I did not think up, Benny or Meg or anyone else mentioned in it, (Would that I were that clever) I did however wright this little delve into there minds, aka it all mine and you can't have it. Oh, and if you feel like throwing money at me because of the shear geniuses of this story, I'm going to have to generously decline, because then Alliance would get mad.

On a happier note, This is immediately following All the Queen's Horses and is nothing but a spoiler for said episode.

Enjoy.



Thrice

Abandoned.

Three times, abandoned. How could he do that to her? Leave her, three times to their mercies. As Fraser stared at the ceiling of his apartment, after the single worst day of his life, he couldn't help but wonder about what he had done, or failed to do.

The first time was a stupid mistake, a mistake that anyone could have made. But still, Benton Fraser wasn't anyone, he should have known.

He knew that whoever had taken control of the train had deviant intents, and he should have deduced how truly dangerous the terrorist were. He shouldn't have left her to do what? Have a useless conversation with Buck Frobisher. It had seemed so important at the time, but compared to the look in her eyes when she heard Bolt's voice . . . he should never have let that man anywhere near her.

It was an odd sensation, being afraid. He could see it in her eyes, and somehow that triggered the long dormant emotion in him. What was odder was that he wasn't afraid of the guns or the bombs, he was afraid for her. He couldn't let them hurt her, he couldn't lose her, and even at that moment he couldn't have said why.

Even after those emotions were awoken, after her had seen her flinch at the sound of Bolts voice and felt her tremble when they were hand cuffed together, he had abandoned her again.

He had followed some relatively unimportant criminal out on the roof of the train, leaving her and Frobisher cold. He should have known she was going to follow him, what had he been thinking? Obviously he hadn't. If one wanted to nit-pick they could say that It was her fault that he had fallen off the train. But he couldn't blame her, she was trying very hard to fight something that frightened her, if she was to distracted to follow the effects of her actions he couldn't blame her. She had grieved for him. More amazing yet, she had admitted it. And the kiss.

Fraser closed his eyes, a gentle breeze that lofted in from his slightly open window, and it gave him the chills. The memory was so sweet, so vivid, so warm. He took a deep breath and let it slip from his mind. She had ordered him to forget the memory, and he would try to follow that order, out of respect and duty. But by no means could he follow that order with any amount of dedication.

But by letting his mind slip it naturally went to the third time he abandoned her. She had insisted in going in first, which was natural. She was in command, all the unconscious Mounties, himself, and even Buck Frobisher were her responsibility. On top of which, she was afraid of them. She was going to fight her fears. It was remarkably brave. And she might have succeeded if he and Frobisher hadn't been side tracked by his father. He had been so amazed, so relived, that he wasn't the only person to see this particular appertain. But that was no excuse. As his father had said, it was no time to "Ponder on one of deaths mysteries."

That third time was the worse. He had been afraid for her before, when guns were waved around and he could protect her to an extent. But seeing her get smaller and smaller as the train retreated, looking in her eyes and knowing that she was not as composed as she appeared, and not being able to follow, then hearing Bolt Murder his to accomplices, and the way she held on to him when he finally managed to rescue her: he knew that no matter what good he did, he would never be able to make it up to her.

Thrice he had abandoned her. Saving her in the end couldn't erase that. Nothing he imagined could erase that. He closed his eyes and thought once again about the kiss. With a sigh of resignation he pushed it out of his mind. He needed to honor her wishes, to respect her feelings, and most of all follow her orders. He had betrayed her three times already that day, he wasn't going to do it a fourth.

He rolled over, tried to sleep, and failed.



Mistakes

The day was littered with them, thousands of stupid mistakes. But three were big. Three were unforgivable.

She didn't see that the film crew were in reality terrorist, but that was understandable. She wasn't looking for terrorist. No one else had noticed, not Sgt. Frobisher, none of the men in the musical ride, none of the rail crew. Whatever had tripped Fraser off, she would never have known. Perhaps she was pampering herself, but that was forgivable.

When Bolt and that woman had charged into the room, threatened her, humiliated her, she could have fought back, tried to fight back. Some would count that a mistake. But she was wise enough to know they would have shot her. She may not have been particularly brave, but she was alive, that's all that mattered.

When she and Fraser had been hand cuffed together she actually thought that they had done a remarkable job of team work, of communication. He had known what she was thinking when they knocked out the guard, and she had known what he was thinking when he used the hairpin to unlock their cuffs. It was such an odd sensation, having his head buried in her breast. She had concentrated solely on breathing, not letting his breath on her sensitive skin register, nor the soft tickle of his eye lashes. That wasn't a mistake, She reasoned. But why had she insisted on following him up to the top of the train. What had she been thinking.

Well the answer was clear, she hadn't been thinking. He told her, in his polite, roundabout way that she shouldn't try and help. Of course she didn't listen, after all what did he know, it was only his life on the line.

He didn't die. She reminded herself, he didn't die, he didn't even appear to be injured. But the possibility was there. How could she have blamed him for calling her a murderer. That was a bit of an overstatement. He had said she would kill a few innocents to save thousands of lives. Some people might consider that a complement, that she was able to see the big picture, make the tough decisions. For some reason, the man who couldn't spit out an insult to save his life, had broken her heart by telling her she was a competent and responsible commander.

Thankfully, that had lead to the only truly bright spot in her day, week, year . . . the kiss.

It seemed miss placed, and oddly it could only have happened in a day when she could only think a minuet at a time, lest she became overwhelmed. If she had time to think ahead she would have decided that the Kiss would be a mistake, that it would undermine her authority, that it would . . . somehow . . . change things. It had, but after the fact Meg knew it wasn't a mistake. She allowed herself a small smile, remembering the way he held her, and his taste on her lips.

She took a deep breath, "Not now," she muttered, she still had a lot of the day to cover. Of course immediately following the kiss was quite possibly her biggest mistake. Why hadn't she let Fraser, the big, strong, man who was experienced a hand to hand combat, go in first. Why had she pushed herself to be brave and lead the charge, she certainly didn't want to. But on the other hand she didn't want Fraser to have the helpless victim image of her. She didn't want him to think she was afraid of them. She didn't want to be weak.

"Pride cometh before the fall." She muttered as she rolled over in her bed. She knew that Fraser and Frobisher had been right on her heals, but it seemed like an eternity until they got there and saw the end result of her brashness. Fraser had looked so angry, and she thought that he wanted to follow. But of course he couldn't. She didn't expect him to, and she knew that they had no hope if Fraser followed her. But still, she had to try very hard not to brake out into fearful sobs as she watched him get smaller and smaller.

Everything after that was a blur. She didn't say a word, she didn't look away. She was too frightened to move or speak. Bolt talked to her continually after he murdered his collages. He would talk about America, about how pretty her eyes were, about his life in the marines, and about how he was going to kill her as soon as he thought it was safe. Meg hadn't said a word. She couldn't have if she wanted to. It was a defense mechanism. She only acted if propelled into action, that was the only way she could see to stay alive, and at that moment, she could only think about staying alive.

She should have tried to run when the car finally slowed to a stop, or when he had trouble getting the A.T.V. running, or even when they were driving across the country side. She should have slapped him, or kneed him, or punched him, and then turn and ran. She should have tried to disarmed him, and then arrest him. But she couldn't. It was quite literally physically impossible for her to do those things. She had been far to frightened. She was ashamed of that. She was also ashamed of how much courage it had taken her to actually push Bolt out of the way and all but begged Fraser to rescue her. Her plan for not appearing weak had failed on the grandest scale.

Meg buried her head in her pillow and tried not to sob. She didn't know why, she was alone in the darkness of her apartment. No one would ever know. But she couldn't. The fear was still a little too close and a little to real. She needed to push on.

Fraser had rescued her, and she had admittedly been grasping at straws. She had been overcompensating for her weakness with professionalism. That was a mistake. She didn't quite know what would have been the right thing to do, but she knew that telling him to forget the kiss was cruel, to both of them. As much as she wanted to, she couldn't write that off to over charged emotions.

She took a deep breath, and rolled over in her bed, finally ready to sleep. Outside her window there was a bang, a city bang, the bang of a car door being slammed, or a window shut, or a trash can knocked over. Nothing sounds, but still, she panicked. She could hear the two bangs of the gun, and the thuds of bodies hitting the ground. She started crying.



Apologies

Back to the Consulate, back to work, back to real, everyday, calm life. Or at least there was the attempt. Fraser reported to the inspector's office at eight ten to go over the day's Itinerary and receive any assignments she had for him. The same as every other day at the consulate. They calmly discussed the agenda for the day, and Meg outlined how they were going to handle the news hounds that had descended on the consulate like a pack of ravenous hyenas.

"Anything else sir?" He asked at the end of their short interview, as he had at the end of every other such meeting.

She looked up at him. She had a lot left to say, "About yesterday . . ." She stuttered.

"I'm sorry." he said softly, before she could say anything more. She could see in his eyes that he really was sorry, about yesterday.

"So am I." She said simply.

He looked up at her curiously. What did she have to be sorry about? "Ma'am?"

"Dismissed." She said, before any questions could be asked.

"Understood." He nodded, and left the room.

The End