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Shifting Gears

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Eames hasn’t a clue why he’s driving around Los Feliz but avoiding Arthur’s house. Actually, he’s perfectly clear on why he’s avoiding Arthur’s house but circling Arthur’s neighborhood seems like a piss poor way to do it.

He wonders if inception changed them all or if it’s simply that near death experiences clarify one’s priorities.

It’s entirely possible that he’s having his mid-life crisis a tad early. A theory supported by the 1968 Triumph TR5 convertible in which he is currently wending through northern Los Angeles. He’s always been a sucker for British racing green.

And fuck all if he hasn’t landed himself in Arthur’s driveway.

Shite.

He spends some time staring at the neat gate, the stone steps leading down to the mid-century home then rests his forehead against the steering wheel. He’s rather proud of himself for not banging his head and howling.

“Nice car.”

Arthur is a few feet away leaning against an acacia. Christ, why did he think he could do this? One glance at Arthur, lovely in faded jeans, loose shirttails, bare feet, and his damned heart almost seizes.

“Saw it in the window and couldn’t resist.”

“You've always looked good in green. Are you coming in or did you want to nap up here a little longer?”

“I…can’t.” It hurts to force the words past the sudden lump in his throat.

“Can’t come down or can’t sleep?”

“I can’t do this anymore, Arthur.”

Without moving Arthur shifts into a defensive stance. “Points for not dumping me with a text but for future reference the driveway moment is not your best play.”

“I know we agreed to keep things casual and civilized but I just can’t. We almost bloody died this morning and I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I can’t keep pretending that it doesn’t matter. I love you. I know that’s unfair, and I’ll try to stay out of your way, but I can’t go down there and fuck and leave in the morning like it’s nothing.”

“Then don’t leave.”

“I...what?”

“Don’t. Fucking. Leave.”

“Arthur...I…”

“Jesus, Eames, get the fuck over here. I'm not telling you I love you while you’re sitting in the damned car.”

“You’re…not?”

“No, asshole. You have to get out if you want me to tell you that I’ve been in love with you for years.”

Getting out of the Triumph is pretty easy after all.