DISCLAIMER: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and its characters are the propert of James Cameron and Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The epilogue I promised; hopefully it helps ease the pain.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SERIES: Epilogue to the Mixed Emotions series.

Low Tide
By zennie


It was their last night together, although neither of them knew it.

Sarah looks up from her papers as Cameron eases the door closed behind her, leaning back against the door to study the woman hunched over the foot of the bed that doubled as a desk. It had been days since they had gotten any quiet time together, and tonight, the first slow night in a week, Sarah is not surprised to find the terminator sneaking into her room the moment the boys are asleep.

Cameron glares, pointedly, at the papers spread out on the bed. "Are you done?"

A half-smile threatens as Sarah regards the terminator. "I'm never done," she says as Cameron pouts, an expression she learned weeks ago with devastating consequences for Sarah's ability to say no to the girl. The grin erupts, full-formed, as Sarah cannot continue her teasing with a straight face, "But I could take a break."

Cameron nods, stiffly. Although some of her movements have taken on a human fluidity, she still retains a residual robotic jerkiness that no longer reminds Sarah of metal beneath the surface, but rather of Cameron's evolving journey. "Good," Cameron states; she steps forward and whips the coverlet off the bed, which sends the papers flying in all directions.

"Hey!" Sarah cries, seeing hours of work scatter in one fell swoop, "I had those sorted." She reaches out to gather the pages off the floor, but is distracted by the sound of a zipper. Turning, she sees Cameron paused, her fingers hooked in the waistband of her jeans, a gleam in her eye, waiting for Sarah's attention to focus on her. Sarah settles back on the bed, perched on the edge as Cameron slowly begins to work her tight jeans down her legs.

In the intervening weeks since Sarah had stopped fighting her feelings for the terminator, Cameron had blossomed. It had been a slow, subtle transformation, but she was learning to be more human; she was even learning to pick up on humor and tease and laugh. Sometimes, she took Sarah's breath away with those small, shy, smiles.

Sarah was not sure when she went from labeling their time together fucking to having sex to something akin to making love. Sarah hadn't said the words, and Cameron hadn't either, but sometimes Sarah looked in those hazel eyes and saw it, a warm light that no one could ever program. She wasn't sure how living tissue over a collection of circuits and metal could love, but she had stopped doubting the veracity of Cameron's feelings. And her own.

It was so wrong, yet so very, very right, all at the same time.

In world gone crazy, Cameron made perfect sense. The same way the first terminator protector made a perfect father for John, Cameron was her perfect lover, able to withstand the pressure and chaos of Sarah's life without blinking an eye. Equal parts fierce warrior and tender lover, Cameron stood at her side when they fought and held her when the nightmare life they lived threatened to overwhelm her. She wasn't sure if future John had known, but he had sent back the perfect counterpoint to balance Sarah's life. And in the quiet moments, like now, Sarah thanked him for it.

Cameron finishes pulling off her jeans and casts a worried look at the distracted, thoughtful expression on Sarah's face. Before she can say anything, though, Sarah shakes her head and beckons Cameron closer with a soft grin. Catching the hem of Cameron's t-shirt, she hastens the slow striptease, smiling a little at Cameron's pouting disapproval. "Bed," Sarah commands, "now."

And Cameron does as she is told, to a point, pulling off Sarah's shirt, pressing her back and lying on top of her. But once there she settles for light, teasing kisses and a slow, torturous journey down Sarah's body. Sarah feels the loosening at her waist as Cameron unsnaps and unzips her jeans, but Cameron takes her time sliding them down Sarah's legs, her fingers more tickling than seducing.

Sarah groans in frustration as Cameron strokes her hips gently, without the sense of urgency that has been building in Sarah since the moment Cameron slipped into her room. "I don't think I can wait…"

"You'll like it better if I take my time." Cameron gets stubborn about this, occasionally. Sometimes when Sarah just wants a quick fuck so then she can settle down and curl around Cameron's body, Cameron insists on taking her time. Cameron has perfect recall in those circuits of hers, but sometimes Sarah would swear that every time Cameron touches her, for Cameron, it is the first time.

"I will, will I?" Sarah questions with mock-grumpiness.

"Yes, you will."

Sarah collapses back against the pillows, stifling a groan as Cameron moves to tease her inner thigh. "Aren't robots supposed to take orders from their human masters?"

She can feel Cameron's lips curve into a smile against her thigh, but the terminator's voice is a serious monotone when she speaks. "Yes, robots are." Then her voice warms as she continues, each word punctuated with a kiss or a sharp nibble against the sensitive skin of Sarah's thigh, "But… I… am… a… cybernetic… organism… Cyberdyne… Systems… model… number…"

"Cameron, please…" Sarah moans. She feels the bed move as Cameron shifts, and Sarah looks down her body at Cameron perched between her legs, looking back at her with a pair of sparkling eyes and an impish grin.

"Cybernetic organisms do accept requests and/or begging from their human counterparts," she explains pertly.

Sarah falls back to the pillows again, wondering if Cameron's development of a sense of humor is actually a good thing. "Then I humbly request that you get on with it."

Cameron chuckles, but her fingers curl around Sarah's hips as she kisses her way up Sarah's thigh and dives in, her earlier slowness abandoned as she holds Sarah in an iron grip and her tongue drives Sarah, swiftly, surely, over the edge.

She slides up and watches Sarah recover, propping her head up on her elbow and toying with Sarah's stomach, feeling Sarah, even satiated, tremble under her touch. She cannot get enough of looking at Sarah, of touching her, and she likes to be slow in their lovemaking to savor every moment they are together. She knows it cannot last, so she stockpiles these moments against their inevitable conclusion like it is her mission, secondary only to protecting John.

Sarah wipes at the drying sweat on her forehead and then reaches up to caress Cameron's cheek and draw the terminator's attention to her. "What?" she asks of the faraway look in Cameron's eyes.

"I…" Cameron begins and then stops. She has learned to not speak everything that flashes through her mind, so she stops herself from speaking words that Sarah may not be ready to hear. "I like taking my time," she says instead, sticking her lip out in an exaggerated pout.

"In a few minutes," Sarah promises, feathering her fingers over Cameron's breast and watching Cameron's stomach contract in response. "But first…" she rolls up and onto Cameron, capturing Cameron's lips in the first of a series of breathtaking kisses.

In moments like this, when it's just the two of them and when Sarah's hands are on her body, Cameron feels almost human, like Pinocchio come to life. She feels the architecture of her programming fade, like she is viewing it from a vast distance, and its hold on her thoughts ease. She thinks this is what it's like to be a human and grow, to gain wisdom and perspective with age and new experience. At times like this, her programming is like a human's DNA; a mere possible blueprint of all she can hope to be.

This is Sarah's gift to her, beyond trust and love. She makes her human.

So as Sarah begins a similar, unhurried journey down Cameron's body, Cameron feels no need to urge to hasten Sarah's slow exploration, irregardless of the pressure built up in her stomach, like a tide held back from breaking for far too long. She wants this moment to last as long as humanly possible.

The End

This part is named for 'Low Tide of the Night' by Everything but the Girl.

Inside out in the daytime / Wrong at the right time / I wanna know I'm good for you / Outside in in the night time / Right at the wrong time / I wanna know I'm good to you

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