Rating: K+ for language
A/N: This is my first Strange Days fic. Hope you like it.
Disclaimer: Don't own.
Josie awoke with a startling jolt
Josie awoke with a startling jolt. Sitting upright, she looked around. Corrine was asleep. Swallowing, she thought back to her dream. It was the fifth time it had happened this week.
"Josie, Josie—NO!" Lucas was screaming at her as she finally destroyed the wormhole. Josie couldn't fathom how she did it, but suddenly, the wormhole was closing up.
Lucas ran up to her. "No, Josie, what did you do?"
The redheaded girl looked up at him confusedly. "What, Lucas? I did it. I ended it. We're free now. No more worrying about Vaughn's dad or Durst or anything. No more falling into another dimension or having a second head suddenly appear. I did it Lucas…"
And suddenly the rest of the science club came into view.
There stood Vaughn. He looked down at her with such sadness. Next to him were Marshall and Corrine. They stood awfully close, but their sadness matched Vaughn's. And lastly, Professor Z stood behind them. His hands were rubbing his eyes. He looked defeated.
Josie's eyes looked back at Lucas. "What…? What happened? You're all supposed to be happy?!"
Lucas looked back at her through his glasses and sighed. "You did it, Josie, but you lost us."
Josie was ready to argue. How had ending the biggest mystery in their life caused her to lose them. And then she saw it. First, Vaughn disappeared.
Josie gasped, but by the time she could do anything, Marshall and Corrine were gone. Putting a hand on Lucas, he gave her one sad look before he, too, disappeared.
Josie raised to get to Z in time. "No, no! Professor Z, not you…"
Half of his body was gone.
"It's alright, Josie, you did it. You destroyed the wormhole. You just destabilized the continuum too fast, Josie." And as she went to throw her arms around him to keep him from disappearing, he vanished into thin air.
This left Josie alone and scared. Bending her knees, she rested her chin there and sighed. She could feel her heart beginning to calm down.
The past week she kept having this reoccurring dream and she didn't know what to do. Josie'd get about three hours of sleep before the dream would pop up. People started to notice her odd behavior.
The first few days, she was oddly quiet. She'd just sit and watch her friends. She was even nicer to Vaughn. Based on their past, she wasn't sure if she could ever trust him again, but now, faced with the idea that she'd lose him, this was different. Sure, their romance was over, but there was no reason they couldn't be friends.
Then she was moody and falling asleep in class. And during their usual meetings, she snapped at Corrine. The black hole was messing with matter and their current task was re-stabilizing it.
"Look, if you think you know the answer, you do it!" She yelled as she stomped out the science lab and slammed the door.
Falling to the floor, images of her dream were playing over and over in her head. What the hell was the matter with her?
Z opened the door and she looked up. "Josie, you alright?"
She sighed and just nodded. How could she explain her dream? Especially since he was in her dream and losing everyone, especially him, was a very daunting thought.
"I'm fine, Z." She said, hiding behind her copper hair.
He bent down so his face was on level with hers. She looked up momentarily and into his eyes, through his glasses. "Josie, if I believed you, I wouldn't be a very good… person." He said, trying to give her a cheesy smile.
She could tell he was straying away from 'teacher', because though he was, the entire science club would have to agree that they'd been through a lot and he was much closer than the revered position of 'teacher'.
Josie just swallowed and nodded.
"You know where to find me if you need me." He said as he got up and headed back to the classroom.
He knew when to let her be.
Heart racing, Josie slipped out of her bed. She was wearing an old Sex Pistols t-shirt and plaid pajama pants, but she knew she had to get out of the room and try and calm down. Normally, she'd just toss and turn and try to sleep, but clearly that wasn't working. The near week of sleep deprivation was proof.
Opening the door, she figured she'd see if Lucas was still up. He was always there for her and though there could be some awkward silences between them, she trusted Lucas.
Silently, she headed towards the boys' dorm, hoping that Durst or Mr. Pearson weren't prowling around.
Or the Janitor, for that matter.
However, it seemed like all was peaceful, contrary to Josie's own feelings and thoughts.
She didn't know what she would tell him, but at least getting it out there would make her feel better.
Knocking lightly on the door, she saw that the light wasn't on. She didn't want to wake any one up, but if they were up, they'd hear the soft patter on the door.
Josie turned away, her heart let down just a bit.
Where else could she turn?
Sure, she could wake people up, but for once, Josie didn't want to be a bother. After all, this was some silly dream that only happened to be plaguing her every moment of slumber. Swallowing, she knew that she should go and see Z. She finally gave into the quiet voice in the back of her head that had been pushing her to go to him since she woke up.
Quietly making her way towards the Science Lab, she knew his quarters were right next to it. Z wasn't pushy, but he made Durst give him that room, so that on the nights he was up late at the lab, he didn't have far to crash.
Josie smiled to herself. That's what she liked about him. He may seem like the easy pushover type, but when Z knew something, he just knew it. He would make sure that what needed to be done would get done. He was caring and considerate and had a cute smile.
"A cute what?" She thought to herself.
Since when did Josie Trent ever think that anything on Professor Z was "cute". But they more she thought about it, every time she pictured Z with a smile, she would smile. For, indeed, his smile was cute.
"Stop it, Josie." She scolded herself as she came to the lab.
The lights were off and it was dead silent. He must have headed in early, she figured. There wasn't much to be done since the wormhole had been somewhat stabilized - or at least its effects were - that morning.
Walking over to the adjacent door, she knocked on it a bit harder than she did to Lucas' and Marshall's.
She heard rustling in there and a very sleepy Z hit something as he made a rather large "Oof" noise. Not long after that, he came to the door and peering behind the door, he opened it.
"Josie?" He asked confused.
"I'm sorry, Z, really, but I just… Maybe I should just go." She said, feeling bad that she woke the poor guy up.
"No, no, it's fine. Hold on." He said as he retreated into the room and returned seconds later and opened the door fully. "Come in."
Josie gave him a big smile and headed in. Heading straight for his bed to sit on, instead of the two chairs which he was motioning towards. "I take it you're here about why I've been so…" He trailed off leaning against his dresser.
"Bitchy." Josie said so curtly, trying not to drool over him.
Z just nodded. "For back of a better word, yes." He said.
He was wearing a green t-shirt and a pair of shorts. His arms were crossed and he was just casually leaning on something. But Josie could see the way the material tightened over the man's chest, confirming the suspicion that Z was really toned.
After a pause, Z continued. "So, you wanted to tell me…"
Josie just nodded. "Right, you were here to talk to Z, not gawk and dream about how good he looks in his pajamas." She thought to herself. "What am I saying? I do not gawk at Z. Oh God, I do…"
"I don't really know what to say. It's this persistent dream about losing everything." She stated.
"And let me guess, it involves the wormhole." Z stated, moving closer to her.
Josie nodded. "I think that's why I am so effected by it. If I dreamt this anywhere else except Black Hole High, then I'd just shrug it off. But what if this is a message, you know? What if this is my conscious tapping into something above me."
Z looked her over and sighed. "But you really can't predict these things. This isn't concrete science here, Josie. There is no rulebook on the ins and outs of black holes. We could be sucked in tomorrow. That's what is so great about their future- there is an infinite number of possibilities. So, why worry."
Josie let out and exasperated breath and laid back, putting an emphasis on how dire her situation was. "But if I'm the reason why the world ends…" She was about to object.
"Then we're all gone and you can't do anything about it anyway."
"But I saw you all disappear." She said, her voice shaking. Josie looked up at him. He could tell that something emotional was about to come as he was hovering near her.
"I mean I know I'm not the easiest to get along with, but this is the first place where I feel like I actually belong. I mean my mom just up and dumps me at all these boarding schools, I never get too attached, but here… it's just different."
"And seeing everyone leave made you realize how important everyone is." Z said taking a seat beside her to try and comfort her.
Josie simply nodded. She was fighting too hard to not cry that if she spoke, it might have turned into a soppy, clichéd mess of teenage angst. No, Josie would not let him see her like that.
"I mean I watched as Marshall and Corrine just disappeared. And then Vaughn left and I had all this guilt about what might have been, but I know we're over. And then Lucas looked at me and I felt like this was all my fault. But there you were, Z, you were half gone and you were telling me that I did it. And watching you go…" Josie trailed off, not wanting to finish what she said, and also not being able to as she bit down on her lip.
"Broke my heart." She ended in her own thoughts.
Z put a comforting hand on her arm. "Well, for now, it's just a dream. We're here now and that's what matters. The future is so unpredictable that right now is the only thing that truly only matters."
She looked over at him, all blotched from preventing the tears from streaming down her cheeks. "You really think so, Z."
"I do." He said simply.
She looked up and was suddenly lost in thought. It must have been about a half hour before she realized that Z had fallen asleep, half balled in the corner of his bed. The light was still on, but suddenly, she felt weary and tired, but calm. She scooted in closer to him and she felt the sleeping body lean in to her. And the last thing she remembered before sleep finally took her was that thank God it was a Friday night, because she would have missed her first class the next day if it wasn't.