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05 December 2010 @ 07:30 pm
The Space Between I and You (3/4)  
Part One
Part Two


When Arthur awoke the next morning, most of Eames’ clothing was missing from their closet and the dresser drawers. He also discovered that one of their three PASIVs was missing. No note or anything, or any indication that Eames had even been there.

Last night, he'd dreamt Eames was looking down at him, gently running his fingers down his cheek. His face was red and his eyes bloodshot. Then he’d disappeared.

He wanted to shrug the traces of the rare dream away, but he couldn’t. Instead he crawled under the cold covers of their bed, and tried to sleep, fitful as it was.

When he awoke next, he went through the motions, as empty as their apartment. He didn’t enjoy the hot shower, his muscles didn’t release their strain and worry. The food he ate may as well have been cardboard as he pointedly avoided eating anything Eames had made. He tried to read, but ended up just staring at words that stared back.

When evening fell and it was time for bed, Arthur stood in the doorway of the empty bedroom. After a very, very long time, he turned around and sat on the couch until he passed out from trying to wait up for when Eames would come back.

Seven days passed like this, Arthur waiting for a phone call, to discover Eames sitting on the couch or making dinner when he came back, anything. The apartment is so silent Arthur can hear everything the people living next door do, from their teenage daughter having sex to the father watching porn. Eames usually filled their apartment with sound, using the stereo to play music or banging pots around in their kitchen. Or just filling the air with his chatter and laughter, his smooth accent seeming to cover every surface in the room. Now it was all empty, devoid of the vitality Eames exuded.

Seven days. Absolutely nothing happened.

On the eighth day after Eames left, a plain white envelope with only the address of the flat typed on it, came in the mail. Inside was one solitary key. It took Arthur a few minutes to realize it was the key to their apartment. And it wasn’t his copy.

Arthur wrapped his hand around the key, tight enough that the teeth dug into the flesh of his hand, biting. Everything he looked at shifted, changed perspective, like a dream collapsing, and maybe it was, but the key in his hand was not a totem to tell him it was a dream and the tears in his eyes fell anyway.

Inside, he felt like he’s been hollowed out and slowly refilled with fire. Fire and determination. If Eames wanted it to be done so simply, Arthur would have none of it. He’d given him his space, felt a week was more than enough time. More than enough. Now it was time to find Eames.

-------

Even being the best point man in the business, one bound and determined to find Eames, Arthur wasn’t ashamed to admit it took him a week to do so.

Over the course of the week, he’d made many phone calls. The day when the key arrived, he’d called Ariadne, not frantic, but she could hear the hard edge in his voice and the way it broke just the slightest when he told her Eames had gone. It broke her heart to tell him no, she hadn’t heard from him, each and every day he called to be sure. Same with Cobb, Yusuf, even Saito. All empty leads in the end.

Still, Arthur had his ways, other avenues to explore, and on the twelfth night since Eames left, it came to him.

It had to have been two years ago, when they first moved in together and Arthur was putting files away. He hadn’t meant to, but a quick scan of the document and he knew it was the bank information to one of Eames’ offshore savings accounts. At the time, he’d put it away and declined to inquire into it, but it was somewhere in the back of his mind, always.

So, unlocking one of the remaining PASIVs, Arthur dove into his own subconscious and extracted all the information related to that account from himself. In less than two minutes real time, he’d had it, and in minutes more was able to trace the recent activity.

When he wrote down the city his contact gave him over the phone, he cursed under his breath. Without that trace, he would not have thought of it as Eames’ destination. But he grabbed his coat and two scarves and everything else he needed when he took a flight back to where Eames knew Arthur hated, knew he hated the cold.

And just like that, he found himself back in the fucking anus of a snowman, Moscow.

He’d found Eames was staying in a seedy motel on a back street, thirty minutes away from the airport. What they’d made on the past job would have more than covered any number of rooms in more respectable establishments, and this place was barely standing much less an establishment, but it was as if Eames had wanted to get settled as soon as he’d landed.

Arthur wrinkled his nose as he opened the door to the room, didn’t even need to brush the dust off his lock picking skills on such an inferior door. It was dark inside, and cold, though it was cold everywhere, but there wasn’t even the faint hum of any kind of radiator or space heater.

And it was quiet. Impossibly quiet. For a moment he thought he’d had the wrong room, that Eames had pulled some kind of bait and switch on top of his disappearance, and he almost expected it, but no, there on the back of a chair hung his coat. Edging further into the small room, his eyes adjusting to the dark, he saw on the bed the familiar shape he’d been missing not just for the past two weeks, but months.

He flicked the light switch on, the bulb coating the room in a grungy yellow, and saw the PASIV operating silently on the bedside table, Eames sleeping in his own subconscious. In seconds Arthur was kneeling beside him, such a sight that gripped his heart tightly. He ran his hand over Eames’ face, stubble grown nearly into a beard. Arthur chuckled to himself, relief and fear and, and everything flooding through him.

With a suddenly wet face, Arthur climbed on top of the bed next to Eames, pushed one of his sleeves up to find a vein for the needle, and connected with Eames.

----------

Arthur didn’t recognize the place at first, assuming Eames made it up. But that wasn’t like Eames. He always dreamt solo with a purpose.

It looked like a normal white sand beach, a few rocks near the grassy border, the waves a dark blue and rolling in steadily and noisily. The sun was high, but the sky was cloudy and grey.

When he looked behind him, a small white house was there, and the memory came back. He’d been here once before. The house, a house for going on holiday, belonged to Eames’ parents until it had been passed down to him. Eames loved the place and had taken many of his holidays there. He had taken Arthur once, their first vacation together.

Two years ago, the house had been destroyed in a hurricane. The look of pain on Eames’ face when he found out flashed across Arthur’s mind.

A movement caught his eye, and he was startled to notice Eames sitting in the sand a few yards away, looking back at him intently as he nonchalantly tapped the ash off a cigarette. Arthur thought he had quit. He was cleanly shaven though, and wore in a size too big a light blue button up shirt and beige pants, loungewear for the setting.

A moment of tension passed, and then Eames smiled, a warm and genuine smile, as he leaned back a little, as if he were trying to drink in the other man.

“You’re early today, love,” he said. His voice sounded tired, but he was clearly happy to see him. “You’re usually not here till at least sundown.” He held out his hand and motioned for Arthur to come and sit next to him.

“Eames,” he said quietly as he moved towards him and sat next to the other man. He couldn’t stop staring at him, couldn’t not want to touch him. And it’d been so long. So he reached his hand out, tracing the smooth lines of his jaw. With a slight hitch in his shoulders, he leaned forward, head resting against Eames’ neck, and inhaled his scent.

Eames stubbed the cigarette out next to him, sliding his other arm around Arthur’s shoulders and brought him close. He smelled like the sea and cigarette smoke, the former doing a good job of making the latter less significant. He rested his cheek against Arthur’s forehead, and his hand moved up and down on his shoulder. They stayed like that, silent, for a few minutes. Then Eames took a long, shuddering breath, clearing his throat a bit afterwards.

“God, I miss you,” he whispered.

Miss. As in still. And he remembered what Eames had said, that he’d been expected. No, not him, his projection. Arthur exhaled, a sigh, a broken sob, and leaned all of his weight against Eames. “I missed,” he began, then corrected, “miss you, too.” Just a little longer, he could pretend for now and face reality when they woke up.

Eames moved a little when Arthur corrected himself, and there was a small moment of panic. It passed as Eames slid his other hand over his lap and gently tipped Arthur’s chin so he would look at him. Eames stared for a while, taking in Arthur’s eyes, his nose, his mouth, his pale skin. Like he was admiring something he’d only be able to see after long periods of time.

He finally closed his eyes, and heaved a sigh. His eyes were wet when he opened them again, but Arthur didn’t get a very good look as the forger leaned forward and pressed his mouth against his in a kiss, long and slow, tainted with melancholy.

Arthur groaned deeply, his eyes falling closed as they kissed, and god, it had been too long. He focused his attention on the way Eames’ mouth was so warm and wet, his tongue tangling with his like a slow dance. His hand moved up to card softly through his hair, his other hand gripping the fabric of Eames’ shirt and balling up like he never wanted to let go. And he didn’t, and wouldn’t, not ever again.

Arthur shifted until he was kneeling in front of Eames, never breaking the kiss. He tightened his hold on Eames’ hair and pulled his head back gently, planting soft butterfly kisses along his exposed neck. His body shook with how much he wanted Eames, how much he needed him.

He pressed his weight against Eames until he leaned backwards and Arthur could lay his body on top of his, one leg resting between both of Eames’, having more of him touching him. He unclenched his hand from Eames’ shirt and slid it behind his back as his other hand cradled the back of his head. He nuzzled against the crook of Eames’ neck, and exhaled his name over and over.

Eames was a tad surprised at his eagerness, evident in the throaty chuckle that came out of his throat as Arthur leaned into him. But he smiled and closed his eyes, enjoying the sensation of Arthur’s breath over the thin skin on his neck and the pressure of his body.

“My, my, you’re very affectionate tonight,” he said, using one elbow to prop himself up and steady himself, while the other hand moved up and down the other man’s back, slow and soothingly.

“I’m getting worse I suppose. Only natural,” he muttered. He looked up at the sky a bit. The grey clouds had gotten more numerous and were moving more quickly. “I wish I could just go home.”

Arthur tightened his hold on Eames, a shudder he couldn’t contain rippling through him. “Oh, god,” he moaned achingly, nearly sobbing as he dug his hand into his pocket, wrapping his fingers around a small object.

“Eames,” he pulled his head away to look at him, eyes filled with tears, but he couldn’t hold them back anymore. He placed his hand over Eames’ heart, the metal cold against his palm and surely biting through the thin layer of the shirt. “You can come home, please, please come home,” Arthur pleaded, dropping his head back on Eames’ shoulder, tears falling as sure as the rain that suddenly started.

Eames blanched when he heard Arthur’s breath start coming in ragged sobs. His projection never cried. He froze and looked down at him, watching the tears run down his face, mixing with the falling rain, and feeling him place his palm against his chest. His hands were as cold as the object he felt pressing against his shirt.

His hand came up and gently pulled back Arthur’s hand, and his eyes opened a little wider when he saw the key. He picked it up and studied it. He swallowed, hard. The wind was starting to howl all around them, the rain whipping at their eyes, as Eames said slowly, in disbelief, “Arthur...?” right before there was a huge crash and the vacation house came hurtling towards them from behind.


cont.
 
 
 
cydnee199cydnee199 on December 8th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
Omg you're breaking my heart///