celestine_fics: A scene from the movie Inception with a revolving hallway and characters moving in it (Movies - Inception - Revolving Hallway)
celestine_fics ([personal profile] celestine_fics) wrote2010-09-04 10:52 am
Entry tags:

Inception fic: Unfair (G)

Title Unfair
Author: [personal profile] celestineangel
Fandom: Inception
Character(s)/Pairing: Arthur/Ariadne, Eames, brief Saito/Eames.
Rating: Um… G. I've lost my touch. D:
Word Count: 1,335
Summary: The inception job changed everything, in more ways than one. It's lonely in the middle.
Disclaimer: Not my sandbox. I'm just moving sand around.
Author's Notes: This was written by request from [personal profile] aimlesstravels. My idea, but wouldn't have done it without their request. ^_^ Sorry it took me so long!

It started during the inception job. Eames could be many things, not all of them pleasant, but none of those things included stupid. He didn't see what happened, but hew knew it had the moment they all woke in the airplane and Ariadne turned cautious, hopeful eyes to the seat cradling Arthur, who looked back with a thoughtful smile. Something had happened in the dream, most likely on the less chaotic second level, and whatever it was had cut Eames out of the equation completely.

Oh, are we lying to ourselves now? As though you were ever in the equation.

It was unfair.

Life, darling. That's life.

After they all exited the plane in Los Angeles, Eames followed Saito, who smiled indulgently at his attempts at flirtation but allowed it anyway. Saito made Eames feel clumsy and, in the end, as though he'd been the seduced instead of the seducer. He didn't mind, not with Saito, and because it was really only meant as a distraction anyway. An incredible distraction, but only that.

In the morning, Saito was gone before Eames woke, back to Japan and his life. On waking, all Eames could do was wonder what next.


Life showed just how unfair it could be over the next year.

Eames wanted to return to Mombasa, but Cobb wouldn't allow that. "We're a team now," he said, indicating the four of them: himself, Eames, Arthur and Ariadne. Yusuf was gone as well, no longer needed but available. Extraction didn't need the same chemicals as inception. "A team sticks together, and there's still work to do."

What he really meant, Eames suspected, was that even though Cobb no longer needed to run, he'd long since forgotten how to use his talents legitimately, if there ever was a legitimate way to use the ability to rummage through another's most intimate thoughts. And no matter his home, Cobb still had two children to raise, to cloth, to feed, and ply with gifts of guilt for killing their mother. Money had to be made, and this was a most effective team.

So, while Cobb reconnected with his children, dear, sweet Arthur was put to the task of finding a job. Not just any job. Now they could say… well, they could say they were capable of something of which not everyone was capable.

Ariadne spent most of her time in a corner of their current headquarters with a sketch pad, either staring out of the windows, or drawing feverishly. That was, of course, when she and Arthur were not sharing dreams together.

Eames could only stand to watch it for two days before he couldn't take it any more. "Call me when you need me," he told them with more anger in his voice than he meant, and walked out.


He didn't intend to overhear the first real overture of the budding relationship, but Arthur called to let him know they had the bare bones of a plan and needed his input. Apparently, he arrived a bit sooner than they expected, opening the door to hear the end of Arthur's question. "—dinner, after the job?"

Ariadne was quite attractive, in a cute little mite sort of manner, especially when her lips quirked the way they did at that precise moment. Eames watched, intrigued despite his better judgment, and waiting for her answer almost as interested as Arthur. More, perhaps.

"All right," she said, her eyes bright with amusement, "I'll pick you up at nine."

Eames' heart shattered to see Arthur's fluster, to see someone else crack his cool exterior. The point man's eyebrow came together as he opened his mouth to speak, every movement and word saturated with incredulity. "Pick me up? But—"

Ariadne continued as though he hadn't spoken at all. "Nine gives us plenty of time after the job to rest and clean up. I know where you're staying, and I will definitely be picking you up." With that, she turned away and back to her models to apparently go over some final details, leaving Arthur with his mouth open in a gob smacked expression that was almost worth the searing pain in Eames' chest.

"Did she just—"

"Yes she did, darling," he replied, managing a smile he hoped was free of care. "Yes she did."


Two years went by, and God, he had thought the gut-twisting pain would stop, eventually. He'd thought it wouldn't be very hard to get used to the idea of them, to grow accustomed to the reality of what he had known all along: that his feelings were one-sided, and Arthur would never return them. Truth was, it only became harder, more painful, to see Arthur with someone else.

Once or twice, he'd considered breaking them apart. He could do it, oh, he was certain he could. He was a Forger so good, even his own team couldn't tell who or where he was half the time, and none of them could dream through the normal means anymore. It wouldn't be very difficult to slip in one of their brains to play projection and sow seeds of discord between the happy couple. Especially in the beginning, when he first had these thoughts, before the relationship became solid enough that it might be able to withstand such subconscious tampering.

In the end, his better nature won out in the desire to see Arthur happy being more powerful than the desire to destroy a happiness that didn't involve him. Bugger, that must mean it's love.

He was still a little insulted to be left out of the wedding party, though. Dom, of course, stood as Arthur's best man, but Eames had though he would warrant to stand with Yusuf and Saito as groomsmen. Saito, who was their employer only once, who lived in Japan most of the time, and with whom they'd had little contact since the inception job. At least, Eames hadn't had any contact with him, but apparently Arthur had.

And here stood Eames, in the audience, apart from everything. As always.

When it was over, the happy marriage made, Eames went to the reception only long enough to have drinks and to pull Arthur aside. Only for a moment, just one moment alone, that was all he wanted. Especially considering how incredibly dapper Arthur looked in the tuxedo.

'Mr. Eames," Arthur said when Eames took his arm. He smiled, small and content. "Thank you for being here."

Eames nodded, unsure now that he had Arthur exactly what he wanted to say or do with him. Well, other than the obvious and impossible. He took too long to think of something to say, long enough for Arthur's smile to turn downward. "Mr. Eames?"

"Think you could call me by my first name just once, darling?"

Arthur's smile returned, though cautious. "Only if you can mange the same courtesy, Thomas."

"Arthur." Seems there were smiles all around, at least for the moment. "Are you happy? Is this what you really want? Tied down, ball and chain, all that?"

Arthur's eyes sought out his bride in the crowd of well-wishers, brilliant in white, flowers and feathers in her curled hair, pearls around her neck. Her dress was something literally created in a dream, the design translated to the real world by one of the most talented designers alive. Ariadne had been little more than a girl when they met her. Intelligent, original, absolutely brilliant and strong as steel, but a girl. Two years of jobs and Arthur had matured her into a woman, and multiplied all those qualities until Eames felt quite certain anyone who stood in her way would regret it.

"Absolutely." Arthur's response was confident. As usual. Eames couldn't blame him.

"Good. I'm happy for you, then." Eames sighed, put a hand on Arthur's shoulder, and for the briefest moment considered giving him a kiss. Just one, just to hold him for the rest of his life. "See you."

He left without giving or taking anything.