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There’s something inherently beautiful about Arthur when he sleeps. His face is placid, smooth and pale, relaxed, without any of the usual lines adorning it. He looks so young. He looks vulnerable like he never is when he’s awake. Like he’s just some post-grad, impeccably dressed for his first real job, catching a nap because he’d stayed up all night worrying about the interview he had just aced. Like he’s not trained thoroughly in hand-to-hand combat, like he’s not deadly with explosives, or quick with a gun: he doesn’t look anything like the career criminal he really is.

This is why Eames can’t resist touching him. He can’t resist smoothing the pads of his fingers over the angles of Arthur’s cheekbones and across his lips. He can’t help running his fingers down his long neck, just barely brushing the hollow of his collarbone beneath the unbuttoned neck of his shirt. Arthur would never allow this when he’s awake, so Eames snatches these moments when Arthur is sedated, allowing himself to caress every plain of Arthur’s face. He memorizes every curve, every dip, every line in his skin stretched thinly over bone.

Eames loves that Arthur is Yusuf’s guinea pig. He loves that he volunteers himself so quickly to be put under. Eames wonders if it’s because of his obsessive need to know every detail about everything a job entails, or if it’s because he feels the unrelenting sense of duty to put himself before others. Yusuf’s drugs could have any number of adverse reactions, after all.

Eames wonders, but he doesn’t care what the reason is. He’s just happy to have these moments, these minutes, these hours, where Arthur is sleeping and Eames is left to watch him.

“Eames, I’m heading out for some supplies. I need you to watch Arthur while I’m gone,” Yusuf says.

He doesn’t need to say this because Eames always watches Arthur. He’s already sitting with him, studying the flicker of movement under his eyelids. This particular compound has Arthur twitching in his sleep. Eames wants to pin him down, still his movements, or instead to feel each twitch ripple out underneath his own body.

“You need to monitor him, give him a kick if it gets too intense. I’ve played with the monoamine stimulants in this dose, so he may act out.”

Eames grunts his agreement to the task, turning back to watch Arthur’s long fingers curl and uncurl involuntarily. When Yusuf slips out he leaves Eames alone with Arthur in the warehouse. Ariadne and Dom are out exploring the city’s architecture for the levels.

He stands, hovering over Arthur’s sleeping form, taking in every detail. Arthur moves again, his legs jumping out in a halted, jerky motion. Eames reaches down to pin his ankles. He rubs his thumb over the bump of bone, just above Arthur’s shoes. He draws his hand higher, past the sock, just to feel skin. Arthur’s ankle seems so delicate, so fragile, like he could snap it with very little effort. But his calves are strong. Arthur may be small, but his every muscle is a wire ready to snap, compact and deadly.

Eames keeps tracing circles into Arthur’s skin. He’s allowing himself this moment, just this moment, because he’s imagined doing the same thing on a lazy afternoon, while lounging in bed. He can picture Arthur, contentedly reading a book and allowing Eames to stroke him gently, to run his fingers along all of Arthur’s features. It’s a fantasy he thinks about often, especially when Arthur is here in front of him, relaxed and unguarded.

Arthur’s mouth falls open as his body gives another jerk. Eames is already half hard due to the little moans escaping from his sleeping form and he barely resists the urge to bend down and capture Arthur’s lips with his own. He sighs heavily and instead draws his hand up the side of Arthur’s leg.

He pauses at his belt, walking his fingers along the edge. He can feel Arthur’s muscles tense underneath. Arthur lets out a tiny gasp and Eames quickly pulls his hands away. Arthur doesn’t usually wake up early for any reason, nobody wants to shoot themselves if they can help it, but Eames can’t be sure. When he sees that Arthur is still asleep, he tucks his hand behind Arthur’s neck, thumbing over his pulse-point.

“Eames,” Arthur mumbles under his breath.

Eames freezes. Did Arthur just say my name? Checking again to make sure Arthur is still asleep he continues moving his hands lightly along Arthur’s body.

“Mmmm, Eames,” Arthur says again, and his hips jerk forward.

Eames’ caress gets bolder. He smooths his hand down Arthur’s chest, grazing over a nipple. Arthur shudders.

“Please,” Arthur gasps when Eames hand runs over his stomach. How can Eames refuse that? Eames’ cock is hard now, aching in his pants. He continues lower until he’s cupping Arthur in his hand. Arthur jerks again, grinding into Eames’ palm.

“Please, Eames,” Arthur murmurs. Eames groans. He’s been imagining Arthur saying this, begging him for it, for years.

He continues to stroke Arthur through his slacks. Arthur moans and gasps and it’s so lovely Eames can’t resist anymore. He leans down to take Arthur's lips with his own, sucking on them lightly. Arthur gasps his name again, breath hot against Eames’ face.

“Bloody hell, Arthur,” Eames whispers. His erection throbs. He’s too hot, left wanting. The fact that Arthur seems to be thinking of him makes his desire burn hotter.  

He makes the decision: he needs to know. He needs to know what Arthur is doing in there. He can’t be left out here, taking advantage of the man. He’d never forgive himself and he doesn’t know if he can control his desire right now.

Finding one of the regular Somnacin vials, he sets up his own line. Making sure the timers are matching and that no extra sedative is in Arthur’s line, he pushes the plunger down, sending himself into Arthur’s dream.

He’s not sure what he was expecting, but this isn’t it. The landscape is a wasteland of a ruined city. Buildings are crumbling, shelled out like a warzone. Fires burn uncontrollably all around. He can hear explosions in the distance, can feel their impact through the quakes in the ground. Shots ring out blocks away.

He needs to find cover.

Eames darts into the first opening he sees and he find himself in a deli, abandoned, with all the food left out. It seems Arthur’s world fell apart quickly, giving no time for the residents to clear out. He needs to find Arthur. Where would Arthur go?

Arthur would go to a safe zone: somewhere easy to defend, somewhere fortified, secluded, a bottle neck. He would pick the best strategic position to stay alive. Eames is going to have to venture out to find his way around. There is a bus stop on the corner. It should have a map. Arthur’s mind would always supply a map. The man wasn’t anything if not practical.

Eames checks the street for hostiles and when he is satisfied there are none, he jogs to the bus shelter. The map appears to be a grid, but Eames is sure that it’s divided into several mazes. He’s sure there are squares of deadly stairs and continuous waterfalls hidden within them. He looks for the warehouse district.

Finding it, he narrows his focus. He searches for one on a dead end street with a single entry point that can be monitored. He scans the map, looking for narrow alleys that end abruptly. When he finds a likely target, he makes a note of the direction he needs to go and the major landmarks Arthur’s mind has supplied.

It takes him half an hour and twenty kills to make it to the narrow block of brick warehouses. He’d manifested his usual handgun but had switched to an AK after being surrounded by five angry projections. Scanning the buildings he sees the one Arthur has to be in. Bodies that haven’t disappeared yet line the street.

He can’t enter the building through the choke point; that’s just asking to be killed. He has to find another way in. After a careful search of the surrounding buildings, he sees his access point. The rooftops seem to be close together. If he can get through the side buildings, he may be able to find a way in.

Safety off and gun at the ready, he breaks into a building. He quickly makes his way up the stairs, careful to not pause too long in case it’s an illusion. Arthur loves his paradoxical architecture. When he reaches the roof unscathed he breathes a sigh of relief. An explosion booms in the distance. The hoard is getting closer.

Eames wonders why Arthur’s mind is attacking itself, if it’s the chemicals, or if he caused this, if he was instantly picked up when he entered Arthur’s dream. It’s unusual, but he doesn’t think on it for long. He’s exposed up here without cover. He holsters his gun and assesses the leap. The rooftop is lower than his own, which is an advantage. He steels himself quickly, then runs, leaping across the gap and landing with a roll onto the other roof.

Darting to the rooftop’s access door, he finds it’s locked. Not surprised by that in the least he pulls his handgun from it’s place and shoots the lock away. He waits. Arthur probably would have heard that. If he waits it may seem like an errant shot, or a passing projection. If he waits he might not get ambushed in the hallways.

He still might.

He opens the destroyed door and enters, making his way slowly down the narrow stairway. At the bottom he finds himself on the third level of a car storage facility. A lift stands in the center of the room and each occupiable space is filled with covered cars.  He weaves his way through them, looking for the way down. It’s then that he hears it: desperate cursing coming from below.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” is echoing up from  a corner somewhere.

Eames slowly makes his way to the voice, gun ready. He slips past what is obviously a Lamborghini, with its distinct shape, only to be confronted with a shocking sight. Arthur is pressed against the hood of a car, covered in blood, and snogging a very disheveled projection of Eames himself. They’re kissing frantically, mashing teeth together and Arthur’s hips are rolling small circles underneath the projection’s weight.

Eames stops and watches. It’s like watching something feral, something wild. They’re both covered in blood and fighting for dominance. They’re uninhibitedly grinding against each other, like if they press together hard enough they’ll become one.

Arthur has his hands wrapped in the projection’s hair, pulling him in for more. They’re moaning obscenely, seemingly lost in the moment, when gunfire interrupts the show. It’s close, too close.

“Shit,” Arthur complains, breaking the kiss. “You take left, I’ll take right.”

The pair break apart and Eames hides himself between the cars. The projection stalks out left across the warehouse, toting a rather large automatic machine gun. Arthur picks up his own weapon and heads right. Eames sees his opportunity.

He quickly follows the projection. He finds it near a window facing the alleyway. The projection of himself is aiming out the window, looking for targets. Eames slips a knife from his sock holster and quietly approaches from behind.

With  speed and dexterity he grabs the projection, slitting it’s throat efficiently. He makes sure to sever the vocal cords with the cut, ensuring that the death is as silent as possible.

“Sorry, mate,” he murmurs. It’s a little unsettling killing what is essentially yourself.

He doesn’t mind that the projection’s blood has spilled across his sleeves. The projection was already covered in blood, bleeding from scrapes of it’s own as well. He’ll need to look like the projection so Eames forges the lacerations into himself. He hisses with pain when he brushes one, drawing his gun up to guard the window. He can hear Arthur’s gun firing from across the warehouse. He takes down two projections outside before he’s satisfied no more are coming.

Eames hesitates for one moment before heading to meet Arthur in the center. What exactly am I doing here? He asks himself, but he pushes the thoughts away. Determined, he finds his way back to Arthur, so he can be the one pressed desperately against the point man, kissing him like there is no tomorrow.

They clash together like a car wreck, all mangled limbs and searing nerves. He breathes Arthur in, tasting the blood of the man’s split lip. The adrenaline of dream scape, of fighting, of firing out the windows, fuels their passion.

Arthur wraps his hands in Eames’ hair. He pushes Eames against the car, rutting their hips together. He’s so hard in his pants. He can feel that Arthur is hard as well on top of him. The friction is good, but it’s not enough. He wants more. He wants everything.

He steps a foot out, cocking his hip, before flipping Arthur around him, thus reversing their position. Now he rocks into Arthur, his tongue darting it’s way into Arthur’s hot mouth. He licks along the man’s teeth, breathing through his nose to not pass out. He pulls away, taking note of every scratch on Arthur’s pale skin. His cheek is slit and swollen in a cherry of damaged skin. He suit is ripped at the seams. His hair is mussed, unruly, and curling strands into his face.

Eames didn’t think Arthur could be any more beautiful than when sleeping, but seeing him like this, open and a little unhinged, it sends electricity straight to his groin. He moans before diving in to attack Arthur’s neck. He sucks at it, letting his hands wander, hearing each and every gasp the man lets out below him.

“Fuck, Eames,” Arthur groans when Eames grabs his ass, effectively pressing their dicks together harder.

Eames lets go with one hand to bring it around front, to cup Arthur between them. He rubs through Arthur’s pants, feeling the man’s length through the thin material. Arthur is all heat, just a furnace below him, burning him up. Eames steps up the game. He slots their mouths back together before nimbly unbuttoning Arthur’s pants.

“No, no,” Arthur gasps out. He grabs Eames’ wrist, stopping him before he can get farther.

“We can’t. I can’t,” Arthur says.

“Why the bloody hell not?” Eames growls, frustrated.

“Because you’re a projection. And that’s just not fair. It’s not right. It’s disrespectful to Eames.” Arthur is breathless, barely biting out the words. But his hips are still moving underneath him.

Eames grins wickedly, “Oh, darling, I can assure you, I am very real.”

Arthur stills beneath him, panting. “Wha...what?” he chokes out.

“You were making such delicious noises topside, calling my name. I had to see what that was all about,” Eames purrs. He dips back down to suck a bruise on Arthur’s neck.

“I was, what?” Arthur chokes out as Eames bites down.

“Oh yes, darling, you were there, twitching and moaning, begging for me.”

“Was Yusuf...?”

“Stepped out for supplies, don’t worry. Your dignity is mostly intact.”

Arthur groans, half in despair half in pleasure as Eames rocks their hips together. Eames continues to assault Arthur’s neck.

“Darling, I have been wondering for years what it would be like to taste you,” Eames confesses.

He doesn’t know why he admits that. Maybe it’s to assuage Arthur’s sudden trepidation, maybe it’s because he’s needed to say it for a long time coming. He brings himself up to capture Arthur’s lips again, sucking the breath out of him. Arthur is rolling his hips eagerly again, rubbing against Eames with renewed interest.

Arthur pulls away from the kiss. He yanks Eames’ head back by the hair to gain access to his neck, starting his own assault. Eames hums in approval, loving the scrap of teeth over the line of his jaw.

“I test compounds so I can be alone with you,” Arthur says when he pulls back. “Well, not you, but … you know.”

“Do you really?” Eames asks, amused.

But he doesn’t wait to hear the answer. He doesn’t care. He needs this now. He pulls Arthur into another kiss, his hands trailing down, returning to the fly on Arthur’s trousers. He unfastens it without Arthur’s protest this time. He tucks his hand in, wrapping around Arthur’s cock through his cotton underwear.

“God, Eames, I need … ” Arthur whines against his lips. Arthur darts his tongue into Eames’ mouth, not finishing the thought.

Eames continues to stroke him, feeling dampness spread beneath his fingers; Arthur’s pre-come soaks the cloth. Arthur reaches down to unfasten Eames’ pants but his fingers can’t reach around the tangle of limbs. Arthur groans in frustration.

“Eames, please,” he begs, “I need you to fuck me.”

That’s all Eames needs to hear, because he needs to fuck Arthur too. He grabs the man by the shoulders and spins him around, bending him over the hood of the car. He snatches the waist of Arthur’s pants and tugs them down, dragging the man’s briefs down with it.

Kneeling on the warehouse floor he spreads Arthur’s cheeks, exposing his tight hole. Arthur moans when Eames runs a finger over it. Eames then bites the firm curve of Arthur’s arse, not hard, but enough to make Arthur let out a yelp. He soothes the nibble by licking his way in, running his tongue in circles over the smooth ring of muscle.

Arthur thrusts back into it, demanding more. His fingers on top of the car keep flexing involuntarily. Eames continues, working his tongue inside, barely able to press in; Arthur is so tight. Eames licks eagerly, spit smearing across his lips when he sucks and kisses Arthur’s pliable skin.

Arthur breathes heavily, gasping and whining above him. He’s mumbling nonsense, just god and please and more. He keeps pushing back into Eames’ face then pulling away, pressing himself up against the car, trying to find friction.

Eames gives one last swipe with his tongue before standing. He wipes his spit-slick cheeks on the palm of one hand. Pressing the other between Arthur’s shoulder blades he holds Arthur down. He pushes a finger inside, forcing past the ring of muscle. Arthur is so hot, so tight, flexing around his digit.

Arthur moans, low in his throat, “Eames, more.”

“So demanding.” Eames’ sex-roughened voice mocks, but he complies, pushing a second finger in. He’s drawing them in and out, scissoring his fingers to stretch Arthur. Arthur’s legs tremble and he thrusts back with every stroke.

“That’s it darling, tell me how much you want this,” Eames breathes out. He curls his fingers, searching for Arthur’s prostate.

“Fuck, Eames. God.” Arthur sobs.

“Tell me, Arthur,” Eames demands.

“I want you in me, now. Please, just fuck me. I want to feel you stretch me out.”

Eames hums, unable to respond properly. All the blood drains from his brain and he’s grinding himself on Arthur’s hip. He bends down again, trousers straining uncomfortably around his painful erection. He licks around the fingers he has buried inside Arthur, adding more lube.

“Eames, please. I need you now.”

“Patience,” Eames responds working his fingers more. Arthur is sufficiently loose now but Eames loves this. He loves having Arthur wrapped around his fingers, feeling every shudder ripple through him as he hits his prostate over and over again.

“Eames, shit, if you don’t fuck me now, I’m going to slit your throat and take you topside. I’m going to fuck you so hard you won’t walk straight for a week.”

“We’ll do that later, darling, but as you wish.” Eames stands, removing his fingers and Arthur whimpers at the loss.

Eames undoes his belt quickly, scrambling to open his fly. He pull himself out over the top of underwear. He doesn’t even bother dropping his trousers down; just licks his palm, stroking once over himself to lube up before pressing into Arthur.

Arthur keens, pushing back. Eames just holds him down, doesn’t stop, not until he’s fully seated. Arthur is so hot around him. He’s a wet tunnel of burning fire and pressure.

“Fuck, Arthur, you’re so fucking beautiful,” Eames bites out. He rocks his hips slowly, inching his way in and out.

“Eames, harder,” Arthur demands. Eames withdraws, until just the head of his cock is still inside and then snaps his hips forward, burying himself again. Arthur wails. He keeps pumping in and out pressing Arthur into the car more, flattening him out over the hood.

Arthur’s face turns sideways and his breath creates a fog across the car’s paint. His eyes are wincing shut with every forward movement, but his mouth only releases sounds of pleasure. Eames pumps faster, feeling Arthur clench around him.

It’s so good. He’s wanted this forever. Years of imagining what Arthur would look like underneath him. Years of wanting nothing more than to undo the ever composed point man: make him moan, make him come, hot and messy. He needs to see it.

He pulls out and Arthur gasps, his hole grasping at nothing, red and stretched. Eames flips Arthur around and lifts him onto the car. He yanks him forward violently by the thighs until Arthur is just barely balanced on the edge. He repositions himself, thrusting in, filling Arthur again.

Arthur wraps his ankles around Eames’ waist. He tilts his hips up to meet Eames’ thrusts. His fingers scrabble along the edge of the car, trying to stop from scooting back. Eames grips his thighs harder. His fingers would leave bruises tomorrow if this wasn’t a dream.

“God. Eames. You’re so. Big. You aren’t. Forging this. Are you?” Arthur asks, staccato words breaking out with each snap of Eames’ hips.

“Not in the slightest, darling,” Eames laughs.

“Fuck. We. Need to. Do this. For real.” Arthur gasps.

Eames grins. “That can be arranged,” he says, “but for right now, I’m going to fuck you so hard you can’t form words.”

Eames ramps up the pace, plunging in and out brutally. He shifts his hips slightly to get a better angle, and Arthur all but cries when he drives in again. Eames knows he’s found that sweet spot. Arthur’s eyes roll to the back of his head and his mouth falls slack. Arthur does nothing but moan as his back arches off the car.  

Eames drops his hand from one of Arthur’s thighs, reaching down to take the man’s swollen cock. He pumps up and down, dryly, tugging at Arthur. Sweat pools in the hollow of Arthur’s collarbone. Eames can feel his own run down his face.

Arthur’s gasps become more uneven, more choked. Eames knows he’s close. He speeds up the pace of his hand to mach his hips. He drives in one, two, three more times before Arthur is coming. He’s spraying hot seed over Eames’ fist, over his stomach.

His ass clenches erratically around Eames, sending waves of pleasure through him. Eames can feel his own orgasm building at the base of his spine. He draws his come-slick hand up to his mouth and sucks his fingers into his mouth, tasting Arthur on him.

Arthur is loose and boneless, riding Eames out. His head nods to the side and his face is serene, blissed out. He looks just like he does when he’s sleeping— not a worry in the world— except for the cuts and bruises. It drives Eames to the edge and with a few more strokes he’s releasing into Arthur, spilling himself deep inside.

He shudders, calling Arthur’s name, milking every last drop into Arthur’s sweet ass. After a few over sensitive thrusts he collapses on top of Arthur squishing the air-cooled semen between their bodies. It takes a while before he can lift himself off. It takes nearly all the effort he can muster.

Their skin is wet with sweat and come. Eames pulls out with a wet plop. Arthur’s legs drop down, unable to hold themselves around Eames’ waist anymore. Eames lifts Arthur’s legs, not allowing them to close off his view.

Arthur makes a confused sound, but Eames just watches as his come slowly leaks out of Arthur. He watches it trickle down, dropping little circles of white onto the concrete floor. He bends down again, licking at it, running his tongue over the red muscle of Arthur’s abused hole.

Arthur sucks in a breath, holding it, unsure of the sensation. But soon he’s moaning again as Eames tongues him. He licks every last drop of his seed out of Arthur. He swallows every bit he can get before finally lowering Arthur’s legs.

Eames leans over to kiss Arthur again. He plunders Arthur’s mouth with his tongue. Arthur sucks on his lip, biting a little before breaking the kiss for air.

“Jesus Christ, Eames,” he says, laying his head back down on the car.

Eames chuckles. He loves the grin Arthur can’t manage to suppress. He loves the dimples of his cheeks. He loves that he caused them to show. He wants to do this every day for the rest of his life.

An explosion in the alley breaks them out of their post-coital reverie.

“Shit.” Arthur says as he pushes Eames off.

He reaches down for his pants, drawing them up and fastening them closed. Eames tucks himself back in, closing his belt. Arthur looks at his watch, calculating the time remaining in the dream.

“Thirty minutes,” he states. Eames is already grabbing his gun. Arthur continues, “In thirty minutes I’m going to rip your clothes off and bend you over a desk.”

“Promises, promises,” Eames laughs back. Arthur steps closer, whispering his threat in Eames’ ear.

“I’m going to fuck you so hard you’ll be begging me to let you come. But you’re not going to, not until I tell you that you can. You’re going to push back on me and I’m going to take my time. And your going to scream my name.” Arthur steps back, reloads the magazine, staring at Eames with such intent and lust it makes Eames shiver.

“You know, Arthur, I don’t think specificity is such an unnecessary thing after all.”

“You take left, I’ll take right.”

Arthur stalks off, and Eames’ heart is pounding in his chest. He doesn’t think he’s ever been this impatient for a dream to end before. He thinks about shooting himself, then kicking Arthur out of the dream. But he hears Arthur’s wicked laugh as he takes down a projection and decides not to ruin the fun.