Disclaimer: I do not own Ocean's 11, 12, 13, etc.

Chapter One

"Then must you speak of one that lov'd not wisely but too well" -Shakespeare

"Yen makes nine. Nine oughta do it. Don't you think?" Danny said, staring at the screen.

Rusty sipped his drink but made no other response.

"You think we need one more?" Danny asked. The silence made his assent obvious. "You think we need one more." After several more seconds of waiting, Danny said, "Alright. We'll get one more."

"Two. Pick pocket and a Rachel Meier," Rusty said, picking his head up from his arms.

Danny looked suspiciously at Rusty and asked, "Where's Moira?"


"Not London?" he asked in surprise.

"Ex-boyfriend kicked her out. He lived in Soho," Rusty explained, sounding at the same time thrilled and fuming.

"Lived?" Danny asked, catching the hint.

"Arrested the day after she left on fraud charges," Rusty said with an unsympathetic smile.

"Sounds like Moira," Ocean said with a similar smile.

"Vindictive?" he suggested.

"Yeah. Is she running a job?" Both of them knew that Moira kept herself busy with all sorts of schemes and plans. It was rare that both of them had the opportunity to work with her at the same time.

"Acting," Rusty said bluntly.

"In what?" Danny asked, knowing this could make all the difference.

"Twelfth Night."

"She never could resist Shakespeare." Fondness was evident in Danny's voice. Then again, both of the two men had known Moira for years.

"She hates comedies. She'll come," Rusty said confidently, smiling at the idea of seeing the tiny redhead again.

"Why do you want her to come?" Danny asked bluntly. At Rusty's shrug, Danny shook his head in frustration. "Still?" he asked in exasperation.

"Don't tell the others," Rusty warned.

"They'll find out when you stare at her and follow her around," Danny reminded sternly.

"I don't stare anymore," Rusty protested.

Danny gave him a sceptical look. When last he had observed the two even in the same room, Rusty hardly moved his eyes from her.

"Only a little," Rusty admitted with a dismissive wave of his hand.
"Why didn't you ever tell her?"

Rusty gave him a long look before shrugging.

"Right. The mystery boyfriend," Danny said in irritated acceptance.


Moira walked out of the New Theatre Oxford, buttoning her long, black coat to shield her from the cold mist that hung around the city. Dark shapes passed her on the pavement as she crossed Worcester Street to Worcester College, as insubstantial as wraiths in the heavy fog surrounding the brick buildings. As she started down the street, a large shape fell into step beside her. "How's the play coming?" a distinctly American-accented and masculine voice asked.

"Bugger!" she exclaimed, nearly falling over in surprise. A hand gripped her arm and pulled her upright. "You barmy arsehole!" Moira hissed, pulling him from the gate of Worcester College to follow the canal.

"Twelfth Night, right?" Rusty asked, seemingly unaffected by her reaction to him.

"Yes. Why?" she asked flatly.

"You hate comedy, Moira. Why do this?" Rusty asked, attempting to be understanding. His tone made him sound far more critical than he had hoped.

"I'm staying busy," she hissed, flipping a lock of her red hair over her leather-enclosed shoulder.

"Until another job?" Rusty asked.

"Yes, actually. Have an offer? You know it'll have to be big to tempt me," Moira said, leading the way around the shoreline of Worcester College Lake along the footpath.

"Eight figures."

"Total or-"

"Each," he said, smiling once he knew she could not see him.

Moira stopped and turned to stare at Rusty questioningly, a single eyebrow raised.

"Big enough?" Rusty asked.

"What is the job?" Moira asked with a sigh, going to lean against a nearby tree.

"Casinos," he said, knowing that would gain her curiosity more than the payout would. After all, she was no stranger to high paying jobs.

"More than one?" Moira asked disbelievingly. She stubbornly kept her head from turning to look at him.

Rusty held up three fingers, careful to keep his expression neutral. If he were to show too much interest, she would balk in an instant, not that he knew why.

"Which?" Moira demanded.

"The Bellagio, the Mirage, and the MGM Grand," Rusty listed, keeping his eyes trained on her pallid, lean face.

"Aren't those-" she began, fractionally lifting her head from its place against the trunk of the ancient tree.

"Terry Benedict's, yes," he confirmed.

"What is your grudge against him?" Moira asked suspiciously, opening her eyes to peer at him. Rusty attempted to avoid looking straight into her eyes for fear of becoming distracted once again.

"Nothing," he said simply.

"Don't even try that, Rusty Ryan. I know you better than that. Is this Danny's brainchild?" Moira said harshly, pushing away from the old oak tree. Her daunting glare was trained on him.

"Yes," he admitted.

"You're a nutter," Moira said, shaking her head.

"We can do this, Moira, but I-we need you," Rusty said, catching himself just short of revealing what she by now almost certainly suspected.

Moira sighed and asked, "Will the Malloys be there?"

"Yes," Rusty said, knowing what would come next.

"Sod off, Duffer," Moira said bluntly, walking away from him toward the cricket fields.

"You can save the Playhouse," Rusty called, not moving.

Moira froze. Her head dropped seemingly of its own accord only for her to turn back to him and ask, "When?"

Rusty smiled and held up a plane ticket. He could hear her muttering under her breath as she walked back and snatched the ticket from his hand. Glancing at the date, Moira asked, "Tomorrow?"

"Yep," Rusty said with a smile, walking back along the lake. Moira watched him walk away, shaking her head at his briefness.

"Basher'll be there," Rusty called, not slacking his pace. Internally, he hated having to use that to entice her.

Moira chuckled and said under her breath, "Another jaunt across the pond."