And now that I have your attention--porn.
Goes Down Easy.
5,000 words, NC-17, by Aja.
with much love for eleveninches, who beta'd nobly and incidentally kept me from turning my projections into Sim City: Love Hotel edition; and to weatherfront, who enabled this mess, and tossed me cute little rubber duckies when i pleaded for a life jacket. ♥♥♥
Arthur shouldn't. He fucking shouldn't. He knows he shouldn't, because the mark could come in at any moment, see the two of them together, and realize they're partners; just like that Arthur could blow three fucking months of work to pieces. He's supposed to be just a random sparring partner on this level, working backup until Cobb brings the mark in to meet Eames.
But it's so rare that Eames goes into a job, the high-level kind they work, purely as himself. Arthur's missed seeing him like this, all competence and adrenaline-fueled focus, in control and in step with Arthur at every moment of the game. Eames' job is to con the mark into believing he can beat Eames in a sparring match. Arthur's job is to be background material, then step forward as a referee--and incidentally make sure the projections don't turn into a mob until Eames finishes throwing the fight.
That's what he's good at. Blending in. He's supposed to be ignoring Eames. Eames who's pacing the ring and shadow-boxing like the opening credits of Raging Bull. Eames who even fucking looks a little like DeNiro with his broad back thrown forward like that. Eames who keeps glancing up at him with sharp eyes, and then looking away before Arthur can hold the contact.
Like he doesn't know that Arthur was the one who told Cobb to let Eames play himself for this job. Like he hasn't been wondering all month just how Arthur knows about his stint as a middleweight back at Letchworth, like he didn't bring a punching bag in the warehouse just so Arthur would have to watch him, swinging his weight into the bag and leaving Arthur with the same images night after night before he leaves work: of all that muscle wrapped around him, of Eames' tree-trunk thighs bracketing Arthur in bed; of Eames' slippery, profane beautiful mouth all over him. Of the way each kiss will feel like a punch.
And Arthur's already thinking of this as a definite, foregone conclusion. He is and they both know it, and he really, really shouldn't do this, but Eames' stubble-laced jawline is dripping with perspiration, he's breathing heavy, and half-hard already just from warming up in the corner. He's a million things Arthur usually only admits to wanting when he's up to the knuckle inside himself and he's jerking off frantically to the thought of how Eames' short thick fingers will feel when they twist and slide just so inside of him.
Arthur's going to do this anyway.
He walks across the ring, and by the time he reaches the other side Eames has read something in his face that makes him stand up straight and lower his bandaged hands. It's not a surprise, then--Arthur doesn't expect it to be. They've been building up to this for weeks, maybe even months. There's no alarm in Eames' face, just a curious quirk of his lips as he raises his eyebrows at Arthur. Arthur would pretend he doesn't find it hot when Eames goes all condescending on him, but he's on the clock. Arthur puts his hand on Eames' shoulder and then slides it up the side of his broad neck. His whole hand wouldn't even fit around the span of Eames' throat, he thinks. If Eames wanted to take him right here on the fucking boxing palette, all he'd have to do would be to lean in hard and Arthur'd be overpowered.
He swallows. Eames doesn't say a word at first, just sharpens his gaze on Arthur like a camera coming into focus, til Arthur can feel the sting of it. He moves his hand up over Eames' cheekbone and down again behind his ear, cradling sweat-soaked locks of Eames' hair in his fingers. Just in the time he's walked over, Eames has gone fully rock-hard against Arthur's thigh.
"I want," Arthur says. His voice comes out so ragged and hoarse it barely counts as saying anything at all, but Eames goes still all over and then brings his hands up to rest against Arthur's waist, one on either side. He spreads them out. Arthur tries not to be ridiculously turned on by how big they are, how they span easily almost up to the middle of his stomach.
"You can have," says Eames. His voice is rough and low. For an instant Arthur finds it reassuring that Eames is every bit as shaken up as he is. And then he remembers he's going to do this now while he's made his mind up, and it doesn't matter if every projection in the world bears down on them in the next twenty minutes. He's doing this. They're doing this.
"What exactly can I have, Mr. Eames?" he says, leaning in to nose his way over the line of Eames' jaw. He smells like sweat and sex and Clive Christian. Arthur's eyes flutter shut before he can help it.
Eames tilts his neck back and Arthur leans in, breathing. "Anything," he says. "All of it, kitten, you know that, but are you sure now's the best time, yeah?"
Arthur drags his eyes open long enough to register that a couple of the other projections in the gym are staring at them. It's too early to be alarmed about the mark catching on this early, but if things get any more PDA, it might be time to take things somewhere more private.
He slides his other hand over Eames' waist and steps in close. "What exactly is 'all of it,' Mr. Eames?"
Eames shivers. "Everything you want," he says. "You know I--you know you can have it." Arthur doesn't answer him right away, just keeps looking at him, waiting for it. "My mouth," Eames adds. "Whenever you want it."
"That's all the time," says Arthur.
"Oh," says Eames, taking a tentative step backwards. The heat pooling between their bodies escapes a little. Arthur doesn't like that. He steps in again, and now he has Eames pinned against the ropes. "I never would have thought it to look at you," continues Eames in between deep gulps of air. "Not very chatty about that sort of thing."
"You're right," says Arthur, nipping the smooth stretch of skin just below Eames' ear. "You talk, I'll listen." He moves in closer, letting out a huff of air when Eames slips his hands up beneath Arthur's shirt and pulls him closer, broad hands meeting bare skin, hot and rough just like Arthur wanted it to be.
"Right," murmurs Eames. "My mouth. My hands. I've got very good hands, Arthur, believe me." He slips one down, fingering Arthur's waistband. Arthur twists into the touch. He does believe Eames, but Eames already knows that.
"I'm told I've got a lovely voice," says Eames, speaking lower, almost a purr. "But you know that already, don't you, kitten? You can have it whenever you want. I'd scream so prettily for you." Arthur slips his thumb down over Eames' right deltoid. His shoulders are firm and warm and steady, just like the rest of him. Arthur suddenly feels a little giddy. He presses his mouth there, just over the tattoo beneath Eames' bicep.
"Arthur," says Eames. He sounds wrecked.
"We've got time," says Arthur. "Keep talking, Mr. Eames."
Eames cups the back of Arthur's head. "Are you going to give me your handkerchief to carry into battle?" he says. He runs his fingers through the threads of Arthur's hair, slowly, as if he's just getting the hang of touching. "Is that what this is?" Arthur traces the line of black ink with his tongue, following the curve of it up to the juncture of Eames' collarbone and throat. Eames melts into the contact. "Because I'd do it, you know," he says, warm and rough and mumbly. "I'd fight a thousand tournaments for you, if you'd let me. I'd win them all, too. You could have all the trophies."
Arthur huffs against Eames' skin. "I'm trying to get us both laid and you're trying to be chivalrous?"
"I was trying to give you some specificity, darling," says Eames. He tilts his head so he's touching the side of Arthur's face. Arthur breathes him in.
"I'm tired of waiting for this to happen," Arthur says. "Now. Let's make it now."
"That's so strange," says Eames. "Here I thought we've been happening for years."
Arthur kisses him, slow and hard. Eames opens up for him, liquid like the warm, smooth ink of his tattoos, pouring into him like Arthur's the one who needs to keep them both standing. Arthur's got his eyes closed but he can still feel Eames smile into his mouth, tasting him deep, his stubble rough and steady all up against Arthur's chin and lips.
He knows that when they break apart there's going to be more staring, more projections watching them. He doesn't care. He wants Eames to pin him down to the mat and rut straight into him. He rocks sharp against Eames' hard-on, once, twice, and by the third time he's rock solid, cock dragging over Eames' hip, and Eames is gasping. Their knees are starting to tremble.
"Cobb's going to kill us if we get caught out like this," Eames says shakily.
"Do you care?" says Arthur.
"Darling, I couldn't care if Mrs. Cobb herself walked into this place and started shooting," says Eames.
"Then I think you should fuck me," says Arthur. "Right now."
Eames takes a deep breath, then another. He says, "Right." Then he swallows. Then he takes Arthur's hand and pulls him without ceremony toward the locker room.
It's empty, save for a couple of projections that nod at Arthur and Eames when they enter. The two of them stand by the sinks for a moment, awkwardly avoiding eye contact, until one of the projections glances over at them and says, "You two need a moment?"
Eames starts to reply, then hesitates, as if he's not sure how to respond to a projection with character. Arthur elbows him to the side and says, "That would be great, thanks."
"Shouldn't be but a moment," Eames volunteers helpfully.
The other projection snorts on his way out. Arthur turns back to Eames and says, "Seriously?"
Eames gives him a wolfish leer and runs a towel over his damp hair and face. "Can you blame me?"
"I'm ready and waiting, Mr. Eames," says Arthur, trying to sound relaxed and not like someone who might actually be about to come in his trousers at a moment's notice. "In case you haven't noticed."
"Oh, believe me, "says Eames. "I've noticed." He throws the towel onto one of the sinks and unwraps his bandaged knuckles. "Have you honestly been saving all this up for the moment you decided to end years of teasing during the middle of one of the biggest jobs we've ever done? I'm just curious."
Arthur sits down on the only padded bench and says, "Are you honestly saying timing is an issue for you? Because we can stop."
He thumbs his belt off as he talks, and unbuttons his trousers. Eames turns and looks at him flatly, like just asking the question is more idiocy than he'd ever expected from Arthur.
He's reflected four ways in the mirrors all along the wall, each one of them giving back his long arms gripping the ledge of the sink. His shoulders and back are burnished and glistening, his hair plastered to the back of his head. Arthur ducks his head and tugs down his zipper.
Eames tucks his hand in his shorts, as casually as if he's sticking it in his pocket instead of massaging his dick. He doesn't push down his shorts right away, just pulls it out and skates his fingers up and down it for a moment. It's long and heavy, which isn't a surprise--not like Arthur hasn't gotten his share of peeks at the cut of Eames' trousers. He's uncut, and Arthur watches the liquid pool around his foreskin where Eames strokes and rubs.
Arthur swallows and licks his lips.
When he looks back up at Eames' face, Eames is staring at him with something like astonishment.
"Kitten, you are going to be my undoing," says Eames, coming over and lifting his chin. Arthur starts to answer, to say it's all mutual, but it's lost in Eames' kiss.
This time Eames is totally in control, pushing Arthur back against the bench and straddling it so he can lean over, get Arthur all the way down on his back. This time it's like he knows exactly what he wants, like his hands know exactly which parts of Arthur they want to touch and stroke, and after a few attempts at helping, Arthur relents and lets Eames take over completely. His shirt is tugged off in a matter of moments, and Eames scrapes his beard over Arthur's rib cage as he bites his way all the way down to Arthur's waist. He gets Arthur's pants off before Arthur's even managed to reach down for Eames' shorts, and Arthur sighs in frustration when Eames goes for Arthur's cock. He shifts up to rest on his elbows, pulling just out of Eames' reach.
"Arthur," says Eames, and it's crazy how he's the one doing the coaxing and wheedling now, like it wasn't Arthur demanding to be fucked just moments ago. "Arthur, I told you, you can have everything. It's all yours."
"Okay," says Arthur stonily.
Eames looks at him with such fondness that it makes Arthur's cheeks instantly flare red. He scowls, and Eames cups Arthur's face in his broad palm.
"Darling," he says, "you can touch me, kiss me, anything you want, whenever you want, and I'll never tell you to stop. But we are on a bit of a time crunch, hmm?"
And then he kisses Arthur on the lips and then drops back down to take Arthur's cock in his mouth, sliding his lips all the way down until his throat brushes Arthur's head, until Arthur has to grip the sides of the bench and hold on just to keep from coming on the spot. He swears and tries not to flounder off the bench, or to hurt Eames by reacting like a sixteen-year-old with a hair-trigger. "God, Eames," he grits out, and then gives up and writhes a little while Eames see-saws up and down the length of him. "God," he says again, once they're settled into something like a rhythm, because Eames is looking at him while he moves, eyes pinned to Arthur, like he's daring Arthur to notice how sexy he looks like this, how full and lush his lips are, and oh, god, they are, Arthur notices, all right. He shudders all over and leans up to run his fingertips over Eames' lips while they work. Eames hums in pleasure around his cock, and Arthur's saying his name, saying, "Eames," over and over again, like a mantra, like a hymn he never realised he's always known the words to.
He doesn't come, but it's a close thing, because he's starting to struggle not to shift his hips just as Eames pulls off. He lets out a noise of frustration and grips the bottom of the bench so hard his fingers catch on the wood grain. He must send Eames a glare, because Eames is instantly covering him, body long and hot over his own, breathing in Arthur's shaken obscenities. "Shhh," he says into Arthur's mouth. "You're doing great, you're perfect."
"I want you," says Arthur a little helplessly, a little nonsensically, because he's never had Eames this way, and yet it's already not enough. He wraps an arm around Eames' back and presses him into a long kiss. When he ends, he's satisfied with the way Eames is arching up against his thigh, trying and failing not to rub off against him.
"Kitten, you're so--oh, Arthur," says Eames, sounding moony and a little kittenish himself. Arthur kisses him until they're both panting hot into each other's mouths, and then Eames says the magic words--"flip over, darling, I've got you"-- and Arthur almost comes right then and there, just from the anticipation of coming with Eames' cock inside him.
The bench is long and narrow, and the padding is rubbery and uncomfortable, starting to stick to his damp flesh where he lies for too long. Arthur has to settle for resting on his stomach and propping his head on his elbows, craning his neck to see Eames looming close behind him. He's so much broader like this, so much more solid muscle than Arthur's ever realized before, even when he was knocked down to boxer shorts and nothing else. In the wall of mirrors he watches the breadth of Eames' muscles as they flex where he bends. His shoulders stretch over Arthur as he leans down.
"Don't use a condom," says Arthur. It's the dream, so Eames probably doesn't even have one on him, but he wants to say it out loud anyway. He wants Eames bare like this. The thought of Eames having to say no in reality makes him want to punch something, so he shoves that possibility fiercely aside. Here, just like this, this is all they need for now.
Eames brushes a kiss over his ear, and then the back of his neck. "We're doing this topside," he says. "Slower and longer and all night. No condoms. No projections around." He runs his hand over Arthur's shoulders, and then down his spine to the curve of his ass.
Arthur arches into the touch and closes his eyes. "Anything I want," he murmurs.
"Always, darling," agrees Eames, and then he's kissing the cleft of Arthur's ass, licking and tonguing his way over the soft inner flesh where his cheeks meet, and Arthur is making sounds, shifting and grinding and pulsing back to meet Eames, telling him how he wants it, telling him what he wants, things he didn't even know he wants: how he wants Eames to come back to Paris with him after this job is over, wants to fuck him in every room of his apartment; wants Eames to hold him and take him against every wall in the warehouse, lean him over his desk in the evening and own him, make him come, make him be good, make him be perfect for Eames, because he always will be; he'll be good, so good, if only Eames will--
"I know you will, darling, you are already," says Eames, suddenly no longer prodding him open but speaking low and warm against the small of his back, laying kisses there to soothe the steady wreck of Arthur's voice. "I will, darling, Arthur, I always, always will, I've got you." He circles back higher, kissing his way up Arthur's spine. "Shhh, Arthur, shhh. You're perfect like this, god, just look at you, laid out for me all pliant and ready." Arthur whispers his name and can't bear to open his eyes--somewhere along the way he closed them against the rush of feeling and the pounding of his heartbeat in his eardrums, and now all he can hear is the quick even gasp of Eames' breath and the brush of his lips over Arthur's shoulder blades.
"You're the best thing I've ever--Arthur," says Eames, and only now does Arthur realize how exhausted he sounds, how chalky and ruined his voice is. Christ, Arthur thinks. We haven't even fucked yet. He forces his eyes open against the bright light of the locker room and tilts his head back to meet Eames' mouth. It's an awkward angle, but Eames tugs his chin up and supports him while they kiss, and Arthur feels his heartbeat speed up all over again just from the closeness, how he can feel Eames shoulders bracketing his own, from the way Eames is heavy and warm where his thighs are splayed out over the backs of Arthur's calves, just like Arthur always knew they'd be.
"Do it, do it, I want you," he says, all in a rush. "Do it, come on, please, Eames."
Eames kisses him once on the mouth, then once on the forehead, breathes out and says, "Okay," with his shoulders heaving against Arthur, solid and firm. He moves back behind Arthur on the bench. Arthur rests his head on his elbows and lets Eames nudge his hips up until he can feel Eames' cock in the cradle of his thighs. Eames sweeps the rim of his dick under Arthur's balls, running the head lightly over them and up along his perineum.
Arthur jumps and says, "Fuck," loudly enough to make one of the projections laugh from somewhere on the other side of the wall. "Eames," he hisses.
"Darling, sorry, I just--god, you feel amazing," says Eames, leaning down to cup one of Arthur's balls between his finger and thumb. It tickles, and Arthur pushes back with a noise of impatience.
Eames stills against him and says, "Oh, Arthur," in something like fond annoyance. "Fine, then," he says. "I'm going to slide my cock in you and ride you like the slut you so obviously are." And with no more ceremony than that, he places his thumbs over Arthur's cheeks and sinks straight into Arthur in one smooth motion. Arthur's slick from Eames' pre-come and spit, but it's still a breach, too-tight and bursting-full for one long moment until suddenly the pressure ring is past and Eames is sheathed in him, and it's good, it's so good.
"Eames," he says, exhaling a breath all at once. For a moment they stagger together from the force of it, Arthur bracing his hips against the bench, just getting used to the weight of Eames inside of him, Eames stroking his hips and adjusting the angle, gentling him.
"You ever done this before, kitten?" says Eames, softly. "In a dream?"
"No," says Arthur. It comes out more of a rasp. "You?"
"Not like this," says Eames. "Not on a job, like this. Not with you. God, you feel amazing, Arthur, I could stay in you for hours, just like this." He starts a slow motion, back and forth, jostling Arthur's frame against the bench where he's pushing forward.
"Later," says Arthur. "You said you'd give me everything, right?"
"Everything," says Eames, rocking in a bit further. Arthur bites his lip and relaxes, tries to meet Eames' thrusts. He's quivering already from the effort of not just coming all over himself and the bench right now, but Eames is going slow, and Arthur's determined to draw it out as long as Eames will let him.
"So I'm assuming that includes fucking me all day, for hours, in any dream you want, at some point," says Arthur, trying to sound lazy and nonchalant but just ending up at breathless. He clenches his muscles when Eames sinks in this time and feels Eames' shudder go straight through him, all through his bones.
"Yes," says Eames, and then--"God, yes." He picks up his rhythm, shifting forward onto the bench, lifting Arthur's hips and angling down. The next stroke lands home and sends every nerve ending in Arthur's body sparking in answering pleasure. He keens something incoherent into the pillow he's made of his arms and arches back, into the next thrust, and the next.
"God, you're so good, so good at this, I knew you'd be," Eames chants, letting his balls swipe noisily against Arthur's ass as he strokes in again. "So tight, so perfect for me, darling, god, yes--" and somehow Arthur is answering him, telling him things that don't make sense until they leave his mouth:
"God, yes, Eames, Eames, just like that, I knew you'd know just how to make me come, I'm going to come, want you to come inside me, all over me, please, Eames, god, I love your mouth, don't stop talking," and Eames doesn't stop, keeps praising and pushing and fucking the words out of Arthur's mouth until Arthur's begging to be touched and his knees are knocking against the sides of the bench and he's sticky and sliding wet against the surface, but it's okay because Eames is gripping his cock, twisting his thumb over the head, and kneeling up to kiss Arthur's shoulder, and Arthur's dizzy with all of it.
Eames fists his broad palm down around the base of Arthur's shaft and sweeps back up to his balls. Says, "Come for me, darling, don't make me wait any longer, pet, please, I need to see you, right now," and squeezes them, once, twice, and gives him two hard thrusts home, til he's practically burying Arthur down against the bench seat, fucking riding him, just like he said he would, and it's hard and big and hot and fast and Arthur's never--no one's ever--it's never been like--
Oh, Arthur thinks: oh, shit, I'm so in love, and comes all over himself, shaking and vibrating right into the rubbery plastic padding.
"Eames," he says, dazed, and Eames says, "Oh, god, Arthur, you sound so--" and comes deep inside of him, leaning over him and bracing himself against the sides of the bench to keep himself upright, planting little kisses over Arthur's spine and spilling into him as he thrusts, and god, it's good, it's so good it makes Arthur cringe. He leans down and lets it wash over him in waves again and again, right down to his fingertips and his fucking eyeballs.
"God, I love you," says Eames. His voice is all battered and come-soaked and perfect. "Christ, I love you so much."
"Fuck," says Arthur. "Fuck. Fuck, I love you, too. Fuck."
"Fuck," agrees Eames, and they shudder together like that, riding it out for moment after long moment, until finally Eames stills and collapses gently against Arthur's back, pressing kisses all over his collarbone and his shoulders, biting his way over the nape of Arthur's neck.
"I love you," says Arthur again, just because, hell, he's already said it once. "Shit. I really want to do this all over again. I didn't even get to lick your tattoos much."
"Fuck you," says Eames. "Any second now I have to go fight an Olympic welterweight and pretend my legs haven't just turned to jelly."
"Dreamshare," says Arthur. "We can be hard again in thirty seconds."
"No," says Eames. "No time." He thrusts, uselessly, shallowly, against Arthur's ass, as if he's not already slipping out and letting come slide in copious amounts down the backs of Arthur's thighs and onto the bench. "Don't give me false hope and then take it away." He kisses Arthur's shoulder reproachfully, and Arthur doesn't know when he came to know what kind of kiss meant "reproachful" in Eames vocabulary, but he likes it.
He sits up as Eames slides reluctantly off of him and turns to face him on the bench. "Got to clean you up, kitten," says Eames, like he isn't completely ruined for public consumption himself. "More projections'll be coming in soon." Arthur rolls his eyes and kisses his mouth, then his jaw. Eames grabs a towel from the bench beside them and runs it over them both while Arthur works his way down Eames' chest.
"I may have told Cobb to stall for time after we went under," he says.
Eames' hand stills where he's wiping the come off Arthur's thighs. "You told Cobb to stall for time so you could seduce me like something out of a YMCA workplace training video?" says Eames.
"That's probably not even a real thing," says Arthur.
"On the clock," says Eames. And then, when Arthur's just getting around to nodding guiltily, he says, "Well, that's it, you're not getting out of it now," and kisses Arthur soundly on the mouth.
"Out of what?" says Arthur.
"Lending me your handkerchief," says Eames. "I've already unknowingly risked my neck for this, haven't I? It's only fair I get to reap the rewards and wear your colors when I go off to battle."
Arthur frowns. "I don't have a handkerchief," he says, even though that's obvious. Would be obvious even if they weren't both totally naked. Eames kisses him again. And then again. When he leans in a third time, Arthur bats him away, but they're both grinning.
"Then I guess I'll just have to carry your heart instead," says Eames.
"Oh, my god, shut up," says Arthur.
Still, later, after they've cleaned up and they return to the ring, trying to pretend like they can keep their eyes off each other, trying to pretend like they don't smell like sex and hastily applied cologne, Arthur slips one of the locker room bathrags into the side of Eames' waistband.
Eames lifts an eyebrow. "Really?" he says. "A towel?"
"A placeholder," he says. And then, because he really is just an embarrassing hipster romantic at heart, he kisses Eames on the side of his mouth and adds, "I carry it in my heart."
Eames goes down easy in round six, but he's smiling the whole time.