A/N: I've been caught with the Inception bug ever since I first saw it a few weeks ago. And since then, I've had a bunch of stories floating around in my mind. So basically this story is just going to be the journey of Arthur and Ariadne's life together since the proposal till, uhm. I don't really know. It takes place roughly a year after the Fischer job. It won't be that long though; I'm planning something along the lines of five to six chapters, maybe longer, who knows! Anyways, enough of my rambling, on with the story!
Italics indicate a flashback or a phone call, not a dream; there will be little straight line thingies if it were a dream.
Disclaimer: I am in no way shape or form the genius Christopher Nolan; therefore I do not own the epicness that is Inception.
Ever since the moment Ariadne stepped into work she noticed that there was something…odd going on with the men on their close nit dream team. Yusuf, who was usually voice of calm within the warehouse, was jumping at the smallest sounds and practically had a heart attack at the sound of her voice. Cobb, who would normally greet her enthusiastically when she arrives, fled quickly at the site of her. Eames, whose antics could never really be specified, was grinning at her like a madman. And Arthur, who was normally by her side the instant she steps into the room, was nowhere to be seen. There was something insanely wrong with the boys in the warehouse.
At first she ignored it, Eames claiming it was a "guy thing that a little lady like herself shouldn't worry about." But all the grinning from Eames, the incoherent sentences from Yusuf, Cobb avoiding her like the plague, and the obvious absence of Arthur was driving her mad. It had been two hours since she came into work and there was still no site of Arthur, and the fact that the others seemed to deem this behavior as completely normal made the situation all that more suspicious.
"Alright, guys, what the hell is going on here?" Ariadne exclaimed, staring down all three men like they were a bunch of five-year-olds that were caught coloring on the wall with Sharpies.
"What ever do you mean, love?" Eames asked, with mock innocence in his voice.
"You know what I mean! Yusuf becomes a mumbling fool whenever I talk to him, Cobb avoids me like he'll die if I touch him, and you've been grinning at me like the Cheshire cat! Not to mention that I haven't seen Arthur come in for work. Seriously guys, what gives?"
Yusuf, Cobb, and Eames shared a knowing look with each other. Eames looked at Cobb with a cocked eyebrow and a gestured towards the fuming architect but only got a curt nod in return. The forger sighed as he turned his attention towards Ariadne.
"Sorry darling. Can't tell you, top secret," Eames said, motioning his hand over his mouth like he was closing a zipper.
Ariadne wouldn't take no for an answer, which was something that the trio would soon find out. She began her stare down with Cobb, looking for a break in his poker face. He responded with raised eye brows and shrug, as if he had no idea what was going on. Then she turned to Eames, glaring at him so intensely, the Brit swore that she was going to lunge at him like some ferocious animal at any second. He responded with a hair ripping wink, leaving Ariadne with as much knowing as Cobb did. She let out a frustrated sigh as she turned to Yusuf and smiled. It looked like the poor boy was going to burst any minute. Smirking evilly, she sauntered over, placing a gentle hand on the Chemist's shoulder and pouted a bit. "Please, Yusuf, will you please tell me what's going on?"
Yusuf gulped. Ariadne was really good at getting him to give any information she wants. Maybe it was because Yusuf had no will power. Or maybe it was because it was insanely hard to say no to Ariadne when she had her pouting face on. Yusuf sighed, and looked anywhere but her face. This was one secret he couldn't afford to blow. "I'm sorry, Ariadne, I can't tell you."
Ariadne puffed out an exasperated sigh and huffed back over to her work area.
Once she was out of hearing range, the three men let out the breath they've been holding ever since the petite brunette stepped into the warehouse. Cobb rubbed the back of his neck in exhaustion. "Eames, if Arthur's proposal falls at the seams, I'm blaming you for it."
"I'm appalled that you would even think that love! I'm saving their relationship. The 'ol prick didn't even have a ring when he came in today; he was just going to ask her, casually, to marry her! I couldn't let Arthur's allergy to romance ruin the experience for our dear Ariadne." Eames exclaimed, putting his hands up in defense.
Yusuf wiped the sweat that was growing on his forehead, Ariadne just nearly made him hurl, "How do you even know that Ariadne wants romance? What if she's like Arthur and just wants to get things over and done with?"
Eames let out a howl of laughter, "Oh, Yusuf, that's hilarious. And Cobb says you don't have any sense of humor."
Yusuf glared at Cobb with raised eyebrows as Eames walked away, still laughing, "You don't think I'm funny?"
"Well, you're not the funniest man alive," Cobb said with an apologetic smile.
Yusuf frowned and walked away, muttering something about sophisticated humor, as Cobb made his way back over to his work area thinking about how exactly they got into this certain situation. Everything seemed normal when he came into work today, having acquired new information on their current mark, Richard Phillips, the CEO of some big company, when he heard Arthur and Eames arguing loudly. Eames was going on about how the Point Man had no romantic fiber in his being and Arthur was going on about how the Forger had no business in his love life.
"No business? No bloody business? This is Ariadne we're talking about! Of course I have business in your love life when it concerns Ariadne!" Eames yelled loudly, flailing his arms about in a frustrated manner.
"Eames, calm down. Why do you care so much anyways?" Arthur said, trying to calm down the fuming Brit.
"Because, Arthur darling, you're going to propose to her, today, and you don't even have a wretched ring to make it official nor do you have any idea of what you're going to say! You're proposing at work for God's sake!"
"What's this? Arthur is finally proposing to Ariadne?" Cobb said, intruding on the duo's conversation.
Eames rolled his eyes at this, "I can hardly call it a proposal, it's like the bastard doesn't even love her."
Eames' words seemed to have struck a chord with the immaculate Point Man. He stood up a bit straighter (if that was possible) and sent a cold glare towards the man. "Don't ever say I don't love her. You want me to buy a ring so badly? Fine, just make sure Ariadne doesn't find out where I'm at. And trust me, she will try." And with that, he left without another word, leaving Eames, Cobb, and an eavesdropping Yusuf in his wake.
Cobb sent an incredulous look towards the Forger, "You know, Eames, you really have to learn to stop meddling with their relationship."
Eames laughed, "Darling, if it weren't for me, those two would still be secretly staring at each other, waiting for the other to admit their feelings. They'll thank me for this later."
Cobb smiled at the memory of the morning. Those two really would be nowhere if Eames hadn't swooped in and trapped them in a dream until they confessed. Now he was swooping in and saving their potential marriage. He had to admit, he was glad that Eames had stopped Arthur from that bland proposal, even if it was the proposal that Ariadne was expecting, he knew that the college student deserved a much more meaningful (at least in their eyes) proposal if anything. Arthur was a gentleman, and knew how to treat a woman right, but when it came to romance the man pretty much botched in everything he tried.
"I'd hate to interrupt you and your deep thoughts, boss, but Arthur just called, he's on his way back. He requested that you hide Ariadne for the time being." Yusuf said, poking his head into the room Cobb was currently located at (how he got there, he couldn't remember, but he checked his totem just to make sure).
Cobb sighed to himself, "Well this should be fun."
"If you would like, I would be happy to kidnap the feisty girl for you." Eames said as he passed by the room, a grin growing wildly on his face.
Cobb knew Ariadne would hate him forever if he let Eames kidnap her, but he really didn't have any other choice, "Fine, Eames, just make sure she doesn't kill you in the process."
Eames' eyes glowed with delight, "Don't worry boss, we'll both come back alive." And with a wink he left.
Cobb didn't even have to leave the room to know what was going to happen next.
"Eames, what're you doing?" Ariadne's voice called from the main room.
"Don't worry about it, love. Just roll with it!"
"Eames? Eames…EAMES! PUT ME DOWN THIS INSTANT!"
"Sorry love! No can do! Cobb!" Eames called out as Cobb made his way over to the open doorway of his "office."
Cobb was instantly greeted by the hilarious sight of Ariadne strewn over Eames' shoulder, kicking and punching Eames in the back furiously, yelling out swears and death threats. He had to hold back a smile as Eames said, "Call me when the prick gets here, that is, if we're still alive. We're going to go for a little…drive." And with that, Eames and a reluctant Ariadne were off, silence filling the warehouse once they've left. Yusuf and Cobb stared awkwardly between each other, not knowing what to do next now that the entertainment was gone.
"Uh…what now?" Yusuf asked, not wanting another moment of awkward silence to pass.
"We…wait? I guess. Arthur should be here any second now."
And as if on cue, the immaculately dressed Point Man walked in, holding a bouquet of red hibiscuses (where he had acquired those, no one will ever know) in one hand a bag filled to the brim with unknown items in the other. He looked between the Chemist and the Extractor several times before asking, "Did I just see Eames leave with Ariadne over his shoulder screaming obscenities?"
"Maybe," Yusuf said, earning a short laugh from Cobb, "and you said I wasn't funny."
"So, Arthur, what exactly do you have in mind for our little Architect today?"
x - x - x - x - x - x - x - x
"I swear to God Eames, if you don't put me down right now I'm going to make sure you can never have children!" Ariadne yelled, punching Eames in the back once more.
"Scream, kick, and punch all you want love, I'll put you down once we get into the car. And besides, I couldn't give a rat ass about having children." Eames said, keeping a firm hold over Ariadne's waist.
"Is that so? So you won't mind if I cut off your little friend down there?"
"That's cold, love. You've been hanging out with Arthur too much for your own good." Eames said as they reached his overly flashy sports car.
Eames, unlocking the door to the passenger seat, opening it, placed Ariadne carefully into the cold leather seat. He leaned down, so that he was face to face with the furious girl. "Now I know that my means of getting you here were…unconventional, but I need you to stay put here, and not run off when I turn to get into the driver's seat."
Ariadne was about to object, but when she saw the sincere look in the older man's eyes she couldn't help but sink in the seat in defeat. "Fine, but I'm not making any promises when we stop."
Eames' smile reached his eyes as he closed the door shut, quickly making his way over to driver's seat. The two sat in comfortable silence as Eames drove aimlessly around Paris. Eames took this time to take in everything that was about to take place. Arthur was going to do a romantic (he hopes) proposal to Ariadne, who would of course say yes, then they would have pretty little brown eyed brunette babies that would grow up with Ariadne's looks and Arthurs stuck up personality because God-forbid their kids take after their mother in the personality department. He mentally groaned to himself and hoped the nonexistent tykes took after their mother.
Ariadne, having noticed the groan, looked at the man with a questionable stare in her eyes, "What's wrong, Eames?"
"Nothing, nothing at all, love. I was just imagining what it would be like to have two Arthurs under one room. I almost killed myself with all the boredom that came to mind," Eames said, with a joking grin.
Ariadne let out a laugh. Of course Eames would insult Arthur even when he wasn't around to be embarrassed by it. She adored their friendship, really. To those on the outside it looked as if the two were always bickering and hated each other, but in her eyes, they really had the strongest friendship she's ever seen. She really would have to thank Eames some time, if it weren't for him she and Arthur would have never been together, even if it was through a very…unconventional way. Now that she thought about it, anything having to deal with Eames was very unconventional. And that made her smile.
Eames seemed to have noticed the growing smile on the architects face, for he pulled over in some random parking lot (he really had no clue where he was), turned to her and asked, "What's with the smile? You look almost as evil as me."
She shook her head, copying his words form earlier, "Nothing, nothing at all love. I'm just happy to have someone like you in my life."
Eames smiled at her sincerity as he felt a buzz in his left pants pocket. Digging around for his cell phone he shot the Architect an apologetic look as he answered, "Is he there?"
"Yup, everything is set." Cobb's voice announced form the other line.
"Good, we're on our way back. Oh, and Cobb? Tell that old stick in the mud that it better be romantic or else I'll announce to the words that he still sleeps with a teddy bear."
"Don't worry. We made him do a run through with Yusuf. And how you found that out, I don't want to know. See you in five, Eames."
"A run through with Yusuf? Oh I pity the poor man. See you in five."
"Mind telling me what that was all about?" Ariadne asked as Eames hung up the phone.
"Don't fret about it, you'll find out soon enough." And with a cat like grin, they were off.
x - x - x - x - x - x - x - x
"Is all of this really necessary?" Arthur asked, taking in the immense amount of rose petals, the ridiculously set table with lit candles, silver platters, and to top it all off, the most expensive bottle of wine available in Paris.
"Yes, yes it is." Yusuf stated bluntly.
"I just got off the phone with Eames; he'll be here in five minutes. Oh, Arthur," Cobb said, turning towards the suit clad man with a humored grin, "I didn't know you slept with a teddy bear."
"I'm going to kill him." Arthur said, death emanating from every fiber in his being. On the other hand, Yusuf could barely control his laughter.
"Who –laugh—knew that Arthur –laugh—would be the one to—laugh—still sleep with a teddy bear!" Yusuf doubled over in laughter, tears forming in his brown eyes.
Arthur rubbed his temple. This day was supposed to be easy. All he was supposed to do was simply ask Ariadne the big question and go on with work regardless if she said yes or no (he preferred yes). But Eames just had to eavesdrop on him rehearsing what he was going to say and just had to mention a ring and just had to start this whole mess to begin with. And now he revealed to not only Cobb that he slept with a teddy bear, but most likely to his future (he hoped) fiancé. He really was going to have to kill him one day—killing him in dreams just wasn't enough anymore.
Five minutes seemed to pass by quickly, for the walking dead man and the petite architect walked through the door.
"What the hell is this?" Ariadne asked, staring in confusion at what seemed to be a cheesy romantic scene from an old French film.
"Oh, uh," Arthur looked around. Cobb and Yusuf seemed to have disappeared (now they leave him alone) along with the aforementioned dead man (how did he disappear so quickly?) seemingly leaving the two alone.
"Well?" she asked, closing the distance between the two, "what's going on?"
Arthur looked around once more, eyes locking on the ridiculous dinner set up for the two of them. Then he laid his eyes on the woman in front of him with her long curly brown locks framing her pink bitten cheeks and her doe brown eyes staring up at him with confusion and amusement. He sighed in content and took her small hands in his, staring deeply into her eyes with more love than she had ever seen in him. He took his right hand and tucked a stray lock of chestnut brown hair behind her ear as he began to say the words that he would never regret.
"Ariadne, right now I'm supposed to take you to that ridiculously set table and have a horridly romantic dinner with you, then proclaim my love for you towards the heavens, and dramatically get on one knee and ask you to marry me. But right here and right now, having you here and not Yusuf, I realize I don't need any of that. All I need is you in my life, holding me to reality. And as corny and cliché as it sounds, you're all I want, all I need, and I would be honored," Arthur trailed off, as he got on one knee, Ariadne's hands still in his hand and their eyes locked, "if you would marry me and be my wife because I love you and I'll follow you and make a heaven out of hell, and I'll die by your hand which I love so well."
Ariadne smiled the biggest smile she had ever smiled in her life, "You quoted Shakespeare, how could I say no?"
"So is that a yes?" Arthur asked with a grin as he rose to his feet.
She grinned, "Yes."
Arthur grinned and took her up in his arms, spinning her around in the most joyous display of affection he's ever shown, only stopping to plant a kiss on her lips, earning a couple of wolf whistles from his team mates who were coming out of their hiding place.
"I've got to hand it to you, darling, that was quite a tear jerker. But if you're not going to drink that wine, mind if I have it?"
A/N: That took exactly three days to write, I didn't mean for it to get so long, and I hate the proposal scene, but it's near midnight, and I'm tired as a sack of potatoes, so please leave a review and hopefully the next chapter won't be so draggy.