Warnings: Some kink, specifically rimming (highlight to read).
Word Count: 17k
Summary: College AU. Arthur's plans for his life are very detailed and predictable, just the way he likes it... until Eames comes along.
Notes: This is a multi-platform fic, which means there are Twitter accounts involved. I recommend that you wait 'til the end if you want to check them out, though, because there will be spoilers if you jump the gun.
Also, huge thanks to reinventweather, who helped with beta work and Twitter accounts and handholding and deserves more than just this thank-you note. ♥
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." -- John Lennon
"You can't spare an hour to come to the mall with your friends?" Ariadne asks, exasperated.
"I don't need anything from the mall," Arthur responds, dismissive. "And we both know that you're going to be there longer than an hour."
She levels him with a measuring look, and he pulls out his planner, predicting her next question. "What could be so important that you have to do it on a Friday night?"
He flips the book open to the current date, pointing to an itemized list. "If I finish my research tonight for my history class, then I can split the paper-writing between Saturday and Sunday, which will give me enough time to account for writer's block and any other distractions that might come up along the way."
She shakes her head, and they both know how this goes by now. If she really wants him to hang out on the weekend, she needs to let him know in advance so he can plan his time. As a sophomore, Ariadne's started taking more classes in her computer science major and art minor, and somehow that leaves her with all this free time. Arthur doesn't understand it, but he supposes he wouldn't, since he's pre-law and is taking as many free electives as possible while he has the chance. Even though he's a year ahead of her, his schedule is jam-packed as always.
Her phone buzzes in her pocket, distracting her from her next round of protests. She giggles and begins to type out a response, saying, "You need to get Twitter, Arthur."
He laughs abruptly, sliding his planner back into his bag. "Now there's an invention that prevents procrastination. What would I 'tweet' about anyway? How bossy my best friend is?"
She glances up from her phone long enough to shoot him an amused look. "Does it qualify as bossy if you never actually listen to me?"
"You never want to try anything new," she says with a pout as she returns her phone to her pocket.
"I try things," he insists. "Just not inane, time-wasting things."
"Shopping in downtown Chicago with your friends is not a waste of time," she says with an impassive tone that suggests she's done arguing and is now just going through the motions. "Well go on and start on your research, then. This conversation is approaching the fifteen-minute mark, and I'd hate to throw off your schedule."
"I appreciate your cooperation," he responds, mouth tilting up at the corners.
Ariadne hesitates for a moment, then reaches up to ruffle Arthur's hair. He makes a noise of protest, but she darts away before he can retaliate.
"See you tomorrow, Arthur!" she calls over her shoulder as she leaves the dorm lounge. He waves to her absently, trying to return his hair to its rightful state.
Ariadne is one of his favorite people, but even she can't convince him to change his schedule. He writes it in pen for a reason.
"It's called Omegle," Arthur explains slowly, since the other members of his group seem to be having difficulty keeping up. He doesn't understand how anyone could have lived on campus through the Omegle craze and not know how it works. He supposes that this is just an intro psychology class, so some of them may be freshmen, but there's still no excuse for this level of incompetence. "You can choose text-only chats, and the site will hook you up with a random stranger."
"Who will then have cyber sex with you," one of his group mates, Bob, insists. The rest of the group giggles at Bob, and Arthur fights the impulse to rub at his temples in frustration.
He shoots a glare at each of them in turn before continuing, "Despite what you might use it for, Bob, the internet's sole purpose isn't for sex. Omegle can be used to just have a conversation. Or play a game. It's perfect for this assignment."
The girl to his left, Eva, rolls her eyes. "Fine, but you have to gather the samples. I have no interest in looking at penises all night."
Arthur is about to remind her, again, that that's why you choose text-only chats, but the professor calls everyone's attention to the front of the room to wrap up their discussions.
Arthur sighs. "I'll take care of the research," he consents, "but that doesn't excuse the rest of you from working. I expect you all to pull your weight in the future steps of this project."
Their bored-sounding assurances aren't very convincing, but Arthur comforts himself with the knowledge that he can report any of them that don't cooperate. He's often a favorite of his professors because of all the extra work he puts in, and he's not afraid to use this to his advantage if necessary.
He doesn't realize until he's walking out at the end of class exactly what he's agreed to. He curses under his breath and hopes that the internet doesn't prove Bob right.
Arthur doesn't have to look at his planner on Thursday night to know what assignment he's been putting off all day. With some degree of trepidation, he pulls up omegle.com and connects to his first stranger.
In the first few attempts, he has some luck. He meets two girls and a guy, but once they get past the introductions, Arthur has no idea what to talk about, and then after about thirty seconds, the stranger disconnects.
He decides a new approach, one that prevents him from having to share as much personal info, but quickly discovers that even such innocuous questions as "What did you have for lunch today?" can be easily answered with a dirty response.
Growing increasingly annoyed with the stupidity of anonymous internet users, he keeps changing his opening statement until it is perhaps too honest to achieve any results. Finally, though, he connects to someone who is willing to have a conversation.
You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!Arthur makes a note on his datasheet. He hesitates, pen hovering over the paper, then scribbles the world 'troll'.
Official messages from Omegle will not be sent with the label 'Stranger:'. Strangers claiming to represent Omegle are lying.
You: I'm just doing research for a psychology project. Please move along if you have nothing interesting to say.
Stranger: im a psych major
Stranger: yeah i had neuroscience and abnormal psych today
You: Well, that's a nice change.
Stranger: lol how long have u been at it?
You: Not sure... Forty-five minutes? I wasn't aware there were so many ways to misspell the word 'hi'.
Stranger: hence the pasive aggressive opener
Stranger: im guessing
You: Too harsh?
Stranger: uve got to engage the randoms
Stranger: thats what makes it fun
You: Is that why you come on here? To mess with people?
Stranger: dont get me wrong thoArthur shifts the paper to amend his note to 'friendly troll'.
Stranger: u can meet some cool ppl on here
Stranger: in fact
Stranger: i once talked to someone 4 over an hour about the psychology of fight club
You: So, you just like the interaction?Arthur frowns at his screen. Maybe not a troll, then.
Stranger: its an interesting way to meet ppl
Stranger: 1 tiem i accidentally reminded a girl of a recent breakup
You: I imagine that wasn't fun.
Stranger: no it was good
Stranger: she needed to talk and i was willing to lsiten
Stranger: am i helping u w/ ur assignment?Arthur purses his lips. That's exactly what he'd been driving at during the meeting with his classmates, but this guy (at least he thinks it's a guy) misspelled and abbreviated a much clearer version than he could manage. Arthur tries not to feel resentful.
You: No, not really.
Stranger: y not?
You: Well, for starters, you're hardly a typical case.
Stranger: think past the walls of ur box darling
Stranger: im telling u abt experences ive had
Stranger: removing the researchers bias?
You: But for all I know, you're just making it up as you go along.
Stranger: ah but thats what makes it interesting
Stranger: ppl come on here 4 interaction
Stranger: whetehr they use it to get off, feel better abt themselvse, have a laugh at someone elses expense, ect is secondary
You: Yes, that's kind of the point I'm trying to make with this assignment.Arthur moves away to make a cup of coffee. He's fairly convinced that by the time he's done, the guy will have lost interest and disconnected. To his surprise, he comes back to several messages, and the guy still waiting.
Stranger: good then ur on the right track
You: Thanks. Your approval really means so much to me.
Stranger: so tell me more abt urself
You: What do you want to know?
Stranger: no thats not how this worksArthur smiles and sets his mug aside. He shouldn't waste much time on this person, but it won't hurt to see where this goes.
Stranger: if u offer something abt urself then i can respond by offering something abt myself
Stranger: and it never has 2 be intrusive bc we can choose wat 2 share
Stranger: i can go 1st if u like
Stranger: did i scare u off?
You: No, sorry, I was getting coffee.He's not sure why he's apologizing. He knows the other guy is just as likely to hit 'Disconnect' as he is, at any moment, but he finds himself wanting to engage him further.
Stranger: ah ha
Stranger: so ur a coffee drinker
You: I am.
You: And you apparently know enough about Fight Club to discuss its psychology at length.
Stranger: i love a movie that gives me soemthing to discuss
You: We're alike in that way.
You: Although, you do realize there's a book?
Stranger: i was abt to comment that we have something in common
Stranger: but then u had to ruin it by being condesending
You: What do you think of Fight Club, as a psych major?
He asks about favorite movies and is surprised when the answer, a list a couple dozen movies, includes several of his own favorites. He points out the ones they have in common and, next thing he knows, over an hour has passed and they have discussed the merits and drawbacks of every genre of movie they can think of.
His coffee has gone cold, so he says he'll be right back and goes to make another cup. When he returns, his stranger has sent him several more messages.
Stranger: ive got a confessionArthur sips at his coffee, trying to decide if he's offended or not. Out of curiosity, he scrolls back up to read the beginning of their conversation, and, well. Maybe he did make kind of a bad first impression.
Stranger: when we started this conversation i thought u were an arsehole
Stranger: but now im pretty sure ure not
Stranger: maybe just a bit stilted
You: I'm glad to see your opinion of me has improved.He glances down at his forgotten datasheet, to the 'friendly troll' note. He reaches for his pen and crosses the line off entirely, writing 'OUTLIER' in the margin.
You: Normally I would have moved on after a few minutes, but this has been fun.
Stranger: i dunno if you do twitter butArthur has to smile at that. Ariadne would like this guy, at least. He clicks to open the link in a new tab, but responds first.
You: My friends keep trying to convince me to get one, but I've never really seen the point.Arthur laughs into his coffee cup. This guy is ridiculous. He tabs over to the Twitter page, clicking on the profile picture and feeling his stomach do this weird swoop thing. The guy is completely adorable.
Stranger: it can be interesting if u follow the right ppl
Stranger: im Eames by the way
You: My name's Arthur. And that's all the personal detail you're getting from me.
You: No offense.
Stranger: none taken
Stranger: ill just imagine u as some beefed up version of brad pitt
You: Now you're starting to sound like a typical Omegle user.
Stranger: low blow
He tabs back to the IM window, shaking his head. This doesn't change anything. The guy is still a stranger, even if Arthur does know his name.
You: At least you didn't ask me "asl?"Arthur blushes. This whole thing is ridiculous. He should disconnect right now so he can gather more samples for his assignment. Flirting with some stranger was not part of the plan. Then, to make it worse, Eames practically reads his mind.
Stranger: u didn't give me time to put in my usual opener
You: What is it?
You: Paste, right now.
Stranger: I'm just doing research for a psychology project. Please move along if you have nothing interesting to say. asl?
You: Very funny.
Stranger: its a good one
You: Caught your interest.
Stranger: indeed you did
Stranger: whens your homework dueHe looks at the message after he sends it, realizing that as an IM, it sounds a lot harsher than he meant it. He contemplates tacking on an 'lol' - this guy's a stranger, no one else will ever know - but then Eames responds, and Arthur chokes on his coffee.
Stranger: wait u r in college rite
Stranger: they dont teach psych in high schools here do they?
You: I am in college, yes. And it's due at 9am.
You: I take it you're from the UK, based on the cursing.
Stranger: good I was worried u'd turned me into a perv
Stranger: london born and raised
Stranger: but im pretty sure u lot curse here to
You: Just because I'm in college doesn't mean you're not still a perv.
You: Yes but none of my American friends use "bloody" unless they're talking about horror movies.
Stranger: i cant beleive you have class at 9
Stranger: why would you do that to urself
You: I function better in the mornings.
You: And usually only the dedicated students take class that early in the morning.
Stranger: yeah and the slackers who gets tuck with it bc every other time was full
Stranger: i think that was meant to be isnulting
Stranger: are you alwasy this mean to people youve just met
Stranger: guess i should feel lucky youre still talking to me
You: Yeah, not sure why I'm doing that.
Stranger: bc you think im charming ;DArthur bites his lip on a smile.
You: Don't flatter yourself.
You: So if you don't take class in the morning, aren't you in class all afternoon?
Stranger: depends. ive got one at 10 this semester so i usually nap after
Stranger: but yeah, usually in class till 3 or 4
Stranger: and psych labs have wierd hours
Stranger: that doesnt look right either. how do you spell that word?
You: You had it right the second time.Arthur quickly changes the subject to music, ignoring the way his ears are burning. Eames does not disappoint; he has even more opinions about music than movies, and once again Arthur gets carried away with the conversation.
You: Your spelling is slowly improving.
Stranger: just trying to impress you
Stranger: is it working?
You: It might be.
You: Or maybe I think you're trying too hard.
Stranger: no, you like it
They talk about bands that Arthur's never heard of, genres of music that he suspects Eames might be making up, and, for a few minutes, musical theory and how it relates to genre preference. Arthur surprises himself by having a lot to say about the different flavors of rock music, and Eames surprises him more by agreeing with most of his points. When Eames mentions his not-so-secret appreciation for pop music, Arthur fights the impulse to be condescending about it. Eames calls him out on it, though, and Arthur can't keep quiet in the face of that. They even the playing field later, when in his haste to defend his love of jazz, Arthur accidentally misspells 'melodic'. Eames gives him shit for it for the rest of their conversation.
Stranger: some of my mates tried to start a band onceArthur pulls his hands back from the keyboard. He stares at the message, blinks a couple times to make sure he's not imagining it.
Stranger: didnt end well
Stranger: they asked me to be their singer but i turned them down
You: You strike me as someone who likes to hear the sound of his own voice.
Stranger: its a nice voice, what can i say?
You: I wouldn't know.
Stranger: you could call me
He wonders, not for the first time, what the hell he's doing. This was just supposed to be a homework assignment, and for all he knows this guy is just another creep. A Twitter account with a picture of a hot guy on the profile proves nothing.
He remembers Ariadne's words, You never want to try anything new. She may have been exaggerating, but still. What could it hurt? He wasn't currently living in his area code, so the guy wouldn't be able to track him down.
You: Why don't you call me?His fingers speed over the keys. He wants to send it before he changes his mind. But when he looks up, only half of his number is there and the window is tinted.
Stranger: whats your number
Connection imploded."You have got to be fucking kidding me." Arthur knew enough about Omegle to expect connectivity issues, but the implications of losing a connection with a stranger he had almost no hope of finding again hadn't meant anything to him before this moment.
He takes a moment to laugh at himself, then saves the conversation (why not?) and goes back to gathering data. He lingers a bit longer on each connection than he did before. The odds are slim-to-none that he'll find Eames again, if he's even looking. The misspelled responses are doubly annoying now, every time they turn out not to be Eames. But he humors some of the people, and wouldn't you know, Eames was right. It is fun.
He decides to cap off his data at 50 substantial responses, and he sits back with a satisfied grin before realizing with a start that he has a three page response due for Economics at 11 tomorrow, and he hasn't even read the articles.
He goes to bed way later than usual, without even bothering to organize his data or proofread his paper. He crawls into bed and avoids looking at the clock.
A bleary few hours later, the loud blare of the fire alarm bleeds into his dream, and he shoots out of bed in a panic. He finds a pair of sweatpants and pulls them on over his boxers before stumbling blearily into the night. Ariadne wanders up to him a few minutes later, hands stuffed in the pocket of her hoodie, looking far too alert to have been sleeping. Arthur wants to despise her for it, but he can't bring himself to.
"This is not my night," he complains, scrubbing a hand over his face.
"You look terrible."
He gives her a sidelong glare. "Please don't tell me you haven't gone to sleep yet."
"I have a program due for compsci at 2," she says by way of explanation. "It's so close, but there's something I still haven't figured out. The fresh air might help."
Arthur keeps on glaring at her as she tips her head back and takes a deep breath, as if she's enjoying this.
She expels a breath like a deep sigh and says, "Well go on, then, Grumpy. Tell me what happened."
Arthur laughs, his breath visible in the chilling autumn air. "Should I start with the three page response paper I forgot about until 1 o'clock, the shitty work I did on my psych assignment, or the guy that made both of those things happen?"
"Definitely the guy," Ariadne says, bouncing up on the balls of her feet and looking far more interested in the conversation.
"And I was so sure you were gonna choose the response paper," he says, the corners of his mouth turning up in a small smile.
She pulls a hand out of her pocket long enough to punch his shoulder before sliding it snugly back. "Shut up and tell me, asshole. What guy? Where? What did he look like?"
"Don't get too excited," he mumbles, frowning when he recalls the abrupt disconnection. "It was on the internet."
Ariadne's mouth is hanging open. Arthur wants to tell her it's an unattractive look on her, but he has no desire to be punched again.
"You remember the chat thing I offered to check out for my psych assignment?"
"You met someone on Omegle?" She is far too amused by this. Arthur's already regretting the conversation. He wills the firetruck to get there sooner so that he can escape.
He blows out a big breath, frustrated as he remembers parts of their conversation. "I almost gave him my number."
Ariadne makes a little squealing noise and Arthur pulls a pained face, shaking his head at her. "Why didn't you? What was his name? Where does he live? Seriously Arthur, details are your friend."
"His name's Eames, I don't know where he lives now but he's from England, and I couldn't give him my number because the chat disconnected on me before I could."
Ariadne frowns, looking consoling for the first time. "Did he disconnect or did the connection die?"
Arthur had almost forgotten that when the Omegle fad swept through campus, Ariadne had been one of the followers. "'Connection imploded.' Right as I was about to press enter."
"No!" Ariadne says dramatically, drawing out the 'o'. Arthur claps a hand over her mouth and glares at anyone staring. He shifts the glare to her until she nods, indicating that she'll behave. "At least you know he didn't ditch you. What was he like?"
Arthur finds himself fondly recounting their conversation for Ariadne's eager ears. By the time he's done, the firetrucks have shown, and they're being given the all-clear to head back inside.
He's unsurprised when Ariadne follows him back to his room, chattering all the way. "Maybe if you sign on tomorrow night. Just say you're looking for Eames! Maybe he'll be on there, maybe he'll even be looking for you!"
He unlocks his door and ushers her inside, turning the heat on for her benefit. "Voluntarily going on Omegle on a Friday night doesn't really match up with my life goals."
Ariadne rolls her eyes. "It's not as if you do anything else on Friday nights. Anything exciting," she adds when he starts to protest. "You're a workaholic and you don't even have a job yet."
She falls back onto his mattress with a sigh. "It sucks that you have no way to get in touch with him."
Arthur bites his lip, glad she doesn't see him do it. He'd purposefully left out the Twitter account, knowing she'd never let up until he got one and sent Eames a message.
"Hey, can I see the picture?" he asks, bouncing back upright on the bed.
"Uh, yeah, hang on." He had implied that the picture was just a link, so he hunches over his laptop as he pulls up Twitter and quickly saves the image to his desktop before minimizing. Luckily, Ariadne doesn't seem to have seen.
"Oh my god, he's adorable."
Arthur rolls his eyes. He mumbles under his breath, "He certainly thinks he is."
Ariadne shoots him an unimpressed and disbelieving look. "You don't think he's cute."
"I think he has a very high opinion of himself, which is on the whole an unattractive quality," he answers, purposefully not answering the question.
Her look says she's still not buying it, and Arthur tries to defend himself.
"The dog is clearly there as a prop. And just look at that smirk! That is the look of a cocky Englishman."
Ariadne laughs abruptly at his phrasing, and he has to smile too.
"I'm never gonna speak to him again," he finally says. "At least let me believe he's secretly a douchebag."
"Fair enough," Ariadne says, and Arthur thinks that's the end of it.
Unfortunately, because the universe hates Arthur, it doesn't end there. Ariadne tells the whole story to their friends, and soon the phrase "Arthur's internet boyfriend" is fairly commonplace in their social circle. Eames becomes a fictitious placeholder for someone who would take a side in an argument. Arthur finds himself defending Eames at times, saying he would never agree with XYZ, though it seems unfair to judge all of the guy's opinions from a 2 hour IM conversation.
When Ariadne's roommate brings up The Curious Case of Benjamin Button one day, though, Arthur finds himself commenting automatically.
"Eames thinks that movie is 'bloody boring'."
Her roommate gives him a blank look. "Who's Eames?"
Arthur blushes, realizing what he's just done. "My internet boyfriend."
There are delighted squeals, and Ariadne's eyes silently saying You brought this on yourself when it gets worse after that. People ask Arthur the opinion of his internet boyfriend (What does your internet boyfriend think about this?) instead of using him as a reference, as if Arthur's having regular conversations with him.
It's not the weirdest thing to happen to him, and he knows it will blow over, but he almost wishes he actually had a way to find out the answers to their questions.
Arthur has always prided himself on how put-together he is. He prefers to dress elegantly in social situations, and his friends have finally accepted the fact that yes, he is more comfortable dressed this way. Through his refined clothing choices, which he can afford thanks to a generous clothing budget from his grandmother, Arthur is able to maintain a confident, composed demeanor no matter what situation he finds himself in. He has no doubt that it will benefit him in the future, when he's defending his clients in the courtroom.
The point is, it takes a hell of a lot to ruffle his feathers, especially in public. Which is why it's embarrassing, in the end, that it only takes one 30-second encounter to break him.
He's taking the train over to the Magnificent Mile to buy a new blazer, slightly annoyed by how long it's taken him to get to his stop. His mind occupied with his schedule for the rest of the day, he steps off the train, and he doesn't notice the guy waiting to get on the train until their shoulders collide rather painfully.
"Sorry, mate. My fault," the guy says, reaching blindly to pat Arthur on the shoulder as he focuses on his iPhone.
Arthur moves off the train with the flow of traffic, but the British accent makes him turn his head. The guy takes a spot against the rail, still frowning at his phone, and Arthur's breath catches in his throat.
"Eames?" he finds himself saying, voice wavering in his uncertainty, but it's drowned out by the announcement of doors closing.
His frown deepens and then he glances up, like maybe he heard Arthur, but he's looking the wrong way on the platform as the doors slide closed.
Arthur's heart is racing, and his shoulder feels warm where the guy had touched him. The guy shifts his gaze just as the train starts to pull away, and Arthur is certain it's Eames. But it's too late, the train is in motion, and it's not as if Eames knows what he looks like.
He takes two steps forward, saying, loud and confident, "Eames," but the train speeds on heartlessly, pulling him out of sight. He falters on his third step, realizing he was about to chase the train, and when he looks around, people are staring.
He clears his throat and straightens his cuffs, exiting onto the street briskly without looking at anyone.
He doesn't realize his hands are shaking until he's got the phone up to his ear, and Ariadne's calming voice travels through the speaker. "Hello, Arthur."
"I need you to tell me I'm crazy so I can accept it and move on with my life."
"I've been telling you you're crazy since I met you, Arthur, but it's nice to hear you finally admit it."
"I think I just saw Eames on the El."
There is silence on the other end, and Arthur stops to check his signal. "Are you--"
"I'm sorry, you did what?!" Ariadne says, but he knows she heard him.
"I don't know that it was him, but it looked like him, and he had a British accent."
"And you didn't say anything to him?!" she asks, voice going shrill in her disbelief.
"I didn't have a chance! He was getting on, I was leaving. I tried saying his name, but he didn't hear me."
"Maybe he goes to Loyola!" Ariadne exclaims. Arthur can practically hear the gears turning in her head.
He sighs audibly. "You're supposed to tell me it wasn't him, it can't have been, so I can move on with my life."
She makes a dismissive noise. "You wouldn't have bothered to call me if you weren't at least 90 percent sure. You'd have brought it up later as a deterrent to the 'internet boyfriend' game."
Arthur curses softly. She's right, of course. "You know me too well."
He can hear her self-satisfied grin as she says, "I know."
Arthur takes a deep breath and exhales slowly. His heart rate is starting to feel somewhat close to normal.
"You're really freaking out about this, aren't you?"
"I'm fine," he says, or at least he's starting to get there. "It was just… surprising."
"Gee, Arthur, but I thought you loved surprises," she teases.
"Don't make a big deal about this, okay? I'm not even sure it was him, and even if it was… Just, don't tell anyone."
There's silence on the line for a moment, which can't be a good sign. "Yeah, okay," she finally says. "It's just, my roommate's been listening to half of this whole conversation, and I can hardly lie to her about what it's about..."
Arthur hopes his sigh effectively communicates how he feels about this. "Fine. But no one else." He takes a deep breath and returns his focus back to what he came here to do. "Look, Ariadne, I've gotta go. I'm in Ralph Lauren and the lady behind the counter is glaring at me."
"So go back outside!"
"I'll see you tonight," he says, and hangs up. He straightens his cuffs again, determined to compose himself enough to get done here and head back to his dorm. He doesn't have time to worry about some phantom Englishman on the El.
Having seen Eames in person, Arthur gets all sorts of new ideas and mental images when his friends inadvertently remind him of Eames.
It's becoming a problem.
Today, his professor begins with, "The first rule of..." and Arthur's stare goes unfocused as he remembers the curve of Eames' lips as he frowned. Those gorgeous, full lips, and in a flash he pictures them wrapped around his cock.
He drops his pencil, and the clatter seems to echo in the room, but his classmates don't look at him. He shifts a bit in his chair, face hot, and tries to focus.
His mental image of Eames frowns, shifts to a curious look, then tilts the corners of his mouth up in the smile from the picture. It's this look that he imagines glancing down between his legs and seeing as Eames undoes his slacks.
He breathes out sharply through his nose and shifts again. The girl in the desk next to him clears her throat as if annoyed, and when Arthur glares at her, she glares back and whispers, "Just because you're gonna fail doesn't mean you should screw the rest of us over."
Arthur's eyes widen as he sees the test in front of her, then glances down to find a blank one on his own desk.
He tries to read the questions - he studied, he remembers now, he stayed up all night. But then there are firm hands on his thighs and he looks down to see that Eames is actually there, finger over his full lips as he nudges Arthur's legs apart.
Arthur's mouth is gaping but Eames is working his belt open, hand slipping inside, and Arthur arches out of his chair. The girl to his left gives him a disapproving look, but she doesn't seem to notice Eames. Arthur shoots him a disbelieving look and there's that smirk, and then time seems to slow as he licks his lips.
Arthur hisses, "I'm trying to take a test," but Eames ignores him entirely. He stares down at the paper, and he thinks the first question is asking him about the first rule of Fight Club, and he doesn't know, doesn't care as Eames takes him into his mouth.
Someone is shouting something, but he tunes them out and tilts his head back in the sweet relief.
The shout happens again, louder this time, and Arthur blinks awake in his room. The sky outside is halfway to darkness, and his hallmates are playing soccer loudly in the hallway. He realizes the anxiety in the dream is residual from the actual test that he just finished, before he decided he deserved a nap.
All of that flies through his mind quickly, though, because of his urgent need to get his hand on his cock, now. He clings to that dreamlike euphoria, how amazing Eames had made him feel, the wet heat of his mouth. His toes curl into the mattress as he pushes into his fist, and if he concentrates he can almost imagine the way Eames might pronounce his name.
He comes with a shaky moan that is drowned out by one of his hallmates scoring a goal outside his door. His heart is still pounding as he cleans himself up, and he realizes he's going to have to do something about this.