"“You’ll see that, since our fate is ruled by chance,
Each man, unknowing, great,
Should frame life so that at some future hour
Fact and his dreamings meet.”
December 2nd, 2006
The hour was late, and though no hospital such as Guy's ever fully slept, it was as quiet as it was ever likely to be. The visitors had gone home, the non-essential staff as well. And in that strange and alien room where the windows were covered over in frost, this meant it was time to relax. This was the room where the Unseelie of London could gather to hang out, talk to one another, and generally enjoy life between their various missions or jobs.
Heinzelmaul had been here earlier, but she was a nurse here at Guy's Hospital, and on call, and thus the muttering kobold had been forced to go and tend to her work for a time. This left five changelings, three of the Unseelie, and two Seelie courtiers who were considered honorary Unseelie. The crow-faced woman Rook worked at Guy's Hospital as well, but given that her job involved cutting up dead people in the pathology department, it wasn't quite as pressing for her to go there just this instant. Her friend and roommate was here as well, the buxom and Amazonian Cheshire keeping her company in between dead people. Squick had shown up, the boneless-looking Tunnelgrub here for no real reason, though he occasionally helped fix computers around Guy's Hospital in his off-time, as favors to his fellow Courtiers. And there was Scare-Bones Hammond, who came here for the company of his own kind. It had been the metal-fingered Wizened's idea to play cards.
"I'll see your three, and raise you two." Rook said, her face grim and expressionless, pushing a five-pound note across the table. Cheshire loomed over her shoulder and peered at her cards, an expression of puzzlement flitting across her face as she narrowed her eyes at a card.
"Fold." Squick said, putting his cards down and abandoning the six pounds he had on the table. The lanky tunnelgrub looked at Rook and shook his head. "You are scary, you know that?"
Rook sniffed and deigned to smile in answer. There had been some vigorous discussion earlier about whether to play bridge (as Hammond preferred) or poker (as Rook preferred). The deciding factor had been that Squick had no idea how to play Bridge, something that drove Hammond to deep despair.
"Thank you." Rook said, allowing herself a smile as she scooped up the pot. It was becoming apparent just why Rook had preferred poker.
"Is it too late to say I told you so?" Hammond said, taking the cards and shuffling them with a vengeance.