NOTE: Inception was perfect and genius for us story tellers in that it did not expand as much as American audiences usually crave on the relationships between the members of Cobb's team (except Cobb and Mal with a slight bond forming between Ariadne and Cobb). This allows the world of fan writing to take things a step forward while nearly completely understanding the concept of the dream world and extraction (since the movie was explanation after explanation). Naturally, I don't advise you read this if you haven't seen the movie. I actually don't recommend reading this if you saw it once in a half-amazed daze at the anti-gravity fight scenes and complexity of the plot. I've now seen the movie twice and perhaps will see it once more before I end up posting this. For now all I wish to do is expand on Arthur and Ariadne's relationship while commenting on some of the witty fine tunings of the film.

Throbbing. Headache.

The first thoughts when Arthur stirred in the wrought-iron lawn chair he had passed out in. Flicking his eyes toward the silver brief case, the four zeros flashed red on the timer, the red blurring together in a pool of black. Pulling the small object from his pocket, he tossed the die on the work table before shoving it back in his pocket.

Loosening his tie he looked at his watch and turned as he heard Ariadne pull the IV from her wrist.

"I-I…I'm sorry…" she stuttered, casting her eyes to the ground, continuing to struggle with her words.

Arthur turned from her, planting his hands firmly on the long table, eyes scanning the papers in front of him.

"Just don't let it happen again, rookie," he spoke coldly, the words swimming under his eyes.

"I should go…It's been a long day…" she muttered as the lights of the Parisian sky began to fade.

"No…you said you had work to do. I have somewhere to be anyways," he vaguely stated before he was out the door, the tail of his suit jacket whipping her denim clad knees as he brushed past her.

Tugging at her neck scarf, Ariadne sighed and tossed the silk harshly onto the table, eyes hesitating as they flicked over the papers he had been looking at. They were merely print-outs of the flight information.

"What's got his knickers in a twist?" came the heavily accented tone of Eames from the workshop door, followed by the hard click of the dead bolt.

"Nothing…" she replied curtly to the jabs of her coworker, if you could call what this situation was "work".

She had never experienced anything like it. Sleeping to live. Living to sleep. Each which way you turned the words they all didn't even come close to what it was like to create something so amazing…

"What are you 'working' on, darling?" Eames interrupted her thoughts. Practicing sliding Browning's glasses on and off in a particular way he positioned himself on the edge of the table, looking out the window and away from her.

"I…We…were just working on the layout of the second level. I…things got out of hand," she told him quietly, shuffling the papers pointlessly in front of her.

"What, your subconscious gang up on him? He never could handle being beaten to a pulp," Eames chuckled, sliding the glasses into the front pocket of his button down.

She responded wordlessly, pulling a stool over to her loudly, the metal scraping on the concrete floor in a piercing shrill.

"No one likes to feel someone poking around in their mind, right?" she asked rhetorically, eyes heavy with fatigue. Tomorrow was the big day. The start of the journey. Maurice Fischer had passed only hours ago and they were flying to Sydney in the morning. Tomorrow changed everything.

"Well whatever it is you two have going on…cool it. Once the job is over you can sort it out," Eames told her quickly before sliding into his jacket.

"You staying here tonight?" he asked in a more soothing voice. Placing his keys on the table, he slid them to her hand, his warm body suddenly standing next to hers.

"Just lock up if you leave. I think Cobb's still in the back room," he told her with his signature smirk. "Cheer up buttercup," he added, mid-saunter as he strode out the wide double doors.

Ariadne sighed, sliding her arms downwards and placing her head on her own cold skin. She felt her eyes shut slowly and her mind float back into a recent dream. Back into a memory.

After running through the maze seamlessly one final time they had begun messing around. He was playing tricks on her, endless stairwells and topless buildings. All grey, white, black. Plain. The room she was currently in wouldn't stop spinning. The setting hardly looked like her plans anymore.

Suddenly they were in a dark ally. She started walking, then running toward the light till she reached the end. Nearly tipping into an endless, colorless sea, she caught herself, taking two steps back to lean against the guardrail that appeared out of thin air.

"Arthur…" she gasped, feeling his hands around her waist. "What the hell?"

"I thought you liked the beach," he responded, a quizzical look in his eye. He leaned forward, his lips suddenly near hers, their faces dangerously close.

She felt the salty water splash at her ankles and her heartbeat quicken. It almost sounded like footsteps. Thousands of footsteps running. Running towards them.

He turned as he heard them, whipping back and looking her deep in the eye. She moved away, backing towards the sea, simple concrete road rising up to catch her from the fall. She watched as her projections consumed him, grabbing at him. Arms on his arms. Fists colliding with his cheeks. Blood pouring from his nose and mouth.

"Stay away from me!" shouted a small familiar voice that made Ariadne turn to look behind her.

Suddenly her sister, a mere ten, stood, gun pointed at Arthur. She fired six rounds in his chest then one straight in the forehead. She giggled as the gun fell to the ground, running off into the ocean.

He fell back into the arms of the crowd before hitting the hard pavement, bones crunching with the impact.

She let out a sob as the projections were suddenly gone, as was Arthur's body. She glanced down at her watch, mind doing quick math to calculate how much time she had left-

She awoke suddenly to the sound of his die hitting the table and breathed a sigh of regret.

The red zeros flashed endlessly.