In Abandon

Jun. 15th, 2011 10:27 pm
ofvanity: (thardy.)
[personal profile] ofvanity
Title: In Abandon
Author[ profile] ofvanity  
Pairings: Eames/Yusuf
Word Count: 2800
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: None, really.
Disclaimers: This, children, in no way ever happened. Nolan is beautiful and Inception is his pet that I occasionally walk through a park of wild and fake ideas.
Author's Note: Written for the captivating place that is the Rarepairs Summer Fest and the beautiful [ profile] fitz_y who prompted: "pre-film, how eames and yusuf met." I took that and kinda ran with it. Ran with scissors, I believe. And under the influence of things that make you stumble. 
Summary: The cold has always made Eames homesick.


The heat is supposed to be startling in a place like Mombasa, especially in the summer. Tonight, though, Eames is scuttling through the dirty streets of the city with a sports jacket pulled over his shoulders, because it’s not slightly hot. There are even goose bumps rising over the back of his neck and it’s unsettling how easily a rise of nerves makes him homesick.

A man appears at his side, curly dark hair hanging over his eyes as he falls in step with Eames. “Nice night,” he remarks casually.

“It is a lovely evening.” Eames adds.

“Are you lost?”

“No, I want to go this way.”

The man snorts, pocketing his hands smoothly. “Is that so?”

“Mombasa is a brilliant city,“ Eames continues.

“Oh, mate, we’re not even in Mombasa. This is Nairobi.”

“Andrei said—”

“Andrei is an idiot. He can’t tell Athens from Atlanta. Didn’t you notice the giant gap where the Indian Ocean is supposed to be?”

“I hadn’t gotten that far.” Eames says dejectedly.

The man smiles at him. “Care for directions then?”

“I suppose so, then.”

“Go south three blocks then make a left, a right and a left again and you should see the plaza. Andrei is waiting there.”

Eames runs a hand through his hair. South is in the opposite direction from which he was headed. “Bugger all. Better get on then. Thanks mate.”

The man smirks at him, wiry strands pulled back by his hand. His eyes burn dark as his small pink mouth curled into a knowing smirk. “Don’t mention it.”

Eames does, though. Rolling his sleeve down and standing from the chair he was just hooked up in. “I met a nice projection of yours.”

Andrei barely glances at him from the PASIV, “How much did she charge you?”

Eames walks around the chair buttoning his cuff and heading to sit next to Kasia. “It was a man.”

Kasia laughs, “Did you find that out before or after you stuck your hand down his pants?”

Eames abandons all hope of learning anything about what was probably a random projection and winks at Kasia, “Guess.”

Eames abandons all hope of learning anything about what was probably a random projection and goes on with the job. That is, until he finds himself sitting across from that very man in the real world, as he mixes an elaborately colored cocktail of liquor. He’s working this job with Khetam and Fatima in Sierra Leone and the extractor is talking,

Charles tends to be a bit long winded but everything he says is usually of import, and yet the man is watching Eames. He’s got his lip between his teeth and a bead of sweat is rolling down his collar. The top buttons of his dress shirt are open and Eames lets his legs fall open in a suggestive flirt. Charles stops talking soon after, and the girls disappear onto the dance floor of the club.

“Have you two met before?” Charles asks conversationally.

“No,” the man answers at the same times Eames says, “Yes.”

“How’s that, then?” the man asks.

“Andrei has a projection of you. Rather nice projection.”

The Man nods in understanding, “Comes with the territory, ‘suppose.”

“Quite,” Eames agrees. “I never caught your name, though. What’s your name, darling?” Eames leans forward, setting his drink on the table before them. He sees the small hesitation in the man’s demeanor and encourages him, “Go on, tell me your name,” and makes it sounds like Eames would be doing him a favor by listening to his name.

The man smirks, all knowing as before, “Tell me yours.”

“Mason Pitch,” Eames says.

The man raises an eyebrow, but before Eames can prompt him again, a long-legged blond sidles into the VIP lounge, wearing absurdly tight black pants. Eames watches the curl of The Man’s smirk as the blond sits on his lap, whispering in his ear. The Man runs his hands up into the blonde's shirt and his grin turns lecherous. “We’ll have to get a cab.”

The Man stands and the blond slips off his lap, curling around him. The Man leaves his drink on the table, winking at Eames as he sets it down, “Fancy a threesome, Mr. Pitch?”

Eames glances between the dark eyes and the lithe blond. There’s a stirring in his gut that makes it sound like an excellent idea, but mostly, he can’t stand the thought of a Nairobi-lit mind rubbing into the empty space of this city. He sits back and crosses his legs, “Not tonight, I’m afraid.” Or any other night for that matter.

The Man shrugs, “Suit yourself.”

He leads the blond out with hands resting in indecent places. It takes Eames until the VIP curtain closes behind them to realize he still doesn’t know The Man’s name.

Monday morning, The Man shows up at the warehouse. He walks in and goes straight to the corner of the space where all the chemicals are already set up. Charles tosses him a greeting but The Man barely spares him a glances. As soon as he sits down, he immediately sets to work. His trousers are pressed and his shoes are shined.

Eames very deliberately waits until lunchtime until he crosses the room in fitful strides, “You’re on the team, then?”

The Man doesn’t even look up from where his fingers are working a paper as he scans the text. “I made tryouts it seems.

“And the written?”

“Dunno about that, but I exceeded in the oral. I do believe my marks will surpass expectations. Do you mind? I’m trying to work, Mr. Pitch.”

Eames leans across his work station, setting his forearms on the paper The Man was reading. “That’s not playing fair. I don’t have your name.”

“Mason,” Charles warns from inside his office. “Leave the chemist be. Let’s have at least one team member you haven’t tricked into bed, thank you.”

Khetam squawks indignantly in his direction.

Instead of being discouraged, however, The Man leans into him, challenging. His breath smells like raspberries and lemonade. Eames has always hated lemonade. “My name is Pitch Mason.”

Eames rolls his eyes, “Honestly.”

“Honestly, mate.”

“I’ve never had to work this hard for a bloke’s name, you know. I’ve done less for more than a name.”

Pitch nods, “Right, well, I’ll tell you my name once you tells me yours.”

“I have told you mine.”

Pitch returns to his work, “Don’t insult my intelligence, Mr. Pitch.”

Eames walks away. At the restaurant where he has lunch with Charles, he orders a raspberry tart


The job is relatively simple. It concerns the darker edge of political instability in Central Africa. They were hired by a political faction, growing in power, and demanded to know the name of a mole that was implanted in their office by the leading group of insurgents. It's simple in the way that all the team has to do is extract the name of the spy from the insurgent leader and everything that the spy has filtered out of the political office.

It's not simple in how they are going to reach said rebel. The only window they have is small, infinitesimal, and there is no real option of getting away unnoticed. It's more of a smash, grab, and run job. There isn't even a concern that they should be found out. With the sedative Mr. Mason is providing, they have two hours, after waking up from the dream, to be on a plane, boat or stork out of the country. They've been assured any mess or body count would be swept under the political rug.

"Can't you get us more time?" Eames prompts but Charles is already walking away, satisfied with the window of time. They have four hours in the dream, twenty minutes topside, and two hours post of which to get away.

Mr. Mason glances up at Eames from underneath his lashes and behind his glasses. "If you can do your job right, Mr. Pitch, you shan't need any more time."

Eames is almost offended.

They go under at night, rushing through his mind and ripping it apart to get information. The extraction is easy, Eames isn't even necessary, really—he's here on a favor for Charles. The important part is getting out with everyone’s extremities intact. Eames wouldn't admit it at the time, but a large part of why he stayed was the enigmatic Mr. Mason.

When he wakes up with, Charles and Khetam are already gone and Fatima is shooting people outside the door. Eames stands and pulls his SIG, diving beneath Fatima’s cover. Mr. Mason is curled next to her, holding his arm and blood rippling from beneath his fingers. "How nice of you to join us, Mr. Pitch," he remarks.

"Mason," Fatima admonishes, nodding towards the door.

"How many are there?"

"A few. Four," she stands and fires a handful of times, punctuated by a thud, "three maybe. Their back up is twelve minutes away. I'm going out the window, but Pitch is injured, we can't take him that way. You’ve got to take him out the front door. I’ll meet you out there in five minutes exactly.”

Eames peeks over the cover of a metal desk and spots the blur of a foot disappearing. “There’s at least one outside. Go on, I’ll cover you.”

There’s a rush of movement, Eames takes out the man just outside the door and Fatima is off, footsteps scraping against the concrete of the window and the PASIV suitcase slapping against the wall. Her head disappears beneath the windowsill and Eames turns to Pitch, eyebrows knitted with concern. “How hurt are you?”

“Just a flesh wound. Lesser of two evils, I suppose.”

“Let’s get out of here, then.”

Eames wraps an arm around Pitch’s waist, leading him out of the room. They reach the end of the hall when a shot rings off and hits the wall nearby. He tucks Pitch into the hallway and moves through the house on his own. He finds the other two guards standing at the bottom of the staircase, wary of the intruders but not willing to ascend. Instead of bothering with bullets, Eames procures a hand grenade from the bag slung around Pitch’s neck.

Eames slams the door of the car behind them and Fatima peels out of the drive. In between the rush of streetlights, Pitch raises his eyebrows at Eames, “Do you make it a habit of dropping hand grenades into people’s bags?”

Eames winks, “You’re special.”

Pitch rolls his eyes but doesn’t add anything in retort. Fatima cuts into their conversation, talking faster than is strictly comprehensible. Fatima has a flight to catch to an obscure end of the globe and cannot drive through the night. They leave her at a private airport hanger and Pitch changes his shirt in the backseat as Eames speeds through back alleys so they can catch their flight.

Their flight, as in Eames heard Pitch was going into Dikson Island in the Kara Sea and asked, “Where?”


They’ve only known each other—and hardly that—for a week. It’s been a rush of plans, quirked lips, and the incessant prattle of Charles’ Yorkshire accent. The job is over, there’s no pretense that they even need to remember each other’s fake names anymore, but when Pitch says Russia, it sounds like an invitation.


The air is crisp in Russia, refreshing almost and Eames is homesick within the first three hours. There’s a pulse underneath the shore and when Eames lays in the sand, white and cold, he can feel it pressing into his eardrums. Pitch lies next to him, jackets pillowed under their heads and his arm is tucked carefully into a sling. The bullet grazed him but clipped a few veins and muscles.

For another week, Pitch and Mason walk back and forth between each other, wrapping bandages and slinging. It’s not a breakthrough moment, really. It’s not after a drug induced high or during some post-coital banter. There isn’t a moment of clarity or stunning affection.

It’s a dreary morning; the air is mucky and just cold. Eames is tired and he’s got a cold coming on when Pitch passes him a cup of tea. It’s dark and bitter, but Eames doesn’t ever remember telling him he takes tea differently when he’s sick.

He gets off the chair, setting the tea on a wooden table that wobbled so they stuck a matchbox under one of the legs. When he kisses Pitch, the raspberry lemonade is dulled to something like chamomile tea and Russian shell foods. Pitch isn’t mildly surprised, bringing a warm palm to the back of Mason’s neck, pulling. The waves crash against each other in the distance, roaring loud in their ears and in beat with the race of the shore’s pulse.

They part with a small smack of dry lips. Eames talks, maybe spilling ideas he’s had in dreams, in VIP lounges, while on a phone call with Arthur when he was offered a safer job, on planes and underneath streetlights, talking like how people’s eyes meet across a room. “Why not?”

Pitch leans against him, light on his feet. “I never said no.”

“You’ve resisted.”

“Need I remind you?”

“I wasn’t going to shag you with some blond in the way.”

“Competitive are you?”

“Possessive,” Eames confesses.

Eames doesn’t think he’s ever seen anything as sinister and clever as Pitch. Pitch watches him for a moment, calculating him like a particularly tricky Sudoku puzzle. “You want my name.”

“I didn’t think you would have invited me to Russia if you weren’t going to give it.”

“I was under the influence of pain and possibly, my libido. There is something terribly dashing about a man wielding a gun. Though I reckon I’ll never do field work again.”

Eames brings his hands to Pitch’s hips, holding him against the counter. His trousers are soft, pure cotton against the space between his knuckles. “Does anyone else know your name?”

“Everyone knows my name.”

“Did the team?”

“They were my accomplices, yes.”

“Why can’t I?”

“The blond thought my name was Michel.”

“Is it?”


“I take it the blond didn’t ask for much else.”

“A mint.”

“Tell me your name.”

Pitch is silent and the waves crash faster in his ears, the shore is vibrating. Eames turns his head to breathe the cold air, stinging inside his lungs, so he doesn’t have to breathe the ache of almost familiarity. The sand is actually dark and wet and mud congeals at the edges of concrete, Eames wishes he had a cigar to keep his mouth quiet, to keep focused.

“I better go.”

Eames can taste rejection when it burns belatedly. Eames can tell the numbness from the pressure and anxiety from excitement. His fingers start flinching with distress and he knows it shows on his face. He’s stepping out of the den, out of Pitch and away from Russia.

“It’s not Pitch Mason.”

Eames turns with something of a bitter smile, “I’m not Mason Pitch either, mate.”

The clouds are casting cold blue hues of harsh light into the room, gripping the edges of the wobbly table. Eames wishes for a Cuban: potent, heavy, and more than a little disgusting. Or the unfiltered and hand rolled cigarettes Khetam had, from Germany. Eames wishes for a wobbly table to grip and some curtains and a plane. Or a flamethrower to massacre the moths inside his throat, clipped wings burnt and charred, fluttering miserably against the flesh of his belly when he can finally swallow them down.

“It’s Yusuf.”

Eames doesn’t remember ever leaving his side, or ever trying to leave—later, he can’t fathom breaking from the shore’s pounding, there was only a moment of thick silence, expectations and “Eames”, broken with a sigh of relief and repeated, “Eames.” —Yusuf’s side, Yusuf’s fingers and eyelashes, Yusuf’s brilliance and Yusuf’s concentrated, blistering Mombasa heat.

The second kiss is like a handshake. Eames is at the shore again, beating back into the thunder, chewing moths and cutting into all the pathetic excuses to step away from his real name. The second kiss is like a conversation, nice to meet you, pleasure’s all mine, how do you do?, where can I rip you open?, where I can keep kissing you?, talking like how people fall into each other’s orbit.

Date: 2011-06-16 03:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So, I'm obviously insane because my ovaries are literally exploding or some nonsense and I'm still sitting here waiting for you to post it so I can be the first one to tell you that this is beautiful. :D So what if I'm territorial, its in our friendship contract. Just like I'm okay with the fact that at any moment I could get my ass kicked for no reason.

Date: 2011-06-19 05:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
so i've been dying to read this for days, but just finally now had the time to do so due to way too much RL craziness. BUT THIS MAKES IT ALL BETTER. because it's absolutely amazing. THIS IS GOING IN MY HEAD CANON RIGHT FUCKING NOW. ALL OF IT. your dialogue is snappy--i love the name mason pitch, first of all, and then the way yusuf turns it back on him. and your descriptions are evocative, gorgeous. i just want to roll around in your imagery all day. the idea of a shore having a pulse. wow. that just made me think. and it's so right, and so perfectly beautiful. and the way you worked in so much of yusuf's missing backstory, like the bit about why he doesn't go into the field. i'd quote my favorite bits, but then i'd have to quote it all back at you. THIS WAS SOOOO WORTH WAITING FOR. THANK YOU!!!

Date: 2011-06-19 03:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you so much, I'm glad you liked it. :D :D :D
It was a lovely prompt and I was glad to fill it. :)

Date: 2011-06-22 05:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is perfect for them. I love all the flirting, banter, violence, and guardedness! You strike just the right note with their characterizations and it's great that Eames meets the projection of Yusuf first. Sometimes E/Y can be very "nice" or fluffy, so it's great that they don't exactly trust each other here.

Date: 2011-06-22 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I always thought that if Eames were to adept to every situation, so he would have multiple fake identities with not only governments, but with people. And Yusuf would play hard to get because he'd realize that Eames isn't being honest and totally call him on his bullshit. So that's what I was trying to put through that, I'm not entirely convinced it was up to par but I'm glad you read/liked it. It means a great deal, <3 :DD


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December 2011


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