Sarah was a light sleeper. She hadn’t always been, but ever since Kyle Reese had travelled through time to save her life and warn her about the machines, Sarah had never managed to get a good night’s sleep. Her dreams were filled with red eyes and a burning world.
Ever since she’d returned from Mexico with John, her sleep patterns had gotten worse and the slightest sound would wake her. Tonight it had been the call of a bird and Sarah was trying to get back to sleep again.
The front door clicked open and Sarah froze. Derek was out for the night and John was in bed, they should have been alone. The house had an alarm system and although she had turned it on when she went to bed, it had been disabled before. As the lock snicked closed again, Sarah reached under the bed for the gun she kept there. There was noise coming from the kitchen; the intruder sounded like they were looking for something.
As quietly as she could, Sarah slipped out of bed and crept over to the open bedroom door. He heart was pounding in her ears as she snuck across the hall and down the stairs. Sarah tightened her grip on the gun to stop her fingers from trembling.
Flattened to the wall outside the kitchen, Sarah listened as the rummaging stopped and the tap was switched on. Sarah took a deep breath and sent a silent message to John that she loved him. Then, with her fingers resting on the trigger, Sarah moved forward to confront whoever, or whatever, had broken into their house.
Cameron was leaning over the sink, cleaning blood off her hands and face. In relief, Sarah lowered the gun and flicked the safety back on. The click of the gun alerted Cameron to possible danger and she looked around. Seeing only Sarah, she returned to the task at hand.
Too wired to go back to sleep now, Sarah put the kettle on the stove. “I could have shot you.”
“It wouldn’t have killed me,” Cameron commented. She eyed the kettle. “Caffeine won’t help you sleep.”
No, but it might help keep her alert. “Good thing I’m not going back to sleep.”
“You need to get more rest.” Cameron finished washing and turned around. Her t-shirt was bloodstained and ripped. “You’re less effective when you’re tired,” she explained.
“Well someone was rampaging through my kitchen in the middle of the night.” Sarah raised a pointed eyebrow.
“I don’t sleep,” Cameron added belatedly.
Sarah waved off the apology; she probably wouldn’t have got back to sleep anyway. She glanced at the clock above the oven. 4:53 a.m. It was later than she’d slept in a while.
“Where have you been?”
“Out.” Cameron was always vague about what she did at night when they were asleep. It unnerved Sarah.
There was a faint smell of smoke in the kitchen and it took Sarah a while to realize it was coming from Cameron. “You been burning something?”
“What do you want?” Just how dangerous Cameron was never escaped Sarah. She’d never been able to understand how John put so much trust in a machine. Insomnia was making her more blunt than usual, but she had to know. She was letting Cameron live with them, protect her son.
“The same as you.”
“And what is that?”
“To protect John Connor. To stop Judgement Day.”
It was said with such conviction that Sarah believed that Cameron would do everything in her power to stop Skynet going online. “You won’t stop, will you?”
“Skynet won’t stop,” she commented, as if it was obvious.
“Benefits of not being human. No sleep, no emotions, just cold, ruthless killing machines.”
“I feel. More than you think.” Cameron looked almost hurt at Sarah’s words.
“You’re a computer.”
“Your feelings are a series of electrical impulses. Humans aren’t that different. I feel. I care.”
A month ago, Sarah would have laughed at that, but something was changing the more time she spent with Cameron. Cameron wouldn’t lie to them just to make a point. “What do you care about?”
“About stopping Skynet. About John. You. Why else would I be here?”
There was only one thing that came to mind. “To kill us.” It had been Sarah’s real fear of Cameron in the beginning.
“Then you’d already be dead. I’m here to protect John.” With that, Cameron clearly considered the conversation over. She looked down at her ruined clothes. “I need to change.”
She went upstairs and left Sarah alone, staring after her. Their talk had given Sarah a glimpse of Cameron’s motivations. Cameron was something of an enigma, but Sarah was glad she was on their side. There were parts of their conversation where Sarah could see why John trusted her so much. It was like Sarah had seen a new side of Cameron, one that continued fighting Skynet even when no one was watching her.
Neither of them mentioned their talk the next day, but Sarah found herself more relaxed around Cameron. John noticed it, too, raising an eyebrow as she spoke to Cameron without giving her a command.
That night, Cameron came to her room as Sarah was getting ready for bed. She held a 9mm loosely in one hand and took a position by the window.
“What are you doing?”
Cameron kept looking out the window, scanning the nearby area. “You worry about what happens when you sleep. Nothing will get in here tonight.”
“Because I’m less effective when I’m tired.” Sarah remembered Cameron’s words from the night before.
“You’re more vulnerable.” Cameron’s head flicked around to look at Sarah. “Go to sleep.”
Sarah wanted to protest and send Cameron away, but she didn’t. She tried to say that she was too tired to argue but the knowledge that someone was there to watch out for them comforted her. Instead of tossing and turning as she normally did, Sarah started to drift off quickly.
The last thing that Sarah was aware of was a hand stroking her hair and the faint touch of Cameron’s lips against hers. Not too long ago, the idea would have horrified her, but now she fell into a dreamless sleep with a smile on her face.