Call Back Yesterday Epilogue

"You seem somewhat nervous, John."

"Nervous?" John replied. "I'm not nervous. Do I look nervous?Why would you think I'm nervous?"

"Well," John Henry answered, "for one thing, you have re-tied that necktie five times now and each time the symmetry has been further diminished."

John looked in the mirror and reluctantly concluded that John Henry's point was valid. The cloth knotted around his neck looked less like a necktie and more like a battered remnant retrieved from a rag bag.

"Damn!" John muttered as he pulled the tie loose for the fifth time. "I don't know why I have to wear this thing anyway."

"If you will allow me..."John Henry took the tie from John's hand and shook it in an effort to remove the more prominent wrinkles. "In the first instance, I believe that in social occasions of this nature such articles of clothing are considered appropriate. Moreover, both Mrs. Weaver and your mother have insisted that you wear it."

"I can accept that Catherine has gone overboard with some Emily Post fixation," John sighed deeply, "but I would have expected a little sympathy from my own mother."

"Please hold still, John." John Henry had deftly looped the tie around John's neck and was putting the finishing touch on a perfect Windsor knot.

"Sarah's motivation may be slightly different from Mrs. Weaver's, but ultimately they both want this event to go forward according to settled tradition."

John Henry's assessment was interrupted by a soft knock at the door. Before John could reach the door knob the door swung open. The man was small with gray hair well into the process of turning winter white. He wore his years well, with bright eyes and an impish grin above his clerical collar. It was as if a leprechaun had taken holy orders.

"I believe we are about ready to start," he announced.

"We will be right there Reverend...Reverend..."

"McIntyre," John Henry whispered.

"I know his name," John said with a flicker of irritation. "We will be right there, Reverend MCINTYRE."

The little clergyman smiled broadly. "Don't worry John.I haven't lost a groom yet."

John turned for one last look in the mirror. "Do I look all right?"

"Almostas good as I do," John Henry replied."Of course, I am the Best Man."

John laughed in spite of himself."Okay, John Henry, let's go get this done."

John had to admit that Catherine had outdone herself in decorating the house. Flowers were everywhere including long garlands draped on the banisters of the main stairway. All the furniture in the formal living room had been removed and guest seating put in its place. At the far end of the room Reverend McIntyre waited by thecarved wooden podium that was serving as an altar. He was still wearing that mischievous smile he had displayed when promising not to lose the groom. Trying for a measure of assured dignity John, followed closely by John Henry, walked over and took his place at McIntyre's side.

He looked back into the room. A small but highly valued guest list, he thought. On one side of the aisle, his mother and Catherine sat each wearing her most elegant dress. Sarah had the additional responsibility of holding Allison in her lap and using a small stuffed animal to keep her amused.Proudly displaying her new taffeta dress, Allison hadwavedwhen John walked by. John had waved back.

On the other side of the room Emilio Garza watched the progress of events with his usual enigmatic smile. Ceasar Delgado sitting beside him looked as uncomfortable in his jacket and tie as John felt. Ceasar was being distracted by the attentions of the young blond girl named Heather who clung to his arm while gazing about the room with an expression of perky satisfaction. Got yourself a cheerleader, Ceasar, John thought.

In the row behind Garza, James Ellison sat beaming with pleasure. John was still having difficulty overcoming his initial surprise at Ellison's companion.Tarissa Dyson appeared a little uncertain but the smile of support she directed toward John seemed entirely genuine. When James Ellison promises to increase security, he takes the commitment seriously, John thought with amusement.

The first strains of Handel's Water Music filled the room. At least Catherine had agreed to use recordings rather than hiring an orchestra, and John was grateful for that. With the sound of small footsteps on the stairs, he looked to see Savannah and Marissa wearing their matching pink organdy dresses coming toward him. They were enthusiastically spreading flower blossoms from thelittle wicker baskets they carried. John sneaked a quick conspiratorial wink and was rewardedwith giggles and broad happy smiles.

With the next passage of the music there were again footsteps on the stairs. Chola's gold and white gown provided a sharp contrast to her midnight black hair woven into a single thick braid and draped over her shoulder. She movedwith a soft grace and her face shown with a smile that set her face aglow. John realized that he had never seen Chola look quite so free from care.

The music shifted from Handel to Mozart. Instead of themore common processional, Catherine had decreed an excerpt from a string quartet. It was delicate, romantic and yet with a rhythmic pace that attracted all eyes to the bride as she descended the stairs. For a moment John felt as if all the oxygen had left his body. When he could breathe again it was with a sense of unrestrained anticipation.

Some might wonder how a man could spend almost every waking minute for months in the company of a woman and still be emotionally overcome at the sight of her. To John the answer was simple. Because it was Cameron. Her gown was smooth white silk. It clung to her like a glove accentuating every curve, everyline of her body. The long slit on the right side reached her thigh giving a flash of beautiful leg with every step. She was wearing her hair in the same style she had worn when they had fled Los Angeles with Marissa and Allison. The brown tresses were gathered up onher head but with loose locks subtly framing her face. Andilluminating it all was thatuniqueNew Mexico smile, shy but giving, loving and mischievous. It was Cameron's special gift to him alone.

God, John thought, if she were any more beautiful the shock would kill me.

Cameron reached his side. She handed her bouquet of red roses to Cholaand held out her hand to John. They turned together to face Reverend McIntyre who was beaming happily at them. McIntyre began to speak, but John felt as if there was a mute button on the world that had just been pushed. All was silence. The only true reality in existence stood beside him clinging to his hand. Then he turned to face Cameron and both their handsjoined. He looked deep into her brown eyes and heard a voice speak. To his sudden amazement he realized that he was the one speaking.

"I, John, take you, Cameron, to be my wife. I will be true to you in all times, good and bad. I will love and honor you until the end of my days."

Cameron's smile blazed with a new passionate intensity. "I, Cameron," she responded in a low whisper, "take you, John, as my husband. I join my life with yours. Wherever you go, I will go. Whatever you face, I will face. I give myself to you and to no other for all eternity."

For the first time John actually heard Reverend McIntyre. "I now pronounce you man and wife. You may now kiss the bride."

It had been in a hidden room in a battered tunnel in a war torn world now lost in time that he had first kissed her. In that moment reality had ceased to exist and they had created their own private universe. Tonight it happened again. Time, place, people lost all substance. The only thing that mattered was each other.

"You may now stop kissing the bride, John."John Henry's stage whisper set off a round of laughter. John and Cameron turned to face a room of applauding friends and family.

Catherine drafted the men into a detail to move back the chairs to make room for dancing and to carry in the table laden with drinks. Maintaining the illusion, John thought, since Catherine could easily have moved everything herself.

AsCaptain John Connor led his lady onto the floor for the first dance he whispered to her,"Cam, you know I'm not a very good dancer."

"That's all right, John. I am. Just follow me."

"Anywhere you want to lead me."

As the others joined in the next dance John observed the range of emotions being physically expressed. Ceasar and his new girlfriend were trying desperately to look grown up whiledancing to music they clearly did not like. James Ellison and Tarissa Dyson were exploring, ever so tentatively, a visibly growing attraction. With each movement they became more comfortable in each other's presence.Chola and Emilio had already achieved that comfort. They followed the music with a graceful ease that was almost lyrical.

Allowing Cameron to entice him into more complex steps, John glanced at Chola while she danced."I don't think she has ever looked so happy," he said.

Cameron leaned forward and whispered into his ear.

"Really? Emilio?"John responded.

"Yes," Cameron answered with a ghost of a smile.

"Do you think he'll marry her?"

"If she will have him." Cameron's smile widened.

"Oh I think that's a given," John chuckled softly.

Sarah bounced Allison up and down on her knee as she watched John and Cameron whirl across the floor.She could see that Cameron was leading but that obviously did not bother John. The look on his face as he danced with his new wife,with her new daughter-in-law, shone with an unconditional adoration. She makes him so happy, Sarah thought. Who would have ever believedit?

"I must say Sarah, you are dealing with all of this very well."

Sarah turned to look at Catherine. Unreadable as always, Sarah thought. That faint mysterious smile that said everything and nothing. One day I'll figure you out, Catherine.

"There is nothingto deal with," Sarah replied in a deliberately haughty tone. "My son has found the companion he wants to share his life. "I am happy for him."

"Even if that companion isn't actually a human?"

She is teasing me, Sarah thought. She is having fun with me...again.

"You know the answer to that. I accept thatCameronis a living being however she started her existence. I accept her just like I accept you...sometimes."

Point for Sarah.

"You have come a long way, Sarah Connor," Catherine said. "You have achieved a mature and insightful understanding that I once would not have thought possible."

Sarah suddenly stared suspiciously at Catherine. "You knowI can't tell whetheryou are complimenting me or insulting me."

Catherine's smile became more apparent. "No, you can't."

The click of high heels on the floor turned Sarah's attention away from Catherine. Cameron walked up holding out her arms to pick up Allison."I believe that your son would like to dance with you."

Sarah realized immediately that without Cameron to guide him, John's dancing lost much of its polish. But that was not a problem. Dancing with her son, holding him in her arms, was still a mother's joy.

"You look a bit calmer than you did earlier," she teased.

"The hard part is over," John replied."I thought Cam and I would just go to Vegas or find a Justice of the Peace. I wasn't really expecting a full scale production."

"John Connor."Sarah managed a sharply severe look. "You did not think you were going to give me a daughter-in-law and two granddaughters on the same dayand get away with it that easily did you?"

John managed a spin that was only slightly awkward and almost in sync with the music before grinning ruefully at his mother."I should have known that I wasn't going to able to sneak something past the meanest badass soldier in the world."

The music stopped and Sarah put her hand on the scar on John's cheek."Your father would be so proud of you."

John wrapped Sarah in his arms. "I think he would be prouder of you, Mom."

The evening moved inexorably toward its conclusion. Sarah and Catherine had taken three very tired little girls up to bed while John and John Henry helped Reverend McIntyre to a taxi. The elderly clergyman had enjoyed the champagne. He had really enjoyed the champagne and now he needed substantial assistance in making his exit. By providing an expansive tip in advance, Johnhad elicited a promise that the cabdriver would offersimilar assistance at the conclusion of the journey.

Then it was time to escort the other guests to the door. Chola and Cameron walked arm in arm while John and Emilio followed. Ceasarand Heather the cheerleader brought up the end of the procession.

John waited until Chola was out of earshot before whispering to Emilio,"You should marry her, Emilio."

Emilio Garza had spent much of his life polishing the chillingly urbane exterior that shielded him from an inquisitive world. At John's statement the facade slipped visibly.

"I'm not sure I deserve her."

John shook his head. "I don't think any of us deserve the women who love us, my friend. But if she is offering you her love then take it. Treasure it."John paused. "Marry her, Emilio."

Emilio Garza reached out to shake John's hand."Whatever you say, Jefe."

John grinned and turned to say goodbye to Ceasar. As he shook the boy's hand he caught a glimpse of a symbol tattooed on theunderside of his wrist."What is that, Ceasar?"

Delgado pulled up the cuff of his shirt. The symbol was a triangle. Inside it was a red J. "All ofus got it Jefe. We are the new J company." For a moment John thought he would be overcome with emotion. But then he stiffened and gave Ceasar's hand another firm shake. "I like it. Keep it hanging Ceasar."

"You too Jefe."

Whenhe and Cameron walked back into the living room slash wedding chapel slash dance hall, John saw that Sarah had come back downstairs and was engaged in an animated but quietly intense conversation with Tarissa Dyson. James Ellison stood discreetly over to the side obviously avoiding any intrusion. As they started in Ellison's direction, Sarah called out to Cameron. John stopped and watched with a feeling of complete surprise as Sarah casually put her arm around Cameron's waist before resuming what was now a three-way conversation.

"Your mother is a remarkable woman." Ellison smiled at the startled look that was still on John's face.

"I shouldn't have to be reminded of that," John replied, "but apparently I do."

The two men shared a moment of silent companionship before John spoke again."Okay James, you have the look of a man who has something to say and isn't sure he wants to say it."

"I won't mince words, John. I think you and your family need to get out of San Francisco. Maybe even out of the country."

"Why is that?"

"Because my sources tell me that there is a major federal task force being put together to investigate what we did in Davisville and in Los Angeles. At some point I am afraid they will find something that will lead to San Francisco. You need to be gone before that happens."

"What about you, James?" The concern in John's voice was palpable. “Is the investigation going to lead to you?"

"I don't think so. We have covered our tracks and built in a number of unshakeable alibis. They may suspect, but they won't be able to prove anything. Besides, one of the people in this task force is your mother's old friend, Agent Aldridge. If he is involved, they will be obsessed with Sarah, you and Cameron. You are the ones who need to get clear."

John could see the deep worry etched on James Ellison's face.I was right to bring to bring James in, he thought. This is a good and loyal man. With people like him I can fight anyone or anything.

John turned and motioned for John Henry to join them. "You don't have to worry, James.John Henry and I had already reached the same conclusion. We are leaving. In fact, we should be gone almost before you get back to Los Angeles."

"Where...?" and then Ellison cut himself off. What he didn't know he couldn't reveal.

John reached out and put his hand on Ellison's shoulder. "We will be in touch as soon as we are set up at the new location. You just stay focused on things in Los Angeles." John allowed his gaze to settle on Tarissa."Somehow Isuspect I don't have to tell you that."

********

The house was finally quiet. The lastguest haddeparted. Sarah and Catherine had withdrawn to their rooms, John Henry was back in the headquarters. Savannah was dreaming of new ballet steps in her bed. John and Cameron had made one last check of Marissa and Allison before starting toward their bedroom. Cameron was about to open the door when John stopped her.

"Wait a second, Cam. The groomhas one last responsibility." He pushed open the door before picking Cameron up in his arms."The bride gets carried over the threshold."

"You are a true traditionalist, aren't you, John?" Cameron sighed with absolute contentment as she rested her head on his shoulder.

"Some would say hopelessly old fashioned."John gently rested Cameron on the edge of the bed and closed the door. She watched as he removed his jacket and tie. Then she slowly stood and moved toward him. In a low throaty whisper she asked, "Would you help me unzip my dress?"

John waited as she turned her back to him. He reached eagerly for the zipper and found that it was grease and ice. It slipped repeatedly through his fingers. He looked at his hands and saw a faint tremble gradually fading away as he renewed his attack on the zipper. Finally he slid it down her back until she could reach it.

Cameron turned to look at him, an expression of quizzical uncertainty on her face."Is there something wrong, John? Your hands were shaking."

"I guess I'm just a little nervous."

Cameron still looked confused."Why are you nervous? We have done this before." Suddenly she smiled--a happily mischievous grin. "Actually we have done it many times."

John reached out and tenderly took her face between his hands."No, Cameron, I haven't done this before. I have never made love to my wife on our wedding night before. This is the first and the last time in my life I will do this. I want it to be special.”

Cameron's smile faded and only devotion was left on her face. She pulled the zipper the rest of the way down and shrugged her shoulders to let the dress fall away. She moved forward into his arms, her body pressing against him.

"Then let's see what we can do to make it memorable."

******

They lay on their sides looking intently at each other. John's hand propped up by his elbow cradled his head while his other hand gently traced patterns down Cameron's cheek. Her smile was all vulnerability and barely concealed curiosity.

"Well, John, was that memorable?"

"If it had been any more memorable, you would have had to call the paramedics for me."John leaned toward her until his forehead touched hers. "How was it for you?"

Cameron's voice was measured and precise. "I would score it 95 out of100."

John was surprised, then dismayed, then totally crestfallen."Only 95?"

"I have to give you an incentive to improve and retain enough scoring flexibility to reward that improvement."

For three long seconds John stared at Cameron's completely blank expression before bursting into laughter.

"An evil woman," he said. I have married a totally evil woman."

Cameron reached out, wrapped both arms around his neck anddrew him to her. "That may be true," she whispered, "but she is still one that loves you."

When their lips finally parted, John dropped his voice to a faint whisper that only she could hear."Cam, how old was I...he...the John of the future when you met him?"

"Just past forty," Cameron answered.

"Did you...did the two of you...I mean were you...?"

"No, John." Cameron was deeply amused."We were friends. We talked. We talked a lot. He was very lonely. Most of his closest friends had alreadydied in the war."

Cameron put her hands on John's cheeks. "We were not physically intimate. You are the only person who has ever made love to me. You are the only person who ever will."

"Do you know why he sent you back? Why you made the first time jump?"

Cameron looked confused. Once in anger Sarah had suggested that the future John had sent her because he didn't want her around. She had always known that was wrong. But wasn't the real answer obvious?"To protect you. To help you fight."

"That's what I...I mean he told you?"

"Yes."

"And he told you not to give me too much information about the future?"

"Yes."

"Cameron, my darling, I don't think he told you the truth, or at least not all of it."

Cameron's confusion was growing. "I don't understand."

"If protectingme was all that mattered he could have sent another Uncle Bob, even two. He wouldn't have to send someone to confuse the hell out of me."

Cameron looked pleased, flattered."Is that what I did, John?Confuse you?"

"From the first moment I saw you and more than you will ever know, my love."John leaned forward to kiss her again."Cameron, he couldn't know all that we would have to go through, but I think he sent you back so we could love each other. You came into his life too late. Even you couldn't heal the wounds of his war. So he sent you to me. So we could grow up together. So you could complete me, make me whole."

"And so you could complete me."Cameron's voice had a note of wonder.

"That's right, Cam. So we could become something together that neither of us could be alone."

For the third time since they had returned from the future John saw Cameron's eyes glisten with tears."Thank you, John.Thank you for explaining that to me."

Thank you for explaining that to me. In the past, thosewords had been Cameron's mechanically programmed response offered by roteto certain situations. Now lying in John's arms it was a gentle and sincere expression of gratitude, a recognition of the essential truth of her existence.

And then abruptly she became slyly mischievous."You know, John, if you are concerned about your score I would consider an adjustment if you wanted to offer some extra credit."

Johnlaughed and pulled her tight against him."You are still an evil woman, but sounds like a plan to me."

******

Breakfast was almost over. The girlswere nearly finished with their oatmeal. Even Allison had eaten hers with a minimal amount of collateral damage to clothing and surrounding furniture. John was taking the last sips of his coffee while listening with undisguised amusement at Catherine's conversation on her cell phone. When Catherine was in full CEO mode, the tone of her voice could freeze fire.

"I am fully aware that this is short notice, but I was assured that you could always prepare the aircraft promptly when I required it. If you are unable to perform that task perhaps I should seek other--"

John could imagine the panicked distress at the other end of the line.

"Ah, yes,"Catherine replied with a chillingly pleasant tone."I was certain you would be able to work out an alternative arrangement. My party and I will be there within the hour. I expect to depart soon thereafter."

Catherine flipped the cell phone closed and turned back to the table. Even Sarah looked amused after listening to Catherine terrorize the employees.

"We can leave now. The airplane will be prepared."

"I assume that everything is ready at destination," John said.

Catherine looked mildly offended."Of course. In fact, I see no need for excessive packing. The new house is fully stocked with everything we require."

"Perhaps not everything," John Henry said while entering the dining room. John saw that he had a wooden box under his arm.

John chuckled. "The chess set?"

"Some things are too important to be left behind."

"We should take both cars to the airport," Catherine announced. "I suggest that John Henry, Savannah and I go first."Catherine glanced at Cameron who was busily engaged in Allison's post-breakfast clean up. "Your party, Captain Connor, may need a little more time."

Savannah slipped out of her chair and hurried over to Sarah."Aunt Sarah, why don't you ride with us?"

Catherine, John, and Sarah all looked simultaneously at Savannah who was smiling disingenuously. "Oh, I mean Sarah."

Sarah dropped to her knee and hugged Savannah. "AUNT Sarah will do just fine. And I would love to ride with you..." Sarah peeked at Catherine out of the corner of her eye "...Flametop."

Catherine pursed her lips in irritation.GOTCHA, Sarah thought. One point for Sarah.

******

As he pulled on his jacket John looked wistfully out the bedroom window. The view of the city and the bay in the distance would always be a treasured memory. After three years in the tunnels this house had been paradise. In this room he had made love to Cameron for the first time. Down the hall Marissa and Allison had spent their first night in the bedroom Catherine had decorated so lavishly for them. The memories all came flooding in.

Perhaps they would be in this house again someday. Perhaps they would never see it again. Whatever way the fates took them this would always be the place where his family came together. Here he had married the love of his life. Here he had realized that he had daughters. Here he had found the sustaining force he would need to continue the desperate struggle only he could lead. He would miss this place. He would never forget it.

"Daddy, Mommy says we need to go now."

John looked up to see Marissa in the doorway. She was dressed in a little Cameron outfit--blue jeans, boots and a jacket. She even had a pink baseball cap.

"Then how about a ride downstairs?"John knelt and heard the childish giggle of delight as Marissa leaped on his back. She wrapped her arms around his neck and clung tightly as he trotted down the stairs. In the theater room Cameron was sitting cross legged on the floor rolling a ball to Allison. The little girl picked it up and threw it in Cameron's general direction With her matchless reflexes, Cameron could always grab the ball no matter how errant the throw.

Cameron smiled as John and Marissa came into the room."Quite a load you have there."

"Nothing I can't handle," John answered as still another memory raced through his mind.Cameron rose effortlessly to her feet and swept Allison up in her arms. She held out her free hand to John.

"Are we ready to go?"

John touched Cameron's hand to his lips and then took one last look around. This had been a nice place, but it was just a house. His home was going with him. His home was wherever Cameron and his children were.

"We are ready," John said."Where are we going, Daddy?" Marissa whispered into his ear.

"We are going where the lavender is in bloom, the sky is blue, and little girls can play in the sun."

The war was not over. For John Connor it might never be over. But as Cameron tightened her grip on his hand he knew he would always have the will to keep fighting. It was time to go...to go on.

THE END

A/N: An extended piece of fanfiction cannot be undertaken without the active support of those who read it. I have been deeply honored by the generous praise offered by all the individuals who have enjoyed Call Back Yesterday. At the risk of leaving someone out I will not name names but you all know who you are and I owe you all a boundless debt of gratitude. I would like to offer a special note of appreciation to Enigma. We have sharedthoughts about the nature of fanfiction and I have benefited from the exchange. Most of all I would like to extent my deepest and most sincere thanks to Talli. Without her support and her extraordinary editorial skills my work would still be scribbles on a legal pad. She is the best.



<<Chapter 12

Home


More pages