I had no idea this was going to be as long as it is becoming, and realized that the second half was going to suffer seriously if I rushed to finish it on deadline. (I usually write drabbles, remember?) There was a natural pausing place after Part 1, and I asked Dilly if I could post that portion now, and the rest in mid June, to which she graciously agreed. I hope it's worth the wait, and apologize for where I had to leave the two of them for now.
Title: This Time
Author's Contact: email@example.com
Written for: the_moonmoth
Summary: Love and loss... and finding their way back home
Length: ~ 8700 words (Part 1/2)
Disclaimer: Paramount owns them, but I tend to believe they belong to each other, or to themselves.
Warnings: AU, references to character deaths
Spoilers: Pretty much all of S3 and Stormfront
Notes: the_moonmoth requested an AU Archer/Reed fic where Jon's relationship with Malcolm comes as a surprise to him. Her second request was for the two of them overcoming some obstacle to be together. I doubt that this is anything like the AU she had in mind, but these two had their own story to tell and this one has elements of both requests, in a way. It's woven around late S3 events, though some events and timeframes are altered. General familiarity with canon S3 is assumed.
My deepest thanks to evilleaper and kayjayuu for their insightful beta readings and all their encouragement from the start, to kipli for listening to me bouncing plot ideas around, and to the_moonmoth herself who unwittingly helped me get through this.