C'est l'amour et c'est la vie
There’s the Cooper job, when Arthur picks him up from the airport, fingers wrapped firmly around the wheel at ten and two, pale skin against black, and they head straight for the warehouse. Eames watches the rain splatter against the window then run sideways into the other droplets, and makes an offhand quip about revised hand placement rules in driver’s education, how he is shocked Arthur didn’t know about it.
Eames can only think the resulting blare of Edith Piaf at the fifth volume notch is Arthur’s form of retaliation. His wince bears the slightest hint of a smile, just for a moment, then he’s back to cheering on raindrops to the tune of La Vie, L’amour.
There’s the Rhodes job, where the mark stowed his information in a supped up Maserati GranTurismo and all it took was a giggle and a glass of champagne for Eames’ lithe redheaded figure to lift the keys. Of course, it quickly goes to hell from there and Arthur takes the wheel while Cobb flips through papers and Eames shoots back at errant projections from the passenger seat with limited success.
Before Eames fades out of the dream, bleeding from a lucky chest shot, he catches a glimpse of Arthur’s black leather driving gloves, sticky with red as they press against the wound in a futile effort to stop the flow, and he thinks: oh.
There’s Fisher and inception, the first level in chaos with a train charging through the street, the surprise attack from a militarized subconscious they were not prepared for, and the danger of limbo closing in around them. Arthur, armed with fierce determination and a rifle, fires away at snipers on the rooftop, finger quick on the trigger. The second level is jarringly calm, and then the gravity begins to shift, and they’re pulling out the PASIV and Arthur is above him, soft for a moment, and then it’s all white.
Somehow, they make it out and Eames shifts the sleep from his bones, catches the quiet achievement etched in the lines of Arthur’s face out of the corner of his eye, and feels the earth shift as they land.
There’s Friday night, a quick chopstick battle over the schezaun beef in its white container, wedged between them on the couch. Arthur wins, but Eames wasn’t trying that hard as he was too caught up in the quirk of Arthur’s lips and the snapping of the chopsticks Arthur maneuvers with deft fingers. The curl of hair that falls just so across Arthur’s forehead, the press of his knee against Eames’ thigh, the triumphant ‘ha’ that he exhales before biting into his prize.
Eames is stuck on a constant stream of Arthur, Arthur, Arthur, and he breathes: oh.