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 1x07: The Demon Hand. A continuation of Reminders and Welcome to the Club.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Somewhere In Between
The day had finally come. The day when John realized that Sarah wasn't quite as infallible as he had once believed. Sarah felt both heartbreak and relief, and it was still a toss-up as to which emotion would win out.
On one hand, Sarah wished that John could remain blind to her faults; that when he looked in her eyes, he would still see a hero. John's earlier refusal to see her as anything less than perfect was part of an innocence that Sarah wished John could hold on to forever. Sarah was far from perfect. But wouldn't life be easier if John didn't know that?
On the other hand, however, Sarah couldn't help but be relieved. It took some of the pressure off, in a way. The secret was out, now: sometimes, Sarah screwed up. It didn't mean that she'd ever stop loving him, though. As long as John knew that, they'd be all right.
Sarah's musings were interrupted by Derek, who entered the garage in an obvious agitation. He glanced down at the burning hand, before looking back and forth between Sarah and John.
He pointed wildly back towards the house. "That...that thing...she's...it's..."
Sarah rolled her eyes at Derek's lack of eloquence. "Just spit it out, Reese. What'd she do now?" Normally, Sarah would be more concerned by such obvious distress. But the fact that Cameron was freaking Derek out was nothing new.
"She's... Just come look, ok?"
Sarah was actually somewhat curious, now. She wondered what could be so bad that Derek didn't even want to say it out loud. John, looking somewhat less morose than earlier, said, "Go ahead, Mom. I'll finish up here."
Giving John a smile and a kiss on the cheek, Sarah then followed Derek back into the house. She noticed the music as soon as she walked in the door. Classical music wasn't exactly commonplace in the Connor household.
Derek nodded his head towards the source of the music, with an expression of confusion mixed with horror on his face. Looking into the room, Sarah was confronted with a sight she never thought she'd see.
Cameron was dancing. And it was...beautiful.
Cameron moved with an ease and elegance that belied her mechanical structure. Sarah understood immediately why Derek was so disturbed by this. If a machine could do what Cameron was doing...then was there any sphere of life that could remain strictly human?
But, though Sarah briefly felt Derek's revulsion, she was also extremely moved by the scene in front of her. She was slightly embarrassed to feel tears gathering, though she managed to not let them fall. They weren't tears of sadness. They were tears of...Sarah didn't know what, exactly. In Sarah's world, the appearance of pure grace was so rare, that Sarah couldn't help but be grateful for this reminder that beauty was still out there, regardless of the source.
What was it that Cameron had said earlier? "Dance is the hidden language of the soul." If that were true, then maybe Sarah was witnessing the birth of Cameron's soul, finally coming out from hiding.
Pulling herself together, Sarah dragged her eyes away from Cameron's form and, with a quick glance towards Derek, strode back outside, pausing to release the breath she hadn't quite realized she'd been holding.
She wasn't surprised to find Derek right at her heels. "Well?? What are you going to do about that thing?" he demanded.
"I'm not going to do anything about her, actually. She's helping us, and as long as ballet doesn't get in the way of saving the world, then I have no problem with it."
Derek released an incredulous laugh. "How can you have no problem with it? I just don't understand... How can you stand here and tell me that you have no problem working with a cyborg? They exist for the sole purpose of killing us, not helping us!"
Sarah ran a tense hand through her hair. She didn't even know how to answer that question. She had no logical answer. "I trust her," was all she could think of to say.
This answer only seemed to upset Derek more. "Trust her? That's the most insane thing I've heard in a long time! You shouldn't be trusting anyone, let alone a machine like that!"
"I don't expect you to understand. But I don't owe you any explanations. If you can't deal with the way I run things, then you can just leave. We were doing well enough before we found you," Sarah replied, a cold intensity to her voice.
Sarah turned and went back inside the house. She shut the door immediately behind her, unsubtly letting Derek know that she didn't want to talk with him anymore. Sarah thought about going to watch Cameron some more, but forced herself to move up the stairs and to her own room. She stood in front of her window, staring outside without really seeing anything. All her focus was turned inwards, on her own thoughts.
Derek kept asking too many questions. Sarah didn't owe anything to him, it was true, but the real reason that Sarah didn't say much was that she didn't even have an explanation for herself.
Cameron still scared her. Just like all cyborgs scared her. But Cameron was different, somehow. And trust...trust was one of those things that made Sarah human. Machines didn't need trust, but people did. And as much as Sarah hated to admit it, she couldn't do this all on her own.
Cameron was a machine, there was no denying that. But she was a machine that, in order to fulfill her mission, was doing all she could to become more human. With a start, Sarah realized that she had thought of Cameron as "becoming" more human, not simply "acting" that way. She didn't know if it were possible, for a machine to become human. But if anyone could do it, Cameron could.
And Sarah? Sarah was human, but in order to survive, she was doing all that she could to become more of a machine in some ways. Cameron had blurred that line; humans and machines weren't always direct opposites. So maybe it was a huge mistake, but Sarah trusted Cameron. Because sometimes it felt like the two of them weren't really all that different. They both lived in that space somewhere in between machine and person, between being alive and being dead.
The music downstairs stopped abruptly, and Sarah heard footsteps on the stairs. She slowly turned and found the very subject of her thoughts leaning casually against her doorframe. Cameron was still dressed in the same outfit she had been dancing in, and Sarah's eyes were immediately drawn to the stretch of bare skin that was visible below the bottom of her shirt.
Not knowing what else to say, Sarah commented, "You're a very good dancer."
Cameron smiled happily. "Thank you."
"What was the music?"
"Nocturne in C-sharp Minor, by Frédéric Chopin, a well-known Polish composer, born in 1810 and died in 1849. It was written in 1830, but was not published until 1875. The piece is written primarily in 4/4 time, and uses a standard A-B-A format. Chopin was a major composer of the 'Romantic' musical tradition. A nocturne is a type of composition, often evocative of the night. Chopin is the composer most widely associated with the nocturne, although it was first used by John Field, an Irish composer."
Sarah smirked at Cameron's detailed response. She should have known to expect more than a simple title.
After a brief pause, Cameron added, "The music is hella tight."
The comment caused Sarah's grin to widen. "Well, I might not use those same exact words, but yes, it's quite nice."
Sarah leaned comfortably back against the wall, content to simply observe Cameron, who shifted slightly, mimicking Sarah's stance.
"You are significantly more relaxed around me than you have been previously. Does this mean..." Cameron hesitated briefly. "Does this mean that I no longer frighten you?"
Sarah frowned, considering the question. The girl had a point. Sarah was certainly more at ease around Cameron lately. In fact, she'd even go so far as to say that she enjoyed Cameron's company. At least, more so than Derek's. Still, she could never fully forget what Cameron really was.
"You will always frighten me." The words came out softly, calmly. Sarah wasn't being overtly aggressive. She was simply stating a fact.
Still, Cameron flinched and immediately looked down at her feet. Obviously, this wasn't the response that Cameron had been hoping for. "Oh," she mumbled. "I understand."
Without thinking, Sarah walked across the room, stopping directly in front of Cameron. She lifted her hand, brushing her fingers beneath Cameron's chin and gently urging Cameron's gaze upward.
Cameron looked up at her with such wide, expressive eyes. Sarah felt herself practically leaning in towards her, wanting to be closer. This was the danger of allowing herself to become more comfortable -- after managing to push down her attraction to Cameron, it had been surging back lately, now stronger than ever.
"Yes, you still frighten me. But that's only one small part of how I feel about you, Cameron. You..." Sarah stopped, unsure of what to say next. How could she possibly express the complicated emotions she felt in regards to Cameron? Her thoughts flew back to the last time the two of them had found themselves so close together. "You intrigue me too," Sarah continued.
At that, a small smile appeared on Cameron's face, and before Sarah knew what was happening, Cameron lurched forward, closing the distance between them and covering Sarah's lips with her own.
At first, all Sarah felt was shock. She gripped tightly onto Cameron's upper arms, stuck between pulling Cameron closer and pushing her away.
But soon, Sarah's brain managed to catch up with her surroundings, taking in the sensation of being pressed up against Cameron's warm body. And as a jolt of awareness shot through her, Sarah quickly stepped back and out from between Cameron's arms. Cameron actually whimpered slightly at the loss of contact, staying perfectly still for a moment, before her eyes fluttered open.
"Why...what was.... Why did you do that?" Sarah stammered. She was breathing heavily, her heart pounding firmly in her chest.
Cameron's expression was unreadable as she replied calmly, "When I told you that you intrigued me, that night in the kitchen, I wanted to kiss you. So, I thought this meant that you wanted to kiss me. Is that what you meant?"
Cameron gazed expectantly -- hopefully -- into Sarah's eyes. Sarah simply blinked. All she had to do was say 'No.' Say that Cameron was mistaken, and that she should stay the hell away from her. That was all Sarah had to do.
She took a deep breath.
It came out as barely a whisper, but there was no doubt that Cameron heard her. Within a split second, Cameron stepped forward once again, and their lips collided together. Sarah buried her hands in Cameron's hair, as she felt strong arms wrap around her back. If she was going to give in to this, she was going to give in wholeheartedly.
Somehow, Sarah vaguely realized that they were still standing in the open doorway of her room, so she moved backwards, silently urging Cameron to come with her. She kicked the door closed, and kept moving until her back hit the wall behind her. Meanwhile, they still had not broken the kiss.
Cameron pushed firmly against Sarah, creating solid pressure all along Sarah's body. Cameron could easily crush her, Sarah knew, but the thought didn't worry her. Because even though Cameron could, Sarah also knew that Cameron wouldn't.
When Sarah's lungs were burning with the need for oxygen, she finally tore her lips away from Cameron's. Cameron promptly dropped her head to Sarah's neck, as Sarah gasped and gulped in air. "Oh god," she murmured.
Cameron's mouth left Sarah's skin, allowing her to look up questioningly at Sarah. "I did not know that sexual relations were a religious experience."
The comment briefly threw Sarah out of the lustful haze that had been surrounding her. "What?" she asked in confusion, her voice coming out much breathier than usual.
"You mentioned your god..." Cameron added. Even though she was no longer kissing Sarah, Cameron was far from stationary, as her hands ran idly across Sarah's body.
Sarah chuckled. "No, this has nothing to do with religion. It just means that...that what you were doing was very nice. It felt good."
"Thank you for explaining." And then Cameron's lips were back on Sarah's, hungrily nipping at her bottom lip. Sarah coaxed Cameron's tongue into her mouth, as Cameron's hands found their way underneath Sarah's shirt. Sarah moaned deeply at the contact, losing all ability to form any kind of coherent thought. Her own hand ran lightly up and down Cameron's side.
Sarah didn't hear the front door open downstairs, but she did hear John's voice, calling into the house. "Mom? Hey, Mom! What's for dinner? I'm hungry!"
Groaning in frustration, Sarah needed a few moments before she found the willpower to push Cameron away from her. Both woman and machine were panting heavily when they parted. Sarah tried to be angry with herself for giving in so easily to Cameron, but she really couldn't find it in herself to regret what had just happened.
Sarah smiled hesitantly, and Cameron beamed happily in return. She had clearly been waiting to base her own reaction on Sarah's. Sarah reached up to sweep her hand gently across Cameron's cheek. "We'll talk about this later, ok?"
Taking in a deep breath to gather herself, Sarah turned to go find John before he found them. She looked back towards Cameron once more. "By the way, if anyone else happens to tell you that they're intrigued by you...don't kiss them."
"I have no desire to kiss anyone other than you," Cameron answered sincerely.
Sarah couldn't help but be extremely pleased by this. And she didn't have enough mental energy to deal with the implication that Cameron had her own wishes and desires. Sarah just grinned. "Good. That's good." She quickly crossed the room again, taking a moment to press her lips to Cameron one more time, before separating once again. "And this has to be our little secret. You can't tell John or Derek. Promise?"
"I promise." Cameron looked so serious and earnest, that Sarah almost wanted to laugh. She knew that what had happened wouldn't fully sink in for a while, but for now she was enjoying the high that came from kissing Cameron.
Sarah finally went and opened the bedroom door, almost colliding with John, who had been about to knock.
John looked confusedly between his mother and Cameron. "What are you guys doing?"
Sarah swallowed. Before she got a chance to think of an answer, though, Cameron spoke up. "We were discussing the optimal strategy for locating Sarkissian, the man we believe to currently be in possession of the Turk."
They had actually spoken about that topic much earlier, but John didn't have to know that.
"Oh, ok." John nodded. "Now come on, Mom, I'm starving! Come make me something."
Sarah trailed slowly behind John as he bounded back down the stairs, heading for the kitchen.
Dinner had been the furthest thing from Sarah's mind a few minutes earlier, as she was focused entirely on Cameron. She had forgotten what it felt like to lose track of everything beyond a single person, but this was one kind of reminder that, for now at least, Sarah was happy to have.
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