Still Alive

Summary: Sequel to Won't Give In. A traumatic event doesn't just disappear. A year after Arthur was rescued, Eames returns to the states to find that Cobb has intervened with the natural course of recovery.


Note: I don't own inception.



His body was battle scarred, mapping the dangers in his field of work. Old scars closed and healed, leaving only traces of what had occurred. It was instinctive to forget about what lead to the wounds that would cover his body, but the most recent scars were refusing to fade from his mind.

Deep cuts from handcuffs circled his wrists, marks that would never disappear. Cigarette burns littered his forearm, imprinting the events that had occurred almost three months ago. An ugly scar, precise and jagged traced across the back of his hand and palm, a reminder that the appendage was almost rendered useless. A deep cut gouged a scar into his scalp, forcing him to shave his head to allow it to heal. The old scars across his torso had been torn anew, retraced by a jagged knife, making him relive every wound he received in the past. The only physical evidence that would disappear was the dark bruise wrapped around his neck, slowly fading as the weeks wore on.

The physical scars and the appearance they presented had never bothered him before. They wouldn't have bothered him had it not been for the fact that his mental state was a complete mess after he woke from his ordeal. He had woken up screaming, trying to tear out the IVs in his arms and disconnect himself from his monitors. It had taken four grown men to restrain and sedate him, even in his weakened state.

The second time he woke, he had been so heavily sedated he could hardly move. His orderly had told him that he was safe before leading his friends to him. The familiar faces that greeted him made him feel more at ease, but he couldn't help but feel that something was wrong. He didn't let his guard down for one moment, not even when Ariadne held his hand and started to cry.

When he could speak, the first words out of his mouth were, "I need to go to New York."

Cobb hadn't understood what he meant, but Eames knew right off the bat what his words meant. Through great pains and a request to Saito, Cobb accompanied him to New York where he entered the apartment that had set off a chain of events he couldn't forget. He had been bound to a wheelchair, but still made his way through the mess to the bedroom where he had left one important item: his totem.

The moment his hands closed around the object, he tossed it to assure his reality. When the die came up with the number he needed to see, he started to cry. It came on so suddenly, he didn't know how to react. He simply let it happen, even as his movements hurt every part of his body, even as the sobs made his chest ache in a way he hadn't felt in a long time.

The scars were healing, but his mind was still a mess. He was afraid to sleep, even with the aid of the PASIV, even with the lights on. No one could go near him without him flinching or backing away, trying to keep distance between himself and any threat. Loud noises, even in his hospital room, put him on high alert. The worst was water, something he was ashamed to admit. The events plagued his mind and instilled a terrible fear in him. It was eating him alive from the inside out and he knew that if nothing was done it would ruin him.

I have to get better, he thought to himself as he tried to steady his shaky hands. I have to.


Note: And thus begins a new story. Please be patient with me as I work on this. Thank you for reading and let me know what you think, please.