Title: Cherish, Respect, Shelter, Defend

Author: Mareel

Author's email: Mareel@earthlink.net

Author's URL: http://www.geocities.com/bdebpr

Archive: Permission granted to Archer's Enterprise, Reed's Armory, Warp 5, others please ask.

Rating: G

Category: Slash

Status: Complete

Pairing: Archer/Reed

Series: Refuge

Sequel to: When Winds of Changes Shift

Number in Series: 8

Next Story: Always Remember

Disclaimer: They belong to Paramount, or more likely, to each other

Spoilers: Zero Hour

Warning: Deathfic

Summary: "It should have been me."

Notes: This is part of my Season 3 A/R series (Refuge) and refers to earlier stories in the series, including the vows the two exchanged before leaving Earth for the Expanse (see "Memory and Promises"). I have a feeling that there is a great deal about Zero Hour that I need to explore. This is my first, but certainly not only, take on it, and is Malcolm giving voice to some of his thoughts.

Cherish, Respect, Shelter, Defend

We made four vows to one another
when we chose to wed, to join our lives.

All have been tested.

There were days I didn't like him,
but I loved him…

times I couldn't accept the Captain's decisions,
but never lost respect for the struggling man under the uniform…

nights when I thought he would spurn the refuge I offered,
but still he found his way to my arms.

I thought the fourth would be the easy one…
How could I not protect him, defend him with my life?

I failed to keep that fourth vow.
And now he's dead.

*** Finis

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