A.N- I have received a request from my, at the moment, only reviewer for Take It Off. Yes, this fic is complete and a one-shot, but just like the time I was asked for a sequel to Straitjacket Feeling and created The Path to Proposal, I feel the urge to comply with this darling's wish.
Anyway, this is the chapter that never was supposed to be- an Eames perspective second chapter of Take It Off…and I never thought I'd give Eames such a love of Arthur's clothes.
Dedicated to DarkFairy207!
Disclaimer: I do not own Inception…and after looking at my watch and humming to myself, I can proudly say that it hasn't changed yet and most definitely never will.
Take It Off
Eames had a secret.
He had many secrets- he was just that sort of man. He was a Forger. It was his job to steal the identities of others and make himself at home in another life for very short periods of time as he Forged the physical aspects and telling tics of others. Pretending to be these people all in the hopes of stealing something or another from them or the people who knew them, all in dreams.
Wait, 'pretending' wasn't the right word. As a Forger, he became these people and learned all of these things.
He was just ace at it! Though, Eames did spend some very dark and very lonely nights by himself in bed after waking up from a nightmare- he didn't care what others said about the drugs making it so they didn't dream naturally anymore because a nightmare by definition wasn't a natural dream.
After these nightmares he would squeeze his poker chip in one hand, close his eyes, and try to persuade himself that he did in fact know who he really was. The last time this happened he had to hold his poker chip while staring into a mirror- 'This is me' Eames remembered saying. 'This is Eames, not Jackie Simmons from Florida, divorced twice with no children- she likes black licorice, silent films, and keeps dried flowers in an old photo album.' Eames would recite the knowledge he had gained to become so fully immersed in his role of Jackie Simmons from Floridaand afterwards would have to claw and climb his way back to who he really was, and not who he had been paid to do a skillful impersonation of in a dream.
It was nights like that made Eames fear becoming a victim of the multiple personalities he had to embrace and bury himself in over the years as the best Forger in dreamshare.
That was one secret.
But right now, Eames wasn't thinking of that particular secret.
No, right now, Eames had his eyes on Arthur, the Point Man, who had finally agreed to join him for dinner.
The second secret of Eames was that while he could appreciate everything that Arthur wore and knew that it was all expensive and well made, it was the man's suspenders that always held his interest and fired his imagination first.
The Forger had learned today that between the hours of 10:00 am and 10:30 am every day, Arthur indulged in a fantasy where he ripped off whatever horrid thing Eames was wearing.
And the best part- Arthur typed it all up so neat and professionally just underneath the reports he was so focused on. After he was finished with his fantasizing and noticed what he had just typed up, Arthur would highlight and delete every little bit of it so it would be as if it had never happened.
Well, that was until Eames had sauntered over and looked at the screen as Arthur was so focused on his typing…
'I have come to the conclusion that your clothes would look much better on the floor, Mr. Eames.'
Eames was sure that he could write a letter to- what was it? Penthouse or Playboy? Ah, he was sure he could find something that would accept a letter that began with 'I never knew that what my stick in the mud coworker was working on so diligently were dirty fantasies where my clothes just have to come off-'
But, Eames was more than fine with it. Eames loved the idea of an uninhibited Arthur. He also loved the fact that the man seemed to like the idea of a relationship together that exists outside of a fantasy between 10:00 am and 10:30 am.
They were having dinner now, and in between bites, Eames couldn't help but have his imagination go skipping down a familiar road that wasn't bound by specific hours of the day, but by looking at the lines of the suspenders that the Point Man was wearing.
Today, Eames loved them. Because, today the suspenders were red- a nice deep red that made the white of his shirt seem especially blinding in its cleanliness.
The fantasies were always apt to start after Arthur took off his coat, took off his jacket- today it began when Arthur checked his suit jacket and his heavy coat before being seated.
The Forger had lagged behind a bit as they were escorted to their table because he just had to see how Arthur walked- smooth and steady, the large red 'x' of his suspenders looping over his shoulders and down across his back to attach to his lovely slacks- that 'x' seemed to be a wonderful target to him.
Eames is immediately taken up with the thought of pressing himself up against that nice target, sure that when Arthur's back met his front the 'x' could fall right against the Forger's heart as further evidence as to who it truly belonged to.
And then, Eames had to stop the sigh that wanted to be born at such a romanticized little thought.
When they were seated, had ordered, and then began conversing like normal adults over their meal, Eames felt himself begin to pay only half the attention he should have.
It was the damned suspenders that drew his attention away, and though he nodded and smiled at whatever Arthur was saying, Eames was already devoting way too much of his thought processes on how he was going to get the Point Man's suspenders off in the quickest way possible.
If this were a game, Eames would have to offer bonus points if he managed the task while they still sat at their table in the busy restaurant.
Extra bonus points if he was able to take the things off with his teeth, bringing a dirty connotation to the childish phrase of 'Look Ma, no hands!'
And he knew just how he would try it, though he hadn't devoted nearly enough time, detail, and thought to his particular 'Lets steal Arthur's suspenders fantasy' as Arthur had to his own, Eames was fine with that.
He had lots of imagination and was always a fan of dreaming bigger!
For his fantasy, a simple restaurant wouldn't do. No, Eames would have to imagine an environment that would make his Point Man comfortable and even eager to have any item of clothing taken off.
In Eames mind, they would do this in a posh hotel room. Something elegant but comfortable. This perfect room would have to have a mini bar because it could take a little alcohol to make Arthur loosen up.
The fantasy would begin with Eames circling Arthur as they both stood in the nice hotel room, drinks on the table going unnoticed as the Forger began to look Arthur up and down.
After watching the path Eames took for a moment, the Point Man would look at him over his shoulder, eyes curious and lips smiling.
'Is there a problem with my clothing, Mr. Eames?' Arthur would ask, still looking at the other man over his shoulder.
Eames would hum to himself softly, look at Arthur in an appraising manner and shake his head.
'Not a thing, darling. Your clothing is always businesslike, professional, and of a beautiful quality. I was just entertaining the idea that you would look just as good in them as out of them…'
Arthur's eyes would then widen, lips parting so slightly before he asked seriously, 'Are you asking me to strip for you, Eames?'
It was then that Eames would press a kiss against the warm skin of the man's cheek, purposely avoiding anything deeper or more distracting than that chaste little peck, so he could go and take a seat at the table where their drinks waited.
The ice inside the glasses made a noticeable sound in the silence, clinking as the cubes melted a little and struck the bottom and sides of the glass. Eames reclaimed his drink and took a sip all while Arthur looked at him, the man having turned his head to watch Eames' journey to the table that was in his line of sight before him, just a few feet away.
Leaning forwards eagerly in his chair, Eames placed both hands on his knees as he remained seated, smiling roguishly at his Point Man.
'Take it off, darling.'
Even though this was a fantasy, some part of Eames' mind registered that it was possible that Arthur wouldn't agree to such a thing. In real life, it was still very possible that despite Arthur's newly revealed secret pastime the man might not want to do anything like this with Eames. Having an elaborate fantasy where he steals all of Eames clothes was one thing, but allowing the positions to be reversed might not take.
Eames wanted this in real life. He wanted to see an Arthur that wasn't afraid to show himself- Eames wanted to see the skin, the bones, and the scars. He had been attracted to Arthur for a very long time and wanted to see more.
Fantasy was fantasy. Harmless play. He shouldn't focus on the likelihood of it ever happening, but enjoy the idea or suggestion that it could.
The fantasy was taken up once more as Arthur started to remove what Eames loved best- the suspenders.
Smiling suggestively, Arthur blushed very faintly. 'I'll stop when you say 'when'?'
With one thumb stroking the material across one shoulder, he seemed to be waiting for Eames to say 'yes' or 'no'. For Eames, it was definite.
'Yes,' he said, nodding as Arthur slipped his thumb under the suspender and stretched it upwards before letting it fall off of his shoulder to hang loose.
He did the same with the other, allowing the red braces to remain clipped to the waistband of his slacks and hang from there.
Whenever Eames imagined a scene like this, he believed that Arthur would be shy. But something about having found out Arthur's attraction to him, his funny little fantasizing habit each day at the same time, doing the same thing, changed things.
It allowed Eames to imagine an Arthur that was a little less inhibited, not ashamed, but eager.
There would be a bit of first timer's shyness but even that would fade after a little while.
Eames had always been fascinated by Arthur's boring ties. In the beginning he had poked fun at Arthur and his ties- all one color, something his father might wear, boring-boring-boring.
The tie that Eames imagined Arthur wearing now was the same as the one he was wearing during their dinner- it was a maroon color, echoing the red theme of the suspenders. Eames also imagined what it would be like to admire it up close, as the fantasy Arthur unknotted it and then slowly slipped it off from around his neck to then send it flying to where Eames was seated just a few feet away.
Eames could see himself catching it, pulling that tie around his neck, letting it rest across his shoulders and trail down his chest like a prize.
In the fantasy, Arthur would saunter up to him as he unbuttoned his shirt with quick practiced fingers, untucking the white shirt as he stood directly in front of Eames.
'Remember,' Arthur would whisper. 'You can't touch me.'
'Why?' Eames asked as his eyes began to devour the exposed skin of the Point Man's chest. He would only be able to look up when he hears the Point Man chuckle.
Arthur's eyes would be bright and full of seduction. 'Because, that would defeat the purpose.'
The shirt would then be flung off of the man's shoulders, revealing a lean toned upper body, pale skinned but lovely, even with its faint scars and marks from a dangerous job well done.
The white shirt would flutter down to the ground and Eames would be forcing his back against the chair, ignoring the way his right foot kept tapping on the carpet as he working off his eagerness to get out of the damned chair.
Next, Eames thought, were the shoes- which Arthur kicked off and nudged out of the way.
After another moment unbuttoning and unzipping, the Point Man would be slipping his slacks down his hips, and letting them pool around his ankles so he could step out of them with ease.
'Oh,' Eames said as he watched Arthur, looked down at his feet for a moment and wondered how he got the socks off without him noticing- not caring- and then staring at the way Arthur's hands were positioned at his hips.
Each thumb under the elastic band of his black underwear. Eames wasn't sure, but he always dreamed that the man wore silk.
Eames could imagine what it would be like to look up at Arthur as he prepared to completely unveil himself. In his fantasy, Arthur was biting his lip, looking too eager for fear, but appeared to be waiting for something from Eames.
'What is it, love?' Eames would say. 'Do you want me to say 'when'? I could- I mean, I would if you wanted me to, darling!'
Arthur's discomfort was the last thing that Eames would want in either a fantasy or real life.
So, when Arthur opened his mouth and said 'Are we going to split the check, Eames?' the fantasy was ruined.
It shattered. It broke. It left Eames so quickly that he was almost amazed by how fast reality zoomed in to smack him in the face.
First it was the lighting, which was brighter than the fantasy hotel room. Then, it was the background noise of several other couples noisily scraping plates, eating food, and sipping wine that replaced the fantasy's quiet environment that had seemed to only be filled with their soft speech.
Eames blinked and tried to reassert the fact that he had lost himself in a detailed fantasy about a stripping Arthur.
He was still a little excited by it and gently touched his cheek with his fingertips to discover that he was flushed. Making eye contact with Arthur was terrible.
Eames swallowed his pride and looked up at Arthur who was holding the bill and looking at him curiously. His words, his question that had broken the fantasy quite nicely were being repeated.
"Are we going to split the check, Eames?"
And then after a moment of adding the Forger's flushed cheeks, embarrassed demeanor, and hesitance to make eye contact, Arthur cleared his throat and spoke in an undertone.
"Did you just…?" When Eames nodded once, and prepared to be upbraided for doing anything like that in a public place while ignoring his dinner partner to have a little personal fantasy time instead, he was surprised when Arthur chuckled.
Eames just had to make eye contact then. Arthur was laughing softly and looking at him from across the table in interest.
"I was wondering why you were paying so much attention to your food, and then, how you only picked at it!"
Arthur leaned forwards, his plate gone as well as Eames' though he hadn't been aware of it until he saw Arthur move.
"What were you thinking about that took your attention away so badly?"
Eames was about to lie. He couldn't help it. It wasn't that he felt shame about what he had done. It was that he felt if he revealed what he had been thinking about, he would have also ruined any chance at a relationship where he could honestly express his feelings to the Point Man, and now, have them returned.
But, when he watched Arthur's expression, he understood that he couldn't do it. Lying to Arthur now would only set groundwork for more 'harmless lies' and how was that a good way to start a relationship outside of working together?
"I," Eames began, matching the Point Man's quiet tone of voice so he wouldn't be overheard by the other diners. "I was fantasizing about getting you to strip for me…"
A moment of silence passed and Eames was glad that he had remained eye contact during it. The change over the Point Man's face was revealing. There was surprise, confusion, and interest followed by a lazy sort of seductive smirk.
"And what did you want me to take off first, Mr. Eames?"
Eames had to bit his lip before muttering, "Your suspenders. I love it when you wear your braces and I love trying to come up with ways to get them off of you!"
Arthur seemed to be considering this before he nodded and paid the bill.
The Point Man shoved aside Eames' complaints with a firm shake of the head.
"Eames, let me pay for tonight. You hardly ate anything and I'd feel bad if you tried to put in for it."
They had been walking out, Arthur getting his suit jacket and coat back from the coat check people when Eames grabbed him by the elbow and whispered urgently.
"Come on, there's got to be something I can do to make up for this! I'm sorry!"
Shrugging on the coat after his suit jacket was back in place, Arthur walked with Eames close at his side as they left the warm restaurant for the cold and windy night.
"If you want to make it up to me so badly," Arthur had said softly as they walked side by side to where their car was parked, "-come home with me."
Eames stopped and watched as Arthur continued walking without him. "But, what are you talking about, darling?" Eames called after him.
Arthur paused to look at Eames over his shoulder. The look he sent his way was part seductive and part curious, forcibly reminding the Forger of his fantasy over dinner.
"I want you to come home with me. I want you to tell me more about this fantasy of yours- and if you really want to, we can do it."
Eames mouth went dry at the thought. Catching the look of disbelief on the Forger's face, Arthur shook his head and walked to stand before him.
"I would like to remind you of something, Mr. Eames." Arthur said as they stood toe to toe on a quiet path that led to the parked cars, nothing but the cold light of the half full moon shining over them. Slipping his arms around the Forger's shoulders, the Point Man whispered into his ear.
"I was told that after dinner, once we are truly alone I could rip off whatever offensive clothing you had foolishly chosen to wear. And, because you took me to dinner wearing what you wore today during work, I feel that I should strip it all off of you."
Eames made a noise that appeared to be a mixture of a pleasure filled groan and a softly spoken swear when he felt Arthur briefly bite down on his earlobe.
"We could do that!" Eames offered, gasping a little bit as Arthur let his fingers walk the length of the other man's belt and tug meaningfully at his waistband. "Let's definitely go to your place!"
Arthur pulled away a fraction and smiled at Eames.
"Wonderful- on the way…no, I'd better not risk an accident. When we get to my place you can tell me a little bit more about this fantasy of yours that focuses on my suspenders."
They began to walk together quickly, keeping pace with each other.
"It wasn't just your suspenders, darling. That was how it started! You see, it almost all came off until you asked about the bill!"
Arthur rolled his eyes and shook his head. "Its amazing. We have similar fantasies. We both want to tear off each other's clothes- me, because what you wear can be god awful, and you, because…" Arthur frowned and looked at Eames who walked beside him.
The Forger sighed. "Among my other interests and things I find attractive about you, I happen to like your clothes to go on. I also like your clothes to come off. You just dress so pretty."
Arthur began to laugh and Eames watched him with worry as he traded his attention between minding the path and staring at Arthur.
"Oh, you are just so lucky I insisted we go to my place, Eames. I can try on whatever you want to see me in and then we can take it all off."
Eames smiled like it was Christmas and his birthday all rolled into one.
Needless to say, it was one of the most eventful nights the two dream workers spent in each other's company. And to say it was revealing would only be referring to one very interesting aspect of it.
A.N- For a second chapter I was never going to write, I think it came out pretty well! Please, review and offer comments- good, bad, or ugly.