"May I ask you a question?"
Cosima looked up from the blood results she was looking at. "Sure, what's up?" She reached for the wine glass, rescuing it from the fortress of coupons that surrounded it.
Allison set down her scissors, reaching for her own wine glass. It was her third glass of wine and she was feeling more and more courageous to ask the questions that had been burning through her mind the last few weeks. "So…you and Delphine…"
Closing the file she was reading, Cosima took a deep breath, setting it on the stack she was still working on, knowing exactly what was coming. "Uh huh."
"Well…" Allison sipped her wine. "So…the two of you are…dating?" She gave the scientist a confused look. "Is dating the right word? You two are together?"
Nodding, Cosima reached for the bottle of wine to refill her glass, knowing this was going to need a hell of a lot more. "Well we don't really go out on dates, obvs." She offered the woman more wine.
Allison drank the last of hers before holding her glass out to be filled. "You know what I mean. You're sleeping together."
"Well we don't do a lot of sleeping either." Cosima mumbled to herself as she set the bottle down. "Actually, I'm not one to kiss and tell, but considering that my relationship with a monitor could possibly have consequences for your own life, I'll play along. Yes, Delphine and I are intimately involved with each other…and by intimately I do mean sexually."
Holding up her hand, Allison nodded. "I don't need details…" She fidgeted with the cardigan she was wearing, trying to decide which path to take the questions. "Do you think that, since we're the same, that we're all…that we could all possibly be gay?"
Oh boy. Cosima emptied her glass, setting it down instead of refilling it. She turned to Allison in a serious manner. "Ok, just to get it clear, I'm not gay…I'm actually attracted to a person, and it just doesn't always matter what gender that person is." She paused briefly before continuing. "I think you can see that we're not all the same. While a lot of aspects of our development into adults are tailored by genetics, not everything is."
Allison's brow furrowed. "I thought sexuality was something on a genetic level. Isn't that the claim? That we're born one way or another."
"Eh…" Cosima gathered her thoughts again, trying to think of the best way to explain it, remembering what Delphine had said not so long ago. "Sexuality is a spectrum, there are so many levels of it. I would say that yes a preference is hard-coded into us, but that preference may not be black or white and might be susceptible to environmental influence."
"Ok you completely lost me."
Taking a deep breath, Cosima rethought her decision and instead refilled her glass of wine, taking a big gulp. "Ok. while there are a lot of different shades of sexuality, the two main categories everyone knows about are heterosexual and homosexual in which you are either attracted to the opposite sex or the same sex. I would say that if we, as in our genetic make-up, had that particular set up, then I think we would all be preferring a specific sex and despite what our upbringing was, eventually we would have to come to terms with our orientation." She paused to try to summarize. "Basically there are some people out there are definitely gay, no matter what, it's who they are and no amount of influence or change can alter that. However, I believe the particular orientation marker that's in our genes is more of a fluid bi-sexuality in which say someone like yourself who's lived a very traditional life-style would quite easily never find a reason to be attracted to or even suspect you were attracted to a member of the same sex."
Allison frowned at that. "That almost makes me sound boring."
"Not at all!" Cosima shook her head, raising her hands to stop the woman's thought process, her dreads whipping slightly. "What I'm saying is that in our case, where our orientation is not for one sex or the other, it's quite probably that our upbringing and personality can easily influence it. Personality can of course be directly related to environment growing up. So growing up in suburbia, a nuclear family, your mindset is that of a normal heterosexual family with 2 kids and a dog. You have a need for control and order and it's not odd that you would seek a life as close to what is considered normal. Not saying that you disapprove of anything other than heterosexuality, just that it was never part of the equation. In comparison, I grew up in a very…open and almost non-traditional household. There weren't really a lot of football games or pep rallies in my school years but instead a lot of symposiums and science competitions. We read a lot and traveled a lot. From a very early age I was taught about the different aspects of nature and culture. Going to Berkley definitely didn't hurt when it came to broadening horizons either." She grinned.
Thinking about that, Allison tried to summarize. "So what you're saying is that while sexuality is something we're born with, we, as in us, were born with a fluid sexuality that was able to be structured by our upbringing?"
With a surprised look, Cosima nodded. "Exactly!"
"You're saying we're all bi-sexual but some of us chose, although unintentionally, to be straight?"
Cosima shrugged. "Essentially." She saw the troubled look on Allison's face. "Seriously, it's not a big deal. What matters is that you love the person you're with, not what's in their junk drawer."
Allison thought about that. "Do you?"
"What?" Cosima began gathering the files, deciding she was tired of looking at them.
"Do you love Delphine?" Allison asked pointedly.
Setting the files on the floor in a neat pile, Cosima couldn't stop herself from smiling. "Despite my best intentions not to at first…yes. I really do."
"Hmmm." Allison leaned back in her seat, tapping her wine glass.
Both women jumped slightly when the loft door opened suddenly.
"Oui! Just curlers." Delphine set the paper bag down on the table.
"Well shite. Here I thought it was all magic." Felix slid the door shut and set his own bag down.
Retrieving a small box from her bag, Delphine smiled as she dropped onto the couch beside Cosima, holding out the box. "As requested, Ma Cherie."
Cosima smiled as she accepted the rolling papers, leaning in for a quick kiss. "Thank you."
"What are you two talking about?"
Delphine looked from one woman to the other, her eyebrows furrowed in suspicion.
"Let's smoke!" Cosima hopped up, quickly, ignoring any further questions.