phenylic: (film: (inception) arthur → standoff)
[personal profile] phenylic
this one's for [ profile] krytella and [ profile] night_reveals because they missed their exit and almost ended up in Texas IN THE RAIN ): so i told them a story about Arthur and Eames and a road trip with a lot of firsts.

because i am a good friend. and not because i'm avoiding my inception bang.

(i swear)

Once upon a time when Arthur and Eames had first decided that they were better off as criminals than military men (this was when the only thing they knew about being criminals was whatever they did, they shouldn't get caught), they decided to take a trip--a road trip, if you will--from California to wherever.

They went to San Diego first, because Arthur had a fondness for pandas and Eames liked polar bears.

They went up to Los Angeles next and snuck up to Hollywood sign (there is a picture on one of Eames' phones somewhere with Arthur leaning against the H doing his best James Dean). That was the first time Arthur had put his hacking skills to non-military-approved illegal use. This trip would hold many firsts for them, including the first time Eames had ever been to Hearst Castle, but before they went to Hearst Castle, they made a stop by the Grand Canyon to take pictures in the house with the glass floor.

They end up in Vegas after that, and there is lots of gambling, drinking, and Midway-gaming in which Arthur thoroughly owns the dart-throwing game and gets a giant stuffed Elmo for his efforts. He gives it to Eames--also a first. He's never given Eames anything before. Eames doesn't say anything, just grins too wide. (in front of the Bellagio, they take a picture together, and Eames says, "Cheers, darling." Yeah, thinks Arthur. Cheers.)

They eventually do make it up to Hearst Castle, after a quick detour to Solvang and Santa Barbara. Arthur complains a lot about the amount of danishes Eames bought, but Eames shuts him up with a bucket of biscuits which Arthur scowls at but eventually eats because really, they are amazing (Eames bought four).

They also stop at San Luis Obispo because Arthur wants to revisit his alma mater. "That's impressive," says Eames as they're driving out on Highway 1. "You went to school right next to a prison."

Arthur presses his lips together like he can't quite decide whether he wants to smile or frown. (That is another first for Arthur. He's never been so conflicted about another person before.) "I had fun," he says finally, when they're pulling into visitor center for Hearst Castle. "I liked college."

Considering it's nearly an hour later, Eames is a little confused as to what Arthur is referring to, but he catches on quickly and grins. "That's good," says Eames. "Everyone needs a little fun." Arthur glances at him for a moment and smirks in the quiet, private way that Eames will later to come to know. He doesn't say anything, and it's the first time Eames has ever wanted to know what someone was really thinking.

They buy their tickets and ride the bus up to the castle. Eames frowns when they get up to the gate. "I thought it'd be bigger," he says. Arthur shrugs.

"I just think the whole thing's pretty ridiculous," says Arthur.

Arthur's not wrong. The tour starts by the Neptune pool where the employees apparently get one swim a year. It continues into the main castle where they stand in a large den, and Eames sees things that include "giant Gothic fireplace" and "Byzantine tapestries." "He built this room for his fireplace?" Eames whispers slowly.

"Yeah," says Arthur. "Crazy, right?" That's one way of putting it, thinks Eames.

Then they see the indoor pool, and all Eames can think is who was this dude? Eames also thinks about stealing one of the tiles because anyone who tiles their indoor pool with infused gold is just asking for it.

Back on the bus, Arthur raises an eyebrow and says, "Satisfied?"

"No," says Eames honestly, and that's the first time Eames starts thinking like a thief.

"I know what you're thinking," warns Arthur.

Eames laughs and shrugs, unabashed. "Only saying, in for a penny and all that."

Arthur says he wants to go to Monterey next, and Eames doesn't have anywhere better in mind so that's where they go. Highway 1 manages to scare the shit out of Eames when an unexpected fog rolls in and for the next 3 hours, they're forced to a crawl or risk driving right off the cliff or crashing into the jagged edges of the mountain. The serenity that Monterey offers makes Eames feel a little better, but he's sure he'll never drive Highway 1 ever again.

They go for the 17 Mile drive in the early morning, when a bit of leftover fog is still clinging to the bay. Eames has never been here before, and he tells Arthur as much. "It's lovely," Arthur says. "You'll like it."

It is indeed, lovely. The sky is a quiet gray, and the lingering fog leaves Eames feeling like he's in a dream. He doesn't know how long they stay at each viewpoint (could be seconds, could be an hour or more) and he doesn't really care. At some point, Arthur touches the inside of his arm gently and says, "We need to go,"in a voice tinged with disappointment.

Eames doesn't really hear it at first, and it isn't until Arthur is tugging at him that he realizes something is wrong. "Come on," says Arthur. "We need to get out of here."

On the way to the airport, Arthur's face is set in a permanent frown and Eames digs out their fake passports. "No," says Arthur, when Eames tries to hand him his. "You go ahead. I'm staying."

"No, you're not," says Eames. "You'll get caught." Arthur shoots him a defiant look and Eames backtracks. "Okay, you won't," he amends. "But it's safer if you leave, too."

"Get going, Mr. Eames," Arthur says as he pulls into a parking structure. "Preferably to France. I'll catch up."

"Arthur," Eames starts, and Arthur leans over and kisses him--not gently, but not rough either. Eames puts a hand on the side of Arthur's face and kisses him back, maybe a little more desperately than he meant to (and well, that's a first, too, for both of them).

When Arthur pulls away, his face is flushed pink and Eames is rather dazed, but he manages to say, "So, France, was it?"

"Yeah," says Arthur, licking his lips. "I'll catch up."

Eames has one hand on the door and he realizes this is the first time he's been on the run alone. He gets out, fighting the urge to kiss Arthur again. He wants their first second kiss to be some place proper, where they'll have a hard time getting caught. "France," he says again, just before he shuts the door, and Arthur nods at him.

This is a first, too, he thinks when he's at the ticket counter. Running, but waiting.

"Have a good flight, sir," says the girl behind the counter. "I will," he replies and smiles.

the end (FOR NOW.)

also: em says i'm like magic. I AM INCLINED TO AGREE. :D
also also: [ profile] squirtblossom is AWESOME and bought me a pinboard account! *___* I SOLEMNLY SWEAR TO USE MY NEW BOOKMARKING POWERS FOR GOOD.

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