A/N: I don't Own "Inception", "The Things that We Don't Say" by Marcquell Ward, or "Longing for Lullabies" by Kleerup ft. Titiyo.
So this chapter is made up of two flashbacks. The first is a "new" memory for Arthur, and the second is just his "earliest" memory of what Eames wanted him to remember. It should make sense as you read. If not, let me know!
Arthur watched with mild resignation as the older man sat down in the chair across from him. He should have straightened his uniform, or at least, sat up to show that he was paying any attention, or given other form of respect for the lieutenant, but he couldn't bring himself to do so. Instead, he looked down at the file that was lying open on the table between them. He skimmed the lines for a minute, before he let out a scoff.
"That's bullshit...", He mumbled.
"Excuse me Sergeant?", Arthur didn't look up, choosing to continue reading the file.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about... sir." Looking up, he stared into the man's eyes, trying to find some sign of a reaction. Finding none, he looked away to stare at the two-way mirror on the wall next to him. Giving a tight smile to the officer he knew was watching from the other side, he turned to face the other wall.
"Son, I'm going ask you one question, and I'm going need you to answer." Holding up a hand to stop Arthur from speaking, he continued, "Some of the trials you were involved in were highly classified, and some weren't. Also, some of your conduct, involving a Sgt. Eames was less than praiseworthy in the eyes of the United States Armed Forces. If you are willing to give a testimony against this Sergeant, then this issue can be dropped, and you will be returned to your original unit."
"Or...", Arthur could feel it hanging in the air between them.
"Or we wipe everything." Arthur frowned.
"You make it sound like my mind is simply a hard drive. As if you could just pass a magnet past my head, and I'll forget." Arthur was leaning over the table, the lieutenant gave him a calculating look.
"What in the hell makes you think we can't?" Arthur blinked, and slouched back into his seat.
"What do you want me to say? That I'm a faggot? That I slept with Sgt. Eames? That he told me shit that you think you need to know?", Arthur was fed up with the entire situation. "Well fuck you. I'm not telling you shit, because the only things that Eames told me were on a "need to know" basis, and you don't need to know. So go ahead, wipe my fucking memory. Do whatever the hell you need to do to keep your job, because I sure as shit don't want mine anymore." Arthur sat fuming for a few minutes. Both men stared at each other, until suddenly the lieutenant pulled the file towards himself. He flipped through a few pages, and skimmed for a moment before pulling a pen out of his lapel and holding it out towards Arthur.
"Just sign here, initial here, and sign down at the bottom." Arthur had been expecting a reaction like this, but it still shocked him to see someone else be so calm about the situation. Reaching forward, he plucked the pen out of the other man's hand, and quickly signed, not bothering to read the page. He figured he'd gotten this far by disregarding the fine print. As soon as he placed the pen on the file next to the small stack of papers, the file was slammed shut and whisked away. In mere moments, the lieutenant had left the room, and there were two burly doctors advancing on him. Arthur could not think of anything to say as they walked him down the hall into a small, dark room. There was a plain, grey bed shoved against the far wall. The two men sat him down, and Arthur didn't have time to think of much more before he felt a needle jab him in the neck, but as he felt the sedative take affect, he let out a breathy sigh, "I'm sorry Eames..." Then everything went black.
It's the things that we don't say
Everybody makes the same mistakes
Take them with us when we go away
Arthur hesitantly opened his eyes, before slamming them shut at the harsh light. After a moment, he blinked a few times, and looked around. He was in a hospital, of that he was sure. But he didn't really know where the hospital was. Turning his head, he craned his neck to look out the window, but all he could see was blue sky. Slowly adjusting his head upon the pillow so that he was, instead, facing the door, he inched his hand towards the "call" button next to his fingers. It took a fair bit of effort, but he eventually got the device in his grip, and pressed the small green button. Within seconds, a small harried looking young nurse walked through the door and grabbed his chart off of the foot of his bed.
"Yes Mr..." Her face scrunched up in confusion as she studied his name. For reasons Arthur didn't know, he simply said,
"Call me Arthur. It's so much simpler that way", It was then Arthur's turn to frown at the situation. Where did that come from? It was as if there was someone else in his mind, speaking for him.
"Well, if you're sure Arthur" She gave him a weary look, as if he was playing some kind of trick. He gave a slightly dazed sort of smile, and she gave him a long look, before giving Arthur a sort of conspiratory grin, as if they were now in cahoots. "I'm Joyce, and I'll be your nurse during most of your stay here, well, I've been your nurse, mostly" Arthur took this opportunity to ask the question that was bugging him,
"Thank you Joyce, but can I ask, where is here?" She looked a bit lost for a second, I know the feeling, before she smiled lightly, and moved to check all of his monitors.
"Texas, this is the closest hospital to Ft. Wayne without actually being on the base. They brought you in from a car accident, it was pretty rough, You got knocked around and your head went through some heavy trauma, so, really, it's quite somethin' that you even remember your own name." Arthur tried to think back to when he was driving on the road, but he simply couldn't picture any of it. Instead, he tried to keep up with the constant babble coming out of Joyce's mouth, "It was right near the base actually. They trucked you here in one of those Army Med-evac vans. You were semi-conscious for a while, but you passed out just as they got you here. It's a miracle you're still with us, bless your heart." Arthur was beginning to feel the beginnings of a headache. He pressed his eyes shut, and tried to focus on his breathing. As he let the sound of Joyce's voice wash over him, Arthur began to fall back into the dream world, not having any idea of how close to the mark he really was.
Fading memory is soon becoming blind
Dividing us in two
All that we leave behind
A/N: I'm SO sorry that this took me so long. I started school, and it pretty much put a moratorium on the REST of my LIFE. But here we are, back again. Arthur was up to something, but we won't know what that is until much later.