Disclaimer: not mine.

Title: In Dreams, You Can Hide

Summary: In dreams, you can hide from reality. Sometimes, though, reality follows you into your dreams.

A/N: So, yeah, I said I wasn't gonna update until like next week, but it turns out my finals got pushed back a bit, because one of my professors is an IDIOT, and since I wasn't listening in one of my classes and I wrote this, I thought, 'eh, why not! WRITE IT! POST IT!' so I did and I am. But this time I mean it when I say I won't post again for a while (now 'til May 11th ish). It's ZANGST again! And no pairings at all, not even implied!

A/N2: Just a note, I do not warn for character death, since I feel like it gives everything away. This note being here does not necessarily mean that there is character death, although there might be. It's now a standard author's note for all my stories, particularly the ZANGST ones. They're the ones that are most likely to involve character death (I think at least one actually had it, or at least hinted at it).

...

In dreams, you can hide from reality.

You can go for a walk, or take a ride on a dragon, or fight a war against Voldemort underwater, because, naturally, you both have gills. You can suddenly find yourself in the driver's seat of a speeding car, having forgotten how to drive, and panic, only to realize that not only does the car steer itself, it flies.

You and your friends (or at least people who may be your friends, you can't always tell) can hunt demons à la Supernatural, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer; swim the Pacific Ocean; or be trapped in a maze of grass clippings, because you've been shrunk to ant-size.

Dreams don't always have a connection to real life. After all, people aren't ant-sized, nor do they have gills.

But sometimes you can't hide from reality.

Sometimes you have to run, and reality follows you.

In the beginning of Zach's dreams, they're mostly the usual silliness; suddenly only being able to speak Russian, a family of bears breaking into Disney songs. But then, they turn dark.

A nameless, faceless figure appears, scaring away the bears, following Zach past the blurry houses that somehow all look like his childhood home in Michigan. No matter how fast he runs, the figure keeps growing ever-closer.

He runs through the lab, yelling for someone to help him. But no sound escapes his mouth. His friends are all there, lined up on the platform, but they keep their backs to him, ignoring his desperate, silent screaming.

He turns, and the figure has disappeared.

He turns once more, to face his friends again, and stumbles backwards. His friends cannot face him. People without heads can't face anyone.

The figure appears again, pointing at him with blood-drenched hands, face hooded and unseen. Zach tries to flee, but he is rooted to the ground.

"You're the Master, aren't you?" he asks, words sounding oddly distorted, as they do in dreams.

The man nods, slowly.

"Leave me alone," Zach begs, still trying to run. "Please, just leave me alone!"

The figure raises his red-stained hands, pushing the hood back, revealing his face.

Big brown eyes.

Floppy brown hair.

It is Zach's face.

The Master – Zach, the other Zach , the not-so-pleasant Zach – grins, revealing the set of dentures the real Zach had made what felt like eons ago.

"You... you're not...."

"Oh, I am," the Master-Zach says. "I am the Master, and I am you. Because you are the Master, Zach. The old one is dead, you were his Apprentice... so logically...."

"No. No, stop it."

"This is your legacy. Embrace it. Fulfill it. You could get out of this nuthouse in a heartbeat; take up your mantle, your rightful place."

"No."

"No? Bullshit," the Master-Zach grins. "Someday, you will. I know it. Because I am you, and you are me, and I want to become the Master. I want to eat human flesh, and take my place."

Zach tries to flinch away, but he can't move.

"You'll see, Zachy-boy. You'll give in soon.

"You always do."

Zach jerks awake with a muffled wail.

He's still in the mental hospital. His friends are safe, and alive, and not-beheaded.

"I'm not the Master," he whispers to himself, curling up into the fetal position, huddled against the wall. "I'm not, I don't want to be, and I never will be."

He doesn't sleep again that night.

Reality lurks in dreams.

...

A/N: YAY ZANGST! And YAY not-studying! I'm scared of finals, so I'm hiding in writing ZANGST. Random: most of those dreams in the beginning, were mine. Dreams are weird.