Summary: Strip poker!
Note: Written (just barely in the nick of time) for the Truth or Dare Fic-a-thon. And any poker players out there will know I’m just a novice. Still, it’s really more about the *stripping,* right?
It had been raining for four days straight and everyone was huddled miserably in the caves, waiting for the weather to break. The beach dwellers had mostly drifted inland, finding that their tents were no match for the tropical wind and rain. Even Kate had moved into the caves temporarily, but she was visibly antsy at being cooped up for so long.
It took four days to convince Sawyer that holding out against the weather was a losing proposition. After several nights of trying to stop the leaks and retie the tarp that had nearly blown away about a hundred times and trying to sleep on the airplane seat that simply refused to dry, he realized he’d have to swallow his pride and beg for a spot in the caves.
The thought did not make him happy. He felt about as welcome over there as the Grinch would be crashing a Whoville sing-along, but damn it, a man needed to get at least one night’s shuteye.
So he scoured his stash for a peace offering and left his damp excuse of a home to try to shack up with the enemy.
“I’m so sick of just sitting here,” Shannon said plaintively.
“We all are,” Boone said contemptuously. “Whining about it doesn’t make it any better.”
“Anyone want to play backgammon?” Walt asked, but he found no takers once they’d discovered that the kid always won every single time.
“Knock, knock.” Sawyer’s entrance was met with hostile stares. “Who’s there?” he supplied the response himself. “That asshole, Sawyer,” he answered, causing Hurley to snicker.
Walt smiled at him uncertainly before Michael pulled him close with a dirty look directed at Sawyer.
“Y’all got room for a soakin’ wet prodigal son?” Sawyer asked with a broad, disarming grin. No one answered him, and many turned their heads away, blatantly ignoring him.
Kate gave him an amused glance, looking around to see the rest of the group’s reaction. Sayid regarded him blankly, while Jack tensed, as if waiting for some sort of conflict to erupt. Charlie and Hurley exchanged looks as if to say, “Maybe something interesting is going to happen finally.”
“I brung gi-ifts,” Sawyer said in a singsong voice. Some interest was stirred at this announcement. Shannon actually got up and walked over to him as he opened up his backpack, despite Boone’s glare and halfhearted attempt to stop her.
“What did you bring?” she asked bluntly.
“Well, lessee, we got some Mr. Daniels,” he said, pulling out a nearly full bottle of Jack Daniel’s. “Some chocolate,” he said, holding up a probably very stale Milky Way bar, which produced some “oohs,” among the group. Now Hurley was on his feet and edging closer to Sawyer. “And a book about bunnies,” he said, holding up the battered copy of “Watership Down,” which earned him a particularly dirty look from Boone.
“And some cards,” Sawyer said, holding up a still sealed Bicycle pack. “I thought maybe we could play for these here prizes.”
The hubbub in the cave was rising at the prospect of alcohol and chocolate, but Shannon turned up her nose. “I don’t eat chocolate,” she said haughtily.
“You got something against pure-grain alcohol?” Sawyer asked, jiggling the bottle so that the amber liquid sloshed slightly. She hesitated and looked over at Boone.
“Cards? Booze? That figures,” Boone snorted.
“You got a better idea how to kill some time?” Sawyer said, just leaving off calling Boone “boy.”
“I’m in,” Hurley said. “What are we playing?”
“How about poker?” Sawyer said.
“I don’t know how to play poker,” Shannon said, turning up her nose and walking away.
“It’s not that hard. I could teach you,” Sawyer said, eyeing her backside as she walked.
“I’m in,” Kate said, standing up. Jack looked at her, surprised. “What?” she said at his slightly scandalized expression. “It beats just sitting around.”
“Could be fun,” Charlie said, nudging Hurley.
“All right,” Sawyer said, obviously enjoying being the center of attention and being able to call the shots for once. “The game's poker. Texas hold-em. Anyone doesn’t know how to play, I can teach.”
“I don’t want you in here drinking and playing cards around my boy,” Michael said indignantly as Walt protested in disappointment.
Sawyer shrugged, looking around to see which way the wind was going to blow about bringing a touch of Vegas to Cavetown.
“You can use my cave,” Sayid offered suddenly.
Sawyer blinked in surprise. “That’s mighty sportin’ of you, Ali,” he said with a genial nod. “You sure it’s not breakin’ any Arab commandments or anything?”
“Yes, I’m sure,” Sayid said, looking amused.
“So, any consenting adults want to play, follow me,” Sawyer announced. And grinning like a slightly debauched Pied Piper, he turned and walked out of the cave, with Sayid on his heels.
Charlie and Hurley were next to follow Sawyer out. Kate looked at Jack, who still looked vaguely disapproving. “Come on Jack,” she said teasingly. “Don’t you want to unwind a little? I bet you’re a good bluffer.”
“Not as good as you,” he said without thinking, then realized he had basically told her he thought she was a good liar. “I don’t know,” he hedged.
“I’m going,” Shannon declared, daring Boone to stop her. “It can’t be any more boring than this. Come on Boone,” she said. “Don’t you want to get your book back?”
Boone glowered, but then suddenly got up. “You’re right. I do. This is the only way that jackass is going to give it back to me,” he said decisively.
“Last chance, Jack,” Kate said, holding out her hand.
“OK,” he said, a glint coming into his eye. “I won my share of hands back in med school.”
When they got to Sayid’s cave, they found Sawyer shuffling the cards like a pro. “Gather ’round,” he said, smiling benevolently. If he was surprised to see Boone and Jack there, he didn’t let on.
“OK, each person gets two cards,” he said. “That’s your hole,” he said as he dealt two cards to each of them.
“Sounds dirty,” Shannon sniffed.
“Sweetheart, I’m not making this up,” Sawyer continued. “You can also call it your pocket. OK. The two players on my left put up some money ... or whatever ... to get the ball rollin. That’s called postin’ the blinds.”
“This is too complicated,” Shannon protested. “Can’t we just play regular poker?”
“I thought you didn’t know how to play,” Sawyer said, one eyebrow raised.
“Well, we used to play Tripoli, remember, Boone?” she said, elbowing her stepbrother.
“Tripoli?” Sawyer asked. “What the hell is that?”
“It’s ... kind of poker,” Boone said, embarrassed. “You can win for certain hands. We used to play with our grandparents,” he admitted.
Sawyer rolled his eyes. “OK, who here actually knows how to play poker?” he asked impatiently.
Jack, Kate and Charlie raised their hands. “That is a sad state of affairs,” Sawyer sighed. “You know what? My cards, my game, my rules. I’m dealin.’ Regular poker. We’ll play a practice round so you can get the hang of it. And since we ain’t got no cash to play for and a pitiful amount of prizes, here’s the new ground rule. Whoever loses, loses a piece of clothing.”
“Strip poker?” Kate snorted. Jack hung his head and laughed in disbelief. Sayid looked merely curious while Charlie positively lit up. Hurley’s face was nervous and he eyed the cave entrance as if deciding to make a break for it.
“I’m out of here,” Shannon said in disgust as she got to her feet. “You really are just a pervert, Sawyer.”
“No, no,” Charlie said, standing up as if to stop her. “We can teach you,” he nodded vigorously at the group. “It’s really not as hard as he’s making it out to be,” he whispered conspiratorially to her.
“I dunno, man,” Hurley said, also getting up. “I think this is a game for you beautiful people.”
“You can’t leave, mate,” Charlie said, aghast. He hissed to Hurley in a low voice, “And miss out on ..." he didn’t complete his sentence, just nodded pointedly at Kate and Shannon. Hurley wavered.
“How about us girls form one team?” Kate said to Shannon.
“Then you’ll have to keep or lose your clothin’ together,” Sawyer said with a wicked grin.
“But we are still playing for the prizes, right?” Boone scowled.
“You got a real jones for that book, doncha?” Sawyer said with a smirk, earning another murderous look from Boone.
Kate got up and took Shannon by the arm, talking to her in low tones. “Come on, we can’t lose. And don’t you want to have some fun with this?” She nodded at the group of men all waiting on Shannon’s decision. “They’ll all be concentrating so hard on getting us naked they’ll blow their hands,” she whispered with a devilish wink.
Shannon considered it and a small, satisfied smile crept over face. She sat back down next to Kate and was met with pleased smiles from all the men, except for Boone.
“This is too weird,” he said. He’d been holding his two cards already but now he put them back down on the cave floor.
“It’s not like you haven’t seen me naked before,” Shannon said.
Charlie guffawed at that and elbowed Hurley, who looked stunned. Sawyer whistled while the rest of them looked pointedly away.
“Yeah, when we were kids!” Boone protested, flushing even redder than usual.
“Well, I have no intention of losing any clothes,” she said. “Come on, let’s play,” she added impatiently.
Sawyer went over the rules again and after one demonstration hand, it seemed that everyone was getting it, more or less. “This one’s for real,” Sawyer said as he shuffled and redealt. “And the loser will be disrobing or they will be put out in the cold, cold rain.” Sayid looked amused again to see Sawyer dictating the guest rules of his cave.
Hurley stood up again, looking vaguely green around the edges. “This just isn’t my scene,” he said and bolted outside. “Hurley!” Charlie called after him, but he didn’t chase after his friend.
Sawyer shrugged and took Hurley’s cards and put them at the bottom of the deck. “How about some social lubrication for all you shy types?” he said.
Shannon looked shocked until she realized he meant the whiskey. Sawyer took a swig and then passed the bottle to Sayid, who was sitting on his left. Sayid shook his head and passed the bottle to Charlie, who took a large swig. He passed the bottle in turn to Boone, who hesitated, and then choked down a larger gulp than he’d planned. He gasped and was met with a mocking laugh from Sawyer.
Boone tried passing the bottle straight to Kate, but Shannon grabbed it from him. “What’s your problem, Bonehead?” she said with a glare. She took a larger hit than Boone had, with no ill effects. The men noted her drinking proficiency with hopeful smiles, except for Jack who frowned slightly. Sawyer noticed his frown and winked at him and Jack responded with an eye-roll and a shrug.
Kate also took a sizable swallow, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. Jack defiantly took a large belt and then handed it to Sawyer with a hard stare as if daring him to say something about it. Sawyer just smiled and took a swig himself, licking his lips with satisfaction.
“Now that we’re all loosened up, let me know if you want a card,” Sawyer said, asking them each in turn.
“Hit me,” Shannon said, proudly embracing her newfound poker lingo. Sawyer gave her another card and Kate assessed it silently, then reordered Shannon’s hand for her.
“Cards on the table,” Sawyer said at the end of the round, and it was Boone who came up short with a pair of sixes. “Take it off, boy,” Sawyer hooted at Boone, who was getting steadily redder.
“OK, OK,” Boone said, waving his hands. He untied one shoe and took it off. “There,” he said.
“Shoes don’t count,” Sawyer huffed.
“Yes, they do,” Jack insisted.
“All right,” Sawyer sighed. “It’s just going to take all the fun out of the game.” He gathered up the cards and shuffled.
“You that anxious to see Boone get his kit off?” Charlie chuckled.
“Yeah, you’ve got my number, has-been,” Sawyer said sarcastically. “Why don’t you come make papa happy and sit on my lap, pretty boy?” he said, blowing a kiss at Boone, who looked like he was going to punch him in return.
“Sawyer,” Jack said warningly. “Play nice.”
“Aye, aye, Cap’n Jack,” Sawyer said solemnly.
The next round, it was Sayid who lost a shoe, then Jack, then both Kate and Shannon, and then Charlie. After a few more rounds of cards and hits from the whiskey bottle, everyone was shoeless and beltless except for Sawyer.
Not having a belt to lose after her shoes, Shannon opted to remove a hair clip instead, which was hotly debated but finally accepted in the interest of continuing her participation in the game.
Finally Sawyer lost a hand. Then another. By the third losing hand, he said, “The fuck with this,” and stood up and stripped off his T-shirt and tossed it in Kate’s lap with a grin. He shook his hair and sat back down, a pleased look on his face.
She picked up the shirt with a startled smile, then folded it neatly and sat on it, grinning at both Sawyer, who chuckled, and Jack, who kept his face stoically blank.
By now, everyone was pleasantly sloshed, except for Sayid, who continued to abstain. “You oughta relax some,” Sawyer said, beginning to slur his words.
“I am quite comfortable, thank you,” Sayid said, arching his eyebrow.
“Not with that shirt on,” Shannon giggled and Boone looked at her, shocked.
“Then I shall endeavor to lose this hand,” Sayid said politely, and he was true to his word. He stood up and slowly rolled his cotton tank top up over his head while the women catcalled him. He sat back down, a small smile pulling at the corners of his mouth.
Sawyer grinned at him and shook his head. “And the women go wild...” he emceed. “In this corner, Omar the genuine ladykiller from Iraq!”
Everyone laughed at Sayid’s expense and he finally gave in and laughed too.
Next it was Jack who bluffed and lost on a pair of aces. “Take it off!” Kate whooped. He stood up and began unbuttoning his shirt.
“Faster!” Shannon yelled.
“No, slower!” Kate said. “And put some shake in it. Come on, Jack, shake it for us!!”
Jack ducked his head, laughing, and began to exaggeratedly grind his hips as he continued to undo his buttons. He got the shirt off and twirled it over his head, throwing it across the cave.
“Hoo boy,” Sawyer said, his eyebrows disappearing into his hairline.
Kate and Shannon were leaning against each other, sunk in a hysterical giggle fit. By now, Kate was laughing so hard, she was crying and she kept waving her hand at Jack even though he had already stopped and sat down with a slightly embarrassed grin.
“Ladies, can we continue?” Sawyer finally said as the men waited for the women’s giggles to subside. Finally they had recovered themselves enough to attempt another round.
Maybe Kate’s concentration was off, because it was the women who lost the next round. They looked at each other with a mixture of horror and giddiness as they debated what to remove next.
“Tops!” Charlie yelled excitedly while Boone sat uncomfortably, trying not to look at Shannon.
They stood up, blushing and giggling and each started to remove her shirt. “No,” Sawyer said abruptly. “You should take off each other’s top.”
Charlie snorted in surprise and Jack tried hard to suppress a smile. Sayid’s eyes darted to Boone, and then back to the women.
“OK,” Kate shrugged, and helped Shannon off with her tank top.
“Oh Jesus,” Charlie breathed as Shannon’s shirt got stuck on her head. Kate and Shannon were still giggling and falling against each other, with the result that the shirt stayed like that for a good minute or so while the men ogled Shannon’s lacy pink bra, which Charlie sadly assessed to be merely an A-cup.
“Catch,” Kate said, having finally got the shirt off. She playfully tossed it to a surprised Sayid while Boone just glared.
Then Shannon rolled Kate’s green T-shirt up and over her head and arms, revealing a plain white bra underneath. Being taller than Kate, she was able to get it off with relative ease. She dangled the shirt out and Charlie held out his arms for it.
“Hmm, this is getting kind of boring,” Shannon said with a pout. “I’ll tell you what. The first man to take off his pants gets Kate’s shirt.”
That was all the incentive Charlie needed. He hadn’t actually lost his shirt yet, but he eagerly hopped out of his jeans and claimed the shirt, ignoring the laughter at his red-and-white striped briefs.
Sawyer wiped away tears from his eyes and Jack was rolling on the floor, holding onto his sides, helpless with laughter.
“Yeah, real funny,” Charlie sniffed, waiting for them to calm down.
Kate’s big bluff on the next hand misfired and Shannon punched her in the arm. “You said we wouldn’t lose!” she yelped.
“C’mon ladies, off with those bottoms,” Sawyer said, leaning back and putting his hands behind his head as he eyed them both up and down.
“I don’t want to play anymore,” Shannon said, frowning.
“Oh, who cares?” Kate said, and stepped out of her jeans. She turned around once with a tilt of her hips, showing off her black, low-rise bikini panties. Sawyer whistled while Jack, Sayid and Charlie looked on appreciatively.
“I’m not doing it,” Shannon huffed and sat down and Sawyer shrugged and dealt again.
A straight flush to Jack’s four of a kind did Sawyer in next and he stood up, his hands out. “OK, fair warning, here. All I got left is my jeans.”
Shannon giggled nervously. “Yeah, I’ve seen it before,” Kate said, while Jack looked at her, shocked. “What?” she said. “Like you didn’t know Sawyer’s an exhibitionist?”
“Only around you, darlin’,” Sawyer said with a smile. He unbuttoned the top two buttons of his fly. “I’m game if you are...” Seeing everyone avert their gaze, he reluctantly sat back down. “OK, then. I guess I should protect everyone’s delicate sensibilities. Private show later for the right party,” he said, winking at the women.
Boone lost the next hand, and he gamely took off his shirt, but the novelty seemed to be wearing off for everyone because he was met with merely polite gazes. Then he lost again, and as Sawyer winked at Kate, Boone next stripped off his jeans. He sat awkwardly in his underwear, which happened to be gray Calvin Klein boxer briefs. And then he lost again.
“You’ve got to be fuckin’ kidding me!” he yelled at Sawyer.
Sawyer shrugged, but his grin gave him away. “Fair’s fair boy. You lost, now you gonna be a sore loser or you gonna be a man about it?”
“You didn't have to take yours off!" Boone protested, looking around at the others.
"There's still time," Sawyer said with a grin.
"You’ve been cheating,” Boone sneered. “You fuckin’ low-life scumbag.”
“Boone!” Shannon giggled, embarrassed. “Shut up.”
Boone threw himself at Sawyer, bowling him over and knocking his head against the wall of the cave. “Ow!” Sawyer yelled as he retaliated with a blow to Boone’s jaw. The two grappled, rolling over in the dirt while Jack and Sayid both jumped up to separate them.
Sayid pulled Boone off Sawyer while Jack held Sawyer by his arms.
Boone gave up and Sayid let him go. “Fine, I’m outta here,” Boone announced. He turned and seemed about to go after Sawyer again, but instead he grabbed his book. “I’m taking this back because a) you stole it from me in the first place and b) you’ve been cheating all night. Well, here I am in my underwear, you pervert. I hope you got an eyeful!”
Sawyer snorted at him, waving Jack off. “I always said you’d be real popular in Folsom,” Sawyer said with a smirk.
Boone shot him an ugly scowl and moodily gathered up his clothes as the others sat in silence. He left the cave and the rest looked at each other as if to say, “What now?”
“Well, that pretty much ruined the mood, didn’t it?” Sawyer said, rubbing the back of his head.
“You OK?” Jack said, taking at look at Sawyer’s head.
“It’s a tough old nut,” Sawyer said, wincing as Jack’s hands found the lump sprouting there. “Ain’t been cracked yet.”
Shannon shivered, suddenly cold as the effect of the alcohol wore off. She walked over and held out her hand to Sayid. “Can I have my shirt back?” she said impatiently, her flirtatiousness completely gone. He handed it back to her and she nodded at him with a tight smile and put it on quickly.
Kate retrieved her shirt from Charlie while Jack went searching for his and soberly buttoned it back up.
“So, who won?” Charlie asked.
“You did, Sparky,” Sawyer said, tossing him the candy bar. “Be a good boy and share it with your pal, Tubby, why doncha?”
Charlie, too delighted at the candy bar to mind the slur, nodded and quickly put his jeans back on. Everyone trooped out of the cave, leaving just Sayid and Sawyer there.
“So, Omar, mind if I bunk here?” Sawyer said. “My little tent’s like being in the middle of the ocean.”
“All right,” Sayid said, holding his shirt but not putting it back on yet. “What about that private show you mentioned?”
Sawyer did a double-take, and then he grinned. “Well now, Ali, I had no idea.” He undid the third button of his jeans. “You want a dance with the strip tease?”
Sayid’s mouth curled in a smile. “Please.”
Ah, the slash twist ending! Cheap, but I hope entertaining. ;->