Déjà Vu All Over Again

Author: MonkeyBard
Rating: PG
Summary: It's not the Matrix
Date: 18 July 2015
JWP #18: The Games We Play. Involve a game of some sort in your story, whether it's a round of whist, an intense night of Cluedo, or a Pac-Man tournament.
A/N: Greg's unease will make more sense if you've read any of the Silverfox 'verse, specifically last July's The Night Before.

Greg had the weirdest feeling of déjà vu, which was absurd because he knew for a fact this had never happened before. The last time he and Sophie played poker -- Hell, the only time he and Sophie had played poker was in Edinburgh with a few of her mates. Not in Greg's living room with his mates. The only thing tonight had in common with that previous occasion was the fact that Sophie was well ahead of everyone.

Molly's boyfriend, Oscar, tossed down his hand. "I fold. I've had rotten luck tonight."

John downed the last of his beer and set his hand face-down neatly on the table. "Me, too."

Sherlock examined the table, the cards, the bets, the people, and whatever other minutiae his keen eyes took in. He turned his gaze back to his own cards. "I'm in." He tossed coins into the kitty. "And I raise."

John snorted and Greg silently agreed with the sentiment. Sherlock's luck that evening hadn't been good up to that point so why would it change now? Oscar let out a low whistle. It was a big bet, relatively speaking. They were only playing penny-ante after all.

Molly shook her head. "That's me done in." She folded her hand.

"Around to me then, is it?" asked Sophie. It was rhetorical. She was completely in control of the situation as far as Greg could see, and had been all night.

She looked over the table much as Sherlock had while Greg took the time to observe her. If she had a tell, he couldn't see it. He wondered if Sherlock had spotted something.

"I'll match." She tossed in the appropriate coins.

Greg wasn't going to bet against her. He'd lost enough in laundry money that evening. He was however curious enough to: "Call." The others settled up and he laid out his cards. "Straight, six high." There was that déjà vu again. So bizarre. He would swear it was getting stronger. He was about to start looking around for Hugo Weaving or, preferably, Carrie-Anne Moss.

"Ha! Straight, nine high." Sherlock showed his cards, looking smug. Perhaps he had found Sophie's tell after all.

Greg glanced at her and had the distinct feeling that wasn't the case. He waited. He didn't mind losing to Sophie, but he hoped she wasn't going to lose to Sherlock.

Sophie smiled and Greg held back a chuckle. "Four Jacks." She laid them out for all to see.

"Damn!" swore Sherlock.

"She did it to you again, huh?" John's tone was sympathetic, but the merriment in his eyes belied the sentiment. "I told you poker's more skill and luck than observation and logic."

"We'll see."

"Who's up for another round?" Greg asked. He collected the cards as Sophie collected up her winnings. "Damn." He shook his head.

"What's up?" asked John. Leaning forward in his chair.

"Nothing. Just the most persistent case of déjà vu in recorded history. If my mobile rings and it's the Yard, I am going to declare tonight officially spooky."

"Spooky?" echoed Sophie.

He couldn't say why, but: "Yeah."

That was when his mobile rang. Everyone paused. Greg set down the deck and reached into his pocket for his phone. "No ID," he announced, then answered it. "Hello?"

They all waited in varying states of anticipation.

"Yes. No. Fine. No problem." He rang off and looked at the others' expectant expressions. He felt a strange wash of relief, and grinned at them. "Wrong number. So, another round?"

"I'll get the beers," John offered. "Everyone want one?"

There were general nods.

John rose and Oscar followed suit. "I'll give you a hand, mate."

"Grand. Ta."

Greg tucked his phone away again and reclaimed the deck of cards. He began shuffling as the guys returned with another round of beers for everyone. The strangeness he'd felt seemed to have passed with the phone call and he settled in to deal feeling properly relaxed for the first time that evening. "All right. Aces are high and one-eyed jacks are wild. Who's in?"


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