The crowd is deafening all around him but Arthur pays no attention. His eyes are glued to Eames, who is still visibly thrumming with adrenaline from his fight, whole body alight with victory. He has one tape-wrapped hand over his mouth, a gesture Arthur knows means Eames is overwhelmed. Someone has placed a branded beanie on his head, which Eames adjusts with his other hand, and someone, perhaps the beanie guy, fastens the huge gold belt around Eames’s waist.
Joe Rogan is interviewing, but even though he shouts into the microphone, only the TV cameras can pick up what is being said over the cacophony of the crowd. Softspoken Eames is completely inaudible. Arthur plans to watch the interview later; right now he can’t help feeling a little smug. Eames loves this, the adoration of his fans, the opportunity to perform; and Arthur loves to watch him, to sit amongst the crowd, and to anticipate the moment when Eames walks through the door to wherever they’re staying. Because it’s in that moment that Eames transforms from prize fighter, bankable commodity, public property; he becomes the Eames that Arthur knows, boyishly happy, exuberant beyond measure, the bad boy made good.
Arthur couldn’t be prouder; he feels like he’s about to burst seeing Eames as happy as this. He can’t even bring himself to mind the smears of blood on his chest, nor the brutal aches Eames will have tomorrow. Right now Eames is king, and he’s earned it.
Arthur makes his way past the throngs to return to the room they have booked where he’ll wait for Eames to finish his interviews.
Arthur is at the desk on his laptop when he hears the door open. He doesn’t look up.
“Not bad for an old man,” he says, trying and failing to keep the smile out of his voice.
Eames huffs out a laugh and in a few moments Arthur is enveloped from behind by bone-crushing arms. He lifts his hands to hang off Eames’s forearms but quickly realizes that Eames hasn’t come for a hug, as Arthur is wrestled sideways off the chair and onto the ground.
He lands with a thump that forces the breath from his chest. He’s about to start laughing but Eames doesn’t give him a chance, instead hooking one arm under his leg in an attempt to pin him.
Arthur reacts on instinct. Ordinarily he wouldn’t stand a chance against Eames at his peak, but Eames is exhausted from his fight, so as it is they are almost evenly matched.
He twists out of Eames’s grasp, scrambling forward, and it’s likely because Eames was expecting an easy pin that he doesn’t react in time to stop it. Eames flips onto his back to keep facing Arthur, and when he moves to jump up, Arthur shoulder-tackles him back to the ground, dropping his not-inconsiderable weight fully onto Eames.
Eames’s arms wrap around him, restricting his movement as he tries to roll them sideways, but Arthur has one leg out to the side holding them steady, and the other tucked between Eames’s thighs. He brings his knee up a little, tucking it firmly against Eames’s groin, and feels the gusting laugh against his ear.
That’s when he’s unceremoniously rolled in the other direction, banging into sofa before he’s fully on his back. Wedged as he is between the determined bulk of Eames’s body and the sofa that sits against the wall, Arthur thinks he’s probably lost, but is unwilling to give up just yet. It’s not often Eames feels this free to play-wrestle and if Eames is going to win, Arthur isn’t going to make it easy.
Arthur goes pliant; Eames grins, and the moment Arthur feels Eames’s weight ease, he pushes himself off the sofa and scrambles over, attempting to twist out of Eames’s grasp. It becomes clear that Arthur won’t be able to pull away. He wraps an arm around Eames’s thigh as it’s the only thing he can really reach.
He can sense the coiled energy in Eames; but even without sensing it that there isn’t a second Eames isn’t planning his escape, his way to gain the upper hand. Arthur knows he shouldn’t be wrestling, and he knows Eames doesn’t know that. He has to end this quickly, so he uses the only weapon he has that they don’t have in the ring.
Eames begins to move and Arthur simply lets go, hands suddenly jittery, though he could pass the sweatiness off on the wrestling. “Wait. Wait. I have something for you.”
Eames gives Arthur a curious look for a heartbeat, then his muscles shift, relax, and he extracts himself from under Arthur to move to the desk where Arthur had pointed with his chin. He lifts it up, a simple envelope with “Eames” written in clean, sharp draftsman’s capitals.
“A card? You know, buying a congratulations greeting card before I actually won would be considered by some to be bad luck,” he says, already sliding his finger under the flap and tearing.
Arthur smiles. “Not you, though.” He perches on the edge of the bed, not even trying to appear as though he isn’t watching Eames’s every gesture. Eames must know, too; Arthur’s always been mildly unnerved by how observant Eames is.
A few gentle tugs with his finger and Eames is sliding the card out of the envelope, eyes flicking up to Arthur with unveiled suspicion mixed with curiosity.
Eames frowns down at the card without opening it.
Arthur gets increasingly dismayed at the silence until he can’t take it any more.
“Well?” he asks, stilling his slightly jiggling knee.
“It’s a Father’s Day card. In December. Where did you get a Father’s Day card in December?” Eames asks.
Arthur is momentarily at a loss for words. Finally, “that’s what you’re asking me? Fine, I had to order it online, okay? Is that your only question here?”
Rather than answer, Eames opens the card. Arthur knows what it says; he deliberated over the wording and went through several iterations before returning to his first idea: You’ll make our little family so proud. He sees Eames swallow.
“Are you quite serious? No, of course you are,” Eames is frowning, looking as though he’s about to tip from bewildered into wondering. “Arthur, I —” Eames looks up at him, other hand coming up to cover his mouth. Arthur smiles sheepishly at him.
“It’s fine. You don’t have to say anything. It’s been a big day,” Arthur offers. It wasn’t meant to be a challenge, but he really ought to know Eames better by now.
“How long? How long have you known?” Eames is shaking his head slowly, and Arthur would be worried but for the helpless smile tugging at the corners of Eames’s mouth. “Oh fuck, Arthur. Why would you let me wrestle you? What the hell were you thinking?”
“It would be easier to answer your questions if you’d ask them one at a time. But I’ve known for a few weeks,” Arthur holds his hand up, conciliatory in response to Eames’s scowl. “You wouldn’t have been concentrating properly in training if I told you, would you?”
“And the wrestling?” Eames gets that look, the one he gets when he thinks he’s about to teach Arthur a lesson. As though Arthur isn’t just three years younger. It’s teasing and playful, but with a note of genuine worry underneath. Arthur would be more offended except he knows Eames has been through hell in his life, and just wants to protect those around him. Still.
“I’m not delicate,” Arthur says. “And I stopped you before it got actually rough, so relax.”
“Am I going to have to worry about you for the next nine months?” Eames sucks in a small breath. He moves forward, resting one knee between Arthur’s legs on the bed and crowding in, not yet taking his kiss. “This is really happening, isn’t it? You’re going to have a baby.”
“We’re having one, yes. Don’t sound so surprised; it’s not like we haven’t been preparing for this.”
“You’ve had weeks. Give me a bit, yeah?” The words are soft as Eames nudges his nose against Arthur’s.
Arthur has to concede the point. At least, he would do if Eames wasn’t capturing Arthur’s upper lip between his own and pushing him backwards into the bed. Arthur hums a little moan, partly to indicate that he had things to say and is graciously putting that on hold for now, and partly just because Eames is warm and heavy and very much there. Arthur can’t really be bothered to explore the semantics at the moment.
Instead Arthur glides his hands over Eames’s shoulders which are broad and solid after his weeks of intense training. Eames obligingly pulls the t-shirt over his head in one economical movement, then pushes Arthur’s shirt up, leaning in to run a broad palm over the smooth flat skin on his belly. Arthur looks down, amused.
“I’m not even showing yet,” he says, absently running his fingers over the dips and contours of Eames’s shoulder and bicep.
“Shut it, you. I’m trying to have a moment here,” Eames replies, shooting Arthur a quelling look before returning his attention to stroking Arthur’s abdomen. “How long before you start to show?” he asks, then drops a kiss just below Arthur’s navel.
“Soon enough. It can be months sometimes, but I’m pretty lean, so it might be noticeable much sooner.”
Eames smiles, rubbing circles and figure eights with his thumb before pressing another kiss to Arthur’s skin and moving back up.
“Won’t that be a sight? All round and glowing,” Eames is barely able to suppress his laugh, knowing full well how exasperated Arthur gets at the jibes to the vanity that everyone assumes he has. It’s a double-layered tease, though — Eames knows better than anyone how mistaken that assumption is.
“Hey, you know, I understand being pregnant can increase a person’s libido,” Arthur says conversationally, though he doesn’t usually hook a possessive calf around a person’s bum in casual conversation.
“Is that so?” Eames says, brushing his lips lightly over the corner of Arthur’s mouth. “I’m going to have to neglect my training just to keep you satisfied. It was hard enough watching you trounce around the house in those worn jeans, fixing things like you didn’t know what you looked like. Christ, Arthur. Half of this victory could be attributed to me just redirecting my sexual frustration.”
Arthur can’t help himself. He laughs, loud and bright.
“You think I’m joking,” Eames says, then grips Arthur’s lower lip between his teeth and pulls. “I’m glad my blue balls can be such a source of amusement,” he finishes and there isn’t much room for retort because he slides his tongue alongside Arthur’s while flicking Arthur’s trousers open.
Arthur rolls out from under Eames, pulls off his own trousers (leaving his underwear; he loves the feel of Eames’s hard cock through the material) and when Eames is likewise divested, he climbs on top before Eames can pin him again.
“It’s done. You’ve won now, your dry spell is over,” Arthur says, sliding his hands up Eames’s chest hair. “Although you’d think it had been months instead of a few weeks, the way you’re complaining.”
“Felt like months,” Eames responds, curling his palm around Arthur’s erection through the soft cotton. He pushes himself up to sitting, forcing Arthur to settle with his legs wrapped around Eames, and kisses Arthur again, long and slow.
Arthur grips Eames’s torso with his thighs, steadying himself with his feet braced against the bed. Eames’s hands slide familiarly up Arthur’s arse and over his sides, but the lingering of knuckles over his belly followed by unusually focused and gentle thumb-rubs over his nipples — those are new. He doesn’t comment on it, though, because actually, those thumbs are just a bit rough and his nipples just a bit tender, and, oh, that can continue, thank you.
Noticing Arthur’s pleasure, Eames smirks, rubbing a little harder, taking one of Arthur’s nipple into a gentle pinch. Arthur squeezes Eames between his legs quite unintentionally, which creaks a groan out of Eames. Eames’s cock is straining the front of his loose-fit boxer briefs and his slow hip pulses rub their cocks together, making Arthur a bit impatient to move things along.
Pushing Eames back down, Arthur shifts out of the last of his clothes and yanks off Eames’s, stopping to breathe heavily on Eames’s solid shaft. Eames helpfully pushes his cock away from his body so that Arthur can take it in, savouring the hot hardness in his mouth. He may tease Eames, but Arthur thinks the weeks leading up to a big fight are more of a deprivation for himself. The scent of Eames, his warmth and the slick, salty wetness of precome are Arthur’s alone and he’s happy to pull Eames back into this private world.
After slipping his tongue beneath Eames’s foreskin and generally getting lost playing with it for a while, he remembers his original goal. He gets Eames’s cock good and wet, slick and shiny, and moves back up to let Eames taste his own precome on Arthur’s lips. When he gets there, Eames looks pretty far gone already, breathing hard and looking at Arthur as though he were that coveted belt Eames’d been working towards all these years.
Ordinarily this would be where Arthur would lighten the mood, maybe play coy just to drive Eames that little bit more crazy. But frankly today is different; Arthur feels it, too. His chest is full up to his throat with emotions he can’t name so he doesn’t try. Instead he lifts Eames’s hand to his own mouth to suckle on them, getting them wet enough for Eames to open Arthur up.
And when Eames does, Arthur shudders a breath because he’d waited. For these dry weeks he’d avoided fingering himself, keeping it for Eames. He leans down and kisses Eames deeply, sucking on his tongue while Eames works him open and Arthur presses down into it.
The slide of Eames’s cock some untold number of minutes later draws a sigh of relief and pleasure from both of them. Arthur lowers himself until Eames has bottomed out, then rolls his hips, tilting enough for a bit of a slide in and out. He braces himself on Eames’s chest and all Eames has to do is hang on with his hands on Arthur’s hips. Arthur knows Eames must be exhausted after his fight and later, in a day or two, he’ll want Eames to fuck him blind, but for now this is good. This is better than good. His head drops to the side and he closes his eyes, focused on the friction and fullness, the sound of Eames’s breathing and the sound of skin on skin.
Arthur only opens his eyes when Eames pulls him down to kiss, mouthing down Arthur’s jaw and working a mark onto Arthur’s shoulder. When Arthur feels teeth, sharp and bright, he knows Eames is close so he grinds harder, arching up just enough to fit his hand between them and rub himself to completion, getting there just as Eames crests and bites out a sob. Together they shudder through it, holding tight like this is something new.
Afterwards, Arthur lifts off slowly, Eames cock slipping out with a small wet slap on his belly. He rolls onto his back, pulling Eames to rest his head on Arthur’s shoulder, though Eames grumbles a little at having to move at all. Arthur pays no mind.
They stay quiet for a while, and Arthur is just contemplating using that ridiculously giant bathtub when Eames utters an unhappy hum.
“What is it,” he asks softly as Eames pulls away to lie down on his own pillow. Arthur rolls in and idly draws a finger through the mess he made on Eames’s chest.
“I don’t know the first thing about them. Kids, I mean. What could I possibly teach them? How to pick pockets? How to cheat at cards? How to fight? Bloody hell, what if we have a girl?” Eames still sounds calm, even in this. It’s that as much as his natural temperament that makes Arthur brave enough to face whatever they have coming their way. Truth be told, Arthur has been having his own private freak out for weeks, but now having to reassure Eames gives him some grounding.
“Well, you can teach them how to be strong but courteous, how to improvise, how to make do with what they have. You can teach them how to survive even when things are bleak and how to triumph without arrogance,” Arthur presses a kiss to Eames’s shoulder at his frown. Eames hates it when Arthur says stuff like this, so he changes tack. “And anyway, it’s fine. People have been raising other people since the dawn of time and mostly they turn out okay, regardless of their parents’ screw ups. I’ll read up on it, you’ll wing it, and somehow we’ll get through. Okay?”
Eames rubs the back of Arthur’s hand, then lifts it to kiss his knuckles.
“Okay,” Eames says, sounding exhausted finally, like the fight has caught up with him. “Let’s shower.”
“What would you say to a bath?” Arthur asks, and at Eames’s grateful nod, Arthur rolls out of bed. “I’ll run it.” Before he gets to the bathroom, though, he turns. “Congratulations, Eames. It’s all been worth the trouble, hasn’t it?”
Eames huffs an appreciative laugh. “Yeah,” he says. “And to you. You’ll be a marvelous father, Arthur.”
Arthur grins, ducks his head and slips into the bathroom before he does something a step too far, like blush.