For last week's b7friday topic of if only, 700 words of AU set at the beginning of season 3.
Avon looked at his young companion. One's first teleport was disorienting enough but she had just lost her family. "Are you all right?"
"Good." Avon put both bracelets in the rack. "Let's get to the flight deck. I'll have to locate the others."
"Uh..." The girl's eyes widened as she stared behind him.
"Hello. What are you doing on my ship?"
Avon turned around to face a Federation officer with an incongruously friendly face and his hands in his pockets. Avon looked down his nose at him. "Your ship?"
"Possession is nine tenths of the law, that's what I always say." The man grinned at Avon, quite unaffected by his disdain. "Ah, Section Leader," he said mildly, turning to the large and armed NCO and two troopers who had just stomped into the teleport room behind him. "You can't have searched the ship that well."
The NCO glowered and snarled at his men, "Bugger off you lot and do it properly this time."
"Captain Vila Restal," the officer said to Avon. "And this charming fellow is Section Leader Klegg."
"Chevron," Avon said. He pulled Lauren closer behind him as if to protect her, but really so that Restal and Klegg would not see the gun she still had in her hand after shooting Servalan. "This is my wife, Lauren."
Klegg leered. "Just the two of you?"
"We're all that's left from one of the civilian ships which joined the battle."
"Pull the other one," said Restal. "I follow all the crime reports. Nostalgia, you know. You're a hero, Kerr Avon."
"Avon?" Klegg growled.
"I wouldn't have called myself that, Captain Restal," Avon said cautiously.
"You are to me! Five millions credits worth. And call me Vila."
"Rebel scum." Klegg advanced on Avon.
"Take it easy, Klegg." Vila gave Avon a quick warning look, then continued blithely. "Klegg here leads the most brutal death squad in Space Fleet. Me now, I'm just a pilot. Join the Fleet and see the galaxy, they said. Well, it was really join the Fleet or go to prison, but you get my drift. I'm not that keen on intergalactic wars and attacks on civilians and other acts of extreme violence. So tell me, what's the life of a rebel like?"
Klegg turned on Vila. "You're deserting, Restal?"
"You've got the wrong tense. I did it a few months ago but I don't think I'm cut out for piracy." Vila looked at the gun Klegg had pulled on him. "Go on then," he said with interest.
Klegg fired, or attempted to.
"See, I nicked your guns and emptied them. Seemed advisable at the time and I was right!"
"Why you--" Klegg launched himself at Vila.
Lauren leaped out from behind Avon and shot him down. Avon raised his eyebrows at her.
"I like him. And if he's against brutes like that, he's on our side."
"A lamentable lack of logic," Avon said, but stopped, faintly sickened by the smiles Lauren and Vila gave each other. He cleared his throat. "I'd better get to the flight deck."
"Oh, good idea," said Vila. "Couldn't do a thing with the controls and I'm good with security systems."
Avon smiled. "Then let me show you how it's done."
They found two bodies on the flight deck: Klegg's troopers. Vila walked around them, and nodded. "Looks like one of them nicked the other's watch, and the other one took a photo of the first one's girlfriend." He shook his head disapprovingly. "Sad how violence gets to be a habit with some people. Me now, I'm allergic to it."
"You’re good," Avon said with professional admiration.
Vila grinned and threw himself onto the couch. "Oh, very comfy," he said appreciatively. "Good enough to join the crew, then?"
Avon considered it. The fellow was clever and he had a sense of humour, both of which put him well ahead of Gan and those two louts Arco and Selman. He also had a healthy attitude to crime, unlike Cally and Blake, and he looked a lot easier to get on with than Jenna. "Do you play chess?"
"Third Legion champion."
"Blake's Nine doesn’t have quite the same ring, but welcome aboard."