And here's last week's b7friday story. The topic was opposites. This is set after two separate episodes in season 3. 500 words, cut for length.
Something in Common
"Where's Vila? He was supposed to be doing that." Tarrant looked exasperated.
Dayna checked the diameter of the crystal she was working on and put it aside for further tooling. "He said he needed a nap."
"And you let him? The little--"
"He was tired, Tarrant. And he did get the things for us." Dayna decided not to say anything about how Vila had sat there with a crystal in his hand and an expression on his face as if he could see something, no, someone else altogether. "I don't mind. And you know, he's not really that bad."
"No? He appears to be a competent thief, but this is the first time we've actually needed one."
"He's pretty good on the neutron blasters." Dayna grinned at Tarrant, not entirely kindly. "Not that you'd know: you weren't there. You'd run off the flight deck in the middle of the battle to find Cally, so you didn't see. He's a damned good shot." She put her head on one side. "He was on weapons for Blake, you know, and they blew up a lot of pursuit ships. And held off the Andromedans. That counts for a hell of a lot."
Tarrant frowned. It didn't really match what he knew of Vila, but everyone had some sense of self-preservation. "He just annoys me so much. He's undisciplined, lazy, unreliable--typical Delta, questions orders, has no respect for authority, has to be forced into action, and he's a coward. He's--he's just so civilian!"
Dayna shrugged. "Maybe you'll have to find something in common with him."
"I doubt that very much."
Tarrant lifted his head from his hands at the sound of a knock. "Who is it?"
Normally he'd have told Vila to go away, but he'd seen the look of horror on his face when Deeta died. He stood up and opened the door.
Vila stood there with a bottle and two glasses.
"I don’t need that."
"What about some company, then?"
Tarrant turned away from the sympathy in Vila's eyes, unwilling to accept it.
"I know what it feels like, you know. To lose someone you care about and not be there to help them or comfort them." Vila hesitated, then went on. "Must be even worse, being there, but not being there, not for them anyway if you see what I mean."
"Yes." Tarrant slumped down at his table. "I do."
Encouraged, Vila came over and put the bottle and glasses down. "If you want to let it all out--cry or yell or just talk about him, I don't know--sometimes a drink or two helps. Knocks out the old inhibitions."
Tarrant said nothing.
"Well, I'll just leave the bottle here, shall I?"
"No." Tarrant looked up at the friendly, sad face. "Stay. Let's get blind drunk and drink to all the people we should've been with when we had the chance."
Vila sat down and poured two large glasses. "And to all the times we were."