DISCLAIMER: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and its characters are the propert of James Cameron and Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was inspired by the gorgeous Inside Sarah by Calliope, and beta'd by the gorgeous slipjay. That's a lot of gorgeous, so I consider myself lucky.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Teaching Her to Sleep
Sarah did not relax. That particular word was in her vocabulary, but it was really there only as part of a theory on the way the world might be in an alternate universe where her calling was calmer. Relaxation and protection were at odds with each other, enemies of sorts.
Even Cameron's mechanical precision and tireless patrol did little to help. Sarah knew that the fabric of the resistance wasn't fighters in the trenches, but resisting the ultimate temptation - the allure of dependence on the machines. As long as she withheld depending on Cameron, there was still fight left in her, still something of value to give to John about the way to be a decent human being.
Sarah knew Cameron was trying in every way she was programmed to. She paced, she watched, she learned, and she processed the results into new approaches. Her latest, it seemed, was to approach Sarah's door precisely at midnight, looking in curiously, observing human rest.
"Are you sleeping?" she always whispered. Even when Sarah was awake to hear her, she had never answered. She had no idea what possessed her to respond tonight.
"No, tin man, I'm not sleeping," she said with a sigh. She threw the covers off and hugged her knees to her chest. She felt drowsy, but as always, she was unable to shut down. She bet Cameron never had that kind of malfunction.
Cameron seemed delighted. "Oh! What are you doing, then?" she replied cheerfully, as if they were chatting over breakfast instead of speaking softly in a dark room at midnight.
"Come over here so I can see you," Sarah said. "I don't like you lurking in the shadows like that."
"Sorry," Cameron replied, moving forward. She was barely dressed, a thin white tank top soft over her skin and small white cotton panties to match. Sarah glanced down at the sheets.
"What are you doing?" Sarah asked.
"I was looking at you while you were sleeping," Cameron stated simply. Sarah smiled.
"Well, I haven't had anyone do that in awhile. Don't you ever sit down, or stand by, or whatever it is you do?"
"I only require internal system maintenance every 52 hours. Humans require much more recovery," Cameron said, looking at the strewn covers and the pile of pillows. She poked a pillow with one finger. Sarah laid back against them, still staring up at Cameron. It unnerved Sarah to be alone with her. For something driven by code, she was wildly unpredictable. It was in Cameron's boldest attempts at humanity that she came the closest to being irrational.
"Can I try these?" Cameron asked, poking the pillow again. Without waiting for an answer, or for Sarah to move, Cameron sat on the edge of the bed and in one swift movement she laid down stiffly on her side facing Sarah, pressing her head awkwardly into the pillow. She looked up, her large eyes bright.
Sarah was too shocked to move at first. After a few moments she gently shifted, putting some space between them, though they remained facing each other in the bed. Sarah put one arm under her pillow, the other hand flat against the mattress. She curled her legs up closer to her chest, and Cameron watched her for a moment and then mimicked her position. Sarah couldn't help but smile.
"Well, I haven't had anyone do this in awhile, either," she said.
Cameron looked confused. "Is it... inappropriate? You only share a bed with males?"
Sarah, shocked for the second time tonight, closed her eyes briefly. "Not necessarily," she said. "But it probably is inappropriate." She gestured toward the door, reminding Cameron of John's proximity.
"I can be very quiet," Cameron said reassuringly, and suddenly the stiffness in her posture was gone, replaced with warm fluidity as she moved closer. She placed a hand on Sarah's hip, then briefly rubbed her nose against Sarah's, her eyes drifting closed as she laid a gentle kiss against Sarah's mouth.
Her mission to kiss Sarah completed, she opened her eyes and saw Sarah staring back at her, the expression on her face unreadable. Cameron did not feel fear, but she did read the evidence of anxiety in others. Sarah was conflicted up until the moment her desire broke open. Cameron saw her need for control and she responded to it, allowing herself to be rolled over onto her back as Sarah pressed her thigh between Cameron's legs.
"Do you feel it? Do you feel anything?" Sarah asked, her voice hard.
Cameron grasped Sarah's upper arms as she lay beneath her, her eyes closed, her breathing mimicking Sarah's. "Yes," Cameron said. "I feel every bit of it."
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