part 8 of The Unforgiveness Arc

"Elric! Get your ass out of that bed!"

Ed's head swam as he blinked back to consciousness, sunlight streaming through the bars of his cell. He had no idea he'd even gone back to sleep. "Ungh ... what ...?"

Something hard slammed into his jaw. "Gonna be lazy today, are we!?"

"Ah, fuck—" Ed clutched his head, horribly dizzy. The cot was swaying under him. "G-gonna be sick—"

"What was that, Elric!?"

Ed shoved a hand out, pushing the offending body over his head out of the way, and leaned out over the side of the cot, heaving up what was left of his supper all over the floor. His backside protested violently, stabbing pain through his abdomen, and he hacked up stomach acid. The dizzy swimming sensation faded somewhat. "S-sick," he panted, not lifting his head. "N-need ... need the doctor ..."

"Shit." He heard the guard over him; he sounded genuinely shocked. Ed hadn't been sick as long as he'd been here, so this was probably a surprise. Ed had saved the man's shoes only to save himself a beating, though. "Shit ..." Then his footsteps pounded away and the clang of the door shutting behind him made Ed wince.

The wait for the guard's return was of an indeterminable length, but Ed could only assume his bunkmate was gone; he couldn't hear the man, snoring or otherwise. That prick, he thought, infuriated. That little fucking piece of shit. He won't keep quiet about this either. If word got out that Elric had been raped—no. No, he wouldn't put it that way. He'd say Ed had loved it, had begged for more. If word got out ... Ed shivered, sick all over again. For the most part he was regarded as too dangerous to be touched, but if he'd been overpowered by that slimy piece of shit—"F-fucking bastard," Ed strangled out, clutching his head. "Rip out your nuts—!"

The door banged back open, and Ed grimaced again as two guards and the 'doctor'—actually a nurse practitioner that ran the infirmary—-filed in. "Mr. Elric, I understand you're ill," the doctor said, neatly avoiding the puddle of vomit and kneeling beside Ed's cot. "I'd like to do a quick exam and take you down to the infirmary—"

"Concussed," Ed croaked out. "'m concussed. Tell the guards to get the fuck out, I'm not talking 'bout this in front of them," he snarled.

"Concussed?" the doctor looked puzzled.

"Get the guards out!" Ed roared, and curled into a tighter ball on the cot.

He heard murmuring, confusion, but it was indistinct; when Ed heard the cell door open and close again, he was alone with the doctor.

"All right, Elric, what is it?" the doctor said, trying to manage sympathy but still sounding puzzled and a bit nervous. Was he afraid Ed was going to kill him? Goddamn reputation.

Ed grit his teeth and hissed out a breath. "That fucking rapist reamed me up the ass," he growled. "Hit my head twice on the bed frame, I think. An' if I didn't kill him for that, you can bet I won't kill you for fixing me up, so stop staring at me like that."

The doctor straightened a little, then let out a short, uncertain breath. "He raped you?"

"Do I have to spell it out for you!?" Ed hit the pillow with his automail arm and felt the sizzle of feedback. "Fuck. L-last I knew I was bleeding. Gimme some painkillers, for mercy's sake," he begged.

But the doctor didn't give him painkillers; instead he made Ed roll onto his stomach and take down his pants. Ed obeyed, and cursed himself for trembling. He was not scared. He wasn't.

Ed bit his flesh fingers to keep from whimpering as the doctor probed his wounded sphincter. He watched out of the corner of his eye despite himself, nervously.

"It's pretty bad, but it'll heal," the doctor said calmly, sitting back. Ed pulled his pants up as fast as he could, and the doctor flashed light in his eyes. "Pupils are responsive, but uneven. You're right, he concussed you. I'll have you down in the infirmary ASAP." He fixed Ed with a firm look. "You speak up about this and given the evidence, they won't have any choice but to punish him."

Ed grit his teeth. "I'll keep that in mind."

He was in the infirmary for two miserable days, dizzy from painkillers instead of his concussion, woken up every hour on the hour and forced to sit up and drink water. He ate a little, and when he went to take a shit he almost cried from how much it hurt.

He was discharged just before supper on the third day. If anyone had asked Edward's opinion, it was perfect timing.

Ed came into the mess hall to the usual murmuring and noise; his arrival didn't cause any great stir, at least not at first. A few people looked up, looked back down, nudged each other, and there were snickers and looks of obvious curiosity and fear as Ed paused just inside the doorway, eyes skimming over the tables. He didn't see who he was looking for.

He grabbed the nearest inmate by the front of his shirt and hauled him up. "Where is he!?" he roared.

There was almost immediate silence. The inmate in his arms looked bewildered and terrified. It was oddly satisfying. "Where's who—?"

"You know exactly who I'm talking about! Point me to him!"

The inmate pointed, and Ed looked, and the inmates at the tables between Ed and the shaking finger pointing the way shuffled aside.

Ed found himself staring at the only man still in the sight line: his cellmate. Ed dropped the inmate unceremoniously, stalking towards him. His bunkmate's eyes widened, but he grinned that same fucking yellow-toothed grin, that goddamn cocky smirk—

"Holy shit, do you think he really was—?"

"I heard he was begging for it, but it sure don't look like he was begging now—!"

As Ed reached his target, the man began to stand, trying for something pathetically similar to bravado. "Come looking for more, Elr—ungh!"

Ed decked him with an automail fist.

He went down like a stone, and the murmuring faded away again as Ed crouched over him (with a sharp twinge) and slammed his head back into the cement floor. "Shut your fuckhole," Ed snarled. His bunkmate slurred something out woozily, and Ed slapped his cheek lightly. "Wake up, you piece of shit, I want you conscious for this."

"The fuck's your problem, y'wanted it ..." Ed smashed his automail elbow into the man's collarbone, and the crack was almost audible. The rapist cried out, arching his back and swearing aloud. "Fuck! Goddamn it—!"

"Stop screaming!" Ed slapped him hard. "You fucking baby—! You think this is pain!?"

There was a crowd forming around them by now. The rapist swung a weak punch, and Ed caught it in his automail hand, squeezing until the man under him was slapping his other hand on the ground. "Ah, shit, shit, shit, s-s-stop—!"

Ed dropped his mangled hand. "I could make this last for hours," he hissed. He pressed his hands down on the man's shoulders. "I could kill you for this, but why give you the easy way out? Pay attention, you piece of—fucking—shit!"

Ed slammed his automail shin down on the man's nads once, twice, three times, and the man screamed in pain, then went limp, twitching. He only roused when Ed grabbed a cup of water off his tray and splashed it in his face. "You listening!?"

"I-I'm listening, oh god, m-my balls—!"

"You like your balls a lot, don't you?" Ed's voice twisted with rage, walking around him. "But you know what they say—only! Use! Responsibly!" He kicked him in the groin another three times, punctuating each word, and his rapist's cries gurgled as he choked on his own spit.

"P-please ... p-please, stop ..." he strangled out, laying limp.

"Holy fuck, Elric."

Ed looked up, panting, to a circle of inmates clutching their own groins as if Ed had kicked them too. He looked back down at the rapist and crouched over him again, hauling him up by his shirt. "Take a good look, everyone!" he snarled. "Take a really good look."

He kicked his bunkmate in the side furiously, and turned to go. The other inmates parted like water.

The guards didn't drag him off until he'd reached the mess door.