Before Mal’s death, they were opposites—Cobb rarely left the United States except for family gatherings in France or business trips. Arthur traveled everywhere and anywhere, for jobs, for pleasure, for both. It felt strange for Arthur to be the one receiving bottles of Tuscan chianti and dried plums from Tokyo in his small, neat living room. The packages rarely came with return addresses or even notes, but there was only one person Arthur knew who would send him such indulgences. Sometimes, the boxes contained giant packages of torrone, the sweet almond nougat from Siena, and beautiful pressed paper dolls in red paper kimonos, fragile and scented with incense from thousands of miles away. Cobb knew perfectly well Arthur disliked sweets, and had no use for pretty baubles; those invariably ended up at the Cobb home, where two lonely little children fought over who would sit on his lap first and beg news of Daddy while their grandmother, haughty and thin-lipped with disapproval, stood watching with her arms tightly crossed. Arthur began taking extra pains to observe Cobb when they were working, just so he could tell James and Philippa simple details like how their father outsmarted four bad men with just a smile and a joke, or the way Cobb deliberated every decision he made these days, with the hope the right answer would lead him home to family. Lack of imagination was one thing, but observation and anticipation of needs was quite another.
Deciding to take a passage from "I come, I go" was easy. Deciding which passage to take took two rereads.
And I don't know how to really talk about this, because when reading it usually winds up with me clutching my face and
Also, Arthur/Cobb is one of my top five ships of all time, and this is why I ship it, and how I ship it --
and can we take a moment to look at the language? Because this is good language. In this, and the rest of the piece, there are so many details. So many details, so many adjectives and descriptors, and sentences so intricately packed.
In the spirit of the story, let's pretend that each sentence is a package in of itself. Each sentence/package is filled to the brim, but none of the stuffing inside the package is styrofoam peanuts. There is no filler. For all that there is so much inside, it all means something.
AND I AM GOING TO DISSECT TWO SENTENCES.
AND THE FIRST SENTENCE IS ACTUALLY JUST A CLAUSE:
Cobb knew perfectly well Arthur disliked sweets, and had no use for pretty baubles
and then the second part. It's not "Arthur disliked sweets and pretty baubles" -- Arthur likes them well enough, he just has no use for them. And they're not things or objects or gifts or whatever -- they're baubles.
AND EVERY SENTENCE IS LIKE THIS.
It reads naturally, it flows, but when you reread it, when you really pull it apart, there are so many facets, so many ways to look at it, each facet perfectly constructed, it's...
...it's a diamond.
There's no other way around it.
WHAT'S ON YOUR BROWSER, BACK AT ME.
I HAVE IT, IT'S A FIC WITH TWO CHARACTERS THAT ARE NOT WRITTEN TOGETHER NEARLY ENOUGH AS YOU WISH THEY WERE.
LOOK AGAIN, THE FIC IS NOW DIAMONDS.
I'm on a horse.