Oceans fic: Brotherly Love 1/1
Title: Brotherly Love (And Other Things the Malloys Don't Talk About)
Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: I wrote this about a year ago after a binge of watching all the Oceans’ movies. This one focuses on the Malloy brothers, exploring some of the unspoken aspects of the relationship during Ocean 12. moogsthewriter gave this a much needed beta and helped sort out some timeline issues. I will say, though, that there are aspects of Ocean’s 12 that I’m still not sure I get totally, so if this is off in some way, that’s why.
Summary: Turk and Virgil have some issues to work out, a wedding to finish, and a huge debt to repay. Not necessarily in that order. Set during Ocean’s 12.
Virgil stows his carry on in a bin above his seat and sits down.
He’s supposed to be on his honeymoon, and he doesn’t much care if it’s Epcot or Salt Lake City, as long as it’s with his fiance and she’s finally his wife and all his months of waiting can finally pay off.
Instead, he’s on a flight to Amsterdam with ten guys. Yes, they’re his friends, and yes, he enjoys most of their company, but they’re a far cry a beautiful blonde in a white dress looking at him with all smiles.
He settles down wearily. He knows that their lives are at stake, but he’s more worried about whether or not his fiance will really wait for him like she promised. For a moment he thinks he would have forgone the Benedict job altogether if he’d known that it might cost him her.
Of course, he is getting his first trip overseas out of this whole mess, but in a toss up, his fiance still wins.
That thought has to make him smile. He’d call her and tell her, but he knows her phone’s tapped.
So, Virgil sits, not doing much of anything, just staring and thinking, thinking and staring. He fantasizes about his wife during take off, dreaming about her curves, her blonde hair, her lips, her pale skin peaking out from beneath a scoop neck blouse.
When they reach cruising altitude, Virgil’s ears are popping. He undoes his seat belt and rolls his neck, trying to get comfortable.
Next to him, in the aisle, Turk hesitates.
Virgil’s mental image is shattered and he looks at his brother with a glare. “What? Another mental block while trying to walk and think at the same time?”
“Funny,” Turk says, but he doesn’t look amused. He continues to wait for a moment.
Virgil adjusts. “What?” he tries again.
Turk sighs in an exaggerated display of exasperation. “Can I sit there?” He nods to the seat next to Virgil.
Virgil is actually surprised. “You’re asking?”
“Yeah, I’m asking.”
Virgil has to make a face. “Since when?”
“You mean since you blew fourteen mil?”
Turk’s face darkens. “Oh, and like you didn’t blow some of yours.”
“There’s interest,” Turk insists.
“Not that much.”
Turk’s face screws up. He shakes his head. “Whatever.”
Five minutes later, Turk is seated. Virgil is next to him, by the window, but he’s not looking at his brother. “I never said you could sit there.”
“Oh, just like you never thanked me?”
“Thanked you?” Virgil asks, turning to his brother with genuine audacity. “For what? Blowing fourteen mil? Or just being born and ruining my life?”
“I was born first, so really you’re the one ruining my life. And that’s not what I’m talking about.”
“You were born first because you had your big ass in Mom’s birth canal. And what are you talking about?”
“At the rehearsal dinner,” Turk says with exasperation.
“The groom speech?”
“Yes, the groom speech,” Turk clarifies sharply.
Virgil turns, looking at his brother with enhance scrutiny. “That’s what you’re upset about?”
Turk juts his chin. “Yes.”
“That I didn’t mention you,” Virgil attempts to clarify.
“Yes, that you didn’t mention me. You thanked the cousin we haven’t seen in five years, the uncle who used to give us wedgies and tell us we were losers, but not me.”
Virgil had forgotten about the wedgies. Still, he laughs. “And why would I thank you?”
“For being your brother,” Turk says, as though that should mean something.
“For being my brother,” Virgil repeats, hoping that Turk can see how ludicrous it sounds.
“Are you just going to repeat everything I say?”
“That’s stupid,” Turk tells him.
“Maybe that’s why I didn’t thank you.”
“Because you’re stupid?”
“No, because you’re mean.”
Turk shakes his head. “You haven’t answered.”
“You know what!” Turk exclaims. Then he stops, shakes his head again. “Never mind. Just forget it.”
“Forget what?” Virgil asks.
Turk gets to his feet, gathering his bag.
“Oh, so you’re going to run away?” Virgil asks. “Like a baby?”
Turk walks away.
“Now who’s acting like a little girl!”
They don’t really talk in Amsterdam.
Of course, they talk a little bit. Virgil laughs at him for blowing out a fuse while trying to shave. Turk makes fun of him when a little kid tries to pick his pocket on the street.
But no, they don’t really talk in Amsterdam.
Turk thinks maybe getting out of Amsterdam will help. A new city. A new country. A new job. A new hotel. Now they’re sharing suites.
Virgil walks up, pulling his key card out. “I can’t believe they put us together.”
Turk glowers, even if he doesn’t know why yet. “What’s wrong with that?”
“Have you ever shared a room with yourself?”
“It’s a suite,” Turk clarifies. “And Saul and Basher will have the other half.”
“It’s called a suite,” Virgil agrees. “But there’s nothing sweet about it.”
Turk has to restrain himself from attacking his brother. Low profiles, and all that.
It’s tempting, though. He starts carting his bags up the stairs, just for the distraction.
The TV is on. No one is watching it.
They’re all just a little on edge, with the timeline so short and the debt so large. None of them want to talk about how hard this is going to be, especially not now.
This new hotel is smaller and the separate suites give them some privacy. None of them seem to take advantage of it, and somehow they all end up in the same room anyway. It doesn’t matter that they don’t all have keys. They’re all criminals in some form.
Reuben is working a cigar and Livingston is trying to explain a card game to Basher with large hand motions.
It’s going about as well as can be expected.
Virgil comes out of the bathroom, rubbing a towel in his damp hair. “Have you guys checked out that water pressure?” he asks, because considering the fact that he’s supposed to be on his honeymoon, he needs whatever he can get.
“Best I’ve ever tried,” Saul says.
“Like a Grecian bath,” Reuben agrees. “Makes up for the fact that we’re stuck bunking in this tiny place.”
Livingston looks at him. “You upgraded to get your own room.”
Reuben shrugs. “We have work to do.”
“Work,” Basher says with an incredulous laugh.
“Well, I highly recommend the shower,” Virgil says, sitting down heavily. “Who has next? Livingston? Linus?” He looks at Turk, who is making a paper airplane out of newspaper. “Turk? I know you need one, man. You nearly got us kicked off the train yesterday with your smell alone.”
Turk glares, crumpling his plane. “Sure it wasn’t your long speeches about nothing?” he asks harshly.
“At least I’m capable of multi-syllabic speech,” Virgil returns.
Turk makes a face and stands up. “I’m not doing this with you,” he says, and walks out.
Virgil rolls his eyes.
“Problems on the home front?” Saul asks.
“He’s just got issues,” Virgil says.
Livingston deals a hand, then frowns, collecting the cards again.
Basher shakes his head, gets to his feet. “So nothing is off limits now? It’s not just skills and know-how, but body odor, too?” He shakes his head in disgust. “Nothing is sacred.”
Virgil watches Basher walk out.
“If you had a fight, you can tell me about it,” Livingston offers. He’s shuffling the cards, his knee jiggling. “I mean. To help.”
Livingston flushes red, gets up, and leaves the room.
Turk finds Rusty on the veranda. It’s the best part of the suites, small but overlooking the city. Rusty’s nursing a coffee while Danny drinks a Scotch. Turk walks over to the railing and leans against it.
“Rough night?” Danny asks.
Turk snorts. “You have no idea.”
“Relationships?” Rusty asks.
Turk snorts again. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Danny nods. “That’s the way they go.”
Rusty nods. “And Danny would know.”
Danny inclines his head. “I would know.”
Rusty takes a long swing and looks again at Turk, eyes narrowed. Then he looks at Danny, a question on his face.
Danny shrugs a little.
Rusty looks back at Turk. “You want a distraction?” he asks.
Turk straightens, looks at them critically. “What do you have in mind?”
“He’s making a big deal out of nothing,” Virgil says.
Only Reuben is looking at him.
“What’d you do?” Basher asks. He’s back at the table, fiddling with the remote control for reasons no one can fathom.
“I didn’t do anything,” Virgil insists.
“Oh, you did something,” Reuben muses, waving his cigar. “I haven’t seen him in a mood like that ever; he’s positively unsociable!”
Virgil sighs. “It was nothing.”
“What was it?” Livingston prompts from his computer.
Virgil’s shoulders slump. “I didn’t mention him in my groom’s speech.”
Linus frowns. He’s leaned up against the wall, facing the TV. “Groom’s speech?”
“It was unconventional,” Virgil defends.
“And you didn’t mention him?” Saul asks, suddenly interested from his spot on the couch.
“Did you mention a lot of people?” Reuben asks, still looking steadily at Virgil.
Virgil shrugs. “A few.”
“But not your brother?” Linus asks.
“Aren’t you two twins?” Livingston interjects.
“He’s never been nice to me,” Virgil says. “Stole all my toys. Broke most of them.”
“No wonder he’s been acting funny,” Linus says.
Reuben glances around with a knowing look.
“I let him be in the wedding!” Virgil says.
“But not the best man?” Linus asks.
Basher whistles. “That’s cold, man. Downright frigid.”
Virgil opens his mouth. Shuts it. Then says, “Have you all met Turk?”
Linus shakes his head. Reuben takes a puff. Saul squints at the TV and asks Basher to change the channel.
Turk is eating breakfast on the veranda. Eggs. Coffee.
It’s early. Just after seven.
Rusty is eating a doughnut.
Danny sits down, coffee in hand.
“I know I can be annoying, but I thought I meant something to him,” Turk is saying.
“Does he know that?” Danny asks.
Turk shrugs. “He should. I mean, what, he needs a Hallmark card?”
“It can’t hurt,” Danny says noncommittally.
“It can only help,” Rusty agrees.
Turk frowns. “I made my own brother hate me?”
“He doesn’t hate you,” Danny says.
“He certainly doesn’t hate you,” Rusty says.
“He didn’t mention me,” Turk points out.
Rusty shrugs. Licks glaze off his finger. “Danny doesn’t say a lot of things.”
Danny nods. “You all still know what I mean.”
Virgil is out of bed. His hair is messy. When he comes out of his room, he’s surprised that so many people are awake. Basher’s already dressed and Linus is finishing off a glass of orange juice.
Virgil sits down on the couch.
Turk gets up from the table and grabs a cup of coffee. He goes outside, cup in one hand, plate in the other.
“He’s still mad,” Virgil notes, watching him go.
“Who?” Saul asks.
“Turk,” Linus says.
“For overlooking him in the groom’s speech?” Livingston asks.
“There’s a groom’s speech?” Danny asks, walking into the room.
“It’s not like he likes me,” Virgil says defensively.
“You don’t think he likes you?” Danny asks.
“He is pretty mean,” Saul points out.
“I think he likes you,” Livingston says. “You’re family.”
“He always asks to go on stake outs with you,” Danny offers.
Virgil looks at him. “Really?”
Danny shrugs. Then he goes outside.
Virgil scratches his nose. “It didn’t mean anything.”
Danny puts on his ball cap. He looks in the rearview mirror. “You ready?”
Turk is looking out his window. “I just thought I meant more to him.”
Danny adjust his cap, thoughtfully. “Have you told him?”
Turk looks at him. “Should I?”
Danny nods to the red hat in Turk’s lap. “Your turn.”
Turk looks down, picks up the hat, puts it on. He’s thoughtful. “Maybe I should.”
Danny opens his door and climbs out. “Maybe you should.”
Turk waits five minutes, then follows.
“I just didn’t think,” Virgil says.
“You should always think,” Rusty advises.
“He’s my brother,” Virgil says. “He’s always been there.”
“So why didn’t you thank him?”
“Why should I?”
“He’s your brother,” Rusty reiterates.
Rusty looks at him. “Why didn’t you?”
Virgil shakes his head.
Rusty opens a bag of chips. “You about ready to do this?”
Virgil gets up, smoothing his jacket. “Did Basher get the night-vision goggles?”
“Ready for first time use,” Rusty confirms.
Virgil looks at the goggles. “Do they work?”
Rusty gives him a look.
Virgil sighs again. “Maybe I should have thanked him.”
Rusty just watches him as he walks away.
Turk thinks the goggles are stupid.
Virgil insists on wearing them.
When they get back, Danny asks. “How did it go?”
“Good,” Turk says.
“Very good,” Virgil agrees.
Turk’s job is to get away. He’s supposed to leave them there. This is a contingency they’ve planned for. One they expected.
Still, as Turk peels away from the museum, seeing his brother wrested into cuffs, it’s harder than it should be.
Much harder than Turk wants it to be.
Jail is dirty.
Rusty doesn’t mind.
Even Livingston seems okay.
Virgil can’t sit still.
“First time in?” Danny asks.
Virgil startles. “Yeah. But...”
Rusty grins because he gets it. “He’s fine.”
“I never said anything,” Virgil bristles.
Rusty smirks, looks away.
Danny nods. “He really is fine,” he assures.
Virgil doesn’t say anything, looks down at his hands, but believes it.
It’s lonely, just the three of them. Linus is fidgety and Basher doesn’t want to talk, even though this is all still mostly part of the plan.
Waiting’s always the hardest part, and Turk has never been known for his patience.
“He’s just never been in jail before,” Turk says finally.
“Who?” Linus asks.
“Who do you think?” Basher asks. He shrugs. “His brother.”
“Oh,” Linus says. He’s been pacing back and forth all night. He stops to look at Turk. “Really?”
“He was always too smart for it,” Turk explains.
Linus is curious. “You been in?”
Turk smiles halfway. “A few times.”
“Bad?” Linus asks, stepping closer.
Turk shrugs. “He always bailed me out,” he says. He pauses. “You think that’s why he didn’t mention me?”
“Maybe he just didn’t know what to say,” Linus suggests.
“I’m that bad?” Turk asks.
“Or maybe you’re both just that close,” Basher says. He looks up from his work, shaking his head. “Look, you’re being stupid over this. You two talk all the time but never say the things that you want to hear because you already know it. You already bloody know it all.”
Turk looks at Basher.
Linus does, too.
Basher swears and stands up, stalking away from them. “It’s none of my business anyway.”
Pulling a job is hard when you’re trying to do it right.
It’s surprisingly just as difficult when most of it’s a sham.
It goes against Turk’s instincts to let it himself get arrested, but he knows it’s part of the plan, and he thinks of Virgil and it’s not so bad.
Linus looks scared when the cop opens the cell door. Basher is just annoyed. Turk has the decency to look chagrined.
Virgil looks up, but doesn’t say anything, and if he looks hopeful, he’s not going to admit it.
Turk comes in, a little stiff when he sees his brother. He watches as Basher and Linus take the available seats.
There’s one seat left, right next to Virgil. Turk keeps his head high as he walks over.
Virgil looks at his brother. Turk looks at Virgil.
Livingston asks, “So how’d it go?”
Turk takes an aisle seat near the back of the plane. He hit the drink cart hard already and is feeling jittery, even though everything is good now. He’s still awake when the rest of the crew seems to fall asleep, but he can’t shut his mind off just yet.
Virgil dozes, but can’t sleep either. He thinks of his fiance back home, the church they’ve still got booked, and the rescheduled honeymoon tickets. He thinks about what will be his new wedding night and his second rehearsal dinner.
He thinks about what he wants to say this time around, to make it right. Make it better. Apologies to his will-be wife. Promises to her loyal family. Pledges of renewal to everyone around, except maybe his uncle, who really wasn’t all that nice now that Virgil has had time to remember.
He thinks of Turk, sitting at the end of the table, twiddling his thumbs and getting drunk for lack of something more important to do.
Virgil sighs. and pushes to his feet. When he gets to Turks row at the back of the plane, he pauses.
Turk looks up at him.
“That seat taken?” Virgil asks, nodding to the empty window seat. It’s funny that Virgil likes the view, and Turk likes the leg room, so it always seems to work out just fine.
Turk hesitates, then shrugs. It’s not an invitation, but it’s not a refusal either.
Virgil sits down.
They don’t speak. Two rows up, Livingston is snoring. Frank snuffles in his sleep.
“I should have thanked you,” Virgil says.
Turk blinks, keeps looking ahead.
“In the speech,” Virgil clarifies.
Turk seems to consider that.
Virgil slouches, just a little. “It’s just...you always got me into trouble. You’re never very nice.”
Turk bristles, squaring his shoulders a bit.
“But you’re the only one who knows who I really am, sometimes,” Virgil concludes.
Turk’s expression softens, but he still doesn’t look at his brother. “I’m sorry, too.”
Virgil cocks his head, clearly surprised.
Turk shrugs with a trace of sheepishness. “For getting you into trouble.”
Virgil snorts. “I can do that on my own.”
“No, the Benedict job was my idea,” Turk says, very seriously. “This is my fault.”
Virgil laughs. “That’s cute, really, but the Benedict job was my idea.”
At this, Turk does turn to his brother. “I’m the one who first met Rusty.”
Virgil meets his eyes. “Rusty called me.”
“For my driving!”
Virgil shakes his head, slightly smug. “My driving.”
“You drive toy trucks!”
“I wired the fake getaway, which was a crucial part of the exit strategy.”
“I was a SWAT member. I carried a gun.”
“And that impresses me?”
“Better than being a little girl with a remote control.”
Virgil’s eyes blaze, his jaw working. “You know, never mind. I’m not sorry. And I revoke your right to stand in the wedding.”
Turk is indignant. “You can’t do that.”
“I can,” Virgil says with a decisive nod.
“It’s in the program.”
“You paid for my tux.”
“We’ll hire a monkey. About the same size. Same intellect. No one will notice.”
Turk slouches, looking cross. “You’re really mean, you know that?”
“And you’re really stupid.”
Two minutes later, Linus throws a pillow at them. When that doesn’t work, Basher drags Turk to the bathroom and shoves him in. Frank manhandles Virgil into the other.
The entire plane cheers.