A knock on the door alerted Ariadne to the arrival of the dress. She hit 'pause' on her iPod, cutting off Nirvana mid-chorus.

Fischer stood outside the door, holding a black garment bag. "Delivery," he said, grinning.

She had been expecting one of his men. A blush colored her cheeks. "Thanks."

For a moment, they were both silent. Then Ariadne remembered herself. "Uh–want to come in?"


They went into the hotel room. Ariadne hurried about, tossing the clothes that lay scattered about into her open suitcase and smoothing out the bedcovers. Fischer sat in the desk chair and watched her.

He looked wonderful in his pale gray suit, one lock of hair falling into his amazingly blue eyes. Ariadne almost wanted to check if she was dreaming. After all, since when had really hot guys wanted to take her to dinner and dances?

She picked up the garment bag. "I'll go…change in the bathroom. Just wait out here for me."

Locking the door behind her, she leaned against it and took a deep breath. Come on, Ari. Change into the dress. You can do this.

Her eyes opened, a new resolve in them. She reached for the garment bag.

"Where's our lovely little lady?" Eames asked, downing his third (or maybe fourth) flute of champagne. Arthur ignored him, downing is second (or maybe third).

"And where's our host?" Yusuf added, returning to them with a cute, laughing Asian girl in tow. He whispered something into her ear and she giggled some more, batting her eyelashes flirtatiously.

"He should be down here soon enough," Eames replied. "And hopefully, we'll get to see what our Architect is wearing." His eyes slid to Arthur. "What do you want to bet he chose something rather low-cut?"

"I'd rather not discuss this," Arthur snapped, setting the champagne flute down and reaching for another.

"Tetchy, tetchy." Eames was about to say something else about the resident stick-in-the-mud, when he saw who was entering the ballroom.

The room went silent as Fischer and Ariadne made their way down the ballroom's grand staircase. Ariadne wore a green silk halter dress. The skirt flared out from the snug bodice and ended just below her knees. Her hair was done in an elegant up 'do, a few wavy tendrils falling around her cheeks.

She looked…

"Gorgeous," Eames murmured, elbowing the Point Man. "Put your tongue back in your mouth, Arthur."

Arthur didn't answer him, so entranced was he by the femme fatale the tomboyish Architect had suddenly become. Fischer's and Ariadne's arms were linked, and as he spotted them, he led her to the team's table.

"Ooh, they're coming over here." Arthur didn't even have to look to know that Eames was grinning from ear to ear. It was awkward moments like these that the Forger thrived on.

"Evening," Fischer said, coming behind Ariadne and taking the shimmery wrap she wore off her shoulders, before laying it across the back of a chair. "I hope you're all enjoying yourselves."

"Oh, we are," Eames answered, smirking as he twirled his champagne flute. "Especially the free bubbly. Much appreciated."

"Looks like Yusuf's enjoying himself," Ariadne noted, gesturing towards the Chemist, who was twirling the Asian girl around on the crowded dance floor. "I didn't know he liked to dance."

"Dancing. What an excellent idea." Fischer offered her his hand. "Shall we?"

"I-I don't know how to dance…" she replied, her cheeks pinkening.

"No worries. I'll lead."

"Oh. Okay." Smiling nervously, she put her hand in his and he led her to the dance floor.

"Smooth," Arthur muttered into his glass. Eames snorted.

The dance floor was hot with the sheer amount of bodies it held. Fischer twirled the Architect gracefully around.

"I didn't know you could dance," she said as she came to face him again. His hands slid around her waist.

"I had to take ballroom dancing when I was younger," he replied.

"Why? Were you taking finishing school lessons or something?"

"Something like that. Fischer Corp's my kingdom. Somehow, learning how to ballroom dance factored into ruling it successfully."

She laughed, and he gave a low chuckle, pulling her a little closer to him. Pressed against his warm chest, Ariadne breathed in the slightly smoky cologne he wore and gently rested a cheek against his chest.

After a moment, Fischer's hand came under her chin, tipping her head up, and he lowered his lips towards hers as the band playing finished the slow, dreamy song they'd been playing.

It was a soft, pleasant kiss, the kind someone who spent lot of time with women would know how to give. Ariadne tasted something mildly salty on his lips, something that made her think of the ocean. As his hand slowly traveled to cup the side of her face, Ariadne wondered if anyone was watching.

And a smaller, tenser part of her felt an awful sinking feeling in her stomach when she wondered if Arthur was.

Arthur watched them dance together, a knot forming in his stomach that no amount of champagne could undo. By the end of the song, he had consumed roughly eight or nine glasses of it, and was starting to feel its effects.

So when Fischer decided to get all cuddly and shove his tongue in Ariadne's mouth, it was the champagne that fueled Arthur's actions.

Ariadne and Fischer broke their kiss and came back to the table. As soon as they sat down, one of Fischer's associates came over and requested a word with him. The heir excused himself and went after the businessman.

Arthur glanced around. Eames was at the bar counter, sucking the wine cellar dry. Yusuf and his girl were still dancing.

"I didn't know you and Fischer were quite that into each other," he said, trying to keep his tone light despite all the alcohol that was threatening to unbalance him.

"I…" clearly taken off guard, she closed her mouth and opened it again. "Arthur–"

"Hey, don't look at me like that. You can kiss whoever you want."

"Is that why you kissed me? Just because you could?"

The question threw him off. His eyes found hers. She didn't look angry, or sad. Just serious.

For a moment, their dark eyes stayed locked.



"I kissed you because I wanted to. Very, very much." He moved forward slightly. "And I still do."

"And I want you to. Very, very much." She looked down at her hands. He did too, admiring her white, shapely fingers. The fingers of an artist. Of an Architect.

Arthur's face came forward slightly, but he stopped himself from kissing her at the very last moment. Instead, his lips grazed her ear. "Want to get out of here?"

"Yeah," she whispered.

Arthur's hand was warm and strong, and it held hers as they snuck out of the ballroom and into a corridor where a bank of elevators waited. Arthur hit the 'up' button, and one set of doors slid open.

Pulling her inside, he didn't even wait for the doors to close before pushing her up against the wall and kissing her.

This kiss was nothing like the one she had shared with Fischer in the ballroom. It was not quick and sentimental. This kiss was lusty, forceful and demanding, a kiss that satisfied every single one of her needs.

His mouth was hotter than Fischer's, hot as a furnace, and his tongue was sweet and burningly spicy, like cinnamon. His hands pinned her arms to the elevator wall on either side of her head.

Incredible, a voice in the back of her mind murmured. In-fucking-credible.

The elevator doors gave a soft, metallic sigh as they parted, revealing their floor. Arthur reluctantly stepped back, only to grab her arm and lead her down the hall, to where his hotel room was. Pressing her to the door, his mouth found hers again as he rummaged in his pocket for his hotel key-card, and then he swiped it, opening the door and pushing them both inside.

Ariadne could feel his warm hands cupping the backs of her thighs, and she threw her arms around his neck and brought her legs up around his waist as he tumbled them both down onto the hotel bed. Ariadne parted her legs further as she felt his length press against her panties. She ground gently against him, relishing the feel of his arousal against hers. His lips glided down to her neck and his hand reached around her shoulders to undo the ties on her dress, leaving them hanging below her breasts, which she had left bare because no bra would fit under the tight fabric without embarrassing lines.

The Point Man smirked at the sight of her naked, nubile breasts, which were smaller than he had expected, but not in a bad way. He liked how fresh, how pure she seemed. He felt as though this was the real Ariadne, not the one waltzing around with the heir to Fischer Corp.

But he wasn't really in the mood for a heavy psychoanalysis.

He didn't want to think about how Fischer factored into all of this.

He didn't want to think about Cobb possibly never waking up.

He didn't want to think about Ariadne's mind being attacked by Mal.

He'd much prefer simply setting thinking aside for awhile.

Arthur's fingers hastily worked the pins out of her hair, letting it fall around her shoulders. He unzipped her dress and she shimmied out of it, kicking it off the bed.

Lying beneath him in just a pair of white lace panties, Ariadne closed her eyes. She knew that whatever happened tonight would very well change the course of their relationship, and that knowledge left her with a strange, aching worry. Would Arthur be unsatisfied? Would he think she was unskilled? Her one brief sexual encounter was painful and mercifully quick, a year ago. She had liked the boy very much but had trouble holding onto the relationship after the experience. Arthur had probably plowed his fair share of babes.

Stop worrying, she urged herself. Just lie back and let this happen.

His hand slid beneath the fabric of her briefs and she gasped aloud as he slid a finger inside her. Her walls flexed and tightened as he caressed her with a skill suited to him.

When he added another digit, the pleasure increased threefold. She arched her back and moaned, digging her nails into his shoulders through his suit jacket. She could feel the first shallow waves of orgasm approaching, and bit down on her lip to keep from crying out too loud as she climaxed, the world turning momentarily brighter.

He shrugged off his suit jacket as he waited for her to calm down. Ariadne smiled to herself as she looked up at him clad in his slacks, his shirt and his vest.

The damn vest. For lack of a better phrase, he looked damn hot in his vest. The Architect could recall with embarrassing clarity the first time she had seen him in the vest, when they were in the hotel. Even then, she had been extremely turned on.

"I like your vest," she whispered throatily, her voice trembling slightly from her climax.

He laughed. "I'm glad to hear it."

"But…" here she reached up and undid the top button. "I'd much rather see you without it."

"I'm even gladder to hear that," he breathed, ducking his head down so that his lips were almost touching hers. He let her undo the rest of the buttons on the vest and then his shirt, and she stripped them away, now free to admire the lean, tanned muscles of his chest and stomach. He planted his hands on either side of her shoulders and slid his legs between her knees, pressing his bare chest to hers. Ariadne shuddered in pleasure at the feel of his warm skin against hers. With one hand, she reached down, the back of her hand brushing against the jut in his trousers, and he let out a muted groan.

Well, here goes nothing, Ari, she thought as she pulled down his zipper.

When he entered her, she felt a surge of white heat wash over her. The initial aching throb was muted and bearable, and it subsided in moments as he picked up the speed of his thrusts. Her hands curled around his muscular shoulders, finding relief in how warm and solid he was.

This would not be a clumsy, drunken encounter at a college party. This would be the kind of thing quiet girls like Ariadne could only dream of.


The Point Man gripped handfuls of hotel bedspread to steady himself as he plunged in and out of her. She was wonderfully tight, almost a virgin, and her body was wonderfully smooth and pliable. He pressed his lips to the junction between her shoulder and her neck, tongue tasting the sweat on her skin.

"Arthur," she groaned, bucking her hips to match his pace. He let out a moan, loving the feel of her walls pressing close around him. In all the times he had fantasized about making love to her, his imagination had never done her justice.

"Ah...I..." her muscles clenched and he felt a shiver go through her whole body as she was buoyed to new heights. Somewhere in the back of his mind, Arthur was delighted he could stir up this kind of reaction in her, as he felt the heat flood them. He increased his pace, knowing he couldn't last much longer.


Ariadne was euphoric, exhausted and overjoyed as her pulse slowly decreased. She had never known pleasure like this.

Arthur gave one final thrust and let out a hoarse, lusty groan as he released himself inside of her. Ariadne could feel his warmth mingling with hers as he pulled out of her and flopped down beside her on the bed, panting in exhaustion. Ariadne's eyes fluttered closed, and she fought to keep them open, fought to turn her head and look at the profile of the man who had just taken her places she never guessed existed.

She caught one good look, his burning dark eyes fixed on the cieling overhead, the taut muscles on his arms and torso beaded with sweat, Adam's apple jumping as his breathing slowed.

And then she surrendered to sleep.


Arthur switched off the shower and wrapped a hotel towel around his waist. Grabbing a smaller towel to dry his hair, he headed out of the bathroom and into the main hotel area. Ariadne lay asleep, clad in her panties and his dress shirt. Smiling to himself, he leaned down and kissed her forehead.

Her eyes flickered open. "Are you leaving?"

"Should I?"

"No...stay..." she reached out a hand. He took it in his.



They slept intertwined that night, arms and legs in a tangle. His chin rested at the top of her head, and he breathed in that wonderful flowery smell she exuded as he slowly drifted off.

Both of their subconsciouses flickered with a million fears and worries and dreads, but that night they managed to dig themselves a small niche of peace.

And in that niche, their dreams were beautiful.

A/N: Okay, stupid ending maybe. But writing a sex scene just takes it out of me. I hope I did it ok X{ (that's my worried/constipated face). Anyways, sorry for the wait and I hope it was worth it!