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2 a.m.

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Eames doesn’t move.


Arthur kicks him in the shin.

“Darling,” Eames mumbles, “you are the light of my life, but right now I feel the need to smother you.”

“There’s a noise.” Arthur smooshes his hand over Eames’ face in an attempt to push him off the bed.

“And you haven’t shot at it yet, so why do I have to be awake?” Eames grabs Arthur’s hand and pushes it away.

“It’s the washing machine.”

Eames sighs and attempts to fall back asleep. “That’ll be your socks.”

“My socks turned on the washing machine?”

Eames squints up at Arthur’s bleary and confused face. “Yes, love.”

Arthur’s eyes drift closed and his head drops onto the pillow. Eames smiles, rolls over and settles in to sleep.


A rigid finger pokes him in the back.


“My socks can’t turn on the washing machine.”

“There’s the intellectual brilliance I fell in love with.” The finger pokes harder into his shoulder. Eames flips around to frown at Arthur. “Look, I discovered the timer on the washing machine and since I know you love freshly clean, warm socks, I thought I could have them washed and dried before you got up. But it’s now 2 a.m and I’m being harassed and have bruises. I’m never doing anything nice for you again. Congratulations to your lifetime of dirty, cold socks.”

Eames concluded his speech with a glare.

Arthur smiled. A smile that was the most rare of all his smiles. Eames had seen it only once—it had happened the first day Eames had moved in. He’d looked up from cramming his shirts into a drawer and Arthur was resting on the doorframe, with that tiny satisfied smile on his face. It had made Eames’ heart stutter then, and it made it stutter now.

“You learned to use the timer on the washing machine?” Arthur shifted closer as Eames gave a small nod. “And you’re washing my socks?” Eames nodded again as a feather light kiss was placed below his ear. Which was then followed by a tiny snore.

Reaching a hand up to gently stroke Arthur’s hair, Eames settled back and fell asleep to the light hum of the washing machine and the snores in his ear.