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lucifers_toy

[inception] i'm feeling the same (your favourite enemy)

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Sep. 5th, 2011 | 08:59 pm

title: i'm feeling the same (your favourite enemy)
fandom: inception
pairing: arthur/eames, referenced mal/arthur/cobb
rating: light r
warning: mentioned dub-con
word count: 3000+
summary: “Quiet, darling, there are children in the house,”
a/n: title taken from the submarine's xavia. And thanks to amy_shoe for the read through.



It’s the first time Arthur’s left the two of them alone together and even then it was with a silent warning, a tight narrowing of the eyes when he closed the car door carefully behind James and Phillipa. Eames had lifted his beer bottle, eyebrows raised, and Cobb had waved them off warmly, smiling wide and large.

By now, Eames has his fingers wrapped around his sweating bottle, short fingernails worrying at the label, making quick, aborted movements to try to remove the piece of sticky paper in one movement and stopping when the adhesive proves too strong.

He looks at Cobb.

“It’s a nice place you have here,” he offers casually, rolling his shoulders back. Cobb had always been Arthur’s friend, not his, and without him there’s no drive to be too friendly but there’s no cause to be rude, either. At least, not yet.

Cobb nods and smiles politely. “Thanks,” he says, just as careless, and then he looks at Eames thoughtfully, eyes him with practiced judgment. His hair is sticking to his temples, longer than he used to keep it and not as strictly controlled, and Eames tightens his grip around his bottle, waiting.

It doesn’t take long.

“I have a job lined up for next month,” Cobb says. He watches Eames carefully. “It’s an easy job, pays well. I could use a forger.”

Eames shrugs easily. “My schedule’s looking pretty open at the moment. Who else is on the team?”

“Ariadne has finals, so she’s begged off playing architect. I’ve asked Han-Sol, instead.”

Eames nods approvingly. “She does good work,” he says. “Who else?”

Cobb pauses. “I’ve asked Arthur. He said no.”

“I know,” Eames says, and smiles quickly, there and gone in a heartbeat. “He told me. Is that what you wanted to talk about? Why you sent off Arthur and the children?”

Sitting forward, Cobb looks at Eames seriously. “Why? Why won’t he work with me anymore?” He hesitates. “Why did you come here together?”

Eames can’t help it, he starts laughing. Long and low, his laugh is genuinely amused, and only a little bitter. “Can you blame him? After all these years, to want a little distance?”

Cobb’s eyebrows draw together sharply. “I apologized for Mal,” he says. “I did my best.”

“Oh, I don’t doubt that, pet. Not at all. But you’ve been destroying Arthur for the better part of a decade, you and your lovely wife, and it’s about time that he got away, hmm?”

“You’re out of line, Eames,” Cobb snaps, and makes a sharp, aborted movement as if to stand before sinking back in his seat, fists clenched in his lap. His eyes are narrowed and the line of his jaw is tight. He’s not bothering to hide his anger. He knows better than that.

Eames laughs again. “Am I? He’ll never work with you again, you know. Not after you broke his trust. Not after you betrayed him like that.”

Cobb looks away, shame-faced but still stubborn. He sets his bottle down on a faded wooden table, sliding it from side to side to leave a streak of darkened, wet color. “I did what I had to do. He understands that.”

“Oh, yes. Of course he understands.” Eames says darkly. He leans forward, broad shoulders hunched in around himself. “He understands that you risked all of our lives. He understands that you had to, that you did what was necessary without any thought for anyone else. He understands that you nearly wasted the life of a teenaged civilian. That you didn’t trust him enough to give him all the information, even if he could have used it.”

“I couldn’t. I couldn’t risk it,” Cobb says, and turns away. His voice is hoarse, and Eames almost softens.

“Look, Cobb. He would have followed you anywhere, you know that. And it destroys him that you didn’t trust him enough to tell him. And not just that. It’s that you didn’t tell him about Mal, that you didn’t—you didn’t give him anything. Not what he needed. And you didn’t care. You didn’t care, when he needed anything, and I’m willing to put down money that you still don’t care about fucking everyone over.”

“And, what? You’re here to look after him now? Make everything better?” There’s anger and resentment in Cobb’s voice now, defensive. The line of his spine is stiff and controlled, and it makes Eames smirk.

“That’s exactly right.” He bares his teeth amicably. “You’ve lost your claim on him, Cobb. You treated him badly, and now he’s mine.”

“He’s not property, or a toy that you can claim, Eames. Jesus.” Cobb snaps.

“No? That’s not how you treated him. You and your Mal, Cobb, you played with him and you know it. He’s been in love with you for years. He loved you and he loved Mal and he never stopped, not once. And now he doesn’t, now he knows what you’re capable of, and you can’t stand it.”

“What I’m capable of? You’re a criminal! You betray people for a living!”

“That’s different and you know it,” Eames snaps. He’s losing patience now, and he stops fiddling with his bottle, looks Cobb straight in the eye like he so rarely does. “At least I don’t lie about my ruthlessness, my skills. I’ve never once lied to him. I’ve never betrayed him. He knows that he can trust me.”

“Can he? Really?”

Eames is sharp now. There’s anger rising mercurial behind his eyes. “He can. Because I love him. I love him, and I want the best for him. I’ll be kind to him, I am kind to him, and I look after him. All of that is more than you ever managed for him, Cobb, so I’ll thank you to mind your own bloody business.”

There’s silence for a long moment, while the two of them just breathe in the thick air. The neighborhood is quiet, calm, and they sit like that until they see Cobb’s beaten-up old car pull into the driveway smoothly.

When the door opens, Arthur emerges, hair slicked back as always. He’s still wearing a suit, still looking just as sleek and dangerous as always, but now instead of a gun in his hand, he’s carefully holding a melting cup of ice cream in one hand while he helps out James and Philippa with the other.

“Alright there, princess?” he murmurs to her, and smiles. Dimples. “Want to go give that cup to your Dad?” She smiles and runs off, presses a sticky cup of half-melted brown goop into Cobb’s hand, and Arthur picks up James with his free arm, hefting sleepy weight against his side.

He takes the steps with long strides, depositing James into Cobb’s lap and smiling lazily at Eames. “Here,” he says, and wraps Eames’ fingers around his own cup. “What did you two get up to?” He asks, raising an eyebrow at Eames’ arms, crossed over his chest, and the way that Cobb’s eyes have settled into a displeased glare, an uncommon sight now that he’s home.

Cobb and Eames don’t look at each other. They know better. “Just, what is it you delightful Americans say, shooting the shit,” Eames says, and grins up at Arthur, raising his hand to shield his eyes from burning light. He sticks a finger into a cool puddle of cream and licks at it, eyes dropping half-lidded in pleasure. “Mmm, peanut butter, my favorite. Thank you, pet,”

Arthur’s eyes crease, just slightly, when he smiles. “I know,” he drops a heavy hand on Eames’ shoulder for just a moment and turns to look at Cobb. “Pip insisted that we get you chocolate, just for the record,” he says, and his eyebrows furrow when Cobb is just a little too slow to smile back.

“Darling, your hands are sticky,” Eames complains lightly, and Arthur pulls away, smirking just a little.

“I know,” he says, unapologetic, but he ushers Phillipa and James into the house, ignoring their insistence that no, they don’t need to wash their hands, not really.

Eames scoops a little ice cream into his mouth, humming lightly. He waits until he can’t hear Arthur anymore before standing up. Then he takes a step, two, closer to Cobb and waits until the other man looks at him.

“There’s just one thing I need you to remember,” he says. His eyes are cold, and he looks every inch the dangerous criminal he is, despite the children’s treat clutched carefully in one hand. “You could have had him at any time. Any time in the last decade, you or Mal—or both of you, there’s a pretty picture— you could have picked him up and he’d have rolled over for you without a word. But that’s changed now. You missed your chance, Cobb, and now he’s mine. And you’re never going to get him back.”

***

It’s dark out when Eames pushes Arthur back against the bed, unmade sheets crumpled uncomfortably beneath his back. Arthur tilts his head back and hums, running his hands up across Eames’ broad chest and around his neck, the very tips of his fingers tangled in his gel-sticky hair.

“Did you have fun with Cobb?” he asks lightly, and Eames pulls his mouth away from pressing bruises into Arthur’s skin. His eyes are dark and narrowed and he watches Arthur steadily, hands framing Arthur’s head and keep the full pressure of his weight from Arthur.

“I did,” Eames says neutrally, and bends his head again, worrying his teeth against Arthur’s skin until he cries out softly, his fingers tightening in Eames’ hair. It’s slow and warm, Arthur’s legs wrapped loosely around Eames’ waist and they’re still fully dressed. Arthur has an ice-cream stain on his suit pants from James and he sighs contentedly when Eames slides his pants down his legs, his hands heavy warmth on his skin.

Eames bites at the long, ropey muscles in Arthur’s thigh with crooked teeth, enamel sinking into flesh until Arthur cries out softly, and he pulls back to admire mismatched semi-circles. When he looks up, Arthur is propped up on his elbows, watching Eames with a red flush high in his cheeks. His breath is already coming fast even though he’s barely more than half-hard and he smiles slowly and licks his lips when he meets Eames’ eyes.

Eames grins right back at him and leans down again, closes his mouth around Arthur’s cock with little fanfare. Arthur comes up off the bed sharply, gasping sharply and moaning, eyes closed tightly. “Jesus, Eames,” he says, and Eames laughs a little.

a

***

Towards the end of the week, the children get invited to a sleepover. Cobb’s eyes crease in worry he’ll probably never lose and Arthur runs a background check on the host’s parents to Eames’ amusement before he goes along with Cobb to drop them off.

Left alone, Eames takes the time to wander through the house uncensored. It’s a gorgeous thing, built from the ground up with Cobb’s design and Mal’s flawless touches. Vast windows allow the house to be flooded with sunlight and so Eames stands in warmth as he inspects the photos lining the mantel. There’s a photo of Cobb and Mal on their wedding day, the heavy white brocade of Mal’s dress spread tightly across her swelling stomach, another next to that of the Cobbs with Arthur in between, head thrown back and laughing. The photo is over-exposed and just slightly blurred, but the happiness in them all is incandescent. Eames traces his fingers over Arthur’s smile before he moves the frame back, tucking it behind a large photo of the children, backlit and golden in the yard.

Eames supposes that Cobb’s lucky he didn’t steal it.

He snoops quickly through the rest of the house, sticking his nose into dusty corners and being very careful to leave everything as he finds it, even though he knows that Cobb knows what he’s doing. It’s the principle of the matter, really. He’s on his knees rummaging beneath Cobb’s bed –nothing but dust, more’s the pity-- when he hears the car door slam and smiles at the thought that it’s Arthur, warning him of their arrival.

When he goes downstairs, the smell of Chinese wafts up and he sniffs appreciatively. Arthur’s already setting up the dining table, moving piles of blueprints and the odd toy to the side and setting out a plethora of take-out containers, moving aside when Cobb comes out of the kitchen with cutlery.

When they sit, Cobb looks between the two of them curiously. “So, you and Eames, huh?” he says, casting a slanted look at Arthur. Arthur quirks a quick smile at him, momentary and fleeting, and leans back in his chair. Eames grins lazily and looks at Arthur.

“What about us?” Arthur says, and there’s something a little bit challenging in his voice and in the tilt of his chin, something just a little defiant.

“Nothing, just. I didn’t peg either of you for monogamy, that’s all.”

Eames laughs long and loud and even Arthur smirks a little. “Oh, Cobb, no. Not quite. Arthur’s got a lovely boy in Hong Kong he’d be quite reluctant to give up, and I’ve a couple of friends stashed away across the world. Monogamy is not quite for us, is it, darling?” He shifts his weight to the side and throws an arm across Arthur, tugging him in until Arthur’s leaning out of his chair, uncomfortable across the space between them. Arthur sighs and looks at him and then at Cobb, shifting in Eames’ grip but not quite moving away.

“Not quite, no,” he agrees dryly, and bares his teeth amicably when Cobb’s eyes narrow.

***

After dinner, after a mildly awkward hour of three men not terribly interested in sport watching the playoffs on television in a show of forced, false, camaraderie, Arthur gets a call. He pulls his cell out of his pocket, checks called identification and then excuses himself, stepping into Cobb’s study and closing the door behind him with a gentle snick.

Eames looks at Cobb, smiling, and touches his nose. “About a job,” he explains genially, and his lips quirk at the way that Cobb’s shoulders stiffen.

Arthur comes out again, after a few minutes, slipping his phone back into the pockets of his trousers. “We’ll be out of your hair in a week,” he promises, and shift the weight of his gaze from Cobb to Eames. “I’m expected in Milan in by the ninth,”

Eames stretches lazily, arms above his head and his legs extended until they hit the sturdy legs of the coffee table. “Yeah, alright. Want to head upstairs, Arthur? I’m knackered,”

“It’s barely half past eight,” Cobb says wryly, and Eames smiles at him sharply.

“So it is,” he says pointedly, and stands up into Arthur’s personal space, wrapping a possessive arm around his waist. “and yet, we’re going to bed.”

Arthur rolls his eyes and snorts loudly but makes no move to disentangle himself from Eames even when he starts dragging him towards the base of the staircase. He shrugs helplessly at Cobb and waits until he turns away before shaking Eames’ arm off his waist, walking up the stairs under his own control ahead of Eames.

Eames catches him up half way and pulls Arthur to a stop, hooking his chin over Arthur’s shoulder. “No kiddies in the house tonight, Arthur. I’m going to fuck you so hard you scream.” He says, voice low, and Arthur shivers, swallowing hard and shakily.

“Yes,” he says, and feels the hot wetness of Eames’ open-mouthed smile against his skin.

***

“Did anything ever happen between you?” Eames asks neutrally. He looks away, pursing his lips to blow out a stream of thin smoke away from Arthur’s face. His cigarette is held carefully away from his body, cooled ash sprinkling Cobb’s white sheets, but they’re already going to have to wash them later so he doesn’t bother about it.

Arthur rolls over from where he’d been flopped on his stomach. He looks up at Eames curiously and drags a hand through his tangled hair. “What? With who?”

Eames’ lips purse. “Who else? With Cobb. Or Mal.”

Sighing, Arthur sits up, letting the limp sheets cradle his waist and pool in his lap. He leans back against the headboard and closes his eyes. “Not—not really. No. I mean, we were just friends, I don’t know what--”

“Arthur.” Eames abruptly runs out of patience and stabs out his cigarette in the heavy glass ashtray on his bedside table. “It didn’t take a forger’s eye to see that you were in love with them. Give me some credit.”

Arthur squeezes his eyes closed tighter and frowns. “It isn’t just that. It’s just, one time, I. I dreamt about them. About the three of us. And—“

“And you don’t know if it was real?” Eames laughs at himself, but his eyebrows are still pulled into each other with magnetic attraction. “Arthur, do you think they put you under without your permission?”

“Stop interrupting me!” Arthur snaps. “And I don’t know. I already had IV bumps, and you know how I felt about them, but.”

“But?”

“But the room smelled of Mal’s perfume after. And Cobb had a key.”

***

The two of them are standing in the kitchen, terrifyingly domestic with Cobb at the sink rinsing the chemicals and fingerprints off crisp shells of lettuce and Arthur standing at a right angle to him, chopping tomatoes on a board awash with red water. Cobb turns to look at Arthur and smiles just a little, setting his large hand on Arthur’s waist.

Arthur looks up, eyebrow cocked, and under the fluorescent light he looks a little tired and worn out but there’s still contentment shaped into the wrinkled mess of his cuffs and the smear of tomato juice across one wrist. “Dom, what?” he says.

Cobb leans in and kisses him, just a press of dry, chapped lips, and Arthur sighs a little into his mouth, staying still for just a moment before stepping away. He sets the knife down carefully and looks at Cobb.

“Dom, come on. Don’t do this to me,” he says, and Cobb nods and looks away.

“Yeah. Yeah, alright. Sorry.”

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Comments {13}

writteninhaste

(no subject)

from: writteninhaste
date: Sep. 5th, 2011 02:51 pm (UTC)
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Loved this - asolutely loved it. Much darker look at the relationship between Arthur and Cobb. Absolute travasty that no one else has commented on this btw - brilliant work.

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lucifers_toy

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from: lucifers_toy
date: Sep. 7th, 2011 01:24 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it!

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fandom polyamorous

(no subject)

from: merkuria
date: Sep. 5th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
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This is kinda perfect, to put it in one word. A version of them that I find myself easily accepting, and it's sheer pleasure to see Arthur come out of this all, and Eames being there for him. Loved it.

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lucifers_toy

(no subject)

from: lucifers_toy
date: Sep. 7th, 2011 01:24 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you!

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pacers98

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from: pacers98
date: Sep. 5th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
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I really liked this. I also like the fact that you have Eames calling Dom on his shit, even as they both play normal for Arthur. <3

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lucifers_toy

(no subject)

from: lucifers_toy
date: Sep. 7th, 2011 01:25 pm (UTC)
Link

I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for reading!

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clair3

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from: clair3
date: Sep. 5th, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
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is that the end? i hope not!

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avaserenity

(no subject)

from: avaserenity
date: Sep. 6th, 2011 12:16 am (UTC)
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This is excellence and it aligns perfectly with my personal canon. I glad Eames called Dom out on how he treats Arthur.

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lucifers_toy

(no subject)

from: lucifers_toy
date: Sep. 7th, 2011 01:25 pm (UTC)
Link

Thanks so much!

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Lurrel

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from: chibi_lurrel
date: Sep. 6th, 2011 04:40 am (UTC)
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Cobb can never help himself. I liked this immensely, how dangerous Eames is.

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lucifers_toy

(no subject)

from: lucifers_toy
date: Sep. 7th, 2011 01:26 pm (UTC)
Link

Thank you!

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fitz_y

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from: fitz_y
date: Sep. 6th, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)
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i feel like this fic has such a deep understanding of the uglier side of the dynamics between these 3 characters that play out in the film. it feels so grounded in canon, in this painful, gorgeous way. and yet it resolves a lot of the issues in canon. i really like that, i really like where arthur and eames end up in this fic.

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lucifers_toy

(no subject)

from: lucifers_toy
date: Sep. 7th, 2011 01:27 pm (UTC)
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Thank you so much! :D

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