This is my very first attempt at writing fanfiction. I'm not sure how good it is, so I would be very grateful for reviews. Constructive comments/suggestions are welcome, but no flames, please!

This story takes place during the Season Two finale, "Born to Run." This is what I imagine was going through John's head during a few of the scenes. Jameron. The song is "Hurt," originally by Nine Inch Nails, later remade by Johnny Cash. I was listening to this song the day after the Season Two finale, and I noticed some parallels between the lyrics and what happened in the episode.

Disclaimer: I don't own Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. If I did, there most definitely would be a Season Three!!! I also don't own any part of the song "Hurt."

Title: Love and Loss

What have I become?

My sweetest friend

everyone I know

goes away, in the end.

And you could have it all

my empire of dirt

I will let you down

I will make you hurt.

John found himself lying on top of Cameron, staring into her large, dark eyes. Time seemed to stand still, and in that moment something suddenly became clear in John's mind. He loved her. He had been denying it for months, lying to himself, burying his feelings under all his pain and anger. Staring at her like that, with their faces inches apart, he could no longer deny the truth in his heart. She was his protector, his companion, his friend, and he loved her. It didn't matter that she was a machine. That she might never fully understand or be able to reciprocate his feelings. It didn't even matter that she might malfunction and try to kill him, again, someday. None of that mattered. He loved her anyway...and, God, he had treated her so terribly! He resolved that he was going to change. He was going to start treating her with respect, and he was going to start trusting her, again. He would tell her how sorry he was for the way he'd been acting. "John." Her voice, barely above a whisper, brought him out of his thoughts. "It's time to go." She was right. There wasn't time for this now. Right now they had to focus on rescuing his mom. Then once they had his mom back, they'd have to deal with Weaver, and the machine in her basement. As soon as that was done, they could leave this place and start over again. Then he'd tell her what she meant to him, show her how he really felt.

Nothing ever worked out the way John planned. Now John was standing in a basement, staring at her inert body in a chair. The words, "I'm sorry John," played on the computer screens behind her. She was gone. Her chip taken by John Henry somewhere into the future. He couldn't lose her. He'd never gotten to tell her how he felt. He'd never apologized for his cold, cruel treatment of her these past months. He'd already lost so many people he loved. Derek, Charlie...he couldn't lose her, too! He had to get her back! Nothing else mattered. His mom tried to stop him from going into the future after her. Mom didn't understand. He tried to tell her. "He's got her chip! He's got her!" He saw the pain in Mom's eyes, and then the reluctant acceptance. Mom finally saw the truth, just as he finally did. John loved Cameron. He needed Cameron. He may be the future savior of mankind, but his life would be meaningless without her.

John had traveled to an unknown future without a second thought. Now, though, John had to admit to himself that he was terrified. He was alone and unarmed in a post-Judgement Day future with a hardened soldier pointing a gun at him, threatening to shoot. He was immensely relieved when a second soldier entered the room and told the first to stand down. Then he recognized the new soldier. Derek! John was amazed and overjoyed at the sight of his uncle, alive and well. However, he was quickly disappointed when he realized that Derek didn't know him. Not only did Derek not recognize him, but he didn't even know the name John Connor. What was going on here? John didn't have long to be confused, because in the next moment Derek said, "Well, you know what, I think you're going to be famous. My brother's back, and you're wearing his coat." John spun around to look as Kyle Reese walked into the room. His father! John couldn't believe it. He was standing face to face with his father! The moment seemed so surreal, that John wondered if he'd died and gone to Heaven. In some small part of his mind, John noted the striking resemblance between them. Suddenly, John saw a girl enter the room behind his father, and everything else was forgotten. Cameron! She was here, she was alright! John felt his heart swell with so much love and joy that he thought his chest might burst. Tears came to his eyes as he watched her stroll over and sit down next to a dog, putting her arm around it. Wait a minute, something wasn't right. Cameron with her arm around a dog? Then it slowly dawned on him, and his joy turned to anguish. This wasn't his Cameron. This wasn't Cameron at all. This girl was human! How could that be? He struggled to think. Could Cameron have been modeled after this girl? Did Cameron even exist in this future? He didn't know, and he realized that it didn't matter. The Cameron he loved only existed on the chip that John Henry had taken. He had to find her chip, he had to get it back, and he had to find a way to return to his time. That was the only way he would get his Cameron back. His resolve hardened. He was here on a mission, and he would succeed.