Chapter 1: 7:32
She looks at the clock on the bedside table, 6:30 am. "Mmmmm!" she groans, stretching for her partner. She wraps her hand around her, and plants a warm kiss on her upper back. The sleeping figure stirs ever so slightly. The light of the rising sun penetrates their bedroom just enough so Cosima can see her lover’s face. Delphine lies peacefully. She climbs out of bed carefully as to not awaken her.
An hour later Cosima is ready for work. She walks over, and kisses the still sleeping figure good bye.
"Hey Josh, how's it going?" she waves to the security officer in the lobby.
"Good Morning Dr. Niehaus," the man responds.
"How many times do I have to tell you, it's Cosima," she turns her head and smiles toward the broad shouldered man sitting behind the desk.
"Sorry...Cosima," he says a bit awkwardly.
"Wait, hold the elevator." She hurries toward the closing doors. "Thank you. Fifth floor please," she says to the young man standing closest to the panel.
The ding of the elevator doors opening to her floor pulls her attention away from her phone. She turns the corner and down the hallway that leads to her office area.
"Good morning Melody, any messages?" She asks her receptionist.
"Hi Cosima, you have a few messages." Eyes as green and vast as the Irish country side look up at her from behind the mahogany desk. "I wrote them down and they're already on your desk, along with your coffee," she says with a barely detectable Northwest European accent.
"Thank you," Cosima responds with a kind smile and makes her way to her office.
Cosima is at her desk answering emails when the message box from Melody pops on the corner of her screen: Reminder: 10:30am appointment with Dr. Lavoisier. She looks at her watch 10:03.
"Crap!" she scrambles to grab her purse and coat.
A couple hours later she walks back in to her office. "Melody, I'm gonna go down to the lab to get some work done; hold my messages." She hands the woman her purse and coat to place in her office and promptly disappears down the hall.
Hey babe, I miss you. How's your day going?
Well, mine is going great. I just came from the doctor’s; you should know they tortured me. I didn’t cry when they drew my blood. I can’t wait to get home so I can get rewarded ;)
“Hey Rashid,” she greets the intern hunched over the microscope.
“Hi Cosima,” he responds. The heart-shaped face grins at her as if he had the secret of the universe hidden between his gums.
A curious smile spreads slowly across her face. “What?” she asks.
“Subject D’s symptoms have subsided!” the words spew out of his mouth.
“Holy Crap that’s amazing!” she rushes over to take a closer look at the results. She stares at the computer screen in disbelief. “Dude, we have lift-off!” she says to tech sitting next to her. They both exchange thousand watt smiles, basking in their small victory.
Both scientists soon fall into their habitual symbiotic pace. It isn’t until Cosima’s stomach growls do their trance lift. Cosima looks at her watch. “I'll see you tomorrow Rash.” She saves the work she was doing and makes her way down the hall toward the elevators.
She takes her phone out to check her messages. Delphine still hadn't responded to her texts. She decides to call. No answer.
"Did Delphine call?" she asks her receptionist.
"No," the freckled face woman replies. She notices the worry in her boss' eyes. "Would you like me to call her?" she asks.
"No. That's ok.” Cosima heads into her office with the young woman in tow. A paper file is sitting on her desk. "Who are these from?" She turns around to look at her assistant.
"The results from Dr. Edmond's research, he wants you to take a look at them," she answers.
Cosima grabs the file and puts it in her brief case. "Ok. I’m gonna head home, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
The young woman nods and disappears out of the office.
"Delphine?" Cosima calls to her wife as she steps into the apartment. "Babe, are you home?" She goes into their bedroom, to her surprise, Delphine is still asleep. She walks over to her wife's side of the bed and turns on the reading lamp. She gently shakes her. "Delphine...Delphine,” she says; her voice is barely above a whisper.
The curly haired blonde turns onto her back, still with eyes closed. "Humm?" she hums.
"Baby what's wrong? Delphine wake up." She shakes her again.
Delphine opens her eyes, but quickly casts her face away from the bright light coming from the reading lamp; causing a mass of blonde curls to cover half of her face.
"Hey," Cosima coos. "Babe, what's wrong? You've slept the whole day," she says as she sweeps some of the hair away from her wife's face.
Delphine sits up still groggy and rakes a hand through her hair. "What time is it?" she asks.
"Seven thirty-two," Cosima says, her gaze never leaving her wife. She takes a sit on the edge of the bed. "Babe, what is it?" Her eyes scan her wife for any signs of malaise.
Delphine shakes her head. "Nothing," she assures. She takes notice of Cosima’s searching eyes. "Mon amour, nothing's wrong. It's just residual fatigue from the long hours I’ve been working. You know we need to get ready for the merger. It caught up with me today; that's all." She reaches for Cosima's hand and pulls her closer.
Cosima lets out a breath she didn’t realize she was holding in.
"Hey," Delphine says stroking her wife’s hands with her thumb. "I'm fine.” She regards her wife lovingly.
"I know," Cosima says. “It's just..." She sighs.
"I know. Je suis désolée." Delphine takes her wife's hand to her lips and gently kisses the soft palm.
Cosima leans into Delphine for a kiss. The hunger of the it takes both lovers by surprise.
"I missed you today," Cosima whispers to her.
Delphine pulls her in closer for a deeper kiss.
Cosima's hand glides over her wife's soft skin. She elevates herself completely onto the bed now, almost kneeling in front of Delphine. She clasps both hands around Delphine’s neck and drinks her in for a moment. Slowly she takes her lips between hers. The blonde woman lets out a soft moan. Delphine grabs Cosima’s shirt, intent on taking it off, but Cosima catch her hands, and hold them above her against the headboard. She straddles atop of her. Delphine’s eyes grow dark, filled with want and beg. The light bounces off of her blond curls forming a halo around her. She bites her lips. At that, Cosima falls apart, and so begins an ardent osculation session.
Cosima is about to take her wife’s top off, when...ggrrr, the rumbling sound emits from her stomach.
“Cosima,” Delphine says, coming up for air.
“No, No, No. Ignore that,” she whispers. She takes her lips between hers again. Cosima’s hands find Delphine’s bare breasts under the white tank top.
Again the sound emits.
Delphine lets out a chuckle. "Did you eat today?" she asks.
"I'm about to," Cosima says flirtatiously, unwilling to let the mood be ruined.
"Mmmm," Delphine moans, "but I need to take a shower first.” She kisses Cosima a final time before she slips out of bed.
"No!" Cosima whines with a mock-disappointment. "Haven’t I suffered enough today?" she pouts.
"The shower is big enough for two." The blonde leers, as she takes off her t-shirt, leaving her in only her underwear.
"Yay!" Cosima’s hazel eyes light up. She follows her wife happily into the bathroom.
“Chérie, the food’s going to get cold,” Delphine says between kisses.
Cosima was sitting on top of the counter when Delphine reached over her to get the dinner plates. She got a hold of the taller woman and wrapped her legs around her, and refused to let go.
“That’s why we have microwaves,” the dreadlock beauty says, wrapping her legs tighter around her lover. “I want to go for round two,” she smiles playfully.
“Well, you need to eat first. You wasted a lot of calories in that shower,” Delphine says coquettishly.
“Believe me, they weren’t wasted,” Cosima whispers against her lover’s lips.
Cosima’s stomach growls again.
Delphine throws her head back and laughs.
Cosima looks down at her stomach. “Buzz kill,” she chastises. She hops down the counter and follows Delphine into the living room.
They settle onto the couch with their food. Cosima reaches for the TV remote. “What do you wanna watch?” she inquires.
“I don’t want to watch anything. I want to talk,” Delphine says, placing the wine bottle on the coffee table.
Cosima turns to her. A few wet curls stole away, and were resting against her face. “Ok, what do you wanna talk about?” She sets the remote back down.
“Tell me about your day.” Delphine crosses one leg under her, her back resting against the armrest.
“Oh!” Cosima lights up instantly. “We had a break through. Remember subject D? I was telling you about him the other day, any way…”
Both of their phones vibrate simultaneously.
Delphine glances quickly at hers. “Oh, it’s the reminder for my Dr.’s appointment on Thursday,” she explains. “I synced my calendar with yours.”
“Cool. Are you ready?” Cosima beams with a different kind of excitement.
“Oui,” Delphine says, but her body language betrays her.
“Babe?” she says the excitement gone from her eyes, “are you having second thoughts?”
“Non, Non, Non,” she takes her head. “I’m just—how do you say, concerned about the timing. We have so much going on Cosima. I don’t know if we can handle it. You still need semi-annual tests to make sure you’re fine, plus you just launched a research project, and I have the merger, and you know I’m new at the company I need to make a good impression as the CEO and the timing is just so… and it’s a lot of new going on in our lives, and…”
“Babe, babe, breath!” she says, setting her hand on her wife's thigh. “Delphine, wh-why didn’t you tell me you were feeling this way?”
“I didn’t want you to think that I don’t want this. I do. It’s just…” She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. “I’m scared Cosima," she admits.
Cosima sets her plate down and turns to her wife. “Ok, first, I’m fine. It’s been almost three years since my treatment…”
“Two and a half,” Delphine interrupts.
“Two and a half,” Cosima repeats, “…and I’m doing great.” She moves closer. “I know, it’s a lot to take on, but babe, I wouldn’t even bring this up if I didn’t think we could handle it.” Her eyes search her wife’s.
“I know,” Delphine says, breaking eye contact.
“And, if you’re worried about the tests, you’re going to be fine. You’ll ace them just like you do everything. You overachiever.” Cosima smirks.
A small smile finds its way onto Delphine’s face. “There’s no such thing,” she says.
Cosima rolls her eyes playfully.
Delphine’s face shines with wistful admiration.
The look makes Cosima’s heart skip a beat. “What?” she asks her wife.
“Je t’aime,” she says.
“Je t’aime aussi,” Cosima answers with an American accent.
She moves closer and hugs her wife. After a moment, Cosima breaks their embrace. Her face is resting only a few inches from Delphine’s. Her expression grows serious. “Please don’t ever hide how you’re feeling from me, ok?”
Delphine nods. “Ok.”
Cosima kisses her and sits back. She picks up her plate from the coffee table.
“You didn’t finish telling me your story,” Delphine reminds her.
“Oh yeah!” the excitement returns to her eyes.
They both sit criss-crossed on the sofa and talk.
"I know. I know. I'm sorry," Cosima says to her wife, the cell phone sandwiched between her left shoulder and ear as she tries to assemble the papers on the conference table.
Although Delphine tries to conceal it, Cosima can tell that she's pretty frustrated. "Babe, I'm sorry. I'm on my way right now." She hears a sigh on the other end, and then silence. Delphine hung up on her. Cosima lets out a sigh of her own and quickly collects the rest of the papers off of the table.
"Cosima, do you have a minute?" the stocky woman in the grey mannish suit is standing between the clear glass doors of the conference room.
"Jody, I actually don't I'm running late for an appointment."
"Alright, come see me when you get back." The woman's eyes are fixed on Cosima's every move.
Cosima nods and hurries past her.
"What are you still doing here?" her receptionist mouths, spying her through the panoramic glass wall of her office. She stands up at attention from behind her desk in anticipation of her boss' demands.
Cosima opens the door. "Mel, she's going to kill me! I am so late."
"What do you need?" she asks ready to do everything in her power to make it happen.
"Purse. Coat. Keys. Teleportation device."
The woman zooms into her boss' office, her waist length, fiery untamed curls dance behind her like a superhero cape. Almost immediately she returns with the purse, coat, and keys.
"I couldn't locate the teleportation device," she jokes, trying to alleviate her boss' stress.
Cosima grins, "Thanks." She exchange the papers she's holding for her belongings, then promptly makes her way down the hallway towards the elevators.
Although Delphine is relieved to see Cosima come through the door, she is still annoyed with her. Cosima can already read the agitation in her wife's body language.
"I'm sorry," she mouths to her, accompanied with an apologetic look.
"Babe, I am so sorry!" She emphasizes when she comes through the doors. "It's been a stupid crazy morning. Jody called an unscheduled meeting in the middle of the morning, which lasted an eternity. Apparently the sky was falling," she says as she unties the belt of her pale blue coat. "So, I had to drop everything I was doing at the lab." She rolls her eyes and shakes her head at the thought. "By the way, I was at the cusp of a break through..." She looks up with the intention of giving her wife a kiss, only to find that Delphine's frustration is amounting to something that resembles anger. "And that doesn't matter now." Cosima stops herself, not wanting to infuriate her wife any further.
Delphine does not say a word; her eyes, dialing orbs of anger transfixed on the talking figure with the brown vines stemming from her head. She can't believe how cavalier her wife is being. She opens her mouth to say something, but the words claw at her throat; so she walks away.
"Delphine!" Cosima calls after her, stunned that her wife could be this angry at her for being a few minutes late. Delphine stops and turns around to look at her. Her angered expression now marred with hurt. "You forgot," she says, her tone leveled with a self-imposed restraint.
Cosima's kindling anger is extinguished at the sight of her wife's face. She steps closer to Delphine and takes her hands. "Babe, I didn't forget. I promise I didn't. It really just was a crappy morning." Her eyes plead with Delphine to believe her.
Delphine breaks eye contact with Cosima. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. Her body releases the anger, but the anxiety she has been fighting with for the past few weeks threatens to overtake her.
Sensing this, Cosima attempts to ease her wife's fears. "Hey babe," she says, shaking her arms slightly to cue her to open her eyes. "Listen, whatever the doctor ends up telling us, we're going to be ok." Delphine nods and takes another deap breath. "Everything is going to be fine," Cosima reiterates.
Delphine's body relaxes and her gaze softens; she leans down to give Cosima a kiss. "Je t'aime," she says looking down at her partner.
"I love you," Cosima responds.
They both walk hand in hand into the Doctor's office.
"Dr. Niehaus-Cormier?" The nurse asks scanning the waiting area.
"Oui-Yes," Delphine answers nervously.
"Right this way please." The woman motions them toward the door.
The nurse leads them down a hallway. Delphine finds herself taken by the design of the place. The floor is a beautiful blue green sea glass with specs of indigo, which reflects the light from the clear bubble cluster shaped light fixtures above. It reminds her of the To Sua Ocean Trench in Samoa. Her family had gone there for vacation when she was eight years old. She remembered being too scared to go down the ladder. Her dad had gone down first, and her mom stayed above with her and her older brother Alaska. Soon he'd made his descent and was swimming happily in the water, beckoning his mother and sister to come down. Her dad was looking up at them with a big reassuring smile, "Vien mon petit Chou. Ne vous inquiétez pas; Papa va vous rattraper," Just like that, he'd made her feel safe to go down the ladder. He always knew how to make her feel safe. Soon they were all in the trench, swimming and laughing.
She trails her fingers along the dark brown wood paneling of the hallway. They are the same shade of brown as her dad's eyes. Delphine is pulled from her remeniscing when they arrive at the doctor's office.
"Good morning Doctors Niehaus-Cormier; please have a seat." The Doctor motions them to the two chairs across his desk.
"Thank you," Delphine answers.
"Please, Cosima and Delphine," Cosima says with a smile. "Alright, Cosima and Delphine," the man says returning the smile, looking at each woman respectively.
He is quite handsome. His salt and pepper hair is coiffed with a right side part reminiscent of an old Hollywood actor. His ice blue eyes seem to dance against the black long sleeve shirt he is wearing. His face is smooth and chiseled except for a hint of creases on his forehead when he smiles. He is very tall; lean and medium build. His baritone voice is highlighted by a slight Swedish accent, which oddly, Delphine finds calming.
"How are you both?" The question mostly intended for Delphine.
"I've been well," Delphine responds with a smile.
"That's good to hear." He opens the leather portfolio in front of him. "I've taken a look at your scans as well as your lab results. With stage three endometriosis it can be difficult to conceive. I've designed a treatment plan which will improve your chances," he says looking intermittently to Cosima.
The words hit Delphine like a foul ball she saw coming but couldn't get out of the way fast enough. Cosima squeezes her wife's hands slightly. A quick glance exchages between the two.
It's not like she didn't know. She's known of Delphine's endometriosis for years. She knew the possibility of them being able to have a biological child. She knew that...Cosima knew all of that. But it still hurt when doctor Wyss said it out loud. Her heart dropped when he'd said it. The "What if's" began to swarm her brain. She repremends herself harshly. She can't break. It's her trun to anchor their relationship and she will not fail.
Cosima's focus returns to the doctor. She straightens her posture, "So what's the plan?"
Delphine tries to focus on what the doctor is saying, but the thumping of her heart in her ears makes it difficult.
"I never wanted this," she thinks to herself. "I never wanted children. So why is my heart racing?"
It's not like she didn't like kids. She just never factored them in her life's plan. She never felt the ache to have them as most women do. When other women in their late teens and early twenties were fantasizing about having babies, she was mapping out the plan to one day be head of a world renowned research institute. She wanted to innovate not be a mommy. "So why is this so hard?"
She looks to her right at Cosima. She has a serious look on her face. Her dreads are up in a bun except for two strands in the front framing her face. They are dancing as she nods her head in response to the doctor's words.
"It's her," Delphine thinks to herself. She remembered seeing her for the first time. Delphine had been sitting in the university's cafe when Cosima walked in with a group of friends. One of them was telling a story, the others were laughing. Aldous had instructed her to observe "the subject" from a distance before she made contact with her. She'd tried stealing looks at the clone, 324B21, in the flesh. She was so beautiful. Everything about her was electric: from her clothes, to her movements, to her laughter. From the beginning, without ever having spoken to her, this woman was making her want things she never knew she wanted. Now she's sitting in an office, her heartbreaking because there's a possibility she won't have the thing she never wanted. All because of her.
"Delphine?" Dr. Wyss says, looking intently at the blond.
"Hm?" she replies, her focus snapping back to the man in front of her.
"Are you open to those options?"
Delphine looks to Cosima; she finds her looking at her worriedly.
"Honey, the laparoscopy procedure," Cosima reminds her.
Delphine nods in approval.
"Great. I've prepared some literature for you; please call me with any and all questions. We can schedule the procedure whenever you're ready." That last part was meant for both of the women equally. "Then later on we can talk about in Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer. It's important that we take this one step at a time. This process can be difficult, especially for first time couples."
"Thank you Dr. Wyss," Cosima says extending her hand to the man.
"Yes, thank you," Delphine adds.
They walk to the lobby together without saying a word. Cosima’s mind is working on overdrive, trying to process the information she’d just received, calculating possible solutions to the problem, assessing her wife’s peculiar behavior, in addition to the thousands of thoughts that race across her mind at any given moment. She wants to ask her what she's thinking, but she isn't sure that this is the right time. So she fiddles for her keys, all the while trying to read her wife. "Hey Babe, do you wanna play hooky for the next couple hours?" she finally asks. She wants to gauge her wife's thoughts about the matter. "We can go grab lunch at Paradis Des Amis."
"I can't, I have to get back to work," Delphine says, still with the distant demeanor she had in the doctor's office.
"Ok," she says with a smile trying to mask her disappointment. "Um...I'll see you later then." She's fighting every impulse to ask her wife her thoughts. So she takes a quick breath and smiles instead and says, "I love you."
"Je t'aime aussi," the blonde responds.
They exchange a languid kiss and part ways
The aroma of marinara sauce and baked chicken greets her at the door. She deposits her keys in the silver bowl on the table near the entrance; then makes a right to the living area.
"Hey Babe, I didn't hear you come in," Cosima says, halfway turned from the stove.
"It smells good in here," she comments as she takes off her coat and places it on the back of a chair. Delphine scans the scene. The dining room table is covered with papers, the laptop is humming lazily beside the iPad. An open bottle of red wine is sitting on the island. The pasta is boiling furiously. Cosima is wearing long purple tights and a black tank top with the words "My spidey senses are tingling" written in the front. Her hair is up with two pens holding it in place and another tucked behind her ear.
Delphine walks over to her and places her hands on her waist and plants a kiss on the nook of her neck. Cosima hums at the sweetness of the kiss and turns around for another one on her lips.
"I'm sorry about this morning," Delphine says looking down at her bespectacled lover, her hands still on her waist.
"Don't worry about it, it was a hard morning," she replies understandingly. "You seemed distant in the doctor's office though, were you…are you ok?"
Delphine's body tenses up, her gaze falls on the floor; she lets go of Cosima. She reaches in the cupboard for two wine glasses, then turns around and grabs the aerating wine bottle, and pours.
Cosima stands still watching her wife's every move. "Delphine, we need to talk about it."
"I did some research: 33%," She says her back still turned to Cosima. "That's our very best odd; 33%," her head hangs low, focusing on nothing in particular.
It's Cosima's turn to move closer now. She puts her hands on the blonde's waist and plants a soft kiss on her back. "Babe, look at me."
Delphine turns around, leaning against the island for support. Her eyes glazed with tears. She tries to blink them away.
"We've beaten lesser odds," Cosima says stroking her arms.
Delphine draws in a quick breath and exhales. The nightmares of the past few years play in her head. How she'd watched Cosima die twice. Her body laying lifeless on the hospital bed, pale and emaciated. The team of doctors and nurses shouting orders; each time the paddles jolted electric shocks through her body, she convulsed as if she would break. Then the subsequent phone call she'd received that almost pushed her over the edge. And now this! It seems like the universe has a penchant for causing her and everyone she loves pain. Delphine's body shivers.
Cosima feels the goose bumps. "Hey," she says taking her face in her hands. "What is it?"
A stream of tears glides down Delphine's left cheek. "Kiss me."
"Babe…" Cosima says, her heart breaking for her wife.
"Cosima," Delphine pleads, "Kiss me."
Cosima's kiss is soft and drawn. She pulls away and looks up at her wife, her eyes gentle and filled with concern. She wipes away another rivulet. Delphine pulls her in closer, and kisses her deeply. The gravitational pull of the kiss transforms Cosima's limbs to liquid and she welcomes the beautiful undertow.
Delphine's kisses get deeper and longer and heavier. She kisses her as if she is trying to merge with her; become one with her. Tongues dance a fierce dance. Delphine's hands find fulfillment under Cosima's shirt. They cup her bare breasts and tease her nipples. Cosima moans a deep and concupiscent moan. With a deft motion Delphine removes Cosima's shirt to reveal her readied breasts. She scoops her up with one hand, places her atop of the island, and takes her right breast into her mouth. Her tongue circles the small pink nipple like a shark circling its prey. Cosima's head plunges back at the pleasurable sensation. Delphine finally takes the nipple between her lips and sucks it slowly.
"Delphine," Cosima moans.
Delphine trails her lips up to her collar bones. She ascends and lingers at the contour of Cosima’s neck teasing the erotic spot until another guttural moan escapes her lover’s lips. She continues her assent to her jawline, there again lips meet and tongues dance the water dance. Delphine nibbles at her ear and then whispers, "Get on your back."
Cosima obeys the command. Delphine makes her descent down her lover's body with her lips, leaving a rouge trail. Her fingers glide over her lover's body to memorize the landscape. Cosima's body shivers at the touch, her body is taught with anticipation. Her lungs ready an arsenal of oxygen.
Delphine removes Cosima's tights. Her center is soaked. She slides her fingers up and down between her labias, each time teasing her clit. Each touch magnifies the brunette's pleasure. Finally Delphine enters her; Cosima's body arch at the penetration. Another guttural moan escapes her throat. Delphine thrusts at first slowly, teasing, searching. She then curl her fingers up to find her lover's G-spot. All the while her thumb circumnavigates the surface of her clitoris.
Cosima's hands search frantically for something to grab on to. The pleasure is too much; her body is in frenzy. It trembles and contorts, she wants to scream.
"Holly Shit!" She exclaims.
Delphine continues to thrust deeply into her. She finds her G-Spot and works it mercilessly. Cosima tries to pry her thighs free, but Delphine holds on.
"Fuck!" Cosima screams between ragged breaths "Right there...don't stop."
Delphine's pleasure rises with every moan and scream that escapes from her wife. She watches Cosima's face fill with life, love, and euphoria; teetering on the edge of ecstasy.
"Baby, I'm gonna cum," she announces.
With no time at all she gushes between her legs. Delphine descends to take every drop of her into her mouth.
Cosima pants for air. The orgasm leaves her convulsing in its wake. Delphine looks up to take in her masterpiece. Her chest is begining to rise and fall at a steadier pace. Cosima tries to sit up but she finds her limbs are still recovering from their liquid state. Delphine helps her up. She pulls her lover close to her and embraces her.
"I love you," she whisper's in the blonde's ears, "you'll always have me."
"Je t'aime pour l'eternity," she whispers back. They pull from their embrace and give each other one more kiss. Cosima looks at the pasta, the water almost too low. "Babe, can you turn off the stove while I look for my clothes?"
Delphine grins delightedly.
A MASSIVE thank you to Leahloahla, who'se been excellent at helping me revise this chapter, all while in the middle of a move and with the flu! To the readers, I love you so much for taking the time to read my works. I love reading your comments. Please don't ever be shy about leaving a comment. You all are so brilliant and special to me.
Hugs and Kisses,
Chapter 3: Post-Lap
They pull into their apartment’s underground garage. Cosima circles to the passenger side and opens the door for her wife. Delphine thanks her, as she gingerly makes her way out of the vehicle. She winces as a faux pas causes a sharp pain in her incision site.
“You ok?” Cosima asks.
Delphine nods in affirmation. Cosima shuts the door and wraps her hand around her wife’s waist to give her support as they walk to the elevators. Once inside their apartment, Cosima deposits the keys in the silver bowl sitting on the table near the entrance. She begins to help her wife out of her coat. Delphine shifts her shoulder from her touch. “Cherie, I got it,” Delphine says looking at her through the mirror hanging on the wall above the table.
Cosima stands back, looking at her wife’s strained efforts.
“Cosima,” Delphine says, simultaneously casting a testy look at her through the mirror. Cosima throws her hands up in acquiescence. She proceeds to take off her own coat and makes her way to the open living space.
“Ahh…You hungry?” she asks looking back at Delphine.
“A little,” Delphine replies. Her strides are slow as she makes her way into the living room. She holds her posture as straight as possible to feign wholeness for the sake of her already too anxious partner.
“Sandwich ok?” Cosima asks already in the kitchen gathering the necessary supplies. “Mhm,” Delphine hums as she lower herself onto the sofa.
“Babe. Uh, uh. Bed,” Cosima commands, already crossing the divide from the kitchen to the living room.
“Cosima, I’m not tired,” she says looking up at her wife who is now standing directly in front of her. “I’ve been in bed for the past two days. I need to get some work done,” she protests.
“Delphine,” Cosima retorts, her tone absolute, but her expression loving. She extends her hands to her wife. It’s goes unmet as they both engage in a staring battle. Finally, Delphine concedes and accepts her wife’s gesture. They make their way down the hallway to their bedroom. Cosima can see Delphine's stubborn expression reflected from the paintings hanging on the wall. A small smile cracks her face at the thought of their future child serving her with the same look one day.
“Are you comfortable? Do you need more pillows?” Cosima asks a now tucked in Delphine. “Non, I’m ok,” she replies. Cosima kisses her wife on the forehead. “You see, Dr. Niehaus-Cormier, you should listen to your doctor,” she says flirtatiously, her face only a couple inches from her wife’s. Delphine narrows her eyes at her and smiles.
“I’ll be right back with your sandwich.” Cosima’s hands trail atop of the duvet, having already turned her body towards the door.
“Wait, amour. Can you bring me my laptop?” Cosima opens her mouth to object, but Delphine interjects, “also, there’s a blue folder on my desk, can you bring that too?” Cosima sighs and shakes her head. “Ok,” she agrees. Delphine smiles, having won that battle.
A few minutes later Cosima returns, sans computer or folder, carrying a tray of food. Delphine gives her a confused look. “I couldn’t carry everything,” Cosima answers. She sets the tray on the bed and exits to go retrieve the missing objects. She soon returns with the computer and folder in hand. Her bed bound wife is in the midst of taking a bite of her sandwich. She reaches out a hand for Cosima to give her the objects. Cosima hesitates.
“What?” Delphine asks with a mouthful of food.
“Before I give you these we have to set some rules,” the brunette says.
“Rules?” She takes a sip of her juice.
“Yes,” Cosima answers. Delphine raises an eyebrow. “I’m listening,” she says.
“1. I’m ok if you do work while you’re recovering, but only for thirty minutes a day, and 2. Nothing too stressful.” Cosima pause, letting her wife know that she is finished.
Delphine looks at her, considering. “Non, I don’t agree.” She finally says. Cosima raises a brow. “Three hours a day,” Delphine counters. Cosima scoffs at the proposal. “One hour,” she responds.
“Two and a half, nonconsecutive,” Delphine retorts.
Cosima takes a moment to consider, “Ok, I can deal with that. So we agree?”
“Non, I have more conditions,” Delphine says.
Cosima is a bit shocked. She shifts her weight to her right leg, her arms hugging the computer and folder. She cocks her head to one side, “What else?”
The blonde licks her lips, “no hovering over me like I’m helpless. If I need something I’ll ask for it.” She pauses.
Cosima tenses up a little. “ I don’t hover,” she says defensively.
Delphine raises her brows in disbelief. “Ok fine,” Cosima says, smirking and rolling her eyes, “Is that all?”
“Non, I have one more,” Delphine says.
“You’re pushing it Dr. Cormier,” Cosima says.
Delphine ignores Cosima’s warning. She narrows her eyes at her wife and smirks. “Since I will be carrying your child, I want endless kisses on demand.”
A toothy grin splashes across Cosima’s face. She walks closer to the bed. “Is that right?” she says as she climbs on top of the bed.
“Oui, starting right now,” Delphine says.
Cosima’s lips hover over her wife’s. She brushes them against Delphine’s and pulls back; their eyes closed and foreheads connecting. “No teasing,” Delphine whispers. A chuckle escapes Cosima. She slips her hand in Delphine’s curls and pulls her close. “I want you,” the blonde whispers, her hand already moving under her wife’s shirt. Cosima stops her and pulls back. “No sex until you’re fully recovered,” she says.
Delphine rakes her hand through her hair and sighs in frustration.
“I know,” Cosima says, stroking her pouting wife’s neck in with her thumb, “I’m sorry.” Her attention turns to her buzzing phone on the dresser. She scurries off of the bed to grab it.
“Hello,” she answers.
“This is she—”
Cosima’s body tenses. Delphine is looking at her with concern.
"I'm fine, how are you?"
"Mhm," she murmurs into the phone.
She turns her face slightly away from Delphine’s view as she listens to the voice on the phone.
“Ok, thank you.” She hangs up, walks back over to the bed and sits down. “Blood results,” she says. Delphine’s expression changes from concerned to fear in seconds. “I’m fine,” she quickly assures. “Everything is totally normal.” Cosima interlaces her fingers with her wife’s. Delphine takes a deep breath and nods. Her eyes looking down at their intertwined digits.
Cosima brings her wife’s chin up and kisses her softly. “I love you,” she says.
“I love you too,” Delphine replies.
“Ok, I’m gonna catch up on Dr. Edmond’s results, so you can eat and do your work,” Cosima says.
“Non, stay with me,” Delphine protests.
“Ok,” Cosima says, “pass me my sandwich please, I’m starving.”
"Cosima, wait please!" Delphine yells after the woman who's already making a beeline for the front door. Tears blur her vision, everything looks like an outline. It feels befitting, as she can barely recognize herself anymore. This moment feels false. This isn't her life. And yet here she is, begging her wife not to leave her.
The smaller woman turns around in a fury. "Why?!" she shouts.
The force with which Cosima spews the questions stops Delphine in her tracks. Every word she was preparing to say is obliterated from her mind. "Cosima, I am sorry." It was more of a plea than an apology.
"Why?" Cosima asks again. This time, her voice is a whimper, the betrayal she's feeling is audible. Delphine would have rather died than to have ever heard that sound come out of her wife.
"I—," The words won't come out. "I can't—," she sobs. "I can't tell you why."
Any inhibition Cosima had completely evaporated. "Are you—ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, Delphine?!" she screams. Her voice is raspy. "YOU SCREWED YOUR EX-BOYFRIEND AND YOU HAVE THE FUCKING NERVE TO SAY YOU "CAN'T TELL ME WHY"?!"
The room is spinning now. Delphine's head is aching, and she's feeling faint. She holds on to the back of the sofa. "Cosima," Delphine says, "I was protecting you." Her voice is just above a whisper. An air of déjà vu fills the room.
"That seems to be your M.O," the brunette replies without skipping a beat.
Nothing could have prepared Delphine for that reply. Her eyes scan the room, looking for any viable points of egress. Perhaps maybe the ground would be merciful enough to swallow her. The love of her life is standing in front of her, face marred with disdain and hurt. For a moment their eyes meet, causing a stalemate. For Delphine, it feels like an eternity in hell. A small mercy is granted to her in the form of nausea. She runs over to the kitchen and vomits in the sink. Before she can look up, she hears the front door slam. She sinks to the floor and lets herself feel everything.
The tapping on her window startles Cosima awake.
"Are you ok, Doctor?" the security guard asks. She nods and forces a small smile. She can't remember when she fell asleep. She meant to go to Felix's, but somehow she's still in her building's underground garage. The memory of last night returns. She reaches for her phone and dials her office. Her assistant's voice comes on the other end. "Melody, I won't be coming in today. Reschedule my appointments," she instructs. She sits in the car for a moment, then she dials Sarah; the call goes to voicemail. She remembers she and Cal took Kira to New York for the tree day weekend. She considers going back up to the apartment but, she decides against it and heads to Felix's instead.
A cacophony of rock music fills the corridor leading to her brother's apartment. She bangs on the door, the music lowers and the door swings open.
"What a lovely surprise!" her brother greets. "Oh! Darling, you look like hell," he says after looking her over. He turns and walks into the apartment; Cosima follows suit. "Aren't you supposed to be shacked up with your wife of something?" he asks without looking back. He goes to his studio area to take off his paint-covered smock. He runs a hand through his tousled hair. "Do you want a cuppa?" he asks.
Cosima's silence causes him to look back. The smaller woman is sitting on the couch, her eyes purposefully averted from her brother's direction. The paint fumes permeating the studio apartment are making her head hurt.
"Cos, are you alright?" he asks as he walks toward her. He takes a seat next to her on the couch. For the first time since she got there, she makes eye contact. Her eyes pool with tears and her lips quiver.
"She cheated on me, Fee." She takes a deep breath; a failed attempt to keep the tears from falling. Felix's mouth drops open, and yet no sound comes out. Cosima's face falls into her hand and she sobs.
"What?!" he finally manages to say. He reaches for the tissue box on the side table and hands it to Cosima. She takes one and wipes her eyes.
"…with her ex," she continues.
"What ex?" Felix asks.
"The "fake" ex-boyfriend from Paris wasn't fake," she explains.
"That deceitful bitch!" he blurts.
"I need a drink and some aspirin," she says.
"Yeah." He obliges, grateful that he could help, even in this small manner.
He goes over to the small bar area and pours two generous drinks. He grabs the aspirin bottle in the medicine cabinet and walks back to the living room. He looks down at the woman sitting on the couch; she seems smaller than he's ever seen her before. He sits down and hands her her drink and the pill bottle. She pops two pills and chases them with the bourbon. He downs his drink too.
"Not to sound daft or anything, but, what are you going to do?" he asks.
She rubs her temple. "I don't know. She's pregnant." Fresh tears pool her eyes.
"With his?!" he exclaims.
"We don't know," she says. Felix wraps her in his arms and kisses her top of her head. She relaxes into his embrace and lets herself be held.
It's been almost thirty-six hours since their fight. Delphine is sitting in bed staring at the phone. She's left so many messages for her wife, her inbox is full. Everything hurts, even the sun rays penetrating her bedroom seem to prick her skin. She slips back under the covers and for the first time in a long time, she wishes she wouldn't wake up.
She keeps going in and out of sleep. Each time she wakes up, her mind rewinds and replays a clip of the catastrophe, like a detective looking for a clue. Each time, it sobers and numbs her again. It's vicious really. She looks at the phone again. There's someone coming in the apartment; her heart starts to race. Whoever it is, stays in the living room. She gets out of bed and walks to the living area. The woman turns around.
"Oh! Doctor, you scared me. I thought you went away for the weekend," she says.
Delphine forces a smile. "Sorry Emma, I thought you were Cosima," she replies. The two women stand there awkwardly for a moment. "Um, you don't need to clean today. You can go home," Delphine instructs.
The older woman scans the uncharacteristically messy space and reverts her eyes to Delphine. She regards the tall woman softly; examining her appearance. Her hair is a mass of untidy golden curls, her eyes are red and puffy, and her shoulders slumped. The light pink striped robe she's wearing seems to be swallowing her. The older woman disregards her employer's instructions.
"Come sit, I'll make us some tea," she replies instead.
"I really just—I need to, uh…" Delphine tries to protest. Before she can finish a single sentence, the short, spritely woman is already in the kitchen. Feeling too tired to argue, Delphine sinks into the couch and wraps herself up in the blanket.
Delphine watches the woman move fluidly around the kitchen, humming softly as she prepares the tea. A part of her feels grateful for another presence in the apartment.
"What are you singing?" Delphine asks. The woman stops her movements and looks toward the figure in the fetal position on the couch.
"E Più Ti Penso, by Andrea Bocelli," she replies. She resumes her humming. Her voice lulls Delphine into a light sleep. Emma leaves the water boiling on the stove, and moves to the living room to clean. She's being careful not to wake Delphine. A few moments later the tea kettle whistles, stirring the blonde out of her slumber. Emma goes into the kitchen to pour the tea. She returns to the living room with a tray and sets it on the table.
"Thank you," Delphine says kindly.
"Do you want an omelet for breakfast?" the woman asks. Delphine shakes her head. "The appetite comes by eating," Emma insists. "I'll make Caprese avocado breakfast toast and fresh fruit, huh? It is full of vitamins." Delphine acquiesces. The woman satisfyingly returns to the kitchen.
The noises in the kitchen slowly fade into the background as she delves back into her thoughts. How did I get here? she ponders. How did I go from being happy, to this in eighteen months? Emma seems to have materialize in front of her with a tray of food. It startles Delphine.
"Sorry," Emma says.
She sets the items down. Delphine thanks her. Almost instantaneously, her thoughts diverge back to her troubles.
"The song I was singing a moment ago," Emma says to Delphine.
"Huh?" Delphine asks.
"The song you asked about a moment ago. It is about two lovers who think they will never see each other again, and each is ready to die if that is true, but the thing is Doctor, so long as we live and try, there is no never," she says.
"Thank you," Delphine replies.
"Now, mangia," she commands.
Delphine takes a few bites of her food. It doesn't take long before nausea causes her to run to the bathroom. She rinses her mouth and walks over to her bed to check her phone. Cosima still hasn't called back. Her eyes prick with tears. She blinks them away and walks back into the living room. She freezes at the sight.
"Cosima," she says. The brunette turns around at the voice. Her eyes are red and puffy, with dark circles around them. Delphine's heart sinks. Cosima returns her attention to the elder woman.
"Thank you, Emma, you can leave for the day," she says. Delphine stands back watching the exchange between the two women. She has to remind herself to breathe.
"Goodbye, doctors," the small woman calls as she exits the apartment.
A heavy silence settles in the room. Delphine takes a step forward.
"Cosima…" she begins.
"Did you sleep with him before or after the embryo transfer?" Cosima cuts her off.
Delphine's breathing catches. Her gaze falls to the ground. "Before," she replies.
"How long before?" Cosima asks.
"Cosima," Delphine says. She can feel the tears coming.
"How long before?" the brunette repeats. Her tone is restrained. Her eyes never leave the woman standing in front of her. Delphine bites her lip in an attempt to keep the sobs at bay.
"Three days," she responds.
"Why?" Cosima asks.
Two rivulets of tears role down the blonde's cheeks. Delphine closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. She makes a resolve, to tell the truth as best as she can. She can't quite bring herself to look at Cosima. "Because I needed to get information from him," she says.
"What information?" Cosima asks.
Delphine takes another deep breath. This time, she looks directly at her wife. "Information about your company," Delphine says. The brunette is clearly shocked.
"What kind of information?" she presses.
Delphine closes her eyes and suppresses a sob, already regretting what she's about to say. She gathers herself, not quite looking at Cosima, she says, "That's a matter of national security."
Cosima can't believe what she just said to her. "Wh—who are you right now?" she's asks genuinely perplexed. "Matter of national security?! Are you shitting me, Delphine?" The woman standing in front of her doesn't seem to resemble her wife anymore. "So, you fucked your ex-boyfriend and lied to your wife, because…it was your patriotic duty? Is that it?" she says caustically.
Delphine wraps her hand around herself. She's trying to think of what she can say to prevent the situation from escalating.
"Do you even want to be in this relationship anymore?" Cosima asks. The question sobers Delphine from whatever options she was weighing in her mind.
"Of course, I do," she answers desperately. "I love you," Delphine implores. She moves closer toward Cosima. Intuitively, the smaller woman stiffens. Their eyes are locked. Both are on the brink of tears. The words fill the brunette with contempt.
"Do you…love me?" Cosima asks incredulously. The question did exactly what she intended it to. She can see it in her wife's expression.
"More than you'll ever know," Delphine responds, truly sorrowful at the accuracy of her answer.
"Then tell me the truth Delphine," Cosima says.
The blonde takes a moment to consider the implications. She nods; barely noticeably. In truth, the gesture is to reinforce the accord she just made with herself. She walks silently to the living room and takes a seat on the sofa. She waits for Cosima to join her. After a moment, the brunette walks over to the living room. She remains standing; leaning against the high back plush chair across from the sofa. She crosses her arms over her chest; her every sense is on high alert.
"A year and a half ago, about six weeks after the merger, I was going over some financial reports when I noticed our new partners commissioned your company to work on a project," Delphine begins. "It seemed so innocuous, but I made a mental note to look into it anyway, out of curiosity. But, um, things started to move so fast in our lives, it got lost in—um, everything else." The retrospection seems to be especially difficult for her. She blinks away some tears. Cosima can't help but lower her gaze. Delphine clears her throat and continues."Last month, during my trip to Belgium, I met with a possible client. The CEO of that company wanted me to meet one of their partners before we could close the account. It turned out it was Julien. He invited me to dinner, and I said yes."
Cosima rolls her eyes and shakes her head at the thought. "Why did you agree to go to dinner with him?" she asks.
"I don't know," Delphine replies, "I shouldn't have, but…"
"That's not an answer, Delphine." Cosima's patience is wearing thin.
"I had dinner with him because, I felt like I owed him something," she replies.
"Owed him what?" Cosima inquires.
"An explanation—an apology—I left him without warning when I left Paris," she confesses.
"Do you still love him?" Cosima asks.
Delphine looks up at her wife. She shakes her head and breaks eye contact. "I never did." A pang of guilt stabs her in her chest.
"Did you sleep with him because you felt guilty?" Cosima asks.
"No," Delphine dismisses the idea. "He received a message during dinner; a list of names. One of which was C. Niehaus. That's when I remembered the project your company worked on for our new client. I tried to ask him about it but he deflected with subterfuges. So, when he invited me home with him I agreed."
"So you agreed to fuck him for information. You didn't think that maybe that could, I don't know, be bad for our relationship?" Cosima asks coldly.
"That wasn't my intention," she replies.
"What did you think was gonna happen, Delphine?" Cosima asks.
"I'm not naive. I knew what his intentions were, but I also knew mine. I went there to learn why your name was on his damn list. After years of people hunting you and your sisters for whatever reason they deemed causal, I couldn't just let this go." Fresh tears roll down her face; she wipes them away. "We were in his living room talking when his doorman called saying a courier was here for him. He went down to pick up whatever it was, instead of having it sent up. When he left I looked around. I found a dossier about you, and several other people who work for your company. Blueprints for two universities, one in Paris, the other in the states. Before I could look through it all he came back. That's when…" Delphine can't bring herself to finish the sentence.
Cosima turns her head away from Delphine.
"When he fell asleep, I took pictures and made copies of everything, including the file he got from the courier. I took a flight to Paris to meet with a friend who works with Interpol. Then, I flew home."
Cosima is looking at her with disbelief. Delphine purposely avoids eye contact with her. She takes a deep breath and continues. "A few days ago, I got a call from my friend, she wanted to meet at the cafe down the street. She and an FBI agent wanted to ask me some more questions about Julien."
"Was that the night I woke up and you were gone?" Cosima asks. Delphine nods. "You led me to think you went for a walk because you were anxious about us trying again for a baby," Cosima says reproachfully.
"I couldn't tell you. I'm sorry," Delphine says.
"Why not? I'm your wife, we're supposed to trust each other. You do something like this and you keep it from me? Am I a suspect, is that why you couldn't tell me?" she asks.
"No," Delphine replies.
Cosima walks away from Delphine. Delphine gets up and walks a little closer toward the brunette.
"Cosima," she says "I was only trying to protect you."
Cosima turns around. "You do these grand acts of vigilantism and you don't consider who you hurt in the process. How do you always try to protect me, but always end up hurting me instead?"
Delphine looks at Cosima—truly looks at her—for the first time since they started fighting. She can see all of the pain she's caused her.
"I know that family," Delphine tells her. "I know what they are capable of; and if there was any chance they would try to implicate you in any of their crap, I had to find out. So, I sacrificed us, for you, because I can't live in a world in which you're not ok."
Cosima brings her hand to her forehead and shakes her head. She scoffs, and stares at the ceiling as if seeing a truth that the blonde can't see. Her lips quiver.
"Without us, there is no me. How do you not understand that after all these years, Delphine?" she questions.
They both fall silent, standing at the impasse they've reached. Cosima takes a breath and wipes away a stray tear. "I need some time to think. I'll be staying at Felix's for a while," she finally says.
"Cosima, please don't go," Delphine begs. "I'll have Emma pack a bag and send it to me," is the brunettes only answer.
"Cherie, je t'aime," Delphine says.
The words pierce Cosima. She looks at her wife one more time and silently walks out of the apartment.
I want to say a massive thank you to @leahloahla for editing this chapter.
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.
"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."
"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.
As always, a massive thank you to my Beta @leahloahla over at fanfiction(dot)net.
Thank you all for reading.