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This End is Another Beginning

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Summary: Derek still couldn’t believe the world hadn’t ended.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles(Moderator)DemonaFR1312,2801102,1262 Nov 082 Nov 08Yes
TITLE: This End is Another Beginning
AUTHOR: Demona
FANDOM: Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles / Buffy the Vampire Slayer
PAIRING: pre-Buffy/Derek
WORD COUNT: ~2,100
SPOILERS: Set after Season Seven for Buffy and set after Judgment Day for T:tscc.
SUMMARY: Derek still couldn’t believe the world hadn’t ended.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, they belong to Fox, the WB/UPN, Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, etc. The characters of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles belong to Fox, etc. The ideas and concepts in this story are mine entirely. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
NOTES: Written for the LJ Comm Ficathon at sccxovers for Chosenfire. Her prompt will be after the fic.
BETA: KaylaShay for pointing out the obvious and glaring mistakes. And Ava for listening to me drone on about the many angles I could take, and nudging me to just finish the darn thing already.

Much thanks to dhfreak for making such a wonderful banner for the story.

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Derek still couldn’t believe the world hadn’t ended. The sun rose this morning and the grass was still green and buildings still stood.

Despite everything, despite all their knowledge and their help from the future, SkyNet had still been built. And mere months ago it had been approved to be implemented by the U.S. military. But in the end it was the machines, Terminators from the future, that destroyed it before it could become angry and afraid and destroy the world. The Terminators sent themselves back because they wanted to co-exist, to live in the world of man rather than metal. There was no solid guarantee that Judgment Day still couldn’t – wouldn’t – happen, but the machines had managed to convince John this was the best plan.

John’s trust of the machines was something he would never understand. Derek still anxiously waited for the other shoe to drop, for him to have to relive the same fate twice. But it appeared, at least for today, that fate was not yet his.

Cameron was antsy – if such a thing was possible for a machine. John was bouncing between emotions – relief that he wasn’t going to be the savior of mankind, and a guilty frustration that he’d trained his whole life for something that wouldn’t happen. And Sarah remained ever skeptical that the danger had passed. She’d been terrified and on high alert for the last twenty some years training John for the future. She didn’t want to see it happen, but she worried it still would.

“I’m going out,” Derek finally announced when he couldn’t stand the tension any longer. He was almost to the door when Sarah caught his arm and tugged him to a halt.

“Out? Tonight?”

“Yes tonight. The world didn’t end yesterday and I just need…” he trailed off. He wasn’t exactly sure what he needed. But he knew he wasn’t going to find it here, in this house. “I just need to get out,” he finally explained.

“What if it ends tonight?”

“Are you going to spend the rest of your life like this?”

“I never gave any thought to a future without SkyNet and Judgment Day,” Sarah admitted and averted her eyes. Her hand slid down Derek’s arm, fingers brushing his bare arm until they fell away to her side.

“Well perhaps you should,” Derek suggested and a wry smile appeared on his face. He knew Sarah wouldn’t take his advice, didn’t blame her, because he didn’t believe it himself. He pulled the door open and paused in the doorway. “I’ll be at Sidetracks on Lexington. I’ve got my phone. And I know the plan if the worst should happen. I will find you Sarah,” Derek calmly told her.

He held her gaze until Sarah’s eyes softened and she nodded.

A small click echoed behind him as he pulled the door shut.

He never imagined it would be this hard when he agreed to be sent back. Honestly, he didn’t believe it would work, didn’t believe that he’d actually be sent back in time. But John believed. And John had given him this mission – knowing that Derek was his uncle – and had sent him back. The whole thing still boggled his mind.

There were times he just had to get away. Times he needed to be on his own out in public, out with people in a world that still existed. Sarah didn’t know what possibly lay ahead. She was given a picture from Kyle but it didn’t come close to living it, experience it. And John, John was still just a kid, a kid with the fate of the world hanging over his head, resting on his shoulders.

Sidetracks was a decent bar in the seedier side of L.A. It was Derek’s favorite place to drink. It was a place only the locals and a few well-informed and brave tourists knew about. It was the perfect place to blend in – the perfect place to lose himself, if only for an evening. The drinks were reasonably priced, the jukebox still worked, and the people knew enough to mind their own business.

Derek nodded to Bill, the bouncer, as he pulled open the door. Immediately Derek was surrounded by the scent of beer, sweat, and stale cigarette smoke. He recognized a few people and nodded his head slightly in greeting as he made his way to the empty section of the bar.

He slid onto the barstool at the emptiest section. He wasn’t here for shooting the shit with anyone. He wanted to drown his anxiety and fear in a couple beers and try to forget about his life, his mission, for a few hours.

Survival instinct was a hard thing to squash. His beer was warm by the time he made his way through it. He’d sat there for too long, lost in his own thoughts.

The bartender set another beer down in front of him, a little foam slid down the outside of the glass.

“I didn’t-“ Derek started to protest but the bartender just nodded to someone behind Derek’s left shoulder.

Derek turned to see which of the women who’d be eyeing him all night had finally gotten aggressive. His mind was already formulating a lie when his eyes landed on the petite blonde at his side. The ability to speak left him as he snapped his mouth shut.

“You, uh… You looked like you needed another,” she told him, voice a little hesitant and soft.

Buffy stood right next to him. His mind flashed back to the last time he had seen her. She stood silently at John’s side as he went over the mission. Her brown hair pulled back in a tight braid that lay flat down her back; her face would have been stunningly beautiful if not for years of hard living and little food. Her body was a distorted canvas of tattoos – names of places and lost loved ones, scars from fights with machines that just wouldn’t lie down. Her SkyNet barcode stood out on her right forearm, right above her missing right hand. Buffy had lost that hand in an explosion. She had been dragging her sister behind her as they fled through the tunnels, trying to avoid SkyNet’s sweeper teams. Dawn hadn’t made it and Buffy had refused to let go even as the flames melted her skin. A little of Buffy died that day and The Slayer had taken her place.

The girl standing behind him was nothing like the woman he’d left behind. She had a beautiful face with defined cheekbones and soft curves, and her long honey-blonde hair fell gracefully around her shoulders. There were no tattoos or scars that he could see, though he knew she bore some before Judgment Day. And he watched as she delicately tucked her hair behind her ear with her right hand.

“It’s been awhile for me but it is still okay to buy a guy a drink, right?” Buffy asked, starting to fidget at his blank staring.

Derek shook his head, shaking himself out of his thoughts. It shouldn’t surprise him. Everyone had lives before. He offered her a sheepish smile and gave her his full attention. “Yeah, it’s still okay. It’s my fault – I just…” Derek quickly apologized but trailed off, not sure what to say.

Buffy smiled back and relaxed as he gave her his attention. “I’m Buffy,” she introduced herself.

He had to bite the words back, teeth digging painfully into his lower lip so he didn’t respond, “yeah I know”. He ran his tongue along his bottom lip to ease the sting before he spoke, “I’m Derek.” There was a pause as he struggled with how to proceed. The few women he’d picked up in bars hadn’t been for conversation and he never was interested in seeing them again. But Buffy was different. He knew her future self, knew she wouldn’t be looking for a quick fuck, and knew he had to do this right. “Would you like to have a seat?” Derek offered and gestured to the empty stool next to him.

“Sure,” she answered and gracefully slid onto the stool next to him and set her drink on the bar. Her leg brushed against his and a small shudder went through his body. It had been that way ever since he’d almost bled out in the field and she saved his life by giving him part of her own. Apparently it still worked even with time travel.

“That was odd,” Buffy muttered as she looked over at him. Obviously she had felt it too. In the future, Buffy never got close with anyone but John. It’d shocked him when she had done the emergency blood transfusion. But he guessed it was some sort of messed up obligation in her head, as he had shoved her out of the way and taken the hit for her.

“So what brings you here?” Derek finally asked. “This doesn’t look like your kinda place.”

Buffy laughed. “Really? What do you think would be my kinda place?” There was a teasing glint in her eyes and he knew he had to tread carefully.

“How about we start over? It’s been a really long time since I have had a conversation with a beautiful woman.”

“Fair enough.”

“Do you shoot pool?” Derek asked.

“Badly,” Buffy honestly answered.

“Me too,” he admitted with a smile of his own. “Wanna play a game or two? I’ll try to keep my foot outta my mouth,” he offered.

“We’ll see.”

Buffy was a surprisingly good liar because it turned out she was a pool shark. Derek was glad he hadn’t wagered any money because he’d be out a lot. As it was he was buying drinks for Buffy for the rest of the night.

He put their pool cues back in the wall rack and shook his head. “Never figured you for a pool shark,” he said as they headed back to the bar.

Buffy tilted back her head and exposed her delicate neck as she laughed. She gently bumped her shoulder into his arm. “How was I supposed to know you played pool that badly? I’m certainly no pool shark – far from it. But wow are you bad!” she laughed as she climbed onto an empty barstool. Derek took the empty barstool closest to the front door. It was stupid really, he knew Buffy stood a better chance of protecting him than he did of her, but years of habit were hard to break.

Derek signaled the bartender and ordered another round.

“Last call,” Rick yelled out to the thinning bar crowd.

Derek and Buffy were still sitting at one end of the rapidly emptying bar. Their latest round of half-empty beer bottles sat in front of them. They had lapsed into comfortable silence as some people filtered out of the bar. Buffy fiddled with the napkin In front of her. She squared her shoulders and leaned up across the bar and snagged a pen. She uncapped it and quickly scribbled her number on the napkin. Derek’s eyes tracked the movement, eyes landing on the number and quickly committing it to memory.

She capped the pen and carefully, slid the napkin across the bar counter. The corner soaked up some of the condensation from their beers, and the last digit smeared a little. Derek pulled the napkin in front of him and looked up from it to meet Buffy’s gaze. She flushed a little at his stare.

“It doesn’t have to be anything,” Buffy explained. “It can be a game of pool, played badly on my part,” Buffy started with a wink, “a drink if your world starts to look bleak. It can be anything or nothing. I just…” Buffy trailed off and looked down at the bar. After she took a deep, measured breath she looked back up at him, meeting his gaze even though she blushed further. “I’d just like you to call.”

Derek smiled, slow and easy and nodded. “Providing the world doesn’t end between now and tomorrow night I’ll call,” he replied.

She laughed a little and the blush faded away.

He would have to tell her. Needed to let her know that he was from the future, a future so horrible he’d rather die than experience again. He’d have to tell her that he knew her – or at least a version of her – but it didn’t prepare him for meeting her.

And if the war against SkyNet was truly over then he was going to tell her he was ready to be a soldier in her fight against the darkness.

Chosenfire’s request:
What would you like to read? slash or het, character studies, first meetings, unknown family connections
Ratings I want to read: PG-13-NC-17
Are there certain pairing you will like to read: Buffy/Derek, John/Dawn, Dean/John
Suggestions on story setting: post series, not in the far future though, changed or unchanged future is fine
Anything you don't want to read? OOC, extreme AUs, 1st person, femslash, character death
Fandoms you want read (at least 5 or more): Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Covenant, Angel, Charmed

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