Obsidian Command
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The In-Laws

Posted on 29 Jul 2018 @ 7:36am by Police Commander Paul Reed & Police Captain Ari "Archie" Reed

Mission: Character Development
Location: Sam's Bar

“Why are you acting like you’re about to make first contact with a new species, Kid?” Paul took a drink from his beer glass and leaned back onto the bar.

Archie, completely flustered over her excitement and nerves and slight panic over what was about to come, pulled the bun out of her hair for the sixth time. She still couldn’t decide if she should keep her hair up or down. “It’s your parents, for crying out loud!”

Paul chuckled as he gently smoothed down her frazzled hair and gave her a firm kiss on her lips. “It’s not like you haven’t met them before…”

“Well, that was like six years ago when I was just your goof of a patrol partner and not your wife and the mother of your unborn child and the woman who you kind of sorta cheated on your pre-ex-wife with…” Archie grabbed her hair again and began twisting it back up impatiently. Even though she knew they were absolutely perfect together, their somewhat rocky and interesting past sometimes put a dent on the woman’s confidence.

Letting out a scoff, Paul placed his hands on her waist and gave her another kiss, forcing her to drop her hair back down. “I like your hair better down.” He locked eyes with her and gave her a childlike smirk.

Archie couldn’t help but feel her stomach flip-flop around. She had known him for 10 years and she still felt the same butterflies in her stomach whenever she looked at him. Her knees almost buckled at his bright blue eyes and calming smile. She couldn’t help but give in. “I’m just… I don’t know. I really like you parents and I haven’t seen or talked to them in a few years… You haven’t even told them about us!”

Because I wanted to tell them in person, Kid. They kept such close tabs on my previous marriage and our relationship means so much more to me...”

Archie’s eyes widened at a sudden thought. “Oh God, do they know about our indiscretion…?”

Paul’s lips twisted up into an apologetic grimace, letting his expression speak for itself. He was quite close with his parents and often confided in them. That included telling them about his initial poor decision to pick someone else over her.

“God damnit, Paul!” Archie smacked him on the shoulder as her cheeks burned with embarrassment. “Oh God, they probably think I’m some kind of a wasted whore!”

Paul couldn’t help but laugh at his somewhat overdramatic wife which was being multiplied because of little Cooper growing inside her. Some days it was like riding a roller coaster with her. He knew everything was going to be okay and was trying his best to reassure her. “You are not some kind of a waster whore, Kid…” His eyes moved up to the new movement going on at the entrance. His smile widened again as his parents stepped in to the bar and looked around for him. “Mom! Dad!”

Archie closed her eyes and let out a long exhale in an attempt to calm down her fluttering nerves. Even though she wanted to run far far away from Sam’s bar and just avoid the entire risk of making an ass out of herself, there was only one entry/exit point. There was no dodging them now. She turned around and flashed a full-effort wide smile at Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Reed.

“Archie!” She heard Gina’s exclamation from across the room. She was quite an excitable woman of small build with short light brown hair and green eyes. “Paul didn’t tell me you transferred here!” As soon as they were face to face she wrapped her arms around Archie in a warm and inviting hug. It had caught Archie off guard and she had to push down the ‘Be careful, I’m pregnant’ burst that was about to come out of her. Instead, her eyes moved to Thomas, the tall and obviously retired police officer. He was tall with short grey hair, the same bright blue eyes that ran in the Reed family, and kept his somewhat muscular build well into his 70s.

“Gina, you’re going to crush the poor girl!” Thomas chuckled with his strong masculine voice. Even though he had packed up his badge the man kept an air of authority about him.

Gina pulled herself back, keeping her hands grasped on Archie’s shoulders. “Oh, stop it Thomas! She’s fine…” She looked Archie up and down, analyzing every nook and cranny. Archie felt like she was a prized sheep on auction at a state fair. “My my, you really have grown up!” Her hands moved down to give Archie’s hands a squeeze. Her eyes then widened as they locked onto the wedding ring she had felt against her hand. “You really have grown up! Who’s the lucky guy?”

Archie’s mouth was so dry from her nerves that she couldn’t produce a response. Her eyes instinctively moved to Paul to answer for her. Paul lifted his hand up to his mom, showing her his own black wedding ring around his finger.

Thomas and Gina’s mouths simultaneously dropped open in shock and borderline disbelief as they put two and two together. The awkward silence thickened up around them as Archie and Paul tried to read and interpret their sudden silence. Shock? Disgust? Anger? Everything all at once?

“......... Surprise……..?” Paul and Archie drew out to break up the tension.

And the silence continued.

Archie’s shoulders sank as her worst fear was beginning to come true. Her eyes began to water. Her own parents wanted nothing to do with her and her brothers, and now her chance of having even in-laws be a part of her life was slipping away from her. Paul felt the sudden change in her, and quickly placed his arm around her shoulder. His own chest was caving in at the thought of their disapproval in yet another one of his marriages.

Thomas’s lips began twitching slightly, his jaw straining to fight the impending smile that was trying to stretch across his face. “I’m sorry, I can’t hold it in any longer!” His shoulders shook with a full-body laugh as he threw his arms around Paul in a loving and congratulatory embrace.

“You’re such an ass, Dad!” Paul’s body relaxed and excitedly returned the hug.

Gina followed suit and gave Archie another hug, her voice filled with the laughter at their impulsive prank on the pair. “I’m glad my son finally got some sense knocked into him!”

Archie burst into tears, relieved that they didn’t hate her. She dug her head into the woman’s shoulder, her body shaking from the sobs that came pouring out of her.

“Oh, Archie!” Gina looked at the men, her eyes wide in apology and worry about the torment she apparently caused her new daughter-in-law. “It was only a joke…”

Archie pulled her face back up, wiping the tears and bleeding eyeliner from her cheeks. “I know…” She said in between sobs. “It’s just that....” She looked over at Thomas. “I love you guys so much and I’m just so happy that Cooper will have actual grandparents to spoil him!”

Paul’s eyes widened. Archie was never very good at surprises and slow reveals.

Thomas and Gina once again froze in surprise at the second punch that landed on them. “Grandparents?!” Gina spat out. “You mean…?” Her smile slowly returned to her face.

Archie and Paul shook their heads quickly in affirmation. “3 months,” Archie began, realizing they were probably wondering why they weren’t told sooner, “and Paul wanted to tell you in person. We weren’t trying to keep it from you guys.”

“Well, this was a little, uh, unexpected I should say!” Thomas moved over to Archie and kissed her on the cheek. “Little Cooper, huh?”

Archie let out a chuckle as she dried off the rest of her tears. “Don’t worry, it was planned!” She still worried they thought of her as someone who spread a little too easily for their son.

Gina laughed. “Archie, I’ve been rooting for you ever since I met you! You mean so much to Paul… and now our grandson has more than a 50% chance of having brains.” She turned to Thomas. “Imagine if he and that ex-wife of his had a kid…”

Thomas let off a shudder at the thought. “This,” he gestured between Paul and Archie, “makes me feel much better about the future of the Reed family tree.”

 

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