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londovir- by iamsab

Five Things That Never Happened to Vir Cotto, II

Thanks to selenak for her feedback.

I'm less sure about this segment, so any suggested improvements would be greatly appreciated.

This one takes place after And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place and is the flip side of what I envision took place between this episode and The Hour of the Wolf.



II.

Dispensable

“Supper is ready, Mr. Cotto.”

Vir was lying in bed with his back to the entryway and thus did not see the face of the woman who spoke. However, by her voice, he knew her to be the innkeeper’s wife, a plain but not unpleasant Centauri whose name he could not remember. Truth be told, since his arrival on the Centauri colony world of Davo a few days before, he had sequestered himself in his room, hardly the most gregarious of guests. There were simply too many things he had to sort out in his mind.

“Thank you, but I’m not hungry,” Vir said.

“All right,” his hostess said not unsympathetically in an accent that was a painful reminder of what- who- Vir had left behind. “I will set some aside if you change your mind.”

The door clicked closed and the room was once again silent save for the driving rain that pounded against the roof.

The accommodations were modest by Centauri standards, but clean and well kept. Vir pushed himself up and padded barefoot across the worn purple carpet to the large double window, pulling open the gossamer drapes. Water poured down the panes, blurring and distorting the black trees that clawed the roiling gray sky outside. Vir rested his forehead on the glass.

He hadn’t wanted to leave.

He had been angry. Oh yes, he had been angry. After three nights of frighteningly vivid dreams that jolted him awake and left him trembling in the dark- those dreams compliments of Refa’s telepath- Vir had lost his temper. Feeling betrayed and used, he had vented his fury at Londo and had stormed off to his quarters to stew over the matter.

A few hours later, Vir had walked into Londo’s quarters, bags and resignation in hand:

“And where will you go, hmm?” Londo said, answering anger with anger. “Who will speak for you? Your family? As you say, your family has cast you aside. If you leave, you will end up in Ghehana begging for your meals. Without my influence, you are nobody- a fool with no power and no home.”

“That’s not fair,” Vir responded tightly.

“The truth is rarely fair.”

“Maybe I won’t go to Centauri Prime. Maybe I’ll go… somewhere else!”

“Madness!”

“Maybe it is,” Vir said, and it broke his hearts to say it, “but you’ve taken too much, Londo. I wish to the gods that I could stay, but I don’t know if I have anything left to give.”

Londo softened. “Vir…”

“I-I’m sorry, Londo.” Vir turned away, no longer able to look Londo in the eye. “I’m sorry.”


Vir closed his eyes against the memory, sadness welling up and prickling his eyelids. All he had wanted was for Londo to come after him, to drag him away from customs, to move heaven and earth to keep him.

Londo had done it once before. When Centauri Prime tried to replace Vir a little over a year before, Londo had called home and campaigned on his behalf. Though his head had ached from the consequences of drink, Vir had also felt valued then.

All Vir had wanted to hear was three little words: “I need you.” He had wanted to be needed, not as a game piece to be manipulated at will, but as a trusted ally. He had wanted Londo to put aside his pride and tell him that, yes, Vir was indispensable.

Vir had dared to believe that Londo’s actions were only a reflection of his grief over Adira, that his angry words were only a reflection of his shame.

But Londo had never come and, Great Maker, that had hurt more than anything.

Vir had cared for Londo deeply. He still cared. He didn’t know when it started, and he definitely couldn’t explain it, but every time he looked at Londo, he felt a confused rush of sadness and anger and hope. Feelings like that couldn’t be turned off like one turned off a light.

Once a few years before, Vir, troubled over the plight of a younger cousin who was lying unconscious in the Med Lab, had confronted Londo in the garden on matters of Centauri tradition. Vir had been ready for a full-scale argument, but Londo caught him flat-footed. He didn’t scold Vir for his presumption or repeat platitudes on the sanctity of the noble houses. Instead, he said that his shoes were too tight and he had forgotten how to dance, and there was such sorrow in those words that Vir was left mystified.

Perhaps it started then, Vir thought as he opened his eyes.

Vir saw a light in Londo. It was weak and small and struggling to burn, but it was still there and Vir couldn’t just ignore it. As he stared out into the stormy evening, he wished with all his hearts that he hadn’t seen it. Maybe then he wouldn’t feel this pain that filled his insides to the bursting point, that closed his throat and threatened to drive him insane.

He couldn’t go back. That much he knew. As much as it hurt to close that door, Vir couldn’t take the risk of being wounded even further.

Releasing a heavy, shaky sigh, Vir turned away from the window, palmed off the light, and lay back against his pillows. Staring up at the ceiling, he wondered:

What am I going to do now?



Note: I've entitled the first segment "Helpless."
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Comments

more fodder for the angst addict!

Vir calling it quits after "And the Rock Cried..." and Londo making the fatal mistake of not going after him is certainly a plausible AU. My heart aches for poor Vir in this segment. As for additional suggestions, the only one I can think of would be - to make it clear that this is an AU and not a "missing interlude" which will lead to Vir returning after Londo does call him pre-"Hour of the Wolf" - to have Vir reflect that though he doesn't know what he'll do, one thing is for sure, he won't return to B5.

You're right

I've added the following before the last two lines:

He couldn’t go back. That much he knew. As much as it hurt to close that door, Vir couldn’t take the risk of being wounded even further.

BTW...

I'm probably going to post V next. I'm still tweaking III and IV. And if you want ANGST, V has it in spades- it is one of the Londo-death segments.