Prompt: #12. I'm drunk.
Author's Note: Written for the un_love_you community on LiveJournal. The full prompt set is on my LJ (the link is in my profile if you're interested). Don't hesitate to drop me a note and tell me what you think!
The wave of stale alcohol that hit Vir as he opened the door to Londo's rooms nearly sent him staggering. It didn't take him long to find Londo, who lay almost passed-out in the middle of the floor, an overturned bottle of Centauri ale spilling onto the carpet beside him.
"Londo?" Vir asked hesitantly, heading towards the ambassador's side. "Londo? Are you alright?"
"Vir!" bellowed Londo, struggling to sit up. "No," he said loudly. "I am not alright." Vir hastned to give him a hand, and, slinging one of Londo's arms over his shoulder, the two of them stumbled in the general direction of the couch. Londo tumbled out of Vir's arms and landed graceless amid the pile of decorative cushions.
Vir busied himself by cleaning up the abandoned bottle of Centauri ale. As he moved to put it away, Londo struggled to sit up. "No!" he said loudly. "Bring it here."
Vir looked at Londo, and then at the near-empty bottle. "I really think you've had enough, Londo."
"No," Londo replied firmly, though the effect was lessened slightly by his marked inability to remain upright. "I have not 'had enough'," he said scornfully, immitating Vir's tone. "I have not had nearly enough. It shall be enough when I am unconscious." He sgestured for Vir to bring the bottle to him, and frowned. "Perhaps not even then."
"Why are you doing this?" Vir asked, moving to stand beside him, wishing desperately that he could come up with something useful to do.
"Because," snapped Londo, grabbing the bottle out of Vir's hands and downing what little remained inside. "I have an excellent memory." He looked down the neck of the empty bottle and snorted. "There comes a point in your life, Vir, when you memories are all that you have for company. And I," he scowled bitterly, "have nothing worth remembering."
"It is my hope, Vir," he said, pressing the empty bottle into Vir's hands, "that if I drink enough of this my brain will simply melt inside my head, and ooze out from my ears." He looked over at Vir and gestured at the bottle. "Well? Fetch me another one."
"I'm really not sure that's a good idea, Londo," Vir said nervously, his stomach churning with concern for the ambassador's state of mind. Though he wasn't truly fond of Londo, he didn't want anything to happen to him, really. And besides, he had absolutely no idea what to do should Londo go insane.
"Well it's a good thing that you are not in charge then, hmm?" Londo replied acerbically. "Go and fetch me another one."
"What did you mean by your brain leaking out between your ears?" Vir asked, hoping desperately that Londo would simply pass-out before he died of alcohol poisoning. Dragging the ambassador into bed was something Vir could handle.
Londo cast him an odd look, scrutinizing him drunkenly before speaking. "If I were by any means a brave man, I would kill myself," he said quietly, sounding remarkably sober. "As it stands, I am a coward, and I like living too much." He snorted. "It's ironic, isn't it? Now that I have nothing at all left to live for, I fear death more than ever before."
Vir's mind was too horror-struck to fully comprehend that statement.
"Well?" Londo said at last. "What are you waiting for, an engraved invitation? Go fetch me another drink!"
Vir considered refusing, but thought better of it. His hands shook as he poured out another glass and handed it to Londo, who waved him off. He disregarded the implicit order to leave, hoping Londo was much too drunk to remember it in the morning.
"Londo?" he asked cautiously. "You don't really feel that way, do you?"
Londo snorted in reply and peered blearily at him. "I am a sentimentalist," he said, holding his half-full glass up to the light and examining it. "I grew up, as all children do, on stories of the Great Centauri Republic. And from a very early age all that I wanted to do was to serve Centauri. She was my first love, and remains the one I have loved best." He smiled bitterly and downed the remnants in his glass. "I have loved Centauri more than I have ever loved anyone else. However, I am not blind, nor stupid and it is plain to me that Centauri is not all that it once was."
"All I wanted," he said softly, "was to see her glory restored, and to see Centauri Prime take her rightful place amongst the stars."
"We are a waning people, Vir." He placed his empty glass down on the side table. "But it does not need to be so. There is life in her yet, and the Centauri spirit has not yet faded." He sat up straighter, his eyes shining with passion. "I will not have our people pass into nothingness, remembered only in stories and legends. To have people speak of us as a 'once great empire'. We are still Centauri."
"All that I ever wanted," he said, collapsing back into the couch, "was to see my people be what they are meant to be. Surely that is a noble wish?"
He paused for a long moment. So long, in fact, that Vir was starting to think that Londo expected an actual answer. Finally he spoke, his voice low and hollow. "Every choice I have made has been wrong. Everything I have done has caused more harm than good. I have put a madman on the throne of Centauri, Vir, and allied with Mr. Morden and his associates, and alliance that threatens to bring ruin and destruction to our world." His expressions shifted into a furious grimace, and to Vir for the first time Londo looked truly frightening. "But I have made all my choices for the right reasons."
"And now," he said flatly, oblivious to the frantic beating of Vir's heart. "I am where I wanted to be. I stand at the ear of the Emperor himself. The highest members of the Centauri government all know the name of Londo Mollari. It is what I have always wanted. But it has come at much too high a price."
"Yes," he repeated bitterly. "I am where I wanted to be." He looked up at Vir and frowned, as if he'd just remembered that Vir was there at all. "Go," he said, waving Vir away. "Leave me."
For a moment Vir remained still.
"Go," Londo repeated more forcefully.
Despite his better judgement screaming at him to stay and do something, Vir obeyed.