The Price of Indulgence

Disclaimer: Babylon 5 and its characters don't belong to me. The characters mentioned all belong to J. Michael Straczynski.

"The Price of Indulgence"
by Christine Anderson
aka Anla'shok Ivanova
Written for the Theatrical Muse 'guilty indulgence' challenge.

I know more of guilt than of indulgences, and of guilty indulgences I know next to nothing.

Because I carry that guilt- the guilt of so many mistakes and misjudgments, I am less likely than most to permit myself any indulgences.

I cannot afford them.

I indulged myself in friendship, and others paid for it.

Friendship with Elizar, misplaced trust... He never could have harmed her if we had not trusted him enough, believed him friend enough, to show him how.

I indulged myself in love, and lost those I cared for.

Elric dreaming himself home as he lay dying... the words I barely had time or strength and courage to speak... Isabelle and the words I never said to her...

I indulged myself in pride, and found myself wanting in the end.

Morden speaking truth amidst his lies, truth that shattered my world, my soul, and made me ashamed of who and what I was. Alwyn raging at me, screaming that if we were less of cowards, all of us, we would stay and fight. Alwyn, who was right.

I indulged myself with secrets, thinking I could hide from the truth forever, only to have them resurface again and again...

My father's ring, the scars on my own body I had wanted to learn to wash away... the bitter irony of the order I was so proud to serve, and its origins within the darkness...

I indulged myself in use of my powers, and innocent lives were endangered and destroyed.

Destruction raining on Thenothk, again and again and again, each equation quicker and easier than the last, the urge to destroy nearly unquenchable. Even when faced with the Vorlon ship, not only my own life hanging in the balance, but Alwyn's, G'Leel's, Blaylock's, and I almost could not bring myself to care if any us of lived or died...

I indulge myself in pain and memory, and these are the things that I remember. None of the joys and all of the tears.