Eames was not entirely certain he wasn't dreaming, especially after spending the entire previous night discussing dream theory with Cobb and Mal. He thought about pinching himself, but if you pinched yourself in a dream, wouldn't you still feel it?
All thoughts of dreaming were forced out of his mind when Arthur's hand wrapped around his cock and squeezed. If it wasn't reality, he no longer cared as long as Arthur kept doing that.
"Your amazing dick," Arthur said breathily. "I couldn't stop thinking about it. I couldn't stop thinking about you."
"I know the feeling," Eames admitted and closed his eyes to savour the sensation of Arthur touching him. The reminder that Arthur thought his cock was amazing brought another heady rush.
"Really? Is that why you were at a club?"
Eames' eyes snapped open. "You did call me!"
Arthur looked away and a blush tinted his cheeks. Eames felt a rush of glee, knowing he'd been right, and suddenly he was very glad he had gone to Mal's place with Cobb instead of seeking out a dark-haired substitute for Arthur.
"Were you annoyed with me? Is that why you wouldn't answer when I called you back?"
"No," Arthur replied immediately, but he wouldn't meet Eames' eyes.
Eames pushed a hand through the leg opening of Arthur's pants and stroked his thumb lightly over Arthur's testicles. "No? Not even a tiny bit?"
"Maybe a little," Arthur murmured on a breath. He lifted his hips and pushed into Eames' hand, but Eames moved his fingers away to trail them over Arthur's thigh. "Okay, a lot."
Eames smiled and replaced his hand, cupping it over Arthur's hard cock. Bloody hell. Arthur's groan nearly made Eames come from the sound alone, helped by Arthur palming his prick with increasingly delicious movements.
Eames did the same, stroking with deliberation, willing to see who broke first. All the while, Eames stared down at Arthur, drinking in the sight of him flushed and panting, beginning to lose the control he wore like an invisible garment.
"I was afraid I would never again see you like this," Eames admitted on a whisper. He silenced Arthur's reply with a kiss and then let go of his cock to pull at the last barrier of cloth between them. Eames' hands caressed Arthur's long legs as he drew the cotton fabric up and away. "You are gorgeous."
Arthur blushed as if no one had ever paid him such a compliment and Eames leaned down and took Arthur's cock into his mouth to underscore his words. Arthur arched into him and his hands dropped to Eames' head. Considering his domination last time, Eames half expected Arthur's grip to become bruising, but Arthur was curiously docile. Eames wondered if it was more typical of Arthur's usual behaviour and the other was simply a result of the alcohol. He hoped he would have the opportunity to find out.
After Eames worked Arthur's cock for a few minutes, taking him throat-deep and remembering the night when Arthur had fucked his mouth—and then Arthur pulled at his hair with a murmured, "Stop. Eames."
Eames looked up and let Arthur's cock slap against his abdomen with a wet sound. He pressed a kiss against the tip and was glad to note Arthur's expression was not troubled. In fact…
"I want you to fuck me," Arthur said.
Questions sprang to Eames' lips, but he forced them all back. There would be time to determine Arthur's motivation later. Eames wasn't stupid enough to risk breaking whatever spell Arthur was under. Without speaking, Eames nodded and levered himself up to reach the bedside table. He wrenched open the small drawer and fumbled for a condom to go with the lubricant he had lost somewhere on the bed—ah, there it was.
Arthur took the foil packet from his fingers and tore it open with his teeth. He pushed himself up and then rolled the latex over Eames' stiff cock, which was an amazing experience in itself. Eames could not recall when anyone had done it for him; it was somehow touching, especially when Arthur kept his eyes locked with Eames' for most of the process.
Eames impulsively kissed him and then pushed him gently, urging him to lie down. "Let me take care of you, darling."
Arthur's nose wrinkled as he fell back, hands falling loosely over his head. "Do you call everyone that?"
Eames laughed. "Oddly enough, you are the sole recipient of that particular endearment. Does it bother you?"
Arthur closed his eyes and seemed to relax against the pillows, though every line in his body looked tense. "No."
Eames trailed his hands gently over Arthur's abdomen, massaging to help him relax. He wondered if Arthur had ever bottomed before, but forbore to ask. If so, it had either been a long time or it simply did not come naturally to him, because his muscles were taut. Asking him to relax would likely make it worse, so Eames set about loosening him up in a far more pleasurable way, starting with Arthur's neck.
"Your neck is nothing short of edible, Arthur," Eames murmured as he placed biting kisses beneath Arthur's ear and continued down over his jugular. "And your collarbones are perfectly sinful."
Arthur snorted, but he was incrementally relaxing beneath Eames, whose hands continued to stroke languid circles over Arthur's ribs and hipbones. "Collarbones can't be sinful," Arthur said.
"Oh yes, they can. Yours are like fine white chocolate. Smooth and lovely and begging to be tasted." Eames licked the delicate ridges and then dipped his tongue into the hollow and laved it. Arthur's breath hitched and then gripped Eames' shoulders, holding lightly.
"And your torso is like a Renaissance statue," Eames continued and kissed his way down to one perfect nipple. He teased it with his tongue before latching onto it and sucking vigorously. Arthur's cock twitched and left a smear of wetness across Eames' skin as he switched to the other nipple. Arthur's fingers dug into Eames' shoulders.
Eames continued to give attention to Arthur's nipples as he unscrewed the lubricant cap with one thumb and forefinger before squeezing some out onto his fingertips. Then he cupped Arthur's balls and gave them a delicate grope. Arthur made a choked noise and practically vibrated beneath Eames. Bloody hell, he was responsive. Eames' fingers stroked the soft flesh beneath Arthur's testicles, swirling over the sensitive skin there and working ever so slowly down until he reached the furrowed area.
Arthur tensed again, but only for a moment. His fingers released their punishing grip from Eames' shoulders and then rubbed lightly over his skin, up over Eames' neck where his nails scraped through his hair, earning a groan from the brief scalp massage. Damn, it felt good.
Arthur's fingers stayed in Eames' hair, moving slowly, as Eames kissed his way lower, until he hovered over Arthur's cock while his index finger teased at Arthur's entrance. Eames licked a long stripe up Arthur's hard length, flattening his tongue and then curling it around the head as if he were painting it and not wanting to miss a spot.
He took the whole thing into his mouth just as his fingertip breached Arthur, pushing inside to the first knuckle. Arthur bit off a cry almost before it was uttered and his body shook and went completely rigid again.
Eames' other hand stroked over Arthur's hip in a calming gesture even as he swallowed his cock, burying his nose in Arthur's pubic curls. Arthur panted and loosened his fingers in Eames' hair, where they had quite painfully clenched.
"Sorry," Arthur murmured and then his body went completely loose. Eames marvelled at Arthur's incredible willpower and then pushed his finger deeper. Arthur remained relaxed and Eames wriggled the digit in and out until it felt right to insert another. Arthur only groaned a bit at the added intrusion, or possibly at Eames' sucking his cock. Either way, the sound was maddening and Eames prick pushed against the duvet, hips thrusting as he unconsciously sought to ease the pressure.
Eames kept up the slow tease, sliding a third finger in with the other two and stretching him as gently as possible, aware of every hiss and gasp and quiver.
"Fuck, Eames, I'm not going to break. Just do it, already."
Eames chuckled and pulled his fingers free to lever himself up. He grinned down at Arthur, who already looked half-wrecked. The sight gave Eames' ego a jolt and his smile faded as he prepared his cock, slicking more lubricant over the condom.
Then he placed a reassuring kiss against Arthur's lips and took the plunge.
Arthur felt like he was being torn in half.
Eames' fingers had been difficult enough to take, but his cock… Arthur knew his grip on Eames' biceps were probably leaving bruises and completely destroying Arthur's image as a master of casual sex, but he simply couldn't help it.
In truth, Arthur had never bottomed. Not ever. He wasn't sure what had possessed him to do it this time, except the thought of Eames bearing down on him with that magnificent body… And Arthur wanted to apologize for being a fucking bastard all week and actions seemed better than words when it came to Eames.
Stop, he thought, even though he couldn't speak the word through his pride.
Eames, apparently, was telepathic as well as gorgeous, because he halted partway inside and let Arthur cling to him desperately, shaking. "Breathe, darling. Try to relax. It gets easier, I promise."
Fuck. Arthur might as well have worn a t-shirt that said I'm a virgin!
He relaxed his fingers with effort, and then the rest of him, using his vaunted willpower and trying to breathe like a pregnant woman in a Lamaze class. "I'm fine," he said through clenched teeth.
Eames chuckled. "Of course you are." His thumbs stroked over Arthur's hipbones and Arthur could feel his thighs shaking, probably from the difficulty of not thrusting completely inside and savoring the tight heat—that feeling Arthur knew well.
The discomfort ebbed enough that Arthur could withstand it and he nodded, hoping Eames would take it as assent to continue. Eames kissed him again first, which was one of the more excellent things about Eames. Arthur loved to kiss and Eames was incredible at it and seemed to enjoy it just as much. Tasting those lips and running his tongue over Eames' not-perfectly-straight teeth was an exercise in self-restraint in order to stop doing it. Spending hours at the activity would not be a waste of time.
He let go of Eames' arms in order to shove his fingers into his short hair again and deepen the kiss. It helped take his mind off the fact that Eames was moving… oh God.
Arthur fought through it. And then it did get better. A fuckton better. Arthur's eyes snapped open and he stared at Eames in amazement.
Eames laughed. "Arthur. You have never bothered to locate your prostate before now?"
"Shut up," Arthur retorted. He shut his eyes, unwilling to admit that he was not, in fact, in the habit of shoving things up his ass, nor of experimenting at all, actually. When he got horny he would choose someone random, generally at a club, go back to their place, fuck them hard, and get out. Arthur did not have the time for emotional attachment or sexual inventiveness.
"I feel privileged to be the one to introduce you," Eames said, sounding smug. Before Arthur could retort, he began to move again, dragging over the gland that nearly had Arthur seeing stars. "Good?" Eames asked with diminished arrogance.
"Yes," Arthur admitted breathily as he bit his lip and drove his hips upward to meet Eames' next thrust. Eames' accompanying groan brought a grin to Arthur's lips, pleased to be able to return the favor.
It was alternately uncomfortable and blissful beyond reason as Arthur exercised muscles that had possibly never before been used. Watching Eames work was incredible, chest and arm muscles corded as he held Arthur's hips in place and drove into him over and over. His handsome face was taut with concentration, but the warm look in his eyes never wavered. It was almost too intense to bear and Arthur found his eyes fluttering shut, only to snap open with the need to watch.
The stimulation was too much. It seemed far too short a time before he was coming, embarrassingly untouched, and shouting unintelligibly—at least he hoped it wasn't intelligible, because his thoughts were a jumble of nothing but Eames' name and mortifying sentiments that bordered on adoration.
Eames didn't seem to mind, judging by the tension Arthur felt beneath his fingers. Eames quivered and made the most amazing face as he jerked his hips forward, rocking into Arthur a few more times before opening his eyes. They stared at each other timelessly and then Eames fell forward into another gasping kiss. It was sloppy and wet and altogether wonderful.
"All right?" Eames asked as he pushed back and then gently pulled out. Arthur grimaced. He would definitely feel the effects of that for a while to come. Just lowering his legs made several muscles twinge. He felt raw and sore and…
Eames expression was concerned. Arthur forced a smile. He wasn't completely sure what he felt, except that it was definitely— "Good. Really good. You are very… Well, I'm sure your ego doesn't need any encouragement."
Eames sprawled beside Arthur and peeled off the condom. Arthur wrinkled his nose in disgust when he deposited it on the bedside table, earning a grin and another bruising kiss from Eames. Then he pulled away and asked, "If I go to the loo for a minute, you won't run away, will you?"
Arthur gave him a sardonic look. "No."
Eames sat up. "You're positive? You'll be here when I get back?"
Arthur bit his cheek to avoid smiling and glared at him instead. "I'll be right here."
"I'm going to trust you," Eames said soberly. He picked up the discarded condom—thankfully—and headed for the bathroom. Arthur watched him go, because any opportunity to watch a naked Eames should never be passed up, and then crossed his arms behind his head and stared at the ceiling. He hadn't lied. He felt better than he had in days, or weeks. Possibly months.
Eames returned quickly, holding a washcloth. "Oh good! You kept your word."
"I wouldn't have had time to put my clothes back on."
"I wasn't sure if that would stop you from fleeing."
"Look, I'm sorry about last time—what are you doing?"
"Cleaning you up, of course. Don't worry, it's warm." Eames pushed Arthur's legs open and slid between them, holding the wet cloth. For some reason, despite what they had just done, Arthur blushed furiously.
"No, you don't need to—"
"Hush," Eames said and pressed the washcloth to Arthur's abused flesh. It did feel good, but dammit, allowing Eames to take care of him so intimately made it seem like something other than a casual sexual relationship. Arthur caught his wrist with a jolt of panic. Their eyes locked and held. "What are you afraid of, Arthur?"
"You," he admitted.
Eames smiled gently and then he reached out and snared the back of Arthur's head to drag him forward into another kiss. "Arthur," he breathed. He kissed the edge of Arthur's mouth and then his jaw, and worked his way to Arthur's neck. Arthur closed his eyes and felt Eames' slow pulse beneath his fingers, which still held tightly to Eames' wrist. Languid heat began to steal through him, stoked by each touch of Eames' lips.
Arthur sighed and surrendered, falling back against the pillows and releasing Eames' wrist. The washcloth stroked gently over his skin, but Eames never stopped kissing him until he pushed himself up to wipe away the drying semen on Arthur's stomach.
"There," Eames said and tossed the washcloth onto the same nightstand that had recently hosted the used condom.
"You aren't going to leave that there, are you?" Arthur asked.
"What if I am?" Eames asked with an overly large grin.
"It will delaminate the wood and ruin the finish."
"It warms my heart that you are concerned about my furnishings," Eames said and threw himself down beside Arthur, causing the bed to bounce and creak in protest.
"Do you have to make everything awkward?"
"It seems to be my failing, yes," Eames admitted.
Arthur shifted his gaze from Eames' face to the bit of window visible through a gap in the ugly cream-colored curtains, where trickling droplets gave evidence that the rain still fell outside.
"I should go."
"Why?" The question was simple; the answers were varied and complex.
"I have homework. And Cobb wanted another set of drawings that Ariadne was having problems with." Arthur shut up, unsure which of them he was trying to convince.
"Or you could stay here and I can fashion you a toga from the bed sheets and we can play master and gladiator again."
Arthur turned and looked at him, unwillingly amused and more than a little turned on by the memory. Eames' hand trailed over Arthur's chest, drawing shapeless swirls.
"And then we can order take-away and canoodle on the couch while watching terrible, violent American movies and have sex several more times, with or without caramel syrup."
Arthur refrained from smiling, barely. It was difficult with Eames grinning like an idiot and then he moved even closer. His hand shifted from Arthur's chest to his face and he brushed a strand of hair away from Arthur's eyes.
"And then we'll come back to this bed and make love all night and in the morning I will make you the most excellent breakfast food ever invented by this upstart country."
Arthur's lips twitched with the effort of holding back a foolish, possibly besotted, smile and his heart rate seemed to stutter into an uneven rhythm. "Which is?"
"You are going to make strawberry waffles?"
"With real strawberries?"
"Well, I can only assume they are real strawberries. It's hard to tell when you take them from the package and pop them into the toaster."
The laugh tore free. Arthur couldn't hold it any longer and Eames' wickedly glinting eyes and gorgeous smirk only made it worse. Arthur laughed until he had to bury his face against Eames' chest to make it stop.
"Arthur, waffles are a very serious food. I cannot fathom your hilarity."
"Eggos," Arthur muttered against his skin. "You are going to make frozen strawberry waffles?"
"They are already frozen, darling. I will toast them and bring them to you on a silver platter. Or a plastic plate. Whichever might reside in my cupboard."
"How about we go to IHOP and have real strawberry waffles, instead?"
"With whipped cream?" Eames' expression was delightful.
"And then we'll go to your flat and have sex on your bed."
Arthur drew back to look at him, humor fading. "And then what?"
Eames frowned. "Well, I suppose we could have sex on the sofa, but Cobb might be alarmed if—" He cut off with a huff as Arthur punched him lightly on the ribs.
"We are not having sex on the sofa!"
Arthur laughed again, even though he tried not to. "Absolutely not."
Eames pulled him closer, twining his naked legs with Arthur's. "Then we'll just come back here and have sex on my sofa and counter and in the shower and possibly some other places I haven't thought of yet. Of course this will take several days, maybe even weeks, so—"
Arthur cut him off. "Weeks?"
Eames made a serious face, as if considering his words. Arthur might have held his breath. "Years?" Eames amended.
Arthur tried not to laugh, but it was difficult. "Can't you be serious?"
"I've never been more serious about anything in my life, Arthur." Eames' tone was sober and Arthur found it hard to breathe for the space of several heartbeats. Then he pushed himself away and swung his legs off the bed, mind racing.
Before he could stand, strong arms wrapped around him and held him in place. Eames' torso pressed against his back and lovely, warm lips nuzzled against his neck. "Arthur. I haven't been able to think of anything else since you left. That has never happened to me before."
Arthur swallowed and fought the urge to melt into his embrace. "Novelty," he whispered.
Eames held on for a minute more and then his arms fell away. "All right, then. I won't keep you if you don't want to stay. Despite my heart screaming at me to tie you to the bed."
Arthur stood up shakily and gathered up his clothes, afraid to look at Eames, afraid to look at anything. He dragged on his boxer briefs and then his shirt, but walked quickly to the door with his pants and shoes in hand, feeling like he needed to escape. Every step made him feel like he was walking through quicksand.
He paused at the bedroom door and put one hand on the jamb before turning to look at Eames, who hadn't moved from his kneeling position on the bed. He meant to say something apologetic or flippant or clever. What came out was:
Eames stared at him and then nodded slowly. "The type in the jar. Only the best."
Arthur smiled and tossed his garments toward the nearest chair. They missed by a mile. "I would be stupid to pass that up."
"Get back here, you," Eames growled.
Arthur walked back to the bed, feeling like he'd just made the best decision of his life. It was terrifying, but risks usually were at the start. "You mentioned something about a toga."
Eames laughed and pulled him onto the bed. "Yes, your Worship."
THREE MONTHS LATER
Arthur dropped the box on top of the others lining the back of the sofa and dusted his hands with a relieved sigh. "That's the last one," he said.
Cobb was under the desk, already hooking up the cables for his gigantic television instead of unpacking things he might actually need, like clothing. "Thanks for your help, Arthur," he mumbled. "Can you hand me that USB cable? The one that goes to the DVR."
Thirty minutes later, Arthur finally escaped Mal and Cobb's new house only to run into Ariadne on the walk. She had a bottle of champagne in hand.
"Nice of you to show up after all the work is done," Arthur said wryly.
She smiled broadly. "'Never help friends move' is a good motto to have."
"Until it's time for you to move."
She frowned for a moment and then shrugged, probably realizing she could snap her fingers and bring forth a herd of young men willing to help her move boxes and furniture. "Are you going home?"
"Yeah, I'm exhausted and covered in dust." He moved to walk around her and head for his car.
"I'm sorry about Eames."
He forced a smile and nodded before quickening his steps and practically jogging to his car. He really didn't want to talk about it again.
Arthur drove home, shed his filthy clothing, and took a long, hot shower. When he walked into the kitchen wearing only a towel, he was struck by the quiet. It seemed odd to be alone.
He opened the refrigerator and took out a bottle of water—he needed to rehydrate after losing sweat humping Cobb's boxes all day long. Falling asleep on the couch was looking like his best option for the evening.
The front door opened suddenly. "Arthur?"
"In the kitchen," he called.
Eames strolled in and stopped short, eyes going wide as they took in Arthur's attire. Then a huge smile curved his lips. "Well, well, well. I didn't know it was my birthday. And you've already unwrapped my present and given it a lovely wash."
Arthur grinned and took another drink, intentionally allowing a trickle of water to leak past his lips and run down his throat and chest.
An instant later, Arthur found himself pressed back against the kitchen counter with Eames' hands beneath the towel and his mouth erasing all traces of water from his skin. Arthur buried one hand in Eames' hair while the other fumbled to set down the bottle without spilling it. "Missed you," he said with a sigh.
"Cobb all moved?" Eames asked as the towel fell to the floor. Arthur mentally tsked, knowing he would be the one to pick it up later and put it in the hamper.
"Yeah," he said and tipped his head back as Eames' mouth attacked his nipples with delicious determination. Arthur supposed he could live with his roommates' slovenly ways, since he obviously had other, more important, skills.
"Sorry I couldn't help, love. My last day to use the lab."
"I know. Ariadne tried to apologize again."
Eames snorted a laughed as he worked his way down to Arthur's navel. "Yeah, she was dreadful to me for an entire month. You should have told her right away that you were in love with me, instead of acting like I'd kidnapped and molested you."
Arthur's hands stilled in Eames' hair. Eames stopped pressing kisses into his skin and looked up with one brow cocked. "I mean, you are, yes?" Eames asked the question with a grin, giving Arthur a way out, if he chose to brush it off with a joke. Eames always gave Arthur an out.
"Yeah, I guess I am," Arthur admitted with only a hint of satisfaction at the knowledge that he seldom used Eames' offered escape routes.
Eames shot to his feet and enveloped Arthur in a bone-crushing hug. "Oh God, me too."
Arthur laughed, even though Eames reaction was making him feel a bit giddy. He clung to Eames' broad shoulders and felt the rough fabric of Eames' shirt—polka dotted today, for fuck's sake—and the hard length of his erection beneath faded jeans. "You're in love with yourself?" Arthur asked with a chuckle.
"With you, prat," Eames growled. "Now get that perfect arse in the bedroom and have it lubed and ready by the time I get out of the shower. Then the celebratory shagging will commence."
Eames stepped back and Arthur stayed where he was for a moment, long enough for Eames' eyes to take in his body and rigid cock. "Yes, your Worship," he said with a smirk and then sauntered into Eames' bedroom—their bedroom for the past two weeks, ever since Arthur had moved in the last of his belongings.
He heard the shower turn on and spent the next five minutes tying his own wrists to the headboard as a special surprise for his boyfriend. His eyes strayed to the crown of leaves still dangling from the bedpost and once again thanked a simple toga for changing his life.
Author's Note: I'm not writing any more Inception fics. Except the other two I'm working on. And maybe a couple of others. *runs away*