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30 August 2010 @ 08:04 pm
fic: bruised ghosts  
Title: bruised ghosts
Author: erethesunrises
Fandom: Inception
Characters: Arthur/Eames, Ariadne
Rating: R for language, character death
Word Count: ~2,000
Summary: “If you ask me why you can’t quit me like we’re in some cheesy, melodramatic romance film, I will hit you.” Eames is taken aback for a moment. “Because we were so much better than those cheesy, melodramatic romance films.”
Disclaimer: Don't own it.
Beta: The lovely and wonderful latenightcuppa.

Ariadne knew that the team would never be the same after Arthur’s death, she knew that Eames would never be the same but she had never counted on this. She had never counted on rushing him to the hospital mere weeks after the point man’s death when they had found him unconscious on the floor of the warehouse, a bottle of alcohol mere inches from his fingertips. She wasn’t prepared to lose yet another team member but what terrified her most was that she was unsure if Eames wanted to live and if he did, if he’d ever gain back a semblance of what life used to be.

They all visit Eames at the hospital, hoping and willing him to wake up, but none so much as Ariadne. When she had first gotten involved in this business, she was the outsider. She didn’t know anyone and certainly didn’t know what she was getting herself into, unlike the others (at least in most capacities). After the Fischer job was completed successfully, she felt an instant bond with the people she had worked with. Years later, after finishing school and performing countless jobs with them, they had become akin to her family.

She sits by Eames’ bed, sometimes reading a book on architecture, other times too caught up in her own worries over Eames, who had become something of an older brother to her, to be able to concentrate on anything but him for more than a few minutes. She knows everyone else is hurting, the team is splintering after the death of Arthur, and she’s terrified.

When Eames wakes up, it’s Ariadne who’s sitting beside him. She’s nearly asleep when she hears grunting and suddenly her eyes snap open. “Eames!” She’s to her feet in an instant and at his side, relief coursing through her.

“What happened?” His accent was a slur, vision blurry and he looks to Ariadne as if he was lost in his own forgery.

She worries her lower lip between her teeth and she doesn’t know where to begin answering that question. She decides to go simple rather than try and tell the story of what’s happened in the past few weeks. She knows he’ll remember soon enough. “We found you passed out at the warehouse. You’ve been out for a few days now. I…” Her voice cracks and she chokes on a sob, embarrassed to break down so easily in front of him but given the circumstances, no one can blame her.

“Come here, pet.” She looks up at his voice, brows furrowed until he’s scooting over and patting the space beside him. She hesitates for a moment, wondering if this is really appropriate, until she realizes she needs this and so she crawls up onto the bed beside him, laying her head cautiously on his chest.

“Arthur wouldn’t have wanted you to die. He wouldn’t have wanted this.” She’s met with silence and curls up more, wondering if she said something wrong. Instead of looking up at Eames to see his facial expression, she keeps her eyes trained on the windows of the room, fearful of what she may find.

But she hadn’t needed to worry at all. After those moments of silence, Eames presses his lips together firmly before speaking, his arm tightening around Ariadne. “I know.” He breathes deep. “I know. If he were still alive, he would have stormed in here and started yelling at me and calling me an idiot. Then again, if he were still alive, none of this would have happened.”

She’s almost shocked to hear Eames talking so calmly about Arthur’s death when just days before he had nearly drunk himself to death because of it. But then she reminds herself that this is Eames. “I thought…I thought maybe you…” She can’t bring herself to say it and she buries her face into his side, ashamed that she had once again misread his person entirely.

“You thought what? That I wanted to die?” He raises his eyebrows and looks down at her, his head spinning and feeling disoriented but wanting to comfort Ariadne. “When I first found out, I thought I did. I just couldn’t find the point in living anymore if he wasn’t here.” Ariadne remained quiet, unsure if she was really meant to hear this. They all knew of Arthur and Eames’ relationship but these sounded like words meant for Arthur, not her, even if it was just him speaking to Arthur’s ghost or a projection. Still, she didn’t move from Eames’ embrace and let him talk. “But that was selfish of me, wasn’t it? I’m tired of being selfish. Guess I went a little overboard with the alcohol, huh?”

“I’m glad you’re still here.” It’s all she can think of to say.

“Yeah.” But she’s not entirely convinced of that affirmation.

Ariadne had assumed after landing in the hospital, Eames would start to heal. He would realize the consequences of what he had done and that it wasn’t the proper way to grieve Arthur. His calmness in the hospital should have been the first sign that he wasn’t at all close to coming to terms with what had happened. They should have all seen it coming from miles away, should have all known Eames’ character well enough by now. But it seems they didn’t. She had thought that, after some time, they’d find a new point man and while the team would never be the same, they could go back to work. It wasn’t going to be that easy.

As far as she knew, she was the only one left in the warehouse, working on some dream schematics. When she found Eames hooked up to a PASIV on her way out, curiosity got the better of her. She told herself it was to check up on him, making sure he wasn’t making situations worse for himself, but she knew it also had to do with curiosity. With nimble hands, she put the IV in her arm like it was second nature to her now and entered the dream.

The moment she was within it, she was drenched. Looking through a blurry downpour of rain, she rubbed at her eyes and assembled herself. When she finally looked around, she knew she recognized the location. It was the cemetery they had buried Arthur in. Already things weren’t looking good. She began walking, blindly but her feet knew exactly where to lead her. As she came upon Arthur’s grave, she began to make out the outline of two figures and heard the dull sound of yells through the rain. Almost immediately her mind told her to leave, to kill herself, but instead she found herself hiding behind a nearby tree.

“You fucking idiot!” Eames threw a punch at the projection of Arthur and the deceased man let him. “Goddman idiot. How could you go and let yourself get killed like that?!” He seemed mostly satisfied after he had punched the projection of Arthur, panting and slightly hunched over in the rain. The projection of Arthur said nothing. He simply stood, watching Eames, but Ariadne saw something in his eyes that looked like sympathy.

She shouldn’t be here. She knew she shouldn’t have been here. She should have learned this long ago and yet she was still here. She moved to walk away, to leave, but Eames began speaking again and she couldn’t tell if those were raindrops or tears on his face and she stayed.

“Why did you go out that night? Why did you drive? Why didn’t you let me go like I wanted to in the first place?”

“So you could have died instead of me?”

“Yes!” Eames cried out desperately, not missing a beat.

The projection of Arthur finally broke his image of stagnation and chuckled sardonically. “What good would that have done? The only difference it would make is that a projection of you would be getting punched right now instead of me.”

“Now that’s not true. You wouldn’t have punched me, projection or not.” He says through what Ariadne has come to the conclusion are tears though she wishes she was wrong. His eyes slide away when the projection of Arthur says nothing. He looks up suddenly when the projection is stepping towards him, sliding both hands along the shirt that’s already soaked through and capturing his lips in what Ariadne can only call the most heart-wrenching kiss she’s ever seen. She turns away when arms start enveloping bodies, consuming each other as if it would end forever if they let go.

She’s called back again when she hears skin against skin but not in a way that normally follows a kiss like that. When her eyes land on the scene once more, Arthur’s lip is bleeding and Eames is rubbing his knuckles.

“Don’t start that with me. I can’t just go back to kissing you like you weren’t hit by a drunk driver, as if you’ll be there when I wake up from this.”

“You’re the one who sought me out.”

‘That’s not fair.”

“It’s not, Eames, but it’s reality.”

“Fuck reality.”

“Isn’t that why you came here?”

But it’s not that simple, nothing’s ever that simple. Ariadne knows this though she knows she shouldn’t. This job has aged her and she doesn’t know if it’s for the best. She also doesn’t know if Eames confronting a projection of Arthur is for the best. She can’t help but wonder if this isn’t the first time he’s done so.

“You can’t keep coming here, Eames.” Arthur the projection tentatively steps forward, risking the chance of being pushed away again. “You have to let me – him – go. You haven’t been able to forge properly and you won’t be able to if you keep coming here.” There was Ariadne’s confirmation and she bites her lip, knowing this isn’t healthy or okay, not only for Eames but for the team. She wants to do something, approach him now and slap some sense into him but suddenly Eames’ hands are delicately holding the projection’s face and she’s stilled.

“It’s not that easy,” he breathed, leaning his forehead onto the projection’s.

“I never said it was. But it doesn’t mean it’s not necessary.” Despite his words, his hands reach out and grasp Eames’ hips lightly, the heat from his hands radiating through the fabric, even in the rain. They stand there for several moments in silence, breathing each other in before Eames’ lips finally seek out the projection of Arthur’s and this kiss is so unlike the first: hesitant, quivering, full of regret. Ariadne suddenly finds that Eames isn’t the only one crying.

“Why can’t I – ” Eames begins as he slowly peels his lips away but the projection cuts him off.

“If you ask me why you can’t quit me like we’re in some cheesy, melodramatic romance film, I will hit you.” Eames is taken aback for a moment. “Because we were so much better than those cheesy, melodramatic romance films.”

Eames presses his lips together firmly and one of his hands finds its way to the projection’s hair, running his fingers through it repetitively, unable to stop. “I hate you, you know.” He can’t take his eyes off the projection of Arthur as if staring long and hard enough will make him real.

“I know.” And it’s all the projection can say in reply.

“I hate you for being such a fucking good guy and offering to drive that night. I hate you for making me fall in love with you.” His voice sounds hurt and angry at this point and the projection of Arthur moves his hands up to wipe away tears and raindrops and all at once they’re kissing and grasping and digging nails into each other’s backs and it’s all they can do to not pull apart but Eames does. He tears himself away as if it kills himself to do so (which it does) and he takes a step back. “Do it.”

“You can’t come back to me.”

“Just do it.”

The projection of Arthur pulls out a gun and points it between Eames’ eyes and without hesitation, he shoots.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Current Music: you're so damn hot//ok go
(Deleted comment)
Anya: jgl (blow me away)erethesunrises on August 31st, 2010 03:56 am (UTC)
♥ I'm glad! I kind of love that line too. :D

It hurts bb but I'm glad you liked it.
N/Abehindthec on August 31st, 2010 12:49 am (UTC)

my heart is gone.

this is perfect.
Anya: being human (there for you)erethesunrises on August 31st, 2010 03:57 am (UTC)
Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
Anya: angels & demons (she believed)erethesunrises on August 31st, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
Thanks, bb! <3
dakunutdakunut on August 31st, 2010 06:00 am (UTC)
brb taping my heart back together.
Anya: becoming jane (runaways)erethesunrises on August 31st, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
Aw, I'm glad it had an effect at least!
dakunutdakunut on August 31st, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
I love it. But *WEEPING*
clair3: ;____;clair3 on August 31st, 2010 08:35 am (UTC)
my heart has shatterd a million pieces ;___;
Anya: being human (there for you)erethesunrises on August 31st, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry bb! At least it had that effect. (Appropriate icon, btw.)
Not tacky, just delusional: painfultotally_loca on August 31st, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
:( this made me cry. Owww, but it's so good.
Anya: angels & demons (she believed)erethesunrises on August 31st, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It was heart-wrenching to write as well.
shoppermania: I'll be your mirrorshoppermania on September 2nd, 2010 10:20 am (UTC)
omg it hurts so much D:
But so beautiful ♥♥
Anya: inglourious basterds (attendez la creme)erethesunrises on September 3rd, 2010 05:37 am (UTC)
Thanks! It was painful to write too, believe me.
Chris: Arthur and Eamessharpiesgal on September 17th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)
Painful and beautiful at the same time.
Anya: bones (and faith is lost)erethesunrises on September 19th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
ladyarisa17ladyarisa17 on September 17th, 2010 04:26 am (UTC)
my heart. it has been wrenched out of my chest. oh bb, ♥

so good. so good.
Anya: elizabeth (betrayed love)erethesunrises on September 19th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
oh, thank you. ♥
celestineangel: Inception - Revolving Hallwaycelestineangel on September 17th, 2010 12:58 pm (UTC)


You write such pretty angst. Oh Ariadne. Oh EAMES. Oh my heart.
Anya: bones (mister nigel murray)erethesunrises on September 19th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
OH HI. ILU AND I THANK YOU. ♥ I actually wrote some fluff, I'm just waiting for my beta reader to get back to me.

I'm awful at commenting but I want you to know I've been loving your fic too! Love Has Fur made me miss my puppy so much.
celestineangel: Cats - I can't watch!celestineangel on September 19th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
Ooooo, fluff! Fluff is good, too, but I love the taste of some nice angst in the morning. ^_______^

Aww, thank you. ::hughug:: I miss my kitty. D:
Cait: Harry & Ginny : Something to Remembermscaitlinpotter on September 19th, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
I didn't wait until I was home and could use a regular internet connection to read this even though you emailed it to me...of COURSE not! xD

Aw, beebs, it's so hauntingly beautiful. ♥ Thanks for finishing this fic for me. :3
Anya: jgl (blow me away)erethesunrises on September 21st, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
b'aw. ♥ Of course, bb! I can't wait for you to read the fluff.
Mandara: m; Arthur - and that is how change happeinksplotchess on October 1st, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
;__; way to rip my heart out, shattered and pieced back together!

(another one of your fics added to my mems)
Anya: merlin (once and future queen)erethesunrises on October 2nd, 2010 05:12 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you! That was the effect it was supposed to have but I'm sorry to break your heart!