The most irritating thing about Eames is --
-- well. There are a lot of irritating things about Eames. His cheerful insouciance in the face of almost anything. The way he rarely shows his emotions, whether they're good or bad or happy or angry (she's starting to learn his tells, but it would be nice if she didn't have to). Not knowing when she wakes up whether he'll be making a disgustingly greasy breakfast or gone for three weeks. The pet names he tosses around to disguise what he actually means.
-- but the most irritating thing, Ariadne thinks, is that he looks completely at ease in any situation.
It's not just about forging. Or his SAS training that makes him equally capable of surviving in a desert or a snowstorm. Here they are at a state fair - which Eames insists on calling a "funfair," which strikes Ariadne as both redundant and stupid, because what other kind of fair would there be, a fair where you go to be miserable? - and he looks like he was born to be there. Like he should have a prize steer down at the exhibit hall, or an enormous pumpkin on display in the agriculture tent. Ostensibly they're doing research, but this is probably a ruse. Ariadne feels sweaty and sticky with the residue of the concessions stands they've passed and a thousand thousand fried foods. And yet Eames is walking beside her looking utterly cool and calm, his blue linen shirt not bearing a single stain, unwinding strands from a giant blob of cotton candy. She is tempted to dump a sno-cone down his collar.
In revenge she steals a skein of cotton candy off the side of his cloud of sugar and stuffs it into her mouth all at once. Eames brushes a lock of hair out of her face as the airy crystals dissolve on her tongue and her teeth close around nothing.
"Shall we go ride the Ferris wheel? I'll buy your tickets," he says. "That is, if you stop eating my candy floss."
"That is such a stupid name," she tells him. "And I'll go on if you win me a teddy bear first."
She's kidding. But he does. And then he carries the hideous neon purple stuffed toy for the rest of the day.
If she didn't love him so much, she'd punch him in the teeth.