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Love, Lost, Mistakes, Redemption, and Absolution

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Silence

Eighteen months ago…

Cosima and Delphine are sitting on the patio of their favorite restaurant having Sunday brunch. The midmorning sky is bright blue adorned with clusters of crisp white clouds; a cool breeze is gently blowing. Delphine is sitting across from Cosima, talking. The sun rays catch the blonde's green eyes just at the right moment; they gleam as if not wanting to be outdone by the exquisite day. Cosima breathes in the moment. Someone in the distance bellows a bombastic laugh that seems to sum up the over all tone of the afternoon. This is their first day off together in weeks.

"…Cherie, we need to go if we want to catch the matinee play," Delphine says to her.

Cosima nods to acknowledge her wife.

"Can we have the check, please?" she asks the waiter who is passing by their table.

He replies with a quick nod.

Delphine takes one last spoonful of her cake a la mode.

"By the way, did you finish watching the movie last night?" she asks.

"Yeah! The mom was in on it the whole time!" Cosima answers. "Babe, you have some ice cream right there." She points to the corner of Delphine's mouth.

Delphine wipes it off, but doesn't quite get it all, so Cosima reaches across the table to finish the job.

" Thank you. I knew it!" Delphine replies in the same breath.

"Oh, and the craziest thing is, they got away with it!" Cosima continues.

"Here you go ma'am," The waiter hands Cosima the check. "Have a great day."

"Thank you," they each reply.

They walk out of the gate separating the patio from the side walk. Cosima interlaces her arms with Delphine's. They promenade through the outdoor market and festival, watching vendors and customers interact. Kids are running everywhere with painted animal faces. A little girl walks past them with a giant red balloon tied to her arm. The object slaps Cosima in the face; Delphine tries to suppress her giggle. Cosima playfully jabs her side, causing her to laugh boisterously. Everywhere they look, people seem to be laughing or smiling. They walk past a play pen filled with puppies. One of them barks excitedly as the women approach. He pastes his front paws against the pen and wags his tail vigorously.

"Aw, they're so cute," Cosima coos. "Do you mind if I pick one up?" she asks the merchant.

"No, go right ahead," the older lady replies.

Cosima picks it up; the little beast showers her face with kisses. Delphine is smiling at the love affair between the two.

"Babe, can we keep him?" Cosima begs. She holds the puppy in front of her face and mimics a baby-like voice. "Please be my mommies, please!" She moves closer to Delphine and the dog starts to lick her face.

"Cosima," she says in between giggles.

"Please," Cosima begs, still with the baby-like voice.

Delphine gently lowers her wife's arms. "What if I told you that you're already going to be a mommy?" she says.

Cosima's eyes grow wide. "You're…?" She says, as if the word is too sacred to be uttered.

"Yes," Delphine replies.

Cosima jumps into her arms and kisses her deeply. She pulls back to look at Delphine with the toothiest grin on her face. "A baby!" She says.

"Oui," Delphine replies.

"I don't want to go see the play anymore," Cosima tells her.

"Non?" Delphine asks.

Cosima kisses her again. "No. I want you all to my self."

"Ok," the blonde replies.

"Congratulations," the puppy merchant says.

"Thank you!" They both reply.

Cosima hands the wiggling little beast back to its caretaker.

The text message notification brings her back to the present. It's from Alyson, reminding her for the millionth time to pick up the hors d'oeuvre plater from the grocer's. Her sister's monthly mandatory family dinner is the last place she wants to be, but her clones and Felix wouldn't let her skip it.

She gathers her belongings and exits her office.

"Goodnight, Melody," Cosima says as she passes her assistant's desk.

"Night. See you tomorrow," she replies.

 


 

"Hi, pick-up for Alyson Hendrix," Cosima says to the man standing behind the counter.

"It will be just a second," he replies.

Cosima takes her phone out to check it, out of habit.

"Oh, excuse me," she hears a man say. She turns her head toward the voice.

Cosima sees her first. "It's ok," Delphine responds to the apologetic gentleman.

"Here you go ma'am." The grocery clerk has returned with the oversized plater.

She turns briefly to acknowledge him, but almost magnetically her eyes return to Delphine's direction. This time, the blonde's eyes are on her too.

"Ma'am," the clerk repeats.

She turns around to get the item. The curve of the plexiglass counter is so protruded, she has to stand on her tiptoes to reach. The weight of the platter causes her to shift awkwardly.

"Do you need help with that?" Delphine asks.

"No," Cosima replies harsher than she intended.

Delphine watches her find her equilibrium under the large object.

"I've called you a few times," she finally says.

"I told you I needed time," Cosima responds.

"Right. Um—it's just that it's been almost a week, and I need to talk to you."

Cosima's phone is vibrating. "Shit," she whispers under her breath as she shifts to reach for it in her pocket.

"Here, have my cart, I'll get another one," Delphine offers.

Cosima places the item in the cart. "What, Alison?" She answers annoyingly. "I'm on my way. Yes…yes, ok fine." She hangs up.

"Family dinner?" Delphine asks.

Cosima looks at her confoundedly.

"She forgot to take me off of the e-mailing list," Delphine clarifies. "Can we talk, please?"

"I can't. I have to go," Cosima replies.

"Cosima, it's really important." The blonde looks very serious, almost worried.

"I can meet you at the cafe on 22nd and 3rd, Friday night at eight," Cosima says.

"Can we meet at home instead?" Delphine asks.

"Delphine, no. I… I'm—" Cosima stutters.

"Please," Delphine entreats.

The sincerity in her voices generates a reluctant, "Fine," from the brunette.

 


 

"You can set it on the island," Alison directs her. "And thank you for coming."

"You're welcome Ali," Cosima replies.

Two identical, happy little faces run towards her giggling. "Auntie Cosie! Auntie Cosie!" they both shout in unison. Helena isn't far behind them. Cosima kneels to welcome them in her arms and kisses each of them.

"Hello sestra, how are you?" She greets her clone.

Cosima stands up to greet her clone, "Hey, Helena."

"Auntie Cosie, where's Auntie Delphie?" one of the twins ask.

"She's not coming tonight sweetie," Cosima answers.

The little one is clearly disappointed. Cosima smiles sadly.

"You two," Helena says brightly, "go tell your cousins to come get food."

The twins are all too happy to go do their mother's bidding. One of them bumps into S.

"Oh! Sorry chicken," S says.

They both giggle. "We're not chickens we're twins," the other says.

"That, you are," S says smiling down at them.

"Hello love," S greets Cosima.

"Hi Siobhan," Cosima replies.

"You're still my chicken, aren't you?" She teases. It elicits a giggle out of the clone. "Everyone is in the backyard, why don't you two bring the hors d'oeuvres out?"

Cosima carries the platter as Helena munches on the contents. "We have food," Helena announces. Everyone promptly migrates toward the two women. They all begin to grab food off of the plater. "Wait till I set it down first," Cosima reprimands.

Sarah hands her a beer. "It took you long enough to get here," she playfully mocks. Cosima casts a death stare at her clone. Sarah mischievously grins. They both walk over to where Felix is lounging.

"That's enough food, MK., we need to get back to your training." The Valley girl lilt is heard commanding the meek clone.

Cosima turns around to see Krystal literally taking food out of Mika's hands and pulling her to an open space.

Sarah motions her to a chair next to Felix. He pleasantly watch his sister attempt to weaponize the other. "Hey, Cos," he says.

"Hold your fists up," Krystal commands.

MK dreadfully obliges. An obviously tipsy Felix laughs uncontrollably. Both Sarah and Cosima can't help but laugh at the comical interaction.

"MK, how are you supposed to protect yourself if you don't learn what I'm trying to teach you?" she demands. I mean, this could be life saving. This guy I'm seeing, was like, special ops or something, he taught me all of this and now I feel like I'm ready for anything. I'm like, trying to teach it to you, you need to take full advantage. All I'm saying is, you have a badass name, you might as well learn some badass moves to go with it."

The exasperated clone opens her mouth to protest, but her sister cuts her off.

"We're going to start from the beginning until you learn this," Krystal decides.

"Bloody hell, Krystal," Sarah says between laughs, "leave her alone. She ain't going to combat."

"Fine." The clone throws her hands in the air. "If she's kidnaped to be experimented on by Estée Lauder or something, it's on you."

MK silently thanks her sister.

"Food's ready," Alison announces, carrying the perfectly cooked pot roast to the table that's immaculately set in the back yard. S follows with a couple side dishes in her hands. "Sarah, Felix, make yourselves useful and bring out the rest of the side dishes," she instructs.

After everyone has settled into their seats Alyson commands them to join hands to say grace.

 


 

It's after dinner, everyone's settled down; Cosima is seated on the deck, she's staring forlornly into the night sky. Sarah walks over to sit next to her. They remain in the silence, basking in the stillness of the night, and in the cool air.

"I saw her today," Cosima says.

Sarah looks at her sister. "When?"

"At the grocery store. She wants to talk," she replies.

"Are you ready for that?" her sister inquires.

Cosima shrugs. "She said it's important, so…"

Sarah wraps her arm around her clone's shoulder to pull her close. Cosima gently shies away from the gesture.

"Don't," she says. "I don't wanna cry."

The reformed punk looks at her sister with soft eyes and takes a deep breath.

"How far along is she?" Sarah asks.

"Um——, about four weeks," she answers.

"She must be scared out of her mind," Sarah comments.

Cosima looks at her sharply. "Are you taking her side?"

"Cos, don't be ridiculous," she says.

"Nice, fucking nice, Sarah." She gets up to walk away, but Sarah grabs her hand before she could.

"Cos, I'm sorry," she says.

The bespectacled clone rolls her eyes and writhes her hand free.

"I'm sorry, ok. Just sit, please?" Sarah asks earnestly.

Cosima obliges.

"I'm not taking her side. I'm just saying, I know how it feels to be alone and pregnant, that's all. There's nothing scarier, believe me." Sarah moves to close the gap between them. "And just for the record, I'm always on your side."

"Mom," Kira calls from the living room

"Yeah, baby?" Sarah answers

"Uncle Felix is asleep on the couch."

"I'll take him home." Cosima volunteers.

"Hey," Sarah calls after her. "Call me, alright?"

She nods in response.

 


 

"The doctor will be right with you," the nurse informs her. He motions Delphine toward to the chair in front of Dr. Wyss' desk. The picture of his family on the shelf behind the desk catches Delphine's eyes. They're sitting on a picnic blanket; his wife is holding a baby girl up in the air, she's smiling up at her, the doctor is tickling a young boy. She stares at the photograph until it blurs. Through all of the madness, and conspiracies, she used to hope that she and Cosima would someday have a life like that. That's what motivated her to fight hard against their adversaries. At some point her hope blossomed into faith, a thing that was foreign to her until she met her wife.

"Sorry to keep you waiting," the doctor apologizes. He extends his hand to Delphine. She stands to greet him.

"It's ok," she says.

"Please have a seat," he directs, as he himself takes a seat behind the desk. "I thought we might go over your lab results. How have you been?" he asks

"Uh— It's difficult for me to keep food down," she admits.

"How often does that occur?"

"Three to four times a day, but I feel nauseous through most of the day."

He nods and makes a note on his pad. "Is anything else going on, any pain?" he asks.

She smiles joylessly at him and shakes her head. His face is filled with concern, it's all too much for her to handle, so she looks down instead. He clears his throat and begins.

"Your labs are great for the most part, but I have two areas of concern: you've lost five point three pounds since your last visit. You're borderline hyperemesis gravidarum, it's causing a food aversion. Hence the weight lost. We're going to work on a diet that will help you manage it. Also, I want you to log your weight daily. With hyperemesis, dehydration is of great concern, sipping on water throughout the day can reduce the risk."

Delphine nods.

"My second area of concern is your blood pressure. Are you experiencing new stressors?" he asks.

She shifts uncomfortably in her seat, "being pregnant," she retorts facetiously. She apologizes almost immediately for the comment.

"There's no need to apologize," the doctor tells her. "When you and your wife first came to see me, I told you that this process can be difficult. Not just for the fact that you're carrying a child, but also because the side effects that comes with it, and the limitations that those can place on your personal and professional lives; it can put a strain on the mental and physical health of couples. It's important that partners communicate during that time so no one feels alone."

"Does it get easier?" she asks.

"Some of it you can't control, but for the most part, it's up to you to create the space that you want to be in." He notices the fallen tear on her cheek, he hands her a tissue.

Felling embarrassed at the display, she jokes, "Stupid hormones."

The doctor smiles. "I've written a prescription for the nausea. The nurse will set the next appointment date for you. Any questions for me?" he asks.

She shakes her head. "Thank you for everything, Dr. Wyss." She extends her hand to him.

He stands up and shakes it. "It's my pleasure."

She exits the office.

 


 

Cosima has now knocked three times, and has received no answer. She reluctantly opens the door with her key. "Delphine?" she calls out. The apartment feels unfamiliar even though she'd only been gone for less than a week. She sees everything at once. All of the memories that they'd created together. The time she chased and pinned Delphine to the sofa and tickled her until she was beet red; the endless marathons they've watched together; all of the moments that they danced, and watched the city on the balcony. But more vividly than anything, she sees the last time they were both in here together. There's a pile of mail on the entrance table that's address to her, she takes them and puts them in her purse. She doesn't see Delphine's key in the bowl. She assumes she's not home yet. The thought of her being in their apartment alone for any period of time makes her melancholy; she walks to the living area anyway. Just as she was about to text Delphine, she hears the keys turning in the lock.

"Hi, sorry I'm late," Delphine greets. She places keys in the bowl and walks over to the dining table.

Cosima had almost forgotten how exceptionally stunning she looks in business attire. Her blonde curls are pulled back in a well-crafted chignon. Her makeup is subtle except for the bold rouge lip color. She's wearing the dark emerald green velvet fall coat Cosima gave her for Christmas last year with black tailored slacks and a silk blouse with black, red, and gold leaf patterns. If you didn't know her very well, it would be difficult to detect the sadness she's carrying behind her eyes.

Delphine places her purse and a small pharmacy bag on one of the chairs. "I'll be right back," she says and hurries toward their bedroom without waiting for an acknowledgement from Cosima.

The contents of the pharmacy bag fall on the floor. Cosima bends to pick up the bottle. It's a prescription for an antiemetic drug.

Delphine rejoins Cosima in the living space; she's taken off her coat; her lipstick is a little smudged.

"Are you suffering from hyperemesis?" Cosima asks her, with the bottle still in her hand.

Delphine walks over to where she's standing to retrieve the bottle. "It's fine; I'm handling it," she says.

Cosima instinctively hides the object behind her back. "Delphine, you've been sick and you haven't told me?" she accuse the blonde.

"Well, you left so…" she spits venomously back. She looks away from Cosima and collects herself. "I didn't ask you here to fight, ok?"

The brunette stiffens at the accusation. "Why did you ask me here?"

"I have some more information about the case. Can you come to the living room please?" Delphine asks.

Cosima follows her. Delphine takes a sit on the sofa; Cosima sits across from her, she places the medicine bottle on the coffee table.

"Do you remember a couple years back, during my first appointment with Dr. Wyss, when you came late?" Delphine asks.

Cosima searches for the memory in mind.

"You said it was because of Jody--that she stopped you or something," Delphine probes.

"Yeah, um—she wanted to talk to me about something," Cosima says.

"Do you remember what it was?"

Cosima looks at her inquisitively. "What is this about, Delphine?"

"My contact at Interpol told me that they've apprehended Julien; they're going to need us both to testify," she tells her.

"Testify to what?" Cosima asks.

"You: about your research, and me: about my personal and professional involvement with the Norums--Julien's family." Delphine explains.

"Norum--as in Norum HypNatus Enterprise?" Cosima asks.

Delphine's eyes grow wide and focused. "How do you know that name?" she asks.

"That's what Jody wanted to talk to me about. She'd asked if anyone had offered to buy my research. She gave me a list of names; that name was on there. Weirdly enough, a couple weeks after that she resigned." Cosima can see the cogs turning in Delphine's head. She waits and examines her to see if she can get a clue to the puzzle she's trying to piece together. "Delphine, you wanna tell me what's going on?" she asks. The blonde looks at her as if she'd forgotten that she was still sitting there.

"I'm not sure. None of this makes sense. Why would a senior staff member ask you about something like that and then abruptly resign?" she asks the question to herself really.

"Maybe she was working for him. I don't know," Cosima says.

"Yeah—" She takes a deep breath, and rubs the fatigue from her eyes. "Anyway, they'll send the official papers when they're ready. I wanted to make you aware."

"Is that it?" Cosima asks.

"Yes," Delphine answers.

Cosima pauses and gives her a quick once over before she leaves. Delphine stands up too, ready to head back to the bedroom. Cosima stops midway to the door and turns around.

"Seriously, Delphine, are you and the baby ok?" she asks.

"The baby's fine," she replies.

"And you?" Cosima asks.

"I'm gonna have to be," she tells her.

"What does that mean?" Cosima presses.

"'It means that I have a very short time to figure a lot out." She catches herself before it escalates. "I've had a really long day, so…goodnight, Cosima." She walks to the bedroom.

Cosima hears the door close, and again, an unbearable silence fills the room.

Delphine is sitting at the foot of the bed trying to calm herself down.

Cosima walks in and takes a seat next to her. "What do you need?" she asks softly.

A single answer doesn't seem to justify the mammoth situation. Delphine shakes her head, "I don't know," she mumbles exhaustively.

"Did you eat dinner yet?" Cosima asks.

"No, I don't want any food," Delphine replies. "Look, I'm fine, Cosima. You can leave if you need to." She takes her shoes off and walks into the bathroom.

Cosima walks in after her; she leans against the door frame. "Why are you trying to push me away?" She asks.

Delphine is half way through unbuttoning her blouse when Cosima walks in. "I'm not trying to push you away, I'm just making the choice easy for you. You don't need to stay out of obligation." The blonde informs her. "That's what you left to consider, right?" she looks at her frankly.

"Can you blame me?" Cosima fires back.

"No," Delphine replies. "It's what I've come to expect of you. You run when things get hard, it's your signature move."

The accusation is jarring to the brunette. "Screw you, Delphine." She starts to walk out of the bathroom but turns around and says, "I wouldn't have to run away if I didn't have to keep questioning where my wife's loyalties lie."

"Bullshit!" She throws the blouse on the floor. "You know exactly where my loyalties lie. Every single thing I do is for you!" She screams. "Your needs, your family, your protection!" Tears are running down her face.

Cosima looks at her very calmly and says, "I'm sorry you feel so much resentment toward my family and me." She exits their bedroom.

"Merde, Cosima!" Delphine calls after her. She appears in the living room where Cosima is gathering her purse and keys.

"You know what? Yes, I am resentful. Are you honestly surprised? Ever since we've been together you've always put them above me. And you know what, I get it, you've been through a lot, your sisters can understand you in ways that I may never be able to, but when things get hard, I'm always the bad guy." She wipes her face with the back of her hand. "No matter what I do, I'm always the target of suspicion…of…of doubt. I'm never a good enough partner, a good enough wife! I'm never living up to the idealized version of me that you have in your head. My efforts always fall short of Saint Cosima's standards, no matter the situation. I'm always left standing alone. You're my wife, and we're supposed to be a team, but I've been drowning for the past year and half and all you did was walk away. I had a miscarriage, and I had to beg you for your attention! You talked to anyone but me, you even talked Kira! The decisions that I've made weren't easy for me, but I made them because the alternative was unthinkable. And I'm sorry I hurt you, I really am. That will always be my greatest regret for as long as I live, but you can never say I abandoned you."

Cosima puts her purse and keys back down. "That is not fair, I've been here… through all of it."

Delphine scoffs. "You were here, just not for me." She walks back into their bedroom.

Cosima takes a moment to collect herself before she follows after her. When she does, she finds Delphine is in the shower. She can hear her sobbing. She takes off her clothes and joins her.

Delphine's eyes are clearly red, but Cosima is not quite sure where her tears begin and where the water ends. What she is sure of however is the feeling of her heart breaking when she looks into Delphine's sad eyes. She runs her hands across her face. Delphine shivers at the touch. She stands very still staring back at the contrite expression on her partner's face. The only sound in the room is the water falling from overhead. Cosima runs her thumb over her lips. Again the sensation proves almost too much for her to handle. Cosima moves closer, their breasts brush slightly, only a sliver of space remain between their lips. Delphine's chest rises and falls slowly. Cosima remains statuesque; contemplating. Though the space between their lips is less than a breadth, it seems a vast chasm for the brunette to cross.

Cosima slides her hands slowly upward of Delphine's body. She pause when she reach her breasts. She closes the gap between their lips slowly with her eyes open. A small moan escapes Delphine; Cosima pulls back. The sound accompanying the doe-eyed expression on the blonde's face infuriates her. She knocks Delphine back against the wall and kisses her hard and bites down, causing a cry of pain from the blonde. Delphine puts her hand on Cosima's waist to pull her closer. The brunette slaps it away. Cosima continues to kiss Delphine furiously all over, leaving red landmarks everywhere. Without giving her time to catch her breath, Cosima enters two fingers inside of her. The unexpected action causes her to involuntarily grab on to Cosima. Again, Cosima slaps her hand away and instead she incircles her waist prompting the blonde to wrap her left leg around Cosima's waist. She begins with a series of sharp thrust; each one garners a moan from her partner. Each moan infuriates Cosima even more than the previous. She thrusts faster and harder until Delphine's moaning becomes one long guttural sound, almost primitive in nature. Her body is arched and taught under Cosima's touch; it looks like she might just break. Cosima can feel her getting wetter and her muscles tightening around her fingers. Delphine starts to rock her hips, so Cosima tighten her grip around her waist to still her. As Delphine nears her climax, her body begins to shake, again she involuntarily clasp on to Cosima, as quickly as she does it, Cosima slaps it away; her thrusts not skipping a beat. With one final loud moan, Cosima feels the warm slick liquid dripping down her hand. She remains inside of her, watching her quake from the orgasm. Just as she's about to fully come off of her state, Cosima thrusts sharply into her causing Delphine to gasp.

"Cosima," she says.

Cosima kisses her hard. Her moans are muffled by her partner's relentless searching tongue. Cosima relaxes her grip from around Delphine's waist. She clasps a side of the blonde's neck while donning the other side with several vampire kisses. Her free hand roams forcibly against her wife's body. She can see that Delphine is about to speak, so she thrusts hard and deep inside of her and digs her nails into her back. The blonde trades what ever words she was about to speak for an agape deep breath.

She continues with the sharp rhythmic thrusts for a moment, than pauses for just a second. She watches her wife draw deep breaths with her eyes closed as the water falls smoothly over her face. Cosima thrusts sharply inside of her this time with three fingers. The move leaves Delphine stunned. Her entire body tightens and becomes languid at the same time. Cosima thrusts grow faster; Delphine throws her head back. Her moaning fills the entire apartment. Cosima takes one of her breasts into her mouth, sucking on the hard, sensitive bud, sporadicly grazing her teeth over it. Cosima satisfyingly drinks in the subdued woman arched body; the water running through her suspended curls. She curls her fingers inside of her and watch as the blonde reaches a new state of ecstasy.

"O merde!" she exclaims

She writhes her pelvis, but Cosima holds her firmly. The brunette's pace grows even faster.

"O mon Dieu, Cosi-" She explodes between her legs. The rest of the word comes out as long, deep moan.

Cosima slides out her and exits the shower.

 


 

When Delphine comes out of the shower, Cosima is not in the apartment; her purse and coat are gone too. The emptiness she's been feeling lately returns. She lays down on the sofa, and turns on the TV to drown out the silence. The dialogue becomes further away as she begins to drift to sleep.

She's not sure how long she'd slept when she's startled awake by a cabinet door closing. She sits up to see Cosima walking towards her with two plates and a bag of take-out.

"You didn't have any food here, so I went out to get some," she explains.

Delphine, still a bit groggy answers a bewildered, "thank you."

"I know you said you didn't want anything, but I thought if I got you your favorite then your appetite might return," she concludes.

"Uh…" Delphine makes room for her on the sofa.

"You don't have to eat much if you're not up to it, I just wanted to make sure that you ate," Cosima says.

Delphine smiles faintly. Cosima takes it as a cue to start plating the food. They eat in silence, neither one paying much attention to the TV show.

FIN….for now