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All Our Wires Got Crossed

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They're in Kiev the first time it happens – it's a complex job with a condescending extractor who has a grudge against Arthur that no one can adequately explain, and Arthur gets so wound up, and comes so close to snapping. It's disconcerting to witness him losing his ever-present cool, so Eames defies self-preservation instinct and pulls him aside with stern, bracing words, with a firm grip and a level voice, Get a hold of yourself, I fucking mean it. The fact that this actually works is categorically unexpected.

Similarly surprising is Arthur showing up at his hotel that night, flushed, lips set in a stubborn line. He shoves his tongue in Eames' mouth and pulls Eames against him hard and whispers, desperate, I need you to fuck me, and that's quite a jump from endless years of mildly frustrating workplace innuendo, is it not? But Eames is too shocked and too eager to ask or even think Why?, and he fucks Arthur until neither of them can get it up anymore. Arthur is utterly destroyed, sobbing and filthy, and Eames has never seen anything quite so appealing.

He's not shocked, exactly, when absolutely nothing changes between them, and Arthur strides into work the next day without so much as a glance. There's no knock on Eames' door that night, and that doesn't shock him either. He doesn't expect to get fireworks, declarations of long-hidden desire.

Though to be completely honest, he is a little disappointed when he gets nothing.

So he has to work not to give the air a gleeful punch when Arthur shows up at his door a month later, during a hellish job in Madrid. Arthur's wound tight, but he melts into the contact when Eames gets him pinned against the wall, and it's perfect, perfect, because that night, Arthur feels like his, like Eames has some power over him that Arthur is unconsciously granting. He doesn't stay the night, and the next day is no different from the first time, but by then it doesn't matter. Eames is a man addicted.

It takes more restraint, after that, to give Arthur the personal space he's used to. And then it's two months later and Arthur is in Dublin and Eames is in Kilkenny and he's driven further for worse sex before, so it's really not that ridiculous when he knocks on Arthur's door at midnight. It's one of the only times Eames has seen him surprised, but it only lasts as long as it takes Eames to kiss him. Then it's filthy smiles and wet tongues, and it's, Yes, God, right there, and best of all it's Eames making Arthur come, over, until he begs for mercy.

Times and places soon start to blend, but Eames is learning things, and those are what he remembers. He learns that Arthur has a thing for brute strength, and has a hair trigger when he's getting lifted up and fucked against a wall. Eames learns that once the immaculate suits are gone, Arthur gets off on all things base and filthy, and isn't anywhere near above begging Eames to come on his face. He learns that Arthur's penchant for order isn't as pathological as he'd have his coworkers believe. Eventually, Eames learns (admits) that there's something more than the pursuit of orgasms going on in his own head whenever he shows up at Arthur's door.

Nonetheless, what he learns doesn't change the man he already knew, which means that Arthur is still Arthur, and nothing ever changes in the way he looks at Eames outside of locked hotel rooms. Eames doesn't press the matter, because he's been around long enough to know about the inadvisability of looking gift horses in mouths.

So, presently, he considers it a simple fortunate coincidence that the last five jobs he's seen fit to take have also happened to involve working with Arthur.

He attempts to convince himself that this is not a blatant lie as he trudges wearily down the hall to his hotel room. The planning for this job was meant to take two weeks, but two weeks plus an incompetent architect equals four and counting. Eames, who is not an architect by any stretch of the imagination, has found himself working ten hour days with this poor sod just trying to ensure that none of them get caught in the stairwells with projections pointing sniper rifles at them. Ten hour workdays just go against every questionable value Eames was brought up with.

If Arthur wasn't here, Eames would have walked by now. Which is somewhat… depressingly pathetic.

He stops in front of his door, patting pockets that definitely do not contain his key card. Scrubbing at his face, he's about to turn to head back to the lobby for a replacement when the door swings open.

"Jesus Christ," he gasps, stopping his hand on its way to his gun, "Give me a fucking coronary, Arthur."

Arthur tugs him inside with a flare in his eyes, smashing their lips together in something that really couldn't be described as a kiss so much as a minor assault.

"Lifted the card from your jacket," he breathes, and his whole body is practically humming with tension, "I fucking hate that kid."

"So you decided the best solution to incompetent coworkers was to break into my room and molest me," Eames says, only slightly mocking, because it's not as if this is a new development, and it's not as if he'd be stupid enough to say no.

Arthur twists a hand in the front of Eames' shirt, biting his lip, and Eames, who is highly susceptible to even the most basic of Arthur's charms, kisses him, slower than the first, fingers tangled in Arthur's hair to keep his head still. It's been less than two weeks since the last time, but Eames was already starting to feel that strain that he's begun privately referring to as Arthur withdrawal.

"I just-" Arthur says, frustrated, pulling back, "This job is so fucking ridiculous, I don't…"

Eames nods, walking him backwards into the room and pressing him down on the bed. Arthur sits, runs a hand through his hair, and shakes his head like he's trying to clear it.

"I don't know how much more I can fucking take," he says irritably. Eames reads between the lines, notes the tension in his shoulders, knowing that that's what Arthur really can't take. He'll let it build and build until he explodes unless he finds an outlet, and if Eames has to screw Arthur to prevent a hostage situation, well, that's a burden he's willing to bear.

Eames bends, pressing his lips to the tight line of Arthur's mouth while he opens the buttons on Arthur's shirt. "How can I be of service?" he asks, pushing the soft cotton down and off.

Arthur sighs, "I just need to relax," he says, which means something very different to Arthur than it does to other people. He looks at Eames, something fierce dancing in his eyes, "I want you to really push me. Let's see how long I can hold out."

Eames smiles, "We can do that. Got anywhere to be?"


"No early rise in the morning?"

"No earlier than yours," Arthur says, stripping Eames out of his jacket with more urgency than is strictly necessary.

"Wonderful," Eames says, and steps away, "We can do this right, then."

Arthur pulls off the rest of his clothing while Eames goes to the bathroom. He retrieves the essentials from his shaving kit, and when he steps back out, Arthur is naked and sprawled on the bed, stroking himself lightly. Eames raises an eyebrow.

"You'll regret that impatience before the end of the night," he says lightly, dropping the lube by Arthur's hip and the condoms on the nightstand, as the latter won't be needed for a while. He shucks his clothes quickly and crawls onto the bed, kneeling over Arthur and stilling his hand.

Arthur takes a breath, a little shaky, "Is that a promise?"

Eames braces on his hands to tongue just under Arthur's ear, getting a shiver for his efforts, and smiling, "Always is."

"Can you just," Arthur says, twisting to rub himself against Eames' thigh, "Can we get started? I've been sitting here by myself for an hour, I built the anticipation pretty well without your help."

Eames smirks, picking up the lube and squeezing some onto his palm. Arthur shudders when Eames' hand wraps around him, slick and warm.

"Yeah," Arthur breathes, hips rocking slowly, nodding to himself.

Eames watches Arthur's face as he strokes, rapt, because this is definitely part of the addiction; seeing the stress seep away, like it's an immediate reaction to Eames' hands on him. Eames leans down to press a kiss to Arthur's slack lips, and Arthur sighs into his mouth. So easy, surrendered already, like that's all it takes.

"C'mere," Eames says, taking Arthur's wrist and guiding his hand to Eames' cock. Arthur's mouth quirks as he starts to stroke, much faster than the pace Eames is setting on him.

Eames takes some time to leave a few marks just below Arthur's jaw, for which he'll catch hell once Arthur's come down off this high. Way too soon, he finds his hips stuttering, and he's more just panting into Arthur's neck than actually biting.

"You're gonna make me come," he says, and he's not sure if he's commanding or warning.

Arthur's grip tightens, his pace speeding up, "Uh-huh," he says into Eames' ear, rubbing the head of his cock with his thumb. Eames groans, and it'd be fucking embarrassing, how easy it is to get him to this point, if he couldn't bring Arthur here just as quickly if he needed to.

"Come on," Arthur says, licking at Eames' ear, his temple, wherever his mouth lands, "Come on, let me feel it."

Eames curses, fucking Arthur's hand. He forces himself up, balancing shakily on one arm so he can watch Arthur's face, open and desperate and hungry. He takes his hand from Arthur's cock, which gets him a whine, but it's only to guide Arthur's fingers for those last few strokes before he's coming, spilling onto Arthur's belly and his cock.

"Fuck, fuck," Eames is saying, and it takes him a moment to realize Arthur is echoing him, tense. Fighting to keep his wits, Eames takes Arthur in hand again, smearing his own come down the length.

"Yes," Arthur says, shuddering.

Still barely breathing, Eames moves down Arthur's body. He drags the flat of his tongue across Arthur's stomach, lapping up his come, and Arthur tugs him back up. He licks into Eames' mouth, moaning.

"More?" Eames says, jerking him firmly.

"More," he nods, and Eames obliges, moving back down for another lick. He returns to share it, does it again and again until Arthur's tongue gets clumsy and his noises pick up volume. Eames watches carefully, watches him fall apart in twitches and whines, licking his lips where they're glistening and wet. Eames speeds up his hand in measured increments, trying to drag it out, but Arthur's already too worked up for that. When he's thrashing, tense like never before, clawing and clinging at Eames' shoulders, Eames stops.

"Oh, oh, fuck, oh," Arthur says, bringing his fist up to bite down. He looks pained but exhilarated, his hips bucking at the loss of contact, straining for stimulation while his mind struggles to rein the urge back. Eames leans over him, petting his hair, drinking it in because he could get high on the expression on Arthur's face when he's trying so fucking hard not to come. Arthur's walls are nowhere in sight when he's like this, and Eames is buzzing, letting Arthur shake, letting him tense and relax, until he drags his eyes open.

Eames takes his cue, not wanting things to slow too much. He moves down, this time spreading Arthur's legs and settling between them. Experimentally, he blows cool air across Arthur's cock, and Arthur sucks in a sharp breath.

"Okay?" Eames asks.

Arthur winds one hand loosely into Eames' hair, "I think so," he says hoarsely, which is good enough.

Arthur's cock is wet and red, leaking precome onto Eames' tongue when he wraps his lips around it. He's not even close to as worked up as Eames has seen him, but he's breathing in little whines, and his thighs are trembling, so it's only a matter of time and persistence.

Eames teases gently, nothing over the top, just licking and sucking at the head. He presses Arthur's hips to the bed when he tries to buck.

"Eames," he says, the beginning of a question. He takes gulps of air, steadying himself, and shakes his head like he's forgotten why he spoke.

With a hum, Eames takes him deeper, sliding his lips down and wrapping his fingers around what he can't reach. Arthur is moaning out expletives, his hand clenching and releasing in Eames' hair as he fights to control his body's reactions.

"That's-- God, Eames. God, you're, fuck," Arthur says, and that's fairly incoherent, but Eames can get him further than that. He sucks harder, bobbing his head with the rhythm Arthur wants to set with his hips. Arthur chokes on his breath, his back bowing. His free hand pounds at the bed, and his whole body twitches every time Eames swallows against the head of his cock.

His moans are broken, just barely-formed non-words, and his grip tightens painfully in Eames' hair half a second before Eames clues in and releases him.

Pressing his lips to Arthur's trembling stomach, Eames swallows around his own moan. Arthur is flushed all over, his skin starting to shine with sweat. He's squirming, cradling Eames between his legs and trying to press him closer. His eyes are squeezed tight, his hair messy from where he's been tugging at it himself. Eames just barely has the restraint to stop himself from folding Arthur in half and slamming inside him, but his control doesn't go far. Arthur's still struggling to get a hold of himself when Eames runs his thumb firmly up the underside of Arthur's cock.

"Christ," Arthur groans, "I don't think—"

Eames wraps his fingers tight around the base of Arthur's cock, making shut his eyes with a whimper. "Yes you can," Eames says, keeping his hold firm and dragging his tongue up Arthur's shaft, knowing he's pushing it. He keeps watching Arthur's face, watching him keening, desperate to come but trying so hard to fight it.

Eames keeps licking, his fingers tight enough to keep things under control for now, but from Arthur's point of view, that might not be a good thing. He doesn't seem to know what to do with the stimulation, the start-and-stop pace of Eames' teasing. Eames is breathing hard like he's the one being touched, and he strokes his hand once, pulling a rough cry from Arthur's throat.

"Don't come yet," he says, which is unnecessary instruction, but Arthur nods anyway. Eames gets his lips around him again just to hear that frantic little moan, and the way he chokes on his breath when Eames teases at his slit. Arthur's hips buck and strain to push himself further in, but Eames doesn't give him anything else, just tonguing at the head of his cock until he hears Arthur's moans get higher and Eames pulls off wetly, licking his lips.

Arthur practically levitates off the bed at the loss of contact, his back arching and bringing him straining off the mattress. Eames stays still and Arthur drops back down, tossing his head and slurring out curses. He brings his hand up again, biting down on his fist with what looks like more force than advisable, and Eames catches his wrist, tangling their fingers together and letting Arthur squeeze his hand until the tension ratchets down a notch or two, and his fingers go slack.

"You're alright," Eames says, and he doesn't think he's ever tried to to do anything insane like soothe Arthur before, but the words just tumble out, "Breathe, you're alright, shh."

Arthur shakes his head, then releases the breath he was holding. He runs his hand jerkily through Eames' hair, over and over, matching the way Eames is stroking his side. Eames reaches for the lube, and Arthur bites his lip when he hears the cap, looking down with trepidation. It was a long time before Eames could see that expression without freezing, before he was convinced that Arthur would remember his safe word, and use if it he needed to.

"I don't know," Arthur says, his voice barely above a whisper, rasping, "Can I – I need to come, I really—" he breaks off when Eames touches two wet fingers to his hole.

"I know," Eames murmurs, "Just a little longer."

He presses his fingers in as deep as they can go, and scissors them a little to take the edge off with the stretch. He pushes Arthur's legs up, planting his feet on the bed to give Eames some room to find the best angle. With his gaze on Arthur's face, he strokes, probing until Arthur gives a moan, his body bowing away from the stimulation.

"No, oh fuck, Eames."

Crawling back up, Eames starts fucking Arthur with his fingers, rough and demanding. He fights back a stream of over the top endearments, rubbing at Arthur's prostate and drinking in every twitch of reaction. Arthur just takes it and takes it, over-stimulated to the point of defenselessness.

"Oh," he breathes, his hips working, torn between hitching away and pressing down into the pleasure, "Oh, don't, don't, fuck, please."

Eames pushes in a third finger, driving them in as deep as they'll go. "Fuck yourself," he says roughly, groaning when Arthur disregards his own objections – if he heard them at all – and obeys, arching and squirming and shoving down onto Eames' hand. He's lost all his grace and it's gorgeous; Eames can't get enough of him like this, frantic and out of his mind with arousal, too worked up to know what his body wants.

"That's it, that's perfect, you take what you need," Eames says, then bites down on his lip because there's no fucking filter between thought and speech anymore and he doesn't know what's going to come out next.

But Arthur groans, tightening around Eames' fingers, nodding, "Talk," he says, "Keep – keep talking."

"I could keep you like this all night, Arthur, Arthur, watch you split yourself open for me and beg me to come, Arthur you fucking slut," he's babbling, this is not good, "You're crazy, why do you let me do this to you, you're – bloody beautiful, I'm so fucking—"

"Eames," Arthur sobs, digging his nails into Eames' back and clenching his muscles around Eames' fingers, so close to coming, and Eames almost misses the mark. He pulls out quickly and lets Arthur claw at him, makes soft noises into his neck. He says no words whatsoever, because God only knows where he would have taken that sentence if Arthur's timing weren't so opportune.

"God, oh fuck," Arthur says, and it's almost like he's crying, and Eames is so hard it's a wonder he can breathe. Arthur grips his hair and crushes their mouths together frantically, pulling back to take a shuddering gasp, "What the fuck – you—"

"Sorry?" Eames says, stupid with arousal.

Arthur looks pained, his whole body strung tight. Eames knows it's unfair to expect him to make sense right now, so he reaches for a condom from the box on the night stand.

"Yes, fuck yes," Arthur breathes when he sees it, hooking his legs around Eames' hips. Eames rolls the condom on awkwardly with Arthur squirming against him. He hooks an arm around one of Arthur's legs to spread him, and groans as he pushes in. Arthur is slick, hot and clenching around him, and Eames has to stop to breathe and just to get a grip on himself.

"No," Arthur whines, reaching down and palming Eames' ass to try and get him moving, "I can't, just fuck me, please."

Eames groans, giddy on Arthur's urgency, and pushes again. Arthur scrambles at his back, whispering encouragement as Eames presses his leg higher, pulls out then drives back in. He doesn't have enough restraint left to tease or try to prolong this. Arthur stops speaking when Eames starts to fuck him, hard and demanding, scrambling for more leverage and picking up Arthur's other leg to fold him in half.

Arthur's breath gets shorter with his knees up to his chest, but he takes it, moaning. Eames feels feral, like he can't stop pushing it further, slamming in harder just to watch Arthur's eyes shut tight and hear the ragged gasps from his throat. There are thoughts, rambling thoughts, still swimming in Eames' head, but when he opens his mouth he just moans, turning his head to bite at Arthur's calf, whatever he can reach. He lets instinct take over and puts all his strength into fucking Arthur so hard he won't be able to sit down tomorrow, and Eames will see that, see him squirming and flushing and he'll fucking know he's been there, and he hopes that'll be enough.

He can't last, not with Arthur in pieces underneath him and clenching on his cock like a fucking vice. Arthur is gasping for breath, fingers suddenly in Eames' hair, pulling him down for a bruising kiss that bends him completely in half.

"Touch me," Arthur says, pleading, and Eames licks into his mouth, still slamming into him at a brutal pace.

"Not yet," he whispers, without even thinking about it, and then Arthur sobs, every muscle drawing up tight, and Eames is coming. He shouts hoarsely into Arthur's neck, holding himself in deep and crushing Arthur to the mattress, twitching his hips as he shudders through his orgasm.

"Eames," Arthur whimpers, sounding more desperate than Eames has ever heard him, bracing against the last few thrusts. It only takes a glance at Arthur's face for Eames to snap himself out of it, pulling out roughly and letting Arthur's legs fall from his shoulders as he moves down to lick at the head of Arthur's cock, wrapping his fingers around the base.

"Please, please, please, oh God, please," Arthur slurs, over and over, and Eames is breathless.

"Come for me," he rasps, jerking his wrist and dragging his tongue up Arthur's length.

Arthur almost screams. Everything from his fingers to his toes snaps with tension, and he arches up, pressing into Eames' hand, wailing as he finally lets go. Come spills onto his belly, over Eames' fingers, and Eames strokes him through it. It lasts so much longer than it should, Arthur shuddering and bucking long after Eames would have scrambled away from the stimulation. Arthur comes down in steps, falling back to the bed, then letting his legs drop from Eames' sides, and finally just lying boneless and shivering on the mattress.

Arthur clutches weakly, mindlessly, to his shoulders when Eames starts to move away, but Eames eases his arms down, placing a kiss to his wrist before standing. He gets rid of the condom, then goes into the bathroom to dampen a cloth under the tap and fill a glass of water. When he comes back, Arthur hasn't moved, still sprawled the way his limbs fell away from Eames' body. Eames sets the glass on the night stand, leaning over to swipe the cloth up Arthur's belly. He cleans slowly and carefully, and Arthur's mouth twitches a little at the attention.

When Arthur is clean, Eames gets onto the bed again, lifting him up and slipping in to sit behind him, leaning against the headboard. Arthur slumps back against his chest.

"Water?" Eames asks, already reaching for the glass. He holds it to Arthur's lips, tipping it so he can take small sips, gradually coming back to life. Eames takes a mouthful himself before setting the glass back down and wrapping his arms around Arthur's chest, relishing the last few moments of complete pliancy. He rocks them side to side, slowly.

He gets two whole minutes before Arthur twists his head and looks up at him, his eyes searching.

"You know I trust you, right?"

Eames raises his eyebrows, but nods slowly, "I don't think you'd let me do this if you didn't."

Arthur frowns, a look of genuine concern that makes Eames nervous, "But you know I'm not just letting you do it, right?" Arthur says, carefully. "You said I was crazy, before. Do you know you're the only person I would do this with?"

Eames is quiet, letting that sink in. Logically, he probably already knew, but he's never put the knowledge into a sentence before. He's the only one. Eames is the only one. The silence stretches as he tries to arrive at a conclusion that won't sound presumptuous.

Arthur starts to look uneasy, and his eyes drift down to where his hand is resting on Eames' knee, before he continues, "I'm not just blowing off steam here. Or, I am, but it's not just stress," he takes a breath and looks up again, angling for a kiss that Eames gives automatically. Arthur's mouth is soft and it's so slow and easy that Eames forgets they're having some sort of monumental conversation until Arthur pulls back.

"I want you all the fucking time," he whispers, "I just don't know how to deal with that until I… let it build up so I can't stand it. I'm just a lot better at taking things than I am at asking for them."

Eames inhales, a slow, deep breath, and Arthur kisses him again, briefly. And Eames wants to say What the hell is wrong with us?, and he wants to fuck Arthur through the mattress all over again, and he really wants to burst into laughter, because it's so ridiculous. Because he knows exactly what Arthur means; Eames has been doing it for months.

"I want you too," he says against Arthur's lips, grinning, "All the time."

Arthur's breathing is a little quick, and Eames' might be too; this is brand new territory, and neither of them have track records to brag about. Still, he's not going to have to pry his eyes open in an hour's time to see Arthur pulling on his clothes, and that thought makes him feel better than he could have predicted. Eames tightens his arms.