Arthur/Eames, Inception, 4k, soft R
Summary: The first thing Eames does when he wakes up on the shore of Limbo is squint a bit at the crumbling city skyline. [Or, the one where Arthur and Eames go to Limbo and Grow as People.]
i don't know if you guys have heard, but there's this little movie called inception that's been making waves recently. well, i saw it, and i loved it. therefore, consider this review my official coming out as a hardcore inception fan. also, there's this really great person, anowlinsunshine, whose merlin fics i've stanned for quite a while (see my review of "under the wild oak"). we recently discovered that we are pretty much fandom twins. somewhere in the midst of our squeeing over this revelation, i joked that she should write about arthur and eames getting stuck in limbo. well, guess what?
SHE WROTE IT.
but as much as i adore her for dedicating it to me, my main reason for reccing the fic is that it's an incredible piece of work. she isn't just the coolest persona alive; she's also a fantastic author. i mean, who the hell else can tell an epic story of love, loss, and everything in between in less than 5k words?
the fic starts when arthur and eames die in the third dream level of a mission and wash up on the shores of limbo. eames is surprisingly calm about it, which of course pisses arthur off, driving him to stomp off. after a while, he comes back, and over time eames persuades him to relax and accept their situation since there's nothing they can do to change it. as they begin to get more and more accustomed to the world they build together, they start to lose themselves and forget there was ever another reality.
there are so many things i love about this fic. the most important thing is the author understands the rules of the world. she understands limbo, and she understands what it does to people's minds. nearly as important is her understanding of the characters. i can easily believe this fic is an extension of the movie. eames and arthur are perfectly in character. i could see arthur's disapproving frown on JGL's face the entire time. there are little details -- such as arthur's refusal to make a new suit for himself at first, and eames wearing hideous shirts just to piss arthur off -- that just feel so natural to the characters. at the same time, the author adds new layers to both of them, making them complex (but still IC) in a way that's unique to her world. the way eames gets drunk off the power of creation, the way his excitement wears down arthur's resistance over time, they way they steadily lose themselves with each new seed they plant in limbo... it's just stunning to watch unfold. each new scene breaks your heart a little more.
as always, anowlinsunshine writes with remarkable poise and maturity. she doesn't waste words, but manipulates them to her will, constructing a gorgeous world that's so vivid i can see it when i close my eyes. her dialogue is flawless -- not only true to character, but also true to the plot. each line carries so much weight that i want to quote everything. i love that she keeps the tension consistent throughout and you never know how the story is going to end. as a matter of fact, that intensified my emotional investment in the fic. it's like you know you should hope they return to reality because it's the "right" ending, but you secretly want them to stay in limbo because they're so happy there. basically, i felt just as confused about what i wanted as the characters did.
it's really a lovely fic, and a must-read if you're just entering inception fandom like i am (or if you worship anowlinsunshine like i do).