Alright, so this is a complete different way of thinking for myself, but I'd thought I'd try this out. This story actually involved researching and making a plot, and how to incorporate different things, so I apologize for any mistakes that pertain to the relevance of the movie Inception that are not shown in this story. This will be a rather long story, and which I'm guessing will definately be a multi chapter and probably ranging from .. hmm fifteen to thrity thousand words, hopefully.
I really am proud of myself from this one. I had contemplated doing this, but hadn't a clue how to start it. I kept thinking. IS it possible? Because it's Arthur, he know's the tricks. But I really researched and thought about it, and decided I might as well give it a go. Sorry but COBB will not be in this one, for reasons of my own. First, Mal could still exsist in violent nature and second, I am trying to keep this close to what happened in Inception, and I believe that Cobb didn't actually come back. I believe he is still in Limbo, so I've decided to keep him out of this. Plus, if he was, I wouldn't know how to involve him because there may be twists in this that I just can't think of how to include Cobb, one that could shock you, if I go with it. Be warned! xD
(Fear of up and down)
"Can we take the stairs, please?"
The weather outside was a bit warm for Ariadne's usual tastes. Sure she was used to the partially mild climate summers of Paris, but in Los Angeles, the summers seemed to be very hotter, and more humid.
That day, was any other ordinary day for the team, two months after they got back together again in California, after Cobb returned to his children.
Ofcourse, the team, minus Saito on many occaisons, still performed jobs, but the jobs weren't in the illegal tastes that they used to do. Currently they had to had to help a car company find out the illegal secret of it's leading competor, but assured, the job itself wasn't illegal, as promised by the said company.
Los Angeles was a big city, very spacious and cultured, and Ariadne had chosen a small apartment to own near the teams workhouse, after she had graduated in France, though she figured with the money from the Fischer job, she could have easily bought a very open and mordern house in the suburban parts of this city.
Today, the temperature had climaxed to a humid ninety degrees in the morning, and Ariadne figured, it was time to throw in the red suede jacket and long jeans for a while. Today she put on a pair of cropped dark khaki's and her favorite ankle boots, and a thin flowing top to match with her pastel colored scarf.
She had stopped along the way to work at her local coffee shop to pick up a cup of iced tea, only to run right into Arthur, the team's Point Man, and ultimately the man Ariadne admitted she had feelings for ever since their kiss months ago.
"Arthur," she had said in a surprised tone, watching him turn to her, grabbing his coffee, and replacing his wallet in his pants pocket, "what are you doing here?"
They did work together every day, but she was still in shock ever time she saw him around the city out of the warehouse.
He smiled, holding up his cup in emphasis.
"Just picking up my coffee." She returned his smile, taking a sip of her iced tea, fanning her face lightly with her other hand.
"How can you stand the weather in a suit, and be able to drink hot coffee?"
Her eyes skimmed over his same slicked back hair and professional cream colored Armani suit. She noticed he had ditched the jackets, and taken to wearing waistcoats in this heat. He shrugged, opening the coffee shop door for her.
"I've traveled to hotter places. In fact when we had to go to Africa once, it went over one hundred and ten many times in the summer."
They exited the shop, heading down the street towards the warehouse. Ariadne looked up at him, watching his left hand, not holding the coffee, absentmindedly fix his messenger bag on his shoulder. As they walked, their hands brushed a few times, making Ariadne blush.
"So what's on your agenda today?" He wondered, turning the corner, Ariadne at his side.
"Well I have to finish the second level of the job model, and go over some short cuts with Eames. You?"
"Go over the mark's previous history. We don't want what happened with Fischer to happen again."
Ariadne nodded in agreement, watching as Arthur opened the building door their warehouse was located in for her. She smiled, murmuring a thanks, watching his serious face gently soften into a small smile. She fanned at her face again, wondering if the AC was on in the building. They headed past the lobby towards the elevators and stairs.
Ariadne saw Arthur stop in front of the elevator and stiffen, so she reached out her arm to push the up button for him. His fingers grasped her wrist as she was about to hit the button, and she turned to him, surprised, and blushing.
"Can we take the stairs, please?"
His voice sounded oddly strained and hushed, and he almost sounded pleading. Ariadne frowned, as he released her wrist, and turned to the door to the stairs.
"Arthur, it's six stories up, and there's no AC in the stairways, it'll be hot as hell." She turned to him again, watching his hand clasp his coffee harder.
"Please." He whispered, this time sounding pleading.
Ariadne was a bit worried, but nodded anyway, heading for the stairs, hearing Arthur follow her. They managed the six floors, only Ariadne seemingly slightly sweating, and Arthur pulled out his key to the warehouse, essentially seeming like he was back to normal again.
Ariadne followed him in, closing the door behind her, staring at Cobb and Eames' vacant desks. As the door closed, Yusuf came out from his "corner" office, wiping his hands in a towel.
"Morning guys." He smiled, as Ariadne set her bag down on her desk, watching Arthur neatly place his down on the floor, setting his half full coffee down.
"Morning." Ariadne smiled, hearing Arthur bid Yusuf good morning too. She looked around, again lookig at the two vacant desks.
"Where are Cobb and Eames?"
"Eames is out trailing the mark, getting some 'mannerisms' down for someone related to the mark, and Cobb's out on a meeting with the car company." Yusuf replied, heading back to his desk, and Ariadne heard glasses clink together, and running water. She turned back to Arthur, watching him pull out his leather notebook and open up his laptop, sipping his coffee.
She headed towards him, pulling up a chair to the side of his desk, setting her empty tea cup in the trash can in the center of the room.
"Is everything okay?" He turned to her, leaning his chair back on two legs, typing on his laptop.
"Of course. What do you mean?" His face softened, as he turned his head back to his laptop, scanning the screen.
"When we were down in the lobby, and you wouldn't take the elevator. What happened?"
She watched as his jaw clenched, and his frown lines appreared, making him look older than his twenty-six years of age.
"I don't know what you're talking about, Ariadne." He continued to write in his notebook, looking up every so often to scan the laptop screen.
Ariadne frowned, leaning forward in her chair, touching his arm lightly.
"Why did you insist we take the stairs? You wouldn't go in the elevator, nor near it. Why?" She retracted her fingers from his forearm, watching him put his chair back on all four legs, and turn to her, rolling his sleeves up to his elbow. His eyes looked pained as he sighed lightly, swallowing.
".. Ever since the second level of the Fischer job, I can't go near an elevator. I've had to take the stairs everyday, and everywhere I go."
Ariadne raised an eyebrow slightly, leaning even more forward. She frowned slightly, trying to recall what had happened.
"I have no clue what happened the second level down," she admitted, "all I remember was feeling myself fall."
"Well while you were asleep, there was no gravity with the second kick coming up, so I had to tie you all together and put you in an elevator. What I did was blow up the elevator, without the cords attached to it, so we would feel the feeling of falling. I could barely take it then, my heart felt like it was about to burst out of my throat, and I could barely breathe."
He looked past her, trying not to meet her eyes.
"Is it acrophobia? Or claustraphobia?" She watched his eyes shift, as if he was thinking. He shook his head slowly.
"I'm not claustraphobic, I can easily deal with small spaces... its more of sursumdeorsumphobia."
Ariadne frowned, making him smile slightly.
"The fear of up and down."
She let out a small oh, nodding twice.
"Have you talked to anyone about this?" Arthur shook his head.
"Who would believe a young man claiming he blew up an elevator in an illegal dream scheme?"
Ariadne sighed, leaning back in her chair. "You're probably right." She touched his arm gently, staring into his amber eyes.
"I'm sorry, Arthur." She murmured, watching him smirk lightly, waving it off, turning back to his laptop. She got up, her mind thinking deeply. She returned to her cluttered desk, and sat down, picking up her scissors, looking for some more cardboard for her model. Ariadne turned to look at Arthur again, blushing as his eyes met hers and he smiled, his own ears turning pink.
Around midday, Eames returned, looking tired but accomplished.
Arthur looked up, turning to Eames, greeting him.
"How did it go?" Eames sighed opening the top button of his dress shirt, standing near the fan that was on.
"It was bloody tiring. I followed the mark around for about an hour, but nothing. So I switched to the marks brother, and after tailing him for bloody three hours, I got quite alot about his mannerisms and antics." Eames smirked, heading to Yusuf's corner, nodding in greeting to the Chemist who nodded back, returning to his chemical formulas.
Eames headed towards Arthur's desk, leaning against it.
"How's my favorite brotherly stick in the mud?" Arthur frowned, leaning back in his chair.
"Bill Mason's mind had been trained for a bit on subconsious defense, but it's not as bad as Fischers, apparently they trained him on karate instead of weaponry."
Eames smirked, letting out a laugh.
"Well then we're good." He clapped Arthur on the back, heading towards Ariadne, standing next to her at the model on the table.
"What do you have for me, darling?"
Ariadne smiles, shrugging her shoulders.
"Just the layout finished. I need to go over the shortcuts with you, but first there's something I wanted to ask you about, about Arthur."
Eames, frowned, folding his arms across his chest.
"Is this about what happened on the second level in the elevator of the Fischer job?"
Ariadne gasped, leaning slightly against the table. "He told you about his elevator phobia?" Eames nodded.
"Only because I caught him in the airport hotel standing five feet away from the elevator looking at it as if it was a bomb."
"I'm really worried about him, if this has really been going on for months, and every single day, Eames, and he shouldn't have this phobia, what happened, happened out of reality. He needs help getting through it. He won't speak to a therapist or anything, he says they wouldn't believe him."
"Right, then what do you suggest we do to help him get over this?"
Ariadne looked over at Arthur again, watching him read a book, his headphones over his ears, in a calm and collected way. She turned back to Eames, looking behind him, seeing Yusuf still across the room out of hearing distance.
"I want to perform inception on Arthur." Eames' eyes widened.
"Love, I don't think that would be possible." Ariadne crossed her arms, sitting on the table now.
"How? We did it on Fischer. All we need is the simplest concept that what happened in Arthur's dream would never happen again in real life." Eames shrugged, leaning his head closer to hers.
"But he knows us, and he has a totem, he could easily realize he was dreaming. There's no way we could get the idea in his brain without him knowing we were the ones doing it."
"We could pose as projections of our real selves, and say this was just one of Arthur's usual dreams." Araidne suggested, watching Eames frown, thinking. He shrugged.
"I guess that would be possible. But what if he figured out we were the real versions of ourselves? He would instantly know if every different dream level, we were dressed casually. Ariadne, this is Arthur, every level would be formal if he were the one who was really the dreamer."
Ariadne nodded, considering this. "We could dress formal and make the layouts formal as if Arthur thought of them. We know what his interests are, and it would be easy to create his perfect space and design."
Eames nodded."How many levels are you thinking?"
Ariadne looked around, drumming her fingers on the table.
"I was thinking two, because this is a small idea, and three levels wouldn't be nescesary since we know Arthur. But the levels will have to be so complex and will have to correspond to everthing about Arthur. We might have to actuallyuse memories to make up some of the places in the levels."
Eames drummed his fingers on his elbows, uncrossing his arms.
"What about Cobb?"
"Well I haven't a clue if Cobb know's about Arthur's phobia, and I think it may be best to keep him out of this, just in case Mal still exsists in his subconsious. I'm sure we could find a day where he will be out the whole time. I think we'll only need about three to five hours."
"But we need an Extracter."
"I think I could do it. I've watched him on the past jobs, and the Fischer job. I've learned a few tricks."
"You'll have to be careful then, this is Arthur, he will pick up on any small mistake or anything suspicious."
"We can always try. I really want to help him, Eames."
Eames stood up straight, looking over to Yusuf. He gestured for her to follow him.
"We'd better go over this with Yusuf then."
The two of them snuck past Arthur's desk, but Arthur was too indulged in his reading, and his music to notice. Eames knocked on the wall, watching Yusuf jump, turning to them, holding two glasses of liquids.
"You guys look eager. If this is another bet, I don't want in.." Eames smirked slightly, shaking his head.
"We have to perform... a sort of side job... on Arthur." Yusuf raised an eyebrow, putting the beakers down.
"What kind of job?" Yusuf pulled his glasses of his nose, rubbing the place where they were perched.
"Inception." Yusuf let out a laugh.
Eames explained everything he and Ariadne had gone over just a minute ago, watching Yusuf's face contort with emotions.
"I guess it could work... Do you need me in the field for this one too?" Ariadne nodded, looking back towards Arthur, making sure he still had his headphones on.
"I'll need you to be the dreamer for the first level. But we're going to have to go into specifics and make Arthur think he's the dreamer, and we're just projections. Can you make a compound for about, say ... five hours? Stable enough for two levels?"
"Sure thing. If your going for two levels and five hours, and this phobia is a quite simple concept, you'll only need the knock out sedation only about maybe five to ten times the normal one, if that."
"Good. This is going to be an extremely hard job to do, and we'll have to meet about this without Cobb or Arthur knowing." Eames put in, leaning back against the wall. Ariadne looked at the two men.
"I can work on the models at home, and Yusuf could work on the compound here too, no one would notice. Which of us knows the most about Arthur?"
"I think that would be me, love. We've been like brothers for almost six years. But you know alot too, so all three of us will have to discuss this through."
Yusuf pushed his beakers aside, writing down something on his notepad. He looked back up towards the two.
"We could have meetings when they're both out of the warehouse. I think Arthur mentioned he had to go out tomorrow and do some literal research. Cobb's taking a day off tomorrow too I think, he said something about taking James and Phillipa to the zoo."
Ariadne nodded, taking in the information.
"So if we can start tonight, possibly today, we can meet on this tomorrow, and go over how the hell we're going to get through this."
Eames grinned, and nodded.
"Love, you always know how to solve problems in complex ways."
When the sky darkened dramatically, Ariadne bidded the remaining team members, Arthur and Cobb, goonight, and picked up her jacket, reaching for her bag. She walked over to Arthur's desk, watching the laptop screen's light illuminate his handsome face.
She walked up to him, putting her bag over her shoulder, and leaned down, kissing his head gently. She saw his cheeks and ears blush slightly pink as he turned to her, raising an eyebrow.
"I'm sorry you had to go through that Arthur. Goodnight." She smiled, turning to leave the warehouse, hearing his murmured reply.
The whole walk home, Ariadne's brain went into over drive as she contructed what the first level would look like, and how she was even going to accomplish this.
At her apartment, she went through all her drawers and cabinets searching for paper and cardboard, eager to start her designs.
A few hours later, she blinked painfully, turning to her clock, seeing it was four in the morning. She turned to her already finished first level model, and half done sketch of the other.
She got up from the couch, stretching out her crunched back and headed towards her bathroom, aiming for a shower before she decided to get a few hours of sleep before work. As she was laying down on her bed, she turned to the picture sitting in a simple wood frame on her bedside table, and smiled gently.
It was a picture Eames had ordered the team take, and decided to get them all copies and frames for it.
In the front, Arthur was sat on his chair, leaning back on its two legs, smirking at the camera, as Eames stood next to him to his left, Cobb next to Arthur kneeling in the front, and Ariadne to Arthur's right, leaving Yusuf behind Arthur.
Eames was showing a cheshire cat grin, and Yusuf had his eyes slightly closed, in a content smile. Cobb was also grinning, not as wide as Eames, but very happily. Eames had his two fingers up in a V shape behind Arthur's head, like bunny ears. Ariadne, on Arthur's right, had her fingers on his elbow, half kneeling next to him, smiling softly and happily, somewhat blushing.
"We'll fix this, Arthur, I promise." She whispered, turning off her lamp, rolling over, falling asleep.
"So what's the first level going to be?" Was the first thing out of Eames' mouth as soon as the warehouse door clicked behind Arthur the next morning.
Ariadne smirked, sitting at the head of the table, and put the three dimensional model on the surface.
"Well since it is Arthur, and he has to believe he is the creater, its going to be a ballroom." Eames nodded, getting up from his chair, walking over to the stand up board, writing a two sentences on it.
What happened was in a dream.
This is reality, nothing like that would occur in real life.
"So I was thinking the first one, we could put in his head ourselves, as the projections, and since it is a ballroom, Ariadne, you can be the main one to plant it."
Ariadne blushed slightly, feeling Yusuf look at her from his own seat.
"W-what?" Eames grinned.
"All Arthur does is look at you, and when your not around, he talks so much of you. If you want him to believe this is his dream, you'll have to dance with him, make it look like how he thinks it is. Flirt with him, maybe kiss him.. again." Eames smirked, hearing Yusuf choke out a laugh.
Ariadne blushed deeper, nodding. She looked at her notepad, trying to change the subject.
"What about the actual projections? Arthur will have them trained damned well. Plus, he'll know we aren't projections as soon as they attack us."
Yusuf tapped his chin, and suddenly snapped his fingers.
"When I was out on a job long ago, we tried this one strategy. You get the mark to believe that he is making his projections fight us because he believes we are real, but we have to get him to believe that we are projections and his mind just believes we aren't. Which would be a good explaination for the attacking projections."
Eames grinned, patting Yusuf on the back.
"My man, you are a genious. That could work."
Ariadne nodded in agreement, taking notes. "What about the second level? It's a hotel, like the Fischer job, but a different layout. What are we going to use as the simplest form of the idea?"
The two men are silent for a few minutes before Eames' voice cuts throught the air.
"I think we should just basically wing it. We know Arthur so we know any possiblities. In fact... Yusuf, what does sursumdeorsumphobia mean exactly?"
Yusuf, opens his laptop, and types for a minute, skimming the screen.
"Exactly? Fear of up and down. But how will that help?" Ariadne picks up on Eames' train of thought, tapping her pencil to the table.
"Maybe we could incorporate the idea to this fear; up and down. If we can find soemthing that goes up and down, but differently in dreams, we could use that as the simplest form."
"But what goes up and down?"
Ariadne and Eames stare at Yusuf, raising an eyebrow. He frowns.
"You know what I mean." he mutters, and the two laugh.
"Maybe there's something that-" Ariadne suddenly sits up right in her chair, interrupting Eames.
"I've got it." Both men stare at her, emphasising she should tell them.
"D'you rememeber how Arthur was telling us about how his mother died when he was ten?" Eames raised an eyebrow.
"Love, where the hell are you going with this?"
"Well it's going to sound really stupid, but if you can make yourself look like Arthur, I can get a picture of you as both Arthur's mother and Arthur, I could morph it to look like Arthur was standing next to his mother, smiling for a picture, to show him, that what may be real in a dream, could never happen in reality."
"That could work..." Yusuf said, turning to Eames.
"How am I going to impersonate his Mother, even for a second? We're going to have to find a picture of her."
Ariadne raised an eyebrow, thinking it over. She gets up, walking over to Arthur's desk, opening his drawers, gently looking through his notebooks, finally pulling out a picture.
"It's not much, but you can see her. And it looks like it was taken just before she passed away." She said gently, handing the photo to Eames, who took a picture of the picture with his phone, handing it back to her.
"I must admit, Arthur was very cute as a ten year old boy." He smirked, showing the picture on his phone to Yusuf.
"This is actually possible." Eames said, as Ariadne replaced the picture, and sat back down.
"But how do we sedate him in the first place?" Yusuf pondered, as Eames put his phone away.
"Quite easily, darling.." Eames said, smirking.
A few days later, closer to a week, Arthur was sat calmly at his desk, reviewing and studying his notes taken on the car company job. Cobb had to unexpectedly travel out of state with another meeting for a new job after this one, so this left the rest of the team all caught up on their work at the warehouse, waiting to do the car job that was coming up in the next week.
Arthur sighed, rubbing his eyes. He had been studying this for almost an hour now.
Ariadne snuck up behind him, two cofffee cups in her hands. She sat on the edge of his desk, smiling happily.
"Your black coffee, sir." She handed it to him, smirking. He took it, smiling gently back.
"Thank you." His ears turned pink, as he took a small sip.
"So... " She crossed her ankles, drinking her own coffee.
He raised an eyebrow. "So?"
"Nothing. Have fun studying." She smiled, getting up, and walking over to Eames, and they bent their heads, making sure Arthur couldn't see them watching him as he took a gulp of his coffee, looking at his notebook. He leaned his head back on his chair and was instantly asleep.
"He out, Yusuf!" He walked over to Arthur, shaking him, as Yusuf emerged, the PASIV in his hands.
"Alright. So how long do we have?"
Ariadne opened the PASIV, pulling out four wires and some tape.
"Five hours, reality. Two Days, first level. And the second level we'll have about 10 days. Plenty of time."
Eames lcoked the warehouse door, just in case, and pulled over three chairs near Arthur's desk.
Eames helped Yusuf get hooked up, as well as Ariadne, as she stared at him.
"I hope this works."
"Me to, love. Good luck, eh?" They exchange glances, all nodding. Eames presses the button, sending all four of them into deeper sleep.
"Can we take the stairs, please?"
TO BE CONTINUED.
Up next: The first level :D Eames, Yusuf, and Ariadne go into the first level, the ballroom, which is going to be in a Venetian looking city.
I know it may be a bit copy cat of the Inception levels but I assure you, that is purely coincidental. I'll work on the first level after this, and hopefully get it done tomorrow or the day after. If you have any questions so far, PM me, and I'll answer em. Basically they're going into Arthur's subconsious to get him to not believe in the phobia anymore. Hope you enjoyed. Stay tuned for the second chapter.
AND REVIEW :D Thank you to all that have reviewed my other stories so far, and have followed them. If you haven;t read my other stories, check em out! :D Thank you guys.