May. 14th, 2007

londo_mollari: (LondoTimov)
Londo didn't find out until the day of his ascension. Then, his father told him the diagnosis which had cost a couple of physicians their place.

"Londo," he said, "you are my oldest son, and you will be head of House Mollari after me. But you will have do adopt your own successor; it will have to be your brother who makes sure our line continues."

He could not make himself to say the words; it shamed him, still, to have a son who was sterile. So his second wife, Londo's mother, explained the problem. It wasn't yet very real to Londo. He was very young, and though his ascension would allow him to be regarded officially as a man now, he could not imagine being a father. If his father had not been so obviously upset and embarrassed, Londo would have shrugged it off altogether. He had other concerns; being inappropriately in love with a dancer being one of them.

The fact he would never have a son or daughter of his own did not become real to him until three years later, when his nephew Karn was born. Londo and his wife Timov interrupted their neverending marital strife to visit the newest addition to House Mollari.

Timov was the most exasparating, infuriating woman Londo had ever met. Her tongue was sharper than any blade, and when she claimed she did not suffer fools gladly, she meant that she was incapable of even the basic level of politeness.

She also had a disturbing habit of seeing more than she should about Londo, and even more disturbingly, he did enjoy their encounters, which he had no intention of ever telling her. And yet, when they visited his sister-in-law and her newborn baby, he wondered, for the first time, whether he knew Timov at all. She was the least sentimental of women, but there was a softness in her face when she looked at the baby which he had never seen in her before, and would not have believed her capable of. There was, in fact, longing.

It was then that two things became real to him. Adoption or not, he would never have a child in the way his brother had. This meant that Timov would never have a child, either.

In a society where noble men were expected to marry more than one woman, a concept like human monogamy did not exist. It would never have occured to Londo, who had not wanted to marry Timov, was more than aware she had not wanted to marry him, and had had affairs from the start. But now, looking at her, watching her watching a newborn child, he felt for the first time that he had betrayed her.

There would never be a child calling for her, as children had from the beginning of time. Her marriage might have made her the Lady Timov, consort of a future head of a noble House; there would be nieces and nephews like this newborn who would call her Aunt later, and regard her with respect and awe.

But no one ever would call her "mommy".

"I wronged her," Londo thought, and realized there was no way he would be able to make up for it.

It never occured to him to wonder why he wanted to, regardless.

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July 2010

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