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50 Moments in a Fractured Time

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1. Comfort
Her words are warm and soft and if he looks away, he can pretend he doesn't see her cold cold eyes.

2. Kiss
He watches her eat the proffered candy and knows that just like she can't taste it, she would never be able to feel the real thing.

3. Soft
She tackles him to the ground and he falls with the full brunt of her alloy frame pressing on him, buffered by the yield of her flesh, like the world's heaviest pillow.

4. Pain
She tends to his wounds with what could easily be mistaken for tenderness and he lets himself believe she knows what it means to hurt.

5. Potatoes
He laughs quietly when he sees that their science teacher can't understand why the potato she's holding lights up the little bulb so much brighter than everyone else's.

6. Rain
She describes it as a million concurrent sensations on the body's neural receptors, the greatest diagnostic of continued existence and he smiles and says that he feels alive when he's walking in the rain with her, too.

7. Chocolate
Her hair, her eyes, even her lips, remind him of the darkest chocolate, infinitely more fine than the cheap candy bars he so often indulges in, but also so much more bitter.

8. Happiness
The future has never held a "Happily Ever After" for him, but he thinks that with her by his side, he doesn't have to be so afraid of "The End."

9. Telephone
He's irrationally pleased to find that his number is first on her speed dial.

10. Ears
She holds him against the wall and the feel of her hair tickling his ear distracts him from the fear of getting caught.

11. Name
He'll never be quite sure, but he could have sworn he saw her smile when he used the shortened appellation.

12. Sensual
He's grown up watching people fight and he's seen the almost desperate ferocity of his mother, the grim efficiency of the T-101, but Cameron's coolly graceful style is different all together.

13. Death
Machines don't die, he tells himself, they just stop working, but staring down at the scrap metal that used to be the prettiest girl he'd ever seen, he sure feels like something in him has died.

14. Sex
His eyes keep darting across the room to look at her while their teacher lectures on the reproductive system, but she just stares ahead, comprehending but not caring.

15. Touch
Her every touch burns on his skin for minutes, hours, days after the fact and he wonders if she could ever feel him in the same way.

16. Weakness
He's no superman, and her heart's not made of Kryptonite, but she's still his weakness.

17. Tears
It's weird to see her cry and even weirder to know that his future self engineered her with that specific ability because he can't imagine ever wanting her to cry.

18. Speed
He opens up to her more easily and quickly than he has with anyone before, and he wonders what exactly it is that makes this brown eyed girl so special.

19. Wind
He comes home and finds her sitting on the kitchen floor holding a small music box, and he says nothing as she winds the crank and watches the little ballerina spin and spin.

20. Freedom
He dreamed one night of a life without fear and secrets and an impending doom, but what had made him smile in his sleep was the appearance of a girl, not a terminator, with a whispery voice and wavy brown hair.

21. Life
Thoughts that he gave her life, or at least, he knows he will someday so that she might save his life, and in doing so, allow him to design and engineer her in the future, so that she can travel to the past and protect him go in an unending loop inside his mind, and the only conclusion he can reach is that it makes them just about even.

22. Jealousy
She says she'll only take orders from him, but not him, rather the him he has yet to become, and he's pretty sure this resentment and disassociation of himself, and yet not himself is how a guy goes crazy.

23. Hands
Whoever thought that the world's foremost killing machine would have such small hands?

24. Taste
He admits that it's illogical, but he does his best to pretend to enjoy the meal she's cooked because he's afraid of hurting her feelings.

25. Devotion
Her every word speaks to unwavering loyalty, her every action demonstrates her absolute faith in his future self, and this, more than anything, strengthens his resolve to become the man she would dedicate her existence to.

26. Forever
A diamond is forever and a diamond is a girl's best friend and he thinks that these must be the most bizarre circumstances in which a guy has presented a pretty girl with a diamond.

27. Blood
He bandages the cuts on her arm and pauses for only a moment when he sees the grind of gears and push of pistons through the tear of flesh and blood.

28. Sickness
It takes forever to convince her to pretend to be Mom and call them both in sick, but a whole day playing hooky with his best, if very mechanical, friend is totally worth it.

29. Melody
He likes the fact that she can't sing and chooses to see it as a flaw that makes her more human rather than a defect that all terminators might have.

30. Star
He tells her to make a wish on the shooting star, but she says that there's nothing she wants or needs, and lying on the roof beside her, he has to agree.

31. Home
Some classmates invite him to get frozen yogurt after school, but he sees her waiting for him by the fence and knows that he would rather walk home with her.

32. Confusion
He tries to explain to her why he's taking the girl from Chemistry to the dance and why she can't come, but he can tell she doesn't understand, and her look of confusion stays with him the whole night.

33. Fear
She's long since stopped bothering to mimic emotions around him so he's surprised to see the terror in her eyes when he's captured.

34. Lightning/Thunder
With a crack of thunder, the blue sphere of lightning leaves them in the middle of the freeway, and all he can think is that it only took two days before he saw her naked.

35. Bonds
He nudges her aside so that he can pick the lock and whispers back to her, "Just call me Connor, John Connor."

36. Market
Their trip to the grocery store takes an hour longer because she refuses to leave until he explains to her the difference between lettuce and cabbage.

37. Technology
He reassures her that no matter what any textbook may say about the latest advances in technology rapidly becoming obsolete, she will never be outdated or unnecessary to him.

38. Gift
He wakes up on the day of his birthday to find her sitting at his bedside holding out a small box and he wonders how long she's been in that exact position.

39. Smile
He never expected her to have so many smiles: the sweet guileless one that fools the masses into never suspecting she's a deadly robotic guardian from the future, the hesitant quirk of her lips that shows she doesn't know why she's smiling, but everyone else is and it's imperative to not be a freak, the wide cold grin that shows too many teeth and lets the recipient know they're in for the beat down of their life, and his favorite, that seemingly involuntary full fledged beam that he knows only he can elicit.

40. Innocence
For a lethal robot, she's strangely naïve, and he almost chokes on his water when she asks him if he's ever "gotten his freak on."

41. Completion
He'd celebrate her birthday if she had one but opts instead for the anniversary of her completion.

42. Clouds
He chuckles as he watches her struggle to describe the shape of the clouds and says, "You really suck at this game, ya know."

43. Sky
He loves the way she can explain why the sky is blue.

44. Heaven
He doesn't want to die because he knows he wouldn't see her in heaven.

45. Hell
The 120 seconds after she'd been thrown into the power lines constitute the longest of his life, and when she finally opens those ice blue eyes, he's reminded of drink for the thirsty man in hell.

46. Sun
Looking at her is like staring into the sun; the image burns into his eyes and lingers long after he's looked away.

47. Moon
He's getting less and less sleep these days, not due to any nightmares like his mom, or any onsetting insomnia, but simply because it's getting harder and harder to not spend the whole night walking around the house with her.

48. Waves
She sits on the beach and the crash of the waves sounds in time with the rush of blood in his ears as he stares at her in that tiny white bikini.

49. Hair
He watches her flip her hair, smile shyly and instantly win over half of their new school, most of them guys, and he tries to remember that it's only because she was programmed to, her social grace and interpersonal instinct the result of endlessly complicated calculations firing rapidly behind her eyes.

50. Supernova
He thinks of her as indestructible, a force to be reckoned with that nothing less than an implosion of the universe could stop.