There are so many other things they should be doing right now.
Time has been bleeding out since she finished her work, hid Cosima and Charlotte’s treatment, left the medical van, and stole back to the yurt, since she found Cosima sitting on her cot and staring at her with a frown, hurt, relief, and skepticism creating some melange of emotion that pains Delphine to be on the receiving end of.
But Cosima is alive, sitting up and a little paler than usual but alive , and there is so much to say that Delphine doesn’t know where to start. She settles on the most pressing, holds up her hands and motions for a pause, knows by the jut of Cosima’s lip and the furrow to her brow that she’s about to speak, turns and reaches behind herself to latch the door shut. It’s no lock, just like no other yurts lock in Revival. But it’ll stall anyone trying to get it.
“There’s not much time,” Delphine whispers, turning back around.
She should be monitoring Cosima’s health, given her brush with hypothermia. She should be reconciling so many hurt feelings and miscommunications while they are here together for the first time in much too long. She should also, Delphine chastises herself, be thinking of Cosima’s sisters, still in danger, and even of herself. She walks a thin line with Westmoreland. He only needs her until he decides he doesn’t.
Cosima snorts, and then gives her a sad smile, looks to her side, and pats the bed.
“Yeah,” Cosima says, sounding suddenly very tired. Hazel eyes meet hers, and the bite isn’t in them, just in the words. “Same old, same old.”
Delphine smiles ruefully and walks over to join Cosima on the bed.
The ambiguity of their status has her sitting apart from the other woman, stiff and unsure. But Cosima slides over closer, a thigh pressing against hers, and reaches out, takes her hand at the same time that she leans bodily against her. Delphine bears Cosima’s weight gladly, feels Cosima’s forehead resting against her cheek.
Cosima’s anger suddenly gone, at least for the moment, they sit in silence. They have precious few moments until she must leave, and Delphine is content to spend them with her beloved any way Cosima wishes. She hadn’t dared to hope for anything more, although within more pleasant circumstances, and Delphine breathes out, twines her fingers through Cosima’s and squeezes lightly—cold, as usual, but not clinically so. Cosima has always run cold.
“This sucks,” Cosima says flatly, and laughs softly. “But it doesn’t at the same time.” She goes quiet for a moment, a rare instance of self-doubt appearing as she doesn't move but asks, “Is that crazy?”
“No,” Delphine is able to answer, and feels a small measure of guilt ease its weight off her at Cosima's admission. In any other situation, being on the brink of such cutting edge discoveries would be the stuff of dreams. That appreciation, she knows she and Cosima both share. It’s something that as a scientist Cosima can understand.
But the personal, violating nature of it means it can never really be ojective, and Delphine understands why Cosima does what she does. The severity of their situation, what they’ve been through and might yet have to go through, is too high of a price to pay for scientific advancement.
And so, stumped for the moment and each with their part to play, Cosima leans her forehead against her, and with the turn of her head and the bump of her glasses it turns into a nuzzle, Cosima's nose drawn against the underside of her jaw, and Delphine breathes in deep, doesn't fully comprehend it until it's happening, that the hem of her shirt is being lifted, that Cosima’s hands frame her hips and she bows her head and kisses the scar on her abdomen.
“Where are you going?” Cosima asks between feather-light brushes of her lips.
She has a million and one responsibilities to be dealing with right now, but Cosima’s kisses have always had the very uncanny ability to derail her plans. Her words, embarassingly, come out more breathlessly than Delphine intends.
“Sardinia,” she replies. She has no idea the reason why, but knows if she’s not ready to go by four as the messenger had warned her she jeopardizes the goodwill she’s painstakingly built up over the past few months. And now, especially, would be a bad time to push her luck.
Cosima, of course, seems not to understand the concept of pushing one's luck. It's one of her many endearingly stubborn traits.
Despite the serious conversation, Delphine feels Cosima’s fingers skim down her sides, a cocky look aimed at her before the other woman looks back down at her task, and Cosima's tongue darts out, aimed this time not so much at her scar as her lower abdomen, tracing some invisible line with crystal-clear intent and coaxing a hot pang of want through her that Delphine gives into gladly.
She’s buried that part of herself so deep that she had wondered at times if it would be possible to even get it back. Sitting in Rachel’s office after unsuccessfully having tried to access the lab which she was now locked out of, she’d taken a drink, a deep breath, and tried to tell herself that that part of her life was over. There would be no more evenings spent drinking wine and kissing, no more getting high and fucking in the lab, no more spending all Sunday morning in bed with Cosima—and likely for good once she learned about Shay.
Over time, it had evolved into the insupportable realization that she very well might never see or kiss Cosima again, and it was better to never imagine her touch again. She’d stepped outside of herself and denied it, tried to see her as just another Leda to protect, and had more pressing matters to attend to than dangerous feelings.
But clearly she’d been fooling herself about the success of that attempt. With a look and a touch, Cosima draws her out of the hard, cold shell of a person she’s had to become, and the want that she’s tried to smother so unsuccessfully blooms again.
They are back in Cosima’s apartment, back in the lab, back in Felix’s bed, back before shit really, truly hit the fan, and when fingertips hook over the waist of her pants, Delphine opens her eyes— when had she closed them? —reaches down to cup Cosima’s jaw and pull her back up.
Warmth and hunger have her stealing a kiss, and, leaning forward, a hand on Cosima’s shoulder, gently pushing back, and in the cramped space it is now Cosima under her, looking up at her with a smile that actually reaches her eyes, no I’m-fine-don’t-worry-about-me mask. It's a smile Delphine can’t remember seeing in a very long time.
“Hi,” Cosima whispers in the pause that’s fallen over them, looking close to either laughter or tears in her giddiness, and to avoid the latter Delphine kisses her again.
It is a good silence, once filled with the creak of the cot and rustle of clothing as they shift, her own breathing and Cosima’s whimpers—she kisses her slowly, deeply, like she knows Cosima enjoys, lips parted and inviting. She has missed this immensely, she realizes as Cosima’s tongue dips and seeks, as arms reach up around her shoulders, pulling Delphine flush against her.
The night before, Cosima dipping into the delirium of the truly hypothermic, she'd disrobed and stripped Cosima down, pressed every part of herself against the other woman, willing her to stay focused, to stay with her, to stay alive. That touch had been of a patient and doctor, one clinical goal in mind, and she had stayed with her well into the night, afraid to let go of Cosima's hand well past any danger.
Now, safe from that one threat at least, they break their kiss, and Delphine allows herself to enjoy the attention Cosima pays to her neck, eyeteeth leaving what is sure to be a hell of a mark once Cosima's done with her. The knee she has braced against the cot is between Cosima’s legs, and as Cosima's hands begin to wander, Delphine has to stop herself from sparing a hand to grasp her ass, to bring her up and into her, to have Cosima rocking against her. They are not that pressed for time.
With some difficulty Delphine pulls away, and proceeds to kiss her way down Cosima’s clothed body until she’s reached her jeans.
Lack of time combined with need have her fingers brushing at the fly of Cosima’s jeans and Cosima reaching down to help her slip them off. They are followed quickly by panties of the lacy variety. Cosima, Delphine thinks with a small smile to herself, is ever the optimist.
There are an array of decisions before her, yet there is really only one—something Delphine had had a much harder time not thinking about than she imagined she would have, alone and sad and tipsy.
She’d been so naive in the beginning of their relationship.
You like that, she’d asked in amazement after regaining her composure, Cosima half-crouched over her, licking wet lips in wicked exaggeration.
Fuck yeah, I do, Cosima had replied proudly, and then proceeded to lick her fingers clean.
It was terrifying and intriguing all at once, so Delphine had reached out and brought Cosima closer, gathered her courage, kissed her, and understood.
She settles between Cosima’s thighs, slips her arms under Cosima’s legs and hikes her legs over her shoulders.
If this were how their everyday lovemaking were to play out, she’d take herself to task for being such a terrible lover. But as it is, they are short on time, and Cosima’s fingers are in her hair, urging her closer, and so Delphine presses a kiss to Cosima’s clit before beginning in earnest.
She barely swipes her tongue through folds once, and the reaction is immediate—Cosima lets out a strangled moan, heels digging reflexively into Delphine’s back, urging her closer, and Delphine, despite eyes closed in a mixture of pleasure and concentration, is able to imagine, to piece together the sight in front of her from various other instances. Cosima, back arched. Cosima, eyes closed, mouth slack, gasping. Cosima, hands already slipping under her own shirt, shoving aside her bra, cupping her breasts.
Delphine slides her hands from where they rest uselessly on Cosima’s thighs, moves to splay palms and fingers over Cosima's abdomen, stilling over-eager hips. So naive, she reminisces, to think she’d want to spend a spare moment with Cosima without being between her thighs. As much as she’d enjoyed Cosima’s openness in bed, after long consideration she’d decided it was her definitely her favorite way to bring Cosima to orgasm.
Delphine gives herself room to breathe, but otherwise presses close. Now is less about exploration or finesse, and she does not let her tongue dip to truly taste her, or tease her with indirect stimulation, or add fingers to the mix. No. There is one thing and one thing only she craves right now, and that is her tongue and lips on Cosima’s clit, licking and sucking and lapping through abundant wetness, chasing just the right motions that, with a strangled cry, make Cosima arch and shudder and come on her tongue just as Delphine had hoped.
It is beautiful and messy and pleasantly surprising like everything between them is, and after, the two of them curled together under the blanket, she wonders how she’s made it so blindly through life without Cosima’s taste.
Their tryst makes it all the more difficult to part, of course. If she hadn’t wanted to leave before, now she really doesn’t. But in a way, it also makes it more bearable. She can go to Sardinia and whatever awaits her there with the knowledge that Cosima doesn't hate her, that Cosima will be okay, that all the Leda clones will. Whatever happens, they have that at least.
Long since dressed and hair touched-up, the location of the cure described to Cosima, the eventual knock at the door startles neither of them. It is simply another minor interruption, like Scott or Felix or Cosima's illness. They kiss goodbye, chaste and brief with the messenger hovering bad-naturedly in the doorway.
“Follow the crazy science,” Delphine whispers as they hug, watches the ridiculous joke get a smile out of Cosima, and knows that somehow the other woman will find a way to make it work like she always does.