Chapter 1: wrap me up
Ironically enough, it all began with the news of life. Delphine’s life, that is. Cosima had believed that she was dead, long dead. There was a sliver of hope that the woman she loved was still alive because it wasn’t like she felt her death like she believed she would if the French blonde had really died. But still. The radio silence carried the dread that led to her almost putting the bot into her cheek like a lunatic.
But she didn’t.
Kendall was dead and the scientist wanted to beat those Neolution sons of bitches. And deep down, she knew she couldn’t do that all sick and tired and dead. And besides. Kendall’s death was her fault. At least, that’s what she thought. She knew that she needed to make up for what she did so that she could live with herself. And for Kendall and Siobhan and all the clones. She (stupidly) thought the bot would fix it. Give her more time. She almost put it into her cheek.
But she didn’t.
Cosima apologized profusely to Scott and Hell Wizard about her moment of brief insanity, but they refused to leave her alone for the rest of the night. She was grateful for her friends of course (especially Felix who had stopped her from doing something so… dangerously stupid) but she needed time to accept the news.
Delphine was alive.
At least, Krystal saw her leave alive.
Things only seemed to escalate when she received a skype call from Alison. She had expected Felix to tell the other clone about her break down, but when she answered the call, she was bombarded with a terrified Alison who had her house raided by the police and her husband arrested.
“Oh, dude, that’s awful,” Cosima told the rambling woman, trying to find words that weren’t completely awkward. “W-what are you going to do?”
She listened as Alison explained how Felix had already gotten his (biological) sister to agree to be Donnie’s lawyer and ranted about wanting to torture Duko for scaring her kids. She had to admit that she wanted to torture him too for what he did to Kendall. For what he’s done to all of them.
“Does Sarah know?”
She was surprised by Alison’s sudden silence and frown. Alison looked down (avoiding Cosima’s gaze) and mentioned with what seemed like a forced calm, “I think Felix told her, but heavens, I don’t want to stress her out with this. With everything going on.”
Cosima didn’t know what the hell the soccer mom was referring to. She was positive that more than anyone in the clone club, it was Sarah who would want to be involved and help. But there was something in Alison’s eyes that made her wonder if something else was going on. Something that she had no knowledge about.
“What do you mean? Did something happen to Sarah? Kira?”
Alison held her hand to her cheek and sighed. “Lord knows Felix didn’t want this to be on your mind either, Cosima. He told me what happened last night. Honestly. Finding out that--”
“What happened to Sarah, Alison?"
Alison made a tutting sound and crossed her arms. “Felix practically begged me to not tell anyone. I’m not even planning on asking Sarah--”
The mother put her hands up in the air in surrender. “Holy cow. Okay, Cosima. But please don’t ask her about it. I’m not even sure Felix told me the whole--”
“Just tell me.”
“Last night, Sarah almost killed herself,” Alison said so quickly that Cosima barely had any time to process what she said before she continued, “and Felix says that she was going to do it like… like…”
Cosima bit her lip, trying to stop the tears from coming to her eyes. She filled in the blank in her mind, but she still needed Alison to say it out loud.
Alison blinked and stared like it was the last thing she wanted to say out loud. “Like Beth.”
Cosima’s heart felt like it had stopped with all the air knocked out of her lungs. She wanted to ache for Alison (knowing how close she was to the late clone), but she couldn’t stop thinking about Sarah. The cold truth (not that she’d tell Alison or anyone else for that matter) was that Sarah was much more important to her than Beth ever was. The idea of losing her, losing the person who held them all together, made her whole body feel weak and like it was decaying (more than usual). Especially since she realized that Sarah's pain must have been her fault. That this wouldn’t have happened if Cosima hadn’t been so…
“We almost lost her?” She asked in a whisper, not really expecting an answer.
Alison narrowed her eyes. “What, Cosima? I can’t hear--”
Cosima ended the call. It was Cosima after all who wanted to make the deal with Evie Cho. It was Cosima who allowed herself to be played and caused Siobhan’s mother’s death. It was Cosima who lost the months of work and advancements they made, probably stopping any chance of a cure. None of it was Sarah’s fault, but then… she could imagine the guilt she must have been feeling. Sarah kept the world on her shoulders. She let on the pain of others. She felt more than anyone but forced herself to never show it.
She dialed Felix’s number not knowing what she would say to him when he would pick up. She couldn’t call Sarah, at least, not yet. Not until she got the full story from him first. She liked to think that it was the scientist in her who needed her facts straight before going to the original source. But truthfully, she was terrified of talking to Sarah knowing that she was the root of her pain.
“Oi, do you know what bloody time it is?” Felix croaked as if he had just woken up.
She didn’t answer his question. “Is Sarah around?”
“She was plastered last night, mate. She’ll be out for at least another few hours. Please tell me you aren’t planning on doing another senseless act. Let’s not put any more foreign objects in our mouths except for--”
“What happened with Sarah last night? And why didn’t you immediately tell me?”
Felix paused for a second but then sighed. “You would think by now I would know not to tell Alison anything--”
“You had a lot on your mind, if you remember, darling,” He snapped cooly with an edge that made Cosima almost cower in her chair. “You nearly put a bloody bot maggot in your face. And you were all weepy about Delphine. It wasn’t the night to worry you about Sarah. Besides, you almost died too.”
Cosima roared with a growl. “Who cares? I still have the right to know.”
“If Sarah wanted you to know, Sarah would tell you, but as I said, she’s knackered. I shouldn’t have told Alison. I just needed… to tell someone.”
His voice changed from angry to… something tired. Desperate, maybe. Cosima gulped. She hadn’t realized how terrifying it must have been for him too. She thought about seeing Kendall and knowing she was about to die and closed her eyes tight. She couldn't imagine seeing Sarah in her place.
Lowering her voice, she asked, “How close of a call was it?”
“Dunno, really. Found her standin’ on a bridge lookin’ down at the trains. I’d say pretty bloody close. She was… not talkin’ right either. I don’t think she’s told me everything anyway. Which means nothin’ because she’s Sarah.”
Sarah was the one who everyone leaned on for support and help and armor and yet… she never allowed anyone else to do the same for her. It wasn’t something that Cosima had realized right away. She thought that Felix was her confidant and that people like Paul or Cal had gotten through to her emotionally. Hell, Cosima even thought that she’d be a person that Sarah’d go to if she needed someone. But now…
“Cosima, I can practically hear you think. Please don’t tell me you’re going to do what I think you’re going to do. You are not comin’ to the safe house.
She huffed stubbornly. There was no way that she wasn’t going to see Sarah now. “Well, either I’m going there or you’re bringing Sarah here.”
“You cheeky bitch. She’s not well, Cosima. You askin’ her questions about her bloody feelings ain’t gonna make her better. Look, I told Alison because I knew she wouldn’t have the balls to ask Sarah about it. You on the other hand…”
“I’m not going to make her feel bad about it!”
“She doesn’t want to concern you!” Felix yelled uncharacteristically. “Sarah likes to appear like she’s tough as nails for a reason. If she found out that you know--”
“I won’t tell her that I know. Dammit, you can even tell her I need to see her for my own emotional wellbeing. I won’t bring it up. But I just… I need to see her.”
Felix was quiet again. “Why?”
That was a loaded question. Her immediate thought was because of the guilt. For Kendall. For Mrs. S. For not realizing Sarah was in a dark place. For being too caught up with the bot and Delphine that she didn’t notice Sarah’s pain.
But Cosima had to be honest with him. “Because I can’t stop imagining Sarah jumping off a bridge and getting hit by a train and maybe if I see her alive, I will stop imagining the way her body looks all broken and dead on the tracks.”
And then she heard him sigh like he was giving in. “Bloody hell, darling. Fine. We’ll come see you, yeah?”
Before she could thank him, he hung up. She understood his trepidation and need to protect her, but she was Sarah’s… Cosima couldn’t find the right word for it. They were close, at least, that was what she had thought. But when she really thought about it, she realized there wasn’t much about Sarah’s life (other than the clone shit) that she knew about.
“Were you talking to someone?”
Cosima almost sighed in relief that Scott had interrupted her darkening thoughts. She was already spiraling about Delphine and Sarah’s behavior. She didn’t want to spiral about her relationship with her either.
“Don’t worry, Scotty. I’m not turning into a nut and putting a bot in my face. Again. I was on the phone with Felix.”
Scott nodded and looked relieved. “The news about Delphine must have really shaken you then.”
“I mean, obvs I feel like the luckiest woman in the world that she’s alive, but I have no damn clue where she is or how she’s doing or if she’s okay. If Neolution has her…”
“Don’t think so negatively. We are going to find her, Cosima. And then you’ll have your science partner back and--”
“Scott, I don’t want you to think that you’re replaceable or something. Or that you’re like any less valuable than Delphine. I mean, you’re here because of your kind heart and bravery. I sorta dragged you in, but you didn’t have to stay.”
He stared at her with this wide-eyed look as if he was genuinely baffled by her words. “Yes, I did. I might have put a few things on hold, Cosima, but this is what I chose for my life. I know what I’m doing is important. There’s purpose in my life. And I’ve never… I’ve never had people before all of you. You, Hell Wizard, and even Sarah. You’re my family.”
Cosima’s eyes flooded with tears. She was so obsessed with the cure and Delphine and battling Neolution that she put almost everyone else on hold. Scott had never left her side, but Cosima felt like she had abandoned him. Just as she abandoned Sarah.
“Dude… I don’t know how to thank you.”
Scott gave his classic dorky grin and shook his head. “You don’t need to thank me, Cosima. Thank me by finding a cure so that we can stay mad scientists forever, okay?”
Cosima nodded vigorously. Forever sounded like a good amount of time to her.
The door to the basement swung open and the sound of heavy footsteps caused both Cosima and Scott to jump. Surprised that it wasn’t Hell Wizard, Scott looked from Felix and Sarah to Cosima wondering if this was indeed a planned meeting or something spontaneous.
Felix looked annoyed as he and his sister made their way toward the scientists. His arms were crossed and his eyes were cautious. It was obvious to Cosima (and Scott) that he was not happy to be there. He even stood in front of Sarah slightly, like he was protecting her. It made Cosima frown. She hated that he seemed to be protecting Sarah from her.
Cosima could barely see Sarah behind him. But she could tell that the woman was looking… incredibly Sarah-like. With her baggy tank top and ripped black jeans, messy eyeliner, and partially braided hair. Her hands were stuffed in her pockets of a leather jacket that Cosima hadn’t recognized but soon fell in love with. She couldn’t meet Sarah’s eyes, though. She didn’t know how to without revealing to the woman that she knew.
“I hope we’re interrupting something outlandishly nerdy,” Felix greeted and put his hands on his hips as if he was waiting for something to happen.
Cosima ignored him and turned to her lab partner, trying to tell him through her eye movements that he needed to go along with whatever she said. “Yo, Scotty, can you take Felix upstairs and show him the new bottle of vodka?”
Scott tried to hide his apprehension by nodding vigorously. “Yeah. Er… sure. Felix, do you mind if we… head…”
Felix waved his hands up in the air and shouted, “you are all hopeless,” and then started to walk up the stairs while his feet pounded the pavement with more drama than he usually mustered.
Cosima motioned her head toward Felix at Scott, telling him to follow the man. Scott gave her another terrified look, but she ignored it. Her attention was now solely on Sarah and the realization that even though Cosima was the sick one, Sarah looked much paler and skinnier.
Suddenly, Cosima didn’t have any idea how to greet the woman that she had felt so close to for the past few years. There was so much that she wanted to say, but she couldn’t find any of the right words in her mind.
Luckily, Sarah wasn’t struggling with talking like she was. “Felix said ya almost put my bloody bot in your face.”
She blinked at the woman with the British accent that always caught her a little off guard. “Yep. Not totally the smartest idea I have ever had.”
“You can’t always be a brainiac,” Sarah replied seriously.
Cosima snorted. “Tell that to well… everyone.”
Sarah frowned (somehow more than she was already frowning). “Fee said you’re strugglin’. With the Kendall shite and all. An’ losin’ all your work.”
“Ergo the bot in my face. Yeah, I had a rough day. Everything sorta hit me at once, you know? And I shut everyone out. But I’m just lucky your brother didn’t let me. He’s the reason why I’m not dead right now.”
Sarah blinked and sat down next to Cosima on her bed. She slouched over and stared at her feet, not allowing the other clone to see her face.
“Yeah, not all of us have a ‘Delphine’ that would flip the switch for us and make us want to live. But hey, good for you, yeah?”
Cosima hadn’t felt this breathless since the time she had almost died in Felix’s bed. She opened her mouth, wanting to apologize for some reason, but then knew that she couldn’t do that. She wasn’t sorry for finding out about Delphine. She wasn’t sorry for not putting the bot in her face. And she definitely wasn’t sorry that she was still here. Though she did feel sorry for Sarah, she knew her well enough to know that she wouldn’t want her pity.
“I know Fee told you,” Sarah commented, a little less harshly, but with the same amount of coldness. “I could tell the second I walked into this fucking dungeon. So, what, Cosima? You want me to talk about it or somethin’? Share my bloody feelings with you?”
“I want--” Cosima paused. She didn’t know what to say. “I want…”
"What, Cosima? Spit it out.”
Tears fell down the scientist’s cheeks without fail (she didn’t even care if Sarah saw them). And with the tears, she finally found the words. “I just wanted to know that you were alive. I just wanted to see you. Touch you, maybe. Know that your heart was still beating, Sarah.”
Sarah finally looked up at her, startling Cosima with her red and watery eyes. “That’s fuckin' rich comin' from you. What would I have done if you offed yourself, eh? Who says you have the right to end your life and I don't?”
Cosima fidgeted with her hands and sighed. “Sarah, it’s dif--”
“Oh, so now your suicide attempt is different than mine? Better than mine?”
“I didn’t want to die! I wanted to live!” She shouted at her, standing up too quickly, causing her to topple over, forcing Sarah to catch her ungracefully as they both fell to the floor. She started coughing and couldn’t stop. She hadn’t had a fit like this since…
Sarah grasped both of Cosima’s shoulders and asked her what to do, how to help, how to stop the coughing. Cosima wanted the look of worry on Sarah’s face to vanish. She hated scaring people with her sickness and this was the absolute worst timing.
Finally, the coughing ceased and Cosima drank the water that Sarah had forced into her hands. The scientist began to apologize and didn’t know how to stop.
“Don’t say you’re sorry, s’all my fault.”
Cosima tilted her head with confusion. “How the hell do you think that you made me cough? It’s the sickness, Sar. Not your charming personality.”
Sarah rested her head on Cosima’s shoulder, no longer upset with her clone. She was worried about her for sure, but the anger was all gone.
“I hate that you were the one who was with Kendall when she was killed. I hate that you had to go through that. I hate that we got played. I hate that Kendall’s gone and the research is gone and that you’re still bloody sick.”
Cosima reached for Sarah’s hand and squeezed it. “Sarah--”
Her voice trembling, Sarah interrupted, “I fucked things up, Cos. For all of us. I let everyone down. I let… I let Beth down. And it fucked me up. I don’t want to die, Cos. I just want it all to be over. And I want everyone to be okay.”
“Woah, dude. First, you didn’t fuck things up, Sarah, okay? Second, the whole Kendall stuff was my fault. I was desperate and not thinking things through. Especially with the damn bot. I don’t… I don’t want to die, Sar. I want to live this crazy life and do something good. And this sickness, it makes me feel so helpless.”
Sarah shook her head and then held it against Cosima’s own forehead. “You aren’t helpless, Cos. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. We wouldn’t have gotten this far. And we won’t find the cure or end this Neo shit without you. I need you here with me. I can’t do this without you.”
It was the same thing she had said to the scientist months ago when Cosima was dying in Felix’s bed. It wasn’t something they talked about often. Sarah’s rare moment of vulnerability and Cosima’s death bed wasn’t something that they would like to revisit. Even if it was a solemn moment of bliss where two women who understood each other, held hands in silence and compassion and love. Though, that could have been a part of the reason, too.
“You won’t have to. If MK can find Susan, we might be able to find a cure together. Not that I really want to work with that bitch.”
Sarah snorted and moved away from her clone. “Do you think Susan knows where Delphine is?”
Cosima’s eyes darkened. “Krystal said that she was alive when she was taken but… who’s to say she didn’t die minutes later? Hours later? Days later? I could be searching for a ghost.”
“ Or you could be searching for the French love of your life who can help get a cure, yeah?”
The scientist tilted her head. “Now who’s little miss optimist?”
“Oi, don’t be spreadin’ that to everyone, yeah? Especially Alison. I don’t think I have enough optimism for her and Donnie. Bloody hell. I’ve always hated cops, but Neo cops are just another layer of shite I never thought we’d have to face. But it’d make sense. Cops do normally include the worst of people.”
Cosima gave Sarah an all-knowing look that made the mother roll her eyes and groan.
“Yeah, yeah, know-it-all. Besides Art and Beth. You have a good point.”
“You’re bloody joking,” Sarah blurted in the middle of Cosima’s story while they shared a joint (or two). “Alison’s mum did not say that.”
“She did,” Cosima said and nodded as she flopped onto the bed that she had been sleeping on most nights in the basement (if she were to sleep at all). “Called me ‘mulatto’, the horrid bitch. God, I can’t imagine growing up with that woman.”
Sarah hummed in agreement. “And I thought S was bad growin' up. Can’t imagine livin' with some racist arseholes. Probably homophobic arseholes too.”
Cosima never thought too much about how the other clones grew up. She thought about it in an analytical way (obviously, she noticed that nurture impacted everyone’s personalities more than nature) but she never really thought about how different she would be if she had grown up in Sarah’s or Alison’s shoes.
She gathered that maybe it was selfishness. Or that she was so entwined with living in her own head and learning about her own biology that she didn’t give other people much of a thought. But here, staring at Sarah and her lion’s mane of messy hair, thick eyeliner, and clothes that hung off her body, she realized that Sarah’s life didn’t start when she met Cosima (or Alison or Beth for that matter). It started when she was born. A separated twin forced into the foster system. She had been living a very different life than Cosima, but it was just as real and emotional.
“My parents were—are—great. College professors who always allowed me to be curious. I was never just some little kid to them. I was an equal. When they talked about physics, they let me talk too. Even if I had no idea what I was talking about.”
A smile grew from Sarah’s lips. “Are you sayin' that if I had your parents I would be a genius too?”
Cosima chuckled and shrugged. “I don’t know. If I was raised by S, would I like boys and alcohol?”
“Ah, touché, geek monkey. Yeah, it’s loads to think about. I mean, we are all who we are ‘cause of how we were raised but… there are similarities.”
Cosima was dazzled by the curiosity she was feeling for whatever Sarah was thinking, even if they were both high as a kite. Sarah’s thoughts were more intoxicating than any drug.
“Like what?” Cosima asked her as she took a big puff and coughed as she did a sultry little dance. “You mean our hot bodies?”
Sarah laughed again which made Cosima grin. She didn’t know if she heard her fellow clone laugh this many times before.
“Not just that. I’m talkin’ about our recklessness. Stubbornness. Our fucked up relationships.”
Sarah had a good point. “Now who’s the smart one?”
“You, ya twat,” Sarah muttered and wrapped her arms around the scientist and laid her head on her chest. “Always you.”
Cosima looked down into Sarah’s eyes and just stared. Neither of them could look away. Most of it was pure fascination. They were two completely different people and yet… they had the same (but different) features. The same (but different) face. It was jarring and complex and intriguing.
They heard the door open and both of their eyes flickered toward Felix and Scott who were walking down the stairs with glitter in their hair that wasn’t there before they left.
Sarah quickly moved away from Cosima and tried to joke, “Though I could’ve been the genius. We’ll never know.”
Cosima couldn’t laugh. She just stared as Sarah moved toward Felix and suddenly seemed so far away again. So untouchable. So hardened and alone.
“Keep me updated with the science cure shit, yeah? We will come back soon.”
Cosima wanted to ask if Sarah promised that, but the words wouldn’t escape her mouth. Instead, she just nodded and waved, feeling like the light was escaping the room and what was left when Sarah was gone was the darkness.
Chapter 2: lonely girls paradise
Sarah and Cosima join together. And they fall apart.
Scott wasn’t saying anything. Not that it was incredibly odd that he wasn’t talking, but Cosima could tell that there was something that he wanted to say, but was holding it back. She didn’t know if it was something about her and Sarah or about his few hours with Felix, but she could tell that he was keeping it quiet for a reason unbeknownst to her.
“Where did Felix take you?” She asked him to try to get him to start talking. She even poked him a few times, but he didn’t seem to notice. He was lost in his own thoughts.
Scott blushed and answered sheepishly, “A few bars.”
It was vague, but Cosima didn’t want to press for more. Scott had always shown her privacy and respect when it came to her personal life, and she didn’t want to push him away with any of her own meddling.
“Well, thank you. Seriously, dude. Sarah and I… we needed that talk, you know?”
Scott nodded and swiveled in his chair to finally look at her. “You looked really happy when we walked in. Felix told me he was worried about it, but I guess it all went alright? Not that I know what’s really going on. But my point is, I haven’t seen you that happy in a long time.”
Cosima could read between the lines. She knew that he was really saying that he hadn’t seen her this happy since she was with Delphine. She didn’t know if that was exactly true. Delphine made her feel electric and passionate and vibrant. Sarah… Sarah made her laugh and feel warm. It was different.
“Everyone’s having a rough time right now. I think… it was just what we needed at the moment. Did Felix tell you about Alison and Donnie?”
A text early in the morning the next day made Cosima wonder if Sarah ever slept. Not that Cosima hadn’t been awake when she received the text. Kendall’s death had been plaguing her dreams. Sometimes Kendall was replaced by Delphine and she imagined seeing them getting killed over and over and over again. She wondered if Sarah had similar nightmares.
The texts turned into a phone call.
"Oi, Cos,” Sarah murmured softly with an almost husky-just-woke-up voice that made her accent sound that much more pronounced. "Hope I didn’t wake you."
“You’re fine, Sarah. Any news? On MK or Donnie or…”
"I think Alison’s able to visit Donnie today. With Fee and Adele. I’m hopin’ this turns out to be a My Cousin Vinny scenario with Adele and she’s secretly a genius or somethin’. Or it could be total shite. I’ve been warned to keep out of it."
Cosima chuckled at the idea of Sarah actually staying out of something (she didn’t think that was possible). She could imagine Mrs. S begging Sarah to bite her tongue about Adele being the family lawyer.
“And Felix is going to tell Adele that Alison is your…”
"Twin. I dunno how we’ll keep all this from her but whatever. Art’s still pissed, though, even if this all is because of Neolution. But I can’t really judge Alison with the drugs, though, can I?"
“We all do stupid, impulsive things, right? Isn’t that what you said? None of us are perfect.”
"Oi!" Sarah shouted in a tone that would have scared any person who didn’t know her well, causing Cosima to snort. "Are you sayin’ m’not perfect, Niehaus?"
“Yo, my hands are in the air in surrender, Manning. I’m not saying anything.”
Sarah laughed, her voice ringing slightly, causing an echo on the phone. Cosima wished that she could hear the laugh in person. Her laugh always sounded raw, like her voice wasn’t completely used to it.
"I guess there’s a reason why they call you smart, Cos. Speakin’ of, MK did call. She’s gonna hook us up to Susan somehow. I told her that you need to be involved too. I’d come over to you but… S is under the impression that Neos might be after me."
That didn’t surprise Cosima in the slightest, but it did make her wonder about Sarah’s foster mother. “How’s Siobhan doing?”
"She’s not angry with me anymore, but she’s angry, Cosima. Not at you or us or anythin’. But at Neos and Evie Cho and Duko. Kira’s ‘specially worried ‘bout her. I dunno, Cos. I feel… like something's happenin’. Or about to happen. I dunno who to trust."
Cosima understood that feeling better than anyone. Trust was something that was easy for the scientist to gain, but once she loses it… She immediately thought of Delphine and Shay and how she hadn’t felt like she could completely trust someone she was sleeping with for years.
“I know, Sarah. But there’s a bunch of people that are on our side. It’s my turn to be optimistic. We’re going to get the cure and we’re going to destroy Neolution.”
Sarah sighed with what sounded like tiredness. "Yeah, but at what cost?"
Her screen was blank for a few minutes until she could see everyone. Sarah, Susan, Rachel, and MK. This was what she was waiting for. Scott was by her side, which was reassuring. The two of them had finally come up with an idea for a cure that might actually work.
The rest of the conversation wasn’t as exciting as those first words. She was surprised that Rachel and Sarah hadn’t begun fighting on the video call, but there was something strange happening on Sarah’s end that made Cosima question what was happening over there at the safe house. She was even more caught off guard when Sarah had shut her computer off while they were in the middle of a conversation with Susan and Rachel, not that it seemed to faze them at all.
It was time for her to finally voice her idea. She didn’t want to work with them. She barely wanted to converse with them. But the only way she could actually pull off this cure was with their help.
“So,” Cosima finally began, knowing that she couldn’t hold back any theories if she ever wanted a cure (even if that meant working with their enemies). “I have a couple of ideas.”
She had texted Sarah. More than once. She didn’t want to bother her, but she was concerned with how abruptly she ended the video call. She tried to not read too much into it (Sarah was infamous for her unread text messages) but it was almost impossible to not be worried with everything else going on.
And besides that, she needed to talk to her. After hours of debating possibilities for the cure, they could only come up with one possible solution. One possible solution that Cosima actually thought might work. She hated to admit it, but Susan and Rachel were fairly brilliant. They kept up with all her insane thinking.
She was excited to tell Sarah about this new possibility, but she was also terrified. Not only did she need some of Sarah’s eggs, but she would also have to go to the island to actually do the science in a lab that was much more qualified than their own.
The door blasted open, interrupting her thoughts and conversation with Scott about what she would have to bring to the island. She was surprised to find Siobhan standing at the door with a huge ass gun in her hand. On instinct, Cosima almost raised her hands up in the air, but S didn’t look angry at her.
“Duko’s comin’ here. Art and Sarah too. You two are going to stay down here and not say a word. No matter what. Got it, loves? Don’t come back up until someone gets you.”
Cosima and Scott shared a look but they didn’t have the time to ask her about what the hell she was talking about. It frightened them, but they followed her directions. They knew not to go against her orders (that would be a death wish).
Both of them listened intently to the room above them, but they could only hear murmurs of familiar voices. Cosima had expected screaming or yelling or something horrifying as that, but she barely heard a thing until… the indistinguishable bang. Cosima immediately grasped Scott’s arm. After Kendall’s murder, she had hoped that she would never have to hear gunfire again. After a few minutes, the door opened for a brief second, but only for a short enough period for Hell Wizard to enter the basement.
“Duko’s dead,” Hell Wizard announced, looking as pale as a ghost. “Detective Bell and Sarah left.”
Cosima felt like fainting. She thought the idea of anyone else getting murdered would be horrifying, but part of her actually felt a wave of relief to find out that Duko was dead and wouldn’t hurt anyone else in the family. She knew Kendall’s death was only partially avenged. They still had to find a cure and put a stop to Evie Cho.
She felt her pocket buzz.
Sarah Manning: i gotta see kira, i’ll come clean tomorrow, S’ crew will be there in a few to get the body
Cosima Niehaus: Are you OK, Sarah?
Sarah Manning: i’ll update u tomorrow,,, pls dont go upstairs
Cosima thought about texting her back, begging her to tell her everything, but she knew that she couldn’t push her. That it would only push Sarah away from her. Instead, she put her phone down and announced to the others what Sarah had told her.
Scott just shook his head and returned to the computer while Hell Wizard offered a pot brownie. Cosima didn’t refuse.
Someone was shaking her awake. She didn’t know when she fell asleep (or how exactly she fell asleep after last night) but when she woke up, her head ached. Somehow, Hell Wizard must have convinced her to drink too. Not a good mix.
“You okay, geek monkey?” Sarah asked her with pure concern and crossed arms. “Party hard or somethin’?”
Cosima sat up, rubbed her eyes, and realized that it was just the two of them in the basement. “Where’s--”
“When I got here, Scotty boy and Wizard boy were both scrubbin’. They don’t seem too thrilled with my presence.”
Cosima rolled her eyes. “Well, most people don’t like it when you kill someone a few feet away from them. But hey, that’s just a guess.”
Sarah glared at her. “Piss off, Cos. I thought you’d be the last person who’d be angry at Duko’s death.” When the scientist looked away from her, she sighed. "Cosima, S had to. For Kendall.”
“I get it, Sarah,” Cosima snapped. “I just would have liked to know before it happened, you know? A little heads up or something? Because dammit, Sar. I would have liked to not be here when it happened.”
Sarah sat down onto the bed next to Cosima and stared at her own muddy boots. “Loads happened yesterday, Cosima. I know that sounds like an excuse, but it’s true. Alison was threatened by Duko to give up my location in return for not knockin’ Donnie off. The only way to make sure no one died was to kidnap Duko and kill ‘im.”
Cosima raised her eyebrows. Sarah wasn’t wrong. A lot had happened. “But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have called me at the very least. Jesus, Sarah! Why can’t you just let someone into your life so you don’t have to go through all this alone?”
Sarah jumped up and headed for the stairs, ready to run away. Back turned to the scientist, Sarah said, “I should’ve told you. You’re right, Cos. I didn’t mean to keep you in the dark. But I can’t… I fucked that up. Shite. It’s what I do.”
Cosima’s anger dissipated from her body, though she didn’t quite know why. “You’re so dramatic, Manning. And I thought Alison was bad.”
The lighter tone in the scientist’s voice made Sarah turn around. “That’s the worst thing you coulda said to me. She’s a bloody theater actress for fuck’s sake. Though, I did grow up with Fee. Maybe he rubbed off a lil on me, yeah?”
“Just a little. But seriously, Sarah. Why are your communication skills so damn awful?”
Sarah only shrugged and felt her body condense into itself. She didn’t want to talk about herself or her fucked up nature or why she was so shit at life. In fact, she avoided those conversations at all costs. Which was why she normally avoided Cosima most of the time too. Cosima was the only one who wanted to know that kind of stuff about Sarah.
She turned around again and said, “Yeah, well, I dunno, do I? I gotta go see Kira--”
Cosima ran over and grabbed Sarah’s hand as she tried to walk off. She didn’t know what to say when Sarah looked at her, her eyes watering and lips quivering slightly (Cosima wouldn’t have noticed if she hadn’t been staring so intensely). She hadn’t wanted to piss her off, but she needed answers. Sarah had almost always been an enigma to her. She wasn’t one at first, not with her bitchy attitude and con artist tendencies. But now that Sarah was their leader, their person, she felt like she knew her less and less.
“Sarah… I’m a blunt person. So truthful to a degree that I like end up offending half the people that I’ve met.”
The other woman didn’t know where she was going with this. “Yeah, good for ya, Cos.”
Cosima grumbled. “What I’m trying to say is, I am going to be honest with you. It’s who I am, Sarah. And honestly, I don’t understand you. You act like nothing affects you until it does. You struggle with loving people and yet you’re the most loyal person I know. And you’re always alright, even when you’re not. I just want to know who you are, but you won’t let me.”
Sarah wanted to let go of Cosima’s hand and run. Run far and fast. But her grip was strong and something in Cosima’s eyes told her that this is what the scientist needed, though Sarah didn’t understand why.
“It’s not just you, Cos.” Sarah confided when she couldn’t think of a way out. “Why do you think I pushed Cal to leave? Why do you think I keep S at arm’s length and left Kira? Felix is the only one who’s ever opened me up. And that’s because he forced me. After years of bloody naggin’. S’got nothin’ to do with you, yeah?”
That didn’t make Cosima feel any better. She could have guessed all of that. “But why, Sarah? Why can’t you let me in? Let me help you?”
Sarah sighed and wiped her nose that was running with her sleeve. “Because m’an orphan, Cos. I grew up unwanted. Jumped from foster home to foster home that was either too crowded, too handsy, or too damn lonely. I didn’t have someone like you growin’ up. Or Alison or Cal or anyone. Not until Fee. But even then… Jesus, Cos. Why you askin’ all this?”
Cosima grasped her other hand and tried to smile. “Because I want you to trust me, Sarah. Like I trust you.”
“But I do trust you, Cos. I do. I just wanna protect you from all this shit. That’s why I didn’t tell you about the night I almost ended it with snortin' and drinkin' and shaggin' couples. Or about yesterday. Or all the other shit I’ve kept to myself. You already have so much to deal with. I can take care of everythin’ else.”
Cosima groaned and facepalmed, letting go of the other woman's hands. “But you don’t have to! You’re not the only clone, Sarah! Let someone help you for god sakes!”
Sarah shook her head. “I can’t.”
“Because I deserve this,” she shouted and pounded her chest like she wanted to hit something (and decided to hit herself). “I’ve wasted my shit life doin’ shit things. Maybe this is the way I can make it better, yeah? You’ve got science, Alison’s got school boards and her plays, Beth was a cop, hell Krystal’s even got cosmetics. I’ve got nothin’. M’just nothin’ but a shit mother and hustler and lover of abusers.” She fell to her knees before Cosima had a chance to even try to catch her. “Everyone’s better off w’out me.”
“I’m not,” Cosima told her immediately. She crouched down and wrapped her arms around the shaking body. “Listen to me, Sarah. You’re a survivor. Restless, remember? You’re wicked smart. Strong. Brave. You’re my hero. My friend. My… god, Sarah. Do I have to say more for you to understand? We wouldn’t have gotten this far without you. You’re our rock, Sar. Our hope. We need you. I need you.”
Sarah rested her head on Cosima’s lap and held onto the scientist's shirt like she was trying to hold on.
“I feel her, Cos,” Sarah confessed as quietly as she could. “I feel her with me. I see her everywhere. All my dreams are about her. M’worried that m’… turnin' into Beth.”
Cosima blinked. She knew that there was a connection between the clones. A connection that couldn't be explained by any science that she was aware of. It was why Kira was unexplainably different. She didn’t understand why Sarah felt connected to Beth (or if anyone else had this feeling), but she wanted to.
“I won’t let that happen. I’ll protect you, just like you protect all of us.”
Instead of telling her about the island and exchange with Rachel like she knew she should have, she dragged Sarah to the bed and commanded her to sleep.
Their fingers intertwined and Sarah, with one last exhale, finally closed her eyes.
Cosima would have never expected Sarah to be cuddly. The lion-hearted girl with the lion’s mane had her body practically wrapped around the scientist’s, her head rested gently into the curve of Cosima’s neck, breathing into her hair. It was surprising and endearing and made Cosima’s heart beat faster than normal. She couldn’t remember being this physically close to someone without sex being involved.
She would have never thought that Sarah would look this delicate as she slept. And she was sure that the punk would be the first to deny it too. She felt Sarah’s warm hands around her body and she didn’t want her to ever peel away. Cosima decided that she could live like this forever. It would be easy, she thought. Simple. The idea of staying this way with Sarah Manning made her grin and smile and it subsequently scared her.
She only felt this way with Delphine.
Sarah had her face. It was obvious and made her shake her head at the idiocy of the immediate thought, but she couldn’t stop staring at it. They had the same face. But it wasn’t the exact same. Or maybe their faces were the exact same and Cosima just imagined little differences because they were incredibly different people with different scars and different stories. Maybe Sarah seemed older because she had done more things and lived a harder life. Maybe Cosima felt younger because she admired Sarah so intensely. But for some reason, Cosima didn’t see Sarah like the rest. She saw her own face in Alison, Beth, even Helena. But Sarah?
“Cos, why’re you bloody staring at me?”
Cosima raised her eyebrows. Sarah hadn’t even opened her eyes and yet she somehow knew. She didn’t know if she was freaked out by that or completely intrigued.
“I’d say it was because you’re hot, but I wouldn’t want it to go to your head, weirdo.”
“Narcissist,” Sarah snorted and finally opened her eyes. She moved her body immediately away from the other clone. “Fuck. Didn’t mean to hold you that tight, Niehaus. What time is it anyway?”
Cosima checked the time and sighed. In only a few hours, she was supposed to be in the air on the way to the island and she still hadn’t told Sarah about it.
“Listen, Sarah...” Cosima had already begun to trail off, just looking at the way the punk’s smile faltered and filled with worry and concern. “No, no. It’s nothing bad. Actually, something good. I think… I think we might have figured out the cure.”
Sarah gaped at her and then jumped up out of the bed and shouted, “Holy shite! That’s… that’s… and you’re not playin’? Don’t mess with me, Cos. This is--”
“Real, Sarah. I have good feelings about it. It’s the breakthrough we were all waiting for.”
“That’s bloody amazin’, Cos,” she muttered and ran her fingers through her mane of hair, still gaping in awe with disbelief. “You’re brilliant. I always knew you’d figure it out.”
Cosima felt her stomach knot. She had left out the worst part of the news. On purpose. Knowing Sarah’s moment of pure joy would soon vanish and be replaced with… well… she hoped that it wouldn’t be anger.
She opened her mouth, but Sarah had already started talking again. Shouting, really. In a strangely unlike-Sarah kind of way that would have normally made Cosima extremely thrilled.
“Kira’s gonna jump up and down when she finds out. Honestly, everyone will. Bloody hell. I could just kiss you right now, I’m so fuckin’ happy.”
Sarah was still grinning as if she hadn’t heard the words that came out of her own mouth. But Cosima heard them. Her mouth felt dry and she felt like her heart skipped a beat. She couldn’t stop visualizing it.
Her mouth on Sarah’s.
She tried to shake it out of her head because she was sure that Sarah hadn’t actually meant that she wanted to kiss her. Besides, Cosima knew that her thoughts would have disturbed the punk. She tried to think about anything else, anything else, but it wasn’t working.
Instead, she blurted, “I need your eggs.”
Sarah froze, no longer jittery, and muttered, “ What? ”
“For the cure, I mean. We need both Castor sperm and Leda eggs. To make--”
“The original,” Sarah whispered and slouched over slightly. “Yeah, I get it. W-when?”
Cosima scratched her head. “Now would be a good time, actually. I mean, the procedure needs to be done soon. Like really soon.”
Sarah tilted her head with a questioning stare. “What’re you not tellin’ me, Cos?”
Cosima sighed and felt herself wishing that she wasn’t the one who had to tell her this part. “We can’t do this alone, Sarah. We just don’t have the resources.”
Sarah blinked, not connecting the dots yet. “So?”
“So, I’m going to a place with ample resources and… and guidance. I’m going to the island.”
Sarah’s posture immediately changed. She crossed her arms and started pacing around the room, unable to be stopped by any force.
“No. Not with bloody Rachel and Susan.”
Cosima frowned and confessed, “Actually, Rachel’s coming here. With Ira. They’re here to… help. Supposedly. I’m not quite--”
“And you think this is a good idea, ey?” Sarah asked and waved her hands up in her air, getting more pissed off by the second. “Makin’ deals with the devil—“
“Evie Cho and Neolution are the villains here, Sarah!” Cosima interrupted and got up from the bed so that she could walk up to her. “Us not having the cure, that’s our enemy. That’s our killer.”
Sarah shook her head and tried to avoid being near her. “You’ve forgotten all the shit Rachel and Susan have put us through! Cos, I want this cure as much as you do--”
“Really, because I don’t think you’re the one that’s dying, Sarah, even though you sometimes want to.”
Cosima regretted it the second the words flew out of her mouth thoughtlessly. She watched as all the color vanished from the other clone’s face. She and Sarah might not have always seen eye to eye on everything, but she had never made Sarah go silent and pale before. She didn’t know anyone could do that.
Sarah sniffled, backing away from the other woman who tried to reach out, and said, “Yeah, okay, Cos. You got the eggs, yeah? And I’ll play nice with bloody Rachel. I’ll do all this for you, Cosima. Because… Jesus, do I really have to say it out loud? I thought you knew better than anyone that I would do anythin’ to have the sickness instead of you. Jus’ seein’ you… s’ my curse. I’ll give you my bloody eggs.”
She walked away with tears in her eyes. Tears that Cosima knew that she had caused. She slammed her fist into the air and bit her tongue instead of screaming. She didn’t want to scare Scott.
Chapter 3: it won't always be like this
Cosima deals with the island and finds people that she never would have expected.
Thank you so much for reading! Please comment if you can!
Sarah vehemently told her that she didn’t want her around for the procedure. The connection seemed to all but vanish between them. She was no longer looking at Cosima with adoration and hope, but with disappointment. The procedure went as well as it could have, but Cosima was still leaving her. Even if it was the right thing to do, it didn’t mean that it didn’t hurt.
Cosima couldn’t help that Sarah was the only thing on her mind. She had Sarah’s eggs, she had her bags of personal items and research, and she was stepping on a helicopter to get her cure. And yet… none of that was the closest thing on her mind.
“I could kiss you right now.”
To her, it had felt like a betrayal. At least, that’s what Cosima could gather about what Sarah felt. Going to the island (without her), allowing Rachel to replace her, and using Sarah’s suicidal thoughts against her. It had all been too much.
It felt like a break-up.
They weren’t together, they were far from it. They were genetic identicals. Friends. Partners. And yet, it was the other clone that was always on the scientist’s mind.
Sarah. Sarah. Sarah. Sarah. Sarah’s mane of hair. Sarah’s thick eyeliner. Sarah’s accent. Sarah’s clothes hung off her body just so. Sarah’s laugh. Sarah’s brooding. Sarah’s beauty. Sarah’s protectiveness and strength and bravery. Sarah. Sarah. Sarah. Sarah.
She wondered if the punk was thinking about her too. Or if this new attraction was something one-sided and strange and unnerving and perverted. She told herself that the stolen glances and lingering looks that the two shared were probably purely platonic for Sarah and confused Cosima because she’s… well…
Gay and lonely.
She decided that it was only confusion. Because confusion was the only thing that made sense to her. And as a scientist… she needed to comprehend her feelings. And having… feelings... for Sarah, well….
Shay made emotional sense. She was charming, comforting. She made Cosima feel calm, welcomed, bright. Like she was being taken care of by a woman who not only understood her chemistry and biology, but also her personality and feelings. Shay was normal. She wasn't a monitor or a spy. She just wanted Cosima.
Delphine made logical sense. She was her intellectual equal. Gorgeous and eloquent and intriguing. Cosima was fascinated by the intricacies of the blonde’s extraordinary mind. They were always speaking the same language and studying the same science. They almost shared a brain, a love for science and for each other.
Sarah didn’t make sense. She was a maelstrom. She was complicated and fiery and had a temper. A grifter, hustler, con-artist. She didn’t care much for science or understanding her own nature. She didn’t need to. Her focus had always been on the survival of others. The punk was a forgotten child forced to grow up too soon, to grow up hating the world and everyone around it.
Almost the exact opposite of Cosima. And for the life of her, the scientist didn’t understand why she felt such a bond to a woman so different from her.
A lone wolf forced to work with others. A leader who protects her people. Who puts a brave face on no matter what. Who’s dangerously sharp but as breakable as glass. Fierce and hardened by life, but melts at her family that she is ever so loyal to. She felt safe around Sarah.
Cosima admired her. Wanted to save her. Wanted to hold her. Wanted to ki—no. She didn’t want to go there. She couldn’t go there. Not when she was sure that Sarah didn’t have the same damning thoughts.
Finally, things seemed to be going right. Or as right as it could have been going. And with all the never-ending bad luck she seemed to have experienced in the last couple of years, it almost surprised Cosima that things were going so well. It looked like they had succeeded; they were finally going to get that cure.
It was a moment that she wished she could have shared with Delphine (she always thought it would be the two of them to make the breakthrough). And of course the other sestras and poor suckers in clone club.
Susan (who she had to admit was not that bad to work with) had even suggested calling Sarah with the good news (before Susan started acting a bit strangely), but Cosima was unsure. She wanted to tell Sarah, but the clone hadn’t been returning any of her texts. They only got updates through Ira (thank god Evie Cho seemed to be out of the picture). The radio silence was concerning, but she could tell Sarah was still upset with her. It wasn’t like her to just forgive and forget so easily.
But, other than Scott, she didn’t know who else to call. She knew Alison was in hell with Neo cop shit and didn’t want to bother her… and it wasn’t like she was in communication with Helena. All she wanted to do was talk to was Sarah.
So, after psyching herself up for a few hours, she called her via skype. And surprisingly, Sarah picked up.
Seeing her was strange, even though she should have been used to seeing her on skype after doing it for so long. They had done this a million times before, yet…
“Cosima,” Sarah greeted with less emotion than Cosima could ever remember (like they hadn’t shared a bed and held hands when things got scary). “I’m hopin’ you’re callin’ w’good news, yeah?”
The scientist nodded with less enthusiasm than she thought she would ever have telling the punk about the success of the cure. She thought she would be screaming and pulling the other woman close, even if Sarah grimaced at all the personal touching.
“We’ve got a cure, Sarah. I’d say that’s good news.”
Color immediately returned to Sarah’s face like she was just revived from the dead. Even the corners of her mouth tugged upwards into a smile that Cosima immediately mirrored.
“Good news? Cos, that’s bloody brilliant! So you’re gonna get better?”
“Yeah, yeah. Fingers crossed, you know.”
Sarah grinned and ran her fingers through her mane of hair. “Holy shite.”
“I know, I know. A functioning therapy for all of us.”
“I’m so happy, Cosima. I can’t wait to tell Alison and Helena!”
Cosima started to tear up. She wished that she could be there, telling them too. Holding them together as they cried, knowing that they would have full lives to look forward to. Holding Sarah knowing she was going to live.
“I miss you guys.” I miss you.
“I--we miss you, too,” Sarah replied, catching herself and blushing, but only a little bit.
Cosima opened her mouth to apologize, apologize for everything, but a notification went off on her computer screen that made her do a double-take.
“Cos, what’s wrong?”
“Ugh, I’m just being denied access to the database and shit. Sarah?” No more internet or service. She was cut off from the outside world and felt completely alone, and it seemed purposeful. Devious.
“No,” she muttered and tried to gain access in whatever way she could. “No, not now. Not like this.”
Sarah could have guessed this. No, she would have guessed this. It was the only thing that Cosima was sure of. Susan was planning on making more clones and Cosima was now locked inside a fucking room, screaming to get out. Things couldn’t have gone worse, and it was something that Sarah would have seen coming.
Pounding at the door wasn’t helping. Screaming wasn’t helping. (Pining over Sarah wasn’t helping.) But she continued to do it anyway because it at the very least gave her something to do.
She stopped when the door opened. She almost wanted to charge at it (push Susan down and beat her senseless) but stopped at the sight of her genetic identical. Charlotte. Charlotte, with her innocent and terrified eyes. Charlotte, with a plan.
Things started to move fast. Rachel was back (pissed apparently) and Susan wanted them to save themselves and leave (so maybe she wasn’t too terrible) by boat. Cosima grabbed the cure and heard the heated conversation between Susan and Rachel. Curiosity made her want to stay, but she had to think about the others. She had to think about Charlotte. (And Sarah.) And get the cure back home.
It was cold. Freezing, really. Frostbite-die-in-the-snow kind of freezing that normally would have made her scream her choice of curse words. But she didn’t. She needed to give Charlotte hope that they would make it. That they would survive.
But first, they needed to rest. Just sit. Hold onto each other until they had enough strength to keep going. Just… sit… and…
It was black. Almost completely, but there was something visible. Cosima felt numbness intensified. Like her body was ringing, pulsing. Like she had one last shot, one last life. Or that her life was ending. She couldn’t tell the difference.
She thought of Sarah and her hands (rougher and more scarred than Cosima’s) that were intertwined with hers. She thought about her scent, her rare laugh, her hair, her skin on hers.
"I can’t do this without you."
It was black.
Until it wasn’t. And all that she could sense and see and feel… was Delphine. Not Sarah.
Delphine who wasn’t dead. Delphine who wasn’t a figment of her imagination like before when she had almost died. Delphine who was saving her life and holding her tight and forcing everyone (who were they?) to get out of the room (where were they?).
Delphine said it like a mantra and Cosima didn’t know if she was saying it to help Cosima or herself.
Her chest hurt. And she felt like she was freezing and burning all at the same time. Or maybe the freezing felt like burning and the burning felt like freezing.
“I’m right here. I’m going to keep you warm.”
Cosima felt Delphine wrap herself around her and try to bring her back to life. She wanted to believe her. But something inside of her disagreed. Something in her hurt. A pain… she didn’t quite recognize.
“I think I’m dying.”
“No you’re not,” Delphine whispered confidently, matter-of-factly. “I won’t let you.”
Her mind wasn’t on Delphine at the moment. It was on her sestras and the cure she had been working for. Because even if she died (and that was feeling likely) she had one last thing to offer to the world. The chance to save the other LEDA clones.
“I finished our homework.”
And suddenly it was black again.
Cosima woke with all the walls around her, but she felt like she was outside. She could hear the nature, the rambling of people talking and walking, and the distinct smell of smoke (like from a campfire). She knew it was the people that Susan didn’t want her around or to know. Including Delphine.
“You won’t be allowed to stay with her,” A man said in a voice that carried weight like he was in charge (which didn’t sit right with Cosima).
“I know, but she’s my patient, so if you’ll please excuse us.” Delphine. She was never known to follow orders from any insignificant man. But then again, Cosima didn’t know what kind of people were here. Who was in charge. Where she was.
“Cosima,” Delphine whispered again like they had to be secretive (which wasn’t a good sign). Cosima didn’t even know how Delphine knew that she was awake. “Hey. We have to be very careful here. It’s not safe.”
Delphine was touching her hair, running her fingers through it like when they were dating. Cosima wanted to ask her if the blonde had got into bed with her, held her, loved her, or if she just imagined it last night. But the concerned look on the French woman’s face shut her up.
“Is our homework what I think it is?” She reached down for Cosima’s bag, for her cure, and she gasped a little.
Her gentle excitement put a smile on Cosima’s face. For the briefest of seconds, she forgot about Delphine breaking up with her, Delphine lying, Delphine hiding things from her, Delphine dying, Delphine being alive but being gone. For a second, all that mattered was the two of them. Cosima reached out to touch her face, to love her, to tell her that yes. It was their cure.
“You found your cure!”
“You can shoot me up, like old times.”
“I will,” Delphine agreed immediately, but quickly added as an after-thought, “but you must not tell anyone. Okay?”
Cosima understood. “Okay.”
There was something wrong. Something seriously, seriously wrong. Not just with Delphine being shaken up by the people on the island, but by this unnerving feeling she was having. She never remembered feeling this before.
She was hurting, she was sick, but there was something else. A pain. In her chest, in her neck, in her leg…? Cosima wanted to stay awake, to talk to Delphine, to love her and kiss her and… but the pain was unbearable. Not Cosima’s pain… someone else’s.
Revival. Mud. Delphine working in the clinic. The fucking yurt. It was an understatement that it was a lot to get used to. She needed to see Delphine and yet she was stuck with some chick (whose age seemed ambiguous) who couldn’t stop talking about P.T. Westmorland as if he was some great icon. Cosima couldn’t really believe he was 170 or that Susan was still somehow alive and Rachel was fine and gaining power but…
Thank god for Charlotte. She held her close and wondered if it was the young girl’s pain that she had been feeling, but she didn’t make any mention of it.
It all seemed like a cult to her, though Mud would immediately deny it if Cosima voiced her opinion. But luckily, it wasn’t Mud who was by her side as she examined the school. Charlotte seemed to agree with all her bad vibes of the place.
And then Delphine was back. Always in and out. Here, close enough to touch. She apologized to Cosima, but the clone didn’t have the heart to accept it, really. She understood that there could be no contact, but she couldn’t imagine a scenario in which she wouldn’t try everything to contact Delphine if she was in her position.
Delphine was always in a hurry to talk, which made sense when Cosima realized that she had to leave to Sardinia of all the fucking places in the world. Cosima almost laughed at the absurdity of it. Right when she had her back, Delphine had to leave. Again.
Cosima thought that the few minutes that she had with Delphine would be spent with declarations of love and promises of coming back to her. Instead, she was greeted with the science, with the truth.
Stem cell therapy, cryonics, caloric restriction, immunotherapy, cloning. The heart of Neolution was here. It was terrifying and genius and intriguing and unethical. Things were changing, Rachel was changing things.
And then she had to go. Delphine gave her a small key and instructions to find her cure and all Cosima wanted was more time. More Delphine. More… answers. She wanted to kiss her longer, hold her longer, love her longer.
“Follow the crazy science."
And Delphine did what she did best. She left.
She thought things would change with the cure. She thought that things would get better. Immediately better. She thought it would bring her happiness. But she felt all alone on the island (even with Mud bugging her every few seconds).
She always thought she would receive the cure with her people. With Delphine and Sarah and Scott and Alison and everyone else she cared about. She thought this would be a miraculous occasion, one to be celebrated with wine and whiskey and maybe an apple juice for Alison. She didn’t think she’d be alone in a trailer scrounging through the refrigerator for the cure that she stole so one of the other clones didn’t take it.
She thought she heard the door open and—
“It’s me! It’s me!”
Sarah Manning in the flesh, broken and bloody and raw. Sarah Manning, with blood-stained cheeks, dirt-covered hair, and ripped jeans (that shouldn’t have been ripped). Sarah Manning, who was supposed to be with the others, safe and protected, but wasn’t.
Cosima stood up straighter and swallowed the urge to run over to her and hug her (and maybe do something else). But Sarah looked angry and worried and god, Cosima knew she still probably wasn’t forgiven for what she said.
“Sarah… what… what…”
“I came to get you,” Sarah stated firmly with her body limping to one side.
“How did you get h--oh my god, you’re bleeding.” Cosima darted for her and held onto her shoulder to steady Sarah and take a look at the wound.
Sarah moved away from her in a swift motion as if she didn’t want Cosima to look at her. She tried to talk about a boat, an escape plan.
“Sit,” Cosima tried to command. When Sarah shrugged, she said it firmer. “Sit down.” When the clone sat down (with a large grunt and frustrated sigh), Cosima asked, “What the hell happened?”
“Rachel went mad.”
Cosima blinked. That wasn’t news to her, but she was expecting more of a long drawn out story about why she was here and why Rachel tried to kill her.
“Yeah, I know. We must have just missed each other. Just let me, Sarah. Let me look at your leg…” she trailed off with the sharp memory of her own leg’s ache when she didn’t have a wound.
She was feeling Sarah’s pain. That never happened before. At least, not to her. She didn’t know whether to tell Sarah about it or… pretend like it didn’t happen. Pretend their connection wasn’t strong.
“Oi. You gonna look at my leg or what, keep starin’?”
Sarah sounded mad, but it did distract her from her thoughts about their connection.
“Does something else hurt?” Cosima asked her as she gently wrapped her leg in a bandage.
Cosima blushed. She had felt Sarah’s other pain. It was more than just a knife to the leg. It was something more, something lingering.
“I mean, your fight with Rachel. Did anything else happen?”
Sarah raised an eyebrow and shook her head. “Cos, we gotta go.”
Cosima ignored her and pulled out the cure from the refrigerator. “I have the cure. Rachel didn’t get all of it.”
“You’re meant to put that in your uterus?” Sarah asked her, terrified of the large instrument and what would happen if Cosima used it incorrectly.
“I was kind of hoping you would, actually.”
Cosima expected Sarah’s reaction, but she wished that it would change. That the clone would be more willing to help, more willing to forgive.
“No, no way. You and I are gonna find Charlotte and we’re going to get you somewhere safe. They can treat you there. Who cares if the founder of Neolution is still alive?”
“I do.” She wanted to sound stronger, more convincing, but she just sounded unsure. Afraid. Because what she really wanted to say was: I don’t care. Not with you here.
Sarah snorted as if that was preposterous. “You’re crazy, Cosima. We need to go.”
Tears bubbled up in Cosima’s eyes. Sarah wanted her to leave with her. She came all the way here for her (something she wasn’t sure even Delphine would do) and… Cosima knew she couldn’t go.
“No, I can’t.” I want to go with you.
“What are you talkin’ about?” Sarah said and looked at Cosima like there was something wrong with her.
“Look, think about it, Sarah. Whatever this place is, it’s the answer.” I can’t just leave, but I want to run away with you.
Sarah was mad when Cosima questioned her about wanting the cure as much as the others, but that was nowhere close to this. She could see the fire in her eyes and her clenched fists. She wanted to fight someone.
“I don’t give a shit. I came all this way—Rachel tried to kill me. You’re going to come home with me.”
It wasn’t a question, it was an order. Cosima was terrified to refuse, terrified to let Sarah down. But she knew she had to.
“No, you need to go back and take care of Kira and Siobhan, and I need to stay here for us. We’ll never be free if I just leave now.” I have to end this for us. For you and me and our family. And then I’ll be home and we can be…
“Fuck you, Cos. You can’t stay here. This place, it’s full of monsters, can’t ya feel it?”
Cosima stared at her with wonder and nodded. “I do. Delphine and I are looking into it. But it’s the only way. Shit, I hear people coming. You have to go now.”
She practically pushed Sarah out the door, hating herself for it. She didn’t want her to go. She wanted to leave and never come back to this godforsaken island. But she was stuck here to get answers. For the greater good.
She led her to the woods as they heard people shouting about finding her. Sarah just looked shaky, scared.
“I can’t. I don’t wanna leave you, Cos. I came here for you, I need you.”
And then Cosima did something that she would probably regret for the rest of her life. It was stupid, but she did it anyway. She knew it would be the only thing that could settle Sarah (and herself) down.
She kissed Sarah. Not softly, but not with any force, either. It was a kind of kiss that usually happens weeks into a relationship. The kind of everyday kiss, a reminder of appreciation and admiration and adoration.
Cosima expected Sarah to look horrified about what she had done, but instead, Sarah looked determined.
“I’ll go, Cos. ‘Cause I know you’ll come home to me. Okay, you have to. For me at the very least. You’re gonna save us all and come home. Yeah?”
Cosima nodded, speechless. Sarah’s words were all that she needed to hear. She felt invincible, ready to fight. This was her war, now, and she was going to win it for Sarah.
She didn’t want to say goodbye and it was obvious that Sarah didn’t want to either. So they didn’t. They stared into each other’s eyes until they couldn't. Until Sarah turned her back and started to run. Until Cosima headed back to the camp. Until they couldn’t hear each other’s scared footsteps any longer.
Chapter 4: i dreamt we spoke again
Cosima learns the truth on the island.
Before learning about clones, Cosima had trouble getting close to people. She was outgoing and energetic and made friends easily, but she didn’t like to talk about her feelings. People always assumed that she kept her heart on her sleeve because of her charisma and charm, but there were sides of her that people didn’t know. She didn’t want to get close to people only for them to want to leave her later. She was used to that. She had learned that feeling well.
Kids at school were her friends until they realized that she was a weirdo obsessed with science that no one cared about and books and television shows that no one watched. Until they realized that she didn’t date guys because she was lesbian, not because she was playing hard to get. Until they realized that she wasn’t like everyone else. She felt deeply, though felt like she had to hide it from everyone.
But Delphine was different.
Sarah was different.
Despite dying for months, knowing that she might have to leave them, she let herself get close to them. She cared for and loved them differently, but they were two people that she couldn’t live without. Her people.
She missed Sarah. Part of her wished that the ex-con-woman had stayed or that Cosima had left with her, but she knew that the island was where she needed to be. Something inside of her knew that if she didn’t stay, they wouldn’t be able to destroy Neolution from the inside. That this was the way to win.
Rachel was pretending to be an ally. Giving her the cure, offering a peace treaty, allowing a chance for camaraderie and partnership. Cosima didn’t deny it outright like she wanted to. She had to be strong and fool them. She had to at least pretend like she might help them.
They slowly allowed her to have more privileges, including calling the clone club. When she called Sarah, it was all business. Cosima worried about Sarah and Sarah worried about Cosima. It was obvious to each other (they hoped that no one else noticed). There was no talk about the kiss (and luckily no awkwardness). Cosima wondered if Sarah thought the kiss was romantic like she did.
She thought about it more than she hoped she would. She hoped that not seeing Sarah would remove the thoughts about her from her mind. She thought the fire from Sarah’s lips would stop lingering.
Cosima forced herself to pay attention to the problems at hand.
She finally met P.T. Westmorland and was less wooed than even she would have thought. A man supposedly as brilliant and old as him, she would have expected someone more charming and wise. He tried to be, he tried to flatter her, compliment her, but Cosima’s no idiot. She wanted full access to science, to the truth, so she had to play nice. For now.
But it was becoming more difficult to be compliant. Because as open as P.T. seemed, there were secrets on the island. A monster in the woods who seemed to be more man than beast (at least, that was what Mud said) that terrified the community. Mud was very silent about it which made Cosima wonder if there was something important tied to this beast that everyone was searching to capture (kill).
She thought about what Sarah would do and decided to follow Mud. Follow her to P.T., to the woods, to the answers that she so desperately needed.
There’s a shady dialysis machine (maybe P.T. wasn’t as invincible as he made himself seem to be) and Mud appeared to be almost uncomfortable being around the old man (Cosima knew that she would be too).
Of course, there was also a creepy basement. There’s always a creepy basement. A creepy basement consisting of creepy old and currently unused labs. A creepy basement consisting of a cage with blood-covered walls.
Her stomach lurched. Everything was weird before, but now everything felt wrong. Like she had walked into a horror film except that this horror film was her life and she didn’t know how to press pause and stop it.
Just her luck, Mud caught her. But that hadn’t stopped Cosima from continuing to follow her. Not until she saw the beast. Not until she saw a man who wasn’t exactly a man. A man who she could only presume was a failed experiment. It terrified her (she hoped to god that this happened only once and that the experiment was dropped immediately after).
Even though Mud thought there was good in him (man in him), the beast attacked one of the soldiers. Cosima could feel it in the air. The community wasn’t as certain about Westmorland. They were losing their trust in him.
Without the tooth, Cosima might not have ever found out about LIN48A. The “fountain of youth” that P.T. and the rest of the islanders had been alluding to since she had arrived. She had some leverage now. At least, she thought she did. Delphine, who seemed to show up only when she wanted to, begged her to stay guarded, alert. Not reveal any information that would prove that she was snooping. She thought it was ironic since Delphine was the one keeping things from her. The fact that she didn’t say anything about Kira immediately showed how disconnected they were at the moment, but then again, that’s how Delphine was always like.
But Cosima couldn’t just stay still. She knew this had to do with Kira somehow and she knew she had to work this fast.
She forced her own attendance to some dinner party created for Westmorland to assert his dominance over everyone. She broke the rules (and not just by wearing a tux). She could feel Delphine’s glare when Cosima announced her knowledge about LIN48A, but she was able to ignore it because all she could see was Sarah. Sarah would have screamed at Westmorland and wouldn’t go down without a fight for her daughter. Cosima thought it was only right for her to do the same.
Westmorland looked intrigued and amused rather than scared or angry. It pissed Cosima off. Because she knew what that meant: there was something else that she didn’t know about. And she guessed that it had to do with Kira.
“Delphine told us you took a tour of my basement.”
Betrayal. Again. And again. Delphine looked frustrated that he had revealed that, but she didn’t look ashamed or upset with her own actions. Cosima didn’t feel like this was loyalty. This felt like Delphine was her monitor again.
Delphine tried to brush it off later like it wasn’t a big deal. Like her secrets were all for a bigger reason that would be revealed later. Like her betrayal and lying was to protect Cosima. As if doing all of this was an act of love.
Once and for all, she needed the truth. She needed to know that this wasn’t going to be all this was between them. That it could be more than just passion and a love for science. That they’d have more than just lies and betrayal.
“I push too hard and you do things without my consent. That’s our relationship.”
“Now, we can end it or accept it as it is.”
Cosima stared blankly at her. She didn’t understand why there were only two options, one of them being ending it and the other being accepting the shit that they do to each other. She didn’t know why there wasn’t an option where they could just “work on it” and try to be better for one another.
“But what about when this horror story ends? What about when things go back to normal? Will you keep things from me then?”
Delphine opened her mouth and then closed it. She always chose her words carefully, unlike Cosima who usually blurted out the first thing that popped into her mind.
“This isn’t the time or the place to discuss--”
“You know what, just go, Delphine. Go to Geneva and do your mysterious shit and--”
Delphine kissed her to prevent her from continuing to mouth off. The anger fizzled (this was one of Delphine’s best tricks). Cosima wanted to focus on her lips, her body, the sensation of loving Delphine, but all she could think of was: could Delphine taste Sarah on her lips?
When Delphine pulled away from her, the blonde had expressed almost a confused look, but she said her goodbyes before Cosima had a chance to ask her what was wrong.
His name was Yanis. Most monsters don’t have names, but this one did, and he had his taken from him the moment P.T. messed with his genes. He was only just a man in the end, though. Before Westmorland shot him inches from Cosima’s own body. She wanted him to pay for that. She wanted him to pay for everything.
She wanted him to pay for Kira.
Sarah. She needed to warn her and get back to her, to save Kira, to save them all. She could feel it, all the dread. Hers and Sarah’s. She thought… she thought she was feeling Sarah with her. It was light, barely there, but she could feel it. Sarah’s emotions, Sarah’s thoughts, Sarah’s never-ending worry.
She screamed for someone, anyone who could help her get out. She was stuck in a cage (much like Sarah and Helena were eternities ago in the desert) and was expected to rot. She screamed for Mud. Susan. Ira. Even Rachel (not that she really expected any help there).
Eventually, Mud came, not that she really listened to Cosima or her pleas for help for Kira. Mud seemed disturbed by the idea of Westmorland fertilizing 1,000 eight-year-old’s eggs, but Mud wasn’t completely convinced it was the truth. It made Cosima wonder if the girl was slightly brainwashed by the conman.
A stranger greeted her next, except, she wasn’t quite a stranger. She knew her, though they had never met personally. She tortured both Helena and Sarah. And allowed the Castors to sexually transmit their disease to women. She was uncontrollable and frightening in a way that Leekie never quite was. But the scariest thing of all was Coady’s offer to let Cosima in on the science. That she thought Cosima would… allow Kira to be violated.
She more than scoffed at the offer. She growled and murmured curses. This woman was worse than Susan. There was at least a small amount of decency in that woman left, despite her obsession with cloning.
Besides, it was Susan who tried to save her again. Who knew stealing a child’s eggs would switch Susan to the good side? She was grateful, nonetheless. The plan was to get out. All five of them: Cosima, Charlotte, Susan, Ira, and Mud.
Unfortunately, Mud was still a problem that needed to be solved for the plan to completely work. Aisha’s death did only so much convincing for the young woman. Telling Mud that Westmorland was using children’s blood to keep him alive, it was barely enough. Mud expressed to Cosima that she felt like she was saved by him. Brainwashed.
Ira pulled through (Cosima was glad that he followed every order from Susan like a puppy dog) and got Cosima out of her cage while Susan was attempting to kill Westmorland. All Cosima could hope for was to grab Charlotte, the cure, and pray that Mud would follow along.
The islanders were antsy, angry over Aisha’s death. Cosima knew the modern picture of Westmorland would send them over the edge. She didn’t stay around to watch the island burn. She had Charlotte in one hand and the cure in the other.
They made it to the boat but everyone else was a no show. Cosima assumed something went seriously wrong, but she couldn’t wait around forever. She had to go home. She had to fulfill her promise to Sarah.
Her bones ached, her limbs felt full of lead. She hadn’t been in a boat for years and not with this far of a distance. She could tell that Charlotte was shivering and succumbing to drowsiness. Hell, even Cosima wanted to sleep. She was too tired to keep going.
She laughed at the absurdity of it. She had her cure and could have beaten the illness that had been killing her and yet she was going to die on a freaking boat.
When Charlotte all but passed out, she started murmuring. To herself, to Charlotte, to the world, she didn’t know.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I can’t. I can’t keep fighting.”
"Don’t apologize, twat. Move those bloody arms of yours, yeah? We don’t stop fightin’."
Sarah. She didn’t know if she was imagining Sarah’s words, hallucinating them, or if… somehow… their connection was strong enough that she could hear them. But either way, she listened. It was Sarah, after all.
“Sarah,” she called out, tears springing to her eyes. “Sarah, I’m sorry. Kira… you have to protect her. I can’t…”
"S’not your time, Cosima. You only have a little ways to go. This fight, we’re at the end game. You just gotta hold on."
"To me, geek monkey. Always hold onto me."
For a second, she felt the sensation of something touching her skin. It was warm, but not burning. Sarah.
She kept going.
It took what felt like days to get back home. By the time she stepped off the boat, her limbs felt numb, her chest was heaving, her mind was racing.
Charlotte clung to her sweating body and she was glad to have someone to hold onto. She only had a short journey to go from here. A few more miles. A few more hours. Charlotte was breathing hard. They just had to keep going.
The Rabbit Hole. Hell Wizard almost jumped at the sound of the door opening. Cosima wondered if it was Duko’s death that made him so jumpy. She just hoped it wasn’t something else that happened while she was gone. Something else that was now threatening them.
“Cosima!” He greeted when he realized it was only the familiar scientist that had gone away for a while. “You’re back! Scott didn’t say anything--”
“I didn’t have a chance to warn anyone,” Cosima informed him with a tight and slightly forced smile (she just wanted to help Kira). “We kinda… had to make a run for it.”
Hell Wizard’s eye dashed to the young girl next to Cosima who had hidden behind her slightly. He raised his eyebrows. “Oh. You guys must be starving. Scott’s downstairs, he’ll be so happy to see you. I’ll go get some Chinese food for all of us.” He paused before he left and introduced himself to Charlotte.
He smiled gently at Cosima before he waved goodbye to both of them and left the building. Cosima squeezed Charlotte’s hand tightly.
“Yo, Scotty!” Cosima shouted as she walked down the stairs almost shakily, still tired from all the traveling and moving.
Scott, who was engulfed in his work, jumped at the sound of a voice, but then once he realized it was his old friend, he ran up to her and wrapped his arms around her.
“You’re home,” He whispered into her ear as if he was convincing himself that this was real.
Cosima was slightly taken aback but hugged him tightly nevertheless. “I’m never leaving your side again, Smith.”
When they pulled apart, Cosima said, “This is Charlotte. She’s the greatest navigator in the world.”
Charlotte blushed slightly and shook her head. “I only knew where we were going because you knew where we were going.”
“Hi, Charlotte, I’m Scott,” He greeted with a smile. “I’m so glad that you’re finally back with us. That you both are here. Let’s sit down. Do you all need to rest for a bit?”
“You should sleep,” Cosima suggested to Charlotte and patted her on the shoulder. She wished that she could do the same, but she knew that she couldn’t. Not with what was going on with Kira. “I have work to do.”
Charlotte yawned and nodded before moving toward the bed and jumping on it. She quietly got under the covers and embraced the warmth before falling asleep.
Scott lowered his voice and asked, “What happened? Is something going down there like it is here?”
Cosima blinked, unsure of what he meant. “What are you talking about?”
“DYAD has Kira. They took her. Rachel," he said her name with disgust and anger, “has her. God, I can’t imagine how Sarah’s doing--”
Sarah. She wanted to see Sarah. She had to tell Sarah. She needed…
“Can you text her?” Cosima asked him. “Tell her to come here. I know what DYAD’s doing with Kira.”
Scott tried to catch her up with all that’s happened. Scott and Hell Wizard trying to track P.T. Westmorland, Sarah’s war against Rachel, Felix and Adele trailing the money, Alison’s absence to find herself, Ferdinand killing MK. She tried to keep track of everything, but Scott was talking so fast and her mind was focused so hard on Sarah that she wasn’t catching everything.
The door opened and Cosima almost ran to the stairs to greet the punk, but it was just Hell Wizard with the food. Grateful, she began digging in already.
When Sarah came in, she felt the world almost collapse beneath her. Sarah wasn’t bloodied like she was the last time she saw her. Her hair seemed almost shorter and it was less tame. She was wearing the leather jacket Cosima loved. She looked incredibly Sarah-like, it made her heart feel as if it was stuttering into beating.
(She wanted to know if Sarah remembered their kiss.)
“Oi, Scott,” Sarah called out as she slapped her boots against the stairs with loud thuds (not realizing Cosima was there). “What’s the emergency? It better be some bloody--” She stopped when she reached the bottom ground and realized that it was Cosima who was facing her. “Oh my god. Cosima.”
Cosima pulled the British woman into an embrace. She felt like kissing her, but Scott was there and she could tell that Charlotte had also stirred awake. She always thought that hugging a clone would feel like hugging herself in some strange way. That the two bodies would melt into each other. That wasn’t the case with Alison or Helena or any of them, really. But when she hugged Sarah (when Sarah wasn’t stiff and uncomfortable with the touching), she felt like her particles and atoms collided with Sarah’s. Like they no longer existed as alone beings, but joint ones. There was even a slight buzz when they let go, like their bodies ached to be with the other.
“M’so glad you’re okay,” Sarah told her and grabbed her hand and squeezed it. “How did you--”
“We escaped in a boat,” Charlotte answered from the bed before Cosima had the chance and attempted to smile briefly at the British woman who was vaguely familiar. Not just because she shared a face with Cosima. “With only a map and compass.”
Cosima could tell that Sarah was impressed and added, “She was an amazing navigator.” She knew it was something Sarah’d say about Kira, not that she necessarily felt motherly instincts toward Charlotte, but she felt protective toward her. Like a big sister would.
“And they put the boat in gear, sent it off unmanned,” Scott added with a grin. “Total Jason Bourne.”
“Yep,” Cosima said with a crooked grin that made Sarah roll her eyes. “I’m west coast.”
Sarah opened her mouth and then closed it. She took a deep breath and finally said, “Cosima, you’re home.”
Cosima raised her eyebrows at Sarah’s prosaic language. She thought they had already gone over that part. “Yeah, so is our cure.” She knew she had to tell Sarah about Kira, but the look on her face was so ecstatic. She didn’t want to ruin everything for her.
“That’s amazin’, Cos. Alison’ll be so happy when she gets back. What’s wrong? You’re doin’ that squintin’ shit or somethin’ you do when you’re worried.”
Cosima sighed and lowered her voice. “Can I talk to you in private? I, uh, have brutal news.”
Sarah looked almost immediately gaunt. Like life was hollow in her eyes. As if she knew that her bad news was about Kira.
“Hey, Charlotte, can I show you a new game that we just got? Cosima says you’re brilliant and we’ll need all the help we can get,” Scott said, trying to give the women the room to talk.
Charlotte nodded and followed him upstairs, leaving a deafening silence swarming the room. So much had to be said, but the words were like sludge in the back of Cosima’s throat.
“We found the gene, LIN48A, in a man’s tooth on the island. You know the ‘something in the woods’ that you had seen? It was him. They experimented on him and turned him into a monster.”
Sarah was following, but she didn’t know how it connected to Kira. “So…?”
“So, LIN48A is the same gene in Kira. It’s her self-healing gene. Westmorland is trying to use it to keep himself young, which he isn’t, by the way. Neither is he 170. But anyway, he is going to target the gene in Kira.”
“Why? What is he going to do with her?”
Cosima sighed, pushed her glasses up, and crossed her arms. “They’re going to take her eggs.”
Sarah balked, “What? Say that again. I don’t think I heard you right.”
“I’m so sorry, Sarah.”
Tears blanketed the punk’s eyes. “They’re going to take her eggs. When? How long do we have?”
“They took her last night, right? They’ll need to give her hormone injections before they can harvest. It will be at least another day.”
“Jesus.” Sarah ran her fingers through her lion’s mane hair and wiped the tears that were slowly forming. “She hasn’t even had her period yet.”
“Yeah, well, we’re born with all the eggs we’ll ever have, and technically you could extract them from infants.”
Sarah’s face turned paler and greener. “Bloody hell. I don’t… we can’t let this happen! I mean, you gotta have somethin’ on these people, Cos.”
“Westmorland is a fraud, Sarah. That’s our ticket, I think. And if Felix and Adele are close to the money trail in Geneva… we’ll get him. There’s no way we’re letting them take anything from Kira, okay?”
Sarah nodded but her eyes were far away. Cosima guessed she was already in self-blame mode and was trying to plot all the ways she could make Westmorland and Rachel feel maximum pain. Cosima was thinking the same way.
“I’ve been tested on, Cos. Experimented on. We all have. That can’t… that can’t be Kira’s life.”
“I know,” Cosima agreed and reached out for the woman. “I know. It won’t be. We won’t let it come to that.”
Sarah drew back her body from Cosima, not allowing her to touch her. She was walking backwards toward a wall. “If I hadn’t come back… If I hadn’t gotten on that train...”
“No,” Cosima started firmly. “No, don’t go there.”
“Kira’d be safe. With S and Felix. Without any clone shit. Alison would have her kids home. You’d be--”
“I’d either be dead, probably by Helena or the illness, or a human guinea pig, Sarah. I probably wouldn't have the cure. I’d be dead. And hearing how Vic treated you, you might have been too.”
Sarah flinched. “Piss off, Cos.”
“No, you piss off Sarah. This isn’t all on you. This is on Rachel and Westmorland and freaking Neolution. This is on all of us. We’re a family. This isn’t the 'Sarah Show'. You need to get over yourself.”
Sarah scoffed after Cosima’s thoughtless bluntness and stepped back even further.
“But don’t you see, Cosima? I don’t give a damn shite about anyone but Kira. She’s my everythin’. I don’t give a bleedin' fuck if m’dead if she’s safe, alright?”
Cosima didn’t know how to reply to that. She just stood there, blank. Empty. Out of things to say, things to yell. She just wanted to hold her, kiss her, tell her that she needed her alive.
“M’gonna go tell S and Art, yeah? You keep diggin’. There’s a whole Neo board who might find this shit to be well… shit.”
Sarah went up the stairs and Cosima felt like things hadn’t gone right. Like she ruined everything. Like Sarah was looking for comfort and hope and Cosima left her with nothing.
She blurted, “Wait, Sarah,” and the punk turned around. “I missed you.”
Sarah stared silently for a second before saying, “Try not to leave to the middle of bloody nowhere again, yeah?”
There was more Cosima wanted to ask. Like if Sarah remembered the kiss and what she thought about it. Or if she felt Cosima’s pain. Or if Sarah talked to her while Cosima was on the boat. Or if she felt the same weirdness and strange desire that she was feeling.
But Sarah was gone. And Cosima had work to do.
Chapter 5: caught in the middle
Kira comes home.
John Patrick Mathieson. Scott grinned when they discovered the real P.T. Westmorland and the fake. Cosima was glad, she was. She could have jumped up and down with glee, but she knew the fight wasn’t nearly over. And she didn’t know if this would send Rachel over the edge and realize that she was still being manipulated by a man pretending to be the founder of Neolution. Cosima could see first hand the reach that John had over people. He was a conman. A good one.
All they could do was send the information over to Sarah and Mrs. S and hope that Rachel would make the right decision. She didn’t know how Sarah could even negotiate with the woman. Rachel was the one to put a knife in Sarah’s leg and took Kira. Cosima couldn't imagine any forgiveness. All they could do now was wait.
And wait they did. They tried to pass the time by teaching Charlotte how to play Castle Panic. But Cosima’s mind was on Sarah and Kira. She needed for them to be okay. She didn’t know what she would do if they weren’t.
Then there was a call. With shaky, nervous hands, she answered the phone and recognized Sarah’s voice almost right away.
"Cos, somebody wants to talk to you."
Cosima heard a rustle and a little cough.
"Auntie Cos? Mum said you’re home! And that you saved me. Thank you.”
Cosima almost dropped her phone in surprise to hear Kira’s small, almost groggy sounding, voice. She let out a small gasp and gave her friends the thumbs up and a grin. Kira was alive. Kira was alive and Sarah had her back.
“Oh, Kira. It’s so good to hear your voice. Your mom’s just being silly. We all know it was her that saved you. Are you doing okay?”
"Mhmmm. Rachel gave me back to mum. Mum looks tired."
Cosima chuckled. “Your mom barely sleeps, Kira. But we’re all so happy that you’re okay. Scott and Hell Wizard are dancing right now.” After hearing Kira giggle, she added, “I’m being serious. Oh, now Scott’s doing the worm on the floor. We’re all so excited to see you.”
"Mum said you can come to S’ house. We’re all going there. And I wanna meet Charlotte! Mum said you got the cure. Are you feeling better?"
Cosima laughed at Kira’s excitement and questions. She talked so quickly as if she didn’t have time. “Yeah, monkey. I am. Can I talk to your mom for a quick second?”
She heard the same rustle again.
"Oi, Cos. A’right?"
“Yeah, I just--are you sure you want me to come over? I just keep putting my foot in my mouth when I talk to you and--”
"Don’t be a twat. You’re always welcome. We’re pickin’ up a pizza. Bring everyone. Charlotte, Scott, Hell Wizard… it won’t be a long night, but I got thanks to give ‘round."
“Okay, cool. Um, I guess I’ll see you later then.”
In typical Sarah fashion, she hung up and Cosima looked up to find the three people staring at her. Scott had his eyes raised and Hell Wizard was smirking slightly.
“What? Why are you all staring? Sarah invited us all for pizza, are you guys in?”
They all nodded and were about to get up to leave when the door opened and Delphine appeared in the doorway. Delphine. Delphine, who was walking down the stairs to approach them. So much of Cosima’s attention had been on Sarah that Delphine (and their argument) had escaped her mind.
“Hello, Scott. Hell Wizard. Charlotte.” Delphine smiled gently and then turned to the scientist. “Cosima.”
Cosima inhaled deeply and turned to her friends. “I’ll meet you guys in the car. I just need a quick sec.”
The three left without any hesitation. Cosima finally exhaled. On instinct, she wanted to reach out and hold the blonde in front of her. Delphine was quiet like she was trying to read Cosima’s complicated expressions. The scientist didn’t know what to do, what to say, how to act.
“You’re angry with me,” Delphine whispered and slowly closed the space between them. “You think I should have fought them harder. That I should have fought to see you.”
Yes. Cosima let Delphine take a hold of her hands and press her forehead against hers. Cosima enjoyed the familiarity of the touch, the simplicity to it. Neither of them had loved anyone before as much as each other. As deeply as each other. First love. Joint hearts. Cosima just didn’t know if it was enough.
“I have to go,” Cosima whispered, not wanting to deal with the inevitable ‘are we’ or ‘aren’t we’ in their relationship. “Kira’s home. We’re going to see her.”
Delphine nodded. “Felix texted me. Maybe Rachel isn’t as…”
The French blonde chuckled. “Yes. Psycho. Maybe she isn’t as psycho as we had presumed.”
Cosima shrugged. “People can be surprising.”
“It’s okay,” Delphine said, changing the subject abruptly as she reached out and cupped the other scientist’s cheek. “You don’t have to… If my love isn’t enough, I understand.”
Cosima bit her lip and hoped that tears in her eyes wouldn’t fall. It was feeling like an ending, which didn’t seem right. She always thought that if she found Delphine again that they’d be together. That they’d have a happy ending. That they’d be making crazy science forever.
But Cosima knew they weren’t a fairytale. They had problems that couldn’t be ignored anymore just because they had all the love and passion in the world. Cosima was sometimes too blunt and too honest and Delphine was sometimes too secretive and too untrustworthy. They sometimes felt like they were on opposing sides even if they were on the same one.
“It’s not your love,” Cosima reassured her and kissed her gently. “We have loved each other so much, Delphine. I have loved you so much. You have no idea.”
Delphine fluttered with laughter. “I think I have some idea.”
“But our timing sucks. Our circumstances suck. If I wasn’t a freaking clone and you weren’t--”
“Your monitor,” Delphine finished with a sigh. “I wish that too, ma chérie. I wish I had never… betrayed you. Lied to you. I just want you to be happy. And if you think I could make you happy, my arms are open. If I am not the person that would make you happy, then we can part.”
It was too much for Cosima to handle at the moment. She was just so torn and confused and there was still Sarah that was in the back of her mind. She wasn’t sure that Sarah was into her (or women for that matter), but she still couldn’t stop thinking about their kiss and the way that Sarah made her feel, even if they weren’t together.
Delphine was giving her an out, but Cosima didn’t know if she necessarily wanted one. Delphine was giving her an in, but she didn’t know if she wanted one. She loved her. That, she was sure of. But she wasn’t sure if that love would last. Or if it was enough. Or if… if it wasn’t just lingering love that was there because she had loved her so much.
“You don’t have to give me your answer now,” Delphine reassured her and kissed her. “I can wait. For you, I can wait.”
Cosima kissed her and promised she would give her an answer soon. They kissed a few more times before they both exited the building and went their own separate directions.
Sarah was cautiously happy. Cosima could see her smile when Kira bombarded the scientist with a hug when she entered the house, but she also saw it fade. Cosima understood. Of course, Kira’s return was worth celebrating, but the war wasn’t over. They had to expect retaliation.
The first thing Cosima did was introduce Kira to Charlotte. They hugged awkwardly but then smiled. Kira offered to share her stuff (clothes and toys) with Charlotte and the clone thanked her appreciatively. Charlotte asked Kira if she liked science and the two of them jumped into a conversation about physics that Cosima had taught Kira. Cosima smiled. She knew they’d get along great.
Cosima embraced Felix and Siobhan too. They thanked her for all her work and help.
“Gosh, I should be thanking you two. The clone club wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for those who aren’t clones and their selflessness.”
Felix smirked. “Sap.”
Siobhan slapped his arm. “Hush. Thank you, Cosima. We’re a family, you know. And everything you have done for Kira and Sarah, let’s call it even.”
Cosima grinned. That sounded good to her.
Felix asked about Delphine and Cosima admitted the truth. She didn’t know what they were or what direction their relationship was heading. He asked if they were ending it. She only shrugged and he patted her shoulder.
“She has gorgeous hair,” Felix stated seriously with a sigh. “But you’re loads better. Might be a bit of bias. But darling, we all just want you to be happy.”
“I know,” Cosima replied with a solemn nod. “So does Delphine.”
She changed the topic of conversation and asked about Alison. Felix revealed that she was home and was trying to get settled a little but would show up later. Cosima missed her greatly and was excited to give her the cure. Though, she and Scott needed to make some more.
Cosima wanted to talk to Sarah, but the punk was almost entirely wrapped up into a conversation with Art. He stood near her almost constantly, as if he was shielding her. Like he was trying to protect her.
“Mum’s happy you’re here,” Kira whispered as she gave Cosima yet another grateful hug.
“Really?” Cosima asked her in more of a questioning tone than she had intended. She didn’t think Sarah looked at her more than twice all night long. “Did she say something?”
Kira shook her head. “I can feel it. She feels calmer when you’re around. Lighter.”
Cosima gulped. She hoped that Kira didn’t feel what Cosima had been feeling for her mom recently.
“You should go talk to her. She missed you a lot when you were on the island.”
Cosima couldn’t say no to Kira. She gave the young girl a tight squeeze before heading over to the punk who was leaning on a wall, talking to Art about something.
“There’s nothing you can do right now, Sarah,” She heard Art tell her as she approached them.
“I know but--Cosima.”
Art turned around and forced a smile. “It’s good to have you back, Niehaus. I’ll leave you two to it.”
When Art was out of earshot, Cosima asked, “Is everything alright?”
Sarah sighed and banged her head lightly against the wall. “Somethin’ doesn’t feel right. I dunno. M’unsettled, I guess. M’also not a shindig kinda person.”
Cosima snorted. “And here I thought you were quite the party animal.”
Sarah rolled her eyes. “This isn’t a party, geek monkey. How are--”
They were interrupted by the opening of the front door. Alison. Alison with shorter hair, flowing clothes, and purple streaks. It was hard for people not to stare, but surprisingly, it was Sarah who broke the silence and the barrier by walking up to the clone and hugging her.
Alison made an “Oh!” sound and then patted the woman’s back. “It’s good to see you, too, Sarah.”
Sarah pulled away quickly and brushed her fingers through her hair to try to gain back some of her dignity and rough exterior. “Yeah. S’been a while. Thanks for comin’.”
“Of course, Sarah.” Alison shook her head slightly as if she was annoyed that Sarah thought that she would somehow not decide to come.
Kira ran up to Alison and hugged her. She told the soccer mom that she liked her hair and Alison thanked her.
“You look good, Alison,” Cosima greeted and hugged the woman. “I like the purple. Very hip. Ooh and zen.”
“I also got a tattoo!” Alison yelped and almost pulled down her pants before Sarah slapped her hand.
“We can all compare our tats at a later time, Hendrix. Come in. I know Fee is really--”
“Oh my god.” Felix approached Alison and stared at her. “You’re marvelous.”
Cosima wanted to pay attention to all the catching up and hugs, but she couldn’t get over Sarah’s words. Our tats.
After a few hours and a few beers, people started to leave. Scott and Hell Wizard were first to go (after making sure with Cosima that she didn’t want to go with them). Then Alison who overshared about needing to reconnect with her husband. Charlotte decided to stay and sleep over with Kira before Art had to pick them up tomorrow morning and bring them to his ex. Eventually, Siobhan went to her room and Felix fell asleep on the couch. It was just Cosima and Sarah left, drinking beer and sitting on the floor.
“You can stay, y’know. My bed has enough room. And I probably won’t be sleepin’ anyway.”
Cosima was barely paying attention to Sarah’s words. “Do you think Rachel’s on our side now? Do you think we could work with her?”
Sarah furrowed her eyebrows. “She stabbed me, Cos. I put a pencil in her eye. I don’t think we could ever bury the hatchet and become mates.”
“You shot Helena. Helena killed Amelia and the other clones. And I said nothing about you guys being friends.”
Sarah glared at her. “You’re makin’ me regret offerin’ you a bed.”
Cosima snorted. “Sorry. I just… when I think about the life she’s had, her childhood, I can’t help but have a little sympathy for her. And she’s probably gay.”
Sarah choked on her beer. “What? How the bloody hell do you know that? And why the hell does that matter anyway? ”
“When we first met, one of the first things she asked me was if I was gay. It seemed so foreign to her. Out of all the things she wanted to know about me, it was that. It made me feel sad for her, almost.”
“You might have a point, Cos. But I hope not. I don’t wanna relate to her in any way.”
Cosima didn’t know if it was the alcohol or what, but she felt like Sarah was coming out to her. “What do you mean?”
Sarah shrugged and took another swig. “I dunno. It’s nothin’.”
The scientist frowned. She could see that there was something that the other woman wanted to say but remained silent about it. Like there was a secret lodged inside of her, terrified to leave the darkness.
“You know, I didn’t know I was gay until I was sixteen. For the longest time, I wasn’t interested in anyone. Like, at all. Which was fine because I was focused on school anyway. But one day, I had a new lab partner in chemistry and… it all clicked.”
Sarah looked up at Cosima and tilted her head. “Did you two date?”
Cosima snorted. “Hell no. After weeks of pining, I found out she was already dating this guy. I knew him, he was cool, it made sense. Broke my heart, though. Nah, I didn’t have a girlfriend until college, actually. I’ve always kind of sucked at relationships.”
Sarah raised her beer and said, “You’re preachin’ to the choir. That’s why I don’t do ‘em.”
“What about Cal?”
Anger seemed to roar through Sarah’s body. “He’s not here, is he?”
Cosima frowned, feeling like she overstepped. “I’m sorry.”
Sarah shrugged. “S’no problem. C’mon, Cos. Let’s go to bed.”
She hadn’t let the scientist disagree with her. Cosima silently followed Sarah to her bedroom. It was dark. Pleasantly dark. The two of them just crawled into the sheets and laid down, facing the ceiling.
“I was fourteen when I first had sex,” Sarah confessed after a few minutes of silence. “He was twenty. I don’t really know if it was rape. Coulda been. I was out of it. Dunno if I was hammered or high but… it fucked me up. I was seventeen when I first shagged a girl. She and I were shacked up in an abandoned house. We fucked for warmth.”
Cosima bit her lip. “Sarah, you don’t have to--”
“But this was what you wanted, innit? You shared ‘cause you wanted me to. I sleep with both. Sometimes together, sometimes not. Orgies ain’t really my thing, but threesomes and foursomes are fine. Drugs make it better. Relationships make it worse. Shite. This is why I don’t share, Cos. It isn’t… ”
Cosima watched as tears fell down Sarah’s cheeks. The scientist held her hand and squeezed it. “I’ll listen to whatever you want to say. And if you don’t wanna say anything, that’s cool too. I didn’t mean to push you.”
“Y’didn’t. S’me. M’afraid…” Sarah whispered quietly and trailed off.
“Nothin’. Nevermind. Sorry.”
Cosima shook her head and moved so that she was facing Sarah’s body. “Don’t be. I feel it too.”
Sarah gulped. “What do we do?”
The scientist didn’t have a good answer for her. She didn’t know how she felt, how to solve it, how to make things better. She just knew that there was something there.
“We hope that it feels clearer in the morning.”
Sarah sighed appreciatively. She turned so that she could see Cosima and closed her eyes. Cosima prayed for sleep.
Thank you so much for reading! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Chapter 6: useless phrases
This one's a big oof.
“Oi, sleepyheads,” Felix shouted as he blasted the door open with as much extravagance as he could muster.
Cosima and Sarah didn’t have time to jump away from each other. He saw them. Cosima’s leg over Sarah’s, the punk’s hand under Cosima’s shirt, both of them curled up so close that limbs were hard to tell apart (not just because their limbs were identical).
“Felix!” Sarah shouted and threw a pillow angrily at her brother. “Maybe a bit more warnin’ next time, yeah? Maybe a few knocks? Like a normal person.”
Felix put his hands on his hips and looked back and forth between the clones. “Next time put a sock on the door.”
“Piss off, Fee,” Sarah replied with a roll of her eyes. “What time is it?”
“Time for Kira and Charlotte to go. Arthur’s here and lookin’ like a snack. And time for everyone else to help me set up the art show. I need all hands on deck.”
Cosima wasn’t surprised by Sarah’s negative reaction to him mentioning the art show. She had heard Sarah complain about it to Art last night. She was happy for her brother, but she thought this was the worst timing.
“Yeah, a’right. We’ll be there in a sec.”
Felix locked eyes with Cosima before he left. The stare looked like he was trying to say: I hope you know what you’re doing.
“Felix has mastered walkin’ in on people, me specifically,” Sarah grumbled as she got up from the bed and put her hair up into a high messy bun that Cosima didn’t think she had ever seen before. Cosima tried to not gawk.
“Oi, voyeur, let’s go.”
After washing up in the bathroom, Cosima headed for the kitchen where she heard what sounded like angry whispers. Something about it made Cosima stay back and listen.
“Fee,” Sarah groaned with what sounded like frustration. “Don’t.”
“You know how I feel about this, Sarah. It’s not healthy. You can’t keep doin’ this to yourself.”
“Doin’ what?” Sarah growled.
Felix sighed. “You feel something that she doesn’t feel. She’s with Delphine, darling.”
“I know, Fee. I know.”
At the end of their conversation, Cosima gulped. She wanted Sarah to argue. She wanted her to tell Felix that it wasn’t one-sided. That Cosima felt something too. But she didn’t. She didn’t know if Sarah believed her or not. But then again, she couldn’t forget that Delphine was in the equation. Cosima groaned. She hated being in this confusing position.
“Hey guys,” Cosima greeted loudly as she approached the siblings. She tried to ignore the fact that Sarah was just staring at her cup of tea. “Scott’s going to pick me up in a few minutes so we can develop more doses of the cure. But we will definitely be there for your art show, Felix.”
Felix smiled at her, though it seemed more forced than normal. “You better be there, darling. Alison and Donnie are setting up my loft right now. I’m avoiding their inevitable bickering.”
Sarah shrugged. “Maybe Alison won’t be controllin’ now that she’s all zen and shite.”
The two foster siblings stared at each other and then immediately broke out into rounds of laughter that even made Cosima chuckle a little.
“With all the illegal drugs you three have done, let’s cut her a little bit of slack about how she deals with her own addiction,” S stated wisely as she entered the kitchen, looking put together and beautiful as always. “Mornin’, chickens.”
Both Felix and Sarah grumbled in reply. Cosima knew they all smoked joints, but the looks on their faces made it seem like there were worse problems than just a little bit of pot.
“Good morning, Siobhan,” Cosima told her with a smile, still forever grateful the woman hadn’t hated her for what happened to her mother.
“Sleep well, Cosima? Sarah used to complain all the time about her terrible bed. I’ve never been able to ask someone about it since all of her nighttime visitors usually scattered by the morning.”
“Oh my god, S!” Sarah jumped up out of her chair and gaped at her foster mom.
Siobhan put her hands up in the air. “I wasn’t the one who had them over. So, Cosima. What’s the verdict?”
Cosima noticed that Sarah was glaring at her and that S was grinning in return. This was obviously something that she shouldn’t have gotten herself into.
“Gosh, uh, can I be Switzerland?”
Felix chuckled. “Join the club, Cos. S first asked me when I was ten. Don’t worry about them. Besides, we got places to be. Do you think Scotty will drive me to my place?”
Cosima sighed. This was already going to be a very long day.
They had the cure. Enough for more than one hundred people. But there was an obvious problem. They didn’t know more than a few clones and didn’t know how many there actually were on the planet.
“It won’t be impossible to find the others, I mean, right?” Scott asked her once he realized she was deep in thought. “Katja found Beth. Beth found you and Alison. I mean, Helena found… my point is, we can do this.”
“With your tenacity and my skills? Hell yeah. We have time, Cosima. To find everyone.”
Cosima bit her lip. “I know we do. But what about them?”
Scott sighed and shook his head. “All we can do is our best. I mean, that’s all anyone can do. Now, c’mon. Isn’t there a party for us to attend?”
Cosima grinned at him. She didn’t know what she would have done without Scott Smith.
Dancing wasn’t how she expected the night to go. She thought about the night when she was really sick, what felt like eons ago, when she first danced with her sestras, and how she thought it would be her last. She didn’t think she would be here. Dancing as everyone watched her. Dancing like she was art herself.
Delphine was there, watching, smiling. Cosima was smiling too. There was something infectious about the blonde’s dimpled smile that made the scientist forget every bad thing that happened between them.
Delphine was still smiling when Cosima found her, slightly drunken by the dance, her head still spinning.
“You look beautiful,” Delphine stated in a voice that usually makes Cosima shudder. “Even more than usual.”
“Well, thank you. Not being deathly ill helps, ya know?”
Delphine chuckled. “You have always been beautiful to me, ma chérie. You look happy. Free.”
“I am. I don’t know if we’re quite free yet, but it feels that way. Sarah’s not convinced, but that’s Sarah.”
Delphine stopped smiling and frowned. “Sarah’s very intuitive.”
Cosima sighed. “I’m sorry I’m being so… annoying with the whole me and you thing. You deserve better.”
Delphine shook her head. “You deserve to understand your heart, Cosima. That is the most important thing. When I understood mine, understood my love and devotion for you, everything else made sense. I can wait.”
“I love you for that.” Cosima leaned in and kissed her before Felix pulled them apart.
“Clone swap. Sarah’s here.”
Cosima groaned. “Bummer. Do I have to leave?”
Felix rolled his eyes and tugged her arm. “For me, you will. So quit snogging and come on.”
“Wait, Cosima!” Delphine shouted and pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to her. “Siobhan asked me to give this to you.”
Cosima raised an eyebrow but didn’t think much of it. “Oh. Okay. I’ll see you later, Delphine.”
As Felix pulled her away, he muttered to her, “You two are cheeky. The ‘will they, won’t they’ thing is getting tiring though. Lesbians."
“Hey! Delphine’s bisexual! And you love me!” Cosima shouted when she was out the door.
“Of course I do, darling,” Felix replied with a toothy smile and blew her a kiss. “Send in Sarah.”
Cosima gave him a thumbs up and waited for Sarah to come up. She heard the punk’s footsteps and the sound of Adele’s constant jabbering.
“Sarah!” Cosima shouted once she saw the girl who didn’t look like she was attending an art show. “Felix is in there. He’s going to--”
“Have you seen S?” Sarah interrupted her, her eyes going back and forth like she was begging for something. Anything.
“No, but I--”
Sarah walked away with Adele mouthing apologies behind her. Cosima stood there and looked around. She was left alone.
The Rabbit Hole was unusually quiet without anyone there. She thought about smoking a joint or going to sleep, but Delphine had appeared like a knight in shining armor, holding the proof to everything. The proof that could end everything.
“Loaded and ready to send to all the regulatory and oversight committees in the affected countries. As well as to old journalist friends of Siobhan at the guardian.”
“You guys did this for us.” It wasn’t a question. Cosima knew the answer. Everyone who had helped them along the way did it for them. Felix, Siobhan, Delphine, Scott, Art. The list only continued from there.
And more than that, it was Delphine who kept her promise in the end. She loved all of them. All the sestras. It made Cosima’s heart swell.
“Just a second.”
Cosima stared at the screen and thought about freedom. About what she’d do with her freedom. How she would live without being property. Without being afraid or being sick or losing anyone else.
She turned to look at Delphine. Delphine. Who was here in this moment with her. Smiling, itching to press enter. Cosima loved her. It wasn’t a mundane kind of love that just anyone could find. It was the kind of beating love that had, at one point, felt alive.
Cosima gently used Delphine’s pointer finger to press enter. It submitted and the world felt like it dropped.
They laughed. They couldn’t imagine how it could all end with just the simple press of a button when everything else had been so difficult for them.
So difficult. For all of them. They lost Katja. Beth. Paul. MK. Kendall. Cosima cried. She wished that the dead could experience this moment with her. She wished that this had come sooner. Before anyone got kidnapped or got hurt or got murdered. She wished this submission turned back the time.
Delphine held her together. She promised her love and comfort and happiness. Cosima believed her. Despite not being able to always trust the blonde, she felt the words inside her bones. She was going to be okay.
When she pulled herself together, she remembered the note inside her pocket. Siobhan. Cosima knew that they wouldn’t have had this information if it hadn’t been for her. She opened it.
I never got to thank you for taking care of my Sarah. She’s a good girl but doesn’t know how to voice the things she wants. Protect her for me, will you? You have enough strength for both of you.
You are a bright woman, chicken. Always remember to see the light.
Cosima stared at the elegant letters and felt her heart drop. There was something wrong with this letter. It seemed like a goodbye. Or an ending or…
Her phone rang. Felix.
There was police tape in front of the house. It looked wrong there. Cops were exiting the house, but it seemed like Art was in charge. She exhaled with relief. Art was in charge.
“Cosima!” The detective called out and she ran toward him immediately. He looked angry and disheveled up close. “Keep your head down. Cops are all over the place. They just questioned Felix. They think it was a home invasion gone wrong. I’m going to make sure that’s what they keep thinking.”
“Ferdinand. He’s also dead. The bodies are already out of the house but… Sarah hasn’t moved. Or said a thing. Or cried. Felix is the opposite. He’s also inside with Adele.”
Cosima wiped away the tears that were falling. “She did this for us, didn’t she?”
Art nodded almost stoically. “One of the bravest people I know. Look, I’d go see Sarah but--”
“No, you have enough to handle. I’ll call you if something changes.”
He nodded gratefully and walked away, commanding cops away from the premises. Art was trying to get outsiders as far away from the house as possible.
Cosima took a shaky breath and walked slowly toward the entrance of the house. She only had to knock on the door once for it to open. Felix stood there, his shirt soaked with tears, and pulled her into a hug as they both sobbed onto each other’s shoulders.
None of this felt real. They had lost people before, but she never thought they would lose S. Their rock. The woman who protected them and opened a whole family up to love.
“I’m so sorry,” Cosima repeated over and over again into Felix’s ear.
Once he pulled away and closed the door, he apologized. “We were supposed to vacate the house, but Art helped us out.”
Felix looked far away. “I don’t know how much of Sarah is left.”
“She screamed for a good long while when we first got here,” Felix explained as Adele put the mugs of tea in front of both of them. “She kept tryin’ to resuscitate her. They had to drag her away to get S’… Sarah hasn’t moved since.”
From her chair, Cosima stared at Sarah who was rocking slightly, her hands on her head and staring at the blood on the ground. She was covered with it herself.
“Have you called anyone else?”
“Alison. They’ll come round in the morning. Benjamin’s coming too. Said he wanted to… clean it all up. Delphine?”
“I told her to stay at the Rabbit Hole. She wanted to come with me but I thought…” Cosima felt like throwing up. “What happened?”
Felix gulped. “Guessin’ Ferdinand wasn’t too happy about us getting the file. I’m betting that Rachel used him.”
“Siobhan took a bullet for us.”
“You were her family,” Adele pointed out, less drunk than she was during the party. “Of course she did. God bless. What a woman.”
“What do we do about Sarah?”
Felix stared at his broken sister and muttered, “Who the bloody hell knows?”
Cosima didn't remember much about the next few days.
What she did remember was staying up all night and hoping that Sarah would get up and go to sleep.
She remembered falling asleep on Felix’s shoulder and waking up to a bare floor and Sarah’s closed door.
She remembered getting up and bringing Sarah tea as Felix talked to people about a funeral and signing papers and the will.
She remembered seeing Benjamin and a bunch of men cleaning the floor.
She remembered Alison and Felix sobbing in the kitchen.
She remembered refusing to talk to Delphine, angry that Delphine hadn’t told anyone about their “deal” with Rachel and Ferdinand.
She remembered forcing Sarah to drink water and eat while trying to remember to do the same.
She remembered Felix’s frustration at his sister’s emptiness and trying to calm him down and remind him that grief hit people differently.
Sarah had only said two words before Kira came home. Two nights after Siobhan’s death, Cosima opened Sarah’s bedroom door and found the woman shivering under the covers. Without thinking, she crawled into the bed with her. She put her warm hands around her and pulled her close, hoping it would make Sarah feel alive again.
Cosima placed kisses on her cheeks, her forehead, her neck, her lips. She thought that Sarah would do something, anything. Even if it was a command for her to stop. And maybe, though Cosima wouldn’t want to admit it, she kissed her because she wanted the comfort too. She wanted the taste of Sarah’s skin on her lips. A reminder that she was alive too. Something.
She delicately held Sarah’s pointer finger and traced it over her tattoo and whispered to her the beauty of science, of the cycle of life and death.
“The shell was once inhabiting life, but it becomes empty. It always does. To us, it’s more beautiful. Fossilized and demanding of our attention. The end isn’t always the end.”
She thought Sarah wasn’t listening. That was, until she said, “Thanks, ‘Sima.” It was the opposite of her usual nickname. She liked ‘Cos’ more.
But Kira made her mom come back to life. Art brought her over and Felix and Adele had explained to the young girl about Siobhan’s death, about Sarah’s darkness. Kira cried into her uncle’s shirt but then pointed out how they needed to be strong for her mom.
“Monkey,” Sarah breathed out in a raspy voice after not using it for so long. “I’m so sorry, monkey.”
The two hugged for what seemed like hours. With Kira in her arms, Sarah was able to help Felix with the funeral and wake. They planned it quickly (decided on doing it the next day), not wanting to have to deal with it any longer. Cosima understood why she couldn’t be there, but it still hurt. She wanted to say goodbye to Siobhan and be there for Sarah.
“You can go back to the Rabbit Hole,” Felix whispered as the two of them watched Kira and Sarah fall asleep on the couch. His voice was colder than it had been. Like something has changed. “We’ve got this, now.”
He sat up straighter and turned to her. “You’re makin’ it worse. You know that, don’t you?”
Cosima didn’t know what he was talking about. “What?”
“Love, you don’t really think I don’t know what’s goin’ on, do you? What you’re doing in Sarah’s bedroom at night? You’re confusing her. Messing with her.”
Tears sprung to her eyes. “Fee…”
“You have Delphine. Your girlfriend. The French blonde that made you almost put a bleeding bot in your mouth. Don’t let Sarah think that she’s the only one that matters because we both know that’s not true.”
Shame radiated through Cosima’s body. He was right. She wasn’t being fair to Sarah or her feelings. Cosima felt something and as a scientist, she wanted to explore it. She didn’t even consider the possibility that Sarah… felt even a fraction of what she felt for her.
“I know. It’s complicated. It’s not… I love Delphine. But I feel something--”
“No.” Felix interrupted and put a hand on Cosima’s shoulder. “No, this is not the time, Cosima, for you to experiment with your feelings. Sarah’s a person, not a lab rat. And she’s already vulnerable. Don’t do this to her.”
Some crazy part of her thought Felix would understand. That all she’d have to do was explain that she felt something for both of them, while incredibly different, and wanted to understand both feelings.
Felix glowered at her. “I don’t want you to mess with her. Even if she wants it because I know she does. Unless you’re done with Delphine, like really done with her, I don’t want you to be snogging her, touching her. Got it?”
Cosima nodded. Felix was just trying to protect his sister and she understood that. And she knew that this was wrong and unfair to both Sarah and Delphine, but she couldn’t help her feelings. Not when they were this strong and overwhelming.
She agreed to put a halt on anything that could resemble romance with Sarah. She just didn’t know how long she could last with the pause.
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think!
Chapter 7: half empty girl
Cosima learns the meaning of moving on.
Cosima felt restless at the Rabbit Hole. She received phone call after phone call from Delphine, but she declined every time. She knew that it wasn’t the blonde’s fault that Siobhan was dead, but she couldn’t help but still be furious at the woman. She wondered if there would have been something they could have done if Delphine had just been honest with everyone. She wondered if they could have saved her.
(Besides, she also felt guilty. About Sarah and her unresolved feelings for the punk. She wondered if this was cheating.)
She wished she could have been at the funeral. She wished she could have been at the wake. She wished she could be holding hands with Sarah and reassuring her that everything was going to be okay. (And deep down, she needed reassurances too).
When she joined a group video call with Sarah, she wasn’t expecting more bad news. She hadn’t expected Helena to have been kidnapped or Gracie somehow being involved. She had hoped that with the release of all the Neolution shit to the public, they would have a chance to breathe. To cope. To heal.
Sarah sounded stressed, alert, and angry. She had already lost her mother. She couldn’t lose her twin too.
The plan was almost too insane, even for Cosima. Sarah was a talented con-artist, but Cosima couldn’t imagine that she could convince Mathieson that she was Rachel for that long of a period. She wanted to believe that everything was going to be okay but...
The waiting was the worst part. Her head swarmed with worst-case scenarios. She knew there was nothing she could do, but she felt like she was twiddling her thumbs while Sarah was risking her life. She just needed everyone to come back out alive.
She called Sarah shortly before she had to become Rachel Duncan. She sounded angry and frustrated as she talked about what she would do to John Mathieson if she could. Cosima tried to divert the conversation. She didn’t want that to be their last conversation if… something happened.
"Everyone’s riskin’ their lives for me."
“Actually, it’s technically for Helena, but sure. People love you, Sarah.”
She paused for a second. "I think Beth would do this. I hear her voice when I talk."
Cosima didn’t quite know what she meant by that, but it concerned her. “Sarah, you’re going to be alright. You’re going to grab our Sestra and get the hell out of there.”
"If we don’t get out, save the babies. Come back for them. Don’t let them grow up like we did, yeah?”
Cosima shuddered. This almost felt like a goodbye and she cringed that she moved their conversation to this horrifying point.
“Of course we will, Sarah, but you’ll save them.”
"Take Charlotte in, I dunno. Tell her our stories. Tell Kira--” her voice broke, "tell Kira about survival and love. Don’t let Cal take her away. She needs you all. She has to learn that sometimes, runnin’ ain’t the answer."
“God, please, Sar. Don’t talk like this. It’s going to all be fine.”
She heard Sarah force a chuckle and said, "Cheers, my favorite optimist." She hung up.
Cosima didn’t try to read that far into Sarah’s small speech as she waited for news on the mission with Felix, Delphine, Alison, Kira, Charlotte, and Donnie. They surrounded the phone, hoping for a call from Scott or Art or Sarah to tell them that everything was fine.
Occasionally, Alison would anxiously stand up and offer to get people food and water and would ramble about what it would be like to have two babies in her house. No one told her to stop. Or to continue. Everyone else just sat in silence, clinging near to each other, ready for the news that they could all breathe again.
Donnie kept trying to comfort his wife. She would accept his embrace only to quickly move away so that she could continue to pace and talk. He watched her carefully, ready to help her if she falls apart.
Cosima kept her head rested on Delphine’s shoulder. Delphine was calm in this situation. If she was terrified, she kept it all on the inside so that she could be there for Cosima. The dreaded scientist loved the blonde for that. She even forgot all about her misguided anger toward her. In those long moments, they were in love.
Kira, who knew vaguely about what was going on (Sarah told her about having to save Helena from bad people at Neolution), was sitting on Felix’s lap, her head laying gently on his chest. His legs were moving up and down with anxiety, but Kira didn’t seem to mind.
When they got the call, everyone jumped. It was Felix who answered, and after a few seconds, tears were running down his face ambiguously. Despite all of their angry pleas for him to tell them what was going on, he continued to talk to whoever was on the phone until they hung up.
Cosima felt like she was on the edge of a cliff, barely breathing. She knew she wouldn’t be able to breathe until she knew Sarah was alright.
Felix put his phone down and smiled. “That was Sarah. Everyone’s okay. They’re on the way to the hospital. Helena gave birth to two beautiful boys. They want us to meet them there.”
The cheers only lasted a few seconds; they were itching to see their family. They all ran to Alison’s minivan and chatted almost excitedly about what Helena’s sons would look like and act like and become.
Art, Scott, and Hell Wizard were there in the waiting room when they arrived, buzzing from the win. After hugs were spread around by all, Art tried to explain what happened. Helena killing Coady. Surviving guards and Enger. Sarah killing John Mathieson. Helena giving birth.
“The doctors tried to check Sarah out, but she didn’t let them, of course. Had to make sure that Helena and the babies were alright.” Art chuckled and added, “I can’t even tell the babies apart and I helped deliver them.”
One by one, they visited the two sets of twins. Both Helena and Sarah looked exhausted, but they couldn’t stop talking to each new visitor. Cosima noticed Helena’s motherly glow. But more than that, she noticed the shadow behind Sarah’s smile.
Sarah killed someone.
No one talked about it. Referenced it. Maybe even thought about it besides Cosima. She knew it was out of self-defense, but she couldn’t imagine doing the act. Ever. She couldn’t imagine how the punk was feeling. She wanted to hold her until she felt alright.
“Sestra crazy-hairs, want to hold baby?” Helena asked the scientist as she held out one of the sleeping babies as Alison and Sarah ogled the other baby.
“Oh, um,” Cosima was never really that comfortable with babies. Kira and Charlotte were about her maximum threshold. “I don’t--”
“Please,” Helena muttered with a tired smile. “I would like my babies to know all my sestras. They will not make the same mistakes I did.”
“That won’t happen, meathead. Cos, I can help you if you’d like.”
Cosima nodded vehemently and Sarah grinned. She gently picked up the baby (as Helena stated, “do not call me this,”) with the orange booties and held him as she walked over to Cosima. It all looked so natural to Sarah as she held the baby in her arms. Like he belonged there.
“Look, he’s sleepin’. Not so scary, yeah?”
Cosima blushed slightly. “Obvs. I’m not scared, it's just like... memento mori, I guess.”
Sarah rolled her eyes. “No more bloody science.”
“No, not science, Sarah. Not really. It’s a latin phrase. But you’re right. It’s not the place.”
“Don’t try to distract me with your brilliance, Cos. C’mon. He won’t bite. Not till he’s teethin’, at least.”
Alison mumbled in the background, “let’s hope they don’t have their mother’s hunger.”
Cosima lowered her voice so only Sarah could listen. “I’m afraid to drop him.”
Sarah moved closer to the scientist and said, “you won’t drop him. He’s your nephew, Niehaus. Precious cargo. You won’t. Hold your hands like this.”
Cosima tried to copy Sarah’s movements. She wasn’t quite comfortable, but Sarah placed the little human in her arms anyway. He weighed less than she had expected a baby to weigh. He barely even moved a muscle in her arms. She thought it was almost like he didn’t mind being there. But still, she didn’t like it.
“Don’t worry,” Sarah reassured her as Cosima passed her the baby back. “You’ll get used to it.”
“Yes, you will love it,” Helena agreed with a stiff head nod. “As much as you love the science.”
Cosima chuckled and looked at her family. Helena might have been right. She already did love them more than science.
Cosima flopped onto the bed and felt her head spin. The day seemed to ebb and flow with the change of time. Some moments felt excruciatingly slow, others felt like they were the speed of light. She almost jumped into a mind fuck about the non-existence of linear time when she felt a hand on her arm.
“You look happy,” Delphine commented as she laid down next to her and closed the space between them.
“It’s over, you know? Like actually. I mean, we have work to do with getting this cure to the other Ledas, but… I mean we can breathe.”
Delphine hummed in agreement. “End of an era, time to move on. A change of scene, yes?”
“I guess so. It means we can also be a family. Everyone can raise their kids in peace. Also, holy crap Helena’s a mom.”
Laughter flooded out of the blonde’s mouth. “She is. She will be a good one, I think. She has Alison and Sarah as good examples and help. They will be okay.”
“They all seem like natural mothers. And to me… babies are… uncomfortable. They’re so young and innocent. I mean, I can’t even talk about science with them yet.”
“But one day they will be old enough. Hopefully, Orange and Purple will have names by then.”
Cosima grinned. “Don’t you like the names? It’s like, non-traditional.”
Delphine smiled gently and told her, “You do love them. You just don’t like how vulnerable they are. That's what scares you."
Cosima nodded and wondered how Delphine could see straight through her sometimes. “It’s like… there’s no control. Anything can happen.”
“There are things out of your control, ma chérie. Death, life, love. This is something you cannot force. Which is why… I do not push you.”
Cosima inhaled deeply. The last thing she wanted was for this conversation to go this way. She was almost positive that she wanted to be with Delphine, but there was a sliver of doubt. Doubt seeded in the strong and confusing feelings she felt for Sarah.
Cosima kissed her. It felt good. She was used to her lips, her taste, her heat. She didn’t burn like Sarah. It was calm and comforting. Passionate but logical. Nothing like how it was with Sarah.
Holding Sarah. Touching Sarah. Kissing Sarah. It felt like being on fire.
“I love you, Delphine. I do. It’s just… I still need a few things to figure out, alright? In the meantime, can’t we just kiss a little?”
Delphine grinned. “We can always do a little more than a little.”
Helena moved into Alison’s garage (Cosima even thought that Alison and Donnie were secretly thrilled to have her there). She and the babies seemed to fit in with the Hendrix’s. Besides, with all the attention Alison and Donnie gave the twins, it already seemed like raising them would be a joint effort.
Felix went to New York with plenty of success, leaving Sarah and Kira home with the possibility of them selling Siobhan’s house. Sarah had kept away most of the time from the family and clone club. Shortly after the birth of Helena’s twins, it became obvious that Sarah wasn’t okay. The happiness that the war was over quickly ran out and reality stepped in. They had to keep living with all the terrible things that they had gone through. They had to live with what they had to do to survive.
She became touchy at any mention of anyone helping her. Even with trying to get her GED. Those were practically the only moments that Cosima got to spend with her. Through video chat and studying.
Not that Cosima could really blame her. They hadn’t seriously spoken since their strange nights together in Sarah's bed. There was still something there, something unspoken between them, but neither of them talked about it. Especially with Delphine being there in the picture.
When Cosima moved into Delphine’s apartment, Sarah pulled away even farther. Charlotte split her time between Art’s and Cosima’s. The scientist might have not been great with babies, but her bond to her genetic identical was unmistakable. Delphine wasn’t too happy that her tiny apartment was now being shared with more than one person, though she had told Cosima her restlessness resided in the fact that there was not enough room in the apartment. Delphine offered to find a new place to live, but that conversation terrified Cosima.
Felix had called her the day before he was going to return home from New York.
"How’s Sarah?" He asked her as if he thought they were constantly communicating.
“I’m not sure,” Cosima confessed as she headed for a different bedroom so that they could talk privately. “We don't… she’s avoiding me. Avoiding everyone.”
Felix breathed out, sounding stressed. "I’m worried. This is what she’s like before she runs."
“You think she’ll run?”
"I think she wants to. We gotta convince her not to. This is her home."
She said she would try, but to be honest, she was terrified to have a real conversation with her. She was afraid she would just admit something she still didn't understand. She was afraid she would admit that there were some moments where she still just wanted to kiss her.
Felix’s words about her messing with Sarah replayed in her mind. It took everything to not say something. To Sarah or even Delphine. She thought staying away from Sarah would be good for both of them. But she knew she couldn’t avoid her any longer.
Cosima stared at the ‘For Sale’ sign in front of the house that Cosima had loved, even if she hadn’t spent much time there. This is what she’s like before she runs. Cosima shivered. She couldn’t imagine her life without the punk.
It was Kira who opened the door and immediately embraced her. Cosima held her and squeezed her tightly. She felt like she hadn’t seen her in such a long while. It made her feel guilty.
“Hey, monkey. Whatcha up to?”
Kira shrugged with a kind of sadness that Cosima hadn’t been expecting. “Packing mostly. Mum’s in the shower, but she’ll be out in a second. C’mon inside.”
There were boxes everywhere when Cosima entered the house. She gulped. This is what she’s like before she runs.
“Kira, are you excited to see all your cousins at the baby shower tomorrow?” Cosima asked and sat down on the couch with the young girl.
Kira nodded vigorously. “I can’t wait to go to Auntie Alison’s. Mum doesn’t really… go out. Art sometimes brings over Charlotte and sometimes Auntie Alison comes over but… mum’s really lonely.”
Cosima chewed on her lip. She felt like this was her fault. She knew this was her fault. She thought the separation would be good. That they’d be able to one day come together without any feelings.
“Kira, I should have come over more often. I’ll do that now, okay?”
The young girl shrugged and looked down at her feet. “It doesn’t matter. We’re leaving soon.”
This is what she’s like before she runs.
“I don’t know. Mum wants to leave.”
Kira shook her head. “But I want her to be happy. She’s not… I can feel her. Something’s wrong. With you too, Auntie Cosima.”
Cosima tilted her head. “What?”
“There’s something missing,” Kira explained and rested her head on Cosima’s lap. “You miss my mum and she misses you.”
“Cosima?” Sarah called out as she stood on the stairs wearing only a tank top and short shorts, her hair dripping slowly onto the hardwood floors. “What the bloody hell are you doin’ here?”
Cosima immediately stood up. Sarah looked pale, skinny, hollow. This wasn’t new for the punk, but it worried the scientist that she was still like this, even after everything was over.
“I wanted to see both of you. I--what are you bringing to Alison’s tomorrow?”
Sarah almost smirked. “She told me to just bring the alcohol. ‘Parently I’m not even allowed near the kitchen.”
“Alison’ll want to do all the cooking anyway,” Cosima chuckled awkwardly. “I one time made a cheese dip and she flipped. But hey, man, at least we don’t have to cook. You won’t have that much time with your test tomorrow anyway. Do you want to study--?”
“Actually, we gotta do some packin’. So, if you don’t mind…”
“Oh,” Cosima muttered, realizing that Sarah was trying to get her out of the house. “Yeah, of course. Don’t want to distract you. But um, I’ll see you guys tomorrow, yeah? Maybe Helena’s come up with some names.”
Sarah nodded and then began to walk back upstairs. Obviously, Cosima wasn’t welcome. Which didn’t surprise the scientist since she was the one who abandoned Sarah so that she could continue to love Delphine.
Sarah didn’t smile. There were moments where she tried, when she pretended, but she couldn’t fool Cosima. Actually, she couldn’t fool anyone. It was almost as if everyone had reached their threshold with staying silent about her. There was so much worry, so much concern.
She heard Sarah and Alison talk about Helena and the twins, but Sarah looked lost in the conversation.
Art was probably the brave one. “How are you doing, Sestra?”
“No, you’re not.”
He broke the silence and everyone sighed from relief. Sarah looked frustrated, annoyed, maybe even a little angry.
“Well, what is this we hear about a 'For Sale' sign on the front lawn?” Alison asked her with more guts that Cosima would have expected.
Sarah groaned. “You know that we were thinking about that.”
The soccer mom narrowed her eyes at the punk. “Playdates, the kids. Gemma, Kira, Charlotte, Maya, they’re all bonding. They like each other.” Donnie tried to butt in with saying his wife’s name, but she ignored him. “You know they’re having fun. What? What? This is what we fought for, right? To be sisters? It’s a good thing.”
Cosima knew that was a big deal for Alison to say something like that. She knew that the soccer mom cared about the other sestras, but at the beginning, she knew that Alison didn’t want to be a part of it all. She didn’t want to know her clones. They were all nuisances in her life. But now, she loved them. She wanted to be with them. It broke Cosima’s heart.
Sarah looked torn between emotions. “Yeah, it’s good. We just need a change. Freedom looks different to everyone.”
Alison sighed sympathetically. “Honey, we feel your loss. But Kira has cousins now.”
Rage flooded Sarah’s face and Cosima knew she was going to blow. “She has a stable home in the house where her grandmother was shot dead! Alison, take a bloody cue for once!” Her loud words echoed through the walls and she frowned as she saw Alison’s reaction. She lowered her voice and looked upset with herself. “Sorry.”
She got up and left the room. Alison mouthed that she was sorry to the rest of the group, but no one blamed her. Someone needed to say something. Even if it was kind of harsh.
Cosima barely thought about it. She followed Sarah outside and found her brooding on a chair. She wanted to wrap her arms around her, hold her tight, beg her to stay and believe in herself again. Believe in Cosima.
But she didn’t do any of that.
“Is it cool if I chill with you?”
Sarah barely reacted.
Alison came out, apologetic. Sarah reacted, apologetic. Helena joined them, worried. Sarah reacted, trying to hang on.
“I didn’t go to my test,” Sarah confessed after a few moments. Cosima wanted to tell her that it was alright, that she could try again, but Sarah surprisingly continued. “That’s good, innit? Lyin’ to my own kid. Same shit.” Her voice broke and tears flooded her eyes. Cosima wanted to hold her. “I don’t know what m’doing. I carry around all these mistakes… I don’t know how to be happy.” She was crying and her voice was shaking. Cosima just wanted-- “There’s no one left to fight, and m’still a shit mum.”
Cosima wanted to argue with her. Tell her that she was wrong. Tell her that she was a good mom and that they’d be there for her. Love her. Help her.
Alison beat her to it. “You know the other day, Gemma was driving me so crazy. I screamed at her, I said, ‘If you don’t clean up your room, I am going to string you up by your thumbs and stuff your dirty damn sock balls in your mouth.’ And I meant it. I scared her.”
And before she knew it, Helena started talking too. “Every time I look, the baby’s eating sand. I turn around, sand. Where does this sand come from? I don’t know. So, I let them eat it.”
“What?” Alison asked as everyone else laughed at Helena’s confession.
Finally, Cosima added, “Did you guys see how panicked I got when Felix handed me the baby earlier? Like, I am just not maternal at all. And that makes me wonder, like, am I selfish or am I scared? You know? We’re all scared, Sarah.”
“Yes, and we all make mistakes.”
Alison muttered, “God, I was a drug dealer, for pete’s sake.”
As they laughed at that horrible memory (Cosima specifically thought about having to pretend to be Alison because she had messed up with her bag of pills), Felix waltzed into the backyard with an unmistakable cheeky grin.
“Don’t you all look cozy. Well, that’s good. ‘Cause I got something for all of you.”
Everyone tried to look at the paper he was holding dramatically to his chest.
Felix smirked. “See for yourself.”
Cosima thought that her eyes had suddenly failed her. Or that she was imagining this. She never ever thought she would have this.
“Holy shit, is that a complete list of the Leda sisters?” Cosima asked him.
“Yeah,” Felix told her with confidence.
“Where did you get this?”
“Uh, I’ve got a good guess,” Sarah murmured as the realization hit Cosima. Rachel.
“Oxana Petrov, Colista Popoudokis, this is musical histories, physicians, contacts, addresses. This is everything we need to cure the Ledas.”
Sarah muttered, “Christ, that’s 274 of us.”
They all took a few minutes to let that all sink in. For years they had to battle for their freedom. These hundreds of people would never have any clue what they did for them. What they would do for them.
After a few seconds, Helena pulled out a notebook of some sort. Sarah recognized it as her memoirs.
“I finished my book,” Helena announced with a proud smile. “It’s a story about my sestras. I call it Orphan Black."
No one really knew how to react to that. Cosima shared questioning laughs with Sarah, though she did like the title. They were all orphans, though, not so much anymore.
“We’re not black,” Alison mentioned, causing everyone to laugh even harder and facepalm because of course, Alison would say that.
“Shut up,” Helena eventually commanded, tired of everyone’s shit. “Listen, I will translate from Ukrainian.” She opened the book and began to read. “‘My story is an embroidery with many beginnings and no end. But I will start with the thread of my sestra, Sarah, who stepped off a train one day and met herself…’”
Helena continued into all hours of the night. The sestras all listened intently, laughing, crying, holding each other during reminders of all the terrifying shit they had to go through. Some things even Cosima didn’t know about, especially the moments between Sarah and Helena.
She squeezed Sarah’s hand. She didn’t know when they joined hands or how it occurred, but she refused to let go, even when Helena fell asleep reading and everyone else besides the two of them were snoring.
“There’s no way I’m sleepin’ on a chair outside,” Sarah grumbled as she tried to push her twin off of her legs.
“It’s sweet,” Cosima commented brightly as she looked around at the sestras. “This is peace, Sarah.” She paused as the two of them stared into each other’s eyes as they did months ago on the bed in the Rabbit Hole. “I’m sorry for… abandoning you in the last couple of weeks. It’s like, totally not fair.”
Sarah looked down at Helena’s bushy hair and started playing with it, avoiding the scientist’s stare. “I get it, Cos. You’re busy. And… I’ve made things weird. Kissin’ you and… wantin’..." she trailed off before she continued, “I know you’re with Delphine and I’m happy for you.”
Cosima felt her heart drop. “I want to be completely honest with you, Sarah, because I think we both deserve that. And I know what I’m going to say probably won't make much sense but… I love Delphine, I do. But you? Sarah. The connection, it’s… you’re different to me. I don't know how to explain it.”
Sarah nodded, not looking thrilled or upset. “I get it. M’not lookin’ for anythin’, yeah? You don’t… I’ll be fine.”
Cosima nodded and tried to believe it. “Look, all I know is that I need you in my life. I need you like… like I need the sun, okay? You are so important to me. I just… need to figure out the rest.”
“Take all the time you need. I’ll be here.”
Cosima’s heart lurched and she almost jumped from her seat with excitement. “So you’re staying?”
Sarah looked all around at her sleeping sestras (and brother) and said, “How could I leave all of this?”
Cosima grinned. “You have no idea how happy that makes me.”
“Well, I am fun to have around. Always cheery,” Sarah replied sarcastically.
Cosima snorted. “You’re becoming delirious. Go to sleep.”
“Tell me a story?”
Cosima smiled. “Hmmm. How about the story of Cupid and Psyche?"
Thank you so much for reading! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think! :)
Chapter 8: leaving so soon?
Cosima decides whether or not she wants to leave with Delphine.
“Cosima, this is not a conversation we can just ignore,” Delphine stated firmly as she flipped over the omelet that she was making for Charlotte, who was reading one of Cosima’s old books in the living room to give them space (she could feel the tension around them). “This is important.”
Cosima groaned as she sat at the small kitchen table and tried to balance the salt shaker on top of the pepper shaker. “I know, I know, I know. It’s just that like… I know we have to go and give these inoculations but… everyone is still really raw after everything. I feel weird just leaving now.”
It was the simplest explanation she could think of. Because she didn’t think she could tell Delphine the truth. How she was really only thinking about Sarah. The punk had genuinely seemed to be getting better, but Cosima didn’t want to leave her right now. Not when she had abandoned her before to fight the aftermath and trauma alone.
Delphine turned around and stared at her, trying to get a good reading from her girlfriend since the brunette wasn’t talking. “This is all you wanted to do. And now, what? You want to wait?”
“No,” Cosima told her truthfully, knowing that she was contradicting herself, which reflected her contradictory feelings. “Obvs not. I just… Charlotte’s here. School’s coming up. The sestras need me.”
The French blonde’s eyes narrowed. “Is this all about Sarah?”
“What? No.” Cosima tried to act like Delphine’s accusation was preposterous. She hated that it felt like a lie. The blonde glared at her like she didn’t believe her. Cosima sighed out, “Delphine, it’s not all because of Sarah. But yeah, I do worry. You know I worry.”
“Yes, and I worry too. But she has her other sestras and her brother, Cosima. Sarah looked incredibly happy the other day with Donnie and Arthur. She can handle herself.”
Cosima couldn’t help but grin at the memory. Helena had announced to her sestras the names of her brave little boys and Sarah was the first to approve. She held up the babies in her arms and kissed them. She turned to her family and announced her own nicknames for the twins. DJ and AJ for Donnie Jr. and Arthur Jr. Almost everyone refused to call them that (especially Helena who said, “do not call them this,” and Alison who shouted, “heavens, no!”) except for Sarah and Cosima.
“Cosima?” Delphine snapped her out of her memory. “Cosima, you need to make a decision. I can go alone if that is what you wish, but I thought… I thought this was something you wanted to do together.”
Cosima frowned. She had pictured them doing it together. When she was sick and on the brink of death, her good dreams always revolved around Delphine and Cosima saving the clones. Being in love and making crazy science. It was all she had ever wanted. She thought she could be happy with just that.
But she had her family, now.
She had Charlotte, who had slowly begun to live with Cosima and Delphine full time, to Delphine’s silent chagrin. She had Helena and the twins, who were slowly growing on her, especially with all the moments with Sarah that she could watch with glee. She had Alison, who was obsessed with teaching Cosima how to knit after one mention of wishing that she knew how to. She had Felix, who was becoming more popular in the art world, who came to her when he had boy problems. She had Scott, who had promised to go to University with Cosima in Toronto.
She had Sarah who was healing after her break down and admission to her depression. Sarah, who didn’t say no to Cosima’s presence at her home almost every day. Sarah, who got excited when Cosima brought Charlotte over. Sarah, who was no longer ashamed to ask Cosima for help for herself (to study for the GED) and Kira. Sarah, who had started to join in on the science projects that Cosima, Kira, and Charlotte had.
There was more to her life now than just science.
“I do want to go with you. And I know I have to make a decision. I just… give me a few days, okay?”
Delphine paused, but nodded, obviously disappointed. It was an emotion that the blonde had frequently now, Cosima noticed. Cosima had been spending most of her time with her sestras (with Sarah) and Charlotte that Delphine began to pull away from her. Cosima could feel the tension between them. It made her want to hang out with Sarah that much more.
“Charlotte’s omelet is ready,” Delphine whispered as she put the egg onto a plate and placed it onto the table next to Cosima. She left the room and walked into the bedroom they shared, closing the door behind her.
Cosima gulped. This wasn’t what it was supposed to be like. They were supposed to be happy together. They deserved that, didn’t they?
“Woah, what? Cos, you bein’ serious?” Sarah asked the other clone as they walked through a science museum (with a special exhibit about insects) along with the kids. “You’re thinkin’ about not goin’ with Delphine?”
Cosima shrugged. “I don’t know. I know I sound crazy, but like… all that travel? It would take literally months.”
Sarah looked at her, confused. “But this was all you wanted, Cosima.”
“I know,” Cosima replied, watching Charlotte and Kira ramble to each other about wanting to go to see all the Smithsonian museums in DC. “But I have other priorities, now. Like Charlotte.”
“I can take her in,” Sarah told her immediately as if it wasn’t a big deal (which Cosima knew that it was).
“We have the room in our house. Plenty of room, actually. I’d like to have her around. Besides, she and Kira go to the same school. It makes sense.”
Cosima was bursting with admiration for her. More admiration than the usual amount of admiration. “That would be… wow, dude. That would be awesome. Charlotte would love that.”
Sarah nodded and snickered, “And you’re the one who says you don’t have maternal instincts. You do, Cos. You’re fiercely protective of her. Sure, you’re not her mum, but that doesn’t matter. She looks up to you. S’good.”
A smile grew from Cosima’s lips. That meant a lot coming from Sarah, who she thought was an excellent mother, despite everything. The compliment wasn’t something that Delphine would say to her or think to say to her.
“It might be good for her to stay with you for a while anyway. I don’t think… Delphine’s place is too damn tiny. And she’s… angry with me.”
Sarah furrowed her eyebrows. “Cause you’re torn about goin’?”
Cosima nodded, though that was only part of it. “And she wants to find a bigger place.”
“And that’s bad because…?”
Cosima sighed. “Because that’s commitment. Like real commitment. And…”
The scientist bit her tongue. The words in her mind weren’t ones that she had thought through. Though, she felt them. They were real to her, though she didn't want them to be. And I don’t know if I love her as much as I did when I thought I was going to die.
“And there’s so much for me to do,” Cosima lied carefully. “Going back to school, Charlotte, learning how to be me again and not property. I don’t know if I want to be boxing myself into something right now.”
“I get that,” the punk told her genuinely and leaned over to look at a selection of arachnids. “But just 'cause you move in doesn’t mean you have to stay. You’re not boxed in anymore, yeah? You’re free. ‘Sides, Cos, I think you should go. Even if s’just for part of the time. I think you’d regret it if you didn’t.”
Sarah was being considerate and kind, but Cosima couldn’t help but wonder if this was Sarah’s way of saying she wanted her to pick Delphine. That she was way over Cosima.
“I know. God, you’re right. Besides, when else am I going to get a chance like this to travel?”
Sarah grinned and punched her shoulder. “That’s the spirit. Oi, and maybe the three of us will meet you in America. ‘Parently there are some bloody museums the kids want to go to.”
“The Smithsonian?” Cosima asked. “Wait, Sarah, you’ve never been?”
Sarah cackled with laughter. “Do you think I frequent museums in my free time, Cos? American museums? Nah, the only few times I’ve been to the states were for concerts.”
Cosima smiled. “Then I guess we’re doing a road trip. And I refuse to go see The Clash.”
“How long will you be gone?” Charlotte asked as she sat the young girl down at the table. She sounded sad, almost. Disappointed, definitely.
Cosima almost reached out for the young girl’s hand but stopped before they touched. Physical touch was still rare for the girl, but Cosima was patient. She couldn’t imagine the coldness that Charlotte grew up with.
“I’m not quite positive,” the scientist told her honestly. “Delphine and I aren’t sure how long it will take to give everyone the cure. But I promise you, I will not be gone for too long. And if you need me, I’m always a couple of plane rides away.”
Charlotte looked down and sighed, “Where will I go?”
“Sarah wants you to go to her house with Kira. How does that sound?”
Charlotte’s eyes lit up a little. “Sarah wants me?”
“Of course! She was the one who offered, Charlotte. You’re her family, you know? She likes having you around. And you get to spend some time with Kira. Is that okay with you?”
Charlotte nodded, looking slightly less bummed than before. “Just come back home.”
Cosima’s heart melted a little and part of her felt like she shouldn’t leave. But then she thought about Sarah’s words of wisdom.
“I promise I’ll come home. You’re my favorite scientist. I can’t do this life thing without you.”
Charlotte almost smiled. “You’re my favorite scientist, too.”
That was their way of saying I love you.
Alison interrogated Cosima about what she was bringing on her travels and made it extremely clear that she thought Cosima wasn’t bringing nearly enough stuff for the journey. Cosima rolled her eyes and shrugged away any nagging thoughts that the soccer mom clone could possibly be right.
“Oi, Alison, leave the poor girl alone,” Sarah told her, grinning from ear to ear. “I’ve seen you pack for a day trip. You’re an over-packer.”
Alison tutted. “Lord knows that’s not possible, Sarah.”
“Maybe I could come to Ukraine to see you, Sestra Cosima,” Helena mentioned randomly, without any warning. “ I can show you where I grew.”
Cosima raised her eyebrows. “Oh, yeah. Totally! That’d be cool.”
Sarah smiled at her appreciatively. She had told Cosima that Helena was dealing with trying to recall the good memories of Ukraine. Helena wanted to deal with her past now that she was done with killing. And she didn't feel like she could move on without dealing with her past in Ukraine.
“Maybe I could take care of AJ and DJ for the night,” Sarah offered with a small smile. “Of course, if Alison’d allow it.”
“Do not call them this.”
Alison glared at Sarah. “Maybe you can bring Charlotte and Kira over. Gemma and Oscar would love a sleepover.”
Sarah grinned and leaned over close to the soccer mom. “Is this just an excuse ‘cause you want a sleepover with me?"
As Cosima rolled over with laughter and Helena stared at them with confusion, Alison smacked Sarah’s shoulder. “For heaven’s sakes, Sarah. I am not a teenager.”
“What is this ‘sleepover’?” Helena asked curiously. “Why have we not had one?”
“We have, meathead,” Sarah told her twin as she patted her leg, trying to reassure her. “A while ago. Y’know. When we all danced and you almost spazzed out.”
Helena nodded. “Yes, I remember now. We should do it again. Not with kidnapping.”
“No, no kidnapping. I think we’re all done with that. M’a little tired of it,” Sarah joked sarcastically.
Cosima laughed. She could feel it, Sarah’s lightness. Her unmistakable joy that she never really got to experience unless they were lacking major threats. She loved it. It drew her in. It was... intoxicating in a strange way.
“And we are not havin’ it at my loft,” Felix announced as he sat down with the sestras and placed a bowl of popcorn in the middle of them. “I have frequent company nowadays.”
Sarah smirked. “Colin’s got your attention.”
Felix shrugged. “He’s no Adam Lambert, but he’ll do for the time being.”
“He is no Jesse Towing, either,” Helena pointed out as she stuffed her hand into the bowl of popcorn.
Felix raised his glass. "I’ll drink to that.”
It wasn’t rare for the sestras to almost separate from the rest of the clone club. They had only gotten together a few times without everyone else, so most of the time during big gatherings, they stuck to each other like magnets.
The going-away party was for both Cosima and Delphine, though the two of them hadn’t said many words to each other the whole night.
When Sarah wasn’t chatting with Art, who continuously shared his work with her while she offered insight, Cosima talked to Sarah. Usually with the addition of others, but sometimes alone.
“Delphine’s really startin’ to fit in," Sarah whispered near her ear as they stood along the wall, watching Adele and Donnie hurl over in laughter as they tried to tell the blonde a story that most definitely was about Alison and Felix.
Cosima tried to smile. She knew how much effort Sarah was putting into being nice to Delphine. Cosima knew Sarah was being this way for her. But it just didn’t sit right.
“Yeah, she is.”
Sarah snorted and muttered sarcastically, “You sound cheery ‘bout that.”
Cosima frowned. “I’m just afraid that we want different things now. I don’t know. But I am sure about one thing.”
The scientist pointed to Charlotte and Kira curled up on the couch, sleeping. She didn’t even have to say any words. Sarah just knew.
Felix had been giving her the stink eye again and she knew what that meant. She got it. She was spending all her time with Sarah. She knew what it looked like to him.
“You are a silly tit,” Felix told her in a harsh whisper when everyone else was out of earshot and Sarah was busy playing with AJ and DJ alongside Art. “Do you honestly think I don’t see you eyeing my sister all night long? What the bloody hell is wrong with you? You’re literally goin’ on vacation with Delphine for months. You can’t be doin’ this.”
“Stop,” He commanded and held his head high. “I just want the truth, Cosima. No excuses. No denial.”
Cosima sighed and nodded. She figured that she owed him that. “Things with Delphine are… odd right now. Like, we aren’t… on the same wavelength as we were before. So I’m spending more time with Sarah. And with Kira and Charlotte--”
“I understand,” Felix interrupted again, looking less tense and more sympathetic. “Kira’s told me about how happy she is that Charlotte is stayin’ with her. Bringing them together, it’s good. But I think… when you and Delphine find your groove again, you’ll just--”
“I won’t abandon her,” Cosima interrupted sternly this time. “I’m hoping… I hope this trip brings us back together, I do. But…” She trailed off, not able to say what she was thinking. But there is something between me and Sarah that is different, that feels almost better.
Felix stared at her, trying to grasp everything that Cosima wasn’t saying, trying to protect his big sister. “Do you love her?”
Do I? The words spiraled around her mind, bouncing on every thought, every neuron in her brain. Sarah consumed her, like a fire would, spreading through her body. Was this fire, love? She didn’t understand how she could love her like she loved Delphine. It felt different. New. Special.
“I don’t know,” Cosima whispered in an ashamed whisper. She hated being this uncertain. With Delphine, it was so simple when they first met. The attraction was so… real and obvious. She wanted to be with her, everything and everyone else be damned. Things with Sarah were so much more confusing and intense.
“We both know that’s not good enough, love. That’s not good enough for messin’ with Sarah’s head.”
Cosima glared at him. “Do you think I’m just making all of this up?”
Felix blinked, remaining almost uncomfortably emotionless. “No, but I do think that you’re confusing wanting to save her with wanting to love her.”
Cosima almost balked at him. “Excuse me?”
He sighed and tried to hold her hand, but she moved it away. “Darling, I’m not tryin’ to offend you. I’ve just noticed… you only pay attention to Sarah when she’s hurting the most. And when she’s okay, Delphine’s got all your attention again.”
“No, you’re wrong,” she said as she backed up away from him, not wanting to believe him, not wanting to ingest his words and really think them through. “Felix, don’t look at me like that.”
“What the dickens is going on here?” Alison asked as she approached the two, noticing that there was obvious tension between them.
“Nothing,” Cosima answered for the both of them before she walked away and headed for Delphine. She wrapped a hand around her waist and pulled her close. She wanted to know if it still felt good. If it still felt like home.
“Bonjour, mon amour,” Delphine greeted with a worried smile. “Comment allez-vous?”
“I’m fine,” Cosima answered with a swift motion of her hand like nothing was wrong. “Just wanted to hold you for a second.”
“Y’all are disgusting,” Adele joked with a toothy grin. “Just don’t start sucking faces in front of me. I’m not nearly drunk enough for that. Speaking of, hottie Scotty, can you get me another margarita? I’m too sober for this.”
Cosima pouted. “Same. But I promised Delphine here I wouldn’t be hungover on our flight. Or high.”
“It’s for your own good,” Delphine pointed out as she held her girlfriend’s hand and looked at her with the same adoration when they first met. All the tension suddenly subsided. “Long flights are exhausting enough.”
“What if like a clone sees you?” Adele asked the scientist with drunken curiosity.
“Delphine will be doing all the inoculations,” Cosima explained to the southern woman. “I’ll be her invisible assistant on this trip.”
“Ooh, you should count how many people flirt with Delphine!” Adele suggested like it was the smartest idea she had ever come up with. “See if it’s genetic.”
Cosima snorted and mentioned, “No one can really deny the magical hair. But you’re actually right, Adele. That would be interesting.” She wiggled her eyebrows at the blonde who shook her head, trying to not show the small smile forming from her lips.
Adele put her hands up and said, “Maybe I should have been a scientist.”
“There’s always time,” Delphine told her with a small shrug of her shoulders as Cosima tried to hide a chuckle. Delphine held up Cosima’s hand and kissed her knuckles. “Ma chérie, I think it’s time. We should start saying goodbye to everyone.”
Adele frowned. “Damn. I’ll miss y’all. Do lots of drugs for me.”
Cosima almost promised she would before Delphine interrupted by giving the woman a hug. Cosima whispered in Adele’s ear that she’d do as much as she could with her babysitter around, making the woman snort with laughter.
The couple made their way around the room.
“Meet in Ukraine?” Helena asked again as she said goodbye to Cosima.
“I would love that, Helena,” Cosima told her honestly as she opened her arms, knowing that it had to be Helena who would initiate the hug if that was what she wanted.
Helena squeezed her bones with her hug and whispered (loudly) in her ear, “Say goodbye to the babies. They might not be babies when you return.”
“I will,” Cosima promised and kissed her forehead like Sarah would. “I love you, Sestra.”
Helena’s eyes widened. “I love you too, Sestra Crazy-hairs.”
Alison was getting a little weepy. She had ordered Delphine to keep Cosima safe and then pulled the clone into her arms.
“Beth would be so happy,” Alison told her softly like it was almost a secret.
Cosima nodded and told Alison, “Beth would be happy for all of us. I know she’d be really proud of you. Thank you for all that you do, Alison. Look after Sarah and Charlotte for me, okay?”
“Of course, Cosima. And call when you can. I want to hear about all your adventures.” Alison pulled away from the scientist and stared at her. “We’ve come a long way.”
“You mean since the first time we met and you were tripping?” Cosima joked with a sly smile that made Alison hit her shoulder and then quickly retracted her hand as if she immediately regretted it.
“Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick! Don’t say that so loud!” Alison commanded with a slight blush that made Cosima laugh.
Scott was behind her and Cosima didn’t know what to say. How to thank him for putting a hold on his life so that she could keep on living. She clenched her jaw, she promised herself that she wasn’t going to cry.
“How can I repay you for everything you’ve done, Scotty?” Cosima finally asked him and pulled him into a hug.
He chuckled and told her, “You can start with never getting sick again and staying out of trouble. Oh, and doing all my work for school.”
Cosima laughed and patted his back. “Good luck with that, dude. Sure you still want to study Evo-Devo?”
Scott shrugged. “I don’t know. Might not want to risk having to be lab partners with you.”
“Ooh, ouch. That stings, Smith. I love you, dude. You know that. I’ll call you like all the time. Have fun when I’m gone. Party with Felix or something.”
Scott rolled his eyes and shooed her away with a grin on his face. He was definitely going to miss her as much as she was going to miss him.
“Oi, Cosima,” Felix called out from across the room. The lack of anger on his face made Cosima approach him, though she was worried she’d get another threat or tell off. But when she reached him, he just put his arms around her. “I’ll miss you, dreads.”
“Listen,” He told her when he pulled away and put both his hands on her shoulders, staring at her intensely. “I know your heart’s in the right place. I do. And I get how confusin’ your feelings must be. Give Delphine a chance. Try with her. And if you come back and you’re sure you love Sarah… you know what I’m sayin’.”
Cosima nodded. Felix was right about everything. What she had with Delphine a long time ago, they deserved the chance to try to be who they were at the beginning, find that love again. And she knew that she had to stop pulling Sarah’s heartstrings. It wasn’t fair to anyone. As much as she didn’t want to leave Sarah, she hoped that maybe it would be good. Maybe she’d come back just wanting to be friends.
“I hear you. And I love you, Felix.”
He smirked. “Don’t get all sappy on me, now. Say bye to everyone else. I don’t want my eyeliner to run.”
She hated to wake Charlotte who was nestled with Kira on the couch, but she had to say goodbye to both of them. She shook her awake and Charlotte’s eyes drooped. She seemed like she already knew what was coming.
“Charlotte, I gotta go,” Cosima told her and frowned, hoping that Charlotte wouldn’t be too upset with her.
“Yeah. I’ll call you first thing when I get off the plane. I’ll call you every day. And if you need me, get Sarah to call me. If you need me to come home, I will. You don’t even need a reason, alright? I’m always a couple of plane rides away.”
Charlotte’s eyes watered, but she didn’t cry. “Okay. Will you tell me about all the clones?”
Cosima grinned. “Every single one of them.”
Charlotte wrapped her small arms around Cosima’s neck. The scientist held the girl tightly. Part of her didn’t want to let go.
Kira had tears running down her cheeks. “I don’t want you to go, Auntie Cosima.”
“I know. But I’ll be back as soon as I can.” She hugged her niece and tried to hold back her tears. “Take care of your mom and Charlotte for me.”
“Come back to mum,” Kira whispered in her ear. “Please.”
Cosima wasn’t quite sure what she meant, but she nodded anyway.
Sarah. She was holding AJ until she saw Cosima approach her and she passed the baby to Art. She gave her a soft smile, something that had become less rare in the last few weeks. Cosima loved it.
“You headin’ off?” Sarah asked her and crossed her arms, looking a little guarded.
“Yep. Delphine wants us to get to the airport like hella early. She doesn’t trust my timing.”
Sarah snorted. “She’s smart. You show up to shit even later than me, and I didn’t think that was possible.”
“Genetics, am I right?”
Laughter fell out of the punk’s mouth. “I think Alison would be the first to argue with you there. So, you ready to travel the world and save some lives?”
Cosima nodded. “I think it’s time. And it’s all because of Rachel Duncan.”
“Bloody hell!” Sarah booed and shook her head. “You ruined the moment. Now I got the bleached arse Rachel taste in my mouth.”
Cosima rolled her eyes. “Okay, miss dramatic. Thank you for everything.”
Sarah furrowed her eyebrows. “You mean with Charlotte? You know I’m happy--”
“Not just that. You’re the one who convinced me to go on this trip. You’re the one who got us all here. No, don’t deny it. Beth would be so proud. Siobhan would be proud. We get to live now, okay? And that’s because of you.”
Sarah just stared at her until she said, “Do you remember when we first were alone at the bar together?” Cosima nodded. “I thought you were batshit crazy, Cos. Glad to know I was right about you.”
Cosima punched her on the shoulder. “You dork. C’mon, Manning. I’m serious. And hey, while I’m gone, get your GED and find something that you love doing, okay? For me?”
Sarah grinned. “Well, if you say so. Even if that means I become Alison’s personal hell creator?”
“If that’s what you really want to do with your little heart,” Cosima told her. “I’m going to miss you, Sar.” It was easier than saying, I love you, but I’m not sure in what way.
“Good thing there are planes. You can always come back home.”
Cosima nodded and let the realization stumble into her body and swim through her bones. Sarah was her home.
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you are thinking and check out my other new OB fic: "Let the Light In"!
Chapter 9: buy my own chain
Cosima deals with missing everyone (Sarah).
Canada was a big enough adjustment from always sunny California and bitter Minnesota, but this weather? Sometimes she felt her bones rattle in the cold. Delphine seemed to have no problem with the chill, which was good for Cosima. She got to use Delphine for body heat.
Other times, it was miserably hot. Burning. Dry heat, wet heat, just fucking heat. Even Delphine didn’t want to be near her then.
It had been two months since they first started giving the cures, two months of trying to fall back into the way they once were. Being alone made it feel like it was just the two of them against the world. It felt like they were on their honeymoon, every second was spent being together, trying to fall back into love with each other. It almost made Cosima want to forget about everything. Almost.
Cosima was torn between itching to be back in her own bed and being back with Charlotte, to wanting to stay, loving the travel and dreamlike romance that came along with it. As she promised, she had called Charlotte every day, telling her about her the places she had visited and all the clones they had inoculated. She never got to see them, at least not face to face, but she usually got to hear their voices or see them leave.
Charlotte kept her up to date with what was happening in the clone club. How the twins were growing, how Gemma, Oscar, and Alison came over to the house and vice versa, how they had started a Friday game and movie night. Cosima soaked it all in, tried to live it in her dreams. Because as much as she loved this fantasy she was living, there was a part of her in a state she couldn’t quite explain. The part of her that almost ached. The part of her that felt like it was grieving. The part of her that felt like all of this was… only temporary. Her happy, unproblematic relationship with Delphine just felt... fleeting.
Sometimes, she spoke to both Kira and Charlotte as they rambled to her about all types of trouble that they got into. When she would ask Sarah about it later, the punk would scoff and explain to Cosima that their so-called "trouble" was no way comparable to the trouble she got into when she was their age, so she could handle it.
“They do bloody experiments in the backyard,” Sarah would reassure her while chuckling (Cosima missed seeing the way Sarah’s mouth moved when she laughed). “When I was twelve, I was gettin' into fights with fifteen-year-old twats in the streets.”
It was a special occasion when Cosima got all the sestras on the phone. Helena, Alison, and Sarah would be laughing about something one of the kids did and Felix would try to reign them in, remind them Cosima was still on the phone and couldn’t possibly understand them with their rushed chatter and uncontrollable giggles.
“Cosima,” Delphine whispered into her skin like it was a secret. “It’s time for your call. Charlotte will almost be asleep right now at home.”
Delphine always remembered the time zone differences, which was good, since Cosima was late with everything anyways.
“Thank you,” Cosima replied and kissed her on the lips before she got up and dialed Sarah’s house number. When she got no answer, she called Sarah’s phone. It was rare to get no answer from either and it immediately put her on edge. So, despite Delphine’s reassurances that everything was probably fine, she called Alison.
“Cosima,” Alison answered in a tone that already made the scientist wonder if something was seriously wrong.
“Alison, do you know where Sarah is? She’s not picking up her phone.”
Alison paused before replying, “Charlotte and Kira are here if you want to speak with them.”
That definitely didn’t make her feel better. “Alison, where’s Sarah ?”
She heard the soccer mom sigh (and could imagine her facepalm). “Jiminy Cricket, she’s trying her hardest, Cosima. Lord knows she is. It’s Siobhan’s birthday.”
Cosima felt her heart drop. Now it all made sense. “Oh. God, is she okay?”
“She brought Kira and Charlotte over this morning,” Alison explained with what sounded like trepidation. “She didn’t know what she was going to do today to herself. I called Felix. He said that she was torturing herself with a drink in her hand when he found her. He said he got to her before she… fell apart, but… they’re both here. She’s sleeping right now. Kira and Charlotte don’t know.”
Sarah. Cosima held her head in her hand that wasn’t holding the phone. This wasn’t a surprise to her. She knew that she was getting better, but a reminder of Siobhan…
“Can I talk to her?”
Alison paused again. “Felix told me that she needs to be alone right now.”
Anger surged through Cosima’s body with sudden protectiveness of the other clone who was obviously struggling. “Alone or just not talking to me?”
“Look, I don’t know what’s going on with all of you!” Alison shouted in a high pitched tone that made Cosima hold the phone away from her ear. “Just give her a day, okay, Cosima? Felix knows best when it comes to Sarah.”
Cosima grumbled but didn’t argue with the woman. She knew it would be pointless with the soccer mom’s stubbornness and extreme loyalty to Felix.
“Fine. Can you put Charlotte and Kira on the phone?”
Everything was reminding her of Sarah. She could hear her accent everywhere they went, though, most of the accents were more posh than Sarah’s slight cockney. London’s streets were crawling with people that made her turn her head towards them. It was obviously never Sarah that she heard (she knew it wasn’t even possible), but Sarah was so much on her mind that she couldn’t stop thinking about her.
She wished that Sarah was with her, showing her around, pointing out the places where she grew up.
“Call her,” Delphine suggested and squeezed her hand supportively. “You were so worried about her yesterday. See if she’s ready to talk.”
Cosima knew she was right. Delphine kissed her hand and told her she was going to get coffee and give her some space.
Once again, she called Sarah’s house, but this time, the punk answered after only a few seconds.
"Oi, is that you, Cos?"
Cosima exhaled a breath that she had been holding in for an entire day. “Yeah, it’s me. How’re you doing?”
"Better. Alison said you called yesterday. Guess she was tryin’ to be all protective. Maybe she likes me or somethin’."
Cosima snorted, “Or something.” She knew it was Felix who had ordered Alison to keep Cosima away from her, though it appeared that Sarah didn’t know that. “I hate that I wasn’t there for you.”
"S’fine, Cos. Alison kept me straight. She understands."
That was true and something that the scientist forgot often. Cosima knew that addiction messed with the clones differently, but it was something that connected the punk and soccer mom, besides the fact that they were both mothers.
“Well, I for one am glad we have a soccer mom in our family to take care of us,” Cosima tried to say with some lightness to hide her concern and guilt.
"Yeah, well, she was really good about it. And of course Fee was there to drag my arse away from the bars. Alison made sure that Kira and Charlotte didn’t see me like that. I’d understand if you wanted me to take Charlotte over to Art’s or Alison’s or…”
For a second, Cosima didn’t understand what the punk was trying to say. And then it hit her square in the chest. “Oh. Sarah, no. God, no. Hey, I trust you, dude. Like, so much. You took them to Alison’s. We all have bad days, right?”
Sarah paused and Cosima could just hear her breathe. "I hate that I almost lost control. I miss her, Cos."
Cosima’s eyes watered. She wanted to be there for Sarah. Hold her until she felt alright again. She ached for her presence, her touch. London suddenly felt extremely lonely amidst the busy streets and blonde girlfriend in her bed.
“I know. I miss her too. The kids are at school today, right?”
"Yeah. It’s all silent here. Makes me wanna drink."
“Leave the twins with Donnie and take Alison, Felix, and Helena somewhere. Do something fun. Get out of your head for a while.”
"Yeah, you’re right. I’ll ask ‘em. Er… Cosima?"
Sarah breathed out. "I miss you, geek monkey."
Cosima felt the edges of her mouth turn upward and the tears gently fall out of her eyes. “I miss you, too, punk rock ho.”
She heard Sarah bark with laughter and the concern in the scientist subsided a little. "I told you with confidence that you wouldn’t repeat it!"
“Hey, I didn’t promise shit. You just assumed. By the way, are you sure you don’t want to come to Ukraine? We would love to have you.”
“Yeah, Helena’s excited. I wish, Cos. But can you imagine Alison with all the kids? All six of ‘em? She’d hold it over our heads for years because we know she’d be able to handle it. And besides, I got the new job startin’ up.”
“Wait, you got the job?”
Sarah chuckled and said, "Well, it was more Art who got me the job. But yeah, I’ll be helpin’ trainin’ people that go undercover. Accents, costumes, all the shit. Who knew they want different kinds of backgrounds for the job? 'Parently havin' a record and then havin' a detective say you're reformed really gets you places. Obviously I’m workin’ in a different department but…"
“That’s great, Sarah. Really.”
"I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you helpin’ and pushin’ me with the GED. So thank you."
“Yo, no need to thank me. You put in all the work. Besides, I’ll come to annoy you at work when I’m not in my own classes. Shit, I actually have to go. Oi, best be goin’ off to greet some new clones. I fink s’a good day to save lives, innit? Cheerio.”
Sarah wasn’t laughing. "If you come home with that bullshit accent I won’t hesitate to put a pencil in your eye too."
“Okay, bye now.”
Sometimes, Cosime really wanted to go home.
They decided fairly early on that Delphine would be doing the inoculations as Helena and Cosima traveled the country. Helena obviously didn’t like hanging around Delphine, giving her murderous looks and refusals to stand next to her for any amount of time. Cosima couldn’t remember Helena not liking Delphine back home but…
“My dress always had mud, the nuns would hit me, but I did not care,” Helena explained as they walked through the streets, standing out like sore thumbs. “It was not fun if there was no mud.”
“I was a mud kid too,” Cosima told the clone with a smile. “I always liked to dig in and find the worms. I definitely wasn’t like the most popular kid at school.”
Helena nodded. “Kids can be cruel, Sestra Cosima. One liked to pull my hairs. I broke his nose.”
Cosima snorted. “That sounds like something Sarah would have done.”
“Yes. Sarah understands the anger. We were angry that we were apart. Twins belong together.”
The scientist in her wanted to comment about how there were studies that showed that babies did suffer from separation anxiety and how that could lead to other problems, but she knew that Helena wasn’t talking about science. She was talking about their connection. Something that couldn’t be explained with any science.
Instead, she said, “Can you imagine Alison playing in the mud? She would have like completely freaked out or something.”
Helena let out a laugh that ended up with her snorting. “Sestra Alison likes it tidy. She would immediately wash her clothes and…” She trailed off and stared at the large church in front of them.
Cosima wanted to hold her hand, but she knew that the clone was still skittish about touch. It was obvious that there was something about the church that made Helena stare at it blankly. She wished she knew more about her past.
“You okay, Sestra?”
Helena nodded along with a grunt. “Tomas took me from here.” She began to start scratching her back until Cosima grabbed her hand and held it. She knew what Helena was trying to do.
“You are not what you did, Helena. He used you. We have all been used, but not anymore. No one owns us anymore. We are not property. You’re free.”
“Not from the sins and the killings. I will keep paying. This my curse.”
Cosima squeezed her hand. “Yeah, it’s never really over, is it? I still close my eyes and see Kendall dying. And Yannis.”
“Yes, the night terrors,” Helena nodded. “I dream mostly of Sarah. We tried to kill each other. But Sarah is survivor. Like you.”
“All of us are,” Cosima corrected her. “Most of us should be dead a million times over. But we keep going, right? So that we could have this. And so that the kids could have an easier life than us.”
“Yes, Donnie and Arthur will not live in convent. They have nice home in the Bailey Downs. They will not have to kill. They can sleep with sheep." Helena paused and added, "Charlotte is yours, yes?”
“Yeah,” Cosima told her with a small smile. “She’s mine. C’mon, Helena. Let’s get some food. How does that sound to you?”
Helena held her stomach. “The rumbles say yes.”
Cosima grinned and looped her arm around Helena’s as the scientist listened to the other clone ramble about the food that she used to eat as a child.
“I’ll be home soon, Sestra,” Cosima promised the clone at the security checkpoint of the airport. “Give everyone hugs from me.”
“Should I kiss Sarah?” Helena asked her with a confused and childlike look.
Cosima’s eyes widened. “Uh, no. I mean, what?”
“Would you not kiss Sarah?” Helena asked her, looking almost offended. She leaned over and asked, “Because of blonde hairs?”
Cosima felt the blush creep up on her cheeks. She wouldn’t have thought Sarah would tell her about their kissing.
“Helena, Sarah and I aren’t together.”
“This I know. Because of blonde hairs. Sarah says I imagine this. But her face says something different. Sarah told me to not talk. Sestra, Sarah is more funny than blonde hairs.”
Cosima frowned. “It’s a little more complicated than who’s funnier, Helena. Look, you can’t miss your flight. Maybe we can talk about this more when I come home. Okay?”
“Yes, Sestra Cosima. Much talking.”
They hugged briefly before Helena started walking away. Cosima watched her go, feeling her heart sink a little. She already missed her. Just as much as she missed everyone else.
“Bonjour,” Delphine greeted and wrapped her arms around the scientist. “Is everything okay?”
Cosima nodded, though her heart disagreed. “Yeah. Yeah. I miss them all, you know?”
“Your heart is very big, Cosima. Not too much longer. And then we’ll be home.”
Thank you so much for reading! Please leave a comment and let me know whatcha think!
Chapter 10: uncomfortable
Cosima comes home to find that a lot has changed.
If you're enjoying this, please check out my other punky monkey fic "let the light in"!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Where do you want to go first?” Delphine asked her as they got off the plane, their bodies and minds strained from the jetlag. “Or do you want to just go home and take a quick nap?”
Cosima shook her head. She didn’t care how tired and gross she felt. She was home. Finally. And she was going to see Sarah and Charlotte and Kira as soon as she could.
“I’ll take our luggage home,” Delphine told her after Cosima had expressed that she needed to see Charlotte (and casually left out wanting to be back in Sarah’s arms again). “We can meet at Alison’s for the party.”
“Sounds good,” Cosima agreed and sighed, staring at the hustling of people in the overcrowded airport in a daze. “Isn’t it crazy? Last time we were here, more than 200 clones were dying and they didn’t know it.”
Delphine hummed. “It is not so crazy, ma chérie. You saved them all.”
Siobhan’s (now Sarah’s) house looked the same. Cosima breathed it in. Home. She had missed it for so long that coming home felt like a dream. She was almost shaking with excitement. This was what she waited for.
She knocked on the door and felt her lungs almost collapse when it opened. Tall. Beard. Lumberjack clothes. Cal Morrison.
“Hey,” He greeted with a soft smile and ran his fingers through his long hair. “Cosima, right? I don’t know if you remember me--”
“Cal,” Cosima interrupted, trying hard to not sound disappointed. “Yeah, we met once.”
He opened the door wider and said, “Come inside! You must be exhausted. Sarah said you were flying in today, right?”
“Yep,” Cosima mentioned almost emotionlessly as she entered the house and looked around, hoping that nothing else had changed when she was gone. “Where’s Sarah and the kids?”
“They’re outside. I came in to get some lemonade. They will all be so excited to see you. They have talked about nothing else since I’ve been here.”
Cosima crossed her arms, feeling like she was on the offense. “You’re back in town?”
“I’m just staying at a hotel for now. Been here for about a week. I’m hoping that Sarah wants me around enough to stay.” He stopped walking before he reached the back door. “Stay back for a sec.” He opened the door and walked onto the deck. “Hey girls? I think someone here wants to say hi.”
After he popped his head back inside and beckoned for her to come, Cosima walked outside and all she heard were screams. Sarah, Charlotte, and Kira bombarded her with hugs and all the misery about Cal soon washed away. She was in the arms of people that she loved. Home.
“Cos! I thought we were going to meet you at Alison’s!” Sarah shouted in her ear as she held her close. Sarah smelled the same, of Old Spice and smoke. The punk had once told her that no matter how much she washed her clothes, the scents of her past could never get clean. Cosima was thankful for that.
Trying to gain her bearings again after letting go of the clone, Cosima said, “Yeah, I know! I just wanted to surprise you guys. Besides, I couldn’t stand being away for another second. I missed you all so much.”
Sarah grinned at her cheekily. “Oi, sappy, we missed you too. Let’s go inside, yeah? I have months of pictures to show you. Even though in half of them Felix photo-bombed.”
Cosima smiled back at her. “Helena does the same thing.”
With every picture, there was a story. Despite talking on the phone every day, there was more that she hadn’t heard. She soaked up every anecdote with a smile. She knew this was what they had fought so hard for.
She was happy that Cal refrained from inserting himself into the conversation. He sat on a chair near them, but he let the women talk and just listened.
“You missed the hottest months out of the year,” Sarah reminded her. “It was like hell on Earth, Cos.”
“And the air conditioning went out,” Kira added, grinning as she and Charlotte both held onto Cosima’s arms, smushing her on the couch. “Mum made us all sleep in the living room to stay cool.”
“She refused to take us to Alison’s or Felix’s,” Charlotte informed the scientist coyly. “But she was fine with buying a million little fans.”
“Oi, be grateful I did that, you little urchins,” Sarah joked in a tone that made Cosima smile. “I got it fixed, didn’t I?”
“I’m sure you did,” Cosima told her with a raised eyebrow.
Sarah facepalmed. “Not you too, Cos. They’ve been on my case for weeks while you’ve been out travelin’ and doin’ things children can’t listen to. I think I deserve a little bit of support.”
Cosima snorted. “Hey, I think you’re the lucky one, Sar. You got to hang with the two coolest people in the world.”
Sarah looked from Kira to Charlotte and nodded. “Yeah, maybe. Definitely less trouble than me and Fee.”
“They’re still less trouble than you,” Cal stated with a dorky and arguably charming smile. Cosima could see why Sarah was… or had been interested in him. "And they laugh at my dad jokes, so…”
“They just feel bad for you,” Sarah disagreed with the shake of her head. Cosima could see she was trying her hardest not to smile. “It’s embarrassin’, it really is. I feel sorry for you, Cal.”
He put his hands up in the air. “You’re the fun mom, Sarah. You’re still cool. I’m not your competition.”
“Yeah, ‘cause I’m the clear winner. C’mon, monkeys. Go get changed. We’re already gonna be late to Auntie Alison’s.”
Kira and Charlotte ran to the stairs and Cosima could hear them giggling all the way to their room. It made Cosima’s heart leap with joy. She missed the two of them more than she had even thought.
“You would think there were elephants in the house,” Cal said and shook his head. “Well, I should head out. It was really nice to see you again, Cosima.”
Cosima tried to put on a smile, but couldn’t find it. She didn’t know why. She liked Cal. Compared to Vic or Paul, he was a great guy. But there was something about him that made her cringe when thinking about his hands being all over Sarah.
“Yeah, you too.”
“I’ll walk you out,” Sarah told him and grabbed his arm as they walked toward the front door.
Cosima didn’t know what compelled her to do it, but she quietly followed them, to try to hear what they were saying. She wanted to know if they were a couple or on their way to being a couple.
“Thanks for coming, Cal. Kira… she’s happy you’re here,” Sarah said to him as she stood at the door frame. Cosima tried to depict whether or not Sarah’s looks of adoration toward him were romantic or not.
He sighed, “And you? Are you happy I’m here?”
“I told you I didn’t know,” Sarah muttered in response. “I’ve got a lot to think about, yeah? I’m happy you’re in Kira’s life, but you still left.”
“You know why I left. You didn’t want me around, Sarah. I left because you wanted me to.”
Sarah groaned. “Yeah, well, people tended to die when they were in the clone club. People I cared about. I’m not goin’ to apologize for you still bein’ alive, Cal. But you still chose to leave.”
“I thought things would be different when it was all over,” Cal confessed to her desperately. “I thought it could be you and me and Kira. But that won’t happen, will it?”
“I have a family, Cal. It’s more than just us, now.”
“I wasn’t talking about your family, Sarah. Look, it doesn’t matter. I want this, okay? I’m putting it out there so you know where I’m at. I want you, I want Kira. Hell, I’ll take the whole clone club. I want to go all in. You just let me know if that’s what you want too.”
Cosima ran back to the living room before the door even closed. She pretended to be looking at the photo album when Sarah approached her, looking unmistakably teary-eyed.
“You okay, Sar?”
Sarah was looking far away and asked, “Do you think we could ever be with normal people? I mean, you and Delphine. Does it work? With all we’ve done?”
Cosima wasn’t quite sure what Sarah was talking about, but she didn’t get a chance to ask when the girls ran downstairs and said they were ready to go. Sarah offered them all a smile and told them to get into the car. Alison was waiting for them.
Alison’s body was cold. Freezing, really. Hugging her felt like hugging a stone and while she was glad to be back in the soccer mom’s arms, it was nothing like Sarah’s body. Her warmth. Her fire.
“Honestly, Cosima, I thought you would be coming back with a nice tan.”
Cosima narrowed her eyes at her sisterly figure. “Alison, we burn.”
Alison waved her hands up in the air and said, “Lord knows I’m still not used to this clone business. Well then. I hope you packed a lot of sunscreen.”
Delphine surprised Cosima by putting her hand around her waist and said, “There was not a lot of sightseeing. We were mostly running from place to place.”
Cosima nodded in agreement. “Yeah, we actually spent the most time in Ukraine with Helena.”
“Yes, Sestra Cosima was many places where I lived,” Helena stated as she walked toward the small group of people while holding two babies that were much bigger than the last time Cosima saw them.
Delphine gasped and immediately reached out for AJ and Cosima didn’t even shudder when Helena placed DJ in her arms. DJ aimed for Cosima’s hair and he pulled it, watching intensely. Cosima smiled at him. She didn’t like babies, but she loved Helena’s.
“Oh my god,” a voice called from the back door of the house. “Is that the world travelers I see, Adele?”
“I could be drunk, honey, but I see ‘em clear as day,” Adele replied and hiccuped.
Felix raced inside to greet his friends. Cosima gladly passed DJ back to Helena and hugged the man. Despite all their recent issues, she was happy to see him. She just hoped that they could get back to being who they were together now that she and Delphine were…
“Anytime we went shopping,” Delphine told Felix, “Cosima would point out something that you would like.”
“If we were rich and weren’t traveling light, you would have a full wardrobe,” Cosima added with a grin.
“Well, I’m touched you thought of me. I was practically twiddlin’ my thumbs with you two gone. I missed all the lesbian drama.”
Cosima rolled her eyes. “I know from what Sarah told me you were not twiddling your thumbs. Heard you were featured in a freaking magazine. Dude. That’s so awesome.
Felix winked at her. “I’m tryin’ to stay humble. It’s an art I’m tryin’ to learn from dear old Alison. Did you know she got the lead in Bailey Down’s Wicked?”
Cosima snorted. Every single time they chatted on the phone, Alison wouldn’t stop talking about it. Alison called it ‘her breakout role’ that would be seen literally by hundreds.
Alison swatted his arm. “Don’t be rude, Felix. At least I don’t flaunt the fact that I am getting noticed by other theater groups. Unlike somebody who will not zip it about all the galleries their artwork is in.”
“Oi!” Sarah shouted before Felix had a chance to fight back. “You both are moronic twats. The end.”
“Okay, what did we just walk into?” Scott said with a raised eyebrow as he and Hell Wizard entered Alison’s basement with drinks in their hands and confused looks on their faces.
“Dawkins and Hendrix were just debating who was more humble,” Art announced to the newcomers and took a swig of beer. “So, the usual.”
Scott barely heard what came out of the detective’s mouth. He saw Cosima and froze. He knew she was coming, but it still hadn’t seemed real until now. He put the drinks down and hugged his best friend.
“Yo, Scotty. How are you?”
Scott sighed. “I’m good, Cosima. You’re looking good. How do you feel?”
“Healthy,” Cosima answered as they pulled away. “Despite all the airport food we have eaten over the last two months. My stomach is now literally indestructible.”
“That’s good, Ali made a lot of food,” Donnie told her, receiving a glare from his wife.
“I got excited, Donnie. Lord knows those two haven’t had a good meal in months. Besides, I like to cook.”
Sarah added, “She still doesn’t like it when others cook, though.”
Alison pursed her lips. “I will not apologize for not wanting anyone’s houses to burn down. None of you are notoriously good cooks. Except Delphine.”
“Oi, I can make a mean omelet,” Felix argued with his arms crossed.
“Anyone can make an omelet. But fine. If you all really want to cook more, be my guest. That’s less work for me.”
She waited for a reply, knowing that no one would take her up on her offer, proving her point. She humphed with satisfaction and returned upstairs to the kitchen, announcing that people should join her in five minutes.
“Sestra Alison does make the good food,” Helena commented as she stared at her son in her arms. “But Ukrainian food was a disaster.”
“What happened to it?” Cosima asked her with curiosity.
Helena shrugged. “She made it taste good.”
Cosima laughed and felt it rattle her body. She couldn’t be happier to be home.
Cosima filled herself with Alison’s food, not necessarily because she was that hungry, but because she received a glare from the clone when she tried to stop and swore she caught the woman putting more food on her plate when she went to the bathroom.
“You know you can die from overeating,” Sarah pointed out with a devilish grin as she watched Cosima continue to eat when everyone else was done.
Alison rolled her eyes. “Just because you saw it in a movie, Sarah, doesn’t mean it can happen in real life.”
“First of all, we’re clones, Alison. Literally a science fiction movie. And second, it’s Se7en. Why would Brad Pitt steer me wrong?”
Alison turned to Cosima and informed her, “Sarah picked it for one of our movies. She’s on a David Fincher kick.”
Cosima furrowed her eyebrows and Sarah explained, “He’s one of my favorite directors. Fight Club, Panic Room, Zodiac, Gone Girl. Classics. Alison’s just upset that my movies get more votes than her British soaps.”
“I liked the ‘Small Women,’ Sestra Alison,” Helena said and patted the woman comfortingly on the shoulder.
Alison clapped. “See? She liked Little Women."
“You mean the one where the main character is obviously lesbian and she has to marry a man in the end?” Cosima asked the soccer mom, knowing it would get on her nerves.
Alison clenched her fists. “Not everything is gay, Cosima.”
“I dunno,” Sarah butted in with a shrug. “I think Cos got a point.”
“You think that because you’re--” Alison stopped, not wanting to say what was really on her mind.
Sarah grinned at her, enjoying every second of the soccer mom’s torture. “Yes, Alison? What am I?”
“Oh for pete’s sake,” Alison murmured, flustered. “You should all leave. The kids have school tomorrow anyway.”
“Oh, shite,” Sarah said and looked at Cosima with a sudden seriousness. “We forgot to bring Charlotte’s bags.”
“Stay at Sarah’s,” Delphine suggested to Cosima with a small smile that looked forced. “You should be together tonight. You and Charlotte.”
Cosima kissed her girlfriend appreciatively. Delphine’s understanding was vast and the scientist couldn’t have been more thankful. This was what she needed. A night with the people that she had missed most of all.
Charlotte and Kira tried to stay up with Cosima and Sarah, but by 3:00 am, they were both asleep on the floor, snoring. Cosima and Sarah wrapped them up with blankets and headed off to Sarah’s room wordlessly like it was something they did every night. Sarah tossed the scientist some of her own clothes followed by stripping in a corner and putting her clothes on (an oversized Queen t-shirt and boxers).
Cosima stared at the booty shorts and The Iguanas t-shirt. They smelled like Sarah. She put the clothes on and crawled into bed with the other clone, not really knowing what to do or say. They had slept in the same bed multiple times, but this? She didn’t know why it felt so different.
After what seemed like minutes of the both of them staring at the ceiling, listening to each other breathing, Sarah whispered, “You and Delphine seem to be doin’ good.”
Cosima felt a golf ball in her throat. This is why it felt so weird. Delphine. “Yeah. She’s amazing. And Cal? He’s back.”
“Yeah,” Sarah replied with just as little emotion as Cosima did. “Now that everythin’s over, he wants to be a family.”
“And what do you want?” Cosima asked her with sincerity and curiosity.
In the darkness, the scientist could see the punk cover her face with her hands. “I want Kira to have a dad.”
“Yeah, sure, but what do you want, Sarah Manning?”
Sarah paused and rolled over, facing away from the scientist. “It doesn’t matter what I want.”
Cosima frowned. That didn’t sound like the happy Manning that she had noticed all night. This sounded somber, negative.
“Of course it does, Sar. We’re free, remember? We can love who we want to love.”
“Well, that’s the problem, innit? What I feel for Cal doesn’t even compare to how I feel for you, Cos.”
It felt like that immediate leveling off on a roller coaster, after that big dip that made everyone scream. The calm, the end, the moment organs fall back into place. Cosima’s breath hitched. Sarah put it out there, uncovered what they had hidden for months (maybe even years), and voiced what drew them together. It terrified Cosima. But it also enthralled her.
“Shite,” Sarah murmured and got up from the bed. Even in the dark, Cosima could see her shaking. “Shite, I’m just gonna—I shouldn’t have said that, Cosima. Fuck. I’m just gonna go, yeah?”
Cosima grabbed her hand and pulled her back to the bed. “Stop, don’t apologize for how you feel, Sar. Never to me. No matter what happens.”
They were both kneeling on the bed, facing each other, but Sarah was avoiding Cosima’s eyes, looking down at the ratty blanket she had since childhood.
“Sarah, look at me.” Cosima lifted Sarah’s head with her hands and looked into the punk’s sunken eyes, worn from years of pain and wear.
“You don’t feel the same way,” Sarah mumbled softly, with shame and lips quivering. “S’fine, Cos. Really. I know you love Delphine. M’not tellin’ you to stop. She’s your soulmate and shit. I don’t wanna get in the way.”
Cosima cupped both of Sarah’s cheeks and watched with agony as tears flooded her eyes. This wasn’t the kind of conversation she was thinking she was going to have the night she came home. At least not for a little while.
And she hated the situation they were in. Delphine. They were mathematical perfection. Not that things were always perfect, but they fit . It was logical. Like they were the solution to a formula. There was a past of love, heartache, intrigue. Romeo and Juliet kind of love that usually ended with someone’s death if this was a story. And honestly… Cosima knew she chose Delphine the second she got on the plane.
And part of her still regretted it.
Cosima opened her mouth to explain, but Sarah already knew.
“You don’t have to say it. It doesn’t matter. I’ll be here no matter what.” Sarah smiled and kissed Cosima’s forehead. “C’mon, geek monkey. Go to sleep.”
The punk got up from the bed and Cosima asked desperately, “Where are you going?”
“The couch. I’ll see you in the mornin’, yeah?”
Cosima wanted to tell her to stay, but Sarah’s eyes begged for space. She wanted to be alone. So Cosima just nodded.
The scientist woke up from a restless night’s sleep to the sound of pots and pans coming from the kitchen. Cosima wondered if Alison was over. She knew that everyone was supposed to come over later for Friday movie night, but…
She was wrong. She found Kira, Charlotte, and Sarah at the kitchen table watching Cal try to flip pancakes with what he deemed as skill. He looked up at her and Cosima could see him glance at her from top to bottom, in Sarah’s clothes.
“Cosima!” Charlotte cheered as she saw the dreaded woman join them in the kitchen.
“Hey, Cosima,” She heard Cal say to her in a tone she didn’t recognize, not that anyone else noticed. “Want some pancakes?”
Sarah leaned over, not looking directly in Cosima’s eyes, and said, “Don’t tell him I said this, but they’re actually good.”
The girls giggled and Cosima felt herself twinge. She wasn’t the best cook, but she wished she was the one making them breakfast, making them smile and laugh.
“Yeah, that’d be great,” Cosima told him devoid of any emotion.
“Awesome,” Cal replied happily. “Coming right up. You girls ready for school today?”
Kira and Charlotte nodded and began a conversation about their upcoming field trip to the zoo that they were excited about.
“They say this when I’ve taken ‘em to the zoo three times in the last two months,” Sarah mentioned and grinned at Cal. “And you still want to chaperone?”
He nodded. “You’ll be working so yeah! Besides, I didn’t just study engineering and computer science, Sarah.”
She rolled her eyes playfully. “Yeah, yeah, smart twat. We know, Mr. Triple Major. We get it. Wish I could get time off, but it’s right before--”
“Yeah,” Cal said, already knowing exactly what she was talking about. “It’s okay. I really have a handle on things. And besides, you like your job.”
Sarah shrugged. “I get to wear whatever I want to wear and say whatever I think. But I also got to try to get egomaniacs, who only are doin' undercover work to boost their resumes, to not die in the field.”
“Art says you’re doing great,” Cal told her as he flipped pancakes onto a plate and brought it to the table.
“Well, I’ve only been asked if I’m related to Beth Childs twice so I count that as a win.”
Cosima raised her eyebrows. “What do you say to people who ask that?”
“I tell ‘em that I get that all the time and then ask who she is. No one actually wants to talk about her, so it works. It means when Alison takes me out to lunch, though, we have to be that much more careful.”
Cosima smiled softly. She liked the idea of Alison and Sarah eating lunch together like best friends. Or siblings.
The scientist turned to Charlotte and said, “Delphine and I are going to go apartment hunting. Do you want to come with?”
Charlotte immediately blushed and looked from Kira to her plate like she was hiding something. “Maybe.”
The scientist was confused. She thought that would excite Charlotte. But as she looked around at the blank faces around the table, she realized what she was missing. Charlotte didn’t want to leave.
Cosima bit her lip. She could imagine why Charlotte was so torn. This house was loving and warm. Delphine’s apartment was cold and… Cosima understood why the girl would want to stay. If Cosima could choose, she would also… she shook that destructive thought out of her head.
“How about this. Why don’t you stay with Sarah, if that’s okay with her, until we find a place where you can move into?”
Charlotte brightened up already along with everyone else. It was the right move, but a worrisome one. She wondered if Charlotte never wanted to come back with her. She tried to not let it hurt, but it was hard. She felt like time had moved on without her. And with Charlotte and Sarah both avoiding her eyes, she felt like she didn’t belong.
“I have to go see Delphine,” Cosima announced so that she could leave the house and breathe again. “We will definitely see you guys for movie night. I’ll see you all soon.”
She ran out of the house as fast as she could.
Delphine was deep into apartment findings online when Cosima entered their apartment. She looked up at the brunette and smiled, showing the scientist the dimples that were always so kissable. Cosima thought about curling up on the small couch next to her, but she decided against it. She didn’t feel good. Something felt wrong. It was as if the time she spent away took something out of her that she wanted back.
“How are they doing, ma chérie?”
Cosima felt the ball in her throat grow. How were they? Kira and her love for Cal, Charlotte and her desire to stay with Sarah instead, and Sarah who finally decided to give up on her and probably move on to Cal. She didn’t want to talk about them. Or think about them. She thought that she ruined things. Things felt like they were ending.
“They’re doing good,” Cosima told her without any of her heart in it. “Sarah likes her job and Charlotte is going to stay with them until we find an apartment.”
Delphine nodded and patted the cushion next to her, telling the brunette to sit down next to her. Cosima gulped, trying to swallow the ball in her throat. She joined the woman on the couch but kept space in between them. She was afraid to get too close. She was afraid Delphine would smell Sarah on her, feel Sarah on her, sense that all her thoughts were on Sarah.
She wanted to bang her head against the wall. She thought the traveling had forced her to fall deeper in love with Delphine and out of whatever she felt for Sarah, but the second she returned, so did all of her unresolved feelings. But then again, maybe they were always there, but in the crevices of her mind.
“What’s wrong, Cosima?”
The scientist didn’t know what to say. Nothing should have been wrong. They cured all of the clones, they were free from any ownership, and she had Delphine. She shouldn’t have wanted anything more. But…
“I don’t know. Really, I’m so sorry. I feel like such a freaking idiot, Delphine.”
The blonde stared at her, eyes searching for answers that hadn’t been voiced by the scientist. “Do you regret going on the trip--”
“No,” Cosima told her, not knowing if it was the truth. “No. I just… I don’t know what’s wrong. But it has nothing to do with you. I guess I feel unsettled, you know.”
Delphine nodded, but she didn’t look reassured at all. “Sarah felt the same way a while ago. Maybe you should talk to her about how you’re feeling. Maybe she could help.”
Cosima frowned. That was probably the worst idea, without Delphine knowing it. She nodded anyway. She couldn’t tell Delphine that talking to Sarah felt like a weight on her chest.
“I love you, Cosima,” Delphine added and took Cosima’s arm. “I know that something has been on your mind for a while. I hope you can one day tell me, but I love you.”
Cosima sighed and felt her heart break a little.
“I love you, too.” She hoped that she was still telling the truth.
Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Chapter 11: all you ever wanted
Cosima tries to deal with her growing feelings for one Sarah Manning.
People were piled on top of each other. On the couches, on the floor, on the chair. Cosima smirked with the hilarious realization that people didn’t seem to care about personal space anymore. Sarah was sitting on the couch with Helena streamed across her lap and Felix pressed against one thigh as the punk dropped popcorn into Cal’s mouth, who was sitting comfortably close with Donnie, who had Alison on his lap. Adele and Art were on the floor with the kids hopped on top of them. Cosima and Delphine shared the small chair. Cosima wanted to watch the movie (Poltergeist), but she couldn’t help but stare at Sarah’s grin when the popcorn missed Cal’s mouth and fell down his shirt.
“Hey, Charlotte,” Cal whispered to the young girl who was sitting in front of his feet. “A whole bunch of popcorn is coming your way. Sarah’s aim is getting worse. Feel free to have as much as you want.”
Without thinking, Cosima snapped, “Charlotte doesn’t like popcorn. Not that you’d know that. You weren’t around until what? Last week?”
Cosima watched as every head turned towards her. The ball in her throat grew even more. That was apparently the wrong thing to say.
“Actually,” Charlotte began slowly, like she was uncomfortable. “I do like popcorn now. Especially when Cal or Sarah makes it. Extra butter, right, Cal?”
“Right, kiddo,” Cal said softly, like he wished that he didn’t have to answer.
“Oh,” Cosima breathed out and turned toward the television screen. She tried to keep her rage inside. Her rage that surrounded Cal Morrison. Her rage surrounding the fact that everyone seemed to like him.
She grabbed a beer from the fridge. And later on, got another. And another. And another.
She was cold towards him. She didn’t know how not to be. It was childish, she knew that in the back of her mind. But the voice in her head was saying different things than what came out of her mouth. She couldn’t help but point out to him the fact that he left Sarah and Kira. That he didn’t have a job. That he didn’t understand the clone club (what they went through) and never would. One jab after the next after the next. She received glares and groans from almost everybody and confused snickers from Donnie and Adele, but there was no stopping her.
When she went to the bathroom during an intense game of Uno, she was almost attacked by Felix. He pushed her into the bathroom and locked the door behind him.
“Do you have any idea what you’re doin’, Cosima?” He asked her, his face near hers almost aggressively. “I can smell the beer on you. How much have you drank?”
Cosima rolled her eyes. She only had a few beers. She couldn’t quite remember the number, but nothing too crazy. “Not this again. What, Fee, are you going to yell at me some more? I haven’t done anything.”
“Haven’t done anything? Do you know you’ve been yelling at Cal all night long?”
Cosima shrugged and murmured, “I just don’t like him that much.”
“Why?” Felix asked her angrily as he placed his hands on his hips. “Why, Cosima? Could it possibly be because he’s a good bloke who wants to be with Sarah? A good bloke who happens to be Kira’s father? A good bloke who isn’t dating someone else?”
Cosima felt a wave of dizziness and sat down on the rim of the bathtub. “Because… because he d-doesn’t know her like I do. He left her, Felix.”
Felix shook his head. “That’s not what happened, mate. I mean, yeah, he left. But Sarah… She pushed him, y’know? She was afraid he’d get hurt and… God, darling. None of this has to do with you. Cal is a good man. Do you know what other bastards she has been with? Drug addicts and abusers. Cal… he’s good for her. He won’t hurt her.”
Cosima held her head in her hands. She heard Felix’s words, but there was a numbness to it. Like his voice was a distant echo.
“I’m in agony, Felix.”
He rolled his eyes and sat down next to her. He put his arm around her and pulled her close to him. “You’re jealous, Cosima. And drunk. God, you’re acting like me.”
She pressed her face into his almost fuzzy sweater and groaned. “This is totally not like me. I hate doing this. Felix, what’s wrong with me?”
He tutted and shook his head. “You have feelings for my sister. That’s the problem, love.”
“I’m sorry,” Cosima whispered and wrapped her arms around him. “I’m sorry about all of it. And I hate that I’m just pissing you off.”
“It’s nothing against you,” Felix promised her and pat her shoulder. “If it was anyone else but her I’d be cheering you and the drama on. I’m just protective of Sarah. You know I love you both.”
Cosima sighed. “I know.” She just wished that someone was on her side.
The night air smacked her face, giving her a break from the heat in her body and cheeks. She opened her mouth to let in the cool air. She felt too crowded in there. There were too many feelings inside that overwhelmed her.
“Oi!” Sarah shouted as she slammed the front door and faced the scientist. “What the bloody hell was goin’ on in there?”
It was always Sarah, after all.
“Do you think s’funny yellin’ at Cal?” Cosima watched as Sarah’s mouth moved quickly, differently than her own. She watched her lips. Those lips. Sarah’s lips. “You enjoyin’ yourself? Jesus, Cos. Are you drunk? What’s wrong?”
“What’s wrong?” Cosima asked her and laughed, the alcohol soaking in her skin, masking everything she was doing, everything that she was feeling, everything that she was about to say. “What’s wrong is… Cal.”
Cosima took a step forward and pressed Sarah against the railing of the stairs. Her body was against hers and she could feel Sarah’s beating heart, her hitched breathing, her shaking bones.
She breathed in Sarah’s fire and enclosed it with a kiss. The punk flinched for a moment at the initial burn, but then… the warmth invited her in. Closer, deeper. Sarah’s mouth opened slightly, allowing Cosima’s tongue to enter her mouth, allowing exploration.
Cosima wanted to explore with her hands. Her fingers. The sensation of Sarah’s skin against hers. She ached for it. Needed it. For that brief moment, Sarah’s body was the only thing that mattered.
They barely registered the sound of a door opening until they heard a squeak. Alison. Her hands were almost held up in surrender, her face painted with sheer shock. She looked like she was acting, but they knew her well enough that her dramatics were real.
Cosima opened her mouth to explain, but she was too late. Alison had already entered the house again.
The scientist returned her attention back to the punk, whose face looked paler than a ghost. She was looking down at the ground, unable to look at Cosima.
“He loves me,” The woman with a lion’s mane whispered as if it was almost a confession. “He’s Kira’s dad. And he loves me.”
“Delphine loves you. You love her. You guys make crazy science together. This was just a mistake. Right? Please tell me this was a mistake.”
“Jesus bloody Christ, Cos. Why can’t you just let me push you away?”
Sarah shoved Cosima away from her and opened the door, leaving the dark cool air to enrapture the scientist. She watched with terror, hoping the warmth would return. But the punk didn’t look back.
Delphine was quiet at Sarah’s house, on the way home, back at the apartment. Cosima wondered if the blonde knew. If she knew that Cosima had forced her lips onto Sarah’s out of not just curiosity, but burning desire. If she knew that her feelings for the French woman were diminishing and changing, even if a love for her was still there.
Delphine didn’t touch Cosima in their bed. She didn’t nuzzle up close to her, press her head against Cosima’s chest, and hold on tight like she normally did. She didn’t whisper to her about all the romantic things that she would do for her. All the dirty things she would do to her.
Like Sarah the night before, the blonde stared at the ceiling, looking disconnected from the rest of the world. From Cosima.
And Cosima knew she deserved it. The cold shoulder, the silence, the feeling of an empty bed. She knew she was the cause. The reason. She was the one who insulted Cal all night and kissed Sarah. She was the one tearing them apart. She was the one destroying all the good they had for something…
“Was it Sarah all along?” Delphine interrupted, her face and body remaining emotionless as she laid there as if she was pretending like she wasn’t saying the few words that would change everything. “Do you have feelings for her?”
“Yeah. I do.” Telling the truth felt like repenting. She felt the tears begin to stream down her face. She had no idea they were there in the first place. “But it’s not like I don’t love you, Delphine. Because I do.”
Delphine remained silent for a few seconds like she was analyzing everything. Finally, she whispered, “People fall in love with multiple people all the time. It is not unusual.”
Cosima knew that Delphine was trying. To understand, to accept it. To find reason in what Cosima was feeling when there was no reason at all.
Cosima felt almost frustrated. Part of her wanted Delphine to be angry. To punish her. To end things before they got more complicated.
“But that isn’t fair to you or what we have.”
Delphine just blinked in the dark. “Do you want to be with her?"
Did she? Cosima’s head hurt. She kissed Sarah. She felt something for Sarah. She wanted to touch her, hold her, burn together. But be with her like she was with Delphine?
“I don’t know,” Cosima told her honestly.
Delphine didn't have anything else to say.
It was too much to think about. Cosima rolled over to the edge of the bed and tried to think of something else. Anything else. She just wanted to fall into the clouds of nothingness for a few hours. She just wanted some peace.
When Cosima woke up, she felt the other side of the bed but found nothing. Delphine had left a note. She was going to go job hunting. While Cosima was starting school, Delphine was going to try to start working. Delphine hadn’t told her about wanting to go job hunting the previous day, but Cosima wasn’t surprised that the blonde had to get away.
She went back and forth about texting Sarah. On the one hand, she wanted to forget about her feelings for Sarah. She wanted to just love Delphine. She wanted to pretend like they were back on their trip, just them two against the world. She wanted to try to love her as she did a long time ago. On the other hand, Sarah.
Cosima decided that maybe she was the ocean. Always reaching out for the scorching sand without explanation. The tide comes in and out and there’s no stopping it. Right now she felt like a hurricane.
She texted the punk with something casual. She asked how she was doing. She made breakfast and hoped that either Sarah was still asleep or still at work (she didn’t know if Sarah worked on Saturdays). She texted her again, asking if she could call later. No reply. She tried to read a book and not check her phone every three seconds (she failed). She texted her again, asking if everything was okay. No reply. She watched a movie. She texted her again. No reply. She ordered textbooks online for the classes she was going to take. She texted again. No reply.
Cosima texted Felix and asked if Sarah was okay. He informed her that he had spent the day with Sarah, Kira, and Charlotte and that she was avoiding the texts on her phone. He reminded her to be careful.
Only problem was, Cosima never really did ‘careful’ very well.
She didn’t remember driving to Sarah’s (she was glad she didn’t come into contact with any cops because she definitely was speeding). She was just on her doorstep, trying to stop the flashbacks of what they did last night as she knocked on the door.
Sarah opened the door, her hair in a rare ponytail that made Cosima a little breathless. She wasn’t wearing any makeup. She was wearing a dark blue plaid shirt and leggings. She looked…
“You didn’t answer any of my texts.”
The punk frowned. “Most people would take that as a hint.”
Cosima ignored that statement. “I can’t stop thinking about what happened last night. You know, I thought leaving the country would fix things. But I can’t stop, Sarah. I can’t stop having feelings for you.”
Sarah stared at her, barely blinking, and shut the door behind her. She took a step toward the dreaded scientist and said, “But Delphine…?”
Cosima sighed and waved her hands frantically up in the air. “Yeah. I know, I know, but--”
Sarah leaned in suddenly and kissed her, teeth clashing in a way that Cosima would have always imagined from Sarah Manning. Sarah cupped her cheeks and kissed her like there was going to be no tomorrow. Like they knew they were going to combust. (Cosima pondered if this was what combustion felt like?)
But then, just as fast as Sarah kissed her, she stopped kissing her. She gripped Cosima’s shoulders and held her a distance away from her like she knew that if she let go, she would just kiss her again.
“What do you really want, Cosima? Do you want to be with me? Do you want to just shag me? Do you want both of us?”
It was Sarah’s way of asking the same question Delphine asked. And honestly, Cosima didn’t have a different answer for her.
Sarah just shook her head. She knew what the silence meant. “Can you even imagine if we got together, Cos? We couldn’t be a couple. We couldn’t go on dates without people starin’. Our friends might judge us. And can you even imagine… bein’ with me? I’m a fuck up, Cos.”
Cosima tried to hold back her tears. This wasn’t what she was hoping for. “What are you saying?”
“Delphine’s the right choice,” Sarah told her with a crack in her voice. “I’m just a fleetin’ feelin’. Nothin’ more.”
“Don’t do this to me, geek monkey. Please. Go back to her. Choose her. Let me get over you. Give me a chance to move on.”
Cosima didn’t even have a chance to ask her not to, to ask her to give her a chance, to ask her to give them a chance. But Sarah had already abandoned her at the front stoop.
She felt freezing. Her apartment was so cold, but Delphine always chided her when she tried to turn the temperature up. If Delphine was actually around. Most of the time, Delphine was going out, doing what she called, “job finding.” Not that it wasn’t what she was probably doing. It was just that… the brunette wanted a reason to stay. To be with Delphine.
Cosima could tell Delphine was avoiding her. She couldn’t blame her. But with Sarah also purposefully avoiding her (during clone club gatherings, sestra meetings, and hangouts with Charlotte), she felt alone. She felt cold.
She wanted to tell Sarah that they could work. That they could be more than a few embarrassed kisses. That Delphine’s coldness didn’t affect her. Not like Sarah’s silence did.
For weeks, she felt like she didn’t belong anywhere. Despite hanging out with Scott and Felix all the time, she felt a shadow around her. She missed the warmth.
She thought going back to school and taking classes would fix things. But her drive to work, to read, to learn, to study, it had diminished. How could she focus on anything when she felt this cold?
She was more than surprised when someone had knocked on her door. She prayed that it was Sarah. That the punk had realized that their separation was stupid and that she wanted to try to be something. Even if that meant being only friends. Because at least then she could see her. Talk to her. Embrace at least some of the heat.
It wasn’t Sarah.
It was Alison.
The soccer mom grimaced once she saw Cosima in her clothes that she had been wearing for multiple days and her coffee-stained pants.
“Good heavens. What have you done to yourself? Have you forgotten how to take a shower?”
Cosima narrowed her eyes at the judgemental woman. “Says the ex-addict who had support from all of us when she was going through a rough time.”
Alison rolled her eyes. “I’m still an addict, Cosima. That doesn’t just go away. And--are you going to let me in? Or are you terrified to let me see what’s happening inside?”
Cosime clenched her fist and opened the door wider so that Alison could enter. Delphine cleaned the apartment. There wasn’t the normal depressed ridden room that she usually had when she got like this occasionally.
When Alison stared at her, she knew what Alison wanted to ask her about. She was surprised that the soccer mom hadn’t said anything sooner. She knew that she saw Sarah and her kiss. It was just inevitable to get the questions. She just hoped that Alison wasn’t… disturbed by what she saw.
“You’re making a mistake,” Alison finally said as she abruptly sat down on a chair and crossed her legs.
“I’m--what?” She was expecting accusations, but not this.
“I don’t have a problem with Delphine,” Alison explained as she brushed her purple and brown hair out of her face and then placed her hands in her lap. “She’s… a lovely woman. But she isn’t Sarah.”
Cosima thought she heard her wrong. “What?”
Alison harrumphed. “Don’t act like you didn’t see me catch you and Sarah…”
Alison pursed her lips. “I would call it something else, but sure, if that eases your conscience.”
Cosima narrowed her eyes at the clone. “What the hell are you trying to say, Alison?”
The soccer mom blinked for a few seconds and then looked down at her hands that were still placed on her lap like she was trying to steady herself. It made Cosima curious.
“No need to curse at me. I understand what you’re going through, Cosima. And Sarah, honestly. I don’t—lord knows I’ve struggled with this. With whether or not I would say anything and get involved. But I couldn’t see you make the same mistake I did and do nothing.”
Cosima was lost. “Can you please explain more? I’m… I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Alison sighed and bounced a little on the chair, still sitting with perfect posture. She looked uncomfortable. Like she either had to pee or had a squirrel in her pants.
“I haven’t been completely honest with you about my… relationship with Beth. It wasn’t… heavens, I still don’t know what it quite was. Paul was… Paul. And Donnie barely looked at me those days. We… turned to drugs and alcohol and each other.”
Cosima flopped down into the chair opposite of the soccer mom. She grabbed a pillow and squeezed it. Beth and Alison. It was so… surprising and startling but also… Cosima could understand why they would connect. They were both in pain and needed company. It broke Cosima’s heart. Beth was gone and no one had any idea that it was more for Alison.
“Were you two together secretly?”
Alison nodded her head. “Truly, we were like teenagers. Sneaking around to touch each other. The back of her car, the couch in the basement--”
“Wait, you mean the one we all sit on?”
Alison glared at her. “Anyways. It was more for her than just the… encounters. Honestly, it was more for me too. She wanted… she wanted to tell you. She wanted for us to be together. For her to leave Paul and me to leave Donnie and we would just take the kids and run.”
Cosima saw the tears in the clone’s eyes. “So what happened?”
Alison shrugged and threw her hands up into the air. “Things became more dangerous. She became more paranoid. She wouldn’t stop taking drugs. And I wouldn’t leave my husband.”
Cosima furrowed her eyebrows with confusion. “You love Donnie.”
“Of course I do,” Alison shouted, almost offended. “But… we had hit a rough patch. For years. Once we got the kids, we stopped caring about each other. Beth… was my saving grace. But me not being able to leave, it destroyed her.”
“Alison, you choosing Donnie didn’t lead to her death.”
Alison sighed. “Yes, Cosima. I’m aware. But I have… so many regrets. Yes, I love my husband now. But I loved her too. And I… she never knew. We didn’t spend her last days together. Not even her last weeks. She died thinking I didn’t love her--”
“She knows, dude. Beth, she’s with us. Just ask Sarah.”
The soccer mom nodded. “But this isn’t about me, Cosima. This is about you and Sarah. And how that strange girl loves you. Sarah will choose Cal if you push her to him. He’s a good man. But he’s not you.”
Cosima bit her lip. She couldn’t believe that the soccer mom clone was telling the scientist to go for the punk. It seemed… like something from the movies. But she never loved Alison more than what she felt for her right now.
“Life’s short, Cosima. Who would you want to spend the rest of yours with? It’s that simple.”
Cosima snorted. That didn’t sound simple at all.
Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Chapter 12: melting into you
She was behind. In her classes, in her school work, in her studying. Cosima was studying the subject she lived for and yet she couldn’t keep her mind on it long enough to enjoy it like she used to.
Cosima didn’t normally study in libraries; she did her best work in her room with music playing softly in the background. But now, she couldn’t focus at home. Not with Delphine there (though the blonde was in and out a lot of the time) and the reminder that she might not be the person she wants to spend the rest of her life with. (Cosima blamed Alison and her stupid question that had been destroying her mind ever since she asked it.) So to the library, she went.
She spent hours there. She was trying to learn weeks of her courses in a couple of days to catch up. It wasn’t going to be easy, but sometimes, Cosima did her best work when she was rushed.
She stocked up on coffee, Gatorade, and health bars. She could live on that stuff if she had to. Which was important. She stayed at the library for over thirty-six hours. Her eyes burned, her stomach growled, and she felt like she needed to shower. But at least she felt like she had more knowledge than when she entered. She even turned in assignments that were late and early. And for thirty-six hours, she didn’t think about Sarah.
The only thing she wanted to do when she got home was to curl up in her bed and sleep. With all of Delphine’s job hunting, she wasn’t even really expecting her to be home. But when she opened the door, she found Delphine pacing around the apartment, putting odds and ends into bags that Cosima didn’t even recognize.
“Delphine…” Cosima called out to the woman who hadn’t even noticed she came home. “What’s happening right now?”
Delphine reappeared in the living room with towels in her hand from the bathroom. Her eyes were wide and her chest looked like it was almost heaving. She looked nervous. The kind of nervous that Cosima always felt.
The French woman ran her fingers through her blonde hair anxiously, her hair looking just as magical in a bun. “Cosima. I, er, thought you were going to text when you were on your way home.”
The brunette flopped down onto the couch, not knowing what was happening, and feeling like she was unprepared to find out. “My phone died. But… what’s going on here? Why do you have so many bags?”
Delphine bit her lip and dropped the towels onto the floor. She slowly approached the other scientist with apprehension, carefully, like a predator approaching its prey. Finally, she sat down on the couch next to Cosima but left plenty of room in between them.
“I’ve been offered a job, Cosima.”
The scientist gasped. That sounded like good news to her, but Delphine wasn’t smiling. “That’s awesome! So, why do you look so… like bummed?”
Delphine gulped and pressed her hands together nervously. “The job’s in Québec.”
“Oh,” Cosima muttered with all the air knocked out of her lungs. She definitely wasn’t expecting that, but with the bags and luggage everywhere… it hit her like a train. “That’s like more than five hours away.”
Tears flooded Delphine’s eyes and she reached over to hold Cosima, who was becoming angry and upset. “I know, I know. It is not… ideal. They want me to start tomorrow. The lease on the apartment is ending in a week.”
Cosima stood up, her legs buckling because of the speed. A week? That seemed so soon. It seemed like… like Delphine had known for a while. Like this wasn’t a sudden offer. It pissed her off. Delphine was always one to keep things from her.
“How long have you known?”
“A month. I wanted… I did not know if I was going to take the job, Cosima. You have been so unhappy lately, ma chérie. And I… do you want to come with me?”
Cosima blinked. It was the only thing she could do at that moment besides flip out or break down. “To Québec? Delphine, I have school. I have a life here.”
“I know,” Delphine said with a stiff nod like she hadn’t expected a different answer. “But if you were in love with me, none of that would matter, oui? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, Cosima. I would be doing research that really matters.”
Cosima let the tears fall down her cheeks. She knew what this was. She knew what Delphine was trying to say.
“But what about us?”
Delphine smiled at her gently. “Cosima, mon amour, you and I both know that there is not an ‘us’ anymore. At least not like there used to be. We have... fallen out of rhythm. And your life is here. And there's Sarah.”
This felt like an ending.
“I’m so sorry,” Cosima eventually said and meant it. She didn’t want things to end like this. She never thought they would end like this. A long time ago, she never thought things would end at all.
“Do not apologize. Never for your heart, remember? This will be good for both of us. I need this job. I need a purpose again. I was feeling aimless before. I have to do this. Do you understand?”
Cosima really did. She wasn’t angry with Delphine for leaving. Just the opposite. They had tried to be the couple they once were, but they couldn’t find those people anymore. They had changed into different people. People who needed something else rather than each other. This wasn’t a tragedy, it was just life.
“I’m going to miss you so much.”
The blonde pulled Cosima down onto the couch with her and said, “And I will miss you.”
Cosima looked into the woman she used to love’s eyes. No, this wasn’t a tragedy, it was just change.
“What about the clone club? Are you going to tell them?”
Delphine nodded with a sigh like she wasn’t looking forward to it. “I’ll be back for Friday for the rest of my things. I’ll come to movie night.”
“I’m really super happy for you, Delphine. Make so much crazy science.”
Laughter fluttered out of the blonde. “You too, ma chérie.”
They just wouldn’t be making crazy science together and Cosima made peace with it. Because this was what both of them needed, for a while, now. Delphine needed her purpose in life, to save people and create the change in the world she always wanted to see. And Cosima needed her family. She needed Sarah.
Before Cosima knew it, Delphine and all her bags were gone from the apartment and she was all alone with her thoughts about Sarah. Sarah. It was time to tell her everything.
It was a little after midnight. Not normally a good time to show up to a person’s house unannounced, but Cosima didn’t really care. She hoped that Charlotte and Kira would be asleep and Sarah would be awake. The last thing she wanted to do was piss off Sarah any further.
She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw lights on in the house. She knocked on the door. This was it. She was standing on the edge of everything. She was ready to jump. Hopefully into Sarah’s arms, if all goes well.
Sarah’s hair was braided with several strands seeming to be colored with chalk. It was very Kira and Cosima almost smiled. She was wearing a Velvet Revolver tank top (that was cropped messily by some scissors) and sweatpants. Cosima wanted to push her into her house, onto her bed, press her body against her and--
“What the bloody hell are you doin’ here?” The punk said as she leaned against her door frame, making it obvious that the scientist wasn’t allowed in.
And suddenly, Cosima felt speechless. She had recited what she was going to say over and over again on the way to her house. She was going to tell her how sorry she was for not realizing it all sooner. But while staring at Sarah… she felt her heart thump out of her chest. She knew she couldn’t let this go wrong. That this was her chance to make everything okay again. This was her chance to find what she was searching for this whole time.
The only words that escaped her mouth were: “Delphine's leaving.”
Sarah furrowed her eyebrows as if she was confused and didn’t hear her correctly. “She’s what?"
“She got a job in Québec,” Cosima explained as she squirmed in her coat, cold and warm at the same time. “And I… I’m staying.”
Sarah only stared at her, not knowing how to respond to that. “Why?”
Cosima rubbed her lips together. She thought that it was obvious. “Because when I think about who I want to spend my life with, my time with, who I want to always be around, who I can’t live without, it’s you.” She smiled. Alison was in her words. “I think it’s always been you.”
The mother gaped at her slightly and shifted so that she was standing up straighter than Cosima had ever seen her. “What’re you sayin’?”
“I’m tired of not talking,” Cosima admitted, her sweating hands clinging to her hips, for once not using excessive hand gestures. She was too nervous. “I’m tired of pretending like I don’t want to be with you. I’m tired of not kissing you, Sar. I want you. I want to be with you. I want--”
She was cut off by the burning sensation that she was starting to learn so well. Sarah’s lips. Cosima could taste Sarah’s mint chapstick as it melded into Cosima’s vanilla chai. Cosima had never felt more alive.
“What about Cal?” Cosima asked her during a second of coming up for air.
Sarah smirked and raised an eyebrow. “What about him?”
The punk reached out for Cosima’s hand and kissed her knuckles before dragging her into the house. They turned off all the lights downstairs and tiptoed up the stairs like teenagers afraid to be caught. Sarah closed her bedroom door and laughed when Cosima jumped on the bed and tried to land in a sexy position, but instead slipped and almost crushed the glasses she dropped.
Through bursts of uncontrollable laughter, Sarah said, “Luckily, I still think you’re hot.”
Cosima groaned playfully and facepalmed. “Wow, thanks, babe.”
“Babe already, huh?” She was grinning and smirking devilishly, enjoying the fear running through Cosima’s eyes.
“Oh, uh, if you don’t--”
Sarah interrupted her with another kiss. “I like it, babe.”
And she kissed her again.
This, Cosima thought, this was bliss.
Cosima covered her eyes instinctively as she felt the sun shine into her eyes. She was not a morning person. At least, not when she spent hours of the night making out in the dark. Sarah’s kisses felt like fire. She reached out for the punk beside her but found the bed to be empty. She sat up and felt a shiver run down her spine. She hoped that this wasn’t a bad sign.
She put her glasses on and crawled out of Sarah’s bed. She heard voices when she made it to the hall. The kids’ door was closed, so she figured it must be someone else that Sarah was talking to. When she started walking down the stairs, she recognized the other voice. Cal.
“Stop it, Cal,” She heard Sarah say and she froze. She didn’t want to interrupt whatever was going on. Not when Sarah’s voice sounded like… that.
“I don’t understand,” Cal said, his voice sounding slightly upset, “you wanted to be with me and now you don’t?”
“I know, I know. I’m sorry, Cal. Really.”
There was a short pause. “She picked you, didn’t she?”
“Look, you were upfront with me from the beginning about how you felt for her. So, I shouldn’t really be upset, should I? I’m hurt, I can’t deny that. But if you love her…”
“I want to be with her, Cal.”
Cosima tried her hardest not to squeal with joy.
“I hope she deserves you.” She could hear the defeat in his voice.
“She does. Thank you.”
She couldn’t hear them say anything for a few moments until she heard his footsteps with his heavy boots as he approached the front door. He reached for the doorknob but then turned around to look at Sarah who was standing feet away with her arms crossed.
“If you need me, I’ll be here.”
“You’re still Kira’s dad. That won’t change. Are you goin’ to… stay in the area?”
He ran his fingers through his hair and shrugged. “I don’t know, Sarah. But I’ll be around for her, okay?”
She nodded and he left. Sarah sighed and looked up to find Cosima’s eyes like she knew that she was there the whole time. Slowly, Cosima started walking down the stairs, not sure if Sarah was sad about what happened with Cal and needed to give her space or not.
“I’m guessin’ you heard all that,” Sarah muttered as she also approached the clone.
“I did,” Cosima told her honestly, “or at least the end of it.”
Sarah nodded. “He’s a good man.”
They were so close that Cosima could reach out and touch her. She wanted to. But she didn’t know if Sarah was ready for that.
Sarah took one step forward so that they were so close they could feel each other’s breath. Sarah reached out and brushed her fingertips along Cosima’s bare arm.
“But he doesn’t have your butt.”
Cosima snorted and felt her heart swell at Sarah’s grinning. “That’s the one thing you like about me?”
The punk shrugged playfully. “Your tits are nice too.”
Cosima shook her head with disbelief. “Are you just complimenting yourself?”
Sarah waved her hand with disregard. “Nah. Your tits are actually bigger.”
“Bigger than Krystal’s?” Cosima joked and wrapped her arms around the other woman and kissed her cheek.
“Hmmm,” Sarah said and scrunched her face up like she was having trouble seeing Cosima’s boobs. “That’s a toughie. You know, maybe I need to see them again. Y’know. Without clothing.”
Cosima tilted her head with amusement. “Oh, really?”
“Yeah,” Sarah told her with a crooked grin. “It can be an experiment, Dr. Niehaus.”
“Wow, Sar. This early in the morning? I’m going to need a cold shower.”
Sarah raised an eyebrow. “Does that turn you on, Cos? Me talkin’ science?”
“More than you could ever know, Manning. Now, stop. What if the kids come down?”
Sarah put her hands up in surrender and backed away. “Fine, fine. But this isn’t over. Besides. Y’know what I was thinkin’?”
“I don’t have work today. Let’s take the kids out,” Sarah suggested as she led the scientist to the kitchen and began to get bowls out for cereal. “Do somethin’ the four of us.”
Cosima chuckled. “You want them to skip school? Don’t you think that will set some pretty bad precedents?”
Sarah rolled your eyes. “Who are you, a judge? Y’know, maybe if S had let me skip more often, I wouldn’t have done it so many times secretly. Besides, they’ll learn more with us.”
“Learn what?” Cosima asked the punk with curiosity.
Sarah shrugged. “The art of mini golfin’?”
The sun wasn’t anywhere in sight, but that didn’t stop Sarah. She was determined to have fun, even if it was gloomy and cold. It wasn’t raining, at least not yet, so Sarah deemed it to be outside weather. Mini golfing, go-karting, she wanted to do it all. It amused the three other girls. They had never seen the woman act so… cheery.
“What did you do to her?” Charlotte asked Cosima as the three followed the punk race down to watch her golf ball roll down the hill.
“They made up,” Kira answered for the scientist. “Isn’t it obvious? Mum isn’t this happy unless she and Auntie Cosima are talking.”
Cosima smiled and felt the redness rise to her cheeks. She felt the same way.
“I’m going to be around a lot more often now,” Cosima told the two girls as she linked her arms between the two of them. “We were being really silly before. But everything’s going to be better.”
“Oi!” Sarah shouted as she turned around to look at them! “What’s takin’ you all so long, ey? Mad that I’m winnin’?”
It definitely wasn’t true. Kira was winning by a lot, but Sarah wasn’t keeping score. She swore that it ‘crushed morale’. Cosima just knew that she was a sore loser.
“Oh, yeah, ba--Sarah,” Cosima said, catching herself. She had almost called Sarah ‘babe’ twice even though she had only called her that once while being together. She thought she was being ridiculous, but it made the punk smirk every time. “You’re the big winner.”
Sarah glared at her. “Don’t be messin’ with me, love. We’re bowlin’ next and I will bloody beat your arse.”
“Is that so?” Cosima asked her with a smitten grin and raised eyebrow.
“Mhmmm,” Sarah said as she approached her, biting her lip and tilting her head to the side, knowing it would drive the scientist crazy. “I am the best.”
Kira sighed. “Is this how it’s going to be forever? You two are going to give me a headache.”
Sarah laughed and reached over to hug her daughter. “You should just be glad I’m lettin’ you skip.”
“You forced us to skip!” Charlotte pointed out with fake annoyance.
“Oi, and you should be grateful! I could be givin’ you both tough love like I got. Make you clean the toilets or somethin’.”
Cosima snorted. “Alright, Sarah. We get it. C’mon. Let’s go bowling.”
While bowling, Cosima learned something new about Sarah. The punk wasn’t usually one to talk about her past, but she started rattling facts off about her life like it was something she did all the time. Cosima, Kira, and Charlotte listened to every word the mother said. They knew this chance to learn more about her might not come ever again.
“We weren’t even that close,” Sarah explained as she picked up the bowling ball and tried to eye where to aim it. She took a deep breath and let the ball roll toward the pins. Strike. “But he was cool and his dad owned the bowlin’ alley. It was a space to hang around. Got me out of trouble I would’ve gotten into on the streets.”
“When did you meet him?” Kira asked her mother as she stepped up and tried to do exactly what her mother just did. Two pins down.
Sarah shrugged as she sat back down next to Cosima and darted for the hot pretzel bites. “Dunno, really. Been in Canada a few years, I reckon. Maybe fifteen? Fourteen? He was nice to your uncle Felix, too. Which was rare.”
Cosima nodded, understanding. It’s always hard to be the gay kid, whether you’re out or not. She held Sarah’s hand, not caring who saw. She knew that this might be a tough subject for the punk.
They all sat around the table. Without mentioning it, they put a pause on the game. The focus was now on Sarah, who looked deep in thought. Like she was reliving memories that were still vulnerable and raw. Her family was there for her, ready to hold her up if she were to fall.
“Eli didn’t care that I was the Brit with a stick up my arse. He didn’t care that I got into fights or ran away from home. He never asked me any questions, y’know? He was just… there. Lettin’ me play the game for free. Came by every afternoon after school. I think he knew that I needed it. His dad was hard on ‘im. Eli never said anythin’, but there were bruises and cuts. His dad definitely didn’t like me around. Bad influence, y’know? I asked him to run away with me. We thought we could make it to New York. Stupid twats we were. His dad found him packin’. Next thing I know, Eli’s a vegetable and in the hospital. His dad said he fell down the stairs.”
“Oh, Sar,” Cosima whispered and squeezed Sarah’s hand.
Sarah sniffled and rested her head on Cosima’s shoulder. “I miss ‘im. He would have loved this.”
“I’m sorry, Mum,” Kira told her mom as she snuggled up next to her.
“Yeah, me too, Sarah,” Charlotte added and joined in on the hug. “His father’s a bastard.”
Everyone turned to look at Charlotte, who never spoke a harsh would about anyone, at least to their knowledge. Sarah smiled at her appreciatively.
“Yeah,” The punk murmured, “he is. He made me so angry. But what I did, how I responded, is not what either of you should ever do. I broke into his house and tried to beat the livin’ shite out of ‘im.” She heard all of them gasp and she nodded. “Not my smartest idea. Before I could get one punch in, he hit me with a bat and called the cops. My first juvie stunt, if you can believe it. Anger, it’s somethin’ I struggle with. So it might be somethin’ you two will struggle with. But violence isn’t the answer. S’not. And I just hope, if somethin’ like that happens, you two will go to either me or Cosima. Yeah?”
Both Charlotte and Kira nodded sincerely and Sarah was able to sigh with relief.
Cosima stared at the woman and felt her heart swell with pride. Sarah always seemed to surprise her with her unlimited strength. It made her fall in love with her that much more.
“C’mon, guys,” Cosima said with a grin to try to lighten up the mood. “Let’s not let Sarah win.”
Sarah snorted. “You three could add up all your points together and I would still beat you.”
Cosima smirked. “Bet.”
Sarah ate like she hadn’t had food in years. Kira, Charlotte, and Cosima shared excited looks between each other. They were more than happy to see her enjoyment with the greek restaurant they found on google maps. None of them had really seen her eat a full meal before. A few bites, here and there, but nothing like this.
Cosima understood why. Despite being the sick one without any appetite (unless really high), she knew that Sarah struggled with maintaining her own body when she was focused on everyone else so intensely. It was why she didn’t eat, or shower, or sleep.
So eating this meal, Cosima knew what it represented. She knew that Sarah was feeling safe.
“I finished all of Harry Potter,” Charlotte announced to the family as she stuffed food into her mouth. “Can we watch the movies now?”
Cosima gasped. She knew that Charlotte was now catching up on all the kinds of books that she missed out on growing up, but she had no idea she was reading Harry Potter. She knew that Kira loved it, so it made sense that the young clone would want to read it as well.
“Of course we can,” Sarah told her with a grin, “Kira and I love to compare ‘em.”
“Which book was your favorite?” Cosima asked her, feeling suddenly jittery talking about one of her favorite series that she had no idea everyone loved just as much.
Charlotte tapped her chin and hummed. “Probably Order of the Phoenix. But I liked all of them. I get why Kira’s favorite is Goblet of Fire. I liked the creativity of the tournaments.”
“Remember when you tried all the voices, Mum?” Kira asked her mother with a grin.
Sarah nodded and chuckled. “Hagrid was the hardest ter read,” she said in a voice supposed to be imitating the half-giant.
Cosima’s eyes widened. “You read them to Kira?”
“Oh, yeah. I read the first one when I was pregnant. I knew that I had to read them to her. I knew they were special. Sometimes even Felix would join in and do Draco’s voice, especially.”
Cosima giggled. “I can see that, actually. So, I guess you are a secret nerd, Sar.”
Sarah glared at her playfully. “Just ‘cause I’m not a brainiac like you doesn’t mean I don’t read, Cos.”
“Fair enough. Wanna get a start on Sorcerer’s Stone tonight?” Cosima asked the kids.
“You’re coming back to the house?” Charlotte asked with curiosity.
Cosima turned to Sarah. It was really her decision, after all. Sarah looked at the scientist, like she was debating whether or not it was too early to have her sleepover again, and nodded.
“Movie night sounds brilliant to me. Even though we’re going to have another tomorrow night.”
“Double the fun!” Kira pointed out with a grin.
Cosima noticed the way the limited light hit Sarah’s eyes as she looked at the kids with such admiration and dedication. She looked beautiful. Stunning, really. Cosima couldn’t get her eyes off of her.
It was definitely going to be double to fun, but double the work to not spontaneously kiss her.
Cosima watched as Sarah’s eyes were glued to the screen. She didn’t even look down to see what popcorn she was picking up. It made Cosima smile. She had never seen Sarah so enthralled by a movie before. Harry Potter, no less. Cosima found it to be incredibly attractive. She felt herself get warm. This really wasn’t the place for this. Not with two kids on either side of them.
She didn’t know when Charlotte fell asleep on her shoulder, but when she realized, she tapped Sarah and pointed to the sleeping child. The punk paused the movie and pointed to Kira. They were both dead asleep after a long day of racing around.
“Was this your plan all along?” Cosima asked her with a sly smirk. “Get them so tired they won’t notice us go to your bedroom?”
Sarah chuckled softly. “That would make me what? Brilliant?”
“Oh, so much more than that,” Cosima told her in a whisper.
Sarah winked at her and placed the blankets over the kids after she and Cosima got up. The two kids ended up falling onto each other. There was no way they’d get them to bed.
“C’mon, Cos,” Sarah said in a voice that made the scientist shudder with delight. “Let me show you what my real brilliance is.”
Mouthwatering and legs shaking, Cosima took Sarah’s hand and followed her to the bedroom. Sarah immediately pressed Cosima against her wardrobe and smashed her lips onto hers with a moan that made Cosima almost fall to her knees.
“I’ve been waiting to do this all day,” Sarah muttered into her skin, kissing every inch of her neck uncovered by clothing. “You’ve been bloody killin’ me, Cos. I just want…”
“What do you want, baby?”
Sarah’s fingertips dragged from Cosima’s neck to her pants zipper. “I just want to be inside you.”
That sounded like music to Cosima’s ears. She let Sarah push her down onto the bed, take control. Cosima usually liked being the dominant one, but she could see the hunger in Sarah’s eyes. It was obvious that the punk needed this. And based on the state of Cosima’s underwear, she did too.
As Sarah kissed her skin, she slowly took the scientist’s clothes off, piece by piece. Sweater. Bra. Belt. Pants. Underwear. Sarah sucked her skin, worshipping her body with every touch, every kiss. This was her prayer and sacrifice.
Cosima could feel Sarah’s hot breath on her ear. The punk whispered sweet nothings as her fingers found Cosima’s clit, circling it, teasing her. The scientist moaned, begging for more. More touching, more fingers, more speed.
Sarah smirked. This was her favorite part. Playing with her until Cosima was ready. It got the punk off. Her fingers started a rhythm inside of her that made Cosima dance to her.
This was Sarah’s religion.
This was Cosima’s fire.
Her body felt alive. The climax, the flames. And when she came, she ran her fingers along with the bed linens, now covered in sweat and other things, and felt the planets move around her as if she and Sarah were the center of everything.
Cosima reached for Sarah’s pants, to return the pleasure, the satisfaction, but the punk grabbed her hand and kissed her cheek.
“Another night, love,” Sarah told her, almost pleadingly like she was trying to convince herself as well like this was the right decision. “I really want you in me, just on another night.”
Cosima didn’t read much into it at the time. She was still in oblivion. She just nodded and rested her head against Sarah’s clothed shoulder. She wanted to rest a few more minutes before they went again.
Sarah must have changed while Cosima was sleeping. It startled the scientist. She had never actually seen her naked. Not even with her shirt off. Sarah only changed her clothes in other rooms or in complete darkness. Knowing Sarah’s sexual history, Cosima couldn’t imagine she was shy, so she figured there was something else going on. But Sarah was too happy in a mood for Cosima to bring it up.
The punk was humming to Harry Potter music as she cut fruit up into bowls of cereal. Cosima thought it was the cutest thing she had ever seen.
“Mmmm,” Cosima groaned and wrapped her arms around her girlfriend (girlfriend?). “I don’t want to go to my classes today.”
Sarah smirked. “Am I already bein’ a bad influence?”
“Of course. But most of it is that I just want to stay with you. In your warm bed. And kiss you until company comes over tonight.”
Sarah grinned. “That does sound nice, but I have work today too. And school matters to you and shit. We should do our adult things. Before we do… other things.”
“Mmmm… what things are you thinking about--” Cosima stopped when she heard the trample of footsteps coming down the stairs. The kids were done getting ready. She jumped away from Sarah. She didn’t know if they would tell them about their… relationship, but she was sure that wasn’t going to be a conversation for today.
“Auntie Cos!” Kira shouted as they ran into the kitchen. “Are you coming to movie night tonight?”
“Yes, ma’am. But just like you two, I have classes today. But I’ll be back soon.”
Charlotte grinned. “Can you stay over tonight so we can finish Sorceror’s Stone ?”
“I’m not sure, Char,” Cosima said with a clever smile, “only if Sarah agrees and thinks it’s okay.”
Both girls turned to Sarah and pleaded with the woman as if Sarah would ever say no. The mom put her hands on her hips and said that Cosima could if she was good.
“I’ll be good. I promise. But I do have to go. I’ll see you all in a few hours, alright?” She blew them all a kiss and headed for the front door.
She couldn’t wait to return home to her family.
Thank you so much for reading! Please leave a comment and let me know what you thought! (This was one of my favorite chapters!)
Chapter 13: the way home
Sarah and Cosima learn what a relationship looks like :)
“Good heavens, Sarah. Really, do you even know how to use your oven?” Cosima heard Alison say when she opened the front door to Sarah’s house.
“Shut it, Ali,” Sarah told the soccer mom with an amused sigh that made Cosima grin as she entered the kitchen, happy to see all her favorite clones. “I use the bloody oven. Just ‘cause it ain’t that stainless steel shit don’t mean it don’t work.”
“This I know,” Helena added as she fed her babies who were in their little baby chairs, “Sarah makes bites of cheese.”
“Sarah is famous for her pizza bites,” Cosima said as she put her graduate school stuff down on the kitchen table. “I can attest to that. They do seem better than most.”
Alison rolled her eyes. “Like that’s real food. Please. I make food that takes hours to prepare and Sarah is praised for her frozen boxed junk food? Honestly. You all drive me bananas.”
Sarah and Cosima shared a look. This was classic Alison and they knew just how to push her buttons in the most entertaining way.
“You sound jealous, Alison,” Cosima told her and tutted as if she was serious. “Do you want Sarah to show you how to make them?”
“S’not that difficult,” Sarah added with a cheeky grin. “I promise. Anyone could make them.”
Alison sighed. “Looks like you two have made up and have decided to turn against me. At least I have you, Helena, right?”
“Yes, Sestra Alison,” Helena reassured her with a serious nod. “My side is yours. Sarah and Sestra Cosima can have each other’s.”
Cosima felt a blush creep onto her face and avoided eye contact with all of them. Alison and Helena were extremely perceptive when they wanted to be. The last thing she wanted was questioning from the clone club about what they were when she and Sarah hadn’t even had that conversation yet.
“Fabulous. Ooh, Sarah, I forgot to ask before. Have you gotten that guy off your back?” Alison asked the punk as she chopped vegetables and put them into neat little piles.
Cosima furrowed her eyebrows. Sarah hadn’t mentioned anything like that. Really, Sarah didn’t talk about her job very often at all except in passing about how she was enjoying it.
“Oh, er, yeah. S’all handled.”
Like Cosima, Helena seemed in the dark. “What man is this, Sestra?”
Sarah put her hand on Helena’s back. “Relax, Meathead. He’s an annoyin’ bloke I’m trainin’. Wants to be in CSIS and just sees this as a steppin’ stone. So, a massive dick, really.”
“Were you able to convince your boss to take him out of the program?” Alison asked her, revealing to Cosima that she and Sarah must have talked about this thoroughly.
Sarah shook her head. “Nah. Boss doesn’t quite trust me yet, even with Art’s constant praise. Besides, his dad’s like… high up in the ranks or somethin’. Just gotta deal with it.”
Cosima’s still felt like she was missing out on something important. “What’s he done?”
The punk shrugged like it was no big deal but avoided Cosima’s stare. “He has a big mouth and believes m’not qualified. He’s upset I don’t treat him like a prince he thinks he is.”
“He called you a low-life whore, Sarah. That should have gotten him fired,” Alison pointed out angrily.
“What?” Cosima asked, needing more than just that. That kind of comment was serious (even if Sarah could just 'brush it off her shoulder' like she said she could) and she was upset she hadn’t heard about this yet.
Ignoring her, Sarah told Alison, “At one time, you would’ve agreed with him, Alison.”
The soccer mom pursed her lips and her body became stiff. “Don’t remind me. I apologize, Sarah. We all know now that you are so much more than that.”
“Thanks,” Sarah grumbled, still suffering from not being able to accept compliments. “You too, suburbs.”
The second that Sarah’s eyes finally found Cosima’s, the scientist shot her a look. She wanted to let the mother know that this conversation was far from over, but that they’d talk about it later. Sarah gave her a curt nod and continued to joke around with Alison until more people showed up for movie night.
“It’s my turn,” Felix pouted for the third time as they argued about movies (like they did every Friday).
“Fee, we all know you pick movies based on how many hot men are in it,” Sarah muttered and glared at her foster brother.
“That’s bollocks,” Felix frowned with a pronounced bottom lip and crossed his arms. “It’s just one of my many factors. Besides, you pick like every other week.”
Sarah rolled her eyes. “Well, it is my house.”
Felix mocked her and the punk threw popcorn at his head, causing the kids and a few adults to laugh. “Real mature, Sarah.”
“I don’t think I have ever picked!” Art stated as Felix curled up next to him and rested his head on his chest. Art barely even made a face.
“Nobody wants your cop propaganda,” Adele argued vehemently and laid down on the floor, balancing a cocktail on her stomach. “I vote for something with Tom Hanks. He’s got it like in a dad way. Like you, Donnie.”
Donnie blushed and avoided his wife’s angry gaze as he said, “Thanks, I guess.”
“I say something historical,” Delphine said as she entered the room with a small smile. “I am so sorry I am late, everyone. But I brought wine.”
“Gimme! Gimme!” Felix shouted from across the room.
Delphine smirked and headed for the kitchen to get wine glasses. When she came back, her seriousness made everyone stop arguing about the movie and send their attention to her.
“I do not know if Cosima’s said anything, but knowing her, I know she would not say anything without me. I am very sad to say this because you all have become kind of my famille. I got my dream job in Québec and I have to be officially moved in by Sunday.”
A bunch of 'whats' quickly spread around the room. Most people eventually turned to look at Cosima, worried that the scientist would also be going along.
“I’m staying here,” Cosima clarified for the clone club. “It sucks that Delphine’s going, but I’m so proud of her. She’s doing what she loves.”
Delphine genuinely smiled at Cosima for the first time in months. Cosima felt nothing but admiration for the woman.
“Excuse my confusion, but are y’all still an item?” Adele asked them, saying what everyone else was too afraid to say.
“We have decided to end our relationship,” Delphine explained in the most pleasant way possible, knowing that she could have easily blamed it all on Cosima and didn’t. “But we are on good terms. I love you all and I promise to visit as often as I can.”
They told her they loved her back and decided on a French film. Amélie.
“No, no, stay,” Delphine ordered quietly so that no one else could hear them talk. “We can finish up the packing tomorrow. Most of the things are mine, anyway. Have you found a place to live yet?”
Cosima shuddered. Finding her own apartment hadn't even been on her mind.
“Nope. I’ll start looking in on it, though. I’m just… so much is changing so quickly. I’m just like… trying to stay afloat, you know?”
Delphine hummed and nodded. “This change is good, no?”
“Yeah,” Cosima agreed and thought about her time with Sarah. “But stressful. I’ll come over really early tomorrow, alright?”
“Of course, ma chérie.” She kissed Cosima on both cheeks and grinned, showing her dimples. She took a deep breath and turned to the rest of the clone club. It was time for her to say goodbye.
Delphine had a complicated relationship with most members of the clone club. Since she was Cosima’s monitor and had a tendency to keep things from everyone (even if she thought it was for the greater good), people were reluctant to befriend the French blonde. Most of them had begrudgingly accepted her place in the clone club because of Cosima, though that had turned to respect and friendliness toward her after their war had ended. Despite everything, they slowly warmed up to her and were sad to see her go.
“I will miss the fact that you’re the only one around here with good taste,” Felix told her as he hugged the woman after she had said her goodbyes to some of the clone club that she didn’t know as well, “and your unfairly gorgeous hair. Which, you still haven’t told me the secret to, by the way.”
Delphine grinned at him. “And I will miss your appreciation, Felix. As for the secret to my hair...” She leaned in close to his ear and whispered something.
Felix gasped. “No bloody way!”
Delphine did a little hair flip just for him and gave him a little wave. While Felix was still gaping, she then approached Scott, who even looked teary-eyes about her impending absence.
“Oh, Scott,” she said with a smile, “it is still strange to see you without your lab coat on.”
He nodded and hugged her quite awkwardly. “Yeah, I feel weird without it. You’ll keep me updated on CRISPR, right? And make sure that it doesn’t go into the wrong hands?”
“Of course, Scott. And when you’re done with your schooling… we will always need brilliant scientists like you and Cosima around.” She patted him on the shoulder after he blushed madly. She knew that he’d be honored to hear that, just as she knew that he would probably never leave Cosima’s side.
Helena brought her sons up to Delphine, knowing that Arthur and Donnie loved Delphine and that the love was very much reciprocated. Delphine held up both boys and held them close to her. She knew what the children represented. The freedom and lives they all fought for.
“My babies will miss you,” Helena told her, as kindly as she could.
Delphine knew it was the highest compliment she could receive from the Ukrainian clone who had made it obvious that she wasn’t a fan of the blonde.
“And I will miss them just as much. Thank you, Helena.”
With jerky head movements, Helena nodded and moved away, revealing Sarah behind her. The punk looked unsure and unsettled, like she wasn’t sure if she should have even approached the blonde.
“Cosima once told me that if I were to love her, Sarah, I would have to love all the clones. We were not always on the same side. I know that. But we always wanted the same thing. To save and protect Cosima. To save and protect them all.”
Sarah stared at her with almost awe. She couldn’t believe how friendly the blonde was acting toward her, knowing that Cosima left her. Not necessarily for Sarah, though she knew it could have been seen that way.
“I’ve always admired you, Sarah. You bet against all odds,” Delphine continued, “and I know Cosima will be happy with you. That you’ll take care of her. If I couldn’t be with her, I’m glad she’s with you.”
The punk bit her lip and found herself hugging the French woman. She couldn’t find the words she wanted to say and hoped that the hug would tell her everything. When they pulled apart, Delphine nodded. She understood.
With tears in her eyes, Delphine turned to the people she had grown protective of over the years. She smiled at them, proud of what they had all accomplished together.
Alison approached Cosima as sneakily as she could as she watched Sarah and Art talk animatedly about her job to Felix, who kept scrunching up his face like he wasn’t enjoying everything that he was hearing. Almost everyone had left at this point and the night was winding down. All the kids were asleep on the couches.
“I see that you chose,” Alison muttered under her breath with a tight smile that made Cosima roll her eyes, “wisely.”
“You're acting very inconspicuous about knowing,” Cosima told her sarcastically.
Alison tutted. “Sarah looks like she won the lottery. She’s not all broody. At least, not all the time.”
Cosima grinned. Making Sarah happy… that was something that warmed her body. “Things are good, yeah. But things would be even better if everyone…”
Alison harrumphed. “Heavens, Cosima. We’ll get out of your hair. When you and Sarah are ready to tell everyone about your… relationship, let me know! I’ll be your cheerleader.”
Nothing made Cosima happier.
It felt beyond late. They had stayed up to finish the Harry Potter movie. And now that they were in bed, even after a frustratingly long day, they were wide awake.
Cosima couldn’t stop thinking about the island. After a year of barely thinking about it all, it had suddenly been on her mind again, but she was a little worried to voice what had happened to her. She was afraid that Sarah hadn’t felt the same connection at all. But she needed to know. She knew it would just bother her if she didn’t know the truth.
“Sarah… I have a question.”
The punk rested her head on Cosima’s stomach and sighed, “Go for it.”
“When we were on the island, when Rachel attacked you, did you… feel something?”
Sarah stopped circling her finger along Cosima’s hip. she froze. “I felt some goddamn pain. The bitch stabbed me in the bloody leg.”
“Yeah, I know,” Cosima told her with a little frustration, “but I mean… did you feel any pain that didn’t seem to do with your leg?” At Sarah’s confused grunt, Cosima continued, “I mean, did you feel--”
“I felt cold,” Sarah told her honestly and buried her head closer to Cosima. “I mean it was cold there, but I felt… like my bones were ice.”
Cosima closed her eyes. She was sure now, science be damned, that Sarah had experienced Cosima’s hypothermia while the scientist experienced Sarah’s leg pain. It was almost like they shared with each other what they couldn’t handle on their own. So that they could survive.
“I should have told you this long ago,” the scientist told her, a little out of breath, “but on the island, when I was in and out of consciousness because of the hypothermia and illness, I felt your leg pain. It reminded me of like phantom limb syndrome.”
Sarah sat up and stared at her. “I thought… I thought it was just me. When I was trying to leave the island after we separated, I almost collapsed. I almost died, I think. But I heard Kira’s voice. And yours. Calling me home.”
Cosima wiped the tears that had fallen down her cheeks. “I had the same experience. When I was on the boat with Charlotte. I almost gave up. But then I heard your voice…”
“What does it mean?”
“Scientifically? I have no clue. But for us… I think it means… that this is right. That we are right.”
Sarah replied with a kiss that only continued to deepen with intensity and fervor. She moved her hand down to Cosima’s sweatpants and tugged them down. This was how the punk could express how she felt about their connection.
“Goin’ over to your flat?” Sarah asked her as she passed Cosima a cup of tea that she had brewed.
“Yep,” Cosima told her as she was doing the crossword puzzle in the newspaper. “Moving out. And I gotta find a place to live.”
“You can stay here for the time bein’, of course,” Sarah told her and she downed half a cup of scorching tea in one sip. “Rent here is cheap.”
Cosima put down her pencil and turned to Sarah. “What’s the cost?”
Sarah shrugged playfully and sighed, kicking her feet up on the table. “You can pay me with your moans, Cos. That’s all the payment I need.”
The scientist smirked. “Who knew orgasms were a form of currency?”
Sarah put her hands up in the air. “Well, at least now you know.”
Cosima smiled, but she knew that there was still something off. Sarah was beyond talented in bed, and Cosima enjoyed everything that Sarah did, but it was almost like… Sarah didn’t want Cosima to touch her. She still hadn’t even let the scientist see her body. Cosima wanted to ask her about it, but she was afraid that it would make the punk extremely defensive and hide away from her.
Instead, she focused on a topic that she knew wouldn’t be as terrifying. “So, this guy at your work… are you going to talk to Art about it?”
Sarah sighed and shook her head. “Nah, s’my problem.”
Cosima tried to not roll her eyes. As much as Sarah was getting better with opening up and letting people in, she was still uncomfortable with admitting her own problems and letting people help her with them.
“Well, maybe tell someone about it.”
Sarah looked at Cosima, hearing the edge in her voice, and gulped. “You’re upset I didn’t tell you.”
“No,” Cosima stated with uncertainty. “Yes. No. Maybe? Look, I’m not upset. I just want you to know that I’m here for you. And that… if you wanna keep this between you and Alison--”
“Alison visits me at work almost every day,” Sarah tried to explain without getting angry. “I mean, not at my actual work. But she picks me up for lunch. She tells me everythin’ about her day and just stares at me until I talk. Clever twat. But I think… I think she misses Beth.”
“Oh.” Cosima frowned. That made sense.
“Not that Alison wants to… it’s not like she thinks I’m Beth,” Sarah reassured her, surprised by Cosima’s wordlessness. “It’s just that, I think she needs someone to talk to who isn’t always Felix. Or Donnie. I dunno.”
Cosima placed her hand on Sarah’s and smiled at her. “I think it’s a great thing that you and Alison are hanging out so often. Really, I do. It’s like… actually kinda cute. And I know that you talking about yourself… it’s difficult for you. So, I get it if you don’t want to talk about your job. But I’m always here to listen, okay, babe?”
Sarah nodded, a little disgruntled and shaken by the confrontation, but a little relieved that it was all out there.
“There’s this one dick-swab named Pete,” Sarah began to explain as Cosima nodded, letting her know that she could continue. “And he thinks that he’s better than everyone else because one time, he went to Russia.”
Cosima fell back onto the sofa that was going to stay in the apartment. Delphine joined her, breathlessly. They were both sweating profusely. Even though their apartment was tiny, they had more stuff than they had thought. They had a car full of Cosima’s things and a truck for Delphine’s boxes and furniture.
“This makes me think that there might be beauty in minimalism,” Cosima joked as she tried to fan herself with her own hand. “This also makes me wish I had weed on me.”
Delphine laughed like she used to when they were dating. “You don’t get baked as often, now?”
Cosima shook her head. “Nope. You were my baked buddy, after all.” She almost added how she didn’t think it would be a good idea around Sarah, but she kept silent. She didn’t think that the blonde would want to hear about her spending time with the other clone.
“That is something I never thought anyone would call me,” Delphine laughed and rested her head on Cosima’s shoulder. It wasn’t romantic, it was nostalgic. They were reminiscing about the part of them that had been long lost. Something they couldn’t find again, and never would.
“It’s my greatest accomplishment,” Cosima told her with a grin. “Getting you baked. I always keep my promises. Just like you. I don’t know… I don’t know if I say this enough, but thank you. I know… I know you did a lot of this for me. I know what you sacrificed to set me free. Hell, you had a bullet inside of you.”
“No, I’m serious,” Cosima interrupted and faced her, trying to be as sincere as possible. “I don’t know what my life would have been without you. I probably would have had a different monitor that would have either gotten us all killed or… didn’t care if I died. But because you cared, because you loved me, I’m here today. I wish… I could have given you more…”
Delphine shook her head and wiped Cosima’s tears away. “No, ma chérie. It’s never been your love that I needed. When I met you, I was so lost. Aldous had… he used his charms to convince me that what I was doing was right. Monitoring you, trying to further Neolution, I so ashamed. But helping you, helping the clones, ending Neolution, it gave me purpose. And I could not be more grateful. You, Cosima Niehaus, showed me my humanity.”
Cosima let out another soft sob. She held the French woman close to her. Delphine had been such an important person in her life. Even if they weren’t together anymore, it didn’t mean that she wouldn’t miss her. It didn’t mean that she wouldn’t want her around.
“God, I don’t know what I’m going to do without you.”
Delphine smiled. “I will come visit. I would not want to miss too many movie nights. And I will call. Tell you all about CRISPR and all the egomaniacs I will have to inevitably work with. And you can tell me about your classes and dissertation.”
“I’d like that,” Cosima told her with a genuine smile. “I’d like that a lot.”
When Cosima returned to Sarah’s house with her car filled to the brim with bags and boxes, she found her lover, Kira, Charlotte, and Felix all cuddled up as they were watching Queer Eye . Cosima smiled. She knew that it must have been Felix’s choice. Sarah would definitely watch the show in secret and never admit it to anyone.
“Keep watching,” Sarah told her family and wiped her tears away as she stood up from the couch and led Cosima to the kitchen where they could talk at least somewhat privately.
“You okay there, Manning? What’s that in your eyes?”
“Piss off,” Sarah said with her usual retort. She then looked at Cosima closely, as if she was trying to get a reading on what had happened with the scientist and well… the other scientist. “How’d it go?”
“Good, I think. It feels like the end of a chapter, you know? Like I’m sad to see her go, and honestly, I’ll miss what we once had years ago, but the ending, it’s not a sad one. We’re both officially moved out on our own terms. No hard feelings. We’re both happy. She’s off to Québec with all her stuff and all of mine is in the car.”
Sarah released her arms from its crossed position as if she felt a little less reserved. “You can bring it inside if you want. Move the stuff in. I don’t mind.”
“Thanks, Sar. I know it’s kind of… bad timing and all. Normally, I wouldn’t just practically move into the house of my new gi--" Cosima froze. Her hands stopped mid hand gesture. They hadn’t actually said that word out loud, yet. They hadn’t even established they were dating.
The punk smirked. “Yes, Cos? Do you want to finish that statement? You don’t want to move into your new girlfriend’s house this early? So, what’s so wrong with your girlfriend that you don’t want to move in with her?”
A smile worked its way onto Cosima’s face. Girlfriend. She liked the sound of that out of Sarah's mouth.
“Well, it is kind of crazy there at her house. But you know. My girlfriend’s pretty cool.”
“She is, is she? You must be lucky, then.” Sarah stared at her with one raised eyebrow. Sarah’s way of flirting. And she knew that Cosima was a sucker for it.
“Oh, yeah. She’s a big nerd and everything.”
Sarah whacked her on the shoulder, causing Cosima to snicker with laughter.
“What’s goin’ on here?” Felix asked with his interrogating gaze and suspicious hands on his hips. “Havin’ fun without me?”
Sarah glared at her brother. “Episode over then is it, Fee?”
Felix returned the glare. “Just comin’ to get a snack, Sarah. Is that a crime now? Miss Copper?”
“Oi!” Sarah shouted as if what Felix said really offended her. “M'no cop. You take that back.”
Felix looked from Sarah’s intense frown to Cosima who could barely keep her amusement inside and crossed his arms. “I’ll take it back when you two tell me what the bloody hell is goin’ on between you. 'Til then, you’re a copper in my eyes. Now, I’m gonna return to my favorite gay men. Excuse me.”
Dramatically, Felix swiveled around and walked back to the living room while strutting. It made Sarah roll her eyes and Cosima chuckle.
“Why would it be so bad to tell him?” Cosima asked her girlfriend as she plopped a grape into her mouth and ate it. “He probably knows anyway.”
Sarah shrugged a little too glumly for Cosima’s liking. “I dunno, Cos. I mean, you’re right. But I like it just bein’ us. S’like our own world right now. Like nothin' could bring us down. And I dunno. Tellin’ Fee… means tellin’ everyone.”
Cosima nodded, understanding how the punk felt and squeezed Sarah’s hand under the table. “Then we will keep it between us for a little while.”
“Not for too long,” Sarah added so that Cosima didn’t get the wrong idea. “Just a little while longer.”
Cosima didn’t have any problem with that. “I like it being just us.”
There was dread in her eyes. Cosima could finally pinpoint the look that Sarah had during that pivotal moment when the scientist offered to make Sarah feel just as good as the punk made Cosima feel. In that very moment, Cosima could see it, clear as day. Fear. Anguish. Dread.
Cosima couldn’t help but wonder if what was wrong was her. Or if something else was going on. Either way, Cosima couldn’t handle the silence about it anymore. She needed to know if Sarah was alright. Or if Cosima needed to be doing something different to make her feel more comfortable. And if Sarah didn’t want sex… it was something she needed to know.
“Sar…” The scientist began after Sarah turned over, announcing she was completely exhausted and needed to sleep. Hearing the tone in her voice, Sarah immediately turned around to face Cosima with worry laced in all her features. “Do you… it’s okay if you don’t… but do you… not want me to touch you?”
Sarah froze, her body becoming completely still. She didn’t blink. She just stared into Cosima’s eyes and tried to find a way to breathe again. Slowly, she turned away so that she was staring up at the ceiling. She started to cry softly, but noticeably.
“S'not you, Cos,” Sarah finally said in a shaky voice that startled the scientist. “I d-don’t… please don’t think this has to do with you. S'not you.”
That didn’t bring any comfort to the other woman. Instead of letting it go, she sat up and turned on the light from the lamp, ensuring what she thought would be a long conversation. She put her glasses on and stared at the punk, who didn’t even acknowledge the light being on or Cosima’s movement.
“Please talk to me, Sar. Don’t shut me out. What’s wrong?” Cosima reached out for her girlfriend, but Sarah flinched away as if it was a reflex.
“No. Cosima… please. It’s ugly.”
Cosima gulped. She had no idea what that meant. “Babe, no. You’re not ugly. Nothing about you could possibly be ugly.”
Sarah finally sat up so that she could look at Cosima, her lion’s mane of hair covering parts of her red face, all blotchy from the crying. She curled up into almost a ball, holding her legs close to her chest. She rocked for a few seconds as if she was trying to gain the ability to talk about whatever was bothering her.
Finally, the punk took a deep breath and exhaled. “Helena’s not the only one who… who has…” She trailed off, unable to say the words she needed to say. Instead, she moved out of her position and began to take off her pants, her shirt.
Lines scarred her body. There weren’t too many of them, not like Helena’s that traced her entire back, but there were more than enough.
“My foster homes before S,” Sarah whispered and ran her own fingers along her scars. “Were not as warm and kind.” She turned around to show Cosima her back. There were more scars. Not from cuts like Helena’s, but circles and other strange shapes.
“Cigarette burns,” She explained with an edge to her voice. “I had a boyfriend who liked to smoke and fuck. Pain was his thing.” She pulled her hair up and showed her different scars. “I can’t even tell you who did what. Boyfriends. Foster fathers. It’s all a mix up in my mind. It’s disgustin'.”
Cosima felt her heart shatter. The woman she loved was the product of so much abuse and hurt, but she was still here. Still fighting. And it wasn’t fair. Sarah never deserved any of it.
“No, Sarah,” Cosima told her softly and moved toward her as slow as she could, to not scare her away. She reached out and touched the cigarette burns. The scars. Sarah shuddered beneath her touch, but she didn’t move away. She stood there. Waiting.
Cosima kissed her scars on her back. Her neck. Her abdomen. Her thighs. She kissed her skin, as much skin as she could. She kissed her scars over and over and over again. She knew she couldn’t heal them or remove the broken flesh, but she hoped that maybe it could take some of the pain away.
“I love every inch of your skin.”
Sarah lost it.
She collapsed into Cosima’s arms and cried.
“Every scar,” Cosima added and continued to kiss her. “Every mark.” She kissed her cheeks, her lips. “Every blemish.” She kissed her forehead, her nose, her neck. “Every part of you.” She kissed her chest, her stomach, her everything.
Sarah tugged off her bra, and under it, she found the first tattoo under Sarah’s breast. She kissed it. “The sun only comes out when it feels like coming out.” Cosima traced her fingers along the words that she didn’t recognize and asked if there were more. Sarah pulled down her underwear. A rose. It was small on her hip. Less than an inch in size.
“Roisin,” Sarah explained with a fond smile. “It means ‘little rose’ in Gaelic. It’s Kira’s middle name.”
Cosima kissed the rose.
“You’re beautiful, Sar. All of you.”
As Cosima placed her lips on Sarah’s bare skin, she told the scientist, “You’re my sun. You and Kira and Charlotte.”
Cosima paused her kissing and sat up, staring at her girlfriend, and cupped her cheek slightly, lovingly. She kissed her on the lips and as they started to move, they blurred into one.
Thank you so much for reading! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Chapter 14: sign of your love
With tangled legs, tangled sheets, and tangled hair, Cosima and Sarah woke up without a care in the world for the mess in their bed. Maybe they were even a mess in of itself, but they were a beautiful one. A kind of mess that defied all odds and reason (and maybe that’s what made it so beautiful).
“You have bed-head,” Cosima joked softly and wrapped her arms around Sarah’s very naked waist. “I mean… more than usual.”
“Oi!” Sarah exclaimed and pinched her girlfriend’s arm. “Who are you, Krystal?”
Cosima grinned wildly. “I wonder if I was the one who told her she was a clone if she would have believed it. I think we can all agree that I am, too, a ten.”
The punk rolled her eyes. “You’re makin’ me regret bein’ with you, loser. And of course she wouldn’t. You’re a nerd, Cos. She wouldn’t even admit to association with that. Maybe Alison… nah. Alison’s clothes.”
Cosima snickered, “That leaves Rachel.”
“Bloody Rachel,” Sarah growled under her breath. “For Krystal’s sake, I hope she wouldn’t recognize her as a clone. Hell, I don’t recognize her as a clone.”
Cosima patted the woman on the shoulder with sympathy. She knew that Sarah’s hatred for Rachel hadn’t dissipated much over the last year. Even after not seeing her for this long.
“She did give us that list,” Cosima reminded her, trying to put it all into perspective. “She saved hundreds of us.”
Sarah rolled around to face Cosima. “She put a bloody knife in my leg. She tortured us, Cos. All of us.”
The scientist sighed and nodded. “I know, babe. But I mean, if we grew up like she did, who’s to say we wouldn’t have become her? People all have instincts to survive and love. without any love, all she had was her survival. I mean, is it that surprising how she turned out?”
“You’re sayin’ no love equals bitch murderer? That makes ya sound a bit like a damn TV profiler.”
Cosima chuckled. “Sometimes Criminal Minds can get it right. But honestly, I don’t know. There could be others just like her. I don’t know. I just… I can’t help but feel bad for her.”
Sarah’s frown slowly turned neutral and she cupped Cosima’s cheek. “Your kindness truly has no bounds. I admire your ability to forgive. Or how at the very least, you try to understand.”
“It’s not always a good ability to have,” Cosima sighed and tried to smile at her. “It's make me kind of naive and blind. But it’s okay if you don’t want to forgive. Rachel traumatized you. You don’t have to try to understand why she did what she did. You don’t owe her that.”
“No,” Sarah agreed softly. “But maybe it’s an idea I can revisit in a couple of years. Or decades. We’ll see.”
Cosima felt her heart swell. She could tell Sarah was trying her hardest to be a person that Siobhan would be proud of. That Kira would be proud of. That Felix and Beth and everyone else would be proud of. Cosima could see it. Sarah was trying to grow.
“What’re ya thinkin’ about?” Sarah asked her as she placed her arms around Cosima’s waist so that the scientist could continue to stir the sugar into the tea that Sarah had made for her. Cosima has been stirring the tea for minutes, staring at the spoon with an intensity that Sarah could recognize as her deep thinking moments. Sarah found it… oddly attractive.
“Epicureanism,” Cosima said simply as if it was a topic everyone discusses on a lazy Sunday morning.
“Oh,” Sarah breathed out and kissed her neck. “That’s nice I guess, love.”
Snapping out of it, Cosima spun around so that she was face to face with Sarah as she pushed her against the countertop. “It’s an ancient Roman philosophy. But it also strangely had to do with science. Fairly accurate science, actually. Did you know people were thinking about atoms in ancient Rome?”
Sarah grinned and kissed her gently. “I did not know that.”
“They thought that atoms were constantly falling,” Cosima said and laughed as if it was hilarious. “But they got the spirit. Very interesting philosophy on life. Much cooler than the stoics.”
Sarah kissed her left cheek. “Is that so?”
“Mhmm. They thought that like people should live with the few people that they care about the most. That politics shouldn’t be a part of life and should instead be replaced with basically like a bunch of small communes.”
Sarah kissed her nose. “Is this a cult?”
“Nah. But I guess it could turn into one, if there was like a leader or some shit. But imagine if we could have that. Our own little slice of life.”
Sarah kissed her right cheek. “I thought that’s the clone club.”
“Well, sort of, but--”
“It’s more like the four of us,” Charlotte interrupted from the opening of the kitchen where she and Kira were just standing there, watching the women being intimate and flirty. “Maybe with Felix.”
Sarah and Cosima jumped away from each other like two teens caught by invasive parents. They hadn’t expected the kids to find out about their relationship this way, but based on the smiles on both of their faces (especially Kira who was jumping up and down with joy), they probably didn’t need to hide it in the first place.
“We knew it!” Kira shouted and giggled, obviously having more energy than she could handle at the moment.
“You did?” Sarah asked her, not knowing whether to be horrified or relieved about any of this. “And you’re okay with it?”
Kira snorted. “Okay with it? Mum, you’ve never been happier. And we all get to be together.”
“It’s perfect,” Charlotte added with the smile that they had all started to learn well.
“Well, no one else knows,” Cosima explained to the girls with a wide grin planted on her face. “So we all have to keep it a secret until we tell them.”
“You have to tell Uncle Felix,” Kira commented and sat down at the kitchen table. “He won’t stop obsessing over it.”
Sarah and Cosima shared another look. They thought they had kept a better secret than this.
“Oh. My. God. You bitches. ”
Felix screamed. He didn’t hug them like they would have expected after purposefully showing him that they were holding hands. Instead, he hit both of them. Multiple times. Like he was an upset child hitting his siblings.
“Ow, Fee, what the bloody hell--”
“Why didn’t you tell me immediately? I’ve been waitin’ for you two to finally say it,” Felix shouted at the both of them and swooped his hair to one side, trying to gather himself together again. “I am literally so invested.”
Cosima tilted her head in confusion. “I thought you didn’t want me to be with Sarah? Didn’t you like tell me that multiple times?”
Felix shook her head. “You misinterpreted what I was trying to do, darling. No, I was trying to get you to admit your feelings to yourself so that you could pick Sarah! Knowin’ you, I thought that the more I told you to not be with Sarah, the more you’d realize you wanted to be with Sarah. No, it was damn obvious that you were itching to get into my sister’s pants.”
Cosima facepalmed. She didn’t know if Felix was telling her the truth about trying to push her to Sarah, but either way, she felt a little foolish. She wished that she had realized a lot sooner that her feelings for Sarah weren’t fleeting and that they definitely weren’t platonic.
“Oh. My. God.” Felix said again and looked back in forth between the couple. “You two have already done it. How long have you two been together, ey?”
Sarah glared at her brother. “Felix, the kids--”
“Probably already know that you’re shagging! I lived in this house, remember? I know the walls are thin!”
Sarah shuddered. Maybe she and Cosima did need to be more careful when it came to them having sex.
“Don’t avoid the question, dear sister! How long have you two been goin’ at it?”
The punk sighed, knowing that Felix wouldn’t ever let this go. “About two weeks. For the past week, we’ve been tryin’ to figure out how to tell everyone.”
“I bloody knew it! You bitches! Christ, I have to go tell Alison. Or does she already know?”
“Well…” Cosima muttered and Sarah immediately turned to look at her, all wide-eyed and surprised. “Hey, she guessed! I didn’t tell her.”
“Don’t be mad at her, Sarah,” Felix warned his sister. “I know that you told Art.”
All the color vanished from the punk’s face. Cosima looked at her with amusement and Sarah frowned. “Don’t look at me like that, Cos. You better not call me ‘soft’ again. It’s Art, y’know?”
“I know Art,” Cosima joked, loving that Sarah told her friend about them and couldn’t keep it a secret. “And I know how much you care about his opinion. It’s cute. Honestly, babe.”
Sarah glared at her and returned her attention to Felix, hoping that they would both forget about her telling Art. “Does everyone know?”
Felix shrugged dramatically. “Everyone knows about your angst. Actually, Scotty asked me about it first. He thought that you two were acting strangely the day that Delphine announced she was leavin’. You guys should have a coming out party. Tell everyone about it. Not that anybody is unaware. Except maybe…”
“Jesus,” Sarah muttered under her breath. “Meathead may be the only one outta the loop.”
“Well…” Cosima said and thought about how Helena asked if she should kiss Sarah for her back in Ukraine. “I don’t think she’s completely out of the know.”
Cosima felt her cheeks redden. “Okay, so, when we were in Ukraine, she like… she made it pretty clear that she thought I shouldn’t be with Delphine. And that… I should be kissing… you. Actually, when I told her to give everyone hugs back here for me, she asked me if she should kiss you… for me...”
Sarah stared at her for a few seconds and then tumbled over with laughter. Felix quickly joined in. That might have been the funniest thing they ever heard.
“So…” Cosima said and cleared her throat to try to get them to stop laughing and thinking about what Helena had once said to her. “How about that coming out party?”
The garage was distinctively Helena. She had made it her own. Sarah and Cosima knew that Alison had offered Helena more space actually inside her house but that the Ukrainian clone denied it. Helena had even once admitted to Sarah that she felt like she was still infringing in the Hendrix’s space.
“Oi, meathead,” Sarah called out as she knocked on the garage door and squeezed Cosima’s hand. “S’your sestras.”
Helena, wearing Alison’s clothes with what looked like baby food all of it, opened the door and said, “Do not call me this. Hello, Sestra.”
“Hi, Helena!” Cosima greeted cheerfully and waved with the hand that once held Sarah’s hand a few seconds ago. “Can we come in?”
“Babies are sleeping,” Helena told them with a small smile. “So we must talk quietly.” She opened the door wider so that everyone could come in.
Arthur and Donnie were both sleeping in their little hammocks and both Sarah and Cosima had to hold each other back from approaching them and picking them up. It was hard to resist Helena’s boys.
Helena plopped onto an old couch and Sarah and Cosima sat down on the opposite beach chairs. Helena was staring at them carefully, knowing that something was going on.
“So, meathead…” Sarah began with a deep breath, “me and Cosima have somethin’ that we wanted to tell you.”
Helena blinked. “Yes, Sestra?”
Sarah ran her hands against her thighs. Somehow, this was harder than telling anyone else. Helena was her twin, her other half. Their bond was… beyond explanation. She never needed approval from anyone but…
“Well, er… Cosima and me, we’re together. Y’know, like Alison and Donnie are together.” She was shaking and Cosima grabbed her hand again. “And we’re happy. And together. And… Helena?”
The clone with frizzy hair stood up from the couch with an intimidating (confusing) stare and almost fell onto the both of them, trying to hug the two women at the same time, but ended up crushing them. Helena laughed at their reactions to her practical bear hug.
“Ow, meathead, what is with everyone reacting with wantin’ to hurt us?” Sarah joked as she patted her twin on the back.
Helena got off of them and smiled. “This is good thing. I am happy, sestras. Much kissing?”
Sarah grinned devilishly at Cosima, who had turned red again. “Cosima says you told her that we shoulda been kissin’ long ago, meathead. I think you were right.”
Helena smiled proudly. “This I know. Sestra Cosima did not want to kiss blonde hairs as much as you, Sestra. I could see with my eyes. And smell it with my nose. And I could hear it with--”
Sarah rolled her eyes playfully and interrupted, “Yeah, you’re really perceptive, Helena.”
Helena nodded. “Thank you, Sestra. Your eyes look like mine when I kiss Jesse Towing. This is how I know. Will you both have babies, now?”
Saving Sarah, who didn’t know how to respond to that, the door opened and Alison entered the garage.
“The kids are playing Uno in the basement. What the dickens is going on in here?” She had her hands on her hips and looked from each of the clones, trying to gauge what was happening.
“Sarah and Sestra Cosima are together,” Helena explained and laughed. “This I saw coming.”
Alison sat on the couch with Helena and sighed. “Yes, I’m glad you two are finally telling everyone. I hated keeping it a secret. Honestly, you two.”
“Well, I know something that will cheer you up, Alison,” Cosima told her with a playful side smile. Alison sat up and nodded, telling her to continue. “Sarah and I were thinking about throwing a party. Well, actually, it’s Felix’s idea. He thinks we should have a ‘coming out’ party.”
The soccer mom gasped, “That’s a wonderful idea! We can have it here! Oh, there’s a new recipe I’ve been wanting to try and--”
“Slow down, suburbs,” Sarah said with a smirk. “It doesn’t need to be fancy or some shit. Maybe a few snacks and--”
“Oh, no, no, no, no. If this is going to be a party, Sarah, I’m going to make it a fun one. And you two are just going to have to let me do my work.”
Cosima and Sarah shared a smile. Convincing someone to throw a party for them had never been so easy.
When there was a knock on the door early in the morning a few days later, Sarah and Cosima expected it to be Alison with a whole brand new idea about the party. They thought that the planning wouldn’t be too complicated, but the soccer mom was going all out. It would have been sweet if Alison hadn’t been calling and texting them during all hours of the day with questions and updates about it.
But when Sarah grumbled and opened the door, the last person she would have expected was at her door. After what Cosima calls it ‘the clone wars’, Felix refused to wake up before eleven in the morning. But here he was, before seven.
“Sorry to wake you,” He muttered with what seemed like vague annoyance. “But… well… see for yourself.” He moved to the side and Sarah got a clear view of a clone she hadn’t seen in a long time. Tony.
“Yo, Sarah, right?” Tony greeted and pushed back his long hair behind his ears. “It’s great to see your sexy face again.”
Despite her utter surprise and shock, the punk grinned. She always liked Tony. At least, from the few minutes that they actually spoke to each other. Which was why she had to send him away and not get screwed up into the clone business.
“Babe,” Cosima called out as she trampled down the stairs, still half asleep. “Is it Alison? Tell her we’re busy fu--” she stopped once she saw double. “Shit. You’re not Alison.”
Tony showed his lopsided grin and laughed. “Well, well, well. I’ll be damned. Why am I not surprised? The hot one dating the other hot one. How many hot ones of us are there?”
“More than 200,” Felix told him, a little on edge like he was uncomfortable. “But you’re not here to see how hot everyone is.”
“Nope, sister kisser. But I guess it runs in the family, ey?” He pointed back and forth between Sarah and Cosima. “Don’t look like that. It’s cool. I’m not saying nothing. Look, Felix is right. I’m here because… I want to understand who I am.”
Cosima didn’t know what Sarah was going to do. It was her house after all, and Sarah was the one who had really conversed with Tony. Cosima had met him briefly when she and Delphine gave the inoculations, but she didn’t get to know him. She never got to hear too much about him other than the fact that Sarah said he was her kind of person. Which was probably why she let him inside.
Tony looked around at the house and sighed. “Looks like you are making a good life for yourself, Sarah. That’s good. Felix says all the clone shit is done. Thank you. And thanks, nerd clone. For shooting me up with that stuff. Even though I still dunno what for.”
“She saved your life,” Sarah said and told Tony to sit down on the couch. “Cosima put all of her life into finding a cure that was killing her, that was killing all the clones.”
“Woah,” Tony said and slouched back, putting his feet up on to the table. “That’s intense. I feel kinda like shit for not helping out, you know?”
Felix looked between Tony and his sister and muttered, “I'll go put the kettle on.”
“Don’t feel that way,” Sarah told him honestly and curled up onto her chair. “Really. We lost too many of us. We didn’t need to lose you, too.”
Tony nodded, but still looked unsure. “You know, I always thought I was different growing up. At first, I thought it was because I’m trans, you know? Obviously. But I mean, I’m also a fucking clone. And I think… it’s like what’s been missing. Like I knew there was something missing until I found out about all of you. Do you understand?”
“I do,” Sarah replied immediately and looked down at her hands. “I always felt like I was wanderin’ through life with a purpose I didn’t know about. It made me feel alone as a kid. Angry. But findin’ out I was a clone, as fucked up as it was, it gave me my purpose. Made me a better person.”
“I think a lot of us felt that way,” Cosima added thoughtfully as she stared at the man across from her with curiosity. “Feeling like something was missing or wrong. A lot of us struggled in our youth. And adulthood. It’s almost like we somewhat belong with each other. I bet for Sarah it was worse. She was separated from her twin.”
“Your twin?” Tony asked.
Sarah nodded. “Helena. We were separated as babies. Basically shipped her off to Ukraine and me to Britain. They put her in a convent and me in the foster care system.”
“The bastards,” Tony said with a shudder. “And to think. I could have known your beautiful faces my whole life. Can you tell me about them? The others?”
“Beth Childs, the one who first contacted you,” Sarah began and shared a smile with Cosima. “She was… the best of us all.”
“God, she looks happy,” Felix muttered as he and Cosima put the take-out out of the boxes and into plates, overhearing the laughing that was going on in the living room. “It’s almost nauseating.”
Cosima smiled. Her girlfriend and Tony just… clicked. Out of everyone in the clone club, they had the most similar upbringing. Except Tony wasn’t lucky enough to have a Siobhan to save him. He was raised in foster homes until he went on his own. Like Sarah, he was also a criminal, but not necessarily by choice.
After the ten hours that he had spent time with them, it was like they had always known each other. Always making fun of each other, always joking around, always supporting one another. It was like magic.
“Oh come on, Felix,” Cosima said playfully and nudged him on the shoulder. “As if you don’t enjoy his company, too.”
Felix rolled his eyes. Cosima knew that Felix liked Tony. But she could also tell that his feelings for the clone weren’t completely platonic. And seeing the way that Tony looked at Felix… well… she understood why it was complicated.
“Bugger off, Cos. Damn. My sister has made you cockier.”
“No, she’s made me happier.”
Felix glared at her. “You’re makin’ me want to vomit. All over you. And this food. And in your hair.”
“What the hell are you doin’ to Cos’ hair?” Sarah asked her girlfriend as she, Tony, and the two tweens entered the kitchen with grins on their faces.
“You’re all infuriating!” Felix shouted as he waved his hands up into the air dramatically.
Tony laughed so hard he almost shook the house down. It didn’t take long for everyone else to join in.
“Of course it’s okay that you invited him to our party,” Cosima told her girlfriend as she wrapped her arms around Sarah in their bed. “He’s family. And he should meet everyone.”
“He’s tryin’ to find himself,” Sarah whispered and kissed Cosima’s forehead. “He’ll be around for a couple of weeks.”
Cosima nodded and sighed. “It’s good that he’s around. The kids love him. And you seem to really connect with him.”
“I do,” Sarah admitted with a small smile. “He’s… I understand him. How he feels, what he’s goin’ through right now. M’lucky I have all of you who helped. I just… wanna be there for him.”
Cosima kissed her and said, “You’re a good person, Sarah Manning.”
“You’re not too bad there, yourself.”
“So, this Alison chick,” Tony stated nervously and tugged at his hair that it was in a bun (all Kira’s doing). “Is she chill with me coming here?”
Sarah nodded. “Of course she is. S’technically me and Cos’ party. And Alison… she may not seem cool, but she’s… don’t tell her I ever said this, but she’s pretty cool when she’s not tryin’ so hard.”
Cosima leaned over and whispered to Tony, “Sarah will never admit it, but she and Alison are really close. Like friendship bracelet close.”
“Alison knits her scarves,” Felix added while grinning.
“Mum makes her tea,” Kira giggled.
“Oi!” Sarah called out, annoyed she couldn’t turn around while driving. “I can hear all of you. And I’ll have you traitors know that I am not ashamed of bein’ close with Alison.”
Cosima snorted. “Didn’t she call you ugly when you first met?”
“I never said that she was always cool. I mellowed her out. But don’t worry, Tony, seriously. If Helena can grow on her, you definitely will. And Helena will be thrilled to have another brother sestra.”
“Even though I’m the original,” Felix said, glaring at Felix to let him know that he was being serious.
Tony chuckled and slapped Felix’s back. “Wouldn’t want to take your place, sister kisser.” He winked at him, causing Felix to groan and look away. It only made Tony that much happier.
“Hey, Tony?” Charlotte piped up, turning to her clone, who, like Kira, saw him like an uncle. “Are you going to stay in Toronto?”
Tony shrugged and ruffled Charlotte’s hair. “I dunno, kiddo. I just know that I love spending time with all you weirdos. Especially Felix. Though, I do wonder if he shares the same feelings.”
Kira and Charlotte giggled. It made Cosima wonder if there was a secret joke between the three of them. Felix just rolled his eyes and stared out the window. Cosima could see the confusion in his eyes. She knew the feeling.
“Alison’s married to Donnie, right? And Adele is your sister. And Helena’s Sarah’s twin with baby twins. And Art’s the guy I talked to a long time ago. And Scott and Hell Wizard are two nerds that are secret heroes and aren’t dating. Is that it?”
“What, is that not enough?” Sarah joked as she pulled into the driveway. “You’re gonna be fine, T. These people are your family.”
Tony gulped and nodded. “I kinda feel like I'm hijacking your party, Sarah. This should be about you and your G.”
“Sarah’s thrilled the attention won't be on her,” Cosima reassured him and patted him on the back once they got out of the car. “Believe me.”
Felix gave Tony a hand squeeze. They were all here for him, whether he wanted them to be or not. These people were loyal as hell, and he was finally starting to get it.
Cosine led everyone to Alison’s basement. When they opened the back door, everyone cheered. No one knew if they were cheering for the couple or Tony, but either way, the basement was warm and inviting.
Based on all the planning, they thought that Alison had gone overboard. But per Cosima and Sarah’s suggestions, the soccer mom kept it low key. Tables with sodas and beer and snacks. Appetizers in the oven. Decks of cards out ready to be played. But of course, there was a touch of Alison. Hearts were covering the room. It was only a little cringy, but no one said anything. They knew Alison only wanted the best for all of them.
“Hey, guys!” Cosima greeted and waved to everyone. She pointed to Tony and introduced him.
“Wow,” Tony muttered after everyone waved hello. “How did y’all find a group of gorgeous people to fight some goddamn evil scientists? Damn.”
That put a smile on everyone’s faces. Tony Sawicki. The charmer.
“Well, I’m Alison Hendrix,” The soccer moms greeted as she approached the clone she had never met before. “I’m so happy to finally meet you.”
Tony stared at the hand offered and shook his head. He pulled her into a hug instead. “Same, girl. I can’t believe I’m finally doing this.”
“I wish Beth let us know about you,” Alison said softly as they pulled away. “But I know she has her reasons.”
“Sarah told me all about Beth,” Tony explained to the suburban woman. “I really wish I coulda met her in person, y’know? Sounds like we woulda gotten along.”
Alison smiled at him gently. “I’m sure. Lord knows this sounds cheesy, but I like to think that Beth’s in all of us. I know she would have loved this. She would have grumbled about the hearts, but she would have loved to see all of you.”
Sarah knew that the woman was having a moment and pulled her into a side hug. Beth always brought up emotions from the group. She was always so present in their lives. Sometimes, it was like she wasn’t even gone.
“We are connected,” Helena said from behind Alison. She slowly approached Tony and placed her hand on his chest. “Do you feel it?”
Tony stared at the intense clone. Even though Sarah had told him all about her, it was different in the flesh. He wasn’t scared of her, but he was completely curious about her. He wanted a glimpse into her mind.
“I feel it,” Tony replied honestly. “It’s like… I always knew deep down you were all there. But I couldn’t place it. I didn’t understand. It was just another thing I didn’t understand about myself.”
Helena nodded desperately. “This I get. I was lost but my sestras showed me the way. Now we will show you are home, brother sestra.”
In a way he really hadn’t before, he finally believed it.
Tony hit it off with almost everyone immediately. Donnie was close to asking something insensitive, but his wife hit him and shouted, “Donnie!”, before he had the chance. The new clone even liked the nerds, who he declared were 'cool' nerds. He loved Adele, clicking with her faster than anyone else, and reacquainted himself with the detective (Art tried to not relive his moment of fear when he saw a clone he didn’t recognize).
After a few hours of getting to know Tony, people started turning their attention toward the new couple. Sarah groaned, having had hoped that everyone had forgotten who this party was originally for.
“So, you two… are like… together?” Adele asked them once the kids had all gone to Gemma’s room to watch a movie. “Like, together together?”
“Yep,” Cosima answered with an awkward smile as she adjusted her glasses. It was easier talking about what they were to each other one on one. Talking about their feelings in front of everyone was… daunting.
“Wow,” Adele gasped and stared at them with awe, almost causing them to run out of the room. “And here I thought Sarah would never commit. Am I the only one?”
Cosima could hear the sigh of relief come out of her girlfriend’s mouth. Everyone started joining in to talk about Sarah’s past relationships, allowing Cosima to grab the punk’s hand without anyone really paying attention. She squeezed her hand. They were in a safe space.
“I think it’s always been Cosima,” Felix stated and poured a bag of chips into his mouth. While crunching, he added, “Sarah’s never looked at anyone like she looks at Cosima. Like she’s always looked at Cosima.”
The scientist felt touched albeit surprised. Cosima only started realizing she had feelings for the punk when she thought Delphine was gone. When they started spending more time together. When they leaned on each other for comfort. She would never have guessed that Sarah felt something before that.
“Oi!” Sarah shouted at her brother. “Don’t be embarrassin’ me like that! As if you’ve had emotionally stable relationships.”
Felix threw a chip at Sarah and missed. She stuck her tongue out at him. He gave her the middle finger. She grinned.
“Well, I think this is fantastic,” Art piped up suddenly without anyone expecting it. “I’m really happy for the both of you.”
Cosima smiled and noticed as Sarah mouthed the words thank you at him. The scientist knew that the two of them were close, despite their turbulent beginning. A laugh almost jumped from her mouth. It was strange thinking about the Sarah she knew when they first met. The Sarah who was reluctant to believe or trust anyone. The Sarah who wanted Beth’s (really Alison’s) money. The Sarah who liked to pretend she didn’t give a shit.
Things were a lot different now. Sarah was very different. But so was Cosima. She hoped that her terrible experiences of betrayal haven’t made her jaded, but she knew her sickness had changed her. Made her more thankful for the moments that she now has to live. Made her understand the beauty of living in the moment and being happy.
“I agree, Detective,” Alison said with a small smile as Helena patted her knee. “I think this is a great thing. For you guys, but also all of us. We get to witness you both falling in love. That’s pretty darn special.”
“S’okay, Alison,” Sarah told her, grinning. “You can curse. We’re all friends here.”
Alison pursed her lips and brushed her hair out of her eyes. “My house, my rules, Sarah. No cursing.”
“Ey, fuck that, mate,” Sarah jested, knowing she was winding Alison up. She raised an eyebrow, daring the soccer mom to do something.
Alison tsked and folded her arms. “I wish I could put you in time out, missy.”
Sarah smirked devilishly. “I’d like to see you try.”
Cosima knew this would end up badly for her girlfriend. Going against Alison was always a bad idea, but she also knew that Sarah liked to keep her on her toes. She wasn’t surprised when Sarah ended up locked outside as Alison brought out the cake.
Thank you so much for reading! Please comment and let me know your thoughts!
Cosima was on fire and it was all Sarah’s doing. Things were good. Like, mind blowingly good. Cosima hadn’t really experienced something like this before. Something this intense, this warm, this bright, and this stable. What she had with a punk (with basically a hero complex) was different from everything else. It was beyond explanation.
It was more than desire. She had always been good at wanting and craving women. Feelings, on the other hand, getting close to someone, letting someone in, letting someone see her… that wasn’t something she could do easily. Delphine had been a first in many ways. A first true love, a first genuine heartbreak. She had more with her than almost everyone else, but it still wasn’t enough. With all the lies and misunderstandings, they were doomed from the start.
But it wasn’t just the lies. The lies made Cosima realize it couldn’t last, but being with Sarah made her realize there was more to a relationship than the big moments. A good relationship consists of all the moments in between and having them feel just as special as the big ones. Like when Sarah starts to sing when she thinks no one is listening and Cosima beatboxes and the punk just looks at her with amused annoyance. Or when Cosima wakes up from a nightmare and Sarah just pulls her into her arms and whispers to her about something Kira or Charlotte did to make her laugh. Or when they play games and get competitive, but kiss at the end to remind each other that no matter what, both of them won in the end.
She had spent four months with Sarah. Four glorious months full of laughter, cheesy jokes, lots of movies, and mind-altering sex. Normally, she would be paranoid about it being too good, but this felt right. She didn’t want to overthink it.
Not that it was entirely perfect. They fought occasionally. Mostly about stupid things like who picks what show to watch and who should do the dishes (unfortunately both of them hate cooking and cleaning up) and who would tell Alison they weren’t too interested in double dates with her and Donnie. But things were good.
They had a tight schedule. With Cosima working on finishing her degree and Sarah working on the weekdays, most of the time they had together was precious, though most of it wasn’t spent alone. Charlotte and Kira took up most of their attention. Most nights were spent doing homework (or crazy experiments) or watching tv or playing games. Weekends were spent at the movie theaters, bowling alleys, the Hendrix’s, or snug at home. Sarah and Cosima spent their time together at night.
It wasn’t necessarily just sex. Sometimes, they snuggled in bed while watching horror movies that scared Kira or binge-watched tv shows that were too graphic for the kids. On rare occasions, Cosima and Sarah would tell each other about their childhoods and swap stories of awkwardness, joy, and sadness.
When they did have sex, which happened fairly frequently, it was when they shipped the kids to someone’s house. A lot of the time, Kira and Charlotte would spend Fridays after movie night with the Hendrix’s or random weeknights with Felix or even Tony, who now had an apartment in the city and a steady job as a mechanic.
Against all odds, they had become domestic. Neither of them thought they would ever be in that kind of relationship, but now that they had it, neither of them minded. Not that they’d admit that to anyone (especially Alison).
But sometimes, their domestic and committed nature even surprised each other.
“Don’t look for a shitty apartment, yeah?” Sarah said and closed the laptop that was resting on Cosima’s legs. “I want you to stay. Here.”
Sarah almost scrunched her face so it looked like she was in pain, though she forged on. “I mean… I want you to move in. You’ve been stayin’ here for months now and the kids, they want you here. And… this is your home.”
“And you?” Cosima asked her, her heart pounding like she was afraid of the answer. “Do you want this? Like seriously? This is your home. And this is like a big deal. Huge deal. A step bigger than--”
“Yeah, I know,” Sarah interrupted and stared at her nails that Kira had painted purple. “I want this, love. I can’t imagine not havin’ you around. If you want to be around.”
Cosima sighed and rolled her eyes. She put the laptop onto the table and pulled Sarah onto her lap as the punk stretched out along the length of the couch. The scientist started to play with her hair the way that Sarah liked it (though still wouldn’t admit it).
“Of course I want to be around, you doofus. There’s no place I’d rather be.” She smiled at her girlfriend until her facial expression changed.
The scientist started coughing. Not as hard as when she was sick a long time ago, but enough to terrify Sarah. The punk jumped up and ran to the kitchen to get her water. Cosima was done coughing by the time she got there, but she still forced the water down her throat.
“Maybe we should go to the hospital,” Sarah said with her hand on Cosima’s back, looking at her girlfriend with an intensity that Cosima hadn’t seen since they were in the middle of war.
Cosima rolled her eyes. She loved that Sarah worried, but it wasn’t necessary. “It’s just a cough, baby, nothing more. Probably just a tickle in my throat.”
Sarah didn’t look so sure. “Maybe you should call Scott or Delphine. I haven’t heard you--”
“I got sick when we were traveling and giving the cures,” Cosima admitted to her girlfriend and reached for her cheek. “My immune system was weak. I got a cold and a stomach bug. I’m probably lucky that it was just those two”
Sarah blinked. “You never told me that. And we talked to each other almost every bloody day.”
Cosima sighed and hated that Sarah wasn’t getting the point. “I didn’t want to worry you, Sar. I get sick. It’s human. Not all coughs mean that I’m sick like I was before, okay?”
The punk frowned like she didn’t know how to ingest that news. “If you cough more, we’re going to get you checked.”
“It killed me, Cos. To see you like that. To feel like I was watchin’ you die. To not know if at any second it would be your last breath. I’m not lettin’ that happen again. Yeah?”
Cosima knew she couldn’t fight it. Her girlfriend was stubborn like that. “Okay, baby. Okay.”
The one cough turned into multiple coughs and those multiple coughs turned into sneezing and congestion and fatigue. Sarah watched with trepidation until she made her decision. She was going to stay home from work, take the kids to school, and then take her girlfriend to urgent care.
“Why’s Sarah so worried?” Charlotte asked Cosima as they waited for Sarah to get into the car. “Are you sick again? Am I going to be sick again?”
“Hell no, kid. Sarah’s just being overly cautious.” Cosima sniffled and smiled at the two girls in the back. “Please don’t look at me like that, guys. I’m fine. And the doctors will confirm it. Maybe tonight we can get pizza and have a movie night, right?”
Charlotte and Kira nodded, but it was lackluster. They shared Sarah’s anxiety about the whole matter and Cosima knew that it wouldn’t go away until they had confirmation that she was fine.
Because she was fine. The doctor confirmed it in less than ten minutes. The doctor looked at Sarah and noticed her worry right away.
Cosima chuckled with annoyance and shook her head. “We’re actually not siblings, though we get that all the time.”
Sarah ignored their chatter. “But doc, Cosima’s gotten really sick before. Are we sure there are no other tests we can do to make sure that she’s fine?”
The doctor smiled knowingly and crossed her arms. “I understand your concern, but I’m sure that this is just a classic case of strep throat. It’s worse than a cold, but nothing that can’t be handled with a little bit of medicine and rest. She just needs to make sure she and her family wash their hands and avoids touching them. I know this can be difficult, but it can be quite contagious.”
Sarah nodded, knowing what she would have to do, despite Cosima’s arguments. But Cosima knew there was no point in arguing. Sarah was beyond careful and paranoid when it came to sickness. She didn’t want to just take the kids to Alison’s, but the last thing she wanted was for them to get sick. Luckily, the kids didn’t seem to mind and saw it as an extended sleepover.
“You know, I could have just gone to stay in a hotel or something,” Cosima muttered as she buried herself into a pile of blankets on their couch as Sarah browsed through the TV channels, committed to taking care of her girlfriend while she was sick.
“There’s no way in hell I’da let you do that, love,” Sarah told her simply with a shrug. “I take care of you. S’my job.”
Cosima grinned when her girlfriend chose the show X-Files. Not only did Sarah have knowledge about the show, she was glued to the screen as she described how creeped out she was when she first watched the episode.
“Count how many times they touch,” Sarah said and stared at the TV, engrossed with the content. “S’bloody insane. They define romantic tension. It starts early on, too. Barely a slow burn. I bet they’ve been shaggin’ since episode four.”
Cosima raised her eyebrows and turned to her girlfriend. She might have been sick, but she wasn’t hard of hearing. But that… she wasn’t expecting to have heard that come out of her girlfriend’s mouth. Sarah has watched a lot of shows in her childhood and teen hood, but X-Files didn’t seem like her type.
“You’ve seen this show? Like all of it?”
“Seen it all a couple of times” Sarah replied with a frown. “Oi, don’t look at me like that.”
“Like I'm a bloody nerd or somethin’! S’not nerdy. S’a good show s’all.”
Cosima weakly put her hands up in the air. “I’m not saying anything. I just like that you like it too. We were what, like ten when it first aired? I only started to watch it when I was thirteen. Imagine my delight when finding out a character on TV loved science and she was a hot woman.”
Sarah hummed as Cosima rested her head on the punk’s shoulder. “I’da liked to have seen you watch it. Fall in love with Scully, Cos? Do I need to be worried?”
The scientist snorted. “Science was my thing long before X-Files, my dear. And yes, I fell in love with Dana Scully. But not until I was at least like sixteen, okay? And no need to worry. My type is more edgy and angsty and has messy hair.”
“Oi! My hair’s not messy.”
Cosima ignored her. “When did you watch it then? Did you fall in love with Mulder and Scully?”
Sarah knew that this question was coming, but she didn’t know how to answer it. “I didn’t watch in ‘til I was an adult. I didn’t…” She trailed off, not knowing how to express the words on her mind.
“Sar?” Cosima could hear that there was something in her girlfriend’s voice that sounded off to her.
The punk gulped. “The hardest thing about bein’ pregnant with Kira was goin’ through withdrawal. X-Files, it helped me stay sober. I know that’s… fuckin’ weird, but--”
“No, Sar, it makes sense. It’s a comfort show. I get it. I just didn’t know… I didn’t know you had to go through all that.”
“I only made it ‘cause of S. When I told her ‘bout Kira, she refused to keep me out of her sight for months so that I didn’t fall off the bandwagon. Watchin’ nine seasons of a show kept my mind off of all the shit racin’ in my brain.”
Cosima smiled and played with Sarah’s hair. “I’m glad that the show was there for you when you needed it. The best shows can be like that. I know--” She stopped and had another coughing fit. Like always, it caused Sarah to flinch and then immediately bombard Cosima with questions about how she felt. “I’m fine, Sarah. Really. You’ve taken such good care of me. I love you. And you don’t have to say anything, but I just wanted you to know. I love you.”
Sarah stared at her with wonder. She opened her mouth, but no words came out. Cosima wasn’t exactly offended (she hadn’t really expected Sarah to repeat the words so quickly). She understood that it was hard for the punk to express her feelings. Sarah was used to losing the people that she loved, so she kept most people at arm’s length. Cosima squeezed her hand and kissed her cheek. She didn’t need Sarah to say it to know that she loved her.
Cosima felt the bed rattle and shake. It had been weeks since Sarah’s last bad nightmare, but this was different. Sarah’s fingers curled around the sheets. Sweat trickled down her face and she had soaked through the t-shirt she was wearing. She started murmuring incoherently at first. When she started screaming, Cosima decided that she had to do something.
“Sarah! Sarah, please, it’s just me. Sarah, you’re safe.”
Her words weren’t enough. She had to shake her to wake her up and stop the screaming. Sarah finally sat up and stared at the wall almost blankly, her chest rising and falling rapidly. She covered her mouth and jumped up to run to the bathroom. It only took a few seconds for Cosima to hear her throwing up and heaving.
“Babe?” Cosima got out of bed and trailed to the bathroom. This wasn’t something that she had ever seen Sarah do before and it was frightening. She crouched down next to Sarah, who was still throwing up whatever she had left in her body, and started rubbing her back. “It’s okay, Sar. Just let it out, it’s okay.”
Sarah flinched away from her touch and looked at her with eyes that seemed dark against her sickly pale skin. For a second, Cosima wondered if Sarah couldn’t recognize her. The punk wiped her mouth and flushed the toilet. She shakily tried to stand up, but swayed and fell back onto the tile floor.
“You’re probably dehydrated. Sar, let’s go get you some water--”
“No,” Sarah whispered, her voice hoarse and cold, lacking the warmth in her usual tone. “No, Cosima. I’ve got to… I’ve got to…”
Cosima stood up and tried to wrap her arms around Sarah to hold her up, but the punk avoided her touch again. She gripped the door frame as she got up and avoided her girlfriend’s worried stare.
“I um…” Sarah began and ran her shaking hands through her unkempt hair. “I can’t do this right now. I er… I’m goin’ downstairs. Go back to sleep. Go back to…”
Cosima didn’t know what to do. She was never good at staying away from Sarah, but this? Sarah was looking at her like a wounded animal afraid of becoming prey as if Cosima was her predator. This wasn’t something she knew. This wasn’t something she understood.
So she let her go.
She let her go.
She let her go.
Cosima did the one thing she never thought she’d do to Sarah. At least, not again.
She couldn’t sleep a wink. Not with her empty bed and the drowning silence. All those hours down there, Cosima didn’t hear Sarah make a single sound downstairs. Which maybe was a good sign. She hoped it meant that she fell asleep and didn’t have any more nightmares. And didn’t leave the house. And hopefully didn’t go on a drinking bender. Fuck.
Cosima tiptoed down the stairs. She imagined, though she knew it was probably unrealistic, that her girlfriend was just sleeping on the couch amidst dreams that wouldn’t drive her mad. That her face was soft and warm and different than last night. She imagined Sarah snoring, enraptured by dreams that made Sarah look innocent and young again.
But instead, she found her girlfriend sitting at the kitchen table with a mug of coffee in her pale and shaking hands. They only had coffee in the house for when Cosima had all-nighters with school. The punk never touched it.
“Morning,” Cosima greeted as gently as she could and sat down at the table far away from her in an attempt to not startle her. “Are you--” She stopped talking. Sarah’s eyes were glossy. Not like they were wet from tears, but as if her mind was a million miles away. “Babe? Sarah?”
Sarah slowly turned her head toward her girlfriend, though her eyes were far away, and she finally blinked. “Cos?”
“Are you…? Um… I feel better. My throat feels normal today. And I’m not congested anymore. Maybe we can pick up the kids and do something today. Yeah? Just like we talked about.”
Sarah looked down at her mug and said, “You have class today.”
“I can skip it,” Cosima told her without hesitation. “Isn’t this what we talked about? Having a fun day with them? I think it’s what we need. We could go bowling or mini golfing or--”
“You should go with Alison,” Sarah suggested and sniffled. “I gotta go to work.”
Cosima furrowed her eyebrows. “You have the day off, though, Sar. It’s Saturday. We have the whole day to do what we want--”
“I got called in,” Sarah interrupted and stood up shakily. She closed her eyes for a second, as if she felt dizzy, but then quickly opened them. “One of them just went under and I gotta do a meet-up with him and see how s’goin’. M’the only one he’s got right now.”
The scientist didn’t know if that was the truth or something that she was making up. She hated that she was questioning if Sarah was lying to her. Sarah never did that. That was why Cosima trusted her more than anyone.
“Oh. Okay. Well, maybe we can have pizza or something later. Since we didn’t have our movie night last night because of me being sick, maybe I can move it to tonight or tomorrow.”
“M’gonna be so tired tonight,” Sarah said and ran her fingers through her hair again as if she was trying to calm herself down. “And I might have to go in tomorrow too.”
It was hard for Cosima to not frown at that. She could tell that Sarah was trying to avoid her, avoid all of them. “Um, okay. Yeah, alright. Well then, I guess I’ll pick up the kids. But--hey, wait, Sarah. Stop. You know that you can talk to me about anything, right?”
Sarah stopped walking toward the door but she didn’t turn around. Instead, she just whispered, “Yeah, ‘Sima. I know. I know.”
“Where’s mum?” Kira asked when Cosima entered the Hendrix residence without Sarah. Kira looked concerned, a facial expression she hadn’t really shown at all since Cosima had practically moved in. It made Cosima wonder if Kira could sense the problems with her mother. She wouldn’t be surprised if she could. Hell, Cosima could feel it. Sarah’s agony.
“Oh, um, she’s working, monkey. She got called into work last minute. She wishes that she could be here but…”
Cosima caught Alison’s suspecting glare. The soccer mom crossed her arms, knowing that something was up just by the tone of the scientist’s voice. She wondered if Alison could feel it too and even considered for a second going to see Helena and see if she got any twin feelings about it. But she didn’t want to worry Helena over nothing (if it was nothing).
God, Cosima hoped that it was nothing.
“Gemma, Oscar, go help Kira and Charlotte with all of their stuff,” Alison commanded her kids and the four of them ran upstairs, Kira lagging behind, not wanting to follow them when she wanted to ask Cosima more questions. When they were all out of ear-shot, Alison turned almost violently toward Cosima and asked, “What’s wrong? Where’s Sarah?”
Cosima sighed and practically flopped down on the living room couch. She let the fake smile she had for the kids vanish and exhaled. “Something’s up with Sarah. She had a nightmare or something last night. And since then… it’s like she’s a ghost or something.”
Alison joined her on the couch and tried to comfort the scientist with a hand on her knee. “Lord and butter. Do you think she really has work or…?”
“I have no clue, Alison. She scared me. I mean… really scared me, you know? She’s been through so much, we all have, but I didn’t see this coming. I thought things were getting better. I thought she was finally healing.”
Alison hummed thoughtfully. “Maybe it’s like the time when you were on your travels and it was Siobhan’s birthday. Maybe this is just like a day long event. She scared me that day too and she ended up fine.”
“I hadn’t thought about that,” Cosima said, feeling a sudden surge of hope that Alison was right. She had completely forgotten about that. “Do you think that it’s like an anniversary or something? I mean, is today like a day when something bad happened?”
“Hmmm,” Alison said and tapped her chin. “I have no idea, Cosima. I mean, the day Siobhan passed was...”
“It happened like two months ago. Felix came over and we all spent the day playing games. She… she got a little emotional and sad, but she was fine. And I can’t think of an event that happened that would hurt her more...”
Alison sighed, deep into thought. “She sure has been through a lot, though. It might not even be a single event. If it’s a nightmare, it could have been a reminder of anything. But I’m not sure, Cosima. Sarah and I never talk much about feelings, you know? But it is quite possible that she does have something going on at work. One of her clients, I guess you could call it, has to pretend to be interested in this abusive drug dealer. Maybe he reminds her of Vic or something. You should call Art. He might know.”
The scientist nodded. That didn’t sound like a bad idea to her. “I’ll call him. I just wish that she talked to me more about her work. She likes to keep things bottled up.”
“Yes, well, Lord knows we all deal with that. But don’t beat yourself up about it. Trauma… people deal with it differently.”
“Yeah, yeah, you’re right. Thanks, Alison, for keeping me sane.”
Alison waved her off as if she didn’t need to be thanked. “Of course. It’s Sarah. Please keep me updated about her and let her know… I’m there for her if she needs me. And if you need us to take the kids, we’re here.”
Cosima smiled at her and jumped up when she heard the kids run down the stairs and laughed when Alison chastised them about the dangers of running down the stairs. Cosima made sure that Kira and Charlotte had all of their things and led them to the car with her heart beating faster than normal.
“Did you guys have a good time with Auntie Alison? I hope she didn’t feed you guys too much frou-frou food that she knows Sarah and I can’t cook.”
“We missed you and Sarah,” Charlotte informed her as they got into the car. “Alison is a good cook, though. Nothing too… frou frou. Donnie’s trying to convince Alison to get a dog.”
Cosima snorted, “What, is Alison a cat person?”
“No, she swears she's just not a ‘mess’ person,” Charlotte told her. “It’s Helena who thinks they should get a cat. The twins are getting so old. And very grabby. Arthur almost pulled out a chunk of my hair.”
Cosima felt relief at the younger clone’s words. When she felt comfortable, Charlotte could start to become chatty and bubbly in a way that no one expected. Sarah swears that it’s all Cosima’s influence. But Cosima thinks that it’s Kira’s.
“They’re not even in the terrible twos yet,” Cosima commented with a weak smile. “That’s when we have to start worrying about them.”
“Auntie Cos,” Kira said, her voice sounding unsettled and worried. “Is mum okay?”
Cosima cleared her throat, trying to think of what she was going to say instead of just blurting the truth out like she normally did under pressure. She didn’t want to scare the kids, but she also didn’t want to lie to them. Cosima always treated them like they were adults. She didn’t want that to change now.
“She had a rough night,” the scientist said as truthfully as she could without any frightening details. “But she just needs a little bit of time to feel better, right? So when she comes home tonight, let’s give her space and let her know we love her, right?”
Both Charlotte and Kira nodded like they understood, but it didn’t end their concern. It didn’t stop Cosima’s concern either, as much as she tried to convince herself that everything was going to be okay.
Art reassured her that Sarah was actually working. It made Cosima feel a bit better, for a little while. But it started getting dark and Sarah still hadn’t gotten home and avoided Cosima’s worried texts and calls. She put on a fake smile for the kids and told them that Sarah was just caught up with work. She put on a fake smile when she put them to bed and told them that Sarah would be there in the morning. She put on a fake smile for them when she read to them, for the first time in a long time. They didn’t even ask for it.
But when the kids were asleep, she paced downstairs. She had a bad feeling.
She kept calling and texting, but she didn’t know what else to do. She thought about going to the place where she worked, but she didn’t want to embarrass Sarah if she really was just working. And there was the whole clone thing.
It was just over midnight when she heard the front door open. Sarah stumbled into the house smelling of a mix of different alcohols. It made Cosima cringe. Sarah had the occasional beer and whiskey, but she hadn’t gotten this drunk since… Cosima never remembered her being this drunk. She heard stories from Felix but…
“Mmm,” Sarah muttered and darted for the stairs and almost tripped up them. “M’f-fine.”
Cosima stood behind her and kept her arms open, ready to catch her if she fell. “You’re drunk.”
Sarah growled at her and trudged her way to their bedroom. Cosima closed the door behind them and hoped that the kids didn’t hear the punk stumble through the bedroom and into furniture.
“Sarah,” Cosima hissed, the feeling of anger growing by the second. “I called and texted you a million times. What the hell happened today? I was worried out of my damn mind. You scared Kira and Charlotte and me. And I deserve an explanation.”
Sarah just kicked off her boots and yawned. She got into bed and stared up at the ceiling. Cosima could see tears start to spill out of her eyes.
“Just talk to me, Sarah,” Cosima pleaded and crouched down on the ground next to the bed, trying her hardest not to cry. “Please, Sar. Just tell me what’s going on in your mind. I just want to know what’s going on. I just want to understand.”
“You couldn’t,” Sarah whispered and then rolled over so that Cosima couldn’t see her face. “Go away, Cos.”
“I just want you to leave.”
“Fine,” Cosima stated coldly, hurt and scared in ways that she couldn’t express. “Fine, I’ll go. But just know that I love you and that I’m here for you. No matter what.”
Thank you so much for reading! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Chapter 16: hold on
The chapter before the epilogue! EEK!
Once again, Cosima woke up hurting. Her whole body felt stiff after a night of being squished by the small frame of the couch. Since it was Sunday, no kid was awake yet, and she was thankful. She didn’t want them to know that Sarah had kicked her out of their bedroom. She didn’t want them to know that there was something seriously wrong.
For the past week, she had gotten up early so that she could be downstairs before the kids got down. She told them that Sarah was working especially hard in her job and was sleeping in, that they needed to let her sleep in. She guessed that they knew she was lying (she barely saw either kid smile in the last week) but she was scared to say that something was wrong out loud. She didn’t want to admit it to them or herself.
Most days, Sarah woke up before Cosima did and left to go who knows where. Most nights, she came home stumbling and mumbling, refusing help from Cosima to head upstairs. But Sarah was good at hiding it at work. Art said that there were no complaints from her bosses or co-workers. That she at least appeared to be sober. But her shift ended at 5:30 and Cosima had no idea where she went after that. Different bars and clubs if Cosima had to guess. She tried to ask Sarah when she wasn’t completely trashed. Sarah never answered her. Not really.
Besides Art, Cosima only kept Alison updated about Sarah’s behavior, even though she knew that she should have told more people. She didn’t want to worry everyone else. She wanted to fix this on her own, without anyone’s help.
She heard a sound coming from the kitchen and Cosima followed the noises. Sarah was surprisingly in the kitchen (Cosima couldn’t believe how she was already awake and moving while being hungover) making more coffee.
The punk jumped and turned to look at her girlfriend. Cosima hadn’t seen her in the light in a long time. She looked better than last night, it was obvious she had washed her face and put her matted hair into a bun. Though, she couldn’t hide the dark bags under her eyes or the way her body was slightly trembling. And she definitely couldn’t hide her hollowing cheeks and slimming body that disturbed the scientist the most.
“Cosima… Christ. I didn’t… this past week… I--fuck. You deserve better.”
Her unusually raspy voice made Cosima’s heart sputter, but she tried to be strong. She was still pissed, after all. “Yeah, I have deserved better this past week. It hasn’t been fair. Kira and Charlotte were so excited to see you again and you just… abandoned them. For what? Drinks every night?”
Sarah held her head in her hands. “I know. I know.”
“What’s happening, babe?”
“I don’t know. I don’t…”
Cosima sat down at the table with Sarah and said, “That’s not good enough. We need… we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Right? I mean, is it something I did? Did I… was it what I said?” Are you upset because I told you I love you?
“Jus’ stop, Cos. I dunno, ‘kay? Jesus, Cosima. I don’t… I know s’been bad. But I… I gotta go, yeah?”
Cosima was taken aback. “You what? You have to go? Right now? What the hell, Sar? What do you mean you have to go?”
“I can’t be here right now,” Sarah said and stood up from the table so abruptly that the coffee mug fell along with the drink. “Shit. Shit, I just can’t be here. M’sorry. I just… m’suffocatin’.”
Cosima tried to chase her, tried to ask her where she was going to go, but Sarah stopped listening and she refused to stop moving. It scared Cosima more than she would like to admit. She hadn’t seen Sarah like this, maybe ever. Even when things were bad before. When they lost S. When they lost all the people they loved.
But she wondered if Felix had seen this before. She called him, knowing she couldn’t remain silent about this any longer.
“Do you know what bloody time it is, Cosima? I’m sleepin’ here.”
“Felix, it’s Sarah.”
She heard him grunt, presumably he got up from his bed.
Cosima tried to not cry. She tried to not break down. Because if she started to cry, if she started to break down, she knew that it wouldn’t solve anything. She knew that she would just cry and wouldn’t be able to stop. Because she was terrified. Beyond terrified.
“Can you come over?”
“Be there in a few.”
Cosima sighed with relief. What she needed were answers. And she hoped that Felix had some. Because she knew she couldn’t keep going through this.
“Auntie Cos?” Kira asked from the doorway, staring at the scientist with tears in her eyes. “Mummy’s hurting. And so are you.”
Cosima opened her arms and Kira ran into them. She held Sarah’s daughter tight to her chest. She had feared that Kira could feel Sarah’s pain and her fear was coming into fruition. A daughter shouldn’t have to deal with this.
“She is,” Cosima whispered into her ear. “But we’re trying to help her, right? Make her feel better.”
“I’m scared,” Kira confessed into her shoulder. “She’s falling.”
“We won’t let her hit the ground,” Cosima promised, trying to reassure the thirteen-year-old and herself. “C’mon, monkey. Let’s wake up Charlotte. Your Uncle Felix is coming over in a few minutes. We’re going to solve this all together.”
Felix listened to everything that Cosima said as Tony rubbed his back (apparently Tony was there when Cosima called and wanted to be there for Sarah and Cosima). He winced as the scientist explained her actions and behavior over the past couple of days.
“And this… she’s been acting strange for a week?”
Cosima threw her hands up in the air. “I was sick the week before. I mean… she was really protective and worried about that, but she wasn’t… like she is now. It might have to do with me, though. But I was getting better…”
“She had her dream,” Felix said, trying to understand and process everything. “And that’s when it started, yeah? There was nothing else that happened differently that night?”
Cosima bit her lip and then revealed, “I told her that I loved her. I didn’t think… it felt like the right time. And she didn’t seem like it affected her then. I mean, she was acting normal when we were going to bed, I thought.”
Felix sighed and shook his head. “This isn’t your fault, Cosima. If this has to do with what you said, this is because of her fear of… I dunno. Losing everything. She has problems with dealing with her feelings.”
“Don’t we all have those problems,” Tony muttered under his breath.
“Well, we all know the last time that Sarah was somewhat like this--”
“When she followed Beth,” Kira whispered from the stairs with Charlotte right behind them. Cosima sighed, not surprised that they hadn’t stayed in their rooms like they had promised.
Felix nodded solemnly. “But that… that was because she blamed herself for Kendall. And Siobhan… she didn’t help at the moment. Sarah was in her extreme self-blamin’ mode. But she shouldn’t be in that mode right now. Nothing’s happened that we know of.”
“Art told me that nothing drastic is happening in her work right now,” Cosima explained to her friends. “No one’s gotten hurt or anything. I mean, other than the nightmare, this feels really out of the blue. I mean… everything has been so great recently.”
“Sarah’s… restless,” Felix tried to explain in the most gentle way. “You know. Peace and quiet makes her… antsy. When things are good… it wigs her out, y’know?”
Cosima nodded shakily. “I know. That’s why… that’s why I tried to give her space, right? I mean, I thought that what she needed was breathing room. I thought that it was me who was suffocating her. I don’t… I didn’t know how to deal with it.”
“Like I said, love,” Felix said with a sigh, “it’s not your fault. Art said she’s at work right now, right? So if she doesn’t come home by 6:00, we’ll start going to her usual places to look for her. We’ll call Alison to watch the kids and the three of us will go out to look for her. And then we won’t let her out of our sight. Sometimes… sometimes she needs to hit rock bottom for her to want to see the light again.”
That was terrifying. She knew that Felix was being honest with her, but she wanted at least a little reassurance that Sarah was going to be fine. Felix seemed at least somewhat confident. She just hoped that he was right.
“Thank you so much for this, Alison,” Cosima said to the clone and tried to hold herself together (Alison was trying to do the same thing a lot more effortlessly). “Please make them eat something. They’re angry that we brought them over. They want to be home when Sarah comes home, but I don’t want them to see…”
“I understand, Cosima. Honestly. I have faith that you are going to find her, alright? Is it okay that I told Helena to stay? She wanted to go out and look with you--”
“I am ready, Sestra Cosima,” Helena told her while holding her sons.
Cosima frowned and looked between her sestras. It was obvious that Alison didn’t think it was a good idea for Helena to come with and Cosima had to agree. “We don’t want to bombard her. The three of us will find her. You guys should stay here and make sure that the kids are okay. We’ll call you when we find her, okay?”
Alison nodded and wiped the tears that fell down her cheek. “Tell her that I love her, okay?”
Helena put a hand on Cosima’s shoulder. “You will save her, Sestra. This I know.”
Cosima gulped and nodded. She was glad that the Ukrainian clone had so much faith in her, but she didn’t know if she felt as confident.
She couldn’t handle saying goodbye to the kids. She needed to just keep moving. She needed to find Sarah. Because at the moment, she still felt like this was her doing. And she couldn’t look the kids in the eye and tell them otherwise.
Felix told Cosima the gameplan in the car as Tony drove, but it all sounded fuzzy to her. Her mind was on Sarah’s lifeless body laying on the tracks. It was Felix’s suggestion that they go to the train station first.
She was relieved when there was no police presence at the station. It meant that there hadn’t been a jumper. She was relieved when they couldn’t find Sarah anywhere on the bridge or on the platform or anywhere near the area. She was relieved until she realized that meant they still didn’t know where she was.
They went from bar to bar, club to club. They talked to some guy Dizzy that Felix said that Sarah once knew. He grumpily told them that he hadn’t seen her in years. Cosima was thankful for that (he was not the kind of company she wanted Sarah to have).
And then it hit and she immediately yelled at herself for not figuring it out sooner. The realization of where Sarah would be when she was breaking. Who she would want to be with when it was all falling apart.
It was dark, darker than most nights Cosima could remember, but she could still see her. Cosima put her hand on Felix’s shoulder and reassured him that she would get Sarah alone. The clone was crouched onto the grass with a large bottle in her hands. Felix nodded desperately. He was just glad to see his sister alive, even if she was here looking like that.
Cosima approached her slowly, as if Sarah was a baby deer, all skittish and scared. Cosima sat down next to her and Sarah didn’t acknowledge her presence. Cosima looked at the gravestone instead of Sarah. Science told her that the Irish woman was left in oblivion. Hope made her wish that Siobhan was here, right now, with her wisdom and infinite warmth.
“Are you cold, Sarah?”
Sarah took a swig of her drink and then raised it up to the sky. “S’my warmth.”
Cosima tried to not roll her eyes at that, because as dark as this situation was, that seemed so extremely Sarah. “Yeah, well, I think your shivering body would disagree.”
“You d-don’t need to worry ‘bout me.”
“Too bad. Girlfriend rules state I have to worry about you, babe. Speaking of, you’ve been scaring everyone. Especially me.”
Sarah sighed and held her knees close to her chest, rocking slightly. “I know.”
“Are you missing her?” Cosima asked, referring to the grave that they were both staring at.
Sarah chewed her lip until it bled. “She was so much better than I could ever be. She sacrificed herself. And I… I just watched as everythin’ died around me.”
Cosima didn’t know what Sarah meant by that. She didn’t know if Sarah meant it figuratively or if she meant it literally. If Sarah was in self-blaming mode, she could be blaming herself for the deaths that she didn’t commit.
“I got knocked up a few years ago. It was Vic’s. I couldn’t… I refused to have his baby. I couldn’t let a kid grow up with him. With me.”
Cosima blinked. She wasn’t expecting that of all things. “Oh, Sar. You did what you had to do. Like any good mother would.”
Sarah sniffled and wiped her cheeks with her dirt covered hands. “Mum wouldn’t have done it. A good mother wouldn’t do that to their child. Their daughter’s siblin’.”
The scientist shook her head vehemently. “No, you saved your theoretical child from Vic and a hard life. You did what you had to do. And if S was here, I think she’d tell you the same thing.”
Sarah chuckled coolly with anger that Cosima hadn’t witnessed in a long time. “I dunno what she’d say. She’s dead, isn’t she?”
“That’s not your fault,” Cosima whispered quietly.
The punk ignored her. “Sometimes I think about what my child would be like. If it’d be like me or Vic. When I dreamt of her, she was like you.”
Cosima held herself together. Her heart broke for the woman. “Sar--”
“I dreamt Westmorland had her. And I killed him, in front of her. And she was terrified of me. Of what I did, who I was, who I am. There’s somethin’ wrong with me, Cos. Like somethin’s not completely there. M’broken, Cos.”
“Oh god, baby, no,” Cosima told her and pulled the woman into her embrace. She felt Sarah sob and heave in her arms. Rock bottom. The light. Healing. “Baby, it was just a dream. A dream.”
“They’re all gone because of me,” Sarah cried out onto Cosima’s chest. “Beth. Katja. Paul. MK. Kendall. Mum. They’re all dead because of me. Because they loved me. S’my bloody curse. S’my darkness.”
“No,” Cosima said sternly and held Sarah’s head in her hands so that the punk was looking at her. “No, Sarah goddamn Manning. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not to blame for any of their deaths. They died so that all of us could be free. They believed in us, the cause. They died so that Kira could have a life, so that we could all have a life. When I think about what we’ve lost… it hurts like hell, Sarah. I know that they’re dead so that we could be alive and free. It hurts. Sometimes I wish that I could replace them, you know? But they would be so mad at us if they knew we felt like that.”
Cosima kissed her on her cheeks and forehead and nose and lips. “The only thing that we can do is live our lives so they can be proud of us. So their deaths weren’t in vain. We have to keep on living, baby. And get better.”
“I want to get better,” the punk admitted breathlessly. “I do. For Kira and Charlotte. For you. And on good days, I want to get better for me, too. But… the things I’ve done… the people I’ve hurt…” She held up the bottle of alcohol. “Sometimes I think this is all I deserve.”
“Sarah… you deserve so much more. Maybe your past isn’t so hot, okay. That’s okay. We can get through that. But you’re a good person. You said it yourself, you want to get better. Sometimes that’s all we can do. And that’s okay. That’s good. Life can be so good if you let it.”
“M’so sorry,” Sarah whispered over and over again.
Cosima wrapped her up in her arms again and repeated, “It’s okay, baby. It’s okay. We can heal together. It’s okay. We can heal now.”
Cosima held her girlfriend in her arms until Sarah believed her.
Sarah was still shaking, so Cosima held onto her as they traveled upstairs. Despite the punk’s pleas to do it alone, Cosima helped Sarah into the shower and washed the woman’s dirt covered body and matted hair. Sarah still seemed withdrawn, but she was here. And that was all that mattered to Cosima. That she was home.
“What if I have the dream again?” Sarah asked when Cosima turned the water off. The punk looked vulnerable and raw. Afraid.
“Then…” Cosima brushed the wet hair out of her girlfriend’s face and kissed her delicately on the lips. “Then, we’ll deal with it together. You don’t have to deal with any of this alone. We’ll talk or watch X-Files or kiss. We’ll hold onto each other. Because the one thing I’m sure of is the fact that we can’t get through this without each other. It’s me and you, right? It always has been.”
Sarah nodded slowly and accepted Cosima’s help. The scientist dried both of their bodies and made sure that the clothes that she put on Sarah were comfortable. The band The Cars t-shirt and sweatpants. She brushed Sarah’s hair, but almost immediately, it became snarly. It made both of them laugh for a few seconds.
“Do you want Felix and Tony to pick up the kids now from Alison’s now or in the morning, Sar?” Cosima asked as she led her girlfriend downstairs to the kitchen where Felix and Tony were still sitting, chatting about who knows what. Sarah just shrugged.
“Hey, princess,” Tony greeted Sarah with a smile. “Here’s some coffee. Don’t worry. I didn’t let Felix make it.”
“Excuse me,” Felix said with a gaping stare at the clone. “You offered, Tony. I can make coffee. I’m a fucking pro at making coffee.”
Cosima and Sarah exchanged all-knowing looks. Those two. It almost felt normal. Like Sarah hadn’t almost fallen off the edge. Like they were just chatting at 2 a.m. like friends do. But things weren’t normal. This was recovery.
“I don’t want to wake up the kids,” Sarah told them suddenly as if it was an epiphany. “And I want to sober up a little more. If that’s a’right.”
Cosima nodded and squeezed her hand. She thought that was a good idea. “I’ll let Alison know.” She got up and headed to the other room to grab her phone and check in with the other clone.
“M’really sorry for everythin’,” Sarah told Felix and Tony quietly. “This is… I was shit to you all. You shouldn’t have to pull me away from despair like m’some bloody angsty teen. S’not fair to either of you.”
“Look, girly, I know better than anyone what it’s like to be hella depressed,” Tony reassured her. “It’s not something you have control over. But you can work on it. Medication helps if that’s what you need. And you have to lean on your fam, princess. Lean on all of us. But ‘specially Cosima. You both need it.”
“Do you think things could ever be back to where it was?”
“No,” Felix told her simply and with a shrug like it didn’t matter. “But who cares? Maybe it could turn into something better. Something more honest. She’s seen the worst, Sarah, and she hasn’t run. Maybe you both needed to know you were capable of stayin’.”
Sarah felt her heart soar as she saw Cosima return to the kitchen with a soft smile on her face. Felix was right. Despite all the terribleness they’ve been through, they’ve survived it all. And left standing were still the feelings that they had for each other. There was a strength in it. An unstoppable force.
The scientist returned to the kitchen table with a pack of cards in her hand. They knew that there was no way anyone was sleeping tonight.
Cosima didn’t know who was happier to see one another: Kira or Sarah. Like a scene from a movie, the mother and daughter ran to each other with open arms with Sarah practically swinging her up in the air. They had been through so much together, so much to be together, being apart just didn’t feel right.
“M’so sorry, monkey,” Sarah told her daughter with tears streaming down her face as she cupped her daughter’s cheeks.
“No apologies, Mum. It’s okay. I’m just glad that you’re okay.”
Sarah smiled at her gently and kissed the top of her head. “I love you so much, babes.”
Kira grinned at her and said, “I love you, too.”
The two of them hugged again and Sarah threatened to never let go. Charlotte joined in on the hug a few moments later and the Mannings cheered. Cosima watched them with awe and joy. They were her family. The people that she could not live without. She never expected this life for herself. Finding a woman that she fell in love with. Taking care of kids she adored. Living almost an average life (even if she was in love with another clone) after dealing with something that was the opposite of average.
She never thought she would have it as an early adult. It looked less likely when she found out she was a clone. She thought it was impossible when she thought she was going to die.
But here she was.
“You look happy,” Helena muttered to her as she and Alison wrapped their arms around the scientist, watching Sarah love the kids that were her own.
“Yeah,” Cosima replied, tears rolling down her cheeks as she sighed with relief. “Yeah, I’m happy.”
“You know, babe,” Cosima mentioned to her girlfriend as she traced the tattoo on Sarah’s hip over and over again. The movement was part of their nightly ritual. It helped Sarah sleep. “I’ve been thinking about getting another tattoo.”
“Mmmm,” Sarah hummed and smiled (her eyes still closed). “Tattooin’ my name on your heart?”
“That’s a little bit possessive and patriarchal, isn’t it?” Cosima asked her, completely amused by her girlfriend’s partially asleep state.
“Whyya gotta be right all the time, geek monkey?” Sarah asked her and groaned as she moved closer to Cosima and wrapped her arms tightly around her. They put their foreheads together and Sarah kissed her. “S’romantic. That’s the point. Declaration of love and all that shit.”
Cosima smirked. “Oh, really? So would you get a tattoo with my name on your chest? In calligraphy and a heart around it?”
“I don’t need a tattoo on my chest to show you how much I love you, Cosima Niehaus,” Sarah professed and kissed her again. “Besides, if I wanted to tattoo your name on my body, it wouldn’t be on my chest.”
Cosima wanted to freak out about Sarah’s sudden and first admission of love, but she had to control herself. She didn’t want to ruin the moment by nerding out and pointing out that they were very much in love. She had no idea she could fall even deeper in love with Sarah Manning. But she did. Every moment of every day.
“Where would you put it?”
Sarah raised a suggestive eyebrow. “I guess I’ll just have to show you.”
The punk disappeared and traveled under the sheets. Cosima gasped. She found it.
Thank you so much for reading! Let me know what you think with a comment! Can't believe this story is almost ending :( It's been quite the trip! :)
“He’s drivin’ me mad!” Sarah shouted and banged her head on the wall with just enough dramatic energy to make Cosima roll her eyes and laugh all at once.
“He’s your brother,” Cosima pointed out as she ran from the bathroom to their bedroom. “It’s kind of his job, baby. Besides, he’s stressed about everything going right. Shit. Speaking of everything going right, I’m already running late. How the hell is that even possible?”
Sarah checked her phone again and groaned. “He has like five other sisters. How come I gotta be his best mate, ey? M’just not good at this stuff. He shoulda picked Alison as his best mate. Someone who can match his crazy.”
“He enjoyed the bachelor’s party you threw him!” Cosima pointed out as she tore her lab coat and normal clothes off to put on the suit she bought for the wedding. “Tony told me you got him very wasted. And Alison is already preparing the wedding at her house. She’s got enough on her plate. Besides, you know that Felix would always pick you. Just like you picked him for our ceremony.”
Sarah grumbled and shrugged, her normal reaction to when Cosima was being saner than her. She noticed that Cosima was struggling to put her suit on and chuckled. “Babe. Babe, let me help you with that. You’re lookin’ like a bloody dancin’ monkey, geek monkey.”
“You’re getting geekier by the day, not so punk-rock-ho,” Cosima joked when Sarah helped her put the jacket on.
The punk gasped (almost imitating Alison). “Oi! You take that back! If anythin’, I’m gettin’ geekier because I’ve been livin’ with you for the past five years.”
Cosima put her hands up in surrender. “I can’t argue against that, Sar-bear.” She turned around and finally got a good look at the woman in front of her. She smirked. Sarah was wearing a button down shirt with a leather jacket over it and leather pants. She was even wearing a bowtie, as per Felix’s request. Sarah’s messy hair was held up in barrettes, the streaks of red still visible (Alison got all the clones to dye their hair together) with her hair in a ponytail. “Damn. My wife’s hot as hell.”
“Mmmm,” Sarah said and pushed up Cosima’s glasses before kissing her nose. “You’re just sayin’ that ‘cause you want to get shagged later.”
“Wow, I’m not a horny teenager, Sar,” Cosima said as she tried to contain her short curly hair with an oily gel. She had been worried about getting rid of the dreads, but she knew it was time. Sarah’s reaction to her hair, her pure delight, led to her keeping it short. “I can’t just objectify my wife? Is that not allowed anymore unless I want sex?”
Sarah shrugged and ruffled Cosima’s short hair. “I thought you’d get tired of the way I looked. Besides, maybe I was just projectin’. Wantin’ you n’all.”
“Do we have time for a quickie?” Cosima asked with a raised eyebrow and pressed her wife against their dresser.
The punk groaned mercilessly as Cosima kissed her neck and started to explore her body with her talented hands. “You’re killin’ me, Niehaus. We’re already late. Alison’s gonna kill us. Besides, aren’t the kids--”
“MUM!” Just on cue.
Cosima and Sarah sighed and moved away from each other like it was rehearsed. Luckily over the past five years, Kira learned how to knock.
Kira Manning, eighteen, and ready to take on the world. Tall, like her father, with Sarah’s unruly hair, though it was lighter and more auburn colored (and sometimes had colored streaks too). She was more of a rule-follower than her mom, but she got into her fair share of trouble with Alison’s kids, Maya, and Charlotte. Nothing ever too crazy, but they got into all the mischief they could before having to go out into the real world.
Her mom cried when she got into college and when she received her diploma. Kira was able to do everything that Sarah had convinced herself she couldn’t. She was on her way to changing the world and Sarah knew it. She couldn’t be more proud.
Charlotte Niehaus, small and mighty (just like Sarah and Cosima), knew that she wanted to change the world with science. She wanted to follow Cosima’s footsteps, but knew she wanted to go into the medical field. She was thinking about becoming a pediatrician, wanting to help sick kids like Cosima helped her. She was going to a different school than Kira, but not too far away. They couldn’t stand being apart for too long. They were practically sisters, after all.
“We’re comin’, we’re comin’!” Sarah called out and opened the door. She leaned over close to her wife and muttered, “Christ, s’like our kids are really our parents.”
Cosima snorted and decided that her outfit was good enough. She put shoes on and pushed her wife out the door. Kira and Charlotte were at the front door, holding the youngest member of the family, just three-years-old.
“She didn’t want to wear her dress,” Kira said and passed the toddler over to Sarah once the young toddler reached for her and cried out ‘mummy’. “She’s smiling now, but was kicking and screaming a few hours ago.”
“She sounds like the rest of this family,” Sarah said and made a face at her daughter so that she could laugh. “Hi, babes.”
“Ellie should yell at her uncle Felix,” Cosima commented and passed out jackets to all the members of the family. She kissed her daughter’s forehead. “It’s his fault that she’s wearing a dress at all.”
Mocking Felix’s voice, Sarah added, “I want my perfect flower girl to wear the perfect flower girl dress for the perfect wedding.” She smiled when she heard her daughter giggle. “Did that sound like your uncle Felix, monkey?”
Ellie, short for Elizabeth, put her hands up in the air and cheered, “Uncle Fee!”
“We are so late,” Charlotte whispered to Kira as she checked her phone. “Tony is sending me a bunch of messages.”
Sarah opened the front door. “Everyone go get into the car. We have everythin’, right? Aw, shite. I’ll go get Helena and the boys next door. Kira, can you drive Charlotte and your sister over to your uncle Felix’s? Still don’t know why Helena can’t bloody learn how to drive and get a proper car but…”
“I’ll go make sure the car seats are right,” Cosima told her wife and kissed her on the cheek before following the kids outside.
Sarah took a deep breath and followed. She went next door and rang the doorbell. Luckily, Helena was rarely late. A few years ago, right before Sarah gave birth to Ellie, Helena moved into the abandoned townhome next door, surprising, well, everyone.
Helena needed independence, at least that's what she told everyone. She had gotten a job at the library and volunteered to help children in her spare time. Sarah had to eventually admit, she liked having her twin around. Even if Helena and the twin boys spent almost all their time at Sarah’s house, creating even more chaos than normal.
“Sestra, are you ready now?”
Sarah rolled her eyes and tried to not comment on the fact that Helena was wearing one of Alison’s dresses. “Yeah, yeah, so funny, Helena. You know how late Cosima makes me. C’mon, meathead. Chop chop.”
Arthur and Donnie, six-years-old and in their never-ending energy stage, ran out of the door and into the mini-van that Sarah and Cosima had reluctantly bought when Sarah had gotten pregnant. Like their mother, they were big eaters with big hearts. And both of them loved their namesakes (even though they did prefer to be called AJ and DJ or even Artie and Don).
“I dunno how you do it, meathead.”
Helena shrugged and wrapped her arm lovingly around her twin. “With your help, Sestra. And do not call me this.”
“He’s so tall,” Alison said randomly as she stared at her son as he and all the other young-adults put up decorations outside. Oscar, lengthy and just as dorky as his parents, was laughing with his sister, Charlotte, and Maya as Kira did impressions of people in the family. “He’s like a foot and a half taller than me.”
Sarah looked up at the smiling kids and shrugged. “I understand the feelin’. My heart died a little the day that I realized I was shorter than my daughter.”
“At least you have Charlotte and Ellie,” Alison pointed out and patted Sarah awkwardly on the shoulder, making them both cringe a little. “Heavens, Gemma’s nearly as tall as Kira. When did they get so old?”
Sarah frowned at the thought of it. “One day Kira was callin’ me ‘mummy’ and refused to let go of my hand and the next she was tellin’ me m’too old to wear leather.”
Alison looked her up and down. “You are too old to be wearing leather. You’re almost fo--”
“Don’t you dare say it, Ali,” Sarah interrupted with a death glare. “Christ, I’d like to be willfully ignorant about how age works for the rest of my life, thank you.”
Alison rolled her eyes. “Age is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a good thing. I mean, we made it here. Six years ago, would you have thought that?”
“Oi!” Felix shouted from the top of the stairs of the basement, stopping Sarah from having an incoming existential crisis. “Can my two bridesmaids actually come help the bride?”
The soccer mom and punk shared a look before heading upstairs. Cosima snorted. As much as the two of them got onto each other’s nerves, there were inseparable. They were two peas in a pod. Despite everything, their backgrounds and personalities, there was a bond between them. They had only known each other for less than a decade, but they acted like childhood friends. Like they had known each other forever.
Scott and Hell Wizard were outside setting up the speakers for the music. Even from the distance, Cosima could hear them chatting away about a new co-op game that they were excited for it to come out and the brilliance of Kang and Kodos (and how those two aliens were more electable than the third party) from The Simpsons . She was always glad to hear them talking about nerdy shit instead of clone drama.
In the corner of the room, where there was all the food, Art was trying to not only stop Helena’s sons from eating but also Helena herself. Art, who Cosima became quite fond of over the years, gave her a pleading look. The scientist smiled and came to his rescue.
“Yo, Helena, what’re you trying to steal?”
“I promised brother-sestra I would not eat cake,” Helena told her simply like it was no big deal. “I did not promise I would not eat anything else.”
It was hard for Cosima to argue with that logic.
The door opened and Cosima turned around to find a familiar blonde that made her smile. Delphine. The French scientist always kept her promise. She came back when there were important events and they even visited her in Montreal, though, they had to be careful so that Delphine’s wife didn’t see all the clones. Still, Cosima hadn’t seen her in a long time. And she missed her.
“Enchantée,” Cosima greeted and grinned at her.
“Enchantée, Cosima,” Delphine laughed and hugged her like she hadn’t seen her in years. “It’s so good to see you.”
“It’s been like forever,” Cosima agreed and immediately asked, “How’s Adette? When is she due?”
A somehow wider smile grew from the blonde’s lips, revealing her perfect dimples. “Only a few weeks. Which is why she isn’t here. She says bonjour, by the way.”
Cosima raised an eyebrow. “Did you then… er… tell her about us?”
When Delphine had first met Adette, she and Cosima had long discussions about whether or not to tell her about the clones and DYAD and Neolution and all the shit in between. Delphine had decided to not tell her. She didn’t want to live in her past and all that trauma. And she didn’t want Adette to know about any of it. But, Delphine fell in love and they got married. It got to a point where she could no longer keep it all a secret.
Delphine nodded. “She always knew that there was a lot in my past. I mean… the scar. She was very… surprised to say the least. But I think that she is just glad that she knows. After the baby is born, she’d like to meet all of you.”
“I think we can accomplish that,” Cosima told her with a grin. She heard the sound of a loud giggle and turned around to find Ellie running toward her from where Charlotte and Kira were. “Hi, baby girl!”
“Momma!” Ellie shouted and jumped into her mother’s arms. “When’s Uncle Fee comin’?”
“Soon, my silly monkey. Hey, E, do you remember your Aunt Delphine?”
Ellie, with wide and curious eyes, looked up at the blonde who was ogling her. She nodded and wrapped her arms around her. The three-year-old had a good memory of all the people who loved her.
“Yo!” Tony shouted as he came down the stairs wearing a snazzy tux that Cosima had helped him pick out. “Felix is almost ready. Is everything set up outside?”
“I believe so,” Cosima told him. “Alison said that she was ready before. But she can tell you that herself.” She nodded in the direction of the woman who came downstairs.
“Chop chop, everyone!” Alison called out to everyone. “Sarah’s walking him down in three minutes. Everyone in their spots.”
Everyone moved like a herd outside to the elegant aisle from the door to the end of the backyard where there was the homemade wedding arch that Cosima and Sarah also used for their ceremony at Shite Beach. Donnie, who was the officiant, stood in the middle of the arch while almost everyone else stood along each side of the aisle. Alison stood on one side of the arch and Tony stood on the opposite side, grinning like a happy idiot. Cosima stood near the entrance of the aisle, ready to give her youngest daughter the basket of petals when she saw Sarah and Felix approach her. Felix, in his overly fancy garb, was laughing at whatever his sister was whispering in his ear.
Hell Wizard pressed play on the speaker and the song started. Cosima grinned. Of course it was Felix and Tony who picked such a weird groove for their wedding. Ellie danced to the music as she flung the petals at her family members. Everyone laughed at the carefree toddler.
Then it was Sarah and Felix’s turn. The scientist could see the tears in Sarah’s eyes. Her little brother was getting married. And after all the stories that Cosima had learned of their past, she knew that Sarah had always been his protector, just as he had been hers.
The second that Felix and Sarah had reached Tony, the punk placed her brother’s hand into Tony’s and winked at him. Tony winked back and she took her place next to her brother, right beside where Alison was standing.
Donnie, presumably under the direction of Alison, gave a passionate albeit slightly corny speech about finding love, catching it, holding it, and never letting it go. It brought tears to Alison’s eyes, as if it was made to. But everyone enjoyed it, nevertheless. And besides, at the end, it was Tony and Felix who stole the show with a kiss that lasted almost three minutes long. People were cheering and whistling and laughing. This was a celebration.
Hell Wizard started to play from the playlist he had created for the event. Almost immediately, everyone started to dance. Cosima found Sarah as quick as she could. There was nothing that she enjoyed more than dancing with the love of her life. They watched as the kids all danced in a big circle with Ellie in the middle, dancing similarly to Cosima.
Though, it only took minutes for Helena to take Sarah’s hand while Cosima found Scott. He was smiling at her almost with embarrassment as she took the lead.
“I’m sorry Helena stole your wife away.”
Cosima looked around and found them jumping up and down wildly. Sarah threw her leather jacket off and pulled the elastic band out of her hair, letting the mess cascade down her shoulders as she grooved with her twin.
“It’s totally fine! I always knew that Sarah had more than one soulmate. And what about you? Catch any feelings for anyone recently? Are you still meeting up with Krystal’s friend? What’s-her-name?”
Scott blushed and shook his head. “Brie? No, I mean. Yeah, we still have coffee. But it’s not… I mean, most of the time, she ends up talking about Krystal.”
Cosima pretended to gasp. “Scotty, are you inferring that there’s some gay drama there?”
He glared at her. “It’s just a hypothesis. But I don’t know. Have you talked to Krystal recently?”
“Don’t try to change the subject,” Cosima told him carefully. “But sort of? I mean, she still thinks that there’s this cosmetic conspiracy. And the more she talks about it, the more I freaking believe it. She still bugs Sarah. I’m not sure if Krystal really doesn’t remember her name or she calls Sarah “Sally” just to piss her off, but either way, it’s hilarious. Sarah’s tried to explain what she can, but… Krystal’s in her own world. But back to Brie. So, there’s nothing there?”
“Nope. She is nice, though. I like talking to her. But there are no feelings or anything like that.”
Cosima nodded. “And Hell Wizard?”
Scott blushed even more. “I’m going to dance with Delphine. Bye.”
He left her faster than she thought even possible, but Alison quickly took Scott’s spot.
“Thank you for saving me,” Cosima told her a little breathlessly. “I think I scared poor Scotty away.”
Alison hummed. “I’m not even going to ask what you said to him. I’m sure it’s something I would find totally egregious.”
“I’m sure,” Cosima agreed with a grin. “How are you doing? I feel like we don’t have a lot of alone time together.”
“I’m very well, Cosima. The kids are growing up and so is Donnie. And I’m doing extremely well with the lack of the c-word drama.”
Cosima wanted to remind the clone that there was another c-word but decided to not piss her off. “I’m really super glad. Who knew when we first met that we’d ever end up here, you know?”
Alison smirked slightly. “Are you talking about being alive or us being… friendly? I did make an absolute fool out of myself when we first met.”
Cosima grinned and shook her head. “Oh my god, I almost forgot. When we met you were tripping. Have you told Sarah? Oh my god, imagine her reaction.”
The soccer mom grimaced. “Please, Lord, do not tell Sarah. She would not let it go.”
“Yeah, she would milk it. But I have plenty of stories of Sarah you could use against her as well.”
Alison raised an eyebrow. “You would tell me stories about Sarah? Doesn’t that kind of go against wife rules?”
Cosima shrugged. “We like to keep it interesting. And besides,” she turned to look at Sarah dancing with Felix and Tony, “she’s told Felix about my marvel character underwear. It’s war now.”
Alison laughed. “Marvel underwear? And Felix was surprised? Tell me something about Sarah.”
The scientist looked around, pretending to see if anyone was listening. She grinned and lowered her voice. “Sarah sings Disney songs and punk songs to Ellie before she goes to sleep. One day it’s Tangled and the next it’s The Ramones.”
Alison scrunched up her nose and pointed out, “That’s cute, Cosima. I can’t make fun of her about that.”
“Yeah,” Cosima agreed with a sigh. “You’re probably right. Shit. Everything she does is cute.”
The soccer mom raised her eyebrows. “I’m not saying that. I know she’s your wife and all, but honestly, you can’t tell me you actually think that’s really true.”
Cosima shook her head. “Nope. It’s true. Sarah’s completely adorable.”
“You find that adorable?” Alison said and pointed to Sarah, who along with Felix on the outside, was grinding on Tony who was in the middle of them both. They were all laughing and grinning and Cosima felt her heart swell.
Alison opened her mouth to argue but Delphine approached them and asked if she could cut in. The soccer mom narrowed her eyes at the blonde, but as Cosima nodded, she backed off.
Delphine was not the best dancer, so she wasn’t surprised when she asked her if they could get a drink. It was something that she learned at her own ceremony. She hadn’t even expected Delphine to come, but she insisted on inviting her without any complaints from Sarah. But she showed up with nothing but smiles on her face.
“Sarah looks happy,” Delphine commented as she sipped the champagne.
“She is happy,” Cosima told her and kept her eyes on Sarah, who was whispering something in Art’s ear as he joined them. He shook his head and Sarah apparently didn't listen to him. She dragged his body along and tried to show him how to move to the music. “I think the trauma is… it’s not suffocating her anymore. I mean, a lot of us have enough trauma to last a lifetime, but--”
“Sarah carried everyone’s trauma,” Delphine finished with a head nod as if she understood. “She deserves this. She deserves all of it. So do you.”
Cosima bit her lip as she watched Delphine almost stare off into space. “I do really regret how things ended between us.”
Delphine shook her head. “It is all in the past. Everything happened the way it should have, yes?”
The brunette didn’t even have to think about it. “Yes.” She was about to say more when the first slow song of the day began. “Excuse me, Delphine. I’m going to dance with my wife.”
She hurried across the grass to Sarah, who had finally turned to look at her. Right before their own ceremony, Cosima had learned that the punk wasn’t comfortable with slow dancing and was practically taking lessons from Alison. Sarah still didn’t quite enjoy it, but she didn’t even hesitate approaching her wife and wrapping her arms around her waist as Cosima reached up around her neck.
“Have you been watchin’ me, love?” Sarah asked her with a wicked grin as they swayed across the floor and tuned out everything besides each other.
“I can’t help it,” Cosima told her with a shrug. “My baby looks hot.”
“Christ. You’re makin’ me want to shag you in Alison’s closet. Again.”
Cosima smirked. “Maybe later. Right now, I just want to dance with you. Ooh, I also wanted to tell you good job not letting Felix trip.”
“It was kinda terrifyin’,” Sarah confessed and pulled her a little closer. “If the kids get married, you’re walkin’ em down the aisle.”
The scientist’s eyes widened. “That won’t happen for a long long time, Sar. I wouldn’t worry about it right now.”
“I worry about everythin’.”
Cosima let out a small chuckle at her wife’s honesty. “I know, babe. At least you admit it. You know, when we first met, I thought you were so cool. I mean, kind of bitchy and unreliable, but cool. Instead, it turns out you’re a chronic worrier.”
Sarah smacked her. “Oi! Those aren't mutually exclusive!”
“I know, I know. You are very cool, Sarah Manning. The epitome of cool. Just being with you, it’s made me cool. I was like, stoner cool , before, but now I’m like leather jacket cool.”
The punk rolled her eyes. “I would like you to stop, geek monkey. Callin’ yourself cool doesn’t make you cool. But bein’ a geek, well, that’s hotter than cool.”
“Thanks for flattering me, Sar-bear. You always keep the love alive.”
Sarah winked at her and smiled. Cosima had her wife’s smile memorized by now and burned into her memory after the years of getting to see it. It wasn’t always easy for the punk; depression was a nasty illness that seemed to come when it wanted to. But they always got through it together. Every nightmare, every fight, every negative and intruding thought. They made it, always finding ways back into the light.
Cosima broke away from her daze as she heard her wife cheer as all three of her kids ran up to them and pulled them into a dancing circle. Everyone ended up in giggles as they all tried to slow dance in one large group. Cosima watched as Sarah pulled Ellie into her arms and held her daughter close, whispering things to her that made her laugh.
The scientist thought about the day that Sarah had admitted to her, shortly after Ellie’s birth, that she was glad to finally watch her daughter grow and be the mom she always wanted to be. Cosima ended up crying and confessing that she never thought she would have this. A family, a wife, kids. For a while, she didn’t even think she would live long enough to have what she had now. But she was here. She was home. And god, with Sarah Manning in her arms, she was happy.
Kira and Charlotte had pulled away and started to do the chicken dance, laughing hysterically as they attempted to do it slowly to the beat.
Sarah leaned over and whispered to her wife, “How did I end up with a family of nerds?”
Cosima grinned and said, “You’re just lucky, I guess.”
With Ellie in her arms, Sarah leaned over and almost kissed her, their mouths less than an inch apart away. But instead of kissing her, Sarah just said, “I was thinkin’ the same thing.”
Thank you so so so much for reading this story! It's definitely one of my favorites and I'm pretty sad that it's over. Please comment and let me know what you think!