Disclaimer: Inception does not belong to me.

"Mmm," Arthur murmured, loving the feel of the Architect on top of him. They were at her place, stretched out on the couch, fully dressed. Somehow, his tie had managed to make its way to the floor, and his shirt was loose at the top.

Ariadne shifted over him slightly. "You ok?"

"Shouldn't I be asking you that question?" he responded, playfully. He tickled her gently on the stomach. "Sure you're ok?"

"Fine," she said, smiling. "Absolutely fine."

"Great." He leaned over and kissed her. "So, shall we go to bed?"

"Oh, um..." Ariadne swallowed. "I was hoping for an early night...alone."

"What?" Arthur's face dropped slightly. "Alone? Why?"

"Well...its this job we're working on. I don't want to be tired."

Arthur sighed, almost irritably as he began to get up, swinging his legs around. "OK, I get the message." He leaned over, kissing her on the tip of her nose. "I could do with some sleep, myself." Getting up, he leaned down, scooping up his tie, and looped it round his neck. The Architect got up from the couch, and began to show him to the door.

He bent down. "See you tomorrow," he said, softly, as their lips met in a deep kiss. Finally, he turned and left.

Ariadne shut the door, feeling a wave of relief. As she walked back into the bedroom, she collapsed on the bed, feeling exhausted.

The more time she spent with Arthur, the more she loved it. And, she thought with a glow of satisfaction, people she had previously known would be astounded at the man she'd ended up with. In fact, she ruminated, they'd be astonished. Because when they'd known her back then, in High School, Arthur was the last type of man they thought Ariadne could have.

She blinked, and began to head for the bathroom, shedding layers of clothing en route.


Arthur let himself into his apartment, feeling puzzled. Everything had seemed to be wonderful - they were together, music, soft lights - and then, she announced she wanted to go to bed early.

He bit his lip, heading for the kitchen. She didn't really seem to want him to spend any intimate time with her. He frowned as he poured himself a glass of water. Maybe she thought he was too fast moving, too insistent.

He frowned, taking a sip. Perhaps he would have to try the old-fashioned way.

"Take her out for dinner," he mused. "Worth a shot."


"Tonight?" Ariadne asked, slightly perplexed.

"Yes, tonight," Arthur said, quickly. "How about it? Apparently the chocolate mousse is wonderful!"

"Well, I-"

"Ari, we're both working hard," he reminded her. "Don't we deserve a break?"

She nodded. "OK, if you insist-"

"I do," he said, quickly. "We've been seeing each other for three weeks, and I've not once had the time to take you for dinner!"

Ariadne smiled, although it felt rather forced. "OK. Time?"

"Eight," Arthur replied, puzzled and slightly deflated by her response. "I'll meet you at your place, ok?"

"See you then!"


Ariadne sighed as she stood in front of the mirror. She was wearing a long black dress, that didn't swamp her frame, and was debating whether to put her hair up. She reached for a couple of pins, then let it swing loose around her face. It was better down. She could hide behind it.

She frowned, an unpleasant memory whirling its way into her mind. She was about fifteen, walking along the corridor in High School. Suddenly, she'd heard an unpleasant, hooting voice.

"Hey, Ariadne! Watch out, you're blocking everyone's view!"

She'd stopped, and blushed. Hot waves of shame had flooded her face, feeling as though everyone was suddenly staring at her. She'd pressed her books to her chest, and tried to hurry on.

She blinked. Arthur...he wouldn't believe it if she told him this. He wouldn't comprehend it. She shuddered slightly. Telling him would too hard.

So, she'd hidden it. Hidden it away, along with her photos of herself, and her year book. No way did she ever want him discovering it.

Suddenly, the door bell rung. Adjusting her dress, frowning at the way it clung to her, she hurried to the door.


"You sure you don't want anything else?"

Ariadne nodded. "I'm sure."

Arthur frowned. "Ari, you only had salad...and tuna." He shook his head. "You should eat some carbs."

"I don't need too many carbs," she said, swallowing. He blinked. "Well, you should have them, they're-"

"I don't want any!" She said, taken aback by the forcefulness of her voice. He was extending his hand across the table, and stopped it, suddenly.

"OK, fine," he said, hoarsely. "I'll get the bill, and we'll go, shall we?"

Ariadne sunk back in her seat. The evening had started off wonderfully. Arthur, looking handsome in a fresh suit, had complimented her on her appearance, and ushered her to the restaurant. The food had been good, and the wine crisp. But then, he'd started telling her she hadn't eaten enough, and the evening had taken a sour turn.

"I eat enough," she said, coldly. His eyes had widened.

"Fine," he said, his own temper almost at snapping point. "As I said, we'll get the bill, and go!"

She nodded numbly. Ever the gentleman, he'd escorted her back to her place. At the door, she'd turned to him.

"Um, coffee?" she asked, nervously. An attempt to make up for her bad manners earlier.

Arthur nodded, slowly. "Why not."

Swallowing, she let him into the apartment, and immediately headed for the kitchen. Arthur wandered towards the lounge, a slight spurt of anger dimming.

As he entered the lounge, he noticed something on the floor. Bending down, he picked it up, his eyes widening.


Ariadne entered the living room, carrying two cups of coffee on a tray. As she set it down, she noticed Arthur standing in the lounge, holding the photograph. He raised his eyebrows.

"I found this," he said, brandishing it. "Want to explain why you were hiding it?"

She blushed scarlet. On the photo were her and two of her friends. Except...

"Well, I was fat," she said, defensively. Arthur looked at her, shaking his head.

"Ariadne. You weren't fat...just a little heavy, from what I can see." He looked at the photo. "But, does it really matter?"

"Yes!" she burst out. "Yes, it does!" She looked at him. "You've probably never been overweight in your life! Do you know how it feels to have people jeer at you when you walk down a hallway? Or to have everyone look at you if you eat anything sweet?"

"No," he said, finally. "I only know what its like to be picked last in sports because you're so thin you look like you'll snap, and to have the cheerleaders jeer as their Jock boyfriends target you in the hallway!"

she sagged, slightly. "Well," she said, "I'm not...heavy anymore. It only took a diet, aerobics, and willpower."

"But, Ari, you weren't...fat," Arthur pointed out. He looked at the photo. "You were just a little heavy, that was all!"

"Well, you wouldn't be interested if I looked like that now," she said, stubbornly. He frowned.

"Don't make assumptions," he warned her. He walked over, letting his hands wind themselves round her. "You're lovely. Regardless. Accept it."

"Well, I've no intention of looking like that again!" She said. Arthur looked at her, and traced his finger down her cheek.

"Wouldn't matter." He said gently. "Just more to love." Pulling her close, their lips met in a kiss.

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