Arthur was re-arranging her messy kitchen as she burst through the door. She was ten minutes later than usual.
She jumped slightly as she saw him across the room, her hand flying to her chest before she smoothed it down her right arm. “Arthur, you scared me,” she panted. Arthur laughed lightly and held up the tub of her favourite chocolate éclairs he had bought on his way.
“Sorry. I just wanted to drop these off for you. I know how much you love them.” Ariadne took a heaving breath and smiled, tears crinkling at the corner of her eyes. Arthur dropped the packet with a frown and rushed round to her. “Hey, hey. I’m sorry I scared you,” he said, palming her face.
“You didn’t,” she breathed, clawing at his arms before she wrapped her own around his neck and buried her face in his chest. “You’re just…I love you. You love me too, right?”
Ariadne was shaking as Arthur pulled back to study her carefully. She was sweaty and her eyes glistened as she bit her lip. This wasn’t his Ariadne. “Ariadne, what’s wrong?” he asked, his arms sliding to her shoulders. She gasped and flinched slightly, tugging away. Arthur, who wasn’t one to be fooled, grabbed her jacket and started to pull it downwards.
“Arthur, don’t. Stop. I want to go for a shower,” Ariadne protested.
But Arthur had already seen the large bruise which was forming at the top of her arm. He threw himself backwards, his nostrils flaring as his vision clouded. “Who the fuck did that to you? Who?!”
“It was no one-“
“Bullshit! You’re upset and you weren’t going to tell me. Now, please, tell me who did this to you,” Arthur pleaded, walking towards her to frame her face. “Don’t hide from me.”
Ariadne loved him too much to lie. “Dom Cobb. I don’t know how he found me, he just turned up as I was on my way home…I managed to get away when someone saw us, but- ”
Arthur’s teeth gritted and he closed his eyes. “I’m going to kill him.”
“No, Arthur!” Ariadne said, clutching his face tight. “Please, don’t. He’s not worth it. Promise me. Promise me,” she begged, her hands painfully squeezing him. “You will not do anything stupid.”
Arthur kept his cool for her sake and sighed loudly. “I promise. But I need to think this through. Just, go for your shower and we’ll talk when you get out,” he said quietly, his hands clenching.
Ariadne kissed him passionately on the lips and rested her forehead on his chin. “Thank you,” she whispered as she stepped back. He watched as she headed towards the bathroom, her hair shining in the light.
“Ariadne,” he called as she reached the door, making her turn around. “I love you.”
She smiled wide and closed the door. He waited until the sound of running water filled the apartment before he walked over to her dresser to pull out the gun he had hid in there for her protection. His mind was empty but focused as he left the apartment, locking the door behind him. That would hold her for another few minutes when she realized he was gone.
He promised he wouldn’t do anything stupid and he wasn’t. Because letting Cobb get away with this would be the stupidest thing he ever did.