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[I asked motetus if she'd be interested in drawing Arthur as a paramedic. I hadn't been planning on writing a fic based around the idea, but the art looked so great I couldn't help feeling inspired, and one thing led to another. Thanks so much!]

-------

Eames doesn't much feel like moving. He's exhausted and sweaty, for one, and for another, he'd taken a knee to the head minutes before -- damn Crawford and his gigantic knees -- and would just as well like to keep sitting on the bench for at least a little while longer, sipping from his cup of water, being still.

There's also the fact that from here he has a perfect view of the delectable paramedic currently attending to Ferguson's broken wrist.

I'm going to be sore tomorrow, he thinks absently, watching the paramedic under the field’s bright lights. He's on his knees, bent over Ferguson. The paramedic is adept and natural in his movements, his ease -- he's efficient, but also calm. Eames can hear his low, steady voice, but not what he's saying. He's Eames' type -- slim, dark haired.

Grant gives him a good-natured shove and sits down on the bench next to him. "You're awfully quiet, old man," he observes with a cheer rather out of place given the emergency vehicle and all. Before Eames can reply, Grant's evidently followed his gaze. "Oh, it's like that, eh?" he says, and stands up, walking over to the paramedic.

"Christ," Eames mutters, and puts his head in his hands -- gingerly. After a deep sigh, he looks up, and is surprised to see the paramedic's already there at his side.

"Took a knee to the head?" the paramedic asks, gently guiding Eames' hands away. He must be misinterpreting, Eames thinks, feeling himself go red in the face. "Did you get knocked out?"

"I didn’t, actually," Eames replies. "I'm sure I'm fine." The paramedic is in short sleeves, long pants, his uniform a dark blue. His name tag reads ARTHUR LEVINE.

Arthur looks at his hands, and Eames is surprised to see a small smear of red. "You’re bleeding a little bit.”

“Crawford -- the man whose knee it was -- has one of those damned elaborate braces,” Eames grumbles. “Probably scraped me.”

“Mm.” Arthur gently palpates Eames’ scalp, looking for the source of the bleeding, and takes out a few supplies to clean the area, applying a plaster.

Then Arthur takes out a penlight with his gloved hands. “Look at me," he says.

Eames swallows. Not a problem, he thinks, feeling his cheeks get pinker as Arthur looks into his eyes, inspecting. He hears Grant giggling off to the side somewhere, but focuses on looking at the penlight as Arthur examines his pupils with that instead. He blinks. Arthur has beautiful almond-shaped brown eyes, and a cupid's-bow mouth. Eames groans quietly.

At that, Arthur, who's putting away his penlight, looks at him with more concern, leaning back in. "You sure you're all right?" He cups Eames' jaw, tilting his head up. Eames' heart flutters. Oh, Jesus, he's being an idiot.

“Er, quite sure,” he says, and swallows. In all honesty, he is having difficulty concentrating but it’s tough to determine whether it’s because he was hit in the head or because Arthur is touching him.

“Just gotta check your pulse,” Arthur says, pressing a finger to his wrist. Eames tries to calm himself, but Arthur frowns slightly.

“I feel I ought to mention,” Grant interjects, “that my mate here is usually yammering our ears off. I think there might really be cause for concern.” Eames turns to offer him a tired glare, but Grant only beams mischievously back.

“You sure you’re okay?” Arthur asks. “I didn’t feel any swelling.”

“Perhaps there’s swelling somewhere else,” Grant suggests.

“Fuck off, Grant,” Eames mutters. He wonders if he imagines Arthur smothering a grin.

“If you don’t feel dizzy and haven’t passed out, I’d say you’re fine, but if you’d like to come in for a scan….”

“I’m fine,” Eames says hastily. “Er, thank you.”

Arthur smiles at him. He has dimples.

Ferguson’s drugged up on the stretcher; he’s put in the back of the ambulance. Eames, completely tongue-tied, watches Arthur pack up and go. Having a head injury is a good cover -- and it’s possible he really is suffering some sort of cognitive impairment -- but Eames is smooth, damn it all, and his flirting skills abandoning him like this is unsettling indeed.

-------

“So. Grant tells me you went after some… hot paramedic piece, I believe were his words,” Yusuf says.

Eames sputters into the phone. “Well, that’s Grant’s term, not mine. He is a hot paramedic piece, though, points for accuracy. Grant wasted no time trying to set me up, nosy prick.”

“What do you expect from a gay rugby team?” Yusuf asked reasonably.

“I completely choked,” Eames admits. “I was utterly tongue-tied, it was embarrassing.”

“You had a head injury, mate.”

“It wasn’t anything serious. I never passed out, never felt dizzy. Crawford’s huge fuck-off brace gave me a scrape, that’s all.”

“You got your flirting skills kneed right out of you, then, I suppose. Never thought I’d see the bloody day.”

“I just--” Eames lowers his voice, even though he doesn’t expect the other people waiting in line at the deli to give a damn. “I keep wanting to see him again, you know, make up for the fact that I completely failed at chatting him up.” There’s also the fact that he’s been having lovely dirty fantasies about cool competent Arthur and his nitrile gloves, but that’s best kept to himself.

“Well, don’t do yourself a mischief just to have an excuse to see him. With your luck, he won’t be the one that comes to the scene.” Yusuf laughs.

“Oh yes, very funny. What should I do, then, if you’re so full of advice.”

“Hang about the ambulance bay in short shorts. Like a groupie.”

“Be serious.”

“I am serious. What, you don’t think that would do it?” Yusuf goes off into gales of laughter.

“Yusuf.” Yusuf’s a pharmacist, he knows people in the medical community. He also can’t resist sharing information. It’s only a matter of time.

“All right, all right. Look, there’s a bar not far from the hospital that a lot of the staff like to go to, it’s open really late. Start stopping by, you’ll be bound to see him eventually. Maybe flirt with some other people beforehand, though, make sure you’ve still got it. An Eames without charm is like a day without sunshine.”

“Good-BYE, Yusuf,” Eames says, ringing off, as the server sets his sandwich and soup on the deli counter.

-------

Eames rings up a few of his rugby mates, asking them if they’ve any interest in checking out a bar he’d heard was good. The first few weekends they go, however, Arthur isn’t anywhere to be seen; Eames thinks that perhaps he works during those hours. He gets in some flirting, however, takes a man or two home, and feels back on his game. But Arthur’s still on his mind.

Eames eventually decides he’ll give this particular night and time one more try before taking another tack. He picks out his most flattering jeans and his tightest t-shirt, and crosses his fingers.

Two beers into the evening, while leaning in to repeat what he’s said into some thick-necked bloke’s ear, he catches sight of Arthur, who’s smiling serenely, running a hand through his hair. Before the thick-necked bloke realizes it, Eames is making a beeline for Arthur’s side of the bar.

He sidles up to him, as Arthur’s talking to whomever he’s with (they’re casual, Eames notes from their body language, probably not together) and nudges him. When Arthur turns, Eames grins, and winks. “Hello there. Fancy seeing you here,” he says, low, close to Arthur’s ear, which, intriguingly, goes bright red.

Arthur’s not in uniform -- he’s in a plaid shirt, which is soft under Eames’ hand as he touches his shoulder.

“Head injury, right?” Arthur says, leaning almost unnecessarily close to be heard.

“Not exactly what I’d prefer you to remember me for, but yes,” Eames replies. “Head injury. I’m quite recovered now, you’ll be relieved to learn.”

“Yeah, glad to hear it.” Arthur goes quiet for a moment, then moves slightly to stand more directly in front of Eames while not moving away from under his hand. “Hey, so, what’s your name?”

Eames smiles, slow, looking directly into Arthur’s dark eyes. “Call me Eames.”

-------

“Eames,” Arthur is panting, some time later, in a corner of the bar, and Eames hums in delight at the sound before he adds, “Eames, I’ve gotta go.”

“Oh, don’t even dream of it,” Eames murmurs, sucking another kiss into Arthur’s neck, then nibbling his earlobe. Arthur jumps like he’s been shocked, pressing his body firmly against Eames, then noticeably calming himself, deep breaths, pulling back and letting his head drop gently against the wall. His eyes are glittering and dark, his mouth well kissed.

Arthur swipes a hand through his hair. “I do,” he says, almost groaning. “I don’t usually come here after my shift, it was a long one and they talked me into it, but I’ve gotta be up again in like five hours.”

“Coffee. Make it an all nighter,” Eames suggests, a hand finding its way to Arthur’s belt buckle.

Arthur wraps a hand around his and gets Eames to let go of it. “Can’t,” he groans. “Look.” He levels his gaze with Eames, color still high in his cheeks. “This is going to sound stupid, especially given how you’ve been chewing on my neck for half an hour--”

“Chewing on your--” Eames begins, indignant.

“Wait, listen, I’m not complaining. Other than this public making out, okay, which again, not complaining -- I want to actually… spend time with you. We should actually go out. Properly. When I’m not working.”

Eames sighs, but finds himself smiling. What Arthur’s suggesting is actually surprisingly appealing, but… “So that’s a no to coming home with me tonight, then?” he can’t resist murmuring, before leaning in to kiss Arthur right on that lovely slack mouth. In seconds, Arthur’s cupping his jaw to kiss him back, deep. He’s breaking all too soon, and Eames is catching his breath.

“Rain check,” Arthur says, looking dazed.

-------

Two days later, Eames is lounging on his sofa, half-reading a memoir while attempting to keep his mind off Arthur when his mobile buzzes with a text.

hey

It’s Arthur, and Eames feels his heart rate kick up. Is this a “Sorry, can’t make it” hey, or a “Good news” hey?

Hello yourself, Eames replies, and waits.

sorry i’ve been so hard to pin down

Eames snickers, avoids the obvious innuendo, and replies simply with I’ve been thinking about you.

i’ve been thinking about you too

Don’t mind my impatience but any news about when we can meet up?

i should be off tomorrow night. i say should just in case it doesn’t work out. but it should

Eames moves his book away and stretches out fully. Can you call me or are you busy?

The mobile rings, and at Eames’ purred “Hello” Arthur sounds like he’s smiling when he replies with “Hey.”

“So,” Arthur continues, before Eames can interject, “Since I texted you, I decided I’m definitely going to be off work tomorrow night.”

“Oh, have you?”

“Yeah. I’m going to take you out to dinner, too.”

“And I’ll serve you breakfast in bed at my place,” Eames says smoothly, grinning when Arthur laughs.

“So if this is how you normally are, according to what your friend was saying, I guess you’re feeling better then.”

“Oh, absolutely, much better,” Eames says, voice low. “Indescribably better.” He dearly wishes he could tell whether Arthur were blushing. “Arthur,” he adds, “how much time have you got, right now?”

Arthur laughs. “Not enough.”

“I was just wondering,” Eames pursues, “what it is you think about me. When you think about me.”

“You’ll have to find out tomorrow night,” Arthur says, that smile in his voice again. “Cobb Bistro, eight o’clock sharp.” He rings off.

pic to tide me over? Eames replies as soon as he can.

Arthur’s reply is immediate: pic of what?

Eames laughs. Arthur’s not being stupid or obtuse, he knows. Your face, he says.

He receives a picture taken without the flash on, Arthur looking a bit tired but with a twinkle in his eye, dimples marking his cheeks.

-------

The bistro is good, but it doesn’t matter. None of that matters because he just wants to get Arthur back to his flat more than he wants anything else.

But Eames is not an animal, after all, and they talk. They talk about Eames’ great love of acting (which he indulges when he’s not at his full-time marketing position), how long he’s lived in the States (nine months, at least on this stretch), Arthur’s service as a corpsman. Arthur, it seems, looks after people. And he’s Jewish, has a younger sister, and once wanted to be an architect.

Over creme brulee Arthur mentions that he’d been called out to gay rugby games before Eames started playing.

“Does this mean you’ve hooked up with some of my mates and I’d only seen you the one time?” Eames half-teases, feigning jealousy.

Arthur just shrugs, grinning.

“Was it Georgie? He and I tend toward the same blokes.”

Arthur raises a brow at being typed, amused, but says coyly, “I don’t remember all of their names.”

Eames scoffs. “Hooking up with Georgie and all right off and making me wait for anything more than a kiss, honestly Arthur.” He winks.

“I have a feeling you’re much more worth the time investment,” Arthur replies, and finishes his beer. His cheeks are pink. Eames preens inwardly. As much as he wants to get Arthur home, he lets him finish his dessert, finishes his own dessert, and waits patiently as Arthur gets the check. It’s been weeks since he first saw Arthur; he can keep his cool for a while longer, difficult as it may be.

Out on the pavement, he says almost immediately, “So what have you been thinking about me?”

Arthur laughs. “Not going to let that go, are you?”

Eames shakes his head. “I can be tenacious when I want to be.”

“Well.” Arthur clears his throat. “It just so happens you’re my type. Built, tattoos, that mouth…” He trails off. “And the accent…. I’ve thought about you kissing me in the bar a hell of a lot, even if that was only a few days ago.”

“I think about that too.” Thankfully, it’s not that far of a walk to Eames’ flat. “I also have really quite filthy thoughts about your hands in those gloves.”

“You don’t say,” Arthur says, tone casual but voice deeper.

“For starters, yes,” Eames says, and leaves it at that -- no need to over-inform Arthur just yet. Perhaps it’s too early to admit that he desperately wants Arthur to fuck him.

“Would you like a drink?” Eames offers as they enter his flat. He toes off his shoes, and Arthur follows suit.

He puts on his stereo -- quiet jazz -- and gets Arthur the whiskey he asks for. Arthur sits on his sofa, and Eames sits next to him, putting one arm over the back of the sofa, turned slightly toward Arthur, casual as you please.

Incredibly, they make small talk until Arthur absently sets down his glass, getting an intent look on his face as he leans in and kisses Eames, who latches onto him without a moment’s hesitation. He pulls Arthur toward himself as he lies back, until Arthur’s over him. Arthur settles over him like he’s been angling for this all along, and Eames opens for him easily, hands rucking up his shirt and getting at the smooth skin of his back.

He hums in appreciation as Arthur grinds down onto him, and rolls his hips back up in response. Arthur breaks to whisper “Fuck, you’re so hot” and to tug at Eames’ shirt, pulling it up. Eames sits up, clumsy in his haste, and gets his shirt off; Arthur unbuttons his own, those long, capable fingers almost fumbling in their eagerness. Eames helps him get it the rest of the way off. Arthur’s slim, sleek, yet muscled -- he’s mouthwatering. He’s looking at Eames with undisguised hunger, too.

He pushes Eames back again, running his hands over his chest and shoulders, as if he’s not sure what to touch first. Eames arches under the attention; Arthur grazes a nipple, making him jump, and when Arthur notices that he pinches them both firmly. Eames gasps. “Arthur, come here,” he says, but Arthur’s sitting back to undo Eames’ trousers.

“This okay?” Arthur asks, and Eames nods, tilting his hips up. He kicks out of his trousers, and Arthur stands to get out of his jeans. Both of them in their underwear and socks, Arthur stands alongside the couch, looking down at Eames. The front of his boxer briefs is bulging impressively, and there’s a wet spot. He adjusts himself, grinning when he sees Eames looking.

“Come here,” Eames says again, pretending exasperation, reaching for Arthur, who instead teases him by tucking his fingers in the waistband of his boxer briefs, just inching them down before pausing.

“So… what are we doing?” Arthur says. “Should we move this to the bedroom? I mean, I’m fine with humping you on your sofa, but….”

“I did promise you breakfast in bed,” Eames says. “Tell you what. Let’s get back there, get everything else off and see what happens.”

“Lead the way,” Arthur says, as Eames stands. They’re off to Eames’ bedroom, Arthur groping him as they go, pressing a kiss to his shoulder.

Eames gets out of his underwear and socks as smoothly and quickly as possible, and Arthur, who had apparently paused to watch, stops after removing his own socks to kiss him, his hands everywhere. Eames shivers, but gives Arthur’s boxer briefs a tug, wanting him out of them at last. Arthur breaks, chuckling, and Eames gets on the bed, leaning back on his elbows like the appreciative audience he is. That spot on Arthur’s boxer briefs is soaking now, and as he lets his cock spring free, getting the fabric down and off his legs, Eames barely resists the urge to cheer.

“Come here, that’s the third time I’ve asked,” he teases instead, but before he’s done saying it Arthur’s climbing onto the bed, over him again, grinning and kissing him, grinding on him. Eames hooks a leg over his hip, running his hands down Arthur’s back.

“So,” Arthur breaks to murmur, breathless, “are you implying what I think you’re implying?”

“If I’m only implying it I’m not nearly being obvious enough,” Eames says. “Arthur, if I’m being perfectly honest, I very much want you to fuck me.” A hot flush permeates his skin.

Arthur swallows audibly; his ears are red, and there’s now a hot intensity in his gaze that wasn’t there before. “I was hoping you’d say that.”

“Things are in the nightstand drawer there,” Eames says, suddenly feeling giddy. He tamps it down and takes a deep breath.

“Do you want to get off some other way first, take the edge off?” Arthur asks. “Don’t get me wrong, I want to fuck you. But when I do, I want to be able to take my time.” He grins again, and there’s a hint of smugness to it.

“Anything that involves your hands,” Eames says, intrigued.

Arthur chuckles. “I don’t have my gloves with me, you know.”

“Later for the gloves, then,” Eames says, waving that off, his blush intensifying. “Right now, just… touch me.”

“All right.” Arthur stretches out on his side, putting a hand on Eames’ hip to guide him into facing him. He wraps a hand around Eames’ cock, gently squeezing, stroking idly, watching his reaction. Eames shudders, closing his eyes tightly for a moment, then looking back at Arthur’s hand around his cock. He feels it pulse at the sight. Arthur rubs his thumb over the tip, and Eames shivers.

“I could get us both off at once,” Arthur murmurs, husky, gaze on Eames’ face.

“Please do,” Eames manages to say, nodding.

Arthur lines his cock up against Eames’, fingers curling to keep them both pressed against each other, and starts to stroke them, his hips moving in time. Eames stares and stares, and realizes Arthur is talking to him.

“Should I kiss you or do you want to keep looking?”

“Ah, it’s so hard to decide,” Eames says, with a groan. “Kiss me now, I’ll break when we come.”

Smiling, Arthur kisses him. It’s a slow, exploratory kiss, compelling Eames’ attention despite the quick handiwork he’s getting up to with their cocks. It’s actually maddening, he realizes, wanting to concentrate on the kiss and the stroking at the same time. Arthur’s a bit of a demon, which is really all right with Eames.

He grinds, luxuriating in it all, the sure grip of Arthur’s hand and the careful yet thorough way he kisses him, nipping his lower lip, stroking his tongue. He’d been waiting for so long to have Arthur’s hands on him, to have Arthur in his bed -- all right, it’s been just a few weeks, but it’s felt like ages.

His orgasm is on him in a moment, almost a surprise, and he gasps as he breaks the kiss, looking down at himself to watch his come coat Arthur’s fingers and cock. Arthur, for his part, uses it to slick himself up, and comes in short order, panting. Letting them both go, he flops onto his back, then reaches for the tissues on Eames’ nightstand before Eames can offer to lick and suck his fingers clean. Next time, he thinks.

Arthur pitches the balled-up tissues into the bin and turns to smile at him, cheeks and ears pink. “You want to ride me?” he suggests, and Eames’ jaw drops a little. “When you’re ready,” he adds. “I’d like the view, is all.”

“It’s a little… intimate for a first time,” Eames stammers, as Arthur cuts in, blushing.

“No, no, it’s fine, it’s up to you, of course. No rush, no pressure.”

“It really is fine,” Eames says. “I just… wasn’t expecting you to suggest it.”

“However you want me to fuck you is fine with me,” Arthur says, his tongue darting out briefly to wet his lips.

Eames stretches. “I must say, I’m overwhelmed,” he sighs, grinning. “You’ll have to give me a moment.”

“I’ll need a moment too,” Arthur points out, stretching out alongside him. “You’re gonna wear me out. I should have brought some Gatorade.”

“Oh, I’ve some in the fridge, help yourself,” Eames says, and chuckles when Arthur mock-punches his shoulder. The next thing he knows, Arthur’s kissing him, another thorough, searching kiss. A kiss that says while he’s not pushing things, he feels comfortable here, naked with Eames like this. It should be unnerving. Instead, Eames’ heart is beating faster.

Arthur’s also comfortable with little exploratory touches: down Eames’ side, across his chest, down his arm. It’s as if he has all the time in the world for this, and considering his life’s work is so demanding and chaotic, Eames can’t help feeling flattered. Arthur’s not touching his cock, though, and it’s a clever tactic because it makes Eames more and more acutely aware of getting hard again. Not that he has to be hard again to be fucked, but it would be nice to come while Arthur’s fucking him (not that he has to be hard to come, either, but, well, the important thing is that Arthur’s being considerate).

After a bit, Eames gropes for Arthur’s cock and finds him fully hard; Arthur stifles a grunt as Eames squeezes him, and breaks the kiss. He cups Eames’ jaw and says, with one eyebrow raised and a slow grin starting, “That feels like a request to me.”

“You’re not wrong.” Eames starts to sit up. “Nightstand drawer, please.”

Arthur hands him the lube, but keeps the condom; Eames coaxes it from his hand. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to do this bit, you being a guest and all.” Arthur shrugs, grinning, and puts his hands behind his head, stretching out.

On his knees, Eames uncaps the lube and gets his fingers wet. Lubing himself up is always a bit awkward, but Arthur’s looking at him with nothing but appreciation, heat in his eyes. Eames puts his shoulders back, head up, almost preening or posing like a model as he slides slick fingers into himself.

Watching him, Arthur says, “Guess you’re usually pegged for a top?”

“Usually, yes.” Eames arches his back slightly, finding a good angle, and starts to shift his hips against it. “I’ll do it but it’s not what I prefer, comes down to it.”

Arthur nods. “We should try that sometime,” he suggests with a small shrug.

“Mm.” Eames nods as well. Arthur could probably talk him into a great many things; best not to admit it openly.

“You are brutally hot,” Arthur says suddenly, shaking his head, looking Eames over. “I’m not completely sure I’m not dreaming.”

“If you are,” Eames says, spreading his thighs a little wider and arching back more in order to get a bit deeper, “we’re somehow dreaming together, and I’d rather not wake up just yet.” He draws his fingers out, wipes the excess lube off on his thigh, and picks up the condom again. “May I?”

Arthur’s cock is so hard now it’s against his belly; he holds the base at a more optimum angle, and Eames puts the condom on, taking his time and teasing Arthur a bit under the guise of simply wanting to do a thorough job of it. A dollop of lube down the shaft, and Eames is ready to straddle him, doing so with as much grace as possible.

Arthur spreads his fingers out over Eames’ thighs, almost proprietary. Reaching back, Eames centers him and starts to settle onto him, closing his eyes for a moment in concentration and to take a moment to privately enjoy the first stretch of the welcome invasion. Arthur tilts his hips up, straining to meet him, and hums, low in his throat.

“Told you this was a good idea,” he says, a little breathless. Eames scoffs, but distractedly, more interested in sinking his weight down onto Arthur. Once seated, he rolls his hips a bit, enjoying the slight discomfort of getting used to being filled (Eames has a touch of what he supposes is masochism, and he’s a bit of a size queen).

“You good?” Arthur asks, a little strained.

“Very,” Eames sighs, and starts to move. Arthur runs his hands up and down Eames’ thighs, moving with him. “And yourself?”

“Incredible.” Arthur shifts a bit to dig his heels into the bed, and fucks up into him, drawing gasps from Eames.

“Did you think about me like this?” he manages to say.

“Yeah.” Arthur digs the fingers of both hands into the very meat of Eames’ arse, and Eames inhales in surprise and approval.

“You were awfully eager to bring it up. Oh, there, just there.” Arthur, bless him, keeps doing that just there, like a piston, until Eames is slackjawed.

“Eames, can I--”

“Anything you like, Arthur--”

It takes him a second to realize Arthur’s tipping him to the side and rolling with him, nearly slipping out as they move. Eames wraps his legs around Arthur’s hips and groans, head tipping back into the pillows as Arthur pounds away, vigorous.

“Thought you wanted… the view,” Eames pants.

“Believe me, I still have a great view,” Arthur pants back, gaze traveling from Eames’ face down his chest and to where his cock is moving in and out of Eames. “You know what else I’d like to see sometime?”

“Do tell,” Eames groans, reaching back to grip the headboard.

“I want to see you on your knees, sucking my cock.”

The thought sends a pulse of arousal through Eames, and he huffs out a breath. “I’m sure I could oblige you sometime.” Arthur’s started going faster. “Wear that uniform,” Eames gasps, “and I’ll be down before you know what’s hit you.”

“I’ll remember that.”

“Oh, fuck. Arthur….” Eames arches, but Arthur’s slowing down. “What--”

“Told you, I wanted to take my time.” Arthur’s slow and deep now, and Eames groans again, in mock frustration.

“Arthur, I absolutely appreciate your desire to take your time with me,” Eames says, letting go of the headboard to reach down and grab Arthur’s hips, “but let’s accomplish that afterward, yeah? Right now, I need it rough and hard.” In emphasis, he digs his fingers in.

“All right,” Arthur says after a beat, and resumes pounding away.

“You can’t just flip a man over like that,” Eames pants, “and then take it easy.”

“Okay, you’re right, you’re right.” Arthur huffs out a laugh, grinning.

“You’ll find I usually am right.” Eames winks. Now that Arthur’s at it properly, he can concentrate on being fucked. After a bit, he arches, changing the angle at which he’s wrapped his legs around Arthur’s hips. “We can still take our time, you know,” he manages to say. “At least, until I’ve worn you out, that is.”

“Gatorade,” Arthur says in reply.

“Have to go to the kitchen to get it.”

“Poor planning,” Arthur sighs. “I’m fine, I’m fine. I’m young, I’m strong.”

“That’s the spirit.” Eames gives Arthur’s arse an encouraging smack. Arthur’s rhythm stutters as he laughs, pausing deep inside Eames and making him squirm. “Now now, come on, then. When I’m at work tomorrow I want to have to sit gingerly and make everyone jealous.” Still grinning, Arthur leans in to kiss him, and Eames locks an arm around his shoulders to pull him close.

This kiss isn’t like the others -- where Arthur had been searching and deliberate before, he’s now messy, panting and distracted. It’s still deep, however, wet and verging on possessive. Between the courting, the pinning, and these assured kisses, Eames can’t help feeling a bit claimed, and wonders if he might be imagining it. Right now, he decides, it doesn’t really matter, because his primary interest is in Arthur fucking him, and making him come.

He breaks to kiss Arthur’s jaw, down his neck, and sucks at a spot there -- he feels Arthur jolt at that -- while taking one of Arthur’s hands, and moving it to his own cock. Arthur wraps his fingers around it, teasing at the foreskin and then stroking him in time. Eames’ attention to his neck seems to be unraveling him all the more, and it’s with effort that Arthur pulls back, sitting up a bit, giving Eames a mock-chastising look.

“Trying to give me hickeys,” he says.

Eames pulls a “Who, me?” face, but is soon distracted by Arthur’s better-angled efforts in wanking him off. He’s now got a more stable angle from which to fuck him, as well, and he proceeds to show Eames no mercy.

Eames comes all over his belly and Arthur’s hand, as he reaches back to grab the headboard for dear life.

“Fucking hell,” he sighs, dazed. Arthur goes jackrabbit fast, face and neck flushed red, looking pained and desperate and finally coming as well. He essentially collapses, with a grunt, and he’s been working so hard that Eames puts his arms around him to make him comfortable. “I’ll get you some Gatorade shortly,” he whispers into Arthur’s sweaty hair.

Arthur mutters something like “Fuck you.” Eames laughs and presses a kiss to his neck.

They’re like that for quite a bit, cooling off, and eventually breathing normally again. Arthur bins the condom and Eames gets the tissues. After getting out of bed in an exaggerated fashion to demonstrate how very well used he was, Eames gets them both some Gatorade, because all joking aside, it only makes sense. They put their shorts on again, and get under the covers. Eames puts out the light.

“Are you a cuddler?” Arthur asks.

“Under the right circumstances, I can be,” Eames answers after a moment. Arthur’s arm goes over his chest, and Eames presses back against him. Arthur fits himself to Eames as if it’s all just that simple, and maybe it is.

-------

Eames sleeps like a rock, which isn’t unusual; what is unusual is waking up to find someone’s draped over him, drooling slightly onto his shoulder. Snoring lightly.

Intending to wake Arthur, he cups his cheek, thumb sliding gently over a hint of shadow under his eye. Arthur makes a soft sound, frowning, and Eames decides to let him sleep. The drool will wash off.

He must fall back asleep as well, because he wakes to Arthur disentangling himself from Eames’ limbs and from the sheets and sitting up, sleep-flushed with his hair falling everywhere, blinking. He looks down at Eames, and smiles. Eames covers his face with his hands as a ploy, pretending he’s got to rub his eyes, to hide how broadly Arthur’s smile makes him smile in return. He stretches, groaning. Arthur puts a hand on his chest, and when Eames opens his eyes again he can see he hasn’t fooled Arthur in the slightest.

“What’s for breakfast?” Arthur says, and Eames sighs ruefully.

“Bangers and mash,” he decides.

“And… what is that, exactly?” Arthur raises a brow. His voice is delightfully rough with sleep.

“Sausage and mashed potatoes, love,” Eames says, and yawns. “You’ll be wanting coffee, I suppose?”

“Please.” Arthur flops back into the bed as Eames gets up, groggy. “Anything I can do to help?”

“No, no, just stay here and relax and I’ll get you your… breakfast in bed. Go back to sleep if you like, might take a while.” He can hear Arthur’s muffled chuckle as he enters the hall. “Spare toothbrush in the medicine cabinet,” he calls over his shoulder.

Eames makes tea for himself first (he only really keeps the coffee around for his American paramours), and then puts the coffee on before getting out everything for the bangers and mash. It’s a heavy breakfast and it takes a half-hour to make, but he’s got a fondness for it, and besides, they need to refuel.

Much more awake now, he takes the coffee and food back to the bedroom on an honest-to-God proper tray. Arthur’s sitting up against the headboard, looking bright-eyed. He reaches for the coffee before reaching for Eames, kissing his cheek, and then takes a long drink of it.

“Mmm,” he says, “thank you. You didn’t really have to make me breakfast in bed, you know.”

Eames feels himself turning red. “It’s nothing,” he says into what’s left of his tea.

“Guess I’m skipping my morning jog today,” Arthur remarks as he forks up some potato.

“Oh no, you’re one of those,” Eames says. “Not just a morning person, a jogger as well.”

Arthur shrugs, amused. “I consider keeping in shape to be part of my job. I go to the gym, too,” he adds, and eats.

Setting down his tea in order to eat, Eames sighs in mock dismay. “I suppose I can deal with that.”

“Oh yeah,” Arthur laughs, “like you never go to the gym. With a body like that.”

“I might have a trainer,” Eames acknowledges, with an offhand nod.

Evidently Arthur’s high level of physical fitness means he can pack it away with no trouble: he’s cleaned his plate, with aplomb, before Eames is three-quarters done (Eames might be successful in having packed on some muscle, but he’s never been terribly energetic). Arthur asks if he can take a quick shower, and Eames says of course. Arthur gets his shorts off and strides to the bath casual as you please, Eames welcoming the opportunity to ogle him and finally get a good look at him from behind. However, he opts not to join Arthur in the shower, though the idea is tempting -- bit much for a first night together, he thinks. And not that Arthur asked him to, besides.

Arthur’s shower is as quick as one would expect given that he’s a paramedic with a military background, but he’s casual as he comes back to the bedroom, a towel around his waist, and whistling. His wet dark hair is plastered to his head, and Eames wonders if it has a tendency to curl when drying, and not slicked back as Arthur seems to like to wear it.

“I do have to get going,” Arthur sighs, dropping his towel and pulling on his shorts again. Eames likes that he doesn’t try to offer some excuse or reason why.

Dressed, Arthur helps him take the dishes to the kitchen, and presses him against the counter to kiss him goodbye.

“I’ll call you,” Arthur says.

-------

Eames suspects by the evening that he’s practically mooning over Arthur, which is a dreadful development. He’s usually the one seducing people and then promising to call them as he dashes out the door. The (few) times it’s been the other way ‘round haven’t ended so well. The problem is that Arthur really is lovely, and Eames can’t seem to really bring himself to stop inwardly sighing over him, even as he realizes what hard luck this is.

He doesn’t go out that night; rather, he has some wine and reads a book, then watches classic films on the classic film channel. The next day is Sunday, and Eames sleeps in late, has tea, does his shopping, and straightens up the place a bit. Late in the day, he goes to the gym, somewhat hoping to see Arthur there. But of course, there are many gyms around, and he’d most likely have seen Arthur before if they happened to go to the same one. A bloke blatantly eyefucks Eames in the locker room and Eames briefly considers it, but something about him seems so gauche and uninteresting compared to Arthur….

“Ah, Christ,” he mutters to himself, shaking his head.

-------

The typical Monday workload keeps Eames occupied until late afternoon, when he receives a text from Arthur. He feels relief, first at hearing from him, second at not having to text him first.

hey, Arthur says. do you want to come over and watch a movie on saturday?

Eames makes him wait a few minutes before replying. Absolutely.

great, Arthur replies. i’ll send you the address later.

Eames feels a little giddy then. He replies with simply I’ll be waiting, and grins to himself. Too bad Saturday is so far off.

Work keeps him busy enough that he doesn’t have much of a chance to get too distracted thinking about Arthur, at least not until he gets home. He does, if he’s honest, miss Arthur sleeping in his bed, which is ridiculous since it’s only happened once. It should be a touch worrying as well, since Eames is usually savvy enough to avoid attachments, but after all, these sorts of things aren’t always under one’s control, and it’s a bit fascinating, in a way. He occasionally steps back almost like a documentarian to observe his own sentimentality: once wrapping his arms around a pillow in the middle of the night and trying to smell the remnants of Arthur’s scent on it, another time glimpsing an ambulance on the news and wondering if it’s Arthur’s.

Two days after his last text, as he’s finishing his late lunch at a cafe’s rickety outdoor table, Arthur texts him again. hey. you’re still coming over, right?

Who is this? Eames replies. He doesn’t receive an answer, and hastily replies with. Joking. Of course

ha ha. here’s my address, Arthur replies, said address following.

What are we watching? Eames asks. Not that it matters, really

you can look through my collection when you’re here. i have a lot of old movies

All right. Have you missed me

i have

Well here I am, Eames replies, and snaps a pic of himself with his lips pursed around the straw of his drink.

i am very much looking forward to our date, Arthur replies after a few moments.

As am I. See you then.

Eames nearly skips back to work.

-------

Yusuf calls on Friday afternoon to see if Eames wants to go out with him and some other ex-pats. Eames considers.

“Bit rude of you to call with such late notice,” he says, “but all right, I’ll go.” It might do him some good to take his mind off Arthur for a bit.

They all go to their usual pub. Yusuf accuses him of not keeping in touch lately. “And I know you, Eames,” he shouts over the din, pointing a beer bottle, “that means you’re enchanted by someone’s cock.”

“So what if I am,” Eames shouts back.

Yusuf whoops, and pounds Eames on the back in seeming congratulations. “The paramedic?”

“None other. Seeing him again tomorrow.”

“Cheers!” Yusuf exclaims, raising his bottle to clink against Eames’.

“To enchanting cocks,” Eames says.

He doesn’t stay out as late as he would usually; he might well need his rest for Saturday, and he’s too old to get rip-roaring drunk. But still, it’s nice to get out for a bit with the old crowd. He does find, however, that he wishes (once or twice) that Arthur were there. On his way home, he imagines introducing him to them. “This is my boyfriend, Arthur,” he’d say, and watch them cast envious looks over him. He stops short, realizing he’s thinking of what it would be like to introduce Arthur as his boyfriend, and groans aloud.

He puts himself to bed at a reasonable hour, well hydrated and with a pain pill to ward off any unpleasantness in the morning. Arthur would be proud, he thinks.

Upon waking, he feels just fine, although he does panic for a moment trying to remember whether he actually referred to Arthur as his boyfriend, which he certainly was not (yet), aloud. He decides he didn’t, and had merely acknowledged to Yusuf that Arthur’s cock was enchanting -- a perfectly fine thing to acknowledge.

-------

Arthur opens the door looking like he’s just showered, pink-faced and clean. He’s smiling, bright-eyed. Eames gives him a brief, firm kiss of greeting, and they exchange pleasantries.

The flat is neat and clean as well, but doesn’t look especially lived-in, as if its occupant isn’t able to spend much time in it. The most remarkable thing about it by far is that Arthur has a few Francis Bacon prints on the walls. Eames intends to ask him about it, but Arthur leads him to the kitchen, where he’s waiting on bruschetta to finish baking, and wants Eames’ opinion on what wine to have with it. Arthur’s in jeans and a white t-shirt, and he rests his hand at the small of Eames’ back as Eames muses aloud on the possible wines. Eames feels his cheeks and ears getting hot.

They’ve shown admirable restraint so far in not immediately clawing each other’s clothes off, and Eames rather likes the anticipation in being made to wait. They take the decided-upon wine and the done bruschetta to the living room, and Arthur lists the movies Eames can pick from. He decides on something with Barbara Stanwyck; Arthur gets it started, and they settle in on the sofa. Arthur nestles close to him, closer still as they consume more of the wine.

A good fifteen minutes into the film, Arthur starts kissing his neck. Finally, Eames thinks, squirming to make his neck more accessible.

“You know what I can’t stop thinking about?” Arthur murmurs against his skin. “How much I want your mouth on my cock.”

“Told you,” Eames replies, a little breathless, “if you’d answered the door in uniform I’d have gotten on my knees then and there.”

Arthur hums. “I’m more than a uniform, you know.” His teeth close on Eames’ earlobe, gently.

Eames thinks of Yusuf joking about ambulance groupies. “Of course,” Eames says, closing his eyes. “Only teasing.”

“I’ve been thinking about it all week,” Arthur continues. “That fucking gorgeous mouth of yours. Never seen anyone like you.” He takes Eames’ hand and guides it to his cock, arching up to press it against Eames’ palm as Eames cups him firmly through his jeans. “Please.”

It’s the please that gets him -- oh, he was planning on this anyway, absolutely, but the please is what gets him off the sofa, and settled in his element between Arthur’s legs, looking up at him with a slow smile, eyes heavy-lidded.

Arthur, to his credit, lets Eames run the show, letting him unbutton and unzip Arthur’s jeans rather than doing it himself, drawing his cock through the fly of his underwear. He gives it a brush of his lips, a light kiss, and Arthur inhales. He noses his way up the shaft, practically nuzzling it, and presses his lips to the head. Arthur’s got his hands curled around the end of the sofa cushion, and he’s being ever so patient despite the way his breathing is rough, and his foot is twitching in an expression of his eager impatience. But Arthur won’t be taking Eames by the hair and forcing his mouth down unless Eames wants him to -- and there’s an idea.

He wets his lips and then gives the underside of the head a lingering lick as well. Taking his time, he shifts forward, mouth opening to take Arthur in. He’s not as far down as he could be when he draws back up, slow, lips just tight enough to offer drag. He glances at Arthur, who looks dazed, eyes almost black, cheeks pink. Arthur blinks at him, and Eames takes him in again, deeper this time, tighter as he pulls off. The next time, a little deeper, a little tighter.

Eames does love giving blowjobs. He can command someone’s attention this way as he can’t any other. There’s a skill to it, an art, a way of making yourself remembered. And of course, so much the better with Arthur, whom he actually is very fond of.

Arthur still seems fairly stunned, watching Eames bob his head over his cock, but truth be told, Eames would rather whomever he’s blowing not simply lie there staring. He draws off with a slick pop.

“Arthur, a bit of touching and a word or two might not go amiss,” he advises, with a wink to soften it.

“Shit, I’m sorry,” Arthur breathes. “You’re just….” He reaches to touch Eames’ cheek, then combs his fingers through Eames’ hair. Mollified, Eames returns to his work.

“Eames,” Arthur groans, hot and urgent as Eames slides down, and Eames thinks he’s never quite heard anything like Arthur saying his name that way. He frames Arthur’s hips with his hands, and Arthur squirms, one hand flexing on the sofa as Eames works over his cock with his tongue. His other hand is gripping the hair at the top of Eames’ head, just tight enough. Eames hums, pleased, and feels Arthur jump, his cock spurting just a bit. Unlike some of the men Eames has been with, Arthur’s rather delicious. Truth be told, it’s revving Eames’ engine a bit. He hums again, and sucks, swallowing Arthur down a bit, what’s there, at least. Arthur inhales sharply, and stutters out, “Holy fuck, Eames.”

His mouth is wet, from Arthur’s cock and his own saliva, and it makes for quite the slick, filthy blowjob. There’s a soft grunt at the back of Arthur’s throat on every upstroke, and Eames presses a hand to his own cock, wondering if he is in fact going to go off in his shorts like a teenager.

“Fuck, fuck,” Arthur whispers, ragged. “Don’t get off yet, okay? I want to get you off. God, you feel so good. You’re perfect.”

Eames presses the heel of his hand to his cock to stave off any further progression in that area, and moves that hand to spread it over Arthur’s abdomen. His thumb dips to stroke at the base of Arthur’s cock. He works his hand into Arthur’s shorts then, lips and tongue still gliding wetly over him, and cups the back of his balls. Arthur’s fingers scramble in his hair and that’s it for him, he comes, fucking up into Eames’ throat. Eames swallows, closing his eyes and taking in the fresh sweat and soap smell around him, the heat of Arthur’s skin, the sounds of his panting.

Eames draws off, wiping his mouth and kneeling up, Arthur’s fingers loosening from his hair to cup his jaw, both hands now, bringing him in for a loose, quick kiss. Arthur tucks himself back in, and sinks to the floor alongside Eames, undoing his flies as he kisses him again. Arthur’s still catching his breath and his fingers are still trembling a bit as he wraps them around Eames and starts to wank him off. It doesn’t take long.

They sag against the sofa, holding each other up after a fashion. Arthur, hot face pressed into his shoulder, huffs out a laugh, then straightens to grab some tissue and wipe his hand, and Eames’ stomach.

“I have to confess something,” he says, tossing the wadded tissue into a bin. He’s flushed, eyes bright, but his tone is amused, rueful.

Eames heaves himself onto the sofa, head tipped back to regard Arthur, who stretches, jelly-limbed, before practically falling back beside him with a sigh. Arthur looks at him fondly, hints of dimples creasing his cheeks.

“You make me kinda nervous.”

Eames raises a brow. “You’re a paramedic. I can’t possibly make you nervous.”

“Not that kind of nervous -- not really. I mean, in a good way.”

Arthur seems almost unflappable -- he’s been a tiny bit awkward in their encounters, but that’s to be expected, since they’ve just met. Cool, capable Arthur coming undone at his hand and then confessing nervousness is almost too endearing for words.

Eames has to clear his throat, but he can’t keep himself entirely from grinning, and from gently teasing. “D’you mean I give you butterflies?” He pokes at Arthur’s stomach.

Arthur curls up, wincing, in a laugh. “Fuck you.”

That’s how they, two grown men, end up in a tickle fight on Arthur’s sofa.

“Honestly,” Eames says in pretend complaint when Arthur has him pinned, and has technically won. “You’re a cheat.”

“I can’t cheat, there aren’t any rules.” Arthur settles onto him; Eames offers a petulant huff, but doesn't mean it. He wraps his arms around Arthur and senses him dozing off.

After a moment more, he lightly shakes him. “Bed?”

Arthur grunts, and gets himself upright. They put things away, turn out the lights, and get into bed, stripped down to their underwear. The coziness is something Eames hasn’t experienced in a long while, and not quite of this caliber. It’s the flush of new infatuation, no doubt, but he can’t turn away from it.

They actually do sleep, and when Eames wakes up, Arthur’s sleeping pressed up close behind him, drooling again. It’s light out, and Eames relaxes, expecting a lazy Sunday morning lie-in, perhaps some groping, and brunch. Then Arthur’s phone vibrates. Waking suddenly, he scrambles to get it from the nightstand. A short conversation ensues, which Eames is too sleepy to really comprehend, but it doesn’t seem as though things are going to work out well for Eames, as Arthur sounds terse and unhappy, ending with “I’ll be there soon.”

Putting his phone back on the nightstand, Arthur turns back again to kiss Eames’ neck and press against him, wrapping his arms around him for a brief squeeze. “I’m sorry,” he says, voice rough with sleep, “but I’ve got to go in.” He sighs.

“Oh?” Eames rolls over to look at him, and stretches, raising up on an elbow. “I’ll be going, then.” He can’t quite keep the disappointment from his voice.

“Yeah, I just -- I’m sorry, I didn’t think they’d need me.” Arthur gets out of bed, calling back to Eames, “I’ll start the coffee, dunno if there’s time for tea,” and then dashing back from the kitchen, taking his underwear off as he goes, to the bath.

“There’s always time for tea,” Eames says, pulling on his clothes, going to the living room to retrieve the rest of them, shoes and all. He’ll shower at home.

Waiting for Arthur to get out and dry off, Eames makes himself some tea (although Arthur’s tea is subprime and seems rather old), and pours Arthur’s coffee into a mug, adding cream and sugar as Arthur seems to like it. He’s sipping his cup as Arthur comes into the kitchen, in uniform, clean and shaved, hair slicked back. Eames whistles at him, and he sticks his tongue out briefly, ears turning red, then picks up his coffee and takes a long drink of it.

“Thank you,” he says, then finishes off the cup.

“Time to go?” Eames asks rhetorically.

“Afraid so.” Arthur gives him a coffee-tasting kiss, and Eames follows him to the doorway, where he picks up his bag and gets out his keys. “I’m sorry, I really thought we’d have more time today.” He lets Eames out of the flat first. Locking the door behind him, he leads the way down the stairs to the sidewalk. They’ll be going in opposite directions.

Arthur kisses his cheek. He looks genuinely regretful, those lovely dark eyes framed by a creased brow. He kisses Eames’ cheek, and says, “I’ll call you.”

It’s nonsensical, but Eames is a wee bit irked over having been deprived of a leisurely morning with Arthur. But there’s nothing to be done about it, so he goes home to shower and have some more tea, and breakfast. It’s true that Arthur’s job is an important, demanding one, and anyway, perhaps Arthur’s planning to make it up to him. That’s a cheering thought.

-------

Three days later, Arthur texts him during his lunch hour. hey, sorry

Hello there. He’d been on the verge of dozing off in his office; he sits up now, feeling awake again.

i’d like to see you again

I’m interested.

my place saturday night? i’ll order in, whatever you want

Sounds good.

:) see you then

Thought you said you’d call me, Eames can’t help cheekily adding.

you’re right. i would but i’m in the amb cab

All right. You owe me a call though.

as soon as i get a chance

Arthur calls him that evening when he’s at home. Eames can hear the smile in his voice. “So I just wanted to know what you thought I should order us for dinner on Saturday.”

“Mmm. I like Indian, or Thai.”

“Me too. I know some places. Anything you don’t like?”

“I’m versatile. Whatever you order will be fine.”

“Okay.” Arthur clears his throat. “I’m really looking forward to seeing you again.”

“I’m looking forward to coming over,” Eames says, a bit demure.

Apparently being courted agrees with him.

-------

Arthur gives him a quick kiss of greeting at the door of his flat, hand going to the small of his back to usher him in. “Food should be here soon. Make yourself comfortable. You want a drink? I’ve got some Riesling, that goes pretty well with Indian.”

Eames takes a seat on the sofa. “That’d be lovely, thanks.” As soon as Arthur’s poured the wine, the food is there. Eames is well into the chicken vindaloo when Arthur clears his throat and says, “So.”

Eames looks up. His eyebrows raised, Arthur’s looking at him like he’s about to say something important. “Mm?”

“I wanted to clear the air a little. About my schedule.”

“Ah.” Eames tenses slightly.

“I know it isn’t the greatest. It’s hard for me to plan things in advance, and I can get called in at the last minute. It can really suck when it comes to my personal life.” Arthur takes a drink of wine and looks again at Eames, who nods acknowledgement.

“But,” Arthur continues, after another bite of his chicken, “this is my career. It’s important to me.”

“Of course.”

“And I really like you, Eames. I’d like to keep seeing you. But if my schedule is a dealbreaker, we’ll probably have to stop seeing each other.” Arthur looks somber, yet resolute.

Eames eats some more chicken, thinking. On the one hand, it’s a bit scary having Arthur make this declaration; it takes things out of the realm of casual. Eames wonders if he could dial things back, see Arthur only every few weeks, or furthermore, stop seeing him. No, he knows he doesn’t want that, not now, anyway. He wants to see Arthur; he wants Arthur. It’s now Eames’ turn to put his cards on the table, terrifying as that may be. He takes a deep breath. Arthur’s still waiting, trying not to look like he is.

“I… like you, Arthur,” Eames says, and realizes his heart is racing. “It won’t be easy, but… I’ll do my best to deal with your schedule.” He stops himself, not wanting to reveal too much. Arthur smiles at him, and leans in for a quick, firm kiss, and that’s that. Eames gradually relaxes, and they polish off the chicken vindaloo.

“Mint?” Arthur asks.

-------

They kiss a bit, but even when one is minty fresh, immediately after eating a lot of Indian food isn’t really what Eames considers an optimal time for making out; besides, the wine’s made him a bit sleepy. They essentially fall into watching telly, Arthur idly flipping channels, and making conversation. Eames finds himself dozing off with his head on Arthur’s shoulder. He wakes with a little start.

“Mm, sorry.”

Arthur just makes a soft sound and settles against him. After a few minutes, during which Eames nearly drifts off again, he murmurs, “We’ll hurt our necks if we sleep like this. We should go to bed.” He kisses Eames’ temple.

Old married couple, Eames thinks to himself with a shock of amusement. He stifles a chuckle. “Yes,” he agrees instead, standing and stretching with a yawn.

He and Arthur clean up, and Eames hooks a finger in Arthur’s beltloop to follow him to the bedroom. “I’m knackered, love,” Eames says. “I’m afraid I won’t be getting up to much in the way of naughtiness tonight.”

“That’s fine,” Arthur yawns. “Let’s just get ready for bed.”

And… they sleep. Arthur curls up behind him and drools on his shoulder again. In the morning, he makes Eames tea, eggs, and toast. They each have errands to run, so later that morning Eames goes home, feeling rather cheery.

-------

From then on, a pattern is set. Eames either goes over to Arthur’s or has Arthur over to his, every weekend if possible. They watch movies, order in or make dinner, and go to bed. Sometimes Arthur is in a good mood, and can’t quite keep his hands off Eames; other times, he’s more subdued, because of the time he’s had at work. On those nights, Eames gives him a cuddle and lets him relax, if that’s what he wants. Ordinarily, looking out for the emotional wellbeing of a man he’s sleeping with would not be something that would interest Eames. But Arthur is now the only man he’s sleeping with, and furthermore the only man he’s currently interested in sleeping with, and, well, Arthur’s different.

He does still talk to and go to pubs with Yusuf and the others, and he does still go to rugby games. Arthur fusses over his bruises and scrapes. “Kiss it better,” Eames teases every time, and Arthur scoffs, and does.

One evening they decide to go to the pub, so that Arthur can meet Yusuf, who’s been bothering Eames about meeting him for some time. “Are you gonna introduce me as your boyfriend?” Arthur asks, and laughs when Eames nearly trips walking down the pavement. Arthur catches his elbow.

Eames clears his throat and rubs the back of his head. “I suppose, if it’s all right.”

Yusuf is perfectly jovial and seems to approve of Eames’ new boyfriend, giving him a bit of a hard time with ribbing, but that’s simply Yusuf’s way. Eames cuffs him a time or two. Arthur keeps touching Eames’ shoulder or resting his hand at the small of Eames’ back, and it gets Eames thinking about Arthur’s lovely big hands. As he’s drinking, his thoughts about them are verging on the maudlin: Arthur working hard to save lives and bring comfort with his hands, et cetera.

“I love your hands, you gorgeous man,” he remarks later in bed, taking them in his own, kissing the knuckles.

“You must still be a little drunk,” Arthur tells him.

“I might be. You’re the expert on such matters.”

“Whether people are drunk?” Arthur laughs.

“Yes. People’s bodies.” Eames kisses Arthur’s palm.

“Your body?” Arthur takes his hands back and slides them up under Eames’ t-shirt, lightly pinching his nipples. Eames jumps, and Arthur leans in to kiss him, lazy and sweet, hands still roaming over Eames’ chest.

Eames breaks after some time to tug his shirt off. “Arthur,” he says, “have you got your nitrile gloves handy?”

Arthur looks confused. “Is that a pun?”

Eames blinks. “No. Just… d’you remember how I used to joke about thinking about you with your gloves?”

“Of course.”

“Well….” Eames clears his throat. “I think it’s an idea whose time has come.”

Arthur laughs. “All right. Full uniform?”

“Please.” Eames flutters his lashes as he sheds his jeans.

Stripped out of his clothes, he gets on his hands and knees, looking at Arthur over his shoulder.

“Got it,” Arthur says, staring.

-------

“Deep breaths,” Arthur’s saying, gentle yet firm. Eames is shamelessly arching his back, moaning, “Oh, just there, just there.”

He gathers his wits about him despite the gloved fingers pressing deep inside him, and takes a deep breath, as instructed.

“I’m in uniform and performing an exam. I feel like I should put this on my timesheet,” Arthur remarks, low and amused, turning his hand slightly to probe Eames just where he wants it. “Although patients aren’t usually completely naked for exams.”

Eames is too distracted to laugh. He just hums, eyes closed tightly.

“Can you come like this?” Arthur murmurs.

“Mmm, probably,” Eames gets out.

“Good news, Eames,” Arthur says, “your prostate seems healthy.”

“Very good news,” Eames pants.

“Studies have shown that regular ejaculation can help prevent prostate cancer,” Arthur continues.

“Doing well in that regard,” Eames says, rocking his hips back against Arthur’s hand. “Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck.”

“You want me to touch you?” Arthur asks, gloved hand wrapping around Eames’ erection as he speaks. Eames’ cock jumps in his hand at the feel of it wrapped in the glove, and Arthur’s grip tightens. “Guess that’s a yes.” Eames nods, and lets his head fall forward.

Arthur fucks him with his gloved fingers and wanks him off just like that, and Eames comes with a strangled cry, his elbows giving way. He slumps forward, panting.

Shortly, Arthur’s cleaning him up and sorting him out, shifting him to lie properly on the bed. Arthur leans in to kiss him. “You know,” he says, “you’re not the first person to ask me to do something like this, to indulge their… paramedic fetish.”

“Ah,” Eames says.

“But you are the first person I’ve actually done it for.”

“And hopefully I’ll be the last,” Eames answers, and yawns.

-------

He meets some of Arthur’s coworkers and friends, who all seem to approve of him. Arthur’s flat is closer to the hospital than Eames’, and Eames finds himself spending more and more time there, seeing Arthur off or waiting for him to get in. As it’s not difficult to get to his own office from there, he simply adjusts his own hours as needed, and he’s senior enough that it’s not a problem. He spends some evenings lounging in Arthur’s bed, reading, sending Arthur pictures of himself in the sheets captioned with things like “keeping bed warm for you <3.”

It’s a wet winter night (Arthur told him once that rainy nights were the worst for accidents) and Eames has a stew in the slow cooker, waiting for Arthur to get in. He’s on the sofa reading the New Yorker when he hears Arthur’s key in the lock. Eames goes to the door to take Arthur’s heavy, wet coat and hang it up for him.

“All right, darling?”

Arthur looks drawn, a bit pale, the soft shadows under his eyes more evident in the light of the foyer. He shrugs. “Been better,” he says, terse.

Eames kisses his cheek. “Go and have a hot shower, I’ll warm up some stew.”

Arthur comes into the kitchen with towel-dried curls, an old soft t-shirt, and plaid flannel pants. The floors are a bit chilly, but his feet are bare because he prefers it.

The two of them eat their stew while watching a television program about the Amazon. Arthur’s subdued, and Eames doesn’t press him. When they go to bed, Arthur arranges himself in front of Eames, contrary to their usual positions; Eames understands this as a cue that Arthur needs a cuddle, and wraps an arm over him. They fall asleep and wake up like that.

The next day is just as rainy and cold. Arthur still isn’t home by the time they usually go to bed, and just as Eames is starting to worry (though this isn’t extremely unusual, he still worries), he receives a text from Arthur to the effect that he’ll be home late, he’s eaten, and Eames should go ahead and sleep.

Several hours later, Eames wakes up to Arthur getting under the covers, behind him as Eames is spread out too much for him to get in front. “Sorry,” Arthur whispers, “was trying not to wake you.”

“‘S fine,” Eames says, rolling over and reaching for him, wrapping his arms tightly around Arthur, who burrows in, pressing his face against Eames’ neck. His skin is cold, meaning he changed immediately without showering. Eames puts up with the goosebumps he gets at the contact, and helps Arthur warm up. They’re both quiet, Eames’ fingers stroking idle pets down his back. Arthur swallows, and Eames feels him gradually relax, then eventually sleep, his breathing even.

Only then does Eames let himself go back to sleep.