TITLE: Reese Boys
FANDOM: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
SPOILERS: Spoilers for Season 1.
DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em. Don't know who does.
CHARACTERS: John Connor, Derek Reese
TIMELINE: any and all.
SUMMARY: The motto changed. Reese Boys. They were
the two Reese Boys. Just the two of them against the world. They were
all each other would ever need.
Us four and no more.
It was Thomas
Reese’s motto, passed
like the proverbial torch to both his boys. First Derek, then Kyle.
Though Kyle was never expected to understand it the way Derek was
expected. Kyle was the baby. It was Derek’s responsibility to watch him.
had a lot of responsibilities in those years before Judgment Day. Every
time his dad shipped off, leaving the family, he always took Derek
aside and explained to him how he was the man of the house now, how it
was his responsibility to look out for Kyle and his mother.
always wished they had a bigger family. He wished his mom was like some
other Army wives, that she could live on base with her husband while he
was stateside, but that she had a home to retreat to when he shipped
out. But their mother didn’t have a family, not since uncle Tim was
killed in that car wreck eight years ago. Both of Jennifer Carson's
parents died when she was still in high school and she eventually
dropped out and married Thomas Reese to escape her elder brother’s
erratic behavior and druggie friends.
Thomas’s side of the family. Ever. And when he shipped out, he left
Jennifer and Derek and Kyle behind on base to fend for themselves. It
wasn’t so bad. There were always other Army brats around to keep them
company. Sometimes, they'd move off base and get a real apartment.
Depending on where they were, they could make money that way, if the
rent was less than the government housing stipend. But after moving
eleven times in fifteen years, Derek got real tired of trying to fit in.
Us four and no
more. It was easier that way.
fifteen year olds didn’t want their kid brothers hanging around. Hell,
Derek didn’t want it either. But he learned early that his wants were
secondary to what the family needed. And with Thomas gone and Jennifer
lost in the bottle, Kyle became Derek’s responsibility.
Judgment Day, Kyle felt like less of a responsibility and more of a
gift. The motto changed. Reese Boys. They were the two Reese Boys. Just
the two of them against the world. They were all each other would ever
Derek fucked up.
He failed. He lost Kyle. He
searched for days, following every lead. Some said they saw Kyle
killed, others claimed he was taken to one of the work camps. The
former Derek refused to process, the latter he was investigating.
Problem was, there was only one way to get a look inside a work camp.
stood in the shelter of the demolished building watching the patrol,
ready to scramble into their path in the hopes of being taken prisoner.
It was a long shot. It was easier to kill the humans than to take them.
But if he died trying to find Kyle, so be it.
He was just
getting ready to bolt when a heavy hand fell on his shoulder and pulled
him back, slamming him against the wall.
“What the fuck
is wrong with you?” he demanded, shaking Derek hard.
No one had
manhandled him like that since Thomas and Derek was so shocked, he just
stood there, staring at the guy.
someone yelled in the distance. Then closer. “Connor!”
The guy let go
of Derek and turned. “What?”
two men were part of the resistance. Derek heard rumblings, but he
hadn’t yet seen proof that there was an organized human resistance
“What're you up
to, Connor?” the newcomer asked,
warily eyeing Derek. The guy was a huge black man with a deep voice and
hands the size of dinner plates. He was a trained soldier. Derek could
spot the type a mile away. At first glance, Derek would bet Marine. But
Derek also knew without asking that the Marine wasn’t in charge. The
asshole who grabbed him was.
said, looking at
the guy. He was probably in his twenties, maybe his thirties, but Derek
was guessing younger. He was thin, lanky and half-starved, just like
everyone else. Smaller than Derek, he didn’t look like a fighter. He
didn’t look like part of the resistance. He looked like one of the AV
geeks who got tormented in high school – not that Derek would know
anything about that. “John Connor?” Derek had heard the name, whispered
like a prayer in the tunnels. He was sure everyone was full of shit.
There was no John Connor. It was sort of like finding yourself face to
face with the Easter Bunny. If the Easter Bunny knew how to make IEDs.
answered, eyes slipping away almost like he was embarrassed.
Derek looked him
up and down, snorting. “I thought you’d be bigger.”
coming from the dumbass who was about to turn himself over to a Skynet
hunting party,” Connor snapped, glaring at him as if the very idea
mortally offended him.
with shame. He had a good
reason for what he’d been planning to do. But Connor wouldn’t
understand about the Reese Boys. All Connor knew was that Derek looked
like a coward. Like he was giving up.
McManuss,” Connor snapped.
“I don’t take
orders,” Derek countered reflexively.
do today,” Connor said. And he said it with that same strange finality
Thomas used to have, the kind that brooked no resistance.
To his own
shock, Derek followed McManuss.
"Reese," Connor swore, "be
more careful. Clean the threads."
set the end cap down and picked up the rag, shooting Connor a glare as
he cleaned the pipe's threads. People treated John Connor like the
second coming. Derek still thought the guy was an asshole, always
double checking everything he did, always holding him to a higher
standard. But Connor did have a point. The threads were messy. It was a
stupid mistake. But mistakes were bound to happen when no one had slept
in two days.
the job, Derek screwed on the end
cap and set the pipe bomb with the others. Connor'd had every available
set of hands stockpiling munitions for days. Derek still wasn't sure if
he thought joining the resistance was a good move or a bad one. It'd
been just the Reese Boys for so long he forgot what it was like to be
part of a larger group. But he had to admit, he could learn from these
guys, especially that asshole, Connor.
make this shit?" Derek asked, despite his better judgment which said he
should stay as far below Connor's radar as possible. For reasons Derek
couldn't pinpoint, Connor seemed to have it in for him. But just as
inexplicably, every now and then Connor would actually talk to him.
Derek didn’t know why Connor confiding in him sometimes made things
better, but it did.
He was taking a bunch of
hopelessly mangled rifles and trying to scavenge together at least one
working weapon. Derek already knew he would succeed. Connor had a gift
that way. Derek was pretty sure you could hand the guy a soda can and a
rock and he'd figure out a way to make a tank.
up at Derek. "I grew up doing this," he said wearily. "Mom thought it
might come in handy."
wasn't sure if it was a joke or not, but he decided to take him at face
value. He caught sight of McManuss hovering nearby, a strange look on
his face. It gave Derek the impression John Connor wasn't big on
talking about his past. "Must've been a fun childhood," Derek joked. He
knew all about those.
Connor looked up
at him and Derek couldn't
read the expression. He looked away, back down at the rifle parts. "It
wasn't always bad," he said quietly.
hands in the middle of Derek's chest and shoved as hard as he could,
sending him toppling on his ass. "Fucking run," Connor yelled, angry.
Angrier than Derek had ever seen him, though really he couldn't
remember Connor ever showing much emotion.
The fuck? Derek
scrambled to his feet, staring at the resistance's leader, pinned under
the pile of rubble. "The HKs are coming," Derek said dumbly.
"I know," Connor
answered. "Now fucking run."
there, still shellshocked from the explosion.
"You do what
you're told. You go where you're told," Connor yelled. "Now run."
And to his
eternal shame, Derek ran.
First he lost
Then he lost
Now he lost John
He was through
with mottos. He was fucking through with everything. Kyle had been gone
two years. Gone.
still cringed at the thought. He still couldn't believe Kyle was dead.
He was just a kid.
had been gone almost as long, though everyone was convinced he was
still alive, still orchestrating things from inside one of those work
camps. Every now and then, someone would manage to escape with stories
of John Connor.
believe them. He didn't believe
anything. He refused to believe John Connor would save them all. He
knew the truth. No one was saved. If he wanted anything done, he'd have
to do it himself. He'd always known that. He went where he was told. He
did what he was told. But they couldn't make him believe.
watched Sumner rise to his feet and follow the CO down the tunnel.
Pushing himself to his feet, Derek followed. He listened to McManuss
give Sumner the mission and then watched as Sumner left.
"You should send
me," Derek said flatly. "I'm a better shot."
"You're a better
everything," McManuss said without looking at Derek. "But it's a
at Derek. "The trick with suicide missions is not actually sending
someone who wants to die, Reese. We
need him to come back in one piece."
was ignoring all the talk about the people who broke out of Century. He
didn't want to deal with it. He couldn't. So he'd raided Garner's stash
of moonshine and drank himself shitfaced, wandering the tunnels for
staring down the
tunnel at a ghost. He blinked. He wasn't entirely sure Garner's hooch
hadn't contained paint thinner. Was this what a full on delusion was
like? Maybe he was already dead. But no. He wasn't the ghost. Connor
closer, looking Derek up and down, shaking
his head. "Hang in there, man," he said. "I need both the Reese Boys if
we're going to dust these metal motherfuckers." He clapped Derek on the
shoulder and smiled.
And then Connor
real reason Derek couldn't stand the asshole. He cocked his head to the
side and looked at Derek like he was seeing right through him.
"It wasn't your
fault," Connor said quietly.
you," Derek spat, his chest tight, inexplicably on the brink of tears.
He didn't need anyone to forgive him for anything, least of all John
Connor’s asshole ghost.
"It wasn't your
fault," Connor repeated.
you, man," Derek growled, turning away before Connor could see the
tears. Why the fuck was he crying? And why did Connor think he needed
to be forgiven for something? Of course he didn't need to be forgiven.
footsteps pounding behind him and quickened his pace. He was through
with Connor's mind games. (Fuck, he hoped they were Connor's
mind games and he hadn't finally had a complete psychotic break.)
He stopped in
his tracks turning.
first time Derek saw Kyle with that damn picture, he lost it. "Connor
gave you that?" he demanded, grabbing Kyle, shoving him back against
"What the fuck,
Derek," Kyle yelled, shoving back,
skittering out of arm's reach. He brushed himself off and protectively
slipped the picture in the pocket of his flack jacket, chin set
defiantly. "What is it with you and Connor?"
Connor?" Derek snapped, though inwardly, he acknowledged Kyle had a
point. Even the guys who talked shit on Connor after a few drinks fell
into a reverent hush like they were looking at a fucking saint when the
guy made one of his rare appearances.
had no use for John Connor. He didn't trust the guy. He knew with
certainty that the Reese Boys would be better off without John Connor.
much as Derek hated to admit it, he felt like John Connor still went
out of his way to fuck with him. That, he was almost certain, was just
paranoia. He needed to stop drinking that shit Garner cooked up. It was
fucking with his head. He felt like a pissy little bitch even thinking
Connor was picking on him. Some people had issues with John Connor, but
Derek was certain he was the only one who would classify the guy as a
dick. Weird, yes. Secretive, yes. Asshole, not so much. John Connor
interacted with humanity on a macro scale, not micro. He didn't have
time to fuck with people.
Derek was pretty sure the
guy was an asshole. At least to him. And he didn't have a clue why. But
John Connor knew how to push his buttons better than anyone, better
than Kyle. John Connor got Derek. And Derek hated that.
He hated it because Connor made him want to believe. But Derek could
never do that. Not again. He knew too well what happened when he let go
and trusted other people at their word. Judgment Day. The only people
Derek could trust was himself and Kyle. The Reese Boys.
then again, maybe Connor didn't get Derek. Maybe he didn't care one way
or the other. Maybe it wasn’t about him. It wasn't always about him,
that was one of the first lessons Derek ever learned. He could clearly
see his mother saying the words, laying there on the couch, cigarette
in one hand, scotch in the other. It's not always about
But whether it
was about him or not, Derek fucking hated how Kyle worshipped Connor –
and now his mother. "Me and Connor," Derek
said again. "You
and Connor. Why the fuck would he give you a picture of his dead
mother? Even in this fucked up world, that's totally fucked up."
Kyle glared at
him defiantly. "Sarah Connor is the reason any of us are still here.
Sarah taught John – "
"That dead bitch
the reason you're alive, Kyle," Derek spat. "Is that what Connor told
you in the camp? Some bullshit about Saint Sarah and how she saved us
all? Clue in, Kyle, humanity is still screwed. None of us are saved."
"John Connor –"
uses people," Derek said flatly. "Me. You. Everyone."
shook his head in disgust and turned, trudging up the tunnel. Derek
yelled at him, but he didn't look back. It was almost an entire month
before the Reese Boys could have a civil conversation again.
travel gave Derek a unique perspective. A perspective he was pretty
damn sure humans weren't supposed to have. With some people, it was
hard to look at the kid and see the man he would become. That's how it
was with Kyle – and even with his younger self.
them the first week after they jumped. He was supposed to be tracking
down leads, but instead he tracked down himself and Kyle. He watched
them. He knew who it was. But looking at the little boy, he hard a hard
time remembering Kyle had ever been that young.
Derek had no
luck trying to find the adult Kyle. Tracking Goode paid off and Derek
caught sight of Sarah Connor. He recognized her immediately, but it
took him a moment to place her. Then he remembered that goddamn snap
Kyle used to carry. Saint Sarah.
He’d been so
relieved, so excited. But the longer he watched her and John and the
metal, the more certain he was Kyle wasn’t with them. There was
absolutely no trace of his brother. So all Derek had was a five year
old Kyle who looked nothing like the twenty-five year old Kyle.
That. And a safe
full of diamonds. And the knowledge that he was the only person who
could really change the future.
He'd find Kyle.
The Reese Boys would be together again. And this time they'd make it
Derek looked at the teenage John Connor, there was no doubt about the
man he would become. In fact, it was hard for Derek to remember John
was just a kid, and not the hardened leader of the human resistance.
was so accustomed to the uneasy, contentious relationship he had with
John Connor, there were a couple times when he knew he unintentionally
hurt the kid. The first few times, he didn’t regret. He was still hell
bent on finding Kyle. And then John the kid told him Kyle was dead and
Derek’s entire world stopped.
Kyle was dead.
And this time, John wouldn’t save him. And Derek couldn't either.
much as Derek disliked and distrusted John Connor, he knew the kid’s
words were true. And in retrospect he appreciated the tears in the
kid’s eyes when he said it.
But at the time
all Derek’s sedative
laced mind could comprehend was that the Reese Boys were no more. And
he was finally all alone in the sea of humanity.
was so accustomed to John Connor breathing down his neck, double
checking everything he did, that it took a while to realize that wasn't
what the kid was doing. The kid just wanted his attention, shadowing
him from room to room, confiding things in him he had no business
confiding. Derek snapped at him a few times, told him things he should
already know – never trust the metal.
Never trust anyone.
But rather than ignoring him the way John Connor should have, the kid
just looked at him like someone ran over his puppy. And Derek felt like
At first Derek
was baffled as to why John latched onto
him so strongly. Then he saw the kid with Sarah's ex and decided that
John needed any available father figure. Derek was sorely tempted to
tell Saint Sarah she shouldn’t have chased off the dirtbag who knocked
her up. But his sense of self-preservation prevented that.
kid trying to use him as a surrogate father pissed him off. He wasn't
anybody's father, especially not John Connor’s. Especially when no one
would even tell him how Kyle died. Or when.
And then one day
they were sitting at the breakfast table like some totally
dysfunctional nuclear family and he glanced up at John. And for the
first time, he didn't look at John the kid and see John the man. He
looked at John the kid and saw Kyle. He thought it was a trick of the
mind. Too much coffee, too much booze, not enough sleep. But it didn't
go away. And every time he looked at John after that, he didn't see the
pain in the ass general. He saw his brother.
Even that wasn't
enough for him to put two and two together. It was the metal of all
fucking things, that finally made all the pieces fit. Sarah's goddamn
ex showed up again. Derek should have
just shot him right there
and buried him in the back yard, but Sarah wouldn't have appreciated
that very much, so he left her to deal with the guy.
fuck is he here?" Derek said, more to himself than anything. "Isn't the
crime rate high enough? Shouldn't he have victims of random violence to
help rather than barging in here?"
But the metal
was there and
so fucking literal and it just looked at him and said, "Sarah Connor
intended to kidnap an emergency room doctor to treat you after you were
wounded, but John Connor located Charley Dixon."
better judgment, Derek asked, "Why?"
would have died."
was highly illogical," the metal explained, looking displeased. "Saving
the life of one resistance fighter was not worth exposing John Connor.
I explained it would be most efficient to let you die."
was intrigued now, and irritated, but the fact that the metal wanted
him to die was hardly news. "And what did John and Sarah say?"
Dixon explained that you needed a blood transfusion. Your blood type is
rare. AB negative. One half of one percent of the population are
Derek shook his
head. He had no memory of any of this. "And?"
donated blood to you. His is a match."
turned away, not bothering to say anything to the metal. He knew Sarah
and John got him help, that much was obvious. They let him sleep on
their couch and they treated him like part of the crew. He figured it
was because they needed the backup. He was a damn good fighter. And he
knew, more than either of them, what was coming.
But he hadn't
considered how much they risked their own safety for him. That made no
sense. If there was one thing Derek Reese knew, it was that anybody was
expendable as far as John Connor was concerned. And after meeting
Sarah, Derek knew John learned that particular lesson from his mother.
So why did they
risk so much to save him?
John Connor donated
blood to you. His is a match
second he realized, Derek felt like the world’s biggest dupe. In two
timelines. John didn’t just look like Kyle, he was Kyle’s son. Derek’s
blood matched John’s because they were family. And John didn't trail
him around the house because he needed a daddy, he did it because Derek
was as close as John was going to get to his real father.
Sarah’s expression in the interrogation room. Reese boys?
John and Sarah
risked everything to get him help – over everyone’s better judgment –
because he was family. Because Derek was one of the Reese Boys. Because
John Connor was one of the Reese
sulking was a sight to behold. How someone could expend that much
energy on an expression was mind boggling. But sulk John did. For
weeks. He locked himself in the bedroom and listened to music on his
headphones so loud you could hear it from the living room – over the TV
and the crappy A/C unit. The only real problem with that was the new
place was a total shithole with only two bedrooms. Since Derek wasn’t
allowed in Sarah’s, that meant the only place he could be was crammed
in there with John or in the living room watching the metal … slough. He spent a lot of
time sitting in the new(ly liberated) truck in the parking lot.
Sarah and Derek were dying to remind John that the leader of the human
resistance didn’t have the luxury of throwing himself a pity party
because his pet metal got roasted and he had to find a new school. But
John was so legitimately upset that neither of them could bring
themselves to say anything.
reached his breaking point. He grabbed the headphones off John’s head
one night and tossed them into the closet.
“What the fuck,
man?” John demanded, sitting up on the bed.
“Come on,” Derek
said, leaving the room, trusting John would follow. And he did.
reached in the fridge and grabbed two beers, then headed for the living
room and the crappy sofa. “Out,” he snapped, glaring at the metal. It
gave him a nasty look in return, but retreated to the bathroom for the
nightly debridement. Derek made a mental note to start taking sponge
baths in the parking lot.
Derek grabbed the remote
and flipped over to the Dodgers game. Sarah had been watching some PBS
special on nature preserves, but she just gave him a measured glance
and kept quiet.
John sat down
next to Derek, watching as Derek
popped the cap on both bottles of beer. He handed one to John, who took
it. John looked cautiously at Sarah, but she didn’t say anything. She
just sat there watching Derek and John with a bemused expression.
John took a sip of the beer and when he was assured Sarah wasn't going
to bitch about it, he sank back in the cushions, staring at the TV.
Sarah lingered a few minutes and then retreated to her room, leaving
John and Derek alone.
"You know," John
said, "if you push that
little button with the arrow, we might be able to find something to
watch that's actually good."
Derek shot him a
sidelong glance. "The Reese Boys watch baseball."
John repeated quietly, like he was trying it on for size.
said. "You and me."
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