After they jointly pressed the submit button sending the files Delphine, Felix, Adele, Siobhan and even Rachel had worked so hard for so long to get, after, with one simple click, they guaranteed the freedom and safety of every Leda clone, after Cosima had been so overcome with emotion that she absolutely broke in Delphine's arms, after Delphine took her time putting Cosima back together with every kiss, every touch, every caress, after they slowly stripped each other of every inch of clothing so they were completely bare to one another but too overcome with emotion to do anything more than hold each other, Delphine was drifting off to sleep in the arms of the woman she loved when Cosima repeated a question she had been prevented from answering before.
“What were you going to say earlier?”
“Quoi?” Delphine asked sleepily, her eyes refusing to open as Cosima softly ran her hand up and down her spine.
“At the gallery, before Felix interrupted. You were about to tell me what you want us to do.”
“What do you want to do? With our freedom?”
“Oh” No longer sleepy, Delphine turned on her side to look up at her girlfriend. Girlfriend. She couldn't help the smile that came over her face. Cosima . . . her love, her life, her subject...finally free. It was something she dreamed for the other woman since the moment she saw her in that university lab what felt like a lifetime ago. Before they met Cosima had just been a number. 324B21. All of them were. They weren't Sarah and Helena and Alison and even Rachel. They were numbers on files and medical reports and blood vials.
Even so, the first time Delphine saw Cosima the brunette took her breath away. The more time she spent with the quirky brunette the more she saw how the clone was so much more than a number. So much more than her DNA.
When Delphine promised to protect Cosima she meant it. Whatever she had to do, whatever she had to risk she did without question. She lied, made alliances with people who literally made her skin crawl, tortured people, nearly killed someone and became someone she didn't recognize and she made peace with the fact that she was going to die. She should have died. She took a bullet and didn't think twice.
Every single thing she did since the moment she made that promise had been for Cosima and her sisters. All the lying and the secrets and pushing the one person she wanted close to her away and making moves that made them all, even Cosima, trust her less...it was all for this. So they could be free! No more Neolution, no more clone disease, no more fighting to live their lives. It was finally, finally over. Each and every one of them could have whatever they want now.
There was only one thing Delphine ever wanted.
With a gentle smile she reached for Cosima's hand, letting their palms rest together a moment before lacing their fingers. It always amazed her how well they fit. She felt it early in their relationship. Before they even really had a relationship. When she convinced Cosima to come to Leekie's lecture and had grabbed her hand to pull the brunette over to their seats. Actually she grabbed her hand to prevent Cosima from running away which she had had a strong feeling she would, but even in that moment with those circumstances she felt it.
She had been warned when she was brought into Project Leda. Warned that monitors had a habit of falling for the clones. Aldous assured her that it wouldn't happen to Delphine, but he had to warn her nonetheless. He had been so convinced of Delphine's loyalty to him that he was sure she wouldn't fall for Cosima. Even though she had always considered herself straight before meeting the dread locked woman, Delphine had never been loyal to Leekie.
But that wasn't it. This had nothing to do with her being a monitor. Aside from Donnie, who had fallen in love with Alison before being recruited as her monitor, all the others fled. Abandoning their subjects when things got tough to save their own skins.
Everyone but Delphine.
“I will never leave you.”
“I want you to go back to school and finish your PhD. We can move back to Minnesota or to your old school in California or wherever you want to go, but you are going to finish your degree.”
One of Delphine's biggest regrets about everything was one of her first deeds as Cosima's monitor – recruiting her to DYAD. Aside from the fact that that was the snowball that started nearly everything, it also took Cosima away from her dream. She never got her doctorate. Now that DYAD was done and Neolution would no longer be hunting the clones, Cosima could go back to school and pick-up where she left off. Finish her PhD and get a good, real job in the scientific community. One she had always wanted and make the mark on the scientific world Delphine knew she would.
Though, admittedly, both of their careers now had huge strikes against them in the name of The DYAD Group, but they could both still find work somewhere. DYAD's name might be mud now, but there was a time it had been a pioneer in numerous scientific and medical advancements. So many technologies were around solely because of DYAD. Millions of lives had been saved by it's unfortunate and tainted hand. The fact that everything was paved with blood was a separate issue.
Cosima going back to school was definitely first on her list. Not finishing her degree as that would take time, but getting her enrolled somewhere was precedent. Wherever Cosima wanted to study they would go. They would move close to the university and Delphine would get a job nearby and would help and push Cosima to achieve her dream.
After Cosima became Dr. Niehaus, if she wanted to move back to Toronto to be closer to her sisters, they could do that too. Or maybe she would want to study in Toronto to remain close to them. Knowing Cosima she probably would want that especially with Helena's babies due very very soon, but she could also see Cosima wanting to get way from everything for a while. She didn't care where they went or where they ended up. As long as she was with Cosima, the love of her life, her soulmate, anywhere could be home.
“I want to take you to France. Show you everything; where I grew-up, my schools, my university, my apartment before I came to Toronto. I want you to meet my parents and my brother and our dog.”
As she spoke she watched Cosima's smile grow until it lit up her entire face. “You have a brother?”
The fact that Cosima knew so little about her weighed heavily on their entire relationship and she was set to change that as soon as she could. With a slow nod she smiled, “There's a long conversation about all of that, everything, we should have had a long time ago that I want to have. In France. Among the meadows filled with wild flowers in Lille.” She sighed, happily imagining all of this actually being able to come to fruition. “I want to walk along the Seine, holding your hand and take you to the Eiffel Tower at night.” All tourist-y things Delphine always hated, but now couldn't wait to share with her girlfriend.
There was no precedent for what kind of reaction to expect from her family. They weren't necessarily conservative people, but her parents were a bit more old school as Cosima would say, but deep down all they ever wanted for their youngest child is for her to be happy. The fact that Cosima would be the first partner she ever brought home would speak for itself. Ideally it would speak louder than the fact that Cosima is a woman.
“My father breeds these dogs known as French Spaniels. They aren't seen much outside of France and he uses them mostly as hunting dogs, but I've seen a few pretty lazy, more suited for hunting for the television remote, dogs come out of his lines too.” She joked. “Maybe we could bring a puppy home with us.”
A single tear fell down Cosima's cheek that Delphine was quick to wipe away and replace with a kiss. This was all a lot for her too although she knew not to the degree it was for Cosima. Cosima had been on death's door. Had spent months of her life hiding and fighting and lying. Months where she didn't know if today would be her last day, months where she didn't know if when one of her sisters left she would see them again, months being separated from the love of her life-her soulmate, months not talking to her parents and family and friends back in California for fear of cracking and telling them everything. Months hiding the absolute best parts of herself.
“I want to go to San Francisco and meet your family – see where you grew-up, look a your baby pictures and watch home videos.” As she spoke her eyes went glassy. Just because she knew everything about Cosima on a cellular level didn't mean she knew anywhere near everything about her. She didn't know what Cosima was like as a child. She didn't know what shaped her into this wonderfully amazing woman she loved so much and she wanted to learn all of it.
With a smile she reached out and tilted Cosima's chin up so she could look deep into her eyes again. “I want to speak with your father and tell him...” Delphine took a moment to swallow the emotion down so she could finish. It was impossible to avoid. She and Cosima had both done a fair share of crying in the few hours since they sent the files. They cried from relief, they cried from happiness, they cried from anger and sadness and disbelief and so many things.
Who they were as human beings had been fundamentally changed. They were far from the people they were when they first met. Looking back Delphine didn't even recognize herself back then, but there was one thing she did recognize. Her and Cosima's love was the same. Their relationship had been through trials that would have broken anyone else and did break them for a while, but their love never changed. It had been tried and tested and come out stronger in the end, but at it's core it remained unchanged.
They were soulmates. Before meeting Cosima, Delphine never put much stock in the notion of soulmates. The belief that there was just one person out there for everyone never made sense to her scientific mind...until she met Cosima. Then she understood.
“...tell him how much I love his daughter and how I cannot imagine my life without her. . . And that I would very much like his permission to marry her.”
It wasn't that Delphine or Cosima or any aspect of their relationship was traditional or that Delphine thought Cosima would care about that sort of thing, but after everything Cosima had been through Delphine wanted to show her that she was more than just a clone. That her life before she became self aware mattered to. Who she was because of how she was raised was just as important as who she was because of who she was made to be. Her sisters weren't her only family. Cosima had parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends and a life back in San Francisco before all of this. Asking for Cosima's father's permission was just a small thing Delphine could do to bring that part of Cosima together with the part she knew.
Cosima would never be truly happy keeping herself split like this; having these two entirely separate and different lives. They had to come together.
At this point Delphine knew that Cosima knew exactly what she meant to her, but with this small act she hoped to further prove that her interests in the brunette reached far beyond her clone status. Cosima knew, but she still felt the need to show her. Cosima being a clone was why they met, but her feelings developed in spite of that. Not because of it.
Cosima's mouth fell open as more tears spilled over her cheeks. “You want to marry me?” She asked softly as so many different emotions flashed over her face.
Delphine nodded, so much honesty showing through her eyes that it made Cosima's breath catch in her throat. There was no need for secrets anymore – neither of them wanted any secrets no matter how small. Total and complete honesty was going to take some time to get used to. Both were aware the entire foundation of their relationship was built on a bed of lies, but that didn't mean it was doomed to fail. Foundations can be fixed and, no, they can't ever be pristine and flawless, but the cracks and flaws can be filled and made stronger than ever before.
“I want so much with you, Cosima. Marriage, kids, a family, a home...I don't even know how you feel about any of that, but you asked me what I want-”
“I want it!” Cosima cried, pulling Delphine up and into her arms. She wrapped her arms as tightly around the blonde's neck as she could. “I want all of that with you.”
Delphine wrapped her arms around Cosima, holding her tightly. “Yeah?”
Cosima nodded, softly nuzzling into the side of Delphine's neck and blonde curls. “Yeah.”
If there was ever a moment Delphine could think of where she was truly, one-hundred percent happy, this was it. The fighting was done. She no longer had to play double agent or push Cosima away when she wanted nothing more in this world than to hold her close. Cosima was no longer dying. Sarah, Helena, Alison, Charlotte, Krystal and so many others were safe and as soon as they could track all the others down, each and every one would receive the cure to the clone disease. No more of them would die for what Neolution did to them.
There was no more monitor/subject relationship or doctor/patient, director/employee, ex-girlfriends, any of it. For the first time they were just Cosima and Delphine. And they were in love – so in love, and there was finally, finally nothing stopping them from being together in every sense of the word.
“Je t'aime.” She whispered through tears, pulling back to look deep into her girlfriend's eyes and show her how much she means the words. Her hands cupped Cosima's face softly as she brought their lips together for a slow, melding of the souls type of kiss she happily let herself drown in. When they broke for air she rested her forehead against Cosima's in a way that had always been so special to them and failed to hold back her own sob at the simple contact.
Cosima pulled her in for another kiss. They must look ridiculous crying and kissing and holding onto one another for dear life naked in the corner of a secret underground lab, but neither could find it within themselves to care. Not now. “I love you too.” The brunette playfully brushed her nose against Delphine's. “I can't wait.”
“For what, ma chérie?”
Cosima shook her head “Any of it. All of it. I just...I don't...I-”
Delphine nodded, looking down at their joined hands. “I know. I don't know what will happen or where we will go, but I do know that I will always be right here by your side.”
Cosima smiled and Delphine saw everything that ever meant anything to her shining through. How she ever thought she could leave Cosima she didn't know, but she didn't regret any of it. Not one single second or night she spent crying herself to sleep because all of it led to this. It all led to her keeping her promise and Cosima and each and every one of her sisters being safe.
They ended the war. A brutal, bloody, heartbreaking war. And they won.
“Yeah, ditto.” With a smile Cosima closed the distance between them and placed a feather-light kiss on Delphine's lips before her face broke out in the most amazing smile Delphine had ever seen. “Obvs.”
“But.” Delphine began again, her smile quickly falling from her face and her eyes darkening as she pulled Cosima's ear to her lips. “What I really want, right now, is to have that...brunch...”