Title: Dear Sir

Author: Mareel

Author's e-mail: Mareel@earthlink.net

URL: http://www.geocities.com/bdebpr

Date: 06/22/03

Archive: Permission to archive granted to EntSTCommunity, Tim Ruben, Archer's_Enterprise, Reed's Armory, BLTS, Others welcome, please let me know.

Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise

Category: Slash (m/m)

Rating: PG-13

Status: Complete

Series: This fic has a sequel, Concerning Courage

Characters: Archer/Reed

Summary: Jonathan persuades Malcolm to write to his father.

Disclaimer: Of course Enterprise and the characters belong to Paramount. I make no profit from this, but feel compelled to do it anyway.

Author's Notes: Planned as a response to Kylie Lee's Father's Day Challenge on EntSTSlash, I'm afraid it's pretty far from NC-17 and has only a passing mention of water. But I write what I hear, and it does deal with fathers. I know this isn't the first fic to show Malcolm trying to correspond with his father by; Qzeebrella's "Only an Ocean" may be the most recent. But the good lieutenant was insistent, and I gave in.

Dedication: To my own father, who always loved unconditionally.

To: Admiral Stuart Reed, Royal Naval (Ret.)

From: Lieutenant Malcolm Reed, Starfleet

Dear Sir:

I know we have not been on the best of terms, and our communications have been sporadic at best. You would be correct in wondering why I've chosen to contact you now, and by letter. I've been asking myself the same thing, and the only answer I can give you is 'trust'. My apologies for being cryptic; I will attempt to explain myself.

As you know, I've never hidden my personal life from you or the rest of the family. I'm sure my selection of career and my orientation played a large part in our estrangement, but I've always openly acknowledged my choices. I know you do not approve of either my career or my partner, but in a way, both are the reason I'm writing to you now.

We are embarking on a very dangerous mission. I cannot disclose any other details, for obvious reasons of security, but the odds of my returning alive are not good. I hope that no matter what the outcome of our mission, you will find it possible to take some pride in the courage of the crew of the Enterprise, and especially of her captain, who fought for the right to attempt it. If he and Enterprise should return from this mission without me, I ask you to meet with Jonathan Archer without rancour, and to respect his wishes as my next of kin. You may find that he is a man worthy of your respect, as I did, almost against my own wishes.

Jonathan was telling me about his father recently. The occasion was a Father's Day celebration onboard the ship. I'm sure you can appreciate the need for morale-boosting events like this for the crew on a long voyage. There are only a few crew members who are parents themselves, but most enjoyed the opportunity to remember their own fathers. Jonathan was very close to his dad and still regrets that Henry Archer never had the opportunity to see the success of his warp engine program. But Jon is comforted by a deep certainty that his father would be proud of him and supportive of our mission.

I found him in our quarters a few nights ago, writing a log entry in the form of a letter to his father. It was almost incomprehensible to me why he would do this. He said it was because it was Father's Day. He'd always written to his father then, even when Henry was alive and they were going to see each other for dinner. I asked him what he said in these letters. 'Nothing and everything' was his reply. I told him that I didn't think my father would appreciate hearing from his son about either of those topics, and Jon simply studied me for a long moment and said, "Try it. Trust me on this. Your father is still alive and so are you. Don't lose this opportunity." Because I do trust him completely, I'm writing this. If you're still reading it, I've achieved some measure of success.

Seeing how much Jon's relationship with his father meant to him, so much that he still writes to a man who's been dead for several years now, I was seeing a side of him I hadn't understood. Jon wanted to share his life, his accomplishments, his fears. And most surprising to me, he wanted to share his joy. He allowed me to read that log entry letter. After a few lines about the past year's events and his concern about the present mission, the rest of the letter was about me, about our relationship. I didn't know what to say, and Jon finally broke the silence. "As I said, Malcolm, it's about nothing…and everything. And you know which is which."

I know I never lack for courage in battle situations, but it is taking all of the courage in me to finish this letter by telling you this: I've learned much about love from Jonathan, especially unconditional love and trust. I believe now that I have always loved you, in some way, as my father. And I always feared I was a grave disappointment to you for choosing the uncharted seas of space over the oceans of Earth…and for choosing to accept love as it was offered rather than living a lie. I may have judged you unfairly out of that fear, in which case I apologize.

There is no way to relive the past, and I'm not sure we would understand each other any better even if we could. But my criteria for respect, and trust…and love…have changed over the last two years, and I think now I might be able to offer a bit more of each. I don't know if you would feel more able to accept any of these, but consider this an offer on my part.

I would be pleased if you were to reply. Happy Father's Day, sir.

Your son,

Malcolm Reed

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