A/N: So sorry that it's been ages, but I kinda forgot about my fanfics and life got really hectic, but yay 4 hour layovers in Chicago O'Hare! Also, expect the next chapter fairly soon. I kinda have an idea where this is going.

Warning: Still the same, age play. Meaning Josie/Z fluff. And lots of it!

Please read and review!


Things were just as they were in the original nightmare. Josie stood back with a smile, only everyone else wasn't. It was like suddenly, there was barely any light, and every one was looking down at her.

"I did it, guys. It's over. The hole is destabilized." She said, sweeping her hair back, exasperated.

Corrine was the first to shake her head. And that's when Josie noticed it. It was like their frames were shaking. She wasn't though. Soon Lucas had disappeared. Then Corrine. She tried to rush at them, to save them. She got to Vaughn, but all she was clutching was air. He looked so sorry, too.

Josie turned her head to watch Lucas slowly disappear.

"No! Lucas, wait!" She shouted after him.

But once again it was too late.

"Z!" She thought.

Josie picked up her head. Z wasn't standing too far away. He looked almost sad.

"It's okay, Josie. You tried." It was like the molecules inside him were bouncing off one another at such a pace that his body was nearly vibrating.

"No, not you, Z." She said, grabbing his hand.

It was cold, like it wasn't there.

"The wormhole, Z. We'll be safe there." She said, as she headed over to the hole.

It was wide open and Josie looked over at the abyss.

"Now or never, do or die!"

---

Another dream, another nightmare, another morning of waking up in a cold sweat. Breathing heavily, Josie Trent shuffled out of bed at two in the morning. Again. Again she was waking up, and trying to shake this feeling of inevitable doom. It was rising up through her stomach like bad heartburn.

She caught her Velvet Underground t-shirt on her bed and swore. Luckily Corrine was a heavy sleeper and out cold. All she needed was to wake up her roommate – or rip one of her favorite shirts. That would make the morning that much worse.

Carefully, Josie walked, rather tiptoed, into the bathroom they shared and splashed some water onto her face. Staring up at her reflection, she wondered if Z was still up. It wouldn't hurt to check. If he was, then fine. If he wasn't, Josie wouldn't wake him up again. Besides they didn't need another predicament, as comfortable and nice as it was.

Slipping out of her room, Josie found herself once again trying to dodge Durst and janitor. It seemed like both were nowhere around, and she easily made her way to the lab in no time without any trouble. The light was on, and Josie could here some noises within. Knocking softly, she entered the room, not waiting for a reply.

Z looked up and adjusted his glasses. "Bad dreams?" He asked a sad smile on his face.

"Yeah, the same one, but not. I don't know. I thought I had it figured out." Josie said with a sigh as she plopped herself down on a station.

"Hmm, well try not to think about it. Have you had a chance to talk to Lucas or Vaughn?" He said, going back to tinkering with whatever device was in his hands.

"Yeah, no. And it's not likely to happen either. I'm avoiding Vaughn and Lucas is avoiding me."

"This dream could just be unresolved tension. You did say last night that you realized how much everyone means to you. Well, maybe this is just your conscious trying to tell you that. It might just be your head." Z looked up, giving Josie a knowing grin. "But what do I know? I'm a physicist, not a doctor."

Z was smart like that. Knowing him, he was right. Josie just needed to talk to the both of them. But this, this was crazy awkward. And not awkward fun like yelling penis in the park, or good awkward like waking up in the arms of your attractive science teacher. No, this was explaining to Vaughn that they were over while trying to avoid him kissing her, while simultaneously trying to talk to Lucas and ask him what was up.

"Ugh, Z… this is far too much drama for one girl." Josie said, her head collapsing into her arms.

"Like you said, too bad it wasn't easy. "I like you" and "You like me."" Z chuckled a bit.

"Yeah, see. Easy peasy, Z, easy peasy."

Z looked back up at Josie and was giving her that classic grin. Josie swallowed hard. Damn, he looked good. His hair was slightly shaggy, and his grin was making her melt. The way his lips curled softly. But then, there was something else. This wasn't his usual He smirked at her, which was slightly uncharacteristic of him, which made her suddenly think, "Is he flirting with me?"

Now that was a shock to the system. I mean it was one thing to like a guy and to even flirt with him, but him flirting back? But maybe he wasn't. This was Z. Z was just friendly. That had to be it. You know, just Z being nice. Whatever it was, it was most definitely not flirty. Silly to even think about, really.

With a yawn, Josie took one of the science books. "I might as well try and do something useful, and with that five page report on radio waves coming up…" She said, sticking her tongue out at him.

"Hey, I have to try and get something into your head." He turned back to his chemicals, smiling under his mask.

Josie started perusing the current chapter they were studying, and took notes when she needed. Soon though, the power of how boring physics could be overtook her, and her head was lying on the book with her pen still in her hand.

It actually took awhile for Z to notice. He was focused on preparing his next lesson in chemistry, mixing chemicals, and setting up the right equipment. Finally when he was done, he looked up to find Josie fast asleep. Having fallen asleep at his desk many times, he knew how uncomfortable it was. Lightly tapping her, Z tried to wake her up.

Nothing happened.

He tapped her again, with the same result. It seemed that not only was she a heavy sleeper, but still being quite sleep deprived was having its effects.

Finally giving up, Z removed the pen from her hand and thought about carrying her to his room. She could have the bed. But that meant that he'd have to carry her into the hall and then into his room. That would look bad. Still, he couldn't just leave her there.

So, retreating into his own room, he grabbed a few blankets and a pillow and headed back out to the lab. Josie was still passed out, not having moved a millimeter. Smiling to himself, he laid out a comforter and the pillow. Looking over at her, he then wondered how hard it would be to carry her. She was tiny, but it'd been while since he carried a girl – well, he'd never carried a girl before, unless one counted carrying their three-year-old niece.

Muttering to himself, Z figured he could do it. Sure, he was a little scrawny, but he had muscle. He wasn't weak. Moving over to her, He put her arm around his neck and he attempted to lift her from the chair. It wasn't too difficult, but he was glad he decided on not moving her to his room.

Josie stirred in his arms. Opening her eyes slowly, she was a bit confused. Was Z really carrying her? No, it must be a dream.

"Z?" She questioned, her voice not that audible and very sleepy sounding.

"It's okay, Josie. I'm just putting you down here. You can go back to sleep."

Josie nodded and put her head on his chest. Z tried not to think about it. He was just concerned about her sternocleidomastoid muscles. Yeah, Z reasoned, that was what he was worried about.

Z placed her on the makeshift bed and put the blanket around her. He still wanted to go over the next chapter in the chemistry book before he called it a night, and so he headed to his teacher's desk and pulled the book out.

Only his thoughts turned from physical chemistry to human chemistry, and the thought of Josie snuggling him turned into dreams of Josie snuggling him. And before he knew it, he found himself in the same situation that he had saved Josie from: falling asleep at his desk.

Dawn broke and when Josie awoke, she came to realize that Z picking her up was not a dream. In fact, it was very real. She sat up groggily and took in the lab. Sure, sleeping on the floor wasn't that comfortable, but she was quite grateful to him.

Speaking of Z, Josie looked around trying to find him when she saw that he was fast asleep at his desk. Josie took the blanket that he had put on her, and walked over to his desk. Putting it around his shoulders, Josie smiled down at him.

It was late morning by the time Z woke up. His neck muscles hurt, but he was surprised that he wasn't cold. It seemed that there was a blanket on him. Stretching his arms and neck, Z then noticed a little note. It read:

Z,

Thanks for everything.

Josie