ofvanity: (cobb.)
[personal profile] ofvanity
Title: Men of Action
Author:[livejournal.com profile] ofvanity 
Pairings: Arthur/Saito, Arthur/Eames, Cobb/Saito
Word Count: 3100
Rating: R
Warnings: Semi-graphic sex, ridiculous romantic dribble, abuse of office supplies, my brain leaking out of my ears.
Disclaimers: Dear Mr. Nolan, I know I don't own these beautiful, beautiful people. I am also aware this never happened. But if you could just, y'know, make it happen, video it, that would just be fucking great. --Shameless in Chicago. (:
Author's Note: Guys, look, I am on like permanent jet lag right now because my sleeping schedule is COMPLETELY INVERTED. True story, I'm only awake for a few hours of sunlight, it's ridic. Anyway, this took me longer than I would have liked because my brain was like "ENGLISH. QUE?" I wrote this for this prompt on [livejournal.com profile] inception_kink. I want to apologize to my OP, actually because I  meant to write actual sex for this and my brain said, "QUE  ES  EL  SEXO?" So that didn't go over too well. Last but not least, a nice little nod to my beta and enabler,[livejournal.com profile] everhaunting, for sifting through the meme when I lost the link to the prompt and y'know, pretty much functioning as a drug dealer expect for slash. Kudos, comrade. 
Summary: Arthur and Saito start having casual sex and when they learn of this development, Cobb and Eames decide to stake their claim.


It starts differently for everyone.

After Inception, Arthur watches Cobb walk away and decides it’s time to loosen his tie. Saito finds him at the hotel bar six hours later, three shots of tequila in front of him and three deep in his belly. Everything is still fuzzed and blurred after the blunt force trauma of limbo but if there’s ever anything to ground your nerves, its tequila. If there is anything to fill the sick empty feeling in his chest, it’s a warm body.

Saito asks if the seat next to him is taken. When their thighs brush through a couple layers of smooth clothes, Arthur declares, “You are surprisingly sexy.”

Saito smirks at him, undisturbed. Arthur continues, “I love surprises,” and drinks all three shots.

They’re not even drunk when they make out in the elevator; Saito is hardly even buzzed after the three shots of tequila. Arthur, although he drank much more, is as composed as ever, apparently having a high tolerance for any liquor. They don’t even make it to bed, Arthur comes with Saito on his knees and his mouth falls slack, against the wallpaper. Saito comes in Arthur’s hand, teeth marks all up and down Arthur’s neck.

For seconds, on the bed this time, it is very vanilla with Arthur just taking it all and breathless. For thirds, Arthur holds Saito against the shower wall and jacks them both off in tired strokes. The morning after, they order room service and agree to adhere by the laws of convenience.

-

For Eames, it starts as the barest inkling. On the next job the team takes for Saito, which is boring and gets tossed aside when more interesting things start happening in the office. The first inkling is when Saito approaches Arthur’s desk, leaving a pair of cuff links that Arthur pockets with quick haste. It’s nothing familiar or practiced but before he leaves he turns and asks Arthur, “The usual?”

Arthur nods distractedly and heads into the kitchenette for more coffee.

The next day, Arthur isn’t wearing cuff links.

-

Cobb is too busy for Eames’ bullshit. He’s a working dad now, has to be home in time for dinner, and has to be there for breakfast and to pick them up from school. He’s almost giddy with it. But as they move into a second job, ten months after the Fischer job, Cobb starts to see it, too. The little trickle of information, like an inside joke between Saito and Arthur. He stops working for two days and hangs around Eames’ desk, pretending to be discussing details on the job.

“What’s going on?”

“I think they’re together... whatever that means.” Eames shrugs.

“They can’t be, Arthur is emotionally constipated.”

“Saito is a cold bastard,” Eames adds thoughtfully.

“Arthur can barely function a friendship, let alone a relationship,” Cobb continues disdainfully.

“Saito doesn’t know how to appreciate beauty.” Eames cuts back, curling his vowels harshly.

Cobb scowls, “Arthur doesn’t even know him. Limbo changes a person.”

“Saito doesn’t even know how please a man like Arthur,” Eames’ voice is escalating.

“Cobb!” Ariadne shouts from across the warehouse and they break out of their trance. “I need your help for a second.”

Cobb stands awkwardly and says, “Nice talk, Eames,” as the other starts shuffling papers around aimlessly.

“Course, yeah.”

After that awkward conversation, Cobb starts hanging around Eames’ desk a lot more and they pretend to talk about the job but watch Arthur and Saito. It takes three days before they disclose something irrefutable.

Saito leans across Arthur’s desk, drops two pairs of cuff links and Arthur looks up from his work with a smirk. Without thinking, he leans up and pecks Saito on the lips before setting them aside and going back to work. The warehouse falls silent and Saito heads back to where he’s working with Yusuf. Luckily for the entire team, Ariadne is not versed in tact.

“The fuck?” she says loudly, across the entire room. “What the fuck was that?”

Arthur drops his head into his hands, “Fuck, that was a reflex,” he straightens up and beckons Saito over, “Well, whatever, I guess it doesn’t matter anymore.”

Saito perches himself on the edge of Arthur’s desk as Ariadne crosses the room, arms wrapped around herself. “What was that about?” she glances back at Cobb, “Did you know about this?”

Arthur cuts in, “No, leave him, Ariadne, no one knew, it wasn’t important. It isn’t important.”

“Are you kidding me? You and Saito are dating and it’s not important?” Eames says from the behind his desk.

“We’re not dating, so to speak, Mr. Eames.” Saito replies calmly. “Arthur and I are simply enjoying each other’s company. In this instance, I would have to agree with Arthur that the nature of our relationship truly doesn’t concern the team or the job. Should that change, we shall send out an interoffice memo.”

Arthur snorts behind him, chuckling like there is more to the joke than they let on. He rounds the desk and leans against it, hip to hip with Saito. Saito straightens next to him and as Arthur starts talking; his hand appears at Saito’s hip, keeping him in place. “Not that it will ever come to that because we are two consenting adults that know how to handle relationships. Be they physical or otherwise.”

There’s a snapping sounds behind Cobb but he doesn’t turn to see what caused it. The papers he was pretending to show Eames crumble and wrinkle and his hands. “It’s caused enough of a distraction already. Everyone go back to work. Ariadne, can I see you in my office?”

The group scatters and a second snapping sound resonates. Eames tears out of his chair and follows after Ariadne, “Cobb, can I talk to you for a minute?”

“No,” the door slams in his face.

When he turns back to walk to his desk, Arthur’s hand is gone from Saito’s hip and there’s the barest hint of a smile quirking his lips.

-

“You did that on purpose.”

Saito finds Arthur leaning against the warehouse in the alley. He’s wrinkling his trousers by sitting with his knees to his chest but doesn’t seem terribly disturbed. He doesn’t even look up at him; instead of talking he takes a drag from a crude looking cigarette in his hands. Saito takes that as his cue to continue, “You don’t slip up when it comes to affection. I may not know you very well, but I know everything you do has intent.”

When the smoke clears, Arthurs grins, “Did you see Eames’ face?”

“Did you see Mr. Cobb’s?”

Arthur scoffs, “Cobb is like a child, he doesn’t know what he wants until it’s taken from him.”

“How does that differ from your situation with Mr. Eames?”

Arthur looks away, blowing smoke through his nose. His jaw is tensing, cornered. Saito watches him smoke for another second before he stubs out the cigarette and glares up at him like he’s decided something. “Blowjob?”

-

A tension settles over the team for the next couple of days that cripples the output of real work. As soon as there is a definitive answer to the nagging insecurity, the entire dynamic shifts in the team. Ariadne paces back and forth, making passive aggressive metaphors in Cobb’s direction and glaring at Saito at every turn. Eames has taken to breaking his pencil—or pen—every time Saito and Arthur come within five feet of each other. Cobb is shouting orders now, coming in early and leaving early and throwing the nearest object at Eames every time he breaks another writing utensil.

Yusuf is alternating between looking bewildered and dodging staplers.

Saito and Arthur, on the other hand, look like they’re having the time of their lives.

The morning after the Big Reveal—as Cobb angrily nicknamed only twelve minutes afterwards—Saito and Arthur come in together in the morning and neither of them is wearing cuff links. They step out of the same car and when Arthur almost forgets his briefcase, Saito’s driver feels comfortable enough to stop him with a hand on his arm. When they split up for the day, Arthur finds a cup of coffee already on his desk. Eames is dressed in a tight shirt and trousers that wrap around his arse. Arthur drinks it and tries not to laugh too hard.

The fourth day, Arthur and Saito arrive together again but give no other indication of intimacy. There’s another cup of coffee at Arthur’s desk and some Scandinavian chocolates. Arthur forgets not to laugh but he still eats them with exaggerated vigor. The entire office is tense with the sound of Arthur sucking chocolate off his fingers.

Instead of heading to lunch, Eames convinces Cobb to duck out to the nearest alley and have a sparring match. It’s sloppy and terse but it feels good. They come back giddy off the adrenaline, sweaty from the endeavor and bloodied up. Cobb declares an early work day and goes home to his children.

The next day, the stiffness returns to their shoulders when Saito arrives at the warehouse with bruises bitten into his neck that disappear under the collar of his shirt. Eames break pencils every time Arthur gets too close to him, Arthur is wearing a dark navy shirt that Ariadne bought Saito for Secret Santa. It was probably the only one that fit him when he couldn’t get back to his apartment this morning, Eames thought.

Cobb stayed in his office, throwing himself into the work and the dream levels for the extraction with Ariadne, but the thought picks at Eames. Cobb can hide in his office and pretend the world is merry but Eames can’t—he works fifteen feet away from the man, has been for months at a time for years. He has to watch all their mindless affections, the flirting and nonchalantly inappropriate touches.

Arthur and Saito leave together this time, and when the door slams shut behind them, Eames decides he can’t take this anymore. Cobb can pretend but Eames can’t watch Arthur strut around with his ass in the air and Saito trotting after it with a hard-on leading the way. Eames marches into Cobb’s office.

-

The morning after, Saito and Arthur arrive together and conduct their usual indifference. The bruises on Saito have faded some but not by much. As they part for the day—a single nod of acknowledgement—Eames purrs his way over to Arthur’s desk. Arthur has a client meeting today, it says so all neatly scribbled in his day planner. Eames, drinking coffee over his desk with him, trades half-lidded grins, and talks his way into the meeting.

The meeting goes fine, the client is happy and all is right with the world when Eames orders a fourth round of drinks. They trade banter and niceties until the client leaves, cheeks pink from the wine. Arthur attempts in vain to count how much he’s had, “You had the—look, there’s the waiter. Ask her.”

“Garcon,” Eames belts across the hotel restaurant—thinking dimly it’s indecent to be so drunk in the middle of the day—because the waiter is actually nowhere near them, “Be a mate and bring us another bottle.”

“There’s a good lad,” Arthur shouts after him, in a surprisingly believable British accent.

“Where did you learn that?”

Arthur grins at him and drinks the last of the current bottle.

“What else can you do?” Eames says.

Arthur shrugs, “I speak Italian.”

“Does Saito know that?” Eames Is heating up already, thinking of Arthur draped over him, twisting his mouth in fast-paced vowels that push against each other, chest to chest.

“Saito and I rarely talk,” Arthur doesn’t lose an ounce of smugness, his fingers drumming nervously at the neck of the new bottle. His fingers are obscenely long and Eames wonders if they feel cold.

He reaches out across the table, taking his free hand and running the pad of his thumb down the knuckles of Arthur’s ring finger. Eames knows he can fit the entire digit in his mouth; it’s been a long time since Arthur asked him too but he knows Arthur remembers that night, three years ago, by how his eyes darken. Eames pulls his hand up and kisses the first knuckle, nails trimmed neatly. ”I always did like your fingers.”

“I always did like your mouth,” Arthur counters, sounding a bit breathless.

“What would you say if I were to invite you to my room?”

Eames continues, without awaiting the answer, “You would have to stop all that nonsense with Saito, I’m not having it.”

“I haven’t said yes yet.”

“What would you say then?” Eames shrugs, undeterred.

They fall silent for a moment, listening to the bustle of the mid-afternoon rush in this restaurant. There is the distant crash of a plate and their waiter apologizing to some other patron. There is the pressure between them, urging Eames to clean the amusement off Arthur, chest to chest.

“Finally.”

The elevator ride is surprisingly calm. Eames holds Arthur against the rails and jacks them both off with the emergency stop button ringing the alarm. Arthur wraps a leg at Eames’ waist and arches into his hand, clunking his head back on the wall and baring his throat. He comes into Eames’ hand, Eames marring his neck and collar with fresh bruises, and rutting against him. Eames breathes hot in his ear, reckless pants and a chorus of, “Finally. You’re finally mine.”

-

The warehouse is mostly silent while Arthur and Eames are gone. Ariadne is wrapped in actually doing work and Yusuf was sent out to fetch some food for the rest of them while Cobb and Saito finish some work in a dream. They’re in between the high shelves of a grocery store, Saito testing mazes that Cobb builds. He comes through it the first time without a trace of panic, acclimatized to the style of Cobb’s mind.

The second time Saito only takes less time than the first. Cobb takes that as a personal challenge and starts from scratch. The third and fourth attempts are the same and when he steps out into view, Cobb throws his hands in the air in exasperation. “How are you doing this?”

Saito raises an eyebrow at him in explanation but speaks anyway, “Instincts.”

Cobb glares at him for a second, narrowing his eyes. “Get back in the maze.”

Saito frowns apologetically, “Perhaps it would help if I knew what you were trying to achieve through this maze,” he suggests.

“The mark had a traumatic experience as a child where he was lost in a large store. They found him nearly an hour later, passed out near the dairy section, having suffered an anxiety attack. We’re trying to call up that panic and sense of helplessness. I want him to feel completely lost.”

“Perhaps you should try with another then, I don’t think I can lose myself in your mind.”

Cobb scoffs, “You don’t know me as well as you’d like to think, Saito.”

Saito’s expression loses all humor, “Don’t I?”

Cobb crosses his arms over his chest defensively, “Listen, Saito, I don’t know what you think you know—let alone, about me—but you’re not omniscient or—what are you—?“

Cobb petrifies, nerves rushing through his bones and locking him in place. Saito leans in, breathing soft and calmly against his lips and pauses for a second, before ducking his head and brushing his lips over Cobb’s mouth. It’s chaste and over before Cobb really has a chance to react.

Cobb releases a breath he wasn’t aware he’d been holding in and the kick music is playing. He is hyperaware all of a sudden, heart beating calmly in his chest, the phantom ache in his arm where Philippa likes to sleep on it, and a sublevel of comfort—he’s always comfortable and loose-edged with Saito in his dreams, like he belongs there.

Saito is searching his face for confirmation but Cobb doesn’t feel like he’s being watched or pressured. Saito leans in again, confusing his silence for approval. Cobb stops him with a hand on his chest, the silence has made his voice weak but he finds it, lodged somewhere in his throat.

“I-I’m not Arthur.”

Saito steps back, shock written across his face before they wake up. Cobb is up and across the room before Saito’s eyes even adjust to the light. He can feel Ariadne’s glare at the back of his neck but before she can say anything, the door to his office closes behind him.

Cobb barely gets a chance to start pacing before the door opens and Saito walks in. “Mr. Cobb—‘

“Look, Saito,” Cobb wheels around, “You can do whatever you like with Arthur and that’s fine, but you have to keep that to yourself. We’re not all here for your beck and call.”

“Dominic,” he says, “Those were not my intentions.”

Cobb runs a hand through his hair, “What then?”

Saito steps closer slowly, giving Cobb time to back away. “I miss you a lot, Mr. Cobb,” he says quietly.

“What?”

“The presence of your mind is alarmingly relaxing.” Saito shuffles into Cobb’s space, a hand holding Cobb at his hip as if to keep him there. “Well, your presence in general calms me, actually. But when you’re near me, I can’t help but to seek you out. Limbo is a very intimate place and after all that time,“ he brings a hand up to Cobb’s face, touching his brow bone reverently, “I miss you.”

“What about Arthur?”

Saito shakes his head a bit wildly, willing Cobb to understand. “He’s irrelevant to this.”

Cobb leans in and presses their foreheads together. “Why do you fuck around with him then?”

His hands clench on Cobb’s hips, frustrated. “I was trying to fill the void you left. It didn’t work.” Cobb watches him skeptically until Saito adds, “He’s not you.”

He leans his weight into him and closes the space between them. Cobb doesn’t want to kiss him for a second; Arthur has been in his place, but after a second, all Cobb can feel is Saito. In between the warmth and the familiarity of it, all he recognizes is Saito. His arms ache from the children but he winds them around Saito’s neck and can’t seem to let go.

-
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