General Duncan looked at them with the most disgusted face someone could ever make. It was the only emotion Cosima ever saw on her face in the time she was here, and it scared her that she was looking at her and Delphine like that. Her eyes were cold. It felt like she was planning how to punish them, what to do with them now she caught them.
"Colonel Cormier, Miss Niehaus, I think you might want to come by when you buttoned your shirt and seem to gain some of your dignity again. Be there in 5 minutes."
Her voice was cold, the same like her eyes. Duncan glanced one last time before she turned her back and walked out of Delphine's office. She shut the door with a slam and the sound of her heels clicking on the wooden floor in the hal could still be heared.
Delphine layd her hand on her forehead and sighed deeply. She bit her lip hard and this time she didn't let go of it after a few seconds. Cosima turned around towards the girl and tried to grab her hand, but Delphine pulled away. Tears gathered in Delphine's eyes and she looked up to the ceiling to prevend them from leaking out of them. She breathed fast and hard. Cosima was scared she was going to hyperventilate.
"Delphine, it's alright, we're just going to-"
"What are we going to do, Cosima?" Delphine said, with wided eyes. The usual dark brown puppy eyes looked desperate for an answer. An answer Cosima couldn't give her. She didn't know what to do. She didn't know what to say to General Duncan, to convince her to just ignore all of this. She hadn't spend much time with Duncan these past few weeks, but she did know that she wasn't as easy as Scott to convince. Duncan knew what she saw. She knew about their relationship and would defenitely try to get them down. The General could do everything. She could send them home... She was THE General. Duncan had all the power. They simply couldn't do anything except for begging for mercy. Cosima sighed and played with her fingers. Something told her that General Duncan wasn't the woman who would give a person mercy when they have done something wrong... There was a very little chance they could continue with their little meetings and keep their rangs.
"I don't know..." she admitted.
"Exactly!" Delphine said furiously. She turned around and took a deep breath, but it didn't calm her down. The woman walked around her office, breathing heavily while trying to come up with a plan. The way she looked and cursed herself and everything around her, Cosima could see she neither was able to make a plan. Her fingers struggeld to button her blouse. The small buttons seemed too small for her usual delicate, long and slender fingers, which now rapidly struggled to close her shirt. The fact she was shaking didn't help.
Cosima stepped foreward and offered to close it for her. Delphine wanted to walk away, but she grabbed her girlfriend by the hand and kept her close. Their eyes locked intensely, gazing at eachother with mixed emotions. Cosima was determined to calm her down. They couldn't appear on the meeting with Duncan with wet and swollen eyes. It will only make them look even weaker. Delphine has to calm down. She helped Delphine with her blouse.
"Delphine, listen to me, okey?" Cosima said. Delphine tried to look away but she snapped her fingers in front of the Colonel's face. "Hey, listen! We can't run from this. We knew it was going to happen eventually. We just have to make a plan."
"But there's nothing we can do!" Delphine said upset. Tears gathered in her eyes again and Cosima wanted to give her a hug. A kiss on the cheek to tell her that everything was gonna be alright. But Delphine didn't want a hug or a kiss. She wanted a solution. So Cosima was going to give her one.
"That's the whole point," she said, throwing her hands in the air. "We can't do anything. But we have to stay together. I know it all seems hopeless, really, I do. But it's the only thing we've got. Duncan can make us do everything but she can't break our relationship if we stay together. We'll find a way."
Cosima slowly lifted her hand to touch Delphine's face. The woman first tried to pull away but changed her mind and let her.
"She could send us home, you know that right?" Delphine said. Her eyes were avoiding Cosima's, looking at everything except meeting her gaze.
"I know... But what else have we to offer Duncan? She's a General, she can let us do everything. She only thing we have is our affaire... If we turn our backs to eachother, we're... we're lost.."
Delphine wetted her lips with the point of her tongue and sighed. Cosima knew Delphine started to realize they really didn't have anything to offer Duncan. They could only stay together and hope for the best. Because if they didn't, all their struggles have been for nothing.
Her girlfriend sighed, but it wasn't the tired slash angry sigh she had let out of her mouth a few moments before. She sounded less exhausted. Like she regained her motivation.
"Okey then," Delphine said. "Duncan expects us in her office in a few minutes. Do you have any idea what to tell her?"
"I was kinda hoping you could do some talking," she admitted. She knew her cheeky behaviour wouldn't be appreciated by the General. Delphine was politer and knew when to shut up. Cosima would just hide behind her back and nod in approval or say: "What she said." whenever Duncan would ask her something. It may be better for both of them if she would keep her mouth shut.
Delphine rolled her eyes and sighed as she tucked her blouse in her pants. She checked her hair one last time and took a deep breath. Cosima buttoned her pants quickly. She hadn't even noticed Delphine unbuttoned those already but she mostly concentrated on their lips meeting over and over again.
"Let's go," the blonde said.
Delphine locked the door behind them and together they walked towards General Duncan's office. Her office was at the end of the corridor. Instead of the regular dark-wooden doors, the door leading towards Duncan's office was made of shiny steel. Cosima wondered what files the General kept hidden behind those doors. But that might be the last thing she should worry about right now.
Delphine took a deep breath again and knocked on the door. The sound echoed through the hall and the few seconds they had to wait until they heard Duncan's voice commanding them to come in were unbearable. Nervous tickles gathered in Cosima's belly and scrawled around like thousands of insects invading her body. It felt horrible and she was scared to death. Delphine seemed to suffer from the same sympthoms because when Cosima's hand found hers, she noticed she was shaking.
"It'll be alright," mouthed Cosima, just before opened the giant door. It was heavy and it took them a few seconds to open and close it. Cosima immediately didn't like Duncan's office. It was like they were trapped in an enormous cage of steel, completely isolated from the world. A nuclear bomb could explode outside and they wouldn't know. It frightened Cosima even more...
Besides the uncomfertable feeling Cosima got by just being in this room, the room seemed to be pretty nice. It was very light because the sun shone through the huge windows. It probably were the only windows in the whole building, Cosima thought. The walls were light grey, almost white, while the floor was a darker kind of grey. There was a big desk made of glass with a laptop, another computer and some papers on top of it. She wondered why the hell the General wanted a laptop AND a computer, but it probably was better not to ask. Duncan sat behind her desk, typing on her laptop, not even looking up when the two of them entered the room and saluted. On both sides of the desk, huge cupboards were placed against the walls. The cupboars had different drawers, probably filled with files about secret operations or the registration of every soldier in the army.
"Sit down," Duncan said. Her voice was as cold and professional just as it has been a few minutes ago. She didn't look up but Cosima knew she was watching them out of the corners of her eyes. They sat down in the leather armchairs in front of the desk. The chairs weren't comfertable at all and Cosima wondered if that was on purpose. To make the officers and soldiers even more uncomfertable waiting until General Duncan was ready with typing. It worked. She didn't feel comfertable at all, not even with Delphine nearby, which usually calmed her down. Cosima pointed her look at her fingers, which were playing nervously with eachother while she waited.
After a few moments, the ritmatic sound of Duncan's fingers stopped. She straightened her back some more at looked at them. Cosima was unable to guess what she was thinking. As usual, General Duncan's face was emotionless. She did never betray her feelings. And if she would, it was usually of disgust. She was glad Duncan didn't look at them with the same disgusted look on her face she always had when the other officers at the big meeting talked about something not worth her time. Clearly they were worth her time.. But for how long?
Duncan took a deep breath and looked at the papers on her desk. Cosima now noticed they weren't just papers. They were files. They were their files...
"Colonel Cormier, could you explain to my why you filled in heterosexual, when the question 'What's your sexuality?' was asked on the application when you got here a few years ago? Because it doesn't makes sense to me," Duncan looked daring at Delphine, like she invited her to speak back at her. Everybody with a good working brain wouldn't, and so didn't Delphine. When she kept silent, Duncan's eyes focussed on Cosima's.
"At least you were honest with us, Miss Niehaus."
"She didn't know, General," Cosima blurted out. Delphine gave her a look but she ignored it. "She didn't know she was intrested in girls until.. until I kissed her."
This time Delphine looked wide eyed at her. By the look on her face she couldn't believe that Cosima was lying to one of the most powerful women in the country. She ignored her girlfriend, looking at her turn darely at Duncan.
"You kissed her?" the General asked. She raised one of her eyesbrows and stared at her for a few seconds, like she was trying to find out if she was lying or not. Of course Cosima was, but Duncan didn't know that.
"Obviously, I kissed her. A perfect leader like Delphine would never to such a thing."
The General narrowed her eyes and tilted her head a bit to the left, still analyzing Cosima. But she kept playing her role. It was better to go on with the lie she told. Maybe Duncan would spare Delphine. She would get send home, but that was worth it. Delphine would loose way more than her if she was forced to go home.
"Miss Niehaus, you say you kissed Colonel Cormier, but when I came in, I defenitely saw no sign of disgust. She wasn't trying to free herself from your... grip," General Duncan sternly said. She said the word 'grip' like it was something dirty, a foul word. Cosima had to agree, the way she had pinned Delphine to the wall wasn't very professional.
"Because I kept her there," she said.
"Do you really want me to believe that you, Miss Niehaus, kept Colonel Cormier there? First of all, she's bigger, has completed her whole training and trains still every day, unlike you. There's no possible way you could control her," snaps Duncan angrily. Her blonde, short hair bounces towards her cheek with every word she snarled at them.
Cosima opened her mouth, but Duncan raised her hand to keep her silent.
"I've heard enough," she said. The General lowered her hand and laid it on the desk of glass. Her hazel eyes were fixed on Cosima's. They had the same colour as her eyes, just the same. But they were entirely different. It was even unable to compare the two. While Cosima's eyes usually looked kind, or at least she tried to make them look that way, General Duncan's eyes looked harsh, cold and emotionless. Like she just used them to see with instead of also expression emotions with them. At this very moment she even doubted Duncan had any feelings. Because it seemed like she didn't. Or just disgust. The big amount of disgust visible in her eyes was overwelming and she got nervous because the disgusted gaze was pointed at her.
"I've made my decision," the General said. She cleared her throat. "Miss Niehaus, you can stay and work with Leekie. We can't afford loosing any of our scientists, we've only got three of them. But Colonel Cormier, I'm sending you back to Europe."
"What?!" Both girls cried out at the same time, their eyes widing.
"You will not return to the France army, in which you participated in before you came to Canada. I will ask the German army if they've got another place for you, which I know they will. We will buy the ticket for your flight, you will leave in a few days."
"You can't do this!" Cosima yelled, tears gathering in her eyes. No, she couldn't. She just couldn't. Duncan couldn't sent Delphine away. They needed a strong Colonel here. They didn't have another Colonel. She was the only one. Who else should take her place? There was no one as suitable for the job than Delphine. No one.
She couldn't loose her. Her body started to shake. Why had Duncan to do this? Why couldn't she just let them be, let them be happy? Why had she to destroy their happiness? They were barely together. It was going to work. They were almost there. Cosima wanted to ask Delphine if she wanted to be her girlfriend this evening, after they were done with eachother and layd in Delphine's bed, cuddling. She planned this... Cosima had planned this for ages. Fantasized about it, dreamed about it. And it was almost becoming reality...
Duncan couldn't send her away. She needed Delphine. She wanted Delphine, Cosima couldn't loose her. But a small voice in her head told her Duncan could. The General could send her away. She was powerful, more powerful than Cosima would probably ever get. Duncan could do everything. She could make them immigrate both of them.
How cruel could one person be?
The General raised her eyebrows, daring her to speak against her again.
"Oh, I can't? I repeat: I'm going to contact the German army and ask if there's any place for Colonel Cormier there. We can't use people like her. She'll be on the plane in two days. And it seems like I can, Miss Niehaus."
Tears started to leak out of her eyes, blurring her vision. The wet drops were warm as they rolled down her cheek. One ended up near her lips and they tasted salty when she opened her mouth again to scream something. To swear. To fight against Duncan's will. But she couldn't... Cosima was unable to speak, she was unable to do anything.
"I think that's all, you two can go," Duncan said, already averting her gaze to her laptop.
Delphine stood up, numbed. Her eyes were empty, gazing hollow into nothing while she saluted and made her way to the door. She said nothing, not even tried to argue.
But Cosima was unable to stand up. Her body shaked too much. If she would even try to stand up, she would defenitely fall back in her chair, if not on the ground. The pain that was spreading through her body felt like it tore her apart. She couldn't think straight, and she always could. She wasn't even able to control her own body anymore.
Delphine's voice sounds as empty as her eyes have looken. But it brings her back to reality. Her body feels like it got a reboost. Her shaking continued, but for a different reason. Her hands shook because she was so angry. Her eyes focussed on Duncan.
Duncan looked up from her laptop.
"Excuse me?" she asked annoyed, raising both of her perfect eyebrows again. She probably wondered why that daring PhD student interrupted and talked back to her again. It just simply didn't matter to Cosima anymore. There wasn't even a reason to stay anymore.
"Why do you hate us? Why are you doing this to us?" she asked.
A little smile appeared on the General's face.
"You forget, Miss Niehaus, that none of this is personal."
It felt like she just got slapped in the face. Wide eyed Cosima looked at Duncan. Why the hell isn't it personal if you caught two lovers being together and sending one off to fucking Germany!
Duncan kept looking at her, obviously enjoying the anger that welled up. But she would only give Duncan another reason to send her home. Then neither of them would get what they wanted.
"Cosima..." Delphine said again. This time, she laid her hand on her left shoulder, squeezing it tightly. She must've meant it to be reassuring, but it only pissed her off more. The hand who had traced many paths down her body suddenly felt uncomfertable and wrong on her shoulder. But she knew it was time to go. There was no way she could ever fight, and win, a discussion with General Duncan without loosing everything she had. Cosima was about to loose Delphine and she couldn't make it any worse to punch Duncan in her face.
"Fine," she growled. Cosima shook off Delphine's hand from her shoulder, refused to salute and stamped out of the room, with an apologizing blonde behind her. Once they shut the door of the General's office, the anger-bomb exploded.
"She cannot send you away!" Cosima yelled fed up. "I won't let her! If you're going, I'm coming with you!"
"Cosima," Delphine begged. "Not so loud... Come, let's go back to my.. my old office.."
She could feel Delphine's pain when she said 'my old office' instead of 'my office'. But she couldn't understand why. Did she give up so easily? Why wouldn't Delphine fight for her office? Why wouldn't she talk back or disagree with Duncan? Why had she done everything by herself, trying to save Delphine herself, while her girlfriend stayed silent and just accepted Duncan's decision?
Yet, she gave in, and walked with the blonde to her 'old' office. Delphine shut the door once Cosima got inside and locked it. Then, she turned around and crossed her arms. She suddenly felt like this confersation was going the wrong was. She didn't expect crossed arms and a look of disapproval pointed at her.
"I told you I was going to do the talking.. You even asked me to..." she said softly.
"Oh, so it's my fault now?" Cosima said defendingly, throwing her hands in the air and widing her eyes in disbelieve.
"You didn't said a thing, Delphine! I was the one who tried something."
"You lied," she sighed.
"Yes! Yes, I indeed lied, but you didn't even open your mouth to say something!" Cosima said furiously. Tears started to leak out of the corner of her eyes, even though she tried to blink them away. She looked up to the ceiling and told herself firmly that she should keep herself together.
"You knew she wouldn't believe you, Cosima. General Duncan isn't stupid," Delphine said.
"O-of course I knew she wouldn't believe me!" Cosima said. Without she wanted to, her voice started to shake in the same rithm her underlip and the rest of her body started to. "I'm not a good liar and Duncan's an expert in discovering lies, but I at least hoped that you didn't got sent home. I was ready to take the blame, to be the instigator."
She couldn't stop the tears anymore. They started to roll over her cheeks, leaving warm and wet traces on her skin. One of them ended up in her mouth and she got an even salter taste in her mouth than she already had. Cosima wanted to steady herself, but it was hard. Her vision was blurred because of the tears so she could barely see Delphine.
"I wanted to take the blame because I knew this, the army, your rang, everything, meant a lot more to you than it meant for me... I never wanted.. never wanted this..."
Cosima brought her hand up to her face to wipe off the tears, but while she did that, she started to cry even more and her cheeks became even wetter because of the new tears, even though she just dried them. She sniffed and didn't dare to look up to Delphine. Afraid of what she might be thinking of her. That's why it surprised her to feel the arms of the blonde around her, reassuring her, cuddling her, whispering in her ear to calm her down.
"It meant a lot more to me to know you're happy, Cosima... There's nothing for me here to stay, except you..."
She lost it. Cosima lost everything and she threw herself deeper in her lover's arms, wrapping her arms around Delphine's body and pressing her face into those lovely, blonde curls she loved so much. And she cried. Her body shook, her tears wettening Delphine's uniform.
After a few moments, Delphine placed one hand on Cosima's chin and slowly forced her to look up to her. Cosima tried to steady herself, but couldn't keep her underlip from trembling or to stop the soft sniffes.
"Mon amour, I want you to promise me you'll be okey without me..." said Delphine seriously. Cosima started to cry again, tears rolled down her cheek like she stored a whole ocean in her eyes and that needed to be released right now.
"I-I d-d-don't want you to.. you to l-leave," she whispers.
"Me neither, chèrie... But promise me... Promise me you'll be safe," Delphine said, and for a moment, she sounded as broken as Cosima felt. But she was the bigger of the two. She always was. Even now.
Cosima couldn't promise anything. She didn't want to promise anything. She didn't want to stay here and do stupid lab research. Doing research was what she loved. But what she truely loved, loved even more, was Delphine. She would give up everything come with her to Germany... But Duncan would never allow that.
"I-I promise..." she said. Delphine smiled sadly at her and bowed forewards for a kiss. Her soft lips tasted like her own tears and for once, she cursed herself for crying. She wanted to taste Delphine, not the salty drops that leaked out of her eyes.
She felt Delphine stroking her cheek, down to her neck and her collarbone. It felt so good. Cosima never wanted this moment to end, it was perfect. No, it wasn't. Minus all the pain and the tears it might've been perfect. But at this moment, the only thing she could think of the gaping hole Delphine would leave in her heart when she would leave in a day or two.
Delphine pulled back, but their faces kept close. Their noses and foreheards touched, resting on eachothers, trying to enjoy one of the last touches they might ever share.
"Je t'aime..." Delphine whispers in Cosima's ear. And those little words made Cosima crack up even more than everything else. This meant more to her than Delphine leaving, than their kisses, their more intimate moments, more than everything. Delphine loved her, and nothing else should matter. But what is love if you won't see eachother anymore?
"I love you too," Cosima said, as she pulled in for another kiss.