DISCLAIMER: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and its characters are the propert of James Cameron and Fox. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Break Me Into Pieces (Then Put Me Back Together)
By shyath


She is a fleeting fascination, nothing more than something mildly more interesting than the barrel of her own gun to stare at to pass the time. Sarah does not know what it is about Cameron that catches her eyes so, but she just does. It's something in the way Cameron moves, she thinks, or maybe it's in the way she speaks, the way she looks at me sometimes (and the way something burns inside Sarah's chest in reaction).

Just a fleeting fascination, Sarah tells herself more firmly than before, that is all Cameron is (but a nagging suspicion remains that this – this is slowly growing into a full-fledged obsession). When this weekend is over and John is back, her world will regain some semblance of normality. When that happens, Cameron will be just another fixture in Sarah's life to be easily dismissed and ignored.

"Sarah," Cameron's voice sounds loud and all too near, her breath puffs warmly against the side of Sarah's ear and she can smell that mouth-watering, strawberry-scented shampoo Cameron has recently taken to using (and she wonders why, why fruits can smell so enticing when it is on someone's skin).

Sarah jerks back to put some much needed space between the two of them, her gun firmly pointed at the centre of Cameron's chest and her breaths coming in short and coming out quick – with no relevance whatsoever with what has just happened (or what has come so close to almost happening). She blinks to toss that train of thought out of the window. "Don't you freaking knock?" she spits out to redirect herself, the situation (the world if possible) onto a course she understands, swinging the gun in her hand in a wide, almost amateurish way to gesture at the now opened door of her bedroom.

"I did knock," Cameron replies in an even tone. Her stance is loose as she faces Sarah, her hands unclenched, the quintessential picture of calm and Sarah hates, hates that her own hands are shaking.

"Well, what do you want then?" Sarah snaps.

"It is almost dinnertime and I was wondering if you would perhaps like me to prepare something specific," Cameron answers so matter-of-factly that it is almost irritating. Can't you lose your damn composure for once, girlie?

"Just make whatever you'd like, okay," Sarah hisses and begins to turn away.

"Sarah," Cameron speaks up again, the older woman's name dangling off the tip of her tongue like – like a promise or some other sentimental nonsense like that.

"What?!" Sarah growls exasperatedly and she is on the verge of exploding, of giving up, of maybe pulling Cameron into her and seeing, feeling first-hand if Cameron really is all that her dreams insist on making her out to be.

"Nothing," Cameron says flatly, looking confused with herself. "I will come to let you know when dinner is ready." She retreats then, like a defeated soldier, like a terminator run out of battery and the door closes soundly behind her – with a finality that sucks out all of Sarah's ire.

"Terminators don't run on battery, stupid," Sarah grumbles out loud, dropping the gun in her hand and letting herself drop heavily back onto the bed. She feels oh so, so tired all of a sudden.

"How is it? Is it to your liking?" Cameron asks earnestly, her eyes tracking the movements of Sarah's spoon intently.

"It's good. And I like it," Sarah comments, tearing her eyes away from Cameron's and looking down at her bowl of mixed vegetable rice. "It's a surprisingly healthy choice," she adds to keep the conversation going, poking at a piece of shredded mushroom.

"The recipe caught my eye," Cameron quips, a touch of enthusiasm seeping into her voice and her body as she leans slightly more forward on the dinner table.

Sarah smirks and quickly hides her mirth by swallowing another spoonful. "It's good," she assures Cameron again through a mouthful.

"You have a little something there," Cameron speaks softly, her eyes moving up and focusing on Sarah's face, tracking surely towards the general area of Sarah's lips.

Suddenly feeling very self-conscious, Sarah's spoon freezes midair and her heart feels like it has jumped on the same bandwagon. When it finally starts again, it does so with a beat so furious it is almost painful to withstand. Almost. "Where?" she asks hoarsely.

"Just about there," Cameron says vaguely, but she does not tell Sarah where there is. Sarah watches, almost mesmerised, most definitely transfixed, as Cameron's hand moves off of the surface of the table, reaches across it and lands ever so gently on the side of Sarah's face. There is the briefest of caress to Sarah's cheek and Sarah resists the urge to close her eyes or – god forbid – moan. Then the pads of Cameron's thumb and index finger make contact with the corner of Sarah's lips and she finally removes her hand after what feels like an eternity has passed between them. "Just there," Cameron clarifies, showing the grain of rice trapped between her fingers before swiping it off with the flat of her tongue.

Sarah chokes and her cheeks burn and she cannot help but watch as Cameron puts on that surprisingly erotic display. She continues to stare as Cameron's tongue peeks out once again through the confinements of her lips, almost shy, reticent in its slowness, then it deftly licks at her fingers, retrieving with it the taste of what is left (whatever is left) and then disappearing once again.

Sarah gulps and, to her own ears, the sound is so telling, so revealing. She coughs, clears her throat, coughs again, but her cheeks still feel hot and her throat still feels like it is squeezing upon itself. Sarah just knows she is blushing like she is still in high school and Maddie has just showed what two girls could do given the right incentive and adequate burst of creativity. "Thanks," she croaks out, moving her spoon again and the clang of metal against porcelain is rhythmic, soothing and she slowly begins to breathe at a more normal pace.

"You are very welcome," Cameron responds warmly and maybe it is Sarah reading too much into things or her ears are playing tricks on her, but Sarah thinks Cameron's voice has dropped an octave or two and they have just been flirting or something.

Sarah chances another glance and smiles unsurely at Cameron, but Cameron only looks blankly, unassumingly back. No, I must have just imagined it all.

The pain that comes after a fruitful exercise is always therapeutic to the state of her mind. It sets Sarah on course, calibrates her balance and reminds her what she is meant for, what she is meant to do. Sarah sighs and removes her sweaty shirt as she pushes the bathroom door open with the flat of her foot. She is about to loosen the drawstring of her pants and drop them to the floor alongside her shirt when she realises that the bathroom is not, in fact, unoccupied.

Cameron gazes up at Sarah like it is the most normal thing in the world to be soaking in a bubble bath and then having someone walk in on you. "Hello, Sarah."

Sarah's cheeks burn, hotter than they have been earlier that evening. It seems to be the only thing she is good at these days: blushing. She presses her shirt into her bra-clad chest and holds her pants together with the other hand. "Sorry," she manages in a passably normal voice as she attempts to leave the bathroom as smoothly as possible (if that is even still an option left to her). "I'll just – uh, leave you and uh – I'm really, really sorry." Shut up, Sarah, and just leave!

"I would not mind if you choose to join me, Sarah," Cameron remarks in a tone that screams reasonable, but the circumstance they are both currently in is anything but reasonable – and surely even Cameron can see that. "There is enough room for two." She obviously is not seeing reason.

Sarah does not think she can blush any deeper than she has already. She can see the heat moving steadily down the length of her arms as she edges out of the bathroom and yes – she can surprisingly blush deeper than she has already. "No, it's okay. It's very generous of you, but I think I'll pass. Do enjoy yourself." She bites her own tongue as an image of how exactly Cameron can enjoy herself comes unbidden – okay, maybe not so unbidden, so sue me – into her mind. "Sorry."

Sarah is so, so close to escaping when Cameron suddenly stands up and reveals herself in full, naked, bubbly – with emphasis on the 'full' and the 'naked' – glory – and oh my, glory is definitely the right word. "I am done. Feel free to use the bath now, Sarah."

Sarah stares, stares and stares. She should be ashamed, really. Cameron is a terminator, sure, but she is also supposed to be her daughter. She does a poor job of masquerading as one, but she still is and Sarah really, really should not be having, and she most definitely should not be entertaining, the thoughts she is having. "No, seriously. I don't mind just waiting a little longer," she squeaks out and Sarah is almost proud with the amount of control she manages to display.

"I insist, Sarah," Cameron says with a disarmingly sweet smile. She turns slightly to look at the bath. "I will clean this up for you right away," she adds and turns and bends. Bubbles still cling stubbornly to the curves and dips of her body, but the view is most assuredly unhindered. It does not help that Cameron is standing there like she is unaware that she is completely naked, like she is unaware that she is fully on display here.

Sarah does not know whether she should be giving thanks or maybe she should be begging for forgiveness. She only knows that she is more than relieved when her legs finally give way and she falls down to the cold, cold floor. She never quite understands the sentiment before, but she can honestly say now – with the experience she has just had, she can die happy. Then the blackness comes and she falls into it gratefully.

"Please tell me I did not faint," Sarah murmurs thickly, her eyes still closed, but she suspects she is in her bed, in her bedroom and the slightly damp feeling on her forehead is probably a compress.

"You did faint," Cameron replies.

Sarah groans and covers her face with her hands. "I can just die now," she whispers.

"Why?" Cameron asks, sounding almost comical with the degree of alarm she manages to convey.

"I'm so embarrassed," Sarah hisses.

Cameron falls quiet for a moment of contemplation and then she reaches forward to pull Sarah's hands away from her face. Holding them in both of hers, she smiles and enunciates clearly, "I think it is very cute that you fainted."

Sarah groans out loud once again. "That's very helpful."

"You were very cute. Your reactions were cute, but you were cuter," Cameron persists and Sarah does not know that Cameron can be this cruel.

"Shut up," she grumbles.

"Thank you," Cameron cuts in.

Sarah looks up and frowns slightly at the sudden non sequitur. "What for?"

Cameron leans in and drops a chaste, hesitant kiss on Sarah's lips. It tastes, feels like how first kisses should: innocent and gentle and Sarah is beyond touched by it. "I have been dropping hints here and there, but I thought you were not interested. I came very close to giving up hope. When you called out my name and murmured what exactly was going on in your dream, I knew -"

Sarah slaps her hand over Cameron's lips and, once she is assured that Cameron is not going to say more embarrassing things, she pulls Cameron towards her by her ears. "Shut up and just kiss me."

"Whenever, wherever," Cameron whispers before she presses her lips against Sarah's one more time.

Sarah wants to tell Cameron that feeding her cheesy lines like that will not work, wants so badly to pay her back for embarrassing her like that – but hey, what can she say? The lines are working and when a girl like Cameron is kissing you, you really should just shut up and kiss back.

The End

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