Summary: For the LJ Inception Kink Meme. Inception/Mysterious Skin Crossover.
Arthur wasn't always known as Arthur. Once upon a time he had been Neil McCormick. And the team's new mark was a very faithful customer of Neil's. When the team enter his subconscious, his dreams are about the nights he spent with Neil and the things he did to him. Bonus if the mark was into extra kinky stuff and liked hurting Neil, maybe left a physical scar or two and left a lot more mental scars.
Cue massive angst from Arthur and a lot of h/c Eames/Arthur. Sex is optional.
Warning: Slash, rape, abuse and the general not-for-children content that comes from being connected to 'Mysterious Skin' – also bad language.
Arthur is gripping the sink so hard his knuckles hurt. He is here in this moment. Now. 27 years old. In an expensive suit. Arthur. Arthur. Arthur.
He is not 16 again. Curled on the bathroom floor, naked and aching all over. He can't feel the blood and cum leaking obscenely out of his ass. He isn't bruised or bloody. He doesn't hunker down in a corner and pull his best friends t-shirt to his nose to smell a purer smell, to wash that man out of his nostrils and be reminded of home.
He is at the warehouse, with his team and none of this is happening. None of it at all.
Eames doesn't like to advertise it, but he has been in love with Arthur since he met him. The thought of someone hurting the boy he loved made him want to murder someone. And considering the situation in which Arthur had his panic attack it seems best to go after the fucker that is their mark.
It is only Cobb and Yusef's full body weight which stop him from killing that sick bloody arsehole with his bare hands. Arthur was seventeen when they met, acting older than he was, wearing a suit that was a little too big for him. It made his wrists look tiny, delicate and bone thin. So worn. He made Eames want to hold his hand. God, he loves him. Why did he have to hurt?
The bathroom is closer to the warehouse doors than the IV room, so the team surround the bathroom before Arthur can leave. Ariadne stays back, she cannot fight, she is confused and if she is honest with herself, kind of scared of Arthur. The man who shot Eames and her without the bat of an eye.
Eames and Cobb take point, with Yusef behind. When Arthur comes out they are prepared, but not ready. Arthur looks terrible. His hair is free of the gel, his hands look white and strained and he is only wearing his trousers and the undershirt. Eames can see there are pale scars of bite marks on his shoulder. He wonders where they are from but tries not to think to hard into it. He is scared of the answer.
Cobb goes forward first, his hands outstretched, he seems to know what is going on. His face is placid and calming. But the hidden look of pity seems to enrage Arthur worse than Eames has ever seen him. He is more out of control than ever, his hair wild and falling into his face. It seems darker than normal without the reflected shine from the gel. Even sorrowful and angry, he still looks beautiful. Eames can hardly tear his eyes away. He looks at Arthur and the words come to mind.
I think, if I touched the Earth,
It would crumble,
It is so sad and beautiful,
So tremulously like a dream.
Somewhere along the line Arthur became his world, but he doesn't dream any more. And Arthur looks like he will crumble without a touch to push him to the edge. He looks like he could fall apart without a word or a breath.
Eames thinks Arthur used to be a teenaged prostitute. That he was raped by the man they just went into the head of. That he was even more fragile than Eames thought he was, more fragile than Eames can bear. Oh, God, he wishes he was wrong.
The idea of staying here and talking to the team about what had been done to him, what he had been and been paid to do was a dull, distant idea. To abstract and unreal to even contemplate – to even be a dream constructed by the best of architects and forgers.
He's fourteen again. Pants provocatively low on his hips and no underwear to speak of. He's wearing that little silver medallion that Wendy gave him, he always thinks he shouldn't, because it's like bringing something pure into a sordid world of harsh, dizzy, lovely sex, but he never stops wearing it – maybe exactly for that reason.
He still wears it today, maybe to keep his light when he's killing men left, right and centre to steal things from some one's mind, even if they're not real he still feels like a murderer, dirty, shamed. Some things never change.
There's a man, blonde and muscled and he's all small eyed and masculine and he's exactly what Neil's looking for. He looks like the Coach. Neil imagined he would smell like him too. When he was sweaty and flushed red as he forced his way into Neil. He's fourteen again and he hates how much he missed the simplicity of it all. The sky was blue, the grass was green when it got watered, the Coach loved him and sex was the only way to recapture that.
Now he's at the tail end of twenty. He's wearing sharp suit and is a world infamous Point Man. He also feels the stirring warmth he felt when he looked at Wendy or his mom or one of the few people he ever truly cared about when he looked at his team. He wants to reach out to one of them and share all of his woes. Tell them like he never really told anyone. But that's never going to happen. After Wendy found out, that one Halloween when he made that boy bleed then moan, she never looked at him the same way and God damnit it would break him to see the team like that with him. To have them meet new people and warn them away from Arthur, like he was something dangerous or infectious or dirty. Not good enough. Back when he was Neil that wouldn't have concerned him, he was high on paid for sex and the rush of drugs and booze and teenage rebellion. His own brand of apathy and self administered life style. The pleasure principle was his modus operendi and he lived by it every second. Never cautious or concerned. Just in it for the feel good factor and the reminder of love.
But sometime after New York and his revelations on Christmas, the black hole in his chest got filled up. He's terrified because he thinks the thing that filled it up is a heart. And that means he has to care.