Too late to say Goodbye.

By Alia

Disclaimer: Jon & Mal belong to each other and no one else, certainly not me.

Summary: Jon's thoughts as he leaves Malcolm for the last time.

Warning: Possible spoilers for Zero Hour.

Rating: G

Authors notes: I have not seen Zero Hour (yet) but I have read some great fiction based on this episode, including MJ's A/R story "Not to reason Why" which inspired me to write this response. Extra notes: While this ficlet is set in the Enterprise time line created by Paramount it continues in the "Give & Take" universe I have been playing around with.

Thanks: To MJ for betaing this ficlet for me and for providing the inspiration to write it in the first place.

Comments: Are welcome and can be sent to alia1999@hotmail.com

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Even though I am aware that others may resort to quoting protocol as a last ditch effort to cover their own backsides, I know Malcolm's intentions have always been purely selfless. This incident, with perhaps the exception that it will be the last, is no different from any other to him.

We do not have time to waste on a recitation of something we are both fully apprised of, however. No matter what Starfleet regulations state, I will not trade his life for my own and I will not listen while he offers to sacrifice himself in my place. I am the one to do this, and no one else.

The clock is ticking and I have to go. There is no time to say a proper goodbye. To regret the debt that I now know I will never have a chance to repay, or to tell him what I should have told him months ago.

He has what I have asked for and our eyes meet briefly while we make the exchange - as I take what I need from him for the last time, and then turn away.

End

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