A/N: M'kay, this is my take on the whole "Allison from Palmdale" deal. I am perfectly aware that Derek had some form of romantic engagement in the last episode with this Jessie character, but for the sake of the fic, pretending that she comes into play much before or way after this fiction takes place would be great :D Also, this deal is in absolutely no way affiliated with my Derek/Cam story, and if you're following that spool at all and are completely confused about my sparratic updating, consulting my profile will hopefully give you any answers that you're seeking.

Summary: Cameron's a liar. Derek knows that she's the farthest possible thing from the once living, breathing human being that he had held in his arms; the one girl that he came closest to loving. That Terminator will never be Allison Young. Slightly AU. Derek/Allison. Futurefic.

Disclaimer: I am the proud owner of two hundred dollars in savings bonds and the nail polish I bought last week. That's it.

And we're off!

The life expectancy of a Runner is roughly five weeks from the date of inauguration

"Brocik," Derek Reese says gruffly, consulting the sheet held between his grimy, calloused fingers. The skinny young man with the stocking cap gives him a curt nod, nervously cracking his knuckles. Derek moves on to the next volunteer, deciding Brocik to be adequate for the job.

Runners hit each of the seven bases in the area -- one for every day in a week, eventually circling back and relaying information from the main base to the six minor branches seeing as how electronics absolutely cannot be trusted to get the job done without the threat of Skynet infiltration. They have to be quick, smart, loyal and willing to sacrifce their lives for the rest of the Resistance.

"Fennery." The kid can't be older than fifteen years, yet to experience his first real shave or a kiss on the cheek from the blonde girl next door. Derek swallows as he nods, watching the boy's pale eyes sweep over the form of his hero. Fennery will never know those things, either.

From now on, Reese will see this quartet of soldiers on a handful of times. Some only last one round, some four more. He has yet to see a Runner last six weeks. They go through them quickly and righteous volunteers are difficult to find. However, Connor seems to pick them like rocks in beach sand out of a flour sifter.

"Robue," he addresses the stocky man in front of him. He has a missing front tooth and his stare is looking up over Derek's shoulder instead of in the face. Moving on to the last person, he stops the urge to pommel John surges through his veins.

He hasn't really talked to her much. Damn, for what reason would he have to kibitz with this little waif of a girl? He's seen her standing in line for dinner, sitting on her square of matted carpeting, checking and cleaning the guns, but never would he ever take her for the sort to sacrifice her life for a bunch of rats living underground and fighting a losing war. Why does John have to send out this teenage girl who won't have a snowball's chance in hell?

"Young," he says quietly. Allison's brown eyes are light and seem to be smiling, her mouth quirking up at the corners in a sort of quirky grin. Her teeth are white, but her skin has grease stains and scratches from the bunker walls. She's the only one of the four that seems to be genuinely thrilled to be there. Surprisingly, she reaches forward and holds out her hand. With a strong grip and looks to kill, she says, "Reese."

--Week One --

"You went back for him?" Derek hisses between clenched teeth, shoving through the crowd congregating at the entrance in order to get to a bleeding Brocik, supported by both Allison and the man with the missing tooth. The kid smells like warm garbage and the whites of his eyes are showing because they're rolled up into his skull; small red lines at the bottom are showing vividly.

"Of course I did," Allison says sternly, hefting the bloody mass on top of her shoulder. Commanding Robue to get out of the way, Derek takes the other arm to help her. "I wasn't going to leave him there."

"Why not?" Grumbling and swearing, they make their way down the poorly lit tunnel, hoping to get to the medical supplies in time. He glances over to see a smear of blood across her forehead. Chances are it's not hers.

She tightens her grip around Brocik. "He was the fastest we had, but he hid the wound." As she pauses to catch her breath and heave him onto a dirty cot in the corner of the room, Derek takes a quick assessment of her. As far as he can tell, she's not hurt herself. "It got infected, he slowed down, he caught shrapnel in the chest," she says simply, ripping the boy's torn jacket off his thin body.

"A double whammy."

"Yup," she says.

He took specific notice of the fact hat she didn't answer his question. While she opens the toolbox full of medical supplies, Derek reaches forward and tears open Brocik's shirt, not taking the time or energy pull it over his head properly. "Oh, shit." On his left side, a nasty purple gash filled with some sort of yellow liquid oozing out of it lies in the midst of fresh pinprick red dots that were most likely caused by a flying spray of metal. "Are you easily grossed out?"

Handing him a needle and thread to hold, she looks at him out of the corner of her eye. "Are you?" Preferring not to answer this particular question, Derek watches as Allison goes to work, scrubbing out the wound with pure alcohol and a grubby cloth, looking to get out all the clotted blood and pus before sewing it all up. He puts his fist to his mouth, feeling his stomach turn, and the girl bites her bottom lip as fresh blood soaks the cot underneath Brocik. She tosses the used cloth back into the box and takes the needle from Derek, starting at the top of reddish-purple slash and makes her way down, taking her time to do the stitches properly.

After half an hour, the kid's passed out, his heart rate so slow that it concerns the older man. "What're the chances of him making it out of this?"

"Slim," she says, dousing her hands in alcohol and drying them off on the pants of her fatigues. "Well, actually, you know better than I, so I have no right to say."

"I didn't just stitch him up."

Allison shakes her head. "But I had no idea what I was doing." He can see that she tries to form a small smile, but it doesn't necessarily turn out right. "Only two days ago I first saw it done."

It's late, seeing as how the Runners arrived when it was dark, like always, and most had retired to the cement floor on the other side of the bunker for a night of poor attempts at sleeping. However, the occasional person passes by with an AK-47 strapped to their backs. They tend to give Brocik a pitiful look and salute Derek with an awkward half wave. Leaning against the crumbling form wall, the uncle of General John Conner turns his head slightly to the side and looks at Allison, whose petite frame and stature have lately and amazingly shocked him. Upon first glance, she's just a girl who should ordinarily be worrying about nail polish or about whether to take Bob or Joe to Homecoming. But this war, those goddamn machines...

"You should try to catch some sleep," he suggests, out of the blue.

She makes a sigh, jerking her thumb towards her 'patient.' "I have to keep an eye on him."

"I've got that covered. I can babysit." He shrugs.

"You almost puked when you saw that gash of his," Allison says. When he squares his jaw to glare at her, she smiles – a real one this time. "I won't be able to sleep, anyways."

"So," Derek prompts, "why'd you go back for him?"


He quirks a brow. "Because why?"

Taking a deep breath, she looks down at her hands. "Have you ever heard of the 'Might is Right' philosophy?"

"King Arthur."

"Call it weak," she says, her chocolate eyes glimmering in the faulty lighting. "Call it stupid, call it brave. There was no way I could just leave him behind like that." She'd directly violated one of the rules. No matter who or what it is, you never go back to save someone who's down. Ever.

There are several moments of silence and the tension hangs so thick in the air, a gymnast could do some abysmal trick on it. "Have you--?" Derek starts, but is interrupted.

"And I'm not sorry."

--ever had a wrong first impression of someone?

A/N: Part one of five.