Title: The Process of Getting Dressed
Inspiration: Arthur's suits and how these two seriously are quite the GQ MFs
Disclaimer: I do not own Arthur or Eames, clothed or otherwise ;) Or anything to do with Inception.
Note: I don't really know where this came from but I sat down to just jot out the intro and the whole thing just spilled out. And I rather like it, I think...
Also, someone please let me know if I dropped tense? I was on a present-tense kick and then this one decided to be past and I'm not sure if I slipped up or not.

Getting dressed around another man was rather different. The morning-after dance crossed more paths. With a woman, he would get up before her (he got up before everyone, he found), finish in the bathroom in a manner of minutes and move onto clothes. At that moment, she would more or less be waking up. And then she would be in the bathroom while he finished getting dressed. And then she would be just getting out of the bathroom while he took care of food (or, more likely and especially in the case of one of those abashed one-night-stand deals, just coffee) and then by the time she would finish dressing and move onto make-up, he would be complete entirely and heading out the door. No overlaps, no need for shuffling around each other and getting in the way.

Of course, that was with a woman.

Arthur was finding that most things in the relationship with a man were more difficult. He first realized this when he awoke to the opposite of the bed being empty. Still warm, though, from last night's body (and, since this wasn't a one-night-stand deal, the night before that and the night before that for two or three months worth of "night before that"s). He sighed and stretched his arms out, watching the block of sun over the ceiling and the listening to the shower start. Not five minutes later the water was whistling to a stop and he slid out of bed.

They got caught up at the threshold to the bathroom: him with water clinging to his collarbone and a towel slung around his hips; Arthur with sleep in his eyes and a layer of scruff that he was desperate to get rid of (because while it looked utterly perfect on him, it just wasn't for Arthur). Normally that would have been just two seconds of delay; rocking from foot to foot in trying to anticipate which direction the other wasn't going to choose. But it ended up evolving from that simple dance to something more when he deliberately got in front of Arthur, wet and wrinkled fingers ghosting at his hips, under the tee shirt used to sleep in, cold on the bed-warm skin there. And, well, how could Arthur not pause for a moment, fit his face against the damp shoulder, inhale the smell of clean and fresh but not aftershave. Because there was the tell-tale whisper of a days' growth against soft skin.

He chuckled and his fingertips traced up Arthur's spine under the thin fabric of his shirt, hem rising with the crook of his elbow. Arthur made a noise of regret and pulled from him. A short, amused grin was shared before he moved to the bedroom and Arthur continued into the bathroom. After listening for a minute to the movement through the drawers, he stepped out of his clothes and into the shower. After that and a quick shave (and some gel too), Arthur headed back out to the bedroom where he was barely dressed.

Boxer shorts, but the bed was made and Arthur could hear the coffee pot gurgling faintly from the front of the apartment. Smiling, Arthur moved to pull on his own underwear as Eames handled an undershirt. Arthur got as far as doing the buttons up on his shirt before there was another pile-up. Both at the closet at the same time, smirking between each other; Arthur reaching for suit pants, Eames jangling hangers in search of the (no doubt loudest and flashiest) shirt. He could feel Eames' eyes on him as he tucked the shirt in. Arthur's fingers itched to do the same to Eames' but instead he just turned and watched him move about, pulling out socks.

While Eames took care of that, Arthur chose a tie at random, flipping up his collar and looping the fabric around his neck. He was just starting the knot when a warm body pressed against his back. He couldn't help but grin (and blush, because Arthur was certainly the blusher in this relationship. But no, that did not mean -no matter how badly Cobb teased- that he was also the woman in the relationship. Even if he was often the "catcher." Because they were both decidedly men, thank you very much. And besides, when it came to cuddling Eames was a total softie and definitely the woman.) and lean back. He dropped his hands to his sides because he knew what was coming next. And it was, Eames fingers stroking at the upright collar, some off-color joke muttered about popped collars and erections, over the silky fabric. Deftly putting together a flawless Windsor and then, just for annoyance's sake, giving it a little off-center tug.

"Because you're dead-sexy with a hint of 'debauched,' darling."

Arthur just rolled his eyes, his own long fingers joining Eames' to tighten the knot, straighten it over the hollow of throat. Eames' throaty laugh, unobstructed by any tie, of course. He moved away but not before smoothing Arthur's collar down and dropping a brush-of-lips to the nape of his neck. (There's that blush again. He was not the woman, he swore.) There was the flash of something metallic being slipped into his pocket (Arthur didn't know what his totem was, just that it caught the sun and was not the poker chip that he always used as a decoy for whatever reason.) before Eames headed out of the bedroom, calling back that he'll pour coffee for you, love.

Arthur handled his own totem a moment, tossing it in the air once before working it into his own pocket. As he headed for the door himself, he spared a glance to the clock on the bedside-table. More than thirty minutes for a routine that used to average around eight. Shaking his head, Arthur couldn't help but laugh. As he headed for the kitchen his fingers groped upward, wrist twisting in the slightest to quirk his tie knot down a half-inch and to the right. The laugh and kiss he gained in return after Eames' eyes danced over the collar was worth it. Tie askew and process prolonged all the same.

AN: Let me know what you think, please! ^^