Rating: Blue Cortina
Characters: Gene/Sam, Vince, Clive
Word count: 646
Notes: Speaking of using lyrics for titles...
Summary: Gene wants a smoke during a poker game. Sam makes him want something else.
Bluffin’ With Mah Muffin
The lights are dim but they still cast long shadows on the serious faces of the players around a small table at the Arms. In a beaten up ashtray there’s 50p from each of them along with a gray landscape of ashes and butts, their collective history of nights spent like this. A mismatched compilation of chips are stacked on the table, repurposed evidence from past cases and pieces they use from the lost and found, their value decided before the game because of this disparity.
It’s the night of their weekly poker match and tonight’s players include Gene at the head, Vincent sitting to his right, Clive to his left, and Sam across from him. Vincent is an easy read and bets too much. The money Gene wins off him usually pays for his own tab by the end of the night. Clive blames a nervous twitch for his poker face and he blames bad luck for his consistently terrible hands. Sam looks sure of himself for this round; a decent pile of chips beside him, but Gene knows his own hand will be hard to beat.
There’s only one thing standing in his way: Gene wants a smoke and he wants one badly.
The tar from his last drag is a carpet on his tongue, mixing in with the saliva when he wipes it against his clenched teeth. The delicate paper between his lips, the press of a match against his thumb as he lights it, that first long breath in, the burn he doesn’t notice any more, and the slow exhale of smoke rolling into the air between himself and his detectives: he imagines the feel of it from beginning to end.
Half a pack a day is Gene’s usual ration. It’s about time he filled that quota, if his pack of Players No.5 weren’t across the table resting innocuously next to Sam.
Gene stretches his hand out a quarter of the way and expects his DI to fill in the rest. “Pass us our fags, Sam.”
Sam never looks up from the cards splayed in his hand, censuring Gene with a calculated tone and an impassive face that takes him by surprise. “You’re an addict.”
The denial makes him inhale like cigarette smoke in reverse while he’s mopping the dryness of his mouth with a leaden tongue.
Somewhere in the world he hears Vincent raise their current bid.
“Asked for my pack not your opinion.” He’s testy because the last thing in the world he needs right now is Sam’s lip, his impertinence, his sanctimonious self that makes Gene squirm, and ache, and want.
There’s another stack thrown in the middle. Sam ignores him, calls and raises. Clive folds with the same nervous twitch, all of this while Gene is burning in his seat.
That’s it. He’s had enough. He tries to take the carton himself this time but the chips are stacked against him, Sam is two moves ahead. His DI sweeps Gene's desire off the table and deposits it in his lap.
When Sam looks up with a demeanor as cool as steel Gene is struck dumb.
“Your move, guv.”
He doesn’t need to smile because Gene knows Sam is enjoying this. Sam wants him to want that cigarette, to think of the satisfaction he’ll get reaching between his DI’s thighs until he finds everything he really wants and really needs but can’t have, not in front of Clive and Vincent at least. Gene tastes the tobacco on his tongue one more time, swiping and scraping until his veins constrict in a faux nicotine rush of desire.
He knows he’s been beaten so he silently folds and leaves the table.
Gene forgets how much he wanted that cigarette after Sam shags his brains out.