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An Indecent Proposal

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Eames' arms hurt, from the way they're wrenched behind his back, and he can't feel much below his wrists. He's fairly certain, though, that the rope has cut off most of the circulation to his hands, and they're going to hurt like bloody fucking hell when Arthur's finished cutting him free.

"Alright, there, darling?" He asks, mostly because he needs the comfort of Arthur's voice to steady him.

"Another ten minutes and I'll have it," Arthur replies. His voice is wavering, though, that's never a good sign.

"How long until you pass out?"

There's a pause. "If I'm lucky?"

"Realism is more important than optimism at this point, love," Eames admits. They've been kidnapped, Eames is a lousy shot under ideal conditions, Arthur's taken two bullets, nobody knows where they are, and Eames is relatively certain that their kidnappers don't intend to ransom them. And that's the situation before considering things like obtaining medical help, ammunition, weapons, or escaping before Arthur exsanguinates.

"I don't know if I'll get you free." Arthur says. "I -- I can't see straight, Eames, and everything's moving..." he stops, and then there's a sharp tug at his wrists that hurts, and Eames feels the gentle, unpleasant sensation of Arthur sawing through his bindings resume. "Your wrists are a bloody mess," Arthur adds.

"Not your fault," Eames says automatically. He's considering their situation, and -- if Arthur's that badly injured, it's more important to get him help than it is to get himself free. But -- Arthur'd hit his head off of the floor pretty badly during the attack, and a concussion would probably be screwing with him just as badly as blood loss.

He feels Arthur's breath against the back of his neck, the solid weight of him pressed up against his back as Arthur slumps forward.

"Arthur?" Eames says, panicked for a moment. "Arthur -- are you--"

"M'fine," Arthur mumbles against his neck. "Just resting for a moment... Eames -- if I don't make it--"

"Will you marry me?" Eames blurts.

There's a short silence, then a loud snap as Eames' bindings come apart, the hot flash of pain through his arms and wrists as the pressure on his shoulders releases and his muscles scream in protest.

Eames turns around, raising numb hands to catch Arthur's slump to the ground, carefully lowering the other man and checking his wounds. The one on his belly is clean, through-and-through, bleeding sluggishly and already starting to clot, but the wound on his leg is bleeding heavily, and Eames puts as much pressure on it as he can, forcing Arthur to hiss and arch under him from the pain.

"Did you just--" Arthur says through gritted teeth.

"Marry me, Arthur," Eames says, because he's a bloody fucking idiot, and he'd had the stupid ring in his night table drawer for eight months, now, and Arthur might die and Eames might never get to marry him. "Promise -- you have to promise me you'll live through this, and then  you can marry me. I'll even invite your parents. I'll invite my parents!"

"You hate your parents," Arthur reminds him, while Eames tears a strip from his waistcoat to use as padding before binding the wound.

"I hate my parents," Eames agrees. "But I love you, darling, and we should get married. And then take a nice vacation to somewhere quiet, where nobody wants to kill us. How do you like Australia?  Does anyone want to kill you in Australia?"

"I haven't said yes yet, you halfwit," Arthur gripes, but his voice is steadier now and he doesn't seem to be getting any worse.

Biscuits and juice, that's what they gave you after you donate blood, Eames thinks, so the first order of business is getting Arthur some orange juice, and second was killing the group of arseholes holding them hostage. "Did you see a kitchen on the way in?" Eames asks.

"I can't believe that this is how you're asking me," Arthur tells him, although he sounds more incredulous than angry about it. "I  thought you'd be romantic, try and take me to the Eiffel Tower or at least have a candlelit dinner."

"The last time I tried a candlelit dinner, we had sex on the table and nearly burned down the hotel," Eames reminds him. "And I may not have another chance to ask, so of course I--"

Arthur interrupts him with a kiss, quick and almost chaste, pulling back just enough to say, "Yes," against Eames' lips.


"Yes, I'll marry you, you giant lumbering jackass," Arthur says. "Just in case I never have another chance to say so. Now hurry up and get us out of here."

"Of course," Eames says, because he'll do pretty much anything for Arthur, and if getting Arthur out of an impossible situation is the only way to ensure that he has a horrible wedding with his awful fucking parents in attendance and the worst, most uncomfortable tuxedo ever created chafing his skin while Arthur walks down the aisle in a white... suit ... then Eames is going to do that. For Arthur.

And that’s when Ariadne shows up, guns blazing, blood splattered on her jeans, screaming profanity at the pretty-much-dead-because-of-all-the-bullet-holes Bad Guys, and rescues them.

"I love you," Arthur says to her, while he's in the back of their getaway van, getting hooked up to an IV that's direct-depositing Yusuf's blood (Type B negative) directly into his veins in violation of all blood-donation policies everywhere. "I'd marry you, Ariadne, but I think I already promised Eames I'd have him instead. But I can totally divorce him, if you want," he adds.

"You will do no such thing, " Eames orders, wrapping both arms around Arthur and holding him tight.

"Yeah," Arthur mumbles agreeably. "Alright. But she can be my best man at the wedding."

Damn. That means Eames is going to have to ask Cobb. He is not looking forward to that conversation.