A/N: This is just a little one shot I threw together in about twenty minutes. I felt like I needed some fluff in my life, and these two are my new favorite ship. Review if you like it. Hey, you can even review if you don't like it.
I think Ariadne is sort of like an endless staircase.
There's so much to her that she doesn't let on. She's a complex work of art.
"Coffee?" I ask, pointing to a Starbucks in the airport. It's not as though we have much else to do in Los Angeles.
She smiles at me, one of her quaint smiles that actually makes me a little weak in the knees, although I never let that on. A point man is never supposed to be weak.
"Sure Arthur, I'd like that," she replies. Her voice is tired, which makes sense. The past ten hours were more like months.
We walk away from the team. I feel the sudden urge to grab her. Maybe it's protective, or maybe I'd just like to feel her touch. Whatever it is, I settle for a subtle brush against her hand. She doesn't seem to notice.
We both order extra strong coffees and sit in a little corner. We're both very silent for a while. I guess that's how I've always been, fairly quiet.
Finally, Ariadne looks up at me, and says very seriously, "We did a good thing today."
I cock an eyebrow and give her what Cobb has called a "classic Arthur look." "You think it's a good thing that we put an idea into a mans head that wasn't even his idea?"
"You never complained before," Ariadne replies. She says it not trying to reprimand me, not even as a grumble, but as a simple fact.
"No, I didn't," I answer. "I do what I do so I get paid. Life is pretty simple for me."
The corners of Ariadne's mouth turn up. Her silky pink lips taunt me in a pretty smile. "Anyway, I wasn't talking about Fischer. I was talking about Cobb."
"Yeah," I sigh. "Yeah, he finally has what he wants." I smile at her. "What he needs."
There is another long moment of silence, then Ariadne shakes her head. "Let's talk about something else, Arthur. I don't really want to talk about this anymore, I just want to put it all behind me for a while."
"All right then," I reply, tipping back my head. "Tell me about yourself."
Ariadne laughs. Her laugh is so different. When she laughs, it's almost like she's trying to say something, laugh, and hold it back all at the same time. And yet, I find it distinctly… beautiful.
"You know me," she says finally, her smile still taunting.
"Just because we've worked together doesn't mean I actually know you."
"Alright," she says sitting back and observing me. "What exactly do you want to know, Arthur."
I play with my coffee lid a little, then ask "Well, let's start with how did you end up in Paris, studying architecture?"
Ariadne looks down. "Let's not."
Ariadne giggles as I lead her into the hotel room. Upon finding that we were both staying in the same hotel, I had offered to take her to dinner, and now I was leading the slightly tipsy girl back to her room. "I can't believe that those guys thought you were secret service."
I have to support her and lead her to the bed, where she stumbles and flops onto the bed.
"I can't believe you drank almost an entire bottle of champagne," I reply, trying not to laugh myself.
"Ugh," moans Ariadne, flopping back on the bed. "You must think I'm terribly un-lady-like, Arthur."
I shake my head, and sit beside her, although not very close, trying to maintain a proper distance. "You're usually very serious," I reply. "Nice to see you lighten up, for once."
Ariadne sits up quite suddenly. For a moment, I worry that she'll pass out, but she just shakes her head and moves closer to me. "Will you ever lighten up, Arthur?" she asks softly. She leans towards me and tilts her head.
"Like I said, I do what I do to get paid," I lean closer to her, playing along. "And that usually does not mean lightening up."
"Sometimes," says Ariadne, moving even closer, "you have to put work behind you and have a little… fun."
I realize how very close we are. She's stopped only a few inches from my face, waiting for me to close the distance. I wonder if her lips in reality could be as wonderful and soft as they were in the dream world.
I begin to close the distance between us, temptation mounting. I stop when our lips are about to touch. I feel Ariadne's warm breath on my mouth. Her eyes start to close. Then, softly, I say, "A gentleman doesn't take advantage of a lady who's intoxicated."
I stand and smile down at Ariadne who looks confused. "Sleep, Ariadne. I will see you again tomorrow."
Yes, she is a complex piece of artwork, I think, as Ariadne steps into my room late the next morning.
"Where do you think you'll go after this," she asks, sitting in the couch against the wall.
"Oh, I don't really know," I reply, giving her a cup of crappy hotel coffee. "I guess I'll go where my dreams take me."
I hold up my plastic cup in a toast, and with a smile, Ariadne bumps hers against mine.
We both drink. Ariadne takes a deep breath and says "My mother left my father when I was two years old."
I'm silent, and statue still as I stare at Ariadne, waiting for more.
"I was very close to my father as I grew up. We used to talk about Paris all the time. And we would draw everything. Buildings, mazes. He was my inspiration to become an architect."
"He got sick when I was in high school. A rare cancer." She looks at me thoughtfully. "He died three months before I was supposed to graduate."
I look down at the table, my heart filled with grief for her.
"I went to Paris to, start over, I guess," Ariadne smiles up at me. "I never expected what I got."
I smile sadly back at her. "You're a real gem, Ariadne," I say. "No one can design quiet like you. You're talented, smart," I catch her eye as she tries to look away, "and beautiful."
Ariadne narrows her eyes at me for a moment, looking like she doesn't quiet believe me. She places her coffee cup on the window sill behind us.
"Arthur," she says softly, scooting closer to me once more. "I'd like to think that the kiss we shared in the second level actually meant something." She looks down at her crossed hands. "But I'm also afraid to get hurt."
I lean over and take her chin in my hands. "Ariadne, I care very much about you."
Ariadne smiles at me, then leans forward and closes the short distance between us. Our lips finally meet once more. Hers are soft and luscious, like I remember them being in the dream. I wrap my hands around her small body and pull her tight to me, enjoying the small moment that we get together, at last.
The kiss doesn't last very long. She pulls away and the corners of her pink lips turn up in a smile.
"I'm actually glad we're not dreaming," she says.
I just pull her back for another kiss.