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22 August 2011 @ 03:33 am
Title: I Remember How I Loved You
Author: fuzzyniffler
Pairing:Eames/Mal, slight Cobb/Mal
Rating: R
Summary: Done for the kink meme. Prompt was- He loved Mal the woman. When he sees Mal the shade, he has a moment of heartbreak and dissonance.
Disclaimer: All characters are property of one Christopher Nolan. I make no prophet whatsoever from this :)
A/N: Wrote this an age ago, finally got around to cleaning it up & posting it and all :) Hope you enjoy.

He’s not sure how she found him, but he isn’t surprised. When he first opens the door his heart soars at the sight of her and then sinks. She’s still beautiful. Dark hair curling over her shoulders and pale skin, not sun kissed or darker like most people here. But her nose is starting to turn red in a sunburn and he knows she must have walked to get here.

“Hello dear," Mal says, reaching out to touch Eames’ arm. He steps away, turning to go back into the apartment, but leaves the door open for her. He hears it close, and his heart starts to beat more heavily in his chest, though he wishes it wouldn‘t.

“Haven’t you missed me?” Mal asks quietly. Eames pulls back the heavy curtain from his window. The warm breeze brushes over his skin and he frowns out at the brick houses.

“Why are you here?” It’s not that he’d rather she wasn’t, but, honestly, he really would, “You’re married now. To Dom.” And he hates the way it sounds. Hates that he wouldn’t marry her, that it’s not that he can’t, that he shouldn’t. And that he knows she wouldn’t, even if he had asked.

Eames wishes they were different sometimes, some moments. But, at the same time, he knows he doesn’t.

And there’s Dom. Dom, one of his best friends. Eames has already betrayed him enough, and while he’s not one to care much about doing the things on the darker side of life, betrayal has always left a sour taste in his mouth.

“So I am,” Mal’s voice is calm and closer than before. Her hand settles on his arm, but Eames prefers not to turn and look. It’d be too easy to fall if he looks at her.

“You didn’t answer my question,” Eames reminds her quietly, and Mal laughs. It’s not a cruel laugh, but he doesn’t like how easily it falls from her lips.

“You know why,” and she sounds so amused that Eames could throw up, “Tell me,” she continues, “why is it different now that I’m married?”

Eames sighs at this question, because he doesn’t think there will be any way for him to explain it to her if she doesn’t understand now. He thinks that maybe she does understand why he feels this way, but doesn‘t have the problem with it that he does.

“It’s real now,” he says tiredly, “you could have ended it before.” It. One thing or another. He means with Cobb. He means that Mal could have chosen him. Though it isn’t as though he really thinks that's true. Mal loves Cobb too much. She's looking at him like she's thinking the same thing.

“It would hurt him even more now,” Eames adds. She almost rolls her eyes, he sees her get that look on her face, and slides her hand down to his forearm. Her fingers heat his skin up a little more than he would like.

“Oh Eames,” she says, and it’s almost like she pities him. He hates that and jerks away.

“Stop it,” he says but she steps forward to touch his sides, drawing him closer again.

“Please,” she responds instead, “I need you, Eames.” And Eames has never really been able to resist her.

They fall together onto his bed, but it’s not easy. He’s never been gentle with her and he won’t- can’t- change.

She’s soft under his fingers, but she never gives. Mal bites and scratches as much as she can, but she also grins and laughs. He hates that she does now. He remembers he didn’t used to. He used to love it, the way she could smile at him and act as though this really meant nothing but friendship. As though it was a game. Back when it was all fresh lust and exhilaration and excitement.

The heat of the sun is beating in through the window now, lowered from where it had been earlier in the sky, and it makes the sweat bead more quickly on Eames’s skin. Mals’ tongue traces up over his collar and he shudders.

He wishes, as her nails dig into his back, that they wouldn’t do this.

He wishes, as she arches and tightens around him, that she could control herself.

He wishes, as he comes inside her, that he could control himself.

Mal spends the night. He makes her breakfast and watches as she covers up her bruises. He marvels at how easy it is for her.


Eames wonders, sometimes, if he sees himself in Phillippa as some kind of cruel guilt the universe has decided to place on him.

He goes to the funeral when Mal dies. He doesn’t cry, but he feels the lump in his throat and the way his fingers clench and unclench. The emptiness in his heart.

Cobb doesn’t cry, though, so he can’t either.

He stays the night at Cobb’s house and so does Arthur. Arthur takes Cobb into his room with a hand on his shoulder and whispered words that Eames can’t hear. Eames leans on the counter, rubbing his face tiredly as he does.

“Can you get me water?” A small voice to his right asks and he looks down. James is looking back up at him.

“Yeah,” Eames says, going to grab a mug.

“You know my mother,” James says after a moment. Eames swallows, pausing before he starts the sink water. He taps his fingers as he waits for the water to cool.

“I knew her,” he says. James stares for a second.

“Not from there!” he cries as Eames is about to put the mug under the tap. Eames blinks.

“What?” he asks. James reaches out for the mug with both hands and Eames cautiously hands it over.

“From here,” James says, walking over to the fridge and holding it up towards the alcove where it dispenses water. Eames nods and takes the mug, pushing it in to let it start filling.

“I see. I’ll remember next time,” he speaks softly and James nods, holding the cup carefully once Eames hands it to him.

“Thank you,” he says politely as he turns. Eames exhales slowly as he watches James go.

“You’re welcome,” he says.


When he first sees Mal inside Cobb’s dream, Eames feels that familiar elation. The way his head feels light and his heart pounds. But he looks at her for a moment longer, and the feeling dies away.

She’s still beautiful. But she’s ruined too. Tuined in the way she pulls the gun out from behind her and holds it up. In the way her hair is maybe a shade darker from when Eames last saw her. The way her lips are twisted.

“Eames, it’s been a long time,” she murmurs and there’s none of the feeling there that there used to be. The low undercurrent that Eames is used to whenever Mal would talk to him. And he realizes it’s because Cobb never noticed it, and that this is a projection.

“Mal, what are you doing?” Eames asks quietly, and he lets the forge he was practicing- an older man with arthritis and a bit of a slur- drop. He and Cobb were checking to make sure the build of the dream was secure.

“This is for us,” she says, and Eames watches her curiously, but there’s a hole in the pit of his stomach that he knows means her words aren’t meant for the two of them. “Dom and me. We’re the ones allowed here.” And with that there’s a crack and a bullet in his shoulder, and Eames feels the pain lance through his body.

It’s not just the bullet though. Eames stares as Mal steps forward, her eyes dark and her gaze empty. She looks like a broken doll, he thinks, and that’s not true. But it really is, with the way her eyes are dead and she leans down to press the gun to his temple. Eames hadn’t realized he was on his knees.

“You’re not allowed,” she hisses, and pulls the trigger again.

Eames wakes up, knowing that Cobb hasn’t yet.

He stares at the ceiling, replaying what just happened in his mind. That wasn’t Mal. He knows it wasn’t. He knows she wouldn’t act that way, not towards him.

And Eames hates Cobb then, for a moment. Violently. He feels his stomach churn at the thought of how much Cobb had distorted the way Mal was. The way she treated everyone, not just Eames.

He thinks maybe he should be grateful that Cobb’s projection didn’t know anything, that she hadn’t acted like she had. Instead it just throws another punch to Eames’ gut.

He pulls the needle slowly from his arm and stands up, stepping away to the bathroom. When Cobb comes knocking minutes later, Eames has composed himself again.

“I thought it went all right,” he says, “Let’s give it a rest for today.” And Cobb looks at him for a moment. His face is worried and Eames wonders if he’s composed himself enough.

“All right. Tomorrow then?” Cobb says, turning to pack up. Eames watches him go, swallowing the dry feeling in his throat.

“Tomorrow,” he mutters. He grabs his jacket and things and heads towards the hotel. He focuses on what he remembers of Mal, as he walks, making sure to build her into herself instead of the shade that Cobb had constructed.
Current Mood: tiredtired
L: Eames- The kickmy_0wn_madness on August 23rd, 2011 01:53 am (UTC)
God James in this fic is so cute C: He makes me smile every time.

I really like how you ended this. I know you were stuck on it for awhile, but I really think it worked out well, even if it was a bit heart wrenching. Poor Eamesie :c But he gets Arthur in the end because HE HAS TO AND THEY GET MARRIED AND ARE HAPPY FOREVER AND EVER D:

You know I love this, darling. At least, you know I love the beginning of it-- your writing, as always, is beautiful-- and, as I said, I love the ending ♥
Are you watching?fuzzyniffler on August 23rd, 2011 03:43 am (UTC)
Thanks darling <3 You know how much it means to me when you like it. And of course they get married :P

I'm glad you like the ending. I was only able to finish it cause of the prompt haha :)