Author(s): das_mervin and Mrs. Hyde
Word Count: 1,540
Summary: Just a friendly little game of poker.
Author’s Note: Well, here it is. The ice breaker, as it were, seeing as this ship seems to be taking off, Leah ditching her sucky canon and finding herself a better one. It’s not completely Leah/Cas, but it’s obviously there (with plenty of Dean/Cas to match, of course). Mostly it was just me seeing how well Leah would interact in fic form with these three, and to try and get a good grasp on all of the characters. I think it did all right. No time setting, no set up, no back story. They just are. They can be in a seedy hotel between hunting jobs or they can be in the waiting room between sporks. Whatever. Have a good time.
By the way, the title was not a reference to Lady Gaga, because I haven’t even heard that song.
Leah dealt the cards with deft flicks of her fingers, her eyes on her opponents the entire time. Sam and Dean returned her gaze, but Castiel—who was only now joining them for this next round—just impassively watched the motions of her hands.
She wasn’t entirely sure why Dean had insisted Cas join them for a hand of poker. It was one thing to attempt to hustle her, especially considering the stakes, but Cas? That was just silly—not to mention easy, as the poor sap had never played a card game in his life. She’d rather dryly asked about it, about just why he was so eager to get the angel in on their little game, but he’d only kicked her under the table by way of reply.
Once the cards were distributed, she slapped the remainder of the deck down with a little thump before lifting up her hand, automatically rearranging her face into an expressionless mask that gave nothing away. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the other three do the same—well, Sam and Dean did the same. Cas’s face didn’t change at all, because his was already that way.
Leah deliberately flicked a contemplative gaze towards her winnings as she considered her initial draw. So far, she thought she was holding her own well enough against them, given that they’d been at this sort of thing their whole lives. She could admit that it had been a stroke of luck when she’d won Dean’s jacket and Sam’s shoes, but it had been the bluff of the century when she’d managed to acquire Sam’s shirt. By now, though, they were pretty much even. They were all in bare feet, and all of them were down to T-shirts and pants. What had started out as a mostly friendly and more than a little flirtatious game had become considerably more serious (and a lot less honest) once they had gotten down to the more essential articles of clothing. She supposed that was why Dean had invited Cas to play—after she’d proven that she was a little more skilled than he’d originally thought and that he was losing his clothes just as fast as she was, he needed someone else to fleece, just to even the odds.
She looked back to her cards, calculatingly rearranging, and then looked expectantly at her companions, focusing on Sam, as he was to her direct left. Sam dithered for a moment, but finally drew out one card and laid it down. He regarded the rest of the table, then anted up with Leah’s paw-printed sock. She resisted the urge to purse her lips in speculation; either Sam was bluffing (again), or he was chasing the hand that one card would make or break—if he had nothing now but got what he was after, he’d use his low bet to try and reel her in. She’d learned that much in the course of playing with these two—Dean may have been the more skilled player, but Sam was the better hustler.
Sam had turned his attention to Dean now, and Leah did the same. He was eyeing his brother; he had something of an unfair advantage there, seeing how well he knew his brother, but Leah did not scruple to take advantage of it, reading him for cues on Sam as much as on himself. Dean didn’t take nearly as long with his discard, quickly slipping two cards out of his hand and tossing down Sam’s watch. All attention shifted to Cas, who had done nothing with his cards except look at them—which he was still doing. They waited patiently—at least, Leah and Sam did. Dean looked about ready to poke him. Cas didn’t notice in the way that only Cas could as he stared at his hand, completely motionless. Eventually he moved, reaching into his hand pulling out one card—before laying the other four flat and face-down in front of him.
Dean raised his eyebrows as he watched Cas methodically loosen his tie and lift it over his head, winding it neatly around his fingers before laying it in the pot. “Four cards? Seriously?”
“Yes,” Cas said, giving Dean a small nod.
“That’s practically a new hand—you positive you don’t have anything in there at all?” Sam asked; he seemed to feel a little bad about trying to hustle the inexperienced angel, as opposed to Dean, who totally didn’t.
“That is what I want to do,” Cas said firmly.
Dean and Sam shrugged, but Leah did not miss the smirk playing at the corners of Dean’s mouth. She did her best to suppress her snort of laughter (and reel in the eyebrow that so desperately wanted to raise in the face of his obvious pleasure at the idea of taking Cas’s clothes), and then tossed two cards from her own hand, dropping Dean’s rings into the pot with a clatter. “Everybody final?” she asked, setting the rest of her hand down to grab the deck again.
After receiving three nods, she dealt out the new cards, going clockwise until she finally ended with herself. She flipped the cards up and slid them into her hand, her face blank and her body relaxed, keeping the sudden Snoopy Dance her new hand prompted completely internal. A flicker of movement to the left drew her attention, and she glanced up just in time to see Sam put his hand down.
“Fold,” he said, tapping his cards and shoving them away.
Ah—got a hand-breaker, she thought to herself, collecting his cards and sliding them under the deck. Sam the hustler always knew exactly when to cut his losses to keep them to a minimum—as opposed to his brother, who as often as not couldn’t help but go for the throat.
Like now. “Pansy,” Dean muttered to his brother, unable to curb his smirk this time.
“Hey—I’m not gonna lose my shirt bluffing on nothin’,” Sam shot back.
“What—you mean this one?” Leah asked lightly, tapping her finger on her winnings. Sam scowled at her in return, and she grinned unrepentantly before turning her attention to more pressing matters. Namely, now that Sam was out, Dean would be leading the betting. She was very familiar with the stare he was giving her—that sly, challenging stare that dared her to answer it.
“Pants,” he finally said. He glanced over at Cas. “You remember how to bet?”
“I do. I am in,” he replied, holding his cards close to himself.
Dean eyed Cas for a moment longer before going back to Leah, and that shit-eating grin came back instantly. “Well? You in?”
“I am,” she said coolly. “And I’m upping it. Shirt.”
Sam’s eyebrows bounced appreciatively. Dean regarded her with a rather sleazy look. “You know, that’s not entirely even,” he said. “After all, we lose our shirts, there isn’t anything left up top—not fair that you have that extra bit under there.”
“It isn’t my fault that my assets are greater than yours,” she returned loftily. “Shirt only, Dean. Take it or leave it.”
“Oh, I’ll be taking it, all right,” Dean said. “Cas?”
“I am in.” He didn’t look up from his cards. “Is this where I call?”
“Go right ahead,” Leah answered. “Ladies first, Dean,” she added, her voice syrupy.
Dean smiled sourly back at her, before breaking into a fully-fledged grin, fanning his cards and laying them out for everyone to see. “Flush, diamonds, eight high,” he said smugly.
Leah blinked down at them, looked up—and then grinned right back at him. His smugness faltered most satisfactorily. She laid her cards down with a flourish. “Full house. Fours and tens.”
“Sonofabitch!” Dean barked angrily. Sam laughed at him outright, which resulted in a near-lyrical string of expletives in return.
Leah leaned her chin into her hand, batting her eyes innocently at them both, before turning to Cas with a lazy smile. “So—what’ve you got, angel-boy?” she asked coyly, her tone at odds with the way she couldn’t help but rake him over with her eyes in anticipation.
He quietly spread his cards on the table, and Leah did not bother trying to keep her jaw from dropping.
“I believe this means I win,” Cas said, looking around for confirmation as the rest of the table boggled at his royal flush.
“No way,” Dean growled. “No way. You—you cheated!”
A small crease formed between Cas’s eyebrows, his face taking on that look of innocent confusion that he seemed to get so often when dealing with Dean. “I was under the impression that given the stakes, you were treating the rules as formalities. You have been marking the face cards for the last three hands.”
Leah and Sam burst out laughing at Dean’s expression. “Oh, come on, Dean!” Leah chortled. “You lost, but you won, too—we’re both down to our civvies. Seriously, though,” she said as she stood up, winking down at Cas, prompting him to furrow his brows at her just before his eyes widened slightly in alarm as she reached for her hem. “We just got scammed by an angel—that is so worth stripping for.”