Err, if anyone was confused by some of the verbiage in the last chapter, Cameron stated they all 'have papers now'. I meant 'have' as in owned, not as in they had literal possession of them. No matter how good your guy is, fake documents aren't a while-you-wait service. Even twenty-four hour turn around (like they did on the show) for the scary girl is pushing it. Sorry if there was any confusion.
As Carlos descended the stairs with a thick yellow envelope, Faith tore her eyes away from where Cameron was busy getting a makeover from the girl who'd been a lookout last time they visited. That was just weird. Cammy had a nature, perfect beauty thing going. She didn't need any makeup.
But unlike Sarah, Faith knew how people like this worked. If you went out of your way to be stand-offish, they got nervous. That's when shit went sour and guns came out. And they were nervous enough having a robot girl in their living room. There was no reason to make things any more difficult than they had to be.
"Just so you know, these ain't fakes. Full service here, girls. Even matched up socials with place of birth, which is something my uncle sometimes overlooked." Carlos held out the envelope and Faith took it from him. "Read what's in there, make your aliases, and have fun. Just try not to end up on the radar too quickly. Complete jobs like that are hard even for me."
Faith nodded and reached inside, looking through the contents. Birth certificates, two drivers licenses, a California state ID for John, some other papers that Faith didn't quite understand but reckoned were important, and even three passports. Nice.
Before Faith could comment on the work, the front door opened. She turned to look and got a quick view of the beefy Mexican with the tattoos before loud barking echoed through the room and something raced across the room. The dog. Even with Cameron's identity exposed, neither of them could afford to have Cameron's skin exposed further by being bit by a guard dog. And Faith didn't doubt the dog could do some serious damage; they likely kept it around to use as a barrier between them and the cops in case of a raid.
The world seemed to slow around her as she pulled her sword. Faith launched herself from her seat, racing toward the fast-moving dog. At the last second, she decided that decapitating or kebobing their dog would likely not leave her on good terms with these guys, so Faith pulled her empty hand back and slammed it into the side of the dog's head. It whimpered and skidded sideways as the world sped back up, Faith coming to a stop in front of a wide-eyed Cameron and the lookout, one arm holding the sword out to her side to keep it away from them.
"¡Ay dios mio!" Carlos was staring at her with wide eyes as she straightened up, slowly sheathing the sword on her back again before offering her hand to Cameron. Somehow, Faith doubted there would be any more makeup in her future after that little scene. "What are you? A robot like her?"
Faith shook her head as she reached into her pocket and pulled out a lump of hundred dollar bills. "Worse. I'm human. I can't be reprogrammed like she was. C'mon, Cammy. Time to go. Pleasure doing business with you guys."
Nodding, Carlos took the money and looked down at his fallen guard dog. "Sí. Juanita, show her out. Give your new mama my regards, robogirl. Damn, I pity her. What's she going to do when you and her boyo go off to school and the boys there start trying to pick you up?"
"Considering Faith is a very possessive girlfriend, I pity the boy who tries to pick me up." Cameron took Faith's hand as they headed for the door. "Then again, I have a very heavy metal endoskeleton. Anybody who tried to pick me up would be seriously hurt." That got a few chuckles and Faith wrapped one arm around the smaller girl's shoulders. Damn straight she was possessive. Who wouldn't be, with a girl like… wait.
While Faith's Spanish wasn't particularly good, and mostly limited to a few phrases so she could order from the restaurants in Boston where the 'gringos' who came in and used English usually got their food spat in, she did recognize a few other key words. And as she and Cameron were led out by the girl who had been working on Cameron's makeup, her acute hearing picked up and translated bits of what Carlos was saying to one of his friends.
Enrique. Snitch. Informer. Sarah. Jail.
Her eyes met Cameron's and she knew that the Terminator had picked up every last word as well. Sarah needed to know about this.
Faith looked up at the two street signs above her head, and then down at her watch. Right time… right place… now what? She'd been a bit dubious of finding a note promising identification papers, hide under the mattress of the room that she and Cameron had ended up claiming as their own. But seeing the very familiar handwriting… well, THAT had driven her to take it a bit more seriously than she otherwise would have. Now, though, she was starting to have second thoughts.
Then a black Trans Am came racing down the street before screeching to a stop in front of her. The passenger side door swung open and a pair of strong arms grabbed her, pulling her inside. She slid over someone's lap, was shoved into the back seat, and the door slammed shut as the car peeled out. "Sup, Mini-Me?"
"Jesus fucking Christ, you could have just stopped and asked me to get in." Twin laughs came from the front of the car and Faith sulked as she wiggled herself into a more comfortable position. "So, you wanna explain to me how this shit works? Hopefully using fifty words or less?"
The person in the passenger's seat turned and looked back at her, and Faith raised an eyebrow. She'd figured it might be Cameron, the laugh had confirmed it, but she'd expected the Terminator to look… well, the same. This Cameron's face was just the tiniest bit different, one of her eyes was blue (human blue, not glowing Camminator blue), and she had a whitish streak of hair framing either side of her face. "You and the me you know build her. Instead of sending her back, we take her back. We live out from then till now. You and your Cameron become my Faith and I. Here we are. And right now, she's off with the Council, still doing what she was programmed to do."
Faith nodded and her brain's gears turned slowly. "So you got ID the first time around and took it back in time with you. Then you had to get more new ID to match your age then. So you have one set of ID that says you're eighteen now and one set that says you're old now, and you can fork over the teenage girl papers to me?"
"Fuck you. I'm twenty-two now, which is not 'old', thank you very much." Her older self glared back at her before taking a corner a bit too quickly and sending Faith sliding across the back seat. "I'd forgotten how much of an obnoxious little shit I was at eighteen. And before you burn out any brain cells trying to do the math, that means you'll be going back to 2003 in a few months."
Cameron reached across and slapped the older Faith on the arm. "Oh hush. Your math skills still suck. And you're still an obnoxious little shit. You're just older and surrounded by obnoxious littler shits, which makes you look better by comparison."
The tires squealed again as her older doppelganger replied by taking another hard turn far too fast. "Swear to God, I'm the second oldest living slayer, I've time traveled twice, saved the world a half-dozen times, and I still don't get any fucking respect." The car came to an abrupt halt. "We're here. Now get out."
Faith peered out the window, surprised to see they were back at the house. But then again, if this WAS her driving, she'd already lived here once. Of course she'd be able to find her way back. "Well, I guess I should say thanks. For giving me… a bunch of stuff you can't use anyways. You know, when I think of it like that, it's not really that generous of you."
"And yet it'll get your ass into school with John and Cammy, into a porn store, and behind the wheel of a car from now until when you jump." Her older self looked back again, visibly annoyed and actually a bit scary as far as Faith was concerned. "So shut up, say thank you, and then get the fuck out of my car. I could be in bed with Cameron right now instead of dealing with you, Mini-Me."
Faith nodded. "Thank you, Cameron. Thank you, old me." She chuckled and threw herself back as her older self lunged, then scrambled forward, across Cameron's lap, and out of the car. "I'd say see you around but… yeah."
Halfway up the walk, Cameron's voice caused Faith to stop in her tracks. "Oh, and Faith?" She looked back at the car and Cameron smirked at her. "When you hear Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy? The first thing that pops into your head? Don't do it. We already did it back when it was new."
Uh, okay? Faith nodded and gave a thumbs up, and the car drove away. Save a horse, ride a cowboy? What the hell was that? Well, apart from a potential new motto for her. Hey, she liked the way that sounded. Could make a hell of a pick-up line at a Western bar. 'Hey buddy, wanna let me save a horse and ride a cowboy?'. Or maybe a night of dress-up fun with Cameron, especially now that she could get into adult stores again. As her older self had so helpfully pointed out.
Wait. Maybe that was what they'd already done in the past? But then would it be doing it AGAIN if they did it now? Or would it be doing it again if they did it now and then back in 200whatever? God, she missed the days when the weirdest shit she had to ponder was how to kill a demon that could survive decapitation. Shaking her head, Faith crossed the front yard and made her way into the house.