Summary: Within a week that technically spans two decades Marcus dies twice and falls in love.
A/N:Written for daria234 on smallfandomfest using the prompt: Terminator (Movies), Marcus/Kyle, warmth at night
The future was cold, too cold for California no matter the season. When he asked Kyle about it the boy shrugged and said that it was always this cold. He hadn’t noticed it earlier but the sun seemed dimmer too without a single cloud on the sky. The light was strangely silvery and washed out. As soon as the sun went down the temperature dropped sharply.
Kyle and Star curled up in a nest of blankets and old clothes.
“What are you doing?” Kyle asked. Star seemed already asleep, her head lying on Kyle’s chest.
“I’m keeping an eye out.”
Kyle rolled his eyes. “Can you see in the dark?”
Marcus shook his head.
“Then come here. It’s gonna be freezing.”
“I’m not – “Marcus hesitated.
Kyle rolled his eyes again. “I don’t know where you’ve been hiding the last fifteen years but you seem to lack some basic survival skills so get in.”
Marcus approached gingerly but once he was close enough Kyle snatched his wrist and pulled him down, pushing him over so that Star was in the middle between them. Kyle was a lot stronger than he looked. He hooked a leg behind Marcus’ knee so that he could pull them closer together. It was the most human contact Marcus had in, well, years one way or another.
“You do that with everyone, kid?” Marcus asked.
“Yeah”, Kyle said as if that was self-evident. “Everyone does it.” He closed his eyes and slung an arm over Star’s middle, pulling her back against his chest.
Marcus lay stock still. The pile of blankets, furs and old clothes wasn’t made for three people so he had to keep close to Kyle and Star if he didn’t want to freeze but he had no idea where to put his arms and legs. He felt self-conscious about touching them as self-evidently as they touched him. Something that seemed so normal to them filled him with anxiety, more than anything in this fucked up world he had woken up in did. Homicidal robots he could deal with. Humanity on the brink of extinction, not a problem. Sharing a bed with a child and a teenager for the sake of not dying of hypothermia freaked him out.
In her sleep Star rolled onto her stomach and inevitably onto Marcus and out of Kyle’s arms. Marcus barely dared to breathe to avoid waking her up but Star seemed to feel comfortable curled up against his chest.
Kyle mumbled something and pressed closer as well, tangling his legs with Marcus’. He threw the arm that was not tugged under his head over Star and Marcus, his hand sneaking under Marcus’ shirt.
Marcus hissed when Kyle’s cold fingers touched his skin. Star didn’t wake up but Kyle sleepily opened his eyes and mumbled, “G’ t’sleep.” Before he did just that.
Awkwardly Marcus rested his hand on Star’s shoulder and closed his eyes.
It took him a long time to fall asleep.
The next night they had left LA behind. The back of the pickup wasn’t exactly comfortable but thanks to their hasty retreat they had to leave most of the blankets behind. Star was in the middle between them again but tonight she rested her head on Marcus’ chest right away and went immediately to sleep. Marcus tugged the blanket over her so that the back of her head was covered as well. When he looked up he found Kyle grinning at him.
“What’re you looking at, kid?” He whispered gruffly in order not to wake Star.
“She already has you wrapped around her finger.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“Don’t worry, she does that to everyone.”
“Where did you find her?”
“She lived in the same shelter as me and my dad. I was right next to her when we were attacked so I grabbed her and ran. It’s been just the two of us ever since.”
“How old were you?”
Kyle shrugged. “Eleven maybe? It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re living from one day to the next.” He lay down on his side, one arm curled under his head as a pillow. “Where do you come from?”
“I don’t know, woke up in the middle of nowhere. I’m still not convinced I’m not dreaming.”
“There weren’t any terminators when you fell asleep?”
Marcus shook his head.
“Man, you’re weird”, Kyle laughed softly.
Despite this whole fucked up situation, this whole fucked up world Marcus found himself grinning back. “My words, kid.”
Under the blanket Kyle’s other hand found his hand squeezed it for a moment. “Good thing you found us then. Or you’d be very, very dead.”
“Hey, I saved your life today, kid. We’re even.”
“I saved you twice yesterday or did you forget the hoverbot already?”
“Go to sleep.”
Kyle closed his eyes but he was still grinning. “You owe me.”
“Whatever.” Marcus looked up at the sky. There wasn’t a single cloud to be seen but there were no stars either and the moon seemed to be behind a thin layer of dust just like the sun was. It felt almost as if he was stranded on a different planet.
The third night Marcus didn’t sleep. Blair did, leaning against his shoulder but Marcus was wide awake, staring into the darkness. Somewhere out there were Kyle and Star and he would get them out of Skynet.
The fourth night he found out the truth about himself. How he had survived. Only he found that being a fucking robot changed nothing. He was Marcus Wright and he had promised to himself that he would find Star and Kyle and get them out of here. If they had wanted the perfect soldier maybe SkyNet shouldn’t have left him with a human heart.
The fifth night he woke up in a shallow grave in the desert, his heart beating wildly in his chest as he dragged himself out of the sand.
He was alone. The camp the resistance had set up was gone. Some traces remained, tire tracks too deep to have been covered by wind and sand already. Marcus shivered in the cold night air. Kyle had his coat but someone had tied a red ribbon around his wrist.
Brushing the sand from his clothes and his hair Marcus set off in the same direction as the tracks. He walked through the night and the day and the next night. He wasn’t human enough anymore to actually need sleep or food or water or at least not as much anymore. He was hungry and thirsty and tired but not enough to stop.
Finally he reached the new camp on the next morning. Two guards stopped him shortly but let him pass once they saw he was human. Luckily enough his new skin hadn’t been torn enough to show the metal parts underneath sake for his hand that he was hiding under scraps of cloth. He asked for Kyle and was given directions right into the middle of the camp. No one so far had recognised him.
He walked around a corner and suddenly came face to face with Kyle and Star who were playing cards at a table. Marcus watched them silently. Neither of them had noticed him yet.
Suddenly Kyle threw his cards down and buried his face in his hands. “You’re cheating”, he mumbled.
Star looked way too pleased with herself. She turned her head, saw Marcus and jumped from her seat. Quickly tugging at Kyle’s sleeve she hurled herself at Marcus and wrapped her small arms around his waist.
“Star what – oh”
Marcus grinned. “Hey kid.”
Kyle got over his surprise to see him alive quickly. The tension left his shoulders and he leaned back with a smile and said, “You’re late.” He stood up and walked up to him and then he cupped Marcus’ face in his hands and kissed him. It wasn’t much of a kiss, just Kyle pressing his chapped lips against Marcus’ even worse ones. But once more Marcus’ entire world was shifted on its axis.
Flabbergasted he looked down at Star who made an ew-face as if she had just caught her parents kissing. Which she had in a way.
“That’s...I mean...that’s okay, right?” Kyle asked, all confidence gone.
“Yeah, kid, it’s fine”, Marcus said and pulled him into a real kiss.
Unfortunately that was how Connor found them but that was still worth it.