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Written for the Jarriereathon.




"Ah! That smells wonderful!" Bercol headed straight for the oven. "Rontane will love it!"

"Don't!" Jarriere cried out, but it was too late. Bercol opened the oven door and the soufflé fell.

"Er... perhaps you can salvage it?" Bercol edged away from Jarriere.

"Bloody Sassenach!" Jarriere tore off his tall, white chef's hat and threw it at Bercol. Then he reached for a cleaver. Bercol yelped and fled.

Jarriere took great satisfaction in throwing the cleaver so hard it stuck in the archaic wooden door and vibrated for a good minute after it hit.

--

"Honestly, Bercol, I don't know why you put up with him," Rontane said, as he lounged with an aperitif.

Bercol pushed out his lips in a pout. "He's a marvelous chef. One must expect an artist to have an artist's temperament, after all."

Jarriere grinned and turned off the listening device. He picked up the platter with the cubed soufflé covered in custard sauce and decorated with candied pineapple, and presented it with a scowl. Bercol was contrite, Rontane was amused, and Jarriere's pay was increased.

Really, all you had to do was fit into people's expectations. It pleased them, and did you no harm. Even his own family thought he was an idiot - too stupid to be sent to military school, too air headed to be drafted as a pursuit ship pilot, too lack-witted even to be sponsored as a Councillor. Which meant he'd never been any bully's delt, or risked death in combat, or fallen victim in a purge.

And being considered a harmless idiot made people let down their guard around him. He had quite a valuable file on various important people's peccadilloes.

--

When Bercol didn't return from the debacle at Space Command Headquarters, Jarriere decided it was time to look up cousin Servalan. He'd been toying for years with moving on to his life's goal - to be the power behind the throne. He'd noticed her ambition early on, and encouraged it, while backing her up in her petty power ploys within the family. So simple a thing as lying about her being out with her boyfriend Keller, and taking the punishment she'd earned on himself... well, it hadn't made her grateful, but it had made her regard him as useful. And safe. That was essential when you were dealing with paranoid megalomaniacs.

--

"Do you understand what I want you to do, Jarriere?" Servalan said patiently.

Jarriere fiddled with his pearl earring, pretending nervousness. "Ah... kill anyone who looks at you?" He grinned and showed her his gun. "I'm very good!"

Servalan sighed. "No. Only if I tell you." She shook her head. "I know you are an excellent shot, Jarriere, but you can't kill everyone I frown at."

Jarriere's brow furrowed in thought. "I understand."

"Do you, do you, really?"

"No," he admitted reluctantly. "But I won't kill anyone unless you say I can." He sighed in disappointment.

Servalan patted him on the head. "That's good, Jarriere. That's very good."

He beamed. Servalan was cake.



--

I wrote for lazy_neutrino, whose requests were:

Characters desired: Servalan
Requested elements: I'd like a political story. I'd like to know how Jarriere met up with Servalan and was taken on, and what each of them get out of it. With a clever Jarriere, who is good at dissembling. Bonus points for Bercol and especially Rontane.

Excluded elements: On-screen sex, and death (taxes are OK ;)). Actually, death of minor characters is fine - just not Servalan or Jarriere.

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December 2011

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