Disclaimer: I'm not sure who owns all the rights to Zorro, but I do know it's not me. This is just for fun.

Summary: Victoria finds herself in a strange, upside down dream world where she discovers that she either doesn't know as much as she thought or she knows a lot more than she suspects.

Author's Note: This story was inspired by a scene from the movie Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension. For those unfamiliar with the series Phineas and Ferb, the incompetently evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz has a ridiculously hard time recognizing his nemesis, secret agent Perry the Platypus, when Perry isn't wearing his fedora (this makes sense in context). Anyway, in the movie there's a scene where the slightly more competently evil Doofenshmirtz from the other dimension is trying to get his other self to recognize the obvious, using pictures as visual aids. The last time I was watching, I just got this sudden flash of a Victoria from an alternate reality doing something similar for the Victoria from the series, and this is the result.

Is This Your Masked Man?

The Dream

This was the strangest dream Victoria had ever had. Without knowing how or why she had found herself in a Los Angeles very different from her own. The alcalde was a stranger; Mendoza was running the tavern; and everyone kept calling her Doña Victoria and asking her if Don Diego had returned home yet. Not understanding these strange happenings, she somehow found herself in front of the de la Vega hacienda and was most astonished when the door was opened by another version of herself, who invited her in very politely, seemingly not too surprised to meet herself.

They sat down in the library where Victoria de la Vega explained why she didn't think it was so strange. "Not that long ago Diego was telling me a theory about different decisions leading to different realities or something like that. So it doesn't seem too strange to me that someone might cross between them, like in stories where people wander into fairy realms." The other Victoria then shook her head slightly in embarrassment. "Though I must admit I wasn't actually paying much attention to what he was saying at the time. I was more interested in... well, I'm sure I don't have to tell you how very tempting Diego can be."

"Diego? Tempting?" Victoria asked incredulously.

"Very," Victoria de la Vega said with a reminiscent smile. "He can be absolutely irresistible, in fact."

Victoria was very confused. Her other self seemed very happy to be married to Diego, and yet she was wearing the very same ring that Zorro had given her when he asked her to marry him.

"What's happened to Zorro?" Had he died? Was that why this Victoria married Diego?

"Oh, there hasn't been much need for Zorro lately," the other Victoria replied cheerfully. "It's been wonderful not having to worry about him riding deliberately out into danger. I prefer keeping him close to home. Though of course he still has to travel occasionally." She sighed a little. "He should be back soon though."

Now Victoria was even more confused and a little appalled. How could she be talking about them as if they held an equal place in her heart? She couldn't believe it of herself, even another version. "Are you in love with both of them?" she asked, a hint of shock in her voice.

Now the other Victoria looked confused. "Both of them?" she asked. "What in the world are you talking about?"

"Diego and Zorro. How can you be married to one and still be... involved with the other?" Victoria asked indignantly.

Victoria de la Vega started laughing before she seemed to realize that Victoria was serious. With a disbelieving look, she said, "Wait. You honestly think Zorro and Diego are two different people?"

"Of course." This seemed to be a very strange world in which she'd found herself. "Diego may be my best friend, but he's nothing like Zorro. He's nice and kind, but Zorro... Zorro's romantic and heroic. I like Diego, but I'm in love Zorro."

"You love... Zorro, but not... Diego," Victoria de la Vega said slowly, as if finding it impossible to digest such a bizarre idea. After a long moment, she stood up and crossed the room where she pulled out a couple of pictures from beside the desk. Walking back, she placed the first picture on an empty easel that stood near the sofa.

"Now, is this a picture of the Zorro you know?" she asked pointing at it with a thin rod she took off the easel. Her tone was that of a teacher trying to understand a particularly dull pupil.

Victoria looked at the picture carefully. It was an excellent likeness of Zorro. "Yes. That's him," she said confidently.

Her other self furrowed her brow in puzzlement before putting the second picture next to the first. "So, is this the Diego you know?" Victoria de la Vega asked.

"That's Diego," Victoria affirmed. They were both truly excellent likenesses; the artist had been exceptionally gifted.

Victoria de la Vega looked first at the pictures, then at her other self and back to the pictures again. "And you don't see any similarity, at all?" she asked incredulously.

"Should I?" Victoria was confused. Looking at the pictures, the only significant thing seemed to be that both men had been painted in identical poses, but that was hardly a notable similarity. What was she missing?

The other Victoria slapped the nearest table with the pointer. "Yes, you should." She looked up at the ceiling as if imploring the heavens for patience for dealing with this peculiar version of herself. "Why am I so blind in this other world?" she said before taking a deep breath and looking at Victoria again. "Did you fall and hurt your head when a child? Do your eyes bother you? Blurriness? Double vision? Anything like that?"

"My vision is just fine. I just don't get your point."

Hitting the table again in irritation, Victoria de la Vega said, "No wonder you're not married in your world. Two men— tall, blue-eyed, mustaches, same charming smile, same magnificent..." She broke off and got a far away look for a moment before coughing and continuing in a different vein. "Always there when you need him... and you haven't made the connection?"

"You're telling me Diego is Zorro," Victoria said, still disbelieving.

"Yes. Yes, I am," Victoria de la Vega replied impatiently. "The minute I first saw him in that black outfit, I knew. It was obvious. He'd just returned from Spain; there wasn't a man in the territory who could compare with him. I don't know why every one else was fooled, but I certainly wasn't. We've been married almost three years."

"No, this is impossible. He just can't be Zorro," Victoria said stubbornly.

The other Victoria rolled her eyes in frustration. "Have you ever paid attention to how Diego gets information that Zorro uses later? Or how they both quote the same authors? Or heard how they both sound when they're angry? More importantly, have you ever seen them together face to face? Or even given them both a serious look? Especially Diego. I'm sure if you had you wouldn't be able to deny the truth."

Victoria tried to think of something to say. This just seemed incredible to her. As she sat there, dumbfounded, she heard the front door of the hacienda open. Although she wasn't able to see who was coming in, her other self was, and smiling brightly, she ran towards the door. Although somehow she knew she shouldn't be, Victoria was startled by what sounded like Zorro's voice exclaiming, "Querida!"

Cautiously, moving to look around the corner, she saw the other Victoria throwing her arms around what appeared to be Diego, who returned her embrace with equal enthusiasm, lifting her off her feet, before kissing her soundly, completely oblivious to the fact that anyone else was in the vicinity. Victoria had a hard time recognizing the Diego she knew in the man she saw there. He looked like Diego but seemed more like Zorro.

Growing embarrassed at seeing the pair kissing so passionately, Victoria started backing away, when she tripped and fell backwards, hitting the floor with an enormous thud. Everything went black for a moment, then Victoria sat up, to find herself in her own bed, confused as to how she got there.

It took a few moments to get herself reoriented. She shook her head at the dream. Diego as Zorro. What a bizarre thought. It was impossible. Wasn't it? She'd know. Wouldn't she? But still... that last image of Diego was still clear in her mind. They were a bit similar, weren't they? But how could he have fooled her for so long? Hitting her pillow in frustration, Victoria lay back and stared at the ceiling. This was ridiculous. However, it wouldn't hurt to look at Diego more closely, just to be sure. Tomorrow, she'd start tomorrow. And with that thought, Victoria tried to go back to sleep.

NOT QUITE THE END