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Iron Man

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After the Fischer job, Arthur didn't see Eames for almost six months. He saw Cobb twice (which was nice), Saito once (which was not), Yusuf once (on a job), and Ariadne all the time (because he bought an apartment in Paris, and he couldn't help but point out his washroom was bigger than her entire rez room).

"What's a rez room?" Ariadne asked.

He frowned at her. "What you live in."

"You mean a dorm room?" she asked. "Where are you from?"


She looked at him like he had grown a second head. "You're Canadian? My entire perspective of you has changed."

Eventually, however, Cobb called Arthur and asked him to bring Ariadne with him to New York state for a job, and that job also happened to require a forger. To be frank, Arthur hadn't thought about Eames much in the past few months; sometimes, when he heard a familiar British accent, he'd turn and expect to see him, but it wasn't like Arthur was pining or anything. Arthur was an adult, and adults did not pine. Also, Arthur didn't even like him.

But when Eames arrived, walking through the front door of the short-term apartment they'd rented like he owned the place, he was... fit.

He was still wearing the same poorly-fitting clothes as always, but since the last time Arthur had seen him, he'd put on at least twenty pounds of muscle. Arthur could see it in his gaping collar, high shirt sleeves, and thick neck; even from his vantage point across the living room, Arthur could see the stretch of Eames's shirt across his shoulders, tighter than before. He looked thick and sturdy and outrageously strong.

Arthur didn't realize he'd been staring until Eames raised his eyebrows and said, "Arthur? I said hello."

"Hello," Arthur said shortly. "I was... thinking. About how much I hate you. And how unattractive you are."

"Okay," Eames said slowly. He set his duffle bag on the floor. "Where shall I set up?"

"You can share with Arthur," Cobb murmured distractedly, busy listening to the wire taps from the day before.

Arthur sat up straight. "What?" he demanded, and Cobb swiveled to look at him. "Why can't he share with you?"

Cobb squinted at him. "Because I'm the boss, and I don't share."

"As flattering as this is, I'm going to take a shower," Eames replied. "Point me to the right room, would you?"

Arthur waved his hand vague in the direction of the bedroom he'd been occupying. Suddenly, there being two twin beds in it made sense. Sometimes he really hated Cobb.

Eames wandered off. Right now, Arthur wanted nothing in the world more than to follow Eames into the washroom and watch him undress, slowly, and then maybe tell him to bench press something. Like Arthur himself.

"I hate my life," Arthur said.

"Uh-huh," Cobb replied, not even paying attention.


The problem with six months of near-constant interaction with Ariadne was Arthur was starting to think of her as a friend and not just an architect. He had that problem with Cobb, too; if he'd been forced to admit it under torture, Arthur would have had to say Cobb was his best friend. Arthur had some old friends back in Toronto, and a handful in Los Angeles where he'd lived after university, but at the moment he was limited to Cobb and Ariadne, and that was depressing.

Anyway, the night of Eames's arrival, Arthur lay awake in bed and tried desperately not to be turned on by the sounds of Eames sleeping (soft sighs and moans) or the bed squeaking (because what if the cheap Walmart bed frame couldn't support Eames's weight? Arthur thought insanely, and then he tried to smother himself with his own pillow).

It was going to affect his work. That was what he told himself when he decided to mention it to Ariadne somehow.

"Eames has really bulked up," he told her, while going over her sketches for the museum they had to construct.

Ariadne made a face. "I know. You'd think a thirty-something guy would take better care of himself."

"What?" Arthur asked.

"He was complaining yesterday about a woman at the airport bar turning him down, and all I could think was, 'Well...'" She waved her hand in what he assumed was supposed to indicate Eames's entire body.

"You don't think Eames is hot?" Arthur asked, too surprised to hide it.

Ariadne wrinkled her nose. "Not at all. He's not my type."

Arthur was suddenly angry. "You mean because he's not moping over his dead wife and squinting sadly?"

"What the hell?" Ariadne demanded. "Arthur!"

Cobb tried to talk to him about it later, while they were on a dinner run.

"Hey, buddy," Cobb said carefully.

Arthur tightened his hands on the steering wheel. "What?"

Cobb looked uncomfortable. "Ariadne said you snapped at her because she said Eames wasn't attractive," he said, in a tone that clearly showed he wanted to be anywhere but in the car at that very moment. "Is there something you want to talk about?"

"No," Arthur bit out.

Cobb looked relieved. "Just don't let it affect the job, okay?" and Arthur rolled down the window and cursed out the guy who'd just passed him.


It was obvious to anyone who had met Arthur that he had rage problems. He had had years of anger management therapy, thanks to his parents, the teachers at East York Collegiate, and the counselors at York University, in addition to an equal number of years of yoga, martial arts, gymnastics, and art therapy. Nothing had really helped until the day he'd picked up his first semi-automatic. He could do a pretty bad ass back flip, though.

The rage came back every time he was forced to interact with Eames. On their first job together, when Arthur had been trying to get Cobb to understand why they couldn't pluck a millionaire out of a board meeting, Eames had said, snidely, "Calm down, princess," and Arthur had dumped a cup of hot coffee on his lap. Things hadn't really improved since. Every conversation turned into trading barbed insults, and Arthur'd had more than one elaborate fantasy of Eames dying in a tragic accident.

It wasn't until months after they'd met that Arthur realized the elaborate dying fantasies had invaded his jerk-off catalog. Well, if he was having fantasies of being blown by Eames while shooting down a helicopter with a grenade launcher, it wasn't like Eames had to know. And even after Arthur had realized he was attracted to Eames -- and he was attracted to him, even before he got all... built, and whatever -- he'd been both relieved and disappointed to discover he still found Eames irritating. Not as irritating as before Arthur became attracted to him, but irritating all the same.

By now, Arthur was used to feeling constantly sexually frustrated. Usually, he took it out on projections. So he felt bad for taking it out on Ariadne and angering her to the point where she was telling Cobb about it, but then he remembered she clearly had bad taste in men (and scarves, and oh yeah, he went there), and she probably deserved it.

Arthur was still a little angry as he sat at the dining room table with his laptop, typing out the notes he'd taken in his moleskine, along with what Cobb and Eames had given him (Eames on loose-leaf notebook paper, Cobb on napkins and post-its). They were only a few days into this job, so any information on the mark -- a former and very shady hedgefund manager named Bruce Hanson, whom they'd been hired to steal a secret client list from -- was useful, and this meant Arthur was still waiting to see which information was significant and which he could throw away. It also meant Arthur was forced to memorize nearly everything that got handed to him.

He'd learned the hard way, several jobs ago, that Eames changed his handwriting every day. Arthur was squinting at one of the pages, trying to decipher a paragraph he thought maybe concerned the mark's wife, when Eames entered the apartment. He immediately headed for the kitchen, and came out with a bottle of blue Gatorade.

Arthur very pointedly did not watch Eames's throat as he chugged half the bottle. Then slid into the seat across from Arthur and mimicked Arthur's slouch.

Sneering, Eames said, "I hear Ariadne's angry with you."

Arthur's head snapped up. "Did she say why?" he asked, hoping he wouldn't have to kill Eames and then himself.

Eames frowned, looking confused. "No."

"Okay," Arthur said, relieved. He went back to the notes.

"Did you have a lover's spat?" Eames asked, his tone mocking. He leaned forward on one elbow. The table wasn't very big, so that meant he was too close for Arthur's liking.

Arthur blinked and screwed up his face. "Ariadne and I aren't dating. We're just friends. No," he corrected himself, "we're not friends, we're work associates. We work together. She's an architect I sometimes work with, not my friend."

Eames smirked. "Let me guess, because you don't need friends?" he said, predictably, because Arthur knew Eames thought he was an unfeeling robot.

"Cobb's my friend," Arthur replied without thinking, angry. "Dammit! No, Cobb's not my friend, Cobb's the extractor I work with. People I work with aren't my friends."

The smirk slid off Eames's face, and he looked at Arthur strangely. For a second, Arthur thought maybe he was wrong, maybe Eames hadn't previously thought he was cold.

"Is that so?" Eames asked casually. "Then am I merely the forger you sometimes work with? We have no other connection, you and I?"

Arthur wasn't sure where Eames was going with this. "Is there a point to this line of questioning?" he asked.

Eames leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms over his chest. "Well, darling, if we're merely work associates, then I can't give you the present I brought you."

"Present?" Arthur repeated.

With a flourish, Eames reached into his pocket and pulled out a snowglobe. He took one of Arthur's wrists and flipped his hand over, gently placing the snowglobe in his palm.

"You brought me a snowglobe," Arthur said tonelessly. He picked it up; it had an old castle or fort or something in it, with two curving elephant tucks on either side in an arch. "From Mombasa."

"On the Fischer job, you said you'd never been," Eames replied. "So I brought you a souvenir."

Arthur stared at him. A million different thoughts ran through his head, starting with, 'What the hell?' and ending with, 'Jesus Christ, I need to fuck him right now.' His skin felt too tight, like when they'd been in Yusuf's head on the Fischer case and Eames had pulled a rocket launcher out of nowhere.

"Anyway," Eames continued, clapping a still-frozen Arthur on the shoulder, "I'm to follow the mark to the opera tonight, so I'm off to see a man about a dinner jacket."

"I changed my mind," Arthur said when Cobb walked through the door five minutes later, bleary-eyed and holding a cup of Starbucks coffee, "I want to talk about it."

Cobb turned around and walked out of the room.

"Hey!" Arthur exclaimed.


Cobb didn't come back for a whole day. Disappearing for days at a time wasn't unusual for him, though, so Arthur had no reason to assume he was dead (even if, right then, Arthur wanted him to be). With Ariadne and Eames both off doing research of their own, it gave Arthur plenty of time to get work done. He managed to get into their mark's email, and he found a series of dates he'd need to look up. He reached for his moleskine--

And that was when he noticed Eames had stolen all his pens.

"How does he do that?" he grumbled to himself, digging through his satchel for the pens he always kept in the inside pocket. Why did Eames always steal his stuff? If it wasn't pens, then it was paperclips or folders or, one time, his entire suitcase. He didn't understand Eames at all. One minute, he was poking him or kicking him or doing whatever he could to distract Arthur from his work, like an attention-starved child, and the next, he was saying something incredibly insightful about the psychology of their mark or mowing down an entire army of projections. (Or giving him snowglobes. What was Arthur supposed to do with a snowglobe?) It was infuriating, and Arthur hated him for making him so angry and loved him for being so damn good at what he did, and-- basically, being around Eames meant he had a permanent and very confusing boner.

An image of Eames -- shirt torn enough to show the line of his abs and the bulge of his upper arms, maybe his face a little bloody -- beating a projection to a pulp flashed through his head, and Arthur pressed his hand on his cock, groaning quietly. He could picture Eames standing over a broken body, his mouth hanging open, sweat staining his torn shirt, blood on his knuckles. Eames could have done it before, no doubt, because the Eames Arthur knew had always been solid and strong, and one time Arthur had seen him break a man's neck like it wasn't a big deal, and in real life at that, but now it would be twice as easy for Eames to just put his big, broad hands on someone and--

No. He gripped the edge of the table and thought about unsexy things: getting shot in the knee, Abercrombie and Fitch, his parents having sex, Cobb having sex.

It took a few minutes, but it worked. Then he was back to looking for a pen -- somehow Eames had gotten into his satchel, too, and seriously, how did he do that? Was he magical? -- but before he could find one, Ariadne came back. She'd taken the train into New York city early in the morning, gone to roam the city for ideas for the second layer of the dream.

They hadn't spoken since he'd yelled at her and brought up her thing for Cobb, something which they'd had an unspoken agreement never to discuss. But to his surprise, she walked up to the table. He recognized that stubborn look on her face, and he sighed, lowering his bag to the floor.

"Cobb said I should forgive you because you're full of feelings, and you don't know how to deal with them like a normal person," she said. "So, I forgive you."

He scowled at her. "You realize he sent you to talk to me so he wouldn't have to," he replied. "And thanks, I guess."

She opened her mouth to argue with him, but then she snapped it shut, narrowing her eyes thoughtfully.

Giving up on finding a pen, Arthur started downloading the emails to his hard drive. He knew what was coming next; Ariadne wouldn't be able to leave well enough alone. He did want to talk about his... thing, but with Cobb, not her. Cobb knew Eames and his multitude of flaws and would be able to help Arthur regain his senses, while Ariadne would probably advise him to do something stupid like talk to Eames or something equally ridiculous. Cobb would just tell him to man up and get over it.

Sure enough, she dropped her open sketchbook and pencil case on the table, and tried to stare him down. As usual, her outlines were complex and creative, but when he reached for a better look, she batted his hand away.

He braced himself for her to say something about Eames, or Eames and him, but instead she said, bafflingly, "Cobb doesn't squint." She crossed her arms over her chest with a very determined look on her face. "It just looks that way because he has wrinkles that are caused by all the pain that's eating him up inside."

"Christ," Arthur said in disgust.

"He has a tortured soul," she continued, and Arthur wondered how hard he'd have to slam his head on the table to induce brain damage.

Before she could say something else as horrifying as this he cut her off with: "Ariadne, we're not that kind of friends. We're work friends. We work together."

"That's not what you said when we were drunk last week," she replied with a little scowl.

"Disregard anything I ever say to you while drunk," he announced. "One time I drank half a bottle of tequila and told Cobb I loved him. It was awkward."

"Yeah, I've done that too," she said. "Also to Cobb."


Thankfully, Ariadne, possibly embarrassed over revealing her crush (and her tendency to make drunken phone calls), fled when Cobb returned. Arthur was watching the news when he wandered over; inexplicably, he had a CD in his hands. The look on his face was very serious, which made Arthur tense.

"I'm sorry," said Cobb. He looked sincere, and Arthur felt some of his anger fading; maybe he was too hard on Cobb sometimes. "You were there for me when I was having problems; I should be here for you."

"Damn straight," Arthur said.

Cobb looked a little annoyed at that, but he held out the CD he held in his hands. "Here," he said, "I got this for you."

Arthur stared at it. "Did you buy me a Jonas Brothers CD?"

"Isn’t that what you kids listen to?" Cobb asked.

"How old do you think I am?" Arthur asked slowly. He leaned away. "Are you aware you're awake right now, and this isn't a dream? Or in my case, a nightmare?"

"What did you want to talk about earlier?" Cobb asked, ignoring him.

Arthur was still apprehensive, but he did need some advice. Even Cobb's advice. He bit his lip. "Do you think Eames thinks I'm cold?"

"Oh god," Cobb said. "I mean, please continue."

"Nevermind," Arthur huffed, chagrined. He looked back at the tv, but Cobb sighed and sat next to him on the couch.

"It's just," Cobb began. He paused and seemed to collect his thoughts. "I'm surprised, I guess. I know Eames has been interested in you for a while, but--"

"Wait," Arthur interrupted. "What?"

"You didn't know," Cobb said carefully.

"I thought Eames hated me," Arthur said, his mind whirling.

"I thought you hated Eames," Cobb pointed out.

Arthur threw his hands up. "Because he hates me! He's always messing with me."

Cobb raised his eyebrows. "Arthur," he explained very patiently, as if Arthur was one of his children, "he's always messing with you because he likes you."

This didn't make any sense to Arthur at all -- but Arthur had been interested in Eames for what felt like, and probably was, years now, and he couldn't help but snap and yell and be a general ass around Eames at all times. Maybe Eames had the same reaction to Arthur that Arthur had to him, he realized, feeling dazed and faintly horrified; maybe what he had mistaken for pathological dislike was simply immaturity and awkwardness.

The next day, everything changed.

For the most part, Arthur was attracted to people who were smart, brave, and ambitious; they also tended to be on the opposite side of the law. His last serious relationship had been with a German arms dealer, and they'd been together for almost a year before he'd gotten caught by the police in Albania; before that, Arthur'd had several whirlwind months with a chemist he'd met through Mal, but that had ended when he accepted a job with the Japanese military's experimental dreamsharing program. Yet Dietrich hadn't been as smart as Eames (clearly; what moron forgot which of his aliases had flags on them?), and Daisuke hadn't been satisfied being a criminal. Arthur was older now -- he was almost thirty, for God's sake -- and he had a better grasp of what he wanted. And he wanted--

"I want Eames," he said, trying the words out on his tongue.

"Good for you," said Cobb. He opened the refrigerator and stared inside; no matter what Ariadne said, Arthur was right, he was totally a squinter. "There's nothing in here but Gatorade and a tub of whipped cream. No, I'm wrong, the tub is empty."

"We're such responsible adults," Arthur said dryly.

Cobb sighed. "Come on, there's a White Castle down the street."

"You expect me to go to a White Castle?" Arthur asked. Cobb squinted at him until he said, "Fine, but you're paying. And I want two hamburgers. And a milkshake."

Cobb nodded. "Sure, get everyone together."

Ariadne was in her room, listening to a podcast on her iPhone and sketching, and she eagerly agreed to go. As for Eames, Arthur was pretty sure he was taking a nap; he'd come back from doing recon a few hours earlier, claiming exhaustion. Arthur had been camped out in the dining room, and he hadn't seen Eames since, but he definitely knew Eames hadn't left the apartment. He hadn't seen Eames much at all since the snowglobe incident, as a matter of fact, even though they were sharing a room. Arthur had spent the night before tossing and turning, and by the time Eames had made it back from the opera, Arthur had lost his nerve. When he'd woken up that morning, Eames was gone again.

Back in their room, Eames was sitting on one of the twin beds pushed against the wall, a beat-up pair of sneakers in his hand. He was wearing a t-shirt and sweats, and a stupid-looking baseball cap. There was nothing spectacular about him in this moment, but Arthur had only just discovered that his unrequited feelings were not so unrequited, and it made his palms sweat in an embarrassingly immature way.

But he was twenty-nine, not fifteen, and so he was able to at least appear calm on the outside. Closing the door behind him, he announced, "Cobb's taking us out to dinner. We're leaving in ten minutes."

"Sorry, love, but I'm going for a run."

Arthur frowned. "I didn't know you ran."

"I don't usually," Eames replied, pursing his lips, "but if I want to get back to my usual size, I need to do aerobic exercise."

"You shouldn't," Arthur said, eyeing Eames's shoulders and the way his t-shirt stretched tightly around them. "You look good like this."

He was trying -- and it was hard, harder than it should have been -- but instead of taking the compliment, Eames straightened up and looked at him shrewdly. "I'd tell you to piss off, but I think you're serious," he said. "You've been behaving oddly lately."

Feeling ridiculous, Arthur snapped, "It's not like I want to lick your tattoos or something."

"Well, that was graphic," said Eames.

"I don't know why I said that," Arthur said. And perhaps it was the knowledge that what he felt wasn't one-sided, because it was like a flood gate had opened. He kept talking, unable to stop himself: "You make me act like a crazy person."

"Act like?" Eames said.

Arthur did his best to ignore that comment. "I have something very important I want to say to you. Cobb said you're interested in me."

Eames looked pained, and he dropped his sneakers to the floor. "Oh he did, did he?"

"Shut up and lie down," Arthur said.

"Are you going to kill me?" Eames asked, sounding genuinely concerned.

"No," Arthur said. He felt strangely calm about this. "We're going to have sex, and it's going to be amazing."

Eames stared at him. "What with the who now?"

Arthur pointed to his own bed, and after a long heartbeat, Eames gingerly sat on the edge. But that wasn't what Arthur was hoping for, so he shoved Eames down and did something he'd wanted to do for years: he climbed right on top of him.

Not for the first time, he was glad he and Eames were the same height, because it meant they were eye to eye, toe to toe. He pressed his toes against Eames's ankles and arched his back; he trailed his fingers across the curves of Eames's triceps, liking the way they felt, like they could snap something (or someone) in half. They breathed in unison, and Arthur could feel Eames's heart beating rapidly despite his calm face.

"So this is odd," Eames said, puffing hot breath against Arthur's cheek.

"Shut up," Arthur repeated cleverly, nosing Eames's ear.

Next, he touched Eames's sides through his t-shirt, and Eames squirmed a bit, making a face like he was torn between laughing and moaning. Eames's waist was thicker than Arthur could stretch his hand, which turned him on even more than the hard-on he felt poking his stomach.

"I'm so turned on right now," Arthur said.

"That's fantastic," Eames replied. Tentatively, he ran a hand through Arthur's hair. "May I ask why?"

In response, Arthur rocked against him, pressing their cocks together through their pants. Eames sucked in a sharp breath, and then he reached down and grabbed Arthur's hips a little too tightly, squeezing.

Arthur made an embarrassing sound.

Something changed in Eames's face. "Ah, I see," he said knowingly, with a sly curve to his lips that sent a jolt straight to Arthur's cock.

He moved a hand to Arthur's cheek, gently stroking a rough thumb along the line of Arthur's jaw, and angling Arthur's face so he was forced to look down his nose at him. Right now, Eames was beautiful and handsome and all those other words Arthur had usually tried to deny thinking about him, and his pupils were blown wide, his lips wet. Arthur touched his fingers to Eames's scruffy chin.

"Do you like my new look, sweetheart? I've spent the last few months doing recon on a bloke back in London. He liked to box. I was trying to blend in."

"You look like you've been doing steroids," Arthur said defensively. "I bet your cock's smaller now."

Eames laughed, startling him. He dropped the hand holding Arthur's face. "How would you know what size my cock was before? Have you been sneaking glances in the toilet?"

"Don't flatter yourself, Mr Eames," Arthur replied.

But even to him it sounded weak, and Eames chuckled again, and then they were kissing, hot and wet and all tongue. Arthur fisted a hand in Eames's t-shirt and put the other around Eames's shoulder as Eames's tongue traced his teeth; he groaned and shuddered when Eames slipped fingers into the back of his pants and rubbed at the piece of skin right above his cleft. It made him crazy, and he started rubbing off against Eames's thigh, wanting Eames to move his fingers lower, to push them into him. God, those thighs, he thought, slipping his knee between Eames's leg and pressing it against the hard length of Eames's cock.

Eames made a whining sound in his throat, and he pulled away from Arthur's mouth and started nipping at his neck. "You want to come like this?" he asked, licking Arthur's ear. His voice sounded like it had been dragged over gravel. "In our clothes, like kids? You want to ruin your fancy trousers?"

"'Fancy trousers'?" Arthur repeated. "That's the least sexy thing you've ever said to me, and I'm including that time you said 'he who smelt it, dealt it.'"

"Everything I say sounds sexy to Americans," Eames said.

"Canadian, actually," Arthur corrected. Then Eames finally slid his fingers between the cheeks of his ass and Arthur's entire body tingled. "Nevermind, just-- just carry on."

Eames removed his hand from Arthur's pants and rolled them over so now it was Arthur gazing up at him. He kneed Arthur's legs apart and pulled his t-shirt over his head, throwing it to the floor. Arthur reached up and ran his hands down Eames's chest, enjoying the drag of chest hair under his fingers, the feel of hard muscle. Eames looked as good as Arthur had hoped, big and slightly hairy, and his ugly tattoos made him look dangerous.

When he looked back up at Eames's face, he found Eames gazing down at him like it was Arthur who was the hot one here. A funny, familiar feeling started building up in Arthur's chest, and not knowing what to say, he flattened a palm against Eames's belly.

"Let's get your kit off," Eames murmured, unbuttoning Arthur's pants. Arthur helped by undoing his shirt and pushing it aside, and then taking off his undershirt. Carelessly, Eames yanked Arthur's pants and underwear down to his knees, so hard that Arthur's back raised off the bed for a moment, his legs kicking. Eames stared at Arthur's cock and made a deep, appreciative sound, like a juicy steak had just been set down right in front of him and he planned to enjoy it.

Arthur curled his fingers around his own dick and stroked. "Like what you see?" he asked.

He didn't know what he looked like, spread on the bed, shirtless, pants pulled down, but Eames said, "Fuck yes," and kissed him so hard he couldn't breathe.

Arthur barely had enough time to suck in a sharp breath before Eames was dropping his full weight down on him, and he was heavy, really heavy, and hot skin was touching Arthur everywhere, Eames's hard cock was rubbing against his stomach. Arthur kicked his pants off the rest of the way and wrapped a leg around Eames's waist to pull him in tighter.

"You feel good," he mumbled, unable to help himself. He ran his hands down Eames's long, hard back. In response, he felt Eames grin against his shoulder.

"Come on," Eames said suddenly. He sat up on his knees and pulled at Arthur -- a little forcefully -- until Arthur was kneeling over his spread thighs, his back flat against the wall and his arms wrapped around Eames's torso. Eames's cock brushed against the cleft of his ass and he shivered, digging his nails into Eames's back.

"You're going to love this," Eames murmured with a smirk, and then his hands were under Arthur's armpits and he was raising Arthur up, still tight against the wall, tugging until Arthur's ass was resting on Eames's thighs, his legs splayed.

Arthur struggled. "Hey!" he growled, embarrassed at being lifted so easily; hot at being lifted so easily, Jesus Christ.

As soon as he was positioned where Eames apparently wanted him, he punched Eames in the shoulder, hard. But Eames didn't let go; instead, he announced, "I'm never going to let you forget this. If I'd known all I needed to do was work out more, I'd've started doing it years ago."

"Where's the goddamn lube?" Arthur asked.

"Fuck," Eames said, and dropped him. He climbed back on the bed a minute later with lube and a condom in hand, pushing and prodding Arthur back into the same position as before. "Honestly, I'm usually smoother than this."

"Somehow I doubt that," Arthur replied.

He tried to keep his breath even as Eames opened him up with his fingers, but Eames was dropping kisses on his face and shoulders, and whispering, "So good, you're so good," and Arthur really couldn't move much aside from writhing in Eames's lap. Being pressed in like this with fingers in his ass made his head spin like he was drunk. The wall was cold against his back from the air conditioning, and his arms prickled with goosebumps.

Then Eames pushed into him, hard and blunt. "Uh," Arthur said, voice strangled. He couldn't do much more than hang on as Eames rocked up into him, while Eames gasped into his neck, "You're absolutely mad for this."

"Yeah, so what?" Arthur groaned. He wound a hand in Eames's thick hair, pulling so hard Eames's head fell back. "You need to fuck me hard."

Eames's eyes went dark and he did just that, shoving into Arthur so hard it slammed the back of his head against the wall. Arthur knew he was moaning, his toes curling, his whole body lit up, and he couldn't-- he was going to--

Someone knocked on the door. It was like getting the kick, and Arthur snapped back into reality. Eames breathed heavily in his ear but didn't stop moving his hips in a gentle roll; the bed was squeaking, and Arthur didn't understand why whoever it was outside didn't hear it.

"Are you guys coming?" Ariadne called.

"Trying to," Eames said back, chuckling at his own dirty joke.

Arthur pressed his lips together and tried to be quiet, but Eames's hand circled his cock, and Arthur groaned loudly.

"Oh my god!" Ariadne said. "Nevermind! Sorry! Cobb," he heard her shout from a good distance down the hall.

"We just ruined Cobb's life," Arthur told Eames.

"I don't give a toss," said Eames, and then he resumed fucking Arthur like an animal.

Arthur dropped his head back and just took it, just let Eames pound him against the wall over and over, and he thought, crazily, Eames, Eames, Eames. He might have been saying it, he didn't know; Eames didn't look away from Arthur's face even once, and he was gorgeous right then, with beads of sweat on his temples and his mouth hanging open, and Arthur didn't know why they hadn't been doing this for years. When Arthur smashed their mouths together, his orgasm rolled over him, and then Eames was crying out and coming too.

Eames rolled Arthur onto the bed with care; Arthur felt like his spine was a wet noodle. "Bloody fuck," Eames said, sounding irritated as he collapsed. "I'm going to have to work out for four hours a day for the rest of my life, just to maintain this body. I'm going to have to take up sport."

"My heart bleeds for you," Arthur replied. He closed his eyes.

He felt a soft kiss on his shoulder. "This is the part where you tell me you'd still like me in any shape or size, darling," Eames said.

Arthur thought about saying, 'But then I'd be lying,' just to mess with him, but instead he opened his eyes a bit and replied, "I'd like you in any shape or size, darling."

"I can hear your sarcasm," Eames said, smiling, "but I'll take it."

They fell asleep with Eames curled along Arthur's back, and neither of them woke up until Cobb came in and dumped a bag of hamburgers on Arthur's head. (The milkshake, though, was left on the nightstand.)