mirabella: (Inception Arthur/Eames)
mirabella ([personal profile] mirabella) wrote in [community profile] mirabellafic2010-09-20 07:47 pm
Entry tags:

Technically a Virtue, Inception, Arthur/Eames, NC-17

So, yeah, I'm sorry about the unrelenting misery that was Akallabêth. Here, have some crackfic instead.

Technically a Virtue
Inception, Arthur/Eames, NC-17
Summary: A mark's execrable taste in kitsch means that Eames has to convincingly forge wings. He's extremely bitter about this, until it becomes obvious that wings have some impressive fringe benefits.

"Oh… no," Eames said wretchedly. "No."

Cobb folded his arms and raised an eyebrow. "Are you saying you can't do it?"

"No, I'm not saying I can't do it, you wanker! I'm saying, I'm saying that the sheer dignity of the forging profession forbids –"

"Eames, you pretty much are the forging profession," Arthur said dryly. "And if you start on your dignity I'm going to bring up not only the tie you're wearing right now but the leopard-print miniskirt your last forgery wore."

Eames glared at Arthur. There was nothing wrong with his tie. Granted, it was a bit exuberant, but there was nothing wrong with it the way, for instance, it was wrong for Arthur to look that put-together at this hour of the morning. Was just a hint of bed-head too much to ask, really? Or rumpledness. Or, okay, his shirt untucked and his tie undone and some strange sleep-induced inclination to rub all over Eames like a cat –

Right, the point. Eames had one. Ignoring the way Arthur was tipping temptingly back in his chair next to him, Eames went back to scowling at Cobb. "It's a bad idea," he said stubbornly. "The woman's ninety years old. Angels appearing unto her will frighten her into a decline."

"Do you need Yusuf to show you the photos of her house again?" Arthur asked solicitously.

Eames closed his eyes in pain. No, he did not need to see those photos again. Ever. Not the walls full of Thomas Kinkade paintings, not the shelves and shelves of figurines of angels cooing over lambs/doves/infants/elderly men in armchairs, and not the glass-encased infant doll so hideously lifelike that – speaking of frightening people into a decline – Ariadne had dropped her coffee and shrieked like, well, a schoolgirl.

"So there shouldn't be a problem," Cobb said, determined and wrong-headed. "Yusuf's recon says she'll hold up to the sedative. You can pull off the forgery. Angels won't scare her because she loves angels."

"If by loves you mean has some strange and morbid fetish for," said Ariadne, who clearly would not be forgiving the mark for the My First Stillbirth doll any time soon.

"And she won't think to wonder why an angel wants to know where she hid her bloody will and whether she's left her fortune to her cats? And anyway, why can't I be an angel without wings?"

Arthur held a glossy, enlarged photo helpfully in front of Eames' face. Front and center was a painting of a winged woman in flowing blue simpering over two rosy-cheeked idiot moppets who appeared to be lost in the woods. Eames shot Arthur a wounded glance; Arthur made what Eames optimistically interpreted to be an aw-shall-I-kiss-it-better face back at him.

"But," Eames said, turning back to Cobb. "The woman hates every female member of her family. If I go in there as an angel she's going to treat me like a scullery maid."

"There are male angels," Yusuf said helpfully. "You could even be an archangel. You could salve your wounded dignity by holding a flaming sword."

"You can have a flaming sword if you feel it's appropriate," Cobb said generously.

"This is a bad idea," Eames said. "It is a bad idea and you mark my words –"

"So," Cobb said, clapping his hands briskly together. "If there are no more objections? Good. Yusuf, got the equipment all set up?"

"I'm sorry, my friend," Yusuf told Eames soberly.

Eames hit the recline lever on his chair in a manner calculated to express marked disapproval. "There are jobs in this world, Cobb, that should not be taken at any price," he said, rolling up his sleeve.

"And I'm sure one day we'll find one," Cobb said smugly.

Ariadne's dreamscape was an Enchanted Forest, with initial capitals. Fireflies darted hither and yon. A winding path led back to a twee cottage with climbing roses on the walls and improbably golden lamplight glowing smugly from the windows. Through the trees in the other direction, the spires of a distant castle loomed against the weirdly lavender sky. Small woodland creatures cavorted about. There were probably fairies in the underbrush.

Eames shoved his hands into his pockets and bitterly hated his life.

"Ready to show us what you've got, Eames?" Arthur asked blandly.

"You know, I'm not sure I can properly do this without a –"

There was a brief disturbance in the fabric of reality and Eames was standing beside a three-way mirror. It was large and gothic. Eames was a little tempted to ask it who the fairest one of all was, if he weren't terrified it would answer him. "Right," he said gloomily.

Arthur looked for all the world like he was about to start snickering. Eames plotted vengeance and turned back to the mirror to slide his jacket off and pull his tie loose. "I'm not wearing robes," he said flatly.

"I do think it would be better if you did, though," Ariadne said in a strangled voice, trying desperately not to laugh.

"No," Eames told her, contemplating his reflection and trying to figure out just where and how to apply leverage. How would angels even look when they moved?

"No rush, we've got plenty of time," Arthur reassured him, and Eames' temper snapped.

"Oh, for –" He glared at the mirror and did a sort of mental shimmy, and his body clicked into place like cracking a knuckle, if cracking a knuckle left you with a weirdly shifted center of gravity and sore back muscles. "There, is that better?"

"Hm," Cobb said.

"Ooh!" Ariadne said.

Arthur was dead silent.

Eames studied himself. There were wings coming out of his back. Eames hated the world and everything in it.

Still, might as well do the thing right. He shifted a little in front of the mirror, surveying the wings critically. They were white, all right, but that was about where the resemblance to the fluffy angel wings of the mark's hideous knick-knacks ended. Eames' wings… well, for want of a better explanation, had clearly been created by a pissed-off forger being mocked by the point man whose exquisitely tailored trousers he desperately wanted into. These wings looked like swan wings, in a way, but longer, more distinctly muscled, and somehow menacing. Eames pursed his lips, unsure whether he was satisfied or not.

"Be fluffier, Eames," Cobb requested. "I don't want you actually frightening her into a decline."

"You said I wouldn't. And also that I could have a flaming sword, and what, I ask you, is –" Eames turned around to continue the argument and found his voice suddenly dying in his throat.

Arthur was staring at him. Eames was tempted to say that he looked like he'd been punched right between the eyes, except that Eames had in fact seen Arthur get punched between the eyes before, and the expression on his face had not been so much poleaxed as righteously pissed off. At the moment, Arthur looked utterly stunned and extremely unnerved and…

Well, the last time someone had looked at Eames like that, he'd been wearing a 36DD blonde and twirling around a pole in the subconscious of an 18-year-old mafia prince who'd turned out to have more exotic tastes than anyone had previously guessed, including the mark himself.

Eames snuck a glance back over his shoulder at his wings. Experimentally, he shook them out, rustling his feathers.

Arthur swallowed convulsively.

"Eames," Cobb said, oblivious. "Fluffier."

"Right, um," Eames said, pulled his wings in around himself, and snapped them back out. It threw him off-balance and nearly pulled a muscle in his back, but it was so very, very worth it to see Arthur lean back against a tree like his knees had just gone weak in the middle of the world's best blowjob. Also, unless it was Eames' imagination, which he did not think it was, Arthur's trousers weren't fitting quite as well in this dream as they had topside.

Really? Eames thought, and was utterly unable to stop a cat-that-ate-the-canary grin from spreading over his face.

"Right, you know, I think these might actually be better," he temporized. "More authoritative."

Ariadne poked at his shirt. "Hey, you have little wing slits in your shirt now. Effective, but shouldn't you just take it off instead?"

"I don't think Eames wants to strip down in front of an elderly grandmother," Arthur said, perhaps a little more sharply than strictly necessary.

"No, no, darling, I believe you might be right," Eames told Ariadne. "Here, we'll compromise, just let me…"

Eames focused and did the shimmy again, and then he was down to trousers and a white tank top with arm holes that dipped halfway down his back. And wings, sticking out of the aforementioned arm holes and bunching his shirt up between his shoulder blades. "There, how's that look?"

"I think you should have sex with me," Ariadne told him seriously.

"What?" Cobb yelped. Arthur made a sort of strangled, protesting noise.

"Hm, I'm not sure that's quite the look I was going for, given that the mark is in fact a nonagenarian," Eames said thoughtfully. "Oh, wait, I should erase my tattoos too. The old dear might disapprove."

"Didn't you see the photo of the little figurine with Jesus on a Harley Davidson?" Ariadne asked.

"No, I did not, and I think the world is just a little worse a place now that I know it exists," Eames said, curving his wings austerely. "Weigh in, Arthur – tattoos, yes or no?"

Arthur did a sort of pissed-off through-the-nose inhale that made Eames worry a little. "Yes," he gritted out. Eames blinked in surprise.

"Really?" he asked.

"Really?" Cobb said dubiously. "I think –"

"Wow, these feathers are really soft," Ariadne said, running her hand over them. "Okay, Eames, seriously, are you sure you don't want to have sex, because I bet these would feel –"

Eames didn't even catch movement out of the corner of his eye; there was just clear air space in front of him one moment that was filled with Arthur the next. "He's sure," Arthur said flatly.

Eames and Ariadne stared at him. Arthur twitched a little but didn't budge from where he was standing, unless looming was a more appropriate word, which now that Eames thought of it might well have been the case.

"Okay," Ariadne said finally. Then, because she had no idea whatsoever of when to stop, "You just… let me know if he changes his mind. The offer will pretty much be open forever."

Eames beamed fondly at her, then draped a wing around Arthur's shoulder. Arthur went so still that Eames actually wasn't sure he was breathing. "What do you think, Arthur? Fluffy or not-fluffy? I do think the fluff is a bit too precious, but on the other hand, witness our surroundings."

Ariadne shot a look at Cobb that promised dark retribution for making her design the inside of a Thomas Kinkade painting. Arthur gave Eames a glare that would have made a lesser man step back, especially if it were aimed at him from less than six inches away.

"Fluffy," Arthur said between his teeth. "Seriously. Fluffy. I want you looking like a first grader made you to stick on top of the Christmas tree."

"I don't know, I think I might need a fluffer for that," Eames' mouth said before his brain could stop it.


"Hey, I offered," Ariadne said, then inched back away from Arthur's glower.

"Fluff, Eames, or so help me God –"

"Oh, all right," Eames sulked, studied his reflection for a minute, and then shifted himself into egregiously fluffy wings the likes of which had never graced any bird the earth had ever seen. And shifted himself out of his shirt, though not out of his tattoos.

"There," he said, stepping back to shake his wings out. "Better?"

"Put," Arthur said, "your clothes back on."

Eames shifted back into his button-down, leaving it untucked and tenuously held together by two buttons in the middle, and looped his half-untied tie back around his neck. "Better now?" he asked, smirking.

"Jesus Christ," Arthur said. "Eames, the mark is ninety years old. Stop looking like porn."

"Oh, do lighten up, pet," Eames said gleefully. "Don't you think she deserves a bit of a sendoff?"

"Cobb!" Arthur appealed.

Cobb cleared his throat tactfully. "Eames, you upset Arthur when you look like porn."

"I am not upset," Arthur explained. Eames admired the delicate flush gracing the backs of his ears. "I just don't think it's appropriate."

"Because women are supposed to be sexless beings once they get past a certain age?" Ariadne asked in a tone that suggested that if Arthur wasn't very careful about his answer, death by angry swarming fairies was the best he could hope for.

Arthur crossed his arms over his chest – very defensively indeed, Eames couldn't help but notice. "Why am I in the wrong for thinking Eames shouldn't be looking like the December centerfold spread in Playgirl?"

Eames was highly pleased and flattered, and also couldn't help recalling that Arthur never seemed to get flustered when Eames looked like the centerfold spread in Playboy. It was probably just as well that the timer ran out on the PASIV device before he could make any of this known to Arthur. It might have got him eaten by fairies, and Eames suspected that Arthur would find that hard to forgive.

"It'll be all right on the night, pet," he called after Arthur's stiffly retreating back, then sighed wistfully. It was probably too much to ask that Arthur might be hurrying away to rub one out, but it was a nice thought all the same.

Of course, while it'll be all right on the night was a fine sentiment with which to annoy retreating Arthurs, it wasn't quite that simple.

Eames – followed out the door by Cobb's suspicious squint, Ariadne's suggestive grin, a look that on anyone but Arthur would have been smoldering pissed-off lust, and Yusuf's grave pity – took the PASIV home with him so he could work on the forgery without distraction. Within two hours, for some value of "hours," he was so pissed off at himself and every elderly grandmother in existence that he was within a hair's breadth of calling his own and giving her a piece of his mind. Only the fact that the merest Precious Moments figurine would have caused her to stroke out on the spot from sheer horror kept his phone in his pocket where it belonged. Well, and the fact that she thought he was an investment banker.

He just couldn't get the fucking thing right. Regardless of what Ariadne said (or implied, or leered, bless her), it was difficult to present oneself convincingly as a luminous holy being when one looked – and Eames said this in the purest spirit of disinterested accuracy – like a middleweight boxer with a dubious history in porno films. Dressing himself in his favorite black suit, the one that allowed him to blend unobtrusively into just about any office setting, made him look like the Death of Bespoke Tailors when he tacked the wings onto it. Shading it into a light dove grey made him look like a midlevel heavenly bureaucrat, which was a bad thing to look like when one needed to project authority and trustworthiness. Eames tried on a dozen personae one after the other: reedy and bespectacled; looming and Moses-inspired; tall, quietly imposing, and with distinguished grey at the temples; even, in desperation, Morgan Freeman. None of them looked right, none of them felt right, and to top the thing off, he had no idea how the wretched mark would expect a male angel to look, speak, or behave. He rather expected there would be strong elements of her father in there, but for all the good that did him she might as well have been personally acquainted with Ramses II.

When the timer on the PASIV went off and he resurfaced, he booted up his laptop and, at his wits' end, ran an image search on "male angels." It turned up page after page of gay porn and a frankly terrifying romance novel cover that seemed to feature Fabio and enough steroids to grow mustaches on every toddler in England. Eames shut his laptop and beat his forehead against it.

It was a bloody shame, was what it was. Eames was the best forger in the business. He'd forged dead lovers, live bosses, friends, neighbors, and discreet strangers. He had ladies in his repertoire who could, in two minutes flat, have any man who wasn't asexual or the solidest 6 on the Kinsey Scale eating out of their hands – and a handful of men who would do for the rest. He'd forged rock stars, movie stars, presidents, senators, and had once very nearly succeeded in forging a horse. And here he was, on the verge of being defeated by some old biddy's wretched taste in kitsch, all because Cobb would insist on the fucking wings, and the wings simply didn't go with anything, not the way a hairdo or an eye patch or a missing limb could be made to go with things.

There was only one thing for it. Eames needed someone to bounce ideas off from, and there was just one person for the task. It would be a bit dicey, but Eames was up for the challenge. Never let it be said that he was too proud to ask for help.

Well, all right, that was a lie of such heroic proportions that somewhere Eames' mother was gasping and pressing a hand to her bosom without any clue as to why she was doing it. To rephrase: never let it be said that Eames considered the momentary indignity of playing damsel-in-distress to be too high a price to pay for the privilege of working Arthur into an absolute lather. There, that was better. Satisfied, Eames grabbed his wallet, packed up the PASIV device, paused in front of the mirror long enough to compose his face into a suitably woebegone expression, and headed out the door.

A minute later, he came back in, changed into a tight-fitting t-shirt, and went back out again. When one was assaulting Arthur's peace of mind, after all, one needed to make use of all the weapons at one's disposal.

"Oh, God," Arthur said.

Eames scowled and rubbed at the back of his neck. "Just let me in, all right? I was… I mean, I wanted to just… bugger."

Arthur narrowed his eyes and flicked a glance down to the PASIV case. "You can't get a handle on the forgery and you want someone to run it past," he guessed.

"Well, I wouldn't have said that exactly," Eames said with complete honesty.

Arthur leaned against the door to his hotel room, studying Eames skeptically. He was in rolled-up shirtsleeves and his tie was loose around his neck, which for Arthur nearly counted as lingerie. Eames' mouth might have watered a little. Only a little, though, because however much all work and no play might make Jack take a hatchet to his next of kin, Eames really was here on business. Partly. Mostly.

Eames looked plaintive. Arthur looked vaguely mortified. Down the hall, the ice machine made a horrific sound.

"Okay, come in," Arthur sighed finally.

Beaming victoriously, Eames brushed past Arthur and set the PASIV unit up on the coffee table. That done, he flung himself down onto the couch, staking his claim, and wriggled a little to get comfortable. Arthur held up an alcohol swab packet and flicked it meaningfully in his fingers, and Eames stuck out his arm automatically for Arthur to wipe it down and slide in the needle. He just had time to reflect agreeably on how well he had his Arthur trained – unless, wait, Arthur had him trained, which seemed terribly unlikely but now that Eames thought of it –

– before he found himself standing in an Enchanted Forest that, in his own rather irritable subconscious, looked rather more like something out of the original Brothers Grimm than anything likely to be painted on cheap ceramics and sold by The Bradford Exchange.

"I guess it's a good thing you're not the dreamer on this one," Arthur said from behind him, amused.

"Yes, I rather think I wouldn't do Ariadne's creation justice." There was a large three-way mirror in front of him, this time looking decently like something one might find at a tailor's. Eames surveyed it thoughtfully. "It's the bloody wings. I can't seem to find a forgery that suits them."

Arthur was silent for a perplexing moment, then cleared his throat. "Okay, put them on and let's take a look."

Eames made fluffy wings sprout out of his back and shifted his shirt to a loose tank to accommodate them. Arthur's reflection swallowed convulsively and blinked a few times. "Do they have to be fluffy, really?" Eames asked plaintively. "What if she's secretly a huge fan of – what was that movie with the angels and the truck stop, and bashing the place up with huge hammers?"

"I… genuinely have no idea."

" – or of some other movie where the angels go about the place smiting people –"

"Do you really think that's likely given her décor?"

Eames sighed, defeated. "No. More's the pity." He gave a mental shimmy and the fluffy wings were replaced by the kind of bat wings most often seen on the cover of very bad heavy metal albums. Behind him, Arthur made a strangled sound. "Maybe I could be Satan instead, come to gloat about how her soul will be mine if she doesn't reveal the contents of her will forthwith."

"No, Eames," Arthur said.

Eames shot him a wicked grin and changed the bat wings to fairy wings. "Could be worse, though, eh? Thank God Cobb didn't get the clever idea to have me forge bloody Oberon or something."

Arthur had his arms folded over his chest again, all that lovely tight defensiveness put up just for Eames to inveigle a path through. "Get on with it or I'll give him the idea."

"Now, darling, would you really? I'd have to wear a loincloth or something."

"You put yourself in a loincloth and so help me God…"

Eames nearly asked him to finish that sentence, then weighed the odds of getting an answer against the odds of a murder-suicide and, discretion being the better part of valor, obediently changed back to the fluffy wings. "All right, but look, love, I can't bloody find a forgery that suits them. Help me out, yeah? I'll run a few past you and you can make suggestions."

Arthur settled himself into a plush recliner that had somehow appeared in back of him. Eames supposed they were lucky there weren't any projections around. "Mr. Eames," he said, "show me what you've got."

And oh, wasn't that tempting. But duty called, so Eames showed him the forgeries instead.

"No," Arthur said to the weedy accountant. "The mark will rip you apart faster than a pissed-off projection if she senses weakness."

"Right," Eames sighed, and shifted.

"Too Old Testament," Arthur told the stern, bearded older gentleman. Eames agreed dolefully and shifted again.

"Closer, but no," Arthur said. "Go younger. Someone stuck in their late 20s or early 30s forever."

"How's the hair?" Eames asked, peering at the strand between his fingertips.

"Keep the color. It goes with the wings."

"Right," Eames said, and shifted.

"Eames," Arthur said with his head in his hands. "Remember we talked about looking like porn? Now you look like porn starring Fabio."

"Right, didn't really think that one would work," Eames said, a little regretfully.

"Is that Morgan Freeman?"

"Of course not," Eames said with great dignity, and shifted again.

They had to restart the PASIV twice, but in the end, it came down to this: male, early 30s physically but with an Air of Ineffable Age and Wisdom ("How is that different from having an Air of Bloody Superciliousness? Oh, never mind, darling, just sit there and let me copy you for a second."), muscular ("You know, Eames, your insistence on this whole warrior-angel thing is starting to make me think you're overcompensating for something."), piercing blue eyes and hair the white-blonde color that bad artists and sculptors seemed to favor ("Dear God, they're all so Aryan I think even I might be offended."), and… well, it was robes after all in the end, buggering fuck, and Arthur nearly fell out of his recliner laughing.

(This caused a faint, odd pang in Eames' chest that was either affection or indigestion. For an irrational moment, he caught himself thinking that the robes were worth it if they made Arthur laugh until he ran out of breath and the corners of his eyes were nearly permanently crinkled. Considering the inherent difficulty in even getting Arthur to smile, Eames felt ridiculously proud of himself, and the next time he tugged at the robes it was almost with more fondness than annoyance.)

Experimentally, Eames stretched out his hand and let a flaming sword fall into it with a smack. Fortunately the handle seemed to be made out of asbestos, because the skin on his hand didn't immediately fry off. "What do you think? Flaming sword or no?"

Curled into the arm of the recliner, Arthur leaned his cheek on his hand and looked at Eames with soft amusement still lurking around the edges of his mouth. "Definitely the flaming sword," he said agreeably.

Eames turned back to the mirror to survey the final product. His attention had slipped a little, what with Arthur's ridiculously adorable laughing fit and all, and one of the reflections was still him. Past the edge of one wing, he could see Arthur's eyes snap toward the unforged reflection. "You don't like forgery really, do you?" he asked, forcing himself to meet Arthur's gaze in the mirror. It was harder than he expected.

He was glad he had, though, because otherwise he'd have missed Arthur's initial reaction, which was a reassuring flash of blank surprise. "I don't have anything against it," he said. "Why would you think I did?"

"If there are mirrors around, you never look at the forgery," Eames told him. "You always look at the one that's me, until there aren't any anymore. And when you have to interact with a forgery, there's always this… I don't know, this look you get, like I'm doing something that drives you barmy and I can never quite figure out what it is."

Arthur had gone very still. "Do me a favor, Eames," he said in a carefully toneless voice. "Drop the forgery. Except the wings, keep those."

"Kinky," Eames said approvingly, and dropped everything as requested. The wings, though – the wings he changed, from the fluffy abominations he'd be using for the job to the swan wings that he'd come up with in the first place. He twitched them back far enough to look at Arthur in the mirror and watched as his eyes went dark with unmistakable hunger.

"Stay there for a minute," Arthur ordered, and levered himself up out of the chair to stalk over to Eames. Curious and utterly unhesitating, Arthur pushed aside Eames' shirt and ran his hand over the spot where the wings came out of Eames' back. "Can you feel this? Me touching them."

"A bit," Eames said more hoarsely that he would have liked. He could feel it a bit, like what a phantom limb probably felt like, but the much more pressing problem lay in convincing his dick that Arthur wasn't touching it no matter what it might think. Which led straight to the lurking realization that events were proceeding a way that made it look increasingly likely that Arthur's hand actually would make contact with Eames' dick at some point in the proceedings, and… well, that more or less put paid to Eames' efforts to keep from getting hard enough to drill diamonds.

"They're amazing," Arthur whispered, his breath hot on the back of Eames' neck as his hands stroked over the wings. "They're perfect in every detail, even in their little imperfections. No matter how close I get, nothing looks off about them."

"Aside from the fact that they're coming out of a human being's back, you mean," Eames said unsteadily, watching in the mirror as Arthur's fingertips traced along the tops of his wings.

"Not even that," Arthur answered, burying his fingers in feathers. "They should look stupid, they should look like you're wearing cat ears or something, not like…"

"Like what, darling?" Eames whispered, snapping off the metaphorical safety and pressing back against Arthur to find him hard as a rock under his immaculately tailored trousers.

Arthur caught his breath and slid an arm around Eames' waist, stretching his palm flat over Eames' hipbone. "Don't fuck with me, Eames, I'm having a crisis," he muttered into the curve of Eames' neck.

"If it leads you to grope me like this, feel free to have all the crises your little superego demands," Eames told him.

"Swan wings should not be a turn-on to anything but other swans."

"Hm, and yet here we are," Eames breathed, nudging at Arthur's cheek with his nose in an attempt to get Arthur's mouth up within range of his own. "It's a harmless kink as kinks go, pet. Just so we're clear, I'm quite willing to indulge it as often as you'd like."

Arthur slid a hand up to Eames' jaw and pulled his face around so that Eames was looking at the two of them in the mirror. God, it was a sight, too – Arthur looking less immaculately controlled by the minute, hooking his chin over Eames' shoulder, his eyes all pupil and black with slow-burning absorption, hands as sure on Eames' body as they were on a gun.

"I think about fucking you," Arthur whispered against his ear, "all the time. When you flip that poker chip around in your fingers. When you chew on your pen. When you smile. When you don't smile. When you call me 'darling,' or call me 'Arthur,' or just – just open your fucking mouth and that voice comes out. When you put someone else on and all I want is to see the real you again because it's like someone's covered an amazing view with a tacky curtain they won't let me open and it's so goddamn frustrating. When you have. Fucking. Wings. And when you don't."

"Dear God, I hope you're not really a projection," Eames groaned.

"We could wait," Arthur breathed, and did something painfully good to Eames' earlobe with his tongue and teeth. "We could kick out of the dream and do this topside, but I have to tell you, Eames, I really want to put you on your hands and knees with those goddamned stupid gorgeous wings and fuck you until you molt."

"Now, there's a thing no one's ever said to me bef – ah!"

"Eames," Arthur panted. If he hadn't had Eames' full attention before, he and his deathgrip would certainly have it now. "God, you left this afternoon and I knew you were going under to try on the goddamned wings again and I had to go in the bathroom and make myself come so hard I almost brained myself on the mirror –"

"Right," Eames said faintly, and kicked Arthur's feet out from underneath him.

Or tried to, anyway; the wings threw him off-balance and Arthur's hold on him proved a bit more tenacious than expected, and they both went arse over teakettle onto the mossy ground. Eames flared out his wings on reflex so they didn't get bent up under him and accidentally smacked Arthur in the back of the head with one; which given the angle shouldn't quite have resulted in Arthur's mouth slamming down onto Eames' but managed to anyway.

"Jesus Christ," Arthur muttered in between attempts to devour Eames' mouth from the inside out. "Fucking wings. If you tell anyone about this I will eviscerate you."

Eames wanted to say something along the soul-of-discretion lines but all he could manage around Arthur's tongue was "Mmrph."

"All your fault, you and those… mmm…" Arthur's hand dove down the back of Eames' jeans, resurfaced with Eames' gun, and tossed it blindly into the woods. "And your fucking tattoos, god, you do this on purpose, you bastard."

"What, I – er." There wasn't much that could have made Eames shut up right then, let alone freeze in the middle of that lovely writhing grind their bodies had fallen into, but one thing that definitely could was the sudden appearance of a very long and wickedly sharp bowie knife in Arthur's hand. Still panting a little, Arthur shoved up and sat on Eames' hips – which, good god, yes – and slid the knife into the loose arm hole of Eames' shirt. One quick slice, steel parting fabric like a hot knife through butter and kissing Eames' ribs in an incongruously cold line all the way down, then another slice on the other side, and Arthur was tossing the knife down and yanking the remnants of Eames' shirt out from between his wings and over his head.

"Efficient," Eames remarked, grinding upward with both hands wrapped around Arthur's hips.

"Impatient," Arthur growled, yanking the knot of his tie loose.

"By all means, let me help." Eames grabbed the knife and started slicing the buttons off Arthur's shirt with quick flicks of his wrist. In reality it might actually have gotten him killed, but here Arthur just made a gorgeously turned-on sound and yanked his shirt off over his head before Eames was even finished.

"Fucking beautiful," Eames whispered, sober for a moment as he ran his hands up the whipcord muscle of Arthur's torso and slid his thumbs over stiff, dark nipples. Arthur made a soft noise and closed his eyes, bowing his head and moving against Eames' hands; his hair was starting to work loose from the gel and fall into his eyes in slick tendrils. Suddenly remembering the appendages that had started all this, Eames wrapped his wings around Arthur, watching him jolt and his eyes fly open as feathers slipped over the bare skin of his back.

"Jesus Christ," Arthur said raggedly, and dropped down to bite his way into Eames' mouth, then down his neck to his chest and further, rubbing his back against the wings as his hands fumbled with the button of Eames' jeans.

"Like that, yeah?" Eames said breathlessly. "Want to suck me off with my wings wrapped around you? Tell me, darling, is this some sort of strange angel-defiling kink?"

Arthur yanked Eames' jeans open and down and met his eyes, bending to lick a slow circle around Eames' navel. "Oh, I'm going to make you fall," he breathed, and sucked Eames' cock into his mouth.

Eames gave a strangled noise, because dear god, Arthur could suck a potato through a tailpipe, and right now Eames was mostly glad of the wings because they gave him one more thing to grab hold of Arthur with. Arthur smirked up at him and proceeded to do things with his tongue that made Eames gasp and curse and clench his fist in Arthur's hair and twist his hips upward until Arthur grabbed hold of them and pinned them to the ground. Eames groaned in protest and prodded his wings until he'd bent them to his will and slipped a stiff fringe of feathers down under the waistband of Arthur's immaculate trousers. Arthur made the most beautiful, desperate noise around Eames' cock, and that embarrassingly quickly Eames was reduced to gritting his teeth and thinking about cricket so he wouldn't come right down Arthur's long, elegant throat.

"C'mon, Eames, don't hold out on me," Arthur whispered, those flawless cupid's-bow lips brushing hotly against the spit-slick head of Eames' cock. "Come for me like this so I can turn you over and fuck you right into the ground."

Eames cursed helplessly and came, all over Arthur's mouth and his hand and who the hell knew where else. Arthur gave a soft, smug hum and stroked him through it, then bent his head to lick Eames clean, and really, it was a good thing you could die in dreams without dying in reality, because Eames was fairly sure he wasn't going to survive Arthur being determined to make him come so hard his bones liquefied.

"Right," Eames panted, loosening his deathgrip on Arthur's hair. "That's me done for, you just go ahead and –"

"Don't be stupid, Eames," Arthur ordered, and trailed the slick tip of his tongue over Eames' balls. "Dream, remember? You don't need a refractory period."

"Right, no, but I really do," Eames argued, staring up at the tree branches overhead and trying to catch his breath. "Seriously, darling, I think you blew the top of my head off."

"Okay, if you're sure," Arthur said, deliberately casually, repositioned himself with an efficient wriggle, and slid his tongue into Eames' ass.

"Gahjesusfuck," Eames choked out, and fuck it all, Arthur was right – Eames was hard again so fast that it gave him a twinge of phantom pain in his dick. "Right, all right, you win, now dream up some bloody lube."

Arthur snickered and slapped Eames on the hip, nudging him over onto his stomach. Eames shifted to lift his hips, but Arthur's hand pressed into the small of his back, holding him down. "Wait," Arthur whispered, and stretched out over Eames.

A soft brush of warm breath against the back of his neck was the only warning Eames got before Arthur's mouth touched down on his skin, moving slowly down his back, working nerve endings Eames hadn't known he had with the hot, soft slide of his lips and tongue and the occasional sharp nip. His fingers slid into Eames' feathers, followed close by his mouth; Eames closed his eyes and tried to bring the sensation into focus, and he'd felt some strange things during sex over the course of an eventful adulthood, but very few of them compared to Arthur sucking a wing feather into his mouth and licking it all the way down the shaft, then letting it go to slide his tongue down the intersection of wing and skin.

"You have no idea what you look like right now," Arthur said hoarsely, shifting down to press a slow, hot kiss against the small of Eames' back. "God, with the wings and the tattoos and your jeans hanging off your ass. You need to get a tramp stamp so I can lick it."

It was bloody hard to forge blind, but Eames had done it before, and did it now; imagined ink spreading out across his back just above his tailbone, O, speak again, bright angel in blackletter. Arthur gave a choked sound somewhere between a laugh and a groan and bent to trace every letter with his tongue.

"On the clock, darling," Eames reminded him breathlessly, which was marginally more dignified than Oh god your mouth fuck me now now now. Arthur made a discontented noise, sucked a hickey into bright, and nudged Eames up onto his hands and knees.

It was hard at first, negotiating the angles – Arthur wanting to lean close and the wings getting in the way, and when he slid into Eames in one long smooth stroke the wings snapped out of their own accord and nearly knocked them both off-balance. It was hard to care when Arthur was pressed up against him, digging his fingers hard into Eames' hips and making the most gorgeous, desperate sounds against the back of Eames' neck and fucking him fast and deep with the butter-soft fabric of his Balenciaga trousers brushing over the backs of Eames' thighs.

"God, darling, I'd have done this, oh fuck, years ago if I'd known it'd get you to throw me down and fuck me like this," Eames panted, grinding back against Arthur.

"Oh Jesus, shut up," Arthur almost sobbed, and bit hard into the arch of Eames' neck. "Stop talking or this is going to be over so fast –"

Oh, god, yes, and the prospect of making cool, self-contained Arthur lose his shit completely was such an incentive to shut up, and in no way such a turn-on that it knocked Eames three notches closer to coming just thinking about it. "But we're about to run out of time," he whispered, tilting his head back to nuzzle against Arthur and pushing hard back against him. "And what a shame that'll be, all those clothes to get out of when you're so close to coming that you can't even see straight and you can't even begin to explain to your dick why it's suddenly in your trousers and not in my arse – do you think we're, oh fuck, think we're hard up there, pet, think you're about to make me come in my jeans –"

Arthur groaned desperately and yanked Eames back up onto his knees, slamming into him hard and fast and wrapping one shaking hand around Eames' cock. Eames flared out his wings, keeping them balanced, then wrapped them around Arthur and hung the fuck on. Arthur whined deep in his throat, stroked hard at just the perfect angle, and twisted his wrist in a way that Eames hadn't even been sure his dick would go but it knocked him so hard over the edge that all he could do was writhe and pant and hope dimly that coming that hard wouldn't send him right out of the dream. Arthur fucked him right through it, not letting up until Eames gave an oh-fuck-that-was-good moan and relaxed back against him.

"God, you're –" Arthur whimpered, pulled out, and came all over Eames' wings, fingers digging into Eames' shoulder and teeth into the back of his neck, and it was so ridiculously hot that for an insane moment Eames really sort of wanted to keep the wings. Or Arthur. Or, for preference, both.

They didn't move for a minute. Eames was just glad the forest floor was covered in unrealistically cushiony moss, particularly when Arthur planted a hand between his shoulder blades and pushed him forward, then collapsed beside him, blinking up at the tree branches or fireflies or something and trying to catch his breath.

"So," Eames said when he'd mostly gotten his breath back. "I think that last forgery will work well enough, don't you?"

"Yeah," Arthur said, sounding a little dazed. He rolled over and slid his fingers into Eames' feathers, careful not to bend them as he stroked along the skin underneath. Sleepy and content, Eames let his eyes drift closed, and when he opened them again he was back in the hotel room.

"Dear god, that was interesting," he said, staring blankly at the ceiling. After a minute, he found the energy to pull the needle out of his wrist and glanced over to see Arthur doing the same. Arthur didn't look at him – appeared in fact to be studiously not looking at him – and Eames sighed and levered himself off the couch in preparation for making a discreet getaway.

Shame, really. Arthur was proving unexpectedly fascinating in all the best ways. But if he wanted Eames with the wings but not without, Eames could work with that, he supposed.

He was winding up the lines to stuff back into the PASIV case when tentative hands ran up his arms to settle on his shoulders. Eames, who had deliberately lost track of where Arthur was, stopped what he was doing and stared at the PASIV in surprise.

"Hey," Arthur whispered, touching his mouth lightly to the curve of Eames' neck. "Stay."

Eames swallowed against the sudden dryness in his throat. "I didn't. Er. Think, but, I mean, if you wanted –"

"Eames." Arthur nipped lightly at his earlobe. "Shut up. It's late. Come to bed."

"Right, of course," Eames said, unable to quite figure out how his evening had gotten from Oh God, Eames, not you to here.

"Oh, and Eames?"

"Yes, darling?"

"If you disappear on me in the middle of the night, I will hunt you down and shoot you in the balls."

"Yes, darling," said Eames, who had no doubt whatsoever that Arthur would do exactly that, in dreamspace if nowhere else.

"Good. I'm glad we understand each other," Arthur said, and kissed him just under the ear, unexpectedly sweetly. "Come to bed, Mr. Eames."

It turned out, gratifyingly enough, that Arthur was just as enthusiastic without the wings as with them. And that, with the wings out of the way, there was that much more room for Arthur's-fingers-shaped bruises on Eames' back; and given the choice, Eames much preferred the latter.

"He's a demon," the mark shrilled at Arthur, making a valiant attempt to wield her walker like Eames' flaming sword.

Eames smirked. "Well, yes, dear, but only in –"

Arthur gave him a look that seemed to translate to I cannot even believe you're about to say what you're about to say, but rest assured that if you say it I will cut you off for the rest of your life.

" – the underworld," Eames corrected himself hastily. "Not here, I mean. Really he's a pussycat once he's slipped Satan's leash, wouldn't rip the soul raw and bloody from the chest of a fly, I'm honestly a little embarrassed on Hell's behalf. Just, er. Let me vanquish him and we'll go on seeing to it that your moggies are well taken care of after you've crossed over, shall we?"

"And just how do you propose to vanquish me?" Arthur asked dryly, sneaking a glance back over his shoulder at the cottage where Cobb had clearly run into difficulties cracking the mark's subconscious safe. His entire demeanor was that of a point man who's been sent out to stall and is thoroughly annoyed about it.

"With the all-victorious power of love, darling, of course," Eames said gleefully.

"Oh, how sweet," the mark beamed.

"Oh my god," Arthur said, and promptly dissolved into a startled shower of sparkly fairies. Eames just stared, caught between horror at the fate the mark's subconscious reserved for blasphemous demons and laughing until he died.

The mark patted him on the arm. "Don't worry, dear," she said. "I'm sure he's only temporarily discorporated. There'll be plenty of time to vanquish him with the power of love later."

"Er," Eames managed.

"Do you know," said the mark thoughtfully, "I think he really likes your wings."
bookshop: illustrative art of a red-headed girl helming a steampunk airship, facing the wind, eyes closed. (Default)

[personal profile] bookshop 2010-09-21 12:46 am (UTC)(link)


this was amazing. i'm sure you already knew that, but jesus christ -- i mean - WAIT - *bursts into fairies*
beachlass: red flipflops by water (Default)

[personal profile] beachlass 2010-09-21 01:16 am (UTC)(link)
Oh lord, it just keeps going and I keep thinking I can't love it more and then somehow you make it even funnier and sexier and then I do love it more and I think you blew the top of my head off too.
remula: (Default)

[personal profile] remula 2010-09-21 01:19 am (UTC)(link)
OMG, wing!fic!~

"Jesus Christ," Arthur said. "Eames, the mark is ninety years old. Stop looking like porn."

"Oh, do lighten up, pet," Eames said gleefully. "Don't you think she deserves a bit of a sendoff?"

"Cobb!" Arthur appealed.

Cobb cleared his throat tactfully. "Eames, you upset Arthur when you look like porn."

BEST EXCHANGE EVER, LOLOLOL! And the mark, she is so awesome, especially the last line, hahahaha. XP

(Anonymous) 2010-09-21 01:22 am (UTC)(link)

For serious, this fandom needs more random old lady marks. I say we start a support group for them. And if they like their angels with tattoos and Harley Davidsons...well, then, THEY ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE.
glitterdash: morgana looking hot. (Default)

[personal profile] glitterdash 2010-09-21 02:08 am (UTC)(link)
Oh my God, this is the most perfect wingfic in the history of the world.
cobweb_diamond: (Default)

[personal profile] cobweb_diamond 2010-09-21 02:30 am (UTC)(link)



this is all i need from inception fandom.
deepsix: (Default)

[personal profile] deepsix 2010-09-21 02:38 am (UTC)(link)
This is pretty much everything I needed right now and it's amazing.
grimalkin: [fly like birds not of this earth] (Default)

[personal profile] grimalkin 2010-09-21 03:29 am (UTC)(link)
I have to tell you, Eames, I really want to put you on your hands and knees with those goddamned stupid gorgeous wings and fuck you until you molt."

UNTIL YOU MOLT. Oh my god. This fic destroyed me in the best way. Came home from an awful day, and this was up, and now I can die happy. Thank you for giving this fandom some much needed wing!fic. XD
oboros: circle of chaos (Default)

[personal profile] oboros 2010-09-21 04:02 am (UTC)(link)
hahahaha great ending. thanks for sharing!

[personal profile] amycable 2010-09-21 04:09 am (UTC)(link)
This was an absolute joy, start to finish.
arueh: (Default)

[personal profile] arueh 2010-09-21 04:35 am (UTC)(link)
Hilarious, hot, and so amazing *g*!
neednotwant: girl with tattoos (Default)

[personal profile] neednotwant 2010-09-21 07:03 am (UTC)(link)
zorana: (Default)

[personal profile] zorana 2010-09-21 07:11 am (UTC)(link)
this whole fic omg! I love everything about it and am too incoherent from joy for an actual response but pleae accept the SQUEE *___________*

(Anonymous) 2010-09-21 07:34 am (UTC)(link)
...holy cow.

I kinda love this more than words can say.
lemniciate: (Default)

[personal profile] lemniciate 2010-09-21 08:14 am (UTC)(link)
*_____* This is the best thing of all time.

ext_9768: (Default)

[identity profile] sparrow-wings.livejournal.com 2010-09-21 08:47 am (UTC)(link)
The Death of Bespoke Tailors, omg, I actually had to clap my hands over my mouth to hold in my laughter.
be_a_rebel: (morbid_girls (jgl-tom.hardy-red))

[personal profile] be_a_rebel 2010-09-21 09:37 am (UTC)(link)

You are my hero! <3
ext_14277: (Default)

[identity profile] eyebrowofdoom.livejournal.com 2010-09-21 11:09 am (UTC)(link)
omg awesome.
liketheroad: (in darlington)

[personal profile] liketheroad 2010-09-21 04:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I can't even... there are no words for how delightfully hilarious and yet intensely emotional and satisfying this entire fic was!

(Anonymous) 2010-09-21 04:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh my goodness, this fic is GREAT!!! actually had me laughing out loud. really hot and completely hilarious. thank you so much for writing.

i may now have an angel kink. i'm blaming this fic for that turn of events. hats off.
bkwyrm: (Default)

[personal profile] bkwyrm 2010-09-21 10:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you, I am now imagining THard with giant white wings and going a little weak at the knees.
musicdiamond: (Default)

[personal profile] musicdiamond 2010-09-21 11:41 pm (UTC)(link)
Hahaha, the Thomas Kinkade is really what did it for me, I think. Lots of fun and hot!

[identity profile] chibi-lurrel.livejournal.com 2010-09-22 01:28 am (UTC)(link)
omg, WING FIC. This is incredibly hot and smoldering and absolutely lovely. And it's wing fic (clearly I, too, really like his wing)!
parkhyein: (Default)

[personal profile] parkhyein 2010-09-22 05:45 am (UTC)(link)
cherrybina: (Default)

[personal profile] cherrybina 2010-09-22 12:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh my god I love this so much. As ridiculously hot as it was, I have to say that Cobb was one of my favorite things.

"You can have a flaming sword if you feel it's appropriate," Cobb said generously.

I almost snorted tea right out of my nose when I read that line.

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