Rural Idyll

A Pink Dormouse Production


If this was paradise you could keep it, Vila thought. Give him a casino any day, preferably the one they should have been arriving at round about now.

It had been a really good plan if he said so himself: take Avon’s mind off recent events by cracking the computer at the biggest gambling emporium in the sector. Of course the freely available alcohol, exotic dancing girls and pretty waiters were purely secondary to the main plan…

Because of the heavy Federation presence in the area Avon had decided that they would be least conspicuous hitching a ride on a supply freighter. All well in theory but they’d reckoned without Customs and Excise deciding to carry out a thorough search of the ship. The freighter captain had jettisoned a range of questionable cargo, including Vila and Avon, on the nearest habitable planet and promised to return for them on the next run.

So here he was surrounded by plants, rocks and irritatingly cute small herbivores which seemingly did nothing but eat, reproduce and ultimately get eaten by the slightly larger carnivores which were the only other inhabitants of their valley. Vila had seen larger herbivores from the top of the hill but as these potentially attracted far larger carnivores he decided to wait until he was really hungry before investigating further. Avon had assured him that the crates they had dragged into their cave last night contained sufficient rations for longer than they intended to stay but then Avon had shot several of the small herbivores just for being irritatingly cute; before deciding that there was little worth eating on them.

So nothing to do: maybe he should keep a diary. But then Monday- climbed hill, nothing to see; watched Avon brood; ate rations could get boring very rapidly.

Avon wasn’t brooding though: he was sitting on a large flat rock above the cave tinkering with a communications beacon. The death toll of small herbivores had increased so maybe that was helping his mood. Vila sat down next to him and slung an arm casually round his shoulders. Avon winced.

"You ok?"

Avon rested his head on Vila’s shoulder; "I probably twisted something when we moved all those crates yesterday. That or sleeping on a cave floor." There was something not quite right about this situation but Vila couldn’t put his finger on it as yet… Maybe it had something to do with Avon nibbling his ear. Hold on-

"So do you want me to have a look at your shoulder, see if I can untwist- whatever it is?"

"That can wait: we have other things to discuss. We could be stuck here for a while- no casino, no exotic dancing girls, no pretty waiters…"

"I thought I was having the exotic dancing girls and you were having the pretty waiters."

Avon tried his best to look hurt: "I thought we were going to share."

Memo to self: if you tell Avon something while drunk, rest assured he’ll repeat it word for word when you’re sober.

Avon had turned his attention to Vila’s neck. So he’s trying to seduce me… why aren’t I playing along? Now if I just pull him down here…

As soon as Avon’s back touched the rock he squealed and rolled away; curling up tightly and shaking.

Something’s really hurting him but he’s not letting on what. Doesn’t he trust me? If I just stroke his hair like this… Avon uncurled slightly and looked up at him, blinking back tears of pain.


"You’ve got to let me look."

"If you must." He pulled off his shirt and Vila gasped. Avon’s back and chest were covered with partially healed cuts and burns, his back the worse especially as some of the deeper cuts had reopened recently.

"Didn’t you get those treated after we left Earth?"

"And have Cally lecture me on my stupidity? I think not somehow."

"You could have asked me."

"I didn’t want your sympathy. I still don’t."

"No sympathy: just let me look."

The Federation definitely had interrogation down to a fine art: Vila made a note to avoid knowing anything they wanted to know: ever. There were older scars under the recent injuries and a fair few that had almost totally faded- now where have those come from?

"I’m going to fetch the Med Kit."

"You can save that for when we actually need it, I’ve managed fine up to now."

"There must be something I can do."

"Look in the crate right at the back of the cave- there should be something useful in there. And bring the blankets out here while you’re in there: I can feel far too much of this rock."

Vila slid down into the cave and grabbed a lantern. Crates of food, crates of equipment, a crate containing clothes. Aha this must be the one. He prised the lid off… two bottles of Brandy on top- Avon, you angel! A bunch of periodicals: ‘Playbeing’, ‘What Supercomputer’, ‘Artificial Intelligence Monthly’, ‘Trends in the Pathology of Aberrant Psychology Today’. Now is he trying to analyse us or just reassure himself that there are people out there madder than him? Some novels: ‘Lord of the Flies’, ‘Catcher in the Rye’, ‘Brideshead Revisited’ honestly! ‘The complete works of the Marquis de Sade’ don’t see that in the average spaceport convenience store very often. A pile of archaic restraint devices (!!!), Nice… ah…flogger. Now this looks more promising: assorted bottles of massage oil.

He pocketed a couple that looked reasonably non-irritant, stashed a pair of handcuffs as an afterthought and headed back to the rock; not forgetting to grab the blankets on his way out.

 Avon was working on the beacon again. Vila stopped at the edge of the rock; forcing himself to look at the wounds he was planning on treating. Can’t show how much it’s affecting me or he’ll change his mind about letting me help. Ye gods, how many different interrogation methods did they use on him? Avon placed the beacon to one side and turned to look at him.

"So you found the crate? Are you going to join me or do I have to come and fetch you?" He stretched out, lying on the side that hurt least.

"Wh-how did you get hold of all that?"

"While you were organising food rations and packing our things away, I had a talk with the freighter captain- it was obvious she had a lot of goods to dispose of so I pointed out that losing a few items in transit would be highly understandable.

"And she agreed?"

"With a little extra persuasion."

Vila could sympathise with that. He laid the blankets out and motioned to Avon to move across onto them.

"This will probably sting on the deep cuts."

"Pain is of no consequence. In fact…" Uh-oh big puppy-dog eyes, "you can do whatever you want with me."

Hmm, this could be interesting: being stuck on an uninhabited planet with an Avon who seemed determined to seduce him had seemed like a good idea until he was actually faced with the situation.

Ok let’s go over this again: Avon in leather trousers and not much else- fine; Avon with injuries which seem to bother me a lot more than him- cope-able; Avon blatantly still suffering the after-effects of five days interrogation and the whole Anna thing- distinctly worrying. So… take things slowly and be prepared to stop at any point.

Damage assessment: chest- badly bruised, some cuts, couple of burns: nothing too deep. That’s ok: start nice and gently.

"Ouch!" ok, one cracked rib to avoid…

Avon was visibly more relaxed now which was good. Vila very gently rolled him onto his stomach and did another damage assessment. Shoulders and upper back: badly bruised, some pretty deep cuts; lower back: lots of shallow cuts, some burns. You could probably submit Avon’s back as ‘A Field Guide to the Effects of Different Instruments of Torture’. So better start at the shoulders…

"You ok with that?"

"Avon nodded, trying not to wince too obviously. It was good having someone pay this much attention to him and he didn’t want to discourage Vila by showing how much pain he was in. Having wildly contrasting pain thresholds is a distinct disadvantage in these situations. Now that feels good…

Interesting… thought Vila as Avon arched his back in a very cat-like way. Wonder what I have to do to make him purr…

He slipped his hand under the waistband of Avon’s leather trousers and got an appreciative moan. Ok so these can be removed… just unfasten them and… hello! Something else for me to deal with… maybe I’ll leave it until later… no you don’t! He grabbed Avon’s wrist; pulled it back above his head to join the other one and snapped the handcuffs shut.

Avon smiled appreciatively: so they were playing those games.

Now where was I? So, he had a completely naked Avon: half-covered in massage oil, squirming on a pile of blankets in a very appealing way. The obvious thing was for Vila to remove his own clothes before he got any oil on them…

Half-covered in massage oil seems a little, well, incomplete: better finish the job. Now there’s an interesting scar…

It was obviously deliberate: a symbol had been seared into the flesh dead centre over Avon’s sacrum, seemingly a long time before. The symbol was nothing that Vila recognised so he traced the outline with a finger and was rewarded with what sounded distinctly like a purr. He tried it again and Avon squirmed a bit more.

So he likes that… am I pushing my luck here or does he really want what I think he wants? Gods I’m so scared of being rejected.

Avon tried to edge back towards Vila. What’s he waiting for? I can’t wait forever, "Please, Vila…"

Vila slipped an arm under Avon’s hips and pulled upwards. Got to be careful, don’t want to rush this… someone’s been here before, haven’t they? Who was it? Not Blake, he couldn’t see beyond his precious cause and you’d never have said anything, would you?

Avon moaned. Stop teasing and get on with it. You know how long it’s been? That’s it. I’m all yours.

"Avon. You know how much I’ve wanted this?"

Yes, I knew you wanted me. I don’t want this to be over. Oh god, Vila!


They collapsed in a heap on the blankets, Vila holding Avon tightly to him…

After what felt like forever:


"Yes, Avon?"

"You do have the keys to these?"

"Since when did I need keys?"


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