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[personal profile] ladyvader
(blaaaaargh headcold of EVOL *sniffle*)

Thanks again for how lovely everyones been, I'm so glad you guys are enjoying it :D

Title: Pet [Part 3]
Author: LadyVader
Pairing/s: Arthur/Eames (Inception)
Category: Multi chaptered – Completed with postings once a week so to not destroy my poor beta’s brain.
Summary: AU fic - Arthur is in his final year of high school and finds himself entirely too interested in the new English teacher. Entirely inspired by the Police lyrics ‘Sometimes it’s not so easy to be the teacher’s Pet’.
Rating: R rated most parts for language etc, NC17 overall.
Word Count: 100k approx in full, this part 6624 approx.
Warnings: Shameless gacking of movie verse characters and dialogue, high school angst and an inappropriate relationship between teacher and student (if this is something that bothers you then please don’t read the fic).
Disclaimer: INCEPTION and its lovely molestable characters belong to Mr Nolan who incepted me into borrowing them: You’ve no one to blame but yourself Chris!
Authors Note: Thanks to [ profile] dreambastion, [ profile] arineat & [ profile] takola for the cheerleading, [ profile] whisperedtones for the banner :D <3 and most of all to my evol, EVOL muse (and sadly put upon beta/ sounding board/ drill sargeant) [ profile] dysonrules. This one is ALL YOURS hon - you created the monster, I hope you enjoys it ;)

Part 1
Part 2

Pet: [Part 3]

It was weeks before Eames offered to drive Arthur home again, Arthur’s eyes aching where he let them fall unfocused onto the sidewalk before him when he saw the now-familiar sedan out of the corner of his eye, cursing himself each time it disappeared without his name being called, feeling stupid for wishing it had been.

Arthur decided then to not let his stupid crush go to his head any further.

He decided to not stare when he knew Eames was nearby, feeling it prickle at the back of his neck when he entered a room.

He wouldn’t spend all his time worrying about the odd way they’d parted after their abrupt ‘deep and meaningful’ as Eames had put it, especially not when Eames himself acted like it had never occurred, treating Arthur as he always had (and why wouldn’t he?) as a valued student and a tool for honing come rehearsal time.

It was surprisingly difficult, Arthur discovered, to read his lines, script-less for the most part, when his teacher/director had a way of watching him during important speeches that made him want to relive them splayed naked on his bed, performing for just him.

He came close to puncturing his lip on a semi regular basis, biting back words he refused to allow himself as he skated feverish hands across his sweaty skin, similarly not allowing himself to actually think of the man himself so much as generic traits that would be deemed attractive by all people on all people, like full lips dampened by a pink tongue, wide capable hands that denote strength, eyes that BURN, strong shoulders, a voice like steel and velvet, oh god oh god oh GOD...

He made himself ignore his few accessories, the ones he kept hidden in his bedside cabinet despite having no one to hide them from, unable to decide whether or not it was for his own good that all he needed was the smooth of his own hands over his flanks, throat, lips and aching, aching flesh versus the plastic and porno that had served him so well over the years. He just no longer wanted them.

Sometimes, swallowing back words he wouldn’t allow or admit to, Arthur would curl himself into his comforter and wished he wanted less.

It was November fifth and all day he’d had to endure Eames physically smoldering in a black sweater and tight black pinstriped trousers. It wasn’t that he hated the man’s usual taste, but a few of his shirts had been eccentric, to say the least, and to go from his previously badly-cut slacks to distractingly thigh hugging was difficult when trying to conceal a horrific crush both from yourself (denial was an excellent tool and Arthur didn’t care who thought otherwise) and an increasingly observant best friend.

Arthur had dodged her leading comments, deflecting with his own observations about the amount of people who were suddenly, loudly obsessed with ‘Guy Fawkes’ whenever in range of the admittedly well-admired English teacher, thus dodging her question as to whether he thought Eames had always had thighs like that.

He’d run the track to Lady Gaga today – laughing his ass off between pants at his own submission to pop culture as well as to her somewhat deranged lyrics, the beat still in his blood as he showered, smiling as he sang softly under his breath.

The air was sharp when he left the school grounds, gloves, scarf and hat all firmly in place as his breath hung in the air before him, skin prickling in the cold.

One moment the darkening evening was crisp and sort of festive; Arthur was almost able to smell the coming turkey and eggnog of future months, and the next the sky was falling.

Hail lashed down on Arthur, so hard he let out an inadvertent cry and brought his hands up to shield his eyes, darting forward to seek cover under a sadly spartan tree, the sparse branches doing little to hold back the pounding, icy pellets.


Peering from under cupped palms, Arthur could just see the blue sedan halted in the street again before he dashed forward, yanking the side door open and all but diving inside.

“Jesus!” Eames burst out as a good few handfuls of hail accompanied Arthur in, the door slamming shut behind him. “What the bloody fuck is up with the weather in this state? I’m used to rain and a bit of cold but this is bloody nuts!”

Arthur grinned, laughing breathlessly as he tried to rub the feeling back into where the ice had partly-numbed his face already. “I thought the weather was always like this in England?”

“Well, sometimes it is but I’ve spent a lot of time in warmer climes of recent so I guess I’ve lost my tolerance, not to mention this is clearly American hail.”

Arthur quirked a thawing brow. “What – superior and more effective?”

Eames laughed, the sound rich and thick beneath the pattering on the glass. “Well, I had been going to say ‘flashy and overpowering’, but sure,” he nodded magnanimously, “we can use yours.”

“Big of you,” Arthur replied easily, eyes crinkling, biting back a fresh chuckle as Eames retorted sweetly, “Yes, I rather thought so.”

Arthur allowed himself a contented sigh, the hours of wondering if he’d ever be in this car again wiping away with the ice water on his brow. “Thanks for this,” he muttered, eyes shut in sudden sleepy ecstasy as the heat inside the car washed over him.

“Not a problem. Couldn’t leave my leading man to get hail stoned to death, now could I?”

Arthur smiled, eyes still shut before sniggering gently. “Still on old man FM then?” He grunted, still laughing even as what felt like the back of Eames’ fist struck him in the sternum.

“My car, my eclectic taste in chill-out music, alright Princess? We can’t all love Lady Bloody Gaga.”

Arthur choked. “How did you know I was listening to Lady Gaga!?” He had a moment of horror imagining that his singing could be heard from outside the showers before noting Eames’ surprised but delighted expression.

“Oh Arthur,” he purred, “How horrifying for you. Wherever shall you bury my poor broken body?”

“She’s good to run to!” Arthur gasped out, surprisingly not as horrified as he felt sure he ought to be watching Eames’ lip curl like that.

“And Capitol Gold is good to take the edge off after a day of hormonal teenagers.” Eames grinned. “So you keep my secret and I’ll keep yours, hm?”

“Agreed,” Arthur shot back swiftly, pulling his glove off to shake the warm hand proffered to him before relaxing back again, palm tingling – from the heat, not the contact, he attempted to sternly tell himself.

The hail ricocheted off the roof, the innocuous pinging noises somewhat at odds with the recoil upwards from the road outside that had Arthur wincing for anyone else who might be out in it, thankful then for more than just the renewal of their camaraderie as he felt himself slowly warming through.

Lax with contentment, he let his head loll back against the rest, eyes at half-mast as he cast a furtive glance Eames-ward, humming gently with the opening bars of the radio’s latest offering, blood thick in him as he noted (not for the first time that day) how very faithfully the slacks molded, followed the lines of Eames thighs and groin.

“... I knew that if I had my chance, I could make those people dance, and maybe they’d be happy for a while,” he sung softly, absently, before clamping his jaw together with a snap. “Uh, sorry.”

Eames smiled, the same smile, Arthur noticed, as when he’d snapped and called him a dick that momentous first day, surprised and almost delighted, and bit his lip. So focused was Arthur on this latter action that he almost didn’t hear Eames murmur, “Not at all, darling” before picking up the verse with a voice more pleasant than powerful.

“... bad news on the doorstep – I couldn’t take one more step. I can’t remember if I cried - (c’mon Arthur, don’t be shy, now) - his widowed bride, but something touched me deep inside the day the music died...” He gave Arthur a meaningful glance and Arthur found his parted lips shaping the words even as his voice trembled, eyes locked still on Eames.

They sang the chorus together, Arthur’s faltering voice lifting with the rush of easy pleasure gained from being able to validly watch Eames, the older man’s gaze skipping back and forth between road and Arthur’s face, Eames’ fingers tapping the beat gently against the wheel.

Arthur choked back the slightly hysterical laughter that threatened to spill forth with every new line they sang, growing louder as Eames began to drum in earnest, actually pausing his singing to dramatically pound the wheel in time with Arthur’s continued words (Well I know that you’re in love with him cause I saw you dancing in the gymEames, you asshole, c’mon!) before Arthur found himself dragged down as well, alternating between gently strumming an air guitar and pounding on the dash before him, not quite in time with Eames’ own, but still more ridiculously amusing than either of them could apparently deal with sanely; the next verse or so was lost to hyena-like guffaws as the hail continued to rattle the windscreen.

“I met a girl who sang the blues and I asked her for some happy news...” Arthur croaked solo, his voice raw with laughter and their last loud, almost shouted, verse, blushing at the odd, somehow more intimate feeling of singing slowly on his own, and trailed off as Eames picked up “She just smiled and turned away” and then they alternated lines, voices low and somehow sweet, fighting smiles that would ruin the verse again before joining back in together for the final chorus. The song died away and Eames reached out to click the radio with a decisive twist of his fingers.

“Nothing’s going to top that, no point in following it.” He grinned and Arthur swooned internally at Eames’ pink face, both of them flushed and almost sweaty from their impromptu duet.

“Well,” Arthur cleared his throat on a laugh, “that may be the oddest thing to happen to me yet this week.”

“Odd?” Eames gasped mock-indignantly. “How dare you demean us thus? We could be huge Arthur – we could go on a world tour with that!”

They pulled up before Arthur’s house, the journey having been swallowed up mid-concert and Arthur felt a pang that it was over so quickly. Again.

“Absolutely.” He smiled. “But we’ll take the car, yeah? Not sure if I can get in the zone without your mad wheel-drumming skills there.”

Eames nodded, his face the picture of serious responsibility. “There are but few who can, dear Arthur,” he purred and Arthur laughed and popped the door open.

“Thank you, then, for both the life-altering experience and the lift, of course.”

“Not at all, Arthur.” Eames winked. Arthur stepped out into the thankfully finer, more sluggish hail with a wince before laughing as Eames suddenly burst out, “Bye-bye Mis-ter Arth-ur Wriiiiight...”

Arthur slammed the door, laughing hard and giving Eames the ‘You’re INSANE’ gesture from the other side of the glass before rapidly running to seek shelter, still beaming as he turned once within the vague cover of his doorway to watch the car drive off, smile fading somewhat as it turned the corner, out of sight.

Arthur turned his key, stepping inside with the unsettling feeling of knowing he was utterly out of his depth, and moving to the fridge to fill the hole with food, he sang absently under his breath.

..Well I know that you’re in love with him...


The next week went by in a blur of giddy awareness for Arthur. He began taking odd routes to class, unable to bear the thought of not seeing Eames at least once a day, never sure if he’d see him if he didn’t have a class or rehearsal, and so he started timing his cross-class journeys so they would take him past wherever he thought Eames might be – sometimes passing him as he moved from class to staff room, sometimes just letting the man’s accent wash over him as he passed by the open door.

It was pathetic, Arthur knew it, but he just couldn’t help himself; he needed it, the sight, the sound of him. Not seeing him was worse than his decidedly schoolgirl behavior, he reasoned but ran extra laps, despising himself quietly even as he occasionally noted the figure doing paperwork high in the stands and hoped ridiculously that it gave the man an equal spark of contentment to be near him.

The Monday before Thanksgiving break was a dark, dull grey, as though the sun just couldn't be bothered to fully break through the heavy clouds, the steady, fine rain coating everyone with a pervasive film of moisture that could not be simply shaken off, leaving everyone rather damp and cranky, even more so than a usual Monday.

Arthur was particularly cranky himself; he’d attempted a new recipe the night before and although delicious (he’d been well trained) he could only suppose it hadn’t agreed with him, as his stomach had been set to a steady roil since the early hours.

Typical, he thought groggily, dragging himself from his seat to begin the happy journey to English. He’d made his way through his early classes, giving up on taking notes midway as a headache set to clanging behind his eyes, his skin so hot and tight it seemed he could not even rest his chin on his palm without everything hurting.

He managed to navigate his way toward his standard seat at the back, sitting thankfully, and without wincing too much, as Eames smiled winningly at the class and Arthur felt a slight lessening of the tension in his gut as he let himself smile back along with everyone else. It was decidedly uncool to admit to it but there really wasn’t a student who didn’t adore Eames just a tiny bit.

He eased his cheek into the clammy cradle of his palm, wincing vaguely, eyes blurring as he watched Eames with low-lidded, aching eyes. He let them drift shut briefly, Eames’ warm, rounded tones washing over him. Arthur almost smiled at the pleasure found at just hearing him – he’d get his notepad out in just a minute...




He was hot, stuffy, in fact, as though he’d been steadily wrapped in scratchy, thick wool and left where only whispers of his thoughts could reach him.


Gentle pressure on his back then, the flesh sore, and Arthur groaned softly.

“Arthur? Arthur – I need you to wake up.”

Arthur became slowly aware of a soft touch stroking against the curve of his nape. He blinked his gritty, burning eyes open to observe Eames’ face barely a foot from his, and low, too low.

Shit, he thought foggily, I’ve got my head on my fucking desk.

He tried to articulate this to Eames but, as he attempted to pull his head back up to where he knew it should be, his stomach lurched, hollow and sore and his skull echoed as he moaned, teeth clenching.

The hand (Eames’ hand!) moved gently around to press lightly against Arthur’s pounding forehead and he moaned again, but this time with garbled pleasure.

“Y’hand’s cold...” he mumbled, tongue thick, “...feels nice.”

“FAG,” he heard Nash cough from the front and tried to make a mental note to remind Nash of the time he’d tried to shove his tongue down Arthur’s throat (and his hand down his pants) when they’d been alone in the locker room. Gross, he thought sleepily and tried smiling to himself only to find a steady hand on his shoulder.

“Arthur, I’d like you to try and sit up for me, please. Sarah, can you run and get the nurse, quickly? Just lean back a bit here, I’ve got you.”

Arthur allowed himself to be slowly tilted until his back was against the chair once more. He panted slightly, stomach churning.

“Arthur, can you tell me what’s wrong?” Eames brushed cool fingers over Arthur’s brow once more and Arthur pushed against them gratefully.

“M’fine,” he grunted, “Ate something bad, so I skipped breakfast. Think’m crashing...” he slurred, cracking his eyes open as Eames removed his hand with a sigh, sitting back on his haunches to regard Arthur with a somewhat amused, if worried, expression.

“I think it’s something more than that. You’re burning up, Arthur. I think you need to go home.” Eames turned away with that, straightening up as Nurse Thorpe appeared in the doorway.

Arthur stifled a groan. He couldn’t stand being coddled and he really couldn’t afford to take a sick day, not because of his studies but because he’d go INSANE with boredom. Funnily enough, he’d found the 6 weeks of enforced bed rest back when he’d broken his neck to be more than sufficient reason to avoid all sick days for the rest of his academic career.

FUCK THAT, he decided and pushed himself to his feet, ignoring the ripple of nausea and the sheen of fresh sweat that accompanied the action, ready to swear improvement and healthy appetite and oh –

Everything went black.

He opened his eyes to white ceiling panels, worn desk edges, and Eames.

Eames and Nurse Thorpe, to be exact.

“You passed out, honey,” the nurse cooed and Arthur cringed. “Luckily, Mr. Eames broke your fall or you’d have a goose egg the size of my fist to go home with.”

“Is that why I’m on the floor?” Arthur queried, rather brilliantly, he thought.

“Yes, honey, you’ve got yourself a nasty fever bug, so I’m going to go call your parents and we’ll see about getting you back in bed, mm?”

Arthur ground his teeth, wincing as the pain radiated up through his face.

“No,” he groaned, “My mom’s busy. I, I’ll go home but you don’t need to bother her, I...” He pushed himself up on his elbows, too nauseated to be gratified by Eames’ arms at his back, helping him into an upright position, close enough for Arthur to pick up just a hint of his body heat as he braced him.

“Please...” he started, stilling as Eames brushed gentle fingers through the hair behind his ear, tilting his head to peer closely at him while pushing the damply curling strands aside.

“Arthur,” Eames questioned softly, seriously, “have you ever had chicken pox?”

Ten minutes later and a call to his no doubt extremely harassed Mother and Arthur found himself in the front seat of Eames’ car once more.

He would have been more pleased about it, except that he was apparently coming down with a bloody child’s disease that would take at least ten days to heal and he had to stay at home until it had run its course.

No school. No rehearsals. No Eames.

Of course the fact Arthur felt like living shit didn’t help matters, but the lack of Eames (and apparently his sky high temperature) was enough to keep a hint of tears lurking at the back of his eyeballs.

Arthur sniffed, happy with the defiant sound in the otherwise silent car, crossing his arms across himself as another chill raced over him.

He’d been essentially manhandled into the car by an oddly-silent Eames and a scarily grabby Nurse Thorpe, where they’d then left him as the nurse took Eames back inside with her to fetch the list of horrifying balms, ointments and absurdities they expected Arthur’s mother to lovingly apply to his no doubt steadily disfiguring form, heedless of the fact he was actually an adult now.

He slouched lower in the seat, grumbling vaguely as he wrapped his arms more tightly about himself, trying to ignore the scrambled, aching feeling of his insides, focusing instead on the fury he planned to vent on Eames the very second he actually showed up at the damn car...


A gentle touch, pushing the hair from his face.

Arthur opened his eyes.

Eames sat across from him, eyes concerned, his smile sweet and soft.

He blinked. They were outside Arthur’s home.

“You fell asleep again.” Eames answered the silent question. “You need to rest, Arthur, rest and get better.”

“So embarrassing,” he whispered despite himself. “Did I drool over everything? Snore? Talk?”

Eames smiled crookedly, his imperfect teeth shining in the bright midday light. “No, you were adorable, Arthur. It’s fine.”

He stepped out of the car and walked around to Arthur’s side, helping him out before Arthur could decide whether or not the object of your affection finding you adorable was a good thing or not.

Carefully, they made their way up the stairs to Arthur’s doorway, Arthur trying to think past the fog in his brain as to whether he’d left anything mortifying in his apartment, his stomach rolling anew at the thought of Eames coming inside. Arthur stumbled weakly as he tried to combine standing still with looking for his keys.

Great, he thought disgustedly, now every time he thinks of me he’ll remember a weak sweaty mess, but then I don’t suppose for a minute he ‘will’ be thinking of me...

Arthur drew himself up from his hunch with a soft cry, Eames’ hands supporting him instantly, needlessly, as it happened, but Arthur wasn’t about to clarify that for him.

“I’m going to miss rehearsals!” he blurted and Eames frowned. Arthur wilted further at the sight of it.

Early on it had been made clear to all the players that prolonged absences would not be acceptable. The glowing eyes of the understudies were now all the more lascivious and hateful in Arthur’s memory than they had been before. He blinked his eyes rapidly to dispel the burning there, his fists clenching in the material of Eames’ collar.

Please,” he heard himself croak, “please don’t give my part away. I won’t be sick again, I’ve not been off sick in years, I won’t let it affect the performance, I swear, you can’t give Hamlet to Greg, he’s mine and it’s your fault 'cos you gave him to me, and it’s not my fault, I swear I don’t even know how this could have happened, but if you just wait for me I’ll-”

Eames lifted a hand to cup Arthur’s jaw, his thumb stroking soothingly at the fevered flush high on Arthur’s cheekbones, shushing him gently.

“Arthur, Hamlet’s yours, alright? He always was. I intended for you to play him straight off the bat and a handful of missed rehearsals for a really bloody good reason aren’t going to change that.”

Arthur’s lower lip trembled shamefully as he whispered, “Promise?” and felt his fever burst into a full-blown inferno as Eames’ gaze dropped to his mouth.

A red car turned into the drive. Eames’ hand fell away, and the moment with it as Arthur similarly dislodged his grip from Eames’ shirt front.

“Mom,” he said faintly, a lingering specter of the six-year-old within him prodigiously glad to see her when he was feeling so low, trembling as he realized she and Eames were about to meet.

His mother was out of the car and up the steps in seconds and Arthur smiled fondly as he took in her immaculate suit and perfectly styled bob. She may have never been particularly maternal but he’d inherited his sharp mind from her and they adored each other, just generally from afar or on prearranged dates.

“Arthur! You look dreadful!” she began and he felt his adoration dim somewhat even as an unwilling smile was wrested from him as she drew level with them, reaching up to turn his head this way and that as she examined him, ignoring Eames completely.

“I imagine I’ll look worse before the week is out, Mom,” he countered, stilling her before his blood began pouring from his ears, gesturing faintly to Eames. “This is my English teacher, Mr. Eames. He brought me home after I got sick.”

“He passed out in class,” Eames supplied with a stern look at them both and Arthur made a face at such blatant snitching. “Thorpe gave me a list of things you’ll likely need for him, but apparently you should get him to a doctor, as well -”

“Rick’s a doctor. I’ll be fine,” Arthur interjected, glaring a little, light-headed again and horrified to find himself swaying suddenly. “I think I’d like to lie down, though...” he slurred and Eames snatched the key from his hand, jamming it into the lock swiftly.

“Do you need a hand?” he asked Arthur’s mom with an odd quaver and Arthur sighed inwardly, picturing him happy to be parted from the plague victim.

“No, we’ll be fine. Thank you, Mr. Eames, it was very good of you to bring him this far,” his mother assured Eames through the pounding in Arthur’s veins and he frowned, his hand shooting out to catch Eames’ wrist as he stepped away.

“You didn’t promise,” he said thickly and Eames smiled softly.

“Hamlet is YOURS, Arthur. I promise you.” Arthur sagged somewhat, both with relief and the sudden dip in gravity that suggested his mind might be playing tricks on him when the warmth of Eames’ eyes washed over him. “No scratching, mind, I expect my Danish Prince to be UNSCARRED upon his return.” He winked and Arthur could only just manage to silently offer his middle finger and smirk waveringly before Eames was bidding his mom goodbye as he pressed the crumpled list into her hand before setting back off down the steps.

Arthur’s mom turned him to face the door before he had the chance to really wish he could watch Eames leave, instead walking him inside and straight over to the bed, sitting him down with a stern look.

They were silent but for Arthur’s occasional grunt of discomfort and his mother’s clucks of distress as she found yet more pox marks coming up on his skin once she’d got his shirt off him.

She pushed him back onto the bed, settling a light blanket over him before kissing his clammy brow. “I’m going to go get the things on this list and call Rick,” she murmured, tucking him in, “Won’t be long, sweetie.”

She paused as she reached the door, shooting a wry look back at her fever-muddled son. “A bit young, that teacher of yours?” She smirked with Arthur’s mouth, a weak smile tugging at his own in sympathy. “And very handsome, wouldn’t you say?”

Arthur snuggled into his blanket. “Can’t hear you. M’sick,” he growled and, ignoring his mother’s laugh as she went out the door, he let himself drift into dreams where his brain was more than happy to display Eames properly so that Arthur might agree with his mother in due course.


Arthur’s Thanksgiving break was mostly bearable.

After the first few days of CHRONIC ITCHING were over he’d felt more at liberty to enjoy his time away from school, feeling better to the point where daytime TV and junk food became palatable.

He moisturized his healing blisters compulsively, slathering on enough of the vitamin E lotion that Rick had started grumbling about being shamelessly used for his prescription pads. Arthur laughed, but didn’t deny it – he was DETERMINED to be blister-free on his return to school.

It wasn’t so bad, really; it was, after all, nothing like being strapped down and unable to move for six weeks. He watched old movies and even baked once his fever had fully cleared, filling his days with the silly things he’d always promised himself he would do, should he have a spare minute.

He didn’t see Ariadne that much, but they talked a lot on the phone, somehow more clearly than when in person. It was how Arthur finally found out Ari had a ridiculously inconvenient crush on a Chem Club geek, who somehow had no idea she existed. Due to their newfound, even deeper, bond, Arthur found it in himself to not tease her (more than once) about it and Ariadne only brought up his ‘swooning like a big ol’ girly girl into Eames’ arms’ just twice.

Thanksgiving itself was a pleasant affair. Arthur’s appetite was fully restored, or at least enough that he spent the evening dozing on a belly full of turkey, yams and pie, smiling fondly as he listened to his mom and Rick bickering about nonsense on TV, just drifting off until his still slightly-weakened body sent him stumbling happily back to his bed, full and happy.

All in all, he surmised sleepily, it hadn’t been as awful as he’d expected.

He missed running, though.

He decided to not think about anything else he might be missing, instead turning his face into the cool side of the pillow and swallowing heavily against the ache that rose in him for no reason at all.

Just a few days more, he dreamed and saw crooked white teeth smiling in the midday light, waiting.


Monday (finally) arrived and Arthur dressed carefully, turning back and forth before the mirror to make sure there were no blemishes visible (a few remained on his hip, nothing more than dry skin now, but still there) before pulling on his softest fleece, just in case.

Ariadne flung herself at him as he passed the coffee shop. Arthur generally gave it a miss in preference for the mug he carried with him most mornings. Starbucks was Satan and he didn’t care who said otherwise. Ariadne nearly upended her drink all over him in her joy at seeing him.

He scolded her for behaving like a Labrador puppy but, as they made their way to class, he smothered a tiny smile.

He had neither English nor rehearsals that day and, although he was delighted to note that they would resume on Tuesday, he felt his stomach clench nonsensically at the thought of not seeing Eames.

He may as well have stayed home, he mused, doing his best to not visibly pine.

Lunch was almost over, more than half the school day gone, and still no Eames.

Ariadne jostled him vaguely, disturbing his morose longings and he frowned at her, only to feel a repeat of her elbow against his hip.

He pursed his lips, ready to tell her to back off, too grouchy and stupidly sensitive to mess with her bony elbows today, when a warm clasp settled round his forearm.

His head shot around, meeting Eames’ cool grey eyes with his own startled dark gaze, and smiling before he could help himself.

“You’re back,” Eames said, only a hint of warmth in his eyes as the other students milled about them, “You’re better, then?”

“Yes. Yes, I’m all better. Healed, I mean. Have been for ages, days. Last week, that is.” He swallowed and focused on the crinkling at the edges of Eames’ eyes rather than on Ariadne’s soft snort of amusement, repressing a squeak as Eames gave his forearm a friendly squeeze.

“Excellent. I’m glad to hear it.” He released his hold on Arthur’s arm and Arthur valiantly held back his moue of disappointment. “No running,” Eames concluded sternly.

Arthur and Ariadne frowned at each other, perplexed.

“We weren’t..?” Ari began and Eames snorted.

“Not now, oh worrying future of America. I meant Arthur. No running, okay?”

He gave them a tight smile and made to move away, only pausing at Arthur’s indignant expostulation of, “What? Why?”

“Arthur, you were really sick and you need to ease back in. Let yourself adjust to being back and then, maybe next week, you can try a few laps, alright?”

Arthur’s fists clenched and he flushed so hard with rage he wondered if the blood would bead at the corners of his eyes, then stream from his pores, his ears. “You can’t do that,” he bit out. “It’s not fair.”

Eames sighed, stepping close again. “Look,” he said, “I’ll give you the choice. You can either wait a week to get your feet back under you, ditch those circles under your eyes, or you can go out and run the track tonight and I’ll ban you from the next four rehearsals, or until I think you’re fit enough for the level of responsibility I need from you, whichever comes first.”

Tears pricked at the back of Arthur’s eyes, which, he noted dully, probably did mean he wasn’t 100% yet because he never cried. “I’ve been waiting two weeks to run,” he whispered and Eames’ hard stare softened slightly.

“Look, I know you like to run, Arthur, but two weeks ago you were sick as a dog and I can’t follow you around waiting to catch you if you faint.” Arthur’s jaw clenched and Eames apparently noticed the flash of temper; his eyes narrowed. “Now, I’m serious. I’d love to see you in rehearsal tomorrow, Arthur, but if I catch you on that track tonight I will not be happy. Am I understood?”

Arthur’s spine straightened to the point where it was hard to tell who was taller of the two of them. “Perfectly, sir,” he replied crisply, turning as the bell rang and, pulling Ariadne with him, he stalked off down the corridor.

He ignored Ari’s humorous jibes at his wounded ego, his control issues, and his apparent teenage girl style hissy fit, instead clutching his fury tight and close, leaving him gasping and dismayed as he woke during the night having dreamed of reciting his lines in breathless tandem with Eames, splayed across his lap, thighs wide across the familiar driver’s seat, hands clutching at his shoulders, whimpering as he shot stream after thick stream of come across his belly in the darkness.


His midnight emissions dampened his fury somewhat, so it was only with a partial glower in place that Arthur found himself in class the next day, completing assignments, speaking when spoken to, even laughing and smiling with Ariadne as she waxed lachrymose over her fate as an invisible woman to the object of her affections, but it took until the man actually walked into the room for Arthur to be able to rid his mind’s eye of Eames, smiling and whispering beneath him, so close he could almost taste him...

Arthur sat bolt upright all lesson long, diligent almost to the point of migraine, driving the image of anything other than the words on the whiteboard into the back of his skull, his own notes seared onto his retinas as he stared at them.

By the time rehearsal rolled around, Arthur was almost dizzy with strain and so desperate for caffeine he actually considered going to the Satan pit – perhaps he could bribe Ariadne?

Rehearsal went well (he thought), smiling smugly to himself when Eames read a few cast members the riot act for still being reliant on their scripts, even going so far as to point Arthur out as knowing all of his lines already, despite the amount, and when someone coughed ‘Robot’ the level of glare achieved was truly deadly. Arthur was almost touched, but he could feel Ariadne’s eyes burning amused holes through him so he filed the moment away for later perusal.

They discussed the month ahead, costume & sets suddenly looming as a necessity, and Arthur could almost see the word TIGHTS hovering like a terrifying neon cloud over most of the cast’s heads, earning Eames a new role as lord and savior when he announced that they would be following the RSC’s recent example and performing it as if set in present time.

A cheer went up, not only from the cast but from the assembled students who had signed on to help with costumes, because fitting neck ruffs and doublets was fun for literally no one.

It was a relatively short meeting, with more tasks assigned than lines read, and soon everyone was filing out, chattering both about the play and not, Ariadne darting off because the extra time meant she could still make the tail end of the chemistry club meeting, for artistic purposes, of course, because nothing said personal expression like a dozen or so photos of an oblivious, goggle-bedecked chemistry geek as he made various substances ignite... sometimes even on purpose.

Arthur was making his way to the door, attempting a casual look backward to where Eames had been fumbling with his bag, only to find said bag abruptly bumping against his hip as they fell in step.

“You headed out?” Eames asked politely and Arthur nodded dumbly, flushing at having been nearly caught with his less than furtive glances. “Okay. Come on, then.”

Arthur’s brow squinched, as Ari liked to put it, in confusion. “Sorry, sir?”

Eames paused mid-step, a brow raised in amusement. “I’m headed your way, therefore I might as well take you with me. Are you following me so far, Arthur?”

Arthur nodded slowly and Eames beamed. “Excellent,” he said somewhat over-jovially, steering Arthur towards the parking lot with a sudden palm clapped to his shoulder. “This way you don’t stand around in the cold getting sick, I get the certainty of knowing you’re not off running just to prove I’m not the boss of you, and we both of us get coffee.”

Jaw hanging open in outrage, Arthur was just about to blast off into a vicious tirade about how ridiculous and condescending Eames was behaving but, before so much as a droplet of venom could cross his tongue, his mind latched onto that last, sweet word from Eames’ lips.

Coffee?” he asked in a hopeful, tremulous way and Eames shook his head mock-mournfully.

“Oh, darling, first the cigarettes and now a caffeine junkie? At this rate people will think I’ve ruined you.”

Arthur snorted disdainfully. “Actually, I think you’ll find both of those nasty little habits can be attributed to my childhood neighbor, Danny Madison, so you’re off the hook. Now, less humorous quipping, more coffee.” He strode forward, gesturing impatiently for a laughing Eames to pick up the pace, keeping his face slightly averted so that the sudden delight scorching through him couldn’t be seen in his eyes.

His first darling after two long weeks; it was almost worth the wait.

Roughly twenty minutes later, Arthur was making noises against the rim of his coffee cup that he’d last heard upon waking – ejaculating - barely 12 hours before.

Fuck, that’s good.” he moaned, savoring his first sip, fingers interlaced about the double stacked, deliciously warm cardboard cup and trying to not flush as Eames choked on his own sip, laughing past the tears that sprang to his eyes.

“Arthur, please,” he rasped, clearing his throat, “this is a PG13 rated vehicle. If it’s going to get pornographic, I’ll drive to a motel so you and the coffee can get a room.”

Arthur would have been embarrassed, but there was something in the way Eames said pornographic had him stretching, contented and caffeine fuelled, against the confines of his seat, sending a satisfied smile Eames’ way. “Sorry,” he virtually purred, “It’s just been way too long since I last had a coffee from Toni’s. It’s just far enough off my route heading into school that I never make it, and too far past the bus stop so it seems pointless to go and then double back; so THIS,” he held his cup aloft and gazed at it adoringly, “is MORE than worth getting a room for. Hell I might MARRY this coffee.”

Eames smiled beatifically. “I’m sure you’ll be very happy together.” He waggled his eyebrows. “Plus, if keeping you adequately caffeinated keeps you from blowing your top whenever I supersede your control issues, then I’m all for it.”

Arthur attempted a partial glower, hiding his smile with another sip. “M’pretty sure that this is where I’d tell you to blow me, were I not... adequately caffeinated. Sir.”

He took a moment to appreciate Eames’ dropped jaw, shoving down hard on the blush that threatened to render him unconscious with the rush of blood from groin to head, smirking vaguely as he cocked an eyebrow at his erstwhile teacher, searching internally for his sense of shame and (delightfully) finding it MIA.

“Too far?” He grinned and Eames snorted.

“Oh, you are SO getting decaf next time, you cheeky little shit. Just you bloody wait, mate.”

Arthur beamed into the plastic lip of his lid. “Next time? Are you planning on preventing my running via coffee for the foreseeable future, then?”

“Shut up and drink your mud, you irrepressible oik, or I’m tuning the radio to an operatic station, got it?”

“I like Opera.”

“...oh, do piss off, Arthur.”


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Date: 2011-10-10 03:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I swore to myself that I'd wait for the whole story to be posted before reading, okay fine, half the story? But I couldn't stop myself. The premise was too good and by the first chapter I was hooked. Love the slow build of their budding romantic relationship from a mere teacher-student one. This story is lovely and I'm looking forward to the next chapter with patience, okay maybe not. Damn *taps fingers* I'm alright, will just wait in the corner right there uh huh...

Date: 2011-10-10 04:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
LOL I tend to do the exact same thing :D wait it out so there's no... waiting, lol.

I'm sorry for the patience side of things but really my poor betas head would go splodey otherwise and I'm just not in the mood to clean up ;)

I'm SO SO glad you're enjoying it tho! Its so awesome because I enjoyed writing it so to see it be enjoyed is likewise enjoyable ;P *is speaking in tongues today twould seem* :P

Anyway, thanks hugely and I hope you continue to enjoy it! :D

Date: 2011-10-10 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*sigh* It's true. I'm in love with this fic.

Date: 2011-10-10 04:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Can't help but LOVE that as a reaction lol, I swear it feels just the same way about you ;P

Date: 2011-10-10 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This story is so good to me. The slow building relationship is SLOW but my god, you make it so worth it.
I truly can't wait for the next chapter and wish I didn't have to wait another week. *g* BUT! It'll be worth it, I'm sure.

SO in conclusion- OMG! ♥ forever and ever and ever.

Get better soon, darling!

Date: 2011-10-10 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
lol its only a crappy crappy headcold but thankee hon :D

I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad you're still enjoying, there's still months to go within the storyline so I'm SO PLEASED you're enjoying the slowness XD

Date: 2011-10-10 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
OMG! I SOOOOOOOO need more of THAT!!! The last scene just blew my mind :DDDD This just made up my whole crappy monday. Thank you! I can't wait for the next part :D

Date: 2011-10-10 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Rofl Mondays really do SUCK don't they??

I'm glad this helped tho :D I firmly believe a dose of Eames/TH at any given time can significantly improve a persons day ;P

thanks so much for the lovely comment and I hope you continue to enjoy!!! :D

Date: 2011-10-10 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
omg this UST is killing me already. so good!!! thanks for the update!

Date: 2011-10-10 05:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
lol I promise there'll be an R to go with that ST at some point ;P

I'm glad you're enjoying it still :D thankee for the fab fb! ;D

Date: 2011-10-10 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You are very bad woman. You want to kill us all with your extremely good described UST. :D
But it's so worth it!
Oh, Arthur's fainting reminded me of my own fainting at German class. And my teacher looked suspiciously like Mr Eames, OMG. Good old times. :D

I love Mondays from no on and waiting for the next chapter!

Date: 2011-10-10 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Jesus, I'd have worked SO HARD to never leave that school LOL

I'm so glad you're enjoying it and I'm sorry if it makes me even MORE of a bad woman but it may not always be updated on a monday, depends on the size of the chapter, but I hope you'll still enjoy the updates! :D

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Date: 2011-10-10 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
reading this was by far the best way to spend my "avoiding homework" time this afternoon. THIS IS AMAZING!!

Date: 2011-10-10 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I'm so glad you're enjoying it!!! :D

Date: 2011-10-10 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This story is the best thing since sliced bread AND HOW. I'm reading this while I'm at work and totally not regretting it! Gorgeous writing, gorgeous characterisation. And hilarious last section.

Can't wait for next update + get well soon!

Date: 2011-10-10 10:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
LOVE your icon!!! Oglaf FTW ;P

I'm so happy I could distract you from your workday with burgeoning boylove ;P my theory is Mondays suck - SEEK SLASH IN CASE OF MONDAYS etc therefore you did the RIGHT THING *nodnodnod*

Thanks so much for the well wishes and the fab fb :D

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Date: 2011-10-11 12:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was so happy to see this had updated! It made my day off from school even better!! I'm excited for more!

Date: 2011-10-11 11:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A day off on a monday eh? I LIKES IT! XD

Thanks so much for the fab comment, I hope you continue to enjoy :D

Date: 2011-10-11 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh man, this simply makes me smile every single time. I absolutely love it, and their constant bantering is brilliant! I love how their friendship/relationship is progressing! I totally understand the chickenpox predicament, however. I had it a couple of years ago, and felt like absolute death.

Date: 2011-10-11 11:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*shudders* Yes, adult pox is HEINOUS... I didn't have it fortunately but my sister did AND scratched bless her... NOT the right reaction sadly, lol.

I'm so glad you're enjoying the banter!!! *bounces* I kept worrying I was putting too much in but it just rolled right off my fingertips onto the doc lol so its good to know the cheese is appreciated ;D

Thanks so much for the comment! XD

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Date: 2011-10-11 03:08 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-11 11:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*flails* THANKEE!!!!! XD

Date: 2011-10-11 05:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
again, so wonderful. sigh... now we all have to wait another 7 days...

i can't wait to reread in one sitting. it will be glorious!

Date: 2011-10-11 05:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Out of curiosity, do you have any A/E recs to tide us all over? I swear I have read all the inception AUs out there, but none like this. Any fics that inspired you? (and I have read ALL of your work, and I swear this is my favorite to date) But I never knew you as an inception kinda gal (a teasing side that I quite enjoy) Perhaps if I put please in another parenthetical you will give me what I want. (please?)

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Date: 2011-10-11 05:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
EEEEE!! This is so awesome!! I am grinning so big right now! You are just the best, ok? God, I love this:D

Date: 2011-10-11 11:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*flails and dies of glee*

I'm so glad you're enjoying it lol it makes my heart HAPPY XD

Date: 2011-10-11 03:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Love this series so much - was thrilled to see a new chapter. This Arthur of yours may just be the death of me he's so perfect a mixture of angst, longing and want. And with not just a little splash of intelligence. Eames... that black sweater/tight trouser get up is delcious and I want to set him on my lap and make him sing to me...

lovely all around - *again* - and am left wanting more more and more....

Date: 2011-10-11 11:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
lol its from THIS PIC (not really so blisteringly hot this small lol) but I just couldn't resist! And sod the singing, I'll just take the lap bit ;P

I'm so pleased you're enjoying it, PARTICULARLY Arthur lol I wanted him hopelessly smitten but still not a GIRRRRRRRL lol so its good to know he didn't turn out too emo ;P

Thanks for the FAB fb!!! :D

Date: 2011-10-12 12:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I actually squealed aloud when I saw an update!

Also, the last line slayed me!

Date: 2011-10-12 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY lol squealing aloud is an EPIC form of joy and I take it as a high compliment ;D

i'm so glad you like the line as well lol, I sniggered writing it ;D *g* thanks for the lovely comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD


Date: 2011-10-12 03:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's over too soon! I was thrilled to find a chapter to read. I needed it quite badly. But I was not at all ready for it to be over yet. I love Arthur moaning pornographically over his coffee and telling Eames to blow him. MOAR!

Re: Noooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Date: 2011-10-12 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*huggles* Sorry its shorter, some of them will be in order to leave other bits in the right sections and wotnot lol but hopefully you'll enjoy them all the same....

...but yes *drools* I do think Arthur telling Eames to blow him should be a daily occurrence ;P it'd make my year anyway ;D


Date: 2011-10-12 06:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I tried to wait to read this one so that I could maybe even have TWO chapters in a row but OH GOD it was so lovely ♥

Date: 2011-10-12 01:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ROFL, good lord woman - my inbox runneth over!!!! Not that I'm not DELIGHTED that you're enjoying my stuff (and totally seeing where the porn got to as its so bloody absent in Pet lol) but here, never say I'm not an enabler ;P

There's a scary hetfic (Cobb/Ariadne) on there but otherwise that's all of my AE stuff, I think you've read most of it but the tag will show you the rps sequel (tho there's one part yet to come) and the other PWP I wrote in movie verse... I've lost one along the way lol but I'll track it down sometime am sure ;P <- eta: found it, and unsurprisingly its yet another bj fic lol for Cheryl natch ;) tagged it in just in case :)

ANYWAYS, scusi the bulk reply in this one, I'd forget everything I wanted to say otherwise, but I'm so glad you're still enjoying it! :D Thanks for ALL the fab fb! (also, blame Cheryl for the foot fetish one lol thats ALL HER :P)
Edited Date: 2011-10-12 02:05 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-12 06:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2011-10-12 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

lol JK, I hope you're enjoying it and thankee muchly for the flail ;D

Date: 2011-10-13 01:15 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
It's actually bordering on ridiculous the amount of times I've reread the chapters to tide me over until the next update. This is just one of those stories that incepts my brain and won't leave me alone! Though I'll admit to not trying very hard to forget it. Awesome job, I really love this story, and am anxiously waiting for the next chapter. I like how Arthur, and how he tries so hard to hide his "little crush" from Arthur. I love their car scenes together, I read that part again and again and again. :) I know you post once a week, but is it on any specific day? Just so I know when to check every 10 minutes obsessively to find it. ;)

Date: 2011-10-13 07:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love that you love to reread it lol I know its wicked and smug and other bad words but it makes me squee my face off to know its well liked enough for you to want to reread it between parts ;P

I really AM sorry its posting in segments, was just too big to do otherwise but I'm THRILLED you're enjoying it, especially the car bits, I ADORED writing them :D

I do generally try to post as early in the week as possible but its dependent on when my beta gets the next part back to me, she's CRAZY prolific in fandom and verging on a robot in RL lol so she's got a fair amount already on the go without the beast slowing her down ;P

I hope you'll continue to enjoy and the next part will go up just as soon as it possibly can :) thanks for the lovely comment!!! :D

Date: 2011-10-13 10:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Just loving this. It's *smouldering* with UST. I might ignite.

Date: 2011-10-13 07:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
LOL yeah.... I did accidentally *cough* keep pounding the UST key whilst typing ;P but hell, I have to balance out my pornier stuff somehow ;D

I'm so glad you're enjoying it, thanks for the fab fb!! :D

Date: 2011-10-13 10:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is my first Arthur/Eames story, I saw it recc'd by Miss Dyson and decided to give it a go. I am now completely hooked and a total fan :-) This story is fantastic, I can't wait for the next update !

Date: 2011-10-13 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*FLAILS* Oh my god, thankyou so much - I'm so pleased you decided to take the chance of the pairing and OH MY GOD YOU NEED TO READ MORE.

Seriously, find ANY AE reclist and start reading, they're AWESOME...

..hence my fixation. ;P

Anyways *ahem* I'm SO GLAD you likes it :D and I hope you continue to do so! :D

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Presque Vu OOO!

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Date: 2011-10-13 01:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is so fantastic. The anticipation is KILLING ME *flails*

Date: 2011-10-13 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*hugs your poor cactus icon*

lol sorry ;) got that out of the way :D

I'm so glad you're enjoying it!! :D Thanks for the fab fb and the flail!

Date: 2011-10-13 03:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love this story. I could not tear my eyes away and now that this chapter is over, I feel this sense of loss. I can't wait for the next chapter! Thanks for reposting the link :)

Date: 2011-10-13 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
lol thank you SO much, I'm so THRILLED you're enjoying it and now I feel like a total numpty because Cheryl thought it might be an issue with last weeks chapter and LO, there I went and made the same mistake this week! LOL I'm just glad you found it! :D

Date: 2011-10-13 03:53 pm (UTC)
ext_246082: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh not sure how I'm surviving the wait between chapters but airg;aowe this story is absolutely amazing. Thank you for reposting, so, so, happy I didn't miss out.

Date: 2011-10-13 09:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm so pleased you found it, lol I only reposted on a whim - turns out I really DID need to! LOL

I'm so SO glad you're enjoying it tho, despite the wait! ;D

Thanks for the fb! :D

But... But... AH CRAP!!!

Date: 2011-10-14 11:30 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Now I have to rediscover my LJ account! I can't believe this is all posted yet. Nuuuuuuu!!! ;_;

ACK!!! I have to learn how to stalk you so I don't miss the next chapter!


Re: But... But... AH CRAP!!!

Date: 2011-10-14 04:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
LOL did I know you under your old LJ account? If not then friend away, you can just watch my LJ then, its pretty much all I'm posting so you won't miss much :D

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