|Babylon 5: Vir Cotto, Prompt 035 - Sixth Sense
||[Mar. 8th, 2006|12:37 pm]
The Ultimate FanFic Challenge!
Title: To Tear the Veil
Fandom: Babylon 5
Characters: G’Kar & Vir (Londo)
Prompt: 035 – Sixth Sense
Word Count: 824
Rating: General Audience
G’Kar wishes to make amends.
Third Season. Missing scene for Dust to Dust.
This story is written in honor of Andreas Katsulas, who will be sorely missed.
“I understand why you did it. And I… I just want you to know that it changes nothing. I mean, it doesn’t change what I’m doing… what we’re doing.”
Cotto stands by the doorway. Tension is evident in his stooped shoulders, yet his round face radiates an aura of purpose that falters only once when he accidentally shifts his mending arm.
G’Kar had heard a crack and an unuttered cry of pain before the young Centauri disappeared behind the veil of unconsciousness. And before that, when his fist first connected with Cotto’s face, he had felt Vir himself – had seen and felt the shadow of surprise and terror fall upon something welcoming and bright.
“G’Kar? Are you all right? Did you hear me?”
“I heard you, Cotto. As for whether I’m ‘all right,’ the answer is far more complex than you might imagine.”
Cotto’s face is a picture of unguarded confusion. He breaks eye contact for the first time, his brows knitted tightly together, and for a moment, the hum of the station itself is the only sound in the room.
Vir tasted like bread. It was a strange thing to discover that a mind could taste of something familiar. Vir tasted like bread – and in the Med Lab, even though the residual buzzing and warping had virtually ceased, he had tasted of salt as well. When Vir brushed by G’Kar in a panic, desperate to see Mollari and confirm that he was alive, the touch was momentary, but the alien sensation – the subtle intrusion of an utterly open mind - was unmistakable.
Because it matters now more than ever, G’Kar tries to explain.
“Imagine that you have spent your entire life attempting to assemble the pieces of a vast and complex puzzle. Then imagine being told after years of pursuing this endeavor that you have been following the wrong instructions and must begin entirely anew. Would you feel ‘all right’ in such a circumstance?”
“No,” Cotto replies with deliberation. “No, I-I suppose not.”
“The universe has a way of challenging your most comfortably held assumptions at the most unexpected times. Physically, I am quite well. Spiritually, I am taking apart my puzzle, a task that brings both frustration and the awe of discovery, neither of which can be accurately described by your chosen phrase.”
Before he was pulled aside by security for his own examination, G’Kar watched as Dr. Hobbes gently, but firmly, steered Cotto back to his bed. From that point forward, the incursions of foreign taste and emotion and touch came no more. Yet G’Kar was left with a vertiginous feeling of sympathy for a white-warm Centauri that even then he only barely knew and hadn’t even begun to understand.
“I’m sorry. I’m… not sure quite what to say.”
“Then say nothing. You have nothing to fear from silence. Nothing, that is, except yourself.” G’Kar suddenly smiles, comprehending a private joke. “Ah. That may explain a lot.” Then, recognizing that it is hardly fair to ask Cotto to follow all the stray epiphanies that occur to him, he straightens and changes the subject. “But it is also quite beside the point. You, Cotto, have chosen to act for the good of the suffering – and I must walk this path with you because that is what all souls are designed to do. But if we are to work together, there must be trust between us. Until now, I have not behaved in the interest of this trust.”
“G’Kar, I…” But before Cotto can complete the thought, G’Kar raises a hand to silence him.
“Do not try to lie, Cotto. You are quite unpracticed at it. That is in fact one of your more positive qualities.” G’Kar rises and is both gratified and saddened to see Cotto shrink just a little. “You are afraid,” he says gently. “Even now, you are poised to flee. That is my doing, and I am sorry.”
Cotto looks away. “You weren’t yourself.”
“I made a choice – and you were in the way.” G’Kar pauses, allowing the admission to linger for a time before he continues. “To be honest, when you first came to me to inform me of your plans, I did not believe that your efforts would truly count for anything. I was wrong. I have been wrong about a great many things. When it comes to the hearts of men, it is not mathematics that governs the universe – it is hope, however small and humble it may be. Will you forgive a wayward man for his foolishness, Vir Cotto?”
“Of course,” Cotto says, his voice roughened with unshed tears. “Would I be here if I hadn’t already?”
G’Kar releases a slow breath and rests a hand on Cotto’s shoulder. “Then I will keep you here no longer. Go - there are many things you must do.”
When Cotto leaves, G’Kar sits, closes his eyes against the dim light, and begins to sing a slow melody.