Disclaimer: Inception does not belong to me.

Arthur swallowed, and turned over, his hand flopping over to the other side of the bed. As it hit the empty space, he began to stir, his sleep broken.

Blinking, he started to open his eyes. They widened as he began to take in what he saw.

An empty space.

As though unable to comprehend it, he began to spread his hands out, checking it. The side of the bed was not entirely smooth, but slightly rumpled, as though someone had got up, and left, in a hurry. Frowning, he began to swing his legs round, wondering if she was still in the apartment.

His feet hit the wooden floor and he winced at the impact. He smoothed his boxers, and reached for a shirt. Pulling it on, he began to walk through the apartment's space.


No answer.

Frowning, he began to walk through the lounge and into the kitchen. A small hope was growing she might be in the latter, making coffee. Or drinking water. Or-

It was empty.

Arthur, shocked, walked back to the lounge, and sank down on the couch. He tried to make sense of what had happened.

She'd left. With no explanation.

Rubbing his forehead, he closed his eyes.

Ariadne wandered back to her apartment, almost in a daze. The harsh words Arthur had spoken to her were still ringing in her ears, as though obscuring her hearing.

She stopped in the street, and took a deep breath.

"Are you allright, honey?"

She turned her head. A woman, easily a decade older than her, was looking at her with concern. Ariadne swallowed, suddenly aware of how she must look.

"I'm fine," she said, stretching her lips into a smile. The woman nodded, but looked unconvinced. As she moved away, Ariadne felt a surge of relief.

She continued walking. As she walked, she noticed something. Or, some people. Other people. Women.

A young woman was waiting at the bus stop. Ariadne felt her heart almost seethe with jealousy. The woman was slim, blonde, and with a small waist. She was beautifully made up, and the Architect suddenly wondered what she looked like in comparison.

A mess. A fat mess, she thought, bitterly.

She checked her watch. It was just after 7am. Realising she had to be at the warehouse all too soon, she hurried on, determined to reach her apartment, and hide from the world.

Hide from the world.

And from Arthur.

"Are you allright?"

Arthur looked up. Eames was sitting in his chair, looking at him. But, Arthur noted, it wasn't with his usual smirk. He looked almost concerned.

"Fine," he said, briefly, turning his head back to his laptop screen.

"I don't agree," Eames said quietly.

"And what makes you say that?" Arthur retorted.

"The fact you haven't noticed that there's a coffee stain on your thigh," Eames pointed out. "The fact you haven't noticed that several papers are on the floor. And that you've just been sitting, staring at that screen, for about ten minutes."

Arthur looked at him. "Well, maybe you're right."

"Do you...?"


"Want to talk about it?"

A silence descended between the two of them, and Arthur continued looking at his laptop. Eames, feeling slightly stung, turned his head away.

Then, Arthur broke the silence. "Eames?"

"Yes, Arthur?"

"If you were with someone..." he paused, embarrassment creeping into his voice, "and they left, early in the morning, without saying anything, what would you do?"

Eames looked at him, steadily. Arthur blinked, awaiting a sarcastic comment.

"It depends on who they were," Eames said, softly. "And whether or not I cared enough to try and find out why."

Ariadne finished buttoning her shirt. It was loose enough, she decided, to wear. It hid everything, which is what she required. She did not want to draw attention to any little bulges or wobbles.

She swallowed, and picked up her hair brush. She knew what she had to do. What she needed to do. And no-one, she decided, not even Arthur, would stop her.

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