Tensions were high in the room. The lighting was dim, the room was full, and barely anyone breathed for fear or ruining the dramatic moment. In the center of the room was a large round table, where eight people sat; they were, in clockwise order, Mojo Jojo, Him, Sedusa, Buttercup, Princess, Fuzzy Lumpkins, Ace, and Him. Around them were supporters, who exchanged only looks with those that they were rooting for; the only one without any support was Him, who seemed perfectly content with playing alone. It had been a long game, and one by one, people began to fold, not feeling stupid enough to keep bidding on Him's constantly rising stakes.

The third to last to fold was Mojo; he was an excellent player with a good pokerface, but he was no fool. All who was left was Buttercup and Him.

Buttercup had decided to enter the poker contest right in the middle of a would-be bust. She and her sisters had followed the band of villains to a warehouse, convinced that they were up to absolutely no good; what they had instead found was their annual monthly poker night. After apologizing for busting in on their harmless fun, Buttercup had suddenly stepped up and threw a wad of cash down on the table, then pulled up a chair to seat herself with, demanding that Mojo throw her some cards.

So far, she had won two games; after all, she and Ace--with whom she had sparked an interesting friendship with--had been practicing the game since she was 12, and at the solid age of 17, she was practically unstoppable at the game. And now, she was facing the other best player in the group--Him.

The cross-dressing demon seemed to have mixed emotions that contradicted His hand at random times; it was impossible to tell whether or not He had a bad hand or not, because He would feign tells and up the ante to almost ridiculous stakes. And right now, between Him and Buttercup, He had upped His own ante by an entire Circle in Hell.

The surrounding villains--and Powerpuffs--had gaped at Him in disbelief. An entire Circle of Hell? It was ludicris. He had to be bluffing. Apparently, Buttercup was thinking the same thing, because she gave Him a confident grin and said four words that made everyone around her gape with awe, fear, and even admiration.

"I bet my soul."

Blossom was staring at her sister like she was insane, and Bubbles just looked flat-out scared. Him's black lips curled back in a twisted grin. "Purrrfect..." He purred, His claws caressing His cards almost lovingly. "Lay 'em down, Buttercup dear..." Buttercup gave him a cocky smirk and threw her cards down.

"Straight," she replied. "In diamonds." Sure enough, a red ace, king, queen, knave, ten, nine and eight in diamonds shined under the light over the table. Everyone murmured their own approvals, congratulating Buttercup with catcalls. "So, what you got, Little Miss Pink Frills?" she sassed, leaning back in her chair. Him heaved a long, echoing sigh, leaning His head on His free claw.

"I must admit, Buttercuppy Baby," He mused, looking at His own cards. "You're good. You're very, very good...." His forlorn look then turned into a ghastly, black grin as He turned His claw around to show everyone His own cards. "You're also very, very mine..."

Royal flush in spades.

Buttercup tipped back in her chair, crashing to the floor.

Mmmyep...dont deal with the Devil, kids...even if He does wear a dress.