|Three Times Arthur Left Her
Author: Riikani PM
And the one time Ariadne did.Rated: Fiction T - English - Tragedy/Romance - Ariadne & Arthur - Words: 3,850 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 7 - Published: 08-03-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8388246
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
My first Inception-fic. Wrote this on a whim so it isn't my best. I had to stop half-way through and finish it the next day. It really isn't a happy fic.
Me no own Inception. Period.
Three Times Arthur Left Her
And the one time Ariadne did
The first time Arthur left was immediately after they parted at LAX. Ariadne knew of the rule that they weren't supposed to have contact after such a large job within six months so she didn't question it.
Even if she was really curious about his: 'Quick, give me a kiss'. What do you mean, it was worth a shot?
Nonetheless, Ariadne didn't doubt it was for the best for all of their safety, so she didn't try to make contact with any of them. Not that she could have; she didn't know any of their phone-numbers. They were careful enough. She would've liked one of them at least checking up on her: they did know this was her first time dreaming right?
Arthur had warned her for nightmares, and those she had plenty. Never had she been more grateful for her bishop than after waking up gasping and choking on her breath because truly, she was, every night, reminded of Mal stabbing her. Shooting her in retaliation, even if it was to protect Cobb, didn't help.
Still, she wouldn't have minded after 6 months of hearing nothing to just talk to any of them. Saito she wasn't close with even though she had grown fond of the Japanese business man. He really wasn't such a bad person and his views made up for interesting conversation.
She would have loved to hear from Cobb; how was his home now? Were his kids happy he was home again? Of course they were; he was their father. Had there been any problems? Was he angry at her for shooting Mal, she had been his wife after all.
Did he miss dreaming like she did?
She wouldn't have minded to talk to Yusuf. The gentle chemist felt like a big brother to her; which perhaps wasn't strange as he had confided in her that he came from a big family. They had shared a cup of tea more than once and he had been nice enough when she wasn't confident in herself and her abilities.
Oh, she would have loved speaking to Eames. The Englishman, with his bad habits and jokes had a strange way of getting under her skin but that perhaps made them rather good comrades. His way of doing things did light up her mood more often than not, and Ariadne thought that in expense for a joke or two it was worth it to have someone to confide in.
And, Arthur. She didn't even know where to start with him. Maybe it had been a schoolgirl-crush she had on him; she hadn't had enough time to consider that. His stick-in-the-mud character, as Eames had called it so fondly, was really one of his attractive points. His focus never really wavered, but she wondered if that moment in the dream-hotel had truly been a diversion. It didn't seem like Arthur to act irrational.
The more time she spent thinking about Arthur, the more she was convinced she had real feelings for him. If it had been just a crush she wouldn't have stuck around waiting, was it called waiting? For him. There were enough cute guys at college.
Having no outlet for her frustrations about her abandonment, she threw herself into schoolwork. During the job she had had barely enough time to hand in her assignments on time and her grades had suffered from that.
But now, she flourished. Assignments were handed in way before the deadline, at least half longer than it should have been and she was the pride of every professor. Her tests were straight A's and she did extra work to brighten up her CV even more.
If her friends saw the dark circles under her eyes, they didn't comment on it. Ariadne wasn't the same anymore, and had distanced herself enough that it was easy to ignore.
Miles too worried about his best student. It didn't look as if she slept at all, which wouldn't be surprising after her experience with dreaming. Miles knew all too well that if she had proper guidance through this period, she wouldn't have such trouble with sleeping.
When he called Cobb, because Ariadne was never seen without coffee anymore while the dark circles got darker and darker, the ex-extractor told his father in law that he and the team had decided to let her at least finish her college education and het get degree. She didn't need the burden of dreaming.
That didn't take away the fact that she caught Eames in a flying hug, and fired question after question when they decided all to show up when she finally got her degree.
It didn't look as if the period had caused her long-lasting damage anyway.
The second time Arthur left was because he needed to tie up some loose ends.
Ariadne had been back in the dreaming-business and worked with Arthur on a standard basis, while Eames and Yusuf would join in frequently. It worked out rather well. Even Cobb, although he didn't do dreaming anymore was glad to see that she did so well.
Even if the business wasn't totally legal. Miles was sad to see that his student had been irrevocably corrupted.
That said, Arthur and Ariadne had started, hesitantly, going out. Having dates here and there, spending quiet nights in, and stuff sort of the like. They didn't want any repeat of Dom and Mal so they made sure they were careful enough about dreaming together.
All was going rather well, when Arthur's past caught up to him.
It was safe to say that he had made quite a lot of enemies in his past, and when hitmen came after him, he knew he had to chase some last things to make sure they didn't go after Ariadne. She didn't need to be punished for things she had had no say in it.
They had spent a rather wonderful night together when Ariadne woke up the next morning alone. Searching her house quickly gave her the results she was looking for. He had left her house without a trace.
He did leave her a note.
Ariadne was furious, and if she hadn't loved him as much as she did she was sure that there wouldn't be enough pieces of him to go after once she was done with him.
But she did love him, and he had told her at least that he was going to come back. This mellowed her anger enough not to throw away her necklace he had gotten her a year ago on her birthday or change the lock on the door.
Instead she focused on her dreamscapes. She drew and drew and drew. She built ancient cities, modern banks, green forests. And everywhere there were the mazes and impossibilities.
Again, she didn't sleep; dark lines under her eyes.
Eames, who came checking in on her after a while of not hearing anything, frowned when he found her house littered with drawings of the Penrose-steps and mirrors and mazes. They were all lying around scattered.
In the middle, covered with charcoal on her face, was Ariadne, sleeping but not resting as she twisted and frowned spastically. Eames barely held back a growl of annoyance, he of course did know why the pointman had left but to leave the little architect in such a state was unforgivable.
So he put Ariadne to bed, and cleared up the drawings to one big pile. He ignored how big the pile was and that on the back of every drawing was another drawing that was unmistakably the point-man.
He did however, go to see Arthur and gave him a good punch in the face, as he did know where the man was. Tying up loose ends is one thing but leaving the architect was really not right.
Within the week, Arthur was back with Ariadne and there was no trace of her state after that.
The third time Arthur left was unexpected.
He didn't leave a note, or explanation. No promise he would come back, and after going steady for more than two years, that hurt like hell.
Architectural structures and worlds didn't give her much satisfaction. And both Arthur and Eames were careful enough not to leave a PASIV near her. Arthur took his and Eames trusted Arthur to have one either way.
It had been rather easy to go outside to the bar and ask for a drink, as the apartment now suffocated her. There was a buzz that only was welcomed and a second one quickly followed. Ariadne was no fool and when she had reached her limit to the point she could still go home, she did so.
And cried herself to sleep at night.
It became a habit after that. When the dark came and the silence of the house became too much, especially after staring at an empty bloc all day, Ariadne headed to the bar. She quickly became a known face there, and the other common guests knew not to disturb her and made sure that at least in the bar she was safe.
Her limits pushed further and further; Ariadne learned to walk while she basically could not stand on her feet anymore. Not drunk enough to not get home, but enough to at least silence the memories a bit. Not that she dreamt anymore; but who needed to dream if memories did the trick on its own?
If the other guests thought it was unhealthy for a young woman to drink that much, they kept silent. It was none of their business.
Ariadne started going earlier and earlier on the day. That is, until a voice in her head said that it was rather embarrassing to go that early to a bar. No matter how you looked at it, it is not done to order the heavy stuff while everyone else was still drinking coffee.
That problem was easily solved. The markets had lovely drinks too, and she had enough funds and nothing to spend it on.
It was easier to grab the bottle than stare at a piece of paper on which before long no creations we drawn anyway.
Oh, Eames certainly dropped by at times. As did professor Miles. But Ariadne wasn't that stupid, and carefully hid the evidence in the form of bottles. They had no business prowling away at her privacy, and she wasn't giving them any reason to. They'd tell her she was being unhealthy and wasting her life away.
What was the use? She couldn't create, and she couldn't design. She couldn't dream and the one person who held her grounded had already left.
She was lying in a wonderful daze on the floor. The memories were finally silent and her apartment had wonderful cool tiles. Maybe the bottles around her were a little obvious, but Ariadne didn't even register them anymore. How may were there? Ten? Twenty? The numbers didn't say anything anymore.
She didn't register a man coming in, breaking in was fairly easy after all, and yelling her name when he saw her on the ground. No, she didn't register anything but the wonderful silence in her head.
Arthur was staring at his hands in a hotel in New York. He was rather distracted for a pointman at the moment. He had already finished his last job. The extractor was decent, and the forger was so-so, but the architect was atrocious. The man truly had no feeling for his creations.
That of course brought his thoughts back to the architect he left behind in Paris. His beautiful petite architect. His…no, no longer his, Ariadne. He had lost that right when he left her 1,5 years ago. After two wonderful years, that he wouldn't trade for anything in the world he left.
Back then, his motives had been so clear to him. He had to leave to give her the chance at a real life. He only could give her the life of a criminal, and as heaven-sent as she was, she didn't deserve that kind of life.
Arthur looked nervously at his cellphone. Since he had left, both Eames and Cobb, but mostly Eames had called him, and even Yusuf at times, to convince him to go back to Ariadne, and that she wasn't doing well.
But that couldn't be true. She couldn't be worse off without than when he had been there. He resisted the ever growing urge to just trace her down. He wasn't the pointman for nothing and it would be so easy to just…no, he decided he'd leave her alone, so he would. No involvement from his side with dreaming. She had to live.
But the thing that unsettled him the most right now, was that there hadn't been a call. Not in a very long time, if you could call a month long. To Arthur it was since Eames did call about three times a week. But now it was silent.
He hadn't heard anything.
Arthur just decided to let the matter rest and continue for another job, when the phone he had been staring at so intently rang. Usually, he ignored it. He had grown tired quickly of Eames ranting and after a while the ringing would stop.
Usually, because the number shown on the display wasn't Eames'. It was Professor Miles'. And that was odd. Miles never ever called him. The man had long since decided to keep himself away from dreaming and that also meant no contact towards Arthur.
That he was the one calling, made Arthur pick up the phone in the end.
"Arthur," he said simply.
The voice on the other line was short, and did he sound more tired? "Arthur," he said. "Miles here."
Arthur halted, and then asked: "What can I do for you, professor?"
"Ariadne is in the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital"
Arthur was back in Paris before he knew it. He hadn't hesitated in taking a plane and travel back to the city he had left so hurriedly.
He had to know what was wrong with Ariadne. Her files, he had tried to look at them, were so carefully shielded that only a master could have hidden them, and he was fairly certain Eames was behind it. He had no choice but to come here.
He asked after Ariadne's room-number at the reception and the woman looked uncertainly at him before giving it. He didn't stop to think what the ward or the number could mean. He only knew he needed to see Ariadne, needed to know she would be fine.
Without thinking, Arthur threw open the door to the room he had heard Ariadne would be in. A single room.
She was hidden from his view, while two men stood up hurriedly from the bedside. Cobb saw him first actually being turned towards him, but made no movement to greet him. "Where's Ariadne?!" Arthur asked breathlessly.
Before anyone could answer, or before Arthur could decently look around, he was pressed up against the door; Eames had his lower arm pressed in his neck and barely let any space to breath. It didn't look like that was Eames' intention as the forger's eyes stood wild and a fury Arthur had never seen was on his face.
"You bloody wanker!" he hissed and pressed harder. "How dare you even show your face here?"
Arthur futile grabbed at the arm for breath when the voice that called him interrupted. "Let him go, Eames. I called him." Miles said. Arthur had never heard the older man's voice so cold.
The Englishman protested, "He has no right to be here, after what he has done!" Arthur was confused and even more so when professor Miles responded.
"No, perhaps not. But I wanted to show him exactly the consequences of his selfish decisions"
Arthur was lost, but Eames did let him down, but glared at him heatedly. "Nothing," he breathed heavily, "Nothing, can make right what he has done."
But Eames did step aside, and apparently took a horrible pleasure in seeing the blood leave the pointman's face. Ariadne was lying on the bed, carefully covered with white hospital sheets. A masker was covering her mouth and nose, and her eyes were closed.
"What…" Arthur had no words.
Eames had enough, "I found her. You fucking tosser. A month ago. She won't wake up anymore. She's as good a gone now. Hope you can live with yourself," he said before his voice choked up with anger.
"Found her….won't wake…What are you talking about! What the hell is going on!?" Arthur croaked, now sure of nothing anymore.
It was Cobb who spoke, "Perhaps if you had answered some of our calls you'd have known, Arthur." There was no gentleness in his voice, anything that would Arthur think Cobb thought he'd done the right thing. "Eames found her on the floor in the apartment, unconscious."
Arthur still was clueless, but it was Miles that explained it. "They are right Arthur. She couldn't deal with you leaving. We had no idea that she was already that far gone. She drank until she could no more." Miles tenderly stroked Ariadne's hand. "We're just waiting for the day she gives up fighting now."
Arthur could feel despair getting a hold of him, "Is there nothing there can be done! She can't be gone. That's just not…."
"Just what, Arthur!" Eames interrupted, "What would you know! You don't know anything. You just left her!"
"We tried to incept her," Cobb said quietly when Eames no longer could get out any words in anger. It seemed it took all he had not to get violent.
"What?!" Arthur narrowed his eyes, "Why would you do that! Incept…."
"Is dangerous. Don't you think we knew that?" Cobb said with a final note in his voice. "We tried to plant the idea that she loved Eames, and not you. She was already sinking so deep, that we didn't see any other option."
Arthur felt a pang of hurt rang through him. "Love Eames? But you…"
"I don't love her, no," Eames said bitterly. "But I do care for her. I was fully prepared to take care of her once the idea set in. It should have been better than the hole you left her in! Obviously, it did not work!" he laughed bitterly which ended in a sob.
"The idea did not settle, Arthur," Cobb continued, "For some reason she had created something like a shade of you and anything we said was effectively negated by that thing. When she woke up, she actually apologized to Eames that she could not answer his feelings."
"But I wasn't there!" Arthur threw in. This feeling getting a hold on his chest was leaving him with no air. How could he have been so blind!
"Well, that bloody well made any difference!" Eames spat angrily. "There was no way she could have gotten out of that herself, and you didn't reply to any of our phone calls! You would have known! You could have made a difference!"
Arthur didn't want to believe it. There had to be something they could do. They had awoken people from seemingly slumbers, from their own mind. There must be something. "Can't we go...?"
"Don't think we haven't tried that!" Eames cried with a voice that only could be hysterical. "There isn't anything left! You know what they say about killing brain-cells! It's true. It's god-damnit all true…" Eames sat down on his stool, his head in his hands. He took it the hardest out of the three men now confronting Arthur.
"Eames is right," Cobb spoke softly. For a moment Arthur thought he saw the shade of Mal pass in his eyes. A shade of regret. "When she was admitted here, she was already declared vegetative. So we tried to go into her mind. She wasn't there." He shook his head.
Arthur felt numb, "Not there…?"
Cobb nodded, "We went level after level, but her worlds were just empty. No projections, no Ariadne. Just empty." Cobb too seemed overwhelmed with emotion, and somewhere Arthur faintly noted that this was the second woman Cobb had lost to her own brain. "We waited the time out, and went back with the kick."
Arthur slowly walked up to Ariadne. He wished he could think she was just sleeping, but even he could see the sunken cheeks, her unhealthy looking skin. "Why did you call me here," he whispered, brokenly.
"I might figure that you want to say goodbye," Miles said softly. Eames looked up in protest but Miles silenced that with a look. "The woman you loved is already gone. A one-sided decision you made, results in her death. Ignorance is your biggest fault," he said. And with that he, Cobb, and with a last glare Eames left Arthur alone.
It was almost too much for Arthur. Thinking she'd be better off without him never seemed more than a lie right now. "Ari….Ari," he breathed as he stroked her cheek haltingly, still not believing.
"Oh, Ari. If I could change anything…." There was no word for his feelings. Just a pit of emptiness. He'd been content to leave if she would live, content to never see her again if she could only create again.
He didn't need to roll his dice to know this was reality. Nothing! Nothing his mind could think up was as bad as this. If only. "Anyone but you, Ari. Just not you."
And with that, the pointman let go of his control, as tears rolled from his eyes.
Somehow this still turned into a monster. Although I made this story on a whim, there were a few lines that didn't let me go. Eames' mostly, and Cobb's. It´s really up to you to decide when Ariadne actually left. You can take it physically, but perhaps also psychological.
Not my best work, but yeah, as I said: on a whim.
I do ship Arthur/Ariadne really! I just needed to write this. It didn't let me go.