Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles


Title: What She Saw

Author: Kastellen (aka Galloway)

Pairing: John+Cameron (JCam)

Rating: PG

Notes: Because it was inevitable someone had to write this fic. Might as well be me. Warning: Hasn't been beta’d. Has barely been alpha’d.

Warnings: None

Spoilers: thru Ep 8, “Vick’s Chip”

Summary: She saw everything.

*   *   *   *   *

She sees only him.

She lays on his mother’s bed. A lamp glows softly in the corner, on her dresser, and a second perched above her head, giving him the light he’ll need to safely kill her.

His mother kneels beside her on the bed, the future fighter prowling beyond, but she ignores them both. Her eyes are only for him. She gives him instructions, slowly and steadily. Watches his hands work, feels the touch of his fingers.

The mother questions their plan, and each admit their doubts but press on. The soldier then, as he often does, questions her motives.

John stops, glowers at the two. “She’s a machine. She doesn’t have a soul and she never will. You don’t have to trust her; you can trust me.”

She would be hurt by his words, but she knows a secret. She knows he’s lying. To himself perhaps, to them certainly, but she has studied his voice for far too long to be mistaken. He doesn’t yet know what she is, this John before her, but he knows she’s not a machine.

He pulls back her scalp, one barrier closer to her death, and she hears him exhale. She steals a glance at his face as he sets down the box cutter for a screwdriver. The tiniest of smiles to herself. She’s seen this before. He always looks like this, each time.

As he takes up the pliers, she gives him the last instruction, and his knee touches the bed. She can feel his body tremble through the mattress. “It’s okay John,” she reassures him. “It’s not the first time we’ve done this.” He turns the key, and her body loses power. She settles, eyes still watching him until he pulls out her life and he fades from her view.

*   *   *   *   *

She saw everything.

Sensors throughout the city churned data through the network, and from her place, in just a node, it rushed by her like in a raging torrent seen from a placid riverbank. Cameron knew from processing data, but this was something else entirely.

Yet he needed her to do this, to infiltrate and destroy. That was also familiar. Just dip in a toe, Cam, she said to herself. Wade in, then get to swimming. Except she’d never been swimming. She wasn’t exactly buoyant. But she’d do it, because he asked.

And then she was one with the city. A few nanoseconds to adjust, but then each pulse made sense, each packet of data became a picture in her mind. She let the moments, billions of them, wash over her. Sought their destination. Followed them home.

She brushed up against the machines that collected all this data and sorted it, processed it, made meaning of it. They were powerful, but so very primitive. They had no intent, neither benign nor malicious. Just a tool.

A gun left upon a table. And Cameron knew who was about to walk into the room.

She jammed it useless.

And then, nothing. The world was there, and then it was fading to black.

*   *   *   *   *

Then his hands are on her face, and he is stroking her hair. She can hear his nervous breathing, and see the most tender look of worry on his face, though her body cannot yet move.

It’s like it always is. He is forever terrified when he brings her back to life. Afraid that this time he’s done something wrong, damaged something in her circuits, and will never see her look into his eyes again. But she always comes back to him.

He doesn’t know her mind is the last thing to shut down. Doesn’t know her body disconnects first, reconnects last, and that the instant her chip is in place she can see him.

Can see his brow creased in worry. Can see his eyes upon her, full of… what? Wonder? Fascination? Even… love? Can see him start as the power returns to her body and her head jerks just a little. Can see him nervously pull away his hand but instinctually rest it on her other side, as he will too in the future.

Can see him still unready for that, and pull back into himself, a blush to his cheeks, when her glance at his hand brings it to his attention.

He tries to sound casual as he asks her what it was like, this task he killed her for.

So she tells him.

“I saw everything.”

Even those things he won’t admit to for a very long time.

What She Saw