Title: Everybody Knows
Everybody knows that no matter how surprising a revelation may be, there will always be some people claiming that they knew all along...
Everybody knows that I don't own Inception...
Everybody knows is a song by Leonard Cohen...
Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
L. Cohen, "Everybody Knows"
If someone would ask him, ten years from now, if he had ever been at the right place, at the right time, he would smile and remember this moment.
It was perfect.
There was a light, warm breeze blowing across the turquoise water of the bay, rustling palm leaves, carrying soft, cheerful chatter and the scent of tropical flowers. Rich, golden afternoon sunlight painted patterns on the wooden veranda and glittering reflexes on Ariadne's hair. He saw the mirth on Yusuf's face, as he leant forward, laughing at something Eames had just said. Saito raised a sparkling glass of champagne, smiling. The musical trickle of Philippa's voice interwove with Robert's smooth tenor, as she asked him and he answered. The white rose Arthur was wearing with his magnificent black suit had slipped away as he bent forward, and James was now trying to tuck it back in. Eames reached across the table to help him, his face open, happy, glowing. "Cheers," Ariadne said, as she rose her glass, clinking it with Saito's. "To many more happy days to come…"
Yes, it was perfect.
But then, Arthur was a perfectionist, so what had he been expecting?
He smiled to himself. "Well, finally…"
Arthur, now with his flower restored to its original place, turned to face him. "Happy, Dom? You've known all along, haven't you?"
"Known that I would attend your wedding one day? Yes, I was pretty sure that you'd invite me. I was just hoping that all three of us would still be around when the time came…"
"Was that a hint?" Arthur asked, raising his brows in mock disapproval.
"Well, it only took you ten years to decide," Dom replied with a dramatic sigh that earned him a round of good-natured chuckles.
"Ten years?" Eames asked. "I barely even knew you guys ten years ago."
"Actually, you met both of us ten years from tomorrow, which I'm sure is no coincidence, since Arthur is the mastermind behind the planning of this entire wedding and he always pays attention to such details. It's a symbolic date."
Arthur shrugged. "Oh well, I guess you got me there. Yes it was in fact ten years ago. But back then, none of us had any idea that we'd ever be sitting here."
"I had," Dom disagreed. "I knew within the first ten minutes of that meeting that something was going on. It was written on your face in five inch tall, red, flashing letters, Arthur: I want this guy. And since you always get what you want, it was only a matter of time."
"Come on," Eames said, "you're exaggerating. You're good, Dom, but you're not that good."
"Well it was pretty obvious when I met you guys," Ariadne said.
"I knew six years ago," Philippa piped.
"There was never any question of whether or not, it was merely a question of when," Saito agreed.
"That's what everybody always says afterwards," Eames said, "I'm not buying it."
"You know, let's swap stories of how we found out," Ariadne suggested, grinning. "An appropriate pastime on the day before the wedding, and I bet, it'd be fun to hear."
"I'm all ears," Arthur said, leaning back in his chair.
"Great. Who is to start?"
"I will, let's do this chronologically. But I will have to tell two stories, since Mal isn't here to tell hers." A brief shadow crossed his face. Ariadne noticed and laid a hand over his.
"Sure. The floor is all yours."