Usual disclaimer - I own nothing to do with Ocean's 11
This is another multi-chapter fic. Yes, another one. I know, I know, people are still waiting for me to finish the last one. InSilva said it was a good idea. Therefore any delays for new chapters of 'Dominoes' can be legitimately blamed on her. Oh, I'm liking this plan!
Anyway, it's set some considerable time before the first movie.
Danny and Tess were kissing in front of the refrigerator, and it honestly hadn't been his intention to disturb them. But when the door shut behind him, they sprang apart and Danny grinned at him. "We all set?"
Tess glared. Which Rusty thought was a little unfair. It was, after all, still his kitchen too. On the other hand, Danny had been a little worried last night, about how she'd respond to this whole 'last minute business trip' idea. Evidently a little better than they'd anticipated, but he could still fully understand how she wasn't exactly happy about being interrupted. "Good morning, Rusty," she said through clenched teeth.
He smiled at her and affected not to notice. "Morning, Tess." To Danny he nodded. "I'm done."
While Danny had spent the night saying his goodbyes, Rusty had collated, memorised and finally destroyed every available scrap of information in the public domain about Alexander Cabot Northridge. And that had been a disappointment. If he had thought about it at all, Rusty would have assumed that billionaire corporate heads were probably leading . . . well, maybe not more exciting lives than him, but certainly he wouldn't have thought that they spent their evenings growing orchids and polishing their collection of bronze figurines. Their very expensive collection of bronze figurines. Their collection of bronze figurines that someone was willing to pay a lot of money to own. Unfortunately, Danny and Rusty had no idea who, and that wasn't the way they'd normally operate. But the job had come through Kenny, who was reliable and currently desperate - the anonymous client was working on a very tight deadline - and Danny liked the idea of Kenny owing them a favour. Anyway, the job was lucrative and there'd been money up front. A lot of money. And the idea of a trip away from the city with Danny appealed to him right now. Hopefully it would remind him that some things wouldn't change no matter what.
Danny was eying him critically. "Did you get any sleep?"
He shrugged. "I'll sleep on the plane." One night. It wasn't a big deal.
Tess' expression softened. "Danny mentioned that you were getting all the details sorted out so that we could . . . " she trailed off awkwardly.
"Say goodbye?" Rusty supplied helpfully.
She nodded. "Thank you, Rusty," she said sincerely.
Rusty grinned. "Danny, we really need to leave." It was still three hours till their flight, but by the time they drove to the airport and went to the little place on the concourse that sold the most amazing waffles, it would be time. "You all packed?"
"Of course," Danny looked offended.
Rusty looked doubtful. "Even – "
" – everything we could possibly – "
" – how about – "
" – Yes! And why is my wardrobe suddenly the one under scrutiny?" Danny demanded.
"Pre-emptive strike," Rusty answered immediately, and Danny sighed.
Tess interrupted hastily. "You never said. What's this trip about?"
Rusty stayed silent. As far as possible he tried to let Danny supply the details on the slightly gargantuan lie that Tess' arrival in their lives as an apparently permanent fixture had locked them into. It was easier that way. Less room for mistakes. Of course, there were problems with that approach . . .
Danny smiled easily. "Oh, we need to go down and negotiate the co-efficient merger between two satellite companies that are being awkward. If we can get them to cooperate, it'll put us in a really strong position for next April, when we try to develop our share of the futures market across the Midwest."
Tess blinked. "And that will take . . . ?"
"Couple of weeks?" Danny shrugged. "At most."
Her smile wavered slightly. "I'm going to miss you."
"I'll wait downstairs," Rusty said quickly. Neither of them seemed to notice.
He'd been waiting in the car for fifteen minutes before they finally appeared on the steps, and he spent another five minutes resolutely looking in the other direction and considering the best ways of acquiring the plans, before Tess finally walked off and Danny slid into the car next to him, smiling contentedly. He didn't apologise and Rusty didn't ask him to.
"You said it again," he pointed out instead.
Danny looked sheepish. "Co-efficient?"
Rusty nodded and drove off. "Eventually she's going to realise that you don't know what it means."
He grinned when Danny sighed.
Rusty had insisted on eating his waffles all the way through the security checks and on to the plane, and Danny had watched, amused, as various members of staff rushed up, presumably intent on asking him to stop, and encountered an impenetrable wall of charm and sexuality that had not only left Rusty in happy possession of his food, but had also got them bumped up from business class to first.
They were therefore relaxing comfortably in the completely deserted first class section, when the stewardess brought them their drinks and smiled warmly. "You need anything else, you just ask for Carla, okay?" Her gaze lingered on Rusty, and Danny bit the inside of his cheek. "Anything at all."
"Thank you, Carla." Rusty grinned appreciatively.
Danny waited until she'd sashayed off before leaning over. "Don't even think about it," he threatened in a low voice.
Rusty radiated a field of extreme innocence that Danny wouldn't believe in a million years. "What?"
"You know what," Danny warned.
Grinning, Rusty gave up. "Once. One time that happened, and it wasn't with the stewardess anyway."
"Right." Danny nodded and gave it a second. "It was with the pilot."
Rusty laughed. "It was not. Her name was Trisha, and if you'll remember we met in the departure lounge. I even saw her for a few months after."
"And that makes it perfectly respectable," Danny agreed sarcastically.
"You should try everything once," Rusty claimed sanctimoniously. Then he frowned. "Though why anyone would try it more than once I have no idea. The sink makes it all very difficult."
Danny had something else on his mind. "Trisha . . . wasn't she the one who used to get you to break into all sorts of places, so you could – "
" – uh huh," Rusty agreed with a fond smile. "Nice girl."
"Huh," Danny considered. "Well, I suppose – "
" – comparatively," Rusty nodded and for a while they watched the movie in companionable silence while Rusty ate first his peanuts, then Danny's.
But Danny was watching carefully, and the moment Rusty got that distant look in his eyes, he stepped in. "What?"
Rusty blinked, then shrugged. "Oh, just thinking about – "
" – Liar," Danny interrupted, a little insulted. "You're not thinking about the job.
"No," Rusty conceded after a moment. But he didn't elaborate.
This had been going on long enough. For three weeks now, something had been eating away at Rusty. Something about them. And that was almost unheard of. Danny sighed in frustration. "Tell me," he said quietly.
For a long moment, Rusty looked at him. Then he blinked and looked away. "I'm thinking of looking for a place on my own when we get back."
At first, Danny just stared at him. It was all he could do, and the words 'You're breaking up with me?' hovered somewhere near his lips.
Rusty shot him a sardonic look. "I'll pretend you didn't say that."
"Thanks." Danny tried to collect his thoughts. "Why?" he demanded and frowned. "And if the next words out of your mouth are it's not – "
" – Oh, it's you," Rusty assured him.
Desperately he protested, "Whatever I've done, I'll – "
" – Danny," Rusty interrupted him quickly, patiently and apologetically. "That's not what I meant."
And he'd known that. Really, he had. If he'd somehow managed to offend Rusty, properly, for the first and last time, Rusty still wouldn't let them end like this. "What then?"
"Nothing's ending," Rusty said, with a shrug. "It's just . . . tell me that you're not thinking about moving in with Tess."
Oh. It had crossed his mind. And he knew it had done more than simply cross hers. But he hadn't thought it through this far. "I don't – " he protested.
" – she spends more time at our place than she does at hers," Rusty pointed out.
"That's just because – "
" – you're afraid of her roommate's cat," Rusty nodded understandingly.
And that wasn't exactly true, and Danny couldn't let that slide. "You haven't seen the thing. It's half tiger and half demon."
Rusty pursed his lips. "Sounds like a cat to me."
Danny grinned, but he wasn't going to be so easily deflected. "You sure about this?"
Rusty shrugged and shook his head.
Danny nodded and wondered. They'd been living together forever now. Practically since they'd first met. It was easy. It was practical. It was fun. And it felt safe, and he wasn't sure that he was really ready to give all that up.
"Maybe that's another reason," Rusty said quietly.
He'd need to think about this. They both would.
They paused under the large sign. Welcome to St Louis.
"Remember the last time we were here?" Rusty asked.
Danny nodded, and his eyes darkened for a second. "Just about."
"Let's not do that again," Rusty suggested lightly.
"Lightning never strikes the same place twice," Danny pointed out hopefully.
Rusty frowned. "Then what's the point of lightning rods?"
The first thing that hit them as they got their first proper look at the copies of the plans of Alexander Cabot Northridge's mansion was that this was going to be fun. And by 'fun' they meant insanely difficult.
"Damn," Danny exhaled slowly.
Right. Rusty nodded in agreement. "More than a two man job."
"Uh huh." Danny mused. "Timing – "
" – we need a driver," Rusty nodded. Without, they'd be cutting it far too fine.
"Someone who can handle the preliminaries," Danny agreed, tracing a finger along the lines of the second floor balcony with an enquiring frown.
Rusty shook his head. Not enough clearance and too exposed besides. "How about Kieran," he suggested.
Danny blinked. "Kieran Felipe?" he asked incredulously.
"No," Rusty shook his head in disbelief. "Kieran Webb."
"Right," Danny relaxed.
Not that Rusty was going to let it go that easily. "What, you think this job needs a pastry chef?"
Danny glared. "I was confused."
"Yeah," Rusty agreed.
"I mean, we've not worked with Kieran Webb since . . . "
"Detroit," Rusty supplied immediately. "Two years ago. The Warhol thing."
"Right," Danny leaned back. "That was – "
" – good times." They shared a grin and Danny poured them both a drink while Rusty took a handful of corn chips.
"So, Kieran," Danny said thoughtfully.
"And he can help us get the cases into the house," Rusty added. No way were they breaking in without the means of transporting the figurines already firmly in place.
"What are you thinking?" Danny asked.
"'House and Garden'" Rusty said with a grin.
Danny sighed. "You just want to see me – "
" – if you'd rather be the photographer..." Rusty threatened, and Danny shook his head quickly.
"I'll leave that to you," he said firmly.
Rusty grinned wider, and then he looked back down at the plans. "How about the alarm system?"
"Elaborate," Danny grimaced.
No kidding. The last time they'd seen something this complex had been that special exhibit at the Guggenheim. "Can't do it on site," he said, finally.
Danny groaned sifted through the papers spread out around their feet, and came up with the security details. He read for a second before he blinked, grinned and passed it over.
Rusty saw what Danny had noticed almost immediately. Every house in the gated community used the same system. And it was all controlled by the same office. The same highly secure office. "Perfect," he grinned.
Danny smiled back. "Going to need – "
" – munitions," Rusty nodded. "Who – "
" – Phil Turrentine," Danny suggested, but Rusty was already shaking his head. Danny frowned. "Why?"
"It's their anniversary next month," Rusty explained.
Danny looked puzzled. "Okay?" he shrugged, and reached for his drink.
Rusty waited until just the right moment, before he casually added "Eleanor says all explosions are to be confined to the bedroom for the forseeable future." He grinned when Danny choked. "How about Eddie Delaney?"
Danny nodded, wiping his mouth, then he frowned.
"What?" Rusty asked.
"What's his way in?" Good question. They'd be otherwise occupied.
He sighed. "We need someone else," he conceded. "For the inside."
"Preferably someone who can go in a few days beforehand," Danny suggested, and that would make it easier. And less suspicious.
They looked at each other for a long moment. "Saul?"
"Saul," Danny agreed.
"He might be busy," Rusty warned. The last time they'd spoken, Saul had been in the middle of an Anchorman's Gambit, and he'd had something lined up with Bobby for immediately afterwards.
Danny shrugged. "He's never too busy to talk to you," he pointed out, and Rusty conceded.
He pulled the plans closer to him. The only thing left was to figure out how they were getting in, and even more importantly, how they were getting out. He sighed. "We're going to need – "
Danny was already reaching for the phone. " – pizza," he agreed.
"Read my mind," Rusty said lightly. Danny smiled at him, and he knew that neither of them wanted to lose this. Ever.
Well, I hope you enjoyed that. More will follow, hopefully very soon. In the meantime, please let me know what you think.