He isn't supposed to do it, he knows damn well he isn't but it's gotten into his head, this idea, this desire. You do not take on the mask of a friend, too difficult, he can see his eyes staring back at him, the glint is too hard, the smirk can't quite fade. Eames looks out through Arthur's eyes, watches himself in the mirror. Arthur's long limbs moving as his own, it's intoxicating, he draws his hands down a perfectly buttoned shirt, his breath catches, eyes riveted to the play taking place in the mirror before him.
This is wrong, sets off a dozen mental alarms, this is getting close to going too far, close to being not enough. He gets the button on Arthur's slacks undone before the kick comes. He opens his eyes, can feel the smirk, Arthur is looking down at him, holding his chair up from falling completely. "Good morning, darling." Eames drawls out, watches Arthur roll his eyes before letting the chair drop the rest of the way.
The next time Eames shows more attention to detail, gives Arthur's eyes that slight annoyed narrowing. But he cannot get the gasp right, when he shudders out breath, sliding a hand into those well-pressed slacks, it sounds too much like himself, reminds him that he's wearing a mask. He tries to build one up, weave it around the only gasps he's heard Arthur give. The entire thing takes a dark slant, tinged with pain. He can't get enough of it, and it's still never enough.
The mask of Arthur starts slipping toward the end every time, he doesn't know what Arthur looks like, on his knees, stroking himself. Only has himself and a thousand remembered snapshots as reference, but even with all that data it isn't enough. He wants to see Arthur, gasping soft, so close on his knees. It's not enough, leaves him frustrated when he comes up from the dreams. When he closes his eyes his memories of Arthur remind him how many errors he has made. Looking at Arthur just reminds him he's an idiot, reminds him how deep he's going under.
Arthur finds out, learns the extent of Eames' forgery on a job gone bad. He's pinned, and the projections do not know the difference when Eames runs by, all slick lines, perfect suit. Eames knows it's a dream, knows that the scream of pain Arthur makes will not mar him outside, but it's instinct to take the mask and run with it. He deserves the punch Arthur throws at him once the job is done and they are alone in one of so many warehouses. "Don't. Never again."
Arthur's words do what his own conscience could not, he will never don that mask again, not because Arthur is angry. He cant because it will do no good, Arthur is too vibrant, too full of life, the mask will never be enough now. Eames is so fucking deep, nothing will ever be enough again, there is no shade or mask that could make his heart race like Arthur's anger-filled voice. "Of course not love." He whispers, smirking, Arthur is all tense lines and stress, turns from him radiating heat and something deep and dark that Eames cannot identify. No, nothing will ever be enough again, nothing but Arthur himself.