At quarter to seven in the morning on the 25th of December Sarah was woken by a warm hand placed on her shoulder, shaking her gently. She tried to ignore the unwelcome motion and shrugged the hand away, not ready to wake up completely. The hand wandered down the length of her arm until it reached her wrist and then settled down on her waist.
Sarah gave a sound of appreciation when a thumb began to stroke over her hipbone, slowly and soothing. The sheet rustled behind her and the mattress dipped as a soft body moved closer and pressed against her back more firmly. Warm breath caressed her ear and whispered words reached her semi-conscious mind. "Sarah, wake up. It's Christmas."
"Don't want to, I'm still asleep," Sarah mumbled and buried her face deeper into the pillow.
It hadn't gone unnoticed by Sarah that over the last couple of weeks her sleeping habits had improved somewhat. She was getting more and more undisturbed sleep, though her nightmares didn't get less horrible and terrifying, but at least they were fewer.
It all resulted in her not wanting to get up in the morning because it actually felt nice and comfortable to stay in bed. Seventeen years of sleep deprivation wanted to be levelled out. Besides it was Christmas morning, she was allowed to skip her work-out routine or postpone it til later that day, wasn't she?
"No, you are not asleep, your vital signs tell differently. I want to give you your present." There was the whispering again, lips were still against her ear and they lightly nibbled at it, before the voice decisively added, "Now." The fingers on her hip curled slightly and dipped into her skin, causing an exciting tingle in her lower abdomen.
Cameron!A very naked Cameron reminded Sarah's brain her, when it finally caught up with the situation and threatened her with full consciousness.
A pleasant shudder ran through Sarah's body as the memories of last night came flashing back to her and she took a moment to reminisce about it.
Her first time with Cameron had been far from perfect, far from wonderful, and far from earth-shattering. There was no need to sugar-coat it, because Sarah hadn't really expected any of those things, especially with a terminator without the help of an infiltration program to navigate her through the new experience.
Instead Sarah had taken it upon herself to do the navigating, which had been exhausting and nerve-wracking. Sure, Cameron had done her research in advance and there was already an extensive section in her database dedicated to the area of human intercourse, still they quickly found that knowing about certain things could be far from actually doing them. Hence every little touch and motion had to be steered by Sarah, which had resulted in borderline ruining the mood completely.
There were constantly questions from Cameron, most of them embarrassing and very private ones. But Sarah was stubborn and determined and also pretty damn horny. So there had been a certain urgency or furthermore the need for urgency, which Sarah had tried to suppress as best as she could. They needed to take it slow and tentative this time. Hopefully there would be other chances to be urgent and wild.
So they had started slow with Sarah hovering over Cameron's form – all clothes shed and scattered on the floor – and her hands wandering delicately over the girl's body, tracing every curve. But Cameron barely reacted if at all to her touches and when Sarah addressed the issue, the answer had been just as frustrating as the terminator's apparent indifference. The still on-going conflict of the original program with her emotions basically paralyzed her, she was that much torn that she wasn't able to move in either direction.
But – as already established- Sarah was stubborn and determined and also pretty damn horny. She also certainly was no quitter and did everything she could imagine to get the reactions she longed to see from Cameron.
When Cameron finally came, with Sarah three fingers deep insider her, palm pressing up against her clit and rocking against the hand rhythmically, her hips had jerked up so forcefully that it had knocked Sarah off of her and onto the floor. Sarah had sat on the floor befuddled for a few moments, then her gaze fell on the headboard, where now a hole was gaping – the force of Cameron's grip multiplied by the glitch- she burst into laughter.
Sarah couldn't remember the last the time she'd laughed so hard that tears prickled in the corners of her eyes and her stomach was hurting. And the situation wasn't even that funny. Something inside her, some sort of barrier, had been dropped or been pushed through, and in this moment – however small and fleeting it was - Sarah had not a care in the world and was free to laugh.
Naturally Cameron didn't see anything humorous in the situation and simply leant out of the bed, grabbed Sarah's forearms and lifted her back into bed with ease. "I would now like to reciprocate the favor," Cameron stated flatly, but a tiny smirk gave her away. It wasn't dirty or sexy, but still Sarah found herself swallowing hard at Cameron's suggestion and her breath hitched in anticipation. "Okay," she exhaled and nodded in response.
More instructing and guiding from Sarah was necessary. More embarrassment followed at having to orchestrate by giving orders like 'harder', 'more to the left', 'slower', 'faster', 'softer' and 'deeper'. At some point – when the sexual frustration became unbearable and she couldn't wait any longer - Sarah had actually slapped Cameron's hand between her legs away, had ordered her to lie down on her back and to slightly bend her right leg at the knee.
The confusion on Cameron's features smoothed, when Sarah moved atop of her, straddled her leg and began to rock against it. "Sorry," Sarah had whispered hoarsely as she supported herself by pressing one hand against Cameron's shoulder while the other one glided between her own legs to bring her the release she really needed after hours of grazing the edge again and again, but never falling over it.
What did it for Sarah to eventually get hit by her orgasm, shaking and moaning, was when Cameron finally did something on her own. She lifted her arms and laid her hands on Sarah's hips, following her movements this way. It was small and simple, but Cameron did it without having to be requested to do so.
"Sarah?" Cameron's low voice was back at her ear. Obviously Sarah had drifted from thinking about last night into a light slumber, the images of their sexual encounter following her.
The terminator's breathing continued to tease her ear and her lips grazed it, the fingers on her hip had slipped a little further in the meantime and were now playing with the curls between her legs. Sarah took a deep, shaky breath and held it; her eyes squeezed shut and burying her teeth in her bottom lip. "Can't you go back to sleep mode for a little while longer?" she asked, ignoring what her body was unmistakeable signalling her.
"I can, but …" Cameron started before she took Sarah's earlobe between her lips and additionally scraped over the sensitive flesh with her teeth. "… I don't want to."
Sarah groaned and rolled over, facing the terminator now, though her eyes were barely open. She just glanced at Cameron, before she moved in closely. She tucked her head under Cameron's chin, pressing her cheek to her bare chest and wrapping an arm over her waist. "Can we just lay here for a while like this?"
Briefly Cameron reviewed their current situation and Sarah's behaviour. She stated, "I did not consider you as a snuggler." Her arms held the other woman in a protective grip, hugging her as close as possible to her body.
Sarah chuckled, pressing her nose against the terminator's neck and rubbing it up and down. "I'm definitely not a snuggler," she objected and pecked the skin in front of her. God, how much she had missed something like this. Just lying in bed, skin on skin, warm and comfy and as safe as she ever could be.
"You also do not want to have sexual intercourse with me." Cameron said in a mixture of a statement and a question. Her advances had been clearly denied when Sarah had turned around and requested to just cuddle. "My performance last night was lacking, I was unable to satisfy your needs. Therefore you obviously do not regard it worthy to be intimate with me again."
"What?" Sarah's head shot up from her comfortable position on Cameron's shoulder. "No, that's not true. It's not what I mean. What makes you say that?" She cupped the girl's cheeks between her hands and frowned at her.
"You rejected my sexual advances merely minutes ago. The logical conclusion is that you do not see me as an adequate lover and as the physical part of our relationship is unfulfilling for you it is likely that you will proceed to a more sexual satisfying partner sooner or later," Cameron analyzed, her lips pouting.
Sarah rolled her eyes at that, dropped her head so that their foreheads were resting against each other and sighed. "You know, for a highly advanced computer you can be pretty stupid." She opened her eyes again and felt Cameron's fingers on her back twitch slightly.
Before Cameron could reply anything to her statement Sarah gave her a quick kiss on the lips and continued, "I'm not going to let you off the hook that easily, girlie, alright? Just because I want to…" She snorted, "… cuddle a little instead of jumping you first thing in the morning doesn't mean I'm ditching you like a meaningless One-Night-Stand." Her eyes skidded away from Cameron's gaze and studied the patch of light freckles on the terminator's left shoulder instead. "Besides, it wasn't unfulfilling. I think we did quite good considering it was your first time and it's been a while for me and with the glitch and the fact that you're a terminator and I'm human… so it will only get better the more we learn about each other, it's a process." Sarah's cheeks were burning hot by the time she had finished.
In one swift motion Cameron reversed their position so that Sarah was lying on her back and the terminator was hovering over her, their bodies only touching in the lightest of contacts. Her sensors reported the vital signs of the woman underneath her; they had picked up on the sudden elevation of heart frequency and breathing.
Cameron raised her right hand and let the tips of her fingers ghost over Sarah's collarbone. With an air of conviction, she said, "I am confident that I have gathered enough information on your sexual preferences to improve my performance and to completely satisfy your needs. There is also a large variety of positions, techniques and toys we have yet to try and which will further help us to find the most satisfying ways of pleasuring one another. The saying 'practice makes perfect' is avertable." Cameron held their eye contact and she could not deny the satisfaction she felt when she saw the already apparent blush on Sarah's cheeks spreading further down, over her neck and chest.
A small sound escaped involuntarily from the back Sarah's throat, but she refused to acknowledge even to herself that it kinda sounded like a whimper. The thought of Cameron having an obviously long 'to do with Sarah in bed' list left her rather hot and bothered. She closed her eyes for a few moments, trying to clear her head somewhat. "Didn't you say something about a present you wanted to give me?"
Cameron retreated from Sarah, glided over the mattress until she'd reached the edge of the bed and got up. "Yes. It is the morning of December 25th, the traditional time span in your culture for gift giving." She had reached the bedroom door by now, hand on the handle. "You did not fool me with your attempt to change the topic. I merely acknowledged that you're uncomfortable and embarrassed about discussing our sex life, even though I do not think that there is any need to feel this way. However I am willing to drop the subject for the moment, but we will continue our discussion another time."
"And where do you think you're going?" Sarah sat up in bed, pressing the white cotton sheets to her chest. "Like that?" she emphasized this with a pointed look at Cameron's naked body and a vague gesture of her hand.
Cameron turned around halfway, meeting Sarah's gaze. With the air of annoyance she stated, "I have to retrieve your present from the living room. It is lying under the Christmas tree as it is supposed to be."
"Clothes," Sarah simply said and scowled. She had never liked it before that Cameron was sometimes running around the house clad in only her underwear; after all, John was a teenaged boy and hormones were a nasty thing, so there was no freaking way she was going to let the terminator leave this room completely undressed.
Cameron tilted her head to the side and regarded the human contemplatively, one eyebrow raised for few seconds, before she silently agreed with a nod.
Sarah growled as she watched Cameron open one of the drawers, taking out a light blue shirt – one of those business shirts for men - that barely reached her thighs, and closed all buttons except for the top three, which showed of quite a fair bit of cleavage. "Are you deliberately trying to piss me off?" Sarah asked.
"No," Cameron plainly answered. "It is quite the opposite. I thought you might appreciate it. During my research I came across some references that it is often regarded as sexy when a female wears a male shirt and nothing else. Does it not have the desired effect on you?"
Sarah let her eyes travel over Cameron's body and took especially her time when she savored the girl's legs and cleavage. "It does," Sarah begrudgingly admitted. "But I don't want it to have the same effect on John."
This somehow pleased Cameron. She gave Sarah a small smile, picked up her jeans from the floor where they had landed the night before and put them on. "Jealousy can be beneficial for a relationship if it is in a healthy dose."
Sarah didn't comment on it, but when Cameron had closed the door behind her she let herself fall back into the pillows with a load groan.
At half past eight in the morning on December 25th Cameron still hadn't returned to the bedroom and Sarah was getting impatient and worried.
Just when she was about to put some clothes on to go find the terminator the bedroom swung open and Cameron entered, a tray balancing on her hands. With a small yelp Sarah jumped back into bed - for all she knew it could've been John - and pulled the covers up.
With her food Cameron kicked the door shut behind her. "Breakfast," she stated the obvious and placed the tray on Sarah's lap. There were two whole-grain bagels, which the terminator had obviously toasted, cheese and yoghurt, a glass of orange juice and a small bowl of cereals with milk and a chopped banana in it.
Sarah eyed the tray in front of her suspiciously. It looked disgustingly healthy. She contemplated whether she should once again point out that she wasn't sick – yet – or hurt and didn't need for Cameron to play nurse. Instead Sarah asked, "Where's my coffee?"
"Orange juice is a much healthier choice than coffee." Cameron was already on her way back to the door, when her right hand gave a slight twitch. The other woman's reluctance to eat healthy tugged inside her uncomfortably.
Sarah rolled her eyes and sighed. Over and over again she was having the same conversation with Cameron and as endearing it might be that the girl showed that much interest and concern in her nutrition it was equally annoying. "You keep telling me that, but that doesn't change the fact that I want some. I'm not functional without my morning coffee."
Cameron ignored the comment. "I'll go and get your present now."
This time it took the terminator no more than two minutes to return into the bedroom, the promised package in her hands. "You haven't touched your breakfast yet," the terminator observed with a frown creasing her forehead.
"Cameron," Sarah started in a what she hope was a sensitive and not too annoyed tone. She gestured at the tray and continued, "This is really… thoughtful of you. But it makes me feel like I'm already sick, like I'm more your patient as anything else." She carefully set the tray on the ground and patted the mattress beside her. "And breakfast can wait a little longer. Presents first."
The terminator went over to the bed and handed Sarah the package. "You are clearly not my patient and it was not my intention to treat you like one. I am sorry if my behaviour gave you the wrong impression." She pulled down the zipper of her jeans, opened the one button at the top and wiggled out of it. "I am legitimately concerned for your health. Humans are fragile, but it was more intended as a part of my plan to properly court you. You said it would be weird if we went on a date; however I am determined to woo you appropriately."
No response came to Sarah's mind. She blinked a few times and continued to stare at Cameron, while the terminator unbuttoned her shirt and let it drop to the floor. "Oookay? I guess. I don't really know what to say to that or what to think of it."
"Open your present," Cameron said while she slipped back into bed next to Sarah.
A smile on Sarah's lips appeared as she thought how naturally it seemed to be for Cameron to just take off her clothes and join her under the covers. As if they had been doing this for a while. She ignored how nice it felt to have the girl's warm body pressed against her side and shifted her attention back to the box in her lap. She unwrapped it, ripping the paper carelessly into shreds and opened the box.
"It's… it's, um, a nutcracker." Sarah looked confused from the object she now held in her hands to the terminator beside her. "Thank you." She forced herself to smile. It was a strange present and she had no idea why Cameron would pick something like this for her. It didn't seem to make any sense.
"You're welcome. I made it myself," Cameron pointed out, a hint of pride evident in her voice. "Even though I have very precise motor skills it was not an easy task. It took me several attempts until I was satisfied enough with the outcome."
"It's… nice." It slowly came to Sarah that this was what Cameron had been doing all those times in the shed. "You made this for me?" she asked puzzled.
"Sorry, but I don't think I get it. Why would you make me a nutcracker?" she traced the surface of the figure with her fingertips. It was made out of wood and Cameron had also painted it accordingly.
"Are you familiar with the story of 'The Nutcracker'?" Cameron wanted to know and when Sarah shook her head she explained the plot to her. There was – of course – a Prince. He was turned into a nutcracker, there was a fight of him and Clara against the Mouse King, the mice retreated, Clara and the Prince travelled to the Kingdom of Sweets, where the Fairy and the people of the kingdom performed several dances. "In the book the story ends with Clara waking up under the Christmas tree the next morning, the Nutcracker toy in her arms. Whereas in the original ballet story Clara stays in the kingdom with her Prince and supposedly marries him."
Sarah continued to eye the nutcracker contemplatively, turned it from side to side. She thought about the meaning behind Cameron's present, what message the terminator maybe tried to convey. She recalled that the terminator had been dancing to a part of the ballet story two days ago when Sarah had gone to the shed searching for Cameron.
After some moments Sarah turned towards Cameron. She leant in, closed her eyes and touched her lips to the terminator's in a delicate kiss. "So you're my little nutcracker?" she asked jokingly, drawing back somewhat. "Does this make Skynet a nut?"
"This is a valid analogy, baby." Cameron's expression betrayed nothing.
Sarah said dryly, "Don't call me that."
"Why not? It is a common term of endearment. If you do not like 'baby' there is a large variety I could use. Honey, Darling, Pumpkin, Cutie, Sweetie…"
"Lets settle on Sarah for the time being, ok?" Sarah huffed.
Cameron accepted this with a nod and moved on. "You can call me by any endearment you like."
Even though Sarah was rolling her eyes at that, she also found herself mildly amused. "I'm not really one of those kind of girls, ok? I'm showing my affection when I call you 'Tin Miss' or 'Girlie'."
There was silence for a couple of moments before Cameron gently said, "Merry Christmas, Sarah."
"Merry Christmas to you too," Sarah replied and got a small box out of the top drawer of her night stand. She handed it over to Cameron with an uncertain smile, watching as the terminator carefully unwrapped the gift. "Sorry, I didn't make it myself."
Sarah unconsciously held her breath and waited for Cameron's reaction. She felt terrible insecure regarding the present, fearing that it couldn't keep up with Cameron's and/or that it was too sentimental as she wasn't exactly known to be corny.
It was a musical box with a ballerina inside.
When Cameron opened the lid, the soft tunes of 'Sugar Plum Fairy' sounded and the tiny ballerina in a pink tutu began to twirl. It was total coincidence that it played a piece from a ballet the terminator had apparently developed something like a weak spot for, but as long as Cameron didn't ask, she wouldn't tell her that she had gotten it before she had seen Cameron dancing to the song in the garage.
"Do… do you like it?" Sarah questioned and hated how apprehensive she sounded. She cleared her throat and raised her chin.
Cameron looked up from the music box and at the human beside her. "Yes. I like it. It's beautiful." Closing her eyes she briefly brushed their lips together. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." Sarah noticed her ears were getting hot, feeling a little self-conscious. "Merry Christmas, Cameron," she said softly and squeezed the closest one of Cameron's hand. Her heart fluttered for a moment when the terminator squeezed back.
At quarter to nine in the evening on the same day Sarah and Cameron were standing in the door frame to the living room. Their bodies were pressed together, Sarah had pinned the girl to the frame, leaning against her and her hands currently content to just hold her in a firm grip on her waist.
After all, there was no better excuse as standing under mistletoe and Sarah took once again full advantage of it.
"I like the mistletoe. Can we keep it?" Cameron asked at some point during their make-out session, pulling back just the slightest bit so that they were still sharing the same air with their noses still touching.
Sarah let one hand fall from Cameron's hip and raised it so that her fingers were grazing over her cheeks. "Yeah, I think that can be arranged," Sarah agreed, already making plans to remove the mistletoe from the living room and bringing it upstairs. Maybe hanging it over the bed. She kinda liked this particular piece of mistletoe too. It was where it had all had started, with a simple kiss from Cameron to her cheek.