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As far as Eames is concerned, extraction isn’t the sort of occupation anyone should expect to retire from gradually. You’re meant to go down with guns blazing and legacies burgeoning, which Eames always assumed he would.

The closest he’s come to that so far is finally learning to stop pulling weapons on Arthur when he walks into the room unexpectedly. Arthur’s been even worse about that, or at least he was for the first few months of this. They’re both used to keeping their guards up and neither of them was exactly accustomed to sharing a permanent living space.

Extraction is, however, the sort of occupation that results in things like gun safes for Valentine’s Day gifts. Arthur has always been practical.

There’s still work to be done, there always is. Eames just chooses the sort that doesn’t require him to leap from country to country for indefinite stretches of time. Given he used to relish exactly that, it’s remarkable he’s gotten used to the opposite. At the moment, he’s sitting at the breakfast table in front of a laptop and a plate covered in toast crumbs, burying the tracks of a former colleague who needs a new set of documentation thanks to a stupid set of circumstances, but she’s willing to pay through the nose for them and that’s what really matters.

Besides, Eames isn’t comfortable if he’s got nothing creative to do with his hands. For all he and Arthur have cajoled their lifestyles into becoming almost upstanding by dream-sharing standards, there are still facets of them that remain nonnegotiable.

“Hey.”

He turns, seeing steam spilling out of the bathroom door and Arthur heading down the hall towards him, damp and flush-faced from the heat. “So we finally meet again. I thought you might’ve drowned in there.”

Arthur doesn’t show any indication he’s even heard him. “Here’s something I never thought I’d say, but I’m ovulating.”

Eames’s head goes alarmingly fuzzy.

“So. Yeah.” Arthur gives an indistinct wave with the hand that isn’t holding a towel around his hips. “Thought I’d share.”

Very carefully, Eames closes his laptop and pushes it to the side. “Please don’t be joking.”

“Would I joke about this?” He’s trying to look exasperated, Eames can tell, but there’s a smile trying even harder to take over his face.

Eames is already sprinting past the incredulity stage, grinning the sort of hopelessly sentimental grin that Arthur’s gotten a little too good at being the cause of. “You’d bloody well better not,” he says, mock-stern, and reaches to sweep him into his arms and onto his lap. Arthur goes with it gracefully, straddling Eames’s thighs like he’s made for it. Somehow, disappointingly, he doesn’t lose his towel.

“God, you look like such a dork,” Arthur sighs at him, but then he’s kissing him and holding him right back and all things are just as they ought to be.

When his hands go stroking up the smooth skin of Arthur’s back, it feels like they swallow up so much of him, from his bony shoulders to his trim waist. Eames tries to picture him three months along, six months along, flat stomach stretched and swollen with their baby. It makes his thoughts whirl just like always, but this time it isn’t just his mind's eye being overambitious, it’s an actual possibility, it’s something that could very well end up being a reality, and he doesn’t give a good goddamn if his facial expressions are too undignified for Arthur’s taste. “Is that a problem?”

Arthur shrugs. “You’re still the most gorgeous dork I’ve ever met, so I guess that counts for something.”

His mouth is gentle, peppering kisses up along Eames’s jaw, and his body squirms in Eames’s arms when he goes snuggling in as much as he can while they’re stacked on a kitchen chair. “It’s been awhile since I’ve seen you smile like this, you know,” he adds, face as serious as his voice.

Guilt, familiar, twists a knot in Eames’s enthusiasm.

“No brooding.” Arthur actually bites him, quick little teeth catching at his earlobe, and then lets his forehead rest against Eames’s. “I want you to keep smiling. Do that for me, okay?” Arthur with his skinny legs dangling, hands twisting in Eames’s hair, mouth sweet and open for him.

Eames nips at him, kisses him over and over, can never get enough of kissing him.

“Can’t believe it,” he mumbles into the soft dip of Arthur’s throat. “You’re sure?”

He feels the hum of it against his lips when Arthur laughs. “Very.”

Loosening the towel, Eames touches him softly, the slender lines of Arthur’s body as familiar to him as his own. He strokes slowly along the insides of his thighs, the dark patch of hair above his groin, up his middle. Arthur’s stomach is flat and hard as ever beneath his palm. “Jesus.”

“Trying to imagine a baby in there?”

“I really can’t quite get my head around it,” Eames confesses. Getting a good grip on Arthur’s arse, on the other hand, that’s something he can manage quite well. He’s already gearing up to lift him onto the tabletop, bearing him back and trying to remember which of the cupboards has the olive oil, but Arthur can apparently read his mind.

“Don’t even think about it. I’m not explaining to our kid that they were conceived on a breakfast table while I got jam in my hair.”

“Who actually knows how they were conceived anyway?” Eames demands.

“On a picnic blanket, Fourth of July,” Arthur says instantly.

Eames stares.

“My parents used to start talking about that kind of thing when they wanted to get me out of their hair,” Arthur explains.

“That’s actually sort of brilliant,” Eames admits. “But point taken. Up you get. I think I’m supposed to carry you over the threshold, aren’t I?”

“That’s for when you actually get married, genius.”

“Something worth reading up on, then?” He says it to be flip, but it isn’t. For a good long while, Arthur doesn’t move a muscle.

“Yeah,” Arthur says then, soft against his mouth. “Yeah, okay.”

His hand slides so easily around Eames’s, cool skin and long fingers that would look even lovelier with a ring wrapped round one of them. Eames can’t even blame his thoughts on foreign hormones this time. He must be getting old and soft for finding this all idyllic instead of perilous, setting down roots and tying himself to another person so intimately, the sort of choices that are damning in the liabilities they create. They haven’t discussed it, but they’ve both seen what happens when people like them try to reap the rewards of their work and slip free of the consequences. Even though he and Arthur have toned their antics down several notches over the past couple years without too much backlash, even though anyone who comes after one of them is going to end up faced with the both of them, Eames’s inner cynic isn’t ready to stop cautioning him quite yet.

But at least now, as he’s letting Arthur strip him bare and lead him back into bed, he’s more than happy to give that part of himself a solid kick in the pants and have done with it.

“I hope you’re well aware what you’re getting into, love.”

“Please. I once spent a month stuck in the subconscious of a mariachi trumpeter.”

For someone as logical as Arthur generally tends to be, he sometimes makes the most absurd conjectures. “That’s…not exactly the same thing as carrying an infant to term,” Eames points out cautiously.

“Ariadne offered to send me ‘baby-making music’ the other day, did I tell you about that?” Eames grimaces and Arthur sniggers. “Exactly. Now quit thinking too hard, okay? I’m not backing out. Deal with it. If Cobb can get out of the business and successfully raise a couple of kids, anyone can.”

“Cobb still lives in fear of getting carted off to prison on some kind of charges, trumped-up or otherwise.”

“He has moments of well-deserved melodrama,” Arthur protests. “He doesn’t live in fear.”

“Remember when Philippa accidentally lifted a necklace from a toyshop and he was positive the government would find a way to haul him in for it?”

“I figured this would come up,” Arthur says, magnanimous, “so I’ve been doing some more investigating. Cobb’s not the only one to retire peacefully and pull it off. There have been plenty of others.” He regards Eames through his lashes and squirms on top of him, sliding their cocks together with slow little circles of his hips. “Do you really want to go over the data now, though? I was going to make it into a scrapbook first. Something for you to flip through and ease your paranoia.”

“You’d really do that, too.” Arthur is the only person on the planet who actually finds statistics sexy, he’s sure. Eames kisses the corner of his mouth, upturned in a smirk. “Smug little bugger, you can just fuck right off.”

“Actions speak louder than words,” Arthur deadpans, and slips a hand around their cocks.

Ten years ago, this wasn’t even a possibility at all. The process’s results are still hit and miss, but at least the option for such a procedure exists at all. It was supposed to be Eames undergoing the lot of it, and Arthur had been wary at first, teased him about it between programming pill times and dosages into Eames’s phone calendar. So it’s not enough to ignore the laws of every town you set foot in; you have to start disregarding laws of nature, too? But he’d also been with him every step of the way and when Eames’s body didn’t respond to round after round of injections, Arthur had taken matters into his own hands and never once looked back.

“You know what this means, right?” They’ve been through endless batteries of fertility treatments and therapy sessions, all of it jarringly domestic, and Arthur had looked at the list of things he’d have to swear off and then nodded anyway, stiff-faced and gripping Eames’s hand. Eames just needs to hear that he’s still sure.

Arthur rolls his eyes, but he starts reeling off the bullet points anyway. “No coffee, no smoking, no Somnacin, no sparring, no sex with the lights on…”

“Oi, who said a thing about that last one?”

“You’ll still be able to look at me even when I’m approximately the size of a beluga?”

“What a fetching comparison.” Eames flips them over in one quick motion and leans down to kiss him, deep and slow, hands framing Arthur’s face. His Arthur, clean-shaven, soft-lipped, wriggling deliciously when Eames drags a fingernail up his flank. “You’ll look magnificent. I promise I’ll never think otherwise.”

“What about ten months down the line when I’m covered with scars and stretch marks?”

“Don’t be a tosser; you’ll get me thinking you’ve got no faith in me. But if it makes you feel any better, I promise here and now to rub you down with cocoa butter whenever you like. And one little C-section scar hardly qualifies as being covered in them—they do them so they’re hardly noticeable at all now, right under your bikini line.” Even though he’s brushing a kiss to the skin below Arthur’s belly button, he can tell Arthur’s staring at him with raised brows.

“When was the last time you saw me in a bikini?”

“Only in my dreams,” Eames laments.

Arthur toys with his nipple, pinching it between his fingers until Eames’s exhale rumbles out of him. “Too bad it didn’t work out for you. I bet you would’ve looked great in a bikini.” He licks judiciously over the little peak of flesh, rubs at it with a knuckle. “Probably still would.”

“See if you’re still laughing in your third trimester. Don’t worry, I’ll get you a nice man-bra if you end up needing one. I’m sure there’s places that do custom work, so I could even have one made for you that’s pinstriped or argyle.”

“You’re really ready to go balls to the wall with this pampering thing, aren’t you?”

Eames strokes over his belly again, taut and warm under his hand. “This was supposed to be me.” Actually saying it makes his throat feel strange, too small. Delicately, he presses his lips to Arthur’s cheek, his neck. “I know we’ve mentioned this a time or two, more than, but if you’ve had any second thoughts, if you feel like you’re obligated, you know you can—”

Eames,” Arthur cuts him off, somehow managing to pack an awful lot of I’d-wring-your-neck-if-I-didn’t-actually-like-having-you-around into his name. “I don’t do things just because I feel obligated to. I don’t shove my medical history into a pressure cooker along with my reproductive system and a truckload of treatments and then spend months crossing my fingers because of an obligation.” There are lines between his brows, the sort he gets when he’s particularly frustrated. Eames’s thumb seeks them out automatically, trying to smooth them away. “I want to do this for us,” he insists. “I want to give you everything I can.”

This is big talk from Arthur: businesslike Arthur, brusque Arthur, who keeps his loyalties fierce and slow-burning and soundless. Eames nuzzles at his neck, holds him close, and lets him sound off for once.

“It used to feel like it was just a matter of time before I’d fuck that up. But it doesn’t anymore.” Arthur might not be the most emotional person, but he’s very effective with just a few words. His arms slide around Eames’s waist as his foot trails up the back of his calf, twining them together. “And I can make you give me back rubs every day, right? What’s not to like?”

“Every single day,” Eames affirms, and breathes him in. Arthur is still fresh from the shower, damp hair staining the pillowcase dark beneath his head, and he smells suspiciously like he’s nicked a bit of Eames’s shampoo, but Eames has more important things to address. “You’re beautiful. You’ll always be beautiful. Don’t ever doubt that. No arguing is permitted on this point.”

Normally, Arthur would snort or scoff or shrug this off somehow. What he does now is curve his hands over Eames’s shoulders, pull him close, and kiss him so thoroughly it feels like it goes on for ages, each touch and sound and sensation sinking through his skin and filling him with want on top of want. Arthur’s tongue slides against his, undulating and mimicking a much more intimate act that Eames wants to be doing, wants hard and brutal and now even though a deeper part of him knows there’s no need to rush it. This isn’t a frenzied few minutes of relief the way it used to be for them, desperation and satiation bought on borrowed time.

Arthur’s skin is marked in shades of pink from the roughness of Eames’s stubble when they finally part. “Okay.” He sounds almost stern, but his eyes are luminous. “Let’s do this.”

Inside Eames’s mind, everything fast-forwards until he’s seeing Arthur with the flat, hard planes of his stomach curving outward, his nipples swollen and more sensitive than ever. When he goes thumbing over them as they are now—dark pink and small, pleasingly responsive to touches of all kinds as it is—it’s enough to make Arthur wriggle impatiently. Eames can’t even fathom how much the next nine months might intensify that. He kisses each one, sucks them slowly into his mouth in turn, the points of them delicate against his lips. There aren’t many things about Arthur that could be called delicate, so Eames makes the most of the ones that are, lingering there maybe a bit too long since Arthur grunts and pulls him up to kiss him properly, sucking hard at his tongue. His hips rut against Eames’s, cock sliding against his belly.

Eames eases back down his body, suckling at his cock long enough to take in the bitter taste of soap and pre-come there, then moving lower still. No need to urge his legs further apart, as Arthur is already way ahead of him, but Eames is deliberately a bit of a tease about nipping along his thighs before finally using his thumbs to part him wide. “All nice and clean for me, aren’t you?” he murmurs, and hears Arthur’s breath shudder from him like he’s been slapped.

Arthur loves this; never admits it, never asks for it, but always comes apart easy as anything when Eames’s tongue touches him there. “Aren’t you, love?” Eames asks again, letting his cheek grit along the flesh of Arthur’s inner thigh. Nudging at his balls, flickering his tongue over them, recalling the first time he tried this on Arthur—Avarua; there was a wine cellar involved–and made him come without even meaning to. He groans, brazen and deep and right up against him, but he doesn’t press for entrance, not yet.

“Oh god, I—yes, okay? Don’t tease, Eames, that’s not—” Eames mouths along the same path, this time venturing just a little higher. “Yes,” Arthur repeats, tortured, hips snapping up piston-quick.

Being rimmed has an instant effect on Arthur. He turns peaceful and pliable, as if all the precise, tension-riddled foundations of him have been abruptly rearranged. Like this, with his thighs falling open and small, hushed sounds of pleasure steadily leaving his lips. Fingers stroking gently through Eames’s hair, body surging rhythmically in time to each stroke of Eames’s tongue against him, inside him. Please, yes, oh god, please, more leaving him in words hardly more than breaths.

Eames is of the adamant opinion that shame has no place in bed and he doesn’t renege now, licking and groaning and making Arthur quiver with need, keeping at it until his jaw aches and his face is sheened with perspiration. Arthur must be touching himself, Eames is sure of it, leaking onto his stomach, nice and slick before they’ve even really gotten started. “Are you wet?” Eames rasps against his thigh.

The only answer is Arthur’s whine.

“I want you dripping for it. Here,” Eames dips his head lower, working his tongue up into him in a quick, wicked curl, “and here,” reaching to squeeze lightly at his cock.

And Arthur twists above him, says Eames’s name rough-edged.

He must be reaching for lube, since Eames can make out the sound of a small scuffle above. Then the bottle itself bounces off his head.

“Sorry,” mutters Arthur, pushing himself up onto one elbow and scrabbling around with his other hand. “C’mere.” He feeds Eames a dissolving strip of Listerine—even if this child ends up with Eames’s teeth, by God, they’re going to be the most dazzling teeth on the planet if Arthur and his passion for oral hygiene have anything to say about it—and drags him in for an overwhelmingly minty kiss. “You’re way too good at that.”

Eames presses a finger up against him, just stroking lightly until Arthur whines again and tries to angle his lower body just the right way to let him slip in. He could stay like this for a very long time, letting Arthur squirm and sigh and suckle at his neck and lips, sloe-eyed and gasping each time Eames teases his fingertip just past the rim of his hole.

Then Arthur gives a small chuff of laugher. “Foreplay is great and everything, but at this rate? By the time you finally get it in, I won’t even be ovulating anymore.”

“It’s a bit early for complaining, isn’t it?” Eames asks, nestling his face against the warm skin of Arthur’s stomach. “Hormones go mad when you’re pregnant, you know. I won’t be able to keep my hands off you.”

“So you say.”

Eames lets his teeth graze at the edges of Arthur’s navel, looking up when he hisses. “Out of curiosity, were you planning on banishing me to the guest room when I started to show?”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“Then why are you acting like I’d do something like that to you?” It’s not quite fair to ask him this just prior to slipping two fingers into him and crooking them just so, but Eames rarely plays fair.

“Fuck.” Arthur writhes against him, groaning as Eames stretches him open. “I didn’t mean that. I think you would’ve looked amazing with our baby in you. You know that.”

“Right, I do. I’m not sure why you think I feel any differently about you.” He slides in a third finger, working him wider still. It’s something Eames has done many times before and under many different circumstances, but never like this, never with the express purpose of getting Arthur ready for his cock so he can fill him with come as many times as it takes before there’s a baby beginning to grow inside him. That unsettling scrunching sensation seizes up in Eames’s throat again, the kind he previously associated only with tear gas and pepper spray. “I’ll still make love to you for hours no matter how far along you are.”

Arthur happens to be a little vain, though he’ll deny it to the grave, so Eames has to remind him of these things. He still can’t fully grasp why in the world Arthur needs reassuring in that area. Then again, Eames has been known to go to the shops in sweatpants and sandals when he can’t be arsed to make any effort beyond that, but Arthur refuses to so much as check the mail while he’s still wearing his pyjamas despite managing to look like a catalog model while he’s in them. He’s adamant about this even though his pyjamas are neat little affairs in stripes or solids with nary a frayed drawstring or threadbare knee among the lot of them.

“I’m going to get that from you in writing when we’re done,” promises Arthur. “There, yeah, oh fuck.” He screws himself on Eames’s fingers, every muscle in his stomach straining and clenching as if to make a point. “I can’t have you backing out on me for anything that crucial when I’m in week twenty-five or whenever.”

Now he’s doing it again: imagining Arthur lying spread on his back, the firm swell of his belly, breasts starting to bud on his narrow chest. Eames is still dying to know much the sensitivity would increase there, if it would make him tremble and cry out just from Eames brushing the pads of his fingers across them, if he’d arch up and come just from one careful little bite to the tip of one.

“Arthur,” he says solemnly, “I’ll hire a sodding skywriter if it makes you happy.”

Even though Arthur could probably leverage this and make Eames promise him anything in the world right now, he doesn’t. He glides his nails against Eames’s scalp and kisses him until they have to break apart to catch their breath, and fuck it, Arthur could talk Eames into whatever he pleases whenever he pleases, and all he wants now is kisses. This isn’t the sort of thing Eames has ever based a relationship on before and it still boggles his mind sometimes.

“Keep going,” Arthur whispers and Eames realises he still has two fingers slicked and pressed deep inside him, stroking just firmly enough to have Arthur giving tiny thrusts of his hips in response. His cock is flushed and full between them and, as Eames watches, a new drop of fluid forms at the tip and drips onto his stomach. Arthur draws a finger through it without so much as blinking, lets Eames lick it off.

“Fuck, you want this so much, don’t you?” He presses another finger inside, which has Arthur stretching his legs apart and arching his hips still more. Eames slowly eases him open, first on his back so he can press his face to the insides of Arthur’s thighs, lean and lightly dusted with dark hair, then sliding out to give a light tap to his knee. “Over for me, go on.”

Arthur tumbles onto all fours in record time, giving a deep groan when Eames’s clean hand splays over his abdomen but ventures no lower. Eames is so fucking hard just from picturing him with a pregnant belly, still narrow-hipped and sharp-angled but huge and stretched out from carrying their child. Arthur’s right; if he’s not careful, they’ll never make it to their goal here.

Eames holds him open, nipping at the crest of his arse. “Not much longer, love, I swear I won’t make you wait.” He nuzzles his face against the crease of his thigh, biting the same spot a little harder, then pours some additional lubricant directly over his hole just as Arthur twists round to kiss him. He ends up doing little more than moaning into Eames’s mouth while his body shudders and clenches suddenly, then sorts itself out and opens back up so nicely to let it in, let him in, taking Eames’s fingers into him eagerly.

“Can you imagine doing this when you’re a few months gone?” Eames whispers. He rubs his palm against Arthur’s belly, over damp skin and rough hair and the supple stretching of muscle. “God, what if you turn out to be one of those types who ends up craving it all the time? I’ll just have to fuck you like I can get you pregnant all over again. You won’t even be able to see when I go down on you or when I lick inside you, you’ll be so full.”

“Fuck, I need,” Arthur forces out. “You—shit—you feel good, but I really need you to fuck me now, as in within the hour. Please.”

Eames drops his hand to Arthur’s prick, skating a fingernail down the underside. “You’ll be so fucking desperate for it, won’t you?” he breathes. “And I’ll come inside you and keep fingering your tight little arsehole until you’re so open you’re leaking all over the sheets, until I’m ready to fuck you again—won’t fuck you proper or let you come right away, though—”

“What, you mean like right now?” Arthur writhes. “Eames, I fucking love you even though you don’t always make it easy, but please.”

“—no, I’ll just keep sucking you off and kissing you all over until you’re begging me to pull out and fuck right back into you. Maybe you’ll even play with your nipples for me while I’m in you, they’ll be so hard and sensitive. You’ll have such pretty little breasts, darling, I know it.”

He will; Eames can already see them in his mind’s eye, soft and small, neat little nipples that would get hard and leak milk just from rubbing against Arthur’s shirts. Maybe he’d take them off when it was too much for him to stand, let Eames massage them and kiss them to try and take the edge off. “I won’t be able to stop touching you, I know it. Won’t ever want to stop looking at you, swollen up so big and full and perfect.”

Even while he’s stroking Arthur’s cock, agonizingly slow, he’s seeing the length of it pressed hard against the curve of the stomach Arthur doesn’t yet have, sticky and wet and smudging against the dark hair under his navel. Eames would lick him clean without ever needing to be asked, nip at the taut little protrusion of his belly button, at his nipples, then suck him so slowly until Arthur was coming in his mouth and sighing almost sleepily, so loose and relaxed Eames would be able to slip two fingers up inside him almost right away.

“Or,” Arthur retorts, still breathing hard, “I might be lazy and moody all the time and not want it at all. We should prepare for a few less-than-ideal possibilities, too, just in case.”

Eames sees no issue with this. “Then you could just lie back, let me be on top and do all the work that way.” He draws back his fingers, gradual and obscene, and smears a sloppy kiss to the small of Arthur’s back when he whimpers. “Honestly, if the sprog ends up with your lack of creativity, we’re going to have to put them in therapy.”

Arthur titters. “It’d be funny if the treatment finally took and you actually did get pregnant. And by funny I mean terrifying. We’d kill each other, either by sheer concentration of hormones or shooting each other over the last tub of pickles.”

He wriggles onto his back at Eames’s behest, a fist around his cock and a moue on his lips. “Oh, and don’t say sprog. Jesus.”

“Well.” Eames shrugs the shoulder that doesn’t currently have one of Arthur’s legs over it. “That or just fuck each other senseless. Look on the bright side. We could record it, sell it to a fetish site, and make a fortune off it.”

That has Arthur in stitches. “I don’t think there’s a very big industry for that kind of thing.”

Eames kisses him, thumbs the sweat from his temples, then kisses him again. God, he’s never going to get used to being able to make Arthur laugh. “You never know.”

Arthur is on the verge of rolling his eyes, but then Eames slips inside him, bare and hard and languid as he can bear, and they roll back for a different reason.

Oh,” chokes Arthur, clenching hard around him with every limb. “Fuck—that—yes.”

“All right?” Eames asks, even though the answer is evident in every bowstring-taut inch of Arthur’s frame.

Arthur nods, his cheek hot under Eames’s hand when he eases their mouths together and starts to move.

Around him, Arthur is even hotter, slick and wonderful and taking Eames inside him so greedily in spite of himself. He’s already angling his hips to try and force him deeper even though Eames can hear him give a pained little hiss.

It doesn’t matter how often they do this, Arthur’s body always resists initially when he’s the one on the bottom, always so fucking tight even though Eames is being as slow and gradual as he humanly can. Everything about Arthur is guarded at first, even his desires. Being able to work through that guardedness and reap all the benefits of what comes next, however, is more than worth it. And even though it makes Eames feel like a bit of a shameless hussy by comparison, Arthur definitely hasn’t ever complained about it.

His cock is nearly flush with his stomach, velvet-smooth and so hard it’s a miracle Arthur’s managed to keep from coming this long. Eames touches it tenderly and he hisses again, sinking his nails into Eames’s shoulders and somehow hitching his legs still higher.

“Feel that?” Eames curls his hands over the crests of his hips and thrusts into him even harder. Arthur’s fingernails leave burning trails up his back when Eames licks the sweat from his upper lip and then presses his tongue inside. “I’ll have you so nice and full it’ll feel like you’re pregnant already, then plug you good and tight until I can fuck you all over again.”

Arthur has his mouth sealed over the pulse in Eames’s neck, probably in the process of leaving behind a mark it’s going to be hell to hide afterward, but the groan that escapes him is still pornographically loud.

“Yeah,” Eames breathes, licking hotly up behind one of Arthur’s red-stained ears, “that’s it, darling, let me hear it. Gonna stuff you so full of come you won’t be able to fucking walk when I’m done with you and you’ll love every second of it, won’t you?”

The yes Arthur utters sounds as if it’s being wrenched out of him with red-hot pincers.

Eames moves in him with silent intensity, cajoling him into kiss after kiss until Arthur is too busy gasping to keep up and Eames has to settle for kissing him everywhere else he can reach instead. He’s still dizzy with it, knowing he’s going to be doing more than just coming inside Arthur this time, going to keep trying until it’s enough, until it takes. Just thinking it literally takes his breath away.

Of course, if everything goes according to plan, he won’t be able to manhandle Arthur like a ragdoll for much longer, no matter how much they both enjoy it, so there’s no sense in letting a perfectly good opportunity go to waste. When Eames pulls out only to grab hold of Arthur under the knees and roughly turn him over, Arthur’s only response is to clutch the covers and press his arse back like he’s being paid for it. And damn it all if that doesn’t have Eames fighting for breath all over again.

“Don’t stop,” Arthur orders, muffled, oblivious. The glisten of lube is filthily evident between his legs. Eames draws a finger up his thigh to press it up inside him again, letting the tip of it tease at Arthur’s hole. Under him, Arthur arches and shoves his hips even higher, presenting himself to be fucked all over again. His legs are spread and his back is a flushed, smooth curve of muscle and bone that undulates beautifully beneath Eames’s tongue. Through it all, Arthur doesn’t make a sound, but every part of him is pleading for it until Eames takes him that way: facedown with his legs wide open, mouth parted and gasping, one reddened cheek pressed to the bedding.

Eames fucks him firm and slow, pressing Arthur's thighs further apart with his own, thrusting his hips hard and steady and breathing in the smell of him. Memorizing the taste of his skin, whispering Arthur’s name into the heated shell of his ear. Arthur writhes for him, pants for him and clenches for him and makes Eames want him that much more.

When Arthur comes for him, it’s with both hands tangled with Eames’s own on top of the mattress. Climaxing just like that, just from the pressure and the thrill of Eames’s cock inside him.

Eames savours it, each and every little shivering shudder of Arthur’s body against his own. Absolutely fucking loves it.

Arthur is gripping at the edge of the mattress for dear life since somehow they seem to have ended up sprawled crosswise, but he still takes everything Eames gives him, spilling out small cries and a fervent reel of harder, come on, come in me, you feel so fucking good until Eames catches him around the waist and hauls him back towards the center of the bed. He finishes fucking him like that, coming with a groan that ends up mostly muffled by Arthur’s nape and mostly overpowered by the far more impressive groan Arthur releases in response and then there’s nothing but warmth and breathless laughter and Arthur against him and around him and on the tip of his tongue.

He’s on his knees, straddling one of Arthur’s legs and essentially slumped over the rest of him, but Eames can’t bring himself to move. Not yet.

“Stay,” says Arthur, twisting to clumsily wrap an arm around him even though the heat between them is ruthless. “Keep it in me, don’t go yet.”

Eames rocks into him a little, enough to send sparks of pleasure through them both. “Gladly.”

When Eames eventually softens enough to ease out of him, Arthur tumbles into an indecent sprawl beside him, pliant and smiling the vague little smile he inevitably wears after a job well done. There are creases on one side of his face from pushing it into the sheets. Eames presses his mouth to one of them, then contents himself with nestling his own face against Arthur’s stomach all over again until Arthur objects to the beard burn and shifts down until they’re eye to eye.

Eames draws him close. “Think we could go again? Personally, I think ten minutes should do it.”

But Arthur doesn’t answer, not even to make a half-arsed threat about setting a timer. He squirms when Eames pulls him on top of him, unhappy lines crossing his face. Eames nudges a kiss to the one alongside his mouth. “Hey there. What’s the matter?”

“It’s not…” He pauses then and presses his face to Eames’s neck. “I don’t want to be empty.”

At first, Eames doesn’t understand. When he lets his touch dip lower, he can feel the slickness of his own come between the cheeks of Arthur’s arse, and Arthur just frowns harder, dismayed. “Eames, don’t.”

“Do you think,” Eames traces two fingers over his cheek, “maybe you need a plug in you after all?”

Arthur squirms again. “You were the one who brought it up before,” he starts, but he seems mollified when Eames shushes him.

“No, you’re right, it’s only sensible.” He rolls over to fetch the box from under the bed, noting when he comes back up that Arthur seems much more at ease.

When he slips the plug into him, Arthur only tenses for the most fleeting of moments before letting out a sigh and taking it into himself to the hilt. “Well done,” Eames murmurs. “Is that better?” He can’t resist giving a little shove to the base of it.

Arthur gives a delicious little whimper and flicks his tongue against Eames’s ear, biting the edge of it. “No sleeping,” he warns, obviously trying to sound menacing even though he’s lax and smiling against the side of Eames’s face. “Yeah, we’re so going again.”

“You know,” Eames realises, “we probably should have at least lit some candles for this. Or did you not want to end up telling the sprog they were conceived while you were having hot wax poured down your back?”

God.” Arthur manages to sound almost scandalised, though Eames knows quite well that he’s never one to spurn any kind of creative usage for wax. “Who tells their kid that? There’s a line, Eames. Find it.”

“Make me,” Eames says lazily, and Arthur rolls over him to grab the remote off the nightstand and mime stabbing him with it.

In Thessaly, Eames once did business with a chemist who needed a quick favour of the form-filling variety and couldn’t pay for it in anything but trade goods. He’d had the most incredible dreams for weeks, locked in a drafty bungalow with a borrowed PASIV. He never heard from the chemist again, never asked what she’d done to the compounds, but he’d kept a few vials and stored them away for another time. There are times when he’s not sure he needs them anymore. No matter how sophisticated the sedative, he doubts he could never dream up something like this. Even though the pragmatist in him insists on keeping the vials anyway, he hasn’t thought of actually using them in ages.

There’s an agenda for this, same as with any other plan, but Eames is in no hurry. He lets his touches rove over Arthur’s body until his fingers are toying lightly with the base of the plug again and he can kiss and lick every last moan right out of Arthur’ mouth. Any agenda that involves keeping Arthur in bed, fucking him over and over, and slipping a plug back inside him after each time doesn’t actually require much of a plan, aside from taking into account stamina and regular hydration.

“So,” Eames says. “Thresholds. I suppose we ought to look into that before you’re too big to carry over anything at all.”

Arthur looks at him archly. “Who says you’d be the one doing the carrying?”

Logic says so; don’t be thick. We can’t have you throwing your back out. Or hurting the baby.” He moves down to kiss his stomach once more, letting his hands map out Arthur’s body as if he’s never touched it before.

“We don’t even know if it—”

“Not yet, no,” Eames says firmly, “but it’s all in the effort, isn’t it?”

Arthur just slips his fingers through Eames’s and looks at him for a long while. “I‘m not letting you out of this bed for more than five minutes at a time today,” he says finally. He actually sounds very authoritative for someone who just had the stuffing fucked out of him. “Just so you know.”

A lifetime of dreaming, scheming, and identity theft has taught Eames how to keep a level head in the most improbable situations. There’s a chance that all the hopes and hormones in the world won’t be enough for them—and even if they do succeed, there’s going to be morning sickness and mood swings and Arthur very possibly being a bit of a terror to live with once he realises he’s outgrown his entire faultless wardrobe. Eames has a veritable cache of advice and articles still lingering in his mind from when he and Arthur first embarked on this adventure in not-quite normality. Research and risk are nothing new to either of them, even though this particular application of them definitely is.

“Then,” Eames replies, giving Arthur the most serious face he can, “you’d better start looking up prenatal yoga classes. Getting yourself knocked up is no reason to let yourself go and I’m not spending all my pocket change on peanut butter ice cream.”

“Getting myself--” Arthur’s eyes widen, then narrow, and all at once there are dimples in his cheeks and his hand is gripping Eames’s twice as hard. “You know what, fuck you. If you don’t want me around, I’m sure I could get a reality show out of this.”

Eames, for good or ill, is the sort of person willing to lay everything on the line for a possibility, no matter how farfetched it happens to be. He always has been, even before the two of them decided domesticity could very well be more dangerous than dreaming but that neither of them were ever the type to back away from a challenge.

Whatever happens, however it happens, it will all be worth the chance taken in the end.

When Arthur kisses him, Eames is laughing.