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Moving Forward

Chapter Text

Moving Forward

[London, England...

September, 1941...]

I had arrived in London by unconventional means, moving through a doorway to another dimension. I was out of place and uncomfortable, and then I found my dad again. He took me in during the bombings and helped me study England's culture. I wasn't fond of any of it. Their food was awful, and their choice of clothing was stuffy and tight.

I found myself in starched button up shirts and black trousers. My shoes and belt were made of stiff brown leather. I added a brown jacket as my own personal flair. And just to be sure that I would never forget, I wrote down everything that happened with my brother and kept the pages of our story in my notebook that I carried with me everywhere.

But I wanted to get back to my brother, my world, my friends and family, so I searched for any answers I could find to bring me back. Then I looked up. I saw the sun, and I found my answer. I was going to study rocket science.

My dad agreed and began to homeschool me in math and physics. He also taught me language arts and the other subjects that I didn't have time to learn in my world. But he couldn't teach me everything.

The bombings ended in May of 1941, and my dad soon enrolled me in high school, which would start up in the fall. Then we went out to celebrate, because there wouldn't be anymore fear or being forced to study in bunkers as bombs tore the city apart.

The night that we celebrated, my dad left me alone to get us a special treat, a surprise he said. I was standing alone on the sidewalk when a hungry, stray dog appeared. It attacked.

At first, I thought it would be easy to defend myself. I sidestepped the dog's lunge and prepared myself for another attack, but I was too slow. The beast jumped straight for my face. Purely out of reflex, I lifted my right arm, which was supposed to still be made of metal. The canine bit down. Hard.

A cry of surprise left me when I realized that it hurt. It HURT. Without my automail, I had lost both my greatest weapons and defense.

I had barely managed to shake the dog off when my dad came back with cheesecake. He managed to shoo away the dog. We had to go home so we could clean my wound.

I realized then that I was having trouble with my limbs. They were weak from the extended period of time where they went unused. I was starting to feel like a hopeless wreck.

High school started in September. I was in the most advanced classes that they offered for math and sciences, and I was top in my class within a week. Truth is, there was almost no one in my class. Girls weren't expected to have decent jobs, and most boys were already working to rebuild the city and join the military. I was one of three boys in the entire freshman year.

Apparently, I wasn't fit enough for the physical education class, so they politely asked me to work on my school work during that time. It wasn't long before things started to go even futher downhill.

I was bullied. Badly. Other students made fun of me for being short and out of shape. They called me a 'nerd' for my interests in physics and geometry. One particular group of boys thought it was funny to beat me up after school, dunk my head in a toilet, and stuff me inside my locker. It's not hard to say that I became good friends with the janitor.

I tried to ignore those stupid kids and poured myself into my studies. The sooner I got back to Alphonse, the better.