In a dream: The grass is pure green, the way it never is anywhere outside of a dream. The sun is a round yellow circle, the sky an unbroken blue. In many ways, it's a child's dream: simple and clean and safe. It's the way Arthur has started to dream, now, as if he's relearning the art of it.Eamesdoesn't go into his own dreams, still, but Arthur's dreams are becoming more and more manageable, appealingly secure and beautiful and welcoming. And so here they sit, soft and happy and calm in a stand of trees ina wide green meadow on a clear summer day.
Arthur's face is relaxed and open, the dream-sun glimmering and bouncing off of his dark hair; the light is fracturing through the leaves above where he sits, leaning against the bark of a perfectly symmetrical tree. His tie is slightly loosened, his cuffs unbuttoned and turned up show to his forearms. For Arthur, it's a positively slovenly look. "So."
It's directed atEames, who sprawls in the grass where Arthur sits; his head lolls in Arthur's lap, the light sparkling and dancing on his broad face. He opens his eyes at Arthur's voice. "So?" he asks softly.
"So." Arthur pauses again. Looks down atEames, his face soft and fond. TracesEames'slips with a delicate finger, brushes a blade of grass from his broad forehead. "I forget what I was going to say."
Eamescloses his eyes, stretches his mouth into a grin. "Ah, probably better that way, love. You talking usually leads to someone getting shot."
Arthur laughs, ringing and clear in the air of the dream. "Well, you talking usually leads to something very expensive showing up in our living room,Eames, so why don't you shut up?"
Eamesgives Arthur the finger and pulls him down to kiss in one fluid motion. Overhead, the golden sun of the dream dapples over everything.
The music cue plays, and the two men come awake in the warehouse. "Cobb and the others will be here any minute, Eames, get up."
Eames murmurs something lascivious in a voice still heavy with sleep.
"No, I don't think so, Eames. One, we don't have time — get that off your arm, dammit — and two, they'll be here any minute."
"Your fault, love, you set the time for the job. Could have put it off another hour, couldn't you?"
"No, Eames, and it's your fault. I wasn't…I can't believe we even did that, you know we're not supposed to use the PASIV for personal shit."
Eames swings up off the chair, stands, strides over to Arthur. His face suddenly serious, his eyes dark and guarded. "You regret it?"
Arthur's face freezes. "No, Eames, shit, I didn't mean that."
"Ah, then it's all fine, isn't it, love?"
When the rest of the team traipse into the warehouse, they silently agree to never mention how out of breath Arthur is, nor the hickey on Eames's neck, and especially not the way Arthur andEames disappear for hours after every job now, showing back up at the bar freshly showered and very relaxed. And when Eames stays in town after the job, and when Arthur starts driving both of them to the warehouse instead of taking separate cars, and months later when they come into work wearing plain golden bands on their left hands…well, the team doesn't say anything about that, either. It's none of their business, is it, as long as the work gets done and nobody dies.
And when, that day with the rings, Eames kisses Arthur in front of the team for the first time, and Arthur kisses him back, hand resting on Eames's hip, the team somehow manages not to cheer aloud. Instead, Cobb asks how long they'd planned on keeping it all a secret, and waves away their attempts to treat at the bar that night. "It's on me, you idiots."
Ariadne is the last one out of the warehouse, as usual. Yusuf fairly bounces along to his car, jabbering to Cobb about something complicated and sciencey while Cobb pretends to listen and actually texts the sitter. Arthur and Eames half-jokingly throw punches over who's driving, although as usual Arthur ends up behind the wheel. Saito glides silently to his limo, phone to his ear, speaking quietly and calmly to someone he obviously wants to intimidate. And Ariadne, her heart full of light, reaches behind her and flips the switch, plunging the warehouse into darkness.