Title: The Sky is Green
Fandom: Pairing: Inception: Arthur/Eames
Rating: R for violence
Concrit: Please. If you spot a typo or a grammar glitch, feel free to tell me in comments.
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. No harm, no foul, no money made.
Warnings/Squicks: **psycho!Eames, maybe-evil!Arthur, possible character death (not Arthur or Eames)**
Summary: Ariadne really shouldn't have kissed Arthur.
Notes: Written for picfor1000, and only two days past deadline! My thanks to tabaqui and literati for their tireless support, encouragement and nitpicking. *smooches* Any nits left unpicked are all mine.
The Sky is Green
Ariadne wakes to the unexpected sight of Eames at her bedside, hands jammed casually in his pants pockets, his face blandly uncommunicative.
The first thing she does is reach for the wooden chess piece on her nightstand. She misses the momentary gleam of satisfaction in Eames's eyes.
The black bishop is solid and reassuringly unbalanced in the palm of her hand, consistently toppling to the left when she tries to stand it on the filed down point of its mitre - behind a shielding wall of fingers, of course.
When she checks, Eames is quite conspicuously not watching, instead gazing out of the window at the street below. It makes her want to smile, until she realizes she has absolutely no idea why he's here with her instead of off flirting aggressively with Arthur in an entirely different country.
She fumbles her way to a sitting position; struggles to tuck the sheet around her waist to protect her modesty. Her legs seem shockingly naked below the rucked-up, oversized football jersey she's using as a nightshirt.
Her head feels heavy, delicately balanced on a neck oddly unwilling to support the unaccustomed weight. She wrestles a pillow up behind her shoulders with fingers that only grudgingly obey.
"Where's Arthur?" It's not what she wanted to say and, judging from the tightening across the span of Eames's powerful shoulders, it's not what he wanted to hear, but Ariadne's mind is still clouded with sleep, her thought processes sluggish and unfocussed.
"That- I mean-" She pauses, drags a minutely trembling hand through pillow-mussed hair. "I thought you'd be off flirting with Arthur wherever he went after Dom got his life back. I'd ask how you got into my bedroom, but I can probably figure that out, so why don't you tell me why?"
Instead of immediately answering, Eames unlatches the windows and swings them open, letting the chill morning air in to circulate. For one brief, perplexing moment, Ariadne's room is bathed in the scent that is purely Arthur - a unique combination of soap, deodorant, freshly pressed laundry, a hint of lime and the amalgam of products he uses to keep his hair out of his eyes while on the job.
It's disconcertingly familiar. And then it's gone, buried - if it was ever actually there - beneath the heady redolence that is Paris in the fall. Eames doesn't seem to have noticed anything out of the ordinary as he turns, settling his linen-clad rump on the windowsill. His bulk blocks all but the most determined rays of watery sunlight, which trickle in to paint the room an unsettling shade of dirty yellow. Ariadne wonders if there's a storm brewing.
"You kissed Arthur."
Ariadne blinks at the non sequitur. "What?"
Eames sighs. His thumbs are tucked neatly in the corners of his pockets, wrists resting casually against his braided leather belt. His fingertips are drumming silent riffs on his stomach. "You asked me why I'm here." He shrugs, the rise and fall of his shoulders causing implausible ripples in the light spilling in around them. "That's why."
"But-" Quick, give me a kiss. "He asked me to. To distract the projections."
This is obviously news to Eames, but the flare of surprise is swiftly overtaken by a look of almost gleeful satisfaction. When he speaks, Ariadne knows his words aren't meant for her; she's never heard him sound quite so fondly delighted.
"Why, Arthur, you sneaky little minx. That puts a whole new complexion on a lot of things. I wonder, do you think you deserve a reward for this, or a punishment? I believe a little of both might be in order once I track you down. Now, if only I knew why-?"
There's a shift in the atmosphere as Eames snaps his fingers and refocuses his gaze onto Ariadne.
"Ah, yes, of course." His grin is almost beatific. "The Great Dom Cobb. Arthur did so enjoy having Dom turn to him for solutions to his every problem. 'Mal wants to get married, Arthur; what do I do?' 'The CIA wants me to extract from the President of Guatemala, Arthur; please help me.' 'Mal's gone batshit insane and set me up for her murder, Arthur; run away with me and join the circus!' And then you toddled onto the scene, all wide-eyed and curious with your damnable perception."
The blatant mockery sends a shiver of unease down Ariadne's spine. She moves to push the sheet aside, to stand, to stand up to Eames, and he makes no move to stop her.
He tilts his head and watches, as curious as a cat, and realization dawns. She's the small white mouse in this scenario, and her tail is well and truly trapped beneath Eames's playful paw. She hasn't felt his claws yet, but they're there, sheathed and waiting for the slightest excuse to slide out and disembowel her.
Her heart is pounding. The air seems darker, danker than it was just moments before. The room feels smaller. Eames is most definitely closer. He smiles at her like he's sharing a secret.
"Poor Ariadne, he set you up." He pauses, frowns. "Well, to be honest, he set us both up, but I find I'm much too enchanted by his creativity to be the slightest bit put out. You see, Arthur knows I'm a tad possessive when it comes to him; I don't appreciate others touching what belongs to me. I don't mind people looking, but- No," he interrupts himself with rueful honesty. "I do mind them looking, but it's Arthur, and how can anyone not look at Arthur? And so, I endure. But a kiss? Oh, sweetling, a kiss is a horse of a different colour entirely. And Arthur knows that, the wicked boy."
There's a gun in Eames's hand. Ariadne doesn't know where it came from. It wasn't there, and then it was. She barely has time to think 'Oh, shi-'
She wakes on a beach piled with driftwood. The sky is green.
Sequel: whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling