here comes your man;
(500) days of summer/Inception:
Arthur (Tom Hansen)/Summer Finn (past), Arthur/Eames (pre);
This is a story of boy meets boy, but you should know upfront, this could be the start of a love story.
a/n: assumes knowledge of the movie (500) days of summer, the events in which are being used to show how Tomas Hansen goes from lowly greetings-card designer, to Arthur, point man in Inception. Liberties have of course been taken with timelines and such, and I’ve also interpreted Arthur’s full name as being “Thomas Arthur Hansen” and Eames’ full name as “Somerled Eames” (a somewhat ironic reference to summer/Summer, and how he ends up being the next love in Arthur’s life).
One thing most of them don’t know about him is that he’s always wanted to be an Architect. He isn’t, but not because- as Eames liked to tease- he lacked the imagination for it, he'd simply lacked the motivation. There was a time, long ago, when he was fresh out of collage, head brimming with ideas and fingers itching to design and create, where he believed the world was his oyster and anything he dreamt was possible.
Except it wasn’t. None of it was. And so he’d had found himself in a low end, un-stimulating job for the next five years of his life; the monotony of it broken only by a brief stint in the summer of his fourth year wherein he fell madly and hopelessly in love with a woman who not only gave him his inspiration back but inevitably ended up breaking his heart in the process.
Whilst being with Summer Finn had opened his eyes to the possibilities of life, his life, it had also for all intents and purposes ruined him for every other relationship he’d found himself in since.
He quit his job not long into his fifth year of employment. He started sketching again; designing buildings, creating worlds of possibilities. He got a new apartment, and started wearing high-end suits. He even, eventually, found a new job with a company that applauded his imagination and encouraged his creativeness.
He’d found a new life.
He even found a little love after Summer Finn, but- holding with his newfound belief that love itself was nonsense and only something you fell into if you wanted to get yourself hurt- nothing lasted very long.
The girls he found himself with were always wanting more from him, more of him, more of them, more of an us, and he found himself resisting with every fibre of his being against the idea of having anything even remotely like an us with anyone after Summer.
After a while he stopped picking up girls altogether.
After a while, the boredom of life set in again and, whilst he never stopped designing, he stopped designing for other people.
That’s when Cobb found him.
He’d been sitting in his favourite spot in Los Angeles, contemplating his life and where it was- and wasn’t- at this precise point and wondering just where things went from here when a guy stepped up to the bench he was sitting on and gestured to the space beside him.
“May I?” he’d politely inquired.
“Of course,” he’d agreed, hurriedly grabbed his bag off the bench to allow the man room to sit.
“Thanks,” he’d said, seating himself and staring out towards the buildings rising up high into the dusky skyline.
“Do you enjoy the view here, Mr Hansen?” The man beside him had asked just as he’d been about to sink back into the miserable contemplations of his non-life.
“Yes, I-,” He began to respond automatically before catching himself, his body tensing as he turned to stare at the man beside him, the man who was staring back at him with an expression both amused and calm.
“How do you know my name?” He asked, his frown deep.
“I know a lot about you, Mr Hansen.” Replied the man, still watching him.
There were a million and one questions on the tip of his tongue but not one of them left his tightly clenched lips. He glared at the man beside him, waiting him out.
“Don’t you want to know what I know?” The man asked, his lips twitching just as little.
“I’m sure google was very helpful to you,” he returned.
The man tipped his head, smiling a little more. “Okay. Then don’t you want to know why I know about you?”
“By all means,” he agreed. He watched the man beside him with sharp eyes, his body tensed and poised for flight should he require it.
“I’m in need of an Architect.” The man said. It was all he said.
He frowned. “I’m no longer working as-,”
“I’m aware of your current employment status, Mr Hansen,” the man interrupted. “I’m here to offer you a job.”
“Do you have any idea how many Architects there are in Los Angeles, Mr-?”
“Cobb.” The man returned holding out his hand, “Dom Cobb.”
He took the hand cautiously.
“And yes, I am. But you’re the guy I need.”
“Why?” he asked, unable to keep his curiosity to himself any longer.
“Because you’re at a point in your life where this-,” he waved his arm in an encompassing manner, “-no longer holds your interest.” Cobb met his eyes, “You’re bored, Mr Hansen. You’re bored with life and you’re here, right now, questioning everything you’ve lived for so far. You want out. You need out. And I’m here to give you that out.”
He can’t help himself, really, when he blurts out: “What kind of job did you have in mind?”
- - -
His job as Architect lasted exactly one job. Not because he wasn’t very good at it,- he was very damn good at it, thank you very much,- but because the Point Man Cobb had hired was a useless piece of work who actually knew less about their mark than he did despite the fact he’d been hired with the sole purpose of researching him to within an inch of his life.
Cobb had been impressed enough to offer him the choice between continuing on as his Architect or becoming his Point Man. Still out of love with creating, (though he’d admit, creating dream worlds did give him an unimaginable rush) it had been an easy enough job to choose to become the Point Man, especially when promised that though they may never be used, he could continue to create whatever worlds his imagination could come up with whenever he so chose.
And though he never chose to, he found himself pretty satisfied with his new found life.
He started using his middle name when on the job. He kept sketching, but only for himself. And he kept his suits. He rented out his apartment to his old roommate, never using it enough now to justify having it otherwise. He lost himself in his research, in information and other peoples’ lives and secrets and he was satisfied.
He was satisfied with life and his lot in it right up until the moment Cobb brought in a new team for a job six months down the line.
“Eames,” The man standing before him had introduced, his polite accent a sharp contrast to the roguishly unkempt man standing before him. “Somerled Eames.”
He’d smiled, frowned, “Somerled?” He’s asked, amusement overcoming propriety.
Eames had smiled at him, shrugging his shoulders carelessly. “My parents were feeling particularly cruel when they had me,” he laughed, “it’s got something to do with summer and travelling or some such nonsense, which is precisely when and what they were doing at the time.”
His smile wavered at the words, his hand tightening unconsciously around Eames’ and Eames’ own smile wavered as he shot him a peculiar look.
He used to believe in destiny and soul mates and true love and all that childhood nonsense. He’d stopped believing. He’d tried to stop believing. But now… his heart stuttered momentarily in his chest as he stared deeply into Eames’ eyes and he wondered if maybe Summer had been right, that she wasn’t The One he’d been looking for after all.
“Alright, darling?” Eames asked and he started, laughing self-consciously and shaking his head to dispel his immediate thoughts.
“Please, Mr Eames, call me Arthur,” he said, giving another shake of Eames’ hand.
“Just Eames will do,” Eames had returned, holding fast to his hand and quirking another smile at him. A smile he felt himself unable to resist returning. “And I’d much prefer to call you darling.”