France held a sort of significance to the team, especially Arthur and Cobb.
Cobb had met Mallorie in France while dreaming up too fantastical creations and trying to sketch them out on too little paper. He had spent his youth in France, studying but not applying the limits of reality to himself. He had learned from the best after all, Mallorie's father.
Miles had seen it in the boy, because that's what he was when they met, just a boy. The boy had talent, not just for architecture, but for breaking the rules, no matter how integral they were. He saw the creativity and restlessness, the want of pushing boundaries that weren't supposed to be pushed, a new reality was the perfect solution.
What he didn't expect from the young upstart, was his daughter falling in love with him.
Dom and Mal. Mal and Dom. It didn't make a difference. Arthur could see they were a dream team. He met them in that hazy time between 'I'm in love with you' and 'Let's get married'. The Extractor and the Architect. All they needed was a Point Man. Luckily, he showed up just in time. He was younger than them but he had more experience than them in the ways of sharing dreams. It had become an addiction from early on.
He was the son of a wealthy man who sometimes dealt with the extraordinary, not to mention illegal. He wasn't born a good shot, he was trained to be. He didn't grow up with three piece suits but he did grow up with a pet horse named Nero and all the technological gadgets he ever wanted.
Extraction, dream sharing, the technology behind it was his way out of the proper, stale world he would've stayed in if he didn't get out of the elite. He always was destined to surpass his father, whether in illegal dealings or brilliance, it didn't matter to Arthur. He got his first apartment in France after he figured out exactly where he could get a hold of the business of dreams.
Arthur and Cobb, and whatever Architect they could manage to find. It had worked for a while. They both still had their top-notch reputations. Cobb, now being a master Extractor, he didn't build, he refused to build anymore. Arthur could see the cracks in Dom's professional mask, and then, Mal started appearing. At first, he was thrown off, after working with both of them for such a long time, it was like being back in France, until he remembered, she was dead.
Cobb knew it was wrong. Mal shouldn't have been showing up or sabotaging his jobs. He knew he had to let go, try to not feel guilty, but it always came back to a train and a dream. Maybe if he hadn't introduced Mal into the business, it wouldn't have happened. So many what ifs drove him absolutely insane, he was glad he couldn't dream on his own anymore.
A team, Arthur knew once he was shot while Mal sided with their target, it was time for a change. When their latest Architect was held at gunpoint as a threat, he also knew they needed to go back to the source where it all started. France was calling them back with a vengeance and a wager.
A new Architect was needed, who else to ask but the mentor of Cobb for the best?
France looked the same as it always had to Cobb. He needed an Architect that was at his level, maybe even better. He knew Miles would have one; he could feel it as he entered the school he once called his own. This one last job and then he could be free, be with his kids, be where he belonged. He didn't care what it took, as long as it got the job done.
Arthur had just finished setting up the warehouse to a suitable standard for a team of their size when Cobb came in with Ariadne, which caused him to smirk a bit at the irony, an Architect named Ariadne. Of course, Miles would direct them to her. She wasn't stunning, looking like an other Parisian student, but her eyes sparked with something different, something he used to see in Cobb when Mal was still around and it filled him with trepidation.
Cobb had assembled his team, the last piece being the Chemist, Yusuf. He was a funny guy. He could see why Eames had taken a liking to him. The other half of the team, Arthur and Ariadne worked together seamlessly, whether it was going over the levels of the dream or just another task relating to the business. Cobb almost laughed when Eames made a crack about the two building more than Penrose staircases in their shared dreams but then he remembered Mal and stayed quiet.
By the time Arthur had figured out he was attached to the pretty little Architect, he had also realized France was a vice on its own. It had wagered against their hearts, not against their minds. France had women that were dangerous, brilliant, and easy to fall for.
Women that stole their reason away to lead them into territory unknown.