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Elemental

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The doctor can’t put Kid’s arm back on. The flesh is dead. Long dead. Killer has to hold him back from breaking the man’s neck. The rest of the crew has to hold him down to cauterize the wound. The scar is mangled, burnt, ugly, and he hates it.

He hates doctors. He hates wounds. But most of all, he hates Red-Haired Shanks. Especially when the full scale of what he’d lost finally sets in.

The first day without pain, he falls back into bed after trying to use a phantom arm to support him. A piece of broken rigging falls from the crow’s nest straight onto him when he tries to block it with the stump arm. Lifting shit one-handed leaves him dropping the whole load. He can’t hold fast to something and fight at the same time. Even his Devil Fruit is off balance. Can’t land a decent hit.

Can’t. Can’t can’t can’t. He fucking hates that word, too.

“I’m gonna kill him,” Kid hisses as he shatters the furniture in the galley, his good arm covered in sharp metal scraps. “I’m gonna bash his stupid face in!”

Crunch. An end table splinters under the blow. Then, a mirror shatters, scattering glass shards across the floor. He beats several chairs against a wall already bearing telltale signs of the captain’s past tantrums.

“Kid, seriously, stop,” Killer pleads from somewhere behind him. “We just replaced all of this–!”

“Furniture don’t mean shit!” Kid yells. “Where’s my fucking arm, huh?! Can’t replace that !”

He tears through the couch. Stuffing explodes everywhere. Springs pop out and push back against his blows to the frame. Fucking couch. Stupid fucking couch–! He bashes it right into the floor. One strike. Then two. Then finally three, when he hears the floorboards crack under the force of the blow.

He clenches, then un-clenches his fist. He swears he feels his dead hand do the same. The metal surrounding his remaining arm falls to the ground, piece by piece, until he’s left with his bare arm, the scarred stump, and a whole lot of broken shit.

 


 

A bottle bursts in his grip. Sticky soda pop and glass cling to the lumpy metal mass that just vaguely resembles a fat mitten. Kid growls and throws what remains to the galley floor with the other seven he’s destroyed.

“Stupid fuckin’ bottles‘re too weak,” Kid mutters, reaching for another.

He’s not slept in a week. Barely eaten much outside of finger food and crisps. His dead arm is throbbing, his head hurts, and god he fucking wants a drink. But no, no. He’s not supposed to. Not til the damn arm heals or whatever. Blood poisoning be damned, he wasn’t going to let it get in the way of him having something decent in all this shit. And if Killer had a goddamn problem with it--

“Kid.”

Speak of the devil.

“What?”

“I really think you need a proper prosthesis.”

Kid rolls his head back to glare at Killer. “Got a problem with my hulking metal arm?” he asks.

“Not really. But that case of cola you destroyed does,” Killer says, not missing a beat.

Kid eyes the mess on the floor. It’s still wet and soaking into the floorboards, which are already slightly warped from many, many previous spills. He shoves the pile of glass aside. Okay, maybe Killer had a point. He was getting real tired of busting every single bottle he tried to open. Better to tape a stick to his stump and call it an arm than to watch his good scotch shatter to pieces next.

“So what then?” Kid asks. “Ain’t like plastic arms just sproutin’ outta the ground.” He absentmindedly begins picking at a loose string on his shirt. “Think the doc’s got one layin’ about?”

“I called a specialist.”

“Oh yeah? Whozzat?”

He hears Killer turn toward the doorway, stick his head out, and say something to someone outside. Kid arches his eyebrows. What, were they already here? Who the hell gave that order? Cause he sure as hell didn’t allow random-ass fuckers on his ship. Besides. They had a doctor, why did they need to bring in another one?  As he’s about to snap at Killer, the doctor walks in.

It’s Trafalgar. Not the usual “gives no fucks” version; he’s gone and found himself some stupid edgy emo coat, a stupider hat, and some ugly-ass black bag full of god knows what.

“Hello again, Eu--” Trafalgar begins.

“You called fuckin’ Trafalgar ?” Kid hisses at Killer. “When ye gonna get it through ye fuckin’ head that we aren’t here t’make friends with the enemy?!”

He charges Trafalgar, stopping just inches from him. He glowers down, making full use of his taller, bulkier, intimidating build. Yet Trafalgar is unfazed. Instead he merely looks Kid over and chooses to walk around him.

“Where’s ye crew, huh?” Kid snaps, rounding on him as he passes by. “Waitin’ like cowards til we’re all bleedin’ asleep?”

“I’m currently traveling alone,” Trafalgar responds. He sets down his medical kit and withdraws two blue latex gloves. “I have personal business to tend to. Killer offered to drop me off where I need to be in exchange for this.”

Kid gives Killer the stink eye. Bloody first mate thinks he runs the damn ship. If he didn’t love the man like a brother he’d throw him overboard. Or maybe he’ll still throw him overboard. Killer could swim and he’s pissed enough to make heads roll. The dull clang of metal shrapnel attaching to his stump arm as he seethes fills the room. Trafalgar glances over at him.

“Your Devil Fruit power?”

“None of ye fuckin’ business.”

Again, Trafalgar is unfazed. He approaches, tugging both gloves on, and prods a piece of a cast iron rod. Kid jerks his shoulder away.

Don’t touch me!” he exclaims.

“Were you able to feel that?” Trafalgar asks. “I didn’t realize there was any sensation through the metal.”

There ain’t! It’s metal, ye daft eejit!

God, he’s two steps from a screaming match and one step from making Trafalgar feel all the sensations of metal cutting through his innards. The metal on him is starting to fuse together into a solid alloy mess of appliances, junk, silverware, and weapons. Trafalgar circles him at a safe distance, taking in everything. Then, he clicks his tongue, and turns toward Killer.

“Can you excuse us?” he asks.

Killer tilts his head and crosses his arms. “Why should I?” he says. “Surely anything you have to say or do to Kid can be done in front of me.”

Images of being stabbed in the arse with a giant-ass needle while Killer’s ominous, expressionless stare focuses on him plague Kid’s mind. He’s not a damn clue why he’d even need a shot in the arse. But every time he went to the infirmary it was always something . He hated doctors. Fuck ‘em.

“If ye daft enough t’think that gettin’ me alone will be enough to kill me,” Kid starts, tone dangerously low. “Ye dead wrong, shithead.”

Trafalgar isn't amused.

“I’m not here to be the Surgeon of Death, Eustass,” he says calmly. “I’m here to be Dr. Trafalgar Law, Ph.D, the one who helps fix your mobility issues.” Then, he furrows his eyebrows. “As if I’d stoop low enough to forgo the Hippocratic oath.”

Kid glares at Trafalgar. Trafalgar stares back. Then, Kid grits his teeth together and jerks his head toward the door.

“Go stand outside,” he says. “If he does some shite I’ll call ye, aye?”

Though reluctant, Killer obliges. Once gone, Kid drops himself down on the ratty old couch, arms crossed, and stares Trafalgar down. Said dumbass doctor dug around in his stupid Mary Poppins bag.

“When did you lose the limb?” Trafalgar asks.

“Week ‘n a half ago,” Kid mumbles.

“And you’ve been nursing the wound?”

“Ain’t a wee bairn, Trafalgar,” he says. “Don’t need to nurse nothing. Doc sewed it up. It’s fine.”

Trafalgar looks up from his bag tiredly. Then, he sighs. He sets out some glass bottle of...something that looks an awful lot like sunscreen. Then some kinda torture kit with needle and thread. What, was he planning to fix one of Kid’s missing buttons? And then--oh. Oh no. Oh fuck no.

Kid’s eyes go wide as Trafalgar wipes a scalpel down with rubbing alcohol. The lumpy prosthesis demagnetizes and clatters to the floor in a cacophony of clanking. He cups his stump arm.

“I don’t need more bleedin’ skin off!” he yells.

“Relax. I’m not going to hurt you.”

“What, that thing’s just for show then?! Bullshit!”

Room.

The area around them becomes engulfed by--something. Trafalgar’s Devil Fruit power. Probably. The feeling is vaguely familiar from the one time he’d experienced it on Sabaody. Trafalgar then places the cleaned scalpel down among his other weapons, reaches out to Kid, and taps his good hand. Kid bares his teeth.

“Now now, Eustass,” Trafalgar says. “I’m just going to look at it.”

“Don’t talk t’me like I’m some fuckin’ dog, Trafalgar.”

But, after a moment of determined resistance that leaves him feeling a bit too much like a toddler in a clinic, he relents. Trafalgar peels his hand off of the bandaged stump. Kid watches nervously as the wound is skillfully unwrapped and exposed to the open air. The stitching is ugly and mangled, still red with crusty with dried blood in places. The burned skin isn’t helping much either.

Trafalgar gently rests the pad of his gloved thumb on the stitching, gaze sharp and focused. The remaining fingers follow suit, and soon enough he has Trafalgar’s creepy-ass spider fingers all over his numb skin. Trafalgar’s eyes close and he goes completely still.

The silence is unnerving.

“Ye got geriatric hands,” Kid blurts out.

“Your criticism has been logged,” Trafalgar responds. “You’ve got an infection.”

Kid frowns. “What?”

“It’s actually obvious from the exterior, but I wanted a good read of the interior first.” Trafalgar presses gently against the stitches. “Warm, a bit of pus leaking out from a tear. It’s a little swollen, too. Luckily it hasn’t spread terribly far. I’ll still need to open and clean it, though.”

Trafalgar lifts one hand from the stump, grabs a pen from his pocket, and it instantly switches places with the scalpel on the table. Kid does a double-take. Oh, he can teleport shit too? Great. He’s going to rob them all of their vital organs when they’re asleep, isn’t he?

“Stop looking at me like that,” Trafalgar says. “It’s only to allow me access to the wound. It won’t hurt you.”

Kid eyes the blade and anxiously shifts in his seat. Trafalgar can do all kinds of weird shit but he’s not so sure how much he believes that a goddamn blade slicing his skin won’t hurt him. But the more he protests, the more he can hear Killer’s voice in his head calling him a baby. Trafalgar watches him boredly. Kid inhales, exhales, then extends the stump. If he’s gonna have to bleed all over the carpet, it’s Killer’s mess to clean up.

“Fine. Whatever. Just do it already.”

Trafalgar wields the scalpel like he’s going to stab someone. Kid freezes and closes his eyes. Trafalgar’s arm comes down in a wide slice--

Nothing.

Kid cracks open an eye.

“I said --”

He falls silent when he realizes his stubby arm is split open. Just. Right down the middle, bone, blood, muscle, skin--real clean and everything. And it’s moving. Kid stares at it. The only time he sees his innards is when something stupid happens and they become his outtards. Even then, it’s a bloody mass of flesh he can’t really take in. That, and usually he’s fucked up enough that he doesn’t give a damn.

But this? This is really fucked up.

Don’t touch it,” Trafalgar warns, swatting Kid’s fingers as he reaches over to poke his own marrow. “I’m not going to fix your infection just to see you die from blood poisoning .”

“Ye callin’ me dirty?” Kid retorts.

“Filthy.”

Kid lets out a snort. He keeps his hands clean. Hand. Just one hand now. He flexes the fingers of said remaining limb. No dirt or grease as far as he can see. What’s he making a big deal about poison or whateverthefuck for?

There’s no chance to snark Trafalgar, though. He’s immediately switched from Dr. Sarcasm to an actual serious physician. He twitches and gestures with his fingers this way and that along the pathways of Kid’s veins. As he comes to the end of the stump, Kid sees what he’s dragged out--and it’s disgusting . Some awful mix of pus and blood and whatever. And it stinks to high hell.

“The hell is that?” Kid grumbles, wrinkling his nose.

“The bacteria from your wound.” Trafalgar’s eyes are on the slime, which he guides into his hand. Then, he uses his empty hand to pull his other glove over it, knot it, and set it aside. “An incinerator should do for disposing of that.”

Trafalgar twirls his fingers. Kid’s stump arm snaps shut. Again, it doesn’t hurt, but fuck if it doesn’t get his skin crawling when he sees his tissues seamlessly close once again. He runs his hand over his scarred and stitched skin. Well. Even if that was weird as hell, his arm does feel a little less gross. Trafalgar reaches out to him again to poke the stitches.

“I’m going to redo these,” he declares. It’s a statement, not a question. “They’re hideous.”

Kid groans loudly and stares at the ceiling. Part of him wants to holler for Killer. But he knows that Killer will just laugh at him for being a baby and tell him to get the damn stitches done. The doctor knows best or some shit. He pouts and looks away as Trafalgar again rummages through his bag for supplies.

He hates doctors. All of them.