"Arthur?" Ariadne keeps her voice very steady. "What does this represent, subconsciously?"
Arthur maintains an impassive countenance, merely raises an eyebrow.
Eames holds up his hands in protest.
"Don't look at me, darling."
"It's your mind..."
"I mean..." Ariadne takes a breath. "Trains running down the street. Buildings that bend. Demented murderous incarnations of lost love, even the fact that it turns into monsoon season if we let Yusuf drink coffee...but - "
"Hist, dinna mind us." Says the manifestation, cheerfully. "We're just passin' through, ye ken."
It runs along the top of the table, and launches itself enthusiastically into the spreading brawl.
"Trust me, Arthur, I did not think of this place." Eames looks around him. "I was thinking Old World Ambience, not..." Ducks back as a bottle flies past his nose, "a lock-in in the Gorbals."
If Ariadne's mental landscape borrows from Paris, then Eames is London, steel and glass, narrow alleyways and brutal concrete, oddly deserted courtyards and mellow soot-stained brick. But what had started out as the rather hazy memory of a nice little pub somewhere near Hoxton has taken a turn for the totally bizarre.
The door to the bar had suddenly burst open, and there had been this tide of small blue things, which had swept in and up over the counter, hitting the bottles like a tide of thirsty, violent, heavily-tattooed locusts.
"...been boggin' for a wee dram..."
"...whit kinda drink is a Babycham?..."
"...youse callin' me a jessie?..."
"...spill ma pint!"
Another element of his subconscious becomes unconscious, as one of those...whatever they are, runs up the body and headbutts it.
"Stitch this, ye scuggan..."
"Is that even a word?" Ariadne huddles further back. Unbidden, her hand creeps into Arthur's. Eames, noticing, raises an eyebrow, smirks and opens his mouth. Shuts it again when Arthur glares.
"I think we can probably make a run for it..."
"See you back at the office, then, poppets."
Some of the crowd move after them, but the majority seem to be more preoccupied with whatever these...things are.
Eames sighs. Arthur being Arthur will probably sweep Ariadne into his arms and jump off a roof. They do rather like romantic and impractical gestures like that. Though he has to admit, the escapade where they stole a tank to take on a police roadblock had a certain amount of chutzpah. (He's made Ariadne watch all the Bond movies to date, and he knows Arthur has seen them, too, even if he won't admit to it.)
He saunters over to the bar, and liberates a bottle of whisky. This is the inside of his head, after all, and frankly he feels the need to get very, very drunk.
"Nice dream youse havin'." Says a conversational voice by Eames' ear. He turns. The...speaker is about six inches high, and appears to be wearing a kilt.
Maybe this has to do with getting rat-arsed in Edinburgh one Hogmanay? Repressed memory, and all that. He's fairly sure he'd want to repress a memory of anything that looked, and smelled, like that.
"Mnammnam..." Something says, from somewhere near his ankle. There is a sudden heavy warmth on his shoe.
"There's a cheese on my foot." Eames says, flatly.
"Aye, well, Horace is developing a wee taste for Italian shoe-leather. You might want to be moving your foot, if you want to keep your toenails."
Eames edges his foot out of the loafer, and watches in vague horror as the cheese engulfs it, making a happy purring sound. He's going to have some very strong words with Yusuf about whatever the fuck the chemist mixed in this last batch.
"Any time you feel like giving the kick, Arthur..." He murmurs to the ceiling.
"Oh, if there's kickin' to be done, we're just the boys for that. Yer dream-creatures has a bit more fight to 'em than most. It's a braw scrap, so it is."
Eames looks out at the spreading mayhem. One of the creatures has what looks to be a set of bagpipes (Eames stares - there are mouse-ears on the bag) and is playing something that seems to be inciting further violence. Another couple of the creatures have levered the darts out of the dartboard, and are using them at ankle height. The dartboard itself is long in pieces. There is biting, kicking, gouging, bottling, punching and swearing. They are dirty, disreputable, thieving, drunken maniacs.
Perhaps there is a reason why they are inside his head.
He gives his most untrustworthy grin.
"Stick with me, gentlemen, and there will be no problem finding a fight."