Title – Diamonds

Synopsis – John's thoughts on Cameron during the second episode, "Gnothi Seauton."

Disclaimer – All hail the powerful James Cameron.

Note – I really hope this show does well. I like it. And while shipping John and Cameron is just a little too icky for me, I can't stop my mind from wandering into an idea.

I don't know how I feel about this story. I might write another one later, but this will do for now.

As they drove home in another stolen car, John ignored Cameron. She, of course, was oblivious to everything except the mission at hand. When she looked at him, it was as if she was looking through him. She merely scanned her eyes over him, taking in there surroundings and making sure that no one was following them, that they were safe.

That he was safe.

In the end, it was always just another babysitting mission. Keep John Connor save. After all, he is the savior of humanity.

Sarah pulled to a stop in some random parking lot. They wiped the car for fingerprints and then began to head home which was 2.5 miles away according to Cameron.

They flanked him, his mother on guard and searching the darkness of the night around them, while Cameron walked close beside him. Every once in awhile, her arm would brush his. He should have been used to it by now, but it always surprised him how warm she was. He knew that beneath her skin was nothing but metal and wires, nuts and bolts. He knew it, but he had a hard time believing it.

Tin man, he thought to himself. How easy it was for his mother to think of Cameron as a machine. But, then, Sarah and John had different experiences with terminators. Sarah saw them as the killing machines that they were designed to be, and John saw them as the proof that his mother was not crazy.

In the future you have many friends.

He wondered if Cameron was one of them. She seemed to know him. She seemed too human, and it was disturbing.

Inside the house, Sarah took the duffel from John and removed the wads of money that she found.

"Here," she said, thrusting the bag back at him, "Sort through this in the kitchen while I count. Hopefully, there's enough to buy you a new name."

John nodded and left, Cameron following him. They cleaned off the counter and began to empty the bag of its contents, guns and ammo mostly. As Cameron expertly inspected the weapons, John discovered something he had not expected to find.

"What are those?" the terminator asked.

He emptied the small bag that he had found into his hand to reveal sparkling stones.

"Diamonds," he said in astonishment.

She took one from him and looked at it closely. "It's an allotrope of carbon," she said in her monotone voice.


"It's an allotrope of carbon," Cameron repeated. Seeing his puzzled expression, she clarified, "It's not a synthetic."

"These are real diamonds?" John asked. He was suddenly terrified of accidentally dropping one and losing it, so he began to put them carefully away.

"Yes, real," she said still examining the stone. She held it out for him to take, but John shook his head.

"Keep it," he told her. "Diamonds are a girl's best friend."

She cocked her head slightly, and looked at him through those expressionless eyes. "Why?"

The simplicity of her question stunned him, and he said, "You know, like that old song?"

"Song?" Cameron repeated. "What does musical composition have to do with a diamond?"

"Nothing, I mean—I think Marilyn Monroe sang it—not that you would know who she is—"

He was babbling. Had Cameron been a normal, human girl, he would have felt embarrassed to be so tongue-tied, but in his present circumstances, he was just hoping his mother would not walk in to see him trying to flirt with a robot.

Oh God, was he flirting with a robot? That was just wrong on so many levels.

Cameron was staring at the diamond in her hand. "Marilyn Monroe, also known as Norma Jean Mortenson. An American actress. Born June 1, 1926, died August 5, 1962, at the age of 36. Death believed to be suicide," she recited to no one in particular.

"What are you, a walking encyclopedia?" John muttered as he went back to emptying the duffel.

"No," she said simply. Cameron held the diamond close to her eye, peering through it, and then carefully rolled it around in her hand, feeling it on her skin. The diamond caught the light and cast reflections about the kitchen. Cameron followed them with her eyes.

"It's beautiful," she whispered.

Something in her voice made John stop and look at her. There was a strange expression on her face. Her lips were tweaked upwards on one side, like the small smile of someone who knows a happy secret. Her eyes were narrow but bright. They were not dull and mechanical, but contemplating.

A word came to mind, and John drew in a sharp breath as its meaning suddenly shook him to the very core of his understanding: wonder.

There was wonder on Cameron's face. Not confusion, not computer error, but sheer wonderment. She was transfixed by the shiny gem in her hand, like a child. John watched as her lips moved upward in a brighter smile. She looked as if she were to laugh for joy.

Cameron looked up at John and caught him staring, and the look fled her face, replaced with that comforting, cold façade of the terminator.

John dropped his eyes and cleared his throat in discomfort. She is not human, he told himself. She is just a machine. Just a terminator.

Damn it, John, your mother pushed her out of a window and she landed on a car! And she'sstill alive! How romantic is that?

"The diamond is a highly valued gemstone," Cameron reported, "It should be kept safe. We could use it later."

John nodded, trying not to let his thoughts show through in his eyes as he looked at her.

Cameron still held the gem tightly in her hand. "Diamonds are a girl's best friend," she said again. "I must know understand why."

"Why?" John asked, shaking his head in confusion over her persistence. "Why do you care so much?"

"If diamonds are a girl's best friend, I must know why because I am a girl," she explained. "John Connor programmed me to be a 'girl.' If I am a girl, I must understand what it means to be a girl."

John felt extremely weirded out—as he always did—by the way she so casually referenced the futureJohn. Was that really him? Would he know when he would be John Connor the savior?

And why on earth would he, futureJohn, have sent back a terminator like this one to save him, presentJohn?

She needed to leave him alone. Now. Before he did something stupid. Something unethical.

He cleared his throat again. "Why don't you go show mom what we found?" he told her. "I'll finish this."

Cameron turned and left the room. John heard her ask Sarah, "Why are diamonds a girl's best friend?" and he smiled at her persistency. The smiled died on his lips as he thought of how hard she tried to seem human.

She's not human, John, he told himself. She cannot ever be human.

Shut up, he yelled back in his mind. Do you think I don't know that?

John jerked open the refrigerator, grabbed a bottle of water, and slammed the door shut. At the moment, he really wanted to kick futureJohn's ass.

Now that would be an interesting temporal paradox.