Fandom: Babylon 5
Prompt: 053 – Earth
Word Count: 599
Rating: General Audience
Vir prepares to leave for Babylon 5.
Pre-series. Originally written for theatrical_muse.
The Centauri sun hung low on the horizon, coloring the thinly spun web of clouds that stretched across the sky a brilliant shade of pink. An evening breeze whistled through the trees, cooling Vir Cotto’s face with a gentle caress. He closed his eyes, breathing in the smell of mud and linfra and river reeds, knowing that it was probably that smell he would miss the most.
"I'm not sure I want to leave," he said softly.
Ugo, the gardener, paused in his shoveling and replied with typical simplicity: "Then don't."
Vir flashed the old man a startled look. "I-I-I don't mean..." he stammered. "I mean, I suppose I've always wanted to see what's out there." His gesture took in the darkening sky. "You know... to find out more about the Humans and the Minbari and everyone else. But maybe... maybe I didn't quite imagine that this is how I would get the chance." Vir stared at the flower resting in his open palm, running one finger over the silky petals and watching them change color at his touch. "They don't want me," he said, and he finally permitted himself to feel the sadness behind those words.
Ugo put down his shovel, his expression taking on a serious cast. "Vir," he began, and Vir was surprised once again. In all the years that Vir had known him, Ugo had addressed him as "young mister Cotto." Not once- until now- had he ever broken that convention. "You are a good boy. You mean well. But if you want to be a good man, you must be willing to fight on your own behalf.
"Some men are deserving of your respect and obedience, Vir. And some," and here Ugo cast a disapproving look at the estate, "are not. The challenge is in learning to tell the difference.
Vir didn't know quite what to say to that. He didn't know why Ugo was saying this to him in the first place. Ugo, however, seemed untroubled that Vir did not reply. Plunking his shovel into the dirt, he mused, "I suppose that will have to stand as my final piece of advice to you, young Mr. Cotto. Make of it what you will."
"Final? But we'll see each other again. I can-"
Ugo held up his gnarled hand and Vir fell silent. "I am old and I am tired. And when I look into the mirror these recent mornings, I see the old man of my dream reflected back. I strongly suspect that my death is not far off." Vir broke eye contact, and off of that reaction, Ugo continued: "It's not a tragedy, Vir. I have lived a long and full life- thanks in part to your company."
Blinking back sudden tears, Vir stood and launched himself at Ugo, trapping him in a tight hug. The force and weight behind it was so great, in fact, that Vir nearly sent both of them into a nearby stream. "I'll miss you," he whispered fiercly, trying not to cry.
Ugo stumbled as he sought to restore his center of gravity, then awkwardly returned the embrace. When he finally pulled away, he smiled fondly at Vir. "You are still the same boy who drove me mad saving the lives of all our garden pests." Ugo rested a hand on Vir's chest. "Despite what your uncle might say, this is your greatest strength. Don't ever let anyone or anything change that part of you."
His lower lip quivering a little, Vir hugged Ugo again, tighter than before.
It was indeed the last time they ever spoke.
Fandom: Babylon 5
Characters: Londo & Vir
Prompt: 032 – Sunset
Word Count: 418
Rating: General Audience
Sometimes dreams can break your heart.
Knowledge of the entire series and the Legions of Fire novels is assumed. Originally written for theatrical_muse, but altered to fit canon.
As the sun touches the waves, it fills the horizon with a shimmering pink light that fades to a deep violet as it reaches up into the heavens. And as the light disappears beneath the edge of the world, a breeze kicks up, carrying with it the smell of salt and earth and the cries of nocturnal birds.
They have both removed their coats, draping them over their arms, and Vir has rolled his trousers up to his knees to walk along the ocean’s edge. The water that laps onto Vir’s bare ankles is comfortably cool, and Vir privately revels in the feel of the wet sand giving way beneath his toes.
They are arguing, but with affection, about comedy. Vir is trying to convince Londo of the virtues of the Human style with all the youthful passion he can muster, his hands snatching at the air before him to punctuate his points, while Londo fills the evening air with hefty perorations on the superiority of Centauri wits. Londo’s eyes are lively and his demeanor is relaxed. There is no sign of the guilt, the sorrow, or the helplessness Vir has seen drying on Londo’s face on those mornings he has had to wake his friend from his slumber because the computer had not. There is no shadow, no burden, and no destinies to fulfill.
At some point, Vir says something that makes Londo laugh and they pause in their walk down the beach, the rich sound flooding through Vir, tickling him and causing him to laugh as well. Then Londo drapes his arm around Vir’s shoulders, regarding the younger Centauri with a special combination of bemusement, disbelief and love, and Vir knows that look is one Londo reserves just for him. And he thinks that if he could choose one moment in which to exist for all eternity, it would be this moment alone on a beach with one of the only men in all of the Centauri Republic who cares that he lives.
But then the scene dissolves and bleeds away and Vir opens his eyes. He straightens in his chair, his neck crying out in protest, and looks up to find Renegar standing over him in blurry relief. The big Centauri’s concerned eyes fall upon the half-empty bottle of brivari sitting open on the table before Vir, and Vir colors.
“They are here,” Renegar says simply before taking his leave.
Vir takes a deep breath, rises and follows, desolation hollowing him out from the inside.