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02 April 2011 @ 08:01 pm
check me out  
.check me out
eames is the university reference librarian. arthur is a particularly interesting patron. written for this prompt.
r . 2997 words

Eames is pretty sure there’s a rule about engaging in affairs with students, one that says: “Do not do it. You are here to help students, not seduce them. Even if they are grad students and practically your age.”

The rule goes on like this, Eames imagines, for several pages, and encompasses a series of possible situations, all of which are prefaced with a “do not.” These include, but are not limited to, orchestrating totally accidental nude encounters, blowjobs in the stacks, sex up against the stacks, making out in the stacks, and inviting students over to his flat to discuss their interesting book selections.

In Eames’ case, the rule is really only relevant to one student, but he is Doctor Jacobs’ T.A., and Eames has yet to meet Doctor Jacobs but is pretty certain, from the e-mails he has received from Doctor Jacobs, that if Eames were to seduce his T.A. there would be hell to pay.

But Doctor Jacobs’ T.A. is--well, it starts like this:

Eames is at the reference desk on a Friday afternoon, and there’s sun in his face and he’s sort of half asleep, and someone comes up and taps on the desk like they’re knocking.

“Eh?” Eames asks, trying to squint through the glare at the person, who eventually moves so he casts a shadow across Eames’ face.

It’s like a revelation; the bright backing of the sunlight, and then this slender dark-haired young man, skin pale and almost translucent, his oxford neat and white and buttoned-up, dark pin-striped trousers encasing long legs.

“Excuse me,” says the man. His accent is American and something in his tone suggests Eames may have been staring. “I’m here to pick up the requests for Doctor Jacobs?”

“Oh, they’re right here,” Eames says, and goes to the shelves behind his desk. He hands them over, and is almost distraught when the late-afternoon glare prevents him from watching Doctor Jacobs’ T.A. walk away.

Doctor A. Jacobs, a new professor from the states who has been sending Eames tersely worded e-mails since midsummer, is Eames’ absolute least favorite. Eames is positive Doctor Jacobs is both very old and very ugly, as he is apparently incapable of using the internet to request books like everyone else, and he refuses to say “thank you” for anything.

Doctor Jacobs’ T.A. didn’t thank Eames, either, for that matter, which suggests that Doctor Jacobs is also a terrible example. His research may be good, but Eames isn’t entirely sure why the university hired him.

Eames sees Doctor Jacobs’ T.A. in the stacks three days later when he’s reshelving. He’s in the section where they keep the old, bound volumes of Cultural Anthropology, and there is a slender man with a volume open in his arms.

“Excuse me,” Eames says as he approaches, and when the man looks up he is Doctor Jacobs’ T.A., of course. He slides up against the shelves to allow Eames to pass, and Eames doesn’t so much as touch him, but it still feels totally obscene, because Doctor Jacobs’ T.A. is wearing trousers so well-tailored Eames wonders why he even bothers wearing them at all, and with his body pressed against the stacks like that the curve of his ass is perfectly defined.

The next time Doctor Jacobs’ T.A. comes to the reference desk, Eames’ asks his name.

“If you’re going to be around here much,” Eames says. “I should know your name.”

“Arthur,” says Doctor Jacobs’ T.A.

“I’m Eames,” Eames says, though of course he has a name plate on his desk, and they shake hands.

Arthur’s fingers are long and slender and lightly calloused, and Eames tries not to think about how they might feel on other parts of his body.

Eames starts to anticipate Doctor Jacobs’ tersely worded reference requests, simply because Arthur invariably comes to pick them up, and then Eames can ask him questions. Arthur’s answers are short and clipped, occasionally sharp, but always intelligent. He was studying cultural anthropology. No, he didn’t think anthropology was imperialist bullshit (any more). Yes, he had done field research in Papua New Guinea. No, he had not “gone native.” His favorite band was Radiohead, he didn’t like world music. He thought Eames’ opinions of anthropologists were based solely upon weird stereotypes, and wouldn’t Eames be offended if someone asked why he wasn’t an elderly woman with glasses and grey hair in a bun?

Eames had pulled out his glasses, then, to show Arthur. When Eames perched them on his nose Arthur licked his lips, and it would figure that it would be the glasses, of all things, that got him to express any interest at all. Eames had glanced at Arthur’s pink lips, and then taken the glasses off, quickly, and hooked them on the collar of his shirt.

Which brings Eames back around to the fact that he shouldn’t want Arthur to express interest, because Arthur is a student and Eames is the university reference librarian, and he is pretty sure that somewhere in the sexual harassment manual, or somewhere buried somewhere, there’s a rule about this. A very long one, that forbids the fantasies Eames has been having nightly since Arthur appeared at his desk like an apparition.

Mid-semester, Jacobs requests a long list of materials to be place under closed reserve immediately, and Eames sends him an e-mail, only moderately rude, reminding him the requests for closed reserve should be submitted at the beginning of the semester.

Doctor Jacobs apparently chooses to ignore this e-mail.

“I’d just like to confirm that the books for Introduction to Cultural Anthropology are on reserve as requested?” Arthur asks Eames the next day.

“They’re all there,” Eames tells him. “No thanks to Jacobs. Did he send you down here just for that?”

Arthur looks at him.

“Yes,” Arthur says, and turns on his heel. His hips sway, ever so slightly, as he stalks off.

Normally Eames would be concerned about insulting someone the person he is trying to seduce apparently respects, but Eames is not trying to seduce Arthur. Because, Eames reminds himself, seducing Arthur is inappropriate, might be construed as sexual harassment and might endanger his job, which he’s only had for a year; and, also, Arthur seems like a bit of a priss.

Beautiful, but still a priss. And, also, Doctor Jacobs’ T.A.

The next day Eames has lunch with Yusuf, because he usually has lunch with Yusuf on Fridays.

“There’s a rumor going around about you,” Yusuf says when he sits down.

“Did you find out that my hugely inappropriate crush is on Doctor Jacobs’ T.A.?” Eames asks, because it’s not worth hiding anything from Yusuf. Yusuf knows most of Eames’ secrets, anyway--he’s pretty sure the only reason they’re friends is because they both got terrifically drunk at a faculty and staff party at the end of the previous academic year, and told one another everything there was to know about themselves.

Yusuf laughs, “No. But it does have to do with the fact that Jacobs doesn’t have a T.A.”

Eames blinks at him.

“So you are telling me,” Eames says. “That Doctor Jacobs is a beautiful young man with dark hair who always wears oxfords, and not a doddering old man who likes to chase children off his lawn?”

“Well,” Yusuf says, looking thoughtful and nibbling on a fry. “I wouldn’t call him beautiful, and he probably still likes to chase children off his lawn. But otherwise, you’ve pretty much got it.”

“Fuck, Yusuf,” Eames says. “Why don’t people tell me these things?”

“If you had told me you had an inappropriate crush on Doctor Jacobs’ T.A. earlier, I might have set you straight. And if you opened any of the university newsletters ever, you probably would have seen his picture,” Yusuf says.

Eames steals one of Yusuf’s fries, and then another. Yusuf watches him.

“I’m only letting you get away with this because you’re so pathetic,” Yusuf says. “Just so you know.”

“I can live with that,” Eames tells him. “I hate Arthur Jacobs.”

“I’m pretty sure you don’t,” Yusuf says.

“I bet hate sex with him would be phenomenal,” Eames says. “Is it more or less inappropriate to seduce a professor than student, do you think?”

“If your plan is to grab him by the lapels next time you find him in the stacks, probably more inappropriate,” Yusuf answers. “And I feel compelled to tell you that the rumor going around suggests Jacobs doesn’t exactly reciprocate your feelings.”

“I will keep that in mind,” Eames says. “Have you made any pre-med students cry lately?”

Yusuf takes the segue in stride, mostly because of course he has made someone cry, and he likes to brag about.

There’s not a request for reference material from Doctor Jacobs for the next week. It’s kind of a relief.

Then Arthur shows up in the library and walks straight to Eames’ desk.

“I believe,” he says. “There has been some sort of misunderstanding over the course of our relationship.”

“What sort of relationship do we have, Arthur?” Eames asks, because it’s too good to pass up. Arthur narrows his eyes.

“A collegial one, of course,” he replies. “Though you apparently do not hold me in very high esteem. I would like to introduce myself again. I am Doctor Arthur Jacobs.”

Eames doesn’t say “I know,” and instead just shakes Arthur’s hand, again.

Doctor Jacobs stalks off.

Arthur doesn’t come to the library much, after that, although it is the end of the semester, and, since he doesn’t have a T.A., there must be a lot of grading to go through. Eames tries not to think about it; he goes to the club, one night, and sleeps with someone who doesn’t look like Arthur in the slightest. He does not develop inappropriate crushes on other library patrons, be they student or professor.

Arthur shows up again on the last day of exams, wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

“Eames,” he says. “I’d like you to help me with some research over the break.”

Eames blinks at Arthur, because Eames is pretty sure Arthur hates him.

“I realize,” Arthur continues flatly. “We may have gotten off on the wrong foot.”

“I’m sorry about that,” Eames says as brightly as possible. “But you really did come off as an ass, in your e-mails.”

Now Arthur blinks at him.

“I’m sorry,” Arthur says.

It’s Eames’ turn to be surprised.

“Well,” he says, trying to be brusque. “What did you need, then?”

“You seemed interested in my research, so I thought you might want to--well, I need someone to help me collect and sort through resources, for a literature review I’m doing.”

Eames can do that. And he’s surprised to find he wants to; or maybe unsurprised, because sitting down his eyes are about level with Arthur’s hips, and he can see a shadow of his hipbones through the worn fabric of his jeans and--

“Yes,” Eames says.

“Okay,” Arthur says, looking startled. “Okay. Shall we start on Monday?”

“We can work after hours,” Eames tells him. “Meet me here at five.”

Arthur arrives a little before five on Monday, and settles down at a table in the back with a pile of books, and if Eames watches him--well, the library’s not very busy, during the breaks, and Arthur licks his lips every time he turns the page.

After locking the library doors and turning out half the banks of the lights Eames goes to sit across from Arthur at his table.

“What do you need me for?” he asks.

Arthur slides a photocopied journal article across the table, and a single sheet of yellow legal paper written in a neat hand.

“The article is my last,” he says. “The literature review has to do with this particular tribe, and should be a good introduction for you.”

“And the list?” Eames asks.

“Everything I’ve looked at already, and what was useful about it,” Arthur states. “I’ve been following a chain of those references, but I’d appreciate if you could look for any potential holes in my search. I’m covering journals, but exclusively anthropological ones, and I think some history ones might be useful--not to mention books.”

“Okay,” Eames says, then puts on his glasses and goes to work.

If Arthur stops for a moment once the glasses are on, well, Eames needs them to read. It’s not like there’s any other reason.

He’s surprised to find he enjoys it; Arthur gets them Chinese, and Eames pretends to be concerned about dripping hoisin sauce on the books, but mostly he just likes sitting across from Arthur and watching him wave his chopsticks around as he attempts to elucidate a point. At one point Arthur actually laughs at something stupid Eames says, and dimples appear on his cheeks.

They go home late, that night.

“Tomorrow?” Arthur asks, looking hopeful.

“Sure,” Eames says.

When he gets home, Eames calls Yusuf.

“So I’m helping Arthur with his research,” he says.

“It’s Arthur now? Not Doctor Jacobs?”

“Yeah,” Eames says, sinking into his sofa. “Why do you think he wants my help?”

“Because you’re a librarian?” Yusuf replies, sounding skeptical. “Try not to read too much into this, Eames.”

“I’m not a little girl. It’s not like I want him to marry me or something,” Eames says.

“Whatever, Eames,” Yusuf says. “Are we on for lunch on Friday?”

“Yeah, sure,” Eames says.

“You can update me on your ill-fated seduction.”

“You don’t have any ins with the anthro department, do you?”

“Ugh, social sciences. No thank you.”

“What about Ariadne?”

“She’s art,” Yusuf says. “But I think she might know Arthur. I’ll ask around.”


“You owe me one.”

“See you Friday,” Eames says, and hangs up.

He falls asleep on the sofa that night, trying to figure out how overt he can be without scaring Arthur off, then wakes to find that he was supposed to do laundry yesterday, and nearly everything he owns is in the hamper. He finds an old tweed blazer with leather elbow patches that’s tight across his shoulders in the back of his closet, and ends up wearing that with the t-shirt he slept in and brown wool trousers. It’s a remnant from grad school, when he thought it was funny to dress like a librarian, and a terrible outfit, but no one comes to the library on break.

Except Arthur. Eames doesn’t see him come in, today, but after he closes up he brings a pile of books to the table in the back where they worked yesterday, and he finds Arthur is already there, chewing and sucking on the end of a pen in deep concentration. His mouth is--

Eames fumbles the books, then, and they sprawl across the floor. Once he’s gathered them up he finds Arthur is looking at him, and he looks away quickly when his eyes meet Eames’.

“See something interesting?” Eames asks when he sits down, and Arthur swallows thickly.

It figures, that it would be the librarian thing.

But Eames has no shame, so he wears a bow tie the next day, and suspenders, and an older pair of tortoise shell reading glasses with thick frames. He spends most of his time with Arthur sucking on the earpiece, and when he glances up, there are twin spots of pink on Arthur’s cheeks.

“This might be useful,” Eames says, putting his glasses back on, and gets up to bring his book across the table. He places in front of Arthur and leans over his shoulder, pressing himself against the curve of Arthur’s back. “What do you think?”

Arthur’s breathing picks up, and he licks his lips.

“I think there might be something else in the stacks,” Eames continues. “Would you care to check?”

Arthur nods stiffly.

Eames doesn’t even know where he’s going, when Arthur gets up, but they’re somewhere in the travel section when Arthur grabs him by the shoulders and pushes him up against the stacks. Eames can feel the spines of the books, and the shelves, against his back.

“Mister Eames,” he says, and his voice is very soft. “It seems to me you don’t know what you’re looking for.”

And then Arthur’s mouth is on Eames’, and then his mouth is moving off his lips and along his jaw, sucking, and then down to his neck.

“Doctor Jacobs,” Eames manages to gasp. “I can assure you, I’m exactly where I want to be.”

Arthur is tugging at Eames’ bow tie, and he laughs huskily.

“Then why did it take this long?”

Eames catches Arthur’s jaw with a free hand, and pulls his face back up so their eyes are level.
Arthur’s eyes are huge and dark, and for a moment Eames just looks at him. Arthur’s hips are pressed against his, and--

“Arthur, god,” he groans. “Librarians, really?”

“Yes,” Arthur says, and presses their mouths together again, and Eames is trying and failing to unbutton Arthur’s shirt. Arthur pushes Eames’ hands away with his tongue still in Eames’ mouth, and undoes the buttons all in row.

“Do you want me to talk Dewey decimal to you?” Eames asks when they come apart.

Arthur looks up at him through dark lashes, almost coy, and then puts a finger on the bridge of Eames’ glasses.

“Just keep the glasses on.”

It is--messy, is what it is. Eames feels like a teenager, rutting against Arthur’s leg, and then Arthur’s hand is in Eames’ trousers, and Eames comes with a gasp, and Arthur is there, with him, almost simultaneously. Eames leans back against the bookshelves, and Arthur’s long body is against his, their hips aligned, and they’re both breathing heavily.

“Have you been trying to seduce me, Doctor Jacobs?” Eames asks, running a finger down Arthur’s exposed chest.

“You have to admit,” Arthur replies, snapping Eames’ suspenders. “I’m far better at it than you are.”
I once narrowed my eyes at a platypus.: league of librariansjibrailis on April 23rd, 2011 07:26 am (UTC)
I am ridiculously in love with this fic and you. It is my new happy place, I will never leave it, ever. ♥
katewldnst on April 25th, 2011 04:30 am (UTC)
Thank you! I am ridiculously in love with your icon, but also vaguely terrified of it.
girlxinxbluegirlxinxblue on April 23rd, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
I work in an academic library and THIS IS MY LIFE (except with significantly less JGL in the stacks). Thank you so much for writing my life story in an Inception fic. GPOY forever.
katewldnst on April 25th, 2011 04:33 am (UTC)
THANK YOU. This comment I appreciate especially because I used to volunteer at the public library in high school, but since then not so much.

So I am glad I accidentally wrote your life, because then I feel like I'm being accurate.
Caroi_m_pk on April 24th, 2011 04:46 am (UTC)
how the fuck have I not read this before? I love librarians. I love THIS.
katewldnst on April 25th, 2011 04:33 am (UTC)
Judging by the response this got in the kinkmeme, most of this fandom loves librarians.

I'm glad you enjoyed it!
tommyiri_descent on May 1st, 2011 09:26 am (UTC)

Okay. I will calm the hell down and refrain from capslocking this entire flaily, rambly comment. Ehm. This is so freaking wonderful, I can't even express how much. LIBRARIES ARE MY HAPPY PLACE AND I WOULD GLADLY LIVE IN ONE IF I COULD.

So many things to love about this fic: suspenders, Arthur's lip-licking habit, glasses, the 'hateful' Dr. Jacobs revealed as Arthur, Eames and Yusuf having lunch on Fridays, ARTHUR'S THING FOR LIBRARIANS.

Um. Essentially, thank you for writing this! And I'm sorry, I hope I'm not coming across as too strange/frightening/creepy.
katewldnst on May 1st, 2011 01:57 pm (UTC)
NOT CREEPY AT ALL. I think I'm the one who's late to the party--I'm fairly new to not-lurking in fandom, so.

I'm glad you enjoyed this :) Especially the suspenders! They were the only significant change in the edit, CLEARLY IMPORTANT PLOT.
just as dubious as that other onegothicauthor on May 9th, 2011 04:22 am (UTC)
This is so beautiful. Unnnngh.

katewldnst on May 9th, 2011 12:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
rozenmakai: Misc - Booksrozenmakai on May 11th, 2011 04:42 pm (UTC)
if I was a puppy and this was the fluff I roll around in, you'll never be able to separate us ♥♥♥♥♥
katewldnst on May 11th, 2011 10:48 pm (UTC)
If you were a puppy and wanted to roll around in this fluff, I would not try to separate you :)
clair3clair3 on May 23rd, 2011 01:37 pm (UTC)
katewldnst on May 24th, 2011 01:23 am (UTC)
Thank you :)
(Anonymous) on August 6th, 2011 07:01 am (UTC)
This is absurdly delicious. Where do I submit my application to join Arthur's Guild of Librarian-Kink? Because bloody hell, Eames in glasses/suspenders/bowtie/tweed jacket with leather shoulders...! *incoherent babbling of lust*
Yeah, so this fic is unspeakably nom-able and all-round delightfully written.
katewldnst on August 7th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
I do not know where you submit to join, or get a membership card, or anything like that. Possibly with Arthur? Though he may not let you?

But I'm glad you enjoyed this fic!
Sarahsarahyyy on August 12th, 2011 02:13 pm (UTC)
There is nothing I dislike about this fic. NOTHING. I want to roll around in this. ♥ And BOWTIES! =D
katewldnst on August 12th, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC)
This is the second comment I've gotten saying someone wants to roll around in this, and this is the only fic I've received that feedback (??) on. I hope that means I'm doing something right.
I sing you to mebyandby on September 17th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
This was awesome! I loved it.
katewldnst on September 17th, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I love getting comments on older fics, I'm glad you enjoyed this.
Sex and cigarettes and books and jazz...: Inception | Arthurnellie_darlin on November 2nd, 2011 04:17 pm (UTC)
Oh my oh my. Gosh. This was totally lovely, and sent me right back to all the fantasies I used to have in my college library while "working"...

Thank you for this! (Also I'm sort of making my way through your FAB series of fics, so sorry if you get a run of flaily comments!)

PS I actually did a google search for Tom Hardy and glasses. Luckily for my sanity and health, he doesn't appear to wear them very often (at all?)
katewldnst on November 2nd, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I love getting comments on older fics, actually. It's a nice reminder that they exist. Uh.

As for Tom Hardy and glasses--I really don't know. If he doesn't need glasses, I commend him for not wearing fake ones (as someone who needs glasses desperately, fake glasses always seemed a little--fakey--to me). But I have an outsize attraction to guys in glasses, and love writing characters into glasses. Or into being attracted to them. Either way, really.
coffinbait1453coffinbait1453 on November 7th, 2011 04:32 am (UTC)
I'm interning with the research librarians and this is essentially my life. this fic sums up what i'd like to have happen with the new professor in the comp sci department. thanks for writing my life.
katewldnst on November 11th, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
I spent a lot of time shelf reading when I was in high school--it's an environment that's extremely conducive to daydreams, though interning with research librarians is probably more exciting than being a page for public librarians :) What I'm supposed to be saying: I'm glad you enjoyed this, and thanks for commenting! Writing your life makes me feel like a creeper, so I'm glad you enjoyed it.
i've got interpersonal issues and syphilisjacobella41 on January 10th, 2012 12:41 am (UTC)
oh my- oh my goodness, i think i have read you. I HAVE READ YOU, IT'S ALL COMING BACK TO ME NOW. hello there, hello. this does not diminish my newfound love for you. and the fact that i'm eating up all your fics like delicious little sweets.
katewldnst on January 11th, 2012 01:32 pm (UTC)
Hello! I feel like I recognize your icon from somewhere, though I could not for the life of me tell you where.
senshixdoukeshisenshixdoukeshi on March 7th, 2012 05:04 pm (UTC)
Ahahahahahahaha! I was giggling the entire time and kind of sad that the little blurb totally gave things away because somehow I think figuring it out would have been more fun. But still, the irony of it was really funny. Eames was great and I can totally picture Arthur with a librarian fetish what with the order and stuff. Thanks for posting.
katewldnst on March 11th, 2012 12:28 am (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! & took the time to comment. Um--out of curiosity, did you get linked here from someplace else? Because I think my summary is pretty close-mouthed about the big 'plot twist' (such as it is).
(no subject) - senshixdoukeshi on March 13th, 2012 01:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wldnst on March 13th, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
pioniepionie on March 15th, 2012 08:10 pm (UTC)
Adorbs! Your inbox is probably going to fill up tonight as I'm reading my way through your Inception fics :D
katewldnst on March 20th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
It's always fun to be 'discovered' by someone--if that makes sense. I love finding a new author and reading through all their fics, so it's good to hear that the same can happen with mine :) Thank you for commenting!