G'Kar is, technically, a prisoner. He has been one for some time, now. But most prisoners do not regularly dine with the Emperor of the CentauriRepublic, particularly not with all the guards out of sight and most out of earshot. One of Emperor Mollari's advisors asked him, once, why he would do such a foolish thing as dine alone with such a notorious troublemaker as the Narn G'Kar. "He amuses me," Emperor Mollari said, "and I do not amuse him." It was as straightforward an answer as the advisor had ever heard the Emperor give, and Emperors are entitled to their little whims, and so the advisor went away satisfied.
Neither G'Kar nor Londo Mollari look particularly amused as they face each other across the table, though.
"You're not drinking, Londo," G'Kar said, neutrally. "Has your cellar finally exhausted itself?" He stuffed a bite of meat in his mouth, chewing slowly.
Londo raises his eyebrows ironically. "My cellars, dry? Such a horrible thought. And inconceivable. You know, as well as I, the rest of Centauri Prime may go thirsty, may burn like the Humans' underworld, but the Emperor's stock of wines and fine brevari will never stop overflowing. It is one of the few perks of the job."
"The 'job' has many perks," G'Kar replies. "As I recall, you used to want them very dearly."
"That was until I found out what they cost," Londo says, taking a sip of water. His food is mostly untouched on his plate; a rarity for him, for he has always been one to indulge his appetites.
"I could have told you that at any time," G'Kar says. "So could others."
Londo snorts. "Not at any time, G'Kar. When we first met, and for several years thereafter, you were as ambitious as I, and more violent about it. Some others I will grant you. Some of them even tried."
"Yes," G'Kar says. He does not say, look where that got them. He does not have to; it hangs in the air with a weight all its own. He has not mentioned the two new prisoners in the dungeon, nor the son they came to find. Nor has Londo. As for the former aide, Londo's successor in the absence of heirs of his body, the one who does most of the things Londo should be doing, they never mention him, either. Londo's notice has never been a good thing; but it only became catastrophic when he became Emperor. When his keeper attached itself.
They never mention that, either. At least not while sober.
Londo and G'Kar usually talk of other things, history and art, literature and science. No current events. They do not speak of them tonight.
"I am not good company at the moment, I am afraid," Londo says at last. "But I think my … mood shall be improved later. At least, I will want company. I think I will be in the mood for a story. One with a tragic ending. Narns have so many of them."
"So do Centauri."
"Yes, but ours generally involve much drinking, first." Londo grimaces. "Speaking of which, I think I could use a drink, after all. Many of them. You may wait in the side chamber; I have something that must be done in the meantime. You will know when I want you."
G'Kar nods, rises, leaves, with a lack of deference that would surprise the court. If Londo kept one. There is no one around but guards to see, of course, and the guards are long used to his disrespect.
Londo sits in his chair till he is gone, then sighs and makes his way to the throne room, where his brevari is always waiting for him.