Title: The Process of Getting to Bed
Inspiration: more "Routines" and boy-cuddling
Disclaimer: It's not mine. You all know it's not mine... C'mon now.
Notes: Doesn't feel quite as good as "Getting Dressed"...

With the two of them, it was never just falling asleep. It used to be. Eames used to stumble home, possibly strip and then just collapse into bed with no preamble, no fuss, no loitering. The bed and home at night-time was for one thing and one thing only: sleep. Now, though (with him) Eames found himself making a rather big production of getting to bed and getting to sleep.

First off, it starts a good hour, sometimes more, before either of them plan on going to sleep. They exchange a glance and get up from wherever they are (usually the couch but if they're out, who knows) and move into the bedroom. Eames changes first -"change" here meaning undress to boxer briefs. He does so carelessly, letting each removed article of clothing fall to the floor in a sort of sleepy apathy. This is followed by Arthur precisely as always getting undressed (all the while glaring at Eames until Eames sighs and concedes, gathering up his haphazardly strewn clothes and tipping them into the laundry basket) and trading the clothes for shorts and a tee shirt or track pants or whatever he plans on sleeping in.

That would move quicker if only they could keep their hands off one another. But Arthur never fails to pause halfway through changing to press his face against Eames' bare shoulder. And Eames can't help but help Arthur out of those expensive shirts, smooth buttons sliding through silky fabric that he always pauses to rub his fingers over; can't help but work his fingers through the other man's hair to break up its gelled perfection. Arthur scoffs in annoyance at that but Eames' knows he doesn't really mind at all.

Then comes the washing up. Both of them together, in fact, which only breeds more constant touching. Eames dances in front of the sink, pacing as he brushes his teeth, washes his face, etc. His fingers trace Eames' lips, erasing a stray crescent of toothpaste or smoothing out a drop of water as it glides down Eames' temple. He also stands stock-still, concentrating on his task at hand. (Though, Eames' swears he often catches him smiling in the mirror, eyes following Eames' restless movements.) Eames bumps into him more often then not, getting in the way and he'll swear sometimes the Forger does it on purpose. If one of them finishes before the other (always Eames, because he's a bit spastic, if you hadn't noticed), he waits. Leans against the far wall, watching Arthur as he goes about the ends of the routine. He deliberately meets Eames' eyes in the mirror once he is done and then turns and they share a few kisses that taste of mint and sleep.

Finally, after that, they get into bed. This is Eames' favorite part, if he's being honest. Probably because it's close and intimate proximity to him with no pressure. Eames' is free to just relax. Arthur goes first, with a book and the faint click of the nearby lamp turning on. He's got the book open and is reading before Eames starts to climb in. And then you'd think they were twenty years married or something by the way the immediately settle into their usual, comfortable positions.

He is sitting up in bed, leaning against the headboard. Book in his hands -on dream theory, Eames' think but fuck if he actually knows- and his chest is a steady clockwork of rise-falls. His eyes move leisurely over the page, the bedside lamp spilling just enough light over them. Eames is nestled between his spread legs on his stomach. His head is pillowed by Arthur's thigh, eyes shut languidly and face turned away from the soft light. His entire body is stretched and sprawled, limbs falling where they please. Eames is the picture of comfort; content to just lie there, to just be. With Arthur. Especially when his fingers drop to the base of Eame's neck and stroke just at the hairline. A purr is pulled from deep within Eames' chest and he's not ashamed to admit that he damn well nuzzles against Arthur's leg at the touch.

Arthur chuckles airily and Eames hears his book settle on the bedside table before the vague imprint of light dies behind his eyelids. "Sleepy?" comes Arthur's lilt, fingers moving more substantially at the back of his neck, other hand joining the first just a bit lower, working between Eames' shoulder blades. Eames manages a noise vaguely in the positive but nothing more as he's too busy all but melting at the touches.

Arthur scuttles down so that he's laid out on the bed, Eames shifting (but not without a brief groan of protest at moving) to accomodate. Arthur is neat on his back, eyes closed and head turned toward Eames, one hand still on the back of Eames' neck. Eames is curled on his side with his arms wrapped around Arthur's middle and one of the Point Man's legs caught between both of his. Eames' face fits perfectly into the crook of his neck and Eames lets out a sigh, grinning at Arthur's snuffled laugh in reaction to the ticklish stimulus.

"Behave," he chastises playfully.

"Mmm, 'course, love," Eames replies.

They lay in the silence and dark a moment longer before exchanging soft 's not far after that until Eames drifts off. His grip slackens slightly and so does his face. It's now -unbeknown to Eames- that Arthur opens his eyes and watches the Forger. Just for a moment or two. Studying the free face, Arthur imagines he can tell what Eames looked like as a teenager (still bloody hot, mind you). One roll of the die later (because, as ridiculously sentimental as it sounds, Arthur wants to make sure this is definitely reality), he allows himself to slide away as well.

AN: Hope you enjoyed! ^^