Author: bear (matociquala)
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Spoilers: through "Riding the Lightning"
Disclaimer: *boilerplate denial of ownership here*
Summary: She can't beat him at poker, but she can beat him at gin.
Just a vignette...
She can't beat him at poker, but she can beat him at gin. He tried to teach her to deal from the bottom of the deck. She already knew how.
They have a little conspiracy, the two of them. On this airplane, nobody else wins.
The kids have to look out for each other.
Hotch bails after the third hand. If they were playing for real stakes, J.J. wouldn't be buying her own lunch for a week.
Across the table, Spencer bridges the cards. They tick against his girly thumbnails as if against bicycle spokes. He grins his tight-cheeked grin and says, "You cheated."
"I never!" Does she sound shocked enough? She can never tell. Maybe she can get him going--
He clears his throat and elaborates. "In Florida that time. For Hotch. You cheated."
"Spence! That you would even suggest such a thing." She gives him her best wide-eyed innocent expression. Up through the lashes. But she can feel the corner of her mouth shiver. It's only a matter of time before the smirk gets away from her.
And Spence is giving her that look, the one that means I'm on to you.
So she lets herself grin. "Yes. I cheated. I went in there to cheat. Jacob wasn't going to give us anything unless we showed him something he wanted."
"And you knew he'd suggest poker?"
"He so badly wanted Hotch to play a game. I knew he'd suggest something." His hands have gone still on the cards, so she reaches out and takes them away. She shuffles while she talks. "And we always cheat, don't we? It's like anything else. Gin and poker and statistics. It's all about taking your chances and knowing the odds. And stacking the deck."
"Gideon plays chess. How do you cheat at chess?"
She snorts. "You tip the board over."
He looks at her hands. He looks at the cards. She bridges them, snaps them down. His eyes stay on her hands.
He reaches across the table and says, "Maybe I'll deal."
*"Fishhooks" = in Texas Hold 'Em, a pair of jacks. Or, "JJ."