Disclaimer:I do not own anything to do with Ocean's 11, or in this case, Ocean's 13
A/N: Zxully anti-nostalgic came up with this idea. I just wrote it. Thank you, and hope you like it! And it turned out to be rather more about underwear and bananas than the prompt suggested. Sorry.
For a few moments he simply stood in the doorway, being as silent as possible, and watched with a mixture of exasperated concern, bemused amusement and weary resignation. Not exactly a new mix of feelings to him. At the first gasp of pain though, he was compelled to say something. Of course.
"So, you missing the part where I said you should go rest while I took the Willmore meeting?" he asked lightly, walking into the room.
Rusty looked up at him from his seat at the table and smiled warmly, and, even though Danny would swear that Rusty had had no idea he was there, there was no surprise in his eyes. Exhaustion, yes, surprise, no. "You missing the part where I don't take orders from you?"
Danny nodded and looked from the complicated machine on the table, to the wires Rusty had liberally festooned himself with, to the little strip of tape and tack just visible beneath Rusty's bare foot. "You missing the part of your brain that tells you whether or not something is a good idea?"
Rusty looked serious. "Oh, I've got that. Just don't listen to it very often. It sounds like you."
Well, that seemed fair. He took a seat opposite Rusty. "So you were yawning all the way through dinner," he began.
"Uh huh," Rusty nodded expectantly.
"I kept thinking you were actually going to fall asleep into your trifle," he went on.
"Would've been sticky," Rusty agreed.
"Right," he nodded. "And so then I, being the generous, concerned and tolerant friend that I am - "
" - Oh, you are," Rusty put in. "You are an excellent friend. I've always said so."
"No, you haven't," Danny pointed out absently. "But I, in a moment of misguided optimism, suggested that since I'm perfectly capable of taking the Willmore meeting myself - "
" - how did it go, by the way?" Rusty interrupted.
"Fine," Danny shrugged. "Everything was exactly as we thought, except he wanted to take me to shoot ducks instead of clay pigeons."
"Huh. Clay must be out of season," Rusty mused.
"I told him I was."
Rusty paused. "You know, we'd have so much less to worry about if that was true."
"Anyway," Danny carried on firmly. "I suggested that I meet with the great hunter while you go back to the hotel, maybe take a nice relaxing bath, watch some TV and fall asleep in a wide, comfortable bed, after having rampaged through the well-stocked mini bar."
Rusty grinned. "You Terry's PR man now?"
"Bite your tongue," Danny scolded. "The point is, you agreed."
"Uh huh," Rusty nodded.
Danny waited a moment but explanations were not immediately forthcoming. "You agreed," he repeated eventually, "With my plan – which was based, incidentally, on my not wholly unreasonable desire to keep you relatively healthy, physically and mentally – and I'd quite like to know why you're sitting at Reuben's dining table, torturing - "
" - it is not - "
" - torturing yourself," Danny repeated firmly, ignoring the interruption.
Rusty sighed. "When the time comes to persuade Livingston to do this, could you possibly not refer to it as torture?"
Danny blinked and looked at the machine. "Shuffle Royale?"
"Yeah," Rusty agreed.
"That's a lie detector?" He examined the machine with interest.
"Polygraph," Rusty corrected. "Right."
He frowned. "Where did you - "
" - Bobby," Rusty explained.
Danny thought about that for a few moments. "Bobby?" he asked eventually.
Rusty nodded. "Think he uses it to screen Linus' dates."
Danny grinned. "I'm amazed it's not going haywire just being attached to you."
"It's not switched on," Rusty told him patiently, and hit a series of switches.
"Well done, Igor,"
Danny frowned. "That's a little more Sean Connery," he pointed out.
Rusty shrugged. "Close, right?" he asked and turned a dial.
Immediately the polygraph whirred and started producing a series of squiggly lines that meant absolutely nothing to Danny. He inspected the machine solemnly. "If I touch this will anything explode?"
"No," Rusty said, not looking up from his solemn inspection of his own foot," But don't touch anything anyway."
He nodded, having received similar instructions on a number of occasions. "So what are you going to do?"
Rusty sighed and suddenly stamped his foot down hard on the floor, his eyes glued to the readings. "Trying to figure out the best way of doing this," he said through gritted teeth.
"Less pain is good," Danny suggested, wincing.
"No shit," Rusty said, shaking his head as if to clear it. "Son of a . . . "
He sighed. "Just so we're clear? I think this is a really stupid idea."
"You'd rather we gave this to Livingston with no idea whether it'll work or not, or how much it's going to hurt?" Rusty asked, eyebrow raised.
"No," he conceded. He liked that idea even less.
"No," Rusty agreed and pressed his foot down more gently. Danny still winced.
"How does it feel?" he asked.
"Excruciating," Rusty answered with a grimace.
"Can't I do it?" Danny suggested.
"Uh uh," Rusty shook his head firmly. "My stupid idea, my job to be the guinea pig. You want to sit – ow – and hurt yourself in Reuben's dining room, you have to come up with your own stupid idea."
Danny sighed again. "What happened to everything being our stupid idea?" he complained. Then something caught his attention. Rusty's right sock, to be exact, draped over the table just behind the polygraph. "Livingston's not going to have to take his socks off for this, is he?" he frowned. Somehow he thought that persuading Livingston to go to a job interview barefoot might be more difficult than getting him to agree to the 'pain' part of the plan in the first place.
"Nah, it'll work just as well through socks," Rusty assured him absently.
"Then why are you barefoot?" Danny asked.
"Figured it'd be easier to check the pressure," Rusty said with a shrug.
They both watched the polygraph go crazy. Of course, they'd both already known Rusty was lying. But it was nice to have it confirmed.
Danny looked at Rusty. Rusty looked away.
"Isabelgavemethesesocks," he mumbled. "Ididn'twanttoputaholeinthem."
After he understood that, Danny took a deep breath and bit his lip and didn't laugh. Not even a little. He picked up the – temporarily – abandoned sock. "Rus', there's a little Royal Flush pattern on these," he said, with an almost steady voice.
Rusty snatched the sock away. "She thought it was funny. We are not talking about this - "
" - oh, I think we will be - "
" - unless you're willing to talk about the fact that Tess sent you - "
" - okay, okay, I'll - "
" - a pair of fluffy slippers."
" - play nice. And they're really comfortable!"
They glared at each other for a moment and then animosity foundered in the face of overwhelming amusement.
"Wanna give me a hand?" Rusty asked eventually.
Danny frowned. "You mean do I want to help you hurt yourself?"
"Yeah," Rusty said thoughtfully. "Guess that is what I meant."
"Okay," he sighed. "What do you need me to do?"
"Ask me questions," Rusty explained. "Two control ones and two that I'm supposed to lie to."
"Right," Danny nodded Seemed straightforward enough. "Ready?"
"Just a minute," Rusty pulled at a couple of wires. Danny was only slightly concerned about the possibility of him electrocuting himself. "Okay. Go."
"Are you Spartacus?" Danny asked, straightfaced.
"I am Spartacus!" Rusty declared immediately.
"No, I'm Spartacus," Danny protested.
"I'm Spartacus and so's my wife," Rusty insisted.
Danny grinned. "Wrong movie, Rus'," he pointed out. He glanced at the polygraph. "Well, at least we know you're not played by Kirk Douglas."
"Just as well," Rusty nodded. "He's dead."
"Weren't you supposed to be telling the truth?" Danny asked.
Rusty rolled his eyes. "Oh, come on!" he protested. "It's impossible to tell the truth to that question. Ask me another."
"Okay, okay," Danny thought for a moment. "Boxers or briefs?" he asked finally.
"Boxers," Rusty said immediately, and the machine scribbled frantically.
Danny frowned. "You always wear boxers," he said in surprise. "Is the thing broken?"
"Must be," Rusty answered, glancing at it in surprise, Unfortunately both Danny and the polygraph were in agreement.
"Why are you lying about your underwear?" he asked slowly.
Rusty glared at him, tight-lipped.
A thought occurred and Danny had to wonder. "Are you wearing Isabel's underwear right now?"
"What?" Rusty blinked.
"Well, it's been a while. For you. Just wondering if you're trying to - "
" - oh, there's still plenty of excitement, thank you," Rusty interrupted definitely.
"Seriously, what's with your underwear?" Danny demanded, and when Rusty just grinned, he decided to take action.
He stood up slowly and then suddenly lunged at Rusty. "Get off!" Rusty complained, laughing, as Danny got tangled on a bunch of wires.
"You're not wearing any underwear!" he announced triumphantly, just as a voice coughed politely behind them.
"Will you be wanting anything, sirs?" Dominic asked calmly. Danny froze and looked down at them carefully. Tied together with wire, hooked up to a vaguely sinister-looking machine, him straddling Rusty's lap, Rusty leaning back and grinning, his hand down Rusty's pants . . . oh. Right.
"Two whiskeys, please," he said urbanely.
"Bring the bottle," Rusty added. "Thanks. And could I get something to eat? If it's not too much trouble?"
"Of course not, Mr Rusty," Dominic nodded. "What would you like?"
"Something healthy," Danny suggested optimistically.
"Banana split?" Rusty asked hopefully.
"Certainly," Dominic said and glided off as the door closed behind him, they shared a long look and Danny carefully climbed off the top of Rusty.
"Banana split?" he sighed.
"You said something healthy," Rusty protested.
He was going to regret asking. He really, really was. "Banana split is healthy?"
"It has bananas," Rusty nodded. "They're full of potassium."
"Potassium," Danny said flatly.
"Yeah," Rusty agreed. "It explodes in water."
Danny blinked. "So what we're saying is that bananas are flammable?" he asked. "And that's good?"
Rusty looked momentarily puzzled. "Yes," he decided.
He sighed. "Is this going to end up like the time you and Basher - "
" - oh, totally different - "
" - blew up five different bars - "
" - we only blew them up slightly - "
" - using only bar snacks - "
" - and besides, we were very, very drunk," Rusty pointed out finally.
Danny shrugged and conceded. Besides . . . "Why aren't you wearing underwear?" he asked. "And I've got to say, as long as you don't tell me, I'm going to assume the kinky sex explanation is - "
" - Terry Benedict," Rusty interrupted simply and Danny's brain ground to a halt.
"Rus'?" he began calmly.
"Yes?" Rusty answered.
"I'd appreciate it if you'd try and keep the concepts of 'Terry Benedict' and 'kinky sex' as separate as possible."
"Sorry," Rusty apologised sincerely.
There was a pause. Danny waited. "So . . . ?" he asked eventually.
"He stole my underwear," Rusty explained.
Danny blinked. "Think I liked it better when there was kinky sex," he commented.
"Your drinks, sirs," Dominic said smoothly and the whiskey was laid on the table between them and Danny did his best to ignore Rusty's grin. "And your ice cream, Mr Rusty."
"Thank you, Dominic," Rusty said happily. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight," Danny echoed.
Dominic nodded politely to both of them. "Goodnight, Mr Danny, Mr Rusty," he said and left.
Danny sipped at his whiskey and watched Rusty dig into his banana split eagerly. "Maybe I should get a butler," he mused.
Rusty paused with a spoonful of banana and nuts inches from his lips. "You think Tess would go for that?"
He thought for a second. "No," he agreed, finally. "You ever miss living in the hotel?"
Rusty stared dreamily into space. "Room service. Pinnacle of human evolution."
Danny grinned. "I'd be happier with your priorities if the polygraph had reacted when you said that," he commented.
"Think it's broken," Rusty said, frowning at it. "Must've been when you were groping me."
"I was not groping you!" Danny protested immediately. "I was merely investigating your underwear. And you still haven't told me what that has to do with Terry Benedict!"
"You notice how Dominic didn't look surprised?" Rusty asked, ignoring him. "The first time, I mean." He considered briefly. "Or the second time, actually. But you think that's a butler thing or an us thing?"
He thought about it. "He's always been - "
" - discreet," Rusty agreed. "In the sense of - "
" - telling Reuben absolutely everything," Danny nodded. It wasn't the first time Dominic had seen them doing something inexplicable. Though, to be honest, nearly everyone they knew had seen them doing something inexplicable. No one except Linus ever asked anymore. And Reuben, of course. Reuben just enjoyed asking.
Danny sighed. What he wouldn't give -
" - for him to be giving us knowing looks tomorrow," Rusty agreed.
"Yeah," Danny said quietly. "He's going to get better."
"Maybe Dominic's saving the gossip up," Rusty suggested.
"All the mockery at once," Danny smiled. Then he frowned. "Seriously, what happened with Terry?"
"I told you - " Rusty began patiently.
" - Terry Benedict stole your underwear," Danny finished with a roll of his eyes.
"Hotel laundry," Rusty explained cryptically.
"Oh," Danny considered. "Shouldn't think Terry does that personally, actually. Probably we're looking for a maid with a fetish."
"You might be," Rusty returned, scowling. "Me, I'm holding Terry responsible."
"Professional sensibilities offended?" Danny asked lightly.
"Yes," Rusty agreed. "All of them."
Danny sighed. "What, you want revenge?"
"We are not conducting a panty raid on Terry Benedict," Danny said firmly.
"Spoilsport," Rusty complained, draining his glass and yawning.
"Bed," Danny decided. "Unless you can tell me you're going to fix that thing?"
Rusty glanced at the machine and tugged at a handful of wires thoughtfully. "I'll get Bash and Livingston to give me a hand tomorrow," he decided.
Danny looked at him. Oh, that had been too easy. He'd been expecting an argument. His eyes narrowed. "What are you planning on telling them?"
"The truth," Rusty said innocently. "That you broke it while you were - "
"- oh, you bastard - " Danny groaned.
" - while you were trying to get your hand down my pants."
Yeah. Yeah, Danny could see this coming. And somehow, he imagined that when Rusty gave this explanation, there were going to be as many people in the room as possible. "Fine," he snapped. "I'll tell them Terry Benedict stole your underwear. And I'll tell them about your socks."
Rusty grinned. "Oh, I'm scared," he said, standing up, stretching, yelping as he put his full weight on the tack, and neatly falling down again in a heap of limbs and wire.
With a sigh, Danny stood up slowly and carefully started untangling him.
"Thanks," Rusty said, peeling the tack off his foot with a grimace before standing up again. He looked at the polygraph for a moment. "We're gonna need to do this all over again tomorrow," he sighed.
Danny nodded. "Tomorrow," he agreed. "But let's start with the whiskey this time."
There was always more time for a really stupid idea.
Thanks for reading, hope it amused?