DICE WITH THE DEVIL, aka Poker With Pinky.
...it's insane, I know. It's also an offshoot of a Bleach/House M.D. X-over I'm writing, and was inspired by Urahara's cane (sort of) and poker nights. How the hell does he fit a sword in there... but please read and review.
"I'll raise you one." A second bottle was placed into the circle, as Gregory House inspected his poker hand with a poker face.
Szayel raised an eyebrow. "Really? I'll meet that, in that case. Ten dollars." The man nudged a small pile of currency into the centre with a foot.
"Ten? That's gotta be at least twenty."
The pink-haired arrancar pouted. "Fine, then. Twenty." He threw down his hand, three of a kind and a pair.
House smirked as he laid down a full house.
"Was that supposed to be a joke?"
"Not particularly," he replied, shrugging just as the door opened. The two looked up to see Wilson, who stared.
Szayel beamed at Wilson. "Wanna join in? You must be James Wilson..." He gave the man an appraising look which Wilson wasn't entirely happy with.
"To answer your question, no and yes," House growled as he raked the cash over to his side.
"Aww, you're no fair."
Wilson sat down nonetheless. "Is this the reason why you wanted to check I'd be out?"
House glared. "Yes." He jerked a thumb at the man opposite him. "This is Szayel Apporo Grantz."
Szayel proffered a hand, which Wilson shook tentatively. He glanced at the pointy-looking sword next to the man. "Where exactly did you meet? I don't think I've ever seen you before."
The pink-haired man stroked his chin thoughtfully. "Weeell... you know those rumours about Dr. House selling his soul to the Devil?"
House smacked the other man over the head with his cane. "Ow."
"I did not sell my soul to him. Not that he didn't ask for it enough damn times." As an afterthought, he added, "Besides, I doubt the Devil dyes his hair pink."
"This is my natural colour!"
"Really? Last time Spoony, Foxface and Bluekitty were here, Gin told me your hair was naturally red. Not pink."
"That asshole..." Szayel muttered, before brightening up. "Are your pancakes really as good as he says?" he asked Wilson.
He nodded dumbly, still staring.
"Good. Then you can play."
"What?" he managed.
"Play for your pancakes. Oh, wanna up the stakes a little?"
"To what?" House asked suspiciously.
Szayel leaned to whisper something in House's ear, causing his eyes to widen.
"You actually made it?"
"Of course, my dear Gregory," the man said, smiling broadly. "I even tested it. Five times. Actually, that's why Nnoitora and Grimmjow aren't here, as a matter of fact. I slipped it to them while they weren't paying attention. It works perfectly."
"In exchange for...?"
Szayel whispered something else in House's ear, while Wilson stared.
"C'mon. You're going to win either way, after all," Szayel added invitingly, or what he thought was invitingly. In the end, it just ended up being creepy.
House appeared torn, before finally giving in with a curt nod. "Fine. Second base max, one day."
The scientist smirked. "I promised no such thing. Apart from the fact that, at the end, you will be perfectly capable of moving without that." He gestured with distaste at the cane.
The room heated up considerably. "She is staying with me."
"Fine, fine," he replied carelessly. "Are we playing?"
"...okay," House said grudgingly. The heat died down slightly.
"What exactly did you offer?" Wilson asked cautiously.
"If he loses, the winner gets House for the day," Szayel replied happily. "You have to cook pancakes if you lose, and if I lose, then the winner gets my special friend, which I call - " He produced a small bottle from an unseen pocket with a flourish - "B-69!"
House snickered. "You actually named it that?"
"Technically it's B-69.15, but that doesn't sound as good... so this is the operational version of B-69."
"What did the non-operational versions do?" Wilson asked suspiciously.
"They had... ah... minor side effects. They lasted considerably longer than I intended them to, as well as being unpalatable and causing unfortunate rashes in, shall we say... awkward locations, and slight hair loss. As well as the intended effect, of course. The new version tastes and smells of vanilla, and is perfectly safe!" he finished, before mumbling quickly, "Except maybe for pregnant women. I didn't have any pregnant women I could test on..."
"For which I'm silently thankful," House muttered as he dealt, only to be stopped by Szayel. "What?"
"You're not dealing. You cheat."
"Do not!" House protested.
Wilson sighed. "Yes, you do. Remember that time you had the earpiece and microphone rig in the casino?"
"See? Ha!" Szayel was jubilant.
"That was different. You cheat more than I do. The only reason Emo Kid wins more than you do is because of his damn poker face. And the reason why I win so much is because of two things."
"Badass, and Wilson." The man leaned back, satisfied.
"...am I supposed to be disturbed..." Wilson muttered.
"Fine." Szayel removed a small device from up his sleeve, and placed it in the centre, whilst watching House carefully. "You actually don't have anything up your sleeve?"
"Good. Then strip," Szayel said, still watching House intently.
"What?!" asked Wilson, shocked.
"Just making sure nobody has an unfair advantage." Szayel reached to unbutton his shirt.
House glared, before doing likewise. Wilson reluctantly followed suit, before reaching for the deck to shuffle and deal.
He inspected his hand, switching a five and three for an eight and ten, and leaving him with two pair. House's face was unreadable, Szayel was smiling slightly.
Wilson sighed, pulling a face as he got up, dropping his hand. "I'll get the batter ready, then," he called as he made his way to the kitchen.
Szayel dramatically placed five cards face up with a flourish. "Straight flush." He smirked. "How about this weekend?"
In response, House turned over his hand to reveal a royal flush.
Szayel glared. "Where the hell did you hide that? You're not even wearing a damn shirt..."
"Like I said. Badass." He held out his hand, smirking.
The scientist sighed. "Fine. I left it in my laboratory, actually. If you give me a minute, I'll get it for you." He stood up, pulling his shirt back on and picking his zanpakuto up.
"Oh, really. And you're going to come back, of course?"
Szayel placed his hand theatrically against his heart(1). "Gregory, Gregory, how could you think so poorly of me..." he sighed.
The air tore open as he made a cutting motion with his finger, to reveal a white laboratory. He stepped through with the parting words, "I'll be back. Make sure there are pancakes."
The sounds of frying from the kitchen stopped.
Shortly after, Wilson came in with a plateful of pancakes and a 'Kiss the Cook' apron. "Where'd he get to?"
"He left to get me my winnings." House grabbed a pancake.
"I didn't see him leave... Who is he?"
"The best description would probably be 'mad scientist'. We met when he was stalking me. More or less."
"You play poker with an evil scientist?" Wilson asked, amused.
"He has weirder friends, but... yeah. Pretty much." House reached for another pancake.
"Weird friends? How come I've never seen you play with them?"
"Bluekitty's a really bad loser, Foxface smiles all the time, Emo Kid has the emotional range of Coma Guy, and Spoony's just... weird. Besides, I don't play with them that much, or the apartment'd get destroyed every time Bluekitty lost." House looked up as the air slid open to reveal Szayel, holding a small glass bottle. "Is that it?" he asked, as Wilson stared at the apparent destruction of the laws of physics.
"Yes. As requested. Although, you know you can always ask if you want me to fix your leg for you... I need a better subject for the surgery." The man raised a pink eyebrow.
"Nope." House took the bottle as Szayel reached for a pancake, and unscrewed the cap to inspect the contents. There was a small quantity of dark fluid, which did, indeed, smell of vanilla.
"Don't sniff it," said Szayel sharply. "It can also enter the bloodstream through the nasal cavity."
He replaced the cap gingerly. "Thanks," he said grudgingly.
"What were you planning to do with it, anyway?" Szayel asked curiously.
"Make coffee. What else?"
The man snorted. "Right." He turned on his heel and left through the still-open garganta, as Wilson continued to stare.
House waved a hand in front of his friend. "Hello?"
"He just..." Wilson made a vague gesture with his left hand.
"And you ask why I time Supernatural Poker Night for when you're out," House muttered.
Foreman felt something about the universe was... off as he made his way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. He reached sleepily for the light cord, pulled it.
"...this is Eric Foreman. I'm sorry, I'm not available right now. Please leave a message after the tone..."
Thirteen looked slightly worried. "He isn't picking up on his mobile, and he isn't at his apartment..."
He swivelled round in the chair to see Cuddy. Unfortunately, the angle wasn't quite what it should've been to see her cleavage properly. "Yes?"
"Is there any particular reason why every single one of your male fellows is currently ill on the same day?"
"They all had too much coffee."
(1)...yes, Szayel does not have a heart. I know. It's just 'where the heart should be if he wasn't an arrancar' doesn't read anywhere near as well.