DISCLAIMER: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and its characters are the propert of James Cameron and Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for Challenge #203 ~ Fear at femslash100.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Fear of Tomorrow
By shyath


"Are you - afraid?"

Sarah's immediate reaction is to scoff at the question Cameron poses. It is only when she finally turns to face the terminator that she understands that Cameron has put forth the question with all seriousness. Sarah thinks of asking Cameron to elaborate, to explain what she means – because Sarah is afraid of many things (even if she will not admit this to anyone) and she is not sure which one Cameron has sought to bring to public.

"No," Sarah says grumpily. She frowns and relents in a smaller voice, "Maybe." Blinking away from the sight of Cameron's overly inquisitive eyes, she stares up at the ceiling and suddenly begins to feel the weight of the arm Cameron has resting over her bare stomach. "Yes," she finally whispers.

"I -" Cameron starts but stops. She moves her hand to cup Sarah's cheek to bring the older woman's face towards her. "I can protect you," she tells Sarah - and she sounds a little too earnest (that enthusiasm leaves Sarah uneasy).

"Oh, I know you can," Sarah replies. "But even you have your limitations." Sarah tries to turn away again, but Cameron holds her firmly in place. "You can't protect me from the world, Cameron." She pushes against Cameron's hand and buries her face into Cameron's shoulder. She feels exposed enough without needing to spell her fears out.

"When tomorrow comes," Cameron murmurs against Sarah's hair, "you'll be grateful that everything has come to an end." Cameron exhales and Sarah feels the strong beats of her heart (she has stopped questioning whether or not Cameron's heart is in fact a heart) against her own. "That the fight has ended, that John can now live a normal life, that you can finally rest -"

"Stop," Sarah rasps. She has a feeling she does not want to hear where Cameron's words will end.

"I will be gone, Sarah," Cameron whispers and Sarah wishes there is judgment in her tone (anger, resentment; anything but acknowledgment, acceptance will make it easier).

"Shut up, Cameron," Sarah hisses, her nails clawing into Cameron's skin and her eyes seeing red, maybe white, definitely tears.

"I can protect you," Cameron goes on and Sarah thinks this has to be Cameron's way of punishing her. "I'll have to disappear to do that. You know that."

"Shut up. Please, just shut up," Sarah mumbles, squeezing her eyes shut.

"Sarah," Cameron says and she is so gentle with her words and her caresses she breaks Sarah's heart, "I want you to live in a world without fears." She pauses and corrects herself, "At least a world without fears that are hell-bent on terminating you."

Sarah wants to tell Cameron that terminators are no longer the biggest of her fears, that maybe - just maybe a tomorrow with no Cameron in it has now become the worst of her fears. But instead she tells Cameron once more, "Shut up." And she hopes, prays that tomorrow does not come too quickly.

The End

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