[Inception]

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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:04 pm

"I must have you spooked, darling, if you're willingly letting me drive," Eames teases. Not that he's a bad driver. He's a great driver. He's just not as skilled as a getaway driver as Arthur and they have had arguments over who gets to drive in the past. "Is there more than one transport option? Do I get to pick the car as well? I might as well take advantage of this while I can."
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:17 am

"I'm not /that/ rich." Arthur rubs his knuckles under Eames' jaw. "Says he, in his Belgravia townhouse. Still. Only the one car, I'm afraid. You can pick the radio station, if you like."
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:16 pm

"We are feeling generous, love," Eames continues to tease since that is the only way he knows how to normalise the tension in the room. "I wish I had brought my own music to put on." He pats Arthur's legs, a signal that they should be moving, and stands once Arthur is up. Before he goes to find his coat he lands a kiss on the side of Arthur's mouth.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:38 pm

Arthur leans into the brush of Eames' lips. He wants to catch him, to drag him down and make him beg to stay in bed all day--but he knows as well as anyone the value of staying busy when you're upset. He lets his hand trail over Eames' waist and hip as Eames pulls away. "I'll fetch the keys. I think you left your shoes in the dining room by the front door."
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:42 am

Eames can't help but smile softly at Arthur's domesticity. It just seems so natural to him, though it's not something Eames would have expected for them. Not with their lives. Just before Arthur's hand falls away from him, Eames catches it and pulls him into a proper kiss. His eyes stay closed when he pulls away slightly. "Thank you, darling. I'll go get them."
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:36 am

Arthur takes a moment to cup Eames' cheek, to admire his face. He's lost a lot of the shadows, the haunted sadness that had been plaguing him all through India and their island holiday--not all of it, but a lot. His natural beauty is shining through again. He strokes his thumb over Eames' chin and the corner of his mouth, then smiles and departs to fetch the keys.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:50 am

Eames' breath hitches as Arthur walks away. It's still such a shock to have this actually be reality, a shock every day. Arthur looks at him like that, cares for him as he does, and it's real. Eames can stomach life-churning stress and seeing his brother again for that, just for Arthur. He can do a lot for Arthur's attention and has. Will do.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:43 pm

When Arthur has all his things, he goes looking for Eames, so he can guide him down to the garage. Even he's having some trouble navigating this place; has it really been so long since he's been back?
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:26 am

Eames will be checking his hair in the mirror by the front door in the ground floor hall. He's not so much worried about how he looks as he is worried about how different he looks to Thomas. He's not /aware/ of it, really. He's not actively thinking about it. But that's what's happening to him right now.

"Ready to jet, darling?" Eames asks when he spots movement in the far corner of the mirror. "I suppose we could turn this whole recon mission into a lunch date, too. Lighten the mood. I know how you do hate to mix business with pleasure, but it's so soothing to me." He gives the mirror a pout, sending his puppy-dog eyes to Arthur through the reflection.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:29 pm

"Any more greasy chippers you want to introduce me to?" Arthur straightens his tie and presents Eames with the keys. "Or should we just see if your brother's taste in coffee shops is any good?"
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:05 am

Eames tosses the keys once, catches them, then reaches to touch Arthur's tie. He knows how much it drives him crazy if he tries to fix it again. "Let's drive, love," he says. "Get to the cafe. See what's available there, do some work, get some coffee, pretend I'm not stressed. The usual."


Last edited by sinistra_blache on Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:34 pm

Arthur's hands twitch, as if he wants to check his tie again. Instead, he smiles and jerks his head. "Garage is this way. Let's see what this country pretends to pass for coffee, then, shall we? I can only hope it's better than last time I was here."
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:42 am

"We'll pass about fifty million pret a mangers on the way, love," Eames teases. "I know how much you love that imitation French press with stale pains aux chocolats. Maybe this trip is when you come to terms with awful English coffee and turn to the light side, start drinking tea like a civilised human being."
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:41 am

Arthur opens the door, revealing steps down to the garage. He grins. "Is that your way of telling me you want to spend several hours inside one of those specialty tea shops, trying to find the one tea that will turn me to the light?"
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:13 am

"What a delightful idea, darling! I know just the place we can go to after we scope out the cafe," Eames grins charmingly at Arthur as soon as he catches his eye.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:28 pm

Arthur huffs a laugh and tugs Eames down the stairs. "I draw the line at detox teas. They smell like garbage; I can't imagine they do any good for your insides. Especially not our insides, with the PASIV chemicals. You know, the long-term studies are only just starting to come out."
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:08 pm

"Have you read anything interesting about that, love?" Eames asks. He doesn't particularly care about his insides; maybe a result of his lingering depression. However, he had never really cared. Not as a young man when the chemicals were much more experimental and not now when the chemicals are no longer regulated, when they have Yusef mixing his own versions.

He follows Arthur along to the car and throws the keys one more time, happily catching them. As much as he isn't looking forward to the whole Thomas debacle, he is looking forward to driving through London again. He can always take the long way home, too.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:36 pm

"I mostly skim for the words 'carcinogenic' and 'mutagen', but there have been some interesting effects on sight and sensory receptors for long-term dreamers. The kind Yusuf keeps in his basement," Arthur adds. "Something to do with the audiosensory cortex in the brain being overworked. I didn't understand most of it." He slides into the correct passenger side of the car without hesitation.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:22 am

"So just some light reading, then," Eames comments, gently sarcastic. "Pity about not growing an extra arm. That would be useful."

He turns out of the garage and effortlessly drives through the streets like they haven't changed ridiculously since the last time he was in the city, like he hasn't avoided driving for no good reason for years, like he's been living here all along. It doesn't take long to get to the café; it's not too far away from where Thomas lives. Eames supposes he likes to be able to just walk to where he goes to relax. He would have scouted out a similar place.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:20 pm

"See, you think it would be useful. Really, it would just be yet another armpit to stink up the place." Arthur rests his head against the window as Eames drives. London is beautiful, especially around these wealthy parts. He never thought he'd get to see London, growing up in Vegas.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:05 pm

"I smell like flowers," Eames murmurs, absently snarking as he parks. "Having another pit would just make me smell even better." He turns off the engine and sits for a moment before taking a breath and looking at Arthur. "Do you have a particular checklist for scoping an area, darling, or is this the only time you wing it?"
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:19 pm

"First," Arthur suggests. "Let's get coffee, and see what we can see about the place." Then he pauses. "Though, you do realise, since your brother is a regular at this place, they may mistake you for him."
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:09 am

"Wouldn't be the first time, love," Eames says but checks himself in the rear-view mirror regardless. He clicks his tongue, then messes his hair in what seems to be a very determined way. He sighs. "Close enough."

As though he and his brother don't look identical in every way even after all these years.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:44 pm

Arthur takes Eames' hand as soon as he's able. It feels awkward, but he stubbornly refuses to /feel/ the awkwardness. "Is this all right?"
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:04 am

Eames smiles at Arthur's hand in his before he smiles at Arthur's face. "The hand holding or the stake-out concerning my brother?"
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:13 pm

Arthur already knows the stake-out concerning Thomas isn't okay. "The hand-holding."
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:33 pm

Eames chuckles and lifts Arthur's hand to his mouth, kissing the back of it. "Arthur, there will be something very wrong with me if I'm not okay with holding the hand of the love of my life, yes? Good." So that he can avoid the awkwardness of dealing with that sentence, Eames plants another kiss on Arthur's hand before letting go and getting out of the car.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:35 pm

(are they not already out of the car? Arthur came around the car to take Eames' hand on the sidewalk)

Arthur feels oddly relieved. He's not really the hand-holding type--or he hasn't been, until now. But Eames makes him feel new things, try new things. Maybe he is a hand-holding type of person now.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:54 pm

(are they? shit, I thought they were in the car still. NEVER MIND)

As they walk towards the cafe, now hand-in-hand, Eames glances at Arthur. "You look like you're thinking so hard, darling," he says. "Whatever it is that has you ticking away like that, you needn't worry."
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:58 pm

Arthur snorts. "You'll find that my mind has a hard time quieting down."
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:13 pm

"All those twists and turns," Eames says appreciatively, nodding. He remembers Arthur's mind well. "Hidden away complicated wirings, all behind simple-looking lines and colours. You need to find a way to relax your mind, love. I'm going to convince you to construct a garden one day."

He pauses before he pushes the door to the cafe open, then adds: "A simple garden, Arthur."
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:40 pm

Arthur smirks. Eames knows him so well. "But what if I want to build a towering labyrinth with a thousand different kinds of flower?"
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:56 am

"Use it for the next job, for all I care. This is meditation, love, not a competition," Eames fake-chides. "Go find a seat you like? I'll get the drinks." He's a little curious to see how many of the staff recognise his face. Thomas' face.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:23 pm

Arthur knows when to cling and when not to. He lets Eames go, nudging him lightly with his elbow, then smooths down his jacket and makes a beeline for a cosy spot in the corner where the light is best and both seats can see just about the whole cafe.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:09 pm

Eames makes his way to the counter. His gait shifts only slightly, imperceptively but enough to make a difference if someone is particularly perceptive. Eames isn't exactly counting on anyone in the café being spy-level perceptive, but it's a habit.

"Alright?" He says with a touch of a cockney lilt. Thomas never quite managed to drop that entirely.

The server barely looks up. "Alright, Tom."

Eames takes a risk. "You know I don't like being called Tom," he says with a smile. The risk pays off.

"Thomas sounds so damned posh, but as you like it. The usual?" The server goes to make whatever Thomas gets before Eames can answer. Typical; he can't even order a normal coffee. Now he has to drink whatever hippie-dippy-hipster shit Thomas is taken with right now.

"Always," he answers like it doesn't grind his gears not to have a choice. "And a double shot latte."

"Sit down, Thomas. I'll bring it over."

"Cheers, petal," Eames says before he can stop himself. He winces internally, holding his breath.

"And stop flirting with me, for god's sake," is the answer he gets. Laughing easily but heart in his throat, Eames goes back over to Arthur and gives him a tight smile. He could fake it but he won't. Arthur doesn't like it when he finds out.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:18 pm

Arthur pushes out the other chair for him as he approaches. He clocks Eames' altered walk, his tight smile, that strange laugh, and his chest aches. He's forging himself--or is he forging Thomas? "Please tell me you paid for those," he says, attempting to make a joke.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:38 am

Eames sits heavily. "I'll get them after," he promises, then rubs his face. "That was weirder than it should have been, if I'm honest. Haven't tried being him in a long time."
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:42 am

"I suppose there's some things you never forget." Arthur wants dearly to take Eames' hand, but if he's pretending to be Thomas, and Thomas has a family and a life, then perhaps Eames would be uncomfortable with being touched right now. He nudges his leg up against Eames' as consolation.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:05 am

Eames smiles a little, a tug of lips, at Arthur's affection. Sometimes, more often than he'd like to admit, he still gets surprised that Arthur shows him affection at all. His Arthur, the closed off calculating machine that gets the job done, finding a way to let Eames in to show him any kind of softness. It feels like a gift he has no right receiving.

It doesn't take long for their drinks to come to the table. Eames presses a tenner into the server's hand, trying for a warm smile that he feels he gets 100% right but for the confused, nearly concerned look on the server's face. Maybe there's some personal history between her and Thomas. She did tell him to stop flirting earlier.

Eames should be more careful. He opens his mouth to comment on that to Arthur, or to say /something/, when the bell above the door jingles and somebody walks in. Eames looks over, not thinking he'll see anyone of interest but they are on a stakeout. Every detail helps.

"Fuck," Eames says, softly but with feeling. His brother walks up to the counter, mirroring in every way what Eames has just done. The server stares at Thomas for a moment then, like a cartoon, double takes back to where Eames and Arthur are sitting.

"Fuck," Eames repeats when Thomas follows the server's gaze and meets Eames' eyes.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:09 pm

Arthur's hand clamps down on his cup so hard he thinks for a split second he's going to crack it and his leg jerks against Eames'. Jesus. He'd seen photos, of course, but /jesus/--there were identical twins and then there was this, seeing it, seeing the man he loves across the room, the man whose body he's intimately acquainted with, right over there and right here, both, at the same time. He's sure with time, even five minutes, he'll be able to tell them apart, but in that first initial shock--/jesus/.

He stands, abruptly, and shifts in front of Eames, as if they're suddenly in a hostile situation. He doesn't know what to do. This is what he'd do if they were threatened on a job, and he feels threatened right now, unbelievably. Thomas is probably the least threatening person Arthur's researched in his life, and still, here he is, practically bracing for attack in front of Eames.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:59 am

Eames stands when Arthur blocks his view and it must seem like a co-ordinated movement, they both move so quickly. They're so used to each other, not only because they're lovers now. "Arthur," he says, putting a hand on Arthur's arm.

Thomas stands for a moment, frozen, staring at them both, then walks over. He's shaking. Looking beyond Arthur to his brother, who should be dead. Thomas looks pale and when he gets close enough to them, Eames can see that he's breathing too quickly, shallowly. He's freaking out.

"Perhaps you should sit down," he says. It's all he can think to say. He regrets it.

Thomas' eyebrows fly up in disbelief, in anger and Eames can see him gear up before it happens. All in the one split second, Eames moves Arthur out of the way and takes the punch that comes flying at him. His vision blurs for a second as his brother's fist connects with his jaw, but he only staggers instead of falling over. Thomas held back. That's a good sign.

Around them, the cafe shouts into motion. Servers come over to break the fight up but it's already done. "Alright, alright," Thomas grunts, shaking one of the bigger servers off him. They let him go. Eames holds his jaw. He knows it's not the right time to feel proud of himself, but he did get Thomas' cadence perfect earlier, he now knows, even after all these years. "I'm done. That's all I needed. Fucker knows why. Don't you?"

"Yeah, alright," Eames mutters, tonguing around his mouth. There's blood. He motions to Arthur. "This is Arthur. Arthur, this is Thomas."

Thomas doesn't look away from Eames' face. He's fuming, but at least colour's come back to his face. "Your bodyguard? He's shit."

"He's doing you a favour, bruv," Eames tells him. Arthur not pinning Thomas down in a blink out of instinct is something of a miracle.

"You have no right," Thomas growls, pushing past Arthur as much as he can to get into Eames' space. "You have no right to call me that."

Eames opens his mouth to say something, but there's no point. Thomas is right. He drops his gaze, chastised and so tired. This was a terrible idea. He knew this was a terrible idea. "This isn't how it was meant to go down."

"Spare me," Thomas says then, to Eames' surprise, sits down on the spare seat at their table. "You owe me so much right now and a coffee is the least of it. You can start there, though, and then tell me the bloody truth."

Eames, still holding his now throbbing jaw, looks at Arthur for guidance.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:15 pm

Arthur's on his toes, still, in a fight position, but when Thomas sits, he himself slowly settles. Thomas has no idea how close he just came to being put on the ground. Arthur's military training was not for nothing, and it's only Arthur's love for Eames that held him back.

He ignores Thomas for a second to rest a hand on Eames' shoulder and inspect his face. That's going to be painful. There was almost no technique to it. "Go and pay for the coffee. Get some ice." Arthur will dig out some bruise balm later and give Eames a facial massage, if Eames will let him. Maybe he'll feel like he deserved that punch and the bruise that comes with.

The look Eames gives him hurts, but Arthur just waits until he goes, trusting Eames and willing Eames to trust him.

When Eames is far enough away, Arthur looks down at Thomas. "We came here today as sort of a first step towards a reunion. I'd looked into you and found out you liked to come here, so we came here so he could feel closer to you and get less scared of doing this."

And when Eames is back within earshot, he adds, "And I'm his boyfriend, by the way."
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:50 pm

Thomas shares the same bored look as his brother, looking up at Arthur like he isn't intimidating at all. "Scared," is all he says, echoing Arthur with an air of mockery. He watches Eames walk back to the table with the coffee and ice, then jerks his chin at Arthur. "Boyfriend? Dead and gay, then."

"Dead and rather a bit gay, yes," Eames replies tightly, tugging Arthur's sleeve until he sits. He looks at Arthur seriously while pressing the cloth with ice against his jaw. "What were you two talking about?"

Thomas answers for Arthur. "Your bit was just telling me about how he was spying on me."

"Thomas..." Eames says, exhausted to his core. He shoots Arthur a regretful look. He's not 'a bit'. He's much more than that. Eames just doesn't have the energy to fight about it right now.

"Sorry," his brother said, not sounding sorry at all. "Your 'boyfriend'. Like I'm going to buy that bollocks, honestly. An American, dressed like that, the way he's going on? You pretending to be dead and gone for so long? What are you, CIA? FBI? What's really going on?"
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Re: [Inception]

Post by nocturnalie on Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:26 am

Arthur settles back down in his seat and tucks his foot next to Eames'. He doesn't need to grab Eames and kiss him to prove to Thomas what they are to each other. A kiss would barely begin to cover what they are to each other. He only needs Eames to remember.

"We were both military," Arthur confirms. He can't say much more than that--especially not here. "These days we're more like private contractors. That's how we met. We have different skill sets, and we were contracted to jobs together." That's all Thomas has earned for now.

He finds himself wanting to talk more, to save Eames the heartache. This was all his idea, after all.
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Re: [Inception]

Post by sinistra_blache on Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:31 am

Eames can see the question on Thomas' face when he hears 'private contractors' before he asks it. "We don't kill people for money," he says quickly, and that's true. They don't. Anymore.

Thomas scoffs and sips his coffee, thinking about what to say next before he says it. "So...why are you here?"

That's a good question. Eames doesn't really have an answer. I'm depressed and this is a misguided attempt by the man I love to get me to reconnect to reality? It'd hardly answer any questions.

Thomas doesn't let him speak anyway. "We still go to your grave, Ted," he says quietly. He shoots a dark look at Arthur, seemingly just for being there during this moment. Eames curls his fingers around Arthur's wrist in response; he's not going anywhere. And he resolutely doesn't look to see Arthur's reaction to his name. He bets he doesn't look like a Ted any longer. "My kids only know you as a slab."

Eames shakes for a moment--but he can't fall apart. He's lulled by familiarity, with Arthur and seeing Thomas again. Let himself get sloppy. He closes his eyes and takes a breath, throwing up every emotional shield he can think of. He leans back in his chair, he relaxes his shoulders forcibly. "I'm sorry," he says, and at least he's being honest about that.
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Re: [Inception]

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