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06 June 2009 @ 07:26 pm
Terminator:SCC Fiction - "The World Is Burning" (Sarah, Ellison, PG)  
Title: The World Is Burning
Author: HalfshellVenus
Characters: Sarah, Ellison (Gen)
Rating: PG
Summary: So much has been invested in a future she'll never see…
Author's Notes: This idea has been in my head for awhile, finally coming together just now. Spoilers for the S2 finale.
Also for writers_choice, this is "loss."

x-x-x-x-x

James Ellison is a good man, honorable and kind. That might be how they got here.

The room crackles with broken electronics and rising flames, weighted with the end of Sarah's purpose and her only joy.

John is gone now, and she cannot protect him. She wonders if anyone will.

So much has been invested in a future she'll never see, a world that depends on her son to save it. She sacrificed her sense of security, her identity, and possibly her sanity along the way.

She rarely had the luxury of simply loving him, the beautiful boy who was her only child. It made her a different mother, him a different man, and she hopes it was the right choice. There's no way for her to know.

All that is left is burning, and all she can do is watch. Derek is dead, John stripped away forever. Even Cameron is gone. Only Sarah and Ellison remain to pick up the pieces. The ache in her heart is even more painful than the ache in her head.

Ellison might be the reason for this moment—not by intention, but that changes nothing—yet Sarah knows it's possible she'll find herself forgiving him.

No-one else knows the truth of all she's lived, and there'll be no-one else to talk to in the few years she has left.

Her life—hard before John was born, an act of vigilance every day since—was lonely to begin with.

Sixty seconds ago, it all became so much worse.


-------- fin --------

 
 
 
...ism ism ism: Terminator::SCC::Resistance Reesegega_cai on June 7th, 2009 06:26 am (UTC)
Great fic; I wonder what exactly is going on in the past after John and Cameron went through time. Where does Sarah pick up where they left off everything and does Ellison have a hand in her efforts to 'stop it' ?
*sigh*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on June 7th, 2009 06:49 am (UTC)
I wish we'd gotten a third season to answer those questions. The writing in S2 was SO interesting, with so many fascinating threads to it, and then the finale was just gangbusters-- tying up questions that had teased us all season long and opening up new and tantalizing possibilities.

Somehow, I suspect that Sarah will be left to "face the music" of what people think she's already done. If she's lucky, Ellison will be able to help save her from those consequences.

And in the meantime, she'll be browbeaten with questions about the son she claimed died years ago and who is now truly, heartbreakingly gone.

*sigh* is right!
Mayhem Parva: (life_on_queen) Sarah Connorraincitygirl on June 7th, 2009 07:34 am (UTC)
Oh wow, this is SO nicely done!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on June 7th, 2009 07:39 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! The minor dabbling I've done in this fandom has been entirely worth it just to get this story out, I think. It's been trying to find form ever since that finale, and with that leap into the future all of the disaster and loss left to Sarah is a part of the story that seems to fade away but should never be forgotten.

Thanks for commenting!
b.: pic#88972394whereupon on June 7th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
Ah, this is lovely, and so true, and it makes me wish even more for a third season. <3
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on June 7th, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, me too. I want to know where Sarah and Ellison went from here, what the plans for John Henry were (that lovely twist at the end of the finale), and how it all worked out.

Thanks for reading!
pellucid: Sarah Connor thoughtfulpellucid on June 9th, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, lovely! I was linked over here by someone who knows I'm always on the lookout for fic about Sarah and Ellison, and I'm so glad! Sarah in the immediate aftermath of the finale absolutely fascinates me, and the fact that she's left alone with Ellison (who is actually my favorite character, though Sarah runs a close second) is icing on the cake. It makes me so sad that we won't see this setup explored on the show, but I'm glad you've done a bit with it here!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on June 9th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked this, especially as a fan of both characters.

Sarah in the immediate aftermath of the finale absolutely fascinates me, and the fact that she's left alone with Ellison (who is actually my favorite character, though Sarah runs a close second) is icing on the cake.
I feel so for her there-- after surviving such a hard road for so long, her reward is to have her son stripped away from her in an instant and nothing left but a mess to clean up and the fact of her own mortality.

And yet, a woman who could prepare her son to be the savior of the future, as she did, might in many ways be even more amazing than he is. With this series in particular, I've always thought so-- and I've loved having glimpses of that and of the way she's struggled to do what she must even when it's so very different from what she wants.

With Ellison, we have this fascinating and honorable man who is interesting all on his own AND for the parts he's played in the larger story. He uncovered part of the truth with Cromartie-- was burned by it-- and if there was ever anyone Sarah could have trusted with that knowledge, it was Ellison. I think of how badly she must have wanted to share that with someone-- someone other than the son who resented her "lectures," the robot who could never offer comfort, or the soldier who was too damaged to care about anything except John Connor's survival.

Ellison was the closest thing she'd probably had to a friend in years. And even having brought about what happened at the end-- which perhaps was not as wrong as it looked, because he wasn't working with the future Skynet after all but with someone who came to undermine Skynet-- it all would have ended somewhere, never of Sarah's choosing.

That there is someone there beside her, and that it's Ellison, is almost some kind of divine blessing.


ticketsonmyself on June 10th, 2009 10:20 am (UTC)
I recommended your story to pellucid because of her love for Ellison and Sarah, and because it's one of the best one-shot tags I've read for "Born to Run," and it's among the best short one-shots I've seen in the fandom. Sarah and Ellison = my favorite regulars on the show, and yours is to me the most convincing take on what the immediate "Born to Run" aftermath must have meant for Sarah. Not a word wasted, and I love your further comments in your reply so much that I want to roll it up and frame it or something. Those are exactly some of the reasons why I've found Sarah and Ellison so fascinating, and why I'm sorry we won't get to see them work together on their own. I only wish more fans were interested in what the show set up for Sarah and Ellison at the end of "Born to Run"; I'm so glad you shared this marvelously concise and eloquent character study with us.

With Ellison, we have this fascinating and honorable man who is interesting all on his own AND for the parts he's played in the larger story. He uncovered part of the truth with Cromartie-- was burned by it-- and if there was ever anyone Sarah could have trusted with that knowledge, it was Ellison. I think of how badly she must have wanted to share that with someone-- someone other than the son who resented her "lectures," the robot who could never offer comfort, or the soldier who was too damaged to care about anything except John Connor's survival.

Ellison was the closest thing she'd probably had to a friend in years. And even having brought about what happened at the end-- which perhaps was not as wrong as it looked, because he wasn't working with the future Skynet after all but with someone who came to undermine Skynet-- it all would have ended somewhere, never of Sarah's choosing.

That there is someone there beside her, and that it's Ellison, is almost some kind of divine blessing.


Poignant (Ellison as the closest Sarah's probably had to a friend in years! and as he said, "Everywhere I go, there you are") and well-put and wonderful and true.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on June 27th, 2009 02:26 am (UTC)
Sorry to be so late getting back to such lovely comments! RL has been overwhelming these last few weeks.

I'm honored by your words, especially for a fandom that I really don't write in. That episode inspired SO many ideas for me- there are two Derek/Allison(Cameron) ficlets that I wrote because of the last 60 seconds of the episode, and there was SO much that happened in Sarah's arc (and ended so very brutally for her).

Those are exactly some of the reasons why I've found Sarah and Ellison so fascinating, and why I'm sorry we won't get to see them work together on their own. I only wish more fans were interested in what the show set up for Sarah and Ellison at the end of "Born to Run"; I'm so glad you shared this marvelously concise and eloquent character study with us.
We saw some of the seeds of the possibilities between them simply in what she told him that she never would have (and never did) tell anyone else. And I think we can understand the bitter loneliness of her position, with her life's energy focused on the hugely important tasking of preparing her son and keeping him alive, all for a future that will depend on him and that means nothing to her right now. Really, it all demonstrates how much she loved and believed in his father- it is her legacy for him and for his future. But it is such a thankless, impossible job- moving back and forth through time, living by your lies of the moment, and with no-one who truly understands what it all means and why it all matters, including your son.

I think she must be desperate for a friend, and now that she has taken the step of revealing the truth to Ellison- and he has witnessed still more of it himself- she will need him more than ever in that bleak, chaotic future that is all that waits for her anymore.

I so wish the show hadn't been cancelled. The writers tied up several of the threads really well, and at the same time also showed us such interesting possibilities. I want to see where Sarah and Ellison go, I want to see the shift in the future because of John Henry, and I want to see what desperation led John Connor to make a robot who wears the face of the woman that Derek loved.

Thanks so much for leaving such thoughtful comments, AND for reccing a fic. I so appreciate both!

hereswith: Genhereswith on August 11th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, nice, I really liked this! I wish the show had continued, it would have been fascinating to see Sarah and Ellison interacting after the events of the finale.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on September 20th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I wish the show had continued, it would have been fascinating to see Sarah and Ellison interacting after the events of the finale.
I really would have liked that, because I think Sarah would have turned to him for her sanity alone, and finally found the kind of friend she'd denied herself for years to be certain of not endangering her son.

And I wanted to see the future as well-- those hints that Allison was Derek's girlfriend, and that John Connor chose her to base Cameron on... that opens up whole new ideas and conflicts for me (my only two other SCC fics address that from both Derek's and Cameron's POVs).

Thanks for reading and commenting!
parallactic: TS Eliot parallactic on August 13th, 2009 05:25 am (UTC)
This is a nice look at Sarah after the S2 finale.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on September 20th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you! This was the story that begged to be told, somehow, even though I don't write for this fandom.

All that sacrifice to prepare for a moment she'd never see (and what it cost her as a mother, as a woman), only to have John Connor stripped away from her so abruptly.

What a lonely, impossible legacy awaits her now, and the thought that it was to save a world she'll never know must be very small comfort.