Literatti: Fiction By Deslea

The Spoils
Deslea R. Judd
Copyright 2011

Fandom: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Character/Pairing: Unresolved Sarah/Derek
Rating: PG.
Spoilers/Timeframe: Set during Adam Raised A Cain.
Summary: An angsty moment in the warehouse during Adam Raised A Cain. A Valentine's Day drabble that plays fast and loose with timelines.
Disclaimer: Characters not mine. Interpretation mine.
Feedback: deslea at deslea dot com.
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It's Valentine's Day and Derek Reese is dead.

She thinks this as she unloads and reloads his gun, taken from his body like spoils.

She feels like a thief. She was nothing to him she made sure of that every time she pushed him away and she had no right to take anything of his at all. His weapon, heavy in her hands, was his survival. He cared for it lovingly even when she pushed him away and even when she condemned him for finding someone else. He cared for it lovingly even when no one cared for him.

But it was part of him, and she had to have it. It wasn't even survival as far as she knew, that gun couldn't be linked to any crime at all. She just...had to have it.

Methodically, she takes it apart, piece by piece. Sets each piece down on the bench beside her gently. She doesn't connect the bullets in her hands with the bullet in his head. In a different world, these bullets might have saved him. The very possibility makes her hold them with a tenderness that she would never have expected of an inanimate object. She looks at them with great love and great sadness and wonders what the hell is happening to her.

She becomes aware that John is watching her.

"You loved him," he says. "That's why you left him after Jesse."

She shrugs helplessly. "It doesn't matter anymore."

He doesn't press her. Not even when, abruptly, she gets up and leaves.

She makes her way to City Hall. She slips into the tunnels the ones Derek learned about at school. His gun is smooth under her hand.

She finds the hole they blew in the wall. Remembers pushing down his arm that night as he prepared to kill to protect her. Remembers him yielding to her will.

They were a good team that night. She shouldn't have let him slip away. She should have loved him while there was time.

The chance of Derek - young Derek - getting to the gun before anyone else is just about nil. But she likes to think that some part of him will remember a life he has not yet lived. She likes to think that the only gift of love she has ever given him will find its way to him.

She strokes the gun. Kisses it tenderly. Her tears slip down over the slider and turn filmy as they mix with oil. She tucks it into the best hiding place she can find.

"Be safe, Derek," she whispers, and like a thief, she turns and runs away.


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