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They don't end up in Newfoundland on purpose, of course: too backward for Arthur, too cold for Eames. It takes a diverted plane, a freak snowstorm at their intended destination, and a truly epic series of luggage misadventures to land them (quite literally) at Deer Lake. It may be snowing in Chicago (where they're due) but it's gorgeous in Newfoundland, at least by local standards, so Eames persuades Arthur to give up railing against fate (and berating the powerless gate agent). Instead, they hire a car and drive around in search of moose or hot shirtless fishermen.

They find neither, at least not at first. Instead it's a ferry ride to Fogo Island, because Eames discovers Arthur has never (never? not once?) been on a ferry. They stand on deck, Arthur huddled miserably against the sea breeze, Eames with t-shirt sleeves rolled up and a huge grin on his face, and when they roll past a series of rocky islands with trees clinging determinedly to their crevasses, Arthur pulls a face and suggests that maybe, maybe, it's not a bad view.

First it's aimless driving, Eames exclaiming over the clothes drying on lines, the crooked brightly painted fishing sheds, the boats resting in driveways, the blue blue sparkle of the calm ocean. Arthur takes them to Joe Batt's Arm, which turns out to be a village and not an arm at all, and there they spy their first iceberg, ancient and jagged and gleaming, with an aquamarine stripe down its side. The breeze blowing inland is chilled by its far-off bulk. Eames loops his arm around Arthur's shoulders and tugs him in to keep him warm, but Arthur forgets to shiver, he's so transfixed by the sight.

They find lunch at an unpromising-looking building in town that turns out to be very good eating indeed. Arthur is so pleased that he eats too much, crammed full of cod and beer and toutons and partridgeberry jam tart. Eames picks up the local accent halfway through the meal, probably without even noticing he's doing it, but their server is convinced – asks where they're to, are they townies, have they been up Brimstone Head yet?

So it's Brimstone Head, a winding trail up a cliff, alternating stairs with stretches of untamed rock, scree littering the spaces between, only lichen and moss managing to grow on the land. Arthur skids around a little in his utterly unsuitable footwear but he's nothing if not graceful, steadies Eames once or twice as they slide, laughing, barely controlled, back down a wicked slope with only a rusted chain keeping them from pitching down into the ocean far below. The top is worth it, though; ocean as far as they can see on this clear day, sharp salt air whipping around them, no one around for miles to know if Eames presses Arthur up against the wooden railing and kisses him for long minutes, tasting berry and salt and hops.

Last stop is Sandy Cove, a surprisingly hospitable strip of beach with fine pale sand and clear waters. It may be high summer but they're still on the North Atlantic; the water, when Arthur strips off socks and shoes, rolls up cuffs, wades in, is chilly at best. Eames spies some swimmers farther down though, and won't be persuaded from stripping down to his underwear and running into the surf, whooping and hollering at the cold but determined to endure it. Arthur sits on the sand and grins, laughs, shakes his head, listens to the waves, watches Eames shake the salt water from his hair, swipe the wet off his blue-tinged lips even as he grins and waves happily.

"I think they've crawled back home entirely," Eames says when he comes back up the beach, pulling at his boxers and wincing down at his crotch. "Trying to escape the cold, poor boys."

Arthur rolls his eyes at Eames, too busy making fun of him to remember to cover up the sand sculpture he's absently made while Eames swam. Eames grabs a stick, scratches in the letters, and drips water all over Arthur, all gooseflesh and hard nipples and sand-dusted calves. "So, fun day?" Arthur asks, leaning back on his palms, surveying Eames with blatant interest.

"One of the people swimming said something about viking ruins way up the northern peninsula," says Eames by way of answer, waggling his eyebrows. "It'd take another day, course."

Arthur looks at Eames, the pebbled skin of him, the eager way he's wriggling his toes against the sand, the almost obscene cling of his (thankfully dark) cotton boxers. Arthur thinks: Eames frowning at viking artifacts. Arthur thinks: a long warm drive up a foreign coast, squabbling amiably over Eames' piss-poor navigation skills. Arthur thinks: checking into some tiny twee B and B, saying 'one bed', and checking out exactly how liberal these particular Canadians are.

"Yeah, okay," says Arthur.