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Written for the Blakes 7 Birthday Buffet Ficathon


"Tell me again why we're here?" Tarrant asked moodily as he pitched the cricket ball.

"To prove that real men don't need sensory ecstasy machines." Jarvik batted and missed. The cricket ball continued flying. Tarrant watched as it achieved orbit, joining the rest of the flock of cricket balls circling the asteroid.

"That was our last ball."

"We can arm-wrestle!" Jarvik mimed rolling up the sleeve of his spacesuit.

Tarrant wished he'd pitched the cricket ball into Jarvik's helmet. He smiled brightly, gritting his teeth actually. "Two falls out of three?"

"Here, don't be making a pass at me! I'm no nancy-boy! There's women from Earth to the Clouds of Magellan who can testify to that!"

Tarrant turned his helmet away from Jarvik to hide his eye-roll. "Could you give me some pointers? I don't have much luck with the ladies," Tarrant lied through his teeth which needed brushing due to Jarvik's insistence that they stay suited up the whole time rather than visit their parked two-man ship. Another thing real men apparently didn't need was regular dental hygiene.

Jarvik brightened. "Oh, that's the way of it. Hero-worship, eh?" Jarvik pounded Tarrant on his back, nearly setting the oxygen regulator out of kilter. "Of course I can tell you how a real man handles a woman! First thing, don’t let them talk. If you listen to them, next thing you know they have you hanging drapes!" Jarvik laughed raucously. "No, you just pick them up and kiss them and then drop them on the nearest piece of furniture. They love that."

Tarrant nodded and pretended to be listening intently. The only woman who'd enjoy Jarvik's sort of treatment would be mentally ill, and one he'd do well to stay far away from. "And then you grab them by the hair..." Jarvik went off into graphic descriptions of activities that made Tarrant envision warg-stranglers. Sado-masochistic warg-stranglers. With serious mother-hate issues.

It was a long shore leave. Tarrant sighed with relief once he returned to his berth in the cadet's quarters on the battleship. He walked into the room, and noticed noses wrinkle as his aroma reached them. "That's what a Real Man smells like, boys!"

There was a concerted groan, and Tarrant grinned, flinging himself onto his bunk. "All right, pay up. I survived a weekend with Jarvik."


(the prompt was #21. Tarrant and Jarvik take shore leave in spacesuits in an airless asteroid.)

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December 2011

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