DISCLAIMER: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and its characters are the propert of James Cameron and Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Takes place after 1x04: Heavy Metal. Thanks so much to grumpybear1031 and frogfarm for the beta reads!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Sarah needed to keep reminding herself that Cameron was a cyborg. A robot. A machine. Not a real, live, breathing, wanting, feeling person. Because those last parts, the wanting and the feeling... Sarah knew that she was the only one of the two of them to experience those two particular things.
Sarah hadn't been this attracted to a woman since her freshman year of college, when she met Rachel, the cute girl with the even cuter British accent. Again, Sarah caught herself. Cameron wasn't actually a woman, so the statement should really be that Sarah hadn't been this attracted to a cyborg since...ever. And Rachel could remain at the top of Sarah's relatively short list of same-sex human attractions.
Even so, Sarah needed to find a way to ignore how her heart beat faster whenever Cameron was around. She needed all of her attention focused on John, on keeping John alive. Anything else was an unwanted distraction. But still, Sarah always found herself hyper-aware of Cameron's presence. That's why she had shoved Cameron out a window, that one time. Even as she did it, though, she cursed herself for silently hoping that Cameron would be all right after the long fall. Sarah hoped that if she kept forcing herself to act like Cameron didn't mean anything to her, then maybe her heart would eventually start to believe it.
Cameron herself didn't help, of course. She was so much more human than any other cyborg with which Sarah had ever come into contact. All those awkward attempts at blending in, at seeming more human...Sarah should be annoyed by all the little quirks, but instead she only found them adorably amusing. Plus, Cameron had that unnerving habit of walking around in a less-than-normal amount of clothing.
All her earlier experience with cyborgs had taught Sarah to close herself off from everyone around her. Everyone was a potential threat. But there was something different about Cameron, and Sarah found herself wanting to trust again. It was disconcerting.
Sarah lay in bed, trying to will herself to sleep. Instead, thoughts of Cameron kept running through her head. She couldn't help listening for signs of the girl. Cameron never slept, as she often reminded them, so there was almost always the sound of Cameron pacing steadily around the house.
She heard only silence, though. But silence was no comfort to Sarah. Silence only made her feel alone. Silence only made her feel nervous.
Sure that sleep would not come, she got up out of bed. First, she went to check on John. She could spend hours watching John sleep. Sometimes she wished that John would sleep for days on end. It was the only time he looked peaceful. It was the only time that she didn't have to worry about him running off and doing something heroically stupid.
Sarah went and sat on his bed, ever so lightly running her hand though his hair. When she found that her hand was shaking, she drew it away, holding it tightly in her lap. She had almost lost him today. If it weren't for Cameron, she most surely would have lost him.
When Sarah felt the threat of oncoming tears, she leaned down to kiss John on the forehead and then quietly left the room. Leaning against the wall, she drew in several deep, shaky breaths. Now was not the time to give in to her fear. If she let herself cry, then she might not ever be able to stop.
In search of distraction, Sarah decided to go looking for Cameron. A dangerous move, perhaps, but Sarah was restless.
She found her in the kitchen, reading something.
"So, girlie... What are you up to tonight? Find any new clues about anything?"
Cameron didn't even bother looking up. Sarah guessed that Cameron had probably sensed her presence even before her entrance into the room.
"I'm reading your high school yearbook."
This answer startled Sarah. "You're reading my high school yearbook?"
"Why?" Sarah wasn't sure that she liked the idea of Cameron looking through her past.
"I want to understand you better. You intrigue me."
Sarah raised one amused eyebrow. "I intrigue you?"
"Yes. You keep repeating my statements in the form of a question. Am I not speaking loud enough?" Cameron finally looked up, staring right into Sarah's eyes. "You intrigue me. Confuse me. Fascinate me. Interest me. Puzzle me. Attr--"
"Ok, ok, I get the point. So, I take it you've finished reading the dictionary and have moved on to the thesaurus?"
"It's strange. Having so many words that all mean the same thing. Sometimes I worry that I'll pick the wrong one."
Unsure of what to do next, Sarah nodded her head towards the yearbook. "Well did it work? Do you understand me now?"
Cameron's eyes returned to the page in front of her. "No. Not yet."
"Why do you want to understand me, anyway? You're here to protect John. You don't need to worry about me. Just focus on John."
"Yes, I am here to protect John. But protecting John involves working with you, and we will work better together if I understand you. Besides, your John is much less interesting than the John that I know. John in the future is a lot more complex than John as a teenager. You are complex; even more so than the future John. And complexity in humans intrigues me. You intrigue me."
Cameron closed the yearbook and placed it on the table, coming around to stand opposite Sarah. Cameron's choice of clothes was now fully visible -- a small black tank top and bright pink boy shorts. The outfit didn't leave much to the imagination. Sarah felt her eyes involuntarily sweep across Cameron's body. Her heart rate increased. Her throat felt dry. A jolt of arousal shot through her. Maybe looking for Cameron in the dead of night hadn't been the best idea.
A small smile appeared on Cameron's face. "Maybe I do understand you."
Sarah swallowed audibly. Cameron was obviously able to read all of her physiological reactions. Reactions that added up to an annoying but powerful attraction that Sarah really wished she didn't feel.
"I should go," Sarah murmured, but still made no move to actually leave. She found herself mesmerized by the intense blue of Cameron's eyes.
"It is late," Cameron commented, as if she had forgotten that most people weren't usually awake at 3am. "Why are you not sleeping?"
"You'd think that one insomniac would be able to understand another."
"I don't sleep because I don't need to. You need sleep."
Sarah sighed. Knowing that she needed sleep was quite different from being able to actually get any sleep. "Well, I suppose that's the difference between 'don't sleep' and 'can't sleep.' You don't sleep; I can't. My mind doesn't have an on/off switch, unfortunately, and sometimes I can't get my mind to shut up."
The way that Cameron was looking at her only increased Sarah's arousal. An intense gaze, focused entirely on Sarah. "You need to relax. You won't be able to sleep until you relax."
With that pronouncement, Cameron began walking towards Sarah, causing Sarah to retreat until her back hit the wall. Cameron stopped less than a foot away. Sarah's heart was really racing now. "I don't know what you had in mind, but your relaxation technique could use some work."
"I want to test out a hypothesis," Cameron answered.
Instead of moving away, as Sarah had hoped she would, Cameron only closed the small distance between them, finishing by bringing her lips to Sarah's.
Too shocked to move at first, Sarah simply stood there, wide-eyed, before reaching up and roughly pushing against Cameron. She remained still for a moment, Sarah's full strength having no effect, before taking a step back. "What are you doing??" Sarah demanded, an element of panic in her voice.
"You are angry with me. I thought this was what you desired." Cameron looked genuinely confused, and even a little hurt.
"Look, it's not that simple. What I desire and what can actually happen are two very different things, Cameron."
"They don't have to be. They shouldn't have to be." Cameron looked as if she were about to move in again, and Sarah found that she didn't really want to stop her.
Still, she found some amount of restraint, and managed to put her hands up, shielding herself from Cameron.
Cameron stopped obediently this time. Sarah didn't quite understand what made Cameron follow some of her orders, even unspoken ones like this, but not others. It seemed that Cameron would do what Sarah wanted, unless it went counter to some explicit order from "future John," a man whom Sarah didn't know yet.
They stood there, staring wordlessly at each other for several moments, until Cameron broke the silence. "You reject my proposed method of relaxation. I still do not understand you, Sarah Connor. You should get some sleep."
And with that, Cameron turned and walked from the room, leaving Sarah to sink down against the wall. She brushed her fingers across her lips, still in amazement about what had just happened.
Sarah had wanted to remind herself that Cameron wasn't human. But now, she could add the softness of her lips, and the feel of her firm body, and the occasional tenderness in her voice to the list of things that Sarah knew about Cameron.
Sarah had a feeling that her need for reminders wasn't going to be ending anytime soon.
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