DISCLAIMER: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and its characters are the propert of James Cameron and Fox. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have mainly read fanfiction about these two and I have watched every episode from season 1 I can find online now! Making progress, so I apologize in advance if I don't get their personalities correct. If you haven't read Time Loop yet, please do before reading this one. It sets up the premise of this ongoing AU, other Time Loop stories can be read in any order. Please ask before Archiving, ralst/P&P and Slayers Time has permission for all Time Loop stories. Please leave a comment, even if it's just one word. Comments tell authors their stories are being read and enjoyed. Okay, this is my longest story to date. It is actually over 6000 words long!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Time Loop: Loop 18
By wkgreen


Cameron followed Maria Shipkov into an old building and then upstairs to the second floor, where she was let in to see Dmitri, the man who had taught the Turk to play chess.

Maria rushes to the side of her brother, "She can help us. She will give you money if you tell her where the Turk is."

Cameron holds up a small, uncut diamond, "Ó ìåíÿ åñòü äåíüãè. You were the one who reported the Turk missing."

Dmitri takes the small diamond desperately, "Do you have more?"

Cameron stares calmly at the desperate man, not showing any emotion, "What happened to it?"

"A man came to see me, offered me money to steal the Turk. I owed a lot of money to the people who helped me bring my sister into this country. So I changed the end game protocols in order for it to lose its last match. If we'd won, and we would've won, I never could of gotten it out of there. We... I was paid money for it. Twenty-thousand dollars. It wasn't enough," Dmitri hears a car stopping outside, doors opening and slamming closed, he rushes to the window and sees Russian thugs getting out of their car.

Dmitri looks at the small diamond in his hand, "I need more of these. PLEASE! I need more of these."

Cameron stares at Dmitri relentlessly, "Who bought the Turk?"

Dmitri hands Cameron a note, his hand shaking, "This is all I have. Okay?"

Cameron looks at the note, "Thanks for explaining." Cameron turns and walks towards the door.

Dmitri grabs at Cameron's arm, trying to slow her down, "Where are you going? Hey! Hey! Where do you go?"

Maria looks in shock as Cameron just turns and walks towards the door, wailing desperately, "You promised you would help us!"

Cameron brushes off Dmitri's hand effortlessly as the two siblings cringe back from the door as Cameron closes it behind her. Suddenly there is a scream, followed by gunfire and heavy bodies landing on the floor. It only lasts seconds and then the door opens again, Cameron looks at them, "Follow me. I will have more questions for you."

Sarah walks towards John's room fretting over Derek Reese being in the house, John seeing the tape of her signing her parental rights away, wondering what Agent Ellison is going to do after she rescued him and where the Turk is. Mostly she is worried about John and is searching to corner him and have a heart to heart talk with him about what he saw. Hearing the outside door open, Sarah instantly tenses for action as she listens. Relaxing as she recognizes Cameron's footsteps and waits for her.

Once Cameron comes in sight, Sarah asks, "Have you tracked down Dmitri yet?"

Cameron walks up and hands Sarah a piece of paper, "I have a name and Dmitri. I have him holed up in a motel with his sister. They are running from the Russian mafia. They need help getting away."

Sarah looks at the name on the piece of paper and then at Cameron oddly, "What do you mean the Russian mafia? We don't need to get involved with them." Sarah frowns pensively shaking her head. "We have the information, what more do we need."

"He might have more information." Cameron emotionlessly states, "And I told them I would help them."

"You what," Sarah exclaims in disbelief, "What did you do that for?"

Cameron tilts her head and then performs a couple of ballet moves ending in a graceful deep curtsy; one leg extended towards Sarah, her other leg bent deeply as her hands spread wide to either side of her body as she bows her head towards Sarah, "I am a cat." Cameron straightens up and assumes her standard perfect posture, her body returning to its standard stiffness.

Sarah looks shocked as she watches Cameron's body moving gracefully, fluidly and surprisingly beautiful. Sarah wonders how a machine can dance so beautifully. Then the thought enters her head, "What if she isn't just a machine," and just as quickly she squashes the thought. "What do you mean you are a cat?" Sarah asks in an exasperated tone of voice.

"Miss Maria told me I have to be a cat. She is an excellent teacher." Cameron comments with a small smile. Her face returns to its normal slightly lost look, "He may have more information. I told him to write everything down, no matter how small of a detail. And if it is enough, we will help him."

Sarah sighs in exasperation, conflicted between wanting to keep a low profile and helping people in need, "Fine…. We will help them." Sarah looks towards John's room, "But first I need to talk to John. I will get with you when I am ready."

Cameron nods, "I will be doing my homework," and walks into the kitchen.

An hour later, Sarah walks into the kitchen to get some coffee. She is relieved, sad and satisfied all at once. She is relieved that John understands that she loves him, and that signing away her rights was the biggest mistake she has ever made. She is sad and satisfied that John now knows that she can make mistakes; that she can lose heart and surrender at times. He has been idolizing her too much. He needs to learn to stand on his own two feet and not look up to anyone else. This will make him a stronger leader. Feeling Cameron's gaze on her back, she finally turns to face the terminator that looks like a beautiful teenage girl, pretending to be her step-daughter. Sarah blinks as she realizes she thought of Cameron as beautiful and quickly pushes the thought aside.

"I do not understand." Cameron states calmly as she tilts her head as she meets Sarah's eyes with single minded focus.

Sarah snorts, "That isn't a surprise." Sarah feels uncomfortable under Cameron's direct, unwavering gaze, but doesn't allow herself to look away. She fights down a blush that is threatening to rise up by focusing on anger and impatience, "What is it this time?

"Dmitri threw the chess match so he could steal the Turk." Cameron is frowning lightly as she tilts her head, "for twenty thousand dollars, not even enough to pay off his loan to the Russian mafia. If they had won the match, they would have won a multi-million dollar military contract. He could have easily paid off the Russian mafia with that."

"That is because he is a dipshit," Sarah shakes her head at the guy's stupidity. Smirking as she can tell that Cameron is looking up the colloquial meaning of dipshit when applied to a person in this context.

"He is a chess master and has a registered IQ 154." Cameron states factually.

"He obviously isn't a chess master, just someone who can play chess very well and having a high IQ doesn't mean he is smart," Sarah shrugs dismissively.

Cameron brings her eyebrows inwards confusedly, "What is the difference?"

Sarah sighs exasperatedly, "A chess master would apply what he learned to his whole life. This Dmitri has obviously not done that. He has compartmentalized his learning to just chess. He is also a dipshit because he let himself get pressured into making bad decisions. Bringing his sister to America was noble, but he did it the wrong way." Sarah smirks as she watches the gears, circuits or whatever they are called, working in Cameron's computer brain.

Cameron then smiles at Sarah, "I understand. Thank you for explaining."

Sarah can't help but to feel happy when Cameron smiles at her like that and buries it by getting down to business, "Just how bad is the situation?"

Cameron tries out a shrug, "He is in debt and missed an unknown number of payments. And I have killed three people sent to collect from him; one to convince Maria that I could help him, two that were sent to kill him and possibly his sister."

Sarah sighs, "Great, they are going to want blood. Just paying them off is no longer enough. Couldn't you have just knocked them unconscious?" Sarah asks, but doesn't expect an answer as she barrels on, "This is why I am always telling you to not kill anyone. Death is irrevocable and has consequences!" She rubs the bridge of her nose in thought, feeling Cameron looking at her expectantly, trusting that Sarah will come up with a plan. Irritated about being put in this situation, she still finds herself not wanting to disappoint the girl… machine … and decides on a course of action, "The only way they will stop looking is if they think the two are dead. We need to arrange for them to witness an accident which apparently kills Dmitri and Maria. Then get the two out of town with new identities."

Cameron nods, "Car accident or exploding building?"

Sarah pauses in thought before answering, "I think we should go with exploding building, easier to setup beforehand." Sarah pauses as she considers what is needed, "I need pictures ...," Cameron hands over her cell phone. Sarah quirks an eyebrow at Cameron as she accesses the saved images folder and finds suitable pictures, "Ookayy that is taken care of," Sarah looks at Cameron suspiciously, "You figured I would agree to help didn't you."

Cameron smiles sweetly, "You are always telling me that preserving life is important."

Sarah frowns at Cameron, "Then why didn't you preserve the life of the goons?" As she tries to recall exactly how many times she has told Cameron that.

Cameron tilts her head, "Their deaths were necessary to keep me from being identified. I was not going to risk your safety."

Sarah frowns as she finishes off her coffee, understanding Cameron's decision although not agreeing with it. And also feeling irked that she might have been manipulated by the girl … machine, "Find an abandoned building, set it up for a gas explosion. I will arrange for some new identities. Meet me back here when you are done." An irritated Sarah sends Cameron off as she turns away.

Cameron puts away her homework and gets up, reminding herself that at this point of their relationship, anything she does gets Sarah irritated. Although she does wish she could find a way to get through it faster. Putting aside thoughts of what she can not change, she focuses on her mission. She already has several places in mind, the best one is an abandoned warehouse with filled propane tanks stored in it. The business that owned it went bankrupt and its debtors are fighting in court to see who gets what. She had originally chosen it as a site for ambushing Cromartie, but it would suit the current need.

Cameron gets some C4 and blast caps and drives to the warehouse. She slowly walks around the building, storing every detail of the building, internal and external. Knowing where every entrance is into the warehouse, where every nut and bolt is. She walks to the middle of the floor and looks straight down. This is what makes this building really suitable; it runs right above a main branch of the city's sewer system. She will make an opening into it. Stack the propane tanks around it and a lot of the unopened crates of material. She will set up one of the thick metal plates she found to fall over the opening she creates. That will keep the blast from following them down. She estimates that she will be done preparing in 2 hours 26 minutes. After that, she will have one more task to make sure all is ready.

4 hours and 4 minutes later, Cameron finds Sarah in the kitchen eating pizza alone. Cameron tilts her head as she looks around for John or Derek, "Where is John?" She finds it highly unusual that John is not eating or as Sarah calls it, scarfing up the pizza. Although 83.5% of the pizza is gone, indicating that John was here.

Sarah looks up at Cameron and sighs, "He is upstairs in his room, finding everything he can find about this Sarkassian."

Cameron notes that Sarah's voice has less tension in it when she says John's name, but she is still sad. She concludes that they have worked past their latest argument, mostly. She examines Sarah's loose, black clothing plus a black knitted cap, a blonde wig and sunglasses beside Sarah's arm on the table curiously.

Cameron reports, "I found a warehouse with propane tanks in it. They are set to explode. I have created an escape path down into the sewer system that will be covered up by the explosion. There is little danger of a fire spreading out of control to other buildings."

Sarah nods, "Okay girlie, let's get this done with. I want them out of my hair so I can focus on finding the Turk." She picks up the blonde wig and hands it to a confused Cameron, "This is your disguise."

"My disguise," Cameron intones emotionlessly, to hide her confusion.

"Against the mob boys when you lead them to Dmitri and his sister," Sarah holds up the knit cap and sunglasses, "This is my disguise so that Dmitri can't adequately describe me to anyone."

Cameron goes still as she calculates what Sarah's plan is, running through several permutations. Analyzing the disguises, Cameron holds up the blonde wig, "This should be adequate from a distance," she concludes with a nod. Then she points at Sarah's disguise, "That should be adequate, Dmitri is a dipshit after all." She smirks as only a teenage girl can, then lets her face return to its usual smooth slightly lost expression.

Sarah smirks as she pulls on her leather jacket and pockets the knit hat and sunglasses, "Let's go. Carlos is making up the IDs. We will pick them up in the morning after we have your two fugitives stashed in this warehouse."

Cameron follows Sarah out; her eyes seem to focus on Sarah's swaying rear end, "Tight." When Sarah looks over her shoulder back at Cameron, Cameron is staring straight ahead innocently. Cameron stiffens as Sarah tries to figure out what is 'Tight' and then relaxes as Sarah shrugs off her statement as Cameron getting her teenage girl mannerisms wrong again.

A while later the two are pulling into a parking lot for a Motel 6. "This is where you stashed them?" Sarah asks as she looks around as Cameron turns off the Jeep.

"Yes. I used my name to check them in. The clerk never saw them. And if they followed directions, they will not have left the room or been seen by anyone." Cameron states as she walks towards the stairs that will take them directly to the room she stashed the two siblings in.

Sarah puts on the sunglasses and the knit cap, making sure her hair is contained under it as she moves to the side of the door.

Cameron pauses until Sarah is ready and then knocks and calls out, "I'll be back," in a bad Arnold Schwarzenegger accent. Sarah quirks an eyebrow at Cameron, knowing Cameron could imitate Arnold perfectly if she had wanted to.

Cameron answers Sarah's unspoken question, "John told me to not do it perfect. It freaks people out."

Sarah smirks as she can picture John telling Cameron that. They hear the chains coming off the door and then it opening up, revealing Maria behind it, and looking relieved that Cameron didn't just abandon them.

Sarah pushes past Cameron into the room and looks over Dmitri, her face not hiding how she feels about him, "What do you have for us?" She asks directly.

Dmitri quickly hands over the pages of stuff he has written, Cameron takes them from him, "Please, you can help us? They want to kill us!"

Sarah looks over at Cameron who is flipping through the pages quicker then natural. She finds it incongruous that she is mad at Dmitri for having betrayed Andy, but that betrayal kept her from having to tell Cameron to kill Andy. She thinks she knows who killed Andy and why, but she isn't sure what she wants to do about it yet.

Cameron looks at Sarah, "We have descriptions of Sarkassian, some of his followers, where meetings took place, and phone numbers." Dmitri and Maria look shocked that Cameron went through the pages that quickly and now seems to have a complete knowledge of them.

Sarah nods, "We are going to help you. The Russian mafia isn't going to accept money anymore. So we are going to stage an accident to make them think you are dead. Then give you some new IDs and money to send you out of town." Sarah looks sternly at Dmitri, "After that you are on your own."

"Sure, sure. No problem. How much money," Dmitri asks nervously his hands shaking as he can't seem to stay still, pacing back and forth.

Maria looks at Sarah, "But what about my school? My students?"

Cameron looks at Maria, "You can not stay. They will harm you to find Dmitri."

Sarah nods, "You will have to start over. And don't worry, your new ID will have a comparably history in ballet." Sarah glances over at Dmitri unpleasantly, "Enough," she looks at Cameron who nods that they are unobserved at the moment, "Let's get you to the warehouse. You will spend the night there and tomorrow morning we will stage the accident."

Dmitri and Maria nod in acceptance, too scared to offer resistance and grateful that Sarah and Cameron are helping them. They leave the motel, Dmitri and Maria get into the crowded backseat of the jeep as Sarah and Cameron take the front, Cameron in the driver's seat. They soon pull up to the warehouse.

Dmitri gets out of the jeep painfully, "Can we get some of our things? And we have money in banks. Can we get our money?"

Sarah looks at Dmitri crossly, "Cameron will pick up some of your stuff tomorrow. And no, you can't go anywhere near your bank accounts. The Russians will be watching them."

Dmitri wrings his hands as Maria looks lost, both follow Cameron to the middle of the warehouse where the crates and gas tanks are stacked.

Cameron shows them the path to the escape tunnel she made, "This is how you will escape the explosion. I would advice you to stay close to here all night."

While Cameron was showing the siblings the escape tunnel, Sarah examined the warehouse, paths into the warehouse, where there are good places of cover, exits and entrances into the place. Once she sees Cameron finish explaining the escape plan to the Shipkov's, she gestures Cameron over.

"I want you to stay here and guard them for the night. In the morning I will come back and we can finish this off," Sarah tells Cameron with a thoughtful frown as the looks at how jumpy the two are.

Cameron looks at Sarah intensely, "My mission is to guard you and John."

Sarah smirks, "I think I can protect John one night without your help. And we have Derek for backup."

Cameron pauses in thought, looking unhappy, "He can serve as a delaying tactic. The time it takes a terminator to kill him will give you and John extra time to run. My mission is to guard you and John."

Sarah glares at Cameron, "Your mission is to follow orders and help us stop Skynet."

Cameron tries a pout on Sarah, "I do not have to follow your orders."

"You do if you want to complete your mission. Or so help me, I will take John and hide from you too," Sarah hisses exasperatedly, "I will take the notes that Dmitri wrote to John. It should help with his searching. You stay here and guard these two. Are we clear?"

Cameron pouts even more, but when she sees it isn't working on Sarah, she returns her face to her normal expression, "Yes Sarah. I will guard these two overnight."

Sarah sighs as Cameron gives in and spins around to walk out of the warehouse.

Cameron returns to the Shipkov's and looks at Maria, "Will you teach me Step of a Cat?"

Maria looks at Cameron in shock, "What?"

Cameron explains, "It will help you relax and pass the time…"

Sarah closes the warehouse door, cutting off the rest of Cameron's explanation, feeling unease about how Cameron has been behaving. Feeling nervous about Cameron's dancing, it wasn't what she expected. It was too fluid, and had an element of something she can't define or doesn't want to define to her self. Shaking it off, Sarah heads home, to get whatever sleep she can. Although without Cameron there to stand watch through the night, she doesn't think she is going to get much.

Sarah is up before the sun finishes rising above the horizon. Looking disgruntled as she waits for the coffee to be ready, used to it being ready as soon as she came down stairs. After sending John off to school with a note about Cameron being sick, she heads out. Her first stop is at Carlos's to pick up the new ID's for the Shipkov's. After that she will head to the warehouse and then send Cameron off to attract the attention of the Russian Mafia.

Over an hour later she arrives at the warehouse. She makes sure her disguise is in place before entering the warehouse. She finds the Shipkov's are sleeping uncomfortably on some old pallets. Scanning the room, her eyes lock on Cameron dancing fluidly through what she assumes is the Cat Stepping or whatever. Sarah is shocked into stillness, unable to tear her eyes away from Cameron.

Cameron finishes her dance, comes to stillness and looks at Sarah. She holds back a smile at the stunned expression on Sarah's face as she walks towards her.

Sarah grits her teeth as she shakes herself out of her stupor, angry at herself for being so affected by a simple dance. She tosses the keys to Cameron, "Go by their places and get clothes for them and any other small items."

Cameron catches and tosses the keys back to Sarah, "I will steal a car. I have the keys to their places and got a list of items they can't live without, one suitcase for each of them."

Sarah catches the keys Cameron threw back at her and curses herself for letting Cameron's dancing throw her off balance and not thinking of that herself, "Good, make sure to wear the wig I gave you."

"Yes Sarah," Cameron replies rolling her eyes at the unnecessary reminder as she holds up the wig.

"Right, make sure you are followed before you come back and give me a call for a warning." Sarah reassures herself that Cameron knows what she is expecting of her, "And no killing."

"Yes Sarah," Cameron responds emotionlessly as she exits the warehouse.

Sarah looks pensively after Cameron then turns to the Shipkov's, who were woken by their conversation. She holds up a bag from McDonald's, "I brought you some breakfast." Pulling out a folder she was holding against her body with an arm, "And we can go over your new backgrounds while we wait." Sarah is all business as she approaches the two liabilities she has been saddled with. Fortunately the Shipkov's are cowed by her forceful personality, so this should be quick and she won't get a lot of back talk like she does from John.

Cameron goes to Maria's place first, considering it the least likely place to be watched. She gets the items Maria requested quickly. Second she goes to Dmitri's apartment to pick up his stuff and still does not pick up a tail. She drives to the apartment where Dmitri was hiding at. Even before she has pulled over to a stop, she identifies a car parked a block away and catty corner where anyone in it would have an unobstructed view of the front of the building. Focusing on the car, she identifies several men that fit basic descriptions of mafia type men. Slowing down and then speeding up, she blows through a stop sign like someone panicking. She watches her rearview mirror as she drives away, at first driving fast and making lots of turns like she is trying to lose any tails, but making sure to not lose them. Once she has made the attempt to lose her tail, she heads towards the warehouse.

Accessing her internal wireless functions, Cameron places a call to Sarah through her cell phone. Sarah answers on the second ring, they both say afternoon, even though it is still morning. On odd days they give the correct greeting on even days they give an incorrect greeting. If someone responds with the reverse, they will know something is wrong. And no one would think anything of hearing it. Cameron calmly states, "I am being followed, eta 30 mins."

"We will be ready." Sarah announces and disconnects. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees Maria approaching her. Sarah turns to face the woman.

"You two are very close, no?" Maria asks hesitantly in her strong feminine voice.

Sarah draws in her eyebrows, "Why do you say that?" Sarah voice is soft, and slightly scratchy, but firm as she tries to understand why this stranger would make that assumption. Considering how abrupt she has been with Cameron.

Maria pauses at Sarah's abruptness, but forges on, "Because you two communicate without words. You'll are both on, umm… , on the same page, with barely a word spoken."

Sarah calls out, "Dmitri, keep looking out the window. We want you to be seen." Dmitri guiltily moves back to the window, wringing his hands nervously. Sarah hadn't moved her attention off Maria, "And?" Sarah keeps quiet about her internal thoughts, having learned the best answer is sometimes no answer.

Maria crosses her arms, bracing herself, "She has a beautiful soul trapped inside. And she isn't human, yes?" Maria waves her hand to show that she doesn't care for an explanation, "It doesn't matter what she is. I don't want to know. She learns too quickly and despite looking young, you send her on the dangerous parts of the plan, with no concern for her safety." Maria looks nervously at the aloof woman, hoping she hasn't crossed a dangerous line with this woman who is close to someone capable of the violence she has witnessed Cameron dish out. "It isn't that you don't care. You don't think she is in any danger and show more concern for what she might do to others." Maria looks nervously at the brunette woman, "And she has a beautiful soul trying to get out."

Sarah tries to keep the disbelief out of her voice, "What leads you to believe this?"

"Why her dancing, yes. Dance is the language of the soul," Maria replies matter factly.

Sarah hopes her sunglasses hide her widening eyes, as she remembers Cameron dancing, "And why are you telling me this?"

Maria hesitates, "Because I think you can help her release her soul." Maria takes a deep calming breath, "I see her soul shine in her eyes when you are around."

Sarah feels like a lightning bolt just struck her. She glances down and checks her watch, "It is time to get you into the tunnel, you don't have to be seen." Sarah quickly redirects the conversation back to the plan, not wanting to deal with this revelation.

Sarah turns to Dmitri, "Remember, you are to stay by the window watching and when she walks up with your suitcases, open the door for her." Sarah reiterates to the nervous Russian man, "I will be hidden in the crates to cover you and she will protect you. As soon as they rush in, run into here like you are seeking cover."

Dmitri nods his head, "This will work, no? They will stop looking for me afterwards?"

Sarah ignores Dmitri's search for reassurance as she and Maria thread their way into the center of the crates. Sarah helps Maria down into the sewer system, and then positions herself where she can watch, but not be observed.

As Cameron gets close to the warehouse, she spots Sarah's jeep hidden in a parking lot full of cars, where she would have hidden it. Pulling to a stop in front of the warehouse, she pops the trunk open. Getting out of the car, she walks around to the back and pulls out two suitcases, checking on how far back the mafia is. Cameron easily spots Dmitri looking out the window, obviously waiting for her as she walks towards the door. He opens it for her and rushes her inside, looking around nervously. Switching to her heat sensors, she locates Sarah and Maria.

"Take these." Cameron commands Dmitri as she hands off the suitcases. Dmitri staggers a bit under the weight as he gets ready to rush to the island of crates, but Cameron slows him down. Cameron stops them once they are close to the crates as she waits for the mafia to bust into the warehouse like they were going to do at Dmitri's hiding place.

"They are coming, no? Shouldn't we get to safety?" Dmitri asks urgently as he looks towards the door, sweat dripping down his forehead.

"Wait." Cameron says as she listens to the footsteps rushing up to the door, showing the same bravado and sense of untouchability as the ones she took out at the hiding place. But she needs these ones alive.

The door is kicked in.

"RUN!" Cameron shouts at Dmitri as she pulls out her Glock 17 and spins around, the blonde hair of the wig fanning out as she sprays a burst of 3 bullets into the door frame.

The mafia goons duck to either side of the door. One peeks around and sees Dmitri staggering behind the stack of crates in the middle of the warehouse, plus a blonde girl standing like she is invulnerable, he ducks back behind the doorframe as another burst of bullet fire slams into the doorframe where his head was.

The second mafia goon pops out from cover and fires off two quick bursts in Cameron's direction and quickly ducks back behind the doorframe, feeling the rush of air as bullets go flying past him.

Cameron is walking backwards, using her body to shield Dmitri as he scrambles to the center of the crates, spraying bullets at the mobsters to keep them ducking for cover, their shots wild so far.

A mobster dives and rolls across the floor, trying to flank Cameron. She sends a spray of bullets in front of him, sending chips of concrete into his face and forcing him to flinch back towards the door.

The other mobster pops back into view and fires twice at Cameron, missing her as she steps back into the cover of the crates. She fires the last 2 bullets at him, grazing him.

The flanking mobster fires at where Cameron is pulling back into the crates, his bullets getting absorbed in the crates.

Cameron sees that behind her is clear, Sarah having just dropped down into the sewer.

A third mobster appears in the doorway and fires into the crates, Cameron hears one of the bullets ping off of a gas canister. She internally sends the signal to trigger the C4, diving head first to pass just under the falling metal sheet as a flash of heat rushes over her. A gout of fire following her down into the sewer as she crashes into the sewer bottom.

Up top an expanding wall of fire, heat and force rushes outwards, throwing the mobsters around, the two mobsters in the doorway get thrown backwards for yards, but surviving. The mobster that dived inside, not being so lucky. The warehouse is instantly engulfed in flames as car alarms go off up and down the street from the shockwave.

Down below, the tunnel shakes from the force of the explosion, cracks appearing in the roof and walls as the heat climbs rapidly. Sarah is ushering the Shipkov's away quickly to escape the heat and any potential collapse. Cameron stiffly gets to her feet and follows along calmly, pulling off the burning wig and tossing it aside as she slaps out small fires on her jacket and jeans.

Sarah glances back as a secondary explosion sends shock waves through the air, "You think you used enough explosives?" She asks rather sarcastically.

Cameron shrugs, "Had to make sure no one expects any bodies to survive." She does not mention the bodies of the dead homeless she found to make sure there would be traces of humans incase a thorough search is initiated. She knows this would upset Sarah. They were already dead when she found them, but Sarah would still be mad about it.

"And you cut that pretty close, we were almost in reach of that blast," Sarah states irritatedly.

"A bullet had just ricocheted off a tank; it was an opportune time to set off the explosion. You were clear of the danger zone," Cameron explains casually.

Maria and Dmitri are looking back at Cameron with fear, not understanding someone who can treat near death so casually, like taking a Sunday walk. Not even sure how she survived the explosion.

They walk over a mile before they find a suitably clear exit. Cameron carries the luggage again to speed up the Shipkov's, especially Dmitri who is not in shape. Once they get to the surface, they quickly find someplace out of sight.

Sarah looks over the Shipkov's and shakes her head, "Stay here, I will jog back to get the Jeep."

Cameron looks at Sarah, "I can do that."

Sarah gestures at Cameron's state, wet hair, looking slightly charred from catching the edge of the explosion, her clothes having burn marks, "I think you would attract too much attention, Tin Miss."

Cameron looks down at herself and then back at Sarah, "You are correct. I will stay here and guard them."

An hour passes before Sarah drives up. Sitting in the driver seat, she waits for everyone to get in. Cameron, of course, takes the seat beside her as the Shipkov's huddle in the back nervously.

"It looks like the plan worked. The police are writing it off as a drug deal gone wrong. Two of the mafia boys lived and they were arrested and will go to trial for numerous charges after they get out of the hospital. They will tell their bosses that Dmitri was in the center of the explosion." Sarah reports to the Shipkov's. "Now we are going to get you to a private airport where we have a small plane rented to take you to Barstow. From there I don't care where you go, just get out of state." Sarah looks sternly at Dmitri.

Dmitri nods his head, "Right, we will go and start over."

Maria rubs her arms as she sneaks looks over at Cameron, who is sitting perfectly still, "Thank you for helping us."

"Don't, you are going to have to stay in hiding for the rest of your life. If the Russian mafia ever finds out you are alive, they will hunt you down," Sarah snaps as she considers what life on the run is like.

The rest of the trip to the airport is quiet. Once they get there, Sarah walks over to the pilot and pays him, who is studiously not looking at anyone as Cameron loads the luggage correctly for proper flight balance.

Maria approaches Sarah one more time, "Remember what I said, please."

Sarah gives a stiff nod at Maria, but doesn't open up enough for Maria to feel like she can say anything else. She climbs into the plane beside her brother.

Sarah and Cameron stand side by side as they watch the plane take off.

Sarah puffs out, "Finally," her mind already planning out how they will find Sarkassian.

Cameron softly responds, "Yes." She has finally saved Maria Shipkov's life after 15 attempts.

Sarah looks at Cameron strangely, feeling like they are thinking different things but shrugs it off, "Let's get you home, girlie. So you can clean up."

"Yes, do you have a conditioner for burnt, charred hair?" Cameron asks her face perfectly placid and unassuming.

Sarah chuckles, "No such thing, girlie, you will have to make do with the dry hair formula." She shakes her head as they get into the jeep and drive off.

Cameron hides a smile by dipping her head and letting her hair fall across her face as she examines the ends. Sarah obviously thought that she was being literal, and not intentionally making a joke. She loves sneaking in jokes that make Sarah laugh, Sarah's whole face brightens up.

One Week Later

Sarah walks into the kitchen where Cameron and John are doing their homework and plops a box down in front of Cameron.

Cameron looks up at Sarah inquisitively and Sarah smirks, "If you are going to be a cat. You need to learn from the best."

Cameron glances down into the box and sees a little kitten, which immediately starts hissing at her. She slowly reaches a hand out, the hissing kitten immediately swipes at Cameron's hand. Cameron becomes completely still. The kitten hisses for a couple moments more, sniffs at Cameron's hand and then climbs up on Cameron's arm, drawing blood as she scrambles up Cameron's arm to snuggle under Cameron's hair.

John looks at the kitten and then at his mom, "Are you serious? You are giving her a kitten??"

Sarah smirks, "Yes." And then she walks off without anymore explanation.

"What is its name?" Cameron calls out softly to Sarah, staying completely still so as to not startle the sleeping kitten as she watches it out of the corner of her eye.

"She is your kitten, you name her!" Sarah calls back. John is still looking back and forth between his mom and the kitten in shock.

Cameron looks at the kitten, "Hello Cat."

John's head snaps back to look at Cameron in disbelief, "You are going to call it Cat??"

Cameron glares at John, "Her."

The End

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