A Hard Lesson (John Connor)

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A Hard Lesson (John Connor)
Date of Cutscene: 04 June 2014
Location: Connor Residence, Los Angeles
Synopsis: John Connor has never really been able to forgive his mother for being human.
Cast of Characters: 24

It was dark when John Connor finally returned home. The house was quiet. Even so, John wasn't surprised when he was interecepted just inside the front door by Cameron. She never slept. She didn't have any frail, biological need to turn her consciousness off for a third of every day. She could never be vulnerable. She didn't have to deal with what John was dealing with. She wasn't born to a mother and a time-travelling father, she was built.

Cameron watches him for a moment, face impassive. "Hello, John. There's dinner in the refridgerator. Derek Reese got Chinese take-out."

"Not now, Cameron. I'll have some in the morning."

Cameron tilts her head to one side. "But breakfast is the morning meal. You have pancakes for breakfast."

John shakes his head. "It must be pretty simple being a machine, right? Everything is ordered, programmed, logical. You don't just... change your mind. If you got locked up in a hospital, you'd just think the same thing, day after day."

"It is not as simple as you think," Cameron replies.

"Yeah. Look, I'll see you in the morning. And I'm sorry to worry you and mom."

"Cromartie could have found you. I would not have been there to protect you." /Something/ flickers across Cameron's face then and John catches it but has no idea what to make of it. "I can't let anything happen to you."

"Yeah..." John replies, "I know. Goodnight, Cameron."

Later, John lies awake on his bed. He hasn't even gotten changed. He stares at the roof, trying to figure out what to say.

The door creaks open, John rolls onto his side. He knows it's his mother. He can place everyone in the house by how they walk. She walks across the room, slowly, and settles at the foot of his bed. She says nothing. The silence between stretches out into what feels like an eternity. Someone else is moving outside the room. Possibly Derek but probably Cameron.

"I never wanted you to see that tape," Sarah says, at last. "I was gonna destroy it. But... since you did, did you notice the date? The date on the tape. June 8th, 1997. Do you know that date?"

John doesn't say anything. It takes him a second to unclench his jaw and swallow away the tension, turning onto his back so he can face her. "I do now," he replies coolly, "That's the date you gave up being my mother."

He instantly regrets it.

"That's the date I broke out of there," Sarah continues. The words hurt her, but Sarah Connor doesn't cry. She's had no tears since the death of his father. "The day you came for me, I was coming for you. Because about three seconds after I signed that paper, I knew I couldn't live with it. I was coming for you, and I was gonna die trying."

John swallows again. "You almost did."

"So did you."

He looks to her again and the ghost of a smile crosses his face. "You were mad as hell about it. Yelled at me..." His voice catches and his eyes water. "Told me what a stupid move it was."

"I might have oversold that a little." Sarah places her hand on her son's knee. "I'll always find you."

"I'll always find you."

With nothing more that needs to be said, Sarah takes one last look at her son and leaves. Learning that your parents are fallible, that they can be weak and fail, is a hard lesson.