Author's Note: This is a little get well story for my friend Annemiek. :) It takes place during the movie T2.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, and I am not making any money from these stories.
Warning: Non consensual disciplinary spanking of a child by a parent, and by a parental figure.



Mission Parameters


Ten year old John Connor sat on the hood of a car trying to wrap his head around all the new information he had learned in the past three hours. It wasn't an easy thing to do. He had been trained his whole life to believe in Terminators, and up until six months ago he had believed it. But after his mother had been arrested, he had been sent to live with foster parents, and he had been sent to a regular school. Then he believed that his whole life's training had been in reality the ramblings of a crazy person, and he had hated his mother for all of it. Now he was forced to believe that his mother wasn't crazy. And if she wasn't crazy, then it was all real. If it was all real, then he would be the greatest military leader of his time.

The Terminator listened to John rambling on about things while scanning the area for potential dangers. John ended his speech by saying, "No one believed her. Not even me. Listen, we've gotta get her out of there."

The Terminator said, "Negative. The T-1000's highest probability for success will be to copy Sarah Connor and to wait for you to make contact with her."

John gave a sarcastic, "Great, what happens to her?"

"Typically the subject is terminated."

John yelled, "Shit, why didn't you tell me? We've got to go right now!"

"Negative. She's not a mission priority."

John pushed at the Terminator and yelled, "Yeah? Well fuck you! She's a priority to me!"

The Terminator grabbed John's shirt to hold him in place. John yelled, "What the hell? Get off me you Psycho! What's your problem?"

John looked around and saw a couple of men working on a truck not too far away. He yelled, "Help! Hey, Help! This guy is trying to kidnap me! Help!"

The Terminator saw the men headed over their way and said to John, "This doesn't help our mission."

John hit ineffectually at the Terminator's arm trying to get away and yelled, "Let go of me!"

The Terminator let him go so suddenly that John fell to the ground. John was stunned for a second, and then said with irritation, "What the hell did you do that for?"

"Because you told me to."

John pushed himself up to standing, and smiled as realization hit him. "You have to do what I say huh?"

"That is one of my mission parameters."

John loved it and his smile got wider. "Yeah? Prove it. Stand on one leg."

The Terminator lifted one foot off the ground. John jumped up a little and yelled, "Yes! My very own terminator."

The two men who had overheard John's yelling arrived, and one of them said, "Hey kid, you okay?"

John blew them off, "I'm fine. Take a hike bozo."

One guy said, "Whatever." and headed away, but the other guy got pissed and said, "Fuck you, you little Dipshit!"

John gave the guy an unpleasant smile and said, "Dipshit?"

John looked over at 'his' Terminator and saw he was still holding his leg in the air. John quickly whispered, "Put your leg down." And then turned to the man and said with an even bigger smile, "Did you just call moi a dipshit?"

The guy glared at John, and John said to his Terminator, "Grab this guy. I can't believe him."

The Terminator grabbed the guy by the hair and lifted him off the ground. The guy yelled, and his friend came back to help get him away. The Terminator tossed the one guy away, and grabbed the other guy's arm and broke it. He pushed the second guy against the car John had just been sitting on, pulled out his pistol, and aimed it for the guy's head.

John saw the gun and yelled, "No!" and shoved at the Terminator's arm.

The Terminator heard the no and let John push his arm away, so that the gun went off to the side of the guy's head instead of killing the guy.

John couldn't believe it and said, "Put the gun down now!"

The Terminator put the gun down on the ground and stood up waiting for instructions. John yelled at the two guys, "Get out of here!"

The guys ran off, and John picked up the gun. He looked at the Terminator and said, "Jesus, you were gonna kill that guy!"

"Of course. I'm a Terminator."

John took a deep breath and said, "Listen to me very carefully okay? You're not a Terminator anymore. You got that? You can't just go around killing people."

"Why?"

"What do you mean why? You just can't."

"Why?"

"Because you just can't okay. Trust me on this." John handed the Terminator back his gun, and the Terminator put it in the back of his pants.

John wasn't sure it would work, but he had to try. He said, "Look, I'm going to get my mom, and I order you to help."

John headed towards the motorcycle, and watched with relief as the Terminator followed him. John now knew that while the Terminator's mission was to protect him from the other more advanced T1000 Terminator, that 'protecting' him from direct harm didn't necessarily mean 'protecting' him from dangerous situations.
********************

The adrenaline stopped pumping through John's veins as they got further and further away from the T1000 and the mental institution. John and the Terminator had gotten Sarah Connor out of the asylum/prison, but the T1000 had been there as well, and the three of them had just barely gotten away from him. The Terminator had been shot multiple times, and Sarah had a wound on her right shoulder. They had stolen a police car, and the Terminator was driving with Sarah in the passenger seat and John in the back.

Once they got far enough away, that they were sure the T1000 wasn't going to catch up, Sarah turned around to look at John and asked, "Are you alright?"

He gave her a quick "I'm fine."

She opened her arms to him in invitation.

John smiled and went to give her a hug. He hugged her tight while closing his eyes, remembering how good it felt to be with her. Then he felt her hands searching his body for injuries. As soon as he realized what she was doing he felt slightly betrayed. He had wanted a hug and affection, not a clinical once over to make sure he was physically okay. He said with irritation, "I said I was okay."

Sarah gave John a look that clearly showed disappointment, and anger. "John it was stupid of you to go there. God damn it, you have to be smarter then that! You almost got yourself killed! What were you thinking? You can not risk yourself even for me. Do you understand? You're too important. Do you understand?" She gave him a little shake to emphasize how serious she was.

John didn't understand. He didn't understand why she couldn't just be happy to see him the way he was happy to see her. He didn't understand why she was obsessed with keeping him alive and well, but didn't seem to give a crap about his happiness. He shook his head, on the verge of tears that this was the reunion he was getting after six months, and said in a whisper, "But I had to get you out of that place."

Then when she gave him an almost disgusted look, he gave her an uncertain, "I'm sorry."

Sarah didn't know how to make it any clearer to him. She said with anger, "I didn't need your help. I can take car of myself. I was half way out of there when you came, and if you hadn't barged in, I probably would have escaped without ever coming in contact with that other Terminator."

John felt the tears fall. He knew she wanted him safe. He knew she wanted him to be smart and learn all there was to learn about wars and leadership. And now he was pretty sure he knew that she really didn't love him as a person – only as a future idea. Sarah said, "After we stop and get cleaned up, you're gonna get it for this stunt."

John sat back, crossed his arms, and let himself cry while looking out the window. He thought to himself, 'Sure. Great. Spank me for saving your life. Show me how to turn my emotions off just like you, because leaders can't think with their emotions, they have to think with their heads. You've heard it a million times John, you should have known nothing would change. That she wouldn't miss you the way you missed her.'

John's thoughts were interrupted when the Terminator asked, "What's wrong with your eyes?"

"Nothin'." John looked out the back window and pretended not to have emotions.
***************

They found an abandoned garage and parked the car inside. The Terminator stitched up Sarah's back, and John asked, "You sure you know what you're doing?"

John knew how to stitch someone up too, and it looked like the Terminator was doing a pretty good job, but he didn't like seeing his mom in pain even if she was pretty stoic about it, so he was asking questions to pass the time.

The Terminator answered, "I have detailed files on human anatomy."

Sarah commented, "Of course. It makes you a more efficient killer."

"Correct."

The Terminator was done, and he and Sarah traded places. Sarah used some pliers to pull all the bullets out of the Terminator. As she was pulling them out John asked, "Does it hurt when you get shot?"

"I sense injuries. The data could be called pain."

Sarah didn't want John to think of the Terminator as any thing that could be alive and interrupted that train of conversation. "Will these heal up?"

"Yes."

"Good. If you can't pass for human, you're not much good to us."

John asked, "How long do you live… or last or whatever?

"120 years with my current power supply."

"Can you learn things you haven't been programmed with so you can be more human, and,…. you know…. not such a dork all the time?"

"My CPU is a neural net processor. A learning computer. But SkyNet presets the switch to read only when we are sent out alone."

Sarah correctly guessed, "They don't want you to do too much thinking huh?"

"No."

John thought for a second and said, "Can we reset the switch?"

Sarah looked at her son like he had lost his mind. "Reset the switch?"

The Terminator said, "Yes. You would have to cut into the skin on my head, and I could give you instructions on removing the chip and resetting the switch. But while the chip is out, I would be completely nonfunctional, so you would be left unprotected."

Sarah suddenly liked the idea, and was glad she hadn't put up too much of a protest yet. John smiled and said, "I want you to be able to learn as we go. Let's do it."

The Terminator told Sarah what to do, and she followed his instructions to get the chip out of his head. Once she had it in her hands, the Terminator sat completely still and quiet. John raised one of the Terminator's arms, and it just stayed in the position he had put it in. As John was looking at the Terminator, Sarah was grasping the chip and looking around the room for something good and heavy to smash the chip with. She saw a small hammer and figured it would have to do. She put the chip down on a metal table, and heard John ask, "Do you see the pin switch?"

John saw her lift the hammer up high, and yelled, "NO!" as he ran and covered the chip with his hands.

Sarah almost wasn't able to stop the hammer in time from smashing John's hand. She said with quiet authority, "Out of my way John."

He shook his head and said, "Don't kill him."

Sarah shook her head at him and emphasized, "It John! Not 'him', IT."

John conceded, "Okay, it. But we need it."

Sarah couldn't believe her son was saying this. "Listen to me. You listen. We are better off on our own."

John looked back at the Terminator with his hand still over the chip. "But he's the only proof we have of the future and the war and all that."

Sarah thought about that for a second and looked over at the Terminator herself. She knew John was right about that, and she had just spent six months in a mental institution because she had no proof of what she had seen. Here was her proof. She could show all those people who had told her she was crazy that she really wasn't. But that would mean letting 'it' live when she had the means to kill it right in front of her. She said, "Maybe, but I don't trust it."

John saw his mother starting to see his side and pleaded, "But he's my friend alright?"

Sarah snapped her attention back to her son. Did he just say that horrible killing machine was his friend? She leaned down and said intently, "You don't know what it's like to try and kill one of these things, and if something goes wrong this could be our last chance so MOVE!"

John could tell he had said the wrong thing, and he got frustrated. He let some of his long held anger at his mother come out. "Look Mom if I'm ever supposed to be this great military leader, maybe you should start listening to my leadership ideas once in a while! Because if my own mother won't, how do you expect anyone else to?"

He could tell his yelling at her and his words had affected her. She was looking at him with shock. He took his hand off the chip, and backed away a step letting her make the final choice, hoping she would see things his way.

She looked at the chip and brought her hammer down as hard as she could with a yell, and smashed the table beside the chip to get out some anger. She looked at John, and he looked back at her, both trying to understand the other, and at the same time trying to see what this meant to their relationship. She said, "Fine. Have it your way."

She tossed the hammer down, and walked away to the other side of the garage to smoke.

John found the pin switch, and flipped it so that the Terminator could learn as he went, and then put it back in the Terminator's head. The Terminator's internal clock saw that more time had passed then should have and said, "Were there any problems?"

John smiled and said, "None at all."

John put the Terminator's hair back in place, and said, "Do I need to tape that up as well?"

"No. It will heal like it is."

Sarah had already finished patching up all the Terminator's bullet holes, so the Terminator stood up and put his shirt back on. He looked at John and said, "It would be best to stay here for the rest of the night. The T1000 will be expecting us to stay on the move, and will pass right by us if he comes this way."

Sarah had finished her cigarette and said, "I agree. John needs some sleep, and I need some time to think."

The Terminator picked up his shotgun and stood by the small window that was in the garage door. "I'll stand guard."

Sarah watched him stand there for a few seconds and then looked down at her son. John knew that look and took a step back. She said, "How many times have I told you about the future?"

John knew what was coming, and hated her for it. He thought maybe since she had listened to him about the Terminator that meant she would be seeing him as more of an adult and as the leader he was destined to be. He was upset that she still planned to spank him and his mouth got the better of him, "I don't know, like a bazillion."

Sarah just stared at him in shock for a second. She knew it had been six months, but he had never been so blatantly disrespectful to her before. She grabbed his upper arm and said, "A bazillion?"

John could remember it all by heart, and used to love it when she told him the story. But after six months of living with the foster parents from hell, his mouth had turned fairly obscene, and his tone had turned belligerent. He glared at his mother and said, "A bazillion and one maybe?"

She leaned down in his personal space, and the grip on his arm got almost painful. "After seeing living proof that everything I've ever told you was the honest truth, the first thing you decided to do was put yourself in harms way. You knew it was wrong. Why did you do it?"

He felt tears in his eyes again and he wanted to shout, 'Because I love you, and I wanted to make sure you were safe!' but he knew that wouldn't matter to his mother. And it wouldn't stop what she was about to do. He glared at her and said with quiet hate, "Because unlike you, me in the future trusted my judgement enough to give me a Terminator, and I decided you were a priority."

Sarah shook her head and led him over to the stool she had been sitting on when the Terminator patched her up. She sat and pulled John over her lap. He yelled out, "Nooo!" even though he had been expecting it.

Sarah brought her hand down hard on the seat of John's jeans and said, "You don't put yourself in danger John. There is danger around you all the time, you don't have to go looking for more."

She brought down her hands two more times, and then found her arm caught in mid swing. The Terminator was there beside her holding her arm. His grip was firm but not crushing. He used his free hand to haul John up by grabbing a fist full of shirt and jacket. Once John was standing, the Terminator said to Sarah, "You will stop."

John and Sarah both looked surprised by this, but as John looked back and forth between the Terminator and his mom, a smile started to form on his lips. He gave his mom a look he usually reserved for his foster parents and said, "I guess you're out of luck Mom, because my friend here has a mission to carry out."

Sarah glared at the Terminator and said in a chilling voice, "Let me go."

The Terminator let her go, and John got a little worried at that, but kept it to himself. Sarah said, "Tell me your mission."

"I am here to protect John Connor. Specifically from the T1000, but I am also to protect him from any other physical danger we encounter."

"You let him go to the hospital to try and get me out when you had to know that the T1000 would be there! How is that protecting him?!"

"I told him what the risks were. He still ordered me to go."

Sarah looked at John who just gave her a defiant look. John said to the Terminator, "Let me go."

The Terminator let go of John's shirt and jacket. Sarah shook her head and said, "You have to follow his orders?"

"That is one of my mission parameters."

"What if his orders conflict with your mission? What if he told you to get out your gun and shoot him?"

"Protecting John from any and all immediate physical danger is my number one priority. It supersedes all other instructions."

"So you have to follow his orders unless he is in direct physical danger?"

"Yes. Unless your orders conflict with his, and then your order stands."

John cursed under his breath, hating himself in the future.

Sarah was pleased with this new information and nodded. She thought for a second, and then tried to explain things to the Terminator. "John isn't in any physical danger when I spank him. Some physical discomfort sure, but no danger."

John shook his head and said, "Screw that, it fucking hurts!"

Sarah leaned towards him and said, "Good, then maybe it will make you stop and think about it before go out and risk your life again!"

Sarah turned to the Terminator and decided to see if the chip was now letting him learn. She said, "Spanking John for doing something wrong is a way to protect him from immediate physical danger. If he had known I was going to spank him for coming to get me, he wouldn't have done it. He would have let you keep him safe. If I spank him now, then the next time he wants to risk his life for me, he won't do it. If you don't let me spank him, then he will continue to put himself in danger to save me. Do you understand what I'm telling you? I won't do him any real damage, by tomorrow morning any lingering effects will be gone."

The Terminator looked back and forth between John and Sarah for a few seconds while his memory banks referenced his dictionary and encyclopedia for the word spank. The Terminator finally looked at Sarah and said, "Continue." before walking back to the window to keep a look out.

John yelled out, "No!"

But Sarah already had a hand back on his upper arm, and was pulling him back over her lap. She said, "I've changed my mind John, it was a good idea to fix his chip so that he can learn as we go."

"I hate you!"

Sarah had him back over her knee and was swatting him hard and fast. John was stoic for about three seconds, and then started pleading, "Mom…. Mom come on, I'm sorry okay! Mom!"

Sarah ignored him and continued spanking. He struggled for a second, but very soon gave in to sobs when his struggles didn't help. When she heard him and felt him crying she gave him three more swats, and then stopped. She immediately stood him back up and held him at arms length with her hands on his shoulders. "You don't put yourself in danger for me John. Do you hear me?"

John just nodded through his tears and the second she let go of him, he dove in for a hug and clung to her, feeling miserable and wanting any affection she was willing to give. Sarah sighed and hugged him back, hoping to God that he had gotten the message.

A few minutes later John's crying was down to sniffles and Sarah let him go. She looked around in the car and found some napkins. She handed them to him, and he took them and blew his nose a couple of times. Once he was done she said, "Lie down in the back of the car and get some sleep."

John nodded and lay down thinking about how unfair it all was. He wasn't going to tell her, but he really wasn't sorry he had gone to get her, and he would do the same thing again, no matter what, because she was the only family he had. He saw no point in saving humanity if there was no one he loved to save humanity for.

Sarah stayed up through the night not trusting the Terminator, and watching over her son.
*****************

The next morning when John woke up, he stretched and remembered where he was. He sat up, and realized his mom had been telling the Terminator the truth, his butt felt normal. He saw that both his mother and the Terminator were awake. He said, "What now?"

The Terminator turned and said, "We need a new car. I saw one in the parking lot next to this garage when we pulled in last night."

Sarah nodded and started to collect their things. "Go get it."

Soon they had the car and when Sarah got in the back and lay down to get some sleep. She said, "Head south."

When they were on the road the Terminator looked over at John and said, "Have you recovered from your spanking?"

John cringed and said, "Jeez man, you can't say it like that."

The Terminator just looked at him and then back at the road. John sighed and said, "You sound like such a loser when you say 'spanking'. Say something like 'You got whacked pretty good last night, how are you feeling this morning'."

"Whacked?"

"Yeah. Much better." John looked back and saw his mother was asleep and added, "I'm fine. No lasting damage."

Soon they got into a conversation about other phrases that John thought the Terminator needed to work on.

Later that day, after a stop for gas and food, Sarah woke up and asked for all the information the Terminator had on how SkyNet came to be. He told her the man mostly responsible for it's creation was a Miles Dyson, and they spent a large part of the afternoon talking about him.
************

A day of driving later they made it to a run down area that was the last known location for Sarah's friend 'Enrique'. They found him and his family, and asked for supplies and money. They needed a truck, but the only one Enrique had needed work. He asked if they had time to fix it and Sarah said they did. The Terminator and John first gathered up weapons from the hidden bunker underground, and then worked on the truck together. As they worked they talked.

As they were gathering guns John asked, "Are you ever afraid?"

"No."

"Not even of dying?"

"No."

"You don't feel any emotion about it one way or another?"

"No. I have to stay functional until my mission is complete."

John said with some irritation, "Yeah I have to stay functional too." Then he used a high voice imitating his mother, "I'm too important."

The Terminator found a large gun, which made John smile. "It's definitely you."

Later as they worked on the truck John said, "Most of the guys my mom hung around with were geeks. One guy was cool though, he taught me engines. Mom would always screw it up of course. She'd tell him about judgement day and me being this world leader, and that would be all she wrote."

The Terminator continued to work. John said, "I wish I could have met my real dad."

"You will."

"I guess. When I'm like 45 I think. I send him back in time to 1984. Man, he hasn't even been born yet. It messes with your head."

John looked over at his mother who was cleaning some guns. He said, "Mom and he were only together for one night. She still loves him I guess. I see her crying sometimes. She denies it totally of course, like she got something stuck in her eye."

The Terminator stopped what he was doing and asked, "Why do you cry?"

"You mean people?"

"Yes."

"I don't know. We just cry… you know… when it hurts."

"Pain causes it?"

"Sometimes, but not always. Sometimes it's when there's nothing wrong with you, but you hurt anyways. You know?"

"No."

The Terminator tried starting the truck and had success. John shouted, "Yes!" happy that they had fixed it together.

From a few feet away Sarah watched them as John tried to teach the Terminator how to give someone a high five. She thought, 'It's all suddenly so clear. The Terminator will never stop, it will never leave him, and it will never hurt him. It will never shout at him, or get drunk and hit him, or say it's too busy to spend time with him. It will always be there, and it will die to protect him. Of all the would be fathers who have come and gone, this thing…. This machine is the only one who measures up.'

She knew they were almost ready to go, and she lay her head down to rest for just a few seconds before they left. She woke up with a start after having had the same dream again. The one she had again and again. The dream of a nuclear explosion killing her, and everyone around her. The first thing she saw when she woke up was what she herself had carved into the picnic table. The words 'No fate' stared back at her, and she just couldn't take it. She now knew everything that the Terminator knew about how it all started, and she knew she had to stop Miles Dyson before he had a chance to destroy the world.

She jammed her knife into the table and went to find Enrique. She explained what she was doing to him, and then went to find the Terminator. She gave John a bogus errand to run, and then said, "Take John over the boarder and wait for me at the location Enrique gives you for three days. If I'm not there by then, assume I'm dead and protect John from the T1000."

The Terminator nodded in understanding. Sarah headed to the car they had stolen and were planning to ditch. As she got in to drive away John came back from his errand and said, "Mom?"

Then he yelled and ran after her. "Mom! What are you doing! Mom!"

She drove away without looking back. John turned to Enrique and demanded, "What's going on?"

Enrique said, "She said you need to go south with your large friend here like you planned, and then she'll meet you there tomorrow night."

John shook his head not liking the idea at all. The Terminator said, "We will leave shortly and go south."

John felt betrayed and lost at the same time. It wasn't exactly out of character for his mother to wander off like this and leave him behind, but he had always hated it. He went over to the table where she had been sitting and saw the words she had carved into the table. He motioned the Terminator over too him and said, "Look at this! No fate. 'There's no fate but what you make.' It's something I make my father memorize in the future so he could tell my mom."

Suddenly it all became clear to John. He knew exactly what his mother was planning to do. He said, "Shit! She's gonna kill him."

"Who?"

"Miles Dyson! She's gonna blow him away. We've gotta stop her!"

The Terminator said, "Negative. The T1000 has the same files on Dyson that I have. It knows what I know. It might anticipate this move."

"I don't care! We've got to stop her!"

The Terminator shook his head. "Negative. It would be tactically dangerous, and she has given me orders to take you over the boarder."

John could tell he wasn't going to be able to change the Terminator's mind about this, so he decided deception would be in order. He nodded and said, "Yeah, you're right. She really wouldn't want me to go after her….."

He paused for a few seconds and then said, "Are we almost ready to go?"

"Yes. I have two more loads of guns to put in the truck, and we will be ready to go."

John held out his hand, "Give me the keys. I'll warm up the truck while you get the guns loaded."

The Terminator handed John the keys and went to go get the guns. When the Terminator was in the gun bunker he heard the truck's tires spinning as John drove it away. The Terminator dropped his guns and ran out to see what was going on. He knew he couldn't chase John on foot and saw Enrique standing there looking upset. The Terminator said, "Do you have any other vehicles?"

"Just the mobile home, but that's where we live."

The Terminator walked towards the mobile home and Enrique said, "Hey gringo, I said that's where we live!"

The Terminator said, "I'll bring it back."

The mobile home was empty, so he started it up and drove it in the direction John took off in.

John had to half stand, half lean against the edge of the truck seat to reach the peddles, and still see over the dash, but he had been driving various vehicles since he was six and knew what he was doing. He was driving as fast as the truck would go which wasn't all that fast at seventy miles an hour. The highway was mostly deserted. He wouldn't get to the main highway for half an hour. As he drove, he thought about his mother and Miles Dyson, what he could do to stop her.

Ten minutes after leaving Enrique's John saw something in his rear view mirror. It was still pretty far away, but John felt the hair on the back of his neck going up when he thought that maybe his Terminator was coming after him. He muttered, "Shit!"

Then he paused and thought, 'I just have to convince him that I won't be in any physical danger, and that mom's orders are bogus.'

John muttered to himself, "I'm so screwed."

He looked in the rear view mirror every few seconds, and could tell the mobile home was gaining on him. He knew he couldn't out run it in this truck, but he wanted to get as close to his mother as he could, so he kept going. He knew the Terminator wouldn't run him off the road, because that would put him in direct physical danger. Soon the Terminator was right on his bumper. John looked at him in his rear view mirror and gave him a little wave. The Terminator gave him a motion that clearly meant pull over to the side, but John ignored that.

Ten minutes later John heard the truck sputter. He looked down and realized it was almost out of gas. He had forgotten that the first stop they were planning on was a gas station. He sighed and pulled the truck over, watching the mobile home pull over along behind him. He sat in the truck and tried to come up with logical reasons why they should go after his mom while the Terminator got out of the mobile home.

The Terminator walked to the driver's door of the truck, opened it up, and hauled John out by the back of his shirt and jacket. The Terminator put a foot on the floor of the truck's cab, and put John face down over his leg. Before John had time to do much besides yell, "Hey!" he felt the first swat on the seat of his jeans.

The Terminator said, "Running from me is detrimental to your immediate physical safety. You will stay with me from now on."

John felt two more swats that were much heavier then the ones his mother had given him. His eyes had started to tear up just from pain after those three swats. He yelled, "Stop! I order you to stop!"

The Terminator paused for a second thinking over all he had learned since he had been in this time, and then brought his hand down ten more times. John was hollering and kicking his legs by the time it was done. The Terminator stopped and set John down on his feet. John put both his hands back and rubbed at his butt while tears ran down his face. The Terminator did what he had seen Sarah do, and put both his hands on John's shoulders and said, "You don't run from me. Do you understand?"

John nodded and was able to get out a "Yes." through his crying.

The Terminator put one arm around John's shoulders and pulled him towards his chest into a one armed hug. John understood that the Terminator was a machine and not capable of feelings. He understood the Terminator was only imitating his mother's way of keeping him safe. He understood that it wasn't really his friend or any kind of father figure. But in the moment it didn't matter, because it felt human enough, and John hugged him back as hard as he could.

When John was down to sniffles the Terminator let him go and said, "We need to go back to Enrique's."

John wiped at his face with the sleeve of his jacket and tried to get his emotions under control. He shook his head and said, "No. We need to talk first. Come on."

John led the Terminator to the mobile home and once they were inside John said, "Sit down and listen to me."

The Terminator sat on the little couch and looked at John. John tried to gather his thoughts, but it was hard with his emotions all out of whack. "Okay, you're right. I shouldn't have run off like that. It was a bad idea and I won't do it again. But I was worried that you wouldn't understand why we have to go stop my mom."

The Terminator said, "Your mother doesn't want you to stop her. She already whacked you for it once. It is highly likely she will do it again if you try to stop her."

"I don't care. Haven't you learned anything yet? Haven't you figured out why you can't kill people? Look, maybe you don't care if you live or die, but everyone's not like that. We have feelings, we hurt, we're afraid. You gotta learn this stuff, I'm not kidding it's important. If she kills Dyson, she'll never be able to forget it or forgive herself."

"Killing Dyson might actually prevent the war. It might save billions of lives."

John shook his head and said, "And it might not! Didn't anyone stop to think that he works for a huge company, and his research is all on file? Killing Dyson will delay the war, and nothing else. We need to be smarter then that. We need to use him. We need to get him on our side. Mom is right, about fate. We can change things, the question is; are we gonna change them for the better or not."

"Going there puts you in danger."

John knew the Terminator did have a valid point. He asked, "What are the odds that the T1000 will be there when we get there?"

The Terminator calculated that for a second and then said, "Thirty six percent chance."

"I think it's an acceptable risk, and I have an idea on how to get Dyson on our side once we get there. But we have to hurry if we're gonna stop her, which means we need to leave now."

The Terminator was silent for a second and then said, "You will stay in my site at all times while we are there."

John rubbed at his butt again and said in all honesty, "Trust me, I'm not gonna make that mistake again. Let's go."
***************

The Terminator and John made it to Dyson's house in record time, but they could see through the glass doors that Sarah was already in the house and Dyson was already injured. John said, "Shit we're too late."

The Terminator broke the lock on the door and opened it. John ran in and went directly to his mother who was crouched down against a wall and he ordered the Terminator to check on Dyson and his family.

John crouched down next to his mother and could tell that she was traumatized by what she had almost done. He said, "Look at me mom. Are you hurt? Look at me."

Sarah did look at her son. She seemed confused at first and then said, "I almost….. I almost."

John nodded knowing what she almost had done, and thanking God that she hadn't. He pulled her into a hug and used a soft gentle voice and said, "It'll be okay, it'll all be okay. We'll figure something out okay? I promise."

Sarah seemed to come to her senses and pushed John away far enough that she could see his face and said with tears in her eyes, "You came here to stop me."

John looked her in the eye and said, "Yeah, I did."

In that moment Sarah saw the man he would be. She saw the man she had trained him to be. She couldn't stop her emotions and said fiercely, "I love you John. I always have."

John felt a rush of joy at hearing the words and pulled her back into a tight hug. He lied, "I know."

After a few seconds John let go and stood up. He held out a hand and helped his mother stand too. John looked at his mom with a smile and said, "I have a plan. We're all gonna change the future together."


Terminator 2 pictures courtesy of Mike's Images


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