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9 minutes, 47 seconds

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Groaning in that groggy morning style that Cosima had made her trademark, she rolled over onto her side and faced the bed side table. She went to grab her glasses, instead she just felt the wooden surface, her hand patted all along on it but could not reach them. She groaned again and rolled onto her back, seeing it as a sign that she should get back to sleep. But there was a niggling feeling of something being really really wrong. She tossed in her bed and then decided she needed coffee. Getting up she put her feet at the side of the bed and was expecting to feel her plush rug underneath her bare feet, but instead felt the cold floor beneath. Odd. What had she done the night before? She took once last time to look for her glasses, her eyes super wide in some attempt to be able to see better, it didn't work. It was still blurry. Giving up she walked through her bedroom and out into he office come living room, come kitchen, come reception area. Although this was different too. No longer was it warm and homely, it felt weird, odd and she didn't understand. She brushed it off as her tiredness, it was probably really early and her mind was playing tricks on her. Walking to the kitchen side, she didn't feel the chipping counter surface but a smooth almost granite one. Now she was a little weirded out, maybe she was still high? Being high made all of her senses strange, it could make her believe her house had changed. It could also be that when you wake up you forget who you are for about 60 seconds before you can remember and get on with life.

Before she knew she had even done anything she had a coffee in her hand and she was making her way to her living area, she could make out the sofa and TV and took a seat right in the middle of her sofa, cushions comfortably on either side of her. She took a sip of her coffee and placed it on the coffee table. Beside it she found her glasses and put them back on. Suddenly everything was as sharp as the edge of a cut diamond.

“Whoa.” She said and nudged them up a bit farther, had someone cleaned her glasses from all the finger prints and marks for the first time in as long as she could remember? Sitting back a bit she managed to find the TV remote and flicked it on, almost immediately and faster than she had anticipated the screen was alive. Many different channels all on at once, in different boxes on the screen, the most important one, the news seemed to be the biggest box. Did she upgrade her subscription? She selected the biggest box and it took up the whole screen, a man in a neat and tidy suit sat electrified, information was buzzing in behind a desk reading fast over story after story from 'around the world'.

“Wait what was that?” Cosima attempted to pause the TV, but nothing happened instead the TV became faded and a single question read out loud in the middle in white letters. 'Would you like me to source information to your question?' It said, Cosima was a little more awake now from the coffee although she swore she was still dreaming. Testing it out she asked; “Yeah, uh, go back to the date. What is the date today?” She waited a second, unsure whether her TV even had voice command, although the technology was everywhere she was pretty sure she did not have it. The TV did not react straight away, it just did nothing for a second or two. In the time Cosima picked up her coffee and took a sip, it was the perfect temperature already, so she kept it in her hand. The the TV reacted the news report seemed to rewind and again the presenter read out the date and time of his pause between 'live stories'. Cosima blinked at the screen when she heard the date. She was right it was early....but it had also been 12 years since she had went to bed the night before. Her coffee involuntarily fell out of her hand in shock, it hit the ground on its edge and shatters, splashing hot coffee over herself. Her hands come to her face and she takes in what she had just heard. From the immediate shock her sceptical mind kicks in, she tries to change news channel, get some where else, look for a way her TV or their could just have been wrong. Every channel she searches including FOX.extra (which is 100% true all of the time) says the same date. Shaking her head she looks around her apartment. Aside from the very seat she was in now, her whole apartment was...it was just not hers. The walls were painted, fashionable, if you could call it that although what fashion she had no idea. They were painted a steel grey on some and a pearl white on others. The kitchen was 'modern' black and startling white, with as she had suspected dark granite work tops. The floor was not even hers. Jumping up she hit her legs on the coffee table, but she didn't care she looked all around this place. It was not hers, but at the same time it was. It had all the same dimensions, all of the same space that she had known so well, but it was re-made. It was modern but it even seemed aged as if it had all been this way for some time. Cosima looked down to her wrist watch and saw the same date the TV if it could be called that (with its almost non existent flat dark glass surface and no noticeable stand, floating just above the table) had. Shaking her head again, she started to smile. The one thing that was constant over her whole view of the apartment was the logo stamped all over it; 'DYAD'. Cosima had some friends, some 'hilarious' friends who would have loved to freak her out after a drug trip. She tried to find her phone from where she had left it but she didn't know where that was.

Suddenly as if she had pre-empted it, something began to buzz in her pyjama pants pocket. Her hand nervously picked it out, a flat glass piece with an illuminated screen. 'Dr. Cormier calling' it said. She freaked and dropped it onto the floor. A few seconds and some heavy breaths later she picked it back up and attempted to answer it. She didn't say a word, she just put the mobile device up to her ear and waited.

“Cosima I am coming up, I couldn't wait anymore, I know you are sometimes late but not to call at all?” Cosima didn't recognise that voice. If it wasn't for the hot French accent and the way the impatient words flowed she would have been scared. “Cosima?” The voice said again and it was evident this person was moving, their breathing had changed and Cosima could hear noises rushing past. What, who was this person and how did she know her name? Cosima dropped the phone again to the floor and it hung up. Taking a step back she hit the back of the sofa as she heard footsteps outside fast approaching her apartment. A key fiddled in the lock and the soon the door was opening. In the last few seconds Cosima didn't know what to do, this person obviously knew her and she had no idea who she was. The person dropped their handbag onto the reception stand next to the door and walked over to Cosima. Their expression went from one of impatience and frustration to curiosity and sympathy, their eyes darting from something that was on the TV back to her face.

“Ohhh Cosima I told you not to watch such horrible tales, there is little we can do, the ice caps have melted and they have no where else to go, we are giving them a new life.” The women came towards Cosima with her arms wide as if they were going to hug. Cosima didn't exactly move away, this women was stunningly beautiful. And so for a few long seconds they connected, Cosima unsure of what to do, her arms attempting in the last moments to hug back. “TV off.” The women commanded and the TV thing shut down. “Come on we are late.” She said in an accented way that made Cosima forget that she was having the most realistic trip of her recreational drug use life. The women took Cosima's hand and then paused on turning to the door. Cosima blinked and wondered what was wrong. The women let go and looked at her own hand. “You're sweating. Are you ok?” The women was questioning. Cosima didn't know what to say, this felt all too real. She wiped her hands on her pyjama top and let them fall by her side. She couldn't muster words she was still in shock, she looked again at her watch, although the minutes had changed the date had not. 12 years. “We have no time for your games Cosima.” The women went to go again, her sharp grey suit tailored perfectly to fit her elegant figure. Cosima wet her lip and was about to speak when the women was suddenly right in front of her, her warm delicate hands on either side of Cosima's face. Cosima's eyes widened, she didn't know what to do, she just let wherever this trip was taking her, take her. The women was so close, Cosima could feel her light breath on her, drying her wet lips. “Have you been taking drugs again?” The women questioned, she lent in and took a deep breath. Then tilted her head a little. “You seem very odd.” Cosima just remained still, her face encased in the pale gentle fingers of the women in front of her. For a second they just stared into each others eyes. Cosima's heart was beating fast, this women was beautiful and they were so close. If this was one of her trips it was either going to end in really hot incredible sex, or the women was going to grow 18 massive limbs and strangle Cosima to death. With this women she was willing to try the risk.

“Yes, I've been taking drugs.” Cosima says but immediately the words she says shocks he women. The women takes a step back and looks down at her quizzically. Cosima notices the bright brown eyes and height to this women and she feels small. The women looks her over one more time and then a hand comes to her face. Cosima is confused, and takes a step forward, wanting to pursue the type of trip she was hoping this way.

“You're not Cosima.” Dr. Cormier whispers, and shakes her head. “Honestly, I should have known, I mean you are nothing like her!” The women turns and walks to lock the door. “Now we are going to be even more late for the conference!” Cosima is freaking by now and watches the women lock the door.

“Hey, what's going on, what do you mean I'm like not myself? Now who's tripping?” Cosima jokes, she honestly had no idea, and in these times (which were rare) Cosima just had to keep going and find as much information as she could. The women walked straight past her and over to the kitchen that Cosima did not believe was hers. In an instant a coffee pours itself from a 'DYAD' machine and it is in the Doctors hands, she sips it and leans on the edge of the counter staring at her.

“Don't worry...” The women was very frustrated and annoyed, but visibly trying to keep her cool. “It's not your fault.” With one pale elegant hand she stroked her temples and sighed. Cosima not really sure what to think now, walked over to her, getting a little closer than she would normally. This was a dream after all.

“Dude please tell me what's going on. What isn't my fault?” Cosima went out to touch her arm but the women slapped her away. Cosima furrowed her bro. “Ok, I am guessing I am not tripping now. What's going on, who sent you?” Cosima stepped back and looked all over the apartment for cameras. “So what Scott is out in some van filming this whole thing or something?” Cosima jumped up on the sofa and stared into a corner of the kitchen. “Well done Scott, you got me. Now come out dude.” Cosima waited for some big reveal, but the women and the room were deadly quite.

“Half of me wants to put you out of your misery now. I would very much like my Cosima back now.” The women finishes her coffee and walks over to the door, staring at her watch. “You would think in 12 years we would have been able to stop the interference...Mon Dieu.” Cosima gets off of the sofa and is annoyed now, her theory of a trip isn't panning out.

“Seriously what's going on, I'm starting to get pissed.” Cosima heads over to Dr Cormier but as soon as she takes even a few steps her head starts pounding. Her hands reach up and holds onto her head, the pain is searing! Knives being repeatedly driven into her head over and over, like there was a massive pressure that was trying to get in and one trying to get out. “Owwwww!” Cosima falls to the floor, the woman just watches her, tapping her watch and waiting. In the pain Cosima manages to get to her hands and knees, and look at her watch. 9 minutes had passed since she had got up, in 9 minutes she had had the worst trip. Her head crippled her once more and she was flat out on the floor, the pain seeming to get harder and harder. Like the most intense head ache she had ever head, pounding blood gushing all through her veins as if they weren't big enough. As she felt she was about to burst the women spoke.

“I should have known sooner. Come back to me Cosima.” And in that instance, 47 seconds past 9 minutes, Cosima flats out on the floor.

Chapter Text

White is all there is for a few seconds. Cosima suddenly becomes aware that she is walking. Falling slightly to the right she missed hitting the wall and carried on. Soon it set in that she is in the middle of a corridor, with Dr. Cormier by her side, walking towards an unknown destination. Quickly removing the mist from her head she checks her wrist watch. 10 days had passed! Her eyes dart around the corridor as she is walking. What was going on?

“Whoa.” Cosima says and puts her arms out when she adjusts to where she is and what her body is doing without her command, she comes under control of herself and stops. The women doesn't notice at first and then turns, shock evident on her face with a mixture of really cute frustration. “What is going on?” Cosima leans up on the wall and checks the date again. 10 days! What was she even doing with her life? The last thing she remembered was being on the floor in her...well what used to be her apartment. Looking at herself she can see that she is wearing a white lab coat. For a second her mind rationalises that she is in Minnesota, she is back at the labs. That she is safe. But the illusion is dashed when Dr. Cormier comes over to her, her slender black heels clicking on the floor as she strides, a little stiffly from her anger.

“Again!” Her hand comes to her forehead and she looks all over Cosima, trying to figure something out for herself. Her glare over her body would get Cosima a little hot under the collar if she wasn't so confused.

“Dude, did I just like...materialise?” Cosima asks with a big grin on her face, when there is no response except staring from the French women her smile drops. “What?” Cosima's breathing suddenly joins up with her erratic heat beat as she realises that it has happened again. Shaking her head, her hand comes up to her chest in an attempt to calm herself this was not supposed to happen. The French women is unsympathetic, she just moves across to the opposite side of the hall, one hand still on her head, her face lost and the other behind her back. Her legs cross over and Cosima looks at her for a second. Flashes of mixed emotions come over her, and for an instant this women was someone she really cared for. Soon in a matter of seconds this emotion was replaced with dread, fear and adrenaline, the natural reaction to threatening and confusing situations. This was what Cosima had to hold onto. Looking around with darting wide eyes Cosima bolts for double doors slightly down the corridor.

“Cosima no, Mon Dieu.” Cosima could see just outside of her eyes sight that the women had moved forward, but she couldn't piece anything together. Her head was completely frazzled, totally all over the place and her only instinct was to get the hell out of that situation now. Maybe something was in the coffee last time, maybe they had drugged her. She didn't care she just needed to get out. Running down another long white corridor with bleak doors lining either side, she felt something repeatedly hitting her chest. Thinking it was the palpitations from her heart Cosima looked down to investigate whilst running hard. Large gasping breaths take over her chest, running and being a weed smoker were not good mixes. There was a badge attached to her chest. Her hand came up, and her running slowed (from lack of fitness, not from want). 'Director' it read just above a full name, her full name. 'Cosima Neihaus'. Director? She thinks as she slows to a stop. Taking the name badge in a second more her hands fall to her body, to the rest of the lab coat to find clues as to what the hell was going on. In her left pocket she pulls out some crumpled pieces of paper. Flattening the out on her chest she looks at the handwriting that is definitively hers. 'Dr. Leekie after 3 minutes. Second interval 7 minutes explain new research line. Third interval introduce Dierden. Smile, beg for money.' Cosima knew it was her handwriting but where it had come from and when she had wrote it, she had no idea. Looking again at her wrist watch she double checked it had been 10 days. What the heck was going on? At that moment Dr. Cormier and some well built men burst through the double doors she had run through when she had got past countless corridors. Taking another deep breath and frowning, she had no idea what she was running from, but she just knew she had to run. Almost falling flat on her face she got her stuff together and managed to break away into a side corridor, it had 'conference room' in bold letters stamped over the top of the far doors. Taking a look back, Dr. Cormier was fat on her tail, she had no option. As she got approached Cosima could hear voices, murmuring and noises getting closer and closer. With her arms out she burst through the double doors. A loud round, ringing off applause greeted her, before she tripped over something and fell to the floor. The applause stopped slowly and some one helped her up. Nudging her glassed up her nose she realised where she had ended up.

“Director, it's time for you to take the stage, are you ok?” A man dressed in black with a huge head set on clip board and worries expression came over to her, he put his pen in his mouth and flicked through some pages on his board. Frozen from stage fright Cosima looked around the crowd. It was no 'conference room' this was an amphitheatre full to the brim of people clapping politely and loudly her face hologramed onto a stage, she was grinning. When was that taken? What was she doing here.

“Cosima, I think it's your turn.” A strange older males voice offered, she turned to meet a taller skinny man with a black and white suit, crisp, with a balding pale white head and one grey eye. “Cosima, are you ok?” He asked, looking at her in the same quizzical face that Dr. Cormier had done before. On a large projected banner across the wall read 'International Stem-Cell Research Organisation- ISRO' with her face again, plastered with a grin. The crowd stopped clapping and it all went awkwardly silent. The older man with the grey eye became uneasy and took a step closer to Cosima. “My advice would be to go up there. Time pays.” The man taps his wrist watch, Cosima was confused and frightened, looking at her own watch and seeing that it was the same. Not sure of what to do and scared as hell Cosima starts to walk toward the stage, watching out for the white wires all over the floor. As she takes her first uneasy step, Dr. Cormier breaks through the door with the men and her eyes go wide to see Cosima heading up to the stage. Cosima stops walking and her heart starts to jump again. Checking the time she knows she has been there for 8 minutes. Pausing half up the stairs she looks back to the stage
manager, the older man and the women. The older man tilts his head and stares intently at Cosima, as if he was willing her to get up on stage. Dr. Cormier looks from the man to Cosima and back again, as if willing the same. Cosima retreats a few steps but knows she is blocked between the stage in front of hundreds of people and that women who she knew was somehow tied into her not understanding anything. How did she get to this day, how had she missed 10 days of her life! The older man burst into action, coming towards Cosima and grabbing her by the arm.

“Hey man, get off.” Cosima complains and tries to break free of his strong grasp. He takes her out of view of the silent crowd. The atmosphere was thick with anticipation.

“Aldous, it is not Cosima. There is some sort of interference.” Dr. Cormier states in a worried tone. The older man takes a long glance between the women and stares right back into Cosima's eyes.

“I know, I can't seem to get a hit...Interesting isn't it?” He says, Cosima is so scared she doesn't even fight, her curiosity and instinct to live take over her rational thought to get out. He puts is hands on both of her shoulders and stares again deep into her eyes, with darting eyes to the hidden crowd, he looks back at her. “Who are you?”

In that second the same horrible, uncontrollable pain hits her. It is as if someone has just thrown a palate of bricks right at her head, it takes it right out of her. In a second she flops into the man's chest, the last thing she sees is his white shirt button before she looses herself again.

 

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“Cosima are you prepared?” Delphine asks, her grip on her wife's hand couldn't be any tighter, as they walk into the ISRO building. It's getting late and the antiseptic lights are beginning to come on in the streets. Delphine hated what the world had become these days, technology had taken over. She remembered a time before she got caught up with the ISRO, a time before the election changed everything. A time before where DYAD was just a far off dream. Now placing one heel carefully in front of the other she held her wife, Cosima's, hand.

“More than prepared. I am ecstatic.” Delphine could never get over how well spoken Cosima was. Having come over to Canada from France she thought she wouldn't fit in. A new placement here would be foreign, but more so the opinions of herself. Immigration, even skilled was frowned upon these days. You stay where you are born and if you are born into war it is your own dumb luck. She was he lucky one to escape. That was until she met Cosima; british born and had, like herself, been transferred here by the governments. DYAD were just a pipe dream in university, and now she was their leader. They called her 'Rachel', a silly nick name after the old leader, president was the word Delphine preferred, she wasn't leading anything. Delphine listened to the British accented words and smiled deeply, gripping the hand comfortingly.

“Hold on.” Delphine said, allowing Cosima time to stop. Delphine let go of her hand, missing it immediately and reached into her black clutch. “We forgot our rings.” Delphine brought out a recycled plastic bag. Cosima grinned at her knowing what that was before frowning slightly at the realism of it.

“It is such a shame they cannot know we are married.” Cosima reluctantly pried her wedding ring off of her finger, giving the missing space a quick rub before placing it in the bag. Delphine did the same.

“It is not in the plan, you know that Cosima.” Delphine was saddened at the prospect. “Maybe one day when this is all..sorted, we can leave and start on our own plan.” Cosima took hold of Delphine's hand once their rings were secured. They shared a meaningful gaze with each other, Cosima's hand itching to climb its way up to her wife's cheek and her lips kiss it. The prospect of her lips on Delphine's warm skin made her blush slightly, but she knew she couldn't this place was wired with sensors. Letting go of the thought. Delphine blushed too, but what they did in the confines of their apartment were not appropriate here. DYAD would find out somehow, proximity was not allowed.

They carried on walking, each of them itching to hold each other once more, but they had passed the threshold of the building now, they couldn't.

“You know I really want to kiss you right?” Cosima stated under her breath, Delphine blushed and sighed lightly, not too obviously. She nodded and pretended to look at her tight skirt, flattening it out and then straight ahead. They passed security and headed to the elevator up to the 17th floor. They both knew exactly what was going to happen as soon as they got in. Once those grey doors shut, Delphine leaped onto Cosima, pressing her against the wall and kissing her hard on the lips. Cosima reacted instantly, her arms wrapping around Delphine, they lips eagerly brushing, skin touching skin, bodies intertwined. Cosima couldn't resist she had to touch Delphine more, her hand finding its way up under the back of her blouse and resting on the small of her perfect back. Delphine's hands clutched Cosima's face as their tongues met sending pulses over the both of them, their cores beaconing to be touched. The elevator slowed to a stop and both of them stood as far away as they could in that confined space as possible, Delphine this time did flatten her skirt and tuck her blouse back in. Cosima nudged her glasses up her face and straightened her name badge, just in time for the doors to open and three bleak faced men attempt to get in before realising they were there. The men stepped aside and Cosima lead the way out, Delphine checking her wife's ass out very quickly and unnoticeable. It was so hot. She cleared the blush from her cheeks and they both pushed through a set of double doors onto the main white corridor. Delphine suddenly felt nervous about the big conference they were a bout to enter.

“Are you sure you're prepared?” Delphine asked as they walked, she walked a little ahead of Cosima now.

“Delphine you do not need to worry, I'll be fine. I always am.” Cosima reassured her. For the last few metres of the corridor they were both silent.

“Whoa.” There was a moan, Delphine didn't really register it at first, but she soon realised Cosima was not by her side any more. Turning around, she saw Cosima had totally changed, she was slouching, her head tilting a confused grin was on her face and her hands were out to steady her. Mon Dieu it was happening again, and right before the big conference! “Did I just materialise?” Delphine heard her say, her heart dropped and anger replaced the lust and nervous happiness in her heart. She noticed Cosima's breathing was becoming erratic and her hand was up to her chest comforting herself. Delphine wanted to move forward and tell Cosima it was ok, that it was fine and it was just nerves. This was not her Cosima, her wife Cosima. Instead of comforting her, Delphine's hand came to her forehead in an attempt to force the Cosima she knew back into the person in front of her. She knew it was futile to even attempt to get her back, instead of toying between helping the women she loved and not, she voted for standing on the opposite wall. For a second their eyes met and she swore her Cosima was back, just a glimmer of hope amongst the confusion. But soon those eyes were darkened and replaced with the unknown women. This was such a bad time! She had to be on in minutes, she was going to be late and this was no state for her to go on. Staring blankly into space was all she could do. Delphine hated this, the technology was so far advanced yet they couldn't eve deal with this. It was times like these when ethical debates were raging in her...

“Cosima no, Mon Dieu!” Cosima, or at least the new women had bolted off down the corridor and was already bursting through double doors in the opposite direction. She knew all corridors on this level lead back to this one, to the conference room at the end, it was a mechanism to help lost international governors. Even so it was a massive inconvenience. Getting out her mobile Delphine ordered the men to help to secure Cosima. She didn't explain to them what was happening, the smaller amount of people that new about the project the better. With a heavy sigh of frustration and anger she set off to find her, the women who stole her wives body.

Chapter Text

PART 3:

Mornings were ever Cosima's favourite time, they were made worse when she knew they were not her own. Having not known she had been to sleep her eyes jolted open, trying to figure out if it was all a dream or she was in a different zone again. She knew she was in bed and it felt strange, looking over, even with her poor eye sight she knew she was in bed with Dr. Cormier. Shocked, she scrambled out of the bed and was standing too quickly at the side, ready to attack. Her head rush came and went and Dr. Cormier was still there, in her white thin strapped vest with just a small view of a toned stomach underneath where the covers had pulled it up slightly in the night. Checking the time she clocked exactly how long she had, the last two times she had had around 10 minutes, she had to keep watch in case this was happening again. 4 days had passed since she was last...aware? Conscious? When your body can't rationalise something it either pretends it doesn't exist or learns to accept it. Cosima at this point wasn't sure whether she had just accepted the lapses she was experiencing or was still in shock that her body hadn't figured it out yet. Walking out of the bedroom she noticed herself in a mirror, her eyes widened, she was wearing skimpy lacy black panties and just a lingerie bra. Cosima suddenly felt a little violated and a little aroused. She made her way over to the TV which was at this time the only thing she knew how to work, getting up close to it she sat on the edge of the coffee table and turned it on. Immediately it's screen illuminated, it seemed to know to stay quite and was on mute, either that or she had done it herself without realising.

“Search ISRO?” Cosima tested out, the screen faded grey and in big red letters read 'Override' with space for 4 digits, she didn't know what digits to input. “Override.” Cosima tried, it didn't work the same message refreshed. “Search Cosima Neihaus.” This seemed to work, the first thing that came up happened to be that news programme she watched... over 14 days ago. The same sharp and clean cut man was in the centre of the screen.

“Dr. Cosima Neihaus, Director of the ISRO made an 'unusual' entrance to the mega conference earlier this week, stumbling through the entrance doors seemingly not knowing where she was going and then being escorted behind stage. What is strange, is that she seemed to make an almost instant recovery, within seconds heading up the stage a calm and collected person, handling the conference as if nothing happened. But fear not public, we have the whole thing on link.” The man was replaced with a cut scene from the conference, it must have been taken from the back of the room, just a few seconds before Cosima had burst through. She smashes through the doors and the people automatically applaud, before realising that Cosima is acting odd. Cosima sees herself and it is so strange, she definitely doesn't look like herself. She watches the events unfold, the point where that man takes her away out of sight really gages her interest. Cosima knew it was in those few out of sight moments that she blacked out. The next part was as new to her as it was to the people watching at home. “You see she makes an almost instant recovery, taking the podium and beginning the speech.” The man on over voice spoke, Cosima felt sick. She saw herself, but it wasn't herself. It was horrific and her stomach turned, her body was walking up the stairs, except her body knew nothing of those moments, it had no memory and her brain hurt just to comprehend it. Cosima, the Cosima on screen took the podium in the centre of the stage with a confident face. She took her glasses off and began to address the crowd. Shaking her head Cosima held down vomit, and stared more intently at the screen as she heard herself speak. It was in no accent she had ever head. It was British, a posh British. Cosima wasn't even sure she could imitate that accent if she tried. Whatever happened when she was not...awake...it meant she did not recall what she did next. Maybe instead of blacking out she just forgets the last few seconds, and maybe it freaks her out. Maybe she does remember the last 4 days, the 14 days, the last 12 years but she just...there was no scientific explanation that Cosima could use. Amnesia maybe, but what causing it and why so specifically for 10 minutes.

Dr. Cormier seemed to be waking from the bedroom, the thought sent chills down her spine, she didn't understand this at all. When the women did not rise, Cosima knew she had to find stuff out and find it fast. Quickly she noted down her job, it was important it was to do with ISRO. Maybe it was...she had no idea. The TV man spoke again after Cosima's alien speech that she didn't remember giving was over. A man took the stage, Dr. Aldous Leekie. Cosima knew him, he was the man she saw before she passed out. Recalling the memory before the blackness was hard, and it physically hurt her head, like there was something in her mind actively holding onto that memory and not letting it be played out. What did he mean when he said he couldn't 'get a hit?'.

“We, at the DYAD have teamed up with the International Stem-cell Research Organisation to bring forward a new vision of the future in the form of PICO technology.” The news report was now playing the rest of the conference. Cosima felt ill and uncomfortable watching what could only be explained as herself sat on a line of chairs behind the man speaking, she was sat with perfect posture, cross legged and listening intently. Cosima loved science but nothing could hold her attention for that long. At the word PICO the crowd all in harmony give expressions of anger and disbelief. “Yes yes, the very same PICO, however we have modified it. I bring you the future of the modern age. PICO prototype mark I.” Just then a man walks onto the stage, the crowd asses him for a second but seem not to be convinced. “Give me anything, anything for him to do.” The crowd remain silent. “How about a little humour.” Dr. Leekie stepped out in front of the podium, clapping his hands together and stopped, staring intently at the man. For a second the man did nothing, before long he was doing some sort of jig. He started robotically moving, stiffly, before becoming more fluid. The crowd were laughing and so was Leekie which in turn was making the man inhumanly mimic his exact laugh and facial expression. It was creepy. Cosima couldn't bare to watch, but Leekie's last words caught her attention. “Now kill yourself.” Dr. Leekie commanded in a matter of fact way, the man instantly grabs a gun out of his back belt and shoots himself in the head causing him to fall to the floor limp. Dr. Leekie looks around the crowd who are still for a second before erupting in a standing ovation. Cosima knew she was going to be sick, she turned the TV off and ran into what she knew as her bathroom, it was now a closet, turning she saw the bathroom in a new section that had never been there before. She lifted the lid and gagged to get the contents of her stomach that was so willing to come up, out of her. But it didn't happen, she ended up spitting in the toilet bowl, flushing and sitting with the lid down, head in her hands. Right about now was when she really needed to know what was going on.

“Cosima are you ok?” Dr. Cormier had appeared in the hall way, she was rubbing her eyes and looked adorably sleepy. Cosima panicked, she looked at her watch and then stood up. Her mind took over and she replied in the best British accent she could muster, to her surprise it sounded exactly like that...other her.

“Yes, I just felt a little woozy.” Cosima said and then brushed past her. Dr. Cormier seemed unsure, and Cosima knew she was not sure which Cosima she was, the Cosima, Cosima actually is, or that British women from the screen. “Coffee?” Cosima offered in a nervous and threatened way, again in the accent, as she walked over to the kitchen. In a way she had only seen once, she imitated Dr .Cormier when she got coffee and put her hand under a sensor, a cup of hot coffee was poured and placed in her hand right away. Cosima was unsure of where it came from and did not have time to waste wondering about it.

“Oui.” Dr. Cormier said, settling for it being the Cosima she evidently knew and slept with, she rubbed her eyes once more and came over to the kitchen. Cosima again put her hand under the sensor, just as the coffee was placed in her hand her sides became electrified with the gentle movement of Dr. Cormier as her arms wrapped around her waist and her head rested on top her bare shoulder kissing her neck. Cosima's eyes widened at the touch, her kiss was so soft and sensual and the way they were connected, it was as if they really fit together. Their bodies pressed up against each other made Cosima blush and get a little flustered. Dr. Cormier again kissed her neck by this time Cosima was so consumed with the way they felt together that she as quite turned on, pressing back into the body of the women. The women smiled into her shoulder, took the coffee cup and drank it, with one arm still wrapped around her, teasing it's way at the hem of Cosima's panties. With wide eyes and much reluctance Cosima pushed away.

“I was trying to research something and seemed to have forgot the override codes, do you mind telling me them again.” Cosima asked, she pretended to have some sort of headache. The women was still hanging onto their body warmth but turned and came over to the TV, she wrapped her arm around Cosima's waist again and thankfully didn't sense the tension in her body. Cosima was confused and had no time to be turned on, she had her life to get back.

“0934, does your head hurt?” Dr. Cormier asked, she turned, they were so close that their breasts were touching through the material; Cosima had to use every muscle to not pull away out of nerves. She was never great with women, she had dated tons but she was always uncomfortable with touching before talking. The woman stroked Cosima's blushed cheek and checked her over. Their eyes connected. Instantly there was a change in Dr. Cormier's eyes and she stepped back a little. “Why did you want to know the codes again?” She asked. Cosima stepped back too.

“I was trying to...look up the fiasco at the conference I heard about and some of the search words were blocked. It was a mind blank or something and I couldn't find it.” It twigged in Cosima's head that the women knew she was not the women she thought. In panic, Cosima lifted herself up on her tip toes and planted a sensual, prolonged kiss on the women's lips. They reacted perfectly moulded to her like they had done it a hundred times. With her hands around the women's neck her fingers held each other. She noticed something was different. Cosima pulled back and left the women hanging. She could see that there was conflict in the woman's face, that she was still deciding who the Cosima in front of her was. When they just stared at each other Cosima took a glance at her watch and the diamond ring that was on her wedding finger. Her eyes wide, they darted to the women's wedding ring, they were identical. Holy watershed, they were married. Cosima knew she couldn't just ask what was going on, this went way deeper than that.

“You're not Cosima.” The women is suddenly cold, Cosima knew she slipped up when she looked at her wrist. Married. They were married? Cosima would never get married she was fundamentally opposed to it, it was just a capitalist probe to procreate the new generation of workers...although she guessed not for them. Taking a look over her body she guessed there were worse people to be married too. Her words were confirmed when the women darted behind her. “Merde, why now . Everything was going perfectly. Merde!” Cosima could hear the women taking but not what was going on. She checked her watch, only half a minute left, her heart started to race. Then she was confused, the women's arms wrapped around her again and she relaxed into them instinctually, but out of no where a rag was coming towards her mouth. She was terrified and kicked out, but Dr. Cormier was surprisingly strong, it was no use, within seconds the rag was over her mouth and something strong, something that smelled dangerous was being inhaled in through her nose. She tried to hold her breath in but her heart was racing so fast she needed to breath. Breathing to stay alive was the thing that was going to kill her. It didn't take that long for her to be out cold.

 

-----------------

 

Delphine loved mornings like this. They happened twice a week and it was the two mornings a week that she lived for. Twice a week was the limit married couples could see each other, it was part of the new regime. Delphine didn't care for politics she cared for her beautiful wife....where was she? Delphine's arm patted the bed sheets, they were cold and unmade. Opening her eyes slowly she realised that Cosima was no longer in bed. It was odd. She heard some commotion in the bathroom and worried that Cosima was sick again.

“Cosima are you ok?” Delphine asked, she was so sleepy. She had expected it to be past 9 when she woke up, that's her normal routine. But her watch called it to be half 7 in the morning. She looked down at her wife but to be honest she couldn't see all that well when she first gets up. She saw Cosima stand up and memories flooded back of the night before, Cosima standing there in her lingerie and pushing Delphine back onto the bed, the way Cosima liked to take control really got Delphine off on a whole new level. Just the memory was enough to make her core turn over. How Cosima had climbed up on top of her and pinned her arms down. It was like she was a new person.

“Yes, I just felt a little woozy.” the words reassured Delphine because they were not how Cosima normally described her illness. At least the words were changing and that meant she was getting better. The way she spoke was a little strained but this early everything sounded a little strained. However the dreaded feeling came over her, the feelings of doubt and insecurity washed into her body like a wave crashing in the ocean. But like the rocks that waves crashes into Delphine just let them hit her, she wanted to believe so much that this was the women she fell in love with. She wanted to hug her wife like she did every morning, feel the warmth of their bodies together and press her lips upon Cosima's soft skin, but Cosima brushed past her. Something was definitely off with her, and it wasn't just the early hour. Maybe the interference was having a more profound effect on her normal.

“Coffee?” Cosima asked, Delphine was hesitant at the strained way in which she spoke, she seemed a little nervous which could mean two things, Cosima was either hiding something or this wasn't her Cosima. But the way Cosima made the coffee set Delphine's doubts aside, she made it as she did every single time; half expecting nothing to happen and suddenly there is a coffee in her hand.

“Oui.” Delphine spoke, it was colder in their apartment then she wanted, she wanted to crawl back into bed and spoon Cosima like she loved doing so much. Rubbing her eyes Delphine stumbled her way over to Cosima. IN her head Delphine was clumsy and couldn't walk in a straight line, but according to Cosima even when Delphine fell she did it with such elegance and grace you would think it was planned and it made it even cuter. But she didn't know how much of that was out of obligation to not be mean to your wife. Delphine couldn't wait, she was cold in her vest and white panties and so reached her arms around Cosima's waist and pulled her body closer to her. She could feel Cosima's body stiffen slightly but the way they both fit together was unique and such a comfortable experience. Delphine took a deep breath, taking in Cosima's natural delicious scent before placing a gentle prolonged kiss on her bare neck. Her skin reacted and she could tell Cosima loved it. After the kiss her head settled on top of Cosima's soft shoulder, but again she could not resist and had to show Cosima that she loved her, her lips pressed onto the tantalising skin once more. Delphine smiled into the kiss when she felt Cosima press back into her, showing her by natural instinct that she was as into it and she was herself. Satisfied that her kisses had this effect Delphine grabbed the cup of coffee and took a few sips. But that wasn't the end, when she assume Cosima was distracted by her drinking the coffee her hand slipped around her waist and slowly made its way to the hem of Cosima's panties. There was a second where Delphine thought Cosima was going to let her go further, but as suspected Cosima became flustered and walked off.

“I was trying to research something and seemed to have forgot the override codes, do you mind telling me them again.” Cosima asked and this sparked the doubt in Delphine's head. Delphine tried to ignore it, hanging on the natural way their bodies fit together, this was definitely her Cosima. Maybe the interference was messing with her head too. Waking over to her she took a sip of her coffee and placed it down, wrapping her arm around Cosima's waist, there was a little tension but it could be from the interference.

“0934, does your head hurt?” Delphine was concerned, if it was messing with her head maybe other elements could be missing too. Wanting to check her over, her medical doctor training kicked in and she turned to face Cosima, their breasts touching. But this was not the time to think about how great that felt and how her body was reacting to it. Delphine checked over her eyes, they seemed..darker but more or less normal. This set the doubt alarm bells ringing again. This was not her Cosima. “Why did you want to know the codes again?” She asked and saw the way Cosima stepped back. Cosima gave some excuse but it was not adequate even if it sounded like her wife. Delphine was about to call her out on it, but was shocked when the small women stepped up and kissed her hard on the lips. The kiss was hungry, yet still, full of emotion and baggage but sensual. When Cosima pulled away Delphine was not ready to let go and clung onto the memory. Even with that kiss that made her core tingle Delphine's doubts were being realised. This was not her Cosima, it was made solid when Cosima checked her watch a little too quickly. Her Cosima was always late, she never looked at her watch.

“You're not Cosima.” Delphine's heart beat was slow and deep at the words. It felt like the adrenaline that had suddenly been released into her body had slowed time. Anger filed her mind and she felt so stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. This was not her Cosima, this was the imposter. Darting behind the vessel of her wife Delphine did the only thing she knew, and it killed her to even think of it. Opening the emergency draw with her finger prints only it opened and he quickly and automatically made up the concoction of chemicals onto a rag on the counter side. “Merde, why now. Everything was going perfectly. Merde!” Delphine came back to the body of her wife, wrapped her arms around her one last time. For a second she forgot what she was doing, her body was so used to the other that it wanted to hug and hold her. Delphine regained the mission her body had to do and pulled the rag up to Cosima's face. Stupid. She was so stupid for not noticing, Cosima, her Cosima doesn't sound like that. Her Cosima was elegant and well mannered and knew how to make coffee! With a movement that made her heart miss beats Delphine secured the rag over her...the body of her wife's mouth and nose, making her inhale the chemicals. She knew it wouldn't take long. Dr. Leekie said there was always the possibility of this happening but not now, not when their life was suddenly going right and they were getting out. After a few more seconds the chemicals seemed to take effect and the body went limp. Holding back her tears Delphine carried her wife's body over to the sofa and propped her up on the cushions. When she would come around she would not remember this, and it killed her every time to see.

“Delphine, how did I get to the sofa?” Cosima, her Cosima asked after a few minutes of stagnant silence in the apartment. Delphine wiped her last tear from her cheek and walked over to the sofa. Coughing slightly to hide her emotions, Delphine sat next to her wife, they instinctually cuddled into each other. This body felt more natural, this was her Cosima.

“Don't you remember, you crashed out here sweetie.” Delphine said as they kissed each other. Cosima was grinning happily, their fingers intertwined laying on their lap. Cosima was accepting for a second seconds and her grin grew wider.

“Oh yeah. Want some coffee?” Cosima offered to go up and get some, Delphine with pain in her eyes looked over to the counter and the rag that was hanging slightly out of the draw. She cuddled in more to her wife.

“You know, I don't like coffee much now. How about we just sit here...for a bit.” Delphine stated and rested her head on her girlfriends shoulder. Cosima nodded and rested her own on Delphine's. “Je t'aime Cosima.” Delphine whispered into the air and she held her hand tighter.

“I love you too.” Cosima said with a smile into the air, she pushed into closer to the warmth of Delphine's body, there was something wrong, she could see it in the way Delphine's eyes were pained. She had no idea what it was and that hurt her. Especially as she knew she was the one causing the pain.

Chapter Text

PART 4:

Cosima's head was banging and pounding all around, it felt like wherever she was, she was moving fast backwards and forwards. As Cosima's senses started kick in she could feel something happening to her that made her heart drop. Her eyes shot open, at least this time she was wearing her glasses. She was somewhere she had never seen before, the walls are dark and bleak with posters and decayed wallpaper falling off in small strips. The roof was horribly clogged up with damp and seemed threatening to fall down over her. When her body started to wake up she could feel something happening to her and that she was incredibly horny. Turning to look up above her she let out a scream!

“Whoa what the hell!” Cosima cried out, there was a man over her with death in his eyes, his eye lids half closed with his mouth gritting. She soon realised that he was fucking her. Or rather the other her.

“I told you to play dead, close your eyes!” He shouted out, Cosima immediately closed her eyes in shock and it just intensified the feelings between her legs. What the hell had she woken up in!? No no, this was not going to happen. Cosima beat her hands up, but they wouldn't move, they are restrained. She was laid spread legged and tied to the bed.

“Get off, get off now. Seriously get out now.” Cosima shouted but he just grunted and thrusted. She tried to close her legs or do something but even her body doesn't want to move, his cock felt so good inside of her and it makes her grimace.

“Safe word or I keep going.” The man grunted again, she could tell he had a French accent and it made it worse. It wasn't as though for him this was bad, he thinks he is fucking that other Cosima. The Cosima that isn't her. He doesn't even know this is happening.

“No get off me now, you fuck.” Cosima commanded again. She pulled against her restraints but they did not even budge, they just ground into her wrists and ankles. The man slowed down and pulled out of her. It felt like a massive weight had fallen from her and she took a few seconds to regain her breath and control what was happening between her legs. At least he was using a condom. He sat up in front of her and rested in hands on his hairy thighs.

“What, what's wrong?” He at least sounded understanding now his penis wasn't in control of his mind. Cosima again pulled her restraints and he coined on. “You know this means I am not giving your that research contract, you can kiss the expansion goodbye.” His accent was even stronger, as if he lived all of his life in the deep country side of France. He unlocked her from the bed and Cosima shot up running as far to the other side of the room as she could. It happens to be where the other Cosima's clothes were strewn.

“I don't care about that, where are clothes, I can't wear these.” Cosima pushed her glasses up her nose and used some of the other women's clothes to cover her naked body. Her heart was literally racing so hard and she felt so violated. There was a massive internal conflict about what just even happened. It wasn't his fault he had no idea, he thought he was fucking the other Cosima. “Quick, clothes, I need them!” Cosima called out again.

“I thought you were British?” The man had climbed off of the bed and was stood with his rock solid chest in blue jeans, tightening the belt. “You have an American accent. Where's that from, the old west? Haven't been allowed over there in about 10 years.” Cosima didn't care about this words or the slightly attractive way he said them, he pointed to a chest underneath the rack her clothes were on and carried on dressing himself. She knew he was staring at her ass as she bent down to open up the chest. Inside she found a really long dress top, some other persons underwear and boots. There were no pants or skirts. Crap.

“I urr...sorry when I am....I'm not the women you went to bed with alright, I am someone different and I need to know who I am when I am not...me?” Cosima tried to figure out what was happening and just carried on getting changed, she pulled the zipper on her boots and sat on the edge of the bed. Her hand went to her head and slapped herself on on the forehead. “Man what am I doing?” Cosima stared at the window for a second it had a dingy white lace curtain, she just had to figure out where she could be. It had been 12 years who was she kidding. The man came around and stood opposite her as she sat there.

“Hmm, what do you mean you aren't the same person?” The man asked, he had now pulled on a white shirt and was buttoning it up, but not high enough to cover the mist of hair on his chest. Cosima shook her head searching for the words, she felt so uncomfortable.

“Look I need to get out of here, I have like minutes dude and something bad is going to happen. You won't like me when I am that person..or maybe you will, I guess you wanted to fuck her, so maybe for you this will be great. But what do I know, I am in a dream right, there is like some scientist in my reality trying out some hella trippy drug. This is all fake right?” Cosima stood up and began pacing the room, really unsure of what her next move was after what she had found out last time. “Wait, wait, wait.” She stopped still in the middle of the room her hand out and pointing at him. “What contract, what expansion? What were we...like doing here?” Cosima instantly went to her wedding finger and noticed that the ring she found last time wasn't there. There was the smallest tan line where it had been for quite some time, and that took dedication, Cosima was pale as hell.

“You know that sub-contracted, untraceable, ghosting yada yada research team. You requested an expansion, needed a little leverage to get the bill passed from the commission and so you enlisted my...services.” Cosima grimaced. “So I set the ball rolling, got the contracts pushed through to final check, and here we are. She was so desperate to get that final part out of the way that she sent you here. The rest...” He smirked, itching his crotch which made Cosima cringe. “I am sure you remember.” She?

“Hold on a sec, who is she?” Cosima had to know the question even though most of her body wanted to get out of that room and run as far as she could away from him.

“That women director, interim, person...you know your head, that Delphine Cormier.” At that moment he grabbed a few cigarettes out of his back pants pocket and lit one in his mouth, taking a long drag and exhaling through his nose and mouth. “Do I need to call a doctor?” He said in some sort of compassion, but Cosima couldn't see past the image of his grunting, eyes half closed face. “You are acting strange, I didn't hit your head did I?” Cosima looked the other way. The evidence didn't add up, that 'Delphine Cormier' as in Dr. Cormier was somehow involved in getting the other Cosima into bed with this guy..what for a contract? “This better not all be for show, you're not getting the contract.” He kept taking longs drags on that cigarette and Cosima hated the smell of actual smoke, it was her sign.

“Ok ok, where is the door?” In the clothes she was wearing she had no other idea of what to do, she had to get out of there, maybe running wouldn't actually help but it sure felt good. As soon as he pointed to the door she bolted, sprinting from the get go. As she flashed through the door a man was stood outside beside it, she brushed past him, and he called after her, he too was British but Cosima couldn't deal with that now. As soon as she skipped the stairs and broke daylight from the shady apartment block her eyes went wide in shock. France? How could she be in France. The Eiffel tower was just visible over a few rooftops. Her heart was racing so hard and her breathing was insane, she glanced at her watch trying to figure out how long she had been talking and how long she had left before she had no more time. In a heart beat the doors behind her swung open and someone ran into her back, causing her to almost tip over, she fell and took a seat on the curb holding her chest.

“He was quick, what did he breach the entrance and off he popped? Poor guy, although I've had shorter.” The man was tall and skinny a hollowed but very well defined face, plump lips and black crafted hair in that typical long top and short side style. He wore a white stripped tshirt like those French mimes and some very very tight black skinny jeans with boots. He took a seat next to Cosima, although which one he thought she was she didn't know. She was still trying to catch her breath, not from running but from sheer panic.

“Who are you?” Cosima was still trying to piece things together, piece anything together, to make this whole thing make sense!

“Oh babe he wasn't that good was he? Made you forget who you are? Mind I have a few of those too...although one time I was actually drugged, god forbid I woke up the next morning not knowing Queen from well..The Queen--”

“No just tell me who you are please, just tell me who...no what..no, tell me who I am.” Cosima's head was in her hands at the curb to the side walk. The man's arms flew around her in an instant, they were loving and warm.

“God what happened to you?” He sounded really worried, at least someone was worried what was going on right now. She leant her head into his shoulder as tears escaped her eyes. This may have happened only a few times but it was 1 time too many. She didn't know who she was when she...well...wasn't. “I'm Felix, you are Cosima and we are in Paris.”

“I gathered that.” Cosima said sarcastically, the tears subsiding. What good were tears anyway when they weren't your own. They both laughed a little.

“Hun, what happened? Tell me?” He leaned out of their embrace, whoever this Felix person was he was a great hugger and made her feel instantly relaxed, even if he was lurking outside of the room she was in.

“I am not Cosima. You don't understand. I am not the Cosima you know, and I don't know how long I have to tell you this. But I am not her--”

“Not with that accent, where did you get that?!” Felix coined on to the sudden accent change. “Spending too long in Canada that you have tried to be different? Honey, American is not the way to go, do you not remember what happened to America 3 years ago? Bloody hell they catch you with that accent and your over--”

“I don't care, I am not Cosima and this doesn't matter all I need to know is-” Cosima realised something. “-Exactly, this isn't my accent right, this isn't what I normally sound like? Well the other me, this is not the accent that 'Cosima' has?”

“No it isn't, but bloody hell it's amazing.” He put his arm around her as their sat. Cosima felt distinctly vulnerable in no underwear sitting with her legs apart on a side walk. But this was Europe after all.

“Yeah that right! This isn't my accent, but this isn't the Cosima you know right, this is not who she is but, 'I' am, but she..the other Cosima is 'her'. Ok?” Felix took a long breath and then looked at her with a nod but also a shake of the head.

“Alright? Wait, what?” He laughed. It was so stressful! Cosima had to stop this, it was bugging her so much and driving her insane!

**London's calling**

Felix's glass mobile lit up he put it straight to his ear and listened. Cosima wiped her nose from crying and had to get up, but where would she go? She only had 4 minutes and she was in France, she couldn't get anywhere she knew in 4 minutes. More to the point why was 'Delphine' Cormier letting her wife screw other men, and why was Cosima pawning her body to secure contracts and expansions? Stupid Coisma, of course those would be her priorities and not getting out of this drug trip.

“Yeah she's here....no, why....oh...yeah maybe a little....West American?.....bollocks.” Felix's words were worrying her, there was no way he was going to stay with the happy British guy she knew so little. She shot up and listened to a few more words, now she knew the person on the other side of the phone was yelling and they were talking about 'her'. In the only way she knew how to deal with these situations she started to run. Forgetting the wind blowing up that stupid dress top, she bolted around the corner of the bottom street and into somewhere she had never seen before let alone able to describe to herself in an attempt to get back. It all looked the same. She was a pawn. Cosima, the other Cosima was a pawn, of course. Cosima thought to herself as she ran, again she over estimated her smokers lungs and had to come to a slow jog down the street, the lanky British guy wasn't to be seen yet and she hoped to god he didn't find her. She took rest in a door way to some apartment block and looked at her watch. God knows how long she had left. She slid down the wall and sat on the floor, making the mistake of hitching her dress top up as she did. The floor was cold, but at this point she didn't even care. Cosima was being used, she wasn't 'Director' or anything let alone the ISRO she was a pawn to get contracts and expansions and god knows what else. But it didn't make sense to her, Dr. Cormier was her wife why would she let this happen...unless she wasn't in control of her wife. Cosima knew what kind of control she meant but she didn't want to say it to herself. Her mind flashed back to the man who killed himself on stage and how the crowd cheered. They weren't cheering because he had killed himself but for the way he was eerily obedient to that Leekie guy. As she said his name there was a pang of pain in her left temple. She knew she didn't have long, whoever was on the other side of that phone was angry.

“Cosima! Cosima!” The British man was calling out, she could hear his running footsteps but they were far off yet. She got back to her thinking, this couldn't be as clear cut as it seemed, she couldn't only be conscious for 10 minutes, she was evidently conscious for the rest of the time, but she wasn't her. Who was 'she'? What did her mind do for the periods of time where she wasn't in control...who was in control? “Bloody hell you had my heart leaping women!” The Felix man found her, he was on the other side of the road, he looked across it and ran over he too was out of breath. “Well you certainly know how to piss off the big guys.” Felix said, she collapsed in a heap on the floor in the doorway next to her. There was another pang in her head, this time it was both her left and right temple. “That was topside, they believe that you are not...'Cosima'. Wouldn't tell me why, the bastards. Anyway, I like this...less pretentious Cosima anyway, regardless of the crying and having to run. You made me run, I'll never forget that you know.” Felix was just talking now, she took comfort in how he believed her but the same time knew he didn't just want to end it there, he would have questions and the Cosima she was about to become wouldn't be able to answer them, let alone know why she was in a doorway and not having sex with that disgusting man. Another pang. It was getting closer now.

“Felix, when I change I am not going to be me anymore, I am going to be her. I need you to help me, I need you to tell me why I'm not 'me', the me I am now all the time. I need you to find out, ask questions or just god damn tell me where 'I' go.” She looked up to him and the pounding in her head was returning, it felt far off but it was getting stronger very quickly. He looked at her for a second and then a grin started to grow across his face.

“Am I am being punked? Am I on camera, is this some sort of set up by Cormier to get back at me for the cupcakes, I told her not to eat them?” Cosima was infuriated, egged on by the massive reverberating in her head. The pain seemed to be rising, pounding great leaps and bounds of thundering pulses all over her cranium. She grabbed her head and screamed out, falling on her side, she couldn't see her vision was clouding over.

“What happens after 9 minutes and 47 seconds?!” Cosima screamed out, she could just see Felix with wide eyes staring at her and panicking. She let it happen, whatever was happening was going to happen, the control shifting...control. That's it. In some messed up unethical way she was being controlled. Just like that man who killed himself. She was a puppet and she was becoming free.

Chapter Text

Or maybe not. Cosima was immediately aware that she was being cuddled. It felt warm and natural like a perfect fit, she knew who it was and felt gross. With a turn of the head a little too sharp Delphine Cormier looked down at her, they were sat on the sofa in Cosima's, well what she now knew to be hers, living room. God knows how long it had been, the tension she assumed would be there after the other Cosima pawned her body off for contracts wasn't in the air and it made her feel uneasy. Breaking away in a faux way she tried to impersonate the other Cosima and get to the kitchen, get away from Cormier and think of a plan of action. There must be others around the world like her. Delphine let Cosima go but there was some resistant Cosima assumed was the usual want for warmth and her wife but she knew it wasn't.

“Again?” Delphine said out loud in a long sigh, she was still sat on the sofa but her hand came to her temple and massaged it with her fingers. Cosima cringed she had been found out and now she was going to be imprisoned or taken away or... exterminated. When Delphine didn't say or do anymore Cosima decided to get a little farther away from her just in case and turned around to face her. Maybe there was a chance she didn't know and it was just a continuation of a conversation this Cosima wasn't conscious of.

“What's that, darling?” Cosima asked in that British way she had heard once. Her heart was racing which was now pretty common, it would have to beat so fast she would die before it would be considered fast now. Delphine stared at her, right into her big eyes for a long prolonged instant. In that instant Cosima saw a way out, she could pretend she was that Cosima for a little while and get more information out of her.

“I know you aren't her.” Delphine said, she got up with a sour face and walked towards her. Cosima braced, expected to get punched or pushed over or worse and her body naturally tensed up. But she walked straight past her. Cosima let out her inhaled breath and turned to see Delphine grabbing her things from the reception table. “We were having such a great night and you had to turn up didn't you. God damn, this interference is getting infuriating.” Delphine picked up some lipstick and was trying to get her lips that red colour she liked but her hand was shaking too much.

“What's happening, what's going to happen to me.” Cosima asked, if Delphine wasn't going to get rid of her or experiment on her then she could damn well answer some of the questions racing around her head. The answer to why she was only conscious for such a limited time and how the hell she got that way in the first place. Cosima absent mindedly scratched her neck and held onto the collar of her...she was wearing what seemed to be a poncho and by the itching on her chest and hips, not much else. Delphine gave up on the lipstick and angrily threw it back into the bowl on the surface top. Cosima just stood there like a dog that got caught eating the pack of sweets left on the side for later, head down, puppy dog eyes and waiting for something to get her out of this mess.

“Such a lovely fucking evening and you have to show up. Merde!” Delphine's hand reached for the door handle but she had seconds thoughts, in her anger she ran over to Cosima and again Cosima braced waiting to be hit. But Delphine just grabbed either side of her confused head and stared right into her eyes, those intense brown eyes boring into her soul. “Cosima, if you are in there please come back to me.” The words made her feel hollow. There was a lot of meaning behind them, she could tell even with what she had learned last time she was conscious that Delphine loved Cosima. The other Cosima. The switch from loving couple to angry individuals running out of the apartment was dramatic. However the other Cosima agreed to sleep with that guy for contracts was none of her business, she didn't understand it but there were bigger issues. The women in front of her with that amazing hair thin perfect lips and big eyes was distracting but--Delphine kissed the top of Cosima's head hard and with passion, for a split second Cosima melted and blinked hard at the spontaneous outburst. Delphine reconsidered and leant back out of the kiss, and rubbed it off with her sleeve and headed back to the door. “I am leaving, I will be back soon, just make sure you are somewhere safe when you...go, for her sake. My Cosima is lovely, not this...you.” Delphine was sad and tired of this already, her words full of venom she didn't want to spit. Cosima panicked, she had no where to go into this room and it wouldn't lead to anything if she stayed. She had to get Delphine to open up, she had to get her to answer her god damn questions.

“Hey, I'm not that bad, I can be pretty chill if you give me a chance.” Cosima tried a different tactic, completely shifting the mood from weird tension to something she would attempt if she was trying to get with a girl who didn't like her. Cosima tried to picture it as if she had used a crappy pick up line and the girl walked away, she would need to get her back on side. She had 10 minutes to make this work. For a second Delphine's hand paused over the door handle, she was evidently contemplating Cosima's words. Cosima could really play on the fact she shared the body with that...other Cosima. Delphine had decided she was going to leave, her hand opened the door and she made as if to go out. In one last ditch attempt Cosima appealed to her empathetic side. “You have to help me Del, I am trapped and I have no idea what's going on. You are the only one who seems to know what is going on. In fact I know you know what is happening but you wont tell me. What harm would it be huh.” Delphine stopped, Cosima stepped and inch or two closer her hands beginning to do her usual talking, her heart was loosening its grip on the edge of her ribs and her words were full of emotion. “I am just so confused. One minute I am in bed, the next time I wake up it is 12 years later and it's a totally different life. 12 years of my life has gone I don't even know who is president of the USA. You have to help me Del, for me, but for your wife's sake. You want her back don't you, well you gotta help me first.” Cosima let out her breath, her words were so fast and so full of emotion she had no idea whether they had come out right or were just noises. Hell how could she be sure of anything any more? Delphine didn't say anything for another second or two. Cosima just breathed heavier and looked around the room as if to find the answers for herself. Her eyes settled on the back of Delphine's head, she could tell Delphine was in deep thought. In that new style, Delphine quickly walked out of the door and shut it behind her. Cosima could hear the footsteps leave and her heart dropped. “Bitch.” Cosima whispered and quickly her adrenaline and nerves were replaced with a heart aching emptiness.

Turning around she looked at the alien aesthetic that had taken over her room. There was nothing she could just go and be with that was hers. Her life was different. It wasn't 'her' life, she was sharing what she could of it with someone else. Someone totally different and she didn't like it at all. She started to well up and a tear slid out of her left eye onto her cheek. She brushed it away and remembered her attire. She felt so vulnerable and walked over to her bedroom, she couldn't let herself cry. She wasn't about to cry over this. It wasn't right. Opening up her wardrobe she rummaged around the piles of clothes. That was the most shocking thing she had seen, colour coded clothing folded neatly into their own stacks ordered in some obvious way that Cosima couldn't bare to think about. It was so foreign and unnatural. So she destroyed it in search of some underwear some pants and a goddamn top. She was fed up of not being properly clothed. Finding the pyjama pants she wore the first time and the same black tank top she got changed and wondered back into the living area. She heard some footsteps coming towards her door, at this point she didn't know whether it was Delphine or some body else, someone she didn't know. The way the person didn't even see if it was locked and just walked in made Cosima relax, Delphine had been obviously upset and her cheeks were puffed out. She wiped away the evidence and walked over to the 'DYAD' stamped coffee machine, her hand under the sensor and in seconds she was drinking the perfect temperature coffee. Cosima in silence walked over to the women, standing a little too close and rested her hand on the taller women's shoulder.

“You came back huh, couldn't resist me?” Cosima tried to joke around a little even if she really didn't feel like it, she didn't have long and she needed answers. Delphine relaxed under the touch, when she remembered it was not her wife it made her seize up again. It was just as hard for her, Cosima assumed, she wasn't used to this as much as she was. Whatever happened to make her loose her consciousness had just started to mess up now, there were potentially 12 years that Delphine and herself...no the other Cosima were together. 12 years that she had just come along and destroyed.

“I will give you some answers, but you have no time.” Delphine took the coffee and moved out of the usual comfort zone of their bodies. “Look don't try to....try to be her. It's...what do you want to know?” Delphine asked, as if that wasn't obvious, how about telling her what the hell she was doing here?!

“How about starting with why I only just woke up from-” Cosima began before Delphine butt in, her eyes wider.

“-Interference. Next question.” Delphine was very quick to respond to that, she didn't want to answer. Cosima's natural scientific curiosity took over, that wasn't an answer. She had been saying that for so long now.

“Who am I? No, no, I mean who is the 'other' Cosima. Who am I when I am not 'me'?” Delphine took another step, she didn't want to look into Cosima's eyes. It was frustrating to hell, the little amount of time she had to find new information out and Delphine was messing around with sad looks and stern expressions. Cosima itched her neck again before crossing her arms over her chest and waiting for a response.

“You are, you...'She' is the Director of the ISRO, the International Stem-Cell Research Organisation.” Delphine paused and sounded defeated. “She won't even remember this, there is no point-” She more said this to herself. “-Well. You play a vital role in the corporate ladder.” There was a conflict evident on Delphine's face, she seemed to decide to give in and explain. “Cosima's role is to head the organisation, whilst 'Topside' our..urr...overseers, get others of...like mind, to get to the top of other institutions. We are a global cause.” Cosima knew it! She knew there had to be others like her, this couldn't be the only occurrence of missing consciousness. It had to happen somewhere, the balance of scientific probability in over 7 billion people would say so. Ok so there were others at the top of other organisations just like Cosima?

“What global cause? What, no who are you?” Cosima stepped a little closer her hands playing with themselves, the thing she did when she could see a breakthrough coming closer but not close enough to reach it. Delphine massaged her temples again, her eyes flashing to the time.

“World domination.” Delphine laughed in a really sad way, her eyes were full up and her face hollow, her arms wrapped around herself in comfort. “That's the joke we say. It's not world domination as such. DYAD just want the control of foreign markets.” DYAD? Cosima's eyes looked around the room, literally everything in it bar the two of them was stamped with the DYAD logo. The coffee machine, the fridge/freezer, the sofa, the bed, the curtains! This was way bigger than just herself. Delphine's tears broke her eye, sobbing slightly she pushed past Cosima with no warning whatsoever and burst out of the front door, locking it behind her and trailing off into the distance. Cosima shocked watched after her and ran over to the door. Her hands went for the handle, it was rock solid, she had locked it! What a bitch! She shook the handle in attempt to open it a few more times, before realising that she had no time. She didn't even know what was on the other side of that door. What if she was in some kind of prison, and this was her cell? Brushing her own stress tears from her eyes she darted over to the interface and brought it up, quickly in the little time she had left to search for an answer. Ok, ok, ok, Cosima thought to herself, even her mind was panicked. She nudged her glasses up her nose and settled in front of the screen.

“Search, 'Mind Control DYAD'.” Cosima voiced aloud, her hands her shaking she was so nervous, she had to find this out now. God knows how many times she would be conscious again.

“Access denied.” The words spread across the screen and it felt like she had just been punched in the gut. “Override codes.” Cosima couldn't remember a thing about the codes. She had to try something else.

“Search, 'DYAD' 'Delphine Cormier' 'Dr. Aldous Leekie'.” Cosima had to try. All three seemed to work so she let the screen load with all of the information on the three of them. There were many sources which included DYAD, Delphine or Leekie individually, but not one of the three--- Cosima ordered the interface to load up the last source, it was some sort of video file including the three of them in tags. The clip takes up the whole interface, it is black at first before the DYAD silver logo fades into existence, as it solidifies the names of the two of them appear underneath. Delphine is an assistant? The logo screen fades and reveals Leekie, Delphine and a metal table, all very staged, but all very sinister.

“PICO technology, the future.” Leekie begins, he walks in front of the metal table and leans up against it, he carries something under his arm, the sight of it makes Cosima's neck itch. “No longer is it a distance idealistic wish, now a reality. With recent encouraging testing we are now able to put this out on the market.” Cosima checks the date, this video was uploaded a few days before she was first conscious. “Through DYAD satellite enhancements we are able to control the mind with a very simple...'addition' to the human body. A neural processing chip which can be inserted here.” He pulled out the mounted poster, and Cosima felt her stomach turn. It was a women, her body pale and cold. It didn't even seem as though he tried to hide the fact that her body was laid out on a morgue slab. His white finger points to the neck just under the jaw, a minute line just visible to the naked eye. Cosima again itched her neck absent mindedly before her hand froze. Her eyes widened at the screen and paused it. Her fingers tips brushed her hair again and felt over the same area on herself. There was a rough patch of skin, the same texture as the scar she had just under her knee from falling off her skateboard when she was thirteen. The video seemed to start playing by itself as she fell back on herself. She could feel something just under the surface of her skin and her whole body ran cold. “From the reset the controller can merge the mind of his new 'device' with his own, allowing the total control, to every whim, desire or rampage.” He puts the poster down on the table and invites Delphine over to the front, she looks controlled, reserved and obedient. There was no way she had one. Cosima remembered back to one the sofa when they were cuddling, Cosima couldn't see a scar on her anywhere. Delphine stuttered as she began talking, however confidence soon grew over her.

“Thank you Dr. Leekie.” There was a glance of eyes that again made Cosima sick, their glance was more of a gaze, longing and hidden, something no one would notice unless they are looking for it. “PICO technology is the forefront of modern day weaponry. Available on first order of 10 devices for just $250million. This is cutting age technology which can revolutionise the world. It has certainly revolutionised mine.” There was that look again between the two of them! “DYAD and its affiliates require the first order to comply by contract to the fulfilment of DYAD's main aim. The eradication of--” Cosima felt the pain in her head. She collapsed into herself, her hands grabbing her head as she breathed heavily through the pain, gritting her teeth she stared up at the interface. It got rid of the video and replaced it with 'breaking news'.

“The solar storm that has been raging just outside of orbital contact as now grown stronger, this will mean more delays in traffic, the sub way will be facing further train cuts and power outages until it passes. The National Organisation of Solar Energy have--” Cosima waved off the news channel and let it all click in her head for a second. Solar storm? Maybe this was what Delphine meant by 'interference'. For a second Cosima forgot about the pains and braced herself for another...but it didn't come. Her eyes stared around the room and checked her watch, the seconds clicked over. She had been conscious for 9 minutes and 56 seconds. From fear of falling into the void again she frantically searched the interface for leads to the others in her situation. After access being blocked a further 5 times, she found a way around the system. Videos of leaders all around the world having 'lapses', 'fainting', 'astonishing recoveries' and even her own stumble at the conference where she had to talk, the other 'her'. She sees someone who to her at least seems familiar. A women, head of the Department of Defence in England. Sarah Manning. Sarah goddamn Manning could be her saviour. Finding her contact details Cosima didnt even hesitate or thinks things through she just knew she had to get into contact before it was too late.

“Sarah Manning, I need to talk to Sarah Manning.” Cosima blurted out as soon as she got through to someone. It turned out to not be 'anyone' it was an automated machine.

“-Press 2 if you would like the Department of Defence of expression. Press 3 if you would like the Department of Defence of rights. Press 4 if you would like anything else.” Cosima couldn't have hit that glass any harder before it broke, jamming her finger onto the 4 button and waiting for a response. This was 12 years in her future how were automated device still a thing! “Hello you have reached the department for--” Cosima knew this was not automated.

“Sarah Manning, I need to talk to Sarah Manning please this is of the utmost-” Cosima was cut off, there was a ringing and a disorientated voice answered the other end.

“Urr..Hello.” Sarah Manning it seemed, picked up the other end. Cosima's heart leaped, she had been conscious for 10 minutes and 40 seconds now.

“Sarah I need to talk to you, which Sarah am I talking to, actual Sarah or Sarah Manning head of defence in England?” How else would you ask someone you had never talked to before if they were only conscious for 9 minutes and 47 seconds without sounding like a freak. There was a pause and a grunt.

“This line isn't secure, hold on.” There was hope in the disorientated voice, but the line rang dead. Cosima let the phone away from her ear and her hand felt up her neck line, over the tiny bump almost missing it but feeling the rough skin under her touch. Her blood ran dry. The phone vibrated in her hand and lit up, a secured line with a withheld number.

“Hello, Sarah?” Cosima was desperate, she could feel the seconds ticking by as if someone would hitting her inside her head as they passed.

“Who is this? Can you help?” Sarah seemed desperate as well, but she seemed further gone, maybe the interference was bad over in England.

“Are you only conscious for 9 minutes and 47 seconds, do you pass out and wake up days later and not know what's going on?” Cosima shook her head, she felt like she was about to sell Sarah some life insurance or something. Life insurance for people on the wrong end of mind control. “Do you have a scar just below your jawline on your neck?” Cosima waited and she knew Sarah was thinking on the other side of the line. “My name is Cosima Neihaus, I am only conscious for 9 minutes and 47 seconds and I know why.” Now it was turning into some AA meeting, 'Hey I am Cosima and I have been under mind control for 12 years **everyone applauds**'. “DYAD, the organisation in..wherever I am are systematically controlling the minds of those in the top positions across the world. Sounds crazy, but it is for some sort of foreign market dominance. The last time I checked the time it was 12 years ago and I was going to sleep, now I wake up and I am someone completely different in a different life and time. I don't know, I just need to know that someone is going through it too.” Cosima had said everything she could possible say in a few seconds, blurting out all of the words in one breath just t get it across as fast as she could.

“This is happening to you too?” Sarah's voice was quite it wasn't ecstatic and nervous as Cosima's and it seemed very close to the phone, muffled even. “I am 9 minutes 57 seconds. Time lag huh?” Cosima was half upset that Sarah wasn't freaking out as well, she was too collected for her liking.

“Look just use the interface or whatever you have there and search for sources including DYAD, Dr. Leekie, and Delphine Cormier, the last source will be a video. Watch it, I don't know how much time we have left!”

“I can't right now,I am currently underneath my desk in my office, it's the only place no one can see me, if they can't see me or hear me they won't come in. Right now I am pretty sure everyone here is out to kill me if I step a toe wrong.” Cosima thought for a second and another thing slipped into place.

“Do you have a monitor? Do you have someone that shadows you and knows about your 'interference', does someone the other 'Sarah' knows know that you aren't 'her'?” Sarah seemed to be moving on the other end of the line. Cosima suddenly felt like she was being watched, was her phone being monitored. “Is this line secure for both of us?”

“I have a guy, Hendrix, he is this 'best friend' of Sarah, he works in the department. I think they have a thing going on, I am not sure. He could be her monitor! This line is secure for me, I can't guarantee no one is listening on your end.” Cosima's heart leaped.

“Get to somewhere secure, get to that video and you will understand.” Cosima could hear Delphine's foot steps returning to the room. “Do you have a scar under your neck, Sarah.” Sarah seemed to be moving.

“Yeah I do, bloody hell, what is this?” Cosima felt her own and her head dropped, this really was mind control. She remembered some of the headlines before she got to Sarah's details, 'New Movement on English defence'. 'England separatist party take over Department of Defence, Sarah Manning leader of the party takes new post as Defence minister.”

“I have to go, watch that video and you will know, call me when you are next conscious.” She cut the line dead as Delphine unlocked the door and opened it slowly. She hid the phone n her pyjamas pocket and turned her arms on the back of the sofa her face smiling. “I was wondering where you go off too, I was awfully lonely.” Cosima imitated the voice of the British version of her. Delphine's face was more collected, her lipstick was perfect and her cheeks only slightly puffy. There was a moment where it was evident Delphine was testing the waters.

“I got Eskimo pie, sorry I left you a sleep on the sofa you just looked so beautiful.” The words Delphine used killed her, she let her wife sleep with the man for contracts she didn't get.

“It's ok Darling, I was just worried about those contracts. The ones for the expansion, I was worried we didn't get them.” Cosima turned to face the closed interface as Delphine walked over to the sofa. 13 minutes 24 seconds.

“Oh.” Delphine said, for a second Cosima thought she had blew it. “Your head must still be a little tired, we didn't get the contracts no, but we go something better.” Delphine sat next to her taking out their ice cream and eating some of it. Cosima didn't want to say anymore, she didn't know enough and now she had the opportunity to find out more. They ate their ice cream in silence and Cosima kept looking over to Delphine. Even though she feared for her life and was watching the seconds like a predator on prey, couldn't help but see how beautiful Delphine was. They finished off their ice cream and Delphine wrapped her arm around Cosima. Cosima cuddled into her side, “Cosima we need to talk. I need to tell you something and I am not sure that you will like it.” Cosima stayed where she was, she knew that Delphine could tell which Cosima she was just by looking at her, so she just wrapped her arm around Delphine's arm a little tighter and let their fingers intertwine.

“Yeah Delphine.” Cosima almost let a little of her won accent through, but brushed it off. “What is it darling?” She continued. Delphine was tense, but not in the same way she was with her before. She was tense over what she had to say.

There it was, her first pang.

“I just...there is something I cannot hide from you anymore. Delphine turned to look at Cosima, the warms from her arm and fingers leaving. Delphine turned to face Cosima head on and her hands came up to her shoulder. “Dr. Leekie I know you are listening. I cannot do this anymore, this is tearing me apart.” Tears started to well up in Delphine's eyes, her hands moved from Cosima's shoulders up to her neck, her finger brushed over that thing in her neck and it made her wince. There was a noticeable shift in Delphine's eyes but she wasn't going to stop whatever she was about to do. Her hands lifted Cosima's jaw and she leaned in. At first it was a hard solid kiss straight onto her lips. Delphine's watery eyes were closed but Cosima stared at the shut lids and all around the room. The pangs coming again this time straight to either side of her head. She saw the weather outside, it was turning for the worse, maybe the storm here was stopping the interference from the solar flares. Pang, this one felt like a hot rod was poking quickly at her brain, not enough to sear in pain but enough to know the real pain coming. The kiss turned more passionate, Delphine's lips were trying to part Cosima's to get a reaction. She had to at least play the part, Cosima thought. Her own hand came up to Delphine's neck and then her jaw and the back of her head and entangled itself in her hair. Their lips were pressing hard at each other, Delphine's tongue traced its way over her lips before pressing inside. Another pang, although her eyes were closed she could tell her vision was fading. In a last ditch attempt she kissed back hard, her tongue dancing with Delphine, her lips caressing hers, her body pushing Delphine back on herself until she was on top of her on the sofa. Her body was in such pain but she had to fight it to know more.

“What's happening to me Delphine, what has Leekie got to do with this?” Delphine opened her eyes, Cosima thought she was doing to accent thing well, except forgot her pain couldn't allow that. She had blown her cover. Delphine stopped kissing and pushed Cosima up off of her, wiping her mouth.

“I cannot do this! You are not her, she hasn't been herself for years. Fuck you Leekie. Seriously vas te faire encule!”

Chapter Text

PART 6:

 

Walking. Stumbling. Ouch. Cosima's eyes opened to be hit by a mob of flashing lights, paparazzi it seemed were lined either side of her. She was walking or stumbling down the road towards what seemed to be a black town car. When she regained her footing on the damp dark concrete the flashing continued but there was a new pressure on her right wrist. Her eyes darted about, tall red brick buildings on either side of the road, no alleys, just constant walls. There was no escape.

“You are becoming very irksome.” Delphine was agitated, she moved in closer to Cosima as they walked, she whispered this into her ear, her hand stabbing hold of Cosima's. Cosima snapped her head to look at the blonde women who she realised had a lot more secrets than it first seemed. But then what did she expect this whole thing isn't exactly legal...or is it? A lot could have happened in 12 years. Cosima was suddenly aware of a pressure separate to the women's hand on her wrist, there was some sort of contraption attached to her wrist and hand. On her hand was attached something that looked like a drip right into her bright blue vein on her pale wrist right below her tattoo...that she oddly didn't have anymore. There was definitely the faint marks of where it might have been before. She felt a little sad, she would feel even more so if she wasn't currently surrounded by a heavy structured men in black suits pushing her forwards towards a black town car with people lined on either side of her on the dark street taking pictures of her for no apparent reason to her. Of course she always had her priorities straight. Cosima saw that out of the drip was attached a small length of plastic tubing before a blue rubber ball hung on the end. She saw after a few seconds that that ball was in her hand, and now it was not and something was being injected slowly into her blood stream because of it. “Oh yes, a new addition. You have caused quite a commotion on the ISRO front and with your...personality issues at the moment becoming a threat to our work. Not to mention your contact with Sarah Manning. We have been watching you. Imposters are easily wiped out.” Cosima heard the words but she didn't really register them at this point her head had clouded over and she felt like she was either on a really bad come down from blow or had just got up to fast after sitting for hours. She blinked repeatedly and her legs came to give way a little beneath her. The men behind her caught her without hesitation and propped her up as if she was walking herself. “No more photos!” Delphine called out and just like that the manic flashing was gone, disappeared. The people milling around in the twilight street disembarked as if they were never there. Soon it was just the group of them, with Cosima slowly feeling heavier and heavier on her feet. It wasn't happening fast, it was prolonged and her head just wanted to shut down in instinct but they were keeping her awake. Why?

They reach the black town car and the back door was opened for her, she was shoved into the seat, more she fell into it, her hands breaking her fall against the warm leather interior. She crawled in pain like an animal leaving to die, towards the other side of the car. Her eyes half closed she got as far over as she could, bringing her knees up to her chest, her hands rubbing her eyes trying to keep them awake. Delphine got in beside her and the door is shut immediately leaving the stale air inside the car. The men clambered into the front half and started the engine. Delphine got some lipstick out of her shiny black clutch and applied it generously to her delicate lips in the mirror she kept in there. Cosima watched as the car pulled off and Delphine's hand became steady. As they moved Cosima kept blinking, soon even with her glasses her eyes were becoming more and more blurred. After a few long silent moments with just the silent engine as the background music, Delphine finally turned to face Cosima. Not that she could see clearly enough, but Cosima could see the shape of Delphine and her senses could still feel the ice cold block of tension in the air.

“You think we wouldn't know.” Delphine was stressed and frustrated, keeping calm and collected but Cosima could hear the venom. “You have spasms you know, when you steal the mind of my wife. You shake and we know you are here.” Delphine kept looking at Cosima, but she was getting tired now, her eyes were gone and her heart was racing. Internally she was screaming but her body was moving so slowly, falling deeper and deeper into something Cosima knew she could not escape. “As you know when the ball falls we inject you with the substance, you know which one, that will render you unconscious. Hopefully we can up the dose next time. It seems to be taking a while.” Delphine turned away and too moved as far away as she could from Cosima. Cosima wanted to talk back to her but couldn't her throat was sealed and dry, just her lungs were working. “In case you wanted to know, not that it matters, we are going to see Leekie to see if we can't....deal with this issue.” Cosima wanted to gulp, she wanted to open her eyes wide and protest. She wanted out of some animal instinct, which was all she had to go on to get away from that man. Get this thing out of her neck and put as many miles as she could between them. “Good night, mon chéri.”

Chapter Text

Cosima's eyes shot open. She was used to it now, her blood pumped fast before her senses came alive. She knew this was the feeling of waking up. When she was not conscious it was just a black void, a second of time before her eyes opened again to the new scene and new time that she was in. Her head stopped banging and her vision cleared. She was in a room on her own, the walls were wooden, the two windows in the room were boarded up with planks of wood, the floor thrown over with a red rug. Tattered and littered the room smelt strongly of damp, with papers flooding a desk in the corner, books lay on the flood fallen from an old dusty book shelf. One wall plastered with papers, posters, faces, red crosses, red thread passed between what seemed like contracts, proposals, red warning letters and the same stamped logo; DYAD. Cosima's heart skipped a beat as she stumbled over, grabbing the edge of another desk to save herself. Her eyes widened as she released the ball and let the dose inject into her wrist, the pain was worse from the same vein being battered again. In the few seconds she knew she had left she trembled over to the plastered wall and tried to get in as much as she could. Her eyes were fading but she saw things, short phrases, misplaced words and one very clear message; 'PICO shut down' 'Ethical committees for Human Rights cancel PICO project', 'DYAD sued over botched experiments', 'How many are there?' one news paper clipping snatched. 'Mind control, weapons of mass destruction, a third world war?'. Cosima collapsed onto the floor, her knees hitting the wood and her tired head scratching down the wood panelled siding grating against the grain. Some papers fell down with her, in the last few seconds she clutched onto a single sheet. Her hand unfolded and she stared at the words as her mind slowly slipped out of her grasp. 'PICO.2 test subject Neihaus. C. responsive. Extended control- passed. Solar interference worsening. New implant- scheduled 13th of this month. Signed- Dr. A. Leekie.' Cosima clutched with all of her strength onto this sheet anger filling her head up so fast like a wash over of hot searing water. Then she fell.

 

***

 

Gasping Cosima could feel water rushing all over her head, nose and mouth, she felt a cold fabric smothering her face and water dripping down her throat. Coughing and spluttering the water seemed to be pouring into her mouth, filtered through some flannel. Water boarding. Gasping she tried to move her hands trying desperately to hold onto that ball. She let go and could feel the injection push through her skin, breaking the surface of the vein and splashing into her blood stream, shooting up her arm. Screaming out, the fabric was removed and a bright light stabbed at her pupils. Her eyes adjusted and she could see the figure of a man standing above her, his arms gripping onto the side of what seemed like a bed. Her eyes darted around the room, she had mere seconds but she tried to get as much in. It seemed like a medical facility. DYAD was stamped on a frost glass door, a medical professional in green scrubs sat typing something onto an interface. The man above grabbed her face by her cheeks.

“Who are you?” He commanded an answer. Cosima was too disorientated and confused to understand what was happening. She looked helplessly around the room again and stared back at the man's face. He grabbed her face harder and repeated himself.

“Cosima!” Cosima tried to scream it out but water came back up her throat. She spat it out down the side of her cheek and took a deep quick breath, trying to fill her failing lungs. She felt like she was drowning.

“No you aren't!” The man threw her face back hard onto the metal bed. The pain shocked Cosima, and her head fell faster into the intensity of the void. Her eyes blacked over, she was like that for a few long moments. Blind. They placed the fabric straight back over her face, the cold impacted her skin like she had fallen off of the golden gate bridge into the icy waters below. The water poured into her mouth, and she gagged, choking on the water as she tried to breathe. Before she could feel the sensation of drowning, she was gone.

 

***

 

It felt like an electric current was slowly pulsing over her body, over her warm skin, over her toes up her feet to her slender ankles, all the way up her shins and her long thighs. It slowed over the small bump of her toned stomach and then flowed up her breasts, over her collar bones and covered her face in a comfortable tingle. This was not normal. Cosima opened her eyes, she had been conscious for a few seconds, calm and steady, she knew about the ball now. Her hand instinctively tightened over her its rubber surface instead of letting it fall. At first all she could see was a blue dull light and then her eyes began to see behind it, she saw the light bulbs casing and the stand it was attached to. She saw the signs of a glass casing around her, small scratches and a small finger prints just visible. She tried to move her body but the electricity she felt all over her was not electricity it was some sort of insulation, what seemed a warm liquid covering her body, just stopping below her nose so she could breathe. Although after her last encounter they weren't too crazy about her being able to breathe. Cosima's movements caused the water to ripple, splatters of the water touched her nose and for a second she thought was going to choke again. Trying to lean up she hit her head on the glass surface, her claustrophobia momentarily coming into play before it seemed to dissipate with the glass shield opening. Her body was shivering immediately as the foreign air flooded all over her, her arms covered her chest, as she attempted to get up and out into the room. Trying to climb out of a slippery tube covered in a warm/freezing liquid, naked with a ball in your hand was not easy. Cosima managed to clamber out, her feet hitting the stone cold grey floor leaving footprints behind her as she made her way to a desk and illuminated computer screen. She was held back momentarily with pains on her back, in a panic she span around and just wrapped her self up in wires that were attached to her skin. Realising it wasn't a person handling her, she unwound herself and pulled at them. They seemed attached to her body underneath her skin, she could see the wires disappearing deeper into her. With closed eyes she winced as she pulled one out. It was a momentary pain but it still hurt like a bitch. Wincing again she grabbed the next one as close as she could to her skin and pulled it out.

“Bitch.” Cosima whimpered into the air, there were a few at the bottom of her back that she couldn't bear the pain of individually, she grabbed the three of them close together and yanked them. “Holy crap.” Grabbing onto the edge of her table with her free hand she caught her breath. Her body was shivering now from the pain and the cold that faced her. Looking around she saw that she was in a small room, grey clinical walls a long metallic desk across one short side of the room, on the next wall the frosted glass door she saw before, the next the same style of posters and papers plastered in an organised fashion this time, the next a slender wardrobe. The message was clear this time, PICO had been shut down. A little elation filled Cosima's head, before her grin made a small pain in her neck. Her hand instinctively went to the scar she had found the last time. The bump was still there. Her eyes wide her fingers searching, her mind wild with the idea that she was ready for an 'new implant on the 13th'. It felt the same, wet but the same. Even though it was controlling her mind, she was relieved it wasn't advanced. Sighing, her fingers brushed over the bump and rough skin as she searched for her clothes. Her eyes met the thin wardrobe and she knew they would be in there. Keeping hold of that ball as her back probably bled slightly she moved over to the wardrobe. Searching for a handle came up empty, her fingers felt the crack down the middle of it, evidently the two doors to the inside. There was no dent or crevice for her to open it. The surface was smooth, cold and technical, it seemed to have a glow. She had seen it before on her interface.

“Open.” She asked, even now she was being polite and a little awkward as if she was talking to a person. The cupboard seemed to 'pop' and it opened enough for her to get her fingers under its door and pull it open. Inside was some grey outfit, a top that seemed like doctors scrubs and jogging pants. Not really caring much about it she got changed out of the wet cold and dried herself off with the material. Not even knowing how much time she had left, the ball firmly in her hand she headed over to the frosted glass door. As she approached two silhouettes formed coming closer to it. Doing a 360 she turned straight around without thinking heading back behind the tube case she was in, the foundation of the raised case was a thick block, perfect for hiding behind. Ducking just as the figures reached the door, her knees pulled up to her chest and her arms tucking every part of her in. The door was right the other side of the case. The door handle didn't move but seemed to buzz and the door was opened immediately.

“She's got out!” Cosima knew the voice, her heart chilled. It was Leekie himself. She hoped to god he couldn't see somehow where she was the way Delphine lead her to believe he could somehow hear through her. “Dierden, search party now. This girl is dangerous.” Leekie commanded to an unknown person, bodies just outside of the door seemed to be moving and alive. She didn't dare to try and get a look, Cosima just sat there still as she could begging for that solar storm to be still affecting the connection. Movement on the other side of the case, there seemed to be a pause where there were no movements, breaths or people. For a second she thought they had left. But immediately at the thought footsteps seemed to be moving to her left and over to the computer or interface or whatever it was. The person pulled out a chair from under the desk and sat down.

“We can find her, she would still have her PICO implant.” It was Delphine. That women struck such pain in Cosima, one for the fact she knew all about this, two for the fact she let her wife be mind controlled and god knows whether the other Cosima knew, and three that she hated Cosima, the real Cosima so much. Cosima didn't lie to herself and say she didn't understand the hatred Delphine felt for her. But to Cosima, this was her body, her identity that was being stolen, and this was her life she was wasting unconscious. Her biology, her decision, she wasn't about to let someone else control her.

Whilst Cosima listened to the rough breathing of Leekie and the delicate keyboard tapping of Delphine, she realised what her eyes were focused on. On the floor by the case was a scalpel. It took a few long, heart breaking moments before her mind could catch up with her actions. Cosima didn't need much time to think, hoping to god know one was looking in this exact direction as Delphine typed on the device, Cosima leaned and grabbed the scalpel getting back to her position in an instant. Her breathing increased as the metal of the knife fit into her hand. She stared at it the surface reflecting the blue light in her eyes. Stopping the sound of her breathing whilst her heart raced up she felt for the bump on her neck. She was a medical student, before all this. Cosima was not trained up in self-surgery but it was the only thing she could think to do. As long as she didn't hit any major arteries or glands then she would be ok. She closed her eyes, feeling like the tapping of Delphine's fingers was a countdown. She would find whatever she needed soon, Cosima had to do this now. Getting the scalpel lined up with her finger, she made the first incision. Pain seared like hot water all over the side of her neck. She wanted to moan out or gasp but knew if she did that it would be over, and god knows where she would end up. The scalpel dragged through her skin, going deep enough so that she could get her fingers under there. She felt the warm and cold trickle of blood pour out of her incision down her neck and spoil the collar of her scrubs. She closed her eyes so tight, her breaths so fast and deep, her hand holding onto that ball as tight and she god damn could to take the pain away from her neck. Her knuckles white, her body stiff, the scalpel turned an agonising angle in her neck, leaving her skin like a pulsing jagged flap right over the bump. She knew the skin wouldn't be able to heal properly, but she didn't have time to worry about that. She needed it out now. Tears silently fell out of her eyes as she let the scalpel fall into her lap, the fall buffered where the scrubs and joggers met. With a deep breath in she dug her shaking fingers underneath the tense pale bloodied skin, her face scrunched up, she couldn't help but moan out as her fingers throbbed into her raw beating flesh. At that exact moment Delphine scrapped her mental chair across the floor and stood up. Cosima's finger sent hot flashes of pain across her neck and body, her nerves going wild like white noise inside of her.

“I can't find her, her neural processor is not working.” Delphine's voice was shaken her breaths were short. Leekie seemed to grab hold of the tube case, the water sloshing around above her head. Cosima's free hand washed across her tear stained eyes and cheeks with her sleeve, as her other shaking set of fingers plucked the chip out of her raw bleeding flesh. There were wires attached to it that held her back, but at this point with that much pain and blood she knew was gushing out of her she didn't care. She yanked on the wires and her stomach turned. The pain was so excruciating that her head was going dizzy, her hand fell limp as she let the chip fall to the floor beside her. Like static interference her mind was glitching, buzzing, cracking and ricochetting with noise, white noise bolting around between her ears.

“She's got it out?” Leekie gritted through his teeth. He had moved, there were noises as if he was searching his body a few steps backwards and then a noise that chilled Cosima's soul, her head cleared and her eyes wide. Leekie had just loaded a gun.

It was just like the movies, the noise of the the barrel and slide being dragged back by the palm of the killers hand, hammer being pulled back by his thumb. Delphine even gasped, she moved forward towards him in attempt to stop him. Cosima's hand came up to put pressure on her neck, she hadn't hit anything major, the blood loss wasn't that bad, so far. She felt a little faint but tried to get onto her feet and turn to face them but somehow manage to stay hidden.

“Mon Dieu, non! She is my wife!” Delphine attempted to seize the gun. There was some movement, a struggle. Cosima took it as a chance to get onto her knees at least and see what was going on. “No!” Delphine cried out. There was more struggling, just as Cosima turned over her face pale and neck drenched, she caught sight of Delphine being pushed backwards into the desk and chair, the chair making a horrible grating sound across the concrete floor. Cosima' stared back at her as Delphine caught her eye. Delphine didn't even hesitate her eyes back onto Leekie in an instant as if she had not even seen her. But that moment was all Cosima needed, Delphine had seen the blood it was evident as the colour from her face had drained. Cosima could just see that the black pistol was pointed at Delphine. Holy watershed. All she wanted to do was get out of this place, and now she had gone way too deep. “You wouldn't.” Delphine had that venom Cosima had grown used to in her voice. She recovered herself from being thrown backwards and leaned forwards, still leaning on the desk. Delphine must have hurt herself but her face was strong, pale but strong.

“Oh I would Del, this project means more than you will ever know and I can't have our pilot project getting out of hand. They shut us down, but that will not stop us.” Leekie paused and leaned closer to Delphine his arm straight out the threatening gun held tight in his grip. Cosima ducked a little more just below the case, she could only just see Leekie, her neck hurt so bad she would need to get it covered or treated stat. “If you do anything to hurt this project...” Leekie stopped again, he took a few steps closer to Delphine so that their bodies were almost touching. He slowly lowered the gun to his side, still poised right at Delphine. Delphine was uncomfortable, she couldn't look him in the face at that proximity, she looked to the side, straight into Cosima's eyes. Cosima's heart skipped a pained beat and she could feel the extra pressure push fresh blood out of her wound. Delphine's eyes were angry, broken, tired and most importantly fuelled. She looked like she could kill, but that she was incapable of doing so. “I will end you, your career and your life. I took you under my wing when your career was finished. Don't you forget that.” He let his words hang in the air for a second, before he leaned in closer to her. His pale thin nose taking in a strong smell of her neck and hair. She grimaced and kept staring at Cosima. He kissed her hard on the cheek before he turned away and headed to the door. “I am going to get our little project back.” He walked out of the room his footsteps dragging down the corridor until Cosima could no longer hear them. But she wasn't sure if that was him getting further away or herself slipping out of consciousness. Delphine took a few seconds to catch her breath against the desk. Suddenly feeling the faintness, Cosima fell to the floor on all fours. Delphine reacted immediately, she came over to Cosima and grabbed hold of her shoulders. For a second Cosima was sure that Delphine was going to kill her or hurt her more right there and then, but the grip turned soft, her thumb rubbing her shoulder in a reassuring way.

“You are not my Cosima. But you look just like her and I cannot deny that. Come on you silly girl, you're going to bleed out.” Cosima shook her head, her neck bare with her hands supporting her weight. She shifted so that she was sitting on her knees and stared up into Delphine's eyes.

“I am sorry, I just want to get my life back.” Cosima was honest and too tired to run or fight. Delphine considered her words for a second, as she guided Cosima's bloodied hand up to her neck and held it over her open wound. Biting her lip Delphine helped Cosima get up. Delphine quickly lead Cosima over to the chair, lifting it up and out so that it didn't drag on the floor and make noise. Once Cosima was propped up by the desk Delphine went back over the case and picked up the red neural processor that was inside of Cosima. Between her fingers she saw that there was still a light which would mean in any second Leekie could use an interface to see where she was. Dropping it back to the floor Delphine stamped on it with the top lift of her heel. Crushing it with a small puff of electric mist. She ground it into the concrete before brushing the remains to the side as close as she could to the edge of the case foundation.

“You've changed your tone.” Cosima attempted a joking reference to Delphine's sudden help. “You've been super supportive of me so far, god I can't think why you wouldn't want to help me.” Cosima was weak her head twitching as her eye lids became heavier and heavier. There was a slow but worrying stream of blood down through her fingers from her neck. Delphine did not say a word, she from somewhere in the relatively empty room produced some coverings for her neck. She let Cosima take them under her hand, it was immediately soaked in blood, she could see the way the red invaded the white material. Delphine bit her lip again and stared at Cosima, not coming close enough so that she felt uncomfortable. She was standing at a distance as if Cosima was an exhibit at a zoo and Delphine wasn't sure if she was scared of the wounded animal. “Man, this is messed up.” Cosima's mind was still preoccupied with the time. She probably had 4 or 3 minutes left. “I've taken the chip thing out right so that means I am like just me again?” Cosima was weak and her voice strained but she couldn't help but add extra words than necessary like she always did to any thing she said. Delphine shook her head slowly. Cosima' heart sank.

“The chip is just the main receiver, there is a back up. One I am afraid we cannot just pull out with an old scalpel.” Delphine was pale and motionless her voice was dry and her eyes had fallen to the floor. “The only way to stop it is to...stop the source.” Cosima knew Leekie was behind all of this...but she wasn't sure what she had to do. Stop the source?... “You need more bandages and I need to get you out of here. Delphine's eyes darted around the minimalistic room. They lingered on the wardrobe barely big enough to fit Cosima before her eyes fell back on her. Cosima looked up at her questioningly. “You need to be out of sight, if they see you they will...” Delphine came over to Cosima after taking a deep breath, Cosima felt as though Delphine was holding her breath. The way she was holding her was a little too familiar. She couldn't even understand how his felt for Delphine. “Open.” Delphine commanded in a low whisper of a voice, the doors popped open and Cosima looked back at her judgementally. “You need to be out of sight.” Cosima was too weak to protest, she clambered into it, falling out of weakness to the floor of it, letting her legs up close together so that she could stuff herself inside. “I will be back, I just need to get some things from the medical ward.” Delphine met Cosima's eyes before she began to close the door. “Be safe, Cosima.” The last words were more sentimental, they had a touch of caring and warmth to them. Cosima knew they weren't directed at her, they were for 'her'. Cosima started to feel like an outsider in her own body and she didn't like it. God she just wished this was a bad trip, her head fell back against the metal side and her eye lids shut letting the darkness of the room consume her. In one thoughtless moment her hand released he ball and her wrist felt the sting of the injection. Cosima's heart gave one last push as she realised the stupidity of her actions. Falling unconscious she stared out into the darkness and hoped to god that she would come back from this.

Chapter Text

“Of course, of course Aldous, I shall try my best.” Delphine pulled the files together from in front of her on the conference table. Aldous pushed his chair back in a slow motion and got up, he was so light on his feet. The meeting had gone well and Delphine could see it in his glowing eyes. She couldn't help but smile herself. She knew that meeting had gone well and they would have definitely secured the contracts for the first shipment of PICO. It made her feel powerful, important and a little excited that she could wield so many board members over to her side...and of course the side of Aldous. As the final other members of the board left the room, letting the red oak door shut gently behind them, Delphine turned to face Aldous her folders pressed gently over her chest.

“That was great wasn't it?” Aldous clapped his hands together, his grin so wide and genuine as he bounded over with his long spindly legs. Delphine grinned back at him, relaxing her folders as they embraced. She let her head rest on his shoulder and smiled at the chair he had sat in for the previous two hours. “You had them eating out of the palm of your hand. I think you sealed the deal.” They both leaned out of the embrace at the same time, both not quite letting go. There was a moment of comfortable silence between the two of them, their eyes connecting. Delphine knew it was just the electricity she felt from how well she had done, but she just wanted to kiss him. He saw it in her eyes, then his tone changed to be more serious and hungry. Delphine knew this look, she pulled out of the embrace just as he went into kiss her and straightened her folders on her chest.

“I have to tell Cosima, I know she will be thrilled!” Delphine thought back to her wife at the apartment and how amazed she would be that she pulled it off. It was a big international buyer, its hard to shift something so illegal and she managed to do it. Aldous stared at her with that serious thirsty look for a moment and then beamed with that smile again, he put his hand on Delphine's shoulder, gripping in a friendly way as he turned to the door and extended his arm.

“Well then I shan't keep you any longer.” Delphine smiled back nervously at him, she knew he had a thing for her. And she had to admit, somewhere in her thick head of smooth blonde hair the feeling was mutual. Pushing a loose strand of her long hair behind her ear she smiled up at him and inched forward. “Tell Cosima I said hi.” He chuckled at his words and it made Delphine wince slightly. Sometimes it was easy to forget that Cosima was a manufactured person. That she was not...real.

***

 

“Hi!” Cosima was so excited as soon as she saw Delphine come through the door, she got up from reading her favourite non-fiction book and walked elegantly over to her. Delphine beamed at her, her cheeks flushed red as soon as she saw her wife. God, it had been 3 years since they married and she still had this effect on her. Delphine dropped her interface bag and keys on the reception table and pulled Cosima into her arms. The warmth of her body made Delphine feel so at ease. They stood there for a few long moments, Cosima's arms reaching up around Delphine's shoulders, whilst Delphine hugged her lustfully around the waist. “So I had a feeling the meeting went well, so I got ice cream.” Cosima leaned out of the embrace and grinned up in Delphine's face. Delphine smiled back at her, her eyes not knowing which to gaze into, they were both so beautiful. But then it wasn't just 'a feeling'. Her mind was connected to Aldous, he had let her know without her even knowing. The smile faded a little and Cosima noticed, she pulled Delphine in tighter and stepped up on her tip toes. She hated to remind Delphine to take off her heels because she was literally a giant compared to herself. Delphine's lips pressed up against Cosima's and they took each other in, not breaking just connecting. Delphine puled back and rested her forehead on Cosima's as she licked her lips.

“Eskimo pie?” Delphine was jokingly quizzical. Cosima beamed up again.

“There is something about them, they are so good! These would never been sold in England so I am glad two of my favourite things are up in here in the capitol.” They let go of each other, Cosima taking Delphine's hand as they walked over to the sofa with their ice cream. The interface came on as they Cosima commanded and they cuddled into each other. Delphine was always uncomfortable in her tailored suits when she snuggled up for the evening. Unclipping her blazer buttons Cosima took no time in 'helping' her undo a few from her white blouse as well. Delphine looked back at her with a suspicious grin. Cosima giggled and settled into Delphine's side. They sat there for a quite some time before Cosima couldn't stop herself. Their ice creams had long gone and the propaganda all over the interface was not interesting. Cosima turned a little and started kissing Delphine's exposed shoulder, to her collar bones and neck. With every kiss she planted she smiled into the skin of her wife. Delphine moved too to let Cosima's lips move more easily. Cosima sucked a licked a little as she moved up her neck and planted a line of soft kisses on her jaw line. She came face to face with Delphine and they smiled at each other. They stopped smiling at each other, it was their way of checking it was ok with the other one. They both nodded at the same time and it made them both laugh. Cosima closed her eyes and leaned in, her hand coming up to hold onto the back of the sofa behind Delphine's right shoulder, as her lips pressed onto Delphine's soft red mouth. Her legs moved so that she could attempt to straddle Delphine. Their kisses became more a more frustrated and strong as their tongues began to explore. Breathing increased Delphine moved her hands to let Cosima straddle her hips on the sofa. Without even thinking Delphine's hands ran up the back of her wife, over her blouse and onto her shoulders. Cosima was an expert at kissing and fore play so she always left that part up for Cosima's enjoyment, but there was something Delphine was a master of and that was giving Cosima the best multiple orgasm. Cosima was great, but Delphine was better. When they first met neither of them could either predict that. But then when they first met they were both immigrants (which are frowned upon) exchanged to the capitol from England and France who knew their mutual homesickness would lead to...this. Delphine always wanted to call it love, but for the firs year it was forced and all part of the project. Not that she could ever admit that.

Delphine pulled Cosima's shirt off over her shoulders and down so it was stuck on her elbows, fully allowing herself to see the part she most loved about Cosima. For some reason Delphine loved her breasts. Their kisses were becoming inpatient, Delphine new Cosima wanted it more than she did. She had had a great day, she had won that meeting along side Aldous, what had Cosima done all day up in the apartment, she was the face of the ISRO but what did that even mean?..

Cosima smiled as she climbed on top of her on their double bed. The sheets were all over the place now, their clothes somewhere strewn in their passage from sofa to the bed. Cosima lay naked on top of Delphine kissing her hot stomach down to her sweet spot. As her lips graced Delphine's bump over her lingerie she looked up and smiled. Delphine was too consumed in anticipation, she bit her lip and looked down smiling. But then she saw it. There was a glimmer in her eye. Something she saw quite often, but this was not in the right place. As Cosima looked back down and pulled on the hem of her lingerie with her fangy teeth. Delphine's mind raced with where she had seen that look. The panties were pulled all the way off of her legs, all the while she stared up at the ceiling, her breath erratic, her heart pumping hard lustful erotic pumps. Just as she felt Cosima's kiss over her wet skin she knew where it was from.

“Cosima I...I um, can't sorry. I just realised something.” Delphine sat up quickly, Cosima moved out of her way to let her cover herself up with some sheets. Cosima still had her smile, she licked her lips and sat up next to Delphine. She was understanding, Delphine had to give her that. “I need to get back to the conference, it wasn't quite over and I-”

“Can't you leave it, I mean you're already late and I was going to do something really-” Cosima leaned in closer to Delphine's naked body on the bed. “-really special.” At those words Delphine felt the yearning between her legs, but grimaced at what she had seen.

“Non, non. Sorry Cosima.” Delphine began to get up, she grabbed some new underwear from the draw and pulled on her tailored suit from before. Cosima laid back on the bed completely naked, not quite insecure enough to cover herself up. Delphine looked back at her, that thing she saw, it tainted it. It just didn't feel right. “I really mean it Cosima, I am sorry. I just realised it then.” Delphine's shaking fingers fumbled with the buttons on her blazer. Cosima was the best at getting them undone, she she really wanted to stay but not after what she saw. Leaving Cosima naked on the bed, she zipped up her pencil skirt, grabbed her interface bag and keys. Her hand on the door she looked back into the bedroom area with a sorry expression, Cosima seemed let down and rightly too. But she understood. Delphine looked down to the floor, opened up the door and let herself out. As soon as the door shut behind her she pressed her back up against it and stared at the white hallway ceiling above her. “Mon Dieu.” Delphine whispered into the air. The look she saw changed it like it always did. The look she saw was Leekie. He had control of her in that second and it made her feel sick. It wasn't Cosima her wife that was about to go down on her, it was Aldous.

 

***

“I make the best coffee.” Cosima laughed, kissing Delphine on the cheek and got up from the sofa. Delphine watched after her as she did, a smile creeping across her face and she looked questioningly up at Cosima.

“That's because the machine does it for you. Plus don't they train you in England to make that...leaf water?” Delphine illuminated, Cosima stuck her tongue out and laughed again, putting her hand under the sensor and waited for the cup to be filled with that perfect temperature coffee she loved. Delphine moved a leaned up against the back of the sofa, her arms spread across the top, her head lazily plotted on her arm as she looked up at Cosima. She was so beautiful, Cosima, and it made her so happy. Cosima always had to add sugar, it was her thing. Delphine loved the coffee just the way it was made, black. After Cosima littered her coffee with sugar she came back over to the sofa, Delphine turned to follow her as she did. “With all that sugar I am sure you think its the best, all those chemicals in it these days.” Delphine mused, she wasn't wholly serious she just wanted to tease. Cosima winked at her as she took a sip of the coffee.

“Well in England I learnt a fair few things, and some of them you are very grateful I know!” Again Cosima winked and it made Delphine blush. “Also lets not forget I've tried your baguettes they are not nice, call yourself French?!” Cosima teased and she knew the jokey insult would enrage Delphine in that cute way she loved to see. Eyes wide Delphine's smile broke and she grinned in mock outrage, her hands playfully hit out, making Cosima spill the smallest amount of her coffee onto the floor. Delphine waited for a few moment for Cosima to enjoy the sweet taste of her coffee on another sip, before she looked up at Cosima with puppy dog eyes.

“Darling, what's wrong?” Cosima quickly set the coffee on the table and leaned over to Delphine.

“Do you ever miss England, I mean it was so long ago but...do you?” Delphine had been feeling very nostalgic lately, plus the stress from the latest test run of PICO had really strained down on her. The constant conflict between telling Cosima, not telling Cosima and persuading Leekie to pull her out. She was the director of the ISRO, she couldn't just be 'pulled out' of the project.

There was an emptiness in Cosima's eyes. She suddenly looked confused and lost, Delphine leaned closer with a careful eye. She knew this face, it was the face just before she was taken over. A small flurry of heart beats bore on Delphine's chest as she spoke and set her hand on Cosima's shoulder.

“Where are you?” Cosima's didn't respond at first, she sort of twitched below Delphine's touch.

“This just in a solar storm is showing the early signs of materialising, more on this when we get the intel. For now charge up all appliances and stock up on credits.” The interface came on automatically in front of them on the sofa . Delphine half listened but was too distracted by the look in Cosima. She still didn't get a response from her. Now she was worried, Delphine hand stroked her forehead, checking the temperature.

“Cosima can you hear me?” Delphine was seriously worried. Cosima's face was completely blank, her eyes slowly closed as she sat there and her body seemed to relax. Panicking Delphine had no idea what to do, she didn't stay with Cosima before when this happened the first time she left. She had no idea what happened next.

“Yes, I miss the fair grounds a lot!” Cosima's voice seemed to shatter the atmosphere and caught Delphine off guard, it was so happy and energetic from nothing. Cosima seemed to twitch for a second and she looked over to the worried face of her wife. “Darling are you ok, what's happened.”

“Where did you just go?” Delphine was still checking Cosima's temperature, her heart was racing but then she would expect that. Cosima looked confused and furrowed her brow, smiling a little at what was going on and taking Delphine's frantic hand in her own. Delphine couldn't let this anomaly slide she had to get it checked out at the lab, somehow she would have to bring Cosima in without raising suspicion. Or bring Aldous there.

“What do you mean? I am right here.” Cosima held on tight to Delphine's hand, her own were shaking a little and this alerted Delphine, Cosima's body was fighting something but Cosima had no idea. Delphine didn't want to raise alarm, she didn't want to make a fuss. But she needed to tell Aldous that there could be something wrong. This was her wife of 5 years, but she was also property of DYAD. Delphine looked down at Cosima for a few more seconds. “What did I do something?” This time Cosima herself put the back of her hand up to her forehead, she couldn't feel any difference. As if to save Delphine the effort her mobile device on the coffee table lit u next to Cosima's mug, the glass screen illuminated the face of Aldous Leekie. They both looked down at it. With one quick glance at Cosima's reaction Delphine answered the phone and put it to her ear as she walked over to the kitchen, leaving Cosima on the sofa utterly confused.

“I sensed something was wrong, is everything ok?” Delphine was relieved before she was disgusted that Leekie was prying inside of Cosima's head again. How much had he been aware of...or in control of.

“Mostly. There was a second where she us...wasn't there. It was about the time the breaking news about the solar-”

“Interference.” Aldous broke in in a matter of fact way. Delphine waited a second for some explanation or further discussion on something he clearly knew more about. “It's been happening across 12 of our 97 positions. They are reporting signs of 'out of body experiences' or 'disappearing inside of their head'. Just the other day that Manning girl head of defence in England was right in the middle of a press conference and just blanked. It lasted a few seconds as some news came about solar flares disrupting the satellite that controls her. I felt it in my own head. A few seconds where I felt disconnected from them.” Now she realises why he was so hesitant at the board meeting surrounding the topics of side effects or problems so far. If it hadn't been for her French quick wit they would have lost the contracts right there and then.

“So that was what you avoided at the meeting?” Delphine had to pry at it, even though she was on a high earlier with Cosima she certainty wasn't now, worry was filling her thoughts.

“Obvious huh?” Aldous laughed deeply on the other end, it felt like he was so close to the phone as if he was literally in the room with her. It gave her chills. “It's nothing to worry about. It has been happening for a few months now. It is just interference of signals. When it happens pretend nothing has happened because for them, nothing has.”

 

***

 

“Ok, Cosima you know the next part.” Delphine and Cosima stood at the end of the white corridor opposite the conference room. No one else but the two of them in the expanse of a white walled hall. Their hands intertwined for all but mere seconds before they broke apart. Cosima reached into her lab coat pocket and brought out the small plastic bag with the resealable opening. It made her sad to that it was worn and wrinkled. Over use. They both mechanically pulled their rings from their wedding fingers and gave each other a serious look before putting them away in the bag. Cosima's fingers pulled along the seal and pushed it back deep into her pocket, as her hand came up she adjusted the 3 pen line in her chest pocket. “Je t'aime.” Delphine smiled and took hold of Cosima's hand once more right up to her face and elegantly with a gentle breath kissed it so softly. “Good luck Cosima.” Delphine looked up into her lovers eyes, but was taken aback. The eyes, they had gone again. Immense regret filled Delphine and in an instant her face was hollowed.

“Wow you are hot. Ok so I am only taking a nap so we have to be quick.” Cosima suddenly developed an American accent Delphine was in a state of shock, Cosima had never even been to the lower 48 or even heard an old American accent before the reformation. Cosima's movements were so alien as if someone else was lifting her arms up. Cosima seemed to leap at Delphine, grabbing her around the neck with her arms and pushing their lips together. Delphine wasn't sure what was going on, but was immediately aware that their sudden love interest in each other would draw attention if any DYAD employees or clients walked past. She worked the love interest with Aldous so well on screen for the public morale, if they saw this...

“Cosima, what are you doing?!” Delphine pushed Cosima back, adjusting her dishevelled blouse and wiping her mouth. Cosima fell backwards and seemed to be grinning back at her.

“Ok I have never really had that happen in a dream before, French, that's like really freaking hot, but I don't know maybe my subconscious is into that?” Cosima seemed to lurch forward once more pinning Delphine up against the wall with her hands and kissing her hard and then softly on the lips. Delphine's eyes wide, but her body responding. Her head was telling her to get back if someone came in, but her heart was screaming for this excitement they had lost in the last 8 years together. Just as she got into it, Cosima's body fell limp and light, falling right into her. In instinct Delphine quickly caught Cosima under the arms and propped her up, her eyes were shut but they were moving underneath the lids. Quickly scanning the hall Delphine managed to prop Cosima up, desperately look for an escape or hiding place Delphine eyed up a maintenance door. Just as she tried to drag Cosima over there, her body seemed to be refilled with energy and it twitched a little. Thinking back to what Leekie said Delphine propped Cosima up on her own two feet as her body was coming as if nothing had happened.

“Thank you, darling.” Cosima said. It took Delphine a second to remember what she had said the first time. “Wait weren't you on my other side?” Cosima queried. Thinking fast Delphine laughed.

“Non, non. Now you have you go. Good luck.” Cosima nodded in understanding, she was always so damn understanding. Cosima gave Delphine as air kiss as she took off on her own walking half way down the huge hall and stopping midway, turning and opening a door that was barely even visible. She gave Delphine a quick wave, Delphine waved back in a loving way. As soon as Cosima was out of sight a tear burst out of Delphine's eyes. Her heart raced and she thought about everything she had ever known about her part in this project what she had known about Cosima before she got the exchange. Delphine knew nothing, she had always known Cosima as...her Cosima. She did not like the interference. At all. Wiping the tear away she gathered herself, tried to smile and walk the opposite direction, back through the double doors and straight to Aldous Leekie's office.

Chapter Text

After.

 

Opening up her eyes Cosima was met with the same clinical darkness that she had mistakenly fallen unconscious inside of. Taking a deep breath she blinked a few times, then scrunched up her eyes and looked around some more. There was literally no light in there, she couldn't see at all. But she could feel. She had no idea how long Delphine had been but that wasn't her main concern, if she could fall unconscious and wake up then it had to be a few hours at least. Why hadn't she bled out. Trying to move was like trying to squeeze solid concrete out of a toothpaste tube. It wasn't going to happen. But she could feel something over her neck, her hand felt numb and it was unresponsive so she knew it wasn't that applying pressure. Blinking some more she tried to focus on the sensations all over her neck. The pain wasn't as sharp now, it wasn't as piercing and stabbing on her neck it was there like a throbbing creature attached to her. She could feel something heavy on one side. Her eyes focused as she heard footsteps come over to the wardrobe, she wanted to hide somehow but had to face whatever was coming.

“Open.” She heard the muffled but controlled voice of Delphine on the other side, relieved the grey light flooded over her and Delphine looked down with a little shock, a little of what seemed relief and something more unnerving. As the doors opened fully Cosima felt the massive strain leave the side of her, her body gave way to her left and she collapsed to the floor. Delphine gasped and bent down her hands comforting Cosima's shoulder and back of her head as the petite women moaned out. Cosima shook her head free of the neck strain from staying in the same position for too long, her numb arm came back to life but it was stuffed with what seemed like hot pins stabbing at her every time it moved a millimetre. She managed to get up to a seated position before remembering where she was, her eyes darting around to check her surroundings. “It is ok, I lead them off on a 'wild goose chase'.” Delphine pulled that shrill metal chair over to Cosima and helped Cosima up onto it, supporting her from under her shoulders. Once Cosima was seated she leaned back and stared up into the blondes dark eyes.

“So, we have to stop the source then huh?” Cosima was weak, but her wounds seemed to have been wrapped up pretty well when she was out. Her hand came up to her neck and felt the dry bandaging, at least the blood had stopped running out, even if she was covered in it. Leekie was the source, Cosima knew that now, but she didn't want to think about how to 'stop him'. She thought back to her time in this...place, when she had first met Leekie before the other Cosima had needed to go on stage. ' “I can't seem to get a hit.” 'Leekie had said, staring into Cosima's eyes, at the side of the ISRO conference stage. The look on his pale wrinkled face was penetrating, he was literally trying to get into her head. “What would it mean to end it....like would I be me again?” Cosima saw a conflict flicker across Delphine's face and understood that it would the end of 'her Cosima'. Delphine took a breath and smoothed out her long blond hair, looking away from Cosima to the ground or floor or anywhere but in her eyes.

“In theory, I suppose it would mean you get control over yourself again.” She was blank, cynical, clear cut. It was a statement she was repeating from some internal monologue Cosima was unaware of of. She had practised these words and thoughts, a coping mechanism? “And that would probably mean Cosima...my Cosima, would urr...” Delphine looked up and blinked whilst shrugging, trying to get the words out whilst thinking intently. Trying to seem unaffected by this trauma. “She would be gone, yes, she would no longer..you would be in full control.” Delphine's arms came across her chest in a tight fold and she stood in her tailored suit legs slightly apart for balance. Her high black heels contrasted the showing of the top of her pale foot and ankle below her straight legged black suit trousers. Cosima took a deep breath, she wanted her life back, it was her life and no one should ever have that kind of control over her. Yet this women was loosing her wife because Cosima was selfish..no selfish isn't the word, she was taking back what belonged to her, her own biology. Cosima felt a little more together, getting up with a sad puppy dog look on her face, she didn't know how to talk to Delphine, how could she make up for the fact that in taking her own life back she was destroying another's. There was a momentary pause, Cosima furrowed her brow and went to apologise or say something at least, her hands starting to do the talking. In that second, Delphine moved forward and pulled Cosima into a tight embrace, her arms consuming the petite women. Cosima was a little shocked and saddened, but pulled her arms out from between the two of them and slid them across Delphine's back, hugging her back.

“I am so sorry Delphine.” Cosima's head was burrowed into Delphine's shoulder, Delphine's head resting just above her head. It was a familiar embrace, one the two bodies had probably done a thousand times before. They fit so perfectly together, Cosima was even a little nostalgic for something she had never had. Delphine closed her eyes and felt the fit, how they pressed into each other, the warmth, the love, the memories they really had never shared together. Delphine took in a deep prolonged breath and paused a few seconds.

“Non, it's ok.” They held each other, Delphine's eyes still closed lightly, Cosima's wide open staring at the wardrobe. “Now.” Delphine pulled out of her hug and took Cosima's hand in her own like she had done so many times before. She thought about letting it go, it was an instinct when they hugged, she couldn't let the embrace be the last mode of touching she had to hold onto her somehow, even before it all started. Cosima reacted to the touch, her own thumb touching the side of Delphine's hand in an affectionate brush. “We have to stop this. It is the right thing. We need to think about how we are going to do this.” They let go of each other and stepped back, the chair was moved again and it pissed Cosima off so much that god damn chair made such an awful noise.

“Dr Cormier?” The atmosphere grew thick with tension, Cosima and Delphine seized up at that voice. It was Dr Leekie, he was just outside of the door. Cosima acted first and thought second as she ran over to the door just as it opened. Her body was pressed back against the wall and there she hid, behind the frosted glass. The shadow cast by the door was enough to conceal her location from Leekie as he entered and stared down at Delphine across the room. Dr Leekie crawled forward, his feet taking him so slowly across the room. Delphine just stood there shocked, her body still frigid from where he drew the gun on her before. Thinking quickly, Cosima from behind the door slowly and silently pulled the rope that held her jogging pants out from its hole. Once she got the length of it out she tested its strength, it was strong and not that elasticated. For holding up jogging pants it was not that comfortable, Cosima had a red line across her hips from sitting in the wardrobe where the rope was pressed into her. But for what she had in mind, it might just be what she needed.

“Aldous.” Delphine creaked out her mouth was dry and small, the colour out of her face. Although her posture was strong, her most humanly trait was evident of fear. Leekie surveyed the room with his eyes, he saw the open wardrobe, the chair which alerted him to this room and the look of guilt on Delphine's face.

“You let her go?” Leekie confronted in a slow whisper. Delphine did not give anything away she just stared back at him as he slowly stepped closer to her across the room. Cosima thanked god that doors 12 years later didn't creak like they used to as she slowly pushed it out for her to get free. From behind the door she pulled tight the two ends of the rope between her two fists. Delphine's eyes flickered for only a second but to hide this she closed them in defeat. She couldn't let Cosima's creeping position be known to Aldous.

“I had to Aldous. This is wrong.” Leekie was stalking his long legs over to Delphine, whilst Cosima shadowed him trying to get as closed as she possibly could. She saw that big black gun in his back waist band as if it were screaming yellow and neon, it stood out like nothing had ever done before. Her eyes were locked onto it.

“It's taken you a long time to come to that decision Cormier, why the sudden change of heart.” They were so close, both himself to Delphine and Cosima to his back. “You know the interference is almost over, the back up will kick in and I will have total control once again. You will get your Cosima back, don't you want that?” Cosima's eyes widened at her reaction, Delphine opened her eyes and stared through Aldous into Cosima, she nodded in defeat.

“I do Aldous. I do-” Delphine stepped forward and pierced her eyes into Leekie's. “-But that's not my decision to make, and it's not yours either. You stole a women's identity. You stole a human beings life and made it your own. My Cosima was parading around as someone she was not, she was never 'mine' she was just taken.” Cosima's heart crushed at the defence Delphine was putting up for her. Delphine was so brave, Cosima almost felt bad for what she was about to do.

“Well then, I only have one solution.” Aldous stated through gritted teeth, his hand began to come around his back to get his gun. Without thinking Cosima kicked the back of his knees and buckled him down to her level, her hands coming around his head and pulling that rope tight across his neck.

“Delphine get the gun.” Cosima commanded in a weak voice, this was so not her, she had never done this before. Delphine took a second to take in what was happening, it was so unlike what she had known of Cosima before. But she acted fast, she bent down and grabbed the gun out of Leekie's waistband, his hands had come up to try and stop Cosima. Closing her eyes Cosima again wrapped the rope around his neck and pulled hard, her weak body barely able to but the adrenaline coursing through her body gave her the strength she needed to end this whole thing. Delphine stood up in front of him and pointed the gun right at his throbbing red face.

“Fuck you Aldous.” Delphine groaned, Cosima had never heard anything so French and hot in her entire life. His body began to writhe for a few moments and then it fell limp, the colour drained from his face. As soon as she knew he was out Cosima let go of the rope and stepped back her hands coming up to her mouth and gasping at what she had done. Her arms began to ache from the strength she had put into it, the strain on her muscles. She felt her head burn internally as if something in her head was sizzling. She moaned out and grabbed either side of her head for it to stop, the white noise crashing over her again. Delphine ran over to Cosima's side around the body of her ex boss. She pulled Cosima in for another embrace, she was shaking herself but she had cowered out, she had not just killed a man. Cosima collapsed into Delphine's body her chin was wobbling hard as she tried to suppress the tears of pain and elation. “It's not over yet. The others, they will still be under control.” Delphine pulled out and grabbed Cosima's shoulders shaking her out of her flood of tears. Cosima sucked it up, wiped her face and her eyes moved from Delphine's watery dark orbs to Leekie's pale body. “Killing him wont be enough, we have to remove the source.” Cosima didn't know what she had to do, she was a scientist before all of this but her mind was frazzled from the burning and what she had just done. “Don't worry, mon cherie, I will do it.” Delphine moved out of the embrace and over to his body. Cosima just stood there, still in shock as she watched the mechanical actions of Delphine. It worried Cosima, but it looked like Delphine had done it before. She grabbed him under the shoulders and began to drag his body toward the door. “Cosima we need to get him to the medical lab.” As Delphine reached the door it was even more paramount for Cosima to do what she had to do, but she was still in shock. Her hands were red from gripping that rope. It happened so fast but at the same time it happened so slowly, he was limp before she had even known what she was doing, but at the same time with each of his wincing breaths and the struggle it was the hardest most lengthy act she had ever had to commit.

***

Sealing the door in deadlock behind her Delphine moved over to the lab table as if she was no longer in her body, her movements were fluid but her flare and soul seemed to have left. Cosima just watched from the other side of the suspended plastic sheets that separated them. It was a lab, a medical research lab. Cosima's arms were folded, one holding up her head in thought and insecurity. If anyone found them they would be dead on the spot, but the door was deadlocked Delphine had told Cosima no one could get in and Cosima hoped to god she could trust Delphine on that. But after what they had just been through, she was sure she could trust Delphine with her life.

Delphine folded her long silky blonde hair into a tinted green medical hair cap, and pulled a medical apron over her attire. The white latex gloves were the last thing to go as scanned over Leekie's body laid out on the slab covered apart from his dead face. He was deathly pale, Cosima couldn't bare to look at him. But when your life is at stake you would do anything to protect it. As Delphine made the first incisions on his neck and forehead Cosima couldn't bare to watch, she moved over across the research lab to distract herself. She pondered over the machinery the decoding technology that she was not familiar with, the interfaces, everything was white, grey and far out of her 12 years past comprehension. Everything moved so fast. But paper never changed. In a filing cabinet next to a bookshelf Cosima found some sort of filing system. Her name stood out to her immediately. She pulled out the files and scored through it, her face was on a clipped picture as she opened the cover next to information on her birth, yet it wasn't 'her' information. It was fraud, her birth place seemed to be in Cambridge, England where she lived until she was 21 where she was moved over here to finish her education. 12 years later she would be 33, which was crazy. The last time Cosima has checked she had just turned 21, she had just started to be able to buy drinks and go to bars. She still got ID'd even though she always looked older than she was with her dreds and glasses. Now here she was looking at the wrong information but the right base. She really was 33 now. It made her hollowed inside, she had lost 12 years of her life to science. Something she wouldn't have minded had she been in control and the whole project wasn't so unethical. 30 god damn 3. “Holy watershed.” Cosima whispered to herself.

On the next page she found her actual details, areas were blanked out, an attempt to conceal the original if they were found out? It just said that she was born in San Francisco at St Luke's, that she had education somewhere that was blanked out even though Cosima knew where she had been enrolled and ditched out of almost every study period. It gave details to who her parents were but the names were blanked out too. Even her own name was blanked out. Maybe in hopes the authorities found these documents they would assume the same name for both people would not be used. Well they messed up there. It pained her that her whole life was reduced down to her birth at St Luke's and the dates of her first 'intervention'. This caught her eye and made a tear of anger well up.

'Scott Smith PhD' was printed on a list of names next to details of the first time they had taken her. Scott... Cosima only knew one Scott Smith, it was her best friend on her Evolutionary developmental biology course. He sold her out? Cosima realised that she did not just go to bed one night and wake up 12 years later, that someone had to have come into her room whilst she was sleeping and operated on her. There were further details but at this point Cosima's head was so overwhelmed with the information and what she had done that none of it was going in. She pulled out a comfortable office chair and crashed down into it, her body tense but relaxing into the soft material of it. It was comfortable, comfortable enough for her body to give in and the tears fall. This was so messed up.

“Ahem.” Cosima looked up at the noise to see Delphine in her green tinted medical scrubs, parts of her hair fallen out of the cap, her latex gloves covered in blood and something metal and full of wires dripping in her hand. “It's done.” Delphine said. Cosima looked up and wiped some of the tears away, she could see Leekie's blurred bloodied body through the plastic sheeting but her eyes were drawn to the thing hanging in Delphine's hand. It was way bigger than she could have imagined, that fit into his head? It was about the size in body of a watch face for the main part but the wires were like spiders legs shooting out from it in different places and in differing lengths. They probably connected to different parts of his brain. Delphine dropped it to the floor and crushed it under her foot again, stamping and stomping on it repeatedly under it was nothing but a collection of bloodied wires and large metal dusty parts. She was worn out and covered in unimaginable mess. But they had done it. “He will live, Cosima.” Delphine stated. Cosima looked up at her intently, her brow furrowed deep and her eyes angry in disbelief. “He unconscious from lack of oxygen and will probably have some brain damage, but I will make sure he is locked away for the rest of life and this whole project is shut down.” Delphine's words were impassioned and it gave Cosima a little hope, at least she hadn't killed a man. Her body felt this immense relief, she dropped her file back into the cabinet and staggered over to Delphine. She didn't care about the blood, she was already covered in her own, she just had to share this moment. Her arms wrapped themselves tightly around Delphine's body, Delphine responded, her arms coming around Cosima's shoulders. They nestled into each other and for the first time Delphine could feel it, the connection between the two of them. She may have known the other Cosima but this part of her. This raw part of Cosima right now was like she had always know. Delphine thought that maybe she had known this version of Cosima all of her time. Cosima's tears fell from her but they were tears of happiness. It didn't matter if the guards or people outside of that deadlocked door knew they were in there or that they were coming, right now in that moment they were holding each other. They knew they had won.

“What about the rest of them, the other people are they free too?” Cosima looked up into Delphine's watery happy eyes and they connected for a second.

“Yes..although the world is about to go through a massive shake up when the 97 world leaders and ministers around the globe will wake up and have no memory of the last 12 years.” Delphine made the serious issue into a joke. It may not even have been a joke but Cosima's emotions were a little all over the place, sort of like everything that has just happened so quickly in a flash. She had killed a man, she had found out her personal details, how her old best friend Scott was one of the professionals involved in her operation and security, how she hadn't really killed a man and how she had potentially saved the world from a DYAD take over. Saved the world, Cosima cried happily into Delphine's shoulder, she was worn out and in pain but it was the happiest moment in her life. She had her life back. “As much as I want to crawl into a ball and sleep out the events of the past few years I need to make calls. I need to get in touch with the ethical committee who shut DYAD's project down the first time. They will take care of this.” Delphine leaned out of the hug but they were still connected, each others arms still wrapped around each other affectionately. “The science in this room could rewrite the nature of human development.” Delphine paused looking down at Cosima. She wasn't ready to let this new Cosima in, but there was the natural way they fit that she could not ignore. “Lets burn this bitch down.” Cosima cried even more as she laughed out loud.

“Thank you for saving me when you could have easily given up on me. I know I am not the Cosima you knew, but this is the real me. I am the weed smoking, science geek who loves RPG's and cuddles and I would really love to get to know you. When this is all done.” Cosima turned on her charm even though she just wanted to collapse out of exhaustion.

“I would like that.” Delphine said in the most French way she could have without mentioning baguettes or croissants. “Let's finish this.” Delphine tried to pull out of the embrace, but Cosima pulled her back, her arms letting her go but moving up to her face and bringing it down so that their lips could connect.

“Come here.” Cosima said as she pulled Delphine in. Their kiss was so simple yet loaded with all of the experiences that they had just gone through and the sorrow that filled Cosima's weak bones. It was not fancy or complex but it gave them both hope. Delphine smiled into the kiss, it gave her the boost she needed to finish this. Blood covering the both of them, Delphine grabbed her mobile device from her suit trouser pocket and phoned the committee her breathes were deep and strong, her voice weak from exhaustion but she told them exactly what had happened. They replied that they were mobilising right now. Ethical committees had changed since Cosima's day, she didn't want to dwell too much on how far that was away. The committees now had small armies of police and a lot of power, enough to shut down a global operation apparently.

***

A while later once the EC had cleaned the place out, they reached the lab were Cosima and Delphine were hiding out. They had given Delphine a codeword on the phone whereby she could recognise them when they got to their position. Opening the door a medical team swarmed in to the both of them, whilst others in police gear searched the whole lab for information, details and evidence. Cosima pointed towards the file cabinet with the documents in. Two or three people searched it for evidence, whilst another small team investigated Leekie's unconscious bloody body on the slab. As the doctors shone lights into Cosima's eyes to check her pupils she couldn't help but look over to Delphine as she got checked out herself. She had taken her scrubs and cap off now, her hair was dishevelled but she was breathtakingly beautiful. As the female doctor addressed her neck wounds Cosima tilted her head and smiled over at Delphine. The medical team had checked her over and she was leading them around the room, giving her statement to the police and committee members. Cosima watched the collected calm persona Del was putting out as she spoke, how her arms were still folded over her chest but her language was confident. The doctors changed the haphazard dressing on Cosima's neck and cleaned out her jagged wound. She wasn't even entirely sure how she mustered up the power to cut the receiver out of her neck but she did and she was glad she had. It was that moment where the game changed in their favour, if she hadn't they would have been able to find her to give her the advanced receiver and carry on with their plan. Still a little out of it she sat down as the teams filed about the place, her hearing just sort of washed over until everything was an inaudible blur as she let her mind relax. Staring at the previously deadlocked door Cosima knew she could never go back to 12 years ago. Unless they had invented time machines? But she really doubted that. With all that happened she decided not to think about the past that she could not change. It may have been 12 years of her life unwillingly stolen from her, but maybe this time wasn't so bad. Maybe DYAD were the only thing wrong here, maybe the world was a better place. Her scientific curiosity took over and she started to fantasize about what lay outside of DYAD's doors.

“Cosima.” Delphine whispered in a loving way, she put her arm on Cosima's shoulders and motioned her head for them to leave. “We can let the team sort out the rest, they have people securing the 97. I think they can handle it from here.” Delphine's tone had changed, there were no tears just tired loving eyes looking down at her. The same eyes she had seen in the moment where Delphine thought this Cosima was her Cosima. Now Cosima was just herself. But there was one question bugging Cosima as she slowly got up, her weak legs carrying her this last leg of her journey.

“If you could have just called the Ethical Committee why didn't you in the first place?” It seemed obvious to Cosima now that they were walking out of the lab and into the white walled corridors of DYAD she had seen a few times. Delphine looked down at the floor for the a few seconds and then straight ahead.

“Even when I had protected you and hid you away from Leekie, up until that point I wasn't even sure I wanted this to end, I wasn't sure whether I wanted you or my wife Cosima back. And then I realised when you were about to kill Aldous that I had no right to make that decision, it needed to end and it needed to end with him.” Delphine's voice was low. They carried on walking in silence for a few seconds both clinging onto the other for support and comfort. A few police walked in and out of rooms as they walked down the corridor, around a corner and into an expansive corridor, one side white walls but the other a giant row of floor to ceiling windows. Cosima's eyes were caught by the day light outside of them. She had just assumed it was night time, or maybe they had been in there for a long time. Either way as they walked she looked out across the city. It looked similar to how 12 years ago looked, except it was clean, fresh, the sky was a little overcast but blue crept through in leaps and bounds. The roads were litter free, people cycled and walked around, only occasionally did a car pass.

“Can we just sit here, for a bit?” Cosima found a grey concrete seat row by a potted flower in the corridor looking out over the city. They sat down, resting from the relative hard effort they had put into walking. Cosima's eyes were in wonder over what she saw, it was like some kind of utopia, in the distance were white majestic wind turbines scattered over the horizon, solar panels reflecting the blue skies light back up speckled over roof tops. Cosima was amazing. The world could have gone horrible wrong, she was in fear of seeing a sky line dominated by sky scrapers and businesses, instead she saw more grass areas, great sky scrapers that seemed to be residential blocks and overall it just seemed a little better than what she had been to bed in. Cosima's eyes grew heavy and tired, looking out onto the scene she rested the side of her head on Delphine's shoulder. This time she knew she would open her eyes and still be her, still be her and that filled her with a great ease. Closing her eyes for the last time she fell gently into a sleep thinking about the new world she was about to be introduced to for the first time with Delphine by her side.