amfiguree: (Default)
[personal profile] amfiguree
[Inception] [Arthur/Cobb] [PG-13]

Originally written for this prompt at [livejournal.com profile] inception_kink, there were two glaring loopholes in this one that I just couldn't stand not correcting, so!



A Kiss is Just a Kiss


Cobb stays paralyzed in his chair for a moment after they surface, sits silently as Arthur swipes the IV from both their arms, then the client's. He watches Arthur wipe the room down, brisk and efficient, then slide the briefcase shut once he's satisfied.

Perkipsky stirs, but stays under.

"He'll be awake any minute now," Arthur says, with a nod in his direction.

Cobb nods back, averts his eyes as he drags his knuckles over his mouth.

"Cobb," Arthur says, sharply.

"Yeah," Cobb says, after a second. Arthur holds the door open, and he pushes to his feet.

His lips are still burning.



They take the elevator to their room twelve floors below.

("How else are we going to explain the importance of a totem?" Cobb says, when Arthur points out the recklessness of the plan; Arthur frowns but goes ahead with the reservations.)

Neither of them speak during the ride down, and Cobb keeps his hands full with his cuff-links, his watch, his shotgun, keeps his eyes on the lighted numbers above the doors. He nearly misses the way Arthur tenses as they drop past 15, but Arthur says nothing, and it's almost a relief when the elevator stops and they step outside.

If Arthur hears the too-sharp breath Cobb draws, he doesn't mention it.

And if Cobb catches the way Arthur falters outside their room, however briefly, he doesn't mention it, either.



Their after-work meals are usually something Cobb looks forward to; a rare opportunity to watch Arthur unwind over a glass of Chardonnay, trading quips and swapping stories about old cases, family, what the rest of the team is doing.

(Cobb is terrible at keeping up, but Ariadne calls once a month, and Eames sends blank postcards from various locations every so often, and Yusuf is a constant presence in his inbox, so that hasn't posed a problem.)

Tonight, dinner is waiting for them when they get back to their room, just the way they like it. Cobb studiously doesn't watch Arthur hesitate by the bathroom, and when they sit at the table they're both still in their business suits, Cobb's rumpled from his slouch in Perkipsky's hotel room, Arthur's still perfectly in shape.

Cobb has to tear his gaze away.

Dinner suddenly seems impossible.



The conversation is stilted for most of the evening, Arthur refusing any wine, and Cobb indulging a little too much. Arthur's rigid posture doesn't yield at all throughout their meal, and more than once, he slips a hand under the table -- checking his totem, Cobb thinks, guiltily.

They remain awkwardly in place when they're done with their food, and Arthur looks between the bed and the bathroom like he's actually considering skipping his shower.

Which would be a bad idea, Cobb decides, given the various possible bacteria he might be carrying from Perkipsky's room.

He scrubs a hand over his face, then, and wishes he were a little more sober. Because they should talk about this -- this, jesus, he doesn't even know where to start. An apology? A retraction? A--

"Cobb."

"I didn't know," Cobb says, abruptly. "Jesus Christ, Arthur, how did I not know?"

Arthur's mouth twists, but his voice is gentle. "You weren't supposed to."

"But I--"

"Dom," Arthur says, standing and putting an arm under Cobb's elbow. "We can talk about this later. You've had a lot to drink."

"Arthur," Cobb says, and tries to turn to look at him, but the angle's all wrong and he takes Arthur with him when he stumbles forward.

All of a sudden, he has Arthur pinned between him and the wall, barely an inch of space between them. Cobb's fists are bunched in Arthur's jacket, white-knuckled, but for the first time Arthur doesn't seem to notice the creases. He's so tense Cobb can't be sure he's breathing.

"Cobb," he says, after a second. His voice is too-steady. "You--"

"I didn't know," Cobb says, lower, and need flares into life in his stomach when Arthur shuts his mouth, swallows. His gaze flickers from Cobb's throat to the open bathroom door across them and back, uncertainly, and it's like being back in the dream all over again.

(It's like being interrupted during his lecture on creating diversions by Arthur saying, "No, I tried that. Public displays of affection don't always work in the dream. It all depends on circumstance."

Perkipsky's expression clouds over, uncertainly, and Cobb knows he has to do something about it. He's not paid to be second-guessed, not with this client.

"How about a simple demonstration," he says, but it's not pitched as a question, and, ahead of him, Arthur breaks into a run without any prompting. Cobb follows, only turning back long enough to tell Perkipsky, "Catch us."

The hallways are long and narrow, an exact replica of their current accommodation above, and he may have spent the last week memorizing the floor plans, but the hotel has been in the Perkipsky family for decades, and running is only going to put them at a disadvantage.

Cobb grabs Arthur's arm when he sees that one of the hotel rooms is open, doesn't even bother shutting it as he slams Arthur back into the bathroom door. Then he's sliding a palm around Arthur's neck and crushing their mouths together, hard and wet and fast.

For a second, Arthur freezes completely, shoulders hunching inward, but Cobb presses closer, insistent, licks into Arthur's mouth when Arthur shudders, and, god, it's like Arthur comes apart against him. He makes this raw, reckless noise at the back of his throat, and Cobb feels it sing in his skin, his blood, heat and want blurring together in a haze of jesus christ, arthur.

Then Arthur's hands are in his hair, and he's kissing Cobb back like he's trying to fold into him, like this is all he's ever going to need--

There's movement behind them - a quiet, oh, and then Housekeeping moves on. Cobb hears Perkipsky's footsteps skitter past, too, hears them keep going till they fall away, and he barely has enough coherence to wrench himself back. Arthur's breathing is harsh and ragged, his hands slipping down to close helplessly around the lapels of Cobb's jacket.

"Did you do it like that?" Cobb hears himself ask, his voice (rough and husky and not his at all) catching as Arthur's expression (confused, vulnerable, wrecked) shutters.

Then Arthur's stepping back, hands (are they shaking?) falling loosely to his side as he turns away. "No," he says, in that too-calm tone Cobb recognizes from jobs gone rogue in the past. "Not like that."

Cobb frowns, almost reaches out for him, but something in the hard set of Arthur's shoulders warns against it.

"It worked," Perkipsky says, suddenly reappearing at their door. "I lost track of you."

"Clearly, I was wrong," Arthur says, with a small nod. He doesn't look at Cobb.

And suddenly, belatedly, Cobb realizes he recognizes that look, sees Mal's eyes in Arthur's face and remembers her lying in his arms, begging him to stay, telling him--



He wakes up.)



"I didn't know," Cobb says, again; he's a broken tape recorder, but at least it's the truth.

And now -- now is a different story entirely.

"Cobb," Arthur repeats, too-calm again. Under his hands, Cobb can feel the way Arthur's pulse is rabbiting, almost hard enough to break skin. His eyes skitter involuntarily from Cobb's, like he can't hold Cobb's gaze. "Dom, you're drunk."

"I'm not that drunk," Cobb says, and they're so close that he can feel the heat of Arthur's stuttery breath against his mouth, shaped dangerously like an invitation.

"This is why we don't create from memory," Arthur says, but he sounds breathless already, unconvincing, and there's that flash of Mal again, a passing moment that leaves Cobb reeling.

"Arthur," Cobb says, and then he's closing the distance between them, slanting their mouths together, slow and careful, till Arthur makes another helpless sound and gives in, leans into Cobb like he can't help himself.

This time, Arthur pulls away first. His eyes are at half-mast, dark and desperate, and when his breath hitches against Cobb's skin, it sounds a lot like please. Dom, god, please.

And Cobb answers.

Date: 2010-08-28 04:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dreamlittleyo.livejournal.com
*adores* Read this at the meme, still enjoy it immensely. I love the neediness in this, Arthur's attempts to protect himself and how very hopeless they are right from the start. Lovely!

Date: 2010-08-29 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
hee! thank you so much for taking the time out to comment on this - twice! - and for pointing out what worked. things can never just be easy with these two. ;)

Date: 2010-08-29 02:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
thank you!

Date: 2010-08-28 05:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] behindthec.livejournal.com
oh my god, this, forever.

Date: 2010-08-29 02:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
yay, approval! :D

Date: 2010-08-28 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starsystems.livejournal.com
unf, this was one of my favourite fills on that meme! There are so many little things in this that I absolutely ADORE.

Like this: "I didn't know," Cobb says, abruptly. "Jesus Christ, Arthur, how did I not know?" It's probably my favourite line in this.

ALSO. ALSO OH GOD THE KISSING:
Then Arthur's hands are in his hair, and he's kissing Cobb back like he's trying to fold into him, like this is all he's ever going to need--
OH ARTHUR. ♥

Date: 2010-08-29 02:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
oh my gosh, thank you so much! :D that's so flattering, honestly.

and i am really pleased you enjoyed the kissing! i have a soft spot for kissing. mmm. and for pining!arthur, obviously. *snuggles him*
(deleted comment)

Date: 2010-08-29 02:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
hee, thank you! cobb seems like he would be fairly dense at these things, so he wrote himself, really! ;D

Date: 2010-08-28 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_calex_/
Oh my god, I love you.

Date: 2010-08-29 02:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
THANK YOU.

♥ ♥ ♥

Date: 2010-08-28 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rimestar.livejournal.com
OHHHHH HELLS YES.

That.. last line. Oh my god. This is utterly fantastic. I cannot ever get enough of the wonderful, amazing way you write Cobb and Arthur.

Date: 2010-08-29 02:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
*____________*

thank you, bb! it's really just equal parts angst/pining and ust. and occasionally a happy ending. :D

Date: 2010-08-28 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] animegoil.livejournal.com
beautiful and a very elegant way of using the Arthur's distraction!idea. I loved Cobb's realization of what it really meant <3

Date: 2010-08-29 02:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
thank you! that idea was what pulled the entire thing together for me, actually. :) i'm really glad you liked this.

Date: 2010-08-28 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icanhaspancake.livejournal.com
Oh, I love this. Especially the last two lines. GUH. <333

Date: 2010-08-29 02:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
aww, thank you! cobb's clearly an all-or-nothing guy, so once he had it all figured out, why not, right? ;D

Date: 2010-08-28 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] missy7280.livejournal.com
I love you. ♥

thank you for revealing yourself, bb.

Date: 2010-08-29 02:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
and i love YOU. :D

honestly i might not have, only i messed up the spelling of perkipsky when i first posted this, haha. i couldn't not fix that!

Date: 2010-08-28 11:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saniker.livejournal.com
Praise the lord moar fic!

And good fic too!

So happy rn XD

Date: 2010-08-29 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
hee, oh my gosh, thank you! i'm so glad you enjoyed this enough to leave me fb twice! :D

Date: 2010-08-28 11:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saniker.livejournal.com
I may have commented before but you revealed so I had to again :)

Date: 2010-08-29 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cordeliadelayne.livejournal.com
Aw, I love that, especially the flittering between the earlier dream and reality. Nicely done :D

Date: 2010-08-29 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
thank you! i had a lot of fun messing with that, trying to get it to flow. :D

Date: 2010-08-29 07:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] intrenches.livejournal.com
asjfksfsklfj arthur/cobb was my original inception otp and you just reminded me why I loved them together so much in the first place.

THIS WAS SO GOOD. ♥♥♥

Date: 2010-08-29 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
oh my gosh THANK YOU. this comment made me *__________* until i realized you said original inception otp AND I INFERRED THAT IT IS NO LONGER THE CASE. so then i became sort of :DDDDDDDDD:

but you liked it enough to tell me so, so! THANK YOU AGAIN. :D

Date: 2010-08-30 05:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] intrenches.livejournal.com
OH NOES YOU SAW PAST MY SUBTLE LANGUAGE. Okay I will admit that since watching the movie the first time, Arthur/Eames has usurped my otp throne mostly because of its dominating presence in the fandom. BUT I STILL LOVE ARTHUR/COBB A WHOLE LOT AND YOUR FIC IS NO LESS BRILLIANT FOR MY SINS. <3

Date: 2010-08-30 09:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] galadriel1618.livejournal.com
You should know that I had mem'd all your Inception fic before I even knew who you were! I LOVE IT THAT MUCH.

Cobb studiously doesn't watch Arthur hesitate by the bathroom, and when they sit at the table they're both still in their business suits, Cobb's rumpled from his slouch in Perkipsky's hotel room, Arthur's still perfectly in shape.
Cobb has to tear his gaze away.
Dinner suddenly seems impossible.


God, I can literally feel the tension and the awkwardness and all the potential heartbreak and embarrassment (That they are both obviously trying to ignore, lol). SO GOOD.

"I didn't know," Cobb says, abruptly. "Jesus Christ, Arthur, how did I not know?"
Arthur's mouth twists, but his voice is gentle. "You weren't supposed to."


I feel like this right here is pretty much their relationship summed up. Guh, fantastic.

This time, Arthur pulls away first. His eyes are at half-mast, dark and desperate, and when his breath hitches against Cobb's skin, it sounds a lot like please. Dom, god, please.
And Cobb answers.


*makes noises only dogs can hear* I LOVE THIS SO MUCH I CAN'T EVEN. ILU.

Date: 2010-08-31 10:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
GIRL YOUR FB.

*_______________________*

THAT IS HOW IT MAKES ME FEEL.

i had a ridic amount of fun writing this, even though i was all D: for arthur throughout the first three quarters or so of it, so i am REALLY REALLY PLEASED YOU ENJOY. MY OTP TINHAT, LET ME SHOW YOU IT.

Date: 2010-09-09 02:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vikki.livejournal.com
So I totally read this ages ago. And then I never reviewed because I am a terrible person.

This. This is awesome.
I have a great deal of love for any fic where Arthur has been quietly in love with Dom for liek totally forever and then somehow Dom Finds Out and Arthur is all awkwardly stoic about it, like 'well, yes, but don't worry, I would never have made a move', and this fic is ALL THAT AND A BAG OF CHIPS because Dom is the one that kisses Arthur and Arthur is so deliciously shocked and then he loves it and he's terrified of Cobb's rejection and then COBB DOESN'T REJECT HIM AND YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

I love this:
"I didn't know," Cobb says, abruptly. "Jesus Christ, Arthur, how did I not know?"
I can hear him saying this. And I can see Arthur's stoic (forlorn) expression when he responds and nngggh

And:
For a second, Arthur freezes completely, shoulders hunching inward, but Cobb presses closer, insistent, licks into Arthur's mouth when Arthur shudders, and, god, it's like Arthur comes apart against him. He makes this raw, reckless noise at the back of his throat, and Cobb feels it sing in his skin, his blood, heat and want blurring together in a haze of jesus christ, arthur.

Then Arthur's hands are in his hair, and he's kissing Cobb back like he's trying to fold into him, like this is all he's ever going to need--

One of the hottest twin paragraphs ever, IMHO. This is the moment where Arthur can't hang onto his self-control and he hates himself for it and it's delicious and sad and hot.

I LOVE THIS. ALSO I LOVE YOU. OKAY. ♥

Date: 2010-09-09 10:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
OH MY GOD YOUR FEEDBACK/THIS COMMENT.

*__________________*

I HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF LOVE FOR FIC DEALING WITH PRECISELY THAT SUBJECT MATTER MYSELF, WHO WOULD'VE THOUGHT? you pretty much everything i had fun with / set out to do with this story so i am basically gleefacing and chinhandsing all over the place right now (i wish i was kidding, ha ha, sigh).

UM YEAH SO BASICALLY TL;DR, intimidation be damnd, i am friending you right now, because YOU ARE PRETTY MUCH EPIC, and it's just gotten to the point where it's ridiculous that i haven't already. (I SEE YOU HAVE THE HUGEST FLIST, SO DON'T WORRY IF YOU ARE NOT LOOKING TO ADD MORE. i just did not want to be the creepy stalker who stalked. /o\)

Date: 2010-09-09 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vikki.livejournal.com
Unrequitedlove!kink, YESSSSSSSSS. I'm still waiting for a train for someone to fill my prompt - I was so excited to get FIRST COMMENT YEAH but I am afraid that the anonymous OMG FILL THIS YOURSELF comments scared off any potential fillers, sadface. (I mean, I'm intensely flattered but I'm sure there are REALLY GOOD WRITERS who could do this for me and I want to read it! *___* .... >_> *shifty eyes at you*) But it is all about Arthur following Cobb around and being in unselfish love with him and MORE PEOPLE NEED TO WRITE THIS OKAY.

*friends you back* Just a forewarning: I am EXTREMELY LAZY about following my flist these days and I rarely comment on other people's journals, so, yeah, er. But HOORAY INCEPTION PPL ON MY FLIST ♥

Date: 2010-09-09 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
OMG THAT IS SO SAD. (although, uh, i cannot say i disagree with the anoncomment, lalala, SORRY.) do you even know HOW MUCH I LOVE THAT PROMPT THOUGH. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF, if i thought there was a CHANCE IN HELL i would do it justice, I WOULD BE ALL OVER IT LIKE WHITE ON RICE.

YAY AMAZINGNESS ON MY FLIST. \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ ALSO, WITH A FLIST THAT BIG, HOW COULD ANYONE BLAME YOU. plus i am kind of a spammer when i want to be, SO YOU ARE PROBABLY BETTER OFF.

Date: 2010-09-18 11:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] be-a-rebel.livejournal.com
This knocked the breath out of me. It's just so harsh and real. Brilliant piece.

Date: 2010-09-18 04:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
thank you! i'm always flattered to get feedback like this. :D

Date: 2010-09-26 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] radishface.livejournal.com
Okay, okay, okay. I know that your username is epicflailer but seriously woman you have me EPICALLY FLAILING RIGHT NOW HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS EARLIER IN MY LIFE DEAR GOD HAVE I BEEN LIVING UNDER A ROCK OR SOMETHING D: D: D:

Arthur's mouth twists, but his voice is gentle. "You weren't supposed to."

Oh Arthur oh Arthur oh Arthur still trying to protect Cobb EVEN NOW. *TEAR*

This time, Arthur pulls away first. His eyes are at half-mast, dark and desperate, and when his breath hitches against Cobb's skin, it sounds a lot like please. Dom, god, please.

I have really high standards for Arthur, let me tell you. He cannot be too whiny or too needy or too rigid or whatever and here you have broken him down so well. :D The only terrible thing is that Cobb is drunk, and in a way, Arthur is, is taking advantage of him. A little bit. But what would this pairing be without a little bit of darkness? >D

I loved everything about this SO MUCH BB. SO FRAKIN' MUCH.

Date: 2010-09-26 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
*________________________________*

UM, SO, FIRST OF ALL. TYSM FOR THE FEEDBACK. IT WAS SO THOUGHTFUL AND, JUST, ASIDJSDIHFG, BEST KIND OF FEEDBACK THERE IS.

i'm really glad this worked for you, too, especially arthur! I AM TOTALLY FLATTERED. he's tough to break down believably, especially considering how long he's been holding all these feelings in (YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS) and i really wanted that to come through here, and i am so glad it did!

ngl, i was kind of :/ about cobb being drunk, but it was the only way i could see it going without another inevitable communication breakdown between these two, or cobb just not going where he needs to go and arthur never pushing for it. THAT SECOND LAST LINE, THOUGH, IN MY HEAD IT ALWAYS ENDS WITH please still mean it in the morning, OR please be sure, OR SOMETIMES, DEPENDING ON MY MOOD, please stop, i can't. BUT--YOU KNOW. THESE TWO = :DDDD:

TYSM AGAAAAAAAAAIN.

Date: 2010-10-15 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snarkyducky.livejournal.com
thank you so much for sharing this story.. it was a very intense reading experience, and my heart aches for your Arthur. ♥

Date: 2010-10-16 09:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epicflailer.livejournal.com
thank you for this lovely comment! that's always so great to hear.

December 2016

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
181920212223 24
25262728293031

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 07:34 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios