There are days when Arthur gets too far into his head, too deep; everything’s noisy and crowded and he hears gunshot after gunshot after gunshot and knows that he just needs some time alone. So he silently climbs out of bed before the sunrise; goes out into the city and watches the buildings get set on fire by the rays of light. He wanders around all day, goes to the places where the noise outside will drown out the noise inside his head.
Then he goes home and draws a bath, sits in the too-hot water and revels in the way the water burns him to the point of pleasure, turning his skin red. It’s just the little demons that get stuck in his mind every time he comes out of a dream, every time he pulls a trigger, every time he wraps his hands around someone else’s throat.
And then Eames comes in, draws back the shower curtain and asks, “Mind if I join you?” with his lips quirked in a half-smile, eyes teasing.
Arthur says, “If you come in here, the tub will overflow, and I’ll kill you.”
And then Eames laughs and strips and clambers in, splashing the now lukewarm water over the edge of the tub. Arthur’s laughs echo in the shiny tiled bathroom, and when the two fall into bed later after eating dinner, Eames takes him apart and chases those demons right out of his head.
“Give him the kick!” - Inception
Upon meeting, Eames had pegged Arthur to be too sharp, too serious, too narrow, too straight-laced; boring and hard edges and no fun. He has a very clear memory of the moment he had, in a bar with Yusuf after a job, tipped his glass toward Yusuf and drunkenly slurred that Arthur was probably an awful lay and most likely slept like a vampire in a coffin.
He had been incredibly wrong on both accounts, of course. Arthur falls asleep quickly, sleeps soundly, snores lightly, kicks the blankets off (and the sex is just wow). He sleeps like he doesn’t on the job, tense and on alert until the moment he fully goes under—when he’s in their bed, he moves around and sometimes grabs onto Eames with an octopus hold, wrapping his gangly limbs around him; Eames sometimes gets overheated during warm summer nights, but he’s usually content being in Arthur’s hold. He’s told Eames it’s because at home, with him, Arthur feels safe and warm and free to fully sleep, like he doesn’t have to sleep with a gun (they both do, of course—Eames has one strapped to the back of the headboard, Arthur on the nightstand, but hey, it’s the sentiment that counts).