Nico (vilakins) wrote,

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Ficlet: Night Watch

I joined up for fanfic100 because I had a lot of existing stories I could slot into my big damn table of Vila fic. I think I've pretty much exhausted them though, so now I'll have to write new ones for the remaining prompts. Like astrogirl2, I'll go down columns rather than across rows because you get a more varied mix that way.

So here's one for the prompt of 'hours'. 300 words, set in season 1.

Night Watch

The worst thing about shipboard life was night watch. Eight hours that stretched into the far distance like a vast and lonely desert, and almost as hard to cross.

Vila had tried talking to himself (a bit predictable really); pacing the deck as Rebel Captain Restal, hero of the space ways; getting Zen to display viscasts from local systems; playing chess against himself (too evenly matched), but nothing quite filled the silence and emptiness. The hours crawled. Funny, really, when they rushed by during a bank job.

So Vila felt justified in resorting to naps. They were like teleports through time: close your eyes and suddenly you were two hours in the future. It wasn't that risky either: he'd had plenty of practice sleeping lightly in prison, waking at any slight change in his environment. And besides, he'd asked Zen to warn him of any danger, no matter how small.

Like now.


"Eh? What?" Vila sat up so fast he almost knocked over his cocoa mug.

"Detectors indicate a meteorite storm directly in Liberator's flight path."

"Oh?" That was promising. "How bad?"

"Scale eight, intensity five."

Not that strong then, but it covered a big area. Vila hit the ship-wide comms.


"Piece of cake." Jenna leaned back and stretched.

"Remind me never to ask you to bake one, then," said Vila.

"Lucky it wasn't a severe storm or we'd have lost a lot of time going round." Blake smiled at Vila. "Well done."

"I daresay," said Avon, "that probability allows for him being awake. Just as a coin will land on its edge occasionally."

Vila grinned at them all. "Hot cocoa, anyone?"

Gan stood up. "You're on watch. I'll get it."

Most of them wouldn't bother going back to bed now. Yes, some night watches were better than others.
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