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by Andraste

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The dream is always the same: he has his arms raised above his head, the blade poised for a killing strike. He can see his opponent's hand reach out for the coutari, too late. Yet it is not too late. He hesitates, does not attack quickly enough or move to defend. He wants to step forward in time and tell his future self to block, if he isn't too arthritic to move or too senile to remember how. Those are the only explanations he has been able to think of so far for why he loses, wasting precious seconds while Londo Mollari grasps his fallen weapon. He can feel the phantom pain as the blade rises and pieces his vitals even as he wakes with a start.

"Ah, you are finally paying attention."

Urza Jado has seen his own death in dreams on many previous occasions, but it is still a surprise to find the man who features in it so prominently sitting on the other end of the couch. More surreal still to discover him with his shirt unlaced and one brachiarte extended, stroking the place where only moments ago he felt the killing blow of the coutari.

"Londo," he groans, "it is far too hot for this."

It would be awkward to explain that fooling around with somebody he just saw kill him feels odd - his friend has no idea about the death vision, and Urza plans to keep things that way. They had been comrades for years before the glimpse of the future first came to him, and it would be foolish to risk the bond because of something that might never come to pass. Besides, it is too hot, and he is still tired from duelling half the morning away.

"You would sooner nap all afternoon, like an old man? Where is your fabled stamina now? Besides, you would be cooler with your shirt off." With that, Londo leans over awkwardly and begins unlacing the offending garment instead of merely probing at it. Urza almost wishes that he had bothered to put his waistcoat and jacket back on after they finished fighting; his state of undress has left him vulnerable.

"I thought you were meeting a girl this evening," he says, taking no action to either stop or assist Londo.

"There is plenty of me to go around," he says, extending another organ to join the first, "and it is hours until then."

"And you are bored," Urza adds, unnecessarily. Londo had already been counting the long hours before the meeting with the latest love of his life when he suggested a duel that morning. They had fought for much to long in the summer heat before Urza in turn grew bored, tired of toying with his opponent, and finished him off. Paso Liarti had many talents, but Urza knew there was no-one on Centauri Prime to equal him with a coutari. He wasn't sure why his friend kept asking to be beaten with one.

That he is seeking another way to pass the time is to be expected - he never has been able to sit still and wait for anything.

"With a little assistance from you," Londo says, "I shall be bored no longer."

Urza makes no move to extend his own brachiarti to meet his duelling brother's - if he's so determined to spoil a perfectly good lazy afternoon, he can work for his pleasure. He closes his eyes and tries to ignore the sensation as one keeps stroking outside his shirt while the other squirms between his open laces and begins touching him more forcefully. He is proud to last an entire five minutes before he gasps and twists at the sensation as Londo works himself between the ends of Urza's brachiarti and his stomach.

"Not so silent now, Skal Tura" he murmurs, as so often when he wins a sound out of his partner. Urza has earned his reputation for quiet while duelling, but his focus tends to desert him on this particular battlefield. Londo himself is irritatingly calm, leaning back against the couch and staring into the middle distance with an air of nonchalance, as if the only two parts of his body moving at all belonged to someone else altogether.

Urza gives up on silence altogether as Londo manages to work the other brachiarte inside his shirt and begins rubbing him in all the right places. It is difficult to hold out against an opponent who knows him so well. Not that it has ever helped Londo to beat him in a sword fight.

Apparently, the same thought is in Londo's mind as Urza relents and extends two of his own brachiarti at last. As they twine around one another and fall into a familiar rhythm, he smiles. "You see, here you never win against me."

"That is true," Urza admits, "but perhaps it shall change. Some day, you will beat me with the coutari."

Londo smiles again, but there is a look in his eyes that Urza has never been able to place. He wonders, not for the first time, why it is that his dear friend will some day wish to kill him.

Now is hardly the time for such thoughts. He shifts in order to lean back more comfortably against the arm of the couch, closes his eyes, and puts the feeling of the sword sliding through him out of his mind. Some day, perhaps, Londo will run him through with a coutari. Some day, perhaps, he will let himself be killed. It is not this day.

The End

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Fandom:  Other (Babylon 5)
Title:  Certamen
Author:  Andraste   [email]   [website]
Details:  Standalone  |  R  |  *slash*  |  4k  |  02/10/04
Characters:  Londo Mollari, Urza Jado
Pairings:  Londo Mollari/Urza Jado
Summary:  An afternoon in summer, long ago. Londo Mollari and Urza Jado pass the time.
Notes:  This is all the fault of Selena and Hobsonphile, who wanted to see the tentacle pr0n. Selena also provided invaluable help when I had a language problem.
Disclaimer: I don't own Babylon 5. I am merely a humble purveyor of fanfic who commits such depravity for free.
WARNING: Contains sexual material involving two male aliens. For those who haven't been introduced to the glories of B5, the Centauri are a species whose males have been blessed with half a dozen prehensile tentacles which perform broadly the same function as human male genetalia. They can also be used to cheat at poker. This is not a story about cheating at poker.

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