Hallmark of the Holidays
Inception, Arthur/Eames, PG-13, 500 words
AU. No one is supposed to like their gag gifts, but Arthur insists on being that person.
Three years into a relationship with Arthur, Eames knows a lot about Arthur. He knows Arthur's weird distaste for eggs ("It's not that weird," Arthur says every time, though his tone's grown from defensive to fondly exasperated), his preferred soap (Irish Spring), and all sorts of places on his body where he likes to be kissed.
Still, that doesn't mean that Arthur can't surprise him.
Like when Eames presents a gift to Arthur in mid-December with a flourish and a grin, anticipation warring with mischief in his chest. "Do you like it, love?" he purrs.
Arthur regards the book and greeting card in his hands, expression unreadable. Then, unexpectedly, he smiles - warm and genuine - and meets Eames's eyes. "They're lovely, Eames." The card goes dead-center on the mantle and the book lies, prominent, on their coffee table.
Eames is floored.
Eames is a model. Kind of.
Those greeting cards you find in the Humor section with a buff shirtless man and a discreetly placed speech bubble suggesting you unwrap your present? Eames is that buff shirtless man.
Those romance covers with a buff shirtless man clutching a swooning girl with long hair and breasts practically spilling out of her dress? Eames is him too.
Hey, he gets paid well, he can't really complain. To be fair, Arthur doesn't complain either - or mock, very much.
"Don't tell me you don't appreciate my artistry, darling," Eames will pout.
"I would never say such a thing. I could never call that art." But the corner of his mouth will twitch and give him away.
Eames knows Arthur, stuffy financial consultant that he is, does in the end support whatever Eames chooses as his career. Still, he likes to tease Arthur when he can.
Thus, the Christmas presents.
1) An obnoxiously loud red and glittery card, with Eames naked except for a santa hat and a gag around his mouth. His eyebrows are raised in surprise, a white box over his crotch declaring, Oh, it's a gag gift.... Inside it reads: Joke's on you! Hot men not included with card.
2) A regency romance titled Fortune's Fool, with Eames on the cover shirtless and in tight breeches, bending a fiery redhead over his arm.
"They're lovely," Eames mutters, distrustfully eyeing Arthur putter around in the kitchen. "What rot."
Arthur lets Eames suffer for a week before he pins him to the bed and straddles him, dark-eyed and smiling slyly. "What's not lovely about your body? You're worth putting on display."
"Oh," gasps Eames and rolls his hips. "Oh darling, I love when you're sweet."
Eames cuddles Arthur proprietarily afterwards, Arthur's smile now lazy and smug, because he knows Eames's body is all his.
Ariadne shrieks and covers her eyes when she comes over for Christmas Eve dinner. Yusuf, shameless bastard, starts conversing with Arthur about the plot of Fortune's Fool. It turns out Arthur's actually read the damn thing.
Happy fucking Christmas, Eames thinks happily and tricks Arthur under the mistletoe.
by the lovely sickletongue ♥