This story is a one-shot and takes place during Season 1 of TSCC.
I do not claim any rights to the characters or the TV series.
From Season 1 Episode 1
Sarah Connor: [to Cameron] "You all put back together, Tin Man?"
Cameron Phillips: "I know what the Tin Man is. He needed a heart. The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz written by L. Frank Baum in nineteen hundred, first published..."
Sarah Connor: "I know all about The Wizard Of Oz. When John was little I..."
Cameron Phillips: "You read it to him over and over again, in Spanish. He never told you, but it was one of his favorite things that you did. He used to talk about it a lot."
* * *
John and Cameron walk in through the back door and place their book bags on the kitchen table.
"Hey Mom! We're home!" John shouts just before opening the fridge door.
Cameron remains standing by the kitchen table the shoulder strap to her book bag just slipping off her shoulder.
Sarah comes to the kitchen door and watches her son rummage through the fridge like a Saint Bernard digging for a survivor of an avalanche.
"Your late." She says leaning against the door.
"John wanted to stop at the store on the way home." Cameron says as she lets her bag rest on the table.
"We're out of turkey." John says, exiting the fridge with a loaf of bread, a jar of mustard, pickles, and a package of sliced ham.
"Dinner is in three hours. What was so important you had to stop at the store without calling? You know the rules."
"I know Mom." He says placing his arm load on the counter. "But sometimes you have to break a rule once in a while. Besides, I had Cameron with me. Not like anything is going to happen to me with her around, is there?" John gives his mom a winning smile.
Sarah just grunts. "A word with you tin-miss." She says glaring at the machine.
Cameron follows Sarah into the living room while John makes himself a sandwich.
"You know the rules when it comes to John. You are to come straight home from school with no stops unless cleared with me."
"John was safe. He wasn't in any danger." Cameron says looking at her sincerely.
Sarah isn't sure how she does it, using her eyes like some eager little puppy.
"There are rules, Cameron. These rules are setup to protect him. To protect john. Now what was so important he had to stop at the store without telling me?"
"He didn't say."
"Didn't you go in with him?"
"Yes. I stayed at the entrance. I chose a position from which I could see both the front and rear exits and I could follow John's movement in the security mirrors."
Sarah frowns. "Good enough I suppose. Couldn't help but notice that neither one of you said what he bought at the store?"
Cameron just looks at her.
"Hmmph. Tell John not to eat too much, it will spoil his dinner."
"Perhaps, that is why he is eating now." Cameron says tilting her head to one side.
Sarah's jaw drops, then clenches. She marches out of the living room and into her bedroom.
Displaying a tiny grin Cameron returns to the kitchen to find that John has not only finished making his sandwich, but devouring it as well.
"Do you want my help with your math homework?" Cameron asks as she sits beside him at the table.
"Nah. I'm okay. I actually understand this chapter. I suppose all of this comes easy to you?" John asks tapping his pencil on the page he's reading.
"Not much for modesty are you?" John says grinning at her.
"No, but I never saw the purpose in hiding my abilities when I am around those who know me." She glances at his page of schoolwork. "Your answer to problem five is wrong."
John chuckles. "Perhaps I do need your help." He scratches the back of his head. "How would you solve this problem then?"
Cameron slides her chair closer and takes the pencil from his hand. In a few minutes they are both doing their schoolwork at the kitchen table until Sarah returns to make supper.
After dinner, John carries his bag from the kitchen through the living room, where Sarah is sitting reading a book.
"Hey mom." John pulls an envelope out of his book bag. "I got you this today."
Sarah sits up giving her son a crooked grin. She takes the envelope from him and opens the envelope. Inside is a simple little Valentine's Card.
"So is this what you had to go to the store for?" Sarah smiles at her son. "Thank you."
John just grins and shrugs his shoulder. "Well it is Valentine's Day and I just thought you'd like something nice."
Sarah gets up and gives her son a hug. "I think this is the first Valentine's card you've given to me."
"Well, it's not like we've had anything close to a normal life in a while. I just wanted to let you know I love you mom."
She ruffles his hair. "I'll always know that. I'm just surprised you didn't spend your money on a girl."
Cameron walks through from the kitchen at that moment. "The dishes are done. It's your turn tomorrow John."
Both John and Sarah follow her with their eyes as she walks past, both thinking different thoughts. "Did you get anything for the tin-miss?"
"Don't you think you could lay-off the verbal jibes for once? I don't think she likes it."
"Oh. Has she told you this? Or is it because you don't like it?"
"I don't like it, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't either. It's like you always have to remind her what she is. She knows what she is."
Sarah purses her lips. It's not her she's trying to remind.
"I've got to go mom. English assignment tonight."
"What are you studying?"
"Uh." John grins sheepishly. "Romeo and Juliet."
John quickly leaves, going down the hall to his bedroom. He passes Cameron's room to see that she has begun pulling out a change of clothes for her ballet exercises.
He leans in her door and whispers, "Hey, have you've got a moment?"
"What do you need?" Cameron responds coming to attention.
"I got you something today." John says reaching into his book bag as he enters her room. "Thought I should give it to you now."
He hands her a black velvet box. She takes it from him gently and opens the lid to reveal a gold heart shaped locket on a chain.
"It's only gold plated. It's all I could afford." John says grinning, a warm blush coloring his cheeks.
"Why are you giving me this?"
"Well, um, it's Valentine's Day. Just thought you'd like something special."
"Mom always has to imply you don't have a heart. So I thought I would give you one." John takes the chain and puts it around her neck. "Now if mom should throw one of her jibes at you, you will have the locket."
"Thank you. This is the first gift anyone has ever given me." She says smiling at him.
John didn't think he could blush anymore than he had. "Yeah, um, your welcome. Don't tell mom, would ya? She'd go ballistic if she knew I spent money on something other than bullets or guns."
"I won't. It will be our secret." She says then frowns. "But I didn't get you anything for Valentines Day."
"That's okay Cam. You do enough every day just looking out for me."
She nods her head. "What should I put in the locket?"
"I hadn't thought of that." John rubs his head thinking. "Some memento, I guess. Some girls have a picture of their boyfriend, some have a small lock of someone's hair. You know, something that reminds them of a person that's important to them."
Cameron smiles, "Thank you for explaining." She then does the unexpected and gives John a quick kiss on his cheek.
She then turns about and begins unbuttoning her shirt. "Would you close the door on you way out?" She says. "I'm going to change into my exercise clothes now."
"Oh, yeah, sure." John says quickly, the warm blush getting even redder.
As he begins his writing assignment, he hears the soft melodic tunes of Sergei Prokofiev ballet, Romeo and Juliet. Their English teacher played some the music during her lecture. Leave it to Cameron to actually have a copy of the music. John listens to the music while doing his schoolwork.
The next morning, as John showers, he comes across some stubble of hair behind his ear. Remembering what he told Cameron yesterday, he smiles.
In her bedroom, Cameron puts the chain around her neck. Before letting the locket drop underneath her shirt she opens it and looks at the small lock of John's hair she placed within it last night. With a gentle smile she leaves her room humming the melody from the ballet.
Happy Valentine's Day!
February 11, 2010