Author: tigerlady (shetiger)
Summary: Danny sees him again in New Orleans. Their definitions of around aren't the same anymore.
Spoilers (if applicable): mild Ocean's 12
Recipient: Kathryne (tellitslant)
Notes: The request was: Isabel/Rusty/Danny (I don't care how it works, I'm in it for the pretty) Hope this works for you.
Big thanks to malnpudl and kathryn_arwen for looking this over, but any mistakes are of course mine.
Danny ran into him again in New Orleans.
It was August, a murderous time of year to be in the city. He'd have much rather been in his hotel downtown, soaking up the air conditioning in the bar while he milked fat businessmen for their spare change and stock tips he never used. But Little Leo (and of course that was ironic, but Danny didn't care as long as he fenced the goods) had insisted on making the deal at Madame Laveau's House of Dead Things and Other Kitsch, so that was how he wound up wending his way through a hoard of drunk tourists along Bourbon Street in search of a cab. The stench of the place was overwhelming–vomit, piss, and garbage mixed in with alcohol, garlic, and gardenias. The only redeeming moments were skating past the open shop doors that seeped frigid air like booze from a casino. Every third door he'd pause for half a step and just let the cold flirt with the sweat on his neck.
Danny was taking his three-second break in the doorway of the fourth purple and green (as opposed to the third pink and yellow) pizza and shot shop when he saw him again.
Rusty was perched on one of the bar stools, sucking down the remains of a greasy slice of pizza as he watched the street. Their eyes met, Danny lifted a brow, and Rusty nodded. Danny sauntered on down to the next doorway, and thirty seconds later Rusty was at his elbow, still wiping his face with a flimsy paper napkin. Danny let him take the lead, following sedately as they turned left on Bienville and crossed the street with barely a pause for the cab trying to crawl through the hole in the foot traffic.
They stepped off the sidewalk into the courtyard of a French restaurant, and Rusty led him up the back stairway of a hotel. They climbed to the second story. Danny took in the open square of the inner courtyard as Rusty dug his keycard out; a fountain splashed below in the middle of a mound of tropical greenery. A banana palm took up most of the space in front of the railing, big leaves glossy and thick.
The door made a small click as it opened, and Danny followed Rusty inside. It was a small room with a big bed, done in muted pastels and white. It smelled of old cigarettes and strawberries, and Rusty.
"Just passing through?"
Danny smiled. "Pretty much. You?"
"Same old, same old," he said, unbuttoning the cuffs of his shirt. It was cool in the room, almost too cold, but it felt like heaven after the heat of the street. "Where's Tess?"
Danny shrugged and crossed the room to peek out the window. It turned out to be French doors leading onto a tiny balcony. "Around," he said lazily, then tried the handle. It turned but the doors didn't budge.
"Humidity," Rusty said.
Danny nodded and turned back to the room. "Where's Isabel?"
Rusty shrugged, the hint of a smile crossing his face. "Around," he said as he started unbuttoning his shirt front.
So. More around than Tess, but not enough to be a problem. Danny could work with that. He kicked off his loafers.
"Heard from anybody lately?"
Rusty sat back on the bed, cupping his hands behind his head. It showed of his pecs and triceps nicely. Danny was sure Rusty had practiced that move along with every other move in his repertoire.
"Saul's in Maui. Something to do with pineapple."
Danny smirked a little as he unbuttoned his own shirt. "Not sugar cane?"
"Could be," Rusty agreed easily enough.
Danny crawled onto the bed in his own well-practiced move, propping himself up on one elbow so that his shirt draped open, showing off just a little chest. Rusty rolled toward him, and then the games went out the window. They met in the middle of the bed, skin already sticky from drying sweat. Rusty's mouth was as hungry as always, and Danny lost himself in that hunger. They managed to push out of their shirts without breaking apart. Rusty pushed, Danny rolled, and then warm weight was on top of him. They rubbed together lazily, too comfortable to rush but too worked up not to move.
Then the door latch clicked.
Danny stiffened, ready for fight or flight, but Rusty just started biting his neck.
Danny sighed, glanced at Rusty–who was very much not looking at him, but not trying to get away either–and lifted his head just enough to peer over Rusty's shoulder.
Her eyes were wide, her full lips parted just a little, and there was just a bit of a blush rising across her throat, but nothing ever threw Isabel off stride for long. "Hello Danny," she said calmly. "This is a bit of a surprise."
A surprise. Yes, definitely a surprise. Rusty was tense above him, but his mouth was still moving softly over Danny's neck. Danny let his head drop back to the stiff pillow as he searched for the angle. This was not how the game was played. They had rules about this sort of thing, even if it wasn't something they talked about. Never on a job. Never at Reuben's. And never, never with the girls–any girls.
As Rusty started sucking on his throat, Danny thought maybe, just possibly, he'd made a few incorrect assumptions. He heard the soft wisp of the carpet as Isabel moved through the room, a muffled tap as she tossed something onto the bedside table. He had that itch at the back of the neck like he sometimes got when somebody was following him. He ran a hand down the back of Rusty's arm, absently admiring the smooth skin over solid muscle as he did.
"Uh, Rusty," he said, pushing just a little on that arm, "you want to say hello to your girlfriend?"
Rusty turned his head to the side, the stubble on his chin rubbing against Danny's chest. Danny could feel him smile. "Hey, Izz. How was your meeting?"
The bed dipped. Danny wiggled a little, trying to get some of Rusty's weight off of him and get a better look at the situation at the same time. Rusty wasn't helping at all, shifting just enough to keep Danny pinned. Danny could have turned it into a wrestling match, but he settled back down, willing to see how this played out.
"About what I was expecting," she answered from nearby. "Mostly rumors and tall tales distorted for rich tourists. Peterson wouldn't know a real master thief if he had dinner with one."
"Good thing for you," Danny said quietly. Rusty chuckled.
"Exactly," she said. "I brought you a muffin."
"Did he show you the collection?"
"You know, this would be a much more comfortable discussion if, I don't know, you weren't pinning me to the bed," Danny said. To himself, obviously, because Rusty didn't move.
"Of course," Isabel said smugly. "It's banana-chocolate chip."
"Sounds good," Rusty said, and then he did move, sliding to the side just enough to kiss Isabel.
Danny could see their lips glide together, Isabel sucking on Rusty's lower lip just the way he liked. They parted noisily, and Isabel looked down at Danny with nothing less than calculation. "Don't let me interrupt, boys."
Rusty met his eyes at last, finally rolling to the side just enough that he wasn't trapping Danny. The smirk on his lips promised a good time, but the set of his shoulders said he was more scared than he'd been on the Sacramento job. It was Rusty's eyes that mattered, though.
Deep blue eyes that were saying 'trust me, Danny' and 'it's all up to you' and 'things have gotta change sometime'.
He didn't like that last one too much, but the last time he hadn't trusted Rusty he'd wound up in a New Jersey prison. Danny thought about Tess for a few seconds, but obviously his definition and Rusty's definition of 'around' were completely different these days; Tess really hadn't liked his decision to go back to work.
"What the hell," he said, and rolled into Rusty.
Rusty just opened up, his kisses deep and almost frantic in a way they hadn't been since they first started this, back when they were baby-faced thieves trying to hustle their way up the coast.
"Oh, that's very, very nice," Isabel purred, practically in his ear.
Danny broke the kiss, a little disconcerted at the situation. He could smell her, soft female skin and jasmine blending in with Rusty's cologne and sweat and the strawberry scent of the room. He met her dark eyes across Rusty's shoulder.
"What game are you playing, Isabel?"
She smiled, a soft, sad little smile, and ran a hand down Rusty's side. "No games, Danny."
He chuckled. "Somehow I don't believe you."
Isabel pushed off the bed, standing in one graceful move. Rusty rolled onto his back, but he was still watching Danny in that way that was saying 'don't be a dick' and 'please' all at the same time. She held Danny's eyes as she removed her earrings.
"Would it make you feel better if there was a game, Daniel? If you knew that I were trying to play you?"
Rusty was smiling now, smirking actually. He started tracing invisible lines up Danny's chest. Danny kept his focus on Isabel, though it wasn't easy when Rusty flicked his nipple.
"Would that work, Daniel?" she asked again, settling back against the French-white chair next to the bed. "You're a very handsome man. I know Robert thinks so. Don't you Robert?"
Rusty buried his head in Danny's neck, his breath gusting into Danny's throat as he laughed. "Oh yeah, Izz," he said, and Danny decided that he could play this game until he figured out the real con. He pulled Rusty closer, kissing him quickly, before he pulled back and waited for Isabel's next move.
Isabel, who had somehow managed to completely shed her blouse during that brief kiss, leaving her in skirt and stockings, and a delicate ivory camisole. She was beautiful, delicate but strong, exotic and familiar all at the same time. Her nails were long and dark as she stroked them over her throat. She smiled at his appraisal.
"Did you know that Robert has something of an oral fixation?" Danny laughed, and she grinned at him. "Of course you do." She leaned forward, grin fading away, but her eyes were practically sparking.
"I'd like to make him happy, Daniel. Would that be all right with you?"
He didn't answer, couldn't answer, because Rusty was already moving, sucking on his throat, moving up to kiss him again, and Danny finally, finally was back on board with whatever this was. Somehow they twisted around enough to get their pants off while still kissing, and he was hot all over once again, hot like he was lying out in the steamy New Orleans sun.
"Beautiful," Isabel murmured, "both of you."
Rusty moved down, trailing wet kisses on his belly before he took Danny in, all the way in one go. Danny curled up off the bed at the sensation, too much sensation, but then Rusty eased back, just holding him, and Danny dropped back onto the mattress and let him go to work. It was fast and just like he liked it, Rusty's hand cradling his balls as he sucked just hard enough, moving up and down steadily. Danny had wanted it slow and playful, but Isabel was watching and Rusty looked up as he went all the way down again, and there was no way he could stop the electricity that shot through his balls and out his dick. Rusty swallowed easily, holding on until there was nothing left. He sat up and wiped the corner of his mouth with his thumb.
Then Isabel was there, pushing Rusty over onto his back in the greater expanse of the bed. She was naked, and before Danny could even think about getting his breath back she was riding Rusty like a thoroughbred. Her head was back, hair streaming around her, wanton in a way that Danny had guessed at that night at the poker game. Rusty's hips slammed up as she slammed down, quick and furious and hard.
Rusty's looked at him then, and reached out. Danny caught his hand, and he finally figured out that this wasn't a con at all.
Later, lazing in the bed together while Isabel showered, Rusty flicking through channel after channel on the tv, Danny propped his head on his hand and yanked on the loose thread of the knotty problem.
"Well that was different," he said.
Rusty nodded, and kept flicking.
"Not what I usually expect," Danny added.
Rusty shrugged, paused on the weather channel, then flicked on. "Could be, though."
That surprised Danny, almost as much as Isabel herself had. "What are you saying, Rusty?"
Rusty tossed the remote somewhere to the side. Danny heard it land distantly as Rusty rolled toward him.
"Look. I don't have a speech all worked up, because believe it or not I wasn't expecting this either. But I tried hotels and you tried Tess, and can you honestly tell me either of us is suited for that life?"
Danny rolled to his back and through his arm over his eyes. Tess. He'd tried not to think about her much lately, but if you wanted to win you had to acknowledge all the pieces in the game. Two marriages; two divorces. At least this latest was amicable. Tess loved him, he loved her–they just didn't work together.
"Go on," he said.
Rusty stayed silent. Danny chuckled. "Right." And it really was that simple. If a play doesn't work out, learn what you can and then move on to the next. "And Isabel is okay with this?"
He heard the television shut off, and then the bed shifted. He lowered his arm and found Isabel at the foot of the bed, wrapped in a fluffy white towel, her damp hair trailing water over her shoulder and between her breasts.
"Oh, Isabel is very adaptable," Rusty said.
"Right," Danny said, and rolled the dice.