Title: Poker Time.

Summary: Pre quel to Poker Flash. How Spot, Race and Bumlets know Jumps.

(This came to me somehow and I realized that it would be perfect for the story but I had already finished it and I didn't want to go back and edit it. So, I'm posting a prequel. Read, Enjoy, Review.)

"Are you about ready to go, Jumping-Bean?" My mother asked coming into my near empty room.

I was sitting on the last box, a pack of playing cards in my hands. "No, I don't want to leave. What if Justin suddenly confesses he likes me. If we move, he will never know!"

"Oh, baby, Justin will be sad, but he'll get over it. Besides, if he doesn't know that he likes you now, he's not good enough for you." She said. "Now are you ready to go?"

I nodded. "I guess."

VHVHVHVHVHVHVHVH

It had been four months since I had found dad in the alley. We had moved far away so that the Russians wouldn't be able to find us.

I hadn't made any friends yet but I also hadn't been outside very much. I knew there were a few boys in the neighborhood. I had heard them screaming at each other as they went by the house or played in the backyard next door. I wouldn't mind playing with them, but I was worried that they wouldn't let me play with them.

I spread my cards out in front of me, content to play solitaire in the comfort of my room. I heard the doorbell ring and knew my mother would get it if it wasn't anyone suspicious looking. I heard my mother's laughter peal through the house and smiled, laughter was a good sign. I heard multiple steps coming towards my room, one set I recognized as my mother's and the other sets I wasn't sure about.

My mother was talking, telling someone about the house and then talking about me. I stood and opened my door. I saw my mother, another woman, and following her was a boy who appeared about my age. I quickly took in his appearance. Dark hair, that was almost black, pale skin, dark eyes, and there was something about him that made me think he was a gambler.

I looked up at my mother. She was still talking to the woman, who looked a little like the boy but not as much. I waited.

My mother finally turned to me. "There's my Jumping-Bean. This is Mrs. Higgins and her son, Anthony, they live next door. Can you take him into your room and show him your books or something?" I nodded.

The boy, Anthony, stepped over to me and I led him into my room. He shut the door behind us. I sat back down and started gathering up my cards

"You play cards?" He asked. I looked at him and nodded.

"Yeah. Do you play cards?" I asked back. He smiled and nodded. "Wanna play a game then?"

"As long as it's not a child's game like Go Fish, then sure." He said sitting down across from me.

I looked up and smiled at him. "Black Jack, Texas Hold-em, Deuces Wild, Omaha, 7 card stud or a different game?" I felt a little shaky and nervous.

He watched me shuffle the cards and then answered. "Black Jack is good, or Texas Hold-em works too. By the way, what do I call you?"

I jumped at the question. "Well, um, go with a nickname because I don't like my real name. My mom calls me Jumping-Bean, but I don't suppose you would like that." I jumped up, and moved to my dresser, I grabbed one of my bags of marbles out, then turned back to Anthony. "But if you really want to know my real name it's Katherine Rose. My dad used to call me Jumping Cat." I said with a small frown.

Anthony asked, "Why are you frowning?"

"Because he was killed before my mom and I moved. I found him and I knew who did it, that is why we moved." I said quietly.

"Oh." He was quiet, I sat down across from him. "I have nicknames too. My mom calls me Tony, and my friends call me Racetrack, I'll tell you why later. Let's play."

I smiled "Ok. Black Jack?" I dumped out the marbles and divided them up quick. I passed half to him and notice him raise an eyebrow. "For betting."

"Oh, no money?" He asked.

"My father died because of money." I said, he nodded and I dealt the cards.

VHVHVHVHVHVHVHVHVHVHVH

"Hey Mom, can I go play at Tony's house?" I asked, coming down the stairs, jumping down the last few steps. I bounced into the living room and stopped in front of my mom. I bounced on my feet and waited for her to respond.

"I suppose that's fine." I squealed and spun around. "Be home when I call you."

"Ok!" I shouted as I left the house. I ran over to Tony's house, his mom was in front doing the gardens. "Hello!"

"Oh, hello Kathy. Tony is in his tree house in the back yard, you can go on back. I'm not sure if you will be able to go up though. He has one of his friends up there." I nodded and went back anyway.

I stopped under the tree house. "Hey, Tony? Can I come up?"

"What's his real name?" I jumped when I heard a voice that was not Tony's shout down, it was an almost mean sounding voice but it sounded good.

"Anthony Higgins," I shouted up. I heard him make a buzzer sound like I got it wrong.

"Try again." Then I heard him talk quieter. "She does know your real name, right?"

"Yeah, I told her it. She just probably doesn't know which one you mean." I heard Tony's voice reply.

"Anthony 'what-ever-his-middle-name-is' Higgins." I shouted up.

"Last try!" The voice shouted down.

I groaned, "Oh my gosh! Racetrack, Just lemme up!" I shouted.

I heard the unknown speaker say to Tony, "Well, she actually does know." They then opened the door and tossed down the rope ladder to get up.

I climbed up. I saw Tony and some other kid up there. The other kid looked to be about the same age Tony and I were. He was blond with blue-green eyes. "Hey Tony, hey kid-I-don't-know."

I jumped when he glared at me. He spoke again. "It's Spot, tree house is off limits to the names our parents gave us. That means to our parents, I'm Sean Conlon and he's Tony Higgins and you are Kathy, but in here I'm Spot and he's Racetrack, or Race."

I nodded, "Lemme guess, in here I'm still Kathy..."

Race spoke up and I jumped, "No, we'll think of something suiting for you before long. Besides we might already have something we are just tweaking it a bit."

I nodded. "Ok. Oh, hey I brought a deck of cards in case we wanted to play cards."

"You play cards?" Spot asked sarcastically. " Probably Go Fish."

"No, last time I played Go Fish I was three, since then I have only played poker." I said. Spot and Race exchanged a smirk.

"Told ya she was cool. She knows her games too. So which game do you want to play?" Racetrack said.

"I say either Black Jack or Texas Hold-em. Unless those are too tricky for you." Spot asked.

I smirked, "Oh please, those are the easy ones. If you want tricky, we play Omaha."

Race laughed, "So which is it Spot? Texas Hold-em or Black Jack? And are we gambling, if so what?"

I spoke before Spot, "I left my marbles at my house, and I won't gamble with money."

Spot laughed, "You play poker but you won't gamble with money. That's lame. Hey, isn't Bumlets coming over?"

"It's not lame. My father died because he gambled with money, He lost a few games and had to borrow money from the Russians, when he couldn't pay them back, he told me too never gamble with money because it led to bad things. He disappeared for a few days, when I found him on my birthday a few days later, he was dead. So, it's not lame." I said glaring at him.

"Don't need to jump down my throat. Jeez, you're touchy." He said. "It's still lame."

I jumped at him and started hitting him, he hit back which I was glad for because that meant he wasn't a sissy. "Take it back! Take it back!"

I took a fist to my stomach and another to my leg, but I got him a few times back. We wrestled around a bit hitting each other before he finally spit out. "Okay, okay. I take it back it's not lame."

I stopped my attack and sat on him, "You mean it?"

"Yeah, now let me up." He said pushing me off of him. "Jeez, for a girl you hit pretty fiercely."

I nodded, "What did you think I would do, sit at home and play with dolls and have tea parties?"

"It would be expected, but it wouldn't be very cool if you did." He sat rubbing his chest where I had hit him the hardest. "Well, now we know that if we ever come across the Elmworth Brothers, you won't be a hindrance. So, is Bumlets coming over?"

He was answered by a voice shouting up from below. "¡Bueno, Spot, Race? estás aquí?"

Spot and Race looked at each other and laughed. I wasn't sure of the joke. I answered the voice though. "Sí, los locos están aquí." I heard a laugh follow.

"¡Bueno, can you toss the ladder down, por favor?" I jumped at his English.

Race smirked and tossed down the ladder. "Got the nickname for her, Spot."

"Oh yeah? I'm thinking Jumps would be good for her." Spot said.

Race just stared at him, "Its scary how similar we think sometimes, because that is exactly what I was thinking." The conversation was interrupted as a kid with a bronzed complexion, a black eye and long boy-hair came up. Race greeted him. "Hey Bums, how's it rolling?"

"The Elmworth Brothers suck." He said before smiling.

"They do that to your eye?" Spot asked, receiving a nod in response. "We can get them back for ya, Bumlets. Our ranks are even now, we got Jumps our newest member."

Bumlets turned to me, "I thought I heard a new voice. Outside the treehouse, Alejandro, or Alex."

I nodded, "Outside, Kathy."

He smiled. Spot spoke sarcastically "So, now that we know each other, let's play some Black Jack, no gambling." He looked pointedly at me.