They have names thanks to MK, but no money thanks to Beth’s former partner and no more information from Katja because of whatever’s started to stalk them.
They have the three of them, zero cash, and a few unregistered handguns between them.
“This sucks,” Cosima says flatly, as close to hopeless as Sarah’s heard her, the three of them sitting in Alison’s living room. Sarah flips through the few precious sheets of papers - names, addresses, and information on DYAD employees - ignores Alison kicking back something from a flask.
It was Alison’s money that’s now gone, so she doesn’t begrudge her the drink. And it’s true that things are not looking great for them. But that flightiness, that need to run that’s the reason she’s only just come back to Toronto and stumbled upon this mess, is tempered by something else.
“We’ve got this,” Sarah says, looking up, and is a little surprised at the conviction in her own voice. But Cosima smiles at that after a moment, nods in agreement, and Sarah looks back down, flips back through what she has in her hands and thinks as Alison stares vaguely off in the distance.
They can’t do much without money. It’s impossible to play fair against someone who doesn’t. The moral high ground and cash are their only leverage, and it doesn't take a genius to know that most people don’t give a fuck about the first one.
She steals Siobhan’s truck, taps an address off the files into her clone phone, and heads out to the middle of the bloody woods.
Why anyone would want to live like this, Sarah thinks to herself, finding a motel and paying cash for the night, in the middle of the wilderness where she saw a moose and a dirt road , is beyond her. She’s a city girl, through and through, but if there’s one way she knows how to help, it’s like this.
It’s an unwelcome surprise to find that Cal Morrison, high-profile DYAD contractor, is actually short for Callie Morrison. Long cons are the worst, and adding a woman into the mix means it’s going to take even longer. It’s rare to find a woman interested in a one-night stand, Sarah’s found, and so this will require a more subtle touch. She grins and bears it, figuratively - thinks, calculates, and decides the easiest way to do this is to play cute.
Step one: the bait. This is almost too easy.
She makes her way to the diner she’s surreptitiously watched Cal get breakfast at almost every day, enters, takes a seat where Cal will be sure to see her once she comes in, and orders cheap coffee from a tired-looking waitress.
She picks up the napkin-dispenser once the waitress has left, takes one last look at herself in the shiny metal side, and runs a hand through her artfully-messy hair, ruffles her sweater just so, and smiles, all teeth.
She gets her coffee, and sometimes even a real breakfast, at the same diner Cal does every morning on her way to work. In whatever the hell town this is, she sticks out like a sore thumb and milks it.
It’s easy to start off by making some accidental eye contact one day, to smile the third time it happens, to flirt a little when she accidentally-on-purpose runs into Cal in the washroom a few days later, to laugh about what a coincidence this all is, to smile and angle just so so that anyone tall enough can probably see right down her loose tank top.
She stretches it out over a couple of weeks, until they’re on just a friendly enough level to try something bolder. Sarah walks in late one day, looks around, spots Cal at her spot at the counter like always, and walks up, takes a seat on the stool next to her, and smiles demurely as Cal turns to her.
“Mind if I join you?” Sarah asks sweetly, though she already knows the answer.
If Cal works at DYAD, than Cal’s no idiot, which makes it quite amusing to see how men and women make the same stupid mistakes as long as a pretty face is involved.
Step two: the sweetener. This time, it’s also combined with step three, the ratchet. She can’t afford to waste time.
Sarah feels her stomach twist as they kiss, soaked from their dash from Cal’s truck to her cabin door, as she grabs Cal’s belt and tugs and leads her to bed. Callused hands divest her of her top - no bra, because she's in this to win it - and a spike of pleasure has her gasping as Cal takes a nipple into her mouth, sucks with just the right amount of roughness. Sarah actually kind of likes her, she realizes, wet for more than one reason now, Callie with her messy hair and her gangly height and her flannels, and that makes this all that much harder.
But the messages on her clone phone spur her on, and two days later she takes Cal’s money and runs as soon as she can, because that’s all she’s really good for, isn’t it?
The drive home is morose and longer than the drive up, interspersed with flights of paranoia that every cop’s got an eye out for the truck’s plate. But Cal seems to take the whole off-the-grid thing deathly seriously, or maybe she's just unwilling to involve anyone that might jeopardize her patch of pot, and either way the drive is uneventful. Sarah stops by Alison’s place when she reaches Bailey Downs, half-worried the other woman will be tipsy enough to mistake her for a burglar and shoot her. The thought has Sarah reaching up and pushing off her hood, hoping it’ll make her easier to recognize.
But Alison answers the door and yanks her in, sober and almost looking happy to see her, and Sarah gives her a weak smile back, takes a seat on the couch, rummages in her backpack, and tosses a brown paper bag at Alison, who’s begun pacing restlessly, mouth furrowed in a frown like she’s not sure where to start.
Alison, oblivious, yelps as the bag of cash hits her in the shoulder, and glares at Sarah before bending down and picking it up off the floor.
“Maybe Cosima should hold onto it this time,” Sarah jokes dryly, because Alison is entirely too unpredictable and so is she, really, if she managed to fuck up what Beth had almost made fool-proof.
Alison makes a noncommittal noise, and has enough tact not to ask how she got the cash. “Thank you, Sarah,” Alison says sincerely, and holds out her hands, asks her to stay right there, and darts into her craft room to squirrel it away somewhere.
Sarah tilts her head back, wants to close her eyes and sleep but knows there’s no way Alison’s going to let her stay, even though Alison is nice enough to come back with two shot-glasses and a bottle of vodka.
It's almost three in the morning by the time she crashes at Felix’s loft, and, in a foul mood, Sarah takes the couch, yanks a spare blanket over herself, and, nuzzling against the sleeve of her stolen flannel, tries to sleep instead of think about what she’s just done.