DISCLAIMER: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and its characters are the propert of James Cameron and Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a sequel to my first ever story "Beyond All Reason" and although it's not really necessary to read that to understand this one there are minor references to past events from the other story. This is written purely for my own enjoyment and if anybody else happens to enjoy it as much as I did writing it then...yay! Any mistakes that exist are all mine...and I will selfishly keep them :p This story is dedicated to the love of my life, Gayle.
SPOILERS: Mostly AU but has some references to events in Season 1.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To jojovee[at]gmail.com
Against All Odds
John closed his eyes as he heard the words come out of Cameron's mouth seeing his mother's stiff shoulders in reaction to the firm denial.
After an afternoon of tracking down all the Sarah Connor's in Los Angeles, he had managed to narrow it down to two women who were of similar age and features to his mother. Once having the information Sarah had decided it would be easier if they were brought back to stay with them for a while for their own safety until the terminator could be destroyed. Cameron had been silent throughout the plan, her face bland and passive until his mother got to the part where Cameron was to go with him instead of her. That's when Cameron's features had tightened into a cold mask, her displeasure at the words radiating off her body in waves.
Watching the stand-off in wary concern, John knew this was not going to be good.
Derek having been updated in regards to the new threat as soon as he had arrived was now standing to the side-lines in the tense sitting room with a look of boredom on his face. He wasn't too concerned with the argument, Cameron was always arguing with Sarah when she felt the woman's safety was at stake. He just wished they would hurry up already so he could go shoot something.
"Cameron, this is the best plan we've got. I cannot allow more people to die because of me." Sarah could only sigh in weary tiredness, Cameron's over-protectiveness already causing a migraine behind her eyes. Plus the fact that Cameron appeared to be avoiding her and had hardly said two words to her for most of the day were driving pangs of discontent into Sarah's bones.
"They are not your concern Sarah. It will only endanger you if you seek them out. You cannot protect everyone." Cameron's voice was bland but firm, unwavering in her desire to make Sarah see sense.
"They are my concern Cameron, why should they die just because they share my name? That is unacceptable and I'm not going to let your babying of me stop what I have to do." Sarah turned away hating Cameron's expressionless features; it was hard enough doing what she had to do without Cameron fighting her as well.
"Since there are two Sarah Connor's we have to split up. You need to go with John and I need to go with Derek. It makes more sense and that's what you're about isn't it Cameron? Making sense and being logical?"
Cameron remained silent as she studied Sarah, seeing the agitation in her form and hearing the stress and sarcasm in her voice.
"Then I will go with you." Cameron voiced blandly choosing to ignore Sarah's confrontational tone.
Sarah sighed again; they had been going around in circles, Cameron refusing to see sense in her blind stubbornness to protect her.
"Cameron, a single women will not even let two strange men close enough to talk to them never mind going anywhere with them."
Sarah really did not want to lose her temper but having Cameron crowding her was driving her insane. Humouring Cameron's idiosyncrasies when it came to her welfare at home was one thing, humouring her when it came to her mission to stop Skynet was something entirely different.
"And will you just stop with the over protective thing already?! I've been doing this for sixteen years Cameron and I've survived this long. I do not need you to look out for me ok? I can protect myself so stop trying to babysit me and just do as I say for once!"
Cameron remained rigid in her silence, her displeasure at Sarah's words plainly evident in her stony glare.
John stiffened at his mother's words, knowing that she was close to erupting in a full out temper tantrum and that Cameron would bear the brunt of it. Catching Derek's eye roll, John sighed and signalled silently for Derek to follow him out of the room. They did not need to witness another spectacular showdown. Casting one last apprehensive glance towards Sarah, John could only hope that his mother remembered that Cameron's stubbornness was only really out of concern for her safety.
"Well Cameron? Are you going to do as I say or not?" Sarah knew she was being harsh but she did not have the time for this. Two lives were in danger and she did not have the patience to cajole Cameron into seeing sense, no matter how much she loved the girl.
"You keep on forgetting that I do not follow your orders Sarah," Cameron's features turned icy as she continued to glare at Sarah, "Sometimes, you make it difficult to love you." And with that Cameron turned and stormed out of the room, her back ramrod straight in her anger and frustration at Sarah's unwillingness to see reason.
"Well shit, that went well." Cursing softly to herself Sarah sighed and closed her eyes as she felt instant guilt swarming through her body at Cameron's words and seeing the girl stalk off in her anger. Sometimes, she really hated being Sarah Connor and all that that entailed.
The terminator cocked his head to the side as he stood perfectly still outside the back door listening for any sounds inside the house. Running a quick scan the machine confirmed there was only one occupant by the body heat he could see emanating from within. Glancing around outside to make sure no one was witnessing his entry, the terminator grasped the handle and twisted, the knob breaking in his hand easily as he entered silently.
Making his way through the spotless kitchen, the white nearly gleaming from constant cleaning or non-usage, the machine strode purposefully pass the island bench to the exit at the other end. Pausing briefly and cocking his head again, the terminator looked up the stairs, his eyes running continuous scans inside his head.
Satisfied that his target was still upstairs, the terminator slowly climbed the steps towards the body heat. Ignoring the photo frames show casing smiling people on the walls, the terminator had only one thought in mind as he continued his ascent; find Sarah Connor and terminate her.
As the rustling of someone moving up ahead came closer, the terminator turned towards the noise and locked his gaze resolutely in front of him. Walking further down the hallway and spotting the form of a woman through the bedroom door in front of him, the terminator strode forward.
Seeing the woman freeze and readying as if to scream when she saw his approach, the terminator ran forward quickly to grasp her around the throat and lifting her up easily the machine slammed her into the nearby wall.
"Sarah Connor?" The terminator tilted his head as he ran a scan on the woman's features, ignoring her panicked look of fear as she struggled futilely in his hand.
The woman's eyes bulged in fear and lack of oxygen, her finger's clawing ineffectually against the hand around her throat, her legs kicking weakly at his chest. Desperately trying to get air into her lungs, the woman could see her vision slowly fading as the blackness began to slowly creep around the edges.
Target Identification: Sarah Connor
With a flick of his wrist, the woman stopped struggling as her body became limp and lifeless, her neck jutting at an odd angle. Dropping her to the floor like a discarded rag doll, the terminator turned and strode out of the room. This was not the Sarah Connor he was looking for.
John didn't need to be a rocket scientist to know that Cameron was worried and frustrated. Sitting beside her in the passenger seat, Cameron's form was stiff and unyielding as she navigated the truck expertly through downtown traffic, her face an impenetrable mask.
Settling back into his seat more comfortably, John continued his silent perusal of the girl, wondering if he should say something or just let Cameron and his mother work it out on their own.
"Yes John?" Taking her eyes off the road briefly, Cameron turned towards him, her bland face showing no emotion as she raised an eyebrow in enquiry. "You have been staring at me for 2 minutes and 23 seconds now. Is there something I can help you with?"
John sighed and rolled his eyes, "You know that Mom's just upset right? She doesn't mean to get all pissy at you."
Cameron's focus remained on the road as if not hearing John's words but her grip on the steering wheel tightened in reaction.
"Sarah does not want me to help her. She does not...let me in."
John closed his eyes at the hesitant words; he didn't like how his mother was treating Cameron either.
"You have to understand Cameron; Mom reacts negatively when she's feeling cornered or guilty. It doesn't justify her actions but it does explain it. She doesn't mean to be demanding and bullying but that's who she is. Just give her some space."
"I cannot help wanting to protect Sarah John, it...distresses me to see Sarah hurt." Cameron's words were clipped and strained at the idea of Sarah getting hurt.
"Me too Cameron but you can't be with her one hundred per cent of the time. If you keep crowding her, she'll just explode at you again like she did earlier." Turning back to Cameron, John softened his features at the girl's still obvious distress.
Placing a hand lightly on Cameron's arm, her hand gripping the steering wheel rigidly, John gave it a firm reassuring squeeze, "Mom still loves you Cameron but you know how Mom is. She's not too good with the coddling."
Cameron relaxed marginally at John's words as he dropped his hand and turned back to the road, silence once again falling inside the truck. Pulling into the road that would take them to the unknown Sarah Connor's abode, Cameron could only focus on her own Sarah and hoping that the woman was safe and wasn't doing anything foolish.
"Well this looks like a nice neighbourhood doesn't it?" John commented softly as rows of well-kept two storey houses came into view, each one similar to the other. All the lawns were well maintained and the quietness of the neighbourhood was testament to the fact that it was a work week and mostly everyone would not be at home.
Cameron remained silent as she parked the car two houses down from their intended target. Turning the car off and hopping out, Cameron stowed her 9mm as discretely as possible behind her back between the band of her jeans and shut the door firmly. Walking over towards John waiting on the footpath, Cameron ran a scan around the neighbourhood, her sensors not picking up anything out of the ordinary.
Following silently behind Cameron, John was relieved that the neighbourhood was relatively quiet and hoped that their presence would not be too suspicious amongst the up market houses.
Reaching the house that belonged to Sarah Connor, John casually glanced around again before following Cameron through the gate and down the path to the front door. Ringing the door bell and waiting patiently for an answer, John raised a curious eyebrow to Cameron knowing that the girl had already scanned the interior of the house.
"There is a body upstairs John," Cameron murmured softly as she stepped away from the front door and walked around to the back through a side gate.
Placing his hand on his gun behind his back for comfort as he followed after Cameron, John pulled it out as soon as he stepped through the gate into the backyard. John's grip tightened on the handle of the gun as he spotted the broken remnants of the door knob on the ground and the door slightly ajar. Glancing to Cameron with a worried frown and catching her glassy eyes in return, John knew this was not going to be good.
Cameron pushed the back door open further and entered silently, her eyes continuing to run scans around the inside of the house. Heading straight for the stairs, Cameron swiftly took the steps two at a time, hearing John's muted footsteps on the carpet following after her. Once at the top of the stairs, Cameron turned towards the bedroom at the end of the hallway, her sensors having already seen the slumped body of the woman lying inside.
Avoiding his gaze at the happy family portraits lining the walls as he ascended the stairs, John knew in his gut that the woman known as Sarah Connor was dead. Pushing down his guilt and remorse at another innocent killing, John's grip tightened even more around the butt of his gun as he entered the bedroom after Cameron. Watching the girl bend and gently roll the lying woman over onto her back John could only close his eyes at the blank open eyes staring back at him and the finger marks around her bruised neck.
"She is dead." Cameron's voice was bland and emotionless but John could detect a trace of anger in her tone as she stood back up onto her feet quickly throwing him a hard stare.
"We need to get out of here," John replied urgently as he turned away from the dead body before him to glance wildly at Cameron in panic, knowing that the woman's blank open eyes would haunt him in his nightmares for a while. "We need to go check on Mom."
Cameron stiffened at the words as she quickly followed after John, knowing that he was correct. If it was her she would already be going to the next Sarah Connor's location.
Cameron's features were hard and icy as she pushed away the debilitating thought of maybe being too late to save her Sarah as she overtook John in a dead sprint towards the truck, not caring anymore whether or not they were seen.
Sarah reached her hand out and knocked firmly on the front door, casting a wary eye around her surroundings. Taking note of Derek sitting in the truck a few houses down, Sarah waited patiently as she heard the sound of footsteps approaching from behind the door.
As the door began to open Sarah heard Derek's frantic shout of warning and then the sound of a gun going off from behind her. Going on instinct, Sarah pushed her way into the house and body slammed the startled woman in front of her, feeling a searing pain in her right shoulder as she dropped to the ground on top of the woman. Gripping the woman tightly in her arms Sarah rolled to the side, slamming the front door closed behind her with a loud bang.
Flinching at the bullets whizzing through the door to leave gaping holes behind, Sarah stood up quickly as the gun shots ceased suddenly and dragged the woman along with her. Sarah could feel the adrenaline coursing through her body fuelling her determination to push away the pain from the bullet that had grazed her shoulder.
"I don't have time to explain Sarah, so just do as I say. Run!" With that command Sarah gave a forceful push to the woman's back as a hand and then foot came crashing through the door.
Ignoring the wild frightened eyes in front of her, Sarah gave another push as the woman hesitated, "If you want to live, run!"
Following the now moving woman as quickly as she could, Sarah pulled her gun from behind her back and pausing briefly, turned and fired off a few rounds into the terminators chest before running after the woman again.
"We need to get out of here, now!"
As they made their way to the glass slider doors at the back, Sarah could see Derek running up to it, his face showing his apprehension as his gaze was directed behind Sarah to see the approaching terminator.
Seeing Derek raise his shotgun, Sarah grabbed a hold of the woman's shoulders and tackled her to the ground again as a shot rang out and the glass doors in front shattered into pieces in front of them. Sarah cursed as she swiftly jumped up and pulled the now shocked woman up with her. With no time to explain her presence and the terminator chasing them, Sarah could only hope that the woman would continue with her silent acceptance of the situation for now as she held her hand firmly and pulled her along behind her.
"Take her!" Sarah shouted frantically as she jammed her gun back into the front of her jeans and pushed the woman into Derek's arms. Grabbing the shotgun from Derek's outstretched hands; Sarah quickly cocked the shotgun and turned, firing at the same time into the still approaching terminator.
Moving back slowly as she kept firing at the terminator, his steps stumbling at each hit to his chest, Sarah cursed again as the shotgun suddenly clicked loudly in the ringing silence.
Seeing Derek hesitate with the woman still firmly in his grasp, Sarah turned a quick glare back at him, "Get the fuck out of here Derek, now!"
Seeing Derek out of the corner of her eyes finally pushing the woman in front of him roughly to get her moving again, Sarah turned around and swung the shotgun at the approaching terminators head.
"Fuck!" Sarah shouted as the machine raised a hand and stopped the force of the swing nonchalantly, feeling the impact reverberate down to her toes.
Letting go of the shotgun, Sarah turned and prepared to run but was stopped short as a hand clamped down firmly on to her left ankle. Kicking wildly to get free Sarah felt the machine give a sharp tug and suddenly found herself lying on her back, winded, as her head hit the lawn with a solid thump. Feeling her shoulder flare in protest at the rough treatment, Sarah groggily shook her head, trying to clear the stars floating in front of her eyes as the terminator grabbed a hold of her other ankle and pulled.
Kicking both of her feet in a panicked desperation to get free of the machines grasp, Sarah turned onto her stomach trying to add leverage to her struggle as she rose onto her hands. Feeling firm hands on her shoulders, Sarah turned around to see the terminators blank expression in front of her, its malevolent eyes burning a dull red.
Squirming and kicking as hard as she could, Sarah reached into her pants and pulled out her gun. Releasing the safety, Sarah raised the gun up to the terminators cheek and fired, point blank, feeling the kickback reverberate up her arm and down her body. Breathing a quick sigh of relief as the machine stumbled back at the impact and the hold around her shoulders suddenly gone, Sarah quickly scrambled to her feet.
Gripping the gun firmly in her hand Sarah turned to run, only to be stopped short again as a hand clamped firmly down on her right shoulder, making her stumble to her knees in sudden pain. Letting out an involuntary scream in reaction to the pain now thudding forcefully in her shoulder, Sarah willed it away and turned around to land on her back as she readied the gun to fire again.
Before she could press the trigger however, Sarah suddenly saw the terminator being lifted off his feet and flung half way across the back yard. Letting out a relieved breath at the sight of Cameron's rigid back standing in front of her, Sarah scrambled to her feet as she caught John's panicked form running up to her from the back gate.
"Run Sarah." Cameron's voice was firm and hard as she continued to glare at the approaching terminator in front of her. Striding forward with determined steps, Cameron struck out with her right fist, feeling a sense of satisfaction as it hit the machine solidly on the jaw, his head whipping back at the impact.
Sarah hesitated, her desire to stay and help Cameron warring with her desire to get John out of danger. "What the hell are you doing here John?"
"We were too late; the other Sarah Connor's already dead. Come on Mom, let's go," John urged as he glanced over towards the two battling terminators who were trading blows for blows gripping Sarah's arm tightly in apprehension.
Sarah clenched her teeth in anger at the news, glancing back towards Cameron to see the girl go flying as the other terminator grabbed her by the shoulders and threw her towards the house.
Feeling John tugging at her arm, Sarah ignored him as she saw Cameron landing heavily on the paved concrete, her heart somersaulting at the sight. Sarah froze in indecision as her gaze locked onto Cameron's crumpled form. Shrugging off John's hand on her arm Sarah stepped closer and raised her gun, sighting down the barrel as the terminator turned away from Cameron to lumber towards her and John.
"Mom!" John's voice was desperate now as he too raised his gun at the approaching terminator.
"Sarah go!" Cameron barked in desperation as she stumbled unsteadily to her feet. Seeing Sarah standing in front of the terminator, arms raised, Cameron sprinted forward and grabbing the terminators shoulders from behind slung him around and away to land on the side of the garage wall heavily, leaving a man size dent behind as he struggled to get up.
"I'm not leaving without you Cameron." Sarah's voice was firm as she gripped her gun tighter, keeping an eye out on the terminator behind Cameron.
Stepping in front of Sarah to block her from the terminator, Cameron's face was an icy mask as he finally got to his feet and came charging forward. Cameron side stepped the arm reaching for her head and punched him in the face, his head dropping backwards on impact. Bending down and picking up the shotgun from the lawn, Cameron swung as hard as she could into his stomach, watching briefly as the machine flew across the yard to land with another heavy thump.
Shooting a fierce scowl at Sarah, unhappy with her refusal to leave, Cameron ran towards her and gripping her firmly by the arm, dragged Sarah along behind her as she continued to run for the back gate. Tucking his gun into his jeans, John quickly followed behind.
Cameron dropped her hand from Sarah's arm and sprinted ahead towards the truck parked on the footpath. Digging the keys out from her jeans pocket, Cameron hastily climbed into the front seat and started the truck, revving the engine in her haste to put it into gear.
"Drive!" Sarah yelled as she jumped into the back seat and watched John clambering into the front passenger seat, slamming the door with a reverberating bang. Reaching for the second shot gun on the floor Sarah cocked it and swung her head and arms out the side window, aiming at the lumbering terminator coming out of the back yard and running towards them. Sarah pulled the trigger on the shot gun, the sound ringing clearly in the silent neighbourhood as it hit the terminators chest with deadly accuracy, leaving more gaping holes of metal and blood through his shirt.
With a squeal of rubber on pavement, Cameron floored the gas pedal and reversed the truck as fast as she could into the kneeling form of the terminator, hearing the thud of metal on metal as the truck struck the terminator with a satisfying thump. Putting the gear into first, Cameron revved the engine again and with one final squeal of rubber, pealed the truck onto the road hastily. Glancing up into the rear view mirror, Cameron's face was a mask of grimness as she saw the machine slowly get to his feet, keeping watch until she swerved around a corner and lost sight of his reflection.
Catching Sarah's worried frown in the mirror and her blood splattered shirt, Cameron's gaze turned icy cold as she pointedly looked away from Sarah's reflection to focus back on the road. Sarah and her reckless stubbornness was going to get her seriously hurt one day and Cameron didn't know if her systems would be equipped for that kind of situation.
Sighing wearily, Sarah drooped against the back seat as the imminent threat of the terminator was assuaged for now, feeling her shoulder twinge in protest at the movement. Seeing Cameron's reflection in the rear view mirror, Sarah stiffened in concern as the girl pointedly turned away from her stare. Sighing again, Sarah could only close her eyes in weary tiredness, the adrenaline from her close call with the terminator slowly ebbing from her body. All she wanted right now was to be back in bed with Cameron's warm arms and curves spooning her tightly, keeping her steady. Glancing at Cameron's reflection again and taking in the coldness and rigidity to her features, Sarah's heart resigned itself to no rest. Cameron was pissed at her...and Cameron being pissed at her was never conducive to a good night's sleep.
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