Anyhow. I can't believe I haven't made any Inception rec posts yet! I'm rectifying that today, but be aware that many of my early links haven't been lost with the death of delicious (rip). So here's what I have so far. Feel free to pass along any other links you think that I've missed.
Arthur/Eames - 14 Recs
Jamais Vu by The Hoyden - Arthur and Eames let Yusuf use them as guinea pigs as he works out an idea for a new drug. [NC-17, 6700 words, warnings for minor drug-related psychological side effects]
Arthur isn't one to turn down new weaponry, so to speak. "What do you want us to do?"
Eames slouches in his chair and looks disgustingly happy with himself. "Simply put, dear Arthur, we go off to dreamland, I ask you some questions--"
"And then we see how long it takes for you to shoot him," Yusuf finishes.
"I'm in," Arthur says.
Towards Zero by Mirabella - Arthur meets Eames first as a projection inside of Nash's mind. A little bit trippy, but a cool idea. [NC-17, no warnings]
None of the other projections has noticed, though; and when Arthur looks back, there's a man in a horribly ill-fitting suit lounging against the bar where the blonde-then-torch-singer used to be, tapping the rim of a martini glass against a mouth that makes Arthur forget for a glorious moment that fucking someone else's projection is both technically difficult and logistically suicidal.
Des fois je reve que je suis dans tes bras, the torch singer croons.
The projection catches him staring and winks. Arthur wants very much to know who he is in real life, if he's anyone or someone Nash's subconscious cobbled together out of half-remembered late-night movies. But he's working, and Nash's subconscious is, as mentioned, not the most stable of places, so Arthur gives the projection a brief, impersonal smile and turns back to the stage.
No One Gets Out Alive by hackthis - The way that Arthur and Eames meet. Full of misunderstanding and unresolved sexual tension. [PG-13, 14000 words, no warnings]
"Mal," Eames scolds. "Try not to kill him before the job. I know we're supposed to be competitors, but I'd like to beat him, not have him die prematurely from a coronary."
Arthur gives Eames a very obvious once over. "I assume this won't be a sartorial competition," he says to Eames.
Eames raises an eyebrow. "Well, aren't you charming?"
Arthur's mouth quirks. "I do what I can," he says, going back to his wine.
It's a very nice red. Possibly a Shiraz.
Something else occurs during this exchange that has nothing to do with their conversation or Arthur choking on his wine. Arthur looks at Eames and Eames looks at Arthur and in under ten minutes Arthur is completely smitten.
never so safe as i am with you by linckia_blue - Arthur has flawless, impenetrable subconscious security - against anyone except Eames. I love this kind of thing: one character unintentionally revealing their feelings for another. [PG-13, 6500 words, no warnings]
"So what are you the best at?" Ariadne questions Arthur, rolling her eyes at them both.
"Security," Arthur says. "You can’t steal a secret from me. It’s impossible."
"It can’t be impossible," Ariadne says, "Nothing is impossible for us."
Eames shrugs, "It’s as close as you can get."
leaving this old fairground behind by linckia_blue - Ariadne joins the dream circus. I am weirdly partial to circus AU stories and this one is no exception. [PG-13/R, 17500 words, warnings: terrible, negligent parenting]
"It’s fine," Dom offers, taking the papers from her as she stands up, looping the horse lead back around her wrist, and pushing her hair out of her face with her other hand. The horse is now chewing on a particularly green patch of grass. Dom suspects she needn’t worry about it running off. I should have been watching where I was going. In case of horses."
"It is a circus," the girl points out.
"We’ve only got smaller animals, dogs and a few birds," he replies.
cause he wanted a man with a little security by zarathuse - Lots and lots of wall sex with a lovely side of size kink. [NC-17, 2500 words, no warnings]
Maybe that’s why it doesn’t really register, then. He catalogues Arthur, assesses him automatically from underneath a heavy-lidded gaze and a flirtatious smirk. Pretty comes first, because it would take more than a few rough months to keep him from noticing that bone structure; then young, because all the pomade and sharp suits in the world can’t disguise the fact that the kid’s barely out of nappies; and finally, dangerous, because Eames has a finely honed sense for these things, and kid or not, Arthur sets it blaring.
But at no point in Eames’s assessment does he think of Arthur as small. At the time, in fact, they’re nearly of a size, and Eames files the information away and moves on, applying his mental efforts to the much more important task of trying to figure out how many times he can 'accidentally' nudge his foot against Arthur’s under the table before he earns himself a broken toe.
Get Out Of My Dream, Get Into My Car by eleveninches - Arthur disappears after a job gone wrong, and Eames goes a little nutty and very nearly takes out all of Liverpool in his wrath. [NC-17, 8300 words, no warnings]
"Yes," Arthur replied. "Are you coming to Italy with me or not?"
It hit Eames like a slap in the face: "Arthur," he asked, delighted, "are you asking me on a date?"
"Nevermind," Arthur huffed. He grabbed his jacket off the bed and folded it over his arm. "If you're going to be an asshole about this--"
I've Got Nothing To Do Today But Smile (The Only Living Boy in New York) by gyzym - The obligatory and always much-anticipated coffee shop AU. Eames opens a new coffee shop across the street from Arthur's law firm. [PG-13, 20000 words, warnings: some mention of depression and panic attacks]
He is sitting in the boardroom on a Monday morning the first time he sees Eames.
He's allowing himself the luxury of staring out the window, because if he doesn't stop looking at this deposition his eyeballs are going to catch on fire. There's not anything particularly interesting going on outside, except that that new coffee place that just opened across the street is getting a sign put in.
There's a guy on the ground calling directions to the man operating the forklift. Arthur's seventeen floors up, but even from this distance he can see a few details--broad shoulders and big arms, stains that look like tattoos peeking out from underneath his tank top, a hat of some kind. He's probably Arthur's type, to the extent Arthur has a type other than "confirmed, notarized and printed in triplicate" these days.
He goes back to his deposition, and then he decides that he might need a coffee.
Lasso by foxxcub - Eames goes outside one morning to find a golden retriever sitting on his porch, beside a familiar-looking Armani suit. A nice twist on the person-turns-into-an-animal fic, Inception style. [R, 8000 words, no warnings]
It’s the rumpled Armani suit the Retriever’s sitting on that gives Eames pause.
He crouches down in front of the dog, looking for signs of a collar, tags, anything to show the identity of its owner. But the dog is collarless.
“Where did you come from, ol’ boy?” Eames asks. He runs his fingers over one cuff of the suit sticking out from under the Retriever’s front paw.
The dog thumps his tail once, wuffles quietly. Eames smiles at him. He’s always loved animals, but hasn’t had a pet in years, not since long before his time in the military.
“I’d say your master is sorely missing this,” he says ruefully, tugging on the suit. The dog immediately gets up, and Eames gets a full view of it: slate gray, bespoke, the pants slim, the jacket European. It’s terribly familiar, and suddenly Eames thinks, Arthur owns a suit just like this.
Thank You for Your Interest by moonythestrals - The rules of the corporate translated to extracting. [R, 3500 words, no warnings]
Eames laughs, and Arthur hears Ariadne say faintly, "Why do their simulations sound so much more fun?" right before he slips under.
Precisely forty-six seconds later, Arthur falls cursing out of his chair. It appears as if Eames has laughed himself awake.
"Fuck," Arthur gasps, climbing gingerly to his feet.
"I'm sorry," Eames says, still laughing. He reaches his hand out and slides a finger through Arthur's belt loop, tugs once before Arthur shoves his hand away. "I just couldn't look away from your -"
"Jesus Christ," Arthur says.
"So much more fun," Ariadne says mournfully.
Five Times Arthur Surprised Eames and One Time He Didn’t by blue_jack - Just what the title says. I love five things fics. I think that they are one of the greatest things to come out of the last five or so years of fandom, along with big bangs. [NC-17, 5000 words, no warnings]
So it was with much surprise that Eames met Arthur again for a second time at the end of that same contract. He’d always had a soft spot for Mal—who didn’t—and when she’d invited him out with the team for drinks to celebrate, he hadn’t been able to refuse, even knowing Arthur would be present with his too serious expressions and forbidding frowns.
And Arthur was there. But it wasn’t the Arthur he’d come to know over the past three days. This Arthur didn’t wear his hair slicked back as if one stray hair would be the deciding factor between success and failure. This Arthur was dressed in holey jeans and a T-shirt with a Pearl Jam logo on it instead of his carefully pressed suits and brightly polished shoes. This Arthur stood without the normal confident demeanor, body language awkward and a trifle shy. This Arthur smiled, dimples flashing, laughed and interacted with some stranger at the bar and was alive in a way he hadn’t been in days prior.
“What the sodding hell?” Eames murmured, because he prided himself on being able to read people, but he had never imagined something like this.
“His first professional job,” Mal whispered proudly. “He was so nervous, spent hours preparing until Dom and I had to force him to go to sleep. He did very well, no?”
What's a Little Contract Hit Between Friends? by laceymcbain - Arthur is searching for Eames and may have said the wrong things to wrong people and left them with...the wrong impression. [Teen, 6000 words, no warnings]
“Darling, I know we've had our differences, but did you put out a contract on my life?” Eames sounds out of breath, as if he's been running.
“No?” Arthur says, realizing that the rising inflection is conveying the opposite of certainty.
“No?” Eames echoes. “That sounds suspiciously like 'yes', Arthur.”
“You always think 'no' means 'yes'.”
“That may generally hold true, but in this case ...” Eames trails off, and Arthur hears something like gunfire in the background. A lot of gunfire. “Must dash! Call you back.”
Early Returns by prufrock - A newspaper AU where Arthur and Eames have a one night stand that turns awkward when they discover they're now co-workers. It's even more awkward when Eames sneaks out in the middle of the night and doesn't recognize Arthur. Ouch. [Mature, 15500 words, no warnings]
"No, look, this is moronic," Arthur decides, matter-of-fact, because it is.
This is stupid, and a shocking waste of time besides, and so enormously unprofessional it's making his skin crawl. After all the petty infighting and ill-thought-out office flings that he's watched go down in flames over the years, he'd always thought he'd be more or less immune to it, and maybe he would have been if the first time he'd met Eames he'd already known this was the guy who'd been nominated at the Guardian as Most Likely to Fuck a Source for a Tip seven years running, but he didn't and there's no point in romanticizing it or imbuing the thing with more weight than it deserved. The problem now, and the reason he's so embarrassed and mad, is the same reason he's always been so embarrassed and mad: he fell for it, hook — line — sinker.
Presque Vu by rageprufrock - The story of how Arthur befriends Mal and begins working out dream sharing under the watchful eye of the US military. A long, engrossing, sometimes very sad story, with a great Arthur/Eames thread through it. [NC-17, 70000 words, canon suicide & fall out]
Arthur meets Mal because she's his TA, and so exquisitely French and chic that Arthur feels vaguely like he should be cowering away from her like the rest of the people in his morning drafting course. Except he loves the fishtail cuts of her pencil skirts, the coy flirtation in them, and the sensible, dark jeans and blue-and-white striped shirts that stretch over her pale and lovely collarbones, the way she wears pearls and vividly red lipsticks and how she smells: like honey and vanilla and very fine poplin.
One day, during a work session, she makes an admiring noise over his pocket square, and Arthur allows himself to tell her the vintage kitten heels she's wearing are beautiful, and they're off.