The Right Thing
Cosima was relieved that Delphine managed to sleep through half the flight, and that she herself was awake when they came around with food. She let Delphine use her laptop, and spent the journey on her tablet reading, with one hand resting on the blonde's leg. She was happy, happier than she'd been in her entire life, but under the surface she could feel Delphine's fear and hesitation bleeding into her own thoughts. They had every reason to be paranoid. The smallest thing could tip their parents off to what was going on. Delphine had been acting oddly ever since they'd run into Alice. Cosima understood why, she would have been freaked out, too, if she'd been in Delphine's position, but she doubted that the woman had seen them kissing, and even if she had, it was unlikely that word was going to reach John and Marie.
It was inevitable that they would find out, or that her and Delphine would eventually have to tell them, and the thought made Cosima's chest tighten with fear, but it wasn't then, and it wouldn't be tomorrow, or the day after. There was more than enough time for them to figure out the best way to go about it. She wasn't going to give Delphine up for anything, not even her father. Not after everything they'd been through.
“Do you think Tes missed us?” she asked the blonde when they were waiting for their luggage to appear on the carousel.
“I'm sure he has been bothering John non-stop since we left,” Delphine replied with a small smile. “He's probably driven them both mad.”
“You're taking him out when we get back,” Cosima said, grunting as she lifted her suitcase off the belt and scrambled to grab Delphine's when it appeared.
“Why do I have to?” Delphine protested.
“Because,” Cosima said, starting to follow the exit signs, “I am absolutely dying for a home cooked meal, and it's almost dinner.”
“Brat,” Delphine replied, kicking at the back of her ankle when she stopped to let a trail of people into the building so they could fit out the door. She threw a grin over her shoulder at the blonde and hailed down a cab.
“Mademoiselle,” she said with an exaggerated bow when she opened the door to let Delphine in first. She giggled when Delphine rolled her eyes at her, and when the blonde was settled, dramatically slid into her side and kissed her cheek. Delphine blushed, and pushed her away.
“Uhg, I'm so hungry,” Cosima groaned, wrangling their luggage out of the trunk of the cab while Delphine lingered halfway out the door while she waited for the machine to process her card.
“Then stop complaining and go inside,” she said, voice muffled. She thanked the driver and ducked out of the car, shutting the door and reaching for her bag. Cosima was already halfway up the drive.
“Tesla's going to be so happy,” she said, reaching for the door handle, “but if he comes shooting at us I'm letting him tackle you.” Delphine snorted out a laugh.
“Yes, thank you. You know you won't be able to escape him. He can run faster than you.”
“He'll be preoccupied,” Cosima replied, opening the door. “We're home!” she called, and when she was met with silence, cocked a brow at Delphine. “Hellooooo?” She left her bag by the door, hearing Delphine shut it and do the same, following her through to the living room, thinking that the adults had gone out and been stuck in traffic trying to get home. They hadn't, and were sat on the sofa when Cosima entered the room, Delphine on her heels. She could have heard a pin drop. “Uh, hi?”
“We need to talk,” John said, fixing Cosima with a stare she knew meant that he was absolutely serious. “Is there anything you two want to tell us?” Cosima's heart skipped painfully. She swallowed over the lump that had formed in her throat.
“No,” she said, doing her best to not look at Delphine.
“Claire's mother saw you,” Marie said, her eyes on her daughter. Cosima felt Delphine's body stiffen next to hers. Her hesitation spoke volumes. Say something, Cosima thought, forcing her own body to stay relaxed.
“Saw us what, Maman?” Neither of the adults said a word, just looked at them both. Cosima reached for Delphine's hand and frowned. The blonde didn't pull away. It was all the answer their parents needed.
“Go to your rooms,” John said firmly. “We need to talk.”
“Dad-” Cosima started.
“Cosima, just do what you're told.” Cosima's mouth snapped shut. Delphine pulled away from her, following the command without question. Her tug on Cosima's hand prompted her to follow, slowly turning her back on the adults. She lingered in the doorway, letting Delphine go ahead, waiting a few seconds before following. Sighing heavily, she left. Delphine had paused at the top of the stairs, her arms wrapped around her body and her teeth digging harshly into her lip. When Cosima reached her she spun around and crashed into her, burying her face against her neck. Cosima felt her skin dampen. She hugged her close, rubbing her back and smoothing her hair.
“It's okay, babe,” she whispered. “We'll be okay.” The muffled murmur of voices was interrupted by the dog door in the kitchen doing, and the clack of Tesla's nails on the kitchen floor. He came padding past, and when he noticed the two of them, barked happily and bowled halfway up the stairs before slowing and cocking his head to the side in confusion. He slowly joined them at the top, bumping his head against both their knees before curling around their feet with his head on his paws.
“What are we going to do, Cosima?” Delphine asked, her voice muffled against Cosima's neck. Cosima sighed, and tightened her embrace.
“We just have to tell them the truth,” she finally said. “They already know. There's no point in hiding it.”
“What if they split us up?” Delphine asked.
“We're both eighteen and we live in the same house,” Cosima pointed out. “Can they?”
“Yes,” Delphine said, pulling away from her. “It's their house, Cosima, not ours, and I don't want to lose my relationship with my mother. I love her.”
“And I love my Dad,” Cosima said, reaching up to push Delphine's hair out of her face, and wipe an errant tear off her cheek. “But I love you, too, and he's just going to have to put up with that.”
“But what if they don't?” Delphine whispered, sniffing. “It's more than just us both being girls, Cosima.” She was right. Cosima knew she was, but she had come too far, and suffered too much to let up now. She'd already condemned herself to her fate, and there was no going back.
“Then we'll leave,” she said quietly. Delphine stilled.
“What?” she replied.
“If we have to, we'll leave, but they love us. They'll come around eventually. They have to.”
John called them. Cosima grabbed Delphine's hand, and held it tightly. Tesla followed at their heels, sitting in front of them when they were stood in front of their parents again. John ran a hand through his hair and sighed heavily.
“Look,” he started, raising his head and glancing between the two of them. “We're sorry, but this can't continue. There's legality issues somewhere. You're family now. You can't.” Cosima scowled and shook her head, pulling Delphine closer to her.
“I love her,” she said firmly, “and she loves me, and if you can't accept that, then we'll leave.” She was shaking, and felt sick, but she wouldn't back down. She wouldn't lose Delphine again.
“Cosima...” John said, sighing again.
“No, Dad,” Cosima said. “You either accept this or you don't.” He was silent. Cosima sucked in a shaky breath, and squared her shoulders. “Fine.” She pulled on Delphine's hand, half tugging the blonde back upstairs. Tesla followed. She locked the three of them in her room, and moved immediately to comfort her distraught lover.
“Cosima, where are we going to go?” she asked, tears filling her eyes again.
“I don't know,” Cosima said. “Anywhere. I'll empty my savings fund. I don't care where we go as long as I'm with you.” Delphine folded into her, resting her head in Cosima's lap. She stroked the blonde's hair, fighting back tears of her own. Tesla whined softly. It's done now, Cosima thought. Past the point of no return. Fuck.
“I have an idea,” Delphine said in a thick voice after several minutes had passed, and sat up as she fished her phone out of her pocket. Her hands were shaking as she dialled a number she clearly never wanted to have to call.
“Papa?” Cosima blinked in shock. “Oui, c’est Delphine, ce serait qui d’autre sinon? T’aurais une autre fille quelque part par hasard? Non, j’ai besoin d’un endroit pour rester.” She paused, frowning as she listened. “Je veux ton chalet à la plage. Tu me dois bien ça.” Another pause, and Delphine's face darkened. “Toute ma vie tu n’as rien foutu pour moi! Tu l’utilises même pas ton chalet, alors c’est quoi ton problème? Non, je ne veux pas de ton fric, je veux juste le chalet. Bien.” She hung up without saying goodbye, her brow still creased. “Now what?” Cosima shrugged, and sighed. She wished they'd had time to figure things out. She wished they had been able to confront it with a plan already in place, instead of scrambling to make one out of bits of thread and a stub of lead.
“We need money,” she said.
“Yes, but where are we going to go until we have it?” Delphine asked. “We can't stay here.”
“I think I know someone who can help,” Cosima said, and reached for her phone.
Jen was happy to let them use the spare room, and despite the concerned look on her face when Cosima and Delphine dragged the last of their things into the house, didn't ask any awkward questions. Mostly.
“Is that her, then?” she asked Cosima while she was in the kitchen getting a drink for Delphine, who had curled up under the blankets on the bed when they'd settled and hadn't moved since.
“Is that her what?” Cosima replied.
“The reason for all the clubbing and the parties and the obvious running away you were doing before you went on vacation,” Jen said bluntly. Cosima felt her face grow warm.
“Yeah,” she admitted, and dropped an ice cube into the glass. “Yeah, that's her.” Jen nodded slowly, almost sage-like. “Thanks for letting us stay. Tesla, too. We'll be out of your hair as soon as we can.” Jen waved her off.
“It's no skin off my back. Stay here as long as you need, okay?” Cosima nodded, and smiled.
“I just have to get a hold of my savings,” she said. “Delphine already found us a place to stay. We just need the funds to get there.”
“I wish I could help you there,” Jen replied, and lightly shoved her shoulder. “Now go see to your girl.” Cosima smiled, and thanked her, and removed herself from the kitchen back into their temporary room. Neither Delphine nor Tesla had moved an inch, the former still nothing more than a mop of blonde hair under the blankets and the latter curled up by her feet at the bottom of the bed.
“Delphine,” Cosima said softly, shutting the door behind her. “I got you some water.” She pulled back the covers and climbed into bed. Once she was settled, Delphine rolled over and wrapped her arms around her waist, hiding half her face against Cosima's stomach. She sighed softly and set the water on the night stand, then carefully reached down for her laptop, resting by Tesla's head. “I'll have my money soon,” she said, stroking Delphine's curls. “Then we can leave.”
“Did we do the right thing?” Delphine asked, angling her head so she could see the computer screen.
“Of course we did,” Cosima replied. Delphine reached up for her hand, and held it tightly between her own as Cosima opened Netflix to find something to distract their tired minds.