Actions

Work Header

what could've been

Chapter Text

The air in the train station was cold when Sarah stepped off of the train. She shoved her hands into the pockets of her leather jacket as she pushed her way through the crowd. Her hands burned as the wind blew as she picked up the phone at the phone box, pushing in the buttons of Mrs. S’s phone number.

The phone rang for a long moment until Siobhan picked up on the other end.

“Who’s this?” Her accent cut through the line, familiar against Sarah’s ear.

She inhaled. “Hey, S, it’s me. It’s Sarah.”

Siobhan was silent on the other end of the line. “You’re not dead.” Was all she said.

Sarah chuckled awkwardly. “You know me,” she said, “too stubborn to die.”

She heard a noise from Siobhan’s side of the line. The sound of distant, small footsteps. The footsteps of her daughter. Of Kira.

“I take it you’re back?” Siobhan said with no warmth in her tone.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m back in town,” Sarah said. “I’m back for Kira.”

Siobhan sighed. “Sarah… you know how I feel about you taking Kira.”

“She’s my daughter, S. She belongs with me.”

“And I would agree with you if you didn’t dump her on me and your brother for ten months.”

Sarah fought back the urge to let her building tears fall. She knew Siobhan was right, that Kira was better off in her care than in Sarah’s.

Ten minutes of heated arguing passed when Sarah noticed the other woman at the station. Sarah was not the best at reading people, but her basic person reading skills could pick up that the other woman was in distress. Whatever Siobhan was saying sounded like background static and was ignored as Sarah quickly hung the phone back on the receiver, making her way over to the other woman. The other woman looked like she needed help from the look of her trembling body as she slid off her heels. 

Sarah approached her slowly, hand extended so she could reach for her elbow and ask if she needed help. She was surprised when the woman turned around. The woman looking back at her looked exactly like her. Despite her neat, brunette hair, she had her face. The same dark eyebrows and the same lips. The same dark eyes, though this woman’s eyes had a look of defeat. A look of someone who was tired. The look of someone who wanted to end it all.

Sarah knew what was coming next. She stood frozen in fear, but as the woman turned to walk to the edge of the platform, adrenaline kicked in and she forced herself forward to grab her lookalike from behind by the waist. As Sarah dragged her back off of the edge of the platform, the other woman thrashed and swore. She tried to fight her way out of Sarah’s arms, throwing her head back so the back of her head smashed into Sarah’s mouth. Her mouth tasted like metal and her chin stung but she kept her grip on the other woman.

The other woman gave up thrashing when the train passed, and when Sarah let her go, she turned on her heel to face her.

“Why did you do that?” She snapped. “Why wouldn’t you let me die?”

“I wasn’t going to let you fucking kill yourself, lady.” Sarah said.

Her lookalike ran her hand through her now messy hair. “Why?” Her voice cracked. She sounded as defeated as she looked.

“‘Cause you look just like me.” Sarah said. “Why is that?”

The other woman shook her head. “It’s better that you stay out of it.”

“Sorry lady, I want to know why there’s another chick who’s walking around with my bloody face.”

The other woman looked at her for the first time. “Stay out of it.”

She turned to walk away. Sarah was a step behind her, grabbing her elbow and yanking her to a stop.

“Are you my twin?”

The question sounded stupid, but Sarah has gone so long without knowing who her biological family was, that the chance, the chance, that the lady whose ass she just saved, is her sister, her family, gave Sarah a little glimmer of hope. 

The other woman turned to face her fully. She decided her options, then sighed. “You could say that, I guess.”

Sarah’s heart skipped in her chest. She had a sister. Family. She was in shock, and had to fight the urge to throw her arms around the woman who had her face.

“We’re sisters?” She asked.

The other woman looked around quickly. “It’s uh, it’s complicated.” She said.

Sarah was confused. “Complicated?”

The other woman looked exasperated. “Yeah, complicated. Jesus just, do you have a pen and a piece of paper or something?” She asked. 

Sarah rummaged through her backpack until she found a crumpled receipt and a pen. She handed it to the other woman, who scribbled something onto the back of the receipt and handed it back to her. It was an address.

“If you want your questions answered, go there at nine o’clock on Wednesday night.”

She shook her head. “Why should I trust you? How do I know that you’re not some psycho cultist who’s gonna chop my tits off and sacrifice them to some God?”

The other woman chuckled. “Do I really look like the ‘psycho cultist’ type?”

“You never fucking know.”

The other woman rolled her eyes, and extended her hand. “I’m Beth. Beth Childs. And I promise you that I’m not in a cult.”

Sarah took her hand cautiously. “Sarah. Sarah Manning.”

A flash of recognition shadowed Beth’s face, but she said nothing. She turned, slid back into her heels, and started to make her way off of the platform. Sarah watched as she walked, surprised when she stopped and turned back to look at her.

“Hey, uh, thanks. Thanks for y’know,” she gestured to the tracks. “For saving my life.”

Sarah nodded. “Yeah, yeah. It’s no problem.” 

The other woman nodded and turned and continued to walk off of the platform. Sarah watched her go, her head still spinning. Beth Childs. The woman who was going to kill herself for whatever reason she had. Beth Childs. The woman who had Sarah’s face. Beth Childs. The woman who could quite possibly be her sister.

Chapter Text

Beth tried to ignore the stares of the remaining people she passed as she walked out of the station. She walked with her head held high, trying her best to keep herself together. She knew the people were watching her with a mix of concern and horror. Seeing someone try to walk out in front of a train wasn’t an everyday thing.

She shivered when she stepped outside, hugging herself as she made her way back to her car. She sniffled, knowing the irony of being cold after attempting to kill herself. Here she was, alive and breathing, knowing that if Sarah Manning had not saved her life, her body would be lifeless and cold, just like the breeze that brushed her cheeks.

She got into her car, and something about the thought that she was alive, the thought that she had been so close to ending her life, was too much for her. A sob escaped her lips, and she pressed her face into her hands. She was trembling and tears were still falling as she turned the ignition, and her car started.

The Taylor Swift song that had been playing off of the CD Alison had gifted her at Christmas started to play, and she slammed her hand onto the radio to get it to stop. She didn’t want music right now. She wanted to sit in silence and be at war with herself for the decisions she had made.

She pulled out of the train station’s parking lot, wiping the remaining tears from her face. She didn’t know where she was to go. She didn’t want to go home, to Paul, who spied on her. She didn’t want to go to Alison’s and explain that she missed their weekly meetup because she was trying to kill herself. Cosima had probably already left Alison’s, making her way back to Minnesota. Mika was nowhere to be found at the moment. She had nowhere to go.

She turned onto the street with the intention of just driving until sunrise, but as she kept going, she found herself making her way to the last place she should go.

Beth was driving down Art’s street knowing that this was a mistake. She didn’t want to be there, but she had nowhere else to go and she needed to be with someone.

When she got out of her car, she wretched and vomited on the side of the street. She was shaking as she wiped her mouth on her sleeve, trying her best not to vomit again.

Is this what her life has become? She had been a person with a normal life until all of this clone shit happened. Now she didn’t even know if she was a real person. If she had been successful at ending her own life, who’s to say that whoever created her couldn’t just slip a new, and stable, Beth Childs into her place?

She hated lying to Art about what was going on. He was her partner, her closest friend, and she knew he saw through the bullshit lies she spewed at him when he asked her what was going on. He knew she was not all right, but she had fought him on it too many times, so he gave up trying. She knew that if she ever pulled her head out of her ass and opened up, he would be right by her side to help her through it.

But she couldn’t risk him. Not like that.

She knocked on his door, and when he pulled open the door, shame washed through her like a wave. He looked confused on why she was there, disheveled, looking like she had a rough night.

“Beth?” He asked, leaning in his doorway. “You all right?”

She was wrestling with what she needed to say and what she wanted to say. “I come in peace,” she decided, “I just needed a place to stay for the night.”

He nodded. He turned behind him. “Hey, Maya, it’s time for bed.”

His daughter whined. “Why Daddy?”

“Because Beth is here and she’s going to stay the night.”

Maya perked up. “Beth is here?” She craned her neck to see Beth standing in the hall.

“Hey kiddo.” Beth rasped as Maya hopped off of the couch, brushed past her father, and threw her arms around Beth’s waist. She forced a smile onto her face, but the feel of Maya’s squeeze made her forced smile melt into a more genuine one.

As Art started to guide his daughter to bed, she stopped, peeking over his arm. “Can Beth tuck me in?”

He turned back to her, unsure. She nodded. “Of course, I’ll be in in a minute. You get into your pajamas and I’ll be there.”

The little girl nodded and allowed her father to usher her into her bedroom. Beth stepped into the bathroom, washing her face and swirling sink water and mouthwash to get the taste of vomit off of her tongue.

She made her way into Maya’s bedroom, who was sitting on her bed, waiting expectantly. Beth smiled as she closed the door behind her. Maya had a book in her hands. She held it up to Beth as she settled down into the bed. It was a copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. There was a bookmark placed firmly in the middle of the book, and Maya was grinning as she handed Beth the book.

“Daddy says you like these books,” Maya said. “I started reading them because of you.”

Beth smiled softly. “Really?”

Maya nodded. “I was hoping you’d get to read me one of them one day.”

“Well, your wish has come true.”

They were up for an hour and a half, Beth reading the novel to the girl. When Maya was finally asleep, Beth slipped out of the bed and placed the book on her shelf. She crept out of the room and into the living room. Art was on the couch, a beer in hand. He was watching the news, and she stood in the divide between the hallway and the living room, watching him quietly.

She wondered if this could be her life one day. A husband and a daughter. She couldn’t see a life like this with Paul, and she tried, she tried, but her inability to get pregnant had caused a bit of a fray in their relationship. If only she wasn’t infertile, then maybe Paul would really love her.

Art on the other hand, she knew she could have this life with. She tried to deny it for as long as she could, but she knew that she couldn’t deny her feelings anymore. They felt wrong, but they also felt right, and she tried her best to figure out how she felt but it just left her frustrated and confused.

She thought it had been the drugs and the booze, but she knew that wasn’t what caused it. She tried her best to blame it on delusions she had when she was high, but she knew that the little anxious flutter of feelings had been happening since she first met Art all those years ago.

He noticed her watching him, and he gestured for her to take a seat next to him. She did, slowly, and he didn’t ask what was wrong. She leaned into him, and he looked over at her, surprised by her sudden affection. Beth normally wasn’t the touchy feely type.

They watched mindless television for hours, until the sun started to rise and she was exhausted. She was curled on Art’s couch, and as he bent over to tell her he was going to bed so he could get into work with a little sleep, she leaned in and ignored her panic that screamed oh shit what if this is wrong?

Her lips crashed onto his, and he stiffened. She panicked, preparing for him to pull away, but was surprised when he started kissing her back. He rested his hands on her waist, and she tensed. She could tell that he wanted this, wanted her, and she did too. She knew it was wrong, but she didn’t care. She rested her hands on his shoulders, and as if that was the point where they both came to their senses, they both pulled away, out of breath and confused.

“Sorry, that was wrong of me.” Beth said, rising to her feet.

Art followed. “No, Beth, you don’t have to-”

She shook her head. “No, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come here.”

She pulled open his door and hurried into the hall. She glanced over her shoulder, and her heart ached when she saw Art standing in his doorway, watching her go. Watching her run. Running away was what she was best at. Running away from her problems, running away from her feelings, running away from this whole clone thing.

By the time Beth got back to her car and pulled down the street, her heart was still pounding.

Chapter Text

Beth was jerked out of her disheveled sleep when there was a knock above her head. She sat up, not knowing where she was, glancing out of the window. When she saw Alison standing outside of her car, she remembered that she was parked in an abandoned parking lot. She had been sleeping there for the last two nights because she couldn’t bring herself to go home.

She started her car and rolled down the window, looking up into Alison’s impatient expression. She knew what was coming just by the way Alison was standing, with her arms crossed and tapping her foot. Cosima called it her “Mom Stance.”

“Where have you been?” She demanded as soon as Beth’s window was down.

Beth shrugged. “Here.”

“And why are you here?”

She shrugged again. “I didn’t want to go home.”

Alison let out a loud sigh. “You’re lucky I put a tracker on your phone.”

“You did what?

The other clone began tugging on the door. She pulled it open, told Beth to move over into the passenger’s seat, and turned to face her.

“I put a tracker on your phone. I worry about you, Beth.” Alison said as she pulled out of the parking lot.

Beth sighed. “I know, I’m sorry, Alison.”

They sat in silence as Alison drove, Beth was expecting that she would take her home, but was surprised when they started going to Scarborough.

“Where are we going?” Beth asked, turning to Alison.

“We’re going to my house,” Alison said, “you look like you haven’t slept or eaten properly in days.”

Beth chuckled lightly. Alison was the always mothering type, making sure Beth always had what she needed. She appreciated it, and she knew Alison is trying to make up for what she thinks is nothing, but she was a good support system for her.

She wondered how her suicide would have affected Alison. They were close, and her stomach twisted into knots at the thought of someone, no, not someone, Sarah, telling her that she saw her walk out in front of a train. She felt like she couldn’t breathe at the idea of Alison and Cosima grieving her, having a funeral for her, having to fight this fight without her.

She was glad that she was still alive.

She must have blanked out because when she came to, Alison was repeating her name.

“Sorry, what did you say?”

“I said I took care of that godforsaken cat of yours while you were playing homeless.”

Beth’s heart sank at the thought of leaving her cat alone while she was dealing with her own shit. She imagined Cersei, her little tan and white cat, sitting by the door, waiting for her to come home like she always did.

She remembered when she found the cat, she had been a small, thin kitten who had been curled into a tight ball. Her family had frozen to death in the cold, and Beth only noticed the kitten was there from the small mewling she heard as she was walking home from the station. 

She had carried her home in her pocket, hoping that it was warm enough inside. She walked to the local pet store to pick up food and other necessities, bringing the cat with her, and as the lady behind the counter asked her about the type of cat she had, Beth pulled the kitten from her pocket and showed her.

The woman was in shock when Beth told her she found her in a snow mound on the side of the road, curled helplessly to her dead mother, trying to keep herself warm. The woman said she rescued her just in time, and if she had been even twenty minutes later, the kitten would’ve died.

Beth’s heart had been in her throat as she watched the woman bathe and dry the kitten. She handed her a syringe full of food that the kitten would be able to digest, and allowed Beth to feed her. 

When she had brought her home, she hadn’t decided on a name yet. She tried her best to keep the kitten hidden from Paul, and the only time she let it out of her bedroom was when Cosima and Alison had come for their weekly meeting.

Cosima had been the one to fall in love with the kitten first, sitting with her on the floor and letting her wrestle with her fingers. She had been the one who named the kitten, giving her the name Cersei. Beth loved the name, and immediately thought it fit the little cat. 

Alison had been not as excited to meet Beth’s new companion, trying her best to steer clear of her when she scampered over. Alison wasn’t really the pet type, making a point of telling her son and daughter that they couldn’t have a dog until they were both adults. 

She brought her attention back to Alison. “Did Paul see you?”

Alison shook her head. “No,” she pulled a neatly folded note out of the pocket of her jacket. “He left this, though.”

 Beth took the note out of Alison’s hand. Scrawled in Paul’s tight and neat handwriting was

Hey, Beth. 

I don’t know where you went when you left, and I don’t know when you’ll be back. I’m reading your absence as you need space, so I decided to also have this space. I’ll be at Coady’s for as long as you need to be alone. Might drop by to get more clothes every so often, so don’t wait up.

Take care, I guess.

Paul.

Beth let out a sigh of relief. This was good. Paul was out of her hair for the time being. She could focus more on keeping her life from spiraling now that she doesn’t feel like she’s getting spied on.

“He seems like a jerk,” Alison said.

Beth huffed out a breath. “That’s an understatement.”

They were finally outside of Alison’s house, Beth checked to make sure they weren’t being watched. 

“You said Donnie is away for the rest of the week?”

“Yes, he has golf with his work buddies.”

“And your kids?”

“At his mother’s. I told him that I needed some ‘Me Time’ while he was gone.”

Beth nodded and smiled a little at Alison’s attempts to keep their whole situation a secret. She appreciated her for going to the lengths to make sure she was all right, and she knew how much Alison’s family meant to her. She was grateful for Alison to risk her family for her. She wished she wouldn’t, but Alison was too stubborn to hear otherwise.

Alison guided her to her brightly lit kitchen, where Beth flopped down in her usual spot at the table. Alison handed her a beer, and began to busy herself with making lunch. It was muscle memory. Alison mothering Beth like this.

“I brought your cat,” Alison said as she scurried around the kitchen, pulling out bread and fresh fruit. She placed a plate in front of Beth, who smeared mayonnaise onto the pieces of bread. Alison then plopped a pound of turkey in front of her, along with lettuce and freshly cut tomato. 

Beth’s stomach protested at the thought of eating, but she knew that Alison would be concerned if she didn’t eat. She pushed past the nauseating lump in her throat as she chewed and swallowed her first, small bite of sandwich. Even though her stomach protested, it felt good to finally eat. She hadn’t eaten properly in two days, and she could feel her energy start to build.

She looked at her phone for the first time since waking up, checking to see if she had any missed messages. Part of her hoped she’d have a message from Art, but her heart twisted when the only message she had was from Katja.

Katja Obinger was another clone who had contacted Beth through Mika. Alison and Cosima were aware of Katja, and it hurt Beth to lie to them about Mika, but they had both agreed that it was better for them not to know. For now, at least.

As if on cue, Alison asked, “Is that the German?”

She nodded. “Yeah, she said she’s trying to catch a flight over as soon as she can.”

“So she won’t be here for tonight’s meet up?”

Tonight’s meet up? Shit, it was Wednesday. Beth kicked herself mentally. She forgot that she had been at the train station on Monday. Fuck, that means tonight, if Sarah Manning comes through, Alison will meet another one of them.

Chapter Text

The sky was starting to turn dark when Sarah pulled up to the house Beth Childs had given her the address of. She craned her neck in an attempt to see into the windows, trying to see if there were other people in the house. She sighed and turned to Felix.

“I have to go in.” She started, not allowing Felix to try and talk her out of it.

Her adopted brother rolled his eyes. “You’re really trusting some woman who looks just like you? After she almost killed herself in front of you?” He scoffed. “Looks like Vic really rubbed off on you.”

Sarah shook her head. “Fe, Beth has answers. I need to know why there’s a woman walking around with my face.”

He didn’t answer for a moment. “This better be worth it. I’m already getting pimples from this disgusting suburbia.” He looked at himself in the rearview mirror and pointed to his chin. “See! There’s already a red spot!”

She chuckled to herself as she got out of the car. “Just… stay here, yeah? I might need back up.”

“Back up?” He asked. “I’m not back up!”

Before closing the door, she said, “Don’t talk to anyone.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t.”

She closed the car door and made her way to the house. She was glad that she had driven past the day before, but she wondered why someone like Beth Childs would choose to live in Scarborough. It didn’t make sense to her, but she didn't question it. She also didn’t question the fact that Beth seemed to have gotten bangs the day after Sarah saved her, and that she started to dress in bright clothes.

It made Sarah realize that she knew little to nothing about Beth other than she had her face. From their first meeting, Sarah never would have guessed that Beth would drive a minivan and look like a soccer mom, but life was full of surprises.

She made her way through the back, hopping the fence and picking the lock of the door. She snuck through the dark living room, keeping her footsteps quiet so she didn’t disturb anyone in the house.

She was almost successful if the lights hadn’t flicked on and “Beth” wasn’t pointing a pistol in her face. She was wearing a cable knit white sweater and her hair was falling down past her shoulders. 

Sarah threw her hands up. “What the fuck, Beth?”

“Beth” readjusted her grip on the handle of the pistol. “Beth? I’m not Beth.”

“Who the fuck are you then?”

After a moment footsteps could be heard coming down the stairs. Beth appeared around the corner, stepping into the scene of the other woman with Sarah’s face pointing a gun at her.

“Whoa, whoa, Alison! Put the gun down! I told her to come here!” She said, stepping in front of Alison, making the other woman put down the pistol.

Alison was glaring at Sarah from over Beth’s shoulder. Sarah’s fight or flight mode kicked in, and she could feel her body tense up. Her hands clenched at her sides. Beth turned to her.

“So you showed up.”

“Of course I showed up. I want answers as to why you, and her, have my bloody face.”

Beth took a deep breath and turned back to Alison. “Has Cosima called yet?”

Alison shook her head. “Not yet. She should be soon.”

Beth ran a hand through her hair. “It’s probably better if she explains it.”

The other woman nodded in agreement.

“Who’s Cosima?” Sarah asked.

Beth sat on the couch in the living room, letting out a deep sigh. “She’s another one of us.”

Sarah was confused. “What does that mean?”

Alison rolled her eyes. “We’re clones!” She snapped. “We’re someone’s experiment and they’re killing us off!”

Shock and even more confusion washed over Sarah like a wave. “Clones?”

Beth nodded into her hand. “I told you it was complicated.”

Sarah took a moment to actually look at the two women in front of her. Beth looked different now than she did at the train station. Her hair was pulled back like it had been that night, but she was wearing a worn Leaside High School girl’s basketball sweatshirt. She was wearing black jeans and black sneakers. Alison, on the other hand, had her hair neatly straightened and it fell just past her shoulders. She wore a white cable knit sweater along with denim jeans and she was in socks. Around her neck hung a silver cross pendant on a matching silver chain. She wore a watch on her left hand and had a wedding ring on her right ring finger.

These two women were the polar opposites of each other and of Sarah.

She felt substantially underdressed in her ripped black jeans, her years worn combat boots, an equally as worn AC/DC shirt and her leather jacket.

A moment passed when the ringing sound started, causing Alison to scurry up the stairs. She was back down in a moment, placing a computer on the table in front of Beth. Beth tapped the answer button on the incoming video call, and pushed a small smile onto her face as the call connected.

“Hey, Beth.” A woman’s voice greeted. “Where’s Ali?”

“She’s here.” Beth said, turning the computer to face Alison.

Alison waved at the computer. “How was your trip, Cosima?”

The woman on the screen nodded. “It was fine. Got stuck in some traffic between Wisconsin and Minnesota, but I got here.”

So this was the Cosima that Beth had mentioned before. Despite the same face, she looked totally different than Beth and Alison. She had thick framed black glasses, and Sarah could see thick lines of eyeliner around her eyes. She had a nose ring and wore rings on all of her fingers. She was wearing a purple and black crop top. The difference that stood out the most, however, was her hair. Unlike Alison’s neat hair, or Beth’s pulled back hair, or even Sarah’s messy hair, Cosima had her hair twisted into dark dreadlocks.

Sarah tried her best to stay out of Cosima’s view, but the other woman had a quick eye.

“Who’s behind you, Alison?” She asked.

Sarah stepped into the camera’s view. Cosima’s eyes widened as Sarah got closer.

“There’s another?” She asked, stupidly.

“I’m Sarah.” She said, shoving her hands into the pockets of her jacket.

“And she’s English?” Cosima asked. “Wow, okay. Whoever did this must be more global than we thought.”

Beth nodded in agreement. “So who knows how many more of us are out there.”

Alison sighed. “Well, we know about the German,” she said, “now Sarah.”

“Katja,” Beth said, “her name is Katja.”

Alison waved her off.

“Did you give her The Speech?” Cosima asked.

“The clone speech? Yeah, Alison just blurted out that we’re bloody clones.” Sarah said. Alison started to protest, but a look from Beth made her quiet down.

Cosima sighed. “I would have done it in a more gentle way, so I’m sorry you had to find out that way. At least you know the truth now.”

The group discussed theories late into the night until Cosima had to hang up. Sarah was about to leave when there was a rustle outside, causing Alison to pick up her pistol and venture into her backyard.

Beth and Sarah stood in the door, watching Alison patrol her yard until she was out of sight. 

There was a yelp that sounded too much like Felix, and when Sarah heard the panic in his voice, she threw open the door and stormed into the yard.

She saw Alison pointing her pistol at Felix, who had his hands up, looking like he was about to faint. Alison was shouting questions at him. Felix stumbled over his answers until Sarah grabbed Alison by the shoulder and turned her to face her. She slapped Alison, and she gasped, dropping her gun and holding her cheek.

“You ever point a gun at my brother again, I’ll beat the shit out of you, you hear me?” She snapped.

Alison nodded with tears in her eyes.

“You just broke the first rule of Clone Club.” Beth said, leaning on the doorframe.

“I don’t give a fuck about your rules.” Sarah snapped. “Don’t point a gun at my brother.”

“I’m sorry.” Alison whimpered.

“I don’t give a fuck about any of this.” Sarah said. “Clones, you, Beth, any of this bullshit.”

“If you don’t give a fuck, then why are you here?” Beth asked, moving from the doorframe and stepping up to Sarah. 

“It was you who told me to come here because I had questions.” Sarah hissed.

Beth and Sarah were nearly nose to nose. “And we gave you answers.”

Sarah scoffed and turned away. She grabbed Felix by the cuff of his jacket sleeve and unlocked the yard’s gate.

“Yeah, well, I don’t need any bloody answers from someone who tried to kill themselves.”

With that and Alison’s confused exclamation, Sarah pushed open the gate and brought Felix with her.

Chapter Text

The clock that ticked in Alison’s kitchen ticked painfully slow. Beth sat across from Alison, who was staring at her with an unreadable look. Beth was normally not one to squirm under pressure, but something about the way Alison was looking at her chipped away at any of her police training.

“Well, are you going to say anything?”

The question cut through the silence like the sharp blade of a knife. Beth picked at the skin of her left thumb.

“What can I say that would make any of this any better?”

Alison was silent. Another beat of painful silence passed before she rubbed her face and ran her fingers through her hair.

“Nothing.” She said. Her voice was cold. Beth had never heard her use that tone before, but it was a tone Beth knew all too well. She had used it one too many times when she had gotten into fights with Paul. Then, it made her feel strong and in control. Now that she was on the receiving end, she felt like nothing more than a scolded child.

Alison rose silently from her chair and started to walk out of the kitchen. Before she could leave, Beth called to her to get her attention. She paused, her back stiff and straight, before turning back to face Beth.

Beth looked small in the dim lights of the kitchen. She was hunched in her chair with her arms wrapped around her sides. Her eyes were red from the panicked crying she had done while trying to explain to Alison why, why, why she felt pressured to walk off of that train platform. Beth had had a panic attack trying to make sense that it was all too much, just too much for her to handle.

“I’m sorry,” Beth’s voice was soft, gentle.

Alison shifted her weight from foot to foot. “Yeah, me too.”

That was the last thing she said before turning out of the kitchen. Beth wanted to chase after her, to make her understand, but she knew it was a useless cause. As of right now, Alison wanted nothing to do with her, and she was going to try her best to respect that.

She sat in the kitchen for countless hours, trying to gather her scattered thoughts. The silence was more bearable now that she was alone. Now that Alison’s freezing demeanor was gone, she could feel comforted by the fact that even though she was angry, it came from a deep rooted feeling of care. She knew in the back of her mind that Alison, Cosima, and hell, even Sarah cared about her in their own weird, fucked up ways.

Alison and Cosima had been her first proper friends (outside of Art, or course.) after becoming self-aware.

Sarah had cared enough to stop her from dying, whether or not she’d admit it. 

She went to bed not long after. She crept through the now dark halls, creeping up the stairs and down the hall to the door that Alison had showed her as hers that afternoon. She quietly turned the doorknob, smiling softly to herself when she saw Cersei waiting there, as always.

She pulled off her sweatshirt and kicked off her shoes. She settled down on the bed, staring up at the dark ceiling. Cersei jumped up with her, nudging her cheek with her head in an attempt to be pet. Beth gently rubbed her head before the cat was done with her. She moved to the edge of the bed before settling down near Beth’s feet.

She knew she should sleep. She knew that maybe it would make her feel better, but she was too afraid to close her eyes. Every time she tried to fall asleep she was haunted by the vision of the train hurtling toward her at the station. Her brain weaponized what she almost did when she desperately needed sleep, and whether she forced herself to sleep or not, she’d feel the same as she did now.

She thought about taking a walk since Alison’s neighborhood was as movie-like as it could be. She’d be alone, and safe, and she just needed time to herself. The room felt stuffy from her unreleased emotions. She needed a breath of fresh air to clear her head.

If she wanted to, she could walk all the way back to her flat, with Paul, and pretend that none of this ever happened. Or she could go to Art’s, and play soccer mom with Maya. Or she could even walk all the way to Minnesota to be with Cosima, and to do some insane science experiment that made her forget it all.

She shook her head. No. She couldn’t do that. She couldn’t run away. Not now, not when Sarah Manning is involved. Not when there’s God knows how many others are out there in the world.

She sighed. She wondered where Mika was and if she was safe. She hoped the younger clone was hidden away somewhere far away, playing video games and drinking iced tea. Beth hoped that Mika had taken her advice and ran, ran as fast and as far as she could. Away from her, from Dyad, from Helsinki, from all of the death and despair she had witnessed.

Beth wished she could have joined her. She couldn’t, no matter how much she wanted to. Alison and Cosima needed her. She was their only means of protection, and with the clones being hunted down, who knows what would happen if she wasn’t there.

She sighed again. She couldn’t (and wouldn’t) let Alison and Cosima and all of the others get killed because she wasn’t there. She didn’t need the extra deaths on her conscience.

Besides, Alison and Cosima weren’t the only ones who needed her. Mika still needed her, because Beth knew damn well that she was still around, somewhere. Katja still needed her to get answers, to explain the whole “Hey! You’re a clone!” thing. There was also the case of Sarah, who, despite declaring that she did not care, will come crawling back for answers.

Beth shook her head one final time before giving into her mental and emotional exhaustion. Her eyes fluttered shut and she fell into a disgruntled sleep.