?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
13 December 2010 @ 11:18 am
[fic]: when two suns are shining (the battle becomes blinding)  
Title: When Two Suns Are Shining (the battle becomes blinding)

Author: epistolic

Rating: M.

Word Count: 4,793.

Genre: Romance.

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Summary: Arthur and Eames have a special arrangement: whenever a hit is placed on either of them, the other takes the job to keep him from getting killed. Eames/Arthur, slash, One-Shot.

A/N: First of two writing4acause fics for alhendra. alhendra, I know I promised you Mafia!AU, but that thing is going to be monstrous in the making - and I'd hate for you to wait that long, especially if I end up deciding to drop it. So. This is a 5000 word fic written loosely for your assassin!Arthur prompt; if you could PM me another prompt, I'll fill in the remaining 5000 words that I owe you, okay? Hope you enjoy this one, bb! ♥

Please don't forget to comment!


--
when two suns are shining (the battle becomes blinding)
--

Eames has always liked Moscow. He decided he liked it the first time he stepped into it twelve years ago and saw that there was not an ounce of snow. He likes places that defy expectation, especially when those expectations are laid down by dreadful Hollywood films.

Eames likes Moscow considerably less, however, when he’s being chased through the streets of it by black-suited gunmen. He does not so much mind the chasing part, or even the bullets. It’s the suits that get to him. It’s always the suits. Why does every bipedal gun-toting Rottweiler feel like he has to wear identical funereal clothes to the gun-toting Rottweiler next to him? No inspiration. Eames is even vaguely insulted. If you’re going to gun down a double-crossing forger who’s just pilfered a multi-million dollar gem collection, you could at least have the manners to look cheerful doing it.

These new kids, Eames thinks as he rounds a corner and leaps nimbly over a barricade. Atrocious work ethic.

--

“Just to make sure we’re on the same level,” says Arthur, “I have to tell you that I’m meant to be killing you.”

The kettle goes off in Eames’ apartment. It’s an old-fashioned one. Eames pads out of the living room.

“Oh, it’s one of those now, is it?” Eames says into the phone.

Arthur sighs. He sounds tired and a little bit angry. “Do you have to screw over every person who hires you?”

“Only the rich ones,” says Eames. He takes the kettle off. “Aren’t you meant to be in Finland? On a holiday of some sort?”

“I was in Finland on a holiday of some sort,” Arthur snaps. “But then, of course, you had to go and get a hit placed on you, and now I’m in England to put a bullet into your skull. Obviously. And now I’m caught in a goddamn rainstorm.”

“How conducive to your homicidal purpose,” says Eames.

“I’m freezing and my suit is entirely wet.”

“I’ll reimburse you.”

Arthur sighs for the second time, blowing static emphatically into Eames’ ear. Eames takes the spent sugar packet from beside his teacup and roughly grates it across the speaker of his phone in revenge.

“Alright,” Arthur shouts. “God, stop that, Eames. Alright. You’re in your apartment right now, aren’t you?”

“Are you coming over?”

“Don’t be stupid. Are you going out this afternoon?”

Eames peers out at the rain that’s now lashing in sideways, splattering the view from his window to hell. The sky’s dark though it’s morning; the great puddles on the pavement below are large enough to swallow Tasmania. No-one in their right mind would go out in such weather. Eames hums and, thoroughly pleased with it all, pops a chocolate profiterole into his mouth.

--

Four hours later, they’re crowded up together in a booth at an obscure little Italian restaurant. Arthur’s wearing a full-length trench coat under his raincoat and his knees keep bumping Eames’ underneath the table.

“You’re looking a little run-down,” Eames notes from behind his menu.

“I’ve been better, yes,” Arthur agrees. “I’ve been drier, too, and considerably less annoyed. Did you have to lead me on a goose-chase all through Hyde Park? In this weather?”

“What’s wrong with this weather?” says Eames.

“Nothing, if you’re a Londoner I suppose,” Arthur mutters. He tries to cross his legs before remembering the raincoat, then gives up, toe briefly nudging Eames’ ankle. “How many days do you want me to hold him off for? He won’t give me specifics. What the hell did you do to him?”

“Stole some things,” Eames admits unconcernedly. “Some princess-cut, white, five-carat things.”

“Worth how much?”

“Seven million.”

Arthur drags Eames’ menu down with a finger to more properly look at him. “You’re buying me dinner, then. And breakfast. And lunch. And accommodation.”

“I’ll be the most generous man you’ve ever had to kill, I promise.”

Eames expects to be allowed back to peruse his menu but Arthur’s finger doesn’t let up. After a struggle, in which Eames discovers that Arthur has more strength in his left index finger than Eames has in both of his functional wrists, Eames gives up and puts his menu down flat on the table.

“Before you lecture me on it, darling,” Eames says, “I know what I’m doing.”

Arthur purses his mouth.

“Oh, look, it’s your ‘worried’ face,” Eames says in delight. “How high up on your Shag-ability Scale am I now?”

“I don’t shag dead people,” Arthur says pointedly.

“Brilliant,” Eames says. “Less competition all round.”

--

The rain dribbles out and stops sometime after ten, when Eames is alone in his apartment watching Mad Men re-runs. He’s always had a particular thing for retro. With his feet kicked up on a bamboo table and the TV reflecting off the genuine Parmigianinos on his walls, Eames barrels through the remaining profiteroles in his fridge before polishing off half a carton of apple juice. As he passes back into the living room he catches sight of the car parked in a neighbour’s lot: Arthur. The thought makes him pause for a moment. And then he smiles to himself and goes back to the couch, wondering vaguely if he has any more microwaveable leftovers.

--

“How are you planning to slip out?”

Eames takes a right turn, then flicks his indicators off. The sky is almost miraculously clear. The CD player in Eames’ banged-up Volkswagen is churning out some reedy song by Björk.

“Same way I always do,” says Eames. He hopes the weather holds up – his washing’s out.

“Another house fire?” Arthur says, extremely dry.

“I’m a pyromaniac, what can I say,” says Eames.

“Don’t you think someone will notice a pattern eventually?” Arthur points out. His car slots neatly in behind Eames’. “Since you’ve done this – oh, I don’t know. Seven times.

“Not everyone is like you. I still get hired regularly. I’ve got a job lined up in Sweden right now, in fact.”

“You’ll never have a reputation if you keep changing your name,” Arthur mutters, mutinously. “And you’re not allowed to do a U-turn there.”

“Which worries you more, my reputation or my illegal U-turn?” asks Eames. “My money’s on the illegal U-turn.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” Arthur says.

“I’m right, aren’t I?”

“I’m hanging up,” says Arthur.

--

For a week, Arthur plays his role with aplomb. He tails Eames surreptitiously everywhere. He procures licence plate numbers, supermarket dockets, phone records with his own mobile number edited out. He sends meticulous reports of Eames’ activities to his employer, right down to the brand of cigarettes he smokes. Arthur digs out Eames’ life insurance, made out to his sister. He doesn’t send that one.

Eames tries to keep his schedule regular but can’t help annoying Arthur every now and then. Sometimes, just to get that taut feeling in his chest when he sees Arthur’s rented car following him, he takes meaningless, meandering routes through the city on his way to the local corner shop.

“If you do that again,” Arthur snaps down the phone, “I will come right over and break your neck.”

“Just giving you a bit of variety,” says Eames. “I know how boring surveillance can be, sweetheart.”

--

The entire charade would have gone on as planned, if not for the bullet through Eames’ window.

“Shit,” Eames mumbles, rolling into the kitchen to un-tape the Sig Sauer from the sink cupboard door. “Bloody buggering God-awful fuck.”

He hunches in the kitchen for a very long moment, straining to listen. This is difficult because the Armenian family of six across from Eames’ flat is playing a very enthusiastic game of Uno. Eames inches his head carefully around the corner of the sink and notes that the bullet has gone into his favourite Signac.

“Brilliant,” he mutters to the room at large.

And then the second bullet goes into the Auerbach.

Eames is seriously contemplating firing some shots out of the window to distract whoever’s savaging his art collection when there’s a muffled whump in the hallway outside his front door. It sounds suspiciously like a rifle-butt meeting a skull. Reassured, Eames stands from his spot behind the sink and tucks his handgun into the belt at the small of his back.

His apartment door opens and Arthur appears, dragging an unconscious man into the living room.

“Good God,” says Eames, peering down at the man. “He’s prepubescent.”

“He’s twenty-five,” says Arthur.

“How did you know that?”

Arthur makes an abortive movement as if he’s about to scrub a hand through his perfectly-gelled hair. Then he kneels and, with his back to Eames’ knees, rifles expertly through the man’s jacket pockets.

“He’s been around the whole week, hired by the same guy who hired me, I checked up on him. Twenty-five, mother English, father quarter-Japanese, lives on the West Coast and has a dog called Larry – Goddammit – can you help me with this?”

Eames crouches down. “Here, give me that.”

“I left him around because I thought – he couldn’t do any damage, I mean, no-one with a brain makes a move until at least a fortnight – ”

“Hey,” says Eames, gently. “Arthur, hey.”

“Fuck,” Arthur says. He rocks back on his heels, face pinched. Eames hands the man’s mobile back, now dismembered smoothly into several parts. “You’re okay, right?”

“I’m fine.”

“I could’ve taken him out two days ago.”

“I could’ve been less careless.”

I’m supposed to be watching your back,” Arthur points out roughly, not looking at Eames.

“You were,” Eames says. “You have been. The guy’s unconscious on my living room carpet. I’m not missing any limbs. It’s alright, Arthur. It’s fine. It’s actually better this way, he must’ve reported to someone that you were doing your job.”

“He wouldn’t have made a move if someone thought I was doing my job.”

“He’s young. Maybe he thought he could take a chance.”

Arthur says nothing for a moment, lips thin and white.

Eames stands and nudges Arthur’s thigh with his shoe. “Now, how am I going to move all of these paintings?”

--

Eames gives the paintings to a contact in west London. Yusuf, when Eames shows up with them stashed not-so-inconspicuously in his car’s backseat, gives him a dubious look.

“These have a lot of heat,” Yusuf says. “Especially that Turner. And that Bacon. I’m not quite sure about this, Eames.”

“Just sell a couple,” says Eames, setting the Turner down carefully by the wall and dusting off his hands. Yusuf raises his brows. “Make yourself some money. I don’t particularly mind.”

“You don’t particularly mind?”

“Just make sure you note down who you sell them to, so I can steal them back.”

Yusuf looks at him thoughtfully.

“Word is that there’s a hit on you,” Yusuf says, before stooping to readjust the painting on his worn leather couch. The concern is misplaced; that one’s a forgery. Eames had been hoping to pass it off as a rediscovered Corot. “The American that’s after you – Arthur, isn’t it?”

Eames shrugs and leans against the doorjamb. “Could be, yes.”

“The same one who was after you last time?”

“Yes.”

Something close to a smile tweaks at Yusuf’s mouth. He drops the subject and, weaving his way past picture frames and a bowl of cat-food by an umbrella-stand, offers Eames a cup of Kenyan tea.

“I’d really like to go to Kenya sometime,” Yusuf says.

--

For six months, Eames hunkers down in Murmansk. It is so cold there that Eames finds himself frequently wondering if, by the principle of cryobiology, his aging process is being slowed down. He chooses the city because it is out of the way and because the cold would be enough to put anyone off. Even assassins have standards. Those worth worrying about do, anyway.

Sometimes, around noon when the sun is brightest – or at least as bright as it’s going to get – Eames wanders alongside the great steel port. The huge tankers, looming inert but prepared, on the ice-free waters always seem to draw him. The stale scent of fish from the processing factories. The activity. The unloading of giant storage containers. Eames carries a pistol with him at all times for a month, after which he only carries a knife. After seven weeks he goes around like a civilian. He looks out at the sea, at the cold, marbled sky.

--

By the time Eames finally decides it’s safe to dive back into work, a rumour has appeared about a new army technology which allows the reading and the wiping of minds.

“Listen,” says Eames, in the aisle of Carrefour and squinting at French-labelled jars of jam, “can you hold onto my paintings for a little bit longer? I would detour, but Mombasa’s too far away.”

“Where are you?” asks Yusuf. The line’s crackling a little.

“Paris.”

“Is Arthur in a fix?” Yusuf asks.

Eames puts the jar back onto the crowded rack, scratching a thumbnail across his bottom lip. He always finds it difficult to talk about their arrangement to others. He can never seem to find the appropriate words to describe it without seeming either too sentimental or business-like.

“Sort of,” he settles on after a minute. “The specifics are murky, but it’s something like that.”

“Knight in shining armour, are you,” says Yusuf, sounding amused.

“Just helping out a friend,” says Eames.

--

The two men camped across the street from Arthur’s hotel window are serious. None of the typical monkey suits that scream HIRED MUSCLE like a bed n’ breakfast sign. They are inconspicuous, ordinary, their Heckler and Koch sniper rifles packed in a decrepit duffel bag, Lugers only discernible when they bend over and their trench coats fall open somewhat. Eames stands on a street corner chewing on a Kit Kat bar and wondering what to do about this mess. Normally, despite what either of them might say, the two of them take great pains not to piss off those who have the actual clout and resources to get them expertly killed; their arrangement is just a secondary measure, an excuse of sorts so they can secretly keep tabs on each other. Not that Arthur would admit this. Not that Eames would admit this.

Eames throws the Kit Kat wrapper into the nearest trash can.

At eleven, Arthur leaves his hotel room and crosses the street to the delicatessen there. Arthur’s wearing a thin-striped shirt with no jacket, trousers clinging to his hips, easily unarmed. Eames is furious for the better part of a second, then regains his higher thinking and lets it pass – after all, it’s just Arthur’s obtuse way of paying a compliment. And of indicating that Arthur knows Eames is there.

Eames is just about to find a table at the neighbouring street-side cafe as a more legitimate excuse for him to loiter around, when his mobile buzzes. He fishes it out, checks caller ID, then puts it to his ear.

“Aren’t you cold without a jacket?”

“I could ask you the same about your haircut.”

“It’s not that short,” Eames says in token protest. He only realises that he’s grinning uncontrollably when the muscles in his cheeks begin to twang.

“So you managed to keep out of trouble for six months. Congratulations.”

Eames sits blindly down at the nearest table. “You seem to have worked up enough trouble for the two of us, though.”

“Too much for you to handle?”

“I didn’t say that.”

There’s a pause, during which Eames hears Arthur order something in slightly-muffled French. Something something baguette something. Eames takes the chance to order an Earl Grey for himself via the waitress that’s mysteriously appeared at his elbow, though he doesn’t remove the phone from his ear. After six months, the phone line feels miraculously solid, as if Eames has spent the last half a year in some earthquake zone.

“I can’t talk for very long,” Arthur cuts back in. “They’ll be able to see me the moment I walk out of the shop, and I can’t stay in here for more than a minute or they’ll think that something’s up. Can you hear me?”

“Well enough.”

There’s the sound of Arthur taking a breath. “I just wanted to say sorry. About what happened last time.”

Eames has to think about this for a very long moment, absently thumbing the line of stubble along his jaw. The waitress appears with the pot of tea.

“Arthur, you’re apologising for saving my life. That’s a bit gauche, sweetheart, even for you.”

“I’m being serious.”

“So am I,” Eames says. “Listen, are you going to tell me why half of Europe wants your severed head on a platter? Even the Bialkowski brothers are after you, and you know they won’t budge from Lódz for anything less than two million.”

“I’m working with someone,” Arthur tells him, voice low. “I can’t talk about it here.”

Eames feels a sudden flash of annoyance. “Why not?”

“I’ve been in this shop too long. Are you free tonight?”

“I don’t know,” says Eames, taking a sip of his tea. “Keeping your head on its shoulders is a full-time job.”

Arthur laughs. Eames stops drinking mid-swallow and is jealous of everyone on the other side of the wall.

“I battled through four months in Murmansk for you,” says Arthur, still laughing. “That’s a full-time job.”

--

Eames spends the afternoon dawdling around Arthur’s hotel, dressed first as a tourist, then as a janitor, then as a valet. Early evening he crosses the block and plants a needle-hole camera in the overhead lights fixture outside the hit men’s apartment. The fact that he emerges from this unscathed prompts him to wonder, waiting for his order in a takeaway shop, if he shouldn’t have just planted a bomb instead. He keeps wondering this all through his Braised Ribs in XO Sauce.

At nine, Eames is sitting in his rented car and waiting for Arthur to discreetly slip out (with his slim build, Arthur’s passed for a woman before, like that time on the run in Bila Tserkva). What happens instead is far from discreet. At a quarter past nine there’s an almighty explosion and the sound of glass smashing from the hotel lobby.

“Bloody hell,” Eames mutters. He starts the car.

Seconds later, the screaming starts and people stampede out of the hotel; a quick check on Eames’ hand-held monitor tells him that one of the hit men is heading out of the apartment. He’s fiddling with the buttons to sharpen the image when Arthur opens the car door and slides into the passenger seat.

“Copyright infringement,” Eames accuses, immediately dropping the monitor into his lap and peeling the car away from the curb. “I have a patent on that method of distracting a tail.”

“You and half the action movies of the decade,” says Arthur.

“Your film industry does owe me quite a lot,” Eames says, “in the way of inspiration. Did you blow up a couch?”

There’s the sharp snick of Arthur’s seatbelt clicking shut. “The chandelier. Can we turn the AC up?”

“You stole that from Phantom of the Opera, didn’t you,” Eames says, watching Arthur prod the console out of the corner of his eye. “The melodramatic collapse of a chandelier.”

“It was an ugly chandelier. You would’ve liked it,” says Arthur.

Eames takes a sharp right into the suburbs, eyes flicking periodically to the rear-view mirror. The air-conditioning is now prohibitively cold. Arthur peels off his tie, stuffing it into a pocket.

“What’s that?” Eames says eventually, nodding at the briefcase on Arthur’s lap. “Silver and flashy. Not your usual style. Have you developed a taste for Futurism?”

Arthur laughs, fingering his top button undone. “Why yes, Eames. This thing is the way of the future.”

The way of the future,” Eames repeats, disgusted. At the same time, a set of headlights belonging to a black vehicle swings into the road behind them. Eames speeds up a little. “Where’s that from, The Aviator?”

“Which one’s that?” says Arthur, deftly assembling rifle parts from Eames’ glove-box.

“The one with the planes and the squinty guy,” Eames says.

“Hmm,” Arthur says. He winds down the window and leans half out, opening fire on the car behind them. His elbow is hooked in the still-fastened seatbelt as a precaution. The briefcase slides down to the floor. “That’s redundant. You can’t tell me that there’s planes involved, I’d inferred that already from the movie title.”

Eames takes the next corner at fifty-five miles an hour. Arthur’s centre of gravity shifts neatly, as if his body is already one with the car.

“Fine. The guy is squinty, half-mad, and deaf.”

“Sounds like someone I know.” Arthur opens fire again.

“I hope you’re not sleeping around behind my back,” Eames says.

“Can’t talk, busy shooting things up,” says Arthur.

--

The rental car, minus a back windshield and with bullet-holes all along the shell of the boot, finally pulls up to a deserted warehouse on the outskirts of Paris. The car following them had half an hour ago careened into a greengrocer’s with its front tyres shot out.

Arthur puts his tie back on.

“My car,” Eames says in mock-despair, getting out and peering at it to assess the damage. “The rental company will have a fit.”

“I’ll reimburse you,” says Arthur.

Eames opens his mouth but doesn’t get any further. Arthur’s pressed in close and, eyes shining with left-over adrenaline, crushed his lips up over Eames’ own. Eames gets out an “Mmmph!” and then leans into it hungrily, arms sliding carefully around Arthur’s waist.

“You still owe me for stealing my exit strategy from the hotel,” Eames says, when Arthur finally pulls away. “Shall we put that on credit, or do you want to pay for it upfront?”

Arthur whacks him gently in the knee with the briefcase. His mouth is swollen and deliciously red.

“Don’t get greedy,” Arthur warns, without any real threat.

“I’ve been greedy our entire acquaintance,” Eames says, but he does let go of Arthur’s waist to close the car door. “It would feel out of character if I stopped now.”

Arthur tucks his face into Eames’ neck, nipping lightly with his teeth before starting towards the warehouse.

“Come on, it’s getting late. I want to show you something.”

“Is it a bed?” Eames calls after him, only half-serious.

“In a way,” says Arthur. “But you’ll be asleep in it.”

“You underestimate my stamina, I think,” says Eames.

--

It is a bed. Luxurious, with fine Egyptian sheets that Eames would be happy to bury himself in forever. He stretches down and, keeping Arthur pressed up against him with one hand, hoists the remainder of the sheets pooled at the foot of the bed up and over the two of them. Arthur wriggles a little.

“What are you doing,” he mumbles against Eames’ throat.

“Preserving your modesty,” Eames teases him lightly.

“If you were serious about preserving my modesty,” Arthur says, sleepily, “you’d take your hand off my ass.”

Eames does so. Arthur immediately goes about biting his neck, almost painfully, until he puts it back.

“I never went to Finland,” Arthur admits after a while. Sprawled on Eames’ chest and still slightly sticky, his usual coiffed hair in wild disarray, he looks ten years younger. “I followed you to Murmansk.”

“I know,” Eames says.

Arthur bites him again. “I always miss my holidays because of you. I’m going to die of overwork by the time I’m thirty. They’re going to find my body in some dingy little basement sprawled over satellite photos of your whereabouts.”

“Always the romantic soul,” Eames says, but softly and without its usual wryness.

“I’ve been thinking,” says Arthur. “We’ve known each other five years. I’ve done my own jobs, and you’ve done yours, but I keep having to drop out of jobs halfway to make sure no-one actually gets a hit on you.”

Eames knows this. In the past year or so, he’s started making sure that he only takes on jobs when Arthur’s not in the middle of one, or tries to get it so that they’re both in the same country at the time to avoid all the last-minute intercontinental flights. He doesn’t say this, though, because he’s sure that Arthur’s noticed. If there’s a maxim that Eames is prepared to live by, it’s that Arthur always notices everything.

“And I know it’s an arrangement that we both fell into because of a stupid bet in San Francisco,” Arthur continues, “but I don’t think it’s very efficient.”

Eames snorts and falls in love all over again. “Efficient. You want us to be more efficient.”

“I want us to take jobs together from now on.”

“Together?” Eames strokes a hand up Arthur’s back, smiling when this elicits that wriggle again. “I suppose.”

“You suppose?”

“Yes, darling,” Eames says.

“Yes, you suppose, or yes, work together?” says Arthur, suddenly propping himself up on his elbows. His expression is serious and Eames bursts out laughing, then restrains himself and runs a thumb over Arthur’s jaw.

“Both, I suppose,” Eames taunts him gently. “Though that’ll mean we’ll be taking more large-scale jobs.”

“I’ve got the perfect job set up in Brussels,” says Arthur.

“So prepared, my Arthur,” Eames says almost to himself.

“A building company wants to know whether it’s won the contract on a government infrastructure project,” says Arthur. “The pay’s five hundred thousand dollars. Each.”

Eames raises his brows, impressed despite himself. “Five hundred thousand to steal some government documents?”

“To steal secrets.”

Arthur’s eyes are extremely bright, the same sharp fierceness as when he’d kissed Eames the other night. Eames pulls his bottom lip in between his teeth, thinking, and trying not to be sceptical.

“You’re talking about dreamshare, aren’t you?” Eames says finally. “Which, might I point out, might not even be possible. It’s all just rumours floating around in the ether, no-one’s seen anything solid. Except in Tokyo. Your army’s supposed to be working it out, but I haven’t heard much from my contacts in America.”

Arthur just looks at him patiently.

“What?” says Eames. “They’d let me know – ”

“How did you get here, Eames?” Arthur interrupts.

Eames blinks. He opens his mouth briefly, closes it. Then a floor-to-ceiling window to the left of the bed explodes outward, and before Eames has had a chance to react Arthur’s pinned him to the mattress.

“You’re dreaming,” Arthur says, leaning down to breathe the words over Eames’ mouth. “You can’t ever remember how you got to a certain place in a dream. And that window – since we’re in my dream, I can change anything that I want. I wanted that window to break, so it did.”

“Arthur,” Eames says feebly. It’s all he can manage.

“We’re actually in the warehouse in Paris,” says Arthur. “You met Mal, remember? She’s five months pregnant.”

“You said she was your... chemist,” Eames recalls, though fuzzily. “Something about – ten minutes under.”

“Two hours in a dream.”

Eames bites his lip, clamping down on the instinctual panic that tightens up all the muscle groups in his limbs. Arthur waits him out and doesn’t lift from where he is, his nose a centimetre from Eames’ cheek. The shuddery moment rises and falls and then passes. Eames lets out a shaky breath.

“This room isn’t real,” Eames says at last. “It’s just in your head. This is all in your head.”

Arthur laughs with something that sounds like relief. “So I’m a nutcase now, am I?”

“A very good-looking one, if it makes you feel any better.”

“It does, thank-you.”

Eames sags, still a little overwhelmed. Arthur follows him down and presses close to him. For a long time, the two of them just lie on the thousand thread-count Egyptian sheets, saying nothing at all.

“Will you still take the job with me?” Arthur asks eventually.

“Is that even a question?” Eames points out. “I followed you to Morocco last year, for Christ’s sake. Nearly died from the water. Of course I’ll go to Brussels.”

“The Bialkowski brothers are going to be after you as well.”

“Two against two,” Eames says. “Sounds fair to me.”

“Sounds fair,” repeats Arthur. He smiles at Eames softly, dimples showing for a very brief moment. “Alright.”

--

An hour later, Arthur takes a Glock from the bedside table that wasn’t there half a minute ago. The cold metal of it nestles gently beside Eames’ left temple.

“This situation is rife with irony,” Eames can’t help but note.

Arthur kisses him lightly. “You trust me, don’t you?”

“I trust you.”

“Good.” Arthur kisses him again, a second time, then a third, then a fourth. “I love – ”

--
The End.
--

A/N: I've lost my angst touch! Oh well. I'm not really that upset. Bantery goodness helps me fill the void somewhat.

Please don't forget to comment! And feel free to friend me for future Arthur/Eames, or check out my other Inception fics! I am also participating in writing4acause - I'm offering up to 5,000 words of Inception fic for a donation up to and including $30; a higher donation will get a word count of up to 10,000 words. If you'd like to make a request, please do so here! The rules are that I write a fic for every request, so multiple requests are all well and good. Thank-you for your support, bbs!



[There is now a pod-fic for this fic, by the wonderful emilianadarling!]
[There is also a gorgeous podbook by cybel!]
 
 
 
SHINOBIshinobi_mi_chan on December 13th, 2010 01:51 am (UTC)
EXCITING!!!!

Is what this was. I loved it-- their banter was so precious, but also the way they both really did care about each other, enough to follow each-other around. And when it turned out they were in a dream that was just like BAM. This was very enjoyable!

I don't really mind you've "lost your angst touch" either, I've started to really like this type of fic. It's new and exciting! <3

ABC, her eyelids say.epistolic on December 17th, 2010 08:04 am (UTC)
Oh, darling, thank-you so much! I've missed writing banter, haven't really done it properly since the Sherlock Holmes fandom. So I'm very glad you enjoyed this! And I'm also glad that you like this type of fic, I have a feeling I'll be writing more like this for a while. ♥
almostgaby: inception || eames+arthur; playalmostgaby on December 13th, 2010 01:53 am (UTC)
You have no idea how excited I get when I see a new fic from you! Gah if I had money I would definitely donate fir you lol ;) Anywhoo amazing one shot as always. I adore your style of writing and the stories you create for these two! Lovelove it.
ovariesofsteelovariesofsteel on December 13th, 2010 03:54 am (UTC)
You can donate til the end of August. I walk in July :)

*is off to read the fic*

Also, LOVE your icon.
- epistolic on December 17th, 2010 08:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
Lurrel: smokechibi_lurrel on December 13th, 2010 01:56 am (UTC)
I really love the premise of this, and their easy rapport.
ABC, her eyelids say.epistolic on December 17th, 2010 08:05 am (UTC)
Thank-you very much! ♥
false_alexisfalse_alexis on December 13th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness, I went into this all prepared for well-written angst, and instead there was well-written BAMFery and a remarkably happy ending! Thank you!
ABC, her eyelids say.epistolic on December 17th, 2010 08:06 am (UTC)
Bwahaha, I haven't written proper angst in a while. Um. :shuffles: Thank-you very much for your comment! I'm so happy you liked this. ♥
(Deleted comment)
ABC, her eyelids say.epistolic on December 17th, 2010 08:06 am (UTC)
:FLAILS AT YOU: THANK-YOU SO MUCH, BB! ♥
Baublebauble on December 13th, 2010 02:05 am (UTC)
Interesting backstory! Fun read. :)
ABC, her eyelids say.epistolic on December 17th, 2010 08:06 am (UTC)
Thank-you! ♥
superhero baseball.acidpop25 on December 13th, 2010 02:12 am (UTC)
This is excellent. ♥
ABC, her eyelids say.epistolic on December 17th, 2010 08:06 am (UTC)
Thank-you so much! ♥
epic escapist love: jglchaoticallyclev on December 13th, 2010 02:29 am (UTC)
BANTERY GOODNESS, INDEED!

ASDKLJLAJ AAAAAAAAAAAH! <--- that's how I excited I was after the first few seconds of reading. This is friggin' fantastic and smiley and lovely and happymaking and I really have to go celebrate my mom's birthday now, but this is so worth it. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
ABC, her eyelids say.epistolic on December 17th, 2010 08:08 am (UTC)
YAYAY, YOU LIKED!! :jumps on you in happiness: Thanks so much, darling! Gaw, it made you smile, gaw. :beams: Your comment is lovely, as ever, and I know it's late and she won't have a clue who I am, but I hope your mum had a fab birthday! ♥
- chaoticallyclev on December 17th, 2010 08:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
nuiigurumiinuiigurumii on December 13th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
This was wonderful!!! :D. I love your dialogue.
ABC, her eyelids say.epistolic on December 17th, 2010 08:08 am (UTC)
Thank-you very much! ♥
(Deleted comment)
ABC, her eyelids say.epistolic on December 17th, 2010 08:08 am (UTC)
Gaw, thank-you! So glad you enjoyed, and that the Aviator in-joke didn't fall on its face, ha. :grin: Thanks so much for the lovely comment! ♥
Verg of Towels: Tom Hardy Imaginationtowel_master on December 13th, 2010 02:59 am (UTC)
Wow, I love this! This was a fresh look on how they got into dreamsharing, and I needed that. :D Plus, you are an awesome writer in general. I think I've told you that numerous times. XD
ABC, her eyelids say.epistolic on December 17th, 2010 08:10 am (UTC)
Oh, thank-you so much! I personally am rather attached to the notion that Arthur and Eames were BAMF career criminals before they got into dreamsharing - everyone else seems to like the fact that they came together during college, or went into dreamsharing straight after college, or something. Which makes me sad, because then there is a deficiency of assassin!Arthur. :sadface:

Anyway. Ramble aside - thank-you! You're much too sweet, darling, I just. ♥
how absurd, to swallow a birdspfizz on December 13th, 2010 03:07 am (UTC)
Hah. So, so sweet. I've read it twice already, it's that lovely.
ABC, her eyelids say.epistolic on December 17th, 2010 08:10 am (UTC)
Oh, thank-you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! ♥
midnite_visionmidnite_vision on December 13th, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
Their interactions are perfect. And I love the ending. :)
ABC, her eyelids say.epistolic on December 17th, 2010 08:10 am (UTC)
Gaw, thank-you so much! ♥
cutest gravedigger: Misc: Clock: Time is irrelevant.earlofcardigans on December 13th, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
I love this!
ABC, her eyelids say.epistolic on December 17th, 2010 08:11 am (UTC)
Thank-you! ♥
ovariesofsteel: Inception: Eames/Arthurovariesofsteel on December 13th, 2010 04:05 am (UTC)
Oh.My.GOD.

I laughed.

I gasped.

I laughed out loud and scared my child (who was sleeping and is now cranky, I might add)

This was SO.DAMN.AMAZING.

The voices of both Arthur and Eames were spot on-the snark, the ease with which they fit together.

This was everything.
ABC, her eyelids say.epistolic on December 17th, 2010 08:11 am (UTC)
Bwahahaha, YOU. Thank-you so much! And apologise to your darling child for me, gaw. Thank-you for reading and for commenting, bb! ♥