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The Secrets We Keep

Posted on Wed Jun 5th, 2019 @ 1:16am by Lieutenant Christine Descharmes

Mission: Between the Pages
Location: Descharmes' Residence, Bas-Rhin
Timeline: after "Chance Meeting (Pt 2)"

ON:

Christine had ended up wandering the streets of Strasbourg for an hour or two after the embarrassing scene outside of the hotel before she made her way back home, for fear of actually running into her boyfriend again. Well, ex-boyfriend. Thanks to the man that had come to her rescue, who knows what actually might have happened.

It was midday, and the house was quiet. No one had seen her come up the long walkway on approach to the house. Christine let herself in. She tiptoed up the stairs to her room, located at the far end of the house. With a sigh, she closed the wooden door behind her. She was alone. Safe. At the moment, anyways.

She slipped off the jacket she wore, making a mental note to get rid of it when the chance came up. For now, she shoved the jacket to the bottom of her laundry bin. If her parents were actually up-to-date with the technology she could have used a replicator. A full length mirror hung behind her door. As she moved towards it, she turned sideways, lifting up the short sleeve of her blouse. A bruise had began to form; it was already darkening, a stark contrast on her pale skin. She unbuttoned her blouse and slipped it off. Several dark bruises formed at the crook of her neck and shoulder. She winced as she tenderly massage the area with two fingers.

"Shit," she said.

"Christine?" The voice came after a couple of knocks. The feminine voice was timid and shy and she already knew who it was. "I heard you come in. Are you okay?"

"It's fine," she answered, quickly buttoning her shirt and stepping away from the door.

Desiree pushed the door and it creaked open. She tilted her head, confused. "Why are you back so early? I thought you said you would be a few more hours."

"What are you doing in the house anyway?" Christine said with a sigh as she grabbed the door knob and held it open. She took Des by the hand and pulled her in, double checked that they were the only ones there and closed the door behind her.

"I came for some water. I heard you walk through the house so I came to check on you," Des said in her quiet voice. "Is everything all right?"

Christine looked into her younger sister's blue-gray eyes. "Yes," she paused and then after a moment's hesitation added, "No." She shook her head and walked over to the bed, sitting on the edge.

Desiree followed, sitting next to her and wrapped an arm around her. Christine leaned into her and rested her head on her shoulder. They sat there in silence for a few minutes. After some time had passed, she lifted her head and turned to look at her sister before moving off to her bathroom. She pulled a dermal regenerator from a drawer.

"Chris?" Des asked curiously. She followed her, standing just outside the door. "What are you doing? And where did you get that?"

The older girl simply unbuttoned her shirt again, this time taking it off completely and tossing it aside. Des watched in silence, her eyes wide, head tilted to one side as she studied Christine. Her curious eyes wandered over her arm, to the bruises on her neck and another that appeared on waist, partially hidden by the skirt. She made eye contact with her sister through the mirror and as Christine moved to try and repair the ones on her shoulder, Des moved closer and snatched it from her hand. She ran it slowly over the purple bruise, watching intently as it faded.

"He hurt you?" Des asked as she handed the tool back to Christine.

"Yes," she answered. There was no use hiding it. Des was perceptive and intuitive. "It...doesn't matter anyway because it's over now." She met her sister's eyes in the mirror again. "I'm such an idiot," Christine said after another long pause.

"We all make mistakes," Des shrugged. "I mean, he was probably the worst one you've ever been with. Do you want to tell me what happened?"

Christine let out a huff and slammed the dermal regenerator down on the countertop. She brushed past Des and fell on her bed, her face buried in the pillow. Des followed, much more slowly and lay beside her. "I'm such an idiot," she said again after a few minutes, lifting her head and looking at her younger sister.

"Well..." Des said, hesitantly. She rolled onto her side to look at Christine.

"Shut up," Christine grumbled. There was another long pause. Outside her window, she could hear voices. By the sounds of it, her father and brother were returning to the house. "Can you keep a secret? Promise you won't tell anyone," she whispered suddenly, as if the people outside might hear..

"What is it?" Des asked.

"Promise me first," Christine insisted.

"You know I won't say anything if you don't want me to," she replied. "As far as everyone knows, you were here the whole time. Sick."

"Thanks." Christine gave her a long look before burying her face in her pillow again. "I'm pregnant," she said, her answer muffled by the soft cotton pillowcase.

Des sat upright, crossing her legs and turning on the bed to face her. "What?" she cried out, then realizing she was supposed to be quiet, added, "For real? Christine...you have to tell Mom and Dad."

"No," she said and propped herself up on her elbows. Christine stared out the window. One reason she liked this particular room was the view of the grape vines stretching out over the hills to the south. She let out a sigh. "I told him today. That's where I went. He...didn't take that too well."

"Is that what happened?" Des asked cautiously.

"Yeah," Christine answered, debating how much she wanted to tell her sister. "He was a bit rough."

"Just a bit?" Des asked. "Is that what you call leaving bruises? What really happened?"

"I'm not telling you," she said, a frown on her face as she glanced sideways. "But I got out of there. Well almost. He made a scene. If it wasn't for a really hot guy named Alex that came to my rescue, who knows what might have happened." She looked back out the window.

"Oh," Des said, raising an eyebrow. "Really."

"I thought he was pretty cute," she carried on, "I mean, despite breaking up with my boyfriend on the street. I made a pretty good scene. Alex was the only one that stepped in. I should have asked for his last name. He had a nasty scar that I'll remember if I see him again. Although, I'm pretty sure he's not into women. I kissed him and he seemed weirded out by it."

"You did what?" Des asked. "So you broke up with your creepy boyfriend and then kissed some guy you only just met?" She shook her head.

"Don't judge me," Christine said defensively. "Didn't just kiss him. I invited him back to my hotel room. I wasn't thinking. I just remember the meeting didn't go the way I planned. I do remember thinking that I would rather this Alex guy be the father then my jackass boyfriend. It was worth a shot. Alex does have a nice ass." She turned on her side, still propped on one elbow.

"So..." Des said, thinking deeply, brow furrowed. "What are you going to do about this?" She reached over and gently poked Christine's abdomen. There was a slightly rounded bump, something Des hadn't noticed until she felt it. "You have to tell Mom."

"Mom is going to kill me," Christine said and roughly pushed Des' hand away. "I'll figure out something. Maybe I'll join Starfleet. Maybe I'll run into Alex again." She said it with a laugh, although somewhat sarcastic. She fell quiet and mused over that one. "I'm swearing you to secrecy. Don't say anything. Even to Armand. I'll figure something out. I don't want kids, Dee Dee. Not with someone like that. Maybe not ever," she said, rolling over onto her back to stare down at her stomach. She quickly stood and rummaged through a pile of clothes stacked on a chair until she pulled out a loose top. She slipped it on over her head and turned to face her sister still on the bed.

"You should probably have thought of that," Des answered with a shrug. "And yes, Christine. I promise. I'll take it to my grave."

:OFF

Lieutenant Christine Descharmes
Chief Counselor, USS Shanghai

 

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