Fate Binds Us
Summary: Grace is sent back to the past to protect Dani. Unbeknownst to either of them, this is the second time this has happened.
Author’s Note: This fic takes place after the events of the film. For this fic, we’ll assume that Grace going back to 2020 in the film was the very first time. I know there’s debate that the Dani from 2042 in the film had already been saved by Grace and that both of them were stuck in an endless loop.
Fans have pointed to evidence in the film such as future Dani knowing to tattoo Carl’s coordinates onto Grace, and the flashback on the airplane looked like future Dani recognized young Grace. But for this fic to work, we’ll have to assume that the events in the film was the first time Grace had ever gone back to 2020.
Now, I ask that you all suspend reality. Sit back, and enjoy!
“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – Paulo Coelho
The Hydro Plant
Dani lifted the large sheet of metal covering Grace’s abdomen. Her heart sank at the sight of the deep wound before her. Grace was bleeding badly. Instinctively, Dani looked around for Sarah, desperate for help.
“Sarah!” Dani called for her friend.
But Sarah didn’t even turn around. Instead, she replied ominously, “It’s not dead.”
Dani tried her best to shove the panic rising within her. How could they outrun the terminator and get Grace to safety? “We’re going to take you out of here,” Dani said.
Instead of answering her, Grace reached for a shard of glass. “My power source…. Get it close, and it’ll fry his neural net.”
Dani wouldn’t hear of it. “Grace, I can’t!”
“Yes, you can,” Grace answered with a calm resolve.
Before Dani could argue, she heard a crack in the air. Sarah was thrown hard and landed several feet from them. Dani looked up and saw the endoskeleton of the machine slowly making its way towards them. Their time had run out.
“Dani, this is what you sent me here to do,” Grace said, pleadingly.
“No,” Dani cried, shaking her head. She silently cursed her future self.
“We both knew I wasn’t coming back,” Grace said, completely resigned to her fate.
“No, I can’t,” Dani said, barely able to see Grace anymore through her tears.
“You saved me. Let me save you. Please, you do it,” Grace begged. “You do it!”
Knowing she had no other choice, Dani plunged the shard of glass into Grace’s abdomen. Her heart broke as she felt the metal power source beneath her fingers.
“I’m sorry, Grace.”
“I’m not.” And Dani knew, her heart would never be whole again.
An underground bunker
What was once Saint Elmo, Colorado
“Commander, a word, please.” Dani looked up from the cadet whose broken arm she was setting, and saw it was Grace at the door.
To everyone else in the room, Grace’s request was nothing out of the ordinary. Everyone knew that Grace was Dani’s most trusted soldier. Some even suspected, correctly, that Grace and Dani were more than just commander and subordinate. But Dani knew Grace better than the back of her hand. And Dani knew that she was seething with anger. Grace must have found out. Shit.
Dani sighed. “Of course.”
Dani and Grace walked side by side in silence throughout the expansive hallways of the resistance’s secret bunker. They finally reached Dani’s quarters after what seemed like an eternity. Grace stepped in first and waited until Dani closed the door behind her.
“How could you not tell me?!” Grace asked, angrily.
“Tell you what?” Dani wanted to try the dumb approach first, just in case Grace hadn’t actually found out what Dani believed she probably found out.
“Oh, don’t play that game with me, Dani, I taught it to you!” Grace said, trying her best to keep her voice down.
Dani couldn’t argue. Grace had perfected the innocent routine with Dani during her teenage years. “What did you hear, Grace?”
“Is it true that Legion sent a Rev-9 to Mexico City in 2020 to assassinate you?” Grace asked.
Dani could only close her eyes in defeat. “Yes.”
She had tried desperately to keep Grace in the dark. She had spent the last twenty-two years trying to make sure that Grace didn’t die for her a second time. But fate seemed to have other plans. Fate. It was Dani’s endless prison.
The commander in Dani was furious. Who in her inner circle had let Grace know? What protocols were overlooked that Grace had been able to find out something so top secret? But Dani’s rational side soon took over. It didn’t matter how Grace knew, only that she did.
“How could you not trust me with this?” Grace asked, her voice cracking. Dani felt awful, because she knew Grace didn’t understand.
“This has nothing to do with trust,” Dani said, cupping her beloved’s face in her hands.
“It has everything to do with it! Do you have any idea how it felt for me to find out that you’d given orders to send Jacobsen to the past to protect you?!” Grace said.
“Lucas has proven himself time and time again. He’s more than capable of protecting me in the past. He’s smart, resourceful and incredibly resilient. The fact that he survived the augmentation procedure is a testament to that,” Dani said.
“I am every bit as smart, resourceful and resilient as he is, Dani! And you know it! My augmentation has made me every bit as fast and as strong as he is,” Grace argued.
“I’m not disputing that,” Dani said, reaching for Grace’s hand, trying to calm her. But Grace pulled away.
“Then you don’t trust me,” Grace said.
Dani could only shake her head. So many emotions were threatening to overwhelm her. Feelings of grief, hopelessness and disappointment came flooding back. The same feelings that engulfed her as she cradled a dying Grace in her arms twenty-two years ago.
“There’s no one on this hellish earth, I trust more than you. You can choose to believe that or not, I can’t control that. I have my reasons for sending Lucas Jacobsen to the past. And the biggest of those reasons, if you must know, is that I will not risk losing you, Grace,” Dani said, adamantly.
“Fine, I can understand that. But how could you not even tell me this was going on?” Grace demanded.
Because I wanted to change your fate. “Because I didn’t want you to worry about it. You’re always worrying about me. It’s supposed to be the other way around.”
“We protect each other, Dani.”
“We’ll continue to do that. But with you here, by my side.”
“I’m sorry, Dani. But I can’t let Jacobsen go. I’m going to the past, and I will make sure that the terminator does not succeed in killing you,” Grace said.
“I am still your commander, Grace. And I’m not allowing it,” Dani said, equally determined.
“I’m not giving you a choice, commander,” Grace said, the resolve in her voice was frightening.
“Why, Grace?! Why can’t you let this go?” Dani asked, angrily. “You know how time-travel works. It is a one-way ticket. If you do this, I’ll never see you again.”
“Do you think this is easy for me? But I don’t trust Jacobsen not to fail. I don’t trust anyone!”
“Because no one else loves you like I do,” Grace answered, running her hand through her disheveled sandy blonde hair. “I have no doubt that Jacobsen would do his best to keep you alive. But it’s still just a mission to him. This is personal to me. And failure is not an option.”
“How can you guarantee that, Grace?”
“Because I can’t live in a world without you in it.”
“So, you would sentence me to the very fate you’re trying to avoid?”
“I’m ensuring you have a future.”
Dani could feel tears pooling in her eyes. When was the last time she cried, she wondered? “Do you know what it would do to me to lose you, Grace?”
“Yes,” Grace said, simply.
“And yet, you still insist on this?” Dani asked.
“From the moment you found me, you’ve been my whole world, Dani. If Jacobsen fails, then I wouldn’t even remember ever knowing you. You would slip from my memories, like a long-ago faded dream. And I don’t even want to imagine a world where we didn’t find each other,” Grace said.
Dani just looked at the woman before her. This amazing person she watched grow up from a gangly teenager, to this heroic human being. It wasn’t often Dani lost an argument to Grace. But she knew she wouldn’t win this one. So, she did the only thing left to her. She embraced Grace. Held her so tightly, a part of her never wanting to let go. “I love you, Grace. Never forget that.”
The day Dani dreaded for the last twenty-two years had arrived, and she was helpless to stop it. Dani took Grace’s face in her hands and kissed her with everything she had left. Grace returned her kiss with equal fervor, both of them knowing that they were able to express more in that one kiss than a thousand words.
“Well, soldier, I see there’s no changing your mind,” Dani said, forcing herself to return to the safety of her commander persona. “Come on, I have some coordinates I’ll need to tattoo on you.”
“Or, you can just tell them to me. You know I can remember shit, right?” Grace said, shaking her head.
“Considering I just lost the bigger argument, you’re going to let me have this one, Grace,” Dani said, leaving no room for argument.
“Yes, ma’am,” Grace said, giving Dani a mock salute.
Dani smiled sadly. “Come on, Grace, we don’t have much time. I’ll brief Jacobsen on the change of plans. I also want to get you a map of Mexico City so you can familiarize yourself with it.”
“Don’t even think of tattooing a map of Mexico City on me,” Grace said, only half-jokingly.
“I'll tattoo it on your ass,” Dani said wryly, rolling her eyes. “Also, I’m going to speak to Dr. Farraday and ask him if it would be possible to send you back a little earlier than that Rev-9. We’ll be locking on to the residual vortex that the Rev-9 used to travel back in time, however, I understand that it’s possible to extend the temporal distortion ever so slightly so that we could send you a few days before the Rev-9 arrives. Oh, and I just remembered, I’ll need to figure out locations of where you can get your medication around the city. And I need to show you on the map where I used to work. And I’ll need to -”
“Dani, you’re rambling. You only do that when you’re nervous. Please, stop worrying. I won’t fail,” Grace said, seriously.
“That’s exactly why I’m worried.”
To be continued…
Author’s Notes: Well, what do you guys think? Any suggestions? Are there things you want to see play out differently than the film?