Title: whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling
Fandom: Pairing: Inception: Arthur/Eames
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: **graphic violent imagery, psychopath!Eames, complicit!Arthur, character death (not A/E)**
Summary: **Eames gets bored while waiting to see if Ariadne survives the twelve hours (topside) in limbo that he's sentenced her to for kissing his Arthur.**
Previous chapters: Sequel to The Sky is Green
Notes: Written for npmexchange, for starfleet and her prompt, i carry your heart by ee cummings. (I was obviously in a very literal frame of mind when I wrote this.)
He knows he can't use Yusuf's expert touch for this; the man is much too curious and smart, too useful to waste on something of such inconsequence - too popular to go missing without questions being asked and investigations made. Eames hates to leave a trail more than he hates to leave a body.
Instead, he discreetly searches for a suitably amoral chemist of minor reputation and adequate skill. He settles for a Danish pharmacologist called Joren, a friend of a friend of an acquaintance of someone Eames has done business with before, under one of his more disreputable identities.
Joren informs Eames that the Rohypnol-based sedative will keep his 'associate' under for a minimum of twelve hours, as well as preventing the reliable formation of memories during that time. He brags about the people he's used it on, names dreamsharers Eames has worked with, some he even likes.
Afterwards, Eames decides it's highly unlikely that Joren had ever even met Arthur, much less abused him while he was under and unaware, but he can hardly dig the egotistical braggart back up and ask him.
- - -
The drug is supposed to last a minimum of twelve hours - an eternity of eternities in limbo - but Eames knows better than to assume that Ariadne won't survive, that she won't remember what he did and why - that she won't rush to tell Arthur and Cobb what a monster he really is.
Not that Arthur doesn't already know, that he hasn't already used that knowledge to his own advantage, and so deviously too.
And not that Cobb would care; not now he has his precious children back - those tiny corrupted fragments of Mal, mismatched and patchworked with his own contributions of nature and nurture, of habit and habituation.
He'll be too busy watching them grow - searching their every expression and mannerism for traces of the mother he'd incepted to death - to listen to Ariadne's accusations; to even accept her call, most likely.
Little James will probably grow up wondering why his tiny Gallic shrug brings tears to his papa's eyes, every time. Phillipa, if she's as sharp as Eames believes her to be, will learn to use her mother's dark eyes and seductive smile to bend her father to her will, and make him believe he's grateful for it.
- - -
Twelve hours, Eames thinks, partway through the second hour, can seem an eternity even when you're not in limbo. He's already picked and poked his way through the tiny apartment Ariadne shares with a fortuitously absent roommate.
He's found a ribbon-bound bundle of love letters, childlike and unimaginative in their attempted eroticism. He's found a bottle of pills from the local pharmacy, dated last month, that weren't prescribed to Ariadne or the absent roommate. Beneath a loose tile in the kitchen, he's found a dusty stash of 100 Franc notes and a baggie of weed that's probably older than he is.
Tucked behind the French romance novels on the bookshelves in the lounge, Eames finds half a bar of expensive Swiss chocolate. It's nothing more than a smear at the corner of his mouth when he finally circles back to Ariadne's room, to check that she's still out cold, dreaming an endless dream.
His boredom is reaching dangerous levels when he finally spies the book of American poetry, half-buried beneath a crooked stack of Architectural Digests. When he slides it out and flips it open, he sees a torn sheet of paper - from one of Arthur's moleskines, he thinks, and is not cheered by the thought.
The ragged page is covered by detailed notes in Arthur's precise penmanship - just one of the many lists of flaws to be perfected before Fischer's inception. Eames wonders why Ariadne bothers to preserve it - wonders if she might actually be interested in Arthur after all, despite her every word and action to the contrary - until he notices the tiny, pencilled 'call me if you need to talk about it', and Cobb's home number.
Curiosity has him reading the poems that bracket Cobb's largesse, and one of them gives him a most delightful idea.
- - -
He has to improvise, of course, with what he finds in the apartment. There's a ladylike cleaver that is soon honed to a fine edge beneath the skirl of his whetstone, as are the blades of the kitchen scissors and a vegetable knife.
Beneath the kitchen sink, he finds a heavy rubber mallet and a couple of paint-spattered chisels. He has no idea why they're there, but he's thankful for them. He's had to stamp his way through a sternum before; it was overly destructive and ultimately unfulfilling.
Clingfilm and zip-lock bags live in the kitchen drawers; a trio of water-tight lidded plastic boxes are nesting in the cupboard above the fridge; a half-empty bag of ice sits in the bottom of the freezer. Eames grabs a roll of paper towels to soak up the worst of the blood once the extraction's over and it's time to wrap Arthur's gift.
- - -
He didn't come prepared to be this messy, but he's careful with the prep and the clean-up - stripping before, showering afterwards and spraying bleach on every surface he's even looked at. Fingerprints haven't been a cause for concern since he was fourteen and discovered the amazing abrasive properties of pumice, but one can never be too careful.
He knows he can hide his presence for as long as it takes to get to Arthur. And once he's there... Arthur will appreciate the gift, Eames is certain, though he won't be able to keep it - incriminating evidence and all, not to mention the inevitable smell. But he'll accept Eames's tribute for what it is, and he'll see that any leads that might eventually point to Eames, under any guise, will disappear from databases and evidence rooms alike. He's good at that - misappropriation and misdirection, by whatever means necessary.
It amuses Eames to know that Arthur has used his connections to such effect before, for himself and for Eames, and for a useful acquaintance or two, but not for Cobb. Never for Cobb, who probably needed it the most - being outwardly innocent - but who believes Arthur should be infallible, inviolable, incorruptible.
There are none so blind as those who will not see...
- - -
It takes three days for Eames to track Arthur down. It's no time at all in Arthur-tracking terms, which means he's well aware that Eames is coming, following the delicate threads of his trail like spider silk to the center of his web.
It's no time at all, but it's time enough for the remains to be found; for the violent death to make the papers, make the rounds of the gossip mills, and make its way to Arthur's door.
When Arthur finally opens the door, he seems supremely unsurprised to see Eames standing on the other side. When Eames holds out his gift - wrapped in gloriously gaudy silver foil bedecked with hearts in a particularly violent shade of crimson - he rolls his eyes and gives a heavy, pained sigh, but there's a ghost of a dimple flirting with Eames from its niche at the corner of Arthur's mouth, and that's enough. For now.
"Invite me in, Arthur, dear. We have things to discuss, presents to open and kisses to explain."