An Eye for an Eye
"Wake up baby." The lazy drawl tickled his ear like a fly on a slow summer afternoon. Archer ignored it, hoping that it would go away. A tongue traced the shell of his ear and Archer frowned. He wanted nothing more than to sleep. He was weary for reasons that he could not recall. Despite his wishes, the voice and tongue persisted, urging him towards wakefulness.
With a heavy sigh, Archer slowly opened his eyes. The light was too bright and he squinted at the figure hovering over him. "Kimblee?" He barely managed the painful croak.
"That's right." The blur of the Crimson Alchemist shifted and drew closer. Wet lips were placed against his. He opened to them automatically and a small dribble of water flowed into his mouth. He swallowed greedily. He could hear Kimblee chuckle as he retreated, only to return with another mouthful of cool water. "Better?"
"More," Archer whispered. Kimblee obeyed, slowly sharing small mouthfuls of water with him. Once he was done, Archer settled back on the hard pillow wondering at the strange stiffness of his body. "What happened?"
Kimblee's fingers slid up the left side of his face, tracing the angular cheekbones and smooth temples and finally threading through his hair. "You don't remember?"
"Would I ask if I did?" Archer glared as Kimblee's fingers slid over him. Kimblee was not an affectionate person and Archer was not generally receptive to such lingering attention. He couldn't figure out Kimblee's sudden need to touch.
Kimblee smiled, pressing his lips to Archer's raised eyebrow. "No."
"Is there something you're not telling me?"
"Why would you ask that?" Kimblee's roaming hand ran down Archer's bare chest.
Archer tilted his head. "You're not acting like yourself."
"Is there something wrong with acting this way?" His fingers danced over Archer's nipple, plucking lightly.
"N-no," he stuttered sharply.
Kimblee grinned as he loomed over him. He moved in to capture Archer's lips greedily. "Good." Kimblee's hand rested over Archer's heart as he drew long hot kisses from the other man. Archer lifted his arm to bring Kimblee closer. His arm was sluggish and he settled for taking a hold of Kimblee's hair and pulling him in with a light tug. Kimblee willingly leaned in, kissing him again. "How are you?"
Archer blinked at the question. It was not the sort of thing that Kimblee asked. Kimblee wasn't the kind of person to care. "I'm fine."
"How do you feel?"
Archer stared at him. "What do you mean?"
"Does anything hurt?" Kimblee's hand had returned to stroking Archer's face.
"No. A little stiff."
Kimblee's thumb slid over his bottom lip. "Is that all?"
Unsettled by Kimblee's touch and disturbed by his line of questioning, Archer closed his eyes to take stock of his body. He could feel everything. Ten fingers. Ten toes. Legs, arms, torso. Nothing hurt. Everything seemed to be in order, but as he opened his eyes, his left eye refused to focus. "Did I hit my head?"
"I don't have a concussion?"
Kimblee shook his head. "No."
"My left eye won't focus."
"Damn." Kimblee frowned. He glanced off to the left. "He didn't look astigmatic."
Archer's brows knitted in confusion. "What are you talking about? Was I in some sort of explosion? Is that why I can't see straight?"
Kimblee turned back to him. "You could say that."
Archer frowned. He tugged on Kimblee's hair. "What aren't you telling me?"
"It's nothing to worry about," Kimblee assured as he stroked Archer's cheek.
"Stop that!" He turned away from the touch.
"Don't get upset," Kimblee soothed. "You had a rough ordeal."
Archer stared at the wall of the first aid tent. What kind of ordeal was Kimblee talking about? He remembered walking towards that city. Something had happened there. There had been light and pain and screaming and...
Kimblee nuzzled his neck. "Hmm?"
"I was injured. I don't remember what happened. Someone mentioned automail." Archer slowly felt out the memory, trying to piece it all together.
Kimblee nodded. "They were, but I wouldn't let them."
Archer looked up at him. "Let them what?"
"Turn you into a robotic eunuch."
Archer closed his eyes. "I don't understand. Why would I need automail?"
"They tried to take you," Kimblee growled.
"Who?" Archer asked slowly. The conversation was frustrating. He had to drag each answer out of the alchemist as the other man continued to string him along.
"They did. Those kid alchemists. That Ishvarite. Those medics. They were all trying to take you from me." Kimblee stared down at him, his golden eyes holding more than their usual tint of madness.
Archer swallowed. "Just tell me what happened."
Kimblee stared down at him. His fingers drifted up to trace over Archer's eyebrow, through his hair, and down over his ear. Fingers skidded over his neck and shoulder, leaving shivers in their wake. It was disconcerting. "We stormed the city. There weren't many people there. I fought Scar, but once I blew his arm off, it got boring. I set off the armor kid and left. There was no one else to blow up. I was leaving when it happened. The city wasn't just a city; it was a giant alchemy circle. The city, and everyone in it, was used as the raw material to create a new Philosopher's Stone."
Archer's eyes widened. That light; it had been the activation of the alchemy. The pain had been his body dissolving. The screaming. That had been his. "What did I loose?" He gasped.
Kimblee stroked Archer's left cheek. "Most of the left side of your body."
Kimblee's hand drifted over Archer's shoulder. "This was all gone. Snatched away into the Philosopher's Stone. They wanted to replace it with automail. But I wouldn't let them."
"But I'm whole." Archer protested, lifting his left arm.
Kimblee nodded. "They wanted to replace you with automail, but that was unacceptable. So I replaced you with them."
Kimblee shook his head, his smile wide and toothy. "More like human tissue donation."
Archer turned his head to the spot that had taken Kimblee's attention earlier. Even with one blurry eye, he could clearly make out the formerly human mess spattered across the floor. What was left of the man's face was stretched into a rictus of horror. His one remaining eye was wide open. It was brown. Archer touched his own left eye. "What color is this eye?"
"Blue. Like ice. Just like your other eye."
"So it's mine and not those shit colored cow eyes of his?"
"All yours baby."
"Good." Archer looked away from the mangled body with disdain.
Kimblee smirked. "Sometimes people fail to realize the full extent of what alchemy can do. I saved you by making an equal exchange. His life for yours. His body for yours. Everything altered. His makeup transmuted. Each tiny piece. Every molecule. It's no longer his, it's yours. More specifically, mine." Kimblee pressed his forehead to Archer's and stared into his eyes. Fiery gold and icy blue clashed. "You are mine. Don't forget that." He claimed Archer's lips possessively, ravaging his mouth like a wildfire. "You get to die when I say, not before, " he growled as he drew back.
"Possessive bastard." Archer smirked.
"Yes, but I take care of what's mine."
"Then you'd better get me an eye that works properly."
"Did you have a special one in mind?"
Archer wrapped his arms around Kimblee's shoulders. "I hear that Lieutenant Hawkeye has excellent vision."
"I'll have to look into that for you," Kimblee replied as he pushed Archer back down on the bed. The End
Notes: Sorry about the cliche title. I tried to think of something else, but that really stuck, especially because of the concept of equal exchange and all. Anyway, this was my first Kimblee/Archer fic. It sprung out of a crazy rabid plot bunny and took on a life of its own. Hope you enjoyed the fic ^__^