Saw Terminator Salvation and LOVED it, especially Marcus. This plot bunny invaded my brain a short while later. Hope you enjoy!
"It's cold out here"
I looked over at my nervous companion, smiling at his expression before scooting away from the fire and towards him.
I sighed. "Oh relax I just want to share some body heat." I said, smiling and lifting his hesitant arm to rest over my shoulders. Feeling small, and knowing that I was cuddling up to him for a reason other than heat, I closed my eyes and nestled my head against his solid chest.
But there was something wrong.
He had no heart.
I pulled back slowly, hand to the place where it should have been beating.
I was touching, cold, inhuman metal.
I looked up in shock to find the soulless eyes of a terminator staring back at me, its skeletal face molded forever into an evil grin.
I didn't even have time to scream.
I find myself sitting bolt upright, hysteric panting heaving my chest, sweat rolling down my body and onto the thin sheet that had been covering me a moment before.
The glowing eyes of a phantom machine still stare at me from the dark.
Shaking, I put my head in my hands, trying in vain to banish the nightmare, separate fact from fiction.
I get up, reaching for my M-16 and gripping it until my fingers turn white, just for the comfort of hard weaponry in my hands.
Just for the comfort of not feeling helpless.
I wander out of the general sleeping area, noticing vaguely that everyone else slept well. My tired, worried steps take me to the room affectionately dubbed the mess hall, and I plop down miserably in one of the empty chairs. My gun hangs numb in my fingers and my eyes unfocused, mind drifting.
Try to remember. Remember the feeling of warm, soft cotton over human flesh.
But he wasn't human.
Yes. He was.
Remember. Remember the very human hesitance in his eyes, the way he tried not to get caught looking.
Remember. Remember his glorious warmth, the supple hardness of muscle- and metal.
Metal and death and cold.
And his heart. If only I could remember his heart…..the sound…..the feel……..
I shut my eyes, grasping like a drowning person at the memory of his heartbeat.
Strong. I remember telling him that he had a strong heart.
But saying his heart was strong is like saying a terminator is dangerous.
Marcus' heart can't be described in one word.
If only I could remember. I bite my lip, drawing blood instead of tears. If only I could remember.
I get up silently, still not in control of my actions. I intend to head back to my bed, but it's not where I end up.
I find myself in front of John's room.
The savior. The resistance.
I don't know what I'm doing, or even why, but I crack the door open and slip inside, eyes falling immediately on the exhausted form of my leader.
My living leader.
I find myself at the side of his makeshift bed, noting absently that his wife must still be up in the med bay. He was alone.
I kneel, gazing on his worn, handsome features.
My eyes trace the scars, the lines of worry and exhaustion, and finally the beautiful contour of his chest, rising and falling evenly as he sleeps.
Slowly, softly, I reach out, biting my lip and settling my hand to his chest, squeezing back tears as the warm cotton meets my palm, and then so does the heartbeat.
John jerks awake suddenly and I start back, withdrawing my hand as though I'd been burned. I watch him like a frightened animal as he sits up, his hand rubbing unconsciously at the place my own had just been.
He looks down for a moment, composing his breathing, and I try to take the moment to run.
My body doesn't obey.
He looks back at me, his expression difficult to read.
"I-" I stutter "I'm sorry…" I spring to my feet and turn to run.
"Wait." John's naturally husky voice calls after me, stopping my unwilling body in its tracks.
I hear him getting up, and then his feet padding across the floor in my direction.
I don't dare turn around.
"It's alright." He soothes, turning me gently around to face him.
Without thinking, I throw my arms around him in a desperate hug, tears streaming down my face anew. Surprised at first, he slowly wraps his arms around me as if I were a small child, whispering soothingly as he does so.
"It's alright." He whispers again, stroking my hair and making no move to shift my head away from his chest.
We stand this way for many moments, my ear flush against his ribs, silent tears streaming down my face as I drink in the sound I had been drowning for.
He just lets me listen.
Ever so gently, I find myself pressing my hand near my face, feeling the steady, calm pulse against my fingers. If I close my eyes I can almost pretend that it is Marcus holding me again.
If John is embarrassed, he doesn't show it. He just stands silently, and lets me feed off of what I'd needed for months.
After a time, his head shifts slightly and his rough hewn-voice resonates warmly through his body.
"I miss him too."