beatrice_otter: Sarah Connor--made for me, not shareable (Sarah Connor)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
Title: Pescadero
Author: [personal profile] beatrice_otter 
Fandom: Terminator
Character: Sarah Connor
Word Count: 501
Summary: Before and after.

Before being sent to Pescadero State Hospital, Sarah Connor’s dreams were the ordinary kinds of nightmares you got when killer robots from the future were out to kill you and your young son. Walking into a factory naked and finding the machine coming after them, that sort of thing. Kyle Reese dying in front of her, night after night after night. Confused elements of her daily life were mixed in randomly with things Kyle told her, things from those few days she had with him. Her nightmares disturbed her sleep but not her waking mind; when her eyes opened, they receded into the depths from which they came. She knew them for what they were: meaningless reflections of her own fears. It was what she did when she was awake that mattered.

When she was awake, she trained: herself, her son. She haunted jungles, bars, machine shops, gun shops, looking for people to learn from. Anything and anyone she could find who would teach them what they would need to know. How to survive off the grid. How to live off the land. How to fight, how to hide, and how to run. Strategy. First Aid. Cars. Guns. Computers, although they made Sarah’s skin crawl, knowing what they would turn into. Know your enemy.

She learned and taught John everything you need to live through a nuclear apocalypse, take on killer robots, and maybe even win. Kyle said they were winning, that that was why the terminator had come back for her. She had to believe it was possible. She had to believe it was possible to stop it. John had said so, in the message he sent back.

She knew nobody would believe her without proof—the LAPD had had proof, and they still hadn’t believed—but she had to try. Her son was going to save the world, but every person forewarned, every person who knew what to do when Judgment Day came, even if they thought she was crazy until that moment, that was one less person for John to save.

In Pescadero, they took John away and declared her “mentally unstable.” They pumped her full of drugs to stop the “hallucinations,” but all the drugs did was dull her mind until she couldn’t tell the difference between her nightmares and reality. They sedated her so she lived in a half-life, not quite awake and not quite asleep, never able to free herself from the horrors that were coming.

As metaphors went, it was a shitty one.

After Pescadero, she waited out the tremors and the cramps that came with quitting the meds cold-turkey. She hid them from John. He didn’t need to see her weak. The shakes stopped. The waking nightmares didn’t. After Pescadero, her nightmares were never simple. After Pescadero, she could never quite separate them from reality.

After Pescadero, she stopped telling people about Judgment Day. It drew too much attention. They wouldn’t believe her, anyway. And she couldn’t afford to go back there again.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-02 11:11 pm (UTC)
sharpest_asp: Lady Vader (Leia) with saber (Default)
From: [personal profile] sharpest_asp
Oh lovely! Great look at the way that would have changed Sarah.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-02 11:13 pm (UTC)
ilyena_sylph: sarah and kyle kissing, text 'for you' (Terminator: for you)
From: [personal profile] ilyena_sylph
Oh... Perfect.

This is just flatly excellent, and such a true look at Sarah.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-03 02:18 am (UTC)
squirelawrence: (Daniel take that)
From: [personal profile] squirelawrence
OK, now I'm persuaded that I need to pick up season 2 of the Sarah Connor Chronicles. Nicely done!

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