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[personal profile] madsmurf93
Title: DO YOU THINK I'M SOCKSY, YOU SOCKSY THING, I'M TOO SOCKSY, TOO SOCKSY FOR THE DRAWER (also known as Fuzzy Love, Paired Up, Socks Appeal, Rock Your Socks, Sock It On, Sock It To Me, Life Socks, Sock-it Science, Socks Me Up, Socks Pistols, Socking 101, I Want Your Socks, Hot, Hot Socks and Safe Socks. Or just plain old sockfic!) [thanks[livejournal.com profile] unvarnishedtale and [livejournal.com profile] persephone_il for helping name this beautiful creature]
Rating: PG-13 to NC-17
Fandom: Inception
Pairing: Arthur/Eames, Cobb/Mal, (unmentioned: Ariadne/Yusuf, Robert/Saito)
Warnings: Socking (sex) in later chapters, socks as inception characters, heaps of references to other shows/movies, crack-fic, wasn't suppose to be so long, possible brain breakage, fluff, angst
Summary: There are many mysteries in the world. This is a story about one of them. This is the story of a sock named Arthur and his journey into the world of the unknown. I must tell you this story is about discovery and not about love. Instead, it is about discovering that love can indeed be found in all places and that it can happen to anyone and anything, even a sock.
Thanks: [livejournal.com profile] datingwally , [livejournal.com profile] persephone_il and [livejournal.com profile] hungerpunch for listening to my insane ramblings and helping me develop this thing (and catching my mistakes in the wee hours of the morning) I love you guys!

--

There are many mysteries in the world. This is a story about one of them. This is the story of a sock named Arthur and his journey into the world of the unknown. I must tell you this story is about discovery and not about love. Instead, it is about discovering that love can indeed be found in all places and that it can happen to anyone and anything, even a sock.

--

Arthur could remember the day he had been bought. It had been a summer day, he knew from the calendar and the image of a dog with a sunhat on. That day a lady had come into his shop and had taken one look at Arthur and Cobb, gushed with delight, and purchased them right on the spot. Apparently her son had been required to wear brown socks for school and the lady had been looking everywhere for a pair. That day Arthur and Cobb had smiled in their own little way; they were free from the bucket that had held them; sixty-percent off, the bargain bin. Mixed with all the others that were rude and uncivilised; unbecoming of Arthur and Cobb, as they were high quality. At least in Arthur’s eyes they were, no sock with such a fine cotton and pattern would ever be considered plain.

Arthur and Cobb were a part of the elite sock community; only six were ever made. They were called the Totem Socks. Each sock had stitched into them a small object but each sock had something different. For one, Arthur had small, red dies scattered across his brown cotton base and Cobb had spinning tops on his. What matched Arthur and Cobb together was that they both shared the same brown colour and textured material and there was nothing else to it.

What Arthur didn’t know, at the time of being purchased, was that his life was going to change forever. At the time he had just been glad to get away from the Cobol brand socks that believed that they were the best socks since sliced bread.

---

Once arriving at his new owners’ home Arthur and Cobb had been taken from the lady and into her son’s waiting hands, who then proceeded to place them in a spacious drawer where, to Arthur’s shock, at least more than half of the elite six resided. They all greeted Arthur and Cobb warmly and for once, Arthur thought, maybe he could fit in with socks like him. There was a round of introductions where Arthur learnt two things. One being that Cobb was smitten with Mal (a blue, knee-length French accented sock who, surprisingly, shared the same spinning top stitching as Cobb) and two being that the boy had five of the elite six, including himself.

“So if the boy has all of us where do you think the final pair is?” Arthur had asked once introductions had been made.

Ariadne, who was Mal’s pair and had bishops instead of spinning tops, replied. “Haven’t you heard?” At Arthur’s pointed look she continued. “Well, it is said that the final pair disappeared. Just one day they were there and the next no one had ever heard from them again.”

Yusuf, a striped toe sock with rainbow colours decorating the cotton material and small vials scattered across, gave Ariadne an amused wiggle of the toe flaps. “You don’t honestly believe that do you? It is obvious enough that the boy hasn’t found the final pair because they don’t reside in the country.”

Ariadne scoffed. “Mal and I didn’t reside in this country but he found us! So why hasn’t he found the final pair yet, it can’t be that hard. Just find a pair of socks that don’t go together but are still considered a pair.”

Yusuf huffed with the air of annoyance hanging around like a bad smell. “Maybe he just hasn’t been to the country that they reside in yet.”

“He’s been all over the world.”

Before Yusuf could snap back Mal hummed and the drawer fell silent. Arthur had a feeling that Mal was the presence that calmed all - the goddess amongst socks.

“Maybe one, or perhaps both, has fallen to the unknown.”

The silence that had followed after that simple statement could have been cut with a knife and still remain intact. It was that thick.

“The unknown?” whispered Cobb, staring adoringly at Mal. Arthur could almost see the hearts floating around Cobb.

Mal smiled at Cobb, and wiggled closer to him. “The unknown is a place where all things go when they are lost or forgotten. You have heard that once a pair of socks go into the wash and dryer that sometimes only one of them makes it out. Well it is said that the other sock goes to the unknown and the one that doesn’t is either thrown away, given to a pet,” there was a shudder all around, every sock knew what a pet did to socks that were given to them, “or is simply put away, never to see daylight ever again.”

It all sounded like a bad movie to Arthur and he had told Mal so. She had merely looked at him as though he was misguided and close-minded. Even Yusuf had agreed with Mal, settling the debate with Ariadne.

Pity Arthur didn’t believe, if he had maybe he wouldn’t have been taken to the unknown to find out just how real it was.

--

It had been a sunny day when Arthur and Cobb had been put out to be washed. Arthur had believed that they would dry out in the sunshine that day. It had been rainy for the past three days before then and Arthur loved to dried by the wind instead of stimulated air coming from a machine, who was rather mean and named Freddie - he had a British accent and liked the mother’s underwear best, Arthur hated him. Cobb did too because Freddie had an evil offspring, Freddie Jr the iron. Mal had told them that Freddie Jr was known for burning other clothes and that they should all be thankful that they were never ironed. As Mal had known some socks that had been owned by people that ironed everything - they had been very sad stories, even a few socks had died. It had been all very tragic.

It had been a sunny day but the boy had wanted all of his elite socks to be clean at all times and back together as a collection the quickest way possible. Therefore, that had led the boy to make sure that they were washed in Tommy, who was a little alien when it came to washing techniques but he got the job done and had witty humour - Arthur liked him. Then they were placed in Freddie and the arsehole had the gall to laugh at them and leer at Arthur, like he knew something that Arthur didn’t and Arthur hadn’t liked that one bit.

Freddie’s voice (that deviant drawl) had been the last thing Arthur had heard before darkness had overtaken him.

--

Now Arthur was in some type of void and with a sinking feeling in his gut, he realised that he was in the unknown. The real unknown. The place where missing socks went and Arthur wanted to beat something up, preferably with something hard and blunt. Something like a gun that some humans carried on them - those looked hard and blunt, and they made loud noises that would kill other humans. Yes, Arthur wanted one of them so he could kill something too. What would the boy do to Cobb once he realised that Arthur was no longer with him. He didn’t want Cobb to be given to the boy’s pet cat Bronson - that cat was lethal. He also didn’t want Cobb to go to the attic where all socks go when they don’t have pairs. The thought of Cobb trying to fit in with all the other single socks was horrifying because Cobb was his pair, god damn it!

Arthur’s thoughts increasingly got worse with each passing minute until the image of Cobb ripped to shreds became too much and Arthur forced himself to calm down. Cobb would be fine. Saito with his finest rainbow toe socked cotton and airplane stitching would buy the other clothes off to protect Cobb. Robert with his navy blue cotton (just as fine as Saito’s) and his pinwheel stitching would distract the boy with the help of the sock that called herself Mysterious Blonde and had the numbers 528491 in her stitching. Nash and Browning were the only pair that had similar stitching even though they were a pair - money bills (Browning) and pots of gold (Nash).

They would probably bribe the other clothing to keep that Arthur was gone a secret or try and bribe the other clothing to go in and try and save Arthur from the unknown. Though Arthur had a sneaking suspicion that Nash might snitch on him. If he did, Arthur would kill him.

Not that he could do anything about it now, since he was in the unknown. Why he was in the unknown was uncertain to Arthur and Freddie hadn’t given any clue. Arthur really couldn’t figure out why he was here. He was a good sock, he always made sure to stick by Cobb’s side and to make the boy stylish. He always got compliments on his pattern and colour. He was always clean and never really got dirty - and he had no holes or marks of any kind. He was always nice to every sock that he met even if they were complete idiots like the Cobol brand. Arthur just couldn’t understand it. What had he done wrong?

“You didn’t believe, darling.”

Arthur snapped out of his thoughts and looked up at the most bizarre sock he had ever seen. This sock had orange and yellow patches everywhere, no stitching of any kind and sounded utterly British. He also had the most fuzzy and warm looking material Arthur had ever seen.

“Who are you?”

The fuzzy British sock looked amused. “My name is Eames and who might you be?”

Arthur shuffled a few centimetres away from him. “Arthur. Where are we?”

Eames chuckled. “Limbo.”

“Limbo?”

“Yes, Limbo. Have you heard of the saying humans use when they are trying to find something ‘in the abyss’? Well, Limbo is that abyss - though I am certain that our kind call it the unknown up top.”

Arthur frowned. “Up top? What do you mean up top - where is Limbo exactly and how can I get back from where I came?”

Eames stared at Arthur, looking amused and sad at the same time. “There is no going back, darling. You never go back. Once you’re in Limbo you are stuck in Limbo. I’ve tried going back but there is just no way back.”

Eames’ words angered Arthur. “You just haven’t tried hard enough!” he snapped. His words made Eames flinch slightly. “And I am not your darling.”

“Arthur, I have been here for a very long time. So long that I have lost my stitching. I have searched everywhere and anywhere. Finding no way out, no matter how much I wished. No matter how much I craved. I never found a way and do you know what that feels like Arthur? To be stuck down here missing your pair?” Something in Eames changed and Arthur could see that he was at his breaking point. “Well, you will soon.”

Then he was gone, wiggling away.

---

Arthur didn’t find Eames in Limbo after what felt like a week. He was wondering whether Mal had become Cobb’s new pair when Eames had appeared out of nowhere - which was fitting since they were nowhere. Just an endless void of lost socks and objects. Eames had smiled and shuffled near him.

“You’ll get yourself all wrinkled up looking like that.”

Arthur ignored him, still mourning over the possible loss of Cobb as his pair.

“Okay, what’s biting you, darling?”

Arthur glared at him. “Nothing. And I’m not your darling.”

“So you’ve told me. Contrary to belief I am quite the good listener. Miles use to tell me so, in fact he drilled it into me.”

This had Arthur curious. “Miles?”

Eames smiled, almost smirked. “How about I tell you about Miles and you tell me about what is bugging you, yeah?”

Arthur regarded Eames with a curious air, not knowing whether he could trust Eames. However, Eames was the only sock that would talk to him, every other sock was long gone, in their own world of madness.

“Deal.”

Eames smiled and shuffled forward, brushing his body against Arthur’s so that they were huddled together. Arthur found himself not minding, too interested in finding out who this Miles sock was, this Miles seemed like a reasonable sock.

“Well, where do I begin? They always say that you should start at the beginning but I knew a pair of oven mitts that use to argue that you should always start at the end. You see Lewis, the left oven mitt, use to say to Chris, the right oven mitt, that you should start at the end because you can’t tell a story if you don’t know where it’s going,”

Arthur gave Eames a pointed look, who merely smiled.

“I do have a point to this, which is I’m going to start at the end.”

Arthur sighed, shaking his body from side to side, this sock was unbelievable. “Maybe I don’t want to hear the end”

Eames just laughed at that, shuffling further into Arthur’s personal space. “Ah but the ending is the best bit,” Arthur frowned at that, the silent question of why hovering in the air, “The end begins with meeting you.”

If Arthur were a human instead of a sock he was sure that he would have blushed, just a bit, from that. Instead he shuffled closer to Eames. This resulted in Arthur practically lying on top of Eames, not that either sock minded. It was warm and there were stories to be told, even if they were going to start at the end.

“Well before meeting you I had been a lonely sock wandering the void that was Limbo, or - as you socks up above say - the unknown. It was long journey, most of the things here didn’t say much. I would get up and wander, trying to find away out. That was my day for many days. I have since then lost the concept of time. It moves so much slower down here than I remember.”

Arthur shuffled closer, trying to tell Eames that he was listening, that he should go on. Eames shuffled and rubbed against Arthur, curling just slight, in response and somehow Arthur knew that Eames knew what he was trying to say without words.

“The days before that were more bearable, I was excited to be somewhere new. To me it just looked like one big adventure and that I would be back to Miles in no time. A vacation of sorts. At that time I had been so wrong, so naive. I now know once you are in Limbo there is no way of getting out.”

Arthur shuffled further into Eames, frowning at his words. There had to be a way out, Limbo couldn’t be forever. He had to get back to Cobb and the elite five (since the sixth pair seemed more a myth than anything else). He just had to.

Eames sighed and shuffled into Arthur until they were just wrapped around each other; brown, orange and yellow mixing together.

“I know it is a rather sad thought, darling, but sometimes the truth just is.”

They both remained silent after that, content in just being wrapped around each other, basking in each other’s sadness. Finding comfort in the most unlikely of places.

---

Arthur didn’t find out more about Miles until (what felt like) a week later. Eames and Arthur had slowly transformed their mutual loneliness to a friendship simply by curling up together and just talking about silly little facts. For instance Arthur know knew that Eames had been in Limbo for so long that his stitching had faded away and Arthur didn’t think stitching could fade away. When Arthur had asked if Eames knew what his stitching had been Eames had given a look that had tugged sharply at Arthur’s heart. It had been filled with such remorse. Eames had then told Arthur that, no he had long forgotten.

“You still have to tell me about Miles, Eames.”

Eames hummed, a smile spreading across his fuzzy sock face. “Indeed I do. Well where was I?”

Arthur bit back a grin. “Well if you don’t count the bits about you telling me your favourite colour then not knowing you’d never get out of limbo.”

Eames bobbled his top half thoughtfully. “Ah yes, well before all that I lived in England, at least I think i did, and well I lived in this massive house. In this mansion I was the other half of my pair, Miles was the other. We had the same design but different stitching, I think Miles was glasses or maybe it was the penrose steps? I can’t exactly remember, but what I do remember is that he was my mentor.”

Arthur listened intently to the memories that Eames chose to share, the memories that to anyone else would have seemed meaningless - they were almost trivial but they were the little details that had made Eames and Miles a pair. Eames told him that the little moments were the things worth remembering, and if you couldn’t remember the other parts you could always make them up, just to fill in the gaps.

He found out that Miles was a wise old sock that had taught Eames everything that he knew. Arthur also found out that Eames and Miles had belonged to the Queen of England, at least Eames was pretty sure that he had belonged to her. Arthur believed him. What reason did Eames have to lie after all?

---

The days slowly stretched into just moments with Eames. Arthur didn’t remember much besides looking for a way out with him and sometimes they would just lay about not doing anything but living. It was nice. It wasn’t anything like lying about waiting to be bought, it was a different lying about. This lying about was peaceful. Arthur was beginning to think that it wouldn’t be that bad being stuck in Limbo. As long as he had Eames, the only real company that he had, he would be content.

Eames wasn’t complaining about Arthur being by his side, he seemed delighted by it in fact, and Arthur wasn’t about to bring it up. Afraid that they might get in a heated debate and end up on opposite sides of Limbo. Arthur knew he was being foolish thinking that they might argue, it was just he got a feeling that he and Eames would be the type to get into arguments. Therefore, Arthur stayed silent.

--

“Maybe you’re right?”

Eames looked up at him, having settled on top of Arthur’s bottom half, blinking. “Um could you repeat that? I didn’t quite catch it,” his trademark grin was beginning to form. “I thought I heard the word ‘right’ in that question.”

Arthur scoffed, amused. “There was also the word ‘maybe’ in there too.”

Eames laughed. “Okay darling, tell me what I might be right about.”

“That once you’re in limbo you never leave limbo.”

This brought silence, the two of them just staring at each other. It lasted what felt like several minutes. Eames was the first to break it.

“Darling, please don’t say that again.”

Arthur frowned, curling tighter around Eames until their colours became indistinguishable. “Why?”

Eames smiled nudging against Arthur’s top half. “If you don’t say it I’ll have hope that we’ll get out and then I’ll be able to meet your friends and other half.”

Arthur said nothing. He merely nudged and curled against Eames, ignoring the pitter-patter of his heart and the feeling of warmth that spread through him.

--

“How long do you think its been since I got here?”

Eames looked over at Arthur, who was currently lagging behind. “Three months maybe, possibly forever.”

Arthur laughed “Is there such a time as forever?”

Eames smiled sadly. “It certainly feels like it.”

Arthur smiled sadly in return. They didn’t speak anymore that day.

---

Arthur wiggled to the end of darkness. He knew it was the edge since it had been rumoured, (from the nutty aged red scarf, Mr Sikes) that no object or possession had never came back if they went through. Rumours however were generally ignored due to the fear of the unknown and were generally left at that; rumours.

However, Arthur and Eames were becoming slightly desperate and were willing to try the only thing that they hadn’t tried before, so it left them shuffling side to side in uncertainty. Afraid to go through with it but willing to try it. Fear was a pain if anything at all.

Arthur glanced at Eames, trembling. “What if one of us doesn’t come back?”

Eames smiled brightly. “Then that means one of us would be back topside.”

“What if it isn’t the topside.”

“You think too much darling.”

“We can’t go in there unprepared!”

“We’ve planned it for ages, now lets just do.”

Arthur went to rebut when Eames shuffled over to him and gave him a heaving push and both of them toppled over edge. Falling rather gracefully if Arthur thought so himself.

Total darkness.

---

When Arthur woke up he didn’t have any clue of where he might be. He knew that it wasn’t topside, that much he was certain. Wiggling himself up into an upright position he glanced about; trying to see through the darkness.

“Eames? Where do you think we are?”

There was no answer.

“Eames?”

Silence was cruel.

“Eames! Damn it answer me!”

The silence pounded against him as he strained to hear anything that might indicate that Eames was around.

“Please Eames!”

“EAMES!”

---

Arthur had been wandering around the dark place for what seemed like months, finding no sign of Eames anywhere. He had encountered a dozen or so items unlike those in Limbo. These items were things that a human was likely to collect; DVDs, CDs, figurines, books and other non-material constructed things. It was like an entirely different level of limbo and Arthur could only feel despair of losing his only friend in this world.

“DAMN IT EAMES! ANSWER ME!”

The items just stared as Arthur continued to scream for Eames to at least just answer him. To give him any sign that the fuzzy British sock was here with him. Yet each day there was no response only chilling silence.

--

What seemed like years Arthur wandered around The Magical Land Of Nowhere, he had heard a book, Stuart, muttering the name a week or so beforehand and the name seemed to fit. A pen, Alexander, was also using the name shortly after so it seemed like the real deal instead of just fitting and Arthur had been calling the world that ever since.

The longer Arthur stayed in this world, the more he learnt. He learnt that this world was different from Limbo in more ways than just products; like there seemed to be rules. The rules weren’t enforced strictly but they were still there. Every item seemed to huddle away into further darkness after a certain stretch of time (he assumed for his sanity’s sake that it was nighttime) and not appear until later. Arthur had learnt that he had to go into the darkness at those times too or a tower of badges would make him go in. The badges spun around like what humans liked to call policemen except they weren’t afraid of ripping fabric if Arthur refused to cooperate; it just made Arthur dislike them even more than he already did.

Arthur also discovered that not many items liked that he was here. He hadn’t come across another sock and that seemed rather common if the glares that he got were anything to go by. Sometimes Arthur believed that if given the chance the other items would destroy him. That terrified him. Even though he knew that he could defend himself against a small group of them and one-on-one but as a large group he knew they would be able to tear him apart. If he had Eames he was sure that he would not even have to worry. That sock could worm his way out of anything; Arthur knew that much.

He also knew that he missed Eames.

---

Arthur learnt that time (or whatever was left of it) moved even slower down in The Magical Land Of Nowhere and he often wondered whether time actually existed or if it was just fabricated nonsense to keep the humans organised. To Arthur it just meant there would be more space between him and Eames finding each other. This unsettled Arthur, as once it had just been about getting back to Cobb, yet now that didn’t matter in the slightest. All he wanted was his friend back, he had promised years ago that Eames could meet Cobb and Eames couldn’t meet Cobb if Arthur couldn’t find him.

Flopping to the ground Arthur yelled out in frustration. The universe just hated them. That was it. Otherwise why would Eames be missing at all. Why would Arthur be stuck in another level of hell? Why couldn’t life just go as planned? Just once!

Wiggling upright Arthur shuffled to the nearest solid surface and proceeded to thump against it with all his might. All his anger ebbed away with each thump against the surface (what he guesses is a wall) and he is left panting. Resting against the would be wall he surveyed the area and frowned with distaste. Not a sock in sight.

What Arthur does see is a large yellow bird thing. He glared at it and it smiled widely. Arthur continued to glare at it; the bird thing doesn’t seem to think that Arthur’s glares are dangerous as it quickly moves into Arthur’s personal space. This irritates Arthur further. The bird thing just sits there, bubbling with happiness; this sours Arthur’s mood even further.

--

Arthur learns that the yellow thing is a Chocobo toy and that its name is Harry. He doesn’t really care but the Chocobo is faster at moving than he is, so he befriends the thing and Arthur covers more ground that way.

Even though he hasn’t found Eames yet and he doesn’t know if he will find Eames again or if Eames is still even alive. That’s what worries Arthur; that Eames might not even be alive. It scares the crap out of him and he can’t figure out why. Sure, he realises that they are friends, but the worry didn’t feel like the worry he had for Dom and Dom was his pair so this worry that he felt for Eames was something different and he didn’t like not understanding what it was. If anything Arthur loved to understand, to learn and felt unhinged if he couldn’t understand a situation or a feeling. It was uncomfortable.

The sooner he found Eames (because, really, he wasn’t going to give up on Eames, not if he still believed that Eames would do the same for him), the better.

--

“GOD DAMN IT!”

Arthur wished with all his might for a gun because guns killed humans and he wanted to kill something, anything if only to get rid of his frustration. Wriggling with all his might he charged at the darkness that never seemed to fucking end.

Except it did - at least he was positive that whatever he had bumped into was some type of surface. It was also fluffy. Kind of furry too. Looking up Arthur would have ran away as fast as he could except there was a slight problem with his ideal escape. He was a sock. Not a human. Socks wiggled they’re way out of this. They didn’t run. Humans ran. It was times like these that Arthur wished that he was in his basket hoping to get sold. At least then there wasn’t any cats. Big fluffy white cats whose names were Bronson and absolutely loved chewing on socks.

Arthur was fucked. Truly and absolutely fucked.

He could always go out wriggling and screaming? That wasn’t undignified was it? It was a cat. Named Bronson. Any sock would go out that way. No sock had survived. Only other socks had watched from their hiding places as other socks got torn apart.

Enough of that! Arthur slowly shuffles away backwards hoping that Bronson hasn’t noticed him yet (socks weren’t known for being solid so that was a advantage) except the world didn’t seem to like him. As soon as he got two meteres away from him, Bronson’s eyes locked onto him and Arthur swears that he sees a fearl grin curl across Bronson’s cat lips. It is truly frightening. He had only lived for so long and his big end was going to eaten by a cat. A big fluffy white cat at that! Surely there would have been better ways, like dying of old age in an attic with Eames.

Wait what?

He didn’t want to grow old with Eames! He had only just met the sock (even though it felt like years, so many years) why would he want to grow old with him. Just because they had searched Limbo for many decades wondering if they would ever get out. Or that they spent many nights curled up against each other to keep warm. Those things were just...things friends did when the other was in need. It didn’t mean anything.

He shouldn’t even be thinking about Eames right now! He should be thinking about how he will never be Cobb’s pair ever again. Instead he was thinking how sad it would be that he never got say goodbye to Eames. 
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December 2011

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