Poker Night

by SvenFoxx

4. Night One Part Four

A few more hands in, and Twilight had found herself breaking even with Arkantos for the most part, with Sly forced to play All-In most of the time just to stay in. Twilight had bet big on the hope of another Straight, but it had flopped and Arkantos had taken that pot. But then another big bet had come in and Sly had bet most of his chips. He lost to Arkantos, but he seemed to be enjoy himself more now, which made Twilight happy. Twilight had also noticed that Peter and Kakashi were still in the club, Peter playing a game machine over by the stage and Kakashi sitting on Celestia’s other side at the bar. He was involved in the discussion between her and Reginald.

Now it was Arkantos’ turn to deal again, but before he could Reginald approached the table.

“Gentlemen, I will now be raising the Blinds from four hundred and eight hundred to six hundred and twelve hundred,” he stated.

The group nodded and Arkantos dealt out the cards. Sly and Twilight paid their Blinds, then examined their cards.

‘Six of hearts and nine of hearts.’

Arkantos threw fourteen hundred chips in. “Raise. I feel good about this.”

Sly tipped his hat up with his cane. “No messing around this round? Alright. I Call,” he said, throwing most of chips in.

Twilight Called as well.

“Hey, Twilight?” Peter walked over and stood near the table. “You said Pegasi control the weather of your world?”

Arkantos threw out three cards. Five of spades, queen of clubs, and five of clubs.

Twilight frowned at the cards. “Yeah. Pegasi are born with the instinctual ability to use their magic to manipulate clouds, walk on them, and even stir up tornadoes and hurricanes if enough work together.”

Said frown became an O of surprise when Sly grunted and shoved all of his chips into the pot. “All-In,” he declared, his eyes daring anyone to challenge him.

Twilight decided to be daring. “I’m in!” she said, throwing in the required chips. Not like she was losing all that much if she lost anyways.

Arkantos looked thought, before shaking his head and pushing his hand away. “No, not this time,” he said softly. He looked around. “Alright, hands up everybody,” he instructed.

Twilight flippd her cards over, and Sly did the same. Sly’s smirk turned into a grin. “Ha! My ten beats your nine.” He had an eight of hearts and ten of spades.

Twilight let her head hit the table. “Crap,” she muttered.

Arkantos threw out a card. King of clubs. Twilight continued muttering to herself while Sly started twirling his cane smugly. He put down the final card. Twilight looked at it. King of diamonds.

Sly crowed to himself. “Yes! I am back in the game!” he said, reaching for the pot.

“Wait,” Arkantos said, stopping Sly. “You didn’t win.”

Sly stopped and looked at Arkantos in confusion. “What? But the only difference is our hands, and mine is higher with the ten kicker!”

Twilight shook her head. “No, that last king changed everything. The best hand both of us can use is two pairs with the queen as a kicker. Neither of our hands are actually involved, just what the dealer put out.” Twilight smiled. “It’s a tie.”

Sly looked at the cards again, and realized she was right. The best hand for them both came purely from the five cards on the table, and not their hands. If he tried to change the queen for his ten Twilight would win with the queen as a kicker. “Well crap. Didn’t see that coming.” He shrugged and looked at Twilight. “Equal split?”

Twilight nodded. “Sure.”

Arkantos divided the money and they took their winnings. Seventy-two hundred chips for the both of them.

Twilight did some fast mental math in her head. She had 42500, Arkantos had 45300, and Sly now had 7200.

As Sly began shuffling the cards Twilight looked at Peter. “You were asking about Pegasi?”

Peter nodded. He had also been drawn in by the finale when Sly had gone All-In. “It was more curiosity than anything. There’s a few people back in my world that can control weather too. Ororo for one is kinda considered a Goddess of storms by her people.”

“Is she actually a Goddess?” Celestia asked from the bar curiously.

Peter shrugged. “Once I would have said that was impossible, since I didn’t believe in Gods and Goddesses, but I’ve reconsidered my stance on that after meeting Thor. I don’t actually know if she is a Goddess, but she holds herself as one.” He waved his hand. “Not in that she thinks she’s above all, but that she takes the responsibility of caring for those who worship her seriously. That’s why I’m not really bothered by her claiming as such. She is probably one of the few people I don’t mind calling themselves Gods, because they actually treat it as a duty and responsibility, rather than a right.”

“Interesting,” Twilight and Celestia both said to themselves.

Sly dealt out the hands. Twilight and Arkantos paid their Blinds and looked at their cards.

‘Queen of diamonds and four spades. Two pairs is probably the best I could do with this. Maybe three of a kind if I get really lucky.’

“Call,” Sly said, throwing in twelve hundred.

“Call,” Twilight parroted, throwing in six hundred.

Arkantos Checked.

Sly dealt out three cards. King of hearts, five of hearts, and ten of clubs. Twilight cringed, but Checked. Might as well see how it goes.

“So the other people that can control weather in your world, is it all the same power, or are they different?” Twilight asked.

“Oh, they’re different powers that control different aspects of weather, though some have control over weather period instead of parts of it. “Thor, the guy I mentions, is actually the Norse Gods of Thunder, and let me tell you, getting hit by him hurts.”

Sly grinned and pushed his remaining six thousand chips in. “All-In!” he declared.

Twilight pushed her hand away. “No thanks,” she said, Folding.

Arkantos shrugged. “Sure, let’s do it.” He threw in six thousand.

Twilight turned in her seat to continue her discussion with Peter. “How many gods are in your world?” she asked curiously.

Peters scratched the back of his head. “Technically only a few. Most Gods live in their own worlds away from our own, though Thor is a regular visitor. Let’s see…” Peter started counting with his fingers. “There’s Ororo, then there’s T’Chala, her husband, though he’s more an Avatar than an actual God. There’s Bruce, who some have been calling the God of Wrath, though whether he’s actually a physical God or not is up for debate. I guess Captain Marvel, but again I’m not entirely sure if she counts.”

“Fascinating,” Twilight said. “Our rulers, Celestia and Luna, are considered by many to be Goddesses of the Day and the Night. I grew up around Princess Celestia, and befriended Luna, so I don’t really see them as that, but still. I suppose there’s also Discord,” she said with obvious distaste.

Peter recognized that look and tone. “Bad guy?”

Twilight huffed. “He’s the physical embodiment, a God in all but name I suppose, of Chaos and Disharmony. He escaped his stone prison a while ago and turn our world inside out.”

“Inside out? What is his power?” Peter asked, almost afraid to ask.

“He…” Twilight paused, considering. “Well, I guess his power is the ability manipulate reality on a whim, though I imagine there are limits and restrictions, as he can be contained when we use the Elements of Harmony on him.”

Peter’s heart dropped. “Please tell me you didn’t turn a freakin’ Reality Warper into stone twice…”

Twilight looked at Peter. “Er… we did? Why?”

Peter sighed explosively. “Lovely. Just.... Amazing.” He looked at Twilight. “You need to release him.” He held up a hand to stop Twilight from protesting. “I’m not saying he shouldn’t be punished, but he’s not actually contained, especially if this is the second time being turned to stone. If he has the power to effectively do whatever he wants, don’t you think he would prepare for the eventuality of him being turned to stone again? In my experience Reality Warpers will always find a way to influence things from their prison, either through astral projection, empathetic manipulation, or even straight up possessing someone else. Or maybe some other way I can’t think of right now.”

Celestia frowned, having overheard the conversation. “Discord was never one for subtle manipulation… but then again he spent one thousand years in stone with his awareness preserved. I can’t say how that would have affected him.”

Peter winced. “Ouch. That sounds… cruel.”

“Sly Cooper wins the pot,” Reginald declared from where he observed the back and forth betting of Arkantos and Sly.

Sly pulled the pile of chips in with nod. “Pleasure cheating you out of your hard earned money.” Fifteen thousand and six hundred chips firmly put him back in the game.

Arkantos grumbled good-naturedly.

Twilight turned back around in her seat while Celestia grew thoughtful. She began shuffling the cards. “That may sound cruel, but his antics were literally driving ponies insane. He had to be stopped,” Twilight said firmly. “He had this power that let him invert our personalities. My best friends became terrible shadows of themselves when he got a hold of them, and it was not easy to remind myself and them of who we truly were. If not for Princess Celestia’s quick thinking, we’d still be stuck under his chaotic rule.”

She dealt out the cards. “I guess, thinking about it now, I regret that we chose to stone him again… but I do not regret stopping him.” She looked at Celestia, and their eyes met. They nodded to each other. “I can promise to look into a different punishment, but that’s it.”