Title: Party Don't Stop
Pairing: Arthur/Eames
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 2043
Notes: This is ridiculous, but it was so much fun to write. Sorry for the earworm, everyone.

The first time it happens, Arthur doesn't pay much attention. He makes a snarky comment about Eames' sunglasses and wearing them indoors, then quickly loses track of the conversation.

"Well, Arthur, I woke up this morning feeling like P. Diddy." Ariadne titters, and Arthur shoots her a look that says don't encourage him.

Too late, though, because Eames beams in her direction and continues, "Grabbed my glasses, out the door, gonna hit this city."

"Yes, you're very clever," Arthur says, referring to his rhyme, but it doesn't explain why Yusuf and Ariadne are giggling like it's the funniest thing they've heard all week.

He lets it go.


The second time, Arthur doesn't quite make the connection, but he senses something is going on.

Yusuf is leading the three of them in trying to convince Arthur to come to the Greene Street Pub with them after work. He works steadily over his chemicals with precision-like focus, but he still finds time to needle Arthur about the bar.

Normally it would be Eames front-running this argument, but they already had a talk about Eames pestering Arthur. If by "talk" you mean "Arthur laid down the ground rules and Eames rolled his eyes and begrudgingly accepted his demands."

It had been quite a surprise to Arthur, when it happened. He'd said, "If you really want this to happen," and ranted for a good five minutes, but he never expected Eames to hear anything past the conditional. His plan had been to tell Eames off for the teasing, and then when it continued, he would know it was just that: teasing. He had posed the ultimatum for his own peace of mind.

Eames' concise 'okay' had been echoing in his mind for weeks, along with the statement that followed. "Limited time offer, though. From here on out, it's your move."

Arthur clears the memory from his mind, ignoring the way Eames is staring at him intently as he waits for Arthur's response.

"You go there every night," Arthur accuses, as if his own nights are less monotonous. They're really not, but at least his hotel has thick walls and good room service.

"They have an excellent jukebox!" Ariadne defends. Arthur doesn't see how she thinks that will sway him, but he gives her a slight smile nonetheless.

"Ain't got a care in the world, but got plenty of beer," Eames says, smiling invitingly at Arthur.

"Ain't got no money in my pocket, but I'm already here," Yusuf responds without looking up, giving the sentence a strange inflection. Arthur's eyebrows pull together; the statement didn't even remotely make sense. They weren't already at the bar, and he's sure none of them are exactly hurting for money these days.

"Arthur doesn't look anything like Mick Jagger," Ariadne points out to Eames, and Arthur gives up on all of them with little more than a slight scoff.

They don't bother him about it again.


Arthur finally realizes they're messing with him two days later. They talk about their plans for the night, and Eames leans close to Arthur and mumbles something about brushing his teeth with Jack Daniels.

Arthur pulls a face at the thought and hears Ariadne's rhyming reply, and realizes through their laughter that they must be quoting something.

Once he's back in the comfort of his hotel room, he pulls up Google on his laptop and types in what he can remember of the quote. He doesn't get it exactly right, but he sees one common name in the results, and tries again.

By the time he finds the lyrics to the song, he's already shaking his head. Trust Eames to find a way to tease him within the confines of their uncommon arrangement. He recognizes several of the lines as quotes (and seriously, what the fuck is this song?), suspecting Eames also threw in a couple "Tick tock on the clock"s while they were on practice runs in the dream state.

It should be annoying, but actually, it's kind of endearing.

He listens to the song once and then closes his browser in disgust.

Twenty minutes later, he pulls it back up because it won't get out of his head.

By the time he heads to bed, the song is forever ingrained in his mind. Cursing Eames for this prank (because that's obviously what it is), Arthur determines he will use it to his advantage the next time they try to quote the song.

He falls asleep with a smile, imagining the look of surprise on Eames' face.


When Arthur comes in the next morning, he's in a fantastic mood. They're getting close to wrapping up the preliminaries for the job, and he's starting to feel the thrill that comes right before executing his plans.

It's a Friday, and by 2 o'clock, the team is obviously ready to leave for the day.

Arthur takes sympathy on them at half-past 3, knowing they're only hanging around for fear of his wrath. As much as he loves to be as prepared as possible, he's sure they can all handle this job, and they've got until Wednesday to be sure they're ready.

"I think we're all set until Monday," he tells Ariadne, and Yusuf nearly breaks something in his attempt to wrap up what he's doing. Arthur chuckles at him, catching Eames' eye as he does.

"Any plans for the weekend?" Eames asks, approaching Arthur as the others gather their things.

Arthur studies Eames' expression as he considers his answer. The arrangement, or whatever it is, had explicitly (and somewhat carelessly) forbidden Eames from inviting him places. At this point, Arthur is starting to question his judgment on that one.

"Nothing special," Arthur says, deciding to go for the truth at the last second. "Thinking about seeing the new exhibit at the art museum."

He can practically see Eames biting back his own retort about how dull it sounds. I'm going to have to make my move soon, he thinks and then goes back over the thought in his head with some degree of surprise. He wouldn't admit it aloud, but he's starting to miss their banter.

"It's a lovely exhibit," Eames confides, his mouth just barely twisting into a smirk. "Very suited to your tastes."

In other words, it had bored him. Arthur files this away for later, adopting a business-like tone as he asks, "And what about you?"

Ariadne and Yusuf head out just then, waving their goodbyes and telling Eames they'll see him at 8. Arthur nods and Eames waves, waiting until the door shuts behind them to fix his gaze firmly on Arthur. "No particular plans. I was considering robbing the museum to break the monotony, but I'd hate to ruin your only leisure activity."

Arthur thinks maybe that counts as teasing, but since it makes him fight a smile, he doesn't say anything.

"I suppose I'll just... wait and see, then. Maybe something will come up."

Arthur realizes now that the thrill of anticipation he's felt all day is coming from more than just the impending job. He allows a small smile and says, "Have a good weekend, Eames." He tries to look busy in the intervening moments before he hears the door slam once again.

He exhales and stares at the closed door. Eames' words bounce around his head. From here on out, it's your move.


The decision to go to the pub is not one Arthur makes lightly. There's every possibility that "see you at 8" had referred to other plans; maybe they were all planning to rob the museum. There are also other possibilities, like maybe they'll think he's a killjoy, or maybe he'll show up to find some vapid pretty thing hanging off Eames' arm.

In the end, there's nothing to worry about, as he spots the three of them in a wrap-around booth in the corner. Yusuf spots him first, motioning to Ariadne before shouting, "Arthur, you made it!"

Ariadne claps delightedly and Arthur gets just behind Eames before Eames says, "Very funny, you two."

Arthur smiles a bit to himself before laying a hand on Eames' shoulder.

"I told you he'd show," Ariadne says to Eames, who has sat up straight under Arthur's hand but still not looked up at him.

Yusuf slides over on his side of the booth to make room, but Arthur pretends he doesn't see. He nudges Eames with his foot until he takes the hint, and as he slides into the empty space, Arthur says, "Well, the party don't start 'til I walk in."

Ariadne nearly spits out her drink, Yusuf laughs uproariously, but it's Eames' reaction he's watching. He turns to stare at Arthur incredulously, mouth turning up at the corners.

"Your move," Arthur states quietly, his leg warm where it sits alongside Eames'.

"Ariadne, Yusuf, why don't you go put something on the jukebox for a moment," Eames says, eyes never leaving Arthur's. "Take your time."

He waits all of two seconds after they leave the booth to close the distance between them, hands on either side of Arthur's face. Arthur gasps as Eames' tongue slides alongside his, though from surprise or arousal, he cannot say.

"I cannot believe you just--did you plan--the whole time?"

"You're not making sense," Arthur complains steadily, fighting not to return Eames' giddy smile.

"The song," Eames presses on, attempting to look serious. "Did you know what we were doing the whole time?"

"You think this was planned," Arthur says, and it isn't a question.

"You're not exactly known for your spontaneity." Eames' tone is off, as if he isn't sure whether he's allowed to make it into a joke.

"You don't give me enough credit," Arthur accuses.

"Oh, that's rich, coming from you. Wasn't it just yesterday that you--"

"Just stop talking," Arthur interjects, pulling him closer by the fabric of his shirt and fitting their lips together. Eames hums in appreciation, mouth opening for Arthur, clearly happy enough to let it go.

They might've kept on at that awkward angle for ages, but some random girl trips over Arthur's foot where it's sticking out into the walkway.

"Oh! Excuse me!" she says, all lilting giggles. Arthur barely pays her any attention.

Eames, however, sends her a look of death, pushing back toward the center of the booth and hauling Arthur along with him.

"I'd rather not do this here," Arthur says, glancing around to shoot a glare at any nosy onlookers.

Eames ignores Arthur's protest and pulls him in for another thorough kiss, and Arthur forgets momentarily why he cares. But then Eames hand starts trailing up his leg and he remembers.

"Fine," Eames says as Arthur holds his wrist tightly. His eyes slip closed for a moment as he exhales slowly. "We have thirty minutes to get rid of Ariadne and Yusuf, or I won't be held responsible for my actions."

Arthur agrees to this and steals a sip from Eames' drink. Ariadne and Yusuf appear just a few seconds later, depositing a drink in front of Arthur and looking far too innocent for Arthur to believe the act.

"We found the perfect song," Ariadne says. "It should be on next."

"Arthur, your tie is crooked," Yusuf observes nonchalantly. "Must've come loose somehow, in the last five minutes."

Arthur glares and him and goes to straighten the tie, but Eames is there first, hands pulling at the fabric until it's just so. Arthur stares at the curve of his smirk and tries to think of a reasonable excuse to leave.

He really shouldn't be surprised when the next song that plays from the jukebox is TiK ToK.


"Oh, jeez," Ariadne says when she and Yusuf show up on Monday morning. She holds a hand over her eyes. "I know you two have a room; ever hear of using it?"

Eames' eyes dance as he pulls back from the kiss, not looking away from Arthur. "We're not going 'til you kick us out."

"Or the police shut us down," Arthur adds in a monotone.

"Oh my god," Ariadne says, shooting Yusuf a look of horror. "What have we created?"

Eames laughs in delighted surprise before leaning in to claim his mouth again.

Worth it.


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