DISCLAIMER: See Part 1
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Dana daydreamed a lot. Her parents berated her for it. Her teachers scolded her. She was a dreamer plain and simple. It made life go by so much faster until more interesting things came into view. Cameron Phillips was ‘a body'. Nothing she really wanted anything beyond a physical play toy.
She had a mouth like she enjoyed thoroughly. The girl had a thing about making out at her house in front of her family. Dana speculated that she liked pissing her mom off or making her brother uncomfortable. Whatever it was she wasn't going to let it ruin her from having a good time.
Miss Hightower had called Cameron outside to chat. Miss Hightower had taken a special interest in her ‘girlfriend'. She didn't mind of course. She even considered that maybe the teacher would have wanted in on the action. Two attractive young women one mature teacher, maybe a ruler, and some chocolate syrup would be fun. She tightened her legs groaning inwardly. Cameron was all for the kissing and heavy petting, but she was getting tired of the clothes part.
“How are you Cameron?”
The brunette remembered their last conversation. The woman was relentless to find a truth that didn't exist, at least not in the way she thought. Sarah did not like her, but the girl was in no danger of being harmed by the woman she was sworn to protect.
Del studied her up and down. Her body language alone spoke volumes. The girl was always on edge and never relaxed, she read years of abuse could do that. Ms. Connor looked smart enough not to leave bruises in easy to see places. She highly doubted she was dealing with a mastermind however. Cameron was in trouble and she wouldn't back down because the girl was scared enough to threaten her.
“I want you to know you can talk to me Cameron,” the woman placed a warm hand on the girl's shoulder. Showing support in the most subtle of touches was something else she read, if the child was open to being touched. She half expected the girl to flinch. The girl did keep a guarded stance, as if waiting for something to happen.
Cameron nodded that she understood.
Del smiled, feeling like she was making progress. She asked about school and classes already knowing the answers. The other teachers knew she was anal about her work. It annoyed them when she asked about Cameron's work in their classes, but they didn't think any much of when she was finally out of their hair. She was irritated that they didn't see what she did. There was a girl crying for help and they were too busy with office gossip. They were trying to save teens that would mostly likely be saying hello to regularly at the Handymart. While she was going to save a life that could possibly do something.
She could save Cameron. She watched as the girl returned to class.
Aiming and shooting was easy. The mild mannered life of a woman itching to blow something up was hard. Sarah imagined she was training for the next terminator to come. Every innocent bystander in a game was a potential threat outside of it. Her age was a complete give away that she didn't belong, but she showed her face enough to get recognition. She was a gamer. She'd been accepted into an unofficial club of geeks and teens tasting their youth in a generation of technology.
It was an adrenaline rush, albeit nowhere near as intense as the scrapes she'd been in, but it kept her honest. She wasn't a stay at home mom with a regular teen in angst. She was a fighter, ready to kill if only to protect and survive. The downtime made her feel week and ill adjusted to the waving mothers carrying groceries from their child friendly minivans.
Another man came out running. She shot him in the head. Blood splattered. It was amazing how accurate the blood flew from their heads when she aimed. Breathing in and ready she breathed waiting for her next target. The loud noises and smells fell away as she dove further and further into the game.
From her peripheral she saw movement. Taking her eyes off the game she stared at the girl watching her from the entrance. Sarah heard a sound and then a foreboding rhythm telling her and everyone else in large bold letters game over. Rubbing the back of her head she put the gun down and headed towards the back. There was a corridor for laser tag with a room where players could suit up. Cameron was close behind.
“What are you doing here?” her stance was combative.
Cameron noticed and took off her jacket. She tossed it on the bench to her right.
“You want a piece of me?” her blank expression was replaced by a smirk.
Sarah's face darkened with a tilt of her own head. The school day had ended, “where's John?”
“Outside playing games with Morris, Death Stars are bad ass and get Princess Leia pussy.”
Sarah scoffed, she wonder how much more hormonal teenage crap jargon she had picked up from school. They were behind a group of lockers hidden from the doorway. If someone were to come in Cameron would hear. They would be dressed before anyone knew otherwise.
“Get on your knees,” Sarah pointed to the space in front of her. Cameron walked and obeyed face to face with the brunette's zipper. The machine's hand went to the jeans immediately, but Sarah grabbed them, “tell me what I want to hear first.”
“I am just a machine and I will never mean anything to you,” Cameron's eyes rose simply to hard ones and her hand returned to the zipper. She pulled jeans and underwear down simultaneously in one jerk. Her sense of smell was filled with the sweet scent of Sarah's arousal.
Connor closed her fingers in the brunette's hair. She ground the face in knowing that Cameron didn't need to come up for air. She considered that one of the machine's best features. Cameron's tongue slid through her folds slowly, pushing in and out of her while hands kept her steady holding her thighs. Sarah wanted to open her legs wider, but her jeans stopped her. Growling at the stifling material she demanded release through unintelligible moans and gibberish. She braced herself with one hand on the locker beside her while she watched Cameron work below her.
“Oh…yea…” she moaned encouraging the girl.
Cameron knew that was her cue. In a practiced motion her fingers slid into Sarah and her mouth closed around the nub standing at attention. Sarah's legs gave out. With maneuvering she landed on the nearby bench. Cameron's mouth was relentless. Her jeans had fallen down further and she widened her legs. Her hands were on each side holding onto the bench since it was the only thing grounding her.
She moaned stifling her own sounds biting her lip. Cameron met her rhythm until the woman's legs shook uncontrollably. She jerked until her body released the tension of being on the brink. After a few moments of riding the aftershock she eyed the girl in between her legs. Pushing Cameron away she stood on shaky legs pulling her clothes together.
“Make sure John comes home at a decent hour,” Sarah walked out quickly after.
Cameron had noticed Sarah's sentences become more clipped. She was more of a possession to Sarah to be used. The arrangement allowed her to please Sarah, but it was not like what she saw on television. There was hand holding and the cuddling and the talking the latter which she enjoyed the most. Sarah never gave her any of that. Had she done something wrong?
Making her jealous had had the desired effect. Bringing Dana by the house made Sarah edgy and passionate. Quite a few times Sarah had pulled her aside under the guise of chore when actually they pleasured each other a few feet away from the unsuspecting girl. Sarah enjoyed her company during, but after she wanted nothing to do with the girl. She wouldn't even look at her sometimes for the rest of the day.
Perhaps her plan worked a little too well in some aspects. She saw the error in her first few attempts she would do better next time. Then something about third time's a charm ran through her head.
Dread was a familiar feeling Derek honed into a survival mechanism. From the window he watched the machine walking side by side with his nephew. He found himself smirking whenever he really looked at the young Connor. He was his mother's son, but Derek was biased and he saw more of his brother in him. His hand went inside his jacket on reflex. Derek waited until it walked in the door. The machine stopped to stare at him before she moved further into the house. John seemed slightly happy to see him crossing the threshold.
“Where you been?” He moved from the window.
“That got out an hour ago.”
“Because sometimes I feel the need to breathe in junk food and partake in a little tradition we kids like to call hanging out.”
“As the future badass of the resistance I'd warn you to be careful what came out of your mouth next. You never know if it might bite you in the ass later.”
Derek snorted, “if you weren't my brother's boy I'd lay you out kid.”
John smiled taking a sip of the water he retrieved from the fridge. He had a craving for Chinese, “you staying for dinner?”
The Connor family tried to act like normal people and eat dinner at the table. It was uncomfortable having Cameron just stay while they ate so she wasn't invited anymore. John knew that Derek and his mother were trying to get along better. From what he heard they made a good team against a terminator not too long ago. He didn't see the harm in inviting him over.
Derek mulled over the invitation. He liked hanging out with John. It reminded him of what he was fighting for, “whatta you havin?”
“I'm in the mood for Chinese unless you want to brave mom's cooking,” he shrugged.
“I heard that,” Sarah came in wearing a green tank and dark jeans. She was chewing on a bowl of grapes and paused by her son pulling him by the back of his head to kiss his forehead.
She sent a cursory glance to Derek, who nodded in acknowledgement. “Where's the walking can opener?” she asked.
“Somewhere around here,” John answered offhandedly. “We were going to pick up some Chinese,” John looked to Derek who nodded in agreement. “What do you want us to pick you up?”
“The usual.” Shrimp and lobster sauce had been an accidental find. She rarely felt adventurous when it involved her food, but for the elder Connor she lucked out. In a clear bowl it looked like phlegm, John coined it endearingly ‘lobster snot.'
Without another word uncle and nephew headed out the door. Sarah settled in front of the TV with her bowl. Her legs rested on the table in front of her as she flipped through the channels. She knew Cameron was nearby probably watching her, but she concentrated on the television.
When she came home earlier she worked out, spruced the place up and then took a shower. She heard footsteps behind her. Keeping her eyes trained on a spot above the box she waited. Cameron came into her view from the side and then stopped in Sarah's line of sight. The girl had undressed and stood wearing her navy blue t-shirt from earlier and hello kitty underwear. Sarah chuckled a little at the sight.
Curious eyes looked up at the girl, “move.”
“No?” Sarah repeated dumbly.
“Twenty three minutes and forty two seconds,” Cameron stated simply.
Popping another grape in her mouth she chewed between her words, “you lost me tin miss.”
“I calculated how long they will be gone.”
“Why would I care?” Sarah husked, “I already got what I wanted from you.”
Cameron tilted her head, “but I did not.”
She lowered herself on top of Sarah moving the bowl aside. Sarah stared at the form straddling her. Cameron brought Sarah's hands to cup her breasts. Her hips humped slowly. The brunette opened her mouth to speak but a tongue lodged in her mouth stopped her. Cameron was on a mission. She had already shown Sarah she could take orders and please. Now she wanted to show her she could make the first move pleasure and please.
Mouths fought for control and Sarah's hands rubbed the hardened nubs through the thin layer of cotton. Cameron reacted to the touch breathing in sharply watching Sarah's handiwork. Connor dipped her head up and closed her mouth around side of Cameron's neck. She didn't worry about leaving bruises, so she sucked carelessly.
“Ss…sss..,” Cameron hissed dragging Sarah's hand in her panties wanting to give herself over willingly and without command.
“Why are you wet?” Sarah gasped in surprise. She didn't know how anatomically correct Cameron was until now.
Cameron avoided what Sarah was really asking, “you make me wet.”
The door was open. Manners told Del that she should knock louder and wait. The paranoid part of her didn't want to wait. What if the abuse was happening right now? She stepped inside, “hello?”
Cameron seemed more withdrawn than usual. Miss Hightower had been entertaining the idea of popping up for a long time. Today she decided to take the initiative. One of two things could happen. She could walk into a normal family setting or an unsettling scene that could prove her suspicions. She hoped for the latter. She could always excuse her presence with something about school.
“Hello?” she called out again and didn't hear anything.
Sarah and Cameron lay in the small space between the couch and the table. Sarah's face would have been comical if Cameron had a full understanding of humorous but awkward.
“Who the hell is that?” Sarah whispered in panic.
“My English teacher,” Cameron calmly answered. Her mouth brushed up against the older woman's ear. Sarah's eyes slowly closed. Cameron saw that as encouragement and started nibbling. Her hands began roaming over the body underneath Sarah's tank running nails over a taut stomach.
“Oh shit,” Sarah groaned. Her situation warranted it.
“Anybody home?” the voice sounded too close for comfort. The floor creaked under her weight. Sarah's eyes popped open. She knew exactly where she was standing and a few more steps she would be privy to more than she bargained for.
“Miss Hightower?” the teacher turned to her name being called. She recognized the redhead as a student, but her name escaped her.
“Oh hi,” she stepped forward nervously away from the couch and the couple.
“Um…you give house calls?” the girl inquired curiously stepping in.
Cameron pressed her mouth onto Sarah's in a lingering kiss. Her hand grabbed Sarah's center through the jeans. The other woman groaned aloud before she disappeared down the hall.
Two eyes met before the bodies they belonged to headed in the living area. Sarah ended up hitting the side of her head on the corner when she tried to stand. Too determined to look innocent she failed to compensate for space when Cameron pulled her hit and run.
“Argh!” she flattened on the floor again holding her head.
Two sets of eyes took her in oddly. Rising to her knees she glared at the intruders. Mumbling something about sleeping in peace, she passed the duo and headed toward the ice box. She spent an inordinate amount of time with these peas she thought taking out the same pack from her chest wound.
“I didn't mean to intrude I just wanted to stop by with this,” Del pulled out a sheet of paper. Sarah took it and looked at the list of names down the list.
“They are writers I thought Cameron could research. I would've given them to her today, but I forgot,” Miss Hightower answered hurriedly.
The subject donning jeans walked in and wrapped her hands around Dana's neck planting a kiss on her lips. Sarah visibly frowned planting the paper on the counter. Miss Hightower's eyes widened considerably.
“Oh,” she whimpered in confusion. Being gay was all the rage with these kids. She eyed Sarah's reaction. She noted the woman probably wasn't pleased about her daughter's relationship. She wondered if Cameron wasn't just using the girl to anger her mother. If that was the reason she was doing a great job at it.
Cameron finally turned acknowledging the teacher, “hello Miss Hightower,” the older woman nodded telling the girl about the list. Cameron perused the sheet while Dana's arms held the thin girl. Sarah never took her eyes off the couple. Cameron very aware of Sarah's gaze didn't meet it.
“Was there something else?” Sarah smiled tightly at the teacher she made a visible effort around.
“Um…no..no..not that I can think of,” she stammered. She pulled her satchel closer to her.
“I'll walk you out,” Sarah offered. The bag of peas was unceremoniously dropped near Cameron's hand. Dana eyed the bag while the smaller girl eyed her passing lover.
The short trek was silent. Both women were mulling over what had transpired in the house. Del wondered if the relationship wasn't a cry for attention. Sarah thought why it was so unsettling, for her, that the girl be enamored with her one minute and the next for someone else. She didn't like it.
“You satisfied?” Sarah queried.
Del had opened the door and turned slowly, “excuse me?”
“Cameron's not black and blue and I'm unstable in the normal ‘I'm a single mother with two teens' type of way.”
Del pursed her lips. Had Cameron told her? “Whatever suspicions you think I have I hope you know it's only because I care.”
“Granted, but your disrupting our happy home,” the brunette glared.
“Cameron doesn't seem too happy,” the woman countered. She, in her mind, was Cameron's only advocate.
“Cameron's complicated as you saw,” Connor jerked her head to the house.
The woman stood firm and Sarah stopped herself from rolling her eyes. Any flippant reaction would be misinterpreted. This lady was already knee deep in a scent that spelled trouble for them. Sarah tried a different approach. Threats raised eyebrows. Violence definitely would hurt the situation. Lies were right up her alley.
Dinner couldn't have ended sooner. Derek did a double take with Dana when they pulled up when Cameron kissed her girlfriend goodbye. John tried to explain. Derek's face darkened hearing the machine was undercover in a mission that neither Connor knew the specifics of. He gave Sarah pointed looks which she ignored or met with annoyance.
John tried turning the conversation light after that. Derek and Sarah were noncommittal so he soon gave up diving into his General Tsao's chicken. Retreating to her room Sarah stayed behind her locked door on her bed. It was the same ritual her she picked up from her son, who used it religiously.
Behind the shut door she could hear Derek and John's goodbyes. John moved around the house until he too retreated in his room. That left one more individual to listen out for. She couldn't hear the machine. She surmised the brunette was in the garage. She had left Sarah hot and bothered before PTA showed up.
Speaking of PTA she had to deal with her soon. Any official background into their family and that would mean more running. More running meant an already unhappy teen becoming even more ornery. She tried to appease her son with promises. He looked at her disbelievingly when she made them. But she knew him well enough to know that he did indeed have faith in her.
She wondered how much of that faith would remain if he found out her relationship with Cameron.
Relationship? The word made it sound more involved than it actually was. It hinted at feelings for a machine that wasn't only hate and contempt. Her life had been far from easy before Cameron, and the woman wasn't making it any better.
Sighing she wondered how her son could do this for hours at a time rising in one fluid motion. She spent plenty of time looking at a ceiling without a choice in a psychiatric facility. Padding out of her room and into the kitchen she looked for a distraction. The dark room was filled with a wash of light when she inspected the contents of the fridge. There was still leftover Chinese food from dinner. She wished that she had a beer. She made it a point not to have it in the house in case she was tempted. She didn't have a problem. Sarah didn't want to be caught with her senses dulled while under attack.
She bypassed the Chinese for a cup of yogurt.
“What are you doing here in the dark tin miss?” she didn't look up from her cup.
Cameron was expressionless. The light filtered in by the streetlights through the blinds made her eerily seductive. Sarah appreciated the effect when she met her gaze.
“Come here,” Cameron said.
“I don't take orders from talking metal.”
Cameron dipped her head away from the light. “I'm not just talking metal.”
Sarah snorted with her mouth full, “is that what your girlfriend tells ya?”
“We rarely get around to talking.”
The older woman glared. She stalked over slamming the yogurt down on the table, some of it spilling onto her hand. Cameron responded pulling Sarah down onto her lap. Sarah fought to get out of the position, but Cameron held her firmly with one hand. The other she used to collect the yogurt stained hand. Her tongue snaked out to lick it off.
Sarah stopped fighting too fascinated to move. “You should let me up,” she whispered distractedly.
Cameron shook her head, her tongue soaking the hand as it followed the motion of her head. She knew exactly what she was doing to her human. She enjoyed reading Sarah's arousal.
Green eyes watched through the window with disgust. The two women sought to devour each other. From his position across the street he was a safe distance away to watch undetected. His stomach clenched in anger. Directing his binoculars toward the shadow sharing his shock he recognized the woman as a teacher. When he found out John was enrolled he did a lengthy background check of the faculty. He didn't remember what she taught, just that she checked out. She would have to be dealt with now.
He didn't enjoy killing innocent people, but she gave him no choice. Connor and Cameron would make headlines. Pictures would be taking making their existence very public hurting John by default. He wondered how Sarah could be this stupid and careless all for appliance pussy.
He moved away from his hiding place. Ducking from the street lights he made quick work of hurrying from the disturbing scene. Sarah, the mother of the father of their resistance, and a machine doing god knows what behind closed doors.
He slammed his hand on a post holding onto it after he almost lost his balance. What was she thinking….? Derek glared in the direction from which he just left. A machine of all things he shuddered at the thought. Machines were designed to strategize and kill and be killed by them.
If there was a relationship to worry about, he never considered it would be with Sarah. John had the raging hormones. Derek admitted that if the kid had slipped up with it a part of him couldn't blame the kid. But Sarah knew better.
Did John know? And if John knew why hadn't he told him? He answered the second one easily. He was uncompromising. In youth he molded his life around the destruction of the very thing that ruined it. He was obsessed with the resolution.
He wanted to kill Sarah and that machine. Who better than he could prepare John for the future? Perhaps under stricter tutelage he will take his accept his responsibility. He could make their deaths look like an accident, or something more believable. There still was a Skynet threat. Derek could use that to his advantage.
Doubling back to the house after he walked a few blocks down to where his truck sat he wasn't disappointed to see she was still there. He shouldered the bag that hung at his side and sped up when he noticed she was heading towards her car. She pushed her key in the door and turned it when Derek placed a cloth soaked in chloroform over her mouth. Del jumped sucking in a healthy breath of the toxin.
When she fell limp Derek effortlessly placed in the backseat on top of books and papers. He looked around the street needlessly. He sat outside John's house specifically at this time because he knew no one would be up.
Her first thought of the morning was stretching. Her second was why did her body hurt? And the third and most perplexing thought was who was fondling her naked derriere? Sarah's head rose from the pillow. Her eyes squinted at Cameron lying beside her one hand holding her head. The other was entertained with Sarah's backside.
“Can I help you with something tin miss?” the words were rough with sleep.
Cameron's eyes met Sarah's but she said nothing and gingerly turned her attention back her human's behind. The older brunette waited for an answer that never came. Cameron was content with her musings so she watched the girl. What were they doing? She hadn't anticipated anything lasting as long as it had. She wasn't eager for it to stop. The machine provided her a release that her other distractions couldn't.
Fingers traced under her buttocks, grazing the curve where it rose into a mound. The shape was fascinating. The softness of it was equally mesmerizing. Humans were so easy to break on the outside but on the inside it was different at least Sarah was. She could see where future John got his resilience. Very few people knew the real John Connor. He used her as a confidant, while others were content in his legend.
“Your outside doesn't match your inside,” Cameron said.
“What the hell does that mean?”
“You're soft on the outside,” she met Sarah's eyes, “so soft.”
Sarah quirked a brow holding her head up with a hand now.
Cameron continued, “But inside you're hard. Why?”
Sarah answered the question in her head. The words wouldn't come out. She didn't do pillow talk with a machine. When they were in bed Cameron was reduced to a sex toy, nothing more and nothing less. Outside of it she could play John's guardian and help them stop Skynet. It was important for Sarah that these boundaries didn't blur. Feelings, hers specifically, couldn't handle anything else.
She rose from the bed bring the blanket with her. It hung at her waist and pooled to the floor when she went to find her something to wear before she showered. When she collected her things she didn't even glance in Cameron's direction. The girl sat up stopping her human from walking by.
Sarah stopped— sighing at the machine's curious look.
“I said something wrong.”
Sarah looked above Cameron's head. Encouraged by Connor's silence she pulled her to bed. She opened her legs to let Sarah in and pulled her neck towards her mouth. She doubted she would kiss her back so she started on plying her with gifts of kisses. Her hands traced the strong back that arched at the touch of her nails on Sarah's spine. Cameron liked the way her human responded to her.
In a utopia man and machine could coexist. Neither entity sought the destruction of the other. Perhaps in that utopia Sarah and Cameron could live happily ever after.
“Mom!” John yelled from the other side of her room door.
Cameron continued to kiss Sarah's pulse point. Sarah pulled away sitting up. She didn't noticed Cameron's predatory gaze on the opening of her blanket.
“Yea?” she called back.
“You seen Cameron?”
Sarah watched the other brunette shifting underneath her. She thought it curious that Cameron would try to limbo her way from under her body to get up. The lie to come morphed and a hiss took its place.
“What the f…..” she gasped closing her eyes at the unexpected touch. Cameron's mouth closed around her throbbing nub.
“Don't know where….. Cameron is!” she struggled to speed the words out. What the hell was this girl doing?
She saw the shadow of his feet leave her door. When he was gone she found herself riding Cameron's mouth. She leaned back grabbing her hair and pulling hard. She kept her moans quiet. She came quick and pulled away quickly when Cameron releasing her burning core. She lay limp with no desire to move. Cameron rose planting a kissing on an erect nipple, before she rose. She stepped to the door listening before exiting without a backwards glance.
Sarah looked down at her chest where the machine kissed her. It wasn't a sensual kiss. Sarah likened it to something more endearing. She could just be hallucinating though. She mused over it while her breathing calmed.
“Cameron Cameron Cameron,” Sarah groaned covering her face.
She knew better. Then her phone rang.
John was sitting in the shed when he saw Cameron make her entrance. “Where have you been?”
She stopped in front of him and shifting her gaze, “around.”
The young Connor squared his shoulders. He could pull rank tell her to admit where she'd been. She knew this too, but she also knew she could and would lie. Cameron was embarking on something that even she could comprehend was complicated and delicate. If John knew Sarah would consider their trysts as more than a betrayal of his legacy. John didn't need to find out. She would keep it from him as long as possible. She knew Sarah wasn't jumping to share the news with her son.
“What are you working on?” She didn't round the table to look at his computer. John always felt uncomfortable when she did that. She was making conscience efforts to adapt to the predispositions of the human's around her.
He shrugged his shoulders. He searched the net idly. It still amazed him that the whole world could be accessed from a machine. Then he looked at Cameron. She was amazing too. The technology that allowed her to exist was advanced and scary. He knew what the future held. And while he didn't want to be hope incarnated in man, he marveled at what people were capable of. She was a great invention and those like her. They could be used for things to help mankind if Skynet wasn't the puppeteer.
He didn't dare share these thoughts with his mother or Derek. They were more than adamant about their hatred for machines. There was only one way for them to be dealt with in their eyes. There were probably plenty of people from the future that felt the same. It had been his idea to send machine's back to the future to protect his past. Obviously future ‘him' saw the advantages of using them too.
John jumped. Cameron hadn't moved. He forgot she was there.
“What?” he focused on his laptop. Then he remembered the question, “nothing.”
Cameron was adept when knowing she wasn't wanted. Most times she ignored it like now. So instead of leaving like John thought she would have she stayed silent and occupied herself with something behind him. He didn't turn his head. In the reflection on the screen he could she was crouched with her back to him. He couldn't see what she was doing.
“What are you doing?”
“Nothing,” she stopped fiddling shifting her head pointedly.
He smirked at her answer. Cameron may be an advanced technology, but most times he likened her to a very smart parrot. John started packing up when he heard his mother's car start. Cameron rose just as curious to know where she was going too. They got their answer when they headed inside and a haphazard note was written.
“Be back later,” John didn't like the ominous letter. He expected it to say ‘grocery run' or something, but not something this vague. He called her cell phone.
Sarah felt her phone vibrating. A hurried glance at the name and she pushed ignore. She didn't have to worry about John he was with Cameron he'd be ok. The phone call she received when Cameron left this morning disturbed her. It came from a number she v didn't recognize, but she answered it anyway.
“You've got a problem,” she pulled her ear away from the phone; she knew who the voice belonged to and she immediately thought of the machine.
“What?” she pinched the bridge of her nose in annoyance.
Her frown deepened, but she didn't bother to move, “what about her?” If Derek knew anything about her she knew that something was wrong.
Derek ignored her question keeping his response to an address. She said she'd be in there in forty five minutes. Knowing the lay of the land allowed for speedy escape routes. For them it was a necessity.
He hung up on her. He hadn't given her any indication of urgency, but it made Sarah feel better to be quick about her morning routine. She left a note and hurried out heading in the direction of Derek's location. Her mind was always on constant alert. Dissecting motives, intentions, actions, and words was an art learned in the crazy house. They were all about mind fucking her into believing her reality wasn't real. In truth it wasn't, not yet. Though, to all who would listen she was a raving lunatic. As she mused maneuvering through the streets, her frustration turned to genuine insanity. She was there to protect John. John, who meant so much for the future and the people in it, came from her. It was her responsibility to keep him safe no matter what.
Stopping judgment day mattered most to her to spare her son the life he didn't want. And to save the word and indirectly the doctors who locked her up and branded her crazy. To an exclusive few they called her hero. To society she was an unstable fugitive. It was strange the dual realities that pass around labels to make everything make sense. Having life make sense was exactly why their future was being threatened wasn't it?
Skynet in all its superior knowledge didn't see how it made sense for humans to exist. Some small part of her agreed, but there was still good. In a utopia that she may not exist in there was a place that her son could live normally.
Normal, she scoffed. She looked at the address and then the house that she parked in front of. The neighborhood was nice. Too nice for the likes of Derek or any resistance to be here, the feeling of unease came back. She never really trusted Derek. She knew he never really trusted her. It was one of those perfectly imperfect relationships where everyone knew where they stood. They played nice for John to keep the awkward silence to a minimum. But it didn't quiet the alarm of a tainted man.
Granted, she acknowledged heading up the steps to the one story home, that she was tainted as well, but John kept her in check. She could go over the edge for a few moments, but John was her rock. When reason withdrew the sight of her son, his voice, his smell, his presence brought her sanity back. Derek didn't have that anchor. She could understand how it made him an exceptional soldier. There was only so much of the soldier that could coexist in a less volatile time.
The door was unlocked. Sarah looked around the area again, looking for something. Her eyes settled on every house, expanse of the street, her own vehicle, but she saw nothing. She felt the gun in the back of her jeans underneath her coat. It made her feel better, her body was tense as she crossed the threshold.
She listened for noises to discern where Derek was. She heard something, but it was decidedly too feminine to belong the resistance fighter. She closed the door behind her slowly. Her feet moved cautiously into the living area. Bound to a chair facing Sarah Ms. Hightower sat panicking. Outside of her labored breathing and her panicked gaze she didn't look fine. She looked to the floor and a pool of wet lay on the woman's feet.
Sarah grimaced, but didn't take another step toward her, not until she found Derek. She didn't have to wait long. He came to her. He leaned against the frame of the door that separated the kitchen from the living area. He bit into a sandwich as if having a woman messing herself happened quite often for him. Then again, Sarah reproachfully considered that this could be normal for Derek.
“What's going on?” Sarah kept her stance tense and ready just in case Derek pounced. For whatever reason he was holding this woman hostage it didn't bode well for his sanity to be intact. That made his calling Sarah questionable.
Derek's eyes darkened at the question. It was slow and steady. For a moment he wondered if she learned that from her extended stay at the nuthouse. The mother of John Connor was deeply speculated upon. There were stories about her that no one but John could verify. The one thing that remained consistent was her stint in an institute for crazies.
In their inadvertent triangle Del whimpered. She knew her life was in danger, but there was nothing she could do about it. Her life lay in the hands of some crazy man and Sarah, a parent that wasn't particularly fond of her. How was she getting out of this alive?
Pushing off the frame he placed the plate down. He wasn't worried about prints or DNA being recovered from the scene. They would track it to his younger self. He was the perfect killer if he were inclined. Sarah eyed him wary of every move. He sat on the arm chair adjacent to John and Cameron's teacher.
“The tied up teacher is a bit melodramatic don't you think?”
“She saw you last night,” he answered, but Sarah wasn't about to give up anything. She kept her face stoic and it amused him. After what he saw last night whatever respect he had for her, had dissipated into disgust. She would deny and make him say it.
“She saw you and it last night in the kitchen….sharing yogurt,” he explained.
There was no mistaking what either one of them saw. Sarah straightened and her chin rose in challenge. There was more to this production than Derek was letting on. He lowered his head and let his gaze rest on Sarah with all the rage and disgust he felt. If she felt anything she didn't show it. She was careful to control her emotions. That was one of the things he liked most about her, but even that wasn't redeeming now.
For her part there was nothing that she could say to quell the emotions painting his face dark. She had an idea of how he'd react. He did not disappoint. Del still whimpering had her own scowl of reproach. Sarah would have laughed at her attempt at being self righteous. Tied to a chair wet in her urine and who knows what else.
“Everything up to now I've done for John's sake,” he began, “you can say the same?”
She was unsure about what she was doing with Cameron when they weren't in the throes. While being confronted with it, by Derek of all people, added to her bewilderment she wouldn't back down. “I don't have to explain anything to you.”
“I'm not asking you to,” he leaned forward taking out a knife.
She didn't make a move, but she was aware of the knife and the man wielding it. The sight of the blade put Del at unease as she whimpered even louder. Tears rolled down her eyes across the tape over her mouth to her chin. A stain on her jeans grew larger as more tears fell and her anxiety increased.
“You made the mess, you clean it up,” he looked pointedly at the teacher for the first time since he sat beside her.
This was unexpected. Sarah let her mask slip when she realized Derek didn't intend to kill Ms. Hightower. He expected her to do it. She snorted running her hand through her hair.
“What the hell is wrong with you?”
“Crazy is catching.”
The purpose behind his words weren't lost on the brunette. Messing around with Cameron was a different type of crazy. Her internal consternation was born from confusing an enemy with a ‘playmate'. There was something wrong with Derek if he equated the two.
“I'm not going to kill her.”
“If you don't I will either way her blood is on your hands.”
Sarah was tired of this and drew her gun. Violence begat violence, why a quote from the bible came to mind she didn't know. She'd never been particularly religious, especially since she was preoccupied with John, machines, and an impending global disaster.
Del had started moving around in the chair. She wasn't going anywhere. The knots were tied too well for a mere English teacher to break free. Sarah's mind was in overdrive. She knew that if she killed Derek Del would be a witness and she didn't think the teacher's morality would let her walk away. Then there was Derek putting her in a situation she couldn't walk away from. If he did kill her it would be like she had done it herself. If she hadn't given in to Cameron's twisted seduction she wouldn't be here right now.
She leveled the gun on Derek, “let her go.” Even as she said the words she thought they were hilarious to her ears. Let the teacher go so she can go the police. Even with accusations they would have to leave they would be running. They wouldn't be dead anymore and put in the spotlight again.
“And then what?” Derek tilted his head. She couldn't help but think of Cameron and how well the move suited the girl.
Derek stood up standing behind Del. His arms braced the cushion inches above her head. His intention wasn't to terrorize. He wanted to make a point to Sarah. This was the best way he knew how to show her. Machines were dangerous she knew that. But siding with them in any way wasn't in the best interest of mankind. Sure they've made their contributions, but not enough to forget or be truly grateful. It surprised him that after all she'd seen she could still be so naïve.
“She'll promise to keep her mouth shut. You walk away half believing her. Cops are waiting for you at home with John and Cameron in custody. Your names are in the system and it's only a matter of time before locals put two and two together.” He spoke without emotion just facts.
They were true. She had reasoned everything out in her head before he said them out loud. Miss Hightower would promise, but for all her promises she wouldn't keep them. She had never killed anyone. And if she had ever considered killing anyone Hightower was annoying, but not enough to warrant a bullet in her head.
The situation was impossible. Derek had called her here knowing that. If she were a better mother she never would have let this situation happen. But she was human and she made a mistake. Her mistake would cost a teacher her life. Sarah prided herself in always being accountable for her actions. She wanted to instill the same ideology in her son. She had been enough of a hypocrite lately. It would give Derek in inordinate amount of satisfaction, but she pushed her thoughts of Derek aside and focused on John.
John trusted her. He put his faith in her. She had failed him, but she wouldn't make the same mistake twice. It was over between her and Cameron. Whatever feeling she had for the girl that wasn't rage and distrust she would silence. They would return to their not so Brady life. The brooding future leader, his mechanical protector with the cheerleader body, and his tall dark and overprotective mom dynamic would return.
First, she had a teacher to deal with. She looked into Dels' eyes. She never wanted to forget them. The fear, it unsettled her. The fear she was the cause of. It was a fact she neither wanted nor would forget.
Machines don't accept failure. It wasn't expected nor was it accepted. Humans seemed to revel in failure, as if it meant something beyond being obsolete. Machines knew different. That's what made them better more efficient.
“Hey what the hell are you doing?” the voice was grating, but Xander continued under the hood of the blonde's BMW. It yanked the battery out with little to no damage.
The balding man glared straightening to his full height. His posturing didn't put a dent on the machine's resolve. He met the machine without noticing the whole in Xander's face, the hood it wore kept it hidden.
“You're paying for that!” he reached blindly into the jacket where he saw Xander place it.
Xander grabbed the hand. His fist closed around it. The owner of the BMW tried to get the machine to loosen his grip, but it wouldn't. Humans were so fragile. He broke the hand with a jerk and broke the screaming blonde's neck with a second jerk, just as fluid as the first.
It stepped over the limp body and headed into the shadows again. Eyes lazily followed the terminator barely glancing at the dead body.
Four days. Four days of missed school and no one bothered to check on the mousy English teacher. It makes someone wonder how much of an impact someone actually has in life. Sometimes it's big enough that within a few hours their missed. In other cases like Del's not so much. Sarah expected school protocol didn't accept that their teacher's didn't just up and not come in for work.
Sarah wasn't paranoid. She knew no one would find the body. Derek and she were good at loose ends. Derek more so than her when it came to dead bodies she guessed. In self contemplative moments she considered her confidence macabre. She wasn't glued to the news, but she half expected John or Cameron to mention their teacher's abrupt absence. But four days and there was still no word.
Nightmares weren't new to the older Connor. She didn't welcome them, they were unannounced visitors. She held her head in her hands as she listened to the sounds of morning. She'd forfeited sleep to escape the eyes she was involuntarily resolute to remember. Derek could walk away. She couldn't—not as easily anyway. It wasn't easy to compartmentalize a death that could have easily been avoided.
Her mornings started in a routine. First blaming the stubborn teacher, who couldn't leave their ‘family' alone. Then Cameron before she came full circle with the fact that she played two prominent roles in Del Hightower's tragedy. John and Cameron didn't make it easy to brood. The only reprieve she received was when they were in school, she coveted those few hours. When they returned home the quizzical stares came back with a vengeance.
Exercise, television, weapons inventory, and cleaning kept her body busy and her mind quiet. How she got here she traced back to a few weeks ago. A matter of days had ruined her calm. It was a living nightmare.
She jumped from the table when she felt wet lips connect with the back of her neck. She glared at Cameron rubbing the kiss off.
“What are you doing?” she kept her voice low. John hadn't found out about them and she wanted to keep it that way.
Cameron tilted her head. “You don't want me anymore?”
“I figured you would get the hint,” she shook her head. When her gaze landed on her boots she berated herself for not being able to look her in the eyes. This wasn't the first time that she had refused Cameron's advances. She couldn't be touched by her, it didn't feel good anymore.
Her head shot up. Cameron wasn't a mind reader. If anything she was reading her. Whenever Sarah was around the girl she was bombarded with a storm of emotions.
“Stop,” Sarah warned.
The machine watched her walk away. Cameron reviewed the last few days in her head. Replaying every interaction it left her confused. She didn't recall saying anything to have made her angry. John even seemed to be as bemused as she was. They didn't talk about it. Since the Saturday she disappeared she hadn't been the same. John asked her where she'd been when she returned. Sarah gave a noncommittal answer.
Cameron wasn't fine with Sarah's change of behavior. If anything they were on the verge of building something and before her attitude changed. She would take more care with Sarah, but she would find out what was going on with her and between them.
“She's still distant,” John came into the kitchen in time to see his mother leave it. Cameron's face reflected his own confusion with the situation. Whenever his mother kept secrets it was to protect him. He didn't like that his mother thought that she had to protect him especially since he wasn't a kid anymore.
“Yes,” she answered blankly. They had to get ready for school.
Morris smiled sidling beside Dana “hey you hanging with Cameron today?”
Dana gave the nerd a look placing her books into her locker. She didn't particularly like Morris. She didn't care for Cameron's brother either. They were both too weird for her taste. Her girlfriend was on the weird side too, but there were other parts of Cameron that made up for that.
“Why are you talking to me?”
Morris shouldered his bag and shrugged, “my friend's sister is your girlfriend who says we can't make small talk from time to time?”
“I say,” she answered curtly entering class.
She took her seat in the back watching Cameron and John enter. Cameron didn't acknowledge her when she walked in, but John started talking to Morris as soon as he sat down.
The vice principal came in with the substitute the school gave them for the last few days. Dana absently listened as he told them Mr. Moore would be taking care of the class for the rest of the semester. Her eyes were glued on Cameron from the waist up. She wondered if her scheme would get her what she wanted tonight.
John shook his head at Morris's antics from the news. He could probably pull up his D to a C by the end of the semester with the busy work subs usually give. John considered Miss Hightower's disappearance as odd, but chalked it up to health issues or a family emergency. He couldn't have predicted his mother and uncle had such a proactive part in instigating her disappearance.
“Should I be offended you never called?” Maggie plastered a smile. She wore tan shorts and a pink top with a thin button up rolled up at the sleeves.
Sarah immediately recognized the voice and Chicago popped in her head. “Uh hi, sorry about that,” she stammered. Sarah took in the outfit and surmised that it was a lot more comfortable than her dark outfit in this heat. It wasn't so bad when she hung around the frozen section.
“It's not like I've been pining away, but it would have been nice to receive a call,” she shrugged. Pushing her cart by she didn't bother to stop.
Sarah didn't realize she was following her until Maggie was giving her a curious look holding a six pack of Perriere. Sarah swallowed. She had the stranger's full attention and nothing that came to mind to say was sufficient.
Maggie helped. “The words that you're looking for should sound very apologetic followed by an invitation to dinner. You know to make up for the blow to my ego.”
“I've had a challenging few weeks… and all I want to do, is share the company of a beautiful woman over a dinner that may or may not make up for the blow to her ego.” Sarah took liberties with the phrasing, but Maggie wasn't displeased by Sarah's revision, instead she countered with her number and a place to meet.
Whatever the elder Connor had come in the grocery for was forgotten. She wouldn't be spending the evening avoiding looks over frozen pizza or take out tonight. She had a date—her first real date. She remembered Andy Goode and his naïve invitation for dinner and introduction to his machine. This was different. Maggie wasn't a target, and as far as she could tell she wasn't a super genius designing a prototype that would later enable Skynet to go online.
“What are you doing?” Cameron asked her when she was getting ready for her date. She took exception to knowing the rituals of her charges. Sarah had taken twenty minutes longer than she needed to for a shower and three hours early before she went to bed. She had never noticed her take as much care as she was now with how she looked.
Sarah's eyes met her through the mirror and didn't answer. Cameron wasn't leaving until she got an answer. It was a battle of wills that Sarah wasn't going to lose. The machine had been the cause of too much of too many of Sarah's bad decisions.
John chose that moment to walk by the room. He stopped when he saw Cameron staring at his mom and Sarah ignoring her. “What's up?” he held onto the frame to await an answer.
Sarah could have sworn Cameron had a self satisfied look on her face when John asked. They both knew that while Sarah wouldn't answer her, she'd answer her son.
“Out,” she stated vaguely pushing passed him to head to the kitchen. He followed her with a curious smirk. Even in her hurry he could see she wore make up.
“Do you have a date?”
Sarah shot him an amused look over her shoulder but still didn't answer. She wore jeans that were too tight to carry a gun. She was taking her car. She always carried a small arsenal in it in case of emergencies. They never knew when they needed to run or when they were going to be attacked.
“Who is he?” he leaned on the island clasping his hands. The only person his mother dated seriously was Charley. Since then she'd been working nonstop to prevent the apocalypse. When did she have time to find someone to date?
Cameron had followed quietly. She was just as interested in the details of Sarah's plans for the evening. It wasn't logical for her to go out and not consider her feelings. They were an item weren't they? Cameron was no longer sure where they stood now that Sarah was making dates and not even letting her touch her.
“As the man of the house I should know these things,” John held himself at arm's length from the counter.
“No need to worry kid.” She picked up the keys, “don't stay up too late. I'll be texting every other hour.”
John held the door open watching his mother leave and disappear in her car. Cameron watched behind him.
Waking up from the black is like a bad dream. Sarah was a connoisseur of bad dreams. She remembered walking out of the house. Her head rose and she felt her hair fall into her face, but even with her eyes open there was black. Her first thought was had she gone blind. The light in her face answered that worry. She'd seen this movie before.
Silence. What was she doing here? She was slightly comforted by the thought that this wasn't the work of a machine. They didn't play games. No, she had pissed off someone human and very dead when she got their hands on them.
“Sarah Connor,” Maggie breathed lowering the light. She moved behind her leaving the light to shine on her boots.
“Maggie,” there was an edge in her voice. Maggie smiled at it brushing her face along Sarah's shoulder.
She moaned and then leisurely rose to straddle the elder Connor. The light rose to her face. Sarah turned her head away, but the light stayed.
“I want to see you,” her grin turned feral.
“What the hell is this?” the brunette growled. She worked to loosen the knots.
Maggie lowered the light to the woman's neck. Her mouth searching for Sarah's but her prisoner withdrew. The woman smirked getting even more comfortable in her lap, “I heard you're more into metal and wires.”
The other woman shrugged. “One woman's enemy is another woman's sex toy. That's bit kinky for my taste, but to each her own.”
“Who are you?”
She bit into the handle of her light to roll up her sleeve. She shined the light on her tattoo. Sarah recognized it. Derek had one and so did Kyle Reese. The mark of the resistance was hard to forget, it was a symbol in her nightmares.
“What do you want?”
“I was recruited to watch. Engage you. And kill you.”
Had Derek put this woman up to this? She knew that something darker lay beneath his cold looks. When he found out about her and Cameron she knew that he would never fully trust her. It wasn't something she had ever aspired to, so she hadn't given it much thought. She never conceived that he would scheme something as elaborate as Maggie. What was the point?
Sarah started laughing.
Maggie quirked her brow, “what's so funny?”
“I didn't think I had to watch my back on both sides,” she managed through her bittersweet glee.
“The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents. And the other half by our children,” she leaned towards Sarah's ear, “Clarence Darrow.”
Dana took the stairs two at a time. She raised her hand to knock but Cameron stopped her. She stepped back taking startled steps for distance.
“Shit you scared me,” the girl held her chest. It took her only a few moments to size the other girl before her body reacted to the short jean skirt she wore. She closed the gap she was so eager to make but a hand held her in place.
“What?” she looked down at the hand.
“You are of no more use to me.”
The girl's face folded into a frown of confusion, “what the hell Cameron?”
“I love someone else. I used you. Now I have no more use for you.”
“You're on some fucked up shit ya'know that?” she shook her head.
The girl turned and made it to her car slamming it shut. She sped down the street uncaring and raw. Cameron watched blankly. In her head she imagined something more dramatic. She wasn't displeased by the ease of the break up.
“You got what you wanted.”
Cameron turned slowly to meet John's gaze. He listened and watched and she knew, but censored nothing. Tilting her head in question she didn't speak. It's not as if John was going to give her a chance as he continued.
“I knew that you felt things. I didn't understand her,” his arm rose weightless in the direction of her retreating girl. “Now I do.” He kept a steady gait until he ended up in front her. Touching her face, caressing it in an abandoned he'd only dreamed. “This is crazy,” he whispered before leaning in to kiss her.
Cameron pulled away.
John searched for an answer to her withdrawal. With Cameron's impassive visage hard to read he went for something more direct. “What's wrong?”
“It is not you.”
“What's not me?” John felt his hand slip from her face. She took that as an invitation to back away.
“The one I love. It is not you.”
“Wha…who?” he thought about all the people she could have been making jealous. Morris was never going to happen. His mother didn't make sense. She held no love for Derek. Who else was there?
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Sarah kept the woman talking while she worked on the rope. She could feel her skin scratching away from the unyielding texture.
“You're birth put you on a path to this existence. You're son's birth put you in this chair.”
She wrapped her arms around Sarah pointing the light over the bound woman's shoulders. The lighting made her look menacing. “We aren't ungrateful. We know John paves the way to our salvation. That's why we were sent back to cleanse the past so he won't make the mistakes of his future.”
Sarah narrowed her eyes, “mistakes?”
“Trusting them,” she started, “letting them walk among us. Shutting us out for his pets.”
She felt blood running down her hands but she could feel the tie loosen. The metal of the chair was cold against her forearms. “And me?”
The lights turned on. Sarah adjusted her eyes to the light. Across the room stood the machine from the safe house—the one hunting humans.
“House broken and deadly,” Maggie continued to taunt. “Kill the source. And that weakness dies with you. John can embrace his destiny fully. Making the resistance that much stronger.”
She spoke as she stood backing out of the white walled room. The machine stared emptily and only moved when the door shut. Sarah struggled harder. Her wrists were throbbing, but she'd be hurting even more if she didn't free herself. The machine started towards her. Baring down on her bottom she finally wrenched free.
The fight was still one sided. She was armed with a chair and walls. All he had to do was get his hands on her. She stepped away. One exit and no windows, the door was most likely locked from the outside. The terminator stalked leisurely. She had speed and a motivation to stay alive on her side. He had everything else.
Out of sane ideas she picked up the chair she'd been bound to and charged.
Cameron could answer the question, but she knew it would not be a good idea.
“I order you to answer me,” he spoke carefully. Children had tantrums and he wasn't a child.
“The answer will hurt your feelings.”
“When do you care about feelings?”
“Mom's going to freak.” His hands reached into his hair holding it there. Cameron noticed he had his mother's forehead.
Breathing heavy sweat rolling down her back and blood on the side of her face she watched the terminator. Her body ached from her pseudo acrobatics. She feigned in varying directions to keep out of its reach. All he had to do was close his hand around any part of her body and break it. His chest moved up and down in a steady rhythm she glared at the inhuman cadence.
Then her eyes trailed to the opposite side of the room—the chair. She'd charge it deflect she'd pick it up again and charge throwing it aside to get closer to her. He was unhurried, a trait preceding models and Cameron all had in common. She used that to her advantage. The chair was mangled metal, but there was a piece of it sticking out from the rest of the mess. Xander had closed his fist tight around it and it's collision with the wall helped disconnect it more.
It looked like it was loose enough to work the leg off.
“Freak about what?” Derek shouldered his bag heading up the front stairs.
John turned to him and then back to Cameron. Derek would jump on the bandwagon to crucify Cameron at every turn. He wouldn't understand. And while the young Connor was at a loss himself he was still interested in protecting her.
“She got a F in chemistry,” he spoke quickly.
Cameron neither confirmed nor denied. He wasn't sure if her blank face worked for her or against her. But it beat looking guilty.
Derek shook his head, “and?” he closed his hand around the knob walking into the house.
“It starts with letters home, parent teacher meetings, and then principles get involved.”
Derek remembered going to school briefly. From what he remembered he didn't like it that well. The alternative that was his life he could have done without too, but school was another beast. He got good grades, but his teachers always pushed for him to better. Apparently they thought he was capable of more. Perhaps he was, but dwelling on the past wouldn't bring it back.
He dropped his bag down on the kitchen table deciding not to comment on the machine's grade.
“Where's your mom?”
“ An engagement to go out socially with another person, often out of romantic interest ,” Cameron supplied keeping her distance. Distance was good when it came to volatile humans.
His brow rose. Pursing his lips he looked to Cameron to his nephew. “A date,” the younger Connor helped.
“What? With who? When?” he turned to them fully turning his back to the table with his arms crossed.
Derek could be dark and intense when he wanted to be. It was a side of him that intrigued and intimidated John. Would he end up like Derek? Future John was nothing like he was now. The things he learns about himself from Cameron and Derek troubled him. What had caused him to change so drastically? Apocalypse came to mind.
Sarah twisted and pulled, but it wasn't coming free. She could hear him walking toward her like he had all the time in the world to kill her. In a series of fluid happenstance the machine grabbed her by her throat slamming Sarah into the wall. She never let of the chair leg and it was wrenched free when the machine stepped on it to get to Sarah.
It's hand closed around her throat. In seconds she was seeing stars. It only took a moment of fight or flight instinct to react. She raised the leg and slammed it into it's throat. She pushed it all the way through then twisted until the back end came around and she grabbed both end with her hands and turned it. The head snapped to the right becoming even more disconnected with the force. The head fell. The hand released her and before it could bend down to pick up the head Sarah kicked it away.
Gasping to breath she picked up the head by the hair. She used it as a batter ram for the door. She heard the machine behind her reminding her of the urgency of her escape. She banged harder until finally a crack became a whole that she could reach her arm through. She turned the lock and opened it.
She jogged down the hallway. It felt like de ja vu running down the halls of a crazy ward. Maggie had a sick way of thinking. She heard the machine behind her, looking for it's head. When all else fails run. Her body was built to run long distances.
When she reached the outside through the maze of corridors she ran across the parking lot to the road. She looked back at the building waiting for the headless machine to arrive. Instead when she turned headlights were speeding toward her.
She jumped to the side, before it could run her over. Rolling in the dirt she lost her grip on the head. It rolled from her. The car stopped and Sarah realized Maggie had tried to run her down with her own car. Getting to her knees she smiled dangerously.
The woman held her gun out leveling at Sarah's head. She raised her hands by her head.
“You're supposed to be dead.”
“Not everything works out like we plan,” Sarah conceded. A barrel pressed up against her head hadn't been a scenario in her escape.
Cocking the 9mm she pushed it unnecessarily. “Ain't that the truth.”
Without thought she yanked the gun from pointing to her head. The bullet clipped the side her face since Maggie, deciding at the same time, to pull the trigger.
She pushed passed her pain and barreled into her. Straddling on top her fists came down meeting a defensive forearm. Maggie bucked connecting her fist with Sarah's jaw. The brunette rolled off closing her hand around the gun Maggie dropped. From her back she aimed it at the temptress who had her own gun aimed.
Their heavy breathing filled the air. “The asylum was built in the sixties. Developers didn't think people wanted to live around crazies. So there's no one for miles to hear me shoot you.”
“Or to hear me shoot you.”
From behind her the machine moved. It was headed towards the head resting a few feet away in the dirt. Maggie turned her head slightly never letting her gun drop.
In synchronized gunfire they shot at the machine emptying their clips in the head. The body dropped.
The dust cleared and the face was a mixture of dented metal and mangled flesh. When their eyes met again their guns turned on each other. They both knew they were out of bullets. Maggie dropped hers first and Sarah followed.
Her body hurt all over. She wanted to lay down in the dirt and rest, but she couldn't. Maggie attacked and Sarah met her with a bottle she picked up from the roadside. It broke when it connected with her head. It sank smoothly in her throat when Sarah pushed it in. She held it there watching the mischievous glint dull.
Derek glared suspiciously at Cameron. He'd been doing it all night and for most of the morning. John was avoiding Cameron for the most part and avoiding any questions about where his mother was. He didn't particularly want to dwell on his mother and the nightcap that may or may not have happened.
John was content to play in his cereal. Cameron stood quietly with the wizard of oz picture book. And Derek checked his weapons at the table.
The silence was broken when the door opened and Sarah trudged in dirty, bloody, and exhausted. Outside of the door shutting the room was quiet. Meeting their gazes with tired eyes she dropped the chip she ripped from the machine's head on the dinner table. “There's a body in the back to burn.”
She would shower before doing anything else. John picked up the chip and Derek eyed her retreating form. Cameron, much bolder, followed at a sedate pace. By the time she entered the bedroom the shower was already running. The door was locked. She knew Sarah wouldn't approve, but that didn't stop her.
“Did you just break my door?” the woman in the shower asked.
Cameron knew the snap of the hinges answered that question. She was more concerned about Sarah's injuries. She stepped in the shower fully clothed.
Sarah didn't have the energy to argue. Her head rested on the wall. She had no intention of moving and Cameron didn't bother to suggest. She scanned her body for injuries. She took the liberty to wash the despondent woman with care. Sarah jumped or twitched when a sensitive spot was grazed over.
There was a part of her brain aware that Cameron, a machine, had her naked in a shower. She was taking care of her. The sensible machine hating side lacked vigor keeping quiet. Having member's of her son's resistance try to kill her had that affect. She vaguely remembered the water stopping and being dried off just as tentatively as she was washed.
Lying down on her bed she closed her eyes. Her body relaxed. The machine was dead. Maggie was dead and hidden in the asylum until she went back. Now she was home, in her bed, and Cameron was taking care of her. Like this she could admit the machine made her feel safe. This was probably the most vulnerable she'd been since this whole nightmare started. And Cameron of all people eased her anxiety enough to sleep.
Derek looked at Sarah. Her face was beaten and he didn't think her body fared any better. She was covered in a dark brown blanket. He didn't cross the threshold of her bedroom. There were some lines he wouldn't intrude upon. He spoke his words aimlessly to a sleeping form.
“If it were up to me you would've just gotten a bullet in the head.”
When he heard the gun cock he turned around and then back to Sarah. Her eyes were wide open and he could see the vague shape of a gun underneath her blanket.
“You gonna shoot me?”
“Maybe,” her head didn't rise from her pillow. This was their chance at a new life. John had pitched that and so did Cameron and she was still unimpressed. If anything the ratio of people dying was evening out.
“It makes more sense for me to kill you before you kill me.”
Derek simply nodded. They both had secrets it was dangerous for either one of them to know. If Sarah was a little more ruthless she would have pulled the trigger.
“John's waiting for you,” she managed to say.
He acquiesced to the wave of her white flag. Peace was a fragile thing. And they were already living in a volatile existence. One of them wouldn't survive this. But one failed attempt and mercy was enough excitement, for now. She listened to his steps and then the sound of the front door closing.
She sighed into her pillow. Cameron moved her hand along Sarah's hip softly. She felt it safe to move now. She had lain down beside the eldest Connor to keep her company. “He is the reason you have not let me touch you.”
The older woman shook her head. She saw the frightened look of a woman, who knew too much. If only life were something out of the movies.
“Del Hightower is dead,” Cameron was a machine. “I killed her,” Sarah didn't expect a reaction from her admission. She wasn't disappointed. She turned to face the girl and searched her eyes anyway. “She knew about us.”
Cameron knew eyed Sarah watching her carefully. She chose the first words that came to mind, “I would kill for you.”
She rose on her elbow, “you would kill for John and die for him.” Sarah couldn't allow herself to indulge in fantasies where she meant more to Cameron than a mission.
Cameron rose tracing her finger across Sarah's face. “John loves me. And I love him.” She watched Sarah's reaction and wasn't displeased to see her eyes darken in anger. She continued, “But he can't have me the way that you can.” There were very few things about humans she understood. For the first time Sarah made sense to her. Cameron's seduction had broken a dam. One she wasn't sure Sara was positive she would recover. Her complexities were complimented and complicated by other intricacies. It was a maze Cameron would be a willing hostage of. The warrior wouldn't accept distractions especially when the distraction was just a machine.
Sarah searched in Cameron's eyes. The girl stood before she could finish. She rose from the bed in a shirt and panties. Sarah admired her body as she walked away. The lithe form stopped in the entrance.
This was the Cameron she wanted to remember. Not the machine that could break her in half. The woman that Sarah imagined she was sometimes. And the impression that looked like Sarah had just broken her heart. The moment was the most human she had ever seen Cameron be.
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