Won't Give In

Summary: Cobol Engineering hasn't forgotten about them and decides to send a message by capturing and torturing their most allusive member to extort money, but Arthur doesn't negotiate, no matter how dire the situation.

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Disclaimer: I own no part of Inception.

Note: I see a lot of stories where Arthur seriously just falls apart the moment something bad happens to him. As much as it makes for a good story, I really wanted to see one where he was just a complete badass the entire time. Warning for mature themes.

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Prologue:

It was dark. He could feel something covering his eyes. He could feel ropes binding him to a chair. The most important thing he told himself was that he didn't remember how he got there.

"It was very hard to track you down. I hope you appreciate the trouble we went through just to bring you in."

Footsteps circled him and he felt something sharp pressing against his side.

"It's not that we're fond of you, you were just the hardest to track and we wanted to send a message to your friends."

The object was digging deeper into his side and he could feel now it was the blade of a knife. He bit his tongue to keep from crying out.

This isn't real.

"The message we want to send is that we don't take lightly to failure and betrayal. We hired you to do a job and not only do you fuck it up, but you ended up siding with Saito. What the fuck is that?"

The knife bore deeper and he felt his blood, thick and warm, seeping out of the wound. His captor twisted the knife and he screamed, feeling the pain travel through his body like an electric current. Yet he kept breathing through gritted teeth, refusing to show any signs of weakness.

"Speaking of Saito. Now that you're all buddies, I'm sure he'd be willing to pay for your freedom. Maybe even your friend Cobb with his new, perfect life would be willing to play our little game."

The pain isn't real. He thought to himself as he tried to regain his composure.

"Now we can do this the easy way or the hard way. You can either give us all the information we want and convince your teammates to comply with our demands and be done with this whole business or you can be difficult and make this an extremely long and painful process."

He felt the knife being pulled out of his side. There was only the temporary relief of it leaving him because in the next moment he felt the tip of the blade pressing against his chest. He realized they weren't aiming for his heart, they weren't aiming to kill. They were going to puncture his lung. They were going to take their time with him.

"So, do you feel like talking?"

He stayed quiet and heard an exasperated sigh before the knife plunged into his chest. He could feel his lung deflating as he fought to draw in air. Struggling to breathe, he could taste blood in his mouth.

"How about it?"

He spit out the blood in his mouth and forced out the only words he was willing to speak, "I'd rather die."

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Note: The next chapter is still in the works, but for now, I hope you're enjoying the story. For those waiting on the song fic series, I'm working on it, I'm just taking a break to do something a little different.