer). He figured that the man would ask him fairly normal questions – how old he was, if he was injured, and who exactly he had fought – anyway.
He was definitely in a different time period. The cars were built differently, had more appliances and nicer interiors, and Edward even noticed that the man was talking on what he guessed was a portable telephone. He was reporting in to an apparently higher power – a superior at his job, perhaps – about his findings. The blonde almost wanted to chuckle. Finding injured people littering the streets must have been an astonishing sight in this world, whereas in Amestris, it was completely normal. Eh… Different people, different customs.
His mind was still swirling with thoughts, and shock was still a prominent feeling as he allowed for his body to sink further into the car's leather seating. Such a comfortable surface relaxed his aching muscles, and he found himself struggling to stay awake. The dull drone of the car's engine, mixed in with the occasional whizzing by of another vehicle, was gradually lulling him to sleep. He hadn't slept in two prolonged days – there hadn't been any time. Now that he was in a calming, safe environment, the action seemed all too tempting.
"Hey." The man's voice snapped the alchemist out of his trance and effectively roused him out of the light dozing he had started. He directed his golden eyes at the man with a twinge of annoyance, still longing to sleep. The police officer coughed nervously, occasionally glancing at Edward out of the corner of his eye. "If you, ah, need to – you know – throw up again… Let me know. I'll pull over."
He had to stifle rolling his eyes. Of course the man was more concerned with his precious car's interior than the bloodstained, possibly dying (Edward knew his life wasn't in danger, but the man didn't know that) teenager sitting beside him struggling to keep his composure. He nodded, gave an absentminded mhm, and presumed with allowing for his eyelids to flutterclosed and for his mind to slowly wander.
Just as sleep was beginning to creep up on the blond, the vehicle was suddenly brought to an abrupt stop. The unexpected halt lurched Edward forward in his seat, and his forehead made a harsh collision with the car's dashboard. Upon impact, he swore loudly, and gently caressed the already bandaged flesh. He turned to give an accusing glare to the driver, and was only slightly surprised to see that the officer was already giving him a disapproving look. "Aren't you supposed to be a cop?! What kind of cop is this bad at driving?"
"I'm not in traffic safety, kid," he retorted, a twinge of annoyance in his tone. He stole another glance in Edward's direction, before rounding another corner. "You already have bandages on, I see. Were you already injured before you got into that fight?"
This being, basically, an altered universe, Edward had already figured out that Homunculi and alchemy might have not as common as in Amestris. He would have to concoct a plausible, fabricated story to tell the officer, considering an interrogation was possibly in the near future. "Yeah."
"Geez, kid," the man commented, keeping his vision fixated on the deserted road before them. "What did you do that pissed them off, anyway? Do you even remember who attacked you? It'd be helpful to get a description of some thugs running around ganging up on people."
"I don't remember," the alchemist lied, sinking back into the passenger seat. Using short-term memory loss as an excuse would probably compensate for his horrible ability at telling a lie. Luckily, the cop didn't further bombard him with questions, and instead gave a curt nod. At least, Edward thought that the questions were brought to a halt. The officer continued to interrogate the blonde, and he somehow managed to create somewhat-decent answers.
"Where do you live?"
"I don't know."
"Did your attackers hurt anyone else?"
"I don't know."
"Where are your parents?"
Edward's final answer took the officer aback, and the shock was evident on his face. It was only a half-lie – Trisha was dead. And Hohenheim… He might as well been dead, Ed figured. The blond frowned at the vivid memory of the encounter he had with his father at Trisha's grave. The bastard didn't even show up to her funeral. A familiar feeling of frustrated worked its way into Edward's mind as he directed his narrowed eyes to analyze the dimly lit city they were passing. Nevertheless, the man cleared his throat, and pursued the questions. Edward's frown grew. "How old are you, kid? Twelve?"
"Fifteen," the blond spat, his expression darkening. His gaze was turned away from the officer, so his annoyance at the inaccurate guess was obscured from the man's vision.
"Oh? So you're a high school first year, eh? Where do you attend?"
His look of rage was replaced with blatant confusion as he turned to face the man with furrowed brows. Fifteen-year-olds still had to attend school in this world? In a rather puzzled tone, he answered, "I don't go to school…?"
"What?" The police officer raised his eyebrows, and averted his gaze from the road to give Edward an incredulous look. In turn, Edward simply shrugged. In Amestris, schooling had only been mandatory for very young children. "Kid, you have to go to high school. It's the law."
Maybe… They have to go to school for so long due to extra curriculum? A theory quickly floated into Edward's mind that – maybe, just maybe – this world's study of alchemy may have been more advanced than Amestris', and therefore more helpful in his search to return home. He had to return home as soon as possible. The Fuhrer was a Homunculus! He couldn't take that lying down, and he sure as hell couldn't fend off those monsters while in a completely different world. "Can you help me enroll in one of the schools around here?"
The shock on the police offer's face became more prominent at Edward's question, and there was a moment of stunned silence between the two. It seemed as if minutes passed before the cop gave a shaky nod dripping with uncertainty. "You… You don't have any parents, and don't know where you live… I can make arrangements for you to stay at friend of mine's home for tonight – I've got a wife and kids, so they probably won't be too happy if I brought someone covered in blood back home. It'll take some time, but I can find a school that may accept you mid-semester."
"What's the best school in the area?" Edward inquired. He had only listened to half of what the man just informed him of, and had only paid attention to the mentioning of the schooling. "The one that has the most advanced curriculum?"
"Ouran Academy, for sure. But, kid, that school's for heirs of millionaires. The only way you'd get even considered for acceptance is passing their entrance exam."
"I want to go to Ouran Academy, then."
Edward frowned at the quaint room presented before him. A single, petite bed occupied one corner of the room, while a strange-looking box on an end table stood parallel on the other side A small table for eating, studying, or for committing other tasks was setting in a corner, complete with two tiny wooden chairs. Another door lead to what he guessed – and hoped – was a bathroom. Nevertheless, it was dimly-lit, looked decades old, and possessed a foul odor. He wrinkled his nose in disgust.
"Turns out, my friend is working a night shift, so I can't just drop you off at his place. This'll have to do for tonight, since it's all I can afford without my wife getting suspicious," the officer explained. Based on his disgusted expression, he didn't seem too fond of the hotel room, either. "Good thing I'm friends with the manager… Look, I'll call in the morning and see if I can drive you to Ouran to take the entrance exam, alright? And I have some spare clothes that I keep in my car folded on the table. Just wear them for tomorrow. But remember, after this, you're gonna be on your own."
The mysterious blond struck the man as odd. He seemed to have quite a selective memory, and didn't want to get too in-depth in topics regarding his family, or the brawl he had partaken in earlier. He didn't even complain about his obvious injuries, despite the cut on his forehead still bleeding profusely and seeping through the already-bloody bandages, and his arm bending in a way that couldn't possibly be healthy. The officer caught him grimacing and wincing in pain multiple times on the drive to the motel, but said nothing. He figured that the adolescent would have simply shaken off any inquiries regarding his health, and dismissed the man's worries.
Without another word, the man pivoted on his heel and started towards the hotel room's door, only to be stopped by a sudden question from Edward. "Your name wouldn't happen to be Roy Mustang, would it?"
"Huh? Nah, kid. My name's Arakawa Satoshi."
Edward Elric was – for once in his life – speechless.
The blond stood in front of the apparently renowned Ouran Academy, and was analyzing every crevasse of his new surroundings with wide golden eyes. He would have never contemplated that Earth would possess such large establishments – especially ones that were only used to educate miners. The closest he had come to such a massive establishment in Amestris was the enormous, intimidating building of Central Command. He doubted that the source of protection barely held a candle to Ouran, size-wise. Damn! Al would freak out if he saw something this massive!
Not wanting to waste any more time dawdling around the picturesque campus, he confidently strode into the largest building of them all – one that he guessed possessed the main offices and headmaster's room. He squinted in the morning sunlight, sweating heavily in the new clothing he had to purchase to wear to his first day. He had spent the last of his Amestrian money on buying a new, non-bloodstained outfit for today, seeing as his boy's uniform wouldn't be given to him until the end of the first day and the officer had demanded his spare clothing back. The clothing was very distant from his style, and he cringed when he got a view of his appearance in the mirror earlier that morning. His signature leather pants (although, he had to settle for purchasing fake leather) and elevator boots remained, but he had replaced his tattered blue-button down with one with a similar design that was a guacamole green. He concealed his automail arm with a pair of cheaply made, yet still comfortable, gloves.
Pushing one of the building's double-door entrances open, the native Amestrian was greeted by a blast of cold air that was emitting from a large central air conditioner somewhere in the building. Just as he had guessed, the interior of the buildings were just as extravagant as their exteriors. The walls were a light pink hue, with various gold-framed paintings decorating their polished surfaces. The flooring was a pristine white, and the center of the hallway was covered with a maroon rug that extended down the hallway like an oversized stripe.
He calmly strolled down the hallway, examining the various doors that adorned the hallway carefully to avoid blindly passing his destination. Within a matter of minutes, he was standing before a large oak door. Embossed on the center of the plank, in golden lettering, were the words "Main Office." Edward didn't hesitate in entering the room.
The office bore a heavy resemblance to the front desk area in both East City and Central Command. A wide desk separated the few secretaries from the rest of the room, which held chairs, a small table, and a bulletin board. The secretaries themselves had the generic appearance of their occupation – hair pulled in a bun, light-colored suits, heavy makeup, and manicured nails. Two were chattering away on phones, while another seemed feverishly writing down information on a sheet of paper. Only one of them looked somewhat unoccupied.
"My name is Edward Elric," he told the secretary upon approaching her, not bothering with a greeting. As it turns out, she was stuffing her face with what looked like vegetables and raw fish tightly compacted in a pristine box. Edward's stomach churned at the food's odor, but continued his introduction without missing a beat. "I'm the new scholarship student."
The woman blinked, staring at the alchemist with wide green eyes and her mouth half-full of rice. Moments passed before she nodded her head, an action done so vigorously that strands of her wispy blonde locks fell out of her already messy bun. Swallowing the edible contents in her mouth, she turned around and shuffled through a disassembled pile of paperwork, muttering to herself. She swiftly spun around to face Edward yet again, neatly stapled papers in her hand. She held them out for him to take, and he done so quietly.
"You're already quite the talk around here, Elric-san," the girl finally commented in a raspy tone, pushing a strand of hair behind her ear as she smiled charismatically. Edward raised a quizzical eyebrow at her comment, silently asking for an explanation. Catching the hint, she continued. "You broke the record for the time taken to finish the entrance exam, I heard. Did you really finish the exam in only forty-five minutes?"
He gave a curt nod. He had only taken the test yesterday morning, and had finished it at such a swift pace that the overseer of the exam graded it then and there to see if Edward had simply randomly guessed the answers, or cheated. To the graders shock, Edward had gotten close to every question right, and there was absolutely no evidence of cheating. He was granted a place in Class 1-A before even being interviewed by Ouran's headmaster, an encounter that was normally mandatory for new students. Edward would have hardly called the exam a challenge, having to learn all of the content it held – and legions more – during his alchemical training, but it seemed as if everyone else perceived it as nearly impossible to pass.
Without waiting for the woman to continue the one-sided conversation, Edward pivoted on his heel to exit the room, and intently began observing the paperwork she had given him. As he walked off, he heard her call out something about bandages and injuries, but he shrugged it off. He had also spent a good portion of his money on fresh bandages and better materials to make a more comfortable splint, rather than searching for a more suitable place to live. Luckily, the hotel where he had been residing had a kind manager, and he was willing to grant Edward permission to continue living in a room, so long as he would work after school for a few hours.
Edward had already mentally prepared himself for the wide-eyed stares and imposing questions regarding his bandaged forehead, scraped chin, scratched cheek, odd limp, and broken arm. Each time he would passed a student or staff member that was loitering in the hallways, he noticed that they almost always did a double take at his maimed appearance.
Analyzing the paperwork, he found that it included a schedule of all of his classes, a map displaying the layout of the academy, and a copy of all of the school's rules and regulations. According to the map, Class 1-A was located in one of the nearby buildings, on the second floor. He began making his way towards the classroom with a familiar fire blazing in his shining eyes.
"Class, please welcome the newest addition to Class 1-A: Edward Elric. I expect for everyone to grant him a warm welcome and make his years at Ouran Academy enjoyable ones that will be looked back on with fond remembrance."
Thirty pairs of wide eyes were staring at the blond alchemist – thirty-one if you included his new homeroom teacher – waiting expectantly for him to introduce himself. The homeroom teacher (called with the honorific "sensei" by other students) was a slender woman whom dressed just as neatly as the secretaries, and wore her chestnut locks in a similar hairstyle. She was obviously foreign, as she had a thick accent that made deciphering what she said difficult. However, even Edward knew that she was reciting his introduction from some teaching handbook.
"Call me Ed, if you want," he instructed, glaring back at the students behind draping blond bangs. Silence followed his brief introduction, and he realized that everyone was expecting something much lengthier. As a second thought, he added, "I like to travel a lot, and I consider myself to be a scientist. No, scratch that. I am a scientist."
His final statement was underlying with arrogance, making the classroom erupt into hushed chatter. His formerly bored expression transitioned into an annoyed scowl at the students' blatant gossiping. He wondered if they lacked the manners to wait until after class to gossip about him, or were they all just cruel enough to do it intentionally to mess with him.
"Why are you so bandaged up?!" One girl asked in a high-pitched voice. Several other voices chimed in to the question, appearing equally as interested in what Edward's reply would be.
He shifted uncomfortably underneath their expectant stares, scowling at their prying. In a sour tone, he replied, "I got in a fight."
He heard a few feminine giggles from the crowd of students in the room, and noticed that they were smiling at him. It struck Edward as odd. What was so good about getting his ass handed to him by a Homunculus? Another girl cried out, "Did you win?!"
Their homeroom teacher called out the girl's name in a warning tone, but it went unnoticed – or just ignored – by the teenager. He pondered the girl's question momentarily, before nodding with a smirk playing on his lips. The giggles grew in volume, and the alchemist could've sworn that he heard a few dreamy sighs. He had technically won. Not getting eaten by Envy – without dying in the process – counted as a victory in his book. Sure, it probably wouldn't have been possible without Ling's assistance... but none of the Ouran students needed to know that.
He heard more muffled questions from the rowdy group of female students, regarding where he was from as well as other things, but they were quickly silenced by the homeroom teacher loudly clearing her throat. "Edward-kun, you'll be sitting next to Fujioka Haruhi. Haruhi, please raise your hand."
A hand extended into the air, and it belonged to a brunette with large eyes. Edward furrowed his brows at the boy's uniform that the teen wore. This "Haruhi" looked rather… feminine. He shrugged off the thought, and strolled to the empty desk neighboring the boy without another word.
He honestly had intentions of listening to the lesson, especially if it had anything to do with science or alchemy. However, their teacher's voice sounded like the dull drone of the engine in the police officer's car – and that mixed in with the heat emanating from the window he neighbored was quickly soothing him to sleep. Despite his drowsiness the past two nights, his wired mind and aching bones seemed determined on preventing him from barely getting any sleep at all. He was too busy thinking, and had also done a very minor bit of panicking. He had also dropped by the public library multiple times in order to read books further informing him on the history and lifestyle of Earth's inhabitants, and had channeled his insomnia into reading them.
Despite his attempts to stay awake, his eyelids fluttered closed as he slumped lower in his seat. Finally, his body was permitting him to sleep, and he wasn't about to pass up the opportune moment. The low classroom ambiance around him seemed to fade into silence as he commenced in getting some actual sleep for the first time in five days.
Haruhi found herself struggling to pay attention to the lesson, as well. Being a scholarship student, she knew that she had to do her work diligently and intently listen in her classes. However, her mind was being occupied by the blond-haired boy dozing off beside her. He must have been confident in his intelligence, to start falling asleep on the first day of his studies. She almost wanted to awaken him and notify him of the importance of the lesson, but he didn't seem like the type to enjoy being roused of his slumber (much like Kyoya, Haruhi couldn't help but think).
As she watched the boy stir lightly in his sleep, she could help but allow for the thought to cross her mind that – even in his battered and beaten state – he did look rather attractive while he slept.
I haven't watched Ouran in years, so my portrayal of their personalities may be a bit off (or more) in the next chapter. Uh… I need to rewatch the series.
I know that attending high school may not be mandatory for students in Japan, but I figured that it may different in the Ouran-universe. Correct me if I'm wrong. Also, I made a fairly large time skip in between Edward's first night of Earth, and his first day at Ouran because the chapter would have been even more tedious than it already is. The first portion may seemed rushed because I wanted to keep my promise and have Edward start off at Ouran this chapter. I plan on going back and proofreading these chapters, since I usually write them in the morning when I'm half-asleep.