First off, Inception doesn't belong to me. Second, I just wanted to say that I Love Inception; it was fantastic. And I just hope that you enjoy what I came up with. I tried to start off with Arthur more than Ariadne, because I just wanted to see if I could. Hope you like it!

Colliding Clocks

The plane was descending. They were five, ten minutes maybe, away from making contact with pavement. And as he watched her, watched her stare wordlessly out the window, he couldn't help but wish for a little more time. He knew better than she did that this plane, this airport, this city - it was as far as they were meant to go. And he was not prepared to break free from The Plan. He was not ready for anything more than a courteous nod and a polite goodbye. A salute to what they had accomplished together. Destroyed together.

Emotional dysfunction, he thought to himself.

She turned away from the window and stared forward. His eyes never wavered from her frame. She clutched at the armrests, clenching her teeth together in preparation. Flying never was her strong suit, no matter how much she tried to convince herself that she was alright. Breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Don't close your eyes. Focus. Remain calm. Words, endless amounts of words, flew in and out. Fear, however, dominating her rationale as usual, remained an informal guest on the surface of her thoughts.

He picked up on these details, and stored the information away into his ever-growing mental filing cabinet. His head turned, ever so slightly, as he watched her beautiful face obliviously ignore his penetrating stare.

"Did you know that you're more likely to die in a car accident than in a plane crash?" He didn't know why he spoke up, but knew that he couldn't control himself any longer.

She turned towards him, just barely. "I did. Oddly enough, I'm not comforted by the statistics of fatalities caused by cars." Her grip tightened.

"Well, I guess I can't argue with that." His eyes locked on hers, and slowly, her fingers began to loosen. "Maybe we can eradicate your fear by finding the source. Why are you afraid?"

She shook her head adamantly. "I'm not."

"Really?" he asked her, daring her to stick to the false conviction.

The challenge went unnoticed by her as she finally shook her head. "Do you remember where you were on 9/11?"

He thought about the unusual question and shook his head as well. "No."

She half-smiled. "I didn't think so. I was in school, a freshman. It was first period and we were reading To Kill a Mockingbird. And for a moment," she was so wrapped up in her memory that he wasn't quite sure if she was still talking to him, "for a moment, I wanted to be anywhere else in the world. And then, the moment was over. People were dying. People were dying and I couldn't figure out why. Buildings were eradicated."

He was touched by her revelation. Some truth that he didn't have to expose, that he didn't have to steal. Offered on her own admission. It was more than he could have asked for.

"Anyway," she said, shooting him a false smile of reassurance, "I was so afraid of flying after that. I didn't even want to go to New York when my parents offered - " she cut herself off and shook her head. "I was and am. I guess it's just something I have to get over."

He nodded. "Is that when you decided to be an architect? To build something indestructible, beautiful." His eyes caught hers and he had to remind himself that this was where it ended.

She shook her head. "No. That was much earlier than that." She smiled at the thought, before gasping. "You've been distracting me this whole time!"

She was right. The plane had landed, safely and they were steadily rolling towards a future of just two strangers who just so happened to be on the same flight. Frowning, he nodded to her. But he couldn't help himself. He had to say it, "I would've liked to have heard the story."

Turning away from her, he swallowed uneasily. It was never hard to say goodbye. Until now, that is.

"I would've loved to tell you."

I could keep this as is. I didn't really write this with any straight-forward intention. However, I think I'm going to continue. I have the vaguest of vague ideas, so I think I'll try to write more. Thanks for clicking and reading! the are very much appreciated! ^_^