Written for b7friday on the topic of racing, about 500 words set in season 1 or 2.
"Who d'you think would win in a race? Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Rommel, Gandhi, Elizabeth the seventh, or Servalan?"
"Don't be ridiculous, Vila." Avon's eyes went a little unfocussed as, despite himself, he thought about it. "Of course Caesar and Napoleon would be on horseback, but Rommel's tanks would be faster over distance. Elizabeth ---"
"On their feet," said Vila. "Foot race."
Jenna snorted. "Servalan wouldn't move that fast in a long gown. I'd pick Caesar or Ghandi. They both have the build for running."
"It depends," said Avon thoughtfully," on whether it's a sprint or long distance."
"Of course they're all rats," said Vila.
"Oh, I don't know." Gan got up and ambled over from his console. "Gandhi and Elizabeth seemed to be decent people, and the others were soldiers. Only Servalan is, really."
"No, I mean actually rats. I've been training this lot to run mazes for food."
"Oh, I see." Blake folded his arms and looked disapproving. "And you want us to bet on them."
"Why not? Bit of interest in the humdrum life of a rebel between battles, isn't it?"
"While you know their form." Avon narrowed his eyes.
"I wasn't going to bet, myself. Just take them."
"Ah, the bookie, then. Do we get to see their previous times?"
"Over different mazes, yes. Course, this'd be a completely new one, not known to any rat." Vila gave Avon a sidelong glance. "You could have a hand in designing it if you like." That might get old Avon in.
"Why the names?" Cally leaned over the large and surprisingly well-appointed cage Vila had the competitors in.
"Well, big Julie here likes to be number one rat, and Napoleon sulks in a corner when Julie beats him up, and Rommel rolls right over the others to get to his cheese, Elizabeth doesn't take any nonsense, and Servalan, well you can see she's all in white fur."
"What about Gandhi?" Cally reached into the cage and stroked him.
Vila grinned. "He's a gentle-natured rat who has a liking for vegetable vindaloo." He picked up the closest, Elizabeth, who snuggled into his hand. "Come on, girl, into your maze. I've got your favourite: cheese with a little jam." He carefully inserted her into the start position in one of the six identical mazes lined up on the floor. "I'll get the others out, then on the count of three, we each raise a starting gate."
"Looks like Avon won." Vila affectionately tickled the white rat under her chin as he returned her to the cage. "And Cally with Gandhi second." He ran a finger gently down Gandhi's spine.
"And me and Elizabeth third!" Jenna overcame her revulsion enough to toss an extra piece of cheese to her rat.
"Hmph," Blake frowned down at Caesar, populist supporter of the plebs, as he finally made it to his cheese and lettuce. "What made you pick Servalan, Avon?"
"Yeah, why not Napoleon?" asked Vila, sure that Avon had noticed his resemblance (to the human one anyway), going by the occasional pose on the flight deck in profile.
"She simply had better form," said Avon. And smiled.
Thanks to hafren for the rats; see her stories here.