All the usual disclaimers

As stated earlier, this is AU and totally out of context, so please remember that and don't be too harsh.

Once again, I'm not versed in technology, so please just suspend your disbelief

Warning: this chapter is a bit angsty, but I feel it's called for…

Feedback, always welcomed and appreciated!

John watch his uncle and Cameron walk out into the hall before approaching Catherine Weaver. She turned to him, waiting.

"What were we to each other?" He hesitantly asked.

The cyborg shrugged. "You were much older then and you were married. We were…I believe we were friends. You had confided much to Cameron, but you confided even more to me. I had assumed the identity of your lieutenant, she had been your friend, so it was easier to continue that relationship."

"I was married, did my wife…" He shrugged. "I don't know, did she have problems with my closest friends being women?"

"She understood. She encouraged. You also confided in her, she knew everything that you were doing. She also knew that if we were successful you and she might never meet. Might never marry." Catherine took a breath. "She sacrificed much so that humanity might have a chance."

John nodded. "Did I love her?"

"I assume you did. You were never unfaithful to her. And she never doubted you, even though rumors ran rampant among the tunnels."

"And you, did you come to care for him? For General Connor?" He searched her face.

She held his eyes with a steady gaze. "I would have done anything for him. All he had to do was ask. That was his gift. He solicited complete and absolute devotion."

"Oh." John blinked. "I wonder if I'll ever be like him." He asked, almost to himself.

"I believe you are very close indeed, John Connor." Catherine turned and went to John Henry.

"Is it time Catherine?" John Henry asked her.

"Soon." She smiled at him.

Sarah and James Ellison had heard the entire exchange between the cyborg and the future savior of mankind. She turned to the ex-FBI man.

"Well, what do you make of that?" Her voice sounded tired.

"I still can't believe I was working for a machine all these months." He responded with a humorless laugh. "What about you?"

"I think I need a drink." Sarah sighed. "I've spent my son's whole life preparing him for something that I hoped would never happen. Now that there might be a light at the end of the tunnel, I'm scared."

"It makes sense Sarah." He shrugged. "If this does work, if we do avert Judgment day, then what will you do with your life?"

"No idea, none what-so-ever." She responded.

Derek held Cameron at arm's length and looked into her eyes.

"If you want to stop this we can. We just walk into that elevator and walk out of this building and never look back."

"We would never find peace Derek. If we have this child, he will be raised in that very same environment we came from. That's unacceptable." Her voice was sure. "I don't want to lose this child, I don't want to lose you, but…"

"I'm with you Cameron." Derek pulled her into his arms. "You're not gonna lose me."

"Then I can do this." She rubbed her cheek on his chest. "But I need to do it now or I may reconsider."

"We'll do it together. I won't leave your side."

"Alright." She pulled away from him and headed back into the lab.

Sarah looked at Catherine Weaver and sighed. After all she and John had been through, after all the sacrifices that were made, was it really a machine that was going to stop Judgment Day? Was it this so-called Weaver 'woman' and Cameron that would be the salvation of humanity?

Catherine's eyes narrowed as Sarah approached her.

"Do you think it worked? Do you think Skynet, or whatever sort of incarnation of Skynet this is, do you think it will understand?" Sarah's eyes were intense.

"Time will tell Ms Connor. John believed this was the answer and I have total faith in your son." The red haired 'woman' looked over at the dozing boy who sat across from John Henry.

"Have?" Sarah questioned. "He's not the same John you knew. He's just a boy who may now never be the John that you served."

"I see my John in him. He has certain qualities that defy time and space." The cyborg's voice betrayed a certain pride.

"Your John? Just what was my son to you?" Sarah felt slightly ill at the prospect of her answer.

"He was my friend." She answered simply.

"Friend? You were, you are a machine…"

"I'm a sentient being Ms Connor, made more so by my relationship with your son. He's a leader, you raised him as such and I don't think the lack of hardship will change that fact." Catherine Weaver sighed. "If indeed our plan worked."

"When will we know?" John had come up behind his mother and looked deeply into the eyes of Catherine.

"It may not be for years, but April 21, 2011 is not that far away. I do know precursors and if these are averted, then we will have a better idea. And if no one is sent to us from the future, this would also be an indicator. But we will be vigilant. Continue to make contingency plans." She looked at John.

"Is there anything I need to know, that I told you before you left?" His voice held anticipation, a certain excitement.

"There is much, but there is the time to discuss it." She looked from John to his mother.

Sarah's eyes narrowed and she turned to her son. "We should go see how Derek and Cameron are doing." She turned to leave and John hesitated a moment before following.

Sarah stood by the 'girl's' bedside. Funny, when she looked down, all she could see was Cameron the girl, woman. Derek's woman, the woman that he loved but was unwilling to admit to. A woman who loved the man back. So much so that she sacrificed her child to his cause, to his humanity. Would Derek ever acknowledge that, she wondered?

Cameron's eyes fluttered open and she looked up at Sarah.

"Hey, how're you feeling?" Sarah's voice was soft.

"All functions are within acceptable parameters." Cameron hesitated. "The child is gone, I feel the emptiness. I feel sadness. But it makes no real sense as the fetus was not yet a viable being, not yet recognizable as a child." The cyborg was not really sure why she shared this, but the need was there, to express her emotions, her confusion.

"Of course you're sad Cameron. You lost your baby. He may have been small, not yet viable, as you say. But it was still a life. No matter what, as mothers, we see the potential of our children, no matter how old, or young." Sarah ran her hand over her eyes, astonished at the tears that were threatening to fall.

"You sympathize with me?" The younger woman asked in surprise.

"I do. You gave up your child to try and save humanity. I…I'm not sure what to say to you, how to comfort you." Sarah was as confused as Cameron.

"You sacrificed your son as well." The statement was said without emotion.

"I supposed I did, but I still have him with me."

"Well, perhaps, someday, I'll have another child." She shrugged as she began to rise from the bed.

"Cameron, should you be getting up?" Sarah's voice held concern.

"I'm fine, remember, I'm not like you." She turned and retrieved her clothing from the closet.

Sarah blinked as she realized she did forget.

"Yeah, well, I'll let you get dressed then." Sarah turned to leave.

"Sarah?" Cameron called to her.


"Thank you for your…concern." Cameron nodded at the older woman.

"You're welcome." Sarah nodded back.

Derek came into the room Cameron was supposed to be recuperating in to find her fully dressed and looking out the window.

"Hey, should you be out of bed. I know you weren't that far along, but…" She turned to his voice.

"You know my recuperative powers are very advanced." She bit her bottom lip. "Did you, were you able to…" Cameron wasn't sure how to ask about the disposal of her fetus.

"I took care of it baby." He took her into his arms. Before she realized it, she was sobbing into his chest, allowing him to comfort her.

"We'll work it out Cameron. We'll find a way." His voice was soothing as he held her close and stroked her back.

Cameron disliked the outpouring of emotions. Although she had been with Derek, Sarah and John these past few months, had been learning to accept and deal with the myriad of sentiments that would present themselves at the most inopportune moments, she was still very resentful of crying. It was a weakness and as a terminator seemed totally unacceptable. But at this moment in time, she was unable to stop herself.

"Are we still a we? Do you still want to be with me?" Her voice was so small and hesitant.

"Yeah, I want to be with you. I can't imagine living here without you." Derek still couldn't believe he wanted to be with a machine, but he knew he couldn't be without her. She knew him, where he came from, what his life had been, and that alone forged a connection. But once he had crossed that threshold, once he had taken her as his…lover, yeah, he admitted to himself, his lover, there was no going back for him.

"Are you sure you want to be with me though? I'm pretty fucked up." He took her chin and brought her face up to his.

"It's all I want, Derek Reese." She gave a small smile.

"Good, 'cuz it's what I want too." He held her just a little tighter.

"What will we do? Where will we go?" Cameron asked Derek and she felt him shrug.

"Well, for now, seems that this Catherine woman has a suite of apartments on the top floor of this building. We'll stay here while she irons out getting us some new identities. Then, I don't know, we'll live a life and wait to see what happens."

Sarah stared out the window of penthouse apartment she and John would be sharing. The lights of the city were beautiful. It's funny, she thought, this is something I haven't thought of since before John was born. Beauty. She shook her head, attempting to clear the pensive thoughts.

"A penny for 'em." John thumped down on the couch next to his mother.

"Oh, they aren't even worth that much." She laughed.

"Guess Derek and Cameron have the place down the hall, it looks onto the mountains." He shrugged.

"I suppose they are." Sarah responded before looking over at her son. "You know this was the best for all concerned John."

"What do you mean?" He was sure he knew, but he'd let her enlighten him.

"If this really does work, if we've averted Judgment day, you can live a life John. You can start to reclaim the youth I tore away from you." She held up her hand when John tried to argue.

"No, let me finish. If you and Cameron, if anything had happened with you two, you'd be living that life with a cyborg John. A robot that would never really grow old, who would always look at you as her responsibility. Not as the boy, the young man you are."

"You mean not as the leader I was supposed to become, don't you?" He quietly asked.

"I pray you never have to become him John. I want you to meet a nice girl, or at least nice enough one, but one that you can relate to. One you can learn with, learn from. One you can have a real future with." She sighed. "Is that really too much to ask?"

"Maybe mom, maybe it is. I know what's possible, I know what we, as humankind, I know what we are capable of creating. I need to make sure it never happens."

"That's what Catherine Weaver is for…"

John cut his mom off. "That's what Catherine and I are for. We worked as a team in the future mom, a good team. Maybe that's what I'm supposed to do now. I need something mom, I don't think I can ever be just another teenager, finishing up senior year, layin' some date on prom night. Trying to get into a good college." He took a deep breath.

"Cameron and Derek won't always be here for me. They need to live a life. And so do you. Maybe it's over, but if it isn't, then I guess I still need some sort of protection, and I'll have Catherine for that. She'll make sure I'm here to do what needs to be done."

"John," Sarah felt the need to argue, "you can have a life too, you can…"

"Mom, I'm really tired. Why don't we go to bed. We'll have plenty of time to discuss this." He leaned over and kissed Sarah before going to find a bedroom.

Sarah watched him walk away and felt that she was losing him once and for all. And to a terminator at that. She always thought it would be Cameron, but it seems it was to be this dynamo called Catherine Weaver. The odd thing was, her John seemed excited by the prospect.

Okay, so it's almost over. Just one more chapter to go…probably. I may write a epilog, but I think the next chapter can stand on its own. Hope you all enjoyed the ride, I know I did :D