Thanks to recoilandgrace for helping me sort this one out, and for putting up with my endless rants about writer's block etc etc!

Disclaimer: Don't own any of it at all, more's the pity.


Everyone has secrets.

She knows he's dabbled with illegal substances, but she doesn't know the extent of his dabbling. He's not about to tell her. She's been through enough of that with her ex-husband; it's his secret, and it's kept for the best.

He knows her father was an alcoholic, but he's never questioned her about it. If she wants to tell him more, she will; the door is always open, if and when she wants to talk. She doesn't. Why does he need to know about the nights the alcohol blurred his vision so much he could no longer see he was crossing the line? About the bursts of white light behind his eyes that changed him from the father she loved to a stranger she hated? About the way her heart used to thud like a hammer in her chest whenever she heard footsteps and the click of her bedroom door? He doesn't need to know; it's the past, she's dealing with it, and as far as she's concerned, it has no bearing on her life now. It's her secret to keep.

She knows he's a risk-taker; that his pursuit of the truth has led him to dangerous places, that his recklessness has nearly got him killed, that his addiction to adrenaline is fuel for a fire she doesn't think will ever truly be extinguished. But she doesn't know that sometimes, he feels like it's killing him. She doesn't know that he fears his darkness, fears what it will do to her, to Emily. Fears where it will take him, fears the downward spiral he's heading towards, fears that in the end he will be forced to make a choice; between who he is, and the people he loves. A difficult choice, because if you take away the essential part of who you are, what is left? He's not going to worry her with that though. His bravery is a solace to her in times of trouble, he knows that, and besides, admitting weakness isn't his style. He'll bottle up the emotions, lock it all away where she'll never see it, hide it for good. Keep it secret.

He knows she wants a child. He knows she can't have one of her own, not biologically anyway. He knows she would be a wonderful mother, knows she was a wonderful mother, for 57 days at least. He knows it broke her heart when she lost Sophie. He sees the joy mingled with sadness in her eyes when she's near children, hears the softness in her voice and the longing behind the smile. He doesn't know that she blames herself. He'd be horrified if he realised the extent of the damage, if he knew how deeply scarred she was by her loss. No one knows the reason why, not even her husband knew; you don't go around broadcasting something you're ashamed of. You keep it tucked away in the recesses of your mind, and try not to revisit it. Of course, some things force you to go back there; like finding out you can't carry a child to term, like lying to your husband and saying the doctors don't have a medical explanation for why not, like having your two month old baby snatched from your arms because the mother just changed her mind. It's those moments that take you back; to the doctor's waiting room, to the moments before, to the last chance you had to say no. She remembers what it was like to rest her hand on her belly and picture the child inside. She wondered if it was a boy or a girl, if it would have blue eyes like her, if it would grow up to be a swimmer or a painter or a dancer. She also remembers what it felt like to be seventeen and pregnant, scared and alone, and she tries to forgive herself for what she did. It would have been easier if there weren't repercussions, but there were, and she's paid the price. She's still paying it now. But he doesn't know. No one does. It's a secret she keeps out of shame and regret. The sadness they see can be attributed to losing Sophie, the shame and anger can be interpreted as how she feels about her own failures to reproduce. She doesn't share her truth; most of the time, she tries to keep it secret even from herself.

She knows he cried when Emily was born; he knows she has a stash of pixie sticks in her drawer. She knows he watches the video of his mother when he's had a bad day; he knows she reads romance novels in the bath with a glass of wine when she needs to unwind. She has two sugars in her coffee; he likes his black, with none. She likes Mexican food best; he prefers Chinese. She likes romantic comedies; he likes action movies and psychological thrillers. He knows her favourite flower, the foods she's allergic to, the name of her first pet. She knows he sleeps with his ex-wife sporadically, goes for long drives when he needs to clear his head, drinks alone in his office after hours when he thinks she, too, has gone home. They know each other's habits, their rituals, their idiosyncrasies, their quirks. They know each other; but they have secrets. Everyone has secrets.