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In Every Universe (A collection of prompted drabbles)

Chapter Text

Part 1.

Eames rolls his eyes at the obvious attempt to bate him. 

He can see Arthur doing his best to make it seem as if he didn’t care for him, but it was transparent. It was almost painful to see - if not just to Eames himself but to their team and those who knew them best. Dom looked as if he was suffering second hand embarrassment for Arthur and Ariadne looked as if she wanted to punch Eames in the balls for being so cruel to someone who had feelings for him.

Eames didn’t believe in letting someone down easy. It was like ripping off a band-aid, quick and the sting of pain would follow but at least it would be over sooner rather than later.

The same logic applied to Arthur. 

He would not be kind and lead him on and once he found Arthur’s true feelings for him, he stopped the flirting, the subtle touches, the affectionate nicknames. He wouldn’t lie and say he didn’t feel bad - the wounded look on Arthur’s face made him regret it at times but it was best for him and if Eames was going to be the bad guy, so be it.

Arthur wasn’t his type. Too high strung and too clean and polished. Too thin and childish looking despite actually knowing how old he was. He was too emotional and would want too much and those very ideas sent Eames screaming in the other direction. 

At the false start of the argument, Eames clucked his tongue and admitted defeat.

"You’re right Arthur. My idea is full of holes. What else can we do?"

He could see some color in Arthur’s face and he looked down. Dom instantly took over and Arthur didn’t say another word.

The next job he was on board did not include Arthur. He heard from a second hand source that Arthur learned Eames would be on the job and dropped out. 

Eames breathed a sigh of relief.

Chapter Text

Part 2.

Eames had to slow his breathing, making it shallow and short. He was sure his ribs were broken, he knew his fingers absolutely were and he tasted blood each time he swallowed. His arms ached from being bound behind him and whoever was in charge of this torture knew what they were doing. They used zip ties instead of handcuffs, which were easy to pick and they tied them tightly. So tightly he could feel his busted fingers slowly numbing.

He was sure everyone else had made it out. He knew if he got out of this in one piece (ha..) Dom would owe him big time. 

He sat on the concrete floor of the warehouse where he was being kept and he could hear, sort of, the low buzzing sound of people talking and the groans and echoes of his surroundings. He kept blinking, trying to keep the blood out of his right eye, sweat trickling down his brow and into the back of his shirt and he knew he would be really put over soon enough - then a bullet to the head when he refused to give anything up. Dom would feel guilty and Eames felt good about that. No reason only he should suffer.

When he saw someone walking towards him, he was sure it was his captures, his fingers numb and useless now so he hoped they would start there. Instead, they knelt down and he heard a snap in front of his face.

"Hey. You awake?"

When Eames focused, he saw it was Arthur. 

Of course it was. Of all the people.

"Why are you here?"

"I’m not here for you, despite what you may be thinking. I’m here for Dom. He asked me to help."

Eames scoffed and regretted it from the pain he felt in his ribs.

"And you agreed?"

"Dom begged. He couldn’t have your death on his hands."

He felt the repeated tug of Arthur’s knife on the zip ties behind him. And Eames tried to focus on the fact that no one was coming.

"What about-"

"Taken care of. Can you walk or did they hobble you?"

"I can walk."

He stood up, watching Arthur stand to his full height, folding the knife he carried back into the small sheath before placing it back in his pocket.

"Let’s go."

Eames followed, feeling light headed and weak but Arthur didn’t bother to help. At the car that waited, Arthur opened the trunk and threw a black hooded sweatshirt at Eames, which caught with his good hand.

"You’re a mess. Put that on for cover."

Eames did and they got in the car, Arthur driving. Eames pulled the hood over his head and rested against the car seat.

"Thanks for this. I owe you."

"I didn’t do it for you, I told you."

"I know you did…at least a little."

"Fuck you Eames. You made it clear how you felt about me. I’m not chasing after you like a dog. I did not do this for you. If it had been up to me, I would have let Miller slice you to pieces after bashing your head in."

Eames could feel the chill rolling off Arthur in waves He meant every word and Eames swallowed hard.

"Either way. Thank you."

Arthur didn’t say anything else, didn’t even look at him and Eames sighed deeply. When they finally got to their destination, an off road motel, Arthur stopped the car and finally looked at him.

"Get out. You can call whoever you need to and find your own way home."

Arthur reached over and popped the glove compartment and got a brick of money and dropped it on Eames’ lap.

"That should be enough. Now get out."

Eames didn’t say anything though he wanted to. He opened the door and slowly stepped out, still in pain as he clutched his side. The moment he slammed the door, Arthur drove off and Eames stood in place until the red lights of Arthur’s car were gone. 

Eames wasn’t sure why he was thinking over what Arthur had said to him. He should have felt continuing you relief and instead he felt confused.

It was his injuries. That’s what he told himself as he slowly walked to the motel, tucking the money into the front pouch of the hoodie. 

Chapter Text

Part 3.

 

It was months after Arthur saved Eames’ ass and while his fingers would always have an off shape to them and he sported new scars around his wrists from the zip ties, Eames’ injuries had healed. 

He hadn’t heard any news of Arthur from then until now and at first he told himself this was great news. Now he kept thinking about it too much.

So much that he decided to pop in on Dom, using the cover of giving him thanks but also to see if he could get some kind of news.

He flew to California and went to see Dom, bringing gifts for the kids and surprising the hell out of Dom.

"Eames. I didn’t expect to see you here."

"Well, I owed you for sending Arthur."

"I owed you for being caught in the first place."

"So we’re even. This is just a thank you visit."

Phillip and James came out of nowhere, excited for the company, the gifts and after the tissues paper and plastic wrapping was torn off in a frenzy the kids were playing outside with their new toys and Eames sat with Dom in the kitchen having coffee. Dom seemed awkward but he didn’t want to be rude though he glanced at his watch now and then.

"Am I keeping you?"

"Well…"

Dom rubbed the back of his head and looked down.

"It’s just…Arthur is sick. And-"

"It’s all right. I caught you off guard."

He took a huge gulp of his coffee and started to stand up when Dom stopped him.

"Actually…you know what, maybe you can do me one more favor."

"What’s that?"

"Take this."

Dom picked up the plastic bag that had been sitting on the counter and set it in front of Eames.

"Go and drop this off to Arthur. That natural shit doesn’t work, despite what Arthur thinks."

"Mate, I’d love to but I think the last jolt I gave him finally knocked me right out of his system. He can’t stand the sight of me. He told me so himself and he’s not very good at hiding at true feelings so I believe him. In fact, he said if not for you, he wouldn’t have cared if I got sliced to pieces and had my head bashed in. I’m paraphrasing of course."

"I know Arthur better than anyone. He’s just embarrassed right now. He still…has…feelings. For you. I know you hate that and it makes your uncomfortable but he’s sick and needs tending to."

"You were about to do it, why don’t you just go?"

"I was waiting for a sitter. Now I can cancel and you go."

Eames glared at the bag.

"Please. I’ll owe you."

Eames groaned and stood up, taking the bag with him.

"What’s his address."

It was just a bit over an hour later when Eames stood in front of Arthur’s door. He hesitated multiple times before knocking but when he did, he waited, holding his breath until Arthur answered.

He looked worse for the wear, his skin pale, eyes sunken in, his lips cracked. He looked as if he hadn’t showered and lost some weight though he imagined it was from the oversized hoodie was wearing and the drawstrings.

"What are you doing here?"

His voice was weak though it didn’t take away any of the bite. Eames held up the bag with medicine and a slight smile. Arthur tried to take the bag but Eames held it back.

"Dom asked me to keep an eye on you. He can’t since he can’t bring the sprogs with him."

"I don’t need looking after. Leave me alone."

"You’re not well."

"What do you care?"

"I don’t want you to be ill and alone."

Arthur didn’t argue further and stepped back, letting Eames in.

Eames made some tea and sandwiches for Arthur before giving him some of the medicine he brought with him and sat with him, watching him eat.

"You don’t have to stay. I know you don’t want to."

"I don’t mind. I haven’t seen you in a while."

"I didn’t think you would want to."

Eames shrugged a bit.

"Drink your tea before it gets cold."

Eames stayed a week in Arthur’s home. He called Dom and kept him updated and slept on the couch until Arthur felt better. When he did, Eames was ready to go.

"Thanks for sticking around. You didn’t have to."

"I know, you kept saying that. Look, Arthur just because we’re not romantically involved doesn’t mean we can’t be friends."

Arthur shook his head.

"I don’t want to be friends. It’s too much. I feel if I know more of you, it’s just going to be harder for me to get over you. So…let’s just keep it like this."

"What if I change my mind?"

"You won’t."

Arthur went to the door, placing his hand on the knob to open it when Eames stopped him.

"What if I did?"

Arthur shook his head.

"That’s not funny."

"It’s not meant to be."

"How could you have possibly changed your mind? You’ve known me for  years yet in a course of a week you change your mind?"

"I never knew you in the past years. I never bothered. And I don’t suddenly know you…but I got a good glimpse and I realized I missed out on a lot."

Arthur sighed and shook his head.

"What if I’m over you?"

"You’re not."

"You cocky shit."

"It’s part of my charm."

He leaned over and slowly kissed Arthur, feeling him sigh softly. 

Damn, now he really owed Dom.

Chapter Text

Eames should have known better and he knew that logically - though his eyes didn’t seem to listen as they wandered over to Arthur.

Arthur was his closest mate’s son. He had been there when he was born, he had watched him grow up and still, the moment Arthur hit puberty, he turned from this adorable little pudgy faced baby, to this tall elegant creature that fit a pair of jeans with an ass that also came with puberty. He was a swimmer, captain of his high school’s team with good grades and he wore glasses when he was studying. 

He was lovely and Eames really, really should have known better.

It didn’t help that Arthur had also found his sexuality and he was easily transparent about his intentions with Eames. He flirted not-so-subtly and when Eames was there for dinner, Arthur always sat beside him, rubbing his knee causally against Eames’. 

Arthur was good at lying - to his parents namely and whenever Eames was ready to leave, Arthur always had some plausible reason to be out of sight. The first time it ever happened, Eames was shocked to walk to his car and before he opened the door, he saw a young, thin boy scaling his garage roof and jumping down gingerly, running around to get in Eames’ passenger side. 

It was that intelligence that got Eames in trouble. Arthur was forward, direct and even gave Eames the option of an out. Instead, Eames took him home and took his virginity. 

Now, it was six months later and Arthur’s parents - Eames’ closest friends, still had no idea that he was having a relationship with their teenage son. When dinner was over and he had a chat with his friend, he said good night and left for home. He wasn’t surprised to see Arthur already lounging in  his backseat, playing on his phone as if he had been there the whole time. Eames got in and started the car and when he drove off, Arthur crawled into the passenger side. He felt Arthur lean over, kissing his cheek.

"I’ve been wanting to do that all night."

"Put your seat belt on."

He smiled when he said it and Arthur did as told before he took his hand as he drove.

Eames felt Arthur’ fingers lace with his and there was comfortable silence in the car while Eames drove. 

Eames had slowly gotten over the initial guilt of feeling as if he had taken Arthur’s innocence, of taking advantage of a young teenage boy with a crush. But Arthur had worked hard at convincing Eames it was not like that at all, that everything was with consent. Now and then though, when Arthur spoke of school or college, Eames felt that guilt again.

"I was thinking about something."

"What’s that’s sweetheart?"

"When I graduate. I got into the school I wanted, which is still close by so I’m not dorming or leaving the state."

"Yes. What about it?"

"Well, I’ll be eighteen by then. And maybe after another year, I can tell my parents about us. Then we wouldn’t have to hide."

"I’m not sure your father would be to happy about it. He would be angry no matter what age you told him."

"Yeah. Probably. But I don’t want to hide how I feel about you."

"Me either."

"How do you feel about me?"

Eames smirked a little, loving how Arthur was trying to pry information out of him but as always being not-so-subtle.

"You know how I feel about you."

"No, I don’t. Tell me."

"Arthur."

"Come on. I’ll tell you."

"You know I love you."

Arthur practically jumped on him, making Eames swerve slightly but he quickly regained control. He had to pull over and cut the engine, feeling Arthur clamor on his lap, kissing him. Eames kissed him back, holding his face as Arthur made happy little sounds in between soft smacks.

"I love you too. I love you."

Eames smiled, knowing that despite their age difference, they felt the same way.

Chapter Text

Arthur had been suspicious for weeks. Though he told himself constantly that he was overreacting. Eames had gone on a job and come back nervous, almost regretful of something and that made Arthur’s guard come right up. 

He refused to snoop around, to ask questions, to dig because he trusted Eames. He had for years - not just on an intimate level but as friends, colleagues and partners. He had trusted Eames with his life, falling back blindly knowing he would be there to catch him. So he was sure it was nothing.

Until one night that Eames was doing the dishes and left his cell phone by Arthur while Arthur worked. He had no intention of looking at it, he had actually started to forget about it, Eames even acting like himself. He picked it up and swiped the screen and it was all in a second that he realized it wasn’t his phone and…

…that the text message was from the man Eames had slept with.

'You haven't texted me since that night. Wasn't I enough for you?

it made Arthur sick to his stomach. He had been right. There was no other way to take that message. Had it been about a job, the person would have said so. This was about sex. 

Arthur stood up and went to the kitchen, fighting back the feeling of hysteria that was threatening to rise out of him. He felt angry and betrayed and worthless and confused and all he wanted to do was hit Eames over and over again until he felt better. His chest hurt and he couldn’t believe how much it hurt. It was almost physical and he clutched his phone so hard he cracked it a bit. 

Eames turned and smiled at him for a moment before he saw the look on Arthur’s face. He shut the sink off and dried his hands.

"Arthur? Love, what’s the matter?"

"Joseph wants to know why he wasn’t good enough."

He threw the phone and Eames caught it after a quick fumble and the look of horror confirmed everything.

"Arthur…let me explain."

"I knew something was wrong. I knew it. Since you came back from the job in Romania. You were acting off and I knew something was wrong but I didn’t…I didn’t want to believe it."

"It was a mistake. It was a stupid mistake. We were celebrating a job well done and we got to talking and..one thing lead to another. It’s no excuse, there is no excuse. I wanted to tell you but I was afraid."

"A mistake?! You fuck someone else and it’s a mistake?"

"It was, completely a mistake. They meant nothing to me, I fully regretted it and I told him. I told him that I was with you and that I wasn’t going to leave you."

Arthur walked away from him, hearing Eames follow him.

"Arthur, please talk to me. Please."

"I don’t want to talk to you!"

He slammed their bedroom in his face and sat down trying to process everything Eames just blurted out to him. He felt he couldn’t breathe and his chest hurt as he panted for air. 

He wasn’t sure how much time had passed. It felt like minutes but when he glanced at the clock on the night stand, he saw a few hours had gone by. He stood up, rubbing at his eyes that felt puffy and tired. When he opened the door, he saw Eames sitting near the door, his back to the wall as he waited. He looked tired and when he looked up at Arthur, there was hope in his eyes.

"Why did you cheat on me?"

Eames slowly stood up, his body sore as he rested his hand against the wall.

"I didn’t do it with intent. I swear I didn’t go out to find someone else. I have no reason for it. I just screwed up. I lost my better judgement. I don’t want our entire relationship to go down the drain because of one fuck up."

Arthur wanted to think believe him. He wanted to so desperately. He looked down and sighed deeply, feeling defeated and tired and still so hurt.

"I don’t either. I still love you."

Eames dared to step closer as he put his arms around him, pulling him close and kissing his face.

"I love you too. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’ll be sorry about this for the rest of our lives. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry."

Arthur sighed, holding onto Eames in return, feeling his hold tighten on him, still repeating himself, saying how sorry he was. 

Chapter Text

Eames wrote some notes down as he flipped through his patient’s file. He read the patient’s name - Arthur and noted his age, nineteen. He was a first year college student that had been crushed by the pressures of school.

Before he got any further, there was a soft knock on the door and Eames looked up as he said,

"Come in."

His secretary opened the door and allowed Arthur inside. Eames got up and went to greet him, allowing the young man in. His skin was pale with a grey pallor to him, his eyes sunken in with dark bags underneath, his hair brittle looking. He wore baggy grey sweatpants and a dark blue sweatshirt. Eames didn’t miss the irony that his school’s name was imprinted on the front of his shirt.

Walking and sitting seem to be taxing on Arthur and when he sat down, he sighed as if relieved to stop moving. Eames sat near by and said,

"Hello Arthur. It’s good to meet you. I’m Eames, no need for the doctor in front, I’m sure we’re all aware of what I do."

Arthur didn’t laugh. He looked at Eames with dark, lifeless eyes.

"How do you feel?"

"Tired."

Eames nodded as he wrote ‘tired’ in Arthur’s file.

"Now, I wanted to let you know, I’m direct and forward with my sessions. Some patients find that jarring but I like to move directly to the problem at hand."

Arthur nodded.

"So tell me about school."

He watched Arthur wrap his arms around himself and sink against the couch.

"What about it?"

"Tell me about it. What was your major?"

"Law. I wanted to be a lawyer."

"Did you like any of your classes?"

"I did. At first. It was fun at first. I was able to keep up with my work and keep ahead of my classes. I had a rhythm."

"So what threw you off your rhythm?"

"I don’t…know. The work started to become too much. Other students started talking about interning and law case studies and tests and it got so…overwhelming."

"School is like that sometimes."

Arthur nodded and didn’t say anything for a moment.

"It’s alright. You can take as much time as you need."

It turned out, Arthur needed the rest of the session.

Arthur returned the next day and the next day after that, gradually opening up to Eames, revealing that taking control of his food intake became the only thing he could control as his academic life spiraled out of his control. When he studied, he felt as if stopping to eat would take up too much time so he took his books to the dining hall. But it was loud and he couldn’t concentrate so he took food to his room but he let it grow cold while he was focused on his work.

Soon his monitoring of food became more important than his school work and while he started with the idea of healthy eating, it became about portion control - eating less and less until he was living on sips of water.

He was eventually found out when he returned home, unable to hide his condition, his parents begged him to get help. 

After a few months sessions, Arthur still felt like a failure and he cried when he felt like he would never get better, because he still felt like eating was the only thing he could control and school was so much. Then, Eames said something that resonated in Arthur.

"It’s not a race, Arthur. There’s no deadline on when you have to finish school and be a lawyer. Your health is more important to your family."

Arthur looked as if that thought had never crossed his mind.

Over time, Arthur began to get better, his weight coming on slowly, the color returning to his face. Whatever small achievement he succeed in, Eames praised him, telling him how wonderful it was that was moving along, even if it was step by step. 

In a year’s time, Arthur was discharged and he was allowed to go back home, back to school if he wanted, Arthur came to see him before he left for home. It was a completely different person that Eames first met, healthier, happier.

"I’m scared."

"Whatever happens, even if you relapse, it’s not your fault. It doesn’t mean you failed. Okay?"

Arthur nodded and thanked him once more.

"Can I come back to see you? If I feel like it’s too much?"

"Any time you want."

"Thank you."

Chapter Text

The first time Eames took his son to school, his little one had clung to his leg, hiding behind him as he whined softly, saying he was scared. Despite what Eames said to reassure him, his little boy, Thomas, was afraid and would not let his iron grip on his jean leg go. 

When they arrived at the kindergarten class, Thomas didn’t want to go in. He held on and Eames worried that he might cry and throw such a fit that he might have to take him home and try again tomorrow.He looked around, seeing other parents crying, waving to their little ones, other children hesitantly looking over their shoulders before going ahead, others not having any problems at all and just racing in. Eames felt some relief that he and Thomas weren’t alone and there were other girls and boys holding onto their parents still.

However by the time class was ready to begin, Thomas still showed no signs of letting go and Eames started to really worry. He didn’t know what else to say that he hadn’t said already. He pet Thomas’ head, stroking back his hair and tried again,

"Thomas…Tommy boy you know your dad is going to be here in just a little bit. I wouldn’t leave you here."

"I don’t know any body."

"I know kiddo but you’re here to make friends. It’ll go by faster than you think."

Thomas still didn’t let go. It wasn’t until the teacher approached that Thomas finally showed signs of easing his grip. His teacher didn’t look that much older than his students, chestnut brown wavy hair, glasses, khakis and black untucked button down with the sleeves rolled up. his face lit up with a brilliant smile and oh god…dimples. Eames nearly forgot why his son was acting up when the teacher said,

"Hi, I’m Arthur, the kindergarten teacher."

He extended his hand which Eames took with a smile.

"I’m Eames. Well…William Eames. This is my son, Thomas. Or should I say most of him. The rest of him is behind my leg."

Arthur laughed as he lowered his voice and said,

"This is common. Some children are afraid their first day."

He knelt down to Thomas’ level and said,

"Thomas? Hi. I’m Arthur. I’m nervous…it’s my first day and I don’t know anyone. Could you walk in with me? Please?"

Thomas peered out cautiously and looked at Arthur as he mumbled,

"It’s my first day too."

"So you’re nervous huh? Yeah, me too. Want to come with me? I’d feel better if you were with me."

Eames admired Arthur’s technique, more than so when Thomas seem to start letting go and taking Arthur’s offered hand. Before he did, he looked up at Eames and said,

"Daddy, I’m going to walk in with him ok?"

"Yeah, pet go ahead. Help him out."

Thomas smiled and took Arthur’s hand as Arthur stood up and smiled at Eames.

"I’ll call you if anything happens. Your number is on the parent’s list right?"

"Yes."

Arthur nodded and took Thomas and went into the class.

After that, every day Eames went to pick up Thomas from school, he had a new story about his teacher, Arthur.

Arthur could sing and play guitar.

Arthur could speak “from France” and showed them pictures on the map.

Arthur taught them to make glitter pictures (and Eames was presented with pictures of glue with glitter that his son proudly made)

Arthur taught them about animals and made funny sounds.

Arthur showed them how to paint with their fingers (and Eames often had to scrub Thomas clean from said fingerpainting)

Arthur brought colored cookies for everyone to try called “macaroni” but they were yummy and Thomas begged for Eames buy some of his own.

While Thomas ran through another story, Eames smiled and said,

"Sounds like you really like your teacher kiddo."

"I do! He knows everything, daddy. He’s smart! He said we’re going on a trip soon to see the zoo! I can’t wait!"

Eames smiled at his little boy’s enthusiasm. 

The next time Eames saw Arthur was at parent-teacher night. He held Thomas’ hand as he was dragged through the classroom, being pointed out his desk, his cubby, where he hung his jacket. Eventually, he went to play with the other kids while Eames mingled with the other parents, eventually getting a chance to speak with Arthur, who had taken the time to talk to each parent for at least a handful of minutes at a time.

"Thomas speaks the world of you. He always comes home with some kind of new story about what you did or said."

Arthur laughed and seemed a little embarrassed.

"I try to keep school interesting. Some students aren’t very impressed but I’m glad at least some of my students like it."

"Oh Thomas more than likes it."

Arthur smiled, pleased and happy hearing that. He showed Eames their classroom board where the children had drawn their favorite animal - Eames was not at all surprised to see Thomas had drawn a bear, they were his favorite for now. And then they talked about Thomas’ academic performance. Thomas listened well, did his work on time and played nicely with others. Eames smiled and listened, admiring Arthur while he spoke, seeing he cared very much about his students. When he was done, Arthur asked,

"Just….curious. Forgive me if it upsets you but I ask more for Thomas’ sake. Is his mother around? I only ask because of parent sensitive projects like mother’s day and things like that. I wouldn’t want to upset him."

"Oh, his mum and I aren’t on the best terms. She was a little flighty and I didn’t want Thomas to grow up with two missing parents so he’s just mine."

"Oh okay."

The nerves Arthur had on his face seemed to vanish as he continued.

Eames felt a little ashamed of himself for being a little smitten with his son’s teacher, But when his son asked him to chaperon school trips or any other school activity, Eames went, happily so because he knew it meant a lot to Thomas first off and secondly, he knew he would see Arthur.

There was one day that Eames was at work when he got a phone call. He worked from home so he picked up right away and answered, surprised to hear from Thomas’ school. 

"Mr. Eames? This is Sunny Fields Kindergarten."

Eames felt fear race through him first as he stood up.

"Is Thomas all right?"

"He’s fine sir, but he’s in a bit of trouble. We need you to come down and pick him up right away."

"I’ll be right there."

Eames was there in twenty minutes. When he went to the principal’s office, he saw his little boy sitting outside the office, holding an ice bag to his mouth, his legs swinging, another little boy beside him, his arms crossed as he sported the start of a black eye, fresh tears still staining his face.

"Thomas?"

Thomas jumped off the bench as he ran over to Eames and said,

"Hi, daddy!"

"Thomas. What did you do?"

He heard a voice being cleared and Eames saw Arthur there.

"He got into a fight with Eugene here. He won’t say why though."

"Oh, Tommy boy, why would you get into a fight? Look at your lip."

Eames knelt down, sweeping his son’s hair away from his forehead, moving the ice bag away and seeing his broken bottom lip. Thomas looked angry then but didn’t say anything.

Eames got an earful from the principal - saying his child was responsible for the fight and that hitting was not encouraged at the school. Eames promised to resolve it and it would never happen again. Eugene was picked up but luckily, Eames didn’t deal with them. Eames began to take Thomas to the car, picking him up.

"So, are you going to tell me why you thought that Eugene kid deserved a shiner?"

"He was saying mean stuff about Arthur."

"Mean stuff?"

Thomas nodded vigorously.

"He was saying all this mean stuff and I told him to stop, it wasn’t true and he wouldn’t so I pushed him and he hit me first so I hit him back,"

Eames was glad his son had told him when they were alone. He was proud of him and he smiled.

"I know you got into a little trouble today at school, pet but I’m not mad at you. You did good. Your teacher is very nice and he shouldn’t have mean things said about him."

Thomas puffed up, proud of himself now. When Eames put his son in the car, he heard someone call his name and he turned to see Arthur walking quickly towards him.

"I’m glad I caught you before you left. Did Thomas say why he got into a fight?"

"Ah, he did. He uh…well I think he may have a crush on you. He was defending your honor."

Arthur smiled a bit and shook his head.

"Oh boy."

"Yeah. I can’t be mad at him. I can’t say I wouldn’t do the same."

Arthur blushed then and cleared his throat as he looked down.

"Thank you."

"I would ask you out but…"

"Thomas is still my student."

"How about when he goes to first grade?"

"Yeah…maybe when he’s in first grade."

Arthur smiled and waved to Thomas in the car as he turned to leave. Eames sighed to himself almost as smitten as his son was. Thomas was right, Arthur was great. 

Chapter Text

Eames is taking his overdue load of laundry to the local laundry mat. He’s tired, it’s hot and he really rather do anything else but he’s down to his last semi-clean pair of jeans and singlet with flip flops. He looks like a frat boy but as long as he gets his laundry done, he’ll look like his dashing self soon enough.

He gets the first load in - whites and colors separate because his mum would kill him if washes everything at once and he settles back into one of the uncomfortable plastic chairs and waits.

He’s playing with his phone, thinking about coffee when he hears someone else coming into the laundry mat. He looks up and sees what had to be a homeless person. He shuffles in holding a single cup in his hand wearing a pair of jeans that looks as if they had seen better days, full of holes and stains of some kind and a bleach stained shirt, torn a bit at the hem as if it had gotten snagged a couple of times on something. 

Eames goes back to playing with his phone, ignoring the homeless guy as he made his way around the laundry mat, probably begging for change. He forgot about him for a moment until Eames felt his shadow right in front of him. He didn’t bother to look up when the homeless guy said,

"Excuse me…"

"Sorry mate, change is for the machines, can’t help you out."

"Excuse me?"

He looked up then seeing the homeless guy didn’t really look homeless so much as he did…annoyed.

"You’re hoarding the table and I need to set my laundry down."

Eames looked at how he had his arm resting on the table as he played, taking up as much space as he could.

"You’re doing…laundry?"

"Why else would I be here??"

When Eames moved his arm, the guy set his cup down revealing coffee, not change.

"Sorry…I thought-"

"That I was begging?"

Eames felt a little embarrassed as he stood up and moved over a seat as the guy began emptying a dryer and folding his clothes up, setting it in a basket that was under the table the whole time. Eames felt like a huge asshole then and he cleared his throat as he went over to the guy to properly apologize.

"Hey…I’m sorry about before."

The guy looked at him from the sides of his eyes, not at all stopping his folding. After an awkward moment of silence, the said,

"It’s fine. I probably would have thought the same given how you look."

Eames felt insulted for a moment until he looked down and saw his own shabby attire. He then laughed a bit and scratched the back of his head.

"Yeah, I can see where you’d get that idea. What’s your name?"

"I’m Arthur. You?"

"Eames. Good to meet you."

Arthur set his clothes down as he extended his hand to shake Eames’. Arthur’s hand was warm from folding and despite his tired appearance, he was actually pretty cute. When Arthur pulled his hand back and returned to folding, Eames said,

"I’d offer you a cup of coffee but you have your own already. How about lunch some time?"

Arthur stopped and looked at him again.

"So long as you have better clothes than that."

Chapter Text

Eames sat in the back room of the restaurant. Way out in front the actual restaurant served guests, the kitchen cooked and in the back was Eames’ office. 

Eames had established himself early when he was a teenager in the boroughs of New York. He was small time in comparison but he had good pull and enough respect to be known as well as feared. Arthur had heard about him and he was desperate to join the gang, to be known and feared with the best of them  When he finally made connections to get a meeting with Eames, he was there early and allowed the pat down to performed. He even turned out his pockets to prove he was on the up and up.

He was allowed to the backroom and he saw Eames first hand, sitting at his desk wearing baggy jeans and plain white tshirt, a leather jacket hanging on the back of his chair. On his fingers he wore thick gold rings, one on his pinky, the other on his ring finger and one on the middle. He smoked a cigar and used his phone, exhaling slowly as he looked up to see Arthur coming towards him.

"Who are you?"

He spoke slowly and calmly, the smoke slowly leaving his mouth with every word. It unnerved Arthur for a moment and he stood silent until Yusuf said,

"This is Arthur. He wants to join up."

"He clean?"

Yusuf nodded. Eames nodded and let him approach and Yusuf left.

Arthur approached his desk and Eames stood up and took a good look at him.

"What are you sixteen?"

"I’m twenty."

"You look like a baby. You really think you can roll with us?"

"I’m willing to put in the work."

"We’ll see about that."

Arthur was made to prove himself, given a gun and task. He did it without flinching or remorse.

He did as told, ruthlessly and efficiently - impressing Eames as time went on. When Arthur was fully initiated, he was told all the rules, the hierarchy of power: Eames was the boss, everything came down from him and his word was law. Then Yusuf, his right hand, Fischer and then everyone else. Arthur was a foot solider in his army but he was quickly rising through the ranks.

When a chance for a bigger job came up, Arthur gladly volunteered. By then, Eames knew Arthur was clearly not any kind of cop. Too many people had seen him kill, sell and extort to be on any kind of law. So he trusted Arthur as he stepped up, offering his services to be one of the guards to accompany Eames. He was immediately brought in. 

"You’re ambitious."

Eames commented to him one night while Eames went over the books to his front.

"You didn’t think I was capable."

"I did."

"No you didn’t. You thought I was a child."

"I wanted to provoke you."

Arthur didn’t say anything else, just looking down at his feet. 

"You’re probably the best man I have in my group."

"Thank you."

"I look forward to seeing what else you’re capable of."

There was a sly smile on Eames’ face that made Arthur feel blush creep across his face. He only cleared his throat and looked back down at the floor.

Chapter Text

There were jobs where the original team got back together now and then for an easy take. They had all been better acquainted by now, even had a few social outings and all knew each other a little more.

But sometimes, things never changed.

The job was an easy one and would take roughly two weeks. On day one, Ariadne was flipping through a typical fashion magazine. It was pointless but it ate up time while she waited on further plan development. Eames was just as bored and sat beside her, looking over the pages. 

"I have to credit you girls wearing those in real life. In dreams I thank God I don’t process the pain in my feet."

He pointed to a model wearing heels and Ariadne made a face.

"I don’t like heels that high. I like shorter heels. Or just sneakers."

"Trainers are by far the most comfortable shoes."

"Actually, I heard those plastic shoes, crocs, are the most comfortable, despite how ugly they are."

"Crocs?"

Ariadne nodded and flipped back a few pages to an article entitled in big bold letters FASHION FAUX PAS. She pointed to the ugly plastic clog looking shoes with holes the top and a sling back strap.. They were listed as a number fashion faux pas.

"Oh god, those are monstrously hideous shoes. People actually wear those?"

"They do. They’re terrible."

Eames laughed to himself, taking the magazine to get a better look at the shoes in question.

"I bet Arthur would love those."

"Yeah if he fell and hit his head on concrete and lost his mind."

"If who lost their mind?"

They both looked up and saw Arthur walking in and settling his things down at a near by table. Ariadne laughed and said,

"I said you would like crocs if you hit your head and lost your mind."

The look of disgust that came across Arthur’s face was one of personal insult. He frowned deeply and shook his head.

"I’ve seen those shoes. One would need some kind of head injury to wear them."

It gave Eames a wonderful idea.

On day two, Eames strolled in and went to Ariadne’s table again and immediately lifted his feet up, propping them up and crossing his ankles, showing off a pair of aforementioned shoes in a dark grey. Ariadne saw them and instantly laughed.

"Oh God, they’re terrible! Why? I mean you’re not known for your taste but really?"

"I know, they’re wretched and I want to burn them on my feet this very moment but I just want to see Arthur’s reaction."

They didn’t have to wait long. The moment Arthur came in, it was as if he saw them from a block away. His face was that of someone stumbling over a gory crime scene, shock and disgust but with a morbid fascination as if one couldn’t look away. 

"Eames?"

Eames purposely moved his feet back and forth.

"Yes, Arthur?"

"Nothing."

He turned and left, Ariadne snickering to herself. It wasn’t the reaction Eames was looking for.

Over the next two weeks, Eames wore the crocs. Every day with whatever he was wearing - it didn’t matter to him. Each day Arthur looked down at his feet before looking him in the face and then said hello, each day he looked horrified and insulted. Once, Eames even wore socks with them just to watch Arthur look just as disgusted.

Finally when the job wrapped and Arthur was wrapping everything up, everyone said good night, Eames was the last to leave. He was about to take off those god awful shoes and walk to is hotel without shoes just to not have to wear crocs anymore when Arthur approached him. Eames was surprised when he saw Arthur had a hand full of money.

"Here. Please, please take this and buy new shoes. Any other kind of shoe except those. Please, I beg of you."

Eames was stunned for a moment before he laughed a little and said,

"Do they offend your delicate nature that much?"

"They’re hideous. They take away and kind of handsome features you have. Please. Buy another pair of shoes."

"Handsome features?"

"You’re getting off the subject! Just…get another pair of shoes."

Eames laughed again and said,

"I just wore them to bother you. But now that you think I’m handsome…"

Arthur sighed, shaking his head and taking back his money.

"I should have known."

"Call it a social experiment. Now…back to my handsome features…."

Chapter Text

Tommy was quiet for a moment. 

He was stunned when he came home from training and Adam blurted out that he thought they should break up.

Things had been well enough for a while, their relationship great, not without its problems but great. 

When Adam learned he had cancer, Tommy, though frightened for a moment, told him he would fight through it. He was going to beat it and Tommy wasn’t going to let Adam give up.

But as things progressed and Adam felt sicker and more tired and more exhausted than he ever had in his entire life, he began feeling like he was draining on Tommy as well. He began to feel bad when Tommy took shorter training sessions to take him to doctor appointments, stuck around when Adam was throwing up from medication side effects and the chemo, didn’t recoil or panic when Adam started losing his hair so he shaved it off and wore a hat all the time because he was constantly cold and felt like he was wasting away from the weight loss.

He was draining on Tommy, he knew it and he could see him putting his career on hold, his life on hold for him. 

Tommy had not minded taking care of Adam, he told him anytime Adam apologized for being sick, for having no appetite, for having to be taken to doctor’s appointment after doctor’s appointment. He didn’t care because he loved Adam and he was quick to remind him of that too. 

When Adam said, “We should break up.” Tommy felt hurt but then he realized what Adam was doing. He was trying to spare him, trying to give him an out. 

Tommy wouldn’t take it though.

"No."

Adam looked taken aback, his eyes getting wide.

"What do you mean, no?"

"I mean no. We’re not breaking up."

Adam tried following Tommy to the kitchen, his legs feeling shaky and tired. He saw Tommy already starting dinner as Adam tried again.

"Tommy, I was serious, I don’t want to be with anymore. I want to break up."

Tommy slammed down the frying pan on the stove before he turned to face Adam.

"And I said no. I know what you’re doing. I told you a thousand times over and I’ll keep saying it until it gets through your head. I’m not going to let you give up, I don’t mind taking care of you, being here for you. I love you."

Adam frowned a little, his eyes closing and he leaned against the kitchen entryway for support.

"I don’t want you to resent me…"

"I would never. You need someone to lean on and I want to be that someone."

Adam nodded slowly.

"Now go sit and wait. I’m making dinner."

Adam laughed a little and slowly began to turn when he heard,

"Oh, one more thing."

Adam looked over his shoulder, curious.

"You ever try to break up with me again and I’ll break you in half."

Adam laughed, really felt it bubbling from inside him and said,

"Ok. Duly noted."

Tommy nodded and went back to starting dinner.

Chapter Text

Eames had overslept. 

He knew he was going to be late, despite Arthur having set an alarm for him, so he stopped for coffee anyway. He bought coffee for Arthur and a box of donuts for the team. He might as well be loved for being late.

When he stepped in, tray of coffee in one hand, a box of donuts in the other, he looked up, expecting to get scolded right away.

"Sorry, sorry. I know I’m horrendously late."

Ariadne approached him first, her face lit up at the sight of the donuts.

"Ooo, donuts thank you! You can be late all the time if you always bring donuts. Oh the good kind too!"

Eames smiled and then began making his way to Arthur’s work space. His significant other was not there and Eames frowned a bit as he set the coffee down and turned to Ariadne.

"Hey, where is everyone?"

"Dom and Arthur are talking with the new chemist."

"New chemist? What happened to Yusuf?"

"He ate something that didn’t agree with him so he sent a replacement."

Eames shook his head at Yusuf and settled at Arthur’s desk to wait.

When the three of them appeared, Eames saw who the chemist was and he was instantly on guard. It was James - a chemist from South Africa whom Eames had clashed with before. While they tolerated each other professionally, they hated each otherwise. James saw Eames and grinned at him.

"Why if it is’t Eames."

"James."

"Didn’t know you were on this job."

"Didn’t think Yusuf would send a hack on this job."

James laughed a little, approaching the desk Eames sat on as he leaned against it.

"So, that Arthur…"

Eames looked up from his coffee as he looked at James, watching him, watching Arthur walk. He grit his teeth as he sat up straight.

"What about him."

"He fills out a suit pretty well. He’s adorable."

"He’s all right."

He’s never regretted telling everyone about their relationship more than at that moment. Especially when James circled around Arthur like a vulture waiting for an animal to die. He would call him over, ask him questions, keep professional though he was subtly flirting. Eames hated that more than anything. He hated how Arthur was polite and unaware of James’ intentions, he hated that he couldn’t march over and punch James in the face, though he spent the rest of the day daydreaming about it.

By the second day, Eames decided to be grown up and realize that Arthur didn’t need protecting - he wasn’t a damsel in distress. He could handle himself if James decided to be an idiot and try something. Plus, after they got back to their hotel room, he fucked Arthur within an inch of his life and then was praised afterwards. So yeah, Eames felt pretty good.

That all immediately went out the window when he arrived - on time and saw James had bought Arthur coffee and was talking to him, not about work but about the city they were in.

"Brussels is amazing this time of year. There’s amazing eateries and great places for a beer."

Arthur nodded and smiled politely.

"I’ve been here before, it is a beautiful city."

"Have you seen many of the sights?"

"No, not thoroughly anyway."

"I would love to take you."

Before Arthur replied, Eames slid up beside Arthur, putting his arm around him. 

"Where are we going?"

James looked back and forth between Arthur and Eames, connecting the pieces.

"Oh…I didn’t realize…"

"Realize what?" Asked Eames, feigning ignorance though getting thrilled at James’ growing embarrassment. 

"Uh, excuse me, I have to get back to work."

When he left, Arthur looked at Eames though he didn’t move back.

"What are you doing?"

"Nothing."

"I know you, Eames."

"Nothing. I swear. You can handle yourself, I’m aware of that."

Arthur wanted to be angry, Eames could tell - but he was off the hook when Arthur’s dimple showed up, the corner of his mouth tugging up. 

"We should tell everyone we’re seeing each other."

Arthur turned and kissed Eames softly on the mouth as he moved back.

"Everyone knows already."

"Do they now?"

Arthur smiled for real now.

"You’re not as subtle as you think you are."

Eames shook his head as he laughed to himself.

Chapter Text

Eames was on his way home just in time too, the snow had just started falling. The subway ride was quiet,  his groceries on his lap, his phone in his hand as he counted stops until he arrived.

The walk home was unforgiving, the wind had kicked up, the snow was already piling up and by the time he reached his brownstone, he was freezing. And now surprised.

In front of the door, there was a pile of clothes. The awning protected the bundle and Eames briefly wondered who would leave clothes in front of his door. When he opened the front door, already forgetting the pile, he saw it shifting and Eames stopped, looking down, seeing it wasn’t a pile of clothes, but a person.

He knelt down, setting his grocery bag beside him.

"Are you alright? Do you need help? Where you locked out?"

There was a groan for a moment and a face was revealed - young and innocent face, smudged with dirt, a hood over his hair.

"Do you live here?"

The boy blinked as he slowly extended his arms and legs out, saying,

"No, sorry. I just…I needed a cover from the snow."

There was an immediate stench, the light from the lobby on the boy showing the state of his clothing, the layers, the holes and filth.

He was homeless. So young and homeless. Eames instantly felt for him.

"Are you calling the police? I’m leaving right now. Please don’t call the cops."

He sounded tired and so scared that Eames felt for him again. He shook his head instead, standing back up with his groceries.

"I’m not calling the police."

"Ok. I’ll leave. Thank you for not calling the cops."

"You don’t have to. It’s pretty bad out there tonight. The news said it’s going to be a bad storm. You want to come in?"

The boy looked cautious and then angry.

"I’m not going to suck your dick."

"No! I wouldn’t-…that wasn’t my intention!"

He suddenly became painfully English as he bumbled over his words and apologized, feeling a bit shocked. 

The boy turned to the street and shivered, taking Eames’ offer.

Once in his apartment, Eames noticed the boy held a bookbag close to him, his coat on top was probably the thickest and he wore a collection of shirts underneath. His boots where too big and they thudded when he stepped in and stopped at the door. Eames hung up his coat and set his grocery bags down on the sofa.

"I’m going to make some dinner. Would you like to take a shower?"

"Ok."

"I’ll get you some towels."

After giving the boy some towels and a fresh set of clothes, he watched him step into the bathroom and heard the obvious click of the lock echoing in the hallway.

Eames made dinner and fed the boy - Arthur, once he stepped out and sat in the kitchen. He then arranged some pillows and blankets for him on the couch and let him sleep, telling him he could help himself to anything in the kitchen if he wanted.

Eames almost expected to be robbed blind or to come out to an empty living room the following morning, but Arthur was still curled up on the couch, still asleep, his bag tucked behind his legs. Everything was still in place too so Eames started on breakfast.

He took the day off and sat with Arthur to have breakfast, asking him if he could take him somewhere, or needed help or something. Arthur shook his head.

"How old are you?"

"Seventeen. You?"

"Older than seventeen. Are you sure you don’t want any help?"

"This is plenty. I appreciate it. I can leave when you want."

"You don’t have to. I’m not really worried about my well being you know? You look pretty tame."

Arthur laughed a bit and looked at his plate.

Eames let him stay. He let him stay because he felt bad kicking him out into the unforgiving winter in the city. He let him stay because Arthur didn’t steal (though he ate more than a person three times his size), he let him stay because Arthur didn’t do drugs and he kept everything he owned in a bag that he tucked behind the couch. He let him stay because Arthur was grateful for every minute he wasn’t on the street.

Overtime, Arthur admitted he was homeless because he had come out to his parents and they kicked him out. He had few friends and at seventeen, what else could he do but wander around and hope for the best. 

When Eames came home, he found his entire apartment had been cleaned from top to bottom, even his mail was carefully stacked on his coffee table. 

"What’s all this?"

Arthur appeared from the bathroom, spots of water on his shirt and sweats. He smiled and said,

"I wanted to do something rather than just sit here and eat all your food."

"Thank you. It’s…great. I don’t think this place has been cleaned in a while."

"It showed."

Eames laughed a bit. 

After some time, Arthur doing his best to not wear his welcome out, Eames got use to him being there. He was almost like a roommate, a welcomed guest that Eames hated to say bye to one day.

"Eames?"

Eames was going over some of the editing work that was do for his publishing company while Arthur watched TV on the couch beside him.

"Yes, darling?"

He didn’t look up, just kept reading when he felt Arthur crawl over closer to him and when Eames looked up, Arthur leaned over and kissed his cheek, close to his mouth. When Arthur pulled back, sitting, looking nervous, Eames reached up to his glasses and took them off.

"What was that for?"

"I’m grateful. For everything you’ve done. And I wanted to thank you."

"Arthur…I’m nearly twice your age."

"So?"

"I’m flattered. Really I am…but, we shouldn’t-"

Arthur’s sad, defeated look made Eames stop. He set his work aside and brought his hand to Arthur’s face,

"It would be wrong to take advantage of the situation. You’re vulnerable."

"I think I should have a say in this."

Eames smiled a bit when Arthur leaned forward, kissing him again.

"I…I…"

Arthur only smiled and leaned forward again.

Chapter Text

When Eames called Arthur, asking him to please “be a love” and pick up some medicine for him, Arthur sighed and said sure. He was out already and he could swing by his hotel room. 

He figured he could bring him some Nyquil and tissues and he would be set.

However, he immediately changed his mind when Eames answered the door, his skin pale, dark heavy bags under his eyes. Even though he wore flannel pajama pants and a robe, he still shivered.

Arthur instantly took over and let himself in, commanding Eames back to bed.

"This is wholly unnecessary Arthur, I’m just a bit run down."

"Shut up and go to bed."

Arthur set the bag of tissues and Nyquil on the nightstand and he was about to check the kitchen area when he saw Eames wasn’t wearing a shirt. He yelled at him and marched over to his luggage, rummaging through it until he found a shirt and made him wear it.

Nothing in the kitchen was good so Arthur ordered hotel chicken soup and brought it over to Eames. While he ate, Eames again said he wasn’t that bad and didn’t need looking after.

"Shut up and eat your soup."

Eames chuckled a bit.

Over the next few days, Arthur stayed, returning to his own room to gather his things. He slept on the chase and worked while Eames slept, dozing in and out, gradually getting worse. He claimed he was freezing though when Arthur touched his brow, he was burning up. He went to the bathroom and picked up a hand towel and wet with it with cold water. He rung it out and returned to the bedroom, sitting beside Eames and folding the towel on his forehead. 

"Is getting late. We gotta leave. The job."

Arthur realized he was hallucinating from his fever.

"It’s ok Eames, there’s no job. We’re not going anywhere."

Eames looked up at him, or at least tried to when he said,

"Arthur. You’re here."

"I am."

"Thanks."

"It’s fine. You’re just a little sick. You have a fever."

"Mmm…Arrthur…takin care of me. Thank you. I love you."

Arthur smiled a bit, amused by his overly dramatic thanks.

"You’re welcome."

"No, I do. I love you. Loved you for so long…you jus…never noticed."

When Arthur looked at him, he saw his eyes closed, his mouth slightly open as he drifted off to sleep.

When Eames was finally better, Arthur began packing up his things to head back to his own room though Eames’ hazy, fever induced confession. Eames thanked him again, his color back in his face, the bags gone. 

"Thank you again."

"Of course. I could just leave you here while you’re sick."

Eames smiled at him. Arthur was unsure if he didn’t even remember or maybe he was trying to ignore it but Arthur finally decided to bring it up. He hesitated at first, wondering if he should be direct or not. Finally he just said,

"When you were sick, you said something."

"Oh? What? Something ridiculous I’m sure."

"You said you loved me."

Eames turned away, cursing under his breath as he brought his hand up to his mouth. Arthur could see the sides of his ears turning red. After a moment, Eames said,

"I’m sorry. I was delirious…sick with fever."

"So you didn’t mean it?"

Eames turned then, his face a little pink.

"I do."

"Why didn’t you say anything?"

"We’re friends. I didn’t want to ruin anything. I didn’t want you to get freaked out."

Arthur looked down at his hands for a moment and then back up at Eames.

"You can pretend I never said it. I don’t want things to get awkward between us."

"I can’t pretend."

Eames looked crestfallen, his eyes down.

"I can’t say I return your feelings…but I do care for you."

Arthur stepped closer to him, taking Eames’ hand.

"I’ll probably fall in love with you sooner than you think."

Eames looked surprised, a smile threatening his mouth and when Arthur kissed him, the smile broke out completely.

Chapter Text

Eames walked out of the office and was returning to his class when the bell rang. Some of his friends said hi to him, some girls stopping to give him hugs and he eventually reached his locker, getting his books and his letter man’s jacket for soccer. He rolled his eyes at the word, always thinking to himself, Americans, and put it on. Before he headed for lunch, he saw a couple of guys from the team picking on a kid. He’d seen it before and it always bothered him, but usually they taunted the kid and went on their way, but today, it was different.

They slapped the books out of his hands, mocking him, shoving him around and when they demanded he pick up his books, they would kick them away right out of his reach. When he pleaded for them to stop, they mimicked him and laughed. Eames went over to them and broke it up, telling the guys to leave the kid alone. They recognized Eames from the team so they left, still mocking the kid. 

Eames knelt down, helping him with his books.

"Sorry about that. Those guys are a bunch of tossers."

The kid looked at him, surprised as he said,

"You’re the exchange student."

"Yeah. What’s your name?"

"Arthur."

Eames nodded, committing the name to memory.

"Why were they messing with you?"

"Because…they just do. Always have."

He gathered his things and stood up, Eames following.

"Thanks."

Eames nodded and watched Arthur leave. 

Anytime after that, Eames saw Arthur more frequently, stepping in to stop his team mates from picking on him. He hung out with him during lunch, feeling bad when he saw him sitting alone. They didn’t have any classes together but Eames made sure he saw him and protected him. While Arthur was suspicious at first, he grew to like hanging out with Eames and he felt bad when he heard all the stuff people said about him, about Eames hanging out with him. Eames didn’t even bat an eye.

When Eames had practice, now and then he would see Arthur in the stands, doing his homework in between looking up now and then. Eames would wave to him and show off a little.

Among his teammates, Eames got some grief, asking why he was friends with a loser like Arthur. He was weird, he was awkward and Eames just stared blankly at them, saying he was none of those things and shrugged everything else they said. The fact that Eames dismissed everything everyone said made him more popular, though Arthur remained as unpopular as before.

At the end of the school year, everyone clamored for prom dates and planned parties and looked forward to graduating. Eames joined Arthur at the library, watching him study as he asked,

"What class is this for?"

"English. What’s going on?"

"Nothing. Just wanted to hang out."

They were quiet for a while until there was a commotion at the front of the library, some girls bubbling about getting dates. Eames looked at Arthur while Arthur looked down at his books.

"Are you going to prom?"

Eames smiled at him when Arthur asked.

"Nah. It’s some stupid dance party. What do I care?"

"Oh. I thought you were going."

"No, it’s pointless. We should hang out. Grab some food, watch a movie. Do you want to?"

Arthur looked at him how he always did when he wanted to ask if Eames was serious and Eames laughed a bit.

"Yes, Arthur, I’m serious."

"O-oh okay."

The night of prom, instead of having a date or a tux, Eames picked up Arthur and they went to eat. It was a normal, typical thing for them, they often hung out on the weekends but Arthur felt different about it this time. 

They went back to Eames’ house, his room being in the basement to avoid his family and watch whatever they wanted without having anyone walk through. Arthur sat on the couch, watching a comedy movie though he wasn’t really paying attention. Eames sat beside him, both their legs pressed against each others since the couch was small.

When the movie was over, Eames stood up and changed the DVD and sat back down. He looked at Arthur and asked,

"You ok?"

"Yeah. Just thinking…"

"About?"

"That this is the best night ever."

Eames smiled at him again and Arthur dared to lean closer, scooting back to rest his head on Eames’ shoulder. Eames didn’t say anything and Arthur sighed to himself.

Chapter Text

Arthur looked up from his notebook when he saw Eames pacing back and forth in front of his window. He looked upset and frustrated while he was on the phone so Arthur sat up and took his notebook, flipping to a clean page and wrote down a quick note. He waited until Eames hung up and once he did, Arthur waved to him. Eames gave a small smile back and Arthur held up the notebook.

You okay?’

Eames shook his head so Arthur wrote him another note.

Want to talk?

Eames nodded so Arthur approached his window, lifting open as Eames did the same. They had been neighbors and friends for years, their bedroom windows close enough that they could talk to each other without having to shout. 

"What’s wrong?" Arthur asked as soon as he leaned on the sill.

"Just, stupid girlfriend shit. It’s over. For real this time."

Arthur frowned a little and then tried to give a strong smile.

"Hey, her loss."

Eames laughed a little and smiled more sincerely this time.

"Thanks, Arthur. You’re the best."

Arthur just smiled at him.

Arthur couldn’t remember a time throughout his teenage year that he didn’t have a crush on Eames. He told himself to forget it, to move on, to accept the fact that Eames would never feel the same way about him.

But he couldn’t. 

He couldn’t because Eames was his best friend, he was the nicest person in the world to him. They hung out all the time, studied together, partnered up in bio class. Eames was probably the only person in the world who didn’t change or forget his friends when he had a girlfriend.

It often ended his relationships because he never broke plans, never forgot or ignored anyone, especially Arthur. 

Arthur wanted to confess, if anything just to feel better and get it off his chest, just be rejected and move on with himself, but each time he saw an opening, he chickened out and kept his mouth shut. 

At the near end of the school year, prom happened and Eames was going to go with a couple of friends anyway. He told Arthur about it, telling him to come along, there would be a ton of great parties afterwards but Arthur shook his head, saying no, he had to study.

Before he left for the night, Eames waved to get Arthur’s attention and Arthur looked up as Eames held up a notebook.

Wish you were coming.’

Arthur tried not to look too much into it and wrote something back quickly.

Sorry. Have fun! :o)

He smiled and Eames waved to him again before leaving. After his room light turned off, Arthur got up and walked across his room to the other side facing the street and he peered out, watching another car full of Eames’ friends pull up, Eames dressed so handsome in his tux got in and left. 

Arthur sighed to himself, frowning, hating himself for being such a coward, for being scared, for being in love with someone who would never love him back. 

Well no more. He would suck it up, face his fears and just tell Eames tonight. School would end soon, they would go off to college and that would be that. But at least he would have said it - and he would look damn good doing it.

Arthur changed his clothes, getting on a pair of dress pants and a fitted button down shirt, rolling up the sleeves to his elbows, tucking the ends in neatly. He combed his hair back, parting it to the side and took off his glasses and put in the only pair of contacts he had, despite nearly tearing one and dropping the other. When he was done, he begged his mom to let him borrow the car, promising he wouldn’t be late and left.

He texted Eames to ask where he was and once he arrived at the after party, he stayed outside in the car for a moment longer. He tapped his fingers against the wheel, panic and fear again filling him and he thought this was a bad idea. He should go home, forget the whole thing but he had spent more time out there than he thought when he got another text.

Hey, where are you?’

Arthur swallowed hard and answered,

Outside.’

Arthur slowly got out of the car and leaned against the door, watching as Eames stepped out of the house, his coat missing, his bow tie undone and hanging around his neck while his sleeves were rolled up too. He walked over, smiling when he saw Arthur.

"Hey! I was surprised when you asked where I was but then you didn’t even show up!"

"I did. I’m here."

"So, come in. Come on, we’ll have fun."

He took Arthur’s hand and started to pull him inside but Arthur wouldn’t move. Eames looked at him, a bit confused and Arthur swallowed hard.

"I uh…I wanted to tell you something first."

"What is it?"

He stood in place, listening like he always did, a boyish smile on his face and Arthur suddenly got so scared he swore he would cry. He was going to ruin everything, Eames would never look at him the same way again, they wouldn’t be friends anymore. Eames would hate him.

But he had to say it.

"I…"

He hesitated again.

"I don’t really want to go to a party. I just wanted to see you."

Eames smiled so brightly at him that Arthur had to look away.

"We can go somewhere else."

"No, it’s ok. Your friends are here…"

"You’re my friend, Arthur."

Arthur sighed and looked back at him.

"I’m in love with you."

Eames stood still and Arthur felt fear grip him so tightly he thought he would faint. But Eames’ hand didn’t let go of his.

"Yeah?"

Arthur nodded, words stuck in his throat.

Suddenly, Eames’ hand was gone, but he was close to Arthur, his hands on his face and he kissed him, suddenly, deeply and Arthur felt his knees shaking, the rest of him frozen. When Eames moved back, Arthur slowly opened his eyes, feeling like he was waking up and he saw Eames looking back at him, smiling.

"Me too. I love you too."

"What?"

"I love you too."

Arthur smiled stupidly, giggling a little as relief began replacing the fear.

"I was going to tell you at graduation…"

Arthur laughed again, kissing him again and again.

Chapter Text

Eames counted his luck that night, walking into his favorite bar and seeing sweet, little, lovely Arthur at a table. He was playing with his phone, a whisky tumbler in his free hand and Eames thought to himself “tonight is the night.”

He and Arthur had done the whole song and dance around each other for years, only recently did he start stepping up his game and trying to get closer, succeeding and having Arthur reciprocate. Now that the job was over and the fates had so nicely supplied Arthur for him at his favorite bar, he planned to take full advantage of the gift.

"As I live and breathe. Arthur, how are you, love?"

Eames joined him and Arthur smiled, setting his phone down after closing the screen.

"Hi. I thought you would be long gone by now."

"I’d say the same to you. What are you having?"

"Just some Jameson."

Eames motioned the bartender - indicating he was having what Arthur was having and then looked back at Arthur.

They had a few drinks together, talked a bit, flirted a lot and by the end of the night when they left the bar, Eames took Arthur outside for some fresh air and kissed him. He was pleased when Arthur kissed back, a soft sigh leaving his mouth and Eames rested his hands on his waist. When they pulled away, Arthur was blushing - blushing! - and Eames grinned at him.

"Want to come back to my room?"

Arthur opened his eyes then, apparently focusing a bit better as he sighed deeply, his eyes looking down and he bit his bottom lip. The act alone made Eames want him more.

"Sorry…I rather not."

"Mmm…you don’t have to play hard to get."

"I’m not playing."

He moved Eames’ hands off him and stepped back.

"This was nice. I’ll see you next time."

He walked away without another word, leaving Eames stunned.

The next day, Eames was still confused. He was sure things had gone well, Arthur had kissed him back, so what happened? Maybe he moved too soon…maybe he was a little too obvious. He decided to call Arthur and apologize for his actions. As soon as Arthur answered his phone, Eames cleared his throat.

"Arthur, I wanted to apologize for my behavior yesterday."

It was quiet for a moment and Eames then swore he felt Arthur’s smile.

"It’s all right."

"I was too forward. It was obvious I mixed up signals."

"No, it’s not your fault. I just…well."

He paused again and Eames wondered what Arthur was going to say.

"Go on, love. Say whatever’s on your mind."

"It’s just that…I’m not looking for a fling or a one night stand."

"Oh…well that wasn’t what-"

"Yes it was."

Eames now felt a little embarrassed because while he did have plans to call Arthur some time down the line, he knew it wouldn’t be immediate.

"Well, it wouldn’t have been a once off, darling. I do like you."

"I like you too. And I don’t want to be hurt."

"What are you saying, Arthur? That you want to date?"

"Don’t make fun of me."

"I’m not, love. It’s just…unexpected."

"I’m going to be in town a little longer. If you want to consider it, let me know."

He hung up without another word and Eames looked at his phone, watching it fade to black as he thought about Arthur had said.

Eames couldn’t even remember the last time he dated anyone. After high school, he had been traveling and working - there was just no time in his life for a relationship. He had gotten use to that. Work filled his day, his friendships, especially with Arthur gave him substance and pick up’s and one night stands gave him sexual satisfaction when he felt lonely. He had never considered a relationship before. 

He wasn’t even sure how that would work.

He went to see Arthur after a few hours, thinking this was the kind of thing that should be talked about face to face. Eames had a lot of questions.

After talking for hours, Eames understood what Arthur wanted and they agreed, they would give it a try.

It wasn’t without its bumps. It was awkward and slow paced - Eames was never sure what to do and he often moved too quickly for Arthur. 

But gradually, he got the hang of it of romancing Arthur, taking his time with him, spending long hours just kissing, taking him to nice dinners, bringing him little tokens of affection, finally understanding that Arthur wanted to be won over.

Eames actually started to like it after some time, liking how Arthur lit up when he did something right, how he was rewarded with just a little more in touches or kisses. It was nice to have feeling for someone and have them returned. It was better than he imagined.

After some months of dating - nearly a year in fact, when Eames came off a job, he went straight to Arthur’s apartment in L.A. He had flowers in hand, sure Arthur would appreciate the bouquet of calla lilies. When he knocked, Arthur answered and smiled brightly at the flowers, kissing him as he invited him inside. While Eames settled down, he watched Arthur find a vase and unwrap the flowers from their plastic covering, watching him arrange them with care. He felt that pride of doing something right again and when Arthur was done, he kissed him again, then told him he had made dinner.

"Looking forward to it."

After dinner and some catching up, they returned to Arthur’s couch where they made out. Eames moved slowly, only going forward when Arthur allowed him. He slowly moved his hand under Arthur’s shirt, touching his bare back, feeling Arthur do the same. He only moved back to take it off, pulling Arthur close to him, kissing him again and again. He laid back, taking Arthur with him, hearing him gasp softly though he smiled when they settled. 

"Wait, wait…"

Eames moved back, reaching up to Arthur’s hair, having gotten use to slowing down when Arthur said wait.

"What is it?"

He whispered it, touching his face, sweeping his hair back, showing him he wasn’t angry. In the beginning they had gotten into a lot of fights when Eames was stopped and ultimately disappointed. He had calmed down a lot since then - feeling like an asshole when he looked back on it. 

"Do you want to spend the night?"

Eames smiled brilliantly up at him.

"Of course I do, darling."

"I uh…"

Arthur sat up slightly and looked away, a bit of a flush on his face.

"I just…I never did this before."

Now Eames was really shocked.

"Really?"

Arthur nodded, still not looking at him, the red spreading across his face. Well, that explained a lot. Eames pulled him close again, kissing his face.

"Oh, Arthur…Arthur darling. I wish you would have told me sooner."

Arthur could hardly look at him, his eyes cast downwards.

"I’m just…it’s why I didn’t-"

"It’s okay, really. It just makes sense now."

"I just wanted to be with someone who cared about me."

"I do care about you. A lot. You’re worth the wait."

Arthur finally looked at him.

"Really?"

Eames nodded.

"Come on, let’s go to bed."

They got up and Eames took his hand, walking to Arthur’s bedroom.

Chapter Text

It was Arthur’s biggest case to date since he started working at Miles & Cobb..

He was nervous at first but when Dom told him he was bringing him on the Eames case, Arthur was excited. This would make his career. 

It was Daniel Eames versus Margaret Eames, Daniel Eames the famous Broadway actor who was already getting Hollywood attention. His soon to be ex wife was filing for divorce on account of infidelity though Daniel Eames claimed it was false and said it was she who had cheated.

Their accusations were being flung back and forth through the press and it was getting ugly. Now, Margaret was trying to take everything Eames was worth. 

When Arthur met with Dom and Daniel Eames for the first time, he was surprised by how casual and calm Eames was about everything - even his style of dress. He wore jeans and a thin hoodie with trainers and he slouched in his chair. Arthur stopped at the door, holding his case files as Dom said,

"Ah, Arthur just in time. This is Daniel Eames, Mr. Eames, this is Arthur Levine, one of our youngest lawyers who’s being brought on to assist."

He stood up and took Arthur’s hand with a grin and said,

"Why, hello there Arthur."

He oozed sexual appeal, with every breath he took, every step he made. He made Arthur feel as if he was being undressed and he blushed, his entire body feeling warm as he looked down.

"Good to meet you Mr. Eames."

"Please, just Eames, love."

The meeting got underway shortly after Dom cleared his throat.

Arthur had read up on Eames’ case and what his soon to be ex wanted out of the marriage and the only thing Eames wanted was,

"Your dog? You just want your dog?" Arthur asked.

Eames nodded, a sure and confident look on his face.

"Houses, cars, money can all be replaced. But not my pup. He’s my love and I won’t give him up."

Arthur looked at Dom and Dom looked a bit nervous.

"Well…all right. That should make everything easier to settle with your former spouse."

Eames nodded.

The case was settled rather quickly since Eames wanted nothing but his dog. Throughout the case and trial, Eames flirted with Arthur, smiling at him, subtly touching his hand, or his shoulder. Now that the case was settled and Eames’ divorce granted, the first thing Eames did, was ask Arthur on a date.

"Let me take you out for a drink."

Arthur was surprised. The ink on his divorce had hardly dried.

"You just got divorced. Your ex wife just left the court room."

"I know. But I don’t care. I want to take you out."

Arthur stood shocked, his mouth falling open. Eames just laughed softly.

"Think it over. You have my number. I’m going to collect my pup and check into a hotel. When you call, I’ll let you know where I am."

"What if I don’t call?"

"You will."

He winked at Arthur before turning and leaving the court room. Arthur just finished packing his case, practically the last one to leave. He told himself, ‘I’m not going to call him. I’m not. Dom would kill me.

Then he thought of those lips, that confidence, the charm and once he closed his case, he thought ‘Well…one drink wouldn’t hurt…

Chapter Text

Tuck could punch FDR for dragging him to a karaoke bar. It was absurd and ridiculous but when he said so, FDR said to him,

"What do you want to do? Mope around in your apartment?"

So Tuck shut up and went with him. 

He was glad he did though - near the stage was the most adorable looking boy. It wasn’t the first time Tuck’s eye wandered to an adorable boy, just lately he had been occupied.

FDR took them to the bar and they ordered a few beers for them and Tuck turned back to look at the boy. When he did, he saw the boy looking back at him and he blushed before turning around again and Tuck grinned. FDR saw him smiling and he nudged him.

"Hey, who are you staring at?"

Tuck didn’t look away, almost willing the boy to look back at him as he answered his friend.

"That boy over there. In the jumper with the curls."

FDR looked around before he asked,

"The kid?"

"Yes. He’s precious."

FDR shook his head and took a sip of his beer.

"That didn’t take long."

Throughout the night, Tuck kept his eye on the boy, watching him take glances back at him, blushing softly and then looking away again. Finally, Tuck had enough of their little back and forth and told FDR he’d be back in a minute. He saw the boy was alone and took his chance to talk to him finally.

"Hi…I’ve seen you all night, thought I’d come by and finally break the ice."

The boy looked nervous, fiddling with his fingers for a moment before he said,

"Hi…"

"I’m Tuck."

"Tom."

"Good to meet you, Tom. Can I buy you a beer?"

"Sure."

They walked over to the bar and Tuck ordered two beers for them. While they waited, they made small talk, exchanging what they did for jobs, the friends whom they were with and Tom’s recent heartbreak.

"I looked into it too much."

"Funny, I just had the same situation."

They paused when their beers arrived and Tuck picked his up and took a drink. 

"I usually don’t pick up cute boys after a vast disappointment, but you’re adorable."

Tom blushed and took a long drink of his beer before he looked back at Tuck.

"Can I take you out some time? Like on a proper date?"

Tom looked nervous and opened his mouth to say something but then looked away.

"Okay."

He took out his phone and Tuck did the same so they exchanged numbers. Once Tuck put his phone away, he looked at Tom with a smile and said,

"I’ll let you get back to your friends. It was good to meet you Tom. I’ll call you."

"I can’t wait."

He seemed to have blurted it out by the embarrassed look on his face and Tuck just smiled at him before he returned to FDR and Tom to his friends. FDR welcomed him back and when Tuck sat down, he saw Tuck smiling hard.

"Went well?"

"Got a date with him."

"That was fast."

"He was too cute to pass."

"Congrats man. Hope it goes well."

They clinked bottles and Tuck grinned and stole a glance at Tom who was back with his friends. He was caught still looking at Tuck and he gave a little nervous wait as Tuck waved back.

"It will."

Chapter Text

Dom got a sick feeling in his stomach when he saw the chemistry happening between Arthur and Eames. Arthur would eventually start to like him back and Eames would woo him away and then…then Arthur would be out of his life. 

He really didn’t want that to happen. 

He depended on Arthur to keep him focused, to be his point man and to help him. Arthur couldn’t do that if he was distracted by Eames.

His chance to keep Arthur came when while running some tests and Arthur was under. Eames sat by Dom and said,

"Cobb, can I ask you something?"

"Sure."

He thought it was about the job for a moment until he looked at Eames and saw him glancing at Arthur’s sleeping form.

"I want to ask Arthur out. But I don’t want to scare him off. What could I do?"

Dom raise an eyebrow.

"Are you asking me for tips on how to get my friend?"

"Well you know him better than anyone. If anyone would give me good advice it would be you."

Mentally, Dom scoffed. But he smiled on the outside.

"Well, Arthur doesn’t really like people who are too forward. Anything too blunt would be a turn off for him."

"So…he likes games?"

"I guess you could say that. He’s very into playing hard to get. Most people don’t get he likes the chase as much as the pursuit so they get fed up."

"Oh…well that makes sense."

Dom figured that would be more than enough bad advice and nodded, giving Eames a chance to think.

Over time, he watched Eames give mixed signals, Arthur confused and then angry at Eames’ sudden switch. 

It came to a head though when Dom sat at his desk reading the paper when Arthur came in and ripped the paper out of his hands and shouted at him.

"You told Eames I like to play games?!"

"Uh…"

"He told me what you said! I confronted about why he was being so weird and he told me you gave him some advice! Why would you do that?"

"I can explain."

Arthur stood up straight, crossing his arms and waiting for Dom to explain himself.

"I just…I don’t want you to forget about me. I thought Eames would distract you and you wouldn’t work with me anymore. We’ve been a team for so long…"

He stopped when he realized how foolish he sounded. He then felt embarrassed and looked away.

"Dom. We’ll always be friends. If something happens between Eames and I, it’s not going to change our professional partnership. I would never throw you aside. I’ll always be there to help you out."

"Yeah…I just…I should have known better. Sorry."

Arthur sighed and shook his head.

"It’s fine. But Dom, next time, stay out of my personal affairs."

"Yeah well your personal affair came to me first."

"He’ll never do that again."

Chapter Text

Prince Eames was already late in marrying. Due to his age and that his father, the king, was not well he was very late.

He wasn’t even courting which upset his lady mother.

Advisers and council tried to bring forward as many suitable fair princesses and duchesses but the prince was just not interested.

Eames just didn’t care because he was already smitten.

From one of the many inner circles of royalty, Eames encountered Arthur and desired to marry him, make a prince of him though he knew his lady mother would frown upon it.

So in secret, Eames saw his count, wooing him and caring for him, sending him notes and gifts though it was difficult to do with so many around. But he was willing to risk it, especially when he would sneak out and spend a night in the fields together.

But the pressures of being a crowned prince came heavy on his head when his father finally passed and Eames was now crowned king. His lady mother began to pressure him about finding a wife and carrying on the family name and Eames refused. 

He refused to the point where his mother finally demanded to know why.

Eames sent his council and servants away and once alone, he admitted to his mother everything.

"I’m already in love. I’m in love with the count of this land, Arthur. I want him, mother. I don’t want a wife. I want him."

His lady mother looked at him blankly and then shook her head, She sighed, taking his hand and sitting with him.

"My son, you need to produce an heir. And while I admire the strength it must have taken for you to tell me, you still need a wife."

"What if I marry but stay with Arthur? Just for appearances sake?"

"That can be arranged."

Sure enough, Eames’ lady mother brought forth a young woman who would pretend to be Eames’ wife, a young lady named Ariadne. She was told of Eames’ affair with the count and she would be given titles, riches and her family would be taken care of as well, so long as she kept quiet. Ariadne promised she would and as soon as she was crowned queen, she wished her husband well and slept in her own chambers. 

Eames brought Arthur on as his council to keep him close and Ariadne proved to be a good friend, keeping his secret, even befriending Arthur herself. 

When Eames and Arthur were able to steal a moment, Arthur looked at his king with a soft sigh and said,

"I can’t believe you did all this for me."

"I would do everything and anything for you."

"You’ll be pushed to produce an heir soon enough."

"I’ll worry about it later. Right now, I just want this fleeting moment with you."

Arthur smiled, shaking his head a little as he felt Eames kiss his face,

"You, my king, are reckless and foolish."

"Ah, but you love me anyway."

"I do."

"Then kiss your reckless and foolish king."

So Arthur did.

Chapter Text

It was Ariadne’s suggestion and since Dom went off to be a dad and the rest of the team had no real objection (Arthur’s justification was that there was alcohol involved) Yusuf, Eames and Arthur went along with Ariadne to a karaoke bar. 

Everyone was still riding the high of the successful - albeit nearly fatal - Fischer job, so a good time was due. They met after getting settled in separate hotels and freshening up and then met in front of the bar, waiting for each other before going in. They found a table and immediately ordered the first round of drinks and some appetizers. Ariadne had settled herself near Arthur in the booth and tried her hand at flirting. Yusuf and Eames, seated at the ends, looked at each other, Eames a little amused as Arthur remained oblivious to her rather blunt forwardness. 

She took his kind, polite responses as reciprocation, lighting up when Arthur would laugh at her joke or touch her shoulder. By the third round of drinks, she was so painfully smitten, Yusuf began feeling second hand embarrassment for her.

Everyone was getting a good buzz, enjoying themselves, laughing at the terrible singers, impressed by the good ones and Ariadne finally nudged Arthur and said,

"You should go up there!"

Arthur shook his head, settling his vodka tonic down on the table.

"No, no way. I can’t sing!"

"Yes you can, I’ve heard you!"

Eames gave him a little nudge too and Yusuf clapped and insisted as well and buckling under the pressure, Arthur finished off his drink and said,

"Fine! I know just what I’m going to sing too."

Eames slid out, letting Arthur go and the three of them watched Arthur pick a song and take the mic.

The first few beats of Rihanna’s Umbrella came on and the crowd cheered as Arthur began to sing. He seemed a little unsure at first, nervous until the song picked up in the chorus.

Ariadne clapped her hands, leaning forward, looking almost swooned as Arthur sang, getting into it, fueled by the alcohol. Yusuf then started to notice that as much noise as everyone was making and as much as Arthur was moving around, he was looking at someone specifically. He thought maybe it was Ariadne, having heard of their little shared kiss in the dream from her while they waited for Arthur and Eames that evening. 

That was until he looked right at Arthur, hearing him sing,

You can run into my arms, it’s ok don’t be alarmed, come here to me. There’s no distance in between our love, so go on and let the rain pour, I’ll be all you need and more…”

And he was looking right at Eames.

Eames who had been pretty much quiet since Arthur got up, was looking right back at Arthur with a cocky, knowing smile on his face. 

Well, fuck.

When Arthur finished with an astounding applause, he returned to the table and Eames stood up to let him back in place, a fresh round already waiting for them on the table. Once Arthur sat back down, Ariadne began telling him how great he sounded and Yusuf nodded and chimed in,

"Yeah you were great. How long have you and Eames been seeing each other?"

Eames laughed and shook his head and Arthur cleared his throat, a little red around his face though he would say it was from being on stage.

"That obvious huh?" Asked Eames.

"The song gave it away." 

Arthur began to smile as he looked at Eames the same way he always had but now Yusuf could see the affection there.

"About two years now?"

Eames nodded in agreement as everyone collectively looked at Ariadne. She seemed let down but mostly embarrassed. She picked up her drink and took a long swig of it before she said,

"Well, I’m an idiot. Let’s um…let’s get drunk."

Arthur pet her shoulder as if apologizing and she just sighed before smiling at him.

At the end of the night, everything seemed alright, everyone enjoying themselves just as much. Ariadne did eventually pull Arthur to the side and said,

"Wish you would have told me before I made an ass of myself!"

"No one knew!"

"Ugh, I’m just glad I found out now before I made a bigger ass of myself."

"If its of any consolation, you really weren’t that bad."

"That helps."

"Come on, let’s get drunk."

"Ok. So, how did you guys carry on a relationship for so long in secret? I want details man. Is Eames good in bed?"

Arthur laughed as he shook his head, walking with her towards the bar.

"Let’s get you really drunk. Then maybe I’ll answer you."

Chapter Text

Jon was lazily pushing his cart through the market, slowly making his way to the cereal aisle while he checked his phone. As he put it back in his pocket, he looked up and stood stock still for a moment because holy shit, no way was that Tommy fucking Conlon, five time Spartan winner, MMA champ, Tommy motherfucking Conlon. 

He turned back and slowly peered around the corner again, checking again, just to be sure because no way that was actually him. But sure enough, it really was Tommy Conlon, standing in the middle of the cereal aisle looking at a box of Cheerios. Jon swallowed hard and thought about what he was going to say, deciding and then practicing it in his head, making sure it didn’t sound stupid. 

When he was sure enough, he took a deep breath and walked, still trying to keep the cool he thought he had before he saw Tommy Conlon. When he nearly passed him he stopped and said,

"Oh, man is that…are you Tommy Conlon?"

He flinched internally for a moment, sounding far more star struck then he intended to. Tommy Conlon looked up from his box, setting it in the basket he was carrying as he said,

"Yeah, I am."

"Shit, hi. I’m Jon, I’m a big fan. It’s so good to meet you."

He stuck his hand out and Tommy shook it and fuck, even his handshake was impressive. Firm, strong and through the black hoodie with his gym logo on it, Jon could see the shifting of his shoulders, biceps, triceps and forearm as he shook his hand.

"Nice to meet you too."

When he let go, Jon didn’t want the moment to pass so he hesitated and said,

"Uh…could I bother you for a picture?"

"Sure, man. No problem."

His voice was shockingly soft but stern and Jon fumbled with his phone, closing the last text message he had open and brought up his camera. He felt as if he was taking forever and laughed nervously.

"Piece of shit phone…sorry."

"It’s fine."

He even smiled a bit. When Jon’s phone finally opened the camera, he stepped closer to Tommy and snapped the picture, pleased with the results, even more pleased when Tommy asked to see it too and approved. Jon couldn’t stop smiling, tucking his phone back in his pocket.

"Are you doing anything? I’d love to invite you out for a beer or something."

"I can’t drink right now. Training."

"Oh…right. Sorry."

"I do drink coffee."

A quick trip to a near by Starbucks later, Jon settled down at their table with two coffees, both black though Jon a little sugar for himself. They talked at great length, although Jon felt he was doing most of the talking - or rather babbling at Tommy, telling him how he’d seen all his fights, even his amateur stuff on Youtube and he was so impressed with his movement and how he could lay a guy out in a single blow. He asked about his weight training and how he managed to get his traps so defined because he had been trying and he just couldn’t…

He only stopped when Tommy was smiling at him and Jon looked down at his coffee.

"Sorry. I know I’m just kinda fangirling at you."

"It’s fine. Refreshing actually. No one really asks me about what I eat and how much I can lift."

"I’m usually a lot smoother than this. I’m just so fuckin excited to actually be talking to you! Sorry…"

Tommy waved it off and took a sip of his coffee.

They got along pretty well, shockingly well considering Jon had felt foolish and awkward most of the time. Once they were done and stood outside of their cars, Jon said,

"Hey could we like…hang out sometime? Do something? Does that sound weird?"

"What, like you’re asking me out?"

"What, no! It’s not like that at all!"

Tommy laughed at him which made Jon’s face feel warm. 

"I know what you meant, relax."

Tommy took out his phone from the pocket of his hoodie and after typing something into it, he said,

"All right, give me your number."

Jon did and then took Tommy’s in return. When they finished, Tommy smiled at him, putting his phone away and said,

"I’ll see you around."

He tweaked the tip of Jon’s ear, making Jon sputter indigently and making his face flush an even deeper shade of red. Tommy got in his car and left while Jon stood embarrassed for a moment before getting in his own car and took out his phone again, looking at Tommy’s name and number, smiling dumbly at it as he reached up to his ear where Tommy touched it, stroking it for a moment as he sighed to himself.

He suddenly snapped himself out of it and shut off his phone and cleared his throat, sitting up straight and trying to act cool, looking around to make sure no one saw him before he drove off.

Chapter Text

Eames was reading on the sofa, listening to the TV in the background. Arthur should be back any moment with the groceries and they would have dinner soon. As he looked up to check the time, he heard the door opening and he smiled a bit to himself, thinking ‘just in time.’

He stuck his bookmark in the book and closed it as he stood up and went to greet Arthur and help him with the bags.


"I was just about to say-"

He stopped short when he saw Arthur. There were no groceries and Arthur was in shambles. His bottom lip was broken and bleeding still, fresh bruises growing around his jaw and below his eye, his clothes were dirty and torn and he stumbled in slowly.

"Arthur!"

He caught him, closing the door to their flat as he brought him inside, helping him, minding his injuries though he wasn’t sure where he was hurt exactly. They slowly made their way to the bathroom and Eames helped him out of his ruined coat, throwing it to the floor as he saw Arthur’s bare arms, mottled with more red and purple marks. As he began to clean him up, Eames asked,

"What happened? Where you in an accident?"

When Arthur looked at him, Eames could see the white of his right eye was bright red from the broken blood vessels. 

"I got jumped. The guys that live in building over saw me coming home. They jumped me."

Eames knew who he was talking about. The younger college kids from the building over knew of his and Arthur’s relationship. They couldn’t resist being ignorant and cruel and while Eames had already encountered one of them face to face, putting the fear of god and calming the insults for a while, they clearly didn’t fear Arthur and showed him. His anger filled him fast and Arthur could see it, bringing his hand over Eames’.

"Don’t."

"I know who did this."

"So do I. I can file a police report."

"You think fucking cops are going to care that a bunch of frat boy college douchebags jumped a faggot?"

Arthur looked down, breathing deeply.

"You shouldn’t have to live in fear."

"I didn’t. I wasn’t. Not until now."

Eames frowned, finishing cleaning up Arthur’s worse injuries and then asked him,

"Do you think you need to go to the hospital?"

"No."

"Well, maybe we should. For documentation and we can file a proper report."

Arthur looked at him, seeing Eames was still angry but he was thinking clearly.

"Ok."

At the hospital, Arthur’s injuries were tended to, photographed and he filed a report. The police were able to pick up the college kids immediately and it would take hours for processing.

Arthur fell asleep on Eames’ shoulder while they waited at the station, but Eames was wide awake, watching, looking at each punk kid that was detained. 

When they were ready to be identified, Arthur was able to pick them easily. There was still so much more to go through and Eames had no faith that these kids would probably receive no more than a slap on the wrist. But it made Arthur feel better and eventually, they went home.

Over the course of a few days, Eames didn’t let Arthur go out alone anymore. Arthur tried to tell him he was fine, but he appreciated it and Eames felt it when someone seem to come towards them and Arthur clung to his arm or seemed more alarmed in crowds. 

Arthur recovered slowly, healing nicely and when he began to look like himself again, he mentioned to Eames he thought of moving.

"I don’t feel safe here anymore."

Eames agreed.

"We’ll move as soon as we can."

Eames kept to his word and they did find a new flat quickly and in a different neighborhood. He didn’t tell Arthur how the college kids had basically gotten off and were home again. He didn’t tell him how before they moved when he came home from work, he found one of them smoking outside and practically put his fist through his face, the others too afraid to approach him despite all their shit talking. He didn’t tell Arthur any of that.

They just packed and left.

Chapter Text

Arthur and Eames walk down the hall together, hand in hand. Eames is holding Arthur’s bio books and it’s so sickeningly cliche and sweet that the hall still can’t stop buzzing despite them being together was old news.

When they get to Arthur’s bio class, they stand to the side of the door, Eames passing Arthur’s books back to him and Arthur takes them and leans against him, both of smiling, exchanging conversation between them and them alone.

Despite some bad mouthing here and there, overall, Arthur and Eames being together was more fodder for gossip then anything else. Eames was known for dating…well anyone who was easy as well as being a bit of a deliquent. Nothing that could cause serious trouble but he was a headache to teachers. Arthur was smart and popular in his own right, president of the student council, both of them being devastatingly good looking didn’t hurt their causes either. When they got together, the rumor mill went into overtime, everyone saying something different about how they met, how they even got together and their reasons why.

Apparently, it occurred to no one that they just might like each other.

Arthur heard the rumors all the time, worse through the student council who loved to report everything to each other. 

Eames was just dating Arthur because of the rumor that Arthur was a waiting for marriage virgin. 

Eames was just dating Arthur on a bet.

Eames was just dating Arthur to nail him on prom night.

Eames himself heard all kinds of different rumors, most to the similar effect as to why he was dating Arthur, but some about Arthur himself.

Arthur didn’t really like Eames, he was dating him because Eames had threatened him.

Arthur was only dating him to seem “edgier”.

It was all ridiculous to the both of them, whom in fact just really liked each other and had gotten quiet serious about each other over time. Some of the rumors did have a scrap of truth buried among the bullshit, Arthur was a virgin (though not waiting for marriage) but they had talked about going all the way for prom. 

When they filled out their college applications at Arthur’s house, they had talked about prom and getting a hotel room for afterwards. It had all been Arthur’s idea and Eames asked him if he was sure. But Arthur was.

"I heard today that I was forcing you to blow me in the parking lot today."

Arthur laughed, taking off his glasses while they did their homework at Eames’ house. He leaned back on his bed and said,

"That one is new."

"I was surprised myself."

"Oh, I heard you threatened me in gym class to go to prom with you."

"Also surprising since we don’t have gym together."

They both laughed and Arthur closed his notebook and tilted his head up and kissed him. They both looked at each other, Eames taking his hand as he asked,

"Don’t you ever get tired of all these rumors?"

"Sometimes."

"Me too."

And the truth was, Eames was tired of everyone talking about them, not being able to just accept that they were with each other for legit reasons - not because of the threat of blackmail or street credit. It was ridiculous. Deep down, Eames also worried that one day Arthur might start believing some of those. After all, you can only hear something for so long before you start questioning it. 

While Eames had already quietly asked Arthur to prom, he felt that a grander gesture should be done. In front of anyone to silence those that still questioned his real feelings for Arthur. 

One morning, the week of prom, Eames sent Arthur a text, telling him he had overslept and he would be late to school so Arthur went ahead and at his locker, he noted something written on the door. When he got closer, he saw it was a love note, simple but obvious:

'I love you'

A heart drawn around it and Arthur smiled to himself, knowing it was Eames’ work. He opened his locker and gasped as a flock of ballons poured out and he nearly dropped his messenger bag trying to prevent them from hitting him in the face. Flower petals fell around the floor and when they were all out, he could hear some quiet aww’s around him and he felt his face get warm. He found himself looking around for Eames and saw him walking towards him. 

"Eames…what is all this?"

"Nothing. I don’t need a reason to show you how much I love you."

Arthur brought his hand to his face, shaking his head as they stood in front of his locker balloons floating over them, flower petals on the floor and it was so over the top and yet still quiet. Eames took his hands, kissing him as the crowd that had formed around them aww-ed louder.

They gathered the balloons that Arthur had to carry around with him all day, but the petals stayed on the floor though Arthur found them throughout his day in his coat pockets, in his bag and in the cuff of his jeans. 

The rumors about them seized after that. No one had a reason to question them anymore.

Chapter Text

Prom was probably the best night of Arthur’s life. 

So far. 

Eames picked him up in a limo, looking dashing in his tux with matching boutonnieres of white roses for the both of them. They went to prom, took so many pictures, danced and had their nice meal and then danced more. They even slow danced a few songs together, which made Arthur feel great. 

Before the crowning of the homecoming court, Arthur whispered to Eames that he wanted to go, so they did.

Their limo took them to the hotel Arthur had rented a room at and once alone, they sat in the simple, plain room with one bed, a TV and a desk. The curtains were drawn and it wasn’t fancy but all the same, it was perfect. Arthur shrugged off his rented tux coat and hung it on the back of a chair as he pulled loose his bow tie and sat down. 

He was nervous and Eames could tell because he was too. It was an important night - for the both of them and Eames didn’t want it to be bad. Eames took off his coat and sat down beside him, taking his hand.

"We don’t have to do anything. I’m not expecting anything."

"I know. You’re not like that."

He felt Arthur squeeze his hand again and he tilted his head towards Eames and kissed him.

They made out, which was not unusual for them. They’ve gotten a bit far or how Arthur likes to address it “Everything except the last step.” He imagines how frustrating it must be for Eames, being right there but always stopping. They had never gotten naked completely either, just without shirts, the furthest was without jeans and that was pretty nice. 

He was use to feeling Eames’ fingers inside him, though the blush and near embarrassment of being so exposed was something Arthur couldn’t get over just yet. His eyes were closed and his head turned away, the elastic band of his briefs pressing tightly against his back because he hadn’t taken them off yet while Eames fingered him. He could hear him, his mouth on his throat, whispering to him though Arthur couldn’t pay attention to what he was saying. He started to forget his nerves a little, just breathing and relaxing, moaning when it felt good.

When they slid out of their underwear, Arthur wanted to get under the blankets but leave the lights on. Eames obliged to all of it. He watched as Eames took the condom, his hands shaking a bit, his fingers still coated with lube, making it difficult to tear it open. When Arthur slid his hand over his, Eames looked at him, a bit embarrassed. 

"Sorry."

"It’s ok. I’m nervous too."

Eames nodded and finally got it open after that. 

It was easier if Arthur didn’t watch, didn’t see but felt everything and he gasped at the intrusion of feeling Eames push inside him, but didn’t feel the urge to push him away or tense up. When Eames stops, he’s kissing Arthur’s throat, biting marks into his skin, breathing hard and Arthur realizes he’s panting too. 

"Oh my god…"

Arthur opened his eyes, blinking slowly as he felt full and amazing with just the slightest bit of pain. It wasn’t bad, more uncomfortable but the sensation of being so close to Eames trumped everything else. He turned to kiss him, Eames there, always there to kiss him back and he hadn’t realized that he was desperately clenching onto the sheets until Eames took his hand, holding it, feeling their fingers intertwine. When they pulled away, Eames smiled at him, his breathing still hard.

"How do you feel?"

"Good…I want you to move though."

A bit of teeth showed when Eames smiled at him and he did, his hips rolling carefully, pulling back then pushing back in. He did it again and again, making Arthur moan sweetly for him.

He drew his knees up higher against Eames’ sides, his free hand grabbing the back of Eames’ shoulder to hold on and he gasps when Eames touches something inside him. The pleasure rolls over him fast and suddenly and he wants to give himself up entirely to it, but Eames wasn’t done yet.

The heat that spiked through his veins was unlike any other orgasm Eames had given him before and when it happened, Arthur sobbed and he was shaking, Eames in the same state. They kiss frantically, Eames’ free hand cupping his face to keep him in place, tongues touching, tasting and it was so perfect. When their senses cleared up enough, Eames got up to bin the condom and got back in bed, spooning Arthur, touching his chest, feeling him breathing normally now. 

"I’ve never done that before."

Arthur - through his blissed out exhaustion turned to look over his shoulder.

"Hm?"

"I’ve never done that before."

"Yes you have."

"No. It was just a rumor and I never corrected it."

"You never told me…"

"You never asked me about it either."

Arthur turned to him, sliding his arm over Eames’ side, kissing him again, easing his knee between Eames’. 

"I love you."

"I love you too. We’re going to have a wonderful life together."

Arthur smiled, his face lighting up, dimples showing.

"You’re so sure of that."

"Why wouldn’t I be?"

Arthur shrugged, still smiling.

"You’re right. We are going to have a wonderful life."

Chapter Text

While the proposal was the best moment of Arthur’s life, what almost immediately eclipsed it, was having to tell his parents.

Arthur was two years into college. He was twenty-one and he had been seeing Eames all that time. It was the next best thing to a perfect relationship. They had more disagreements than fights, they saw each other often and still had that same spark and affection for each other that started when they met.

Now, without having to hide or lie, Arthur was often at Eames’ apartment. He spent the night there since his parents and him had made a promise not to do anything at home. Sometimes it was hard to do and they snuck kisses and exchanged longing looks when Eames was over for dinner or hanging out with Arthur’s dad.

That would never not be weird for Arthur, his boyfriend being best friends with his dad. He frowned at the thought and he got impatient when Eames was at his parent’s house because he wanted him for himself. 

And he got Eames all to himself the night after all of Arthur’s finals, right before Christmas break when Eames proposed. 

Now they had to break it to Arthur’s parents.

At the yearly holiday party, which Arthur hung out at Eames’ side now, leaning on him, holding his hand under the table and kissing him when he could, they spoke in hushed whispers of how they were going to break it to them. Arthur’s mom walked into the kitchen with a tray of dirty glasses as she saw them and said,

"Hey, what are you guys talking about?"

She asked in good humor, setting the glasses in the sink. Eames smiled at her as he leaned back on the counter,

"Nothing, just trying to figure out a way to tell you how I knocked up our little Arthur here." 

He put his hand on Arthur’s flat stomach, making him laugh as his mom shook her head.

"You two, I swear."

She had taken their relationship a lot better than Arthur’s father had and joked with them and didn’t mind if they shared a kiss - but nothing more.

As the party came to an end, the four of them cleaned up and Eames and Arthur looked at each other with that sense of worry. It was deja vu all over again. Arthur offered to do the dishes this time, Eames drying while Arthur’s parents collected the dishes and trash. Eames looked at him as he took a dish off the rack and whispered,

"Darling…should we tell them now?"

Arthur sighed and looked down into the soapy dish water.

"I feel like we’re going to ruin the holidays for them if we keep breaking stuff to them now."

"New Year’s then?"

Arthur looked at him and agreed.

Then New Year’s came and went and they still couldn’t break the news. After the holidays, during a calm and regular dinner - a Friday night after Arthur had classes and everyone came home from work, Arthur decided this would be the time.

He wanted to think about how to say it, calmly collective and then discuss it rationally. 

"We’re engaged."

Instead he babbled it out in the middle of dinner and everyone got quiet. 

Eames sighed and looked down. Arthur couldn’t stand the idea of looking back at his dad and see his anger again but instead, his parents resumed eating dinner.

"I was wondering when you’d say something." 

Arthur looked up then and saw his parents looking calm. 

"Honey, you’re wearing the engagement ring on your finger." Said his mom.

"If you knew why didn’t you say anything?" Asked Eames.

"We figured you two wanted to tell us in your own way." Said Arthur’s father.

Arthur just took a deep sigh and Eames shook his head.

"Bloody hell. All this time, worrying for nothing."

Arthur’s parents just laughed. 

Chapter Text

Arthur cursed his stupid car for what had to be the thousandth time. 

He glanced at his watch once more, waiting for the mechanic to come out and tell him something. He had a job to get to - not that the mechanic would care, 

After yet another sigh, Arthur had enough. He was going to be late to work and he needed to know what was happening so he could pay the damn bill for the work they would more than likely overcharge him for and take a cab. The whole place stunk of motor oil and grease and when Arthur stood up, he checked the back of his dove grey suit jacket and then his pants. 

He barged into the back of the shop, hearing music and he saw his car, the hood opened. 

"Excuse me, can you tell me what the hell is going on with my car? I’d like to leave."

The mechanic looking at his car was obscenely gorgeous. It made Arthur freeze on the stop. He wore a mechanic’s jumpsuit but since it was hot outside and worse in the garage space, it was only pulled up to his waist, the sleeves tied around his waist. On top, he had on a grease stained singlet, mechanic gloves on his hand practically black and a baseball cap, slung backwards.

"You’re not supposed to be back here."

Arthur noted the accent and he stifled a groan as he cleared his throat.

"Well…I’ve been waiting for like…half an hour."

The mechanic stood up straight and took off his gloves.

"Well you’re not the only car I have, mate."

Arthur frowned then and said,

"Look, just tell me what’s wrong, I’ll write you a check and I can leave."

"I don’t have a clue what’s going on with your car yet, love. Haven’t finished running the diagnostic."

"What kind of mechanic are you that you can’t figure out what’s wrong with my car?"

Eames grinned at him then as he walked over and leaned against Arthur’s car.

"I’ve checked all the major, usual problems, engine, breaks, alternator, battery all that. But you’ve got something else going on that needs further inspection. Hence why you’ve been waiting for half an hour."

"Oh. Well…the steering was difficult. Like really hard to turn. It’s why I had it towed."

"Sounds like your serpentine belt. I’ll check right now."

"I should have just said that when I got here."

"You should have."

Arthur gave him a look and wanted to be mad but he found himself charmed by his mechanic’s cocky smile. 

"I guess…I’ll take a cab now. When can I pick it up?"

"I’ll call you. You wrote your information down?"

"Yeah, the tow truck left it in the front seat."

The mechanic looked in and opened the door, reaching in for the paperwork and grabbed it, looking at it.

"Mmm…Arthur. All right. I’ll call you then. I’m Eames by the way."

"Hi. Ok then…I’ll wait for your call then."

Eames nodded and Arthur started to step back to go to the waiting room, still feeling Eames’ eyes on him, smiling at him. 

Eventually, Arthur went back inside and called for a cab. While he waited, he looked back, not being able to see anything but he knew Eames was back there. He found himself looking forward to getting the call - though not because of his car.

Chapter Text

"Tommy! Tommy are you here? You said eight thirty!"

Paddy came into Tommy’s apartment, feeling the cold bite of the oncoming winter. He shivered a bit, glad it wasn’t snowing as he checked his watch. It was nine and for a moment, he wondered if something had happened to his son. 

Maybe he overslept. 

He heard talking from the bedroom in the back of the apartment so Paddy followed it and saw the door ajar so he pushed it open as he stepped in.

"Tommy are-"

He froze when he saw Tommy in bed, but he wasn’t alone. 

There was a hazy on Paddy’s part, mumbling an apology and lots of cursing as sheets were thrown up for cover. The boy that had been sitting on top of Tommy swore the most and Paddy stepped out and headed to the kitchen to wait.

Adam was red, bright red as he pulled his clothes on, still mumbling curses under his breath. This was not how he wanted Tommy’s father to find out about them. Tommy wasn’t too thrilled with the situation either, embarrassment burning at his face as his entire body tensed up in anxiety. He had forgotten that he had promised to have dinner with his dad tonight, distracted by Adam’s surprise visit.

He hadn’t told his father anything about himself - Tommy just making brand new realizations and all but Adam was something he wanted to come clean with. He wanted to tell him about Adam…he did. He didn’t want his father to walk in on Adam riding his dick.

He felt sick thinking about it.

When they both finished getting dressed, Adam looked nervously at him, his face still red. 

"I should leave."

"No, stay. This had to happen anyway."

"Uh…I don’t know if I want to meet your dad right now. You know…considering."

"Yeah…maybe you’re right."

They both leave the bedroom and Adam gathers his stuff and runs out after saying bye. Tommy heads to the kitchen and leans against the doorway, seeing his father sitting at the table, clasping his hands together.

"Hey pop."

"Tommy."

"I uh…guess we have some things to talk about."

"I don’t think I want to know."

"Pop…"

Tommy walked over to the table and sat across from him, glad he had the second chair since Adam came around. 

"I’m uh…well I’m not sure how to start."

"Who’s the kid?"

"He’s not a kid. His name is Adam."

Paddy didn’t say anything else, hardly looking at Tommy.

"Pop, look. I’m just…I’m with Adam. We’ve been dating for a while."

"So you’re gay."

Tommy bit the inside of his lip and leaned back against the chair.

"I guess so."

"How long."

Tommy shrugged, not even sure himself.

"I met Adam a while back. He was here on a business trip and we got to talking. One thing led to another and well…we started dating."

Paddy kept looking at the table, rather then his son. It was quiet and Tommy didn’t know what else to say.

"I didn’t want you to find out like this."

"Well, I did."

"I’m sorry."

"I should go."

Paddy stood up and left without another word.

The next time Tommy saw Adam, he told him of the talk he had with his dad.

"It didn’t go too well. I think he may have been in shock."

Adam frowned a little, holding his coffee cup in both hands while he sat across from Tommy in the shop. Tommy had just come back from training, still wearing his sweats and cap. He hadn’t spoken to his father since that night and that was a few days ago.

"Have you tried to call him or anything?"

"No, I don’t know what else to say."

"Then you should wait for him to around."

Tommy groaned, setting his head down on his arms.

"This is such a fucking nightmare."

"I’m sorry. I feel like this is my fault. If I hadn’t dropped by…"

"No. It’s not your fault. If it’s anyone’s fault, it’s mine. I’m the one who forgot about the dinner I was supposed to have with him. Shit…we were doing alright too…fuck."

Adam frowned more now, looking down, feeling responsible for all this.

"It’s not your fault, baby."

Adam looked up, seeing Tommy had picked himself up again and was looking at him. 

"This will get sorted out. One way or another."

Adam nodded and extended his hand out to Tommy’s when he saw Tommy reaching for him. 

Chapter Text

Eames hadn’t been happy in years. 

He wasn’t sure when it started to go downhill but sure enough, it had been. His wife had started out ideally enough, despite her having a young son. He was able to bond with the boy and get close to Elise and when they got married, Brandon was actually happy. 

They were a picture perfect family. At least for the first couple of years. Somewhere down the line, Elise drifted away from him and Eames got bored and miserable fast. While things with him and Brandon were still fine, Eames and his wife, couldn’t be more distant. 

They still slept in the same bed but it hardly mattered. Eames buried himself in work and kept late hours on purpose, bringing law cases with him so he wouldn’t have to go to bed with his wife. When he did go to bed, he slept as far as he could from her. 

They hadn’t had sex in close to two years.

Brandon was great though and as much as Eames hated his wife, he adored his step-son. He was a good kid and respectful and craved a father figure so Eames did the best he could to walk the fine line of being a parent and a friend. They hung out, Eames cut him breaks on curfews and when he was old enough, car usage and rewarded him for doing well in school but didn’t come down on him if he didn’t. As Brandon got older, he came to Eames with problems, for favors and since Eames loved to spite his wife, whatever she said no to, Eames said yes. 

Brandon had asked if his best friend could sleep over one night and while his mother was mostly uncomfortable with it, Eames said yes. Brandon’s room was in the attic anyway, Elise took sleeping pills and Eames planned on working most of the night anyway so what did he care if some teenage boys shouted at a screen while they played video games?

The night Brandon’s friend came over, they had a nice, polite dinner. Arthur was lovely and polite and Eames could see why they would be friends. 

They hung out in the living room while Eames worked and when it was late, they headed up to Brandon’s room after Brandon said good night. 

Around three that morning, Eames finished up, stretching, feeling tired and thirsty, a bit hungry as well. He shut off the lamp at his desk and headed to the kitchen where he got a bottle of water and then thought about what to eat when he heard,

"Oh…I’m sorry. I thought everyone would be asleep now."

Eames turned and saw Arthur. He was wearing his pajama pants and a zip up hoodie, glasses, his chestnut colored hair a mess. Eames gave him a smile as he said,

"No problem. Hungry?"

"Yeah."

"Sandwich alright?"

"Ok."

Arthur seemed a little shy and nervous but Eames chalked it up to awkwardness. No one wants to hang out and make small talk with their friend’s dad. 

After they made sandwiches and began to eat, Arthur said,

"You’re up late."

"Work."

"Oh. Right Brandon said you’re a lawyer right?"

Eames nodded.

"I want to be a lawyer."

"What kind?"

"Defense lawyer."

"Good work if you can stomach it."

"What do you do?"

"Arbitration. Not very glamorous but it plays in your sense of fairness."

Arthur nodded, taking a bite from his sandwich and chewed. After a pause, Eames asked,

"You know where you want to go to school?"

"Not yet. I should have figured that out by now, I know."

"It’s fine, you still have some time."

"Just two years."

Eames quickly remembered that his son’s friend was still so young. Seventeen, maybe sixteen depending on his birthday. He looked away when he realized his eyes were trailing down the column of his throat to the small expanse of skin that his hoodie didn’t hide.

When they finished, Eames was surprised they were still able to carry a conversation. It was soft spoken, like a secret between them and he noticed somewhere along that line, he had found himself right beside him at the counter. Arthur’s fingers were touching his bare forearm, rubbing almost absent mindedly but when Eames looked at him, he saw Arthur was well aware of what he was doing. 

There was a flirt in his voice, a look in his eyes and Eames for a moment was afraid he was reading far too much into it. He had been starved for affection for so long and now getting some kind of attention from a young boy, his step-son’s friend no less, felt nice. He wouldn’t have dared act on it, if not for Arthur leaning closer to him and saying,

"You’re very handsome."

Eames knew he should have put a stop to it then and there but he smiled a little and said,

"For an old man?"

"You’re not that old."

"Older than you."

"So?"

Arthur’s shy fingertips suddenly became his hand on his arm, his eyes looking at the tattoos Eames had gotten over the years. He was wearing a t-shirt, but some peeked out from the bottom of the sleeve. 

"Do you have anymore?"

Eames nodded, rolling up the sleeve on one arm, then the other. When he tugged the collar down, Arthur’s hand touched his chest and Eames froze, feeling him lean closer to him as if to get a better look, his lips at his throat, his glasses bumping against his chin when Arthur leaned up. His head told him, stop. Stop right now. This is a huge mistake. 

But he didn’t. 

He took the boy’s face in his hands and kissed him and Arthur melted against him, kissing back. He felt Arthur slide off the stool and step closer to him, his hand on Eames’ thigh, the other against his crotch and Eames was shocked at how quickly he got hard. He kept kissing him, nipping at his mouth, feeling Arthur kiss back and when he let go, Arthur looked happy, his lips wet, dimples appearing at his cheeks. He went back for more, his thin arm coming around Eames’ neck while his other hand remained at his erection, working him up through his sweats and fuck, Eames groaned, his back suddenly straight as he held onto Arthur’s slender little hips. 

They had to leave the kitchen. Anyone could wake up at any moment and wouldn’t that just be the end of Eames’ entire life? However, it didn’t stop him from getting to his feet and taking Arthur’s hand, walking out of the kitchen, shutting off the lights. He took Arthur to his office and closed the door behind them, locking it just in case and taking Arthur to his desk where he resumed kissing him. 

He was relieved when Arthur kept kissing him, slightly shorter than him so Eames had to lean down to kiss him and hold him. When Arthur reached for his sweats, slipping his hand inside and touching him, Eames groaned softly. He pulled back, kissing at the corner of his mouth.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. Yes…fuck yes. Want you so bad…please…"

Eames hadn’t felt so wanted in a long time. When he didn’t move fast enough for Arthur’s liking, he took Eames’ hand and placed it on his ass.

"Please touch me."

Eames kissed him more, devouring his mouth and slowly stripping him out of his night clothes. Arthur did the same to him and they only stopped once more when Eames picked him up and put him on the edge of his desk and then again to look for lubricate. The closest he had was hand lotion and while he knew it was a bad idea, he had to make do. 

Arthur was too delightful, too sweet, too delicious to pass on and when he sunk inside him. Arthur’s mouth hanging open in a silent scream, Eames realized he was a virgin. He had just taken his step-son’s best friend’s virginity. He was a dirty old man. He was going to hell. He might just go to jail for sexually assaulting a minor. But all that suddenly seem to go away when Arthur started kissing at his mouth, squeezing so tightly around his cock, impatiently moving as he made desperate little whimpering sounds.

"Fuck me…please…please…"

Eames couldn’t resist - he hadn’t so far. So he pulled back a little and pushed back in, again and again, hearing his desk groan under their collective weight. Arthur’s legs were wrapped around Eames’ waist, trying to get some leverage as he held onto him, biting his lip to keep in his moan, though Eames could hear his frantic and hard breathing.

Arthur felt so good. He was warm and inviting and even his whines were delicious to Eames’ ears. He held onto him with one hand, the other on his desk for leverage as he buried his face against his neck, now and then kissing him to stifle the groans he made. Eames wished so badly he could hear him and when he felt him shaking, Eames picked up his pace, laying Arthur back and moving harder and deeper, jolting the desk with every thrust.

Arthur gasped and screwed his eyes shut, bringing his hand to mouth to cover the moans threatening to spill over and his fingers bit into Eames’ skin when he came all over himself. Eames followed, it being far too long for him and he stayed still for a moment, trying to recover, his mind dizzy from pleasure.

"Oh, fuck…that was amazing…"

He heard Arthur whispering to him and Eames picked himself up off him, seeing the flush across his face, his lips swollen, the pleased smile. Eames knew he should have felt guilty but instead he found himself smitten a bit. 

He cleaned them off, dressing Arthur himself, zipping up the hoodie he was wearing with nothing under it. It was then that Eames began to feel a little guilty, especially when Arthur put his glasses back on, making him look so much younger. He frowned and Arthur leaned closer, kissing him again.

"Please don’t say you’re sorry."

"I shouldn’t have…you’re…Arthur, I’m forty."

Arthur shrugged as he took Eames’ hands, making him put them around his waist.

"I don’t care. I wanted you. I still do."

"I’m married. You’re my step-son’s friend."

"Brandon told me how you and his mom hate each other. And Brandon doesn’t have to know."

Eames frowned a bit and Arthur kissed him more. Eames couldn’t help but kiss him back, holding his waist for a moment before settling his hand on his ass. Arthur smiled against his lips.

"You should go to bed. It’s late."

Arthur nodded but didn’t let go just yet.

"Wish you could take me to bed."

Eames smiled a little and gave him a pat.

"Go to bed."

"You know…it’s the weekend. Are you going to be up tomorrow?"

God, already he was planning for more when Eames was still recoiling for this first time. He knew he should have said no, counted his blessings they didn’t get caught and put a stop to it. But Arthur…oh, sweet, innocent, delicious Arthur.

"Yes. I’ll be here."

"Ok. I’ll see you then."

He kissed Eames one more time and finally pulled away, leaving Eames’ office with a slight click of the door. Eames sighed, looking at his desk and the mess that had been made of it, some of his work spilled over, slightly askew from where it had been jolted. He didn’t bother to pick anything up yet. He just shut off the light and headed upstairs to bed.

Before going to his bedroom, he looked at the doorway leading to the attic, knowing Arthur was up there now and he sighed.

Oh, what had he gotten himself into?

Chapter Text

It was when Eames considered turning tricks on the street for another hit that he finally realized he needed help. Before he completely spiraled out of control and turned a corner he could never come back from, he begged his family for help. 

He was enrolled in rehab and for the first time in a really long time he felt like he was finally doing something right.

Not to say it was easy or pleasant. The first night of withdrawal was hell and Eames wondered if he would ever feel better again and if this was worth it. 

It did get easier over time, though every day he lived with the constant need of getting high or drunk, just once more. Just once more. His therapist told him that was normal and recovery would never be something permanent unless he worked on it. 

Group sessions were probably the best and the worse thing for Eames. He liked them because it made him feel better about himself, about his own addictions, hearing about other people who had gone much deeper than he had. But they were worse when he had to other people whining about what he felt weren’t “real” problems. 

There was this one kid there, the rehab thought it best to mingle in therapy sessions - a way to help each other, and this kid just whined. He whined about his OCD which Eames really didn’t think required rehab. He found himself rolling his eyes when the kid, Arthur, talked about it. He was caught once and Arthur let him have it. Eames just stared him in the face and said,

"Oh, boo hoo. You can’t leave a room without turning in circles three times. You know, everyone else here has real issues, real problems!"

The therapist broke it up before it got any further but Arthur stayed silent, tears rolling down his face as he looked away from the group. Eames felt a little bad after that. 

Of course all feelings of guilt were immediately smothered when Arthur snickered when Eames was talking in group. He shot him a look and Arthur just rolled his eyes at him. 

It was enough to really piss Eames off.

After a few weeks though, Eames learned the real reason Arthur was there - an eating disorder. Eames didn’t understand why, he thought Arthur was beautiful the way he was - despite his attitude. 

When group was broken up into partnership activities, where each member of the team had to write a positive trait about each other, Eames looked at Arthur with a small smile. He didn’t get one back but he understood why. When Eames read his positive traits about Arthur, he saw him blush.

They talked a little more after that, before group, after and Eames suddenly found himself feeling good being around Arthur. He liked how he felt with him, how good he felt telling Arthur about his past, about how his drinking and partying ways lead him to darker corners of his life, of not being able to get enough coke up his nose or enough booze in his system. He told Arthur how he lost his job because of binges and he blew through every dime he had and then begged his parents to help him but in reality he just wanted a safe place to live while he mooched off friends and sold off what he could of his own stuff to get more drugs. He told Arthur of begging his dealer for one more hit when he ran out of money, begged him and when the dealer suggested a blow job, Eames knew he wouldn’t come back from that. 

"I felt like it sobered me up. I knew that if I did that, I would be gone."

Arthur listened and in turn shared with him, how little ticks and quirks suddenly became a way of life and rituals became an existence. It bled into his eating habits and suddenly he could hold a job because there wasn’t enough time to have rituals and eat lunch. He couldn’t get to work on time anyway or leave when he was supposed to. He couldn’t go to restaurants because he spent more of his time organizing himself before eating. He couldn’t cook for himself because he agonized over correct portions and sizes so not eating became easier. He measured out cups of water and spoonfuls of rice to the point where he was counting grains and he knew he needed help when he fainted outside of his apartment, counting the steps to the mailbox. His neighbor found him and he had weighed a little over one hundred pounds. 

"It was so draining. But I couldn’t stop."

Eames knew exactly how he felt. 

When their time in rehab was over - meetings and therapy still highly recommended, Eames realized he loved this boy. Arthur loved him too. With each other, habits and addictions suddenly seemed like they were something they could beat because they leaned on each other. They knew they weren’t cured, they never would be, but at least they had someone worth struggling for. 

"I know, we’re not supposed to date for at least a year but…can we go out for coffee?" 

Eames was hopeful when he asked and Arthur smiled a little.

"Yes. We can break the rules together."

Eames smiled. So it was the second best thing he did in his life. 

Chapter Text

If Woody wasn’t such a cute puppy, Eames would have given up on him a long time ago. Woody was a rescue and while he had been warned that sometimes the dog might not react well to strangers, Eames took him on anyway. Woody was sweet and affectionate and for the life of him, he couldn’t figure out why he had been given up.

He slowly started to though, when friends would come by and Woody would snarl and growl and bark and sometime snap at Eames’ friends until he had to put him outside so he wouldn’t hurt anyone. Forget bringing back drunk club dates, the one and only time he did, the guy got a bite that quickly killed the mood and he went home. Eames only looked at his dog and wanted to be angry, but then he started to wag his tail and look up at him with those big brown eyes and Eames couldn’t stay mad.

He got along well enough with other dogs though, that was good. But any time Eames tried to interact with another dog owner, Woody immediately got defensive, stepping between Eames and the other person. Eames could only chalk it up to Woody being protective.

While walking him in the park one afternoon, Eames searched through his phone, looking for obedience classes, because if he was ever going to get laid again, he needed to train his dog to learn that not everyone was a threat. As he scrolled through some possibilities, Woody was doing his business in the grass so he figured he had a few minutes. Suddenly, Woody took off running, the leash snapping out of Eames’ hand. Eames shouted, chasing after his dog, scared for a moment since the park was huge.

"Woody!! Come back!"

As he ran after him, he kept trying to remember the trick to get your dog to come back. Do you stop and run away? Do you just run away and they’ll chase you back? 

As he struggled to remember, Woody suddenly stopped near a tree, near someone who was sitting there. He panicked again, hoping he wouldn’t bite them or anything and when he finally caught up, he saw Woody was being pet by a cute guy, sitting up as he held his book in his free hand. 

"Oh, god, I’m sorry, he got away from me."

He managed to explain himself as he caught his breath. He guy looked up at him with a smile (oh shit, dimples) and said,

"It’s fine. He’s a sweetheart. What’s his name?"

Eames swallowed down a breath of air as he said,

"Woody. His name is Woody."

"Well, hello Woody."

Woody’s tag wagged harder and he plopped down on the guy’s leg, huffing out a breath as he insisted the guy keep petting him. 

"I’m sorry."

He reached down for Woody’s leash, finally having caught his breath. 

"No, it’s ok. He’s no bother."

He extended his hand out to Eames and said,

"I’m Arthur."

"Eames."

The minute they touched hands, Eames worried Woody would freak out as he always did. But much to his shock, Woody was calm, still nuzzling on Arthur’s leg, his tail still wagging.

"He, uh…he likes you."

"I guess."

"Yeah he doesn’t like anyone."

Eames sat beside Arthur and Woody, scratching behind his dog’s ear as Arthur still pet him.

"Then I’m flattered."

Eames smiled. They ended talking for a while, Woody eventually falling asleep where he lay and it was surprising for Eames, how relaxed and calm Woody was. The only time he had ever seen him so calm was when it was just the two of them.  Arthur then got a text message and he frowned at his phone as he said,

"Damn, I have to go."

Woody’s head picked up, his hears up when he heard Arthur say he had to leave.

"Can I call you some time?"

Arthur smiled and said sure, giving Eames his number. When they stood up, Woody was still wagging his tail and Arthur knelt down, petting Woody more as he said,

"Thank you for being the sweetest puppy ever. I’ll see you soon ok?"

Woody’s tail wagged harder and Arthur said bye to Eames before he left. When Eames and Woody turned to go the opposite way, he looked down at his dog with a smile.

"You’re getting steak tonight. I knew you were a good boy."

Woody trotted along side him happily.

Chapter Text

Arthur walked slowly to his class, holding his portfolio in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other. It was early enough that he didn’t have to rush and he was right. By the time he reached the university’s studio, he was the only one there. The professor wasn’t even there yet. 

Arthur picked the best seat in the class, then slung off his messenger bag and prepared himself. He removed his large, drawing pad from his portfolio and then got his pencils, eraser, rubber eraser, charcoal and boxer cutter out, setting everything near him, taking sips of coffee in between. 

By the time everyone began trickling into class, Arthur was nearly done with his coffee and his space had been organized. Ariadne sat beside him as she shrugged off her bag and said,

"Hey, when did you get here?"

"Like twenty minutes ago."

Ariadne nodded and began setting up as well when the professor came in, clapping his hands, silencing the chatter.

"All right class, as you know, we’re practicing shading. So I figured we’re all tired of drawing squares and fruits in bowls right?"

The class gave a collective mumble of agreement.

"So, we’re going to be using a model today. Eames, come on in."

A broad, good looking man came in, closing the door behind him. He stood next to the professor while the professor talked.

"This is Eames. He’s being kind enough to pose for us today. So everyone get ready. He’ll be doing a few poses then he’ll stand long enough for everyone to start a proper sketch which will become a painting, all shading techniques applied. Everyone got that?"

The class nodded and while everyone prepared, Arthur swallowed hard and Ariadne leaned over to whisper to him,

"Holy shit, this guy is hot. He’s your type too."

"Shut up, I don’t have a type."

"Well, I bet you do now."

Arthur shot her a look as she giggled.

It was the most difficult class Arthur ever had to deal with in his life 

For some reason, it didn’t dawn on him that this model would be naked and oh God, Arthur nearly forgot to sketch the first few poses, only doodling some lines on his paper.

He had full permission to stare at Eames and stare he did. His shoulders were huge, his back broad, arms thick and ending with strong looking hands and firm fingers. His chest was ample and covered a dark blonde, almost brown patch of hair that Arthur wanted to bury his face in. He had abs, that seem to define themselves with every movement, his waist and hips narrow that led to firm looking thighs and well shaped calves. And the tattoos…god the tattoos.

His dick was a whole ‘nother story and Arthur kept staring at it especially when he noticed he was uncut. Ariadne’s comment of him being “as thick as a coke can” didn’t help Arthur’s situation.

When he finally snapped back to his senses, he started to draw, trying to be an adult about this. He kept focusing on what he was supposed to do, not his hard on that was making everything difficult. As he drew, listening to the professor call out, “switch!” every few minutes behind the class, he looked up and saw Eames was looking at him.

Arthur blushed furiously and looked back at his bristol pad, clearing his throat, trying to swallow back the humiliation that he just got caught eye humping the model for his art class.

When the final pose was called, Eames sat down and bent one knee, turning it as if to cover himself slightly, his arms behind him to hold himself up. Arthur drew quickly, biting his lip and then focusing on his project, his face still warm. He looked again, this time in a more professional manner and managed to get pretty good detailed lined down before time was up. 

The whole class, which had been silent until that point began buzzing, coming alive again as they stretched and talked to each other. 

"Well, I’m going to go slit my wrists, I’ll be back."

Arthur started to stand, getting his bag with his cigarettes, following suit as half the class had already gone, the others milling around the hallways or still at their stations. 

Ariadne laughed as she said she was going to get a drink and left. When Arthur was ready, he noticed Eames had already gotten dressed, sweatpants and a t-shirt already pulled on, his feet in his flip flops. He started going out the door at the same time Arthur did and he noticed the cigarettes in his hand.

"Hey, can I bum one of those?"

"Uh…sure."

They headed outside of the art building and both lit cigarettes, the rest of the class near by as they talked to each other or sat on their cell phones. 

"So…was it weird?"

Eames looked at him as he exhaled his cigarette smoke.

"What, standing around naked? Not really. Not my first time doing it."

"Oh. That’s…" He paused struggling to find a word that wasn’t interesting. "…interesting."

He rolled his own eyes at himself. Eames laughed a bit. When their break was up, the rest of the time in the studio was to be used to define the sketch, Arthur looked at his watch.

"So…uh I have to go back in. Are you coming?"

"My job’s done."

"Oh…right."

"Can I take you out for coffee after class?"

Arthur was thrilled though confused.

"Sure…I mean. Yeah."

"Great. Figured since you saw me naked, I might try on getting you to return the favor."

Arthur blushed and laughed nervously.

Chapter Text

Arthur waved his hat back and forth near his face. The heat was unbearable but he needed new slaves for the house. It was a private auction for just Arthur and after being shown one slave after another, Arthur would dismiss one or nod, indicating the purchase. 

When he was done, Arthur stood and looked at the dealer who was a friend of his family’s and after making some small talk, Arthur was ready to leave until he saw one more man, tucked away in the shadows. Unlike the others who had been free and unbound, this man was shackled like a prisoner.

"Who’s he?"

"Oh…"

The dealer looked over his shoulder and then said,

"That one is trouble. He’s a fugitive. He was violent and disobedient so his last owners had to…remind him of his place."

"I’ll take him."

"I’d strongly advice you against that, Arthur."

"I said I’ll take him."

The dealer sighed and motioned for that one to be taken as well.

Most of the slaves on Arthur’s land had been there since he was a child. He mostly didn’t acknowledge them, he let them be, paid them even and didn’t mistreat them. The new ones were no different except for the shackled one. Arthur had him unchained and he looked at him, waiting to see the violence that he was warned of, only he saw nothing, no malice in his eyes.

When Arthur looked at him better, he saw his massive size, the scars and welts on his body, burn marks down his arms. 

"What’s your name?"

It took a moment for the man to answer, he stood motionless and quiet for a while and Arthur waited.

"Tommy."

Arthur nodded and sent him off to be cleaned up. 

Tommy was not at all what the dealer told him he would be. Tommy worked at his house quietly, calmly, made no move to flee or run. The others in the house had nothing to report about Tommy other than he didn’t speak much, if at all. 

When Arthur saw him now and then, Tommy looked down, as if afraid to look him directly in the eye. 

"Tommy, what did you before that made you so violent?"

Tommy had brought him his dinner one night and he stood quiet again before answering.

"Nothing."

"Nothing? Then why was I told you were disobedient and a risk?"

"They were bastards…" 

It was quiet and soft, a whisper Arthur to sit up to catch. He didn’t say anything, waiting for Tommy to continue.

"They just…wanted to hurt me."

Arthur frowned a bit and pet Tommy’s hand.

"I’m sorry. That won’t happen here."

Tommy didn’t say anything but nodded.

Chapter Text

Eames had been single for a really long. A really, really long time. It wasn’t as if he wanted to be, it’s just that he was so busy first with med school, then his internship, then his job…the time for romance and finding a date just didn’t come up as frequently as he would have liked it to.

So he was single. And now he was on the wrong end of thirty-five (thirty-six now to be exact) and he was still alone. When he visited his nan one afternoon, she sighed at him and frowned and went on and on about how such a fine young gentleman could be single nowadays. Eames listened, watching his nan pour him a cup of tea as she sighed.

"Oh, William. You shouldn’t be alone. You’re too handsome and you have a sturdy, positive career. You need someone to come home to!"

"Nan…you tell me this all the time."

"But it’s true! Now, My friend Esther, she has a lovely granddaughter who’s single."

"No, nan, no, no. Please don’t play matchmaker."

"Why, ever not?"

"Well first off, I’m not interested in girls."

She blinked for a moment then sipped her tea.

"Oh that’s right. Well, I think Mary has a grandson-"

"Nan!"

Eames’ grandmother meant the best, she really did but Eames felt pathetic enough being single at his age without having his grandmother trying to set him. 

He avoided the subject when he could - turned down all the numerous offers she brought forth, which made Eames wonder how she knew all these gay men and tried to go on like normal.

The next time he went over for a visit, when the door was opened, he was shocked not to see his nan but rather, a beautiful young man. He smiled at Eames and said,

"Hi, you must be William."

"Just Eames please. My nan is the only one who calls me that."

He smiled a little and said,

"Yes, that’s how I know your name, your nan. I’m Arthur by the way."

Eames smiled, walking in as Arthur closed the door behind him. He took the box of pastries Eames had brought over and they headed to the kitchen were Eames’ grandmother awaited.

"Oh, William you’re here. You met Arthur I see."

"I did."

She poured some tea in a cup as Arthur opened the box and began to take some out on a plate. 

"Arthur is my new neighbor, William. He helped me with my groceries a little while ago and he’s just been so kind and sweet."

"I don’t know anyone in town. Your grandmother was very nice to me."

He set the plate of sweets on the table as Eames’ grandmother joined them. He smiled dumbly at Arthur, fascinated with his form fitted jeans and faded print grey-blue shirt and his tousled short curly hair. He sat down across from Eames and sipped his tea.

"So, Arthur, did I tell you my grandson is a doctor?"

"No, Catherine you didn’t."

Eames cleared his throat as he realized what his grandmother was doing.

"Nan…"

"Hush, darling. Arthur, are you seeing anyone?"

Arthur smiled, dimples showing up which made Eames swoon a little. There was a bit of pink on his cheeks and he cleared his throat.

"I’m not at the moment."

His nan was not very subtle when she tapped his hand in triumph. Eames groaned and shook his head.

When the visit was over and Eames was getting ready to leave, he walked Arthur home - by his nan’s “request” (which was really more like a demand). At his door he felt a little embarrassed as he said,

"I’m sorry. My nan is a little overzealous about me finding a date."

"She mentioned you’ve been single for a while."

"Don’t feel required to go out with me because of my nan. She won’t take it personally if you don’t."

"I like your nan Eames. And I was pleased when she showed me a picture of her handsome, doctor grandson. I was just hoping you wouldn’t be put off by me. i’m only twenty…I kind of just started getting my job on track…"

Eames looked at him, seeing he was just as nervous as Eames was. 

"No…it’s fine. I would like to go out with you."

Arthur beamed and he sighed in relief.

"Great. Should we exchange-"

"Oh right…"

Eames fumbled with his phone as Arthur took out his and they exchanged numbers. When they were done, Arthur put his phone, giving a nervous little smile.

"I’ll call you soon. We’ll set something up."

Arthur nodded and then Eames left, heading back to his car after saying bye. As he walked, he saw his nan at the window, smiling brightly. 

When Eames looked at her, she gave him the thumbs up, a proud smile on her face. Eames only laughed and shook his head.

Chapter Text

They had bumped heads so often that it was almost like a joke among their associates. A bad joke, but a joke nonetheless. Ha, ha Arthur and Eames couldn’t stand each other and if they could, they’d probably kill each other. Everyone often guessed that neither one would shed a tear if one or the other died in some kind of violent way.

Eames couldn’t stand Arthur’s know-it-all attitude and his obsessive need to control everything. Even worse, Arthur was right ninety-nine percent of the time.

Arthur couldn’t stand Eames’ ego and his cockiness and his devil-may-care take on jobs, especially when they were planning something serious. He also spoke down to Arthur like he was simple - which infuriated Arthur to no end.

They clashed over everything, plans, organization, even who the team members were and what they did. It got very ugly sometimes - screaming matches that cleared rooms, turned over tables, notes, research and blueprints shredded to spite the other and the terrible, scornful, hateful words flung back and forth at each other.

But they were the best and when the end of the plan was reached, it was often a masterpiece.

Yusuf had commented often to whoever they were working with,

"They should just fuck each other and get it over with."

The team member, or Ariadne, would look at Yusuf as if he was crazy. Arthur and Eames couldn’t even be a room together without wanting to destroy each other, nevermind sex.

Things suddenly changed one day when on a job, in the middle of a fight, Arthur collapsed. 

He had been looking worn down and exhausted throughout the job but still had the energy to fight with Eames. When they argued that afternoon, Arthur suddenly lost track of his words, his eyes rolled up and he went down. For a moment, the entire team thought Eames hit him and they began to scream and shout at him as he shouted back that he just fainted, he hadn’t hit him.

He was burning up so badly, there was no other option but to take him to a hospital. The team took him, Yusuf really worried - no one noticed Eames hadn’t said a word. 

He was checked in and everyone waited for news. As the hours passed, Yusuf encouraged everyone to go home, their architect, a new young man who barely passed puberty was the first one to go home. Their extractor was next, a woman who was tired from the job and now staying up well into the dawn hours. Eames and Yusuf were the last ones in the waiting room.

"Mate, you should go."

Eames shook his head.

"I’m fine. You can go if you want. I’m just going to get the diagnosis and then go home."

Yusuf looked at him strangely and said fine, too tired to argue any further.

It was another hour before Eames - now the only one in the waiting room, got the news. It was pneumonia, a bad case of it since Arthur had been trying to self medicate and ignore it.

Now that he was allowed to, Eames sat in Arthur’s room, pulling up the chair near his bed. He glared at him as if he was angry, listening to his steady breathing and nothing else. The heart monitor was silent but the screen showed his activity. He was hooked up to an IV drip and he trembled now and then. 

"You stupid fucking, twit. It would be illness that takes you down."

Eames spoke to him, still mad. Arthur’s head was turned away from him, his eyes closed. His arms lay over the blankets, hooked up to everything, his medical bracelet on his right wrist. There was a fake name on the white band, Eames had made sure of that. He settled his hand near Arthur’s turning the band a bit, looking at the fake name and birthday. He swallowed hard as he replayed the doctor’s news in his mind - it had been a serious case, Arthur shouldn’t have let it go for so long and he would be under watch for a few days. 

Eames felt strangely guilty. He should have known Arthur wasn’t up to par, he should have known when Arthur would dismiss him rather than fight with him. He should have known. 

It was easier to fight with Arthur than it was to pine for him - Arthur hated him anyway so it was better to fight back and act as if wasn’t hurt by the way Arthur looked at him with scorn, spit poison words at him, ignored him when he had enough of Eames. It hadn’t been easy and now Arthur was ill, possibly…

No, he wouldn’t think that. Besides, Arthur was too damn stubborn to give into any illness. 

Eames breathed out, letting go of some of the anger he had held and took advantage of the fact that he was alone and Arthur was asleep. He could look at him the way he often thought of him, with affection, adoration. He slowly took Arthur’s fingers with his own, testing, checking his face to see him sound asleep still. When he felt secure enough, he held his hand, bringing it to his mouth and kissed his fingers. 

"You idiot. I want to hate you. I do, I want to hate you as much as you hate me and I can’t and that makes me so angry. You can hate me. God, that hurts to say. And I can’t hate you…why can’t I hate you? You’ve been nothing but terrible to me and I still can’t hate you. I love you. I love you, I love you, I stupidly love you. Don’t you dare, don’t you even think about leaving. I want to say that if you stay, I’ll tell you but I know I won’t. I’ve been a coward this long, I’ll remain one. I just don’t want you to leave me. Even in this state, knowing you can’t stand me, I at least have your attention."

Eames kissed his fingers again, then set his hand down.

He left before the morning shift at the hospital started.

The job was cancelled but everyone stayed until Arthur was better. Yusuf was the one who picked him up when he was discharged - nearly a week later. Arthur was still weak and tired but he wanted to leave and head home. 

"Hey, how do you feel?"

Arthur yawned, his skin still lacking color and he was exhausted but he nodded and said,

"I’ve been better. I have to stay on these antibiotics for a while."

Yusuf nodded, handing Arthur his shoes when he was ready.

"Did everyone leave already?"

"No, they wanted to make sure you made it through."

"Even Eames?"

"Yeah, even Eames."

Yusuf expected a snappy remark, a sneer, an eyeroll. Something. Instead, Arthur nodded.

Yusuf put Arthur in a cab so he could head to the airport. He wanted to accompany him the rest of the way, but Arthur refused, saying he could make it just fine. But really, he wanted to be alone. In the cab, Arthur called Eames’ phone, unsure if he would even answer and he was pleased when he did.

"Arthur? How are you?"

He was surprised by how concerned Eames sounded.

"I’m fine. Well not fine…but better. I’m in a cab on my way to the airport."

"That’s good. Safe flight."

"Are you staying in town?"

"Uh, well no. I’m going to leave soon."

"Want to meet me in the airport?"

"Why?"

"I haven’t seen you since I was in the hospital."

"I didn’t think it would matter."

"I want to see you."

It was quiet for nearly two lights and then Eames said,

"Alright."

Arthur waited in the airport, trying to stay awake. He was still recovering and he yawned and then coughed. He lost track of time when Eames finally showed up. 

"You look worn out."

Arthur sat up, rubbing his eyes, trying to wake himself up. He then looked at Eames and said,

"You showed."

"You asked me to be here."

Eames sat beside him.

"I heard you. At the hospital."

Eames sighed deeply, looking down.

"And you’re telling me so you can tell me you never want to work with me again."

"No. Actually I’m telling you because I’m wondering why you told me then?"

"It was easier to. I thought you couldn’t hear me."

Arthur nodded.

"I thought the same."

It was quiet again. Eames dared to look at him.

"You thought the same? That I hated you?"

"You gave me no reason to think otherwise."

Eames gave a defeated laugh.

"Well that figures."

"Take me home?"

Eames nodded. When he leaned over to kiss him, Arthur moved back. He looked down and explained quickly,

"I’m still sick. I don’t want you sick."

"Oh. Ok."

Eames kissed the side of his mouth instead, a small smile on Arthur’s face.

Chapter Text

For the past two years, Eames kept his affair up with Arthur.

He shouldn’t have. He knew it and every moment they were together, he felt the pang of guilt and fear though it was usually forgotten once he was with Arthur.

He didn’t have to explain a thing to his wife when he decided to suddenly keep longer office hours - she didn’t ask anyway. So he would see Arthur when Arthur could. He often snuck out and met him somewhere and it made their relationship all that more dangerous. When Arthur spent the night because of Eames’ step-son, they met in the middle of the night, long after everyone had gone to bed and fuck in Eames’ home office. 

But there was more to them than just sex. Eames was often impressed by Arthur’s intelligence, his wit, his brightness. They spoke at great length about law and the passion Arthur had for one day doing it himself. He was so smart that Eames felt like a child for being so easily charmed by this boy who was practically half his age. 

When Arthur graduated and was about to go off to college, it made things easier for them to carry on their relationship. Eames counted every day lucky that they hadn’t been caught and coming up on the two year mark, Eames felt grateful. He had completely fallen for Arthur - though cautious to not breathe a word to him, afraid that now that he was going to college, having so much more opened up to him, that he would not want Eames anymore. Eames wasn’t willing to risk himself to have his heartbroken. He felt he was too old for that.

They slowly talked about their relationship, something Eames had not wanted to do for fear of what Arthur would tell him. Arthur had been going to school for a handful of months and was able to meet Eames more frequently now - had been meeting him in succession. When Arthur brought up their relationship, Eames felt nervous and worried, a lump in his throat. He had been so concerned about himself, he didn’t notice how nervous Arthur, how his voice shook as he questioned what they had. 

Eames kept going over their past in his mind, up until the moment they met at a hotel and slept together in the messy hotel bed he was currently sitting on. He thought Arthur was trying to break it off with him and he listened, bracing himself for the inevitable blow.

"Eames…I love you. I don’t want to hide anymore."

Eames looked up, the shock not the one he was expecting.

"What?"

"Please don’t tell me this was just a fling for you. I love you. I want to be with you, not sneaking around in hotel rooms or your car or in the middle of the night while your wife is asleep."

Eames stood, grasping Arthur’s face and pulled him close, kissing him so desperately while they both stood mostly dressed.

"I love you too. I want you too…I didn’t want to scare you."

Arthur laughed nervously.

"Me too. I didn’t want you to think I was a stupid kid."

"I didn’t want you to think I was a foolish old man."

"You’re not an old man." 

Eames just smiled at him and kept kissing him.

Now that they were clear and knew where they stood, Eames wanted to be happy. But the first hurdle to clear was his step-son. Arthur wanted to handle it, saying he and Brandon had been friends for so long that he could break it to him best. Eames wanted to be there but he trusted Arthur.

In the meantime, he told Elise. He wanted a divorce, he wasn’t happy, hadn’t been happy in years. He didn’t have to tell her anything else, she granted him the divorce without much of a fight because she had been unhappy too. 

It happened faster than Eames anticipated. He found an apartment close to Arthur’s school (leaving the house to his ex-wife as part of the settlement), he was divorced and Brandon, while stunned and shocked at first, eventually digested the information and was okay with Arthur dating his step-father. Eames sat down with his step-son to talk to him, telling him he understood if Brandon was mad at him or angry at anything. Brandon shrugged a bit and said,

"I was just surprised. I mean, I knew you and mom weren’t happy I didn’t think you and Arthur…"

He trailed off, not wanting to assume anything of what had been happening. Eames wasn’t exactly sure just how much detail Arthur had given him, but he rather not divulge any more information than necessary. 

"I understand. I know that your mom and I aren’t together anymore but you can still come to me if you need anything or just want to talk."

Brandon nodded, seeming grateful for the open door. 

Once settled in his apartment, alone and no longer have to hide anything, Arthur came over after his classes and it seemed so normal. They had dinner and Arthur did his homework while Eames did some work of his own. At night, instead of Arthur leaving to go home or back to Brandon’s room, they went to bed together. Sometimes (most times) they had sex, other nights, they just slept together and it was so delightfully domestic, Eames loved every moment.

"When I’m done with school…do you think that..that maybe I can live with you?"

He loved how shyly Arthur asked, how sweet he still seemed after all this time and all the depraved things he had said once he was able to vocalize it. Eames ran his fingers through Arthur’s curls and said,

"You can live with me whenever you’re ready."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah."

Arthur smiled brightly.

"I’ll hold you to that."

"I look forward to it."

Chapter Text

"For Christ’s sake, Cohen, get off the field!"

Arthur Cohen, the marching band director turned and looked at his shoulder. It was his day for the field and he was taking full advantage of it. Hearing William Eames - the football coach, snap at him from the side of the field was very irritating. 

Arthur had to stop the band and he marched right over to Eames, getting in his face, showing he wasn’t afraid of him.

"It’s my day to use the field, if you don’t like it, take it up with the principal!"

The football team behind him bristled and Eames crossed his arms as he leaned forward, getting right back in Arthur’s face.

"Team start stretching, Mr. Cohen and I have things to discuss."

The team started to stretch and Arthur and Eames began arguing. 

It was nothing new between them, because they both used the field, they both battled over it for practice, for rehearsals. Throughout the year, Arthur did have a classroom but when game season began, the fight was on. The band had to perform during football games and the football team had to practice. It was never simple.

The arguments usually started at the start of the season and didn’t end until the end - the band and the football team usually stuck in the middle. Arthur didn’t want to compromise, he felt the team had enough and the field wasn’t solely theirs and as long they stuck to a schedule they would get along just fine. But Eames loved to overstep days, cut Arthur’s time short and just be annoying to Arthur.

There was a lot of rumor and whispers that they liked each other but neither party would own up to it. Mal Cobb, the principal had often listened to their bickering in her office, her chin resting in his hand as she sighed deeply. But then she would see the two of them agree and work beautifully together when game day came about. Their band and team had won awards, championships - so Mal often let them fight it out until they got to a point, somewhere in the middle. The rest of the faculty would often shake their heads and laugh at them, it was so obvious they had feelings for each other.

The current argument ended with Arthur backing down. His band had finished anyway and they held up the team’s warm up’s so he considered it a win anyway.

When the first game of the season started, Eames stood on the sidelines, his team resting while the band played for half time. When they were done and the game resumed, he walked over to Arthur and stood beside him, keeping his eye on the team.

"Your band did well."

"Your team is doing well."

"We learned to make do with the time we had."

He gave Arthur a look and saw him scowl at him for a moment before he laughed a bit. 

Over the rest of the season the arguments continued - but the team continued to win, the band continued to play well and nail every arrangement. The football team began to say that if not for their arguing, their team not win. It became sort of a good luck charm.

When the season finally ended, Eames went to the teacher’s lounge where Arthur sat at a table by himself, having a cup of coffee as he wrote something down in a notebook. Eames got himself some coffee and joined him wordlessly, making Arthur look up. 

"Hi."

"Hey."

"Season’s over."

Arthur nodded and sipped his coffee.

"I heard the team is going to nationals."

Eames nodded.

"The team keeps saying our fighting is their good luck charm."

Arthur laughed a bit to himself, a small smile on his face as he continued writing.

"I’m going to believe it."

"Well, my band winning regional also seems to get a boost from our fights."

"Then…maybe I shouldn’t ask you out."

Arthur stopped writing and looked up at him. Eames paused for a moment, worrying his bottom lip before he said,

"I respect you as a teacher. You’re brilliant. A stubborn shit at times…but brilliant."

Arthur laughed a little and said,

"We’ll jinx the team and the band if we start liking each other."

"I already like you."

"Me too." Arthur whispered quietly.

Eames smiled, crooked teeth displayed for a second before he shook his head.

"Then…what do we do?"

"We hope our mutual attraction becomes a new good luck charm."

Chapter Text

Arthur was completely wasted. His guard was down, he felt loose and good and warm and even when Ariadne and Yusuf suggested dancing, he was all for it. He got on the club floor and danced his fucking ass off.

He knew (somewhere in his vodka addled mind) that he would regret this come morning. He had school in the early afternoon, his last year of college starting up but he figured he could pop some aspirin and sleep through the whole morning, he should be just fine.

He worked up a wonderful sweat dancing and then he drank more. When a hot older man started chatting him up, Arthur discovered how loose and slutty he could be with just enough liquor in him. He so didn’t mind this guy, he was beautiful, English and had thick strong hands that held Arthur’s hip with absolute confidence. His lips were full and inviting and Arthur wanted to let this guy have his way with him. 

He waved to Ariadne and Yusuf on his way out the door and went to this guy’s apartment and into the most debauched night of his life. The English man fucked him hard on his living room floor, Arthur couldn’t even get his jeans down the whole way and he screamed like he was being murdered. When he pulled out and flipped Arthur on his back, he tore his jeans off with such savagery Arthur thought he tore them for a moment - then no longer cared when he felt the guy balls deep inside him again.

He bit him and marked him and kissed him senseless and when Arthur came, he felt he lost consciousness, his mind white and swimming with pleasured fog. It was the best sex Arthur ever had in his life.

When the morning came, Arthur woke in the guy’s bed, his back to him. He was sober now and in pain and hungover but damned if he wouldn’t want to see the guy again. After finding his jeans turned inside out but not his underwear, he pulled them on (after flipping them right side in again) and then found some paper and a pen.

'Last night was great. Call me. - Arthur'

He clearly wrote his cell phone number and then slipped out, having to go home for a shower and a change of clothes since his previous night’s clothes stank of sweat, sex and come. Yusuf was there, his lab not until later in the afternoon.

"Hey, how was it?"

"Amazing but now I have to go to class hungover."

Yusuf laughed as Arthur rushed through the apartment, taking a fast shower and getting dressed. He grabbed some coffee on his way out and swallowed four aspirin, praying the headache away. When he was on the bus, he kept rubbing the bruises on his collarbones and kept looking at the fingerprints on his forearms. His ass hurt but it was such a delightful, delicious ache…Arthur really hoped the guy called him. 

When he got to class, he was pleased that he was on time and snagged a seat right in front. He set his bag down on his desk and rummaged through for his glasses, fighting off the last of his headache as he left his sleeves rolled up but he covered his hickey covered splotched neck. As he prepared his notebook after digging out his pen, he heard the class mumbling behind him, complaining about the professor being late on the first day.

"Forgive the tardiness class. Won’t happen again."

The voice was so familiar that when Arthur looked up, he thought he was dreaming. It was the English man from last night…only now he was in finely pressed black pants and a pale blue oxford shirt. He carried a satchel in one hand, coffee in the other, his hair neatly combed, black rimmed glasses tucked into the front pocket of his shirt. He set his coffee and bag down and opened the satchel as he began looking for some paperwork. 

Arthur froze in horror. He had just banged his professor. His insanely hot professor who was going to spot him and recognize him as the drunken slut from last night. Seven shades of shame washed over him, his eyes cast down at his desk because when the professor turned to write his name on the board, Arthur found himself looking at his ass. 

When he turned back around, Arthur looked to see his name, Eames written in slightly angled, messy writing, the name of the course underneath it. 

Warm terror slid up Arthur’s back and flooded his neck when Professor Eames began taking roll call, checking off names on his list. When he got to Arthur’s name, Arthur slowly lifted his hand to show who he was and saw Eames realize who it was as he swallowed hard.

There was a brief moment of silence before Eames moved on. It was the longest class of Arthur’s entire life.

When Eames dismissed the class, Arthur stayed after, waiting for everyone else to leave and once alone, he swallowed hard and approached Eames. They both looked at each other and Eames leaned on his desk as he said,

"Hello again."

"Hi. This is…this is awkward."

"I’ll say. I was going to call you once I was done with classes."

Arthur felt some kind of relief hearing that but then remembered what was happening.

"I uh…I don’t think I can keep taking your class."

"It would be a bit inappropriate…considering."

"Yeah, it a little distracting."

They both stayed quiet for a moment until Arthur asked,

"If I dropped your class, would you still call me?"

Eames grinned at him, cocky and smug.

"Drop my class first."

Arthur nodded and then stuck his hand out, Eames taking it.

"Good to know your name."

Eames laughed a little.

"For the record, I did tell you my name. You just don’t remember."

"Ah."

"I’ll call you, Arthur."

"As soon as I drop your class."

"The very moment you do."

Arthur smiled a bit and then left, practically running to the proper offices to drop Eames’ class.

Chapter Text

It had been two years since his last published word and Eames was all but desperate. Every time he opened his laptop and pulled up his writing program, he stared at it and started at it, willing for something to write only to be taunted by the blinking cursor and the white background.

Last week, he got so frustrated, he flung his laptop to the ground, shattering it. He couldn’t bring himself to care.

His publisher - this tiny slip of a woman Ariadne, asked now and then how he was. He started to reply in the same manner all the time.

"Miserable."

His last book had been a huge success and it put immense pressure on him to follow up with something just as brilliant. He couldn’t deliver and it added to the reasons he couldn’t write - hadn’t written in two years.

Even writing his name was becoming taxing.

One afternoon when Ariadne called, she asked him out to lunch instead of asking how he was. It was refreshing so Eames said yes.

He did not, however, give a shit about where in Manhattan Ariadne chose to eat, so he didn’t give a single fuck about how he looked. He showed up in the same nylon black pants he had been living in the past few days, a fitted grey t-shirt, trainers and a baseball cap to hide his messy, ungroomed head. He hadn’t shaved in weeks either and he wore his glasses. When Ariadne saw him, she didn’t even comment, she still hugged him and they walked inside past the host.

"Oh, my friend is holding a table for us."

"Friend?"

She nodded.

"Wish you would have told me. I would have at least shaved."

"What do you care? You showered right?"

He nodded and Ariadne was pleased with that. At the table, sat an elegant looking man wearing a finely tailored suit, his hair slicked back, his attention at the menu in his hand slender hands. Eames suddenly started to care a little about what he looked like.

"Arthur, this is William Eames, yes that one. Eames, this is my very good friend Arthur."

She tugged him down to her level as she whispered,

"He’s a fan but he’s not annoying. Be nice."

Eames hadn’t heard “fan” in a while. Most of his so-called fans wrote scathing things about him on the internet about how he should be writing and how it sucked that they were being forced to wait. 

Eames didn’t have to try to be nice however, he felt he really was. Arthur was great to talk to, smart and not once did he bring up Eames’ books or his writing or anything of the sort. It put Eames at ease.

He felt he had been set up by Ariadne who didn’t say much of anything, just let them talk with a small smile on her face.

When lunch was over, Eames had taken off his glasses and cap, running his fingers through his bedhead in an attempt to look decent and had asked Arthur for his number. 

Arthur had given it to him easily, with a smile, excited to continue the conversation started.

Eames found himself calling him almost immediately. They spoke for hours about everything, about anything, getting into wonderful discussions about old movies and songs, even crappy TV shows Eames swore no one but him had actually watched. They talked about food and coffee and dogs and traveling and everything that connected to those subjects. 

At night, when Eames couldn’t sleep, he texted Arthur to see if he was awake and when Arthur called him, it became a pattern. Eames called sometimes in the middle of the night to talk more until he started invited Arthur over. They would eat leftovers and watch black and white movies and fall asleep on the couch. 

It was easy for Eames to start to fall for him, he was so good for him, made him happy, made him feel things he had not felt in years. Eames told him so, candidly because he felt he had nothing to lose. Arthur smiled and listened as he always did when Eames spoke about whatever was on his mind and replied.

"I’m falling for you too."

When they slept together for the first time, Eames woke in the middle of the night and opened up his new laptop (a gift from Ariadne after she learned what he had done to the old one) and for a moment, Eames looked at the cursor and feared nothing would come. But the moment his fingers touched the keys, he began to write - words flowing easily, quickly, steadily.

It was as if the floodgates had been opened. 

He wrote until dawn broke through the sky and spilled light onto the world. He wrote until Arthur woke up and padded out to the living room where Eames sat writing. He was dressed again, his hair loose and everywhere. 

"I have to go to work."

Eames finally looked up and saw Arthur looking lovely and so mussed from sleep and wearing wrinkled clothes that he felt so endeared by him. Arthur saw he was writing and smiled brighter when he asked,

"Are you writing?"

Eames nodded, standing, going over to him and kissing him, not wanting him to leave but knowing he had to. Eames saved his work and after Arthur left, he slept a bit more. When he woke again, he called Ariadne and told her he had written ten full chapters to a new story. He nearly went deaf from the shriek she gave out. 

He wrote when Arthur was asleep, beside him on the sofa or in bed beside him. He started carrying his laptop to Arthur’s apartment when he went to spend the night with him. Arthur asked sometimes what he was working on and Eames told him briefly about his novel, the characters, the overwhelming feeling of how good it felt that he was writing again. 

Arthur had become his muse.

Within six months time, Eames handed over his new manuscript to Ariadne who in turn celebrated by taking them out to a fancy dinner. 

Eames was thrilled when he was still able to write after that, fueled by Arthur’s energy, by his passion, by his encouragement, by his praise. Arthur never offered suggestions or criticism to whatever Eames wrote, he was just happy he was writing.

By the time his newest book was published, Eames was half was through another one.

The book sold brilliantly. It was on the top of every critic’s list and made the best seller’s list for weeks.

Eames didn’t even care. He was just excited to see Arthur reading it on his bed, wearing on of Eames’ shirts.

"What do you think?" 

Arthur looked up from the novel and smiled brightly, dimples showing up.

"It’s a masterpiece. Like you."

Eames looked down with a smile, modesty filling him as he sat next to him.

"Thanks to you."

Arthur only smiled and leaned over to kiss him.

Chapter Text

"Just three more days. Three more days and I’ll back with my darling."

Dom and Yusuf huffed, Dom rolling his eyes as he heard Eames referring to his darling once more. Since they had been stationed, after they got to know each other, Eames mentioned his darling after Dom mentioned Mal, his girl back home. Yusuf was single but his best friend, a girl named Ariadne was writing to him frequently, sometimes they Skyped but it was obvious that Yusuf was sweet on her.

Eames always talked about his darling. Dom and Yusuf listened about this girl Eames was madly in love with throughout the entire tour. He always got letters because Eames always looked forward to getting letters and packages from his darling. Dom was always a bit jealous at the thick pack of letters Eames got or the care packages full of touches of home including cookies or homemade sweets. Eames even got blankets and pillows that smelled of fresh detergent. Yusuf sometimes stole one and smelled it for moments at a time, longing for home.

Now their tour was almost up and Eames was nearly unbearable with giddiness and excitement about going home to his awaiting love.

When a bunch of other soldiers sat around talking about the girls back home, girlfriends, wives, fiancees, some had sad heartbreaking stories of being cheated on, of being divorced and finding out via having divorce papers mailed to them. Some couldn’t cut it while their significant others were stationed abroad. When they were going to bed, Dom - full of worry and concern about Mal, asked Eames if he was ever worried about his lady cheating on him.

"Never, mate. Never."

There was such confidence in his response, that it made Dom feel reassured about his own relationship.

When they finally made it home, before they landed, Eames practically bouncing in his seat, his foot tapping on the ground, his finger twisting in his fatigues. Dom laughed a little as he said,

"You can’t wait huh?"

"We’re right there. It just a few more minutes."

When the plane landed, Eames was the first one on his feet, grabbing his things and the first one out. Dom and Yusuf laughed a little, watching him go and they figured they would finally meet this darling of Eames’ once they got off the plane. For a moment, Dom forgot about everyone else when he saw Mal. He had missed her and they spent moments kissing and Mal crying, so excited to have her husband back home. When he recovered, he looked around, seeing Yusuf with his friend Ariadne - he had recognized her from the Skype chats. And after a few minutes of them talking, Yusuf looked around, the crowd thinner now and asked,

"I haven’t seen Eames and his girl."

"Hm…me either."

They continued looking until Mal pointed a couple out and said,

"They’re the only couple left."

Dom and Yusuf turned to were Mal was pointing to see a soldier kissing an obvious boy. The boy himself wore jeans and a white t-shirt, on his wrists a grey survival bracelet along with a few other bands, his hands held onto the soldier’s cap. It took Yusuf a moment to realize the bag near them on the floor was familiar, the markings and tags on it belonging to…

"Eames. That’s Eames."

Dom was surprised, his mouth falling open as he said,

"Oh…"

Sure enough, when the couple broke apart, it was Eames. He cupped the boy’s face, both of them smiling at each other. Ariadne looked at Yusuf as she said,

"I thought you said Eames had a girlfriend.”

"Well…we assumed."

"You never saw a picture?" Asked Mal.

Dom shrugged and then took Mal’s hand as they went over to Eames and said,

"Hey, Eames!"

Eames looked over at his friends, their girlfriends at their sides. When they joined up, Yusuf said,

"So, this is your darling…"

The boy blushed, turning his head away.

"God, did you really address me like that to everyone?"

Eames laughed.

"Everyone, this is Arthur, my darling. Arthur darling, this is Yusuf and this is Dom."

He pointed to them and they all shook hands. Dom introduced Mal, Yusuf introduced Ariadne and they talked a bit. Arthur held Eames’ hand the whole time, leaning on him, just happy to have him home.

After they parted ways, Dom and Yusuf talked a bit, glancing back to see Eames putting his arm around Arthur as they walked towards their exit. 

"I can’t believe I never asked for a name. Arthur. Of course, that’s not even feminine." said Yusuf.

"Me either. It never occurred to me to ask."

Mal just shook her head at him, laughing at her husband’s ignorance.

"He’s so happy thought." 

Dom looked over once more, seeing them just as they were heading out the door, Arthur’s hand clenched into the back of Eames’ fatigue jacket as if he was afraid to let him go. He smiled at the sight before answering.

"Yeah. He is."

Chapter Text

It was another hot day, the sun out and bright - early in the year for that type of weather but it was great for the cats, great for the zoo and great for all the little kids that loved that sort of thing.

Eames could hear the little ones running around outside, pointing and oo-ing at the lions in the space, resting on the rock formations, most under the lip of the rock to avoid the sun. Eames was the caretaker of the lions, tigers, all the big cats of the zoo. He loved his job, he loved the animals and he especially loved watching Arthur and his crowd of little ones that followed him when he did a tour.

Arthur ran the children’s education part of the zoo, he gave tours for schools, pointing out and telling the children great and interesting detail about each animal and every child loved it. He gave tours for older children as well and Arthur had a knack for keeping everyone interested, no matter how old or how cool they were.

Arthur was just walking by the lion’s enclosure, explaining lions and the lionesses, how it was the lionesses who hunted for the pack, not the lion who was the so-called king of the jungle. Arthur also debunked that for the kids, explaining that lions didn’t live in jungles per-say but rather on dessert plains and grasslands. 

"So, in the Lion King, where you see Simba and his family living, is actually correct!"

The children bubbled with glee, amazed as Arthur continued his tour. Eames had listened to bits and pieces of each one of Arthur’s tours, always impressed how he was able to break down even the most scientific of things about each animal into something a child could digest. 

One evening, after the zoo was closed and the guests had left, the night crew cleaning up, Eames ran one more pass over the big cats before going home. Their enclosure was clean, the animals happy and their meals for the next day were all ready to go. Eames yawned, ready to head home for the night when Arthur suddenly approached him. 

"Hi, do you have a second?"

They had known each other for a while, chatted now and then but Eames still hadn’t plucked up the courage to ask Arthur out. He was still for a moment and he smiled a bit. Arthur was still in uniform, the ridiculous khaki, safari-esque get up they made all zoo employees wear. Eames hated the stupid uniform himself, but on Arthur, it made him look endearing. 

"Yeah, I’m free. What can I do for you?"

"Well, tomorrow I have a big class coming in and I wanted to show them something special. The teacher told me they were learning about the insides of animals and the like for the science class and I heard that there’s a scheduled tooth pulling for one of the lions."

Eames thought for a moment and said,

"Oh yeah. He has a broken tooth. The vet is going to pull it tomorrow and replace it."

"Is there anyway I can work something out for the kids?"

Eames thought again and remembered that there was a video hook-up from the operating room to another room inside the tourist center. 

"I’d have to talk to the vet, but there is a video feed to the tour room."

Arthur lit up and touched Eame’ arm.

"Thank you! When can you find out?"

"I’ll talk to him now before he goes."

Arthur nodded, digging out a pen from his pocket and took Eames’ hand.

"This is my cell phone number. Text me when you find out, ok?"

He wrote his number on Eames’ palm and then smiled before he thanked him again and left. Eames immediately ran to the vet area where Ariadne was cleaning up for the night. He was relieved when he saw Ariadne still there and after catching his breath, he quickly explained the situation. She looked at him and sighed.

"Ask him out already."

"I’m trying! This could be my chance. Please do this for me Ari, please."

She rolled her eyes and said,

"Yeah fine. Just man the camera tomorrow, the set up is already going, just check it in the morning."

Eames thanked her over and over again.

The next morning, after Eames checked and fed all the animals, he checked the video feed from the surgeon’s room to the tourist room. He had texted Arthur and told him everything was good and after confirming the time, Eames was ready to go. 

He stayed professional as he stood over Ariadne’s shoulder, making sure the camera caught the tooth extraction and then the repair, Ariadne explaining what she was doing the whole time. When she was done, she smiled at the camera and the feed was cut so Eames could go to work, making sure the lion woke up and then went back inside the enclosure just fine.

He didn’t see Arthur for the rest of the day, but that was fine, they both had work to do. At the end of the day, all the guests gone, Eames sweeping up around the enclosures, he heard footsteps and turned to see Arthur. He had two bottles of water in his hands and he gave one to Eames when he was close enough.

"So how did it go?"

He took a drink from his bottle, watching Arthur as he smiled, twisting the cap open.

"It was great. The kids loved it. They watched with morbid curiosity, some of the kids were scared Ariadne was going to hurt the lion but when I told them he was asleep, they just couldn’t stop watching. And the questions…"

He laughed a little and Eames smiled, happy he could help.

"Thank you again. I’m grateful for what you did."

"It was nothing. I’m just glad I could help."

Arthur smiled at him after taking a drink of his own water bottle. It was quiet for a moment, the cats grumbling and growling softly in the background. It was then that Eames summoned the courage and said,

"Hey…if you’re not busy…could I take you out for drinks tonight?"

Arthur’s dimples appeared, nervous laughter bubbling from him as he said,

"I thought you’d never ask."

Chapter Text

The snow was blinding but it was still peaceful and beautiful. Arthur walked, hearing the crunch of the snow under his boots, trying to get a bit closer to the large group of penguins not too far from them. He and his partner, Eames had been following, trailing and researching a colony of penguins in the Antarctic for the past few months. It was their major project, tracking the new birth of emperor penguins, tracking their feeding habits and family life.

Arthur eased himself down on a snow drift, picking up his camera and raising his sight up to a small cluster of penguins and snapped some pictures, watching the small gray puff of feathers at the foot of the penguin’s feet, a new chick added to the family. Eames was suddenly at his side as he said,

"Did you see that? I counted at least six or seven new chicks."

Arthur nodded, smiling as he took another picture, zooming in on the chick.

"Yeah, I got some pictures of those right there."

Eames smiled at him and wrote some notes down.

While they camped the night, the night howling outside of their tent, Arthur knew he should be focusing on the new chicks that had been hatched, but instead, he found himself looking at Eames while Eames was clicking through his camera, smiling at the pictures that Arthur had taken earlier.

He had longed for Eames for years, since they met in grad school. When they both graduated and became involved in the whole global warming effects on penguins, they somehow got tangled with each other, becoming partners. Arthur cared more about the effects of global warming on the arctic but the penguins were a nice added bonus, the effect on them was just as important, the cold distancing their search for food, shrinking their homes.

Eames was passionate about it all and he was almost childlike about his fascination with them. He collected data easily though it looked as if he was doing nothing but looking at the birds all day long. Arthur had learned not to be surprised by his methods of working.

It was one of the many things that Arthur adored about Eames, but even now, alone and isolated in antarctic, he wouldn’t dare say a word. 

The next morning, they were out again. After breakfast and preparations, Arthur was taking photos again, walking along the more beach like area. It was practically summer that time, the pebbles forming the shore along the coast, the penguins waddling around as Arthur kept his distance. He crouched down to take some photos, smiling as he saw some of the younger penguins waddling around, making a nasally sounding honk. Out of nowhere, Eames was suddenly beside him, whispering,

"Did you notice all the little ones?"

Arthur nodded, Eames sounded so excited it was hard not to get excited with him. They both watched the birds, keeping their interaction distant when suddenly, one of the penguins began waddling over to them. Arthur took pictures of his approach and listened as Eames gasped and said,

"He’s coming here!"

"Shh…don’t scare him."

Eames stayed quiet though smiled as he put his gloved hands on the ground. The little penguin honked once then approached the lens of Arthur’s camera, his tiny beak clicking against the lens. 

"This is amazing…"

Arthur agreed as the little penguin’s flippers lifted in the air, as if flapping and his beak once again exploring Arthur’s camera. When Arthur clicked the button to take another picture, the penguin stopped and then continued tapping on the lens again. 

Suddenly, they were joined by another penguin, then another and soon they were circled by them and Arthur couldn’t help but be amazed at the little crowd they attracted. He tried to take pictures as best he could, Eames wanting to pet them but he resisted, letting the penguins poke at him and pick at him with their beaks. He laughed and smiled at the crowd, telling Arthur to take as many pictures as he could. 

"Look at all these penguins!"

Eames smiled and Arthur felt swoon, loving the red on his face, the beard that had grown in during the months and he was so beautiful that Arthur found himself taking a picture of Eames without thinking about it.

At night, as they went over their research and notes, Eames going through the photos, he found the photo Arthur had taken of him. He paused and glanced up, seeing Arthur writing something down. He cleared his throat a little and said,

"Um…I don’t think this counts as part of the research."

Arthur looked up and saw the picture. He looked as if he flinched and then said,

"Sorry, must have caught you by accident."

"Arthur…this is intentional."

"Just delete it."

Eames moved over to him, sitting beside him in their tent, watching as Arthur tensed a bit.

"Arthur…"

"I’m sorry…just please, delete it."

"Am I reading too much into it? There’s a couple of pictures of me here…I didn’t want to say anything since the others had the penguins but this one is just me."

Arthur sighed and looked at Eames.

"This is hardly the time nor the place. We’re in the middle of important research. We have all this work to do. Now is not the time."

"So there’s something here?"

Arthur suddenly felt warm, which was saying a lot considering where they were.

"I’m not saying anything."

He didn’t want to look at Eames anymore but he felt Eames nudge him with his knee.

"We leave in a week. What about then, will that be a more appropriate time and place?"

"Maybe."

Eames picked up his research again with a smile on his face.

"Penguins are my new favorite animal."

Arthur bit his lip, holding back a smile.

Chapter Text

When Arthur was sixteen, his next door neighbor was a boy named Eames. He was almost as thin as Arthur, light hair, light eyes and he was almost too pretty. Arthur flirted with him from time to time but never went through with anything. Eames just wasn’t his type.

After high school, Arthur went off to school and Eames headed back to England and he became a memory in the footnotes of his mind.

Some ten years later, Arthur came back to his small town home. Things had not gone well for him lately, his father had passed away and a little before that, the long time relationship Arthur was in had come to an end. His company was downsizing and gave him a generous severance package but it wasn’t enough for Arthur to continue living in the city. So home was his only option.

His mother had died some years back and being the only child, the house his parents once made a home was all he had left. It was strange to come back home, alone to an empty house where his childhood was rooted. He was lonely as soon as he walked in and he slowly made himself at home as he started to move back in.

Arthur hadn’t even remembered Eames was his neighbor, wasn’t even a thought in his mind as he stood at his kitchen window, drinking coffee from his mug as he watched a sexy tattooed man wash his car next door. He wore khaki cargo shorts and flip flops with a baseball cap, water splashing on him now and then as he moved around, cleaning the hood of the car.

Arthur hadn’t even finished his coffee, it had gone cold in the cup as he rubbed himself over his pajama pants, his dick hard as he watched the guy. 

He felt perverse afterwards, watching a stranger through a window and he dumped the remains of his coffee in the sink trying to let the shame he felt go with it. The next day, he was getting his mail when he heard,

"Arthur?"

He looked up from his mailbox, wearing his bathroom and sweatpants as he saw it was the tattooed man from yesterday only now he wore jeans and an obscenely tight black shirt, a dog walking beside him as he held the leash. Arthur swallowed hard as he said,

"I’m sorry…do I know you?"

"Arthur, it’s me, Eames."

Arthur’s mouth dropped, nearly dropping his mail.

"Oh my God…Eames?"

His smile was astounding and Arthur was frozen for a moment.

"Yeah, it’s been a long time. What are you doing back here?"

"Some bad luck. The house is mine and i’m alone so…here I am."

"Oh, I’m sorry. I heard your dad was sick but…"

Arthur waved it off.

"What are you doing here? I thought you were in England."

"I was. I went to school, came back and I’m taking care of my parent’s house. They’re thinking of selling it and I thought of buying it from them since I thought about moving here again."

"Oh…well that’s good to know."

It was absurd how badly Arthur wanted Eames now. He couldn’t believe how amazing he looked, how great of a person he actually was. He scolded himself for dismissing him in their youth. After re-acquainting themselves again, Arthur invited Eames over for a drink and the one drink turned into several. When Arthur felt his tongue loose enough, he finally said,

"You look so good now. When we were kids, you were so…pretty."

Eames laughed but agreed with him.

"Yeah, I was a proper looking twink then."

Arthur laughed.

"I couldn’t stand it. I hated looking like that. First chance I got, I fixed it."

"Yeah…you did."

"You use to tease me when we were kids. Say I was cute but then never went through with anything."

"You weren’t my type!"

"And…now?"

Arthur felt warm around his shirt collar and he licked his lips.

"Now…you’re…"

Eames grinned, leaning forward in his chair and kissed Arthur.

They ended up in Arthur’s bedroom upstairs. Eames was strong, which turned Arthur on to no end. He kissed hard, pressing Arthur against the wall near his door, his hand in Arthur’s jeans, jerking him off, running his thumb over the head of Arthur’s cock, making him shutter and moan as Arthur held onto Eames, clinging to him so he wouldn’t fall to the floor, his knees shaking.

"I wanted you for so long…wanted to do this…"

Arthur moaned, trying to form words in his head but each time he tried to talk, they came out as sobs and pants.

They got out of their clothes in record time and as Eames laid over Arthur, Arthur really regretted forgetting about him. To think, this could have been something sooner and he wouldn’t have wasted his time with his ex. 

He groaned as Eames pushed inside him, cursing as he felt filled and stretched out far more than his ex could have ever accomplished.

"Oh fuck…you’re big every where…"

His face burned as he heard Eames’ chuckle near his ear. 

When he moved, Arthur lost his mind, trying to wrap his arms around Eames’ back and hardly being able to, his hands stroking and smoothing over the thick muscled plains of his back. His lips were full and thick against Arthur’s, the slight taste of the beer they were drinking earlier still on his tongue. When Eames moved one of Arthur’s hands off him and pinned his wrist to the bed, Arthur nearly came, the force alone a complete turn on. Eames was dominate and powerful and Arthur felt so small and weak in comparison, his legs spread open against Eames’ sides. 

He moved smoothly and fast, thrusting into Arthur deeply, nearly lifting him off the mattress until Arthur came with a sob. When Eames came, he caught himself before falling on top of Arthur. For some reason, Arthur was turned on by that idea too. They kissed slowly afterwards, Eames cradling him in his thick arms, lifting him closer to his body.

"Fuck…that was amazing."

Eames kissed him again and again, smiling as he said,

"If I knew a little bulk was the key to getting into your pants I would have started lifting years ago."

"If I knew this was the result of my flirting I would have followed through."

They both laughed and looked at each other, Arthur smiling at him still, touching Eames’ tattooed arm. 

"You just made coming back here a lot easier."

"Yeah…you too."

Chapter Text

Arthur couldn’t roll his eyes any harder. If he did, they might roll to the back of his head and Eames sneered at him. 

"Get it together Eames. You’re wasting time."

Eames wanted to strangle him. Almost as much as he wanted to fuck him. It was very confusing - his head told him what an uptight, overbearing, micromanaging, pain in the ass Arthur was. But his dick told him to look at the way his trousers hugged his ass, how his thighs looked when he sat, the length and slenderness of his fingers. Eames hated that.

They flirted now and then sure, but when it was time for work, it was nothing but work and Arthur was not the joking around on the job kind of guy. It was maddening for Eames, who would argue with him about legitimate problems with the plan only to be strangely turned on at the same time.

He couldn’t tell anyone either, Yusuf wasn’t on the job (not that he’d want to hear it anyway) and Dom was…Dom. It left Eames by himself to jerk off angrily in his room thinking about fucking Arthur. And wanting to strangle him. 

When the job was over, Eames was getting ready to leave. His wrist was hurting, but he was sated and he knew he wouldn’t have to see Arthur for a while. Instead, after Eames packed his things, Arthur stopped him and asked,

"Do you want to go for a drink?"

"Are you kidding me?"

A flash of insecurity dashed across Arthur’s face but he covered it by saying,

"When have I ever kidded with you?"

"Good point. Okay, let’s go."

They went for a drink. And then another drink. And another. And Eames just so much wanted to see Arthur loose and not so uptight. He was tired of that. 

"Want to head back to my room?"

Eames figured now was his shot and even if he was turned down, he had some fodder to fantasize with. Besides, he was never one to waste time. Arthur’s face flushed and he bit his lip nervously, which Eames found an amazing turn on. Knowing Arthur, he was weighing his pros and cons, planning what to do and how long it would take. It was that bit of micromanaging again and it made Eames angry but then Arthur said yes and Eames forgot to be angry.

Until they got back to his room.

Arthur wouldn’t let him undress him, didn’t let Eames kiss him hard, didn’t let Eames blow him. It was turning into another job which both aroused and infuriated Eames. 

When they got in bed, Eames took over. He bruised Arthur purposely, his hand firm on his thighs. He bite marks into his collarbones and thrust hard into him, pulling out only to flip him over on his knees. When Arthur tried to pick himself up, Eames pressed him back down between his shoulder blades and grabbed Arthur’s wrist, keeping it pinned to his lower back as he pulled moans and cries out of him the whole time. He made sure Arthur came before he did and when he pulled out, he lay beside him, feeling very proud of himself. 

He had finally undone Arthur, taking him apart and making him scream. It was a momentous occasion. He sat up, getting out of bed to bin the condom and get some clothes on and when he returned, he saw Arthur had not moved. He was still curled up on his side and when Eames got closer, he could see the bruises already starting to appear on his skin. Eames spoke to him casually, just chatting him up and when thought Arthur fell asleep, he stopped.

"Are you asleep? I didn’t think you’d want to sleep over."

Arthur slowly sat up and started getting out of bed, getting dressed and moved carefully. 

"Arthur, you can at least answer my question."

"I don’t want to stay."

"I didn’t mean you had to leave, it was just unlike you-"

"How would you know what I’m like?"

He sounded angry. Eames paused for a moment, tilting his head.

"Are you upset with me? What, was I not up to par with your standards?"

He started to regret sleeping with Arthur. Even sex couldn’t be fun between them without Arthur’s overbearing nature.

"I don’t have standards. I just…nevermind. I’m leaving."

"Arthur, finish your thought. For God’s sake you’ll drive yourself crazy if you don’t finish telling me off."

Arthur was mostly dressed by then, just holding his shoes and jacket. He looked at Eames…differently and Eames immediately noticed. Arthur looked disappointed, confused, betrayed and Eames sat up.

"I had feelings for you. And…it was just…not what I expected. Good night."

He left, letting Eames’ head spin.

It was weeks before Eames ever saw Arthur again. He had heard what he was doing and thought of trailing him to see him, but he figured Arthur needed the space between them. When he finally did see him on another job, Arthur stayed professional, but his eyes wouldn’t meet Eames’ anymore. 

Eames had fucked up. 

While Arthur worked one evening, Eames sat beside him, sliding over a cup of coffee to him.

"We should talk."

"I don’t want to talk to you."

"Arthur, I didn’t know. You never even hinted-"

He stopped himself, knowing Arthur had hinted, Eames was just too…stupid to actually take it seriously. And he had no idea why, Arthur had always said he was not the type to kid.

Arthur looked at him, a frown still on his face. Eames sighed, resting his arm on Arthur’s desk.

"Ok, you did hint. I just…I don’t know why, I didn’t think you would be interested. And how was I to know you’ve not…you’re not a virgin are you?"

Arthur looked away, his face red again as he continued to write.

"No, I’m not. I just…haven’t had time to…anyone…"

Eames could have shot himself. He really fucked up. 

Arthur liked him. And because Eames always had always assumed Arthur was just an uptight, arrogant, cold, sonofabitch he didn’t realize that Arthur had little to no experience dealing with people. Suddenly images of their first night came back to him like a flood. What he had taken as control and micromanaging were nerves and shyness. He didn’t let Eames undress him because no one had ever done that before, he didn’t let Eames kiss him hard because he had actually wanted to just kiss Eames, to savor it. He didn’t let Eames blow him because he was shy and scared to stand against a wall while it happened. What he thought were moans of pleasure, were probably ones of discomfort. He hadn’t said no or stop but Eames hadn’t read his signals correctly either. And to think he was so smugly proud.

"God…Arthur I’m sorry."

Arthur shrugged, still writing down his notes.

"It’s fine."

"No, it’s not fine. I just…I assumed and I shouldn’t have. I just…I thought you were trying to be controlling. It’s why I was so rough on you. I was…"

"Getting me back?"

Eames couldn’t have felt lower than at that moment when he realized that was exactly what he had done. 

"I’m terribly sorry."

"It’s fine. It’s out of our systems."

"Well, no it’s not out of our systems. It was terrible and it shouldn’t have been. It didn’t even have to be. Give me another chance."

Arthur looked at him again, that same, angry look Eames had gotten so use to over the years.

"Are you serious?"

"Well…I know better now. I wouldn’t make the same mistakes twice."

Arthur shook his head.

"No, thanks. I think it’s best if we just forget-"

"Yes, let’s forget that first time. Start fresh. Please, Arthur. Forgive me."

He took Arthur’s hand then and held it firmly until Arthur looked at him again. He saw Arthur sigh and shake his head and Eames slid over closer to him, turning Arthur’s face towards him and kissed him. He kissed him as softly and as sweetly as he should have the first time. He took his time, coaxing Arthur to open his mouth and kiss him back and when he did, he kept going, sucking his bottom lip slowly, gingerly. The tip of his tongue at the seam of Arthur’s mouth and when he pulled back, he kissed his mouth a few more times and then pulled back to look at him.

"One more time. Please."

Arthur’s eyes opened slowly and he eased back in his chair, licking his lips as he sighed.

"God, you know how to make your point."

Eames smiled a bit as Arthur started to smile too.

"Is that a yes?"

"Yes."

Chapter Text

It had been a long, tedious job with a not-so good ending. 

After blowing Vegas and having to drive across Nevada and into Colorado to reach Aspen, everyone was exhausted and worn and aggravated. No one would out right say it was Eames’ fault - but really, who else would draw so much attention to themselves after taking down the mark by going to the high roller’s table and counting cards to win even more money, causing security, the pit boss and the mark to notice them?

They had to run as fast as possible and airports were out of the question knowing they would be watched so driving it was. A nearly ten hour car drive into Aspen. Ariadne called shotgun as they ran to the car and jamming the minimal luggage in and Arthur huffed but didn’t protest much more, just grateful they were able to escape without gunfire. 

Dom drove, Eames sat directly behind him and Arthur behind Ariadne. Dom drove like a zombie, his eyes focused on the road, hands gripping the wheel as he strained to keep his anger in check. It wasn’t a big cock-up, just an annoying one. After a few hours, Ariadne nodded off, Dom was calmer and Arthur had fallen asleep. No one had said much of anything by that point and it was safe to say they were out of harm’s way.

Eames was thinking about falling asleep, feeling comfortable and relaxed enough when Arthur suddenly slid over and landed gently on his shoulder. Eames smiled a little, seeing Arthur with his jacket draped over him like a blanket, his cheek smooshed on Eames’ shoulder as he slept. Any bump the car hit made Arthur bounce a bit and Eames watched him carefully, his eyes on the rearview mirror to look at Dom at the same time. Now that Dom was calmer, he slouched in the seat, his hands loose on the wheel. 

When Dom slowly turned the wheel to take a curve, Arthur slid of Eames’ shoulder and onto his lap and much to Eames’ surprise, Arthur took that as an invitation to get even more comfortable, pulling his legs up on the seat and adjusting his jacket over his shoulder better. Eames rested his hand on Arthur’s shoulder, the other on the car door as he let his head fall back on the seat and started to close his eyes to sleep.

It was only a few minutes of Eames having his eyes closed when he felt Arthur moving a little. He wrote it off as Arthur starting to get comfortable until he felt his hand at the button of his pants. He shivered a little, his mind still trying to process everything as Arthur drew down the zipper, his fingers nimble and fast as he took out Eames’ cock and began to jerk him slowly, working him up. Eames took a sharp but quick gasp, his eyes darting to the mirror again, seeing Dom looking straight ahead still. 

His mind was trying to work through everything happening and he thought he should say something, ask Arthur what he was doing, why he was doing it but he didn’t want to alert Dom or wake Ariadne. He immediately tensed up when he suddenly felt Arthur’s warm wet mouth on his dick, sucking softly, swallowing him down before lifting back up. 

There wasn’t a sound except the hum of the car on the road, Eames biting his lip to keep every sound inside though  his body was taut and he trembled. He couldn’t see anything except for flashes of light now and then from the random passing motorist and only then he could only see the back of Arthur’s head. But he could feel everything. He felt him moving his head up and down, his mouth hot and lips covering his teeth so not to scrape him. His tongue touched every inch of him and when he pulled off him, his hand still firmly at the base of his cock holding him in place, he felt his lips pushing back his foreskin and the very tip of his tongue toyed at the slit, licking up the precum that came forward.

Eames panted softly, his mouth open as he brought his hand to cover his mouth, his eyes now closed as he leaned back against the seat, his hand clutching firmly at Arthur’s shoulder. He tried to warn him, to let him know he was close but the most he could do was shake his shoulder. All it did was make Arthur suck harder, as if urging him to come, daring him even.

And Eames did. He bit his knuckle, his eyes clenched shut as he felt Arthur swallowing, his fingers still stroking him through it. When his entire body fell back, lax and boneless, Eames looked at the mirror, his vision a  little hazy, he saw Dom was still driving calmly, his eyes never leaving the road. It was added relief. 

Arthur tucked him back in place, zipping him back up and buttoning him again before resting back on his lap. Eames moved his hand from Arthur’s shoulder, to his cheek, letting his fingers stroke the skin there until Arthur turned a little, his mouth under Eames’ fingers as he kissed the pad of each digit. 

After a handful of hours, Dom suggested someone else drive and Ariadne offered to drive, saying she was well rested enough.

Neither Arthur or Eames called shot gun.

Chapter Text

Eames had been tired of his wife for years now. She nagged and picked and looked for any reason to fight with Eames. He was unhappy and thought of divorcing her - often, but he couldn’t for the single reason of her son, his step-son, Arthur.

He had married Arthur’s mother when Arthur was still young and he had gotten along well enough with him, but as Arthur got older, they seem to grow closer. When Arthur reached puberty, Eames was there to guide him through tough times. He was a father figure to him, a role model and Arthur was always more afraid to disappoint Eames than his mother. 

When Arthur was seventeen, Eames began to notice how tall Arthur was getting, how lean he had become from running track in school, how bright his smile was becoming. He was growing quiet nicely into himself. He began to notice another thing as well - like how Arthur was suddenly a lot more touch-y, how he seem to sit closer to him when he was on the sofa, how his hugs seem to last just a bit longer. Eames was sure that it was all in his imagination but that was all quickly dismissed one night.

Eames was sitting in his study, just reading the paper, spending some time alone. His wife was in her room, Arthur in his and he would go to bed in the room he kept from his wife for years now. He checked the time, being close to one in the morning when the rain started up. He kept reading the paper until he saw something from the corner of his eye and he looked up, seeing Arthur standing at the doorway. He was wearing shorts and long sleeved shirt, his hair curly and to his neck and messy. 

"Arthur, it’s late."

"I know. But I went to get something to drink and saw you were up."

He stepped in, closing the door of his study behind him. Eames folded the paper and set it on the table.

"Are you ok?"

Arthur nodded, bringing his hand to his mouth, the sleeve right at his fingers as he bit his nail a little. He stepped close to Eames, letting his bare knee brush against Eames’ as he said,

"Are you busy?"

"No, love. Just finishing the paper."

He leaned against Eames’ desk and brought his hands down to the edge of the desk and smiled at Eames, letting his knee continue brushing against Eames’. Eames noticed and watching his leg, his eyes following upwards to his thighs, noticing his shorts were a lot shorter than other pairs he had.

"Arthur…"

"Yes?"

"You should go to bed."

"It’s the weekend tomorrow."

"Oh…right."

He looked up and tapped Arthur’s knee to nudge him away and instead, Arthur lifted his leg to his touch. Eames froze for a moment, his hand stilling as Arthur moved his leg back down, letting Eames’ fingers slide up his thigh.

"Arthur…"

"Yes?"

"What are you doing?"

"Nothing. I just want to spend time with you."

He didn’t get much of a chance to say or do anything else as Arthur suddenly sat in his lap. His slender arms wrapped around his neck as he stayed still and Eames tried to get him off his lap, holding his waist.

"Arthur, this is inappropriate."

"What? I’m just sitting."

He sighed, not wanting to encourage him, but not wanting to let this go on any further. Arthur fidgeted again, moving himself on Eames’ lap as he straddled Eames’ lap and sat down again, plump, firm ass right on top of Eames’ cock. Eames made a face, trying to hold back the slight gasp of pleasure and Arthur smiled. 

"Arthur, I’m your step-father."

"I know."

"You should stop and go back upstairs."

"Why? I’ve seen how you look at me. You always tease me, flirt with me."

"I don’t-"

"Yes, you do."

While Eames had always hoped his careful words would not be taken as innuendo despite them actually being just that. Arthur was a smart boy - a little too smart in this case. 

Arthur was hard to resist. He seduced with all the temptation and lure of forbidden fruit. He knew what he was and what he wanted and getting Eames to concede was the last step and when Eames gave in, it was rapture.

Arthur sat on Eames’ lap, his sweats tugged down enough to free him, Arthur had taken off his shorts as he rode him, Eames holding onto his sides, Arthur’s shirt rucked up under his arms. Arthur made sweet little noises, biting his lip as he held onto Eames’ shoulders, bouncing up and down on Eames’ cock. He whined now and then, his back arching when he pushed down and rolled his hips.

"Fuck…Arthur…where did you..learn to do this…?"

Arthur smiled, leaning in, kissing Eames’ lips.

"Just now…is it good?"

He panted out the words as Eames watched him, slouched back in his seat, pulling Arthur close to him to kiss him, feeling him still rocking his hips, his tight little hole clenching greedily to keep Eames inside him. Eames cursed again, feeling close. When Arthur sat up, he leaned back, holding himself up on Eames’ knee as he kept going, body undulating and moving smoothly, his shirt falling back down his chest and over his stomach which made Eames scramble to pull it back up, to watch him keep going. 

When his movements became frantic and erratic, all sense of rhythm gone, Eames helped him, urging him to bounce, his free hand bunched in Arthur’s shirt to keep it up and out of the way as he came. He let out a loud, shaky little scream and Eames prayed Arthur’s mother didn’t hear it as he came, filling Arthur up.

They were both quiet in the aftermath, Arthur sweetly kissing Eames’ face as he stayed where he was, his arms around Eames’  neck as he made little pleased sounds.

"We shouldn’t have…"

Arthur smiled, his laugh escaping through his kisses.

"Too late now."

Eames still held onto Arthur’s hips, feeling the wetness between them, his come still seeping out of Arthur. It was filthy but damned if Eames didn’t want to stay in that moment for as long as possible. 

"Your mother will kill me if she finds out."

"She won’t."

Eames sighed softly, kissing Arthur when Arthur’s mouth was on his. Arthur then slowly moved back, getting off Eames’ lap, moaning as Eames slipped out of him. It was such an obscene sight that Eames groaned as well, He pulled his sweats back up and watched Arthur get his shorts back on. 

"Arthur…"

Arthur climbed back onto his lap as he kissed him more and then said,

"You’re all mine now."

Eames wasn’t ready for the feeling he felt in his chest hearing Arthur say that. He smiled a little.

"And you’re all mine."

"I’ve always been."

Eames was surprised again but at the same time, he felt he shouldn’t have been.

Chapter Text

Arthur didn’t really show a lot in the beginning months of his pregnancy but when he started to, Eames couldn’t stop touching his tummy. He would lay beside and run his hand over the protruding bump of Arthur’s stomach and just smile proudly. 

Arthur pretended it bothered him, sighing deeply and rolling his eyes, but he couldn’t really be angry. He loved the look of love and adoration on Eames’ face when he looked at his stomach and he felt the tickle of Eames’ stubble on his skin which made him laugh whenever Eames kissed his belly. 

Arthur was just starting his eighth month and he was pleased that he wasn’t huge or heavy. He barely showed and therefore didn’t have a lot of the symptoms usually associated with pregnancy except the appetite and the hormones. He felt hungry, constantly and for usually one particular thing a week at a time. For a while, he couldn’t stop eating raisin bran cereal and when he was tired of it, he wanted nothing but BLT’s. 

Eames was great with tending to him. He made sure the house was always fully stocked with the current things Arthur craved and while Arthur ate, Eames usually rubbed his feet, even without Arthur asking.

When Arthur was moody or angry or miserable, Eames tolerated it all. He listened and didn’t fight back when Arthur shouted at him and didn’t ask what was wrong when Arthur broke into random tears. He just let him go through everything, rubbing his back, waiting for Arthur to come back to his senses.

He took Arthur to every single appointment, to every check up and waited patiently with him, helping him into exam rooms and up on the table. Arthur thought that eventually, Eames would get fed up with everything but when he commented on it, Eames only looked at him and said,

"You’re carrying my baby. This is the least I can do."

Arthur just smiled.

Now and then, Eames would take the time to put to use everything Arthur picked out for the nursery. He painted the room and built all the furniture, Arthur watching and keeping him company though when his feet got tired or his back ached, Eames lead him to the rocking chair he bought specifically for him. 

"Have you thought of any names?"

Eames was still building the changing table in his paint stained cargos and loose sleeveless black graphic tee. Arthur sat in the chair, his hands on his stomach, rubbing the mound as he said,

"No…not really. Did you?"

"No, it’s why I asked you first."

He laughed a bit and Arthur smiled.

"What if it’s a boy? What about something elegant?:

"Such as?"

"Vincent?"

Eames made a face as he finished piecing the table and stood it up properly.

"Vincent Eames? Sounds like a spy."

"Well, he does come from criminal stock."

"What about a girl? She would come from m the same stock."

"Catherine?"

"Catherine Eames. She sounds like a queen."

"Mmm. Julia then."

Eames seem to consider that a bit more.

"I like the way it sounds."

"What about Charles for the boy?"

"Ugh, sounds like a proper, posh twat."

Arthur laughed.

"James?"

"That’s just playing hell with his name. All those vowels."

"Benedict."

Eames made a face at him again and Arthur really laughed.

They had dinner and then watched a bit of television before going to bed. When they lay in bed together, Arthur on his side, Eames behind him with his hand on his stomach, rubbing it slightly, Arthur said,

"Jamie."

"Who?"

"For the boy. Jamie."

"No. Absolutely not."

Arthur smiled as he put his hand over Eames’ and sighed.

"You’re going to be a good dad."

He felt Eames kiss the back of his neck before responding.

"So are you."

Chapter Text

"And now we’ve come to the giant squid exhibit. Here you can see an example of the giant squid which scientists and researchers have estimated is the largest size."

Eames stood in the crowd, listening to the tour guide, Arthur, talk about the giant squid. It wasn’t the first time Eames had taken the museum tour, it wasn’t even his second. It was more like his tenth or eleventh…he had lost track. 

The first time was a total mistake, he was killing some time in between as he waited for his friend to get off work so they could get dinner together so he decided what better way to waste time then at a museum. When he walked around however, he noticed the really beautiful tour guide. He looked smart in his black fitted dress pants, pale blue shirt and museum issued waistcoat over that, his name tag pinned to the right of his chest. His hair was short and wavy, sometimes he slicked it back depending on the day and he wore glasses. He was lovely and he spoke with great enthusiasm about each exhibit that Eames found himself following the small crowd.

Since then. Eames had been trying to build up the nerve to actually talk to Arthur, the adorable tour guide and until then, he was just listening to the tour for the tenth or eleventh time. 

They walked through the minerals and rocks exhibit, then the dinosaurs, prehistoric animals, sea animals, land animals, insects, and finally reptiles. At the end of the tour, Arthur would always smile and thank the crowd for coming and then he would leave to start all over again. 

Eames sighed as the crowd began to thin out and leave and he was once again standing there without having said anything to Arthur.

He went to the cafeteria, scolding himself for again passing up a chance. Arthur had even lingered a bit in case anyone had any questions and Eames again did nothing except slowly get out of sight, hoping that Arthur wouldn’t notice him.

He ate his yogurt slowly, annoyed with himself and thinking about the next time he would take the tour, promising himself he would ask Arthur out. 

Only the next time he did take the tour, he realized he had nothing to open with. He didn’t know what to say so when he started to raise his hand to ask a question, he stopped himself and said nothing. 

After that, he began doing some research on each major piece of Arthur’s tour, asking questions just to have a basis of interaction with him. At the end of one tour, Eames summoned the courage to go up to Arthur and finally talk to him.

"Hi."

"Hi. Did you enjoy the tour?"

"I did. I really enjoyed the reptile part. You really know so much details about all these things."

"You asked excellent questions."

"Ah, I was just trying to learn a bit more."

Arthur smiled at him for a moment before he looked at his watch.

"I have my break right now. Do you want to sit and have lunch with me?"

"I’d love to."

It was the best conversation Eames could have hoped for and while they ate, Eames flexed his knowledge about all the things he had researched on, impressing Arthur. At the end, as they threw their garbage away, Arthur asked,

"So, will you be coming to my next tour?"

"Well, sure why not."

"Mmm. I’m sure it’ll be interesting this time around."

"Hm?"

"I’ve seen you in my groups."

"Oh…"

"Don’t embarrassed. It’s kind of flattering actually. I was wondering when you’d finally talk to me."

"I was trying to think of what to say."

Arthur just continued smiling at him before he asked,

"Do you want to get dinner some time?"

"Uh…yes…"

"Great."

They exchanged numbers and once they were done, Arthur looked at him, a little amused but smiling warmly at him.

"If you want to keep taking my tour, feel free to, but you don’t have to now. You can just call me."

Eames felt a little flustered, his face warm as he cleared his throat.

"Ok."

"I’m done at eight. Pick me then?"

"Ok, I will."

"I’ll see you then."

Arthur then left to return to work and Eames grinned stupidly to himself.

Chapter Text

"A visit? With Arthur?"

Eames stood up, pacing a bit in his apartment as he swallowed hard, listening to his mother on the other end, inviting him for a weekend. He had avoided it for so long that now he had no excuse not to go.

He just didn’t want to considering the lie he told.

He told his mum he had been in a relationship for years and he had gotten away with it considering his job, but now…now he had no choice.

"Uh, yeah mum. We can make a visit. I’ll call you back with details."

He hung up without waiting for her to reply and he packed his bags before throwing them in the car and heading over to Arthur’s apartment. 

He felt fortunate that Arthur was home when he opened door and he sighed deeply.

"Arthur…thank God you’re home."

"Is something wrong?"

"I just…I needed to ask a rather large favor of you."

Arthur leaned against his door frame as he sighed and said,

"What?"

It took Eames moments to explain the whole thing, the fake relationship, the visit to his mum’s everything in a few short sentences.

"Why me? Why did you tell your mother we were dating?"

"You were the only person I’ve been around in years. When she asked I panicked and said your name first."

Arthur sighed and shook his head.

"I swear, you can out run criminals and throw ten grand on a single hand of poker but you still tremble under your mother’s pressure."

"It’s not trembling. It’s trying to avoid being scolded for being a bachelor at my age."

Arthur rolled his eyes and shook his head.

"Fine, let me pack."

"I can’t thank you enough."

"You can start by first class tickets."

When they arrived at Eames’ mother England home, at the door, Eames took Arthur’s hand. Arthur nearly forgot what Eames was doing but remembered just as Eames’ mother opened the door.

There were embraces and introductions and Eames’ mother smiled warmly at Arthur and shaking his hand before hugging him properly, kissing his cheek as she welcomed them inside.

There was dinner and conversation, Eames finding it easy to fake the relationship since it was just like hanging out with Arthur normally only now and then, he took his hand and touched his hair. Arthur leaned to it, damn good at playing along. 

At night, in the guest room, they shared a bed. It wasn’t the first time they had shared a bed only now, it felt weird since they were pretending to be dating. Arthur lay on his side facing him, Eames laying on his back, grateful for the bed space.

"Thanks for doing this."

"Just to avoid being scolded."

Eames smiled a little and turned to face Arthur.

"I can’t imagine what would have happened if I showed up here alone."

"So how long have we been dating?"

"When did we meet?"

"Ummm..it’s been a while."

"A little after we met then. So about ten or so years."

"Wow long time. And you haven’t committed to me any further? You asshole, I’m wasting the best years of my life here!"

Eames laughed and Arthur did too. 

"Well you know. We’ve had our problems. It was a bit on and off in the beginning."

"Mmm, a likely story."

"I’m sure my mum will ask me that some time soon. Why I haven’t proposed or anything."

"I draw the line at fake husband. You either marry me for real or find someone else to be your husband."

"It would help if we were dating first before I married you."

They exchanged another round of laughs before Arthur reached up to his hair, tucking it back behind his ear.

"Why haven’t we dated?"

"We’re friends and colleagues. You’ve always seemed like the type that doesn’t mix business with pleasure."

"I am. But…I don’t know. I feel like I would have made the exception for you."

"Me too."

Without saying another word, they met half way for a kiss. It was soft and shy and yet they fit against each other so perfectly, like they were always meant to. When they moved back, Eames looked at him, talking softly to him still.

"Should I have not done that?"

"I met you half way."

"We always did make a good team."

Arthur smiled at him.

By the end of the weekend, Arthur wasn’t pretending anymore.

Chapter Text

Eames is practically drooling as he stares at the rows of cupcakes, each different and delicate looking, not to mention delicious.

Scarlet red Velvet with fluffy cream cheese frosting.

Lemon with vanilla frosting.

Triple chocolate with white ganache 

Madagascar-burbon vanilla cake with raspberry buttercream

White chocolate with almond

Cafe mocha

Black and white

Just to name a few. Next to the cupcake displays were rows of freshly baked desserts, croissants, sugar cookies, strawberry mousse shortcake, raspberry lace torte, tiramisu. Eames didn’t know where to begin. He moved himself back to the cupcakes as he sighed again and didn’t know what to pick.

"Hi Eames."

Eames looked up over the counter to see the owner and baker of Eames’ weakness, Arthur. Eames didn’t mean to come into a bakery - on his way to the gym no less, but smelling the fresh bread seduced him in and the next thing he knew, he was sampling a fresh brownie and he had been going back ever since. Of course, he was putting in an hour at the gym considering how much sugar he was eating, but he felt it was worth it.

"Hi, Arthur. I don’t know where to start."

Arthur laughed. It was the same problem every time. Eames couldn’t choose, he wanted everything so Arthur usually suggested the best of the day or if he tried something new he would let Eames sample that.

"The ice lemon with vanilla cake has been selling rather well today. The lavender one too."

"Lavender?"

Eames leaned down to scan the counter, seeing not a single trace of lavender anywhere. He looked back at Arthur, a bit disappointed.

"I don’t see any lavender ones."

Arthur only smiled at him and brought up a tray, the last lavender cupcake left. It looked like a tiny piece of art on the silver tray, the wrapper a soft gray, making the lavender purple frosting pop all the more. The cake was white chocolate with almonds and the frost had been carefully piped in a perfect swirl on top.

"That looks like heaven."

"I hope you like it."

"I do. I mean I probably will. I have yet to be let down by you."

Arthur didn’t even ask if he wanted a box or if Eames was going to eat it then, not since the first time they met. 

"How much do I owe you?"

"It’s the last one, so it’s on the house."

"Thank you, love."

Arthur smiled and Eames picked up the dessert as he headed out the door.

Any time Eames came in, it was usually before he headed to the gym. He came back each day, no matter the weather and picked out a new dessert to eat. Very randomly did Eames stop in any other time but the few times he did, he explained he was on his way to a friend’s dinner party.

"It was be terribly tacky to show up empty handed. And it’s another reason for me to come see you."

Arthur smiled as he helped Eames pick out a cake, wrapped it up and Eames paid, thanking him once more before heading out. When he returned the next day, he told Arthur how everyone loved the cake - or rather what they could get since he ate most of it himself.

Another time he stopped in other than his appointed time, Eames explained he was bringing in something for work. But he also bought a cupcake for himself. 

Holidays were usually big for Arthur and he felt he couldn’t keep his shelves stocked as people came in buying things for dinners, potlucks and gifts. Valentine’s Day was the worse and by the end, he had nothing but empty trays to clean at the end of the night. 

That Valentine’s Day, Eames came in and was shocked to see the mostly empty display cases.

"Oh, this is just sad."

Arthur sighed but leaned on the counter.

"Not for business."

"I was hoping for my usual. I forget what madness hits this place during the holidays."

He seemed so disappointed as he leaned down to see what he could find when Arthur settled a tray on top. He watched Eames appear again, looking amazed at the soft pink dessert.

"It’s a strawberry mousse frosting on hazelnut cake. It’s infused with Earl Grey too."

"This is impressive. I bet these sold out like crazy."

"No, this is the only one I made."

Eames’ eyes went from the dessert to Arthur.

"You…made this for me?"

Arthur nodded, not looking at Eames, his fingers trailing along the scalloped edges of the tray.

"Oh..thank you."

He picked up the cupcake from the tray and looked it over, seeing the same care and grace that went into making it, that he always saw in each one of Arthur’s desserts. Finally he looked up at Arthur again and smiled, sure this was his opening.

"Do you want to go out some time? Like…for dinner or a drink?"

Arthur gave a soft laugh.

"Yes. I’d love to."

Eames smiled back before taking a bite out of the cupcake, humming in approval. As he chewed, Arthur leaned across the counter and wiped off the top of Eames’ lip where a bit of pink frosting had been left behind.

He licked it off his own finger, Eames again seduced as he said,

"Is tonight good?"

"Tonight would be great."

"I’ll pick you up when you close the shop then?"

Arthur nodded.

"I’ll bring dessert."

Eames grinned as best he could, his mouth full of cupcake.

"I look forward to it."

Chapter Text

Eames blew the whistle as he watched the kids run back and forth on the field. He clapped his hands as he said,

"Alright, good, good, come on, don’t let them take the ball! Like we practiced!"

His team of tiny little soccer players ran over to the other team, the parents in the stands applauding and cheering for their little ones. It was cute to see the kid’s tiny legs trying to kick a ball and missing, sometimes other kids not trying at all and just running around the ball itself.

When the game was over at a score of one to zero, Eames’ team the victors, the kids lined up and gave each other high-five’s. Good sportsman ship was important after all. The kids then ran over to Eames, jumping up and down, cheering.

"Good work kids, time for pizza!"

That only caused more shouts and screams from the kids.

The team had pizza and soda at the pizza parlor which was within walking distance of the soccer field. Eventually, the parents came to pick up their children a few at a time. By then the kids had, had their pizza and soda and were milling around the arcade games. The last one to be picked up was Phillipa Cobb. She was a good player and listened well and she was very fond of Eames. When her parent finally came to pick her up, he sighed in apology.

"I’m sorry, there was a last minute thing."

It was Arthur, Eames inappropriate crush. 

He had started to flirt with Arthur when he took over on being a coach for the kid’s soccer team but that quickly ended when Eames realized that Arthur was there to pick up Phillipa. He didn’t need a full picture drawn out for him, quickly realizing he was probably flirting with a married man. A married man with an adorable daughter.

He tried to reign it in now and then but it was hard. Arthur was a delight to talk to. He made Eames laugh and he had a brilliant smile with dimples that showed up whenever he smiled. Eames always wanted to ask him out but then was instantly reminded of Phillipa as she ran to Arthur and begged to be lifted up. That day was no different.

"Up! Up!"

Arthur sighed but smiled as he picked Phillipa up, catching her and balancing her on his hip like a pro. 

"Thanks for watching her. How did she do?"

"My star player. We won."

Phillipa hooted and Arthur held his hand up for a high five, which Phillipa happily gave to him. Arthur then switched her over to his other side, looking so proper in his khakis and waistcoat, his oxford unbuttoned at the collar, his sleeves rolled up to his elbows. 

"So, are you all done with your day?"

"I am. What about you?"

"Yeah, just picking up this monster."

Phillipa giggled and made a roaring noise as Eames smiled.

It would have been a perfect chance to ask him out - to invite him out on a date. But he was fairly certain his wife would have something to say about that. So Eames cleared his throat and Arthur glanced down as if disappointed.

"Ok. Then…bye."

"Bye."

Eames watched him go and Eames just sighed deeply.

There were more moments like that. Eames and Arthur just kind of danced around each other and Eames swore that Arthur was just being polite and making small talk with him. Sometimes, he let Phillipa play with the other kids in the field while he and Eames talked and Eames thought Arthur was being a bit flirty back. He could never be sure though, Phillipa had rotten timing and would always pop in at the worse moment, demanding to be picked up or bumping into Eames as she ran around them.

On the last game of the season, Eames was cheering his team on as they warmed up and he watched as Phillipa stopped and began to wave to her parents behind Eames on the bleachers. When he turned to look for Arthur, he didn’t see him so he was a bit confused as to who Phillipa was waving at. After the game - a tie, Phillipa ran off the field and Eames watched her go to a lovely woman with soft brown mocha colored curls and a tall blonde man. Arthur suddenly appeared and he talked to the people Phillipa was with, further confusing Eames as he watched from the side lines. 

Phillipa stayed behind when Arthur suddenly approached Eames. 

"Hey…"

"Hi. What’s wrong?"

He noted Eames’ confused look on his face.

"Oh…nothing it’s just…who’s Phillipa with?"

Arthur looked over his shoulder before he looked back at Eames with a small smile.

"Oh, those are Phillipa’s parents."

"Her parents?"

"Yeah, her mom and dad."

"But you’re not-"

"I’m her godfather."

It broke like dawn over Eames’ head as the realization washed over him,

"Oh…ohhh…."

"Yeah. Why? Does that suddenly make a difference?"

Eames swallowed hard before he laughed nervously.

"I thought….I just thought you were Phillipa’s dad and you must have had a wife."

"What, was my flirting not obvious enough?"

"I just thought it was my imagination."

Arthur laughed as he hooked his thumbs in the belt loops of his jeans. He looked adorable and young and looking at him again, he wondered how he ever thought he was anyone’s father.

"Do you want to have dinner with me tonight?"

"Finally."

Eames only laughed, feeling foolish but incredibly happy.

"Is that a yes?"

"Yes."

Chapter Text

Arthur was nervous. He couldn’t even remember the last time he was so nervous. Maybe the first time he was going to fuck on camera and have his ass spread open for the world to see…that completely made him nervous.

But after his first orgasm quickly made him forget the shame of being fucked on camera. He hadn’t looked back since but now…now he was going to do this show.

It was a well paid gig, the club wasn’t too bad. At least from what Arthur saw. The club had hired a ton of professionals for the event - strippers, dancers, performers of every kind. Arthur was one of those performers, a well known porn star and his agent said that porn stars did this kind of thing all the time and the paycheck was nothing to sneer at so Arthur took the job. 

Though now, he was nervous. 

He was going to do a live sex show and his partner was Eames. He and Eames, having worked in the same business for some time, knew each other though they had never actually worked together on film. Eames had somehow managed to capitalize on his fame and did so few films yet he was still popular and was paid rather well. He felt his legs shaking as he stood to the side of the stage waiting to be introduced when he felt a hand brushing over his ass. He turned and saw Eames behind him, his hand settled on his hip.

"You seem shaky, pet."

"I’m not your pet."

He brushed Eames’ hand off him and Eames gave him a look.

"We’re about to know each other biblically and you’re offended by my hand?"

He scoffed and Arthur felt a little embarrassed and said,

"Sorry. I am nervous."

"I figured as much. Just follow my lead and think of it as being on set."

Arthur nodded and within a matter of moments, they were introduced.

Eames walked onto the stage as he owned it and ate up the applause. The stage itself had been lit and set up like a bedroom and that eased Arthur a bit. There were cameras pointed at them, large TV set ups on the sides so the entire room could see and Arthur was glad he had turned down being miked. He wasn’t wearing much but fitted, snug black briefs, Eames wore jeans. 

It took little time for Eames to grab him, cupping his face and kissing him hard and filthy, his free hand on his ass, gripping him hard and making Arthur rut against him. When he let go, he stripped him out of his underwear and pushed him back on the bed, Eames getting closer to him. Arthur slid off the bed, getting to his knees and undoing Eames’ jeans, not surprised to see him wearing nothing underneath, his cock hard already. He didn’t waste time taking him in his mouth, his head bobbing back and forth, Eames’ hands in his hair, pulling it back so his face could be seen. It was all mechanical, Arthur just going through the actions, things he had done a million times before and without the worry of a microphone, he didn’t even bother to fake the sounds of pleasure. 

Eames pulled him back suddenly, making him stop and brought him back on the bed. He shed his jeans and climbed over him, all mass and tattoos and Arthur found himself a little disappointed he hadn’t fucked Eames before. When he leaned down to bite at Arthur’s neck, he heard him whisper,

"You could at least pretend to enjoy it a little. It’s still a show."

Arthur had almost forgotten about the cameras - that even if the audio wasn’t the best or clearest, they could still see everything. 

But Arthur didn’t have to fake anything when he felt Eames’ fingers at his hole, cold and slick with lube. He gasped and then moaned as he two of them, his back arching as he pushed down on them. He felt Eames kiss his face, whispering to him,

"That’s better."

The sex was better than anything Arthur had ever had before. And that was saying a lot considering his career. Eames was dominate and didn’t hesitate. He moved Arthur’s leg up and spread him open further Arthur could even imagine. When they switched positions and Arthur was on top, he forgot the cameras were there but this time because he couldn’t even think, the way Eames’ powerful hands bounced him up and down on his cock and when he let go, his hands on his cheeks, spreading him obscenely to make Arthur take him in even deeper. 

Arthur cursed and sobbed and cried out, just taking whatever Eames gave him. The positions were switched again, Arthur on his knees, face down on the pillow, Eames forcing his thighs apart further as he fucked him hard, jolting Arthur with every thrust, rucking the sheets off the bed and Arthur swore the whole world could hear him as he screamed when he came. Eames pulled out before he came, taking off the condom and coming on Arthur’s lower back, panting still. 

There was deafening applause and the curtain was drawn. Arthur could only lay there for a moment, trying to regain his senses. Eames only sat beside him, trying to steady his own breathing as he looked at Arthur.

"Damn…you were the tightest little arse I ever fucked."

Arthur smiled a bit and looked at Eames.

"You’re the biggest cock I ever had."

Eames leaned over to him, grabbing his face and kissing him. Arthur kissed back and smiled a little when Eames pulled back.

"We need to work together more often."

"We do."

Chapter Text

Eames got out of the car first, taking a quick look around before he opened the back door and allowed Arthur to step out.

"Honestly, Eames. You’re so paranoid."

"It’s my job."

Eames gave Arthur a little smile as Arthur adjusted his bag and went ahead to the very secure and very private school.

Arthur Cohen was the son of a very wealthy, very well connected diplomat and as his son, Arthur was always well protected by the best. The best, was Eames. He had been head of security since Arthur was old enough to be out of his mother’s arms and over the years, had established a firm and proper team that took orders to the tee. 

He and the driver always took Arthur to school and picked him up in the afternoon. Any activities that he partook in had to be approved by his father first and then a member of security usually sat in during his activity. But mainly, Arthur took private tennis lessons at home which Eames sat in himself.

Eames was very protective of Arthur - not only as his job but he had grown to care for and adore the young man, worried about him when he was ill or down. There had been few instances throughout the year that Eames ever feared for Arthur’s well being, only one of them being a serious cause for worry. When he had first enrolled in his school, he had been rushed by a crowd and some man tried to pull Arthur into a near by car. Eames had seen it and broken the man’s arm to get him to release Arthur.

Now Arthur was a little older, a bit more cautious, but he still teased Eames when Eames took that second pause before opening the door for him.

At night, when Arthur was home, his parents busy with some kind event or social gala, Eames still ran security throughout the house, making sure the rest of his staff was at the main gate, the others downstairs watching the cameras that had been posted on the outside of the house and finally, that the security alarm was on. After making sure all of that was up to his standard, Eames paid Arthur one more visit, knocking on his bedroom door. When he heard permission to enter, he did, seeing Arthur was already in bed, playing with his phone. He stopped when he saw Eames, setting it down on the night stand as he smiled.

"Hi. Come to check on me?"

"Of course. I always want to make sure my boy is safe."

There was a soft pink on Arthur’s cheeks when Eames said that and Arthur sat up, holding his hand out to him. Eames sighed, knowing he shouldn’t but he did anyway.

The first time he had slept with Arthur, now nearly a year ago, he had felt so terribly guilty as if he screwed up everything he had ever worked for and what was worse, he had touched something that was not his. But Arthur loved him, told him he had nothing to feel guilty about and since then, any time Arthur called him, Eames went. Arthur was still a teenager, Eames in his mid thirties, which to him, made it feel like he was doubling his crimes. He took Arthur’s hand and sat on his bed while Arthur sat up, putting his arms around Eames’, kissing his cheek.

"How long will my parents be gone?"

"A few hours."

"Good."

It was a matter of moments in between Eames getting undressed and getting in Arthur’s bed, the light shut off as they kissed in the dark. Arthur was still so much smaller than him, all length and lean muscle. Eames’ hand could grab all of Arthur’s thigh, Arthur’s slender little arms couldn’t even wrap around Eames’ broad and tattooed back and still, it felt so right. He let Arthur touch and kiss any part of him he wanted, his pianist fingers touching and tracing over Eames’ tattoos - the first time he saw them he was amazed by how many Eames had, his own skin smooth and flawless, bare and shockingly soft. 

"Darling boy…"

He felt Arthur’s smile against his face.

"I love when you call me that. Because I am..I am your boy…"

Eames groaned as he felt Arthur lifting his hips up, wrapping his legs around his waist, impatient as always. His soft little mewls and whimpers echoed in his ears as he moved, his arms around Arthur’s more slender frame, lifting him up to kiss him more, his blunt fingernails biting at the back of Eames’ shoulders.

"More, please more…want you…as deep as you can…"

Eames gave him more, rocking into him harder, his strokes smooth yet slow. He could hear Arthur gasping for air, his legs shaking as he held them apart against Eames’ sides and still, he lifted them up as high as he could, Eames cursing softly under his breath as he slid his arm under one of Arthur’s bent legs to keep them in place. The new angle allowed him to push inside his boy even deeper and Arthur let out the sweetest moan.

"There…there, there, there…"

So Eames kept going, again and again until Arthur came, his orgasm making him cry out, his voice trembling as if he wasn’t expecting it to be that intense. Eames followed him, the clench overwhelming him and definitely catching him off guard. He heard Arthur make a little sound, his breath still uneven and broken and when he spoke, it was a feather whisper to Eames’ ears.

"I don’t like you wearing condoms…"

They’ve had this discussion before. Eames was not yet comfortable completely and utterly defiling his boy.

"I know."

He got up and threw away in Arthur’s bathroom, grabbing a towel to clean them up. Once he dressed Arthur back in his pajamas and he was dressed again, checking his phone once just in case, he put Arthur back in bed. He sat beside him, stroking his hair, leaning over to kiss him a few times.

"I love you."

Eames smiled, kissing his dimpled cheek.

"I love you too."

"Thank you for taking care of me."

Eames laughed a bit, cupping Arthur’s face as he said,

"It’s my pleasure. Go to sleep now, it’s late."

"Ok. Good night."

"Good night."

Eames stood up, grabbing his cell phone and before he shut off the lamp on Arthur’s night stand, he looked at him once more, seeing him looking content and blissfully happy, his eyes closing gradually. 

He shut the lamp light off and left his room, going back to work.

Chapter Text

There were many times that Eames fought with Arthur. He shouldn’t have been considering their jobs, but they did anyway. Arthur thought too highly of himself - almost as if trying to steal Eames’ thunder.

It was never the case of course, they just had a past that was too long and murky for Eames to see past it. 

Eames was still at the firehouse, resting, trying to nod off for at least a few minutes, his feet up on the table as he still wore most of his uniform and boots, the braces hanging around his waist and under him. His hands were folded on his stomach and he yawned, sitting on the only comfortable armchair at the station.

He got about an hour of sleep in when the alarm went off. It was a big one and Eames was instantly on his feet, grabbing his gear and following his team on the truck. 

The fire engine sped towards the scene but Eames was annoyed and frustrated when the truck slowed down, despite the lights and sirens blaring. When Eames looked out ahead of the traffic, he could see the fire in the distance and the huge traffic jam holding them back. 

"Come on! What’s the hold up?"

The driver leaned on the horn and the cars slowly began separating and spacing out, letting the fire truck through. It moved at a crawl but finally, they broke through and headed to the scene.

As the other firefighters scrambled to get the hose going, the rest of the crew attending those injured, Eames looked around, trying to find Arthur - the usual cop on the scene but he didn’t see him. He decided to ignore it at first, grabbing his ax as he headed towards the residence. Most of the occupants were out, except the mother is seemed. The father cradled his children as they cried and Eames headed in, hoping to find the mother alive rather than her corpse.

Much to his shock. he saw not only the mother but Arthur. He was holding a blanket over their heads in an attempt to shield them from the flames, Arthur trying to hold onto the woman as she shook and struggled to walk. Eames ran to them and Arthur immediately gave the woman over, bringing the corner of the blanket over his mouth as he coughed and said,

"Get her out, I’m right behind you!"

Eames wanted to argue, but now was not the time so he carried the woman out, secure that Arthur would follow.  

When he was out, he gave the woman over to the paramedics and turned to see Arthur was not behind him. Instantly, Eames was back inside and he saw Arthur struggling to breathe, the smoke thick and black now, the flames coming for him as the roof and walls seem to collapse in a matter of seconds. Eames grabbed him, slinging Arthur on his back as he ran out. 

There was chaos everywhere, the ambulance on Arthur, giving him oxygen. Eames pulled off his gear as he stood at Arthur’s feet, watching his eyes open and close slowly. his face and hands covered in soot. 

As Arthur was taken into the back of the ambulance, Eames had to go back to work - though he didn’t move until the ambulance was clear out of his sight.

At the end of his shift, despite being exhausted and weary, Eames headed to the hospital. He found Arthur’s room easily enough, a couple of cops milling around the outside of his door.

"Hey, how is he?"

One of the cops, Arthur’s partner Dom Cobb, turned to him to answer.

"He’s fine. He just needs to stay overnight."

Eames nodded.

"Can I see him?"

"Yeah, go on. We’re about to head out."

Eames nodded and thanked him as Cobb and the others began making their way out. Eames headed in, seeing Arthur was awake, though he looked beaten, his eyes still read from the smoke, an oxygen mask over his nose and mouth. 

"What are you doing here?"

His voice was gravelly, smoke stained and tired.

"Just wanted to see how you were."

"I’m fine."

"Sure you are."

Eames sat beside him on his bed, glad he had changed out of his bulky uniform and was now in jeans and his department’s house shirt. There were burns on Arthur’s hands, nothing serious so they were wrapped in gauze and nothing else.

"Mind if I keep you company?"

He saw some confusion on Arthur’s face but he nodded and said,

"Go ahead."

Eames stayed where he was and didn’t say anything for a while.

In fact, he didn’t say anything for the rest of the night.

In the morning, after the nurse checked on Arthur, Eames woke up from having nodded off. He had pulled a chair over to sit beside Arthur silently and watched him sleep for a bit. Apparently, he had fallen asleep too.

While Eames rubbed the soreness out of his neck from sleeping on a chair, Arthur woke up, turning to see him still there. It was still quiet until Arthur asked,

"Why did you stay?"

"I told you I was keeping you company."

"Thought you hated me."

He said it as if he was exhausted with the thought and Eames looked down a bit.

"We clash a lot. You’re a bit full of yourself. But I wouldn’t call it hate. I think I’ve just known you for too long."

"I didn’t think that was a problem one could have."

Eames laughed a bit nervously, feeling like he was saying stupid shit.

"Doctor’s said you’re just staying overnight."

Arthur nodded.

"Need a ride home?"

"Sure."

Later in the morning, Arthur was checked, then discharged and Eames took him home as promised. When they pulled up to Arthur’s building, Eames looked at him, seeing he was looking better - at least better than he did last night.

"Why did you go in last night? That was stupid."

"That woman was going to die if I didn’t. Why where you late?"

"It wasn’t just me it was-"

He stopped himself, realizing Arthur wasn’t waiting for the fire fighters, he was waiting for him. He looked down at his hands, his fingers resting on the wheel.

"I’m sorry."

Arthur looked at him and it felt like a click between them, everything suddenly seeming clear and obvious, the long murky past irrelevant. Eames leaned over, touching Arthur’s cheek as he kissed him, feeling Arthur kissing him back. It was soft and sweet, their lips brushing and touching, then pressing against each other, almost chaste. Arthur kissed him back, tilting his head to kiss him better, opening his mouth slightly to let his tongue touch Eames’ thick top lip. When they pulled back, Arthur sighed, his face pink.

"Come up to my place."

Eames nodded.

"Yeah…ok."

Arthur nodded and got out of the car, Eames following. 

Chapter Text

Mal stood around with the other wives, one arm crossed over her stomach, the other holding up her cigarette. She blew out smoke as Ariadne, the youngest wife among the group held her wine glass and listened with owlish eyes as the other women gossiped. It was the usual summer block party and Mal with the other wives of the neighborhood stood around gossiping about who had a gained weight, what their children did, who lost a job, who got a different job or how much they made. Who had done with their homes, what kind of car they drove, what they had done and have you heard? being the usual mantra along the group.

Mal grew bored of it quickly and never contributed but listened until it grew tedious. She nudged Ariadne with her elbow as she said,

"Excuse me."

Ariadne followed as they walked away from the gaggling group of wives, bored with their own lives so they had to intervene in others. She knew walking away gave them the chance to talk about her and Ariadne but she didn’t care and she felt Ariadne shouldn’t either.

As they walked away to mingle with the others, Ariadne said,

"Not to sound like one of them, but…did you meet the new neighbors?"

She cast a look to the house with the for sale sign still on the law, the big black letters of SOLD across it. 

"No, I haven’t yet. But I heard enough about them."

They were a gay couple, a dashing, beautiful English man named Eames and a lovely, serious looking man named Arthur. The pair had moved into the house and made no real attempt to know anyone in the neighborhood. Mal didn’t blame them really, she was sure that once they got an eyeload of the hens already trying to peck at them, they instantly pulled back.

Besides, not knowing a thing made who they were all the more scandalous.

The next day, Mal dropped by to the new neighbors with a bottle of wine in hand. She looked her best - something her husband Dom teased her about being a “Stepford Wife” since she set the trend. Jeans and sneakers were sneered upon by the women in the neighborhood and Mal felt oddly proud of that. She rang the bell and waited and after a moment, Eames answered. He wore paint stained jeans and an equally stained singlet, the start of a beard framing his handsome face and a baseball cap on his head. 

"Hello. Welcome to the neighborhood."

She presented the bottle of wine as he looked at her, then it as he accepted it.

"Thank you. You’re a bit behind aren’t you though? The nosy little welcome party already showed its face last week."

"Mm, I’m not with them. My name is Mal Cobb, I live two houses down across the street."

She pointed and Eames looked and then returned his gaze to Mal.

"I’m sorry, am I bothering you?"

"No, I’m just trying to measure out whether or not to invite you in."

Mal laughed and Eames smiled and stepped aside, welcoming her inside.

Arthur joined them moments later and they sat down at the dining room table, signs of their settling all over the house, most of everything with the exception of the kitchen things, were still in boxes. 

"This place is going to look wonderful once you’re settled."

"It’s all Arthur."

Eames looked at Arthur affectionately as Mal smiled and then sipped her wine.

"I have to apologize for the prodding. The women around here are just…nosy."

Arthur laughed a bit, bringing his wine to his lips as he sipped then said,

"Yes, we learned that the first time they dropped by and asked all kinds of…interesting questions."

"You mean invasive and rude questions, my love." Added Eames.

Arthur nodded.

"Oh yes, we’ve all had a bit of that when living here. I’m sure you’ll hear all kinds of solicitous things."

"What’s the word on us?" Asked Eames, clearly amused.

Arthur nudged him but Mal eased herself to the edge of her seat, her legs crossed as she said,

"Well…"

At the end, she felt no different than the gossiping wives of the neighborhood, but she at least felt welcomed with them, safe and they all had a good laugh and the nonsense and rumors that was spread about them. By the end of the evening, Mal went home with a little buzz and promises of future dinner invite once their home was complete and she left Arthur and Eames’ place happy. 

When Arthur closed the door behind her, he turned to Eames who was already bringing the wine glasses to the sink.

"Darling…what did you think of Mal?"

Eames stepped back out from the kitchen before answering.

"She’s different. Not like the rest of them."

"I thought the same thing."

"She’ll make this place fun."

"Yeah. She will."

"Should we finish up or call it a night?"

"Let’s call it a night. We can clean up and then have extremely loud, obscene sex so the neighbors can have something else to talk about."

"I love the way you think."

Chapter Text

Because his luck couldn’t be any worse, it started to rain. 

The already chilled autumn day was unforgiving as is but the moment it began to get dark, the rain came down. Arthur was already in agony, his side hurt, his face bruised and bloody and he was carrying everything that was important to him in two bags, a gym bag and his school bag. 

He was too ashamed to let his friends see him like that, to have to explain anything of what happened to him that night - and now he had no place to go. 

He headed back to school because it seemed like a safe place for the night. He could at least hide out in a doorway until the morning. He could figure out something then. 

When the dawn came, his entire body aching, his stomach growling, his vision going blurry in one eye as he felt it swelling all he figured out was that he had no place to go. He had cried to himself, into the sleeve of his coat because he had no idea what he was going to do. He didn’t even have a car, he was too young to do anything and the police in this matter would probably make everything worse. While his friends would help, their parents might not be so accommodating. 

He slowly stood up, feeling his body hurting from the brutal punishment his parents gave him, unforgiving and cruel as they discovered their son’s sexuality. They gave him minutes after the beating to gather what he could and threw him out. Now, Arthur was scared and had no idea what to do. All he knew then was that he couldn’t go to school, too many questions about the state he was in would come up. He slung his bag over his shoulder before picking up the other and began to trudge out when he heard someone say his name.

He turned to see Mr. Eames, his English teacher, closing the car door as he approached Arthur, a cup of coffee in his hand. 

Arthur felt shame and worry come over him and he tried to cover what he could with the top of his coat but it was too late.

"Arthur…what happened to you?"

Mr. Eames had always been Arthur’s favorite teacher. Also his secret crush. He was smart and made class so interesting - it was Arthur’s favorite class too. There were times that Mr. Eames had paid him special attention, wrote inspiring and uplifting comments on Arthur’s work, have him a little leniency if he needed a bit of time for assignments but he was never inappropriate.

"N-nothing…I have to go…"

Mr. Eames stopped him, looking around and pulling him back carefully.

"Arthur, come on."

"What?"

"You can’t stay here like this. We’ll take you to a hospital."

"No! Oh no, no, please, no hospital!"

His reaction made Mr. Eames worry and he stopped as he said,

"Please…tell me what happened."

Arthur shook his head, tears threatening to spill and Mr. Eames put his arm around him and walked him to his car instead. When he felt Arthur resist again, Eames told him,

"Don’t worry. I won’t take you to a hospital."

Arthur wanted to ask where they were going instead, but he didn’t. He was afraid and tired and in so much pain he wondered how much more he could fight.

Once in the car, Eames turned on the heat and drove out of the school’s parking lot. Arthur dozed off, comfortable and finally warm. 

When he woke up again, he found himself laying down on a couch, a blanket thrown over him, his bags beside him on the floor. He sat up, confused and looked around seeing he was in someone’s home…Mr. Eames’ home. Just then, Arthur’s teacher appeared holding a mug and he smiled as he sat down beside him and handed him the mug.

"I called for a substitute today. I didn’t call anyone else."

Arthur held the mug, his fingers wrapping around it as he tried to keep the warmth of it inside him.

"I uh…I gathered that you were thrown out of your parent’s home."

"How?"

"Your bags. I didn’t open them but if you have this many and the state of your injuries, it wasn’t hard to put two and two together."

Arthur took a sip of the tasty, warm tea and sighed softly.

"I didn’t want to tell anyone. I don’t think the police would do anything…"

"No, they probably won’t."

He was not expecting to hear that answer. He settled the mug carefully against him, looking into it.

"I don’t know what to do…"

He cried again, so upset and frustrated and scared. 

"Arthur…until we can figure something out, I won’t have you on the streets. You can stay here."

"What? I can?"

"Just…temporarily. Until this is sorted out."

It was supposed to be temporary. Eames still wanted to attend school, to get his life together. He understood more than Arthur imagined so he didn’t press for Arthur to get help. In situations like that, outside help usually made things worse than better and Eames wouldn’t put Arthur through the system. Eventually, Arthur asked, weeks later, his bruises and wounds healed, school on the back burner since he was living with his teacher. 

"Why are you helping me like this? Wouldn’t you get in a lot of trouble?"

"If I was caught, yes. But I know what you’re going through. My father wasn’t too kind to me at your age. And rather then take one more proper beating, I gathered as much money as I could and took off."

"Oh…"

"Things can get better. But before they do, they’re hard and difficult."

Arthur nodded, feeling better for the first time since he was kicked out of his house. 

He felt grateful that Eames was taking care of him, that his once favorite teacher was almost like his friend, addressing him now as just Eames since they were no longer in school and he always hated his first name. They took their meals together, they hung out and Arthur sometimes helped with his grading to make his work load lighter. 

Eames had fallen asleep one evening as they watched a movie on TV. He was sitting up, resting his cheek against his hand, his arm on the armrest of the couch. Arthur had been watching the movie, enthralled and entertained until he noticed Eames hadn’t said anything in a while. When he saw him asleep, Arthur bit his lip and after moments of hesitation, he leaned over to him, careful of his hand placement as he softly kissed him. He held his breath as he pressed his mouth more firmly to his and sighed when he felt Eames kiss him back. 

Suddenly, he was pushed back and Eames held him by his shoulders.

"What are you doing?"

"I just…I was kissing you."

"Why?"

Arthur blushed and looked down.

"I’m sorry."

"Arthur…"

He felt his hold on his shoulders loosen and Eames sighed.

"Arthur, I can’t do this. You’re so much younger me. You’re vulnerable. Not to mention I’m your teacher."

"I love you."

Eames sighed again, shaking his head.

"You aren’t in love with me."

"Yes I am. I just…"

"Arthur."

"Don’t tell me how I feel!"

Eames let him go.

"You’re right. I shouldn’t tell you how to feel. But I want you to seriously consider what you’re saying. There’s everything against us-"

"Us?"

Arthur looked hopeful as Eames frowned, shaking his head, cursing softly to himself.

"Arthur-"

"Do you love me too?"

Eames said nothing so Arthur inched himself closer.

"Eames?"

"It would be grossly inappropriate for me to tell you that."

"It’s too late for that. Eames…"

Arthur’s hands cupped Eames’ face, turning him towards him, feeling the stubble under his fingers. He looked at Eames with bright, hopeful eyes as he said,

"You said things would get better but before they do things will be difficult and hard. I think that applies here. We can keep this a secret. I want you to want me as much as I’ve always wanted you."

"Darling boy…you’ll be the end of me yet."

He pulled Arthur close to him, kissing him deeply.

Chapter Text

The Eames of Manhattan and the Cohens’ were rivals in business, in social events and in life. Their feud started back since the dawn of the city, then it was still scaled down to minor buildings and the 5 Points bred criminals that leeched onto the world. 

It was rumored the Eames’ of English nationality, got their start in the 5 Points and somehow muscled their way into high society, greasing palms with filthy money. 

The Cohen’s were always of high society - proper breeding, the best schools and the best connections. They didn’t associate with the Eames’ type. 

As times changed and evolved, both families rose up, fighting and outbidding each other on properties and businesses until it became well known that the two massive companies were not only bitter rivals but hated enemies as well.

The night of Arthur Cohen’s twenty-first birthday, there was a huge celebration thrown in his honor. It was a rooftop party and anyone who was anyone had been invited. 

William Eames, the eldest son of the Eames family was someone but he was not invited. Though his friend Ariadne had been, her own family having proper pull themselves. She invited Eames to come with her and Eames sighed, not wanting to go but at the same time, curious. They took Ariadne’s car to the hotel where the party was being held on the rooftop and after Ariadne flashed her invitation, they went inside.

It was just as Eames expected - loud, crowded with great music. 

"This isn’t so bad!"

Eames shouted to Ariadne over the roar of the party and she nodded, taking his arm as they headed to the bar for some drinks. Eames enjoyed having drinks at the bar, talking to everyone around him, smoking cigarettes, though he had not seen Arthur Cohen all night. After several drinks, Eames needed to head to the bathroom and he hold Ariadne to hold his place as he left.

He washed his hands and checked his hair when he was done and when he walked out, he saw him. Arthur Cohen was sitting by himself on a bench near the hallway of the bathroom. He walked over to him, sitting beside him as he smiled.

"Happy birthday."

Arthur looked at him and it took him a moment to recognize who he was.

"How did you get in here?"

"I have my ways. You don’t look very happy at your own birthday party."

Arthur sighed and looked away but Eames took his hand.

"Let me change that."

Normally, having seen his family clash against the Cohen’s, he would have known better than to associate with Arthur himself. But he always thought Arthur was lovely and he carried a slight buzz and Arthur was alone. It was all prime for the taking.

In the stairwell, Eames pressed Arthur to the wall, kissing him deeply, hearing him gasp and sigh when they broke away. Arthur clung to the front of Eames’ shirt, Arthur’s own shirt right to his hips lifted up slightly as Eames’ hands settled on his sides, his fingers brushing up and stroking against Arthur’s skin, feeling his goosebumps rise under his touch. Arthur’s hair stroked against Eames’ face when they kissed, his lips tasted of sweet champagne and when Eames slid his knee between Arthur’s he felt him moan and shutter against him.

"We shouldn’t…"

Arthur pulled back a little, his whisper barely echoing through the small staircase.

"We should."

"No…we…our families would never…"

"I know, but I don’t care."

Arthur was flushed, his lips red and wet with saliva. Eames kissed him again and again. His hands slid up the back of Arthur’s shirt, pulling him closer, Arthur’s arms going around his neck.

"Fuck…Eames…"

"You’re amazing."

Arthur smiled softly, pressing his lips to Eames’ one more time. 

There moment was interrupted when the door was slammed open and a feminine voice called out Eames’ name. They pulled back from each other as Ariadne turned and saw them, looking guilty, their lips swollen.

"Hey, we gotta go."

She grabbed Eames’ wrist and dragged him out, Eames looking over his shoulder at Arthur once more before Ariadne dragged him to the elevator.

"What are you thinking? That’s Arthur Cohen!"

Eames didn’t say anything until they were in the elevator and once the doors closed, he looked at Ariadne.

"Give me his number."

"What?! Eames, are you crazy?"

"Yes! Please, give me his number."

She sighed and took her cell phone.

"Even if you call him, he probably won’t answer you back. He’s got a lot more family pride then you do. Hell he probably didn’t recognize who you were."

Eames again stayed silent but took Arthur’s number.

When Eames returned to his home, he texted Arthur immediately.

'Arthur, it's me…from tonight. I understand we got caught up and you may not be agreeable to this. But..I want to see you again. - E'

He set his phone down and waited. And waited. And after some time, he thought Ariadne was right. When he went to bed, he still held onto his phone, hopefully though it was now almost dawn. 

Just as he set his phone down to sleep, he heard it go off. He instantly picked it up and looked at the message he got from Arthur.

'I want to see you too. Just tell me where. - A'

Chapter Text

Eames slides his hand over the top of Arthur’s while he sleeps. He smiled as he notices that Arthur’s fingers a just a bit longer than his, but his own are thicker. His entire hand can cover Arthur’s hand and when he slides it down to his wrist, he curls his fingers around it and watches Arthur’s delicate little wrist being swallowed up by his entire grip. 

Arthur was nearly half his size. While he seemed so much taller and he was strong and very capable, the truth was that Arthur was only an inch or so taller than Eames and he was all muscle and flexibility but Eames could take him down by brute force alone. He could absorb any blow Arthur landed and all he needed to do was get one hand on him.

They figured that out early on in their relationship. 

Eames loved all kinds of things about Arthur, unimportant, menial things about Arthur, but the very shape of his body was one of the things that got Eames off the most. He loved that Arthur couldn’t get his arms around his shoulders, that his thighs seem to strain when he was settled on his lap, how small he looked when Eames was on top of him.

While Arthur lay beside him, sound asleep, Eames touched him, spreading his hand across the span of Arthur’s well toned back, loving how when he spread his fingers across, the length of them from pinky to thumb nearly touched the edges of Arthur’s shoulder blades. He was generous opening his hand to do it, but he almost could and that was enough. He slid his hand further down, loving the small dimples on his lower back, place holders he called them in his mind - to remind him where his thumbs should be when he held his hips and took him from behind.

His hip bones were soft and his waist tiny and narrow and before Arthur opened his legs, Eames could hold his teeny little waist and have his thumbs almost touch in the middle. It was a ridiculous turn on for him, watching his hands nearly meet and when he gripped Arthur’s thigh, he could feel the muscle there and his hands clenched down on it - his hand nowhere near meeting there, but with both hands, he could hold his thigh easily. 

Arthur’s belly button was a small, little depression in Arthur’s stomach, a dusting of hair trailing down, below his belt line. There were little birthmarks dashed across his skin that Eames loved to play connect the dots with using his tongue. When Eames used both hands and slid them up and down Arthur’s sides, Arthur seemed even smaller. Eames spread his fingers apart to touch every inch of skin, loving how Arthur seemed so frail, his back arching up to his touch, the bottom of his rib cage showing up when Arthur took a deep breath and the tips of Eames’ fingers could run over the two or three bumps of his ribs. He could hold Arthur down with both hands and fuck him relentlessly, feeling Arthur’s thighs strain and shake at his sides, the shadow of Eames’ own body covering him from the light, making him feel as if he was keeping Arthur for himself.

Arthur felt as if he weighed nothing. Eames could turn him, lift him, carry him in anyway he wanted. He’s held Arthur up, his legs over his arms and fucked him hard against a wall, exhausted only after they both came. He could lift Arthur’s leg up to his shoulder effortlessly, he could pull out and turn him over without missing a beat and when Arthur was on top, riding Eames’ dick, Eames could bounce him without any effort. 

Above all, he loved that Arthur let him. He loved that Arthur trusted him to keep his hands and arms down, to let him place his heavy hand on Arthur’s delicate throat and never squeeze or choke, but the weight was still there nonetheless. He loved that Arthur let him bruise him, mark him, grip his hips, his thighs and never said a word, just smile as if pleased. 

When he ran his hand down to Arthur’s firm ass, his thighs separated, his fingers immediately found his still wet hole. It felt so small and tight and Eames was always in awe when he sunk his cock deeply inside him and Arthur took it all because even his pretty little hole seemed small in comparison to Eames’ thick, wide fingers. 

Arthur hummed a bit, waking up when he felt Eames fondling him and he turned his head, looking at him with a slight smile. Eames didn’t say anything, just leaned down, kissing him as he let his finger slide inside, hearing Arthur’s sharp intake of breath. When he pulled back, Arthur’s eyes were still closed, his mouth open, his hips lifting up to Eames’ fingers.

"More…"

Eames sighed to himself, knowing he was stronger than Arthur, but it was Arthur who had him in complete control. He moved his hand back and laid over him, kissing the back of Arthur’s neck, then his shoulders, his hands on Arthur’s shoulders, apply just the faintest of pressure to keep Arthur down, feeling him spread his thighs a bit so Eames could push into him. He sighed when he felt the head slipping in and Arthur’s slender little body took him in easily. Eames groaned into Arthur’s hair and he rested against him, feeling him covering all of Arthur easily, his large hands holding onto Arthur’s shoulders. 

He smiled to himself and began to move, hearing his moans that often started out small but grew the more intense it got. 

It was a good way to start the morning and if Eames could start off every morning like this, he would.

When they eventually made it to the warehouse to meet the rest of the time, Eames sat beside Arthur, their relationship no secret and listened to the plans being discussed. In the middle of it, he reached over to Arthur, taking his hand and again marveling at how he seem to swallow Arthur up by his touch alone. 

Arthur only smiled a little, the corner of his mouth turned up.

Chapter Text

It had been weeks since Eames has had time to spare. His company was currently going through a very important take over and it was worth billions. He was exhausted but he needed this deal closed.

Arthur was not making anything easier. His sweet boy who looked a lot younger than his nineteen years, often behaved like he actually was a lot younger than his nineteen years. He whined when Eames was busy, he complained and pouted when Eames didn’t give him what he wanted and then he tried to guilt trip him when Eames put his foot down. These past few days, Arthur had been especially unbearable, complaining and fussing that Eames wasn’t around, despite the fact that Eames was telling him he was in the middle of a very important business deal. 

Arthur was still furious. He stopped talking to Eames about a day ago and Eames was frustrated. But he didn’t have time to deal with Arthur, he had a job to do.

In the middle of a meeting, three days after Arthur stopped talking to him, he felt his phone vibrate in his coat pocket. He wasn’t sure who it could be but he checked it anyway, opening his message. It was from Arthur.

'Hi. Are you busy? :o)'

Eames sighed and answered him back quickly.

'You know I am. I'll call you after this meeting.'

He put his phone back, assured Arthur would not message him again. But when he felt his phone vibrate again, he sighed, already getting annoyed. 

'I miss you.'

Eames couldn’t help but miss him too. But it was best not to answer him, it would only encourage him to keep going. Then he got another message.

'I miss you a lot. I miss your cock inside me.'

Eames felt a bit warm as he closed the message. He couldn’t deny that he missed being with Arthur as well, but now was certainly not to the time to think about it.

The next message wasn’t even a message, but a photo, a caption underneath.

'Don't you miss me?'

And a photo of Arthur’s erection. Eames knew the inside of those thighs anywhere and he certainly was familiar with Arthur’s dick. He sighed to himself and quickly responded.

'Arthur, not now. I'm very busy.'

Arthur didn’t stop. Another picture was sent. Eames tapped his phone, wanting to open it, but knowing he shouldn’t and after keeping his bored, serious face on in front of the meeting share holders, he had done a good job thus far. He decided to open it.

It was an upward angle photo so Eames could see some of his face, but the focus was that Arthur had his fingers inside himself, laying on their bed at home. Eames closed the photo without even reading the caption. 

The messages kept coming.

'I'm thinking of you while I finger myself.'

'I wish it was you.'

'I miss your cock so much'

'I miss you fucking me.'

He read them all at once, torturing himself. He shifted a bit in his seat, trying to pay attention. He had to stop looking at his phone. He was about to turn it off when another message came through. When he opened it, he saw it was a video. 

That’s where he knew he shouldn’t look at it. He knew it. He brought his hand to his mouth, resting his chin on his hand as he glanced around for a moment, seeing everyone was looking at the speaker. Eames made sure the volume was off and opened the video.

It was Arthur, of course, still fingering himself, three slender fingers sliding in and out of his hole and he had made such a mess with all the lube. Though the sound was off, Eames could hear all the sweet sounds he was making, he could tell by the way his stomach quaked and collapsed in and then tightened. 

Eames watched it a few more times before shutting it off. He began to grow impatient at this meeting. 

'Eames. Come home please.'

'Please come home and fuck me.'

'I miss you. I miss you. I miss you.'

'Eames?'

He sighed again and answered him.

'Arthur, I'm working. I told you this.'

'But I miss you. Don't you want me to ride your cock? Don't you miss my tight little hole?'

Eames closed his eyes, grumbling to himself. It had been some time but there was no way, none, that he could leave in the middle of this merger.

'Of course I do, darling. But this is important.'

'I'm important too.'

'You are baby.'

Eames sighed again and felt a mixture of relief and disappointment when no more messages came through. After about half an hour, the meeting broke for lunch and Eames decided to go home to take advantage of the situation. He called Arthur and the line picked up after a moment. 

"Eames?"

His voice sounded so tired and fucked out and Eames just envisioned him lying on their bed, naked and fondling himself still.

"I’m on my way home."

"You are?"

He sounded a little more alert then.

"Yeah, it’s just for lunch though. So when I get there, just be ready for me."

"I am ready. I’m nice and wet and open for you."

Eames sighed deeply, cursing every moment he was not inside Arthur.

"Good, stay that way. I’m almost there."

Chapter Text

It was exciting - Eames stood in the airport, checking the arrival time and then his cell phone again. Arthur’s flight was due any minute now.

They had met years ago on the internet and once they kindled a deep rooted friendship, they began getting a bit more serious. Arthur lived in California, Eames in England but they made it work, keeping their conversations steady and talked every day. Then they exchanged cell phone numbers and texted each other until they were able to talk online.

Then they began to Skype and they found they liked doing that more than any other form of conversation. They had exchanged pictures before but talking and seeing each other on screen was so different. Eames loved how Arthur looked, his hair messy and curling under his ears, his smile bright and dimples showing up every time he laughed. 

Arthur loved Eames’ laugh, he loved how he looked when he smiled, the greys and blues in his eyes, his accent and the soft, yet rugged sound of his voice. 

Over time, they had fallen for each other. When Eames had a bad day, he spoke to Arthur first, feeling the relief of stress. When Arthur was upset, it was only Eames who cheered him up. They made each other laugh and whenever anything went right with each other, they shared it eagerly. 

Being in college delayed a lot of their plans to meet each other but once Arthur graduated, the first thing he did when he came home from the ceremony and called Eames.

"My parents gave me money for my graduation gift! I’m going to London!"

Eames was excited and looking forward to it. They spent the rest of the day talking about it - Eames living on his own for about a year so he wasn’t worried about roommates or anything like that. All Arthur had to do was get there.

Now, a few weeks later, Eames stood in airport, chewing on his bottom lip as he waited for the passengers to get off. He had gotten a text message from Arthur earlier, telling him he was about to board the plane and now he was waiting, tapping his foot as more people began passing him, leaning side to side to see if he could see Arthur. 

Then, in the distance, he saw him. He was wearing one of his graphic print shirts and fitted jeans. He had his glasses on and his hair was messy like when he first woke up. Eames had seen it enough times to know he had fallen asleep on the flight but he looked adorable and Eames smiled as Arthur saw him and they both waved to each other.

Arthur walked faster towards him, holding onto the strap of his messenger bag and when he reached Eames, they hugged each other, both of them holding on tightly to each other, old friends finally uniting.

"It’s so good to finally see you."

Arthur’s grip tightened on him as he said,

"Yeah…you too."

It felt like moments before they finally separated and Eames couldn’t get the smile off his face and he saw Arthur smiling back at him.

"Come on, let’s get your bags."

"Ok."

"How was your flight?"

"It was good. I slept the whole way."

"Yeah I can tell."

He ruffled Arthur’s hair and Arthur laughed a bit, blushing a little as they began to walk towards the baggage claim.

"You hungry?"

"Yeah, starved."

"After we eat, is there anything you want to do?"

Arthur had a slight knowing smile on his face and he nudged Eames a little.

"I’m here for two weeks. I think we’ll think of something."

Chapter Text

Arthur was just getting ready for bed, early since he had a sermon in the morning. He was just turning off the TV and heading to his bedroom when there was a series of knocks on his door. 

Arthur paused and then headed to the door, looking through the peephole and seeing Eames there. He was surprised, knowing that Eames never really came over unannounced unless it was important so he opened the door fast and saw him.

"Eames? What’s wrong?"

"Hey…I’m sorry to just come over like this."

"No, it’s fine, come in."

Arthur stepped aside and let Eames in and closed the door behind him.

Eames had been his best friend since they were kids. Into adulthood, when Arthur felt he found his calling and decided to go into the priesthood, Eames was supportive of his choice - much like Arthur had been when Eames came out to him. 

They remained close and Arthur was always there to listen to whatever dating drama Eames had gone through. Arthur thought Eames was out of it when he met Robert. They got along well enough, though Arthur didn’t really like Robert. He seemed very arrogant and pretentious yet Eames cared for him. That night that Eames came over, Arthur could instantly guess what happened.

He poured a glass of wine for them once Eames sat down at the kitchen table and Arthur sat with him and waited for Eames to spill as he always did.

"We broke up. Robert left earlier tonight. He packed all his things and he’s going to send for the rest later."

"Oh…Eames, I’m sorry."

Eames ran his hand through his hair, mussing it further as he took a generous drink from the glass.

"I want to be angry but I’m more…relieved. We haven’t been getting on as well lately…"

He frowned anyway and Arthur pat his hand, trying to comfort his friend.

"I’m going to need a little more than wine."

"Yeah, I know."

Arthur eventually found some vodka, getting some fruit juice from his fridge as a chaser since he couldn’t really take straight vodka. They sat and talked a little, taking shots in between as Eames unloaded. He spoke of how much Robert started getting on his nerves, how he started distancing himself from Eames, how unhappy they both were after a while. 

"I think he was cheating on me too. We hadn’t been intimate in a while."

Arthur felt a bit uncomfortable and frowned, not liking that Robert had treated his friend so badly.

"I never liked him."

Eames looked at Arthur, a bit surprised.

"You never said anything."

"I didn’t want to say anything because you seemed so happy. I’m sorry I didn’t."

"Huh. I should have known. You were just polite to him."

Arthur smiled a little, his hand still on Eames’ wrist, rubbing him slightly.

After a few more shots, Eames seem to be calming down, the distraught look on his face gone, some peace now on his face. Arthur felt a little warm from the vodka but he looked at Eames and saw his friend looking back at him. Eames slowly moved his hand and grasped Arthur’s in his, still looking at him fondly. Arthur smiled back at him and Eames said,

"Arthur…"

"Yeah?"

"I’ve always thought you and I would end up together."

Arthur smiled a bit. It wasn’t the first time Eames had said something like that, in some form or another.

"I know."

"I always thought you were beautiful."

His voice was softer now and Arthur felt a bit of blush on his face.

"Thanks."

Eames pulled his chair closer to him and Arthur didn’t move. He looked down, feeling Eames’ hand on his cheek, his thumb brushing against his bottom lip.

"I wish you hadn’t joined the priesthood."

"Eames…"

"No, I’m sorry…I shouldn’t have said that."

Arthur lifted his head slightly, looking at Eames and watched as he leaned forward to kiss him. Arthur gasped, wanting to pull away and he did a little, but Eames’ mouth chased after him and he didn’t resist again. 

They ended up on his couch, kissing, holding onto each other. Arthur’s head spun, a bit of the alcohol getting to him, Eames’ confession still in the forefront of his mind and now…now this. He pressed his hand against Eames’ chest, feeling him move back a little as Arthur said,

"We shouldn’t do this."

"I know."

But he kissed Arthur again anyway and Arthur kissed back. He felt conflicted and scared but he wanted this. He wanted to kiss Eames, he realized he always had. But he had taken vows, he was a priest and he couldn’t let himself carried away. 

"Eames…wait…"

Eames sat up, pulling back, running his hands through his hair as if he was as tortured as Arthur was.

"I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that."

"It’s ok…I..I shouldn’t have let that gone so far."

Eames sighed and looked at Arthur again, his pajama pants and shirt now wrinkled from the touching, his lips red, his hair messy as if he had woken up. 

"I should go."

He stood up and Arthur did too, following Eames as he walked to the door fast.

"Eames, you don’t have to leave."

"Yes, I do. Because if I stay here any longer, I’m going to beg you to sleep with me. I’m going to beg you to break all your vows and let me defile you. I’m going to tell you how long I’ve wanted you and that I’m in love with you and you’ll say yes. You’ll let me sleep with you and in the morning when your head is clear, you’ll be conflicted and you’ll hate yourself for being weak and breaking all your vows. And maybe you’ll hate me for tempting you. So before it goes that far, I’ll leave now. Good night."

He looked at Arthur once more before leaving and Arthur was suddenly alone, his entire body awake with things he had never felt and a confession he had not been ready to hear. 

Usually, prayer helped in a matter like this but now, Arthur felt that it would only serve to confuse him further. He sat on his couch again, looking down at his hands, wondering what he should do and all he knew in his mind was that Eames loved him. 

And maybe…he loved Eames too.

Chapter Text

Arthur sighed as he shook his head and finished up Eames’ exam.

"Another cavity. Eames, really. You’re worse than some of the children I see!"

Eames felt a little embarrassed but he laughed anyway as he used the paper bib around his neck to wipe his mouth off.

"What can I say, I’m just a touch irresponsible with my oral health."

"I’ll say. You’ll have to come back for a removal."

"Ugh. Those are the worse."

"Well, you wouldn’t have to go through any if you took care of your teeth."

"It’s a bit late for that don’t you think?"

Arthur gave him a look as he finished cleaning up.

Arthur had been Eames’ dentist for a while. He had been recommended by Yusuf as a good doctor but he didn’t realize how handsome and lovely Arthur was. He was relaxed and casual, wearing his scrubs and sometimes glasses but always professional.  

For the first time in his life, Eames actually looked forward to seeing the dentist. 

But as much as he fancied his dentist, he was shy about asking him out, worried that Arthur would say no, considering he knew so much about him health wise and had gotten a nice good look at the mouthful of jagged teeth Eames had spent his entire life hiding. It was his biggest insecurity. 

He scheduled an appointment yet another filling, the receptionist Ariadne giving him a look as she shook her head.

"It’s like you’re doing it on purpose."

"Yes, I love having drills in my mouth, Ariadne. It’s a fetish."

She laughed a little and filled out his appointment card before handing it over to him.

The day of his appointment, Eames sat in the chair, dreading the needles and drilling that would come. When Arthur showed up, Eames said,

"Can we not use the needles this time? They always seem to hurt than the entire procedure."

"Yeah, we can do some gas for if you’d like."

Eames nodded and the assistant prepped him and soon left after Eames took in a few deep breaths.

Everything seemed lighter and he felt a ton calmer, more relaxed. He didn’t even recall when Arthur started the work, didn’t even realize when he was done. When Arthur finished, he helped sit up a bit.

"Alright, the gas should wear off in a bit. You can sit here until it wears off."

"Mmmm…feels great. Didn’t feel a thing."

"Good."

Eames blinked a couple of times, rubbing his eyes as he looked at Arthur again.

"Damn…you’re lovely."

Arthur smiled a bit.

"Thank you."

"I….fancy you."

Eames’ mind kept telling him what a great idea it would be to tell Arthur how he felt so his mouth kept running with it.

"Want…wanted to ask you out but you’d say no because of these…"

He tugged down his lower lip as he clenched his teeth together and Arthur laughed a bit.

"Because of…that face you’re making?"

"Nooo….cuz of my teeth. They’re terrible."

"They don’t bother me."

"They should. Look at them!"

Arthur shrugged and just remained where he was.

"Your teeth are nice."

"Thanks."

"So…you’d go out with me anyway?"

His words felt slurred and heavy though he thought he was doing a good job of not messing up the order. 

"Maybe we should wait until you’re clear headed enough so I could answer."

"Noooo….you’ll say no."

"Just wait until your head clears."

Eames sat in the chair, his mind gradually becoming clear, the fog lifted and he only wished that he could forget everything he just said. He groaned, covering his face as he apologized.

"I’m sorry. I’ve made a complete arse of myself."

"No, you didn’t."

Eames’ face felt hot and he immediately thought of never ever returning to this office.

"My answer is yes."

Eames looked over at him, stunned.

"What?"

"I said yes. I’d love to go out with you."

Eames sat still for a moment before asking,

"Really?"

"Really."

Arthur only smiled back at him.

Chapter Text

Arthur hadn’t seen Eames in about a week since he confessed. He missed him every day and it hurt that he would text him and get no response or call him and have his call be forwarded directly to voice mail. He knew that Eames needed space from this but Arthur didn’t want him to abandon the friendship either. They had been friends way too long.

On the other hand, it was so much deeper than a minor row between them. Eames was in love with him and Arthur was so confused. He thought he found his calling, he had loved going to seminary school, he had loved being a priest and he had found comfort in the church and its teachings. He had always loved the friendship between he and Eames and he had never thought of him in any other way. Well…sometimes. But mainly when Eames dated someone else and they broke up and Eames always said something about them ending up together. But it was fleeting and Arthur never allowed himself to think about it any further than that moment.

But now. Now things were so different and Arthur desperately missed Eames. He wanted to talk to him as he always had but he didn’t know what he wanted from the result.

Arthur texted Eames again after the first week of silence was over. He begged him for a response and when none came after an hour, Arthur felt so defeated and sad. He lay on his couch, watching TV when he heard a knock on his door. He jumped up and rushed to the door, yanking it open and saw Eames there. Immediately, he threw his arms around him, pulling him close as he sighed deeply, smelling Eames’ faint cologne, his eyes closed. He felt relief when Eames held him in return and he clung to Eames’ coat.

"Why didn’t you answer me?"

He didn’t pull away and Eames made no motion to let go either but he sighed softly.

"I was afraid."

Slowly, Arthur let go, pulling back and grabbing Eames’ arm and leading him inside. He closed the door behind him and said,

"You should have answered me. I missed you. I wanted to talk to you."

"I missed you too."

Arthur hugged him again, wanting to hold onto him as if making up for the week of silence. Eames touched his back, his fingers rubbing against his thin night shirt.

It felt right. Arthur couldn’t deny that to himself. It felt right and good and perfect being in Eames’ arms and when he moved back a little, he had intentions of talking to him, wanting to discuss everything happening between them to see if anything could be resolved but Eames kissed him again. It was soft and gentle and Arthur kissed back with a sigh.

"I’m sorry."

Arthur shook his head, still leaning close to him.

"It’s ok."

"Arthur…I don’t know what to do. I’m in love with you."

Arthur felt a shiver running up his back and he whispered softly back to him.

"I think…I think I love you too."

Eames kissed him again, harder than before, his hold on Arthur tighter.

"Sleep with me."

Arthur shook his head, trying to pull himself back.

"I can’t."

Eames let him go and as Arthur felt him pulling away, he knew he didn’t want him to let go. He clung to him, burying his face against his neck.

"Don’t…"

Eames held him again for a moment and then said,

"I’m going to go…but I’ll come right back. I want you to think about it while I’m gone."

Arthur didn’t want Eames to leave, afraid he wouldn’t come back, but Eames let go and left again.

Arthur sat in his living room, the TV off, the lights off and Arthur’s mind burning and thinking about what Eames asked him. He had to say no. He had vows, he was a priest and he couldn’t throw away his life’s work because his hormones couldn’t control themselves. But when Eames came back, Arthur’s mind went blank and silent and he wanted to hear Eames’ voice.

"Where did you go?"

"Just to the shop. In case you changed your mind."

"I did."

Arthur was nervous, never having done anything like this before with anyone. He had never undressed in front of anyone before, let alone have anyone touch him. But Eames was patient, gentle and slow with Arthur. 

Even before Eames was inside him, he stopped and looked at Arthur as they both lay in his bed, the sheets and blankets over them. He waited and Arthur felt he loved him more. He was willing to stop and not do anything should Arthur say so, but Arthur didn’t. He urged Eames to go on. 

He whined and let out a shaky sob as he felt Eames penetrate him, making him stop a couple of dozen times before he even bottomed out. Eames didn’t say anything about it, didn’t complain and let Arthur take his time. But it was worth it because when Eames was finally inside him, Arthur couldn’t breathe, he felt so full and open and still…right. 

"You ok?"

Arthur nodded and then moaned softly,

"Oh my God…"

"Do you want me to stop?"

"No…no, no. no…"

Eames kissed him and when he moved, Arthur let out a weak cry. It was amazing, his hands in Eames’, their fingers crossed with each others, their mouths hardly a breath away, Arthur’s legs over Eames’ waist, their breathing hard, their sweat mingling with each other’s. 

When he came, Arthur couldn’t stop shaking, his mouth open as he let out a shout. He couldn’t stop holding onto Eames, kissing him, feeling his heart beating frantically in his chest. 

"Eames, Eames…oh God…I love you…"

"I love you, too. So much…"

It wasn’t the only time they made love that night. They went again at least twice more before they fell asleep. 

In the morning, Arthur woke up sore and tired but he felt so good and just as burdened with his guilt.

What had he done? He had broken his vows…how could he remain in the church after sleeping with his best friend? A man no less…

He sat up, anxiety in his chest as he wondered what he should do. He couldn’t leave his work. He couldn’t abandon all he had worked for and all he had done. 

He wasn’t sure how long he was up, how long he been sitting there thinking when he felt Eames’ hand on his back. He turned and saw him still mostly asleep but a small smile on his face.

"Hey. You’re up."

Arthur smiled a little as he gathered the sheets and blankets around himself.

"Yeah."

Eames began sitting up, putting his arms around Arthur.

"How are you?"

He kissed his shoulder and the guilt suddenly felt heavier on Arthur.

"I’m fine."

"No, you’re not."

"I’m not."

Eames sighed, but didn’t let him go.

"I knew this would happen."

He sounded defeated and sad. Arthur felt worse.

"I’m sorry…"

"It’s not your fault. I asked you to do this knowing you’d feel this way and I went with it anyway. I should go."

When Eames pulled away, slowly getting out of bed, Arthur turned and looked at him.

"Eames…"

His voice was shaky but Eames didn’t stop. He got dressed and left Arthur’s room. Arthur followed, stopping to get his pajama pants on but that proved to take too long because by the time he made it out to the hallway, Eames had left.

Eames let some time go. He missed Arthur but he wouldn’t bother him and complicate things now that things had escalated between them. He knew Arthur was devoted to the church and he shouldn’t have pressured him into sleeping with him. It just made Eames long for him more. 

There was a soft knock on his door when Eames got home from work. He had just set his coat down when he heard it and when he opened the door, Arthur was there. 

"Arthur…"

"I left the priesthood. I love you. I can’t be without you another moment."

Eames pulled him in, kissing him hard as he felt happy though concerned nonetheless.

"Are you sure about this?"

"Yes. I had to leave the rectory."

When Eames looked down, he saw Arthur had luggage with him. He smiled a little and kissed him again.

"Stay with me."

"I was hoping you would ask."

Chapter Text

Arthur felt faint. His head spun and he felt like he was going to faint.

"What…what do you mean you’re engaged??"

His stood in front of his mother in her living room, facing her as she slowly sat down after breaking the news to her son. Arthur’s mother had been divorced for some time and that wasn’t a problem. It wasn’t even (too) much of a problem when she began dating Eames’ father since he had been divorced for nearly twice as long as Arthur’s mother.

They didn’t think it wrong that Eames and Arthur were dating. They had been friends for so long and after coming to realization the that they were in love with each other, it made sense for them to tell their respective parents. 

They didn’t think it would be an issue and it wasn’t. But a week later, when Arthur came by for a visit, his mother broke the news. She was engaged. She was going to marry Eames’ father.

Arthur sat down, his mind still trying to catch up a he said,

"But…but you guys have been dating for a week!"

"We’ve known each other for much longer than that."

"You can’t marry him! Eames will be my step brother! I can’t be dating my step brother!"

"Arthur…"

"No, mom! Why would you do this to me?"

In hindsight, Arthur realized he was being selfish. But he didn’t care. He left and went to pick up Eames who had, had the news broken to him too. They went back to their shared apartment off campus and tried their best to comfort each other.

"What do we do? Can we still date?"

Arthur shrugged a bit.

"I guess…I mean we’re not actually related."

"It feels weird."

"Yeah, I know."

"Why did they do this?!"

Eames was just as upset as Arthur was. Arthur felt relief by that. He sighed as Eames paced a bit, distraught by the idea of dating his step brother. 

They took some time away from it and had dinner and went to bed, still not at all shying away from each other despite the new revelation that they were about to be related, if just by law.

The next day, they went to see their parents and sat down with the both of them.

"We’re not against you guys getting married. We’re against the fact that you’re making my boyfriend my step brother." Said Arthur.

Both parents looked understanding.

"But you two actually won’t be related." Eames’ father pointed out.

"Yes, we know. It’s just…weird." Said Arthur.

"It won’t change anything between you two." Said Arthur’s mom.

Arthur and Eames just looked at each other, worried.

When their parents finally married - a small, civil ceremony with just the four of them, Arthur sighed, still worried, still confused.

Their parents went on their honeymoon and Arthur and Eames went home. They kissed a little, Eames smoothing Arthur’s hair back from his forehead.

"We’re not related."

"I know."

"You still have your mum’s maiden name."

"Yeah."

"When we get married, we’ll just be one big family."

Arthur laughed a little, for the first time feeling a little relief and finding a bit of humor in the situation.

"It doesn’t change anything between us."

"It doesn’t."

They kissed again and Arthur sighed.

"At least they know about it us. And I guess if my mom was going to marry anyone else, I’d like her to be with someone good and nice to her who’s going to be around and not cheat on her. She could have done much worse."

Eames laughed a little.

"Yeah, the old man isn’t bad."

Arthur smiled, leaning his head on Eames’ chest while they lay in bed.

"They’ll be happy."

"Yeah."

It was quiet again until Eames said,

"I’m glad we’re not related."

Arthur laughed against him.

"Me too." 

Chapter Text

"I didn’t know you had a brother!" Ariadne exclaimed.

Eames had no real solid connection or relationship to his older brother Charles. They mixed with different crowds and Charles was a little more formal than Eames was. He was a forger as well and his reputation was nearly on par with that of Eames’. 

Eames wasn’t too happy about having to bring his older brother on board this particular job, but because he couldn’t hold more than one  forgery in a dream steadily, it was decided it would be easier to just bring another forger on. Dom thought it would be easier for all of them but Eames was a second away from throwing a tantrum like a child because Charles could not stop with the overly polite, so stereotypical English behavior. He might as well have showed up holding a cup of tea and bowler hat. 

"Well good to meet you as well Ariadne." 

Charles shook Ariadne’s hand and then Dom’s, then met the rest of the team, which included Arthur.

"It is especially nice to meet you, Arthur did you say."

Eames was instantly on guard. He knew that low tone, that sudden rapier charm that felt as if it was oozing out of Charles. He was interested in Arthur. Eames couldn’t blame him, Arthur was divine, lovely, elegant, regal, formal, beautiful…but Arthur didn’t seem to return the sentiment. 

He smiled at Charles and Eames felt his teeth gnash.

"Hello, Charles. It’s good to have you on board. Shall we get to work?"

"Anything you say."

He followed Arthur and Eames glared at Charles’ back as he followed him.

Charles was the same height as Eames and was just a little slimmer. His hair was a shade lighter than Eames’ and they held similar facial features, but Charles had a much softer face, never had five o’clock shadow, dressed a lot more formally and his eyes were a clearer blue. During the job, Eames started remembering why he and his brother 

A. Never worked together

B. Where never that close.

It was maddening to watch Charles be anywhere near Arthur though he was there too - he missed most of the planning just watching Charles touch Arthur’s wrist or shoulder when he pointed something out or when Arthur laughed at something witty Charles said. 

Eames might stroke out before the job was over.

He kept his calm though, trying to remain professional throughout the job but it was hard and when he was supposed to be doing research, he found himself doodling away and thinking about Arthur and how much he wanted to strangle Charles.

After the job was over, everything having gone well enough, much to Eames’ horror, Charles stuck around and asked Arthur out to dinner.

Eames didn’t stick around long enough to see what Arthur said though he was sure he would say yes. They got along famously throughout the job and Arthur seemed content with talking to him more then he ever had with Eames. 

Back in his hotel room, Eames lay on the chase, his feet propped up on the end as his scotch was near him on the floor within reach. He had one arm draped over his face, the other hanging down as his phone rested on his stomach playing music. It wasn’t sad music, but it wasn’t upbeat and Eames hummed along, trying his best not to think about his stupid brother and his current object of affection.

When one song ended, right before the following track played, he heard someone at his door. He shut off his phone and picked up his glass as he walked to the door, peeking through the hole on the door and opened it to see Arthur.

"Arthur…what a surprise."

"I thought you might be here. Can I come in?"

"Uh, sure."

He let Arthur in as he closed the door.

"I thought you were out with Charles."

Arthur looked confused, an eyebrow raised.

"Why?"

"Well…he did ask you out."

"And?"

"You two got along so well…"

"Yes, as coworkers. He’s good at his job. Not better then you but he’s good."

"You paid him so much attention-"

"I never worked with him before, I had to learn to read him."

They were quiet for a moment before a look of realization came across his face.

"Eames…were you jealous?"

"No!"

His outburst made Arthur smile a little.

"Yes you were."

"I just thought you liked him more…"

"Eames, you’re so stupid."

"Thanks."

"I like you, you fucking idiot."

Arthur stepped closer to him, taking his hands as he kissed him softly, briefly and pulled back.

"You’re cute when you’re clueless."

"I just thought…so you don’t like Charles? You didn’t go out with him?"

Arthur laughed again and kissed him again.

"Idiot."

Chapter Text

It was too fucking early. Ariadne yawned for what had to be the millionth time as her eyes watered and she brought her fingers up underneath her eye to wipe away the tears, wiping off her eyeliner at the same time. She scoffed in frustration as Dom looked over at her.

"Why are you so tired? It’s not even that early."

"Shut up, yes it is."

"It’s ten in the morning."

"Too early."

"You partied last night didn’t you?"

"Shut up and drive."

Dom chuckled to himself as Ariadne took a sip of her espresso.

She wouldn’t have helped on this job, she had her own life to lead and she was trying to keep herself above the criminal aspect of dreamshare but the money was too good and she had a really nice flat in Paris she would rather keep. Besides, Dom promised it was clean and if he said it was clean, it had to be.

Eames was already in the city. He had picked her up the night before and they took several shots together until Ariadne was practically sliding out of her seat. 

She was still nursing her coffee when they got to the vacant apartment building which was a nice change from warehouses. She wore her big, hangover sunglasses and trudged in behind Dom, still in zombie mode when she heard Dom say,

"I’m going to get some coffee. Looks like Arthur’s here though."

"Kay, great."

Dom pat her shoulder as he left his bag at the nearest desk and then went to get coffee. Ariadne went to her empty work space and saw Arthur’s desk already prepared, his laptop up but the screensaver was up so Arthur must have gone to do something else. She sat at her station for a moment, fighting unconsciousness before she decided to go to the bathroom to splash some cold water on her face. She set her sunglasses down and slowly made her way across the flat to the bathroom and opened the door only to be shocked.

Arthur was there, but so was Eames, the both of them holding onto each other apparently mid-makeout session. They pulled away from each other as Ariadne’s hungover mind processed what she saw.

"Oh…oh god!"

Arthur sighed as Eames scrubbed his hand over his face.

"Sorry! I thought…sorry!"

She started to close the door again but Arthur stopped her.

"Ariadne, it’s fine. You didn’t catch us fucking."

"Oh god!"

"Arthur, you’re not making this better." Eames said.

Ariadne suddenly felt sober and alert as Arthur guided her back to her seat.

"So how long have you guys been together?"

"Couple of years."

Eames had gone to lay down, still hungover himself as Arthur sat with Ariadne giving her water. She took a few drinks, feeling a bit better afterwards.

"So…wow. Why didn’t you tell anyone?"

"Only Cobb really knows. And only because he showed up unannounced at my hotel room and Eames answered the door wearing a towel because he thought it was room service."

He rolled his eyes, but a smile tugged on the corner of his mouth.

"It was not my fault!"

They both turned and looked at Eames still laying down on one of the chases, his eyes closed, his ankles crossed, his hands resting on his stomach.

"I’m not saying it was." Replied Arthur.

"So…just us know?"

"Yeah. I mean, we should probably tell everyone…but I just don’t feel it’s anyone’s business."

"Maybe you guys should stop making out in bathrooms."

Arthur heard Eames laugh as he turned to look at him again.

"Aren’t you supposed to be asleep?"

"I’m trying, my love."

Arthur looked back at Ariadne who was finally smiling at him again.

"You may have a point."

Ariadne shook her head and turned to start working. Arthur got up and went to his own desk, but not before going to check on Eames first. 

Chapter Text

It never bothered Arthur that Eames wanted to be an actor.

He believed in Eames and he was ridiculously talented. Eames had plans after school to head into the city, to do stage work to hone his skill and then be discovered. Arthur believed he probably wouldn’t get very far on stage before being discovered.

In the meantime, Arthur worked on being a law student. Eames teased him and said that he would need a lawyer in his career, who better than his boyfriend. 

When Arthur prepared to go to law school, his parents called him one afternoon just to talk to him. He didn’t sense anything wrong with the conversation until his mother asked,

"Are you still seeing Eames?"

Arthur felt it was a strange question.

"Yes. Why?"

There was a sigh, as if his mother had been expecting a different answer.

"Arthur…he’s still acting isn’t he?"

"Yes."

"So you plan on supporting him your whole life?"

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"Arthur, he’s going to spend his life doing terrible little stage shows or community theater and you’ll be the only one bringing in any money. Do you mean to tell me that, that’s what you want?"

"Eames has real talent!"

"I’m sure he does."

"I believe in him! He’ll make it, I know he will."

"Arthur. Your father and I have been discussing this and we will gladly pay your way for law school. We know you’ll make something of yourself. But Eames will drag you down. We want you to stop seeing him."

Arthur was shocked. 

"You can’t mean that."

"We do. We don’t want you to waste your life anymore. So leave him. Break up with him or we’ll stop paying for school."

Arthur didn’t even hesitate.

"Well then stop paying for school. I’ll find another way."

"Arthur, think about this."

"I don’t need to. I’m going to stay with Eames. I love him and I believe in him."

He heard his mother sigh.

Just a few years later, Arthur was sitting in a theater next to Eames. Having been nominated for an Oscar was enough for Eames, but Arthur was nervous for him. When his category, Best Actor, came up, Eames took his hand and Arthur felt the sweat the slight tremble and he could see Eames’ knee shaking as they began to announce names and show clips of their nominated rolls. Eames bit his bottom lip as the presenters said the words,

"And the winner is…"

Arthur’s heart hammered away as he held his breath, feeling Eames grip his hand tightly.

"William Eames."

The entire room erupted as Eames looked at Arthur in shock and Arthur hugged him, excited for him as he stood up with him, feeling Eames kiss him before he started to make his way to the stage.

It hadn’t been easy. There were many long nights of work for the both of them, a lot of weeks apart while Eames worked but they had made it through and Eames felt like him being nominated was enough. He had said it again and again, it didn’t matter if he won - though Arthur knew it would mean the world to him if he did.

Afterwards, as Eames gave a few interviews, still holding his award, he announced,

"I told the love of my life that I won, I would propose to him. I’m hoping he’ll make a winner out of me twice."

Eames had told him that in jest and Arthur had not really taken him seriously but now that he won, Arthur was shocked to hear him say it to a reporter. 

When they were finally alone, after all the interviews, after all the pictures, after all the parties, they were alone in the hotel room that had been booked for them. Eames set his statue on the night stand as he looked at Arthur, exhausted but still excited.

"So…"

Arthur undid the bow tie around his neck after taking off his coat.

"Yeah?"

"Will you marry me?"

Arthur laughed a little.

"You were serious?"

"I was. I told you I was. I told you if I won, I’d propose. So I won."

Arthur smiled, taking his hand.

"Yes."

The next morning, it was released that Arthur had said yes. 

He only hoped his parents were regretting their words as they opened the entertainment section and saw that Oscar winning William Eames had proposed to his long time lover. 

And that Arthur had said yes.

Chapter Text

"Hm."

Dom looks up first and sees the concerned look on Yusuf’s face.

"Something wrong?"

"Uh, I’m not sure."

That caught Eames’ attention as he walked over to the group and looked at Arthur, seeing his fingers twitching, his eyes moving rapidly under his eyelids.

"Is that normal?"

"Well…he is sleeping so yes?"

Eames sighed at him, clearly annoyed as he sat beside Arthur and waited. He wasn’t sure if he should have waiting for the clock to run out and he regretted not kicking Arthur out when the timer ran out and Arthur sat up gasping for air. 

It was instant, the moment he opened his eyes he broke down in sobs, having a hard time breathing. Yusuf pulled the line from his wrist first and Eames tried to rub his back, trying to calm him down and Arthur flinched away from him.

No one knew what happened. There was concern all around and Eames took charge.

"All right, give us a minute yet?"

"Yeah…come on Yusuf."

Dom grabbed Yusuf by the collar of his shirt, pulling him away. They stopped long enough to grab their coats and once they were gone, Eames sat across from Arthur, waiting for him to calm down. 

It was torturous, to see him falling apart and being unable to do anything but watch, but his touch wasn’t welcomed so he had to wait.

It was a few minutes until Arthur’s sobs grew softer and softer and his breathing began to slow down. When he finally looked up, Eames was there.

"Hey."

Arthur blinked a few times, tears staining his face, his cheeks flushed. He brought his hand up to his face, scrubbing at it until Eames stood up and changed seats, sitting beside him now, dabbing his face with a tissue.

"Is this ok?"

Arthur nodded, leaning against Eames, letting him hold onto him. When Arthur’s breathing steadied, Eames asked him,

"What happened?"

Arthur didn’t speak yet, just sniffled and dabbed at his eyes with the tissue Eames gave him. 

"He was in my dream."

It was explanation enough. Arthur had revealed that when he was young and vulnerable he had dated a man who had not been kind to him. Arthur mistook his jealousy and possessiveness as love and affection. He didn’t realize until it was far too late and so far from anyone who could help him that his ex was abusive. It escalated so quickly from slaps and hits that came with apologies to full on punches and broken bones that came with nothing but warnings. 

Arthur had to leave everything and run and since then, he had sworn to himself he would never be a victim again. Getting involved in dreamshare strengthened him, made him dangerous, made him smart and there had been no one else since him - until Eames.

Eames had been good to him and even when they argued, he made sure to keep his physical movements in check since one wrong action could make Arthur nervous, no matter how far he had come. 

Now the man who had nearly broken Arthur as a teenager was breaking through his subconscious and it terrified him. Seeing him was like having all those years crush him all at once, hence his reaction. Eames kissed his head and held him.

"I understand."

"It was terrifying. It was like I was seventeen all over again."

"You’re not seventeen. He’s nowhere near you and even if he was, you could easily take him down."

Arthur laughed a little and sniffled a bit.

"That was embarrassing."

"They understand. It could have been anything and as far as they know, it was anything."

Arthur sighed deeply, sitting up again.

"I’m sorry."

"For what?"

Arthur shrugged.

"I just…hate that this shit comes out of me now and then."

"You can’t help it. You have deep scars. All I can do is be there for you and remind you that you’re not the same person that you were when you were with him. You’re strong and capable and brilliant and it’s why I love you."

Arthur smiled weakly.

"Thank you. I love you too."

"I’m going to let Cobb know we’re taking the rest of the day off. We’ll something to eat. Get some rest."

"Throw an orgasm in there somewhere and I’m sold."

Eames laughed, standing up and helping Arthur to his feet.

"Deal."

Chapter Text

They were irresponsible and young who didn’t care about much of anything except each other and their drugs.

Arthur had met Eames by chance. He had cut class to go to the school’s roof and get high when he saw someone else there. Eames had been sitting there stoned already and he didn’t care that Arthur was there. 

Soon it became a thing, ditching fourth period and sitting on the roof getting high together. Then fourth and and fifth. Then fourth, fifth and sixth.

Then they just began to cut full days. 

It all came to a head while they snuck back into Arthur’s house and sat in his basement bedroom and after getting high together, they began to make out. Eames kept claiming he wasn’t into guys and Arthur said the same thing. But neither one really believed it as they kissed for hours until they got hungry or the pot wore off, whatever came first.

That became something they did constantly until the kissing turned to sex. The pot made them slow and lazy but everything somehow more intensified including the sex. They would fuck for hours, lazily, sometimes, one of them fell asleep during which would cause a bit of a fight but they would just pick up right where they left off.

They didn’t even graduate from school. Eames failed and Arthur just stopped going. Nothing really mattered but each other. In a drug induced haze, Arthur confessed to him,

"I’m in love with you."

Eames exhaled the cloud of smoke in his mouth before passing the bong over to Arthur along with the lighter.

"You must be really fucked up already."

"I’m not. I do. I love you."

Eames only smiled lazily at him.

"I love you too."

When they were both high, they fucked again. Slow and messy, never any condoms since it never occurred for them to use them.

Arthur was scolded repeatedly for dropping out of school. His parents knew that Arthur was not in a proper state of mind. He wasn’t taking care of himself and he was throwing his life away but they could do nothing to stop him short of trying to talk to him. When talking didn’t work, they yelled and when yelling didn’t work, they tried other tactics. But Arthur just didn’t care. He didn’t care about anything but Eames.

In the middle of the night, Eames snuck into Arthur’s room. It wasn’t the first time he had done it and Arthur was awake when it happened, insomnia getting the better of him.

"My parents are giving me shit about school."

"Mine too."

Eames sighed, shedding his clothes and getting into bed with Arthur.

"We should get out of here."

"And do what?"

Eames was quiet for a moment then laughed.

"I have no idea. Take your pants off."

Arthur did as Eames said, but he looked at him as he did.

"I don’t have any pot. We smoked it and I didn’t get to see Nash yet."

"Fuck..me either. I thought about going there before here but I forgot."

"Do you still-"

"Yeah!"

Arthur laughed. 

Sex was different when they were sober. Arthur found it hurt a little more but it still felt just as good, less numbing then usual and Eames felt amazing. When they were done, Eames lay beside him, trying to catch his breath.

"I wish we had some pot. It would be awesome right now…after coming."

Arthur laughed and agreed.

"My parents are threatening to send me back to England."

Arthur sat up, not ready to hear such news.

"What?"

"Yeah. They said they’re tired of watching me fuck up here."

"Oh…god."

"Yeah."

He touched his face and Arthur looked at him. It was too intense, too much without anything to take the brunt of the news.

"Let’s call Nash. We have to get some pot, I can’t do this sober."

"Yeah."

They called Nash and they managed to get some pot with money Eames had. They didn’t even go back to Arthur’s house, they just sat in the park and smoked there. It didn’t numb him and make him feel great like it always did. Instead, Arthur cried, afraid of Eames leaving him because despite everything, Arthur just loved him - him and nothing else mattered.

"What are we going to do if they send you back?"

"I won’t let them."

Arthur sighed a little and rubbed his eye.

"We should just run away."

"If only it was that easy."

They finished smoking the joint and Eames offered to take Arthur back home. Once there, they fucked again only this time, it meant a little more.

Chapter Text

"Arthur, have dinner with me."

His charming, cocky smile made Arthur frown a little. He closed his bag and lifted the strap over his shoulder.

"I don’t think so Eames. Good night."

He left without another word, not bothering to look back as Eames stood there, his charming, cocky smile sliding off his face. When he was alone, he only looked down in disappointment.

It was not the first time Arthur had rejected his advances but it was becoming more and more evident to Eames that he wasn’t going to get anywhere with Arthur. He was so tired of pining for him, of trying to show he cared only to be shut down time and time again. It was starting to feel more and more pointless to go on.

That night, Eames returned to his hotel room and fought with himself as he stared at the bottle of Jameson in his mini bar. It was a small bottle but it would be enough. He hadn’t had a drink in just about five years, clean and sober but the agony of being shut down and turned away was starting to take a toll on Eames. He managed to win that night and put the bottle away, determined to make it through without a crutch.

He continued the chase, being kind to Arthur, trying to show him he cared for him, genuinely cared for him and at one point, he thought he was getting through. Half way through the job, while he and Arthur worked on some of the research, he looked at him with a smile, delighted when Arthur smiled back at him. They finished up and Arthur stretched, feeling his back crack and he sighed,

"I’m starving. I’m going back to my room and get something to eat before going to bed."

"You should have told me sooner. We could have wrapped this up and gone out to dinner."

Arthur shook his head as he packed his bag. 

"You’re always asking me out to dinner."

"I want to eat with you."

"Well, I’ve said no often enough. I thought you’d get the idea by now."

"Oh…I apologize."

Arthur gave a shrug.

"Let’s not make this awkward. I’ll see you tomorrow."

"Yeah. I’ll see you tomorrow."

Arthur left and Eames went back to his room.

It was the final crushing blow, what he had to hear to break himself out of his stupid infatuation with Arthur. But God it hurt. 

He didn’t win the battle against the bottle that night.

He drank the contents of his mini fridge well into the night, passing out and waking up in the morning with the worse hangover of his life. To quell it, he began to drink again, in the meantime, calling room service to bring up a bottle of wine. 

He didn’t care what time it was, how late he was to job, about anything. He just lay on his hotel room floor, the bottle of wine cradled in his arm, now and then lifting it up to his mouth in a stupor. 

He woke up again when he felt something shaking him and his tired eyes opened as he saw Arthur. For a moment he smiled at him, seeing the angry look on his face.

"Hey..Arthur. What are you doing here?"

"You’re drunk. How could you get drunk, we’re in the middle of a fucking job. How could you do this?"

"I’m sorry…"

"You asshole. Get up."

He forced Eames to sit up and pulled him up to make him sit on the bed rather than on the floor and then moved about the room while Eames sat dizzy and drunk on the bed.

Arthur stayed with Eames until he sobered up, giving him coffee and water and ordering food so he could eat and give him aspirin. He was irritated and Eames could tell and as he gradually started sobering up, Eames felt disgusted with himself.

"Why did you get drunk?"

Eames shrugged, not wanting to talk anymore.

"It shouldn’t matter."

"Eames, what the hell is wrong with you?" 

Eames was just drunk enough and not yet sober enough to care anymore.

"I’m in love with you. And you don’t care."

Arthur was quiet and stunned. He sat beside Eames on his bed where he sat, still in his rumpled clothing from his bender last night. Eames looked at the chaos he caused around the room though Arthur had cleaned up after him well enough.

"What are you talking about?"

"Why do you think I keep asking you out?"

"I just thought…that you were…"

"Kidding?"

"Yeah…I didn’t think that-"

"It doesn’t matter. Just…give me another hour, I’ll shower and meet you for the job. I know we wasted time."

"Eames…why didn’t you just say so?"

"I’ve been trying. You shot me down at every turn."

Eames slouched down far enough to lay flat. His eyes closed as he turned away from Arthur.

"I didn’t know."

"Just go."

Eames felt Arthur climb onto the bed and lay beside him, putting his arms around him.

"Eames…I didn’t know. I thought you were just teasing me. I was afraid that if I told you how I felt, you’d mock me for it."

Eames turned to him, surprised to feel Arthur’s arm on him. 

"I wouldn’t have. I love you."

"Is that why you got drunk?"

"It hurt..what you said before. I hadn’t had a drink in five years before that."

He felt Arthur bury his face against his chest, holding onto him tightly.

"I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I was afraid…"

Eames brought his hand up to Arthur’s back, rubbing him slightly, feeling the soft fabric of his oxford since he long shed his tie and coat. 

"You didn’t know…"

"Eames…I love you too."

There was a moment where it was quiet and the next breath Eames took, he finally felt like he would be okay now. The pain that had a hold on him finally began letting go and he turned his head to kiss Arthur’s forehead.

Chapter Text

While Arthur wasn’t showing, it was pretty obvious that he was pregnant with Eames’ child. The way Eames hovered and glared at anyone who got too close and of course the moments he thought they were alone when Eames put his hand on Arthur’s stomach.

As Arthur got larger and began to show, Eames became even more protective. Arthur took the time off work since he couldn’t do much anyway except research and Eames tended to his every whim. 

Arthur wanted to hate it but he felt so pampered and well taken care of that he couldn’t really complain. He had never in a million years imagined Eames to be so excited, so welcoming, so thrilled about Arthur carrying his baby.

When Arthur laid down and his bump really showed, Eames would run his hand over it and kiss it and talk to it, saying things about his son, which Arthur just smiled at because it was painfully endearing.

He was constantly on guard when they were out and about. Being out of the field during the later months was one thing, but Arthur could do nothing or go nowhere without Eames’ fiercely protective guard up. If people got too close, Eames’ hand was out to stop them from getting closer to Arthur’s belly. When anyone approached Arthur, Eames would often stand guard beside him, just glaring and waiting for them to leave.

"You’re like a guard dog."

Eames looked at him as he looked up from Arthur’s stomach.

"I am?"

"Yes. You don’t like anyone to approach me."

"It’s the protective nature of me, darling. I don’t want anything to happen to our little boy."

"Nothing is going to happen. You don’t let me go anywhere alone anymore."

"Where do you want to go alone?"

Arthur couldn’t think of anything so he made a face and Eames laughed, sitting up to kiss him.

"Arthur darling, you should just lie back and let me take care of you."

"I do."

"Good. So what are you complaining about? You should take advantage of it."

Arthur smiled a little, running his own hand over his swell.

"I’ll take you up on that. But do me one favor."

"What’s that?"

"Stop glaring at people when they talk to me. They’re not going to stab me."

Eames made a face, his hand still on Arthur’s stomach.

"I’m not promising anything."

Arthur only laughed. 

Chapter Text

The night Arthur went into labor, Eames was half asleep, steadying his book on his chest as his eyes got heavy. Suddenly he heard Arthur making a noise of discomfort and he sat up, throwing the blankets and sheets off him as he held his stomach with one hand. Eames woke up then, sitting up and looking at him, his instinct to protect already kicking into high gear.

"Arthur, what’s the matter? Are you ok?"

Arthur looked at him, looking a little upset as he said,

"I think I’m going into labor…"

Eames practically jumped out of bed as he said,

"Ok, ok…stay calm. How far apart are the contractions?"

"A few minutes…"

"What?"

"They started after dinner…I thought it was just indigestion."

"Arthur!"

"I thought it was indigestion!"

Eames sighed as he quickly got dressed and then helped Arthur get his sweats on before helping him out the door, grabbing his over night bag on the way.

Eames stood in the delivery room holding Arthur’s hand as he pressed a towel to his forehead, the surgical curtain blocking their view as the C-section was performed. Eames smiled at him, holding Arthur’s hand with his free hand as he whispered encouragement to him.

"You’re doing fine."

Arthur looked a little nervous and he worried until the first piercing cries of an infant were heard. 

"See, he’s fine! He’s here…our boy is here."

The doctor held up the baby for Arthur to see as he announced,

"It’s a girl!"

Eames was stunned.

"A girl?"

The doctor nodded and then passed the baby to the nurses as Arthur smiled, his head turning towards Eames.

"A little girl…"

"I thought we would have a boy…"

"Eames?"

Arthur looked up at him, his eyes glassy and Eames shushed him, trying not to stress him out.

When Arthur was in recovery, their baby was brought to them. Eames took her out of the crib and held her, bringing her over to Arthur. Arthur looked at her, running his hands over her pudgy cheek as he smiled.

"Are you upset?"

Eames looked at him and then back down at their daughter.

"No, I was just surprised. I was so certain we’d have a boy. So certain that I convinced myself it was happening. It was a surprise to hear about our girl. But not disappointment."

Arthur smiled a little, still weak from surgery so he couldn’t hold her right away but he had a feeling Eames wouldn’t give her up anyway, the way he cradled her and brought her close to his lips to kiss her face, smiling stupidly when she made happy gurgles and smiled. Arthur yawned and Eames turned to him and said,

"Get some sleep, pet. I got her."

Arthur nodded, his eyes closing as he dozed off, listening to Eames hum and whisper softly to their new daughter.

Chapter Text

When Eames was in his twenties, he lived in his parent’s house and next door to him lived the Cohen’s. The Cohen’s had a little boy named Arthur who at the time was about seven or eight.

He was a smart little boy, clever and brilliant as well as adorable. Whenever Eames saw him, he was impressed by how smart Arthur was, impressed with Arthur’s school projects he was doing, with his violin lessons or anything else Arthur might be doing.

He felt that bad Arthur was an only child, his parents busy most times expect for certain activites, so Eames didn’t mind taking a few minutes out of his day to sit on his porch and listen to whatever Arthur was doing at the time.

When Eames finally got his life in order, he moved out and went to start his life, moving on and forgetting all about the little boy next door. 
By the time Eames returned home for a visit, he had completely forgotten how long it had been or about his little neighbor and was just glad to see his parents. He was older now, he felt settled and he felt he accomplished a lot in the few years he had been away from home. He took his parents out to dinner one night and when they returned, Eames was surprised to see a teenager getting out of car in the driveway next to his parent’s. Everyone got out of the car and as Eames’ mother did, she waved to the teenager and smiled.

"Hello, Arthur dear."

Eames’ head looked over at the boy, now tall and lean, hair trim but curling and messy, glasses on his lovely face. Arthur…he remembered Arthur suddenly - the little boy who use to play next door now grown up. 
Arthur waved in return and paused when he saw Eames. Eames smiled a little and sent his parents ahead as he met Arthur in the middle.

"Why, little Arthur Cohen. Look at you."

"Wow…Eames. It’s been a really long time."

"It has."

Arthur smiled a bit at him.

"How old are you now?"

"Seventeen."

"Geez. You make me feel so old."

"You’re not that much older than me."

They smiled at each other and Arthur adjusted the bag on his shoulder.

"How long are you in town for?"

"Just the weekend, visiting my parents."

"Oh…you live far from here?"

"A bit. Are you busy tomorrow? We should hang out."

"I’d like that."

The next day, Eames picked Arthur up for lunch. They talked and caught up, Eames telling him what he had been up to career wise, Arthur getting ready to go to school in the fall. He was working a part job for the time being but that was it.

"I can’t believe how much you’ve grown."

They sat in Eames’ car as the night began to settle over the neighborhood. They had, had a wonderful day, lost time over lunch, then coffee and by the time Eames suggested going back home, it was already getting dark. Arthur smiled, his hair better tamed now, no glasses and better jeans and a shirt on. Eames himself was more casual in jeans and a thin tshirt.

Arthur had grown from an adorable little boy to a beautiful young man, baby fat dropped away to reveal a slender face with dimples marking his smile, his eyes almond shaped and crowned with dark lashes, his mouth a perfect cupid bow. Eames’ eyes traveled down to his slender, lean arms, well tapered fingers and delicate wrists.

"Do you still play violin?"

"Yes, but I’m not that good."

"I doubt that."

They looked at each other in the dark, the streetlight being their only source of light, Arthur leaned against the seat as he sighed and said,

"I wish you didn’t have to leave."

"I’m starting to regret having to go."

Arthur blushed a little before biting his bottom lip.

"Are you seeing anyone right now?"

Eames looked at him with a smile, his hand reaching over to touch his bare arm.

"No. How about you?"

"No. Hey…would it be weird if…nevermind."

"What? Tell me."

"I was wondering…if it would be weird that…that I always liked you."

"No, it’s not weird."

Eames pulled Arthur a little closer, relieved that Arthur met him halfway as he kissed him. They kissed for moments at a time, gradually escalating to deeper, more intense kissing, Arthur nearly climbing over to settle himself in Eames’ lap. When they broke away for air, the windows fogged up, Arthur clung to Eames’ shirt and sighed.

"I really want you."

Eames smiled, kissing him again, cupping Arthur’s face.

"As ridiculous as I feel saying it considering I’m a grown man, we can go to my parent’s house. I’m staying downstairs in the basement."

Arthur’s smile was all the answer he needed.

They fucked quietly, Eames kissing Arthur to keep him quiet, loving when Arthur could hardly keep the sounds to himself. While he had some experience under his belt, he was still a virgin - though dying to get rid of that as soon as possible, pleased that it had been Eames to help with that. Eames rolled his hips against him, his arms keeping Arthur close to him as he kissed him, hearing the gasps and moans that left Arthur’s lips, feeling his legs shaking at his sides as they tensed to pull Eames back inside him. Arthur moaned, nipping at Eames’ bottom lip, both of them making the pull out sofa bed creak ever so slightly with every thrust.

"Eames, Eames…oh God…"

He moaned against Eames’ throat as Eames moved, pushing as deeply as he could inside of Arthur’s willing body.

"Fuck…you’re amazing…you feel so good…"


Arthur blushed, his hold on Eames’ arms tightening as he shuttered, his back arching up to take Eames more.

"Close…Eames…"

Eames leaned down, pressing his mouth to Arthur’s moving faster and faster until Arthur cried out, his mouth particially smothered as he came between their bodies. Eames’ rhythm was frantic and thrown off and when Arthur tightened up around his dick, Eames came. He heard Arthur’s shaky gasp, feeling Eames come though he wore a condom. 
When he pulled out and laid beside him, Arthur turned to him, kissing his shoulder, feeling Eames’ heavy arm drape over him. They kissed again and again, Arthur smiling at him in between.

In the morning, Arthur left, sneaking back into his own house and Eames resumed his visit with his parents as if nothing had happened.

Before he left to go back to his life, they exchanged phone numbers and Arthur looked at him with a bit of a sad face.

"What’s wrong?"

"I just…I’m scared you won’t really call me. You’ll brush me off as a dumb little kid that was easy enough to fuck."

"No. Never. I’ll call you as soon as I get home. You’ll be going to school soon…we can work this out. Yeah?"


Arthur nodded, a small smile now appearing as they hugged, Eames kissing his temple as he sighed.

"I regret ever leaving you in my past."

Arthur’s grip tightened.

"Don’t worry, darling. I won’t leave you there again."

Chapter Text

Before Ariadne found out about Arthur and Eames, Dom found out first.

They had just finished a job - a year or so after the Fischer job. Because of the intensity and the over all trust that had been built, Dom had no problem calling back his former team. Arthur was always the first to be called, then Ariadne, then Yusuf. He called in Eames last, mainly because he couldn’t track him down and in the end, he left it to Arthur, who found him with minimal trouble.

That should have been Dom’s first clue.

The job went well enough, smooth, easy and without having to flee for their lives. Everyone hung around in California for a few days, Yusuf excited to get to the beach for some sun and skin, Ariadne wanted to go shopping and Arthur was going to just relax. Dom didn’t ask what Eames was doing, he felt it was none of his business. 

After a few days at home, taking care of his children and finding himself content, he decided to stop in on Arthur, wanting to ask him how much longer he was going to be around. The kids wanted to see him after all.

When he called his cell phone, he got his voicemail so he popped over to his hotel, it was close by anyway and he could do with a drive. Dom figured maybe they could get some lunch.

Having known where Arthur’s room was, Dom went up on his own, humming in the elevator, checking his watch and his cell phone until he got to Arthur’s door. He knocked twice and then waited and when the door opened, he felt his mouth drop open in surprise.

It was Eames. And not just Eames, but Eames still damp from a shower, a towel around his waist, shock then guilt on his face as he looked down at Dom’s feet.

"Eames? What are you doing here? Are you using Arthur’s room?"

His mind didn’t instantly digest the fact that Eames was there with Arthur, at least not until Arthur showed up behind Eames, wearing his own towel.

"Dom…what are you doing here?"

"What am I doing here? What is Eames doing here?!"

Eames let go of the door as he stepped aside.

"I’m going to throw some clothes on…"

Arthur nodded and he let Dom in.

"I guess I should explain…"

"Yes, you should explain! Arthur…when did this happen?"

Arthur picked up the hotel’s hospitality bathrobe as he put it on and then took the towel off, turning his back to Dom just in case. Once the sash was closed, Arthur offered Dom a seat.

"Well…uh. It’s been going on for a while."

"What’s a while?"

Arthur shrugged.

"A while. A few years."

Dom was still reeling.

Arthur sat down with him and explained how he and Eames had met years and years ago and after a few jobs together, they had some fun but fun turned serious and they got involved. It hadn’t been smooth and they had been on and off but before the Fischer job, they had gotten back together and had been together since. Dom nodded, listening, his mouth finally closed as he said,

"Wow…so what no one knows?"

"We didn’t make it public knowledge." Said Eames.

He had returned, now wearing clothes, his hair still wet as he sat beside Arthur. Arthur agreed.

"You know how people are."

"But why didn’t you tell me?"

"Back then it was just easier to keep a secret. Then when everything was going on with you, I didn’t think it was one more thing you needed on your plate."

Dom took a deep breath as he looked at Eames, then back at Arthur.

"You guys can sure as hell keep a secret."

"Our whole lives are secrets, mate." 

Eames made a point, Dom knew it. 

"So…are you upset with me?" Asked Arthur.

"No…just really surprised."

Arthur nodded, understanding. Eventually, Dom came back to his senses and asked if Arthur did want to stop by and see the kids. Arthur nodded, saying he would before he left.

"I was going to ask you out to lunch, but how about dinner, then both of you later tonight?"

Arthur looked at Eames and Eames nodded easily enough. Dom smiled a bit and stood up.

"Great. I’ll pick you both up around eight? Sound good?"

"Sure. We’ll see you then."

Dom breathed a sigh of relief and as he left, Arthur closing his hotel room door behind him, he heard Arthur ask Eames,

"Why did you open the door in a towel?"

"I thought it was room service!"

Dom shook his head.

Chapter Text

It took a bit of time for Eames to make his move on Arthur but once he did, it took even longer for them to get anywhere…physical.

Kissing, touching above the waist - all that was great. But anytime Arthur tried to touch Eames any lower, hinted at sex or not-so-subtly lured Eames to his bedroom, he was always stopped short. Arthur got a little upset at first, then he thought it was endearing, feeling Eames was being such a gentleman. 

Then he just got annoyed. Arthur wanted him. He wanted him and he was horny and it had been way, way too long and he was sick of Eames keeping him at arm’s length. He decided to be a little more aggressive one night, ignoring Eames’ attempts to pull his hands away from his jeans as he kissed him hard, all tongue and teeth as he moaned softly, showing Eames that he wanted him.

"Arthur…wait. Wait, wait."

Arthur huffed and pulled his hands away, then moved back altogether and sat up only to slouch on the sofa. Eames sat up, looking damn sexy with his cowlicked hair and swollen lips. 

"Eames, what is your problem? We’ve been seeing each other for months and while this whole painfully English, gentleman act was cute at first, I’m kind of sick of it now."

Eames looked a bit stunned and then a little embarrassed. He cleared his throat.

"We should probably talk."

Arthur sat up now, looking at Eames.

"It’s just…well I’ve not much luck…topping before."

"Oh."

"It’s because…uh."

He paused again, rubbing the back of his neck. Arthur waited, curious as to his reasons.

"Well…I’m rather…well endowed."

Arthur was now unamused.

"Right. You and every man on this planet."

Eames took his hand and stood up, walking him to Arthur’s bedroom and made his sit. He stood in front of him and undid his jeans, lowering them a bit before he sighed and pushed down the front of his boxer briefs to let his cock unfurl in front of Arthur’s eyes.

Arthur’s jaw dropped, his eyes now wide as he saw this huge cock that Eames was in possession of. It was thick and uncut and long…so long. And he wasn’t even hard.

"Oh my God…Eames…you missed your calling."

"My calling?"

"Gay porn."

Eames sighed as he tucked himself back and Arthur was finally able to form words.

"It’s off putting to most. They see it and immediately think NO. I just…wanted to tell you before-"

"I’m so pissed at you."

"What?"

"How dare you keep that from me?"

Eames was confused as Arthur pushed him back on the bed, climbing over his, straddling his hips, now completely excited to feel the length of cock right under him as he kissed Eames again and again.

"I want it. I want it in me…now."

"Are you-"

"Fuck yes, I’m sure."

There was a lot of lube used. A lot. And a lot of patience and slow, deep breathing from Arthur as he straddled Eames’ lap and took it inch by inch. He recalled all the yoga mantras he had ever heard, took deep, deep breathes, remembered every trick for bottoming including bearing down.

Half way through, he felt a little hysterical, feeling that Eames would tear him half, puncture his organs and kill him with his huge cock and fuck, how would you even explain that to anyone? But what a way to go. He smiled to himself as Eames held his hips, not letting him rush, kissing him to distract him, whispering encouragement to him. It was almost dirty talk, filth coming from his lips, telling him how good Arthur was taking him, that he was almost there, telling him how tight he was and his moans, oh God his moans. Arthur had to pull back from the precipice of his orgasm and stop to breathe again and again, remind himself not to come. They hadn’t even started yet.

When he finally, finally settled on Eames’ lap he could have cried from relief, unbelieving that all of Eames’ huge dick was inside him. He looked down and touched his stomach, pressing down.

"Oh…God…I think I can feel you from here.."

Eames kissed him, still holding his hips.

"How do you feel?"

"Full..God…it’s like I’m drowning…"

Eames shushed him softly and encouraged him to move a little, letting Arthur feel it out, testing his limits and when Eames’ fingers touched his stretched out hole, Arthur let out a shuttered sob.

He moved slowly, rocking a little back and forth before even attempting to lift up slightly. He didn’t dare go up any higher then a few inches and he swore he could feel the head of his cock brushing and bumping and pressing against his prostate which was making it difficult for Arthur to focus and move as much as he wanted.

He was frantic, clenching and trying to ride Eames as best as he could but there was no room to move, nowhere to aim for because Eames was right there. His small bounces turned a little faster, each movement like a spike of pleasure ripping through him and he couldn’t stay quiet for the life of him, his moans in a litany of ‘ah, ah, ah’ again and again and still he felt as if he couldn’t breathe but it felt so good.

Eames encouraged him still, moaning along with him, cursing softly and when he arched his back, he seem to go even deeper inside Arthur and he felt him seize up and come all over him, his scream bouncing off all the walls. He continued trembling, his movements slow and weak, urging Eames to come too and when he did, Arthur’s moan soft, his mouth open as his fingers tightened around Eames’ wrists. Eames pulled him down to lay on top of him, Arthur letting go of Eames’ wrists so he could hold him.

It felt like hours later before Arthur could talk, function and think normally again. He groaned as he sat up, covered in come and feeling Eames still inside him, though now not taking up as much room as before. Arthur could feel his thighs ache, his knees ached and that delicious soreness raced through him as he propped himself up. Eames looked at him, a pleased, fucked out look on his face, a smug smile on his lips.

"How are you?"

His sex voice was still on and Arthur bit his lip a little before answering.

"Amazing. I think…I’m a slut for your cock."

"As long as it’s for me and me alone."

"You ruined me forever."

"Hopefully not physically."

"We’ll see."

Arthur smiled a little as he slowly got up, groaning as Eames slipped out of him and Arthur fell back on the bed beside him.

"I can’t walk. Your dick crippled me."

Eames laughed.

Chapter Text

Over time, a handful of months at most, Jon and Tommy become really good friends. 

That’s it. Just friends.

Jon doesn’t watch Tommy lift, letting his eyes drift over his shoulders, over his huge arms, down his muscular back, watching his tattoos shift. He doesn’t. He doesn’t have to clear his throat and think of other things when he hears Tommy grunt or moan while he works out. He does not. 

He doesn’t have weird, confusing thoughts when he and Tommy sit and eat, watching his lips, listening intently to anything he has to say about his day.

Jon can’t even remember the last time he went out to a club to pick up a girl or had a drink because lately, he’s just been hanging out with Tommy and Tommy doesn’t drink, doesn’t club, doesn’t pick up random women. And that’s ok. He’s more into working out anyway - which Jon loves because there’s something great about lifting with Tommy.

Tommy can lift nearly twice as much as Jon does and he spots Jon whenever he’s lifting. It should be gross for him or not even on his mind being really close to the inside of Tommy’s thighs but instead he finds himself thinking about it entirely too much.

He tried to jerk off. Once. And after scrolling through the usual stuff and starting up, he couldn’t focus. He couldn’t concentrate so he gave up and left it at that. 

Now and then, Tommy allows himself a cheat day and Jon lines his own up with Tommy’s so they can splurge together. They get lattes instead of black coffee and have large pizzas with stuffed crust, bacon, pepperoni, sausage and extra cheese. They have double bacon and cheese burgers with fries and beers and it’s the best day Jon could remember having in a while.

"I have to wake up at six tomorrow to work all this shit off but it’s so worth it."

Jon laughed a little as they sat in his car.

"Me too."

When Tommy smiled at him, Jon felt weird again and he knew he had to get laid soon. 

The next day, after his work out and his steam, he went to play basketball with his boys. He felt he needed the extra time with his friends and when they talked about going out, Jon agreed.

It ended up being a waste of time. Jon just wasn’t into it and he lounged near the bar, listening to his friends talking. He kept looking at his cell phone, seeing the time go by and eventually, he left. His friends thought he found someone to go home with.

The next time he and Tommy hung out, he watched him run a towel over his face, wiping the sweat off after finishing his set, Jon already done. 

"Wanna head out?"

Jon nodded and he stared at the ground while he showered and changed. He stared hard at the tiles under him, feeling shame wash over him as he realized that he was watching Tommy undress before and God that was so not him. He wasn’t gay. He wasn’t. This was a ridiculous crush on a celebrity who just happened to be a nice, approaching, obscenely good looking guy who happened to like all the same things Jon did. That’s it. So what if Tommy had a nice face with lips that most girls pay for? So what if his eyes were the most brilliant blue that seem to see right through all of Jon’s bullshit - which made all of Jon’s peacocking shut down in a heartbeat. So what that when Tommy teased him, tickled him, snagged his ear, put his hand on him in anyway, Jon shuttered and felt like blushing like a damn girl. 

He wasn’t gay. 

"Hey, Tommy, can I ask you something?"

"Sure."

They hung out in Jon’s place, something that made Jon proud when Tommy noted how nice it was, how clean it looked.  

"Do you ever see anyone? Like you never fuck around with any girls."

Tommy laughed a bit, taking a sip from a water bottle.

"No time."

"You always hang out with me."

"Ok then, no interest."

"Oh…"

"Does that bother you?"

"You never said anything."

"Didn’t ask."

Jon was unsure what to do with that information. Tommy just looked at him, comfortable and relaxed.

"Want me to leave? I know it’s not your thing."

"Uh…no. You can stay. It doesn’t bother me."

Tommy nodded and they continued to hang out.

Now Jon had this information and he had no idea what to do with it - his own mind confused and anxious.

Chapter Text

It wasn’t an easy trip at first but gradually, it began getting easier - nearly comforting. When Eames’ mother passed away, Eames had been heartbroken. He felt guilty for letting too much time in between visits and some times he couldn’t really talk because of whatever selfish reason Eames had in mind. When she died, he felt guilty and he missed her every day. 

He decided to make it up to her and see her as much as he could, always bringing her, her favorite flowers gladiolus. Her favorites and therefore more often brought were pink gladiolus which he would pick up and then bring to his mother’s grave, set them down and he would talk to her.

In the beginning, it was difficult and nearly heart breaking but the more he talked, the better he felt so he made sure to be there at least with a two week gap in between.

It wasn’t until a few months into his ritual that he noticed the florist, Arthur, at the same shop he went to. He took great care and arranging the bouquet, laying each flower with care and ease before wrapping them in cellophane and tissue paper, tying it off with a delicate white ribbon. After the first few times, Eames just bought the bouquet but he began to add a special message, especially around mother’s day or her birthday. Arthur smiled when he first heard Eames ask for the sweet message in the card and Arthur would write it in thick, elegant paper rectangle and tuck it into the bouquet. 

Eames began telling his mother about Arthur as he moved away the withered and dead bouquet from her gravestone, clearing away the fallen petals and dissolved note before replacing it with the new flowers. He began to tell her about his smile, his care in each arrangement, the sparkle in his eyes. He told her how foolish he felt because all he knew of this man was his name and where he worked, but nonetheless, he felt those nerves and clammy hands when he was in front of him, swoon when Arthur smiled at him.

Every few weeks, Eames returned for a visit, fresh flowers in hand, always telling her new stories and now mentioning Arthur. Eames wished often that his mother could give him advice, unsure of what to do. When he voiced these thoughts, he watched a single flower petal fall from the bouquet and onto Eames’ lap and he smiled a little. It felt like a gentle nudge from his mother and he took it as a sign.

A week later, he returned to the florist shop and smiled when Arthur looked up from an arrangement and smiled at him.

"Off to see your mom again?"

"Yeah."

"The usual order then?"

"I thought something different this time."

Arthur waited to hear what Eames would pick out.

"Red roses."

Arthur nodded as he went back to the fridge and took out a dozen, returning to the counter where he began his careful work, dethorning them, trimming the stems and setting them gingerly on the cellophane. Each rose had a dark velvet spiral that would be sure to bloom over time, the steam and leaf a rich green. When Arthur was done, the elegant white ribbon tying everything off, he looked at Eames and asked,

"A message for this one or no?"

"No, not this time."

Arthur nodded and passed the bouquet over. Once Eames paid for them, he thanked Arthur and then handed the bouquet to him and asked,

"Would you like to have dinner with me tonight?"

Arthur was stunned, then red flooded into his face as he looked down.

"Oh…um…yes."

He took the flowers in his arms, his eyes still unable to meet Eames’. 

"Yeah?"

Arthur nodded holding the bouquet, looking down still.

"When do you get off?"

"Seven."

"Can I pick you up here?"

Arthur nodded again, shyly. 

"I look forward to it."

Arthur finally looked up.

"What about your mom?"

"It’s not time for a visit with her yet. But you know I’ll be here for her flowers soon."

Chapter Text

Eames didn’t like it. He didn’t like when Yusuf tried out new shit and somehow, some way convinced Arthur to test it. Eames tried to put a stop to it, but Arthur wasn’t afraid and he shrugged.

"I don’t mind."

Eames didn’t like it. But he damn well couldn’t stop Arthur is he chose to do it. 

While Yusuf prepared Arthur, he explained what was going to happen.

"This is designed to keep you in a deeper sleep on the surface. Not like the other stuff, if you give you a kick you’ll wake up, but it needs to be a bit more forceful."

"Forceful how?"

"Well, music won’t work. This drug is designed to block out outer noises but shooting out of the dream, death, will wake you."

"Wouldn’t want a repeat of last time." Said Eames.

"Right."

"It’ll just take a bit more to kick out. According to my calculations."

Arthur nodded and once he was ready, Yusuf sent him under.

Arthur was designed to go under for ten minutes, which would feel like ten hours under. Yusuf designed it like that. They sat around and waited, nothing visible happening top side while Arthur slept. He was still and calm.

When the timer ran out, Arthur opened his eyes, looking a bit confused and disoriented. He slowly sat up and Eames watched him, seeing that Arthur looked a bit off. Yusuf removed the needle and said,

"Arthur, how do you feel?"

"I uh…feel weird. Kind of groggy…"

He reached for his totem, running his thumb over the die. Eames knew something was wrong.

When Yusuf gave them a few moments, Eames sat beside him and asked him,

"Arthur, are you alright?"

Arthur looked at him as if he was remembering something. He then said,

"Eames?"

"Yeah."

"I uh…I lost myself in the dream. Everything felt real and I knew I was in a dream but half way through I started to wonder if it was. And I just…started to think it was."

Eames put his arm around him, not looking at the die in Arthur’s hand that he still rubbed.

"It’s all real. You’re awake. I’m here."

"But you were there too. You held me and kissed me like you do. You smelled the way you always do…everything felt like this."

"It was a dream, my love. Test your totem. You’ll see."

"I know…I keep telling myself that…but I still feel like I’m under."

Eames told him to wait while he went to strangle Yusuf. Actually, he wanted to, but he told him they were heading out. He promised he would call if anything happened and then he took Arthur back to their hotel room.

The entire ride, Arthur seem to wonder what was real, he looked at things for a long time, as if concentrating. When he returned to their room, he finally tested his totem, again and again, Eames waiting for Arthur to return to his senses.

"Arthur darling. Come sit with me."

Arthur did, leaving his die on the table as he scrubbed at his face.

"It’s residue…it has to be, It keeps fucking with me. Every time I think I have a hold on reality, I start to doubt it again."

"Even me?"

"No…you feel just as real as you did in my dream."

"I am real, my love. I am. I’m here."

He kissed him once, softly, gently, feeling Arthur melt against him. When he moved back, Arthur sighed, resting his head on Eames’ shoulder afterwards.

"This will wear off right?"

"Of course. It’s just like the echoes of a bad dream. It’ll pass."

"I could kill Yusuf."

"Me too."

Arthur rubbed at his eye.

"I feel like I have a headache."

"Lay down."

So Arthur did and he slept. While he slept, Eames sat beside him, holding his hand as if reminding him he was there for him, now and then stroking his hair. 

When Arthur woke up again, he seemed better, more focused. He didn’t reach for his totem this time and laid in the hotel bed, looking at Eames with a smile on his face. He instead, reached for him, taking his hand and sighing in relief. 

Chapter Text

Jon isn’t listening. It’s obvious when his friends look at him and his head is down, his attention focused on his phone. 

"Hey! Are you at all going to join in?"

Jon looked up with mild disinterest though he tried to pay attention.

He regretted going out. He didn’t want to be there, but he didn’t want to be home either. It was a mess. But anything was better than sitting around at home and confusing himself further.

Hey wanna hit the gym?

The text was from Tommy and the moment Jon got it, he perked up and felt excited for the first time that night.

"I’m out, see you guys."

He grabbed his coat from the back of the chair he was sitting on and left. He didn’t hear his friend’s comments but even if he had, they wouldn’t mattered to him anymore. 

Jon only made one stop at home to grab his gym gear and headed to Tommy’s apartment. He figured he could change there, the privacy of a door would be great. The moment Tommy opened the door and saw him, Jon felt a great joy rise through him, excitement spreading throughout and he stepped in when Tommy invited him inside.

"You stink of booze."

Jon hadn’t realized and he instantly felt self conscious, bringing the front of his shirt up to his nose and sniffed, smelling his cologne more than anything but there was an underlying scent of booze there.

"Oh…I was just at the club before."

Tommy looked at him surprised, one eyebrow arched up as he said,

"No shit? You left to come work out?"

"Yeah well…working out is more fun then hanging out at the club all night. I’m going to change real quick."

Tommy laughed a bit and let Jon change as Tommy packed his bag.

The beauty of an all night gym was that only very dedicated people showed up to. And there were few of those. Tommy and Jon pretty much had the entire gym to themselves and they got a pretty good work out in.

When they returned to Tommy’s apartment, Tommy offered him a protein shake after blending some powder, milk and peanut butter in the blender. Jon took it, tasting it and liking it so he continued drinking. 

"Thanks for this.Usually all the ones I have taste like chalk."

"Because you don’t know how to make ‘em."

Tommy smirked at him, sucking the excess peanut butter off the spoon once he was done making his own. Jon found himself staring at the action and couldn’t think of a witty remark to save his life. So he laughed nervously and drank more of his shake.

They finished their shakes while standing in Tommy’s kitchen, talking in between drinks.

"I’m getting in the best shape of my life because of you."

"You were already in good shape. I’m just showing you discipline."

"I had discipline!"

"Not the way you were boozing and fucking girls like it was your job."

"Yeah well, I cut way back on all that."

"Difficult?"

"Not as bad as I thought it would be. I think you made it easy for me."

Tommy smiled a bit as he drank his shake. 

"Glad to be of service."

"I uh…I’m comfortable around you. Myself. I don’t think I ever felt like myself around anyone. Once…I thought it did but…it was nothing."

"I know the feeling."

"This isn’t weird right?"

"What?"

"What I’m telling you."

"Nah."

It was quiet for a moment and Tommy laughed a little, reaching over to Jon’s ear, tweeking it like he always did, making the red coming up in Jon’s face.

"You stress too much, man."

Jon laughed a little and he looked at Tommy, still smiling, looking him in the eye, comfortable as always. Tommy looked right back at him and Jon felt nervous all the sudden, his stomach twisting, his palms suddenly sweaty.

"I should go…I’m disgusting and it’s late."

His voice was a whisper and he had no idea where all his confidence was. He was, after all Don Jon, he exuded confidence and arrogance, his swagger was what all other guys at the club or gym desired. Yet he fell apart in front of Tommy because none of that worked on him. Even if he tried to pull that usual shit in front of him, he felt Tommy would laugh at him.

"You don’t have to."

When he touched Jon’s ear again, it wasn’t to tease. His fingers touched the shell of his ear, the curve, the lobe, Tommy’s calloused thumb felt nice and Jon found himself leaning towards it. 

"If you’re sure…"

"I’m sure."

The touch on his ear didn’t stop and Jon didn’t want it to.

Chapter Text

It had been about five years since Mal passed away. 

Dom still avoided doing anything on the day she died, their anniversary and spent all day at home, lying on the couch and listening to songs that she use to love while the kids were at school. He would light a cigarette and go through old photos and just miss her. He missed her like he couldn’t believe and when he was sure he was by himself, he would cry and mourn her all over again.

With the children, it was different. He was strong for them, he tried to bring up good, happy memories of her and if they asked questions, he answered as best he could.

It got a little easier each year and he felt it would get even easier over time but for the time being, he still missed her. 

He took jobs now and then - when Miles and his wife could take Phillipa and James for a long weekend or a vacation. When the kids were away with their grandparents, Dom went to Paris for a job. It was an easy job, simple research, simple mark, perfect team with Arthur, Ariadne and Eames. Their chemist wasn’t Yusuf but he was still good and there was nothing to concern himself with. 

When he went to his hotel room at the end of the job, he was in a cab, relieved over a job well done, he pat his pockets down and realized he forgot his phone back at the flat the team was working out of and he had the cab go back. He asked him to wait and he went back to the flat, going in without announcement, sure that everyone was still there. But he was surprised to see it was just Arthur and Eames. There was nothing inappropriate going on, just Arthur at his work station, Eames sitting beside him as they looked at something. What was different was how Eames’ hand was on the back of Arthur’s neck, his fingers lovingly stroking the nape of his neck, Arthur allowing it as they both focused at whatever was on Arthur’s desk.

It was strange and Dom moved quietly, going to his desk and picking up his phone, the entire time watching as Eames’ hand kept moving his fingers, then gradually his hand slipped down to Arthur’s back and his hand continued to move is slow, easy strokes. Arthur turned to Eames then, saying something that Dom didn’t catch as he eased himself right back out the door.

After that, any job that they all worked, Dom noticed all the subtle little touches and affections that Arthur and Eames shared. You couldn’t notice them unless you really looked, but they loved each other, they were together and probably had been for some time. When they worked, they sat across from each other with no table between them, their knees touching, Arthur sometimes moving so his knee was between Eames’. When they sat side by side, Eames’ hand usually settled on Arthur somewhere - his neck, his back, his arm, his fingers usually stroking gently, absent minded. When they spoke to each other and it was just them, even their tone of voice seemed softer, kinder. There was no doubt in Dom’s mind they were together.

Whenever Dom returned home, he would visit Mal’s grave - a simple black plaque on the ground that Dom sometimes settled flowers on and he started to tell her what he saw.

"Mal, you should see them. They kind of remind me of you and me. They love each other…it’s so obvious I don’t know how I didn’t notice sooner."

He paused and slowly sat beside her grave, his fingers clearing away the grass clippings.

"They just…they’re happy. I can’t even remember the last time I saw Arthur so happy. He smiles a lot more now…and I know it’s because of Eames. You would have been so happy right now. Just to see them, finally together."

Dom paused again, realizing something.

"You knew. Of course you knew. You knew what was there…you saw it before they even saw it. I’m not surprised. You always had a sixth sense about these things. Mal, you would be so happy for them. I wish you could see them now. "

He smiled a bit and then sighed deeply.

"I miss you, Mal. But don’t worry, I’ll keep you in the loop."

He touched the plaque once more before standing up, dusting off his pants and heading home.

Chapter Text

It was the start of the ballet session and also his mother’s birthday, one thing he dreaded, the other he looked forward to. The ballet was not what he looked forward to. 

Any time his mother’s birthday rolled around, he was forced to take her to the bloody ballet. Every year, he fell asleep half way through the show and woke up just in time as the last curtain fell.

Now, he Swan Lake was playing and his mother insisted they go. So Eames got tickets and dressed in his fine suit and went to pick up his mother the night of the show. She was dressed in her finest dress and pearls, bubbling with excitement. When they arrived the opera house, Eames braced himself for a boring show, yawning as he walked in, bringing his hand to his mouth to hide the yawn and settled in his seat.

"Oh these seats are marvelous, William."

Balcony, closest to the stage. Eames smiled at his mother.

"Thought you’d like them."

She clutched her program in her hand as Eames tucked his away in his pocket and slouched back in the plush seat, getting ready to nod off earlier than usual, as the lights began to dim.

The orchestra started up, the music filling the room as the dancers came out on stage for the first act.

Eames watched with mild interest, just waiting for his eyes to close when the prince came out on stage. 

Suddenly, Eames cared about the ballet very much. He sat up, looking at the prince in his pale blue tights and matching jacket, his curls brushed back and tucked behind his ears. He was graceful of course, elegant and regal and it made no wonder to Eames as to why he was the prince. He took out his program again and began scanning for the name of the lead and saw it after trying to find it in the dark.

Arthur Cohen - The Prince

Eames smiled and watched with, wondering why he never noticed him before considering how often he was made to endure the ballet.

He watched the entire show enraptured. 

Afterwards, as he walked his mother back to her door, she asked,

"How did you enjoy the ballet?"

"It was the best ballet I have ever seen."

It was. So much so that Eames returned for the next show. And the one after that, each time amazed at how Arthur, the prince, danced across the stage, never missing a step, always graceful and perfect. 

Eventually, he realized he had to make a move or go broke attending the ballet all session. By chance alone did Eames get to know some of the people who worked at the opera house and they did him a favor of passing along a note to Arthur. It was a simple note, stating that he would very much like to meet him in the lobby of the opera house. He wasn’t sure if he would show up on the appointed night, but after a show, Eames waited and Arthur did show up.

Eames stood from the bench he was sitting on and saw Arthur, his nerves suddenly alert, his heart beating away. Arthur looked amazing even in his jeans and shirt, his messenger bag over his shoulder.

"Are you Eames?"

"Yes. Thank you for coming."

"Well, one of the ushers who gave me the note said you were harmless."

"I am. I just…I’ve seen all of your performances and I’m a fan."

"Thank you."

There was a bit of color in Arthur’s cheeks when he accepted his compliment. 

"Without being too forward, may I take you out some time? When you’re able to of course."

"Are you asking me out?"

"Yes."

Arthur smiled a little and held the strap of his bag as he said,

"It wouldn’t be for a while…the session is nearly done but I still have shows."

"After the session then."

"If you’re willing to wait until then."

"I am."

Arthur smiled warmly then, dimples appearing on his cheeks.

Chapter Text

School was out. Eames couldn’t wait to just sit and do nothing all day. He had, had enough pressure with worrying about his final year of high school and applying to colleges so now he was ready to just not think. 

The best thing about living at home was the massive pool in the back of his parent’s house. Every year when it began to get warm, his parents opened it up - though did none of the work themselves. They only mainly used it on the weekends and the rest of the week they were at work so it was usually all for Eames and his friends. 

His parents didn’t like to hire professional cleaners so now and then they hired someone from the neighborhood to come and skim the dead leafs from the water surface, check the bleach and ph balance. 

This year, they hired Arthur. 

Eames knew Arthur. He was a boy that went to his school and was smart but very quiet and kept to himself a lot. Eames had seen him around in the cafeteria usually with the friend he had, sometimes in library, reading something with his earbuds in his ears. He was adorable looking in school but now, as he cleaned his family’s pool, Eames saw he was hot.

Arthur was slender but all muscle, the deep adonis lines that cut into his torso and promised so much more as they lead into his low slung jeans. He didn’t wear a shirt sometimes, especially if it was too hot and Eames loved those days, to see the little beauty marks that dot his back and spaced out on his sides. He wore cargo shorts most times and flip flops, his hair short and always messy, unruly waves that got worse with the heat. 

Eames watched him work sometimes, seeing him take his time as he did his appointed chores and other times, when there wasn’t much to do, Eames sat with, talking to him as they sat on the lounge chairs.

Arthur was sweet and it took him a few tries to gradually open up and talk back and when he smiled he had dimples that made Eames smile foolishly in return.

Halfway through the summer, having spent as much time as he could getting Arthur to talk to him, getting to know him better, he asked,

"Do you do anything else besides clean my pool?"

Arthur laughed a bit, in his usual cargo shorts, topless, a bit of color on his skin from the summer sun. He skimmed some debris off the surface of the pool, smiling a little.

"I do. This isn’t the only pool I clean."

"Oh. So you make good money?"

"Decent enough. I didn’t want to flip burgers or bag groceries all summer."

"Yeah. That’s not very fun."

Arthur nodded.

"Are you…doing anything tonight?"

Arthur looked up and lifted the skimmer out of the water.

"Not that I’m aware of."

"You want to come back here tonight, go for a swim? You clean this pool but never enjoy it."

Arthur smiled a little, looking down at the water as he bit his lip.

"Uh…sure."

When Arthur returned that night, Eames was relieved. He had purposely invited Arthur that night, his parents gone for a long weekend. They swam for a while, talking, laughing, enjoying the warm water and the night swim. 

"I’m glad you came."

"Thanks for inviting me."

Arthur looked different with his hair wet and slicked back, but still as cute as Eames had ever seen him. He took his hand as they bobbed a bit and Arthur looked down and squeezed back. Without any words, Eames got a little closer to him and kissed him, relieved when Arthur kissed back. He was going to say something clever and witty but Arthur sighed and said,

"I’ve been waiting for that all summer."

Eames smiled then, putting his arms around him as Arthur did the same, kissing him again. 

"Sorry to make you wait."

"Just don’t do it again."

Eames kissed him again, loving how Arthur smiled during their kisses.

"I wouldn’t dream of it."

Chapter Text

Tommy was proud of his old man. For once in a really long finally being to think that - after a lifetime of disappointment. 

Paddy was clean for two years now and he was embarking on his third year. He had kept himself busy with helping Tommy train, even jogging along side his son to keep his health up. One night while they ate dinner together, Paddy twisted his hands around, as if nervous. Tommy set his fork down and picked up his water glass and said,

"What’s going on pop. You look like you got something on your mind."

Paddy made a sound as he opened his mouth, then shut it again.

"My sponser…Angela…she uh…"

Tommy was patient as his father struggled to find the words. Eventually he blurted out that Angela had invited him over for a cook out at her home and she had invited Paddy and his son.

"It would mean a lot to me if you would come."

Tommy thought about it for a moment and while things had not always been good between him and his father, he knew Paddy was really trying and had not asked anything of him other than his time.

"Alright, when is it?"


Tommy cleared his schedule on the day of and went with his father to his sponser Angela’s home. It was crowded when they got there, lots of people already in the backyard milling around, talking. When Paddy saw Angela, he waved to her as she left someone’s side and went over to greet them.

"Paddy, oh I’m so glad you made it."

"Thanks for having us. Angie, this is my son, Tommy."

Tommy gave his best polite smile as she took his hand and shook it briefly before she just hugged him and welcomed them. 

It wasn’t long before the rest of Angela’s family met Paddy and Tommy - her husband Jon Sr. and her son, Jon. The two men stood and looked at Tommy for a moment as if trying to place him somewhere when Jon’s eyes widened a little and said,

"Oh…Oh shit..dad that’s Tommy Conlon…"

Tommy looked down as both Martello men came to the realization that this was Spartan champion, MMA title holder, Tommy fucking Conlon. 

Jon disappeared for a moment while Jon Sr. all but offered him his house when he realized who Tommy was. It was strange as Tommy was being praised and he felt humbled as he looked down and shrugged off Jon Sr’s praise. He was also very grateful that he kept his excitement down to a level that the rest of the guests had not noticed.

There was plenty of food served, Tommy having his fill and when Jon reappeared, he had changed his shirt and just talked to Tommy normally, though Tommy could tell he was nervous and he was choosing the right words to use.

Throughout the night, as everyone milled around, Jon found himself alone with Tommy in the kitchen. 

"So, what kind of protein  shakes do you drink? I know this last one I tried tasted like shit."

Tommy laughed a little, still eating the ribs he had on his plate. He would have to work out longer tomorrow, but it was worth it, the food had been some of the best he had in a while.

"You had to add something to it sometimes. Like peanut butter."

Jon nodded, picking up his bottle of water.

"I’m sorry me and the old man got so excited. We didn’t know she knew Paddy Conlon."

"It’s fine. Your dad is nice."

"Yeah, he’s got his moments."

He smiled a little and Tommy kept eating while Jon asked him about some work out tips, saying he admired how Tommy was so disciplined, so focused and however strict his work out was, was much better than Jon’s.

"You can come with me to work out if you’d like."

"What? Seriously? I would love to! Oh man, I would love to!"

Tommy bit his lip from laughing at Jon’s excitement but he smiled nonetheless. 

"When is good for you?" Asked Tommy.

"Whenever you work out!"

Jon seemed to have caught himself as he blushed a little and cleared his throat.

"Sorry, I’m getting all fangirly on you."

"It’s fine."

Jon blushed even deeper, bringing his hand to his cheek and scrubbing at it, feeling warm as Tommy just grinned at him.

Chapter Text

Arthur was unhappy and nervous. He had avoided having Eames meet his family for as long as he could, but with his twin sister and father begging him for a visit, he really couldn’t put it off any longer.

He just worried about his other sisters and his mother. 

He explained to Eames how he and his older sisters and mother had not gotten along…ever. They were cruel and took great joy in picking Arthur apart, criticizing him at every turn and putting him down when they could. When Arthur fearfully came out to his father and twin, they embraced him warmly, told him they still loved him and this changed nothing between them. But his mother and older sisters were not so understand. His eldest sister, Rose, sneered at him and called him disgusting, the second eldest, Marie just shook her as if disappointed and his mother crossed her arms and said she wasn’t surprised, it was just one more thing that Arthur did to further upset her.

He went off to college and moved out an instant later. He kept ties with his father and sister but it was difficult.

Now that he was with Eames, his twin, Alice begged him to visit their father since he wanted to meet Eames too. So he told Eames about it, told him of his fucked up family set up and Eames would go, promising he wouldn’t take offense to anything his family said. He had his own scathing family after all, that he guaranteed was way worse than Arthur’s.

Arthur wasn’t sure about that.

When they arrived at Arthur’s family home, a large gated estate in California, Eames was impressed. Arthur just dreaded going in.

Immediately, Alice was the first person he saw. She held him and kissed his cheek and Arthur smiled, feeling good for just a second.

"Eames, this is Alice, my twin sister."

Alice was indeed a female version of Arthur only with longer hair that was pulled over her shoulder in thick styled curls.

"Eames, how good to finally meet you!"

"Good to meet you as well."

"Oh, he’s English."

She looked at Arthur as if knowing something and Arthur rolled his eyes.

Eames met Arthur’s father as well, an older version of Arthur, just a bit stockier. He was warm and welcoming, offering Eames his best scotch as they stood around and talked. While they spoke, Eames asked Alice,

"Where are the harpies?"

Alice laughed.

"Well, mom heard you were coming so she ran to hide for a while. Marie and Rose aren’t coming."

"Thank goodness for small blessings."

Alice nudged him a little with a smile on her face.

When dinner was ready, Arthur’s mother eventually joined them. She coldly greeted Arthur and looked at Eames with such contempt. Eames wasn’t even phased, he shook her hand and smiled brilliantly at her before taking Arthur’s hand. 

Her eyes narrowed and Arthur knew the line had been drawn.

Dinner was tense with Arthur’s father doing his best to keep the conversation going, Alice joining in when Arthur’s mother ruined everything instantly.

"So, Arthur, how’s the young lady in your life?"

Arthur sighed, tensing up immediately.

"Mother."

"Oh right, I forget my only son decided to be queer."

"I didn’t decide."

"I mean, seriously Arthur. You’ve been such a disappointment your entire life, couldn’t you at least meet a nice woman? At least she would have made something of you."

"Stop it." Arthur’s father said.

Arthur looked at his father was gratitude and Eames just sat there quietly, unbelieving of this woman’s attitude. Alice frowned and said,

"Why do you have to fight every time?"

Arthur sighed and looked at his plate.

"These family visits are always so fun."

"You could just do someth-"

"Maybe you could just shut up." said Arthur.

"Don’t you speak to me like that."

"Then stop speaking to me like that."

Without another word, she stood up and left.

The rest of dinner was pleasant and Arthur’s father apologized for his wife’s words to Eames. Eames shrugged it off, saying he was more upset for Arthur. By the end of the night, Alice hugged him and Eames before they left, promising to call later. After they exchanged good night’s, Eames drove quietly, Arthur looking out the window.

"I’m sorry."

Arthur looked at Eames.

"Why are you sorry?"

"Just seeing what you had to grow up."

"Yeah…it wasn’t great. At least Alice and my dad made things easier. So does your family still overshadow mine?"

Eames laughed.

"Oh, sweetheart, your family doesn’t even compare. It’s why I won’t inflict them on you."

"It’s appreciated. You never have to do that again."

"Good."

Arthur took his hand for the rest of the drive.

Chapter Text

They woke up to a flying, shouting toddler that landed on Eames, half awake. All the air was punched out of him, but he couldn’t be mad when he saw Quinn. Quinn sat up, sitting mostly on his father’s chest, Arthur’s wild messy curls tinted in Eames’ hair color sitting on Quinn’s head, his bright hazel eyes looking happily at his father.

"Daddy! Are you awake?"

"Hi, Quinn, yes I am."

He smiled as Arthur sat up beside him.

"Quinn, what did I tell you about jumping on your dad?"

"It’s okay, my love." Eames said as he sat up.

Arthur sighed but smiled anyway as Quinn tumbled to the middle, little feet in the air, still wearing his airplane pajamas.

"Are you ready to go to the zoo?"

Quinn’s excited squeals echoed throughout their bedroom as he scrambled to sit up and crawl off their bed, running to the door to start getting ready, his cries of ‘zoo, zoo, zoo!’ following him. 

"You get him ready, I’ll make breakfast." Said Eames.

Arthur nodded and got out of bed, following after their son.

After breakfast and a short drive, they were at the zoo, where Quinn’s excitement knew no bounds. He oo-ed at all the animals and was picked up by Eames to stand over the crowd so he could see the lions sleeping in the shade. He pressed his little face and hands to the crocodile exhibit and marveled at the snakes in the tanks. When he was taken to the petting zoo, he squealed as he fed some goats, all giggles and squirms when the goat ate the oats from his tiny hand, Eames knelt down at his level to help while Arthur took pictures. He pet lambs and ponies, amazed the whole time that he was allowed to touch some of the animals.

They stopped for lunch, getting Quinn a specialty (overpriced) zoo cup. It was plastic but it was shaped like a giraffe and Quinn instantly loved it when he saw it. He still had an abundance of energy still and was still running around when they headed to the monkey house and then to see the birds. Eames usually chased after him while Arthur walked, holding the bookbag full of Quinn’s needed items - extra clothes, wet naps, snacks, a few toys, sunscreen and now his zoo cup. Before the souvenir shop, Quinn started wearing down, making Eames pick him up. 

They saw the elephants and the rhinos before they left and once at the shop, Quinn got a new stuffed elephant and a book about all the animals he saw. Once they bundled him back in the car, Quinn was sound asleep in his car seat, his elephant clutched to his chest.

When they got home, Arthur carried Quinn in while Eames grabbed all the stuff and they let him sleep for a little while longer before dinner time.After dinner, Quinn played a little and then it was bath time, then bed time. As Eames tucked him in, he stroked his hair away from his adorable face, seeing his elephant with him.

"Did you have today?"

"Yes! Can we go again soon?"

"Of course we can, sweetheart."

Arthur joined them after cleaning up in the bathroom and knelt down since Eames was sitting next to Quinn. 

"Daddy, I had fun today."

Arthur smiled, taking Quinn’s hand in his.

"I’m glad, baby."

Quinn smiled and after being kissed good night, Arthur and Eames left, shutting off the light and closing the door. They returned to their own bedroom and after changing, Arthur sighed.

"He had a lot of energy today."

Eames agreeing, pulling off his shirt.

"He had a ball though. Seeing how happy he was made me happy."

"Me too."

They got in bed and watched a bit of TV before going to sleep. When Eames shut off the light and took Arthur in his arms, kissing him good night, he smiled and said,

"We should try to make another one."

Arthur laughed a little.

"Let’s wait until Quinn’s a bit older."

"Okay then, let’s just have sex."

"Okay."

They laughed a little before kissing.

Chapter Text

This was not going to go well. Eames knew that the minute he was placed in charge of the presentation. The newest campaign that Eames’ company was trying to get was a high end clothing company and the CEO of that company was a stone cold, deadly serious man named Arthur Cohen.

Eames had heard how difficult Arthur was, how he was not easily impressed and gave scathing reviews about things he didn’t like. He didn’t mince words, he got to the point and he was so harsh that some thought it almost sounded exaggerated.

Eames was worried, for his job, for the account and he was worried that Arthur would give him the verbal lashing of his life.

After months of research and putting together a presentation, the day came where he had to meet with Arthur.

When he walked into the boardroom, the first thing he noticed was Arthur Cohen himself. He wore an all black suit, shirt and tie included. His hair was parted on the side but pomaded neatly back. He wore no other accessories and he sat in the center, two others with him - a tiny petite woman with dark brown hair that was pulled up and a man just as nearly dressed as Arthur was.

Eames set up and then cleared his throat as he took a deep breath and began.

"I’m so glad everyone could be here today, thank you so much for meeting with me today."

He noted the woman and man nodded, the woman even gave a polite smile, but Arthur remained still. Eames gave his presentation, showing all the hard work he had put into this, showing he was not ignorant to Arthur’s company and the love for it and the quality and craft into every single item that was put out. By the end of the presentation, the man and woman nodded and Arthur stood up as he said,

"Thank you. We’ll keep you in mind."

Once Arthur left and his associates left, Eames felt sick to his stomach. Clearly he had not impressed him enough.

By the end of the week however, Eames got word he got the account. Arthur was actually impressed with the work Eames did and told him, though as he spoke, it seemed as if he was still unimpressed.

While the account was still set to launch, Eames worked harder than he ever did before. He was straining and reaching for Arthur to show him he was impressed and everything he brought forward was met with mild disinterest. 

By the time the first ads went out, Eames was exhausted but Arthur was pleased. 

"You did good work Mr. Eames."

"Thank you Mr. Cohen."

"Arthur."

"Arthur…"

He liked the way Arthur’s name sounded in his mouth and he smiled to himself after saying it. As he cleaned up to leave for the night, he paused and took a breath, willing to take a risk. After so many months of working together, Eames felt this was his in.

"If I may…Arthur."

Arthur stopped, his suit jacket in his hand so his waistcoat was revealed, hint of braces peeking at his back (a new kink Eames had no idea existed until that moment). 

"Yes?"

"Would you like to go for a drink? A celebration for the new ads."

Arthur thought for a moment and put his jacket on. After buttoning the buttons, he said,

"Alright. Let’s go."

Eames grinned, pleased with himself as he closed his brief case and put his own jacket on before following Arthur out of the office.

Chapter Text

Eames felt better after a very long time, having left his unfaithful wife and having won custody of his children. He ended up leaving their painfully suburban home and moved to New York City, where he rented a nice flat over a coffee shop. It became the place he always stopped in when he took his kids to school, or just needed coffee on the weekends. 

Slowly, he met one of the waiters, Arthur and got to know him better. Arthur was still young (a lot younger than Eames anyway) but he was sweet and a college student who was trying to get his teaching degree. Eames eventually offered him a job.

"I need someone to watch my kids. I can’t afford to keep missing out on some overtime but I can’t leave my kids alone."

"I’d love to!"

When Arthur took the job, things began so much easier for Eames. He didn’t have to rush in the mornings anymore, Arthur there bright and early to make breakfast for the kids before he took them to school. He always made coffee for Eames too, a benefit of being a former coffee shop barista. Arthur picked them and fed them once they were home and by the time Eames got back from work, they were fed and half asleep, dinner always ready for him too.

It was almost like being married again, only Arthur was a sweet boy who sometimes did his homework when the kids were doing theirs. He dressed in skinny jeans and wore graphic t-shirts and converse sneakers. His eldest son looked up to Arthur, admiring everything about Arthur while his younger son thought Arthur was cool and loved his messenger bag that had pins all over it. 

It was difficult not to like Arthur and feel good to come home and see him there, staying long enough to make sure the boys went to bed after brushing their teeth and then fix a plate for Eames. He never asked Arthur to cook but he was so grateful for it each time he sat down and had a hot meal placed in front of him.

One night, Eames came home after a long day and wasn’t surprised to see his boys had gone to bed already. Arthur sat in the kitchen, doing his homework and he looked up when he saw Eames.

"Hey, you’re home."

"Yeah, sorry I’m so late."

Arthur waved it off, closing his books before standing up and going to the stove. Eames saw he wasn’t wearing his shoes as always and his shirt had ridden up a bit on his back revealing a strip of skin. Eames looked away as he sat down and a moment later, pot roast and veggies were in front of him.

"Thank you."

Arthur smiled as he took his books and put them away before sitting down, filling Eames in on the days, about what the boys did. By the time Eames finished, Arthur cleared his plate and said,

"So, it’s Saturday tomorrow. I was thinking we could go to Central Park, check out the zoo. The kids heard about it and they’re so curious."

"Sounds good."

"Great. You want me to come over at the same time or a little later?"

"A little later, like ten. The boys should sleep in a bit."

Arthur nodded with a smile. When Eames stood up to hand him his bag just as Arthur had leaned down to grab it, they bumped into each other awkwardly and laughed nervously as Arthur apologized. Eames told him it was fine and still laughed, feeling closer to him than he ever had been. Without thinking, he leaned close to him, pausing for just a second before kissing him. It lasted for all of a second before Eames pulled back, his face red.

"I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that."

Arthur stood still for a moment, pink in the face.

"It’s okay…really."

He leaned close to him again and this time Arthur kissed him too.

Arthur spent the night. In the morning, Arthur felt worried that the kids would realize he was still in the same clothes from yesterday. He decided to sneak out, head to his apartment then come back. Eames thought it was for the best too.

He wasn’t sure when he started exactly feeling something for Arthur, but the young man brought joy in his life, his boys loved him and he worried that their age difference would cause problems, but Arthur never mentioned it and he was happy. They were careful around Eames’ boys however, trying not to be caught in the middle of kissing but they were eventually walked in on when Arthur sat on the counter and Eames kissed him while standing between his legs. 

An awkward explanation followed.

The boys took it well, excited that Arthur would be around more, happy their father was happy and that gave Eames relief. 

Late into the night, as Arthur nearly fell asleep against Eames’ chest Eames mindlessly stroking his shoulder, he said,

"Arthur?"

"Hm?"

He was mostly asleep but alert enough for Eames to ask.

"Do you want to move in?"

Arthur lifted his head up then and blinked the sleep out of his eyes.

"Really?"

"Yeah."

Arthur smiled and nodded, saying yes right away.

While Eames had moved to the city to start over, he had not intended to fall in love again yet somehow…that’s how things ended up.

Chapter Text

John had still not taken his final vows before becoming a priest, but he was working towards it. Gotham needed as much saving as it could get and John wanted to do his part.

One of the tasks handed to him was a difficult one - but one he was ready for. He was assigned to take the final confessions of a death row inmate at Black Gate. The day he was assigned, he dressed in black and carried his bible and rosary beads. He was let into the prison and was escorted to death row where a chair was waiting for him in front a cell. He ignored the other inmates who were hollering and shouting obscene things at him and once he sat down, he watched as the prisoner he was assigned to seem to melt out of the darkness and approach the bars. 

He was a huge, massive man that seem to be more mountain than anything else. Bald with frightening scars criss-crossing over his mouth but with haunting blue-grey eyes. He still wore his prison issued clothing, the drab grey jumpsuit, most of it open but he wore a shirt underneath it. When he approached the bars, he said,

"Silence."

Normal tone, not even forced and the entire death row fell silent. John was instantly intimidated. He swallowed hard as he said,

"My name is John Blake…I’m the priest here to listen to your confessions."

"You said your name, not father. You are not a priest yet."

"No, I’m not I have final vows to take."

The prisoner hummed slightly.

"I’m known as Bane."

Images of the monster Bane flashed through John’s mind, headlines, pictures, stories of the monster of Gotham who’s entire face had never been seen until he was caught. He was a violent, hardened criminal with a large body count before him. John was afraid.

"Bane."

John nodded as he said the name outloud and still felt afraid.

"So, you’ll hear my confessions?"

"Yes. Or anything you wish to discuss."

Bane sat down in front of the bars as John began to perform the rituals to begin confession, saying the opening speech of confession and Bane spoke but did not confess. He didn’t confess to anything, he just told John about his day, about what life in prison was like. When John was done, he left Black Gate confused.

He returned again the following day and Bane again spoke but did not confess. On the third day, John interrupted him.

"You are not confessing."

"I have nothing to confess."

"What do you mean?"

"Confession is for those that feel guilt or need some kind of redemption. I don’t."

"Then…why call for a priest?"

"It’s nice to talk to someone who’s not an animal."

John didn’t know what to say to that. 

Over time, Bane told him he was appealing his case though he had little to no hope anything would be overturned. John told him he would pray for him. When he did, he felt Bane touch his knee through, John having sat closer to the bars to talk to Bane. He shuttered, afraid for a moment but Bane’s touch was gentle, his fingers stroking over the fabric of his pants.

"In another life, John, I would have loved to have you."

John blushed deeply and cleared his throat as he sat up straight, Bane’s hand dropping away from him.

"I guess you can consider that a confession."

After months of John returning to see Bane, feeling strange each other, a shiver running up his spine when Bane looked at him, his face flushing when Bane’s raspy, deep voice said something to him, one day he went to Black Gate only to be told he was not needed.

"But, I have a parishioner who is in need."

"Bane escaped here last night."

Hearing that should have terrified John. He should have fled for his life, no longer having the bars to protect him from Bane - who had developed an infatuation on John.  But instead, he turned and left Black Gate, returning to the rectory to wait.

Chapter Text

It was a dream. It was a dream. It was all Arthur kept telling himself as he was surrounded by projections, alone on a rooftop that was still too high for him to just jump down to. 

He stepped back as the mark’s projections came towards him and fired. Arthur felt each bullet rip through him and he lost his footing as he felt each shove and he fell. He fell about four stories and when he landed, he realized he was still alive. 

God the pain…it was brutal. He coughed up blood, lying there waiting to die and he wondered just how long he had to suffer through this. It felt like hours…and hours…and finally, his eyes closed as he slipped into unconsciousness.

He woke up in the hotel room, Dom and Eames still under since he wasn’t the dreamer. He groaned, clutching at lingering pain of his ribs being shattered, his knees hurting from where the bullets tore through him and he had to keep reminding himself it wasn’t real.

When the others woke, Arthur grabbed the PASIV and calmly left, feeling Eames at his back as they took the stairwell to leave.

In the cab, Arthur bit his lip, still reeling from the pain, the suffering he felt and Eames could sense something was wrong. Once in their hotel room, he makes Arthur set the PASIV down and takes his hands.

"What happened?"

Arthur sighed deeply, wincing at phantom pain in his sides.

"I died…in the dream. And I lingered."

Eames would be someone else that understood and he pulled Arthur close to him, rubbing his back gently.

"I’m sorry…I didn’t know."

"It’s fine…it was a job. I don’t know why it’s getting to me."

Eames kissed him, not wanting him to think on it any longer.

Eames undressed him slowly and kissed every inch of him, making Arthur shake with every touch. They went slow, kissing for moments at a time, Eames hearing him gasp and sigh with every stroke. He touched his chest, his throat and cupped his face as he told him,

"I wouldn’t let anything happen to you…"

Arthur’s look softened even more and he brought his hands to Eames’ face, pulling him down for another kiss.

"I would die for you…if it meant my life to protect you…I would…"

Arthur groaned, hooking his leg over Eames’ waist, kissing him again.

"Eames…god…I love you…"

"I love you too."

When they were done, Arthur fell asleep, cradled in Eames’ arms, comfortable, feeling safe. Eames held him the entire time they slept, because even in sleep, Eames would guard him.

Chapter Text

John was questioned by the police after Bane’s escape. He knew it was standard protocol so he wasn’t insulted or difficult about anything. He told the police all he knew, which boiled down to nothing. Bane had confessed nothing, he had said nothing - except his desire for John and John didn’t think that was appropriate to mention.

He had days before his final vows only now, he worried for himself. He feared what Bane had stirred in him, questions to things he had never thought of before. He began to fear, not for Bane or because of him, but his immortal soul. 

In the middle of the night as he slept, he turned on his side, sound asleep in his sparsely decorated room in the rectory. It was only when he felt something on his head that he slowly woke. confusion as he felt a touch, thick, strong fingers scratching at his head. 

"Have you taken your vows yet?"

Bane’s voice was so deeply ingrained in his mind that John only snapped awake when he heard him. He sat up, feeling Bane’s hand move away.

"What are you doing here?"

He was now afraid for Bane rather than himself.

"I came to see you."

"But the police are looking for you everywhere."

"I’m aware."

"You risked yourself coming here."

"Sanctuary."

"What?"

"I’m asking for sanctuary."

"This isn’t a church, it’s a rectory."

"I’m asking you for sanctuary."

"Bane…"

He noticed the man’s face was again covered so only his eyes were visible. He wore all black, a heavy leather jacket on, gloves, pants, boots and despite his size, John had not heard him come in. He hadn’t even made a sound when he settled on John’s shaky bed frame.

"I can’t help you."

"Have you taken your final vows?"

"No, but I will soon. And I’ve taken others. Of poverty, of obedience, of chastity."

They’re just vows. Words spoken in the air.”

"They mean something to me."

"You mean something to me."

John was quiet, trembling and he hated what a coward he was. Bane was so sure of everything - nothing stopped him. Society didn’t stop him from doing what he wanted, prison couldn’t contain him. He walked through the city, into John’s room without fear or worry because he wanted it. And he wanted John. He had told him since the beginning. John trembled, tearing his mind apart as he struggled for the right words.

He shook his head about to speak, about to send Bane away, about to reconfirm the sturdy and solid basis and fundamentals of the church that had been instilled in him since he was young. He would be pious, he would be holy and innocent and he would not go astray because of a monster tempting him.

But Bane stopped him. 

His firm hand cupped his face, his thumb pressing against his mouth to silence him. 

"You’re due to take your vows soon. I respect that. If you change your mind, in three days time, midnight, go to the docks. I’ll find you if you show. If not I’ll understand."

Bane stood, still silent except the rustling of his coat, even when he walked. He didn’t look back at John’s form still sitting in his bed but he paused before going to the window and climbing out.

Chapter Text

Arthur could not believe his luck. Could. Not. Believe. It. He cursed his car and kicked it for good measure as he decided that was it, he would get a new one. 

He had it towed back to Eames’ shop and he sheepishly faced him. He was unsure of what happened last time, when they talked Arthur could have sworn Eames flirting but Arthur didn’t act on it and now he felt foolish. 

When he saw Eames, he was sitting on a stack of tires, his mechanic jump suit still on but tied around his waist, his grease stained singlet still on and revealing his tattoos as always. He smoked a cigarette and when he heard Arthur coming towards him, he sat up and exhaled a cloud of smoke.

"Well, hello Mr. Cohen. Friendly visit or did you do something else to your car?"

"I didn’t do-…"

He stopped himself and sighed.

"Something happened to my car."

"I figured that, since you’re here."

He smirked at him and stood up, throwing out his cigarette before guiding the tow truck to the garage.

The assessment this time was easily diagnosed. Arthur’s battery was dead. He sighed and said,

"I’m getting a new car."

Eames wiped his hands off as he said,

"Well that would be a shame. I’d never see you again."

Arthur floundered, unsure of what to do so he looked down and wished he had something to fiddle with in his hands.

"Uh..so what now?"

"Well, if you’d like I can try to get a battery from some of my connections. But I’m not sure how long it’d take. Or I can order one and get it here in a couple of days."

"Uh, yeah…whatever would be easier I guess."

Eames nodded.

"I don’t know how I’m getting home."

"I can give you a lift."

"Thanks."

Eames did give him a ride home and once in front of his home, Arthur looked at him and said,

"Thank you. For this. And the car. How much is that going to cost?"

"Won’t cost you anything."

"Why?"

"If you go out with me, it won’t cost you anything."

"And if I don’t?"

"It still won’t cost you anything."

Arthur thought about it and looked down at his hands and then back at Eames.

"Ok. I’ll go out with you."

Eames smiled.

"I’ll call you tonight then."

"Ok."

Arthur found himself smiling back at him and slowly climbed out of the car and closed the door. He stepped back and looked at Eames, who had leaned over to watch him walk. When he saw Arthur looking back at him, he waved to him slightly, still a proud grin on his face and Arthur waved back before turning and walking to his home.

Eames did call him later that night. He picked him up and took him out to a nice dinner. There several more dates that followed that first one.

Arthur never had to worry about his car breaking down again.

Chapter Text

Eames wasn’t sure what he was getting into. 

He had heard of the Warwick Rowers, after all the University of Warwick was highly popular and since their rowers were known for being some of the handsome boys to ever row, he knew what he was going to see. 

The Warwick Rowers had made themselves internationally famous for stripping down and posing for their calender and since then it had become a bit of a tradition. The lads all thought of it in good fun and Eames sighed to himself a bit, wondering for the millionth time what he was getting into.

He had met the captain of the team, Arthur and a few of the rowers already, having discussed what was going to be shot and Eames agreed to it. When he arrived at their designated spot, Arthur and the team was already there, talking, goofing around. Eames set up his camera, his assistant Ariadne - sporting the biggest smile of her life, was setting down bags and getting light screens ready. 

"I love my job. Love it, love it, love it."

Eames looked at her as she prepared and Eames looked at her sternly.

"Professional now Ari. Keep your eyes up."

Of course that was easier said than done. Arthur had the face of an angel with the well toned body that came with his sport. His hair was cropped short and neat and when he smiled, his face dimpled up. He hadn’t realized he was staring until Ariadne nudged him.

"Professional now, Eames. Keep your eyes up."

"Shut it."

She laughed at him.

The shoot was easy enough with the entire team, getting them to look natural was also easy, tasteful black and white shots of them walking through fields, holding oars, swimming, laying on campus ground fields. But when each member took their own shot, it was when Eames worried a bit. Every rower was a good shot but when he got to the captain, he sighed a bit to himself.

He stood in a towel before Eames was ready, the rest of his team milling about behind Eames but nonetheless, it was great to see him being so…comfortable. Each member wore the school’s uniform blazer, the crest on clear display, the tie around their neck. Arthur smiled and let himself be prepared as if he wasn’t about to naked in front of a lot of people. 

Eames took his picture, impressed at how Arthur moved to keep the image tasteful and still convey sexiness. When they were done, the team applauded and thanked Eames before they gathered up their things and left. Except Arthur. He pulled some sweats on and a hoodie, zipping up the front as he said,

"You were great. Thank you."

"So were you. And your team of course."

Arthur smiled and said,

"Hey, call me when something is ready to see."

"First thing."

There was still a lot of work to be done before the calendar was published but Eames was pleased with the results and as soon as he had some proofs, he called Arthur. 

They met for coffee and Eames brought the proofs with him, showing them to Arthur who laughed a little, a bit of pink in his face.

"If this wasn’t for such a good cause…"

"You’re all pretty good at this."

Arthur shrugged a little, still going through the pictures. 

"Don’t you find it awkward to get naked in front of stranger some times?"

"Yeah a little…but after a while you forget."

Eames nodded and when Arthur finished, picking out his favorite images, Eames said,

"I’ll keep these in mind." 

Arthur smiled again, dimples showing up. He then cleared his throat and a bit and looked down for a moment before he said,

"Hey..uh…if I’m wrong, I’m sorry but…um…"

He laughed nervously to himself and Eames waited, putting away the proofs.

"Can…can I take you out some time?"

Eames was shocked. He and Arthur had only spoken a handful of times and mostly about the calender. 

"Yeah…of course."

"Great. I wanted to ask you sooner but with this going on…"

"Oh, yeah I get it."

Arthur laughed again, nervously still Eames noted.

"I’m glad you asked me."

"I’m glad you accepted."

Eames would have never guessed his biggest project would have gotten him a date out of it, especially with the captain of the Warwick Rowers. 

So maybe he had gotten himself into something good after all.

Chapter Text

Arthur had pushed him away long enough that when Eames suddenly found himself cornered by Arthur, he was unsure of what to do or so.

"Come to my hotel room tonight."

It was almost like a demand - whispered and full of seduction. Eames couldn’t process it fast enough. His mouth opened and closed for a moment before he finally said,

"Okay."

Arthur grinned like the cat that ate the canary and told him which room and what time. Eames wasn’t even a minute late. 

When Arthur invited him in, Eames was a little pleased that Arthur was still dressed though he had removed his shoes, tie and jacket. His sleeves were still down, his collar opened and he handed Eames some whisky when he came in. They only talked for a moment before they began to kiss, Arthur tasting like the whisky, hinting warmly at his lips and on his tongue. 

"And here I thought you weren’t interested."

"Oh, I was. I just wanted you to give me the chance to respond."

"Ah…my mistake."

"It’s fine."

Arthur kissed him and let Eames undress him, opening his waistcoat blindly, untucking his shirt and letting his fingers undo the buttons on his oxford. When it was open, Eames slid his hands inside, smoothing over Arthur’s sides and when he pulled back to look at him, he was surprised.

Underneath all that pristine and proper wear, Arthur was tattooed. Almost like Eames himself.

"Oh…this is interesting."

Arthur still smiled at him as he undid the cuffs of his shirt and let Eames take it off the rest of the way.Just below his collar were the start of all of his tattoos, elaborate, colorful pieces of art on Arthur’s back, down his sides, down his arms, stopping at the bend of his elbows.

Eames suddenly was a lot more interested in those then anything else. His fingers ran up his side, up the detailed scales of a snake that seem to uncoil itself along his skin, the end of it going below his pants and blending into his back. On his other side, he could see the start of a wing. 

"Eames…?"

Eames looked up at him and said,

"These are beautiful. Can I see your back?"

Arthur huffed but the corners of his mouth turned up. He turned around and Eames could see the fantastic details of the irezumi-esque black patterns that went around his shoulders. On his back was a deity, a crane, flowers and blossoms and the rest of the snake from his sides each with painstaking detail in everything.

"God, this is beautiful. This must have taken you years to do."

Arthur looked over his shoulder.

"About sixteen years actually."

When Eames checked his arms, he saw little terrible marks, crosses, x’s and words that had faded over time but were obviously done by a teenager.

"And these?"

"Oh God…I was fourteen when I did some of these."

"Yeah I can tell."

Parts of poems were around the insides of his forearms, koi fish swimming around his bicep and before the bend of his arm, a complex solid geometrical design. 

Eames was distracted, Arthur could tell and he cleared his throat as he said,

"Hey…do you want to get undressed?"

Eames nodded, but only looked at Arthur’s arm where script was written, a key and more older self done tattoos. Eames couldn’t take them in enough and he was so impressed and he felt like he was falling a little more in love with Arthur at that moment.

"I have more."

Eames looked up, excited as Arthur undid his pants, tugging the waistband of his designer briefs and turned a little, showing Eames Roman numerals in thick heavy lines just below his hip bones.

"I want to know all about these."

Arthur smiled. 

Chapter Text

Eames was a little nervous. He had never been the “meeting the folks” type but he loved Arthur and Arthur wanted him to meet his parents. So he was going to meet Arthur’s parents.

He had dressed nicely, but not overly dressy and combed his hair, but left his scruff alone. He brought flowers for Arthur’s mother that night and when he picked up Arthur that night, Arthur smiled at him and kissed him hello.

They were still in college - in fact that’s where they met, Arthur had his apartment close to school, Eames still dormed since he was an R.A but he liked having his own room so he wasn’t complaining. 

Arthur smiled, commenting that he looked good.

"You bought flowers?"

"For your mum."

"You’re adorable."

Eames laughed a bit.

Once at Arthur’s parent’s house, he was nervous all over again. Arthur held his arm as they walked up the path and after a moment, Arthur’s mom answered. She welcomed them in and aww-ed at the flowers Eames brought. She kissed his cheek and lead him inside, taking him by the arm as she made Arthur let go.

He easily won over Arthur’s father next, talking over the finer points of football - or soccer as Arthur’s father called it, which Eames did not correct him on. When dinner was served, everyone sat down at the table and Eames’ stomach growled. It had been a while since he had a home cooked meal and he complimented Arthur’s mother on her cooking. She swooned a little and blushed, waving it off as she settled down and everyone began to eat. 

It was going well and Eames was pleased with himself. Arthur sat beside him, glancing at him now and then adoringly and Eames would smile back at him. He was relieved.

Arthur then looked around his plate as he said,

"Damn, no knife. Daddy, could you get a knife for me please?"

Without thinking, Eames stood up and instantly realized his mistake as Arthur’s father stood up at the same time. All eyes were on him as his face burned and Arthur had covered his own face with both hands. Eames gave a nervous laugh and then sat down again. 

The rest of dinner was awkward to say the least.

Chapter Text

Eames could see Arthur was struggling. He was yawning and he was a lot moodier. The dark circles under his eyes gave away his exhaustion but still he refused to stop. It wasn’t until their architect was talking to the team, explaining a design that Arthur was so spaced out he didn’t hear a thing.

Eames looked at their extractor and said,

"We’re done for the day."

The extractor nodded and Eames stood, tapping Arthur and he snapped out of his daze, confused for a moment.

"Come on, we’re done."

"We can’t be done."

"Yeah, we are come on."

Arthur seemed confused and disoriented as he stood up, getting his things and Eames took them back to their hotel room. In the cab, Eames looked at Arthur as he scrubbed his face, trying to wake up as he yawned again, rubbing his eyes as tears gathered at them. Eames could see all the little signs that Arthur was running himself down. His tie was loose and not knotted up completely, he wasn’t wearing cuff links and his hair, while slicked back was already coming loose. He was without a waistcoat, his shirt wrinkled, the crease in his pants all but gone. 

"When was the last time you slept?"

Arthur yawned and covered his eyes.

"About a day or so."

"I thought so. You know you’re not much good to the team if you’re like this."

"It’s research. I don’t have to do anything just yet. We’re coming close to the deadline to finish this job-"

"A handful of hours won’t matter."

Arthur didn’t argue again.

Once in the hotel room, Eames helped Arthur out of his clothes, making him lie down immediately, covering him with the sheets and blankets. A minute later, Arthur was asleep. He slept deeply, soundly, for hours. So heavily did he sleep that he snored. Eames changed his clothes and hung out, watched TV, worked a little on the mark he was forging in the job, nodded off for a few minutes himself. 

When Arthur woke up, he was all bed head and red creases all over his cheeks, shoulders, arms and his hands. Eames smiled at him and handed him the bathrobe.

"Go take a hot shower. I’ll order us some dinner."

Arthur smiled at him, his eyes still heavy.

"Okay. Thank you."

When Arthur went to shower, Eames did order dinner of steak and red wine. By the time Arthur came out, bundled in the robe his hair slicked back again by this time from the water, he looked so much better already. Eames gave Arthur his pajama pants and one of his own t-shirts and Arthur laughed a little, but he took it nonetheless. 

When dinner arrived, they ate quietly in the sitting room, mostly because Arthur was starved and couldn’t stop chewing long enough to get conversation going. Eames didn’t mind though, he let him eat, enjoying his own meal. When they were done and all that remained was the wine, they went back to the bed and laid down, Arthur looking far better, more human and like the Arthur, Eames had always known. Arthur hummed and turned to Eames, resting his head on his shoulder as he took a deep breath.

"Thank you."

"Of course. You needed this."

"I did."

"You shouldn’t let it get so bad."

"But if I didn’t you would get a chance to spoil me like this."

Eames smiled, bringing his hand to Arthur’s arm.

"You’re absolutely right."

Chapter Text

Adam doesn’t like feel weak. 

He has never liked feeling weak, but he especially didn’t like when he was doing his battle with cancer. He didn’t like how it beat him down, he didn’t like struggling with the weight of it, he didn’t like how scared it made him. He didn’t like being afraid during surgery, he didn’t like healing and wondering if he would ever feel like himself again.

He was grateful for Tommy who only helped when he knew Adam absolutely needed it. He didn’t coddle Adam, he didn’t baby him and he pushed him to get better, even when Adam thought he couldn’t. He would scream and cry and sometimes beg Tommy to help him, but Tommy would urge him to help himself and in the end, Adam was grateful for it.

When Adam was back on his feet, Tommy made him start working out. They started easy, just walks, then long walks, then jogs, then long jogs. It made Adam stronger bit by bit. Tommy made sure his diet was up so Adam could put on bulk again, he got him moving around again so Adam wouldn’t feel weak anymore.

The only time Adam didn’t mind feeling weak was with Tommy. He had grown to love how small and safe he could feel when Tommy held him, how easily he could lift him without struggle, how Tommy could sleep with Adam on top of him and sleep as if he had a pillow resting on him.

When they had sex, Adam loved how Tommy could lift him, turn him, make him move any way he wanted. He loved how Tommy’s calloused hands gripped him, sometimes bruised him, how his entire body overshadowed Adam’s. It made him feel protected and he trusted Tommy, even when Tommy couldn’t trust himself. 

Even when they kissed, Tommy’s mouth was thicker, fuller than Adam’s and he would swallow him up, steal the air in Adam’s lungs, his teeth biting at Adam’s small cupid bow mouth. 

At times, when Adam slept, Tommy stayed up. Sometimes he just wasn’t tired, other times, he just couldn’t sleep. But what helped was having Adam beside him and Adam usually slept through Tommy’s touch, but now and then he would be half asleep and feel Tommy running his fingers up and down his back, over his shoulder and down his arm. Adam could feel his hair rustling - now that it had grown back and Tommy’s fingers would twirl a lock or scratch his scalp. He could feel his hand rest on the space between his shoulder blades and Adam would sometimes breathe softly but deeply, just to love the feel of Tommy’s huge hand on his body. He could feel his fingers trace along the scar on his back and the first time he felt that, he shuttered and was embarrassed when tears started rolling down his face. But Tommy’s hand held his hip and kissed the nape of his neck as if to tell him it was okay. 

Tommy would cradle Adam against him, letting him pillow his head on Tommy’s massive arm, the other heavy over his side and Adam would again feel small and tiny but press himself back against Tommy and curl himself up to make himself smaller and let Tommy hold him better. 

Tommy wouldn’t let Adam be weak, but at times, Adam didn’t mind being frail with him. 

Chapter Text

Arthur laughed.

It echoed through the hotel room and Eames’ interest was immediate. He glanced up from the chase he had been lounging on and saw Arthur talking to the new extractor. Since old Cobb had taken the father route, a new extractor was a must in jobs. Ariadne didn’t even move from her desk but Eames sat up.

Arthur was being amused. He was laughing and smiling with the new extractor and it was suddenly stabbing and eating at Eames. It had taken him so long to get Arthur to finally be nice to him, to be friendly with him and now someone else was getting easily what Eames had worked so hard on.

He was angry and he did his best not to let it show - though during a test run under, he wasn’t quick to warn the extractor as a hoard of projects came up behind him. He felt better watching them rip him apart and he knew he was turning a corner he probably shouldn’t.

Anytime Eames had to go under with someone other than Arthur or the extractor, he worried and thought of what was going on topside, cocking up anything he should have been doing in the dream.

Arthur gave him a talking to afterwards which just made Eames feel worse.

He stewed in his hotel room that night, just wondering what the extractor and Arthur were doing since he left and they were still working.

Over the course of the job, Eames glared at the extractor, answering him in sharp, monotone words, avoiding him when possible and then turning and feeling sad when Arthur scolded him or would look at him as if he lost his mind. It was emotionally draining and all he wanted was to keep Arthur for himself and keep the extractor as far away as possible.

When Eames woke up from a test run, he sat up and Arthur was beside him, taking notes.

"Hey…what are you doing?"

"Just watching the clock for you."

"I thought you were busy."

"I’m not. At least not right now."

Eames went to reach for the needle when Arthur helped him, cleaning him up and Eames reveled in his attention. He smiled a little when Arthur looked at him, smiling back at him.

"You’ve been weird lately."

"I have?"

"Yes. What’s wrong with you?"

"Nothing. Just being…complicated."

Arthur chuckled, shaking his head to himself.

"Hey…uh Arthur, are you working tonight?"

"I have research to do but I should be done early enough. Why?"

"Just wondering."

Arthur stood up, getting his moleskin as he started to leave and Eames stopped him again.

"Do you want to grab a drink then?"

Arthur stopped and turned to him again.

"Sure."

Just like that. Sure. Eames smiled to himself.

The drinks went well though Eames still couldn’t bring himself to admit that any of the insanity he had been doing his best to contain was because of the extractor flirting with him. But Arthur made him forget, at least until the next morning when it all started up again.

This time during a test run, Eames “accidentally” shot the extractor. Ariadne screamed at him and Eames said he had been startled and thought it was a projection and he was grateful Arthur hadn’t witnessed his latest act of insanity. When they returned topside, the extractor demanded an explanation, which Eames repeated the same story of being startled. Arthur was just confused and when the extractor left for the night and Ariadne followed, he made Eames sit and tell him what happened.

"You never get startled Eames. I know you better than that."

Eames kept quiet and pouted a little until Arthur stepped closer to him, his knee nudging against Eames’.

"Eames."

"Nothing. Really."

Arthur glared at him and nudged him harder.

"I just…I -"

"Is this about the extractor?"

"No."

"Eames, you can’t stop pouting."

"I just don’t like him."

"And that’s all?"

"Yes."

"Well, whenever you feel like coming clean and being an adult, tell me."

Arthur moved away and began to leave and Eames stood up, watching Arthur gather his things and he blurted out,

"I don’t like the extractor flirting with you!"

Arthur looked at him, a little amusement in his eyes.

"You think he’s flirting with me?"

"He is! And it’s driving me mad."

Arthur shook his head, going over to him again, settling his things down beside him as he sighed.

"You’re such a child."

"I really care for you, Arthur. I’ve worked hard on getting your attention and this guy just came in and swept you off your feet."

"He didn’t sweep me off my feet. We work well together but he’s professional and so am I."

"Oh…"

Arthur sighed, shaking his head at him.

"Ask me out."

"What?"

"You heard me."

Eames paused for a moment before thinking of the proper way to ask and when he had the words, he took a breath and said,

"Arthur, would you have dinner with me tonight?"

"Sure."

Just like that. Sure. 

Chapter Text

Tommy cursed when Frank told him his usual partner was out. He didn’t want to miss a day of training just because his sparring partner was elsewhere…or was tired of taking a beating from Tommy. Either way, it was annoying.

Jon on the other hand, thought it was great. He smiled a bit and said,

"I can fill in for ‘im."

Frank shrugged and Tommy shook his head.

"Come on, you don’t fight. It’s different from lifting."

"I think I can take a padded hit."

Jon was cocky and Tommy saw it. Not wanting to fight him on this, he told Frank to suit him up and they got in the ring.

Jon was peacocking, he was lifting his guard and dropping it as he danced around the ring and Tommy just looked at him.

"You gonna take this seriously?"

Jon nodded and stopped, a small smile still on his face as he took the first swing. Tommy easily blocked him, ducking swings and not taking Jon’s wide open spots from having his guard up. When he swung back, he hit Jon lightly and Jon huffed as he smacked his gloves together.

"Come on! You can do better than that!" 

Tommy could hear Frank telling him not to waste time but the last thing he wanted to do was lay out an amateur, especially when it was Jon. But Jon taunted him, hitting him (when he was able to land a hit) and Tommy ducked, smacking Jon’s hand away when he went in again. 

Eventually, Jon landed one good hit and he bounced on his feet, excited to get a real hit on Tommy. Tommy shook it off easily enough and heard Frank say,

"Tommy, quit fucking around in there! He signed the wavier, take him down!"

Tommy looked at Jon and Jon grinned, smug and so full of himself. Tommy shrugged and went at him, grabbing Jon and slamming him to the ground, knocking the wind out of him. Tommy looked at him, seeing the dazed look on his face as he stood up.

"Come on the, let’s go."

Jon tried to get himself up, his hand on his chest as he got his guard up and went again. It was as if he forgot that Tommy was a professional and him holding back was in Jon’s better interest. But still, his ego was getting the best of him and he swung again and again and again, getting angrier with each duck or block. Then, Jon saw why Tommy was so against him sparring with him when Tommy caught him with the padding of his glove right in the mouth and Jon fell back.

For a second, he thought his head snapped back, but when he opened his eyes and focused, he saw the ceiling of the gym, his head spinning a bit as he groaned and brought his hand to his mouth, pulling away to see blood. 

That was the end of that spar.

When they sat in the locker room, Tommy held a wad of paper towels to his mouth to clean him off as he sighed.

"I’m sorry."

Jon looked at him, his mouth bruised and tender, his bottom lip split wide open. Tommy didn’t look very sorry.

"I didn’t think you’d make me bleed."

"You were the cocky shit who told me not to hold back."

"You didn’t have to punch me in the face!"

Tommy laughed a bit then, seeing Jon wince when he spoke. Jon took the paper towels himself, dabbing at his mouth until it stopped bleeding. He took the offered ice pack and he pressed it to his mouth.

"I didn’t actually mean to hit you in the face."

Jon sighed, feeling embarrassed and completely humbled as he looked down. He only looked back up when Tommy gripped his ear again, his fingers rubbing his ear lobe as he gave him a smile.

"I am sorry."

Jon shrugged, moving the ice pack from his mouth.

"How does it look?"

"Really bad. You’re going to puff up something terrible later."

"Thanks."

Tommy leaned over and kissed him carefully, trying to get more of his upper lip than the damaged bottom one. 

"Don’t worry, angel face. You’re still handsome."

Jon laughed a bit - instantly flinching as the skin on his broken lip stretched.

Chapter Text

Tommy cursed as he ducked down behind the counter. Of all the days, of all the fucking days. He was just supposed to buy a new mouth guard, that was it and today of all the days, crazy high school students who huffed too much glue decided to hold the mall hostage. 

He looked over the counter, seeing just three of them but they had guns, one of them carried a book bag which Tommy was sure was full of more ammo. Most of the mall had fled, but Tommy and a few of the other patrons that were in the sporting goods store at that moment were stuck. Tommy and the clerk were behind the counter, the clerk terrified and Tommy couldn’t blame him. He was just a kid, doing his after school job. When the first spray of bullets happened, for Tommy, instincts kicked in and he shoved the kid down before warning everyone else to get down before hiding himself. Now the kid was plugging his ears with his fingers while rocking back and forth. Tommy felt bad for him.

Across the store just a few displays over was another kid. At least, Tommy thought he was a kid. He was behind a display, terrified as everyone else was, frozen in his crouched position, his hands covering his head. Tommy wanted to bring him over behind the counter - should those kids decide to shoot again, that cardboard display wasn’t going to do shit.

Tommy glanced around, seeing most people were flat on the floor, others behind beams or canoes. At least they were safe. Sorta. Tommy tried to whistle to the kid, softly yet sharp enough to get his attention. When he looked up, Tommy waved him over and the kid shook his head, too afraid to move. Tommy sighed, looking over the counter, seeing the kid with the gun standing with his back to the store and Tommy pointed, showing him it was safe. The kid paused, looking over and slowly got up a bit, then began making his way over as fast as he could, trying to keep himself small still but he tripped and fell, curling up again out of fear. Tommy risked revealing himself as he reached over and pulled the kid over the rest of the way by the sleeves of his shirt and ducking the both of them behind the counter.

The kid was shaking, crying, getting hysterical and Tommy knew he had to calm him down. He whispered to him,

"Hey…shhh. What’s your name?"

The kid took a few deep breathes before answering weakly.

"Adam."

"Adam, we have to be quiet, ok? Look, the cops are on their way, we just have to stay quiet and wait it out."

Adam seemed to believe him. Because he didn’t know any better or he was too afraid to disagree, he believed him.

It was quiet for a long time, the clerk had stopped rocking but still kept his head down, his ears covered - the only sounds being from the gunmen. Tommy had taken Adam under his arm, holding him as the kid clung to him desperately, now and then shaking so hard that Tommy thought he was freezing to death. He could hear him sniffling randomly he would hear him mumbling to himself random things.

"I survived before…I survived before…"

Tommy wanted to know what he meant, but he focused on keeping Adam calm and quiet.

It was hours, well into the night before the police broke through. They killed one of the gun men, arrested the other two and afterwards, the people in the store were allowed to get out. Adam held onto Tommy the entire time, even as they walked out of the store. It wasn’t until the ambulance and police took them for a quick once over and statements that Adam finally let go.

Tommy told them everything he saw and once he was cleared to go, he looked for Adam who was sitting on the back of the ambulance.

"Hey, Adam."

He looked up at Tommy, still afraid though he was shaking less.

"Hi…thank you."

"For what?"

"Everything."

Tommy sat beside him.

"I’m Tommy."

"Tommy."

"You’re safe now, ok?"

Adam nodded slowly, still unsure and he bundled himself in the blanket that was given to him. 

"Do you…need a ride home or do you want to call someone?"

"I should…call my friend. And my mom."

"Go ahead, call them."

Adam didn’t move.

"Can I take you home? You seem shaken."

Adam nodded and then seem to cry a bit, shaking his head as he laughed a little.

"This is stupid…I should be able to go home. I don’t know you. But now I don’t want to be alone and you’re here."

"It’s not an easy thing to go through."

"You seem fine."

Tommy shrugged.

"People react differently. Come on, let’s go to your car. I’ll take you home."

Adam nodded, standing up slowly and leaving the blanket behind. When they walked, Adam walked right beside Tommy, eventually clinging to him again. Tommy let him.

Chapter Text

It was a slow night for Eames - but that was good considering his field. 

He doodled and listened to Ariadne in the cubicle next to him snickering to herself. When Eames glanced over, she was looking at her phone. 

Eames kept his hands busy until his line rang. He swallowed hard and picked up his headset from his neck and put it back on his head as he answered.

"Hello, this is Eames. How can I help you?"

They had been trained to not to announce they were calling a suicife prevent hotline. They were aware. They just needed someone to talk to right away.

"Hi…I’m Arthur."

"Hi, Arthur."

He heard him breathe softly and Eames asked another question, just to get him talking.

"I know it’s a silly question but how are you?"

"Awful."

"Want to tell me why you feel awful?"

"I just…nothing is going right."

He sounded tired and Eames worried for a moment it may be too late.

"What’s not going right?"

"Me. I’m not going right. I’m so bad at everything. I’m miserable at my job. I live alone. I don’t have any friends. No one wants me. I keep waking up and just…I just ask myself, why did I wake up?"

"Friends are overrated, love. And while jobs are necessary, you don’t have to keep that particular one."

When he heard Arthur breathing, Eames continued.

"Everyone wants someone, Arthur."

He heard him laughing, self-deprecating.

"You seem so sure of that."

"I am."

Arthur was quiet again and Eames could hear him sniffling.

"I’m so lonely. I moved here on my own…this city consumed me alive."

"It is difficult."

"I don’t want to wake up tomorrow."

"Yes you do. Arthur, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Everything will sort itself over time, you just have to hang in there until then. You will not be lonely forever."

He heard his shaky sob. While Eames had been trained to keep himself separate from clients, listen and don’t get involved any deeper than the call. But he never heard someone sound so down, so consumed with misery and loneliness. He found himself truly feeling for him.

"Arthur?"

"I just…this is the nicest thing anyone said to me."

"I want you to think about something, okay?"

"Okay."

"Think about what you want in the future. If tomorrow, you were going to wake up and everything was going to happen to you, for you. Wouldn’t you want to see?"

There was a pause. A long thoughtful pause and Arthur sighed deeply.

"Yes."

"Then stay the night. Tomorrow everything could happen."

"And if it doesn’t?"

"That’s what the next day is for."

Eames stayed on the line all night, listening to Arthur, hearing him sigh in between words, listening to him sometimes cry, letting him vent all the anger and frustration. For hours, Eames listened. When it was nearly three in the morning, he heard Arthur say,

"You stayed on the line with me for so long."

"I wanted to."

"You didn’t have to?"

"No, my shift ended hours ago."

"Thank you…for everything."

"It was my pleasure."

Eames heard him breathing again.

"Eames…you were so good to talk to."

"If you ever need me you can always call again."

"Really?"

"Yes, really."

"Thank you. Good night, Eames."

"Good night, Arthur."

Chapter Text

Julia was just six months old but she was well prepared to have her first Christmas. There was a tree with all the lights and star on top that Julia would often stare at in delight. There were many pictures of her on Santa’s lap, her bright blue eyes looking at the camera with a smile on her round chubby face. She had four different party dresses, two of which she’d worn already. There were tons of gifts for her under the tree and while she was down for her nap, Arthur and Eames got the house ready for the little Christmas Eve get together.

Dom was coming by with the kids and Ariadne and Yusuf were coming too. It was just going to be a small dinner with close friends. Dom and the kids were first to arrive, Dom letting the kids greet Arthur as he carried two big bags of gifts. Some where for his kids, the other was for Julia.

"Dom, you didn’t have to."

"What kind of godfather would I be if I showed up empty handed on Christmas?"

Arthur laughed and welcomed him in. The kids immediately went to Eames afterwards and greeted Julia who gurgled and went to grab Phillipa’s hands as she cooed at Julia. 

Ariadne then arrived, also with armfuls of gifts for the little princess and finally Yusuf, with one tasteful gift and a bottle of scotch for the couple. 

They sat down shortly afterwards for dinner, everyone eating and catching up while Arthur fed Julia, her festive Christmas bib stained already.Pictures were taken of everyone having a good time before they went to the living room to continue talking and drinking. Arthur let the kids watch the Peanuts Christmas special in the study so they wouldn’t be bored, Julia in Eames’ arms, though not for long as Ariadne took her and danced with her, everyone getting a good laugh as Julia bounced and waved her arms as if trying to keep up. 

Soon, the kids began getting antsy and Dom knew they wouldn’t make it until midnight so he let the kids open the few gifts he brought over. There were ooo’s and ahh’s as James opened his toys, then Phillipa and pictures were taken. Then it was Julia’s turn. Arthur helped her tear paper, sticking the bows to her head as she giggled. She got clothes and lots of stuffed animals and plenty of toys. She also got many new books, thanks to Yusuf. 

By the time midnight rolled around, the kids were still running off excitement and sugar, shouting about it being Christmas and hugging everyone as they exchanged greetings except Julia, who was passed out on Eames’ shoulder. Soon, everyone went home and Eames put Julia down for the night.

In the morning, Arthur woke up to happy cooing through the baby monitor and he stood up, going to see his girl.

"Hey Julia. You’re wide awake!"

She kicked her feet and waved her arms around in excitement until Arthur picked her up. They went downstairs and Arthur fed her as he watched Christmas specials until Eames joined them.

"Hey, why didn’t you wake me?"

"You looked peaceful. Besides, Julia is enjoying watching the Grinch steal Christmas from the Whos."

Eames laughed a little and when Arthur finished feeding her, Eames took her and burped her as he watched TV too. They had leftovers from dinner and read some of her new books to her before he nap and then let her play with her new toys. When Arthur went through his phone, he saw Ariadne had sent a couple of the pictures of Julia opening her gifts. Arthur immediately showed Eames.

"Look, Ari sent these. She looks so happy."

"She has your smile." 

Arthur felt a little proud.

"She has your everything else."

Eames laughed.

"She’s having a good first Christmas."

Arthur looked over at Julia, now sitting up in her candy cane striped onesie pajamas on Eames’ lap. She was watching the Grinch still and Arthur smiled, taking her little hand.

"Yeah, she is."

Chapter Text

Eames held his beer as he leaned back against the bar and yawned. His mates were having fun, whistling and watching girls walk by. He was bored, he knew he shouldn’t have come out that night. 

As he sipped his beer, scanning the club and nothing catching his eye, he was full of regret.

"Eames, come on, you look so bored!"

Yusuf shouted over the club music, leaning closer to Eames to be heard better. Eames shrugged, taking another swig of beer as Yusuf nudged him, urging him to have fun. Eames just shrugged again, finishing his beer and ordering another one.

The music was loud and full of bass and when Eames was on his third beer, one of his friends having found someone to hound, Yusuf still next to him, Eames finally noticed someone.

Just the way his jeans hugged his thighs was enough for Eames’ attention to be caught. But this boy danced hard, not caring, sweat already on his face and down his neck, his thin black shirt sticking to him and when he turned around, Eames finished his beer to go dance.

Yusuf tried to ask where he was going and Eames only gestured that he’d be back and went on the floor. The music kept its fast pace, the lights flashing throughout the club and Eames danced close by, watching the boy move without a care. When Eames was close enough, the boy turned and saw him - Eames trying to see his signals, to read him, to approach him and the boy smiled. 

Eames got close to him, the boy turning his back to him to grind his ass against Eames so Eames put his hands on his hips, keeping up with him, groaning a bit, grateful for the music as cover.

The boy was hot and when he turned to face him, he kept his closeness, that coy, playful smile still on his face. 

By the time the song was over, Eames was sure he was in love and he leaned closer, asking him,

"What’s your name, sweetheart?"

"Arthur."

The boy replied. When he pulled back, Eames got close to him, feeling Arthur’s slender, shapely fingers clinging to his shirt, as if pulling him closer.

"Can I get your mobile?"

Arthur didn’t let him pull away as he responded quickly.

"Yes. After you dance with me more."

Eames couldn’t possibly turn that down. By the end of the night and several dances and drinks later, he had Arthur’s number. Once they stepped outside at the end of the night, he kissed Arthur off to the side of the club while he waited for his friends to let him know the cab was there. He was in love with the way Arthur kissed, hungry and knowing, teeth nipping at his lips as he pressed his body against Eames’. 

When his friends called Eames, he sighed, aching a little, adjusting his jeans to hide his hard on. Arthur tugged on his shirt, smiling at him a little.

"You better call me."

"Oh, darling I’d be a fool not to."

Chapter Text

Jon was on his way home. He had a long day and all he wanted to do was unwind. He always loved driving his car so he took the long way home, playing his music, bobbing his head, really enjoying the day.

It was nice out, the autumn weather coming but it was still warm enough without a jacket. He had his windows down but as he drove along, he lowered them to get a better breeze. Now and then at lights, he stopped to put on some chapstick or rummage around for his sunglasses, which he remembered all too late he left at home. 

Suddenly, Gold Digger came on and Jon excitedly turned up the volume, singing along, even the falsetto parts and then all the rap parts.

At a red light, he began to dance along, bobbing his head, rapping along, throwing his hands up in the air. When the light turned green, he noticed someone standing at the crosswalk and he thought they were going to go but the more Jon looked, the more he realized he recognized them.

It was Tommy. Tommy from the cookout the other week. Tommy goddamn Conlon who knew him, who recognized him and was watching Jon dance and rap at the top of his lungs in his car.

Tommy Conlon who was laughing a little, shaking his head in amusement.

Jon felt the heat burn off his face and he could practically feel the humiliation racing up his neck. He sputtered for a moment and then slammed his foot on the gas as he peeled out, speeding past the intersection.

"Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God…."

He turned off the radio now, too embarrassed to keep listening and he slouched down as best he could, shaking his head again.

"Fuck! Fuck!"

He groaned as he brought his hand to his face, hitting his forehead, hating himself as he drove fast. He needed to get home and kill himself. When he finally did pull into his parking lot, he killed the engine and sat in his car for a moment, feeling the shame washing over him in waves. He began to hit the wheel of his car, cursing loudly. 

When he stopped, he got out of his car and walked to his door, his head still hanging down as he groaned to himself. He would never, ever sing in his car again.

Chapter Text

"So…uh…."

Jon started to talk but then couldn’t find the right words. Especially when Tommy racked the weight again and looked at him, picking up his towel and wiping his face.

"Yeah?"

"Uh…no, nevermind."

Tommy smiled a bit and then picked up his water bottle and they resumed their work out. 

Jon had been struggling with his own sexuality for a while and now that he sort of made peace with it, he wanted to ask Tommy out. Of course, he couldn’t find the right words or the right time. And any time he thought he found the perfect moment, he fumbled over his words and choked.

He couldn’t understand it. He had no problem whatsoever before asking girls to go home with him in clubs. He had all the confidence in the world when it came to pushing up on girls, dancing with them, whispering sweet nothings in their ears. Yet with Tommy, he became awkward and stupid. 

Finally when they were leaving and went to grab some food, Jon tried again.

"Tommy, uh…we should..uh…"

He felt his tongue growing thick in his mouth and he stuffed it with food so he wouldn’t sound stupid again. Tommy just shook his head at him, amused as he said,

"You’ve been trying to say something all day."

"Uh…no."

Jon shook his head at himself, wondering what the hell that was. Tommy just laughed.

When they finally returned to Tommy’s apartment, Jon driving, he once again tried. He cleared his throat and said,

"Tommy….I was wondering if you wanted to…uh…if you wanted to go on a date with me."

Now that he had gotten the words out, he felt panic.

"I mean…like a date. Not like a date, date. Ok, a date, date but only if you want to. We don’t have to! It was just an idea. But if you did, we could go out to dinner. Or wait no, your diet. Uh, we can do something else. Whatever you’d like! We could even-"

Tommy covered his mouth with his hand, making Jon stop his painfully awkward babble. Jon felt the heat filling his cheeks, embarrassment washing over him. God, that was awful. He frowned, seeing Tommy looking amused.

"I’d love to go out with you. Dinner is fine, we can call it a cheat day. You don’t have to stress so much. I already like you."

Jon felt his face get hotter and when Tommy pulled his hand away, Jon bit his lip, still embarrassed by his flustering but still excited that Tommy liked him. He smiled at him before getting out of the car and when he did, Tommy leaned down, looking at him through the window.

"Call me tomorrow. We can do something after I’m done at the gym."

"O-okay."

Tommy smiled again as Jon gave a half awkward smile and he watched Tommy go inside. Jon only slouched in his seat, rolling his eyes at himself and cringing at how terribly, awfully, awkward he was around Tommy. What the fuck was wrong with him? He sighed deeply and then sat up again.

At least Tommy had said yes.

Chapter Text

Tom must have had at least seven cups of the weakest champagne in the world. It tasted sweet enough, but he just wasn’t catching a buzz. God, he must have a really high tolerance. 

After doing a lot of polite smiling and nodding, he wandered over to a table and threw himself down. It wasn’t until he rattled the table that he heard,

"Oi, careful there!"

Tom looked up and saw the only other person at the table and he sighed.

"Sorry."

"You wasted?"

Tom shook his head.

"No way. This is like apple juice."

He sighed and rested his arms on the table, still holding the fancy little fake plastic wine glass. It was supposed to be cute and silly, Paul’s wife thought it would be nice but it just made Tom want a lot of champagne. He noticed the guy had a beer that was mostly full.

"Where’d you get that?"

"One of the coolers. But it’s swill. You’re welcome to it."

The guy barely finished his sentence before Tom grabbed the bottle and took a healthy swig. 

"Impressive."

"Sorry…I’m not in the best mood."

"Ah, makes sense."

He moved himself closer and just waited as Tom sighed and took another drink.

"My girlfriend dumped me. She said I was clingy."

"Mmm…sorry to hear that. But I know what you’re going through. I got dumped myself a bit ago."

"Really? Who would dump you?"

The guy smiled a bit and Tuck suddenly cleared his throat a bit.

"That came out weird."

"It’s fine. I’m Tuck by the way."

"Tom."

They shook hands and Tom took another drink. They ended up talking through the reunion, pausing only when Paul came over or when other people came by the table. When the party was over, they said good bye to everyone and then stood outside on the sidewalk still talking.

"How do you even know Paul?"

"We’ve been friends for a while. How about you?" Asked Tom.

"Friend of a friend’s. He thought I could use cheering up. I think it worked."

Tom smiled a little and said,

"Yeah…it was fun."

"Do you want to go grab a drink?"

Tom thought for just a second before he said,

"Yeah…yeah I do."

Chapter Text

When Tommy trained - he trained hard.

Jon had known that Tommy’s train was absurd and long and hard. He had read about it in one of the few interviews Tommy had given. He liked to talk about fighting and his routine, nothing more. So the detail was in depth and long. 

Jon ate up every word in that article and since then had tried to keep something in semi-balance to that routine though he wouldn’t admit it out loud that, that was hard enough.

When Tommy began training, Jon watched him come and go and then decided to go with him one day. When Tommy packed his gear and Jon stopped by randomly, Tommy was surprised.

"Hey, I didn’t expect to see you soon."

"I thought I’d come by and work out with you."

Tommy smirked a little and said,

"You want to work out now?"

"Yeah, why not? It’s not the first time."

"I’m going on a five mile run right now."

Jon swallowed hard and then said,

"Ok, sounds good."

Tommy shook his head and said,

"Alright."

The run was brutal. Jon thought if he paced himself, he could make it but by the third mile, he was winded. His eyes watered and his lungs burned and he wheezed and he fell behind as Tommy kept running steadily. 

Then there was rope jumping for no more than twenty minutes - cardio. Then lifting, then sparring, balance exercises. And it lasted for hours.

For hours.

By the end, Jon felt he couldn’t move. He laid on Tommy’s apartment floor panting for air, wondering how he even made it back from the gym. His entire body ached, his lungs burned and he knew he wouldn’t be able to move. 

As his eyes opened, he saw Tommy’s foot in front of him.  Then he knelt down to look at Jon better.

"Hey, you alive?"

"Sorta…"

Tommy laughed and helped him turn over to help him sit up and then propped him against the couch behind him.

"My entire body aches."

"You did good though. You kept up."

"Barely."

Tommy gave him protein shake and Jon’s arm trembled as he brought the glass to his mouth.

"Aw, Angel face, you’re shaking."

Jon felt his face burn. Tommy just took a drink from his glass. It was quiet for a moment as Jon tried to recover from both his physical ache and his embarrassment.

"I still have to work out tomorrow. Want to come?"

"Yes…"

Tommy laughed again as he started getting up.

"Alright, we’ll see how you wake up tomorrow."

Jon wasn’t even sure he could stand but he would do anything to hear Tommy call him Angel Face again…even go through that hellish work out again.

Chapter Text

When they went to Jon’s apartment one night, it was different, Jon could feel it. They had been…dating? for a couple of weeks now. Jon still felt incredibly awkward at times, most times. But Tommy never made him feel bad about it and Jon was slowly changing to be someone decent for a change.

They had kissed a couple of times, each time made Jon both nervous and excited, never having kissed another guy before but he wanted it and he would struggle through it but he wanted it.

That night had been no different than any other time they hung out. It was fun in fact but when they came back to Jon’s apartment, Tommy kissed him at his door, pressing him against it and Jon had trembled and nearly fell apart. He rushed to open the door and they went inside.

They make it to the couch and kiss more and more, Jon getting comfortable and easing into it like you would a hot bath. Tommy felt amazing, his hands strong and firm, gripping at his face to keep him in place, sometimes at Jon’s hips and made him shake even more. It was intense and wonderful and Jon wondered how he ever made it that far in life without knowing Tommy’s mouth on his.

When Tommy pulled Jon onto his lap, Jon thought he might loose it but not in a good way. It was still strange and new and he thought of getting away but Tommy kissed his neck and touched his back and Jon no longer cared about the weird sexual crisis going on in his head. When he settled on Tommy’s lap and felt his hard on, Jon shuttered hard, feeling how weird and different it was but holy shit was he suddenly turned on by him. He rut against him like a teenage boy, feeling Tommy kissing him hard and desperately and suddenly…suddenly…

Jon came.

He came in his pants like a thirteen year old in his very first make out session. He gasped in shock, the overwhelming pleasure only lasting seconds before the sheer overwhelming shame crushed him.

"Oh my god…oh my god…"

Jon rolled off Tommy’s lap, falling face first on his couch, curling up in shame. It took Tommy a moment to realize what happened as he rubbed Jon’s side.

"Hey, you ok?"

"No!"

Jon cringed and it felt like hours before Tommy asked him.

"Did…did you just c-"

"Shut up!"

Tommy laughed a little, the way he always kind of laughed at Jon whenever Jon lost his cool or became awkward. It was amusement wrapped in sentiment.

"Aw, Angel face, it’s okay. Don’t be embarrassed."

"It’s not okay! This is so fucking embarrassing!"

Tommy stopped laughing but still had mirth in his eyes as he smiled and leaned over on Jon’s side, still rubbing his leg.

"Angel face…come on."

Jon slowly looked at him, still laying on the couch, his face still pink. Tommy still smiled at him.

"It was hot you know. Didn’t think I turned you on that much."

"Well…obviously you do."

Tommy’s teeth showed when he smiled then.

"Good to know."

Chapter Text

She looked a lot like Arthur and Eames was mainly unsettled - though oddly turned on at the same time. She was older than Arthur by just a few years. proper looking, her wavy chestnut long hair pulled over her shoulder, a plain and simple black, knee length dress on her figure and of course, Louboutin pumps on her feet. She was all class and grace and when she sat across Eames in their living room, she gave him that icy, familiar look.

Eames would not be intimidated by someone Ariadne’s size, didn’t matter if she did look like Arthur. He looked right back at her and smiled and she narrowed her eyes at him.

"Look, I understand my baby brother isn’t exactly….doing legal things in his line of work. I feel like I should blame you for this."

"I actually met Arthur when he had an established reputation."

She picked up her tea cup and took a sip, so Eames did the same. 

"And you just…what, run about the world, getting chased by people who’s secrets you stole?"

"Something like that. It’s not nearly as glamorous as you make it seem."

She frowned and it was creepy how much she looked like Arthur when she did it.

"How my baby brother ever fell for the likes of you…"

"He didn’t make it easy. He turned me down plenty before saying yes to me."

"Oh good. I was getting worried about him for a moment."

"Look, Genevieve. I understand the displeasure of having the likes of your brother love someone the likes of me but-"

"Love? Did you say love? He loves you?"

"He does. And I love him."

She set her cup back down and uncrossed her legs but kept her knees close as she leaned forward, her nails digging into the winged back chair she sat in.

"Then you listen to me, William Eames…"

Her voice was sharp and frozen and it actually unnerved Eames a little.

"Arthur is my baby brother, I practically raised him, I put him through school, helped him with his homework, taught him to dress himself, was there for him when he came out. I love that boy. I will die for him but more importantly, I will kill for him. So if he ever, ever comes to me and tells me you hurt him, I will tear out your throat with my bare hands.”

She held up her well manicured hand and curled it into a fist to make her point and Eames swallowed hard.

"Are we clear?"

"Crystal."

She nodded and a moment later, Arthur opened the door with a bag of groceries in his hand. He saw his sister as he gasped.

"Gen! What a surprise! What are you doing here?"

She smiled and stood up, Eames following. He took the bag and let Arthur hug his sister as she answered him.

"I wanted to surprise you but I was surprised instead, meeting Eames here."

"I wanted to make a proper introduction…"

When she pulled back, she cupped his cheek and smiled sweetly at him.

"Oh, Arthur I’m sorry for ruining that. But Eames here was the perfect host. So polite and sweet. I can see why you’re with him."

She smiled at Eames as if she hadn’t threatened to end him violently not only a moment ago. Eames smiled back as Genevieve linked her arm with Arthur and led him from the door.

"How about you change into something nice and we go out to dinner, my treat."

"If that’s okay with Eames…"

When Arthur turned to ask him, Genevieve did too and Eames felt nervous for some reason.

"Of course it’s okay, my love."

"Eames, you’re welcome too." Said Genevieve.

"Thank you, I’d be delighted."

She nodded and lead Arthur to the bedroom as Eames sighed. 

Chapter Text

He’s waiting for it. He knows that eventually, when they’re ready to dig for information, they’ll come for him and try to wring some out of him. But Arthur is ready for it, breathing slowly and trying to work his way out of the handcuffs on his wrists. 

He doesn’t get very far when the goons come in. He recognizes them as the mark’s security and he sighs. Professionals are predictable and love to scream in his face as if that would scare him. 

He’s surprised when instead they punch him hard. knocking him off his knees onto his side. Arthur stays quiet - he would have anyway, they never ask anything as they hit and punch and kick him into near unconsciousness. 

When they pull him back up to his knees, in his near groggy and half aware mind, he feels the cool metal of the barrel of a gun on his temple. It feels good against his heated skin and he thinks he’s loosing it when he hears Eames’ voice in the distance somewhere.

Eames. God he loves that man. He loves everything about him, everything and when he hears his voice, he’s sure he’s probably lost consciousness because Eames has soaked into every part of Arthur’s being that he’s not surprised that he would be in his mind too. 

Feeling the gun against his temple, thinking of Eames, he can feel something stirring and somewhere in the back of his mind he knows that was inappropriate. 

When Arthur wakes up, he was surprised to see he was alive, though in incredible pain. 

"Arthur, love, are you alright?"

Arthur turned his head, feeling he was lying in a bed. Eames sat beside him, taking his hand as he brought it to his mouth and kissed his lips.

"I’m so glad you’re okay."

"Yeah…"

Eames just smiled at him.

When Arthur felt better, recovered from the beating he got on his last job, he remembered how he felt with that gun against his head. He rubbed his wrists where the handcuffs had pressed against his skin. 

"Eames…I have to tell you something."

Eames sat beside him on their bed, reading his book, Arthur’s leg on his lap, Eames’ hand on it. When Arthur spoke, Eames looked over at him and slowly, Arthur began to explain everything. The confusion of the gun against his head, the way he felt with his hands behind him, how at just at that moment, hearing his voice had awakened something inside him. Eames listened and when Arthur was done, Eames had set his book aside and said,

"We can try that."

Arthur had suddenly felt nervous half way through his explanation but once he heard Eames say yes, he let out the breath he was holding.

"I was afraid you would think I lost my fucking mind."

Eames laughed a little and said,

"Nah, honestly, the idea of controlled danger is appealing. A chance to have you vulnerable, tied up and willing…that’s a turn on."

Arthur shook his head, a smile on his face.

"I have handcuffs."

"I’ll empty my gun. Let’s give this a try." 

Chapter Text

Eames was already snickering to himself, Ariadne giggling like a child, Dom glaring at the both of them. It was supposed to be a serious job, degrading enough to Arthur and not being easy with half his team laughing at him.

The only way to get the mark was to go under and get him comfortable in his most comfortable of surroundings - which happened to be the strip club he frequented so often, the dancers knew him by name. After Ariadne got close enough to slip something in his drink the night before he left for a business trip in his hotel, the team brought him under and set up the club.

Now everyone was under and Ariadne was posing as a waitress, Dom a patron and Eames the bouncer. It was Arthur’s job to seduce the mark and pry what he could out of him to get to his inner workings, find where he was stashing his secrets and steal them. Normally, Eames would have forged the dancer part himself but there were something even Eames couldn’t fake and that was dancing. After explaining he didn’t have enough to at least fake a routine, Arthur volunteered to do it. 

Dom gave everyone stern looks until Arthur went on and Eames leaned against the doorway, watching the stage change, the DJ announcing Arthur by his fake name and the spotlight was on him.

The mark was right up front and when Arthur came out, all amusement drained from Eames’ face. Arthur moved in ways Eames didn’t think he was capable of all while wearing tiny little shorts that cupped him firmly in the front and when he turned, showed off those round pert globes of his ass. His thighs were tense, his body toned and it glittered slightly as he slinked across the stage, crawling, whipping his head around, spreading his legs open. Eames’ jaw dropped when Arthur did a split on the floor and then went right into a crawl across the stage towards the mark.

Eames forgot what he was supposed to be doing and he felt himself getting hard in his pants. Dom had to snap Ariadne out of her stare as she stood frozen in place and when she walked over to him, Dom scolded her, reminding her to stay focused and stop ogling Arthur. He even shot Eames a look though Eames held his hands up as if saying he was being good. 

When Arthur’s set was done, the mark was seduced enough to get him in the champagne room so Arthur would get his chance. Eames watched him go, watching the way his hips switched when he walked, the way he giggled and flirted…it was almost too much.

The dream was soon running out, the song cutting in between from filthy Southern rap to heavy metal, a lull in between being the cue - everyone prepared to kick out. 

Once topside, everyone gathered their things wordlessly and began to leave, splitting up once in the lobby. 

When Eames was alone, he kept replaying Arthur’s dance in his head, turned on beyond belief. At his hotel, he only set his bag down before calling Arthur, hearing him pick up on his first ring.

"Arthur."

"Eames."

"Come to my room."

There was silence for a moment before Arthur replied.

"And why would I do that?"

"Because. After seeing you in the dream…I can’t waste anymore time not having you."

There was another pause and then a breathy laugh.

"Your honesty is appreciated."

"So?"

"So I’ll be there in twenty minutes. Oh but Eames…?"

"Yes?"

"Don’t tell Dom."

Now Eames laughed.

"Now why would I do that? He’s hell bent on saving your virtue."

"And you’re about to ruin it."

"That’s the plan."

"I wouldn’t have it any other way."

Chapter Text

Arthur was always seen as dignified, elegant, regal even. He carried himself with an air of intimidation and iciness that most people feared. So no one would ever think to see Arthur at an all male strip club.

Arthur frequented it often - like any chance he could because he was so enamored with one of the dancers there. Arthur should have been embarrassed to be smitten with a man who was all muscle and tattoos that pretended to be a cop on some nights, a boxer on others, always doing a full routine. He came out in full costume, danced to entice, hip gyrations and floor humping and he was graceful, moving across the floor like he was gliding. 

Arthur wondered at first what was so different about this one, a lot of the other dancers did the same, but this one…this one was different. He seduced when he walked, when he talked, even when he took Arthur’s money.

Arthur always came by and asked specifically for Eames. Eames was the only name he knew so he always asked for him by that name. He got as many private dances as he could afford, which by the money Arthur made, were a lot. He tried to talk to Eames, to be seen as more than a customer, but Eames just gave him the same polite smile and brush off every time. 

"Sorry, Arthur."

It was simple and kind, Eames even looked a it regretful when he said it a bit of sadness in his eyes when he said, but Arthur was still so rejected every time. 

Finally, after months and months of trying, Arthur simply asked,

"Why? Why won’t you go out with me?"

Eames sighed, stopping in the middle of a dance.

"Because, you’re a customer."

"Then I’ll stop coming!"

Arthur realized the flaw in his plan almost immediately but Eames just chuckled a bit.

"I’ve been around your kind before, Arthur. I’m not a toy. This is my job."

Arthur frowned, feeling so wounded that he felt almost heartbroken.

"I really do like you."

"You don’t even know me."

"What I do know, I like. And I want to know more. Please, go to dinner with me. If you hate it or me or just don’t have a good time, even if it’s in the middle of dinner, you have full right to walk out on it. But if you stay there and still don’t have a good time, tell me and I’ll never ask you out again."

"Never again?"

There was skepticism in the tone of his voice, his eyebrow raised up as he questioned Arthur.

"Never again. You have my word."

Eames stood up straight, shirtless as he hooked his thumbs into his belt loops.

"Alright, one dinner."

Arthur couldn’t believe the joy that surged through him when Eames finally accepted.

When Arthur had dinner with Eames, he did his best to make him comfortable. While things were awkward at first but once they had the first drinks, broke the ice, the conversation began to flow easier. Eames told Arthur that Eames was his real name, just his family name. He got into stripping to make money and pay bills that was it. He really wanted to write for a living. Arthur felt Eames was far more interesting than he was, he felt boring in comparison but Eames asked him about himself anyway and Arthur did his best to answer without sounding like he was bragging. Eames smiled.

"So what brought someone like you into my club? Multimillionaires with Harvard degrees and pedigrees generally don’t wander into low budget strip clubs."

"I wanted to be happy. I don’t have time to meet anyone normally, I’m lonely most times and I’m sick of people like me anyway. They’re all the same; closet cases distorted by the pressure of their parents so money and status are all that matter and God forbid you’re seen with another man. Sure boys are fun but you marry a woman and have children."

"And your parents?"

"My parents are dead. I have no one warping my views."

Eames laughed a little and took another bite of his meal.

"You are different."

Arthur smiled back.

At the end of the night, Arthur took Eames back to his apartment and dreaded the end. He worried he might have some how blown it or that this had just been Eames’ way of getting Arthur off his back. He looked at the steering wheel as he asked,

"So was it as terrible as you thought?"

"Arthur, would you please look at me while talking?"

Arthur turned and saw Eames. He was completely different from the club scene, he was so much more handsome, still sexy but now in a whole new light. God, Arthur was so smitten with him. 

Then, Eames leaned over and kissed him sweetly, fully on the mouth, lingering there for a moment until Arthur’s mind caught up. When it did, Eames pulled back and left Arthur wanting more, chasing after him.

"It wasn’t terrible. It was completely the opposite. It was fun and I liked it. I thought you would spend the whole night showing off and you didn’t."

Arthur felt blush on his face and he nervously chewed his bottom lip before asking,

"So…can I take you out again?"

"Yeah. You can. How about tomorrow? At nine?"

"Yeah…that’s perfect."

Eames smiled and leaned forward to kiss him again, filthier this time, his tongue sliding in Arthur mouth and stealing his breath, his hands cupping his face and when he pulled back again, Arthur felt dazed.

"Until tomorrow than."

"Tomorrow…"

Eames grinned.

"Thank you. Good night, Arthur."

"Good night, Eames."

Chapter Text

"Please, please, please, oh God, Eames, PLEASE!"

Eames huffed and turned to Dom who clasped his hands together as he sat next to him in the library.

"For Christ’s sake Dom, have some dignity."

"No! She’s a goddess, she’s Venus from the sea, she’s Aphrodite and she has my heart!"

"So for this, I have to look like a twat in a robe?"

"Please!"

"You’re going through a lot for a girl who doesn’t know your name. And you’re making me go through it with you!"

"Please? I’ll owe you, forever and ever."

Eames sighed and rolled his eyes.

"Fine."

Dom clasped his arm and shook it in happiness.

"When we get married, you’ll be my best man I swear. If she knows anyone for you-"

"Yeah, that’s likely. Let’s go sign up."

Mal was in the school choir and she did sing beautifully, Eames had heard a couple of shows (thanks to Dom) but he never imagined he would actually have to join in. He figured he’d give it a few rehearsals until Dom made his move, either succeed or be rejected and then he could drop out.

They signed up that same day and went to try outs. Dom was nervous when he saw Mal, standing by the piano, meeting all the new prospects as Eames groaned again.

"You owe me, so, so-"

He stopped when he saw the slender boy who approached Mal to her right with sheet music. He wore skinny jeans and a fitted black shirt, a bit tight around his biceps but falling on him perfectly everywhere else. He had a pair of glasses hanging on the front of his shirt and his hair was thick looking and short, falling just short behind his ears. Dom nudged him as he realized that Eames had been struck.

"Oh, that’s Mal’s friend, Arthur. He’s in the choir too. You know of Arthur don’t you?"

"Uh…I’ve heard about him."

And he had, but he didn’t remember Arthur looking that good.

Dom took Eames by the arm as they joined the crowd around the piano, the teacher getting some kind of order going as she separated everyone into altos, baritones and sopranos. Eames and Dom made the baritones and where given sheet music and told where to stand in the group. While Dom was not so fortunate to stand by Mal since she was a soprano, Eames was lucky and stood by Arthur.

Before they started, Eames looked at him and smiled, seeing Arthur looking at him first, then blushing when he got caught.

"Hi." Eames whispered.

"Hi." Arthur whispered back.

Eames bit his lip when saw Arthur put his glasses on to read his sheet music. He spent majority of the practice to looking at Arthur, admiring the curve of his shoulder, his hands, his fingers, the way his lips moved and he even sounded lovely.  

Eames couldn’t have told anyone what the hell they sang.

When practice was over, Eames forgot all about Dom as he followed Arthur off the risers and went to where his bag was.

"So, Arthur right? I’ve seen you around before. I’m Eames."

"I know. Everyone knows you."

"Good or bad?"

Arthur shrugged. He took off his glasses and looked around for Mal and he saw her talking to Dom, laughing and touching his wrist which Eames was sure was killing Dom on the inside.

"Hey, do you want to grab something to eat?"

"Well, uh…sure I guess."

"Let me get my mate, Dom and we can all go."

"Okay."

Eames only pulled Dom aside to tell him to take Mal somewhere so he could take Arthur out by himself. Dom looked at Mal as she stood smiling at Dom and Eames looked at Arthur who stood holding his messenger bag, blushing slightly. Dom agreed and Eames thanked him.

"I owe Dom. When Arthur and I get married, you’ll be my best man."

Dom laughed and wished him luck as they separated and Eames went back to Arthur, saying that Dom had already asked Mal out and was doing him a solid by staying away. Arthur looked sympathetic.

"Oh, well I guess we can just go."

"Great."

The lunch went great and they talked about school and choir.

"What made you join anyway?" Arthur asked as he took a bite of his fry.

"Dom made me. He wanted to ask Mal out."

"Ohh…"

Eames stole one of his fries as he ate it and said,

"I think it was worth it though."

When he grinned, Arthur blushed again and Eames was once again grateful Dom made him join. 

Chapter Text

Eames sat in his office as he worked and glanced up to see what time it was. His conference call was about to come up and he sighed, hating to have to sit through one of those yet again. 

A few minutes before the call was put through, Arthur came in, holding some files in his hands. He set them on Eames’ desk as he said,

"These are the investment files you’ll need for the call, Mr. Eames."

Eames gave him a look, seeing he was wearing his charcoal grey slacks and white button down and waistcoat. His coat was back at his chair and his tie still in place. His hair was neatly combed back and he looked prim and proper. Eames would fix that.

"Thank you Arthur. When is that call coming in?"

Arthur lifted his wrist and glanced at his watch.

"A few minutes."

"Keep me company?"

"Of course Mr. Eames."

Arthur closed the door to Eames’ office and then joined him on the other side of Eames’ desk, settling on his lap and kissing him softly.

While ill advised, Arthur had begun an affair with his boss, the CEO of the company he currently worked for. He had thought himself lucky becoming the personal assistant (secretary) to the actual CEO - as taxing as it was. He got his own floor practically, Eames’ office being on the top floor with only Arthur outside of it, his desk and chair comfortable and roomy. He answered his calls, his emails, scheduled appointments, brought in his physical mail, took his lunch order and brought it to him or scheduled lunch meetings in restaurants. Sometimes, Eames worked late hours and during one of those hours, Eames expressed his interest in Arthur.

While flattered, Arthur initially rejected his advances until he couldn’t anymore and they had been together since. 

They remained professional…most times and now was not one of those times. Arthur held onto his shoulders, sighing softly before getting up, off his lap and easing to his knees in front of Eames.

"Arthur, my love. My call is very important."

"You can pick up a phone can’t you? My hands are otherwise occupied."

He lowered his lashes and smiled at him as he worked undoing Eames’ pants, lowering the fly and taking out his cock, still soft though quickly hardening under his touch. Eames slouched back in the chair and sighed deeply, letting Arthur jerk him off lazily and he almost forgot about the call, until his phone rang. He picked up after the first ring and cleared his throat as he spoke.

Eames couldn’t tell anyone what the meeting was about. He was focused on the fact that Arthur had slowly taken him in his mouth, the head of his cock being teased as Arthur’s wet, warm tongue circled around his foreskin, his fingers holding him in place as he looked up at Eames, smiling a little, loving the tease. Eames stifled a groan as he answered when appropriate, his free hand on Arthur’s head, fingers breaking up the pomade that kept his hair in place.

When Arthur took him in deeper, Eames nearly dropped the phone, his grip on Arthur’s hair tightening as he felt him swallowing him down, his head bobbing back and forth gently and when he hummed Eames’ voice shook - covering it with a cough before he spoke again. He only moved the phone away slightly to look at Arthur and said,

"You’re killing me."

Arthur only pulled off long enough to answer him back with,

"Your phone call Mr. Eames."

And immediately took Eames back in his mouth, sucking carefully, his upper lip guarding his teeth to not hurt him. He loved to have a man like Eames in his mouth, so much power but immediately weakened by Arthur. It was a huge turn on for him and he picked up his pace, feeling Eames’ hand in his hair gripping him tightly and it hurt a bit but knowing how frantic Eames was getting, Arthur could tolerate it. 

When Eames was close, Arthur could feel it, the tick in his thighs and how they spread open more, his head fallen back and though he held the phone still, he was letting it fall from his ear, his eyes closed as the grip in Arthur’s hair remained. Arthur quickened his pace and when Eames came, he was ready for it. He swallowed, slowly pulling off, licking the shaft, then the sensitive head, feeling Eames shutter. As he tucked him back in place, he was surprised at how quiet Eames had been though the phone was now on his shoulder and he struggled to catch his breath.

Arthur stood up and dusted off his knees as he helped Eames sit up, propping the phone back against his ear as Eames hummed and said,

"Of course, go on…"

Arthur leaned down, kissing his mouth with a smile as he turned and picked up the top file from his desk and handed it to Eames. He whispered,

"Your phone call Mr. Eames."

Eames put his hand over the mouth piece of the phone as he said,

"Once this is done, we’ll go out to dinner. I love you."

"I love you too."

Arthur sat on the corner of Eames’ desk as he handed him files and looked up information for the duration of the call. Afterwards, Eames kept his promise and they went out to dinner.

Chapter Text

"God, Eames stop, just stop!"

The way he swatted Eames’ hand away, the tone of his voice laced with irritation and annoyance, cut Eames deeper than he ever thought possible. What was worse, was that Arthur wasn’t even done.

"You’re always all over me! Can’t you for once, just keep professional?"

Eames felt the humiliation hot in his face, around his neck and his heart felt broken at that moment. He was just grateful it was the two of them - he was sure he would have thrown himself out a window if the entire team had been there. He cleared his throat and looked down.

"My apologies, Arthur. Won’t happen again."

Arthur looked relieved when Eames said that and that felt like the final blow to Eames. He didn’t even finish working, he just gathered up his things, made some excuse about being all right on his own and left. He wasn’t sure he could tolerate being around Arthur a moment longer.

For the rest of the job, Eames wouldn’t even stand on the same side of the table as Arthur. He wouldn’t talk to him unless it was about the job and only about the job - all terms of endearment halted, only his name came from Eames’ mouth. And at first, all that seemed just fine with Arthur, though inside, Eames felt ruined.

When the job was over, Arthur was standing on the sidewalk, waiting to hail a cab to leave while they were at the airport. Eames was a few places away, holding his carry on when he saw Arthur pick up his phone and glancing at it. They had just returned and from Arthur had let slip here and there, LA was Arthur’s home town. He tried not to pick up whatever the phone call was about but he heard,

"What? Is she okay? When did this happen?"

There was a pause and Eames glanced over, unable to help himself and saw the distressed look on his face.

"I’ll be right there!"

He hung up and looked up and down the street, cursing when no available cab seem to be there. Still unable to stop, he approached Arthur with a calm professionalism and asked,

"Arthur, is everything alright?"

Arthur sighed when he dropped his arm and said,

"My mother was in a car accident two days ago. She’s still in the hospital."

"I’m sorry to hear that."

He turned, unwilling to see Arthur’s reaction as he hailed the first cab that came by and he let Arthur take it.

"Thank you."

Eames nodded and sent Arthur on his way.

A day later, Eames did a little digging and found out which hospital Arthur went to and he went to stop in, checking in how Arthur’s mother was. He knew that she was the only parent Arthur had left and he was probably feeling guilty about not being there when his mother was in the accident. After checking with the front desk, he went up to the right floor and then sat outside and waited. Visiting hours were almost over, so he imagined Arthur would come out soon enough.

When Arthur did, Eames stood from the chair by her room as he said,

"Is she alright?"

Arthur was clearly stunned and off guard but he answered.

"Oh…yeah. She’s fine. Just a broken arm and a bump on the head. The doctors wanted to keep her under observation because of it. She’ll be out tomorrow."

"Glad to hear."

He looked down at the flowers he had brought and gave them to Arthur.

"For your mum."

Arthur took them and smiled a little.

"Thank you."

"Get some rest when you can."

Arthur nodded and Eames left without another word. 

Arthur had actually felt relieved when Eames stopped flirting with him completely and throughout the job, he hadn’t missed it. Now, seeing the gesture of him coming by just to see if his mother was alright, Arthur felt a little bad about how he treated him before. He started to miss Eames himself.

The moment his mother was out of the hospital and settled back in her home, Arthur went to find Eames. He had hoped that Eames had not left yet but when he went to his hotel room, he had already checked out earlier that morning. Arthur didn’t want to chase him, but he didn’t want to leave things as they were either. It didn’t take much to find him anyway and he stopped by the townhouse Eames rented for the time being.

"Arthur, what are you doing here?"

"I wanted to talk to you."

Eames welcomed him inside. He took his coat, offered him a cup of tea and then a seat. Arthur took the seat and sat down when Eames did.

"How’s your mum? Is she home?"

"Yes. Thank you for asking."

Eames nodded.

"I’m sorry…for the way I treated you before. It was uncalled for."

Eames shrugged a bit.

"It’s fine."

"No, it’s not. I thought I got what I wanted but…now that you’re near me anymore…I miss you."

Eames looked down at his hands. 

"So what do you want, Arthur?"

"I just…I want you to accept my apology."

"Alright. Apology accepted."

"And I want you to flirt with me again. I want you to touch me again."

Eames sighed and looked away.

"Come on, Arthur. You want it now and then you’ll get tired of it and shoo me away."

"I won’t."

Arthur got up and went over to Eames’ side, sitting down, taking his hand and looking him in the eye.

"Eames, I won’t."

Eames sighed a little and held his hand a little firmer.

"Okay."

Arthur smiled a little.

"Kiss me."

Eames didn’t waste a single moment and leaned closer to Arthur, feeling his lips brush against Arthur’s with a sigh. 

Chapter Text

After the first round of drinks, everyone began relaxing.

By the fourth round, everyone was making jokes and laughing and feeling loose.

By the tenth, everyone started the bragging.

They had just come off the Fischer job, everyone but Cobb decided to go out for a round of celebratory drinks. No one was really running yet so why not go in for a couple of drinks?

"You know…for my first time out, I think I did pretty fucking good."

Ariadne made it through her sentence though she looked as if she was going to face plant on the table. Eames, Arthur and Yusuf looked at her and chuckled as she continued.

"Did you see my masterpiece? I am fucking naturally gifted at this shit."

She took a long sip of her fruity looking drink and Yusuf scoffed.

"Uh, let’s not forget who made all this possible okay? My formula was perfect."

"Yeah, not at all able to drop us into limbo." Said Eames.

Everyone laughed and Yusuf grumbled.

"Okay, let’s give credit, were credit is due alright, lads? I had to ski backwards while firing off a gun keeping you guys safe while Ari over here tried to save Fischer. I want to point out, I also kept Saito alive for a good portion of the job."

Eames looked smug as Yusuf nodded, looking a bit impressed.

"That’s pretty fucking impressive, mate. Next round of shots is on me."

He gestured to the waitress for another round and after everyone got their shots and slammed the glasses down, Arthur spoke up next.

"I think we all did our fair part."

Eames then scoffed at him.

"Really? What did you do other than keep us all safe in the hotel room?"

Ariadne looked at him questioningly as well, Yusuf chiming in, asking,

"Yeah, what did you do topside?"

Arthur took the last bit of his drink to the head and when he set his glass down, he said,

"I dropped you all in zero gravity."

"Shit…" Said Ariadne.

Eames’ jaw dropped as Yusuf clapped his hands.

"He wins."

After getting properly hammered, Yusuf got in a cab with Ariadne to make sure she made it alright and Eames looked at Arthur in a whole new light.

"You really dropped us in zero gravity?"

Arthur nodded.

"Damn…that’s…fucking hot."

Arthur grinned a bit, a proper smug look on his face.

"Want to come back to my room?"

"Fuck, yes."

They lost a few minutes standing outside of the bar exchanging sloppy, drunk kisses and when they finally got a cab, they continued. When they got to Arthur’s hotel room door, Eames pinned him to it, kissing him hard, his hands already undoing the buttons on Arthur’s oxford, pulling loose his tie.

"Eames…let me open the door."

Eames took the key card and opened the door in a single move, an impressive feat considering how wasted he was. The door swung open and he pushed Arthur inside, kicking the door closed behind them.

It was passionate and sloppy and they exchanged a few laughs when there were clothing malfunctions and slurred words and unfinished dirty talk as one of them lost their train of though due to the alcohol. But it was still amazing and satisfying and Arthur came harder than he ever had - though he struggled to remain awake afterwards, barely conscious when Eames came.

In the morning, they woke up with horrible hangovers, bite marks, hickeys and bruises all over themselves. Eames demanded they sleep it off and Arthur agreed. When they woke up again, they had a slower, sober second round and it still just as good as the first.

Eames considered the Fischer job to be the best job of his career.

Chapter Text

Eames was already pouting and he wasn’t even there on time. His parents, unhappy and quite annoyed at his last report card and his still not improving grades, hired a tutor for him. 

He was told to go. He was threatened that if he didn’t go, his mobile would be immediately terminated and he could forget about using the car ever again. So Eames had to go…or be stuck in the house for the rest of his life. 

When he got home, he groaned, hearing his parents talking to his new tutor and he threw his bag on the sofa as he took off his coat and hung it on the coat rack. When he went to the kitchen, his mother turned to him and said,

"Good, you’re home. William, this is Arthur your tutor."

Eames knew exactly who Arthur was. He was the smartest kid in his school, also the most popular, the friendliest and the hottest in Eames’ opinion. Arthur was president of the student council, he ran track in the winter, he did debate and apparently, he tutored failing students. 

Before he was even able to sit, his mother said,

"You’re late, but we’ll discuss that later."

His father gave him a look as they left and Eames sat down at the table with Arthur.

"Hey. I’m sorry I’m late."

Arthur just gave him a look, his hair long and messy but he had glasses on and a black jumper that looked way too big for him and still he managed to look perfectly adorable. 

"It’s fine. Just don’t let it happen again. I have a schedule to keep. Do you have your books?"

"Oh, right."

He stood up and returned to the living room to grab his bag and returned to the kitchen to have his tutoring lesson.

Eames had harbored this crush on Arthur for a while, but now being close to him, seeing him every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at his house, it only seem to get worse. After a few months of tutoring, Eames’ grades slowing coming off life support. He wanted to ask Arthur out so many times, they had gotten to know each other over the months and he found out that not only was Arthur brilliant but he was sweet and nice. He made Eames want to study, if only to get his praise.

Arthur looked up at him, his glasses on as they always were when they studied together, his hair to his neck and always messy. It was colder those days, Arthur usually wore long sleeves or jumpers. He smiled just as Eames looked back at him.

"Thank you…you know for all this. My parents were ready to keep me in this house forever."

"No problem."

He slid his hand close to Arthur’s, his fingers bumping against his and he swore Arthur blushed.

Eames swallowed hard and went for broke.

"Do you want to go out some time?"

Arthur reached up to his glasses and took them off as he said,

"What like…on a date?"

"Yeah…"

Eames felt his throat tighten up, nerves in his chest as his stomach knotted. 

"I mean…I know…people talk and stuff…if they’re just rumors, I didn’t mean to insult you."

"Oh, no…they’re not rumors."

Eames exhaled but then instantly felt nervous again.

"So?"

"Yeah…we can go out. I’m usually free on the weekends."

"Great. Ok…do you want me to pick you up or-"

"Ah, but if you fail this chem test, I’m not going out with you."

Eames laughed a little as he looked back down at his books.

"Alright, I get the point. You sure know how to motivate someone."

Arthur just smiled at him.

Chapter Text

When Eames’ wife left for a business trip, she kissed her husband good bye and then hugged her son, Eames’ step-son and she made Eames promise to take care of Arthur. Eames swore he would and she waved to them as she went off to catch her plane.

Arthur was a sixteen year old boy, who, while not a hellion, did have some attitude now and then and was generally quiet and kept to himself. Eames’ wife was only going to be gone for the weekend and Eames had half expected Arthur to look for any excuse to get out of the house. Instead, he hardly saw him after they returned from the airport. He saw him briefly for breakfast and now and then throughout the day and now at night, Eames sat downstairs watching TV until he was tired. He shut it off and started to make his way upstairs when he saw Arthur’s bedroom door slightly open, the light still on. Eames figured he was still up and didn’t think twice when he headed to the bathroom and opened the door only to see Arthur there, his cock in one hand, the other bunching up his shirt to touch his chest. 

Arthur gasped, his face flushed, his hand stopping as Eames stood frozen. It was quiet for a moment and the moment Eames was able to click two thoughts together, he realized what he was walking in on and that he was painfully, blindingly hard. 

"Oh God…."

Arthur was about to stop, the hand on his chest sliding away. Eames stepped in and closed the door behind him and approached Arthur.

"Shh…it’s fine…it’s fine. Don’t be embarrassed."

He noticed Arthur’s erection had not at all wavered though his face was bright red. His hand had fallen away and he was struggling to pull up his pajama pants but Eames stopped him. It was as if he was no longer in control of his actions and he whispered,

"May I?"

Arthur nodded, biting his lip as Eames’ firm hand held his cock and slowly began to jerk him off. Arthur let out a shaky little moan, his entire body trembling as he pressed his hands to the back of the wall, his head falling back as he gasped again.

"Oh..daddy…daddy…"

Eames gasped himself, stepping closer to him, kissing at his throat as he felt sudden and desperate possession coming from him, wanting to devour Arthur. He put his free hand on his narrow little waist, his mouth on Arthur’s throat as he kept his hand moving, jerking him off, feeling his knees shaking before his hand came up to Eames’ shirt and he clung to him.

"Daddy…"

"Yes, baby?"

Arthur mewled and whimpered, doing his best to stay on his feet and when Eames speed up, Arthur didn’t last a second longer and he came, Eames doing his best to catch it, not wanting to make a mess. He moved back, making sure Arthur was on his feet still as he quickly rinsed his hands and dried them off before scooping Arthur up and carrying him to his room. Somewhere through the haze, Eames knew he was doing something wrong, something indecent. Arthur was still so young, his step son nonetheless. But when he set him down on his bed and Arthur looked up at him, cheeks pink, looking so debauched and sweet, Eames suddenly couldn’t bring himself to care.

He felt Arthur hold his wrist as he said,

"Do you hate me?"

"No, darling, I don’t hate you. I was just going to ask you that."

Arthur shook his head.

"I wanted you to do that to me for, forever. I wanted you to touch me. Everywhere…"

He ran his hand down his chest, stopping at the top of his thigh. Eames sighed deeply.

"Arthur…"

"Would you, daddy? Would you touch me?"

Eames couldn’t believe how much this boy was turning him on, pressing all the right buttons, seducing him like Eames had never thought possible. It was as if Arthur had planned all this. He felt his hand on his thigh, fingers brushing upwards as Arthur looked at him, Eames sitting beside him.

"You’re hard. We can take care of that."

"Arthur, we shouldn’t."

"But we did already. What’s one more thing?"

Eames really couldn’t find a logical argument to that. He sat back and took off his shirt, letting it fall to the floor as he leaned over Arthur, kissing him, feeling his eager little mouth kissing him back. When he sat up again, he said,

"Your mother can’t know."

"She won’t."

Arthur smiled then, pulling Eames back down to him and into his bed.

Chapter Text

Arthur was already nervous enough. He had spent the night before picking out the right suit before trying to go to bed early enough. He couldn’t sleep of course and then when he finally drifted off, he woke up suddenly as his alarm went off. 

He was nearly late on his first day which caused him great stress. When he met his boss, Mr. Eames, he was instantly intimidated. He was broad though still managed to look so model like in his finely cut and tailored suit. He had a nicely groomed beard and solid, hard blue-grey eyes that made Arthur feel like every inch of him was being examined and scrutinized. 

He did his work for the better part of the morning until Mr. Eames called him into his office and told him to take a coffee order, which Arthur did. He rushed out, went to Starbucks and got Mr. Eames order, exactly as it had been written down and then immediately returned to the office. When he brought it to him, handing it across his desk, Arthur noticed all too late that the lid was slightly lifted, which explained how he managed to get a trickle of it on his own hand. Wanting to compensate and stop the lid from popping off completely, he tried to cover it and press it down with his other hand only for him to drop the cup altogether.

Arthur watched as if in slow motion, the cup fell out of his hand, bounced on the desk just so the lid could come off and the coffee splash all over Mr. Eames’ bright white shirt. Mr. Eames cursed from the heat and stood up right away and Arthur wanted to just fling himself out the floor to ceiling window in Mr. Eames’ office. He actually stood there, hoping he would have a heart attack and die as he started babbling,

"Oh, my God…I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry!"

Mr. Eames sighed a bit, shaking off the rest of the coffee as he said,

"It’s quite alright. I was just upset by the heat, not you. Be a dear, run to my washroom there and grab me a towel?"

Arthur nodded dumbly and ran to the small washroom in the corner of Mr. Eames’ massive office and he returned as he saw him undoing his tie and then undoing the buttons of his shirt to pull it open and take it off.

Arthur’s jaw dropped again when he saw how finely sculpted Mr. Eames was, covered in tattoos, his abs flexing as he pulled his arms out of the sleeves. Arthur handed him the towel and he settled his hands over his crotch the instant he felt himself stirring. When Mr. Eames turned, there were more tattoos, his back broad and thick and Arthur had to bite his lip to prevent himself from moaning at the sight of him.

There was a small closet that Mr. Eames opened and pulled out a plain shirt, pulling it on for the time being as he then closed the door and returned to his desk, picking up the ruined button down. He shook it out over the towel and walked over to Arthur as he said,

"This will need to be dry cleaned and I’m going to need another shirt in the meantime so if you could run this down…"

He stopped talking when he noticed Arthur just nodded, his face pink, not making eye contact with him. Eames only had to look down to see Arthur desperately trying to hide his erection. He looked back up at his face and said,

"Arthur?"

Arthur finally looked at him.

"Yes, sir?"

"Are you listening? I know those could be distracting…"

For the millionth time that morning, Arthur contemplated suicide. Eames just smiled a little and said,

"Need a moment in the washroom?"

"No…"

"Alright then, dry cleaners, new shirt. Can you do that?"

"Yes, sir."

"There’s a good lad."

He handed the soiled shirt to Arthur and Arthur took it, bundling it in the towel. When Eames returned to his desk, he began to clean up the spill itself and Arthur slowly made his way to the door. 

"Oh, Arthur. One more thing?"

Arthur turned and faced him, humiliation still on his face.

"Yes, sir?"

"Once my desk is clean, you should come back here and we can talk a bit more."

If Arthur didn’t know better, he could have sworn he heard a bit of a flirting undertone in his voice, his smile a little more smug, his eyes a bit darker. Instead he blushed harder and looked down.

"Yes, sir."

Arthur then turned, bringing the bundle down to hide his hard-on as he went to run the errands.

Chapter Text

It was a shameful secret. Eames knew it and still, he couldn’t help himself. Each time, every time, was as if he had lost control of himself, gave himself over to the riptide and drowned. He drowned in every bit of Arthur, wanting someone like him as badly as he wanted air. 

But he knew it was wrong and each time he pulled himself away, he promised himself it was the last time. He was married, happily so and Arthur was his step-son, his young, sixteen year old step-son who was probably too riddled in hormones and poor judgement to realize what was doing, what he was begging for. Eames should have been the adult. He should have put a stop to what he was doing.

But he couldn’t. Not when Arthur whispered sweetly in his ear, when he clung to him so desperately, his mouth innocent and never knowing any other touch but Eames’ kissing at him softly. Even the filth that came from him, sounded so gentle in Eames’ ears.

In front of Eames’ wife, they acted normally, Arthur hardly acknowledging either one of them at times, playing the sullen teenager but when alone…God when alone.

There were times at night when Arthur wanted everything and it was an in opportune time but still, Eames gave in, as always unable to not help himself, to spoil this boy that had thoroughly bewitched him. There was a time when Eames’ wife was on the phone in their bedroom and Eames was with Arthur in the bathroom. He had his boy on the sink, kissing him to keep him silent, as he fucked him quietly. 

He kept his hands on Arthur, holding him close, one hand on his back, the other on his waist to keep him forward as he thrust upwards, Arthur moaning against his mouth. His pajama pants were on the floor and Eames alternated between listening to his wife’s voice on the other side of the wall, making sure she was on the phone, and listening to Arthur, breaking away for air, hearing his breathy whines and whimpers. When he groaned and whispered, ‘daddy’, Eames moved harder, feeling Arthur hold onto him tighter, his slender fingers gripping his shirt, long legs around his waist, holding Eames greedily, keeping him as deep as he could inside him.

"Arthur…Arthur…"

His voice was low, gravelly and Arthur smiled softly as he kissed Eames again and again, biting at his bottom lip and then gasping as he moved back and then hid his face, muffling his cries as he shivered and came between them. Eames followed shortly afterwards, cursing, pressing his face to Arthur’s his eyes clenched as he felt the sweet release that only this delicate boy could give him. When he came to his senses, he saw himself in the mirror, wrecked and so fucking pleased that he felt the underlying sense of guilt with it. He moved back and listened for a moment, hearing his wife still on the phone and he breathed a sigh of relief. 

He pulled away from Arthur, easing him down to his feet, cleaning him off and then putting his pajama pants back on him. He kissed him once more before patting his ass.

"Go to bed."

Arthur grinned at him and leaned up for another kiss.

"More…" Arthur whispered and Eames did not deny him.

Eames cupped his face, devouring him as he always had, feeling Arthur mew and hold onto Eames’ wrists. When he moved away, he let him go and again sent him on his way. That time, Arthur went and Eames finished cleaning up himself, taking off his shirt since it was ruined and throwing it in the wash before he stepped out from the bathroom, back to his real life and he headed downstairs to eat something.

Chapter Text

Arthur was amazed that he still had his job.

Mr. Eames was very thoughtful and kind and understanding, even after Arthur spilled hot coffee on his boss. He had done his best to keep his work up to par - answering every call, every email, running every errand to the best of his ability. He had to make up for his mistake.

Mr. Eames had taken him out to lunch a few times after that, spoke with Arthur about non-work related subjects and was over all a delight to be around. Arthur still cringed when he thought of what he did to his boss, but he sometimes blushed just being around him.

It was painfully obvious that Arthur was attracted to Mr. Eames, he was smart and insanely, fucking gorgous. His accent alone made Arthur weak in the knees, especially when it sounded like he was whispering to him, his voice raspy and almost like a growl. He didn’t know if Mr. Eames was flirting with him, everything sounded like a flirt to him and he was sure it was his over active, desperately horny imagination considering how badly he wanted his boss, he didn’t act on it and often stood stock still, his mind churning as he asked himself ‘was he flirting with me?’

One afternoon, a visiting attorney came to Mr. Eames office. Arthur was asked to bring coffee into his office so he stepped into his office and saw Mr. Eames and the visiting attorney, Mr. Robert Fischer from Fischer and Browning. He smiled at him and asked,

"Good afternoon Mr. Fischer. What kind of coffee can I bring you?"

Mr. Fischer eyed him up and down, a smirk on his face as he said,

"Eames, who’s this delightful creature?"

He heard Eames shift a bit and say,

"This is my assistant, Arthur."

"Arthur, good to meet you."

He extended his hand and Arthur took it, shaking it and then he felt Mr. Fischer held onto his hand, still grinning at him. Arthur blushed a little and Eames cleared his throat again.

"Robert…"

"Right, my apologies."

He let go and he gave his coffee order to Arthur and then Arthur checked with Eames about his usual before he left.

He came back right away with the two coffees and when he gave his cup to Mr. Fischer, he said,

"Why, thank you, Arthur darling. You’re lovely."

Arthur blushed again and nodded before leaving to go back to his desk.

When Mr. Fischer left Mr. Eames’ office, he stopped by his desk and said,

"Arthur darling, are you happy here?"

"Yes, Mr. Fischer, very happy."

"Does Eames pay you well? Is he…kind to you?"

He felt his his fingers brush over Arthur’s and Arthur blushed again, looking down as he said,

"Yes, Mr. Fischer…he’s very kind to me."

He didn’t get a chance to say much else when Mr. Eames was suddenly at his office door.

"Robert, ease back mate."

Mr. Fischer looked at Mr. Eames before he cleared his throat and whispered to Arthur,

"If you change your mind, call me."

He left without another word and Arthur was suprised. When Mr. Fischer was gone, Mr. Eames called Arthur into his office. When he stepped inside, closing the door behind him, he said,

"Yes, Mr. Eames?"

"Are you really happy here, Arthur?"

"Yes, very much."

"Good. Is there anything else I can do to make you happier?"

"No, everything is fine."

Mr. Eames nodded and settled in front of his desk as he called Arthur closer and then took his hand.

"I’m happy you started working here."

Arthur blushed and felt a little flustered, biting his bottom lip as Eames held his hand firmly.

"Thank you."

"We should go to lunch tomorrow."

"Okay."

"Okay. How about dinner tonight?"

Arthur looked up, wondering if he heard correctly.

"Dinner? Tonight?"

"Unless you had other plans?"

"No, I was just…I just wanted to be sure…"

Mr. Eames smiled a little at him and said,

"Make reservations. You know the place I like."

"Okay."

Mr. Eames let go of his hand and let him go make the reservations. He returned to his desk and picked up the phone and began to dial for the restaurant that Mr. Eames liked and his voice trembled a bit as he asked for a table for two.

Chapter Text

They had been friends for years, since they were in middle school in fact so Arthur knew Eames pretty well. He had also harbored a crush on him for almost just as long. And because of their long standing friendship, Arthur also tolerated a lot.

Usually when Eames began dating someone new, he was gone for however long he was dating them. Texts went ignored, phone calls un returned and Arthur usually missed his friend. He was also tired of it but he didn’t want Eames to be gone from his life either.

He was pathetically in love.

Ariadne always told Arthur he shouldn’t stand this, he should also just tell Eames. But Arthur always said no.

"It would ruin our friendship."

"I think the friendship is pretty ruined anyway considering he doesn’t give a shit about you when he finds someone new."

Arthur hated that she was right, but his feelings usually overwhelmed his better judgement.

Usually.

It came to a head once they were supposed to hang out and Arthur was left high and dry, waiting for Eames to show up all night. When he texted him, Eames apologized, saying he had finally hooked up with someone and…it didn’t matter after that. Arthur dropped his phone and felt as if this should be the sign that he should give up. 

Arthur stopped waiting around for Eames to be free and he went out with Ariadne, hung out with other friends and somewhere along that line, he met Robert. Robert asked him out on a date and Arthur accepted, knowing this was his chance to move on from Eames.

When he got ready for his date, he heard his phone going off and he answered it.

"Hey, Arthur."

"Eames…hi. What’s up?"

"Nothing, just kind of bored. You want to do something?"

"Oh…I can’t. I have a date."

"You have a date?"

"Yeah."

"With who?"

"Robert Fischer."

"Oh…"

"Yeah…he’s actually here so, I have to go. I’ll call you later though."

"Yeah, alright. Have fun."

"Thanks, bye."

"Bye."

He hung up and he felt terribly guilty. But then he reasoned with himself. Eames had never felt bad about blowing Arthur off. Hell, he had ditched him several times over so Arthur was not about to feel bad about having a date.

In fact, he had several more dates. He started seeing Robert and spending all his time with him, not giving Eames a second thought. He had done it to him throughout all their friendship, it was about time he got a taste of his own medicine. Then one night, while Arthur was home, texting Robert back and forth, he got another text from Eames. He was going to ignore him when he saw what it said.

'Hey. Are you ever going to answer me or you just going to keep blowing me off?'

Arthur sighed and answered,

'I'm busy. You know what it's like.'

He left it at that and kept talking to Robert until he got another text about an hour later.

'I'm at your door.'

Arthur grumbled and stood up and left his room, going downstairs and opened the front door to see Eames there.

"What are you doing here?"

"You’ve been ignoring me!"

Arthur closed the door behind him as he said,

"Well now you know how it feels."

"What are you talking about?"

Arthur scoffed and rolled his eyes.

"Nevermind. Geez, I can’t believe you came here."

"I wanted to talk to you. You’ve been out with him…"

"With who?"

Arthur suddenly wanted to hear it. He noticed that Eames never said his name unless he had to and even when he said it, he said it with disgust.

"With Robert.

"He’s my boyfriend. He’s around. He doesn’t get random hook up’s and leave me waiting all night."

"I said I was sorry about that."

"It would matter if it hadn’t been the millionth time."

"Well…I am sorry! I’m very sorry. And I miss you."

"We’re still friends you know. I just have a boyfriend, just like you’ve had them."

"I don’t want you to have a boyfriend."

"That’s not fair! You’ve been dating and now when I get the chance to date someone, you don’t want me to?!"

"I miss having you to myself!"

"Well, that’s too bad. You-"

"I know I did it to you all the time! And I’m sorry! I’m sorry…"

Arthur shook his head and looked down, bringing his hand to his face.

"You can’t do this. You can’t tell me you want me to yourself and that you miss me and that you’re sorry. Not when…not when I’ve been trying…."

"Trying to what?"

"Trying to get over you."

He looked up at Eames and saw him looking back at him fondly, a small smile on his face.

"You like me?"

"No! Not anymore!"

"Arthur…"

He stepped a little closer and suddenly kissed him. Arthur was stunned, pulling back, eyes wide as he shook his head.

"No, Eames…I’m with Robert. I don’t like you."

"I like you. A lot. It’s the only reason I was ever dating anyone else, to get you out of my system. I didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t think you felt the same way."

Arthur laughed, shaking his head as he kissed Eames back this time.

"Me too…"

Eames put his arms around him, kissing Arthur deeply as if to make up for lost time.

Needless to say, Arthur stopped seeing Robert.

Chapter Text

Arthur had been riding for years. He was on a national level, graceful and fast and he had a wonderful connection to his horse. Best of all, his trainer was one of the best. Eames had trained three prior champions and now was on his way to train his forth. 

Eames was stern and strict, which often drove Arthur crazy at first but after winning a handful of titles, he stopped complaining, listening to everything Eames said. It didn’t hurt that his trainer was a handsome, elegant man who carried himself with a proper, English air looked devastating when he wore a newsboy’s cap. Arthur thought the world of him and he thought maybe Eames thought something of him too, but for all his flirty behavior, nothing ever came of it. Eames hardly touched him except for his shoulder or his hand when he assisted Arthur while he was riding. 

At the national championships one clear and perfect summer day, Arthur paced in the stall beside his horse’s. He was nervous and his hands were clammy. The wreath of roses waited for his horse, a huge purse for Arthur and the title all hung in the air. He wondered where Eames was and he sat down on some hay to not dirty his pants. 

Suddenly, Eames appeared, wearing his newsboy cap as he said,

"Arthur! I’m so sorry for being late."

Arthur sighed in relief as he stood up and said,

"I was wondering where you were!"

"Forgive me. I was tied up."

He helped Arthur up, taking his hand and as he did, he felt the clamminess.

"Arthur dear, are you nervous?"

Arthur laughed a little, rubbing his hands against his pants.

"I’m terrified. So much is on the line."

Eames smiled a little, putting his hands on Arthur’s shoulders, causing him to stand up straight.

"You’re going to do wonderfully. You’ve trained hard, you’ve done everything you were capable of and I believe in you. I believe you can do this. You’re wonderful and one of my best students. And you know what, even if you don’t win, I’ll train you again for next year. You won’t fail if you don’t win. I know that…you and I started off bumpy but I see so much potential in you."

"You do?"

"Of course I do. I wouldn’t have wasted my time if I didn’t think you were capable. Arthur, you’re wonderful."

Arthur smiled, feeling the knot in his stomach ease.

"Thank you. I really needed to hear that."

When Eames went from holding his shoulder, to cupping his face, Arthur looked up at him and smiled a bit still as Eames stepped closer to him, kissing him very gently. It was brief and sudden and when he moved back, he looked flustered as he began to apologize.

"I’m sorry. That was completely out of line."

Arthur wouldn’t hear of it as he threw his arms around him, pulling him close, kissing him hard. 

It spiraled completely out of control from there. Eames only looked into his eyes as he said,

"I love you, Arthur."

Arthur suddenly he had won, the thrill and excitement racing through him as he said,

"I love you too."

He was stripped off his pants and shoes, Eames kissing him, lifting him up easily and keeping him against the walls of the pen, taking Arthur then and there. 

It was frantic and messy and quick but when it was over, Eames kissed him once more and sent him on his way just as Arthur was been announced.

The race was won. Arthur had won by such a far lead that it caused such a huge uproar - judges completely impressed, the crowd on its feet.

Arthur didn’t even care. When he stood in the winner’s circle, he could see Eames and that was all that mattered to him.

Chapter Text

Across the rivers and fields lay two different kingdoms. They once started at allies but over time had become bitter enemies with a shaky truce. 

Each kingdom had a prince who was in line to take over the throne when the time came, but for now were young and still being schooled and…

…desperately in love with one and other.

They had met when they were boys and when they were older, got along better than their families ever hoped. But friendship turned to romance and love when they realized their affections for one and other. 

They wrote to each other in secret, passing letters with their most devoted of confidants. On Eames’ side, he had Yusuf and on Arthur’s Ariadne. The letters were often long and filled with descriptions of love and longing since many, many months, often years would go on between seeing each other. The letters were all they had.

But when the truce - no matter how shaky was struck between the kingdoms, balls and festivals began to occur and they were able to see each other more frequently.

When Eames’ family held the new moon festival and Arthur’s family came, he was able to steal time with the young prince, both of them hiding away in the darkest corners of the gardens, kissing desperately and holding onto each other, savoring every moment they were in each other’s arms.

When Arthur’s sister was married to a duke, Eames’ family was invited to the wedding, a lavish three day event, which to Arthur meant three days of having Eames with him. They ducked in hallways and sought privacy in Arthur’s bedroom, finally being able to be alone with one and other in the most intimate of ways, Arthur giving Eames his virginity and Eames giving him his in exchange.

It was the moment they had been waiting for and Arthur wanted to stay in his bed, his head pillowed on Eames’ chest for the rest of his life.

Arthur had to stop himself from crying when the three days were over, unsure of when he would see him again.

It wasn’t until the start of the winter and the frost festival was held in Eames’ family’s kingdom. When Arthur’s family attended, the moment he was able to, he broke away, running and finding Eames in their secret spot in the corners of the gardens though now the once secluded and overgrown stone bench was covered in frost and dead vines. Arthur didn’t care, he shivered until he saw Eames, wearing his winter clothes and fur lined cape and he took Arthur in his arms, wrapping his cape around Arthur to keep him warmer as they kissed.

Their romantic reunion was short lived when Arthur’s servant caught them. He was looking for the prince on the the request of his lady mother and was immediately caught in Eames’ arms.

The aftermath was immediate and the frost festival was canceled as both princes were placed before their families to fight. Both Arthur and Eames’ families were not pleased with both princes being in love with each other and each side blamed the other. Arthur could only look at Eames from across the room, afraid this would happen one day. Eames decided this would not end the way his father wanted it. He stood from his family’s side and crossed the room going towards Arthur. Arthur instantly stood to his feet and went to Eames and they took each other’s hands. 

Eames pleaded with both families, explaining that he had always loved Arthur and he will love Arthur and he wanted nothing more than to marry him.

Both families went up in a frenzied rage, completely furious with the idea of both princes marrying. 

"This would unite both kingdoms! It would bring peace and prosperity to both sides, why keep us apart?" Begged Arthur.

"I mean no disrespect to either good king but if I may remind you both that as princes, if you do not let us marry now, when we’re both kings, we will marry anyway." Said Eames.

Both sides suddenly fell silent and Arthur gripped Eames’ hand tightly, looking at him with a bit of hope. When the silence turned to mumbled whispers, both kings stepped forward to meet each son and looked at each other.

"Your son is right." Said Arthur’s father.

Eames’ father agreed. They both sighed.

"I will consent to the marriage if you do as well." Said Eames’ father.

Arthur’s father consented and extended his hand out, Eames’ father taking it. 

When the spring bloomed the following season, Arthur and Eames were wed, bringing the shaky truce to a solid truce and finally ending the rivalry between the kingdoms.

Chapter Text

Eames stood in the pit as he watched Arthur’s car race around the curb. He was ahead and Eames impatiently tapped his foot. Yusuf, a fellow mechanic stood beside him as he watched the race.

"Watching your boyfriend?"

He teased Eames, nudging him with his elbow as Eames laughed a bit.

"Yeah, I am."

It was a joke among the pit crew that Arthur and Eames were dating and they took it in stride, though they actually were together and had been since the start of Arthur’s racing career.

As Arthur pulled ahead to lead, Robert, Arthur’s rival and fiercest competition cut ahead, side swiping at Arthur’s car. Eames watched, his breathing halting when he saw Arthur trying to correct the sudden move, but he lost control, the car spinning out and flipping over across the barrier in the center. 

Eames was the first one that jumped out, the race stopping so he was able to run without worry of other cars coming. The emergency team was there at the same time Eames got there, the crew behind him as they helped, pulling back debris, fighting off small fires that were starting, the emergency crew cutting Arthur out of his seat.

Eames couldn’t remember what else he did, he just climbed into the ambulance with Arthur, holding his helmet as he watched the emergency crew working on him. Arthur wasn’t even awake.

Once at the hospital, Eames waited and waited, pacing slightly until he was allowed inside to see him. Arthur had a broken leg, some cracked ribs, a mild concussion, a broken wrist and a ton of cuts and bruises. Eames pulled a chair and sat beside Arthur, taking his free hand, minding the IV line on the back of his hand as he held it. He was relieved to hear that aside from the obvious injuries, Arthur would be fine. He was out of any future races for a while as he recovered, his car was destroyed but Arthur was alive. It could have been a lot worse considering how bad the accident was.

The rest of the pit crew came by to see Arthur, slowly, his room began filling with flowers and cards, doctors shifted in and out along with nurses. Gradually, Arthur woke, a few blood vessels in his right eye broken from impact. He groaned, turning to Eames as he said him sitting there, waiting for him. Yusuf had brought him a change of clothes, but he hadn’t left Arthur’s side for more than a few minutes at a time, so he had scruff growing on his face already. 

"Hey…how long was I out?"

"About a day and a few hours."

Eames resisted holding his hand any tighter though he wanted nothing more than to put his arms around him and squeeze him.

"What happened?"

"Robert cut you off suddenly. He must have clipped you."

Arthur hummed, then grimaced as he tried to get comfortable but couldn’t. 

"You gave me a scare."

"I’m sorry."

"Not your fault."

He leaned down, kissing Arthur’s fingers carefully as he sighed.

"I’m just happy you’re alive."

While Arthur recovered, Eames sat by his side, glad he didn’t have to deal with the press or anyone else, he could just be with Arthur and help him. When Arthur was ready to be discharged, Eames took him home and continued caring for him there.

"Thank you…for all this."

"Of course. Who else is going to take care of you?"

Arthur laughed a little as Eames helped him sit up, his entire body still wrecked and bruised. He groaned a bit when he felt the ache in his ribs and Eames kissed his forehead.

"The rumors are just going to get worse."

Eames shrugged.

"They’re already really bad. What’s one more rumor?"

Arthur smiled, leaning back and taking Eames’ hand.

"When you get better, we’re going to have a lot of work ahead of us."

Arthur nodded, sighing a little.

"I’m not looking forward to that."

"Yeah, it won’t be easy. But imagine all the applause you’ll get when you come back."

Arthur just smiled at him, squeezing his hand a little tighter.

Chapter Text

Arthur stood near his wardrobe, holding the door open as he admired the wanted poster there. Eames had been his childhood friend, but he had been gone for many years, only to surface again against King Robert. He was a criminal, a thief, a bandit but still, the keeper of Arthur’s heart. 

He still longed for him but Eames had made no contact since he disappeared and Arthur figured he had been forgotten.

It wasn’t until one day during a festival that Arthur attended in company of the king that Eames was there, in disguise but Arthur knew it was him - he knew it was Eames anywhere. Finding an excuse to leave Robert’s side, Arthur mingled along the crowd, trying his best to follow Eames until he was lead into a clearing and the man in disguise turned, a bow an arrow in his hand, aimed at him until Eames said,

"Arthur?"

Arthur had not even moved, having complete faith that Eames would not hurt him. He only smiled as Eames lowered his weapon, throwing it aside as he took Arthur in his arms. 

"Eames…Eames…I missed you so much."

"I missed you too."

Arthur never wanted to leave his arms but he had no choice. They only had a few minutes before Arthur would be missed. 

"Who has taken care of you?"

"The king. After my parents died, the king took me in."

Eames frowned as he touched Arthur’s face for a second before pulling away. He saw how filthy his hands were - how clean Arthur’s face was. But Arthur didn’t care, he clasped Eames’ hands in his own and sighed.

"Now that I know where you are…"

"Yes, yes please."

He knew that Eames would find a way to see him and so he did.

Eames risked life and limb sneaking into King Robert’s kingdom, into his castle and into Arthur’s room any chance he could. Eames would spend the night with Arthur and before the sun rose, he would always leave, Arthur giving him jewels or gold or whatever else the king had given him. Eames would only steal kisses from Arthur before escaping again.

One night, Eames was nearly caught entering the kingdom and King Robert was enraged. He believed, at first, that Eames was there to directly steal from him but it wasn’t until Arthur’s nervous look made the king think otherwise. To stop that, even if he was wrong, he decided to marry Arthur off to the sheriff. 

"You’re of age anyway Arthur. And the sheriff is a fine man."

Arthur couldn’t argue. He just nodded and agreed though inside, he was heartbroken. The king wasn’t giving Arthur much time either - he had set the date for Arthur to marry Sheriff Browning, an older heavy set man that looked at Arthur in a lecherous way in a matter of months. Arthur was afraid that he would be married before Eames came to see him and each night he waited patiently by his window until a month before he was set to marry Browning, Eames came. 

Arthur cried when he saw him, with relief, with fear and he clung to him, telling him everything that was happening and King Robert’s plans to marry him to the sheriff. Eames frowned and held his beloved’s face in his hands, kissing him gently.

"It’s not going to happen."

"What? What am I going to do? I have to marry him…"

"No, I won’t allow it. I’ll think of something."

"But…"

"Arthur. You’re mine. I love you and no one will take you away from me. I’ve stolen so many things and given them away but you will be the one thing I keep for myself."

Arthur smiled a little and he believed Eames.

Every day up to the day of the wedding, Arthur waited and was well behaved, agreeing and even exchanging polite conversation with the man he was to marry. King Robert was pleased.

The morning of Arthur’s wedding, he watched the sun come up, his heart broken because Eames had not come for him. It was too late now - the sun’s beams just started breaking over the horizon as he sat by his window. But he was wrong. Eames did come for him. He covered him in a heavy cloak with a hood to hide his face and helped him out the window as they scaled the walls and then ran towards the woods. There, just past some trees, waited a horse which Eames helped him up onto before climbing on himself and then they raced off.

When they arrived at Eames’ camp, his followers, the people done wrong by the king and the sheriff, an entire village built on the other side of the supposedly haunted woods, Eames helped him down as Arthur looked at him, feeling guilty for thinking Eames had forgotten him.

"I told you that I would come for you."

Arthur took his hand, grasping it tightly as Eames lead him to where he lived, where he and Arthur would now live with him, together.

Chapter Text

The sun is warm on Arthur’s face when he feels it early Saturday morning. He’s still tired but there’s an unexplainable happiness coursing through him. He turns towards Eames and falls asleep again, his arm thrown over Eames’ bare back.

Just shy of an hour or so later, Eames is sliding himself against Arthur, feeling his morning erection rub against his ass. He smiles a little, his eyes half open as he lifts his head and kisses the rounded mound of his shoulder, then his neck, hearing Arthur hum a little, a smile already starting on his face.

Eames is already falling asleep when his hand slips down Arthur’s thin briefs, but he manages to tug them down a little and wakes Arthur in the process. Arthur takes them down the rest of the way, wondering why he bother to put them back on since Eames was still naked beside him and he eases himself closer, kissing Eames’ chest, hearing him wake up again, humming back at him, telling him he was pleased.

They kiss slowly, lazily, morning breath be damned and Arthur falls asleep half way through it. Eames turns them over so Arthur is on his back and he wakes him again. Arthur smiles a little, moving his head away from Eames’ face so he could yawn and then reaches down between them, taking Eames’ cock in his hand and gives him slow yet firm strokes. Eames had his eyes closed, moaning a little as he put his hands back on Arthur, rutting against him, feeling Arthur’s erection against his stomach and when he rubs Arthur moans softly and moves his legs apart.

He guides Eames inside him - he’s still wet and soft from the night before and Eames curses, kissing Arthur again. He doesn’t move, he just stays still, feeling Arthur’s arms come around his back and he breaks the kiss to turn his head and yawn in return. Arthur laughs a little, leaving little kisses against Eames’ throat.

"We should wait until we’re more awake."

"Nah, you started it, might as well finish."

Arthur just smiles, feeling Eames give a weak little thrust but it felt good anyway and Arthur kicks off the sheets from over them, feeling warm with Eames on top of him.

It’s sloppy and slow, sending sparks of pleasure through them and Eames manages to get his arms around Arthur, leaning down to his neck, lazily rolling his hips, eliciting soft gasps of pleasure from Arthur as he did. Now and then he nods off, waking up when Arthur squeezes around him, hearing him sigh softly.

"Don’t stop…"

Eames kisses him deeply and resumes his movements, feeling more awake when he does and he can feel Arthur waking up too, his legs hiking up higher on Eames’ sides and Eames thrusts deeper into him, making Arthur moan.

Eames props himself up on his elbow now, looking at Arthur, seeing sleep still etched on his face, but his eyes becoming more and more alert, his mouth open as he gasped and moaned, his fingers holding onto Eames’ back more firmly.

"There…right there…"

Eames slid his arm a little lower, lifting up Arthur’s hips, slipping into him even further and he thrusts harder than before until Arthur comes. Eames follows shortly after, his face buried against Arthur’s throat, kissing him, letting his teeth scrape against his skin and he stays there, trying to breathe evenly. When he picks his head up, the tired feeling he had early has come back, the orgasm draining whatever energy he managed to summon. Arthur had already fallen asleep, his arms falling from Eames’ back.

Eames didn’t mind, pressing his lips to the corner of Arthur’s mouth until Arthur’s bleary eyes turned to look at him, smiling.

"Don’t leave…"

"Wasn’t planning on it…"

"No, here. Stay here."

He tried to hold onto Eames again, but he yawned, his eyes watering and Eames laid down on him, turning them with great effort so they could sleep and he could remain inside Arthur. Of course, eventually he did slip out of him but they remained asleep, the sheets and blankets pushed to the bottom of the bed, pillows thrown about and the sun still warming their skin. Arthur turned away when he felt it on his face, hiding against Eames, not yet ready to get up.

Chapter Text

When they got to the hideout, Eames cut the engine while Arthur got out, satchel of money still in hand, sawed off shot gun in the other. Eames followed him, his own bag clutched in his hand as he picked up his Browning Automatic Rifle and rested it against his shoulder, the barrel up. They walked through the small garage door and into the house they were held up in. 

It had been abandoned for some time and since it was in the middle of nowhere, it was a perfect hide out. They had the basics inside the house, a bed, some supply to cook with and their belongings always packed and near the door. As they walked inside, Arthur set his gun down by the doorway in the bedroom, Eames doing the same as they dropped the satchels full of money. They looked at each other, pleased and happy as Eames took off his cap, throwing it on the bed. 

Arthur was already undressing by the time Eames got closer to him, grasping his face as he kissed him softly. Arthur smiled as he pulled back and said,

"Bath. We’re filthy and it’s been a long drive."

Eames nodded. 

It took a while to gather water and heat it up in the large metal tub on the floor, near the window. The radio was already on when Eames got in first, Arthur following him, straddling his lap as they kissed again. Eames’ arms were around Arthur, his hands wet already and sliding up his bare back. They smiled at each other as Arthur dipped his hands into the water and brought them back up to Eames’ beard, kissing his lips again as he slowly rut against him. 

The music from the station was still playing in the background as they gasped softly, Arthur moaning softly as he felt Eames’ fingers penetrate him. When he moved them away, Arthur was ready, feeling Eames’ cock hard and at attention. Arthur took him slowly, the water helping but still a poor substitute - still far too impatient to stop and get proper lubrication. He groaned as Eames held his hips with one hand, the other rubbing Arthur’s stretched skin, feeling him quiver under his touch until they kissed. Arthur didn’t move for a bit, just enjoyed how full and open he felt, damp and still warm from the sunlight and still running high from the robbery.

Suddenly the music cut out as an announcement was made that the first national bank had just been robbed a few hours ago. They stopped and looked at each other, listening to the broadcaster, describing the two of them as dangerous violent criminals with a blood thirsty greed that had already mowed down countless police and bystanders.

Arthur laughed a little as he moved his hips, riding Eames a little.

"Blood thirsty greed?"

"It’s a bit tinged with blood."

Arthur moaned as he pushed down harder, the water from the tub splashing over the sides and onto the floor, making Eames curse. The broadcast continued,

"The pair, known to be equally protective of each other has already butchered the sheriff when he made the mistake of getting between them.and still even with half the police of each town they hit on their backs, the manage to get away. The lead agent from the F.B.I had this to say…"

Eames growled, sitting up, bringing Arthur close to him, kissing him, encouraging him to move faster while the agent spoke on the radio.

"These two are considered armed and extremely dangerous. To the public that sees them, please report their movements right away but do not attempt to stop them yourselves. They have already taken down enough innocent people. The police are working on finding them, trailing every major road and keeping an eye out on every bank."

Arthur smiled while his mouth was against Eames’ - knowing they were stupid and wasting time in doing so. They were in no rush and back roads may have taken a little longer but they went undetected. 

There was the sound of frustration when the F.B.I agent spoke, angry that they had not been caught even though the team started in New York and were now closer to Texas and still had not been caught. It was Eames’ plan to make it to Mexico, lie low there for a while before taking a ship back over to England where they could live in peace, fat on all the money they robbed from every major city along the way. 

When Arthur came, he had given a shaky little gasp, his body shivering as he clung to Eames. He felt him take over, lifting Arthur easily, effortlessly until he came too. Shortly afterwards, the agent on the radio finished talking as the public was once again warned not approach them. Arthur leaned on Eames, struggling to catch his breath, his arms on his shoulders, fingers dripping water on the floor beneath them, Eames still holding him tightly. 

When they finally had enough strength to sit up and look at each other, they laughed, still celebrating with each other, knowing they were a step ahead of the game and would remain so.

Chapter Text

Eames was arranging the last of the bouquets to be sent out for delivery before he closed up the shop. He had his delivery man pick up the last of the flowers and he closed up his store before heading over next door.

Right beside Eames’ modest little flower shop was a tattoo shop, run by a delicate looking boy named Arthur. He wasn’t really a boy but when Eames saw him, he thought of him a young and innocent - until he realized that he was the one running the tattoo shop.

A bit of talking, a peek through his book and Eames suddenly became a regular. Getting new ones, getting a few touch ups and just talking about designs, tattoos and business with Arthur.

Arthur himself was a delight to look at. He looked like a professional in his fitted jeans and button down shirts rolled up to his elbows, peeks of tattoos under the sleeves, another hidden under his collarbone. Eames was so curious to see what else he had under there, but they hadn’t quiet gotten there…yet.

When Eames came over that afternoon, Arthur was cleaning up a bit, wearing nice dress pants. a button down shirt and a waistcoat. He looked up when he saw Eames and smiled.

"Hey, you’re back."

"Closed up early since I just had a couple of deliveries to send out."

There was one other person there getting work done by Arthur’s employee Yusuf. He was a cool guy and he was in the shop randomly but mainly, Eames was able to catch Arthur on his own.

"Any work today?"

"Don’t know yet. I should get a few more finished before starting up another."

Arthur laughed and nodded a bit, agreeing. 

They sat down and talked design, flipping through some books to see if Eames could get any ideas. When Arthur leaned over to point something out, Eames saw a little more of the tattoo under his collarbone and he decided to just ask.

"What’s that you got. Here."

He gestured to his own collarbone and Arthur undid a button to show him the fine script, a name and a birthday.

"My mother’s name. She’s alive still, I just really love her."

"Aw. Nice idea."

"You have the flag…"

Arthur pointed to the spot on Eames’ chest and Eames nodded.

"I like that idea. Too bad I’m American."

Eames laughed a little. They continued talking a while more and eventually they just ended up talking about other things rather than tattoos. Even when Yusuf was done and he said bye, they continued to talk, well into the night. When Arthur was ready to close to the shop, Eames stood with him and said,

"Do you want to grab a bite to eat?"

"Yeah. I’d love to."

Arthur smiled and they went to get some dinner and continued their conversation.

Eames continued visiting when he could, gradually getting to see the rest of Arthur’s tattoos and eventually they ended up dating.

Now any time Eames popped over to Arthur’s shop, he went to visit his boyfriend, sometimes with flowers in hand.

Chapter Text

They had been quiet for a few minutes with nothing but the exchange of moans and gasps and breathy sighs. 

When Eames rolled his hips, feeling Arthur clenching down around him, he kissed him hard, breathing against him.

"You feel good baby…"

The flush in Arthur’s cheeks made Eames grin, leaning down and kissing the corner of his mouth.

"So hot for me…tight and wet…"

"Fuck, Eames…"

He felt him clenching up again, his fingernails biting into the skin of his arms. Eames knew what Arthur liked, how his words effected him and made his orgasm all that more intense. 

"You blush so pretty for me baby. You like it when I tell you how your little hole feels around my cock? You like it when I fuck you like this?"

He slowed his pace now but made sure his strokes stayed deep. He made sure to slide in and out slowly, easing out until just the head remained and then easing all the back in, hard and firm.

"Yeah…you like it…I can feel how much you like it. Look at the mess you’re making…"

He slipped his hand between them, touching the head of Arthur’s cock, smearing his precum among his fingers, on Arthur’s stomach. When he pressed in deeper, Arthur let out a long shaky moan, his legs shaking as he held onto Eames’ waist.

"Like how deep I can go? Like how my cock can kiss you here?"

He snapped his hips and let the head of his dick brush right by his prostate and Arthur sobbed, cursing again, his hands wrapping around Eames’ neck as he pulled him down, kissing him again and again as he rocked his hips, wanting Eames to keep fucking him hard.

"Eames…Eames…."

He whimpered and Eames nipped at his mouth,

"What is it baby? What do you want?"

"Wanna come…"

He snapped his hips again, moving just as hard, just as deep and Arthur squealed, precum spurting onto his stomach, further adding to the mess.

"There’s my boy…"

"Not your boy…"

"Yes you are. You’re my boy. You’re my boy when you’re like this. When you’re under me and my cock is so deeply buried inside you and your greedy little hole is clenching to pull it in deeper. You’re my boy because I’m the only one that can make you come."

Arthur mewled, his face still pink and Eames cupped his cheek, pressing his thumb against his lip as he kept going, fucking Arthur harder and harder.

"Like that, Arthur? Is that good for my darling boy?"

Arthur let out a long moan, shivering feeling close, his legs tightening around Eames’ waist.

"Yes, yes…"

Eames kept his pace, frantic, ragged movements, grunts mingled in with his consistent words, urging Arthur the entire time. 

When Arthur did come, he sobbed through it, shaking and gasping for air, hearing Eames praise him which for some reason, made Arthur smile. 

When Eames came, he was silent, his head hidden against Arthur’s throat as he still. It was quiet again, soft pants and deep breathing filled the room until Arthur opened his eyes, focusing as he watched Eames’ back fall and rise. Finally, he said,

"Fuck…I love your mouth."

Eames just chuckled against his skin.

Chapter Text

Arthur wandered through the party atmosphere. He could feel Eames everywhere, in every hint of room with it’s golden, vaulted ceilings and ostentatious crystal chandeliers. It was meant to be distracting - Arthur knew his game, he could see all the distractions in the marble statues, the paintings that all seemed as if they were moving and even the guests themselves. 

Men wore fancy tuxes with tails, top hats and watch fobs hanging from their waistcoats. Some had feathers from the bands around the hats, crowns of roses, their masks covered in bright colorful paint and sparking jewels around the eye holes. The women wore extravagant gowns and glittering pieces of jewelry - thick diamond chokers, strands and strands of pearls. Every woman had her hair done, pulled up or to the side in curls or pins.

Arthur fit in, his mask hiding his face, stealing his peripheral vision but keeping him hidden from the projections. He walked slowly, picking up a champagne flute from a passing waiter and kept looking. It was hard to see where Eames was hiding, with their faces hidden and not a single mirror in place, anyone could be Eames. Arthur thought of just sitting and waiting, looking like a wallflower, alone and sad seem to be Eames’ forte when it came to Arthur, but no…that would be too easy. Eames wouldn’t approach him like that.

He danced when asked, danced when he asked others and he felt he might not find Eames before the timer was up. When he wandered away from the center of the ballroom, not a single person calling out to Arthur because everyone felt like Eames, he went to the bar. For a moment, the man behind the bar table seemed like he could be Eames, hidden in plain view but Arthur watched him and was disappointed when he instantly realized it wasn’t him.

The blonde woman beside him turned, her well manicured fingernail ran along the rim of her martini glass as she held a cigarette in her other hand. Arthur looked at her, noting her full curvaceous figure fitted well into the black form hugging dress, the straps off her shoulder and seeming as they were draped delicately there. Around her throat was a choker of diamonds and a cameo in the center. Her hair was up in almost a fifties style curls, her make up simple, full lips in matte blood red puckered when she smoked. She noticed Arthur staring and she gave a little smile, lifting her martini glass to her mouth. 

When she placed it back down, there wasn’t a single stain on the rim and when she spoke, her voice was husky, like a phone sex operator. 

"Hello."

Arthur grinned, seeing Eames as clearly as if he was looking right at him and not his forge.

"Hello, Eames."

She grinned at him, a little smug as she turned a bit, resting her elbow on the bar top. 

"What gave it away?"

Arthur couldn’t really pin point what it was. Nothing about the forge said it was Eames, except maybe the color of her eyes which Eames had not bothered to change but it suited the blonde of her hair. 

"It was the way you made me feel."

Eames smiled, still staying in character.

"Can’t hide that no matter how I look."

Arthur nodded in agreement.

"Should we dance? Still have time on the clock."

Arthur didn’t even consider it as he took Eames’ hand and walked towards the floor.

Chapter Text

Back in the day, before Jon was popular with the ladies, popular with anyone really, he was thin and shy and quiet. 

He was not bullied, but he wasn’t counted either. He floated through high school like a ghost, forgettable, unseen. He was thinner then, hardly fitting in his clothes, everything seemed baggy on him, even the smallest clothes. His hair was unruly, waves and thickness and wild with curls. He had glasses he only wore at home though he struggled to see throughout the day because he figured he had enough on his plate.

He wished he could be different. He wished he could be stronger, noticed and make girls swoon. He wished he could have more than just a handful of “school friends” friends he only spoke to inside the confines of school but once the bell rang, he didn’t speak to them again until the next day, or Monday morning. He also wished, badly might he add, that he could fix whatever was going on in his mind that made him sit on the bleachers and watch the wrestling team practice. 

It wasn’t the team itself that got him interested, though he was jealous that he was all but bones and sharp angles when guys the same height and age were fucking body builders. Jon still looked like an awkward twelve year old. It was Tommy Conlon who, more often than not, got Jon’s attention. He was only seventeen but he was a beast, broad and all muscle, strength that scared every opponent and even some of the guys on the team. Tommy was serious and focused and Jon thought that was impressive.

It was one of the things that Jon both desperately wanted and wanted to go away. He hated that in himself, carrying a crush on a popular wrestler, a boy nonetheless but it was something he cherished too. He craved the attention from someone the likes of Tommy Conlon. There were so many things about him that Jon wished he could emulate, his face, his attitude, his body type. Tommy Conlon was everything Jon wished he could be.

But wanting his attention turned the corner of affection for Jon. He wanted Tommy to like him too, to want him and then Jon would spiral into shame and fear. He could hear his father in his head, never out right telling him being gay was wrong, but he would hear his comments about gay people, the sneers and the eye rolls - like when the boy that lived down the street had gone to college and came back home for a visit only to come out to his parents. It was a big shit storm that flew around the neighborhood, how the kid got kicked out of his house and told not to come back, how the mother wept as she shouted to the sky what she had done wrong, how the father was embarrassed and neither one of them were seen for a few days. Jon’s father discussed it at the table and his mother had done the sign of the cross as Jon’s father said,

"Poor guy. Haven’t seen him around in a couple of days. To have a faggot son…"

He shook his head as if the neighbor’s son had been inflicted with cancer. Jon said nothing but vowed he would not illicit the same reaction from his parents. Ever.

Yet when practice was held, he sat on the bleachers in the gym and watched the wrestlers, watching Tommy Conlon and hating himself later. 

When Tommy finished one afternoon, Jon lingered in the back, waiting for the team to gather their things and leave for the locker room. The last one to leave, was Tommy. He slung a towel around his neck as he threw his gear in his bag and zipped it up before standing. When he did he saw Jon and Jon froze. Tommy didn’t do anything though, he just looked at him for a moment and then waved so Jon waved back. Tommy then left for the locker room and Jon let out the breath he was holding.

One day, he decided, he would look like that. He would get Tommy Conlon out of his system, he would be noticed and he would be all the things he had wished for. 

But first, he would giggle to himself and relish the fact that Tommy Conlon just waved to him, acknowledging his existence. 

Chapter Text

Arthur curses, feeling his legs shaking as he feels Eames’ tongue inside him. He keeps cursing, his hands braced one the table because he needs something to hold onto because he’ll fall over. Eames’ hands are holding him open obscenely and licking slowly, taking his time as if they weren’t at the warehouse, supposedly working. 

Arthur could feel the rasp of his stubble against the insides of his thighs, all over every bit of skin that Eames’ mouth came in contact with. He tongue flicked and prodded and circled and when he pulled back to catch his breath, Arthur could feel his breath warm on the wetness of his skin and suddenly, Eames returned, his tongue flat and running up and down over him and Arthur sobbed, his body shaking as he let go of the desk with one hand as he made a fist to resist from scratching the surface under him. 

"Eames…"

He sounded so ruined already and he gasped again when Eames’ finger pressed inside into, holding his hole open better for his tongue. When he hummed, Arthur felt his knees buckle a little and he was glad he was on the desk because otherwise he would have fallen over. 

He heard himself whining, wheezing, the surface of the desk where his face was pressed on was damp from his heavy breathing, his eyes closed as he groaned and resisted from pushing back into Eames’ mouth and pulling away at the same time. 

When Eames finished, he stood up, licking at his lips, wiping whatever wetness was on his mouth and face with the back of his hand. He reached into his pockets and took out the lube, Arthur not at all surprised he was carrying that around with him. He didn’t hurry him…he felt like he needed these few fleeting seconds to pull himself from the edge of his orgasm, his entire body shuttering, his pants around his thighs, his shirt rucked up so the edge of his desk was pressing against his bare stomach. He could hear Eames undoing his pants, the squelch of the lube in his hand, on his dick as he prepared himself. When Arthur felt Eames’ hand on his hip, moaned, already anticipating the breech and when it came, he pushed himself up on his elbows and tried to move his legs open a little more, hindered by his pants.

Eames slid in slow, making Arthur cry out, both hands now on his hips, pulling him forward as he pushed in and when he bottomed out, Eames hissed and bit his lip for a moment, pausing as Arthur looked over his shoulder, watching Eames watch him, taking in the view before his fingers dug in and pulled back only to slam back inside him.

It was frantic and hard, the entire desk rattling with every thrust, skin slapping against skin and Arthur’s moans echoing throughout the warehouse. Eames growled, his breathing heavy and harsh as he took Arthur rough, burning off all the stress from earlier, knowing Arthur needed this as much as he did. If he even started to slow down a little, he felt Arthur reach back, grabbing his thigh, pulling him back, his fingers scratching at him, demanding he keep the brutal pace so Eames did.

When Arthur came, he came with a scream, the sound tortured and ripped from him. Eames lasted for only another few pumps before coming too and he caught himself, one of his hands resting on the table, the other still holding onto Arthur. He gave a few more weak rolls of his hips, loving the feel of his come inside Arthur, dripping from the sides of his hole each time Eames pressed in and pulled out slightly. Arthur moaned weakly, again flat on the desk as he smiled a little, a bit of color in his face. When he was finally soft, Eames pulled out and began tucking himself in place as Arthur pushed himself up, pulling up his briefs, then his pants as he winced a little. Eames looked at him as Arthur shook his head, saying he was fine.

The next day, everything was as normal. Arthur come in a little earlier to clean up his desk but he said it was for work. The rest of the team didn’t notice anything odd until Yusuf was talking to Eames and noticed Arthur was walking around slowly, sitting gingerly, wincing if he bumped into things. He started to point it out Eames when he noticed the bite marks and hickeys around Eames’ throat and chest. Of course Eames hadn’t bothered to cover them in any way whatsoever and when he noticed the way he was looking at Arthur, he quietly put two and two together. 

Ariadne hadn’t noticed Arthur’s much more careful actions, though she did notice the hickeys all over Eames’ neck.

"Apparently someone got lucky last night."

Arthur looked alarmed for a second before he said,

"Excuse me?"

"Eames. He’s got hickeys all over. Look he didn’t even bother to cover them up."

Arthur gave a nonchalant shrug and when he slowly sat down, Ariadne watched him. A slow, all knowing smirk spread across her face as she nodded to herself.

Dom noticed almost immediately. Arthur was being weird, Eames looked like a high school boy and Arthur coming in early to do work was not abnormal, but the way he cleaned up and spent a few minutes readjusting his desk made Dom alert. 

When everyone had lunch, they sat around the designated lunch table, having their take out and talking a little. Ariadne finally broke the topic everyone wanted to know as she asked,

"So, how long you two been together?"

Arthur stopped and Eames ate more not to answer. All eyes were on them and Arthur took a sip of his water as he cleared his throat.

"How did you know?"

"Please, with your suddenly careful walk and Eames looking as if he’d been mauled? Not hard to figure it out." Yusuf commented.

Eames looked down at his chest a bit, adjusting his shirt though it made no difference. Arthur just sighed. 

"About six months."

"I knew it." Said Yusuf.

Arthur could only look at Eames and Eames just shrugged. 

"Now they know."

He was right so Arthur just shrugged as well.

Chapter Text

The way that Dom found out about Arthur and Eames, was not the way Arthur wanted him to find out. Luckily it wasn’t anything obscene (Eames still counted his blessings about that one, there had been many, manynights that Arthur and Eames fucked in their work space) but it wasn’t a good moment either.

It was one of those rare, quiet moments that they had to themselves in the office space they were renting out for a job. Ariadne had gone for a walk and coffee, the chemist wasn’t due in yet and Dom had gone out for…something Eames wasn’t sure. He had been too antsy in his seat to get everyone out so he could get a moment alone with Arthur. Lately they had been so busy that even in the hotel room they shared they didn’t get much alone time. It was usually dinner, a shower and bed.

When the door closed, Eames got up and walked over to Arthur’s desk, seeing he had stood up already and he put his arms around him immediately, kissing him. He felt Arthur smile against his lips and when he looked at him, Arthur sighed and said,

"I missed that."

"I did too."

"This job will be over soon..when it is-"

"Holiday on the coast of Italy."

Arthur smiled a little more, dimples showing up.

"Yes. Italy is nice this time of year."

"Mmm. Beaches, sun, late afternoon sex…"

"Don’t make me be irresponsible and ditch this job half way."

Eames laughed now and kissed him again and again, his arms around Arthur while Arthur’s arms were around his neck. It was when Eames heard the door opening again that he regretted not listening to where Dom was going.

He turned and saw Dom coming in, his steps slowing down before they stopped altogether and he stood and stared at the scene in front of him. His mouth hung open before he asked,

"What’s this?"

Arthur pulled away and Eames turned to face Dom. Dom repeated his question.

"What’s this? What’s going on here?"

"Dom, let me explain."

"Yeah, I think you better!"

Eames sighed and stepped away from the situation and let Arthur and Dom talk by themselves. He stepped out and got lunch for himself and Arthur and smoked a cigarette as he waited. When Ariadne came back with coffee for everyone, he stopped her from going to the boardroom where Dom and Arthur were talking. When she asked why, he broke it to her about his and Arthur’s relationship. He got to spend the rest of the time explaining everything to her, happily as she squealed, happy for them.

When Arthur was finished, he stepped out and called Eames over.

"Dom wants to talk to you."

Eames just sighed. Before he stepped in, Arthur took his hand and whispered,

"Please remember, he means well. He’s been my friend for years."

Eames nodded and he went inside the boardroom and took the chair Arthur sat in previously. He leaned back and rested his arm on the table as Dom said,

"Eames, look. I know Arthur is a grown man and it’s his choice to be with you. But you need to understand one thing. Arthur has been my very good friend for years. For years. I’ve taken care of him when he was younger, I brought him into this."

"I understand."

"So…I’m very protective of him. I want to see him happy. I owe him after all the shit he put up with on my part. So if you make him happy, okay great. But you have to understand my worry…your reputation…"

"No longer exists. I put all that nonsense behind me."

"Okay good. Because I don’t want him to suffer, I don’t want him to be upset or angry or miserable because of you. And I don’t want to hear some stupid bullshit about you running around on him either because…I know I don’t scare you. But remember, I’m this business, I’m considered the best in my section, despite all my flaws, for a reason."

He raise an eyebrow and pointed at Eames to make a point. Eames nodded.

"Understood."

"Glad we’re on the same page."

Eames nodded and then left the room. Everyone got back to work normally, keeping the discussion closed until they returned to their hotel room. Once alone, Arthur asked Eames what they had talked about.

Eames kissed his cheek and said,

"He’s just making sure I don’t cock it up with you, my love."

Arthur laughed a little.

"Good to know."

"He needn’t worry about it though. I’m in this for long haul."

Arthur put his arms around him, kissing him again.

Chapter Text

It hit him suddenly and almost so fast that for a moment, Arthur didn’t know what was happening. When he realized what it was, Arthur gasped and worried, the low rising heat pooling in his stomach as he ran his hands through his hair and he bit his lip. He wondered if he should bother making it through the day but just thinking of Eames back at the hotel made him tell cab driver to turn around and go back.

He was back in the room in a matter of moments, the heat spreading through him quicker than he anticipated and he was suddenly glad he was back in the room. He approached the bed, Eames still tangled in the sheets and asleep, but he stirred when he heard Arthur and he picked his head up, sleep still on his face, in his voice.

"Arthur…?"

The sound of his voice tore through Arthur and he was pawing at his clothes, taking them off quickly as he said,

"Eames…I need you."

He got down to his underwear and got back in bed and he kissed Eames deeply. Eames groaned, putting his arms around Arthur and turning him so he was on his back as he suddenly smelled Arthur. He pulled back and looked at him, his eyes darkening slightly as he licked his lips.

"You’re in heat."

Arthur nodded and Eames swallowed hard.

There was almost a frenzy in his actions, wanting, his instincts kicking into high gear, especially when Arthur was so willing and so submissive. His scent was exhilarating and he couldn’t get enough, he couldn’t stop burying his face against the juncture of Arthur’s neck, licking and biting different spots of him, holding his hands and pinning them to the bed as he rolled his hips against him, burying his cock as deeply as he could inside Arthur.

He could hear him moan, his back arching up to every touch Eames gave him, his legs locked around his waist to keep him in place, his fingers pressing down tightly around Eames’. It was too good…amazing and when Arthur came, it only took the edge off a little.

He urged Eames to keep fucking him, practically begging and Eames managed to wring out one more orgasm from him until he was close. Arthur’s legs locked and he rolled his hips, clenching around Eames as he sobbed,

"Stay, stay, stay, stay…don’t pull out…please, don’t pull out…"

Even through the fog, even through his haze, Eames managed to come through clearly and asked,

"Are you sure?"

"Yes."

A second later, Eames came, the knot swelling inside Arthur a moment later and Arthur gasped, shuttering through it, wincing a little as he was stretched out further than he thought was possible. 

When it was over, Eames braced himself on his elbows over Arthur, trying to catch his breath as he leaned down and kissed him again and again, locked in that position for a while. Arthur was still warm, still flushed over with fever as he moaned softly, his hand on his belly, running his fingers through his come. He pressed down and groaned.

"I can feel you…"

Eames just smiled at him.

"Good."

Arthur squeezed a little around him and Eames groaned.

"Hey…"

"More…"

"Don’t worry baby, I’ll take care of you."

Chapter Text

As Eames looked at the name on the prescription it seemed familiar to him and he thought about it for a moment, trying to remember where he knew that name. 

His question was immediately answered when the man came for his prescription…only he had a little boy on his hip.

"Wow…Arthur Cohen. I knew that name sounded familiar."

Arthur looked at Eames across the counter, his mouth dropping slightly as he said,

"Eames…oh my God."

"Hey…"

It was awkward for a moment when Eames’ eyes looked at the little boy on Arthur’s shoulder, sound asleep. Eames and Arthur had dated in college for quite some time since they lived on the same floor in the dorms. It had ended badly when Arthur wouldn’t commit and Eames finally cut him loose. He had missed him but after they graduated, he had lost contact with him…until now. 

Arthur looked down and then back up as he put his hand on his son’s back.

"Hi. I was just picking this up…"

"Not for you though huh?"

"No…for my son."

Eames nodded a bit, not at all disappointed but all the same, he felt a little heartbroken. Arthur was the one he felt got away from him and it was painfully obvious right at that moment that Arthur had not felt the same. 

"Well, it was good seeing you." 

"Yeah, you too." Said Arthur.

He took his son’s medicine quickly and left as fast as he could.

The next day, Eames was sitting down, going through his phone, doing his best not to think about Arthur again since he had tortured himself all of yesterday doing that. When he heard someone coming up to his counter, he stood up and much to his surprise it was Arthur again. He was without his child this time and he looked a bit nervous.

"Hey…I didn’t see anything for you."

"I wanted to come back and talk to you. I was a bit sidetracked yesterday. Are you busy?"

"Not at the moment."

Arthur nodded and swallowed hard.

"I um…I wanted to tell you…I do have a son. I was married…but we got divorced and now I have my kid now and then."

"Okay…"

"I just…I wanted to tell you that. Seeing yesterday was..it was such a shock."

"It was."

"It made me think about you."

"Me too."

Arthur then cleared his throat, looking down again before he suddenly looked up and asked,

"Oh…I didn’t…I didn’t even ask if you were in a relationship or anything."

"I’m not."

"Okay."

"You seem so nervous."

"I am. We haven’t seen each other in years and we had a past and the first time we see each other again I have a sick child on my shoulder."

"So…"

Eames leaned on the counter across from Arthur and smiled at him a little.

"Seems we have a lot of catching up to do."

"Yeah. I’d like to."

"Say when. My schedule is more flexible than yours."

Arthur laughed nervously.

"Yeah it is."

Chapter Text

He was still sketching Arthur while he was supposedly working on something else. His master was still busy with a previous commission but Eames didn’t mind, it gave him a chance to sit and admire Arthur as he sat by his father, watching him work.

Eames was working on becoming a master painter, to have his own studio, to his own reputation and one day live off his talent, but to get there, he needed to have an apprenticeship and his master had gladly, warmly taken him into his home to teach him.

While he was grateful for the home, for the tutelage, he was more grateful for his master’s son, Arthur. Arthur who looked as if he stepped from a painting himself with his curls that framed his face and his cupid bow lips. He was graceful with long limbs and slender fingers and Eames was just smitten. He sketched him whenever he could, sometimes parts of him if he was short on time, all of him when he was able - his sketchbook was filled with Arthur. 

When he didn’t notice him one day, Arthur seem to appear out of nowhere, quiet and light on his feet as he sat by Eames, his head tilting as he saw the sketch of his profile.

"Is this me?"

Eames, startled, covered his book as he said,

"Arthur…" 

Arthur just smiled and said,

"I’m flattered. May I see more?"

Eames slowly showed him the rest of the sketch, gauging Arthur’s reaction. Arthur was truly flattered, pleased even. And when Eames was given the chance to do his own work, he asked Arthur if he could use him as a subject. Arthur agreed.

Eames chose a time where his master and his wife were away and his master gave Eames full use of his studio. Eames set up quilts and sheets and pillows to give his muse comfort and when Arthur arrived at his father’s studio, he easily laid down on the makeshift bed, smiling as he let Eames pose him. He wore a robe and removed his shoes and tights when he got there and Eames posed him to lay on his stomach, holding a pillow to rest his head on and crossed his ankles. He had an idea to make him look like a scholar, bored of his books and began daydreaming - though when he started, he was distracted by how beautiful Arthur’s bare legs looked, how his hair fell over his face when he turned towards the warm summer day.

He immediately put down the line of the sketch, then began to paint, hearing Arthur hum and slowly begin conversation with him while he painted. 

Getting only the basic colors down, Eames soon abandoned his painting to sit beside Arthur and talk to him while he wore just the robe, distracted again as it fell off his shoulder. Arthur noticed. He placed his hand on Eames’ and softly smiled, letting the robe fall further down his arm as he leaned closer to him. Eames took a chance and kissed his muse, feeling a sigh of relief and pleasure as Arthur kissed back, putting his arm around him and pulling him down on the bedding he was laying on.

He knew at that moment that Arthur had been waiting for him to make his move. He realized that when he lifted up Arthur’s robes and found him naked underneath. 

He devoured his muse, lifting his hips up by using a pillow from the set up and took his hands, kissing him fondly, wanting so much to have him and now finally getting him. Arthur smiled softly as Eames cupped his face, moaning so sweetly when Eames thrust inside him.

"I’ve waited so long for you…"

Eames smiled at him glad he was naked against his muse to feel every bit of skin against him.

"I have too."

"You should have acted sooner."

When it was over, Eames lay on the bedding, with Arthur, kissing his bare skin, sighing to himself as Arthur slept beside him. He let his fingers run up and down his sides, he pressed his lips to whatever he could reach and now that he had permission to fully touch his muse, he wondered how he would ever get anything accomplished now. When Arthur woke, he sat up and sitting gloriously naked beside Eames.

"You’re a terrible distraction. All my work will be based on you and how you make me feel." 

Arthur only smiled, tilting his head to the side so his curls would fall over his face.

"Then I’m honored to serve you."

He then moved to his knees, climbing over Eames and sitting on his lap.

"Maybe I can continue inspiring you then."

Eames only groaned and held onto Arthur’s waist and felt himself hardening again, ready to take his muse once more.

Chapter Text

Tommy was shocked. He was stunned for a few minutes as Jon panicked and slammed his laptop shut, pulling the ear buds out of his ears  before tugging up his shorts as he said,

"Shit, not again…it’s not what you think!"

Tommy blinked once then again as he said,

"So…you weren’t jerking off to gay porn?"

Jon looked flustered, his hands coming up to his face as he felt humiliated again. Tommy had gone to bed after a long session, he was exhausted and Jon said he understood. But after a few restless hours, Jon got up and opened his laptop for a bit of distraction. He hadn’t meant to wander around to find some porn…much less gay porn, but one thing had lead to another and he was jerking off to a rather interesting scenes.

He had forgotten about stealth or listening out for someone else because the next thing he knew, he had gotten caught. Again.

But Tommy wasn’t Barbara and he wasn’t shouting at him or demanding explanations. It made Jon feel worse. 

"I uh…I just…"

Tommy waited for him to explain as he went to the kitchen, getting some water.

"You should have let me know you wanted to be by yourself. I would have crashed at my own place."

"No! I want you here."

Tommy just gave him a look as he drank his water.

"I just…I thought…"

"You got needs man, no need to get embarrassed."

Jon squirmed a little, feeling the heat rushing to his face. Tommy finished his drink and set the glass down, still watching Jon get flustered and start and stop again and again. Tommy finally spared him as he held his hand up.

"Listen, I get it. It’s fine. I know you were expecting some tonight and I came home tired. Next time, let me sleep for two hours and then wake me up, I’ll gladly fuck you senseless, you got me now. I understand this…"

He paused to gesture to Jon’s laptop before resuming.

"…when I’m training or at a match, but otherwise, I’m here."

Jon blushed even deeper and Tommy grinned.

"Come on Angel Face, I’m awake now. Let’s see if we can’t do something about that hard on of yours."

He held his hand out and took Jon’s, leading him back to the bedroom.

Chapter Text

It was getting into the winter days, the autumn coming to an end, all the trees bare and frost showing up in the mornings. It was darker sooner too but none of this stopped Tommy from his routine. Now that Jon went with him, he found he enjoyed it more.

They bundled up as best they could - without being overburdened with the weight and to not be sweating like crazy half way through. Jon learned that the hard way the first few times he went out on the run.

They both wore sweats and proper running shoes, Tommy in his hoodie and fingerless gloves, Jon in a fleece zip up jacket and knit cap. He still balled his fists up because he didn’t have gloves. When they were ready, they went out and jogged. Jon had gotten better with the run over time, no longer gasping for air half way through, no longer having a need to stop and catch his breath and he was able to keep up with Tommy’s pace, which for him felt like a huge accomplishment.

That night was no different. The sky was dark with a crisp chill in the air and it burned as they got further into the run. Jon could feel his face getting red but he kept his pace, his hands tucked into the sleeves of his coat as he kept his focus ahead. He only glanced now and then at Tommy, hearing him breathing, his footfall light despite his size and weight. Their breaths came out in long puffs of steam and Jon swallowed hard, letting out a gasp of air and suddenly Tommy slowed down, eventually coming to a stop and Jon stopped too, leaning over to rest his hands on his knees to breathe before he asked,

"Why’d you stop?"

Tommy waited for Jon to catch his breath, Jon noticing as he stood up straight, seeing Tommy still panting but he was looking up.

"Tommy?"

"I got distracted."

"By what?"

"The stars…"

Jon looked up seeing the clear evening sky, bright stars dotting the night. Jon had never appreciated the stars before, never caring enough to look up but with Tommy…he finally looked up. He felt his chest heaving as he tried to breath but he still took in the sight, admiring the stars. As he did, he felt Tommy’s hand reaching for his, Jon’s fingers peeking out from the sleeves - Tommy took his fingers, then his hand, their fingers sliding against each other’s, palms touching, blocked only by Tommy’s gloves. 

Jon looked down at their hands and then back at Tommy who was still looking up and Jon felt his heart beat a little faster.

Chapter Text

It had started out as such a lovely day too. 

But suddenly as they walked down 5th ave, Eames suddenly felt Arthur freeze beside him and it was as if the good mood had been drained from him. His face became solid and unreadable, a look Eames had only seen when he had first met Arthur. That had been some time ago and for Arthur to suddenly have it now, made him wonder what had happened.

"Arthur?"

He was looking straight ahead as if focusing on someone and Eames looked and looked and didn’t see anyone until the man came closer to them. He felt Arthur take his hand and he gave it to him when he realized who it was.

"Why…Arthur. I thought it was you…but then again I wasn’t sure. It’s been a while."

Eames could feel Arthur shaking. But it was a slight shiver, quelled only by his grip on Eames’ hand as he said,

"Charles…"

Eames could feel the tension between them but his own anger was swelling. He knew of this Charles, this manipulative, abusive, anger driven, ex boyfriend of Arthur’s. Arthur didn’t like to talk about his past, but Eames was intuitive and he was able to piece together what Charles had done to him. From the scar that ran along Arthur’s forearm from a break that caused his bone to pierce the skin, the scars along his back and the back of his knees that caused Arthur great shame and refused to admit the cause of them. There were other things as well - the length of time Arthur made him wait before they slept together and when they finally did, Arthur seemed so nervous and self conscious. He shut down when they argued and sometimes just nodded mindlessly, as if to make the fight stop. From what Arthur did give up, he said that his ex was not good to him and he had left him after many years of Charles belittling him, putting him down, scaring Arthur half to death and making him feel awful about anything and everything. 

Eames held his hand tightly, pulling it behind his back as he felt Arthur lean on him. The moment between their greeting seemed like hours but Charles broke the quiet by asking,

"Who’s this?"

"I’m Eames."

He put his hand out to shake it and once Charles clasped it, Eames squeezed down hard, showing him his grip and making him wince. When Charles pulled away, he shook his hand out a bit and Eames said,

"Well, we’re on our way. We have somewhere to be."

He didn’t give Charles a chance to say anything further and he refused to let Arthur be around him a second longer. He moved past him, bumping his shoulder as they walked by and Arthur was still trembling a bit so Eames put his arm around him. He was proud of him, considering the hell that his ex put him through, Arthur faced him, calmly and not showing him he was afraid. Though now that they were alone, Eames knew Arthur was afraid. 

"Should we still make the visit?"

Arthur nodded, knowing seeing his sister was important. 

After the visit, which Arthur smiled and laughed and faked his way through, they went back to their hotel room. Arthur was quiet the cab ride back and Eames let him be. In their room, Arthur lay in bed, curled up, his shoes off, but nothing else. Eames left him for a moment while he changed and then got in bed with him, putting his arm around him. Arthur didn’t say anything but he leaned closer to Eames, sighing deeply at his touch. 

"Dearest love…please say something."

Arthur uncurled slightly and then eventually turned to Eames, sliding his arm under Eames’ side, pressing his face to his chest.

"I’m sorry."

"For what?"

"For…still reacting like this."

"It’s fine. I’m not angry with you. You did well at your sister’s."

"I was worried she’d know."

"Nah…you faked it well."

He rubbed Arthur’s back softly, gently, hearing him sigh softly against his chest. 

"I wish I never had to see him again."

"You don’t have to ever again."

"He’s ingrained in me…I’ll always see him."

Eames frowned, knowing he was right and he held him tighter and kissed his forehead.

"But now you don’t have to see him alone."

He felt Arthur hold onto him tighter.

Chapter Text

John wandered around the docks, glancing at his watch, his hold on the one suitcase he carried tightening with every step he took. He was early but still, he trembled in fear though he told himself it was cold.

John had left the church. He had left just hours before he was supposed to take his final vows to be a priest and he had spent the day buying his suitcase and preparing himself to leave. Others in the church had asked why he was leaving, but John couldn’t answer. He felt some shame in himself to tell them the real reason, but he also knew he was making the right choice. If he was really as pious as he thought he was, Bane wouldn’t have had a chance to sway him.

But he did.

It was evident as he stood in the docks that night, waiting for Bane and he wondered again what he was doing. He was running off with a criminal…a wanted man, a murderer, a psychotic…a monster. 

But even John couldn’t believe all the rumors. Bane was no monster. He had seen his humanity in Black Gate. He had seen it when he crept into his room and asked him to go with him. 

At midnight, John thought of giving up and leaving though he had no idea where he was going to go. When he turned again, he felt a presence near him and suddenly, there was Bane.

"You came."

John nodded, holding his suitcase tightly, his other hand in his coat.

"I did."

Bane looked happy though John couldn’t tell, his face still covered. 

"Are you sure?"

"I already left the church. I have nowhere else to go."

Bane sighed deeply, as if he was letting go of a breath and he stepped closer to John, putting his arms around him. John felt nervous for a moment but then he realized Bane was embracing him, so he moved his hand from his coat pocket and held Bane in return.

"I’m scared."

"You have no reason to be. I won’t let anything happen to you. And I will not do anything to you that you do not allow."

John bit his lip, feeling some heat in his face, realizing what Bane meant. 

When they began to walk, Bane taking his suitcase, John asked,

"Where are we going?"

"For the being, we are going to leave Gotham. We’ll need to recover our numbers, our funds and then return."

"You’re wanted here. Isn’t it dangerous?"

"Yes. But it’s dangerous for me anywhere. Why should Gotham be any different?"

John understood as they made their way to a large ship, a tanker ship in fact. John only saw one other person in front of the gangway, armed and alert.

"Barsad, this is John. John, Barsad."

John nodded to him, Barsad returning the gesture. 

There was a quick tour of the ship, where the mess hall was, the kitchen and where Bane’s room was. John was offered his own room, but he shook his head and said he’d like to stay with Bane.

The ship was soon out to sea, John watching Gotham getting smaller and smaller until it was gone and there was nothing but water all around him. He finally went back to the room, seeing Bane was there, unmasked now and John felt he liked him better that way. He sat beside him, picking up the black shroud that Bane bound around the lower part of his face as he ran his fingers over it. He wanted to ask why Bane covered his face but the answer was obvious. Bane looked at him for a moment, then looked away. John was again struck by his humanity. 

There was a long stretch of time before John yawned and said,

"I would like to go to bed."

Bane looked at the bed he sat on, moderate in size, easily holding two but there was no other place to sleep.

"Do you want me to leave?"

"Bane, I went with you because I was under the impression you wanted me to."

"I don’t want to assume anything."

"Well, I’m here. And I’m with you. I’m going to need time before we go any further but for now…I’d like to go to sleep with you."

Bane nodded in understanding and stood up to change for bed.

Once the light was off and John was in bed, he felt the bed dip with Bane’s weight and he lay close to John. John felt nervous yet thrilled to be so close to Bane. He turned to him and said,

"Bane?"

"Yes?"

"Will you kiss me good night?"

He couldn’t see much in the darkness of the cabin room but he could sense Bane hesitating and wondering if he should. 

Eventually, he said,

"Alright."

He leaned closer to him and John felt Bane’s lips brush against his own and he sighed softly, wanting more but didn’t push for it. 

"Good night."

"Good night."

He felt Bane put his arms around him, cocooning him in his warmth, in his protection. John had worried a lot about his choice, about leaving his entire life behind, but at that moment, he didn’t worry about a single thing

Chapter Text

Arthur was actually a little relieved when he arrived at the rented apartment he was going to have to share with Dom, Yusuf, their new architect and no Eames. He needed a moment to brace himself, to prepare. He hadn’t seen Eames in months, almost a year and while not unusual, he did count the time away from him because of pining.

Though he’d never admit that out loud.

 When Do pulled him aboard on this job, he went along with it, only because he knew Eames would be there. 

He started to do some research with the notes Dom gave him, met the new architect and when Eames came, he felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up. He didn’t want to look up, he wanted to be calm and casual. He was even dressed casually in his chinos and short sleeved button down. His hair was loose and he actually felt pretty good about seeing Eames again. 

However, he completely thrown off course when he set his moleskin down and stood up to greet him only to see…

Eames and his massive shoulders, trapeziums, biceps, chest. He was wearing a singlet that seemed to be painted on him, jogging pants, trainers and aviator sunglasses he took off when he came into the room. He set his bag down at the door as he said hello to Dom and then curled a smile at Arthur.

Arthur felt his mouth go dry. He wanted to ask immediately, what the fuck have you been doing? instantly curious about the muscle he was sporting. Eames had always been broad and muscular, but now he was defined, toned, every muscle brought to the surface. 

"Arthur, it’s been a while."

He went to hug Arthur and Arthur found himself panicking, mentally shouting that he would not be able to take being wrapped up in those arms - so he came off as stiff and unfriendly, immediately regretting it when he saw the disappointment on Eames’ face. He didn’t say anything else and stepped away, turning to Dom to ask where he should put his stuff.

Arthur couldn’t even look up from his work throughout the job. Eames seem to still wear the same clothes he did before only now, being twice his normal size, he looked as if he was going to tear through everything with any sudden movements. He felt too embarrassed to make eye contact with him for very long and on more than one occasion, Arthur had to stop himself from ogling his ass anytime Eames got up for any reason. 

He caught himself daydreaming. A lot. Often with an intense look on his face as he worried his bottom lip. He daydreamed about Eames fucking him senseless, about pinning him down and brutally taking him, leaving bruises all over his body, giving him an ache that would make him walk funny for days. It was excruciating and exhausting and Arthur wished more than anything that he could get himself under control. 

But it was difficult - especially with Eames being his roommate for the time being. Everything about Eames caught Arthur’s attention. The way he smelled, the way he ran his fingers through his eternally messy bedhead, the way he licked his lips, the way he smiled, the way he often sat around without a shirt in their room. Arthur couldn’t even jerk off - a crowded apartment with a roommate made that damn well near impossible. 

By the end of the job, Arthur wondered how he did anything because he sure as hell didn’t remember doing anything of value. He swore he was absolute shit at this job, his mind riddled with thoughts of Eames and nothing else. The new architect left as soon as he was done with his job, then Dom. Yusuf slept in and Arthur packed up his things as he booked a flight on his laptop and Eames was still sleeping. When he was done, he had a few more hours to kill and he sat down on the bed, looking at Eames sleeping, watching his massive back fall and rise again and again, his face peaceful, his arms looking all the more massive as they were bent to hold the pillow close to face. He swallowed hard and said,

"Hey…Eames?"

He reached out, touching his warm arm, marveling at the feel of his soft skin, his fingers tracing the black swirls of ink on his shoulder. He momentarily got distracted until Eames shifted and woke up a little, Arthur immediately pulling his hand back.

"Eames?"

"Hm? Arthur?"

"Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to leave soon."

"Okay."

Arthur waited again, watching Eames get comfortable again, ready to sleep in more. He bounced his knee a bit, impatient, not sure how to go about this, not even sure when he would see Eames again. 

"Eames…do you have something else lined up after this?"

Eames looked annoyed then as he sighed, his eyes open, groggy still as he said,

"No, nothing. I’ll be going home after this."

"Do you want to meet up somewhere?"

That seem to catch Eames’ attention as he sat up, the sheet falling away from his body and Arthur found himself staring. Eames swung his legs off the mattress and put his feet on the floor, the sheets covering his lower body as he asked,

"Arthur, you hardly talked to me throughout the job, now you want to meet up with me?"

Arthur looked down, feeling foolish.

"Nevermind."

He stood up, picking up his luggage after making sure it was closed. 

"Arthur."

Arthur felt embarrassed - a feeling he had been feeling a lot of throughout the entire job and frankly he was sick of it. He wanted to flee but Eames wasn’t letting him.

"Tell me where you want to meet."

He rubbed his eye, trying to get the sleep out and Arthur said,

"San Francisco. A couple of days? You have my number right?"

"Yeah…I got it. I’ll see you then."

Arthur nodded and took his bag with him when he left. Now he had time to go home and jerk off before seeing Eames again. He hoped things would go better next time…maybe Eames would wear a shirt to stop making him so fucking dumb.

Chapter Text

Eames had just finished brushing his teeth when he heard someone at his door.

Well, not someone. He knew exactly who it was.

He left his bathroom and walked to his front door where he opened it and saw Arthur standing there. He was wearing sweats under his bathrobe and he had a towel slung over his shoulder.

"Good morning, Arthur."

"Good morning. Can I come in?"

"You know you can."

Eames stepped aside and let Arthur come in.

They had known each other a while, neighbors for years and had gotten friendly with each other enough to invite each other over for dinner, drinks, coffee, whatever. One night, Arthur noticed the shower head in Eames’ bathroom, impressed with the sheer size of it, wide and looking as if a person could stand under it and get completely soaked. Arthur commented that he’d love to use that, hating his own, normal little shower spray he had to maneuver under. Eames joked back, saying he’d totally let Arthur use it if he could watch him shower. 

Arthur had thought about it seriously for a moment before saying okay.

"Arthur, I’m kidding."

Arthur shrugged and said,

"It’s a fair deal."

"You’re serious?"

"Sure."

The first time Arthur come over to use his shower, Eames was stunned and didn’t take Arthur up on the offer though he had left the bathroom door open. The second time, Eames did venture in and he stood near the door, peeking in, seeing Arthur had even left the shower curtain slightly open. 

After that, Eames just came in and sat on his sink and watched Arthur shower. It was usually quiet, but now and then, Arthur would just start talking to him as if it was normal. 

It didn’t really get sexual until Eames started rubbing himself through his pajama pants, watching Arthur under the spray. Soon, it just turned into a complete jerk off while he watched and still, Arthur said nothing.

That morning was no different. Arthur went ahead to the bathroom and when Eames heard the water start, he went to the bathroom, the door ajar. He stepped inside, the steam already filling the room and when he jumped up on the sink to watch Arthur as always, he found himself hard already.

Arthur had his back to him, his lean back curved slightly as he washed his hair, his ass round and so firm. When he turned to rinse the shampoo out of his hair, Eames saw his front like he had so many times already but he couldn’t get enough - all length and tone, Adonis lines dipping below his torso, a thin line of hair below his belly button, his cock lovely and cut. His thighs tensed as he turned again and picked up the soap, rubbing it between his hands to start up a lather. 

Eames was already lazily stroking his own hard on, sighing a little as watched him. It was probably the best part of his day, watching Arthur shower. 

"Why don’t you join me?"

Eames sat up from leaning against his medicine cabinet and said,

"What? Are you serious?"

"Haven’t we gone through this already?"

He smiled a little at Eames, already rubbing the suds across his chest. Eames thought about it for a moment before stripping out of his pajama pants and getting into the shower with Arthur.

Now this was the best part of his day. 

Chapter Text

There was always some level of neurosis when it came to Tom, Tuck understood that. He understand considering when they met, Tom was still reeling from a break up that he couldn’t let go of for a while…even after Tuck expressed interest in him. And they went out on several dates.

It wasn’t until Tuck kissed him that Tom finally shut up about his ex.

But now the other little problems that Tom had were springing up gradually, slowly. Tuck could handle most of them - it was just Tom worrying about nearly everything, stressing about work, complaining when things didn’t go his way. But now and then, Tom would say or do something that made Tuck worry about the future. Tom still didn’t know about Tuck’s son from his first marriage and any time he thought of bringing it up, Tom would say or do something that made Tuck think that he wasn’t ready to hear it yet,

Tom began to sense something was happening and he began to worry - which was never good. He worried that Tuck was getting bored with him already, looking for an out. It made Tom antsy. How could it be over already when they hadn’t even been together a month?

But that thought just lead to worse thoughts and Tom began biting his thumbnail in anxiety.

Tuck noticed his worry one day and he wondered what was running through his mind.

"Tom…what’s wrong?"

Tom was sitting beside him on the sofa while they were watching TV one afternoon and Tom’s leg was jostling as he bit his thumbnail. It took Tom a little while to answer but when he finally did, he looked at Tuck and asked,

"Do you want to break up with me?"

Tuck was taken aback.

"What?!"

"If you do, just say so. Don’t make me like you anymore if you’re just going to bail. If you want to, say so now."

"Why would I want to break up with you? We’ve hardly dated."

"Is it because we haven’t had sex yet? It is right? It’s not that I don’t want to, I’m just nervous."

"Tom-"

"What is it? What did I do? Are you mad about something I said? I fucked this up right? I’m too needy…"

"Tom."

He attempted to stop Tom’s rant because it seemed like the more he talked, the more he seem to convince himself that this was over. Finally, Tuck had to physically make him stop, grabbing his arms and getting in his face.

"Tom! Stop!"

Tom finally stopped and sighed deeply and looked down and Tuck let him go. Tuck sighed and smoothed Tom’s hair away from his face as he smiled a little.

"You could set records the way you to jump to conclusions."

"It’s just that…you’ve been distant lately. I figured you just wanted to break up."

Tuck made him look up and he smiled a little.

"I’ve been trying to figure out a way to tell you something. Not something bad."

He saw the urgency in Tom’s face when he heard Tuck’s words.

"This is probably the worse way to tell you this but…I wanted you to meet my son."

"Son?"

Tom sounded surprisingly calm when he asked so Tuck continued.

"I was married a long time ago. I have a little boy, Joe whom I’d like you to meet because I really, really like you. I just wasn’t sure if you’d take it well about my son and all…you have a history of not taking things well."

Tom felt a little silly then as he sighed, his shoulders slumping forward and he frowned a bit.

"I know. I wish I could stop."

"Eventually. I’ve gotten a pretty good hold on you. But what do you think?"

"I’d like to meet your son."

"You would?"

"Yeah. I really like you too."

Tuck smiled as Tom blushed a little and gave a little smile.

"Sorry I scared you. I didn’t realize I was being distant."

"I think I just panicked."

"S’alright. We’ll figure each other out soon enough."

Tom smiled and sat up straight again as he asked,

"So, when do I met your son?"

Chapter Text

Evelyn hummed to herself as she lifted up a mason jar in air for approval. Nearly all clear. She wasn’t fool hearty enough to take a drink, but she smelled it and crinkled her nose. Strong, but it was probably still good. 

She was nearly done, loading up the latest batch of shine when she heard someone crashing through the woods.

No, not someone, some one’s. A whole mess of them. She panicked - for several reasons, the shine, herself…and she did the best she could to cover the machinery and crate the last of her shine when the noise broke through and she was suddenly face to face with none other than the Bondurants. 

"Oh lord…"

She was afraid. She knew about all them boys. Howard, Jack but especially Forrest. She sat on the crate she had just closed up and tried to act innocent as Jack said,

"I knew it. I’ve been hearing something for a while. Forrest…"

Forrest just grunted and looked at Evelyn as she fiddled with her fingers on her lap. 

"Good day gentleman Bondurant. How does the day find you?"

"Don’t try to play coy with us. You’re on our turf! Forrest, I heard about this…this freak!"

Evelyn looked down and Forrest cast a look to his baby brother.

"Howard, take him home. I’ll take care of this."

"Home? Forrest!"

"Come on Jack."

Howard got a hold on Jack’s shoulder forcing him to turn and leave, letting Forrest handle the situation. 

"Sorry about that. My brother is uh…rough ‘round the edges."

Evelyn looked up as she heard Forrest speaking to her. 

"I was just…I didn’t realize I was so close to your turf."

"It’s a dangerous game you’re playing. A lady shouldn’t be runnin this kind of game."

Evelyn smiled, hearing Forrest call her a lady. She stood up, flowered dress falling to her knees, the stockings covering the rest of her legs, her dark brown wavy hair falling over shoulder.

"You won’t find me ‘round these parts no more Mr. Bondurant."

"Forrest."

"Forrest. I’ll just take my things and be on my way."

She picked up the crate with the last of her shine and quickly left, pleased that Forrest hadn’t stopped her.

The next day, Evelyn fed her parakeets and went back to the woods were her machines were, only when she got there, she wasn’t really surprised to find out everything was gone, only bulky pieces left behind. 

She made her way to the Bondurant boy’s restaurant, looking in to see if she could find Forrest and sure enough, he was cleaning tables quietly, an apron around his waist. Evelyn approached the counter and sat down, smiling when Forrest placed a glass in front of her.

"Mr. Bondurant. I would like to speak to you about that machinery in the woods."

"What machinery?"

"You know what I’m talkin about. That was my livelihood."

"It’s no game for a lady."

"While I appreciate the concern, you’re still taking bread out of my mouth. I have no other way of making money."

"You could work here."

Evelyn looked around and hunched forward as she noticed how many people were glaring at her.

"I doubt your customers would like to be served by the likes of me."

Forrest looked around, glaring at anyone who was looking at them oddly, everyone immediately turning back to their own business. He then looked at Evelyn.

"How can I help?"

"Give me back my things."

"I can’t do that. Plus you were on private property."

Evelyn glared at him and then pushed back from the bar.

"Fine."

"Miss Evelyn…"

"What?"

Forrest was silent now, looking down at the bar. Evelyn went back and leaned down, whispering to Forrest even though he was no longer looking at her.

"Forrest…I need that stuff. I got no other way of making money. No one here wants to hire me and those that do usually boot me by day’s end anyway. I’m living on the fringe as is and you’re makin things a lot harder for me."

"I’m sorry."

"Is that all you can say?"

Forrest grunted a bit and Evelyn stood up straight again. She was getting nowhere fast until Forrest said,

"I’ll think of something."

"I’m sure you will."

Evelyn left after that, afraid now completely muscled out of the only thing that was putting food on her table. She thought of what else to do, about moving again and at night while he was home, fiddling with her birds, she heard someone at her door. She looked at the door, the imposing figure casting a shadow there and she pulled her shawl up and over her shoulders and went to answer.

"Mr. Bondurant."

"Forrest."

"What brings you to my door so late?"

"I uh…wanted to talk to you about helping you."

Evelyn smiled a bit and stepped to the side, gesturing with a sweep of her arm and said,

"Well, it would be rude of me to keep you outside. Please, come in."

Forrest nodded, taking off his hat as he stepped inside and Evelyn closed the door behind him.

Chapter Text

It was the week of Valentine’s Day and while the entire school was buzzing with both romantic energy and bitterness about the “Hallmark holiday” Jon was struggling with himself.

He thought of doing something stupid. He always thought everything he thought of was stupid. But it was Valentine’s Day…he thought of telling Tommy. How he would tell him, he wasn’t sure. He knew Tommy wasn’t the type to freak out or even mock Jon should he discover that it was Jon, but he was going to reject him anyway. Who the hell was Jon anway that Tommy would even glance at. No one hardly looked at Jon anyway, why should Tommy be any different.

The day before Valentine’s Day, Jon wandered up and down the drug store card aisle and looked at all the different cards. There were funny ones, romantic ones, cheesy ones…Jon wasn’t sure what direction he should go in.

And then he remembered, hell, Tommy won’t know who it’s from, what did it matter what kind of card he got? So Jon read a few of them, skimming lines, trying to find the one that would say exactly what was on his mind. Or at least something close to it.

He picked up one card, with simple airbrushed flowers in white and shades of pink, nothing on the front and when he picked it up and opened it, there was nothing written inside and Jon bought it. He then spent the rest of the night agonizing over what to write inside it, starting in his notebook so as to not screw up the card and hating everything he wrote. He thought of copying a poem but then couldn’t stop himself from cringing at the idea.

Finally he decided something simple. Something direct. ‘I like you. I know you won’t like me back but I needed you to know.

It sounded a bit pathetic but at least it was direct.

Jon went to school the next morning early, before the bustle of the full hallways. He knew where Tommy’s locker was - of course he did. He had known and he loitered in front of it for a while, glancing up and down the hallways, every time he thought of sliding the card through the slots but then someone would come out of a class or through a door and he lost his nerve again.

Finally, after glancing at his watch, knowing he was running out of time, he held his breath, took one more look up and down the halls and then slid the card in. He winced, clenching his eyes shut as he let go of the edge and then stepped back. It was too late to go back now. He stepped back and then walked away, going to his own locker around the corner.
He returned when the bell rang and hung out around the end of the hall, glancing down to see Tommy going to his locker. Jon felt all eyes were on him, that everyone knew that there was a card in Tommy’s locker from him. He felt his heart beating frantically when Tommy got to his locker, spun the lock, did his combination and popped the door open, the dark red envelope sliding out onto the floor. Tommy noticed it and knelt down, picking it up and turning it over, looking for a name. Not finding one, he opened the envelope and took the card out and Jon felt like hiding. He actually did duck down a bit when Tommy read the card and then looked around as if he would find who wrote it.

Jon felt relieved. Now Tommy knew. And he didn’t know it was Jon.

What the moment just a bit better was how Tommy read the card again and smiled, tucking it back in the envelope and opened his notebook to slide it in and carried it with him as he closed his locker door and went on his way.

Chapter Text

Arthur had been trudging through life since his return. 

He hated his job, bagging groceries and he constantly felt fear, suffering from PDS, he faced constant worry, constant scrutiny, constant discrimination. He hadn’t asked to come back…yet everyone treated him as if he longed to suffer like the lowest dredges of society.

The contacts were thick and they bothered him throughout his day. The makeup made him look unnatural, at least to him, but he was told to wear it, so he did. He still hadn’t gotten the hang of applying it evenly, at times he left powdered fingerprints on anything he touched, or he didn’t wear enough and got those disgusted stares.

He felt grateful that he at least had a home, a roof over his head and income. Others had not been so lucky and when they came back were cruelly struck down again by the human militia who hated the suffers of PDS more than anyone else. Arthur was scared of them most of all. 

He kept his head down and went to work every day after getting his daily injection to keep him cooperative. 

He was lonely at times too, sometimes he would see someone that he would politely smile at only to get sneered at in return.

One day, as he bagged some groceries, he thought he felt someone looking at him. He felt worry as he looked up and saw it was the customer, the very human customer. He wasn’t grossed out by him, he wasn’t looking at him in a curious or morbid manner, he was looking at Arthur…fondly. 

Arthur wasn’t sure what was wrong with him. He looked at his hands, then at the canvas bag and saw he had not left any makeup marks. He hadn’t gotten any other strange looks so he knew he had enough makeup on so he wasn’t sure what the customer was looking at. He felt a little flustered and looked back down, continuing to bag until he was done. He gave the bag to the customer who still looked at him nicely and he was on his way.

The man was back the next day. And then about three days later back again. He bought fewer things, but he still had them bagged and he still looked at Arthur fondly. Arthur wasn’t sure what to do. 

When he was on his break one afternoon, he stayed outside, trying to stay out of the way since he wasn’t welcomed in the employee break room when someone approached him. He looked up and saw it was the customer from the previous days. He stood up as he saw the customer looking at fondly still, a smile on his face and Arthur looked down nervously.

"Hi…you’re Arthur right?"

His accent made Arthur smile a little.

"Yes."

Arthur looked up again after realizing he knew his name from his name tag.

"I’m Eames."

"Nice to meet you."

He was afraid to put his hand out, it was cold and it usually startled people. But Eames did - waiting for Arthur. Arthur did eventually give him his hand, shaking it, feeling Eames held his hand and didn’t pull back. 

"I’ve seen you here often."

"Yeah…I uh…I was trying to work up the nerve to ask you out."

"Me? You want to ask me out?"

Eames chuckled a little.

"Yes. Why is that so hard to believe?"

When Eames pulled his hand back, Arthur twisted his fingers around nervously and said,

"I uh…I’m…I have PDS."

Eames shrugged.

"So?"

"I just…doesn’t that bother you?"

"Why would it?"

Arthur could think of a million reasons. All the ones he had come to a conclusion himself and all the ones that everyone in his lifetime had given him. Did Eames not know what PDS was? 

"Are you seeing someone?"

"Me? No…no one."

"Are you…not interested?"

"I am….I just…find it hard to believe."

Eames still smiled at him.

"I’d like to take you out."

Arthur felt flustered again and finally toyed with the strings on his apron before answering.

"This isn’t a joke?"

"No…of course not. Why would anyone joke about that?"

Arthur shrugged.

"Do you have a mobile number I can reach you at? Or do you want to meet somewhere?"

"We can meet somewhere."

After setting up a time and place to meet, Arthur went back to work, still reeling from having a date.

He half expected Eames to not show up, but when he got to the coffee shop a block away from the market he worked at, Eames was there early.

They talked a little and then went to a movie. Afterwards, Eames offered to take Arthur home and once he pulled up, he asked Arthur out again.

"Really?"

Eames laughed a little.

"Why are you so surprised?"

"Because of what I am…"

"Arthur…I don’t care what you are. I like you. Just you as you are."

Arthur felt happy for the first time in ages. And for the first time in ages, he didn’t regret this second chance at life.

Chapter Text

When Arthur logged into his online dating account, the first thing he did was delete all the notices that started off with ‘hey sexy ;D’ because if he had to read about how ‘hot n sexi’ he was, he was going to lose his fucking mind.

He was left with three potential possibilities and deleted one right off the bat when it started normally then turned into a proposition for sex. The second sounded alright but when Arthur clicked on his name to look at some pictures, he found the guy wasn’t that good looking. He frowned a bit and looked at the last email. 

Hey saw your profile picture. We live in the same state too. We should talk if you’re up for it. - E’

When Arthur clicked on his picture to get a better view, his jaw nearly dropped. The guy was insanely hot and apparently the guy knew it since he had a lot of pictures up. Arthur had his pick to look at so Arthur clicked on a couple of face pictures - a black and white up close selfie, shirtless where his tattoos were visible, one of him and a friend making faces from a downward angle, Eames’ tongue sticking out, one of him holding a paintbrush while he stood in front of a house, another of him wearing a shirt this time, but wearing sunglasses on and apparently in a car. Another of him with some friends in the car, all of them looking as if they were howling. It made Arthur laugh. 

Then there were the ones that looked as if someone else took them for him. Gym pictures, one of his bare back, glistening with sweat, one of him flexing his arm as he looked over the bump of his bicep, one of him sleeping in the back seat of a car in a fitted blue shirt, a cap pulled over his eyes, a bunch of him and a gold lab. Arthur was interested so he decided to turn on his private messaging system and saw Eames was on, so he sent him a message.

'Hi, it's Arthur. :0)'

'Hey I was hoping you'd get in touch with me.'

'I just finished looking through your gallery.'

'LOL some of those are old'

The conversation went on for hours. They talked about their jobs, about Eames’ dog, about what they like to do on days off, the last movie they saw in the theater, favorite foods, travel plans and previous trips. It was a great conversation, one of the best that Arthur had ever had since he signed up for this stupid dating site. They continued talking over the next few days, every time Arthur came home from work, he went right to his laptop and talked to Eames for hours at a time. 

'Hey, can I call you some time? I'd like to hear your voice :D'

Arthur thought for a moment and tapped his keys. It had been about two weeks since he started talking to Eames and he had yet to feel anything bad about him. So he agreed.

'Sure. You can call me. :O)'

And then he wrote his number. There was a few minutes of anxiety while he waited for Eames to say something else when he heard the little popping notification.

'Can I call you now?'

'Yeah'

So Arthur waited, looking at his phone and when it lit up, he let it ring once and then picked up.

"Hello?"

"Arthur?"

The voice on the other end was soft, but deep and had an English accent. Arthur bit his bottom lip as he smiled and said,

"Yeah, hi. Eames…it’s good to hear your voice."

"Yours too."

They continued talking as they did online and it was strange how easily the conversation just transferred over so easily. When Eames laughed, it made Arthur bubble with his own laughter, loving how Eames sounded. Everything about Eames’ voice made Arthur smile and he scrolled through Eames’ gallery while they talked, trying to imagine that voice coming from that mouth. 

They kept up talking online, exchanging text messages, calling each other in the evenings and a few months later, Eames suggested they meet up physically. 

"We should meet face to face."

"I’d like that."

"Yeah…I think it would be great."

Arthur could only agree. 

After deciding on a time and place, all Arthur could do was count down to the weekend. He was more excited that nervous and when the day came, he showed up a little early and waited, sending Eames a text to let him know he was there. 

'Me too. Is that you at the window?'

Arthur looked up to see Eames right outside on the sidewalk in front of the cafe. He was in jeans and a grey shirt and trainers, a baseball cap on his head, completely casual and just like some of the photos in his gallery. 

'Yeah it's me.'

Eames looked up and smiled at him and Arthur waved to him and stood up when Eames came over, walking over to him.

"Hi."

"Hi."

Arthur was pleased to see everything matching up nicely, voice, face, body. 

"It’s nice to see everything all at once." said Eames.

"I was just thinking that."

Chapter Text

It was Eames’ first time bringing his dog into the new vet. Having just moved from London to a whole new state seemed to be doing a number on his dog and after doing a quick search for a vet near by, he took Cass over. 

He sat in the waiting room patiently, petting Cass again and again, feeling him slouch and slowly lay down on the cold tile floor as he got bored. When someone else came in, Cass picked his head up and looked at the guy coming in with an armload of French Bulldog. The little guy was still a baby, creamy white with a big tan spot on his lower back and all ears. When the guy sat down, the pup on his lap sat up, ears perked up as he was suddenly antsy to get down. The guy put his down and Eames was surprised to see the pup instantly waddle over to Cass.

He watched the pup sniff at Cass, little nubby tail wagging happily and Eames thought he might have to break it to the little guy that Cass was in no mood when suddenly, his dog picked his head up and then stood up, coming nose to nose to the French Bulldog, sniffing each other and Cass’ tail begin to wag. The two dogs sniffed each other and Eames was surprised to see Cass acting like himself again. 

The guy who owned the tiny bulldog stood up and walked over to sit by Eames.

"Sorry…he’s still a baby. Everything is curiosity to him."

"It’s fine. He’s actually making me feel a bit better."

The guy looked at him curiously.

"Well, we just moved him from London for work and Cass has been acting lethargic and sad. Hardly eating…I thought it was the move but since your pup came over, he’s been…fine."

"Marcel."

Eames looked at him as the guy said,

"My puppy, his name is Marcel."

"Good name."

He smiled and Eames noticed how cute he was.

"I’m Eames."

"Arthur."

They smiled at each other as Marcel began jumping and running in circles excitedly, Cass running around with him. Their leashes tangled for a moment and Eames had to untangle Marcel from Cass’. He was glad the two of them were on the only ones in the waiting room since the two pups were becoming unruly.

When Cass was ready to be taken in, Eames stood up and took Cass by his leash, hearing him whine and cry as he was being pulled away from Marcel. The vet looked over at Cass, getting the basic health on him and he was healthy. After Eames explained all the symptoms, the vet nodded and said,

"Sounds like Cass is lonely. You should try to find a local dog park, getting him socialized."

Eames nodded and thanked the vet and after going back to the waiting room. Cass was once again excited to be reunited with Marcel. Eames watched them play as Arthur walked over to him and asked with concern if Cass was okay.

"Just lonely. I thought the same thing but I wanted to be sure…seems Cass has taken a liking to Marcel."

Arthur smiled at the sight of newly formed friends and then back at Eames.

"Yeah, I was just thinking the same thing. Maybe we should arrange a play date for them."

"Yeah, we should."

"Well…Marcel only has a check up. I’m free after this if you are."

"Yeah we can hang out until you’re done."

Arthur smiled and then had the task of tearing away his puppy from Cass so he could get his check up. In the meantime, Eames and Cass hung out in the waiting room and he pet and scratched his dog’s head, his tail wagging for the first time in days. His attention went to the door that lead to the exam rooms every time the slightest noise came from that direction. Eames knew his anxiety…Arthur was just as adorable as Marcel. As they waited, Eames whispered,

"Hope things go well with you, mate. Maybe they’ll go well for me too."

Cass looked up at Eames, his mouth open with his tongue hanging out while tail wagged excitedly.

Chapter Text

Ariadne batted her eyes at Arthur as she sat beside him, listening to him go over detailed plans. She smiled when Arthur looked at her and Arthur could hear Eames snickering beside him.

He ignored it and kept talking, despite how hard it was to ignore Ariadne when she purposely brushed her shoulder by his and slid her hand over his to point something out on the sketch.

When Arthur finished talking, Eames was still biting back laughter and Ariadne tried to keep flirting though Arthur was not at all responding.

By the end of the day, Ariadne tried to ask Arthur out for drinks.

"I can’t drink on the job, Ari."

"Ok, how about coffee?"

"I don’t have caffeine after five pm."

"Dinner then."

Arthur felt guilty about making Ariadne try so hard. He sighed and said,

"Ari, I’m already seeing someone."

"Who?"

She didn’t seem very convinced.

"Uh…actually, Eames. I’m gay."

She scoffed and rolled her eyes.

"You could at least tell me the truth. Why don’t you wanna go out with me?"

"I swear it!"

"Sure."

She gathered up her things and then flipped her hair over her shoulder.

"How about when you think of a real reason, I’ll believe you. Until then, we should have dinner."

She left without another word and Eames sat back in his desk, not hearing what happened, but watched the whole moment unfold. He laughed when the door of the warehouse closed and Arthur sighed, hanging his head before he walked over to the sofa where Eames was lounging, his feet up on the arm rest.

"So, what did sweet Ariadne want to know?"

"She asked me out."

Eames laughed and Arthur looked displeased.

"It’s not funny."

"What did you tell her?"

"I told her we were together."

"And?"

"She didn’t believe me."

Eames laughed again and Arthur smacked his feet out of the way so he could sit so Eames sat up.

"Arthur darling, if you wanted her to believe you, you should have asked me."

"It would be easier if you weren’t laughing at this whole thing."

"It’s hard not to. You’re trying so hard not to notice her clear and obvious pining."

"I just don’t want to lead her on or hurt her feelings. But even telling her the truth, she thinks I’m lying."

Eames shrugged as he put his arms around Arthur, pulling him closer.

"You’ll gradually get through. Until then, just keep professional."

Arthur rolled his eyes as if he hadn’t been doing that already. Eames kept pulling him and nudging him over that he finally managed to get Arthur to lay on him while he laid back on the couch. He put his arms around him, kissing him and Arthur looked up a bit and said,

"Let’s just go back to the room. I don’t want to make out on this couch. It’ll lead to nowhere."

"Oh, it can easily lead somewhere, my love."

"Not where we work."

Eames laughed and started helping Arthur up when they both saw Ariadne standing by the door. They weren’t sure how long she had been there but she looked a little stunned. Arthur froze for a moment and then said,

"I told you I wasn’t lying."

Ariadne blushed for a moment and cleared her throat as she said,

"Guess that means dinner is off."

Chapter Text

Eames huffed a bit, turning from the mirror to look at himself from the side.

He still wasn’t showing - of course not it had only been a few days, short of a week.

He also hadn’t told Arthur just yet. He was a little nervous about it, he and Arthur, while together for some time, had not really discussed the next step. Marriage, babies, house with a white picket fence and a dog. But of course they skipped a step. Now Eames was knocked up.

He needed to tell Arthur. If only to find out what step he should take next. No matter what, he wanted this baby. If Arthur didn’t then it was time to move on. No way he was going to waste his life with a man who wouldn’t move ahead. 

When he heard Arthur coming home, Eames quickly dropped his shirt back over his still flat stomach while he thought of ways to tell him.

It was a couple of days later, three days before Eames was two weeks in and he finally had settled on surprising Arthur to gauge his reaction. If he reacted poorly…well then Eames knew what to do.

He finally decided to tell Arthur by slipping him the sonogram in the mail. Usually, Arthur picked up the  mail and went through it before going about his day but that afternoon, Eames picked it up, sliding the film among the envelopes and gave it to Arthur and then waited.

He watched him flip through unimportant letters and notices and before he reached the end of the pile, the black film with the blurred lines of their child was in his hands. Arthur dropped everything else as he looked at Eames.

"What’s this?"

Eames tried to gauge his reaction, wondering if he was angry or shocked.

"It’s a sonogram."

"Yes, I see that, but why is it in the mail?"

"It’s…my sonogram."

Arthur looked as if he was going to faint so Eames got up, walking Arthur over to the sofa and made him sit. After a moment, Arthur’s eyes never off the sonogram, asked,

"How far along?"

"About two weeks."

Arthur swallowed hard and finally looked at Eames.

"You’re…with our…"

Eames nodded.

Arthur suddenly smiled and put his arms around Eames - settling his fears and worry.

Over the next couple of weeks, gradually turning into months, Eames’ stomach gradually rounding out, Arthur began setting up plans. 

Ever meticulous, ever ready, ever planning ahead Arthur had set up something of a chart with plans for things their future child would need, how he or she would advance, when they needed to go to school, what they would need. Arthur bought only the basic of books and planned off those. Eames watched him and said nothing, just let Arthur plan ahead.

He felt foolish for ever thinking Arthur wouldn’t want any of this.

Chapter Text

John Blake just finished training. He was excited and nervous and worried but he knew what he was capable of and there was no more demanding job then that of being security for Bruce Wayne/Wayne Enterprises. 

It had been rigorous, tiring, strenuous but John felt it had been worth it. After doing the last of his paperwork, John was going in on his first day. He was being toured through by the head of Wayne Enterprises - though not Bruce Wayne himself. He and three other guards had made it through the screenings until this very moment and John felt proud.

After learning every inch of Wayne Enterprises, he was brought to the main boardroom where Bruce Wayne awaited. John was intimidated instantly by Bruce Wayne’s height, by his stature but instantly, John was put at ease when Mr. Wayne shook his new security’s hands, individually, learnting their names.

"And you are?"

"Blake. John Blake Mr. Wayne."

"John Blake. Good to meet you."

"You too, sir."

John smiled, feeling comfortable as Mr. Wayne began assigning the three guards. He wanted one to meet a new client downstairs, the other to stand guard outside and one to stay at his side. John was assigned with stay at his side. 

Mr. Wayne began speaking of a new client today from Santa Prisca.

"Ever hear of Santa Prisca?"

Mr. Wayne addressed John and John replied.

"Yes, sir. I’ve heard it was some kind of resort."

"Me too. So let’s see what this man wants."

John nodded.

When the new client was set to come in, security held its breath, John listening to the radio on his hip, hearing the other guards talk about client. He was massive - they said, their mumbling under their breath made John nervous. When the new client was at the door, he stepped in and Mr. Wayne stood up and John stood beside him, seeing the client walk in. 

It was like a mountain walking towards them in a fine cut suit. He was imposing and bald, with icy grey slate eyes. John felt himself swallowing hard as he heard,

"Mr. Bane."

Mr. Wayne approached him easily, his hand out as Mr. Bane took it, shaking it in return.

"Mr. Wayne."

"Please have a seat."

Mr. Bane sat down and Mr. Wayne wasted no time in getting straight to business. John, meanwhile stood by Mr. Wayne, watching the meeting take place, his hands behind him as he listened, feeling caught off guard when Mr. Bane looked at him. He trembled and then looked away.

By the end of the meeting, he heard,

"Alright Mr. Bane, we’ll further discuss this next time. As of now, we’re at a stand still."

John couldn’t even tell anyone what the meeting had been about. He hardly remembered hearing Mr. Bane’s voice. 

"Very well Mr. Wayne. Until next time."

"My security will escort you out."

Mr. Wayne shook his head and left the boardroom, going to the second guard outside the door. John hesitated for a moment before he cleared his throat and said,

"Mr. Bane…I’ll be glad to show you the way."

"What’s your name?"

John felt flustered and he couldn’t say why. His eyes looked down as he said,

"I’m John. John Blake."

"Well John, are you happy here?"

"It’s my first day…"

"Interesting."

John didn’t say anything else and looked up again, seeing Mr. Bane’s eyes looking him over, as if…as if undressing him slowly. John fought back the urge to blush. 

"Work here a month. The contact me if you’re unhappy."

John felt his mouth dropping and that time he did blush when he felt Mr. Bane put his hand on John’s face and closed his mouth. 

"No need to see me out. I know my way."

He left without another word but John followed him, walking behind him just as Mr. Bane reached the elevator and got in. When he turned around, John froze in his step and watched Mr. Bane give him a knowing smile just as the elevator doors closed.

Chapter Text

"Thank you, we’ll be in touch."

Arthur was pouting on the couch while his parents escorted yet another suitor out the door. 

Since Arthur reached the proper age, he was required to find a nice alpha mate, bond with him, mate with him and have children of his own. However, Arthur had to like the potential suitor…and so far he hated all of them.

The first one was a disgusting jerk that made Arthur’s guard come completely up.

The second was so docile and weak, Arthur couldn’t even believe he was an alpha. 

The third, the fourth, the fifth were so boring, Arthur didn’t even listen to anything any of them had to say.

After the eighth one, Arthur stopped counting.

His mother closed the door with a sigh as she said,

"Arthur, you’re making this very difficult."

"I have to like him don’t I?"

She could only sigh in response. Arthur’s father was no better in patience, also getting fed up with his son’s fussy behavior. 

After another round, Arthur’s father warned him.

"You’re coming close to end. We only know so many alphas Arthur. If you don’t pick one soon, you’re going to end up alone."

Arthur crossed his arms in a huff and looked away.

"I rather end up alone."

Arthur’s father scoffed.

"You might get your wish."

When Arthur was once again set up to meet another alpha, he sat in the dining room, drinking a cup of tea as he waited, listening to his parents speak to the newest one at the door. When he heard the approaching foot steps, Arthur sat up straight and suddenly…the scent in the air changed. It was different from before and Arthur swallowed hard and waited as his parents entered the room first and said,

"Arthur, we’d like you to meet Eames."

When Arthur’s mother stepped aside, the massive alpha man walked in and Arthur felt his mouth open slightly in surprise. He was beautiful and his scent was almost overwhelming. Arthur squirmed a bit in his seat before standing up.

"Good to meet you."

"And you."

Oh…an accent. Arthur smiled as he felt the color rushing to his face.

He and Eames had a cup of tea while they talked, Eames flirting with him oh-so subtly. Arthur didn’t mind, in fact he found himself leaning into it, soaking it up, loving it. When time was up and Eames had to leave, when his parents walked him to the door, Arthur followed, waving to Eames when he looked at him once more. 

The moment the door closed, Arthur said,

"Him. I want him."

His parents breathed a sigh of relief. 

Eames returned after that. Again and again, getting to know Arthur better, bringing him gifts, flowers. wooing Arthur with poetry and hand written letters of affection. Eames confessed he was relieved that Arthur had chosen him because he had been smitten the moment he saw the young omega. 

The first time they were allowed to go out on a date on their own, they spent the entire time making out in the back seat of Eames’ car, so much want and frustration pent up from the chaperoned dates. Arthur couldn’t believe how much he wanted Eames, he could feel himself falling for him quickly and he hardly could stand the idea of being apart from him a moment longer. When he felt Eames touch his bare side for the first time, Arthur wanted to tear his clothes off and have Eames claim him then and there. He nearly said as much but Eames was such a gentleman, he pulled back, tugging down Arthur’s shirt.

"We can’t. I couldn’t do that to you."

It just made Arthur want him more. 

Arthur would have dreams at night - dreams of Eames taking him, bonding with him, knotting him, making him carry his children and Arthur would wake up soaked and frustrated.

The entire courting ritual seemed eternally long, painfully long and time consuming but when the day came that Eames asked for permission to marry Arthur, Arthur was thrilled, knowing all his waiting and frustration would soon come to an end. 

Chapter Text

They couldn’t all be winners. They couldn’t all be flawless victories. And no matter how much or how hard Tommy trained, every now and then, he would lose. 

The night Tommy lost a fight, it was brutal. He had hardly stayed more then three rounds in a ring but this guy was a monster, just as determined and hungry as Tommy was. After the fifth round, Tommy’s eye was starting to swell, his breathing heavy and he was starting to sway but he wouldn’t go down. He wouldn’t dare fall. 

So his opponent took him down, Tommy saw it coming and tried to block it but instead, he managed to avoid having his nose broken and took it in the face instead, falling, the fight over.

It was nearly humiliating, Tommy gasping, trying to get up but his limbs refusing to cooperate. His team was there in a second. The announcement was made of who the winner was. It was the last thing Tommy could remember before he woke up again.

When his good eye opened he felt the sun from the dawn and he realized he was lying on a hospital bed and he felt like he’d been hit by a truck. His face was tender, his eye throbbing in pain and when he turned to look at the door, he saw Jon sitting in the chair near him. He had fallen asleep, his arms crossed over his chest, his head down as he slouched back in the chair. 

Tommy was relieved he wasn’t hooked up to anything other than a heart monitor but when he sat up, his head instantly killed him. He laid back down, wincing in pain, letting out an unintentional groan, waking Jon up.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah…yeah just my head."

Jon stood up.

"Do you want me to get a doctor?"

"Nah, I’m fine. It’s fine. Sit, sit."

Jon did, sighing a little.

"Fuck, you scared the hell out of me."

Jon’s voice was soft and he looked down as he shook his head. Tommy looked at him.

"Sorry. It wasn’t my intention. Why am I here?"

"You took a bad blow to the head. It was a precaution."

"How’d you get here?"

"Frank called me."

Tommy nodded, letting his arm rest across his stomach. 

"And you came right over? It’s not the first time I landed in the hospital from a fight."

"I was worried. Frank said it was bad."

"Frank says everything is bad when I lose a fight."

Jon inched his chair a little closer, pausing to turn away only to yawn. 

"I’ll stick around until you’re discharged."

"You don’t have to. You stayed here all night."

"I want to."

Jon took Tommy’s hand and smiled, despite how tired he looked. Tommy held it in return.

Chapter Text

Arthur had always been intimidated by his boss. He was devastatingly handsome but he also exuded this aura of power and dominance that made Arthur tremble if he looked into his eyes. Mr. Eames was broad and his hands, as soft looking as they were on top, looked like they could easily break you and bruise you. His eyes could go from warm and inviting to hard and dead in a fraction of a second. He himself was not an organized man, so he counted on Arthur to keep him organized and Arthur did.

He was essentially Mr. Eames’ personal assistant though he had been hired as a secretary and he was paid like one too. But he ran errands, picked up coffee, dry cleaning, dog food. He took dictation, notes, answered emails, party invitations, social events. He scheduled meetings, appointments, turned away clients if Mr. Eames was in no mood to see them. He also picked up clothes for Mr. Eames when he was given him platinum credit card and told to “pick up something for a party.” 

But all that, Arthur could handle. It was a matter of being organized and meticulous, which Arthur was. What he couldn’t handle was how he felt about Mr. Eames. He had been charmed by him almost instantly but he was afraid to say anything about it - scared Mr. Eames might take it wrong…but mostly it was just Arthur’s nerves. He would go to Mr. Eames’ office and feel the chill that always seemed to linger in the air and some times take notes, always on the corner of Mr. Eames’ desk so Mr. Eames could touch his knee. The first time it happened, Arthur had been so nervous and shocked that Mr. Eames asked if he was alright. Arthur said it was and it only escalated from there. 

Mr. Eames touched his knee, his thigh, always checking with Arthur to see if he could advance and Arthur always said yes. Always dependable, ready to please Arthur.

Mr. Eames had an upcoming meeting with a powerful company CEO coming up and when Arthur sat at his desk organizing and preparing notes, his intercom buzzed.

"Arthur, could you come in here for a moment please? Bring a pen."

"Yes, sir."

Arthur left what he was doing and picked up a pen and his moleskin notebook and went to Mr. Eames’ office, closing the door behind him. Immediately, he felt the chill in the air and when he went to Mr. Eames’ desk, he sat down on the corner close to him and prepared himself to write for the meeting agenda. Arthur shivered as he sat down on Mr. Eames’ desk and looked at his boss as he saw his eyes on his chest. Arthur felt the heat rushing to his face as he realized his nipples were hard and perking up under his cotton button down. 

Arthur only took a few sentences down when he felt Mr. Eames’ hand on his knee. It slid up to the inseam of Arthur’s pants and he bit his lip. When Mr. Eames stood up, he took the book from Arthur’s hands, setting it aside as Arthur felt nervous again. It hadn’t been the first time Mr. Eames made inappropriate passes at him, but he hadn’t advanced so far before. Arthur looked down, not sure what to do with his hands as Mr. Eames tugged at the base of Arthur’s tie, loosening it before he reached for the bottom of Arthur’s shirt, untucking it from his pants.

"Is this alright?"

Arthur swallowed hard and looked up at Mr. Eames’ face and he knew he wanted whatever he was willing to give him.

"Yes…"

Arthur moaned as he lay on his back on Mr. Eames’ desk. He hadn’t knocked over a thing, Arthur refusing to make a mess. His shoes, pants and tie had been removed, his button down still on to protect him from the cold. He held onto Mr. Eames’ arms, he was still dressed with the exception of his jacket, his tie thrown over his shoulder as he unzipped his pants to take his cock out, fucking Arthur as he stood between his thighs. He held his hips to pull him forward, Arthur’s legs around his waist as he groaned, his strong fingers digging bruises into Arthur’s skin. 

Arthur felt warm, but the cold air conditioning kissed his skin and made him shiver every time, his nipples still hard and a target for Eames each time he leaned down close enough, nipping at them, his tongue flicking over each tender little bud. Arthur pulled Mr. Eames close to him, making him lean down and he felt no resistance, crushing his mouth to his boss’ feeling him give shallow thrusts inside him and he squeezes, feeling him moan against his mouth. Mr. Eames pulls back and takes Arthur with him, making him sit at the very edge of his desk so Arthur could move now and Arthur does, putting his arm around Mr. Eames’ neck, the other on the desk for leverage, meeting each other half way and Arthur sobs, hearing Mr. Eames’ heavy breathing near his ear, the edge of the desk cutting into his sick, his legs tight around his waist as he rolled his hips downwards, feeling Mr. Eames’ thrust upwards.

"Darling boy…fuck…I want you so bad…"

Arthur felt blush again, biting his bottom lip as he pulls himself closer to his boss, feeling his movements speed up as Arthur cried out, his fingers clenching into the back of Mr. Eames’ shirt until he came.

It took him nearly by surprise, his entire body shuttering as he felt his stomach shaking, caving into itself as his eyes closed, feeling the orgasm crash into him. He felt Mr. Eames lay him back and he lifted up Arthur’s legs from his waist and held onto his thighs as he gave a few more thrusts, grunting until he came too. Arthur hated himself for wishing he could have felt it. 

When Mr. Eames pulled out, Arthur closed his legs, modesty making him sit up to close his shirt and have some kind of coverage. He watched Mr. Eames remove the condom and thrown it out as he tucked himself back in place as he moved his tie back in place. Arthur slowly got off his desk and got dressed again. Mr. Eames was suddenly grasping his wrist, making him stand in front of him as he helped him button his shirt, then do his tie again.

"You’re the best employee that’s ever worked for my company."

"Thank you sir."

"Just Eames, pet. I think we’re past all the formalities."

Arthur nodded, feeling a bit embarrassed at how easily he had given himself over to his boss. 

"You’re getting a raise."

"Thank you."

When Eames finished he looked at Arthur in the eye.

"It’s not just for letting me fuck you either. I would have given you one regardless."

Arthur didn’t know what else to say so he smiled a little. 

"We have a meeting to prepare for."

Arthur nodded and once he got his shoes on, he sat back on Eames’ desk and picked up his moleskin again. Once he was ready, he saw Eames looking at him, a slight smile on his face.

"Once we’re done, should we go out to dinner?"

"Uh…ok. Yes."

"Great, be sure to make reservations somewhere nice."

Arthur nodded, a slight smile on his face as he once again resumed his work. 

Chapter Text

Arthur saw Eames around constantly. Usually he was with his friends in school, or in the parking lot. He was always in trouble of some kind with teachers, with the principal, with parents both his own and someone else’s. Their hometown was small so Eames’ reputation was everywhere.

He smoked, he drank, he sped recklessly in a suped up car he spent all his free time on. Arthur knew what Eames did and who he was and yet…he couldn’t keep his eyes off him.

Once, just once, while Arthur waited for his mother to pick him up from school, Eames stepped out from the principal’s office and saw Arthur. He walked over to him, as slight smile on his face as Arthur blushed and looked away.

"Hey. You need a ride home?"

Arthur was surprised Eames asked. They had never spoken before.

"Oh, I have one…I’m just-"

"Arthur!"

They both turned to see Arthur’s mother just pulled up and she called out to him. Arthur looked at Eames.

"Gotta go…"

Eames nodded and Arthur ran off.

In the car, his mother scolded him, telling him again and again not to ever talk to Eames.

"He’s a terrible influence."

Arthur nodded, listening to her, knowing she was right.

However, when Eames talked to him the next day at school, Arthur talked to him, bashful but excited.

"Are you doing anything after school?"

"Not really. I just go home…"

"Do you have to be back at a certain hour?"

"Usually my mom is home at five…"

"You wanna go for a drive?"

"Yes."

He was surprised how easily he said yes.

Eames did take him for a drive and as scared as Arthur felt, he also felt alive and excited and he smiled the whole time Eames raced them through the back streets of their town.

When he stopped the car and cut the engine, Arthur was still riding the high from the drive and he didn’t mind when Eames leaned over to kiss him.

He was shocked because Eames could have anyone. There had been rumors of course, but to Arthur it was just hear-say until that moment.

"Can you go out tomorrow night?"

"I can’t…I don’t really…"

"Could you sneak out?"

"I never tried before."

Eames kissed him again, cupping his face, sucking on his bottom lip, slipping his tongue into his mouth and making Arthur shiver. When Eames pulled back, Arthur said.

"Okay…I can try."

And Arthur did try. The next evening, he snuck out of his bedroom window and shimmied down the trellis on the side of his house as he jumped the fence from his backyard and met Eames just down the side walk.

They went to an abandoned parking lot and made out. Eames tasted like cigarettes and some mint as if he tried to cover it. Arthur never wanted anything so badly in his life and the more he had been warned to stay away from Eames, the more he wanted him. He was surprised that Eames wanted him in return, inexperienced him that no one could ever remember. Arthur blended into the background and he thought Eames would never even know his name let alone have his tongue in his mouth. When they broke for air, Eames tugged down the collar of Arthur’s shirt and began sucking on his skin, his hands sliding up Arthur’s shirt as Arthur gave a shaky breath, letting Eames do whatever he wanted. When he felt Eames’ hand slide down his front, his fingers going to the button of Arthur’s jeans, he mewled a little and said,

"Wait…wait…"

"Sorry…too fast?"

Arthur bit his lip a little, half pressed against the window and the back seat.

"A little…"

"Do you want to stop?"

Arthur thought about it for a moment but then said,

"No, no I don’t want to stop."

He pulled Eames back over to him, his hands moving down Eames’ sides cautiously, feeling Eames kissing him again.

"it’s okay…"

He felt Eames take his hand and guide it to the obvious bulge in the front of his jeans and Arthur gasped a little, wanting to feel more, to touch him better and he began to undo his jeans now, sliding his hand in as Eames did the same to him.

It only took a few strokes of Eames’ hand on his erection before Arthur came embarrassingly fast. He blushed and mumbled an apology but Eames kissed him to make him stop,

"It’s fine…you can just keep going…"

Arthur nodded, kissing Eames again, right below his jaw, the corner of his mouth, his throat and biting at his skin like Eames had done to him before all while his hand kept going, stroking Eames’ cock the way he liked to do it to himself. By Eames’ moaning and his hips lifting up into Arthur’s hand, he guessed he was doing it right.

When he came, Arthur watched him in awe and fascination. He had never witnessed an orgasm so close to him before.

When they were done, Eames lit a cigarette and pulled Arthur close to him, feeling him rest on his chest. Arthur was tense at first and then gradually relaxed, laying on him, feeling good and warm and…wanted.

"Do you have to go home?"

Arthur realized he had dozed off and woke up when Eames asked him a question.

"Hm? Oh, yeah…I should."

"Can I see you again tomorrow?"

"Yes."

He picked his head up to look at Eames and they kissed again.

When Eames took him home, Arthur was nervous again, looking down at his lap. He chewed on his bottom lip and when the car stopped, Arthur looked up at Eames.

"Um…can I ask you something?"

"Anything."

"Do you…like me?"

"Of course. We had a nice evening didn’t we?"

Arthur smiled a little, blush collecting in his cheeks again.

"I mean…are we…dating?"

His voice was small as he mumbled out the last word and Eames looked at him for a moment before answering.

"Yeah. We are. I’m sure your parents will love that."

"I won’t tell them."

"Okay."

Eames smiled and leaned over to kiss him again and again. When he pulled back, he said,

"I’ll see you in school tomorrow. Do you want to skip lunch with me?"

"Yes."

Eames grinned and Arthur said good night before he got out of the car, walking home slowly and excitedly.

Chapter Text

Arthur had that look on his face again. That uptight, bored with everything, impossible know-it-all face that Eames was smitten with. He knew he didn’t have much of a chance, but damned if he didn’t enjoy being sweet on Arthur, teasing him sometimes to get a rise. 

Eames was actually pleased when he came on board this particular job and was pleased to see Arthur. Then he was even more pleased when he discovered their chemist knew Arthur from their youth. Eames was very pleased considering how little he actually knew of Arthur.

He made nice with the chemist who went by his last name Jones and talked to him, hung out with him, took him out for some drinks and took their break together. Jones was grateful for the companionship and soon Eames saw his chance to get him to open up. Arthur was doing research in another room so Eames bothered Jones while Jones worked on some formulas.

"So, Jones. Word is you knew Arthur back in the day."

Jones whistled a bit as he set down the notebook he was writing notes in.

"Know him is the nice word. He had quite the reputation back then."

Eames pulled up a chair and sat by Jones, ready to hear about a young rebellious Arthur, or a cold, brainy, intolerable Arthur. Instead he got the shock of a lifetime.

Jones leaned closer and whispered.

"Arthur was a huge skank when we were in college together. He was the school’s doorknob, you know? Everyone got a turn."

Amusement drained from Eames’ face as Jones continued.

"He fucked everyone who looked at him. All the football players, if they didn’t fuck him got at least several blowjobs. Half the basketball team. Majority of clubs were devoted to just fucking him! Then oh man, there was a time during homecoming that in a frat house, he got double teamed by some of the fraternity brothers, the whole party watching on. It was insane. There was also the time he was fucking some guy under the bleachers during a game and when his friends caught them, he fucked them too. It was like he couldn’t get enough dick back then."

Eames listened but didn’t comment, just nodded as Jones went on.

"There’s proper word of mouth that he fucked at least two of his T.A’s and some of his professors to pass. In fact, that’s how he even passed one semester. Not like he did any work or showed up for class since he was getting banged in the dorm bathrooms. Huge whore. Holy shit I bet he still fucks around…probably has a great reputation in this business if you know what I mean. Oh fuck, did you fuck him? How was it? I heard he was really good. Lots of experience. I never got the chance, seems there was always already a dick in him wh-"

He was cut off when Eames stood up and threw a punch, right into Jones’ face, knocking him out cold. The commotion caused by his fall brought Arthur out as he saw Jones laid out.

"Shit, Eames! What did you do?!"

"I punched him."

"Why?! He’s our chemist! You just spilled half his components!"

"It doesn’t matter. Fuck this guy."

"Eames! What is wrong with you?"

"He told me about you. In school."

Arthur paled. The color drained from his face as his mouth dropped open. He stood horrified for a moment before covering his face up.

"Oh my god…I didn’t think he’d run at the mouth about that. What did he tell you?"

"Everything. Or as much as I could stomach anyway."

Arthur walked away and Eames went after him, leaving Jones were he lay.

"Arthur…"

"Eames, please. I’m humiliated enough."

He caught Arthur’s wrist, stopping him and making him turn around. They went into the room Arthur was working in before and Eames closed the door.

"Arthur, look. I understand that your past is colorful to say the least."

Arthur turned bright red and looked away as he groaned.

"But, I don’t care."

"Eames…"

"Arthur, I’ve fancied you for quite some time. Knowing this, doesn’t change my thoughts about you at all."

Arthur looked back at him, still red in the face.

"Really?"

Eames nodded.

"I don’t care what you did before. That was back then."

"I just…I don’t know. I wish I could explain it other than I was just a huge slut."

Eames pulled him into his arms, throwing Arthur off, making him gasp. Eames held him, feeling Arthur slowly bring his arms up to hold Eames in return.

"You’re still perfect to me. I still love every little thing about you."

He heard Arthur sighing deeply and felt his hold on Eames tighten.

"Thank you."

Chapter Text

Eames sighed deeply as his coworker, Ariadne sat beside him in the teacher’s lounge and stirred her coffee. He had a dopey look on his face again and she grinned a little.

"Did Phillipa’s godfather come to pick her up yesterday?"

Eames nodded.

"He did. He looked so good too. He had chinos on and a white oxford with a dark red jumper. He had glasses on too. He looks good in his glasses."

Ariadne shook her head.

"Uh huh."

"And he smiled at me again! Phillipa mentioned he was coming to pick her up today too. I’m glad I wore my good shirt."

"Mmm and your hair is combed nicely."

Eames nodded. Just then Yusuf came in and saw the look on Eames’ face as he groaned.

"God, is going on about Phillipa’s godfather? I’m going to have my lunch outside."

Eames being Phillipa’s kindergarten teacher had its advantages. He had fancied her godfather since the moment he saw him when he came to pick up his god daughter. Since then, Eames did his best to find out what he could about Phillipa’s godfather, like his name, if he was seeing anyone, when he was coming to get her. Luckily, he learned that just asking the one, proper question could unlock everything he needed to know. 

That afternoon, Eames stood near the entrance of the school while parents and guardians came to pick up their children. Phillipa was standing with her friends and when her godfather came to get her, she ran over to Eames and tugged his pant leg.

"Mr. Eames! My godfather is here!"

"Oh, he is?"

She nodded as she took his hand and walked out with him. Eames let her, innocently and unknowing and when they met Arthur half way, Phillipa ran over to her godfather and she was picked up.

"Arthur!"

"Hey sweetheart! How was school?"

"Great! My teacher Mr. Eames walked with me."

Arthur turned to look at Eames, familiar with him now as he smiled. Eames mentally swooned, seeing Arthur in jeans and a regular t-shirt that day, sneakers, his hair messy and Eames wanted to touch it so bad.

"Hello Mr. Eames. Was Phillipa good today?"

"She’s always good. She’s my best student. She got a gold star today for manners."

Phillipa nodded proudly as she said,

"Arthur will you and daddy come to teacher parent night?"

Arthur looked confused for a moment as Eames explained.

"Oh, yes, parent-teacher night is on Friday. You’re welcome to join us."

"Well, I’d love to."

Phillipa cheered and Eames did too…at least mentally.

On parent teacher night, Phillipa came with her father Dom, her little brother James and of course Arthur. Eames had met Dom before, they had a long talk when Dom’s wife Mal passed away some time ago and Dom explained how Phillipa was pretty okay with it but things mentioning mothers usually triggered her. He explained how Arthur had been his best friend since they were in college and now he was helping out raising Phillipa and James. 

He greeted Dom and Arthur and went over school things with him and Arthur, Phillipa standing proudly beside them because she was a good student and a good girl. When he was done and Phillipa took her brother around to show off her class, Dom went with them and Arthur stayed behind. Arthur wore nice dress pants that night along with a soft grey button down with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. His hair was neatly combed and Eames was glad he was dressed nicely himself. 

"So, how are things?"

Eames was surprised to hear Arthur just chat with him normally.

"Things are well. And yourself?"

"Good. Just work…taking care of Phillipa and James. I’m glad she’s doing so well."

"Yeah, she’s brilliant."

Arthur smiled again as he watched Phillipa and James, Dom following them around. When it was time for them to go, Arthur smiled warmly at Eames and said good night.

The next school day, Eames was back in the teacher’s lounge, same dopey look on his face as Ariadne looked at him, shaking her head.

"You going to ask him out or what?"

Eames shook his head.

"Nah, he wouldn’t be interested."

"Sure he wouldn’t."

Eames just sighed. 

That day after school, Eames stayed near by and watched Phillipa until her godfather came to pick her up. Eames again walked with Phillipa and talked with Arthur again, smiling at him, seeing him in khakis and a short sleeved polo shirt, hair combed neatly again. 

"How was she today?"

"A love as always."

Arthur smiled at Phillipa and then set her down again, taking her hand as Eames looked at Arthur. He thought of asking him out then and there, but he didn’t. He said bye to Phillipa, saying he would see her tomorrow and she began to walk away with Arthur. 

Arthur turned to look at Eames as they left and he waved to him, Eames waved back. 

Tomorrow. He would ask Arthur out tomorrow.

Chapter Text

Jon was no virgin, far from it in fact. But when it came to Tommy, Jon was. He was aware of what happened in the bedroom when it came to two guys and he had spent a good part of his relationship with Tommy mentally building himself up to the idea. 

He had yet to cross the physically part of it. 

They made out a lot and Jon was into that. Anything more than was a slow and steady process. Everything made Jon jumpy but Tommy didn’t push. He waited and held Jon’s hand through everything. The first time Tommy went to blow him, Jon was so nervous, he couldn’t look, his breathing frantic and when he felt Tommy’s mouth on him, he lost his hard on. It was humiliating for him but Tommy was patient and didn’t judge him for it. 

After nearly a year, Jon felt ready enough. They had jumped all but the last hurdle and he had done his own research, finally growing comfortable with the whole idea of having sex with a man.

Tommy wasn’t so sure however. 

"You don’t sound ready."

"I am. I think we’ve waited enough."

"The fact that you have to come up to me and tell me, makes me think you’re not."

"Come on. You haven’t gotten laid in a year. Don’t you want it?"

Tommy shrugged.

"It’s just sex. I’ve abstained longer. In the military, during training…before you."

Jon was almost impressed. This had probably been his longest time without sex.

He was ready though. There was condoms and lube in his nightstand, he was really horny and he wasn’t nearly as freaked out with the idea as he was earlier.

When it finally did happen, it was sudden and unplanned. They had dinner and Tommy went over to Jon’s apartment and they watched TV in Jon’s bedroom. Suddenly, they were making out and touching and Jon was turned on, he was excited and he wanted this.

Jon tried not to think about anything too much, he just wanted to get lost in the moment, of feeling his clothes coming off and Tommy’s skin against his. It felt good…and Jon sighed when he felt Tommy touching him, his own mouth busy on his throat as he sucked a mark into his skin. When their erections brushed by each other, Jon shuttered, his face warm as he bit his lip and he was pleased, so pleased that he didn’t freak out and panic. 

He did close his eyes when Tommy grabbed the lube. He did wince and clench up and doubt everything when he felt his fingers inside him and he probably looked so stressed out, that when Tommy started kissing him, his mouth searching for Jon’s he asked,

"Are you sure you’re okay?"

Jon nodded though his eyes were closed and he was gnawing on half his lip.

"I need to hear you say it."

"I’m okay…"

"Hey…"

Jon finally opened his eyes and turned his head and realized what he probably looked like. He was white knuckling the pillow under him, his eyes clenched shut as if he was trying to power through this when it was supposed to be something enjoyable. 

Jon took a deep breath, relaxing his hold on the pillows and nodded, really looking at Tommy.

"I am. I’m ready. I’m okay."

It took several minutes for Tommy push inside him, Jon couldn’t take the pain at first. After some coaxing, some waiting, some time for adjustment, Tommy was inside him. Jon shuttered, breathing hard, his heart beating frantically in his chest.

"Fuck…oh fuck…"

Tommy kissed him, feeling Jon’s arms around him, holding onto him tightly.

"Breathe for me now Angel Face…breathe."

Jon couldn’t help but smile when Tommy called him that and he tried to calm down. He tried to focus on the feeling of being so full, it was new and strange, But it wasn’t bad.

Gradually, Tommy moved. He went slowly, watching Jon’s face, gauging his reactions, watching as he finally, finally began to moan because it finally started feeling good.

And when it started feeling good, Jon couldn’t breath, the intensity building up, Tommy groaning above him and Jon forgot to think. He forgot to panic or worry and all he could do was focus on the fact that everything felt so fucking amazing. Tommy took care of him, moving faster or harder when Jon demanded, taking his cock in his hand and jerking him off in time with his thrusts, rendering Jon into nothing but nerves.

The discovery of his prostate made Jon lose his mind and he came after just a few brushes of Tommy’s cock against it. He couldn’t even think, it was the most intense, brutally blinding orgasm of his life and he lost all sense of time. It was almost as if he had blacked out afterwards and he was sorry he had because he missed it when Tommy came. 

After what felt like hours, Jon found the ability to speak again.

"Holy shit…that was…fuck…"

He heard Tommy chuckle a little, still above him, still kissing him softly.

"I’m glad you liked it…"

"Liked it? I think you ruined me forever."

Tommy smiled, gathering Jon up in his arms, kissing him again, feeling Jon weakly kiss back. When Tommy pulled out, Jon groaned, feeling uncomfortable and sore. He lay in bed for a while, feeling more drained than he ever had after sex and he felt Tommy get up, going around the room, shutting off the TV and then getting back in bed. Tommy held him, kissing his shoulder and Jon smiled, leaning back into Tommy’s embrace.

The last coherent thought Jon had before he dropped off was ‘this might be the one…

Chapter Text

Arthur was nervous while he waited for Eames to show up at his terminal at the airport. It had been a few days after their last job that Arthur invited him to meet up in San Francisco. Eames had sent him a text to let him know he’d be out there in three days.

It was five before he texted him again with his flight information.

Now Arthur waited and when he saw him, he felt his throat go dry. He looked good still, his jeans hanging low as always, a black zip up hoodie with the hood over his head, his bag in his hand. When he saw Arthur, he pushed the hood off his head, revealing messy cowlicks and he smiled.

He walked right up to Arthur, putting his arm around his waist and kissing him briefly on his mouth, stunning Arthur.

"Hi…how was your flight?"

He felt a little thrown off his game with the sudden kiss and Eames grinned.

"It was fine."

Arthur smiled a little, feeling flushed. Arthur asked if he had any more luggage and Eames said no. So they left and Arthur took him to his apartment. He offered dinner but Eames said he wasn’t hungry. At least not for food. 

One kiss lead to another. And another and the next thing Arthur knew, his clothes where off and he was holding onto the headboard so he wouldn’t slam his head against it. Eames was holding onto it too but only to drive himself as deep as he could inside Arthur.

Arthur moaned loudly, gasping for air, loving the feel of his thighs straining to open up against Eames,  he loved how his arms couldn’t wrap around the expanse of Eames’ back. He loved how effortlessly Eames picked him up, how he lifted his legs how he turned him over. It was too much. Arthur realized then and there how long he had wanted Eames. Now he had him.

When it was over, Arthur was covered in bruises and bite marks, beard burn along the insides of his thighs and along his collarbones. He felt Eames kissing the valley of his spine, his hand - huge and with callouses, strong and firm, rested on Arthur’s lower back. Arthur smiled his head on his pillow, his arms under it as he held onto it. 

"I’m glad you invited me out here."

"I’m glad you came."

He heard Eames snickering and Arthur realized what he said,

"Shut up."

Eames kept kissing his back, then his shoulders and up to the nape of his neck. 

"Why were you so cold to me before?"

Arthur snapped out of his post coital bliss as he turned his head to look at Eames better.

"You distracted me. And i was afraid if I showed you the least bit of interest, you’d see right through me."

"Ah."

"I’ve liked you for some time. I just…finally took a step forward."

"I’ved been sweet on you for a while too."

"You’re sweet on everybody."

"Just you, Arthur darling."

Arthur smiled now and turned on his side to touch Eames better. He rested his hand on his chest, toying with the dogtags Eames wore.

"So…what now?"

"Now…now we see each other. Work together and carry on until we reach the next step."

Arthur leaned close to him, kissing him softly.

"Sounds good to me."

Chapter Text

It was weird to be back on a first date with your ex. It wasn’t as if they hadn’t had the first date already. It wasn’t as if they hadn’t kissed or been intimate or gone through a terrible break up. 

Yet, for Eames this first date was more awkward than the first one they went on.

Arthur had invited him out this time around, saying his son was with his mother and that he had thought about him often enough that maybe they should go out. 

Eames was hesitant. He had cut Arthur lose the first time because Arthur was unable to commit. He kept saying he didn’t want a relationship, he didn’t want to be tied down, Eames wanted too much and was smothering him. So Eames told him to piss off and that he was an asshole for stringing him along as long as Arthur had. Arthur claimed he hadn’t strung him along, that Eames was projecting onto him whatever he wanted. They weren’t dating, they weren’t boyfriends. Eames was just someone Arthur fucked more than once. It was cruel and it snapped Eames out of whatever infatuation he had been nursing. They stopped seeing each other for a while and as much as Eames missed him, as much as he was tempted to pick up the phone and answer back Arthur’s texts a few weeks later, he remembered that it had hurt more to learn that he was nothing but a means for Arthur to get off. 

So he didn’t talk to him. They lost touch and Eames made sure to never see him again. Until now. Now Arthur was back, he was grown up. He had gotten married, had a child, had gotten divorce - which for Eames was a red flag if anything else. Apparently, Arthur still couldn’t commit. 

They had dinner out somewhere, a nice place that Arthur knew of and they talked a bit about school and what they did afterwards. Arthur had gone to law school and became a successful attorney. Eames had gone to pharmacy school, graduated and looked for something simple and low maintenance. 

"So if you don’t mind my asking, why did you get divorced?"

Arthur cleared his throat and picked up his wine glass and took a drink before answering.

"I uh…I couldn’t commit."

Eames had a slightly amused look, his mouth quirking into half a smile.

"I just…I never really wanted to get married. It just sorta happened."

"Doesn’t seem like you to just go along with anything."

"I thought it best for me actually and when I kept thinking I didn’t want this, I thought it was just me being childish. I learned three years later that no, I really didn’t want to be married. So we got divorced, split custody. Here I am."

Eames nodded.

"So…how about you? Anyone?"

"No, not really. School ate up a lot of my time. Then work."

Arthur nodded. It was quiet while they ate dinner, awkwardly looking at each other for a while and when they finished, they stepped outside and Eames put his hands in the pockets of his coat. Arthur looked at him and asked.

"Would you like to come over for some coffee?"

"Sure."

They went to Arthur’s apartment where Arthur made coffee for the both of them. It was a nice two bedroom apartment, relatively clean considering Arthur had a child. Eames sat down at the table and looked at Arthur.

"This is awkward."

Arthur looked at him and laughed a bit.

"Yeah. I didn’t think it would be so bad."

"Why? According to you, we never dated."

"We did too. We dated for nearly two years."

"That’s not what you told me."

Arthur paused and looked down at his mug.

"I didn’t mean that. I was just mad at you because you broke up with me."

"I broke up with you because you kept telling me you didn’t want to be with me."

Arthur sighed and frowned, still unable to look up at Eames.

"I freaked out."

"I know."

"I really regretted that. And when I tried to apologize I never saw you again. Your number changed, you weren’t in the same dorm."

"Yeah. I didn’t want to see you again."

Arthur looked hurt and brought his mug to his lips, taking a drink. Eames did the same. Once he finished, he began to stand, pushing his chair back.

"Well, I should be going. Thank you for dinner tonight. It was nice to see you again."

"Wait, what? Don’t go. It’s still early."

"Arthur, this is awkward enough."

Arthur stood up and followed Eames to the door, watching him put his coat on.

"Eames…don’t go."

Eames stopped and turned to face him.

"Why do you need me to stay?"

"Because…I regret letting you go the first time."

Eames stayed where he was and Arthur looked at him sincerely now.

"I fucked up back then. I freaked out because you cared about me so much and I didn’t think I could match it. We were dating. You were my boyfriend. I never saw anyone else when we were together. When you said you didn’t want to see me anymore, I panicked because I was stupid. So I lashed out and lied to you because you were hurting me and i didn’t think it was fair that I should be the only one in pain. Then you were gone and I spent the last couple of years torturing myself. Seeing you now feels like a second chance and I don’t want to blow it."

Eames sighed deeply, having wanting to hear that for the past few years. He looked at Arthur as fondly as he always had. He stepped closer to him, putting his arms around him and kissing him, feeling Arthur melt against him, his sigh sounding like a little sob when he broke away.

"This is our second chance. Let’s neither one of us blow it."

Chapter Text

When Eames arrived at the museum to meet the new Quartermaster, he had a chance to glance around for a while before going to the spot that had been predetermined to meet the new Quartermaster. He scoffed when he saw the young man sitting on the bench in front of a Monet and he put his hand in his pocket and tilted his head, looking at the young man, measuring him out, admiring how lovely he appeared in his dress pants, jumper, glasses and wavy hair. 

Eames sat beside him and looked at the painting before he said,

"You’ve got to be kidding if you’re who I think you are."

The young man looked at Eames and frowned.

"You’re older than I thought you’d be."

"You can’t possibly be the new Quartermaster. You still have spots on your face."

"Hilarious."

"MI6 must be desperate if they’re hiring teenage boys for the job."

"007 I’ll assume."

"Mmm. And you?"

"Arthur, your new Quartermaster."

Eames grinned.

From then on, Arthur was part of Eames’ missions, doing his research, his technology work, helping him break into systems, watching Eames’ back when he was out on the field.

While having a bumpy start on their initial meeting, Eames was impressed with how brilliant Arthur, how intuitive and bright he was. Everything Eames missed, Arthur caught and they worked extremely well together. 

Arthur held Eames in the same regard, impressed with his actions, his strength and his complete trust in Arthur. Eames possessed a powerful second sense, often guessing and feeling out someone new, somehow knowing who had the potential to sabotage or betray him - to Arthur, that was amazing because he often could not read people at all.

Of course, when put in a room together, they argued, they disagreed and made everyone around them sigh in deep annoyance. 

One evening, while Arthur worked, Eames joined him in the office. Arthur had his glasses on but took them off when he saw Eames coming in. Eames had teased Arthur about wearing them before, telling him he looked like a twelve year old boy. Arthur had already suffered enough teasing about looking his age and he wouldn’t encourage it any further.

"Don’t you need those?"

"No, I’m fine. My head hurts anyway."

Eames took a chair and pulled it up beside Arthur.

"What are you working on?"

"Just some encrypted files. Why are you here?"

"Just stopping in."

Arthur nodded, squinting a bit as he resumed his work though he was not working as fast as he was before.

"You stubborn twit. Just put your glasses back on."

"I don’t need them."

"Alright."

Eames sat there longer. Just to spite Arthur until Arthur sighed and picked up his glasses putting them back on. When he saw Eames looking at him, amused, Arthur flushed a bit.

"Shut. Up."

Eames smiled.

"You look darling in your glasses sweetheart. You should always have them on."

"You told me I looked like a child."

"I was teasing."

Arthur rolled his eyes and pretended not feel a little happy at Eames’ comment. 

When Eames stood up to leave, Arthur stopped and turned to him as he said,

"You’ll need to see M soon. She’s requested you specifically for an upcoming mission."

"As long as you’re my quartermaster, I can handle it."

Arthur smiled a bit, a dimple dotting his cheek and he turned, trying to hiding it before Eames saw it. 

Chapter Text

Arthur was on his way to the apartment the team was renting for the latest job. He was early and was already looking through some notes he took prior to leaving his hotel room when he heard a strange sound. He stopped, his senses alert as he looked behind him and around only to hear it again. It took him a moment to follow the sound coming from an alley. There, among some boxes, near some garbage cans, he found a burlap sack, a little nose sticking out of it.

A puppy. Someone had thrown out a puppy. Arthur gasped and then looked around, not seeing a single soul in sight so he picked up the small white and brown bulldog and tucked him in his coat and continued his walk.

He was late for the first time ever and when everyone gave him questioning looks, Arthur cleared his throat and said,

"I had issues."

Ariadne, Dom and Eames just watched him as Arthur set down the things he bought and removed the puppy from his coat. Everyone stood up and went over to look at the dog, Ariadne cooing and Eames trying to take him - Arthur letting him. Dom looked at Arthur and said,

"You bought a dog?"

"Well, I found him."

"You found him where?" Asked Eames.

"In the trash. He would have died."

"Oh my God, what monster would throw out such a sweet little thing?" Asked Ariadne.

"Can you still work? He seems like a distraction." Said Dom.

"Yeah, it’s why I got him stuff…to stay out of my hair."

But it was easier said then done. Arthur kept looking at the little puppy who had curled up in the corner of the bed Arthur bought, closest to Arthur. He also claimed Arthur’s cashmere scarf, which he didn’t even fight for. He figured, the pup needed it more than Arthur.

He fed him and pet him and Eames was no better at staying away. He loved to cradle the pup in his arms, kissing him and petting him a lot, helping Arthur clean up after him. 

"Did you name him yet?"

They were alone in the apartment, Dom and Ariadne had gone back to their rooms already and since neither Arthur or Eames could get anything done in the day, they stayed behind to work. Arthur looked at the little dog, gnawing on the one toy Arthur bought for him.

"No, not yet. I haven’t thought of anything."

"You gonna keep him?"

"I don’t have time for a dog."

"So what are you going to do? Dump him in a shelter? You might as well have left him in the trash."

Arthur gave him a look as he sat up in his chair.

"Don’t try to guilt trip me! And don’t you dare judge me!"

"I’m not judging you! I just thought you were doing a good thing saving him but you’re not."

"I don’t know why you bothered to stay here if you were just going to scold me."

"I’ll take him. I couldn’t stand the idea of him being abandoned again."

"You just assumed I was going to drop him off somewhere."

"You just said you didn’t have time for a dog."

"I said I didn’t have time, I never said I wouldn’t make the time. So you can’t have him."

"Alright. Good. So what are you naming him?"

Arthur got up and sat on the floor across from Eames and picked up the little bulldog, resting him on his lap, his nubby tail wagging.

"Well…he’s an English bulldog. So maybe something English. Like, Buckingham."

Eames laughed and Arthur smiled, liking that he made Eames laugh.

"What about a terribly English name…like Benedict." Said Eames.

"Rupert."

"Wallace."

"Wimbley."

"You win."

Arthur laughed now and looked at the puppy.

"Wimbley it is then."

The puppy wagged his tail in delight. 

Over the next few days while they worked, Arthur kept Wimbley close to him, Eames helping out with him, walking Wimbley when Arthur was busy, feeding him, keeping Arthur company when they went to the vet to make sure Wimbley was okay. Other than needing some shots and needing to put on a few pounds, Wimbley was okay. Ariadne was also there to help out and mostly play with him and coo at him, delighting in puppy kisses.

At the end of the job, Wimbley was completely healthy and had a collar and tags along with his bed, bowls, leash and a few toys. Arthur had been terribly distracted because of the little guy, but he hadn’t been alone. Eames was just as attached to him as Arthur was. When they were ready to leave and part ways, Eames frowned, picking up Wimbley and kissing him as he said,

"I’ll miss you little guy. I hope you remember me next time I see you."

Arthur looked at Eames and smiled a bit as he took Wimbley back and said,

"Maybe you can come see him soon."

Eames looked at Arthur now, a small smile on his face.

"You’re inviting me to your place?"

"Sure. Why not. Wimbley loves your company."

"You not so much though."

"You’re not so bad."

Eames smiled, petting Wimbley, scratching his head.

"Thanks."

"I mean it. You helped me out so much with Wimbley. You can come see him soon."

"I’ll take you up on that offer."

"You better."

He smiled at Eames once more before he took Wimbley and left to catch a cab.

Chapter Text

It wasn’t the first time Tommy listened to Jon introduce him as a friend. The first time it happened, Tommy let it go, not wanting to make a big deal out of it, but when he was introduced to Jon’s closest friends, Danny and Bobby as a “friend” that it really began to burn Tommy.

"Bobby, Danny, this is my friend Tommy."

They were nice guys and Tommy felt bad he couldn’t focus on the dinner at hand. A friend. He was still being introduced as a friend after dating each other for a while. Tommy really liked Jon and he thought they were making strides towards something serious but at that moment, it was made painfully clear that Jon was nowhere near ready to advance. 

Tommy hadn’t expected great declarations or huge displays from Jon. He hadn’t expected anything really. It was no one’s business what they were to each other, but Jon couldn’t even tell his friends what Tommy was to him. Jon had gone on and on about how important his friends were to him and Tommy had thought…well Tommy wasn’t sure what he thought. He just figured that if he had been some pretty girl rather than another guy, he wouldn’t have been introduced as a friend.

When they got back to Jon’s apartment, Tommy was angry and upset and frustrated. Jon noticed right away.

"What’s wrong with you?"

Tommy sighed and looked at Jon.

"You. You’re what’s wrong with me. Jon, what the fuck is going on with us? What am I to you?"

Jon looked taken aback and then nervous as he laughed nervously.

"What are you talking about?"

"I want to know what I am to you. Are we dating?"

"Yeah we’re dating…I guess."

"You guess?!"

"Well, yeah, we’re dating!"

"Then why are you introducing me to everyone as your friend?"

Jon didn’t have an answer, he froze and looked down at the floor. It was all the confirmation Tommy needed.

"That’s what I thought. Look, Jon, I don’t expect you to scream out to the world that you and I are fucking but if you can’t even tell your friends now, in this stage of whatever the hell we are, I have no hope for you."

"What’s that supposed to mean?!"

"I have put up with a lot! And all I want in return is just a little bit, just a little! I’m not asking you to run and tell your parents, tell everyone you know, but these guys, those are your friends! You’ve always said that those guys are your whole life, thick and thin but you can’t tell them about me. How do you think that makes me feel?"

"You’re not telling anyone!"

"I told my brother. I don’t have anyone else but you."

Jon got quiet again, looking nervous and scared. Tommy sighed deeply, pulling in some of his anger.

"I’m gonna go. Maybe we need a few days apart to think. I don’t want to force you into anything. You should just think about it."

Tommy went to leave and Jon looked upset but Tommy didn’t stop, he just left, closing the door behind him.

Chapter Text

Arthur was getting some coffee when Eames came into the little kitchenette space of warehouse. Eames was in casual clothes - which Arthur looked at but then didn’t really care about, not as if they were meeting with the mark or a client. 

He stirred his coffee when Eames nodded at him and when he was close enough, he kissed Arthur’s cheek.

They had some weird thing going on between them - They weren’t dating, they weren’t sleeping with each other, but they made out now and then, touched a little and didn’t really see anyone else. But Arthur liked him, Eames said he liked Arthur in return and they had a mutual respect for each other when they worked. The kiss on the cheek was nothing out of the ordinary. 

When Arthur returned to his desk, he went over notes with Ariadne and Eames returned, standing beside Arthur as he looked over the notes as well. When he bent at the waist to get a better look, he set his coffee down and Arthur was distracted by the fact that he saw the waistband of Eames’ boxer briefs. He didn’t wear a belt so his jeans hung low, his shirt sliding up when Eames leaned forward, the letters E. A - Emporio Armani, in black across the white waistband.

"Eames for god’s sake, pull your pants up. You’re not a child."

Eames stood up straight and tugged up his jeans but they slid back down since he had no belt.

"Nice undies." Said Ariadne with a hint of amusement.

"Thanks."

He lifted up his shirt, smugly as Arthur rolled his eyes.

"See that, E. A? Eames and Arthur. It’s like it’s meant to be."

He gave Arthur a suggestive look and Arthur couldn’t help but bite back a smile. He cleared throat as if annoyed.

"Can we go back to work please?"

Eames let his shirt fall back down as they resumed work.

The next day, Eames was in better clothes but Ariadne teased him and asked,

"Hey, got your Eames and Arthur underwear on?"

Eames untucked his shirt just a little to show off a black pair this time, the same letters in white this time. He again gave Arthur a look and Arthur rolled his eyes.

When Eames turned his back, Arthur smiled a little to himself.

The next time Arthur had a chance to be alone with Eames, they kissed in the little kitchenette space. Arthur purposely lifted up Eames’ button down and rested his hands on his hips, his thumbs brushing over the waistband of his boxer briefs. He felt Eames smiling against his mouth.

"You like my Eames and Arthur knickers, love?"

Arthur scoffed and pulled away so Eames could see that he was so super serious about his disgust.

"No. It’s stupid. If you wanted me in your pants you could have just said so."

Eames raised an eyebrow, a proper smirk on his face as he said,

"Oh?"

Arthur brought his hand up to his face, unbelieving his said that. Eames grinned, kissing him again as he said,

"Too late now, Arthur, you said it."

"Whatever. Anything just to stop with the whole Eames and Arthur underwear."

"You like it."

Eames went back to kissing him and Arthur was grateful because he really did like it…

Chapter Text

It was frustrating to say the least. For a few years now, Eames had been cheating on his wife with Arthur. 

At first it was fun and a little naughty so Arthur happily went along with it. But when things got more serious, Arthur started having feelings for Eames and he wanted him for himself. 

But Eames skirted the issues for so long and then eventually told Arthur that while he didn’t love his wife, he couldn’t leave her or the son they had together. Not yet anyway and that placated Arthur for a while.

But now it had been too long and Arthur was getting sick and tired of being Eames’ mistress. He hated how Eames still left in the middle of the night, how Arthur could never call him for any reason, how he was shushed in his own apartment if Eames got a phone call, how they never went anywhere because Eames couldn’t be seen with him. 

Arthur was getting sick of it all.

He told himself constantly to end it and he tried a few times, telling Eames he didn’t want to see him anymore, that he was tired of being his boy on the side, that he didn’t want to do this anymore but all Eames did was touch him, sweep him off his feet and carried him to bed and that was the end of that conversation.

Another time he tried, resisting even when Eames tried to calm him down the way he always did, but Eames would tell him how much he really cared for Arthur, just him and no one else, that he would one day, soon and Arthur fell for it.

He was so angry with himself, knowing he deserved better, knowing he should respect himself better, knowing that Eames was always going to do this to him and he would never leave his wife. 

But any time he tried to tell him he wanted Eames gone, Eames told him over and over again he loved him, that Arthur was the only important one in his life.

"You don’t love me. You don’t. You won’t leave your wife."

"Arthur, we’ve been through this I-"

"You can’t leave your wife because your son is too young I know!"

"Then why are you being like this?’

"Because I’m tired of being your second choice. I’m tired of being in a relationship within my apartment walls. I can’t go out with anyone! A very cute guy will ask me out and I tell him I can’t and he’ll ask me why and I tell him I’m in a relationship and if he asks with who, I can’t say, my married lover! It’s not fair! You won’t let me live but you won’t let me go either! You’re selfish!"

Eames sighed and he tried to take Arthur’s hands but Arthur pulled away.

"Go home, go to your wife. I don’t want to see you anymore."

He pushed Eames out of his apartment and he closed the door, feeling as miserable as he ever had but at the same time, a small sigh of relief escaped him.

It didn’t stay that way. Eames returned the next night with flowers and Arthur should have closed the door in his face but…he couldn’t and he felt ashamed of himself as he let Eames in and closed the door. He felt awful when Eames kissed him and told him he was sorry he was so selfish, he was sorry about putting him in that situation, but he said nothing about leaving his wife.

He felt pathetic when he let Eames fuck him again, his mind not at all into it, his eyes closed as he hid his face against Eames’ neck, letting Eames do whatever he wanted. When he came, he finished Arthur off afterwards and then laid beside him, pulling Arthur into his arms. While Arthur lay there, feeling his heart beating frantically in his chest, Arthur noticed Eames’ wedding ring still in place. Arthur just closed his eyes, bringing his hand up to his face, hating himself all over again.

I’m a whore…' he thought to himself. 

He sighed, moving his hand away and turning away, turning his back to Eames as he felt Eames turn over and spoon him, kissing his neck, his hands holding onto Arthur’s arms.

"I have to go soon."

Arthur nodded, not saying anything, just hating himself even more because he kept allowing it to happen and by the looks of things, he would continue to let it happen.

Chapter Text

Eames noticed that Arthur hardly left his desk at times. He would go to lunch and come back and Arthur was exactly where he left him. 

He figured Arthur was just busy, not even noticing the time since he was so focused on his work. So after a few weeks of this, Eames picked up his lunch and a sandwich for Arthur, dropping it off at his desk. Arthur looked up at him and then at the bag as he said,

"Thank you."

Eames nodded.

He did it again the next day when Arthur again didn’t move - then the next day and the next day after that, just making sure Arthur got some kind of food.

He started to notice that Arthur looked more and more tired, the bags under his eyes growing deeper. Usually Eames would leave at night and whenever he showed up in the morning, it looked as if Arthur had never left. The only thing that gave him away was that he changed his clothes.

He wondered why Arthur was so driven on this job. While Arthur was usually consumed, he had never seen him like this. 

Then it all made sense when he saw Dom talking to him. They talked normally enough, no shouting or angry gestures and when Dom left, Eames got up and went to Arthur’s desk, leaning against it as he asked,

"Hey, do you want to get lunch?"

Arthur looked up, frustrated and tired as he said,

"Oh, no I can’t. I have so much work to do."

"You need to eat Arthur, I know you’ve only been eating because I’ve been bringing you lunch."

Arthur sighed as he turned his head to yawn and then said,

"Dom needs all this research done and I still have to do this other-"

"Wait, you’re doing more work?"

"No, not more, Dom just needed-"

Eames walked away, unwilling to hear anymore as he went up to Dom.

"Hey, Cobb, we need to have a talk."

"Eames, not now."

"No, now."

Dom looked at him as he set phone down.

"Arthur needs a day off. I’m taking him to get some rest."

"We’re on a deadline!"

"Yeah, well you should have thought of that before you worked him into the ground!"

Dom didn’t say anything as he left and went to Arthur’s desk. He made him get up and as a true testament to how exhausted Arthur was, he didn’t argue and let Eames stand him up and made him leave.

Not a minute too soon either because Arthur passed right out in the cab that Eames hailed to take them back to the hotel.

He carried Arthur to bed and took off his shoes and tie and just watched over him, turning off his phone but charging it for him. When Arthur finally woke up hours later, Eames had gotten comfortable, his shoes off, his shirt untucked, his feet up on the other side of the bed that Arthur didn’t occupy. 

"What time is it?"

"It’s about nine. You hungry?"

"God, Eames…why didn’t you let me work?"

"You passed out in the cab on the way here."

Arthur looked a bit embarrassed as he said,

"Oh…:

"Yeah. So you hungry?"

Arthur nodded.

After Eames ordered room service and they sat down to eat, Arthur asked,

"Why did you do this?"

Eames shrugged a bit and Arthur looked at him, setting his fork down.

"Eames."

"I just…I like you."

Arthur smiled a little and resumed eating his dinner and Eames felt a little foolish but at the same time, he felt good. Arthur hadn’t run screaming in the other direction so..they were off to a good start.

Chapter Text

1.

Arthur was doing dishes listening to the baby monitor on the counter next to him. Their son had been asleep for about an hour so Arthur decided to do some chores in the meantime. As he finished up, Eames came into the kitchen, coming up behind Arthur and putting his arms around him. He started to kiss his neck, sliding his hands up his shirt as Arthur laughed a little and turned his head.

"Eames…what are you doing?"

"The sprog’s asleep."

"I know…"

"So, come on…a quickie."

Arthur was for it, shutting off the sink and drying his hands as he turned to put his arms around Eames, feeling his husband’s hands on his ass, squeezing him, lifting him up to the edge of the sink as they kissed deeply and hard. They started getting excited and into it when the soft sniffling on the monitor turned to a voice.

"Daddy?"

Eames pulled away and sighed.

"So close…"

Arthur laughed a little as he got off the sink, adjusting himself before he went to take care of his son.

2. 

It was past bedtime so they decided to watch a movie. 

The movie turned into a full on make out session, rutting against each other like teenagers, Arthur taking his shirt off as he kissed his husband, moaning softly against his mouth, keeping it quiet so they could enjoy each other.

"We should go to bed…" Eames whispered to him.

Arthur nodded and they started to get up, still kissing each other, Arthur grabbing his shirt to not forget it, Eames holding him as they slowly walked to the stairs, trying to make their way up without separating. Once they got to their bedroom, just as they were about to close the door, Eames heard,

"Dad?" 

He pulled away from Arthur and tried to hide the now very inappropriate hard on from his son as he said,

"Yes, darling?"

"Can I have some water?"

It was very hard to stay in the mood seeing his little boy in his feetie pajamas, his messy curls everywhere and a sleepy look on his face.

"Of course, go back to bed, I’ll bring it right up."

His son turned and went back to bed as Eames sighed and looked at Arthur with a shrug.

3.

Their son was in school and they finally had the house to themselves. They were in their bed, the door open just like before they had their son as they kissed deeply. There was lube already involved and Arthur couldn’t wait. He had missed Eames inside him, he had missed being loud and having a proper orgasm - one where he wasn’t rushing. Just as Eames slid his fingers inside him and he moaned softly against his mouth, the house line rang. They broke away from each other and Arthur sat up, picking up the phone.

It was their son’s school. Apparently, he was sick and needed someone to pick him up right away. When he hung up, he looked at Eames and told him. 

Eames only sighed and got out of bed to get dressed.

4. 

With their son being sick, a lot of their time was consumed by taking care of him. When he seem to be asleep while they watched TV, Eames sat up and carried him to bed, laying him down and hoping for the best.

Arthur was in the middle of doing laundry, baby monitor always near by, when Eames joined him, both of them exhausted from taking care of a sick five year old.  

When Arthur began folding things, Eames looked at him with a smile.

"You want to try tonight?"

"I want to try right now. I miss you."

"I miss you too."

Eames leaned over to kiss him and before their lips barely brushed, they heard their little boy crying on the monitor.

"So much for that." Arthur said with a smile.

5.

It was the weekend morning. They had both woken up early, taking advantage of the quiet hour and their morning erections. Eames had slid out of his pajama pants, Arthur doing the same as they kissed hard, Eames on top of him, rubbing against his husband as Arthur sighed softly, hooking his legs over Eames’ waist.

"Quick…come on."

Eames nodded, getting the lube from the night stand and as he opened the bottle to coat his fingers, they both stopped when their bedroom door opened and they heard their little boy.

"Daddy, I’m hungry…"

Eames got off Arthur as Arthur sat up and said,

"Okay, I’ll be right there."

Eames looked at the clock and shook his head.

"It’s like he knows…"

Arthur sighed.

"He shouldn’t even be up their early."

He got out of bed, picking up his robe on the way and putting it on before he went to make breakfast.

1.

Their son was at Arthur’s parents house for the evening. 

It was finally time for them to be alone. 

They undressed fast, kissing frantically, deeply. Arthur lay back in bed, spreading his legs apart as he said,

"Missed you…God I can’t wait…"

Eames nodded and he reached over, grabbing the lube, coating his fingers as he leaned down, kissing Arthur’s neck as he slowly slid his fingers inside him, working them slowly as he gently left a mark on his throat. 

Without even realizing it, his eyes slowly closed as he suddenly fell asleep. Arthur didn’t say much about it considering he fell asleep too, his arm still on Eames’ back.

Chapter Text

Arthur had felt off all day. He had felt tired for a the better part of the morning, then he felt warm by mid afternoon.

He was getting sick, he was sure of it. He felt sweat breaking out across his brow and down his shirt and by the afternoon, he was sweating through his oxford.

He undid his tie after removing his coat and rolling his sleeves up and then began pulling at his shirt, undoing buttons at his collar. He fanned himself with a file, panting for air, feeling hotter and hotter despite the temperature being normal all day. He was relieved he was by himself in the office, Ariadne in another room working on some models, Dom working from home and Eames out tailing the mark. Arthur should have been doing research but he couldn’t concentrate on a single email long enough to get started.

He drank water and sweated it out and drank more, sure he was growing worse.

When Eames came in, Arthur seem to sense everything he was doing even as he walked in, he swore he could hear every rustling of his clothing and he could smell him. Arthur froze when Eames got closer and then Eames looked at him, his eyes getting a little darker than before.

"Arthur…"

The growl of his voice made Arthur shutter and he felt it, each letter of his name rolling off Eames’ tongue as if his fingertips were walking up his spine. He groaned a little and Eames got closer to him, leaning over to his desk as he pressed his nose to Arthur’s throat as he inhaled.

"You’re in heat."

Arthur pulled back, bewildered as he swallowed hard.

"No….no I’m not. I’ve never been…."

"Well you are now."

"What do I do?"

"Arthur…you’ve never honestly been through a heat before?"

Arthur shook his head.

"You’re not going to be thinking clearly in a matter of hours. So…you need to get out here."

Arthur nodded, getting his things and when Eames’ hand brushed over his, Arthur shuttered again, feeling his knees shake.

"Eames…"

The way he said his name sounded so needy to his ears and Eames sighed, putting his arms around him.

"Do you want me to help?"

Arthur nodded.

They returned to Arthur’s hotel room in a matter of moments. For it being Arthur’s first heat, he held himself up pretty well until they got to his room. There, he all but tore off his clothing, kissing and rutting against Eames desperately, somewhere in his foggy, unclear mind he knew he needed Eames though he couldn’t think of why.

"Eames…Eames…"

Every kiss was like lighting a match to Arthur’s skin. Eames felt hot against his already burning skin and he would moan and clutch him so tightly that he wondered how Eames managed to get out of his own clothes.

When Eames slides two fingers inside him, it’s effortless and Arthur begs for more. He opens his legs, lifting his hips up for Eames.

He could feel Eames sliding inside him, stretching him out, getting him adjusted to his size and Eames moves after just a moment thrusting inside him almost instantly. He’s not very gentle, but Arthur doesn’t want him to be. Eames kept him pinned down to the bed, slamming into him, shoving himself in as deeply as he could. It was brutal and frantic and Arthur loved every second of it.

When he came, he came with a scream, his entire body shuttering and bracing down around Eames. He felt Eames still moving against him, his fingers digging into Arthur’s arms as he held him down, only encouraging Arthur to get hard all over again, whining as he felt how much the fever still scorched him and he needed Eames all over again.

It felt as if it lasted for hours. When Arthur was finally sated, his entire body warm though not nearly as burning hot as it was earlier. He was filthy but tired, Eames laying beside him, his arm over his back. He was still awake, watching Arthur as he gradually woke.

"How do you feel?"

"Dirty…"

"I mean your heat."

"It’s still there…but I think I can hold back on it now…for at least a while."

Eames nodded.

"You helped me."

Eames nodded again.

"Thank you…you didn’t have to."

"I wanted to. It’s not the ideal circumstances that I would have liked for us to start seeing each other, but…"

He trailed off a bit, bringing his hand to Arthur’s hair, stroking it away from his face as Arthur sighed deeply, leaning towards his touch with a smile.

"Yeah…I get what you mean."

Chapter Text

They started slow and easy, just random coffee dates, dinner dates, just kisses and nothing else. 

Eames hated to admit it but he was afraid. Arthur had cut him so deeply the first time, that he didn’t want to give him a chance to get any spot he may have missed the first time around.

He really liked - no, nix that, he loved Arthur. Arthur had always, in Eames’ mind, been the one that got away. And now with a chance to have him again, Eames felt he had to tread lightly. 

He didn’t meet Arthur’s son, Charles, for at least months afterwards. The little boy was all Arthur, just a smaller version of him, minus the dimples. He was sweet and lovable and took to Eames almost right away and that, Eames took as a good sign. When it was just the two of them, Arthur was relaxed and just as charming as Eames remembered. He longed for those simpler times of just hanging out in his dorm room, talking about everything before they started having sex.

"I remember the time I got locked out of my dorm. It was the middle of the night and we were going to sleep in my room but I fucking forgot my keys."

Arthur laughed at the time, Eames did too, recalling that exact moment.

"Yeah and we couldn’t go to my dorm at the time because of my tosser roommate."

Arthur laughed as he leaned on the couch, one leg drawn up as he was turned towards Eames. 

"Yeah…I remember we went to a twenty-four hour diner and had a plate of fries between us."

"Then we fucked in my car for the rest of the night."

Arthur still smiled as if remembering the night fondly.

"Yeah. That was a good night."

"One of the best."

Arthur reached over and grasped Eames’ hand. Eames looked at their hands and he held onto it as he smiled. When Arthur crawled over, he put his arms around Eames’ neck and kissed him. Eames let him, bringing his hands up to hold Arthur and pulled him over to kiss him back. But he didn’t let it get any further, pulling Arthur back as he said,

"We should stop."

Arthur sat back with a huff and shook his head.

"Why do you keep pushing me away?"

"We don’t need to rush into anything."

"You keep me at arms length."

"Can you blame me?"

Arthur looked a little insulted.

"You’re never going to forgive me are you?"

"I have forgiven you. It’s why I’m here. I just want to go slow, there’s so much more on the line now."

Arthur looked frustrated and shook his head.

"I don’t want to take my time anymore Eames. We’ve had lots of time in between."

Eames sighed.

"I care about you, Arthur. But you and I don’t have the best past."

"Maybe you should leave."

"Fine."

Eames stood up and left without a fight, wondering if he was making another mistake.

Arthur didn’t call for a few days after that. He wondered if leaving Arthur again was better for him or if it was just a mistake. When a week went by, Eames again tortured himself with the idea of Arthur when he looked up at his window at the pharmacy and saw Arthur.

"Hey.."

He stood up as Arthur looked down.

"I’m sorry. You’re right. I understand why you think we should move slow. We do have a bad past…I fucked up…and now I’m doing it again."

Eames sighed, looking at Arthur, wondering if he would ever learn his lesson.

"It’s okay. It won’t happen over night."

When Arthur finally looked at him, he said,

"Eames…it’s not that I don’t think we should rush. I just…really miss you. It’s hard having you so close and still nothing is happening and you look so good. You hardly changed at all."

Eames smiled a little.

"It hasn’t been easy to hold back from you either."

Arthur smiled a little, biting his lip.

"So…can we keep going?"

"Of course."

He leaned across the counter and kissed Eames.

"Can I see you tonight?" Asked Arthur.

"Yeah. Tonight."

"Oh, I get Charles on Saturday. Do you want to come by? He’s been asking about you."

"Yeah, I’d love to."

They kissed again before Arthur left.

Chapter Text

They don’t stay little forever.

Arthur and Eames both learned that when their little girl Alice was growing up. She went from a beautiful, quiet infant, to a loud and crying toddler, to a delicate, overly girly girl kid. She grew up happily, being a bit tomboy-ish since she loved to rough house with Eames, her daddy - running around, playing football (European not American) climbing trees and jumping off things as well as learning to fight. But she loved to be a lady in between because of papa, Arthur. She loved to bake heart shaped cookies, and sleep with teddy bears and watch the ballet. 

As she got older, she stayed in between those two things, expanding on them. 

One morning, Arthur was sound asleep, curled up beside Eames when their peace was shattered by the sound of Alice’s screaming.

Old instincts kicked it as Arthur leaped out of bed, Eames following, looking for a gun that hadn’t existed in years. They ran to Alice’s room and saw their nearly teenage daughter sitting up in bed, the sheets thrown back as she looked down. She looked terrified as her hands trembled.

"Alice, what’s wrong?" Asked Arthur first, seeing Eames scanning the room.

"I’m…I think I’m hemorrhaging!" 

They both got closer to her, seeing she was indeed bleeding…but she wasn’t hemorrhaging. Eames sighed but then got worried again as Arthur said,

"Oh…Alice. You’re not hemorrhaging."

She looked at her fathers and then realized what was going on, her face bright red as she jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.

"I’m calling Ariadne." Said Eames.

"I’ll clean up."

Eames nodded and went to their bedroom to call Ariadne and Arthur stripped off his daughter’s ruined sheets. 

While they waited for Ariadne, Eames leaned near the bathroom door as he knocked softly.

"Alice, sweetheart. Are you okay?"

"No! Daddy leave me alone!"

"Sweetheart, you don’t have anything to be embarrassed about. This is all natural."

He heard Alice cry and he stood there and Arthur just kept giving him concerned looks when he passed by with fresh sheets.

Eventually, Ariadne came over and Arthur brought her upstairs.

"She’s been up there all morning. I think she’s embarrassed."

"You think?"

Arthur gave her a look as she approached the door and knocked.

"Alice, it’s Ariadne, can I come in?"

The door unlocking was all the proof Eames and Arthur needed that Alice was indeed embarrassed.

They went downstairs to wait and talked among themselves.

"She probably thinks we won’t get it." Said Eames.

"Of course she does. We’re men, we have no idea what she’s going through."

"Well not physically but we understand the biology of it. We’re not idiots."

"I know, but she doesn’t know that."

Arthur sighed, setting a cup of coffee in front of Eames as he sat down with him.

"We’ll have to get her supplies." Said Arthur.

"You go to the store. I went yesterday."

"I just did the laundry!"

"Fair enough. Let’s just wait to see what Ariadne says."

Arthur nodded and they finished their coffee. Eventually, Ariadne came downstairs.

"Hey. So yeah, she mostly felt stupid. And embarrassed. She doesn’t think you guys would get it so she cried a little. But she’s okay now."

Eames sighed as he rested his hand on his chin.

"This is the first time I’m not able to help my little girl."

Arthur agreed.

"It’s not you guys, it’s all her. She’ll come around and go to you guys for help but right now, she’s just freaked out."

"So…what should we do?"

"Well, I hooked her up for now and I’m waiting for her to get dressed so I can take her to the store."

"Well that resolves that conflict." Said Eames as he looked at Arthur.

"Yeah. Don’t feel bad guys."

Arthur nodded and everyone turned when they heard Alice coming down the stairs. She ran immediately to the door as Ariadne waved to them and left to take her shopping. 

When she came back, she again headed upstairs wordlessly. They waited for a while and in the meantime, Arthur baked her, her favorite cookies and brought them upstairs to her, knocking and leaving the plate in front of her door.

For a while, Eames and Arthur waited, listening to any sound that went on upstairs and they felt a little sad they were unable to help their daughter because she didn’t want their help, too embarrassed to ask for it. 

At the end of the night, while Arthur did the dishes, Eames keeping him company, they both turned when they saw Alice at the entryway of the kitchen, holding the now empty plate where the cookies where. She walked in further and handed the empty to plate to Arthur who took it and set it in the sink. She then hugged Eames, holding onto him and Arthur shut off the water, drying his hands and Alice hugged him too.

"Thanks."

"Of course, baby. Do you want some dinner?"

She shook her head, just hiding her face against Arthur’s chest as she held onto Eames; arm, wanting the contact.

"You know, sweetheart, you don’t have to be embarrassed."

"I know. I just…I felt…weird." 

She mumbled and Arthur pet her wavy hair.

"You’re not in this alone."

Alice smiled as Eames pet her shoulder and let her rest against Arthur until she pulled away and went back to her room. 

Eames put his arm around Arthur and sighed.

"Baby steps."

Arthur agreed.

Chapter Text

The job was already going to hell. Between being made in the middle and then to running for their lives, Eames was stressed and tired and exhausted and running on adrenaline, tightly wound and ready to pounce at the slightest sound. Arthur lead him through an abandoned apartment building to find a way out, guns drawn, senses high. 

They had jumped from the rooftop of one building and as they walked down and where right on the landing of the stairs leading down to the lobby and to the exit where they heard a sound. Eames turned first, gun out, Arthur going low as they both waited and listened out again when they heard a whine. They looked at each other and then Arthur followed the sound as Eames called after him in a soft yet still harsh whisper.

"Arthur! We need to leave!"

Arthur held up his finger, telling him to wait as he followed the whine down the hall. Eames followed up behind him and much to both their shock, they found a baby. The baby was wrapped in blankets and tossed in a box in an abandoned building. Arthur couldn’t leave it and picked it up as Eames looked at him.

"Don’t."

With a single word, Eames was silenced and only followed Arthur out.

They parted ways and Eames returned home, laying low for a few weeks. Afterwards, Eames headed out to find out how Arthur was only to discover he was still holding onto the baby.

"You still have the kid?"

Arthur nodded, letting Eames into his condo.

"I couldn’t turn him over to the system."

"Him?"

"Yeah. He’s a boy. I named him Liam."

Eames shook his head as he sighed,

"Well…I did pop in for a friendly visit…seems like that was a waste of time."

"You can still stay for a visit."

Eames smiled and thanked him.

Over the next few days, Eames got to witness Arthur being extremely maternal. He watched him cradle Liam until he fell asleep, watched him feed the little boy, play with him and just be comfortable, as if he’d always had Liam. When Eames was offered to hold Liam, he did and found he rather liked this little set up. He saw Arthur in a whole new light, seeing him comfortable in his jeans and plain t-shirts, barefoot and his hair messy. He liked kissing Arthur with the scent of baby powder on his hands, he liked feeling Arthur fall asleep on his lap with Liam on his chest while they watched T.V. 

He stayed much longer than he intended, playing house with Arthur and Liam. As much as he wanted to say he was there for just Arthur, somewhere among that chaos he wanted to stay for Liam just as much.

Time got away from them and Eames grew to love that little boy and Arthur.

When Arthur wanted to adopt Liam legally, there was trouble and Arthur feared that Liam would be taken away from him.

"We could run." Said Eames.

Arthur gave him a sad smile.

"I don’t want to run anymore. That’s no life for a child."

"I can forge the proper work."

"Eames…"

"I don’t want to lose him either. I don’t want to lose you either."

Arthur was surprised. He looked at him, laying on his bed, Liam cradled at his side, sound asleep and Arthur wondered when this had happened. When did he make a life, a family with Eames? And more importantly, when he did start to feel as if he would lose everything if he didn’t have Eames and Liam?

"What should we do?"

"We can get married. It’ll be easier to adopt Liam if we’re both parents to him."

"We can’t get married."

"Why not? I love you."

The way Eames said it, it was as if he said it all the time, despite it being the first time he said it to Arthur. Arthur felt his mouth hang open for a moment before he said,

"I love you too."

"Then let’s get married."

"Okay."

Arthur smiled, leaning closer to him, minding Liam and kissing Eames.

Chapter Text

Arthur and Eames had been dating for a while, not-really secretly.

Arthur and Eames’ parents didn’t know and neither did Arthur’s sister or Eames’ older brother and they rather liked it like that.
Teenage hormones often got the better of them and they paid for movies they never saw - too busy making out in the back of the theater and said they were going to go out on dates, but really looked for quiet, solitary places where they could make out.

On the rare occasion that either one of them got the chance to bring the other over to their houses, they tried to make use of their time alone, getting further with each other until a sibling or a parent came home.

Finally, Eames got his license and he begged his brother to let him borrow his car. With some fighting and a bit (a lot) of begging, Eames finally got his brother’s Acura and went to pick up Arthur.

It wasn’t really a date and they knew it. The minute they were able to drive somewhere and be alone, they climbed into the back seat and started making out. They had gotten pretty far with each other, hand jobs, blow jobs, some removal of clothing. They were dying to go all the way, but without a proper place, they were stuck, though Eames felt that the backseat of his older brother’s Acura might just be that place.

They kissed for a while, stripping out of the jackets and shirts, the windows fogging up and when Eames started to undo Arthur’s jeans, he felt Arthur doing the same. He slipped his hand into the back of Arthur’s jeans, past his briefs and when he dipped his fingers between his cheeks, finding his hole, Arthur shuttered and let out a shaky gasp against his mouth.

"Is this okay?"

Arthur nodded frantically, his own hand going into Eames’ boxer briefs, gripping his cock and jerking him off slowly. They both moaned and the tip of Eames’ fingers rubbed at his hole, teasing, circling it, feeling Arthur pull away only to push right back. In a dumb sense of hope, Eames moved his hand and said,

"I brought lube."

Arthur only smiled and moved his hand away for a moment to search through Eames’ jean pocket and found the sample tube. He gave it to Eames as he kissed him, hearing him open it, the slick sounds of the lube on his fingers and then they were against his hole again.

Eames listened to him moaning, his breathing heavy as he pushed the first digit inside him and Arthur moaned. Eames felt how tight he was, how warm and as he pumped the first finger inside him, he started to wonder how his cock would feel inside him. Arthur’s hand was back on him, stroking slowly, adjusting to the feel of Eames’ finger inside him, sweet little sounds coming from his mouth. When Eames added another, Arthur cursed, the stretch opening him a little further, Eames’ fingers so thick but they felt amazing and he gasped again as Eames began to move his hand.

It was messy and frantic, Arthur sometimes forgetting to move his own hand, just rutting back against Eames, then pushing back, wanting to ride his fingers, wanting them in deeper and Eames would grip his own hand over Arthur’s moving both of them on his erection, fingering Arthur until he heard him whine, Arthur saying,

"Another one…"

So Eames added a third, hissing as he felt Arthur clenching, then relaxing as he pushed back.

"Fuck…fuck…I want your dick so bad…"

Precum gushed forward on both their hands as Eames nipped at Arthur’s mouth.

"Don’t say things like that…"

Arthur smiled, trying to straddle Eames’ lap better as used his free hand to tug down the front of his briefs, letting out his own dick to rub against Eames’ stomach.

They rut against each other, Eames’ fingers crooking and pressing inside him until Arthur sobbed and tightened up as he came all over Eames’ stomach. Eames groaned, feeling Arthur’s fingers squeezing around his cock as he came all over their hands.

They both panted for air, Arthur kissing Eames softly.

"Next time, bring a condom. You could have gotten laid tonight."

"Fuck…I can’t believe I didn’t bring a condom."

Arthur smiled, kissing him as Eames pulled back his hand, wiping it off on his jeans.

"I could keep fingering you all night."

"Yeah?"

He sat up a bit, kissing Eames more, both their cocks twitching a little in interest.

"Good thing I don’t have to be home until later." Said Eames.

Chapter Text

Eames had always been quiet, kept to himself. His father was transferred over from London to California when Eames was in middle school and since he was mocked for his accent and the way he said certain things, Eames kept mostly to himself. He imagined the rest of his classmates saw him as as some sort of English stereotype so he did his best to blend in and vanish.

He didn’t have very many friends, just Ariadne who had loved everything that came out of his mouth and made him feel good about himself so when she deemed herself his best friend, he didn’t argue. Now that they were in their final year of high school, she was determined to make him realize what a catch he was.

"You’re not going to be able to blend in, in college."

Eames shrugged and when she started mentioning the big house party happening after graduation, Eames sighed knowing where this was headed.

"Ari, please don’t make me go to some party."

But Ariadne didn’t even hear him.

The night of the big graduation party, Ariadne picked him and she drove to Nash’s house where the party was well underway. Everyone was there, everyone and Eames felt anxious as they walked up the sidewalk, seeing the crowd already spilling onto the lawn.

They went inside and Eames picked up a single plastic cup to nurse as he walked around, trying to keep his eyes on Ariadne but eventually he lost her in the crowd. He hung out in the living room, watching everyone dance, talk, drink and Eames felt bored and awkward. 

As Eames sipped his beer slowly, hating the disgusting swill Americans called beer, he felt someone looking at him. He thought it was his imagination until he looked around and saw Arthur at the doorway near the kitchen behind him. He looked back, looking at the floor, feeling insanely self conscious, wishing he could find Ari and get out of there. Suddenly, Arthur was at his side. Arthur was a very popular senior. Everyone wanted to be his friend, wanted to fuck him, wanted his attention. But Arthur had a small circle of friends and kept to himself, almost like Eames, only he had better success. 

"Hey."

Eames looked up and smiled a bit and Arthur slid onto the arm of the love seat Eames was currently sitting on. He drew his foot up on the sofa, skinny jeans tight around his thigh, his black button down untucked, but the sleeves rolled up, his glasses on this time, his hair neatly combed and he looked so good that Eames swallowed hard.

"You okay?"

Eames nodded and he felt flushed when he felt Arthur’s fingers at his collar.

"Do you want to go somewhere?"

Eames looked at him, shocked as he asked,

"With me?"

"Yeah. Come on."

He took Eames’ hand and they made their way through the crowd, heading upstairs to the master bedroom and closed the door behind them.

"I’ve been wanting to get you alone for a really long time."

"Me?"

Eames pointed at himself, tugging at the front of his shirt as Arthur smiled a little at him, almost predatory. He reached up and took off his glasses, tucking his glasses into the pocket of his dress shirt. 

"Yeah. You…are just…stunning."

"Me?!"

Arthur laughed a little as he rested his hands on Eames’ waist, stepping closer.

"Yeah…I’ve seen you around school and there’s just no way to get close to you…until recently."

"What do you mean?"

Arthur grinned a little.

"Your friend, Ariadne."

Eames sighed, rolling his eyes as he let his head fall back against the door.

"I should have known."

"I bribed her to get you here."

"Bribed her? How?"

"I told her I’d put in a good word with my friend Dom."

"Damn."

Arthur smiled again, Eames swooning a little when he saw his dimples. He came back to his senses as he said,

"I can’t believe…you’re interested in me."

"You don’t know how stunning you are, do you?"

"I don’t think-"

"You are. Fuck your mouth alone. And your eyes and your body…your hands."

He moved one of his own hands and took Eames’, making him rest it on his own hip.

"Can I please kiss you?"

Eames floundered, feeling his mouth open and close, unwilling to believe that someone like Arthur wanted him. But he nodded anyway and felt Arthur close the gap between them as he kissed him.

Arthur kissed with whole body. He pressed himself up against Eames, their mouth slotting against each other’s, Eames unsure of what to do with his hands so he placed them on Arthur’s hips. It felt like they kissed for hours, Eames slowly getting the hang of it throughout. When Arthur pulled back, he licked his lips with a smile and said,

"Have you ever kissed anyone before?"

"No…"

Arthur again grinned in that predatory manner as he said,

"So..you’ve never done anything else?"

Eames shook his head, his face a little red. Arthur kept his body against Eames’, his fingers hooked into his belt loops.

"Can I go down on you?"

Eames wanted to be embarrassed but at the same time, his dick got hard in a matter of seconds. The offer was astounding and Arthur looked as eager as Eames felt.

"Yes…"

Arthur kissed him once more then slowly made his way down to his knees. 

He undid Eames’ fly, drawing it down gently as he looked up at Eames as he tugged down the front of his underwear, taking out his cock with one hand, holding it steady before taking him in his mouth. Eames felt himself pressing his back to the door, moaning as he brought his hand up to his mouth, the other against the flat surface, looking for purchase. Arthur kept looking up at him, bobbing his head back and forth, humming as he pulled off, running his tongue underneath the shaft as Arthur’s free hand took Eames’ hand and made him put it on his hair.

"It’s okay…just hold onto my hair."

Eames shyly did, running his fingers through Arthur’s soft locks, moaning again when Arthur took him back in his mouth, sucking lightly around the head, then took him in deeper, humming again, feeling Eames’ thighs shake as he groaned. 

Arthur kept going, moving quicker, sucking a little harder now, swallowing him down, knowing he was doing a good job as Eames’ grip on his hair tightened. Eames kept gasping for air, shaking, looking down at Arthur and seeing his cheeks hollowing when he sucked, his lips tight around his cock and fuck…he couldn’t take much more.

"Arthur…"

His name sounded like a prayer, words dying in his mouth as he tried to tell him how close he was. He couldn’t manage, despite trying a few more times but it was as if Arthur understood, his left hand holding down the front of Eames’ boxer briefs, the other holding the shaft steady as he moved faster, sucked a little harder and braced himself as he felt the first initial burst of precum and then he came. 

"Oh, god…god…Arthur…"

He tried to apologize but Arthur swallowed him down effortlessly, only spilling a bit when he pulled back sooner than he thought. It was the sexiest thing Eames had ever seen, watching Arthur lick his lips and then wipe off the thin line of come from his chin. Arthur stood up, tucking Eames back in place.

"I’m sorry…I wanted to warn you."

"It’s fine. I didn’t mind."

Eames sighed softly, feeling so good and light and then he realized he should reciprocate.

"Oh, what about you?"

Arthur grinned, zipping up Eames’ jeans before he put his glasses back on.

"You can return the favor when I pick you up tomorrow."

"Oh…"

Arthur smiled and took Eames’ hand.

"Want to go back downstairs?"

Arthur laced their fingers together and Eames looked down at their hands before looking back up at Arthur.

"Yeah…let’s go."

Chapter Text

Arthur couldn’t even remember the last day he had off. Since becoming Mr. Eames’ secretary, he wasn’t really able to take a day off. Once, he had tried to leave early because Mr. Eames granted him permission and he ended up staying twice as long because Mr. Eames needed him to organize something for a last minute meeting the following morning.

Arthur did everything from preparing speeches, notes, files, answering emails, phone calls, scheduling meetings, appointments, to running errands like picking up dry cleaning, getting coffee, picking up gifts on special occasions for certain clients, making dinner reservations, party reservations, RSVP-ing or declining events, even mailing gifts and cards to Mr. Eames mother because he never remembered unless Arthur told him, despite having written it down in Mr. Eames personal calendar. 

He didn’t mind doing all these things…some times. Mr. Eames didn’t really say thank you, he more or less took whatever Arthur handed to him without so much as a look, didn’t thank Arthur for his overtime and whenever Arthur asked for personal time, Mr. Eames sighed deeply and always answered with “we’ll see” which really meant no because for some reason. Arthur was always needed at the last possible second. 

Arthur was use to eating on the run, standing up, hardly taking ten minutes to himself because it never failed that once Arthur was sitting, Mr. Eames called him in for something. He was eating his lunch in the elevator after going to the shop next door to buy a sandwich, his drink tucked under his arm as he chewed quickly when his cell phone rang. He had told Mr. Eames he was just going to buy lunch, but apparently, that was far too long for his liking. He stuffed the last of his sandwich in his mouth as he stepped out of the elevator and headed to Mr. Eames’ office as he took a gulp of his drink and wiped off his mouth as he said,

"I’m sorry sir, I’m here."

Mr. Eames looked annoyed as he set his phone down, one of his hands on his hip. 

"What the hell, Arthur. I asked you to be back here in twenty minutes."

Arthur glanced at his watch. He had only been gone fifteen minutes, taking a premade sandwich to save time.

"I was only gone for fif-"

"It doesn’t matter. I need you to take these to be post marked today. Run down and pick up my dry cleaning and then get these files organized."

Arthur nodded and took the padded envelope, the dry cleaning slip and then files as he went to do as told.

He worked hard, doing everything in a timely manner but for some reason, Mr. Eames was in a bad mood and nothing was to his liking. When Arthur brought him coffee - as requested, Eames was displeased with the coffee, setting it back on the cardboard holder far too quickly, causing it to spill, mostly on Arthur. Arthur was grateful that it had mostly spilled on the holder, but he did feel some of it on his hands and arms.

"Damnit Arthur, can you do anything without being completely incompetent? You have just been a mess all damn day! Go clean up this fucking mess and see if for once, you can get one thing right!"

It was Arthur’s breaking point. He had all but given himself up completely to Mr. Eames’ whims and demands, not ever having time off for himself, working all kind of hours and never even given a thank you, much less a raise. Arthur dropped the tray right at Mr. Eames’ feet as he said,

"Clean it up yourself. I quit."

He turned and left without another word, feeling wonderful as he went to his desk, picking up only his most personal things and left. 

Arthur spent the next few days looking for a new job. He didn’t care that he had quit without any options, he was just relieved with being away from Mr. Eames. He was able to sleep and do what he wanted for a change, without having to rush through it. He was actually able to eat sitting down! He loved it and didn’t worry about a new job just yet. 

After a week, he got a phone call from his former office and he wondered what it was about. When he answered, it was human resources, telling him he had a last check to pick up so Arthur went when he had time. When he got there however, H.R told him his former boss had it and he sighed deeply, not wanting to face Mr. Eames but he did want his due money. When he got tp Mr. Eames office, he was surprised to see his old desk just as he had left it, not a single thing moved. He stepped inside and saw Mr. Eames’ usually clean and tidy desk was overrun with stacks of clutter and files. Arthur saw Mr. Eames looking a little frazzled and he stood up when he saw Arthur.

"Arthur! You’re back."

"I just came to pick up my final check."

"It’s not your final check."

"Mr. Eames, I quit. This is my final check."

Mr. Eames walked over and offered Arthur a chair and then sat in the free one beside him.

"I uh…I realize I may have treated you quite harshly before."

"Before?"

"All the time. I took you for granted and in the week of your absence I realized that I’ve gotten use to you and can’t get along with you."

"Well, that’s a shame Mr. Eames. I’m sure you’ll find a capable secretary soon enough."

"You are my capable secretary. I would very much like you to return."

Arthur shook his head.

"No, I’m afraid I can’t do that."

"I’m very sorry for my past behavior. I promise you it won’t happen again. And of course, you’re entitled to a raise. I believe you’re past due."

Arthur shook his head.

"Mr. Eames…"

"Arthur. Please. I really need you back. I can’t find anything…I haven’t been able to organize anything, I’ve missed several meetings and appointments, I’m overrun with emails and I…I can’t do this without you."

Arthur frowned and felt Mr. Eames take his hand.

"I need you."

Arthur bit his bottom lip and looked at Mr. Eames, seeing the sincerity in his eyes. 

"If I come back…I need some conditions in place."

"Anything."

"I need an hour for lunch. And I’ll come in at my due time, eight am, no sooner. And I’ll need personal time. Without an annoyed sighed or being told ‘we’ll see.’"

Mr. Eames nodded.

"Absolutely."

"If you retract any of these, I’ll quit and I won’t come back, not even for my last check."

"Of course."

Arthur sighed and finally said,

"Alright. I’ll come back. Starting tomorrow."

Mr. Eames looked so relieved and he stood up and Arthur did too.

"You won’t regret this. I’ll make up these few years to you."

"I hope so."

Arthur finally felt Mr. Eames let go of his hand and Mr. Eames went back to his desk, going through a drawer for a moment before producing a check.

"Here, for the past week. And a little extra."

Arthur took it and smiled.

"Thank you. I’ll see you tomorrow Mr. Eames."

"Just Eames."

Arthur couldn’t help but laugh a little and nodded.

"Okay."

"Until tomorrow then, Arthur."

"Until tomorrow."

Chapter Text

All Mal ever wanted was a happy ending for her best friend.

Eames played the field like a professional but all he ever really wanted was someone to settle down. No one seemed worthy in his eyes - even less in Mal’s so she never encouraged him to get with any of his momentary flings. 

It wasn’t until she and Dom were exploring all the sides of dreamshare when her father brought them Arthur. A brilliant, young, handsome, fresh faced boy whom Mal was instantly enamored with.

She loved Arthur’s mind, how smart and charming he was and the moment it came to her, she knew he would be perfect for Eames.

Their initial meeting was bumpy to say the least. Eames was not nearly as impressed with Arthur as Mal had been, which was disappointing to say the least. Eames thought Arthur was smug and far too young to be so uppity about everything. 

"Mal, you can’t be serious. The boy is still in nappys."

Mal scoffed as they stood in her kitchen, peering over her shoulder as Arthur worked with Dom.

"He’s very sweet."

"To you maybe. He all but turned his nose up at me."

He did an impression of Arthur’s serious face and tilted his head up and Mal nudged him.

Over the years, when they all worked together, when Mal could pin Eames down, Arthur and Eames clashed. Their work was difficult but when they clicked, it was magic. Mal could see that between them, their chemistry, how well they worked together - well, when they weren’t trying to outdo and outsmart each other. She could see how well they fit.

She gave them a nudge towards each other now and then, purposely sitting on one of their sides, as oppose to in the middle, asking Eames to pick up coffee, knowing he would ask Arthur if he wanted some too. Arthur, the hopeless caffeine addicted, never turned it down and Eames at some point knew Arthur’s favorite drink like he knew Mal’s.

At her wedding, she had the two of them sitting next to each other and she would look over at them now and then, seeing them smiling and laughing, talking with each other over drinks.

When she sunk into despair, sometimes she would retreat into herself and dream and there in the blurry edges of her dream, she could see them together.

She missed when they did get together, sharing concern about her well being, wondering if she would be okay, exchanging stories about their past with Mal,  trying to cheer each other up.

In the deepest throes of her depression and madness, she fell to her death which aside from her children and husband, wounded Eames the deepest. He found comfort in Arthur and he mourned her with Arthur.

At her funeral, Arthur held Eames’ hand, feeling him tremble as they listened to the priest’s kind words about her. She had been cremated so there was only the service for her. Afterwards, Arthur stayed with Eames, helping him through the toughest time of his life. Arthur stayed with him afterwards, in love with him and finally seeing all the things about each other that Mal had always seen.

Mal was the force that got them together, even if she missed it at the end.

Chapter Text

Forrest hardly partook in the ‘shine himself. Seeing what it did to Howard often made him restrain. Restrain, but not completely abstain. 

Evelyn was around now and then, sweet on Forrest, often bringing him gifts while he was busy cleaning up. She always waited until after hours to show up, afraid she would tarnish Forrest’s reputation though he had told her he really couldn’t care less what anyone thought.

One particular night, she showed up with a basket on her arm. her hair loose and over her shoulder, a simple plain dress on that reached her ankles, a shawl over her shoulders. 

"Hi Forrest. Busy?"

"Evening Miss Evelyn. You know I am."

She pouted and said,

"Come on."

"Come on where?"

"Come with me to my place. I got us a little something."

She held up the basket and while Forrest knew he shouldn’t, he couldn’t think of why he shouldn’t. So he left with Evelyn grabbing his hat on the way out, heading to her home. She had taken his hand, knowing the way even in the darkest of nights with no moon out and Forrest trusted her. Once in her home, she lit a few candles and offered Forrest a seat as she set the basket down between them on the small table and revealed the moonshine.

"Cheers."

"Cheers."

He took the jar, feeling Evelyn clink her own against it as they drank.

They drank and chatted and drank more. 

While Forrest remained quiet and still stern, his guard was down and Evelyn was just as wild and excitable. She was able to climb onto Forrest’s lap while they drank and in a moment of impulse, she kissed him. 

Forrest was frozen for a moment and when he felt Evelyn pull away, he reacted, putting his hand on her knee and then kissing her back.

Things progressed from there and Forrest found himself tumbling into bed with her. They kissed deeply, Forrest’s hand in her hair, her hands working on the buttons of his shirt and they broke away, Evelyn gasped slightly, feeling Forrest’s hands on her hips, his fingers pulling and gathering at her dress. 

She was suddenly stricken with the realization that this was becoming more serious. She was getting into a state of undress with the man she had been very interested in and now she was afraid. It broke through the haze of all the shine she had drunk and still, she raised her arms up as Forrest pulled up her dress over her head. She still wore a camisole, her leggings still covering her and she crossed her arms over her flat chest.

"Wait…Forrest."

She felt her face flush, still sitting on Forrest’s lap, his shirt open and coming off his shoulders.

"What’s wrong? Did I do something?"

"No…I just…Forrest…you know that…that I…"

She hesitated in saying it and Forrest waited, cupping her face.

"I’m not really a girl…"

Forrest pulled her close, kissing her again and again.

"It doesn’t matter to me."

Evelyn blushed, kissing Forrest back as he slid out of his shirt, letting it fall to the floor as he then took off the camisole Evelyn was hiding behind. Forrest rested his hand on her chest, admiring her for a moment.

"Beautiful…"

"Why, Mr. Bondurant…"

She blushed as Forrest actually smiled at her and she realized she liked Forrest like this…she liked Forrest in any way.

When he took her, he was gentle and kind, Evelyn, gasping from pleasure she thought she’d never know. When it was over, Forrest sleeping drunkenly beside her, she knew she was in love with him, though she feared what the morning would bring.

As the dawn broke and began penetrating through Evelyn’s windows, Forrest woke up, His head was heavy and his mouth dry but he sat up, trying to recall where he was when he felt someone move beside him. That someone was Evelyn. She was still naked from last night, her body warm and soft and when Forrest touched her again, he wondered why she had allowed so much between them. He laid back down, pulling her over, feeling her head rest on his chest, his own arms holding her close as she continued sleeping. 

He had a full day ahead of him, but he would spare a few hours for Evelyn.

Chapter Text

Tommy didn’t want to dwell. He didn’t want to think about Jon so he worked out. He went on long runs, worked out for hours and even when he couldn’t think about moving another inch, he watched TV to numb his mind.

He felt so frustrated with Jon. As much as he kept telling himself that he wasn’t expecting anything from, wasn’t expecting Jon to tell everyone he knew - deep down, he did expect a little something. He wanted Jon to tell his friends, to be proud of being with him, not keeping him in the shadow of his life like Tommy was something to be ashamed of.

When a week went by without a word, Tommy went to Pittsburgh. He went to see his brother and his family, knowing he needed the distraction. After a long weekend, he came home and for reason, felt like something would be different, but it wasn’t. Everything was the same.

His Angel Face wanted to keep him hidden and now with a week up and counting, he doubted Jon would ever come back. He had never felt so unwanted in his life. 

By the second week, Tommy knew he had to start getting over Jon. He wasn’t coming back…they were done.

As he got his things ready to go for another run, he heard someone knocking on his door. He stood up after tying his shoe and answered the door, seeing Jon standing there, looking exhausted and wild eyed.

"Jon?"

"Where the hell have you been!?"

"I’ve been here, where have you been?"

Jon pushed past him and turned to face him again.

"You have no been here! I’ve been calling you and coming by and nothing!"

"I’ve been keeping busy."

"You have! What the fuck, Tommy! How could you just vanish on me!"

"I thought we were done."

"What?"

Jon was instantly bewildered and thrown off his game.

"We have one argument and you’re ready to just call it quits?"

"You’re the one that disappeared on me for two weeks."

"I did not! You’re the one who was gone! I’ve been calling you! I’ve been trying to find you!"

He could see Jon getting out of control, his voice getting louder with heart break and frustration. Tommy tried to calm him down.

"Jon…"

"I told my friends! I told them! They were shocked but they didn’t hate me! They said they were mad I didn’t tell them sooner!"

"Jon, you’re getting hysterical."

Jon stopped and slowly sat down, rubbing at his face.

"Did you hear me?"

"I heard you. You didn’t have to tell them if you weren’t ready."

"I was ready. I just…needed that push. You were right. You didn’t ask me for anything…just that little bit and you deserved it. You’ve done so much for me."

Tommy sat beside him and looked at Jon, sighing a little.

"It was scary as hell. I thought they would turn on me."

"They’re you’re friends. They understood."

Jon nodded, almost surprised. Tommy put his arm around him, kissing his cheek as he sighed.

"I really kept myself busy. I thought you were done with me."

Jon turned to him, resting closer to him.

"No….I don’t want to give you up."

"Me either."

He pulled him closer, kissing him again, Jon smiling as he leaned towards it.

"I missed you Angel Face."

Jon smiled, dimples appearing on his face as he kissed Tommy again.

"I missed you too."

Jon sighed softly, holding onto Tommy.

"I need you to give me a push like that now and then."

Tommy chuckled a little.

"Sure."

"I mean it! You can’t let me get away with anything."

"I never do."

Chapter Text

They were celebrating as if they had been friends for years and years - though truthfully, they had been in some for or another. Eames had known Yusuf for forever, Arthur and Dom for another lifetime altogether. Ariadne was new but she was just as welcomed. 

Dom invited everyone to his home for dinner and he didn’t cook but he ordered gourmet food and had an excellent liquor cabinet. That night they drank and talked, sharing laughs and memories, going over the job itself. 

Arthur sat next to Eames, holding hands under the table as their empty plates sat in front of them, their glasses still full. They were laughing at a story Yusuf was telling when there were sudden sniffles and light padding of tiny feet. Everyone looked at the doorway and saw Phillipa standing there, in her pale blue night gown, her blonde hair a mess, fresh tears staining her face. Dom stood up immediately as he knelt down in front of her, asking if she was okay, if they had woken her up. She shook her head and softly and sadly said,

"I had a bad dream."

Dom looked over at Arthur and Arthur frowned a little as he stood up, giving Eames’ hand a squeeze before letting go. 

"Do you mind?"

Arthur asked Dom first and Dom shook his head, standing up and getting out of the way. Arthur reached for Phillipa, her little arms coming up to him as he picked her up and carried her to the living room.

It was one of those things from the past that Ariadne, Yusuf and Eames knew nothing about. When Dom sat down he explained, his voice gentle as if listening out just in case Phillipa needed him.

"When Pippa was little, she would cry and be very fussy and Arthur was the only one who could calm her down. Mal would give her over and Arthur would sing to her and she would fall asleep in his arms. Always, it never failed."

Ariadne smiled warmly at him as Eames listened in the other room, sure enough hearing Arthur’s voice - light, soft, loving, beautiful. It started as a hum before words were paired to it.

Rest your head close to my heart, never to part, baby of mine…little one when you play don’t you mind what they say. Let those eyes sparkle and shine, never a tear, baby of mine…

They tried to keep talking but soon, everyone just listened, Ariadne - who would blame it on the booze later, was nearly in tears and Dom couldn’t meet anyone’s eyes until it was quiet. They then resumed drinking. Eames changing the subject and everyone was grateful for it. By the time Arthur returned from putting Phillipa to sleep, it was right back to how it was before Phillipa returned.

Arthur noticed his glass was low on ice so he got up to get some, Eames offering to refresh everyone’s glass as he followed Arthur. He watched Arthur lean against the counter, his head down and Eames didn’t have to ask him how he felt because he knew. Mal had been a big part of Arthur’s life and the wound was still fresh. Doing something that he had always done for Mal brought up a lot of memories. Eames went up to him, putting his arms around his waist, letting Arthur lean on him and Eames kissed his forehead.

They stayed there for a few minutes until Arthur pulled away, sighing a little and looked at Eames with a smile.

"Thank you."

Eames only nodded and then moved back to open the freezer and got some ice for Arthur before picking up the bottle of vodka that was in the fridge before returning to dining room.

Chapter Text

He was impressed he was able to get away after being made. Security made him in the dumbest way possible, getting coffee at a Starbucks. Arthur saw them before they saw him and he grabbed his coffee from the queue and walked out casually. They followed him and he wondered how fast he could lose them.

Things did not go well. He took a shot to the arm and he managed to run after that, spending a good twelve minutes making sure he wasn’t being tailed. He timed his blood loss, hoping to get help before the situation got worse.

When he finally made it back to the warehouse, he had managed to clean off his hands from the blood dripping down his arm and he tried to casually walk in as if nothing was happening. 

He could make out Eames still cleaning up, his vision blurry and he trembled before he closed his eyes for a moment and that was that. He crashed to the floor from his chair, catching Eames’ attention immediately.

When he woke up again, he felt he was somewhere warm and comfortable and he realized he was in a hotel room. His own hotel room and he wondered what had happened to make him get there. He could see medical supply on the night stand, gauze, bottles of antibiotics with syringes and their packaging still there. There were cotton balls and tape and Arthur took a glance down at himself, seeing he was shirtless, but not pant less and he was under the blankets, his arm wrapped up. He turned again and saw Eames sitting beside him on a chair watching T.V.

"Eames?"

Eames immediately stood up as he shouted,

"Arthur! What the bloody hell where you thinking!?"

Arthur was startled and he didn’t know how to answer. Eames sighed, exasperated.

"I cannot believe you didn’t go for help! You take a shot in the arm and you come to the warehouse! What were you thinking? What if I hadn’t been there?! You fucking knob!"

"I wasn’t thinking…"

"You’re damn right you weren’t thinking you stupid twit! You just fainted on the floor, scared me half to death!"

"Sorry…"

"You’re not sorry! Look at you, you’re just pleased that whoever shot you didn’t catch you! God, how do I even love someone like you!?"

Arthur wanted to shrug a bit as if to answer but then he registered what Eames said. He blinked a few times, no longer listening to his rant. He looked at him and let his mouth fall open.

"What did you say?"

Eames stopped and looked at him, still angry.

"When? When I called you an idiot? Or a fool? Which one?"

"You said you loved me."

Eames stopped cold then and sat back down on the chair he was in before. He sighed, still angry.

"What of it?"

"Eames. Are you serious?"

"Like I said, what of it?"

Arthur tried to reach for him, tensing and wincing in pain so Eames took his hand instead, getting up and then sitting on the bed closer to him.

"Is that why you were so mad at me?"

"Of course."

"Oh. How did you know all this?"

"I use to be a field doctor in her Majesty’s armed forces."

"Oh…impressive."

Eames sighed again, some of his anger draining now. Arthur rubbed his thumb against Eames’ hand and when their eyes met, Arthur smiled at him.

Chapter Text

Eames had finally taken the first step and actually asked Arthur out. Arthur actually said yes.

Now they were having dinner in a nice little bistro and Eames felt giddy. He actually picked Arthur up, was exactly on time and even brought flowers. Arthur was immediately impressed, thanking Eames, pausing to go back inside his house to put the flowers in water and then going with Eames to his car.

Dinner was just as nice. They talked and they had their quiet moments and paused to eat. Eames loved how Arthur looked - khakis, a blood red waistcoat and a white button down. The sleeves were rolled up neatly to his elbows, his hair neatly combed. No glasses that night but he was still just as lovely. Eames was glad he had shaved and worn his own nice clothes, black pants, navy blue button down. He was excited to be there, watching Arthur and lighting up when he smiled at him.

After dinner, there was coffee and dessert and as Eames sipped his coffee, Arthur asked,

"Why did it take you so long to as me out?"

Eames set his cup down, feeling a bit awkward and shy but he smiled anyway before explaining.

"I uh…I wasn’t sure if you’d say yes. Since…I’m Phillipa’s teacher and all."

"She’s not my daughter though. You could have asked me out the first time we met."

"Believe me, I wanted to…but I thought it inappropriate at first. Then I was just nervous."

Arthur laughed a little and then smiled.

After dinner, they went for a walk and talked more, then talked about Phillipa and what a delight she was and how Arthur was helping Dom out after the death of his wife.

"Mal was my friend too so when she passed and Dom needed help, I was happy to lend a hand. Dom needed it anyway…he was drowning without help. James was still little then so I moved in."

"No wonder you’re around more than Dom at school."

Arthur laughed a little.

"Yeah, he’s working and my schedule is much more flexible. But he makes time for his kids."

"He does."

"Phillipa talks about you like you brought the sun and stars down for her. She’s so impressed with everything you teach."

Eames smiled a little, looking down.

"She’s a good girl. Very bright."

"She reminds me of Mal in a lot of ways."

Eames dared to take his hand then and Arthur let him.

When the date was over, Eames drove Arthur back home and he was relieved it had gone so well. He watched Arthur sigh as he unsnapped his seat belt and then looked at Eames.

"I wish we had a few more hours. But I have to help Dom tomorrow."

"I understand. You’re practically a parent."

Arthur laughed a bit.

"Yeah, pretty much."

"So…can I see you again?"

"Yeah, I’d like that. How about tomorrow night? The kids are usually asleep by eight."

"Alright. Sounds good. Around nine then? We can see a movie."

"Yes."

Eames smiled and Arthur leaned over, kissing his cheek.

"Good night."

"Good night."

Arthur got out of the car and Eames made sure he made it in safely before driving off. He smiled the entire drive home, giddy and more smitten than ever before.

Chapter Text

It had been the longest job in existence. Or at least it felt that way.

When Arthur walked through the door of their apartment, Eames right behind him, he had lost all sense of grace or social skill. He had his tie stuffed somewhere in his pocket, his hair messy, the buttons of his shirt undone to his chest and untucked, his pants wrinkled from a fifteen hour flight. Eames hadn’t even bothered getting into actual pants towards the end. He wore sweatpants and a t-shirt with trainers and Arthur envied him for that. 

They dragged their suitcases in and when Eames closed the door, Arthur dropped his and left it in the living room before walking to the bedroom.

"Deal with it later. Come on."

Eames couldn’t agree faster and left his own bag where it lay. 

They showered and finally got into bed - into their own bed with thousand count sheets and soft blankets and all their pillows. Arthur lay on his side after showering to get the plane smell off him and got into his pajama pants and t-shirt. He gathered up his pillow and groaned in relief as Eames got in bed behind him, putting his arm over Arthur’s side, the other under his own pillow. He sighed in relief, spooning up against Arthur, kissing the nape of his neck.

"Damn…it feel so good to be home."

"Yeah…I missed it."

Eames kept kissing his neck, pressing his nose to Arthur’s damp hair, hearing him giggle. Eames slipped his hand up the front of his shirt, just touching his skin. He hummed, throwing his leg over Arthur’s.

"I missed this. I was barely able to be near you during this hellish job."

Arthur pushed back against him, putting his hand over Eames’ as he laughed a little.

"It was a hellish job. Let’s never work with Peters again."

"Never again. The man was imbecile. Yusuf was ready to strangle him in his sleep. Like literally."

Arthur laughed again.

"Ok, no more work talk. Keep kissing my neck."

Eames smiled and did just that, kissing his neck and when Arthur turned and tilted his head up a bit more, Eames kissed him there too.

"We are going to stay in bed all day. Then we’ll order take out."

"Mhmm."

"And then…probably burn all those clothes because they stink."

Eames laughed.

"It was probably the flight."

"Yeah but I don’t want to do laundry."

"I’ll help you."

"You say that but then you’ll just distract me."

"I love it when you’re domestic."

Arthur smiled, turning over now so Eames could keep kissing his throat and then his mouth, his scruff tickling Arthur, causing him to giggle more.

"I’m glad we’re home."

"Me too."

Eames eventually stopped and pulled the blankets and sheets over the both of them, kissing Arthur softly until they both fell asleep. When they woke up, they ordered take out like planned but Eames didn’t let Arthur burn their luggage. He helped do the laundry.

Sorta.

They ended up making out against the washer.

Chapter Text

Forrest had been against having Evelyn working at their place…but she ultimately convinced him, guilting him really since she needed the money.

She was a delight there though, she mostly cleaned up since Forrest didn’t want her around the customers - for her own safety. She was happy to do it though, doing dishes, cleaning off tables, sweeping the floor all in Forrest’s company. 

Cricket, Jack’s friend came by now and then to lend a hand. Forrest had no real opinion on Cricket, but when he saw him hanging out a bit more, he started developing one. 

It started when Forrest came back in from the back, bringing in a crate when he saw Cricket talking to Evelyn. The scrawny little kid was leaning on the broom handle, trying to look impressive to Evelyn. She laughed and smiled at whatever he was saying and Forrest narrowed his eyes.

He was a bit more aware of Cricket whenever he was around Evelyn, listening subtly to whatever he was saying to Evelyn, watching his hands as he sometimes touched her arm or her shoulder. The clincher came when the radio was playing as they cleaned up, long after closing hours. Forrest had left Evelyn alone while he went to oversee the latest delivery of shine into town. He didn’t take as long as he thought and when he returned, he could hear music playing. It wasn’t unlike Evelyn to listen to music while she cleaned but when he came into the main room, he heard her laughing as she danced with Cricket.

Forrest saw red but he also knew he couldn’t act on his jealousy. He instead shut off the radio, causing Cricket and Evelyn to stop as she caught her breath, Cricket the same way as he leaned down to rest on his knees.

"I think we’ve had enough cleaning for the night."

Evelyn nodded fanning her face as she went to pick up her things and Forrest eyed Cricket.

The day, Forrest was at home, sitting on the porch when Jack showed up. He looked a little smug as he rested his arm on the porch railing.

"Hey. I talked to Cricket today."

Forrest just looked at him for a second before resuming his rocking.

"He’s a little sweet on that Evelyn."

Forrest stopped.

"He told me this morning. Said Evelyn was the prettiest girl he’d ever seen."

Forrest grunted a bit as Jack went up the steps and made his way to the house.

That night, Evelyn was working alone, Cricket specifically told he wasn’t needed that night and Forrest stayed as always to help. He watched Evelyn for a while before he said,

"Hey…Evelyn…what’s this Cricket character to you?"

Evelyn looked up from her sweeping as she said,

"Cricket? He’s just my friend. Probably the only other friend I have in these parts."

Forrest kept wiping down the bar.

"I uh…I heard he was sweet on you."

Evelyn laughed as she walked over to the bar and rested the broom against the bar and sat down in front of Forrest.

"And if he is? What of it Mr. Bondurant?"

Forrest stopped and looked her seriously, seeing the amusement in her eyes.

"Well…how do you feel about him?"

"I don’t feel any kind of way about Cricket. He’s my friend. That’s all."

Forrest nodded as Evelyn stood up only to lean across the counter to get in Forrest’s face. She kissed him lightly and then stepped back.

"Forrest. You know that i only have eyes for you."

Forrest bit back a smile as Evelyn took her broom and resumed her sweeping as Forrest looked at her.

"You should dance with me some time."

The corner of Forrest’s mouth quirked up just a little as he resumed wiping the counter down.

"I just might."

Chapter Text

For the most part, Arthur couldn’t really tolerate Eames. They fought constantly, about everything and anything. They didn’t even really interact socially.

Not really anyway.

When they were alone, they didn’t really talk. They just fucked a lot.

They exchanged text messages to see where the other was and then meet up and then go at each other. When it was over, who ever came over, left right away. Didn’t matter how good the sex was, personality wise, they couldn’t tolerate each other.

Arthur went to his hotel room one night, tired and in need of him so after a quick text, he went over. Eames pulled himself and slammed him against the door and Arthur complained.

"Fuck that hurt."

"Well suck it up."

Arthur glared at him but then closed his eyes with a moan as he felt Eames’ hands on him. He made quick work of his clothes and got Arthur on his back, his fingers inside him as Arthur moaned and spread his legs for him, feeling Eames’ mouth on his throat, his chest, his free hand touching his thigh, gripping it as he moved his leg open.

It was the only time that Arthur and Eames didn’t fight. It was the only time they didn’t hate each other and the only time they agreed on anything. Eames was good to him then, his mouth just as good but nowhere near as good as his dick. Arthur was passive because he didn’t want to argue then. The only time he had argued with Eames during sex left him with the worse case of blue balls as he was kicked out and Arthur had to go home and jerk off instead. It wasn’t what he wanted and it left him dissatisfied so he vowed to make talking absolutely minimal from there on out.

When Eames was inside him, his thrust was deep and not gentle which made Arthur moan loudly, his legs open, but his feet on the mattress as Eames held him down by his wrists. They didn’t really kiss…it felt weird for them since kissing was what people who liked each other did. Arthur didn’t really like Eames…he just liked his cock.

And his cock…oh God. Arthur knew he was a slut for it the first time they fucked. It seem to touch places inside him everyone else before Eames missed. It was just right in thickness that it would stretch Arthur open enough on the right side of hurt. He was good with his hips, he knew when to thrust, when to roll, when to undulate his body. Eames knew what Arthur liked it and he used it to his advantage. When Eames let go of one of his arms, he only reached down to Arthur’s hip, pressing his fingers against him hard, making Arthur wince but it felt so good that he couldn’t complain.

"Fuck…fuck Eames…that feels good…"

"I know…"

He was so smug about it but he had a right to be and Arthur bit the inside of his cheek to not reply sharply in return. He instead moaned when Eames pushed into him deeper.

"You love this…"

"I do…" Arthur whined out and Eames grinned.

When Arthur came, he came hard, blindly so at times. He felt it building up fast and he closed his eyes, panting as Eames kept going, his thrusts faster now.

"Close…close…"

Eames sped up.

That time was no different and Arthur sobbed when his orgasm was wrung from him and he stayed still, letting Eames come right after him.

It was the only time they made further contact with each other. Eames resting on top of Arthur, his hands resting on his arms, his head against his neck as he struggled to catch his breath. Arthur let his legs rest, falling flat onto the bed. It was nice for a while until Eames got heavy and Arthur pushed him off and got up. He went to the bathroom and cleaned up before he returned to get dressed.

Eames didn’t even turn over when Arthur was done. Arthur just sighed, hating how he still hated Eames and yet couldn’t stop fucking him. 

Chapter Text

Arthur was three when he was kidnapped. 

Too young too remember his former life, old enough to be molded into something useful.

Alfie was the man who took him and he raised Arthur proper - at least that’s what everyone saw. 

For a long time, everyone was convinced that Arthur was being groomed into a second in command, eventually the head of Alfie’s empire. Even Arthur believed this. As he grew, he knew Alfie better than anyone. He defended him and his unbridled violent temper, believing that if Alfie lashed out, hit someone, killed someone, they deserved it because Alfie had been nothing but kind to him.

Alfie was a violent man, reckless and full to the brim with rage. But with Arthur he was calm, he was collected because he adored the boy.

When Tommy Shelby came poking around, asking for support, Alfie kept Arthur hidden. He didn’t want Shelby to recognize Arthur and while he seemed unsure of an alliance, in his mind, Alfie had already decided to help Shelby out. After all, he had stolen something very important to him years ago - he owed Shelby.

Arthur was sixteen when Shelby came round. Alfie worried Arthur would notice, but he didn’t and he was grateful. He came to see him after Shelby left his shop and he saw Arthur reading in his room. His young boy whom he had raised but had taught early on not to call him father had grown up to be smart and loyal. Alfie admired him and was enamored with him. When he came into Arthur’s room, Arthur sat up, setting his book aside.

"How was the meeting?"

He knew of Alfie’s meeting, just not who he was meeting with.

"Went well enough."

"So what’s next?"

"Nothing. Nothing yet anyway."

He stepped closer to Arthur, still in his attire from earlier at the bakery. He touched Arthur’s hair, feeling the softness of his curls and Arthur looked up at him.

"I want to help."

"You will help."

Arthur perked at that and took Alfie’s hand. When he smiled at him, Alfie can felt a soothing calm come over him and he knew he wanted to protect this boy from everything, even himself, from the secret of how Arthur came to him because if he knew, then Arthur wouldn’t love him anymore. 

When Arthur was twelve there was a boy that hung out at the bakery that Arthur knew. They were friendly until the boy said something about Alfie being “crazy” and Arthur slammed the boy to the ground, pounding his fist into the boy’s face until he was pulled off.

When Arthur was fourteen, one of Alfie’s men was whispering about something, conspiring against Alfie, Arthur heard and told Alfie. When the man was cornered, Arthur was there to witness his execution.

At sixteen, Arthur killed his first man, again in Alfie’s defense. Alfie was the last man on earth who needed defending, but Arthur was always the first one there, the first one to raise his voice for Alfie, to defend him and now, to kill for him. 

Arthur pulled Alfie down to sit with him and scooted closer to him, taking the hat Alfie carried in with him. 

"Will you stay?"

"Of course."

Arthur smiled a little, innocent and sweet.

"I mean with me."

"Of course."

He hadn’t hesitated.

Alfie kissed him with such force, as if claiming Arthur, as if Arthur had ever belonged to anyone else but him. Arthur ran his fingers along his beard, minding the scar along his face. Alfie hurt him at first, the shaky little cry Arthur gave when Alfie pushed inside him made him stop. 

"Sorry…"

There were tears in Arthur’s eyes and the hold on Alfie’s arm was tight enough to leave bruises. Alfie stopped and considered withdrawing, leaving the room, regret already rearing its head but Arthur stopped him, blinking back his tears as he swallowed hard, urging Alfie to continue.

It went slow and Alfie learned to be patient, he was his first to Arthur after all. When it began to feel good, Arthur’s moans were sweet and breathy, so divine to Alfie’s ears and he found himself being proud that he was able to make Arthur feel that way. 

He made sure Arthur came first, watching him shutter and gasp, his eyes closed, his face flushed, his mouth open as he cried out Alfie’s name. Alfie came right afterwards, claiming his boy for the second time that night. When he was done, he laid behind him, his arms around Arthur, his hand resting softly against his throat while the other toyed with his curls. Arthur hummed, a soft little song that Alfie himself sometimes hummed himself. Arthur turned his head a little to look at Alfie, feeling his beard brush against his shoulder as he whispered,

"Alfie?"

"Yes, my love?"

"You really will let me help you right?"

"Of course."

He held Arthur tightly, his fingers brushing over his throat. He knew that if he let Arthur into the fray, Shelby would recognize him…and take him away. 

And Alfie would be damned if he let that happen. He would make all of London burn before they took Arthur away. 

Chapter Text

They had just wrapped up some amazing sex, Arthur still struggling to catch his breath as he lay his head on Eames’ chest. He felt his arms around him, his hands on his back both of them blissed out of their minds. 

Arthur picked his head up, brushing his hair back from his face as he looked at Eames, seeing him still smiling.

"You’re amazing."

Eames’ smile got wider as he laughed a bit.

"I aim to please."

Arthur smiled, resting his hand on Eames’ chest, scratching at him softly before he started tracing the tattoo under his collarbone. He sighed, feeling this was the moment. They had been together for about two years now and Arthur had been struggling to tell Eames how he really felt. He was in love with Eames, had been for some time and now he wanted to tell him. 

After taking a few deep breaths, he decided to say it.

"Eames?"

"Yes, darling."

"I love you."

It was quiet for a moment before Eames cleared his throat.

"Thank you."

Arthur blinked a few times and sat up all the way, noticing Eames had closed his eyes as if to avoid what he just said. Arthur was surprised and then embarrassed, having gone out on a limb only to be left out there. He was sure Eames loved him to but apparently, he was mistaken. 

He started to climb out of bed and began getting dressed, moving quickly but quietly. It was only when he was almost done that Eames asked him,

"Pet, where are you going?"

"I’m going to go home."

"Why?"

"I don’t want to stay the night. I’ll see you tomorrow."

He left before Eames had a chance to stop him and Arthur went home.

He couldn’t believe that Eames responded with a ‘thank you’. A thank you! Arthur could hardly stand the embarrassment, the humiliation of it all! He groaned to himself when he replayed the moment and he was full of regret just thinking about it.

He avoided Eames for a few days afterwards. He wouldn’t answer his calls and he would text him that he was busy and he would text him later only to not answer again. After a week, Eames came over.

"Hey."

"Hi."

Arthur could hardly stand to look at him. He had jumped the gun and now he was ashamed to look at him. Eames leaned closer to him and kissed Arthur’s unresponsive mouth and stepped in when Arthur let him.

"You’ve been avoiding me."

"I’ve been busy."

"No, you haven’t."

"Yes I have."

"I know what this is about. Arthur…I’m sorry I didn’t say it back. I was surprised…