She didn’t like having to work with Jesse.
But it wasn’t the first time she had to work with the enemy.
John was gone, Derek was gone, Cameron was gone. It was Ellison who discovered that a woman was looking for information on Derek and brought it to Sarah’s attention.
This woman was probably the best source of information they would find on the future, on Cameron, maybe even on Weaver and what her plan might be.
This is the woman who pretended to be counselor and lied to her face. Who used Derek, or at least lied to him, and got Derek to lie to them for her. This is the woman who killed a girl to make a point about machines.
Their relationship started with a punch.
It never really stopped being about that.
Uneasy allies. Watching every moment to see when they would turn on you. This, Sarah knew how to do.
Other things were knew.
Jesse was the first human being from the future who hated John Connor.
She respected him, feared him, and might very well give up her life for him. But she hated him.
Sarah never found out why.
She found out other things.
Jesse was good at their work. Her style was a lot like Sarah’s.
Turns out that in the future, all John’s valued officers undergo training that sounds a lot like a compact version of what John did in his childhood.
Sarah also found out that Jesse truly loved Derek. Jesse never said it, of course. But one day, she asked how he died.
Her face didn’t change a bit when Sarah answered. She simply swallowed, nodded, and said that it was good that Derek died that way. Protecting a child. Something to be proud of.
Then she went back to work.
Four days later, Jesse had to shoot someone.
He was hired by something that Skynet had sent back, and he had orders to kill if a woman with the appearance of Sarah Connor showed up.
It was right in the forehead, right where Derek was hit.
After they were safe, Sarah thanked her. All Jesse did was rub her own forehead.
Jesse argued, made smartass comments, but ultimately let Sarah take the lead. Maybe it was guilt, maybe it was just another of those things where the future thinks Sarah Connor is a legend.
Jesse occasionally insisted on a day off, arms folded defensively as she said that it didn’t make sense to just check and recheck their guns all day, and they should enjoy the world while it still has things to enjoy.
John used to say things like that when he was younger. It wasn’t pleasant to be reminded of him by her.
But as with John, once in a while Sarah would let Jesse win the argument. It’s only human to need a break.
Jesse loved the pool. Sarah didn’t like the poor sightlines, or to be honest, the smell of chlorine, which lingered on Jesse’s hair even after a shower. But it was a small price to pay.
Once, Jesse let her guard down enough for Sarah to push her into the pool before she was ready. Sarah wasn’t sure why she did it, but Jesse just grinned up at her as if this meant that Sarah liked her. Sarah was pretty sure it didn’t. But it was a nice surprise to see that Jesse could smile without sarcasm behind it.
Once, while they making dinner, Jesse asked her if she liked being a mother. Even with an apocalypse hanging over their heads.
Sarah thought about it for a good long moment.
She said yes. She wanted to ask if Jesse wanted to have children someday, but knew that she shouldn’t.
Another time, she told Sarah that her troops would sometimes call her ‘mom’ to mock her. Sarah couldn’t tell if she liked it or not.
It wasn’t any great event when they started sleeping together. They were both grownups and they were both soldiers, and so it’s not like either of them were prone to make something out of nothing. It’s not like anything personal would come before the mission anyway.
It was good to have something to do at home, though. Or in whatever temp shelter they were calling home.
In bed, Jesse was like she was everywhere else – demanding. But her demands ended up with her panting and writhing under Sarah’s hands.
She liked heat. Sarah’s fingers smearing hot wax across her thighs. A flicker of wax across her chest.
She liked it when Sarah pulled her hair. She liked it when Sarah slapped her face.
She liked it best of all when Sarah called her by a different name than her own. She asked Sarah to call her “dumb bitch” but Sarah didn’t like it. Jesse didn’t care what Sarah called her, though, not really. She just wanted to go by something else, something not really her. She just wanted to pretend to be some stupid girl who never imagined that the world might end. Some silly thing that still believed that no mistake, no loss, is too great to overcome.
After, Jesse would try to push Sarah away, but Sarah would throw her back on the bed, would keep the fight going until Jesse was willing to accept her comfort, at least for a moment.
Sarah was wary of all of this. But then, she was wary of everything. Eventually, she admitted that it felt good to do this to Jesse, felt good to do this for Jesse.
The hitting and grappling, the screaming and biting -- it felt like nothing else that they did.
Once, on a really bad night, Jesse asks her why she does this. Why she fucks someone whom she obviously doesn’t like or trust.
“Are you just lonely? Bored? All those years of motherly self-sacrifice put you on the edge?”
She’s mocking Sarah, she’s about to talk about John; John is the topic that is still off limits.
Sarah gave her a hard stare. “I’ll tell you why when you tell me why,” she said, knowing Jesse would find the softness in her voice infuriating.
Jesse laughed. “Is it because you think I need it? You think I’m going to eat my own gun if you don’t make me forget?”
I didn’t think it until now, Sarah thought.
“Or maybe you’re the one trying to forget. We’re not going to find John, Sarah, we’ve been trying for months.”
Sarah didn’t punch Jesse. Only because Jesse obviously wanted her to.
“What are we doing, Sarah? What in the hell are we doing?” Jesse said, and she knelt on the floor, hands grinding at her eyes to hide the tears.
Sarah closed her eyes. She didn’t have an answer.