AN: Just a little thing I felt like writing, just basically a novelization of a few scenes from the last episode. No copyright infringement intended, just trying to have a good time.


John was in hell. That was the only way to explain the words his mother just said, "Because Riley had a violent breakdown about bleached skulls and the end of the world." The accusation was clear in Sarah's tone. She thinks he told Riley about Judgment Day.

He felt like he had been shot. He moved over to lean on the doorframe for support. "I haven't told her anything." He hadn't, so how could she have know that? His mind was racing, trying to figure out some sort of logical explanation. There had to be a logical explanation.

"I don't believe you." Sarah spoke quietly, and he could hear the pain in her voice, but she said it all the same. He knew that he had screwed up in the past, but never on anything as important as this.

He was now suppressing the urge to cry, the combination of finding out his girlfriend had been lying to him and the fact his own mother didn't believe him. "Well, I swear to God, I've said nothing. I'll talk to her." He let the pain show in his voice, to tell her that he was taking this seriously. He just had to find that logical explanation, and he was sure Riley had it.

"It may be too late for that." Sarah was almost sad as she spoke the words to her son.

"Well, what do you want me to do?" John said angrily. It's not like he could take back anything that had happened.

"I want you to prepare yourself for what's going to happen when Cameron finds out," she said simply. There was pain in her eyes too, she knew what was going to happen, but she wasn't going to stop it.

Shot again. It was like some twisted version of 'just wait until your father gets home'. "Just wait until your Terminator gets home". It was a sick joke, but he knew his mom was right. Unless he found out a damn good reason for Riley having that knowledge, Cameron would kill her. Especially if Cam believed that he didn't tell Riley about the future.

X x x x x x x X

"Cameron? Do you think it is possible for me to know something that Future John doesn't know?" He tried to keep his voice nonchalant. He didn't want her to realize anything was wrong yet.

"That's hard to know. It seems unlikely." Her simple explanation and an almost puzzled look to him egged him on.

"Do you think it's possible for me to know something that you don't know?" This was the crux. If he had sent Riley back, but had never told Cameron about her, that would explain everything. He needed to get her processors going on the concept, so when he brought it up later, he wouldn't be blind-sided by an argument from her or his mom.

She seemed to consider it when he asked, head cocked just slightly. "Are you asking me if Future John kept secrets from me? I'm sure he did." She was calm with that answer, it didn't seem to disturb her that he kept secrets from her in the future, which was just what John wanted to know in the present.

X x x x x x X

Outside, John finally got his opportunity to speak with Riley and get the real story, "Riley is there anything you want to tell me." He started out calm. Maybe this would be over in a moment.

"About what?" She was immediately suspicious, he could tell. This was a good sign to him. Maybe she was trying to decide whether it was time to tell him the truth.

"About anything. Is there anything you want to tell me?" He paused for a breath when she interrupted.

"John-" she said, tears in her voice.

He continued, needing to continue, needing to know the truth. "Because today is the day, today is the day where you tell me whatever it is you might want to tell me, today." Inside his head he was screaming, 'Tell me Riley. Tell me that I sent you back. Tell me that I asked you to not say anything'. He waited, staring her down, mentally commanding her to not only come clean, but to come clean with the answer he had already decided upon.

Riley looked up nervously as Sarah exited the house. His eyes followed hers, silently cursing his mother for breaking the moment. He turned his eyes back to Riley, waiting for her answer. "No. But is there anything you want to tell me, John? Because you're right, I think today is the day." Tears were slipping down her cheek and she was clearly upset, but she would not tell him what he wanted to hear.

He considered coming out and just asking her if he had sent her. But then his eyes fell on Cameron, and the thought of letting Cameron know definitively that Riley was aware of Judgment Day, when Riley was within range of weapons was definitely not a good idea. He couldn't say anything, not without making things even more complicated. "No," he said, almost resigned. She hadn't told him what he wanted and needed to hear, and he couldn't ask her directly about it.

It still left the question though: If he didn't send her back, who did?