Nico (vilakins) wrote,

Ficlet: Alliance

Last week's b7friday topic was Gan, in memory of David Jackson. 500 words, set in early season 1.


First impressions often counted most, and Vila was pleased that his carefully botched attempt at petty pocket-picking had gone down so well. He'd established himself as incompetent, harmless, and funny, always the first move he made in a new prison.

Next thing was an ally. Trick was to find someone to look after you in return for being useful back. That Blake looked a bit dangerous--best to steer clear of firebrand types--and Avon was obviously a loner and probably not your better-known pub brawler. Arco and Selman, well, they were tough enough but also the type to feel they owned you. Vila had known too many like them. They'd look after you, yes, but they always kept the right to put the boot in themselves.

Gan, now. Distinct possibility there. Built like a brick cell block, but he had a nice smile and sad eyes; showed life hadn't knocked the good out of him yet. And he kept his back to the wall, like Vila did, and himself out of trouble. Funny, that; he moved like someone who could take care of himself.

"Gan? Why'd you let Arco take your bunk?"

"Why not?"

"Only did it to test you. He only wanted it after you put your gear on it."

Gan shrugged. "This bunk's all right."

Vila slung his bag onto the one above. "You could take him, you know."

"I might have once. Not now."

"Course you could! He's just a bully; he'd back down if someone your size stood up to him. One good thump'd do it. Mind you, you'd have to watch your back for the next one to try it on."

"Exactly." Gan sat on his bunk, causing it to creak complainingly.

Vila sat down beside him. "Or someone could watch it for you. Very observant, me."

Gan looked at him. "Vila, I can see what you're after and you have the wrong person. I couldn't defend myself or you if it got nasty. I can't--" He looked down at his hands.

"Can't what? You mean you’re a pacifist or something?"

"No." Gan shook his head, not meeting Vila's eyes. "I can't kill anyone. Not even if I wanted to."

Vila stared, horrified. He'd seen what they'd done to the more violent kids in the JD wards. "You mean a limiter?" he whispered.

Gan hunched his shoulders.

"But... you’re not the sort. And I know, I've met 'em."

"I killed a trooper."

"Oh." Vila thought about this. "Fair fight, was it?"

"He killed my Lu-- my woman." Gan pulled a face. "Sorry. I'm not much use to you--or anyone."

Vila was silent. There were undoubtedly better candidates, people he could sell his skills to, but... "Nah. I like you, mate. Look, I'm good at people, see. I could tell you which ones to give a good tactical thump to impress the ones you don't want to tangle with. We'd look out for each other, see?"

Gan smiled. "Teamwork."

Vila grinned. "No, friendship."

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