"My favorite game," Face reminisced, refilling his glass, "was the one where the drunkest guy at the table bought the next round."
"'Course it was, sucker," BA rumbled, taking the bottle from him. "All about connin' fools."
"Yeah, but we don't play it anymore," Face said wistfully.
Across the table, Amy waved for the bottle. "Why's that?"
"The odds these days are terrible." Face wrinkled his nose. "Just the four of us, and Murdock's automatically disqualified. We can never tell whether he's drunk or medicated."
Her bottom lip twitched down. "Should he even be drinking?"
"Depends whether he's been takin' it," Murdock slurred, though he'd only had two shots, then snapped back to his default diction. "I don't think it's fair, Facey. Hannibal's just as bad."
Face laughed and leaned in toward Amy confidentially. "They say no one's ever seen him drunk."
She glanced at Hannibal, who was sitting right there, perfectly capable of overhearing. "Who's 'they?'" It did seem odd for a soldier in a warzone, but admittedly Hannibal was a strange bird. She narrowed her eyes. "Is it true?" The team would know better than anybody, but sometimes when they opened their mouths, BS poured out.
BA rolled his eyes. "Nah. He just cheats."
She turned to the big man, noticing in passing that Hannibal was now smiling. "Cheats? How?"
"Dunno." Face shrugged, falling back into his chair. "We've never caught him at it."
"We can just tell when he's up to something," Murdock clarified, eying his colonel.
Amy turned to Hannibal, who turned that grin on her, looking as clear-eyed and sober as he could ever claim to be. "Hannibal…are they screwing with me?"
The innocence of his expression was marred by the chin-tilt that meant he was deliberately being a bastard. "Can't you tell?"
"Ngh!" She threw a cushion at Face because you didn't throw things at Hannibal. "You're all jerks!"
Hannibal laughed. Maybe she'd amused him sufficiently, because he pulled the cigar out of his mouth to confide, "There's a very simple trick to it, kid."
The gleam in his eyes signaled nothing but trouble, but she couldn't resist. "What?"
A few more teeth crept into his grin. "Never do anything sober that you wouldn't do while drunk."
The horrible thing, Amy reflected, was that it explained so much.