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A Walk Along the Beach

Posted on Thu Dec 20th, 2018 @ 1:39am by Lieutenant Commander James Barnes & Lieutenant Christine Descharmes

Mission: Between the Pages
Location: Shune Bay, Golovin
Timeline: MD 2 - Early Morning

[Shune Bay, Golovin]

"Let's go for a walk, Christine," James said, looking her over for a moment before motioning out along the beach. He knew they had a lot to talk about. He led her down away from the gathering of the crew, the two sneaking off in the bustle of their intoxicated shipmates. The beach was dark, but bathed in a bright moonlight. He looked at her as they walked, his hands falling into the pockets on his shorts. "I'm sure there's a lot you want to talk about."

After a few more steps taken in silence and once out of sight of the crowd, she stopped. With her arms crossed in front of her, Christine stared out at the waves lapping against the shore. "I thought you were dead," she said, after a lengthy silence. The real reason she had been mopey earlier. The three drinks she had only added to it. She repeated it again, softer this time and barely above a whisper. "I thought you were dead."

Letting those words hang in the air, a flood of emotions overwhelmed her; emotions she shoved away since she first saw James on the Cyen home world. Tears welled up and she turned towards him. "When-when you didn't come back...," she managed to choke out. "I thought something must have happened to you. Because, because why wouldn't you come back to me? Why didn't you come back? What happened to you?"

James took a deep breath. He had known this talk was coming, despite the fact he wished it could have been avoided. She had been all that he could think of during his time in a Romulan prison cell - his sole motivation as he clawed his way across the quadrant to find the Shanghai. Yet, he knew deep down that despite his feelings, to her, he had abandoned her or was dead.

"I tried to get a message to you, through Sun," he ran his right hand through his hair as he tried to think of how to explain himself, "I had been assigned to intelligence duty in Romulan space. It...it wasn't something I was allowed to talk about, and it was sudden. A month or two after I had left, I was captured by the Romulan military. I spent the better part of the next year in a cell. Christine, you were all I ever thought about. The entire time. It killed me to leave you the way I did."

"I know what you told Mei when you left." She wiped away the tears that now streamed down her face, her shoulders shook with each sob. Christine let out a shaky breath. "I waited for you, James, I waited for you for so long," she added, quietly. She took a step forward and slid her arms around his waist. She pressed herself against him and laid her head against his shoulder.

"I'm sorry, Christine," he squeezed her, holding her close, "I'm so sorry...It took me almost a year to get out, and I started looking for you immediately after I did."

She lifted her head and tightened her grip around his waist. "I love you," she said. Christine ran her hands up his torso, over his chest and linked her fingers behind his head. "Will you ever tell me about it?"

"I love you too," James slid his hands from her waist into the small of her back, and then he caressed her cheek with the back of his hand. He looked into her eyes. He wanted to tell her, but he wasn't sure that he could. He still occasionally had nightmares about it, but he mostly didn't want to scar her any more than he already had. "Maybe some day, when we're both ready."

She nodded and leaned into him, "I...understand." Christine stared up at him for a little while. She wasn't angry, not anymore. He had come back, much later then she would have liked but he still came back to her. Finally, she pulled his head down and kissed him. Gently at first, then hungrily, breaking off after a few minutes. She fumbled with the buttons on her dress shirt before she managed to pull it off. Christine shivered in the cool night air, unzipping her skirt and tugging it off.

"Hopefully no one followed us," James chuckled, sliding his hands up her hips and onto the small of her back. He kissed her again before reaching down and pulling his shirt up and over his head. He pulled her back in, pressing her body up against his bare chest, his hands wandering over her body. He looked her in the eyes for a moment before kissing her again.

Christine returned the kiss, biting his bottom lip playfully before breaking away and resting her head on his shoulder. She leaned into him and nuzzled his neck, trailing her fingers down his chest. She let out a deep sigh as her hands continued up his back and she dug her fingernails into his shoulders.

-Later-

Christine lay quietly, her body draped over James, the sand a far more comfortable bed then she first thought. Had she fallen asleep? She lifted her head from his shoulder and glanced around. No, she must have just dozed off a few minutes. The lights from the bar filtered through the trees and it still sounded like a party. Across the bay in the distance, a few lights had appeared on the horizon but other than that, everything pretty much stayed the same. She sat herself up, leaning on one hand with the other resting on his chest.

"I was wondering if you were going to wake up," James chuckled, sitting up and pulling his shirt on, "You dozed off for a bit. I think the rest of the crew is trudging around in the water. There's been a lot of activity over that way, lights offshore."

"Oh," she said. Christine reached for her shirt and slipped it on. She did up two buttons before she grabbed her skirt and pulled it on. She sat on the sand for a minute, watching the moving lights before she turned back towards him. "James," she said quietly as she moved closer to him. She leaned over and gave him a kiss. "There's something I need to say and I don't want you to...stress about it."

"Sure thing," he slid his arm around her, taking a deep breath, "What is it, babe?"

"I guess it's more of a question, really," she said, tilting her head to one side as she watched him thoughtfully. "What if we were to just get married? Believe me when I say I thought a lot about us over the last couple of years." Christine shook her head. "Not to mention the lingering fear that they are going to call you away again."

James paused, raising an eyebrow. He pushed himself up onto his elbow to look over at her. To be fair, he hadn't thought of it, even as much as he had thought of her over the past years. He had been obsessed with getting back, but like the proverbial dog chasing a car, hadn't really thought about how they would proceed when he did. As always, the age difference lingered in his mind. "I hadn't really thought it was something you'd want, to be honest. Especially considering my past," he looked into her eyes.

"To be honest, I hadn't really thought it was something I wanted either. Or ever, I never considered myself the marrying type," she admitted. "But something someone said to me a while back on Earth, it had me thinking. A lot, actually. And made me realize I care about someone more than I care about myself. I couldn't tell you because you were gone and I thought I was too late." Christine stared at him for a while before she reached up and placed a hand on his cheek. She still half expected to wake up and he would be gone again. After letting out a sigh, she continued, "Not everyone gets a second chance to tell the person they love how much they mean to them."

James grabbed her hand, kissing it while he looked at her. "I thought about you every day I was in that damned Romulan prison," he smiled after a moment. "You know, I haven't been married since the 21st century," he chuckled.

She laughed. "Well, I consider myself lucky then," she said with a shrug and a smile,"And you know I like older men." Christine stared at him intensely for a few minutes. "We can do it now, quietly, we have a few days before the ship would be ready. Mei can marry us. Or we can find someone here at the colony. You know how things tend to go with us, anything can happen."

"Is quiet what you want?" James asked, "I know how human females are with this kind of thing."

"Oh? You know how we are, do you?" Christine raised an eyebrow. She thought for a bit. "Yes," she said. "I don't want it to be a big deal, seeing as the only reason is my family is not here." She rested a hand on his chest and leaned in close. "What I want is you in your dress uniform and me in a white dress. How do you feel about that?"

"I think we can work with that to start," he laughed, "Who do you think should break it to the Captain?"

She thought for a bit. "Me, you, both of us. It doesn't matter," she shrugged. "I can. I think I have something else to talk to her about anyways. Unless you really want to be there too." Christine listened to the voices being carried over to them and added with a laugh, "Preferably when she is neither drunk nor hungover." She hesitated, "I should go make sure they aren't going to drown themselves in the bay."

"I think I can work with that," James wiggled on his back, sliding his shorts up and over his hips, "Let's go."

-----------------------------------
Lieutenant Christine Descharmes
Chief Counselor, USS Shanghai-A

&

Lt. Commander James Barnes
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Shanghai-A

 

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