Category: Arthur/Ariadne, Ensemble
Disclaimer: Written for entertainment purposes only. No money, no sue.
Summary: Prompt - Holidays are places too.
"I was expecting something a little more... Christmas-y."
Ariadne looks up and behind herself, pushing sunglasses to the top of her head to watch Arthur surveying their surroundings with a frown. She wants to smooth the lines on his forehead with a thumb but she fights the impulse.
She has to fight a lot of impulses where Arthur is concerned.
"Are you kidding? This is better than any White Christmas you could dream up," Ariadne says, gesturing about herself. She then looks up and down Arthur appreciatively as he stands with one hand on his hip, clad in nothing but a pair of dark blue shorts. He's got a white t-shirt clasped in his free hand at his side and he's got honest-to-god flip flops on his feet. "This is Bondi beach."
Arthur huffs and drops down on the sand beside her, digging his feet immediately in so his toes disappear. "It's not exactly," Arthur says, ever critical of a flawed dreamscape. "I can see at least five other beaches he's borrowed from."
"The sunburned tourists in Santa hats are spot on though, you have to admit," Ariadne points out as a group of six of them rush by, carrying an overlarge cooler between them. They run straight over the towels and prone forms of a group of girls who sit up and sling insults at them, but in a goodhearted way, calling out bloody blind bastards, watch where you're bloody going as they dust sand off themselves.
"It's certainly festive," Arthur admits as a man in a drenched reindeer costume emerges from the surf with an inflatable ball under his arm. He's having to yank at the pants of his costume every few steps as the water drags them down.
"It's great," Ariadne enthuses, dropping onto her elbows and tossing her head so her sunglasses flip back into place on her nose. Arthur leans across and pushes them up when they slide down. "Thanks."
"You're welcome," Arthur says and then smacks at his arm and frowns at it. "He could have been less authentic with the bugs," Arthur grumbles, scratching at a rapidly forming red lump on his elbow. Ariadne reaches for a straw bag that wasn't by her side a second ago and tosses Arthur a spray bottle. He reads the label and then sprays himself liberally. "Thanks."
"You can't really complain," Ariadne says. "This was your idea."
"This was not my idea," Arthur argues, flinging a hand out at their surroundings.
"No, this was all Eames," Ariadne says, digging her fingers into the sand and letting it run through them. Her gaze skips to Eames who is buried up to his neck in the stuff a few feet down from them with a liberal coating of zinc across his nose and cheeks. Yusuf is busily making sure he's thoroughly buried while Eames naps.
Eames is the only person Ariadne has ever encountered that can nap in a dream and it fascinates her.
"You were the one that wanted us to work over Christmas," Ariadne continues. "We all needed the break."
"I didn't need twelve hours of caroling," Arthur says grimly and Ariadne's eyes dart to Yusuf again. They'd all agreed on Christmas-themed jaunts into the subconscious to keep true to the holiday they were missing despite largely differing belief systems and Yusuf had been first to build his scenario. He had wisely failed to let the others know the exact details until they were under.
"No," she agrees with a small shudder. "None of us needed that." She looks at Arthur with narrowed eyes. "Shooting yourself in the temple as a finale to Silent Night was quite melodramatic."
"It was either that or impale myself on a Christmas tree," Arthur says, but he's smiling. "That may have put a damper on the whole Christmas thing though."
"I think you underestimate our enthusiasm," Ariadne says. "Yusuf pushed your body into a snowbank and started in on Jingle Bells."
"I wondered why you all took so long to come out after me," Arthur says with a chuckle.
"It was extremely unfair for you to only think of yourself like that," Ariadne sniffs.
"I swear to shoot you first if we ever find ourselves in a similar circumstance," Arthur promises solemnly, a hand pressing over his heart.
"I think that's the sweetest thing you've ever said to me," Ariadne says and they both grin at each other until Eames interrupts them.
"Oy, you two!" he calls. "Little help?" His head is moving back and forth, the only part of him that can move, and Yusuf is nowhere to be seen.
"You wanna go get an ice cream?" Arthur asks, standing and brushing himself off before offering a hand to her.
"I'd love to," Ariadne says with a laugh and they head towards a man with a cart and a brightly colored umbrella at the top of the beach, Eames' shrill cries following them the whole way.