Eames bangs on the door slightly harder, yelling to the person on the other side.
"Come on, Arthur! It's not like it mattered - as Ariadne said, they all knew already!"
He pauses hopefully, but the door remains stubbornly shut. Eames sighs and leans back against the door, realising that realistically, the more he badgers Arthur, the less likely it is that Arthur will finally decide to let him in.
He thinks back over the last few days and lets a smile curve his lips. Even though Arthur has now locked him out of their flat, Eames still thinks it was worth it. Besides, it wasn't like it was his fault; really, the person to blame was Arthur himself.
Arthur is by nature extraordinarily fastidious. If he is asked to research someone, he will research every last detail meticulously, obsessively.
While he is concentrating, he becomes completely absorbed in the task at hand. Of course, this means he can be distracted when it comes to other things. On one particular occasion, his absentmindedness had Eames quietly seething with fury and a powerful desire for revenge.
This is how it happened.
Normally when Arthur is working, Eames brings him his coffee, and is rewarded with a satisfied purr and a thank-you from the point man.
But not today.
Today, it is Ariadne who brings Arthur his coffee. And Arthur, lost in concentration, thanks her. He even calls her dear.
Ariadne has the grace to look flustered, and glance apologetically at Eames, but that doesn't matter to the forger. What matters is that his Arthur just called Ariadne 'dear'. Even worse, the point man continues typing away steadily, as if he didn't just practically cheat on his lover right in front of him.
Yes, Eames knows that it wasn't deliberate, and yes, he knows that if Arthur hadn't been so focussed on his work it would never have happened.
But that doesn't stop him plotting revenge.
Eames executes his plan as soon as possible.
When they are on the next job, Eames sets the PASIV so that he and Arthur are woken up a minute before the others. It is the perfect time; not so early as to risk jeopardizing the job, but early enough for his plan to work.
"Eames?" Arthur looks at him in surprise. "What's going on? Why did we wake up earlier than the others?"
"Not sure. But I don't suppose it really matters, it wasn't a particularly tough job. They can handle it."
"Yeah. How much time have we got before they wake up?"
Eames pretends to check the timer. "About five minutes," he lies. "We might as well wait for them to wake up. In the meantime, we could..." He trails off suggestively.
Arthur rolls his eyes. "We are not doing that. They're right there, Eames!"
Eames pouts. Just as he'd predicted, Arthur sighs and reaches forwards, pulling Eames close kissing him softly. Eames cheers inwardly. He looks over at the timer and deepens the kiss.
The rest of the team returns to reality to be greeted by the sight of Arthur and Eames in a rather compromising position. Cobb coughs awkwardly. Arthur freezes. He looks around with an expression of such comical horror that Eames bursts out laughing.
"Um, if it makes you feel any better, we all realised ages ago..." Ariadne says.
Cobb nods woodenly, and mutters something about not expecting a demonstration.
"How did the job go?" Eames asks brightly, having managed to control his laughter.
Unfortunately, Arthur has recovered enough to notice Eames' apparent lack of surprise at the situation. He narrows his eyes dangerously, and Eames barely suppresses a shiver of fear. "Eames, I think we need to talk."
"But, the job -"
Arthur smiles thinly at Cobb. "Will you be needing further assistance?"
Cobb shakes his head mutely.
"Thank you. Eames?"
Eames sends a silent prayer to every god he has heard of, and some that he hasn't.
Then he follows his lover back to their apartment.
Arthur is terrifying when he is angry. He doesn't yell or throw things, or anything else typical of people in an apoplexy of rage. Instead he behaves with calm and cold rationality as he quietly sets about destroying your soul.
Eames has seen Arthur angry a few times, but this will be the first time experiencing it himself, and he hopes Arthur loves him enough to control his rage somewhat.
He is in luck.
Arthur ignores him all the way back to their apartment, where he holds out his hand in a wordless request for the key. Eames hands it over eagerly, daring to wonder if he has been forgiven. Until the door shuts in his face, and Eames' pleas for forgiveness are met with the clicking of the safety chain.
Eames has just about given up hope when the heavens open and it begins to pour with rain. He shivers.
Suddenly, the door rattles and opens, sending him sprawling backwards. He braces himself for impact, but luckily he lands on something soft and warm. Something that clears its throat loudly.
"Arthur!" Eames leaps up guiltily and offers a hand to his lover. "Sorry, darling. I was leaning against the door, and I didn't expect it to open."
Arthur rolls his eyes, but he doesn't seem annoyed. Eames carefully kisses Arthur's nose.
Arthur's lips quirk up in a small smile. Encouraged, Eames reaches for Arthur's hand. To his relief, Arthur's response is to gently squeeze his hand.
"Sorry," Eames repeats.
Arthur smiles in acknowledgement of the apology, and trails featherlight kisses along Eames' collarbone. Slowly, unbearably slowly, Arthur's lips travel towards Eames', velvet soft against his neck, his jawline, his...
Arthur stops a fraction of a centimetre from Eames' lips. Eames can feel his breath against his lips, tantalisingly close. Then Arthur whispers, "'Night, dear."
The world screeches to a halt as Arthur draws away, a satisfied smirk on his face.
Eames watches him go, torn between disappointment and admiration. For what feels like the millionth time, he has to wonder.
How is he still in control when I'm top?