FANDOM: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
SPOILERS: Everything from the first season.
DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em. Don't know who does.
CHARACTERS: John Connor, Derek Reese
TIMELINE: February 26, 2015
SUMMARY: Celebrate. That's
what Derek had said years ago. "You kidding? I
celebrated your thirtieth with you". Jesus, Derek had a dry sense of
humor, but this was pushing it.
gonna thank me," the kid yelled through the chainlink mesh that
served as a cell. "Everyone is going to know the name of Derek Reese.
I'm gonna be a fucking hero."
sergeant sat in the folding chair across the room, glaring at the kid.
John watched them both through the open door, waiting impatiently in
the hallway for the intel he needed.
"None of you had
guts," Derek continued ranting, "but I did and this is how you thank me
by locking me up in here. When people find out they're gonna – "
finally bounded up, handing John the memory stick. Before Carson could
offer some nervous, bumbling explanation, John turned and walked toward
the small room
tear you to pieces you fucking
idiot!" the sergeant roared at Derek, springing out of the chair,
cutting the teenager's tirade short. "Do you have any idea what you did
you – "
said with a wave of his hand.
sergeant immediately snapped to attention, saluting as John Connor
entered the room. Even Derek's bravado waned considerably as he watched
the man who led the human resistance. John and Derek had never been in
close quarters and undoubtedly Derek was confused as to why John was
said to the sergeant. "Close the door."
man did as commanded. John waited until the door swung shut to sink
into the folding chair. He pulled the computer out of his pocket and
inserted the memory card, scanning through the data with a frown. Shit.
He'd known, of course, but he'd known a lot of things in his lifetime
and he rarely found that advanced knowledge made it any easier to
He looked up at
Derek who seemed to shrink under the
weight of his general's stare. John had that effect on people. His age
was largely irrelevant. He commanded respect from his subordinates. A
lifetime spent preparing for this inevitability gave him the gravitas
John stared at
Derek's younger self for several
heartbeats. John had known. All of his life, he'd known what the future
held. People and machines from his future manifesting in his present
was commonplace enough. But this was the first time he'd literally come
face to face with his past. It was shocking to stare into the face of a
teenage boy and see glimmers of the man he would one day become. This
boy would grow into he battle-hardened soldier who killed to save
John's life, who died to protect
him. So far John had avoided
the sweet horror of having to meet an adolescent version of his own
father. But if Derek was here now, then that next piece would soon
enough fall into place.
"You left your
post," John said, doing an admirable job of suppressing the emotions
clawing at his insides.
swallowed thickly and then nodded. He seemed to regain his composure
and squared his shoulders. "Yeah," he said boldly. "I did. I took James
and Kondry and we snuck into one of Skynet's sub-stations and blew the
fucker to hell."
John shook his
head wearily. "You were supposed to stay at your post. You had explicit
orders to stay at your post."
the cell, Derek moved restlessly, starting to pace from side to side.
"We weren't going to get another opportunity like that," he said
vehemently. "Those patrols had been picking us off one by one for
weeks. We went in and we took them out. We took the fight to them, for once." The last bit was
said with a great deal of venom and he glared at John in challenge.
forced himself not to smile. He knew Derek was a pain in the ass, he
just wasn't aware it manifested quite so early. But that was okay. It
was better this way. This was how it had to be. Though for one horrible
second he missed his uncle so completely that the pain stole his
breath. He coughed, burying the emotion like so many others.
John slipped the computer back in one pocket and pulled a flask out of
the other. He took a long gulp, relishing the way it burned down his
throat. This wasn't moonshine. This was the real stuff, taken from his
private stash. Johnnie Walker black label. Damn good. The flask was
half-empty. John had been working on it for about an hour. Maybe if he
drank enough things wouldn't turn out the way he knew they needed to
appreciating the dismissive treatment, demanded, "Do you know what
today is? It - "
"Of course I
know what today is," John interjected dryly.
Derek looked at
him for a moment, not having expected to have his rhetorical tantrum
birthday," John continued, unprompted. Fuck. Celebrate. That's what Derek
had said years ago. You kidding? I
celebrated your thirtieth with you. Jesus, Derek had a
dry sense of humor, but this was pushing it.
brow furrowed and he clearly did not know what to do with that
information. "Today's the day we took the fight to them," Derek
finished, with considerably less gusto than he started.
John rolled his
eyes and took another drink. "Yeah. Whatever."
to regroup, Derek said, "We run like we're fucking rats. We need to hit
them and hit them hard. We need to –"
"You were supposed to
stay at your goddamn post!" John roared,
bolting out of the chair.
In the cell,
Derek took a step back.
his head, John turned away, massaging the back of his neck with his
hand, suppressing the emotions that threatened to overtake him. He
stared at the wall, sighing. "What happened to you? How'd you get
"I fucked up my
knee running for cover. Patrol found
us and when they brought us back to base, that jackass Murphy threw me
"Ah," John said,
nodding. He took another drink. "That explains why you don't know yet."
Derek repeated quietly. His brow furrowed and he cocked his head to the
side, staring at John who was still staring at the wall. "What the fuck
are you talking about, man? Are you drunk?"
John turned back
Derek and it took him a moment to focus. "Drunk as a skunk," John said
dryly. "It's my thirtieth birthday."
bewildered by the entire exchange. "You don't look thirty," he said
"I skipped eight birthdays."
Derek had no
reply for that impossible bit of information.
found the camp," John said abruptly.
Derek stared at
camp," John repeated. "While you and James and Kondry were busy taking
the fight to them for once, Skynet found it. They killed five, took the
rest to Century Work Camp."
open, Derek stared at his general. Snapping his mouth shut, he
swallowed thickly. "The five ..."
was taken prisoner."
shook his head reflexively, both relieved and in denial. "No. You don't
know Kyle. He's a hell of a kid. The machines grabbed him once in the
tunnels. Kyle managed to get away. He - "
"He didn't get
away," John said firmly.
"How do you
know?" Derek demanded, eyes glassy with unshed tears.
"I know," John
replied with finality.
door swung open and McManuss, a weathered middle-aged man who was one
of John's most trusted lieutenants, strode inside. "Century. Just like
McManuss's scrutiny. John was
accustomed to people questioning exactly how it was he knew what he
knew. He never enlightened them, of course. He couldn't. He could trust
no one. His uncle taught him that lesson well.
rescue is suicide," McManuss said.
narrowed his eyes at John, knowing his general knew far more than he
was saying, but also knowing John would never admit to anything.
"You're going to
get them?" Derek asked, grabbing the chainlink. "You've got to let me
go with you."
lucky we don't shoot you right now, boy," McManuss snapped. "You're not
shot a sidelong glance at John, waiting to see if he was going to be
overruled. It frustrated the hell out of John's lieutenants that the
general operated on his own set of parameters to which they were not
John turned and
looked at Derek. "Let him cool off for a couple of days."
"You, fuck," Derek snarled,
incensed. "You've got to let me go with you."
John strode from
the room and McManuss followed.
Feedback to indie