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A Proper Date

Posted on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 @ 6:05pm by Lieutenant Christine Descharmes & Lieutenant Commander James Barnes

Mission: Intermission
Location: Earth
Timeline: Before leaving Earth


James had spent the better part of the morning and early afternoon meticulously cleaning his house. He had gone to great lengths to hide some of the more egregious examples of his bachelorhood, such as some rather inappropriate posters and images in his personal 'man cave' on his second floor. Having made sure that all of the toilet seats in the house were down, he decided to make his way downstairs to send Christine a comm message. He knew she was on Earth, probably still in France, and he had decided that it was time for a semi-normal date. Tapping a few commands, the computer displayed the logo of the Earth-wide civilian communication's network.

"Computer, locate civilian Christine Descharmes," James said, typing some commands as he spoke to narrow down the selection. He waited for her to answer.

Christine had been working in the small office in the back corner of the office when the console beeped at her, startling her and causing her to jump slightly. Pressing the receive button, she smiled when she saw who the caller was. "Jim," she said, and smiled widely.

"Hey, Christine," he smiled back, "How are you doing? I spent the day getting rid of all of my empty pizza boxes and cleaning up my dirty laundry, so I figured I'd celebrate my house not looking like a disaster by cooking you dinner at my place. If you were interested, that is."

She laughed, "Of course I am. I think I need to get away from my family for a while. Just forward me your address. When do you want me there? A couple of hours?"

"How about 1600hrs? I'm planning on making you a traditional El-Aurian dish that my people have been sharing for millenia," he grinned, typing on the console, "I've sent my address to your terminal. Just give me a heads up before you're on your way."

Christine nodded, as she looked over the incoming information, committing it to memory, "That will give me enough time to get ready. I'll bring the wine. I also have some good news to share. See you in a bit." She gave a little wave goodbye before ending the transmission. She sat back in the chair. She hadn't really brought anything appropriate to wear, she had been expecting to work in the vineyards. It looked like she'd be making a trip into Paris.

James took a deep breath, double checking his watch. He had a few hours to run down to the market to get the ingredients he needed. He locked up his house, walking down the three steps from the front door of his nearly 500 year old home. Stepping onto the brick cobblestone street, he made his way down to the nearby market. He shopped for nearly half an hour there before going to the nearby butcher. Gathering everything he needed, he returned to his house and entered the kitchen. He started a pot of water boiling and began to unpack his groceries.


Dressed in a mid-thigh-high, tight-fitting little black dress that she had picked up from a tiny boutique in Paris and a pair of black flats, Christine stepped off the transporter pad. The man operating it gave her a double-take before waving her on through.

It took her just under a half an hour to find the address, and she hoped she had the right one when she climbed the steps. Christine ran her fingers through her loose hair one last time before she rang the chime and waited for an answer.

James looked up from his stove, confused as to who that would be. He wiped his hands, making his way to the door. He still wore gym shorts, a tank top, and had what looked like flour on his face. He opened the door, looking down, then up, the back down again before grinning ear to ear. "I wish everyone that came to the door was as stunning as you," he laughed, "Excuse my wardrobe, dinner is almost ready. Come in and make yourself at home."

He stepped out of the way, motioning into his house. He had gone to great effort to clean up all the loose articles and clothing that was typically strewn about due to his busy house. What his efforts had revealed was a historic, old home that had been tactfully modernized to 24th century standards while keeping with the age of the building. James especially loved the exposed brick walls, which dated from the 19th century. Throughout the house were various momentos of his past, including pictures of him and his team on intelligence operations, his Academy graduation class from the late 23rd century, and the jersey he wore when he played on the Academy rugby team that beat the Vulcan Science Institute in 2298. Overall, it provided quite the insight into James's past.

As they walked towards the kitchen and dining area in the rear, James turned to Christine, "No peaking at the meal. I have to finish up one thing before I change," he said, disappearing into the kitchen before heading up the stairwell to the third floor.

"You have my word," she said as entered the kitchen. Whatever was cooking smelled delicious and reminded Christine it was a few hours since she had eaten. She licked her lips as she pulled a bottle of wine from her bag and searched the cupboards for two glasses. She poured the glasses halfway and picked up one, taking a sip from one and leaning against the counter before her curiosity overcame her. Christine wandered into the living room, looking at the pictures that lined the walls.

James came back down the steps a few moments later, having changed into a pair of black slacks and blue shirt that matched the color of his eyes. He had taken a few moments to straighten his hair up as well. He picked up the glass of wine Christine had left on the counter and took a sip as he walked over towards her. He stopped, pointing at one of the men in the picture she was looking at. There were four of them, all Starfleet officers, in full tactical gear. The man he had indicated was holding a phaser rifle over his shoulder, and had a large black beard. He grinned. "Believe it or not, that's me. This was taken near the mountains of Betazed's northern continent, overlooking the lake country below. It was when we had landed to support the resistance movement during the Dominion occupation," he pointed towards another picture, this one of the bridge crew of an Excelsior class starship, all wearing the bright red tunics typical of Starfleet uniforms of the early 2300s. "This one was right after I was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and reassigned from the Enterprise-B back to Starfleet Headquarters. "

"You have had quite the colorful career," she replied, "What I would have given to have been assigned to the Enterprise."

He slid his arm around her waist and gave her a kiss, motioning towards the dining room. "Shall we eat?"

"It's ready?" she asked as she leaned against him. "Good, because I'm starving." She gave him a smile and followed him back into the kitchen.

James smiled. "I hope you like it. It's a traditional El-Aurian dish, but you may have had something similar," he said, grabbing the large dish from the stove. "You do eat meat, right?"

Christine took another sip from her wine glass. She grinned as she looked at the pan, her stomach growling in response. "Of course," she answered.

"This is what we call trola-fon," he sat the dish on the table and pulled the lid off, revealing what was almost indistinguishable from Swedish meatballs. He looked at her to gauge her reaction for a second before explaining. "I know what you're thinking. I've done some research, and apparently nearly 60% of known humanoid species have their own similar, yet slightly different version."

"I'm always up for trying different takes on different dishes," she said as she sat down, "That just reminds me of the time I tried to serve frog legs to the Admiral on the Shanghai. Alien species seem to enjoy it far more than humans, I think. I'm sure yours is absolutely delicious."

"I've never gotten into frog legs, " James grinned, "How did it go over with the Admiral? I could imagine it being hilarious." James paused, looking at her as they began to eat, "You look beautiful tonight."

She looked over at him and smiled, and actually blushed for a change. "Thank-you. And you clean up nice as well." She swallowed a few bites. "Well, he didn't finish it, I think. It's one of those things you either love them or you hate them." She crossed her legs under the table, at the same time her foot brushed against his leg.

He grinned as her foot ran across his leg. He maintained eye contact. "Can I ask you a serious question," he paused, "I'm sorry if it makes things awkward..."

She pulled her foot away and uncrossed her legs. Christine's hand, halfway to her mouth, paused mid-air. After a second or two, she put it in her mouth and finished chewing. She set her fork down and cleared her throat. "I guess, if I can tell you my news, and hope it doesn't make things awkward..."

James raised his eyebrow. "Sure," he grinned, "I was just going to ask where exactly we were going to go with things, you know? I'm probably going to be getting redeployed back to the fleet in the near future.."

Christine visibly relaxed, she had been anticipating the 'we're just going to be friends' line. She managed a grin before she answered. "Oh, that was it? I was expecting something else, sorry. Redeployed. That's now so bad. Because, you know, I-I'd like us to be something more. You wouldn't happen to be assigned to the new Shanghai, are you? So. My news." She waited a couple of minutes to intensify the silence. "They reactivated me. I guess you can say I was 'shanghaied'. They assigned me to the new Shanghai as a counselor while I take long-distance training to be a fully qualified counselor."

James was genuinely surprised. "That's great, babe! We'll be working together then!" he laughed, "I guess that means we'll be able to celebrate my impending promotion aboard the Shanghai."

"So we're both going to the Shanghai," she said with a smile. "And a promotion for you? We'll definitely have to celebrate."

James grinned. He hadn't told her of his recent foray to Romulan space, or his brief stint in sickbay following it. "I'm going to make Lieutenant Commander. People above me finally recognized my...talents," he laughed.

"Well," she said, "You are a regular James Bond. Congratulations, hon." She took a few more bites of her meal, then putting down her fork, she said, "That was delicious. I'm stuffed." Christine sat back in her chair and crossed her legs. "You had anything else planned for tonight?" She gave him a a slight smile and a wink to go along with it.

James shrugged. "I had some other things planned," he winked, "I was thinking we could play cards, maybe enjoy some nice Klingon opera, meditate...." he trailed off, "Unless you had another idea." He grinned.

She smiled as she pushed her chair back from the table. "Klingon opera? Your tastes in music are quite..varied but I much prefer an alternative form of entertainment..." Christine stood, smiling coyly as she placed one hand on her hip and beckoned him with two fingers.


Lieutenant Christine Descharmes
Chief Counselor
USS Shanghai-A


Lieutenant Commander James Barnes
Chief Intelligence Officer
USS Shanghai-A


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