Notes: For _shades_ in the takethehouse ficathon. She asked for some pretty detailed scenarios. It turned out to be easier to just do them all. Rusty/Danny, Rusty/Basher, Rusty/Linus.
01: the walla walla
They stumble out of the woods and into one of the camp clearings, twigs sticking out of their clothes and their new tailored suits rumpled, torn, and ruined.
"You know, I didn't sign on to this thing to act out the deleted scenes from 'Deliverance,'" Danny said mulishly, brushing the dirt and leaves from his hair.
"Says the man who couldn't help but smile back at the toothless hunter," Rusty replies. He's too tired for it to come out smoothly, and all he really wants is a vodka tonic, three aspirin, and a double bed far away from Danny. Instead, they get woods in the middle of a moonless night. Somehow, Rusty doesn't think that's fair.
"So what, are we going to try and hitchhike?" Danny asks, frustration evident in his voice as they stomp around the clearing.
"Because there's so many friendly people willing to pick up dirty strangers in the Virginia backwoods at two-thirty in the morning."
Danny glares at him. "Either help or just shut the fuck up." They dropped the pleasantries about four hours and two shotguns ago.
Rusty sighs. "I think we're going to have to stick it out here. See the cabin?" He points in the direction of an almost-visible path. "Those are open to the public. There's mattresses. We'll stay there."
"And this is why you do the research," Danny says to him with something close to approval. They trudge out there and enter the rickety little cabin. Rusty takes off his jacket, and Danny does the same, and they're too tired to do more than fall onto the wooden bunks with the thin mattresses. Rusty pulls his coat over him and is just about to drift off into exhausted sleep when he feels Danny's warm hand creep around his waist.
"For warmth," Danny explains sleepily, but Danny hasn't had to explain anything to Rusty for the length of time they've known each other, and even when they're mad at each other it's still better than being apart. So Rusty scooches backwards until his back touches Danny's chest, and suddenly the bunk couldn't be more comfortable if it was the penthouse floor of the Ritz.
Hey, maybe they would go there next. There was supposed to be a nice Chagall....
02: the double-decker
Rusty wasn't really that fond of London, but he was bored and he had the time. He send Danny a note that was equal parts 'fuck you' and 'we're okay' when he was taken back to prison, because no matter how big the scheme, Danny had been on the inside for way too fucking long to begin with, and no con was worth going back inside. Even if it was just six-to-eight-months.
But that six-to-eight-months was gonna be the longest stretch of time fucking imaginable if Rusty didn't find something to do, something to take the edge off of finishing the biggest casino con there ever was, he was going to explode in a mess of twitchy, shiny-suited cheese fries and it wouldn't be pretty. At least he could blame Danny.
When he arrived at Heathrow, there was a car waiting for him. He'd used one of his backburner passports for the flight, but the note from the driver read, "With complements, Estevez, esq." And that's when Rusty knew that they were getting known even among the high-stakes thieves and con men, the ones two kids in South Florida had only dreamed of ranking among someday. He'd heard the name "Ocean's Eleven" floating around the lines, and privately he thought it was kind of shitty that he wasn't even mentioned in the name of the team, considering he basically put it together. But that's the biz, and he had to admit it had a certain ring to it.
Basher met him at a cafe near Trafalgar Square, where they could sit and get espresso and watch the marks walk by like choosing fine wine at a restaurant. Rusty couldn't get some of the sourness off his face, and Basher could read him pretty well anyway; they'd done gigs together for eight years, on and off, when demo was required, so he was one of the few outside of Saul that Rusty hesitated to consider a friend.
Basher just looked at him with this expression that was two parts smug and one part sympathetic and didn't offer any words of comfort about losing Danny to the system again, even if it was all part of the plan; instead, he outlined a gig a friend was putting together and the possibilities of involvement.
"After all, mate," Basher said, his ankle sneakily working its way between Rusty's and that damn sly smile on his face, "there's no reason you should rest on your metaphorical laurels when you could be doing something for yourself, yeah?"
03: the burrito flop
Rusty hadn't had to deal with frantic calls at two in the morning since Danny and Tess were actually giving their marriage a go; so receiving one when he was wrapped halfway around a warm, willing body in Italy.
"What's wrong, Linus?" he asked with all the patience he could muster, leaving the bed and walking naked to the window to look out on the placid vineyards.
"It's this deal," Linus stammered. "I--I thought I got good guys, you know, Saul recommended the crew to me but they're not here and we're in, like Phase Four, and I just, I can't pull this off, I think it's going to fuck up and shit, it's going to get back to my dad, I can't do this, Rusty, you have to help me!"
"Stop. Slow down. You're doing a job? With guys Saul recommended. Where?" Rusty asked, pinching the bridge of his nose. No one could get him irritated from 0 to 60 in five seconds flat quite like Linus.
"Mexico. I'm in Mexico. We, ah, there's a resort, and they have this art piece, and you know, I thought after Rome that this would be a cakewalk, but these guys--"
"Linus. You should know better than to take team recs from Saul. All his contacts are about twenty years old. Jesus christ, Linus, what the hell did you get yourself into?" he asked tiredly.
"I don't know, Rusty," Linus said, a forlorn note of panic in his voice.
"I'll be on the next plane," Rusty said. Thirteen hours, two planes, and at least three prescription drugs later, Rusty was on a beach on the eastern coast of Mexico on a postcard-sunny day, wearing a perfect white seersucker suit and reflective sunglasses. He'd have to get sunscreen, he thought, holding his gin on the rocks with a twist in his hand and shaking it a little to hear the ice clink.
"Rusty," came Linus' relieved voice from the door.
"Linus, my friend, you've gotten yourself into the shitter with this one," Rusty said pleasantly. Truth be told, he was glad to see Linus. It had been a month or more since they'd spend any time together, and though their relationship wasn't based in any way on inhabiting even the same continent, obviously Rusty should be spending more time with him if he was going to get himself into scrapes like this.
"I know, Rusty, thank god you're here," Linus said. He was usually a pretty confident, if foolhardy guy; and Rusty's eyes narrowed as he took in Linus' tan and dark clothes. It must be worse than he originally thought if he was admitting the trouble he'd gotten himself into, and if he wasn't making any attempts to blend in with the scenery.
"How are you doing, darling?" Rusty said for the benefit of the hotel staff, whose gazes had focused on Linus when he'd entered; the idiot had made himself in some way, and now damage control was the first thing that needed to be repaired. Rusty leaned close to kiss Linus, and to Linus' credit he only started for a second before returning Rusty's kiss, relaxing as Rusty threaded an arm around his waist and held him close.
When they pulled apart a moment to breathe, Rusty whispered against Linus' lips, "You were made, *darling.* I just saved your damn cover. Time to start explaining."
"Shit, my dad's going to flip out," Linus said breathlessly.
"That's the least of his worries if you were trying to purposefully fail a perfectly good con," Rusty said, taking Linus' hand in his firmly and leading him to the patio. They might as well enjoy the gorgeous view while they were making plans to save Linus' ass.
04: the big momma
"You know, this isn't exactly how I thought we'd ever have to break someone out," Danny said as they wheeled a half-doped Rusty to the elevator, complete with hospital gown and wheelchair.
"Well, he did break his leg trying to get into that damn safe," Saul pointed out as he looked around the corner.
"Which is why it was a test run!" Danny hissed. "He's always been fucking clumsy anyway."
"Hey now," Rusty slurred, "I am full of gla-glass--uh--"
"Grace, dearest," Danny said, patting the side of Rusty's head affectionately.
"Grace! I have grace," Rusty said, waving his hand around drunkenly for emphasis.
"At least we don't have to work this part for another couple weeks," Saul said, which is exactly what both Danny and Rusty were thinking. "I still don't see why Rusty thought it was necessary for him to work that aspect of the plan. How the hell is he going to slip through the wallspace with his leg in a damn brace, anyhow?"
"We'll figure it out," Danny ground out.
"Grace!" Rusty said one final time for emphasis as they went out into the alley and loaded him into the car.