Apropos of nothing in particular...


This Time Round: Poker Night: Count the Jacks
by Paul Andinach

(Disclaimer: The characters in this fic belong to more people-who-are-
not-me than usual, but the fact remains that none of them are mine.)


Captain Jack Harkness ran his eyes over his cards once more, mentally
reviewing his opponents.

General O'Neill was the least interesting of them, at least when it
came to poker. He had his share of idiosyncrasies, but nothing outside
Jack's (wide) experience.

Captain Sparrow was more intriguing. He always seemed to be acting on a
whim, but Jack had been keeping track of the results and was certain
that behind the dark eyes and vacant expression was a cunning mind.

Of the fourth player, he wasn't so sure. It looked like a human baby -
though Jack had seen enough diminutive alien races not to take that on
trust - and acted like one, too. More than whimsical, its actions
seemed entirely random, as if it didn't have a clue what it was doing.
And yet - it always made the right action at the right time, reaching
for a card when it was time to draw, turning the cards upright when it
was time to reveal.

...what's more, the little so-and-so seemed to be *winning*. It was
obviously, Jack thought, possessed of either fiendish intelligence or
incredible luck.

JakJak Parr gurgled placidly and started trying to eat one of the poker