Bauble (bauble) wrote in ae_match,

Fic & Art: Chimera - 4/4

Title: Chimera: Snake Eyes
Author/Artist: bauble & enoughglitter
Rating: PG-13
Team: Angst
Prompt: lies, sex
Warnings: Prostitution
Word Count: 600 words
Summary: Alternate Reality where Eames is a dream!hooker and Arthur is the client that keeps coming back. Set within the world of Inception, but diverging from the events of canon. Final chapter in a 4 part WIP.

Chapter 1: Lioness Passant
Chapter 2: The Goat
Chapter 3: A Breath of Fire

Chapter 4: Snake Eyes

“You’re a difficult man to track down, Mr. Eames.”

Eames studies the craps table before him, wonders if this will be his lucky roll. He pushes the pitiful pile of chips he has left forward, and throws the dice.

Nothing but snake eyes.

“Better luck next time,” the dealer says as she takes Eames’ chips.

Eames ducks away from the table, pointedly avoiding looking in the direction of the man that had spoken his name. Anyone searching him out is probably bearing bad news or ill-fortune as their cargo.

“You’re just going to ignore me?”

Eames stops when it becomes clear he isn’t going to be able to shake his tracker that easily, and doesn’t turn around. “Usually when a man goes to great lengths not to be found, it means he’s not interested in making new friends.”

“Maybe. But I'm not so new, and I think you’ll want to hear what I have to say.” Suddenly, the noise of the casino around them seems muted, as if someone had turned the volume dial all the way down. And as the words echo in Eames’ mind, something familiar emerges about the man’s voice—a quality Eames once knew from a lifetime ago.

Eames holds a hand out in front of him and watches it twist into that of a child’s, then a young woman’s, then a gnarled old man’s. He schools his expression into a neutrality which gives nothing away and turns around. “What is it you want, Arthur?”

He looks a few years older but barely, hair slicked straight back instead of loose. His body is as trim as ever, wrapped in a three piece suit paired with more practical shoes. Still gorgeous. Still knows it. Eames waits for a dreadfully predictable response--something like, I’m here to see you, or, you haven’t changed at all. But instead Arthur says, “I’m not here to extract from you.”

Something akin to alarm begins to swell up in Eames’ gut. No projection--regardless of how lifelike--has ever had the capacity to surprise him. Not like the real thing. “Am I supposed to take you at your word on this?”

“Have I ever lied to you?” Arthur parries. “Besides, if I wanted your secrets, I’d already have them and we wouldn’t be talking right now.”

“Bold words.” Arthur’s barely said six sentences and already Eames can feel the intractable pull forwards, the way Arthur makes him want to throw everything else down in order to step back into the ring, see who can draw first blood. “But it’s always good to hear that the people who break into my mind have only the noblest intentions.”

“I never said anything about noble.” Arthur smiles, and that’s the same as well--irresistible challenge, written in an arrow’s bow. “I’m putting together a team.”

Eames glances around the casino, jaw tightening when he realizes that none of the projections seem perturbed at all. What this probably says about his subconscious’ feelings is likely not lost on Arthur, either. “There are plenty of good thieves out there.”

“This isn’t just another corporate espionage job,” Arthur says as he steps forward. “I need someone who makes the impossible possible. Someone to help me do what can’t be done.”

Eames should shoot himself out of the dream. He should run like hell and never stop running. He should— “After all this time, what could you possibly have to offer me?”

Arthur smiles like he already knows which way the dice will land, like he’s always known. “Inception.”

Tags: art, fic, prompt: lies, prompt: sex, team angst, wip

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