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[Fanfiction] In Germany, in Prague

Title In Germany, in Prague
Author: celestineangel
Fandom: Inception
Character(s)/Pairing: Arthur/Eames
Rating: R... ish?
Word Count: 2,865
Summary: In Germany, all things begin. They end in Prague.
Warnings: Um. Character death. A lot of it. Blood eagle (REALLY bloody torture/killing) ahoy! Insanity. Did I mention character death?
Disclaimer: Not my sandbox. I'm just moving sand around.
Author's Notes: So aimlesstravels made the mistake of bringing this prompt at inception_kink to my attention. As you can see, I jumped on that. This is the result. Never mind the title, I suck at titles. Also, there are a few things that, if I had it to do over, I would revise, but I am posting it here as it was originally posted in the thread (unless I made changed before posting in the thread that I didn't make in the saved Word file).

In Germany, in Prague

In Germany, Arthur found his mark.

In Germany, he killed two innocents to get to the man he wanted.

In Germany, it didn't matter anymore because the terror in his target's eyes made up for everything else.

Besides, by Germany, he no longer cared.


They are in Prague, mostly because it is a beautiful city, but partly because this is the last place Arthur might've been happy.

He's already been sight-seeing, been to Old Town and New Town and Vyšehrad Castle, but most especially the Prague Orloj with its astronomical dial and representations of the Earth, the Sun and the Moon. It is a testament to the great things humanity was capable of before cars and computers and Somnacin. It is beautiful enough to clench his chest and shorten his breath.

It does not quite remind him that humanity is still capable of beauty as well as ugliness.


There was a man in Mombasa. There was always a man in Mombasa.

This man, however, learned very quickly what it meant to piss off the best point man in the world. After, he had to learn how to continue his business without four of his ten fingers.

The man in Mombasa told Arthur to talk to a man in Paris, who told him to talk to a woman in Mumbai, who directed him to someone in New York, and by that time he was furiously tired of being told to talk to someone else in another place. By that time, he no longer cared how he came by the information he wanted so long as it came quickly and without bullshit.

The man in New York watched his wife take a bullet between the eyes.

"Darmstadt," New York said, gasping. "Germany. He summers there to get away from the heat."

"Good man." Arthur knelt, looking New York in the eyes, a gaze that made the other man flinch. "Now. You know that I know where Charlotte goes to school." Six months ago, perhaps, uttering that phrase might have troubled him, and hearing New York's whimper and grieving sobs might have given him nightmares. That was six months ago. "So, do you know my name?"


"Do you know what I wanted?"


"Do you know who killed your wife?"


"I'll give you a hint." He shot the man in the leg, then moved away, peering at a thousand-dollar knick knack on one of the bookshelves. "It wasn't me."

"A b-burglar. It w-was a bug-glar."

"Very good. I hope for Charlotte's sake the police buy that."

To help, he stole everything he could fit in his pockets and in the small suitcase he toted with him, and then, on second thought, shot New York in the head. Twice. He was never the type to leave anything to chance. No reason to start.


The sight-seeing is over far too quickly, so he has dinner alone, and takes his time about it. There are reasons and more reasons behind his decision, and Arthur smiles as his order arrives, thanking his waiter. The man must see something in his eyes to unnerve him, because he skitters away as though threatened.

Perhaps he isn't as calm as he thought.

It wouldn't surprise him; his thoughts have been off lately, jumbled and disorganized, completely unlike him. Yet, he can't say he minds. In a way, it's incredibly freeing not to have a schedule—though he does, a small one, not minute-by-minute but built more for intimidation than anything else in that he doesn't plan to be back before midnight—to not worry about how long all this will take, or what will happen to him after.

There isn't much he cares about these days.


Cobb stood in the doorway, still Cobb even though his name was cleared three years ago and he was a family man ever since. The time for familiarity with them had long since passed, died with Mal at the foot of that hotel.

"This won't help," he said.

Arthur checked the clip in his sidearm to make sure it was full then slid the weapon into its holster. One might begin to think he was a legit officer of the law. "It doesn't have to help. That's not the point."

"Then what's the point? Revenge? That won't—"

"Shut up, Cobb."


Just before midnight he returns to the old apartment building where he's been living the past few days. He's taken a lesson from Saito; the building wasn't abandoned until just before he arrived, but being bought by a new owner and slated for demolition can have an exodus effect on a building.

Unfortunately, there are always a few stubborn people who refuse to give up their homes. Fortunately, he no longer has any qualms to speak of when disposing of people who are in his way.

He lives on the top floor. The entire second floor has been converted to his needs—the second floor, because he has no desire for anyone to walk in the ground level out of curiosity and see what he's doing—and as such has been gutted of all walls, leaving only a few columns to support the weight of the ceiling.

The elevator dings, opens, and Arthur smiles at his guest, the nondescript little man sitting in the same chair where he's been for four days. Little food, little water, no toilet, and other than Arthur's once a day visits, utterly alone.

Arthur is pleased to see the terror written in every miserable line of the man's face.

"How are you today, Mr. Johnson?"


It should never have happened. Arthur was soft, weak, he'd let uncharacteristic happiness make him lazy, complacent.

That night was perfection, though, he had to admit it from the moment he saw Eames in the Zegna. Eames was always powerful, charismatic, charming, but in the Zegna he was elegant, and nothing could have cemented Arthur's feelings more than elegance on Eames.

"Mm, I knew I bought that for you for a reason."

"I'm positively presentable, darling. It chafes."

"The suit or being presentable?"

"Both." A lie, and they both knew it. The suit was custom tailored to Eames body and could never chafe.

For the one year anniversary of their first date, Arthur wanted to attend an opera, but he doubted he would ever wrestle Eames into a tuxedo. So he settled on a Broadway show and semi-formal instead of formal. He hadn't been sure the downgrade would be worth it until he saw Eames in the Zegna.

Eames in the Zegna. He should have remembered it only because of the pleasant shock of seeing Eames washed and shaved and looking civilized.

He should not have remembered the Zegna ruined by Eames' blood.

The man who will be betrayed by a widower in New York was cocky, arrogant. Knowing his target and his target's companion, he still walked right up behind them on a busy city street, cocked his gun, planted it at the base of Eames' skull, and pulled the trigger. He did it because he knew Arthur would be too concerned with the bleeding, convulsing Eames to be concerned with chasing the gunman. He did it because he was good, and knew the city, and had a plan. He did it because he knew he could get away with it.

He got away with it because Arthur was complacent, and Eames was lazy, because they had allowed themselves to forget for one second who they were.

"Eames!" Around him, people screamed, but Arthur didn't care. "Oh God," he said, though he couldn't remember ever believing in God. "Oh God, Eames, no, don't you dare!
Don't you dare leave me! EAMES!"

But he was gone the moment the bullet entered his brain, his body just didn't know it yet. Arthur saw Eames' eyes, unfocused and glassy, and knew.


It's strange.

They say if you question your sanity, you have nothing to worry about because a crazy person will never question, never know they are crazy.

As Arthur leans down over Franklin Johnson's bowed head and gives him a kiss on the forehead like a benediction, he doesn't question. He knows without a doubt that he is utterly insane. His mind is somewhere far from here, back on the city street with Eames already dead. This knowledge doesn't bother him. Franklin Johnson seems aware of Arthur's insanity as well, because he shudders under Arthur's lips and swallows.

"Do you know what your first mistake was?"

Franklin can play the game. "Taking this fucking job in the first place."

Arthur can't help but chuckle, because it's such a good answer. "You're very smart, Mr. Johnson. Not smart enough, unfortunately. Do you know what your second mistake was?"

Still tied to his chair, bleeding in trickles from wounds meant to hurt, not kill, Franklin takes a breath and gives the only answer he can. "Leaving you alive."

"Exactly. Two more seconds to put a bullet in my brain, as well. I was surprised. You could have taken me down without a fight."

Now he is going to die, and he knows it. Arthur can see the faint signs of resignation. All hit men know the risks of their jobs. They make careers not only out of killing people for hire, but out of making enemies. Sooner or later, the enemy is too powerful, too skilled, too driven. Arthur is all of these, but what Franklin is not yet aware of is that Arthur is also too imaginative and far, far too cruel.

"Mr. Johnson, do you know what a blood eagle is?"

He does. His eyes widen, his mouth drops open, and Arthur can swear he hears a stuttering intake of breath that might be a gasp.

It's been so long since Arthur had fun.


Their first argument was, as first arguments inevitably always are, about something stupid. Well, stupid for a degree of stupid.

Arthur didn't and never would think it a stupid argument, considering it was about Eames being ridiculously overprotective of him to the detriment of a job. "I am not some wilting lily who needs your protection, Mr. Eames," he'd said, voice seething with fury the moment he woke from dreaming. "If you do something like that again I will shoot you in the face
in real life."

For his part, Eames at least had the grace to look embarrassed, though he never out and out apologized. Instead, he was the first to say it out loud.

"Sorry, Arthur. I can't help it if I love you."

Cobb burst into a fit of choking coughs, conveniently sponsored by the coffee he'd been drinking since being shot awake. The chemist—an overly serious man even for Arthur's tastes, and almost but not quite as talented and Yusuf—whacked him on the back to try to help. Ariadne studiously turned her attention elsewhere.

Arthur stood stunned for half a second before retorting, "And I can't help it if you're an ass."

Later, at home, less angry, he said the words back to a sleeping Eames.


Although Arthur is quite aware, thank you, that the veracity of the blood eagle as a historical torture and execution is a subject of some debate, he has little trouble making it a modern reality.

This is what he does:

First, he administers a small amount of low-level sedative. Not enough to knock Johnson out completely, or to completely numb the pain, just enough to make sure he won't pass out until Arthur is done with him.

Then, Arthur puts him stomach-down on a table. It's an operating table, completely apropos for this usage and not at all comfortable, especially with the straps at his wrists.

Cutting through skin and muscle is easier than he thought it would be in more ways than one; when he first had the idea to use this method to kill Johnson, he spent time in medical libraries studying anatomy so he would know the best way to cut, the right angle, how to get to the ribs while causing the least amount of blood loss. And he's killed so many people by now to get to this point the actual cutting is more like a reward than anything. You see, this is what hard work will give you: satisfaction.

Cracking the ribs is a little more difficult, because he hadn't quite been able to figure out from anatomical illustrations, or old woodcuttings, exactly the proper technique to accomplish the "bloody wings" effect. Frowning, Arthur briefly considers that he should have practiced on New York or any number of the former residents of this building before moving on to Johnson, because he isn't likely to get another chance to achieve perfection, and Arthur is nothing if not a perfectionist. In the end, he has to do the best he can, and manages a reasonable facsimile of what he suspects the blood eagle is supposed to look like.

Which leaves only the last step. Arthur reaches in the open would, his hands slicked with Johnson's blood, then his wrists and halfway to his elbows. One at a time he pulls the killer's lungs out of his chest cavity to leave them out to dry with every breath Johnson takes.

It is, he decides, a satisfyingly gruesome way to die.

Through the entire procedure, Franklin managed only a few sounds, mostly during the cutting and cracking. After that, well, Arthur supposes there are only so many ways one can moan when one's lungs are outside one's body.

"I hope you've learned you lesson," he says, pleasant and conversational, as he washes blood from his arms at the only basin left standing. "Always kill the partner."


Their first date took place in June, in Paris, because where else in the world would be more perfect for a first date than Paris? No where, of course.

Everyone thought it was Eames who broke down and asked, but in reality—which, in their line of work could be such a tenuous thing—Arthur finally took pity on him and asked Eames to join him for coffee. In Paris. Specifically what he said was, "I'll be in Paris next week, Mr. Eames, if you care to meet me on Friday." This, accompanied by a white card with only the name and address of a Parisian coffee shop printed on it.

Who said Arthur lacked a sense of drama?

Of course, those who thought they knew him also liked to say he lacked imagination, but the very evening of their coffee date Eames was given the chance to find out just how untrue was that statement.

Long after they exhausted themselves that very same night, Arthur had one of his rare natural dreams. In it, Eames drowned in a river of blood. Arthur woke, sweating, and turned over to assure himself that his companion still breathed. Curled against Eames' back, not even sure why he should be so afraid of a dream about a man he wasn't even certain he liked, Arthur made a promise.

He promised nothing would ever happen to Eames, even if they didn't stay together.


Arthur does not sleep, and just before dawn he's sitting on the Charles Bridge between a lamp post and a statue. Right now there's no one else, but it won't be long before the artists and traders come out, and they are unlikely to ignore the well-dressed man sitting on the side staring at the Vltava.

Eames. I got him. Are you there? Is anyone there?

Johnson is surely dead by now, lungs shriveled and dried, blood pooled in the cavity. Arthur didn't stay to see the end. He didn't have to.

Now, his thoughts are running away with him. The chaotic jumble that was comforting in the days immediately following Eames' death has become less comforting, more painful. It's as though there are a thousand voices all clamoring for his attention, and if one of them is Eames he can't make it out from the rest. Though why Eames would be in his head, he doesn't know.

His head hurts, but worse than that, his heart still hurts. It's an odd, hollow sort of hurt, not an injury, but a loss. It hurts because it isn't there anymore. Killing Johnson was immensely satisfying, but just as Cobb said, and as Arthur had known, it hasn't fixed anything.

It doesn't bring Eames back.

It doesn't bring back Arthur's control.

Below, the water churns. "Eames," he whispers, then pushes off the bridge.


They met in March. They met on a job, of course. Eames was handsome if somewhat scruffy.

They conversed. They snarked. Even they were aware of the sexual tension between them, but remained too professional, at least at first, to indulge in each other.

Once the job was done, though, Eames came to him and leaned in, lips brushing Arthur's cheek as he whispered, "One day, I'm going to marry you, love. After I take you to bed, because I'm naughty like that."

Arthur smiled, and let him go, knowing he would make Eames work for it.

They met in Germany.


( 52 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 4th, 2010 01:28 am (UTC)
;______; way to break my heart (again!) this fandom has seriously crushed my heart into the smallest pieces possible ;___;

wow i love/hate how eames was killed just so easily and there wasnt anything dramatic about it just a guy walks up to them and then he's dead and arthur!!! and then arthur just goes slowly insane but t was really nicely written

i'll just go continue crying in this corner now ;__;
Oct. 4th, 2010 02:35 am (UTC)
Oooooooo, tears! :D :D :D I like tears. ^______^

Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it!
Oct. 4th, 2010 02:30 am (UTC)


♥ ♥ ♥
Oct. 4th, 2010 02:34 am (UTC)
^_____________________^ That was me. Guilty.


(no subject) - epistolic - Oct. 5th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestineangel - Oct. 5th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - epistolic - Oct. 6th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestineangel - Oct. 6th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - epistolic - Oct. 6th, 2010 12:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestineangel - Oct. 6th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:11 am (UTC)

But brilliant illustration of a brilliantly killing and dying Arthur.

Oct. 4th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
::gives Kleenex and comfort::

Thank you! ^_^
Oct. 4th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
*sniff* that was heartbreaking!! And in my foolishness I decided to read this at the bus stop. Needless to say there was a lot of lip biting to stop me from crying!! I think the saddest parts were Eames dies and Arthur jumps from the bridge. To me, both parts are so undramatic but are more moving for it.

Anyway, ramblings over. I loved it. Well done you.
Oct. 4th, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading, I'm so glad you enjoyed it and I feel no shame whatsoever in making you almost cry in public. :D
Oct. 4th, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC)
oh god that was so sad T_T
and so great written

bonus points for mentioning Darmstadt *-*
I live close by to it :D

for that amazon fic
you get dancing JGL
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:34 pm (UTC)
OMGs, dancing JGL! :D :D I love that icon! (What is it from, though?)

My uncle was military (U.S.) and was stationed in Germany while I was in high school. My aunt and uncle lived in Darmstadt, and I got to visit them for a month one summer. :)

Thank you for reading and commenting!
(no subject) - calysto_1395 - Oct. 5th, 2010 04:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestineangel - Oct. 5th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - calysto_1395 - Oct. 6th, 2010 04:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 4th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
killing me! >
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC)
D: Tom Hardy, I just want to wipe all his tears away! ::squishes him::

Thanks for reading!
Oct. 4th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC)
Something is probably wrong with me because I found it more beautiful than sad. Everything just moves smoothly and makes sense. It makes me immensely happy that you didn't end it with the end but with the beginning.
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:36 pm (UTC)
Nah, not wrong with you at all, there's beauty in sadness, too. I am glad you liked it, though. :) Thanks for reading!
Oct. 4th, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
Oh my god. I practically didn't breath at all reading this. And I was listening to this song as I read. It sort of fits the whole atmosphere of this fic and I just couldn't help but tearing up. ;______;
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC)
^_^ Thank you! I always like to cause tears! ^_____^ (I might be a sadist.)
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:44 pm (UTC)

I mean... er... I'm sorry? ;)

So do I, that's part of why I wanted to write this prompt so badly. :)

Thank you for reading and commenting!
Oct. 4th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
This was so utterly heart-wrenching. Beautiful job, really! Wow. Such emotion.
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:44 pm (UTC)
:) Thank you!
Oct. 4th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
Okay I HAD to read this as soon as you mentioned a blood eagle. Because I have a highly disturbing interest in them. Explaining out loud what one was and my desire to comprehend how it would work in real life did wonders on getting a douchey guy to leave my little sister alone though.
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's BEAUTIFUL. XD I love that, that's awesome. I know about it through an old RP buddy who explained it in detail. ^_____^

Thanks for reading!
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
I don't normally read death-fic, and this one was gruesome. The violence and uselessness of Eames's demise was so utterly sad—as sad and as disturbing as the insanity it sparked in Arthur and Arthur's ultimate suicide. Perhaps that's what makes the story work so well, i.e. the unrelenting tragedy of it all. So, in short, excellent writing and great story, just . . . *omg, I need happy things now*
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
Well, I guess I'm flattered you read mine? :) I'm glad you though it worked well, and thank you for the compliments. :)

(Are there happy things in this fandom? Oh wait! There are! And another! Have fun!)
(no subject) - soraya2004 - Oct. 5th, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestineangel - Oct. 5th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 4th, 2010 11:14 pm (UTC)

my soul. this was so achingly perfect. and it feels so real. because, really, how could they ever have a happy ending.
Oct. 4th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
Your soul? I keep those in my closet--


I mean... thanks for reading! :D :D :D

( XD ;) )
Oct. 4th, 2010 11:15 pm (UTC)
You are really ridiculously scary good. ♥
Oct. 4th, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC)
Why, thank you! :D
(no subject) - firelement85 - Oct. 5th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 5th, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC)
Well, so would I, just to know if my description was accurate... >.> I mean, there's only so much I can learn from reading about it. So, we'll be bad people together. ^_^

Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D

Who wouldn't love naughty Eames?
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( 52 comments — Leave a comment )


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