“Okay,” Cosima sighed. “I know you like taking a ‘hands-on approach’ or whatever, but I don’t totally get why you have to come all the way down from your tower every time I need an injection.”
“It’s no trouble at all,” Rachel replied, eyes focused on her work as she prepped the needle.
She reached down and gently lifted the bottom of Cosima’s shirt. Goosebumps formed on her stomach. Only from the chill in the room. Proper insulation didn’t seem to be a priority in Revival.
“Uh, yeah,” Cosima said. “Not really what I meant. Just wanted to make sure you’re not, I dunno, getting off on this.”
Before Revival, she’d thought she knew exactly the kind of person Rachel Duncan was, but the woman that had been treating her was something different entirely. No, something was up with Rachel, and Cosima was determined to figure out what it was. Lately, she’d taken to poking at the armor, looking for cracks.
Even now, Rachel’s face betrayed nothing.
“There is a certain joy in knowing that I’m helping you get well,” she said. She offered Cosima a knowing smile. “If that is what you were implying.”
Rachel pressed the alcohol wipe to Cosima’s stomach, sending a chill through her body.
“I do understand that this is uncomfortable for you, Cosima, and for that, I can only apologize. Were Dr. Cormier here--”
“What?!” Cosima snapped, straightening in her seat. “Is that what this is? You think that just because you’re the one who’s here to stick a fucking needle in me, that I’m gonna turn around and join your creepy Neo cult? Is that it?”
Rachel blinked back at her, stunned. Finally, some of her armor had fallen away, but what lay underneath wasn’t quite what Cosima had expected.
“Forgive me,” Rachel said. “It wasn’t my intention to upset you. I suppose, if I’m honest, I’m somewhat… envious of your relationship.”
Cosima had no follow-up to that noise, so she simply lay back on the exam table instead. Somehow, she couldn’t shake the feeling that it was the most genuine thing she’d ever heard Rachel say.
“It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, you know,” Cosima said. She wasn’t sure why she was still talking. “I think I’m like, the last person you should be jealous of.”
“Mm,” Rachel mumbled. She pressed one hand to Cosima’s stomach and raised the needle in the other. “Be still now.”
Cosima swallowed and nodded. She grit her teeth as the needle went in. After a second, it was out again. No tears this time. It was getting easier.
“There we are,” Rachel said as she applied the bandage. “Finished.”
“Thanks,” Cosima offered, watching Rachel peel off the rubber gloves.
“As I said, it’s no trouble. Until next time then.”
“Yeah,” Cosima said. Somehow, this was always the most awkward part. “See ya.”
“One more thing,” Rachel said.
Rachel smiled, then took a step toward her. She leaned in impossibly close. Cosima froze in terror as Rachel whispered into her ear.
“It isn’t you I envy.”