It is a canon-based AU where Arthur and Eames are a demon and angel, respectively, but it is not that weird, I promise. :)
Here is how it starts!
The job is an inception on a priest who probably stole his brother’s inheritance, and these are the easiest kinds of jobs because nothing but nothing is more effective at incepting someone than religious guilt.
These are also the jobs that are the most fun for Arthur, because he gets to stare broodingly at his moleskine and then say gravely, as if he’s been puzzling it out for some time, “Eames could forge an angel to make the priest think god is sending him a messenger,” and then he gets to watch Eames grimace and shoot him angry eyerolls and increasingly exasperated protests for the rest of the job.
It’s worth it, though, for the unholy beauty and enjoyment he gets out of seeing Eames take his true shape on earth.
Eames has to make some alterations. In the firmament, his wings are roughly the length and width of a football field, but he shrinks his whole body down to a third that size when he unfurls them in the dreamscape.
It’s still the most stunning thing Arthur has ever seen. The first time he’d witnessed it, he’d accidentally dropped his own form and reverted to his original shape as well. Thankfully, no one else had been around at the time, and he and Eames had simply stood staring at each other, angel and demon, admiring one another’s true forms.
Occasionally, when Arthur has had an exceptionally rare amount to drink, he will try to explain to Eames that all life is like quantum states in physics: that on an individual level, people, like particles, can exist in two states of being at once.
This explains how Eames can exist simultaneously as a dreamshare mastermind who is also a petty thief and a ruffian who is never up to any good, and as an agnostic angel who thinks god is a really bad boss and is constantly protesting heaven for minimum wage increases — calls that go unheeded and increasingly send him to the pubs to trade shots with Arthur. (And later, if Arthur is lucky, other kinds of exchanges.)
And it explains how Arthur can exist simultaneously as a cantankerous Jewish nerd who is also an international criminal who invades people’s minds for a living, and also as a demon out of space and time who has spent the last six thousand millennia or so dragging his heels on earth and trading quips and barbs and occasionally sex with Eames.
Technically, Arthur is the angel of death. He had that role before he Fell, before death had actually even existed; death had finally arrived not long after he’d left heaven, so he’d just kept the job title. Recent events in human history have meant that Arthur works late hours more and more often, and even though he can technically bend time and space, his workaholic tendencies have never been more enabled.
It doesn’t come with a black hood or a scythe or anything fancy like that. Once, on a whim, Arthur dressed up as the mythological version of himself for Halloween, decked out in full-on skull-faced, shrouded regalia. He didn’t even win first prize in the local cosplay contest. Eames is still laughing about it.
Kate Winslet’s face lights up when she sees Arthur on the red carpet, and even though Arthur should be used to seeing her by now, he still goes red-faced when she flings her arms around him.
“You do remember we’re kind of neighbors,” he says, hugging back while trying not to crumple his suit too badly.
“Oh, shush, I haven’t seen you two in weeks,” she says, kissing him on the cheek. Then she turns and punches Eames on the arm. “You’ve got to stop squirreling him away, don’t you know if you only ever bring him out in small doses it just makes the paparazzi frenzy worse?”
Next to him, Eames is casually sporting tailored all-black Versace and is quite simply the hottest thing Arthur has ever seen. Arthur had tried to tell him so, but he’d been so worked up when he’d been doing Eames’ tie earlier in the evening that his hands had been shaking, and finally Eames had simply clasped Arthur’s wrists and stilled him and backed him against the dresser and said, “Arthur, darling, we don’t have to go to this rumpus if you don’t feel up to it,” and he’d been totally relaxed and smooth and earnest in a way that made Arthur feel as though he could take on eight awards ceremonies and then several afterparties without breaking a sweat as long as Eames kept looking at him that way.
Now, though, Eames only smirks and slides his hand around Arthur’s waist in one of those suavely possessive moves Arthur just knows is going to be giffed all over Twitter in five minutes. Jesus, that’s hot. Arthur’s face is still red.
“Ah,” Eames says with a wink. “If I let them look too long at our dear Arthur, I’m afraid they may steal him and never give him back to me. I keep him under wraps for my own protection, not his.”
“That’s egregious and I’m too drunk to scold you for being ironically regresive,” says Kate Winslet. “Come on, I’ll take you to the Girl Scout cookies.”
Eames has been taking advantage of Arthur’s
stillness and stacking paper clips onto his head for five minutes now. Arthur
can feel them twined into his hair, and he has to take a calming breath to stop
himself from shaking them all off.
“Eames, would you please stop dicking around?”
he settles on saying, taking care to focus as little on the words as possible.
His concentration can’t waver, or he’ll botch this and have to start again. “I’m
trying to fix this, and it’s kind of a big deal.”
“Stick in the mud,” Eames grumbles, but
wordlessly levitates the paper clips off Arthur’s head. The way his head
suddenly feels a lot lighter makes him wonder how many clips there actually
were, and the thought throws Arthur enough off his nonverbal casting that he
can feel the bond between him and the PASIV snap. The blue glow surrounding
them fades away, and Arthur takes care to send a contained Reductor Curse at
the legs on Eames’s chair before pointing his wand back at the PASIV and
I finally managed to complete and send my eternity WIP for beta reading, so thought I might as well start on another one! It’s a magical AU set in the same universe as HP. Because last month I made the mistake of imagining Arthur with a wand in his hand and could not get it out of my head.
this might be a little more Classic Male Stripper™ than burlesque, BUT HEY! this club was looking for A Type and eames just happened to have his beard grown out, HOW CONVENIENT. HAHA. @thingsbeginningwitha, THANKS FOR THE REQUEST!!
it’s still the 16th in California, that totally counts
“I was thinking,” Eames says. “Do you recall what today is?”
He’s standing too close for Arthur’s taste, not really invading Arthur’s personal space, but still radiating body heat that Arthur can feel sliding against his own skin. Fuck working in un-air-conditioned warehouses, Arthur thinks, fighting off a grimace. They’re too old and too in-demand for this shit.
He wipes sweat from his forehead, briefly entertaining thoughts of going legit and starting up a nice air-conditioned office in a suburban business park somewhere: Dreamscapes made while you wait, sandwiched between a nail salon and a Chinese restaurant. Plush couches in a nice, open lobby. A receptionist. Clients who are contractually prevented from coming after them with guns afterwards.
It takes him a moment to realize that the other half of this fantasy partnership—he never thought those were two words he’d ever put together—is still waiting for his reply. Eames is leaning casually against Arthur’s drafting table in what Arthur knows by now is a deliberate pose. Most of Eames’ casual postures are.
Arthur has been fiddling with a model of a boring office cubicle block, vaguely reminiscent of the one he’d just been dreaming about escaping to. He wonders if that’s where the thought came from. He puts his scalpel down. “No,” he says. “What’s today?”
Eames studies him for a moment. “I don’t think I’ll tell you just yet. See if I can jog your memory.”
Years ago, this kind of game would have annoyed Arthur endlessly, especially when Eames was the one attempting to play with him. He used to think their work was of paramount importance and that anything this juvenile just got in the way of efficiency and good time management. He knows the job well enough now to know that’s a ridiculous conceit, and himself well enough now to admit that his work ethic was a cover. He mostly just didn’t want to give Eames encouragement to think Arthur enjoyed playing. He knows by now that was a ridiculous conceit, too.
Now, he only sits back and gives Eames the kind of calm, unruffled look that used to have Eames trying to get beneath his skin for the rest of the day. But Eames has mellowed out, too, as they’ve done this longer; where he once would have retorted with something purposely acerbic, now he only winks and saunters over to the PASIV. (Once Arthur insisted on being the only one besides the chemist to touch it. Now… well, Eames has been doing this a while.)
When they’re under, it takes him a moment to get his bearings, because Eames’ dreamscape is nothing like they’d discussed. He’s standing on a rotunda overlooking a very swank marble patio with an equally pristine infinity pool beneath, Beyond that, a cliffside overlooking–
“Barcelona,” he says, turning around to where he knows Eames will be standing, wearing the wine Versace that Arthur is shocked to realize he still remembers like yesterday. It had been tailored to perfection, and even though Arthur hasn’t seen it since that day five years ago, it still knocks the breath out of him.
“Why did you–” he doesn’t bother finishing the sentence, just like he doesn’t bother looking down at the civilian clothes he’s wearing. He’d been straight out of the army and unused to being without a uniform. He assumes he wears them less awkwardly than he did then, but judging by the fond look on Eames’ face, he mostly still looks the same.
Eames, though–Arthur remembers how he’d felt working this first post-military job with him, the sizzling irritation and lust that had distracted and angered him every time he looked at Eames. Now there’s none of that–just a spark of warmth, of familiarity. And, fine, affection. If a face could be a kind of comfort-food, he thinks, smiling in spite of himself, then Eames,’ miracle of miracles, would be his.
“You just wanted to fit into that suit again,” he says, as Eames joins him on the balcony. He doesn’t remember the sunset from that first night, but the one falling slowly over the sky in the east looks good enough to be real.
Eames scoffs. “Darling, I’ve only gained muscle. You, on the other hand, are starting to sag a little. I hate to say it, but such are the vestiges of time.”
Arthur thinks, you like me anyway, and snorts. “Five years ago today,” he says.
“So you do remember.”
“I’m surprised you do, seeing as you were only concerned with stealing a PASIV and defrauding her Majesty’s Secret Service.”
“Not true,” Eames says. “I was also very concerned with getting into your pants.”
He says it casually, like it’s a longstanding joke between them. Maybe it is. As soon as he says it, it seems like something Arthur’s always known.
Arthur turns and looks at him. Really looks, letting him know he’s not going to be able to laugh it off—not down here. Not today, of all days. To his credit, Eames doesn’t do the thing where he darts his glance away and refuses to meet Arthur’s gaze. They know each other too well for that, he thinks. Too well, up til now, for everything but this.
“My pants definitely don’t remember that,” he says. He angles his body towards Eames, signaling his intent to move closer, if Eames wants him to.
“Tsk, tsk,” says Eames. “You hadn’t even started wearing them tight enough to cut off all circulation to your brain, so they’ve no excuse.”
“They were a bit distracted trying and failing to keep you from stealing a PASIV,” Arthur says.
“That’s my Arthur,” says Eames. “Patron saint of lost causes.” He definitely wants Arthur to move closer. Arthur does. He’d ask why here, why now, but Eames always has been sentimental in unexpected ways. He supposes this is as fitting a moment as any. And they’ve been building up to it for—well. For the last five years.
“You think this is a lost cause?” He puts his hand on Eames’ arm.
Eames tugs him in. “I know it is,” he says. “Doomed from day one.”
“You say that like this isn’t kind of our anniversary,” says Arthur. “We’ve done pretty well so far.”
“Technically, we never actually started anything,” says Eames. “And if we never actually start anything, there won’t be anything to end, will it?”
“Odds beaten,” Arthur agrees, and kisses him.
“Happy anniversary,” he says, when he finally lets Eames up for air.
The sunset is reflected in the corners of Eames’ eyes when he smiles, and Arthur thinks: Yeah. That’s real.
And Eames says, “You’re better than pining over a dead man, Arthur.”
Anybody else, Arthur would punch them. Instead he lets his gaze go shuttered a little and huffs out a laugh. Eames leans over and watches him, his eyes sharp. “All I’m saying is,” he says, looking far too earnest for a man who’s picked five pockets since he’s walked into the hotel, “You know you’re better than this. You know you could have your share of men who won’t drag you down with them.”
“Jesus christ,” says Arthur, “I can’t tell if you’re hitting on me or trying to give me an intervention.” Eames blinks a few times, as if he’s honestly thrown. “Forget it,” says Arthur, rolling his eyes.
“Could be both, if you like,” says Eames, his voice remarkably steady considering how he’s leaning on the bar. “Nothing quite so cathartic as fantastic sex.” He raises his glass, toasts Arthur, and drinks. “Although I’d like to think in normal circumstances it would take more than a few tawdry come-ons to get you into bed.”
Arthur turns away from the bar and faces him then, feeling the heat in his own gaze translate to the way Eames’ eyes flash. “Maybe that’s all it takes when I actually like the guy,” he says.
“Oh, please, Arthur,” says Eames, baring his teeth. “We both know you like me just fine.”
“Brilliant,” says Eames. “I don’t know about the rest of you, but I plan to spend that time having as much drunken sex on the beach as I possibly can.”
“Is that why you kidnapped me?” says Robert, shocked.
“We were working for Saito to implant the idea in your head to break up your father’s company before you became a new world power,” says Arthur.
“Well, don’t spoil the lad,” says Eames. “You could’ve at least let him have some build-up.”
“I thought you guys were my friends,” says Robert. “I thought you were cool.” He looks down at the ground and kicks the sand a little.
“We are your friends, sweetheart,” says Eames, scooting closer to him.
“Dude!” says Robert. “You’re not my friend! You stole my wallet! And you turned into a girl and didn’t even leave me your real phone number! And you stole my wallet again! You stole my wallet, like, three times!”
“Well, you were sort of a bum date, nothing personal,” says Eames.
THIS IS THE FIRST FIC I EVER STARTED WRITING IN THIS FANDOM and now it is finished! And honestly it is my favorite <33333
Hiiiii so I’m not gonna reblog that giant long post again just to respond to more reblogs because lord help us all, but knackorcraft hi! you said this thing:
ahh, thank you for your enthusiasm but YOU DO NOT WANT MY MY MAN GODFREY AU and i will tell you why. While I’m sure someone else’s My Man Godfrey AU would be delightful, mine is prolly not what you want because I have a lot of feelings about My Man Godfrey but they are not the right feelings! I know this is a problem! keep in mind that this is the reaction of someone who would grow up to be a huge Harry/Draco shipper but okay, story time.
You can read the first part of the fic after the story, if you like, but I warn you it’s ALL WRONG
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
So, here it is, the end of the fic I have been working on since September 2011. I love it dearly, and I hope that you will read it, and that if you read it, that you enjoy it. <3 Thank you to everyone who does.
“Why not do what rich people do when they need money?” Mal asked. “Hold a fundraiser.”
Ariadne said, “No, no more formal events. Arthur is banned from all formal events for at least another six months.”
“Agreed,” said Arthur. “Crowdfunding it is.”
Mal folded her hands beneath her chin. “Why don’t you ask Jia or one of the others? It’s not as if Ariadne will be around forever, and they all practically live there now.”
“Excuse you,” said Ariadne haughtily, “I shall live for a thousand years. All shall love me and despair.”
Mal sent her a small smile. “Let’s hope we can keep Arthur’s bookstore around that long so you can continue to wield your dominion over it.”
The next day, Arthur gathered all his assistants around him in his office.
“Oy!” said Tabitha. “We can’t all fit in here!”
“Right,” said Arthur.
Arthur re-gathered all his assistants around him behind the front counter.
“I need you to tell me what you’d like to see the store do next,” he said.
They all stared at him.
“You mean like, other than sell books?” Jorby asked.
“Projects and things, right?” Ty asked, and then, “Wait, are we going to be cut if we don’t give the right answer?”
“No,” said Arthur, “nothing like that.”
“Do you mean like the store expansion?” asked Jia. “It seems like we’re pretty well set for a while, yeah?”
“Think beyond the space,” Arthur said. “Think about the books, the community, the people who come in and what they might want next. Think bigger.”
“You should donate science books to underfunded schools,” said Tabitha.
They turned and stared.
“What?” asked Tabitha. “He likes to give books away.”
I just shared this on Twitter and @kedgeree11 responded “Wow, that was beautiful. And to me so very Arthur,” and it occurred to me that some of you who’ve read Ship Your Enemies Glitter might not have seen this yet.
This is Daisuke Takahashi’s exhibition performance of “The Crisis.” In the story, Takashi’s performance inspires Arthur to do it as his long program. In my head, this is Arthur’s performance, more or less (with a few more jumps and more intricate footwork). Because I mean holy shit is this not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen in your life.
I have watched this performance 8000000 times, and I’ve never gotten over it. Actually I think watching this for the first time was the moment I knew I had to write this fic despite how sad it is, because how can you not want more of this?
The weirdest thing about this piece is that even though skaters endlessly re-use pieces, & even though Morricone is one of the most popular composers to skate to, I’ve gone through YouTube trying to find other skaters that have used this number, and there aren’t any. Possibly it was all the rage in the 70s or 80s or something and then got overused and faded out of sight, but as it is, It’s like this one singular performance just dropped out of heaven into our laps, never to be imitated or duplicated.
And that’s what I like to think of Arthur’s final skate as. :(((( (ETA: and wow, the crisis could not be more appropriate a name for this particular song in this particular context)
“I’ve been waiting for you since the day I met you. No, none of that, Arthur. You didn’t break my heart. I wasn’t harboring some great unrequited thing for you. It was more like…” He grins and looks away, flushing. It’s one of the toothy grins he flashes sometimes, rare unguarded smiles that Arthur prizes and keeps close. They mean Eames is happy—too happy to help himself. “More like a low-level hum in the back of my brain. Just a buzz there all along, pointing me towards you. It’s always been this, Arthur. I don’t want anything else but this. Just you, any way I can have you.”