Thank you for all the wonderful feedback regarding the first chapter of Beautiful & Bruised! I said I would post the next chapter if people showed an interest, and...ta-da!
“How is she?” he asked, running his hands over his face.
“We’ve managed to stabilize her,” the doctor replied. “But her injuries are still severe,”
“Sir, I’m not sure---“ the doctor began.
“Don’t make me send you to the burn unit, doctor,”
“Yes, Colonel,” the doctor said, swallowing hard. “Five of her ribs were broken, but we’ve managed to set them. She was burned, most likely with cigarettes or cigars on her arms, breasts, legs and torso. It appears as if she was cut with several different sharp instruments, none of the wounds deep enough cause significant damage. At least two people bit her hard enough to draw blood in various locations. Her right arm was fractured, her hands, fingers and knees appear to have been put under serious strain, the skin is cracked and broken, but none of the damage substantial. Her wrists have contusions on them, presumably from the rope. There are bruises on her neck, shoulders, arms, wrist, thighs, ankles, breast, hips and buttocks, some of them in the shape of hands. There are a variety of sizes, so there was more than one attacker. She’s suffered blunt force trauma to her head, once several weeks ago, and once recently, but not over an extended period of time.”
“She was sexually assaulted,” the doctor continued. “She was raped and sodomized by multiple assailants multiple times. Although we can’t say for sure, it’s more than likely she was forced to perform oral sex on her captures. She has bruises on her cheeks, chin and lips in the shapes of fingers, as well as in the back of her thoart,”
“We’ve done a rape kit, to make sure she hasn’t contracted any venereal diseases,” the doctor said. “She’s most likely infertile now. The sexual abuse she endured was so violent that her uterus was permanently damaged. She’ll never be able to care a child to term; I highly doubt she’ll even be able to conceive,”
“What about her back?” he asked softly.
“I assume you mean the alchemic array?” the doctor asked. “It’s still intact, with the exception of some old scar tissue. Oddly enough, with the exception of a few minor bruises, her back is in perfect condition. However, it appears as if someone took some sort of sharp instrutment, a scalpel, most likely, and traced the array, allowed it to heal, then traced it again. I’d estimate this happened at least twelve times,”
“Can we see her?” Maes asked softly.
“She’s still unconscious, but I suppose that would be fine,” the doctor replied. “But I’ll warn you, she isn’t in the best physical condition. She lost over thirty pounds; it’s a miracle that she didn’t suffer major organ failure. She’s severely malnourished, dehydrated and anemic. Her burns and other injuries have been treated and dressed, but the bruising is still there. Her arm is in a sling. The bruising on her neck is quite severe. She’s hooked up to a heart monitor and other monitors, just as precaution.”
Both men nodded and the doctor led them down the hall, to a room with a chart on the outside. The file read: “S. Colston”. “It’s a safety precaution,” the doctor explained. “This wasn’t a random act of violence, someone targeted Lieutenant Hawkeye specifically. Until she’s released, we’re using an alias,”
He opened the door. “I’ll leave you alone,” he said. “Just call for a nurse should you need it and when you leave.” Hughes and Mustang stepped inside and the door was softly shut behind them. For a moment, both men simply stood just inside the door.
The middle of the room was a hospital bed, where Riza lay. They had cleaned her up, washed and combed her hair and dressed her in a light blue hospital gown. Her breath was slow and regular and there was the beeping of the heart monitor. There was an IV in her left hand, giving her badly dehydrated body fluids. Her right arm was in a sling, her left arm lying limply at her side on top of the blanket.
Maes was the first to move. He stood next to the bed, looking down at her. “She---She’s so damn small,
“I---I can’t see her like this.” he replied. “That isn’t her, that’s not Riza,”
“It’s because of me---“ He moved further away from the bed, turning towards the door.
He felt a hand on the back of his shirt and he was jerked backwards then flipped around. Maes had in him by the collar, his eyes blazing behind his glasses. “If you leave her now, Roy, it’ll kill her.”
“She’s stronger than that,”
“If you leave now,
“I would,” Maes said, taking another step towards him. “I don’t care that you’re my best friend. This woman went through hell for you. If you’re going to treat her like this, I’ll find a way to protect her from torturing herself. We both know Riza will act like she doesn’t care, that nothing is wrong, but it will eat her alive, it will destroy her. I’ll find a way to keep her from you, even if she hates me for it. I’ll protect her like I would Elysia,”
He felt a hand on his shoulder again.
“Thank you,” he said softly.