Pairing/Characters: Arthur/Eames, Phillipa, Mal, James
Summary: In which Eames is lost, the children sleep, and Arthur is not pleased.
Author's Note: Here's chapter seven. Thanks to everyone who is reading it. :)
The kids are sound asleep when they check on them. Eames shuts off the DVD player and TV. "Should we leave them here?"
Arthur shakes his head. "No, we should move them to the bed. The sofa gets hot." Eames smiles lazily as he hoists Phillipa and the caterpillar up. She mumbles and her arm smacks him in the face. Arthur hides a smile and picks up James. "Their pajamas are on the end of the bed."
Eames blinks at Arthur's back. "We've got to change them?"
Arthur pauses and turns to look at him. "Yes, we aren't going to let them sleep in their clothes." His eyebrows draw together. "Why? You've changed them before."
"Not when they're asleep," Eames protests. Arthur shakes his head at the other man. "Arthur," Eames hisses. But Arthur's heading to the office. Eames curses and follows; Phillipa's feet bounce off his left knee as he walks.
When he enters the office Arthur has James laid out on the bed. He's already removed James's shorts and is deftly sliding on his space ship pajama pants. Eames lays Phillipa out next to her brother. She mumbles and tightens her hand around one of the caterpillar's antenna.
He glances over his shoulder to see Arthur sitting up James and rubbing pink lotion on his skin. James doesn't even stir. Eames turns back to Phillipa and removes her tights carefully. Her face scrunches and she kicks out and he jerks back to avoid another hit to the face. Arthur chuckles as he finishes pulling the spaceship shirt over James's head.
"Oh, very funny," Eames grumbles.
"Move over," Arthur replies.
He nudges Eames out of the way and takes over. Eames watches with interest as Arthur extracts the caterpillar from Phillipa's hand. He sits her up, half cradling her against his chest. He murmurs to her, soft French words interspersed with quiet English. The words are too soft for him to make out but he knows they're meant to comfort and soothe. She doesn't hit him, Eames notes ruefully, so it must be working. In two minutes Arthur has her in a pink night dress. A minute later and she's being tucked in next to James, the caterpillar once again in her grasp.
"See, nothing too hard," Arthur murmurs as he folds the clothes. Eames leans against the wall and watches Arthur set them on the desk. He chokes on a laugh when he sees the look Arthur gives James's shirt when he spots the drip of tomato sauce.
"Come on," Eames chuckles. He grabs Arthur's arm and tugs him out of the room. Arthur makes a startled noise but closes the door partway. Eames turns and pins him between the door to the bathroom and the door to the master bedroom. "Where did you learn to do that?"
It takes two seconds for Arthur's frown to become a smile. He leans back against the wall and hitches his shoulders up in a semblance of a shrug. "I had three younger siblings."
Eames frowns. "Had?"
"Have. We just don't talk anymore." He pushes around Eames. "Should I get the sofa ready for you?"
"You're kidding?" Arthur doesn't pause or turn around. "Right? Arthur, Arthur!" he hisses.
"You've got to be fucking kidding me," Eames growls. Arthur scowls when he sees Eames sprawled across his bed.
"I locked that door," he replies calmly.
"And I unlocked it. Can we get back to the matter at hand now, please?" Arthur ignores him. He finishes toweling off his hair and hangs the towel on the shower door. Eames twists so he can watch Arthur move around the bathroom, pajama bottoms slung low on his hips and hair sticking up at odd angles. "I hate your sofa."
Arthur snorts. "I've seen you sleep there plenty of times before. Not to mention the lawn chairs at the office."
Eames sits up, glares at Arthur's reflection in the mirror. Arthur seems unaffected as he pulls out the floss. "I get paid to sleep in those lawn chairs. I am not getting paid to sleep on your sofa!" He conveniently neglects to acknowledge Arthur's first argument.
The faucet turns on and Eames groans as Arthur begins to brush his teeth. "Are you still mad about that last job, then? Is this some form of prolonged punishment?" He pushes off the bed and goes to lean against the counter next to Arthur. "I never took you to be petty."
Arthur spits into the sink and glares at Eames' reflection. "There is a stain on my ceiling, Eames."
"Oh? As eloquent as ever." He goes back to furiously brushing. Eames edges away in case Arthur gets the urge to stab the toothbrush someplace unpleasant. He doesn't doubt Arthur would even hesitate.
"I tried to get Phillipa to clean it," he protests. Arthur's head jerks up and he stares at Eames, green toothbrush hanging out of his mouth. It would be comical if Eames wasn't sure that toothbrush could double as a deadly weapon with no warning. Eames fights off the smile and moves to lean against the wall instead. Safer, Arthur will have to move more to get at him. "I lifted her up and she wiped at the spot. I thought we did a pretty good job of it too. You didn't notice during dinner."
"I didn't want to say anything in front of the children," he mutters. He turns away once more and rinses his toothbrush. Eames watches as he scoops a handful of water into his mouth.
"Well, it didn't stick; it just…went up a bit higher than anticipated. I don't see how this translates to me being sentenced to Siberia."
"It's just the sofa." He turns off the sink and looks at Eames. "Did you even bring anything with you?"
"Thought you might still have my stuff from last time." Eames' eyes narrow. "Was I wrong?"
"No," he admits after a prolonged moment. He jerks his chin in the direction of the closet. "I put away the clothes and your toothbrush is in the medicine cabinet. There's an extra towel on that shelf if you need it. Good night, Eames."
Arthur grumbles as the bed dips low. "This isn't the sofa."
"Didn't think you were really serious," Eames murmurs. His arm slips around Arthur cautiously. Arthur mutters and burrows under the covers. Eames exhales a breathy laugh. His breath smells like Arthur's spearmint toothpaste, his hair like the ocean scented shampoo in his shower. Arthur moves closer. "I really am sorry for the degradation of your ceiling. After the children go home I'll happily repaint it if you want."
Arthur slings an arm across Eames' chest. His hand moves upward, fingers tickling his neck and scratching at his jaw. Finally he presses a finger to Eames' mouth and mutters something unintelligible. "What was that, Arthur?" Eames asks. He can't resist licking Arthur's finger.
Arthur smirks into Eames' shoulder as the forger grunts when Arthur hits him in the stomach. "Go to sleep, Mr. Eames," he sighs.
Eames smiles into the dark as his fingers thread into Arthur's hair. He can feel Arthur relax against him, breathing already evening out into a steady in-out. "Good night," he whispers into his hair. He thinks he can feel Arthur's mouth curve into a smile even in sleep.