He wakes up because his briefs are clammy, wet. He has this horrified thought, that he's soaked his bed sheets and will have to change them in the morning before his mom wakes up, so he's out of bed and touching them like a guilty 14-year-old before he realizes that no, he's not home.
He's at school.
He looks over his shoulder at Eames, who is rolled over onto his side, broad back to Arthur. Even with just the hall light coming in under the door, Arthur can see the dark shadow of tattoos on Eames's shoulder.
His bed is dry, so he silently gathers his towel and soap, goes out into the night-empty hall.
He's the only one in the showers at 4 am, so he washes with long, languid strokes.
The water is so hot, the first shower of the day.
Hidden in the shushing sound of it, he puts two sure fingers deep into himself.
He gets it done with precision, finger stroking in and out as he brings himself off with his other fist.
When he's done, he cleans up again.
He's got a break of sweat on his upper lip, shivers at the chill air in the hall when he walks back.
In his dorm room, Eames is still sleeping. Arthur hangs his towel, searches for a pair of briefs in his drawer, eyes cutting back to Eames every few seconds to make sure he's still out.
"Why do you do it, dear Arthur? Day in and day out, the perfect gentleman. The prep school tightass-" Eames rambles, no heart to it, just liking the sound of his own voice. Arthur ignores him easily, tucks his tie into his vest. He only looks in the mirror at Eames once, when Eames takes up his pocket watch and fastens the chain. Eames's hair is soft-looking from his shower, a little wavy. Arthur finishes himself, sweeps palms down his chest primly to smooth everything into place.
"I have a makeup lab tonight, love. Don't wait up," Eames tells him and Arthur snorts.
"No endearments," Arthur says. "And I don't give a shit where you are at night."
"Mmmm," says Eames warmly. He's slicking his hair into place. Arthur watches again in the mirror, too long, sees Eames catch him. The pleasure that passes over his face.
Arthur puts his satchel over his shoulder. He feels vicious for a breathless moment. "Will you pick up your dirty underwear? You're a fucking slob."
"Yes, dear," Eames says, humoring him, voice pleasant.
Arthur pauses on his way out, hand on the door. He looks back at Eames, hard.
Eames smiles and raises a brow. Says "Yes, Arthur."
Arthur leaves, walks across campus in the cold air in just his shirtsleeves.
Eames's underwear is still on the floor.
Arthur locks the door behind him. Drops his keys on the desk without looking. Pulls his satchel off slowly and lets it fall by the bookshelf. He takes off his vest, then strips his braces down.
He picks up Eames's underwear gingerly and holds it between two fingers as he unzips his slacks with his other hand, lets them slip a little down his legs.
He shifts Eames's underwear in his palm, catches his bottom lip in his teeth and then tucks the material around his stiff cock.
He jerks off into them hastily, head rolled back on his shoulders, frustrated. He sweats up the armpits of his shirt. He thinks about Eames's meaty back. He thinks about the time Eames wrestled him over the last of their gin, laughing in his ear while Arthur gasped and tried not to get off by accident, his private erection rubbed raw against the hardwood in the tussle.
He thinks about Eames's thick mouth, his hands, how fat his dick must be-
It's always those last, vulnerable seconds before he comes that he can't get a hold of himself. He hides it from everyone, from himself, but when he's this close, when he's just about to trip over the edge, he's nothing more than a big, whiny cockslut.
"Oh. Shit-" he breathes. He needs. Oh God. Eames. He needs to get-
It's overwhelmingly dirty, leaves him weak-kneed when it's done shaking him. Even his hand trembles as he pulls the tacky material away from his sensitive flesh.
He looks down at the puddle of come he's left on Eames's black underwear. He holds it in his hand like a token. A love letter.
And then his dignity rushes over him and he folds the underwear over with a noise of disgust.
He's doing his homework at his desk with his sleeves rolled, braces back in place. Vest hung in his closet.
Eames comes in and he's wearing a thick red scarf, tied handsome at his throat. Arthur looks up at him for a long moment, inked thumb at his lip.
"You like it," Eames says. He undoes his jacket and pulls it off, leaves it tossed on his bed. Then he pulls the scarf loose, looks at it and hands it to Arthur.
Arthur takes it, surprised.
"It's yours, my little sartorialist," he says, and then to Arthur's discomfort, he starts undoing his trousers.
Arthur looks at the scarf for a long time, carefully. He can feel the heat on his face and he hates it. He hates himself and all the tells his body lets slip, out of his control.
He hears Eames pull his towel off the wrack on the door. "Pour me a drink, will you love?"
Arthur tosses the scarf on the bed like he doesn't want it, irritable. But when Eames leaves, he gets up and mixes him a gin and tonic. Leaves it on Eames's desk.
He tries not to look up when Eames comes back in. Because he knows what he looks like, damp from the shower, broad, hearty chest and tattoos.
He keeps his eyes on his book, arm curled around it. He leans in closer, more determined, when Eames walks past him to turn on the cd player.
Jimmy Scott is good. He loosens Arthur up. His eyes drift closed and he just hangs there over his work, listening and ignoring Eames.
Eames gets dressed slowly behind him. Always slowly like he's loathe to do it. Walks around for a long time without a shirt on, in just his pajama bottoms.
Then Arthur hears the clink of ice against a glass, and he knows Eames is drinking his gin and tonic. He knows he makes them perfect for Eames.
Eames sits on Arthur's bed. When Arthur looks at him, surprised, he's rushed with gratitude that at least Eames is sitting on Arthur's bed fully clothed. He's looking off into space, drinking.
"It's snowing-" Eames tells him, voice a monotone, like he's somewhere else, but reaching back to Arthur.
"Don't spill that on my bed," Arthur grumbles.
They go out into the white together the next day, Arthur wearing Eames's scarf selfishly, though Eames looks chilled with just his jacket collar turned up. The cars parked overnight on the street are lumps of snow. Eames smokes a cigarette and when they get to the library, Eames says "Now don't study your little head off," and winks.
Arthur ignores him, doesn't say goodbye. Goes into the library alone.
He's one of the first people there. He takes a table with a view of the wintery quad, spreads out his books and then his laptop.
He works for five hours straight. The library warms, soft voices fill the downstairs hall. He eats an apple, reading thoughtfully.
When it's halfway to 1:00, he gets up and goes to the bathroom.
He's pissing when the door opens and Professor Saito is there, coming in. Saito pauses when he sees him, surprised.
"Arthur," he says.
Arthur looks away, tries to will himself to finish, his body gone all sharp-tight on itself, defensive.
He clenches his eyes shut and then his bladder burns and he lets it all out. Tries to clean up neatly, but Saito is behind him, hands touching his waist. Arthur jerks.
"Arthur," Saito says again, but it means something very different this time.
He never holds Arthur's hips strong enough. Arthur asks for it with frustrated little whimpers, but Saito doesn't seem too invested in giving Arthur what he wants. Which is just Saito. What did Arthur really expect.
His body is in that beautiful, fleeting moment of sore, tender, post-coital warmth. He looks over his shoulder at Saito's lean form in the lamplight. Saito is sitting beside him, sheet pooled over his narrow hips. He's watching Arthur.
"Arthur. You have so many needs. You are very high maintenance."
It's like a slap to the face, how quickly he blushes with embarrassment. He gets up, ignoring Saito's displeased sound. But Saito doesn't beg. When Arthur turns back, Saito is making a phone call. Back to work.
Arthur lets himself out, leaves his jacket and shirt collar unbuttoned to let the cold air in on his sex-damp skin.
He opens his door and Eames is sitting on the floor with a black trunk open before him, contents spread out all over the place. He looks at Arthur with this expression that's all openly curious, and it takes Arthur a moment to realize that it's his trunk.
His whole body goes strange-hot with humiliation. He clenches his hand on the door handle, staring at his things on the floor.
The two pair of Eames's underwear that he meant to wash but had just tucked away like they were his now.
His...his dildo. Eames has it on the floor by his knee. Just there, for anyone to see. Eames.
"Arthur," Eames says, and his voice is so full of surprise.
"You-" Arthur starts shaking. Eames just looks at him like he's worried.
"Are you...gay, Arthur?" Eames asks him, voice quiet and invested.
He feels like he could break something with his bare hands, something glass and cutting and dangerous. He steps towards Eames once.
But he can't fight Eames, he knows that in that deep, biological way a man does when he's in love with something.
He puts his fist into the door instead. And they're both surprised when he punches a hole right through the cheap wood.
They're silent after the cracking noise of it and when Arthur pulls his arm back, his fist is red.
"Oh, Arthur-" Eames sighs and Arthur leaves. Would worm his way out of the hole if he could, disappear into it, small and secret.
He doesn't think Eames is following him, but he sprints off into the cold dark anyway.
Cobb is wearing his glasses askew, like he shoved them on just a second ago. It's too early for Cobb to be asleep, so Arthur knows Mal's over. Cobb looks at him through thin eyes, used to the dark.
"I'm sorry. I just...I can't go back to the dorm tonight."
Cobb sighs, lets him in. "I uh-"
"I can come back later, after-" Arthur says, and then realizes he shouldn't have when Cobb looks caught out.
"It's fine," Cobb says a second later, pulled together.
"I don't want to bother you-" Arthur adds and Cobb shakes his head, goes back to his bedroom.
When he opens the door, Arthur can hear Mal ask "Is it Arthur?"
Cobb closes the door.
Arthur goes to their tiny kitchen and makes himself tea, leaning over the counter with his head in his hands.
He can't sleep. He tosses a lot. He's angry for most of the night, so angry he thinks about going back to the dorm and having words with his nosy fucking roommate.
But when the sun comes up, he's not angry anymore. Just tired and bereft. He'll have to find a new place. He'll have to go back there, collect his trunk of secrets.
In spite of everything wrong at this moment in time, he knows he'll miss it.
He stays at Cobb's for the rest of the week, but almost every time he goes out, Eames tails him.
And he doesn't even try to hide himself. Arthur keeps his head ducked, frowning.
And they've got midterms coming up. Just like Eames to skip class so he can follow Arthur around campus, making him guilty about hiding his life away in a big, dusty trunk in his closet.
On Friday night, he takes off his tie in the hall outside of his last, late lecture, sees Eames at the other end of the walkway, leaning against the railing, waiting. Arthur stuff his tie in his pocket, walks the other way.
He doesn't know where he's going until he's halfway there, and then he just stalks with his shoulder to the wind until he rounds the corner. He slips in through the alley door.
The bar is darkly lit, humid with bodies. It'll get busier too, when the late shift at the factory ends.
He sits at his table in the corner. It's only a handful of minutes before Eames is slipping easily into the booth beside him.
"So. Is this where you pick up men?" Eames asks him curiously. Arthur looks at him. Eames is lighting a cigarette in his mouth, his thick lips pursed.
He could argue. He's not gay. That stuff in the trunk, he was holding for a friend. He's bicurious. He's bisexual. He's doing research-
"Sometimes," Arthur admits, shoulders loosening.
"Hm," Eames says to himself, looking around. He's smoking, and then thumbing his lip, cigarette in between his fingers.
They sit in companionable silence for a while, looking around. Arthur's favorite waitress, the quiet red-head, takes their drink order. When she leaves, Eames leans over closer to him and says "Which one would you bring home?"
Arthur looks around at the rest of the bar. He pinches the bridge of his nose. "Not all these men are looking for that."
"Just hypothetically. If you could bring any of these men home for a shag, who would it be?"
The red-head drops off their drinks and Arthur nurses his, eyes downcast.
After a long silence, Eames seems to guess it. "Is it...me?" he asks, voice soft.
Arthur drinks again, head down, and he lets his silence speak for itself.
"Fuckin' hell," Eames laughs, voice full of wonder. Arthur closes his eyes.
"Don't-" he says and when he looks, Eames is running a palm through his hair.
"I just..." Eames says. "When I moved in, I didn't even think you liked me."
Arthur can't help it. He's chagrined. He shrugs, says "I don't know, hate sex?" nonchalant.
Eames snorts. Arthur looks at his friend. Eames has his drink in hand, cigarette in between his fingers and he's grinning, excited. Face lit.
"So out of all these guys, you'd want a shag with me?" Eames clears up, and he actually looks puffed with it, proud of himself. Arthur downs the rest of his drink and stands up.
He doesn't have much to lose. Eames could probably break his nose if he wanted. So perhaps he just has facial integrity to lose.
"Yeah," Arthur says "So are you coming home with me?"
Eames looks at him. Just looks. And it's comical. He looks genuinely startled by Arthur.
His cigarette has burned down to a stub and it singes his finger. He shakes it off with a curse.
Arthur walks out, putting his jacket back on.
He's maybe a little bit of a romantic, cause he hopes with his heart stuck in his throat that Eames will follow.
His trunk is repacked when he opens the door, but it's out in the middle of their room still. Like a question mark. A reminder. A clue.
Arthur hangs up his jacket. Eames comes in, breathless, like he had to sprint to catch up.
Like it took him longer to decide.
Arthur keeps undressing. His cheeks are warm as he slips his slacks off.
Eames is standing in front of the closed door, staring. His own trench fisted up in his hand.
"Come on, Eames," Arthur says, his voice is almost soundless. "Take your clothes off."
He sits to pull his socks off and undo his shirt, and Eames suddenly strips out of his sweater and teeshirt in one go.
His chest is darkened with tattoos and wiry hair. Arthur's adam's apple rolls in his throat as he swallows.
Eames's movements are all quick, frustrated. Sudden. Arthur is just slipping out of his briefs when Eames throws his pants off and underwear.
His dick is fat with arousal. A short, thick piece that Arthur can't stop staring at.
Eames sits down on his own bed and his hands cup over himself, hiding but also feeling, smoothing. He's aroused because Arthur is getting naked for him.
It makes Arthur brave enough to finish and stand, walk across to his bed.
"Ah," Eames breathes, sinking onto his back.
"Do you have any condoms?" Arthur asks him.
Eames is looking Arthur over too. He licks his top lip quickly and nods, says "In the top drawer, love."
The endearment makes Arthur's erection twitch, nudge wetly at his abs. His fingers tremble as he gets the condom out.
He has his own slick, in the trunk. He tosses the condom at Eames's stomach, above that hairy, fat cock. He opens his trunk and digs around, finds the little, grey tube.
When he gets back up, Eames is just holding the condom wrapper dumbly, staring at him with his brows up.
"Do you need help?" Arthur asks him.
Eames looks at the condom and then a spasm of something like pain works over his face. "I can put a condom on myself," he tells Arthur.
But when Arthur perches on the end of his bed, spreads lube on his fingers and then reaches back to work himself open, Eames's fingers go stupid. They stutter the wrapper around until it bounces onto the bed.
Before Eames can take it, Arthur has it in hand and he rips it open with his teeth. Spits out the end and pulls the thin latex out with careful fingertips.
"Let me do it," he tells Eames seriously and bites his bottom lip sharp as he takes a gentle hold of Eames's cock. He pauses at the feeling of it stiffening up underhand.
He looks at Eames and Eames is looking down at Arthur's hand around him, his fat mouth fallen loose, breathless.
Arthur works the condom on slowly, loves the way the material heats so quickly with Eames's flesh. Eames makes short, surprised noises, hips nudging his hand, hungry. Arthur gets the condom onto that fat flesh and jacks it into place. Eames looks up at him then, eyes narrow with need, confusion.
"It's ok, Eames," Arthur tells him, still holding his cock. "It's not a big deal. You're just going to fuck me-"
"Awfuck, Arthur-" Eames drops his head back into the bed, sweat on is brow.
Arthur flushes all over. He's ruthless as he finishes stretching himself. Eames is breathing quickly, watching, hand on himself again. Holding himself low on his cock, a ring of his fingers, holding his come.
It makes Arthur swear as he turns away, as he gets awkwardly onto his hands and knees.
"A-arthur," Eames breathes.
"It'll be easier to get in this way," Arthur grits out, then buries his face in the bed.
He has to wait, but it's not long. Two warm hands touch at his hips, skate there, just learning the lean shape of Arthur's body.
"I-" Eames says breathlessly. "Can I-?"
"Put your dick in me-" Arthur growls, so impatient with nervousness. He expects Eames to talk back, to tease, but Eames's hands curl at his hipbones and take hold.
Arthur's cock spits precome. He has to bite his lip against the onslaught of his own arousal.
"Like this?" Eames asks him, and he lets go of Arthur with one hand. He touches Arthur's cheeks spread and that meaty-hot cockhead thumps against the furl of his ass.
"Oh," Arthur breathes as Eames's cock punches in so sharply, he has to claw the bed.
Eames's hands catch him roughly and hold him rooted in place.
The first thrusts are jerky, breathlessly hot, painful. Arthur's head lolls on his shoulders, face screwed up.
"Oh my god, Arthur," Eames gasps.
Arthur reaches back instinctively, clawing at the tensing muscle of Eames's ass.
"Oh darling-" Eames says, voice gravelly. "You're very...very tight."
There's so much breathless reverence in his voice, Arthur just goes slutty for him, asshole syrup-warm, giving. Eames's cock just slides that much sweeter, deeper into him.
Sweat patters onto Arthur's hot back and Eames starts grunting, low and masculine.
Eames fucking him. Really...really fucking him.
When Eames curls over him, his slick chest to Arthur's hot back, Arthur hisses, arching his ass up. His asshole burns with the quickness of Eames's thrusts.
Eames's chin hitches on Arthur's shoulder, hot breath gusting quickly at Arthur's cheek and just the soft, barely-there touch of lips on his skin
Arthur can't help himself. He turns to those lips, eyes closed, nuzzling. Mouth touching down gently.
"Fuck-" Eames growls and he's kissing Arthur back. Wet, sloppy tongue all eager in his mouth, slicking along the seam of Arthur's lips.
Arthur pulls his mouth away, whines out "Eames-" Goes down on one shoulder so he can finish himself.
It's too quick. But he's so hot for it. He buries his face in the bed, jerks himself twice, shakily, and nuts off in hard, deep-body pulses.
He can feel himself strangle at Eames, knows how sudden-tight it is, almost feels bad for Eames when he stutters to a stop, deep, and blows his wad too with a high, surprised moan.
Hands wring on Arthur's hips, hurtful, in time with Eames's flexing cock.
"So," Arthur says lazily, stripping the condom off Eames with precise movements. Eames still jolts at the feeling, dick sensitive.
Eames is collapsed on the bed beside him, hair sweated through, eyes bright. His mouth is so gorgeously pink, Arthur wants at it. He's already had a taste. It's not his fault.
When Arthur looks down at Eames's cock, he sees that it's still half-hard, still prettily flushed. But now it's slick with come.
Arthur's never wanted to suck cock this bad in his life.
Eames's thick fingers take a hold of himself like he knows, like it's all brutal hunger all over Arthur. He holds his dick gingerly, says "Clean it off then."
Arthur goes down like a cat, easy. Licks it off with the flat of his tongue.
When he looks up, Eames's eyes are blown wide, his mouth open for his breath.
Arthur dabs his tongue at Eames's balls a few times, testing their fullness.
"Oh my darling," Eames says. "What will I do with you?" His hand heavy on Arthur's head. A languid pet.
He grins a little when Arthur frowns, twists Arthur's hair up in a fist, possessive.
Arthur pulls back just a little, to test the sting of it.