The Shades of Mediocrity Out Ther

Mediocrity at its finest. 50 shades of... - White Beach
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Arthur doesn't need a job. He really doesn't; he could live out the rest of his life in comfortable accommodation from all the money he's received in the extraction business. Which is, incidentally, freelance and research-oriented. He's good at that. To his credit, Saito had offered a high-ranking position as a data analyst in his powerhouse of a company when he'd heard -- somehow -- of Arthur's decision. Arthur, unsurprisingly, had turned him down with the politest version of 'No fucking way' he could possibly come up with.

Saito had not taken offense. Also unsurprising.

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But his job is boring. It's kind of distressing how boring it is. Even more distressing is how Eames seems to know this without trying, as it generally is with Eames, and how he doesn't even mention it.

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He doesn't mention that he knows Arthur's mostly bored out of his head, but his smarmy expression tells all and Arthur just wants to hit it right off his face. Arthur's never had anger management problems before, but he's thinking of cultivating some just to have an excuse to take everything the world ever invented to piss him off out on Eames, just to see how it'd look with bruises all over the incorrigible forger's face and neck and everywhere. Not that he hasn't seen it -- in dreams, he has. But vitriol is so, so much better in reality. It's Monday. Arthur keeps thinking about the Glock under his pillow.

It's making him twitch. This time, Arthur doesn't even bother responding before slamming the door and locking it. Arthur stares down his computer with the intense scrutiny of someone whose mind is other places, other times, and other worlds. The screen is blurry and his eyes have unfocused and he's thinking about shooting projections in their nonexistent heads, and one of them might be Eames, maybe. It's probably unhealthy. Arthur does not give a single shit. So when Eames swings around again -- good God, he's still in America, he better not still be in America for the exact purpose of pestering him, Arthur may literally kill him -- Arthur opens the door after the first set of three knocks and glares at him.

He pretends he doesn't see the triumphant grin stretching Eames' lips, because if he were to actively take notice, Eames would be a dead man.

HOMEWARD BOUND: TIM HOWARD AND SHADES OF MEDIOCRITY

They have lunch. He pads to the bathroom, splashes water on his face, shaves his stubble with precise, even strokes, jerks off in the shower quietly and methodically, with no real intent other than getting off to a good start for the day , slips into slacks and a button-up with no tie, and is about to make himself his usual morning gallon of coffee when he sees Eames fiddling around in the kitchen -- his kitchen -- making something that smells delicious, and wearing nothing but drawstring pants.

Without talking, Eames points to the living area, where a box of pizza is open and stale on the coffee table, and there are a few empty beer bottles crowding around it like a witnesses to a horrible, horrible pizza crime.

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Over coming a situation like that where low self esteem and fear tag team you is not easy for a Level 2 and it is impossible for a Level 3. So that Shakespeare's catchiness belies mediocrity? Why do we like these things we're told we're not supposed to like, and what does that say about us and our desires? Log in to get trip updates and message other travelers. Is it these values they had when they stole people from Africa and had them work as slaves in plantations across the Caribbean Islands? He played games consecutively for the blues — just three games short of breaking a record set by Neville Southall — but can you name all the reserve goalkeepers ready to replace him during that time? K Loading

Arthur looks at the evidence, back to Eames, back at the evidence, and then back to Eames, who, he sees, is making French toast. Eames hums noncommittally. I'm good, aren't I? Coffee's in the pot. I drank half of it. Food'll be ready in a tick. Sit down. Why, he has no idea. But it really does smell good. He's not going to rule out that factor, despite the simmering urge to kick Eames out on his ass for being such an advantageous asshole, so he drinks his mug of coffee until he's slightly more coherent and then says, his mouth twisting into an incredulous frown: "Did we become friends while I wasn't looking?

God, it looks fucking delicious. They have breakfast. Arthur quits his job. He was freelance to begin with, so it's not a proper 'fuck you' to the system, but it means something to Arthur. Arthur, who quit because working was just not as entertaining as getting to know Eames, and if anyone dares take that out of context, Arthur will shoot them in the head with an unabashedly quick-to-react trigger finger from Hell.

This might have something to do with Eames taking him out, periodically, to a shooting range. At this point, he's pretty much given up attempting to deny himself the pleasure of a gun in his hands, firstly because Eames is a dirty, dirty enabler, and secondly because Arthur has run out of good explanations as to why shooting things is such a problem. Damn, it feels good to release the safety. Sometimes, the both of them will go for coffee together, because too much homemade brew makes Arthur all kinds of annoyed -- it reminds him that he doesn't have much of a life, now -- and Eames will buy half the pastries on the shelves and proceed to consume most of them.

Arthur will pick at something flaky and sprinkled with cinnamon and get halfway through it before Eames decides he is slower than a turtle on speed and finishes it for him, with much gusto, and inappropriate noises that Arthur half-glares at.

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Arthur never asks about what Eames is doing these days, forgery-wise, but Eames must sense that Arthur's craving at least some kind of information, because he lets little hints slip into their conversation anyway. Things like, "Red and slinky or black and classic? Like an epileptic. Back up.

The Audacity of White Mediocrity

Arthur cocks an eyebrow at Eames over the white rim of his latte. Once an extractor, always an extractor -- you can take the man from the lucrative and excitingly illegal dream business but you can't take the lucrative and excitingly illegal dream business from the-" Arthur interrupts. He can't believe he's thinking about it. No, he's not thinking about it. He's not thinking about it so hard that if Eames isn't careful, Arthur's eyes are going to bore holes into his stupid silk-patterned shirt. His pride is whispering persuasive things in his ear.

And Arthur likes his pride, he really does. He doesn't want to have to beat it into submission.

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Arthur can feel Eames watching him carefully. He goes back to his apartment and subjects himself to mind-numbing television. If Arthur wasn't such a stickler for organization and keeping himself grounded to reality, he wouldn't know what day it was. But he keeps a calendar and a schedule, which has, incidentally, been edited far too many times to allow for Eames' idiotic working hours, and so he knows that on Wednesdays, he and Eames take strolls down the roads near Arthur's apartment. They hardly talk but when they do it's usually about mundane things, but Arthur waits for those tiny hints that allude to Eames' dream work so he can draw conclusions and entertain ideas about certain jobs Eames won't speak to him about.

Arthur never thought he'd be living vicariously through Eames, but it's not like he has anything better to do when they're not shooting targets or eating pastries or drinking coffee together. He continues, as Arthur looks at him with something akin to exasperation, "And you're far too skinny to turn down a good meal and get away with it.

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Arthur decides not to comment, but the urge is very strong. Arthur, as is his trademark, slams the door in Eames' smug face again honestly, it's become something of an art by now , but goes to put on a suit nevertheless. It's not a three-piece -- just a dark navy blazer with matching trousers over a white button-up, skinny tie -- but he doesn't forget to check himself in the mirror as he walks back out, and he already looks far more swank than he has in a while.

He doesn't slick back his hair, though. At least, not severely. When he opens the door again, Eames shoots him a positively devilish smile. Arthur does not, in any capacity, return it. But his lips might've twitched up.

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Just a little. The restaurant is far too classy for a guy like Eames, but it suits Arthur just fine. He's always been a bit of a sucker for fine furnishing and mood lighting and expensive, vintage French wine- He stops.

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Not even close. He also helped start the trend of punching a shot away, or palming it in the direction of an incoming number nine, when he joined Manchester United in And then came the World Cup in The rub? Go and watch it again… everything he stopped, he should have. There were no great saves or game-changing blocks. Winners like Peter Reid did. Successful skippers like Kevin Ratcliffe did.