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 Title; Where the Side Walk Knows My Face. 
Rating/warnings; G
Word count; 709. 
Characters; Arthur/Eames
Notes; Written for this prompt on the Inception kink meme.  It's something I kinda forgot I wrote until I was looking though the prompts and re-read it. It's small, quick and something akin to a drabble.
Summary; "It starts with Arthur's sign: room for let/inquire within." AU. 


It starts with Arthur’s sign: room for let/inquire within.

It starts with Eames asking “can I pay you for the year – upfront?” because this might be his chance for home; because Jesus fucking Christ he’s grown up two doors down from here where there’s now a blacked hovel; because it hurts to walk away when he recognises the washing lines strung across front gardens; because, most of all, he’s drunk and parts of his body he believed dead are pumping blood again.





The house is old; lining the street with a dozen other’s identical and graced with the numbers two and four (numbers that don’t make sense due to the fact the street starts at twelve). It isn’t much, god, it’s barely a singular pound, but the way Eames sees it, it’s a white blank page.





Arthur, to Eames – at first – is an American man with an English name. He drinks tea, smells like washing detergent despite what he’s wearing and eats fish and chips like it’s what he’s supposed to do. He’s never seen the sea from anywhere closer than a descending plane.

They share a kitchen, bathroom and spare change for the coin-operated laundry down the road.





Eames is somewhat of a twat. It’s pure, simple English, and he knows it to a fault. It’s what gets him kicked out of home in the first place.

The first night there, he doesn’t mean to make himself a fool. He pays Arthur, lugs his always-been-keep-in-a-boot-of-a-car clothes into his room and eats the dinner Arthur orders for them from the Curry place around the corner (it’s the same one Eames has held up at knife point at the age of fourteen). When he smiles goodnight with a “darling” Eames doesn’t travel up the stairs with the ideals of menace coursing through his mind.

He doesn’t mean it, but somewhere along the lines, blasting Jeff Buckley out portable-radio speakers is the only way to make sure he doesn’t give up during the night.

When he’s making toast at ten past nine in the morning, Arthur looks at him with bleak, sleep-deprived expressions but doesn’t order him out.





House one and eight (eighteen) burns down Christmas, 1997. Rosie and her two sons do not make it out (they die) and Daniel Eames the first drowns himself at sea the next morning over. Eames (the second) is twenty years old.





He’s been living there two weeks when Arthur leaves a battered, dog-eared copy of The Cather in the Rye on the kitchen bench.

Eames has re-read it and dropped it within the bucket of water he’d been planning to use watering the garden within four hours.

When he forces himself to bring it in side and leave it on the dinning table, Arthur yells at him and worries himself out of a pristine, drawn together, three-piece suit. He doesn’t take the suit off, but, in Eames’ opinion, it suddenly doesn’t fit him anymore either.

When the shouting has stopped, Eames forces a smirk on his face:

“Sorry pet,” despite the fact it’s a first edition copy.





In the middle: there’s Eames being cocky and Arthur snarking comments at his retreating back. There’s uttered pet’s and darling’s and there’s men and women Eames drags home during a time past the dead of night. There’s toast and a fight that ends with his head being dunked in dirty washing-up water. There’s loud music and masturbation in the shower that paper-thin walls can’t hide.

In the middle: there’s a kiss between the two of them and something that might be the start of a relationship life-long partners and grandparents might share. There’s words masked in the flesh of Arthur’s neck and sentences hidden by the skin hiding Eames’ bones.

Importantly though: there’s not one whisper of the word love between them.





It ends with two words by the lady who owns the corner shop: “Daniel Eames?”

It ends with Eames: leaving his things in his room and taking off in a car that doesn’t work.

It ends with Eames: leaving without staying an entire year and refusing to demand the money he’s already payed in advance.

It ends with Arthur: tearing at his hair and slicing his finger open while dividing an apple into quarters.
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