Hey, everyone! This is my first Inception fic, and it's been lying around in my hard drive for weeks now, so I thought I'd post it before posting my chapter fic.

It's one of the livejournal 1sentence fics, though I sort of cheated, at the end, and added five sentences. Also, it's a Dom/Ariadne, which is like, rare. Oh well. Please review and enjoy!

Disclaimer: Inception and it's fascinating characters belong to the genius known to us mortals as Christopher Nolan. All hail the master.

I stood on the bridge at midnight,
As the clocks were striking the hour,
And the moon rose o'er the city,
Behind the dark church-tower.
- H.W. Longfellow, The Bridge

She picks up the phone on the first ring, her hands shaking, and whispers "hello?"

02 - hero

"Ariadne," he says, and it's him, it's her teacher, her friend, her sort-of-adopted-brother (hero), and she can't help but smile

03 - memory

and remember everything that was and is and how he looked when he told her to go, go and he would follow when he could.

04 - box

His voice brings up all the things she's kept locked up in her head kept in a box, waiting to be taken out and looked at again.

05 - run

"You need to run," he murmurs (he sounds so tired), "because they're coming for us," and he hangs up the phone.

06 – hurricane

That night she dreams (and she does still dream, but they're blurring and fading and going away) of a hurricane, and she watches them (her family, her friends) drown in the raging waters and shrieking winds and he's the last to go, his eyes impossibly blue and wide, his hand outstretched.

07 – wings

The next night she dreams of wings and she flies all the way to America and then they're flying together, him and his kids, and they go so far and so fast that no one can ever catch them, not hunters nor governments nor businessmen nor shades.

08 – cold

When she wakes her apartment is cold, and she leaves it without looking back because Paris just doesn't cut it anymore and she's on the next plane to Los Angeles.

09 - red

When she lands it's sunset and the sky is a horrible red, and she almost sees crumbling buildings and Mal and forever stretched out before her.

10 – drink

She watches through the window for a moment, checking to see if it's safe, and it is, because there he is, with Arthur and Eames and they're drinking, sipping wine to chase away their fears as their enemies draw closer.

11 - midnight

"We leave at midnight," Arthur tells her, once they've all recovered from the shock of seeing her on Cobb's doorstep, and she nods her assent, ignoring blue eyes and worry.

12 - temptation

"You were supposed to run away," he mutters, glaring unhappily (worriedly) into his wineglass, and she smiles because she couldn't stay away.

13 – view

"You have a great view," she says, trying to make small talk, and he barely glances out his window before grunting and turning back to the task at hand, preparing (once again) to leave his children.

14 – music

Edith Piláf is playing as he hugs and kisses James and Philippa, and she sees that his eyes are dark and miserable and

15 – silk

his fingers trail the silk bedspread, and she knows that he's saying goodbye to Mal and he thinks he might not come back.

16 – cover

"Your name is Anna Johnson," Arthur instructs, "and you're travelling with your extended family to Japan."

17 – promise

On the way to the airport Cobb doesn't speak to anyone, and Ariadne knows that he'd dying a little inside because he left his children again, he broke his promise.

18 – dream

The next time Ariadne dreams she's in a field and he is there, and he's watching the sun slide down and he says something about trains and forever but she can't really hear him (she doesn't want too, anyway.)

19 – candle

"You'll still be our architect," he says flatly and it's not a question or a command, merely a statement, and she nods, ready to get back to work, and the candlelight casts funny shadows that make his face seem almost disappointed.

20 – talent

She spends the next several days making buildings and cities and mazes for their Mark, reveling in the purity of creation, and then one day she finds a beautiful marble staircase that she didn't design in her dream, and it goes up and up and she realizes that she's not the only one with skills.

21 – silence

There's no sound as the team waits, the boys armed and ready to grab their target (it's one of the rare times when the Mark has to actually be kidnapped), and she almost wishes they would speak because she's getting bored and antsy, but they she realizes she has nothing to say to any of them, that silence is actually louder, this time.

22 – journey

They're in and out of the Mark's mind, no problem, no one getting shot (no Mal) and then they're getting up and away, on a train and then an airplane, headed for their next job, always one step away from their pursers.

23 – fire

"Good job, darling," Eames says with a lopsided grin, patting her back in a possibly more-than-friendly way, and Ariadne almost giggles when she sees Cobb shoot him a fiery touch-her-again-and-I-will-shoot-off-your-fucking-balls glare.

24 – strength

"Easy," he says absentmindedly, catching her as she stumbles, and then he turns back to his work, all single-minded focus, and she rolls her eyes because she's wearing a ridiculously low-cut dress and she's mostly drunk and she's been out with Eames studying the forger's target and what man has the strength to resist that?

25 – mask

"Missing Mal?" She says one day, sitting beside him on a rooftop, and his eyes shutter shut and his face closes down and

26 – ice

this time he's all cold and icy and he says no so flatly that she almost believes him.

27 – fall

Sometimes, when he looks at her with his steel and his fire and his half-mended heart, she gets that feeling in the pit of her stomach and she feels like she's in Limbo again, falling, falling and—

"Come dream with me," she blurts out, and to her surprise he agrees.

28 – forgotten

"I've forgotten how much fun this is," he confides in her, happier than she's ever seen him, as they build and create and make a world together (though she puts bridges in the sky and he's not nearly so fanciful.)

29 – dance

"Dance with me," she commands, as her mind supplies something waltzy, and he finds that he cannot say no

30 – body

and for the first time he's aware that she's a woman, with woman parts, not merely another face in a dream.

31 – sacred

But she won't kiss him, won't try to seduce him (now, at least) because they both know that his love is something sacred (but broken) and that it will probably never work.

32 – farewells

After three months on the run with no sight of their pursuers, the team decided it's time to return to their lives again and they separate with lingering looks and touches and promises to meet up in a while, and she's impossibly sad because this is her family saying goodbye.

33 – world

Back in Paris she dreams, and she's always in their world, the place they created in that one dream, and she spends untold hours climbing endless staircases and peering into impossible buildings and walking bridges that go from nothing to nowhere in the sky.

34 – formal

The next time she sees him is when she graduates, and he's in a suit and tie and he is all professionalism and quietness, and when she approaches he bows slightly and calls her "Miss Ariadne."

35 - fever

She demands that he takes her with him, back to L.A., because she's getting cabin fever in Paris with normal buildings to design and normal life to live and

36 – laugh

to her surprise he chuckles and hands her a plane ticket and he tells her that he could not stay away.

37 – lies

"Do you still dream about Mal?"


38 – forever

She's been living with him and his children for months before she finally asks him to take her to the movies, and he looks at her with impossibly blue eyes and says "I can't promise you forever."

39 - overwhelmed

But he takes her anyway and it's fantastic, it's witty banter and commentary and discussions about dreams, and she's almost overwhelmed by the rushing in her heart and the headiness on her tongue.

40 – hope

"One day, you'll be able to love without thinking you've betrayed her," she tells him gently, that evening, tracing his muscles lightly, and she doesn't miss the way his eyes lighten with hope.

41 – wait

After six months of movies and dinners and talk and almost-sex he looks her in the eyes and tells her that he's sorry that she's had to wait so long, and she smiles and says "I don't mind," and then there's kissing and touching and it's love, it's loss, it's joy and pain and fierceness and never letting go, and she's happy.

42 – talk

She's never had someone she could talk to like she can talk to Dom before, and their conversations are wild and outlandish but they're honest and that's enough (though she enjoys the time spent not talking too; that part's fun.)

43 – whisper

"Wait," he hisses, one night, his big hands protective on her stomach, and she goes silent, "there's someone here."

44 - search

And he slides out of bed and he pads down the hallway and there's silence as he searches and then angry voices and then a gunshot and the children wake screaming and terror floods her heart—

45 – eclipse

She finds his body on his kitchen floor, shot through the chest, and she collapses beside him and she finally understands what can eclipse love and

46 – gravity

the gravity of it (of him dead and gone and the children shrieking) is too much and it pins her to the floor and drags her heart from her chest.

47 - family

The funeral is quiet and small—the team, Miles, the children—and when it's over Arthur and Eames, silent, for once, come over to her and James and Philippa and crouch down to the children's level.

"We are a family."

48 – unknown

Days pass and fade into months, and the house is never quiet because Arthur and Eames have taken it upon themselves to love and raise Dom's children like their own, and Ariadnes is unknowing of the world as she tries to remember how to live.

49 – lock

After months that turn into years the ragged wound doesn't heal so Ariadne goes into dreams once more (she lost the ability to dream after he died) and gathers all her memories of him, of them, and she builds herself a box and she shoves them all inside and throws away the key.

50 – breathe

And then she can breathe again, she can see again, and she lands a job with the Agency and the world grows up around her, and Arthur and Eames and James and Philipa grow old and forget and she's an old woman whose only purpose in life is to guard her box of memories, to remember.

51- half

She finally understands Dom and Mal, and how the death of one broke the other, and what hurts the most is that Dom was never her half—he belonged to someone else, she was just a band-aid and crazy glue.

52 – abandoned

It also hurts that she builds dreams until the day she dies and goes under thousands of times, and not once does a projection of him come along for the ride or begs her to join him.

53 – stars

Sixty years later she's ancient and withered and semi-retired, and she looks up at the sky and the stars are beautiful, and she thinks about a half-remembered dream, about marble staircases and bridges in the sky, and she's startled to realize that she doesn't hurt so much anymore.

54 – earth

She dies at the age of eighty-five and when she goes she's relaxed, because at last it's earth to earth, ashes to ashes, and she simply doesn't have to be Ariadne the architect anymore, and she closes her eyes for the last time—

55 – bridges

and when she opens them she's on a bridge in the sky, the world sprawled below her, and waiting in the middle is Dom, and there's Mal and Arthur and Eames and even Saito and Yusuf behind him, and she's running from nothing to everything, and she sprints across the bridge and into them, and he's smiling and happy and light.

"You were never a band-aid." He says warmly, and he's holding Mal with one hand and her with the other. "Ariadne, I'm sorry I couldn't promise you forever."

"It's okay." She says, and she touches his face and Mal laughs, a light, free sound. "You tried."

And across the bridge, there was light.

The moon and its broken reflection
And its shadows shall appear,
As the symbol of love in heaven,
And its wavering image here.
-H.W. Longfellow, The Bridge