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Arthur is smoking on the balcony. Arthur is smoking Eames' cigarettes on the balcony, and Eames knows this because Arthur doesn't buy cigarettes anymore. Because Arthur quit smoking.

"I'll be right back," Eames tells Ariadne, leaving her to her models and approaching the sliding doors. He can see Arthur notice him and then promptly look away, pretending not to have seen. It's going to be one of those days.

Arthur's shoulders tense as Eames steps out onto the balcony.

"I'll get you a new pack," he says, turning his back to the door and blowing smoke at the sunset.

"Right, I was concerned about those five pounds you're costing me," Eames leans against the railing, letting Arthur keep his space."Did you talk to Somers?"

"She says the date is firm," he says, "She needs it done on Friday, or we can kiss our paycheck goodbye."

"It's not like anyone else could get it done faster," Eames says, "How many teams are even willing to work with multiple marks?"

"It doesn't matter, Eames," Arthur snaps, tossing his half-finished cigarette to the cement and grinding it violently under his heel, "She won't pay us if we don't do it on Friday, and she'll take all the information we've fed her and find a new team that'll do it cheap just to say they pulled our job out from under us."

"So we do it by Friday, then," Eames says, shrugging. Arthur turns to go back inside, but Eames reaches out, touches his hip, and it makes Arthur stop. "We hired a team for a reason, love. A good team. Can you let yourself delegate?"

Arthur's jaw is tense, his teeth grinding. "I am delegating."

"Arthur." Eames loops his fingers loosely around Arthur's wrist, his thumb against the hammering pulse. Arthur swallows, but he doesn't speak, and Eames doesn't ask. Arthur knows the question.

"I'll be fine," Arthur says finally, stepping back, smoothing a hand over his hair like Eames has mussed it, "We go on Friday, then it's done."

"Right," Eames says, watching him straighten his cuffs as he steps back into the suite.


Eames is woken by the water running, the room still dark. He pulls back the covers when he hears footsteps.

"Sorry," Arthur murmurs, clothing rustling, "I was trying to be quiet."

"Time is it?"

Arthur crawls into bed, moving in until Eames' arms close around him. "Just go back to sleep."

"Arthur," Eames says, his voice a little too hoarse for the warning tone he was aiming for.

"It's nearly three."

Eames lets out a low growl. "You're running yourself into the ground."

Arthur squirms, tilting his head to press his lips to Eames' chin. "Can we just sleep? Please?"

His eyes are barely open, and Eames knows there are dark, shining circles underneath them. Now isn't the time for this discussion.

"Go to sleep," he whispers, and Arthur does.


In his position as the only person Arthur can't find a good reason to yell at, Eames is expected to fetch dinner when the team works into the evening. The weather is shit, because it's London, and Eames is thoroughly soaked by the time he gets back to the hotel, sandwiches and waterlogged cups of coffee balanced in his arms.

The room is suspiciously silent when he reaches the door, and he has to set the coffees down and find the key card in his wallet to get in.

Arthur and Ariadne are in the armchairs, asleep, the PASIV humming between them. Their extractor, Corbett, is nowhere in sight.

The clock has ten minutes left, so Eames props himself on the counter in the kitchenette to eat. He's two bites in when Arthur jerks awake, Ariadne a split second behind.

"Sorry, did that bullet hit you? I really need to work on my aim." Ariadne says sweetly, a little winded. "I know you're not like, a legitimate employer, but meal breaks are customary, even in overtime."

Eames holds up the bag of food and waves it in her direction.

"God, you're a saint, did you know that?" she heaves herself out of her chair, comes over and snatches the bag away.

"We were in the middle of something," Arthur says, ripping the line from his arm. "Do I have to explain again how much time there is between today and Friday?"

"Hey," Ariadne says, around a mouthful of bread, but she swallows and seems to think better of starting a fight. Taking a coffee and shaking her head, she strides into the bedroom of the suite, closing the door with an admirable calm. Eames hears the television blaring moments later.

Arthur is at the desk, flipping through a stack of papers with more than the necessary force. Eames takes a sandwich and a coffee over to him.

"Where's Corbett?" Eames asks.

"He went out for cigarettes," Arthur looks at his watch, "An hour ago, son of a bitch."

"He'll be back, he probably just needs a breather."

"Right," Arthur scoffs, shifting the sandwich aside to pick up a file, "Must be nice."

Rubbing a hand over his face, Eames holds back a sigh. "Eat something," he says, nudging the sandwich back toward him. "Sit down for five minutes without hooking yourself up to the PASIV."

Eames takes a step closer to him and Arthur's demeanor shifts; another step and his breath catches, just a little. He leans into the pressure of Eames at his side, his brow furrows, his fingers twitch on the papers he's holding. He's humming with need, and it's killing Eames to watch him unravel and still not ask.

"You have to relax, Arthur," Eames traces Arthur's spine through his shirt, "You have to let me know."

Arthur's next breath is trembling, and he turns his head so their noses brush. "I'm okay," he says, not sounding okay in the slightest, "It's just a few more days."

And then he's straightening up, visibly shaking off the fog that was drawing in around him, smoothing his hair back.

"I have a meeting with Somers," he says, finding the papers he was looking for and slipping them into his messenger bag. He shrugs on his coat and picks up the coffee, avoiding Eames' eyes. "I'll eat later, okay?"

Eames nods, biting his tongue. He lets his fingers brush Arthur's as he passes, and hears the door click shut a moment later.

Ariadne emerges soon after, cradling her coffee like it's a lifeline.

"I could be working on my final papers right now," she remarks mildly, though Eames can hear the bite in her tone.

"We really appreciate your being here, " Eames tells her, "Both of us."

Ariadne snorts, "Yeah, I know." She smiles at him, finally, taking a sip of her coffee. "Just get him a stress ball or something, okay? I don't actually enjoy shooting him, but I will continue to do it if I feel it's necessary."


Eames goes under on his own that evening, to wander through the maze Ariadne's taught him and to get some practice in with his forgery, the mother of their two marks. His projections are restless, though, putting him on edge. He shoots himself out after an hour or so, unable to concentrate. It turns out, it's probably for the best.

Corbett has reappeared, and he and Arthur are standing on opposite sides of the suite, Ariadne sitting at the desk between them, looking exasperated.

"What the fuck did you need me for, you've shot down every idea I've given you since I got here," Corbett says, his voice shaking like it's taking all his willpower not to scream.

"I'm running fucking point, that's my job," Arthur is shoving papers into folders as he speaks, in what Eames recognizes as a fit of angry over-organization. "Give me a solid idea and I won't have to show you the holes in it."

"I'm sorry, did you just lose the numbers of every other extractor in the business, or did you call me for this job for a reason?" Corbett snatches his coat from the couch and starts wrenching it on. "I could work three jobs for this payout and it'd still be easier than putting up with this shit. I can walk right now and leave you high and fucking dry."

"You think you can't be--" Arthur starts to say, but Eames stands up then, with what he feels is the appropriate level of alarm at the thought of losing their extractor and not being able to complete this clusterfuck of a job.

"No one is walking, alright? Corbett, for your safety, go have a drink, take the night. That paycheck'll look better in the morning," Eames says. He waits for Corbett to get his fill of glaring and storm out the door before he turns to Arthur. "Could I speak to you for a moment?"

He strides into the bedroom without checking to see if Arthur is following, because he knows Arthur.

He closes the door behind them, not giving Arthur a chance to speak before he lays a hand on his chest, pressing him slowly but firmly against the wall.

"You need to calm down," he says, and when Arthur squirms, just a fraction, Eames slides his hand up, thumb and forefinger pressing hard on Arthur's clavicle. "Arthur."

"I don't--" Arthur cuts himself off, his mouth snapping shut.

"Tell me," Eames brings his other hand up, runs it through Arthur's hair and grips it hard. "Tell me what you don't."

He starts to shake, Eames can feel it under his palm, a deep, full-body tremor, all that tension coming to a head.

"Eames," he tries, his throat bobbing as he swallows.

"I'm right here," Eames tells him, tilting Arthur's head back and leaning in, leaving a tease of lips and teeth along his jaw.

Arthur's breath hitches out in a whimper, his hands coming up to grip Eames' shirt. "I can't."

Eames lets out a breath through his nose like a growl. "Wait here for me." He pulls away and Arthur nods, pulling in slow lungfuls of air.

Back out in the main room, Ariadne is already packing her tools away in her satchel.

"I'm taking eighteen hours of stress leave," she tells him.

"We all need it," Eames says, picking up her tablet and handing it to her.

Ariadne's eyes flick to the bedroom. "Is he okay?"

"He just needs a break," Eames says, walking with her to the door of the suite, "He'll be alright."

He waits agonizing seconds to make sure she's well down the hall before he goes back to the bedroom.

Arthur is leaning heavily on the wall, running his fingers through his hair, weary. Eames reaches out his hand and Arthur takes it. "Follow me," Eames says, his voice firm and steady. Arthur falls into step just behind him, and Eames doesn't have to look back to know he doesn't so much as glance at the papers on the desk, at his laptop.

Their suite is ten floors up, and Arthur follows him there, always one pace behind, his hand in Eames'. Inside the room, Eames turns to him. Arthur bites his lip.

"Go to the bedroom," Eames says, "Get your clothes off. I'll be in in a minute."

Arthur does as he's told, and Eames gets to work tidying up the papers Arthur's left scattered around their suite, slipping them into folders and drawers, out of sight and, at least temporarily, out of mind. Arthur might take a break if Eames makes him, but he'll never relax if there's work lying around. Eames sheds his jacket and rolls his sleeves up before he enters the bedroom.

Arthur is standing at the foot of the bed, clothing strewn on the floor in a trail between himself and the doorway. He stands a little straighter when he sees Eames enter. There's a tremor visible in his hands at his sides.

"Eames..." he trails off, biting his lip again, soft and sweet, used to getting what he wants without needing to ask.

Eames nods, making no move to step further into the room. "I'm right here."

Arthur takes a breath, lets it out shakily. "Eames," he says again, struggling with it. "Please."

Eames keeps his reaction down to a hum, pushing away from the doorframe. Arthur tracks him across the room, until Eames sits down on the side of the bed.

"Come here, Arthur."

Arthur comes to him, licking his lips, his cheeks already a little pink. Eames pulls Arthur down to straddle his lap.

"You're wound tight, love," Eames says, stroking his hands up Arthur's back. His brow furrows, but he doesn't protest. "I hate seeing you do this to yourself."

Arthur closes his eyes, pained. "I can handle it," he says, and his fingers press against Eames' chest like he needs to steady himself. "I thought I could handle it."

"You can," Eames shifts him closer, hands on his arse, "You can, you've just got to tell me what you need from me. Just let me help."

Arthur frowns, burying his face in Eames' neck.

"Just tell me," Eames murmurs, "I'm here, Arthur, just tell me what you need." Please tell me. He lifts Arthur against him, just to hold his weight, just to show him that he's safe, that Eames can take care of him here. Arthur squirms, breathing something muffled against Eames' shoulder.

"Arthur," he coaxes, hand in his hair, easing him up.

Lifting his head just enough to brush his lips over Eames' ear, Arthur lets his breath out, shaky. "Daddy."

Eames tightens his hand in Arthur's hair, swallowing something, a sigh, a growl. "There's my boy."

Arthur squirms against him, whining into his neck. "Daddy," he says again, like he's getting used to the shape of it, the feel of the word in his mouth.

"Tell daddy what you want," Eames says.

"Your -- your hand," Arthur whispers, winding his arms around Eames' neck and clinging.

"You've got my hand," Eames says, running it over Arthur's arse. "What do you want daddy to do?"

"Hit me," Arthur says, soft, "Spank me, daddy, please. Please."

"My good boy," Eames kisses his cheek, then he lifts him, pulling Arthur down so he's splayed over Eames' lap. Eames allows himself a moment to run his hand over the soft, pale skin of Arthur's arse, up over the curve of his spine as he arches his back.

"Don't, don't," Arthur says, fisting the blankets, squirming. "Don't tease, please hit me, daddy--" he breaks off on a moan when Eames clamps a hand around the back of his neck, pinning him to the bed.

"Keep still for me," Eames tells him, giving his arse one more appreciative stroke before he raises his hand, bringing it down with a ringing smack.

A delicious little sound escapes Arthur, half muffled in the bedclothes. Eames smiles, "Daddy always takes care of you when you ask for it, doesn't he?"

"Daddy," Arthur whimpers, "Daddy, yes, oh--" Eames brings his hand down again, hard enough to rock him forward. Eames loves this, everything from Arthur's soft little sobs to the tingle and sting of his own palm as it pinks Arthur's gorgeous arse.

He can feel the tension seeping from Arthur's bones every time Eames' hand lands on his skin. Arthur is hard against Eames' leg in no time, hips twitching as he tries not to rut and squirm, tries so hard to behave. Eames stops and Arthur bites his lip savagely, trembling.

"Is that good, sweetheart?" Eames asks, running his hand over Arthur's arse, making him hiss.

"Yes," Arthur says, already winded, pressing his face into the bed.

"Tell me what you want, Arthur," Eames says, stroking his back, a gentle little tease compared to what Arthur is craving.

"Justt-- don't stop. Keep going," Arthur says. "Harder, I want it harder, please."

"Good boy," Eames says, running a finger over Arthur's lips and watching as Arthur's tongue flicks out against it, unconscious.

"Please," Arthur says, "Daddy, please, more."

Eames raises his hand, loving the way Arthur tenses in anticipation almost as much as he loves the sob that spills out of him when Eames smacks him again. His fingers leave white prints before they fade into the bright red of Arthur's skin, the colour spreading down his thighs where Eames isn't bothering to be precise.

"I just want you to know how to come to me," Eames says, and it's unfair to speak to him in the middle of this, but he watches Arthur nod anyway, struggling to listen. "Let me take care of you."

"I know," Arthur gasps, another hard smack shifting him in Eames' lap and letting Eames feel how much he's leaking, a wet spot spreading through Eames' trousers. "I know, I will, I do, daddy."

Eames spanks him until his palm is burning and Arthur's breathing only in sobs, his cock hard and dripping on Eames' lap, his legs trembling where he's still holding himself up, never shying away.

"That's my boy, my good boy," Eames breathes, stroking his fingers over Arthur's arse, and even that touch makes him shake. Eames flexes and shifts his thigh, letting Arthur get some friction. "You're making a mess."

"Feels good," Arthur moans, arching when Eames' fingers dip into his cleft, rubbing over his hole. It's dry and his finger snags on the sensitive skin as he pushes the tip inside, but Arthur still clenches, trying to draw him in with a needy little whine. "Daddy."

He's floating, flushed and dazed and pliant. Eames hasn't seen him like this in weeks, and he'll do everything in his power to draw this out as long as he can. He'd keep Arthur in this bed for days if he could.

"D'you need something inside you, sweetheart?"

"Please," Arthur gasps, "Please, please please daddy, please."

Eames slips his hand under Arthur's belly. "Up you come," he says, easing him up onto his knees. "Get on your front for me. Bum in the air."

Arthur shuffles into position in the middle of the bed, pillowing his head on his arms and watching as Eames stands and undresses. He takes the lube out of the drawer in the nightstand where it's been sitting untouched for over a week now.

"You must be gasping for it," Eames muses, crawling onto the bed and kneeling behind Arthur. He runs an appreciative hand over Arthur's arse, smiling when he whimpers, sensitive and sore. With slicked fingers, Eames teases around his entrance, squeezing his arse with his clean hand, drinking in Arthur's pained little whines.

"Dadd-yyy," he hitches out, one hand curling into the blanket, the other in his own hair.

"Shh," Eames soothes, pushing two fingers in at once, scraping his nails lightly up Arthur's thigh at the same time. Arthur keens at the sensation, his whole body jolting, rocking against the intrusion and getting a sharper sting as a result, Eames' nails digging into the reddened skin of his arse.

He's tight inside, clenching when Eames kneads and pinches him, bringing up darker blooms on his skin, hot little slices of pain that have Arthur arching and moaning, pushing back for more. His forehead is shining with sweat and his hair is dishevelled, a mess against the bedclothes, beautiful.

Eames leans forward just to press his own erection against Arthur's arse, the skin smooth and hot. He spreads his fingers apart inside him and Arthur groans, deep and needy, his body jolting.

"More," he moans, quiet and muted against the blankets, like he might not even know he's speaking. "More, please, more."

Eames pulls his fingers out and uses his knees to knock Arthur's legs wider, leaning over his back.

"Tell daddy what you want, beautiful," he whispers, rolling his hips to rub himself against Arthur's slick entrance.

"Ah, ah, ah," Arthur pants, his words swallowed up in desperation, "Daddy."

"I'm here," Eames says, running his fingernails over Arthur's arse again, making him shiver.

"Inside, want you inside," Arthur curves his back like he could make it happen right now if he could just bend the right way, "Fuck me, daddy, please fuck me."

"Good boy," Eames says, feeling more than a little frantic himself and fighting to keep his calm. "Daddy's good boy." He grabs the lube again and slicks himself quickly, hard and aching and desperate to get inside Arthur's tight heat.

Gripping Arthur's hips to keep him steady, Eames presses the head of his cock against his entrance, eyes glued to the sight as he sinks in. Arthur opens up for him so easily, frantic for something inside him, for Eames.

"You feel so good, baby," Eames murmurs, leaning over him again and breathing the words into the nape of his neck.

Arthur sobs as Eames starts to fuck him, hard and deep and thorough. He's not looking to tease, just to drive Arthur out of his head, bowl him over with too much, too good, all at once.

"Daddy," he moans, rocking back with what little leverage he has, his legs spread too wide to allow much movement. "Please, please, daddy." But he doesn't beg for faster or harder, so Eames just hitches his hips up, hitting that angle that makes Arthur clench and arch and cry.

"Daddy's good boy," Eames growls into his hair, "Such a good boy for me, look how you take it."

Arthur's clenching every time Eames pulls his hips back, arching into every thrust. The headboard hammers the wall, and Eames has to hold Arthur up to keep him from flattening to the bed, collapsing under the force of Eames' movements, yet he still pushes back for more.

"Such a good boy," Eames says again, hoarse and panting, barely holding it together with Arthur underneath him like this, taking it like this.

"It feels so good, daddy," Arthur gasps, "Feels so-- big-- ah, ah, daddy--" Eames slams into him and Arthur is gone, just a string of disconnected words spilling from him like a chorus in Eames' ears.

Eames reaches down to get his hand around Arthur's cock and finds it slick at the head, dripping onto the blankets.

"I want you to come for me," Eames says, catching Arthur's hand as he reaches back to grab at him. Eames leans back, pulling Arthur's arm behind him and pinning it there. He lets go of Arthur's cock, instead tangling his fingers in Arthur's hair and yanking his head up, making him sob. "Come for daddy, Arthur."

Arthur wails, strangled, and he comes, held in place and just writhing through it, his back bowed in an impossible curve. Eames snaps his hips, his restraint shredding as Arthur tightens around him.

"Good boy," Eames gasps, squeezing his eyes shut against the sight of Arthur below him, but there's nothing for it. Before Arthur's even stopped bucking, before Eames can gather some control, he's coming too, deep inside Arthur, releasing his arm and leaning over him again, covering him.

He wraps his arms around Arthur's chest as aftershocks course through them both, still pushing in, in, in, feeling the wet slide where his come has slicked Arthur's insides.

When Eames starts to pull out, Arthur tenses, fumbling at him with clumsy hands, but Eames stills him. "Not done yet," he rasps, feeling himself slip free from Arthur's body and giving him no time to adjust to the emptiness before he plunges two fingers right back in.

"Ah," Arthur huffs, his legs trembling. Eames follows when his strength fails him and he slides down flat onto his belly, bringing a knee up to open himself wider.

He's oversensitive and Eames loves him like this, loves the way he claws at the blankets, shakes his head, presses back and then twitches away. It's too much and his body can't process it, can't take the shocks of pleasure when Eames rubs at his prostate, over and over, relentless.

"Daddy, daddy," Arthur chants it, the only thing he can say at this point, needing Eames to anchor him.

"I've got you, you're okay," Eames murmurs, his fingers sliding so easily, "You're so sloppy, baby, you're so wet for daddy."

Arthur starts to whine, one hand coming back and gripping Eames' neck, clawing at him.

"Okay, okay," Eames says, wrapping his arm around Arthur's middle and rolling him onto his side, exposing his cock for Eames to get his free hand around it. He's half hard and it sounds like it might hurt, but he's still rocking with Eames' motions as much as his body will allow, weak and twitching with overstimulation.

"Daddy -- can't--"

Eames hooks his chin over Arthur's shoulder, nosing at his wet cheek. Arthur sobs as Eames' thumb swipes over the head of his cock, gathering up the fluid that's leaking steadily from the tip.

"Just one more for me," Eames says, "Just once more, sweetheart, you can do it."

Arthur sobs, tears gathering in the corners of his clenched-tight eyes. Eames drives his fingers deep when he feels Arthur's back stiffen, works the hand on his cock where Arthur can't make his body move to press into the touch.

He sounds shattered when he comes, weak spurts against Eames' hand and Arthur's fingers digging hard into the back of his neck for a split second before they fall away, all the tension leaving him. He's boneless, helpless, twitching and whimpering and unresisting as Eames fingers him through it, drawing everything out.

As soon as he pulls his fingers out, Eames gathers Arthur up, wrapping an arm around his chest and letting him cling, letting him mouth at Eames' fingers, mindless. Arthur doesn't pass out, but Eames watches him while he drifts, halfway conscious, too wrung out to move but his heart still racing much too fast for sleep.

It's ages before Eames makes himself roll away from where it's comfortable and warm against Arthur's back, but he does, eliciting a mild, sleepy noise of protest. Eames shushes him, reaching for the tissues on the nightstand. He cleans Arthur up, wiping away the come where it's streaked on his thighs, but tissues feel inadequate tonight.

"How about a bath?" Eames asks him, and Arthur gives a pleased-sounding hum that Eames can only interpret as assent.

Eames doesn't leave him alone, would never leave him alone after he's been taken apart like that. He pulls Arthur to his feet and supports him for the short walk to the bathroom.

Arthur leans against the sink as Eames turns on the taps, adjusting the temperature so it's nearly uncomfortably hot, the way Arthur likes it. The tub is massive, as if the hotel expects their guests to need room for half a dozen people, so while it fills, Eames cages Arthur against the sink.

"Good boy," he murmurs, just to reiterate the point, pressing soft kisses against Arthur's throat. He trails the tips of his fingers over Arthur's arse, the skin still hot to the touch, and strokes until Arthur shivers, until he clings to Eames' neck, letting out a plaintive whine.

"I've got you," Eames says, winding his arms around Arthur's waist. They stand there, Eames shifting his weight enough to rock back and forth, until the tub is close to full.

Eames leads Arthur by the hand, lets him step into the water before climbing in behind him. Hissing at the heat, Eames lowers them down together, Arthur lying back against his chest, loose and pliant.

"There's my boy," Eames says, kissing the soft, sweaty skin behind his ear. "My good boy."

"Daddy," Arthur sighs, not pleading this time, not strained or desperate or entreating. Content, comfortable, letting Eames know how good he feels right here, how safe.

"My good boy," Eames says again, tilting Arthur's head back for a kiss.

He turns the taps off just before the water reaches Arthur's chin, wrapping arms around his chest to keep him from slipping any lower, not trusting him to keep himself upright, sleepy as he is.

Eames has no filters here, whispering every thought into Arthur's damp skin, telling him how lovely, how gorgeous, how good and perfect and adored he is. Pressed against each other like this, it's as much an indulgence for Eames as it is for Arthur. He'd never be able to pull Arthur apart if he couldn't piece him back together afterwards, gentle touches and murmured praise.

Before Arthur drifts off, Eames reaches for the shower head hanging by the taps.

"Eyes closed," he says, turning the nozzle on to a gentle spray and soaking Arthur's hair with it. Arthur blinks through his dripping fringe, sitting up and shaking his head, sending droplets in all directions. Eames turns the water off again, leaning up against Arthur's back and squeezing complimentary shampoo onto his hand. He urges Arthur to sit forward, his head bowed almost to the water's surface.

The moan he lets out when Eames starts to rub at his scalp isn't strictly sexual, but it makes Eames feel hot everywhere, hotter than the bathwater. He drags it out for longer than he needs to, massaging the shampoo into Arthur's hair in slow, soothing circles until Arthur's slumped so low his nose is half an inch away from being submerged.

Eames rinses the the lather away, then pulls Arthur back against him with his fringe plastered to his forehead, his cheeks dimpling.


Arthur squirms, twisting so he can nose at Eames' neck, smiling. "Really good. Thank you, daddy."

The water doesn't go cold, but it's a close thing, both of them dozing in the echoing quiet of the bathroom. Arthur groans when Eames pulls him out into the chilled air, and Eames happily does all the work of toweling them both dry. He fills a glass of water in the bathroom sink, making sure Arthur drinks it all before he leads him back to the bedroom.

The bed is rumbled in the most inviting way, and Arthur burrows underneath the blankets without bothering to untangle them. He's exhausted, Eames knows it, but there's just one more thing.

He finds it in an inside pocket in his suitcase, then comes back to kneel on the bed, running his hand through Arthur's wet hair.

"Look at me, baby."

Arthur blinks at him, and Eames holds up the strip of leather for him to see.

"Come here," Eames says, patting his thigh. Arthur bites his lip, wriggling around to rest his head on Eames' knee.

The collar fits snug below Arthur's Adam's apple, and he sighs when Eames fastens it, a contended little noise.

"Feels good," he breathes, fingers clenching on Eames' thigh.

"We'll keep it on you for a few days, yeah?"

"Yeah," Arthur says, and Eames can hear that hitch in his breathing, feel the way his fingers start creeping further up with clear intent, but it's too late, and Arthur needs a good night's rest more than anything else right now.

Eames catches his wrist. "Hey," he says, gentle, tugging him up and bending down to meet him for a kiss. "Let's get some sleep."

Arthur lets Eames arrange him, curled up on his side with Eames at his back, the blankets untangled and drawn up around them. Eames noses at the collar, presses his lips against it, tugs at it with his teeth just because he can. Arthur squirms against him, pleased.

"Love you," Arthur whispers.

Eames tightens his arm around Arthur's waist. "Love you," he responds, his eyes already closing.

In the morning, Arthur sleeps through his alarm. He doesn't care.