Archer watched as Lieutenant Havoc got out of the car and turned, opening the door for him. Mustang's blond Lieutenant saluted as Archer stepped out of the car. Archer gave a brief nod of acknowledgment before walking up the pathway towards his own apartment.
"Good day sir," the lieutenant called as he closed the door and circled the car to let his own Colonel out.
Carpooling with Mustang was annoying, but efficient. The blond smelled like smoke and Mustang smelled like the blond. At least the pair of them did not chatter incessantly. Mustang had a tendency to stare out of the window, often falling asleep against it. They never spoke to each other, they merely shared the ride and went their separate ways. As much as he didn't care for Mustang, he could tolerate him for the brief ride to work in the mornings. It was far better than walking.
Archer entered his building. He checked the mail box in the lobby, then climbed the stairs to the second floor. As he walked down the hall, he noticed that his front door was ajar. Kimblee often acted careless, but Archer knew that he would never just leave their apartment door open. He drew his gun and pushed the door open with his foot. When nothing happened, he quietly made his way inside. A pair of black stiletto heels were carelessly discarded in the entryway. He looked down at them, then the black clutch purse further up the hall. A loud snort from the living room drew his attention. He turned the corner and glanced into the room. A woman in a black dress was sprawled out on the couch surrounded by every bottle of alcohol they had in the apartment. All of them were empty.
Aiming at the woman, Archer moved forward, deliberately knocking over a whiskey bottle on the floor. The woman lifted her head and looked around through a tangle of graying brown hair. She moaned, pushing at the mess in her face. A blurry brown eye peered out, slowly coming into focus.
"Who are you and what are you doing in here?" Archer demanded.
The woman pushed herself up with a grunt. She raked her hair out of her face and blinked at Archer. "You're not Zolfy James."
"No. Answer my question."
She pouted. "Where's my baby?"
Archer growled. "Who the hell are you woman?"
She cocked her head to the side. "Virginia."
She picked up one of the empty bottles and stared at it longingly. "I thought this was Zolfy James' house. You are not Zolfy James."
"I am Colonel Frank Archer and this is my damned apartment!" Archer snapped.
"Baby?" Kimblee's voice from the hall drew both Archer and the woman's attention.
The woman jumped from the couch and stumbled over the bottles. "Zolfy James!"
Kimblee walked into view and his expression quickly turned from curious concern to outright disgust.
"Do you know this woman?" Archer demanded.
"Unfortunately," he said deftly deflecting her clumsy attempt to embrace him.
"Who the hell is she?"
"She's my damn mother." Kimblee turned to glare at her.
"Zolfy James! Don't talk to mommy like that!" His mother wailed, grabbing for him.
Kimblee snorted, moving out of her reach. "What are you doing here ya crazy bitch?"
She sniffled, looking at him with watery eyes. "I just came to see my baby."
"Che. What'd you do now? Got kicked out? Need money? Need to hear was a good mommy you are?"
"Don't be mean. Mommy just wanted to see her beautiful baby boy. I haven't seen you in so long!"
"Too bad it couldn't stay that way." He sneered.
"Wait! Where are you going?" She cried as he brushed past her.
Kimblee walked over to Archer. "Sorry bout this," he muttered tossing his head in her direction. "I was hoping she wouldn't find out I was still alive."
"Zolfy?" Archer raised an eyebrow.
"Now you know why I hate my name."
"Mommy gave you that name," his mother cooed.
"All the more reason to hate it! Now pick up your mess and get the fuck out of our apartment!" He turned to her, eyes flashing dangerously.
She started crying. "Zolfy James! Don't send me away."
"Why the hell not? You certainly had no problem ditching me when I became inconvenient."
"But I love my baby!" She insisted.
"You sold me to a psychopath!"
"I wanted Zolfy to have a better life!"
"Don't give me that bullshit. You just needed me out of the way so you could run off with the newest flavor of the week. The money you got was just a bonus wasn't it." Kimblee spat.
"Not true!" she wailed.
"It is true!" he roared. "Now get out of my fucking house! I don't want to see your god damned face here again!"
His mother sobbed into her hands and tugged at her tangled hair. "Zolfy," she moaned.
She looked up, sniffling. "What about him? He's not leaving." She pointed at Archer accusingly.
Kimblee glanced at Archer and back at his mother. "He's my husband. He belongs here. You don't."
"Hu-husband?" She hiccuped.
"Yes." He said firmly. "My husband."
"Zolfy married...a man?" She asked slowly, staring at Archer.
She looked at Archer and then back to Kimblee. Her eyes flashed and she gave a sudden scream. "Zolfy! You're just like your father!" She picked up an empty bottle at her feet. "He left me for boys! Boys!" She pitched the bottle at Kimblee. He and Archer jumped out of the way as the bottle flew by and hit the wall. "Boys are more important to you than mommy! Just like your father!" She raged, kicking another bottle.
"You crazy bitch!" Kimblee yelled, ducking the shards of glass.
"I hate you!" She screamed back, throwing another bottle at him. Kimblee leapt to the side, narrowly avoiding the bottle that smashed against the floor, raining more glass around him. "I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!"
Archer darted forward and slammed the butt of his gun into the back of her head. She dropped to the floor with a shocked gasp. He glanced at the body at his feet, pushing at her with the toe of his boot.
"This is your mother?"
Kimblee stood up, brushing glass from his clothes. "Yeah."
"She makes my family look normal."
Kimblee shook his head. "Hell, she makes me look normal."
"She sold you as a child?" Archer asked.
Kimblee frowned. "Yeah. I was four at the time. She sold me to an alchemist. It's where the "boom" comes from. That and my psychotic tendencies." He smiled bitterly.
Archer grabbed Kimblee's hair and tugged on it.
"Ow! What the hell was that for?" Kimblee demanded.
"You had some glass in your hair," Archer replied, pulling Kimblee closer.
"Is that so?" Kimblee asked as he was dragged in.
"Yes." Archer kissed him.
Kimblee smiled as he wrapped his arms around Archer's waist, returning the firm kiss. "Don't worry about me baby. That's all in the past."
"I wasn't," Archer began, only to be cut off by Kimblee's mouth.
"Mmm hmm," Kimblee hummed as he kissed Archer again. "Now, let's see about cleaning this place up and getting the men in white coats to come take mommy dearest away."
Poor Kimblee, he got a real crazy for a mom. Well, at least he has Archer around to save him from Mommy's madness. ^_^ So, nine themes down and eleven more to go. Next up will be Injury. Will it be a papercut? A major disaster? You'll just have to wait and see.
Next - Injured Dignity