Summary: Given enough time and cream soda, eventually Linus will learn that he really shouldn't ask where Rusty and Danny are concerned.
Notes: Thanks to musesfool for kicking my ass into as much gear as possible, and for not minding that I'm the worst co-mod ever.
"Well," Rusty rubbed his chin, "that was unexpected."
"What!" yelled Danny over the noise of Linus unloading the rest of the fire extinguisher on the smoking remains of Livingston's wiretap setup.
"Your pants are on fire!" Linus added, and when Rusty cupped an ear and shook his head, opened his mouth to yell again. Danny put a restraining hand on his arm.
"You're a terrible liar!" he yelled.
"I'm a…" Rusty glanced down, then cursed and hopped, slapping at his blazing pantcuff. When that did nothing but singe his hand, he reached for his belt and shoved his pants off as quickly as he could. Linus helpfully turned the rest of the extinguisher on the pants.
"Wow, you should get some ice on that." Linus pointed with the emptied extinguisher nozzle at the reddening streak climbing Rusty's calf. "And are those Hershey kisses on your boxers?"
"A better question," Rusty said loudly, giving Danny a warning eyebrow, "is, who is going to tell Livingston about this?"
"I'll go get some ice!" Linus was out the door with the bucket before Danny's first 'ha' even hit the air.
"Hurt?" Danny asked conversationally.
"It didn't until you bastards started talking about it!" Rusty snapped, collapsing on the one chair that had escaped the inferno. A cloud of yellowish dust billowed into the air and Rusty frowned. "Isn't this stuff carcinogenic?"
"It's certainly not very healthy for fire," Danny offered. He gestured towards the door. "We could go to my room."
"We could go to your room." Rusty stood and eyed the remains of his pants for a moment but made no move to retrieve them. "I think I left an ice cream Snickers in your minifridge."
"You gonna eat it," Danny asked, holding open the door for Rusty, "or just apply it directly to the wound?"
"Plus," Rusty was trying to dust the extinguisher debris off himself as he went through the door, "it'll totally screw with Linus."
"There is that."
"You two are bastards," Linus informed Rusty and Danny when he clunked the ice bucked down on the coffee table roundabout fifteen minutes later.
"I feel positive about the fact that you've reached the stage where you can share your feelings with us honestly, Linus." Rusty flashed a charming smile and looked far more at ease than any man in Hershey kiss boxers with an ice cream Snickers bar stuck to his leg should possibly look.
Danny was off to the side, near the windows, speaking soothingly into his cell phone, and Livingston's irate stutter was audible even across the room. A few more seconds while Rusty and Linus scrounged around for something to put the ice in, and Danny snapped the phone shut and smiled at them.
"He said he told you not to bring your girly cream sodas near it."
"That," Rusty pointed an accusing and slightly singed finger at Danny, "is not even remotely what happened."
"Did Livingston actually say girly?" Linus wanted to know.
"It was implied." Danny reached into an inside pocket of his jacket and tossed Rusty the latex glove he extracted from it. "And that's exactly what happened."
"You are twisting the chain of events, my friend!" Rusty shook open the glove and began tossing in ice cubes. "I was not even in possession of the cream soda in question at the time of the incident!"
"But it was in fact your cream soda." Danny tucked his hands in his pocket and shrugged. "And I have to say that Livingston's request is rooted in experience."
"You had more than a third of it!" Rusty exclaimed. "This means that A) any responsibility for the events that followed must inherently be shared, and B) any and all forms of compensation or retribution are well within my rights, not to mention C)…"
"How do you imply 'girly?'" Linus interrupted to ask, then fell silent when Rusty snapped the rubber glove with narrowed eyes.
"You owe me a cream soda," Rusty finished, tying off the end of the glove with a flourish. He peeled the Snickers bar off his leg and examined the burn. Danny clicked his tongue sympathetically, then shuffled over to pick up the room phone and ask for room service.
"Think it'll leave a mark?" Linus asked, leaning closer and wrinkling his nose until Rusty slapped the ice glove back down over it. "It looks, ah, looks bad."
"It's nothing," Rusty grunted, then tore the ice cream Snickers' wrapper with his teeth. "Ask Danny about his scar."
"Ask about your…" Linus twisted in his seat to look at Danny, who was still on the phone, but was already unbuttoning the top few buttons of his shirt to show a thin, pale line curving over his pec. "Geez, what's that?"
Danny put his hand over the mouthpiece of the phone just long enough to say, "I got shanked," and Linus's eyes bugged a little; he completely missed Rusty's eyeroll as he stuffed a good two inches of frozen Snickers in his mouth.
" 'Ookit," Rusty mumbled, making Linus swivel his head back, and he spread his legs a little wider to roll up his boxers a few inches to showcase a jagged scar cutting down the inside of his thigh. He swallowed and caught Linus's eye, raising an eyebrow. "This is why you shouldn't let Danny work the details."
Linus turned back to Danny, and Rusty didn't have to turn around to know that Danny already had his back to them, shirt hiked up in the back so Linus could get a good eyeful of the slick pink burn just above his belt that kind of looked like a rabbit if you twisted your head the right way.
He enjoyed the rest of his Snickers a bit more leisurely, letting the ice numb the sting out of the burn, and only half-listening to Danny tell 'the story,' which today, for whatever reason, involved a bag of circus peanuts, an ill-cut leisure suit, and ringside seats at a cock fight in San José.
"But the moral of the story," Rusty interjected when his ice cream was gone and Danny seemed to be winding down, "is that you should never say 'I told you so' to a man with a wooden leg and a bandolier."
Linus stared for a full three seconds while Rusty licked melted chocolate off his thumb and the corner of Danny's mouth twitched.
"You two are so full of it," Linus finally exploded, and Rusty chuckled as Danny's cell phone shrilled in his pocket.
"Oh. Hello there, Livingston." Danny's smile was bland when Linus and Rusty both turned their heads. "Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Okay." Danny thumbed the phone off.
"What?" Linus asked. Danny didn't answer right away, just tapped the phone against his chin while giving them an even stare. "What?"
"Livingston's fixing it." Danny dropped his phone in his pocket. "Says he could use some extra hands. Come on."
"Co…come on?" Linus looked at Rusty, who shrugged, then back to Danny. "You come on! Are you kidding me? I wasn't even in the room when it happened!"
"Up you go," Danny coaxed, and Linus heaved himself off the couch and let Danny usher him towards the door, oblivous to the fact that Rusty was making no move to get off the couch.
"I mean, Livingston doesn't even like m…" Linus turned as he was going through the door and finally caught on that Danny, leaning on the door, was not coming out into the hall with him. Rusty gave a little wave from the couch. "Hey! You two can't just—"
Danny swung the door shut and turned, hands in his pockets, to share a grin with Rusty.
"I'm telling Livingston exactly what happened!" Linus yelled through the door, but Rusty's laugh turned sour when he added, "And Saul!"
"Did you hear that?" Rusty pointed at the door, then at Danny as Danny made his way back to the couch. "This is your fault! You brought in a rat!"
"More like a mouse, really." Danny dropped onto the couch, making Rusty wince and clutch the ice to his leg. "Smaller teeth. Cuter."
"Trollop." Rusty let Danny push his hand away and peel the glove of ice away to examine the burn.
"Have to keep my options open," Danny raised an eyebrow as Rusty leaned forward, smoothing his thumb over the burn, "since you're so hideously disfigurmmm…"
Rusty hissed softly at the heat of Danny's tongue against his own, still cool from the ice cream. Danny's fingers started digging into Rusty's leg, and Rusty wrapped fingers around his wrist and moved Danny's hand to the back of his head. When he felt confident that Danny had the right idea, he let go to work on the button's of Danny's shirt.
"Shanked," Rusty snorted when Danny broke the kiss to push Rusty down across the couch. "You got that from a barbed wire fence in the eighth grade."
"And you got this," Danny slid his fingers a few inches into Rusty's boxer leg to brush against the warm, raised skin, "from a failed bicycle heist in the third."
"She was a beauty," Rusty said, humming appreciatively when Danny reached a little higher and began to knead in earnest with the pads of his fingers. "Red, ten-speed…"
"Streamers on the handlebars?" Danny asked, laughing when Rusty yanked him down by the shirtfront and bit down on his earlobe. "You know what they say about riding them, though…"
"Cue the unconscionable banana seat joke." Rusty tugged Danny's shirt out of his pants and Danny turned his head, letting their five o'clock shadows rasp against each other, to shut him up.
When the couch started putting a serious crimp in Rusty's plans to make Danny spout yet more nonsense, he shoved Danny off and they staggered towards the bed, leaving a trail of clothes and one scarred room service-delivering hotel employee in their wake. Danny seemed surprised that Rusty wasn't distracted by the scent of the steak au poivre loitering in the doorway, but Rusty didn't even have to lift his mouth from Danny's waistband to make his feelings on the interruption very plain.
Later, eyelids heavy and lips slick with baked potato butter, Rusty was stroking his palms down Danny's lower back until his fingers brushed over the slick rabbit-ish patch. He thumbed it thoughtfully. "What is this, anyway?"
"Midget with a car lighter," Danny said, taking a swig out of Rusty's cream soda bottle that he'd just been complaining was sweating on the sheets not ten seconds ago. Rusty narrowed his eyes and dug his fingers in deeper until Danny grinned. "Okay, I was in the cigar emporium when the craziest thing OW!"
"Liar," Rusty growled around a mouthful of Danny's shoulder. "Thief."
"I only lied about the cream soda," Danny assured, tugging Rusty's chin up to share.