Title: Not to Reason Why

Author: MJ

Author's email: mjr91@aol.com

Author's URL: http://www.geocities.com/coffeeslash/mj/

Pairing: Archer/Reed

Rating: PG for bad words. You'd curse too.

Spoilers: Zero Hour

Archive: To the usual offenders. If on your list, it's yours, otherwise ask.

Summary: Malcolm reflects on the mission to destroy the weapon.

Author's Notes: Hopelessly unbeta'd but demanded to be written like so.

"As Chief Tactical Officer -"

I never got any further than that. He cut me off abruptly, demanded the explosives and the remote. It was the same way he'd gone after the Xindi weapon

under water - no thought to protocol, no thought to its being *my* job either to be, or to select (horrid choice though such things are) the person most likely not to come home from a mission. My job to protect the ship's captain, to keep him from the very thing he was demanding to do at that moment.

When he went off after the weapon in that Insectoid ship, we'd thought he was on a suicide mission. I was speechless when he said he was doing it - of all the people on a ship *not* to do it, the captain is the first choice. You can't expend yourself that way. Nonetheless, he insisted, and sod all could I do about it. I tried reasoning with him, later… I even did something I'd once sworn I'd never do, when he and I had promised each other we'd leave our ranks, and the job, at the bedroom door. I flat out begged him, sitting right on his bed, to reconsider such total foolishness. Of course, he didn't.

It was only that the mission then to destroy the weapon failed that he came home, and considering what those bloody Reptilian bastards did to him it was still a miracle that he lived.

Now, with not one chance to be alone with him to make him see reason, or for me even to have a chance to say goodbye to him, he demanded that I hand over the explosives and let *him* plant them inside the weapon for detonation. One second's missed timing, and…

… and the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire, admittedly not so lengthy, existence, was look into Trip Tucker's eyes when Hoshi, the MACOs, and I returned to the ship. A pretty sight that made, I've no doubt - Jonathan Archer's lover, trying not to choke up, passing the news on to his best friend, trying equally hard not to choke up, that he hadn't made it off the weapon before the thing went up like a Guy Fawkes bonfire.

Damn him. Damn his miserable hide. A ship's captain has no business breaching protocol that way. *Jonathan* had no business breaching protocol that way. He had no business doing that to his crew. To his friends. He had no business doing that to *me*, damn him… what in bloody hell did he think he was

doing to *me* doing that…

I suppose we'll be heading back to Earth now. T'Pol… even T'Pol seems affected by his death, more so than I'd expect from a Vulcan, really… but he *was* a popular captain. People liked him, respected him - lord knows how hard he worked on breaking down *my* defenses to him, first to gain my respect, then my friendship, and finally -

Damn him. Just… oh, *damn* him.


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