Disclaimer: Many thanks to all those who have made the Terminator Saga such a rich and interesting playground of the mind, especially for letting us play with all their wonderful toys and not fileing any lawsuits. Right James? Right Andrew?

Author's Note: Dreams AU runs parallel to Crusader AU. But dreams being what they are in Terminator stories, they probably happen out of sequence with realilty. Sometimes. Chapter One The Cookout formerly appeared as Chapter Ten Dreams of "Capeless Crusader" It didn't fit there. It fits here.

The Cookout

[Picks up a few hours after Ep 5 ends.

It was a sunny afternoon. The angle of the sun indicated spring. I looked around the back yard. It was huge. There was a swimming pool where an older kid was having a splash war with the younger ones.

On the other side of the yard was a volleyball net. I saw my mom and Charley Dixon playing volley ball with a black man and his wife. The black couple had the serve and the man dropped back to take his serve. I looked at his face and realized it was Miles Dyson. I looked back toward the patio and saw Andy Goode flipping burgers on a barbecue grill.

I turned around and looked at my face in the plate glass window that formed the back of Miles Dyson's house. I looked a bit older than I actually was. I looked about twenty, like a confident college student, not the confused high school sophomore my memories told me I was.

"Hey, John, are you in there, man?" a smart well mannered young black man tapped me on the shoulder. He was tall, taller than Miles. I realized this was Danny, Miles and Cicely's son. The young kid who'd raced remote control cars around the house a life time ago when Mom and I and the big guy with Austrian accent, that I had called Uncle Bob, showed up and shattered their world. "John, man, I crashed my remote control airplane. Help me put it back together. You've always been better at this than me."

As Danny led me out to where his plane crashed, we passed the volleyball game. I overheard the conversation. Miles was asking Charley how his preparation was going for his State Medical Boards. Charley and Mom said it was going great. Cicely, Miles' wife, joked that soon Miles and Andy wouldn't be the only ones in our group to be called Doctor.

Danny and I started putting the airplane back together. Somehow my hands knew what to do, even though I didn't think I remembered how to put it together. Danny and I chatted about how his high school basketball team was doing. Not tall enough to play center or forward, Danny had to fight to get minutes on the court as a second string varsity guard.

He asked me how my cross country running club was doing. I had always been a runner, just not the kind he was talking about. I heard myself answer that the younger runners were developing well, that we had a "by" this weekend and that we were competing against Cal-Berkley and USC next weekend. He asked if we were still calling ourselves the Resistance. I just smiled.

I helped Danny get the plane up into the air and watched him maneuver it around with the dual joy sticks on the radio controller. I glanced back over at the patio. Andy had gone inside to get the door. Danny's plane spiraled up, and up and up. Danny evidently was going to try another power dive.

"Hey, John," Andy stuck is head out the patio door, "come back over here. I want you to meet someone."

I started back over toward the patio and called back to Danny, "If you can't pull out of this dive, you put it back together by yourself this time."

He smiled effortlessly, without a care in the world. "Sure, John, whatever you say."

I looked around the back yard again counting heads, someone was missing: The Dysons, the Dixons, the Dyson and Dixon kids playing in the pool, Andy, hmmm; I couldn't place who it might be. I made my way inside and there she was. She stood in the doorway holding hands with Andy in that almost intimate way that new couples do. She had her back turned to me holding out a car remote. Andy began to introduce her as a new Ph.D. candidate joining our project at UCLA; he'd met her at a computer chess competition last fall and stolen her away from USC's program. Then she saw me, screamed my name, ran over, hugged me and planted a kiss on my cheek.

I heard Andy say, "What is this, dude, I get my Ph.D. first, so now you compete with me over girls?"

"It's not like that," I said.

She added, "Yeah, don't worry, Andy! John and I were best friends in another life."

She put her head on my shoulder and I put one arm around her back. We sighed each other's names and I said, "Thank Heaven you're here."

"John. Hey, John, are you in there, man?"

I opened my eyes and pushed my chest up off the kitchen table. I looked around. This world seemed darker and drearier than where I had just been. "Yeah, must have been a dream." I said.

Charley was wearing his Paramedic's uniform. He extended a hand to help me up from my chair. Cameron hovered in the background, looking nervous and protective.

My mother came out of the back and gave a thumbs-up sign. Charley spoke to me again. "John, we saved your uncle. But you gave a lot of blood to help get him stabilized. I need to rest up for me over the weekend okay? You should be okay for school on Monday." Charley passed me off to Cameron and made a hand sign to take me back to my room. My mother came over and he told her how to care for both me and Derek. She smiled and listened attentively as if she didn't already know.

Cameron took me back to my room. I laid down to go back to sleep. I could hear Mom and Charley taking their conversation outside. Cameron sat on my bed with me and I fell back to sleep holding her hand.