Fall Apart Today
"Please tell me you've got something Arthur" Eames groaned as he dragged his chair across the wooden floor before slumping down into it in front of the desk that Arthur was using. The point man looked up a dark expression on his face but Eames could see the exhaustion in his focused eyes. He had waited for Arthur to return to the house he currently owned the night before – he never had. He wondered if he'd gotten any sleep.
"Yes I do" Arthur said pushing a file across the table towards Eames who picked it up, raising an eyebrow. He knew that the folder had been almost empty the day before. There was no way the point man had gotten any sleep.
"So what do you think?"
"Best to forge the boyfriend. She's pushed her husband away for years she's not going to open up to him, nobody else knows about the affair" Arthur's words were crisp and matter of fact and Eames nodded his eyes taking in the photographs.
"Okay" Eames nodded and looked back to Arthur. The man ignored him for a moment his pen scratching across the paper. But Eames never one to back down simply folded a leg over his left knee and leaned back. He could wait. And he would.
"Mr. Eames is there anything else" he had known that Arthur hadn't been in a good mood when he stepped into the old house that the current team was using. He'd seen his furrowed brows and the numerous coffee cups that were littering the room.
When Eames didn't answer Arthur finally looked up and met his gaze and for a moment held it forcefully, willing the forger to leave. Eames simply raised an eyebrow,
"Anything wrong gentlemen?" both men snapped their heads towards the voice to the right of them. He was an older man, graying hair, an extractor Arthur had once before worked with.
"No" Arthur said simply and Jacobson, as Eames had been introduced the week before, nodded looking hesitant at Arthur before turning on his heels and heading back for his own desk. Eames wondered how much Jacobson recognised Arthur as the point man he had worked for almost four years before. Arthur was ever the professional, and no one would know what had gone on in the last several years, unless they had been told or had been there – as William Eames had.
The forger stood once more his fingers gripping the back of the chair and he waited until Jacobson was well out of earshot,
"Arthur?" his voice was quiet and soft and the last thing he wanted was to set off the very short temper the normally calm and collected point man was infamous for.
"No change Eames, I would have told you otherwise" Arthur muttered and his tone was one of finality. This time Eames took his cue heading back to his own desk folder in his hand, dragging the chair behind him. He sighed as he sat feeling his own exhaustion set in.
They worked for several more hours and Eames got lost in the documents of Thomas Lewis, rich son of Hilton enterprises – and apparently toy boy for the 'respectable' Katherine Michaels.
"I'm ready to run through the first level whenever you're ready Eames" he looked up his gaze landing on the woman across the room who was holding a Stanley knife, her left index finger wrapped in a band aid that hadn't been there that morning. He nodded catching Arthur's fingers tighten around his pen and his forehead crease even more as Eames moved to the architects side and she launched into an explanation of the cardboard structures in front of her.
It was five minutes later that Eames eyes were drawn upwards from where he inspected the building in front of him hearing Arthur's chair scrape against the floor as it was pushed back. The point man reached for his suit jacket slipping into before he was striding across the room.
"Lunch" was all that was heard before the door was closed and Arthur was gone. There was silence for a long beat before Eames heard Jacobson sigh. His attention was stolen only seconds later when the young woman sighed as well,
"He doesn't like me very much does he?" her voice was uneasy and Eames grimaced looking down at her,
"It's not that he doesn't like you. He just…he's got a lot going on right now" she nodded her eyes downcast as she swept her fingers across the desk sending the shreds of cardboard to the ground.
"But he can do this job right Eames?" Jacobson asked joining the conversation his voice serious,
"Of course" Eames replied easily throwing the man an assuring smile,
"You know Arthur" he said comfortably before pulling the PASIV up and offering a chair for their architect to sit down in. It was only as he was sliding the needle into his own vein that he thought of the well dressed man and wondered if even Arthur recognised himself anymore.
Three days later small fingers were on his wrist and Eames blinked slowly letting his eyes clear.
"Mr Eames, very impressive. Thank you for your help, I'd be very glad to work with you in the future." Eames pulled his body out of the chair, happily back in his own skin. He offered Jacobson a smile and nodded his thanks before the extractor moved to the door slipping out into the crowded hallways.
His eyes found Katherine Michaels as she lay peacefully on the couch but frowned a moment later realising he had been left with the two women,
"Where's Arthur?" he asked sharply as he observed the young woman replacing the needle she'd pulled from his wrist.
"He left, he had a missed call when we woke up. He was pretty angry and left once Jacobson was awake" Eames bit down on his tongue to stop the curse that was on the tip.
"Did he say anything, where he was going? Name anything?" Eames asked quickly feeling panic stir. She shook her head,
"No I'm sorry, he left pretty quickly" Eames sighed nodding,
"Listen good work in there by the way" the blonde lit up at Eames' words and he smiled,
"Do you want to grab dinner or something?" she asked and Eames once again reflected on how his world was in complete disarray. He sighed shaking his head and he watched her smile slip from her lips as she closed the silver case with a loud click.
"I'm sorry Claire, I would love to perhaps another time, right now I have to find Arthur" he explained not bothering to hide his words or intentions,
"What happened with him?" she asked bluntly turning on her heels but Eames shook his head and she nodded giving in easily, it wasn't the first time she'd questioned the cold point mans behaviour.
"Okay well I'll see you around Eames" she moved from the room her hips swinging and Eames shook his head before fishing his phone from his pocket moving out of the room and heading in the opposite direction without so much as a glance to the sleeping mark behind him.
"Arthur, where are you? Please don't do anything stupid. Call me back" the message was short and to the point yet he knew that it was unlikely Arthur would even listen to the message. He tried several more times before reaching the car he had parked in the back of the lot several hours earlier.
There was no point looking for him that he knew. He'd been there before.
"Hey, have you heard anything?" it was seven hours later that Eames' phone rang and the forger had it at his ear within seconds. He sighed as Cobbs voice filled his ear,
"No not yet. I was about to head out"
"Let me know if...when you find him" Cobb asked and Eames could hear James yelling his hello in the background.
He did find him. Fifteen hours later Eames entered the building that was still lit up, still wide awake at three in the morning. He made the familiar trek past the desk noting the familiar receptionists. Down the carpeted hall with bland white walls. He hit the button for the sixth floor without much thought and once he had stepped out into the corridor he could only wish it wasn't so familiar to him.
"Mark?" he turned at the voice and smiled and the woman dressed in green scrubs a pen poised over the papers in front of her.
"Hi Bec" he greeted warmly,
"Matthew been in tonight?" he asked and she nodded a small sad smile on her lips.
"He looks like he's had a rough night, been here for about an hour" Eames thanked her before turning away from the desk and heading several doors down. He leaned against the doorframe shaking his head as he took in the man in the chair beside the bed. 'Matthew' had obviously heard him coming and turned just slightly until he recognised Eames.
"Jesus Arthur" Eames groaned as he took in the man's split lip and the bruise that was darkening over his jaw. His jacket was ripped laying over the foot of the bed and his hair was messed. Eames moved into the room closing the door behind him. Silence settled over them for several moments as Eames allowed himself to relax realising that Arthur was alive and well before him, before he spoke,
"You find anything?" Eames waited, watching as Arthur leaned back in the chair his thumb sweeping over the back of the hand he held within his own. Eames' gaze moved up the pale arm until his eyes found the face of the young woman lying still in the bed. She looked the same as she had the last time he'd visited the room and he hated that fact with everything he had.
"False lead" the point man muttered not looking up yet pulling Eames from his thoughts.
"Arthur you can't keep doing thi-" he stopped as Arthur held up his hand, the one that was not tangled with hers. He thought about continuing for a moment but instead moved around the opposite side of the bed from Arthur.
"Hello Darling" he whispered leaning forward to drop a kiss on Ariadnes' forehead. It was cool and clammy and he wished that she would swat him away. He wished that her eyes would open in annoyance glaring fire at him, or sparkle with laughter. He wished that she would scold him, calling him William as she had since learning his name with childish delight. It had been too long, way too long. Yet after everything she'd been through, she and Arthur, he couldn't help but think that maybe she was better off, sleeping, away creating what he was sure was a glorious, perfect, untouchable world in her dreams.
So I started an inception story and now I'm going to start another because my mind just can't sit still. Hope you like this chapter, I know it gives nothing away but more to come very soon!