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One For The Road

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Garibaldi felt like he had barely started when Londo showed up. Instead of bothering with the glass, he raised the bottle in a salute.

"Coming to see how I spend your money?" he asked. Londo frowned and sat down next to him.

"Actually, I came because that Major saw it fit to interrogate me about you," he replied. "Charming woman. She reminds me of my second wife."

Hearing that Lianna was on his trail already should have panicked him, but all Garibaldi felt was a certain pride, numbed in the taste of cheap whiskey. Smart girl. She was her father's daughter, after all.

He also felt the need to lash out, and since Londo had conveniently placed himself as a target, he saw no need to hold back. After all, this was his day for ruining what friendships he had left. He could just imagine Jeff's face when Jeff found out he'd fallen of the wagon again. Jeff believed in him, just as Frank had done, so Garibaldi should have known he'd find a way to screw up spectacularly.

"So you came here just to make sure she really could find me?" Garibaldi said. "Gee, thanks, Londo. Should have known that loan was too good to be true."

The Centauri looked vaguely insulted, and Garibaldi pounced.

"You know, about what you said earlier. That we're alike. We really aren't. You drink because you're bored and you don't like your job. Well, tough. Ever got someone killed, Londo? Ever messed up so badly that your guts being drawn out would feel cozy? Nah. You and your fairy tale world of Emperors and harems. Go away."

"I came to offer you passage on a Centauri liner, actually," Londo replied, taking the bottle out of Garibaldi's hands and pouring himself a drink. He glanced at the dirty glass with distaste, an expression that turned to outright loathing when he took his first sip. "This is a disgrace to the noble name of alcohol," he said contemptuously.

"I knew they were overcharging me, but hey," Garibaldi commented, and grabbed the bottle again, "not much choice, right? Also, thanks but no thanks. If it makes you feel better, I told G'Kar the same thing. Hey, you two are like clockwork, do you know that? You should both go to a karaoke bar and sing 'everything he can do, I can do better'."

"Well, if you insist on getting caught," Londo said. There was a sadness in his voice which made Garibaldi feel guilty, and the guilt heightened his anger.

"No. I just don't see any point in running away anymore. That's your specialty."

Abruptly, Londo rose.

"So it is," he returned. "Good day to you, Mr. Garibaldi."

He left in that bombastic way he had, as if he was marching into the council chamber, ignoring any of the lowlifes who stood in his path. For a moment, Garibaldi contemplated going after him to apologize. Perhaps even to accept the offer of a getaway. After all, it sure was a better option than trying to solve the puzzle of who framed him on his lonesome while Lianna and everyone else on the station was after his blood.

But there was still a murderer on the loose, and suspended or not, it was his job to catch him. It was also his privilege to go to hell any damn way he wanted to, and as the bitter taste of Londo's departure vanished in another shot of whiskey, Garibaldi couldn't have said what was the stronger incentive to stay.

In any case, he was done running away.