Victorious Passion

All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream.


[sticky post]Welcome to My Journal
zafer_aistra

About Me

Hello, my name is zafer_aistra (zuh-fur eye-struh), and I'm addicted to fanfiction. (Hi zafer_aistra...) Kudos to whoever uses Google Translate and figures out what that means. Hint: It's two different languages, because if people can speak Spanglish, why can't I write in Lithuirkish....Turkanian. OhshitIjustgaveitaway.

Another hint: I named two of my stuffed animals after those words.

...that's not really a hint.

(On another random note, Spanglish is seriously accepted as a word? I never realized that.)

But, I digress. Often, you will find. It's one of my fine points.

I'm Emily in the real world, but I answer to pretty much anything. Hey You, Kid, Girl With The Face, Pssssst, etc.

Fandoms

I follow multiple fandoms, however I've only been writing for Inception on LJ. I started with South Park on good ol' Fanfiction dot net, but I abandoned two of my major stories, and pretty much said screw it. Time for something new.

And, thus, zafer_aistra was born unto LiveJournal. (Golf claps)

I'm completely and utterly addicted to Inception right now. I totally stumbled across it and I haven't left since. (Plus it gives me more of an excuse to find shirtless pictures of the cast, JGL and Tom Hardy in particular).

Friending Policy

Please please please, feel free to friend me. I want to get my work out there, since I'm not new to fanfiction, but I am newer to this domain. It gives me an excuse to read all of your stories, as well, and isn't that what we all want? Spread the love, and all. Comment comment comment! Talk to me, read my fics, give me prompts, anything goes. Please, if you have the urge to create any art, podfics, or translate my fics, go ahead. Just link them for me.

Stories

Here are links to my stories. =D Read, review, and feel free to rec if you find anything that suits your fancy. I'll update as often as possible.

List of my Inception Works

I've only put the main genre, character relationship, and a brief summary for each. The links will take you to the stories, where you can view information such as warnings and ratings.

Completed Inception Fics (in order from most recent to...not most recent):

Shattered Like Glass (Inside of You) (Also on FF and AO3)

Angst!Fic, Horror!Fic, Hurt/Comfort!Fic, etc.

(Arthur/Eames preslash, Eames/Mal not romantic)

Mal has a way of getting under your skin, of making you feel inadequate in a way only a dead woman can. So you force yourself to become her, to learn her from the inside out. What a joke.

You go off to make the forgery, to complete the persona change, and she follows you. This isn’t the distraction you need, so you shoot her. But, unlike the other projections, she doesn’t disappear or die or fall over; she simply shimmers. It reminds you of the shards of glass you used to find in the alleyways back home; how they would shine and glow and gleam while reflecting the lights that hit them from all angles. Like the broken windows of the houses your mother warned you to stay away from as a child, you can’t help but want to explore.

It’s almost beautiful, in a heart-wrenching, terrifying way.

For a moment, you think this is what you want.

(For just a moment, it is.)

La Vie En Rose (Also on FF and AO3)

Angst!Fic, could be considered a slight Origin!Fic, but that's not the focus.

(Arthur and Eames, but not as a relationship)

As a child, Arthur is loud, rambunctious, obnoxious, and easily entertained. As a teenager, he is quiet and reserved. As an adult, he is simply Arthur. As a child, Eames is mischievous, rollicking, and ill-mannered. As a teenager, he is mirthless and spurious. As an adult, he is a stranger.

(“You look like your dad. You have his eyes. And his dimples,” his mom mumbles after she arrives home half-drunk one evening. His father’s eyes are blue. Arthur tells a joke to see him smile. To see the dimples. His father glares. His mother cries.)

There are three basic rules in the household.

Don’t speak. (Arthur speaks. His dad is silent. His mom cries.)

Don’t leave without permission. (Arthur leaves. His dad is silent. His mom cries.)

Don’t complain. (Arthur does, but he does it silently. His dad enforces this rule the most. His mother still cries.)

Living in Technicolor (Also on FF and AO3)

Angst!fic (Arthur/Eames)

It starts with a loss. It starts with an apology, a meeting, a handshake. It starts with Arthur. It starts with Eames. It starts with a loaded red die. Like all things, it starts with an idea.

"Everyone needs a totem," someone tells Arthur. He doesn't remember who, anymore. He's sure it wasn't Dom.

It might've been Mal.

How ironic.

Limbception (Also on FF, but I recommend reading it on LJ, because of Yusuf and his awesome rainbow text.)

Crack!Fic (General)

“YOU’VE BEEN IN A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP WITH A DEAD WOMAN FOR YEARS. DAMN YOU.”

Dom narrowed his eyes. Ariadne could almost envision laser beams escaping them, but was afraid to let the thought go any further in case it really did happen.

“was that a squint or a glare i couldnt tell well call it a glarint or a sqlare”

“GLARINT.” Arthur agreed.

Dom glarinted at them.

“Damn you and your unborn children.”

“WE CAN’T HAVE CHILDREN, YOU MANSTICK. YUSUF’S CHEMICALS SCREWED UP OUR INTERAL ORGANS. I DON’T THINK I EVEN HAVE A STOMACH ANYMORE.”

“i lost my gallbladder” Eames said sadly.

The Exploits of a Forger and Point Man (Parts 1 and 2) (Also on FF and AO3)

Humor!Fic (Arthur/Eames)

(Prequel to We're All a Little Crazy)

“Why are there boxes of puzzles on my desk, Eames?”

Dom stares over at the forger, who is now looking at Arthur in happiness.

“And,” Arthur continues, straightening up, “I thought we had a talk about your notes.”

“We did,” Eames admits.

“Then tell me why you left me a note that says, ‘So, I heard you like enemas’?”

“Enigmas!” Eames cries.

We're All a Little Crazy (Parts 1 and 2) (Also on FF an AO3)

Humor!Fic/Romance!Fic (Arthur/Eames, one-sided Ariadne/Dom)

(Sequel to The Exploits of a Forger and a Point Man)

The first time it happens, it’s awkward and they fumble a lot and they’re so drunk they forget it the next day.

“Did we have sex?” Arthur asks the next day, lying in bed next to Eames. And Eames, wrapped tightly in the blankets, startles and promptly falls off the edge.

“Shit,” he groans. Arthur continues looking at the area where Eames used to be.

“Did we?” he repeats.

“Are your pants on?” Eames voice floats up from the floor.

Arthur gazes down his body. “Kind of.” One pant leg is completely off his body, and the other wrinkled and creased around his calf. His boxers are dangerously low on his hips. “Kind of,” he repeats.

“Kind of?”

“Did we have sex?” Arthur asks again, because dammit he wants an answer. Right after he throws up, of course.

I am also on ff.net as StupidityIsStupid and AO3 as Zafer_Aistra and deviantART as Zafer-Aistra,


Shattered Like Glass (Inside of You)
zafer_aistra

Fandom: Inception

Characters: Eames/Arthur preslash, Dom/Mal past relationship, Eames/Mal (non-romantic), Yusuf

Rating: PG-13

Genre: Angst, suspense, horror-ish, hurt/comfort

Warnings: Some cussing, graphic images (blood mainly), dream deaths of canonical characters, abuse, disturbing imagery, violence

Word Count: ~3,538

Disclaimer: Inception and it's characters do not belong to me. I get nothing from this in terms of money.

Summary: Mal has a way of getting under your skin, of making you feel inadequate in a way only a dead woman can. So you force yourself to become her, to learn her from the inside out. What a joke.

Notes: Written for i_reversebang for enoughglitter and her lovely artwork. There is also a banner.

Shattered Like Glass (Inside of You)

The first time you attempt to forge Mal, it’s barely a month after her death. You don’t do it for Dom, initially; you’re curious and becoming her is akin to a personal challenge. Your mind is taunting you in the sweetest ways, and who are you to deny what it wants? The fact that Dom requests it is only secondary to the original formation of the idea.

“I didn’t know her, I hope you realize,” you say calmly as you and Dom hook yourselves up to the PASIV. “You’re going to need to describe all the details as best you can.”

Dom nods, closing his eyes. “She’s my other half. I can.”

Dom, it turns out, cannot.

“The eyes, the eyes are wrong, Eames. They’re blue, not fucking grey.”

You sigh, and rub your (Mal’s) manicured nails through your (her) hair. “That doesn’t help, Cobb. Blue is a color, not a shade. I need more than that. Were they icy blue? Dark? Sky?”

“They’re beautiful, is what they are.”

“Okay.” You drop the beginnings of the forge to return to your own form. “Okay, we need to set some ground rules. First off, you don’t speak about her as if she still is. Mal is dead, and you are not. Secondly, I am not, nor will I ever be Mal. And finally, for this to work, you need to look at things from a subjective point of view. It does me no good to hear you describe her hair as waves of chocolate. On that same note, don’t become a poet.”

Dom grunts in what you hope is understanding and you start over in silence. One piece at a time.

Head.

“Shorter hair.”

Shoulders.

“A little narrower. I should be able to see your collarbone.”

Knees and toes.

“More boney, but not wobbly.”

(Knees and toes).

Eyes-

“Not as round, yeah, more like that.”

-and ears-

“Not as…far out. Closer to her head.”

-and mouth-

“Paler, okay.”

-and nose.

“Good, that looks about right.”

Head, shoulders, knees, and toes.

(Knees and toes.)

***

“Mon cheri, I miss you.”

“I miss you, too.”

“Where are the children? James, Phillipa?”

Dom places a comforting hand on your (her) shoulder. “They’re fine. They’re staying with relatives right now.”

“Mm. I see. Bring them next time. We could stay here as a family. Together.” You, (no, you’re Mal, right now you’re her) smiles.

Dom removes his hand and places it on the table in front of them. “Mal…”

“Dear, wouldn’t it be lovely? We’d all be so happy.”

“Mal,” Dom tries again. “I would love to.”

“You would love to what?”

Except your lips aren’t moving. Her lips are not moving.

“Is this what you do in your free time, love? You imagine me, when you could actually have me?”

Dom pauses, looks at you in confusion, and turns towards the voice.

“Dom,” you offer tensely. “What is this?”

She grins (not you, it’s not you, you’re nothing like that); an open-mouthed, no teeth, black hole smile.  “I’m a better version of you, dear.” Her eyes narrow slightly. She calmly walks over to herself-

(-Eames, your name is Eames. You’re not her, remember, you’re not-)

-and runs a manicured nail down your shoulder blade.

The forge flickers slightly.

Her grin widens as she leans down next to your ear. “Vous ne serez jamais aussi belle que moi,” she whispers before she bites gently on your earlobe.

And Dom, fuck him to all realms of Hell, pipes in at that exact moment. “No one can compare to you. Not even him.” He shoots himself, and you find yourself mesmerized by the blood and the splatter of his head against the wall.

You don’t move purposefully the entire time she rips you apart, only flinching a few times as reflex.

You don’t drop the forge once. You’d pat yourself on the back, but that’s hard to do without any hands.

Did you mention that you hate Dominick Cobb?

You awake with the feel of manicured nails behind your eyes. You open them slowly, focusing on a small coffee stain by the foot of the chair, before you push it back (push the bile and the nausea back) and walk towards the bathroom. You ignore Dom’s apologetic pleas.

“I didn’t think.”

“Eames, she’s not usually that bad.”

“She was just jealous.”

Eames…”

“I’m sorry. Please, can we try it again?”

You close the door to the bathroom slowly, hearing the lock click into place. You close your eyes in front of the mirror and roll them around behind their eyelids, relishing in the feel. You open each one carefully, knowing that they’re there but needing to see. You laugh a little and hold up your hands.

You touch your cheek, your hair, your forehead where you can still see the scar from the first time you were captured during war.

(Head.)

You run your hands down your neck to your collarbone. You feel your arms. See the veins that connect you to the PASIV, going-

(Shoulders.)

-down past your stomach and your thighs to the scar tissue and slight crookedness of your patella from kneeling on concrete floors too often-

(Knees.)

-until you’re doubled over and touching your feet.

(Toes.)

You slowly come back up, again, and breathe a little easier.

You’re you, and you’re fine.

“Fuck you, Cobb,” you say as he offers one more apology that doesn’t quite sound sincere.

***

You meet a man in a bar in Mombasa. He offers to take you to a place where the booze is cheaper and tastes better, and you reluctantly agree. You manage to sneak a look at his wallet. Yusuf is his name, so at least you know if something happens to you, you’ll die knowing he wasn’t a complete stranger.

It’s strange, what you find comforting.

He takes you back to an apartment, that just so happens to be in the same complex you live in. He offers you a clear glass of what looks like beer, and you hold it up to the light.

“Just making sure you didn’t poison it,” you tell him, only thirty percent jokingly.

He laughs as if you said the funniest joke in the world. “I think I like you…” he trails off. “I’m sorry, I never caught your name.”

You blink a couple times. “Eames.”

He doesn’t ask you if that’s your first or last, if you have something you prefer to be called, what kind of a name is that? You’re grateful. You don’t think you could answer if he had questioned you.

“Eames, hm? I’m-”

“-Yusuf, I know. I went through your wallet.”

He cocks his head. You wonder what he’s thinking, but then he smiles. “I take what I said back. I don’t think I like you. Bloody hell, I know I like you.”

Yusuf lifts his own glass, toasting the air, and swallows it down. You look at your own, cautiously sniffing it.

“It’s okay, I made it myself.”

Well, in that case…

You drink it all in one go. Might as well go out in a bang.

You don’t die, although it feels like it the next day.

(The hangover helps though. It grounds you. You can’t get truly drunk in dreams.)

“Bloody hell, this is incredible.”

You’re not sure if this is friendship or not, but you’d love it to be if it gets you more of what you just had.

“I like you, but I think I like the beer more,” you tell him.

He smiles, and then falters slightly. “Thank you. I made it myself. I’m a…” he pauses, searching for the right word, “…a chemist. But it’s not entirely legal, so you can’t go around telling all your friends about this.” He looks at you with pleading eyes.

You inhale, knowing this could be a huge mistake. “Yusuf. What do you know about dreamsharing?”

He grins.

***

The first time you show Yusuf the PASIV, he nearly pees himself in glee.

“This is just incredible! This is the real thing?”

“Yes.” You give him a brief history of it. You condense Miles and Mal and Dom and the army into a couple minutes, hoping he can follow. He can.

“What happened to them?” he asks after you explain how Dom and Mal got trapped in limbo.

“Mal went crazy and killed herself. Dom hasn’t forgiven himself.”

He looks at you warily. “Do you want him to?”

You blink before you answer. “I don’t know. I never met her.”

“But you’ve met him.”

“Yes.” You don’t say anything else.

“Tell me more about the team.”

“It’s not really a team. I’ve helped Cobb with a few clients. He extracts information, Arthur plans things out and preps us, and I forge.”

“Tell me about that.”

You’re confused until he elaborates. “Forging, tell me about that.”

So you do. You tell him about the learning process. About not just looking like a person, but becoming them. You tell him about the first time you tried it, how you were terrified when you watched yourself morph, how the change completely threw you and when you left the dream you spent the next couple days with a pocket mirror to verify you were still you. You tell him about how you wouldn’t accept any jobs until you knew you could forge with control. You don’t tell him that you practiced and practiced and it became your religion, your addiction, you. You tell him that sometimes when you’re bored you create your own forges. They’re never as good as real people, but they often come in handy. You don’t tell them that you sometimes make them because you’re lonely.

“Show me,” he says.

So you go under, again. You forge him. His dark skin, curly hair, brown eyes, wide smile.  You forge him and he says nothing. He touches his (your) cheek, feeling the day old stubble beneath his fingers.

“Incredible,” he whispers.

“It is,” Yusuf’s own voice echoes back.

You show him a few more. Dom and Arthur briefly, Miles, your parents. He’s curious about Arthur. You forge him as unrelenting and open minded. You forge his cheekbones, his jaw structure, his eyes, his dimples, all without qualm. You know this information; it’s always in the back of your head. You forge his lean, wiry figure, and one of his clean cut suits. He’s all lines and angles, geometric and brutally honest.

“Is that what you see?” Yusuf questions.

You don’t quite understand the question. “What do you mean?”

“He’s important to you, isn’t he?”

“He’s a vital part of every job he’s involved in.” You don’t think that’s what Yusuf meant, but you’re not sure what you mean, either.

“You trust him.”

You avoid answering directly. “He’s the best at what he does.”

He looks at you, an unnamable emotion in his eyes. It disappears as quickly as it comes. “Is there anyone you can’t forge, Eames?”

You think back to Mal. “Yes, there is.”

“Try.”

You breathe deeply and stare into the mirror for a few minutes, gathering your wits.

You can do this. You can become her. You don’t need to know her to be her.

You watch as your face becomes hers. Your figure slims and chest grows and chin sharpens. Your hair lengthens and waves and lightens a bit. Your eyes change colors.

When the transformation is complete, you turn to face Yusuf.

“Hello, my name is Mallorie. But please, call me Mal.” You hold out a hand.

Yusuf shakes it. “French? You’re…she’s French?”

“Yes, I am.”

You smile, and that’s when things go horribly wrong. You’re not sure what’s wrong about it, but it doesn’t feel like a smile should. It doesn’t feel warm or inviting, and judging by Yusuf’s expression, it doesn’t look it, either.

“Jesus,” he chokes.

You contemplate dropping the forge, but…

But no. You can do this. It can’t be that hard. You focus on each aspect of the smile. The lips, the teeth, the feel of your (her) tongue inside the mouth. It’s a smile. It can’t be that hard.

It is.

You glance at Yusuf’s shocked face, the mirror, her own face staring back at you. You smile.

It’s dark, uninviting, unyielding, disconcerting, and inhuman. Your lips are spread unnaturally thin and look as if they’re being pulled by a string. When you open your mouth there’s blackness where there should be the natural glimmer of teeth, and when you move your tongue around, you can taste and see the dark red blood escaping between your lips.

“It’s okay,” you hear yourself say. You swallow, inadvertently stomaching some of the blood, and drop the forge.

You don’t have to turn around to know who’s behind you. Yusuf is saying nothing, which you’re thankful for.

“Vous êtes un échec,” she tells you sweetly. “But it’s okay. It’s part of what makes us human.”

“You’re not human,” Yusuf says wide-eyed. “This is a projection, right Eames?”

You’re silent, choosing to look at her instead.

“Why?” you ask.

She taps her nails together, running her eyes over your body. You breathe deeply as she walks over to Yusuf. You hold it in as she runs a hand over the front of his throat. He looks terrified, and you briefly wonder if you have a similar expression on your face.

“Pourquoi pas?” she says, and snaps Yusuf’s neck. You have to force yourself not to come to his aid; as much as you want to, you know it’s too late. “You’re not me, darling.”

“Why can’t I be?”

And this time, when she smiles, it’s sweet and open and alarmingly gentle. “Because you cannot be what you are not already.”

This time, when she kills you it’s less vicious, but slower. She slices across your neck, nicking the jugular. She tilts her head and watches as you bleed down your collarbone. You follow a line of blood down to the ground with your eyes. She looks on as you lose feeling in your legs, knees buckling beneath you, and you hit the ground hard.

You try to speak, but all that comes out is a guttural groan and pink spit.

It takes an hour for you to bleed out completely. You’re awake the entire time. You’re too numb to laugh at the irony, but you manage to crack a smile.

***

Arthur knows something’s wrong. You’re not sure how, but he’s looking at you a little differently, and there’s a sadness in his eyes you can’t quite place.

You join him and Dom on an extraction, forging a widow’s husband. Dom’s Mal follows you and the team, but she keeps her distance. Only you know it’s because your own projection of her is hiding in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

You go off to make the forgery, to complete the persona change, and she follows you. This isn’t the distraction you need, so you shoot her. But, unlike the other projections, she doesn’t disappear or die or fall over; she simply shimmers. It reminds you of the shards of glass you used to find in the alleyways back home; how they would shine and glow and gleam while reflecting the lights that hit them from all angles. Like the broken windows of the houses your mother warned you to stay away from as a child, you can’t help but want to explore.

It’s almost beautiful, in a heart-wrenching, terrifying way.

For a moment, you think this is what you want.

(For just a moment, it is.)

You reach a hand towards her, wanting to touch, but not wanting to disturb the image. Your hand slides across her shoulder and you gasp as your skin splits and the blood wells over your fingertips. You pull away to observe the shallow cuts. The blood shimmers slightly under the light. You’re mesmerized, paralyzed.

She grins at you. You don’t compare her to the dark beauty of the ruins, anymore. The blackness of her smile doesn’t quite match the darkness of the alleyways, or the dusty dimness behind the cracked glass. Those areas were curious, strange with their hidden shadows within shadows and corners you couldn’t quite see around. Mal (this isn’t Mal, though, Eames. This is you.) isn’t that. She’s an abyss, a black hole that may look pretty, but doesn’t act it. Her blackness isn’t the dustiness you’re used to, or the shadows that follow you down the street. It’s empty, and you don’t bother looking into it because you know there’s nothing there to find.

You hear a shuffling behind you, but you don’t turn to look.

“The fuck?”

You snap your head away.

Arthur?

Eames?”

You blink, turn back to the scene in front of you, and watch as she shatters completely, littering the ground with glass that melts together and looks like mercury except not as silver. It’s a color you can’t quite define, somewhere between the not quite black colors of the night sky and the color you see in perfect darkness.

(Eigengrau, you remember.)

It’s sliding across the floor, crawling up your leg, and it’s cold and sharp and contrasts with the hot rush of blood flowing down your trousers.

(Ohgodohgodohgod)

You choke out a small scream, and watch as Arthur jumps back a step, apparently not expecting that reaction.

Her voice is in your ear, in the air around you. You swear you can feel it moving around inside you, but that’s silly because voices can’t do that.

“Savez-vous comment vous vous sentez incroyable?” She whispers to you (at you, in you). “You want to become me? Would it be like this? Would it be like me being inside of you, being you? This is what you want, is it not? Vous voulez être moi. You have to let me in, dear. Let me become you, darling. Permettez-moi en, Eames.”

“No,” you gasp. Her words feel cold and they travel slowly through your bloodstream, like sickly sweet molasses on a winter day, but with more sickly and less sweet. You can see her behind your eyelids, you can feel her inside of you, the liquid shimmering and pulsing and flowing through your veins under your skin.

(No no no oh god no please not like this this isn’t what you wanted what you meant Mal stop stop stop st-)

“Eames!”

(-ease don’t you can’t it hurts Arthur please help stop it no nononononono-)

He shoots you. He shoots you in the leg because he’s scared (you think; you would be). But she’s (it’s) still inside of you, growing and shifting and sliding over your muscles and bones and filling up your throat so you can’t breathe.

Arthur grabs at you, forces you to your knees, and you gasp loudly. You give a couple of full body shakes, and she’s gone. You feel nothing of her, just the solidness of Arthur’s hands holding firmly onto your shoulders. You can feel his pulse, not pounding as fast as yours, but still increased.

She’s gone? Is she gone? Is it gone, Arthur? Please, tell me it’s over, you want to plead.

You look at him. His eyes are wide, scared, horrified at what he witnessed.

“Did you shoot me?” you ask instead.

He pulls his hands away, and you can’t help but feel a little saddened by this. He stays nearby, though, choosing to sit beside you. You watch as the blood from your leg wound smears onto his cleanly pressed suit.

“I didn’t know what was happening. I thought, maybe, something was happening topside, but then you started talking and it wasn’t you, Jesus, it wasn’t you.” He stares at you. “I just…you…you were…I don’t even know what happened, Eames. Explain to me what happened.”

You blink a few times, shiver, and touch your hand to the blood (your blood) on him. It’s a deep red, staining the pads of your fingers.

“I don’t know.”

You wish he knew. He’s Arthur; he’s supposed to know everything.

“I’ll figure this out someday, Eames.” He narrows his eyes while nodding at you.

You hope he does.

“I hope you do.”

Because maybe then he could explain it to you and you wouldn’t be so scared.

He smiles, a sad smile, but a smile. On a whim, you drag his hand to your lips, and whisper a hushed thank you over his fingertips. He jerks it away, but his smile seems a bit more honest now.

You’re not upset. You’ll take what you can get.

Just as long as it doesn’t try to take you in return.

***

You forget the dream by the end of the next day. It’s simply like fuzziness in your mind. Something happened, something strange and full of emotion, but you remember none of it.

Arthur stands a little closer to you, you notice. He smiles at you a bit more and buys you tea (although it’s not the good stuff, but you don’t complain because there’s so much honesty in it).

You kind of sort of want to kiss him (or have him kiss you, you don’t care which).

How silly.

No worries, though. You have so much to do.

Mal awaits, after all.

***

Translations:

Mon cheri: Sweety
Vous ne serez jamais aussi belle que moi: You will never be as beautiful as me
Vous êtes un échec: You are a failure
Pourquoi pas: Why not
Savez-vous comment vous vous sentez incroyable: Do you know how incredible you feel
Vous voulez être moi: You want to be me
Permettez-moi en: Let me in


Reason to be Happy
zafer_aistra

Guys? Hey, hey, guys! Guess what!!? I'm done done done done!!! I finally finished my last year of high school, and graduated Friday evening in the rain. I take my last final at the college tomorrow, and get to reapply for Fall term in a week. Does anyone know how excited this makes me? I...can't even....words. It hasn't even really sunk in yet. I've been way to stressed and rushed to really care, but I'm hoping soon I'll realize how amazing this is. But, the best part: This means I'll have time to write now. YES.


The Everlasting Fuckness That is My Life
zafer_aistra

Today's rant is going to consist of three things. I'll start at the smallest issue and work my way up. But JFC, I wonder if anyone can understand how goddamn pissed and upset and depressed and fucking pissed off I am right now. J. F. C. I am going to swear. I am going to rant. I am going to hopefully get this off my chest (but probably not).

1. So, first, school. Goddamn. I'm almost done with high school. I have three weeks left (but only eight class days because of our weird scheduling), AND MY TEACHER JUST ASSIGNED US ANOTHER 5-7 PAGE ESSAY. I haven't even been able to get the last two in BECAUSE SHE HASN'T GRADED THE ROUGH DRAFTS AND/OR HANDED THEM BACK TO US. I mean, seriously? And yes, I understand that this is partly my fault for procrastinating some of my work, but seriously? Jfc. I just....I don't even know. I'm freaking because I need this class to graduate and it's just pissing me off so damn much.

2. The second thing: So my best friend, whom I love and adore and admire with all my heart, is leaving me. She decided to drop out of high school, which I understand. She wouldn't have graduated on time, and she's planning on going to the community college to make up for it, just not right away. So, I get it, but still. But the worst thing is, she's leaving town to live with her boyfriend about an hour away. This is one of the stupidest things she could do, because even though they've been together for seven months, her track record with guys isn't very good. She knows I'm pissed at her for these choices, but as her best friend, I'm the one offering to help her pack to move in a month and talking to her parents about her choices and everything in between. What the fuck does this make me? Where the hell does this leave me? Should I feel like I'm enabling her? I mean, she can make her own decisions and I'm not the kind of person to tell people what to do, what's right, what's wrong, etc. She hasn't even left yet and I already feel empty.

3. Saving the best for last. She's another best friend, someone who I rarely see because she lived so far away, but whenever we did get together it was incredible. She signed up with the Army National Guard and trained around the state for awhile. I saw her last in August for two days. She left for training in South Carolina in March, and graduated early (last week). So, they transferred her to Virginia (which, by the way, is completely across the United States from me). Now, I'm so happy for her. I'm proud and honored to know her. What I'm pissed about is the fact that her parents decided not to give me her contact information simply because they had never met me. They gave it to our common friend, who practically lived with her, so I asked him. He got all pissed off and told me that they weren't speaking anymore and wouldn't fucking give me her information. I don't care what shit he has going on with her; I want to talk to my best friend and I don't care if I have to do it through messenger birds or smoke signals across the United States. IT HAS BEEN TEN FUCKING MONTHS SINCE I HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH HER. I had a moment the other day, where I just broke down and cried and called her. And then I remembered, oh, yeah. Pathetic.

So, this is my rant for the day. I could easily find more things but I'm depressed enough as it is. I just can't wait for this year to be over. I'm so fucking tired.


The Exploits of Mwa
zafer_aistra

Writing:

So...I finally finished La Vie En Rose, which I'm pretty sure is the first multi-chapter story that I've actually completed and not abandoned. In the meantime, I need to work on the Inception_Kink story and get that updated. I will be writing a short story for the iReverse_Bang once my artist partner in crime gets in touch with me. -nudge nudge-

Art:

I have succumbed to peer pressure, and now have a deviantART account. I'm only posting original artwork and my photography, and not stories. So please please please, check it out! Feedback is always always appreciated and loved. Zafer-Aistra

I'm also working on a couple of short comics for my story The Exploits of a Forger and a Point Man, but don't expect that right away.

In the meantime...

...I'm going to chop off my arm because it's obvious that icing a partially torn tendon and practically overdosing on anti-inflammatory/pain pills aren't doing much for me. -.- And the best part about all this? I'm preparing a six minute speech for class about the rise of prescription drug abuse...while on prescription drugs. I sure hope my teacher appreciates hypocrisy.


La Vie En Rose (X)
zafer_aistra

Fandom: Inception

Characters: Arthur, Eames

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: Language, some violence

La Vie En Rose (Continued)

Eames is twenty-nine.

As a twenty-nine year old, he lives by the motto: “What the fuck did I do with my life?”

And, as a twenty-nine year old, he answers himself with a wry laugh.

(Nothing much, really, thanks for asking.)

Word has gotten around that he may or may not be willing to ‘help’ people out.

(He’s looking into the business of making fake identification cards, in other words.)

At the moment, he’s simply creating them for lonely teenagers and underage students who want to get a drink or go to a club. He attempted to do a passport, which didn’t end as well as he’d hoped.

(He thinks he might have a scar from the broken dishes thrown at him by the angry customer when he found out Eames had spelled his name wrong.)

He really didn’t see how this was his fault; he told the customer to speak more slowly. Arse.

This doesn’t mean his revenue has diminished.

He’s back in Los Angeles after a two year vacation (of sorts) where he traveled across the world.

(The world being the eastern coast of Africa and parts of Western Europe.)

For a brief while, he was in England, again, but didn’t go visit any graves. He did say hi to his dad, however, and managed to get ahold of Amelia.

(“You’ve grown so much.”)
(“It’s good to see you, Millie.”)
(“You’re not staying,” she says knowingly.)
(“No, no I won’t be.”)
(She tilts her head. “You do have a home? Or something?”)
(“Or something.” Eames smiles. “I haven’t…I haven’t found a place to settle down, yet.”)
(“You always were a free-spirit, Eames. I sincerely hope you’re able to find something to keep you down. Someone.”)

His conversation with his dad goes more like this:

(“You need a passport.”)
(“I have one already, dad.” (He has five, actually. For safety’s sake.))
(“Come visit more often.”)
(“I will, dad.”)

California is…nice, he supposes. It’s sunny and it rains occasionally and there’s crime sprees just like everywhere else in the world. But it’s still not home.

(Nothing ever is.)

At twenty-nine, Eames starts to wonder if he truly has a home.

(He doesn’t consider himself a vagabond. He guesses restless is the best word.)

(Alone.)

It’s not as if he hasn’t dated or slept around. He’s met plenty of women and brought them back to his apartment, along with one man. (But that wasn’t really on purpose. And there wasn’t actual penetration involved; just quick and messy handjobs where the other guy got off first and decided that was enough and left Eames lying in bed, hard as a rock.)

The stranger, bless his heart, leaves a note with what Eames assumes is his number and an asymmetrical winking face emoticon.

(How cute, Eames thinks blandly.)

Eames merely turns it over and uses the other side to write a list of things he needs from the grocery store.

He takes a bus there, and is perusing the aisles for peanut butter (and, honestly, why is it in the baking aisle? Isn’t a condiment? Bloody American shopping systems.), when he hears the soft lilt of an accented voice.

("Mon Dieu! So skinny! I can feel your bones.")
(A male voice speaks up. "Fast metabolism. I'm getting some things, now.")
("Non, non, non,” she vehemently denies. “Darling, you must eat more. J'ai été là. I've been there.")

Eames recognizes this voice. He’s sure he’s seen this woman. (He sincerely hopes it’s not someone he brought home to sleep with. It’s awkward enough casually stalking someone throughout the store without being sure if it’s a person he’s been in bed with.)

The man thanks her courteously and apologizes again.

("Non ma chérie. Come, come, come. What is your name?")
("Arthur. Are you French?")

Eames turns the corner, and yes, he’s fairly certain he knows this woman. Her name is Margerie, or Marcy or something like that.

She says yes, her name is Mallorie. But please, call her Mal.

Oh, yes. He recognizes this name, now. He assisted her husband and her with fake ID’s and is currently in the process of making a passport for him, Daniel or whatever.

(He’s curious about their need for illegal documentation, but he’s not one to question the ethics of his customers. He doesn’t want to be known as a hypocrite.)

("Venez! Come, meet my family!")
("I don't thi—")
("Mon cheri, look at what I picked up.")
("Dominick Cobb. Dom.")

Oh, that’s right.

The man (Arthur, he said his name was?) laughs.

(Eames likes this; he’s always been one to appreciate honest smiles and happiness.)

(“Sorry.”)
("Sweetheart, you're scaring le garcon. Souriez, l'amour. You look like you're constipated. (Eames bites back a laugh.) “James, Philippa, come out. Say hello.")

("Are you real?")
(“What’s your name?” Dom asks.)
("Un adepte de Thor," Mal answers. Dom smiles.)
("Arthur. Good to meet you. I didn't realize my wife had a brother.")

And, oh, shit. He’s eavesdropping on grown adults in the middle of a bleeding grocery store with a jar of peanut butter in his hand. If this isn’t the epitome of awkward, he’s not sure what is.

(He briefly considers buying a bottle of vodka to make him forget about his stupidity.)

Eames finishes his shopping and makes his way to the check-out aisles. He sees the young man that Mal was talking to grab his bag. He walks past Eames and…

…and Eames does a double take.

He looks sort of familiar. Like seeing someone on the streets who looks vaguely like someone in a dream, or vice versa.

(He feels he should know this person.)

He’s not a believer of fate. He doesn’t think his life is following a specific path. But he isn’t one to keep himself from figuring things out.

Now he just needs to figure out a way to introduce himself without seeming like a creep.

He pays and quickly walks after the familiar man, not sure what he’s going to say, but sure there’s something that draws him to the other.

(“Sir! Sir, you have the wrong change,” the cashier yells after him.)

He pauses in mid step, sighs, and turns back around.

(“That man, do you know who he is?”)
(“No sir,” the cashier answers. “I think I’ve only seen him come in here once. He probably shops somewhere else.”)
(“Oh.”)

When he turns back around, the man is gone.

Eames is twenty-nine, and he doesn't believe in fate, but he's positive this man has some importance in his life.

And, as a twenty-nine year old, Eames thinks he might find the time to settle down.

(Africa sounds nice.)


La Vie En Rose (IX)
zafer_aistra

Fandom: Inception

Characters: Arthur, Eames

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: Language, some violence

La Vie En Rose (Continued)

Eames is twenty-six today. He’s spent the last four years traveling around the United States, hoping to find a place to call home.

He keeps to himself, although he does make casual conversation with his apartment neighbors from time to time.

(“Oh, are you new? I don’t see you around here.”)
(“I’ve lived here for a few months, so yes ma’am.”)
(“Oh! English, right? I’ve been there. Beautiful place. What brings you here?”)
(“Just wanted to try something new.”)

He’s in Los Angeles because he wants to know if the hype about the city is really true. So far he’s not sure what he thinks of it. It reminds him of London, of his birthplace, through the sight of bums and drugs and stray animals scattered on the side-streets. But there’s also a constant whir of complexity. Everyone is always doing something, alarms are always wailing, horns always honking, and the unceasing hum of different languages melding together makes for a sort of music unlike anything he’s heard before.

(It’s here that he truly begins to observe people.)

He sits on the corner of 7th Street and watches as the people pass him by. When he begins, he follows their movement with his entire body, twisting and turning to see where they disappear into his blind spots. However, this soon stops when the fifth person to notice flips him off and charges him while screaming obscenities and using her purse as a shield.

(It’s a little old lady. He’d laugh if he weren’t so terrified. It’s painstakingly obvious that she’s survived this long here for a reason.)

(He’s a little more nonchalant about his viewings afterwards.)

As a twenty-six year old, Eames doesn’t celebrate his birthday. He’s not even sure if this is the right day; all he knows is that this is the day they honored back in London, so it must be right, right?

(Not that he cares either way. Another year gone by just means another year closer to death. He’s not morbid. He’s a realist.)

Eames, although he’s changed locations, doesn’t really change his identity. He still steals, but not like before. He pickpockets, choosing people that have the money to spare. He focuses on one specific person, reads their expressions and body language. He learns to differentiate between the people who wear expensive looking clothes just to feel good about themselves even though they lack money, and those who wear whatever they want because they can afford to buy whatever they want.

(They hold themselves differently. The people faking it walk too loosely, too relaxed. They always appear to be trying too hard and constantly have a look in their eye that screams, “Don’t look too deeply into me. I’m not what I seem.”)

As a twenty-six year old, Eames calls his dad.

(He keeps in touch, sort of. He calls for holidays and to see how everyone is. Everyone being his dad and Amelia.)

(“Happy birthday,” his dad strains over the phone. “You don’t call as often as you used to.”)
(He calls at least once a month, if he can. “I’m sorry.”)
(“How are you? You’re staying safe? Keeping your eyes out for muggers?”)
(Eames sighs, and laughs slightly. He’s sure his father doesn’t think that people should be protecting themselves from him, even though he isn’t a violent thief. “Dad, I’m fine. I’m staying at a lovely apartment complex. I’m keeping out of trouble.”)
(“What about a job? Have you found a job?”)
(“Not entirely, but I’m thinking about working with money.” Honest enough.)

The clatter of the city increases slightly as a group of high school teens pass by.

(“What’s that noise? Where are you? Are you at a bar?” his dad asks.)
(“No, no. I’m walking around, enjoying the nice weather.” A boy stumbles into Eames and as soon as he’s able to push himself off the ground, breaks off into a run to catch up with his group.)
(“And you’re on the phone?” his dad continues. “Pay attention to your surroundings! I won’t have my only child die at the hands of some stranger because he wasn’t taking notice.”)
(Eames laughs. “I’m fine.” He shoves his hand into his pocket, and frowns when he doesn’t feel the bulge of his wallet. “Oh, bloody hell.”)
(“Eames?”)
(“Bollocks. I have to go. You got me mugged, dirty old man,” he jokes. “I gotta go inform a teacher that their student needs detention. I’ll call you later.”)
(“Later meaning in three months, right?”)
(“When I can.”)
(“Stay safe. I’ll tell Amelia you say hi. She misses hearing from you. You should call her.”)
(“I will, dad.”)
(“Oh! Before I forget, I wanted to tell you something.”)
(“Yes?”)
(“That Millington boy, uh, Frederick, right? The really dodgy one.”)
(“What about him?”)
(“They, the police, found his body outside his brother’s trailer. I’ve been hearing that he overdosed on something, but not much information is getting out.”)

Eames lets out a shaky breath. He doesn’t speak for a few moments.

(“Thank you for letting me know.”)
(“I just,” his dad starts softly, “I know that you were friends. I wanted to let you know before you found out some other way.”)
(“I’m not sure I would call what we had a friendship, but we were…something, yes. I really…I should go.”)
(“The funeral is in three weeks.”)
(“I don’t think I’ll be going, but you can send my regards. I’m going to hang up now.”)
(“I love you, Eames. Come visit sometime.”)
(“Love you, too. Goodbye dad.”)
(“Bye son.”)

He doesn’t cry; he’s in too much shock to do that.

Instead, he makes his way over to his apartment, where he takes a shower and changes into the first thing he sees. He then makes his way to the nearest bar.

He sits in the back because it makes him more comfortable. No one comes over to ask him how he is, which he’s thankful for. He’s not sure how he’d answer, anyways. He’d be lying if he said he was surprised by this turn of events, but it’s shocking all the same.

(He’s vaguely reminded of his mother’s death. He knew it would happen, but that doesn’t mean he was prepared when it did.)

(He then mentally kicks himself for comparing Frederick to his mum because he honestly doesn’t care that Freddie is gone.)

That’s the revelation that shocks him the most. He feels that he should care, he should feel some sort of remorse, but he just feels…the same as before.

(“Are you alright?” a young lady, easy on the eyes, with a forgettable face, asks him. “You’ve been staring at the same spot on the table for the last twenty minutes.”)
(He smiles sweetly at her. “I’m fine, ta. Just thinking.”)
(“Would you like me to buy you a drink? You look like you could use one.”)
(“No, no thank you.”)

She nods, and thankfully says nothing else as she walks away.

Eames trains his eyes on the door, and watches as people enter and exit at a fairly consistent pace. He narrows his eyes as a clearly distraught man walks in. His clothes look too large and his hair is disheveled and a quick glance at his face makes Eames think he’s cried recently. He observes as the other man orders drink after drink, barely taking the time to breathe between shots.

It’s the fact that he looks too young to be at a bar that makes Eames get up and walk over.

(Alcohol poisoning doesn’t seem like a very good way to end anybody’s day.)

He sits on the stool next to him, taking in the figure.

He starts to open his mouth, to say something along the lines of, “Don’t kill yourself,” or, “Maybe you should spend some of that money on food instead of booze.”

The dark-haired man beats him to the punch, though.

(“You hava pretty face.”)
(Eames sighs quietly. “Much appreciated, darling.”)
(“I’m not gay.”)
(“Never said you were. Neither am I.” He can see how the darling might have given that effect.)
(“Your shirt’s disgustin’.”)
(Eames scoffs. “As is your attitude, dear. But that didn’t stop you from talking to me, did it? Are you here for the same reason I am? This guy I grew up with, bloody terrible bloke, overdosed on drugs and I just found out today, of all days.” Why is he talking? He should shut up, but he can’t. The guy is plastered. He probably won’t even remember any of this. “It’s not like we were close, and the strange thing is that the only thing I really can think about is that I owe him a lighter. And then some dodgy character stole my wallet.” He groans. “What a daft way to spend a birthday, wouldn’t you say? What’s your story?”)
(The man is silent, eyes slightly glazed over.)
(“You haven’t heard anything I’ve said, have you?”)
(“Yeah, sure. I have.”)
(“Why am I here?”)
(“To distract twenty-two year olds from feeling numb with your atrocious outfit that makes me feel like putting a bullet through both of our heads because it makes me want to hurl and puking sounds awful right now and obviously you’re delusional if you think it’s okay to go anywhere in that get-up?”)
(“Sorry darling for putting on the closest thing and coming down here to forget things.”)
(“What are you forgetting?”)
(“Myself,” Eames says half-truthfully. “You?”)
(“Myself,” he parrots.)

They’re both silent. Eames turns his attention towards the bartender, preparing to order a drink when the man next to him gives him a weak slap. It shocks him more than anything, but he still cries out.

(“Ow! Bloody hell, what was that for?”)
(“Hm? Wha?”)
(“You hit me, you fuck.”)
(“Sorry. Imma little drunk.”)

Obviously. Does this guy not have a ride home? There’s no way he’s driving back to wherever he came from when he’s this plastered. Eames will not be responsible for some random stranger’s death or mutilation.

(“I’d say so. Let’s get you out of here.”)

He pulls out a wad of cash from the stranger’s wallet (his had been taken, after all, and it wasn’t like he was going to pay for some alcoholic’s addiction with his own money), and drags him to the bus stop down the street.

This is where the man oh-so-conveniently pukes on him and passes out in a heap, somehow missing the puddle of vomit.
 
(“Bloody fuck! Christ, mate!”)

(Those were his favorite shoes.)

He’s not heartless, and he waits for the bus to make sure the guy gets somewhere. Someone must be missing him. Plus, he really wants to get home and the bus stops off by his apartment.

He props the passed out drunk on a seat, and watches as he slumps over to the window, which supports his weight as his body bends at what looks to be an uncomfortable angle.

(Eames silently hopes that the man’s house is on the other side of town. Wanker.)

The bus halts where he needs to get off. With one last look at the still prone and silent young man (he reads so much pain and loss on his face, his eyes squeezed shut rather than relaxed, rolling around behind the skin of his eyelids. Nightmare, most likely, Eames thinks), he stands up.

(Probably the reason he went to the bar in the first place.)

He doesn’t like that look, and without really thinking, moves his hand to smooth down the hair of the other. He flinches his hand back as the man groans, and quickly gets off the bus, sincerely hoping no one saw.

(If anyone did, they don’t say anything.)

Eames is twenty-six and carting around drunken strangers because it’s better than feeling the same, despite changes.

As a twenty-six year old, Eames wishes himself a bloody happy birthday, and he almost means it. And that’s something that confuses him the most.

Part Ten

                                                                                                                                                                    






Work, work, work
zafer_aistra

Update, more for myself than anything else. I'm going crazy with all these stories.

I'm finishing up the last two chapters of La Vie En Rose, which I'm sad to see end. I'm working on a rough draft of an unnamed story for UnluckyWriter on FF because she wanted a continuation of Pat's story from The Exploits and Crazy. Yes, I shortened the titles. I didn't want to write them all out. And now I'm working on a Inception_Kink fill, which will probably be around 20-30k. And Saturday I have to get my claims placed for the Reverse_Bang.

And I'm also needing to finish up my three essays for CW122. And my speech that's due Monday.

So, about eight things I need to finish by the end of the month, hopefully. I'm dead.


La Vie En Rose (VIII)
zafer_aistra

Fandom: Inception

Characters: Arthur, Eames

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: Language, some violence

La Vie En Rose (Continued)

Eames is twenty-two.

As an adult, Eames steals, gambles, and cheats his way through life. Sometimes even at the same time. He’s quick on the offensive, slow to defend, and a good briber.

(It comes naturally, he supposes, what with having to deal with Freddy all the time.)

He’s out, celebrating his birthday (that happened three months ago, Frederick, you inconsiderate arse), at the nearest pub with a group of people he supposes he calls friends.

(They’re definitely not family, though, that much he’s certain of.)

They’re sporadically placed around the large room, mingling with other guests. Eames can hear snippets of conversation drifting around, but there’s one voice that catches his attention.

(“Birthday boy,” Freddy coos. “We’ve got a surprise for you outside.”)

And, okay, Eames doesn’t really care for surprises. But whatever. It’s his not-birthday, so he deserves to have some fun.

He downs the rest of his drink, and follows Freddy outside. He’s led around the back, where the skeleton of a house, not completely built, is residing. Three other guys, and one girl, are sitting around. Smoke is wafting around the beams, and Eames blanches.

(“Jesus, really?”)

The girl looks up at them, and smiles at Freddy.

(“You got what we want?” the first douche asks.)

(DNO, Eames calls him. Douche Number One.)

(“Depends, is that Buttercream?”)

(Buttercream, Eames thinks.)

(“You got me a stripper?”)
(“Hooker, actually,” Douchebag Number Two answers. (DNT.))
(Eames glares at him. “I wasn’t talking to you, was I?”)

DNO stands up, wobbles, and falls over in a fit of aggravated laughter. The others giggle at his misfortune. He rubs his knee and asks Freddy if he brought the stuff.

The stuff. How cliché.

Freddy apologizes for only having one needle available, but don’t worry, he was able to jack a lot of The Stuff from his brother.

Eames watches as Freddy walks over to the group, handing out small baggies. He motions for Eames to come join them.

(“Eames, mate, come over here and have some fun for once. It’s your birthday.”)
(Eames rubs his temple. “Bloody fuck, Fred. You’re such a dumbass.”)
(Freddy’s eyes burn bright. “Fuck you. I risked my life to give you this.”)

Eames laughs. He scans the people. DNO is now pulling Buttercream into his lap, saying something along the lines of “you can cream my butter any day,” and Eames is fairly certain he’s going to be sick.

(“You risked nothing. You really think I want this?”)

DNT looks over at the DNO and they nod.

(“I don’t,” Eames starts, “I don’t even know you.”)
(“Oh, don’t be shy,” Freddy coaxes.)
(“You know what I fucking mean, Frederick. You take me to a pub to get drunk, then you tell me you bought me a hooker—”)
(“—Traded, actually. I traded for her.”)

(Yes, that makes things better.)

Eames doesn’t drop his glare. He does, however, turn on his heel and begins to walk away.

(“Hey! The hell is your problem?”)

Eames continues walking back to the pub (where there are witnesses, where someone might see how fucked up this all is), without a second glance back.

Until, of course, Douchebag Numero Three decides to pipe in.

(“If you’re not gonna take creamy thighs,” he motions to the hooker, needle halfway to (from?) her arm, “home tonight, then I call dibs.”)

There’s a chorus of “fuck you” from the others.

(“Whatever,” Eames mutters. “It’s not even my birthday, arse.”)

Freddy kicks a rock at him, which doesn’t hurt Eames so much as it annoys him, but doesn’t do anything else.

(Whatever.)

As an adult, Eames walks away for the first time.

He drives home (he’s really not drunk. He had one beer. He’s starving though. Takeout sounds atrocious, but his fridge is empty.) as the clouds form overhead and the street lights turn on.

He’s watching re-runs of I Dream of Jeannie and eating Thai right out of the boxes knowing that his roommate won’t appreciate the stale smell of cardboard the next day.

(He doesn’t really care, though. It’s his apartment. He can do whatever the bleeding hell he wants.)

His phone rings, and the number that comes up is unlisted, so he wages a short battle with himself before he loses and answers.

(“The hell is your problem?”)
(“Frederick.”)
(“The fuck, Eames? Why can’t you be appreciative of shit? I do so much for you.”)
(“You supply me with drugs and hookers I don’t want or need.”)
(“Oh,” Freddy snorts unappealingly, “Because you get laid all the time, right?”)
(Eames glowers through the phone. “Fuck you.”)
(The line is silent for a few moments. “Jesus. You’re a fag, aren’t you?”)

Eames doesn’t hang up. He waltzes into the kitchen, turns the dish disposal on, and holds the phone over the drain.

(“Buggering fuck, Eames! Are you trying to deafen me? Is that your type? Retarded fags?”)
(“Oh, don’t flatter yourself. I don’t go for guys like you.”)
(“So, you are a queermo. It makes sense now. No wonder your mom offed herself.”)
(“She had a terminal disease, dumb shit. I’m hanging up now.”)
(“You owe me, dick.”)
(Eames’ finger hovers over the End Call button. “I don’t owe you shit.”)
(“You owe me my lighter. And for the Butts of Cream or whatever the hell her idiotic name is.”)
(“Buttercream. And I don’t. Owe. You. Shit. I threw out that lighter years ago.”)

(That’s not true, but no one needs to know that. No one needs to know that he sometimes spends his days learning about different fires and practices starting and putting them out. (He doesn’t want a repeat of burning down the house.) No one needs to know how it relaxes him and calms him down and makes him feel alive.)

He hangs up before Frederick can say another word.

And then, in a fuck-it-all move, he buys a one-way ticket to the United States.

As an adult Eames is pretty sure he knows who he is (not gay, he’s sure, but he can’t be sure) and he doesn’t know what he wants.

And, as an adult, he’d rather figure his shit out anywhere except here.

Part Nine

               

Living in Technicolor
zafer_aistra

Fandom: Inception

Characters: Eames, Arthur, Dom, Mal, Very very very brief mention of Nash and Yusuf.

Rating: T

Genre: Angst, hurt/comfort, pre-slash

Warnings: Language, non-descriptive violence, hinted suicide, non-descriptive child abuse. If I missed any, just let me know.

Word Count: 3,473

Disclaimer: Inception and it's characters do not belong to me. I get nothing from this in terms of money.

Notes: It starts with a loss. It starts with an apology, a meeting, a handshake. It starts with Arthur. It starts with Eames. It starts with a loaded red die. Like all things, it starts with an idea.

Living in Technicolor


Press power.

Don't start yet.

Learn. Prepare.


Mal wasn't the first person to lose themselves. She wasn't the last, either, but that's not the point. Dreaming has always been an experience to people. Whether it's terrifying or enlightening depends on the individual, but everyone must begin somewhere.

Every story must begin somehow.

This story does not begin with Mallorie or Dominick Cobb. It does not begin with Dream-sharing or Cobol or even the military. It simply begins with an apology.

One child.

One dream.

One apology.

One beginning.

It all starts with a dream. Or perhaps it starts with a child named Arthur. It may even begin with a totem.

That's hard to say, though.

We'll simply say that, like all things, it begins with an idea.


Press play.

Begin.


"Everyone needs a totem," someone tells Arthur. He doesn't remember who, anymore. He's sure it wasn't Dom.

It might've been Mal.

How ironic.


As it is, Dom is the one who explains the concept of a totem to Arthur. Mal, however, is the one who helps him pick one out.

"You'll want to rely on it," Dom says. "Don't."

"Then what's the point?"

"It keeps you braced. But it doesn't always speak the truth. Do not let anyone know the secrets of your totem. It can and will be used against you."

In a court of law, Arthur adds sarcastically in his mind.

"I see," he says aloud.

"Dear," Mal's voice lilts onto the balcony, "you're scaring the boy."

"Dear," Dom mocks, "he's not a boy."

"All the better reason not to treat him like one," she laughs.

Arthur is confused. He supposes humor runs differently in families. His didn't really have one.


Stop. Change scenes.

Rewind.

Press play.

Observe. Recall.


"Do it again."

"Dad, I can't."

"Sir," he corrects. "You will. Redo it. I won't have a failure as a son."

"Sir, I'm trying. "

The buildings are shifting slightly, but it's not enough. The projections still manage to reach them.

"You screwed it up."

"I'm sorry."

"Don't apologize. Prove it through your actions. Show me how sorry you really are."

The older man shoots himself.

Arthur screams as he wakes.


Fast forward.

Wake silently.

Pause and reflect.


Fast forward.

Press play.


He laughs awkwardly as Mal drags him around town.

"I'm not getting you a totem. I'm simply showing you examples of totems."

"The more you show me, the less I have to choose from."

She smiles. "You're learning."

He salutes her.


Pause.

Reflect.

Continue.


The die wasn't Arthur's original totem.

Well, actually, it was, but it wasn't the only one.

He had a die. And he had The Die.

"A die? Really?"

"There are so many ways it can be used, dear," Mal says. "A totem in reality is simply an object. In a dream it is something brand new. Perhaps a watch doesn't work in real life, yet when you're under it ticks perfectly. A chain is no longer broken. A top spins forever."

"It's a die, Mal. It rolls."

"Darling," she hands the red cube to him, "test it out. Roll it."

Two.

"Again."

Two.

"Again, dear."

Two.

Arthur looks annoyed. "Are we done?"

Mal shakes her head. "Not until you figure it out."

Two.

Two. Two. Two.

"Oh," Arthur says, understanding. "Does this mean it rolls like an actual die in my dreams?"

"Only if you want it to," Mal explains. "It's a subconscious thing, Arthur. You could make it blue, you could make every side have seven dots. It doesn't matter, as long as you understand the implications. However strong your totem is, though, you must never rely on it completely."

Yes, looking back now, the irony is quite strong.


Fast forward.

Press play.


He doesn't lose the die, per se. He may have accidentally misplaced it, but that's not the same as losing it.

He bought another one.

It wasn't the same though. It was loaded, yes. It was red, yes. But it always made him second guess himself. Maybe his subconscious realized it was still a loaded die? It rolled two all the time. Dream, reality, nightmares.

Two, two, two.

It still felt wrong.

"I think my totem is broken."

"Nonsense, dear. You can't break a totem," but Mal looks perplexed. "Dom, can you break a totem?"

"Like physically? I don't see why not."

"Not physically," Arthur says slowly. "More like, can a totem stop being a totem once your subconscious realizes that it's a totem?"

"The whole point of a totem is for your subconscious to realize what it is. Otherwise everything would be a totem, and that makes things too confusing," Dom explains. "You're not making sense."

Mal pipes in. "His totem, it's…it's not working quite right. It seems to be forgetting what it is."

Dom squints in concentration. "Oh. I see."

"Yeah?"

"Where's your totem?" he asks.

Arthur looks down at his hand, where the die is resting in his palm. "Here."

"No. Arthur. Where is your totem?"

"Here…?" Arthur asks.

"Where. Is. It?"

"…I don't know."

Mal looks aghast. "You don't know? Dear, you need your totem."

"Why can't this be my totem?"

"That's not how it works, Arthur," Dom says. "Your mind has accepted your totem. It's not ready to change so soon."

He looks away. "I don't know where it is."

"You need to find it."


Pause.

Rewind.

Start over.


It starts with a loss. It starts with an apology, a meeting, a handshake.

It starts with Arthur. It starts with Eames.

It starts with a loaded red die.


"I found this," an English voice speaks up, a week later.

"Who are you?" Arthur asks.

"I'm not you," he says.

"Christ."

"Closer, but no."

"Darling!" Mal squeals. "I see you've become acquainted with Eames."

"Darling?" Eames laughs. He focuses on Mal. "Love, it's good to see you."

She kisses his cheek. "Likewise."

"Now, who's this lovely young lad?" Eames motions to Arthur.

"Arthur! You never introduced yourself?" she scolds.

Arthur glares. "Now there's no reason to."

"Arthur," Eames hums. "It's a pleasure to meet you." He holds out his hand, but Arthur's gaze is fixated on the small, red die being shuffled from one hand to the other.

"Is this a joke?"

Eames has the nerve to look confused. "What? No, it's really a pleasure. Well, not as much now, but my point still stands."

"I'm serious. Where did you get that?"

Eames looks confused. "This?" He holds out the die. "I found it wedged between someone's desk and the wall."

Arthur's jaw twitches slightly. "Did it ever occur to you that perhaps that it belongs to someone?" he grits out.

"The thought never crossed my mind," Eames replies sarcastically. "It's a die. Sorry for thinking no one would care. Bloody Christ, it wasn't like I was stealing it. I tried to tell you I found something. I mean, you can always buy another one, Arthur."

He's not mocking him, Arthur knows this. How can he know anything about the totem? About the fact that he's not sure whether this is real or a dream and that's how his whole week has been going. Every car chase. Every gunshot. Every. Single. Creak in his house, and he's not sure if this is the end or simply him waking up. He's scared to sleep, because that might mean he's actually getting closer to Limbo, or that he's already there.

He swallows around a convulsive, "Fuck you," and walks off.

"Oh, dear," Mal whispers to the floor.

Dom shakes his head, and fixes his gaze on the door.

"The fuck," Eames says to no one.


He throws the red cube—with a sneer—onto Arthur's desk approximately two minutes later. It rolls to a stop next to his wrist.

Two.

Oh, thank God.

"Thank you."

"Fuck you."


Pause.

Consider.

Press play.


Arthur makes Eames a cup of coffee the next day. It's an expensive blend, something he had to do many favors to get. Something that isn't even sold in the United States.

It's exquisite, he's thinks, but he doesn't know for sure because he doesn't drink any. He instead brews up a cup of French Roast for himself and Dom, and sets the cup of foreign liquid onto Eames' new work place.

"What is this?" Eames asks, sniffing the cup curiously.

"Coffee. Really expensive coffee," Arthur offers a small smile.

"What a waste."

Oh? "Oh?"

"I really don't care for coffee, thank you though." He shoves the mug back at Arthur, who takes it and turns on his heel without another word.

He sips it slowly at his desk, trying to internalize all his thoughts about the new forger.

Piss-ant. Arrogant. Ass. Fucktard.

All synonymous with Eames.

Whatever.

The coffee doesn't taste as good as he'd hoped.


Pause.

Reconsider.

Continue.


He rolls the die that evening before going to bed.

Two. Two.

He doesn't sleep.


Pause.


He studies the art of forging. Studies Eames. About the newest job. He studies everything, scrupulously.

He learns little.


Fast forward.

Press play.

Observe.

React.


Mal is losing herself. Just slightly. She knows the difference, she says. She's not dead. She's awake. She's going to let a babysitter take care of the kids because this is an important job, Dom tells Arthur, not because she's scared of becoming attached.

They say that about all the jobs, Arthur says back.

"You don't know shit," Dom snarls.

"You're losing her. I thought you loved her."

"Get out."

"You're losing yourself, Dom."

"Get the fuck out."

He intends to slam the door, but doesn't mean to crack the frame.

"Sorry."

"Out."

Eames doesn't look up from his work, but judging from the small frown on his face, it's obvious he heard enough.

Whatever.

Arthur doesn't bother rolling the die.


Stop.

Go to sleep.

Recreate your reality.


Mal screams at him.

"I don't need you fighting for me, Arthur. I'm not weak."

"I know that, Mal."

"Keep out of it."

"I just want—"

"Don't. Leave it alone. Maybe I shouldn't have let Dom hire you, if you're just going to get involved in all our problems."

"I'm sorry, but—"

Mal laughs. Dark, dangerous, terrifying. "That's your issue. You can't even apologize properly. Fuck you and your "sorry's"." She slaps him and walks away.

It's not painful.

It's ominous, is what it is.

He rolls.

Two. Two. Two. Six. Three.

He stays standing until he wakes.


Press play.

Continue where you left off.


He fixes the door the next day. He comes in early, before everyone else. Before Yusuf can mix chemicals or Nash can make architectural plans. He fixes it and Dom nods and Mal smiles and Arthur breathes again.

Eames narrows his eyes at the computer screen.

Arthur ignores the clench in his stomach, and calls a babysitter for Mal.

For the kids, he thinks.


Rewind before the beginning.

Start again.

Observe.

Remember.


"Come sit with me, Arthur."

"Dad wants me, mom."

"Come, sit with me," she repeats.

He does.

"What scares you, darling?"

Arthur thinks. "I don't know."

"Come, now. Everyone is scared of something. Did I ever tell you that I'm terrified of bees?"

"No. Why?"

"Because I was allergic as a child, and I'm too afraid to find out if I still am."

"Can I tell you a secret?" he whispers. "I'm scared of nothing."

She smiles ruefully. "You'll outgrow that."

"Never. I'm invincible."


Fast forward.

Relive.


The job goes horribly.

No one knows for three weeks.

No one knows until one of their own is taken from underneath them.

No one knows, until Eames is gone.

No one knows until he returns, broken and bruised and bloody and unsure. Until he's quiet and reserved and only sleeping when he feels safe.

No one knows.

No one, besides Arthur.


Pause.

Reflect.

Correct.


"I made a mistake."

Dom frowns. "It wasn't your fault."

"It was," Arthur says.

"It's okay."

"I should've known better."

"Stop beating yourself up," Dom tries.

"I didn't think it would matter."

"Arthur."

He sighs. He doesn't understand. "I should go."

"Get some sleep," Dom replies quietly.


Rewind.

Press play.

Recall.


He sits, petrified in the corner. His eyes tightly shut and his hands covering his ears, but not stopping the noises from entering. Not stopping the movie playing behind his eyelids.

"Boy. Look at me."

"Sir," he whispers, "I don't want to do this anymore."

"You need to see. You need to learn."

A shake of his head. "I'm tired, daddy."

The man reaches out. Grips his shoulder. "Arthur."

He looks.

He sees.

Blood, red and black and grey from brain matter.

He sees his mother. He sees the gun, the limp hand, the lack of a face.

He sees a memory.

"This is what happens when you can't face the consequences. This is real."

"No," Arthur vehemently says. "It's not."

"It's a memory. It's real. It's not reality, but it's true."

He watches as the scene restarts.

He watches as his father shoots her instead. As the projections become interested.

"Mommy, I'm scared," he wants to cry. "Sir, please," he says instead.

He waves the gun in Arthur's direction. "Take this when I'm done. You need to learn. You need to be safe. Don't become her."

"Dad."

"Boy. I'm going to shoot myself. And you're going to do the same."

His sobs of, "Daddy, please," are lost in the noise of a single bullet leaving the chamber.

He doesn't grab the gun. Instead, he chooses to continue sitting against the wall, fingers digging into palms and the scene restarting again, with the addition of the new body.

He doesn't throw up.

He holds his breath and waits for the kick.


Fast forward.

Wake up screaming.

Stop.

Reflect.

Learn from the past.


"Eames."

"Arthur."

"Here." He holds out his hand, palm up, loaded red die resting in the center.

"What is this?" Eames asks, cautiously.

"It's a die. I thought, maybe, you could put it with your poker chip. I don't know. Just an idea," Arthur mumbles.

"Is this a joke to you?" Eames asks, not quite bitingly. Just curious.

"No. Never. I just thought that…"

Eames grabs the die, and rolls it. And rolls it again. Again.

"Is this fucking loaded?"

"Eames…"

"Jesus, do you think that little of me? Do you think that just because I gamble sometimes, I always cheat?" His voice is rising. "What the fuck is your problem, Arthur?"

"I didn't realize…" Arthur starts.

"That the job was screwed? That one of us was going to get fucked over? Because obviously you did," Eames sneers.

"I'm sorry," he says the floor.

"Fuck you. You can take your apology and shove it up your arse, because I don't accept."

Arthur bites his lip. "Okay," he deflates, and walks back to his desk.

The die is forgotten on the desk.


Pause.

Reconsider.

Watch from a distance.

Press play, but don't get involved.


Mal notices first.

"Why is Arthur's die on your work station?"

Eames looks up. "Oh? He gave it to me. Bloody arsehole."

"He gave it to you?" Mal sounds unsure.

"Mm. He said, and I quote, "I thought, maybe, you could put it with your poker chip." Fucking wanker. He thinks that'll change my mind about him." He glares. "He can't even apologize appropriately."

Mal doesn't slap him, but it looks like she wants to. "You," she shoves her manicured nail at his chest, "are a complete dick."

"What?"

"How shallow can you get? Arthur shouldn't have to apologize to you. He deserves you groveling at his feet for forgiveness," she snarls.

"He gave me a fucking loaded die, Mal. How is that not mocking me?"

Mal says nothing, and chooses to narrow her eyes at the forger.

"I'm serious, Mal."

"As am I," she says with an air of finality.


Change scenes.

Watch the room.

Observe the occupants.

Recall the mistakes.

Apologize to the air.


Fast forward two weeks.

Roll the die.

Two. Two. Two.

Second guess yourself.

Wake up.


Arthur is fine, he tells himself. Arthur is strong. Arthur doesn't need to rely on a totem.

Arthur is lying.


Fast forward three days.

Pause your life.

Wake up.

Press play.


Press mute.

Cover your eyes.

Hold your breath.


Arthur wakes up in a warehouse.

He's fine. He hurts. It's okay, though.

Arthur sighs, and rubs his sore wrists. Amateurs. Couldn't even tie a proper knot.

"Fuckers," he kicks at a limp form. It groans.

He reaches for his totem.

Two.

Two.

Two.

"Shit."

He shoots himself.

He wakes in a chair.

Dom squints. Mal tilts her head. Eames ignores.

Arthur shakes.

"Shit."


Pause.

Relapse.

Continue.


He stops going under. He doesn't know anymore. Doesn't know if it's real or not.

Doesn't know who to believe.

Doesn't know what to believe.


Rewind.

Pause on a memory.


"Can I tell you a secret? I'm scared of nothing."

"You'll outgrow that."

"Never. I'm invincible."


Fast forward.

Reconsider your words.

Press play.


Dom finds Eames absentmindedly rolling the die.

"Where the hell did you get that?"

"Arthur gave it to me," Eames rolls his eyes. "I don't really get it. Is he trying to be funny?"

"Arthur gave you that?" Dom asks incredulously.

Eames narrows his eyes. "Funny. Mal had the same reaction."

"You need to talk to Arthur."

And that's the end of that.


Change scenes.

Don't interact.

Simply observe.


This is what Arthur does:

Arthur sleeps. Arthur wakes. Arthur lives. Arthur dies.

He forgets, gets confused, rolls the die, and curses as it always always always lands on two.

Arthur drinks too much coffee. Arthur shakes. Arthur second guesses himself every single time he checks his totem.


Pause. Change scenes.

Press play.


This is what Eames does:

He watches Arthur.

He rolls the die.

He watches Arthur as he rolls the die.

Eames observes as the point man flinches with each casual touch from Mal or Dom. As he avoids the PASIV, choosing to stay behind in case things get dirty. He watches as Arthur palms something in his pocket, as he frowns, and meets Eames' gaze.

He watches as Arthur turns around, pulls something out, and pauses.

Eames sees Arthur turn around as he pockets something.

Eames sees the flash of red. The edge of a square.

He looks down at his hand. Looks at the die.

Looks at Arthur.

And finally, he sees it.

"Oh."


Fast forward.

Press play.


They're running through the maze of the hotel, bullets whizzing past them and through them.

Arthur stumbles.

Eames turns.

"Shit, Arthur!"

"I'm fine."

But he's not. He can't feel anything below his waist.

"I'm fine," he repeats, less convincingly.

Eames kneels down next to him, and partially carries him to a closet nearby. He pulls the chain to the light. They both wince.

"Shit, shit, fuck." He attempts to staunch the flow of blood. "I'm so sorry."

"Why?" Arthur gasps out.

"You gave me your totem," Eames says gently.

"Oh, I didn't…didn't me-mean to."

"Oh," and Eames sounds sad.

"Don…don't get the wro-wrong idea. I th-thought I…I gave you a rep...a replica." Arthur wheezes. "Oh, fuck, it hurts."

Eames bites his lip. "I know, I know. Just wait."

"An hour."

"Yeah. We still have an hour."

"You…okay?"

"I'm okay."

But if he slides closer to Arthur, well, that's nobody's business.

"I'm sorry," he tells Arthur.

"It's okay."

"You fixed the door frame."

"I don't th-think I'm…I'm going to make it an h-hour."

"You got me coffee," Eames continues, pressing down harder on the wound.

Arthur lets out an indignant laugh, whether it's from the pain or from the memory, Eames isn't sure.

Arthur isn't, either.

"Damn ex-expensive shit."

"You gave me your totem." He takes off his shirt, wads it up, and pushes that against the entrance point, instead.

"Replica," Arthur gasps. "Fuck, put you…your shirt back on."

"See something you like?" Eames jokes.

And Arthur laughs, but says nothing.

"Arthur?" Eames inquires cautiously.

"Sorry," he whispers.

"Shit, don't. Don't apologize." Eames hardens his gaze. "Prove it to me. Prove how sorry you are."

Arthur lets out a small chuckle. "You-you would s-say that." He meets Eames' eyes. "You're on."

He doesn't make it an hour. Neither of them expected him to. But if Eames stays next to his body, still unrelenting on the wound, long after he's gone, well, that's just his little secret.

He rolls the die.

Five.

And if he presses a chaste kiss to his forehead, well, that's not really relevant to the story, is it?


Pause for a second.

Reminiscence.

Press play.

Watch the credits roll by.


Like some stories, this one doesn't begin in any certain place or in any specific way.

It does, however, end with a beginning.

It ends with a dream. With an apology. With a loss.

It ends with Arthur.

It ends with Eames.

It ends with a loaded red die.


Stop.


?

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