Disclaimer: I don't own Inception, the idea belongs solely to Chris Nolan and his epicosity!

Author's Note: Ever since I saw the movie my muse to write seemed to finally resurrect itself. And it hardcore wants Ariadne and Arthur to hook up Lol. Figures, it's the inner romantic in me, but at the same time. I loved Ariadne's character, and I wanted to play around with writing before I try to convince myself to do something more longer in content.

Differences between Living and Living

Ariadne could imagine vast landscapes and towering cathedrals upon cathedrals with sprawling planes of green meadows a sky so blue that it seemed infinite. In her college days she would spend days exploring the ancient beauty of Paris and in the nights cooped in her dorm drawing, planning, and imagining some more. In her mind lines, formulas and theories ran rampant as if writing on glass walls. But it was never enough for Ariadne, to imagine but not be able to get anywhere with it because it was too far fetched, too fantastical. She was taught to be realistic, and she was always practical. It was what made her the best in class. Observing was her hobby, taking in everything with an outsider's perspective. It was good to be able to perceive better than the student next to you.

It was always easier to look and not take that step into reality.

Eventually though, all the things not attached to work – socializing, dating, having fun— began to feel out of reach to her. Declining the invitations to enjoy the Parisian nightlife became second nature to her. Her phone calls to her parents were becoming fewer and farther in between. Her thirst for knowledge and passion for learning became what Ariadne lived for, but there was something still missing. Within the midst of creation and work she pushed herself into her own isolated castle of beautiful architecture with silent hallways and rooms. Ariadne realized too late then, that to try to build a bridge upon burnt ones never worked too well. The snubbed faces of colleagues and friends were testimony to that.

So Ariadne continued to live in her silent castle of creation, where all she had to think about were lines melding together and the graphite of her pencil never running low. Sometimes she would get a reprieve from it all in the form of Professor Miles, who would take her by elbow and lead her to lunch when the shadows under eyes seemed too deep. Other than that, life continued on with the countdown until graduation getting shorter each day.

This must have been what being curtained in darkness felt like.

Until one day Professor Miles introduced her to Cobb, and the chance to achieve the dreams that seemed too fantastical seemed possible. Ironically, all her dreams could be achieved in a dream.

Everything seemed to shift then, her world seemed to swivel on its axis and the beautiful castle begins to crumble. Her thoughts of morality began to shift into more grays, but it was a consequence she could handle.

When she came back, she knew it was inevitable. Waiting in the ramshackle warehouse upon her return Arthur had said, "There's nothing quite like it." Ariadne had to agree, because it was pure creation and what she had felt was missing in her life. Those nights spent sleeping upon the composite sketches of her cities was nothing compared to the days she spent walking in her dreams and creating. And Ariadne had always loved a challenge, the ability to push the boundaries of what she could do, and advance further than that.

It was kind of awkward for her at the beginning; working with people was never too much of an issue for her, but being brought into dreams seemed more intimate. It wasn't like having drinks with co-workers, because they ended up knowing more than a conversation over cold beers could ever amount to. Once, she had allowed Cobb and Arthur into her dreamscape. She was sure that Cobb or even Arthur noticed the mute silence in her mindscape. Ariadne noticed that her projections were always working on buildings or incomplete bridges, not many were at leisure's behest.

Once Arthur made a comment that her bridges were incomplete because it was impossible to complete a bridge with burnt edges. She had laughed it off of course, feeling flustered he was able to see through her so easily. She spent the rest of the day teaching Yusuf and Eames the layout of New York and mountain fortresses, ignoring the grand scale hotel in the corner.

The light that managed to peek through those thick velvet curtains was very warm. This is what warmth had felt like.

Then the day of the Fischer job arrived, and everything seemed to tilt once more before coming into a balance and freeze. Staying alongside Dom Cobb as he wrestled to retake control over his own subconscious from Mal, Ariadne learned that there was more than creating. That there was more outside of the dream, and it was living.

The adventure she signed on to assist in inception on Fischer was the buildup to her epiphany. The small kiss between her and Arthur was the slow burn of sparks and the gun between her hands after Dom's confession was the flint. The lackluster life she was living in Paris wasn't living—it was dying slowly with the highest aspiration being a corporate cubicle with her name on it. She wanted to feel alive, to live and to love, not to continue through the motions of monotony.

Ariadne drank in the sight of crumbling buildings and crashing waves below and stepped forward.