Disclaimer: Babylon 5 and its characters don't belong to me.

"The Last Drink" by Christine Anderson aka Anla'shok Ivanova

The last drink I ever had, I had on the night of the *Icarus* New Years' party, a handful of days before we landed at Z'ha'dum. And I had that drink not because I craved it or needed it, or even wanted it, but because I wasn't willing to let the others see that anything was wrong. I had just learned that I couldn't trust the ones I had trusted the most- my old friends, my mentor- and I wasn't too sure about the others.

I was already so upset I wasn't thinking straight, and I was pretty sure the drink wouldn't help, but I didn't want them to have any reason to be suspicious of me. And while I sat there, sipping that drink I had pretended I wanted, I felt Morden's eyes on me- Morden, who wasn't nearly as drunk as he pretended to be.

That was the night I drew my friend, who wasn't really much of a friend, aside, the night I asked him- and the night he told me the truth, about Mars and what they had found there.

When I left Morden, with his demons and his old wounds, the wounds I had unthinkingly reopened, that was a moment when, if I was the type, I would have gotten blindingly drunk.

I wasn't, though, and what with the party and the way the others were consuming drinks, I wasn't entirely sure there was a bit of alcohol left on the ship. Dr. Chang might have had something stashed for when we made the great finds, but I would be *damned* if I was going to ask Chang for anything- ever.

After that, I was working, and unless we had found something big enough to justify breaking into Chang's celebratory stash, there was no way I would be drinking. It's not professional, and I was too fascinated- and too worried- by what we had found, and what we hadn't.

I spent the last days of my normal life waiting for the other shoe to drop, knowing something was going on that wasn't being talked about, knowing things weren't what they seemed at all. And even at the end, when things had gone so terribly wrong, and I knew I wouldn't be returning from Z'ha'dum, if I could have gotten blindingly drunk, dulled the pain and my senses so that at least I wasn't aware of what was happening to me, and all around me- Would I have done it?

I don't think so. My life- at least as I'd known it- was ending, and I wanted to savor it, even the terror and the pain, because it was the last real feeling I'd ever have.

But are there *reasons* for getting blindingly drunk? Oh yes. Just not for me.