Ocean’s 11, Compliments of the House

Title: Compliments of the House
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for mention of underwear and Benedict in the same sentence.
Summary: Linus takes out his frustrations on an innocent hotel room.
AN: Written for the 2005 Take The House fic exchange. For odyssea, who wanted Linus abusing the amenities at the Bellagio, and gets a bit of UST Linus/Rusty in the bargain. Thanks to musefool for the quick beta, and a big thumbs down to my brother, who keeps taking my copy of O11 because he thinks it is his.

Compliments of the House

“Mom,” Linus cradled the phone between his shoulder and his ear as he kicked off his shoes, “I’m not…Mom! No, don’t you…you can’t tell him! Mom? Mom, no! N…”

Tinny, but plenty loud, mirth erupted from the beige receiver, and Linus thought seriously about walking off this entire job. First he got shunted to reconnaissance, and now he had to put up with phone calls from his mother? This was like the freaking Heisman job all over again, only this time he wasn’t going to roll over and take it. Linus Caldwell was in the big leagues now!

“You know, is it too much to ask that you, my mother, the woman who nurtured me in her womb for nine months, show a little…” Linus dumped the contents of his pockets out on his bed and sighed. “…okay, eight and half months, but I don’t think…”

A dollar seventy-two in change, two sticks of Winterfresh gum, a ballpoint pen, a billfold engraved ‘D. Ocean’ with what looked like sixteen or seventeen hundred dollars, give or take a fifty; it really wasn’t a bad haul, all in all. Okay, maybe picking your boss’s pocket was a petty way of expressing displeasure at your assignment, but…why was Rusty’s watch in this pile?

“Mom, I’ve gotta go. Yes, Mom…no, Mom…Mom! Even if I don’t, they sell underwear in the gift shop! Goodbye!”

Linus cradled the phone with a decisive thwack. He poked idly at the watch for a moment, shivering a little at the thought of wearing underwear that Benedict had had anything to do with, then picked the phone back up again.

Clearly, room service was in order.

Half an hour and a hot shower later, Linus was availing himself of a few more of the Bellagio’s amenities when there was a knock on the door. Linus started, nearly dropping the hairdryer on his foot, and realized that there wasn’t a robe in the bathroom. By the time he had stumbled out of the bathroom and discovered the robe was hanging in the closet, there was a second, more insistent knock.

“I’m coming!” Linus called, throwing the robe over his shoulders and shoving his arms through the sleeves. Jerking the ties quickly closed, he threw open the door, or tried to, only to have the deadbolt catch. “Sorry, I was in the shower, and I…”

Linus finally did manage to get the door open, only to find Rusty leaning on a service cart, eating some of Linus’ steak fries. Dusting off his fingers, Rusty began pushing the cart inside, forcing Linus to press up against the door.

“I thought we ought to go over…” Rusty mumbled through a full mouth, but then he stopped halfway in the doorway and leaned over to sniff Linus’ chest. “Why do you smell like lilacs?”

“I…it’s the lotion…” Linus gestured helplessly at the bathroom. “The water dries out my…”

Linus trailed off when Rusty started laughing quietly to himself as he came the whole way into the room. He forgot about the pile on the bed until it was too late.

“And why do you have my watch?”

“You know, one could ask Danny the same question,” Linus replied, but then he felt his ears grow warm when Rusty laughed again.

“One certainly could.” Rusty grinned and reached over to snatch his watch off the bed, and scooped up the billfold as well. “What say I slip this back in Danny’s pocket as well, hmm? You know, it isn’t really good manners to lift from a colleague while on a job.”

Linus just barely managed to keep from rubbing the back of his neck and blurting out an apology.

“The great Daniel Ocean doesn’t know when he’s being pickpocketed?” he asked instead, making Rusty grin wider.

“He’s got other things on his mind.” Rusty shrugged, sliding his watch back onto his wrist and twiddling the billfold between two fingers. “But maybe I’ll slip this back in his pockets, make the great Daniel Ocean think he’s going senile.”

Rusty flashed Linus a wink, and Linus felt like a real part of the crew for the first time since…well, it felt good.

“First thing tomorrow morning then? Saul’s suite?” Rusty asked, grabbing another handful of steak fries. Linus nodded. “Excellent. I’ll leave you to your…” Rusty peered at the nightstand, where a scatter of hotel freebies had accumulated. “Your exfoliation.”

“That’s not…I mean it is, but I wasn’t…” Linus protested, but Rusty was already out the door with a little finger-wave farewell. Linus sighed and resigned himself to his nearly fry-less steak.

Still, the feeling of belonging lingered until the next morning when Basher strolled into Saul’s suite and clapped Linus on the shoulder.

“Morning, rosebud!” Basher greeted him, and out of the corner of his eye, Linus could clearly see Rusty muffling a snicker with his powdered mini-donuts. “Feelin’ extra-smooth today?”

It was almost worth it, though, when Danny found his billfold in a pocket he’d checked ten times already and Basher asked if he was getting the senior citizen rate, to share a look with Rusty and snap his Winterfresh gum in satisfaction.

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