"This is excellent. So far, we got her." Said Eames. All the cats were gathered around Ariadne's sleeping body.
"You think she'll save us?" James asked. "I wanna eat people food."
"We can only pray on it." Said Cobb whose tail was around Phillipas body.
"She doesn't even know that there's a curse." Said Yusuf. "She doesn't know we're really humans. Why would she break a curse that she doesn't know about?"
"Arthur didn't tell her?" Cobb asked. "I told him to!"
"You're a cat Cobb." Eames reminded him. "All he hears are meows."
"Daddy?" Phillipa rubbed against her fathers paw. "Why are we cursed?"
Cobb looked into her small pleading eyes. "There are really bad people out there who don't like us, sweetie."
"Even if she knew, it's not as if she's going to help." Eames pointed out.
The surface below started moving as Ariadne returned to reality. She yawned without realizing first that she was moved to a different room. It was a good thing she wasn't allergic to cats because they were scattered around the bed. Her watch indicated that it was almost sunrise. She let out a huge yawn and stretched her arms to way the cats did.
"Rex?" she called out. "Rex?" Ariadne looked at the hourglass to see it was nine-tenths empty on the top. What did it mean and why was the sand falling so slowly? Or was the hourglass being flipped over? She tried to turn it over but it wouldn't move.
When she opened the door, rich piano music rang in her ears. A piece she was familiar with was pinging. The source was downstairs.
Ariadne made her way down and opened another door to a room she never went in. It was a music room. There were red plush couches around a grand piano. The instrument was recently dusted and shined.
Arthur was playing 'Clair de Lune' by memory. Ariadne proceeded forward and sat beside him on the bench. He continued to play until the song was finished.
"Is this what you do when I'm not around?" she asked.
Arthur was silent for moments giving Ariadne the idea to leave. "It's my escape."
Ariadne sighed and breathed in. "Why are you so ashamed of yourself? Because you think people are afraid to look at you?"
"Only you would dare to come close to me."
"Those other people are not important." She lectured. "Fuck them."
The sudden twist of her tongue got his attention.
"The outside world is full of empty-headed people that will believe anything they hear and judge everything they see." Ariadne rambled. "What they think is useless!"
"What I think about myself isn't."
"Then don't treat yourself like this." She hissed. "You need to start respecting yourself. You are not the only person in the world who wants to hide. There are people with serious disorders and insecurities that wish they'd rather be dead but let me tell you something; if you give up, you're going to miss out on something big. If your life is depressing, do something about it that doesn't involve suicide and things will turn around!"
"I can't!" he insisted. "Look at me Ariadne! Look at my fucking face!"
Ariadne grabbed the sides of his head and looked right into his eyes.
"Look at me. Do I look scared?" Arthur remained silent through her question indicating to her that he was losing their debate. Those brown eyes had him lost. "Rex, do I look afraid?" She let go of him and stood up. "There was around ten years ago, a girl who loved surfing. Surfing was her passion, something she always wanted to do. But one day, she got attacked by a shark." Ariadne turned over to face him. "Her arm was bitten off."
Arthur remained silent through her story.
"She was taken to the hospital and was given a fake arm to wear. But she still wanted to surf. What do you think she did?"
"What does this do for me?" he asked. "She still went surfing I hope."
"Yes!" Ariadne exclaimed. "She went back in the water and surfed with one arm! And now she's still surfing with only one arm. It's because she didn't let that shark ruin her dreams! Rex, you shouldn't let that mask hide you."
"Were you once a psychology student?" he asked.
"Well if I wasn't an architect, I'd be studying psychology." she told him. "I'm only telling you what I know from real life. Just do me a favor. Stop hating yourself." Ariadne turned around to leave the room but forgot something. "I mean, the cats aren't afraid of you."
Arthur looked at himself in the mirror moments after Ariadne went home. He felt himself getting closer to her every time they were together. She did many nice things for him. He owed her for all her favors.
Yusuf walked around him.
"So how did it go?" Yusuf wagged his bushy tail.
"What should I do Yusuf?" Arthur looked down at the fluffy feline. Yusuf jumped on the table coated in picture frames. He placed his grey paw on one picture and meowed at Arthur. "Be careful with that!" Arthur exclaimed. Yusuf jumped back in surprise, pushing the picture off the table. A few more frames fell out of place as the cat leaped off the table. Arthur caught the frame and dusted the glass in the front. "This is a very important picture." He pointed out. "Paws off, ok?"
It was a childhood picture. Arthur's parents were in the back with his older brother Lance. His sisters Gwen and Morgana were sitting on the sand. Arthur looked at his six-year-old self in his sailor shirt giving a cheesy smile.
"That's it! I know what I'm going to do!"
Arthur was surprised to see Ariadne the next day in a dress. The moment she got out of the car, he looked at the vintage pink frock. He never imagined her wearing pink.
"Can you believe the weather?" she asked happily. "It's such a gorgeous day!"
Arthur put his hands in his pockets. "It's Sunday. I didn't know you felt that bad for me."
Ariadne chuckled. "I can't see you on Sundays?"
"No. You can." he stepped over to her. "I just never expected you too."
"Well here I am." she smiled at him. "Shall we walk?"
Moments later they were in the backyard of the mansion. As they explored the grounds, the only sounds were birds in the trees chirping.
"I would love to have a house with a forest in the back." She said looking onto the woods. "Have you ever been in there?"
Arthur looked onto the woodchip trail. "Not for a long time."
"I want to see."
Arthur did not refuse Ariadne's request. He gently pushed the small of her back forward. Ariadne looked around the environment, inhaling the scent of the woods. They were silent as they walked down the trail. A few minutes later, Arthur decided to strike a good conversation.
"I hope you don't mind me asking this." He excused himself in advance.
"Ask me anything." Said Ariadne carelessly. "I don't get mad easily."
"Has your ex been bothering you?"
Ariadne smirked. "No. His friends approach me at school and tell me he's miserable and that I should give him a second chance. Little did they know that he had a third chance." She turned to face a tree. Ariadne started picking at the loose pieces of bark.
"You don't deserve him."
"I don't deserve him?" Ariadne repeated. "I think it's 'He doesn't deserve me.'"
"That's not what I mean." Arthur came up from behind her. "You don't deserve him because you deserve better."
"So what's your idea of the right man?"
"For one…" Arthur began, putting his hand over hers. "When he carves a heart into a tree, he'll put your initials on top."
Ariadne looked over at their hands. She felt the warmness of Arthurs scarred fingers like fire on a cold winters day.
"Second." Arthur continued. He picked up some of the fabric on her dress. "He'll tell you everyday that you look gorgeous. He'll say 'I love that dress' to you."
"You really like it?" she asked shyly. "It was something I bought a long time ago for something but I never wore it."
"I never imagined you in a dress. It needs something though…"
Arthur went over to the blossom tree. The spring flowers were sitting on the branches like little fairy's taking a nap. Ariadne noticed that Arthur didn't reach for one of the close ones. He climbed up the tree with his eyes on one particular blossom.
"Be careful Rex!" she warned. He came out with a blossom in his hand.
"A blossom this pure would look dead on every woman. Every woman except you."
Ariadne felt her cheeks turning hot as he tucked her hair behind her left ear and placed the blossom twig over it. To add to her dress and cheeks was a pink flower and that was the first time she ever wore so much pink in a decade.
"Your such a gentlemen, you know that?" she inquired.
"Well… yes, I am."
Ariadne chuckled. "I think you're the best gentleman I've ever known." Ariadne told him. "For one, you actually listen to me. They say chivalry is dead, but now I see that it's not."
"I'm sure there are other's just like me out there." He pointed out. "Gentlemen who don't have to wear masks to breathe."
"Well, none of them would carry me to bed if I fell asleep." Arthur froze. "That's something that women likes in a man."
"I just didn't want to wake you."
"And that's what most guys would do. Nash would never do that."
She never mentioned her ex's name before, but Arthur could now see him clearly in his mind. He knew a man named Nash. Nash was the reason why he was in such a mess!
"Rex?" Ariadne waved a hand in front of his eyes. "Hello?"
"I'm fine." He said. "Now, shall I take you back, with m'ladys permission?"
"Permission granted." She spoke like a lady from the Middle Ages.
Arthur put an arm around her waist and used the other one to pull her knees up. Ariadne smiled when she felt her feet leave the air. Her arms locked around his neck as he walked. She looked up at him without a hint of disgust.
"You've done so much for me already." He said. "I have to do something for you."
"What were you thinking about?"
"It's a surprise." He said. "Just bring your bathing suit."
"You're leaving the house?"
"Rex, I'm so proud of you!" she praised. "I thought you'd wait until Halloween to go out."
"I can't really wait that long."
Eames, Yusuf and Cobb were sitting next to each other looking through a window at the scene.
"Let me see!" James meowed, trying to climb between Yusuf and Cobb.
"Wait until your older, Darling." Said Eames. "Yusuf, your good at chemistry. What's going on down there?"
"Not that kind of chemistry." Yusuf hissed. "They look like friends to me."
"That's not good enough." Said Cobb. "Do you think he's going to take her to the beach?"
"Don't worry." Said Yusuf. "I already set his mind on it."
"Ariadne." Miles called his brightest student over to her desk. The other students including some of Nash's friends were leaving. "We need to have a chat."
"This sketch you did." Miles unfolded the scroll and laid it out. "I told you to sketch the exact measurements of a real building. I'm looking at this and I see strong similarities to the Bishop Mansion."
"I didn't go in." she lied. "I just took a few pictures of the front. Besides, this is a different project from the one a couple weeks back."
"I told you very clearly not to go there." He said strictly. "Why would you deliberately disobey me?"
"It's not a bad place." She shook her head. "I was only there once."
"I just thank God your still here."
"So, why is it so dangerous? Are there rats or something? How do you know that it's a bad place?"
"Because I've been there." He told her, annoyed by her arguing. "I went inside myself to look for my grandchildren!"
"Why would they be there?" Ariadne shook her head.
"Because-" Miles stopped. "Just go home now."
"What won't you tell me?"
"Believe me, you won't find my story to be true. Just go."
Ariadne awkwardly stepped out of the classroom. She didn't need to know anything.
Miles knew the Monster.
"I'm so close Cobb I know it!" Arthur paced around the hourglass. "I'll I have to do is win her over."
"Maybe you should just tell her the truth." Cobb looked over at Arthur. He started running circles around the coffee table holding the massive hourglass.
"What are you doing?" Arthur asked alertly. "You realize if that falls and breaks then you'll be a cat forever and I'll die!"
Cobb stopped. Arthur wasn't getting it. The blonde cat had to think of something else. He walked over to one or Arthur's portraits. He stopped at the one of Arthur in the tuxedo and jumped in front of it, reaching out his claws for the frame.
"You want me to tell her the truth?" Arthur guessed. Cobb nodded. "I don't know Cobb… I'm afraid she'll leave me for lying."
"If you don't then were surely doomed."
The moment Ariadne's car pulled into the driveway, Arthur stepped out. He was wearing old striped swim trunks and a button up shirt much like hers. Looped in his arm was a big basket.
"Is that as casual as you get?" she teased, starting up the car.
"I haven't gone shopping in a while." He reminded her.
"Nothings changed, things just cost more." Said Ariadne. "So tell me where to go."
They drove for four hours. Arthur was nervous about the duration of the drive, wondering if the place he was taking her was worth the amount gas spent.
"Stop here." He instructed. Ariadne looked over to see the English Channel. It was an area that no one went to. But if they did, the place would be crowded on every hot day.
Giant rocks sat in the water like little castles. The sand was gleaming white and sparkled as it was hit by sunlight.
"Wow…" Ariadne looked forward, carrying the bag of snacks they had. "This is amazing."
"See that house over there?" Arthur pointed to a gigantic beach house down the way. "The Bishops lived there every summer."
"Lucky." Ariadne looked at the home that looked like an outhouse but was five times bigger. "It reminds me of home."
Arthur set the basket he was holding down on the sand. The contents inside included a small music player, a blanket and another item. During their stay at the beach, Ariadne spent plenty of time in the English Channel, letting the waves splash her button down shirt. Arthur could see her bathing suit through the fabric. They fooled around while attempting to build a sand castle. They ended up making Jabba the Hut. After that, Ariadne ran into the water like a playful child shouting, "C'mon!" He ended up lifting her in the water only to have both of them tipped over by a strong wave. Ariadne laughed when she landed on his chest.
She couldn't tell that he was worried.
As the sun began to set, Ariadne and Arthur were sitting on one of the rocks. Ariadne was leaning into his naked chest as they watched the sky go from blue to purple. Despite how beastly his body looked, Ariadne didn't mind.
"Is this anything like the sunset back home?" he asked.
"No. This one's so much more beautiful."
"Would you like to dance?"
"What?" Ariadne looked up at him surprised.
"I said would you like to dance?"
She couldn't dance. When she went to prom, she spent most of the time drinking punch and falling over her feet. If she tried to groove, something would go wrong.
"Only for you." She answered.
Arthur picked her up and bounded off the rock without complaining from slipperiness or sharpness. "I'll teach you." He spoke in belief. Arthur turned on the music player to hear Edith Piaf singing through the speakers.
"Edith Piaf. Nice choice." Ariadne complemented. Arthur brought her in his arms.
"We're not going to do a big dance. We're just going to sway."
"Alright. I can do that." She leaned against him as he oscillated from left to right. Ariadne felt a sense of extreme comfort since they were alone. It was impossible to believe that when they first met, she ran away from him. She ran away from the best man she's ever known. Ariadne was proud she went back. Not even God could pull them apart now.
Arthur stopped and the music shut off, making Ariadne a little worrisome.
"Rex?" Arthur was pacing. "Rex, what's wrong?"
"I need to tell you something." He said nervously. "Please sit down."
"What's going on?" Suddenly, she was more terrified than worried. Was he going to do something to her?
"Before I tell you, please say you'll forgive me." He begged. "Please!"
"Why? Forgive you for what?" her voice grew louder.
"Let me explain." He said. "My names not Rex."
"You want to know what happened to Arthur Bishop? I'm Arthur Bishop! I was cursed by a witch for Nash's misfortune and those cats aren't cats! Their men and children! Three of those cats are your professors family!"
"Wait… you mean to tell me that you've been put under some magic spell?"
"You have to believe me!" he said. "It sounds crazy and it is but Ariadne," Arthur put his hands on her shoulders. "I need help. You can stay mad at me forever but all I ask is for your help." The picnic basket opened up and Arthur brought out a picture of him and his family; the one of them on the beach. "That little lad is me. He was me."
"Who's this woman?" she asked. "Is she related to Nash?"
"She's his grandmother." He said.
"Ok, did she tell you how to break this curse?"
"I don't know." He said. "She didn't tell me."
"Oh my God Arthur, I wish you told me before!" Normally she wouldn't believe something so juvenile, but the man in front of her was someone she knew for what felt like a lifetime. He was sobbing before her like a criminal to a queen.
"I was afraid!" He cried.
"Afraid I might leave you? Why would I do that now?" She wasn't even asking him how specifically he got cursed. Ariadne didn't have time to hear a long story. She was already getting ready to leave. "I'm going to talk to him tomorrow."
"Ariadne, I think that's a bad idea."
"I can get his grandmother to take back the curse." She set. "I'll I have to do is sweet-talk Nash. Now get in the car."
The drive home was silent. Ariadne finally asked him how he got cursed and he replied that it was a long story.
"It's a long ride home. I have time."
He explained his occupation to her. Arthur would never tell anyone about his point man job but Ariadne was eligible to work that in that career. He said that he went into people's dreams to extract their thoughts for a living. He explained all the jobs and responsibilities that were involved. Nash was the architect, the builder of the dreams. Apparently, he messed up on a huge assignment and Arthur didn't do a thing as he was being dragged away by the company who hired them. Their relationship wasn't healthy enough to say, and Nash's grandmother wasn't so happy about it.
She was a Native American witch who had the power to see through her grandson's eyes and cast curses. The witch brainwashed the men who took him away to let him go. She then transported herself to where Arthur and the others were residing.
Cobb answered the door when she came and assumed her to be harmless, despite her white eyes and crescent moon scar. She asked, "Where is my grandson?" Arthur came down at that moment.
"Can I help you mam?"
"I'm not sure." She replied. "I don't think you'd want to after I do what I must do."
Arthur and Cobb glanced at each other in confusion.
"You didn't help my grandson when he was being dragged away by those men. Do you know how that makes me feel?"
"I swear I told no one."
"I see everything." She hissed. "I can control your life, and I should. All of you. Your children too!" she snapped at Cobb. "You merciless man, you have from now to a year before you die. You have that much time to figure out how to take back this curse. As for your friends," the witch turned to Cobb. "I hope you like tuna." She brought something from behind her cloak and threw it to the ground.
"If you want to live to see next year, I advise you to put that on."
Arthur and Cobb looked at each other. Moments later, they burst into laughter. Arthur was more polite than that but found this crazy woman to be entertaining.
"I think you should go." Said Cobb.
"Gladly." She looked Arthur in the eyes. "Your quite a handsome man. Too bad that'll change."
They waited for her to leave before they started talking.
"How does she know were here?" Arthur asked. "What did she mean by her grandson?"
"I think that was Nash's grandma. But how did she find us?" Arthur didn't respond. "Arthur, what's wrong?" The point man hit the floor, wheezing for air. His face was turning blue. Cobb panicked for a moment before picking up the mask. He put it on Arthur and he started breathing again.
"I don't think she was joking anymore Cobb." His voice was now deeper, like evil. He looked down at his hands to see scars forming.
That's what Arthur remembered before passing out.
The night was restless. Ariadne was looking at the clock several times until morning. When it was ten, Ariadne zipped over to Nash's front door. Banging on the door, she prayed he was home. When the door opened, she saw Bernie in his pajamas.
"Well Bonjour Cherie." He purred. "Are you here to see me?"
"Where's Nash?" she pushed him aside and welcomed herself in. "Nash!"
"You want to get back with him so soon?" Bernie snickered.
"That's not why I'm here." She snapped. Nash stepped out looking like a homeless man with a beard coming out and a smelly wife-beater.
"Something I can do for you?" he asked unwillingly. "You've called several times last night."
"This may sound strange but I have to ask you something really important. You, leave." She told Bernie.
"I'm staying for this."
"Out!" she roared. Bernie nodded, picked up his jacket and left the apartment.
"What's with you?" Nash snapped.
"I need to see your grandmother!" she burst. "Where is she?"
"My grandma?" he asked. "Oh…" Nash started laughing. "I take it you met Arthur Bishop."
"Just tell me where she is!" Ariadne demanded. Nash smirked and grabbed her by the waist. She began to squirm as he brought his lips to her ear.
"Rotting in her grave." He whispered. "You're too late."
"Get your hands off me!"
"Why? Are you trying to help him? That's cute." He spat. "Let me guess; you've fallen in love with him. It's too bad he can't kiss you like I can." Nash pulled back her hair to bare her neck.
"Just take the curse back!" she pleaded. "Don't tell me you can't because if she can, so can you."
"You're a very smart girl." Nash praised. "You know how that turns me on."
"Nash listen…" she tried to stay calm and keep still. "Put a curse on me. Any curse. Just take back his. He's going to die for God's sake!"
"Good." Said Nash. "That's what I want."
"Listen to me!" she yelled. "Stop undressing me with your eyes and listen! Just take the curse back and put one on me!"
"Well I could take it back on a few conditions." His voice made her cringe.
"I'm not sleeping with you and I'm not marrying you." She interrupted.
"Well then maybe the three of us can negotiate." He suggested sarcastically. "Let's go over to his house." Nash's eyes were set forward on the coffee table in the living area. Ariadne grew wide-eyed as she looked over too. There was a handgun sitting by the ashtray.
Ariadne took action and instead of running forwards, bulged backwards. Nash hit his head on a picture on the wall. "You are not killing him!" she ran for the weapon. As she was close to grabbing it, Nash captured a fistful of her hair.
"He's going to die anyway." Nash laughed as he retrieved the .45 ACP. "Now get in the car or I won't hesitate to kill you first."
Nash drove his rusty truck down the road. Ariadne gave him no directions in hopes that he'd get lost. As he took each correct turn, she slowly felt her heart sinking faster than the Titanic. She had another hope that maybe Nash's old car would break down and they'd be too far off to walk but so far the vehicle showed no signs of dying.
"You'll forgive me later." He told her. "I know this guy. He'll put work before anything. Even you."
"You don't know him like I do." She growled.
"Ari, he's only acting like that so you'll feel bad for him."
Ariadne shook her head. "When I first met him, he chased me down the stairs. He said, 'Take a good look at me' and I did. I can see what others can't and I'm telling you he wasn't trying to win me over."
"Whatever." Nash grumbled. Ariadne's heart stopped as the Bishop Mansion came into view. "You be a good girl now until I finish the job." He picked up his handgun and prepared to leave the car.
"Wait!" he slammed the door. Ariadne heard a clicking sound. When she tried to exit the car, it wouldn't open. She banged on the glass with her wrists. "Nash, let me out of here! Please!" Nash turned to look at her but then proceeded to the castle.
Her cellphone! She remembered at that time that she had her phone. It was a good thing the battery was high. Ariadne dialed an emergency number.
"Miles, you have to help me!" Ariadne screamed. "I'm locked in a car and Nash is about to kill Arthur! I can't get out!"
"I know you told me to stay out of that house but it's a long story. I'll tell you later but please, I'm at the Bishop Mansion and we need help!"
"I'll be on my way."
"Hurry!" Ariadne snapped the phone shut and looked around for something, anything, to help her escape.
"Ariadne." Nash heard Arthur's raspy voice. That was the voice he loved to hear. It was the voice of his revenge.
"Surprise." Nash came into his sight. "Happy to see me?"
Arthur looked over at the hourglass on the table and set his hand behind his back.
"Why are you here Nash? Can't you wait for me to die?" Arthur sighed.
"Not after you stole my woman." Nash argued.
"I did not steal Ariadne from you." Arthur fought back. "She has no such feelings for me!"
"Liar!" Nash spat. "She she'd rather be you! That means you stole her! You really crossed the line this time!"
"Nash, when those men grabbed you and took you away, I couldn't do a thing about it. I would have if I could but at that moment… when Saito caught all of us… I wanted to help you."
"Save the lies for your grave. You've always hated me and you were glad when that happened."
"No Nash, I wasn't." Arthur insisted. "None of us were."
The sound of fizzing echoed through the room. The three adult cats stepped out of the shadows, their eyes glowing with hate.
"None of them, even Eames, disserve this." The ginger cat looked up at him and hissed.
"You son-of-a-bitches almost had me killed!"
"Yeah, and your grandmum had to come save you." Said Eames.
"I wish I could do something to make things better." Said Arthur sympathetically.
Nash took out his gun. "You can die."
"No!" Nash looked behind to see Ariadne running over to them.
"Ariadne, get out of here!" Arthur yelled.
"No." she replied like a bratty child. "I'm not leaving you."
"See what I mean?" Nash patted her on the head to get a bad reaction from her and looked over at Arthur. "She cares about no one now but you."
"I care about ending this." Nash was surprised to see Ariadne holding a berretta in her hands. "It's a good thing Arthur keeps all his guns in a closet.
"Take it easy now Ari."
"Do not call me Ari!" she snapped at her ex. "I told you a million times, my name is Ariadne! It's not hard to pronounce!"
Arthur looked over at Ariadne, her eyes pinpointed right onto Nash's chest. "Alright Ariadne. You don't want me to hurt you now, do you?"
"You won't get a chance." Her finger curled around the trigger.
"Ariadne, no!" As it pulled back, Arthur tackled her down to the ground like a football player. The bullet hit the ceiling rather than its desired target.
"What are you doing?" she yelled.
"He's not worth killing." Arthur told her.
"You're damn fucking right about that." A shot rang out and Arthur was down on the floor. Blood was oozing from his chest.
"No!" Ariadne screamed in terror as Arthur's breathing slowed down, the way she was hoping the truck would. "You son-of-a-bitch!" Ariadne had the berretta at his head now. "Get out of here or I swear to God I will kill you! Go!" Nash looked horrified, showing that if he made another move, he'd get a heart attack. He started panting.
"You want a curse so I'll give you one." He said. "You will have a nice life until you fall asleep for the remainder of it. No noise will wake you."
Ariadne looked down at Arthur with regret. As Nash set off, she bent down and sat beside him.
"I'm so sorry." Her emotions dominated her. "It's my fault." Ariadne shook her head. "I shouldn't have gone to his place. I'm such a terrible person!" She grabbed his hand and squeezed it tightly. "You are the most beautiful person I know and no one can't agree. Please don't leave me!"
"Ariadne…" the fingers laced with hers twitched. "I'm sorry…"
"Stay with me!" she begged. "Please, I love you too much!" Ariadne kissed his hand the way a lady would in the Tudor Ages. "I can never love anyone else the way I love you…" A tumor-like lump built up in her throat as her eyes pushed out tears of passion. She was on the floor next to him, sobbing her eyes out.
A blaring sound scratched through her ears. Ariadne looked up to see the hourglass on the floor, shards of glass and grains of sand everywhere.
"What is going on here?" She heard Miles voice.
"Your too late." She said looking down at Arthur. "He's dead." Miles bent down and looked at Arthur's body. "You knew about this all along, didn't you? You thought he would have killed me. You know your family is here."
"I should have told you." Miles confessed. "I'm sorry Ariadne but we can't help him now."
"I don't think so, Darling." A British accent chimed in. Ariadne spun around and starred at him in shock.
"Who are you?"
"Well, we met before but I was much smaller. Remember that gorgeous ginger cat?"
"That was you?"
"And how could you not know me?" an American accent asked. A man with blonde hair stepped in.
"Dom!" Miles exclaimed. "You had me so worried sick, what happened? Why did I see that fool run out of here?"
"Why are you guys so cheerful?" Ariadne growled. "Can't you see that he's dead?"
"Now if he was dead, we would be too." Yusuf appeared in his human form. "He should be getting up soon."
Ariadne was waiting along with everyone else. Waiting for Arthur to wake up. It was like waiting for an egg to hatch; much faster in movies but very slow in reality.
"If the curse is broken… then I can do this…" Ariadne reached for Arthurs mask and unlatched it. For the first time, she got to see his face in person as the shadow that distressed him was thrown aside. His eyes opened as he started to breathe again. Ariadne sighed with relief as Arthur stood up.
The mask was off and all the hideous scars he had before were erased like magic. Ariadne didn't know what to do or say when he smiled at her for the first time. The sight of his lips and teeth combined into a smile made her heart rise back up to melt.
He didn't care if there were other people in the room. Arthur stationed his hands on her cheeks, wiping away any surviving tears.
"There's no need to be upset anymore." He assured with his transparent voice. "The man within the monster has been freed."
"I didn't think this would happen…" she gasped. "But oh my God, it's really you!"
A second later, their lips were together and their eyes were shut. Ariadne's hands crawled up to his chest. They stayed that way, one trying to kiss more passionately than the other. They didn't even stop when Eames made up an obnoxious comment.
"Does this mean we can't cuddle anymore?"
What lifted the curse? That was something they had to figure out. Was it because Ariadne proclaimed her love, or something else? And what about Nash? Did he really cast a curse upon her?
Miles was reunited with his grandchildren who admit that they miss being cats. Yusuf was introduced to Ariadne's younger sister Jenaya and he's studying a different kind of chemistry. Eames was back out in public making a living around his dream-sharing job as a comedian. Cobb was finally able to raise his children again.
Arthur and Ariadne dated for six months before deciding to tie the knot. At the reception, the band played 'Beauty and the Beast' as their wedding song. Since the curse died, Ariadne always referred to Arthur as a 'sexy beast'.