Arthur dies on a Wednesday and at first Eames isn't concerned any more than he usually is. He is reaching into his pants as he always does when Ariadne starts to scream. She's sobbing when Cobb wrenches the gun out of Eames' determined hands and incoherent when Eames drops to the ground and cradles Arthur's lifeless body to his chest. His right hand is clenched in a fist behind Arthur's back and Ariadne doesn't have to open it to know what's inside.

It takes the force of two grown men to pry Eames from Arthur when the paramedics arrive. They don't go to the hospital as Arthur is pronounced dead on the scene and when his body is gone, they all stand uselessly in the street until Eames leaves without saying a word. The PASIV is waiting for him at the warehouse when he arrives and he doses himself with some kind of sedative that Yusuf had left laying around before putting himself under. They find him like that a few hours later, the team, when they go back to the warehouse to grieve.

Arthur's body is to be cremated in Paris and, as per his detailed will, his entire estate left to Eames. Saito delivers a particularly poignant eulogy at the funeral that leaves even Yusuf in tears. It's only too bad that Eames isn't there to hear it.

(It's Cobb who goes to get him on the day of Arthur's funeral. He's only under for a few seconds before he wakes up. "He shot me," he gasps. "The sonofabitch shot me.")

"Enough!" Ariadne yells at Yusuf on the sixth consecutive day that Eames spends dreaming. They wander in and out of the warehouse in aimless shifts. None of them knows where to go or what to do other than sleep and shower and eat and sit around. "Don't you get that you're not making this any easier for him? Arthur is dead. He can't bring him back."

Yusuf shakes his head at her and forgives her in advance for every dirty name that he knows that she will call him when she finds out about the special sedative that he has prepared in Arthur's honour.

She storms over to Eames' prone body and has her hand out, reaching towards him to pull the IV from his arm when Cobb pulls her back. "Don't."

"But, Dom—"

His face is tense when he cuts her off. "Leave him be, Ariadne."

She stomps out of the warehouse without another word.

They fight about it again when the two of them finally go home for the night.

"I can't believe you're letting him do this to himself," she says, as she paces their bedroom in a t-shirt and shorts. "Jesus. I thought you were his friend."

"I am his friend. Just like you are his friend and just like Arthur was ours."

"It's not the same."

"Ariadne," Cobb cautions, from the bed. "Drop it."

"Letting him wander around down there like that," she continues, climbing into bed beside him, flicking off the bedside lamp. "It's cruel. I don't understand how you can just allow him to believe that he can still save him."

"He's not trying to save him."

"Well, if not, what, then?" She snaps.

"He doesn't want to live without him, Ariadne," he says, leaning in and kissing her gently on the lips. "Please, try to grasp that."


A/N: Writing new characters is n e r v e w r a c k i n g.