|Basilio Vincente Agnoli is Dominick Cobb (the_extractor) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2012-08-12 03:18:00
|Entry tags:||ariadne, arthur, cobb, door: inception, eames|
Who: Ariadne, Arthur, Cobb, and Eames
What: Talking about work.
Where: The warehouse in Paris, France. Inception door.
Warnings/Rating: Death within dreams? Otherwise, nope, none.
After being away from the door for what felt like too long a time, Ariadne was finally able to nudge Bianca through to the warehouse in Paris. It was refreshing to be in her own body once more but the warehouse itself, bare though it was, comforted her as well. She was alone, but that had never been something that bothered her. Bianca was pushed firmly into the back of her mind, silent as she always was, which allowed Ariadne to let her mind wander to the first few times she’d been there. Some of the memories Bianca had received had been meant for her and now was the perfect opportunity, alone as she was, to remember. Arthur’s memory had given her a great deal of confidence in her own abilities and as she ran her hand along the arm of one of the lawn chairs, she remembered from her own perspective. It had been amazing to just create and Arthur had been a natural at teaching her. Even remembering his private thought about her scarf made her smile. It really wasn’t that bad, was it?
Eames’ memory was a little more recent and she couldn’t help but feel a little bad about how she’d made him feel. It hadn’t been her intention to come between he and Arthur. She felt embarrassed that she hadn’t been able to pick up on the tension between them, but she supposed it was just because she simply didn’t have any experience with serious relationships. Her world was full of emotion and beauty in architecture, not in people. It was far easier for her to get lost in thought simply looking at a building, but people had never been as interesting to explore as architecture. Arthur, Eames, Cobb, even Mal to some extent, had all made her wish that she had more experience with people instead of keeping to herself for the most part. Mal made her incredibly nervous and there was a part of her that wanted to talk about it, but she just wasn’t sure how to bring it up or even what to say. She had never known the woman and after everything they’d been through, she couldn’t find it in her to want to get to know her. She was poison and the last thing she wanted was for her to ruin things for everyone else, particularly since Arthur was unsure about whether or not this was a dream.
There had been a room off to the side that Cobb had claimed as his own -- as much as anything in the warehouse was his -- that he reclined in now, the PASIV on the desk. He'd come through earlier, made sure that no one was here already before hooking himself up to it.
The last time he'd dreamed had been before the inception job, before Mal had died in limbo and been reborn into the real world. He had no idea if she would be there now, lurking in his subconscious and he wanted to know before they did another job. Since her death, whenever he dreamed, it always seemed to start with him in the elevator unless he deliberately chose somewhere else, like the cafe with Ariadne. This time there was no elevator, no levels to choose from, no memories to revisit. The structure he had enforced on his subconscious was gone.
He was walking down a cobblestoned street. Like with all dreams, he didn't remember how he got there or where he was coming from and truthfully, those things didn't matter. It had been too long since he'd constructed his own dreams and he tried it now, changing the material of one building from brick to metal. He did it again with the next building. The next and again. He did not create bridges, nor oceans, nor beaches. Nothing beyond buildings that varied wildly from one to the next until they began to resemble more modern and postmodern buildings.
When was the last time that he had been the architect? Before Mal had died and only a handful of times after until he'd learned that she would sabotage his plans. After that he couldn't risk the jobs they got to be the architect any longer. That job fell to other people, but he had missed it even if he never said as much.
It wasn’t that much of a jump to remember going under with Cobb and that brought her feet moving toward the room he’d used when he was sure they’d all left. She was surprised to see him sitting there now, just like he had been that first time. Was he looking for Mal there? A glance confirmed that the woman herself wasn’t present and Ariadne worried her lower lip, wondering how long that peace would last for. She pushed those thoughts away and dragged a lawn chair from the main room to sit next to him. She’d done this before, she reminded herself as she reached for the PASIV. If he wanted her to leave well...he’d just have to kill her. Ariadne didn’t think he’d do that. She fumbled briefly but soon enough, she was reclined as well and ready to face the elevator again.
Ariadne found herself walking down a cobblestone street and it took her a few minutes to realize that it wasn’t what she’d been expecting. The buildings were all metal, though she privately thought some of them would probably be more natural looking with a brick facade, and she couldn’t help be wonder what this new landscape meant. Ariadne caught sight of him up just ahead and quickly made her way to catch up with him. “Hey!” she called when she was just a few feet behind him, but then she was next to him and offering up a warm smile. It was good to see him. “It’s different this time,” she said, falling into step next to him. “I like it.”
"Hey," Cobb said in return, glancing back at her for only a moment before he turned to look back down the street. He'd never forbidden her from coming into his dreams, not after the last time when she'd seen the elevator and the memories. Ariadne wasn't an extractor and if she had been, she still would have had to get through his mind first. "I wanted something different."
The next building retained its stone framework, the only thing that changed was that it appeared to have been covered in metal, like the metal was molded around the stone. It made for an interesting change, but Cobb wasn't sure that he liked it. He left the rest of the buildings alone for the time being. It was good to design, but his heart wasn't in it anymore, not like it had been when he'd been in Limbo and the days had been full of creation.
"Anyone else out there that I should know about?" If Arthur or Eames was already there, it was time to wake up. There was only so much sharing Cobb would do with his dreams.
“It’s nice,” she said, leaving it at that. She was either still too new to all of the possibilities that dreaming like this had or too innocent because she would never consider using any method other than a direct question to get information. Ariadne simply wasn’t hardwired to be a thief of any kind and the Inception job hadn’t changed that. She walked alongside him as he changed the next building and while it was beautiful in it’s own way, she didn’t quite see the joy she’d felt from his memory on his face. “No, not when I came, at least,” she replied softly.
“I got a memory of yours,” Ariadne said after a few minutes of just walking along. “When Miles first took you under. It was...nice to feel how much you enjoyed designing the dreamspace.” She knew that joy, felt it under Cobb’s, then Arthur’s tutelage. There was nothing like the pure creation that the dreamspace allowed for and she was itching to do something. She held herself back, more focused on the issue at hand. He seemed to be doing alright, but then he’d always seemed that way. Still, she looked around every so often, wondering when Mal would show up. Which reminded her. “Did you find your kids?”
"It was brand new then," was all that Cobb said. It was a bright, fresh world, full of possibility. A lifetime spent in Limbo designing had taken the polish off, like a penny that had spent too much time being traded and used. Even now there wasn't the same passion, the same joy that had once existed for him in creating. And, as the buildings behind him suggested, he was tired of it. There was nothing new for him anymore.
Except, perhaps, for teaching. Perhaps newer minds could remind him of the beauty he found once. Perhaps having Mal back would. Time would tell. "Yes, they're with her mother." He had seen them, but after so many months of telling them that their mother was gone, that she wasn't coming back, how could he bring them home to see her? He wanted to, but he had to get his kids used to the idea first. They needed their mother and he needed them. "Maria. She was married to Miles once." He didn't mention that the woman held he and Miles responsible for Mal's death and had hated him ever since.
Easing his hands in his pockets, he finally looked sideways at her and changed the subject. His wife, his kids, his memories -- none of these things were things he particularly wanted to talk about. "Have you been practicing?"
“It’s how you knew I’d be back,” Ariadne replied with a light smile, recalling what Arthur had said when she’d returned after being knifed in the gut by Mal. Cobb had been right, she hadn’t been able to resist. There was nothing like it and there were times where she’d pass a building and see what could improve it, try to improve it, only to remember a bit foolishly that she wasn’t dreaming. She wanted to ask if he’d been to see his children but she didn’t want to push, not very hard at least. Thankfully he believed that this wasn’t a dream, but there was still a part of her that wondered if he’d ever start to question it with Mal’s arrival and Arthur’s insistence that it could all just be a dream.
It was a good thing she didn’t ask because he promptly changed the subject. “I haven’t had much of a chance,” Ariadne replied, all too disappointed that it was the case. “The few times I’ve been able to cross, It wasn’t for much time at all. This is the first time I’ve been under since finding myself in Bianca’s subconscious.” She wished she was able to spend more time as herself, but it simply wasn’t possible. Bianca was full of excuses, but Ariadne was doing her best to make it work. She gestured to a building. “Do you mind?” She wanted to do something.
He shook his head to say he didn't mind. She'd done this often enough that she knew the risks of changing things in his subconscious and if she still wanted to try, Cobb wouldn't stop her.
Unlike the rest of them that seemed to have no end to problems on the Las Vegas side, Cobb didn't disagree that often with Basilio. They were both content to let the other one live their lives, such as they were, without really bothering to interfere. When Basilio didn't have anything else to do, Cobb would see if he could make it through the door for a bit. It made life interesting and the hitman didn't judge.
Looking up at the building, Cobb waited to see how she would change it.
Ariadne smiled. There was a part of her that was more than willing to risk getting killed again if it meant creating to her hearts content and discovering if his manifestation of Mal was still out and about. As soon as she had his blessing, the building they next came across grew five stories and became a structure of glass and steel. It wasn’t the most realistic of buildings she’d ever imagined, but that wasn’t quite the point. The cobblestone beneath their feet was an inspiration though, and the next thing that sprang were wrought iron lamp posts that dotted every block on alternating sides.
Horses and carriages were next, though they still retained their modern clothing. “What do you think?” she asked, though the buildings in their vicinity changed once more, turning to mortar and stone. She didn’t have it quite perfect, but she thought it was rather beautiful in its own way. “I’ve been on a bit of a history kick lately.” As if that would explain it. Ariadne knew she was drawing a good bit of attention to herself but that was the point. She kept a careful eye on the people that had begun filtering around them, trying in vain to be subtle about it.
"It's very..." It reminded him of Paris, of what it must have looked like years ago, before the turn of the century. Cobb liked it, even if it wasn't his favored high rises. There had always been a charm about Paris, though maybe that had more to do with Mal than anything else. He smiled, a bit wryly, as projections passed by them and stared at her. It wasn't quite enough to rise their ire, but they definitely viewed her suspiciously. Mal was nowhere to be seen.
"It shows. Any reason for the sudden interest in history?" Before, her initial dreams had all been cityscapes, wide open space and lofty bridges. Change fascinated him, especially when it came to what one wanted to create. It often reflected a change within the person, and that was important to know.
Ariadne was pleased that Mal was nowhere to be seen, but it wasn’t quite enough to draw as much attention as the bridge had. She wasn’t all that worried about the rest of Cobb’s subconscious, foolish though it was. “I’m not sure,” she replied, leading him around the corner as the cobblestone turned to pavement beneath their feet. The lamp posts disappeared as she led him up a staircase that was reminiscent of the Spanish Steps. “People are supposed to learn from history, but the only thing that really stays is the architecture. Well, if you’re lucky and it didn’t get mined for iron,” she added belatedly, recalling the buildings of ancient Rome. Ariadne smiled as she stopped him, considering for a moment what she wanted to do next.
The stone melted away from the buildings, leaving behind smooth concrete and glass in some places and brickwork in others. Traffic lights appeared, along with the cars to fill the streets, and now things were really bustling around them. “I like the detail on the buildings,” she answered, though it was a bit disconnected from the earlier answer. “It’s so intricate and you really have to be looking for it to see all of it. You can usually still see the general detail though.” Her voice was soft, almost as if she was talking to herself and she supposed she was in part. She’d missed everything about Arthur and Eames and there was a small bit of self doubt creeping up at that, worried about what else she’d missed.
"Or marble," Cobb added, his steps slowing as he watched her vacillate between history and post-modern architecture. Mal still hadn't shown herself and he wondered if she even would, or if her death in Limbo had finally been enough to stop her from interfering in his subconscious again. He suspected that was the case. Before, what Ariadne was doing would have been enough for her to come slamming through the crowds to get at the younger woman, now it was only the normal projections that were staring at her, some of them shoving their shoulders into her.
He leaned up against a street light post and began changing it half way down. Buildings gave way to grassy knolls, a hill top, and finally the Temple of Athena Nike, as it should have been and not the ruins that remained in the Acropolis. As it was his dream and his change, his projections left him alone. "It doesn't matter if you can see them," he said quietly. "As long as they're there. You don't know when someone's going to look, or feel, and realize it's not the way it should be."
“Or marble,” Ariadne agreed, grunting just slightly when a man bumped into her. She didn’t pay him much attention because she expected it, but it still wasn’t enough to draw Mal’s attention, assuming the woman was still there. Last time, she’d built something that Cobb and Mal had a personal connection to, but surely Mal wouldn’t be able to resist dealing with her personally, product of Cobb’s subconscious or otherwise. “Acropolis. Nice,” she commented before getting to work herself. She’d studied Athens too and while the Temple of Athena Nike was beautiful, she’d always been partial to the Parthenon.
The building itself was huge and although they couldn’t see it from where they stood, it was incredibly detailed. She drew from designs they’d looked at in class and put an extraordinary effort into ensuring that she didn’t miss anything. The stone was colored the way it would have been when it was first built and it would feel that way as well if they got close enough. She doubted it would get that far though because it was a rather drastic change and she was fully expecting some retaliation. Ariadne had to chuckle at his reply though, because it wasn’t even remotely what she’d meant but the advice was true enough. “The details are there now,” she promised.
He couldn't see the building yet, but he knew it was there as his projections got rougher with her, knocking hard into body. "Ariadne--" Cobb started to say as he reached for her, but it was too late. One vicious push sent her into the street and into the path of an oncoming car. One moment she was there, and in the next, she was gone, leaving him alone within his own dream. He wasn't sure if she'd come back like she had before, but that didn't stop him from continuing down the street, past his Temple to finally see her Parthenon.
For a few minutes, he simply studied it, taking in the details before he too, stepped into traffic and woke up. He didn't jolt awake but went from one stage to the other like blinking. It only took a few seconds to unhook himself from the PASIV and then he was up, leaving his comfortable, well worn chair for the cubicle right next to his and testing his top on the floor. It spun and then stopped, wiggling wildly across the floor until he picked it up.
She knew she’d succeeded before she could catch more than a glance at the building she’d just built. His projections were jostling her quite roughly, but she wasn’t quite expecting it when she was thrown into the street. So busy she was trying to brace herself for the fall, she didn’t notice the car heading directly towards her until it was too late. The scream didn’t even had a chance to find the air and the next thing she knew, she was gasping for breath in the warehouse. She detached herself from the PASIV after catching her breath and waited for him to wake up. It didn’t take long at all, but he moved quickly out of the room. She knew that hadn’t been real, but the chess piece in her hand was reassuring all the same. Ariadne would wait until he was certain.
Arthur was waiting, sitting on one of the upright metal chairs that still screeched when it was unfolded. No one had given him a budget to update the warehouse or he probably would have brought in French patio furniture from Marseilles, and he looked a bit odd sitting on the antique in his Ferragamo. There was no telling how long he'd been sitting there, except that when he saw Ariadne wake he leaned back on two chair legs and snagged a white bag from the table behind him. "I brought lunch," he said, smiling at her. From the bakery down the way, from the look of the bag. Roast beef and eggplant sandwiches along with grilled salmon on thick white bread, so he couldn't have been sitting there so long he went to find something to cool the meat. "Practicing?" he asked, looking at Cobb when the man returned.
The sound of another voice in the warehouse drew him into the main room, instead of returning to his with the PASIV. "Yeah," Cobb said by way of greeting. For him it had been more than that, but he was as likely to divulge that as he had told them about the growing strength of Mal in his subconscious. Picking up a bag from the table behind Arthur, he leaned against it, the top a reassuring weight against his thigh. This was real. Just as Mal was real now and no longer a projection -- he cut that thought off before it could go further. "She's finding her style," he said as he reached into the bag and pulled out a roast beef sandwich.
Ariadne was a little surprised to see Arthur, especially since she’d just been thinking about him and Eames and everything she’d missed. “Hi,” she said as she sat up, swinging her legs off the chair so that her feet could find the floor. “Thanks,” she added, smiling wide when she took the bag and discovered the salmon sandwich. She wanted to tell Arthur about the lack of Mal’s presence in Cobb’s subconscious but with the other man standing right there, she knew it wasn’t the right time. Later, then. “Just experimenting. I managed to build the Parthenon before I got thrown in front of a car,” she explained, a smile tugging at the corners of her lips. “I couldn’t resist after Cobb raised the stakes with the Temple of Athena Nike.” Ariadne had thoroughly enjoyed that and she was still thrilled that she’d gone through some abrupt changes before getting herself killed. “Have you talked to Eames?” she asked, looking over Arthur’s shoulder as if she expected the other man to appear at the sound of his name.
Arthur picked up a paper cup of espresso and milk that he’d brought with him and returned to a more comfortable position in his chair. He smiled at Ariadne’s forays into Greek architecture. “Don’t get too comfortable with one style, it might help if you’re flexible and your style not so easy to identify as, say, mine.” As soon as Cobb made his reappearance, Arthur looked away from Ariadne and studied his friend’s face. Mal’s debut on the journals was bound to take a toll, and Arthur didn’t need to ask how are you to know that. Pointed questions didn’t get answers from Cobb, anyway, and all Arthur could do was wait and do damage control. “Yes. His counterpart on the other side of the door is a suicidal alcoholic so we’re trying to keep him in one piece,” Arthur said, frankly, snapping his eyes to Ariadne and then back to Cobb.
Eames, who had been outside, strode in to hear the end of this comment, and he realized Arthur likely wasn't talking to himself. Arthur wasn't that mad, after all. He joined the group, hands in his pockets and skin an unhealthy jaundice, but there was a confident smirk on his face, one that said he'd no personal concerns of his own. Rather, those weren't going to be mentioned here, not by him. "He's a lovely bloke, really. Never met a nicer fellow," he said, quite sarcastically of Evan, and he leaned back against a desk casually, as if he didn't need the assistance remaining upright. He smiled at Ariadne, a genuinely fond smile, and then he turned his attention to Cobb. "Mal about?" he asked, nowhere near as concerned as Ariadne or Arthur with politeness, but then it had always been that way with Cobb and him.
If Cobb was worried about the color of Eames' skin -- and perhaps there was something of it, buried deep with everything else that he didn't say -- it didn't show. What problems they had on the other side was up to them -- as long as he had his team, he wouldn't pay it any mind -- and he trusted them to let him know when they were in trouble they couldn't deal with on their own. "She's not here," he answered just as bluntly. Just as quickly as she'd been brought up, Cobb dropped the subject of Mal in favor of one with less minefields. "Might have something soon though. Just an extraction." Removing the paper wrap from the sandwich, he took a bite.
Arthur lowered his coffee from his lips when Eames came in, giving him a narrow-eyed look at even being out of bed, but he didn’t say anything. He huffed air out of his chest when Eames brought up Mal after only being in the room five minutes, but again, said nothing. Arthur sipped at the paper cup again, watching Cobb rather than Eames. He knew what was wrong with Eames. Cobb was another story. “If she isn’t here, then where is she?” he said, forgetting about direct questions and, for once, somewhat grateful for Eames’ total disregard for polite conversation.
“I don’t think I have?” she replied, looking between Cobb and Arthur as if she was afraid she’d done something wrong. “I was just looking to see what I could do. We were talking about details and I’ve been paying closer attention to ancient architecture lately when I’m here.” Ariadne wasn’t quite falling over herself to explain, but she didn’t want Arthur taking back what he’d thought about her before. Thankfully, she was saved from having to say anything else because the conversation shifted to Eames and, as she expected, the man appeared. She couldn’t help the grin that spread across her face at the sight of him, though she noted that he didn’t quite look alright. There was a slight pang of guilt, but she forced it back. “It’s difficult to manage, but I’m sure you’ll find a way,” Ariadne said of handling Evan. She’d managed to get Bianca into therapy and that seemed to help, at least a little. Her understanding turned to annoyance as Eames just blurted it out, but it seemed like Cobb wasn’t bothered by it. Ariadne ignored the job talk and turned to Arthur. Mal was more important. “I imagine she’s out there somewhere. I changed the dreamspace quite a bit, even before our foray into ancient Athens. She would’ve done it personally if she’d been there.” Especially considering the last time she’d communicated with the woman. That still got her mad.
Cobb looked at her, almost blankly for a moment as the words just kept tumbling out of her mouth. Nothing she said was wrong, but he still didn't want anyone knowing how bad it had been. It was enough that Ariadne had known. The bite he'd taken turned dry and hard in his mouth. "Mal is not an issue," he finally said after swallowing his bite. Leaving the rest on the wrapper, and the wrapper on the table, he stood up, his arms crossing over his chest. "Anyone not going to be able to do this if we get a job?" He asked, his gaze turning to Eames. "Are you going to be able to keep your guy together long enough?"
"If I won't, I'll let you know with enough time to replace me, Cobb," Eames assured him, the look on his face saying he'd never stopped being a professional when it came to jobs, and that he'd no intention of starting now. "If you can leave Mal out, then I'll ensure I'm physically able." Which was, perhaps, a dig, but the last job he'd worked with Cobb had rather come with complications, hadn't it? And Eames wasn't one to ignore the elephant in the room. He quirked a brow.
Cobb was fine ignoring the elephant in the room. He'd said all he was going to say about Mal and he didn't bother to answer Eames about keeping his wife out. "We'll need a chemist. Has anyone seen Yusuf?" If he wasn't available, they'd need to find a new one and he wanted to have one ready. If the job didn't pan out, fine, he could keep them in mind for the next one. "We shouldn't need to go more than one level down if we take this one. Ariadne? Arthur? I'll leave you two to decide who'll take point on design."
“Ariadne is a better architect,” Arthur said, promptly, amidst a swirl of gratification that he would even still be considered an architect and disappointment that he wasn’t the only person here who could take point. “I think we might need to discuss why Mal isn’t down there and why she is, apparently, somewhere here.” Arthur shot Cobb a faintly apologetic look, but it still needed to be said, regardless of the job they were actually having. “...And whether or not it is the Mal that wants us all dead or whether it’s the...” His voice ran out and he coughed to restore it, “Or whether it’s really her.” As in the sweet woman that wouldn’t necessarily want to kill them all.
Ariadne thought it was abundantly clear that Cobb didn’t want to talk about it. She felt bad because they were just continuing the conversation around him. “I’m fine either way,” she replied regarding the job, leaving out the observation that she couldn’t do much else. “Pretty sure she wants me dead,” she muttered, likely only loud enough to Arthur to hear her clearly. She spoke up when she continued and now she wasn’t all that certain she wanted to talk about the older woman. “As long as she’s not interfering with work, it’s not a huge problem.” Hopefully. Ariadne turned to Cobb. “What’s the job for?”
Cobb ignored the apologetic look nearly as well as he ignored the further comments and questions on his wife. Much more and he'd have to answer. "Ariadne will take point. If we need to go down a second level, you'll take it Arthur." It wasn't a question, nor a discussion. "I'll show you what you need to create for an extraction," he said to Ariadne. The safe was important, but it had to be tailored to the subject. "As soon as I know more on the subject, I'll let you know. Eames, will you handle the background?"
Eames shook his head. "No. I want to know for certain that she won't be there. You tricked us into a job before, Cobb, and I'll not have you doing it again. I've no interest in having limbo hanging over my head again, only to learn of it once we're enough levels down that we can't bloody climb out. Arthur does backgrounds," he added, his expression calm, despite all the jaundice. "So we discuss this, or you find another forger. Assuming you legitimately require one for this job?" He shrugged, but it was plain and candid and nothing apologetic. "Full disclosure, darling. You want to ignore it, the fact that she's back here somehow, but I'm not willing to risk all our arses over it. So, shall we discuss it?"
For a long few moments, Cobb was simply silent and it seemed almost as if he would ignore the questions again, but then he began answering them. His tone was flat, unaffected, the same one he used for debriefing and his gaze was straight ahead, not on any one of them. "I don't know where she is." More to the point, he didn't know who she was. She could have been his memory gone wrong or the extraordinary woman that he fell in love with -- he didn't know. "She's never been here, so I doubt she'll show up one day and she's not down there because she was shot." The first time by him on the mountain, the second by Ariadne in Limbo. "Twice. Until projections can resurrect themselves, I'm sure she's dead. As for why she's here --" Cobb shook his head. "We've got other people sharing headspace with us. And sometimes they talk about it. If you watch. The dead don't stay dead.
"In their world we're fiction. Ideas don't die. They can't. They can change, evolve, but once you've got one, you might forget it, but its still in there."
Eames considered, and he considered rather quietly. He watched the man across from him, Cobb, trying to decide if the answer was sufficient, if another chance was in order. In the end, he decided the work would be good, both for him and Arthur, and he nodded. "I'm in. When?" And just like that, it was done; he'd not worry about it again, not unless it needed worrying over. His mind turned to more practical things (Arthur would be pleased). He'd need to get here early enough, days even, to dry out and hydrate, which means he needed to know in advance. "Explain the job," he added, grabbing a chair and sitting heavily. He was in no hurry just then. Might as well hear it through.
It was the first time Arthur had heard that Mal had been killed. Cobb had barely been able to have a complete conversation with the woman, and he had allowed her to be killed? Or he, in fact, had killed her? Arthur turned disbelieving eyes from Cobb to Ariadne, and then back. The look on Cobb's face spelled it out for him, and Arthur's expression turned from disbelieving to stunned, and finally to sympathetic. He turned his face slightly away so Cobb didn't need to see it, because he knew the man wouldn't appreciate the sentiment, and Arthur couldn't control it just then.
Arthur waited for Eames to make his inevitable decision (well, it was inevitable for Arthur, anyway) and then he shifted forward off of his chair. Trading his cup for a pastry from the white bag, he sat down next to Ariadne to stick it in his mouth and fish out his small journal. He started penciling out a schedule for Eames, Evan, Louis and Cory while they waited for Cobb to spell out the job.
With no more questions forthcoming, Cobb dropped the subject of his wife as fast and as easily as he had before. It was easier that way. This was work and it'd be good for him, good for all of them. "I'm working out the last of the details," he started. "Corporate extraction. Subject is Richard Saltzman, CEO of Saltzman and Sachs, the Wall Street investment firm." The guy had made some enemies somewhere, ones that were willing to pay a lot of money to get whatever they could out of his head. And the job was just a smash and grab, not Inception. They could do it.