A/N: I filled this for a prompt at the Inception Kink meme on LJ. The prompt was "Can you fall in love over the internet? Arthur finds Ariadne's Facebook/blog/whatever…" I will admit that it isn't exactly Arthur falling in love via the internet so much as its Arthur realizing that he should probably get in touch with her now that the job is over. As for this moment the fic is COMPLETE. This MIGHT change in the future if I find that I have the time to update this between In Somnis Veritas and the other fic that I'm currently outlining.
Disclaimer: Inception is property of Christopher Nolan. I own nothing.
Didn't Want to Think of You
Arthur never really considered the uses of the Internet before. It was a tool, one that he utilized often for work. Under normal circumstances that was the extent of his time on the computer. If he was going to socialize Arthur much preferred the realm of reality to do it in. Face to face interactions or telephone conversations so simplistic compared to learning a whole other language to socialize via the internet.
He still saw things that way, except now Arthur kept tabs on more than just the marks. He learned about more than just the marks. It was entirely accidental when it happened. He promised himself after the Fischer job ended that he would put her out of his mind. She was a distraction that he could not afford. He saw what happened to Cobb when he let his guilt over Mal consume his subconscious. Arthur would not allow that become his fate, so he locked her and his thoughts of her so deep in his subconscious that she didn't have a chance in hell of coming back to light. After all he was firmly in control of himself.
(Of course that was only true if one didn't count the flash of brown hair that often appeared in the corners of his vision. If one didn't count that sometimes when he was doing a run through with the new architect he could smell the light perfume she'd worn in the hotel. If he ignored that she was a part of his dreams - those few dreams that he could still have without the shared dreaming machine.)
He did well for the months that followed the Fischer job. Arthur avoided thinking of her for the most part for four months. He hadn't forgotten her because she was still there in the back of his mind. Then fate seemed to take over six months after their one and only job together.
He was gathering background information on the mark. The job was simple (and for once legal). Extract information from a drug cartels leader on when the next shipment of heroine was coming in. (Arthur personally found this job beneath him but it was legal or more legal anyway.) The mark was not as simple he came to find out. He was legally rich. (Money laundering tended to do that.) But he had a child. And there she was.
Ariadne, He breathed when he saw the picture of her with the man he was going to help local authorities send to prison.
There were links leading to various other things, but the picture was on her blog. His infamous control lost the battle as the mouse hovered over the link to read other entries. He clicked and read the numerous entries that she posted.
The more recent entries were normal enough. She was graduating in a couple weeks. (Briefly Arthur entertained the idea of attending via webcast.) Talk about her friends and the boys that she met at bars, drunkenly hitting on her until she had peel them off her and leave. She found those events humorous he noted. (Arthur found it annoying that anyone would dare in the first place.)
She wrote about the dreams she had. Spoke of a nameless man that took her on fanciful adventures or dancing. (Once she described the man and Arthur was struck with the thought that she was describing him. But he bashed that hope into nothing.) As he read further back he noted a large gap between posts. The gap coincided with their time together. The time he spent training Ariadne in Penrose stairs and paradoxes.
The posts prior to her online disappearance talked about school. About her projects and how sometimes they frustrated her so much that she felt as if she were going insane. Yet there were others that inspired her so much that she wouldn't sleep for days until they were complete. Ariadne posted pictures frequently in that time period. Most of them ridiculous candid's taken by friends or with them.
Arthur felt guilty for reading about her life. Like it was a secret that he shouldn't be allowed to know. But it was all laid out so complete and neatly before him on the internet. It was there for the taking and he couldn't quite reign in his curiosity to stop himself from devouring every last word she typed. He'd denied himself the thought of her – the ability to dream of her. It left him greedy for any little piece of Ariadne he could take at this moment.
"How's the info hunt coming?" A soft feminine voice asked pulling Arthur from his single-minded obsession with Ariadne's blog.
Quickly he minimized the window and swiveled on his stool to face the woman his expression carefully business-like. After Cobb retired Arthur found himself in need of a new extractor to work with. This woman had been the most promising extractor after working with Cobb for so long. But that was all; he would never trust her like he'd trusted Cobb.
Arthur knew how to read the minute details of a person; the ones they didn't realize they were telegraphing with every action. She possessed an agenda that he knew nothing of. She was also more ruthless and didn't care who got hurt on the job. The woman…as far as Arthur was concerned she didn't have a name. At least not one he cared to remember. She treated the people she worked with like second-class citizens anyway. She believed that the extractor was everything to the job. But she possessed no imagination and the architect that came with her possessed only a fraction of the talent and intuitive ability that Ariadne had.
"It's getting there. He isn't an easy man to find." Arthur informed her and turned back to his work. Making himself look like he was busy until the sound of her heels faded into the distance.
Arthur let his eyes drift to the window he minimized and shook his head. Work before pleasure. He could read about Ariadne when he wasn't on the clock for the morally defective.
When he was in his tiny hotel room alone with his thoughts of the brief kiss he'd stolen from her in the lobby of the hotel.
Maybe it was time he thought about reaching out to her. Maybe now wasn't as bad a time as he'd once believed it to be.