Author's Notes : Being a huge Zorro fan and a huge fan of the Walt Disney television series, I have made up my own little scenes between Zorro and the woman who captured his heart, Anna Maria. She appears in the second season. I felt that my scenes would add to the romance between these two lovers and the tragedy of their realization that they can never be together.

What I have done is I have started the scenes from the actual television series and transitioned my fictional scenes in where I think they should be.

I do not own any rights or any of the characters! I am just a huge Zorro and Guy Williams fan!

Amnesty for Zorro

Ricardo gives Anna Maria and Zorro the chance to be together forever by asking the governor for amnesty for Zorro in the Walt Disney television series. Diego struggles with the desire to be with Anna Maria forever and staying an outlaw for the people of California. These are scenes interjected between the actual story after Diego, Alejandro, and Ricardo discuss Zorro's amnesty...

"I don't care what anybody says. Zorro won't show up, he won't take off his mask, and he certainly won't marry Anna Maria, now I'll bet my life on that." Ricardo said almost knowing too well the outcome.

"Would you care to wager something of value?" Diego joked.

"You better save your money, Diego. You may need it, for a wedding present."

"For Zorro? I hardly know him."

"Perhaps for me. With your permission, senors, I have much to do." Ricardo leaves Diego and Alejandro.

"Of course Diego, you realize that he is right, do you not? Zorro will not reveal his identity, even though he is offered amnesty."

"But this is his chance to end the masquerade. Get married, live a normal life if he wants to. Now why do you say he will not accept this?"

"He will not accept it, son, because he is, well, the kind of man he is. He knows the welfare of California is more important than his own happiness, his own security."

"This Zorro, whoever he is don't you think he has the right to live his own life?"

"Think first of the people who believe in him. The vaqueros, the peons, humble people who find courage because they have faith that Zorro will protect them. You think he will destroy all this, putting an end to the legend purely for selfish reasons? At least, Diego, there is no need for us to discuss it. Zorro will know what is right, and he will do what is right when the time comes."

Later that day, Diego went to the private stable that served as Zorro's lair in Monterey. He entered through the back as to not draw unwanted attention. After he shut the door, he turned to see the powerful animal staring back at him. This snow white steed purred and nodded his head almost to say hello to his master.

Diego smiled and stroked Phantom's nose. His shoulders sagged a little. "I don't know what to do, Phantom."

Phantom nudged Diego in the chest.

"It would be nice to get married and settle down – to live a normal life. To be able to sleep through a night," Diego began brushing the steed. He had to be doing something.

After a while of quiet contemplation, he stopped and buried his head in the back of the warm and smooth animal, "Maybe it is just the idea of marriage that intrigues me: that picturesque family, owning a hacienda. It's a nice idea." He brushed the animal a couple strokes then stopped again. He tipped his hat off his head, "To tell you the truth, though, I do not know if I love Anna Maria enough to give up my role I have with the people of California."

Phantom looked back at Diego. Diego could sense the steed was thinking – are you serious?

Diego had to chuckle, "Grant it, the Senorita is beautiful and loving and kind. I am very fond of her. But she is in love with Zorro. Not me. Not Diego." He went on brushing, "She's never thought more of me than a good friend. It would be hard for her, I think, if she saw it was me underneath the mask." Diego stopped brushing and put a hand on his hip and shook his head, "I do not know what to do."

Diego turned to put away the brush and saw his faithful servant, Bernardo, standing not far off.

"How long have you been standing there, my friend?"

Bernardo shrugged then looked at the floor.

"Long enough, huh? Then you know how difficult it is for me to come to a decision. My father is adamant that Zorro will not appear, and Monterey is expecting him to show – and Anna Maria. When I became Zorro, I never thought it would become this difficult. Fighting injustice is easier than making this decision."

Bernardo pointed Diego's chest, his face looked like he was asking a question.

"I don't know what my heart is telling me."

Bernardo pointed to his master, acted out riding a horse then shaped a feminine figure.

"You suggest I see Anna Maria?"

Bernardo nodded.

"What will that prove?"

Bernardo nodded, then shook his head then shrugged.

"I guess you're right. Seeing her might help my decision. I will go to her." Diego put on his hat and they went to retrieve Diego's horse.

Diego halted his painted horse in front of the Verdugo hacienda. He started for the patio then stopped when he heard an angelic voice:

"How long is this day? It seems a year, since I watched the blushing dawn. When one must wait for love to come, time drags on and on."

Anna Maria was picking flowers on the second story of the hacienda. Diego could only watch and listen as she sang.

"Mi caballero my Zorro, the bold one who stole my heart. Mi caballero my Zorro, why does fate keep us apart? When the Angelus rings this evening, will you come and take me away? Mi caballero my Zorro ride into my arms and stay. Come to me. Come to me. Come and take me away. When the Angelus rings this evening ride into my arms and stay."

Anna Maria had leisurely came down the stairs. She was so picturesque. She stopped suddenly at the sight of Diego, "Diego, I didn't realize I had an audience."

Diego beamed a smile as he walked toward her, "I'm sorry. No I'm not sorry. It was beautiful. You were so happy and so..." he could not express how bewitching she was.

Anna Maria laughed as she sat. "I am happy, Diego. Happier than I've ever been."

Diego's smile faded as he joined her, "You think Zorro will ride into town and take off his mask."

"No. Diego I don't think it I know it."

Diego shrugged and raised an eye brow, his voice quiet, "What if he doesn't?"

"But he will!" She was so emphatic.

He cocked his head, an eye brow raised, "There might be a good reason why he cannot."

She shook her head. "You do not know Zorro very well. Ask anyone and they will say Zorro can do anything he wants to."

He looked into her beautiful brown eyes, "I know this, if I were Zorro, I'd want to please you."

"But you are not Zorro. Do you believe he will come?" Her eyes asked with such earnest.

He wanted to do anything to see her happy, he cared too much for her. He heaved a sigh and a smile played across his face, "I wasn't so sure before, but now I am. Yes, Zorro will come."

"Gracias. You are a good friend." She patted his hand. She seemed so relieved.

"Brother, huh?" He half joked.

"In a way. I'm sorry, but that's just how it is."

"No matter who he turns out to be?"

"Or whats."

Diego stood. "Then I want to wish you every happiness there is"

"Gracias. Since you are here, it will be pleasant riding into Monterey together."

"I'm sorry. But there is something I must do."

"But I want you to be there when Zorro unmasks himself."

"Oh don't worry I'll be there." He bowed then left.

That afternoon, on his way to change into Zorro and ride into the pueblo, Diego had been kept from the Angelus by his father. His father had known he was Zorro for a long while and was afraid his son would do something he would regret for the rest of his life. At first Diego was upset, but looking into the eyes of his father, he could not help but agree with the elder gentleman.

The Angelus had sounded. The crowd had dispersed slowly and Zorro's amnesty was revoked. Anna Maria could not believe Zorro did not show. She had replayed this scene over and over in her mind. He would make a grand entrance, galloping on his white steed, not fully coming to a halt before he would leap from his horse, swoop her in his arms and kiss her passionately. Then he would rip off his mask. The crowd would cheer and he would smile his handsome smile down at her before kissing her again. It was so romantic.

But, the bells had rung. His freedom was no longer in sight. She was speechless. Everything seemed to swirl. She could only hear the faint voice of Ricardo confirming Zorro had not shown, then proclaiming his love for her.

Anna Maria inhaled deeply and came to reality. She forced a smile and politely rejected Ricardo's proposal. Then when one of Ricardo's own pranks fell on him, literally, Anna Maria could not help but laugh at the rotund woman clinging to Ricardo's waist.

Suddenly, the thunderous sound of pounding hooves were heard and Ricardo exclaimed, "Look! There's Zorro! It's Zorro!"

Anna Maria turned to see the black man riding straight for her. He leaned down and in one strong move, swooped her up onto the saddle. His arm was so strong as he galloped out of the pueblo and to the hills.

Her heart was racing just as fast as the white steed underneath her. He had not said a word as he guided her out of town.

Anna Maria did not know where he was taking her, but did not care. She was close to him and in his arms. This was better than her dreams.

He pulled his horse to a halt and let her down to the ground. She lost her balance, but he slipped off his horse and caught her before she fell.

She had to stay her beating heart. She tried to catch her breath then looked up into his eyes. "You were late. The Angelus had already sounded."

He nodded, "I know."

Her brow furrowed, "Might I presume you wish to remain an outlaw?" This was not how it was suppose to be.

"At the present I must." His deep voice was so intoxicating. "I cannot let down all those people who believe in me. Can you understand that?"

Anna Maria battled with anger and the truth that he was right. She finally nodded, "Perhaps in time. When I've had the chance to think. Will I ever see your face?"

"You have only to look about you." He suddenly turned at the sound of the approaching lancers for his arrest. He brought her close to him and held her one last time. He almost did not want to let go. "Adios, Senorita. We will meet again." It was the hardest thing to do: to pull away from her and leave her there as he jumped on his horse. He waved and made a hasty exit just as the lancers approached the Senorita.

All day he led a cat and mouse chase in the terrains and hills on the outskirts of Monterey. What made it fun was who was actually the cat and who was the mouse? The chase took Zorro's mind off of Anna Maria for a while. As the moon appeared in the sky, he became one with the shadows and slipped away from the lancers and the fat Sergeant.

He circled back and started for the stable, but he had to see if Anna Maria made it safely back. He took the road toward the Verdugo hacienda. He took Phantom quietly around behind the hacienda to the veranda of Anna Maria's window. He stood up on the saddle and pulled himself up onto the ledge. Peeking inside, he saw her sitting in her nightgown on her bed. Her cousin, Milana, was consoling her.

"He said that he cannot let the people down who believe in him." Anna Maria was looking down at her hands which were in knots.

"He helps the people. If he was to give that up, who would protect them? Not to mention whoever he is, he would not be able to be at peace. Enemies of Zorro would have still hounded him and you. You would never be safe."

Zorro had not thought of that.

"I understand. I just wish I could see his face. To keep it a secret. Our secret."

Milana shook her head, "I think that would be the worst thing for you. It would ruin the dream." Milana stood, embraced her cousin and bid her good night.

Anna Maria sat alone on the bed. She breathed the last word her cousin had said, "Dream."

Zorro watched her for a long while. She seemed to be in deep thought. She gently touched her lips with her fingertips. A sweet smile formed on her lips.

Zorro knew exactly what she was thinking of: the time he had kissed her. He remembered that well.

"A dream," she whispered again as she stood and went to her vanity. She looked up in the glass and gasped when she saw a black figure in the reflection. She turned abruptly. "Zorro," she breathed.

He stood there silently.

He constantly caused her to skip a beat. He would send her to an early grave with all this appearing and disappearing.

She waited, wondered if he was to speak first. There were a couple times when he looked like he was about to say something but refrained. She knew he was struggling with trying to say something so she interjected first. "This afternoon I said I needed a chance to think. I believe I figured it out."

"Figured what out?"

"Me. You." She smiled in finality. "My thoughts of you were not very realistic. Before I met you, I was given this image of El Zorro. This image came to me without flaw. You were larger than life. And I became so intrigued by this unreachable image. I idealized you. Then when I first met you, you saved my life. You kissed me – that just heightened all my fantasies. But I now know that my love for you was superficial." She lowered her head, "I do love you, but I am not in love with you."

Zorro felt a weight inside of him release. She could not have said it better. He cared for her and was fond of her but could not leave everything he worked so hard for. He love her, but was not in love with her. He nodded. "I understand completely."

"You feel the same way?" Anna Maria could read his expression.

He did not know he was so transparent. He approached her and took her hand. He brought it to his chest and held it tightly. "I do care for you, Anna Maria. And I will always be there to protect you." He then kissed her hand.

She smiled up into his eyes, "One day, Senor, I will see your face. Until then, I will hold onto the dream of El Zorro."

He bowed his head, released her hand and went to the window-sill. He looked back one more time, before disappearing into the night.

Zorro quickly led Phantom into the stable. He dismounted then locked the door. He turned around and leaned against the door. Bernardo slowly came into view.

"We said goodbye, Bernardo." Diego handed his hat to his servant.

Bernardo pointed at his master and raised his eye brows.

"Actually, I am fine. And tomorrow I will be better."

Bernardo grinned and took the black cape and mask and sword from his master.

"Now, where is my father?" Diego asked with a slight grin.

Bernardo pointed over his shoulder, mimed he was drinking, then acted as if he was sleeping.

"Back at the Inn? Well, he and I have some talking to do. Shall we change and head back, my friend?"

Bernardo nodded and helped his master change.