Summary: The one where Yusuf finally posts his Cobb/Saito magnum opus, Cobb does the diva flounce, Eames writes awful porn, and Arthur is the only one that does any fucking work. [Sequel to my untitled crack fill for the inception_kink prompt of yusuf writes arthur/eames fanfic. cobb is his beta. ariadne finds out. You should probably read that one first if you want to have any idea what is happening in this one.]
Pairings: Eames/Arthur, Cobb/Saito, and mentioned Cobb/Eames and Cobb/Arthur. Sort of.
Word count/content: ~2200 words + 2 graphics (one creepy manip, one NWS screenshot) + one fanmix (no, really)
Rating/warnings: NC-17 for language, sexual descriptions, and a lot of nonsense.
A/N: I wasn't going to write anything else, but then zoi_no_miko got me thinking about what Yusuf's epic 40k word Cobb/Saito fic would be like and this happened. And kept happening. And yes, Yusuf made a fanmix to go along with his fic. IDEK. This is not subtle, intelligent crack. This is crack for people who stay up until 3AM getting drunk and making photo manips and listening to Celine Dion. Thanks to shes_gone for...whatever it is that she did. ♥
...they ran like young men, carefree and in love, without a care in the world. As the waves crashed around them, Cobb looked over at his lover, who was incandescent in the light of the sun. Their eyes met, and Saito reached over to tangle their fingers together. Together, they kept running along the beach as the sun set behind them, symbolizing the end of one chapter in their lives and the beginning of a new life - two souls in one.
Ariadne looks up from the screen to see Yusuf chewing his fingernails nervously. “Yusuf, stop looking so worried. This is seriously amazing.”
Yusuf lets out a sigh of relief. “Thank you. It’s just...I feel like this is the best thing I’ve ever written. The Arthur/Eames stuff...I mean, that’s just something on the side, you know? This is the first time something has really meant something, like I’ve poured my soul into this piece and I’m about to put it out there for the world to mock.” He leans forward and rests his chin in his hands.
Ariadne offers a sympathetic smile. “No one is going to mock this. Besides, you know you’ll have at least one faithful reader in Eames.”
Yusuf nods. “That’s true. He reads all the Cobb/Saito.” And fills all of the Cobb/Saito too, he doesn’t say. Yusuf has anonymously left heartfelt Cobb/Saito prompts at every round of the kink meme, only to have Eames fill every one of them with unbetaed, barely readable PWPs.
“I’m ready to post,” says Yusuf. “Let me just upload the fanmix cover art.”
“You did a fanmix for it?”
“Just some songs that I listened to while I was writing. I thought people could listen to them while they read the fic, for the ultimate experience, you know?”
“I love the cover art,” she says. Yusuf closes the window so quickly that she doesn’t see any of the tracks, except for something by Kelly Clarkson.
“Thanks, I made it myself,” says Yusuf, pleased. He selects his favorite Cobb/Saito icon, and then lets his cursor hover over the ‘Post’ button. “Here goes...” he says, and clicks the button.
Ariadne pats him on the back. “I’m sure you’ll have dozens of comments in your inbox by tomorrow morning.”
The next morning, Yusuf and Ariadne arrive at the warehouse before anyone else. The first thing Yusuf does is check his email.
“Ten new replies to my entry!” he exclaims, looking up at Ariadne. “Ten!”
Ariadne grins. “I told you! The fandom was just waiting for epic fic like this.”
Eames arrives a few minutes later while Yusuf is checking his flist. Eames comes up behind him and reads over his shoulder.
“Are you posting something?” asks Eames, and Yusuf shakes his head. “You haven’t posted any new fic lately.”
“Been busy with other things,” says Yusuf. “You know...developing new compounds.” He glances over at Ariadne, who gives him a little smile.
Eames sighs.. “I really wanted to read the next chapter of that ‘woke-up married’ fic. Are you ever going to finish it?”
“Finish what?” says Arthur, walking into the room. He’s holding a Starbucks cup and a leather briefcase, the latter of which he sets on the table.
“Uh, nothing,” Yusuf says, just as Eames says, “The next chapter of the fic where we get drunk in Vegas and wake up married.”
Arthur nearly spews out his coffee. “Goddammit, Eames!” he says, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “I told you never to talk to me about that stuff!” He shoots a glare at Yusuf, who withers in his chair.
“But darling,” says Eames. He steps closer, and Arthur takes a step backwards. “You should read it. There’s a delightful scene where we get stuck in a closet together and almost kiss and--”
“Not listening!” Arthur says, plugging his ears. “Not listening!”
“--then we have to share a bed later, but the only hotel rooms left are singles, and we have to spoon or else fall off the bed, and when we wake up I feel something against my thigh and it’s your c--”
Swiftly, Arthur produces his Glock from his shoulder holster and points it at Eames’s chest. “SO HELP ME GOD, I WILL SHOOT YOU.”
Suddenly, the door is flung open, and Cobb stalks into the warehouse. Immediately Yusuf freezes in terror and Ariadne busies herself with tying her scarf. Cobb glares at all of them, but doesn’t say anything about the scene in front of him, or ask why Arthur is holding Eames at gunpoint.
“Good morning,” Eames says cheerfully, and Cobb doesn’t reply. He goes into his office and slams the door shut.
“Or not,” says Eames. He turns to look at the others. “Anyone want to take credit for that?” He smiles at Arthur, who reluctantly puts away his gun.
“He probably saw the Cobb/Saito fic that was posted to LJ this morning,” Ariadne says quietly, not looking at Yusuf.
“Oh!” says Eames. “Read the first half of that this morning. It’s very good. Anyone know who wrote it? I feel like I’ve read this person’s work before, but I don’t know the user name. Maybe they’re posting under a sock puppet.”
Yusuf’s cheeks heat up and he starts shuffling around papers.
“I didn’t recognize it,” Ariadne says carefully.
“Oh, well,” says Eames, plopping down in one of the roller chairs. “Why does Cobb hate Cobb/Saito so much? I mean, they were stuck in Limbo together for years. You know they fucked at least once before Saito’s teeth fell out and they couldn’t get it up anymore.”
Ariadne rolls her eyes. “I think he...resents Saito’s presence in fandom.”
“You mean he’s jealous because Saito’s a BNF?” says Eames.
Ariadne glances over at Yusuf, who is pretending not to listen. “I...wouldn’t want to speculate.”
“Right,” says Eames. He nods at the door to Cobb’s office. “Do you think he’ll come out any time soon?”
“Probably not,” says Arthur, who is already logging onto his computer.
“Good.” Eames rolls his chair over to Ariadne’s laptop. “Maybe I’ll have time to finish reading that fic. And then maybe get to the one where Arthur and I go shopping for suits and end up in the dressing room, where we fu--”
Cobb doesn’t come out of his office until noon. No one meets his eye, except for Ariadne, who offers a tentative smile, which Cobb does not return. She, Yusuf, and Eames are all engrossed in the new round of the kink meme, which opened an hour previous, and each of them are trying to get in their prompts before the round fills up. Eames has already filled one of Yusuf’s Cobb/Saito prompts with something Yusuf can hardly even dechiper, except that it’s completely filthy and doesn’t fit the prompt at all. Arthur is doing research on their latest mark, or something.
Cobb takes a seat on the far side of the room and opens up his laptop. Ariadne and Yusuf pretend not to watch as he logs on and starts clicking, scrolling, pausing every once in a while to read something. His face is already set in a stony glare, but it seems that the longer he sits there, the harder his expression becomes. Finally, he types something, clicks a couple of times, and sits back in his chair.
A moment later, Ariadne nudges Yusuf with her elbow. “Look,” she whispers, pointing at the last page of the prompt post. Yusuf reads the latest anonymous prompt, which is less of a prompt and more of a rant.
HEY YOU ASSHOLES. HOW ABOUT YOU STOP WRITING COBB/SAITO OK. JUST BECAUSE THEY WERE IN LIMBO TOGETHER DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING HAPPENED. MAYBE COBB FUCKING HATES SAITO. MAYBE HE JUST WANTED TO GET BACK TO HIS KIDS. MAYBE WHEN HE GOT BACK HE WISHED HE HAD JUST LEFT HIM DOWN THERE, BECAUSE HE IS SUCH AN ASSHOLE. COBB WAS MARRIED TO MAL, WHO WAS DEFINITELY A WOMAN, SO WHY WOULD YOU EVEN THINK HE WAS GAY AT ALL. THIS IS RIDICULOUS AND YOU ALL NEED TO JUST STOP. SO HERE IS MY PROMPT: HOW ABOUT YOU WRITE A FIC WHERE COBB THINKS ABOUT HOW MUCH HE HATES SAITO WHILE HE HAS SEX WITH A WOMAN.
Yusuf swallows and looks up at Cobb, who looks pleased and a bit smug. Yusuf and Ariadne share a loaded glance before they both go back to working on their respective fills.
Half an hour later, Ariadne nudges Yusuf again and points to her screen. There are already dozens of comments to the anon comment, mostly from people telling the anon to go to hell. There are also three errant comment fills, one of them riddled with typos and involving impossible sexual positions. Another is an actual fill where Cobb tries to have sex with a woman but can’t get it up because he’s too distracted by imagining himself having hate sex with Saito.
“WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!” Cobb roars suddenly, making everyone jump. Arthur spills his coffee on himself for the second time in one day and curses under his breath. Cobb jumps up from his chair and looks around the room at each of them.
“Look,” he says, low and dangerous. “I will not tolerate this anymore. If one of you is responsible for this, tell me now so I can fire you on the spot. I have never and will never have sex with Saito, and I do not appreciate people writing fic about us. If you want to write about me and Eames, that’s fine. Lord knows we had our fair share of drunken fucks back in the day.”
Eames grunts in agreement.
“It’s even fine if you want to write about me fucking Arthur--”
“--but if I find out one of you is responsible for any prompts or fics involving me doing anything to Saito except punching him in the face, I will take you to Limbo myself and leave you down there for all eternity!”
Eames looks at him. “That seems a bit melodramatic, but in character, I’ll give you that.”
Cobb levels him with a cold stare. “Are you responsible for this? I saw that fic posted to LJ this morning. Did you write that? I know it’s too well written to be yours, but maybe you found a decent beta who--”
Eames holds up his hands in a gesture of surrender. “Hey! I didn’t write that, Yusuf did!”
Everyone freezes. Cobb turns to look at Yusuf, and Yusuf thinks, yes, this is definitely what it feels like to have a stroke.
“Is he telling the truth?” Cobb asks. “Tell me the truth, Yusuf. I can always tell when you’re lying.”
Yusuf considers trying to lie, but knows it’s useless. He releases a deep breath. “I’m sorry, Cobb, I just--”
“WTF, Yusuf, I trusted you!” Cobb roars, slamming his fist against the table and making Arthur spill coffee on himself again. “You knew how I felt about this and you betrayed me! Let me guess, Ariadne’s betaing?”
“I--” Ariadne starts, face flushing.
“So that’s why you haven’t been coming to me with new fic lately,” Cobb says, sounding genuinely upset. “I figured you’d found someone else. Guess I wasn’t good enough for you. Guess she does a better job of catching all of your epithets and dangling modifiers.”
“Cobb, it’s not like that--”
“Anyone else have something to confess?” Cobb yells, whirling around to look at the others.
Eames raises his hand.
“Fuck this, I’m leaving,” says Cobb, going back to his purple MacBook and slamming it shut. “You guys find me when you’re ready to apologize.”
“What I don’t understand,” says Eames, “is how you can ship me and Arthur and not understand how people ship you with Saito. Everyone knows that the more two people bicker, the harder they fuck.”
Arthur, who is choosing a new tie from his briefcase, looks up and glares at him. Eames blows him a kiss.
“It’s completely different!” says Cobb. He tucks his laptop under his arm, glares at Yusuf one more time, and flounces out the door.
“Well,” says Eames. “That was interesting.”
“How did you know Yusuf wrote the fic?” Ariadne asks him.
“Oh,” says Eames. “I can tell Yusuf’s writing from a mile away. He described Cobb’s hair the same way he describes mine sometimes. ‘Flaxen strands of golden light’ or something. I knew it had to be him.”
Yusuf ducks his head sheepishly.
“I feel like we should go apologize or something...” says Ariadne.
“Oh, he’ll be back by tomorrow,” says Eames, settling back into his chair. “Until then, there are already some excellent fills for this round. Yusuf, did you see the one where Arthur and I get stuck in Limbo and end up fucking on the beach--”
Eames’s fill for Yusuf’s prompt, if anyone is curious:
And Yusuf's fanmix:
2. Celine Dion - Because You Loved Me
3. Kelly Clarkson - A Moment Like This
4. Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes
5. Savage Garden - Truly, Madly, Deeply
6. Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
Download the mix
Trufax #1: I spent longer on the manip, Eames’s prompt fill, and the fanmix than I did writing this fic. I will not admit to how many of these songs I already had in my music folder.
Trufax #2: I listened to the fanmix while writing this, and definitely sang along and did the diva hand during the Whitney and Celine songs. I like to think Yusuf did the same.
Next installment: Interlude: Nutsy Bolts