Just Like A Bird

Arthur was running hard, up the small hill from the lake near Cobb's house, his eyes wide, his normal composure forgotten.

His totem—a small, red, loaded die—was clutched tight in his hand. What he had just seen, down by the lake in the murky, shallow water, was no dream.

He had to tell the others.

"Cobb!" he shouted as he ran, "Eames! Yusuf! Ariadne!"

Through the trees, the house came into view.

Arthur could see Cobb and Ariadne in the living room, sitting on the floor beside Cobb's children, James and Philippa, and Yusuf sitting on the couch. He could see Eames's silhouette through the kitchen window.

"Ariadne! Cobb! Guys, you have to see this!" Arthur cried, running full tilt toward the house across the back lawn.

In the living room, Ariadne looked up. Here eyes went wide.

"Arthur, look out!" she shouted.

Arthur saw what was in front of him and instantly realized his mistake.

Two words came to mind: Oh, sh—


Eames stood in Cobb's kitchen, humming contentedly to himself as he set the tea kettle on the stove to boil and turned to the oven, taking a look at the turkey inside. It was almost ready.

Then he blinked, as faintly from outside he heard his name:

"Eames! Yusuf! Ariadne!"

Arthur? he thought, frowning to himself.

Then, louder: "Ariadne! Cobb! Guys, you have to see this!"

He caught a glimpse of someone running across the back lawn, and then heard Ariadne's shout from the living room:

"Arthur, look out!"

Wham.

Eames jumped, startled, and ran into the living room to see Cobb, Ariadne and Yusuf all scrambling toward the sliding glass door to the backyard, just outside of which Arthur was lying on his back, staring at the sky, stunned.

Eames followed as Cobb and Ariadne ran outside and knelt beside Arthur.

"I'll get some ice," said Yusuf, and hurried past into the kitchen.

"Arthur," Cobb said, his eyes wide. "Arthur, are you okay?"

"Did he just run into the sliding glass door?" demanded Eames.

"Like he was a bird or something," Ariadne nodded.

"Arthur," Cobb repeated, and took Arthur's pulse.

Arthur blinked. Slowly, he raised a hand to his forehead. Blinked again. Groaned.

"Uuuuuuuggghhhhhh…" With the help of Ariadne, Cobb and Eames Arthur slowly sat up, clutching his head. "Oww."

"Did you forget there was a door there, darling?" Eames asked, an amused smile starting to spread across his face.

Ariadne let out a small giggle and clapped a hand over her mouth.

"Eames," Cobb said, trying to give Eames a stern glance and looking instead like he was stifling a laugh.

"Shut up, Eames," Arthur mumbled.

"Ice," announced Yusuf, appearing in the doorway with a ziplock bag full of ice and handing it to Arthur, as Ariadne turned away, giggling, and Eames smiled widely.

"How many fingers?" Cobb asked, holding up three fingers in front of Arthur's face.

"Three," Arthur said, taking the ice and pressing it over his forehead.

"What were you shouting about?" Yusuf asked.

"What?" Arthur asked, staring at Yusuf.

"You said we had to see something," Cobb said, "Just after you'd gone for a walk by the lake."

"What did you see?" asked Ariadne, managing to keep a straight face as she did.

Arthur shut his eyes, trying to think through the heavy throbbing in his skull.

"Bird," he mumbled, "…Big, freaky, yellow bird. Huge. Oww…"

Eames, Yusuf, Cobb and Ariadne exchanged bewildered looks.

"Okay…" Cobb began, "…Arthur, I think you'd better lie down for awhile…"


Down by the lake, where Eames, Cobb, Ariadne and Yusuf helped Arthur inside and onto the couch, Saito finally managed to pull himself out of the muddy lake water, yanking the ridiculous yellow costume helmet off his head and chucking it to the ground in disgust, shaking water off his outfit's heavy, feathery wings.

This was the last straw. New Year's Eve or not, he was never dressing up for Cobb's kids again.

Especially not as Big Bird.

FIN

A/N: Yeah…I just wanted to see Arthur run into a sliding glass door. Saito dressed as Big Bird was my rationale for it. THAT'S MY STORY AND I'M STICKING TO IT! : )