Title: Under All Silences

Author: Mareel

Author's email: Mareel@earthlink.net

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

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

Category: Slash (m/m)

Rating: R

Status: Complete

Pairing: Archer/Reed

Series: not yet

Sequel: could be considered a prequel to Now and sits in conjunction with Kipli's Beneath the Uniform

Disclaimer: They all still belong to Paramount, or, more likely, to themselves.

Summary: Only a dream?

Notes: This is for Kipli, for her birthday. This is based on the ent_musing Jonathan, but could be any Jon in the time just before the A/R relationship becomes more than just a hope and a dream for the two of them. The title is from e.e. cummings.


I woke up and reached for Malcolm… but he wasn't there. Had he really been here? He had, hadn't he?

What they had just shared… how could that not have been real? It was the most intense dream I've ever had, if that's all it was. He was warm and smiling and in my arms. His storm-grey eyes met mine and held… unwavering, as if he were looking into my heart, not just my eyes.


I've had a hard time sleeping since we started this mission… since we learned about the Xindi attack on Earth, actually, but it seems to get harder and harder to even go to bed, much less sleep, as we move further into the Delphic Expanse.

I've tried all kinds of things… diversion, distraction, exercise, eating, not-eating… even tried drinking once, with Trip, but that was enough of that. It didn't help and I felt like shit the next morning anyway. Porthos and I have worn a path in the deck plating along the route we take on our nightly walks. It takes us all around E deck and to the mess hall… he's always hoping for a treat from Chef… can't skip the mess hall.

I generally pause in the observation lounge if no one is there, and at that time of night, it's usually deserted. I look out into the stars, into the Expanse… and wonder… wonder about all kinds of things. Including why I've put my life on hold for so long when we might all die tomorrow as a consequence of succeeding at our mission, or might have nowhere to go home to… as a result of our failure. That visit always ends with me shaking myself out of it as Porthos waits patiently to move on to finish our walk… usually covering B deck before going back home.

Every time we pass his quarters, I think about him. On duty—on the bridge or in the armoury—I've trained myself to think of him as Lieutenant Reed and I don't think I slip up that often. But I think he must know, must sense that he's more to me than that. The way our eyes meet sometimes… as if he wished there were more as well.

But off-duty… on these nightly walks, and in the privacy of my mind and quarters, he becomes Malcolm… and I am just Jon. We took that walk last evening. Chef wasn't around, so no treat for Porthos, but I lingered at the viewport for longer than usual. Once I heard the door open, but it closed again without anyone entering, though I thought I saw someone pause at the threshold for a moment, then turn to go. I didn't see the reflection clearly in the viewport, but for some reason I thought it might be Malcolm. About the right height… dark hair… that's all I saw; my mind filled in the rest. I stayed and watched the stars for a long time. I wished it had been Malcolm, and was sorry that my presence must have discouraged him from his own means of dealing with a sleepless night.

As we continued our walk, Porthos did something I'd seen him do a few times before. He paused by the door to Malcolm's quarters, looking up at me in silence, his head cocked. It was tempting to knock… but what would I say? Offer an apology for being in the observation lounge when he might have planned to spend time there himself? It may not even have been Malcolm at all, in which case I'd be completely lost for any way to explain my appearance at his quarters at this hour. Porthos and I walked on back to my quarters, but I didn't expect sleep to come easily.

I finally did fall asleep though… I was reading in bed, trying to relax, clear my mind enough to get a few hours of rest.

And he was here… with me, lying in my arms all night. I've dreamed of him here before, dreamed of making love to him the first time, slow and tender. I've seen and felt his responsiveness in those dreams… eyes open and lost in mine as he approached the edge and let himself fall freely, trusting that I'd be there to catch and hold him safe. I've seen those eyes dark with passion as he brought me to that same peak, his name on my lips as I came hard into his beautiful mouth or strong hands.

But this wasn't that dream. He was here… he had to have been here. What I remember… what makes me so sure this was real, is the quietness. He was lying beside me, his head pillowed on my shoulder, nuzzling into my neck. Our bodies were pressed close together, legs entangled. We had obviously been together, but at that point we were simply wrapped in each other's arms.

Malcolm lifted his head from my shoulder and met my eyes in the dim room light. I've never seen so deeply into his eyes before. Neither of us said anything then, but he kissed me with a tenderness that made my breath catch, and laid his head back down on my shoulder… murmuring one word. I didn't hear it clearly, his voice was so low… but it sounded like 'home.' I assumed he meant that he thought he should go back home… before morning… and I tightened my arms around him, wordlessly imploring him to stay.

He did stay… I know he did. The last thing I remember before waking up alone just now was the feel of his arms around me as his breathing slowly and quieted into the rhythm of sleep.

I've never dreamed of falling asleep before… if it was all a dream.

And I just found my book on the floor by the bed… bookmarked where I'd been reading e.e. cummings…

"Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness; the truth more first than sun, more last than star."

I'm sure of only one thing. I need to talk to Malcolm.



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