Nico (vilakins) wrote,
Nico
vilakins

Ficlet: Sartorially Challenged

Last week's b7friday topic was clothes. 500 words, set in early seasons 1 and 2 (before and after Bounty and before Pressure Point, to be exact).

Sartorially Challenged

"You know," said Vila, "if you're going to be running around in the woods, you'll need to be camouflaged." He pulled a fur coat off the rack. "Very nice, and warm too. Just in case it's a bit nippy down there."

Cally looked doubtful. "Spots?"

"Worked for the animal, didn’t it?"

"Not the one it belonged to, Vila."

"Nah, that's faux, that is," said Vila, pronouncing it the way it looked.

"Foxes are spotty?"

"Eh? No, this is leopard. An Earth predator, and a good one too. The spots look like sun through leaves, see."

Cally reached out to stroke the fur. "It would be rather attractive as a rug, but clothes?"

"Oh, go on. It'll look good on you."

***

"All right, you win." Jenna tossed Vila his fifty credits. "Well worth the sight too, though I'd have preferred to see Avon in that."

***

"Oh and by the way, Vila," Cally threw the coat at him, "the terrain was mainly green and the castle walls were grey. I stood out like a..." she paused, unsure of the right simile.

"Leopard with a sore paw?"

Cally glared.

Vila struggled free of the furry folds. "Not my fault if it wasn't your normal equatorial climate, is it?" he said, aggrieved. "I was only trying to be helpful."



"Look, I'll be fine in this. Basic grey, just like a field mouse."

Avon looked at Vila thoughtfully. "I heard Central Control is in the middle of a lake."

"Eh?"

"A very deep one stocked with piranhas and electric eels."

Vila's eyes widened in horror. "You're joking!"

"Want to risk it? Or Orac getting the coordinates wrong?"

"Wouldn't put it past him either." Vila bit his lip, worried.

"I suggest this."

"Bit yellow and ... rubbery, isn't it?"

"Just what you want in an inflatable boat." Avon bared his teeth, reminding Vila of the lake's putative inhabitants. "It's hard to puncture, doesn't conduct electricity, and carries four people."

"And the colour? I'd stick out like a warg's behind!"

"We wouldn't want to lose our thief, now would we?"

"Oh, all right." Vila took the thing and strapped it over one shoulder with the belt provided. He gave Avon a suspicious look. "And I suppose you're going for the lobster look in case you fall in."

Avon looked dignified. "Leather is appropriate for any occasion and red has a certain élan."

Once on the flight deck, they headed purposefully in opposite directions.

***

"I don't know how you did it." Jenna shook her head in admiration and regret as she handed over fifty credits.

"It was surprisingly easy," said Avon, pocketing his winnings.

***

"There you go, Cally. See, I bet you I'd find something worse than the spotty coat."

Cally gaped at Vila, impressed. "You did. And you have."

"One hundred credits, I think we agreed." Vila held out his hand.

"Oh, very well." Cally laughed and paid up. "I think you've earned that. Where did you find something so ugly?"

Vila grinned. "It was surprisingly easy."
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