Royal Flush - Prologue
Alicia Blade

October 2004 ANs:

Another old fic! Yes, I will start posting my new ones eventually. A few are in the beta process right now, but I want to get my archive built up here first. I hope you're enjoying these!

I started a C2 Archive for First Seasons, entitled First Love: Usagi and Mamoru Beginnings. Please subscribe, I'm hoping to make it the C2 equivalent to First Love. And if you would like to recommend a story or be part of the staff, please let me know through email or reviews. Arigatou!

This story was written three to six years ago. I've retained the original author's notes for novelty purposes, though some may no longer apply. This story has been recently edited for its most recent posting, but nothing else has changed. I hope you will enjoy it, whether reading it for the first time or the fiftieth!

All normal disclaimers.


Original ANs:

Hey there, minna-chan!!! Wow, not two weeks after Dancey, and I'm posting again! Aren't you proud?! And this one I will PROBABLY be able to get out a chapter per week up 'til the end. I'm not promising, but it's likely. Thanx for all you who e-mailed me on A Dance to Remember, I'm glad ya thought it was funny and REALLY appreciate your comments and feedback. THANK YOU!! I hate to disappoint you, though, but I will NOT be doing an epilogue to that story. It's DONE! I'm sorry if it left at sort of an awkward place, but honestly, I was quite proud of that ending!!!

For those of you in great anticipation for the sequel to Next Time Take the Stairs, DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH!!!! Yes, it will be written eventually, but right now it is third on my list of priorities. This one is first, then one I will begin posting directly after this one is finished called Saying Goodbye to Dorothy Smith, and THEN the sequel. I'm sorry if I'm totally leaving you guys hanging, but hey, it'll give you something to look forward to!!!

Also, I believe I've gotten a little of that comedy out of my system, so the next couple fics, including this one, are a little more serious, focusing more on the romantic aspects of Serena and Darien's relationship. Oh, did I mention this is another first season fic? Honestly, do you ever get tired of these? If so, tell me what you would like to see me write, and I'll think about it!

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to Edeet-chan and Lady S, who I love with all my heart and are THE best (online) friends I have ever had! Thanx for your continuous comments, ideas, and support! Also, Twilight, Melinda, Elysia-chan, and Space13aby for your WONDERFUL, INCREDIBLE ideas, support, love, friendship, prayers, you name it! I love you guys VERY much!!!!!! And most of them are incredible authors, so if you come across their stuff, READ IT!!!! Absolutely awesome!!!

Oh, and yeah, one last thing:

ATHENA!!!!!! I MISS YOU!!!!!!

"All the inhabitants of the Earth ARE reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of Heaven and among the inhabitants of the Earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to him, 'What have you done?'"
Daniel 4:35

Royal Flush

"Please?! Just one more round, please?! Pretty please with sugar on top?!" Mina squealed at the top of her voice, causing everyone in the room to clap their hands over their ears.

"FINE!" screamed Darien, finally giving in. "One more round, but then you're out of the game, got it?"

"Oh, yeah, huh huh, sure, sounds good to me! Just one more round and I'll be satisfied!"

Darien glared at the others around the table. "WHO brought her along?"

Ken shrugged. "She came with the other girls."

Darien rolled his eyes. "This is why I prefer being single."

Andrew smiled at him. "Though I know just the girl you'd give up that freedom for."

Darien glared and kicked him beneath the table. He only laughed.

"Hey, Andrew?" screamed Serena, running into the room through the doorway.

"Yeah, Serena?"

"Do you have any chocolate? I think I need sugar."

"Yeah, there are some candy bars in the drawer next to the oven."


"Like you need any more candy, Meatball Head."

Serena glared at him, sticking her tongue out at him quickly before retreating into the room she had come from. He smiled lightly after her before returning his attention back to the game. The deck of cards was set in front of him. He immediately reached for it to start dealing.

"Yo, dude, you're still gonna stay in?" Chad asked in surprise. "You're pretty low on money there."

Darien grinned. "I feel lucky this time."

Everyone exchanged glances, shrugging. He shuffled the deck a few times before tossing the cards out to the individual players in clockwise order. First to Andrew, then Greg, Chad, Ken, and finally Mina.

"Five-card draw, no strings attached."

After the cards had been dealt, everyone looked down on their hands. Darien stared at his hand a little amazed. So close... but it wouldn't happen, the odds were... almost impossible.

"I'll bet 20," said Andrew with a hint of mischief in his voice. Slowly, everyone around the table threw in their change, each with hopeful looks at their cards. Mina smiled widely as she tossed hers in. With shaky hands, Darien cast in his last 20 dollars worth of chips.

Everyone threw in the cards they didn't need, followed by Darien passing out the number of discarded hands. Placing the deck down, he picked up his hand... and forced his jaw not to drop.

'Impossible... absolutely impossible...' he thought silently, staring at his cards.

"Hey Dare, you gonna take a marker?" asked Andrew.

Finally, he looked up from his cards to see that the bets had already traveled around the table. He couldn't fold now...

"What's the ante at?"

"It's up to 50."

His jaw dropped. "You're kidding me!"

"Look's like everyone's pretty sure about their hands," said Greg, smiling to himself.

Darien nodded. 'I can't take a 50 dollar marker... besides, if there's a chance I can get people to raise their bets higher... I could win tons of money! It's fool proof... but what do I have to bet?'

His eyes lit up. It was a long shot... and they might bail out... but if they're all so certain about their own hands, then he could earn some interesting prizes...

Reaching into his pocket, Darien felt the keys jingling between his fingers. Lifting them from his pants, he proceeded to remove the bronze key from the rest before tossing it into the rapidly growing stash. Everyone looked on in awe.

"I bet my car."

Silence fell around everyone. 5 pairs of eyes remained glued to the small key amidst the blue and red plastic chips. Finally, Andrew reached out a hand and pushed the key back to Darien.

"Man, that's not funny. Here, take your key."

Darien shook his head. "No, I bet my car. I'm still in this game, and we already determined that there's not a limit on the bids." He pushed the key back to the center of the table.

Andrew shook his head. "That's crazy! Your car is the most important thing in the world to you! You were saving up for it for years!"

"I realize that, Andrew, but like I said before, I feel lucky. Now who's in and who's out?"

Everyone looked around the table.

Nobody folded.

Darien smiled. "If you're all in, then you'd better find something of equal value to call."

Andrew inhaled sharply. "But what, Dar? No one has as nice a car as you, and the only thing in the world that is more important to me is..." He froze. He looked down at his hand, gulping strongly. "Hey, Rita, Hon, could you come in here for a minute?"

Darien raised an eyebrow. He wasn't thinking of betting... was he?

"Yeah Sweetie?" asked Rita, entering the room, quickly followed by the other girls who had been hanging out in the next room, Serena, Ami, Lita, and Raye. She walked over to her boyfriend calmly. He whispered something in her ear, provoking a gasp. She looked ready to scream at him when he showed her the cards in his hand. She analyzed them a moment, looking between them, her boyfriend, and the very large jackpot, before nodding very slowly. He smiled, kissing her cheek before pulling a small ring off of her finger and tossing it next to the key.

"I bet Rita."

Everyone looked on surprised, and the girls slowly backed up. This was crazy!!

Darien held back a laugh. 'Boy is HE gonna be in trouble tonight.'

Slowly, each guy sitting around the table coaxed their girlfriends into being the next addition to the valuable pot, each after showing them the cards and explaining the capabilities of their hand and the chances of them being beaten.

Finally, Mina sat staring at the collection of chips, a key, two rings, a bracelet, and an earring. After a moment of silence, she exploded, "Well FINE!! Just bet your girlfriends! What am I gonna do? I'm not dating anyone, and I can't even drive!!"

"Might as well fold," said Ken, anxious to show off his winning hand. Mina glared at him.

"I don't WANT to fold! I like my hand!!"

"Hey, Mina?" said a small voice from the corner of the room. Everyone turned to Serena curiously.

She had been watching the betting go by with fascination, and now that every one of her friends had been put up for grabs, she was actually feeling a little... left out.

"Why don't you bet me?"

Darien raised an eyebrow. His breath caught in his throat. If Serena was one of the prizes... he could win her... He could actually have Serena... was this a dream?

"Serena, are you sure?"

"Well yeah! As long as Darien doesn't win!"

Mina smiled brightly. Darien flinched at the comment.

'Oh, I'll win you yet, Meatball Head.'

"Alright," said Darien as Serena threw in one of her earrings. "So... what's the deal then?"

"I say whoever wins gets to have the girls serve on them the rest of the night," said Greg.

Darien raised an eyebrow. "I don't think so. I bet my car! How about the girls will be his slaves for a week?"

Everyone looked around. Ami blushed and Serena looked on with mute interest.

The players exchanged nods. "Deal," said Andrew.

Darien smiled. "Let's see what you have!"

Slowly, everyone laid down their cards face up. Andrew had a straight flush, Ace through 5 of diamonds. Greg showed 4 sevens. Chad had a full house, queens and twos, and Mina smiled as she threw down another straight flush, 8 through Queen of spades. Darien grinned widely, lying down his 5 cards... and everyone fell silent.

"Royal flush," he stated simply, showing the ten, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of hearts. "I win."

"I... I've never seen one of those in my entire life..." Andrew mused. Ami and Greg began calculating the odds, and Raye turned to smack Chad upside the head.

After a moment of shock, Serena let out an ear-piercing scream.

"NO! This can't be happening! Mina, you said you would win! You said I wouldn't be won by... by HIM!! I refuse to be Darien's slave! REFUSE! It's not going to happen! No way!"

Darien smiled at the sight. 4 very unhappy girls hitting his best friends, and Serena going hysterical. However, he flinched again, remembering why she was so angry. Because she didn't want to spend time with him. Because she hated him. He sighed, reaching out his hands and scooping in the large pile. He stacked up his chips while waiting for the commotion to die down. This would be sweet though.

'Don't fight it Serena. You're mine now, if only for a week, you're mine. And I plan to make the best of it.'

Finally, the room was quiet again. Rita, Raye, and Lita were all pouting angrily. Ami and Greg continued with their calculations. Andrew, Chad, and Ken were all rubbing their wounds gently, and Mina was trying to apologize to a fuming Serena. And he thought he could see tears forming in her eyes. His heart broke, but he was NOT going to give up on this opportunity. She did offer to be used as a bet, after all, and it's not his fault that he'd won her, fair and square. Besides, maybe if they spent some more time together, she would see he wasn't ALL bad...

Darien cleared his throat, looking around at the people in the crowded room. "Ya know... I really don't need 5 slaves. I think... I'm gonna let you guys off easy." Casually, he picked out the articles of jewelry and handed them back to their rightful owners. He stopped and smiled to Serena as she held out an expecting palm, waiting for him to drop her missing earring into her hand. He smiled mischievously, looking down at the last small, pearl earring in his palm. He then looked up to her and smiled. She looked back with a hint of annoyance.

"Although... YOU are a prize worth keeping."

Andrew watched on silently. 'He's crazy! Is he really gonna keep her? Of course he is. He's been sprung over the girl for weeks. Now, I think he just found his way to get to her. Smart man... I just hope he doesn't screw this one up!'

Serena gulped, before slowly shaking her head back and forth. "You've gotta be kidding! That's not fair!"

He only smiled. Placing the earring in his pocket, he quickly traded in the chips for cash and threw it into his wallet before writing something down on a small piece of paper. Serena watched his movements silently, tears of anger building up inside of her. With another quirky grin, Darien handed her the paper.

"I'll see you there bright and early tomorrow. Around... eleven-ish?" She took the paper with shaky hands. He smiled slightly. "Well, it was nice playing with all of you. Have a nice night. See you tomorrow, Servant!" With a smile, he left Andrew's apartment. After the door had closed, Serena removed her gaze from the small paper to glare at Mina.

"I will never forgive you!" she hissed.


Sorry it was so short, the chapters get longer as I go along, so don't worry, it'll pick up. I do have a tendency to do that... Oh, and also, I KNOW that it IS virtually impossible to get six extremely GOOD hands in ONE game of poker, I realize that! Heck, it's near impossible to get a royal flush! But this is MY story, and it's FICTION, so don't argue the possibilities and ratios and such with me, because I KNOW!! Thanx for understanding. 0 Stay tuned for next week's chapter!

Oct. 2004 AN: Also, this fic in NO WAY condones slavery or servitude. He's in love with her, he's harmless, I promise he's doing this for her own good. As am I. ) God bless!!!! Luv ya!