A/N: I couldn't resist this prompt at inception_kink on livejournal. It had to be written.
A month after Fischer's inception, Saito leaves a message on his voicemail. He leaves no details, just a vague mention of a job possibility and a date, time and location for a meeting. Arthur doesn't think much of it. Corporate espionage wasn't something one discussed over the phone, much less left recorded on voicemail.
They meet at some swanky New York restaurant where Arthur knows reservations are near impossible and a salad requires dishing out a fortune. But of course, Saito being Saito, there are no such things as waiting lists and reservations, the head chef personally greets them at the door and the waiting staff appears immediately by his side with the snap of his fingertips. Literally.
Arthur merely raises a questioning brow as they settle themselves at their table.
Saito gestures vaguely around him in explanation. "I own the restaurant."
"I figured as much."
After the server is nodded off with drink orders, Arthur steels himself for the inevitably brusque conversation concerning the demands and requirements of the job. Needless to say, his companion's next words are unexpected.
"So how are things?"
"'Things'?" he repeats dumbly, baffled.
"Yes. 'Things' as in your life."
Arthur's face no longer holds the cool and calm demeanor it normally does because blunt, abrasive Saito is injecting pleasantries into their conversation. He's somewhat tempted to reach for his totem.
"I'm sorry. Are you actually asking me how my life is going? And do you genuinely care?"
To his surprise, Saito looks highly offended. "Contrary to popular belief, I am not a heartless man." Arthur gives him a pointed look. "Well, not entirely, anyway."
"Okay, so let me get this straight, you call -" Arthur pauses, something registering in his brain. "Hold on. How did you even get my number? I don't recall ever giving it to you."
Silence. Here, Saito looks slightly sheepish.
"I bought the wireless courier your phone is registered with," he answers finally.
Arthur's eyes widen in disbelief. "Are you serious? You bought AT&T?"
"It was very important that I get in contact with you," the businessman whined.
"So what, you could touch base with me?"
"In a matter of speaking, yes."
Arthur blows out a sigh of frustration. "Well, I'm great, alright? Amazing, even. Thank you for asking." He makes to get up. "If that's all you wanted to discuss and there isn't another pressing issue at hand, I think I should get going."
"Miss Ariadne is a lovely young woman."
The Japanese businessman was all kinds of random that evening. That, Arthur thought, or limbo seriously screwed him up.
"And many young men would consider themselves lucky to be in her company." Saito starts giving him suggestive looks, eyebrows raised, lips curving into a knowing smirk and crown of the head tilting forward as if to say you know what I'm talking about. Arthur half expects his eyebrows to start waggling.
He sighed exasperatedly. "Saito, I don't understa-"
Saito rolls his eyes in a fairly undignified fashion. "Do not play me for a fool, Arthur. I know."
"And what exactly do you 'know'?"
Unsurprisingly, Saito's eyebrows begin to bob up and down, smile widening dementedly. "Second level. Hotel lobby. Suspicious projections. Kiss," is his gleeful response, the manic glimmer in his eyes magnifying in emphasis.
Arthur doesn't know rather to be embarrassed to have been caught or surprised (and suspicious) that Saito knew or fear for the poor man's sanity. Because really, the man was morphing into a giggly, deranged teenage girl right before his eyes.
He settles for indignant instead. "How did you even know that?"
"I have my ways."
Knowing him, he probably bribed Fischer's projections. If that was even possible.
"So," Saito says conspiratorially, leaning across the table, "what are you going to do?"
"What am I - ? I'm not going to do anything. It was a kiss, okay? Why are you making such a huge deal out of this?"
"I'm a romantic at heart." Arthur sports a doubtful look. "I am! And in my line of work, there isn't much romance. Lust, perhaps, but love is rather elusive."
"Please, do not project your desire for romance onto Ariadne and me."
"Why? So you can die an old man, alone and filled with regrets?"
"Damn it, Saito!" Arthur growls, scowling at his companion. "What is it with you and that line?"
Saito smiles smugly. "It's how I make everyone bend to my will."
"Yeah, well, it's pretty damn effective."
"Which is why it has also been trademarked." At Arthur's dumbfounded stare, Saito steers the conversation back to the original topic at hand. "So," he begins, clapping and rubbing his palms excitedly, "I think you should start off with dinner."
"Saito, Ariadne's in Paris. I'm in New York. I can't just fly over there on a whim and take her out."
There's a soft scoff and the wave of a hand. "Nonsense. My newly acquired airline should be of some use."
"And you can take her to this nice little bistro I am currently in the process of buying out. She's mentioned on a few occasions that it's her favourite place to dine in Paris."
"You're just buying a restaurant on a whim?" By this point, Arthur really shouldn't have been surprised.
Saito tsked, as if reprimanding him for asking such a moronic question. "Arthur," he says patiently, "I am buying this restaurant as a favour to you."
"And then afterwards, I was thinking I could shut down the Eiffel Tower to tourists so the two of you could enjoy a little alone time." The older man shoots Arthur a sly look. "Maybe squeeze in another kiss."
The Point Man buries his face in his hands - ("But less chaste.") - and groans.
More to come soon. (I hope.) Drop a review. Love and feedback are always appreciated.