I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I am merely telling a tale of the two.Summary:
What if, after Buffy gets out of that demon dimension in Anne, she hits her bank before heading back to Sunnydale...Author's Note:
I moved the events of the Sarah Connor Chronicles back one year to begin in 1998, not 1999, to coincide with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer time line.
Buffy walked towards the bank, the remnants of adrenaline lying like ashes in her veins. The fight with the demons had been vicious, but in the end she'd proved to be stronger than them. Of course, she'd had help, remembering Lilly's look of astonishment at her own temerity as she pushed Ken off of the ledge. It had been exactly the distraction Buffy had needed to finish off the handful of demons below. Gathering the few people who still retained their wits, Buffy had led them to the portal and through.
Now she was on her way over to Security Trust, to close out the bank account she'd started after going to work at the diner. Buffy had decided to head back to Sunnydale and needed the money for a bus ticket. Her spirit wasn't completely healed, but she did feel better about being the Slayer. Besides, there simply wasn't time to cater to her angst. In Cordelia's words, she had to “get over it.”
Buffy headed into the bank and got into the line for the teller, which didn't seem to be moving. At this rate, she would be staying here in LA another day. Bored, she glanced around. She caught sight of three people who had just come into the bank, an older woman and two kids her age. Idly, Buffy watched them, trying to fit them into some normal category. The girl was cute, even if her face was a little too odd to be considered beautiful. The boy was scruffy, from everything to how he dressed to his haircut. Cute, but not her type even if her heart still didn't ache for Angel. The older woman, who looked to be near her mother's age, held Buffy's attention. Her eyes were wary, dark and dangerous. They were similar to the eyes that Buffy saw staring out at her from her own mirror far too often.
It made Buffy reexamine the entire group. There was something really off about them. They were looking at their surroundings intensely, checking exits, watching the other people present. It was what she herself did, but waaayyy more subtly than them. Could they be any more obvious? Then she stiffened. The girl walked up behind the older security guard and without hesitating, drew his gun from his holster in a smooth move. She shouted, “Get down on the floor!” Then incongruously added, “Please.” Everyone dropped to the floor, including Buffy. No point in taking a chance getting shot, she thought absently as she calculated her chances.
Pointing the gun in various directions, the girl stalked towards the tellers. The woman and the boy followed. Buffy held herself ready to act. However, something about the way the girl held herself ready made her hesitate. The girl demanded of one of the tellers, “The keys to the safety deposit boxes.” When the woman hesitated, she cocked the gun she held. Buffy watched the three of them move back towards the vault with the woman. As soon as they were out of sight, she quickly got to her feet. Moving silently, she followed behind the group. Buffy now knew what was off about the girl. She couldn't hear a heartbeat. She didn't know what the girl was, but she wasn't human.
Buffy could hear them just ahead of her. Senses straining, Buffy moved forward. She heard the girl tell the others, “Get inside.” Then she said, “Keys.” She was probably asking the teller for them. Buffy was just outside the room. After a pause of a few seconds, the girl said, “Lock us in, then get away from the door. I'll know if you don't.” Buffy knew she had to make her move if she was going to do anything. Sprinting forward, she leaped into the vault just as the door was swinging closed!
Deciding to take out the girl first, both because she was armed and definitely not human, Buffy blurred into the girl at full speed, knocking her across the room into the far row of safety deposit boxes. The gun went flying. It was a good thing that she'd figured out that the girl wasn't human or she might have held back. That should hold her for a moment. Rubbing her shoulder where she had hit the girl, Buffy quickly evaluated the situation. That's when she saw the woman moving.
The woman dove directly at the fallen gun without hesitation. Grabbing it, she rolled to her feet, bringing it up towards Buffy. Unfortunately for her, Buffy had followed and was already there to stop her. She grabbed the barrel of the gun, arresting its movement. The woman futilely strained against Buffy's grip.
Looking into her eyes, Buffy caught the brief look of fear and astonishment in the woman's eyes. Then she saw the reflection of movement in the woman's eyes. Crap. Buffy was already dodging, when her world went black...
Sarah Connor continued to stare at the slender, blonde figure lying at her feet as she asked Cameron the same question a second time. “You're sure she's human and not a terminator?”
Cameron's flat gaze moved from her own to briefly survey the figure at her feet. “I already told you this. I am one hundred percent sure. All of her readings are completely human. She is 100% biological. I do not know what she is, but she is not a terminator.”
“Could she be some kind of advanced biological model?”
John's soft question caught Sarah by surprise. She shouldn't be surprised when he exhibited such insight, but despite knowing she was the mother of the man who would one day save humanity from the machines, it never got any less startling. But then only a boy who was phenomenal would grow up into the amazing man John was destined to become. Dismissing that train of thought, Sarah waited for the machine to answer.
“No. Skynet would never use biological models. If not for the way humans have fought back in the past few years, Skynet wouldn't even have used disguised units. It prefers a more 'pure' soldier.”
Sarah shook her head, not sure what to believe. The girl had been astonishingly strong. After knocking Cameron completely across the vault, she had followed Sarah with stunning speed, stopping her from pointing the guard's gun at her. Sarah had been terrified that another terminator had found them, another one disguised like Cameron. Then Cameron had moved behind the girl, striking her in the head, despite her slight dodge. That small movement was the only reason the girl wasn't dead, as Cameron's blow just missed crushing her skull, instead striking a glancing blow that felled her in her tracks. Sarah had stopped Cameron's follow-up blow. The boneless way the girl dropped seemed completely human, if not the way she fought. And she seemed out of the fight for the moment...
John listened what Cameron had to say on the subject of their uninvited guest. He didn't care what kind of prejudices that Skynet had. What he did care about was finding a way to stop it. Finding a way to live a normal life. Those were what occupied his thoughts. With just a little left over for how cute the girl on the floor was. “How do you explain her strength and speed, then?”
Cameron cocked her head, then shrugged. “I can't. She exhibited superhuman strength. She is approximately eighteen times as strong as a person her size and weight should be.”
Sarah shook her head. “Let's not worry about her. We need to get what we came here for...”
Buffy stifled a groan as she slowly returned to consciousness. She was aware of a loud pounding going on nearby. She did not open her eyes, but listened carefully. She decided something was trying to tear through the vault door, as a particularly loud bang made her wince. Laying there, she reconstructed what had happened. The girl had struck her from behind, despite being hit hard enough to put down a rhino. She must be a particularly nasty demon under that harmless exterior, Buffy thought. She was going to be an extremely dangerous opponent when Buffy confronted her. The woman, at least, seemed completely human, as did the boy. Not that being human didn't mean they weren't dangerous, especially if they were involved with demons. Buffy remembered the way the woman had unhesitantly gone for the gun.
There was a weird thrumming noise going on near her along with a more human conversation. She heard something about fighting Skynet, then someone said, “Do it!” Deciding that she couldn't keep lying here when they were doing God knows what, Buffy readied herself. Springing to her feet, she was confronted by the sight of the woman now holding some kind of odd-looking gun aimed straight at Buffy face!
The two women stared at each other from five feet away. Buffy noted the stress lines on the woman's face and the slight tic at the corner of her mouth. Buffy quickly moved in a circle, keeping her eyes on the woman's. Another loud hammering sound drew the woman's eyes from hers and back towards the vault door.
Buffy didn't know what was going on with that. The police wouldn't be physically tearing the vault apart to get in. So maybe it wasn't the police out there. At least she was out of the line of sight of the door. The girl stood a few feet back. She punched a button on some machine that was sticking out of the safety deposit boxes. Bright light erupted from behind Buffy. Leaping to the side, startled, she glanced back to see strange lightning crackling in the air. Then she heard the vault door rip open behind.
Time seemed to slow down for Buffy. A figure was entering the vault. At the same time, the woman's finger was tightening on the trigger of her weapon as she stepped forward into the lightning. Deciding that she needed to stop the woman from killing someone, Buffy moved instantly, crossing the space between them and wrestling the woman for the weapon. Unfortunately, the weapon discharged, painting a halo of light and color to Buffy's right.
Buffy never saw what happened to the person who she'd tried to save. Because suddenly she was elsewhere. And cold. Glancing down, Buffy realized she was naked, shades of her experience of being turned into a rat by Amy Madison. Then she realized the other three were present, and also naked. Throwing one arm across her breasts and the other across her privates, Buffy kept her eyes averted from the naked boy as she demanded, “What the hell just happened?”
Sarah was stunned. The device had worked. They should be several years in the future, in the year 2007. But when they'd planned their trip, they hadn't counted on taking along a passenger. Staring into the furious eyes of the young woman... no girl, Sarah decided, she was struck by how despite being outnumbered three to one, naked, and in a strange place, she didn't look the slightest bit scared. Pissed off, sure. About to tear into them, sure. But scared? Not even close. Who was this girl....
Buffy stared at the strange trio confronting her. She was angry, embarrassed, and more than a little afraid, not a good combination for a Slayer. If she didn't hear an explanation soon, she was going to kick some ass. That's when the horn sounded right behind her!
Whirling, her hands dropped to her sides in astonishment as she leaped backwards to avoid the braking car, landing right next to the boy. Their group was lit by the headlights of the car in front of them. Buffy instinctively ducked her head and started to move out of the light even before the others. They followed in the direction she led.
She started out ahead of them, but moved to one side, then dropped slightly behind. The last thing Buffy wanted to do was put on a peepshow for the boy. He sooo didn't need to see her bare bottom running along in front of him. Buffy noted a lit road construction sign with the wrong date on it, showing a range from 09-03-07 to 09-24-07. She felt a queasy feeling in her stomach. Catching back up to the others, Buffy demanded, “What happened? If you don't tell me, I'll...”
“What will you do?” The young girl tilted her head to the side in apparent curiosity as she asked her question.
Buffy's eyes narrowed in anger. “I'll kick you ass first, demon.”
The older woman interceded, “Calm down.” To the girl, she asked, “Where are we?”
“Same where, different when.”
They all turned and looked at the road construction sign, Buffy in disbelief. The woman said, “Look, my name is Sarah Connor. My son's name is John Connor. That's Cameron. You are?”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Soooo not going to play twenty questions. I'll be asking the questions from here on out. Why are you people hanging out with a demon?”
The woman, Sarah, looked confused. “What demon? What are you talking about?” She stared at Buffy as if she were insane.
Buffy hooked a casual thumb towards 'Cameron'. “That demon. Please don't act as if you don't know she's not human.”
The woman's eyes narrowed in concentration. She seemed to be weighing her words. Carefully she said, “Cameron's not a demon. She's not human either. I'd be interested in how you knew that.”
Buffy pointed to Sarah. “Heartbeat.” She then pointed towards John. “Heartbeat.” Lastly, she pointed towards Cameron. “No heartbeat. More of a whir whir sound, actually. So if she's not a demon, then what is she?”
“She's a terminator.”
“Mom, we're going to have to tell her eventually. Why waste time?”
Sarah just shook her head. “Yes, but I did want to find clothing and shelter first.”
Buffy noted the girl called Cameron walk off towards a nearby street while the mother and son argued. A car full of drunk college boys stopped and began to make crude gestures towards Cameron. Buffy didn't think anything of it other than she'd put herself in for some major harassment. That is until they got out of the car. Then Cameron took them out instantly, needing only three blows to do so.
Buffy leaped towards her, moving incredibly fast. Arriving at Cameron's side, she demanded, “Why the hell did you do that for? You can't go around attacking people.”
Cameron gave her a dispassionate look as she began stripping the young men. “I am obtaining clothing for us all. The humans are merely rendered unconscious. They have suffered no lasting harm. I was careful to strike with precisely the correct amount of force to render them unconscious.”
The argument between mother and son petered off as they noticed what was going on. Both moved towards her. Buffy hurriedly grabbed a sweatshirt, pulling it over her head. Only then did she look back towards Sarah and ask, “I think you'd better tell me what a 'terminator' is....”
With a sense of mingled relief and disappointment, John pulled on the sweat pants. Relief, because he was more than a little embarrassed walking around nude in front of his mother with an erection. Disappointment, because he had really enjoyed looking at the naked bodies of both Cameron and Buffy. Future leader of humanity or not, John had enough masturbatory material for months from the events of today.
He half listened as his mom explained to the girl, who had finally told them her name was Buffy, the story of Skynet, the terminators, and their journey into the future. John wondered if she would believe it. Musing, he figured that if she really believed in demons, then terminators weren't that much of a stretch.
“So what you're saying is that John is the future leader of humanity who will lead us against Skynet and the machines. That Cameron is a specially programmed terminator that John sent back in time to protect himself. That we're now nine years in the future. I don't really know which is the most unlikely. That we're no longer living in the 90's or that erection boy over there is the savior of humanity.”
John felt himself blushing furiously as his mom sighed. She pointed at the road construction sign. “Even if you don't believe the evidence of your eyes, listen to me. I can have proof for you as soon as we can find a place to stop. Cameron can show you what she is.”
The girl looked skeptical. “That only proves that she's a robot. Big whoop. I've fought robots before. Been there, done that, got the merit badge to prove it. Got any more proof?”
John winced as his mother looked pissed. “Not just yet. But speaking of proof, what proof can you give that you are just a normal human being. I saw you back at the bank, plus several times in the last few minutes you've exhibited extraordinary strength and speed. Can you explain that?”
Buffy gave her an innocent look back. “Flintstones vitamins?”
Cameron spoke up. “We need to go. If we are to save humanity, we need to get started.” She gave Buffy a challenging look.
Buffy, still smarting at the robots attack on those boys, angrily told her, “Look, robo-girl, I don't think so.” Buffy drew back her fist to hit Cameron, who reacted by attacking her in turn. Buffy ducked in a blur of motion as Cameron attempted to grapple with her. Spinning on one foot, she side-kicked Cameron hard enough to send her heavy body flying twenty feet through the air. John and his mother watched open-mouthed as she immediately pursued Cameron, taking two fast bouncing steps that carried her the entire distance to the terminator's side.
Cameron hit hard on the concrete, but was rolling to her feet when Buffy kicked her again, taking her off her feet. She landed flat on her back. Then Buffy leaped at least twelve feet into the air, and landed with both feet on Cameron's chest, striking with a loud THWAP! Cameron lay still on the ground.
Buffy moved towards John and his mother. He started to put himself between what might still turn out to be a terminator in disguise and his mother, only to be unceremoniously shoved behind her. They both received a sarcastic eyeroll as Buffy walked past them and sat on the hood of the car they'd 'borrowed.' “If that's a 'terminator,' I'm not impressed.”
Sarah asked in a deadly serious voice, “What are you?”
Buffy gave her an icy look back. For a moment, John was struck by how similar were the looks the two of them wore. He knew what was behind the cold look on his mother's face. Now he wondered what had happened to Buffy to make her so grim. John decided to try to step in before things got out of hand. Overcoming his embarrassment, he asked, “Buffy, please tell us what is going on?”
Grudgingly, the girl said, “I'm the Slayer.”
“Huh?” John couldn't help his exclamation. He felt a little better when his mother slipped up even more dramatically.
“What the fuck?”
Buffy rolled her eyes again. “The Chosen One? The one girl in all the world, gifted with the strength and speed to hunt the vampires, demons, and forces of darkness. The Slayer.”
Sarah angrily exclaimed, “Stop playing around, girl. There's no such thing as vampires or demons.”
“Actually, vampires and demons still exist even in the future, although they have been vasty reduced in numbers.”
Sarah and John both turned towards the voice. Cameron stood there, showing no signs of having been slammed around, except for two small dusty footprints in the middle of the chest region of her white t-shirt.
Worried, John asked, “Are you okay? What happened?”
She tilted her head quizzically. “I am fully operational. My CPU was jarred and had to reboot.” Looking at Buffy, she continued, “I was not aware that a human could strike with that much force without breaking several of their structural components.”
Buffy gave her a wary look. “I owe it all to clean living...”
Sarah interrupted them. To Cameron, she said, “I'm going to want a complete report on vampires and demons when we get to a safe house. Do you know what she is?” She pointed at Buffy, who looked irritated at being talked about as if she wasn't there.
John listened with interest to the resulting answer as Cameron said, “There is a 97.54% probability that she is a Slayer. Skynet became aware of Slayers shortly after going on-line from certain classified government files. Additionally, there were several attempted assaults from Slayers, the first when a Slayer here in the U.S. led an assault on a manufacturing facility shortly after the war's beginning.” Cameron appeared to be scanning Buffy. “This could be the same person.”
Tentatively, John asked, “Did I know her?”
Cameron shook her head. “She was killed in the assault, as were all other humans accompanying her. Skynet had overwhelming forces on standby and was able to cut off all lanes of retreat...”
Buffy listened to the conversation going on in front of her. Terminators, the future, battles to the death were all whirling around her mind. She hopped off the car. “I'm outta here. Hasta, people.”
The older woman, Sarah, held up her hand to stop Buffy. “Buffy, do you know when you are?”
Buffy shrugged. “I'm in LA. No big. I was planning on catching a bus to Sunnydale before you shot us out of the bank naked. I'll just go back and get my stuff from there and...”
With eerie seriousness, Sarah said, “I didn't ask you where you were. I asked you when you were. Buffy, that device that Cameron assembled bank at the bank, it was a time transport. We're nine years in the future. It's now 2007.” At Buffy's stubborn look, she shouted, “Look at the goddamn sign!”
Buffy listened to this with a growing sense of surprise and dread. She snapped, “I don't believe you!” She couldn't afford to believe Sarah. Worriedly, she thought about the demon realm she'd just left. There, time went by much faster than in her world. If you went through that portal for two days, forty years would go by in that world. It wasn't that hard of a leap to go from knowing something like this to believing in time travel.
In a gentler tone, Sarah requested, “Please come with us. You can always go your own way once we've shown you what's going on. I'll even give you money for a bus ticket. How does that sound?”
Buffy was starting to feel really scared for the first time since she arrived here. She wanted nothing more that to get to her mother's house and talk to her. But to do that, she had to get there. And a bus ticket would make that a lot easier. Slowly she nodded. “Okay, but I reserve the right to split if I want.”
John and Cameron began a conversation next to Buffy. Absently, she listened.
“This is where Skynet begins?” John asked, looking around
“Somewhere in there,” Cameron indicated, gesturing towards greater Los Angeles.
“And nobody knows we're here?”
Cameron slowly shook her head. She approached him and said, “You're safe.”
Together, mother and son, with eerie synchronicity, stated, “No one is ever safe.”
Buffy, listening, felt a growing sense of belief in their story. That's when it hit her. One moment she was standing there, angsting over the situation, the next moment, a surge unlike anything that she had ever felt before in her young life hit her. The closest thing that Buffy had to compare it to was being called as the Slayer roughly two years before. But that hadn't come with what felt like hundreds of minds all crying out to her in need. Shuddering, she closed her eyes and slipped away...
Sarah ran over to where Buffy had fallen. Kneeling down, she quickly checked her pulse. It beat, very slowly, but steadily. Sarah peeled back an eyelid. In the uncertain light here, she couldn't tell if the girl was concussed or not. “Cameron, vitals check.”
With emotionless efficiency, the terminator knelt down next to Buffy and checked her out. She performed the same tests that Sarah had, along with a few others. Thirty seconds later, she reported, “Pulse thirty-two beats per minute. Blood pressure one hundred and twenty-five over fifty-five. No concussion based on pupil dilation. Glasgow Coma Scale is nine. No physical evidence of heightened strength.”
Sarah gave the terminator a sharp look. That last comment said a lot. How was it possible that Buffy did not show any evidence of the incredible strength she had in the form a highly developed musculature? Cameron had said she was at least eighteen times as strong as a girl her size should be. That was incredible enough. But to show no sign of that strength physically? That was beyond incredible. Sarah really wanted to get somewhere she could sit Cameron down and talk to her...
Sarah rode in the passenger seat as Cameron drove their 'borrowed' car down the freeway.. They were going to hit a stored cache of weapons and money, then find a safe place to stay. She was pondering the mystery of the girl who had come through time with them. Immensely strong, incredibly fast, she was a conundrum. The way she had leaped ten to twelve feet into the air before slamming both heels down into the most devastating martial arts attack that Sarah had ever seen. She had actually knocked a terminator off-line, if only for the one hundred and twenty seconds it took to reboot. Now she lay in the backseat, her head pillowed in John's lap.
Sarah allowed her thoughts to roam as she stared out the window. In a kind of inner monologue, her thoughts rambled, 'It is said that the death of any one person is the death of an entire world. Certainly for parents, the death of a child is no less than a holocaust. In the case of our traveling companion, she is long thought dead, her parents lost, devastated. In the case of my son, these words are literally true. Even though we've traveled through time, bent the rules of nature, in the end, no one lives forever. They will keep coming for him, keep trying to kill him. But until that day, it's going to be a goddamned dog fight...”
Elsewhere in LA, a man sat listening to a news broadcast. He stared at the picture on the TV screen, letting the words wash over him.
“And finally tonight, amateur video of what we can only assume is a college prank gone wrong.” It was her. Sarah. She was alive. She had not died in that bank explosion. She was alive
Willow sat up in bed shouting, “Buffy! Buffy!” Her breath sobbed in and out of her chest. Then she felt the touch of her lover as Tara sat up besides her and put an arm around her.
“Willow, what's wrong? Did you have a nightmare?”
Leaning against Tara, Willow shook her head. “No, it was Buffy. She's back.”
Tara stroked her hair, easing Willow's breathing. “Willow, Buffy's dead. I helped you cast the location spell back in our freshman year, remember? If she was anywhere on Earth, we would have found her.”
Willow pulled away from her Tara. She reached over and turned on the bedside lamp. “Buffy's alive. I felt her. The spell activated.”
Tara's eyes lighted with interest and the first stirrings of belief. “Willow, you mean...”
Willow nodded her head. “Kennedy's no longer uber-Slayer. She's weak as a kitten right now. Oh, she'll end up back to being a normal Slayer in a day or two, but Giles no longer has his attack dog. And we have Buffy back. As soon as we find her, we'll be the ones with the Slayer Supreme.” That's what Xander liked to call the super-powerful Slayer that was called as part of the Slayer line. Xander! “Oh my God! We have to call Xander!”
Tara looked unsure. “Willow, I'm sure he's asleep. It's...” Tara glanced over at the bedside clock. “3:17 in the morning. Why don't you let him sleep?”
Willow shook her head. “You don't understand. Xander will want me to wake him. He never believed that Buffy was dead. Never.” With that, Willow grabbed the phone and dialed Xander's number.
After a few rings, a groggy voice answered, “Hello?”
The voice became fully awake. “Shit! Who died?”
Willow cut back on her excitement. “No no no! No one died. It's Buffy, she...”
Xander interrupted her, “Wills, did you have another dream about Buffy? Couldn't you wait to tell me about it in the morning? Which is coming in three hours?”
There was a thump, then silence. Finally after ten seconds, Xander's voice came back on. “Sorry dropped the phone and had to find it in the dark. I think I heard you wrong, Willow. I thought you said...”
“Buffy's alive. She's back, Xander. She's already taken Kennedy's power away. The spell reacted instantly to her and drew the power back to the source.”
Xander's voice was scared. “Wills, are you sure. I mean abso-100%-lutely sure? Cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die sure? Yellow crayony su...”
Willow interrupted him before he could drag up any more esoteric comparisons. “I am.”
“I'm coming over.” With that, Xander hung up.
Willow felt Tara's eyes on her. “Xander's on his way over.”
Tara looked scared. Her eyes reflected a growing knowledge that not all of the repercussions would be good. “What do you think is happening, Willow?”
Willow just shook her head. “I just don't know...”