When Arthur thought back to his life as Tommy Solomon he couldn’t help but cringe in horror and morbid fascination.
Things had been so new and at times frightening when he and the rest of the unit first arrived on planet Earth. Sure they had great times but there were also times that all Tommy wanted to do was go back home, someplace that was safe and familiar in its simplicity.
He really was the old man that Dick and the others called him at times.
Despite the many mishaps that befell them Arthur couldn’t say he regretted being assigned to this tiny planet all those years ago.
Because despite what everyone back home said, Earth wasn’t third rate and it certainly wasn’t a dirty little boondocks planet in the middle of nowhere. It was filled with the most richly feeling inhabits that he ever had the pleasure of meeting. In all 300 planets that he had infiltrated Earth was the only planet that he would voluntarily stay on for the rest of his natural life span.
For thirteen years he’d lived on this planet masquerading as one of it’s humans and he couldn’t even say that he was playing the part anymore. It had become so natural; being human. Emotions that had stumped him his first few years had become the normal for him, more then his actual form that was laying in a sleeping chamber on home base.
After his small stink in College Tommy hadn’t known what he was suppose to do, he‘d filled out his obligations as the son, gone to school and graduated. But now that it was over they were all clueless on what his next assignment was to be. Tommy wouldn’t have been surprised if the Home Planet had recalled him to send him to another mission.
Of course he’d gone to his commander and second-in-command, but Dick and Sally had been just as clueless as he was, it was actually Harry who had helped him out by absently stating that he should get a job and gain more experience of the young adult life.
So Tommy had looked up as many jobs in Cleveland as he could that with his vast intelligence he could be challenged but he wasn’t surprised to find that they were far and few, so he’d picked out something random but got bored after the fifth accountant job. So instead of looking through another ad in the local paper he’d gone home and told Harry and Sally to write down as many jobs as they could think of and put them into a hat, he’d choose from there and make a career out of it. It didn’t matter if the job wasn’t local, he’d leave Cleveland if he needed to. Something he’d never really done before and to be honest was kind of scared of.
So once Sally and Harry were done; he wouldn’t let Dick put any suggestions in the hat for obvious reasons. He’d reached inside and picked up one slip of paper among many.
Sally had been a bit muffled about that but had also been pleased. She’d taken him aside after that and for the next three months trained him in every combat situation she could think of and all human weaponry she could get her hands on, which was a lot for someone who wasn’t in the human military.
With all his new found knowledge and aching muscles Tommy was assigned to be the backup security officer for the mission, in the case that something happens to Sally, like her getting pregnant by Don or something.
So it came to be that one year after graduating from the small local college Dick had made him go to, Tomas ‘Tommy’ Solomon walked into Rutherford’s Army recruitment center.
For four years he lived, breathed, and shit army life. He had new respect for Sally’s job after he was sent overseas, something that she won’t ever let him forget.
It had been hard to keep in constant communication with the unit, he had to destroy quite a few radios and phones in order to create his own intergalactic cell phone that allowed him not only to call his family without paying any charges he also had the power to call the Home Planet for emergencies only.
After four years of being both a field officer and an intelligence gatherer, he was ordered by the higher ups to participate in a research project.
Tomas had been surprised to learn that humans had discovered the technology to bend the human mind enough to dream lucidly. Tomas had been appalled at the repercussions that this could bring such a young planet and had immediately called the Home Planet with his new handy-do cell. Bypassing his commanding officer, Dick wouldn’t know what to do in this kind of situation and besides, he was too busy with Mary to bother with the potential disaster this had become.
He’d been shocked to learn that some planetary rogue from the Yor-delta quadrant had slipped the humans the dreaming technology a few years ago in exchange for some human drugs, the tech was far more advance then the humans should be allowed to learn, at least that was most of the opinion of the Home Planet, and sad to say Tomas agreed with them, while he was attached to the humans and their little blue planet he didn’t think they were ready for the advancement that this tech would give them.
He’d been told by the Home Planet that everything was being taken care of and he was to forget about what he had learned and carry on with his own mission.
Well fuck that, he lived on this damn mud ball and he wasn’t going to let it be incinerated or wiped into space dust or something overkill like that that the Home Planet was famous for, he’d take care of this by himself and assure his superiors that the humans can adapt to this tech, even if he himself didn’t really believe that. Although humans had surprised him before with their surprising insightfulness and adeptness, maybe they really would grow from this instead of turning it into some kind of horrible weapon that wiped out most of the planet.
So he’d joined the dream community that the military was controlling with an iron fist, not that the Americans were the only ones with this technology, apparently the Brits and the Russians had also been sold the blueprints. Tomas was just happy that they seemed to be sharing instead of fighting.
Incidentally, he apparently made a great test subject, the head scientists in his department were practically salivating when they found out his ability to not only dream lucidly with a clarity that was unheard of but to also remember what he had dreamed, something that usually took the subject time, like a course of months.
It wasn’t like it was that hard, at least not for him, maybe for an average human it would be difficult but he’d been lucidly dreaming since he was spawned.
After all, how else would he have been able to categorize all the information he had acquired over the many years he’d gone on to missions to other planets? He never forgot anything he learned just stored it away in a corner part of his brain in a neat filing cabinet he kept up there until the time came to access the information.
So for the next two years Tomas was subjected to confidential dream sharing projects. The projects annoyed him greatly but after a few months he got use to dying in almost every single dream the higher ups sent him into. Several of the other human test subjects mentally cracked long before Tommy had finally had enough.
So once he finally acknowledged to himself that the humans were harmless, sick but harmless and that he’d learn all that that these particular humans could teach him about how they were progressing with the technology he’d gone to ground and stolen his own PASIV device. It didn’t take long for him to make up some sob story to Dominick Cobb, the leading scientist of the project about how much he was being torn apart mentally by the military’s way of dream sharing. He had already known that Dominick had been making plans to leave the project and using the tech to do jobs in the real world, jobs that probably weren’t the most legal, but at this point Tomas didn’t give a flying rat, he wanted out and this seemed the safest bet that would keep his commander and the others out of it.
Dominick’s wife, Mallory Cobb who Tomas had the pleasure of meeting once before was in agreement with him and when Tomas came to them both and asked them to take him with them they’d had taken him in, no questions asked, which was odd but he decided to take it anyway.
Sometimes he wanted to smack his new found friends over the head and ask them what the hell they were thinking when they allowed him to go with them; he could have been a spy wanting to take them down at the first opportunity for all they knew.
But he never asked and they’d never pried into why he wanted out.
He’d enjoyed the life of a criminal surprisingly, he didn’t tell the unit about what he was doing of course, since he was breaking so many rules and laws right now that he knew that if he told any of them the truth of what he was doing he’d be sent back home faster than you could sneeze.
So Dick and Sally and Harry all thought he worked for a travel agency, it was the only excuse he could think of that would explain why he was traveling all over the world instead of staying in Ohio. Dick was happy about it of course, he hated it when Tommy had joined the army and left them behind to possibly change the course of human history, please, he hated change but had gotten use to Tommy being gone so when
Tommy had said he worked for a travel agency he’d asked for two tickets to someplace nice for Mary and him.
Tomas had spent his own money on buying two round tickets to Disneyland for him. Mary hadn’t been impressed but Dick loved it and really that was what was important, he may like Mary, she was a decent human after all but as long as Dick was happy and preoccupied with someone else he won’t have time to pry into Tomas’s personal life.
Sally and Don had married a short time ago, she had told him about…herself and them, Dick had been angry but since he’d told Mary he had no room to talk, surprisingly Don had taken it very well and only asked that his wife not impregnate him without his permission. They were happily married now and expecting a puppy or two to add to their little family. Tomas was just glad they weren’t talking babies, yet.
Harry still hadn’t found anyone to spend his life with while they were still assigned to the planet but that it didn’t seem to bother him that much, he still lived in the attic space that they had all shared those many years ago but he’d managed to sneak in two dogs, a cat, a parrot, a tank of gold fish and an iguana and seemed happy with him little pets.
So while everyone else was settling into domestic life Tommy was running around the world waving a gun around and breaking into the minds of corporate CEOs and stealing secrets and selling them for a high price. Basically? He was a total bad-ass.
He had also decided to change his name, not only to protect the unit but also…he’d gotten really tired of being called Tommy by people. He’d asked Dom and Mal what names they liked and Mal had suggested the name Arthur. Tommy had liked it, it was professional sounding and better yet, you couldn’t get Tommy out of it like you did with Tomas.
He liked to think he got the better deal of his family unit. He still couldn’t find the rogue that had sold the technology to the humans but no one seemed to realize that the PASIV device was alien so Tomas, now going by the name Arthur, had calmed down and just let things flow. He had contacted the Home Planet and told them not to make a big fuss about the stolen technology, like blow up the planet. Since he was a
seasoned officer they took his option in advisement and agreed with him, mostly because they really didn’t want to bother themselves with the little planet that couldn’t even go outside its own solar system yet.
He’d met many different kinds of humans as he followed the Cobb’s through the dreaming community. He was an excellent point man, the best of course, and was always in high demand but he decided that he would only work on a job if the Cobb’s were on board.
He’d met Mr. Eames only once and to say that he wasn’t impressed would be an understatement, the man was rude and unprofessional as well as a terrible flirt. Also his fashion sense was terrible, it reminded Arthur of his early years and he had to hide his shudder of horror.
Even when Arthur was condescending and insulting Eames had a habit of bouncing back for more. Sometimes late at night Arthur couldn’t help but feel a sense of admiration and something else when he thought about the strange human.
Then Mal lost her mind in Limbo and Dom went on the run and somehow Arthur found himself following the mentally unstable man.
He didn’t know why either, Sure he kind of owed Mal and Dom for helping him get out of the military and helping him to establish himself in the criminal community but he could have done all that on his own.
After a while he had to admit the truth to himself, he had substituted Dom’s family for his own since he hadn’t seen the others for a long while. If Arthur didn’t know any better he would have thought that the others had forgotten the mission and their real lives off planet and gone native.
Okay that might be exactly what they’d all done, Arthur included.
After the Inception job things got…a little confusing. Arthur hadn’t even known that such a thing was possible and was afraid to phone in the Home office about it, Dom had gone home to his kids and hung up his PASIV device in retirement. Yusuf had gone back to his little dream den and Saito had gone off to take over corporations.
Arthur had floundered for a while, he’d mostly done all his jobs with Cobb, now that he was gone Arthur wasn’t even sure he still wanted to dream share anymore. Sure it was fun and the research he had to do for each and every job fulfilled his constant need to gather information but…who would he work with now?
Luckily the choice had been taken from him, Ariadne had called him two days after the big job and told him bluntly that she had another job lined up and she’d appreciate his help if he was free. Arthur had been understandably worried about her, she was a rather sweet, trusting naïve human who would no doubt be shot and killed sooner rather than later, especially in this community. So he had told her that he would be there in a day and to compile all the information she had on the job for him.
He’d been hoping that it was an amateur’s job since this was only Ariadne’s second job but he should have known better. Her first job had been Inception after all.
Still it could be worse, once Arthur had gotten there he took complete control with hardly a struggle from the other people that Ariadne was working with.
The job was an extraction, thank human god. The job itself was almost simple enough, the client was some shady CEO who wanted an extraction done on his secretary to see if she was selling his secrets to his rival companies.
It wasn’t the job that had him on edge, it was the people on the job, he didn’t know much about the client but what he had heard wasn’t good and the chemist was rumored to dab in dangerous chemicals and liked to experiment on his teammates. He’d at least managed to kick out the extractor, who had been a pimple faced brat that didn’t know what he was doing and would more then likely scramble all their brains if he tried to break into theirs.
When the chemist and the client got prissy about him firing the brat he told them he had a much more experience extractor on call who could do this job with his eyes closed. Ariadne had asked who he was talking about and the only name he could think of was Eames.
There was Dom of course but Arthur found that he couldn’t call him in, he was living the good life back home with his family and he didn’t need Arthur bothering him to come help out, Eames was primarily a forger but he dabbed more then once at extraction.
So he had no choice but to call the clown and ask for his help.
Eames, of course, had been elated with smug satisfaction when Arthur had called him out of the blue.
He’d been on the next plan out from Las Vegas where he had been losing all the money that Saito had paid them with.
Ariadne had been overjoyed to see Eames and visa versa of course. Arthur liked to think it was because they both had fun messing with his blood pressure.
The chemist, Glenn had fumed at the change in plans but didn’t say anything thankfully. He’d rather not have Ariadne see his nasty side while he dealt with angry chemists. Dom liked to say that he was like an angry mama cat when it came to defending his territory.
So now they had three weeks of tailing and gathering information on the mark, oh and Arthur had to avoid Eames who seems to have made it his life mission to get in under Arthur‘s sheets.
As if…even if Eames was kind of cute, for a human that was.
“Hey Arthur, could you look this over for me?” Ariadne called out from across the warehouse. She was bent over a table which was completely covered in blue prints and empty coffee cups.
Arthur looked up from the dossier he had just finished making on the mark and gave her a firm nod. As he got up he looked at Eames who was plugged in their PASIV practicing the several emergency forgers that Arthur had firmly stated were necessary. While Eames was their extractor for the job it didn’t hurt to have a few back up plans in the works.
Most of which he’d only talked over with Eames, no need to overly worry Ariadne or tip off their wonky chemist.
“So what do you need me to look over?” Arthur asked politely.
“This here, I’m just not sure if it looks completely like what we decided on earlier.” She showed him several blue prints that she had constructed and he made a few minimum corrections here and there. He didn’t have to do much, Ariadne was a wonderful architect and once this little job was over he was going to convince her to stick to the legal jobs as much as possible, it wouldn’t do to lose such talent to some shady backstab.
Arthur sipped on a cup of coffee Ariadne had made them as they went over the sheets. Hearing movement from behind him Arthur turned his head to see Eames yawning and getting up from the lounge chair they used for practice runs, Eames looked to be done working on the PASIV for now it seemed. Arthur watched out of the corner of his eye as Eames got up to sit behind his own desk to work on something or other. Arthur liked to think that he was actually working but he didn’t want to go overboard with the hope that was more often then not misplaced.
“So Arthur, I was wondering…are you and Eames having sex yet?” Ariadne asked suddenly.
Arthur spit out the mouthful of hot coffee he‘d just sipped, luckily avoiding Ariadne and the paperwork but unfortunately it stained the front of his designer shirt, that he had paid almost a grand for.
Ariadne began to laugh hysterically as she ran to go get towels from the small bathroom to help him clean up the mess. Her eyes leaking tears of hysteria and her face was cherry red, much like Arthur‘s own face.
“Alright there darling?” Eames asked from his desk, a smirk on his face as if he had heard the question that had Arthur spilling his coffee, not to mention the loss of composure that Arthur had just shown for all to see.
“Shut up Mr. Eames.” Arthur growled as Ariadne came back with several paper towels. An almost apologetic look on her face, but laughter was still clear in her eyes.
There was nothing for it, Arthur unknotted his tie and unbuttoned his suit jacket and dress shirt. They were all lost to the coffee but his undershirt didn’t seem to be worse off.
He ignored the wolf whistles from both of his co-workers as he wiped the hot liquid off his skin.
“Darling if I had known that the mere mention of sex between us would have gotten you to strip this fast I would have made sure that it would have been mentioned sooner.” Eames leered as he walked over and
leaned against Ariadne’s desk, making sure he had the best view of Arthur, san clothing armor.
“As much as I know this would hurt your fragile ego Eames you are not going to be the reason for me stripping my clothes off.” Arthur said tensely and bagged his ruined clothing to take to the dry cleaner in the hopes that they could be salvaged.
“Oh darling you just kept telling yourself that.” Eames winked at him and walked away. Arthur rolled his eyes as Ariadne giggled nearby.
“Are we here to work or is this a daycare center?” Glenn sneered from his table. Arthur glared at him as Ariadne redden again, this time not with light humor and gentle teasing but with shame and embarrassment. She walked over to her chair and kept her head down, working quietly on the prints. Eames sneered at Glenn while his own face went unpleasantly blank.
“Why don’t you keep your mouth shut Glenn unless you can find something productive to say, not that I have much hope in that.” Arthur said coolly back.
Glenn just glared at him spitefully and turned his back to all of them, going back to his calculations.
“Thank you.” Ariadne said softly so that only Arthur would hear.
“Hey it’s fine, although I will ask that the next time you want to do a job you tell me first, I can find you something with much better people on board.” He whispered back.
“Like you and Mr. Eames?” She said cheekily. He just smirked and went back to his desk. There was still a few things he needed to work out and the job was two days away, still plenty of time to dig up some dirt on their chemist and maybe while he was at it he’d dig up some dirt on their client too, just in case.
Arthur felt groggy and sluggish as he woke up from a deep, drugged sleep. His brain felt like it was stuffed with all kinds of soft fabric- maybe even a fabric softener.
“I think the bastard’s waking up.” Someone hissed nearby, probably standing right in front of him.
“Good, I thought that the chemical had killed him, the boss wouldn’t have been very happy about that.”
“It wasn’t my fault! How was I supposed to know the serum would have affected him like that?! It worked perfectly with the other test subjects!”
“Shut up and make sure the others are secured you moron while I deal with this!”
Arthur opened his eyes slowly, while his head was still fuzzy he was beginning to remember now.
Like how utterly shit the job had gone.
“Now are you absolutely sure that your serum works?” The second voice asked skeptically and Arthur couldn’t place if he knew the voice or not. It was clear though that this person was in charge right now.
“Of course it works!!” The second voice sneered and Arthur realized who the first voice was, Glenn the chemist, that rat bastard! When Arthur got his hands on him-!
“Well you better hope it does! The boss wants information that’s in this guy’s head. It’s too bad that his brain’s practically unbreakable or else we’d just extract it.”
Arthur glared up at the two idiots that were now standing in a corner. They were tying an unconscious Eames to a chair, well Glenn was tying Eames up while the second person just watched with a sneer on his
face. Eames had a rather impressive sized goose egg on his temple, some dried blood coated the area too so he must have woken up from the drugs faster then they had expected and they had to improvise in order to secure him. Glenn was supporting a nasty black eye and a split lip while the other man was bleeding from some rather nasty scratches on his cheek.
He turned his head and saw Ariadne tied to another chair, rage welled up inside of him when he saw a large bruise on the side of her face. She must have woken up as well, which begged the question if they’d even been drugged or if it had only been him that they had needled with the unknown substance.
While on the Inception job he had come to see Ariadne as a younger sister and those bastards had the fucking nerve to strike her. Not to mention that they had knocked out Eames, no one was allowed to bloody up that bastard but him. Arthur was angry in a way he hadn’t been angry in a long time, these were his teammates and he was taking this personal now.
They were going to pay with every ounce of their human lives once he figured out how to get out of the ropes they had tied him up in.
“Ah the point man regains conscious.” Glenn jeered as he walked over. “I bet your mighty confused right now aren’t ya?”
Arthur glared at him but didn’t speak, he was still feeling off and he’d finally processed that the drug feeling he was having was some kind foreign substance in his bloodstream that was difference from any kind of knockout gas that he’d come in contact with, in fact he was beginning to worry that it wasn’t a knock out gas but something much more terrible.
“I bet your wondering what this is all about.” Glenn continued to squawk. “Well think back real hard to the Reinter Job in South France. I’m sure that you’ll realize just why you’re in this position soon enough.”
A low moan from the corner signaled that Eames was awakening from the knock on his head.
“Hurry it up, you’ve already injected him with the compulsion cocktail now just give him the truth serum and we’ll have him singing like a canary.” The other, still unknown man hissed angrily.
Arthur leaned back as much as he could in the chair, he felt like his brain was numb in shock. They had drugged him with some kind of truth serum? He hadn’t even known that the humans had such drugs in their hands. Had the rouge sold more then the dream share technology when he’d come to earth?
“Don’t you dare come at me with that!” He shouted as Glenn walked towards him with a rather large needle filled with a liquid the color of puke. Arthur didn’t want that stuff anywhere near him, who knew how it would reenact with his body, after all the body he was in wasn’t exactly home grown.
Glenn just cackled hideously and plunged the needle hard in Arthur’s neck. The pain from the entry was terrible but what happened afterwards was much worse.
Arthur moaned pitifully as a burning sensation ran through his body, his veins felt like they were on fire and his body was liquefying and that wasn’t even mentioning what his brain felt like.
“What the hell are you doing to him?!” Eames shouted from where he was tied up, tugging on his own bonds in desperation, while he could only watch in horror as the point man squirmed and cried out in pain as the deadly cocktail coursed through his body, poisoning his very being.
Soon a sort of cold numbness overtook the burning and Arthur’s head looped weakly on his neck, he didn’t have the will power or energy to lift it, not after that experience.
Glenn walked over a took his pulse then checked his pupil dilation.
“Good, he’s ready.” He told the other man.
“Ready for what? What have you bastards done to him!?!” Eames yelled, angry and frightened beyond belief.
“Shut up or we’ll knock you out again. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn a little something from your dear vault like point man.” Glenn sneered but didn’t pay Eames any more attention than that.
The other man slapped Arthur across the face, causing him to jerk upward. Arthur lifted his gaze slowly, hatred burning in his eyes as he stared into the unknown man’s weasel like eyes.
“Hello there Mr. Arthur,” the man cooed sinisterly. “You don’t need to know my name so how about you just call me Sir.”
Glenn snickered while Eames made a noise of outrage.
“Now Arthur I know you must be feeling hazy right now but if you answer my questions then the haziness will go away. Can you do that?”
Somewhere deep in Arthur a voice screamed negatively but Arthur’s brain felt terribly scattered, he knew he didn’t like this Sir but he felt…compelled to answer the man.
“Yes, Sir.” Arthur droned.
“Good boy!” Sir praised, luckily for him he didn’t try to pet Arthur, because he might have lost a finger or three to Arthur’s sharp teeth.
“Now Arthur let’s start with something simple, just to make sure the serum is working correctly.” Sir ordered as Glenn made a noise of protest that his invention would be in doubt.
“Good, now- what is your name?”
Arthur felt confused as the question filtered through the fog, his name? Which one? Arthur felt compelled to answer though so he decided to name off all the names he’d had in his life.
“Designation name: IO456, code name: Trine’4, code name: Yv’en Hel, code name: 3$^90$, code name:*****, code name: Tomas Solomon, code name: Arthur-”
“Stop! Glenn what the fuck is this?! It’s suppose to be a truth serum not something that would make him lose his mind!!” Sir shrieked angrily at the confused chemist.
“I d-don’t know what’s going on, the compulsion seems to be working well but-he must have found some way to counter act the agent! It’s the only explanation that explains why he’s speaking gibberish.” Glenn
Sir sneered at him dangerously before turning his frustrations onto a hazily confused Arthur.
“Listen you little shit, I’ve tried to be nice about this but you just have to make things difficult don’t you!?”
“…No, Sir.” Arthur droned, bored with the conversation.
“Where are you from?!” The spit flew as Sir glared at the unconcerned man in front of him.
“Home Planet, 36 million light years northeast of Earth’s Sun, in the Trion Galaxy.” Arthur said cheekily, the compulsion to speak the truth was still strong in him but he was beginning to gain more clarity as time
passed on, it wasn’t too bad after all, they already thought he was speaking gibberish and lying and out of his mind.
So why not enjoy speaking the truth for once? In the last thirteen years he’d told more lies then there were inhabitants on the Home Planet.
“Why you cheeky brat!” Sir spat. “Who do you think you are? An alien?” He scoffed.
“Yes.” Arthur said with complete seriousness.
The insuring silence that filled the room made Arthur burst out laughing. Human god, this felt freeing!
Glenn began to back up in fear while making chocking sounds, Sir sounded enraged by the whole thing and Eames…
Shit, he had forgotten that Eames was even there in the first place. Arthur didn’t turn to look at him, instead he continued to laugh, hopefully it would make those idiots think that their little cocktail had driven
him mad, he’d rather not have Eames think he’d gone mad but that was better then any alternative.
“Glenn explain yourself!” Sir screamed out as he picked up a gun and waved it in the direction of the frightened chemist.
“It works! I know it does! He’s telling the truth!” Glenn cried frantically as he continued to back away towards the door. “He’s an alien! Oh gods-!” Glenn tried to make a run for it but Sir shot him in the leg.
Glenn screamed in pain as he fell to the floor.
“Pull yourself together you moron!” Sir snarled at him, “There is no such things as aliens! He’s trying to trick us that’s all. Now you dose him with another dosage and we’ll get the fucking truth out of him yet.”
Glenn hobbled to his feet, his face awash of pain and terror but he obeyed Sir.
“That’s won’t be necessary Sir,” Arthur objected.
“Oh no, I think it is.” Sir grinned evilly.
Arthur looked around frantically and tugged on the ropes restraining him.
He looked towards Eames and felt his eyes widen as he saw the empty chair and cut ropes.
Eames suddenly sprung from the shadows and knocked the gun away from Sir and punched him in the gut. As Sir fell to his knees in pain and surprise Eames kicked him in the face, rendering him unconscious.
Glenn took one look at Eames’s extremely pissed off face and took off running.
“Damn, I am so turned on right now.” Arthur spoke huskily and then blushed bright red when Eames shot him a surprised, considering look.
“That’s nice guys but can you both untie me maybe first before you express your sexual urges for each other?” Ariadne asked sarcastically from her chair.
Eames hurried over to her and unbound the ropes, after that they untied Arthur who waited patiently.
No one said anything as they collected their things and a sample of the serum, Arthur walked over to the unconscious man and considered shooting him.
“Come on Arthur.” Ariadne called from the doorway, Eames had already left, either making a break on his own or he was getting a car ready for them to make a escape together. Either way they didn’t have time to
waste killing Sir and dumping the body somewhere convenient, Glenn had escaped and who knew if he was brining reinforcements.
Arthur nodded and left the warehouse after making sure they hadn’t left behind anything important or that could be used to track them, he kept his lips pressed tightly together as he got in the passenger seat of
the car that Eames had pulled up in, it was clearly stolen but at this point Arthur couldn’t give a damn, he could scold Eames after he got the urge to tell him how much criminal activity turned him on, especially when it was performed by Eames.
Ariadne crawled in the back and Eames practically flew down the street, heading as far away as he could on half a tank of gas.
“Okay here’s what I think we should do. Ariadne, I want you to call Saito and arrange for a private plane ride to Cobb’s house. Lie low there for a while, at least until the heats off us from this job. Say…maybe six months?”
Ariadne looked like she wanted to protest but she was clearly shaken up from the whole experience. Arthur hated to see her like that but maybe it was for the best, at least she won’t take any more jobs just because someone contacted her.
Arthur smiled tightly at her and turned his attention to the road ahead of them.
It looked like Eames was taking them somewhere specific but Arthur was too afraid of what would come out of his mouth if he asked.
Luckily Ariadne didn’t have that problem. “Eames where are we going?”
“I have a safe house nearby, we’ll go there and you can call Saito while I contact Yusuf.” Eames said tensely.
“Why Yusuf?” Ariadne asked confused.
“I’m going to send him the sample of the stuff they gave Arthur and see if he could make a antidote.”
Arthur tensed but Ariadne still looked confused.
“Why? It’s clear it doesn’t work, I mean Arthur said he was an alien if you care to remember.” Her voice was skeptical as she said this.
“I know.” Eames hands tighten on the wheel and Arthur kept his gaze straightforward, he might have fooled Ariadne about whether the serum worked or not but Eames it seems wasn’t as fooled.
They rode in silence after that and when Eames pulled in front of a small villa they all got out silently as well. Eames opened the door after showing them that the hidden key was taped to a lamppost a few feet
Ariadne walked quickly to the phone and contacted Saito. While she was doing that Eames told them that he was going to get rid of the car and left.
Arthur was left standing in the middle of the living room, the PASIV device in one hand and the tube of serum that was making his life a living hell in the other one.
“I’m going to place these somewhere safe.” He informed Ariadne as she waited to be transferred on the phone. She nodded absently so Arthur decided that she didn’t need anything from him. He walked down the
small hallway, admiring the simplicity and yet beauty of the safe house that Eames had created.
As he walked he opened up one of the doors and saw a guest room. Or at least he thought it was a guest room since it was void of personal items.
He walked in and shut the door behind him, after storing the PASIV device in the closet safely he examined the vial in his hand.
The vial was shatter proof so he wasn’t afraid of dropping and destroying it.
The chemical compound wouldn’t be too hard to figure out and he’d be able to engineer his own antidote easily enough with the right equipment.
But he couldn’t, because Arthur wasn’t a person who was suppose to know how to do such things. He was a tight ass who knew how to shot a target 30 feet away and looked kick ass in a suit, but he wasn’t a
chemist, it was Tomas Solomon that liked to lab geek on occasion.
Sighing heavily Arthur placed the vial carefully in the bedside desk and laid back on the bed.
He was still feeling sluggish even though his head felt clear. He didn’t mean to fall asleep, actually he meant to call the rest of the unit and give them a status report on what happened, with a few lies here and there.
But sleep overtook him quickly and silently.
Whispers woke Arthur, he pressed his face harder into the pillows as the whispers soon became actual words he could understand.
“Are you sure we should wake him?”
“I don’t think he’d want to sleep through this and I don’t know about you sweetheart but I’d rather not face Arthur’s wrath. Even though he does look incredibly adorable sleeping right now.”
Arthur cracked open an eye and glared at Eames and Ariadne who were standing over him.
“I would speak very carefully if I was you Mr. Eames.”
Ariadne giggled at the disgruntled look Arthur shot them. Arthur got up and tried to tame the horrible bed head he’d accumulated during his nap.
“So what’s our status?” He asked as he stood up and followed the others to the living room. Arthur took the chair while Eames and Ariadne took the sofa.
“Well Ariadne called Cobb and Saito and told them our situation. They’re going to put some fellers out and see what this is all about. They decided that it would be best for Ariadne to stay here for a while rather
then have her out in the open, I’m sure that whoever was after you are now after all of us. Also Saito’s going to bring Yusuf here to analyze the sample. We’ll get you well enough soon darling.”
“I don’t like being in debt with Saito” Arthur frowned. “But at this point I’m afraid it’s necessary. I would rather figure this all out myself but now that your both involved I can’t say that they won’t go after you as well, not to mention I know that both of you would track me down and nag me to death.”
Ariadne and Eames shared an amused look before simultaneously saying “Yes, dear.”
“Oh shut up, you might think your cute and you are right-” Arthur clipped his jaw shut, Ariadne and Eames grinned at him.
“I’m not sure Eames, I kind of like this whole truthful Arthur.” Ariadne smirked.
Arthur frowned at her before suddenly smirking, “Well Ariadne since you like the truth so much I’m being terribly truthful in saying that that outfit does not work, sweetie.”
Ariadne’s eyes widen and her jaw dropped.
“I mean that scarf with that brown jacket? It’s a travesty and that lip gloss with those boots? Sweetheart-“ Arthur reached out took her hand in his own, his voice going lower as if he was a doctor telling his patient
that she had terminal cancer.
“You may have talent in buildings and angles but in colors and fashion you do not.”
Eames was laughing like a mad man on the other side of the couch, his face was red and he was snorting hard enough to get a bloody nose.
Ariadne’s face was also red, in both amusement and anger.
“Okay Arthur you made your point, we’ll get you cured as quickly as possible. Besides how can you insult my fashion sense and not Eames’s?”
Arthur turned to look at Eames who was trying to compose himself, Arthur had a hunch it wasn’t quite what he said to Ariadne that set him off laughing like that but the way he presented it.
Sally always said that he was better in the whole femma approach then her.
“Alright just so I’m clear on where we stand right now, we’re to hide here together for who knows how long while other people who are not me research about the people who kidnapped us and not them?” Arthur
“Afraid so darling.” Eames said cheerfully.
“It won’t be all that bad Arthur.” Ariadne tried to reassure him. “After all the cocktail they gave you can’t be too powerful since you were able to lie earlier.”
Arthur looked at her confused. “Lie? When have I lied, I’ve told more truths today then I have for the last 13 years.”
Ariadne scowled at him, “Well when you told those creeps that you were an alien of course.”
Arthur quickly looked away and got up to his feet. “Well I am one and I believe I’m going to go hide now. Eames if we are staying here for an unknown amount of time go out and buy us some food, I’ll cook dinner
once you get back since I’m doubtful that either of you know how to work a stove.”
Without waiting for a respond he walk back into the room he claimed as his own and slammed the door shut.
He didn’t come back out for several hours, instead he sat in the middle of the bed having a nice silent panic attack. Neither Eames or Ariadne bothered him and he couldn’t say wither he was happy that they were leaving him alone or disappointed.
He had taken out his phone half a dozen times and stared at the number for Dick’s house. He told himself that he should call, it was his duty after all but…it didn’t feel right to call Dick about this, he might have been the high commander but the Dick he knew was more human and fragile then the commander he once served on the many missions they had worked together.
Besides he could deal with this, so what if he was forced to tell the truth? He can just make Yusuf tell everyone that the vile cocktail of poisons made it so that he told the truth in what he believed the truth was.
So instead of them honestly believing he was an alien they’d just think he was a nutter instead. Not ideal circumstances to be sure but he’d deal.
He might just have to erase his identity as Arthur though and disappear back into the shadows of Tomas Solomon.
He finally put the phone back in his pocket, uncalled for now and walked out. He couldn’t see where Eames had gone to but he caught a glimpse of Ariadne in the living room curled up on the couch with a book.
He made sure he didn’t make any noise as he walked past her into the kitchen.
On the countertop were three large shopping bags, filled with all manner of ingredients and food. Arthur flushed as the fluttering in his chest acted up. It always did that when Eames did something nice, even though Arthur had asked for it in the first place didn’t diminish the fluttering.
As Arthur rolled up his sleeves and loosen his tie he wondered absently if showing his two co-workers his culinary skills was a weakness. But since he’d rather eat something eatable and not take-away he didn’t have much of a choice.
He had to wipe the stove down and the counter tops since this place hadn’t been used in a while and had accumulated dust but once that was done he quickly got to work.
He turned on the small kitchen radio; soon he was lost in his own world of oregano and pasta. It helped to block out the thoughts of what he had done and said and who had listened, stopped his mind from continuously running in circles about how he screwed up and may have to change his whole identity.
Arthur sighed as his mind came in a full circle, the peaceful haze he had been in while he was cooking went up in smoke and he was faced with the reality that was before him.
He could hear Ariadne in the living room, singing softy in time with the radio but no other sound disturbed the air around him. He was beginning to wonder where Eames had run off too. He could be in one of the other rooms that Arthur had yet to explore but you’d think he would have made some kind of noise or come out to investigate the delicious smells coming from Arthur’s cooking. But nope, no sight of him yet,
not since Arthur had fled to the room he had claimed as his own.
Arthur didn’t know whether to feel relieved or insulted that Eames hadn’t sought him out to explain himself. As much as Arthur appreciated the space that Eames was granting him he kind of just wanted things over as quickly as possible. Besides that, Arthur knew they needed to talk about the other things that Arthur said in his presence.
Arthur coughed and his face redden as he thought of what he had said when Arthur had knocked the man named Sir unconscious. It hadn’t been untrue but it was something that Arthur would never had said under any other circumstances.
He bet that the forger was completely smug over the Arthur’s little confession that he had sexual desires for British forger. Despite Arthur‘s attempts over the years to avoid any kind of situation that would have gone in that direction.
Arthur wasn’t a virgin, despite the jokes that his co-workers liked to gossip about. He’d had sex while in college, it had been expected of him of course, college was the ultimate human sexual hunting grounds,
Dick had ordered him to experiment as much as possible, of course keeping up his grades as well.
So Arthur wasn’t unfamiliar with the female body. His human hormones had made him a predator of desire and wanton hunger. It wasn’t only the pretty females either that he encountered, after a casual conversation with his roommate about how college was all about experimenting with same-gender sex Arthur had gone out that very night to find some acceptable male students that didn’t mind causal intercourse.
He’d been surprised by how much he’d enjoyed it though, a lot more then the sex he had been having with his female coeds.
After college was over though he’d reigned in his urges and had been absent of any kind of sexual act since. Now he had a handsome specimen of a human after his ass and he couldn’t say he wasn’t tempted, had been tempted since he’d first laid eyes on the man.
But that didn’t mean that he was going to act on it, he wasn’t Dick or Sally or even Harry. He couldn’t start a human relationship and risk his secret getting out.
Because he knew that if he was to pursue Eames he would want the whole package, not just a quick fuck but a lifetime deal, and when the time came to go home - and he knew with absolutely certainty that the moment will come sooner or later - he would fight tooth and nail to stay behind to be with Eames, not caring about consequences or intergalactic laws.
Arthur finished preparing the meal and wiped the sweat from his forehead with his sleeve.
He probably should have opened a window or something before he started cooking since the small kitchen got humid very quickly once the water got boiling. He shrugged, deciding that once dinner was done
he’d take a shower.
Which reminded Arthur…what were they going to do for clothing and other needed items? They couldn’t just keep leaving the safe house, the whole point in hiding out here was to stay out of sight until Saito dealt with the issue of whoever had come up with the trap and drugged Arthur.
He didn’t doubt for a moment that Ariadne and Eames would have ended up as collateral damage if they hadn’t escaped when they did and he had no doubt that the men would have gotten the information that they wanted in the first place, after they got over the idea that he was a complete head case who thought he was a space cadet, the information that Arthur could have gifted them with…it boggled the mind and froze the heart.
Arthur put the finishing touches on the food and placed plates on the small dinning table in the room adjourn to the kitchen, it was more of a cubby hole then a room but it had large windows along one wall so there was plenty of light to shine in the room during the daytime.
Night was falling fast though so if they wanted to enjoy the meal in the light they’d have to eat now instead of waiting.
He called out to Ariadne and heard her shuffle around for a second before he saw her. She looked better then she had before, a little tired but other then that she kind of looked perky, despite the rather large bruise on her jaw. Just seeing it was enough for the silent rage to fill him again. He wanted to hurt Glenn and that other man until the rage subside or until the bruise went away at least but he knew that Ariadne wouldn’t approve of that course of action.
Eames would totally be onboard with him though.
Arthur hesitated with the third plate in his hands, Ariadne was already sitting down and digging into hers, making pleasing little noises as she forked the food with the speed of the fiercely hungry.
He guessed that the baker’s dozen doughnuts they had all eaten that morning had worn off.
“Ari…where’s Eames?” Arthur asked, his voice quiet in the silence.
“Hmm?” Ariadne paused, her fork held halfway to her mouth. “Oh, he went out to get a few household supplies and personal items for us. Also I think I heard him mentioning that he was going to check us all out from our hotels and pick up out stuff.”
Arthur glowered. “And just how does Eames know which hotel I’m staying in?”
Ariadne colored and smiled sheepishly. “He might have picked your pocket earlier before we went under for the job.”
He sighed, Eames was Eames. A thief to the end.
“Whatever.” He mumbled, “Do you know when he’s coming back?” He asked louder.
Ariadne shook her head apologetically, “But he should be back before dark.” she tried to add helpfully.
Sadly for her it didn’t really help.
Arthur sighed again and walked back into the kitchen with the third plate. He placed a clean kitchen rag on top of it and placed it in the microwave to keep it warm. Hopefully Eames will check there when he
returned and eat, the man hardly ever ate and it granted on Arthur’s delicate chief nerves.
He went back out to the table and silently ate the food he prepared, nodding absently to Ariadne’s food praises. He hadn’t cooked for anyone since he’d last visit the unit and he found that while he enjoyed cooking for others he really wanted Eames thoughts on his cooking. Would the Englishman like it? Did he even like Italian? Arthur thought he might since he’d seen him snag a bread stick from a restaurant table
once, years ago.
Arthur chewed automatically as he forked the pasta into his mouth, his mind a million miles away.
“So Arthur…how are you feeling?” Ariadne asked suddenly, her own plate sparkling clean, she’d eaten every bit and was eyeing Arthur’s plate like a hungry tigress.
Arthur pushed his plate towards her, not really hungry himself but going through the motions. She took it with a wordless thanks and a quick smile.
“Well I’ll be honest, I’ve felt better.” Arthur said, the feeling of truthfulness on his tongue still clung to him but he found that the compulsion to answer questions seemed to have dwindled down, that particular poison must metabolize quicker then the truth liquid. “But I’m tired. Even with the nap.” He winched.
Ariadne raised an amused eyebrow, “So that’s what you were doing in that room? Sleeping? Not sulking and plotting six ways to Sunday how to erase everyone that was in the warehouse including me and Eames?”
Arthur chuckled despite himself, “Sorry, no plotting today, maybe tomorrow.”
For a moment they just chuckled over the lameness of their jokes. They both finished their dinners quietly after that and Arthur picked up both plates to put in the sink to clean later. He’d keep the kitchen fairly clean when he had been cooking so other then the dinnerware there wasn’t much else to clean up.
Ariadne stayed seated at the table, sipping the hot coffee Arthur had made for the both of them, she appeared deep in thought and Arthur didn’t want to disturb her of it so he just sat back down and waited. He knew what was coming next.
“Arthur,” Ariadne paused for a second, as if she needed to collect her thoughts before speaking, “Did…did you mean it? I mean, what you said before? Is it true?”
There wasn’t any fear or anger in her voice when she asked the question, just genuine curiosity. Arthur could kiss her, she really was such an easy going person, she seemed to accept the bad and the good from everyone with face value. Like she had done with Cobb on the Inception Job, she didn’t judge cruelly at all. Just quietly observed the people around her and offered her quiet support.
Arthur didn’t have to say anything, he had no impulse to answer her but he knew that him not saying anything was the same as not denying it. He’d still be giving her the answer but he wouldn’t be in control of that answer.
So best chance scenario…was to speak about it on his own terms.
Arthur sighed deeply, who knew that such a small word could feel so…librating?
Ariadne’s eyes went wide but she didn’t try to run or scream so Arthur was going to take that as a win.
“Yes,” He couldn’t help but saying again. “I am non-terrestrial.”
Arthur smirked a the small word. Which at this point was almost better then the word yes.
A bright smile crossed Ariadne’s face, “Tell me everything.” She pled, and while Arthur wouldn’t of course tell her everything he would give her some information.
After all once Yusuf arrived he’d get the little scientist to cook up an antidote and tell everyone that the serum doesn’t work like they think it did.
Ariadne would be disappointed that what she believed to be truth was actually a lie but she’d get over it and just take it as a nice little fantasy and they could all go on with their lives.
So Arthur talked. He talked like he hadn’t since he’d been with is family. When things had been much more simple and easy. Not that infiltrating a strange planet and trying to become one of them had been easy but after the first few years the unit had come to enjoy the act of blending in. Or not. They hadn’t really been that good at it to be honest. He could see that now from an outside perspective. It was astonishing how many people didn’t outright call them out on their behaviors.
“I’m part human if you look at it from a scientific point of view.” he pointed out. “I may not have been born from the physically combination of a female egg and male sperm but this body was created by combining random human DNA. I don’t mimic anything, this body is real and if injured it could die. Just like any other human. One of it’s functions when it was created was to blend in, there was actually a catalogue of traits to add to the DNA if I wanted. I chose male, and got adolescence which I can tell you is a pain in the ass. Things like hair and eye color as well as skin color are also optional. I chose the ones that would be the most unremarkable. Brown hair-dull, brown eyes-dull, skin-Caucasian since it was rated on the top five list of being the most common.”
“I’ve been on Earth for more then ten years now and I’m still learning. I doubt I would ever stop learning even if I were to get this body recycled and stay on this planet for another few centuries. Humans…have so
much to teach the rest of the universe. You’re all so bold…and yet you resemble children far more then is comfortable. There’s a reason you haven’t gained space travel technology yet. You’re just all not ready to encounter other races. Sure a few humans on the planet have the potential to meet up with a ex-terrestrial but the majority? No way.”
Ariadne didn’t seem offended by his lack of faith in humanity, she actually agreed with him on that front.
He told her about how the universe was even bigger then she could possible imagine. She did express some regret over the fact that aliens weren’t going to drop out of the sky anytime soon. Arthur quietly made a note to not allow Ariadne to watch any more horror science fiction movies for a while.
But what he didn’t tell her was more important information that he didn‘t feel right sharing. About his team who were still on earth, nor did he tell her the reason for why he was even on this planet to begin with.
He only told her what he could afford to share with the serum coursing through his veins, that he didn’t mean the world any harm and that this was more of a learning experience then a hostile takeover.
He stopped talking once he saw Ariadne yawn for the third time in a row though. While she was visibly excited to learn all she could about aliens it was obvious that she was tired. So Arthur bid her goodnight with a promise to talk more tomorrow, although he couldn’t promise that he would be in the talking mood then.
He watched as she left, her steps slow but her head held high. The bruise on her face would be turning an even uglier color by the morning but it would heal and that was the important thing.
Arthur sighed and sat back in the chair, letting his back crack pleasantly. The conversation had been…pleasant to say the least.
Ariadne was so trusting that Arthur couldn’t help but worry for her, he could have told her that he was actually a eight foot worm in disguise as a human bent on humanity’s destruction and she would have just
laughed it off, even knowing that at this point he couldn’t lie to save his life.
“Well that was quite the tale.”
Arthur startled badly and whirled around to see Eames leaning against a wall behind him. His arms were crossed and his face could only be described as cold.
“How-!” Arthur began to shout but a glare from Eames cut his sentence in half.
“How long have you been standing there?” He whispered furiously instead, he didn’t want Ariadne alerted, this was a conversation that he needed to have with Eames and Eames alone.
“Since you both finished dinner.” Eames said causally.
Arthur bristled, “You could have joined us.”
“But you both looked so cozy together I didn’t want to interrupt.”
“Asshole.” Arthur’s face flushed red at Eames’s exaggerated leer.
They shared a moment of companionable silence before Eames moved and took the seat opposite Arthur’s.
“So I think we have something to talk about.” Eames said nonchalantly.
Arthur sighed deeply. “Yes, we do.”
Arthur looked down to collect his thoughts, grateful that Eames stayed quiet and didn’t outright begin to interrogate him.
This was different then with Ariadne, with her it had been easy to admit his status as non-human. Maybe it was because with her it was like telling a child, the childlike wonder in her eyes had helped to enforce
that feeling. She was just so young and naïve and yet smart and strong. A bundle of conciliations that made Arthur wish that she had been the one he’d fallen for. It would have been easier and simpler if he loved
Ariadne as more then a friend and sister.
But no, instead he got stuck with a large, loud, annoying British man that had been born with sin lips.
Arthur sighed again before looking up, Eames’s face was a blank slate, no emotions crossed his face and his eyes were unreadable. Arthur couldn’t tell what he was thinking. He had no idea how the man was taking all this upload of information and Arthur was just about to upload a whole lot more.
Because while it had been easy to tell Ariadne about what he was it was Eames who he trusted with the most secretive of information.
“I-” Arthur cut off, frustrated with how he couldn’t come up with a plausible explanation.
“Take your time, love.” Eames reassured quietly.
Strangely enough the endearment helped.
“I’m an alien.”
Arthur blew a raspberry, for principle’s sake.
“As I’m sure you heard back in the warehouse my name isn’t really Arthur.”
Eames- to Arthur’s shock, laughed. “I’ve known that love for a long time now, although I didn’t expect your real name to be a list of numbers.”
Arthur flushed, “Actually the name I was given when I came to earth was Tomas, Tommy for short but only my…family called me that.”
“Family?” Eames raised an eyebrow.
“Well we’re not actually related if that’s what your asking, they’re my unit. There’s Dick who’s the commanding officer and leader of the team, Sally who is the second-in-command and our weapon specialist and
then there’s Harry, he’s…umm our communications expert.”
Arthur felt like kicking himself repeatedly in the head until whatever was wrong with him fixed himself. Wasn’t this the information that he promised to keep to himself? He hadn’t even told Ariadne about the others and had felt no compulsion to tell her but with Eames it was different.
It wasn’t like he hadn’t trusted Ariadne but Eames was just…safer? He couldn’t explain it, not to himself or to others. Eames just seemed safe to tell even though the man was a con-artist and Arthur couldn’t tell what the man was thinking or feeling at the best of times.
Eames nodded slowly to show that he was following along. “So why are you on earth?”
“Just a routine check. Earth is really out in the boonies, so to speak. Earthlings weren’t really cataloged as sentinel life so my team was assigned to the planet to research life on the planet, you could say.”
It was clear that Eames had a real problem with the idea that his species weren’t thought of as sentinel by other life forms but refined from saying anything nasty. Arthur was glad, he didn’t want to deal with that conversation if he could avoid it.
“So what were you?”
“Information Officer.” Arthur blushed because he was basically telling Eames that the job he had now as Arthur was the same kind of job he was assigned to when he arrived at Earth.
As expected, Eames laughed, loudly.
“Well no wonder you’re such a good point man.” Eames smirked.
“Ha ha.” Arthur growled.
“So what do you normally look like?” Eames asked, curiosity coloring his words.
Arthur hesitated, “Well my race isn’t humanoid if that’s what your asking. We’re very technical advanced though so that makes up for not having thumbs.”
“Oh?” Eames prompt.
“I’m not sure how to explain the physiology.” Arthur pondered for a moment, “Basically…purple rubber tubes.”
“That’s the best explanation I can come up with without having time to go into specifics. We don’t have eyes or ears or any other facial orifice, we communicate mostly through our brains. We did have tongues but they weren’t for tasting, more for grooming actually and they didn‘t come out of any mouth.”
Eames eyes had gotten just as wide as Ariadne’s had by this point.
Arthur couldn’t help but laugh almost hysterically at Eames stuttering attempt at being nonchalant. This was the first time Arthur had gotten a glimpse of what the man must have been feeling, even when they had been in Fischer’s head Eames had kept a lid on his emotions.
“Oh you poor thing, have I broken you?” Arthur teased and Eames seemed to get equally tense and relaxed at the same time.
“Your…different.” Eames said cautiously. It was clear that he wasn’t talking about the physically.
“Not really.” Arthur said, voice deadpan with neutrality. “It’s just you’ve never really met me. I mean you have obviously but you’ve only meet Arthur, not myself in my entirely.”
“…Alright then. I would like to meet the real you then, entirely.”
“You’ll probably regret saying that.”
“No darling, I don’t think I will.”
Arthur didn’t get that much sleep that night. It might have been because he’d already napped for several hours the day before but in truth it was mostly because his brain had decided to keep him up by visually repeating his talk with Eames.
The conversation had died a little after Arthur had tried to explain what his race truly looked like. It might have been exhaustion on Eames part or reluctant embarrassment on Arthur’s but they both decided to call it a night and talk again in the morning. By then Yusuf would have arrived in the city and be making his way discreetly to the safe house. Arthur wasn’t sure if Saito would also be coming around, he had no
idea what the Eames and Ariadne had told the others about the nature of the compound that Arthur was injected with or what he had said while under the influence.
Arthur wasn’t even sure the serum was still in effect, he could feel it still, rushing through his veins but it seemed weaker, like his body was metabolizing it like it had done to the compulsion cocktail.
He tossed and turned under the sheets, his skin was slicked with sweat, he didn’t feel that bad when he kicked off his sleeping shorts so that he was nude under the crisp white sheets. If Eames had a problem with it he could come in here and tell it to his face.
Although that really might not be a good idea considering the circumstances that they had all found themselves in. Arthur had no idea what he would say in such a situation and he feared that he might blurt out more then he would like about his feelings for the Englishman.
Arthur sighed and slapped his pillow hard before stuffing his face into it. He’d been trying to sleep for over two hours now and the only thing he managed to do in that time was twist his mind into knots.
It really didn’t help that Eames’s bedroom was the one next to his, not to mention that Ariadne’s was all the way across the house.
Pressing his eyes closed Arthur finally began to drift off to sleep a few minutes later only to jerk awake when the door squeaked open.
“What the-?!” Arthur sat up, the thin sheet falling down to pool in his lap, not giving him any real coverage.
Eames sheepish face peered through the crack as he held the doorknob in hand.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“What the hell Eames?!” Arthur demanded.
“I could hear you tossing and turning even through the wall.” Eames’s mouth was turned down in a frown now. “Is something the matter?”
Arthur sighed, “Yes, but I don’t think it’s a smart idea for you to help me.”
“Oh?” Eames asked nonchalantly, “Care to explain that?”
Arthur rubbed his tired eyes, accidentally giving attention to his state of dress.
“Arthur…are you naked?”
Arthur looked up, Eames voice sounded strangled, like he had something stuck in his throat and was trying to speak around it. If he was trying to present a normal front then he was failing pretty badly.
Arthur couldn’t stop the smirk even if he had tried. “Oh, I don’t know Eames…would you like to come over here and see for yourself?
That’s it, Arthur was duck taping his mouth shut until they either came up with a cure or the serum ran it’s course.
“I- uh.” Eames stuttered out, clearly caught off guard with Arthur’s bluntly proposition.
“Yea, that kind of came out left field.” Arthur not-apologized. “Other then my not sleeping habits was there something else you wanted?”
“Do you want to have sex?” Eames blurted out, his face turning a shade of red that Arthur hadn’t known was possible for the man.
“Is that an actual question or rhetorical?” Arthur asked, trying not to say the automatically yes that burned on his tongue.
“It is an actual question Arthur.” Eames glared at him, the blush still in effect kind of ruined it for him though.
“Then yes, I do want to have sex. With you? Double the yes. Do I think it’s a good idea to have sex with you? Well…okay yes again but is it safe for me to have sex with you? The answer to that is a no.”
“So what? Is that a yes I can get under those covers with you or is that a no?” Eames asked, confusion and frustration clear in his voice.
Arthur sighed, he could safely say that things had gotten out of his control. He no longer could trust himself around his co-workers. Their safety sure, but their sanity?
Not so much.
Maybe just this once…he’d already made so many bad decisions lately. What would one more cost him?
“Eames…get over here and fuck me.”
Eames really didn’t need any more encouragement then that.
When Arthur woke up for the second time that night it was because the sun was trying to sear it’s attention into his brain. So, not night, then. The next morning.
Arthur groaned and rolled on his back.
Or tried too anyway. His body was pined down by a pair of muscular and tattooed arms, that only tighten their grip when he tried to shift his body.
Arthur squeezed his eyes shut as his brain helpfully reminded him in detail what had occurred the night before.
“Shit.” Arthur hissed through his teeth.
Not that what had happened last night hadn’t been pleasant, it had been. Also it had been mind blowing and the orgasms…my god the orgasms.
He had it on record that only women could have multiply orgasms but now he knew that he needed to edit the information a bit.
Apparently it was actually possible for males to have them as well. Or maybe it had just been Eames that had helped with that.
Either way, his reports were being edited.
“Arthur?” Eames sleepy voice whispered in his ear and Arthur’s brain short-circuited. Much like it had done the night before.
Before Arthur could respond, not that he knew what he had been going to say. Either that they should have morning sex followed by a big breakfast or to never talk about this again and go their separate ways,
there was a loud commotion from the front of the house.
Eames tensed behind him and got up. Arthur was right behind him, only stopping to gather his boxers and his gun from the end table next to the bed.
Eames didn’t even bother dressing, he walked nude right out of the room and made his way to the front door, where voices could be heard, Arthur could make out Ariadne’s high pitched voice yelling at someone
but that was about it. Whoever she was talking to was speaking at normal levels so Arthur couldn’t make out who it was.
Arthur followed after Eames, gun cocked and ready to fire.
It was all for nothing though since as soon as they turned the corner to the living room Ariadne squealed with embarrassed surprise at seeing Eames‘s…undressed state.
The squeal got louder as Arthur came into view, not doubt showing off his array of hicks that were scattered on his necks and chest.
Yusuf was gaping at them, his eyes widen almost comically as he took in his collogues undressed states. Saito just looked at them almost bored. As if he could care less what they had been doing.
“Mr. Eames has reported that you’ve been dosed with an unknown concoction that effects the part of your brain that filters out lies.” Saito addressed Arthur, ignoring Eames as he grabbed a couch pillow to cover
his crotch. Ariadne didn’t even try to cover her bluntly staring at Eames pecks and ink.
Arthur felt a twinge of something in his chest as Eames smirked at Ariadne and flexed his arms, showing off his muscles for her.
He ruthlessly pushed down the feeling and turned to Saito, thumbing the safety on the gun and setting it down by the couch.
“Yes, you’ve heard correctly. The whole job was a set up to catch me off guard. I’m still not sure what they actually wanted from me but I doubt it was anything overly important since the ops they were questioning me about are old news and not particular important.”
“Sounds personal then.”
Arthur shrugged. “That’s a possibility but I’ll deal with it.”
“That won’t be necessary. I’ve taken the liberty and taken care of the problem.”
Arthur blinked, “Excuse me?”
“Mr. Eames was kind enough to give me the name of the chemist that drugged you and it took little effort to find him, we’ve already taken care of Mr. Hendricks, that’s the other man that was in the warehouse with you. Any connections to them will be found quite soon so there is no need for you to inject yourself into the mess.”
Arthur’s eyes narrowed. “And what Mr. Saito, will be the payment for this helpfulness?”
“Nothing too critically. I wish only to be around while Yusuf works on the serum that effected you.”
“You want the vial that we took?”
“Yes.” Saito bland smile made Arthur want to punch something but he wasn’t that stupid. He knew that he didn’t have a choice and while he’d rather not give the businessman the vial for whatever plans he had it for he knew he didn’t want to piss off the man.
“Fine.” Arthur answered curtly. Then left the room to dress, giving Eames a tense order to do the same.
Eames just grinned and shrugged when the others sent questioning looks towards him. They wanted to know what had caused Arthur to become curt and annoyed but Eames could tell them nothing. Instead of standing around he decided followed after Arthur and dress.
Arthur waited until they were out of sight before turning around and glaring hotly at Eames.
“Did you tell Saito or anyone else about what I said in the warehouse?” He demanded.
“What?” Eames exclaimed, clearly surprised and confused by Arthur’s sudden anger. “No!”
“Are.You.Sure?” Arthur growled, making sure to empathize on each word. Because he was serious and sometimes you had to dumb things down to people to show you just how serious you were, Arthur had to do
this a few times in the past with Eames, sometimes he honestly couldn’t tell when Eames was taking him seriously and when he was messing around. With Eames it could go either way and they had a tendency to
look about the same.
“Yes Arthur, I’m bloody well sure of it.” Eames was clearly getting angry now, judging by the way his face was changing hue, darkening rosy pink and pursing his lips. He always did that when he got annoyed at someone, also he squinted. Almost like Cobb but when someone had the stupidity of mentioning this to the forger…well there went the slightly endearing squint.
It probably wasn’t the best action Arthur could take right now to act upon. Provoking Eames like this wasn’t nice at all but Arthur honestly didn’t give a damn about consequences right now. Saito had pissed him off and the most convent person right now to take that out on was Eames. He could take it out on the others of course but he didn’t feel like dealing with tears or stony silence. He needed someone to fight back.
If Eames wanted anything that held a resemblance of a relationship of Arthur’s he needed to learn this fast, Arthur had a tendency to lash out when he was angry or frightened, it didn’t matter if the person wasn’t responsible for his troubles, if you were in eyesight distance to Arthur when he wanted to blame someone for his problems then you became a target.
It just was the way of things for the point man.
“Arthur, I don’t know what Saito said to you that’s pissed you off but let me tell you I won’t be your target shield for your aggression. Just, no. So if you’re angry go shoot something, or bake.” The anger seemed to leech out of Eames, leaving him an eerie calm as he stared Arthur down.
Arthur stared right back at Eames, finding his angry completely gone. Instead he could feel a ball of warmth curl comfortably deep inside himself.
“Whatever.” He murmured, mostly to keep up appearances. Eames of course, didn’t fall for it at all.
“Why don’t we go get dressed. Then we can all sit down and talk things out. You know that I won’t let Saito walk all over you?” Eames said gently.
Arthur snorted, he knew that Eames was dying to add, “The way you let Cobb walk all over you for all those years.” But Eames showed that he at least had some tack with the way he handled his coworkers.
Were they coworkers anymore? Maybe friends? Well, they had already been friends of a sort. So what did that make them now? Fuck buddies?
Arthur shuddered at the thought, it just sounded so…adolescent and he had had enough of that to last a life time, or six.
They did get dressed though, Eames showed him were he’d placed Arthur’s travel bags with all of his clothing that he’d nicked from the hotel. Arthur decided comfort was more important then looking professional. Mostly because he wanted to be as comfortable as possible while he got in a pissing contest with Saito.
So dressed in a pair of black levis and a cotton t-shirt with no hair product and sock-less he made his way back to the living quarters, but not before grabbing the small vial to give to Yusuf.
Unlike him it seemed that Eames had an opposite of opinion. When Arthur walked into the living room he stopped in the doorway.
Eames had beat him in, with the way he was dressed though it hardly seemed likely unless he was secretly Clark Kent. He was dressed in a impressive suit, impressive for Eames that was, it was pale gray with a
baby blue collared shirt and the tie was somewhat subdued in color.
Eames looked like he was going on a job, an important one at that. One that included enough dollar bills to get the forger to take things a little more seriously then he would usually.
Only Ariadne acknowledged his appearance as she gave him a half felt wave of her hand. Arthur felt a little disgruntled but decided to take the high road and not sulk. He went and sat next to his friend though instead of sitting in one of the lone chairs that were scattered around the room.
“So here we all are…let’s get started then?” Yusuf framed it as a question for the ground but didn’t wait for an answer.
“Arthur if I can get a by-by play of what actually happened to you I’d appreciate it. Don’t leave anything out, even a small detail can help at this point.”
So Arthur recounted the whole ordeal.
No one interrupted him, although Saito made inquiring noises from time to time he didn’t interrupt, which was good because if he had Arthur probably wouldn’t continue and Ariadne or Eames would have to tell their fair share of the tale.
Although Arthur spoke the truth he found that he could keep out things now, he didn’t tell Saito and Yusuf what he had said to annoy the men who had dosed him, out of the corner of his eye he could see
Ariadne and Eames sharing a look but chose to ignore it.
“Truthfully I think it’s time based. I don’t feel compelled to speak the truth anymore nor to I actually have to speak truthfully, I’m not sure but I think it’s safe to say that my body has metabolized it.”
“That’s good.” Yusuf said, looking down at the vial with a almost hungry gaze. “Because to be honest I don’t know how long it would have taken me to come up with a counter-serum. I’ve heard of drugs like this
but I’ve never had he pleasure to actually get my hands on one. If I may Arthur…?”
Arthur waved his hand lazily. “Sure you can keep it, just make sure to find a antidote. I have a feeling that this won’t be the last time we see this particular liquid.”
“Well let’s hope it’s a long ways in coming Arthur.” Eames said, his voice void of his usual humor. “Mr. Saito if I can have a word with you for a second?”
Saito’s poker face was extraordinary as he got up to his feet and followed Eames into the kitchen, the others stared after them, bemused.
“Anyone want to tell me what that’s about?” Arthur asked acidly.
“No idea.” Ariadne shrugged, and Arthur could hear the lie in her voice, he glared at her but she just stared back at him, serenely.
“So Arthur are you sure that you aren’t still affected? I’ll like to run some tests of your blood if you don’t mind.”
Arthur shrugged, “Knock yourself out.” It wasn’t like Yusuf would find anything weird in his systems, except maybe traces of the serum.
“But what about…?” Ariadne began to ask, worry clear in her voice. But one glare from Arthur stopped her in her tracks.
“About what?” Yusuf asked, distracted as he was with getting his supplies out of his doctor bag.
“Nothing.” Arthur answered for her. Bad mood beginning to come back, he clearly needed more sleep or something, actually a vacation sounded fantastic and he’d be looking up the price of plane tickets to some
Arthur couldn’t help but wondered absently if Eames would like to tag along. The other two members of their little club must have noticed the distracted look on his face because nether of them tried to get him involved with their conversation. Something that Arthur would have been grateful for if he hadn’t been daydreaming of sun, sand and Eames in a speedo.
It didn’t take long for Yusuf to draw a two vials of Arthur’s blood, he packed it away carefully in a sterile bag before mumbling about finding a good place for his equipment. It looks like they’d already lost Yusuf to his experiments, Ariadne pouted and Arthur couldn’t help but snicker, he knew all about the little crush the architect had on their chemist.
It was around then that Eames and Saito came back in. The three of them sent questioning looks but they were ignored.
“I trust that we have a accord then Mr. Saito?” Eames said and Saito just nodded once, his hand coming out for a manly handshake that Eames returned.
Arthur had to wonder if he’d even woke up this morning and this was all some horrible, twisted dream.
Eames being polite, when it wasn’t job related. Freaky, he shuddered.
“Well then duckies!” Eames clapped his hands and suddenly he was Mr. cheerful again. “Saito’s going to take Yusuf to one of his own safe houses that also comes equipped with a lab, something that I’m sadly lacking it seems. Since we don’t know how long he’ll take to exam the serum that lives to give me a headache we’ve decided that Arthur go into hiding for a bit, just until Saito’s men can learn who is behind this whole mess and hopefully put him down in a messed up way.”
“Eames.” Arthur scolded.
“Right, sorry pet.” Eames apologized, inconvincibly as always. “Anyway, I’m not sure how much longer this safe house is going to be -well safe. So Ari darling.” Ariadne perked up at the sound of her name. “I know you’ve been dying to see Cobb and Saito here is feeling in a generous mood. He’s going to let you ride one of his private planes so you can be there before dinner tonight. It’s best that you stay there for a while, at least until one of us calls and gives out the okay. You should be safe there. Cobb isn’t really associated anymore within our circles so I don’t believe that they’ll come looking for you over there. Think of it as a vacation of sorts, also you can meet up with the mini-Cobbiietts and help them terrorize their father into going bald.”
After a moment of silence following Eames not so subtly order Ariadne nodded her acceptance.
“And what about me?” Arthur asked sarcastically, “What grand plan do you have for me? A jungle hellhole in Korea? A sweatshop in China? A straw hut in Africa?”
“Oh no darling.” Eames smiled and it sent warning bells ringing in Arthur’s head. It wasn’t that pleasant of a smile, or the real problem was that it was pleasant, too pleasant.
“You’ll be coming with me.”
“Yes I’ve decided that the best place for you to hide is in plain sight.”
“Just what do you mean by that Eames?” Arthur asked, tired of all the double meaning conversations, he just wanted a straight answer right now from the infuriating Englishman.
“How do you feel about visiting your family Arthur?” Eames asked casually.
Arthur froze, his mind felt numb and he was sure, sure that he must have heard wrongly.
“What did you just ask me Eames?” Arthur asked weakly. Even though his brain knew that he had heard correctly.
“Well who better to help you through this crisis?” Eames shrugged, “From what you’ve told me you all seem to be close, or at least you use to. I’m sure that they’ll love to help you. Especially if Saito misses a man or two in his hunt.”
They both ignored Saito’s annoyed huff and stared each other down. Eames was clam and assured, like he knew that he was going to get his own way and there wasn’t anything Arthur could do about it.
Well that wasn’t true, there were several things Arthur could do. One was to disappear and never, ever resurface. The second was to seduce Eames and distract him long enough that he forgot all about his little plans to ruin Arthur mentally and emotionally, and possibly physically as well. Especially if Sally found about how Arthur let himself get caught and drugged by a couple of humans, and how he was forced to tell them the truth.
It would be his funeral that he would be returning to, and Eames the dickhead didn’t even seem to realize that, either that or he didn’t give a damn. Arthur honestly couldn’t tell the difference with that man.
“No Eames.” Arthur said slowly and with as much authority as he could.
“Yes Arthur.” Eames said simply.
Arthur shook his head and looked at his friends for help but they all seemed to share Eames settlement of what was to happen, at least more then Arthur’s, case in point- they were all giving him encouraging looks, like he was some child that needed encouraged.
“I haven’t seen them in years.” Arthur protested weakly. He knew he had lost but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t claw after it with the desperation of a drowning man.
“More reason to visit then.” Eames said and just like that, discussion closed.
Arthur was going back home, home to the Solomon household…with Eames.
“Fuck my life.” He whined and dropped his head into his hands.
This wasn’t the vacation he envisioned, not at all.
The End ~Maybe~