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Languid

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None of this was his fault; not REALLY, anyway. You couldn’t put the blame on him when he had truly only had (mostly) noble intentions in mind when he’d asked Arthur to join him for a drink.

“I don’t drink, Mr. Eames,” had been the brisk reply as Arthur snapped shut the metal clasps to the PASIV case and strode out the door of their work station, and, well, perhaps Eames had been just a tiny bit… baffled.

So far as he knew, everyone in the dream share business drank heavily and often. Of course straight-laced little Arthur would have to be the exception, wouldn’t he? Alcohol might damage his chilly reputation, might soften his crisp edges, and might open that tight little clasp he locked around his demeanor.

Well, color Eames intrigued.

Eames had never been the sort of fellow to let an idea go. He’d been the one telling everyone inception was possible all along, but no one had been listening until Cobb showed up. He spent the next bit of time on the job daydreaming about it—boozy Arthur, not inception. He was a very talented daydreamer by nature actually; when one no longer dreamed in their sleep, imagination seemed to creep into the corners of the waking world a bit more easily, or, in Arthur’s case it seemed to shrivel up and die, leaving behind a very well-preserved suit husk.

He’d offered the drink initially as a bit of tossed-off courtesy. Arthur had seemed buttoned up a bit more tightly than usual, probably on account of the extractor they’d hooked up with being a bit of a little shit. He was good, but he was always trying to tell Arthur how to do his job, a job he knew better than anyone else in the room. Actually, a job Arthur frankly knew better how to do than anyone else on the planet.

 Arthur, Eames always noticed, as was HIS job to do, had not even removed his coat, something he always did approximately two hours into the work day. Then, at lunch, if the day was going particularly well, he would absently unbutton his sleeves, turning the cuffs up neatly as he exposed his forearms a little. Arthur’s clothing was his armor, Eames had come to realize that long ago, so if his coat was still on, he was protecting himself and possibly getting ready for a good fight. A drink and a quick check-in with their lovely chemist to make sure she had some extra plastic sheeting around in case they needed to dispose of a body was the least he could do.

Now, he couldn’t help but wonder just how Arthur might behave with a little bit of drink in him. He thought about all of the things he knew of the man, and they had worked together many a time so Eames had much more of that than he suspected Arthur would have liked. Enough that he suspected that, if Arthur even found out just how much, Eames might begin his usual morning routine by not waking up for it, his neck neatly snapped and a formally written apology tucked into his shirt pocket. Something simple and classy.

“You were a half-decent forger, but you knew too much.” –Arthur

The half-way decent part would have been a lie, as he knew Arthur thought he was a total cockup as a forger at times, but he would simply be too sophisticated to speak ill of the recently deceased.

So Eames kept his thoughts and knowledgeable bits of info on Arthur tucked away inside such a neat little drawer in his head, and he suspected Arthur would be downright pleased at the organization of it. He would pull the drawer out, rifle through them casually, and proceed to apply in his mind what he thought the effects of alcohol might do to them.

Whiskey, he decided first and foremost, would be the drink of choice. He had almost settled for wine, but the thought of Arthur in a smoky bar, all dressed up in his usual best with a small tumbler of amber liquid tipped against his lips, his throat bobbing with the first smooth sip, suddenly stuck in his mind and yes, whiskey it was. Arthur would sip and perhaps, after so long without a drink, his cheeks would pink ever so slightly after the first pour.

He would remain his usual self, though; together they would banter and bicker as another drink was lined up for them both. A couple in and Arthur would slide his jacket from his long arms and fold it carefully. They’d move to a booth without a word, because if Arthur was going to take off his armor and expose himself at all it was going to be done within the privacy of a booth. Eames would take the bottle and sit down beside him and Arthur would just shake his head a little, clearly thinking about what an idiot he was to squish into Arthur’s side instead of taking the other. Eames would grin and pour them both another.

“Idiot,” Arthur would mutter, because by then his tongue would be a bit looser. Eames would merely make an amused sound and they’d talk more, less about shop, more about tastes, experiences, things that wouldn’t reveal too much of their pasts. He would loosen more, maybe by the end of the night he would lean his shoulder against Eames’ and it wouldn’t be stiff, it would be relaxed by then from actually having a pleasant evening out. His eyes wouldn’t be as guarded, and maybe, just maybe, Eames would think of something particularly clever to say and the corners of Arthur’s lips would tug up into a lazy smile.

Languid. That was the word that came to Eames’ mind when he thought of how to describe it. He let the world roll around in his brain. Yes, uptight little Arthur would be positively languid, and what a pleasant thought that was. Loose limbed, languid little Arthur as he shared a last drink then guided them both to a cab, or maybe they would guide each other because they would both be just a touch wobbly by then.

He’d make sure Arthur got to his hotel room right and proper, and maybe, just maybe Arthur would be a little… affectionate about it, because if the man was really as tight-laced as he let on, he wasn’t getting laid as proper as he should. Eames would be entertained by it, flattered, and if he was feeling particularly cheeky his might give him a friendly peck on the cheek, just to fluster him a bit, because while Arthur was quite a specimen, he was also a fabulous co-worker and a cold bastard who Eames knew would be the wrong person to take advantage of when a little tipsy. Also, he was a gentleman. So he’d leave Arthur to have a proper wank and tuck himself into bed and maybe the tight little bastard would come to work the next morning with a little more of a spring in his step.

It was a pleasant little thought in his head, how lovely Arthur might be if he actually unwound a bit, but it was all wrong; somewhere, Eames had managed to miss a vital bit to Arthur’s puzzle box.

Mainly, the part where the man was a complete and total psychopath.

“Don’t take Arthur drinking.”

Eames made a bit of a face, even though he knew it would be lost when the man was oceans away, knee-deep in ankle biters and dirty laundry.

“I just asked what he might like to drink.”

“He doesn’t drink.”

“Well, then how does he relax?”

There was a long pause.

“Right, right, never mind. I’ll figure it out myself.”

He hung up the phone feeling a bit badly for Arthur, actually. He’d assumed that he at least had some good times with Cobb, but the man hadn’t seemed to have a clue about Arthur’s interests; then again, the man had always been a bit self-focused. Not Eames though, Eames was very much about other people and how he could get them to do exactly as he liked.

Arthur came walking out of the back room, his hand so tightly gripping his little moleskine notebook that he was likely leaving nail prints in the binding.

“He still giving you shit?”

That was clearly not the proper thing to say, if the icy look he was just fixed with told him anything.

“We could call it a day, get a drink?” he suggested cheerfully. Another icy look.

“It is three in the afternoon. Get back to work, Mr. Eames.”

He pursed his lips a little in disappointment.

The third offer had fared little better; he was sure if it wasn’t against Arthur’s style he would have ended up with a cup of scalding coffee upturned in his lap.

“Why do you keep asking?” finally happened the fourth time.

“A fellow can’t want to have a drink with his accomplice in crime?”

“Your accomplice.” Arthur looked down at him as though he was wearing a particularly distasteful shade of paisley that morning, and, well, guilty, but he’d always liked garish things; they got so little love.

“That’s right, darling, we’re thick as thieves can get, aren’t we?” He grinned a little, but in all honesty it was true. There weren’t a lot of men or women in the dream business that Eames would trust not to royally screw him over, and one of them was dead. Arthur, though, wouldn’t sell him out, would tell him if he thought a job was going south and they should split, even while he was quite happy to shoot him point blank in the face to knock him out of a dream when he annoyed him. He was as close to a friend as one got in this business.

Arthur’s face didn’t change at that, but his body language shifted ever so slightly, unnoticeable to someone who didn’t make a living off picking up and imitating such things. It was ever so slightly more open, and opportunity was knocking.

“Accomplice implies I don’t do the dirty work.”

“Partner in crime, then,” he grinned, not missing a beat. Arthur scoffed and walked off to the back offices. Eames thought he’d blown that round and went back to his notes, surprised when a good forty-five minutes later he heard Arthur clear his throat. He looked up and there he was, carefully buttoning up his jacket.

“Are you coming or not?” as though the entire thing had been his idea. Well, if it made him feel better, just let him think that.

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world, darling.” He tossed his notes to his desk and strode out the door.

“Really? Beer?”

“What else would I drink at a bar?” he got in return, along with a slightly raised eyebrow. “This place is a shit-hole, by the way.”

“Only the best for you, darling.” Not what he had expected, but perfectly workable; the place was quite a dive, though. However, to be fair, it was still most likely the nicest bar in the area. Floor wasn’t even that sticky, and the barstools were only partly duck-taped into place. Arthur had glanced down and Eames half expected him to complain about ruining his pants. Then again, Arthur, he often found himself having to remember, might be as put together as they come, but he had never once been afraid of getting his hands, or pants, dirty.

He must have the most discrete dry cleaner in the universe. He wondered if there was any way he could weasel a name out of him. Probably not.

“Alright, then.” He ordered their drinks, which Arthur seemed to take offense at but Eames was buying the first round, at least, so he was just going to have to deal with that. He took his own drink in hand, settling on a beer if Arthur was so insistent on one, as well, and took a long drink.

Then his mouth dropped open a bit as Arthur tilted back his head and downed his own tall, frothy glass in a long swallow. Eames couldn’t help but notice how Arthur’s smooth throat was exposed more and how it moved as he drank.

He felt like sputtering a bit at that point, but raised an eyebrow, instead. “And here I thought you said you don’t drink, pet.”

Arthur sighed and set his glass back onto the bar with a soft clink, giving a little wave to the bartender for a refill. “I don’t, but if I’m going to do it, I might as well do it well.”

Eames couldn’t help but laugh at that. Pure Arthur logic, right there. “That right, then? You going to make me go broke?”

“I think you can afford to buy my beer; you can’t be spending your money on your wardrobe.”

“Is that why you take on so many jobs, darling? I’m forced to assume you keep a private tailor in your hotel room at your beck and call. Must be expensive.”

“Your jokes are terrible.” Arthur made a face and unbuttoned his jacket. Eames couldn’t help but notice the faintest bit of pink at the tip of his ears.

“I think you’ll warm up to them, eventually,” he grinned, taking another drink.

Arthur, it seemed, really was a bit of an overachiever at heart. The evening might have almost gone quite well, actually, all things considered.

If someone hadn’t put fucking football on the telly.

Arthur’s jacket came off three drinks in, but his arse stayed firmly planted on the stool. His cheeks were a little more flushed and his words came out a bit faster, like he was more excited, younger; it was a bit sweet, actually. That is, if he hadn’t been telling him what a total prat he was for something that went wrong three jobs ago and had been completely not his fault.

“All I’m saying is that you should have known he was a triplet, not a twin. It should have shown up when you were tailing him, you prick.”

“And, dear Arthur,” he said patiently, too amused by how Arthur’s voice came out all rushed now, “all I am saying is that that is something that should have shown up in the research.”

“Prick,” he mumbled, then hiccupped, which really was so darling it should be considered an illegal maneuver at this point in the evening. Eames himself was pleasantly buzzed, nursing his own beer since he wasn’t quite the perfectionist Arthur was.

There was an aggravated growl from the man next to him and some shouting at the television hanging up in the corner of the bar. Eames barely noticed, but for some reason it seemed to set Arthur’s shoulders on edge.

“Hey, you wanna keep it down, asshole?”

Eames blinked. Usually Arthur was polite as could be in public, even when he was kindly threatening them and their children’s lives, possibly their family dog, too. The man made a disgusted noise and didn’t bother to look over, still watching the game. Arthur’s eyes narrowed, but he finished his drink.

“Some people. I think I will have a whiskey.”

Eames was beginning to question how well thought-out his plan was, but far be it from him to deny a man his drink when he was the one who invited him out to begin with.

“Whiskey it is, then,” he agreed, and then had to smile back at the little grin Arthur gave him. He hadn’t even known the man was capable of one.

It went smoothly for about four pours. Arthur was getting animated again, his cheeks rosy, and his eyes were getting glossy, as well.

“I always wanted a dog,” Arthur announced suddenly, which was a little odd because they’d just been having a discussion on the painting restoration of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, but he was willing to let it go.

He made an inquisitive noise, instead. “That right? I had one or two myself, as a tot.”

“I never got one. Can’t exactly have one now, can I?”

“Oh, I don’t know; could get one of those little poodle things, carry it around in a briefcase.”

He grinned at the breathless laughter he got in return. It had been a horrible joke, but tipsy Arthur appreciated his humor much more than straight-laced Arthur, it seemed.

“Yeah, I could take it down under with me.”

“Teach it to extract,” Eames pointed out cheerfully.

Arthur suddenly snorted. “It couldn’t do any worse than Cobb!”

Then they were two suave, sophisticated espionage men sitting at the bar, dissolved into a very masculine giggle fit.

“Pipe down you twats; I’m trying to watch the game,” came a voice near Eames’ side, and he couldn’t help but laugh a little more and grin at Arthur. Arthur who wasn’t grinning back at all, but glaring a bit.

“What’d you call us, fucker?” He stood quickly, his glass clinking down harshly onto the counter. Eames couldn’t help but note the slight wobble in his legs as he faced the other man.

The man, quite a tall bloke, actually, well-muscled and looking like he’d seen more than one fight in his day, took to the challenge quite happily, much to Eames’ dismay and Arthur’s apparent delight.

“I said pipe the fuck down!” the man responded and Eames felt a slight headache coming on when the men were suddenly chest to chest in an all too familiar showdown that Eames had seen at far too many bars. He wasn’t opposed to a good bar fight, but this seemed a bit ridiculous and Arthur was supposed to be relaxed and languid, and now he was all tight and pinched looking again, his eyes lowered into a dangerous look. It was not his usual cool dangerous, though; this looked wilder, nastier, sexier, his cock helpfully supplied.

Arthur growled, yes growled, which had Eames tilting his head and arching his brows a bit. It was positively wicked sounding, honestly, low and throaty as his long graceful hands balled up into tight fists.

“Oh, are you going to make me? What? You wanna go, asshole!?”

The man sneered in response and his hands came up, shoving at Arthur’s clean, pressed shirt.

Eames knew it was all going to go very badly from there.

Arthur’s arms flew up and his fist connected solidly into the man’s throat, causing him to make a choked noise and go sprawling over his bar stool, crashing into the nearby booth and sending glassware flying and shattering to the ground as he clutched his throat. Eames cursed a bit. He knew from personal experience that Arthur’s deceptively lithe frame was home to very carefully toned musculature; bulk did not always equal strength. Arthur was a finely-honed killing machine.

And Eames had just gotten him hammered.

Chapter Text

Apparently, the man came with friends, because half a dozen men surrounded Arthur in an instant. Eames was a little worried for them.

“Oh, you wanna go?!” Arthur shouted; Eames had to groan a little at how much he was slurring. “Come on, I’ll take you ALL on!” He swung at one, and managed to connect, but somehow then, and Eames wasn’t even sure how the logic worked out, managed to stumble backwards into the bar, his arms flailing back and sweeping many a patron’s glass crashing to the floor.

It was probably time to leave.

“Arthur, love, we’re getting out of here.” He tossed a couple bills onto the counter, giving the barkeeper, currently glaring daggers at him, a hapless shrug.

“Oh no, I’ve got to teach these guys a lesson!”

“Oh, we’re learning all sorts of lessons today, aren’t we now?” he muttered and put a hand on his shoulder only to get it shrugged off. Arthur was bringing his hands up into tight fists; his posturing was good if a little too, well, drunk.

Right.

He waited for Arthur’s next swing, wincing in sympathy as it connected with a man’s teeth, both for the dental repair bill the man was sure to have and Arthur’s fingers which were now covered in blood. Bless the man that he was slender, because Eames used the moment of vulnerability to toss the man over his shoulder, ignoring the gasp and quite undignified yelp as he kicked the door open and carried him bodily out of the bar.

“HEY, PUT ME THE FUCK DOWN! I’M NOT DONE IN THERE. C’MON, FUCKERS! YOU WANNA GO? LET’S TAKE THIS OUTSIDE. YOU COME OUT HERE AND I’LL TAKE YOU ALL ON. YOU DON’T KNOW ME. YOU’VE GOT NO IDEA WHO YOU’RE FUCKING AROUND WITH.”

What the hell. Really? This was just becoming bloody unbelievable. Eames grunted, because slender or not, Arthur was made of muscle and was certainly a good bit heavier than he’d imagined.

“Arthur, pet, do shut up for a moment; I need to get us a cab.”

“C’mon, that’s right, you come right up here!”

He heard the sounds of the bar door swinging open again and had to hastily set Arthur down as he heard the men approaching them, shouting slurs and beating their fists into their hands threateningly.

What could he say? He’d tried to avoid the violence. Well, it had been a long time since his last fist fight.

He rolled up his sleeves a bit, glancing over at Arthur who was wearing the cockiest grin Eames had ever seen apart from his own.  Hell, if the little bastard didn’t look like he was thrilled for the fight. Maybe he grinned back, just a little.

Poor blokes never stood a chance, really. They got their shots in. Eames had a nasty punch to the jaw that had rattled his teeth and split up his lip, but he’d given back just as well. He knew how to move, how to dodge and returned the sock to the jaw with one to the gut, doubling the man as the wind was punched from his lungs. Another grabbed around his neck from behind but Eames was able to wrestle out of the hold and knee the man in his jewels; they might not be in the bar anymore, but like hell was he above treating it like a good, old fashioned bar tumble. He scrambled on the ground with a third, his shirt getting twisted up in the man’s hands as they met in a deadlock. He was good, strong, but Eames had more experience by spades and while he was likely to have some solid scrapes and bruises in the morning, he soon he had the other man laid out and limp on the pavement. He rolled up to his knees and glanced over with a pant to see how his inebriated partner was fairing.

Quite well, actually.  Arthur was like a cyclone, punching, kicking, even scratching at men at an alarming rate, none of his usual finesse in his motions; he was frankly reminding Eames of a terrifyingly undomesticated monkey. He winced in sympathy when Arthur took one to the face; thankfully it wasn’t a solid hit, but he could see the split lip that was the result. The man didn’t even seem to feel it, he grabbed the other man by his collar and delivered two swift punches to his kidney before letting him go, spitting, cursing, and shouting even as the other men cut their losses and limped off.

“Yeah! That’s right, assholes! KEEP WALKING!” He kicked at the ground in disgust then promptly lost his balance, skidding onto the wet pavement with a yell.

Eames couldn’t help but feel like maybe that was his fault in some small way. He smiled. Little bastard deserved it after getting them into a fist fight.

“Careful now, Arthur, dear; the sidewalk’s done nothing to you,” he soothed, pushing off the concrete with a groan then offering his hand. Arthur looked up, slightly dizzy-eyed, and grabbed his hand, almost missing it, for balance with his own scraped up one. Eames couldn’t help but note the bruised and cut up knuckles he had, well, they both had them now.

“Fucking showed them,” he grinned proudly. Eames laughed and felt like he should be tousling his hair, but refrained because if Arthur didn’t blackout he’d like to live the next morning. As it was, the little drunkard’s carefully gelled hair was already in a state of disarray that Eames had never seen it in before. Bits of it around his ears had been loosened by sweat and scrapping, and it curled there slightly. Eames hadn’t known his hair curled.

“You certainly did,” he agreed amicably.

Arthur shook his head. “No, we did; you and me,” he argued.

This seemed to be important, so Eames just nodded. “Course we did.”

There was that grin again, slightly less dazzling as his teeth were pinked up with a coating of blood, but still quite lovely. His tongue darted out, chasing up a bit of blood that trickled from his now swollen bottom lip and Eames couldn’t help following the movement of the soft, pink little thing. It was a wicked tongue, drunk or not, and his upper lip curled up in such a way that his grin now almost looked feral; he was like a little wildcat. Arthur’s eyes caught him and then lowered a little, his tongue dipping out again the wet his lips this time. Eames breath caught slightly in his throat.

Then Arthur’s face went green and he promptly threw up on his shoes.

Oh CHRIST, his favorite ones, too.  He made a face and shook his feet out as much as he could while Arthur mumbled an apology, looking rather green still.

“M’sorry, was dizzy.”

Eames was pretty sure he had done nothing to deserve this. He sighed and realized the shoes were a lost cause, and he really didn’t feel like walking around with vomit creeping into them, so he toed them off carefully, stepping onto a clean patch of sidewalk. “Mind you don’t throw up directly on my toes this time, darling.”

“I said I was sorry,” Arthur mumbled, sounding a little petulant and suddenly young enough to tug at Eames’ heartstrings just a bit; poor bloke was clearly embarrassed.

“Hey, shush now It’s alright, you haven’t gone drinking in a while, have you now?” He placed a steady arm around his shoulder. “Come on, we’ll get you to your room.”

“M’not a fucking kid. Don’t baby me.” He got a firm shove to his side, not enough to dislodge him, and if Arthur wanted to, he could dislodge him and break a rib or three if he liked, so he took that as a sign of friendship and kept his arm on him.

“Just making sure the world stays upright for you,” he assured him, walking along the damp pavement, avoiding bits of broken glass and ignoring the tiny pebbles that bit into the heels of his feet. It took a bit of doing, and going to a slightly nicer area of town, to hail a cab which he then had to basically pour Arthur into. He slumped down beside him as Arthur mumbled out his hotel name. The fight had gone out of him a bit, perhaps he’d puked it right on out, Eames mused to himself.

“I don’t want to go to bed.”

Well, that didn’t last long.

“You’re looking a bit green around the gills, still,” he countered cautiously, because, well, Arthur was a grown man who could absolutely kill him, so if he wanted to go out there really wasn’t much to be done about it. “And your lip is looking worse for wear; you should get that patched up.”

Arthur drew his tongue along it slowly, catching at the open seam of the cut. Eames tried not to be distracted, tried to remind himself that the lovely tongue had just gotten a wash over with vomit, but for some reason it just wasn’t helping. “It’s not that bad, I’m hungry.”

“Well, you did just make room in your stomach.”

Arthur made a face, but Eames had to concede that putting some food into both of their stomachs to soak up the booze and some water into Arthur to hydrate him might do a world of good.

“Alright, then.” He changed their destination with the driver and only realized afterward when they stumbled out of the cab that he was completely barefoot, still. It was a good thing the little street stall they slipped up to hardly cared. He was soon tucking into a bowl of curry, leaning against the wall of a building and watching as Arthur made a face at his.

“It’s too hot, how do you eat this stuff?”

“Eat it with the rice, it’s not so bad, and drink your water.” Americans.

“I want pizza.”

“You hate pizza.”

“No, I hate the pizza YOU get. Who the hell puts so much meat on their pizza?”

Eames tilted his head curiously. “You never said you liked it another way.”

“Too much grease makes me queasy.” His nose wrinkled and he took another bite of the curry, swallowing and sucking a breath of air into his mouth to cool it before drinking more water. “Too hot.”

Eames held back a smile. “Baby.”

“Fuck you,” he grumbled and ate more, his jaw set a bit more stubbornly.

“You sound like you’re sobering up a bit.”

“I think most of the alcohol ended up in your shoes.”

“You can buy me another pair.”

“I think we both know that’s not going to happen.”

“Think of it this way. You can finally put me in an article of clothing that meets your rigid specifications.”

“…Email me your shoe size.”

Eames let out a short bark of laughter and discarded his curry container. “You ready to call it a night, then?”

Arthur glanced at him then shrugged a little. It was a curious thing. It was like he really didn’t want to go home. Suddenly Eames had to wonder, how DID Arthur usually spend his nights? Did he ever go out just to go out, did he have pizza with friends when he was at home, did he ever go out with other colleagues? Or did he go back to his hotel room every night to work and eat meatless pizza by himself?

The thought, well, maybe it made Eames just a little sad for him.

He glanced up at the stars. “Night’s still young, though. We could walk back.”

He got an unsure look, certainly purely because, better or not, Arthur was most certainly tipsy still, because Arthur never looked uncertain about anything even when he was unbelievably wrong.

“You don’t have shoes.”

“You could give me yours.”

“Not a chance in hell.”

“Well, then we’ll just have to get me a pair, and then we’ll walk home.”

They got a few dirty looks padding into a store at the hour it was, looking bruised up and dusty, not to mention his muddy toes leaving a couple streaks on the floor, but they snickered together at the disapproving looks and looked through the meager selection.

“These are all terrible,” Arthur announced far too loudly, getting a glare from the close-by cashier.

“Shh, they’ve just got to get me home, darling.” They were terrible, though, even by his own tastes… He picked up a lovely pair of loafers, inlaid with a delightfully tacky cloth pattern.

They were promptly slapped out of his hands and thumped to the floor, vanquished by Arthur’s strict fingers.

“Don’t even think about it.”

He laughed when Arthur thrust a pair of slightly sharper, less garish shoes into his hands. They fit quite perfectly, and he left the store wearing them even though, without socks, they bit at his ankles a bit. It was a nice night actually, and now that he didn’t have to worry about stepping on something nasty he could appreciate the stars more, the slight chill that left a bit of mist in the night sky.

“This was a pleasant evening,” he remarked absently. His hand had somehow ended up around Arthur again, just to keep him steady and all.

Arthur snorted softly. “You’re an idiot.”

He grinned, and just because he was feeling a bit dumb and a lot braver than he should, “We could always have a nightcap at your hotel before tucking in for the night.”

Clearly he was feeling more than a bit dumb. In fact, what a terribly stupid idea that was.

But Arthur was looking at him and maybe smiling just a little, and it felt like the best idea he’d had that night.

“You’re buying.”

“You’d throw up on a man’s shoes then make him buy you another drink? Your lack of manners is appalling.”

“I probably did you a favor with those shoes.”

“That’s hurtful, love.”

Maybe by the time they reached the hotel Arthur was feeling a bit more tired from their excursion, because he leaned into Eames’ side a bit more. He still nodded when Eames offered a drink, though, so they made their way to the bar. It was a classy little thing, and much nicer than where they’d drunk before, actually. He hoped they didn’t wreck it up too much. Arthur was lagging, though, and surely that was a promising sign as they slid down into a booth, Arthur followed by Eames, right beside him just as he’d thought would happen when he’d originally thought up this entire idea. At least something was finally going according to plan.

It wasn’t long before they had a bottle of wine at their table, because by now Eames decided beer and whiskey were right out. He poured them each a glass and they sipped together and began to talk; Arthur was starting to finally loosen again. They discussed what foods Arthur actually did like, which surprised Eames; he always thought Arthur more the type for the finer things, steaks and caviar, but he liked chicken sandwiches, apples, gooey cinnamon buns, and the occasional fast food sin of a cheeseburger.

“And to think, Arthur, you might actually be human under that suit.”

That got him a grin, one that pulled at the barely scabbed-over split of his lip. It tore and bled fresh. Eames tsk’d slightly and dipped the corner of a napkin into a water glass which was there because there was no way he was having Arthur drink and not have some water near him again. “Never took care of that, darling.” He leaned closer and dabbed at the cut, coming back with a spot of blood. Arthur was still as he performed the action, his breath coming out a little faster, surprised; it sounded nice, felt nice as it brushed over his still cut knuckles.

Arthur cleared his throat and tossed back the rest of his glass, his “thanks” grated out a bit harshly.

“Think nothing of it.”

Maybe they should have stopped there. He certainly shouldn’t have let Arthur near the bottle, because Eames was feeling relaxed again and perhaps not watching how the wine disappeared rather quickly, or how Arthur was getting more animated again, his gestures becoming wider, once or twice bumping into Eames’ arm or chest as he spoke, as they argued and perhaps yelled a bit, and if the only way to keep from making a spectacle of themselves was to lean forward and tuck his lips against Arthur’s, well then so be it, he was willing to make that sacrifice.

So then he was kissing Arthur, and Arthur wasn’t being a suit, or a robot, or a bastard, well, not much of one. Arthur was simply being Arthur, tipsy and argumentative and heated as his lips pressed back, as he made a soft sound in the back of his throat, as his kiss turned from a light press to Arthur practically trying to crawl into his mouth, his tongue licking over his lips, then when Eames began to question the logistics of their situation and Arthur lost his patience, perfectly straight pearly teeth bit down sharply into his bottom lip and his mouth opened to suck in a surprised gasp. Arthur made a pleased noise and licked into his mouth, all teeth and tongue, the blood on his lip, the wine on his tongue and Eames was wondering why he ever thought this was a bad idea.

Chapter Text

Arthur’s kiss seemed to have broken some sort of filter in him, or perhaps it had broken Arthur period, because what was mauling at his face was certainly not Arthur, not when his long graceful fingers were sliding over his chest, digging into the muscle there; not when he was practically crawling into Eames’s lap, panting between kisses.

Eames was torn. Oh lord was Arthur a fantastic kisser, but he brought his hands up anyway, gently separating them with a push to his chest, one that Arthur certainly wasn’t meant to push up into, nor rub his body into the palms of Eames’ hands, making the already rumpled material of his shirt crease further and a throaty little noise fall from his lips. Arthur’s body was so warm under his proper little shirt, all firm and lithe. Eames felt his cock swell a bit in the confines of his pants in response to it. He needed to put a stop to this before he was well and truly fucked; or before Arthur was well and truly fucked, actually, but then Arthur was ducking forward, nuzzling at his ear, scraping his teeth against the shell of it in a way that made Eames groan and sent blood rushing down right to his cock. Then he realized all of the little noises Arthur was making as he attacked his ear actually had words attached to them, mumbled little things that he was just now catching as the fucking minx rubbed up against him.

“C’mon, C’mon, I wanna fuck you. I wanna make you feel so good. I bet you’d love it.” His hands were sliding down his chest now, across his back and there was an impatient noise as one felt out past his jacket, stroking over the curve of his arse in a completely indecent manner that had him harder in an instant.

“God, you’ve got such a great ass, Eames. Why do you have to always put it in those fucking ridiculous pants of yours? You shouldn’t ever be allowed to wear pants. It should be illegal; you should only be allowed naked, only naked Eames should be legal.”

No, what should be illegal was how worked up Arthur was getting Eames with his babble. Arthur was BABBLING. He never babbled, he was always absolutely concise with his words, and it was so sweet and earnest and worked up that Eames was seriously questioning his ethics and if he actually had any of them to begin with.

“Arthur, oh, Arthur, darling.” He finally tore him aware from his ear, trying to ignore those lovely flushed cheeks and the way the man’s mouth was open and just so lush looking, how well he’d probably take to sucking his cock. “You’re drunk as a lord, love, let’s not.”

“M’not. M’not drunk.”

Eames snorted and couldn’t help smoothing out his hair a bit. “You’re a lovely drunk, but quite drunk nonetheless, and I’d like to not find myself dead tomorrow morning for taking advantage of it.”

He ignored the protests as he stood, adjusting his pants in an attempt to hide just how much Arthur’s display had affected him. “Come on, let’s get you into bed.”

He gathered him up and got them to the elevator, quite pleased with himself about how he’d handled the situation. A few years ago, he’d have given in easily, nailed Arthur into the mattress until he squealed and jizzed all over his sheets then given him a friendly pat on the rump and left for the night. It didn’t feel right now, though, not when they were actually somewhat close acquaintances. No, he’d send Arthur to his room and tease him mercilessly about this the next morning as was his right, then he’d order them lunch just to show there were no hard feelings. It was a good plan.

Until Arthur shoved him up against the elevator and started necking him again. Christ was he persistent. Of course he was; it was Arthur, and Arthur didn’t do anything remotely by halves. Eames grunted, his hands coming up to grab onto Arthur’s waist when his lip was bitten into roughly again. Christ, the man had to stop doing that. Then there was his quick, pink tongue licking over his abused lip in a way that was by no means an apology.

“Come on, come on,” he breathed out over his lips in hot little pants, sending a thrill straight to Eames’ cock. “I’ll suck you, let me suck you. I bet you taste good, you fucking jerk. I’ve thought about it before, you know, how good you’d feel. I bet you’re thick, I bet you’d stretch my fucking mouth out. I wouldn’t bite, though, wouldn’t let my teeth touch it. I’d treat it so good…”

Arthur made a desperate little sound and mashed their lips together again; Eames could taste the blood from his cut welling out once more and couldn’t hold back the soft whine of frustration in his throat. He was only fucking human, and Arthur was being so fucking human right now, too, so humanly fuckable, actually. It wasn’t his fault that a bit of filthy talk got him bothered. He was twitching in his pants by now, aching to sink into the sweet mouth.

“Arthur, pet, you’re killing me right now, you’re actually bloody killing me,” he murmured, rubbing his hands over the creased-up shirt Arthur was wearing. How bad would it be to just give him the shag he was clearly looking for?

Creased-up shirt. Right, Arthur was willingly letting him crease and bend his shirt which meant he certainly wasn’t coherent enough to give any sort of real consent. He sighed and couldn’t resist licking over those sweet lips once, tasting more of the copper and salt before he pried Arthur off, which was akin to working off a bloody snake or something; all of that whipcord muscle and litheness was working against him and making him into a slippery little bastard.

God, his face was so flushed and sweet when he looked at Eames in utter confusion about why their bodies weren’t tangled together anymore. His pants were tented, and he practically reeked of desire. Eames shook his head, and before he could change his mind and absolutely grind against the aggressive little souse’s cloth-covered erection until they both came right then in the elevator, it chimed open to Arthur’s floor and in a moment of doubt over his own strength he shoved the other man through the door. He frantically pressed the emergency close button, disregarding the look of surprise on Arthur’s face.

Certainly the most mature way to handle these sorts of things.

He let out a shaky breath and groaned, resisting the urge to have a wank in the elevator, and made himself at least wait till he got home and into the shower before he let himself think about Arthur’s lips and hands, and the way the little bastard moved in a fight like a wildcat even when he was far too inebriated for any sort of grace. He pumped his hand over his cock in jerky strokes. Arthur in those perfectly pressed suits, Arthur rumpled and mussed and wanting, Arthur offering to blow him right there in the elevator with his split open lip. Eames was soon spurting out onto the shower wall with a short cry and a shudder that rocked through him, wondering how it’d taken him so long to notice just how much he’d enjoy having a go at Arthur, and at the same time realizing how perfectly awful it was that he was never going to have that sort of opportunity unless the other man was hammered.

Eames went into the job the next morning with notably no spring in his step. He was rather spring-less, actually, and perhaps a touch grouchy, the opposite of his entire set of noble intentions the night before. He was sore all around, his jaw tender from a knock to it, and he’d had a lot more scrapes than he’d realized when he gave himself a quick look over that morning. Arthur would probably look like complete shite himself.

Except that he, of course, didn’t. Eames would be beginning to question his ability to read people at all except that this was Arthur, and Arthur was clearly only human when he drank. Sober, suit-wearing Arthur strolled into the office looking completely collected, in fact if it weren’t for the bit of shine spread over Arthur’s bottom lip, some sort of balm covering the cut from last night, Eames would be wondering if he’d made up the whole thing in his mind.

“Good morning, Mr. Eames.” Eames watched as he breezed past him and set up his work station without a second glance.

“Morning, Arthur,” he finally replied, which made the other man still a little and look back at him for a moment before he turned back to his work. Eames frankly didn’t have time to analyze it; he did actually have some forging to practice, after all.

It was a bit of a trickier forge; it always was when one was copying a child. There was so much unpredictability in them. It was near impossible to fake those qualities, so he spent the morning going down and working on them until he was fairly sure he had a good working figure of the mark’s lovely little boy down to his knobby knees and sticky little fingers. With the form down, he’d work on mannerisms later, tail the nanny a bit more and pick up the tot’s personality a bit more. He was just a photograph for now, but Eames would make him into a portrait.

When he came up past noon, feeling better after his success, he decided lunch was in order. He stretched out on the lounge chair. Arthur’s station was empty, but his mug was still on the desk, indicating he wouldn’t be gone for long, not without his coffee. He contemplated that for a few minutes before he put in a call for pizza.

By the time Arthur returned, Eames had dug into the delivered box, already on his second slice.

“Got a bit of lunch, if you’d like some,” he offered.

Arthur looked about to decline, and then glanced to the open box. Eames couldn’t help but feel a little satisfied at the slight surprise on his face; of course he’d gotten vegetables on it, wouldn’t do to make Arthur all queasy and grumpy, now would it?

“It looks good,” he finally got in response, then to his own surprise Arthur set his work down and started to eat approximately 13 minutes before his usual allotted lunch hour. Would wonders never cease?

It was a surprisingly not-awkward silence they ate in, casual enough that Eames had to wonder if Arthur even remembered much of the night before.

“I’m sorry I rammed my tongue down your throat and tried to blow you in the elevator.”

Eames choked on his pizza.

Arthur didn’t look at him, but his voice was steady, like he was refusing to be embarrassed by it. “I guess it’s pretty obvious why I don’t go out for drinks, now. I have fun doing it, but I don’t get drunk anymore because I make bad choices.” Right, a bad choice like sleeping with Eames, which would be incredibly stupid for both of them.

Eames cleared his throat carefully. “Why’d you end up going out with me then, pet?”

Arthur glanced over and gave him an appraising look. “I knew you wouldn’t let me do anything too idiotic. You’re terrible at finding jobs on your own.”

He tilted his head at that. “You did, did you?”

“Cobb and I used to go out. It was fun, he’d reign me in when I let go a little too much. I missed it.”

“Please tell me you didn’t french the man,” Eames replied blandly and not at all jealously.

Arthur let out a short laugh then looked away; oh, was this embarrassment? He’d never seen it on Arthur before, and if it was he was going to savor it.

“No, I didn’t.”

Eames grinned. “Must be the accent then, pet; all of you Americans go crazy over it when you’re in the bars.”

Arthur shook his head. “That must be it.”

He felt the words leave his mouth before he even had a chance to think about what a terrible idea they were. “So are we going out again, tonight? I can pack an extra pair of shoes.”

Maybe the trouble he was getting into was worth it when Arthur looked at him in surprise again and his glossed over lips tugged up into a little smile. “You want to?”

“Someone has to get you to take a load off now and then.”

Arthur snorted and discarded his lunch trash. “We’ll see. Get back to work, Mr.Eames.”

What was he getting himself into?

Chapter Text

Arthur packed up his workstation at precisely 5:00 pm and looked over at Eames.

“I’m picking the place this time.”

“Well, it’s not like we can show our faces at the last bar,” he agreed amicably and tucked away his own work.

They started off with whiskey and a basket of chips to share between them. The dive Arthur had chosen was somehow cleaner than what he had picked the night before.

“So, what, did you Google this place?” he asked, snagging a hot chip and dragging it through the pool of ketchup he’d created before popping it into his mouth.

Arthur gave his action a slight look of distaste. Of course he would think ketchup was a poor lifestyle choice.

“Google is not to be trusted,” he replied, eating his own chip with an appalling lack of condiment and a measure of neatness, wiping his fingers onto a napkin before he took a slow sip of his drink.

This was nice, casual, and shaping up better than the last night. Surely Arthur had gotten out all of his aggressive energy the night before, and tonight they could relax. They traded stories, some that had Eames laughing, the way Arthur would actually admit to an iffy or even uncomfortable situation he’d been put in and how he worked his way out of it with his usual finesse, or, in a story that the man made him swear never to retell, where he’d floundered terribly and ended up flat broke in only his underwear in the middle of Nebraska.

Eames was still laughing, his head tilted back against the booth, and Arthur’s cheeks were just tinting, but he was smiling ruefully.

“You tell anyone—”

“Oh darling, who on earth would believe me?”

Arthur’s grin turned slightly more vicious. “Not a soul who would live to speak of it.”

Eames gave him a delighted look and spilled out into a story of his own regarding a group of Russians and a strikingly unlucky goldfish that Arthur flat out refused to believe happened by the time he was done the telling, but he let out a snort of laughter as he downed the rest of a drink.

“Want to go for a walk?”

That seemed innocent enough. The night was fairly young, so to speak, and they were in an area of town where a couple of slightly boozy men walking down the street weren’t even going to get a second glance. It wasn’t until they were walking down a dimly lit alley, in fact, the third one in a row, that Eames realized they didn’t need to be taking alleys at all and Arthur was looking a bit tense.

“You… are you trying to get us mugged?” He gaped a bit when Arthur’s glance shifted away and he stuck his hands into his pocket.

“I just… It’s a rush, sometimes. It’s not the same as work. Work there’s risk, there’re guns, you can’t ever just think about the fight, then.”

“You… are unbelievable. Anyone who tells you you’re no fun is a bloody idiot.”

“You tell me I’m no fun,” Arthur returned bluntly, but Eames could see the little flush of happiness over his words on Arthur’s cheeks, not able to be held in check from the amount of drink he’d taken in. “Frequently.”

“Well, you know I’m a bloody idiot,” he returned cheerfully. “Come on then, let’s go pick a fight.”

Unsurprisingly, it was quite easy. It was amazing what a few drinks and a couple of thrown-off insults could do in a crowded bar.

Probably shouldn’t have instigated something when there were so many broken bottles lying around, though. Still, Arthur was adorably, fantastically smashed again, screaming and shouting insults as he thrashed and punched, kicked, bit.  Eames barely felt the gash he got to his arm with a broken bottle neck.

Then they were making out in an alley. He wasn’t sure when they’d even gotten out of the bar. God, did the man have to taste so fucking good? Or somehow smell so fantastic when he was covered in blood and sweat and musk, when he rubbed up against his body, when he bloody pinned him against the grimy brick wall and ground his arousal against his leg? Eames wasn’t a saint; he wasn’t a damn saint, ok? He grabbed a palmful of the tight little rear that Arthur was hiding away in his now scuffed-up trousers, shivering at the little groan that was let out against his lips.

“Yeah, come on,” he was encouraged with another grind of hip against his own; the drag against his cock was intoxicating.

“I knew you wouldn’t let me do anything too idiotic.”

Damn it all to hell.

The unspoken trust in that; it was infuriating. Eames was not to be trusted, and Arthur bloody well knew that, but now somehow he had some sort of obligation because Arthur trusted him anyway. It was all very confusing. He flipped them, trying to ignore how Arthur’s eyes lidded with desire when he found himself pressed into the wall, how he licked over his lips, then that little look of confusion when he stole another kiss from him and pulled back, righting his own mussed clothes.

“Why…”

“Not going to do it when you’re half in the bottle, pet. Told you that. You want something from me, ask for it when you’re sober.”

Arthur glared. “I’m not ASKING for anything.” Then he mumbled and Eames just barely heard the words, “Maybe it’s too hard then.”

He shook his head. “Then we’ve got a bit of a conundrum, then, because in an incredible show of stupidity, you trust me and I’m not going to break it. Come on, off we go.”

He got a little satisfaction out of the squawk of indignation Arthur let out when he grabbed his arm and tugged him out of the alleyway. He got him back to his hotel room safe and sound, if not looking a bit worse for the wear and with lips still rosy from kissing.

Eames had another wank in the shower, this one more frustrating than the last, before he flopped down onto his bed for the night.

If Arthur could look just a teensy bit hung over the next morning, maybe Eames would feel a little better about the whole situation; maybe he’d feel like the man was getting just a little bit affected, too. But no, Arthur was clean and fresh, sparing Eames a glance as he walked past and maybe, possibly, caught Eames eyeing his ass in his well-cut trousers.

“Drinks tonight?”

Fuck. He really had to stop offering.

“I’ll think about it.”

Another bar. They didn’t bother with the pretense of relaxing this time. The fight was wild, and maybe Eames enjoyed it just as much as Arthur this time. He had some steam of his own to blow off, after all. He might have accidently punched Arthur in the stomach, completely by mistake, mind you, completely thinking it was some other lithe little fucker who was throwing punches to his right, of course. He was pretty sure the punch he got to the face in return was completely intentional, however.

“WATCH IT, ASSHOLE!”

Eames grinned even through his bloody nose.

The other opponents at the bar were soon abandoned because Eames wasn’t about to take this lightly. Their scuffle had them crashing out of the backdoor of the bar and he could hear the sounds of cheering in the background, the whole lot more than happy to be rid of them. Goddamn, Arthur’s punches were something else; a sock to the gut knocked the wind out of him and had him stumbling over a trash bag. He crashed into a nearby wall and used a push off of it to get the momentum to launch himself at Arthur who shouted, and they fell together in a heap on the filthy pavement.

Arthur was struggling under him and Eames couldn’t resist keeping all of his weight against him just to watch him wriggle against the ground. His suit was a mess again, grey water from the filth on the ground getting sucked up into the expensive material. How many suits did Arthur bring with him on jobs? This had to be the third wrecked one in a row. He was going to go broke replacing them. Good.

There was a sharp jab to an already sore spot on his ribs, and he yelped out, finally pressing his weight up onto his elbows and unable to help smirking down at Arthur who pushed dirty fingers against his face, trying to shove him up, growling out insults.

It was only fair to kiss him at that point, really, just to make him stop being so impolite, just to shut up his yelling. Arthur’s fingers went from pushing at his cheeks to yanking at his hair, forcing his lips apart and ruthlessly attacking them. Yes, Eames knew he had fabulous lips, he’d been told many a time by the ladies and the gentlemen, but Arthur just couldn’t seem to get over his fixation on them; it was arousing and bordering on painful. Three days in a row of Arthur biting and practically gnawing on them and they were becoming sore. Still, the way his tongue would slide wetly over them and his breath would puff out against them when he panted…

“Come on.” That little encouragement Arthur always gave, like if Eames would just give in they could be having filthy sex in the middle of an equally filthy back alley, like it would all just be so easy, like they weren’t just two guys who’d had a fistfight and weren’t maybe possibly friends, like Arthur really wanted him to break that trust he’d put in him.

“I knew you wouldn’t let me do anything too idiotic.”

God, he fucking hated this. He dragged himself off of Arthur and stalked out of the alley, horny as fuck and pissed off beyond reason that he was letting himself be so. Let the little bastard get his own taxi this time. He heard a yell behind him and ignored it, hailing down a cabbie, groaning when Arthur managed to make it and slump in beside him.

“What’s wrong with you?” he glared, looking pissed and flushed in the face—anger, confusion, desire? Fuck if Eames knew why the man went pink-cheeked around him anymore; it always made his cock twitch either way now.

“Wrong with— Fuck you,” he grated out, giving the driver instructions for his own hotel. Let Arthur get back to his own from there.

“Well, I’ve been trying.” Arthur gave him a steady look and his hand rubbed up against Eames’s thigh a little. A steady squeeze far too close to his cock made it jump to attention.

“Sod off,” he grumbled and removed the hand, ignoring the glance the driver gave them.

“Will you just listen to me for a—”

“Oh no, I’m not going through the torture of you begging for a fuck again.”

That got him an angry shove.

“I never fucking beg for anything, asshole, just listen—”

Thank heaven for short drives and taxi drivers with little inclination to obey the speed limit. He tossed a bill over to him, not caring one lick for the change at the moment, and stumbled out, ignoring the footsteps that were following him.

“Jesus, you’re staying in a dump.”

“Not all of us need five-star to be happy, Arthur,” he bit out and walked past the front desk.

“Will you just LISTEN?”

He ignored him until he felt rough hands shove him against the wall in a nearby alcove. His face smacked into the wallpaper and it was awful how turned on he felt by it.

“Stop being such a jerk and listen for one second, ok?” Arthur’s voice was right by his ear, a low growl, a demand for attention and Eames finally shrugged his shoulders as much as he could in their position, felt himself being turned around, expecting an all-out assault on his mouth again.

Instead Arthur stepped back and pulled a clean white envelope out of his jacket pocket, pushing it into Eames’s hands.

“What’s this, then?” he asked in confusion, turning it over in his fingers. It had his name written on it in a lovely scrawl of black ink. There was even a seal; Arthur clearly did not know how to do anything informally.

Arthur made a face. “Just read it.”

He let out a put-upon sigh, even though, honestly, he was burning with curiosity at the sudden strange twist in events. Inside the envelope was a neatly typed little card.

I, Arthur, being of currently sound mind and body hereby give you, Eames, permission to have sex with my drunk-ass self. Happy now, asshole?  —Arthur

He stared down, stunned, at the printed card in his hands, the neat little penmanship where Arthur had signed his name. There was an embarrassed shift to Arthur’s posture, uncertainty on his face.

“You… you wrote yourself a permission slip to fuck me while you’re drunk? You… you’re unbelievably brilliant, pet.”

“Look, just because it’s harder to fucking say, doesn’t mean it’s not what I wa—”

Eames was more than happy to cut him off with a kiss. Arthur wanted him sober, he was just too proud or embarrassed or robotic to admit it out loud, but that was all just fine because he was going to make sure drunk Arthur never fucking forgot it.

Chapter Text

They fell against his hotel door, arms tangled, Arthur making a pleased noise as he licked at a bit of blood that had dripped from Eames’ nose to his chin.

“Got you good,” he spoke, sounding so pleased with himself as he pulled at Eames’ hair, the prickly pull at his scalp all the more distracting.

“You did,” he admitted, and maybe he wasn’t just talking about punches, anymore. He didn’t care to think about it, though. He groaned and mumbled a curse when his keycard kept being uncooperative and refused to slide into the slot for it.

Arthur’s hand grabbed onto the plastic card impatiently and slid it through. The door clicked open softly and they stumbled through it.

“I brought condoms,” Arthur admitted in a low, husky tone when Eames pushed him against the wall and nuzzled his neck, mouthing at the perfectly smooth skin there. Thank fuck because Eames, while considering himself a man who took precautions, had tossed his own packet out the night before in a vain attempt to make sure what was happening now absolutely didn’t happen.

When he informed Arthur of this, he got a throaty laugh in response and his shirt was tugged at. Eames took the hint and helped with the buttons, their fingers catching together with impatience. When Arthur deemed that half-unbuttoned was quite enough, he yanked it down over Eames’ shoulders, effectively capturing his arms up a bit in the material. Eames settled against the wall. Arthur’s hands were fabulous things, so sure of themselves as they rubbed across his chest. It took a bit of maneuvering, but he freed his arms, his shirt pooling down to the floor, forgotten.

“What’s with all of the fucking tattoos?” Eames laughed then grunted when Arthur bit down onto a peaked nipple, flicked over the nub with his tongue.

“Everyone’s got hobbies, love; you haven’t got any?”            

Arthur shook his head, lidded eyes glancing up at him before his clever hand palmed him through his trousers. His cock swelled up, more than happy at the invitation, and desire tightened in his stomach.

“My body is a temple,” Arthur replied back coolly, his thumb seeking out the tip of Eames’ cock. The fabric of his underwear was roughly dragged over it and Eames might just have whimpered at the harsh sensation when it was followed by the firm press of a thumb tip. “I don’t put anything on or in it that I haven’t deemed worthy.”

Eames moaned. Did the prick have to feel so good even when he sounded so bloody arrogant?

He cupped Arthur’s jaw, his thumb pushing past his soft lips where it was nipped at before Arthur swirled his tongue around it, sucked at it. His breathing grew heavier; he wanted that tongue at his cock. He wanted to feed it inch by inch until those lips were stretched open with him, until Arthur was whining for more, practically gagging for it.

Arthur spat his thumb out and pulled him towards the bed, working his shirt off as he went, showing off his lovely pale, and yes, quite tattoo-free skin. Eames let himself be pushed down to sit, bringing his hands around Arthur’s body to cup his ass tightly, grip into the firm flash. Arthur’s head dropped back and he bit into the soft flesh of his own lip.

“God, your hands are huge,” he got out, reaching to work open his own pants.

“Maybe your ass is just small, not sure how I’ll fit,” he murmured teasingly.

“Not sure why you think you’re getting it to begin with.”

Arthur stripped down further and was climbing onto him, making him lie back on the bed, pressing his deceptively heavy frame down onto him, biting at his lips AGAIN, the little fucking animal.

“Hnn, Arthur, love, I’d make it so good for you,” he promised, because the ass he’d just been feeling up was so very lovely and Eames could just imagine how Arthur would look under him, filled up to the brim with prick and squirming. “I promise, darling, give a guy a chance, hm? Let me open you up and get you all wet inside for me.”

Arthur’s muscles tremored above him for a moment, and then he heard a low chuckle. His pants were worked open, and Arthur was scrambling down his body. He suddenly had the distinct impression he wasn’t getting anywhere near Arthur’s ass tonight and, since condoms had been brought up, he realized that Arthur had made a rather presumptuous assumption about Eames’ willingness to bottom.

Surely they were going to have a chat about this when Arthur wasn’t wrapping his lips around his cock.

“Ah, Christ!” he huffed out the moment that hot tongue flicked over his shaft. Arthur made a noise around him, half muffled. It made him want to drive into his mouth further to force another.

“Yeah, that’s so nice, darling.” He dared to grab onto Arthur’s hair, the slicked back style loosening under his fingertips. Arthur’s fingers gripped into his sides a little and Eames tilted his head, then couldn’t hold back his smirk.

“Oh, Arthur, you like it when I talk to you through it, don’t you?”

Arthur’s eyes flicked up, and wasn’t that a sight? All indignant, but with no denial.

“You feel so good, darling. God, your wicked little tongue; I’ve been wanting to feel it on my cock since you first offered your mouth in the elevator. Do you know how unfair that was?” He pulled at his hair a little, reveling at the soft whine Arthur gave in response. “To make me have to turn you down like that, when I just wanted to slide you down onto your knees and fuck your sweet little face?”

Arthur pulled off of his cock with a lurid slurp, his eyes dark, his lips shining. “Keep going.”

He shifted his hips up; his cock ached and felt cold when Arthur’s warm mouth was so far away now.

“Fuck, lick it, don’t stop, s'good.” He pulled him back, sighing when his tongue was back, broad, flat strokes gliding along his shaft. He was so fucking turned on, and Arthur needed to not be stopping anytime soon. He kept his grip tight on his hair, stomach clenching and his hips longing to draw up and plunge into that soft, wet heat.

“That’s it, love, nice and slow like that; I don’t mind being teased.” He chuckled and tugged at his hair. “You’ve already been teasing me all week anyway, haven’t you?”

Arthur hummed softly against him. He kept talking, nonsense mostly, encouragements and filthy promises if Arthur would just not stop exactly what he was doing. It wasn’t exactly a difficult task to tell the man how good he felt, how he was making him want to fill his mouth up with a load of come, to watch that throat bob as he swallowed it down. Was Arthur even a swallower?

He stared down as Arthur greedily slurped up a line of his precome and flicked his tongue over the slit of him.

Yeah, Arthur was a swallower.

There was a wet sucking kiss to the tip of him, and it made his cock leak out a bit more. His stomach was starting to tense up; he knew he was getting close.

“You’ve got lube, right?” Arthur mumbled against his cock, the vibrations shuddering through him.

“Nn, yeah, it’s a traveler’s best friend, isn't it?” His voice felt rougher now in his throat when he spoke.

Then that warm mouth was gone and Arthur was sliding off of him. Eames perhaps whined a little, bereft.  He got an amused glance and surely it was a trick of the light when it seemed as though Arthur winked at him before rummaging through Eames’ travel bag.

“Right pocket,” he lied, just so he could have a few moments to enjoy how gorgeous Arthur looked bent over and searching through his things without even asking, the smooth curve of his spine, the jagged gash against his shoulder where he knew the man had taken a knife, he’d had a bullet himself that day and they’d both stumbled out of that mess together after taking care of a traitorous chemist.

“Your pants are still on.”

“Right, about that—”

“Take them off.”

Pushy thing. He chuckled and shucked them off anyway, having to toe off his shoes and socks in the process—how had Arthur even managed to do his own without Eames noticing? When he turned around, finally holding the bottle of lubricant, Eames took the time to look him over more, eyes going to the flushed cock hanging heavy between his legs.

Perhaps he could let go of the idea of sliding into Arthur’s ass... for now. He didn’t typically like bottoming on a first go, it left him a bit messier and more vulnerable feeling than he liked, but this was Arthur, who was willing to trust him even when it was a horrible notion. Perhaps he could place the same completely misguided trust in him.

Arthur came back to the bed and touched his thigh, dragging his fingers through the fine hairs there. “You’ll let me, right?” His voice was sounding low and throaty from sucking, and it wasn’t a demand. Arthur wasn’t looking at him, he was just stroking his leg. It was the closest Arthur would probably ever get to a nervous fidget.

“Sounds like a good time, darling.” He pulled him down for a kiss, brushing their lips together and tasting himself on Arthur’s tongue. “How did you want me, then?”

Eames honestly should have known the answer would be on his knees. The control freak.

It didn’t take long; some scrambling over the comforter, Arthur crawling up behind him as he moved to elbows and knees, like a good boy, he mused. Then Arthur was rubbing his ass, his fingers wet as he stroked them along his crack. Then he was rubbing against the spot he knew Arthur wanted inside of, wanted to push himself into. His insides clenched with desire and he squirmed as he took up handfuls of the blanket.

Arthur was careful and concise; oh of course, of course he was, his mind told him as he felt the first finger push past his opening. He dragged it along the rim of him first, making Eames’ breath catch as he felt the slow stretch. It was a brief inward struggle to not clench down and try to push Arthur out. Arthur trusted him, so he’d trust Arthur, he’d let himself relax and not worry about how often he didn’t do this because he didn’t like being the one exposed, open. Arthur had exposed himself to Eames, it was only fair.

Then Arthur pushed in another finger and he couldn’t think at all, not when those slender, perfect fingers curled inside of him. His body jolted forward and he let out a muted cry when Arthur’s clever little fingers crooked over his prostate, bloody overachiever nailed it on the first try. Then they were stroking inside of him, just around it; Eames felt himself dripping out onto the comforter and couldn’t resist rocking back at the lovely touch.

“Oh, Arthur, that’s brilliant…”

“Yeah?”

“Mhm, aces, love.” He let himself relax more, let himself just revel in how Arthur knew how to work his fingers, twisted them just right and worked in a third with barely a bit of burn to the stretch. He “ah”ed softly, rubbing his cheek into the soft bedding under him and clenched down on Arthur’s fingers just to be a bit cheeky with him, smiling at the little groan he heard.

“Eames…”

“Come on, then, I’m ready,” he encouraged, because as lovely as those fingers were, if he was going to bother to get all mussed up and drippy then he was going to be getting some cock for his troubles.

He thought he might also get a bit of teasing for his trouble, but the sound Arthur made when he arched his ass up higher told him that the other man was more than ready for it, as well. He could hear foil being opened, then there was the brief wet sound of a cock getting slicked up before he could feel Arthur’s weight being draped against his back, and the heat between them was just wonderful.

“That ok?” He heard the cautious tone right up against his ear, silly, really, at this point, but then Arthur was all about intimacy issues, wasn’t he? He smiled and reached back, managing to brush his fingers against smooth skin.

“Just fine, darling; doubt you’re going to do anything I won’t like.”

Maybe the little wicked smirk he felt curl against the hollow behind his ear should have been a warning sign. He felt a pat against his thigh, and then Arthur’s cock was hot against his hole, slipping against the wet ring of muscles the first time before he got a better hold, before he reached down and gripped onto Eames’ ass to spread him open more and was able to work the tip of himself in.

It burned a bit, Arthur’s cock didn’t exactly have the same careful finesse of his fingers, but it was slow, even when he heard the soft panting by his ear.

“God, god, you feel so good, Eames.” It was spoken quickly, his voice sounding thicker, and Arthur’s weight felt suddenly heavier on him, like he was really trusting Eames to hold them both up which was just as well because Arthur felt so good crushed against him, buried inside of him. The first stroke was slow, a gentle pull outward and a firm push in that worked him open more. He rocked back to meet it and felt Arthur’s breathing quicken.

With a few strokes, though, Eames was open and pliant around Arthur’s cock. His eyes lowered in pleasure as he felt it dragging along his prostate. Then the gentle was gone, and Arthur’s hips snapped forward with enough force to push the air out of his lungs.

“Fuck!” His teeth clicked together on the next thrust, his body shivered and his shoulders trembled slightly with the strain of holding both of them up. Arthur felt fucking fantastic inside; he was dripping more, about to make a fool of himself by coming already.

“Arthur—”

“Not yet…” It was hissed out by his ear, and he bit back an embarrassing whine when that delicious cock ceased hammering into him. “Come on, not yet, we just started.”

“You can keep going love, won’t mind at all,” he grated out, trying to push back at him, getting little in return with Arthur still draped over him.

“Come on, come on, you can do it…” Arthur encouraged him like Eames now knew he did when he really wanted something but he wasn’t willing to just take it. “Come on, you can hold back.”

He groaned, but took a few long breaths before nodding, shuddering when Arthur dug his nails into his shoulders and started to pound into him again. His fucking cock was gliding into him, he felt so open but hot, tight, crushed under Arthur’s weight. He hadn’t let go like this in ages, and he found the last of his reserves floating away as he gave a wanton roll of his hips.

“Fuck, you take it so well. It’s good, right? God, I’ve wanted to fuck you like this for a while now, Eames.”

And wasn’t that an interesting piece of information to go over in his mind later? Arthur was babbling again, however, and even though his mind was fuzzy with pleasure, it was too precious to miss. Arthur was telling him all sorts of adorable things—how much he wanted him, all about how he felt inside—it was darling, and Eames was getting fantastically close to orgasm again.

It was infuriating when Arthur’s hips stilled again; he bit his cheek to keep from groaning in frustration.

“Not yet… not yet. Come on, just a little more.”

Un-fucking-believable. The little bastard couldn’t just let him go, and get himself off in the aftermath? He had barely gotten a chance to touch Arthur, not gotten him worked up at all before he’d ended up balls deep in him. Arthur, on the other hand, had fingered him open, sucked down his prick until he was leaking. He realized now just how unfair of an advantage it gave the other man and how long this could take.

“Arthur, Arthur love, it’s a romantic sentiment, but please, come on now, be reasonable.”

“Not yet…”

He might have to kill him after this.

He shuddered when the thrusts came again, this time slow, languid. Oh how he’d wanted to use that word with Arthur before, but absolutely never in this context; it was driving him crazy, now. His nerves were all lit up and he squirmed more, feeling the sweat dripping between them, feeling how his cock was swelled up enough to hurt, but it just kept dripping, making a filthy pool onto the blankets. This wasn’t enough and he couldn’t reach for himself, couldn’t give his cock the few extra strokes it would take to have him blowing, not when he was holding up the weight from both of their bodies.

“Arthur, Arthur,” he chanted, feeling a bit helpless from the need for it, feeling a bit filthy and sluttish to be begging for it.

He got only a groan in response, a kiss on his neck, a murmur of how good it felt. It kept going, he was choking on his own words then, “please”s and Arthur’s name leaving his lips and getting all tangled up until he wasn’t sure what he was saying, anymore. He was so close he was about to come even from the gentle strokes, right about to topple over.

The motions stopped and he bit the blankets in agony.

“Don’t yet, not yet. Come on, just a little more; you can take it, right?”

Eames shook his head because he couldn’t, he just bloody couldn’t anymore. He needed to come so badly.

“Come on, Eames, you can, I know you can.” The voice was low and dark and so sure of itself; how was he not falling to pieces? “You’re so strong, you can take just a little more.”

He was fucking insane. He was the biggest bastard there ever was.

He clenched his eyes closed tightly and nodded. “J-just a little.” The words were so slurred as they fumbled out from his lips. He wanted to fucking cry when those slow strokes started again, just enough to make Arthur’s cock drag against the rim of his hole, gliding against his prostate. His thighs were tight with tension and his shoulders were cramping from the steady strain.

“That’s it… almost,” was promised against his ear and he could have wept with relief. Arthur was losing his pace, his movements were becoming more stilted, his thrusts more jagged, and they were just what he needed. He pushed back into them desperately, moaning for it, doing his own babbling with words that were probably absolutely ridiculous, but he just didn’t care.

“Come on, Come on, Arthur, please, please do it!” He needed this to end and he needed Arthur to come for it to happen. He heard Arthur’s breath leave him in a pleasured gasp and felt him still in him, stopping his orgasm once more in favor of his own and that just wasn’t fucking fair.

“Please, fuck, PLEASE, Arthur.” He was beyond dignity at this point.

There was a soft shushing noise and a kiss to the side of his cheek. “It’s ok, I’ve got you… I wouldn’t forget you.”

A hot wet hand wrapped around his cock and one twist of those graceful fingers was all it took for his orgasm to rip through him. He buried his face into the blankets to choke back the shout he let out while he spurted hot ropes of come into Arthur’s hand, its force making it spill over it and onto the blankets.

“Jesus Christ,” he grunted out, feeling Arthur pumping him still, milking his cock of the last of his come until he had to writhe a bit to get him to stop, the motion becoming painful after a point. Arthur gave him a final fondle before pulling back, sliding out of him. Eames couldn’t say he was happy for that; the weight leaving him made his back feel cold, and he shivered at it coupled with the feeling of being suddenly empty.

He flopped to his side, avoiding the mess they’d made, and glanced over to see Arthur disposing of the condom and walking into the small adjacent bathroom. He made a noise of approval when he came back with a towel to toss over the wet spot and flopped back onto the bed, his hair a wild mess, sweat still clinging to his smooth skin.

“Fuck.”

“Mhm.” Eames nodded in agreement.

“That was…”

“Mhm.” No need to go wasting words while he was feeling so wonderfully fucked, even if Arthur was a crazy bastard who Eames should absolutely not go sleeping with again if he didn’t want his cock to drop off purely from sexual frustration.

He felt a hand in his hair and glanced up, wary as Arthur’s lips curled up into a smile that absolutely reeked of sin when he looked down at Eames.

"Let’s go out tomorrow; maybe next time I'll let you fuck me."

Psychotic. Absolutely nutters.

Worst yet, now he had to go out and do it again tomorrow, because there was no way he was going to miss that sort of opportunity.

Maybe he was ok with this whole thing being his fault.

Just a little.