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Oceans fic: All In 1/1

February 10th, 2011 (07:16 am)
Tags: ,

Title: All In

Disclaimer: Not mine.

A/N: I wrote this a few months ago, when I first rewatched the Oceans movies. The feel of the movies and the tone of the characters so got in my head that I had no choice but to write a fic or two to thoroughly appease my muse. Little did I know that a while later, moogsthewriter  would accost me with even more Oceans fic ideas :) That said, this is beta'ed by moogsthewriter , who continues to be one of the worst influences on my muse ever. Which is probably why I love her so much.

A/N 2: This has no specific spoilers as I recall, but is set generally after the events of the third movie. It features the entire Oceans crew, but may have something of a focus on the Malloy brothers because yeah, I happen to like them a bit :) And if there's h/c in here, I blame my muse. Really :)

Summary: Rusty doesn't need the big picture to know that something went wrong. Danny's simply not sure he wants to know the details. Set post O13.

 

-o-

Danny says it'll be an easy job.

"In and out," Rusty says.

"Very easy job," Danny agrees.

-o-

"First step, reconnaissance," Rusty says. "We need to get eyes on the mark. It's a private residence so there's less accessibility."

"Less accessibility than a Las Vegas casino?" Linus asks dubiously.

"We can't walk in and out as we please," Danny points out.

"And they've got armed guards," Livingston points out. "This guy doesn't mess around."

Saul snorts. "As if we didn't have enough to worry about."

"But the payoff," Frank says.

Rusty looks at Danny.

Danny smiles. "The payoff is good."

-o-

"It's not better security necessarily," Livingston reports. "But smaller grounds make it harder to crack."

"And easier to defend," Basher points out.

"How does one old dude have that much to protect?" Turk asks.

"Same way we do," Rusty says.

"He stole it," Virgil interjects.

Turk glares at him. "I got that."

Virgil shrugs. "Just making sure. With you it's hard to tell."

-o-

"We need to know the guards better," Danny says.

"One of them should be workable," Rusty adds.

"We just need one," Danny reminds them.

"It's a private team," Livingston says. "Answers only to Giovanni."

"That's hard to crack," Linus says.

"Hard," Rusty agrees.

"But not impossible," Danny finishes.

-o-

"Are you sure about this mark?" Rusty asks.

Danny looks out along the veranda. It's not the nicest place they've stayed, but he's always liked the weather in upstate New York. "It's easy," he says. "In and out."

Rusty has his arms crossed. He's leaning against the balcony, looking the opposite way from Danny. "What about Tess?"

Danny doesn't hesitate. "What about Isabel?"

Rusty shakes his head and grins. "I thought you were out."

"This guy's a thief," Danny says.

"So are you."

Danny stares for a moment, out across the grounds. Their villa has a pond and trees, separating it from the nearest home.

"He stole them from you?" Rusty asks suddenly.

Danny isn't surprised. "Worse."

Rusty cocks his head.

"The painting on our list. The Picasso."

"Tess," Rusty realizes.

"Tess," Danny concurs.

"So you're stealing the painting for Tess."

"For the New York Museum of Modern Art."

"And we'll hock the rest."

"To make it worth the team's while."

Rusty nods and then grins some more. "Does she know?"

"It'll be an amazing find," Danny says. "Anonymous tip."

Rusty chuckles and stands up, looking at Danny for the first time. "And she'll believe that?"

Danny smiles back. "Only because she wants to."

-o-

"I still don't see why we don't just blow it all to hell," Basher says.

"You'd have security on you in a minute," Livingston says.

"Not to mention the local PD," Reuben adds.

"And no exit," Linus says.

"That's why we pull a con on the guard," Turk argues. "Or just knock them out. Unconscious guys can't cry foul."

"They have routine five minute check ins," Rusty says. "Giovanni takes his security very seriously."

"But picking the lock will take too long," Basher says. "We'll never make it."

"Not if we know the code," Danny points out.

Rusty nods, grinning. "Not if we know the code."

-o-

"Why do I have to do this?" Linus asks.

Rusty quirks an eyebrow. "I thought you liked having a major role."

"This is recon," Linus stresses.

"We need recon. We have to see where the weaknesses in the security system are," Danny says.

"We need to gauge their reaction to threats," Rusty says.

"But Turk and Virgil?" Linus asks with apparent incredulity.

"They pull a great con," Rusty says.

"Drivers," Danny adds.

"Distraction," Rusty continues.

Linus looks desperate.

"It's a short job," Danny assures.

"A little phone company mishap," Rusty pitches in. "Five minutes."

"Ten minutes," Danny says.

"Five minutes, tops," Rusty clarifies.

"Have you been in a van with them for five minutes?" Linus asks.

Danny shrugs. He looks at Rusty.

Rusty shrugs. "Snickers bar," he recommends. "Always helps me with the commute."

Linus rolls his eyes.

-o-

Saul pops a Rolaid, settling back in his seat. "You're pushing your luck, you know."

Rusty takes a sip of coffee. "Isn't that the point?"

"You'll lose someday, kid."

"I lose all the time," Rusty says.

Saul shakes his head, popping another Rolaid for good measure. "Something that matters."

"You want out?" Danny asks.

Saul's expression sours. "I'm here, aren't I?"

Danny nods.

Rusty smiles and takes another drink.

-o-

"You would think for a man with as much as Giovanni, he'd have more to do," Livingston observes.

"Don't you still live with your parents?" Turk asks, not cruel, but not kind.

Virgil snickers.

Livingston flushes. "I still go out."

Yen says something in Cantonese.

From the couch, Rusty laughs.

Livingston glares. "They do too count."

"Do we have our window yet?" Rusty changes the topic.

Livingston looks back at the screen. "Tennis lessons. Thursday, at noon."

"Tennis is something," Virgil says.

"You would think so," Turk says.

Virgil looks at him. "What, and monster truck rallies are better?"

Turk rolls his eyes. "I like more than that."

Virgil doesn't back down. "But you do like them."

"And so do you."

"No, I don't."

Turk levels him with a look. "So you don't make models of them in the basement?"

Virgil shakes his head adamantly. "Models. Not monster trucks."

Turk gestures to the group. "And you say I have issues."

"I'm not compensating for a perceived lack of manhood by investing in oversized toys with no practical purpose."

"No, you're proving your lack of manhood by playing with models."

Livingston grimaces.

Linus leaves the room.

Frank deals a hand of gin, muttering under his breath.

Rusty just laughs.

-o-

"This part's easy," Danny says.

"Just do enough to trip the system," Rusty reminds.

"We need to see them in action," Danny reiterates.

Adjusting his collar, Linus just glares. "I got it."

"You have to convince them it's an accident," Danny says.

"See how they respond."

"I told you, I got it!"

"Just making sure," Danny says.

"You sure?" Rusty asks.

Linus sighs and walks away.

Danny nods. "He's sure."

-o-

"I'm too old for this," Saul complains.

Frank is looking at his nails. "You could leave," he says.

Saul harrumphs, looking miserable. "My girl left me."

Frank nods in commiseration. "I haven't found a quality nail salon in almost six months."

"This job better pay out and pay out big," Saul says, shaking his head.

Frank squints, then scowls, at what may be the start of a hangnail. "With Danny, they always do."

Saul snorts a little, fishing in his pocket for his Rolaids. "Yeah. I suppose they do."

-o-

"I bet you can't be quiet," Virgil says, looking at Turk intently.

"I can be quiet," Turk replies. He doesn't have to look at his brother.

Virgil's smile is mischievous. "Prove it."

"I can't prove it now," Turk counters.

"Because you can't do it at all."

"Because we're on a job."

Virgil shakes his head with the alacrity of a five-year-old. "You can't."

"I was quiet all day. Remember? You were there. That day in - at the golf course-"

"You had bronchitis."

Turk shrugs. "I was still quiet."

"Because you literally couldn't speak."

"I could speak."

"You sounded like you were dying."

"That's still speech."

"It doesn't count."

"It counts," Turk says decidedly.

"No, it doesn't."

"Does."

"No, it really doesn't."

"You just don't want to admit I'm right."

"I just don't want to admit we're related."

Turk juts his jaw. "That hurts."

"That's true."

Linus groans and opens the van door, desperate for fresh air.

-o-

Turk screws around and he's aware that he's not the brightest knife in the drawer. But he's good at what he does.

He can see escape routes without trying, and when there's no easy out, he knows how to play off people with pitch perfection. He talks big, but his weapon of choice is sarcasm and annoyance, and he can frustrate someone so thoroughly into submission that when they give in, they think they're really catching a break.

And he can follow orders. Better yet, he can work as part of a team. He likes it that way. If he doesn't have to think about the high level stuff, he can just enjoy the ride.

His job is to pick a fight with Virgil. Not just in life, but literally, on this job. They have to blow a telephone line so it sparks and shorts out the neighborhood. The fight with Virgil is to make everyone believe it really is an accident and to see what kind of tolerance the guards have.

Turk can do that. Not a problem. Sounds kind of fun. Makes up for the fact that he's stuck in coveralls, which even when put on correctly are still hard to wear and not designed for quick trips to the bathroom.

Maybe he shouldn't have had beans for lunch.

Still. Turk adjusts his hat and looks at his brother. Bathroom later. Job now. He nods.

Virgil nods back, then takes out the scanner that Basher rigged.

Together, they climb out of the van. Linus is already outside, pretending to check poles up the street.

Turk cases the houses on the block casually, and follows Virgil to the pole right in front of their mark's house.

They exchange a look, just for a moment.

Then Virgil takes the scanner and presses it against the pole.

Turk doesn't know the mechanics or physics or whatever of it all, but he knows that when the scanner hits the pole, it's supposed to send up an electrical current. Nothing too dangerous, but enough to short out the system for a nice temporary blip.

According to plan, there's a buzz and a fizzle, followed by a series of pops.

Then, just like Basher said, the entire block blinks out.

Virgil pulls the scanner away.

Turk grins.

Then he turns to his brother, throws his hands in the air, and says, "Look what you did, you incompetent moron!"

-o-

Linus has to remind himself that the bickering is part of the gag. So annoying that the security team won't have the energy to question their authenticity.

Part of the gag, maybe, but annoying as hell. Even halfway down the street, Linus can hear them perfectly. If Linus actually believed it was all an act, he might respect it more. But he's seen the Malloy brothers fight like this regardless of the setting, so it just doesn't seem all that impressive to him, even when it's working in his favor.

But it is working. Right on cue, he sees the door open to Giovanni's and the guards who come out are not too happy. They approach, just as Rusty said they would.

They're armed, Linus notes. Armed, but not reaching for it.

Still, this is Linus' part, and he breaks into a jog up the street.

The guards approach Virgil first, and Turk's still yelling. "No, you're supposed to check the currents, not blow the whole system!"

"I didn't!" Virgil protests, waving the scanner wildly. "It must have had a short!"

It's not clear who the guards believe.

It is clear that their response to disturbance is anything but tepid.

Holding onto his hat, Linus comes up, red faced and breathless. "Slow down, slow down," he pants. "Someone tell me what's wrong!"

-o-

Virgil's wife knows the truth. Knows it. Likes the money. Finds it damn sexy.

If only she could see him now.

He plays simpering to Turk's bullying. They have a rhythm that can't be matched and sure as hell can't be beaten. It's almost an art, it's that good.

"I was just following protocol!" he yells, with just a screech of desperation tagged on, right there at the end.

Turk throws his arms out, almost taking out the guard closest to him. "What part of protocol involves killing power to the entire block?"

Virgil blinks, close to crying, and he turns away from Turk ever so slightly so Giovanni's guards can take in the full effect. "I don't know what happened!" he wails, and wails again incomprehensibly to really complete the gag.

-o-

Linus thinks, Danny's right. This is simple. The guards have a textbook response. A little overzealous in their pursuit, but by the book, all the way. Badges exposed and clipped on with heavy duty string. Not impenetrable, but still tough to snag if they decide to go that route. It helps that they're confrontational, though. They want to control everything even close to their jurisdiction, and Linus thinks provoking a deeper altercation might be easy enough, which would give ample cover for a pull if necessary.

Drawing them out will be easy. Their own hyper-focus will work perfectly against them in the end.

Still. This isn't the time for that. They've gotten their gauge. It's time to pull out.

Linus edges in, more forcefully. He's the supervisor in this act, and he holds himself upright to play the part, stepping easily between Turk and Virgil. "Come on, come on," he says. When the bickering continues, he puts his back to Virgil and a hand out to Turk's chest. "Come on!"

Turk laughs, a bit like a hyena. Virgil shies off.

"This behavior is entirely inappropriate!" Linus lectures. He turns to the guards. "I'm so sorry. This is completely unprofessional, and you have my apologies-"

One of the guard narrows his eyes.

The other lifts his chin.

Linus shakes his head, purses his lips. "We'll have this cleaned up in no time," he promises. "Power will be right back up once we see just what went wrong."

-o-

Turk doesn't know all the book stuff that Virgil knows. He's vaguely aware of the way the government works, but he can't explain the balances of power in it all. He knows that there's been some nasty world wars, but he doesn't know if the ones in Asia count or if the Russians are actually their friends or foes. He doesn't know how to do long division in his head, but it doesn't much matter. He figures as long as there's enough zeroes in the number, then it's good enough for him.

So there's a lot of stuff Turk doesn't know.

But he does know when to bail.

He knew when to break up with Chrissy Jenkins before she wanted a ring, knew how to blow out of Harper's Bar before the guys figured he was cheating them at pool. Knew how to drop out of community college before anyone started to tell him about his untapped potential and tried to make a model citizen out of him.

He knows when to bail now.

As in, right now.

This show is over. The guards have shown their hand and they're not just out of cards to play but tired of the whole damn game. They're past the point of no return. Past something, and Turk doesn't care to see what's next.

One guard is looking at Linus. Looks at his partner. Fingers on the gun.

As if Turk needs more signs.

Time to go.

"Well, I need tools!" Turk says, not sure if it even makes sense, but he doesn't care. "Genius here fried all the ones we had."

He moves to the van in a melodramatic huff.

Virgil doesn't hesitate. "It's not my fault!" he says again, following close behind.

"We'll have to go all the way back to the office," Turk says, shaking his head. "Waste of a day. Waste of a day."

Linus is still apologizing.

Suddenly, the van seems far away. Turk's not sure why. Not sure what that means. But it may as well be a friggin' mile for the couple of steps it'll take him to get there.

Then, inexplicably, Turk looks back.

-o-

Linus sees the gun. Sees it on the holster. Sees it being pulled.

The gag, he thinks. Stick to the exit.

Keep the cover. Keep it.

Then he sees the gun. Sees it in his face.

Hands up, Linus is disarming. "Whoa, hey!" he says. "We're just doing our job! Maybe you'd like to call our supervisor-"

One guard smirks.

Linus backs up. "I can get him on the phone. This is highly unusual, I can promise you, but it's part of the job."

The other guard cocks his head. "So is this."

Linus thinks, they've been made.

The exit strategy is blown.

New strategy.

New exit.

Run.

-o-

The first shot is close enough to feel. It hits the van. Ahead of him, the engine is starting. Virgil is at the door, holding it open, eyes wide.

The second goes past him, and Virgil goes down.

Linus jumps, tumbling over Virgil. He slams the door as the van turns.

They're wheeling hard now, and Linus hits the ground again with new force. He hears Virgil groan.

The van careens, then lurches. There's a fresh volley of gunfire, and Linus hears metallic pings and the cracking of the windshield.

Turk swears, and Linus has to brace himself on the wall of the van as the van pitches drunkenly.

Finally, Linus finds his feet and makes his way between the seats. He's doubted many things about Turk, but he always counted him as a better driver than this. "Damn it, what are you-"

But Linus sees the spiderweb effect in the windshield, punctuated by a small hole. Then he sees the blood on the seat and Turk's fingers gripped so tightly on the wheel that they're white.

For a second, Linus gapes.

Then, he reaches for the wheel, catching it right as Turk tips to the side and passes out.

-o-

Linus screams into his phone: "They had us made! They had us made!"

Rusty is silent on the other end, just for a moment. "Are you being followed?"

Linus looks in the rearview mirror. "No-"

"That's good," Rusty says, too quickly.

Linus cries, slams his hand on the wheel. Once. Twice. "No, they got a few shots out. Turk and Virgil-"

Rusty's voice sounds funny. Breathy and quiet. "Are they alive?"

"They need a hospital."

"Bring them in." There's no humor in Rusty's voice. No room for argument.

"They need-"

"Linus," Rusty says, in that way that Rusty talks sometimes. The way that doesn't let you argue, not even when you should. "Bring them in."

Tears on his face, Linus hangs up, throws the phone on the seat. He doesn't want to hear it, even if he knows why. He just stares at the road, breathing through his tight throat, his fingers holding the wheel so firmly that he almost can't feel them at all.

-o-

"We could have a mole," Danny says. They're standing in the garage. Waiting.

"They could be that good," Rusty counters. Somewhere, distantly, there's a siren.

"How long until they get here?" Livingston asks, standing in their shadows. The siren fades.

"A doctor's coming," Reuben says from the doorway.

"How did they make them?" Frank asks.

"They're good," Danny says.

"Better than we thought," Rusty agrees.

-o-

"We didn't see this coming?" Livingston asks. He's chewing on his lip. He's upstairs again. He has nothing else to do.

"You can't see everything coming," Saul says.

"But this..." Livingston says, and he gestures helplessly.

"You pull enough jobs, it happens to all of us." It's not cruel, but it's harsh.

Livingston drops his head.

Saul pops a Rolaid.

-o-

The van comes up, fast and reckless. It stops short, but not by much, and it's not even in park when Linus comes out. He's talking, but it's too fast to make out.

No one is listening.

Rusty pulls open the back door and gets a good look, and sighs.

Virgil's awake, but barely. He's propped against the wall, slouched and sweaty. He's got his good hand wrapped around his bicep, and everything is red.

It takes a minute for Rusty to realize that Virgil's not looking at his own arm or the blood on the floor. He's looking at his brother.

Turk is on the floor next to Virgil, and the only reason Rusty didn't see him first is because there are some details he just rather ignore.

The problem with details is that none of them can be ignored.

This can't be ignored.

There is a crimson stain on Turk's chest, and even from a distance, Rusty can see the ripped hole in the coveralls, just below the shoulder, just above the heart.

Next to him, Danny swears.

Linus is still rambling.

Rusty blinks.

Danny swears again.

-o-

Virgil's got a bullet hole in his arm. Clean through, in and out. Looks messy, hurts like hell, but some bandages and antiseptic, and it's all good to go.

Turk's got one in the chest, and the bullet's still in there.

Rusty doesn't need the big picture to know that something went wrong.

Danny's simply not sure he wants to know the details.

-o-

It's a long night.

They all take turns. Loitering, but not quite hovering. They're all quiet, TV on mute, games of solitaire to pass the time. They don't speak so they don't have to ask the question, don't have to wonder if the job will still get done, if they should be considering it at all.

Livingston is nervous, worse than normal. He sits in a chair at the table and chews his fingernail. Every now and then, he looks like he wants to get up, but he doesn't. Just picks another nail and keeps on chewing.

Yen is sullen, arms crossed over his chest as he stares at the TV with avid dispassion.

Saul sits next to Yen, face drawn and blank. He's trying to remember the times he's done this before, the boys who've survived. He refuses to think about the names of those who haven't.

Reuben doesn't have time for regret, at least not like this. But he doesn't like reminders of his own mortality, that money and the con might not be the end all, be all that he's counted on all these years.

Frank shuffles cards and lays them out. Solitaire's not much of a game to win, but sometimes he thinks the bets that count the most are the ones you make against yourself. At least, he hopes so.

Basher tweaks his latest project, opening it up, adjusting the circuits. It's second nature to know how these things work, and when life's a mess, Basher likes to focus on the order in chaos he can still make sense of.

Linus is almost as bad as Livingston, and there's a shell shocked quality to him. He's sweaty and pale, sitting on a chair facing the TV. But whenever someone moves, he startles, looking to the door, both in hope and fear.

Rusty doesn't show emotion, and eats a bag of chips for good measure. He's still thinking, about how to make this work, how to salvage the team, how to salvage anything at all. When the chips are gone, he licks each finger clean.

Danny is just as stoic, a glass of vodka in his hand. He shakes it, and the ice clinks. He watches the liquid swirl, then drowns it in a single gulp before going to the bar and filling his glass again.

It's a very, very long night.

-o-

"Virgil will be fine," the doctor says. "Lucky one, he is. Bullet went in and out, missed the muscles and bone. Keep it clean and he'll be just fine."

Danny nods.

Rusty asks, "And Turk?"

The doctor's smile falters. His shoulders fall.

-o-

"He needs a hospital," Linus says, not for the first time.

"We'll all get tagged if he goes to one," Basher says.

"We can't let him die!" Linus explodes. He throws one arm out and looks at them all in desperation.

"He's not going to die," Danny interrupts.

"We don't have to let him die," Rusty agrees.

-o-

"A bullet," Livingston says. His hand twitches and he wipes it over his mouth. "We never said anything about guns."

"We knew the guards were armed," Basher says.

"It's dangerous work," Frank muses, moving a run of cards from one pile to another.

No one disagrees.

Livingston wipes his brow and swears under his breath.

-o-

"It's my fault," Linus says.

"There are risks," Rusty reminds him.

Linus looks at him. "So you don't feel guilty?"

Rusty looks at Danny. They both look away.

"We all knew the risks," Rusty says.

-o-

"It could have been worse," Basher says, looking at the remote control trigger on the table. It's part of the plan, but Basher doesn't know if they'll use it now.

"Right. He could be dead already," Reuben says.

Basher's expression tightens. "The chest is messy, but gut shots are worse."

"I'll keep that in mind," Reuben says. "If I'm ever going to get shot."

-o-

"It's not that bad," Danny says.

"Two pints of blood and a nicked artery," Rusty reminds him.

"Doc got it."

"Doc says a hospital would be better."

"For observation."

"Are you a doctor?"

"No, but I can observe."

"Is it worth the risk?" Rusty asks, not to be mean, but because he wants to know.

Danny looks at him. "Is it?"

-o-

The doctor comes back; he has some supplies.

He adds an IV, checks the wound. He frowns. "His blood pressure is low."

Danny chews his lip.

Rusty lifts his chin. "How do we fix that?"

The doctor sighs a little, shrugging. "More fluids would help," he says. "He's had some substantial blood loss."

-o-

"Blood loss," Danny says. They're alone, outside the room.

Rusty holds his gaze. "Substantial blood loss."

"We need a transfusion."

"We don't know his type."

"O Neg."

"Where are we going to get blood?" Rusty asks.

"We need it."

Rusty sighs. "I'll see what I can do."

-o-

The doctor lets them in, one at a time.

Turk hasn't moved on the bed. His face is slack and sallow. His chest seems to heave each breath, pushing air through colorless lips. The bandage on his chest is soiled and ugly, but the doctor doesn't say it's time to change it yet.

They take turns at the bedside. Danny is reevaluating the big picture and Rusty is working the details with a new angle.

No one wants to say how bad Turk looks outside.

"I've seen lots of guys look that bad," Reuben says with a shrug. "Some a whole lot worse."

"And they got better?" Livingston asks, and his voice his hopeful.

Reuben gets to his feet. "With one of Ocean's plans, why not?"

-o-

Frank's a match. Rusty tells him what they need.

Frank swears. "I didn't sign on to be some damn blood bank."

"He'd do it for you," Basher says. "Any of us would, without a second thought."

"I didn't know he was capable of second thoughts," Frank mutters crossly, and he holds his arm protectively, just in case.

"You like to tell that to his brother?" Basher asks.

Frank glares at him and swears again.

"We're all in or we're all out," Rusty says. "That's the way it's been since the beginning. We give everything we have or we go home."

-o-

Frank comes out with a bandage on his arm. He's holding a glass of orange juice as he goes back to the couch.

In the doorway, the doctor smiles. "Call me if there's any change," he says to Danny. "I'll be by in the morning."

Danny smiles, but it doesn't reach his eyes. "Thank you, doc," he says.

The doctor doesn't say anything as he walks to the door.

-o-

Turk looks like he's sleeping, but Rusty's never really seen him sleep before. He's a driver and a smart ass who fights with his brother. Good at blending in while standing out.

Turk's never afraid to get dirty. Rusty wonders if he's afraid to die.

He'll have to ask him someday, he thinks, settling into the chair next to Turk.

Someday.

-o-

"It could have been any of us," Linus says.

Basher doesn't look up. He's got the remote open again, for no reason other than he needs something to do. "It was a fluke. Bad luck."

"We don't plan for this stuff,' Linus continues, but he's not looking at anyone.

"What did you think Danny meant when he said it was dangerous?" Saul asks.

Linus finally turns his head and looks at Saul. Then he looks at his hands. "It could have been any of us."

Basher fiddles with the device again. "Bloody damn luck."

-o-

Danny sits watch more often, but he doesn't like it at all. He keeps telling himself that these things happen, it's a dangerous game, Turk knew the risks.

He sits for hours sometimes, watching the kid sleep. He remembers being younger, remembers thinking that the risks just made the pot sweeter.

Danny sits, but tries not to look at all, because he doesn't want to see.

Rusty replaces him, a cup of coffee in one hand, a Ho-Ho in the other. All things considered, Rusty doesn't mind sitting vigil. He can think here as well as anywhere. At least Turk is quiet. "How's he doing?"

"No change," Danny reports, and he takes his leave.

-o-

"It wasn't your fault," Danny says.

Linus doesn't speak. He's leaned against the wall, has been most of the night. He doesn't want to move.

"It's called recon for a reason."

Linus snorts.

"We know now."

Linus looks at him. "Yeah," he agrees. "We do."

-o-

"I've seen guys shot before," Livingston says.

"I've seen guys bleed out before, too," Reuben adds. "We all know it ain't pretty."

Livingston doesn't say it's different when you know the guy, that his chest hurts just thinking about it.

Reuben scoffs. "Lots of guys," he mutters, and doesn't say that knowing them isn't the hard part. Being partners with them is the thing you don't get over.

"Screw that," Basher says, getting to his feet. "I've been shot myself and it don't make no difference who's there when you think you're dying."

Linus looks at him from the couch. Livingston flinches.

Basher shakes his head. "But when you wake up - that's when it matters," he says with a nod, and he leaves the room.

-o-

Linus comes in around dawn and almost walks back out. He runs into Rusty at the door.

"Whoa," Rusty says, protecting his glass of orange juice. "You haven't even said hello."

Linus stammers. "He needs to rest."

"Someone needs to watch him. You know. Make sure he keeps breathing."

Linus pales.

"Just for twenty-four hours. Or until he wakes up," Danny says from Turk's bedside.

"Assuming he doesn't start bleeding again," Rusty interjects, as though trying to be helpful.

"Or spike a fever over 102," Danny adds.

Linus' eyes go back and forth. Rusty. Danny. Rusty. Danny.

Danny stands up, a heavy hand on Linus' shoulder. "It's easy, kid," he assures. "Really."

Rusty smiles a little. "Remember, we're all counting on you. Turk's life may depend on it."

Linus goes white, opens his mouth, but Danny and Rusty are gone. Linus hesitates for a moment, then goes to the bed. He regards Turk uncomfortably before settling in the chair silently.

-o-

Rusty thinks Turk looks bad. It worries him. The blood loss. The fever.

Then he sees Virgil.

The other Malloy is in the next bedroom, tucked beneath the sheets. The doctor says he's fine, but he's sleeping fitfully, murmuring in his sleep.

"Doc gave him something to keep him under," Danny says quietly. They're standing next to the wall, right beside the door.

Rusty watches as Virgil fidgets again. "Not working real well."

They both watch for another moment. Virgil says something in a heated whisper and his face scrunches up with pain.

"Maybe his arms hurts," Rusty says.

"Maybe," Danny says, but his voice doesn't carry much conviction.

-o-

Saul doesn't want a turn with Turk. He peeks in just for show, and doesn't need any more. He's buried friends and enemies alike, and there's a reason he has ulcers.

He agrees to sit with Virgil for awhile, just because.

Virgil's going to be fine, but the frantic sleep of a distraught man is worse than watching someone teetering on the brink of what could be death. Saul knows, better than anyone, that dying is anything that steals the soul and sometimes physical death isn't the worst there is.

Sitting back, he thinks maybe he should have sat with Turk after all.

-o-

Rusty knows Turk is in a bad way. He knows the doctor's reports, even if he doesn't tell the others. He sees the IVs and the blood and understands what it all means.

Much more blood loss, much higher fever, much lower blood pressure, Danny would have had to cut all ties and take the kid to a hospital, because not even Danny Ocean can put a price on someone's life like that.

But Turk survives the night. Even if it's a testament to Danny's good luck, Turk's still alive.

This is so preoccupying that Rusty almost forgets about Virgil until the other Malloy wakes up.

"Turk," Virgil says, plaintive and scared. "Where's Turk?"

The Malloys fight and bicker, insult and mock. But after years in the game, Rusty knows love when he sees it.

-o-

Virgil will do nothing until he sees Turk. He refuses food, water, painkillers, and the bathroom.

"I need to see him," Virgil says, his voice pinched and not just with pain. "He's okay."

"He's holding his own," Danny says.

"Doc says you need to take it easy," Rusty adds.

Virgil's eyes are bright and determined. "Only when I see Turk."

Danny looks at Rusty. Rusty shrugs.

Danny tries to smile. "Okay."

-o-

Yen spent most of his money from the first job on a giant house he could never fill. It was over the top and ridiculous, but after spending so much time squeezing into inhuman spaces, he likes to spread out when he can.

The motel room they're renting is the size of an apartment, and a nice one at that. They have plenty of space to do what they want and to be where they want.

Turk has one bedroom and Yen knows everyone else goes inside, but he doesn't take a turn. He has never seen someone die before, and he doesn't know if he wants to. He doesn't go to see Virgil either, because there aren't words in English or Chinese that he knows well enough to explain how this makes him feel.

He watches though. One eye on the TV, the other reading the group. The doctor is not quite optimistic, but there's still hope. Danny is worried and Rusty is working out contingencies. All of their jobs have hinged on the head of a pin, and that's never worried Yen, not even when he's been stuffed in a box with only thirty minutes of air or crammed into a bag on his way to Madrid.

And yet, Yen can't move from his spot on the couch, tucked on the end, scrunched so small in front of the TV that he thinks he might disappear.

Hopes maybe he will.

-o-

Danny can read people. It's as much a gift to him as it is a honed skill. He knows when someone is lying he knows when they're telling the truth. He knows when they're scared and when they don't want anyone to know it.

He usually knows more about a person in any given moment than they know about themselves. He couldn't turn that off, even if he wanted to.

So Danny knows Virgil's on edge the second he wakes up. He knows that the kid's arm hurts like a son of a bitch and that he's not even aware of it.

But Danny never knew how much the Malloys loved each other until he walked Virgil into his brother's room.

Virgil doesn't even say anything. He just stands there, just inside the door for a long moment, face blank and eyes unblinking.

When the kid finally does blink, his face composes. He steps forward, standing next to Turk stiffly.

"What did the doc say?" Virgil asks, but he doesn't look back at him.

Rusty answers. "Bullet came out clean. Some blood loss, but we've got it taken care of. Antibiotics for infection. Rest for recovery. He's got some major stitches and the arm might be stiff. You'll want to look into some therapy for that." He pauses. Smiles a little. "Nothing your share won't cover."

Virgil doesn't flinch. Just blinks again. "And he'll be okay, right?"

A beat passes.

"Yeah," Rusty says, and it's not as much a lie as it is a hopeful truth.

Virgil nods. "Okay," he says, and just like a mark begging to be taken, Virgil sits down and doesn't look back.

-o-

Rusty comes out of the room. He's going to the mini bar when Linus can't take it anymore. "Is he awake?"

Rusty doesn't stop, fishes for something and finds a bag of peanuts. Honey roasted, extra salt. "Virgil?" he asks while he finagles the bag open.

"I know Virgil's awake," Linus says, an air of exasperation in his voice. "Turk."

Rusty manages to get the bag open. "Virgil's with him now."

"But he's not awake?"

"He's better," Rusty says.

"But not awake."

Rusty pops a handful of nuts into his mouth. "He's better."

Linus rubs his palms together, then presses them on his pants. "But what does that mean?"

Basher walks by, snags a bottle of water. "It means the kid had a bullet in his chest last night. Give him time."

Linus look at him, mouth open.

Rusty walks away, a hand on Linus' shoulder as he passes. "Much, much better."

-o-

Reuben grew up with brothers. One is dead; cancer, about ten years ago. The other is retired in Florida; has a whole gaggle of grandkids.

He doesn't miss them much, all things considered, and he's got enemies that feel more like family than they do.

But watching Virgil and Turk, seeing them stripped away, Reuben sees something different, something he never had, something money could never buy and blood could never guarantee.

Suddenly Reuben needs a smoke. He sneaks out the door without a word and keeps walking until he gets to the balcony.

-o-

"How's it faring?" Basher asks when it's his turn.

Virgil doesn't look up. The boy looks a bit haggard. "Getting better," he says, like he knows what it means. "Blood pressure is up. Fever holding steady."

Basher nods. "I mean you."

At that, Virgil does look up.

Basher shrugs. "He's got the easy job," he says, motioning to Turk. "Worrying is the hard part."

Virgil looks away again, swallowing hard. "I didn't even want to come," he says. His voice is hoarse. "I have a wife now. Even if she's okay with it, I knew it was risky."

Basher resists the urge to smile - almost. "Then why'd you come?"

Virgil breathes for a moment. He shakes his head, smiling ruefully. "Turk always makes it sound so exciting," he admits. "And I like the way jobs make me think."

Basher collects a breath of his own, nodding a little. "It's never really about the money, is it?" he asks. Then he adds, "At least, not completely."

Virgil is silent for a moment. "I wouldn't do a job without him."

"You'll probably never have to," Basher tells him."

Virgil's jaw works. "I never have been able to say no to him."

"And he can never say no to you."

Virgil looks up, surprised. "You think?"

Basher scoffs. "Two halves," he says. "Soul mates are not only found in love stories."

For a second, the words settle.

Then Virgil makes a face. "What?"

Basher clears his throat, shoving his hands into his pockets. "Nothing," he huffs. "But I'm sure Turk will be fine."

Virgil watches him go, even after the door is closed.

-o-

When someone finally remembers that Yen is there, he doesn't know what to do with his turn. He understands peril in this much: the closer to the edge, the greater the pay off. Yen has pushed his limits, lived large beyond his means, defied common sense and gravity. He nearly dies with every stunt he pulls.

In this, death makes no sense to him. Taking a bullet is another trick. A death defying act that leaves everyone speechless.

At least, that's what Yen has to tell himself as he watches Virgil watch Turk.

-o-

Livingston can't sit still. He sees Turk in the bed and Virgil in the chair and he's having heart palpitations with every breath he takes.

He's not cut out for this. He doesn't even know what he's doing. He's bad at the con and he doesn't even know how to spend the money once he has it.

And now he's sitting a bedside vigil for two guys who have been shot and what's he supposed to do with that?

As he fidgets, Virgil finally says, "You think you want to wait outside?"

Livingston startles, looks at him with wide eyes. "You - I-," he says. Then stops and nods. "Sure."

-o-

The doctor comes back the next day, sometime around lunch, to change the IVs and manage the bedpan. He is pleased with Turk's progress. "He's lucky, too," he says.

"So he'll be okay?" Danny asks, trying not to look at Virgil's hopeful expression.

"Some recovery, yes, and don't rush that," the doctor warns. Then he stands back with a satisfied nod. "But blood pressure is rising. No signs of advanced infection. It looks very good."

Danny smiles and thanks the doctor. He tells him to see Rusty on his way out.

But Danny doesn't plan on leaving. He knows the doc's prognosis and knows he can trust the man, but Danny's not the kind of guy to take chances when he places bets. When the odds count, he controls all the pieces until his hand turns up aces and he gets what he's after.

-o-

Virgil is asleep when Turk wakes up. It's been just over twenty-four hours since everything happened, and Virgil has passed out, splayed awkwardly in the chair.

Danny is there, though, and one second Turk's asleep, the next he's looking around, bleary-eyed.

For a second, Danny thinks it a dream.

Then Turk grimaces, his forehead creasing. "The hell?" he asks, and his voice is strained and thick.

Danny scrambles to his feet and if he doesn't know what to do, then it's a good thing he can bluff better than the rest of them.

-o-

Saul's the only one who slept at all, and that has less to do with being a veteran as it does with just being old. He made it half the night, but crashed hard in the predawn, and he finds that he's slept right through to the next day when he wakes up. His joints crack when he gets out of bed and he feels like he's moving underwater as he trudges back into the main room.

Old as his body his, he doesn't get two steps when he knows something has changed.

The TV is on, volume low but audible. Livingston is fussing over a fresh pot of coffee and Yen is beating Linus at Go Fish while Frank observes in bemused detachment.

Reuben wanders by, fresh cigar in his mouth, and Basher looks up from his latest project with a grin. "Nice sleep?"

Saul shrugs a little. "Good news?"

Livingston pours a cup of coffee. Linus takes a toothpick from his mouth and smiles. "He's awake," he says. Then adds, "He's okay."

The news is good, and Saul takes a moment to tally that in his mind. He's been on good heists and bad, and for an old timer, he's still got a hell of a lucky streak in his favor.

He snorts, moving stiffly to the counter. No one has to know how much is an act and how much is real. "About time," he says, reaching for his own cup. "We have a job to pull."

-o-

Rusty's already thought through the details. He's already worked Virgil's injured arm into the the plan and found a place for the bullet riddled van. Now that Turk's awake, he's got a role for him, too - fun, but low energy and totally safe, as far as Rusty can figure. It's all better than before. So much better.

They'll need to start regrouping soon, and he knows that.

But as he watches Virgil hover, watches Turk shift without trying to show pain, Rusty wonders if it's worth it. If it's better to walk away.

Because Rusty can come up with a hundred plans. He can figure out all the contingencies. But sometimes he wonders if just because he can, that means he should.

Still, he lives like he has nothing to lose, even when it's not true. He still has to bet it all, no holding back, until the bank finally takes him once and for all.

-o-

Livingston is nervous. He's nervous most of the time, but this feels different. He's taken up surveillance again. Something to pass the time as Turk recovers and Virgil hovers and Rusty plots. It occurs to Livingston that their window is closing. The heist isn't active but it's not off the table and they've still got millions riding on this and no one wants to say it.

"How's it looking?" Danny asks.

Livingston startles, surprised to find the other man over his shoulder. He looks back at the screen. "Good," he says. "We're looking good."

After a moment, Danny nods. "Good," he says and then he walks away.

-o-

"I'm not trying to be insensitive!" Reuben says with animation in his voice. "But I got more in this than any of you."

Linus huffs. "Turk and Virgil were shot."

"And I paid their doctor bills," Reuben says.

"We can still split eleven ways, even if they sit the rest out," Frank says. "I ain't got no problem with that. They paid their dues, one way or another."

"We need the man power," Basher says.

Linus shakes his head, indignant. "Turk almost died."

"He's fine," Reuben says forcefully. He looks at Rusty. "Tell them he's fine."

Rusty crunches a Lifesaver in his mouth. "Patience," he says. "I hear it's a virtue."

Reuben groans. "With the money from this job, you could buy any virtue you wanted. And then some."

Rusty smiles and walks away.

Linus shakes his head again.

Reuben shrugs. "What?"

-o-

At first, Danny is worried about Turk's recovery. He's used to seeing the Malloys animated, contrary, sometimes cruel. He's used to Turk's laugh and Virgil's know-it-all tone.

But Turk is sluggish and slow, moving slower than Saul and sweating as much as Livingston. After a drink and some pain pills, he passes out again, this time for the night.

Virgil doesn't fare much better. He doesn't leave the room, and he doesn't eat and he sleeps just as hard.

In the morning, Basher brings breakfast. An omelet and pancakes for Virgil and wheat toast for Turk.

It's work for Turk to sit up in bed, and he's still dosed heavily with antibiotic and pain killer. He's still too pale and too slow, but as he starts in on the toast, he eyes Virgil's omelet with a look Danny recognizes. "Does that have bacon?" he asks.

Virgil frowns. "I don't know. Maybe."

"I think it has bacon."

"So what?"

"I like bacon."

"So do I."

"So why do you get bacon?"

Virgil doesn't miss a beat, doesn't crack a smile. "Because I haven't been using a bedpan for over a day."

"Oh, nice. Insult a guy who took one for the team."

"I was shot, too."

"In the arm."

"You were shot in the shoulder."

"Mine bled more."

Virgil raises his eyebrows. "Were you awake?"

Turk doesn't hesitate. "So why was I unconscious longer?"

"Are we really going to compare injuries now?"

"I'm just saying. If anyone deserves bacon..."

"You don't deserve bacon," Virgil shoots back. "You deserve another bullet, right there in your other shoulder. Make it a matching set."

"I'll make you a matching set."

"For most people, I'd say the blood loss is limiting your brain power, but this is you we're talking about."

Turk protests.

Virgil mocks.

The physical violence that ensues is almost comical since neither brother can move very much without doubling over in agony.

Danny realizes he was right when he told everyone it was going to be fine.

-o-

Linus is holding a bag. It has grease on the bottom. "I heard you were hungry." He holds up the bag, with something resembling a smile.

Turk fusses on the bed. "Yeah, they won't give me anything resembling real food. It sucks."

"Because you almost died," Virgil reminds him.

"Yeah, so I've heard," Turk says, unconvinced.

"Do we need to go over your injury again?" Virgil presses.

Turk rolls his eyes. "Bullet in, bullet out. Lots of blood. I think I got the details."

"Do you?" Virgil asks. "Because I was there while you were in a pool of blood."

"I don't think it was a pool."

"Were you there?"

"Yes."

Virgil grits his teeth. "Were you awake?"

"I'm just saying, pools are big."

"Fine, a puddle, is a puddle more acceptable?"

"Some puddles are small."

Virgil shakes his head. "I'm not having this conversation," he mutters.

Turk shrugs. "Good." He looks at Linus. "You get fries with that?"

Linus glances at the bag, as if just remembering it's there. "Yeah," he says. He looks back at the Malloys. "Yeah."

Turk lifts a hand in welcome. "Then bring it here."

Linus hesitates. Then smiles.

-o-

"They're good," Rusty says. "Giovanni's team is good."

Danny nods. "But we're better."

Rusty is guarded, tongue in cheek just for a moment. "You sure?"

Danny nods. "Yeah."

"Okay," Rusty says.

Danny looks at him for another moment. "Okay?"

Rusty nods with certainty. "Okay."

-o-

The team is gathered. Virgil still favors one arm and Turk can't move more than a few feet without a hand, but they're all there. All ready.

"So do we all know what we're supposed to do?" Danny asks.

Saul scowls and Reuben grins. Yen nods and Livingston wipes a hand over his mouth. Basher twirls a pen in his fingers while Frank examines his fingernails. Linus is leaned forward intently, snapping gum all the while. Virgil sits next to Turk and doesn't look at him, but when Turk winces, Virgil leans closer.

Another look around the room, Danny smiles. "It's an easy job," he says.

"In and out," Rusty agrees next to him.

Danny nods, and no one disagrees. "Very easy job."

end

 

Comments

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 12th, 2011 02:03 pm (UTC)
turk wins

Writing fic for these movies was really kind of fun--and really very different. Those movies have such a distinctive feel to them that I knew I didn't want to use a typical storytelling approach. usually switching POVs like that is a huge pet peeve of mine, but it seemed essential in trying to capture the tone and feel of the movies. So I'm glad it worked :)

And LOL, I think I'm mostly just insane. My muses are always on overdrive and I have to write to appease the character voices in my head :)

Thank you!

Posted by: blackdog_lz (blackdog_lz)
Posted at: February 11th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC)

There are not enough good Ocean's fic out there. And this one just floored me.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 12th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC)
turk 15 minutes

I've looked around for some Oceans fic but haven't found much that suits my fancy. So I'm glad you liked this one! Thanks :)

3 Read Comments