I'm Not Cheating

© 3-May-08
Rating: K
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
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Clark walked up behind Richard and looked over his shoulder. The man had been looking intently at his computer screen for 5 minutes without appearing to move. "Whatcha doing?"

"I'm playing Mah Jong."

"Oh, I've heard of that. Is it fun?"

"Yeah it's fun to sit here hours on end and never ever win this stupid game. It's rigged so you almost never win. I've played countless times and haven't won once. It's rigged I say."

"Why do you keep playing then?"

Richard took his eyes off the board and looked up at Clark. Shaking his head slowly he answered. "I'm not sure, it's kinda addicting. Besides I'm determined to win, even if it is rigged."

"How do you play?"

"It's basically a puzzle and memory game. You match two pieces and they go away. The tiles have to be free. See the ones with the little shadow on one side? They're available."

"Oh, you mean like that N wind one here and here, and the 7 balls there and there and..."

"Wait...wait not so fast." Just then Richard's phone rang so he got up while he motioned for Clark to take his seat and continue the game.

Not more than two minutes later he closed his phone and looked back at the screen. Fireworks were going off. "Wha...what'd you do? I've never seen it do that before?"

"Umm, I won."

"No way. How could you have won so fast? No freaking way!"

"Actually, I had to go adjust your mouse setting because it was so slow it was bothering me. And you really need more memory in this laptop. Don't you get tired of the slow response?"

"Quit changing the subject. What did you do? Oh, that's the screensaver right?"

Clark pointed to the bottom of the screen it read:

Congratulations you won in 52 minutes! Click the link to add your name and time.

"You cheated. "Play again this fifty dollar bill says that no way can you do it again." He set the bill on the table.

Clark laughed hit the link and inserted RW & CK then hit enter allowing Richard to see what he had done then hit the new game button.

Less than a minute later the fireworks were once again on the screen. Clark started to reach for the fifty dollar bill but Richard stopped him.

"You cheated. I couldn't even see what you were doing but I know you cheated somehow. Are you doing something to the programming?"

Clark chuckled and this time inserted CK Wins in the winner's box. The time was 46 seconds. "I'm not cheating. It would've been even faster if you had decent memory in this dinosaur of yours."

"Hmmrph, ok I'll up the ante to a hundred bucks." He took out a second bill and put it on top of the first. "But first I want to just make a few adjustments." Richard angled the laptop towards him and changed the game configuration setting to expert player it had been on average player with a basic layout. "Let's see you win this."

He turned the laptop back towards Clark who just laughed and began the game. Richard rubbed his eyes trying desperately to keep up with Clark's rapid movements with no success whatsoever. Before the minute was up the fireworks were once again on the screen. "You're cheating, you have got to be cheating." He covered the bills with his hand again. "No way can you really be winning that fast. No way."

"Richard I'm not cheating. I'll prove it to you." He didn't even bother adding his initials for the win but instead went directly to a new game. "This time I'll slow down enough for you to watch." He looked at Richard again. "I don't cheat and I don't appreciate being called a cheater!"

This time Clark made a point of going slow enough so Richard could see each and every move as he clicked on the matching tiles. Finally when the game was again almost won Richard said. Ok, so you have one awesome memory but you can see somehow what's under the tiles so you know which order to choose them and and..."

"Richard it's a computer game there's nothing for me to see under the tiles. Its memory and strategy nothing more, now give me a break."

"But how do you remember so much so fast?"

"What can I say other than I have an eidetic memory."

"What, huh?"

"Eidetic, it's similar to a photographic memory."

"What? You like remember everything?"

"Pretty much... and quite vividly."

Richard got quiet all of a sudden. He looked away for a moment and then turned his gaze back to Clark. "So is that one of the reasons you had such a hard time when you first returned. You couldn't forget Lois and what you two had shared?" Clark just shrugged and nodded.

"That was part of it." He looked melancholy for a moment his eyes unfocused. "I don't know, it just seemed to me the first day I met her that she was meant to be in my life. It just felt so right."

Richard nodded then smiled changing the subject back to the bet picking up the bills and offering them to Clark. "I guess you won. I should have known better than to bet against you."

Clark laughed. "I can't take your money. I would feel like some kind of shark or something."

"Hey wait, do you play poker?"

"Naw, not any more. I did a few times in college but I tend to count cards without even meaning to do it. I told you, I don't like being accused of cheating."

"We should go to Vegas."

"No way."

"We really should go to Vegas."

Just then Lois walked in seeing the two men deep in conversation. "Who should go to Vegas?"

"Us, you, me, Clark. We could make a killing in Vegas with this guy." He said nodding at Clark who was just shaking his head no.

"Are you trying to corrupt my innocent husband?" Richard chuckled at that suggestion.

Clark looked up at her frowning. "Innocent? I'm no innocent."

"Yes you are, in this day and age anyway."

"Lois, if I'm such an innocent then why do we have a five year old son when we've only been married two months?"

"Because you were so innocent that you couldn't resist my beguiling ways." She sashayed over and sat down in his lap circling her arms around his neck.

"Then why did I run off and leave never even telling you, the woman I loved that I was leaving?"

"Well you've got me there. That was just plain stupid or maybe you just couldn't handle that I had tarnished your innocence."

"Lois I'm not an innocent. If I was as innocent as you say I would have crumbled a lot sooner. Sooner still if you had ever paid any mind to Clark being in the room."

"Ow, me thinks he protests too much." Lois said as she got up and addressed them both. "If you go to Vegas don't expect me to bail you out of jail for card cheating."

Clark pouted and sighed almost resigned. "I don't cheat but I'm also not an innocent... I'm just... me."

A/N: That's it. I love that game and it is addicting. Unlike Richard I have won and quite often too.

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