As Cosima jingles the keys out of her pocket and looks for the right one, she hears Delphine breathe in deeply. Then she hears nothing anymore. She knows the woman behind her is holding her breath.
She can't blame her though. Her own heart is pounding fiercely against her ribs.
She almost wishes their physiological reactions were in sweet anticipation of something special. She wishes she knew exactly what would happen once they were inside and the door closed behind them.
But she doesn't. She has no idea what will transpire between the two souls once they are past the door frame.
Immersed in her thoughts, anxiety and worries, she finally manages to unlock the door and push it wide open. Stale air greets her olfactory senses... the kind of smell that a place emanates when it has stayed locked up for too long.
Can twelve days be called too long?
It has been twelve days, eleven hours and thirty six minutes since Cosima had stormed out of her apartment, on her way to Toronto, blind with anger, hurt, betrayal and countless other emotions that she hadn't even felt before.
It seems so ancient though, it seems to have happened in another life time... A lifetime that consisted of a short, sweet, sunny period of time when she had fallen for someone, fallen so hard and fast. It was a time when her spirit was adorned with rainbows and unicorns and it had nothing to do with the psychedelic effects of marijuana. It was a time when she had been floating in air and bouncing around in her bubble. It was a time when the sensation of soft lips could sweep her off her feet, could make her grin like a child gifted with a surprise present. It was a time when her eyes would close on their own accord whenever she kissed the beautiful angel because five senses working together would put her brain in sensory overload.
She remembers how she smelled, tasted and felt the woman she loved. She remembers how she drowned in the two brown pools of unadulterated passion belonging to the woman who had stolen her heart ...
… the woman who had ripped her heart out of her chest in one swift motion.
She feels the same woman fidgeting behind her. She doesn't wonder why.
Here they are, back again... where it all started, where it all ended. It was in this room that Cosima had kissed her for the first time that night after returning from the dinner. They had shared their table with Dr. Aldous Leekie. It had been a warning sign, the one that Cosima had ignored, like a speeding driver ignoring the red light. She had sped ahead for the thrill of it and somewhere down the line, she had lost all control.
She remembers how Delphine had excused herself, her face etched with panic, hesitation and a forced smile of reassurance. She clearly remembers the crushing feeling inside her own chest, as if, she had dashed away something precious and dear in her greed for more. She had thought that she had lost Delphine for good. Delphine was gone and she would never come back...
Only, Delphine came back.
She remembers the surprise when she opened the door and found the gorgeous French woman standing at her step. She remembers her own desperation which she had expertly hidden while trying to clear the residual awkwardness between them.
I just want to make crazy science with you, she had said... because she didn't know how else to say it. To her, science was everything. Science was love. Science was her existence... and she wanted nothing more than to share her being with this woman she had fallen in love with.
She is certain that she never wanted to take advantage of her only friend in the brave new world. She had even successfully cleared the tension between them and diverted the conversation to their common love, science.
But then Delphine had to initiate the tension again... a different kind of tension...
Cosima had really tried to keep her desires hidden under the surface until she felt those slender creamy fingers tracing her lips.
And then it all exploded...
She startles back to the present at the sound of Delphine carefully placing the luggage by the side of the door. She glances at her quickly over her shoulders but she already knows their eyes won't meet. The blond woman has been averting her gaze ever since they landed in Minneapolis.
Cosima doesn't blame her though.
She remembers what had happened the last time in this room. How hurt and angry she had been, how Delphine's pleading and apologies had only fueled her anger. She had convinced herself how the other woman was sorry not because she had betrayed her but only because she had been caught.
It is not a lie, it is not possible.
She scrunches her eyes shut reflexively behind her glasses as the pleading voice echoes inside her head.
It's not a lie. She knows that. She wasn't sure then but she knows now.
She hadn't been able to get rid of Delphine when she yelled Get Out. Then she had to drill that jibe into her heart like a red hot iron rod.
Cosima's already broken heart had crumbled when Delphine's face fell, when the fight left her. When she stood up, her shoulders slumping in resignation, and walked out of the door, Cosima hadn't been able to stop the harsh sob bubbling up her throat. Despite her paining heart, she couldn't help but mourn the loss of the person who could be all she needed... the person who had just walked out of her life. It was over...
But it wasn't over.
Delphine had not given up on her. She had followed her over miles. At first, the younger woman's mending heart was skeptical but a lot of water has flown under the bridge since then.
She now knows that the night they spent together was not a lie. The warmth, the intimacy, the passion... they had not been fake. Delphine had surrendered herself to Cosima as well, body and soul.
What had Cosima done in return? She had taunted the woman about the most vulnerable moment in their relationship. Of course, she was reeling from the blow herself but what she had said was way out of the line and Cosima knows it.
Arrows once shot and words once spoken cannot be taken back.
A lot has happened since then, enough to make twelve days seem like twelve years. She coughed up blood, decoded her own genome, learned that her identity was codified only by a string of numbers, cracked her id tag, realized that she was someone else's property. All hell broke lose, Alison decided to sign herself away in exchange for hollow promises, Sarah lost and found her daughter, they became aware of the existence of a proclone...
In nutshell, the last twelve days of her life could qualify as an elaborate nightmare.
Delphine has been by her side through it all. She has been trying to help her, help them all. She has taken all the sarcastic remarks from Felix and Sarah silently and even if Cosima is not sure, she knows that changing sides cannot bode too well for the French immunologist, not when she has crossed Aldous Leekie.
She shakes herself mentally to drive that thought out of her head. She doesn't want to think what would happen if the neolutionists decide to come after Delphine... Perhaps Cosima could hold them at bay if she declares that she'll join DYAD and be available for any kind of experiment the scientists might want to subject her to...
She'll do anything it takes to keep Delphine safe... just the way, Delphine has promised to do anything to find a cure for her.
She just hopes the two aren't mutually exclusive.
The weather outside isn't too pleasant but she reaches the windows in quick strides and slides them open anyway.
The inside of the room is too suffocating... or maybe, it's the silence.
Cosima has never been the one to keep quiet but for once in her life, she doesn't know what to say. She wants to know badly what the other person in the room is thinking but she can't bring herself to ask it.
If she knows Delphine at all, she already knows what the woman is thinking...
They are both thinking of the fateful evening when their worlds caved in.
"How are you feeling?" Delphine's soft voice brings her out of reverie.
She realizes that she had been staring out of the window this whole time. She quickly looks at the blond and then averts her gaze but not before noticing the concern in her beautiful brown eyes.
"Better," she clears her throat. "The meds seem to be working." She senses the immunologist is waiting for further details, so she continues, "I have coughed only twice since my last dose... no blood."
She hears a sigh in response.
"I'm okay, Delphine," she says and turns around to face her. She takes in the tall woman's form for the first time since they entered the apartment. She finds her standing at the opposite corner of the room, awkwardly leaning against the wall, both of her hands tucked in her pockets.
The distance between them pains Cosima.
They had hugged more than once back in Toronto, sometimes to comfort each other and sometimes in relief. Delphine had even planted a chaste kiss on her lips once. They were beginning to rebuild the bridge between them that they had burned down that evening.
But now that they were back in familiar territory, they felt like strangers, two strangers who loved each other but didn't know how to show it anymore.
Cosima breaks the silence this time because it's unbearable. "I'll... I'll... go clean the room." She waves her hands to the bed where clothes lay strewn, a messy reminder of her hasty packing.
She waits until Delphine nods and then hurries to the bed. She doesn't really clean up anything, she doesn't even bother to fold the clothes. She picks them up in a bunch and hastily dumps them inside the closet. She walks back out in the living room and sees Delphine standing at the counter, her back facing the shorter woman.
She takes a tentative step forward and finds Delphine's gaze locked on the discarded paper bags containing now spoiled truffles and the unopened bottle of wine that stood by their side. They stand there gathering dust, the symbol of an unfulfilled promise of a beautiful time that both the women yearnes to spend together.
And then she sees those porcelain shoulders heave as Delphine sheds silent tears.
She tries to be as silent as possible, not wanting to draw Cosima's attention. Even though Cosima has let her in once more, has let her hold her in her arms, has even let her feel her lips once, she doesn't really think that the younger woman could ever truly forgive her.
She is surprised when tanned forearms encircle her torso from behind and come to rest on her own creamy wrists. When she feels the shorter woman's warm breath on her back in between her shoulder blades, she can't prevent the goosebumps that break out on her skin... or the deep sob that emerges from her throat.
"Shh.." she hears Cosima coo as the brunette presses her cheek against her slender back.
Cosima runs her fingers along Delphine's smooth forearms, slowly and gently.
Delphine stiffens when she feels a kiss on her exposed shoulder. She can't stop the tears anymore which now fall freely down her cheeks.
"I'm sorry, Cosima... I'm so sorry... I'm not good enough for you... I'll never be good enough for you..."
Her heart breaks when Cosima's lips freeze on her shoulders but then before she knows it, she's turned around by the smaller woman with vehement force until she's facing her.
The words hang over both of them like the sword of Damocles.
Delphine risks a glance at Cosima's face and then can't look away when she sees the unshed tears pooling at the corners of those big hazel eyes.
They stare at each other for a moment in silence in which Cosima visibly struggles to maintain her composure and then gives up.
"Of all the things I've ever said to you," Cosima pauses to take a deep breath, "of all the things I've never said enough," her voice cracks, "that's the only thing you choose to remember?"
Neither of them knows who attacked whom first, nor do they care... Not when their every sense is up in flames. They burn when their lips duel. Neither one of them knows who moans first in the delicious pain. They feel a primal need to be close. No matter how close they are, they don't feel close enough until they mingle and merge to become one. They cling to each other like a drowning person clinging on to straw. They are their saviors, they are their salvation.
Even amidst the throes of passion and the frenzied movements, a part of their souls come to rest.
Not all is lost. There's still hope.
There is still love.