Pairings/Characters: Hollis Mason, Ursula Zandt, Byron Lewis, Bill Brady (hints at Bill/Byron and unrequited Hollis/Sally)
Summary: A few of the Minutemen gather for poker and banter.
Author's note: Originally written for the kinkmeme.
“Are you in or not?” Ursula took a drag from her cigarette, exhaling the smoke through her nostrils like a medieval dragon, the index finger of her free hand tapping a small stack of poker chips with one elegant, painted nail.
“Don't rush me.” Hollis took another look at his hand, then back at the small pot that was lying in the middle of the table.
Byron took a quick swig from his glass of whiskey and chuckled: “Come on, Hollis. Empires have risen and fallen in the time it takes you to put your chips on the table.”
“That may be the case,” Hollis said with a smirk, his eyes flickering from his own stack of chips to the measly stash left in front of Byron, “but at least I'm not riding the loser's train tonight.”
“Psh. Money.” Byron waved his hand through the air in a nonchalant gesture. Then, his face broke into an impish grin: “It's a tool of oppression. You're doing me a favor by ridding me of it.”
Ursula laughed, and Bill joined in, shaking his head and giving Byron a light slap on his arm: “That's easy for you to say, rich boy. Some of us here have to actually work for a living.”
“All right, I'm in,” Hollis cut through the banter, placing a chip in the middle of the table. “Five bucks says Byron's not going to have to worry about being too oppressed tonight.”
Bill wordlessly tossed a chip on the table, trying to hide a grin behind his bottle of beer, which caused Byron to raise an eyebrow: “Uh-oh. I know that grin. It's the Bill Brady I've-got-yall-figured-out grin. I am not going up against that. Bad idea every time. Fold.”
With that, Byron folded his cards and put them down in front of him. Ursula looked from one man to the other and shook her head, an amused smile on her red lips: “Is he always that easy to bowl over, Bill?”
“Nah,” Bill said, still grinning, “not always. Just some situations.”
“Some situations, hm?” Now it was Ursula's turn to knowingly lift a brow. Then, she slid her chip over the smooth, worn surface of the table: “Drop 'em, boys.”
Bill was the first to put down his hand: “Two pairs. Aces over fives.”
“Not bad. But I'm afraid you're not beating my flush,” Ursula said, smiling smugly while she fanned her cards out on the table. “Looks like another one in the bag for the Silhouette.”
“Not so fast, Ursula,” Hollis cut in, triumph glittering in his eyes: “You're not beating my ladies.” With that, he put down three queens, his other hand already sweeping in his winnings.
Ursula sighed theatrically, but the corner of her mouth twitched into a teasing smile: “Too bad that's the only ladies on your hand. What's that saying? Lucky at cards, unlucky in love.”
“Owch,” Bill said, chuckling. “Fighting dirty already?”
“As if any of you had anything to boast about on that front,” Hollis replied, giving a derisive snort.
Byron gave Bill a short glance, then hid his smile behind his tumbler, trying to evade Ursula's amused, knowing look.
“Still, you have to wonder,” Ursula continued her ribbing, shaking off the ash of her cigarette into the tray in front of her. “I mean, you're a nice guy, and easy on the eyes, too. Also, women love a man in uniform. So, what's holding you back, Hollis?” She smiled, resting her chin on her hand.
“Maybe he's just waiting for the right girl,” Bill said with a shrug.
“More poker, less banter,” Hollis half-growled, sweeping together the cards. “I think it's Byron's turn to deal.” With that, he handed the stack of cards over to Byron, his eyes carefully avoiding the newspaper that was still lying on the table, its headline reading 'Nite Owl and Silk Spectre bust smuggling ring!'