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Fish and sharks

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"Just look after her, okay?" Sarah is out the door before either of them can protest. Cosima winces, running her hand over her hair briefly, then looks up. Smiles, a little nervous around the edges. Shifts her weight between her feet and lifts her hands, then drops them.

"I am not a child." Helena's voice is low, hurt; it makes Cosima soften instantly. Part of her kicks herself: Helena is a killer, has hunted down the others and killed them, would think nothing of killing Cosima, too. Part of her thinks, well, it's not like I have a history of making good choices about trusting people.

"Yeah. I know."

"Sarah thinks of me as a child. She tells you to look after me. I am not a child." Cosima can hear the unspoken parts, too: Sarah doesn't love Helena as a person, but for information. Helena doesn't love any of them but Sarah, because only Sarah is a person. Helena steps away from the door, picking through the pile of unopened junk mail on her coffee table, inspecting the dalek figurines lined up on a shelf. The thought of Helena touching everything she owns suddenly makes Cosima nervous. They need to leave the apartment. If nothing else, it's probably bugged with cameras from DYAD and she'd prefer not to have Helena on tape with her for longer than necessary.

"So, uh, the whole Prolethean thing…" she trails off as Helena studiously ignores her, clears her throat, and tries again. "Helena, how do you feel about fish?"

 

Ripley's Aquarium is quiet on a Wednesday morning, not a school group in sight. Helena is the best sort of captive audience, staring into the tanks and letting Cosima ramble at length about the fish in each one.

"These fish are related?" It's the first thing she's said since they left the apartment. Cosima smiles.

"Well, evolutionarily, yeah. So, like, they have a common ancestor but the species were kept in separate environments for long enough that they became two distinct things." Helena looks over her shoulder at Cosima, smiles.

"I understand. Tell me more about these. The sharks. I like them."

It's the walk-through part of the shark tank that captivates Helena, and even if it makes Cosima a little dizzy with the curved glass, she wouldn't be anywhere else. One question leads to another and another, a craving for information that Cosima is more than familiar with and more than happy to try to fill, even if fish aren't her forte.

A woman with a preschool aged boy smiles at the two of them, Cosima explaining sawfish and Helena laughing. "Twins?"

Cosima stills, unsure how to answer. Helena does it for her, nodding. "Yes. She is my sestra." The woman smiles again, apparently satisfied, and turns away to look at the sharks.

Part of Cosima thinks, you make terrible choices about people to trust, but most of Cosima thinks, yes, but it's working out so far, and we really are the same.