Categories > Games > Final Fantasy XII

Deuces and Pretty Ladies

by sumthinlikhuman 0 reviews

The Queen has many talents {pre-game}

Category: Final Fantasy XII - Rating: PG - Genres: Humor - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2007-02-20 - Updated: 2007-02-20 - 808 words - Complete

There was alcohol, in excess, and a cigar between her teeth as one of the youngest knights, a boy of perhaps twenty, dealt the cards quickly onto the overturned barrel they'd commandeered for use as a table. The air was blue with smoke and she was smiling, her hands tucked between her legs and pulling at her skirt.

"Your call for wilds, m' Lady!" the dealer smiled. She chewed on the cigar a little, rolled it over her lips, then tapped off the ashes into the empty glass they used for a tray.

"Deuces and Pretty Ladies, my gentlemen. See you come up with /those/."

The eldest, chief of her husband's Knights, laughed at her choice and ruffled her hair as though she were much younger. They picked up their cards, and several of the younger men groaned at poor deals, accusing their young dealer of stacking the deck to favor his elders rather than his year-mates. The boy smiled and only winked.

Tirzah had not been dealt a good hand, but she smiled nonetheless. Two of her cards joined a growing pile of discards. She poured more liquor for the knights and herself. With a saluting tap of her glass, she threw back her head and swallowed the whole of it; it earned her laughter and cheers from the men.

"I'd think you were of lower virtue, m' Lady," the eldest knight said, "were it not for all that jewelry."

"There are whores with better jewels than these. Rich men like their ladies looking rich." The drunken jest got hisses of disapproval from several of the knights not playing the game but just as drunk. Tirzah laughed, pushed a lock of hair behind her ears, batted affectionate knights at the man who'd spoken.

"Rich men can afford the best." Her own jest earned more cheers. The cards were dealt again, and she could feel a smile breaking her face at much better cards.

She unclipped her earrings, the last of what she had to gamble before she would have to become indecent, and held them out. "What would these wager?"

"A pretty coin, fer sure," one of the men said over her shoulder. One of the captains took them from her hand and shook them in his palm.

"Three hundred."

"Just? Ah, if only that ... three hundred, my gentlemen. Any who will meet my bet?"

"Don't think we have three hundred twixt us, m' Lady," someone bubbled, away from the table. She poured more drinks and laughed slightly.

"Three hundred."

It came from the man left of their dealer, a dark man with pale eyes who'd passed on cigars and spirits throughout the night. He was younger than their dealer. Men threw down their cards at his call. Tirzah grinned at him over the barrel-top. He had the make of a kinsman of hers; nostalgia and glee raised through her.

"Think it a wise move, boy?" she asked in her home tongue. He nearly grinned, and turned over his cards.

Her hand was not as good. She smiled, turned her cards, and pushed to him the pot they'd collected. He took the gil, and tucked it into his pocket as she stood and stretched. The men said it was late, and that she should be going back to the main house before her husband complained again. The young man who'd won the hand tucked her earrings into his pocket with the gil and offered to escort her.

In the hall of the barracks, where noone else was, he said in the language of her home, "I haven't spoken since my mother died."

"For being so out of practice, you are good. What is your name, Knight?"


He walked her back to the main house, and there Raminas stood, looking foolishly old with that frown on his face. He thanked Vossler for escorting Tirzah, and Tirzah gave him a parting kiss. She turned away before he could hand her the jewelry, and told Raminas of her exploits.

The next time she joined the knights for their game, Vossler pulled the earrings from his pocket.

"Still worth three hundred, Bidasse?" The eldest of their players shrugged, and dealt out the last of the new cards as Tirzah puffed on a cigar. When the last hand had been folded before wagers, Vossler through in the jewelry.

Tirzah did not wager. Vossler won the hand.

As he escorted her back to the house, before she gave him a parting thank you kiss, he clipped the earrings back onto her.

"I have many of them," she told him. He shook his head. He shrugged. He blushed bashfully, and said his wife had wondered where they'd come from. She smiled, and said, "Tell her they came as a gift from a friend," as she unclipped them and handed them to him again.
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