Okay, this is a first one... but I think, I might have a new favorite movie and pairing. It's also the first M-rated story I publish, so I'd really appreciate comments and suggestions... Like it? Hate it? More?

As always, I don't own the movie, I don't own the characters, and I don't own the song either...


- Tuum retinere -

"And you want to travel with him

And you want to travel blind

And you think maybe you'll trust him

For he's touched your perfect body with his mind."

- Leonard Cohen, "Suzanne" –


It must be the way Arthur absentmindedly touches the bridge of his nose and frowns in concentration; or maybe it's the fact that Arthur's tailor-cut, always-immaculate suits accentuate his body most advantageously. It might also be that look of righteous indignation and disapproval that he always gives Eames when he thinks that really, that last comment was totally inappropriate. Or maybe it comes from having seen him asleep and dreaming too many times; because there's no sight quite as cute and endearing as a sleeping Arthur, his lips slightly parted, his face relaxed and suddenly very young, very vulnerable.

Whatever it is, there is something about Arthur that makes Eames want to fuck him into oblivion, and then afterwards hold him close, caress that beautiful face and whisper sweet nothings into his ear.

It's almost love; almost.

And yet more than that.

It's an obsession.

Yet a pointless one, because there's not a chance in the world that Arthur, prim and proper and uptight Arthur, could be coaxed into getting dirty with Eames any time soon.


In his dreams – the real ones, not those he only enters to work – Arthur is always with him.

Eames can't tell exactly when his dreams became so utterly Arthur-centered, revolving around that slender, almost fragile body, and the pair of brown eyes looking at him questioningly.

It doesn't matter, though.

All that matters now is not to confuse dream and reality and try to remember that in the real world, pushing Arthur against a wall and snogging him senseless would most likely result in serious injury and a charge of sexual assault.


It happens after they've finished a job and all of them have returned to their safe spot (a roomy hotel suite in Kuala Lumpur), sitting up groggily and stretching.

Arthur, who's looking slightly less immaculate now, turns to smile an exhausted and somewhat distracted smile at Eames over the top of Ariadne's head.

At the sight of that smile, Eames feels his insides starting to melt away. He stares back at Arthur, transfixed, watching the flutter of the long, dark eyelashes against the pale cheeks, the soft in and out of breathing; and surely, everyone in the room must hear his heart beating painfully against the confines of his chest.

Then Ariadne gets up, yawning and smiling a tired smile at Cobb; and the magic of the moment is shattered like an old looking glass, because Arthur decides to get up, too.


Getting Arthur drunk is a hard piece of work, but the results turn out to be more rewarding than Eames ever imagined they could be. Alcohol finally loosens Arthur's tongue and he's talking quite animatedly, even gesturing, his delicate hands flitting through the air like a pair of excited birds.

And Eames looks at him, thinking: Well, it's now or never, baby.

Reaching out for Arthur, he actually closes his eyes in prayer.

Good Lord, if you're out there somewhere, do me a favor and make this work out.

Then, crushing his lips to Arthur's, the prayer is out of his mind along with the last bits of his sanity; it's only Arthur now, ArthurArthurArthur, Arthur or nothing.

And Arthur is laughing now.

"What's so funny?" Eames manages between two gasps, as Arthur's hands sneak under his shirt and up his back.

"I thought you'd never get to the point and I'd have to beat you over the head with something heavy to get you to realize that yes, I'm interested."

Eames can't believe his luck, but he's quick to adjust. "You're full of surprises, love," he whispers against Arthur's neck, feeling the shudder than runs through the smaller man and suddenly needing more, much more. More of Arthur, more of that intoxicating sweetness that is Arthur's lips on his skin, and his moans against Eames' chest and the hotness of his erection pressing up against him.

"Bed," Arthur mutters, still regaining a shred of his usual composure, "now."

And Eames is only too happy to comply, pushing Arthur back until they both land on the bed in a tangle of limbs and half-discarded clothing. Sliding his tongue into Arthur's mouth and a hand into his boxers, Eames feels that he's about to regain Paradise.


Eames insists on never making love to Arthur or even kissing him in a dream. He wants to keep this real, and "if I did so, I'd have to fear that you'd slip away and that I might wake up to realize that it has only been a dream all along."

Arthur calls him silly, but he looks as if he thinks that Eames' insistence is actually cute.

Flirting is okay though, especially since their team-members would probably think it odd if Eames suddenly stopped trying to make Arthur blush and annoying the crap out of him. It's getting harder, now that Arthur's learning how to push Eames' buttons in turn, but Eames is proud to note that he can still do it.

"Fuck you, Eames!" Arthur fumes after a particularly infuriating round of teasing and Eames smiles fondly at him. "Love you, too, darling."


There's no sight in the world more beautiful than Arthur naked and sweaty, moving above him, fucking himself on Eames' cock and gasping each and every time Eames thrusts up to meet him. He's gorgeous with his head thrown back in pleasure, his dark hair finally all tousled up, his eyes closed.

Eames thrusts up one last time, deeply and forcefully, causing his lover to cry out, then spills himself into Arthur, claiming him as his. Arthur is still shuddering with pleasure when Eames pulls him down for a long, languid kiss.

And when a little while later they lie next to each other, face to face, their fingers entwined and still panting from their exploits, Arthur whispers but two words to Eames; "Marry me."


There's no time for a honeymoon, since they have a job to do, helping out Cobb and Ariadne who've managed to get themselves into a rather tight spot. Eames promises himself to make up for that later, though.

They've told no one and aren't planning on doing so anytime soon. Their silver rings are inconspicuous, they could easily be a fashion accessory instead of a symbol of commitment, and nobody seems to notice, but then, once the team is assembled, things get rather busy.

The job goes well until their target's projections start attacking them and Ariadne is shot and pulled back out, but Cobb insists on going on. Eames knows that it's a bad idea, but he's eager to finish this thing, and so is Arthur.

They go deeper into the dream and that is where they make their first mistake. The second is not watching Arthur's back.

And when the kick comes, Eames can only watch horrified as Arthur sinks to his knees, blood spurting from his chest.


He wakes up, screaming Arthur's name like a madman, like someone who's just lost the most precious thing in his life, despair carving out his heart with a spoon.

"Eames! Eames!" It's Yusuf and Cobb, trying to restrain him, trying to get him to calm down.

"He's in limbo!" Ariadne cries, her voice shrill and panicky. "What happened? Can we get him back?"

Eames bends over Arthur's prone, seemingly peaceful form, tears streaming over his face, still whispering Arthur's name like a mantra, and nearly choking on his own words.

"No, no love, you can't do this to me… you can't… Arthur…"

He can still feel Cobb's hand on his shoulder, but now it's sympathetic rather than restraining. Of course. Cobb knows. He knows all too well what it means to lose someone like that.


When Arthur's eyes flutter open, he looks up at the world, as if not recognizing anything familiar about it, but it's only a moment before he sees Eames' tear-streaked face and a smile lights up his beautiful eyes.

"You… you're back," Eames stammers, still incapable of believing it. "How long…?"

"Six years," Arthur replies quietly, still looking up at him, and there's nothing but love and tenderness in his eyes, no fear, no pain, no streak of madness.

"It felt like six years up here…", Eames confesses to him, and Arthur smiles again.

"I couldn't have done it without you."

"But… I wasn't there, love," Eames replies, now fearing that Arthur has gone mad, never mind his sane appearance.

"Not in person," Arthur admits, "but in memory and in feeling. I built a city down there, Eames, and I wrote your name across every surface of that city, every wall, every ceiling, every floor…"

"I will never, ever let you out of my sight again," Eames swears to him, "I will never let you leave me again."

"I wouldn't have it any other way, love."


"So you've decided to quit?" Cobb asks calmly as he's passing a soft children's brush through Philippa's hair. "Both of you?"

"Wouldn't make much sense if only one of us did, would it?" Eames replies, giving Arthur's hand a short squeeze as if to assure himself that he's still there, still alive and breathing and awake.

"No, I suppose it wouldn't." Cobb sighs, now starting to braid the little girl's golden hair.

"You've got Ariadne and Fisher now, and you'll find yourself a new forger," Arthur assures him.

"I'll miss you guys, though," Cobb replies without looking up.

"We'll stop by to visit every once in a while," Eames promises. "After all, we both enjoy Ariadne's cooking…"