Arthur hits redial and listens to the Skype ringtone rattle in his laptop speakers. The contact window insists that Eames is online and available, but Arthur knows that Eames often leaves his laptop open and logged in for hours at a time when he's nowhere near his hotel room. It's reckless and stupid, which means that of course there's no hope of discouraging this behavior at all.
He gives up after the sixth ring, hanging up with a sigh and going to pour himself another glass of wine. It's been a long bloody day playing a matinee pop concert with the Boston Phil, the sort of gig that makes him good money but undermines Arthur's youthful notions of the glamorous life of a professional musician. Nothing seems glamorous when you're stuck playing horrible arrangements of recent Broadway so-called 'hits' and listening to the guest singers belt away slightly under pitch the whole time.
Arthur loosens his tie and perches on the edge of the bed, about to try dialing again when the speakers blast out with an incoming call alert.
"Hey," Arthur says, smiling, his annoyance evaporating instantly when he sees Eames' face appear on the screen, Eames wriggling to get comfortable on his belly lying on his hotel bed a quarter of the way around the world, somewhere in Paris.
"Sorry, sorry," Eames answers immediately, "I just now got out of the shower, saw all the missed calls." He's naked, apparently; the wet shine of his shoulders is obvious even with the bad quality of the video call.
"It's okay, I just got home from the concert," Arthur says. Because he knows Eames can't see it from his angle, Arthur sneaks a hand out and strokes the screen where it's displaying Eames' face. "Thought I'd see if I could catch you before you go to bed."
"Mm, caught me," Eames responds, voice warm and pleased. "I have something to show you," he continues, sexy and low.
Arthur wants to roll his eyes because ugh, Eames, how obvious, but it's a sad fact of their all-too-frequent separations that Arthur becomes embarrassingly eager to see Eames, to see all of Eames. Arthur has long since given up on pretending to find the whole thing too crude; if Eames wants to wave his cock at the webcam, Arthur is not going to put up a protest.
On Arthur's screen there's the blur and judder of Eames' movement as he shifts on the bed, a flash of his bare ass, and then a more distant thud of steps and a rattle of paper bags.
Props, maybe? Arthur takes a sip of wine and waits, idly unbuttoning his shirt and loosening his tie a little further with his free hand.
"A present for you, my love," says Eames, but instead of flashing his junk around the internet, Eames is aiming the top of a large posh-looking garment box at the screen. Arthur waits for the image to steady so he can read the text.
"You went shopping at Zegna without me?" Arthur says, but even as the sting of betrayal flares, his heart rate picks up and he leans in closer. "Oh my god, did you say you got something for me?"
"Haven't you been paying attention?" Eames scolds, fussing with the box.
"I thought you meant your dick, this is way better," Arthur says, edging closer. "Open it!"
Eames pauses and pouts. "What do you mean--"
"Eames!" Arthur exclaims, frustrated and impatient. "Come on, don't be a fucking tease."
"Hang on," Eames says, and he and the box both disappear. The picture rattles and shakes again until Arthur's staring at a long view of the Paris hotel room and listening to more shuffling noises in the background.
"Eames, if you're putting my new Zegna clothing on your naked wet body," Arthur calls out, clutching at the duvet in terror, "I will seriously change the locks here."
"I'm toweling off first, you git," Eames says, and more shuffling sounds follow. A moment later he strides into the frames wearing a stunning Zegna full-length leather trench-coat.
Arthur's mouth goes dry. His hand comes out to stroke the screen again. "Oh my god. How much did that set you back? Jesus!"
"You're so bloody skinny, I can't even button the fucking thing up," says Eames, tugging at the sides of the coat and giving up. "I think it'll be perfect on you though." He shrugs his shoulders, about to take it off again.
"Don't," Arthur says, hearing his voice low and hoarse.
"Yeah?" Eames answers, looking up, arching an eyebrow. "Look, if you didn't want water on this I hardly think jizz is going to improve it for you."
"I don't want you to come on it, jesus fuck," Arthur says irritably, shifting back and getting his pants open. "I just want to look at you in it while I come."
"Oh," says Eames. For a guy who lives (and dies) for having everyone in any given room stare at him in wonder, he always acts like a complete jackass when Arthur tries to get him to just hold still and be sexy. He immediately strikes what is probably supposed to be a modeling pose but just looks awkward and sort of disco queeny. He pouts and licks his finger and sneaks the coat open to rub the wet finger over his nipple.
Arthur stops what he's doing and glares. "Eames! Come on, just -- just be normal, goddammit."
"I am being completely fucking normal!" Eames returns. "You're the one wanking off looking at me not naked."
"It's a leather Zegna coat," Arthur points out. "It's better than skin."
Eames tries to cross his arms in indignation but the coat is too narrow through the shoulders for him. He sort of squeaks to a halt and scowls.
"That's better," Arthur says, getting back to work. "Don't stretch it out, though, careful."
Eames sneers and huffs and bites his lip with irritation.
Eames has the decency to look sort of impressed by this; even though Arthur's mostly dominating his own camera's view with his face and shoulders Eames knows what Arthur looks like when he's coming, and clearly recognizes it. "Well done," says Eames. "Can I take it off now?"
"Be careful, fold it up nicely again. And don't check it with your other luggage when you come home, be sure to take it carry-on with your garment bag," Arthur warns.
"Oh my god," says Eames, wide-eyed. "I've bought you a replacement for the Steinway."
Arthur is busy wiping himself down and wriggling out of his clothes, and doesn't bother dignifying this accusation with a response. He shifts the laptop to the end of the bed, moves back to give Eames a better view, smiles innocently.
"Oh, that's not fair," Eames says, "you're unfaithful with a coat right in front of me and somehow I still want to shag you afterwards." He dives onto the bed and rearranges his computer to give Arthur the same view, though Arthur's always suspected that this is as much for Eames' benefit as Arthur's. Eames likes to watch, even when it's him doing the wanking. "Do you have -- where's the "--
Arthur reaches over; he'd been prepared for this eventuality, and the dildo is already out on the nightstand.
"Fuck," Eames says heavily, and grabs himself. "Yeah. Suck it."
Arthur closes his eyes and mouths the head of the dildo slowly, the way Eames likes it. He'd felt silly doing this the first few times but it's long since taken on its own excitement, pretending that this is Eames, that they're together in the same bed.
"Fuck," says Eames again, and Arthur can hear him scrambling over the bed, maybe getting closer for a better look.
Arthur keeps at his work, eyes still closed, sucking and pretending to himself that he's not tasting the mild non-flavor of silicone but the hot familiar slickness of Eames. For all he's just come, Arthur gets into it pretty quickly, making small noises and feeling his breathing quicken as his longing for Eames grows with every sliding motion.
"Cheers," Eames says, sounding a little farther away, and then there's the click-thump of a closing door.
Arthur opens his eyes in time to see Eames come back into frame, holding a white china plate with artfully arranged French food on it. Arthur yanks the dildo from his mouth. "Did you seriously just do that?" Arthur asks, exasperated.
"What, I ordered it earlier, forgot it was still coming," Eames says, popping a steamed carrot into his mouth. "I'm not going to eat it yet, obviously."
"You answered the door naked and hard?" Arthur says. "With me giving a blowjob to a piece of rubber in the background?"
"It's Paris," Eames says, waving a hand. "Come on, let's go on with it." He sets the plate down and wraps his fingers around his dick.
"Eames," says Arthur, pained.
"I bought you a really beautiful coat and I didn't even wank into it," Eames points out pitifully, "even when you made me writhe around in it like a slag."
"Eames," Arthur says again. "Room service?"
"I didn't get a proper dinner, the fucking French all eat at midnight!" Eames exclaims. "I nearly fainted and swooned into the bosom of the prima donna, and if I had done, you'd be forced to murder her in a fit of jealous rage. I can't have you ruining your life for me."
Arthur sighs. "I'm tired. Why don't you just watch one of the videos we made last summer?"
"No, no, Arthur," Eames pleads. "I'm sorry, I should have said something. Only, I didn't want to interrupt you, you seemed to be having a lovely time. Please suck on the fake cock again? Please?"
Arthur picks up the dildo, sighing. "No more interruptions," he warns.
"I wouldn't dream of it," Eames says, licking his lips, shifting his hips up. "You drive me mad, darling, please."
Arthur begins again, with a little less emotion this time, not trusting Eames enough to close his eyes; but it's difficult to keep any kind of distance. It's been three months since they could do this in person, for real, and they've got nearly another three weeks left before Eames has a break long enough to justify a brief trip home to Boston. It's fucking horrible, and it's impossible to deny that this is as good as it gets between them for now, Arthur fellating an Eames substitute and Eames using his hand to try and synthesize what Arthur's mouth is doing a whole continent away.
Eames feels it too, when he stops being an ass long enough to let himself go; Arthur can see it in his eyes, the mixture of sadness and hunger there, the way he watches his screen with such intensity. "I'm close," Eames says, pretending to warn Arthur, and Arthur speeds up, sucks harder, urging Eames on as best he can. "I'm coming," Eames says, and on impulse Arthur pulls off, trembling, holds the head of the dildo on his bottom lip so Eames can better imagine coming like this, messy and filthy and hot. Arthur watches Eames on screen, imagines it himself, the sudden wet, the heat, Eames coming on him.
"Ah, brilliant," Eames says, gasping, a moment later. "I needed that."
"Me too," Arthur says, and lowers the dildo, wiping his mouth with the back of his arm even though there's nothing there to wipe away. "Three weeks."
"Three weeks," says Eames, and because he's not as careful as Arthur, it's clear when he reaches out to stroke the screen.
"Are you really tired? Are you heading straight to bed?" Arthur says, trading the dildo for his wineglass, shivery and lonely.
"No, I can stay awake awhile longer, I sleep in to noon every day," Eames replies. "You want to see what else I bought?"
Arthur edges back onto his belly, tugging Eames' ugly but warm mustard chenille throw over himself, getting closer to the screen and smiling eagerly. "Fuck yes," Arthur says, planting his chin in his hands. "Feel free to try everything on too."
"Such a blatant cheater," Eames says, still dabbing at his stomach with a washcloth, but he's smiling too.
"Promise me you're still saving Gucci for the next time I'm there with you," Arthur says. As Eames gets off the bed, muttering the usual reassurances, Arthur tells himself again, three weeks more.