While unpacking, Jemma was also looking for a dress to wear to the ballet tonight that Christian had gotten her tickets to. Of course, he wasn't going to be with her. As soon as he had dropped her off at the hotel, he had taken off to go take care of business and make sure things were in order for the meeting tomorrow. Jemma sighed as she picked up one of her shirts from out of the suitcase. Now, it would be just her and Roth. The blonde rolled her eyes at that. She wasn't particularly fond of her new security that her father had bestowed upon her. And she certainly didn't want to spend an entire evening with him.
She sat down on the edge of the bed after placing her suitcase on the ground against the wall, having finished unpacking for the night. She glanced at the clock on the bedside table. Three hours until the start of the ballet. The plane ride over had drained her and, as she sat on the bed, she realized just how tired she was. As she calculated how long it would take her to get ready and the ride over to the ballet, she realized she had some time to take a nap. And that was exactly what Jemma did.
When she did wake up, there was an hour and a half until they had to leave. She quickly took to getting ready since it would take more time. She walked into the bathroom connected to hers and Christian's room before slipping off her clothes. She turned the gold-colored knob and watched as water poured from the faucet. After setting the right temperature, she turned the shower on before stepping into the marble-stone shower. She instantly relaxed as the warm water slid off her body.
Of course, she was still a little upset with Christian for leaving her on their first night in London, but she would forgive him instantly. She couldn't stay mad at him no matter the gravity of the situation. She loved him and forgiveness was key. As she took her shower, she thought over the different possible outfits she could wear. Since it was a ballet, dressing up was important, and she had only brought over one dress fancy enough for this event. She sighed. Dressing up was not high on her to-do list. But she would if she had to.
After finishing her shower, she stepped out and proceeded to get ready with her taking up the entire hour and a half she had. As she stood in front of the floor-length mirror, she surveyed herself, wanting to make sure nothing was out of place and she was presentable.
Her dress was a midnight blue and was a little longer than floor length, the material pooling around her feet which were adorned with silver high-heeled shoes covered in tiny sparkles with the strap criss-crossing over the front of her foot. The dress was bunched up on the right side while the one sleeve was on the left. The material was a silky nylon that slid easily against her skin. Her blonde hair had been curled before being pulled into a low bun on the side of her head, a hair comb with pearls and diamonds accenting it. She had done her make-up perfectly to highlight her eyes, the color of the dress bringing out the lightness of the sapphire orbs.
Overall, Jemma nodded in approval to her wardrobe choice. On occasion, dressing up was fun to the woman. She enjoyed it, but not when she had to do it everyday. When it happened very little, it was like a game. Like when little girls try on their mother's evening gowns because they never get to wear anything that nice or beautiful at their age. It was the same way with adults, but when you dressed up all the time, it became boring and repetitive. And Jemma tried her best to keep that from happening. But her mother was a different story. The blonde shook her head at the thought before pushing them away.
She grabbed some of her dress in her hand and lifted it up slightly, allowing her to walk without tripping over the too-long length. She retrieved a black clutch from off the dresser before making her way out of the room and to her awaiting security.
"Are we ready to go?" She called to Roth as she stepped into the main room of the hotel suite they were staying in. He had his back to her and upon hearing her voice, he snapped something shut before turning around. He had been a phone call, she gathered when the male pocketed the cell phone.
As she felt his eyes graze over her, taking in the new appearance, she didn't blush or even look away when he met her own eyes. She met his gaze head-on, though she had wanted to squirm. She was used to this kind of behavior from men, but there was something different about this man that made her her blood boil and yet it peaked her interest about him. He off-set her, and she didn't know why. Around him, she felt the need to snap and make sarcastic remarks when she rarely did that. She was normally a well-put together woman who handled things professionally; using sarcasm to her was childish. It was like she was a little girl again who was resorting to the sarcastic remarks as a defense mechanism. Why was she feeling the need to defend herself against her personal security? was the question at the forefront of her mind.
She motioned her head to the door. "We ready to go?" She asked, repeating her question from before. Roth nodded his head at her before opening the door for her. He gave her a nod of his head as she passed by him before he followed her out.
Once they touched down in London, Eames had been mostly quiet, just watching and observing on the drive to the hotel. He had watched the way Jemma interacted with Christian, the motions he would make with his hands, the facial expressions, nervous ticks he had; putting them to memory because he would need to know them for in the dream world. Christian was a key person in Jemma's life, and therefore a key element in the dream world to convince Jemma the dream was reality. But not just Christian, other important people to her: her mother, father, any friends she might've had.
Once at the hotel, Christian had taken off leaving Eames with Jemma. The girl had gone straight to her room, giving Eames the freedom to do whatever he pleased. Or in this case, needed to do. He needed to make a call to Cobb, make sure things were under control and still going as planned. After getting some food and relaxing a bit, he pulled out his cell phone, once he was certain Jemma was out of the room, and dialed Cobb's number. On the third ring, someone answered. But it wasn't the man he was trying to reach. The voice was younger, and not one he recognized.
"Hello?"The caller asked.
"Who is this?" Eames questioned, his tone not sounding worried just a little surprised.
"Arthur," The man answered. "Can I help you?"
"I need to speak with Cobb. Where is he?" Eames questioned upon recognizing the man's name as the one Dominic said would be their Point Man.
"He's busy at this current time,"Arthur told him, his tone cordial and business-like.
"I'm sure he's not that busy." Eames drummed his fingers against the table beside him, his impatience growing. Just by the professional tone used in Arthur's voice, Eames could already tell he was someone who preferred to play by the rules rather than deviate and make his own path.
"He asked not to be disturbed,"Arthur said, being persistent.
"Well, I'll take full responsibility if Cobb tries to have your head removed for disturbing him," He replied with a smirk. Arthur's reply was none too interesting, and Eames rolled his eyes. He hadn't even met Arthur personally and he was already bored of the younger man's personality. After a few seconds, noise could be heard on the other end of the phone before Cobb's voice reached Eames.
"What is it that was so important for me to be disturbed, Eames?"Cobb questioned.
Eames smirked. "Ah, Cobb. So delightful to hear your voice. How are you?"
"You didn't call me to have a chit chat over some tea, Eames. What do you want?"Cobb asked, getting down to business causing the Forger to roll his eyes.
"I thought I'd call and update you on where I am with the mission. I'll be visiting the Architect tonight and bring her back over to New York in four days," Eames told him. "We'll need to think of a way to get Miss Rourke to go under," He said before smirking. "I'm sure you can get your Point Man to think of a way, he seems quite capable of thinking up creative ways." By the exhaling on the end of the line, Eames assumed Cobb was rolling his eyes.
"Don't give him a hard time," Cobb said in a patronizing tone. "For what it's worth, he's done an excellent job obtaining information on the Rourke family."
Eames heard movement behind him and assumed Jemma was making her way out from her room, which meant he had to end the call.
"We ready to go?" Her voice sounded before Eames flipped the phone shut, not even bothering to say goodbye to Cobb. He slipped the phone into his pocket before turning around to face the Mark.
Eames was a man who could control his every movement and emotion that showed on his face. It was crucial in his role as a forger. But when he turned around and saw Jemma wearing a midnight blue dress, looking utterly ravishing, his mouth dropped open of its own accord. Jemma smirked, clearly in delight of this reaction before gathering her dress into her hand and stepping past him. On the way past, she pushed his mouth closed from under his chin with her free hand.
"Careful something doesn't fly in there now, Mr Roth," she said, her voice bubbly and controlled all at once.
They made their way down to the car and Eames did his duty by opening the door for her. It would make the operation run more smoothly if he gained some of her trust or set her at ease around him. It meant that when she went under - a complicated process in itself - she would be more liable to accept her surroundings. It didn't take long to reach the ballet academy. It was clear that it was a popular occasion. Men in suits and women in similar styled dresses to Jemma milled around outside the magnificent building that proclaimed "The British Royal Ballet Academy." Eames couldn't stop a smile from crossing his face as he thought of his sister. He hadn't seen her in over three years. They could go long periods of time without seeing each other but when they did, it was as though nothing had changed.
"Are you ready?" he asked Jemma, glancing sideways to see her staring at the crowd outside the window. She gave a small nod without looking at him. Eames dutifully led her out into the crowd. They managed to avoid the lines of people waiting to go in and quickly made it into the foyer. Waitresses and waiters swanned around in the velvet covered waiting room bearing trays of champagne in flute glasses. Eames plucked two off a passing waiter, offering on to Jemma.
"I don't normally drink," she said observing the glass. Eames rolled his eyes.
"Of course you don't," he replied, turning to find a waiter to return the glass to. Before he did, Jemma reached forward and extracted the glass from his fingers carefully.
"I said I don't normallydrink, Mr Roth," she told him, her eyes sparkling a little. Eames glanced down at the tickets he had been charged with looking after. Of course, Christian had managed to secure the best seats in the entire theatre. They were in their own private box, centre to the stage.
"I dance, you know," she told him and he glanced at her in surprise. He ran his eyes over her critically and noticed the hard lines of her sides and legs, that marked her as a dancer. Surprisingly, she also had curves which dancers rarely possessed.
"What sort of dance?" Eames enquired politely.
"Aerial silk. You use silk and your body to make shapes and movements to the music," Jemma said. Eames had never heard of this type of dancing before but he took her word for it. "I think Christian got me these tickets because of that," Jemma mused more to herself.
"Shall we go on through? It starts in five minutes," Eames told her without replying to her point and Jemma nodded. She still seemed like the composed, professional woman as earlier but she seemed to be a little lost or delighted in her environment as she followed Eames through. They were guided to their seats and Jemma gasped when she saw the stage laid out beneath them. Eames' own eyes wandered to the wings of the stage, where his sister would soon be emerging, dancing the role of the Changeling.
"Do you know the story of the Changeling?" Eames inquired. Again, he wanted to make her as relaxed as possible around him. However, Ally had once told him that for people he went to the ballet rarely, it was easier for them to know the story of the ballet they were about to watch than try and pick it up from the dancers. Jemma glanced to the side before shaking her head, somewhat reluctantly, as though she didn't want to give anything away.
"And am I supposed to assume that a hardened security professional like yourself does?" she asked and Eames chuckled.
"Of course. There was once a beautiful girl with six sisters. Their mother forbade them from dancing on the hills at a full moon as she claimed that there is elf magic around - and bear in mind, this is a folk tale," Eames said but smirked slightly when Jemma looked interesting. "Of course, the seven girls ignored her and continued to dance on the hills at the full moon. The most beautiful girl, Sofiya, find herself dancing with the elves and unable to stop. She is taken by them and in her stead, they send an elf girl back to live with the family."
"The Changeling?" Jemma asked and Eames nodded.
"Where Sofiya was a shy and well mannered girl, the Changeling is daring and vivacious. The family notices the change but they cannot do anything about it. Sofiya was engaged to a Lord and he notices the difference and confronts the sisters about it. The next full moon, the sisters return out to the elf-hills with her fiance. They see their sister dancing with the elves, unable to stop or break free. They attempt to pull her out of the cursed ring that she is dancing in, but the changeling stops them. So the girl's fiance goes down into the circle and breaks the enchanted ring. Sofiya is able to return home and marry the Lord and the Changeling is forced back to the elvish people."
"That sounds somewhat intense," Jemma noted as the curtain on the stage began to draw apart and the lights began to fade. "But at least it has a happy ending." Eames let a smirk cross his face in the half light.
"Not for the Changeling," he murmured before the first dancer entered onto the stage. Eames' smirk morphed into a smile for a different reason than the dancing. It was hissister. She was to be dancing the role of the Changeling. And later in the week, she would take on the role of the architect. Watching her dance, it was easy to see why she was such a good Architect. She could spin dreams from nothing and make them incredibly beautiful and believable.
The velvet red curtain dropped over the stage as the crowd applauded and called. The prima ballerina came out onto the front of the stage as was customary and curtsied. Eames' small smile changed into a grin without realising. His baby sister had grown up a lot in the last three years. Eames was still slightly apprehensive. He hoped he would be able to convince her but if he couldn't, Cobb would be so pissed off.
"The ballerina is pretty," Jemma noted as she bent down to pick up her shoes. She had slipped them off at some point during the show for comfort. Eames raised an eyebrow but Jemma simply slid them back onto her feet as she stood.
"Yes, she is," Eames said with a wicked smirk before they made their way back into the foyer. Eames turned to face Jemma seriously. "I need to go and consult with a former manager," he lied smoothly, "just about something while I'm here. I shouldn't be more than ten minutes." Jemma looked slightly surprised but she nodded.
"If I'm kidnapped while you're gone, I blame you," she told him, a hint of teasing entering her tone. Eames rolled his eyes and disappeared into the throng of people.
Ally quickly exited the stage, breathing heavily. A light sheen of sweat covered her skin from the effort she had put into dancing. A smile graced her face as she moved down through to the backstage area where she was greeted by her Madame.
"Excellent job, Ally," she said, kissing her on each cheek. "You have set the company up for a successful season." Ally flushed at the praise. Having her skills complemented was something that never grew old for her. She had only been dancing for four years, yet it never felt any different. Dancing was so different to her previous jobs with her brother. She made her way down to her dressing room, pulling her hair out of the intricate hairstyle it was arranged in.
"Alice Eames!" she heard a familiar British voice call and she turned in shock. Before she could recognize the speaker, she was crushed in a hug.
"Eames, you're gonna crush my tutu!" Ally squealed, addressing her brother by his last name, as she normally did. He pulled away with a chuckle and she stared at him. First off, he was wearing some sort of suit. Second off, what the hell was he doing in London? "What are you doing here?" she asked. As she spoke, she bent gracefully at the waist and began to unlace her shoes. The blocks in the tips of the toes that allowed her to point were very uncomfortable when she was just standing around.
"So first you berate me and then you ask me a question? You can't just accept that I wanted to see you?" Eames returned, feigning a hurt voice and Ally rolled her eyes. Like Cobb, she took none of Eames' smooth talking bullshit.
"Forgive me if I'm a little shocked," she replied and Eames chuckled again. "Seriously, what are you doing here, Eames?"
"If you must know," he began haughtily, "my lastest job - and by that I mean well-to-do profession - is guarding a young lady who is the daughter of one of the biggest weapons manufacturers in the world. And her boyfriend disappeared mysteriously tonight and gave her ballet tickets to placate her. I, of course, had to accompany her." Ally regarded her brother. He hadn't changed at all. He was still the same guy with watchful blue eyes and a sharp mouth. Standing side by side, it was easier to spot the sibling resemblance. Both of them had the same nose, mouth and face structure but that was where it ended.
"This is an awfully big coincidence," she replied, straightening and looping her shoes over her hand. "If you're guarding some 'young lady' - and by the way, Eames, going for the taken ones isn't your style - then where is she?" Ally demanded to know. Eames resigned himself to the fact that he couldn't play Ally any longer.
"Look, the game has changed, Al. You heard of Rourke Enterprises?" he asked, his tone becoming serious and Ally nodded. She knew they manufactured weapons and realised they must be the father to the daughter Eames was guarding. "Well, they're going to go under. Old man Rourke lost his eldest child, his son last year. Ever since then, the business has been steadily crumbling. Now, word has it, he was going to pass it down to his daughter, Jemma Rourke."
"If she can stabilise it, what's the problem?" Ally asked.
"Christian Parker is the right hand man to Rourke and Jemma's boyfriend. He believes that Jemma will not be able to keep the company afloat. We need to incept the idea that Jemma should hand over the business to Christian into her head." Ally's eyes narrowed slightly. She didn't mind the criminal activity that surrounded the lifestyle she used to lead but she did mind manipulating human's free will. Extracting was one thing but inception was something entirely different. It was changing how someone thought and Ally wasn't sure she liked that.
"And what exactly will Christian get out of having the largest weapons country in the world under his control?" she asked. She couldn't see why Eames couldn't just leave the country in Jemma's control.
"A lot. He'll get a lot. But trust me, Ally, it's better this way. The world will be safer, and we'll be rich. We'll also be the first people in the world to have incepted someone. Don't you want to go down in history?" Eames asked, hoping he played his cards right.
"Who exactly is 'we'?" Ally asked and Eames relaxed slightly. He knew she would do it then, even if she didn't. Her entire body language had changed.
"Cobb, like I said earlier this week. He's getting a hold of the chemist for us. I'll be forging her boyfriend and you'll be the Architect. It'll be like old times."
"Who's the Point Man?" Ally queried. The Point Man was one of the most crucial people in the operation. They stabilised the dreams, created the levels.
"His name's Arthur Meads. I spoke to him on the phone the other day, he seemed like a bit of a stuck up prat," Eames said and Ally rolled her eyes.
"Eames, you think everyone who's not from Whitechapel is a stuck up prat," she told him and he shrugged, not denying it.
"Does this mean you'll do it?" he asked, a glint in his eye. Ally hesitated. Eames painted an enticing picture. One last operation before she could retire to ballet as the Architect who had been a part of the first inception. The idea was alluring. Ally had grown up in the last three years. Despite still being reluctant to mess around with people's minds, she could see that she was naive when Eames had suggested it when she was twenty years old.
"Yes. I'll do it," she said. "You still never answered my question. Where is the ever elusive Jemma Rourke if you're supposed to be guarding her?" Ally asked.
"Right here." Ally watched as Eames' face changed slightly, his emotions still under control as he turned. Ally saw a beautiful young woman in a midnight blue dress approach them from the backstage corridor. She looked very well put together. "Am I to believe that your former manager is also a prima ballerina or is there something you have to tell me, Mr Roth?" Ally didn't even react to the false name as she studied the girl. Her tone was icy in relation to Eames but her merely flashed her a smile.
"I might have led you slightly astray, Miss Rourke. You see, this here is my sister, Ally Roth."