Chapter 12. Headbutted

Warning: Offensive language.

The police station was large and busy and Edd was nervous. The morning sun bore down harshly and heat pooled under Edd's hat uncomfortably as he stood outside the building in acute hesitation; he'd never been in a police station before. A couple of passing shoppers gave Edd a few curious glances, probably wondering why such a meek-looking kid was staring at the police station with so much intensity.

Calming his breathing, he walked inside and paused to look around before finding reception. There was a middle-aged woman in a uniform standing behind the glass, looking like someone could come in here, guns flailing, bullets shooting, and she wouldn't even flinch. Edd made his way up to the desk and was about to ask about Kevin when a commotion caught his and her attention. The red hair was unmistakable: Kevin was being led by a police officer- or at least that's what should have been happening. Kevin was thrashing in his binds, face one of anger. He lashed out with his legs, one connecting with the officer's shin, evoking a yelp, and soon three or four more officers were running over, yelling and trying to detain the rowdy youth. But Kevin was too furious over something to be calmed. He gave one officer a bloody nose and sent another limping before they managed to restrain him properly.

Gasping, Edd ran over to the gathering crowd and tried to push through, but Kevin was off again trying to hurt the officers and gain freedom from their hands. One of the men was copping it the worst from Kevin and had by now retreated to the other side of the room, holding a hand up to his mouth and leaning against the wall to take the pressure off his obviously injured leg.

But Edd was only interested in knowing what on earth was going on. "Kevin!" he shouted, trying to get the redhead's attention over the noise and commotion. He squeezed past the hands trying to keep him away from the reckless, violent young man and yelled at Kevin again. He eyed an officer aiming a taser at Kevin, waiting to get a clear shot.

Kevin had noticed Edd this time though, and ceased his struggles. Panting hard, he stared at Edd. But five men ceased the opportunity and pounced on Kevin, tackling him to the floor.

Edd heard a muffled, "get the fuck off me!" and then Kevin was reefed upright, his arms held by two men and another cuffing his ankles together. The mass of officers were panting and shaking their heads in disbelief, walking off and muttering under their breath. But one was watching Edd.

Kevin spat blood onto the floor and licked his lips. "Double D, how did you get here?"

Edd stared, then stuttered, "I t-took the bus... What's happening?"

"That prick," Kevin nodded towards the officer with blood dotting his mouth and a bad limp leaning against the far wall, "wouldn't let me have my phone call. Then he fucking came onto me, the faggot," he spat. Blinking, almost flinching, Edd just stared, speechless.

The accused officer stood as straight as he could and frowned at Kevin. "That is completely untrue- I called you no such thing. I said you can ring an attorney if you wanted!"

"You didn't!" Kevin snarled, pulling against the officers restraining him as if he wanted to lunge at the already injured man.

"Yes I did! And then you headbutted me!" he cried, his voice rising an octave or two.

"Alright, alright," said an older, more experienced-looking officer, waving a hand in a shushing manner and turning to look at Kevin. "You're going to talk to one of our officers- a different officer, straight after you get that phone call you want."

Kevin calmed down a little, but still glared at the man. "It doesn't matter any more," he muttered.

"What?!" The injured officer exclaimed, pulling the hand away from his mouth to reveal a busted and swollen lip.

"He's here now," Kevin said quietly.

The older officer glanced at Edd, then nodded to an officer to his right who then promptly started to escort the still restrained Kevin out of the room.

"I want to talk to him," Kevin protested as he was led away, but not as violently as he did before.

"Later," assured the officer ushering him away.

Shaking a little with all the emotions and visuals still trying to ram themselves into Edd's organised, clean mind, he swallowed thickly and looked to the floor after Kevin was out of the room. He hadn't expected Kevin to use his phone call to ring him. To be honest, he hadn't even thought that was a real thing.

"And who might you be? His brother?" The officer had walked up to Edd and was regarding his small stature.

"N-no, I'm Kevin's friend," Edd said.

"What's your name?"

Edd gave him his name and then his address and the dorm phone number when asked for it.

"And why did you come down here?"

"I thought you might be interested in hearing my side of the story," Edd said, his voice growing in confidence as he spoke. "And to give Kevin my support."

"Your side of the story?" The officer gave a silent laugh. "Kid, there isn't one. Your friend stole, beat people up and generally did bad things. This isn't a murder mystery or something."

Edd reached up to touch his hat unconsciously, just to check it was still there and somehow protecting him. "There's always a story- always a reason," he said softly.

Sighing, the man scratched his stubble and gestured with his head for Edd to follow him. "Fine, come this way, please." He lead him through a second metal detector- the first being at the front doors, and then took him into a back room. As they walked, Edd saw Kevin through some glass, sitting in a small room with three officers inside, his mouth firmly shut.

"He won't speak to us, anyway," the officer said, sighed again as he pushed open a door and held it ajar for Edd. "I dunno why, it's not like it's doing him any good; we have substantial evidence on him."

Edd walked in and sat down on one of the chairs inside, the officer moving to sit across the table from him. He set a folder down on the table and Edd realised he must have been carrying it the whole time.

"We've been after Kevin for a little while now. He's been a bit of a pain in our butts, so to speak. Minor crimes, leaving no solid evidence or witnesses... But after a confession from a victim, we got him."

"Felix," Edd said without thinking.

The man eyed him, his expression giving nothing away but Edd knew he must be suspicious. "Who's Felix?"

Edd shook his head. "I know he is the victim you mentioned."

"If he was, how would you know that?" The officer wasn't giving anything away.

"Because Felix... he assaulted me," Edd confessed. He wasn't sure if he felt smaller or larger after saying that.

Nodding non-committally, the officer wrote something down before looking at him again. "If you wish to make a claim, I can help you with that."

"No. At least not unless it will help Kevin."

"We'll get to that in a minute, I suppose," the officer said offhandedly before he scribbled some more. "So tell me what you being assaulted has to do with you assuming the same person is who Kevin assaulted and came forth about it."

"Because..." Edd trailed off. He considered whether or not he doing the right thing here, telling the police things while Kevin didn't utter a word. Was he ratting Kevin out? Was he crossing stories with Kevin who might lie to keep himself safe? Edd bit his lip and looked down at the table. Suddenly he had a lot of doubts about this. The right thing to do was conflicting with his feelings for the redhead.

"Because...?" the officer prompted.

Edd looked back up at the officer, positive the man could see his fresh hesitation. The man sighed, leaned back, and crossed his arms.
"It's an offence to keep information that could potentially assist the case from the police, you know," he said. It sounded so generic, like he said it to everyone. He probably did.

"This is a case?"

"Well, there's several things we're trying to get this kid on, because we strongly suspect him, but we can only book him for things we have solid evidence on," he said, his eyes trained on Edd. "Any information is essential."

"Well I only know about Felix," Edd stated.

"What about the motorbike?"

Edd blinked, remembering the bike. But he never witnessed anything, and Kevin never actually told him he stole it. Edd shook his head. "I only know he suddenly had a bike, I don't know how or when he got it."

"But you saw him with it?"

"Yes, he came to pick me up with it when I was stranded one time," Edd answered. "I've ridden on it a few times with Kevin driving."

More scribbling.

"Um, anything Kevin might have done to Felix- well, it was all my fault," Edd said quietly, his hands finding each other in his lap as a result of his jumping nerves. "I just want to say."

"And why might that be?"

"Because Felix was Kevin's friend until-..." Edd stopped abruptly, realising what he would have to tell the police officer to get his point across. No one but Kevin knew about that night, and he preferred it that way. But he hardly had a choice now, not when the police officer gave him a look that told him to continue and the memory of Kevin in the room next door was looming into his mind's view.

"Until Felix got me drunk and tried to... force me to- into... tried to force himself onto me," Edd stuttered, trying to organise his words before they left his mouth but failing badly. He was sure he looked pathetic; he sure felt it. Embarrassed, too.

"And then Kevin beat Felix into unconsciousness?" the officer asked calmly.

Edd fell for the bait. "What? He was unconscious? B-..." He stopped himself, realising. He glowered lightly at the officer.

"So, then what happened?" he asked casually.

"Kevin stopped him and broke his nose- but that was all- and then he took me home," Edd said stiffly, disliking the officer just a bit because of his trickery that Edd couldn't even pull him up on because of the same reasoning.

"So how did Felix end up beaten so badly he had to be taken into hospital?"

"That particular incident- the party and the getting me drunk, that happened a while ago. But it did lead to the incident you are referring to. Felix found me again and assaulted me, as I said earlier," Edd said as he squirmed in his seat a little. He hated this, retelling this.

Remembering he still had lots of bruises Edd pulled up his sleeve and showed off some of the bigger ones, making sure to show the officer some of the ones on his torso, too, the worst ones. The cast on his broken arm was the most obvious injury, but Felix hadn't been the one to do that.

"And Kevin didn't do those?" the officer asked slowly.

"What?!" Edd cried, letting his shirt drop back down and frowning at the man across from him. "Of course not! Kevin would never!"
"Are you two together?"

Still frowning but unable to help the flicker of startled emotion from surely showing across his face, Edd crossed his arms defensively. "No, we're not. We're friends."

The officer stood up and started to pace a little. "So, Kevin didn't get so mad at Felix for trying to rape his boyfriend that he stalked Felix out to get revenge?"

"No." Edd grew tense with anger, glaring at the man with probably the most fearsome and angry face he'd ever made. "And we're just friends."

The officer moved to write something on his paper again and Edd groaned in frustration. The officer glanced up at him before writing some more. Edd couldn't take this much more. It was like this man wanted nothing from Edd except negative, incriminating information about Kevin.

"I'd like to talk to a different officer, please," Edd stated firmly, staring the man in the eye.

The man smiled and straightened. "I'm afraid I don't think that would be a good idea. Aren't you enjoying our little chat?"

"No, I'm not. And why not?"

"Well, I'm the officer in charge of this case and I think I am the best person for you to be talking to about this matter."

Edd felt a sinking in his stomach. This man was in charge of Kevin's case? "Well I think otherwise."

"Too bad."

Edd gaped, then fisted his hands and stood up abruptly. "Then I'm finished talking altogether. I'd like to leave."

The officer stared at him for a moment, considering him, then shrugged, nodded, and picked up his papers and folder before gesturing towards the door. Edd moved to the door and waited until they were outside that suffocating room before he turned to the officer again.
"I want to speak with Kevin," he said.

"I'm afraid that's not possible; he's being questioned."

Just then an officer from within Kevin's room came out into the hallway. "Sir, he's not speaking a word. The only thing he says is that he wants to talk to Double D," the younger officer said, glancing at Edd as if he knew who he was.

Pausing and then sighing in frustration, the older officer nodded and told the younger to take Edd into the room. Edd smiled a little in relief and followed the man into the room. He saw Kevin sitting in the exact same position he'd seen him in before he'd talked with the officer in charge. Kevin looked up at him and immediately straightened in his chair.

"Double D," he began but then just looked at the officers pointedly.

They didn't move, so Edd looked up at the officer that had brought him in questioningly. The officer stuck his head around the door and talked to someone before coming back into the room and nodding at his men. They all filed out.

"Double D, I'm glad to see you," Kevin sighed once they were gone. Edd was about to reply when Kevin held a hand up to silence him. "I've got two things to say before you say anything."

Edd just nodded for him to go ahead.

"First off, don't think we're alone, they'll be watching and listening to us anyway. Secondly... I'm sorry," Kevin said, starting with a casual, calm voice and ending with a saddened one.

"Kevin, it's alright," Edd reassured softly, but Kevin would have none of it.

Kevin shook his head and closed his eyes. "Everything they're saying, it's all true," Kevin said. "Well, almost all of it, anyway."

"Kevin!" Edd said, head whipping around to look at the one-way-mirror behind him.

But Kevin just shook his head again. "It's fine, Double D, I don't care that they know, I only wasn't saying anything so they'd let me talk to you before they locked me up."

His blood turning cold, Edd gasped, a hand flying up to his mouth to muffle it. He looked at Kevin with wide, plaintive eyes. "They can't!"

Kevin laughed without much humour. "Yes they can, and they will. I hurt people, I stole, I broke things, they aren't just going to let me back out into the public after this little confession."

"Then stop!" Edd cried, tears beginning to form in his eyes. This was too much. This was ridiculous. Kevin didn't deserve to be in prison; he didn't do anything bad without a good reason, which surely didn't make it bad at all.

Eyes quick to notice the glistening eyes, Kevin sighed. "Edd, I can't get out of it, I might as well confess and do the time. I'm young and I didn't do anything too serious so I won't be in long."

"But..." Edd couldn't find anything to say and instead buried his face in his hands before the tears leaked out.

"Why are you crying?" Kevin asked, sounding a little confused.

Edd glared a little at Kevin. He was either being ignorant or stupid. "Because this isn't fair. You can't go to prison... I... who- I..." He gave up on trying to finish that sentence; it didn't sound right.

Kevin sighed loudly. "Dammit, Edd," he said fiercely. He got up suddenly and moved around the table to lean down and embrace the mess of an Edd, the cold metal of the handcuffs limiting his movements.

"W-what?" Edd asked, wide-eyed but accepting the hug nonetheless.

But Kevin didn't respond, he just tugged the boy so he was standing and so he could hug him better and tighter. Edd idly thought about the officer in charge who he'd told that he and Kevn were just friends. Truthfully he himself didn't know exactly what he and Kevin were, himself. But then Kevin was speaking again and the rest of Edd's mind fogged as he zoned in on the words.

"I won't be gone for too long I don't think. I'll behave myself so I can get out quicker. You have to blame all this on me with the headmaster so he won't kick you out, too," he whispered. "Don't try being the hero, it was all me, anyway."

"Kevin," Edd began to reprimand him but Kevin spoke over his voice.

"Double D, if Felix or anyone else gives you any shit- and I mean any at all- go see Felix's brother, Tony, and tell him I sent you and what's going on. He'll help you."

The hug was still in effect and Edd wondered if this was the last time he would get this close to Kevin in a while. The thought scared him a little. He liked Kevin and he didn't know what he'd do without him around. Edd closed his eyes and breathed in Kevin's scent, trying hard to be calm and collected. The door opened then and a couple of officers piled in. Kevin gave Edd one last squeeze before he let him go.

"I'm guessing that you're ready to confess to everything?" the officer in charge asked with one eyebrow raised.

Kevin nodded. "Yes. To what I've done, anyway."

"Very well." He turned to Edd. "That will be all, then, kid. If we need another statement we'll be in contact. You can go now."

It wasn't an offer and Edd knew that. Edd looked at Kevin and sent him a small, reassuring smile before he moved towards the door. "I'll come visit you," he promised before he waved and left, not missing the wave and the soft smile Kevin returned.

Out in the hall, Edd spotted the officer with the busted lip and the limp and was surprised when he didn't feel any sympathy towards the man, but instead a slight touch of humour. But that could have just been the way the man was sitting- like he'd been stabbed multiple times, and how Edd could still hear him complaining vividly to his obviously uninterested co-workers.

"He headbutted me! He actually headbutted me.

"And I mean a proper headbutt, too, like I-might-even-have-a-fracture kind of headbutt.

"Not to mention he called me a faggot!"

Edd frowned mentally and felt it spill over onto his face. Kevin did say that. The word itself was enough to spark a flicker of anger within him, though not towards Kevin, because he couldn't have possibly meant it like that; he has slept with two different men before and then there was the relationship between him and Kevin, which included a lot of recent kissing and touching. Edd flushed at the thought but it died down when he realised that there really wasn't any other way the redhead could have meant it. Faggot was an offensive slang term for gay men. Edd was sure he hadn't been referring to a bundle of sticks bound together as fuel. Confused, saddened, and a little distraught, Edd slowly made his way to the bus stop and waited for the number 7.

A.N: I just can't sit on these chapters any longer, unhappy with them or not. Sorry for the long wait guys! Thanks for the support and patience!

Also, I know nothing about the legal system. So this is me climbing out onto a very thin, shaky branch and hoping it doesn't crack.