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Things are different between them after the Rabat job. Arthur had spent the majority of two days passed out with Eames in a run-down motel before Cobb had joined them and they got the hell out of Morocco. He didn't remember much from those two days. Shock and exhaustion, Eames had said. It wasn't the first time Arthur had been shot at, but it was the first time he'd come that close to actually getting shot and the first time an operation had gone that far south. He could have died. They could have all died, except for Eames who seemed to have some magical ability to dodge bullets in the midst of a firefight. They would have been dead without him, and the whole situation had led Arthur to drastically revise his opinion of Eames.

Eames had picked up on Arthur's change of heart without him even saying anything. Or maybe he had said something, in the motel in Rabat, and just didn't remember what he'd said. It was entirely possible. In public, Eames was mostly unchanged. The flirting was turned up a notch, but there wasn't any surprise in that. It was what he said in private that made Arthur's skin flush and his heart race.

In Cairo, two months after the Rabat job, Eames had leaned on the table next to Arthur as Arthur'd been organizing design specs and whispered hot against his ear, "You know, darling, I think you've made an addict out of me, because I can't stop picturing you naked and pliant in that bathtub. We'll have to try it again sometime, only with you conscious." Arthur had turned beet red, his mouth hanging open but no words coming out. Eames had put one finger on his chin and closed it for Arthur. "You'd better keep that shut or I'll take it as an invitation." Eames laughed a little as he drew away and added, "You're cute when you blush." Arthur was pretty sure he'd been red-faced the rest of the day.

In Hamburg, Eames had put his hands on Arthur's hips and described in lurid detail exactly how he could make Arthur scream. Arthur had been very glad for the table that hid his instant erection from view. In Luxemburg, Eames offered to share a hotel room and mentioned that the pillows might suit Arthur's appetite. In Melborne, he'd waited until Cobb left the dinner table to tell Arthur how much he wanted to take Arthur into the bathroom and fuck Arthur until he couldn't walk home. In Sapporo, Arthur had dropped to the floor to pick up a pencil that had rolled under the table. When he'd crawled out, Eames had stolen Arthur's chair and remarked how good Arthur looked on his knees.

In Hong Kong, Arthur had managed to avoid Eames for much of the pre-mission planning. He was scouting a night club, taking notes so that Cobb could mimic it as much as possible, noting entrances and exits. He'd slipped out the back to get some fresh air and nearly had a heart attack as he realizes he isn't alone. His initial 'oh shit' reaction shifts in tone once he recognizes the stranger as Eames, first from the smell of his cigarettes, then by his cologne as gust of wind brought the faint scent towards him, and finally by sight as he joins Arthur under the light by the rear entrance.

"You really shouldn't be out alone, darling," Eames says as he walks up. "The streets are dangerous for pretty boys like you." There's an edge to Eames's tone that makes Arthur instantly take notice.

"I can handle myself." That was a lie. He was crap at fighting in real life, not when death meant never waking up.

Eames drops his cigarette and grinds it out beneath his shoe. "I'm sure you can, darling." There's a slight leer on Eames's face, giving a double meaning to the words. "But I'd much rather be handling you."

Arthur smirks slightly, outwardly more cocky than he feels. He's starting to get used to Eames constantly hitting on him. It was becoming a usual part of extractions. "That's assuming I'd let you handle me."

In the space of a heartbeat, Eames is in front of him, grabbing Arthur's arms and pinning them over his head against the dirty brick wall. Part of Arthur is concerned for his suit and the damage being done to it by the wall, but the bigger part of him is focused on exactly how turned on Eames pinning him was making him.

Eames leans forward, lips stopping centimeters short of brushing against Arthur's cheek. "We both know exactly how much you want me to handle you."

"E-Eames." The name comes out like a plea. Arthur pauses, licks his lips. Eames's eyes follow the motion of Arthur's tongue intently and Arthur realizes how delicate the line between them has become. They'd been playing cat and mouse for months and he hadn't realized quite how wound up Eames was until now.

"Do you know what you do to me, darling?" Eames asks, his voice thick and heavy. "Do you have any idea how badly I want you?"

Arthur trembles, not from the cold. Eames notices and pushes tighter against him until there is hardly any room left between Eames's body, Arthur's, and the wall. He moans softly. He'd never been with a man and the prospect of giving in to Eames is both exciting and terrifying. They were on the brink. Arthur could feel it, this huge chasm of potential expanding out beneath him, and all he needed to do was let go. He counted the things holding him back – pride, inexperience, fear, propriety, lack of self-confidence, ego, stubbornness. None of them seemed like particularly good reasons to deny himself what he wanted, not when Eames wanted it just as much, if not more.

"I know," Arthur said slowly, speaking as clearly as he could when he barely has space to breathe without his chest rubbing against Eames's. "So. Why don't you do something about it?"

Eames's lips are on his seconds after he finishes the sentence. Arthur isn't an expert on kissing, but he thinks Eames is and all of that expert knowledge is trained on him as soon as their lips meet. Eames's tongue does delightfully wicked things to the roof of Arthur's mouth. Arthur barely registers his hands being freed, not until Eames grabs him by the ass and lifts him up, pulling their hips closer, and for a second he wonders if Eames is really an octopus with the way extra hands seem to sprout from nowhere before his mind catches up. Arthur lowers his arms and wraps them around Eames's shoulders. He's messing up the fabric of Eames's jacket horribly and his own clothes were likely ruined from the wall, but he couldn't really bring himself to care.

When Eames finally pulls away, enough at least for Arthur to breathe and at that point he really, really needs the oxygen, there's a heat in Eames's eyes that goes all the way to the pit of Arthur's stomach.

"I want to fuck you," Eames says in a voice breathless and full of desire. "I want to rip off your clothes, get your ass in the air, and fuck you until you forget how to speak, until the wittiest comeback you can think of is screaming my name into the pillow as I make you come."

Arthur whimpers and tightens his hands in Eames's jacket.

Eames doesn't stop. His lips trace over the exposed skin of Arthur's neck, leaving a trail of dirty words in their wake. "I want to pull your pants down and fuck you, right here. I want to push inside of you, fill you up and pound into you, hard enough to leave bruises, hard enough that you won't be able to sit down tomorrow without remembering the feel of me inside of you."

The accent makes it worse, Arthur thinks. It makes the dirty words sound even more sinful, and Arthur has no doubt that Eames would do all that if he let him. But the alley is far too filthy, far too public, and as much as Arthur really, really wants Eames right now, it's not enough for him to get over where they are.

"You, me, hotel, now," Arthur gasps out. He's past the point of sentences, past the point of caring about anything but getting Eames to go through with all the things he's been promising to do to Arthur for months. "Make me scream."

Eames smiles like he always does after they execute a particularly intricate con, half pleasure, half smug satisfaction. "You, my darling, are absolute sin on a platter."

Arthur has no idea what to say to that so he pulls away and straightens his clothes as best he can, glad that his coat is long enough to hide the bulge in the front of his pants. Eames adjusts his jacket and tucks Arthur's hand under his arm as he leads them out of the alleyway.

"You do realize, of course," Eames says as they step out onto the main street, "that this is just going to make me more incorrigible."

Arthur smiles and pretends people aren't giving them strange looks. "I think I can handle that."