Fandom: Babylon 5
Character: Vir Cotto
Word Count: 551
Rating: General Audience
Spoilers: Set during A Day in the Strife, third season.
Disclaimer: Babylon 5 and its characters are the property of J. Michael Straczynski and Warner Brothers Television. No copyright infringement is intended.
"Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
“You are troubled. And you have been drinking.”
Vir sighed and ran his fingers over a large, blue-green leaf. Delenn had steered him into the gardens after he, too preoccupied to pay attention to where he was going, had crashed into her in the corridor. “A little,” he admitted, slurring his words slightly. “Just two.” He looked up, squinting his eyes in thought and rocking just a little. “Or maybe it was three.”
“Because of Londo?”
Vir shot Delenn a look of surprise. Then he pressed his hands against the bench and leaned forward, stilling his fidgets. “I didn’t think… but I-I guess he would ask you.” Then, after a pause: “I’m always being sent away. Ever since… well, ever since I can remember. The only reason I’m here at all is because no one else wanted me.” He met Delenn’s gaze once again. “I-I had twelve different positions before I came to Babylon 5.” The words made his chest ache, deep down. “Did you know that?”
“I did not. But I do not see why that should be important now, Vir,” Delenn replied, and Vir swallowed hard over the lump in his throat. “You have taken what others on your world might see as your failures and have always tried to shape them into something better. And you will take your new assignment and do it again. You understand hope and renewal – even if you don’t realize it. That is something to be praised.”
“But what about Londo?”
“You believe Londo is your failure?”
Vir looked away. “I… don’t know.” Yes.
“Londo has made his choices.” Delenn’s voice was firm. “He is responsible for his own actions. Perhaps it is time you learn to accept that. To do otherwise is to be unfair to you both.”
For a long moment, Vir said nothing as he turned things over in his mind. “I just wish I could’ve done more.”
“Because you have mistaken the movements of empires as the crux of the war. But it is in the heart – not in the vastness of space – that the most important battles are fought, Vir. And you have won some of those battles already.” Delenn waited until Vir lifted his eyes before she continued: “Londo is not sending you away because you have failed. He is sending you away because you have succeeded – because you have loved him - have shown him light - and he has found that he cannot help but love you in return. Where Londo is now, that love is too much for him to bear. But it is still a victory that cannot be erased. It still matters, no matter what Londo’s future may hold.”
Vir struggled to breathe. “I’m afraid for him,” he murmured. “And… I-I’m afraid that I won’t be good enough.”
“You are not alone, Vir. Lennier and I will help you if you wish it. You need only ask.”
Vir rubbed at his eyes and smiled sadly. “Thank you, Delenn. Thank you both.” He felt drained. “I-I’ll try to meet Lennier tomorrow… if that’s convenient, of course. Right now, though… I-I think I need to sleep on things.”
“Of course,” Delenn replied with a dip of her head. “I will not keep you any longer.” And she was gone, leaving Vir alone with his own thoughts.