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"Give me your gun," Eames says urgently, before Arthur’s even fully through the hotel room door.

"What?" Arthur says. He scans the room and then Eames’ face, blinks, and then hands it over.

"Got anything else?"


"Good. You have five minutes to get in the bathroom and pretend to be harmless or we’re going to have problems," Eames says.

"Wait, what?" Arthur says, "I’m not—"

"The gentlemen I’m meeting are expecting me alone. It’s this or you destroy that suit digging graves in the desert, your call," Eames says.


"If you can’t make it convincing," Eames begins. Arthur gives him a flat, baleful stare, pulls a combat knife out from under his jacket, slaps it down on the entryway table, and disappears into the bathroom.

Eames tucks Arthur’s weapons away and then checks his gun, his boot knife, puts the sterling silver corkscrew provided by the hotel on the bar, within easy reach. He can talk his way out of almost anything, but Arthur, extraordinarily capable by any standard, is not exactly built for certain types of subterfuge, and Eames isn’t entirely certain how easy it will be to explain away Arthur’s tense, chilly presence. In the bathroom, the water goes on and then back off; Eames rolls his shoulders. Arthur, he thinks fondly, is most likely pacing around the bathroom glowering and whittling Eames’ toothbrush down into a shiv.


"Um," he says, when they finally do find Arthur in the bathroom and pull him out.

"Ow," Arthur says, a sharp little intake of breath, and when the guy grabs his arm and shoves him forward, he lets out an honest-to-goodness whimper. He’s barefoot, wearing underwear—some little tight navy cotton things—and a crumpled, dark green shirt, half-unbuttoned, slipping off one shoulder. Eames can’t think, at first, of where Arthur might have been hiding an extra shirt, and then feels a hot shock of recognition; it’s his shirt, left on the bathroom floor before he showered earlier this afternoon. Arthur’s hair is damp, curling at his temples. "Please," he says, in a weird, soft little voice, but when no one’s looking he fixes Eames with a split-second, crazy-eyed glare and Eames straightens up and says,

"Come here, pet, no one’s going to hurt you." To the room at large, he says, "can’t blame me for mixing a little pleasure with my business, can you?"

Everyone agrees that’s the case, while Eames fits his hand gingerly around Arthur’s waist, assuming that this is the moment that Arthur is going to snap and dislocate his shoulder. Instead Arthur stumbles forward against him, somehow compressing his spine enough to bury his face in Eames’ chest.

"Shh, now," Eames says. "You’re fine." He cups his hand around the back of Arthur’s neck and a few tendrils of Arthur’s hair curl softly over his thumb. "Do you want to stay in the bedroom until we’re done or stay with me?" he says. Arthur turns his head, rubbing his cheek against Eames’ shoulder; the suite is sparsely furnished, open plan, sleek and modern; there’s no cover between the bedroom and the lounge area.

"With you, please," Arthur whispers.


Arthur stays close, half hiding behind him until they sit down, and then curls himself up, tucked against Eames’ side into the corner of the couch nearest to the fireplace—or, more accurately, nearest to the heavy, ornate poker propped decoratively against the aquamarine tile of the mantel. Eames doesn’t get distracted when he’s working, so he doesn’t pay attention to Arthur, the way he tips his head against the back of the couch and watches Eames, the soft look on his face, the sleek, narrow shape of his body beneath the loose shirt, the deep scar, white with age, that runs the length of his thigh, the new hickey on his shoulder, bright red and blooming, and two more high on the inside of his calf.


"Jesus Christ," Arthur says, disgusted, after the door closes. He unfolds himself from the couch in one quick, efficient movement and starts towards the bathroom.

"Yeah," Eames says, sliding down in the couch and tipping his head sideways so he can get an eyeful of Arthur’s shins. Arthur’s face pinches together.

"You said make it convincing," he says.

"Did you give yourself that hickey?" Eames says, pointing at Arthur’s shoulder.

"You. said. make it convincing," Arthur repeats, but now he looks embarrassed.

"Right," Eames says. "And you—certainly—were you aware that there’s one on your ankle, too?"

"a)" Arthur says, the only person Eames knows who speaks in bullet points, "I could really only reach my arms and legs," Eames, busy picturing Arthur perched on the bathroom counter with his ankle against his lips, does not contradict him, "and b) I would hope that any lunatic who has to put up with you is at least getting some sort of passionate fucking out of it."

"I’ll give you passionate fucking," Eames says automatically; it has never until this moment occurred to him to actually hit on Arthur.

"Great, thanks," Arthur says, sounding annoyed. Eames gets himself together and says,

"Right, I’ll just get your things, then," in a perfectly normal voice.

"Wait—were you serious?" Arthur says. He makes a vague gesture at his bare knees, which are impossible, maddening. Eames wants to lick them. "You—this is your thing? You want me to be your helpless little fucktoy?"

"Not all the time," Eames says. Arthur scowls.

"You’re depraved," he says.

"I know," Eames says sadly. "Can I fuck you?"

"Oh fine," Arthur says.


"I can’t believe this turns you on," Arthur says breathlessly, some time later when Eames has him face down on the bed and is pushing slowly into him. Eames had begged Arthur to leave the shirt on and Arthur had indignantly refused, but then reconsidered after Eames peeled Arthur’s clingy little pants down with his teeth and covered his cock in slow, ardent kisses.

"Shh, shh, make that little noise you made," Eames says, yanking at the collar of the shirt so he can press his mouth against Arthur’s neck.

"When I cried out in pain because I was being dragged from a bathroom by the murderering thugs my boyfriend works with and they were probably going to gang rape me while holding a gun to his head, that noise?" Arthur says, in punctuated little turns of phrase while Eames slides into him and then back out.

"Oh god don’t stop," Eames groans. He loves dirty talk. He sinks back in and Arthur shakes beneath him, pushes himself onto Eames’ cock. "Please. I’ll let you do anything you want to me next time."

"I want to lock you in a gas station bathroom overnight," Arthur sighs, but promptly, like he’s been thinking about it, like he’s been lying alone in his bed at night, touching himself, thinking about all the things he wants to do to Eames.

"you kinky little fuck," Eames says admiringly. Arthur is so tight around his cock, his fingers scrabbling for purchase on the bed; Eames is never going to have sex with anyone else ever again. "Turn over," he says. "I want to look into your eyes while I make love to you for the first time."

"You sound like a serial killer," Arthur says, but turns over.

"Now. Tell me more about this gang rape," Eames says. Arthur arches up underneath him, holding one knee to his chest, opening up his fucked open little arse for Eames to get inside. "One after another or two at a time? Did they make me watch?" Arthur’s eyes are closed, lashes fluttering in ecstasy while Eames pins him down and fucks in hard, but he cracks open one at this and says,

"I hadn’t really thought about it. Two at a time, I guess."

"Double penetration," Eames says approvingly, struck by the irresistible mental picture of Arthur stretched open to accommodate two dicks, arching his back helplessly, probably begging for it, clutching at his dribbling cock, hand wet with pre-come, desperate for more sensation, something to kick him over the edge—

"No," Arthur says."There is really—ah—" Eames takes it down a notch, riding into him lazily, keeping him full, "really something wrong with you."

"You said two at once—"

"One in my mouth, you idiot," Arthur says breathily and then lets out a series of stuttering gasps as Eames leans into him and speeds up and up and up and up, until Eames slides in deep and Arthur twists under him, his leg slipping smoothly up over Eames’ shoulder until they’re close enough to kiss, until Eames can lick fervently at the soft corner of Arthur’s mouth.

"I would never let anyone rape you, never," he promises. "I’d kill them first. I’d let them rape me instead." He kneels up and Arthur twines his long, narrow feet around his neck, bent nearly double.

"That’s sweet," he says.

"Do you think you were a virgin before you met me?" Eames says, starting to move again, but keeping his thrusts shallow, until Arthur is biting at his lower lip, his eyes heavy-lidded, a little hazy. "I bet you were fresh off the bus from Wisconsin—"

"Why," Arthur’s flexing his hands, obviously wanting to touch his cock and too shy or too proud. "would anyone take a bus from Wisconsin to Las Vegas—"

"And I brought you back here and brought you repeatedly to obliterating orgasm and then held you when you cried for your lost innocence—"

"This is so demeaning," Arthur complains. There’s a wet smudge of pre-come on his stomach. "Imagine how you’d feel if I got off on you acting like a mouthbreathing nympho-oh—" his cheeks go pink and he knits his lips firmly together.

"I’m a brute," Eames says sincerely. "Can I lick your balls?"

"What?" Arthur says. Eames pulls all the way out and Arthur makes a choked, bereft sound and catches himself before he reaches for Eames. "What for?" he says, as Eames starts kissing his way down his sternum.

"They turn me on," Eames murmurs against Arthur’s stomach. "Everything about you turns me on. I won’t do it if you don’t like it, though, are you too sensitive?"

"N—no, not really," Arthur says, as Eames runs his tongue down the hot salty crease where his hip and groin connect, licks at Arthur’s sac, where his skin is unbelievably soft and a little fuzzy, and then tips him up and french kisses him just behind his balls. Arthur cries out incoherently and then shifts a little and Eames hears the wet slap of his hand around his cock. He pulls away and says,

"You want me to—"

"Just—keep doing—" Arthur says, red-faced and resolute. Eames considers making him ask for it and discards the idea immediately; instead he pulls Arthur back up to a better angle and nudges a couple fingers into him—"Yeah—" Arthur says, in a single, sharp exhalation. "More, fuck—" and then he comes, groaning, twisting like a fish in Eames’ hands, the strength of his body crushing. Eames holds on anyhow.

He lets Arthur down gently onto the bed and Arthur crawls up a few feet and falls face forward into the pillows. Eames clutches his prick and makes a heroic attempt to wait for a decent interval before giving up and asking,

"Can I fuck you some more?" Arthur lifts one hand in a boneless have-at-it at his body and Eames crawls between his legs, hitches his hips up enough to get a good angle, and gets inside as quickly as humanly possible. Beneath him, Arthur is languid and cooperative, his face pressed sideways into the pillows.

"I’m going to pull out when I come, I’m going to cover you in spunk," Eames says. "Then I’m going to clean you up and suck your your prick, I want you to come in my face, I want—

"You’ll be unconscious five seconds after you blow your load," Arthur says. The edge of his mouth is folded up into a delicious little frown, but his voice is dreamy, content.

Eames presses an open mouthed kiss against the hollow of Arthur’s shoulderblade, "That’s crude," he says tenderly. "And disgusting."

"That’s—. Are you even listening to yourself?" Arthur says, but Eames is coming, losing his breath in his final heavy jerking thrusts, pressing his dick endlessly into Arthur, throat burning, eyes blind.


He wakes up in the dark, the room faintly illuminated by the lights of the Strip, far below. Arthur is sprawled on the bed, writing an e-mail on his phone, still wearing Eames’ shirt and nothing else. There’s a half-drunk bottle of water lying between them; Arthur nudges it towards him with his knee without a break in typing.

"Thanks," Eames says. He drinks. Arthur finishes his e-mail and puts the phone on the bedside table.

"Okay, I’m ready," he says.

"Ready," Eames says, uncertain. Arthur’s face is expectant, but otherwise unreadable.

"You were going to lick me off," Arthur says, settling himself on the mattress. He is, Eames sees, his eyes adjusting to the low light, almost entirely covered in dried spunk—a big smeary mess on his stomach and a hard-looking dried dribble on his leg, itchy-looking patches on his chest and the bottom of his jaw. He smells like the bear cage at the zoo.

"Okay," Eames says. "Right." He drops a soft kiss on Arthur’s mouth and then slides his mouth down to the first crusty smudge just over his nipple. Arthur reaches up and pushes his face away before he can get his mouth on it.

"What?" Eames says. Arthur shoves himself up on his elbows, leans over and flips on the light.

"I was joking. I wouldn’t—" he stops, and gives Eames a close, considering look. "but you were really going to do it, weren’t you?"

"Yes, well," Eames says. "I know that probably wasn’t exactly how you pictured—. Anyhow, I thought I could make it up to you."

"No," Arthur says.

"Oh," Eames says numbly. He takes his hand off Arthur’s hip. "I see. Perhaps there’s something else I could—"

"No," Arthur says again, his voice clear and firm. "I meant—that was pretty much exactly how I pictured it."

"I see," Eames says. "When was that, then?" Arthur is scratching idly at his stomach, not meeting his eyes, probably about to say When I was thinking about how much I would regret fucking you.

"When I was jerking off, mostly," Arthur admits, and then tilts his head just enough to gives Eames a lopsided, bashful smile. Eames finds him entirely lovely, his dark snarl of hair and the heavy shadow of whiskers on his cheeks, his kiss swollen mouth and lax limbs.

"How did you even—get here," Eames says slowly. He drove in yesterday in a car he bought with cash just outside Park City. Arthur’s smile dims.

"Thought I’d drop by," he says finally.

"That’s interesting, because no one knew I was here."

"I knew."


"I was concerned," Arthur says evenly. "And I don’t think you should be working for the mob."

"I’m not working for the mob," Eames says. "I’m just sharing a little information with certain parties who can afford—

"You are fucking working for the fucking mob," Arthur says, his voice hard and low. "You’re wasting yourself. If I could do what you—" he stops talking and levers himself up of the bed. "I better. I should probably go."

"Not much for the afterglow, are you?" Eames says, stung.

"No," Arthur says. "I’m not." He goes in the bathroom and comes out with his trousers back on, carrying the rest of his clothes. He jerks his shirt over his shoulder silently, staring past Eames. "I’m sorry," he says stiffly. "You’re right; work whatever jobs you want, it’s not really any of my business."

"Have you lost your fucking mind?" Eames says. For some reason watching Arthur carefully loosen the laces on his shoes makes him furious. "It’s bad enough that you think I can’t outsmart a couple low-level gangsters, who are really perfectly reasonable as long as you don’t try to double cross them, unlike the organizations you’ve been freelancing for, who specialize in hanging their operatives out to dry. I spent all of last year just waiting to get some third hand e-mail telling me you were a—a smudge on a slab in a Siberian morgue, that your severed head had been found in a grocery bag under a fucking park bench—what?" he says, because Arthur has given up on his clothes and is just watching him, one shoe dangling loosely from his hand.

"I didn’t—uh. know you felt that way," he says.

"Surprise," Eames says sourly. Arthur puts down his shoe.

"I think I should stay," he says.

"That’s not necessary," Eames says. His throat hurts; he doesn’t yell very often. He finds his trousers crumpled up next to the bed and puts them on and when he looks up, Arthur is still staring at him uncertainly.

"It’s just." He hesitates.

"What," Eames snaps. He hates drawing things out.

Arthur nods. "It’s a pretty long bus ride from Wisconsin," he says, to the floor.

"I—oh," Eames says.

"And I’ve, um, never," Arthur says.

"Except for the hand jobs in the teacher’s lounge back home," Eames says, catching up.

"Don’t interrupt," Arthur says, a little severely, but he looks up at Eames now, his mouth quirking into a smile. "But, fine, yes, except for all the hand jobs in the teacher’s lounge, I’ve—never done anything like this before."

"Come here," Eames says, but he’s already moving around the end of the bed towards Arthur.

"I mean, I’m sure there were any number of creeps and sex offenders at the bus station," Arthur says. He lets Eames catch his face in his hands, press a kiss across his grinning mouth.

"You chose me," Eames tells him.

"Yup," Arthur says, his smile rueful, radiant.