Kimblee's Christmas Cookies
“I'll have a blue Christmas without you. I'll be so blue thinking about you.” Kimblee shook his hips as he sang along to the record playing in the living room. He stirred together sugar and butter and wondered if he could ask Frank for one of those new electric mixers. He didn't really cook that much, but it would be a good thing to have around. It would mean he wouldn't have to count every time he stirred. Too bad he couldn't make cookies with alchemy. He'd certainly tried, but it was a complete failure. Despite that, he was determined to have cookies for Christmas. So there he was, elbow deep in flour, mixing together cookie dough.
Once he had everything mixed together, he shoved the bowl in the ice box and started to clean up. He didn't want Frank to come home and throw a fit when he saw the mess. He'd gotten pretty good at cleaning up after himself. Having Frank kick him out into the military dorms for a month might have had something to do with it, but luckily they were past all that. He had apologized and promised to clean up more and Frank had let him come crawling back. It was a good thing too, the dorms reminded him too much of prison and his bed was cold at night without Frank there. Rather than risk a more permanent break in their relationship, he had kept his promise.
With his dishes clean, Kimblee danced over to the ice box to take out his dough. After a battle with the rolling pin, he finally got his dough flat and gingerbread men on the pan. The gingerbread man shape was the only cookie cutter he had. He'd bought it, and the rolling pin, especially for this project. Frank cooked, but he didn't really bake. Not that Kimblee blamed him. Before he'd started living with Frank he had never cooked. Even before prison he had been dependent on the base's mess hall or a trip to a diner. His cooking wasn't as good as Frank's, but he could get around a kitchen without blowing it up. Yesterday, he'd even made a tuna casserole.
Kimblee got his first tray of gingerbread men into the oven and put his dough back in the icebox. As he was washing his hands, there was a knock on the door. He headed for the door and pulled it open. He looked curiously at the coveralled men in plaid jackets, that made him think of lumberjacks, standing in the hallway.
“Mr. Kimblee?” One asked, looking down at a clipboard.
“We have your Christmas tree,” he said, pointing to the green pine tree held up by a second man.
“Christmas tree?” He repeated.
The man nodded. “Yes. With your permission, we'll come in and set it up. Our notes say that it should be set up in front of your living room window.”
“Ah, yes.” He stepped out of the way and let the men carry the tree inside. He followed them into the living room where the tree was set down on its red stand. They cut the strings holding back the branches, letting the green boughs stretch out. The strong scent of pine filled the room and Kimblee smiled.
“All right. You'll just need to put some water in the stand and you're all set.”
“Thanks,” Kimblee said as he followed them out. There was a trail of pine needles through the hallway. He got the broom and swept them up and swept around the tree before he went into the kitchen to get some water for the tree. He was surprised by its arrival. He hadn't expected Frank to get one. He wasn't very big on celebrating holidays. He just wasn't overly sentimental. Kimblee understood, he wasn't either. He watered the tree and stood back to admire the fragrant green branches. His smile quickly disappeared as an unpleasant odor interrupted. The cookies!
“Shit!” Kimblee ran back to the kitchen and opened the oven door. The cookies were smoking. Kimblee coughed as he grabbed an oven mit and pulled the tray out of the oven. He dumped it in the sink and ran water over it, trying to stop the cookies from letting off any more smoke. He glared at the wet black lumps of coal that were supposed to be cookies. This was not how it was supposed to go.
“Are you burning down the apartment?” Frank asked from the doorway of the kitchen.
Kimblee groaned. Of course Frank would come home in time to see his failure. “I got distracted by your tree,” he said, turning to face him.
“And by this noise apparently.” Frank frowned at Kimblee's choice of music.
“I like it,” Kimblee snapped as he turned around and grabbed a spatula to scrape the burnt cookies off the pan.
Frank settled some bags on the table and walked over to inspect the mess in the sink. “I don't think those are edible,” he said.
Kimblee sighed in frustration. “I hadn't noticed.”
“Like you hadn't noticed them burning,” Frank said.
Kimblee didn't even have to turn to hear the smirk in his voice. He growled.
“You make a horrible housewife,” Frank said, sliding an arm around Kimblee's waist and dragging him closer.
“Yeah, well I don't think your average housewife puts out as much as I do,” Kimblee grumbled as he turned to kiss Frank.
Frank chuckled as he accepted Kimblee's kiss. He nibbled on his lips, tasting a hint of gingerbread before he pulled away. “Finish your cookies before you get distracted again.”
“Yes sir,” he said, giving him one last kiss before sliding out of his arms. He returned to cleaning the dead cookies off his pan.
Frank watched him for a moment before collecting his bags and heading for the bedroom. He set his bags on the bed and rummaged through them. He pulled out the new book he'd gotten at the bookstore and set it aside. He loosened his tie and pulled it off, laying it on the dresser. The top buttons of his shirt were unbuttoned and he ran a hand through his hair, letting it settle a little more naturally. Then, with his book in hand, he returned to the living room. The first thing he did was change the record.
“Hey! I was listening to that!” Kimblee called.
“And now you're going to listen to this,” Frank replied as he set the needle down on a jazz record.
“We're putting mine back on when we decorate the tree,” Kimblee said, popping his head out of the kitchen.
“I'll think about it,” Frank said as he sat down on the couch and opened his book.
“I can make your records explode.” Kimblee crossed his arms and glared at Frank.
“I don't need alchemy to get rid of yours, or you.” Frank glanced up from his book, his blue eyes raking over Kimblee.
Kimblee pouted. “I'm just kidding. You'll never get rid of me.” He slunk over and slid into Frank's lap.
“Then be good,” Frank said.
Kimblee crossed his arms. “I've been good!”
“You burned your cookies. You're probably about to burn the second batch,” Frank pointed out.
“When I make a perfect batch of cookies, we're putting my record back on.” Kimblee stood up and headed back towards the kitchen.
Frank chuckled as he turned his attention back to his book. Instead, he was distracted by thoughts of the man in the other room. It was amazing that Kimblee was in there baking cookies. It would seem that he had tamed the untamable. While Kimblee was still stubborn and destructive, he was also quite thoughtful and entertaining, despite his bad tastes in that rock music. Though, he had to admit that he found it arousing when Kimblee wriggled his hips along to that Elvis singer.
He had never intended for their relationship to progress this far. He had never intended for it to be a relationship at all. One of the stipulations he'd received in order to bring Kimblee back under his command was that the man could not live on his own. They had started him out in the base dormitories, but he'd fought with others to the point where Frank had nearly been ready to send him back to prison. In an angry fit of desperation, he'd made Kimblee stay with him and sleep on his couch.
In a one bedroom apartment, it was inevitable that they not get a lot of privacy. Kimblee seemed to go out of his way to get into Frank's space. One thing led to another and soon he'd found himself caught up in Kimblee's pace and he found that he enjoyed Kimblee's company in his bed. There had been a few bumps in the road, but now they were here doing even more things than Frank had imagined. He'd bought a Christmas tree for the first time in years and Kimblee was in the kitchen baking cookies. He felt oddly content.
He looked up to find Kimblee standing in front of him with a plate full of gingerbread men and a glass of milk. “Those look edible.”
“They're more than just edible, they're delicious,” Kimblee said as he set the milk on the coffee table and sat next to Frank. He picked up one of the cookies and held it out towards Frank's mouth.
Frank looked at the cookie, then at Kimblee before finally opening his mouth to accept a bite. He chewed it thoughtfully before nodding. “It is quite flavorful.”
“It's delicious,” Kimblee repeated, taking a bite for himself.
Frank leaned in and licked a crumb off Kimblee's lip. “You're delicious.”
“Mmm, I am aren't I? But if you have me now, you'll ruin your dinner.” Kimblee grinned as he took another bite of his cookie.
“Don't worry, I'm sure I can work up quite an appetite with you.” He leaned forward and stole the last of the cookie from Kimblee's hand, making sure to drag his tongue over his finger.
“Well, lets get working,” Kimblee said as he pulled Frank in for a kiss.