Disclaimer: I don't own Inception but I have borrowed some lines from the movie. Main title comes from lyrics in Ellie Goulding's song: I'll Hold My Breath. I don't profit from this.

Author's Greeting: It's alive, it's alive! It's almost been two years since I've updated this thing. Please enjoy!

Chapter 18 rating: NC-17; this fic contains explicit sexual content. This is why this fic had been rated M. I always knew it would lead up to this, I just didn't realize it would take this long.

I'm not going to tell you not to read this if you feel you are mature enough to do so. You may also be mature enough to read this and not want to and that's fine too.

I don't know how ff polices this sort of thing, but if this chapter gets taken down, you can read all my fics over on Livejournal (link in my profile).


Chapter 18: I Can Do Better

Ariadne slouches in her first class seat and pretends to be interested in the latest issue of Dwell. In actuality she's trying, as inconspicuously as she can, to catch the first glimpse of Cobb finally waking up. The majority of the team, plus Fischer but minus Cobb and Saito, woke up nearly half an hour ago.

Earlier, when the turbulence from the plane finally manifested as an earthquake in the dream, Ariadne couldn't have been more grateful to finally be able to wake up. Eight days holed up in Yusuf's pharmaceutical building, laying low without much to do to pass the time, was eight days too long.

But now that they are in a conscious state, Ariadne can only wish that they were all still dreaming. Cobb and Saito have yet to open their eyes and they are just about ready to land in Los Angeles. Every minute the two remain asleep is just another stab at her confidence and assertion to the rest of the team that it was unnecessary to drop down into Limbo to go after them.

And after taking another quick peek at Cobb, Ariadne finds that nothing has changed.

With an inaudible sigh, she glances forward at Fischer. Since waking, he's done nothing but stare at the seat ahead of him, obviously lost in deep thought. Not even the stewardess could get his attention, having to call his name several times before he noticed her presence.

His preoccupation does provide proof, in Ariadne's opinion, that they had made some kind of impact while they were inside his head. Of course, her confidence in their success is supported by what she already knows. Inception is possible. Cobb's first attempt was certain proof of that. She just hopes that the aftermath of whatever Fischer decides doesn't prove as heartbreaking—or god forbid, fatal—as Cobb and Mal's story.

The only reassurance she has that Fischer won't suffer the same fate as the Cobbs is Eames' claim that they not only successfully incepted Fischer, but in the process repaired the tenuous relationship between father and son. He's almost positive that Fischer has achieved the emotional catharsis necessary to sway his decision. Fischer, he said, would have to be truly dead inside to not be affected by what transpired between him and his father.

She hopes Eames is right.

A rustling behind her draws her attention to Arthur shifting in his seat. The sudden movement out of the corner of her eye causes her heart to beat a little faster. Slowly, she turns to see Cobb with eyes wide open, staring at her. For a moment she thinks he's wondering if this is all real, if he's finally back in reality. She gives him a small smile, one she hopes will convey the message that it is. He swallows once before looking ahead of her to Saito's seat. She turns her focus that way and sees movement. Turning back to Cobb, she sees him nod ever so slightly, as if to confirm that he's alright. A tentative relief surges through her and she resumes pretending to read her magazine. The only thing left to wait out is the walk through immigration.


The palm trees whiz by and the Southern California sunshine warms her legs as Ariadne sits gazing outside her taxi window. With the Pacific Ocean only a stone's throw away and the concrete jungle that is metropolitan Los Angeles behind her, Ariadne knows she should be enjoying the view. Instead, scenes of surreptitious goodbyes flash in front of her with the beach providing the background.

Even though Ariadne had felt relief seeing Cobb pass through immigration, a small part of her had continued to worry that he might not make his way out of the airport, that at the last minute he'd get caught. Luckily, her fears were unfounded. Though she tried hard not to look like she was following Cobb with her eyes, she knew anyone watching her intently would have seen a wistful smile touch her lips as her gaze followed the back of his head through the crowd when he left baggage claim. She caught a glimpse of Stephen among those waiting, and then all too soon both men walked away and exited the airport.

Cobb never turned back.

Not that she had expected him to. They're supposed to be strangers.

Except they're not. For her, the job, the team—the whole experience of inception, meant so much more.

Never in her life had Ariadne ever imagined she would be able to design buildings and landscapes that she'd experience in an instant by touch, sight, sound, and smell. Nor had she ever thought she might help dramatically change a man's life—two including what Fischer might decide. And to do that all while working with some of the most interesting, and perhaps dangerous men she's ever gotten to know, well, it's more than just a little overwhelming. Even thrilling.

It was for these reasons she had stood by the luggage carousel pretending to wait for another piece of luggage, thus delaying her departure from the airport. No one had warned her how difficult it would be at the end to turn around and just walk away. The others didn't think that way. For them, this was just another job. But for her, to just walk away, to say goodbye without actually doing so proved difficult.

Maybe the guys realized that too, which was why, one by one, each man left giving a brief sign of acknowledgement, the only telling sign that any relationship existed between them.

After Cobb, it was Yusuf who had been the next to leave. He headed over to a ticket counter and spoke with the woman there who in short time handed him a ticket. How he could stand to board a plane so soon after getting off one, she couldn't understand. Nonetheless, Ariadne had watched as he searched the overhead directional signs before he walked away. Luckily, she didn't miss the quick smile he gave her before walking toward his gate.

Close by, she had heard Saito fire off a rapid string of Japanese into his cell phone. When the conversation ended, he walked past her and gave a short nod. They had very little actual time alone together during the job and she had wondered if she'd ever have the chance to meet with the business man again. She couldn't imagine any circumstance that would have them cross paths a second time.

Arthur had stood a couple of feet away inspecting the bags on his luggage cart. Once satisfied that everything seemed to be in order, he pushed away towards the car rental counters. He had spared her only one last brief glance, and turned away too quickly for her to read his dark gaze.

Even Fischer took a moment to look up from some papers to catch her eye before walking toward the driver of his hired car.

Eames was the last one to say goodbye. Just when she thought she had missed his departure, which had sent her in a slight panic and caused her to swallow a sudden lump of sentimentality, the Brit appeared by her side. He held out a deck of playing cards with a picture of a cartoon kangaroo and koala playing cards that she 'apparently' dropped and he eagerly wanted to return.

"Here we are. The Viceroy."

The mental picture of Eames smiling and winking goodbye vanishes at the taxi driver's words. It takes Ariadne another few seconds to register that the taxi has stopped moving. She watches the driver exit and make his way around to retrieve her bag from the trunk before she mentally shakes herself back to reality.

Once out of the taxi she gazes up at the plain, white-façade, eight-story building. The Viceroy is by no means an architectural marvel with its utilitarian rectangular design, but the architect in her lets it slide. It doesn't matter what her hotel looks like on the outside, she only cares about what's inside. She was assured of it being a chic hotel that offered a comfortable bed and excellent service.

The thought of that comfy bed, as well as all the amenities that are awaiting her, dispels any nostalgic thoughts she had only moments ago. In fact, they reinvigorate her. Tipping the driver with some US dollars she had stashed away in her Paris apartment and had the foresight to bring, Ariadne thanks him and heads inside the hotel, her mood and her steps now filled with anticipation.


"Welcome to The Viceroy. Enjoy your stay."

The hotel clerk's parting words are little more than a drone in Ariadne's ear as she leaves the front desk and heads for the elevator. With every floor she ascends her anticipation builds; she feels it effervescing through her, from her stomach to her chest, radiating out to her arms and legs, and finally to her head. When she reaches her door she's surprised she's been able to put one foot in front of the other.

Pulling out her cardkey, she sticks it into the slot and turns the door handle. She isn't disappointed when she steps inside the suite.

Not bad. The first thing she notices is the ocean view from the opened glass door of the balcony. The ocean sparkles different hues of blue and mingles with those in the cloudless, sunny sky. She suspects the view will be even more amazing from outside. But instead of making her way out to feel the ocean breeze caress her face, she takes in the rest of the sitting room area with its modern design and foil wallpaper. The largely black and white furniture theme runs through both the sitting room and bedroom, as do the bright yellow and Kelly green accent pieces. Through the bedroom she finds the bathroom, equipped with both a large tub and a huge marble steam shower—built, no doubt, to accommodate more than one person.

Making a mental note to explore the features of the bathroom another time, she steps back into the bedroom. Ariadne examines the mirrored wall and the over-sized bed up against it taking up most of the space in the room. The bed looks as comfortable as advertised, but the mirrors on the wall make her a little nervous. She catches her glance in one, sees the dark waves of her hair falling over her white jacket, contrasting with the heated blush in her cheeks. Looking away, she turns to face the room's balcony door and the same ocean view that was beckoning her earlier. She decides she's lingered long enough. Walking over, she unlatches the door and steps out.

She's not disappointed with what she encounters.

Leaning over the railing and looking as casual as one can in a three-piece suit with the beach as his backdrop, is Arthur. He turns when he hears her step onto the balcony, one hand holding a drink, the other in his pocket.

"I was starting to think you might have changed your mind."

For some reason his words and this situation transports her back to the first time she came upon him alone in the warehouse. Maybe it's because he looks just a little bit surprised to see her. Or maybe it's because he's looking every bit as handsome as he did back then and he knows how attracted she was—still is—to him.

Either way, it prompts her to cheekily say, "I tried hard not to come, but…"

She leaves off with a teasing smile, daring him to finish her sentence much like he did the first time she uttered those exact words. Arthur smiles, unsurely at first, until he remembers. He laughs; and though her heart is beating hard and fast, a tension she didn't realize she had, falls away.

"If you're expecting me to sound like an arrogant bastard and say something like, 'there's nothing quite like…me', then I'm sorry to disappoint you."

She laughs along with him, secretly thinking there isn't anyone quite like him.

"I'm really glad you're here."

The look in his eyes tells her this as well and she can't help smiling back. She's been waiting for this moment for a while now, this chance to be alone with him without interruptions; no job calling them back to work, no ill-timed phone calls from Cobb, no teasing remarks from mostly well-meaning forgers. It's just her and Arthur in this hotel room, away from everything and everyone.

"So am I," she says softly, stepping closer. The smell of his cologne and the ocean mingle in the air. She takes another step and pulls the drink from his hand. She watches Arthur watch her take a sip, the whiskey burning a warm path down her throat. She raises the glass to her lips a second time, finishing off the rest.

"Hey, easy." Arthur takes the empty glass from her and sets it aside. "I'm guessing you haven't had anything to eat since we got off the plane. Are you hungry? We can go out to eat. Anything you want."

She laughs, the alcohol fortifying her, and reaches out to pull his tie out from under his waistcoat, letting it glide between her fingers. He's being such a gentleman when they both know they didn't specifically plan to meet in this hotel room for food.

Fingering the tie while a teasing smile plays on her lips, she gives a gentle tug. It's just enough to bring him flush against her, trapping her hand between them. "As a matter of fact, there is something I want."

She looks up and watches his eyes darken before she stretches up, eyes closing, and touches her mouth to his. Besides the taste of whiskey on their lips, the kiss is gentle and sweet, much like when he first kissed her during his second level dream.

Arthur pulls away first and when she opens her eyes she can't help but smile at his own crooked grin. Reality is turning out to be just as good as dreams.

"You've read my mind. I was actually thinking the same thing."

"Were you? Well, I'm glad we're on the same page—ah!" Ariadne lets out a surprised shriek, automatically wrapping her arms and legs around Arthur when he deftly picks her up off the floor. A short laugh is all she can manage before he claims her mouth, this time in a kiss that leaves no doubt about his intentions—not that Ariadne doesn't already know what they are; they're hers as well.

They continue that way for several long moments, trading hot, wet kisses until nearly breathless, Arthur tears his mouth away to try and carefully guide them off the balcony and back into the bedroom. But with her own mouth unoccupied, she makes it difficult for him by taking the opportunity to taste the skin above the collar of his shirt, and then sucking hard on the spot she nipped.

"Shit." His knees weaken for a moment and he nearly crashes them into the glass door.

Unapologetic, Ariadne muffles a laugh against his neck as she continues to suck and lick the erratic pulse under his jaw.

"Ariadne, I—I promise this is…this is the only time I'm going to ask you to stop anything that you plan on doing to me—" Arthur releases a low moan when her tongue finds a particularly vulnerable spot, "—but I need to concentrate so I ca—can get us inside in one piece. Just give me a min—minute."

She kisses her way along his jaw up to his mouth and responds with, "You have five seconds."

He does it in one, closing the door behind them before silencing her laughter with his kiss. His lips and tongue migrate down to her neck where he returns Ariadne the favor of nibbling on her neck. When he gets to her particular sensitive spot, her reaction is to roll her hips into him and moan.

This time he nearly drops her.

Deciding that continuing as they are will only disable one or both of them before they can really get anywhere, she carefully slides down off him. This move only reminds them both that they still have several layers of clothing between them. They can definitely do with less.

Arthur starts to remove his coat, but this move, paradoxically, only serves to frustrate her.

"No, wait, stop!"

He freezes midway between the coat being on and off. The tension in his face and body are both visible. Reluctantly, he slips the coat back on, swallowing hard as he does so.

"Ariadne, I thought...I'm sorry, I thought you wanted this as much as—"

"No, it's not that." She doesn't know whether to laugh or cry at his assumption; her expression must have given him the wrong impression because his dejection is so sincere. "That's not what I meant. I do want you. I want to do…this." She reaches out to rub his chest, feeling his heart beat under her palm. "I'm sorry. I only wanted you to stop taking off your clothes because…" she pauses to smile up at him, "…I want to do it."

"Oh." Instantly, she feels the tension leave him. She wants to kiss him for being so sweet, but he recovers quickly and his slow and seductive smile is so arousing she barely finds the control to restrain herself from ripping off his clothes.

"Well, okay. As long as you're gentle," he teases, bringing his arms around her, effectively containing her from stripping him naked. Then he leans close to her ear and with his voice going deep, says, "And know that I reserve the right to do the same to you." He kisses her jaw gently, then nips the same spot playfully as his hands cup her ass and squeeze.

"You're—you're stalling me." The words come out between a laugh and a moan.

"Mm. Sorry," he says unapologetically, still peppering her jaw with kisses.

"Arthur," she pleads.

Without a word—just a sexy little smirk warning her that this won't be the last time she'll be begging him to do something—he releases her.

Slowly, testing his apparent capitulation, Ariadne hesitantly reaches out to place her hands on his shoulders. Arthur doesn't move or say anything, just watches her, his eyes dark and intense. Licking her lips, she lets her hands slide down to the lapels and gently removes his coat. Because of its snug fit and her shorter arms, he steps in closer, his chest brushing against hers, and helps her guide his arms out. When she lets his coat unceremoniously drop to the floor, she feels him flinch. She smiles; his reaction, as well as the alcohol she consumed earlier buoys her confidence and she makes quick work of his tie. As soon as it's unknotted, she uses both ends to tug him down, kissing him soundly. But when he makes a move to wrap his arms around her to deepen the kiss, she pulls away, stopping him from following with a hand on his chest, a little shake of her head, and a smile.

Without a word, he acknowledges that this is her game. She's in charge and she makes the rules.

Dropping his tie on top of his coat, she starts on his waistcoat. Despite her eagerness and the alcohol, the dexterity in her fingers is still intact. The waistcoat comes off easily and joins the coat and tie. Quickly now, as if she's realizing she's finally near the end of the gift she's been unwrapping, she works on the buttons of his shirt; first the one at his throat, then the one below that. Three, four, five buttons and she's still working.

"Would you like some help?" he asks, amused when she gives a little huff of frustration as she pulls his shirt out of his pants to work on the last few buttons.

"Why do your clothes have to have so many damn buttons?" she says with exasperation when she undoes the last one before impatiently pushing his shirt off his shoulders.

Her patience pays off. For several moments Ariadne mentally celebrates the reveal, more than content to just stand there appreciating the sight of the taut planes of his chest, his lean, hard torso, and the tantalizing trail of hair that starts underneath his navel and disappears deliciously into the top of his pants.

Undeterred by her preoccupation, Arthur removes his shirt off completely.

She doesn't complain at his assistance. How can she when she's salivating at the mouth, gaping at his toned arms?

"This is what you've been hiding underneath all those clothes?" she asks, placing her hands on his shoulders, molding her hands around his muscles, caressing her way down his arms, relishing the feel of the veins in his forearms under her palms. She feels her arousal pool between her legs just imagining his arms surrounding her, supporting his weight while on top of her.

She fidgets while her imagination explores further possibilities.

"Technically, I'm still wearing half of them. Aren't you going to finish? There's still a lot more to see." She manages to tear her eyes away from gawking at his chest long enough to look up and see both amusement and desire in his.

And that damn little smirk!

She reminds herself of her continuing resolve to wipe it away.

Without another word, she reaches up to wrap her arms around his neck and kisses him hard and long. That effectively gets rid of the smirk, but also causes the need between her legs to intensify. Without breaking their kiss, she impatiently reaches down and loosens his belt, her fingers easily unzipping his pants.

Tearing himself away from her mouth, Arthur bends down to quickly remove his shoes and socks. In the process, he steps out of his pants.

"Hmm. I didn't expect this."

He's wearing tight, dark-grey boxer-briefs that aren't hiding the outline of his erection.

"What, exactly, were you expecting?"

Seeing his confusion, Ariadne pulls him closer with two fingers tucked into his waistband. She reaches up to kiss the little mole on the right side of his neck. "I don't know." She mumbles against his skin as she kisses the underside of his jaw while her hands make their way around his waist. "Something more conservative. Like boxers or something."

He looks down at her with an unbelieving expression.

"Not something so revealing." She smiles, her hands traveling below the small of his back, to cup his ass. She gives a good squeeze, laughing when he jumps at her touch. "Hmm, tight. Now, that I did expect."

Arthur's eyes promise retribution. "Okay, you've had your fun. It's my turn."

Before she knows what he's about, Arthur is kissing away her laughter and expediently removing her clothing, not taking his time as she had with him. Off comes her jacket with her blouse quickly following. Then, while claiming her mouth for another kiss, he lifts her up again and carries her to the bed where he manages to lay her down before attacking her boots and socks. They come off in such efficient alacrity that by the time she's unbuttoning her jeans and shimmying out of them, he's ready to pull them off.

Clothed only in her skimpy underwear, Arthur takes a moment to examine her fully.

"I wasn't expecting this." Stretching out beside her, he reaches down to finger the strap of her new black lace, and very see-through bra.

"What do you mean?" There's some insecurity in her question, but it quickly disappears when he leans down to kiss the delicate skin exposed above the cup of her bra.

"Your underwear," he grins. "I wasn't expecting something so…revealing." She gasps when his finger lightly traces around her nipple. Arthur watches it peak through the lace, his smile almost predatory when he repeats his actions on her other breast, achieving the same result. "Now, that I did expect."

"Arthur…"

Before she can chastise him for throwing her words back in her face, or bring his head down for a kiss, he bends his head down to tongue her nipple through the lace of her bra.

"Oh!" She pushes her chest up closer to his mouth as a shock of pleasure runs through all the way down to her toes. When she feels him suck the sensitized bud, the pleasure escalates and her feet scramble to find purchase against the mattress.

"God, Arthur, that feels so…" 'Good' is on the tip of her tongue. Her other nipple is on Arthur's.

"…so good," she ends on a moan.

"I can do better," he grins, sliding his hand around her back. Realizing his intention, she arches her back to give him better access to remove her bra, skillfully doing so with one hand and pulling it down and off her arms. When the cooler air hits her exposed nipples and hardens them even more, her first reaction is to cover herself. But Arthur stays her arms, gazing down at her with determination in his eyes.

"I promised you better." His smile is slow, sexy. He leans down to kiss his way down the length of her neck before latching on to her nipple. Without the thin layer of lace between his mouth and her skin the sensations he's creating intensify tenfold. She reaches up to cradle his head with her hands, her fingers massaging his scalp while he alternates between her breasts, detouring to kiss and nip the delicate underside of one before moving on to the other. Her breathing is erratic and she moans with nearly every touch of his lips and tongue on her skin.

But he doesn't stop there. He promised her better, and he's delivering.

Positioning himself between her legs, he slides down her body as he trails a path of wet kisses from her chest down to her navel. There, he slides his tongue in, tasting her. She leans up on her elbows and looks down to find him sheltered between her thighs. His grin is wicked when their eyes meet and without breaking eye contact he lowers his head down and sucks at the sensitive skin right above her panties, his widening grin telling her he felt her quiver. Then, with their eyes still locked, he moves down lower, his lips grazing the lace of her panties, going lower still to the apex of her thighs, to where she's so wet she's soaked through the flimsy lace of her underwear. She sees him smile before he spreads her thighs further apart to give him more room and better access. And then he presses a hard kiss against her.

"Arthur..." she sighs, wanting more.

He moves away from her to reach down and hook his thumbs into her panties, pulling them down and off easily. Now completely naked, a brief bout of shyness hits her and she presses her legs together.

"Ariadne…" he caresses her hip, "let me look at you."

The deep timbre of her name along with the dark desire in his eyes is just the right combination to make Ariadne relax her legs and allow Arthur to resettle himself between them. Smiling, he dips his head and kisses her knee. She watches him gently nip and kiss his way down along her soft inner thigh until he reaches the edge of her pussy. She can feel his breath, hot and moist, teasing her exposed flesh. Closing her eyes, she drops her head back and waits.

But instead of satisfying her need, he maddeningly skips across to her other knee to place a kiss there. A shameless pleading noise escapes her when she feels the cool air tease her skin while he slowly works his way down her other thigh, leaving a trail of wet kisses in his wake before pausing again as he spreads her legs further apart. She opens her eyes to see his, black and smoldering.

"Arthur," she whimpers, desperately in need of his touch.

With one last wicked smile he drops his head and leisurely slides his tongue against her sensitized labia. The contact elicits another pleading whimper, one that Arthur responds to by slowly outlining her swollen lips, causing her to roll her hips, both to increase the pressure of his mouth and guide him to where she's most needy. She can feel his smile against her and he obliges, his lips teasing her folds, playing with her. She moans as his tongue laps at her pussy, delving deep from the bottom up, traveling unhurriedly up her slit and gently teasing at her clit. He repeats his agonizingly tender ministrations, the easy licks of the flat of his tongue exploring her crevices. Her moans grow louder when his mouth clamps down on her and his lips and tongue seek and separate her clit from its enclosure. She reaches out to grasp the sheets, but Arthur's hands are there instead, entwining his fingers with hers as his tongue lightly swirls around her little pink piece of flesh. There is nothing but pleasure centered where his mouth is joined with her and she finds herself holding her breath for seconds at a time, panting, moaning, concentrating, wanting to feel and know nothing but the throbbing sensation of pleasure focused at her core, a pleasure he orchestrates with every swipe of his tongue, every suction motion of his mouth, lifting her higher and higher.

"Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god—!" Her hips twist against his mouth's assaults, a raw scream ripped out of her throat as she climaxes. She shudders, panting as she floats back down from the high, her blood racing through her veins. But Arthur doesn't stop. He returns back to her, his tongue still a sensual whirlwind of motions against her as he continues to kiss, to lick, to suck at her center.

He sustains her moans and soon the pressure builds again, her breathing is uneven and she's squirming under his mouth. Just when she thinks she can't stand anymore, his tongue reacquaints itself with her clit and does something she can only describe as fluttering; short, fast, teasing strokes against her sensitive little nub that has her writhing in ecstasy, straining against him until just the right amount of pressure of his tongue has her snapping and jerking her hips away from his mouth from the intense pleasure of it all as she comes a second time.

"Ohhh, Ar—whoa—wow," she stutters, her breathing harsh, labored as Arthur tenaciously finds his way back and continues to lap his tongue against her, sustaining the warm tingling spasms between her legs that has her dying that sweet death a third time.

A languid euphoria spreads throughout her body as he places one last kiss against her before she feels his smooth, hard body slide back up along hers, his constrained erection grazing her thigh before settling against her hip. When she's finally able to open her eyes, his smile is pompous and his voice rough when he comes face to face with her. "Just, 'wow'?"

She laughs at his arrogance, knowing her words fall short of the proper appreciation he deserves given the evidence of her arousal coating his mouth and the waves of pleasure her body is still recovering from.

"I'm sorry you think I wasn't more appreciative," she says after pulling his head down to kiss his mouth. The taste of her is on his tongue, and after kissing him, her lips. "I didn't realize you need me to stroke your ego," she teases, snaking her hand down between their bodies and into his underwear, eagerly finding his cock. "Such a big ego."

He tenses at her touch and harshly whispers her name into the crook of her neck as he thrusts his pelvis, pushing himself through her palm. His erection throbs in her hand and for a moment she marvels at how hard and smooth he feels in her palm.

"And pretty sensitive too, so be careful with it," he groans.

"Don't worry. When I'm done with you you'll be saying more than just 'wow'." She licks his jaw and in a firm but gentle grasp, begins to stroke him. Her hand moves experimentally at first, gliding all the way down to the base of his shaft, pausing briefly to cup and massage his testicles before sliding back up his length to his cockhead.

"How's that?" she whispers, biting on his earlobe.

"Jesus, Ariadne," Arthur hisses into her neck. "That's—that's good."

"Just 'good'? I can do better," she teases.

Gradually, she increases her pace, pumping him in her hand, using a slight twisting motion. When she feels a bead of moisture at the head of his cock, she uses her thumb to spread it around.

Arthur releases a shaky breath and reaches down, his grip vice-like around her wrist, stopping her movements. He lets her go when she releases him, kissing her until she's breathless.

"I need to be inside of you," he groans, hurriedly maneuvering out of his underwear. "Now."

The sight of Arthur's erection springing free from its confines stimulates her arousal once again and Ariadne feels more moisture pool between her legs.

Bringing him back down on top of her, Ariadne engages him in a fervent kiss, pulling at Arthur's bottom lip with her teeth while he finds the will to move away from her and reach above into the bedside table for a box of condoms. She doesn't have time to contemplate when he might have put them there as his quick, nimble fingers rip open a packet and roll one onto his erection.

With their eyes focused on each other, Arthur's steady hand guides his cock to her entrance, pushing in slowly through her slick heat. She breathes in and exhales sharply at his intrusion; the deeper he goes, the more he stretches and fills her.

"You feel tight," his words are strained, bordering on a groan.

Bending her knees and spreading herself to accommodate him, she moans and takes in quick breaths when his hips meet hers and he's buried fully inside her. Her walls constrict all around the rigid length of him and she knows he can read the slight discomfort she feels. He doesn't move, just bends his head down to kiss her, letting her know he'll give her some time to adjust. She kisses him back, wrapping her arms around his neck. She can feel the tense muscles there, the effort it's taking to deny himself from thrusting himself in and out of her.

Meeting her eyes again, Arthur watches her reaction as he slowly withdraws his cock from her a little bit before sheathing himself back in fully.

"Are you okay?"

Ariadne moans and nods her head. "Keep going."

He repeats his movements, nice and slow, eliciting more low moans from her. Eventually, he increases his rhythm and stroke, bringing his cock out until only his tip remains, before gradually plunging himself back into her. She exhales a sharp breath and groans out loud when he does this, urging him to continue until she's rolling her hips to meet his.

"Ugh!" Arthur grunts, his voice strained when she slams back into him, hard. "Ariadne that's—you feel so good."

Enjoying the fullness of him deep inside her, she moans in agreement.

Arthur kisses her mouth hard one last time before pulling himself out of her completely. Ariadne makes a pleading noise that turns into a keening one when he plunges back into her.

"Ungh! Arthur!"

"Do you like that?" Arthur watches her as he pulls out part-way before smoothly driving back in. "Does that feel good?"

Ariadne takes a quick breath as he pushes in again. "Ohh. Yeah." When he pulls back out, she manages a half-smile and a breathy moan, "But I think you can do better."

Arthur pauses for a second before grinning and driving back into her hard.

"Like that?" he asks, leaning down to suck the skin under her jaw, exposed when Ariadne throws her head back and yells out. He drives into her again and she sees stars behind her closed eyes, the pleasure almost intolerable.

"Yes, more! Faster!" Bringing her hips up to meet his, she hurriedly matches him thrust for thrust, showing him what she wants and where she wants it. Arthur grunts his approval and increases his pace, causing her to pant an affirmative litany to the rhythm of his thrusts.

"Ohhhh, yeah, right there, right there—" She's already close to coming, she can feel it. The thought of how quickly he's bringing her to orgasm again helps to propel her there even closer.

Arthur's pace quickens again, his own heavy breathing and grunting signaling that he's close as well. Underneath him, she shifts her hips trying to find the one spot that will angle him just right and drive her over the edge. Responding to her movement, he bends down low to drape himself close to her and pushes into her in short, quick strokes. Her moans turn into high-pitched gasps of rapture when she wraps one of her legs around his waist, spreading herself wider, allowing his cock to penetrate her deeper.

"Arr—you're—oh!"

Arthur works her over in hard, deep thrusts as he urges her on. Ariadne strains against him and grabs his arms as he shifts inside her, finally finding just the right friction to spark an intense quickening deep within her; it sets off a chain-reaction through her body that has her screaming out, pulsating around his cock, ultimately shuddering in ecstasy as she groans his name. Arthur continues to move inside her in long, slow strokes, letting her ride out her orgasm. But his control soon runs out and abruptly he rapidly pumps himself back into her with short, uneven strokes that begins to spark a need in her again. This time however, Arthur's pace is self-centered and harried as he seeks his own release and before long he's driving into her with one last powerful stroke that lodges him deep inside as he groans hard and collapses on top of her.

Weak-limbed and completely sated, Ariadne keeps her eyes closed against the early afternoon sunshine, Arthur's body a slick, warm, and comfortable weight on hers. They lay that way together, waiting for their racing hearts to slow, bodies still entwined, trying to catch their breath.

After a few moments, Arthur shifts to get off her and discards the condom in the process. He quickly returns to lay by her side.

"You were worth the wait."

She grins, bringing his head down for a round of lazy, lingering kisses. "So were you."

He kisses her back, tenderly, reverently, before trailing a path along her jaw then down to her neck.

Ariadne lifts his head away from his ministrations to look at him directly. "But I'm hoping we don't have to wait too long for the next time." She runs her hands along his smooth shoulders, bringing them together to rest on his chest. Between them, Arthur's cock stirs.

"Is that a challenge?" he moans before returning to nuzzle her neck. "Because I think I completed the last one pretty admirably."

She laughs, bringing his head up again, this time for a kiss. "Mmm, yeah, you did. But I think you may be up for this next one." She slowly grinds her hips into him, making him thicken even more. "Yeah, you're definitely up for it…" she smiles before he leans down to kiss her one, two, three times, "…I just hope you don't mind us taking our time."

"No," Arthur smiles back. "I don't mind at all."


Author's Confession: It is my personal head canon that these two hooked up immediately after the job. And yes, the sex is somewhat idealized, as most sex in fanfic is.