Step Away From the Window

Status:
  • Complete
Content Rating:
  • NC-17
Fandom(s):
Inception

Relationship(s):
Arthur/Eames, Mal Cobb/Dom Cobb

Warning(s):
  • Explicit Sex
  • Racism
Genre(s):
  • Alternate Universe
Word Count:
30,241

Author's Note:
There is genre typical discrimination against mutants which could be triggering for some readers and is also the reason for the racism tag. Beta: Ladyholder. Any remaining mistakes are absolutely mine and I own that.

Summary:
Life has a way of sneaking up on you. Things never really turn out the way we expect them to. It's not about the outcome so much as the people you meet and the journey you take. Stacking the deck in your favor helps though.


Arthur sat staring out the window contemplating so many things in his life. He wondered if things were different for him somewhere in another reality. Wondering was one thing. Hoping was an altogether different matter. Sighing heavily, he rose and walked over to his desk. Being a genetic mutation, mutant, whatever you wanted to call it, was bad enough but being a teacher at Incept University was even worse.

When Dreamshare had first been created, the government did it in a secluded lab using one of the most pivotal mutations in current history. A young boy by the name of Robert Fischer formed a chemical compound in his body that enabled others to have lucid dreams on a level never before heard of.

The government kept the boy in the lab and experimented on him and a slew of test subjects. Arthur had found the files. It wasn’t as though anything that was known was safe from him anyway.  When Arthur found the information he had just started working for the University and he still wasn’t sure about the founder. Saito had seemed too good to be true. Though with all the digging, Arthur still hadn’t turned up any dirt on the man. Either he was clean or he knew about Arthur’s abilities and ensured that all his skeletons were well hidden.

When Arthur found the information on the lab he carefully approached his employer about it. If nothing else the man was a mutation carrier himself, and he’d advocated for mutant rights in the past. Arthur could never be certain how Saito had done it and he decided not to look into it, but the following week Robert was at the University and Saito had become his guardian.

His thoughts where swirling, like a maelstrom in his head, when Mal shifted through his office door and smiled at him.

“Arthur dear, why are you hiding away in your stuffy old office? It is a wondrous day outside. Come, we will have a picnic, you and I.”

The half-smile couldn’t be repressed. Even when he was feeling this maudlin, Mal always made him smile. Sighing he sat back in his chair.

“Can it wait a few moments?”

Mal tilted her lovely head sideways, like a bird, and sat across from him. “What heavy thoughts are you thinking now, hm?”

“I was just thinking about Robert and how this all started again.”

Her eyes rolled and she looked him in the face. “Robert is happier now than he ever would have been, stuck in that hell his father signed him over to. We get to explore worlds and create new ones beyond anything we could have ever hoped for. Thanks to the somniacin that Yusuf created, Robert doesn’t have to be a living pin cushion anymore. There is no better form of therapy than dreamshare. Now why are you so introspective?”

“What if this is all a dream?”

They’d had this discussion before and Mal always hated it. “You, my sweet, have got to stop asking that question. We know that we can’t get lost in the dreams. Robert watches over all of us to ensure that we do not stay too long or stray too far. He has given us tools to ensure that we cannot be trapped in the dreams. Now please, if it were a dream you would find out and then find a way out. If you do not stop being so sad I shall go and get Eames.”

Arthur glared at her. “Just because you can shift through everything and become incorporeal doesn’t mean I can’t find a way to make you pay Mallory Cobb. Keep him away from me and stop trying to meddle.”

He rolled her eyes again, and blew a raspberry at him. “Do not take that tone with me. Now come along, Phillipa wishes to have cheese and crackers in the sunshine.”

“Somehow I don’t think my unborn niece said anything about sunshine when she gave you that craving.”

Mal sniffed. “And that just goes to show what you know. Men. Take me outside. Dom is driving me mad about going anywhere without someone around.”

Arthur smiled happily and stood. He wasn’t sure why he had to poke at everything, life just seemed too perfect, aside from that pesky bonding caveat. Mutants had godlike abilities but they needed someone else to help keep their feet firmly on the ground. It was nature’s way of evening the playing field when you hit the genetic jackpot so to speak.

Mallory could phase through anything and basically become a shade, but without her other half she would have eventually stayed that way. People need skin to skin contact and Mal would have slowly lost that, eventually going insane and either killing herself or hiding away and haunting something.

Thankfully she’d met Dom shortly after coming to the States and joining I.U. Dom was a quirky man with an odd sense of humor and no genetic mutation whatsoever. He wasn’t even a carrier. It was a fifty-fifty shot on whether or not their daughter Phillipa would develop a mutation.

While Mal was mysterious, lovely, somewhat naïve and caring to a fault Dom was broody, had an extremely odd sense of humor and was socially awkward. They got on like a house on fire. Dom gave her a firm foundation in reality and she gave him her heart. Arthur wanted a pairing like what they had. Fate was a cruel bitch and decided that wasn’t in his cards.

His mind wandered back to the conversation he’d had with Yusuf a few days prior. The chemist was working on a compound to help lengthen the amount of time a mutant had for finding their stabilizer. Yusuf’s older sister hadn’t found hers’ in time and she’d burned from the inside out as the flames she controlled began to consume her. He’d never looked further into it because there was a pain there like nothing Arthur had ever felt and it wouldn’t be fair to his associate to make him relive that for any reason.

Mal kissed his cheek and dragged him along. “Stop brooding. It will be just the three of us. You, Phillipa and myself. We can discuss what shapes the clouds are making and then analyze them for psychological malfunctions.”

He laughed until tears prickled the corners of his eyes and kissed her on the forehead. “I’ll stop daydreaming. Have you already set up the picnic or am I simply your pack mule?”

Mischief filled her eyes. “You are far too well dressed to be used as a beast of burden. I requested Dom set it up for us earlier.”

Shaking his head he held the back door of the kitchen open for her. She could have just phased through but they were still unsure of the effects on Phillipa so they all tried to keep the usage of her powers to a minimum. Mal bore it with grace and no small amount of teasing.

“Where are we heading towards then?”

“The far side of the lake. Saito had some lovely rose bushes moved over there and some of the students helped them along. They were upset because it is spring and the roses would not have bloomed for another three years otherwise.”

Arthur nodded and led the way. If nothing else today would be relaxing. Relaxation wasn’t something he got an overabundance of, especially not living in a house full of people from all walks of life and all age groups.

~*~

Eames sat in the window seat of Yusuf’s classroom and looked at the wind blowing the leaves. It was a disgustingly perfect day without a dark cloud in site. He still wasn’t used to that. It didn’t rain here near as often as it did in the UK. He’d been all over the world and few places rained as much as home did. It was frustrating, fascinating and made him homesick at times. Home being a relative term.

Yusuf was blowing things up, or experimenting as the other man was fond of calling it. Funny how none of his experiments ever resulted in less than five explosions.

He’d warned Eames that he wasn’t allowed to use his abilities willy nilly anymore. Not until Yusuf was done with the new compound he was working on. It was supposed to extend the period of time a mutant had to search for their stabilizer and form a link with them. Sometimes the links were platonic, such as a sibling that couldn’t stand the thought of their sibling dying, but more often than not they were relationships. Lives that were created to be spent together.

Mallory and Dominic Cobb were a perfect example of what Eames hoped to have with his own stabilizer. Mostly it was a human or a carrier balancing a mutant but sometimes it was two mutant’s whose abilities complimented each other. Eames own parents were an example of that.

His father had been an elemental mutation for water. He could do things with moisture molecules that made Eames’ head spin. Once he’d actually made the fountain near their house an ice rink for his mother. She’d had to be extremely careful to not accidentally melt it as she could manipulate heat particles. It had almost killed him when the news of their death had reached him. They had both been so in love and loved him as only parents can. He missed them more and more each day.

The longer he went without a stabilizer, the worse that feeling of loneliness he’d dealt with since their death, became. It wasn’t as though he didn’t have people that cared for him and he cared for, it just wasn’t the same. He wanted someone he could sit with for hours without talking and never feel uncomfortable. Someone that would see past all the jokes he pulled and the pranks he used to deflect from the ever growing emptiness inside.

Yusuf was a brilliant friend but he would never be more than that for Eames. The worst part was the knowing he had someone out there and that they either didn’t want to find him or had already and decided he wasn’t for them.

That might seem like he was borrowing trouble but with the government funded facilities used to help find stabilizing pairs it was all he could come up with. Either they hadn’t been tested or they refused to be tested. Today marked the fourth year he’d been at Incept University and the first year he would start teaching. Thankfully he didn’t have to teach classes based on his mutation. He got to teach art.

Saito had graciously let him add an advanced class for students that were interested. He’d even gotten to come up with all of the curriculum on his own. Normally advanced classes taught how to fake recognized works of art so that artists could spot forgeries. Eames class was going to pick an artist and slowly learn their style so well they could make new works of art that imitated the original artist’s style. He’d had four years to plan for this and he hadn’t sat on his ass doing nothing.

Hopefully the art would help give him something to focus on, a way of distracting himself without the application of heavy amounts of whiskey. The hangovers were boring and he’d been having them far too often in the last few months. He was currently waiting for his stomach to stop roiling so that he could eat the dry toast Mal had brought him earlier.

Eames wondered where she had flitted off to now but he didn’t feel well enough to seek her out. Pity because she generally put him in a better mood and doted on him like he was a brother she’d adopted.

Yusuf came out of the back room, a cloud of smoke trailing him and some of his curls singed.

“What shouldn’t you have mixed this time?”

Yusuf smiled wide and proud. “A bit of this and a bit of that. Feeling any better?”

Eames huffed. “No. I haven’t even had the toast Mal brought me yet.”

Rolling his eyes Yusuf walked over to him. Before he could move away he felt a pinch in his neck and then a stinging. “Damn it Yusuf I’ve told you about giving me shots without my permission before.”

He was not a fucking guinea pig thank you ever so.

“Eames you’ll be fine in five minutes. I use the same compound myself. Stop whining.”

“Stop injecting me with unknown substances and I will.”

“Don’t you have classes to start preparing for?”

He shrugged. “So do you.”

Yusuf shook his head. “No I finished those six months ago. Edith called and kept me up so I worked on them while I had some of the tea she sent me.”

Eames perked up. “Edith sent you tea?”

Laughing Yusuf took out his teapot and a few tins. “I will let you have one pot, but if you want some that badly just ask her to send you a batch.”

“What are you, nuts? She’s still threatening to cut my bollocks off.”

Yusuf pinched the bridge of his nose. “You slept with her best friend then didn’t call him for a month.”

“I was in a coma for crying out loud. How exactly was I supposed to call him when I was breathing through a tube and unaware of anything at all?”

“I did tell her that. Her exact response was ‘unless he’s got the medical records and pictures to prove it I refuse to believe him.’”

Eames gaped at his best friend. “Please tell me you’re joking.”

“Eames, this is Edith we’re talking about.”

Throwing his hands in the air he leaned back against the frame of the window seat. “You know I do actually have the medical records and pictures of me lying in that bed. I just don’t think she really needs to see them. I didn’t need to see them.”

Shuffling over to him, Yusuf held out a steaming cup with the most delicious aroma Eames had smelled in a long time. “You cannot keep her from seeing what Rightwing anti-evolutionists are like forever Eames. Eventually she will see that Mombasa is an exception, not the rule.”

“I don’t have to make that happen any faster than necessary.”

Laughing Yusuf sat across from him. “She is my sister you know, not yours. Stop being so over protective. The more she knows the less likely she is to get into trouble. Knowledge of a thing makes it easier to avoid.”

“Yes and sometimes knowledge of a thing can cause unnecessary fear.”

Yusuf gave him a long look. “It isn’t unnecessary fear when dealing with a group of people so blinded by hate that they let their ignorance rule them and have no desire to be educated.”

Eames sighed and took a sip of his tea. The flavor rolled across his tongue and his eyes shut in bliss.

Yusuf chuckled. “I thought you’d like this one. It’s bergamot and chai.”

Eames ignored him and clutched the cup with both hands savoring the moment of rapture. “It’s heaven is what it is.”

They chatted a while more before Yusuf broke into his happiness. “This mixture didn’t work. I created a new explosive but it’s not going to help you unless you want to go on a bank robbing spree.”

“Not that that doesn’t sound like a bit of fun but no. It’s alright Yusuf. You’ll get it eventually.”

“I haven’t had any doubts about that Eames. I’m just worried about it being in time.”

He smiled sadly. “Yusuf I’ve been confined to your lab, my room and medical since I got here. You stabilized me enough that I can start teaching and I can actually socialize with some of the other instructors. My stabilizer could be at this school for all I know. You’ve done more than anyone could hope for. We’ll get there. You mustn’t be afraid of failing a few times.”

“Yes, yes I mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger. That’s a load of rot and you know it. You’re my best mate. I like getting into trouble with you. You’ve also never held it against me when I’ve singed you.”

He chuckled. “What’s a little burnt hair between friends.”

~*~

Browning looked at the website for that blasted University again. It was a freak show. A school that housed a bunch of genetic throwbacks that should have been wiped out, not given a sanctuary to continue being a blight on society. Now they had perfectly normal children clamoring to help keep the freaks alive. It was disgusting.

What had the President been thinking when he’d allowed those monsters to go free? No tagging system to ensure they didn’t mix themselves in with normal people, no camps to ensure the safety of humanity, no nothing. Well he and Mister Fischer would take care of that. They would see to it that Saito and his band of filth were taken care of. They had the funding, the political backing and the combat assets to ensure humanity was saved.

~*~

Robert sat on a bench outside enjoying the sun. Saito had installed a sunroof in his room and made sure he had plenty of large windows to look out of. He’d been given so much when he’d been saved. This school and these people hadn’t just saved him from the experiments, they’d saved him from isolation and torture. He hadn’t seen the sun since the day his father and Peter Browning had sold him to the government.

Now six years after he was saved and he still couldn’t get enough of being outside. It was how he knew he wasn’t still trapped in that awful glass observation room. He’d made a few friends since he was here but mostly he kept to himself. He talked with Saito and the funny British man who refused to tell anyone his real name. He always just went by Eames. Robert never understood why he’d rather be called a type of chair than his real name but maybe his real name was worse.

He didn’t think too hard about it though. Instead he sat and lifted his face to the sun, closing his eyes and relishing the heat. Life here was much easier in some ways and in others so difficult he wondered on occasion if the cell hadn’t robbed him of more than just freedom. That wasn’t something he liked to look at too closely though. Classes started in a few days and Saito had signed him up for the advanced art class Eames was teaching. He still wasn’t sure what artist he liked enough to emulate. Eames had given him tons of coffee table books to flip through until he found something but so far he didn’t care for any of them enough to want to recreate their style.

Smiling softly he watched as two people walked along the lake. He couldn’t tell from this distance if they were teachers or students but he did notice that one of them appeared to be pregnant. He hoped she was an instructor but wouldn’t judge if she was a student. People had a right to live however they wanted as long as they weren’t hurting anyone else.

That thought made him think of his father and Browning and he sighed despondently.

~*~

Saito watched his ward letting him have his space for a while, until he saw him crumble in on himself a bit.

“Robert, are you enjoying the sunlight?”

The young man smiled sheepishly. “Yes Saito.”

“Excellent. Would you care to accompany myself and Saia for lunch?” His wife adored Robert and was always hinting that they should have children of their own after lunch with him. Saito could handle the badgering because he loved his wife and Robert was a good person. He understood why she had wanted to adopt him as soon as she’d met him.

Robert smiled. “Yes of course. Where has the empress decided to take us today?”

Saito thought it was hilarious that Robert referred to his wife as ‘The Empress’. She was a lovely woman but she gave orders like she was royalty and expected them to be followed. Her mutation only reinforced this. She could call an army of figments to her whims. As a small child she had used her ability to bring forth fictional sprites and spirits to play with. Saito’s mutation was much more subtle. He could charm his way into anything.

“I bought the bistro she liked. It seemed neater.”

Robert laughed, which had been his goal, all along. “You always say that. They do have excellent food though. When do we leave?”

He stood from the bench. “Now would be appropriate. Your empress has already left the office and will be meeting us there.”

The boy smiled and they walked towards the front of the estate. Saito was grateful for his wife and Robert. They helped keep him fulfilled and prevented him from becoming an old man filled with regret.

~*~

When the plane landed Ariadne jumped up from her seat and grabbed her carryon as quickly as possible. She hated flying. Planes didn’t speak to her like most other structures. She had no way of knowing what was wrong with them, if anything. Buildings could tell her if they had leaks, electrical malfunctions, weak joints or struts. If there was something wrong with a piece of architecture she could find it. Planes weren’t like that. They never said anything to her. They were cold and unfeeling and she hated them. Even cars and other automobiles gave her something. She wasn’t sure what it was about the stupid planes.

Thankfully she wouldn’t need to worry about it anymore. She’d been accepted into the Incept University for gifted carriers and full blown mutations. She wasn’t sure what category she fell into and she didn’t much care. All that mattered to her was getting a degree in architecture so that she could create her own buildings.

Her gift would make her exceptional in her chosen career field and it would give her a chance to create some of the buildings she’d been dreaming about since she was a little girl. She was excited and wanted desperately to get started. First though, she had to make it there. The founder of the school had sent her an e-mail saying that one of the residents would be coming to the airport to collect her. She hoped they were here already.

~*~

Dom looked at the display screens scanning for the arrival flight of one of the new students. Saito had asked Mal to come but she’d had a bad case of morning sickness so Dom had volunteered to get the girl instead. Normally one of the instructors with a mutation was sent, but as there were still a few days left before classes started not everyone was back yet.

He knew the chemistry instructor, the new art teacher, Arthur, Mal and himself would be there but he wasn’t sure who else was scheduled to return. Most of the time it was the same staff. Sometimes though, instructors found their stabilizers on break and decided to stay with them instead of returning.

Hopefully this year would be less stressful than last. They’d had protestors from the anti-evolution party at the school for the last six months of term. It had upset the staff and students but there wasn’t much of anything that could be done about it. They’d been outside the school grounds and they hadn’t harmed anyone. They were peaceably protesting but it hadn’t sat well with Dom. He’d considered using some of Yusuf’s explosives and showing them why they should go away, but Mal had caught him at it and threatened to withhold sex.

When a French woman said she was going to do something, she meant business. Dom tried to avoid pissing her off when he could, more so now that she was pregnant.

He finally found the right flight and went to stand by the baggage claim with his sign. Hopefully they hadn’t been delayed. Mal was on a picnic with Arthur but he hated being away from her. He’d almost lost her when they first met. Dom had heard of stabilizers but he wasn’t aware they were people. Living in the suburbs you didn’t always have to pay attention to national events and he’d always hated the news anyway.

They’d only gone on a few dates when she’d gotten sick and started phasing in and out without control. Arthur had sat him down and explained everything to him. Arthur seemed to have to do that a lot. It wasn’t that Dom was stupid he just got lost in things. Mal had helped him gain some focus in reality and taken some of the hyper focus, he’d been giving his research, away. She made sure he ate and took care of himself and he worshipped the ground she walked on.

He wasn’t aware of the young girl he was supposed to be picking up until she shook his shoulder. He blinked slowly and looked down at her. “Hello.”

“Hello. Are you my ride to Incept?”

“Yes. And you are?”

She rolled her eyes at him. Why did everyone do that?

“Ariadne Williams. What’s your name?”

He quirked an eyebrow at her. “Professor Cobb.”

“Oh? And what do you teach?”

“Psychology.”

He actually taught psychology and genetics and a class that boiled down to ‘how our genetic makeup affected our perceptions of ourselves and the world around us’. Dreamshare was part of his curriculum as well but he only taught the theoretical side. Miles taught the practical applications and Dom was fine with that. Mal was always afraid he’d lose himself in dreams and he couldn’t argue with her. There was unprecedented potential and he knew he was susceptible to the allure of complete and utter creation. He was man enough to admit that he had more than his fair share of ego.

Unsupervised dreaming was something he could ever do. He’d lose himself and he couldn’t put Mal through that.

“If you’ll follow me we can head to the school. I’m sure you’d like to get situated and start exploring the campus. You’re allowed to leave the grounds but you have to have at least two other students or one instructor with you. We have issues with the anti-evolution party and we expect all students to be aware of this and follow the rules accordingly. Curfew is seven on school nights and ten on the weekends. The university acknowledges that this is a bit strict but Director Saito had a movie theater and mini mall installed on the grounds as compensation. There is an arcade and a bowling hall in the mall.”

Ariadne’s jaw dropped. “Seriously?”

He waited for her to grab her bags and then started walking. “There is a pool hall with dart boards in the campus Pub. We also have a swimming pool inside and outside, the lake is used as an ice skating rink in the winter and Saito has been talking about adding a roller-skating rink. He likes to make sure the students have things to do and don’t feel stifled by the curfew even though it is for their safety.”

She quirked a brow. “How big is this place?”

“I have no idea. That’s not really something I worry about. I teach and live there. My wife is safe and that’s all that really concerns me.”

The girl shrugged and pulled out a tablet. He noticed that she was looking up more information on the school. He smiled and shook his head. Hopefully she would like it here. It was a great place to be especially if you took into account other boarding schools. Mal had literally given him everything. A job he loved, a family, a life and a reason to be part of the real world instead of a shut in. Shaking his thoughts away he climbed into the car and started the drive towards the campus.

~*~

Mal gently sat down on the blanket. Thankfully she was still only four months pregnant. Her mother hadn’t started having belly issues until she was six months along and Mal was hoping she’d have the same luck. So far so good. She smiled as Arthur sat beside her. He was such a sweet young man even if he was a little stuffy sometimes. She wondered what he would have been like if life had been just a little easier on him. He had an adorable set of dimples and eyes that always hinted at a bit of mischief. Sometimes she wished she could ask his mother if he was half as much of a scamp as the suspected, but the woman was long dead and her husband had been a bastard.

She smiled fondly at him. “Dom and I were discussing a few things this morning in between bouts of morning sickness. We both finally agreed on something.”

Arthur looked at her questioningly. She knew how scary it was for everyone else when she and her husband agreed on anything. She’d heard it enough times. “We would both very much like for you to be Phillipa’s godfather.”

The sadness that crept into his eyes almost broke her heart. “Mal I haven’t found my stabilizer yet. I’m not so sure it would be a good idea for me to accept that just yet.”

She sniffed. “Pish. We will help you find your other half dear. Now, promise me you will be my lovely daughter’s guardian should something happen to my husband and I.”

“I cannot promise you something like that when I don’t even know how much longer I have.”

Her gaze turned glacial. “Do not talk like that or I will throw you in the lake. Do I make myself clear?”

He sighed, visibly frustrated with her optimism. She knew that he’d never understood how she could have almost died and still be so optimistic about life. The simple truth was that she had found her Dominic just in time and she was certain Arthur would do the same. Her abilities did not let her see the future like some but she knew when her instincts were right and they were right about this. Arthur would find his other half and he would be fine.

“Let me rephrase my request properly then, shall I? You will be Phillipa’s godfather and there is not a thing you can say or do to dissuade me from this choice. Dom agrees with me and Phillipa does too. Now hand me a cracker with a slice of apple and brie.”

She had to hide her smile when he did as she said without thinking. It was adorable. He really was like the little brother she’d never had. Hopefully his heart would get someone that could withstand his ice prince exterior long enough to find the sweet young man she knew him to be. Arthur was prickly when he wanted to be but he would do anything and everything for a friend or family member. She counted herself lucky that he thought of her as such.

“What if I don’t though Mal?”

She pretended not to hear the slight tremor in his voice. Arthur was a force to be reckoned with when he wanted to be, but he was still a person at his core and he had fears just like anyone else.

“You will. Do not question me. I am always right.”

His smile was incandescent. “You always say that.”

“And it is always true.”

They spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying themselves, bantering back and forth, and she was glad to see the tension slowly seep from him. Her Arthur deserved a bit of happiness. Dom joined them when he finished his errand for her and she lost herself in the enjoyment of two of her greatest loves. Her husband and her friend.

~*~

Browning smirked when he opened his e-mail. There were some encrypted files from his new associate. He’d have to look at them later when he was at a more secure location. Being out to lunch with a Senator was no place for subterfuge on a non-political scale. Though it was nice to know that the Senator was willing to back a bill Peter wanted passed. With the Senator’s help that could become a reality.

He’d need to get a few religious figures on board, but they were easily manipulated and Peter wouldn’t need to take as much time with them. All he’d have to say is that the bible had no mention of mutants in it and that he couldn’t see God condoning such creatures existing and it would be off to a good start. Mutants were nothing but disgusting degenerates anyway. They threatened the very nature of mankind. He was not going to be treated like a second class citizen because he wasn’t one of the so called gifted. If it were the last thing he did he would ensure that the mutant plague was eradicated from the face of the earth.

~*~

Robert had enjoyed lunch. His guardians were always fun to be around. Saito doted on his wife and they both cared for him. He wasn’t always sure if they’d taken him in out of the political clout it had given them in the mutant community or out of a kindness they shared but he was certain it didn’t matter.

They always treated him like an equal and never made him feel ashamed of the way he was born. He still didn’t understand his father or Peter Browning. He’d been five when they had signed him over to the covert government agency that had treated him like little more than a lab rat.

Sometimes they had hidden things in his food to make him sick just to see if his mutant abilities would allow him to detect it. The idiots. All his ability allowed for was extreme lucid dreaming. Granted his mutation had brought about an entirely new field of therapy that was helping people the world over but it didn’t give him extra perception or anything of the nature. His ability wasn’t even something that could be used in the offensive or defensive. It just existed. Robert could think of no purpose for it.

Until the people at the lab had started using him as a pincushion he hadn’t even known he was a mutant. He’d thought that everyone dreamt like he did. Of course he’d never thought it strange that he could bring people into his dreams either, and now there was entire scientific field of studies because of him, so what did he know?

He wasn’t even sure what he wanted to do with his life. He loved the school and he wanted to help his fellow mutants to ensure that no other children went through the hell he’d had to deal with, was still dealing with. Hopefully when he found his stabilizer they wouldn’t be bothered by the nightmares he couldn’t control. He’d had one bed partner since being freed and it hadn’t ended well. He’s accidentally pulled them into a nightmare he was having about the labs.

She’d scrambled from the bed, vomited in the bathroom and then stormed from his suite. Saito had spoken with him about it at length and tried to reassure him but Robert was terrified of hurting someone with the pain he carried. The nightmares were awful and while he knew they were lucid sometimes the panic gripped him and he couldn’t force himself to change what was happening.

Shaking his head he went to his desk and started folding little origami animals. Saia had taught him shortly after he’d first been brought here. It was her way of reaching out to him. She’d sat with him and created projections of cartoon characters from her favorite children’s films and showed him how to fold paper. For his birthday every year no matter what else she bought him there was always a large packet of origami paper. He was currently working on a purple lotus blossom for her.

She kept them in a curio cabinet Saito had purchased for her after Robert had finished the thousand paper cranes he’d done four years ago. They were his family now and he cherished them both even if they were a little quirky. Who was he to judge though? They treated him well and cared for others.

~*~

Sitting in front of the mirror had been a bad idea. Eames’ mutation was a bit odd. He could walk in a mirror world but he could alter his shape too so long as a mirror was present. He could become anyone or anything he wanted and mimic it down to the mannerisms of the thing, perfectly. There were moments where he lost himself in his ability and wasn’t sure who he really was or what his original face looked like. Those were the times he needed his stabilizer, the most. All he wanted to do was see if he needed to shave, but then his eyes had flickered for a second and he’d lost himself for hours changing who he was. Somehow he’d ended up at the slutty blonde again. He wasn’t sure where she came from or if she was even real but he always ended up going back to her.

It struck him as odd but he figured it was simply because she had been the first face he’d changed to. Whatever the case, he’d been in his bathroom for five hours now playing in the fucking mirror. He was hungry and had the mother of all headaches. This generally made him irritable and cranky, adding in that he was slowly losing his marbles and Eames was having a shit day.

All in all he wasn’t fit company to be around and he didn’t want to be near anyone. So of course that would be when he’d run into the one person he’d been begging for, ever since his mutation had manifested. And it couldn’t have been a metaphorical running into. Oh no. He quit literally ran smack into the slim man.

Eames stood there staring at the other man utterly lost, for the first time in his life, for anything to say.

~*~

Arthur had just come from the kitchens. He’d had the picnic with Mal but Arthur could eat like a bird. That is to say he could eat his own body weight in food and still not be fat. He was chronically hungry. Mal teased him about it but she liked to feed him too so it didn’t really phase him. He was happily munching on some potato chips wondering if he still had any chocolate left over from the box his mother had sent him last week.

His friends had a knack for taking his mind off of the bullshit that seemed to run rampant in his brain. As he was about to throw another chip in his mouth he found himself on the ground staring up at a man he wanted to strip down and lick from head to ankle. He drew the line at feet after all.

The man had lovely eyes. Arthur wasn’t even certain what color they were. They seemed to be a complex combination of blue, green and amber. He was muscular and Arthur could see tattoos peeking out from under his t-shirt sleeves. He was wearing slacks that Arthur was certain that did the most wonderful things for his ass, and here he sat on the floor just staring at him. He could feel his cells trying to drag him up so that he could wrap around the other man but his limbs and his brain weren’t working together and the floor seemed to have taken hold of him.

“Hello.”

He cringed. Really? Hello? That was the best he could come up with when his stabilizer was standing right in front of him looking like the most delicious porn star Arthur had ever seen. His eyes kept creeping back to those lips. Arthur needed to taste them. They looked soft and puffy and perfect for wrapping around his cock. Obviously the man’s mutation was the ability to render others brain dead, and Arthur was certain he was a mutant.

“Oy, couldn’t you pay more attention.”

Lovely. The man had an accent that render the crotch of Arthurs slacks wet. He was going to walk around with a chronic wet spot and semi-erection. Wait. What?

“I was a bit lost in thought. I am sorry.”

Arthur was trying. Hopefully the man didn’t continue to be rude. He would hate to have to make his stabilizer eat his own teeth but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t still do it.

“Right. No harm done.” The man offered him his hand. Arthur stared at it for a moment and then realized the man was offering to help him up. Rendered brain dead. Obviously his gray matter had dribbled out of his ears, he was probably drooling on himself. He mentally shrugged and took the offered hand.

As soon as his skin touched the other man’s his breath caught in his throat and his eyes locked with the other man’s. Mal had never mentioned that instant need to find a bed, though that could have been because she was too polite. Arthur didn’t really believe that for a minute though.

“I’m Arthur. Would you mind telling me your name?” He was pretty sure this was the illusive Eames that Mal kept telling him about and threatening him with but he wanted to be certain.

“Eames.”

Arthur mentally rolled his eyes. He was going to have to do some research when he got back to his room. If his stabilizer thought for a second that answer was going to fly he didn’t know Arthur at all, which come to think of it he really didn’t. That wasn’t really stopping him from wanting to roll all over the other man like a cat in heat but he was working hard to restrain himself and any reminder he could think of would have to do for now.

“No it isn’t my real name.”

Arthur rolled his eyes for real this time. “I would hope not. Otherwise your mother was overly fond of garish chairs and less so of her son.”

The other man sneered at him. “Or she had a perverse sense of humor and didn’t mind giving me a reasonable excuse to tell people to sit on my face.”

“Mmm, or you’re a pervert and enjoy trying to make others uncomfortable with your overly lascivious comments. Sit on your face? I’m sure you can be much more subtle than that Mister Eames.”

If nothing else the banter would be a fun precursor to filthy sex at some point in their relationship. Arthur loved verbal sparring.

“Why be subtle when I don’t have to be, pet? By the way are you going to leave your crisps there?”

Arthur had forgotten about his snack. He leaned down and cleaned up the mess Eames had helped him make. “Well, those are a lost cause now. Would you like to come to the kitchen with me?”

Obviously his usual suaveness had all but vanished in the wake of hurricane Eames. His ass was going to bruise, he just knew it.

“I was on my way there when I ran into you. I actually don’t know the way. I was just going to wander around until I found it or found someone to ask.”

“Well you found me.”

“True. Please, lead the way.”

Arthur was waiting for the other shoe to drop, because it was going to and when it did he wasn’t going to like it. He was not a pessimist no matter what Mal said, he was a realist. The glass existed and had a finite amount of something in it. That was all.

~*~

Eames watched the other man. He was slightly taller than Eames, but thinner too. He didn’t look fragile, though he was slimmer. The only word that came to mind was sleek. He didn’t like how the man’s hair was slicked back. It was too tame and confining. Eames was certain his other half was a spitfire. At least, he hoped so. Thus far he seemed slightly dull, and Eames didn’t care for dull things, had a knack for taking them apart and making them more fun actually. But he didn’t want to do that with Arthur.

“The kitchen is down this hall and to the left. You can’t really miss it.”

He nodded and followed along. “Are we going to totally ignore the fact that we’re two halves to the same whole?”

Arthur stopped for a second and then continued on as though nothing had been said. “There isn’t much point in commenting on something we both know to be true. Now we get to know each other.”

That was a load of shite. Eames was totally floored that the other man didn’t want to talk about this. He wanted to and he never wanted to talk about anything that involved feelings or anything of the sort. In fact he’d just as soon pretend he didn’t have feelings. That seemed to serve him well before.

“It’s not that I don’t want to acknowledge what we are to one another Mister Eames, but really what else are we supposed to do? Talk it to death? You’re obviously hungry if you were heading to the kitchens and I always am. So we get something to eat and we sit and find out about one another. If you feel the need to talk this to death we can, but at the end of the day we are still meant to stabilize one another and that won’t change.”

“So you’d rather ignore it altogether?”

Arthur turned to him then rolling his eyes. “I just got done saying that wasn’t the case. Are you not listening?”

He felt his face heat. “You have a very distracting backside. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’d never hoped for anyone as attractive as you.”

Arthur’s lip twitched and Eames wanted to lean towards him and lick it. “You’re more attractive than I was expecting too. Food and talking first, everything else can come later.”

“Talk is cheap.”

That earned him an eye roll. “And yet sometimes we find out more by watching the way a person reacts to the things we say than we would learn in all the words they speak. For instance, you keep pinching the bridge of your nose so either you have a headache or bad eye sight but my money is on a headache. Your stomach has voiced its opinion at least twice so I know you’re starving. You were entirely shocked to find out that I was your stabilizer and you’re thinking about choking me right now. So, food and conversation. Sex can happen at any time. We have the rest of our lives.”

Eames rolled his eyes and held out his hand for Arthur to move along. He really was hungry even if he was hard enough to pound nails right now. Damn tight assed smart mouth. At least life wouldn’t be boring, like he’d feared it might.

Yusuf was going to love this. ‘How did you meet?’ ‘Oh I bowled him over on my way to get food. The usual.’

Who knew there would be this much tension? He was going to have to find someone else that had their stabilizer and question them about it. His mind was flooded with things he wanted to know and a curious Eames was never a good thing, his poor mother could attest to that.

He was lost in all his mental questions and smacked right into Arthur’s back, knocking them both to the ground. “Darling if you wanted me on the floor all you had to do was ask.”

He was wondering how many times he could make Arthur’s eyes roll before the man decked him. He’d already lost count.

“If I wanted you on the floor, Mister Eames, I have no doubt that you would be there, either cussing a blue streak or calling me God. Stop daydreaming. I have every intention of getting laid at some point in the near future but I don’t have sex with strangers and stabilizer or not, currently you’re a stranger.”

Eames sat gaping at him. He knew how unattractive that was but this man had a knack for surprising him, and he found that he was becoming rather aroused by it. His mutation gave him the ability to read people in a matter of seconds. Being surprised was not something that happened often, but his Arthur was proving to be an exception. And wasn’t that a kick in the teeth to realize he’d already started referring to him as his.

“Stop imitating a fish.”

“You are all together confounding, darling.”

Beautiful brown eyes lit with mischief and the other man smirked. “I do aim to misbehave.”

“Bloody hell, you’re a nerd. That is adorable.”

Chuckling softly he started pushing himself off the floor.

“No more than you, obviously, since you got the reference.”

“Right. Food, then sex, we can talk while we eat.”

He watched as his mate turned and left him standing there. Well at least the other man wasn’t dull. He very calmly scrambled to catch up, utterly fascinated by his new puzzle.

~*~

Arthur was trying not to let his current level of delight show. It was one thing to fall on his ass twice in front of his stabilizer, it was quite another to dance around and flail like a muppet in excitement. He was an adult, he would continue to act like one until he didn’t need to anymore.

He felt Eames draw close as he entered the kitchen. Thankfully there was a staff for the three main meals but they weren’t typically here at this time of night. Granted it was only nine in the evening but dinner was usually at six and the staff cleaned and left by eight.

“That is twice now you’ve mentioned having food and then sex, and I’m starting to feel like I don’t want to eat darling. Must we eat?”

He huffed mentally. “Yes. You ruined my snack. Now I’m going to sit down and enjoy another one. Stop being a lecher.”

“That could be wholly impossible but I can’t be certain. Though if it means I get to see your lovely ass bare sooner I suppose I’ll suffer through.”

Eames was going to cause him constant headaches; of this he had no doubt. “I could always punch you in the throat if you want to suffer through something. What do you want to eat? And where exactly have you been hiding because Mal has been threatening me with you for months.”

A thought occurred to him and he groaned unhappily. “She’s going to be utterly insufferable about this as soon as she finds out we’ve bonded.”

The soft smile that lit Eames face made his breath catch. When he wasn’t putting on a show he was heartbreaking. Arthur was in so much trouble and there wasn’t a damned thing he could or wanted to do about it. He’d just have to give as good as he got. Now all of his aunt’s comments about marriage being a constant state of war made sense. Shrugging everything off he went to the pantry and rooted around until he found another bag of the chips. Mal always teased him about his love of horrible junk food, but she made sure Saito kept the pantry stocked with it just for him.

“Mal is never insufferable. In fact she is the most amazing woman I’ve ever met. I adore her.”

“So you share a special brand of crazy?”

Eames chuckled and when Arthur turned around he was leaning into the fridge, giving him the most perfect view of his gorgeous ass. Thank fuck he liked sex too much to make either of them court the other. He understood why some pairs went through the trouble but Arthur had a dick and sometimes, like now, he could let it lead. The few times he had it hadn’t caused him anything but well deserved orgasms.

“We share a special bond. It’s called creativity.”

“No Mister Eames. It’s called crazy. I love Mal like a sibling but that woman is crazy. Did you know that she gave Dom three impossible tasks to perform before she agreed to bond with him? Simply because she had been watching Clash of the Titans. Which is an awful movie.”

“That’s what makes it so good.”

Another groan escaped him. “You are not watching that movie while I’m in the same building.”

“Then I’ll just watch it with Mal, shall I?”

It was at that moment he realized he’d never be stuck watching an awful film with Mal again. Without thinking he grabbed Eames face and kissed him soundly on the mouth. Eames growled and hauled him closer.

“I don’t know what I said to get that sort of reaction out of you but tell me so I can repeat it.”

Arthur laughed and pulled away gently. “I won’t ever have to watch Clash of the Titans again. If Mal wants to watch it, she can ask you. Or any of the myriad of shitty films she likes. I still haven’t forgiven her for making me watch ‘The Blob’.”

“Darling, have you no appreciation for classic cinema?”

“The Blob is not classic cinema. A Philadelphia Story is classic cinema. Fuck I’d classify The Sword and the Stone as classic cinema. She likes Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.”

Eames smirked. “Yes I know. She watched it with me when I was stuck in medical.”

“Wait you were stuck in medical? Why were you in medical?”

A panic so sharp he was afraid he might feint gripped him and his hands tightened on Eames arms. How could be so attached to the man after maybe twenty minutes in his presence? Mal had some explaining to do about stabilizers later.

“My abilities were growing faster than I could learn to deal with them about four years ago. A friend of mine, Yusuf Den, had heard of Incept before. He sent a message to Saito and I was moved here. They found a few people to help me work through the growth but it took longer than they were expecting because I didn’t have you. Yusuf has been working on different compounds to help give me more time but nothing he’s come up with has been a viable option.”

Arthur nodded for him to continue. “And?”

“I’m getting there, darling. Why don’t we sit and eat while I finish regaling you of all the boring details?”

He nodded numbly, again. He understood what Eames wasn’t saying. If he hadn’t found Arthur soon or Yusuf hadn’t completed the compound in time his powers could have killed him. Being a mutant was amazing and Arthur wouldn’t change it for the world, but the side effects were a steep price. There had been nights he wasn’t sure it was worth it. Now that he’d found Eames, he wasn’t so sure of that.

Eames opened the bag of chips and sat it in front of Arthur. He went about topping some crackers with cheese and pancetta for himself.

“Yusuf told me about eight months ago that I couldn’t use my powers indiscriminately anymore. He cautioned that the less I used them the better. I hadn’t left the medical wing much in the last three years because frankly it was difficult being out of bed at first and then I had training.”

Eames popped a cracker in his mouth and chewed until it was gone. He sipped from a glass of water Arthur hadn’t noticed and continued.

“So I made a break for it but ended up slightly lost. I managed to find my way into Mal’s examination room. Thankfully her appointment was over and she was already clothed. I may play at being a rake but I prefer not to offend the fairer sex, unless they deserve it of course.”

Arthur could almost predict how that had gone. Eames confirmed his suspicions though.

“She smiled at me and asked if I needed help finding something. I smiled and said ‘a bit of fun.’”

“And she whisked you away and you’ve both gotten on like a house on fire ever since?”

Eames nodded as he munched on another cracker. They sat and talked for a while longer and finished their food.

~*~

Dom was sitting on the floor in the middle of their suite. He’d obviously moved the table. “What are you doing silly man?”

His head jerked up and Mal smiled softly at him. “I was just creating a new model.”

Hopefully he wasn’t using clay again. The last time he’d stained her favorite rug. The cleaner had spent hours trying to get it out. He was lucky they had been able to, or he’d be dead.

“And what are you building today?”

He looked back down fiddling with something a bit sheepishly. “A little lego house.”

Hopefully she wouldn’t step on one later but at least they couldn’t stain anything. She walked over and slipped into the chair behind him.

“And why are you building a little lego house, my sweet?”

She couldn’t help but smile fondly when he flushed and fiddled with some of the plastic blocks like a small boy with his first crush.

“I was thinking about our family. Saito mentioned a possible equal opportunity housing development he was thinking about building close by. It made me realize that we can’t live on campus forever. While I want Phillipa to go to school here I want her to have a home that is separate. So I started drawing but it wasn’t helping me work it out.”

Mal nodded. “That’s reasonable.”

“When the drawing didn’t help I decided to make a model but I remembered what happened with the clay and the carpet last time. So I went and got some legos instead.”

She stood and kissed the top of his head then knelt beside him. “Thank you. Now what do we have here?”

He flushed again and placed another lego. “I lost track and ended up with this instead.”

Mal laughed delightedly. “I do not think Saito will build a castle even for us Dominic.”

His cheeks grew redder still but he didn’t comment. She watched as he went back to work, squinting and sticking his tongue out. If they had a son she hoped he would be half so adorable.

Dom blew out a breath and finally spoke again. “Pass me that lego.”

She handed him the little bit of green plastic and he went back to work. Gently she laid her head on his should and let him work in silence. The man was utterly adorable and so easily flustered. Sometimes he could be a pain in the ass, but he was her pain in the ass. Every now and again he would ask her to pass him a lego and she would.

Arthur teased her for giving Dom three tasks when they’d first met but she had been young and nervous about spending the rest of her life with a person she hardly knew. Thankfully he was actually a very sweet if quirky man. She wouldn’t trade what they had for anything in the world.

~*~

Arthur was in the middle of talking with Eames when he realized something. “God damn you now I have to be a fucking god father!”

Eames looked as though Arthur had physically slapped him but he couldn’t be bothered to give a fuck right now because he didn’t want to.

“How exactly is that my fault, darling?”

Arthur glared at him. “Mal told me today that she was going to make me the godfather for Phillipa. I was barely able to weasel out of it by using the argument that I hadn’t found my stabilizer yet and there was no guarantee that I would before my powers burned me out.”

Eames rolled his eyes. “The sprog is going to be adorable and nothing is going to happen to Mal because her powers activate during any dangerous situation. It’s instinctive. Her adrenaline spikes and she poofs. And she wouldn’t ever let anything happen to her Dom. So really you’ll just be Uncle Arthur and you can spoil her rotten with lovely posh little dresses and teach her how to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”

He felt his eye twitch and then he doubled over with laughter. “Do you think Versace has a line for infants?”

Eames snorted. “If not we’ll just go to Saville Row and get her a set of bespoke footie pajamas. All of the other infants will gum their pacies in envy.”

It was that moment that Arthur realized if nothing else he and Eames could sit in a corner and make rude comments about peoples fashion choices together. He wanted to take turns seeing which of them could fuck the other stupid but at least sex wasn’t going to be the only thing they had together. The rest could take care of itself in time.

~*~

Peter sat at his computer smiling like a shark. He’d just decrypted the e-mail he’d gotten earlier. He had names and a place to start. His source had proved to be utterly invaluable, if a bit spineless. Things were slowly falling into place.

He stood and poured himself a congratulatory snifter of cognac. He briefly considered a cigar but thought that would be a bit premature. As soon as he took care of this mutant blight he would have one. In the meantime he would celebrate each small victory.

This was a long game he was playing but patience was something he’d always had an overabundance of. It had taken five years to convince Fischer senior to get rid of that brat, after all. Peter had watched all of the experiments and the progress the project had made. The information gained from that research project had been invaluable. It was a shame the program had been shut down but no matter. His lab rat could be recaptured eventually.

He sat back in his office chair and heaved and contented sigh as he took the first sip of his drink. Things were progressing nicely. As long as he bided his time and let things fall into place it would all work out to his advantage. He could wait.

~*~

Ariadne was restless. It was night here but she’d lived in Paris for the last seven years and the time difference was going to take some adjustment. She almost regretted not coming sooner but she’d deal with things as they came. There had been people she’d wanted to spend time with and things she’d needed to take care of. At twenty-two she was still young enough that starting at a new school wasn’t dreadful as some of her older classmates had made it sound.

It was like a grand new adventure. She was excited to start her new architecture program. Professor Cobb was at the top of his field. She’d even heard rumors that Toshihiro Saito was considering him for a new development project. Nothing concrete had been announced yet but that there were even rumors was impressive.

She wandered around the main building exploring her new home. She hadn’t met anyone but Professor Cobb yet. She’d wanted to grill him about his classes but had managed to restrain herself, barely.

~*~

Conversation had slowly drifted away and now they both sat, eating and watching each other lost in thought. It wasn’t uncomfortable or unpleasant and neither felt any need to fill the silence with empty chatter. Arthur was certain they’d have rather explosive disagreements on several occasions but that for the most part they would complement one another in an odd way.

He was certain the sex would be phenomenal if the shiver that ran through him when Eames had helped him up was any indication. Which brought him to one point of contention and what would probably be their first argument.

“Are you going to tell me your given name? I refuse to let you fuck me without knowing it.”

Eames quirked an eyebrow at him. “Who’s to say that Eames isn’t my given name, hm?”

Arthur sat up straight and looked at the other man with all the frostiness that stupid ass statement deserved. “If I have to find out myself you won’t like the results Mister Eames, and yes I am that good. Should you think for a minute there is anything you can hide from me, I’d like to take this time to disabuse you of that notion. Now, your given name?”

He didn’t give a fuck if he intimidated the other man or pissed him off. It was insulting that his stabilizer refused to give him something as trivial as his fucking name. Inside he was boiling over with rage but he refused to lose his composure. Even Mal had never seen Arthur’s considerable temper and she was like a sister to him. Stabilizer or no, the man in front of him was practically a stranger.

Arthur was a practical man but even the thought of his powers overwhelming him and leaving him in a catatonic state or killing him didn’t, for a second change, his mind. He was a vocal lover and he wasn’t about to call out the name of a god damn chair in the middle of sex.

“You seem to be under the impression that just because you are my stabilizer I have to give you my trust without your having earned it. Let me be clear on this matter, darling. I owe you nothing. If we are to stabilize one another it will be an equal partnership or it won’t happen.”

“Which is exactly why I am asking for your name, Mister Eames. You have my name which means if you feel the need to you can find out any information you deem necessary. All I am asking for is the same courtesy. I also refuse to call out a type of chair if we have sex.”

That apparently surprised Eames. “Earlier it was after we eat and now it’s if?”

Arthur shrugged. “I’m not asking to know everything about you Eames. Just your name. I don’t want to have to go behind your back to get the information so I’ll put this bluntly, if you don’t tell me I will find a way to obtain the information I want. I would rather hear it from you though.”

Eames stood. “If you’ve already decided to get the information with or without my consent then it doesn’t matter if I don’t tell you.”

He scrubbed a hand over his face in frustration. “I would much rather have you confide in me than force my hand. Why is this such an issue with you? It’s your name Eames. Your fucking name. I’m not asking for your medical records, your darkest secrets, who you lost your virginity to, nothing but your name. I don’t want anything more than that.”

The other man shrugged. “And to some people a name is everything. A name has power.”

“We’re mutants, not wizards. Your name cannot possibly have any power other than allowing me to at least feel like you want to be on equal ground. I’d settle for your real first name at this point.”

Eames nodded but he looked resigned and Arthur was panicking inside. He was comfortable with this man. He liked talking to him even if they were going to clash from time to time he didn’t want to start off with keeping things from each other.

“Arthur, if there is one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s this: If a person doesn’t want to give you something for one reason or another, belittling that reason generally does not garner you the thing you want.”

He pinched the bridge of his nose and then sighed heavily and shrugged. “Fine, but we won’t be sleeping together until you’re comfortable telling me your name. If you’ll excuse me Mister Eames, I have other things that I need to be doing.”

“Oh?”

Arthur nodded as he stood and snagged another bag of chips from the pantry while disposing of the empty one. “Yes. Sleep.”

With that he walked back to his bedroom not once looking in the other man’s direction.

~*~

Eames stared after his mate and internally kicked his own ass. It wasn’t really that he thought Arthur would hurt him or anything of the sort. It had just been so long since he’d given anyone his real name. For some reason he couldn’t bring himself to give in to the other man no matter what. He realized it was a defense mechanism but there was fuck all he could do to disarm it and Arthur wheedling him about it had only made it worse.

He needed a good stiff drink and possibly a rocket launcher to blow off some steam. He realized he was being childish but Arthur hadn’t been much better. Sighing he put the remainder of his snack in the fridge and went to find something to break or maim.

Most people with artistic talent would use it for their art. Eames didn’t. He didn’t even paint original works anymore. It gave too much away. He just mimicked the works of others or did complete forgeries for fun. Life was simpler before meeting Arthur. He’d never given a fuck if someone was pissed at him before.

Even his parents hadn’t been able to curb his particular brand of mischief. It was something they’d constantly harped on him about. They’d loved him and done the best they could by him but he’d always been headstrong and easily bored.

When he got to his room he snatched up the bottle of scotch he kept on the bookcase and went in search of his laptop. If he couldn’t blow something up in reality he could murder some fucking pixels.

~*~

Saito sat in his bedroom smiling at his wife.

“And what exactly are you so smug about, husband of mine?”

His smile only grew. “I believe this year will mark the most entertainment I have had in all the time I have run this University.”

She climbed into his lap and kissed his cheek while feeding him a piece of chocolate. “Mmm and why exactly is that dearest?”

He knew his smile was practically wicked. “The new architecture student is going to drive everyone insane and I believe Mister Eames and Professor Sumner are going to either have a war or murder one another outright. It might be the most amusing thing to watch ever.”

Saia’s rich laughter filled the room and he let his hand drift to the small of her back, pulling her closer. “You are worse than a bored housewife. Do I need to worry that you’ll start watching day time television again?”

“Damon is such a man whore. If he’d only realize that Alex is his son and Cecilia loves him.” He realized his mistake a moment too late.

The groan that his wife let out was far from a happy one. “Toshihiro I am taking the internet away from you. We have discussed this at length. You get upset when the characters aren’t doing what you want them to so then you buy the network, have the writers change it and eventually get bored and cancel the show. Then you mope around for months because of it. I love you but no more. Now if you really must have a soap opera I can project one for you.”

He quirked a brow at her. He’d honestly never considered having his wife use her mutation to entertain him before, but the idea was appealing, would keep him surprised, take the story out of his control and still be something tailored just for him. “The idea has merit.”

Laughter caressed his senses and he kissed her neck. “We’ll start tomorrow then. For now you have something much more important to attend to.”

“Oh?”

“Your duties as a husband,” she practically purred in his ear.

“You’re going to be the death of me. What will the world do then?”

“Rejoice that they can finally own something without the fear of you buying it out from under them. I am fond of you dearest but you do like to stack the deck in your favor.”

He ran his hands up her sides and she moved to straddle his lap. “Yes, but then so do you my empress.”

She leaned over and licked the shell of his ear, while whispering, “Remember that the next time you try to buy a company without my permission.”

The nip to his lob at the end sent a shudder down his spine and a jolt to his balls. “As my empress commands.”

Gently he slid his hands into the folds of her robe parting them while biting a trail from her collarbone to her lips. “Take me to bed then.”

He let his hands move from her sides and slide down to her thighs, completely parting the robe. His wife had a knack for giving visual stimulation, not just with her mutation but also with the way she dressed. It was a talent most women had but his Saia was in a master class all her own.

He gripped the bottoms of her thighs and climbed out of the chair as she kissed any bit of skin that managed to be close enough. One of the greatest joys in his life was the way she would dote on him, feeding his need for physical contact without even thinking about it. She gave so freely of herself. When he’d realized that he was her stabilizer he’d made it his life’s goal to ensure that nothing could touch or taint her in any way.

She was a smart, gorgeous, lethal woman and he wouldn’t let anything change that. He sat her on the edge of the bed and unpinned his cuffs while she pulled his shirt from his pants and started unbuttoning it from the bottom up.

“Toshihiro eventually you will stop wearing so many layers when you’re not moving your chess pieces to rule the world. As delicious as you look in your suits I do not like them getting in my way.”

He smiled in triumph. “The suits can always be replaced. You’ve ripped my shirts off of me before empress.”

The throaty laugh that she gave and she climbed to her knees and slid the shirt off made him groan. He tumbled her backwards with a growl and slid his hand down to play with her clit. Saia was maddening. She boiled his blood and scrambled his brain. It was always fun to give a little of that back to her.

She arched her spine slightly and he stole a kiss reveling in her response to him. He’d been asked if he thought himself a god before. When he had this amazing creature beneath him, aching for his touch, demanding completion from him and only him he felt better than a god. Saia was the beginning and the end. His world revolved around her and nothing would ever feel better.

As he pulled away from the kiss, she nipped his bottom lip and he slid a finger inside of her while caressing her clit with his thumb. Her moans made him dizzy and he kissed his way down her body. He licked across her collarbones and nipped his way down to one breast cupping the other and he captured both of her nipples, one with his teeth and the other with his fingers.

Her breath was coming in short gasps and he could feel her pulse escalate as her chest rose and fell just a fraction faster. He pulled back and blew gently across the wet flesh before him and continued down to her hips. His tongue slid across one hip as his fingers clenched her other. He let his teeth bite at the bone and then sucked a kiss into her flesh to sooth the mark, licking a trail to the other side and repeating the process all over again.

As he moved between her parted legs and pushed them further apart she gasped his name harshly and he groaned into the crease of her upper thigh. He flicked his tongue out and moved from the crease of her leg over to her slit. There was nothing more intoxicating than the taste of his wife.

He flexed his tongue and let it slide into her only to pull it out and sucked her clit into his mouth. He let his fingers slide inside of her and he worked her clit with teeth and tongue savoring the way she shook beneath him and clenched around his fingers.

She was panting heavily and the words that left her mouth were his final undoing. “Toshihiro I swear to god stop torturing me and fuck me like you mean it.”

Lifting his face away from her, he smirked. “I plan to do that as soon as I’m done with this. I missed lunch Saia.”

Her laughter filled the room and he took her moment of distraction to go back to his self-appointed task. It was always fun for him to see how many times he could bring her to orgasm before and during the actual fucking. He couldn’t ever really keep track because she was too distracting but it was nice to see how long he could concentrate anyway.

She cried out and came off the bed her fingers digging into his hair and trying unsuccessfully to pull him away and up her body. He hummed to her and pushed his tongue in around his fingers lapping at her to collect her juices in his mouth. When she tightened around his tongue he looked up her body to see her eyes closed and her head moving from side to side.

Her pleasure was breathtaking to watch. Pulling his fingers free he stood and threw the rest of his clothing off. Stars his wife was the most maddening woman he’d ever met. Her eyes opened and she peered at him pupils blown wide and unfocused.

“Hurry up. I’m tired of waiting.”

As he kicked his slacks of he climbed back on the bed as she scooted further up. Grabbing her ankle he pulled her back down and wrapped her legs around his waist.

“If you wanted me to hurry up you should be running away.”

She quirked an amused brow at him. “Why would I ever run from you? Are you planning to deny me your cock? Though I’d be more likely to kill you than run from you. Give me what we both want.”

He held himself at her entrance until she started writhing unhappily, then grabbed her hips and slammed home. It was always so hot. She clenched around him and he bucked forward. He leaned over her and sealed their mouths together, both of them breathing heavily.

He pulled himself all the way out and then slammed in again before finding his rhythm. Her nails dug into his shoulders and raked down his back making him push himself to go faster. She was squirming beneath him gasping and sharing breath as they kissed messily. They had been discussing children lately so while he knew he was close he wasn’t certain if he should pull out. Of course Saia answered him without being prompted.

“Come for me Toshihiro. Give me the family we’ve been wanting. Fuck me!”

Her last words were a scream that echoed in his head and he lost track of everything around him. Nothing mattered but giving her everything she demanded. Her back bowed beneath him and then she stilled clenching him so tight it bordered on painful. His strokes became more difficult as she wrapped around him.

He lasted until her next orgasm hit and then his vision speckled and became cloudy. All he felt was where they touched and nothing else could reach him. His hips bucked and he leaned over her trying not to collapse. His heart was hammering in his chest and his mind couldn’t focus on anything but the warmth encircling him.

As she quivered around him a few more times his cock jerked and he groaned at his oversensitivity. Like she always did, she read him without any verbal indication and wiggled beneath him until he slipped from her body. It made him groan and his balls twitched.

He let himself slide next to her and pulled her close kissing her forehead tiredly. “If your plan is to kill me through sex I cannot say that I mind.”

Giggling softly she kissed his chest. “If I wanted you dead, love, you would be. Sleep. I have plans for you later.”

“If those plans involve moving I think you’ll be disappointed.”

She laughed and snuggled closer. “Never, now sleep.”

As usual he did as his empress commanded but not before ending the night the same way he had every day since she had agreed to marry him, instead of just having their stabilizing bond recorded. “If I do not wake in the morning I will still be beside you in this life and any other because you are the entirety of everything that has any meaning to me. I love you with everything I am my empress.”

She smiled at him fondly. “You are my heart Toshihiro. I do not live without you.”

~*~

Robert lay in bed that night staring at the ceiling of his room wondering what life would have been like if mutations didn’t exist. He knew that he had a good life now, but what would he have had if he weren’t like this? Would his father have loved him enough to keep him instead of selling him at the first opportunity? He had a vague memory of his mother that nights like tonight made him cling too.

He didn’t know where they were but he remembered scraping his knee and being picked up. She had kissed him on the forehead and hummed softly to him. He remembered that she smelled like spicy cookies and coffee. He couldn’t remember what she looked like or how her voice had sounded but he would never forget the way she smelled and how he’d felt as she’d held him.

Life had been simple and perfect. She’d kept him safe and secure from everything in the world which had apparently included his father and the man his father had always called Uncle Peter. Browning had been nothing like the uncles he’d read about in books and seen on television. He hadn’t talked to Robert and he’d never been nice to him, always looking at him in a way that frightened him and made him hide behind his mother.

Robert had overheard the man telling his father about the doctors that could help ‘fix’ Robert. He’d convinced the senior Fischer that there was something wrong with his son and that he needed to get rid of him.

The day the men had come for him he’d begged his father to keep him. He’d promised to be good and never do anything to upset the man again. He swore never to use his mutation for any reason ever and he’d pleaded with everything in his little body to stay. His father had looked at him for a moment, as if assessing a dog he was considering adopting, then turned, and left him to the beginning of his nightmare.

It had continued for ten years. That had been five years ago. Saito had never told Robert how he’d found out about him or why he’d saved him. He’d always said that Robert had other things to focus on, like learning to be free. It still made his eyes sting to think about, but Robert hadn’t cried since Saito had actually spoken the words to him and he wouldn’t now.

He hadn’t even known what a stabilizer was until Saito had introduced him to his wife. They both told Robert he could call them by their first names but he always called them Saito and The Empress, though on occasion he did call them his aunt and uncle. He loved them like family but his father had been a monster to him so he couldn’t insult Saito that way and he felt guilty thinking of calling anyone but the woman who gave birth to him mother. He’d made sure he told them both that so they knew how much he actually cared about them.

They had helped to heal some of the pain he’d lived through at the hands of strangers. It had taken him time to be comfortable going out in public. When he’d finally agreed to leave the campus, mutants had walked up to him in the street asking to shake his hand. He’d had a few panic attacks before people finally gave him his space.

The media coverage of his rescue and what had been done to him had been a nightmare. Saito had handled all interview requests. When people had approached him about them in the street, his guardian had become more aggressive.

It wasn’t like he could blame anyone. His rescue had practically changed mutant protection laws overnight. One minute there was nothing and then the next registration was no longer required though encouraged as a way of self-protection as opposed to a ledger of people that could be imprisoned at any time without reason.

Children were no longer forced to be taught in different classrooms. Parents weren’t required to give up all rights to children that had potentially lethal mutations. Employers couldn’t discriminate against mutants during hiring processes or while employed.

It wasn’t perfect, nothing was, but it was becoming harder and harder for people to get away with abusing a person because of a genetic fluke. Any act of violence towards a person because of a mutation was now considered a hate crime. There was still room for improvement but even Robert could admit he had been pivotal in mutant rights. He just didn’t want to give up what little privacy he had as a result.

He wanted to live as normal a life as possible. He wanted to find his stabilizer and build a life with them. He still wasn’t sure what he wanted to go to school for but he was considering politics or something else that would allow him to help further mutant protection laws and rights. If he had children he wanted to ensure they grew up in a world that was infinitely safer than the one he had.

Mostly though, he just wanted to move forward, and while he didn’t want to forget what had happened to him he did want to stop letting it rule his life. He still had trouble sleeping at night and probably always would but he wanted to stop mistrusting anything and everything just because it existed. He wanted freedom from the seemingly endless hell that had been his childhood.

~*~

Arthur sat quietly on his bed staring at nothing. He’d considered digging up everything he could on Eames as soon as he’d crossed the threshold but hadn’t. It was one thing for him to obtain the information without Eames, but he wanted to have that trust with the other man. He wanted desperately to build a life with him even if he didn’t know him at all. Breaking into the man’s life without permission wasn’t how he wanted to start.

He might have told Eames he would get the information with or without him but it felt wrong to take something when he’d much rather it be freely given. He still didn’t understand why Eames wouldn’t give him his name but he had a feeling there was an actual reason. Maybe not one that would make sense to Arthur but still something he wanted to know.

Sighing heavily he flung himself back on his bed and thought about going to ask Mal what she thought of the situation. He glanced at the clock on his nightstand and realized that it would be best if he just waited for the morning. Grumbling to himself he climbed out of bed and went to get his laptop. If he couldn’t sleep he might as well find something mindless to do on the internet. Maybe he’d start a Pinterest account.

Mal swore it was like crack, but he didn’t really understand the appeal. She’d also informed him that she hadn’t before she started her own and now she was hooked. Apparently the website was how she’d come up with Phillipa’s name. He wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not but who was he to judge.

Shaking his head he signed in and logged on to a beta test he was participating in instead. Killing pixels sounded more fun than staring at odd things on a website he didn’t understand the purpose of. He knew Mal would drag him kicking and screaming into an account eventually but he would hold out for as long as possible. Carefully he focused his thoughts on the game and away from the man that he was certain would end up frustrating him into an early grave.

The first time Mal had brought him up Arthur had wondered why he’d not met the other man. Mal had explained that she’d met him in the medical wing but she hadn’t said how or why he was there. Now that Arthur had the full story he didn’t find it as amusing. Eames was losing control of his powers. If nothing else Arthur would do his part to save the other man and they could work their differences out later. Thoughts of Eames dying or being consigned to a vegetative state had his chest clenching and he couldn’t focus on anything anymore.

Frustrated with himself he barely managed to keep from tossing his laptop across the room. Outbursts of anger weren’t something he was prone to and he wasn’t about to start wallowing in guilt. Yes it was his fault they weren’t fucking like bunnies right now and he was adult enough to admit that, at least to himself, but Eames hadn’t helped matters either. Scrubbing at his face he considered ways to make it up to the other man and decided it would be best if he asked Mal for help.

At least by asking Mal he wasn’t using his mutation to dig up information on the other man and it kept him from feeling guilty about the situation.

Arthur’s mutation wasn’t listed in his file or anywhere else for that matter. His parents hadn’t allowed him to be tested in any way. It had been one of many efforts they had made to protect him. A fact he never took for granted.

If the government has known that he was able to easily slip into their supposedly secure networks and find any piece of information he wanted, his life would probably have more closely resembled that of Robert Fischer. Something he made sure to remind himself of anytime he got too curious on a subject.

His parents had made sure he understood the magnitude of being a technophage as strong as he was. Arthur didn’t just infect a network with himself. He became that network, owned it completely. If there was information he wanted and it was in any way ever digitized it was not safe from him. He’d also become good at tracking down paper trails over the years but that was out of necessity as not everything was digitized and sometimes a trail would dead end and he’d have to pick it up through paper.

They had also made sure he understood the sanctity of respecting an individual’s right to privacy. That was one of the biggest reasons he didn’t go digging into Eames’ life now. He desperately wanted to know but he needed the other man to know he respected him. He wanted his trust along with the knowing him. It was rather annoying to have morals. Sometimes he considered saying fuck it but then he would hear his mother lecturing him and knew he couldn’t do it. That hadn’t always been the case but in this instance it was.

If he wanted to have a relationship with Eames he would have to respect the boundaries the other man placed, starting with this one. Cursing himself mentally he went back to killing little cartoon mushroom monsters and working on leveling his character. It wasn’t important but it was distracting. He’d be glad when the game got released because it was fun enough that he could lose himself even when upset. He played until he was exhausted and then let himself fade into oblivion. Maybe tomorrow he could try to talk to Eames a little more rationally, and maybe he’d hit the Powerball numbers without having played them. Whichever, he wasn’t picky.

~*~

Eames stared at his computer for what felt like hours watching the little indicator on his e-mail blink at him. It was mocking him, he knew it. He’d really only been here for a half an hour but that was at least twenty-nine minutes longer than he needed to be. The subject box was blank but he’d filled in the receiver’s address already, and yet he was still sitting here. Why was this so difficult? There was no reason for him to still be sitting here.

Huffing in frustration he pushed back from his coffee table and stood. Hopefully talking to Yusuf and possibly getting mocked would help. Yusuf was always good at keeping him in check, even when he didn’t want it.

His mind wandered as he headed towards the medical wing, where Yusuf’s rooms and lab were located. Hopefully his cat would be out wandering the halls because she had an intense hatred for him that was utterly baffling. He’d thought himself a cat lover until he had met Dahlia. She was hell spawn. Not that he’d ever say that in front of Yusuf. Edith had once and her hair had been baby shit green for nine months.

Yusuf was cowardly to an extent, but if it was something he felt strongly about, like that fucking cat, you’d better be prepared. When he felt crossed, bad shit happened. His revenge was always unique and you could never really trace it back to him, though you’d know who it was.

Back in primary school a classmate had knocked a chip off of one of Eames’ teeth. A week later he was out of school and in the hospital getting his stomach pumped. When he finally returned three months later he was pale and obviously still sickly. Eames had never found out exactly what Yusuf had done to the boy but he’d known the other man had done something. They’d known each other since third year.

He didn’t bother knocking just burst into the room. “Yusuf, make me a drink.”

“You get tea. Be thankful.”

Laughter bubbled out of him and he smiled. “Always.”

“What did you do?”

Eames pouted. “Who says I’ve done anything?”

“You do. Stop dragging your feet and just tell me now while I make your cup.”

He rolled his eyes and huffed. “Take all the fun out of it.”

“That was my intent, yes. Your idea of fun usually involves a migraine for me and I’m still working on your compound or did you forget that? I’m only trying to save your life is all.”

Eames bit his lip and frowned. “You may not have to work on the compound anymore.”

That earned him a quirked brow and nothing more.

“I quite literally ran into my stabilizer last night on the way to the main kitchens.”

Yusuf stopped mid motion and looked up. “And you aren’t behind a closed door having filthy sex, because?”

He groaned and scrubbed his face unhappily. “I rather put my foot in it.”

The eye roll in response was rather impressive even for Yusuf. “And this is news because?”

“Apparently my stabilizer is of the opinion that this is significant.”

“What exactly did you do Eames?”

Sighing he threw himself into the chair Yusuf kept specifically for him. “He asked me for my given name.”

Yusuf interrupted before he could tell the full story. “And you being the idiot you are wouldn’t give it to him. You do realize that he has a right to know, don’t you Eames?”

“Yes I bloody well know that. I couldn’t stop myself at first and then he got indignant and threatened to obtain it himself with or without my permission-“

“Which is when you let your bleeding mouth get away from you and threw a hissy fit. Fucks sake Eames the man is going to spend the rest of his life with you. He has a right to know who exactly he’s partnered to. I’m not saying he should have demanded anything of you but I am saying that you should understand why he cared in the first place.”

Eames pouted and looked at the floor. “I do, I did at the time I just, Yusuf I haven’t given my real name since I was eight years old. I’m older than him. I doubt he remembers how difficult things were for mutants that long ago.”

“Who exactly is your stabilizer?”

“He said his name was Arthur. He’s got eyes the color of a good bourbon and black hair.”

Yusuf snapped his fingers. “Professor Sumner. Oh you’re an idiot Eames.”

“You’ve already said that.”

“Arthur Sumner. Really? How do you not know this? Sometimes I despair for you.”

He glared at his friend. “Sumner’s parents were key in making it so mutants didn’t have to be registered. They were a stepping stone to the new laws thanks to Robert Fischer. He was the first unrated, undocumented mutation. His parents made it so that children with mutations could not be seized by the government for any reason.”

“Then how do you explain what happened with Fischer?”

Yusuf rolled his eyes. “Fischer was signed over by his father. His legal guardian turned him over to the United States government so that they could treat him like a lab rat while they looked for a way to erase mutations.”

Eames tilted his head to the side. “They must have really loved Arthur.”

Yusuf smiled. “As much as your parents loved you. They may not have made waves with the government but they did go into hiding and create and entirely new identity for the three of you. Your parents gave you the best life they could think of while fear ruled them. You should tell him, Eames. He would understand if only you’d give him something. Don’t make this something that defines the rest of your relationship.”

“You’re going to be utterly unbearable after this aren’t you?”

The smirk he got was one a level previously unprecedented in their many years of friendship. “Unbearable no, smug? Absofuckinglutely. Here is your tea.”

Without thinking he took a sip and moaned happily even as it scalded his tongue. “Fuck me.”

“Not on your life. Sumner’s abilities may be undocumented but I’ve heard stories and he’s scary. Toshihiro Saito levels of scary, and that’s not even factoring in that both the Saitos claim him as a friend along with the Cobbs. Go fix this Eames. And not just because he intimidates me, but because a stabilizer will easily be the best thing to ever happen to you.”

“You sound like a romantic tart.”

Yusuf glared at him. “You get that I don’t have a stabilizer yet right? Not having one isn’t the same as not wanting one. If I weren’t attached to them I’d give my left nut to get what you’re getting.”

Eames froze and looked up at his friend. “I thought that Anne was your stabilizer.”

Oh, look another eyeroll, because he hadn’t been getting those all morning already. “That’s because you’re an idiot.”

He pinched the bridge of his nose. “No you just never disabused me of the idea. Why is that exactly?”

“You were in and out of medical for three years Eames. This is the longest you’ve been stable since and the only reason I can come up with is that you and your stabilizer have been living under the same roof.”

A thought occurred to him. “I believe he is friends with Mal. You know I started getting better after I ran into her that day.”

“Which means that some of his pheromones likely transferred to her and have been helping to keep you on a slightly more even keel. This means I can’t use you as a patient anymore.”

He tilted his head to the side in inquiry. “Oh?”

“You’ve been in the initial stages since you met her so I can’t actually test the compound on you as you’re results would be skewed. Luckily I’m not afraid to test things on myself.”

Eames laughed. “I’m not certain that’s lucky and I wouldn’t advertise it when you go to market it, mate.”

“Don’t be an ass Eames. I already have a contract with Saito. I can tell him it’s made from concentrated LSD and he’d still market it for me. As long as I have the paperwork to back up the results it won’t matter.”

Smiling, Eames shook his head. “I’m glad we’re friends. You always make life so interesting.”

Yusuf hummed and turned back to his experiments. He’d given Eames a lot to think over, thankfully he could sit right here and do just that.

~*~

Arthur tracked Mal down in the library and threw himself gracelessly into the chair across from her.

“What has you in a snit, mon cher?”

He scowled unhappily. “I met my stabilizer last night when I went to the kitchens to get a snack.”

“And this is upsetting because?”

“He wouldn’t give me his name.”

Mal arched a perfectly sculpted brow at him and Arthur fidgeted in his seat. “But you could easily find that information. Give me the entire story Arthur.”

He looked away from her picking at imagined lint on the arm of the chair. “It seems that your Eames is my stabilizer. Obviously his given name is not that of a chair. No parent is that cruel. I know I could get the information myself but I don’t want to start our relationship off with mistrust and highhandedness. I want him to trust me Mal.”

Arthur could practically feel the smugness rolling off her in waves. “I knew I should have introduced you two sooner.”

“That doesn’t change the situation I’m currently in Mal.”

Her eyes rolled skyward as if to say ‘this is the shit you make me deal with.’

“Let me guess what happened. You argued with him about it and he argued back because you are both male which makes you très stupide. Neither of you would give an inch and now both of you are acting like spoiled children.”

He narrowed his eyes at her but as usual it had no effect.

“Arthur, you are very talented at many things in life, but relationships are not one of them. I am not sure how that happened considering the lengths your parents went through to keep you, but it is a fact. Now, you only get one stabilizer in life. There are no near matches. This is not a fairy tale. You get one. If you wish to throw your life away because you cannot compromise then perhaps neither of you deserves what you have been given.”

Heat crept up his neck to his face and he looked at the floor. “Mal.”

Words left him and he sat thinking about what she’d said. He lost himself so far inside his mind that he jumped when a delicate hand closed over his. Looking up he met Mal’s lovely dark chocolate colored eyes. “I did not say this to be cruel Arthur, only to get you to acknowledge that you are both wrong.”

Gently he clasped his hand over hers and squeezed. “I know but you’re right. If we throw this away we’ll both die and it’s not just that. Mutants are given the gift of someone just for them and no one else. It’s not perfect but nothing really is and maybe I was being petty last night.”

Mal kissed the top of his head. “I do not think it was petty but maybe a bit premature. You only just met last night. Give him time. Eames is older and I believe he grew up when life was not so calm for our kind. Talk with him but try to hold on to your considerable temper this time.”

With a self-deprecating sigh he nodded. “Do you think he would be willing to have lunch with me?”

Her laughter filled the room and he smiled at the sound. “I believe he would be willing to have you for lunch. Your stomach always makes your decisions for you.”

Shaking his head Arthur laughed with her. “Not always, just most of the time. Do you know where I might find him?”

“Where I a gambler I would place a bet on his being in Yusuf’s laboratory down in medical. Why not sit on it for the day? Send him an e-mail and invite him tomorrow. While I think you were both rash I do not think you should appear to eager either.”

“But that would be a lie.”

Shaking her head she kissed his hair and walked away muttering under her breath about men, switching back and forth between French and English. He loved her and all of her quirks. One day he’d drive her mad and she would murder him. Obviously today wasn’t that day but he lived with the knowledge in the back of his mind, cropping up at the oddest moments.

~*~

Eames had sat in Yusuf’s lab for at least three more hours mulling things over and basically having a mental argument with himself that would have interested more than one psychologist. With a sigh he’d left still not happy about the situation. Muttering to himself he didn’t notice Mal until she tapped his shoulder, midstride.

“Hello lovely. What can I do for you?”

He raised an eyebrow when she glared at him. “You and Arthur can stop being idiots for a start. I love you both but if I have to kill you, I will. Here is his e-mail address. Go fix things.”

“And why exactly am I the one that has to fix things?”

Mal rolled her eyes. “Because if Arthur tries he will put his foot in his lovely mouth and ruin the entire thing. You are good at play acting and can be overly romantic whenever you choose.”

He scoffed and rolled his eyes right back at her. “I think honesty would work better in this case. Arthur doesn’t seem the sort to want flowers and poetry when all he needs is the truth.”

When she smirked at him he realized she’d been playing him the whole time and threw his hands up in surrender. “Odin help us if you ever decide that you want to take over the world Mallory Cobb. You are an evil, evil woman.”

She shrugged and smiled prettily. “As my father would say, you should always be the kind of person that other people flock to even as they have a healthy fear of the things you can accomplish.”

“And we all know how accomplished he is so I’ll just avoid having you angry with me. That seems safest.”

Mal smiled and patted his hand in an utterly condescending and mildly endearing way. “As you say, Eames, now go fix this. I will not have you two putting this entire university in a tizzy because you cannot act like grown men. And please, take note that I said act like. Pretend. I’m aware how untrue it is but you are so very good at pretend.”

Eames considered rolling his eyes but really she was right. He never wanted to grow up. When his mother had created his assumed name she’d chosen Peter because he’d been fascinated by the mischievous boy and always wanted to find the island so he could become one of the lost boys. He was still a little bent that it hadn’t been real. That probably said something about his grasp on sanity, but he couldn’t be arsed to care.

Right, pretend, his forte. “I’ll just go take care of that then. Pleasure as always Mal. Ta!”

He made a break for it hoping that Phillipa would help prevent her from actually catching him. She obviously hadn’t been done berating him but frankly he was done listening. Not that he ever really listened anyway. He was nothing if not stubborn, even when he could have benefited from compromising or even conceding. There was something to be said for biting ones nose off to spite ones face. It took a certain flare to be able to do so and still manage to smirk and be smug like you hadn’t just set your house of fire because someone told you that you couldn’t do the rewiring work. Not that he’d actually done that, more than once anyway.

Thankfully there was no proof of the incident and the two people that had known about it aside from himself were dead. Well Nash wasn’t dead but Eames wasn’t exactly in the business of assassinating people even when they really, really deserved it. And Nash didn’t know it was Eames fault the wiring had been fucked up anyway so he had no real reason to kill him. Unless of course it suddenly became legal to kill slimy little toads, then odds weren’t good for the other man. Eames still wasn’t certain how he’d managed to get himself accepted into I.U. but who was he to question Saito.

Shrugging off his random thoughts he wandered the halls back to his suite and went straight to his computer. Sadly there would be no violent pixilated deaths to render this time, but one could not always have one’s way, or some other rot some adult had tried to spew at him.

He sat for a few moments and considered what he wanted to say and then realized that while he could give Arthur exactly what he wanted he could still have a bit of fun. With a smile he opened his private e-mail instead of his University account and typed out what he wanted. With no small amount of glee he hit send. Having finished his tasking he pulled up his game and turned the volume up so that he could revel in the screams of his slain enemies. Obviously he wasn’t right in the head but then that’s what made his life so much more interesting than the average persons.

~*~

Arthur sat in the library for hours and then decided that it was time he started his day. He went back to his room and got his lesson plans for the first three months finished. He’d had a basic outline and book list for his curriculum done since before summer started. If nothing else he was very proficient.

When he’d finished pretending nothing was bothering him he finally looked at his faculty e-mail. Most of the time it was junk but occasionally there was something important lumped in with all the trash. Quickly scanning everything he moved things into the trash without opening them and threw some things in his spam folder. He was just about to move one into the trash when he read the senders name a second time.

He wasn’t certain but he could hazard a guess as to who TheBritIsBack@msn.com was. When he opened the message it had two words. For a moment he sat there utterly confused, and then his brain went into overdrive and he smiled like a crazy person.

It was a compromise, a unique one but a compromise none the less. Arthur smirked and let his mutation take over. It was like taking himself out of hibernation. Trillions of bits of information floated around him all waiting for him to tell the systems what he needed. It was like coming home.

He’d always been very careful about how long he used his mutation before, because he could easily lose himself in his ability. Information could be skewed but even the lies had a finite amount of deception. They could not change their lies like a person could. It was so much easier than the world of flesh and bone. He found what he was looking for and frowned unhappily. He shook his head to help clear his vision of bits and bytes and all that information trying to rush him at once.

When his mutation had manifested his parents had thought he was in a coma for a week, but really he was just lost in information. He’d been working on homework regarding the lunar landing and when his brain had come up with a question it was like a switch was hit and everything around him melted. Later he’d realized he was playing on classified networks and had information that the average citizen did not have access to. He’d been extremely careful with his mutation ever since.

Sighing he moved out of his chair and steadied himself on his desk. He was ravenous and a bit light headed as he usually was when he used his mutation for that long. Shrugging everything off he left his room and went in search of something to eat. When he finished that he had a stabilizer to track down.

~*~

Robert was sitting in the kitchen smiling and thinking about his lunch with Saia and Saito the day before. Saia had gotten bored at the bistro and started people watching. She’d noticed a small boy a table over that looked utterly miserable. Robert had seen him as soon as they walked in. His father was obviously on a business meeting and wouldn’t allow him to do anything but sit silently beside him. It had reminded him of parts of his own childhood before the labs.

The Empress had gotten a mischievous twinkle in her eyes and turned towards the boy fully. When she waved at him the boy flushed and looked back at the table. Not that he could be blamed, as Saia had a way of making people flock to her.

When the boy turned his attention back to his plate Saia smiled wickedly and Robert felt the air around them become heavy with the weight of performance. It was something hard to explain if a person had never been to a concert or play but there was a feeling that settled over the crowed and that was the feeling that her mutation always caused to fill the room.

Suddenly there was a scene with little heroes and villains fighting on the boy’s plate. The villains had been trying to steal the boy’s sandwich but the heroes were safeguarding it. The little boy had watched the scene avidly, and then his father had noticed and frowned. He’d narrowed his eyes and started looking for the source but couldn’t find the culprit. Saia was facing her plate daintily eating her crepe and sipping from her water glass. If you didn’t know her she would have seemed the picture of socialite charm.

The little boy looked from his plate to her and smiled radiantly. Saia smiled back at him and waved. Unfortunately for the boy’s father he noticed and decided that he should come say something to her. Luckily the boy thought he was supposed to come thank her. The man had approached with a red face and glared down at her but she ignored him completely and returned the boys smile.

He’d thanked her profusely and she’d told him that was unnecessary as she had been bored as well. His father had turned an awful shade of purple and demanded to know what she thought she was doing interrupting his important meeting. Saito had smiled at the man and informed him that it could not have been of much importance as he’d left the meeting to berate Saito’s wife.

When the man had demanded to know who they were to talk to him in such a way Saia had smiled evilly and turned to Saito. She’d made sure to use his full name when she asked why this man was so upset, stating that all she had done was make friends with his son. The boy had asked her name and she’d smiled and they began chatting happily. He’d asked how she’d made the awesome scene for him and when she’d said she was a mutant the boy looked as if he’d been handed a precious gift.

It was then that Robert realized the boy was probably a carrier. Saito had picked up on it and asked the youngster if he’d manifested yet. His father had pulled the boy close to him and told Saito he couldn’t report his son. The conversation had taken a while but it had ended well.

The little boy, Alex was his name, had already manifested. Apparently the company his father had worked for was not mutant friendly so he’d been trying desperately to keep his son’s mutation quiet. He’d needed the job because of the lucrative income but Saito had taken care of that. Alex could manipulate the air around him mildly. When his mutation grew he would probably be able to do some serious damage but currently he was able to make paper dolls dance.

As he was lost in thought a girl he didn’t recognize walked into the room. When she touched his shoulder to get his attention he flinched away and knocked his chair over. She blinked large brown eyes at him and he sighed heavily.

“My apologies, you startled me.”

She smirked at him. “Obviously. I’m Ariadne. Who are you?”

He blinked at looked at her owlishly. “You honestly don’t know?”

At the arched eyebrow he almost flushed. “Should I?”

“Most people do.”

She shrugged gamely. “I don’t keep up with the news. When you’re working on a degree in architecture and trying to get control of your mutation some things just lose priority.”

He felt the smile break out over his face. “I can imagine. I’m Robert, Robert Saito.”

When Toshihiro had rescued him he’d offered Robert the choice of keeping the last name Fischer or allowing the Saitos to adopt him. He’d obviously chosen correctly.

He laughed when her eyes widened. “Holy shit.”

That just made him laugh harder. “Yes, generally that is the reaction I get, although I don’t usually have to introduce myself to get it.”

She laughed along with him and shook her head. “You aren’t what I expected of the mutant that singlehandedly reformed the entire mutant rights system the world over.”

Robert rolled his eyes. “All I did was get sold to the government as a lab rat and then get rescued by Toshihiro and Saia Saito. I didn’t change anything, I was just the face that fronted the campaign. The Saitos are the ones that brought about the changes. They’re also the ones that hired Doctor Yusuf Den who created the compound that forced people to stop trying to use me as a guinea pig. They’ve done more for me than I could every possibly hope to repay. As penance I live here and entertain The Empress.”

She arched her brow at him again and he smiled. “It’s what Saito and I call Saia. When you meet her you’ll understand. In fact most of the students have started calling her that as well. She bares it with grace and no small amount of encouragement.”

Ariadne smiled at him and laughed, which set him off. The both laughed until the cried and then laughed some more. He smiled and shook hands with her and then gasped and looked at her again. She was his stabilizer. It was the most frightening and altogether life-altering experience he’d ever had. “Please tell me that you’re at least legal because honestly you look like you could easily be sixteen.”

She smirked at him. “And if I was?”

“Then I would most likely flee from you and avoid you until you came of age.”

Ariadne rolled her eyes at him. “You’re only twenty.”

“And also not a child molester.”

“While I’m sure that’s true you really don’t have to worry. I’ll be nineteen in nine days.”

He heaved a sigh of relief. “Well at least we’re close in age.”

They sat talking for a while longer. Robert wasn’t ready to solidify their bond but he was happy to start a friendship with his stabilizer, if nothing else. He couldn’t wait to introduce her to the Saitos. He suspected that she and Saia would be getting into all sorts of trouble together. There was no one particular thing about her that proved him right but his instincts were flaring all sorts of warning at him. He’d learned to trust them.

~*~

Peter smiled coldly as the final pieces of his plan fell into place. The senator was going to announce the controversial bill that they had drafted at lunch the other day. He had no doubt the Republican party would back him as they tended to cling to older schools of thought and shied away from anything new even if it was considered basic human rights. These weren’t humans though. They were an evolutionary throwback and they needed to be contained at all costs.

His informant sat across from him, nervous and fidgeting. “Don’t be scared now Nash. We’re at the final stages.”

The nervous little freak nodded and looked down at his hands. “Yes Mister Browning.”

Peter felt disgusted that he’d had to lower himself to working with one of the very creatures he planned to eradicate but one had to do what was necessary in times of war.

Thankfully none of the things abilities worked on him. His mother had sent him to a government training facility for special children to ensure that mutants couldn’t infect them. He would always be grateful to her for caring so much about him. The school had been difficult at first but he’d quickly thrived.

He smirked and watched the thing across from him shift nervously. It was satisfying to know that he could unsettle it. He would be glad when he could rid himself of it. For now he would deal with it but eventually he would no longer need it.

~*~

Nash stepped outside and breathed out heavily. He hated his job. Why couldn’t he just have a simple life? Go to a job he enjoyed and then go home. He didn’t mind being a mutant, but right now he was really questioning his employer. Dealing with assholes like Peter Browning was not a valuable use of his time or his talents.

The man was a complete and total nutcase. If he never had to deal with the man again he would be thankful. There were things that he’d requested of Nash and that he’d said he was going to do that made Nash want to vomit and then possibly never eat again. It wasn’t fair. Yusuf had promised him a pancetta and brie Panini when he got back to the campus and now he wouldn’t even be able to enjoy it. Maybe it was time to quit.

Or at the very least request that he get a new assignment. He couldn’t do this anymore. The money was fanfuckingtastic but the emotional strain was weighing heavily on him and he was getting weaker without his stabilizer the longer he went. Yusuf was working hard on a compound to try and give them more time but he wasn’t sure how much time he had left and the other man still hadn’t perfected his experiment.

With a weary sigh he climbed into his car and let his forehead rest of the steering wheel. Today was going to be so very long. It was barely noon yet and he’d already met with one monster. When his powers had manifested he should have kept it to himself. Hopefully now that Eames seemed to be getting better he could take some of the strain off of him. One could hope anyway. Unless of course one pissed off Toshihiro Saito and Nash was walking a fine line right now. Groaning unhappily he started his car and headed back to the campus grounds praying for a miracle he didn’t expect.

~*~

Striding from his room briskly, Arthur went in search of his stabilizer. They were either about to have some mind meltingly fantastic sex or a fight worthy of a planetary explosion, either way sparks would fly and he was anticipating a good time.

It took him about twenty minutes to track the other man down, but when he did he couldn’t interrupt him. He was dancing around the kitchen as he cooked singing softly under his breath. Hearing Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle in Eames sultry tones went straight to Arthur’s cock. Watching his ass sway wasn’t helping. The other man was gorgeous, to say the least, but his ass was in a class all its own. Arthur was going to sink his teeth into that bit of flesh, without question.

Before Eames could catch him staring, Arthur cleared his throat and smirked when the other man jumped. “A bit of specificity would have been appreciated. Could your name be any more common? Daniel Edwards?”

The other man flushed and looked down. “I didn’t exactly get to pick my name Arthur. That was the one I was born with.”

Arthur smiled and stepped into Eames personal space. “I like it much better than Eames. Thank you for telling me.”

He got a crooked smile from the other man. “There was no telling involved pet.”

Daniel surprised a laugh out of him. “I suppose not. Thank you for informing me then.”

“You are quit welcome. I would apologize for my knee jerk reaction but I’m assuming you actually looked into me and you understand why it was the reaction I went with.”

Arthur nodded and leaned closer to Eames, whispering huskily in his ear, “Would you like to discuss this further in my room or yours?”

“As I’m still staying in the medical ward until such time as I bond with my stabilizer I’d very much rather we continue this conversation in your room.”

Nipping his earlobe he turned and began walking without bothering to see if the other man would follow. Either he would or he wouldn’t, either way Arthur was fine. Daniel was just about a sure thing anyway. He was male and Arthur was a guaranteed fuck. Arthur had never met a man that honestly didn’t want to have sex ever; of course he’d never met someone that was asexual so that could be part of it.

Whatever the case his dick was very on board for this plan and who was he to argue with nature? When he got Daniel naked he was going to lick every inch of skin he’d dreamt of when he’d finally fallen asleep the night before, every fucking inch.

He was also being obstinate in thinking of his stabilizer as just Daniel while thinking about all the filthy things they were about to do together. As he’d told the man earlier though, he wasn’t going to think of a hideous chair in the middle of sex and if he thought of the man by that ridiculous moniker that’s what would happen. He was certain it would cause him some mild embarrassment and he was certainly not okay with that.

Before he could really let himself get worked up about it, he turned and pinned Daniel to his bedroom door. “I think I like you like this Daniel.”

The other man closed his eyes and let his head thump back against the door. “If you have to call me by the name on my original birth certificate could you at least call me Danny? My mother always called me Daniel until we went underground and I’d rather keep my erection and my mother entirely separate if it’s all the same to you, pet.”

Arthur chuckled and kissed the side of his mouth. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Danny looked at him and quirked a brow. “Which word?”

“Pet.”

Arthur smirked but Danny just laughed until tears filled his eyes. That wasn’t really the reaction he wanted so he ground his cock against the other man’s. When a strangled groan filled the air he let his tongue slide along the other man’s neck up to his ear licking the shell lightly. “I will be a great many things for you Mister Edwards but a pet is not one of them.”

The shivers the racked the other man were a welcome reaction. “Arthur you can be anything you want to me but it’s genuinely meant as a term of endearment not what I think your position in my life will be.”

The words where ragged and gasped out. Arthur smirked and nipped Daniel’s ear lobe as he unbuttoned the light green shirt that helped highlight the other man’s eyes. “I think right now I’d like to be fucking you.”

Daniel moaned and his hips bucked to meet Arthur’s. They both groaned at the contact and Arthur lost himself in the push and pull of a sadly clothed grind session. It was Danny that pushed him back gently. “As amazing as that feels I’m not coming in my trousers like a spotty boy. There is a bed. There needs to be less clothes and more sexual gratification.”

Arthur gave that remark the attention it deserved, which was none at all. He finished with Danny’s buttons and slipped the shirt off his fantastic shoulders. It was difficult to suppress his moan as he caressed the other man’s arms but he managed, barely. Seeing the undershirt beneath would normally have made him nod in approval. Currently is just irritated him and he scowled at the offending garment.

He pulled a grunt from the other man when he simply pulled it out of his pants and threw it over his shoulder as soon as it was off his stabilizer. The delicious abdominal muscles that greeted him finally broke his composure and he groaned in appreciation. “I don’t know what I did in my last life but I have to make sure I repeat it in this one.”

A dark chuckle moved the muscles and his eyes followed. He couldn’t focus on anything but Danny’s stomach. Kneeling swiftly he undid the other man’s belt and licked along the ridges and dips in front of him. Arthur was a slut for a well-toned man. That he got to keep this one was that much more enthralling.

When he undid the other man’s pants and let them slide down his hips he moaned happily seeing the perfect ‘V’ Danny’s hip muscles created. It was like his birthday and Christmas all rolled into one. Mal generally called it the V of stupid. Arthur couldn’t argue with the name because it was currently rendering him completely brain dead.

He let his tongue slide along the crease and looked up the length of Eames body. His head was thrown back and his eyes were closed, lips parted panting for air. In that moment Arthur needed to know what his eyes looked like. It wasn’t a rational desire but fuck rational thought right now. Before he knew what he was doing his teeth graze the other man’s hip bone and left a trail of small nips until he came to his thigh. He didn’t let his eyes leave the other man’s face though.

Gently he licked across Eames’ balls, lightly running his hands from the other man’s ankles up to cup his ass. When he caught Eames’ eyes the other man’s pupils were blown so wide there was almost no color left. He was panting as Arthur carefully took his sac into his mouth letting his eyes close for a moment as he savored the musky flavor of the other man. Letting his tongue slide over the smooth skin he carefully let them slip back out of his mouth breathing across them with a sigh.

His tongue trailed from Eames’ balls up to the mild circumcision scar, lapping at the slick that had leaked out of the head of his cock. He moaned around the tip as he wrapped his lips around the delicious flesh. Without any regard for his throat he let the cock slip further into his mouth savoring the flavor of Eames’ sweat and slick and skin. It was utterly intoxicating and Arthur was certain he’d never tire of the mix. He’d always liked sucking cock but right now he was on a plane of existence that transcended description.

His nails dug into the flesh of Eames’ ass and he let his nose nuzzle the carefully groomed hair at the base of the other man’s prick. Eames eyes rolled back in his head and if Arthur’s mouth weren’t full he’d have smirked smugly. As it was his ego preened happily.

Eames eyes connected with his and the other man slid his fingers carefully into Arthur’s hair. “Darling as much as I’m enjoying this please, I need…”

Arthur couldn’t help the jolt of lust at the half formed thought and the broken sentence watching his man come unhinged. It was a powerful sensation and he almost ignored Eames’ request but watching the other man beg, while fun, wasn’t what he needed right then. Mildly put out he let the delicious cock slip from between his lips and sighed against the heated flesh. Eames moaned heavily.

“If you kill me with sex I won’t be too cross I promise.”

Arthur laughed but it sounded raspy. “Take your socks and shoes off and get on the bed Danny.”

When the other man almost toppled in his haste, Arthur steadied him and smirked. “I’d be happy to kill you with sex but let’s not fall and bust anything vital on the way to the sex.”

Eames rolled his eyes but managed to finish undressing himself without further incident. Before Arthur realized what was happening the other man had him standing in just his slacks. “Eager, are we?”

Danny smiled and placed a kiss on his lips. “From the size of your dick right now I’d say you weren’t far behind me love.”

“I won’t argue with that. On the bed Mister Eames.”

They both laughed and Danny finished undoing Arthur’s belt. Before he could get much further Arthur slipped off his own shoes and let gravity do the rest. He swiveled and knocked the other man over onto the bed right where he wanted him. Eames let out a huff and gave him a mock glare. “Rude, darling, very rude.”

Arthur laughed at him and then slipped between Eames’ thighs. “Is it still rude if my plan is to see how many times I can make you come before you actually lose consciousness?”

The groan that earned him was worth it. He nibbled along Danny’s collarbone, up his neck to his ear and whispered huskily, “Turn around. I have every intention of getting you sopping wet before I loosen you like a cheap whore.”

When the other man’s eyes rolled back and he moaned like a wonton slut Arthur bit his ear lobe to suppress the smirk. He eased back so that the other man could scramble over and then let out his own moan. He’d wondered if the tattoos along Eames’ arms and chest were the only ones that graced the other man’s skin.

As his eyes lit across the myriad colors and lines etched along Danny’s spine his mouth watered. He’d always had a fascination with art even though he wasn’t artistically inclined and seeing the mural emblazoned along Eames back was amazing. It was a nautical theme.

There was a map peeking through a mock rip in the flesh of his right shoulder, a ship on a storm along the small of his back with the lightning strikes imitating tearing into the man’s flesh. The artist’s skill was amazing. They had been able to blend in the colors in such a way that it looked like Eames had been born with the marks. It was breathe-taking and probably very expensive.

Arthur did the only thing he could think of and let his tongue slide across the ink as he went. He bit into the nape of Eames’ neck, kissing and biting his way down the other man’s spine. When he reached the top of Eames’ ass, he let his hands caress the flesh and then gently bit into the flesh on first one side and then the other.

When Eames’ bucked beneath him, Arthur delivered a sharp smack and spread his cheeks apart. “Your ass should never be covered. Fuck it’s amazing.”

The other man moved slightly as he chuckled and Arthur appreciated the slight bounce of his ass. “I’ll take it under advisement, darling.”

Before Eames could get smart again Arthur trailed his tongue from the back of his balls up to his pretty puckered pink hole. He wasn’t sure if Eames waxed or shaved but either way the flesh was smooth and he groaned as his tongue circled the rim of the other man’s hole. His mind was half gone with lust and he couldn’t bother to give a damn, though that wasn’t really outside the realm of normal for him.

He gripped Eames’ hips tightly and speared the other man on his tongue letting his teeth worry gently around the ring of muscle holding him in a vice grip. Blocking out everything but the taste and feel of Eames, Arthur let his mind go blank. His nails dug into the other man’s flesh as he squirmed on the tip of Arthur’s tongue. He slipped out and circled the hole again and again, not letting the other man catch a single second of break.

It was like he couldn’t stop himself until Eames cried out beneath him and almost collapsed. Finally the other man managed to break into his enjoyment.

“For the love of god fuck me before I kill you Arthur. I need your cock!”

Arthur pulled back wiping his forearm across his mouth, his breath coming in ragged gasps and snatched the lube from under his pillow. Fuck Eames if he judged. Arthur hated using lotion on his dick and he wasn’t going to stop masturbating just because he had a stabilizer. “Stop whining Danny. It’s unbecoming and I’ll give you what you need when I feel you’re ready for it.”

Before Eames could sass him again he slicked up a finger and slipped it in alongside his tongue. The noise that Eames made was a cross between a yelp and a groan, and Arthur decided that he needed to make sure Eames made it again.

A second finger quickly followed the first but when Arthur slid a third in he had to pull his tongue out. Not wanting to give up his fun he circled his tongue around his fingers and bit gently into Eames’ ass again. Eames was keening and cursing him in turns begging for his cock. Arthur smirked happily and slicked himself up.

He flipped Eames onto his back and smiled wickedly down at the other man. “Now let’s see if we can’t fuck you blind, hm.”

Eames eyes fluttered and breathed out happily as Arthur slammed home. “Finally.”

Arthur laughed hoarsely and waited all of a second before he pulled out and started fucking Eames through the mattress. With every slap of his balls on Eames’ ass the other man moved slightly up the bed and Arthur was forced to chase him with his dick.

The pace was brutal and unforgiving but it was exactly what they both needed. Eames would be walking funny later and Arthur would be smiling smugly every time he caught a wince from the other man.

When Eames came his hole squeezed Arthur so tightly all he could do was rut against the other man until his own orgasm burst through him. His vision became spotty but he had enough presence of mind to brace himself so he didn’t fall on the other man. Eames groaned and Arthur chuckled darkly. His dick twitched a few more times before he finally slipped free.

“Christ darling I think you really did fuck me unconscious for a moment.”

Arthur slid beside him and caught his breath. “Next time I’ll try to fuck you mute.”

Eames laughed and let his head rest on Arthur’s shoulder. “Goals are important love.”

Arthur smiled when the man pressed a sloppy kiss to his shoulder and let his fingers play through Eames’ hair. Pressing a soft kiss to his forehead to try and hide the idiotic and utterly besotted grin he was sporting he chuckled filthily. “Go to sleep Mister Eames.”

With another kiss to Arthur’s shoulder the other man snuggled close and did just that. Arthur stayed awake as long as he could, watching the other man breath gently in his exhaustion. At least his life would never be boring with Danny in it. He could feel his powers growing slightly but instead of fear he felt excitement. He wondered what new abilities Eames would awaken in him.

Eventually sleep claimed him as well and he lost himself in a world of dreams involving mesmerizing multi-colored eyes, a whiskey roughened British accent and ink covered flesh. In his sleep he smiled contentedly and wrapped his arms around his stabilizer, relaxing completely for the first time since his powers had manifested.

~*~

Eames reread his e-mail twice, frowning at it and wishing it would change its contents sometime soon. Why, when things were finally going right for him and he was starting to have hope, did everything have to fall apart? He knew that he and Arthur still had things they needed to work out but at least they had time now. Neither of them needed to worry about their powers killing them or rendering them brain dead, but this stupid e-mail was exactly the sort of thing he didn’t need right then.

For a moment he considered keeping it to himself but thought better of it quickly. Arthur didn’t seem like the type to appreciate coddling for any reason. He hated the thought of another roe so he figured it was best to suck it up and tell the other man. He didn’t have to like it though.

“Darling can you come here for a moment?”

Arthur grumbled and snuggled further into his bed. “No.”

“Really darling, you can go right back to bed when you’re done.”

Further grumbling and then Eames was thumped in the back of the head with something soft. He scowled and turned his attention to the other man, who was glaring at him through slatted eyes. “It’s a laptop. You move. I’m comfortable.”

Shrugging, Eames did as the other man asked. It wasn’t like he could blame the other man. They’d gone at it twice more before finally being too exhausted to even consider moving. Shaking off his thoughts, he unplugged the power cord and climbed back into the bed. “Darling read the entire thing before you throw something at me. That’s all that I ask.”

Thankfully Arthur did as requested. “Eames who is this from?”

Eames played with the edge of the blanket not meeting the other man’s eyes. “I’m not entirely certain but I could hazard a guess.”

“And your guess would be?”

He could tell Arthur was losing his patience but Eames was upset, himself and having to tell his stabilizer right after they had finally gotten over the first hurdle in their relationship was not helping matters.

Apparently Arthur could wait him out though because he finally caved unable to take the patient silent treatment he was currently getting. “I believe it’s either from Saito or someone that works for him.”

Arthur nodded and looked off into the distance for a moment. His eyes were unseeing and Eames was worried. “I’m going to need you to bring the power cord over here and then sit beside me but not interrupt. Can you do that for me?”

“But why darling?”

“Mister Eames, this is one of those moments in our relationship when you’re going to have to trust me and not ask a lot of questions until after the fact. Is that clear?”

Eames pouted but didn’t argue further. He grabbed the cord for Arthur and sat next to him waiting to see what would happen.

As soon as Arthur’s hands touched the laptop his eyes turned black and Eames saw all of these strange patters floating through them. It wasn’t anything he could understand but he did realize that Arthur was utterly lost in the technology. Before he could say anything Arthur interrupted his thoughts.

“Obviously I’m gifted with a technological mutation. Some people can utilize their ability to understand a circuitry system. I actually become the system. Or rather I take it over and make it mine. Think of it like the movie Tron, only I’m not a user or a program I’m more like the Master Control Program.”

Eames let all of that information sink in for a moment and then turned to Arthur fluttering his lashes in perfect parody of a simpering debutante. “Wait so you’re the cheesy bad guy in an eighties movie starring Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges. darling, why didn’t you tell me?”

Without looking away from the screen Arthur slugged him in the arm. “No I’m telling you I’m possibly the most powerful Technophage in existence and you should shut the fuck up while I work my abilities to their full extent. I’m only trying to ensure the future of mutated humans everywhere but if you feel that isn’t all that important by all means continue to distract me with your constant yammering.”

Pantomiming zipping his lip Eames calmly watched Arthur as he did whatever it was exactly that he was doing. It was strange to watch his eyes as they had odd figures moving through them but he was also fascinated by it. After what seemed like hours his bondmate blinked once and then turned to him with his liquor colored eyes. “Well?”

“We’re having lunch with The Empress and The Emperor in an hour.”

Shrugging he let himself fall back on the bed. “That seems reasonable. Anything else?”

“Yes. Saia said you weren’t allowed to wear tweed or paisley. They both offend her.”

If he hadn’t already been lying down the fit of laughter that overtook him would have fixed that quickly. Arthur had a knack for deadpan delivery and Eames was utterly thrilled by it. Apparently he was going to have to up his game to keep up with the other man. That was all right though. Life would never be boring.

~*~

Watching the joy bubbling forth in Danny was something Arthur hoped to see frequently. It was a lovely sight watching mirth fill the other man’s eyes and hearing the sounds of his amusement fill the room. The other man was gorgeous normally but watching him in the throes of laughter made him breathtaking. If nothing else at least Arthur had something pretty to stare at when he felt like killing the other man and he was certain that would happen a lot.

Thankfully Eames didn’t mention Arthur’s utter deflection of what he had found. He didn’t want to repeat the information more than once and he knew the Saito’s would be able to take care of things much better than he could hope to. All the same he quickly created a personal network and sealed the information he had discovered behind the tightest security he could manage on such short notice. It was still better than secured government servers and he couldn’t hold back the small bit of pride he took in his abilities. Neo didn’t have shit on Arthur. The Matrix could kiss his ass.

~*~

Arthur stared calmly across the table at Saia Saito, hoping that his look conveyed exactly what he wanted it to. Under no circumstances was she to encourage Eames in any sort of shenanigans. Really he was just hoping that the two didn’t get along as well as he suspected they would.

He watched sadly as his hopes crumbled into the ether. She arched a perfect brow at him and then turned to Eames, placing her chin on her left hand. “Mister Eames, it is a pleasure to finally see you. Toshihiro refused to tell me anything about you so naturally I am rather curious.”

Groaning mentally Arthur glared at Toshihiro. “This is your fault you know.”

When all he got was a quirked brow Arthur rolled his eyes. “Don’t even try to act innocent. You are fully aware that the less you tell her the more she wants to know and she always gets her way. You know perfectly well what’s going to happen.”

He watched as one corner of the other man’s lip twitched and considered killing his friend and colleague.

“Now Arthur that is no way to talk to Toshihiro. Let’s enjoy lunch while your stabilizer and I get to know one another, hm?”

She phrased it as a question but Arthur knew better than to argue with her. He’d sooner argue with Mal. At least they hadn’t teamed up against him yet, though he suspected Mal had probably informed The Empress of Eames as soon as she’d met him. Lord help them all if the two got bored and decided ruling the world sounded fun. Chaos was putting it lightly. It would be more than a bit not good.

Sighing heavily he resigned himself to his fate. There was no escaping this and anyway they might as well have a touch of fun before they let the shit hit the fan. “Saito if they burn the world down I am laying the blame squarely at your feet. I’ve given you advance warning and am under no obligation to do anything else.”

The other man smirked at him and opened his menu without comment. Arthur knew the man was rolling his eyes at him he just needed proof. He’d check the camera feeds from the restaurant security later.

“Might I ask what you need from me at this little gathering?”

Saito moved his menu down and quirked an eyebrow then ignored him entirely and moved the menu back in front of his face. Arthur didn’t even bother trying to keep from rolling his eyes at the other man. He knew when he was being taunted damn it.

When the waiter came Arthur ordered bourbon neat. At the questioning looks he received he looked pointedly at the couple across from him and then at his own stabilizer. “If I have to sit through this little luncheon I’m allowed to be medicated for it.”

With their meals ordered, drinks and appetizers delivered Saito stopped pretending Arthur wasn’t there.

“You are aware that occasionally life is much simpler when you are not aware of every little thing going on around you, are you not, Mister Sumner?”

Sighing heavily he nodded his ascent. “If you didn’t want me to know about it you shouldn’t have gotten my stabilizer involved Saito. I can’t fix knowing. How can I help?”

It was Saia that spoke up. “We require the usual. We were going to leave it up to the locals but as we have you now we can ensure that things work in our favor. As always we will make sure you are properly gifted.”

He loved when things worked in his favor. There was no suppressing the wicked grin that settled on his features. “I do love a good coffee.”

When she lifted a brow at him he blinked. “What?”

“Dear this is rather a bit more than just a coffee run. We’ll be needing truffles and possibly a tray of cookies.”

Nodding he felt his grin grow. “This does sound like a lot of fun. I’m at your disposal”

Eames was frowning beside him. “Stop giving me that look Mister Eames.”

At the raised eyebrow he laughed. “Just because I know something doesn’t mean I have to tell everyone does it?”

The smile he received in return was blinding but the kiss that he got for his consideration was maddening. His brain was clouded in lust and his trousers were snugger than he preferred when the other man pulled away. Saia and Saito were both smug but he really couldn’t give a fuck right then. Arthur had no fucks to give.

~*~

Mal smiled contentedly as she let her hand rest on the swell of her stomach. Dom had taken to pressing his ear to her when they were laying on the couch trying his best to listen for Phillipa. It was adorable even when she was annoyed and just wanted to smack him away. Pregnancy was not for the faint of heart. She let her fingers linger over the leaves of some of the roses the Saitos had planted for her. She’d been telling Saia about her mother’s tea rose garden the week prior. At the time she had been feeling homesick and wished her parents could fly out to be with her and Dom for a while.

Saia was always finding little ways to make the campus feel more like a home for everyone. She suspected the University homes that were Dom was designing were more her idea than Toshihiro’s. The Empress had a way of doing everything from behind the scenes, even managing her husband.

As she enjoyed the flowers a shadow moved in beside her. Sighing to herself she turned. “How may I help you today?”

She noticed the sadness around the man’s eyes and frowned slightly. “Is everything well mon amie?”

All she got in response was a shake of the head and a grimace. “What is it?”

Before she could ask anything else he grabbed her hand in his and clamped a strange bracelet around her wrist. Unable to pull away she raised her hand to strike out at the other man. Anticipating her movements he grabbed both of her hands and after feeling a slight pinch her vision became blurry. “If you have hurt my child they will never be able to find all of the pieces of you. I hope you understand what you are doing.”

As the world blurred and began to fade she heard, “I’m sorry, but you’ll both be safe I promise.”

~*~

When Mal awoke she had a headache and she was furious. How dare that man leave her in this disgusting garish room? The walls were a nasty salmon color and the floor was hardwood laminate. How could anyone be so purposefully do such an awful thing to another being? As soon as she got her hands on him she was going to wring his neck.

She stood and dusted imaginary lint off her dress and tried to phase herself. When she didn’t take on her shade form she began to panic. Her mutation had manifested early in life and she had always enjoyed it. It had made her perfect for work in haunted houses, mazes and cornfields as a teenager. Dom liked to tease her about her joy in scaring others. He’d always said her fascination with horror would one day come back to bite her in the ass. Today was apparently that day. Perhaps she would make him a cake when she got home. And she would get home. Arthur, Dominic and the Saitos would ensure that.

~*~

Arthur walked out of the diner wondering what he should make for dinner. He couldn’t decide if he wanted to cook for Eames, have Eames cook for him or just pick up something. Rolling his eyes at himself he pulled out his smartphone. It was always fun to see how well he could concentrate on his powers while he was walking. He’d already put on his sunglasses so he didn’t have to worry about anyone having a conniption when his eyes filled with code.

Carefully he went through the internet and found the exact system he was looking for. When he found the files he was looking for he saved them and made sure to transfer them to a few choice media companies that he could easily manipulate. He’d worked as an underground source for a few years but he’d quickly gotten bored with it. The government had pinged him once for help with something but Arthur had made sure to perform less than perfectly for them. He was not going to become some stooge that was kept in a gilded cage marked ethical hacking.

He helped where he could but not everything was for him to control or prevent. He wasn’t a god and he didn’t market himself as such. He couldn’t always determine how information he found would be used. Good or bad and so most of the time he stayed out of anything even remotely political. This however was not one of those times. He could foresee how things would play out and the odds hadn’t been stacked in his or any mutants favor until five minutes ago. Now things were working out exactly as he meant for them to.

With a smug smirk he decided he would stop at the liquor store and buy himself a nice bottle of wine and get Mister Eames a lovely bottle of brandy. They could get tipsy and do deplorable filthy things to one another later. There was probably something to be said for his current cavalier attitude considering what he’s helped to plan over Panini’s and doubletalk. Eames had caught on quickly and the man’s intellect deserved some praise, in a way that only his stabilizer was ever going to be allowed to provide ever again.

He’d pick up some of those lovely chocolate tartlets that the bakery next door made. There was something to be said about booze, chocolate and sex. Tonight’s plans decided Arthur went about compiling a playlist for his master plan. It was always fun to be able to listen to mp3 files no one else could hear. He loved getting songs stuck in the heads of strangers and watching them try to find the song only to have sudden internet troubles with whatever electronic device they had handy. He was a bit impish. So sue him.

~*~

Nash sat across from Peter Browning trying his best not to squirm. He hated this man with a passion and it was getting harder and harder not to let that show on his face every time they met. This time he’d had to bring some delicate little politician with him because he’d needed to discuss a bill he was trying to get passed with Browning. The man was apparently trying to have all mutants registered and restricted, which could easily lead to governmental abuse.

It was just a stone’s throw from that back to horrific mutant experiments and things like what Nash’s own father had gone through. Nash still wasn’t entirely sure of all the experimentation that had been done on his father but he knew that the man had horrific nightmares and he barely talked. He’d never taken to drinking but Nash hadn’t ever really been sure why not. The only thing he could think of was that his mother was the man’s stabilizer and she gentled him with every breath she took. He needed to go visit them soon. They hadn’t been together since two Christmas’ ago.

Hopefully once Browning got what he wanted everything would settle down and he’d be able to get away long enough to actually enjoy some family time. Maybe he could put a request in for some vacation leave. He really was becoming spoiled.

~*~

Peter smiled happily across his desk. Senator McKringleberry had decided to come visit him so that Peter could look over the latest draft of his bill. He loved thinking of it as his bill. It would be perfect in helping with the mutant menace. He couldn’t be more thrilled if he suddenly won the lottery and managed to kill Robert Fischer in the meantime.

When the man handed Peter the draft of the new bill he had to try very hard not to let his excitement show on his face. Everything was falling into place exactly as he wanted. He’d gotten an e-mail a few hours ago from several different religious officials stating that they would make certain to support the bill just as soon as they were able to read it and ensure that it pertained only to mutants.

Life was wonderful and he couldn’t possibly hope for anything more. Nash had even managed to capture a prominent figure from the Saito School of freaks. It was the perfect leverage to ensure that not only did his bill get passed but it would do so without any opposition. There wasn’t a chance that the Saitos would allow anything to happen to one of their precious little genetic throwbacks. As he was reading over the new outline he sat back in his chair and ignored the other two men. He was busy making sure everything happened exactly as he wanted it to.

Just as he began to really enjoy his new bill Senator McKringleberry cleared his throat. Peter looked up in annoyance but carefully kept his face neutral.

“Excuse me Mister Browning but I seem to of had one too many glasses of water with my lunch. Could you point me in the direction of a bathroom?”

Peter directed the man on his way and then went back to ignoring the both of them. He had much bigger things to focus on.

As he was catching his stride in his reading there was a knock at his office door. Before he could stand the door came open and in stormed a crowd of men in uniforms and suits.

“Which of you is Peter Browning?”

He stood from his desk giving the man that spoke his coldest stare. “I am he. What do you think you’re doing barging into my office unannounced? Do you have any idea how valuable my time is? What right do you have to be here?”

The man came over and calmly handed him a packet of folded documents. “We have a court signed search and seizure permit. If you’d like we can wait until you’ve called the judge to confirm that the documents are real.”

“I assure you officer that is exactly what I plan to do. I want everyone that just came into my office to write their badge numbers down for me now. I’ll be walking around verifying them all when I’ve finished my phone call. Mister Nash if you would find me the number for the judge on this flimsy piece of paper.”

The officer looked at him strangely. “Who are you talking to Mister Browning?”

Peter looked over his shoulder at the chairs in front of his desk. Instead of one empty chair and a second filled with a prime example of why mutants should be eradicated he saw nothing but empty space.

“I was having a business meeting with Senator James McKringleberry and a mutual associate. They seem to have taken their leave.”

Peter frowned in irritation and made his phone call. After the judge confirmed that the search warrant was very really he sat down to read over the document carefully. He ignored the officers and sat reading the papers over thoroughly. When he was finished an officer came and placed handcuffs on him.

“There is some sort of mistake here and I will see that I have all of your jobs when everything is said and done. Heed my words gentlemen this will not end well for any of you.”

“We’ll take that into consideration when we testify at your court date Mister Browning. Before that though would you mind explaining to us why you are holding a pregnant lady against her will or why exactly you have two different versions of the last will and testament of one Maurice Fischer? There are several other things we’d like to ask you when we get to the station. Follow us if you would please.”

~*~

Eames smiled at Mal when she stepped through the front door of the campus. “Hello love. How was your day?”

“I do not want to speak to you right now, unless of course you happen to know where Frederick Nash happens to be right this moment.”

Smiling wickedly he replied, “Out buying you two new rose bushes and hoping to find a nice chocolatier close by that has some odd truffle you like. He was apparently very certain that you would require both to not phase his heart right out of his chest. I’m actually hoping it doesn’t work so that I can see the display in action.”

Mal rolled her eyes and flipped him off. “Do not sound so happy with the idea Mister Eames. I can always do it to you instead.”

“Alright I’m sorry. You won’t really kill him will you?”

He was greeted with a gimlet stare for his trouble. “That all depends on if the drug he used to render me unconscious harmed my daughter in any way.”

At least that was one thing he could fix quickly. “Yusuf created the compound. He made certain it wouldn’t harm Phillipa in any way. It was made from 100% all natural ingredients. He wouldn’t tell me everything that was in it but I’m sure when you ask he’ll be rather forthcoming. Especially if you have part of yourself in shade form and clearly voice what could happen should you decide to make your hand solid in his chest cavity.”

The lovely French woman arched a well-manicured brow at his statement. “What? I was sticking with the theme.”

“Mmm, so I see. How was your afternoon?”

Shrugging he responded lightly. “Oh you know. Helped take down a deranged mutant that thought he was a normal human and watched the world burn while fantasizing about my stabilizer’s firm little ass. He wore this lovely set of extremely well-tailored charcoal pinstripe trousers. I may have to hunt his tailor down and kill the man because he obviously got overly close with my other half.”

Mal’s eyes lit with amusement. “Do you not mean better half?”

“No. I meant other. He is absolutely gorgeous but I refuse to let my ego take that big of a hit. Your husband is waiting for you in medical.”

She kissed his cheek and then wandered off. He couldn’t help the bemused smile that broke over his face as he watched her leave. This week had been filled with confusion and mischief. He’d found his stabilizer, argued so violently with the other man he’d been afraid they would both die from destabilization. On top of that he’d had filthy wonderful sex and gotten to impersonate a senator. His life was strange but he wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.

Those thoughts in mind he went in search of Arthur. There was mischief to get up to.

~*~

Arthur sat in bed debating on getting dressed. He wouldn’t mind having a snack but really he did actually hate wearing clothes unless he had no other choice and right now he did. There was actually a mini-fridge in his room he just wasn’t sure if it had anything in it. Thankfully there was a stash of snack food in the cupboard beneath his bookcase. Rolling off the bed onto his feet he padded over and bent down. He was rummaging through the contents debating on what he wanted when the door opened. He looked up and smirked when Eames walked in.

“Can I help you with something Danny?”

The other man laughed. “As a matter of fact yes. I have a rather pressing need for you to attend to.”

Arthur knew where this was going but he couldn’t resist playing along. “Oh, and what is that?”

Eames smirked and Arthur couldn’t resist flexing his ass for the man. “Well you see darling I’m having a bit of a blood flow issue right now.”

“How can I help Danny? We wouldn’t want you to pass out or anything.”

“I’m afraid there is only one known cure for this problem Love.”

Arthur nodded and stood padding over to the other man. He snuggled up against his stabilizer and nipped his ear lobe. “And what might that be?”

Danny’s hands slid down to cup his ass and press him closer. Arthur licked a line up the side of his neck and kissed his way from jaw to chin. As he went in for a kiss the other man breathed against his lips. “Cock, or more specifically yours.”

Arthur laughed and responded quickly. “Mmmm I do love specificity. Let’s see what we can do about curing your ails.”

He was still laughing when Eames covered his mouth with his own. His laughter quickly turned into a groan and he let his weight fall onto the other man. Eames grabbed his ass with both hands and swallowed his moans while caressing his tongue with his own. It felt amazing and Arthur was certain if he didn’t need air to breath he would just continue to kiss Eames until everything else faded away. He made an undignified squeak when Eames lifted him and urged him to wrap his legs around his waist.

When the other man pulled back and started nibbling on his neck as he pressed him into the wall he squirmed until he could press their erections together. The friction from Eames’ slacks was delicious but not what he needed. “Naked.”

“Hm?”

It was the only reply he got before Eames went back to his nibbling. Arthur moaned heavily and ground down again. “Danny I need you naked and fucking me now.”

The other man made a tortured sound and pressed Arthur more firmly against the wall before moving back slightly and easing him back to the floor. He watched raptly as his stabilizer destroyed his shirt while sliding his shoes off as quickly as he could manage.

“How sad. That shirt brought out the green in your eyes.”

Arthur knew he was pouting but he had enjoyed the effect the shirt made. “I’ll get a replacement. I’ve got more important things to worry about right now.”

His hands were shaking as he undid his belt and removed the rest of his clothing. “Fine but it had better be exactly like that one was before you destroyed it.”

“Yes dear.”

Before Arthur could make a scathing remark he was back against the wall and his mouth was being devoured with lips and teeth and tongue. Eames feasted on his mouth and Arthur was too turned on to do anything but open for him. They didn’t have to worry about destabilizing anymore but the sex just might kill them. Arthur was strangely comfortable with that.

Eames ground their cocks together and Arthur bucked against him. “Fuck what you do to me Arthur.”

The words were whispered against his neck and caused him to shiver in excitement. “I’m more concerned with what you aren’t doing to me right now, which is fucking me into the wall, and you should be.”

“I don’t know about the wall. I’m thinking I’d rather tear you apart in the bed. My plan has merit, I assure you.”

Before he could put up an argument, Eames was carrying him to the bed and tossing him on the mattress. Arthur glared up at him but before he could work himself into a proper anger the other man was crouched over him rubbing against him like a cat.

“Fuck what you do to me Arthur. I’m rather smug about you being my stabilizer. Felt you should know.”

As he opened his mouth to retort Eames devoured him again. He groaned and slid his hands into the soft strands and tugged lightly. When his stabilizer bucked into him at the small contact Arthur smirked into the kiss and bit at Eames’ bottom lip. “I haven’t even started yet Danny.”

The other man groaned as Arthur tugged a little bit harder. He moved his fingers to readjust his grip and found both hands pinned above his head with Eames biting a trail from one side of his neck to the other.

“I have plans darling. You can torture me later.”

“I’d rather do it now.”

Eames gave a husky chuckle and Arthur shivered at the sound. “Later love. I had my plan first”

Arthur rolled his eyes. “Do your worst.”

Eames just hummed his agreement and went back to biting and nipping all along Arthur’s skin. When he took one of Arthur’s nipples in his mouth and the other between his fingers Arthur’s brain disconnected. The steady increase in pressure had him panting and making unintelligible noise. When Eames released him, he groaned and started to protest but was cut off by a hungry kiss and a hand on his cock. He felt his spine bow but was pressed back into the bed by his stabilizer’s steady weight above him.

Arthur chased Eames’ lips with his own when the other man pulled back but Eames just chuckled darkly as he nipped and kissed his way down to Arthur’s pelvis. Eames wrapped his hands around Arthur’s thighs and licked across his hipbones. He was gasping and begging Eames to take his cock in his mouth but the other man just looked up the length of his body and bit into his skin.

He keened at the sensation and he arched his back trying to get closer. “All in my time darling, all in my time.”

Arthur opened his eyes and glared down at Eames. “We’ll see about that Daniel.”

Eames just smirked at him and went back to leaving bruises in Arthur’s skin. Arthur was half mad from all the teasing. He’d tried badgering Eames and the other man hadn’t given him what he wanted, what he needed.

“Danny please! Fuck. I need…”

Eames smiled wickedly up at him. “What is it you need, Love?”

“Either suck my dick or fuck me stupid but do something before you kill me with all the teasing. Please?”

His last word was spoken in a near broken rasp. He’d never been this close to the edge just from light petting and he wasn’t sure if he would survive with his sanity intact if Eames didn’t do something soon.

The only response he got was a deep, entirely masculine chuckle and then rapturous heat engulfed his cock and his entire body came alive. His spine bowed, his eyes closed and he lost himself to feeling. Eames wrapped his tongue around the head of Arthur’s cock and he almost wept with relief. The other man was born to suck cock, Arthur didn’t care how illogical that was. Eames should always have a cock in his mouth, more specifically Arthur’s cock.

He devoured Arthur like he was Eames’ favorite treat. When Eames dipped his tongue into the slit at the head of Arthur’s cock the other man groaned and Arthur felt his dick twitch from the vibration. Eames licked along the vein that ran down the underside of his cock and then gently ran his tongue between Arthur’s balls before taking first one and then the other into his mouth.

As he caressed Arthur’s sac with his tongue he wrapped his calloused hand around Arthur’s shaft and squeezed just enough to let Arthur know he was there. Arthur’s legs spread further apart at the contact and he let out a deep groan.

Eames was on his second pass from the left side to the right when Arthur felt Eames breech him with two fingers. Arthur wasn’t sure when Eames had grabbed the lube but he’d been thoughtful enough to make certain it was warm before he twisted them inside Arthur and moved until he found what he was looking for.

When Eames brushed over his prostate Arthur couldn’t breathe. No sound passed his lips because he was taken to an entirely new level of pleasure. Fuck, he felt like he was dying but he didn’t want this to end. He whined when Eames moved his mouth away from Arthur’s skin.

“Christ pet, just look at you.”

Arthur’s eyes fluttered and he looked down at Eames, his brain not making any sense of the words that were coming out of the other man’s mouth. “Huh?”

Eames moaned and then slide a third finger inside him, spreading them and twisting slightly, enough to burn and still be delicious, especially when he grazed the bundle of nerves inside of Arthur. Arthur watched as Eames’ eyes darkened further and groaned unhappily when Eames eased his fingers out. “Easy love. I’m just replacing it with my dick.”

Arthur couldn’t respond so he just nodded eagerly. Eames gave him that delicious dark chuckle again as he coated his dick and pulled Arthur down the bed by his thighs. He bit his lip trying to stop the groan of satisfaction that rippled up his throat as Eames slid slowly inside of him, but it was a losing battle.  Especially when Eames couldn’t hold back his own sounds. There was just the slightest bit of burn and Arthur reveled in the juxtaposition of the pleasure pain. It was absolute perfection and Arthur wanted more. When Eames bottomed out he didn’t bother staying still he just ground his pelvic bone into Arthur’s ass and stole his breath with an absolute domination of Arthur’s mouth. He didn’t kiss Arthur so much and conquer him with his mouth.

Arthur moaned into the kiss and ground his ass down into Eames’ dick. When Eames pulled back he bit nipped at the other man’s bottom lip to let him know he wasn’t happy about the move. Then Eames pulled back further, smirking down at him and slammed back into Arthur, starting a punishing rhythm. He continued to slam his dick inside Arthur grazing along his prostate more often than not.

Arthur dug his nails into Eames’ back and lost himself to the delicious sensations he was inflicting upon him. Before long Arthur was begging Eames for release and the other man started moving his hips faster. Arthur wrapped his legs around Eames waist trying to keep from being pushed up the bed. He wanted closer to Eames’ cock not the headboard. Just as he was becoming frustrated Eames lifted him and slammed him into the aforementioned piece of furniture and pounded into Arthur as hard and as fast as he could manage. Arthur felt his head hit the wall and couldn’t give a fuck. He screamed out his pleasure as everything coalesced into his orgasm.

He felt his cum spread between them but Eames didn’t bother stopping. Arthur knew he was seeking his own pleasure now that Arthur had found his. When he finally heard Eames shout his own release he slumped against the wall and let his eyes flutter open. His vision was spotty and he was still trembling from everything Eames had just done to him.

Eames slumped backwards taking Arthur with him, both of them gasping for breath and trying to share the same air. They were both laughing as they tried to get enough oxygen. His stabilizer was the first to recover, though.

“Fuck, I’m never letting you out of bed for anything other than a shower and food. We’re just going to fuck ourselves to death.”

Arthur laughed and snuggled closer to Eames. “I’m alright with that. Stop moving though.”

Eames chuckled and let his fingers run through Arthur’s hair. Arthur moaned as Eames’ dick softened the rest of the way and slid out of him. The other man made a groan of his own as he placed a sloppy kiss on the top of Arthur’s head. “Bloody fucking hell.”

Arthur rubbed his cheek against Eames’ chest but didn’t respond. He let his eyes fall closed and just enjoyed the moment. He knew they would have plenty more but that didn’t mean he couldn’t savor each one as it came to pass. As he drifted off to sleep, utterly content with his life, he heard Eames whisper, “I’m glad we found each other.”

Arthur smiled and kissed Eames’ chest but he couldn’t muster a response. His stabilizer had ensured that. The thought made him smile wider and Eames chased Arthur into his sleep. Everything else could wait.

- - - -

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About Cinna

I write, I stream and I hate canon a good 95% of the time.

One Comment

  1. Very nice! I liked it!

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