"And who are you?" Arthur was upstairs in his apartment bedroom when he heard Ariadne answer the door for someone.
"I'm a relative of your boyfriends." The voice was familiar and not in the good way. The man's old French accent tickled his spine and zapped his heart.
"Funny, he's never mentioned you." Said Ariadne suspiciously. "What's your name?"
"I'm his Uncle Andre."
"He's never talked about you." Ariadne's tone was defensive as he taught her to be at all times.
"He would never forget me."
"Arthur!" Ariadne called for her boyfriend. Arthur was on full alert after he heard her scream.
"He's mine you bitch!" the man yelled. Arthur was in the living room in one second. Ariadne was on the floor, watched helplessly as she bled to death on the carpet. Her blood made the carpet look like a whole bottle on wine was spilled. Ariadnes hands were at her chest as blood started coming out of her mouth as well.
Arthur looked up at the man who just stabbed her. He was a tall, bald Frenchman with oversized glasses and a thin mustache. His grey eyes looked over at Arthur.
"I missed you Artie."
His eyes opened to find himself in bed. Ariadne was sound asleep beside him.
This was rather odd; he was long past the reoccurring nightmares. Maybe it had to do with the recent death in the family.
That day before Ariadne returned home from work, he got a call from his older brother Lance. Their Uncle Andre passed away that day from stomach cancer. He hadn't told Ariadne yet. Thinking back, he never liked Uncle Andre. Thoughts about him made Arthur uncomfortable and queasy. Arthur was only a little relieved but more haunted by the news. What kind of excuse would he make to skip the funeral?
Normally when someone died, Arthur would be respectful and show up to their funeral. Uncle Andre didn't disserve his mourning. Not after what he did. For the rest of the night, Arthur lay beside his girlfriend looking up at the ceiling fan like it was the moon.
When the sun rose, Ariadne was up early and changed into her work clothes. After graduating, she got a job at French Architectural Construction and Demolition, the biggest architecture company in France. So far, she barely got to do any designing. Normally, it was her job to tell sad clients that their homes were being torn down.
What was unusual about the morning was that Arthur wasn't up before, making her breakfast. Every day, she would wake to the smell of eggs, toast, and bacon to see Arthur in his apron, preparing her breakfast like a professional. Coffee would always be ready by the time she got downstairs. Ariadne was a little shocked, like a teen that didn't get a basket on Easter, to not even see a plate with a note.
She went upstairs to see Arthur still in bed. A little concerned, she came to his side and shook him.
"Arthur… I'm going to work now." He looked exhausted to her. Ariadne kissed him on the side of his forehead and figured she'd go out for breakfast that day before work.
Arthur got up at noon while she was three hours into her shift. He looked over at the empty unmade side of the bed. It wasn't always like this.
A year after the inception job, Cobb called Arthur and told him some news he never imagined to hear. He explained that Cobol Engineering, despite all their power, had been destroyed. Saito's men attacked the bases, captured the workers and used the PASIV to erase their memories of the company. Cobol was no more, or at least Cobb was convinced.
Arthur still kept his fake name, Rodger Kingsley, and kept on pretending to be a musician in Paris. When he wasn't doing his point man job, he was playing piano at a club. Everyone in Paris only knew him by that name.
While he was there, he bumped into Ariadne at the least expected place. He was walking to his car after the club closed one night and saw her walking down the street. She asked him what he was doing in the city and he explained that he lived there. They were alone, so he offered her a ride to her apartment. During the drive, he explained the situation with Cobol and Ariadne said Cobb told her also.
"So I guess you're allowed to date and do all that stuff again?" she assumed as they pulled up in front of her building.
"In a ways... yes it's a lot safer now to be seen with you."
"In that case, why don't you call me?"
Her confidence turned him on and they've been dating ever since. Six months later, she moved out of her old crammed apartment and settled into his first-class luxury cave. For a while, Arthur was considering marrying her. For one, she wasn't the type of girl who dressed provocatively to get his attention or lie about her background. His family (well, most of his family) loved her, and he believed she would be a perfect mother. He could imagine them one day with a baby boy or girl.
But for now, Arthur didn't know one hundred percent that she was the one. He had to wait a little longer to see.
Arthur got out of bed feeling like a lazy bum. He had nowhere important to go until night when the club was open. All day, he read the newspaper and lifted weights. By six, Ariadne was home. Arthur was already dressed for the club as she went upstairs.
"You have derby tonight?" he asked.
"Uh, yeah. Just practice." she told him as she was taking off her business clothes to change into a shirt and leggings.
"I'm taking you." he told her. Ariadne came out of the bedroom and stood by the edge of the stairs, looking down at him.
"You wanna drive me across the city to practice?"
"I have plenty of time. Besides, it makes up for this morning."
Ariadne smiled at his sincerity. "You are way too modest sometimes."
"It's the least I can do."