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Title: For a Moment, Just Pretend (That Everything's All Right)
Author: [ profile] telaryn
Word Count: 1400
Fandom: Orphan Black
Characters: Cosima Niehaus, Delphine Courmier, Sarah Manning, Helena
Rating: PG
Warnings: Spoiler for S3 Finale
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit obtained.
Summary: Cosima and Delphine cling to their feelings for each other in the wake of everything that's happened.
Author's Note: Written for [ profile] hc_bingo's Round 6, for the prompt "hospital stay", as requested by [ profile] whiskyinmind.

Delphine knew she would have been more comfortable with the idea of a force that sometimes bound two lives together beyond life and death – and certainly beyond reason – if anyone had ever made even a token effort at quantifying it.

”I came back for you.”

She later wondered if she had been aware of Cosima’s presence on some sort of semi-conscious level – which was a little ridiculous all on its own, because when in the last eighteen months had Cosima Nieuhaus not been uppermost in her thoughts? Even before calculated seduction had turned into love that bordered on an illness all by itself, the hyper-intelligent clone had been a central figure in Delphine’s life.

Morphine, she decided on opening her eyes and seeing the object of her desire curled up asleep in a chair by her bed. Softly beeping machines surrounded them, monitoring her vitals and keeping her alive through a veritable nest of tubes and leads. Her right hand groped weakly at the bedclothes, until she found the device nurses jokingly called the “pleasure button”. It was designed to deliver a measured dose of painkiller in the event the patient felt an extra boost to the regular dosage was necessary.

She barely resisted the urge to throw the device as far away from her as she could manage. The reality of her situation hadn’t closed in on her yet. Delphine understood intellectually that the morphine was responsible for that reprieve, but the idea of facing Cosima now, with the drug in her system, was more than a little terrifying.

“She loves you.” Okay, not as terrifying as hearing that heavily accented voice coming at her from the shadows. Delphine struggled to sit higher in her bed as Helena approached the bed across from where Cosima slept. “You make her cry. You should not make my sestra cry.”

“Love is…love is hard sometimes,” Delphine managed, pushing herself an inch higher with effort. Anything was better than allowing Helena the advantage of looking down on her. “People in love say things they don’t mean.” She tried shifting again as she heard Cosima stir behind her, but froze – whimpering – as the wound in her stomach made itself known with a surge of pain and nausea.

Fingers brushed the bare skin of her arm as a newly awake Cosima gripped the bedrail for support. “Helena, it’s okay,” she said – her voice pleasant, but with an edge of almost preternatural calm to it. Delphine recalled that Cosima had always insisted she wasn’t afraid of her mentally unbalanced ‘sestra’, but only an idiot would ignore Helena’s unpredictable nature. “Delphine and I are still friends. She is not the enemy.”

Helena looked uncertain, and Delphine hated herself for being so afraid of this girl. She’d traveled a much longer, much harder road than the other clones and arguably deserved all the sympathy Delphine could muster, but it was like trying to emotionally connect with a rabid Rottweiler sometimes.

“Oy!” said a sharp voice on the other side of the room. Delphine turned and saw that Sarah – Helena’s biological twin as well as a fellow clone – was standing in the doorway with a loaded drink tray in one hand and a grease-stained paper bag in the other. “What did I say, Helena?” Delphine recalled with a burst of awareness that had to be from the morphine that she’d recently been persuaded to stop referring to her twin as “meathead”.

“You said you would bring me dessert,” Helena countered, a petulant expression on her face. Delphine heard Sarah sigh.

“It’s in the bag,” she said. “As soon as Cosima gets her food, you and I’ll go eat in the lounge. They’ve got television and right now nobody’s watching it.”

She didn’t know whether it was the promise of dessert, television, or Sarah’s naturally forceful personality, but Helena backed off her slow, menacing approach of Delphine’s bed.

“Nice to see you’re still with us,” Sarah said, passing the bag to Cosima. “Nobody was sure you’d pull through.”

“Sarah found you,” Cosima said, passing the bag back to her sister. “She followed you to the garage and called the ambulance.”

Memory of her attackers flashed through Delphine’s mind, bringing with it all the horrifying implications of the sisters being drawn more fully into her dealings with the Neolutionists. “Did you…did you see who shot me?” she asked, struggling to sit up more fully. Cosima’s arms were suddenly around her, helping her into the position she wanted, and for a brief moment Delphine let herself imagine nothing had changed between them. “No,” Sarah admitted, “but as soon as you’re stable we’re getting you out of here. Mrs. S is already working on a place.”
She hadn’t argued with her sisters’ over-protective urges, but Cosima was secretly relieved at Sarah’s willingness to take Helena out of the room for at least a few minutes. “Do you need anything?” she asked as soon as they were alone; busying herself with arranging Delphine’s pillows so she could avoid making eye contact for a few precious moments more. “Are you in pain?”

“I was shot,” Delphine said quietly. Cosima tried not to read anything into her tone of voice, but it was difficult. Then there was a hand on her wrist – only the lightest of touches, but enough to completely unravel all of her carefully constructed emotional control. Biting her lip, Cosima bowed her head and struggled not to cry.

Delphine tugged at her arm until she took a step back, then two; enough so that they could see each other. “How bad?”

Cosima’s indrawn breath was ragged. She felt the burn deep in her chest, but tried to speak anyway. “If Sarah hadn’t found you…” Words failed her. She couldn’t say it – couldn’t allow the possibility of a world without Delphine to even enter her thoughts. “I should have insisted you stay. You were trying to make me feel comfortable. I should have pushed harder.”

“Stop it.” Weakened as it was by pain and trauma and blood loss, Cosima could nevertheless hear the edge of command in Delphine’s voice. “What would you have done if they found me with your family?” she asked. “I might not be the only one hurt in that case.”

She knows something, Cosima thought. The idea that Delphine might be in trouble, might consider sacrificing herself for Cosima to be an acceptable course of action was so perfectly plausible it made her sick to her stomach. “Delphine, do you know who shot you?”

“No.” The single word answer was calm and emphatic enough, but her gaze dropped away for just a moment. “You should eat,” she said. “You will do no one any good if you get sick yourself.”

“Stop it,” Cosima countered softly. “Stop trying to distract me and just talk to me. She took Delphine’s hand between hers, trying to ignore the cold, unreal feel of her skin brought on by the IV. “Please?”

Delphine’s emotions were writ large on her lovely face. She was more open, more vulnerable than Cosima had ever known her, and the temptation to push was strong. We need to know what she knows. If there was a fresh enemy out there – or even the resurgence of an old one – Delphine was only one woman. Strong, intelligent, and braver than Cosima ever would have expected, but against something on the level of Dyad or bigger she wouldn’t stand a chance without help.

“Morphine is a wicked drug,” Delphine said, breaking the silence. “You could question me now, and with the slightest prompting I would tell you everything. Tears glinted in the corners of her eyes, and Cosima felt her chest tighten with emotion. “If you ever loved me, please just sit with me for now,” she continued, her fingers curling around Cosima’s hand. “Let us pretend that we are back in University, and none of the rest of it matters.”

Sometimes you have to forget about saving everybody for a little while. “Don’t ever question how I feel about you,” she said, reaching up to stroke Delphine’s arm. “No matter what else happens, I will never stop loving you.”

Fumbling for a second with the mechanism, she finally got the rail lowered, so she could perch on the edge of the bed. “Now,” she said, smiling as genuinely as she could manage. “Do you need me to bring you your homework?”


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September 2015

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