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"Fold," Picard said, tossing his cards to the table.  He saw the briefest of quirks at the corner of Beverly's mouth; she knew that he'd been her only real challenger left, though it remained to be seen if Worf still planned to bluff.  And, indeed, he did, which only sweetened Beverly's pot.  She won just a few moments later.  Picard leaned back in his chair, telling himself that he was only glad that his friend had won, that he was simply basking in her happiness as he might soak in the sun.  Deep down, though, he knew he was closely watching every grin, every delighted shriek, every scarlet flourish of her hair.  As she gathered up her chips, she happened to glance his way; Picard could not help that he smiled back at her, but he was still surprised at the warmth that blossomed inside, a warmth he would carry with him for the rest of the evening.

Data gathered up their cards, preparing to shuffle and deal.  He looked down at Picard's hand, the cards he had folded - a pair of aces.  Data stared for a moment, a quizzical look.  Picard's smile grew, nearly became a chuckle.  Let Data try to puzzle it out; perhaps he would have better luck than Picard himself.

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