Aug. 2nd, 2012

pointillism: (GQMF)
[personal profile] pointillism
Control.

That's what Arthur has to maintain as they plunge a level deeper. He hates the Mr. Charles gambit - there's too much room for misunderstanding and too much left to subjectivity - but for stability's sake there's no safer bet than convincing the projections that the dreamer himself is all part of the dream. Hopefully it will be enough to stave off the rush against him when the rest of the team takes Fischer the next level down.

At least this is Cobb's view of things, and with Cobb calling the shots on what so far has been a particularly suicidal mission, Arthur has no choice but to put aside his own misgivings and follow the leader.

Buy us time, Arthur, is Cobb's last instruction before he leaves with Ariadne. Time and security, the two things most lacking in this job, and Cobb is expecting him to pull them out of thin air. Even under normal circumstances it would be difficult, but they're verging into "impossible" and "what did the hell did I sign on for" territory, what with the persistence of Fischer's projections as Arthur leads his mark through the hotel. Finally they reach the room, and a quick nod to Cobb and Ariadne at the door, plus a quiet reassurance to Fischer, is all he manages before they sequester themselves inside.

He needs to stall. Eames and Saito aren't due to show up with Fischer's godfather for another thirty minutes, though that's already drastically reduced from the five hours they initially set. Thirty minutes. While still playing the Mr. Charles angle, of course.

At least Fischer is easy to read, even for someone like Arthur, whose skills at discerning the core of peoples' emotions Eames has unfairly characterized as "neolithic". Those wide, searching blue eyes and still ragged breath speak volumes: overwhelmed, frightened, tense. Arthur has to calm him down before he has a panic attack or worse, goes for the gun again. Fortunately Arthur has gone through enough training that he's already considered several possible options to accomplish what he needs to; in his criticisms Eames does not realize that even if Arthur lacks imagination, he can often make up the difference with nothing more than careful planning.

It also makes Arthur less prone to flashiness. His approach is direct, and he firmly believes in the effectiveness of a strong appeal to basic instincts. Without any preamble he has already closed the gap between him and Fischer, and kisses him steadily, coaxing his way into Fischer's mouth with slow, thorough strokes of his tongue. His thumb ghosts over the trembling jut of Fischer's Adam's apple, his other hand tight in his thick, dark hair.

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