Author's Note: I could not get the image of Arthur, in a three piece suit, driving a stick shift. So this is the result of that little fantasy. I don't think it fully makes sense, but I kind of like it. Tell me what you think. And I don't know about other people, but when I used to have dreams that I could remember, I dreamed about water a lot. So there you go. I don't know how to drive a stick myself, so that's the only reason Ariadne can't focus on what Arthur's saying. ;)
"Sometimes, we can't control the little details in dreams," Arthur tells her. "On one of my first jobs, I didn't know that. I got in the car, ready to drive and then realized it was a stick. Sometimes our mind likes to play dirty tricks on us." He's smirking at her now, leading her towards a beat-up, two door Mustang. The tacky red paint is chipping. It's not exactly something she can see Arthur driving.
"Borrowed from a friend," he says, smiling, when he notices her confused gaze. "Get in. There are a lot of mundane things you'll need to learn now, for dreams." They shared a look and a chuckle at the absurdity of his statement.
They climb in the car, Arthur in the driver's seat, she in the passenger's. Before getting in, Arthur had stripped off the dark grey suit jacket. Now, he was rolling up the sleeves of his white shirt to the elbow, revealing the slightly tanned skin of his forearms. Ariadne had always appreciated a handsome man in a good suit, but the way Arthur wore his had something shifting in her that she wasn't sure she wanted to explore.
"In normal dreams, we always just know what we're doing," Arthur begins explaining, one had firmly on the steering wheel, the other turning the key in the ignition then coming to rest on the gearshift. She watches the muscles in his arms tense and relax while he drives. "But these aren't normal dreams. It's kind of like real life, just slightly more flexible. You can't walk through walls unless you concentrate on walking through walls, for example. In our line of work, you can't always concentrate on one thing. Some things, like shooting and driving, have to come as second nature, like they would have to in reality." Ariadne nods, listening to the ebb and flow of his voice, fingers never releasing the grip she has on her bishop.
It's no secret that Ariadne has a thing for Arthur. Eames and Yusuf like to tease her about it at every chance they get, Cobb throwing the three of them exasperated looks. Arthur, for his part, at least pretends to be oblivious and for that, she's half grateful half disappointed. Arthur's been teaching her things, taking his time to make sure she gets each task down perfectly. First, it was the architecture, which mostly came second nature to her anyway. That was, after all, what her life had always been about. Next it had been shooting, then it was swimming, so surprised was he when he found out she couldn't. "People dream about water a lot," he had said, teaching her first how to dog paddle and tread water, then the fluid strokes of freestyle. "It's weirdly comforting for most people to be by water."
Now, she tries to concentrate on his words while she watches him drive. She had always had a thing for cars. She had lost her virginity in a car, her senior year of high school. Cars were normal and comfortable. She could talk about anything in a car.
Arthur reaches up, releasing his grip on the wheel for a moment, unbuttoning the top button of his white oxford and loosening his ugly, mustard yellow tie one-handed. His dark grey vest remained in place. He's turning the car now, coming to a stoplight and she can't concentrate on a thing he's saying. His long fingers slide along the curve of the wheel. She likes his hands. They're big, with wide, flat palms and long musician's fingers. She's always had a thing for hands.
"Arthur…" Her voice sounds breathy and not anything like it normally does. She clears her throat and say, more firmly, "Arthur, pull over."
He looks over at her, confused, but does as she asks. He brings them behind a building, where there's little to no traffic. He shifts the car into park and his fingers drift from the gearshift to her forehead.
"Are you okay?" he asks, sounding concerned. "Should we head back to the warehouse?"
She shakes her head as he drops his hand to his side. She shifts in her seat until she's facing him and suddenly, looking at him, all she can focus on is his mouth. Muttering a soft curse, one had wraps around the back of his neck, forcing him to look at her. Then, she's forcing his face down to hers and she's leaning up and all she can see is him. Her eyes become cross-eyed just before she closes them and then it's just his lips on hers.
It's awkward at first. She can't remember a more awkward kiss. But then, his lips open and her tongue slips in and suddenly it's perfect. They pull away after a few seconds, Arthur reaching to undo both their seatbelts and then she climbs over and she's straddling him like she's wanted to do since the day she met him.
"Fuck," he mutters. She's never heard him curse before and it hot. Like, really hot. Their lips crash into each other again and it's anything but awkward. It's filthy and sexy and Arthur. Her hips grind down on his, his erection rubbing against her in exactly the right way. She never thought she could get off to just grinding someone, but with Arthur, she could get off just looking at him. She grinds down on him half a dozen more times, his hands finding their way to her breasts, his mouth abandoning hers to bite kisses down her neck and suddenly she's so close. One, two, three more thrusts and she's orgasming, his name a growl on her lips. He grinds up into her, and then he's groaning her name and cursing and it's over.
Suddenly, things are awkward again. She feels exhausted and small, still straddling his lap. Slowly, so slowly, she climbs back into her own seat. He's looking out the window, the tips of his ears red. Quietly, she reaches over and grabs his hand, threading her fingers into his. He looks at her and for a moment, she can see vulnerability in his eyes and she feels like someone has punched her in the gut.
She leans over the gearshift slowly, letting him stop her if he wants. He doesn't and she takes this as encouragement. She brings her lips to his again and this time it isn't awkward or filthy. It's gentle and sweet and thorough and when she pulls away she can taste him on her lips. He looks at her, his eyes more confident now.
Smiling, his eyes crinkling in the corners and his dimples emerging, he whispers, "I should have started with the driving." And then his lips are on hers again, sweet and still smiling.