Thank you to Prevaricator's Penchant, purpleread, and Mim.

But For Life

"I came across time for you, Sarah. I love you. I always have."

And there it was.

It hung in the silent air — it was so quiet here; it was never so quiet in the future — and Kyle found that he was waiting. Hoping.

Hoping for what?

She looked shocked. Her lips parted.

He turned his face away sharply. Shame consumed him, and anger.

What is there to hope for?

He knew he could never be anything to her. He was a soldier. He'd come here on a job. To protect her.

He'd shaken her, shouted at her, frightened her with his knowledge. With him.

She could never look at him, any more than the old photo could.

Kyle rose to his feet, strode to the table, and began shoving the pipe bombs into the duffel bag roughly. More roughly than he should, he knew, but – he didn't know where to look.

Stupid! Stupid! You said it out loud. Whiner. You're a soldier; you can never have what you want. Idiot. Child. You're nothing but a broken man from a broken time, a time you destroyed. You're nothing. You are nothing.

"Shouldn't have said that," he gritted out. Stupid! Brainless moron! You should have died before John saved you.

And the timeline! John Connor must be born! You have no right to come between Sarah and his father. Ingrate. Why don't you just throw her in front of the Terminator while you're at it?

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. He ached for her.

Plastique. That he could deal with. Weapons. Survival.

Not love.

You can never have what you want.

Pain scorched through him – a cleansing pain. Familiar. He relished it, let it wash over his soul.

The mission. Only the mission. You can never have what you want.

You can never —

Her fingers were warm on his, pushing the weapons away.

Kyle froze. She was inches away from him. He could feel her breath.

Her hands were on his face, rasping in his stubble. She was so close.

Kyle blanked out. Her lips were on his, so soft, so warm. Trying, begging, wanting.


No. Never you. You can never —

Why? The thought arose rebelliously. Why can I never?

Never, said everything he was. He was a soldier. What he wanted was nothing. He could never have it, and it didn't matter.

Why? She's here. She's right here. There's nothing – nothing stopping you.

Nothing is stopping you.

You're a soldier! The mission!

You're free. And you're alive.

I —

She was right here.

Kyle kissed Sarah back, hungrily, yearningly. His arms came around her. He had to be close, they had to be one.

He kissed her with every trace of fear, of determination, of grief and love and life he could muster. He had to make her see.

I'm yours. Please. Please.