TITLE:The Once and Future King
AUTHOR: indie
FANDOM: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
RATING: Teen
SPOILERS: All of Season 1.
DISCLAIMER: Don't know who owns 'em, but it's not me.
CHARACTERS: John Connor, Cameron
TIMELINE: after the season finale
SUMMARY: Even to himself, he's nothing more than a means to an end.


There are many horrible realizations John has had to face in his sixteen short years (he doesn't count the years they skipped). Because of his illustrious history with harsh realities, he especially hates that he was shocked. He hates that he didn't expect it. When will it stop? When will the fiery pain of these revelations cauterize his insides so thoroughly that this stuff stops hurting?

He thought the worst realization was about his mom. He thought his epiphanies concerning Sarah Connor were enough to strip away all his illusions. After all, what could be worse? For so long, he hated her. He thought she was crazy. He blamed her for making him weird and broken and dysfunctional. Once he was in foster care, in the court ordered counseling sessions, they made him feel like a freak. Didn't he know that's not how mothers were supposed to act? Didn't he know she messed him up beyond salvage?

And then the Uncle Bob arrived and John was forced to admit Sarah hadn't been wrong. She was right. And no one believed her. Not even him. Not even her own son, for whom she sacrificed so much. Then followed her rant in the car about how he should have left her to possibly die rather than risk his own safety. No matter what he did, he could never get it right.

But later, after both terminators were gone, he thought they were finding an equilibrium. Sarah …softened. She really tried to be a mom, bad cooking and all. She loved him, John knew that without a doubt. She would do anything to protect him – he believed that to the very depths of his soul.

But Sarah could never be just his mom.

Because he could never be just her son.

He was always destined to be so much more.

Cameron says she was sent back to protect him. And maybe she believes that. More unlikely still is that it's actually true. Yes, she's his protector. But he knows the truth now. She wasn't sent here to protect him.

This isn't about him.

It's about her.

The more John thinks about it, the more he finds it incredibly insidious of his future self. But necessary - he can't deny that it's necessary. And who better to know exactly what to send John than his future self? Even to himself, he's nothing more than a means to an end. How could he hold that against Sarah?

Cameron is beautiful. He wouldn't dream of denying that. And he's a sixteen year old boy. It's not like he can just ignore the way she looks. But it's so much more than that. She absolutely fascinates him on so many levels, even when she repulses him. The weird physical attraction is there – and Cameron does everything to foster it – he's not sure why. But he is so enthralled with her mind, her processes and procedures and even her emotions.

Cameron is the most advanced computer in the world, a truly sentient artificial intelligence. He loves to talk to her, to try and understand the rules that govern her behavior, to try and understand how it is that she tries to understand him.

The more time he spends with her, the more he's afraid he might be falling in love with her. Not just her physical form, but all of her, her machine mind.

And that's when it hits him. That's why his future self sent Cameron. He's supposed to fall in love with her. He's supposed to fall in love with every bit, every byte of her. Because that's how he'll come to truly know her.

And in twenty years, he'll look deep into the eyes of his beloved.

And he'll exterminate her entire race.

End