My first Inception fic.
Eames sat in the silence of the warehouse the team currently resided in. With everyone out on their own personal agenda, the forger was left on his own. Though he had work to do, he couldn't for the life of him focus on any of it. He sighed and ran a hand down his face. He glanced around the deserted workspace before his gaze landed on Arthur's always impeccably organized desk. He felt a taunt on the tip of his tongue, but seeing as how the bland man was not in his company he filed it away until Arthur would be on the receiving end. What good was it to waste a sneer when he wouldn't receive a glare for his efforts and a condescending remark? It was pointless.
He stood up just to stretch his legs. The fact that he ended up in front of Arthur's desk was just a humorous coincidence. Bending over to inspect the items on the top of the desk without actually touching them, he put his hands behind his back. He skimmed over some files until he realized how boring even the young man's research was. It reflected him perfectly. He was contemplating opening the drawers just for kicks when the sound of the warehouse door opened and shut quickly, followed by footsteps. He immediately straightened, knowing full well he didn't have enough time to move stealthily enough not to appear suspicious, so instead he leaned against the corner of Arthur's desk, his arms folded across his chest.
The footsteps got louder until the owner of them appeared around the corner. Eames felt his mouth tug up in delight. "Dear Arthur! Good to see you! Have you had quite the evening? I see the scowl on your face is in it's tip-top condition, much like your desk."
The point man stopped in his tracks, the scowl in which Eames mentioned deepening. The forger watched as Arthur tugged at the left side of his vest of the lavish suit tailored perfectly enough to show just how lean his frame was. The younger man's hand hovered there for a few subconscious seconds, just long enough to draw Eames attention to it, before his hand fell limply by his side once more. Arthur rolled his eyes and began walking forward once more with much less posture than he normally would.
"Whatever you're doing at my desk, I don't want to know, I don't even care, just stop. I don't have time for your childish schemes." The point man shot back without so much as a glare in Eames direction as he passed by and headed towards the bathroom in the back.
Eames watched him with an observant eye as he passed, while unfolding his arms and pushing himself away from the desk in order to slowly follow behind Arthur. "Aren't you a little young to be talking about not having enough time?" He let the grin on his mouth show in his words.
"Aren't you a little old to be tyrannizing me?" Arthur shot back over his shoulder before walking into the bathroom and shutting and locking the door behind him.
Eames went back to his post on the corner of Arthur's desk and waited.
Close to ten minutes later, Arthur extracted himself from the bathroom. His skin doing its best to mimic the color of his white dress shirt underneath his vest and suit jacket. Eames caught the younger man's eyes as the point man realized that he was yet again perched on the corner of his desk. Arthur shook his head slowly, without any real clear reason as to why. Eames saw the uncertainty on his face. It was so misplaced. Arthur's hand wrapped around the back of a nearby chair, his knuckles turning white.
"I have work to do, Eames." He grounded out.
"Ah, so do I. But I have one question for you."
Arthur glanced up at him long enough to give him a warning glare. The taunt from before found its way back to the tip of his tongue, but he swallowed it. "You are, in fact, the most logical one of us, yes, Arthur?"
He watched the younger man take a deep breath. "Yes. Without a doubt."
Eames pushed himself away from the desk, looking anything but satisfied with the answer. He approached Arthur until he was only a couple of feet away. "Then why, Darling, did you think that I wouldn't notice the blood staining your shirt and the tear in your jacket? Because frankly, dear, that's not logical at all."
Arthur's sigh was heavy with defeat and his hand squeezed the back of the chair harder. "It is nothing, Eames. Leave me alone."
Eames gave a small chuckle. "Oh really? I am fully aware that while I may not be up to par with your vocabulary, nothing certainly isn't the word you are looking for, because no matter how intelligent you believe yourself to be, the word nothing means the same to you as it does to me and I can assure you this isn't nothing."
"As long as you recognize the significant difference between our intelligence, Eames."
"Your condescension, as always, is much appreciated, Arthur." Eames took a few more steps so that he was directly in front of the point man. He carefully outstretched his hands to inspect the clearly injured side of the younger man, but Arthur wouldn't have it. He batted the hands away, leaving faint spots of crimson on Eames hands from the contact.
Eames stared at him, knowing full well that despite the younger man's lean frame, he was fully capable of taking care of himself, but when his eyes followed Arthur's line of sight to the blood on his own hands from where the point man had touched him, he wouldn't have the stubborn stick in the mud die on him out of some sort of misplaced fight for dignity. His gaze met Arthur's while he silently encouraged the man to bat his hands away again. When Arthur broke their gaze first, Eames knew he had permission to inspect the wound, but what he didn't expect was for the point man to suddenly begin buckling at the knees. He carefully caught him under the arms before he could meet the floor ungracefully.
"Easy. We wouldn't your face to appear any more menacing than it already does with that scowl of yours now would we?" Eames teased, as he ignored the soft grunts of pain coming from his teammate as he maneuvered him around to sit in the chair that had helped him stand moments ago. "No, no. We can't have that. Then you might think you're tough enough to go getting in all kinds of these situations on purpose."
"Who...who says this...wasn't on purpose?" Arthur panted tiredly, trying his best to remain awake. When Eames merely bent down in front of him and began inspecting the wound without so much as a taunting grin, Arthur nodded. "Yeah, it wasn't... on purpose."
Eames carefully pulled Arthur's jacket and vest off, but when he moved to unbutton the point man's shirt, a clammy and shaky hand stopped him. "I..got it. 'm not an invalid." Arthur fumbled with the buttons, unable to get his fingers to cooperate. He groaned frustratedly while letting Eames bat his hands away and finish the task of removing the shirt.
"Now, now, Arthur, it isn't as if I will use this incident against you in the future. I don't bully you that much, do I?" Eames smiled, before standing and going to retrieve the first aid kit so he could clean and bandage the gash in the younger man's side that was clearly made by that of a knife. He would need stitches, but Eames would have to stop the bleeding before he could call Cobb to get a doctor to come out.
"Yes... you do." Arthur replied, a little more breathlessly. Eames returned with the supplies to find the injured man's eyes closed. He placed the items on the ground beside him and kneeled once more. He tapped Arthur's face. "I suppose you're right." He forced a smile. "Come now, stay awake for me."
Arthur opened his eyes to half mast and tried his best to glare. "Why should I do anything for you?"
"Because I'm the one about to save your life. Also, no matter how dull of a human being you are, I can't imagine my life without you being the recipient of all of my jokes and pranks. You're too much fun to lose, Darling." Eames grinned as he poured rubbing alcohol on a piece of cotton.
"That...is probably the nicest thing...you've ever said to me...yet, it was still an insult." Arthur replied, preparing for the burning sensation his side was fixing to be engulfed in. It came and he did his best not to squirm. He offered nothing more than murmured groans and hisses as one of Eames hands worked diligently to clean and bandage the wound as best he could while the other tried to hold Arthur as still as possible, seeing as how his movements caused more blood to seep out.
"I do believe I bought you a birthday card last year. That must have had some sort of nice sentiment in it, I'm sure." Eames replied, placing a bandage over the wound.
"You wished me a birthday that wasn't as dull as my personality." Arthur shot back as he laid his head on the back of the chair and closed his eyes.
"Ah, see. I wished excitement upon you. You should be grateful." The forger replied, standing up and wiping the blood of his hands. Once he had partially accepted the fact that the rest of the blood was stained on his hands for the time being, he grabbed his phone and called Cobb.
While he waited for him to answer, he heard Arthur respond somewhat lucidly, "I am grateful, but...not for that."
Cobb answered just in time so that Eames didn't have to give a response. He quickly relayed the information of the situation and once Cobb had told him that he would have a doctor out there as soon as possible and be there himself before then, he hung up and turned his attention back to Arthur, his eyes closed.
He walked back over and sat on the arm of the big cushioned chair Arthur was placed in. He tapped the younger man's face to waken him. "Stay with me, Arthur. Cobb and the doctor are on their way, but you must stay awake."
"Tired." Arthur mumbled and rolled his head so that he was looking up at Eames through half lidded eyes.
"As I can see, but I need you to stay awake just a bit longer. Tell me what happened."
"I was...met with the...wrong end...of a knife." Arthur chuckled, though it sounded more like he was coughing. "I would have...bled out in the...in the alley...had my totem not told me I wasn't actually dreaming."
Eames pursed his lips together, concern felt strange running through him, though it was far from foreign. Arthur had the uncanny ability to agitate him to no end, yet worm his way into the undefined soft spot of the forger. Arthur's face was almost ashen and his breathing was shallow. The forger picked up one of the younger man's thin wrists and felt for his pulse. It was slow, but the trembling running through Arthur's frame was quick.
"Who did this to you?"
Arthur just stared up at him through glassy eyes. Eames tapped the side of his face lightly. "Arthur? Who did this?"
Arthur blinked sluggishly, his eyes taking more time that necessary to open back up and swallowed thickly. "I have...no idea...jus' walking back...pulled...into an alley. I didn't have anything...on me...except my totem...they didn't even touch it. But they took my tie...my tie." Arthur's voice sounded so disappointed in just the last part that Eames couldn't help but laugh as he realized the younger man had indeed returned without his lavish tie around his neck. "Why...why would they take my... tie, Eames?"
Eames pondered it for a moment, but decided it was the least thing he needed to be concerned with at this point. "I don't know. Maybe, they to, see your wardrobe as needing improvement." He suggested the ridiculous reason just as a way to keep the younger man conscious.
A few moments later, Cobb entered with a doctor on his heels.
Eames stood from the chair he had been sitting in for the past three hours while he watched Arthur sleep on the couch in the warehouse, as Cobb came up to him to take over the shift of making sure the point man didn't suddenly twist and pull his stitches and...make sure that he was indeed fine.
"The others brought dinner. Make sure you eat something." Cobb said as he sat down and pulled out a newspaper.
Eames nodded, took one last look at Arthur and headed out to main area of the warehouse.
He passed the rest of the team eating dinner at a small table without so much as a look as headed for the door.
"Aren't you going to eat dinner?" Ariadne asked. When Eames shook his head no and opened the door to leave she asked, "Where are you going?"
"Dear Arthur is worried about his tie." Was all he offered in an explanation before he left and shut the door behind him.
As he walked down Arthur's predictable path he took from the warehouse to the middle of the city, he spotted just what he was looking for. He walked down the alley beside a dingy bar to where two heavy set guys, much more muscular that Arthur, stood, both in dirty, ripped clothes, except one had a fancy tie hanging from around his neck, one that Eames had seen far too many times.
"Gentlemen, I'm afraid that tie belongs to a friend of mine. I'm going to need it back."
Both men looked at each other and grinned. "And what exactly do you plan on doing to get it back?" The man asked playing with the tie mockingly. "I happen to like this tie."
"Well, as much as I personally hate it, I have to say it suits my friend much better than either of you gentlemen."
"Well, like I asked before, what're you going to do about it?"
"First, I'm going to kick your ass." Eames replied.
"All over a silly little tie?" The other man asked, but wasn't prepared for the full out assault that was his only reply.
Only when the other man was unconscious, did Eames bend down over the man with Arthur's tie around his neck. He grabbed the material and pulled upward bringing the man's face close to his.
"Here. Here! Just take the tie, man!" The man pleaded as he tried to shrink away from Eames.
"It's not about the tie."
Eames watched as realization widened the man's fearful eyes.
Eames nodded. "If you or anyone of your pathetic little friends touches that kid again, I won't hesitate to come back for more than just a tie."
The man nodded and swallowed thickly while watching Eames take the tie from around his neck and leave.
"Where have you been?" A groggy voice questioned as he walked into the small living area and plopped down next to the man questioning him with a tired sigh, ignoring the rest of the team he had passed.
"I'm flattered you care about my whereabouts, Darling, but I'm afraid my exciting life is just to...well, exciting for your boring one. Get some rest. It's past your bedtime, child."
Arthur glared at him before closing his eyes and falling back asleep.
"So where were you?" Cobb's voice asked, from a chair across the room. Just meeting his gaze, Eames knew that Cobb already knew the answer.
He closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the back of the couch as Arthur had just done. He offered no reply as he slowly begin to fall asleep beside his friend, who had become somewhat of a brother to him, though he would never admit it. He fingered the tie bunched up in the pocket of his jacket, his last conscious thought being that no matter how much he hated Arthur's bland personality and wardrobe to match, he wouldn't accept his 'brother' any other way. Maybe it was, in fact, partially about the tie.
"Thanks for getting my tie back." Arthur's voice broke through his thoughts and prevented him from falling asleep.
He couldn't help but grin. Feeling the silk tie again, he noted that for the tie to be so skinny it held a large meaning. "Of course, Arthur. Of course."
AN: Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think!