DISCLAIMER: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and its characters are the property of James Cameron and Fox. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Adult rating: There is sex and violence and moderate language. No one under 18 permitted.
General Note: Just having fun.
Questions or Comments: Feel free. email@example.com
Del Hightower loved to teach. It wasn't her fault her students were hormone driven delinquents who couldn't appreciate what she and her colleagues offered. The thought of any of her former students shaping her future was enough to make her want to hole up and live off the earth. The thought appealed to her until she realized like a cub to its mothers tit she was very attached to civilization and luxuries of toilet paper and fast food.
Speaking of food Del frowned at the array of sweets. The committee in charge of catering was made up of adolescents with cavities and adults who had teeth falling out. Little made sense to her especially when teachers were just as preoccupied with popularity contests as their students. She was sure that same contest had something to do with the cavity fest on the table in front of her.
“Decent turn out,” a woman beside the teacher spoke. Del only noticed the hand bypassing a perfectly good tray of cheese crackers for a white box of jelly filled donuts.
Del followed the pale hand up a dark leather jacket to a face obstructed by a donut. She offered a sound of acknowledgment of what the stranger in leather had said before she looked her over. Del was a regular at open house and this woman didn't look like any parent she knew.
“You're a parent?” A nod and a smile was the only forthcoming answer. Considering her mouth was full and both hands were occupied— one with a plate the other a pastry.
“Which child is yours?”
The stranger looked at the teacher oddly.
“Hey Miss Hightower,” a young man in her English class came up to her. The similarities between the two were subtle, but it became clear why she did not know this particular parent.
Following behind him was his sister, a shell of a girl that acted more like a shadow to her brother, than a teenage girl. While making her rounds around her classroom she had noticed bruises on the girl. The workshops she attended for child abuse helped her to recognize the signs of domestic abuse. Cameron was a shy girl her brother didn't seem that affected, she looked over the older woman didn't notice any visible marks on her. Then she remembered hearing there was no father in the picture.
“John hello Cameron you look very lovely this evening,” she emphasized the compliment with a hand delicately placed on Cameron's shoulder.
“Miss Hightower English teacher,” the donut woman interrupted as if noting the woman off on a list.
“Cameron and John are very exceptional students,” the teacher bragged, but her eyes were on Cameron. They never left the young girl's gaze as she continued, “and Cameron's poetry there's so much soul in it.”
“Soul?” Sarah repeated.
“Why yes,” Del looked at the wash of skepticism on the mother's face then to Cameron who showed no reaction to it. She concluded that verbal abuse was not restrained to the privacy of their home. It probably had been going on for some time considering the kids stayed quiet. She immediately got offended if only for Cameron's sake. “There are several scholarships for writing that I've mentioned to her for when they go off to college; her work will give her a competitive edge.”
Del was answered with a tight smile, “is that so?” The teacher noticed the parent seemed neither pleased nor displeased.
An older woman in a suit interrupted asking if she could borrow Miss Hightower. The matriarch turned on her heels with her kids following behind. Del held back the urge to grab a hold of Cameron and take her in her arms and tell her everything will be ok. That was what mothers were supposed to do. The woman she just met looked like she'd sooner spit in the eye of someone in a wheelchair than show affection to her daughter.
Open house started at seven ten minutes in she was surrounded by proud blue collar parents, straight 'A' kids, and a schoolmarm with an attitude. She clung to the simplicity of the donut, its sweetness and inability to talk or glare at her across the room. She turned away from the obtrusive English teacher and turned to John.
“This is fun,” she stated with forced enthusiasm.
John loved his mother and moments like this he knew she loved him. There were few times when she pushed his destiny aside and focused on normal things like teachers and grades. Fighting machines bent on killing her and her son that was what she knew, but it was good that she could give him this too.
He eyed her plate, “how are the donuts?”
Looking around she shrugged her shoulders and again caught that English teacher looking at her funny. “I don't think I made a good impression with your teacher,” she pointed out breaking eye contact to watch the room.
John shrugged he liked Miss Hightower's class enough, but it was just English.
“She thinks you abuse me,” Cameron offered.
Sarah choked on a piece of donut while John's brows rose opting not to comment.
“She handed me a pamphlet about domestic abuse verbal and physical, it didn't help when you didn't support my poetry,” Cameron continued.
Sarah scoffed, “You're a toaster with skin. You've got no soul and no capacity to be soulful,”
Cameron stared at her blankly while John sipped from a Styrofoam cup, “it's pretty good mom.” Sarah stared at her son disbelievingly, “we had to read it out loud,” he explained.
Sarah was concerned with what she could see and what she had experienced. Terminators did not feel, and she wouldn't believe that Cameron was capable of anything involving the existence of a soul imaginary or otherwise.
“In any case you could stop scowling at Cameron and pretend like you have a healthy relationship with your daughter,” John smiled helpfully before he moved away. Cameron's eyes followed after him, she was always aware of John's presence it made protecting him that more efficient.
Sarah bit into her donut grumpily knowing that her son was right. She was always the one preaching about being normal and now she had a curious teacher way too interested in her relationship with Cameron. For the rest of the night while meeting with the other teacher's she made sure to be affectionate toward the machine and her son.
The machine had an objective. The mission was easy. Humans were only a threat to themselves. Television was plastered with human on human violence, it's a wonder why they had existed this long their behaviors weren't practical. The machine surmised not paying attention to the bullets tearing up his clothes and meat suit. The human crawling away from him knew his existence was near its end and still he fought. He fought until the machine closed its hand around his neck and broke it.
The body lay limp at his feet. He looked over body's signature to confirm there was no sign of life before he moved on. Another man was cornered across the room. They were hiding in a two room apartment with busted windows and green paint that peeled. There was furniture that had seen better days. He'd run out of bullets, but still held onto his gun. He glared at the machine. Running would be fruitless they both knew.
“Fuck you,” growled spittle resting in the corner of his mouth. He watched his friends get slaughtered. They fought bravely, but the machine was stronger. It had come as one of them wearing skin and eyes like ornaments on a Trojan horse. His last thought was of peace and whether he would find it in death.
Skynet had sent specific orders to attack all resistance safe houses in the area. The machine was patient in the nature it procured its information about fighter's sent back just like him. This was the second one it found and destroyed. Like this one it was in a populated area of squatters and miscreants. That similarity alone made it easy for Xander to catalogue the characteristics of the areas' in which they hid.
Using the map in his head he could pin point similar locations with a hundred mile radius where resistance would probably hide.
The predictability of humans would be there downfall.
John smiled at the memory of earlier that evening. It was hard to enjoy normal things, when he was looking over his shoulder all the time. His mother promised him that normal life and tonight was a part of that promise. It wouldn't be completely fulfilled until she destroyed every potential threat that could help Skynet exist. Though nights like this he committed to memory and savored. His mother could be proud of what he did now, not just the savior of mankind he was told he would be.
Reposed on his bed he watched the shadow of Cameron walk past his door. She was making sure everything was secure for the night. Cameron never slept, so sitting on the couch watching late night TV kept her occupied. She'd read the dictionary and thesaurus within days of them settling in. Cameron, she often occupied his mind. He thought of the similarities between her and the former Terminator that had helped them when he was a kid. The last one was like a father to him and now his future self sent him terminator Barbie. He questioned his own judgment, smirking at how weird of a truth that was.
He turned his head to the door away when the television came on. They didn't have school tomorrow. It was Saturday so he wouldn't have to worry about getting up early for classes. He'd probably call his friend Morris to see if he wanted to hang out. He liked the guy up until he started drooling all over his bodyguard. Deciding to join Cameron he hopped out of bed in sweats, a shirt and socks.
She sat on the right corner of the couch with her legs sitting on the table. Her eyes didn't leave the television as John stood in the doorway waiting for her to acknowledge his presence. Sighing he headed to the kitchen making a late night snack. The sandwich would have done Shaggy proud he smiled at its size. He'd gone a little overboard knowing that opening his mouth for a bite would be a feat in itself.
“You should not eat after eleven it is not healthy,” she kept her eyes trained on the TV. She heard him in the kitchen. The whole house was well aware of John's penchant for raiding the fridge late in the evening.
John continued to chew, “what are you watching?” he said around the food in his mouth. John would have settled for a title but Cameron repeated the entire synopsis. John sat and watched, very aware of Cameron's proximity and her lack of pants. She wore light blue panties with a matching tank. What was his future self thinking?
“Have you ever kissed anyone John?”
The teenager frowned, “wha...huh…where'd that come from?”
“It came from me,” Cameron helped then craned her neck so that she was looking at John. It was a custom Cameron observed that eye contact be unwavering when inquiring about the truth.
With sandwich half eaten he sat his snack down on the table, “why?”
“I am curious how a kiss can affect the behavioral patterns of a person. Humans give a lot of power to a kiss, I want to understand.”
John opened and closed his mouth only to end up folding his face into a frown returning his gaze to the show he wasn't watching.
“In some of my research the human disposition is to choose their mates through kissing, but human emotions create the most illogical conclusions.” Cameron noticed the same uncomfortable shouldering Sarah tried to hide earlier tonight at the open house. She didn't want to cause John discomfort. Discomfort, she had learned, often left her even more curious and people were less inclined to answer her. John for his part sat in silence contemplating where this was coming from and how he should answer. The part of his brain screaming to keep quiet was usurped by the curiosity that prompted him to speak.
“Look,” John started quickly,” kissing is nice especially if your kissing somebody who knows what they're doin'. Have I had fireworks? No, that doesn't mean I won't but kissing is just something you enjoy with somebody you like.”
“I like you,” she offered as if they should try out his theory.
There were several reasons running through John's mind why that shouldn't happen, but he was having a hard time remembering what they were. He rubbed his hands on his legs nervously.
“That's different,” he tried to explain. John's careful words were obviously not careful enough.
“Because you're…” he trailed off.
“Different,” she supplied ducking her head. “Do I kiss everyone like?”
“Well no…it's more like when me in the future and me now give you an order that conflict you choose which one is best for that moment. You choose who you want to kiss. Why am I even talking about this with a machine that shouldn't be kissing anybody least of all me.” John stood quickly forgetting the plate and knocking his knee against the edge of the couch to escape. Cameron was faster and more graceful, within seconds she was in his space, connecting with her mouth with his.
After a few seconds she pulled back watching John open his eyes slowly. She could read him easily the frenzied palpitations of his heart, his hitched breathing, the warmth in his body. “I feel nothing.”
John snorted shaking his head. “Wow….. ok,” he rubbed the back of his head taking a step to the side and headed to his room. Cameron listened to him as he rummaged around his room getting ready for bed a lot louder than he usually did.
Her research on the male ego had given her insight to how fragile women and society considered it. John was not a self assured man yet. So her words could hurt more than future John.
She returned to the corner of the couch pretending not to notice Sarah's presence behind her in the shadows. Cameron recognized her body patterns behind her when she initiated the conversation about the kiss. She did enjoy John's company he made her feel like more than just a toaster, as Sarah put it. Though the only Connor she was interested in kissing was the one that would deny both of them what they wanted.
Sarah was attracted to her. She knew it when she started reading Sarah's body temperatures. Her interest in Sarah was born from the musings of an older more understanding and regret filled John. He wished he hadn't been such a punk when he was a kid, but that came with the age. At first her readings were to gauge Sarah's reactions to news to better anticipate her actions afterward.
More often than not she found herself using it more. Through observation she knew what Sarah liked, disliked, what made her happy and what didn't make her happy. She could write a manual on the woman if she wanted. And if she ever did there was no way she would share it. Reading Sarah was her guilty pleasure.
Attraction turned to curiosity turned to an idea that struck her as peculiar. Approaching Sarah with a proposal for something more than the testy relationship they had. Unfamiliar with the formalities of courting she studied movies, books, and couples. Now it was only a matter of adapting her tactical training and research to getting Sarah to give in to her. What Sarah saw tonight would make her angry. Anger made humans irrational. She needed the woman, ever aware of her surroundings and actions, to be irrational with her. That was the only conclusion Cameron could come up for them to be together.
Derek stared at the back of the head of the machine John insisted on calling by a name that didn't belong to her. At least Sarah had enough sense to call it for what it was, an empty shell masquerading as something natural. John would never understand his rage. A part of him never wanted his nephew to feel the way he did. He knew it consumed him his obsession to kill machines, but he knew the dark of the future. Having a soft spot for every machine easy on the eyes would blur lines that needed to be black and white.
Derek closed his hand around his weapon under his jacket. He leveled it as if to shoot. The bullet wouldn't penetrate the skull to kill; it would do enough damage to the skin and probably dent her metal skeleton from this range. Cameron aware of Derek Reese's growing temper saw his reflection in the television. She eyed the gun knowing she could rise, cross into the kitchen and snap his neck long before he pulled the trigger. She turned her head waiting.
They sat like that for minutes. The peculiar scene welcomed Sarah from a troubled night of questions, answers, and denials all three she would bare alone. She was good at that. She knew Derek wouldn't pull the trigger just as she knew Cameron wouldn't move to eradicate the threat. They all had their roles that dictated the outcome of the future. John needed them—all of them and while none of them had to like it that's the way it was.
“Coffee?” Derek met her eyes with the gun still trained at the back of the machine's head.
He declined and nodded over to the table when she was finished with the coffee. He looked at John's door which was still shut. Cameron stood and headed to the front door. She stopped and turned her head toward Derek then headed back outside.
“Freak,” he mumbled under his breath scowling until he couldn't hear her on the steps anymore.
Sarah eyed Derek's look and wondered if he looked the same way when she looked at Cameron. Well whatever look she gave Cameron it put a certain teacher on edge. She thought of what Derek would think about their excursion from their world of weird and strange to go to open house. He probably would have thought it was a waste of time.
“John still asleep?” the question didn't need to be asked but the words came out anyway.
“I guess,” Sarah looked down at the coffeemaker as if her full attention would make it move faster. But it was just a machine. She gave it an order and it did it at it's own pace. Machine's had a rebellious streak. Her thoughts involuntarily tuned to last night. She clenched her jaw not really wanting to remember. John had kissed Cameron. Correction—Cameron kissed John. She made a move on her son.
She'd never entertained the idea of her son making out with a machine but if she had entertained the thought she knew her first reaction would be disgust. Sarah didn't know herself that well. Disgust was really anger and it came from a place she didn't want to think about especially with Derek's eyes studying her.
One last impatient look at the coffee she headed over to the table. Papers were scattered on it, “what's this?”
“Notes, photographs, documents the resistance use to find marks for the missions,” Derek clarified going though them as he spoke.
“So….what are they doing on my kitchen table?” she grasped the back of a chair with her hands reading through words but not taking the information in.
Derek sat back telling her that he took them after he found three lifeless bodies. This was information that he'd eventually pass on to someone else that got sent back, but he wanted to recruit Sarah's help for a mission first.
Tossing the papers on the table, “this is the second safe house we've found like this, no machine waiting to kill just dead brothers and documents of missions that need to get done collecting dust.”
Sarah frowns cocking her head, “Skynet's point and shoot way of ensuring we fail in stopping the future.”
She turned her head at the movement in the corner of her eye. She knew it was Cameron. Derek leaned forward protective of the delicate information he'd lain out.
“What?” Sarah raised a brow.
“Going up against an unidentified machine would be unwise,” she stated.
Sarah hadn't been paying much attention to Cameron's warning when she took her in, all of her. She hadn't moved from her position from in front of the TV since last night. Derek had noticed the lacking of clothing and the very exposed areas of her body and glared. Sarah focused on the only acceptable reaction, irritation, silencing all the others even as her body reacted.
Cameron tilted her head. She knew her wardrobe had elicited the desired response. She ignored Derek completely focusing her words and attention on Sarah. Answering had been secondary to her reason for rising.
Sarah turned back to Derek, who glared at the machine until she turned to leave.
“You let her walk around like that?” he turned his glare to Sarah.
She didn't particularly care for his tone, but she knew where it was coming from.
Children enabled there to be a future for humans. The machine stared at the child playing at the end of the hall. The apartment door was open. The child kicked the ball in then disappeared inside and the ball reappeared. This went on for as long as it amused the little boy. Turning left the machine headed down the hall one by one until the number of occupants was curious enough to investigate.
The building was called the Mansion, but the décor screamed less than common. The area was usually frequented junkies, poor people, and delinquents. Trash was on the streets, walls were stained with spray painted marks that looked like random markings. The area didn't look like it was cared for or that anyone who lived there cared at all. The place provided the right cover for resistance to blend in. A passerby didn't ask questions, if it didn't involve them getting something in return. Everyone was left to their own devices; it was the ways things were.
The Mansion had nine floors. The machine took each floor and every hall walking passed each with a patient gait. If it wasn't this building then it would be another. There were six more on his list.
“Tony!” a woman yelled as her head was yanked back by her hair. She looked too thin and the marks on her arm were enough to answer why.
Humans had no respect for their lives or their bodies. It wasn't a rush of disgust that caused Xander to pause. It was rather the obtuseness of the scene. The man dressed in green lacks and vanilla shirt dragged the woman by her hair down the hall. She kicked and screamed. Her running mascara gave the illusion of black tears.
It didn't make sense to damage the very reason one has an income. It was the equivalent to damaging the engine to the vehicle that takes one to work. The pimp smiled tormenting her with a knife that he lowered to her neck. Her eyes met Xander's pleading. The machine continued down the hallway to finish its rounds.
“Hey,” the pimp pulled her harder to his chest. The knife pushed into her throat, “you want to play hero?”
The machine continued to walk ascertaining no threat from him outside of the knife. The metal was too archaic to do anymore than damage his flesh. He started moving the blade back and forth waiting while Xander never changed the gait of his approach. Within inches the man lunged forward with the knife. The move wasn't unexpected, and the machine looked oddly at the blade protruding from his chest. If he were human he should be screaming in agony. But he was not human. He reacted to the threat with precision and efficiency that from outside eyes looked brutal.
The woman who had been screaming continued to scream when her pimp's body fell lifeless beside her. She cringed away from the machine walked away in leisure as if he didn't just take a life. The cops wouldn't be there for a while considering the precinct was half way across town. It didn't help that until someone got tired of the smell or saw the body 911 wouldn't be dialed.
It was late afternoon when Cameron reappeared. She knew that Derek Reese proposed Sarah become part of a hunting party against a machine taking out resistance members. It wasn't Sarah's responsibility to worry about the others. The objective was to protect John, and unfortunately Derek gave her a distraction. Sarah's disliking Derek was surpassed by her hatred for machines. She would act like she didn't want it, sound really convincing, but she was a fighter. It was against her nature to go against that. She was too good at what she didn't have been entirely mild mannered. Despite how good of a waitress she was.
She eyed the woman who cleaned her guns expertly. Sarah didn't acknowledge her presence.
“Where is John?” she knew wherever he'd gone he was accompanied by his uncle who was also absent fortunately. She had Sarah to herself.
The elder Connor didn't look up from her busy work. It hadn't been long when she last cleaned her personal arsenal. She wanted to have something to occupy her mind. She worked out briefly. After that she found that she needed another mindless task to distract her from her thoughts. She hoped her silence would hint Cameron not to invite herself to the table, but it had an adverse effect.
Cameron stared down at Sarah's hands working to clean the inside of her pistol. Her late night shows and research had showed her what people were capable of with their hands. They only took a small portion of the body and yet they were vital to day to day life and other things. She wanted Sarah to be the one to show her what hands could accomplish intimately. She looked down at her own. Her skin was soft; it would feel nice against someone else's skin. Sarah would enjoy her touch she could make Sarah scream she was sure of it.
Blowing out an exasperated sigh Sarah looked up at Cameron who was staring at her hands with a contemplative look. “Don't you have a something you can do?”
“You're staring at me tin miss.”
Sarah didn't have the patience to decipher the puzzles that made sense in Cameron's metal head. She stood up guns forgotten as she went to the fridge to pull out a bottle of water. She took an inordinate amount of time perusing the food not entirely hungry. She wanted to hide behind the refrigerator door.
When she closed the door she decided to take a sip from her cold bottle a ploy to figure out what she wanted to say. The only change in Cameron's position was the turn of her head. She stared at Sarah intently. Sarah wasn't sure she wanted to be under such a concentrated gaze. “What are you doing with my son?” she queried curious to how Cameron would react. The girl barely reacted to anything. That didn't stop Sarah from anticipating some surprise or consternation at being caught.
“I'm protecting him.”
Sarah leaned half of her body on the island “and last night? Was there an immediate threat to his lips you wanna share?”
“You are mad,” Cameron stood making every word and movement deliberate.
“You have a mission, just one and that's it anything else and I'll end you myself,” it was a threat that both of them knew Sarah meant to her core. Nothing stood in the way of her protecting her son. She had survived to sacrifice for him. If that meant going up against Cameron right now unarmed then so be it.
Cameron tilted her head in the curious way she did.
The fire in Sarah's eyes pulled Cameron in, but she was careful to give the other woman her space. Words were another matter. She remembered it off a television show and the moment seemed perfect to repeat it, “You look beautiful when you are angry.”
Sarah didn't move. Cameron's sensors were an advantageous aspect to her design. The woman tried to act unaffected, but she was.
Connor cocked her head eyeing the machine strangely. She looked around wondering if this was a joke. Then she realized her son didn't have the guts. He knew she would kill him. Derek didn't have a sense of humor. The only plausible reason Cameron would be talking crazy is if she was dreaming. The dream would have burst in flames by this time and she would have woken up in a sweat. The other plausible reason was tin miss's chip. If Cameron was damaged then all hell was about to break loose and all her weapons were on a table behind the machine.
“That is how it is said isn't it?”
Whatever was going on with Cameron Sarah reasoned that she should play along to maneuver herself to the table, “yea…yea it is, never been told that before.” Sarah started around the island looking at the knives on the counter, knowing they wouldn't do enough damage.
“You are angry with me all the time but I never say it,” answered simply following Sarah's movements.
The older woman kept talking, “why now?”
“I have a request and a compliment is an appropriate opening to butter you.”
“Up,” Connor added when it was apparent Cameron wouldn't finish the phrase correctly.
“I do not understand,” her reading perking an interest in Sarah's accelerated heart.
“The phrase is butter you up,” The brunette clarified.
“Thank you for explaining. I would very much like to butter you up,” she hoped she had delivered it with the right inflection. She was not accessing a program to try to flirt with Sarah. It was difficult to gauge her own effectiveness of her approach in regards to percentile. She referenced television shows where girls wore skimpy clothes and flipped their hair. She wore tight clothes and she decided that now would be a good time to flip her hair.
Sarah was on the other side of the island closest to the sink. She was parallel with Cameron and inches away from the table. She could leap for it, but Cameron would be quick enough to grab her. For a brief moment while figuring out her strategy she wondered why she was flipping her hair. “What'd you want to ask me?”
Cameron had followed Sarah's movements with her body until she was turned full body towards Sarah. “Kiss me?”
Sarah faltered almost losing her balance with the step she was about to take. Cameron moved to her side taking liberties with the little space that passed for a gap. Sarah stepped back. The machine met the older woman's retreat with a determined stride.
“Yes.” The girl's eyes lowered to Sarah's heaving chest. Sarah wore a black tank leaving a lot of skin exposed.
“Why?” Sarah breathed no longer sure what to think of what the tin miss was playing at.
Cameron moved closer like they did on TV. Her breast pressed against Sarah's and she heard Connor's breath hitch at the contact. This was a good sign. Sarah had not rejected her and she was inches away from what she was seeking. Pushing further she raised her hand to touch the hair that fell into Sarah's face. It made her look feral. Cameron didn't want to tame her, she just wanted to feel the same passion that drove Sarah to survive and protect. She protected John but because of her programming. She wanted to evolve to feel sensations and passion.
Not sure if the question had been answered or she'd even spoken it out loud Connor swallowed. The counter dug into her back. The discomfort didn't distract her from the lips hovering over hers. Then their lips met. The kiss was soft slow and wet. Cameron wanted more. While she battled for control Sarah wasn't about to give in that easily. Sliding her hands down to open Sarah's thighs she inserted her own between them. She pushed feeling Sarah meet her thrusts.
People are made up of the experiences that harden and soften them. When the blast destroyed most everything Derek Reese knew as good he was hardened. Killing machines was easy. It reminded him of the video games he played as a kid. Humans were another matter. Going back in time he had to get his hands dirty. It was all for the greater good to stop or least weaken the enemy. That is why he killed Andy Goode among others. They had inadvertently put a bull eyes on their head when they ignored the consequences of their actions.
He didn't reduce their ignorance to a machine's indifference. They were people they made mistakes. When he found out about Andy though long and hard about what needed to be done. He used his knowledge to inadvertently ruin lives. Derek knew all too well about ruined lives. His brothers and sisters were held prisoner. Some were killed. Others were forced to live in hiding. The people he hadn't visited yet would pay just as the ones that had.
The dark thoughts of the future were always on his mind. The few moments alone with his nephew reminded him of the days where he hung out with his brother in the park. They played catch, carefree kids unaware of the disaster that awaited them later. John looked just like his dad. They were alike in so many ways that Derek wanted to be around him to remember and stay away from him to forget. Holding onto the past too tightly got people killed.
“You're looking very intense what's on your mind?”
Derek looked at his burger. He hated to enjoy food when he knew there were others starving depending on him wondering when they would get their next meal.
John nodded clenching his jaw involuntarily it was just a reflex when anyone mentioned it. The idea of the responsibility he would eventually hold hovered over him like a black cloud raining down on just him.
“Can't we just talk about girls for once, I am of that age you know,” John pointed out dotting his fries in a puddle of ketchup on his wrapping paper.
Derek stared him darkly, “yea you are.”
John frowned, “what's that look for?”
“The killing machine you got living with you has got a nice rack.” Derek questioned future John's judgment about sending back Cameron. Her looks alone were distracting enough to any teenage boy; he didn't want his nephew losing sight of what she was.
John chewed slower curious eyes meeting curious eyes, “hadn't noticed.”
“Is this why you wanted to hang out to rag on Cameron some more?”
Derek sat forward one arm on the table as he leaned in to speak quietly, “I was a teenage boy too John, Cameron is well built if you get my drift and I know you do.”
“Cameron's hot,” John deadpanned, “there I said it she's hot I think she's hot are we done now?”
“Remember who you are John what you stand for.”
“Kinda hard to forget when I got a whole support system of mom and machine reminding me of what an awesome world leader I'm gonna be.”
Derek knew that look. It was his brother's look. Something John inherited and now used to show his annoyance. It wasn't often that he let a smile slip, but it was there and it looked as if it startled the young Connor. “You look just like you dad when you do that.”
John let his feelings about what Derek implied about Cameron go. He wasn't about to prove Derek wrong about what happened earlier that night. It was better instead to focus on what Derek said about his dad. He enjoyed when they could talk about him. His mom rarely did anymore and Derek knew more about him than his mom did.
Letting the subject of the machine go Derek gave into John's pestering about Kyle. Truth be told he enjoyed being able to talk about his brother. He'd been gone for too long and the memories, the good ones at least, were fine to remember and share.
Sarah liked her showers hot, she started it out warm and then as her body got accustomed to the heat she turned the knob. She missed this when she was in the mental hospital. She definitely missed it when she was on the road and in Mexico. She'd always been paranoid and felt she couldn't afford to bask under the water. Now the only thing that settled the same paranoia, that kept her alive, was the terminator in her living room.
Cameron Phillips, Sarah closed her eyes resting her hands against the wall bowing her head to feel the water beat against her scalp. It felt like tiny points running across her scalp but she didn't mind it, it felt nice. Kissing Cameron had felt nice too. She was alive so there was nothing wrong with her chip. She didn't believe that Cameron could have come up with the conclusion to seduce her on her own. She'd already ruled her out her son, who obviously had a crush on the machine. She shook her head knowing Derek would have nothing to do with her. That left future John.
She believed that her son had better things to do than set her up with a booty call from the future. Things made sense before she'd given into Cameron. Rocking her center against Cameron's firm thighs, her hand rubbed in between her legs. As soon as she felt the wetness she pulled her hand away.
Blowing out a frustrated breath she started to think how long it had been since she'd had sex. That jump into the future had added a few years to the count, but then she remembered Charley. He'd been the last warm body she'd been with and since the future there had been no one else. She wouldn't have had to add Cameron because they had stopped at heavy petting. She smiled slightly letting her fingers trace where Cameron had. When Sarah realized what she doing she pulled away. Cameron had frowned confused but she didn't say anything. She took her rejection quietly and turned to go back outside.
She wanted it hotter so she turned the knob. The cure to horny supposedly involved cold showers, but Sarah wouldn't be taking one of those. She hated the cold. Surprisingly Cameron was very warm to the touch.
“Stop thinking about the tin can while you're naked,” Sarah berated herself. She wasn't going to give into what her body wanted. Her mind had a great argument of why they shouldn't be together. All reasons were obvious. First she was a machine, second she was a machine, and third she was a machine. It made her just as weird as the guy, who buys a blow up doll, just to call it his girlfriend. She shuddered at the memory pushing her hair back flat on her scalp.
John brought home dinner when Derek dropped him off, but his mom claimed she wasn't hungry and hurried outside saying something about exercise. Cameron stared at him blankly after she'd watched his mother leave. He thought about asking what was up with her. Instead he chalked it up to the familiar scenario of Cameron saying something insensitive and his mom leaving before she shot her.
He didn't stay up that night with Cameron or the night after that. Everyone was keeping their distance from each other. It would have been comical if either of the Connor's had noticed. Cameron ever aware of her surroundings had, but saw no reason to laugh. Sarah was avoiding her because she was a bad kisser. John avoided her because he was a bad kisser. She thought about practicing more with John, but thought better of it.
She wondered if all girls' lips were as soft as Sarah's. It wasn't hard to find someone interested in her. According to popular opinion Cameron was hot. In Cameron's mind that meant anyone she wanted to kiss her would. A specific girl that kept staring at her in Chemistry came to mind.
Sarah for her part was keeping herself active. Her workouts kept her in pain. It helped clear her head and feel more prepared for what made sense in her life—protecting her son. She could feel Cameron's looks on her. Working hard not to stare back she avoided Cameron's gaze like the plague. The girl had an effect on her that wasn't there before they kissed. She didn't particularly like the idea of having a terminator have that kind of effect on her. She was still waiting for Cameron to start going crazy and try to kill them.
It left the elder Connor to wonder what was going on with her. She could understand this kind of reaction from a teenager. At that age it's hard to control physical urges. Sarah hadn't been a teenager in a long time. This wasn't like her at all.
Lying on her bed she could see Cameron shadow stop in front of her room. Her hand automatically clutched the gun under her pillow. She waited for the machine to burst through with red eyes like terminators did in her dreams. Very much awake with seconds ticking by nothing happened.
It seemed teachers, staff, and students were in consensus on one thing, Mondays. After a two day break of doing nothing to come back to school. It was a dreaded day. The very small minority that actually enjoyed Monday's was in the number of one Miss Hightower. She prepared for the following day with a satchel filled with sharpened number two pencils, a pack of pens if she ran out, and newly graded assignments. This Monday she anticipated one student in particular.
Second period couldn't have come fast enough. The first few hours of the day she imagined how scarred Cameron could be after two days with her mother. From the open house she knew that she had hit a nerve when she defended her student. The kid was gifted despite her mediocre grades. That could be easily explained by the mother. When talent isn't nurtured it's wasted. Cameron's mother didn't look to have a nurturing bone in her body. She reminded her of her own mother.
“Hello Miss Hightower,” she looked up to Cameron moving past her desk to sit in her sit. Her students had filed in one after the other or in clusters of chattering mouths. She never had that when she was a kid. That didn't mean she never desired people to talk to and hang out with she just never had anything in common with other people. She was a born a couple centuries late she joked with herself half serious.
John made it a point on the first day to sit at a distance from his sister. Why Del remembered that she wasn't sure, but she could sense Cameron's loneliness. With an aloof sibling and an unfeeling mother she sympathized with her young student. She was determined to make a difference.
The principal already warned her about her overzealousness. While this wouldn't be the first student she claimed was being mistreated, she'd rather be wrong and just be a teacher that didn't say anything. The parents hadn't said anything. And since that mistake she hadn't made another accusation. She was careful to make sure what she was seeing was congruent with the signs from the brochures and the seminars she went to. Cameron displayed all the signs. But her investigation was still unofficial, even if she didn't make sure that Cameron was aware of her interest in her home life.
Books were being settled and the noise of separate conversations signaled that class needed to start soon. She smiled eager for the lesson to begin.
Grocery shopping made her feel normal. Pushing the cart she sang along to the eighties hits she could recognize. Whenever a verse came up with words she didn't know she half mumbled and half hummed until she could catch a word or two she knew. The search for food, toothpaste, and bottled water kept her for a good forty five minutes, but she idled in the aisles.
“It's one of my favorites too,” a curly haired brunette smiled.
When Sarah looked up from perusing the toothpastes brands she quirked a curious brow to this stranger. The stranger pointed to the ceiling in time for the chorus of Chicago's ‘I'm sorry' mouthing the words.
“Yea…it's a good one,” Sarah returned her attention to the toothpaste. She was aware the woman hadn't left yet and instead began to look over the mouth wash with a little too much attention. Her body moved to the music and Sarah felt the sides of her mouth rise in fascination.
The woman who'd been giving her furtive glances finally caught Sarah's eyes and laughed to herself. “I've got a soft spot for the eighties,” she shared.
“I'm the same way,” Sarah offered picking up another box even though she just put down her usual brand.
“I like a woman that takes as much care to choose her toothpaste as you do,” she nodded towards the second box.
Sarah followed her gaze biting the inside of her cheek sheepishly. “You want to make the right chose when it comes to these types of things.”
“I totally agree,” her voice lowered as did her eyes to Sarah's frame.
Sarah looked around. One part of her was excited about the exchange. And the other part of her was reticent. It had been a long time since she was approached in this way. She expected the woman to be a Skynet agent making flirtatious small talk until she struck. The not so paranoid Sarah kicked herself for the thought accepted the number the woman, whose name was Maggie, gave her before leaving to check out.
A mixture of confidence and uncertainty fluttered in Sarah's stomach. There were three lines open near the exit where she parked her car. She chose the shorter line. An older woman stood holding a magazine staring at it as the last of her food was being wrung up.
The clerk looked at the magazine then at the woman, who was caught up in the drama of other people's lives. Sarah eyed the magazine and the others like it on the row right above the boxes of candy and chocolates. Sarah was never interested in the lives of celebrity's. There was always that thing about the impending doom of mankind that always seemed more pressing.
She looked beyond the woman when the cashier cleared his throat to get her attention. She didn't even look up when she handed him her credit card. Sarah wondered what the day in a life of this woman would be. She handed away her identity without a care. She envied that type of freedom. She didn't know if she could remember before she met Kyle Reese. Had she been as oblivious? Had she been happier not knowing?
John played the brooding hero. She could understand his wanting to escape his destiny. His future was full of death, destruction and very little happiness or peace. She let her mind wander all the way home until she started unpacking.
Grabbing the bags from the backseat she unlocked the door with some maneuvering. The table she usually dropped her bags was full of papers and photos. Dropping her groceries eggs be damned she pulled out her gun from the back of her pants. She aimed it first at the table then angled it to the kitchen.
She saw the lower part of the body of her visitor from the other side of the refrigerator door. “Can I help you with something?”
The visitor rose and his eyes were trained on the gun pointed at him. He didn't bother to act alarmed and looked pointedly at her weapon before she put it away. She dropped it half growling and half mumbling. The only thing Derek caught was something about eggs.
“It hit again,” he called out closing the door seeing nothing that he wanted to eat.
Sarah already annoyed ignored him. She began putting away the groceries that had survived the false alarm. Derek eyed her, and then moved to the table to continue, “I've been tracking it now I want to kill it.”
“I already have a mission.”
“Shacking up with a machine while John's coming of age in his no no place with it ain't much of a plan.”
She stopped putting away her cereal then whirled around. That look would have made most people cower. Derek wasn't most people, but he needed to know his place. He came into her life and she tolerated his presence for John. The only things they had in common were her son and their hatred of machines.
“You ever heard of ‘crossing the line' in the future?”
“You're not stupid Connor you see it and you need to squash it before it messes with his ability to make fit decisions.” He emphasized each ‘it' with a double meaning that didn't escape her. “It's your job to protect him from machines,” he glared then added as an afterthought, “and himself.”
Connor wasn't going to have this discussion with Derek. John would be crushed if he disappeared because Sarah banished him or if she shot him and had to bury his body. She shrugged off the thought. Derek disapproved of the future leader of the resistances' infatuation with a machine. She didn't even want to consider what he would think if she was just as infatuated with Cameron. If anything her son was following her example if only unconsciously. What was with Connors? She stilled her head before she shook it not interested in alarming Derek any more than he already was.
Derek would notice. He wouldn't ask questions, but like today he'd call her out on her weird behavior when Cameron's name came up and make assumptions. He'd assume right and that didn't sit well with her at all. She needed his scent focused on something that didn't involve dangling anyone's feelings for Cameron in front of her.
“Plan of action,” she nodded to the table, the former discussion no longer open to pick and prod.
Spying a pack of Reese's cups that had yet to be put up he eyed them questioningly before Connor threw them to the corner of the island closest to him. He wouldn't ask and she wouldn't give him permission. It made more since to talk about machines and to let body language handle everything else.
“Robert Browning was an unsuccessful playwright but his diction, rhythm, and symbolism are regarded as his most important contribution to poetry. His work has influenced poets of the twentieth century such as Ezra Pound , T. S. Eliot , and Robert Frost .” To Del's credit she was animated when she described poets she was passionate about. It kept her students awake.
Most classrooms wasted time on the work of more well known writers like William Shakespeare. She liked tipping the scales for the little guy and share lesser known artists with her students. The people in the shadows were often gifted beyond belief; she knew this better than most. Her students weren't extraordinary but they could at least for a moment aspire to be more through a lesser known Victorian poet. She smiled at Cameron her inspiration for the assignment.
She ignored the dead looks, the annoyed groans, and focused on the ever intent gaze of one student she knew would excel. “I already passed out packets of his work and I want you all to write a piece with Brownings' techniques. The winner will be treated to a dinner at our very own Vincent's Italian style pizzeria.”
She got more interested eyes. The establishment attracted all ages but it was very popular for kids with the munchies. Del had seen her own students high hanging out there. She always ordered her pizza's to go. She never wanted to stay for very long.
Elaborating more on Browning she referenced each poem as personal favorites that each student should look over carefully. Porphyria's Lover, The Last Duchess, and Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister. The three poems were written by a literary genius that wielded the pen and his characters wonderfully. His ability to tell a story only to surprise his reader with a sometimes shocking sometimes profound revelation excited Del. She knew that despite her excitement she lost most of her audience. She kept her eyes on the only intent student she would soon help understand.
The class ended too soon with eager students rushing out. She wondered for a moment if indeed that was a proper comparison and soon felt insecure by her own observation.
“Cameron she called out,” the younger woman stopped then turned slowly to the older woman. John had been one of the first to leave so he didn't hear when his teacher summoned her. Del was thankful for that because she didn't want an audience to stop Cameron from speaking her mind.
She closed the door behind the last of the kids and offered Cameron the middle seat in the row of four. It sat right across from her chair behind her desk. “Have I done something wrong?” Del cringed that Cameron's first reaction would be to question her own culpability in some imaginary wrong doing. Many could argue that physical abuse was more daunting than verbal, but Del knew different.
She shook her reassuringly and kept a polite distance hoping her eyes conveyed the concern she had for the girl. “I wanted to know how your weekend was.”
The girl paused as if to go through appropriate answers that wouldn't alarm the teacher. She'd read books and from her own personal experience she was prepared for the worst, but she knew Cameron wouldn't share it. It was had become relatively new for her to call Cameron after class to talk to her frankly about her suspicions. The younger girl always assured her nothing was going on, but threats of violence could easily shut her up. The girl was frail enough to be pushed over by the gust of air from a portable fan, she needed looking after.
“It was chill,” Cameron answered shortly. She made it a point to use more slang in her vocabulary.
Del nodded her head smilingly tightly, “I know I was a bit out of line with your mother.”
Cameron tilted her head, “I am not abused by my mother I am just going through a phase.”
The excuse sounded mechanical, rehearsed, and Del half expected it. She preferred Cameron to confess the horrors. The things her student didnt say painted a frightening picture. “I'm just concerned your home environment isn't healthy for you, I haven't talked to anyone officially because of how disruptive it would be for you.”
Cameron stood this time. Had she frightened her? Del hoped she hadn't frightened her that didn't change the fact she had a responsibility. “I want you safe Cameron.”
Cameron stepped to her teacher her face darkening, “I am safe. Leave my mother alone.”
The discussion ended with the door closing behind the young girl and Del feeling frightened for whatever reasons she wasn't sure. The girl was desperate. Was she desperate enough to threaten her? It felt like a threat. She shook off the feeling and remembered that whatever Cameron did and said would be to protect her mother's behavior. Victim's made excuses so they wouldn't be seen as victims.
Normally John was feeling suffocated by this time during lunch. He ate his fries looking for her. Cameron hardly left his side. He jumped a little when she dropped her tray in front of him.
“I am eating,” he narrowed his eyes at her.
Cameron just eyed him and decided to eat instead of respond. She had Sarah on her mind. Sarah hated machines almost as much as Derek, but not as much Cameron could see. The machine before her had probably had a positive impact in regard to her general abhorrence of her kind. It was still an uphill battle.
“Hello….” John's, friend Morris, began snapping his fingers in front of the machine. He'd been talking but she hadn't noticed.
“What?” she asked.
“Slasher movie, me, you, and a bucket of popcorn,” he gave her the condensed version. He had worked long and hard on his delivery irritated when Cameron hadn't been paying attention. John never encouraged him to not talk to his sister so he took that as a blessing.
“Date,” Morris clarified, “with me.”
“Oh, thank you for explaining,” she eyed the target for today. She stood without a word leaving the table.
John and his buddy shared a look before the latter concluded, “She's weird but so hot,” he grinned mischievously. “You think that's a maybe?”
The younger Connor could have dissuaded him like all the other times he brought up his ‘sisters' hotness, but he opted to eat.
First it was eye contact. Then hands moving along the body in a more intimate way than eyes would. Last but not least lips meet for the first time. The kiss is wet and soft different from both Sarah and John. Better than John but not even close to Sarah's technique. The eager teen placed her hand on Cameron's lap. The hand was slowly closing in on Cameron's center.
Cameron, ever aware of everything, sat in the passenger seat of the sedan of her new friend's car. Allowing better access to be groped she straddled the driver briefly pulling away from the kiss for the maneuver.
The happy driver smiled eagerly and continued one of her most intense make out sessions, with a very nice piece of tail. Smiling at her predicament, the happiness was short lived with the faint sound of a door slamming and her own being yanked open. Three pairs of eyes stared at the two in car with mixed reactions. Morris stood in the minority, enjoying the girl on girl action. John and Sarah's emotions however were tied to several unavoidable truths.
“Out,” Sarah growled after recovering from the shock of being smacked in the face with the reality that Cameron was making out with a schoolmate like some sex starved teen.
Cameron obeyed with a flustered and deeply disappointed teenage girl reluctant to release the jean clad thighs. When she met the older woman's eyes she thought it better to grieve somewhere other than Cameron's drive way. Sarah didn't bother watching the vehicle leave. She eyed John and nudged her head toward Morris before she sought Cameron out.
“That was so hot,” the younger boy drooled. The last thing Sarah wanted to hear was Morris drooling over Cameron.
She sucked in a breath to start yelling. She expected for Cameron to wait for inside. She knew Cameron would be curious to their reactions. The walking tin would tilt her head curiously and claim that she was only following the crowd, being a hormonal pain. Cameron sat on the couch awaiting Sarah's rage. Sarah's always looked hot when she was angry.
Sarah had come home from a productive day. She'd started it with an early work out, then a stake out with Derek, then a trap gone wrong for their new threat. Fortunately footage of the terminator on tape made it acceptable to be circulated throughout the safe houses. She'd even had time to pick up some takeout from the Chinese restaurant downtown.
The very last thing she expected today was playing voyeur to her machine and some horny kid. She'd been pacing back and forth glaring by the time John joined them. She didn't see the initial reaction, but the residue of emotions left afterward were enough to startle her. Did John have a crush on Cameron? He'd made an emotional bond with the other machine so why not one closer to his age with a penchant for walking around half naked.
Her own feelings about the situation made her falter. She held onto to the only thing that made sense—her anger the certainty of her mission to protect John especially when it concerned women.
“What the hell was that?”
Cameron stared at her blankly, “a fevered exchange of bodily fluids often termed making out.”
John stepped in before his mom advanced, “why were you making out with her? Is this some assimilation thing?”
Cameron assessed both of their reactions. John was hurt. Sarah was angry. The world in the future would be led by more of his mother than this John would ever know. Sarah would continue to sacrifice and make the hard decisions, even when she's hit in the crossfire of consequence. Cameron admired that. Cameron wanted to feel that love. She was fascinated by the anomaly that was Sarah Connor as described by her son in the future. They were both lonely warriors always fighting—always surviving while others died so they could fight still.
“She is my girlfriend,” everything with Cameron was more deliberate than either of the Connor's knew. She wanted Sarah's rage; she needed John to know the pain of betrayal. The harder lessons like betrayal are learned as a leader from friends and family. Knowing these now would better prepare him to control his emotions from unwise decisions. While she did her part for the resistance she had selfish motives that had nothing to do with preparing her future leader.
“What!” Both Connors's spoke at once. Sarah sat down on the adjacent chair trying to ignore her gun pressing into her back. So close that all she had to do was reach for it and unload it into Cameron.
“The chip,” John clung to the possibility. Sarah would have too, if Cameron hadn't been acting strangely for days without trying to kill them.
Cameron shook her head.
“Machines don't have girlfriends. They eat, shit, and fight because a little program in their head tells them to,” Sarah growled.
“She will play an integral part now that will affect the future,” Cameron was intentionally vague. She didn't want to have to lie any more than she had to. Her computer brain compartmentalized and catalogue, but it was still a lot of data to keep up with.
“Soooo….you're undercover?” John asked slowly.
Cameron nodded, “of course Sarah's reaction was perfect catalyst for a clandestine relationship for which most teens are accustomed to having.”
Sarah glared. A girlfriend? Clandestine? Sarah sighed heavily and pushed herself up from her seat with great care to keep her twitching fingers from grabbing her gun. “I'm going out to shoot something.” The brunette walked outside ignoring the looks. She took the keys out and started her car. She would drive somewhere, shoot something, or if she was lucky find a fight and jump in.
Connor had something to kill. It was big and bad and wouldn't run from a fight. An unsuspecting bystander was walking by, but she didn't his presence bother her. If he got in the way it would be his own damn fault. She lined up her shot. She squeezed the trigger expertly and the blast settled in her stomach calming her. It was a head shot shooting through that bystander to the larger man who'd been her target all along.
A dark skinned Russian with a beard with a checkered shirt and a chain barely noticeable through the sea of dark chest hair. Connor's avatar stepped over the dead body and smiled approving at the bullet hole in the Russian spy. The video game store was the last place she expected to find peace. Loud teens that smelled of sweat, cigarettes, and fast food were not on Connor's list of peaceful.
She had parked her car a few blocks away to walk, maybe get into some trouble. She saw an advertisement with a skinny woman with big boobs holding a gun that in reality would tip her over. Sarah smiled and curiosity guided her through the throng to the game. With the help of an eager teen growing a mustache she learned how to start it and reading the instructions on screen she got the gist of the game. Kill and kill everything in your path from old ladies crossing the street to thin men in business suits.
The mystery of why John succumbed to the lure of technology was at this moment clear. She was in another world. Her rage could be distilled by a few shots that in real life would have raised questions and sent her to jail. She smiled at the blue gun in her hand and kept shooting loosing track of time. She hadn't changed her quarters once since she started playing. It was exhilarating. She didn't even notice the group of kids staring in awe of her age and her precision of the game.
Shoot and kill then shoot and kill. If her ‘friends' at the loony ward were there they would be writing vigorously on a pad—speaking of loony bin ‘friends'. She glared at a man on the screen. He reminded her of one of her not so favorite orderlies.
John eyed the kissing couple. Morris crunched on the popcorn beside him watching in rapt fascination. Cameron and Dana were regularly meeting at their house for make out sessions. It annoyed John that it wasn't him kissing her. It annoyed him even more that Morris's idea of hanging out always ended up with them sitting and watching.
Sarah was scarce, but checked in regularly with John via text. She was updated about the only active terminator by Derek when there were spikes of alarm. She researched on how to stop the apocalypse. She played videogames to avoid being home with her demons. She'd only accomplished one thing in this new time. That is if one could consider reigning champ, for a videogame designed for trigger happy hormone crazed adolescents, an accomplishment.
Cameron's ‘relationship' had been active for eight days four hours and forty six minutes. She had changed the dynamic causing everything else around her to change. John was borderline rude and definitely frustrated. Sarah was equally frustrated but it rolled off in waves on the older Connor. She liked it and wanted to be at the other end of it. Unfortunately Sarah was finding other ways to relieve her tension. Dana was just a means to an end, a pleasant kisser if nothing more.
Standing to get himself a soda he asked half heartedly if anyone else wanted any. Morris shook his head without blinking and the girls hadn't even heard. He knew Cameron had, but her mouth was occupied at the moment.
Yanking the door open he pulled out a grape flavor popping it open. The wet sounds of lips locking surpassed the sound of the TV. Pinching the bridge of his nose he wondered not for the first time what the hell was going on. He'd demanded Cameron elaborate on Dana's part, but the machine stayed vague. The future was delicate she claimed.
Cameron had her secrets. They were stowed away in her head in a code that only she could read. Future John thought it was a good idea to keep secrets from his younger self and his mother. He didn't think highly of himself knowing that information. There were sacrifices to being a leader, he just didn't know if he was ready to make any of them. Yes, when he was forced, but willingly no. He wasn't given a choice. It was pushed on him by machines bent on killing him and a mother determined to make him into a man.
His mother said she would stop the apocalypse. She swore she would. The part of him that demanded she free him from responsibility knew he was being adolescent. It was selfish of him to insist she change the world, but he wanted to be. Everything done since that oath hadn't changed the invention of Skynet. The war loomed in a future he wanted no part of.
“John Connor future resistance leader and last hope for mankind,” he toasted. His can rose saluting the empty space.
Jealousy was a strong emotion. He felt strongly for Cameron. It was hard to be born and told to hate something because it's going to end everything you know later. Cameron wasn't like that, she was different. Her programming made her different like the one before her. It was hard not to bond especially when machines were the only constant in his life outside of his mother.
The machine entered the haven. He counted thirty eight inhabitants. Whether they were all resistance he didn't know nor did he care. It was a one room apartment opened up by walls that were bashed and broken. Light from the right poured in through the three windows. Mix matched chairs and two tattered couches sat across from one another. They were armed but their weapons were of no consequence. Machines were and always will be better, smarter, and more worthy of life than humans, it was the will of Skynet.
He was welcomed into the den as one of them with the tattoo on his forearm. A tattoo artist looked at him strangely when he asked for it, but he paid and went on his way. Humans were such gullible fragile creatures to be eliminated by the will of Skynet. Their practices were illogical extermination was imminent and they still fought.
Derek Reese was a well known resistance fighter. He would be terminated with the others that filled the room unknowingly letting a predator in their midst. The terminator stood stoic as Derek talked in the front outlining a strategy for lessening machine infiltration. The machine scanned faces, but none were on Skynet's wanted list for this century. A brunette sidled next to him. He eyed her slowly then turned his attention back to the speaker.
“What's your name?” he spared her another glance before answering.
Silence settled between the two as Derek talked. Sarah noticed he wasn't much of a public speaker. He was too intense to make the audience comfortable. Then again this was a different type of audience. There was a little hero worship mixed in with fear and respect. An interesting combination to gauge, but they were loyal to him from what she observed.
“The man can talk can't he?” the woman nodding towards Derek.
The machine nodded, but making not effort to speak.
The brunette eyed the machine curiously. He didn't look like the talkative type. He wasn't attractive. His nose was bent and his eyes were too far apart. She wasn't impressed with Skynet's craftsmanship.
Sarah leaned in again, “Did your face happen over time or did Skynet make you this ugly?”
The machine was quick. In seconds he held Sarah up by her throat and slammed her against the opposite wall. Derek with speed that almost matched the machine's pulled out a shotgun aiming at the machine's Achilles heel. With one precisely aimed shot to the back of the head, with a bullet forged from machine metal, it ripped right through his skull. It jerked only a little releasing its grip before falling hard to the ground. Sarah followed but caught herself on shaky legs.
She eyed Derek and then they both lowered their glares to the motionless machine. Favoring her chest she looked down where the slug lay lodged in her vest grateful for her paranoia.
“You ok?” Derek asked his voice not entirely drenched in concern.
Connor groaned, but nodded. She imagined the bruise would be large, dark, and ugly.
The others who had interestingly enough not been harmed watched as Connor took the hit from the machine and the bullet. For those who had met John Connor they could see why he was the man he was. For those who had only heard stories, however fantastic, if this was the mother of their leader her display today dissuaded any doubt that John's stories were impossible.
A sandy haired man stood over the body of the machine. The hole lodged in its head was clean enough to see the floor underneath it.
“I think it's dead,” he started until the machine launched upward. The body propelled into the face of the curious soldier eyeing his injury. Using his last cell of energy the machine threw itself out the closest window landing unceremoniously on the pavement.
“Shit,” Connor bit through her teeth holding her chest. She hurried to the window as quickly as she could in pain. Careful of the shatter glass she peered into an empty alley. The machine was gone.
“You missed?” she scoffed disbelievingly.
“I don't miss,” Derek bit back hiking up his gun in confusion, he'd been off.
“Clearly,” she shook head moving away from the window. She stepped over to the man, the machine barreled over, to escape. His face was red and wet from blood and dented.
Pulling up to her house the lights were still on. Dana's care was in the drive and not for the first time since Cameron mentioned this mission she wondered what she was doing. She talked with some of the resistance fighters earlier that day. None of them recognized the name. It was possible she could have changed her name, but it bugged Sarah that Cameron was all too capable of hiding things.
Sighing she trudged to her house. Breathing hurt, moving hurt, all she wanted to do was lie down and relax. Something this future afforded her— that is until the next threat. A hot shower, that's what she needed. Her stomach warmed at the thought of an ice pack on her body. Entering the house with stealth ingrained in her as any other skill of survival, she thought nothing of it.
Her silence hadn't alerted anyone visibly to her presence. The television was on some loud mundane show she saw John sometimes watching. Cameron and Dana were making out on the couch. John looked miserable and Morris looked like he was in heaven. Sarah's eyes fixed on the couple. Whether it was the pain or the bullet or her body begging for her a bed she didn't know. At this moment she could appreciate the machine in all her glory. It felt wrong to want to rip that young girl's hair away from the lips she claimed weeks before. Sarah remembered the kiss and the heavy petting. Like her nightmares the images visited her at her most vulnerable.
Sighing she didn't have the energy to yell. Heading into the kitchen she pulled a bag of frozen peas from the freezer. She pushed her shirt up to gauge the damage. Her chest was hideous with a dark black and purple bruise that reddened on the edge. Her pale hand reached out to touch it.
“You are hurt,” Sarah looked up to see Cameron.
Picking up a dry dish towel she wrapped the peas in it and placed it on her chest. She hissed at the contact. “Don't leave your mission on account of me,” Sarah spat.
Cameron either didn't notice or care. She closed the distance between them hastily. The shirt had fallen over Sarah's makeshift ice pack. The skin the machine could see she traced with the tip of her finger. “I will kiss and make it better.”
Cool lips pressed against Sarah's heaving chest. With the dip of her head her hair fell into her face hanging loosely. The tongue peaking out accompanying each peck of a kiss was a surprise for the older Connor. She didn't expect the contact, but she could appreciate the skill. A hand moved to the back of Cameron's head kneading the back of it, as Cameron concentrated on the spots she could touch.
Scarred hands closed a handful of hair in their fist. Yanking Cameron's head back she stared at the girl. Her lips were swollen. Probably from kissing the girl who didn't know half of what she could teach Cameron. Drowning in a wash of emotions she grabbed a hold of anger like a life jacket.
“You're just a machine and you'll never mean anything to me,” Sarah growled quietly before pressing her lips against Cameron's.
The words kept her sane. The part of her that could believe what she said was true kissed Cameron—claimed the machine as her own. That part of her moved Cameron's hand to her sex pushing through her jeans and underwear. Machines took orders and she was giving Cameron one.
“Do it,” she breathed. Her mouth rested on the collar of the girl, biting hard to muffle her sounds of pleasure. Cameron obeyed using her other hand to brace Sarah as she slid two fingers in the warm folds of the warrior. The ice pack forgotten dropped to the floor.
“You need some help in there babe?” Dana yelled from the den.
Cameron mesmerized never took her eyes off Sarah. She studied the way her body reacted on a chemical level. Staring at the labored breathing, the sweating flesh she couldn't understand and it left her fascinated and eager. Sarah rode the fingers inside her adding her own finger to rub against her drumming clit. Connor bit harder into Cameron's flesh and the girl took it never letting up with her own thrusts.
“Babe?” Dana yelled again. Sarah was half aware, but Cameron turned her head to answer.
Sarah whimpered in need. Cameron bit at her until Sarah's head rose to claim her mouth. She swallowed the sounds in her kiss. The walls of the warrior's womanhood contracted against her fingers. Head tilted her hair fell into Sarah's face when she reached behind Cameron to brace the counter. Breathing heavily she stood silently. She could see herself making a habit of this—whether that was a good or bad thing she wasn't sure just yet.
“Tell your girlfriend to leave and meet me upstairs,” Sarah's voice was hard. She kept her command was unmistakable and warranted to hesitation.
There were worse things than death in life. Derek learned that lesson over a span of a couple of years. He had his brother; they had each other so by default they had hope. Then hope turned to something else they could use to survive, anger.
It was safe to say that the machine would be back. Xander would adapt and not be as easily fooled by their tricks. It had been a good plan, too bad it was wasted. He shook himself from unproductive thoughts and trained his mind on a new plan of action. The burrows where the machine stalked would be on high alert. Any new faces would be unwelcome until they were properly screened. It wasn't a fool proof plan that's why it worked as a temporary solution.
He knew that he wanted Sarah in on the next mission too. While he might not care for her child rearing skills she was a damn good fighter. He'd made a working relationship work on that merit alone. He had only let a handful of people in. Some were dead now, and there was little left of him to care for anymore people, not that he could see himself caring for Sarah. She was the mother of John Connor, but the woman had flaws there was something about her he didn't care for.
The feeling was nameless, but it wasn't ignored. Instead he buried it beneath duty and responsibility. John came first before all other things. His preservation was most important, despite future fractions that would think otherwise. He gave machine's trust after reprogramming them. Trusting machines wasn't something he was prepared to do. But he trusted John. The man saved him more times than he could count. Connor was responsible for a lot of lives still breathing, still existing, still fighting.
Continued in Part 2
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