Warnings: Post apocalyptic setting.
Categories: GEN, Angst, Character Study
Characters: Allison Young
Spoilers: Allison from Palmdale
A/N: Written for the prompt 'lipstick' at 100_Women.
Summary: A character study for Allison Young, and an attempt to sort out some of the canon inconsistencies regarding her past, and her future. Written before the end of season two aired.
Disclaimer: James Cameron had his back turned. Now all your robots are belong to us!
She remembers how lipstick felt.
It's an absurd thing to remember, in this new reality where everything's covered in grit. Soap is a luxury here, and nobody would take the time for something as trivial as cosmetics now. There are only two kinds of people left in the world, soldiers and slaves, and the metal sees to it that everyone gets their turn at each role.
Appearances are irrelevant either way.
But Allison remembers taking the time for lipstick, back when she had to sneak it from her mother's dresser, because she was too young to wear makeup, and why couldn't she just be a kid while she still had the chance? Good point mom. Back then, it took an effort to hold back the laughter long enough to apply it. Her friends always made her laugh half way through, and if she forgot to be careful, she'd need a tissue to blot away the excess. They were all dead now, and she didn't often remember what it felt like to laugh.
Childhood had ended in a flash, and sometimes, it was all she could do to remember what it felt like to cry.
For some reason, the greasy chemical taste of lipstick was easier to recall. If she closed her eyes, she could almost feel it. That never worked with things like laughter. Just the trivial things, like lipstick and Diet Coke.
She pocketed the old lipstick tube she'd found, and pushed aside her disappointment. For a moment, she thought she'd spotted an unspent piece of ammo in the wreckage. But maybe this would prove useful for something, anyway. She glanced at the sky, trying to locate the sun on the other side of all that smog. She needed to hurry, and get back underground.
Hurrying meant passing what remained of the old sewage treatment plant by skirting the southern edge of its rubble. She stayed low, and quiet.
But sometimes low and quiet didn't mean squat.
The metal found her.
She knew before it grabbed her. That surge of adrenaline hit and gave her those valuable moments she needed to decide -- a futile dash toward her best chance at safety, or one last run in a more random direction, to keep the metal from investigating the tunnel entrance. No decision, really. Not so long as she made it with her head instead of her gut.
She would never lead them to John, never violate that trust. She'd die first. They would all die for John Connor, because John Connor was the one who asked them to live.
Another Allison Young -- or the same one, depending on one's philosophy on the subject of timelines -- slipped through the tunnels, unaware of the subtle changes in history that had delayed her birth by half a decade. She chose a northern route. Longer, perhaps, but better safe than dead. When she reached camp, the guard looked at her bracelet, and barely glanced at her face.
Then he looked again, and caught her arm. "Wait."
She froze, expecting for a moment for metal to crush her bones as a guard she'd known on sight for years proved to be someone other than himself.
"Connor wants to see you," he said.
Her heart started to pound, for a different reason now. The great John Connor wanted to see her. She followed the guard, and when the door opened, her knees started to shake.
Metal. Wearing her face.
"You're still alive in this timeline," it said with her voice.
"Cameron," Connor said. "Don't scare her. Come in, Allison. I have a plan, but I need your help."
This transformative work constitutes a fair use of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Terminator™©, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles™©, and related properties were created by James Cameron and exist as Registered Trademarks of 20th Century FOX. No copyright infringement intended. No profits made here. © Spiletta42, November 2008.