DISCLAIMER: These characters and situations do not belong to me in any way, shape, or form. I have borrowed them as part of my sanity maintenance.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Selena Gomez and my daughter will have to take the blame for this story and some others to follow, I hope. Xmas saw me buying my daughter a CD matching the title of this fic; 3 months later I'm in love with the CD – probably because it's been played non-stop in my car since early January. Anyway, I've set myself a goal of writing a drabble cum ficlet loosely based around each of the CD song titles (found here) – um, that's 11 in total, so guess this is my 2011 project :) Each ficlet will include a line from the song before and after, in italics, and one line hidden in the body of the story (that's in case anybody has a yearning to listen to my inspiration *g*)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To deb123em[at]gmail.com

A Year Without Rain
By Debbie


Like I've been wandering the desert for a thousand days; don't know if it's a mirage but I always see your face...

Sarah Connor slumped in the corner of a broken down shed. Sighing, she glanced at the torn newspaper she'd spotted earlier; three months since she'd lost John and three months since she'd turned tail and disappeared from view. Sarah knew this was her greatest skill; disappearing into the ether; she'd done it so many times in the past, but always before with John. Now, she just felt lost: lost and alone. It was like the ground was crumbling beneath her feet.

But now, there was no son and no goddamn mindless terminator watching her back anymore. That'd all gone on that fateful day: John to a future unknown and Cameron to God knew where, more than likely into the secret custody of Ellison and his FBI cronies, being experimented on and God forbid developed further.

Her eyes shot open as she realised she'd drifted off in her maudlin thoughts. At times like this, she actually wished for Cameron to storm through the door, resplendent in her skin-encased metal superiority. Sometimes, in her weakest moments, she actually cried out, 'Won't you save me?'

Then she heard it, the throaty growl of a pickup truck coming to a halt outside. Instantly on alert, she grabbed up her Glock, crouching down low. Sarah shuddered as she heard heavy, inhuman steps, instantly recognisable as belonging to a terminator. She aimed the gun at the slowly opening door and the figure inching, inexorably, around the door edge. Her time had just run out.

Crying out at the familiar figure with glowing eyes, she almost missed the sound of heavier still footsteps approaching in the distance.

Her surprise and split second hesitation allowed the machine to grab the gun out of her hand, lift her bodily off the floor, and march her out to the still running truck. Cameron flung Sarah into the cabin as if she were a doll, taking only a second to ensure she stayed put. Machine gun fire ripping through the rear window made Sarah stay down as Cameron climbed in and slammed the driver's door closed.

Tyres squealed as Cameron spun the truck around to face whoever – whatever – was firing steadily towards their position. She grabbed a large weapon that looked suspiciously similar to the one Sarah had only ever seen in the bank vault. A sly grin flitted across her face when she realised it was ready to fire. Eerie silence followed the weapon's discharge. Cameron locked eyes with Sarah for another brief moment before hitting the gas, leaving the scene immediately.

Long minutes later, with Sarah's thoughts in turmoil; sure they were not being followed, Cameron finally pulled over and shut off the engine. She rested her arms against the steering wheel and stared out at nothing. Sarah could only watch and wait; too tired to protest and, honestly, too safe to care.

Cameron continued to stare. She could hear Sarah's breathing – deep and raspy, just beginning to settle. She could hear Sarah's heart beat – staccato and rapid, just beginning to slow. She could feel Sarah's fear and anger rolling off her in waves and, yet, she could also feel the unguarded trust as if it were palpable. She waited until Sarah calmed before turning to face her.

Cameron reached for Sarah's hand, reading the shock in dark green eyes as Sarah held on as if her life depended on it, seeing the shock grow at Cameron's first words.

"Why? Why did you run?"

Sarah looked at Cameron, stunned to see brown eyes staring at her with such a look of abandonment she couldn't hold the gaze, a machine had no right to that look. Yet it was there, raw emotion shining in Cameron's eyes as she spoke again.

"Why, Sarah?"

Sarah looked into those eyes again and, finally, she knew why.

"Because I was alone; John left, YOU left. I was alone."

Cameron smiled and Sarah felt the terminator's hand squeeze hers gently. "No one is ever truly alone, Sarah, if you know where to look. Ellison says..."

... So let this drought come to an end and may this desert flower again; I'm so glad you found me.

The End

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