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Disclaimer: Derek and Kyle Reese, Sarah and John Connor, Kacy and Trevor Corbin, and all other characters mentioned here are currently the property of FOX, The Halycon Company, Josh Friedman et al, and, at least partially, James Cameron. Though who knows how long that will last, with the franchise for sale. Nevertheless, I make no money from this work of fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.

~*~

Sleep is not something that's easy to come by for Derek. When he was a soldier, it was his job to stay awake for hours on end, keep watch, keep the others safe. Keep John safe, keep Jesse safe, and especially keep Kyle safe. After he time-jumped, he'd tried to do the same thing; especially as their tiny group got picked off one by one, and suddenly he only had himself to rely on. Even during the war, when times were as tough as Derek could ever remember them, he'd always had friends and comrades by his side. Here, even though everything is in bright shiny Technicolor, soft and warm and inviting, for the first time he could remember he had been utterly and completely alone.

Finding John and Sarah doesn't change that very much - even when he figures out that they're technically family. But only in the loosest definition of the word, because he has no ties to Sarah, and John may be the leader of the world one day, but right now he's just a punk kid who doesn't know his head from his ass.

And then there's the metal. Derek knows he's not going to get a decent night's sleep with that thing roaming around unsupervised.

He used to think that the lack of sleep would be good - maybe then, the nightmares couldn't get at him. He was wrong. Now the nightmares come in the form of what are most likely hallucinations due to sleep deprivation, and it scares the shit out of him that he can be walking through the park one minute and suddenly not know which end is up, whether he's living in the past or the future, or if any of this is even real.

Derek thinks maybe things were a lot less fucked-up living in the middle of a war zone, and that's probably the most fucked-up part of it all.

He's in the backyard again - sprawled out on the grass, sun burning his face. There's an ant crawling along his left calf but he doesn't brush it away. Life is life, be it human or insect (Sarah makes fun of him because he refuses to smash the beetles that sometimes find their way into the kitchen). It's days like these that Derek can sometimes fool himself into believing that it's always been like this - warm, lazy afternoons when John is at school, Sarah and the metal are god knows where, and everything is green and alive. He inhales deeply, relishing in the smell of Trevor and Kacy's backyard barbecue and the lilac bushes at the edge of the property.

He's drifting in and out of sleep when he hears the car door slam, signaling that the women (Woman. One woman, one tin can.) are back. Derek stays in his spot, knowing that he'll hear one of them screech at him if he's needed. Except that today, Cameron decides to join him. He knows her steps even without opening his eyes, knows their measured accuracy as opposed to Sarah's careless stomping. When a shadow falls over him, he pries open his eyes to see her hovering above, backlit by the sun, face quizzical.

"The ultraviolet radiation is damaging your epidermis," she (it) says matter-of-factly. "You should seek shelter before it results in second-degree burns."

Derek doesn't bother responding. He rolls out of Cameron's shadow and rises to his feet, brushing past her as he crosses the lawn to the front of the house. When he rounds the corner, he freezes and blinks.

It's possible that his hallucinations are kicking in. Then again, they usually don't resemble a bad 80's porno.

Sarah is washing the Jeep, in a white tank top and denim cutoffs, hands slithering along the garden hose in a way that's borderline obscene. Derek scrubs a hand across his face but the image does not dissipate. Instead, Sarah catches his eye across the hood of the vehicle.

"Are you going to help me or are you going to just stand there?" she snaps. He doesn't know whether her bitchiness should count for or against this being a fantasy - it's hard to ignore the fact that Sarah Connor is pretty damn hot when shes pissed off, all fire-eyed and indignant.

Derek weighs his options. He can treat this like reality and find out that it's only his imagination, and he will have missed the opportunity for a seriously inappropriate wet dream. Or, he can treat this like a dream and find out that it's reality when Sarah castrates him.

He chooses Option A.

"You know, there's this thing they invented awhile ago called a car wash," he says as he retrieves a bucket, a few sponges, and a bottle of soap from the garage. They're lucky that the previous owners' things are still cluttering up the house, because it's been so long since he's lived in the real, functional world that he would never have thought of some of the things that end up saving their asses. Duct tape, scissors, batteries...about a month ago he found a can of WD-40 in the shed and spent an entire day oiling hinges, marveling at a house full of doors that weren't rusted and squeaking. He rounds the car with his stash, and sees exactly why Sarah is doing this job herself: the entire side of the Jeep is covered in blood.

"We had an incident," she says, and it's all the explanation he needs. They disagree on strategy and bicker over stupid shit, but when it comes down to it he really does trust her. Not that he'd ever admit that out loud, of course.

Derek holds out the bucket and lets Sarah fill it with water. While she continues to rinse the drying blood from the side of the Jeep, he bends down and pours several squirts of soap, gently sloshing the water around to mix it as the paved driveway runs red then slowly fades back to black. He hands Sarah a sponge and they each take one side of the car, starting on opposite ends of the hood. Derek averts his eyes when she leans over, struggling with her shorter arms to make their soap trails meet in the middle.

"Stop," she reprimands. Derek shrugs.

"Could say the same to you," he counters. Scowling, Sarah throws her sponge at him, grabbing a fresh one from the bucket and moving to the back of the car, out of his line of sight. He chuckles and finishes the hood, moves to the driver's side. Sarah moves in the opposite direction so that by the time he reaches the already-washed rear, she's back in front. She pays no attention to his position as she picks up the hose and starts spraying the car clean. Derek, standing directly in her line of fire, gets an eyeful of soap and water.

"Jesus!" He leaps backwards, vigorously rubbing his eye. Sarah doesn't say anything, but at least has the decency to look apologetic as she hands him the hose to rinse out his eye. At least he thinks she looks apologetic - it's hard to tell, what with the stinging and the blurred vision. By the time he's finally able to look around without it feeling like his retinas are being burned off, his shirt is soaked through and clinging uncomfortably to his skin. He peels it off without hesitation, and it's a tie between which is more satisfying - the feeling of the sun on his back, or the snarl of annoyance that Sarah shoots his way. Derek grins calmly and turns the hose back onto the car.

He remembers washing the family station wagon with Kyle. Their parents would pay them $8.75, the cost of a trip to the car wash down the street, and they would spend the whole time good-naturedly arguing about who got the extra quarter. Usually the job took far longer than necessary, between water fights and lunch breaks and chatting with the other neighborhood kids who came by. One summer they talked all the adults on the block into letting them wash their cars by only charging them $8. They raked in the easily-splittable cash for months, and Derek remembers that year as a swirl of fresh air, soap-soaked denim, and hot dogs from the stand by the lake.

If he didn't know that she would be on him like a banshee, Derek would probably subject Sarah to the same treatment he did Kyle, but something tells him she wouldn't be amused. She has moved into the shade of the garage, arms folded across her chest as she watches him circle the vehicle, the soap trailing into the yard. Were Cameron out here she would probably be giving him a lecture on the rate at which it will kill the grass. Derek reaches the hood of the vehicle, now glinting clean in the sunlight, and he bends down to wind the hose back up.

"Go get towels from the laundry room," Sarah commands. Any other day, he'd probably give her crap about ordering him around, but today Derek is relaxed and content and enjoying the way her hostile stance pushes her breasts up closer to the neckline of her tank top, so he just smiles and disappears into the garage.

He's got three big towels in his hands, contemplating whether or not they'll need more, when he hears footsteps behind him. Sarah charges into the laundry room, locks the door behind her, and launches herself at him. Derek puts up no complaint.

She's softer in his hands than he thought she would be. All planes and angles and made of muscle and steel, but underneath it all still undeniably womanly. His fingers trace the curve of her hip, the swell of his breast, places Kyle has already seen and explored, and he knows that this is so very, very wrong.

It doesn't stop him.

Sarah's like a caged animal, wild and fierce. Her small body crawls up Derek's, fingers scratching at his skin. One hand tangles in his hair and the other reaches for his belt, her hand inside his boxers before he knows what's happening. Derek turns them around and grabs Sarah by the ass, lifting her body and placing it on top of the washing machine so that her mouth is even with his neck. She latches on immediately. Derek tugs at her tank top, but he only succeeds in getting it tangled around her neck when she refuses to remove her mouth from his clavicle, so he settles instead for shoving his pants and underwear around his ankles and stepping out of them.

He swears softly when Sarah's teeth break the skin. In retaliation he pinches her side, hard. She squirms away, just enough for Derek to get her top and her bra off and toss them behind him. He shoves her shorts and panties aside, fingers plunging into her wetness without warning. Sarah gasps, fingers clutching at his shoulders for leverage. Derek pumps in and out and feels himself grow harder with each thrust. Sarah eyes him, gaze traveling down to his erection and back, but she doesn't do much more than tilt her head back and revel in the feeling of his thumb flicking across her clit.

Bitch, Derek thinks, but there's something so fucking hot about the wanton way she puts her own pleasure above his that he can't seem to make himself care. His free hand lifts to her breast to swipe his callused fingers against her nipple, already rock-hard. He bends down to take the other into his mouth and bites down firmly. Sarah cries out. One hand flails behind her, accidentally hitting the start button, and suddenly the machine is vibrating beneath them. Sarah slams her hips downwards so that Derek's hand is trapped between her body and the machine, and she begins to rock slowly. Derek can only watch, fascinated. He scissors his fingers inside her, twists and strokes as much as he can given the awkward angle of his wrist, but Sarah makes it work. She braces one hand against Derek's shoulder, the other pinching the nipple that's still shining with his saliva, and in a few moments she's coming hard against his hand and there are deep crescent-marks dug into his skin.

Derek is hit with a wave of disappointment - she got off, now what's left for him to do? But she's looking at him like a predator with its prey, and he gulps audibly. Sarah leans back and wiggles out of her shorts and underwear. When they hit the ground they land on Derek's feet. He kicks them to the side and takes a step forward, his penis coming into direct contact with the thrumming metal of the washing machine. He groans. Sarah scoots closer to the edge and reaches down to give him a few stokes of her hand. Derek squeezes his eyes shut at the dual sensation.

"Do you have..." he chokes out. Sarah knows exactly where his head's at.

"No need," she replies. There's pain hidden beneath the smugness, and Derek opens his eyes to search her face. Her eyes predictably give away nothing. But it makes him pause, consider whether he's actually going to do this. Is he actually going to fuck his nephew's mother?

Sarah doesn't give him much of a choice. She grabs his dick and yanks him forward. Derek yelps in pain, but before he knows it her legs are wrapped around his waist and she's positioning him at her entrance, surging forward so that he slips effortlessly inside. She's tight and scorching hot; his cock is still protesting her manhandling, but he ignores it all as he grabs her by the forearms and slams into her, repeatedly. He's vicious and unaccommodating and Sarah just eats it up, her moans growing louder with every thrust. Derek finally leans in and captures her lips between his, desperate to swallow the sound with his mouth. They don't know where the metal is, and he's not too keen on her letting this little episode slip to John in casual conversation.

He's not at all surprised when Sarah tries to bite him. But he winds one arm around her back to hold her against him and grabs the back of her head with the other, forcing her to open her mouth to him.

Their momentum slides the washing machine back against the wall, so that as their movements grow more frantic the steel panel slams noisily and repeatedly into the drywall. Sarah moves one hand between them, fingering her clit in time to their rhythm, and he feels her clench around him, coming for the second time. She shudders as he continues to pound into her, but a few quick movements of her fingers around his balls and he's following suit, shooting inside of her with abandon.

If this is a hallucination Derek hopes he has it more than once.

He pulls gingerly out of her, reaching behind them for one of the towels that they were going to use on the car, which is likely long-since dry by now. He mops himself up and tosses the towel at Sarah, who hops down from the washer and uses it to clean both herself and the machinery. Now that he has the chance to look at her - really look at her - he finds that he can't tell which scrapes and bruises are from the fight she had earlier today and which are from his teeth and tongue. She stands tall and proud even in her nudity, not coyly covering herself like it suddenly matters when traces of his cum are still inside of her.

"It's almost two-thirty," she says. "You should get going if you're going to pick John up from school." Derek nods. He busies himself with pulling on a set of clothes from the clean ones on the counter, and Sarah slips into her robe hanging on a hook against the back wall. She unlocks the door as he's buttoning a pair of jeans, throws one last glance over her shoulder.

"You tell him about this and I will shoot you," she says calmly. She leaves the door gaping open as Derek scrambles to re-dress before Cameron stumbles upon him. He traces the barcode on his forearm thoughtfully for a moment before he takes the Jeep keys from the table. He twirls them around his finger and makes his way back towards the freshly-cleaned Jeep. The sun is still bright, the sky clear and cloudless. It feels for a moment like nothing has changed, but the ache that Derek feels in the backs of his thighs and the slight waver of the upstairs bedroom curtains as he approaches the car seem to indicate otherwise. He waves at Kacy, pulling letters from her mailbox.

"You hungry?" she calls as he's unlocking the driver's side door. "Trevor made a ton of food."

"Got any hot dogs?" Derek asks. Kacy grins.

"Tons!" she announces. He nods.

"I'll be back with John in just a little while. We'll stop by."

"The whole family?" Derek smiles.

"Yeah," he confirms. "The whole family."