Fandom: Oceans 11
Rating: PG-Nothing here but UST
Notes: No spoilers for any of the movies. Written because I'm obsessive about my commitments and I couldn't start my betteronvicodin fic until I finished this. Unbeta-ed. Nitpickers, please let me know about typos. I'm sure there's some.
Summary: What Danny and Rusty notice about each other.
Danny loved watching Rusty deal.
Good dealing was always a pleasure to behold, but Rusty’s dealing made Danny feel like he was seeing an artist at work. The sight of the neatly manicured fingers stripping the cellophane off a fresh pack of cards always gave him a slightly illicit thrill.
It was hard not to think in sexual metaphors as Rusty spread the pristine deck out into a fan, exposing it to the table for verification before picking them up smoothly, with barely the flick of a thumbnail. That was just foreplay for the overt sensuality of the thumbs splitting the deck into two perfectly equal stacks and reintegrating them with a crisp shuffle, the sound of which almost completely replicated a zipper sliding down.
The shuffling proceeded smoothly, almost off-handedly, although Danny knew that Rusty’s most casual demeanor camouflaged an intense focus. Years of practice had gone into his ability to carry on a light-hearted, nearly mindless conversation while making those cards dance under his fingers.
After the shuffle, came the deal itself, a skill that anyone could learn in minutes, but watching Rusty lay out a hand of stud, the edges of his tattoo peeking out from under his shirt cuff, was a lesson in the difference between knowledge and magic.
Sometimes Danny got so caught up in the fluid motions that he lost track of where exactly in the deck the cards were coming from. Rusty’s technique was more fun to watch when he cheated. Danny liked to think that Rusty would never cheat him, except to keep in practice. Even a con-man has to con himself once a while. Besides Rusty couldn’t hold on to anything he took off of Danny, so it would all come back eventually.
His favorite games were the all-nighters, where the jackets came off and the sleeves were rolled up allowing a full view of the tribal marks, black and ferocious against Rusty’s pale skin. The bottle would come out, the air filled with smoke and Danny would keep the game going long past the time he should have gone to bed, gone home, called Tess and said he was sorry. Again.
It would take a firm, “Good night, Danny,” from Rusty to send him back to his room. Sometimes he’d have to physically walk him there with a firm hand because Danny had drunk a bit too much, or wanted Rusty to think he had. Even if he ended up alone with the remains of the bottle to keep him company until it was time for Oprah, he’d still have the memory of Rusty touching him.
When he caught himself thinking about Rusty’s hands doing anything more intimate than dealing cards, he reminded himself that ten years made a difference; even if they didn’t, other things did. He was with Tess and if he wanted to stay that way, he’d be getting up, taking a shower and buying flowers for his wife, unless Rusty had already ordered them.
There was a code, after all, so he forgot about the grace and dexterity and grasp and smooth skin.
Until the next time.
Danny has the best eyes in the business.
He sizes up potential marks with the slightest glance from the face down to the shoes and back. The best part of going in on a job with Danny Ocean (aside from the take itself) is watching him put a team together.
Rusty hangs back, just watching, as Danny assesses a man’s talents and more importantly whether or not he’s a stand-up guy, who can hang tough when threatened or bribed to give up the gang.
There’s something about the moment when Danny takes his sunglasses off and looks at a dealer or a car mechanic or whatever he needs for a specific caper and decides they can do the job, that makes the air sizzle for everyone involved. After that, it’s just a matter of time. No one ever says no to Danny. (About a job, anyway.)
Danny can walk through a casino and spot the crooked wheel, a shill and two pick-pockets working near the slots without breaking stride. He’ll rattle them off to Rusty like he’s making a shopping list. Maybe he’ll throw in the cocktail waitress who’s hustling for tips and giving Rusty the eye, although it’s probably the same thing. Sometimes Rusty puts on his most charming grin and gets the girl’s number because he doesn’t want Danny to think he’s not interested in a pretty face.
He first met Danny at a back-room game in a flophouse in the middle of bum-fuck Egypt. Rusty needed to lay low after a deal had gone seriously bad in Kansas City, not so easy to do with his distinguishing features.
Danny had walked into the game wearing a suit that cost more than Rusty’s entire life savings at that point. He anted up and looked at Rusty across the table, a hint of amusement quirking his lips. With a flicker of his eyelids, he gave Rusty the message that Danny knew he was cheating and it was ok. Together, they’d wound up cleaning out the rest of the players before Danny moved close enough for Rusty to see his hazel eyes, still expressing amusement and admiration.
Rusty listened while Danny outlined a job that sounded ludicrously dangerous. Or was it dangerously ludicrous? With Danny straddling a chair and opening him up with his eyes, it never occurred to Rusty to say no. He nearly go killed and ended up spending a night in a particularly repulsive jail cell. It was worth it for the hours he’d spent with Danny, waiting for the eyes to look at him the same way again. They never did. He’d already been seduced and Danny didn’t bother with do-overs.
Maybe Tess has the right idea. She keeps leaving and Danny keeps going after her, willing to do anything to get her back. It’s a good trick.
He’ll have to try it some day.