characters not my intellectual property. no profit intended or made. this is set after Ocean's 11 and before Ocean's 12 - which I had not seen.


Rusty sat outside Tess's new apartment for twenty minutes before going inside.

In a different man, this might have been seen as fear, nervousness, anxiety, even gutwrenching fear. Rusty didn't let himself be afraid of very much anymore, though. Rusty wasn't afraid. Rusty was planning.

He was on the dregs of his drive-thru coffee and was maybe thinking this was an incredibly bad idea, when Tess knocked on his window. "Coming up?" she said, and then there were no other options.

"I expected you yesterday," Tess said as they walked up her stairs. "He's getting out the day after tomorrow."

"We'll drive all night," he told her. "There are a few problems with the trip," he started, but she cut him off with,

"I'm not a completely stupid woman, Rusty. You're being followed, men are planning on trying to beat the living shit out of the both of you on Terry's orders." She tilted her head. "Missed anything yet?"

"Not really," Rusty said cheerfully. The fact that he could be cheerful in Tess Ocean's apartment, however, meant that anything was possible. Maybe they'd get away with it. "Here's the thing. I think Danny would appreciate it if you - that is to say."

"I'll drive in the mornings," she told him, and picked up the duffel sitting by the door. "I hate afternoons in a car, I can never stay awake."

Rusty didn't hate Tess, he sometimes quite liked her, and appreciated her the rest. She did, of course, constitute an incredible problem. He pointed to the bag. "How'd you know I was going to come?" he asked.

"I didn't," she said. "But if you hadn't shown up by tomorrow morning, I would have caught a plane."

"Fair enough."

Tess pauses, before she locks her front door. "Rusty," she asks, "why did you come? I know why you're picking Danny up." She turns to face him. "Why get me?"

Rusty shrugs. He wasn't afraid, he wasn't even nervous. He didn't have to plan around Tess, it seemed, and they'd known each other long enough that there was no need to dissemble, no need at all. "I knew Danny would appreciate it," he said.