DISCLAIMER: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and its characters are the propert of James Cameron and Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: A sequel to 'Kissing Sarah Connor', 'Give Me A Kiss (And More)' and 'Kissing Cameron'.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Just The Two Of Us
The summer air hangs heavy and hot and awkward between the two of them - swelling and sweating and positively bloated (and it takes such an effort to keep breathing). It makes for the metaphorical image of a balloon on the verge of exploding.
"No, not this weekend," Sarah says firmly and she shakes her head as if Cameron needs the additional visual to comprehend what Sarah is trying to convey (and Sarah imagines this is when the balloon goes pop). "Absolutely not. Just - just no."
Cameron stares at Sarah like the older woman has lost her mind - or worse. "Yes," she says in her monotone and there is a fleeting spark of something that looks, feels too much like a challenge.
"Can't you just drop it?" Sarah murmurs, suddenly tired and she closes her eyes, drops her face forward. The slightly slick surface of the kitchen counter (and Sarah tries not to dwell on why the counter might be wet to start with) feels heavenly against her skin. "Honestly, just drop it."
"You promised," Cameron reminds her and the terminator sounds like she is about to whine. "You have told me no twice before this. When are you going to say yes?"
"I know what I promised," Sarah answers in a deflated voice and she refuses to look up (and at Cameron). "Just stop pushing me."
"In the future," Cameron starts telling Sarah and her voice grows detached (and a little more mechanical) as she goes off on what sounds to Sarah like a non sequitur. "John told me that I must keep my promises, that I cannot break promises I have made. He told me that it was something he learned from you, that Sarah Connor never broke a promise." Sarah looks up in (morbid) curiosity and watches the rather robotic glaze Cameron's eyes take as she accesses her memory banks for snippets of the future (which is really in the past, except it is not - but trying to understand whether the future can really be called the future or not is just plain confusing). "It seems like you are about to break a promise."
"I didn't say I don't want to. I've just been - busy," Sarah offers vaguely, lamely and she feels like she is expelling hot air (is being suffused with summer heat and the briefness of the season - like teenage years or soft-serve ice cream or that sparkly, sweet lip gloss Cameron really likes). "Really, really busy," she adds and tries to blink away unnecessary thoughts (like how other parts of Cameron taste like).
Cameron frowns. "You told John that he may go camping with Derek Reese this weekend because we have had no lead whatsoever. It is my assumption that you are to be free this weekend as well."
"Yeah well, I lied to him. You assumed wrong. Didn't it cross your mind that maybe I just didn't want John to tag along wherever it is I might end up going?" Sarah snaps quickly, defensively and the sound of her hands coming down against the counter is loud to her own ears.
"You are avoiding eye contact and you are being defensive," Cameron notes. "Are you lying, Sarah?" Cameron asks as she takes a small step backward. "You did not have to lie if you do not wish to spend the weekend away with me as you have promised." Cameron actually manages to look hurt before walking away and leaving Sarah alone in the kitchen.
Sarah releases the breath she has been unconsciously holding and her body loosens up (crumples a little) in the absence of tension (Cameron). She presses a hand against her erratic heart, closes her eyes and slumps down even further in the stool. She cannot, must not give in like she has a few nights ago, she cannot dwell on empty possibilities and futile wishes but no matter how she tries to justify hurting Cameron, the look of disappointment on Cameron's face remains all too fresh in her mind.
"You seem - down, almost sad," John comments conversationally as he tries (and fails) to keep up with Cameron's faster pace. Actually, the terminator has been downright gloomy. Cameron is never talkative normally, but she has refused to make even the smallest of conversations and the increasingly tense silences during walks to and from school are starting to get on John's nerves.
Cameron levels him with what approximates, in John's humble opinion (and having the mother he does, he thinks he knows how to judge the quality of a glare well enough), a very impressive glare and suddenly (and very cruelly) picks up speed.
"Cameron!" John hisses, almost stumbling as he is torn between trying not to run and realising he has to (or they will just make for a very odd pair and while Cameron probably does not care, John does). "Will you slow down?! Or better yet, stop!"
"What is it?" Cameron says as she stops without a single warning and her tone is polite, a little too polite.
John comes short of bumping straight into Cameron's back (and he is pretty sure it would have hurt like a - a lot). "What is wrong with you?!" he wheezes, putting his hands on his knees as he bends over and tries to catch his breath.
"Nothing," she says and John is surprised to hear the coolness of her voice. "Nothing is wrong with me."
"Are you - sure?" he asks as gently as he can manage.
"Yes," she answers in a clipped tone and looks in the general direction of the school. "We will be late if we do not start walking again."
"We might as well skip school if this is the kind of mood you're going in," John replies, frowning at her.
"Sarah will not be pleased," Cameron responds evenly and there is a subtle stiffness in her jaw when his mother's name slips out of her lips that speaks volumes.
"Then I suggest you start telling me what's bothering you. Is it mom?"
"It's her, isn't it?"
"It is not Sarah Connor."
"Yes, it is. Will you just stop doing - doing whatever it is you're doing and just tell me what mom did to bother you like this?"
Cameron regards John steadily and John fights the urge to shudder at the decidedly clinical manner in which he is being studied. "She made a promise." Cameron looks down. "She does not intend on following the promise through."
"What did she promise?" John asks curiously.
Cameron's jaw clenches (John has never known her to be so - emotional) and she looks like she is not going to answer his question. "A weekend getaway."
Having grown used to Cameron's strange expressions by now, John is under the false impression that what his mom has promised Cameron is the decidedly more innocent variation of a weekend getaway. "That sounds nice."
"No, it does not sound nice," Cameron remarks. "She is not following the promise through," she reminds him. She looks away once more and says flatly, "We will be late if we do not move now."
"I'll talk to her," John tells him, bestowing Cameron a comradely pat on her back as he falls into step next to a less furious terminator. "You'll get your weekend getaway."
"What the hell did you tell John?"
Cameron's bedroom door slams shut behind Sarah and the terminator turns slowly, carefully. "I merely told John that you made me a promise and you are set on breaking the promise."
Sarah glares at her and crosses her arms over her chest. "You told on me? What are you - five?"
"No, just desperate." Cameron wants to get closer, close enough to touch and hold (then maybe Sarah will change her mind).
Sarah looks at her sceptically, a little more softly. "You don't look very desperate to me, girlie."
"If I were to look exactly the way I feel inside, I would be quite the mess to behold," Cameron answers calmly. She is not lying though. Cameron is sure her system is going to overload soon enough from all the things it is trying so hard to process.
Sarah sighs in exasperation and uncrosses her arms to run her fingers through her hair. "Cameron, what are you trying to do here?"
"I simply want you to follow your promise through." A pause. "I simply want us to spend some time together without the mission hanging over our heads. Just the two of us."
"Cameron, I can't. I just can't." And there is that familiar hue of pleading (fear) in Sarah's eyes that she only gets (shows) when she is startled awake by a nightmare.
Cameron's eyes are restless as she tries to think of an appropriate response. She longs to look away - it hurts so much to maintain eye contact - and something burns behind her eyes. "You can. Please. I think - I will break otherwise."
"It's going to take a lot more than little old me to break you, Tin Miss," Sarah jokes and there is an insincere smile sitting on her lips.
"Then you must not know me very well, Sarah Connor," Cameron remarks. She looks up slowly to meet Sarah's eyes and her voice is admirably steady when she speaks again, "Please leave."
Sarah's eyes widen a little and she looks like she has not heard Cameron, like she wants to say something.
"Please leave, Sarah. I wish to be alone."
"Cameron, you -"
Sarah leaves slowly, reluctantly and she keeps her eyes on Cameron's all the while.
Cameron's hand comes up to her cheeks and she does not know whether to be surprised or not to know they are wet.
"Be nice to her, okay?" John tells his mom before leaning in to kiss her on both cheeks.
"I can't promise anything." He looks reproachfully at her and she amends, "I will however make sure she stays in one piece."
"Good enough for me," he tells her. "See you then." He throws her a grin, slings his backpack over one shoulder and turns around to join his uncle.
Sarah watches the jeep pull out of the driveway and keeps on watching until she is sure she cannot see it anymore. The door creaks open behind her and Sarah has to remind herself to relax when she feels Cameron's presence. "Hey," she says and it sounds so awkward she wishes she could take the word back.
"Hello, Sarah," Cameron says evenly as she positions herself right next to the older woman on the porch.
Sarah steals a glance at the terminator and is relieved to see that there is no sign that the terminator is on the verge of breaking into tears - or any other emotional revelations. "So - here we are."
"A weekend alone," Cameron remarks. "Even though you tried so hard to avoid this scenario."
"I wasn't exactly - avoiding it," Sarah murmurs and winces at the stiff way the words come tumbling out of her lips.
"No," Cameron acknowledges, "you simply left me hanging." And she sounds so bitter, so much more human than she should ever be allowed.
"I will prepare lunch," Cameron interrupts and turns promptly to head back inside.
Sarah wonders absently, as she watches the tense set of Cameron's shoulders, what she would have said if Cameron had allowed her to finish her sentence.
Lunch is a quiet affair okay, maybe that is a little bit of an understatement. Cameron does the dishes (in that eerily efficient way of hers) while Sarah eats. She knows by sight and experience that the food Cameron has prepared must taste good (anything compared to her own cooking must taste good), but the moment the food touches her tongue it tastes bitter, unsavoury and she simply cannot force herself to finish. "I'm done," Sarah announces, pushing the plate away.
Cameron turns (the apron she has on has 'Kiss the Cook' emblazoned across it in loud colours) to regard Sarah. She glances down at Sarah's barely eaten plate and asks, "Is there something disagreeable with the food?"
"No," Sarah answers, shaking her head and she wills Cameron to look at her. "The food's great."
"It cannot be that great if you did not finish it," Cameron comments and steps closer to the dining table.
"I'm just not very hungry," Sarah murmurs, fidgeting in her seat.
"You did not have breakfast. You have to finish lunch," Cameron tells her firmly, a frown creasing the space between her eyebrows.
"You don't have to take care of me just because John told you to!" Sarah explodes and the idea hurts a little (even if she is merely venting a suspicion).
Cameron looks like she has just been slapped and there is a hint of irritation in her voice when she speaks again, "I have told you before. John gave me a choice to make. He told me that you and your well-being were and are my choices to make. I made my choice." Cameron leans down to pick up Sarah's plate. "So do not think that I care for you because of something John told me in the future."
Cameron makes to move away with Sarah's plate, but Sarah's hand shoots out to stop her. "Let me finish," she tells her in a soft, chagrined voice. "And I'm sorry." Sarah forces herself to continue, "Will you please sit with me while I eat?"
"I will," Cameron answers after what feels like ages.
"Thank you," Sarah responds as civilly as she can manage. Bringing the plate closer to her once more, she braves herself to smile at Cameron. It leaves her quite uneasy how insanely happy she is to have Cameron smile back in response.
"What are you watching?" Sarah asks and her voice sounds strange floating, breaking across the perfect stillness of the living room (punctuated only by the murmuring of the television the volume has been turned down so low that Sarah can hardly make out what they are saying, but Cameron is sure to have no such problem with her enhanced hearing).
"Nothing," Cameron replies promptly, but she does not turn around to look at Sarah (and if it were anyone else, Sarah would have suspected that they were angry with her Cameron probably is, but that is besides the point). "Nothing in particular."
Sarah pads uncertainly forward and her bare feet feel heavy to move. She stops right behind where Cameron sits ramrod straight on the couch and suppresses a smile to see the depression Cameron's deceptive weight makes in the couch.
Shifting her weight from one foot to the other, Sarah takes a deep breath. She has spent the entire afternoon on introspection, on what she really wants, on who she really wants and the who so happens to be Cameron. She can spend hours trying to justify why Cameron cannot be right for her, why nothing should ever happen between the two of them. But something has happened and she cannot, would not have it any other way. It's now or never, Sarah tells herself.
"You must be watching something," Sarah murmurs softly and her fingers twitch as she reaches out her hands to that expanse of bare skin, to that expanse of Cameron's bare skin. Just stop fighting it.
Cameron's intake of breath sounds sudden but anticipated, sounds sharp and painfully human and it sends a thrill down Sarah's spine, gives her that courage to rest her hands flat (heavy) on Cameron's shoulders. "Sarah -"
"No, keep watching," Sarah breathes (stops Cameron from turning around, she needs to do this at her own pace, not Cameron's) and her eyes eagerly trail the path her thumbs set on up and down the sides of Cameron's neck, so, so close to that throbbing pulse she can barely see but definitely feel. "Tell me," Sarah purrs, leaning closer and liking the way goose bumps rise where her breath falls on Cameron's skin. "What are you watching?" When Cameron fails to answer her, Sarah says again, "Tell me."
"L-late night show," Cameron answers, her voice sounding thick, needy and Sarah decides that she likes a stuttering Cameron very much.
"Oh, yeah? What's it about?" Sarah asks conversationally, pressing against that racing pulse in Cameron's neck (finally) and hovering her lips over, around the curve of Cameron's ear.
"Moraldegradationofthecurrentyouthgeneration," Cameron says in one breath, squirming in her seat. "Sarah -"
"Moral degradation, is it?" Sarah remarks, chuckling against Cameron's ear and pulling away from Cameron's questing hands. She decides to end the torture a little by pressing a light kiss against Cameron's ear, but moves quickly away once Cameron begins to sidle closer. "I wonder what could have prompted them to discuss such an issue," she murmurs jokingly, moving a hand down and dangerously close to the tops of Cameron's breasts.
"Y-yeah," Cameron says, trying in vain to get Sarah to move where she most needs her.
"Well, what are they saying now?" Sarah whispers into Cameron's reddening ear, trailing her hand down to tug at the ends of Cameron's skimpy top.
Cameron makes as if to take off the top, but Sarah shakes her head in warning and Cameron stays obediently put once more. "They're saying the youth of today is indulging excessively in extramarital sex."
Sarah actually bursts out laughing at that. "That's a good one." She moves her free hand down and squeezes experimentally at Cameron's breast. "What do you think?" She brushes her lips lightly against Cameron's neck. "Do you think the youth of today is indulging too excessively in extramarital sex?"
Cameron tries to press further into Sarah's hand, but Sarah seems intent on touching everywhere and lingering nowhere. Sighing in exasperation, Cameron turns to face Sarah and she says firmly, "I think you should shut up and kiss me."
Sarah's eyes sparkle mischievously and she replies before leaning in to press her lips against Cameron's, "I thought you'd never ask."
Sarah pants and tries (and fails) to push Cameron away. "Stop, C-Cameron. Please, stop," she croaks.
Cameron looks up from Sarah's crotch, where she has recently lavished her most undivided attention and proven how much of a quick study she really is (and she really is), and tilts her head slightly. "You wish me to stop?" she asks. "I was under the impression that you were enjoying our physical intimacy very much."
"I was. I really was," Sarah gasps, gesturing for Cameron to move up. "You were amazing," she whispers, patting Cameron on the cheek affectionately. "You are amazing," she corrects herself.
A small, almost shy smile blooms on Cameron's lips. "Really?"
"Really," Sarah assures the terminator. "But we've been going at it for three hours and I need a break." Sarah closes her eyes and would have dozed off to sleep.
"This this is not a one-time thing, is it?"
Sarah cracks an eye open and looks at Cameron, really looks at her. Cameron looks torn between hope and common sense, and the resulting expression tugs at Sarah's heart. "No." She pulls Cameron close and presses their foreheads together. "I tried to stay away from you, I really did." She sighs and chuckles when Cameron blinks when her breath hits the terminator in the eye. "It obviously didn't work."
Cameron smiles gently and Sarah smiles back in reflex. "Next weekend," Cameron starts, "can we I mean, you and me uhm, just the two of us?"
Sarah lets an indulgent smile grace her lips and whispers in reply, "Yeah, just the two of us."
Something fierce fleets across Cameron's eyes and she husks suddenly, "I wish to re-initiate our physical intimacy."
Sarah wants to chuckle, but it is simply one of those moments that demands tears instead. Choking back a sob, she replies, "Please." And she leans into Cameron's body when the terminator's fingers find that perfect spot once more inside of Sarah.
Just the two of them sounds like a wonderful idea.
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