Title: "Only in the Morning"
Author: monimala
Fandom: "Ocean's Eleven"
Rating/Classification: SAC, angst, slash, language.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, nope.
Summary: Just a ficlet prompted by a raging need for O11 slash.

Rusty: "You scared?"
Linus: "You suicidal?"
Rusty: "Only in the morning."

He is a man who knows how to get things done. How to cheat at poker without an extra card up his sleeve. How to appropriate that illegal substance for that guy he's not supposed to know in that place he's never been. How to shake hands, work crowds, and slip away before anyone remembers he was there. Or sear himself into someone's memory so they'll never forget his face, his flash, his charm.

Rusty Ryan is a man of many talents.

But there's one he's never quite gotten a handle on.

Waking up.

**

That time in Belize...he may have clutched Danny's hand too tightly as they cut through the jungle, dragging each other through the damp underbrush.

When they flew into the breaking dawn, the chopper blades deafening, he let go.

**

He tilts the rearview mirror forward just slightly, cranks up the radio just a notch, and tells himself it isn't because he doesn't want to hear the breathy whispers from the back seat or see the hands going this way and that.

He whistles something cheerful as he concentrates on losing the silver sedan, noting, once again, that the sun is day is spread out before them. A new beginning for the Oceans and their dilletantish pal.

He absolutely fucking hates new beginnings.

**

It is night when he finally gets to the place that he calls "home." Not the night of the day he left. More like three nights later. The wind coming off the ocean is warm and inviting and he thinks he might just have to move away from any and all large bodies of water.

Danny whispered, "thanks, Man," and held his hand just a moment too long. A moment too long and too tight. He let go when Tess coughed and made another joke about finding him a nice girl.

He doesn't need a nice girl.

He strips off his shirt and his pants and climbs into the King-sized bed that, for the last six months, has been turned to face the wall instead of the expansive windows. The warm body between the sheets automatically curves into him, like he wasn't gone, and a sleepy murmur of "Back so soon?" greets his chest.

He strokes the back of the kid's head, gently and whispers, "Yeah. Go back to sleep."

A lightly-haired arm flops around his waist, possessively. "Mmm...'kay. See y' in the mornin'."

He laughs, softly, at the beautiful irony of that drowsy statement...and then thinks of sunlight on freckled shoulders. Of deft fingers appropriating keys from his back pocket and forcing him out onto the bright beach to get them back. "See you in the morning, Linus," he sighs against skin.

He is a man who knows how to get things done. How to cheat at poker without an extra card up his sleeve. How to appropriate that illegal substance for that guy he's not supposed to know in that place he's never been. How to shake hands, work crowds, and slip away before anyone remembers he was there. Or sear himself into someone's memory so they'll never forget his face, his flash, his charm.

Rusty Ryan is a man of many talents.

But there's one he's never quite gotten a handle on.

Falling out of love with his friends.

 
  --end--

July 22, 2002.    



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