Delphine pulled her hair off her neck and balled it up at the base of her skull with a sigh, her fingers firmly tangled in it. She tapped the pen she was holding lightly against her notebook, staring down at her notes from the day, and glancing between them and the worksheet that sat to the side. Across from her, Cosima poked at a bowl of cereal, her head bowed over it. She'd been quiet all day. Delphine's phone had been silent in school, and when she'd returned home, Cosima had still been in her room. She only left when their parents returned. Marie was working late, leaving them to fend for themselves as far as food was concerned. Delphine didn't understand how Cosima had managed to stay fed between her and her father's incompetence in the kitchen.
“Delphine?” John asked from over her shoulder, stopping on his path to the fridge. “What's that on your neck?” Delphine frowned up at him in confusion, her fingers drifted. He indicated the side of his own.
“What?” she asked.
“Is that a... Cosima said you and Mark broke up.” Cosima choked on her bite of cereal, coughing violently.
“We did,” Delphine replied weakly.
“You okay there, Cos?” John asked, patting his daughter's shoulder. Cosima cleared her throat, waving him off.
“Yeah, yeah. Inhaled,” she said in a tight voice, her eyes focusing on Delphine's neck.
“Okay,” John replied cautiously. “You better hide that before your mother gets back, Delphine.”
“I got it,” Cosima said, brushing past him to dump her bowl in the sink. Delphine barely managed to gather her papers together before Cosima grabbed her arm and led her upstairs.
“Cosima!” she hissed when they were safe in Cosima's bedroom.
“I'm sorry!” Cosima replied in a loud whisper. “I didn't think I was biting that hard, but you were making all these sounds and I just couldn't stop, okay?” She sighed and shoved her hands through her hair, squeezing her eyes shut for a split second. “Okay. Sit down. I'll fix it.” Delphine sat on the edge of Cosima's bed, ghosting her palms across the sheets. The mattress bounced when Cosima sat behind her, pushing Delphine's hair out of the way. “I'm sorry,” she said a moment later, her fingers pressing lightly into Delphine's skin.
“It's okay,” she replied. Her eyes drifted shut, head lolling to the side.
“You have to admit,” Cosima said, “that it's a pretty impressive mark.” Delphine could hear the smirk in her voice.
“Brat,” she replied, lightly smacking Cosima's thigh. Cosima pulled away.
“I'll fix it for you tomorrow, too,” she said. “Now, unless you want to add more marks to that one, you should probably leave.” Delphine inhaled sharply. The cocky look on Cosima's face when she put her make up back on her dresser was indication enough that it hadn't gone unnoticed.
“Thank you,” Delphine said curtly, brushing past her.
That night, Delphine resolutely stayed in her bed, staring up at the ceiling. Her hand kept drifting to her neck, to the cluster of broken blood vessels hovering under her skin. Each time she noticed she whipped her hand away, but she couldn't help the warmth that grew in her chest. Intentional or not, it was like Cosima had claimed her as her own. She chewed on her lip, wondering if Cosima was having as much trouble settling as she was. Sighing, she rolled over, and buried herself beneath her blankets and into her pillow. She liked the sex, she couldn't lie to herself about it. I will not go to Cosima's bed, she told herself stubbornly, squeezing her eyes shut. I can't go to Cosima's bed.
Cosima was awake when Delphine finished her shower, letting her hair dry while she dressed and padded downstairs for breakfast. Still in her pyjamas, Cosima followed her around like a puppy, casually munching on one of the frozen waffles that managed to survive Marie's great kitchen purge.
“What're you making?” she asked, leaning against the kitchen island. Delphine glanced over her shoulder.
“Cereal,” she replied.
“No fancy breakfast today?”
“No...” Cosima hummed, settling on one of the bar stools. Frowning lightly, Delphine glanced at her out of the corner of her eye while she ate. She left her bowl in the dishwasher to be cleaned later, heading back upstairs. Cosima trailed after her. “Why are you following me?” she asked. Cosima shrugged, leaning against the wall by her bedroom door.
“Well, stop. It's distracting.”
“What? How? I want someone to talk to.” Delphine rolled her eyes, setting her straighteners to heat. “You should leave your hair curly,” Cosima said. “It looks really nice.” Delphine paused with her hand over the flat iron, and looked over her shoulder. Cosima smiled. “Seriously.” Clearing her throat, and ignoring the light flush on her cheeks, Delphine switched her iron off.
“Okay,” she said softly, turning to face her mirror and ruffle her fingers through her hair until it was in some semblance of order.
“You know,” Cosima continued, following her back downstairs. “I've had a thought.” She blocked Delphine's path to the front door, smiling. “You should skip, and stay here with me.”
“Cosima, I can't skip.” Cosima pouted.
“Please? I don't wanna be here alone all day.” Delphine cocked a brow.
“It is your fault.”
“Well, I think you should stay, and come have a shower with me.” Delphine's knees wobbled. She exhaled carefully.
“I have already had a shower,” she said. Cosima smirked.
“Yeah, well, if you stay I promise you'll need another one.”
“Cosima,” Delphine panted. “Arrête ! I can't-I do not think I can take any more.” Cosima brushed her lips over her stomach, damp with sweat. Her skin quivered under the caress, goosebumps rising. Cosima's hands stroked her hips and up her sides, her fingers feeling along each jut of her ribs, resting on her breasts as she lifted her lips from Delphine's sternum.
“You sure about that?” she purred, kissing the end of Delphine's chin.
“Yes,” Delphine replied, but her voice wavered. Cosima chuckled, and dragged the backs of her nails back down Delphine's stomach until her hand settled between her thighs again. Her fingers stroked lightly. Delphine raised a hand and gripped the back of Cosima's neck, pulling her down until their lips met. “We don't have time,” she whispered against Cosima's mouth, her hips already rocking in an easy rhythm.
“Yeah, we do,” Cosima replied. Delphine felt her smirk before it faded into another kiss, and Cosima's lips started a trail down her torso.
Delphine could hardly keep awake during dinner. Her eyes drooped, head nodding. Cosima's toes pushing into her ankle jolted her back upright with a soft gasp. Her heart stuttered in alarm at the sudden change, hopping briefly into her throat. Their parents looked at her with concern.
“Sorry,” she said. “It was a long day.” Across from her, a small smirk played across Cosima's lips. She ducked her head to stare at her plate, and hide her expression from the adults. Her foot curled along Delphine's calf. Delphine swallowed hard, staring at her. Her movements precise, Cosima reached for her glass and brought it to her lips, her gaze smouldering over the rim as she met Delphine's eyes.
“Would you like to go up to bed?” Marie asked. “Cosima can clean tonight.” Delphine chewed on her lip.
“No, I-” she said. Cosima's foot slid higher. “Yes, if that's okay.” She pushed away from the table, taking her leg out of Cosima's reach. She could feel her step-sister's gaze burning into her back as she left, trying not to make her desire to leave too obvious. Her body ached with satisfaction, limbs heavy and tired and her eyes slipping steadily closed with each second that passed. She was yawning before she even got up the stairs. Delphine collapsed onto her bed with a grateful sigh, her body sinking happily into the plush of her blankets.
As loathe as she was to move, she rolled onto her back to remove her jeans and arched to unhook her bra, leaving her free to curl up under the covers with her computer. The muffled voices of her family reached her. She should have felt guilty, she knew, for what had happened. She'd skipped school, for one, which in itself wouldn't have been terrible save for the fact that she had spent the entire day in Cosima's bed, while the brunette mapped out her body with her hands and lips in a way that made Delphine's chest ache. But she didn't, and it terrified her.
The stairs creaked lightly, pulling Delphine out of the stupor she was falling into. She gasped in a sharp, short breath and blinked her eyes open. Her laptop screen had gone black. She swallowed, her mouth feeling like it was full of cloth, and rubbed at her eyes. The knock at her door was soft, but enough to startle her again. Delphine cleared her throat, and shut her laptop lid, calling out.
“It's me,” Cosima's voice drifted through the door. “Can I come in?”
“Yes,” Delphine replied. Her heart thudded in her throat instead of her chest. “Of course.” The door cracked slowly. Cosima peered around it first, almost hesitant, but when she saw Delphine it faded, and a small smile found its way onto her face.
“Hey,” she said, stepping fully into the room. “I, uh-I just wanted to-” Slowly, she closed the distance. “Today was-”
“Please, Cosima,” Delphine said, closing her eyes. “I can't talk about this.”
“Right, no-yeah, totally, I just-” She felt Cosima bend over the edge of her bed. Delphine was frozen by the touch of Cosima's fingers to her cheek. Their lips met, softly. Delphine responded unthinkingly. Her hand brushed over Cosima's knuckles, meeting the pace of her kiss easily. A few seconds passed before she realized what she was doing, and she sharply turned her head. Cosima's lips glanced off her cheek. She pulled away abruptly, and cleared her throat. “I just. I needed to do that. Night.” She was gone before Delphine could even being to think about forming words. The door clicked behind her. Delphine touched her fingertips to her lips and forced air into her lungs.
Cosima didn't say a word about it the next day, or the next. She didn't need to. Her intentions were as clear as day, and Delphine couldn't help herself. The remaining days of Cosima's suspension passed in a fog of want and an ache of loneliness at Cosima's absence. She stole kisses when Delphine arrived home, and Delphine found herself unable to refuse, as much as her mind protested. The second Cosima's lips touched hers, she forgot about everything. The looks they shared when the arrival of their parents forced them apart burned her skin.
Her step-sister was shameless. Not having to be alone with Scott and his all too obvious staring was a relief, but she would have taken that over having to sit still and pretend everything was okay when Cosima's hand was steadily, but slowly, working its way up the inside of her leg and nudging under the hem of her skirt. She chewed hard on her lip, steadfastly trying to keep her eyes open and focus on the notes in front of her. It would have been easy to move Cosima's hand, but the trail of warmth the pads of her fingers were leaving felt too good to do so.
“Cosima,” she whispered when her fingers hovered along her inner thigh, clutching her pencil tightly. “Stop.”
“I'm not doing anything,” Cosima replied. She rubbed her thumb gently across Delphine's skin. “Just resting my hand.”
“You are,” Delphine replied, “and you know exactly what.” Out of the corner of her eye, she watched Cosima smirk. A quick glance to Scott thankfully revealed his ignorance, the position of Cosima's hand hidden by their lab table.
“I'm not doing anything,” she repeated, and made a mark on the paper in front of her. “I can't promise that I won't when we get home, though.”
There was a tenderness to Cosima's actions that Delphine didn't want to acknowledge existed. She could handle the rushed touches and needy kisses, but when Cosima was slowly kissing her neck and chest, her fingers stroking carefully through the wetness between Delphine's thighs, it was too much and not at all enough all at the same time. Cosima's breath was hot against her neck as she pulled Delphine closer to her climax, muffling moans of her own against her skin while Delphine threaded and tangled her fingers in Cosima's hair.
When they finished, and Delphine's body had regained some of its ability to move, she pulled away from Cosima's warmth and made to leave. Cosima's fingers closing around her wrist stopped her. Curious, Delphine looked over her shoulder, a light frown creasing her features. She didn't pull her arm away, just waited while Cosima's mouth and throat worked as she searched for words.
“Don't,” she said, voice holding an almost desperate edge. “Stay here.”
“I can't,” Delphine replied. “Our parents will be home soon. We are certainly not going to be able to explain being in bed together naked to them.” She twisted her arm, but Cosima's fingers tightened. It wasn't enough to keep her from pulling free, but it stopped Delphine's weak excuse for struggle.
“We won't get caught,” she said. “Just, please. Stay for a bit.” Delphine examined Cosima's face, her eyes trailing over the remains of the bruise that had coloured her cheek and purpled her eye, and sighed quietly. She laid back again, pulling the blankets back up to cover herself, and followed the light tug Cosima gave into her arms. Delphine nestled her head against Cosima's chest. Her eyes slipped shut when skilled fingers found their way into her hair, stroking through her curls. For Cosima, she told herself. Payment for her being injured fighting to defend Delphine's honour. Or whatever it was she had been fighting for.