Fandom: Terminator: SCC
Characters: John Connor (Gen)
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Summary: John Connor never expected to meet his future quite so soon.
Author's Notes: Written for tvnetwork1_las and the prompt of "Stranded."
Also for writers_choice, this is "neither here nor there".
John Connor never expected to meet his future quite so soon.
He and Mom (and later, Cameron) had jumped dozens of times, but they'd been careful not to go too far into the future or the past. Both were too unfamiliar, too risky. Asking questions about obvious things would single them out, and make it easier for the machines (the terminators) to find them.
This time, John hadn't jumped. Instead, he'd been pushed through time by Cromartie or Catherine Weaver—at least, he thought that was what had happened. There'd been so much confusion at the end, with the authorities lying in wait for them. One moment, he and Cameron had been headed to the basement, and the next, Cameron and Cromartie had been fighting. John remembered that there'd been fire, and a huge explosion.
Now, he was here.
Mom was still back in the past he'd left. She'd pushed him to run toward the possibility of escape—sacrificed herself to keep him safe. It was the final goodbye, and he'd missed it, without ever telling her that he was grateful. All of the upheaval that had kept him alive over the years had cost her just as much as it had him, but he'd been too focused on his emo bullshit to ever say that.
The police would have arrested her by now. She was still paying the price for him, and he wished she had someone to help her face what was coming. With the problems she'd had sleeping, and Cameron's cryptic comments about her weight, John worried that something was seriously wrong. There'd always been the shadowy hint of an early death in his mother's future… The idea that he wouldn't be there if that happened had never even occurred to him, and he'd never felt so fucking helpless.
He was trapped in the future, with no idea how to get out. Thanks to some random manifestation of irony, he was also surrounded by people who looked familiar but were strangers all the same.
This Derek was still alive, but he didn't know that John was his nephew, which made his friendliness and warmth all the more painful. The woman who looked like Cameron was named Allison, and she was human—and also Derek's girlfriend. John couldn't guess why his future self had modeled a robot after her. That seemed not only wrong, but a little bit sad.
John's father was also alive, here in the future. Kyle Reese wasn't what John had expected, not from the way Mom had talked about him, but maybe no one could have ever really lived up to that image.
John didn't tell Kyle who he was—he didn't tell anyone. Whether or not the older John Connor existed yet, revealing his name seemed like a bad idea, like something with the potential to unmake the past.
Or worse, to possibly unmake him.
So, as far as everyone knew, John was just another kid trying to survive the war with the machines.
The fact that it all seemed hopeless (and God, what he struggled to learn when no-one was watching) was a reminder of how hard Mom had tried to prepare him, and how bitterly he'd complained about things that all seemed so trivial now.
He was fairly certain he didn't belong here, but the chance of him being rescued back to his own time was so small that he honestly couldn't begin to hope for it.
All of the times he'd torn up his roots and moved had been hard, but they didn't begin to compare to now.
This, by far, was the loneliest John had ever been.
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