Mediating Problems with Your Co-workers

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by templemarker

Notes: For Porn Battle VIII. Rusty/Linus, awkward .


The thing that hands-down, no-context, really-and-truly pissed Linus off about Rusty was that he was such a smooth motherfucker.

Linus had been around lifters and thieves and confidence men all of his life, and he knew that there was a part of that life, that image, that was hard-won. But Rusty, the jerk, had to have been born that way. He could walk into a room and make everyone look at him or be as unnoticeable as he wanted. He could charm water out of a desert, and any mark he chose out of whatever they had just for the promise of Rusty himself.

Not him. Not Linus Caldwell. Linus knew better–he saw right through Rusty’s game and got more annoyed every time he saw Rusty topple someone over with his charm.

“What’s cookin’, good lookin’?” Rusty said through a drippy chicken wing one morning, somehow managing to never get any on his well-tailored suit.

“Virgil and Turk are getting the delivery, Reuben is talking about Israel again, which means Saul and Frank are arguing about Yemen again, I don’t know where the others are but Basher said he was getting coffee and that was sometime yesterday afternoon.”

“Great,” Rusty said, clearly not paying attention to anything Linus just said. He licked his fingers and Linus twitched miserably, wishing something would mar Rusty’s stupid shiny–shininess.

“Hey,” Rusty said, slowly pulling his thumb out of his mouth around a smile. “Heyyyyy,” he said slowly, and Linus was incensed that he knew that tone of voice, that smirky, why don’t you drop your pants, I’ll totally drop by your kid’s birthday party, no note on the nightstand voice.

Linus wasn’t sure which was more upsetting, that he knew all of that or that Rusty was inexplicably turning it on him.

“So how many times are you going to be all jealous and awkward around me until we fuck?” Rusty asked conversationally, his hand somehow wandering onto Linus and southward even as Linus batted it away.

“What?” Linus squawked.

“You give me the stinkeye anytime someone pretty so much as gives me a once-over, and I haven’t made a clean pull in the last two weeks because you’ve been glaring off all the marks I try to hit. Ergo, fucking. What’s your Thursday look like? Rusty looked like sourpatch kids wouldn’t melt in his mouth.

“I–I–” Linus spluttered, and his eyes widened when Rusty shrugged and said, “Or now, we could do now.”

It may have been why the rental van was sent for cleaning the week before the job, but no one said a damn word.


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