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Title: Turn Back The Page
Author: MikaHaeli8
Pairing(s): Eames/ Arthur (and mentions of past Arthur/ OC).
Summary: Arthur and Eames are married with a daughter, a dog and a practically perfect life, all of that stuff. They have very few secrets between then...or so Eames thinks, not knowing about the job that Arthur has. And then some.
Genre(s): AU, romance, est-rel, family/ domesticity, fluff, MPreg, eventual dark/ tragedy.
Warning(s): Mentions of MPreg, violence, language, self-beta’d, British spelling and slang.
Rating: PG-13 (language, mentions of past violence, past Arthur/ OC)
Word count: 1, 123
Disclaimer: Characters sprung from le mind of Christopher Nolan. Allie, however, is mine.
Author’s Note: Chapter 11. Stuff. Yes. Blegh. Banana milkshakes. ~Mika

Previous chapter

~x~

Cobb, 11:38: so everything and everyones okay then

Eames scanned the small screen for a long time before replying.

Bout the same as your end. Not much happening

He hit ‘Send’, set the phone down and picked up the vacuum cleaner with the aim of cleaning the carpet for the sixth time that week. How it could get dusty in such a short space of time, he would never understand.

“Wow,” an accented voice sounded from his left. “You have officially overtaken me as the neat freak of the family.”

Uncharacteristically, Eames dropped the hoover and almost flung himself into Arthur’s arms, winding the American in surprise.

“Hello to you too,” Arthur chuckled.

“Mmmmmm,” the heavily pregnant Englishman replied, burying his face in Arthur’s neck. He inhaled and was instantly calm, pregnancy-induced OCD evaporating. “Missed you,”

“I can tell.” Arthur rubbed Eames’ back soothingly, his own face crushed against the other man’s shoulder. The force of breathing in Eames’ smell through Arthur’s restricted nostrils calmed the younger man instantly – he was home.

Eventually, they disentangled. Arthur looked around, eyebrows raised in surprise.

“You really do get bored when you’re not working,”

“What else am I meant to do? Sit and wait for the Finns to come back and plug two in my chest?” Eames snapped, pinching the space between his eyes. “Fuck. Sorry. I didn’t mean…”

Arthur swallowed, déjà vu creeping up on him once again. “Plug two in your chest,” he repeated vaguely.

Eames lifted his head slowly, the look on his face unreadable. He suddenly remembered the photograph of Arthur and the pregnant brunette for no real reason at all. He also had a feeling, although pregnancy exacerbated his instincts and brought new ones to the fore, that Arthur’s repetition and the photograph were connected.

“Arthur, I found a photograph.”

Because if he didn’t say it, it would be a secret at the bottom of their respective hearts, festering eternally.

It was Arthur’s turn to lift his head, eyes narrowed, tiredness and jet lag forgotten. “What?

Eames didn’t react to that. “Shall we have some caffeine before we continue this conversation?”

“You can’t have much caffeine,” was what Arthur whipped back with. There was no anger in his voice; it was merely an automatic reaction.

“I meant the journalistic use of ‘we’. As in, inclusive of the other party.” Eames pressed his hands to the small of his back before venturing into the kitchen. “You’re right, I had my daily maximum for breakfast this morning. You, however, are not pregnant and therefore you can have as much as you like, you lucky bugger.”

Arthur wandered after Eames into the kitchen, observing the softened contours of the other man’s body. Silently, he padded over and wrapped his arms around the other man’s torso, hands resting on his swollen stomach, giving him a small, apologetic squeeze.

“Coffee?” Eames asked, placated.

“Please.”

Arthur gracefully let Eames go long enough to make their respective hot drinks and pad back into the living room with them. They sat on opposite sofas, Arthur wired with tension and Eames disappearing into the back of his, trying to take some of the weight off.

“What about that photo?”

It was so quiet, Eames almost missed it. “The photo?”

Nelly chose that moment to say hello to Arthur, whole body wagging with excited energy. Arthur absent-mindedly fussed her as he replied, “Exactly. What about it?”

Eames uttered a growl of frustration. “It’s you, several years younger and looking relaxed and happy and well-fed, for once – don’t argue with me, my mum’s made the same comment – and you have your arm around a very pretty young lady. A brunette. Oh yeah, and she looks like she’s four months pregnant with your child. So, is there something you’ve neglected to tell me, Arthur?”

“Shit.” Arthur leaned forward and pressed the heels of his hands into his hands. “Laurenne.”

“Laurenne?” Eames frowned, massaging the small of his back. “Who’s she?”

“She…” Arthur took a deep breath. “She was my wife.”

This sucked all the air out of Eames’ lungs. Whatever he’d been expecting, it wasn’t this. “Your…wife?”

Arthur nodded, hands clasped. “Years ago. Long before I met you. It was a whirlwind thing. Then she…she got pregnant. I couldn’t just leave her – I mean…” He trailed off, struggling for the right words.

“You couldn’t abandon her when she was pregnant with your baby,” Eames finished softly, hands over his own bump.

Arthur nodded, lifting his head to meet Eames’ eyes. “I may be a criminal, but I’m not dishonourable. You know this. Anyway…there was a job I took when she was in her first trimester. It…went wrong. Horribly so. The people we were dealing with, they wouldn’t kill the members of the team themselves. They’d go for their loved ones instead.”

Once again, Eames found he couldn’t breathe. “And they…they found her?”

The American nodded. “She was five months gone. I’d left the house – I’d left her for maybe a second. Just…a milk run, you know. When I came back…” His breathing became tightened, as if he was being strangled by an unseen hand. “There was blood everywhere. Her…She’d had her neck broken, been shot...”

“Oh, love.” Eames hauled himself up, lowering himself next to his other half and wrapping a thick arm around thin shoulders. Arthur allowed himself to relax into the sensation, instinctively curling up to the other man. “And you didn’t tell me this before…why? I mean, how long have we been married?”

“I know. I’m an ass,” was all Arthur said in response, muffled by Eames’ maternity clothes. “Hey, this is new. The shirt, I mean.”

“To you,” Eames grumbled as one of the twins shifted. “I’ve outgrown all my regular clothes and had to get Ariadne to buy some for me.”

Arthur chuckled. “She’s too good to you.”

“Tell me about it. I owe her dinner or something.”

“I think you’re gonna owe her an entire restaurant by the time these two are born.” Arthur’s fingers danced over Eames’ swollen bump. “They been good for you?”

“As good as unborn children can be. Kicking regularly, probably at each other but mostly me.”

“Aww.” Arthur slipped out of Eames’ grasp and moved smoothly to kneel at the other man’s feet on the floor. “They been giving you a hard time?”

“Hmmm,” Eames rumbled, shifting so his legs bracketed Arthur’s body. “Believe me, it’s not as pleasant as the, ahem, hard time you normally give me,”

Arthur smirked, rolling Eames’ shirt up and planting a kiss on his very round belly. “Let’s change that, hmm?”

“Gladly, love.” Eames slid down, legs spreading wider, whole body pliant for the only other man who knew it as well as he himself did.

AN2: I know, I'm such a fuckin' tease, aren't I? Never mind. It's all resolved now... ~Mika

Title: All The Mess That We Made
Author: MikaHaeli8
Pairing(s): Eames/ Arthur.
Summary: Arthur and Eames are married with a daughter, a dog and a practically perfect life, all of that stuff. They have very few secrets between then...or so Eames thinks, not knowing about the job that Arthur has. And then some.
Genre(s): AU, romance, est-rel, family/ domesticity, fluff, MPreg, eventual dark/ tragedy.
Warning(s): Mentions of MPreg, violence, language, self-beta’d, British spelling and slang.
Rating: R (language, brief mention of violence)
Word count: 1, 116
Disclaimer: Characters sprung from le mind of Christopher Nolan. Allie, however, is mine.
Author’s Note: And here...we...go! Into double figures, I mean. Usual drill applies. ~Mika

Previous chapter
~x~

“Arthur.”

The point man wasn’t listening, shoving clothes without care and thought into his bag.

Arthur!

What?” he almost yelled in frustration, wheeling around and ready to attack, only to see Ariadne behind him.

“I know you want to go home, but – ”

“But?” Arthur repeated, the frustration making his extremities curl and clench to the point of pain. “But what? The job’s done, my head is fine, no concussion, no danger for me,”

“No danger for you?” Ariadne repeated, picking up on the addition. “What’s that meant to mean?”

Arthur clenched his fingers, squeezing his bag, voice dropping and level even as his body hummed with tension. “Remember when I ran out a couple months ago?”

The architect nodded. “You made a phone call to Eames, right?”

Arthur didn’t reply any further, merely nodded, not ready to divulge the details of the phone call, of the instincts that had surfaced that day and hadn’t left since. The nightmares had also resurfaced for the first time in over a decade; nightmares of blood-matted hair, of silence save for the sounds coming from him, of the stench of death –

No.

He wouldn’t let himself dwell in that again.

“Ari, just trust me on this,” he said softly, pre-empting any probing on her part. He knew her well enough to know that she wouldn’t. She was good like that. “I need to go home.”

~x~

Moving was more difficult than ever today, and to make things worse, there was a heatwave which according to the weather reports, was due to last all week. Eames, now twenty-three weeks gone and, as advised, preoccupied himself mostly with crafting, walking Nelly when he had the energy and keeping timing of the kicks of each twin. They were getting more and more regular as the days ticked by. It was good; at least something was going right.

Despite the pervasive threat to himself and his family, he’d also had company round more than a few times – mainly Yusuf, who had initially brought whiskey with him and upon realising that Eames was pregnant, proceeded to drink the whole bottle himself. He’d left the next morning with a thumping head, slightly hunched over from the hangover.

In between the appearances of welcome faces, Eames caved in to his inevitable nesting instinct and cleaned the house from top to bottom. Not only that, he’d gone through drawers, sorting and compartmentalising papers, going with his gut in deciding what was and wasn’t important (and he and Arthur had accumulated quite a lot of paper in the five years since Allie was born and they had decided to settle here, just outside London, to raise their daughter; to raise a family). He’d even found the paperwork from selling their other properties in France, Morocco (for the winter), Japan, Oslo and Los Angeles, of which half of the profit had been put into a savings account for Allie when she came of age.

He was cleaning the study when he found the photos.

Knee-deep in more paperwork (seriously, how much paperwork can one accumulate in half a decade?), he had cleared the shredder and was about to slide another piece of paper in there when a photo, yellowed with age, slipped out and landed softly on the small, carpeted space in front of Eames. The heavily pregnant man froze, staring at it for a long time, as if afraid it would attack. Frowning, he peered closer at it before his eyes widened and picked it up gently between his finger and thumb.

Arthur was one of the figures in the photo.

It wasn’t Arthur from the present, luckily for Eames’ sanity. This Arthur looked much younger and happier, his dimples on full display and one arm wrapped around the waist of a pretty brunette. The other hand was on her stomach, which looked to be four or five months pregnant.

Eames’ breath hitched in his throat as he did some quick calculations, realising that this photo had been taken a good half-decade before he’d met Arthur. When they weren’t working together, the men were more open with each other than they were with anyone else. They both knew that. It was the sole certainty in a shared life of uncertainties.

But Arthur had never mentioned another family before.

Just then, the phone rang. It took a while for Eames to get up, but get up he did, taking long strides to answer the phone.

~x~

Arthur caught the first flight to London just in time, jolting awake as it landed. Despite his worry, his heart lifted in his chest. He was going home; he was seeing his family after almost four months.

In the taxi, he fumbled for his phone, speed-dialling a number so frequently called he was surprised the button itself hadn’t worn out. His outward calm and control – something he wore like a second skin – gave away nothing of the fact that his heart was beating furiously inside his chest, a déjà vu he hoped was wrong settling over him like a cape.

“‘Lo?” a Cockney-accented voice answered.

Arthur exhaled in relief. “Hey. It’s me,”

Arthur?” Instantly, Eames’ accent returned to its usual Received Pronunciation. “What are you…Is everything okay?”

“Everything’s fine,” Arthur replied soothingly, resisting the urge to add a term of endearment to the end. “I just called to say I’m coming home,”

“Shit,” the forger exhaled, voice unmistakeably full of relief. In the background, Nelly barked, presumably at a passer-by. “Fuck. I thought – I worried – Why didn’t you phone before you left? I could have met you at the airport,”

“You couldn’t, and we both know why,” the point man said. “Wait a minute. You’re swearing. Our baby mouse – ”

“ – is with her godfather,” the Brit instantly replied.

Arthur sat up straight, body steel-hard with fury, caution forgot. “Cobb? She’s with Cobb?”

“Look, I know you don’t trust him. I know things haven’t been great personally between you since Fischer. But he’s her godfather, for fuck’s sake. She’s not safe here, and I’d rather see her with a stronger barrier around her than dead in my arms. Everyone else is too far away, or their lifestyles…” Arthur could practically hear Eames throw his hands up in despair.

Arthur knuckled his forehead, trying to calm the beginnings of a throbbing pain. “But she’s safe, right? And you’re okay.”

“Yes on both counts.” A pause. “I suppose I’ll see you in a bit,”

Arthur nodded, a small smile gracing his face. “I’ll see you soon,” he replied softly, hanging up before his mouth further betrayed his feelings. Slipping his phone back in his inner jacket pocket, he leaned back and sighed.

I’m coming, love.

Next chapter

FIC: 80% Stubble [Eames/ Arthur]

Title: 80% Stubble
Author: MikaHaeli8
Rating: PG-13 (sex references)
Genre(s): Fluff, humour, romance, est-rel.
Summary: From this prompt on the Kink Meme: "Eames cuts his hair off--not to the point of baldness, but short ala Handsome Bob [from RockNRolla] --and Arthur is obsessed with it."
Warning(s): Sex references, dialogue-heavy, spontaneously written (thus unbeta'd), British slang and spelling.
Word count: 413
Disclaimer: I own neither Eames nor Arthur, but I firmly believe Christopher Nolan should capitalise on the UST between them and make a sequel based on that.
Author's Note: De-anoning because why not? First time I'd ever filled a prompt on the 'meme. Enjoy. ~Mika
~x~


Eames tries to ignore it as he's sorting through the information Arthur left him for the Becker job. Or rather: Eames tries to pretend the quasi-scalp massage he's currently receiving is making him grumpy rather than wanting to lean back into those long-fingered hands and roll his head around them, making their owner gasp in surprise.

"It's so..."

"Mm?" Eames hums.

The hands still for a minute. "I don't have the words. It's like your head is now eighty per cent stubble. It's fascinating."

This elicits a deep chuckle from the Brit, who gives up his pretense of working and gives in to the aforementioned urge of leaning back into Arthur's hands. From upside-down, his grey-green eyes meeting the American's darker ones.

"Really? I hadn't gotten that impression at all over the last four days," he said sarcastically

"Four days?" Arthur's eyes rove back to Eames' scalp, rubbing the backs of his fingers over the shorn hair.

"Mmm-hmm,"

"Oh," the other man replies absent-mindedly, as if disappointed by this revelation.

Eames rolled his eyes. "Four days and three nights. In the kitchen, in bed, Including, I believe, the night after I got it done when you rubbed your face in it - "

" - and gone to sleep with stubble burn on my face, I know," Arthur finished. "And before you ask, I like my hair this length, hence I won't crew-cut it. Wouldn't suit me anyway,"

"Fair enough." Eames shrugs. "Though there is a benefit to your obsession,"

"What?"

"The constant scalp massaging. Incredibly relaxing, you know."

Arthur smirks, resuming the massage. "Oh dear. And I'm doing it whilst you're working." He pauses, leaning close to Eames' left ear. "Wouldn't want that, now, would we?"

Eames drops his head with a wanton groan. "I hate you,"

"I love you too, baby." Arthur presses a kiss to the side of Eames' prickly head. "Though your dick's now in competition with your scalp over my attention."

"That's one intense love triangle,"

"Ohh, don't you know it,"

Eames looks down. "I think my dick's heard that it has a love rival,"

Arthur peers over his shoulder, eyebrows raised. "Hmm. I see it has too. Want to go resolve it before it ends up like Romeo and Juliet?"

"Oh," Eames sighs dramatically, as if the deed itself is a chore, "I suppose we'd better. Neither of us deal well with the tragic consequences of lust,"

"The consequences are tragic?"

"Be quiet and get to bed."

Title: Double Nickels on Your Dime
Author: MikaHaeli8
Pairing(s): Eames/ Arthur.
Summary: Arthur and Eames are married with a daughter, a dog and a practically perfect life, all of that stuff. They have very few secrets between then...or so Eames thinks, not knowing about the job that Arthur has. And then some.
Genre(s): AU, romance, est-rel, family/ domesticity, fluff, MPreg, eventual dark/ tragedy.
Warning(s): Mentions of MPreg, violence, language, self-beta’d, British spelling and slang.
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Word count: 1, 280
Disclaimer: Characters sprung from le mind of Christopher Nolan. Allie, however, is mine.
Author’s Note: Number 9 now! Next one's double figures. Eeh :D sorry for the slow updating, I'll try to do it more often. Meanwhile, here's chapter 9 with the usual drill. ~Mika

Previous chapter
~x~

Five years ago

Eames sat back from the toilet, arms resting along the seat. His throat was burning, his mouth dry, his stomach heaving. He closed his eyes. The doctor he’d seen – Rachel Evans, that was her name – had warned him that this would happen and that it varied in intensity.

Clearly, Eames had landed on the worse end of the intensity scale.

He’d just rinsed his mouth out and gotten a glass of water from the bathroom when he heard the door slam, signalling Arthur’s return. He sighed with relief, swilled his mouth out again, and ventured downstairs to greet his husband.

“Hey y – You look terrible, are you okay?” Arthur frowned, the back of one hand pressed to Eames’ forehead.

“I’m fine, love,” Eames replied, but he knew the insistence in his voice wasn’t convincing, even ignoring the fact that his voice was roughened by vomit.

Arthur folded his arms and gave Eames a stare the Brit had seen too often. “Eames. C’mon. Don’t lie to me like that.”

“Darling, technically I’m not lying to you.” Eames licked his lips, wondering how he was going to phrase this. “Remember I told you I had a fully functioning womb? And that was why we could never bareback?”

Arthur nodded slowly, beginning to see where this was going. “Yes…”

“And after the Steinhardt job, when we got very drunk and...well, I’m pregnant.”

Arthur’s eyes widened. “You’re pregnant?”

Eames nodded, body tensed in anticipation of Arthur’s reaction.

The American ran his hands through his hair, mind turning over as he tried to work it out. “Steinhardt. That was…”

“Eight weeks ago.”

“Shit,” Arthur whispered. “Shit. What’re we gonna do?”

“Well, I was kind of hoping you’d stick by me whilst I go through a typically feminine biological process that lasts seven months as from now and then help raise the kid at the end, considering we’re married and all,” Eames replied, voice laden with sarcasm.

“Shit, no. Not that kind of ‘what’re we gonna do’. I mean…” Arthur clenched and unclenched his fists, and Eames wasn’t ashamed to say that he enjoyed this temporary loss of control from his husband. “I mean…can you still dreamshare?”

Eames inhaled deeply. This was something he’d thought about. “I’m not sure. The effects of somnacin on unborn babies are still unclear. I’d…rather not take the risk, though.”

Arthur nodded, bereft of words to say. Stepping closer, he wrapped his arms around Eames, head on his shoulder, mouth pressed against his neck, creeping up to his face. When he reached the other man’s lips, Eames was the one who then took command, encouraging the American’s lips to open. Their tongues danced together for a while, hands sliding under clothing, grabbing fistfuls of material.

“Bedroom?” Eames panted, once they surfaced for air.

“Absolutely,” Arthur practically growled in reply, voice hoarse with lust and pupils blown wide.

~x~

Present day

The sky was just starting to lighten when ‘mother’ and daughter finally set off, having managed to stop Nelly from following both of them out the door. It wasn’t a long drive, but Allie still managed to fall asleep on the way there. Due to his size, Eames couldn’t carry her, and she was limp and sleepy, small hand hanging in his larger one as they went round the side of the house as instructed.

Not unusually, Dom was fully dressed and wide awake when he answered the door, greeting the two in manners appropriate for both of them. Dom’s eyes inexorably travelled to Eames’ round stomach and without thinking, he said “You shouldn’t be doing this in your condition,”

“Shouldn’t be doing what? Protecting my daughter?” Eames shot back, stiffness in his voice.

Dom knuckled his forehead. “You should have called me sooner. You and Allie could’ve come here and I’d have dealt with – ”

Dominic.” The Englishman’s jaw was tight, his lower back sending out pangs of pain. “I refuse to implicate you in my shit – sorry, Allie – though God knows I’ve lost count of the amount of times you’ve done that over the past ten years. Additionally, you are the only parent James and Phillipa have left, remember?”

“I get it, I get it.” The blonde held his hands up in surrender.

“Good,” Eames muttered before reaching under his jacket and producing the two envelopes from the safe.

Recognising what they were, Dom’s eyes widened and he shook his head. “I can’t – ”

“You might not have to. This is just in case, okay?” Eames held the envelopes out, the American taking them silently and leaning behind the door for several long minutes.

“Mama – ”

Eames squatted to Allie’s level. “Remember what we said, yeah? Only Daddy A and I.” He smiled, running his fingers through her long hair.

“‘Kay,” Allie replied quietly, eyes to the ground.

Eames tucked one finger under her chin and lifted it so their identically-coloured eyes met. “Listen, love, I…” He swallowed. “I’ll try not to be too long, okay? You can come home soon.”

“How long is soon?”

You can come home when the storm’s passed. Eames’ throat tightened. “Allie, I can’t say. Not for sure.”

Allie uttered a frustrated noise. “Then why can’t I stay with you, Daddy E? And Daddy A is coming home soon and he won’t know where I am and I haven’t seen him in ages and ages and ages,”

The Brit’s throat tightened even more at the mention of Arthur. “He knows where you are, love. I haven’t seen him in ages and ages and ages too, remember?” He tucked a wild curl behind her ear, not wanting to let go, not wanting to break contact in case his daughter disappeared before him. “C’mere, baby girl.”

He opened his arms for a hug.

Despite her obvious reluctance, the five-year old tottered forwards into her ‘mother’’s arms, which automatically tightened around her, holding on to her, imprinting her form and smell onto him as he’d done to her father almost four months ago.

Eventually, Allie broke from her Arthur-inherited stoicism and threw her little arms around as much of Eames as she could.

“I love you, Mama,” she mumbled into his shirt.

Eames squeezed his eyes shut, the pre-tear warmth making itself known. “I love you too, Alanna,” he whispered back. “More than anything. You and your father.”

A cough sounded above ‘mother’ and daughter, and Eames reluctantly let go and stood back up to his normal height, wincing when his back panged in agony.

“I’ll take care of her, Tom,” Dom said softly.

“I certainly hope you do,” Eames replied, an unspoken warning in his voice. He exhaled through his nose, not wanting Dom to see the emotions he was sure were in his eyes. “I’ll call when it’s over,”

Dom nodded before turning his attention to Allie. “C’mon then, sweetheart. Are you sleepy?”

Eames locked his jaw, forcing himself to turn away and head back to his car, hand feeling empty without Allie’s filling it. He managed to hold it in until he was safely at the house and sitting down in the living room.

The house already lacked something, as if his family were not just simply away but had died. He felt that absence even in himself, even as one – or both – of his unborn twins stirred. Eames laid back on the cushions, rubbing his huge belly soothingly.

“I know, guys,” he sighed. “It’s never normal with us, is it?”

The other kicked as if in agreement. Rolling his eyes, Eames squished into the sofa and stared at the wall until the sun came back up, wondering what to do – and most of all, how to do it without dying.

Next chapter
Title: The Wheels Come Down
Author: MikaHaeli8
Pairing(s): Eames/ Arthur.
Summary: Arthur and Eames are married with a daughter, a dog and a practically perfect life, all of that stuff. They have very few secrets between then...or so Eames thinks, not knowing about the job that Arthur has. And then some.
Genre(s): AU, romance, est-rel, family/ domesticity, fluff, MPreg, eventual dark/ tragedy.
Warning(s): Mentions of MPreg, violence, self-beta’d, British spelling and slang.
Rating: PG-13 (violence, threat, mild language)
Word count: 1, 256
Disclaimer: Characters sprung from le mind of Christopher Nolan. Allie, however, is mine.
Author’s Note: Numberrrrrr 8! Holy crap, I'm getting through these quickly. I hope the quality is good. Please tell me, even if it's not! Love honesty...Right: drill applies: comment or no chapter 9. Do enjoy, however :D ~Mika

Previous chapter
~x~

Helsinki

The sharply-dressed man paced back and forth, his shoes barely making a sound on the carpeted floor. The silence hung over the equally well-dressed men in the room as they watched the kinetic senior, wondering when or how he would break the silence.

“Gentlemen!”

It wasn’t quite a gunshot, but it had the same effect. Many of the suits in the room flinched as the word less hit their ears than exploded in them, the sarcastic edge the most piercing aspect.

“It’s been three months since our first confrontation with Tuomas and we have made no progress whatsoever, save to piss him off more than necessary.” The moving man paced towards the nearest one in front of him, stopping mere centimetres away from him. “Why is that? Teinra, can you answer that?”

Another man cleared his throat. “Sir, if I may…”

“Hietala. Yes?”

“Taikkonen is a highly elusive creature – ”

“Of course he is. He is a criminal; not only that, he has a daughter he wishes to protect!” the first man snapped. “It is natural that he would be elusive. Have you heard back from Dunn and Becker?”

“No, not yet. Their last report was twenty-four hours ago,”

“Which was?

“Taikkonen made a phone call to somebody he called ‘Dom’. Something to do with a baby mouse – ”

“A baby mouse.” The man wheeled on his heel and put a finger out. “Our first confrontation with Tuomas. He said something to his daughter, Alanna. Does anyone remember, or did anyone record, exactly what it was?”

Another silence fell over the anonymous, clinical room, this time more thoughtful. Near the back of the room, someone else muttered.

The leader cocked his head. “What was that, Sjolander?”

Sjolander sighed through his nose and raised his voice. “I was thinking out loud. I was looking over the recordings and at some point, Taikkonen yelled something about ‘playing baby mouse’. So, I am thinking…in this case, Alanna is the baby mouse.”

The first man’s eyes widened slightly. “He’s moving her. Natural, of course, but we need to seize the two of them before they slip from our radar.” He turned again. “Sjolander? Good work. Call Becker and Dunn again. Tell them what I have just told you. Stop Taikkonen and Solomon from reaching the house of this…Dom character. If they can.”

~x~

Aware that he didn’t have a lot of time, aware that the items he was looking for were an absolute necessity, Eames tore away layer after layer of paper in the safe before he found the three envelopes he was looking for. They were thick and creamy, sealed with both the standard envelope glue and a wax seal (because the choice of materials, and thus the choice of how securely sealed the information inside was – that was all Arthur, as Eames could often be terrible at making minor decisions like that).

He pulled out the ones he was looking for, running his thumb lightly over the slightly textured names written on them, and slid them into his waistband, next to his gun.

“Allie, love!” he called. “Have you got everything?”

“Nooooo!” a worried little voice replied. Hurriedly, Eames ran over to her room, where his dark-haired daughter stood in the middle of a very messy room, shoulders hunched, biting her nails in worry. Numerous yet indirect confrontations with the Finnish men had left her scared and with even worse nightmares than before.

“Allie, darling, don’t do that, it’s not a good habit,” her ‘mother’ said absent-mindedly, squatting to her level. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know if to take Charlie or Abby with me. How long ‘m I gonna stay with Uncle Dom?” Her large blue-grey eyes turned upon Eames, brimming with genuine worry.

“Take both of them. I don’t know how long you’ll be with Uncle Dom. I can’t answer that.” Eames sighed, drawing her close. His options were quickly running out with these Nordic strangers and he didn’t want Allie in the house if and when they diminished to one. If anything, her safety was a priority.

“What about Nelly?” she mumbled, voice muffled by Eames’ shirt.

“Nelly will stay here with me,”

“She can’t come with me?”

Eames shook his head. “Doggies make your cousin Phillipa sneeze, remember?”

Allie shrugged under her ‘mother”s arms. With a sigh, Eames uncurled them from her and stood up as best as he could. Being five and a half months pregnant with twins was starting to put stress on his body, which was making its ‘I’m not built for this!’ protests known via aches and pains.

Worst of all, he hadn’t heard from Arthur for several weeks. Before Allie, before domesticity, he wouldn’t have worried.

“Come on then, love. Got everything?” he asked.

“Not everything, Mama.” Allie sighed, and an eye-roll could practically be heard in her voice. “I can’t take my whole room with me.”

“You’re just like your daddy, you know that?”

“Daddy tells me I look like you,” Allie replied. “Though I’ve got long black hair, and you haven’t got much hair at all,”

“I do too, young lady,” Eames mock-admonished, the brightly-coloured rucksack in one hand and its owner in the other. “C’mon. We don’t have a lot of time.”

~x~

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Arthur woke up with a feeling of finality. It wasn’t a negative kind of finality; it was the finality that could only come from a successful job. It was done. He could go home, go to his family; fulfil the promise he’d made before he left and be there for his baby –

His babies. Twins. It was so easy to forget.

“What’re you smiling at?”

“H’mm?” Arthur turned his head to see Ariadne. “Oh, nothing.”

The young woman’s eyes narrowed, scrutinising him a little more, before her intense gaze broke. “Actually, if it’s anything to do with what I think it is, I don’t wanna know.”

“I’ll let you fight with the image in your head,” Arthur gracefully allowed, closing the PASIV and the paper-filled briefcase, one after the other, as always. Making sure they were tightly closed, he gripped the handles with one hand, slid them off the table –

And heard shots go off as soon as he did, shots that sounded as if they were in close proximity to the room the team were in.

With his free hand, Arthur reached for his gun, every little sound like a knife on his nerves in his hyperawareness. The shooting stopped, but the footsteps increased in volume, and the team were just as coiled and prepared as the point man was, individual guns aimed at the door.

As soon as it burst open, there was a volley of fire and bullets from both sides of the room, destroying it and causing debris in doing so. All Arthur could do was squint through the dust and fired semi-blindly in the right direction, but quickly ran out of bullets and settled for his own natural fighting skills when people got too close.

He received a bullet in the chest in response, which sent him flying to the ground, head knocking on the hard floor. He didn’t know when the gunfight ended or even if it did end, hearing as muffled as it was (how close was the gun when it went off?). He heard shouts, he heard more noise and suddenly, it was silent, faces appearing in his vision.

The last thing he thought before he blacked out was: Eames is gonna be so pissed with me.

Next chapter...

Title: Wrong Place, The Right Time
Author: MikaHaeli8
Pairing(s): Eames/ Arthur.
Summary: Arthur and Eames are married with a daughter, a dog and a practically perfect life, all of that stuff. They have very few secrets between then...or so Eames thinks, not knowing about the job that Arthur has. And then some.
Genre(s): AU, romance, est-rel, family/ domesticity, fluff, MPreg, eventual dark/ tragedy.
Warning(s): Mentions of MPreg, self-beta’d, British spelling and slang.
Rating: PG-13 (angst, couple of swear words)
Word count: 1, 284
Disclaimer: Characters sprung from le mind of Christopher Nolan. Allie, however, is mine.
Author’s Note: I apologise for the lack of updates recently - been enjoying my summer holiday as well as job hunting, lol! I have an end to the story, but I need a few more 'kicks' to get there. I guess we're around halfway there, which is weird and slightly...strange. Haha. Anyway, read, comment, enjoy! And pay attention to the smaller details as well - what's said and done. If not, it'll come back to bite you in the arse later. Just a warning ;) ~Mika

Previous chapter
~x~

Eames wasn’t sure what woke him at two-thirty a.m., the frantic buzzing of the phone on the nightstand or the soft padding of Allie’s footsteps as she approached the bedroom door. He swiped the phone from the side, seeing Arthur’s name (or an alias of his that Eames recognised as Arthur) on the screen, told Allie to “wait a sec” and pressed green.

“Hello?”

He heard a long exhalation before Arthur spoke. “You’re okay.”

Eames paused. “Yes, I am. ‘S up?”

“Nothing…just…I had a feeling,”

“That tonight’s gonna be a good night?” Eames smirked, impressed with himself for coming up with that despite the hour.

“Goddamn it, don’t.”

A heartbeat passed. “So, what…did you ring me for an awkward silence? ‘Cause you know you’ve got Saito for that,”

“Oh come on, he didn’t even see – ”

“Well, darling, put it this way – he’s maintained a half-foot distance since then,”

“…Oh.”

“You can’t tell me you haven’t noticed?” Eames chuckled, glancing at Allie, who was swaying on her feet in an effort to stay awake. He beckoned her over and with a Herculean effort, she climbed onto the bed and under her ‘mother”s outstretched arm. “Anyway, you ‘kay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine, you?”

Eames swallowed, wondering how to reply. “Yeah.”

“There was a pause. Also, you’d say that even if your arms were hanging by a thread.”

“Even if they were, you’d find, ahem, replacements. You’d miss my hands too much to leave me armless forever,”

“Also, it would be the butt of many jokes for years to come,”

“Hehe, butt,” Allie giggled.

There was a pause on the other end. “What’s Allie doing up?”

“Well, I was about to ask her, darling, but then you called. Although something tells me that the reason our daughter is tucked under my arm at 2:32am and your phone call are connected.”

There was a sigh on the other end. “Something happened today, didn’t it.”

A loaded statement. Arthur knew something had happened, even if he didn’t know how, when or why.

“Tell Daddy about the bad men,” Allie whispered, tapping Eames’ arm, a worried look crossing her little face.

Eames absentmindedly ran his fingers lightly through her hair, taking a deep breath. “Yeah, it did when Allie and I came home from the clinic. We were, ah…accosted by some strangers,”

“Strangers?”

“Yeah.” Eames pushed himself up to sit against the headboard. “They were pretty aggressive. Guns and everything.”

“Well, what did they want? Are you and Allie okay? The twins, are they okay?”

Eames could hear the fray in Arthur’s voice and unconsciously clenched and unclenched his fist, suppressing the worry rising in him. “Everyone’s fine. No-one got hurt. And as to what they wanted…” He fell silent again.

“What did they want, Eames?” Arthur’s voice was low, completely level and totally controlled, the kind that gave no leeway for arguments or avoidance.

“They wanted us. Allie and I.”

An indistinguishable curse word came out, disguised via a hiss. “Why?”

“Because of the biological thing I can do that most men can’t,”

Fuck,” Arthur hissed again. “Where’d they find you?”

“I told you. It was after we got back from the clinic, just after we’d gotten out the car.”

“So outside the house,”

“Basically.” Eames looked back at Allie, who was staring at him with large, scared eyes. “Honestly, we’re okay. How’s things your end?”

Arthur sighed. “Well as can be expected, I guess.”

“Okay.” Eames swallowed. “Well, I’ve got a terrified-looking baby mouse under my arm, so I need to soothe her back to sleep.”

“Alright then. You do that. If you run into any more trouble…”

“I’ll use my knuckles,” Eames finished, the corner of his lips quirking up into a smile.

Arthur allowed himself a breathless chuckle, which may have made Eames’ heart twist just a little. “You do that. I’ll…be back soon.” I’ll try and be back soon as I can.

“That would be nice.” Please do, I’m scared for our kids.

“Take care, Mr. Eames.” I love you.

“You too, Arthur.” I love you too.

Eames shoved the phone unceremoniously back into the drawer and turned his attention back to his daughter. “Wh’s’up, little one?”

“I had a bad dream, Mama,” Allie mumbled into Eames’ side.

Mama. The word jolted the Brit for a second; he’d forgotten all about their earlier conversation. He lifted the little girl into his lap, muscular arms encircling her. “What kind of bad dream?”

“The bad men were coming to get me.” Allie buried her face into her ‘mother’’s shoulder – something she seemed to do a lot recently. “They hurted you and Daddy A and they got me and put me in a big dark car and…and…”

“And?”

“And I woke up and it was dark and I was scared, Mama. I thought the bad men had got me.”

I need to get her out of here. Somewhere safer than this place. Eames tightened his arms around Allie and rocked her gently, making soothing, wordless noises, gut tight with – and this was an emotion he’d only started experiencing in the last half-decade – anxiety. Get her out, find those men, break their necks if necessary. Whatever it fucking takes, as long as they’re away from my daughter.

The next few minutes were one of surprise as he realised what he’d just thought.

Allie’s breathing slowed and became deep and regular, fingers unconsciously flexing. Smoothly, Eames held on tight to her, sliding out of bed and padding over to her room, disentangling her from him silently and laying her down on her bed. He knelt down and tucked the quilt under her chin, running the pads of his thumbs over the fragile structure of her face – Arthur’s bone structure, no matter what anyone said.

“Alanna Michaela Eames Solomon,” he murmured softly, slotting in his surname on his own volition, “you and your father are my world, and don’t you forget it.”

Allie stirred, a brief frown crossing her forehead in sleep. Kissing it away, Eames stood up and padded back to his bedroom, digging out one of the many phones he owned and dialling a number with a heavy heart. He didn’t want to be separate from Allie like Arthur was – it was one of the reasons they didn’t work together any more, in case they both died on the job and there was no-one to look after her – but right now, he didn’t have a choice.

~x~

“Everything alright?”

“Yeah,” Arthur replied, his voice calm and controlled as usual. “Yeah, everything’s fine.”

“What happened? You just bolted from the room and none of us knew…” Ariadne threw her hands up, lacking words. She dropped her voice when she spoke again. “I haven’t seen you like this since Brisbane.”

Arthur pressed the heel of his hand into his eyes, wondering how to tell her without revealing the real reason. The déjà vu he’d experienced in that moment; the feeling that, once again, he’d lose everything. That nasty moment when he’d craved confirmation of still having everything that mattered to him.

He couldn’t go through that again.

“‘S nothing, Ari,” he muttered, turning the page over and skimming the notes on the page.

“Uh huh,” she returned sarcastically. “Left the oven or the iron on?”

Arthur cracked a small smile. “No, both are Eames’ concerns,”

“Of course they are.”

Arthur didn’t even want to know what that meant, as loaded as it was. When he looked up, he was alone in the room – just him and the opportunity for self-introspection, which was never a good idea.

Pushing it out of his mind, he returned his sight to the notes ahead, the worry from earlier pushed down to fester in his gut.

Next chapter
Title: Since I Met You
Author: MikaHaeli8
Pairing(s): Eames/ Arthur.
Summary: Arthur and Eames are married with a daughter, a dog and a practically perfect life, all of that stuff. They have very few secrets between then...or so Eames thinks, not knowing about the job that Arthur has. And then some.
Genre(s): AU, romance, est-rel, family/ domesticity, fluff, MPreg, eventual dark/ tragedy.
Warning(s): Violence, mentions of MPreg, saccharine-sweetness with a cynical edge, self-beta’d, British spelling and slang.
Rating: R (violence, threat, swearing)
Word count: 1, 308
Disclaimer: Characters sprung from le mind of Christopher Nolan. Allie, however, is mine.
Author’s Note: Fwooof. Longest chapter so far, and written in approximately an hour and a half. Which is pretty good considering it takes me a good couple of hours to write one. Anyway, please read, comment and most of all, enjoy! ~Mika

Previous chapter
~x~

“Allie, get in the car and play baby mouse for me,”

“Mama, what was that noise? Why – ”

Please, Allie, quickly!” Eames had to fight to keep his voice low and free of pleading. Hurriedly, the wide-eyed five-year old scrambled back in the car. “Under the seats. That’s it. Curl up nice and tightly – ”

He’d only just gotten the door shut when a bullet whistled past his ear and into the window behind him, cracking the glass. Locking the door and pulling his Browning out from the waistband of his jeans, he aimed in the approximate direction the bullet had come from and fired until he heard a scream.

It was lucky that it was a clear day, else Eames wouldn’t have seen the shadow of the second person round the car towards him, fists clenched. Swinging his arm out, the Brit thwacked the thug on the forehead, temporarily blinding him enough for the Brit to deliver a kick to the small of the other man’s back and shoot him in the shoulder, just as a third man – Jesus, how many are there? – grabbed him by the shoulder, spinning him around and grabbing the wrist of Eames’ gun hand. Eames tried to wrench free, quickly glancing at the car in time to see a fourth man approach the car.

All that separated that one from Allie was an amalgamation of glass, metal and plastic.

Protective instincts going into overdrive, he yanked his trapped wrist, but the man’s grip tightened. Seeing no other way out and growing desperate, Eames jerked his knee up, only to send it colliding with the handle of the other man’s gun.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” the stranger said in a cool, accented voice.

“So let me go,” Eames hissed.

“Stop struggling.”

The man’s tone allowed no room for disagreements. Eventually, Eames’ instincts calmed enough to let the man go. The Brit sprang back several steps, gun pointed at the stranger.

The accented man put his hands up, palms facing Eames. “I have no quarrel with you.”

“Right, that’s why you brought guns,” Eames replied sarcastically, jerking his head towards the fourth man, who was still hovering menacingly at the car door. Allie was still curled up tightly below the seat, visibly shaking, and Eames resisted the urge to unlock the door and curl his body around hers in protection, locking them both inside the car.

“Say, that bloke there. Is he yours as well?”

The stranger who’d just held his wrist in a vice-like grip dipped his head. Eames watched him, wondering what he would do or say.

“Yes, he is.”

“How about getting him the fuck away from my car, then?”

The man proceeded to speak to the fourth man near the car door in a language Eames recognised as Finnish. Somewhat reluctantly, he backed away from the car and towards the third man, whose fitted cream blazer had sprouted a large, spreading bloom of red.

“Something precious in there, Thomas?” the Finnish speaker asked, attention fully back on the con man. “Or someone? I do believe I heard you speak to someone…Allie?”

Eames stiffened, the gun trained on the other man.

The Finnish speaking man gave the slightest of shrugs. “Interesting. Well, it was you I wanted to see after all.”

“What do you want?” Eames’ voice was low, a slight waver in it. His instincts were screaming at him with that man; with the other men; with the whole situation that was going on.

“Ah, Tuomas.” The other man exhaled in a manner that could almost be identified as fond. “It is astounding how like your father you are. Your birth father, I mean. Although you did not know him, I can already see how much of him is in you. Right down to the way you hold that gun now.”

Eames swallowed, not knowing what to say.

“I always wondered how you survived the corrupt members of the Suojelupoliisi when your parents did not,” the man continued, seemingly – or deliberately – unaware that he was making Eames flinch with every word. “Maybe they hid you? Maybe they’d sent you away…No.”

“I was there.” The Englishman fought to keep his voice steady. “I was found curled up under their bed.”

 – playing baby mouse, I was playing baby mouse, just like I told Allie to

“Ah, yes.” There was a nostalgic warmth in the stranger’s voice, as if he was remembering it fondly.

“What do you want, apart from dredging up my long-forgotten past?” Eames’ arms were beginning to ache.

“See, we are very interested in you. And your daughter, actually.” The man barely took a step, but he interlinked his fingers, fixing his gaze straight on the Englishman. “Male pregnancies are not a common occurrence – ”

Doctor Evans’ words sounded in Eames’ head. You’re one of maybe five cases I’ve seen in the last ten years.

“ – and we’re interested in the biological consequences of this type of…” He paused for a minute. “Reproduction.”

“As in, you want to know if it happens more than once, if the offspring produced are fertile? That kind of thing?”

Another dip of the head. “Precisely.”

Eames laughed, lowering his arm whilst keeping his gun pointed at the stranger.

“What is so humorous to you?”

The Englishman shook his head. “You think it’ll be that easy? Really? That I’ll just take my daughter and trot along with you in your little white van?” He chuckled again. “You’re fucking joking, mate. Now get the fuck off of my property, off my street, out my country and back into yours. I’m not interested.”

“Suit yourself, Thomas.” The man began walking towards and then past Eames, who was still pointing the gun at him as he went. “I doubt certain people will be happy to read your – how would you put it? – colourful list of misdeeds. GBH, theft, fraud, forgery – oh, and let’s not forget your spate in dreamsharing.”

Eames’ jaw tightened. “Certain people?” he repeated.

“Like the British authorities.” The stranger stopped and smiled a cold, hard lizard smile. “And your American husband. Goodbye, Mr. Eames. I hope you’ll reconsider.”

Eames’ stomach was roiling at this point and he stumbled to the bushes opposite him to throw up, his mind flooded with questions as he tucked the Browning back into his waistband and unlocked the doors. He and Arthur had been so careful – false names and paperwork, the whole deal. Did we slip up? How? Were we sold out?

“Allie, you can come out now, it’s okay,” he called softly to the shaking bundle under the passenger seat.

Slowly, the five-year old uncurled and crawled out the car, shaking so hard her teeth were chattering. Gently, Eames guided her inside whilst she clung onto his hand, cutting off the blood supply to his fingers.

Once they were in the living room and once all the doors were locked, Eames caved to his instincts and swept his daughter up in his arms, curling his body protectively over hers and holding her tightly, whispering soothing sounds into her ear as she shook and whimpered, terrified and traumatised. She hadn’t seen, but she had definitely heard, and Eames admitted to himself that he wouldn’t be surprised if she had nightmares.

After he was sure she was calmed, the Englishman distracted Allie with some toys whilst he made himself some tea, the Finn’s words floating over in his head.

…the British authorities…your American husband…colourful list of misdeeds…

Arthur knew about most of Eames’ past. He was the only one who did. Threats were nothing new to either of them, and had been swiftly and succinctly dealt with. However, Eames couldn’t help but feel that Allie and his – their – unborn twins were threatened by the very presence of this man.

That had to be dealt with, and soon.

Next chapter
Title: Wind in the Wheat
Author: MikaHaeli8
Pairing(s): Eames/ Arthur.
Summary: Arthur and Eames are married with a daughter, a dog and a practically perfect life, all of that stuff. They have very few secrets between then...or so Eames thinks, not knowing about the job that Arthur has. And then some.
Genre(s): AU, romance, est-rel, family/ domesticity, fluff, MPreg, eventual dark/ tragedy.
Warning(s): Mentions of MPreg, mild threat, self-beta’d, British spelling and slang.
Rating: PG-13 (themes, mild violence)
Word count: 1, 158
Disclaimer: Characters sprung from Christopher Nolan. Allie and the mystery voices at the end, however, are mine.
Author’s Note: Chapter 5! Special thanks to my lovely lady (y'know who you are) for agreeing to read this. Hooo boy. Prepare thyself. ~Mika

Previous chapter
~x~

In the clinic, as the machine searched for signs of life, Eames kept his breathing regular. This was in an attempt to suffuse the rising panic in him as the dark screen stayed stubbornly blank, a kind of hum sounding from the machine. He tried to suppress the thoughts of the previous tries, the hypotheticals of what if they can’t find a heartbeat, what if this is the only time I see this little one, what if I lose him or her, what if Arthur is disappointed and this is too much and he leaves, oh god, please don’t let him leave me.

Behind him, Allie swung her legs, completely unaware of her ‘mother’’s inner turmoil. Only the occasional rustle of paper told Eames she was flicking through her picture book. Where the Wild Things Are. It had been her father’s favourite, therefore it had become her favourite over time.

Sometimes, Allie was too much like Arthur, no matter how much the aforementioned claimed she was more like Eames in the things that couldn’t be seen.

The sound of a heartbeat filled the room – no, Eames thought, that’s two heartbeats

“Congratulations.” Dr. Evans’ voice was full of warmth. “You’re expecting twins. By the looks of things, you’re approximately nine weeks along, which means you’ll be due on or around 15th May,”

“Twins?” Eames repeated, eyes scanning the screen, where sure enough, two fuzzy blobs were floating around idly on the screen. For a moment, the Englishman’s brain was suspended from any coherent, logical or relevant thought, save for: Will they both have Arthur’s dimples?

“Twins?” Allie echoed, her voice high. “Where are they?”

Eames chucked. “They’re in my tummy, darling.”

“Can I see?”

“Say please to Doctor Evans,”

“Doctor Evans, please can I see?” Allie turned her attention – and her charm – on the woman with the console.

“Of course, Allie. Come here and I’ll point them out to you.”

The little girl skipped happily over as Dr. Evans removed the scanner and froze the screen, allowing Eames to wipe himself off and roll his shirt back over his stomach. He trailed his fingers over his abdomen, mind numbed with the news. Twins. Bloody hell.

He texted Arthur briefly with the news once they’d left the clinic before removing the SIM card and destroying it completely, as was the usual way for them.

The journey home was experienced in almost total silence until Allie spoke up.

“Daddy E?”

“Mm?” Eames flickered his eyes between the mirrors before indicating.

“I was thinking…”

“What about, sweetheart?”

Allie sighed. “Well, Joanna’s mummy at school, she’s having a baby. And you’re my daddy, and you’re having babies.”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“And you had me, didn’t you? And now you’re having more babies. Does that make you my mummy?”

You’re my daddy and you’re having babies. Eames chuckled. “I suppose it does, Allie.”

“So…” Allie trailed off, hesitant. “C’n I call you Mummy from now on?”

The driver turned it over in his mind. In a way, it made sense, if only in the biological factor. Additionally, it was a long running joke between Arthur and himself – since Eames had the womb, he had the permanent chance of becoming a mother.

“Yeah, sure, honey.”

“Yaaay!”

“One condition, though.”

Allie frowned. Eames caught it in the mirror and had to double check to ensure it wasn’t Arthur in the backseat. “What’s a condition?”

“It’s something you need to agree to so you can get what you asked for,” Eames explained slowly, making sure he selected the right language for the five-year old to understand.

“Okay.” Allie bit her lip. “What’s the codition, then?”

Eames restrained a smile at her mispronunciation. “Only Daddy A must know, okay?”

There was a silence. “Why only Daddy A?”

“Because…” The Brit exhaled as he wondered how to phrase this. “Some people…don’t like the idea of a man having babies. They don’t say or do very nice things. So Daddy A and I…we’ll tell the people we know and trust. Okay?” Even though Daddy A is the only one I trust with this kind of information.

“Okay.” Allie’s voice was quieter, with an edge of disappointment to it. “What kind of bad things?”

Eames bit the tip of his tongue. “Things that five-year olds shouldn’t hear about.”

“‘Kay.”

The Brit exhaled quietly as he parked the car. As he and Allie got out, something flickered in the corner of his eye. Whipping his head around, hand on Allie’s shoulder drawing her behind him, his senses were on full alert as he scanned the winter scenery.

Just when he was sure nothing was there, the first gunshot sounded.

~x~

Profit’s been checked – double what was expected.

It was terse but enough to make a grin explode onto Arthur’s face as soon as he managed to crack the code Eames employed in that singular message. None of the team had slept for a good eighteen hours, on top of the ten hours they’d had as the most active part of the job; however, this news seemed to revitalise Arthur, if only a little.

It had been six weeks since they’d started – since Arthur left Eames and Allie and his unborn baby (babies, he corrects himself, babies plural). This mark was tricky, especially since he had a militarised subconscious – something Arthur did not overlook this time, much to Ariadne’s relief.

“Hey, Arthur! What’s gotten you so happy?”

Speak of the Devil.

“Oh.” Arthur pressed delete and tucked his phone back in his pocket. “Nothing at all.”

“Sure,” Ariadne replied dryly, but didn’t press further. Arthur was sure the stupid grin on his face gave it away anyway.

“So, what do we have?”

“Well, we’ve learned exactly where the blueprints are…”

“Unless he shifts them again,” Arthur pointed out.

“Unless he shifts them again,” Edward echoed in agreement, shoulders slumping in exasperation. “It’s now just a case of reaching and obtaining the blueprints…”

Twins.

The corner of the point man’s lips quirked upwards as the thought inevitably floated back into his mind.

Jesus, that’s a houseful.

Despite the sleeplessness, despite the euphoria brought by the news, he couldn’t help but feel, at that very moment in a dull, cramped, hot room thousands of miles from his family, a cold trickle down his spine which usually told him something was wrong.

“…Okay, I think we’re done for the da – ”

The words were barely out of the mouth of whoever spoke them when Arthur was off, speeding out the building so fast his feet didn’t touch the floor, heart pounding, the trickle of danger now a full-on waterfall. Grabbing the nearest phone box, he shoved the receiver to his ear and some coins in the machine, dialled a number – the number – and waited, phone pressed so hard to his ear it hurt.

And waited for Eames or Allie to pick up, counting the heartbeats between each ring, the gaps spacing him further from his family.

Next chapter
Title: Turn It Around Tonight
Author: MikaHaeli8
Pairing(s): Eames/ Arthur.
Summary: Arthur and Eames are married with a daughter, a dog and a practically perfect life, all of that stuff. They have very few secrets between then...or so Eames thinks, not knowing about the job that Arthur has. And then some.
Genre(s): AU, romance, est-rel, family/ domesticity, fluff, MPreg, eventual dark/ tragedy.
Warning(s): Mentions of MPreg, mild threat, self-beta’d, British spelling and slang.
Rating: PG-13 (themes, single swear word)
Word count: 1, 129
Disclaimer: Characters sprung from Christopher Nolan. Allie and the mystery voices at the end, however, are mine.
Author’s Note: Waheeey, chapter 4! Expect more frequent updating now I'm done with University for the year! Eeeh. :D Anyway - please comment or no chapter 5. Thanks to those who commented last time. Always appreciated ^_^ ~Mika

Previous chapter
~x~

Don’t let me go. Come with me. Keep me here. Keep me safe; keep me alive…just keep me like you’ve been doing all this time.

A million things Arthur wanted to say, and what he eventually said was “I have to go”.

“Y’ don’t,” Eames mumbled, denial colouring his voice, although he let the other man go.

Arthur leaned back in for one more kiss, his forehead meeting with that of the other.

“Warning still stands, y’know. Come back dead and I’ll kill you,” Eames mumbled, voice sleep-laden.

“Doubly so this time, right?”

“Depends on how many babies are in here,”

“Touché.”The fingers on Arthur’s left hand lingered on as much of Eames as they could whilst the other smoothed, straightened and tidied the slightly bed-rumpled suit. Which was, by now, imprinted with Eames’ smell, the weight of his body and various other elements distinct to him – surely a sign that it could never – would never – be completely straightened again.

Arthur felt fingers caressing the smooth materials on his back. He leaned back into the touch, closing his eyes as the fingers splayed across his back, rubbing it.

“Jus’ stay safe, yeah?”

Arthur nodded, jaw tightening, swallowing around the lump in his throat.

“I’ll do my best, Mr. Eames,” he replied softly, allowing himself another moment in Eames’ touch before leaning forward and hauling himself off the bed. Picking the PASIV and his suitcase up, he exchanged one more look with his husband before leaving the room without another word.

It was five in the morning, the sun beginning to lighten the sky. Arthur was just about to give his thanks that Allie wasn’t awake when –

“Daddy A, where you going?”

Allie stood in her doorway in her light blue nightgown, rubbing her eyes, her curly dark brown hair tousled and the peaks and troughs in her accent more typical of Arthur’s than Eames’, as it usually was when she was tired.

Arthur exhaled, closing his eyes briefly and putting the cases down. “I’ve got to work, sweetie.”

Allie tottered over to her father, who gave in to his instincts and swooped her up in his arms, settling her on his hip. “Will you be home for tea?”

Her father’s jaw tightened even more, repressing his bubbling emotions. “No, Allie Gee, I won’t. I’m gonna be gone for a little while,”

“What about tomorrow?”

“Not tomorrow, either.”

“The weekend?”

Allie’s large greyish eyes fixed on him, seeking answers and certainty he couldn’t give her. He ran his fingers through her hair. “Longer than that. I’ll be back next year, okay? Four months. That’s all.”

“That’s aaaaaages away.” Allie thunked her forehead onto Arthur’s shoulder.

I know. He kissed the side of her head, breathing in her sleepy smell and holding her tightly, rocking her from side to side as she mumbled something.

“Hmm?”

“Swear you’ll come home,” she repeated, voice wavy, her large eyes meeting his dark browns. “Daddy E gets upset when you’re away. He walks around a lot and stares at the phone like it will turn into a bad man. Daddy E is not happy and I am not happy when you’re not home.”

“Oh baby…” Arthur whispered, holding Allie close again, lost for words. “I’ll come home. I swear. But right now, I have to go, okay? I’m gonna put you down and go. But I’ll come back.”

“Promise?” Allie repeated, releasing her father and allowing herself to be put down.

“I promise, little one.” Arthur ran his fingers through her hair one last time, smoothing it down, kissing her forehead and picking up the cases. “See you later, Allie-gator,”

“In a while, crocodile,” the five-year old repeated forlornly, her unhappiness evident in her voice. Silently appearing from behind her, Eames knelt and caught Allie’s attention, distracting her enough to let Arthur leave.

~x~

“Hello, Mr. Solomon. Pleasure to finally meet you,”

“Please, call me Arthur.” Arthur shook hands with their extractor. “Pleasure’s all mine…Edward, isn’t it?”

“Yes it is. Got everything?”

“Indeed I do.” Arthur nodded towards the PASIV and the other case, keeping a tight grip on both of them.

“Don’t remember a time when he hasn’t been prepared for a job,” Ariadne interjected drily. “How’s the family?” she asked him in a lower tone.

Arthur let himself have a small smile, grateful for a familiar presence. “The family’s great, how are things with you?”

“Same old,” Ariadne replied ambiguously, leaving it at that. Just then, their flight was called, and without a backwards look – Arthur was never one for looking back, figuratively or literally – everyone rose and headed in the direction of their gate.

Arthur did allow himself a look at the approximate location of his family as the plane took off, however, praying for their safety to deities he didn’t believe in.

~x~

Meanwhile…

“He’s gone.”

“He’s left? Are you sure?”

“Definitely. I saw him get into the taxi, cases and all.”

“And are you sure it was him?”

“Five-ten, slim, dark brown and dark brown?”

“Affirmative.”

“Then yes, I’m certain. How many times have we been over this, Dunn?”

“Apologies. With your history, I wasn’t certain – ”

“The past is the past. We gotta focus on now.” A sigh. “He’s got family in there?”

“Yes he does. Thomas Eames, born Tuomas Fijlke Taikkonen in Helsinki to Swedish and Finnish parents. Adopted by a British couple as a child after watching his parents die in a home invasion. Five-ten, brown and grey-green, muscular build, rap sheet the length of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and spanning twenty, thirty years. You don’t want to fuck with this guy, I guarantee. He could probably crush your balls just by pinching them.”

“Any children?”

A pause. “One daughter. Alanna Michaela Solomon, commonly known as Allie, five years old. Dark brown and grey-green and the result of one of the few cases of successful male pregnancies.”

“Who’s the mother in this case?”

“The aforementioned Eames, hence my addition at the end of his profile. From what I understand, he’s incredibly protective over Allie.”

A silence whilst the information was absorbed. “Does she know what her parents do for a living?”

“From my observations, no. She seems to think Eames is a sculptor and Solomon is a travel agent, hence why they’re both frequently away. Stays with a family member if her parents work together, which is not a common occurrence.”

“Hmmm.” Another pause. “Excellent observing.”

“Thank you, sir. What course of action do we take?”

“Carry on as you are.”

“Carry on?”

“Yes. You will wait until I give the command. You will wait, else you’ll know what will happen.”

An exhalation, carrying worry and frustration. “Yes sir. Carry on observing the family. And wait until you give the word.”

“Good.“ A chuckle. “Excellent.”

Next chapter

ARTICLE: Band Buying Guide - Alkaline Trio

Who the fack are they?
Alkaline Trio are a group of three guys who decided to get together in the mid-Nineties and play punk rock music. They're still together making music, their last album being 2010's This Addiction. Anyway, the reason for this article was that I was once again having an AT binge and thought, 'hey, why not exercise my journalistic skills and write a Buying Guide or something for them?' Thus, this came around. Right, let's go.

~x~
For The Utter N00b
From Here to Infirmary (2001) and Good Mourning (2003)

  

Now, you're thinking I'm being a cop-out by picking two albums to start off with. But believe me, those two are the best albums the guys have ever done (though Good Mourning only just edges it. Just. Not enough to edge out From Here to Infirmary). Their third and fourth albums mark a turn away from the loud, messy punk of their first two albums (more on which later) and plants them firmly on the path that they've followed pretty much since. The songwriting and musicianship is much, much tighter and more accessible, the lyrics are razor-sharp (see the dry Blue in the Face on GM), and frontman Matt Skiba's then-alcohol-ravaged voice serves to add authenticity to the proceedings. All-round excellence which hasn't aged a day.

For Those Who Want to Go A Little Deeper
This Addiction
(2010)



After the more polished and slightly subdued efforts of Crimson and Agony & Irony (more of which down below), the Trio seemed to regain their early Noughties bounce and fury with this eleven-tracker without losing the songwriting/ musicianship progress made since Good Mourning. Which, if you take in the fact that this is their seventh album, is pretty darn impressive when you consider most bands have crashed by their fourth album (looking at you, My Chemical Romance). Bassist and co-vocalist Dan Andriano's songwriting shines in this one, especially in Dine, Dine My Darling and Fine, whilst Skiba stumbles on a few songs (Draculina and Lead Poisoning in particular, where he sounds exhausted) but not badly enough to bring the album down. Whilst not scaling the heights of their third and fourth albums, it's short, acid-tongued and easy to digest, which warrants repeat listenings.

For The Casual Fan
Crimson
(2005) and Agony & Irony (2008)

 

Alternatively, if the rougher edged production of From Here to Infirmary, Good Mourning and This Addiction doesn't grab you, you could try their next two albums, which continue along the same polished road, if a little more held back in terms of the production. Crimson is a pretty decent album on its own, if a couple of steps down from GM in terms of quality. Skiba's voice is cleaner on these two as well, whilst the writing is good, if a little restrained. Crimson lyrically drew from sources as diverse as the West Memphis Three case and the Manson Family whilst A&I is the closest you could get to a summer album from this band. Despite the title, this is their lightest album - a real open-topped-car-speeding-on-the-motorway-on-a-hot-summer-day-wind-in-hair-er.

For Those Who Are Really Getting Into This Band
Maybe I'll Catch Fire
(2000)



Maybe I'll Catch Fire was the Trio's last album recorded with original drummer Glenn Porter, which could explain the subsequent change in musical direction with current drummer Derek Grant. MICF isn't their worst one, but neither is it their best. As the header suggests, this is recommended for those who either a) like the rough production of three of their later albums or b) really, really like the band. The songs do start to come together a little more, but it's a largely forgettable effort overall, save for Fuck You Aurora (a hummable one from this if ever was heard) and the closer, Radio, a live-set staple and the best ballad to open with the line "Shaking like a dog shitting razorblades". You can't imagine Leona Lewis or Christina Perri singing that, could you?

For the Hardcore Bunch
Goddamnit
(1998)



And thus, we conclude at their start. Their first full-lengther is largely a loud and messy bundle, but fits with what they were trying to do at the time (I guess). Whilst Clavicle is a pretty good punk rock love song, sweet lyrics under its brash music ("I wanna wake up naked next to you/ Kissing the curve of your clavicle") and Enjoy Your Day, an Andriano-sung aco-ballad full of bitterness and longing ("So happy Valentine's day/ I hope he bought you flowers"), you wouldn't miss a lot if you didn't buy it. Hardcore lovers only.

Recommended Songs
- Sorry About That
- Clavice
- Enjoy Your Day
- Radio
- Fuck You Aurora
- Private Eye
- Take Lots With Alcohol
- Crawl
- Continental
- Blue Carolina
- Blue in the Face
- Sadie
- Smoke
- Calling All Skeletons
- Do You Wanna Know?
- Live Young, Die Fast
- Dine, Dine My Darling
- Off the Map
- Fine
This was a Mika Haeli piece because she secretly wants to become a journo! Please leave feedback and stuff and also, if you take the advice given in this article, add that too.

~Thanks to Google and Wikipedia for imgs/ info. Self-edited.~

About Me

inception, 2010, totem
mikahaeli8
Mika Haeli Arctilinx

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