A/N: Watched Inception twice and knew I'd have to write fanfiction for it. :) This is my attempt to delve into Arthur's character, because he completely fascinated me. I will warn you that this will be dark...I like reading/writing angst, so this story will reflect that.

Finally, I apologize if any of the dialogue by the characters seems OC; the last time I watched the movie was last week, and I've been finding that my memory is not as crisp as I wish it was! :P Comments/suggestions/constructive criticism are welcome!

Vincit Qui Se Vincit

(He conquers who conquers himself)

Ariadne shuffled the drawings and preliminary sketches on her work table, trying vainly to bring a sense of order to the chaotic mess. She knew it was hopeless…her creative personality didn't allow for her to have order, even when it came to keeping her station neat and tidy. She supposed it was what allowed her to be so good at what she did. Taking one last glance around the room, Ariadne turned the light off and headed toward the exit.

"Working late, love?" Eames' voice startled her as she walked outside.

She turned and saw him leaning against the side of the brick building. "Just wanted to do a little more with the sketches. I had an idea and wanted to write it down before I forgot. What are you doing here?"

He gave one of his trademark smiles. "I was around and saw the light. I thought I'd stop by." He took a drag from the cigarette he was smoking. "Where you headed?"

"To be honest, I didn't really have any plans. I was supposed to go out for drinks with Ar—someone, but something came up at the last minute."

Eames scoffed. "Don't tell me you were actually planning to go out with that stick in the mud," he joked. "Now, with someone like me, you would never have a boring conversation."

Ariadne laughed. "Arthur's not as boring as you think, Eames."

"Well he's incredibly stupid if he just thinks he can stand you up and think there won't be consequences. Let me take you out tonight. There's a real English pub just around the corner." He offered her his arm with a jaunty bow.

"Alright," she smiled.

Together they walked a few blocks until they came to a quaint little pub sandwiched between a video store and a Chinese restaurant. Eames ushered her to a corner table and ordered for them.

"So. How's my favorite architect doing?"

Ariadne smiled. "I'm good. The designs are coming along well. I hear we'll be ready for the job by next week."

Eames leaned back in his seat. "Got that right, luv. Cuz we're the best!" He raised the drink that had been brought.

Laughing, Ariadne joined him, then grew sober. "Eames, you're probably not the best person to ask this, but has Arthur seemed different to you lately?"

Eames shrugged. "That bloke? Darling, one thing you've got to learn is that Point Man Arthur has no imagination and is quite possibly the most boring person I've ever met." He took another drink. "He's good at what he does though, I'll give the old boy that."

"Maybe it was just my imagination. I haven't known him as long as you." With that, Ariadne turned to her food. They didn't speak of Arthur or the job again that night, chatting lightly instead. But Arthur remained on Ariadne's mind the rest of the night.

After saying goodbye to Eames, she returned to her apartment and began preparing for bed. She found her thoughts returning again to the solemn point man. He wasn't boring; she knew that. A smile grew as she thought of that unforgettable moment on the Fischer job.

It was worth a shot.

No, he certainly wasn't boring.

And he surely had imagination. She remembered the delight he tried to conceal when he was teaching her mazes and tricks. She had been surprised at how complex his creations were. Now, Ariadne wondered if perhaps his mazes were simply a reflection on himself and all his complexities. When she first met him, Arthur had certainly seemed to be what Eames described him as: boring and uninteresting. But after watching him, observing him…she found he was anything but.

His facets were subtle, but they were there and they were many. She found that he fascinated her to no end, from the way he dressed to his calm, almost aloof manner. He always dressed impeccably, but there was the tiniest hint in the way he wore them that suggested he had not always done so.

Ariadne often discovered herself speculating about his past…and his present. Did he have anyone back home, wherever that was? Did he even have a home or family? She guessed that he didn't, or that he at least wasn't very close to them. Most of the people on the team, including herself, had little or no family. It made it easier to live in the dream world and it was safer to not be tied to any one place. She knew Eames had an old aunt in London and a sister in Yorkshire. Yusuf she wasn't as sure about, but she knew he had a brother somewhere. Cobb everyone knew about. Herself, well, her parents had died a few years before the Fischer job. Sure, she had aunts, uncles, but nothing that drew her home.

But Arthur…whereas Ariadne and the rest of the team spoke of their family—even if it was once in a blue moon—he never did.

Now, gazing at her totem, Ariadne sighed. Arthur was acting different; she was sure of it. And she was determined to find out why.

A/N: So there's the first chapter...Sorry that it's a bit slow, but things will pick up, I promise. Really worried about this fic, because it's a lot darker than other Inception fics, so please review! I will try to get the next chapter up soon, but I'm leaving on Sunday for a week.