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Title: An Instance of Three (1/?)
Author: sariza
Rating: If you saw inception you can read this. However I will be writing some NC-17 scenes later on in the story so the rating will go up but I’ll put a warning.
Pairing: Ariadne/Arthur/Eames
Disclaimer: Inception belongs to Christopher Nolan.
Notes: This story is doesn’t have a beta, so any errors are my own. However, if you are interested in being a friendly neighborhood beta for this story, I would deeply appreciate it. :)
Summary: After Arthur Callahan died, people were surprised that his widow seemed to be spending so much time with his boyfriend.

Ariadne Mavitch saw Thomas Eames for the first time at her husband, Arthur Callahan’s funeral. Among the black dresses and somber faces, the man stood in the back, away from family and friends, and mourned privately; The exact opposite of Ariadne who stood in the front, shaking hands and accepting condolences from neighbors, her family, and colleagues. Mid-condolence from an acquaintance she hadn’t seen in 5 months, Ariadne’s eyes trailed over to the back of the room where they met those of an unfamiliar man. It was only for a moment. They stared at each other acknowledging each other’s presence in the room. They were the extremely bereaved among ordinary grievers. Ariadne had given a polite smile to him. Arthur’s side of the family consisted only of the Cobb family; Dom, Mall and their two children, Phillipa and James. Later, Ariadne will remember the way Dom’s hand brushed down arm, his voice gentle as he asked if she was okay to go home alone. Ariadne had nodded and repeated the words she had been reciting to everyone: “I’m fine.” Dom silently nodded his head and moved aside.

“James, Phillipa, say good-bye to Aunt Ari.” Mal commanded in her French lilt. Ariadne couldn’t help but note that Mal’s voice was beautiful even on the verge of tears. James clung to Ariadne’s lags with one arm and kept the other free to suck his thumb. A habit Dom has fiercely tried to break since spotting a woman sucking her thumb during a stop at a red light. Mal had admonished it as nothing more than a phase he would soon grow out of and tease Dom for worrying so. Ariadne ran a hand through James’ hair. He reached up his arms to be picked up. With a quick swipe, Ariadne pulled him off her legs and into her arms where she was better able to kiss him on the top of his head. She wondered why she and Arthur never had children. But the musing was dropped soon after its initial thought when Phillipa handed Ariadne a bright flower that looked suspiciously similar to the ones on display in the lobby of the funeral home. The children followed their father out to the car as Mal hugged Ariadne tightly. “Oh my sweet,” She pulled away slightly, placing her hands on either side of Ariadne’s face. “If you need anything, anything at all…” Ariadne nodded her head in response. Mall looked like she wanted to say more but instead she kissed Ariadne on both cheeks. Ariadne couldn’t help the soft giggle that escaped her when Mal attempted to rub away the lipstick stain with her thumb. Mal made her way out but not before blowing a kiss toward Arthur’s casket. “Good-bye, Mon Chéri” Mal said, her back toward both Arthur and Ariadne. Ariadne couldn’t tell which one of them she was speaking to.

Ariadne took a shaky breath.

“Why are funeral homes so damn cold?” She asked to the empty room. She took one last look at her husband’s casket before making her way toward her car and now her (and her alone) quiet home.

Arthur inherited the Callahan Manor when his grandfather died, six years ago. With both of his parents dead (cancer and heart attack), he was the next living relative. Before that, Arthur and Ariadne were newlyweds shacking up in a small apartment, the most extravagant thing they owned were their dreams of the future, a life they wanted to share. So they accepted the Manor with open arms. Shortly after that Arthur received a promotion that would allow him to keep the maintenance of the Manor up and still live a comfortable lifestyle. Coming home from the celebratory dinner of his promotion, the couple walked into their new home and Arthur pulled Ariadne closer and whispered, “Things can only get better and better for us.”

Now Ariadne stepped into the manor on her own, closed the door, threw her purse and keys on the floor and crumbled to the ground. Leaning on the door, she sobbed loudly. Her hand clutched to her chest as if her heart was literally breaking within it and simply holding her hand there would keep the small bits from escaping.

Although Arthur had pretty much organized everything in the event that something untoward happened to him (such as being slammed by a Mac truck going 77 miles per hour) There were still some preparations left to be made after the policeman knocked on the door and told Ariadne of the death of her husband with both a trained conduct and an inevitable sympathy. Ariadne had been left with the unfortunate responsibility of telling everyone that ever cared for her Arthur of his death; it also seemed to be her responsibility to console them afterward. Any other person would be annoyed at being handed such a task. Ariadne was the one who should be consoled. People should be lining up to say how sorry they were for her loss. But Ariadne didn’t feel that way. She didn’t want lining up and condolence. That made her uncomfortable. She just wanted some peace to figure out how to live. She had already had this whole life planned out and with one turn of events her entire life had to be rearranged. How was she supposed to be, to exist in this world, in this life, without the one person she had vowed to share it with? It didn’t seem right. It seemed entirely too wrong to be happening and yet it was. With the funeral over and everyone moving on from the passing, Ariadne finally got that peace, that chance to absorb the fact. My husband is dead. Arthur is dead. I am a widow. I am alone.

But Ariadne’s fit of grief was to be short-lived with an interruption coming in the form of the doorbell ringing. She froze. Was there anyone that didn’t show up to the funeral that would be visiting her? She pulled herself up with the doorknob, rubbed the hot tears from her face, sniffed and opened the door. There stood a man who seemed familiar to Ariadne despite the knowledge that they had never met.

“Hello” His voice was low but Ariadne could still tell that the man the lilt and pleasing tone of an English accent.

“May I help you?” Ariadne cringed at how pathetic her voice sounded. If he noticed her red puffy eyes, the product of a good cry obviously, he had the decency to say nothing about it.

“I’m Thomas Eames…” He trailed off not knowing what exactly to say and beginning to regret coming at all. But before he could give a short ‘sorry for your loss’ and back pedal his way out of there, Ariadne spoke.

“Oh. Of course,” She smiled softly. “Would you like to come in for some tea?”

“Sure.” Ariadne stepped aside to let the man in.  He placed one foot after the other, crossing the threshold into a home that was both familiar and foreign to him. But it was too late to turn... Ariadne has already closed the door behind him.

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