Ties That Bind by InSilva

Disclaimer: don't own any Ocean character.

A/N: these are all 100 word drabbley pieces set just before O13.

A/N: for otherhawk. For more reasons than I can fit in to a hundred words. J

Dark thoughts flooded through Reuben. He couldn't believe what Willie Bank had just done. The chutzpah of the man. The bastard. The utter, utter bastard. Like Terry Benedict torpedoing the casino he loved. Worse than Terry Benedict. Using him to front the planning and applications and then pulling the dream out from under his feet.

He was an old fool to allow himself to be conned like that. Danny was right. He should've listened to Danny. He stared at Bank and his henchman walking away and then the feelings of fury burst in his chest, overwhelming him and darkness descended.

Mr Tishkoff was late back from the meeting with Mr Bank. Dominic cleaned down the side in the kitchen again and did his best not to look at the clock on the wall.

There were any number of reasons Mr Tishkoff was yet to return. Perhaps Mr Bank and he had gone for a drink to toast the deal. Mr Tishkoff had been so excited about the new venture. All fire and drive like the old days-

The phone rang and Dominic answered. "Mr Tishkoff's residence… Wh-what…?" He gripped the receiver, swallowing hard. "Mr Reuben's-? Yes. I'll come at once."

Hospitals smelt of antiseptic. Dominic didn't want to think about the layers of pain and disease and death buried under the disinfectant.

The nurse led him down everlasting corridors and he heard his footsteps echoing as loudly as his heart was thumping in his chest. Mr Reuben had to be alright. He had to be.

They walked into a little side room and Dominic stopped dead. Mr Reuben was lying there… So pale. So frail. Like the life had been sucked right out of him.

"He's stable," the nurse said and Dominic nodded absentmindedly.

He needed to make some calls.

I don't want you to go.

Oh, Tess wasn't saying any of the words out loud but then she didn't have to. Anxiety rippled through her, wrapped around thoughts of police and prison on the one hand and pain and death on the other. Nothing he could say would reassure and besides, he wouldn't offer what he couldn't guarantee.

Thing was, this wasn't just another job. This was personal. This was Reuben.

"I could come-"

"No." He was selfish and wanted her safe. "It's not your fight."

Holding her tightly, he whispered into her hair. "I'll call you every day."

Isabel stretched out on the bed as she watched him pack. He was going away and she didn't like it but she understood.

"Silver tie," she suggested as he deliberated between two.

He turned his head and smiled over his shoulder.

"Silver," he nodded and then his face grew serious.

"S'OK," she said at once. "It's Reuben. Take as long as you want."

The serious melted away and he crossed to the bed, leaned over her and kissed her.

Isabel smiled up at him. "Take as long as you want." A different emphasis.

He kissed her again. "I intend to."

"Have you got your pills?" Marian asked for the fifth time.

"Will you quit your fussing, woman?" Saul grumbled. "I'm going to Vegas not Antarctica."

"I know, I know," Marian nodded. "And you will be careful, won't you?"

Saul sighed theatrically. "I don't know how not to be."

Marian made a little snorting noise of disagreement.

"Hey." Saul reached out and caught her hand. "I can always stay-"

"Oh, no, you don't, Saul Bloom. Not after the job in Europe. You go right now to your friends and help Reuben."

Saul smiled tenderly. "Thank you, Marian. You're a wonderful woman."

Sarah was pouting prettily on the doorstep and Virgil was staring at her with those googoo eyes that still made Turk want to puke. He leant on the horn impatiently and his brother waved an offhand hand in his direction. Yeah, yeah. True love and all. Turk counted to ten and then honked him again.

Virgil's shoulders sagged. Looked like he'd got his attention. Virgil kissed his wife and headed over to the truck, climbing into the front seat.

"Finally." Turk blew a string of little kisses at him.

"Suck it up, jealous guy."

They both waved goodbye to Sarah.

"Hi! How are- Oh, God… Is he-? Right… I'll leave straightaway."

Linus grabbed his holdall and started shovelling neat little piles of clothes into the bag. Reuben in hospital. Reuben near death. His stomach turned over. No one he knew had actually died. Well, Mrs Travis, the school librarian, but that was way after he'd graduated.

"Linus?" His dad stood in the doorway.

"Danny phoned. I'm going to Vegas. Reuben's ill." Succinct. Professional. Grown-up.

"I know. Saul called me."

Huh. He should have guessed.

"Just… Linus, keep me in the loop, will you?"

Dad sounded…

"Sure," he replied softly. "Sure."

Yen sat in the taxi and scowled at Las Vegas. In American cities, the cars were noisy, plentiful and got in the way like his friend Lu Ying's brood of unruly children back in Shanghai. No wonder everyone arrived at the places they wanted to get to in such a bad mood.

"Get the fuck on," he muttered at the gods of the traffic. Reuben was waiting.

"Hey, buddy," the taxi driver said reprovingly. "Nothing I can do I'm not doing."

Yen ignored him and shot an imperious glare at the vehicles around him. Miraculously, they started to shift. Good.

He'd been travelling for what seemed like forever and then Frank walked out to the airport taxi ranks and saw Livingston and Basher waiting in the queue. His face relaxed into a smile and the muscles actually hurt. Guess he hadn't been doing much smiling for the past several hours.

"Guys." He walked up to them and exchanged handshakes. "How's he doing? What have you heard?"

"Danny says he's stable." Basher gave an uncertain shrug. "Whatever that means."

"Stable sounds good though, doesn't it?" Livingston said with hope in his voice.

Ye-ah… 'Out of danger' sounded so much better though.

Dominic stared at the still body that seemed to be barely breathing. He didn't think he had ever felt quite so angry with anyone in his whole life. Mr Willie Bank had done this. He'd had a phone call from Simon who worked for Mr Cavendish who owned the Kubla Khan and he'd heard the whole story. Mr Bank was boasting about town of his brilliant commercial acumen. Mr Bank was beneath contempt.

Dominic looked up as the door opened and breathed a sigh of relief. Here was Mr Danny and Mr Rusty and the others to make this right.