~Chapter 1~

Mañana será mejor

"Tomorrow will be better"

It was late outside, the sun finally vanishing behind the hills in a cacophony of luminescent color. The car clock read 6:30, but it felt so much later then that. The chill of November air snuck into the sides of the rickety car they were in, even with the heater blasting at full.

“8.5 more miles until we reach the borderline of Nevada.” Cameron said gently into the palpable quiet of the night. The floodlights illuminated the bare road in front of them, showing every tuft of grass that had snuck through the tarmac in sharp detail as well as shifty looking pine trees that bordered the highway. John nodded, hands almost white as they gripped the steering wheel, eyes bloodshot and weary.

It had been a long day. An impossibly long day. He couldn’t recall a longer one. Actually, yes he could. That first day of school in New Mexico. His eyes darted to their corners for a split second before returning to the road. She looked like she did then, calm, cool and collected, despite what they’d both experienced. No human could be so unaffected by so much violence, so much death. He felt their repercussions every single day.

“Do you think what we did was the right thing to do?” he asked, voice shaking slightly from lack of rest and hours concentrating on the road before them, unwilling to look at who was at his side…to face what they’d done.

“I don’t think. I know what we did was the best way to ensure the correct future comes to pass. It was the only way to make sure. Skynet has been sending back more and more Terminators to try and disrupt it’s current timeline. It is much too difficult to keep things as they were.”

She fell silent, studying him closely, staring at his pale, freezing hands on the steering wheel and the slight droop of his eyes.

“We did the right thing, John.” she said this more to appease him then to explain what she’d meant, and there was a note of tenderness behind it. She reached out and put a hand on top of his.

“You must be very tired. Let me drive for the rest of the night. I don’t sleep.” she stared at him with wide doe-eyes, gently rubbing his hand to try and re-stimulate the cut off blood flow to them. The shivers going up and down his back proved too much for John and he pulled over, towards the monstrous black trees by the side of the road. Slight flashes winked back from the darkness beyond. Most likely deer or some other woodland creature. He got out and quickly ran around to her side of the car, the cold rushing into the gaps between his sweater and jeans, nipping his back and neck. The door slammed and Cameron pulled back onto the main road. John automatically focused on the road again, unable to rest for a moment.

“You need to sleep, John. Try not to fight it. We’ll be safe soon.” Cameron didn’t even have to look over to know he was awake. His ragged breathing disturbed the silence in the car for several more minutes before he succumbed to the fatigue and pulled the lever back to lean back in his seat. He hastily pulled it back up again, mentally chastising himself for forgetting what was in the back seat…

Or rather who…

“How many more miles did you say again?” he asked hurriedly, scratching his head and blinking rapidly to try and keep the sleep out of his eyes for a bit longer.

“8.5. But it’s 7.8 now.” He leaned back, letting his thoughts roam as he tried to enter the proper relaxed mindset for rest, but couldn’t quite manage it.

Cameron glanced at him and noticed his eyes darting rapidly behind semi-closed lids.

John wasn’t sure when it had started but soon he noticed a soft gentle voice singing something. His eyes darted open and he stared at Cameron, her lips moving ever so slowly, singing in a pristine voice a lullaby…

In Spanish.

She stopped and looked over at him. “It’s the one your mother sang to you when you were small. I thought it would help you sleep.”

John’s mouth was open slightly in pure shock, tears gathering in his eyes at the mention of Sarah. Had they really done the right thing? To run? To leave everything behind?

“I know…I recognized it…” he murmured, still staring at her, not daring to believe…why had his future self told Cameron about the lullaby? Why did she still remember it?

“Do you want me to stop?”

His heart leaped to his throat. “No. No it’s alright.”

Cameron started up again from exactly where she’d left off, the chorus.

No te preocupes, no llores
Te quiero siempre se
Lo prometo, lo prometo
Mañana será mejor, mi amor
Mañana será major

Do not worry, do not cry
I will always love you
I promise, I promise
Tomorrow will be better, my love
Tomorrow will be better

Her accent was flawless, and John found himself drifting almost completely into a deep sleep, lost in the days before he’d had to fully understand what being the savior of all mankind would mean. Days full of chess and laughter and playfulness. And a different sort of soul then the one he had now…

The dawn met the car at the crossroads entering Nevada. It’s bleeding light shone on Cameron’s blank face, on John’s huddled form leaning against the passenger side door, lost in dreams, and the backseat, warming the soft pink blanket covering the child inside the car seat.

“We did the right thing, John. We had no choice. We had to save her. If she were killed, I‘d never exist. I cannot allow that to happen. We had to. We had to.”

Her words replayed inside her head, their tones and nuances computing and processing different emotions in her processor. Desperation, Sadness, Fear…

She couldn’t be any of those things anymore. She couldn’t ever mimic them again. She had to be strong. She had to make tomorrow better. For John…

And for Alison…