DISCLAIMER: Inception © Christopher Nolan

A/N: Post Film - Ariadne/Eames-centric shortfics. I have no predetermined destination for them – what will be, will be.


"When we are dreaming alone it is only a dream.
When we are dreaming with others, it is the beginning of reality."


When Ariadne received the letter, it was Miles who had handed it to her. He had called her after class and she had descended those immemorial stairs, all soft wood and heavy imprint. He had handed her the envelope, told her Cobb had sent it. If she had looked dazed, he understood. He understood a great many things - and Ariadne had a confident, someone who knew the secret world; the dream. If she had looked dazed, taking the letter in her hands, Miles understood. He understood very well.

Five months.

Had it been five months?

Sometimes when she sat alone, some empty corridor wedged against the water-stained window panes, gazing and gazing and gazing, she would believe it all nothing but a dream. A half-remembered dream. Wasn't that right? But those weren't her words, and deep inside she knew it was more than just fleeting memories; the reason her dreams had long since lost their luster. There really was no going back.

So when she stood there, taking the letter in her hands, and Miles understanding her momentary dismay, she already knew, somewhere deep and secret inside, that she would have never been able to stay away. Would never desire anything but that world, the dreams. She'd never have to explain it. Especially not to Miles, he understood better than most - so he let her fly.

So Ariadne flew, one-way, catching the red-eye.

Fischer's empire was crumbling, tearing away at the foundations, just as their inception had made for it. Saito's corporation would survive, and even more, it would grow. There was to be a merging of one of the divided Fischer-branches and Saito's own company - ensuring his corporation's longevity in the energy market. Saito was to throw a corporate gala, a business party of impressive quality (granted) to kick off the merger. In good amity and well bred manners, he had extended his inception crew invitations. What would his empire be if not for their risk?

Ariadne fingered the sophisticated little invite. The card, tastefully thick, raised insignia, gold-leafed - her name type-printed, Saito's signature flourishing the bottom. Saito was a good man, if she hadn't known that before the inception, she had discovered as much after.

She tucked the card back into the envelope, neatly against Cobb's letter. She couldn't say, at this point, how many times she had taken both out to read, only to place them back inside. She could probably quote each at this point, but she was excited, afterall. There was a small thrill in her. Cobb had brought her into an incredible world, a secret world where she had met some of the most amazing people she felt she would ever meet, and the chance to see them again - she was excited, to say the least.

She glanced down in her lap, at the envelope and at Cobb's letter. She resisted the urge to pull it out again. It had been simple and direct - he had written his regards, inquired about her current affairs at the college, and hoped she would be attending the event. He had written briefly about being home, about his children, but had wished to tell her more in person. Ariadne wished for nothing else, gazing gazing gazing out her window to the deep black and falling into a light slumber. She dreamt of beaches and children laughing, of sitting in some bright and empty room, a half-circle of companionable teasing.

While she dreamt, Ariadne flew - one-way on the red-eye.