londo_mollari: (LondoGkar)
[personal profile] londo_mollari
I always imagined it would involve one of our more spectacular celebrations; a party as only we Centauri can throw, after the Republic was restored to its old splendor, something I, personally, would be responsible for, yes?

In reality, it involved nothing of the sort.

There were, of course, celebrations during the war with the Narn and after our victory, and I had been very much responsible for both. But I could not have felt less triumphant if I tried, and not just because Vir was there, watching, and every time I looked at him I could hear his fervent pleas not to follow this path. There was no triumph there; I think what I felt was a mixture of determination and doubt.

After Cartagia's death and the end of the Shadow war, when the Vorlon ship that had darkened the sun withdrew, I did not feel triumphant, either. Most of all, I felt an incredible relief because if we had not managed to save Centauri Prime, our planet would have been doomed, because of me. Besides, there had been a price for Cartagia's death which I had not reckoned with, and Vir had been the one to pay it: the last of his innocence. No, there was no triumph in that moment.

If there was a moment of triumph, it came a few months later. After we had both returned to the station, G'Kar had told me I did not exist in his universe any more, which tells you something about G'Kar; "his" universe, indeed. Now, I must admit common sense pointed towards avoiding him. We had been allies on Centauri Prime, yes, but that had been because of a mutual enemy, and at any event, I had kept my promise and freed his planet. There was no sensible reason in the universe to seek someone out who had vowed eternal enmity with, admittedly, good cause, yes?

Well. Perhaps it was because I did not want things to return to the way they had been before everything had started, and not just between G'Kar and myself; between Centauri and Narn. Perhaps rarely a day passed when I did not remember that once upon a time, he had bought me a drink, and believed, ever so briefly, things could be different indeed, and if only it had happened a few hours earlier...

And perhaps it was simply because I do not like the word "no", and I do not like declarations about my non-existence.

The humans were still fighting among themselves, then, and I thought that if Centauri and Narn sided with the same party - to wit, our noble Captain Sheridan of the determined chin and the ever shorter hair - it would be the kind of gesture that would both stun the rest of the races, be of some practical use to the good Captain, and, well, impress a certain Narn. He, of course, remained determinedly unimpressed. After letting me recite the speech I had very carefully prepared, he rejected my offer in no uncertain terms. Later, I fond myself sitting at the Zocalo, as depressed as I had ever been in the old days, when my hands were free of blood (and full of unpaid bills). I did not talk to anyone, and despite the presence of a bottle and a glass, I did not drink. I just stared into the air, and presumably looked as vacant as your next useless middle-aged politician.

And then, I noticed someone approaching. Sitting next to me. Pouring himself a drink out of my bottle. And telling me: "But I won't sign on the same page, do you understand that?"

"Yes," I said, looking at him and realizing that for the first time in years when it came to my presence, there was actually the tiniest smile in his face.

That, dear readers, was my moment of triumph. I shall not see its like again.
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July 2010

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