Chapter 1: How Dare He
'How dare him' Zim thought. 'How dare he ignore Zim!' Rage boiled up inside the tiny invader as he stormed after his nemesis. He felt a sense of déjà vu, as he recalled Dib refusing to fight with him before—but he had at least WARNED Zim!
It was hot outside. One of those days that made the threat of Global warming that much more plausible. The sky was a disheartening burgundy color, the sun beaming down with pinpoint precision on anyone who was unlucky enough to be outside at the current moment.
Fortunately, for nearly everyone else in the crappy little town, they were indoors, watching television and drinking cold beverages. Not so fortunately, Dib was the person the sun was beaming down on.
It didn't do much to increase his good mood. Not that there had been much of a good one in the first place. He irritatedly whipped away a droplet of sweat that was rolling its way down his forehead. Why was his house so far away? Why was it so freaking hot outside?
A curious fly buzzed by the teen's face, only to be swatted at by a nail bitten hand.
Everything was annoying today. And normally, he would've brushed it off and gotten back to his positive-go-lucky-attitude. Today however...dark brows furrowed in heavy concentration, his mind continuing to chew on the new information he'd gleaned this afternoon. Therapy was new to him. Dib had seen tons of counselors, a few doctors and several specialists at the local Crazy House for Boys...a therapist was new to him though.
Booted feet drug themselves along the cracking sidewalk as he grew closer and closer to his house. Why on Earth was he walking when it was so hot outside? Well, that question was answered simply enough; He'd missed the last bus when his father had forgotten to show up. And Dib couldn't drive. He'd kind of skipped over that particular 'grown up' achievement in favor of chasing a certain green alien.
Dib shook his head angrily. ''Don't think about him." That had been the therapist's advice. Ignore him. And while Dib was reluctant to believe anything that he didn't discover for himself, he was aware that the woman was a trained professional and therefore had some knowledge on the subject of crazy boy brains….not that he was crazy or anything.
Zim didn't know what he hated most about Earth, and while the list was a very long one, the sun was—without shadow of a doubt—far up on it. It wouldn't have been so bad if he could just let his antennae out from under this infernal wig.
The heat that built up against his scalp was almost unbearable, and he would have done anything to just be able to let his feelers free; he felt close to suffocating.
But he wasn't so desperate as to let his cover be jeopardized; he always put himself behind the mission, of course. He was an invader! He wasn't going to let a lowly star beat him before he could conquer this useless planet.
The shade from the bushes helped beat the sun's merciless glare as he bent over on his hands and knees in the garden of an unsuspecting yard. He would have loved to make GIR do this for him, but his new plan required a more delicate touch, one that he knew (by learning the hard way) GIR was lacking.
But even though he was feeling sluggish in the heat, and only wanted to be indoors, he couldn't help but smile broadly at the sheer shrewdness of his own plan. How surprised the Earth-scum will be when their own foliage revolts against them! Images of their ugly, horrified faces made Zim cackle in delight.
He pushed the loose soil over his insidious creation and backed out of the bushes, onto the hot concrete of the sidewalk. He brushed himself off and adjusted his wig, a satisfied smile on his face. A smile that quickly faded when he noticed a silhouette approaching him. He had to squint against the heat waves that rose from the sidewalk before he could make out any distinguishing traits.
"Dib!" He hissed, pointing an accusing finger at the approaching figure. "How did you find me?" He yelled, not taking into account that he was in Dib's neighborhood. "No matter! My latest and most amazing plan is already in motion! You won't be able to stop me, and soon you will be able to do nothing more than stand in awe at the mightiness that is ZIIM!" He cackled into the hot, heavy air—readying himself against any Attack that Dib would employ.
A familiar voice nearly brought Dib to a halt, pupils dilating with the instinctive need to fight his enemy. He was even opening his mouth to questions the alien's suspicious motives; why was Zim behind a bush? What new plan was the little menace planning?
Something evil and stupid no doubt. But, at the last second he slammed his jaw closed, gritted his teeth and deliberately brushed past his irken nemesis.
His feet took him further and further away from the impending conflict, second by second, step by step and it was painful. Why was it so painful? It was because Zim was doing something heinous and Dib was doing nothing to stop him.
But, what if the alien wasn't even...real? He had to find that out. He had another appointment on Thursday and until then Dib was going to refrain from having anything to do with Zim. A whole week without stepping in to stop vile plans or even to glare or--Dib took a steadying breath.
Zim was prepared for any harsh words he expected from the Dib human. He was ever prepared for a full out physical assault; and while fighting had become a little harder for Zim since the human had outgrown him over the years, he was still optimistic enough to take him on.
What Zim didn't expect, however, was for Dib to ignore him.
'How dare him' Zim thought. 'How dare he ignore Zim!' Rage boiled up inside the tiny invader as he stormed after his nemesis. He felt a sense of déjà vu, as he recalled Dib refusing to fight with him before—but he had at least WARNED Zim!
What was his angle now? What kind of trap was this? Zim bore his lavender eyes into the back of Dib's head, trying desperately to read him. Frustration bubbled up inside of him, finally bursting out as he ran in front of Dib, cutting him off abruptly and standing before him.
"Dib-stink!" He shook his clenched fist at the human. "You dare ignore me?! Zim!? I am an Irken Invader, I demand you show me proper respect! Grovel for your pathetic ball of dirt as I unleash my plan on the world!" He clenched his teeth, staring Dib in the eyes, trying to spot just the slightest bit of recognition in those amber irises.
Surely Dib was curious; how could he NOT be? They have been through this so many times before, and Dib had never faltered. Only once had he pretended not to care, but he had come back with his determination increased ten-fold! Why was this happening again? Zim had no intentions of reliving those days of lying listless on the couch.
The fact that this seemed to be occurring again made Zim feel sick in his gut. He should be glad that the Dib-thing doesn't seem to want to interfere with Zim's plan, but for some reason it was difficult to imagine his daily routine without Dib in it, even if it was just so he could fight with him.
Perhaps for a millisecond there was a flash of curiosity in the human's amber eyes; he couldn't help it. Curiosity has always been his weakness. It was why he asked so many questions and was sticking his nose into things. That's why the Paranormal interested him so much. No one had really gone deep into it before. It was up to him.
But, the second was gone as soon as it had happened, leaving the Dib's eyes blank, looking through the Irken's slight frame. He ducked his head and went around Zim, keeping his gaze on his dusty shoes as he crossed the street to his house which was surrounded by buzzing force fields.
Before the alien could catch Dib and force a fight on him, he rushed up the lawn and threw open the door before slamming it closed and leaning up against it, breathing way too hard; 'From the Heat', he told himself. Immediately, cool conditioned air rushed over him, initiating a headache caused by the rushed temperature change.
Definitely not because Zim's voice sounded…worried. No. Zim wasn't worried. The irken didn't get worried unless it was about germs or the Tallest. He was an alien or hey, maybe he wasn't even that. Maybe he was just a very stupid illusion with a talent for annoying everything within a mile's radius. He shoved himself away from the doorframe and threw a glance into the living room where Gaz was on the couch, head bent over her latest game.
When he reached the kitchen, Dib drank several glasses of water before finally reaching into his left pocket and yanking out a small bottle that had banged against his leg obnoxiously the whole way home, about as easy to ignore as Zim's screaming. It was light orange with tiny print around the label. Supposedly it was going to help him.
Dib scoffed and set it on the kitchen counter, before grabbing a bunch of food from the pantry and taking the stairs two at a time till he reached his room which of course was cluttered with broken electronics, old drawings, rubber piggies, dirty clothes, and old food wrappers from other nights.
He dumped his burden on his rumpled bed, popping the tab of a Poop Cola and sitting at the only remotely clean area in his whole room; his computer. Time to check up on all his paranormal sources. Even if he couldn't hunt Zim this week, didn't mean he couldn't make use of his time on other things…
Not that they would be as meaningful or...dare he say fun? But, it was something to distract him and Dib badly needed that.
Zim could only watch as Dib rushed past him and into his house. Zim stood silently for a few moments, his thoughts racing. He could feel the electric hum of his PAK vibrate against his back softly, trying to process what just happened.
Suddenly, as though a switch had been flipped somewhere deep inside of him, Zim burst out in a fit of rage; grunting and kicking at the unbearable heat around him. He turned and punched a nearby fence, causing one of the boards to fold in on itself. Zim stood there, panting, ignoring the deep pain that ebbed in his fist and up his arm.
"That…that…!" He grunted and growled incomprehensively before finally settling on an appropriate adjective and spitting it out. "Infuriating creature! How dare he do this to me; ZIM!" He paced on the sidewalk for a while, trying to figure out how to best handle the situation. "What is his angle? What does he hope to accomplish from this?" He shouted out in frustration. "He's toying with me! He WANTS me to get angry!" He stopped pacing and took in a deep breath, then felt nauseous from the intolerably hot air.
"Well, I won't let the Dib-worm best me! He won't be able to ignore my greatest plan yet. Once I unleash it, he'll have no choice but to confront me." He nodded to himself, feeling a bit better at his own reassurance.
But then, without warning, another internal switch seemed to flip inside the small alien. A wave of uncertainty crashed over him, causing his expression to falter. "But if he doesn't…"
He shook his head quickly. "No, it WILL work. The Dib-thing won't be able to resist. I saw it, in his eyes; just a fleeting moment of weakness." Zim turned and began his trek home through the unforgiving sun. He didn't even want to acknowledge the fact that he had doubted himself. What did he have to doubt? He was the amazing Zim, after all! He cradled his gloved hand as he finally made it home; finally registering that he had injured it when he punched the fence.
The second that Zim strode into the house, Gir was on him, squealing rather manically.
"Maaaastah! Massstah! Youse home at last!" The little robot's turquoise eyes contracted with each word, of which were filled with adoration and honest worry.
However, the moment didn't last long, as Gir's memory was that of a gold fish. Soon he was down again, curious eyes focused in on Zim's arm. "Oh noes~ Does master have a booboo?" He asked full of sympathy.
Zim had grown used to Gir's wild and outlandish greetings whenever he entered his base, and stood silently waiting for him to finish. He had, in a way, grown somewhat fond of the dysfunctional robot, and took his random fits with a surprisingly large amount of patience (as long as he wasn't destroying anything, at least).
When Gir finally settled down, Zim walked past him and into the living room. "Gir, I seem to have broken my hand, we'll need to go to the base to get it fixed. And while we're down there, I can check on my latest plan to destroy this infernal planet and all of its inhabitants once and for all."
He shed his wig with a breath of relief as they entered the kitchen, wiggling his grateful antennae in the refreshing cool air. Peeling off his contact, he stepped into the trash bin and waited for Gir to follow him before descending into the base.
"The seeds are in place, I just need to wait for the perfect conditions to deploy them, which shouldn't be long, as the weather on this blasted planet is more temperamental than a mother Blorch Hound around her young."
He tenderly peeled off his glove as the lift stopped at the main floor of his base. "Then we'll see how well Dib can keep up his façade." A quick flickering replay of earlier today reeled through Zim mind, sending him into another sudden fit of rage. He couldn't even manage words as he stormed around, flipping over and tossing about various objects around the base. "Arrg!" He yelled before collapsing onto the ground, breathing heavily.
He felt a bit foolish for letting the human upset him so much, but for some reason he couldn't help himself…
"I need to get a grip if I am going to be able to thwart the Dib-thing in his attempts to best me."
He picked up a tray he had knocked to the floor and the tools it had held. "First, we'll need to fix my hand. GIR! Come hold the x-ray monitor while I do this!"
While Zim whirled around, destroying things, Gir squealed and clapped his hands gleefully. Shards of glass were delicious chips and metal tools new toys. Once the screaming and irken cursing was over, Gir obeyed, eyes turning crimson for about a millisecond."YES SIR!"
Then his eyes were turquoise again. Gir giggled. He toddled over, hefting up the x-ray for his master.
Chapter 2: Avoid
Did he walk past the house? Or go across the street to avoid the temptation to rush up to the front door and bang on the metal surface in order to piss off his enemy? Oh…the image was so clear in his head, so easy to imagine that he was already three steps closer.
Dib woke up early the next morning; earlier than was deemed acceptable by most people in society. The sun wasn't yet up when he had dressed in all black, his back pack full of provisions for the long day he had ahead of him, and was out the door. Little puffs of carbon dioxide sprung from his lips into the brisk morning air. It woke him right up. The detective was heading towards the older side of town where he'd gotten many reports of some suspicious activity; something about ectoplasm, lots of hideous screeching and floating rubber duckies. It sounded promising. And he did feel a tiny tingle of excitement for the new opportunity. For something to solve.
But, it was nothing in comparison to—Dib cut off his mental musing, chewing on the inside of his cheek. "Stupid. Focus, Dib." He mumbled, listening to the distant sounds of traffic and the not so distant sound of his feet hitting the ground. Unfortunately, for Dib in order to get to that side of town he had to walk west which was the side of the street that Zim's house was on. Even from here he could see the neon paint glowing. Freakish lawn gnomes. The strange humming sound that always seemed to accompany it.
The teen chewed his cheek some more, trying to make a decision. Did he walk past the house? Or go across the street to avoid the temptation to rush up to the front door and bang on the metal surface in order to piss off his enemy? Oh…the image was so clear in his head, so easy to imagine that he was already three steps closer. With an annoyed huff, Dib shook his head and loped across the street, staring deliberately down at the ground…but he could still see the green out of the corner of his eye.
Man, he couldn't wait until this whole mess was over.
Zim's hand was still quite sore, but he had pushed the pain into the back of his mind as he paced about. The weather was nowhere near ready to deploy his latest creations, and with nothing else to do, he found himself wandering around the base, aimlessly. He would take a fleeting interest in something before abandoning it to continue his aimless journey. Every once in a while he would find himself with the uncontrollable urge to hit something—to break everything in his path. His gums hurt from clenching his teeth so often as to refrain from tearing apart his own base.
"What is wrong with me?!" He finally shouted, kicking over a stand that sat in his living room, sending the vase that rested on it to shatter against the floor. He took little notice to it as he collapsed onto the couch. "I can't continue like this if I want to keep my base in tact!" He grumbled into the cushions. "I don't understand; surely the Dib-beast hasn't gotten so far under my skin!"
'But what if he has?' Zim thought. 'Look at yourself, Zim! You are moping around like…like a human!'
"NO!" Zim sprang up and about kicked the screen of the TV before the computer burst to life without warning, causing Zim to freeze in his tracks.
"Warning! The Gnomes are detecting The Dib Creature close by!" The computer cautioned as Dib passed, seemingly un-bothered, by Zim's house.
"Dib?" Zim's antennae shot up, alert, and almost hopeful.
"No, wait. He's leaving. False alarm." The computer dismissed nonchalantly. Zim clenched his fists.
"What is that idiot doing, passing by my base and NOT asking about my plan?" He ran to his window to see Dib sulking past, not even looking up. Zim pondered for a moment. "What is he doing out so early? Doesn't he normally sleep at this time?" The irken's curiosity was a bit more than piqued. Opening his door, he slipped outside easily. The click-whir of his PAK legs springing out to carry him to the roof was the only noise he made as he watched the human.
No buses ran this late, so Dib walked the entire way.The whole area was filled with half destroyed, dilapidated buildings. The people in this town had slowly been moving east for years. This part of town was now practically abandoned, which of course was ripe conditions for spectral hauntings. Dib huffed with the exertion of climbing over some rubble, taking a few seconds to seize up the view.
There was a small scuffle behind him and the hair on the back of his neck stood on end; instinct had him whirling on one foot to search behind him. Nothing. Just the recently-awakening side of town he'd come from, lights lit here and there. Huh. Maybe it had been a rat or something.
Shrugging, Dib skidded down the little rubble pile and landed in the dirt gracefully before walking determinedly towards what used to be a library. He stopped and dug inside his backpack, pulling out his equipment, fitting it securely to his body before shoving open the old wooden door. Zim was rather pleased that Dib had decided to muck about in such a secluded area, as it gave him the freedom of not needing to wear his disguise.
Following Dib would be that much easier using all his senses to the fullest. He pressed himself against buildings and used his PAK legs to climb on top of high piles of rubble, every now and then his antennae twitching and perking up at the sound of Dib's footsteps. Zim had grown familiar with the sound of Dib's irregular footsteps over the years; the sound of them chasing after him. He could recognize the sound of Dib walking or running with his back turned. Zim summed it up to having superior tracking skills, and of course, used this as an advantage.
But hearing them now, the sound of them so close--the sound of DIB so close—yet strangely at ease, was different than he remembered. There seemed to be a slight bounce in his step, unlike how he had been dragging his feet yesterday. Zim could feel his PAK heat up slightly against his back as a strange feeling washed over him. He suddenly felt restless; he felt like he needed Dib to know he was here, to have Dib look at Zim with that recognition in his eyes--that fierceness.
But, of course, Zim did not give in to this strange urge. He continued following Dib with a confused expression on his face. 'He seems so…eager. What happened to the dull Dib-beast I saw yesterday?' He wondered to himself. He jumped from a roof only to be jerked back violently. His PAK met a deteriorated pipe with a loud metallic CLANG! Zim tried to pry himself off, but for some reason his PAK was being pulled towards the metal pipe by some unseen force. "Impossible!" Zim muttered, finally using his PAK legs to push himself free from the magnetic pull. He landed quietly on the ground, quickly ducking behind a pile of rubble in case that moment of stupid had blown his cover.
'This planet is full of metallic substances, yet my PAK has never reacted like that to any of them. Why now?' He peeked up from his fort of garbage to see if Dib had noticed, nervous sweat starting to bead on his green forehead. Without even stopping to think about what he was doing, Dib was running. His hand was held out in front of him, the little machine that sensed ectoplasmic energy beeping and glowing slowly in the dim building. Dust flew up behind him. Something was in here. What was it? Was it a ghost? A poltergeist? Why was it here? When did it die? How did it die? He skidded the corner where the noise had come from, sending dust into a mini pile that built up at the bottom of his boots.
Dib's ears were peeled, golden eyes flickering frantically. It was an older part of the library according to the records he'd dug up and therefore more unstable. It had sounded like metal against metal. Maybe something had fallen? His tools weren't showing any sign of spectral energy. The detective began a slow walk around the circular room where the noise had come from, taking in every detail.
Dawn light was beginning to stream in through the dirty windows, giving the space an ethereal glow. He paused, seeing an odd track in the dust. It looked like something had been dragged…all the way across the room and up until a metal pipe. Then it stopped. Dib's brows furrowed, a hand reaching up to scratch at the back of his head in confusion before the same hand reached out and touched the pipe. Nothing really spectacular about it. He ran his sensor over it just to be safe; nada. "Huh." He said aloud to himself and it was LOUD in the quiet.
Well, the sun was up now. Any spectral being's presence would've long since dimmed with the coming of the day. He'd have to try again tonight. Sighing, Dib shoved his technology into his backpack and exited the way he'd come. On the way back to the rubble pile, his eyes happened to glance at and catch on something; Little holes in the dirt. Sharp, neat holes about a half an inch round. A tiny chill ran up his spine which in turn triggered the boiling of the blood, the adrenaline. Pak legs… Why had Zim been here?
Black eyebrows furrowed in anger and confusion before he forced himself to shake that particular question off. Just wait, he told himself. Wait until Thursday to find out. So, with a final angry puff of air, Dib scampered off, quickly and efficiently exiting the library to try and catch up on sleep. Zim watched Dib disappear from his sight, and didn't move even then. Several minutes passed before Zim finally stood, staring after the empty space where Dib's silhouette had vanished from his view.
A plethora of thoughts rushed passed his mind so fast that he could hardly even focus on one. 'What had Dib been doing here? Why did he seem so eager? Why did he suddenly seem so distraught when seeing Zim's tracks?' Zim clutched a piece of broken cement in his claws, clenching down on it as these thoughts penetrated him. The cement began to crack slightly before Zim chucked it at the remnants of a brick wall, bringing it crashing down in a flurry of dust and dirt. A cry escaped his throat as he felt the familiar anger bubble up inside of him. Words escaped him as he tore at the rubble around him.
"Why?! How?!" He growled. "Why did he look so…fervent? How could he look like that…when he wasn't looking at me?" As these words floated around the air around Zim, he felt something catch in his throat. His PAK was emitting an electronic hum and Zim could feel the heat of it through the thick fabric of his Irken uniform. Before he could stop it, a thick sob escaped from him. Zim's large, magenta eyes glistened in the morning light as tears where pushed up from behind them, and streamed down his flushed cheeks in floods. Dib had that fierce, zealous look in his eyes like Zim had come to recognize as his own, and yet yesterday he had looked straight through Zim!
"Curse you, Dib-Beast!" Zim managed to choke out between sobs. 'Curse you for making me, ZIM, cry!' He thought, as he couldn't manage to form the words. He legs suddenly failed him and he found himself on the dirty ground of a ruined library. His body shook as he tried to keep the tears from emerging, but something from within him kept pushing them out. He felt betrayed by his own body. He didn't understand; how was an Irken Invader reduced to this—a sniveling mess on the filthy ground? If this was what Dib had wanted, then he had won. Zim lowered his head, ashamed of himself for being defeated. Ashamed of himself for being so weak
Something is wrong with Zim. That's why he's crying. Normally he wouldn't be.
Chapter 3: Confrontation
The smell of dust hit him, stagnant and cloying. Zim HAD been at the library. He'd been followed. Dib felt…thrilled. He nearly choked on the scent but, it meant that Zim had been there. Trying to be his enemy still. An odd rush of relief swept through him. Something normal in this huge mess.
The sun was already nearing the middle of the sky by the time that Dib reached his house, stumbled up the stairs and showered away all the sweat, dirt and dust from the library. The stuff ran down his too pale skin in rivulets. Now that he was in someplace quiet where there was nothing to analyze, his mind cut into him and forced him to think about the one thing he didn't want to; Zim.
The teen laid his forehead on the cool tile of the shower, shutting his eyes for a few moments. Those noises, the spider leg tracks in the soil. Zim had followed him. Why? Was it because he had been ignoring the irken? Seemed likely since last time
Dib violently shook his head and turned the water up to as hot as he could. It scalded and turned him an ugly lobster red but, he took the pain and then switched it to cold before throwing himself out of the stall and drying quickly. He had evidence to get to.
A quick snack of chips and a can of soda, before Dib was glued to his laptop. All the information was in front of him. Huh. A small fluctuation here. Some odd activity here. The sounds he'd heard. Like metal against metal. Being pulled towards a pole, almost magnetically it seemed. What on earth would cause that?
Dib took another chug of his soda, one hand running through tangled wet hair. He groaned in confusion, the same hand rubbing behind his left lens. Maybe he should turn in early? Perhaps it would all make sense after he got some slee
A cool breeze ran over his ears and neck, chilling his damp skin. But, that would mean that the window was open. Dib span around in his chair and nearly jumped out of his skin.
"Fuck, Zim!" His hand went to his bare chest, while the other reached for any kind of weapon. The irken was just standing there in the open window, the drapes billowing behind him, evening sun shining on the green skin and metal Pak. There was something about his demeanor it scared Dib.
The alien stood with his hands on his hips, his back straightened and his chest out, trying to make himself as tall as possible. His deep, magenta eyes were sharp as they glared, into the amber eyes of the human that sat before him.
Zim was still for a moment, taking in the sight of the terrified Dib-thing, savoring the surprised look on his face. Finally he approached, slowly, pushing Dib's nightstand out of the way as he jumped off his bed.
"I've had enough of this!" Zim shouted, holding up a balled fist. "I refuse to be ignored any longer! Dib-beast, you WILL give me the respect I so rightly deserve; as an Invader and as your nemesis!" A growl escaped Zim's throat as he felt his squeedily-spooch jump up in his chest; finally, Dib was looking at him with recognition in his eyes, no longer looking through Zim. He wouldn't stand for it any longer, if Dib tried to look away, Zim would MAKE him look him in the eyes.
The Irken stopped in front of Dib, leaning over and putting a hand on each of the chair's arm rests that were on either side of the human. His gaze didn't falter once as he did so, fearing that if he did, Dib would look past him once more.
"Why do you only give up on Zim? What makes you think you have the right to give up on ME? And more importantly; what made you think I would let you?"
Why was it so hot in here? When had Zim come in? When did he think it was a good idea to not wear a shirt? What was he going to do? Did he have anything as a weapon in case Zim attacked? What was that look in the alien's eyes?
"Um.Uh." It was hard to speak when his brain was doing that thing where it went into overload. Question upon question flooded his brain, with hardly any answers. His nail-bitten hand enclosed upon a pencil. That wouldn't do much, but if Zim tried to attack then it would have to do.
Dib bit his bottom lip, feeling way too close to Zim for comfort. "W-what are you doing here, Zim?" He didn't even have the mind to finish the sentence with an overused insult. The human was effectively trapped in his chair, the Irkens arms on either side of him. From here Zim was tall enough that Dib had to tilt his head a few inches in order to look into the magenta eyes.
The smell of dust hit him, stagnant and cloying. Zim HAD been at the library. He'd been followed. Dib felt thrilled. He nearly choked on the scent but, it meant that Zim had been there. Trying to be his enemy still. An odd rush of relief swept through him. Something normal in this huge mess.
Zim grew increasingly frustrated at how the human seemingly dodged the question. He growled a bit, feeling a familiar emotion rise up in him as his PAK began to warm up again, creating a soft hum that filled the air around them. Zim tried to fight it. 'Not here,' He thought. 'Not in front of the Dib-beast.'
"Don't avoid the question!" Zim shouted, unable to mask frustration in his tone. "Why have you been ignoring Zim?!" He gripped the arms of the chair tightly, fighting off the feeling that gripped his chest.
Zim could feel the heat rising from Dib's exposed skin as he leaned over him, his damp hair flat against his scalp, with the exception of that weird scythe-like bit of hair that seemed to defy gravity. And those curious amber eyes that were fixated on him. Zim begged inwardly for those eyes to never leave him, to never look past him again.
"Do I BORE you, Dib-beast? Is Zim not ENGAGING enough for you? Must Zim destroy you before you stop looking past" Zim choked on the words, his mouth tugging at the corners in a deep frown. He shook softly as he lost the battle against the tears that had been threatening to overcome him since he had stepped into Dib's room. He had to look away from the human, not wanting his nemesis to see him in such a weakened state. He mentally slapped himself for even coming at all. He stood up and turned his back against him, trying to act as casual as he could.
He had to clear his throat before beginning again. "My latest plan will surely grab your attention, of this there is no doubt. Surely you are curious as to what it is? Or would you want to wait until your whole race is bowing down before me to figure out what it is?" He tried to act coy, but his own voice was failing him.
'Why?' Zim thought. 'Why is this happening here, of all places?'
Horror. That's what Dib felt as he sat in the swirly chair, frozen to the cheap fabric. The Irkens words were hitting him sure, but all that he could see and hear was that loud humming noise an-nd NO. That couldn't be. That was insane.
Three things that Dib lived by, that made his life normal; Gaz was angry. His father never believed him and Zim didn't cry. The idea was just hilarious. Should've been hilarious. Instead, all he could do was stare at his nemesis as he finally shoved himself away to walk in the opposite direction. Now would be the time to attack.
Now, he thought to himself, fingers clenching around the pencil. Only two things stopped him from doing so. One: Dib hated attacking when his opponent's back was turned and would only do so in dire circumstances. And two: There was a spoon attached to Zim's Pak.
Dib's head tilted to the side, brows furrowing in confusion. "Um. Yeah. Your evil plans and uh, you hideous fiend. I shallum stop you at every turn." Ect ect. His mind was too busy trying to piece something together to think of his words.
Zim quickly wiped his eyes and whirled around, glaring again. His antennae stuck straight up.
"Are you mocking me, Dib-beast?!" He pointed at the human accusingly.
How dare he?! While Zim was being ..SINCERE, Dib was mocking him by pretending to be interested in his plan. Zim clenched his teeth together.
"You wretched human! Must I teach you to fear Zim! Must I destroy your pitiful planet before you take me seriously!?" Of all the humans that had never taken Zim seriously, Dib was never one of them. He could always count on Dib to take his threats to heart. And now that not even HE was interested in battling Zim, what was left for him? Was Zim so much of a failure that not even the Dib-thing was threatened by him anymore?
Was that why Dib had given up on him?
Zim stared at Dib, trying to read his emotions, but he only looked ..confused. This threw Zim off a bit until he noticed that Dib's gaze was fixated on something behind him. He whirled around in a circle, not seeing anything of interest. He growled. 'He's looking past me again!'
Zim's emotions flared up again, causing his face to flush as he glared at Dib. "Look at ME, damnit!" He said, taking a step closer to the human. "I HATE it when you look through me like that! Look at me, and nothing else!" Zim reached out and grabbed Dib's face, forcing the boy to look up at him. "Zim is demanding your attention, and you will give it to him!"
Dib's jaw was suddenly trapped between three sharp claws, all padded by rubber but warm none the less. The grip was bruising, and uncompromising. He was forced to stare up into the irken's magenta eyes. They seemed to glow with the uncharacteristic emotion that Zim was showing.
His breath hitched in the back of his throat. The teen felt unable to do anything for a moment before he jerked his chin out of Zim's hand, growling, showing his teeth as he'd seen the alien do so many times. "Look Zim, just leave me alone for a while! I can't deal with you right now not until" He cut himself off, refusing to give away any information that might incriminate him later.
Of course, in the back of his mind the simple drive to fight this being, to stop all his plans and make him eat his words was powerful. Curiosity was a dangerous thing when it came to the paranormal. What was the irken planning that was so great and powerful? Was it deadly? Lasers? Poisons? Something so ridiculous that Dib would never think of it in a thousand years? The very idea was drugs running through his veins.
Their legs touched and Dib twirled the chair so they weren't anymore, his jaw twitching. A hand quickly reached around Zim, brushing against the irken's shoulder, grabbed the spoon and yanked. It came off with some difficulty, feeling magnetized as he'd suspected earlier. He held it up for both of them to see. It looked dirty and slightly rusted. Proof of Zim following him earlier, if he already hadn't seen the moron's spider leg tracks.
Zim was about to open his mouth to protest against Dib's reluctance to share his secret, when the human had suddenly put an arm around him. The alien was suddenly quiet as he felt the heat of Dib's arm against his neck. 'What the--?'
He almost fell forward when he felt Dib yanking on his PAK, and yelled a quick protest before Dib brought the spoon into view.
His PAK had done it again; first the pole and now this. A wave of confusion and embarrassment washed over Zim as he stared at the rusted utensil. He stood up and snatched the spoon out of Dib's hand, guarding it like he had meant for it to be there. He stammered just a bit before yelling, "Don't touch me, you filthy earth beast! You have no right!" He tossed the spoon away before crossing his arms over his chest.
"And don't change the subject! What are you hiding, Dib-stink? Hm?" His antennae perked up again in curiosity. "What his hindering you from acknowledging the threat to your very own planet? What could possibly be so great?" He stared incriminatingly, trying to read Dib, trying to figure out what it was that was stopping Dib from engaging Zim like he had done before so many times.
The irken's tone of voice rubbed Dib the wrong way. It made it seem like he was purposefully giving up on his planet. "I'm not" He cut himself off as he seemed to be doing so much lately. As a defensive maneuver, he spun in his chair until he faced away from Zim, and instead stared at the computer screen, watching the little UFO screen saver bounce about.
"It's none of your business, Zim. Just go home." His jaw clenched, a hand running through his finally dry hair. Thursday. Just make it to Thursday. In the reflection of the screen he could see the irken behind him; the jade skin, too wide red eyes, flamboyant pink outfit.
The therapist had told him that Zim wasn't real. A figment. A mirror image of himself. Of course Dib denied these ideas. At first but, as time went on and he sat in that chair with someone telling him his whole life in terms of psychology all the signs and all the memories. It all suddenly seemed so, insane. Could he be imagining this even now?
The grip on his chin? The scent of dust? Feel the sense of anger and hurt that was coming off his enemy in waves. Oh god the tears. But, they weren't tears. Of course not. An alien plot. Crocodile tears. Or just something Dib himself had thought he'd seen.
Zim didn't cry. He was too strong and arrogant and self assured for that. Right?
Zim almost didn't know what to say as he stared at the back of the human's chair, Dib's uncombed hair sticking up from behind the seat. More electrical humming emitted from his PAK as Zim roared, grabbing the back of Dib's seat and spinning it around to face Dib.
"You listen to ME, earth pig! I demand that you quit with your secrecy and tell me why you ignore ZIM! I am tired of you turning your back on me and looking through me as if I am not really here! I am in front of you, and I am DEMANDING you tell me what on IRK is going on in the big head of yours! And I am NOT leaving until you give me answers!"
Zim's magenta eyes blazed with anger and adrenaline as he yelled, not even attempting to hold back any longer. He let himself succumb to the gripping anger as it enveloped him. He had done nothing to deserve this sort of treatment.
"And if this is a trick to lure me into some sort of trap, then just DO IT ALREADY, because I can't take it anymore!" Zim breathed heavily as he felt the anger inside of him melt away, and without knowing it, another emotion snuck up on him as his anger faded away. His grimace slowly drifted into a soft frown, and his brow relaxed a bit.
"I'd rather be locked up in a cage, or be experimented on than have you keep looking through me." He confessed before he could stop himself.
As Zim was screaming, Dib's hand was slowly inching towards the pencil again, eyes wide and never moving from the irken's wild expression; one filled with rage and hate and pain. Only the last one confused and made some strong resonance of something similar echo inside of him.
His ears perked because there was that humming again, something to be filed away and studied later when he wasn't in danger of being destroyed by an alien menace. Only he froze as the words began to hit home, barreling into him, through him.
They had been at this for years. This, meaning hating, fighting, arguing, hiding and slowly, ever so slowly learning each other. 'Know Thine Enemy' and it was something they both took seriously. Dib knew all of Zim's weak spots, his favorite foods and scents, the sounds he made when angry and frustrated and disdainful. Dib could count the scars on the other's visible skin. But, Dib had never seen Zim so lost looking.
The human boy looked to the side for a second, debating with himself, with the whole situation. His eyes landed on the spoon which had landed across the room, atop a bunch of old books. How had that gotten there? It was here because it had stuck to the back of Zim's PAK. Dib knew that HE hadn't brought it home.
This was physical evidence. Combined with the devastating dusty smell, the small pinpricks of fear, the shine of the computer screen and dying evening sun in Zim's eyes how could this be fake? How could he let them tell him that this thing, this goal and the annoying alien who lived down his block weren't real?
Dib smiled slowly at the revelations before it was gone just as quickly with Zim's last words. They were his brain didn't want to even think about them. They implied something that wasn't possible. Something that was so insane and yet, Dib identified with them. He shook his head.
"Zim it's well, you know when we were fighting last Monday in front of the Skool? Well, it turns out we damaged public property but, of course they only caught me. "He spared the alien a half hearted glare.
"They took me in and my father pulled some strings, talked to some people and instead of any time or community service I'm seeing a psychologist."
Zim was surprised that Dib was actually complying. He stood up straight and regained he composure, smoothing out his tunic, listening to Dib intently. He felt a sense of accomplishment; finally being able to get through to the human. He could see something click within Dib, although what it was exactly, he couldn't say.
Zim was also stunned by the fact that Dib didn't deploy some sort of attack, or trap, in Zim's hindered emotional state. He was grateful for this, and also for the fact that the human hadn't mentioned it.
Zim was fully aware by now that something within him wasn't working properly, and he had to get to the base as soon as possible in order to diagnose the issue. But, of course, first things first; he had to figure out what was going on with the Dib-thing.
He nodded when he mentioned the fight, but was otherwise silent until Dib mentioned seeing a psychologist. What on Irk was a psychologist? Was this the cause of Dib's strange behavior?
"Eh? 'Sy-call-o-gist'?" Zim didn't even attempt to hide his unfamiliarity with this new term. He waited for Dib to explain to him what the hell it was, and why it mattered.
Dib tried and failed to suppress a smile as the irken's obvious confusion about the word.
And also because of the stalwart way that Zim tried to pretend that none of the emotional junk had just happened. Dib was all too ready to comply. He didn't want to try to analyze this. At least not now.
"A psychologist is someone whose job it is to talk to you about and try to help fix your brain. Well, that's not exactly politically correct but, that's the basics. Essentially, my father is sending me to the doctor to fix my crazy. But, unlike the last few times he's done so, it's also state law. So, I can't ditch these ones "
Which would be a problem. He couldn't afford the few hours it took to go to the stupid place. That was several hours that Zim had to himself to think and plot and create weapons of mass destruction. That wouldn't do. He'd have to come up with some sort of system by Thursday.
"So yeah that's what's been wrong and end of story." He waved a hand in the direction of the window. "Exit is that direction. Thank you for flying with Paranormal Airlines." He spun in the chair again towards his computer. "And if you'll excuse me, I have work to do trying to stop your stupid plans to take over my planet."
Maybe they sounded harsh to outside ears, but this was finally normal. And Dib desperately needed normal. Well, as normal as his life could get anyway.
Zim stood for a moment, not sure how to take in this new information. He didn't quite understand what Dib meant by "fixing his brain", and couldn't help but think of Dib having his head cut open with some doctor pulling out chunks of his brain.
Unacceptable! If anybody if going to be dissecting the Dib-worm, it was going to be Zim! And even then, having somebody keep Dib from Zim wasn't on good terms with the alien to begin with. Dib was ZIM's to destroy, no one else's; if Dib was going to be an unstable wreck, it was going to be because of ZIM.
Finally Zim stepped onto Dib's bed to climb out the window. Seeing the dark sky made Zim wonder how he lost track of time. He hoped that Gir was alright being home alone for so long. Who knows what kind of mischief he could get into?
Zim gave one final look at the boy, wondering if things were truly back to normal with him. He felt doubtful, but had no choice but to wait and see.
"Very well, Dib-stink. I'm leaving, but just know that you haven't seen the last of me! If I suspect you of ignoring me again, I can promise you I won't be so merciful." He ducked out of the small window, letting his PAK legs to free themselves and carry him out.
"Oh! And one last thing!" He said, popping his head into the window. "Watch the sky for rain!" He warned, teasingly before finally scaling down the wall of Dib's house.
Dib had already turned away from watching the irken being obnoxious. He rubbed his eye with his left hand, feeling too sleepy for his own good. However, the last sentence out of Zim's mouth had him sitting up straight.
The chair squeaked as he spun in it too quickly. "Wait! What do you mean by that?" But, Zim was already gone from his view. "Zim!" He jumped from the chair, ran across the room, in the process sending junk flying everywhere. "Zim! What rain?" He heard the moron's evil laughter dissipate into the night.
The teenager scratched his head and sighed. He went back over to his computer and did some weather research. They said it was going to rain tomorrow. He banged his head on the desk. "What did Zim mean? The moron hates the rain " He whispered to himself, confused and kind of afraid to find out.
And also kind of excited.
Gold eyes glanced at the clock; 11:05 pm. Wow. Time flew fast when you were having an argument with your enemy. He dragged himself to bed and flopped down face first. There was plenty of time to find out Zim's evil plan after he got some sleep.
Chapter 4: So Many Problems
The creatures were crawling out from the mud, their bulky bodies dripping dirt and various plants as they emerged. They stood about as tall as the neighborhood houses, and seemed to be made completely out of foliage, with roots twisting over each other to make their arms and legs, and held together by flowers and mud.
Zim felt victorious as he strutted into his house. Luckily, the streets were virtually empty as he had made his way home, since he had forgotten his disguise; it was one less thing he had to worry about. He wasn’t all too concerned, as the streets from Zim’s house to Dib’s weren’t very busy ones.
“COMPUTER! Weather report for tomorrow!” Zim demanded as he made his way to the kitchen.
“Erm….there is an eighty-eight percent chance of rain for tomorrow.” The computer declared obediently.
Zim shivered at the thought of rain as he descended into his base, but it was necessary for his latest plan. According to his research, earth plants needed water to grow. And while his creations were anything but earth plants, their genetic code was similar.
“GIR! Get me the paste!” He barked an order into the air, being sure that wherever Gir was, he’d be able to hear him. “And when I’m done with that, I’ll need to run some tests on my PAK; it seems to be….malfunctioning. Grr….I should’ve kept that spoon.” He regretted throwing it down in Dib’s room; now he wouldn’t be able to experiment with it.
He detached the pink and grey pod from his spine, setting it down on a table with other mechanical trinkets set on it. Working on his PAK always made him a bit nervous; the insides were extremely delicate, and if something went wrong, it could be the end of him.
“But I can’t take any chances….I can’t let Dib see me like that again…” He let himself go back, to when he had cried in front of the Dib-beast. Why had he not said anything? The Dib he knew would’ve thrown it in Zim’s face.
What was Dib thinking? Zim couldn’t tell by his face, but he looked almost….worried?
“No, that isn’t possible.” Zim shook his head. Of course Dib wouldn’t feel sympathy towards Zim. It was a ridiculous thought.
Wasn’t it? Zim found himself lost in thought…
“Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaster!” Gir screeched, throwing himself from a high wire that hung from the ceiling of the laboratory. It was easily forty feet to the floor. But, he had no intention of hitting the floor; Gir was aiming for his beloved master, hands snapping open and shut as he flew…
Torn between letting the robot crash and possibly break (again), and getting hurt horribly by letting it crash into him, Zim finally settled for trying to catch Gir. He went flying to the floor with his arms around the dysfunctional minion.
“Damnit, GIR!” Zim sat up, dropping Gir to the ground. “I can’t afford to have you jumping around while I’m trying to fix my PAK! It already has enough problems as it is.” He sighed, turning his attention back to his life force that sat on the table in front of them.
The little robot giggled excitedly, nuzzling against the irken’s leg like a cat. “Sowwwwee.” Then he hopped up on the table to look at Zim’s Pak curiously. As he leaned over however, his head shot forward and became stuck on the Pak’s metal exterior.
Gir’s eyes grew wide and he let out a loud peal of laughter, waggling his arms around wildly. “It likes me!” It was too heavy for him to try to life his head up so the android just kind flailed about.
“G-GIR! Hold still! Be careful!” Zim held his PAK down as he tried to pry Gir off. Finally after some struggle, Zim was able to get him off. “Stay away from there! This is my very being; if something goes wrong here, it will be the end of ZIM!”
He sighed as he peeled off the exterior, holding his breath. “I don’t understand.” He finally said as he looked over the insides. “What is causing this? I can’t keep getting emotional, and getting things stuck to me!” He growled. “It won’t be long before the Dib-worm will be able to use it to his advantage, I’m sure..”
Gir’s little antenna wilted. “Ooooh. IMA GO TV NAOW!” He bounced his way to the elevator and was gone in seconds. Zim cringed at the scream, glaring as he watched the robot go before sighing with a shake of his head and turning back to his life force…
The Irken’s hand ran down his face, the rubber gone in favor of smooth, warm skin. It trailed down his neck and his bare chest. Dib felt frozen to the spot, his eyes following the alien’s progress. “Z-Zim?” He whispered, brows drawn together in confusion.
“Yes, Dib-Thing?” The irken purred back, ruby eyes heavy lidded and staring at the human, taking in his expression. He stepped closer, their heat combining, invading the human’s personal space. His other hand reached around and played with the hairs that brushed Dib’s neck.
“What are yo-“ He hissed, feeling a rush of desire run through his young body. “you doing?” This was…wrong…Zim’s lips curled up into a fiendish smile, the serpentine tounge sliding out to lick at the green bottom lip.
“Giving us both what we want.” The irk murmured before forcing Dib’s mouth down to his. The teen’s eyes went wide and his own hands flew up to Zim’s shoulders to push him away but, instead only curled into the uniform. He let himself be pushed down back on the computer chair, the chair squeaking with both their weight.
Zim’s thigh slid between both of his, tounge sliding between his lips. Dib’s eyes slowly shut and he gave in to the sensations, biting on the irken’s bottom lip. He felt the other smirk against his mouth. This was wrong. This was supposed to be wrong…but it felt so ri— BOOM!
Dib shot upright in bed, sweating and panting heavily. Confusion ran rampant through his hormone soaked mind. After a few seconds passed he noticed two things; one. He was very uncomfortable between his legs and two; it was raining outside.
It was RAINING OUTSIDE! Dib yelped, his hand hurriedly snatching his glasses from the bedside table and shoving them on. He hopped over old inventions and snack wrappers, before reaching the window. Little drops hit his window. It hadn’t been raining long. It was just starting but, he better do something about this before…before…something happened.
Shaking his head in frustration a such little information, Dib threw on clothes he’d found on the floor and rushed out his bedroom door, stopping only to put on boots, his rainproof trench coat and grab and umbrella. Then he was out the door, running down the street towards the little green house where he might be able to get some answers before…bad things began to happen.
Zim had exhausted all possible causes for his PAK suddenly going haywire. The only thing he could think of was water damage, in which case he’d have to order some replacement parts, which made him even more nervous.
He had finally retreated to his couch, deciding to take a break before over working himself. “I’ll need to call prisoner 777 again…” He thought out loud. He stared at the ceiling while he mulled it over. He was still so confused about everything that had happened in the past day.
“Aargg…this is all Dib’s fault. If he hadn’t gone all crazy, this never would’ve happened.” Which, of course, wasn’t entirely true. “ That infernal human, always ruining things for me and ignoring me. Just thinking about him…!” He let out a few grunts before finally going quiet.
Still, Dib had surprised him last night; he had seemed more relaxed around Zim that he had ever seen before. Even when they were turning into bologna Dib seemed to be on edge constantly. Zim remembered how bold Dib had been to put his arm around him to pull the spoon off his PAK. He remembered the heat of the human’s skin so close to his neck, those amber eyes so close and intent.
All that exposed skin underneath him, letting off so much heat. Speaking of heat, when did it get so warm in here?
The blare of the computer over head made Zim’s eyes spring open. When had he closed them?
“Warning! The Dib-Human is closing in!”
“Dib? What’s he doing?” Zim sat up and looked out the window, surprised to see that it was raining. “Arg! Computer! Why didn’t you tell me it had started to rain!” Zim shouted, flustered.
“Well…I was gonna…but you looked so peaceful.” The computer confessed.
Zim slapped his forehead and ran to the door. “The creatures should awaken any moment now!”
After so many years of doing the same thing over and over again, Dib knew the best pathway in which to avoid the lawn gnomes so they didn’t react to him. There was even a little trail of dead grass where he’d done it before. The teenager was panting, golden eyes darting from place to place suspiciously. On the way here, he’d tried to keep a look for anything that might look out of place but had been unable to see anything major.
He banged on the door continuously. “Zim! Zim, open up! I know you’re in there!” His voice did that thing where it automatically reverted to the high pitched, anxiety filled pitch of his childhood. Excitement and panic of equal amounts rushed in his blood.
The lawn gnomes were finally starting to realize that there was an intruder and were slowly turning around. Dib grimaced. Lasers would begin fly soon if that stupid alien didn’t open the door. “Come on Space-Monster!” He shouted at the top of his lungs, probably disturbing the neighbors.
Zim adjusted his wig and he swung the door open, his lavender eyes wide as he stared down his nemesis. What a warm sight; Dib panicked, flustered and ready to chase Zim to the ends of the earth. Zim missed this even if it had only been for a day or so.
“Oh how nice of you to finally show up.” Zim smiled and leaned against the frame of his door. “What brings you—!” Zim was interrupted by the sound of rumbling not too far off in the distance.
‘Damn! They are too early!’ Zim pushed past Dib and ran down the street.
The creatures were crawling out from the mud, their bulky bodies dripping dirt and various plants as they emerged. They stood about as tall as the neighborhood houses, and seemed to be made completely out of foliage, with roots twisting over each other to make their arms and legs, and held together by flowers and mud.
Granted, Zim had pictured something a little more…formidable, but he was still confident that this would work. He must have planted less than he thought he did, as there were only a couple springing up from the ground. No matter, surely they would still get the job done.
“Yes! Rise, my creations!” He laughed maliciously. “Wreak havoc on this pitiful planet!”
Dib spun on one foot, nearly falling as Zim shoved past him. The gnomes started shooting at him so Dib got out of there quickly, running after the alien monster. Rain splattered on his glasses, blinding him for a few moments. He used his sleeve to wipe them away.
When he looked back up, he was standing next to Zim, face to face with giant, muddy, flowery…things. “Zim…”He began, brows furrowed, head tilted in confusion as the monsters squelched their way out of their bushes. “What the hell are those things?”
Sure, they were creepy but…also kind of ridiculous. They didn’t seem like they could do much. But, Dib had learned never to underestimate or over estimate Zim.
Zim had to do a double take between his creations and Dib before grinning.
“Yes! Truly you are amazed! No earth monkey would EVER suspect their own garden rising up against them!” His laughter soon turned to yelps of pain however, as he soon realized that in his efforts to fix his PAK, he had forgotten to bathe in paste. He darted around in panic before diving underneath a car.
“G-Go, my creations! Destroy the Dib-beast!” He screamed, pointing out from under the car at Dib.
The creatures turned their heads and groaned before meandering towards the boy.
The human was caught between laughing at the image that Zim made and yelling at him for being such a moron. So he kind of did both. A snort broke its way through just before the irken ordered the walking-salads to attack him.
His eyes widened and then narrowed, as he gripped his umbrella tightly. “Alright then. Come at me, you stupid looking things.” The first one lunged at him and he sideswiped it with the umbrella. It cut through the mud, sending the top half of the creature falling backwards to the pavement with a sickly squelch. The other half kept coming.
Dib scowled, disgusted but not discouraged. A second one with some daises poking out of it reached for him and the teenager dodged before cutting off the arms. While he was doing that though, a third one had tackled him.
The paranormal investigator ‘humphed’ as he fell to the street, scrapping his chin on the black top. He growled low in his throat, feeling sticky mud slipping under his collar. “Okay. Now I’m pissed.” He punched through the creature’s slimy chest and crawled away.
The umbrella destroyed two more, cutting the top and then the bottom of their bodies apart so all they were was mud on the ground. The wet soil splashed everywhere kind of like what blood would do in these same circumstances had it been human and uh, not an umbrella as a weapon.
Zim watched wide eyed from his spot under the car, his lavender irises following Dib as he slashed his way effortlessly through Zim’s hard work.
Still, Zim had to admit, the human was a prime example of an excellent warrior, they way he darted about and such. Zim couldn’t help but observe his movements with a small smirk on his face. From a fighter’s perspective, of course!
But his smirk quickly melted away as he noticed that all his creatures had been so easily defeated. “Damnit!” He cursed. “How could this BE?!”
Finally all the creatures were gone, being washed away in the rain and Dib was covered in mud. He spun on his heel and walked over the old Chevy, kneeling down to look for the irken. “Is that all you got?” He asked, out of breath.
Zim got quiet as Dib approached, racking his brain for a plan B. “Of course it isn’t, filthy earth beast!” He looked around quickly, feeling cornered. How could he forget to bathe in paste!
“Um…those were….only a distraction! YES! And you’ve fallen right into my trap!” He pointed victoriously from under the car.
The finger nearly touched his nose. Dib’s gold eyes crossed in an attempt to look at it before he realized how stupid he was being. An odd feeling began to creep up in him, joining the anger and disgust. Without thinking, he leaned forward and bit the irken’s finger. Not hard but, just enough to put pressure on the rubber glove.
Before the irken could react however, he let go and bounded away from the car. “Oh yeah, Space-Boy? Prove it. I bet you seriously thought you could destroy my planet with a bit of mud and leaves!” He scoffed, standing with his hands on his hips heroically. Of course at that second some jack ass decided to drive by stupidly close to the gutter and splash watery mud all over him.
Dib sputtered, wiping the muck away from his glasses. “Jerk.”
He felt the human’s teeth bite down on his finger, his face contorting in confusion. ‘Did he just bite me!?’ Zim growled and darted out from under the car, ignoring the burns that quickly ensued.
“How dare you soil my superior digit with your…your…GEERMS!”
After all his hard work, this wretched human had almost effortlessly discarded his latest plan as if it was nothing. He couldn’t let this be the end of it, not after all the crap the human had put him through!
Without another thought, the alien lunged for the boy, arms outstretched and ready to claw.
Dib’s eyes widened with surprise, as he held his hands out in front of him to hopefully avoid the most painful scratches. “Zim! The rain, you moron!” He screamed just before they both went to the soggy earth. The teen grunted as the alien scratched his face, but it wasn’t too painful because there was rubber between them.
“Get off of me!” He barked, grabbing both of Zim’s arms and flipping them over so that Zim was beneath him. “HA!” Victoriously, he stuck his tounge out in the other’s face. The rain was still falling but, not nearly as hard as before. Tiny smoke clouds were wafting off of Zim’s skin. Unthinkingly, the human hunched over so that less rain hit the little green psychopath. “Why didn’t you bathe in paste?”
Zim struggled for a bit underneath the human, but stopped once he realized that he was somewhat shielding him from the rain. He grunted and relaxed a bit underneath Dib.
“Grr…I had…other things to do...” He said between cringing from the pain. It was a relief to not have the rain falling on him as much anymore, but the ground was still soaking. “What’s it matter to you, anyway?” He asked with an accusing look. He didn’t really want to admit that he had a glitch in his PAK, as he was uncertain as to how Dib would use it against him.
Immediately, Dib went on the defensive, his face contorting to be a mask of distain. “It doesn’t matter.” After a few more seconds the teenager released the irken and stood up, realizing he was still covered in mud. That fact suddenly bothered him A LOT.
Disgusted, he picked up his umbrella from the ground and threw it in the Irken’s general direction. “Here. Use that to get home.” He shoved his hands in his pockets, and stopped for a second, wonderingly. “And in case you don’t know what it does, you just unfold it until it clicks and then it stops the rain from hitting you.”
Having done his duty for the day, Dib scuffled down the street, hoping to go home and rid himself of this stupid mud…plus he was beginning to shiver violently. Which wasn’t a good thing the last time he’d checked.
Zim watched as Dib stood up, suddenly feeling cold as Dib’s body heat left him. He snatched up the umbrella and stood up, shaking it at him. “I know how to use this…..thing!” He yelled, defensively. Although Dib seemed disinterested as he continued on his way home, not looking back. Zim said nothing as he watched him walk away, opening his umbrella and holding it over him.
He couldn’t help but feel…disappointed. Not in the fact that his plan had failed, and in all honesty he didn’t know WHY he felt that way. He turned away and sulked home, staring at his feet the whole way.
Dib kicked a rouge can out of his way, before turning up the pathway to his house. He shoved the door open, immediately discarding all wet clothing items except for his boxers and undershirt. “Hey Genius, don’t drip that crap everywhere. I just cleaned.”
Gaz’s voice brought no real feeling to him except annoyance. “Yeah, yeah.” He yelled back in the couch’s direction before stumbling upstairs and into the shower, desperately scrubbing at the mud. He tried to talk to himself and even resorted to naming all the elements. Anything to stop the fact that now he was alone and the world was saved…now he could think.
Now he could remember what he’d dreamt of last night before the rain had woke him up. Now he could think about why he had cared about Zim being covered in paste and rained upon. Dib shook his head, angrily shampooing his hair.
He DIDN’T care. Not at all. Then what about the dream?, the little voice inside his head whispered. What had that dream been about? His face flushed from even thinking about it. In it…Zim and he had been touching and kissing…His brows furrowed. Maybe it was just that really weird thing that all teen boys went through.
‘Wet dreams’ and other awkward stuff like that. Yeah. It had to be that. The other possibility was too much for him to even consider. He turned the shower off and dried himself the best he could before slumping into his messy room and over to his computer. For the rest of the night he occupied himself with research about the fluctuations he’d found at the old library.
“What is his deal!?” Zim yelled as he opened the front door to his house. “First he ignores me, now he’s giving me….THIS thing?” He waved the umbrella about before tossing it to the floor, not bothering (or know how) to close it. “That boy infuriates me more than anything on this wretched planet!”
He threw his mud covered form onto the couch, his face buried in its cushions. He wanted to focus on how mad he was at that human; he wanted to be furious at him! But all he could think about was his face as he sheltered him from the rain, the concern he had for why Zim hadn’t bathed in paste. Why did Dib care, anyway?
The familiar hum of his PAK filled the air as Zim’s face flushed against the cushions, his antennae pressed flat against his scalp. He gripped the couch, not able to figure out why he felt so…flustered!
He just wanted things to be the way they were…
Then he realized something: it was all because of this ‘Sy-call-o-gist’. Whatever that is, and whatever it did, Dib hasn’t been the same since he saw it. Whatever it was, it must be stopped.
Chapter 5: Believe
She took his confidence in himself, in the paranormal, in Zim and reduced it to some misplaced childhood memories. Destroyed his brilliant ideas. Made his hopes and dreams sound like cheap B grade horror movies.
Thursday came around much too quickly for Dib’s liking. Between the rainy day fight with the walking salads and now he had barely seen Zim at all. But, that might’ve been because he’d hardly left the house. He was too…frustrated to face Zim. Every night this week he’d had the same dream and it made him feel a bit insane. Which was ironic when you thought about it. And all he did was think about it.
It was 8 o’ clock am when Dib, yawning and chewing on a Pop-tart, slid into the passenger seat of the family car. Membrane talked about science the whole way there while Dib nodded casually and occasionally gave input. But, the whole subject bored him so, he hardly listened.
They pulled up in front of the big office building, with the fancy label and even fancier names all over the label. “Okay, Son. I’ll pick you up at 10.” Membrane said, patting Dib on the back. The teenager nodded his agreement, secretly knowing that his father would forget as always.
He didn’t watch the car drive away, instead stared down the building as he approached the double doors. The ride in the elevator was uneventful except for the stupid music that played cheerfully from the speakers which reminded him of something Gir might sing.
After he checked in, the receptionist led him to the correct room. Dib steeled himself, throwing his shoulders back. Zim was real. He wasn’t insane. This was just people being ignorant as always. The second he walked into the room though, a sense of dread washed over him just as it had last time.
The smell of hand sanitizer and the ladies perfume reached him, leeching him of all positive thoughts even as he tried desperately to hang onto them. She smiled at him, her red lips stretching, gesturing for him to take a seat. Dib did and felt trapped…
The next two hours he spent getting every single thing he said picked apart and reasoned out. She took his confidence in himself, in the paranormal, in Zim and reduced it to some misplaced childhood memories. Destroyed his brilliant ideas. Made his hopes and dreams sound like cheap B grade horror movies. It was like it was last time…Zim couldn’t be real.
Aliens couldn’t exist. The whole thing because he needed to cope with the loss of his mother, his father’s neglect, the lack of friends as a child. He needed something important and so created the enemy.
He didn’t tell her about the dreams.
When the psychologist finally told him their time was up, Dib stood numbly and walked to the door. She put her hand on his shoulder, smiling down at him before saying, “See you next week!” He nodded slowly and stumbled out of the building. His lips were chapped, eyes dry and he felt broken, on the edge of the abyss.
What was he going to do now?
Zim had been waiting for Dib to emerge from his house for at least an hour before he finally did so. This was it; Zim was going to find out what this whole thing was about, and he was going to put a stop to it.
He jumped from rooftop to rooftop, following the car as it sped down the road. Dib had holed up in his house for the past week; even though Zim could have sworn things were….relatively back to normal.
Although even he could not deny the strange tension between the two the last time they had encountered each other. There was something in Dib’s eyes that Zim couldn’t identify, and it drove him mad. Zim wanted to say that it was something close to longing, but that didn’t make any sense at all, given the circumstances.
Once they finally reached their destination, Zim watched Dib enter the building before snaking around to find the right window. He perched himself above the window, a listening device hanging out of his PAK, and sat quietly as he listened.
He couldn’t believe what he was hearing! This strange earth-woman was using her mind tricks to convince the Dib-thing that Zim wasn’t real! How could that be? And even worse; Dib was buying it?! Truly the female was formidable to be able to manipulate Dib’s mind with such ease.
Zim growled in his throat as he heard Dib leave. No, this would not do, not at all.
He would have to convince Dib once and for all that he was real, and he was not going anywhere.
Of course as soon as he got outside, there was no one waiting for him, as he had predicted. No family car. With a long suffering sigh, Dib shoved his hands into his deep pockets and began walking towards home. His feet scuffed along the slowly cooling pavement, eyes to the ground and mind in the clouds.
His thoughts, which normally zoomed around at a million miles an hour were for once, stagnant and silent. He only had one and it repeated itself over and over again,‘Zim isn’t real…’. The paranormal investigator grit his teeth before kicking a stray beer can that had gotten in his way, across the street.
Zim ran out from behind the doctor’s building, rubbing his newly irritated eye, as he had just put in his contacts. He searched around a little before finally spotting the familiar silhouette off in the distance. He was surprised at how far Dib had managed to get before Zim was able to scale the wall of the building and slip into his disguise.
He was still able to catch up to him rather easily, sprinting down the side walk after the human. He slowed down as he approached and walked up to him casually; he didn’t want to startle the boy and get a round-house kick in the gut.
“Psh! Can you believe that wretched female?” Zim asked, not looking at Dib. “Trying to convince you that Zim isn’t real? Like that would be possible!” He tried to appear as casual as possible, testing Dib, but he was afraid that his nervousness might have shown in his voice. “The nerve!” He growled.
The human’s head shot up at the sound of Zim’s voice, eyes widening behind his glasses. He was forced to bite down on his bottom lip to force himself to be quiet when in reality he wanted to whirl around and either round house the son of a bitch for following him to his therapist’s and also…do other bad things. Dib shook his head, violently clearing that train of thought.
In response to the alien…he said nothing. What was the point? A demented hallucination was what this was and the sooner he began to accept that fact the easier his life would be. He could move on. The sun was beginning to go down, he realized. Which meant that all the buses would be done for the day.
“Fuck.” He croaked. A rock crossed his path and went sailing into someone’s back yard. It didn’t help much to try to ignore Zim. The little moron was such a loud presence with his boots clacking against the concrete, and fabric brushing. Dib was unable to stop himself from rolling his eyes, which was stupid. This was all fake. In his head. Insanity.
Zim stared in disbelief at the human. No, not after what happened last time. Zim walked a bit faster and circled around; facing Dib and making him stop in his tracks.
“No! Don’t tell me…you actually believe that moron!” Zim clenched his fists as he shortened the distance between the two of them. “Look at Zim! Look at Zim and say out loud that you do not believe I am here! That I am not here right now in front of you, blocking your way home!” He desperately searched those golden eyes for just a glimmer of recognition, of doubt in that female’s words. “TELL ME!”
Dib pulled up short, even doing so much as to take a step backwards from the alien.
Instinct demanded that he yell right back in Zim’s face. Instead, he grit his teeth and looked away, down at the street where their shadows played across the black pavement and connected at their heads. It made them seem so much closer than they were. Intertwined.
“How can I believe you?” He hissed, hands in his pockets, fisting the fabric. “When I can’t believe myself?” He shook his head, brows furrowed. “You’re just my imagination. As you’ve always been, Zim. Now…move.”
“No!” Zim shouted. He felt his anger rise up in his face, making his cheeks flare up uncomfortably. “What did I tell you last time, Dib-worm; I won’t be so nice about convincing you this time!”
He continued to make his way closer to his nemesis as Dib backed up. “How can I be your imagination if we have fought so many times before? You and I both have scars from our fights! How can those be made up?” He reached out and snagged the sleeve of Dib’s coat, tugging on it lightly. “How can you imagine me grabbing you? Can you not feel how real Zim is?!”
‘Please,’ He begged inwardly. ‘Don’t believe her. Believe in Zim!’
The human’s lips parted, eyes glued to Zim’s claws wrapped around his coat sleeve. Then they flew up to the irken’s face, which was blushing a light violet color with his rage. There was the scar on his green cheek from the moist wash cloth he’d hit him with nearly two years ago in response to Zim’s attack. Dib had claw marks down the left side of his back from that fight.
Dib lifted his own hand and brought it to Zim’s face, letting the finger tips brush over the scar, brows furrowed. Could he…could he be real? So many memories…ones that could be completely false. Dib’s face screwed up in pain, as he jerked his hand away from the Irken’s face and his claws.
“Leave me alone, Zim. Just let me…think.” With that he shoved past his enemy, walking much faster than he had been before.
Dib’s fingers were cool against Zim’s flushed cheeks. He was surprised and winced a bit as the human gingerly touched the spot on his cheek, but when he realized that Dib wasn’t going to hurt him, he was frozen. A small shiver ripped through the alien’s small frame at the feel of that gentle touch.
He opened his mouth to say something, but was quickly shoved to the side as Dib walked past him. He was left standing in utter confusion and anger. He would prove to Dib that he was real; there was no doubt about it. If he could do it once, he could do it again.
“If you think this is the end of it, then you are sadly mistaken, human.” Zim said after him, although he knew that Dib wouldn’t be able to hear.
Chapter 6: Different
"Welcome to your session, Dib-worm.” Zim greeted, cocking his head to the side. “We’re going to be doing things a little differently, today.”
Dib knew he was being whiney and stupid and emo but, he couldn’t help it. He needed to think and he did his best thinking when he was locked up with nothing but, his ceiling and the occasional snack stolen from the kitchen. It had been a good three days since he had shown his face to the outside world.
Right now he was running through his mental record of all the scars he had, all the time he’d been hurt by the obnoxious green alien and trying to make excuses for each and every time. Eventually though even he tired of his own brooding and went to open the window to let in some fresh air to wash away the lovely smell of teenage boy.
He took in the view which wasn’t much but, it was enough to make him want to go outside. Shaking his head, Dib leaned against the window seal and looked at his messy room. How long had it been since he’d clea--
A sudden pain had him falling to the floor, staying in that position for a good few seconds in an instinctive move to make sure there were no more attacks upon his person. Once he was sure there was none, Dib opened his eyes blearily. Right in front of his nose was his umbrella. He knew it was his because it had little yellow smiley faces on it.
The human’s hand curled around the rain deflector. It wasn’t muddy anymore. Zim had cleaned it…and it was here. How could it be here if…he had let the irken borrow it and the weird monsters and Zim’s body underneath his…the feel of being pressed against his computer chair…
Dib threw the umbrella across the room, jumping to his feet to lean out the window, eyes darting back and forth in search of the irken.
Zim pressed himself against the wall underneath Dib’s window, hoping that he didn’t stand out too much. He didn’t want to be noticed right now; he only wanted to give Dib a small reminder that Zim wasn’t giving up on him before he went to work on his new plan.
His new plan to get the old Dib back; he’d have to start at the cause of all this. He’d have to stop it at its cause.
He looked up to see Dib leaning out of his window and closed his lilac-colored eyes in an effort to become invisible.
‘Patience; there’ll be plenty of time for confrontation in the very near future.’ He thought to himself, fighting the urge to jump into Dib’s room to give the human a piece of his mind.
After a few minutes Dib gave up with a scoff and slammed the window shut, twisting the blinds closed and stumbling across his darkened room and to his bed, flopping down on the covers. He glared at his wall with the giant collection of snap shots and sketches of Zim pinned to it.
With a feral growl, he pulled a pillow over his head and hoped to smother himself before Thursday came around.
And when it did, Dib was practically dragged from his room by his father and to the giant brown building. “I’ll pick you up later, Son!” Membrane said cheerfully as he drove off.
Dib’s hood covered his face so his father didn’t see the mocking way his mouth copied the statement. With a dreadful sigh, the teenager dragged himself inside and into the elevator which hadn’t increase in its musical quality by one bit. Once the doors opened he reluctantly shuffled down the hallway and knocked on the wooden door of the Doctor’s office.
“Come in.” The voice on the other side of the door shouted, rather cheerily. The expression on Dib’s face when he entered the doctor’s office was one that Zim will always remember.
Zim sat at the doctor’s desk with a proud grin on his face, his fingers laced in front of him nonchalantly. His magenta eyes and antennae were free from their usual disguises, but the alien didn’t seem too worried about it.
“Welcome to your session, Dib-worm.” Zim greeted, cocking his head to the side. “We’re going to be doing things a little differently, today.”
Golden eyes flew from the bound up woman on the floor back to Zim, his mouth slightly open in astonishment. “Wh-wha?” Was all he seemed to be able to say for the moment. Could this really be happening? Zim looked extremely cocky, smirk curled up at the ends.
Dib didn’t know whether to laugh or faint. It seemed that around the alien he always seemed to feel two equal emotions that pulled him in two directions. “Um. What?” He stepped over the knocked out therapist, towards the irken. “Why are you here? Why did you tie up th-the doctor?”
“The fact that you even have to ask is proof of your un-ending stupidity, earth-beast! But if you want Zim to say it, then he will!” Zim jumped up onto the desk, kneeling so that he was eye level with Dib.
“I did this for you!” He pointed a claw at the woman that was tied up on the floor. “I did this so that nobody would ever make you question my being again!” He jumped down onto the floor, closing in on the human, his eyes fixed on Dib’s, never faulting. “Nobody is allowed to have that kind of power over you, except for me! You are MINE to destroy, and MINE alone!”
Zim reached out and hooked a claw to the collar of Dib’s shirt, pulling him down to Zim’s eye level. “Now that you are free from her reign, you will no longer have an excuse to ignore Zim.”
Dib’s breathing sped up double time and he blamed the alien for that. He blamed the alien for the dreams and for how hot it was under his collar. His eyes flickered to the tied up, unconscious woman on the floor. Finally, his throat felt moist enough to allow for speech.
“I don’t belong to you, Zim.” He hissed, eyes narrowing as he felt a dangerous spark in his belly. “I don’t belong to anyone…”
Zim hadn’t even bothered to put his disguise on to do this stunt and Dib preferred the bloody red eyes better than the fake periwinkle contacts. And since he was all for science, all for analyzing his surroundings Dib took in the light green lips, and devious smile.
The human’s jaw twitched, biting down on his bottom lip. “Let go of me, you freak.”
Zim clutched onto Dib’s shirt now, not willing to let him escape if he tried, but Zim had an odd feeling that he wouldn’t. Zim observed the human’s eyes; how they darted about, and landing on his lips every so often. What was he thinking?
“Oh, you don’t think so?” Zim said in a low voice, almost a whisper. “Now that I’ve saved you from this…..’sy-call-o-gist’, I’ve got you all to myself. And do you honestly think anybody is going to stop me? I’ll hunt down anybody who tries to touch you; you and I both know this is true. How else do you need me to claim you, Dib-thing? Must I carve my initials in your skin?” He was honestly thinking about this last bit.
They both knew it was true; Zim wouldn’t let Dib belong to anybody else, in any way.
He stared into those golden orbs, not being able to look away. He could feel Dib’s heat emanating from under his shirt, and he couldn’t help but feel a bit warm himself as it seemed that the distance between them was becoming even shorter now.
Zim could feel his cheeks flare up again, something within him churning and thumping loudly. Was it always this warm in here?
Dib was suddenly assaulted with flashes of carvings in his skin, blood dripping down and—he shook his head, jaw clenching. Zim was slightly violet again, breathing faster and it brushed against his lips. “I would—I would stop you, Zim.” He whispered, feeling his eyes go heavy lidded…it felt like he was being magnetized towards the irken.
Heat wafted off of both of them and Dib found that it was very hard to breathe. What was happening to him? It felt like the dreams… “You don’t control me and if anyone is getting their skin carved up it’ll be you.”
Dib felt it. The low, slow burning inferno in his gut making its way through his veins, heating his cheeks and eyes. Zim’s claws were in his collar still, and Dib lifted his own hands and grabbed the irken’s wrist, yanking Zim toward him, till their bodies touched. “And I’ll fight you for that opportunity.” Electricity…
Zim could see the fire burning within the human’s golden eyes; he could feel that same fire burning through him. He felt like he was overheating, but he didn’t want that feeling to go away.
The human was pulling him in, they were touching now and Zim could feel his heat against his chest. He felt himself go light headed, and gripped onto Dib with both hands to keep himself from floating away. Everything he was doing now was fueled by instinct, and a deep seeded need that he didn’t quite understand.
“And just what would you do with me if you could claim me, Dib-thing?” He asked in a soft whisper against Dib’s lips.
The human’s eyelids fluttered shut with the sensations, but he didn’t want to miss even a second of…whatever this was so they were open again soon, focused entirely on Zim. On his eyes, lips and their bodies together. How many times had he dreamed of something like this? Was this a dream now? Would he wake up in his bed or on his floor, uncomfortable and terrified of what was happening to him?
“I would possess you. All of you…” Dib hissed, tilting his head to bring their lips more in line. “without mercy.” Then, because he was afraid he would wake up and he was afraid that Zim would come to his senses before it could happen, the human pressed his mouth over the aliens, nipping on his bottom lip…
The sensation was new to Zim, and it took him by surprise. He was frozen in place while he tried to process what exactly was happening. But the feel of Dib’s warm, soft lips pressed against his own soon made trying to rationalize it seem pointless.
He didn’t know what to do; his hands roamed aimlessly across the human’s shoulders and neck, and he pressed himself closer against him. The sensation of Dib’s teeth nibbling on his lip sent shivers down his spine and made his knees almost give out underneath him.
Waves of heat and pleasure washed over him as he tried his best to mimic Dib’s actions; softly nibbling and licking his lips between their deep, passionate kisses.
Based on Zim’s obvious consent, Dib took it upon himself to take the kisses deeper, licking the irken’s top lip, coaxing his mouth open and letting his tounge slip inside. Zim tasted sweet. Like candy. The human couldn’t help the groan that worked its way up through his curling toes and out his throat.
He increased the pressure, biting hard on Zim’s top lip, whilst pulling the irken closer and closer, their bodies rubbing together in all the right places. This felt so wrong…and that made it seem so right. This was his enemy. The one being who he despised more than anything else in the entire world…
The back of Dib’s knees hit the therapist couch, sending them backwards.
Zim welcomed the human’s tongue with his own, enjoying the difference in texture. The sensation of their tongues intertwining sent Zim over the edge; he felt himself give in to the human, surrendering himself completely. He wanted more, and as they fell onto the couch, Zim let his hands explore Dib’s torso. Zim pushed up his shirt, running his gloved claws along his skin, longing to hear the human groan again.
He twirled his serpentine tongue around Dib’s, exploring every crevice in his mouth, taking in the strange—yet exotic flavor.
Zim got his wish, because as soon as Dib felt the soft rubber running across his skin, a harsh moan tore itself from his throat. He broke away for air, gasping, a hand curling around Zim’s chin before he smashed their lips together once, twice more.
“I want you…” Dib whispered, before ravishing the alien’s neck, nibbling and licking. He picked a spot and began to suck until there was a nice blue bruise forming.
“I’ve wanted you,” a hand curled around the irken’s antenna, stroking lovingly. “forever…” There was rustling behind them but, Dib easily ignored it since he was a bit preoccupied at the moment.
Zim nearly lost it as he felt those warm fingertips gingerly stroking his sensitive antennae; his body quaked and he gripped the seat of the couch, a loud moan escaping his lips. He wanted to give Dib what he begged for, he wanted to please Dib and make him feel as good as he was making Zim feel.
Acting on instinct, he grabbed the ends of his cherry colored uniform and brought it up above his head, quickly discarding it to the floor. He wanted to feel the warmth of skin against skin, but as he was lifting up Dib’s shirt, an unfamiliar groaning noise distracted him. He gave a quick peek over his shoulder to the limp body on the floor finally coming to life. The rag around her mouth muffled her confused cries, but not enough to ignore.
Not giving too much thought about it, Zim shrugged and returned to his over-heating human beneath him, eager to taste all that skin.
The sound of Zim’s groan was music to his ears, making him ten times more crazed for the irken. The small pause in touching had his eyes opening a bit to watch the uniform go over the alien’s head, falling to the floor, forgotten. All that remained was gorgeous…ivy skin.
Dib reached up and ran a hand over Zim’s belly, caressing every inch he could reach. It was soft. Too soft. It didn’t feel real. Like silk or velvet…Dib’s eyes flew up to the irken’s face which was slightly flushed, ruby eyes so dark they were practically black.
The same sound of rustling fabric and muffled cries had the human furrowing his brow for a second in confusion. It wasn’t coming from him. Or from Zim…he turned his head foggily and looked over the side where the therapist was finally awake and struggling in her bonds.
It brought him back to the present quicker than any splash of cold water could. The haze in his eyes cleared, his body cooling at the sight of his doctor struggling on the floor. He blinked and realized that Zim was on top of him…topless and covered in hickies…The teenager scrambled away, nearly falling off the couch and without a doubt sending the alien flying. “Oh shit. OH shit. Oh shit.”
Dib ran a nail bitten hand through his mused hair, feeling his lips tingle with the bruising kisses, nibbles. He took a deep breath. “Zim…we have to let her go.”
Zim first hit the couch as he fell backwards, then rolled off and hit the floor. He stayed face down on the ground for a moment, a bit dazed. Did he do something wrong? His antennae twitched as he grew angry at the rejection. He slowly stood up and turned to face Dib.
“How dare you reject ZIM! “ He yelled, his violet cheeks slowly diminishing as he came down from his high. Suddenly, new sensation became known to him as the veil of passion lifted away. His neck and shoulders stung and ached from Dib’s love-bites. His lips and mouth tingled from the human’s saliva, and his groin was slightly raw from rubbing against Dib in his pants.
He grabbed at his neck and rubbed at the sore spots. “Ouch! What did you do to my superior skin!?” He accused Dib, ignoring his comments about the female that was becoming increasingly panicked as she became more aware of her situation.
The human blinked blankly for a few moments, staring at Zim and the love-bites. “Um. I gave you hickies…” He responded, feeling just as shocked as the alien was. He still had the taste of sweetness in his mouth, it was kind of hard to walk still…Dib shook his head to clear it of the memories of what had only transpired a few minutes ago. There would be time to freak out about it later.
The human knelt next to the doctor, grimacing. “I’m sorry about that.” His fingers fumbled with the knots, feeling extremely clumsy at the moment. He blamed Zim for that. Finally, the ropes became looser allowing for the doctor to struggle a bit.
A panicked groan escaped Zim’s lips as he circled around, trying to see the sore spot on his shoulder.
“Hick-eeeeees?” He questioned in an obviously panicked tone. “Are they dangerous?! Is this an earth ailment!? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ZIM!?”
The woman shook fiercely, trying to stand up on her feet, but failing and falling down on her ass.
“An a-a-a-a-alien!” She stammered, pathetically, as she scurried away and pressed herself to the wall. “Everything you said was true! Zim…he’s….it’s…..an alien! And it’s here in my office!” Her face was one of pure terror as she looked up at Dib, a silent scream on her face. She made a few choking noises before finally spitting out, “And you were making out with it!”
Zim finally left his hickies alone long enough to stand directly behind Dib, leaning over him to watch the human girl with a bored look on his face. “Mmm….I’ll have to replace her brain with something.” He mused nonchalantly. Watching the female scurry about wasn’t as amusing to Zim as the first time she had seen him when he came into her office, when she had fainted. He only watched her now, waiting for her tantrum to die down a bit so he could abduct her to his base.
Dib blinked, kind of lost. Then his left eye twitched. Zim was leaning over him, looking over his shoulder quite nonchalant. His personal space was suddenly very important to him. He jumped away from the irken and walked over to the therapist.
“Look, lady, I’ll pay you. My dad is a very, very rich man if you didn’t already know…so, here’s the deal,”
A quick glance at Zim showed that the moron still hadn’t put a shirt on and the hickies stood out much too obviously for his liking. Dib bent and picked up the uniform, throwing it his general direction.
“You didn’t see an alien and you tell the state I’m cured and you get biiiiig bucks. Oh, and as a bonus I don’t let this nice, green normal boy replace your brain with a lamb’s. Sound good?”
Zim growled a bit as his uniform flew out of the human’s hands and hit him in the face. He glared at Dib before pulling it back on, not realizing until after he was dressed just how cold he was.
What was the human’s deal? Just a moment ago he was begging Zim to take him, now he just seemed pissed. Well fine, if that was what the Dib-thing wanted, then Zim would gladly comply.
Or…maybe just comply. Or…maybe not.
He shook his head as he opened his PAK compartment that held his wig and contacts, putting them on reluctantly. His antennae were still aching to be caressed by those warm fingers, and were irritated by the harsh material of the wig. He crossed his arms over his chest and glowered at the ground.
“I DON’T CARE!” The woman shouted, making Zim jump. “I just want you out! OUT! OUT!” She pointed at the door, her other hand covering her face, not being able to look at the boy she first thought was just ill, but now was clearly in cohorts with an extraterrestrial. She shook violently as she sat against the wall.
The human let out a violent puff of air, rolling his eyes and realizing that the bitch would probably just be thought of as insane herself if she told anyone. Which in the long run might turn out well for everyone involved. He wouldn’t have to come here anymore.
“Fine.” He turned on his heel, grabbed Zim by the wrist and tugged. “Move it, Space-boy.” As soon as he did it he knew it would be a mistake. Zim hated being bossed around but, Dib thought that if the irken would listen at anytime it would be now.
Chapter 7: Mutual
From here he could see their shadows, intertwined at the hands. Dib shook his head, thinking that this was just about the weirdest fucking thing he'd ever done before…and he had done a lot of weird shit in his too short life.
Zim followed Dib, but not without protest. He puffed out his chest and straightened his back as Dib led them out of the room. “Who do you think you are, grabbing at Zim like this?!” He pointed at the hand that was gripped firmly around Zim’s tiny wrist. “Just because you stuck your slimy tongue in my mouth does NOT mean you are at liberty to command ZIIIM!” He protested loudly as they marched through the lobby.
He didn’t want Dib to think that now he could boss him around. Still…it was better than being ignored.
Dib’s eye twitched. Again. Damn this alien was loud. “Shut your mouth, Zim.” He ground out, grip tightening on the alien’s wrist. The ‘or else…’ wasn’t said out loud but it was there. People who were waiting in the lobby, looked up from what they were doing with all kinds of expressions that ranged from offended to interested to approving.
The teenager glared at all of them, throwing open the front door and practically shoving the irken outside, the sun hitting them both with unpleasant warmth. “I may not be at liberty to command you but, I didn’t see you complaining about my supposedly slimy tounge, Zim.”
Zim grimaced at the sun as he was shoved outside, although he welcomed the fresh air. He hadn’t realized how stuffy it was in that room until he was finally outside. He spun around and pointed a claw at the human, his face flushing in a mixture of embarrassment and anger, his lilac contacts locked onto Dib’s eyes.
“I could say the same about you, and yet you are acting as if I was the one who made you get all…touchy…feely.” He motioned to his person, patting his stomach and chest as if to remind Dib that he had touched him there. “And I HAVE a right to complain! I didn’t infect YOU with these….HICKEEES.”
The human rolled his eyes, shoving his hands in his pockets and began walking in the direction of his house just as he had did every Thursday before this and would hopefully do for the last time. The Irken's rantings were surprisingly not surprising.
Zim followed along behind him, arms flailing in anger, being really annoying and each word that came out of his big mouth just increased the anger that Dib was slowly storing up in his chest.
It wasn’t that he was nessacrily pissed at Zim. Or rather JUST at Zim. He was angry at himself for being so stupid as to have ever believed that stupid bitch, for giving into these primitive urges towards his enemy no less…what had he been thinking? The answer to that was, ‘Not at all’. Or rather with his dick, hormones and rabid teenage fantasies.
“Shut up, Zim.” He warned, biting down on the inside of his cheek.
Zim puffed up, his eyes wide with fury; where did this human get the nerve?! Zim demanded more respect than that! After all, he was his greatest nemesis!
“Now you--! You…!” Zim couldn’t even get the words out. He didn’t understand why he had suddenly reverted back to his old self, when just moments before he had looked at Zim with such…longing.
Finally, Zim stopped. He watched Dib walk a little bit before shutting his eyes and shouting after him, “Just what exactly do you WANT, Dib?!” Zim felt something within him churn in anxiety. He didn’t know what exactly he was asking, or how Dib responded, but Zim was just sick of this roller-coaster he was on.
Something in Zim’s voice had him stopping and turning around. The breeze blew his dark hair away from his face, allowing him to see the alien who had stopped about ten feet back, and was now looking at the ground. Which was wrong. Zim had too much pride for that. He never backed down and would never not stare back at Dib, never giving in. First, the near crying and the magnetized PAK now this…? What was going on?
The paranormal investigator stared off at the horizon for a minute, running a hand through his messy hair. Cars drove by and life went on as always. Mind made up, Dib stalked over to where the irken was standing and grabbed his wrist, lightly but, knew he wouldn’t let the alien escape if he tried.
“I want to get off this filthy street and get home.” His hand slid down to grab at Zim’s fingers, intertwining them. “I want to know why we just kissed, when we’re enemies.” His other arms wrapped around Zim’s back, pulling them together. “I want to go back to normal. But, I also want to possess you again. And again. And again.”
Dib grimaced, at the wig and the stupid contacts hating them with a fiery intensity that wasn’t all that new to him. He leaned closer until their lips nearly brushed and he could look into the alien’s eyes, trying to see past the hated periwinkle color.
Zim wanted to push the human away and curse at him for getting so close to Zim after trying to boss him around before. But he found himself surrendering to the comforting warmth that came with being so close to him. Zim looked up into those golden orbs as Dib held him close, whispering to him. It didn’t even matter to Zim that Dib was somewhat threatening him, he just watched those lips move as Dib talked, remembering the warm sensation of them pressed to his own.
“But, mostly I want you to stop screaming about us making out because I might have to punch you.” He whispered before pulling away and beginning to walk down the street again, keeping their hands intertwined but, tugging harshly.
“Now, come on. I’m hungry.”
Zim almost tripped when Dib pulled him forward, jerking him out of his daze. He looked curiously at their hands, his two fingers nestled between Dib’s, and his thumb gripping his palm. He had seen humans holding hands before, but never between two enemies.
“Fine,” He huffed. “But don’t think I’m going to let you boss me around! Or forgive you for even trying, Dib-stink!”
The human’s lips curled up at the ends, a jagged smile that he tried to suppress. “I’ll remember that.” They walked for a while, down the street that he’d travelled way too many times for his own liking. The sun was going slowly down and Dib still hadn’t had anything to eat.
From here he could see their shadows, intertwined at the hands. Dib shook his head, thinking that this was just about the weirdest fucking thing he’d ever done before…and he had done a lot of weird shit in his too short life.
Up ahead there was a burger joint and Dib began tugging the alien in that direction, not really caring if he wanted to go or not.
Zim was silent for the majority of their walk, not really knowing what to say. He had a million questions rushing through his mind all at once, and he didn’t know where to begin. Were they still enemies? Did this mean that Dib was on his side? How was he going to react when Zim completed his mission?
His mission! In all this Dib nonsense, Zim had failed to come up with a new plan. He mentally chastised himself for getting so caught up with the human.
He snapped out of his thought process when he felt the Dib-thing tug him in a new direction. His face contorted in disgust when he saw the burger place they were headed for. “Dib, don’t make me go in there! It’s revolting!”
The door to the joint jingled once they entered. The place was nearly empty, the juke box playing oldie music. He dragged the irken over to a bright red booth. The seats were sticky and salt covered the table but, Dib didn’t care because the smell of meat and French fries was enough to have him salivating. “You’re revolting. Now sit down before I squish you.”
He didn’t really know how he planned to do that. But, he was sure it would be terrifying and…stuff. Dib grabbed the menu and nibbled his bottom lip in contemplation. It all looked so yummy.
“YOU’RE revolting.” Zim muttered under his breath.
Zim sat rigidly in his seat, keeping his hands close to his sides, being careful not to touch anything. The scent alone was enough to make him feel sick, and he pressed his wig down closer to his scalp to try to keep the air from seeping through to his antennae.
He looked around uncomfortably, the expression of disgust never leaving his face. “Just hurry up and eat so we can leave.” Zim wondered what exactly was keeping him here. He didn’t HAVE to follow Dib, and he didn’t need to wait for him.
But…he sort of wanted to hold his hand again.
The human rolled his eyes in response just as a plump young woman came over here, chewing on a piece of gum. “What can I get for ya, darlings?” Dib suddenly felt as if they’d been thrown back into the 70’s or lived in the country. He smiled a bit back at the woman.
“I’ll get the burger special and a Poop Cola…” His eyes glanced up at Zim through his glasses. “Do you want anything?” He asked, handing the menu to the woman. “Like a milk shake or something? There’s chocolate ones that we could clichély share.”
Zim looked up quickly when he realized that Dib was addressing him. He had been silently insulting the cow-beast that had walked up to their table, but was now staring at Dib with a blank look on his face.
What had he just asked him? He honestly had no idea.
“I honestly doubt this establishment serves anything I’d like, Dib-stink.” Zim stated coolly, a sort of ‘Matter-of-fact’ expression played out on his face.
Dib gave the woman an apologetic glance. “Yeah, get us the chocolate milk shake please.”
The woman nodded and began walking away. “Sure thing, Sugar.” The teenager sighed, and leaned on the table, watching the alien watching him. He raised an eyebrow, suddenly feeling very mischievous. Mentally, Dib began a staring contest wondering which of them would crack first.
He licked his lips and curled his hands on the table. “You tied up my therapist.” He said casually, not daring to blink. “And stalked me.” The woman came back with Dib’s soda and the milk shake before walking away again. His hands curled around his cup, taking a long sip from the straw, feeling the caffeine rush through his body.
Zim narrowed his eyes and tilted his head slightly. He watched Dib, noting how his amber eyes were dead set on him, unblinking and unwavering. ‘What’s he up to?’ He wondered.
“What’s your point?” Zim asked simply, not bothering to look down at the icy beverage the cow-beast placed in front of him, although he was curious.
“My point is that you’re obsessed with me.” Dib’s lips curled into a smile around his soda. He reached out and grabbed the milk shake, taking a long drag from that as well. He passed it over to Zim, waggling his eyebrows. “It’s yummy. You should try it.”
“Oh, and that’s different from how you’ve spied on me over these earth years?” Zim teased while he took the cup. He looked down and stirred the shake with the straw before tentatively wrapping his lips around the straw. He took a tiny sip, his face appearing to be ready for any sort of pain that might ensue. His face lit up, however, when the chocolate beverage hit his tongue. It wasn’t bad! But he couldn’t let Dib know that he had been right about something…
He cleared his throat and set the drink down on the table. “Well….it isn’t TERRIBLY disgusting.” He shrugged.
Before Dib said anymore to the obviously confused and suspicious alien, the waitress dropped off his meal and walked away. Dib felt his heart give out just looking at it. It was dripping with grease, cheese and soon it would be slathered in ketchup. He grabbed the bottle and covered the burger in the stuff before taking a huge bite and practically groaning from how good it tasted.
“Dude, you have no idea what you’re missing with not eating earth food.”
Zim grimaced when he saw what was on Dib’s plate, and couldn’t even look at Dib while he ate it. “It isn’t like THAT.” Zim said, pointing at Dib’s plate. “Ooooh….I can’t even LOOK at you while you eat that…GARBAGE. Uuuhgg….you better not put your mouth on mine after this.” He warned.
The human had many, many years under his belt of stalking said Irken and as a result knew most of Zim’s emotions by reading his face. Dib felt a smug sense of superiority at having correctly predicted the alien’s liking of the drink. But, he hid it as well as he could.
Dib took another bite, before shoving a few fries in as well. Then he took a big gulp of his soda, raising an eyebrow. Part of him wanted to kiss Zim right there just to annoying the alien but, decided against it considering he had sharp claws and Dib didn’t want to make a scene.
“Who’s to say that will ever happen again?” He said casually, watching out of the corner of his eye for the irken’s reaction. “The whole kissing…thing.” He grabbed the milk shake and took a sip before handing it back to Zim.
Zim looked at Dib out of the corner of his eye, a curious expression on his face.
“‘Kissing’ is what it’s called then?” He angled his head back in thought. Zim thought about kissing Dib again; he had liked it the first time, with the exception of the resulting ‘hick-eees’. He had thought that Dib enjoyed it, and assumed he’d want to do it again.
Then again, he didn’t know much about kissing, and what was considered normal about it. Maybe it was something they only did once? Had they used up their kissing-quota, of sorts?
“Can we not do ‘kissing’ again?” Zim asked, finally looking back at Dib.
The last of his burger went down the hatch and Dib wiped his hands off on a napkin, before taking another long drag of his soda. His left hand drew imaginary patterns on the table.
“Do you…want…to do ‘kissing’ again?” He asked, feeling off kilter suddenly. Only Zim ever made him feel like this. Crazed, afraid, angry, passionate, and obsessive all at one time.
Dib’s sudden change in demeanor sent Zim for a loop. He watched as he fiddled around with his fingers on the table, something within him causing his blood to rush up to his cheeks. He felt flustered all of a sudden; an all too familiar feeling these days.
He cleared his throat and looked out the window, pretending to be thoughtful about something. “I wouldn’t mind it, I guess.” He tried not to see too enthusiastic as heated memories of their lips and bodies mashing together rushed across his mind. He cursed himself as his PAK began its low hum and heated up against his back.
Dib brushed his hands against his jeans, glancing out the window and back at Zim who was all flushed again. It triggered the same reaction in himself like a domino, heat rising to his cheeks. The teenager bit down on his bottom lip as the waitress came by and dropped off the check. The blood was rushing too quickly through his veins.
“Really?” He said probably much too quickly. “I mean…okay.” He licked his lips and paid the fee, shoving himself out of his booth. “Um. Let’s go then.” He gestured towards the do—what was that noise? The teen’s brows furrowed in confusion. Above the jukebox’s old music and the sizzling from the kitchen. There was a hum. It didn’t sound like the air conditioner or a car hum…but, it was familiar. He shook it off, holding the door open for Zim.
Zim looked up at him as Dib stood up, eyeing him curiously. The human’s face was flush, and it was easy to see his obvious excitement. So maybe the feeling was mutual after all.
Chapter 8: Romantic Situations
For the first time ever he didn’t feel the need to shout, as he knew Dib was hanging on every word the alien had to say.
Zim grabbed the milkshake before leaving the stall, thankful to finally be rid of the germ-infested place. He happily followed Dib out the door, taking a sip of the creamy dessert.
He looked back at Dib, his brow furrowing (as much as it could when you didn’t have eyebrows, anyway) before he finally asked. “Enemies don’t do kissing, do they?” He was a bit embarrassed that needed to ask, but he tried to mask it by slurping at the milkshake.
They got halfway down the street before Dib realized that Zim was still drinking the milkshake. He opened his mouth to say that you weren’t supposed to take the cups but, slammed his mouth closed instead because Zim was just sipping away on the drink, with his lips pursed around it, eyes down as he kicked at little pebbles as if they were demons he had to smite, the single most important thing besides the straw he was sucking on.
Dib shook his head and kept going forward, glancing up at the sky noting how the first stars were popping out even if they were foggy with all of the smog. Zim’s question though had him reeling even if he’d thought of it a hundred times before between the incident at the therapist’s and now.
“No…Zim. They don’t. At least none that I’ve heard of.” Not that he’d heard of much before. But, when Zim had stridden into that classroom nearly seven years ago…Dib had never imagined anything like this. Hell, it was still bizarre to him.
Zim nodded at Dib’s answer, although a part of him already knew this to be true. He looked at Dib through the corner of his eye and noted how he was watching the sky. He seemed oddly peaceful as he watched the stars find their way out of the smog. Zim couldn’t help but wonder what he was thinking about, but then again he always wondered that.
Zim looked up at the sky himself, feeling a twinge of homesickness. He missed Irk, but there was no view of the stars on his planet. He had seen plenty of stars as he drove his Voot Cruiser around from planet to planet, but they paled in comparison to the earth’s moon.
He sighed and looked back at the ground, sipping his milkshake thoughtfully, his brow furrowed. “I still don’t like humans,” He began, talking into his almost empty cup. “Although it’s safe to say that you aren’t like them.” He finally turned to look at Dib. “You’ve managed to be a pain in my side for this long!”
How insane was it that a laugh bubbled its way up through Dib’s chest and out his mouth? About as insane as this conversation was he guessed. How long had they been fighting? Years. For Earth. But, Zim hadn’t really done anything serious to take over since…well since ever and Dib well, Dib liked being around the little butt head.
He smiled slightly. “Thanks. I think.” The teenager realized they were walking really close to each other, almost unconsciously, which they had done for several years now. “And um, you haven’t really been that much of a dick lately.” He murmured, his hands fisting in his pockets. “You’ve actually been um, kind of cool. With the trying to keep me balanced and letting me know you’re real and stuff…”
Zim looked at Dib, his expression one of seriousness. He softly shoved the almost-empty milkshake cup into Dib’s chest. “Did you honestly think I’d let you forget about ZIM? Your greatest enemy?!” Zim smirked and walked backwards to face the human. “And besides, you think I’d let that earth-woman have her way with you? You belong to Zim, after all! Remember?”
Zim stopped in front of Dib, taking the cup from him and putting the straw to the boy’s lips. After he had made sure Dib took a drink, he put a gloved had on the back of his neck and stood on his toes, planting a soft kiss on his lips. He didn’t know if it was OK to do so, and honestly he didn’t care; he wanted to kiss him, and he was going to. “And it doesn’t matter if you deny it, because we both know it’s true.” He finished with a cocky grin.
How was it that this kiss felt so much more…more than the one in the Doctor’s office had? Was it because they were…more awake and in tune with what was happening? Dib’s mind wasn’t fogged over with passion as it had been there. But, still he felt his entire face catch on fire and damned his clumsiness with this sort of stuff.
He’d never had any girl who he was interested in be interested back. And there had never been any guy either…Pfft. So his first romantic situation was with an alien. With his worst enemy and only friend to boot. Actually, it seemed rather fitting.
That Zim be the first person he’d done this with considering the moron was his first nearly everything it seemed. First fist fight, first alien encounter, first person who he’d wanted to know more about…first person he’d even shared a drink with…
Damn that was sad. “I’ll deny it for the rest of my days, Space-boy.” He whispered back, brows furrowed before he bent down and softly pressed their lips together again. Zim was warm, sweet from the chocolate and just because that’s how he was. “Besides…didn’t I say you belonged to me?”
Zim twirled a lock of Dib’s hair around his gloved claw; he’d always wanted to feel real human hair, but had never gotten a chance to. Even now he wasn’t really feeling it, though. He cocked an eye and the human, a playful grin on his face. What was this…this sense of comfort he had around Dib?
For the first time ever he didn’t feel the need to shout, as he knew Dib was hanging on every word the alien had to say. He leaned up again as if to kiss Dib one more time, but instead pushed Dib away at the last second. He smirked and turned his back on him, walking away teasingly with his hands on his hips.
“Please, worm-baby! You wouldn’t know what to do with Zim, even if you COULD own him!” His tone was a playful one. Though he was serious in the fact that he never believed that Dib could own HIM.
Dib nearly fell forward, when Zim was gone. Big amber eyes blinked, confused for a few moments before clearing. He chuckled and loped to catch up with Zim, eyeing the irken’s hands on his um generous hips. “So, you say. You’ve seen what I’m capable of…when we were on the couch I seemed to handle you just fine.”
He grabbed the alien’s arms and yanked him toward Dib, smirking widely before laying their foreheads together. “And I can do that again. Make you feel that again. You’ll be helpless before me…” With the final word he nipped the irken’s top lip, and then licked away whatever pain he might’ve caused.
Zim was suddenly being pulled backward, and before he knew it, he found himself in Db’s arms again. He didn’t complain though, as he had grown fond of being pressed against Dib. He purred slightly as he felt the comforting heat of Dib’s body.
He could feel the blood rush up into his cheeks, his face and neck growing hot as Dib nipped his lip.. His breath came out all at once and his legs almost gave out. He chuckled and put a hand on the back of Dib’s neck, peering into those burning, gold eyes of his.
“As I recall, YOU were the one begging for me to take you.” He quickly flicked Dib’s lip with the tip of his tongue.
“You recall wrong, Zim.” Dib hissed at the feeling of that serpentine tounge as it touched his lips. The sensations nearly floored him, eyelids fluttering. “I was the one saying that I would fight you for the chance to carve my initials in your skin…” With that he laid his mouth fully over Zim’s, ravishing him.
Zim wrapped him arms around Dib greedily, mashing his lips hard against his. He could feel all those sensation boiling up in him again; the need to feel Dib’s skin against his own, the urge to taste all that warm skin. A car honked as it zoomed past them and Dib pulled away, the back of his neck boiling with the pent up energy.
Unexpectedly, he was pushed away, and he found himself reeling. He almost yelled at Dib before he saw the car speeding by. He quickly shut his mouth and nodded. He followed Dib to his house, walking close to him.
It was fully dark outside. Oh crap. His father was probably home by now and worried. Dib shook his head, and began walking again. “Come on. I have to get home. You don’t want me to get grounded.” The last time he’d been confined to his house against his will it had nearly drove him bonkers and Zim had come to break him out of his own room if nessacary.
The moon was full tonight. It was beautiful. The luminosity reminded him of the irken’s eyes just as it always had.
“No, can’t have that.” He commented lowly.
He looked around nervously and cleared his throat before reaching down and nestling his fingers between Dib’s. He inwardly fretted about Dib tearing his hand away; being new to hand-holding, he wasn’t sure if this was acceptable or not. But the feel of his body heat seeped through Zim’s gloves, and though it wasn’t as passionate as feeling the warmth under Dib’s shirt, it still made him smile.
One would assume that since they’d done the whole kissing thing that hand holding wouldn’t be such a big deal. One would be mistaken. Dib’s face was priceless, going from wide and shocked to a bit squinty, contemplative. Zim’s fingers were encased in rubber as per usual, which made it difficult to feel any warmth but it was there…some small measure of heat in the alien’s palm.
He flexed his fingers, experimenting with the hold. How hard or soft should he hold the other’s hand? A quick glance down between them showed that Zim’s three fingers fit between his five in some…impossible way. It really should be awkward. But, it…wasn’t. Kind of. Now that he was staring at their hands he felt kind of off balance but, instinct demanded he hide it around Zim.
So, Dib looked away from their intertwined fingers and up at the sky instead, wishing that there were more stars to see instead of airplanes and smog. They walked along the busy freeway while cars zoomed by. He was unsure of what to do now, so settled for kicking any rock, can or wrapper that got in his way.
Of course Zim could sense the discomfort between them; this being a new situation for both of them and neither of them knowing how to handle things. Zim was determined not to let anything change—they were still going to be enemies. Only now they’d hold hands and do the kissing thing.
But how could they be anything but enemies? Zim was going to take over the world, and Dib would always try to stop him. But this was all that Zim knew, so how could he want anything else?
He adjusted his fingers in Dib’s hands, wanting to take off his gloves, but knowing that he mustn’t since they were outside. He was constantly peering up at Dib from the corner of his eyes, waiting for him to push him away and start yelling at him. Zim gripped his hand nervously, unsure of what exactly to do. He watched curiously as Dib kicked litter out of his way, wondering what was going through the human’s head.
It wasn’t long until they reached the corner of the street, and although they would normally separate to go to their own homes, Zim continued walking forward. He felt a slight pull as Dib had slowed down, preparing to say goodbye, but Zim pulled him along, heading to Dib’s house. He didn’t really care if Dib would protest; he didn’t want to give Dib the chance to go back to how things were, when Dib was ignoring him.
“Um. What are you doing?” Dib asked, confusion blatant in his voice as Zim tugged him along down the street. Maybe, the alien was being purposefully dense? Or maybe this was one of those crazy episodes?
“You do know that your house is that way right?” He pointed in the opposite direction in case Zim had forgotten, feet following after the alien reluctantly. “And you normally live there except for the days when you decide to be stupid and end up lost somewhere…”
His house was already in sight, glowing with the electric fences that always clicked on when movement was detected outside the lawn. There were some lights on inside. But, just the living room. Gaz was home. Great. That would mean she was going to be deeply unpleasant since 1. Dad wasn’t home and 2. She had had testing all week.
Zim turned to look at the human, a scowl on his face. “You honestly think I’m going to leave you alone so you can forget about Zim, again?” Zim ask seriously. There was a real fear in his voice; a fear of Dib looking though him with those burning, golden eyes.
“Or what’s more; how do I know this isn’t all a trap? I need to keep a close eye on you to make sure you don’t catch me off guard!” Zim felt that this was less likely, but he wasn’t an invader for letting himself be tricked easily! He felt oddly comfortable around the human, now. And even he could sense there was a change in the air around them. But he wasn’t about to let Dib know that.
“Now, unless you want to be grounded, let’s go.” Zim tugged on his hand to hurry the human along.
Chapter 9: Time to Think
“I know you’re real. If I doubt it I can look in a mirror. I’ve got memories, our stories and fight written all over me. “
The human saw the fear in ruby red eyes and it bewildered him as well as it sent a spear of something hot and uneasy through his chest. This was all kinds of bizarre. But, he kept up with Zim anyway, scuffling along the cracked sidewalk and up the pathway. “Nah. My dad’s not even home.” Which wasn’t that surprising now that he looked back on his fears earlier. He was in no danger of being grounded…
The last time had been because of the damage of public property. The law had contacted his Father. It had been the one and only time he’d been grounded before. A humiliating experience that he was loathe to repeat. Lately, he’d been trying to stay on his dad’s good side which was why he’d put up with the therapy. That and it was required by…Damn. How was he going to get out of that?
Mentally, he brushed it off, to worry about it later. Sometime when he didn’t have a fearful alien menace attached to his arm. The door required both hands, so Dib detached himself and pulled his key out of his pocket, slipping it in the lock the same time he let the print scanner run over his palm. With a beep of acceptance the door clicked and Dib pushed it open.
Zim huffed when Dib pulled their hands apart to unlock the door, but almost instantly seemed to forget about it when he saw the locking mechanism for the door. He had never had a chance to see how it actually worked, and he was always a bit curious. He had to admit that it was a good strategy; he’d have to remember to adapt it into his own security system. He watched Dib as he pushed the door open, and was a bit impressed. Dib’s house always seemed to be far more advanced than most humans, although it was still inferior to even common Irken technology, of course.
He followed Dib into his house, feeling a bit strange that he was actually being invited in by him. He had always just snuck in, and was even invited in by Membrane once. He watched the back of Dib’s head as he walked behind him, expecting him to whirl around and yell, “Ok, that’s enough! Get out!”
He reached out to grab Dib’s hand again, but decided against it, not wanting to push his luck, and put his hand down to his side once more. He looked around, taking in the living room for the first time. He was a bit put out by all the Membrane look-alikes in the room, especially the lamp. He didn’t mind Membrane, but he had to admit that his height intimidated him a bit. He was relieved when Dib said he wasn’t home.
He was silent as he followed Dib around, occasionally picking something up to observe it before carrying on, seemingly disinterested.
The teen kicked off his boots by the door before locking it again once the Irken was inside. He watched Zim for a second as he seemed to stare at his living room in awe, contact covered eyes darted around suspiciously as if waiting for a trap to spring which Dib had to admit was something he would be equally as frightened of had he been invited into Zim’s base so easily.
The human smiled a bit before he turned his attention to the living room where the tv was turned to some old cartoon that illuminated the couch where he could see the top of his sister’s head, bent in focus on her video game. “Hey!” He called to announce his presence in case she wasn’t already aware of it.
In response he got a soft grunt, a hand thrown up in his direction. Whether it was a dismissal, or a greeting was unclear. Dib shrugged and strode to the kitchen, to get them some sodas or…something. Did Zim like sodas? Human ones. The irken had obviously liked the Milk shake. Chocolate was good too. As well as milk and sugar. He added that to his list of food that Irkens could apparently eat without exploding, expanding, smoking or growing horrendous boils.
Zim almost didn’t see the tussle of purple hair that peeked over the back of the couch, and nearly jumped when he heard her grunt. He silently followed Dib into the kitchen, keeping an eye on the mop of purple hair, not wanting her to react to Zim being here. He hated Gaz, and was honestly creeped out by her. Though making this known wasn’t an option.
Dib dug in the fridge for two poop colas, popping his tab and holding the other up for Zim in case he wanted it.
He breathed a sigh of relief when they made it into the kitchen, finally looking at Dib, who was happily holding out a can of soda for the alien.
Zim hesitated before taking the can out of Dib’s hand, looking it over before pulling the tab back. He half-way expected it to do something terrible, and cringed when the click of the tin breaking was immediately followed by a loud hiss. He relaxed when nothing seemed to happen and peered into the can, not really knowing what he was looking for. He looked up quickly at Dib, who was patiently waiting to see Zim’s reaction.
He took a quick sip and cringed a bit. The soda was slightly more acidic than what he was used to, but after the immediate sharpness of the beverage wore off, he was left with a pleasantly sweet flavor. His eyes lit up and he took another, more enthusiastic drink, smacking his lips in satisfaction.
“Not as good as Irken soda…..but at least it doesn’t seem to be as dangerous as water.”
Dib raised an eyebrow at the alien’s review of the soda, smirking a bit when it proved to be what he expected. Grudging acceptance. “Huzzah.” He took a large gulp of the drink, licking his lips to rid them of any excess before shuffling towards the stairs, glancing back at the alien as a sign to follow. “Heading upstairs, Gaz. Call if you need me.” Of course she wouldn’t but, he liked to let her know he was there. Just in case.
“Yeah, Yeah. Have fun with Zim.” She yelled back, never lifting her eyes from her game consol. Dib was unsure if there was some sort of hidden meaning behind those words or if it was just something Gaz always said. There was no way she could know about the…stuff right? He shrugged, since it was impossible to know with his sister and continued up the stairs.
He took them two at a time since his legs were so long and practically skipped the last three, sliding down the hallway in his socked feet and throwing open his door. The teen nearly screeched to a halt, feeling a small pit of ridiculous embarrassment rise up in him. His room was a mess. As it always was. Plus, there were plenty of sketches and bad photographs of his enemy pasted everywhere…
Dib shook his head. ‘Don’t be stupid. Zim has seen this all before.’ He murmured to himself before hopping over stuff to reach his computer chair, spinning it around to watch his unexpected guest enter right behind him.
Zim cringed at the sound of Gaz saying his name. He quickly followed Dib up the stairs, eager to get away from the boy’s younger sister. He stopped and watched him slide across the hall, a smirk bubbling up inside of him. He had never seen Dib do that before, and it was still new for Zim to see Dib so much at ease around him. He cupped his mouth and snickered a little at the sight, but quickly regained himself and followed the boy into his room.
As before, Zim had never had the chance to really take in Dib’s bedroom. Whenever he was here, he was always on edge, and was completely fixated on the human. Now he finally had a chance to observe his surroundings a bit more. He had to admit to himself that he was a little excited about this.
He peered around, picking things up off the floor to look at them, and then tossing them back down when he held no further interest in them. He walked around them room, sipping his soda, looking at the covered walls. He was surprised to see how many photos of him were here. All this time he had been trying to keep Dib from exposing him, and all the while Dib had these photos of him hung on his wall like it was a Zim museum. Honestly, he was a bit flattered; Dib had surrounded himself with the alien, even if it was just to expose him. But was it really necessary to hang them up on his wall in some sort of tribute? Zim smirked as he thought about it. He shot Dib a quick glance before taking an interest in some of the human’s sketches.
As the Irken walked about the boy’s room, picking and observing Dib couldn’t help but feel a bit exposed. This was his living space. The one place where he put every bit of himself into it and the result came out messy, unorganized, frantic and obviously utterly obsessed with a certain alien monster. Dib was trying very hard not to seem nervous and uneasy watching Zim examine his room but, it was difficult. So, he gave up trying to seem aloof and instead just stared, occasionally picking at his jeans where there was a bit of ketchup from his burger earlier and some paint from art class.
For a half a second their eyes met and it caused Dib to blink curiously. His gaze followed Zim’s and he flushed. Oh Jeeze. His collection of pictures. They weren’t that hard to miss considering they were virtually everywhere but, he’d never once thought that Zim would be in here, casually touring his room. Some of the photographs were okay. Mainly blurry pictures from afar or times he’d managed to get it into Zim’s face and it had been pushed away. Some of Gir. Of the Base. Tiny images of the voot crusier.
Then there were the sketches. Some of Zim’s face. With and without the disguise. The um, anatomy. He’d taken a few guesses, thinking that Zim would be humanoid in figure but, probably bonier, with less fat and muscle as all humans tended to have for warmth and strength purposes since their PAK seemed to do all that for them.
Dib let out a huff of frustrated embarrassment and spun in his chair, shaking his mouse to rouse his computer. Maybe there had been updates on the Swollen Eyeball’s end.
Zim sifted though the portraits, generally uninterested. He paused a few times to look at the ones Dib had drawn with him out of his disguise, but otherwise showed no immediate reaction. But stopped and looked puzzled for a moment, though, when he came across a sketch with a different angle. Zim recognized it as himself, but he had to stare at it to wrap his mind around it completely. It was an almost accurate sketching of Zim, completely bare. The groin area seemed to be missing or incomplete, which confused Zim, but then again, the picture itself was just odd.
He turned to Dib, pointing at the picture accusingly, a dumfounded look on his face. When he saw that Dib wasn’t looking, he cleared his throat loudly.
“What is this? Is this supposed to be ZIM? This is LAUGHABLE!” He pointed at the unfinished portion. “Unfinished, even!” Although it didn’t occur to him that it was probably left for a reason.
Dib flinched at the sound of Zim’s voice which was on a normal day loud and generally obnoxious, however in the midst of such a long day it was…coarse and ten times more grating than usual. He ground down on his teeth, deleting the tiny scrambled of random letters he’d accidently typed in when the silence had been shattered.
With a sigh he turned in his chair and glanced at where Zim was pointing. His ears turned a violent shade of red but, he attempted to keep his cool. “It was merely a guess at your anatomy. And of course it’s unfinished. Like I want to think about that. Plus, I had no idea what um…” A hand waved at the Irken’s body in general. “You know, was like. So shush.”
Running a hand down his face, he spun in the chair and clicked the sleep button on his computer, took a long drag from his soda before getting up and walking towards his bed. On his way though, he grabbed the picture that Zim was exclaiming over and crumpled it into a ball before throwing it. God only knows if he would ever find it again. And he would attempt to find it again later, he knew.
That done, he flopped himself onto his bed, springs squeaking noisily as they had since he was ten.
Zim scrutinized the picture some more after Dib’s brief and utterly unsatisfying explanation. He couldn’t say he was surprised that Dib was curious, though. He had wondered about human anatomy at times, although mostly at the fact that there were so many shapes that humans came in.
He huffed loudly when the picture was torn from his hands and crumpled up. He growled a bit and crossed his arms over his chest.
“Well,” He began, his face suddenly growing hot as the memory of earlier today slowly crept up on him. “Now you have an idea, don’t you? So no more bad doodles of Zim!” He stood, staring down at Dib as he lay on his bed, trying to seem as relaxed as possible, but he could feel the heat in his cheeks giving him away.
The human groaned as Zim just kept talking about the subject, flipping over on his back to stare up at his ceiling, before glancing at Zim. “Um. I’m just going to tell you that it’s an awkward subject and that I’m changing it…” He cleared his throat and nodded, mainly to himself. “So, um, why are you here again? Something about me not thinking you’re not real anymore?”
With a shove, he sat himself up on his bed which caused more horrid squeaking, and wrapped his arms around his knees. He really should he get ready for bed. But, it was impossible to do with Zim here. He would not get undressed with the alien in the room…although he’d been half naked plenty of times around him so it really didn’t make any sense…Pfft whatever. “If that’s the case you don’t have to worry. I know you’re real. If I need proof I can just imagine your horribly loud voice or think of how annoyed you make me on a daily basis.” Or the kiss. Es. Plural. Two in one day. More than two? Bleh. He didn’t even know anymore.
His first kiss. And it had been with an alien. An alien who was his enemy. And who was male. There was a lot to think about. A lot that could possibly send him into a downward pit of psychological scars and revelations. Only there would be no thinking with said object of thought around being…looming and sneering about his poor drawing skills.
Zim was about to question Dib on the whole “changing the subject” thing when the new subject was already brought to life. Zim sighed as relaxed a bit, looking around the room once more, only this time as more of a distraction, rather than actual interest. He fidgeted about in his spot, recalling the vacant stare Dib had given him a week before, and how hard Zim had to convince the human he was real, only to have it fall flat.
“Yes, well. As annoying as you are, Dib, it was more annoying for you to just ignore me.” He quickly grew defensive and pointed a gloved claw at the human. “And last time you said you believed in Zim, but then ignored me again! I know that woman is out of the picture now, but how can I be sure her…brain washing hasn’t worn off?” A sincere and heartfelt worry was seeded in his words. He crossed his arms again and looked around once more, not able to meet the gaze of the human who was sitting in front of him.
He was so close, and yet he had somehow distanced himself from the alien. Zim wanted to feel his warmth again, but somehow Zim knew that it wasn’t the right time. He sighed loudly as he tried to think of the right way to say it, without truly confessing his insecurities to Dib.
“I don’t like when you do that; when you look at me like Zim’s not really in front of you.” He growled a bit and finally locked eyes with the raven haired boy. “And I never know when you are going to do it next! It’s infuriating!” He grumbled, looking down at his feet as he shuffled them. He had managed to confess himself, even though he didn’t want to. He hated Dib for making it so difficult.
“And Zim isn’t sure what you want, still. We are enemies, but you said enemies don’t do the kissing thing.” Zim continued to fidget, not sure what to do with himself. He felt his cheeks growing hot again, and it seemed like all his effort was put into keeping his breath steady. He wished Dib would just explain what was happening, because Zim had no idea, and he just felt flustered.
Dib wasn’t ready for the flood of information from his enemy that suddenly bombarded him. How long had that been building up inside the Irken? He shook his head. Didn’t matter. The fact was that it had and now he had to contend with it if he wished to…go any further…with…whatever it is they…were.
A nail bitten hand ran through messy hair, before plopping down on the ufo bed spread. “Fine. Okay. I can assure you that the ‘brain washing’ is over. If anything that woman was fake. Fake nails, dyed hair, make-up all over her face. And you’re…well, you. Despite the disguise you don on a daily basis, I know what I get when I see you; a loud, obnoxious, violent, short, green alien.”
Quickly, he glanced at the irken to see his reaction, before staring back down at his hands. “I know you’re real. If I doubt it I can look in a mirror. I’ve got memories, our stories and fight written all over me. “Even now, looking down at his hands, there were long, claw marks. A few scrapes on his knuckles from the pavement. “And I can look at you.” He did, staring into the contact covered eyes, knowing that beneath them lie so much more. Ruby red jewels. Like the sky and sun. Like blood and madness. “You’ve got the stories too. I’ve hurt you before and I can see every time I’ve done so.”
With a unsteady sigh, the human flopped backwards onto his bed to stare up at the ceiling. Of course there were more pictures up there. Designs and plans of action. “And I’m not sure what we are…if anything. All I know is that I’m still going to defend the earth from any plans you might come up with,” As stupid as they may be. “But, I also know that I like…being with you.” Kissing and hand holding, too. But, it went deeper than that. So much deeper…he just needed to figure out how deep he could go before drowning.
“So, that’s why I need to think.” Reluctantly, he looked at the irken out of the corner of his eye. “We both need to.”
Possibly thinking of changing update days to Monday/Friday. An opinions?
Chapter 10: Touch
And even though Zim was hissing into Dib’s ear, begging him for more, his PAK was at the end of its rope, finally not being able to handle any of the new information his body was giving it.
Zim did feel a little bit better at the human’s reassurance, but he couldn’t help but feel a twinge of doubt, regardless. He watched the human move about on his bed, eyeing him suspiciously, trying to find a falter in the Dib’s serious expression.
He was growing increasingly flustered as Dib tried to explain to the alien what was happening between them; Zim still didn’t quite understand. What were they if not enemies? Zim understood the concept of friends, as his endeavors with the annoying Keef human clearly showed. But that had only been a ruse; Zim didn’t know if he could have a serious friendship. He was an Invader, and it was made clear to them that they didn’t need friends. And even with that point set aside, how would a friendship work between him and Dib when Dib was so bent on saving this hellish planet?
Zim gritted his teeth, as he knew that this was getting them nowhere, and he was tired of these conflicting feeling taking over him. He knew that this was all because of some glitch in his PAK, but he couldn’t help himself; he was powerless against his own emotions.
Zim bend over Dib at an awkward angle, leaning to the side slightly as the human lay on his bed. He stared into those golden orbs with his lavender irises intent.
“Listen here, Dib-stink,” He started in a commanding tone. “You’re not making any sense to Zim, and I’m sick of it. What is there to think about? I am your greatest enemy! And I will continue to fight you over this stinking mud-ball of a planet! And when I do, I will destroy you.” He paused briefly, setting hands on either side of Dib, leaning closer to him as he did so. “But Zim wouldn’t mind keeping up the kissing thing, regardless.”
To keep the human from protesting, as he could see in his face that he would, the alien mashed their lips together clumsily, closing his eyes tightly. He didn’t care if enemies weren’t supposed to kiss; he enjoyed it, and he was going to do it. When did Zim ever bend to the rules or standards, anyway?
Despite the momentary surprise, he had after all been using his best serious voice with the irken, Dib sighed internally and just let it happen. Any argument was pretty much just dust now. It was still new. Horribly new. And invigorating. The human tilted his head backwards on the bed, eyes slipping closed behind his glasses.
Zim’s lips moved over his and he had the urge to giggle because it was ridiculous. So freaking funny how he hated this son of a bitch. How they’d fought like cats and dogs, two soldiers of opposite wars and they mixed just like oil and water. And now they were kissing.
The irken tasted like sugar. Sugar and…, his mind struggled to think of the other sensation, brow furrowing., like metal? Copper. Blood. Why did that make his own run faster? His nerves thrum to life just as their fights did?
So yeah, it was hilarious. But, it also was the scariest thing he’d ever done in his entire life. Was this surrender? He didn’t think so. The irken seemed okay with them being enemies and hadn’t made a huge deal out of this yet. This was control. A new notch for Zim. Lucky for him, the alien was naïve in this area and obviously just as confused. Just as wanting…
Dib hummed into the kiss, sliding a hand from where it had been clenching onto his sheets, up the alien’s arm which was near his head. It slipped around the back of Zim’s neck, holding him there. Slightly, hesitantly Dib opened his mouth, biting on the irken’s bottom lip. The alien responded greedily and that was all it took to ignite any more thoughts, questions into dust. But, that fuse kept running through his veins until he was aflame.
With a hearty groan, Dib used his weight to flip them, taking control and ravishing Zim’s mouth. His other hand, the one not around the irken’s neck was groping, grabbing for anything. A hold on what was overtaking him.
And suddenly, Zim was under Dib, pressed eagerly close to him as his mouth was ravished by those warm, full lips. He felt warm blood as it trickled down the side of his mouth, not caring to notice that he had cut himself on those sharp teeth of his in his clumsy attempt to keep Dib from questioning him.
The pain was barely noticeable under the veil of passion that was quickly over taking him. The feeling of Dib’s hand gripped him possessively had him writhing underneath the human, eagerly sliding his serpentine tongue into the boy’s mouth, wanting to taste the exotic flavor. He still tasted a bit like soda, which Zim was grateful for.
He let his hand roam over the boy, still not quite sure what to do with his hands. Finally they found the edge of Dib’s shirt and slithered underneath, rubbing at all that wonderfully warm skin that Zim desperately wanted to taste. He broke the kiss with a small gasp, taking one of his clawed hands away from Dib’s person long enough to pull his glove off with his mouth. He was suddenly over come with the need to feel skin against skin, and he returned his now exposed hand to Dib’s warm skin with delight. The sensation thrilled him, and he soon realized that it wasn’t near enough.
Zim made small, desperate noises as he tried to peel Dib’s shirt off.
The human jolted at skin to skin contact, eyes flying open to see Zim’s bare claw. He’d only seen it without the glove a (ironically) handful of times. It was slightly damp from the rubber but warm. He let out a huff of curious sounding air, licking his lips, tasting the blood and fighting hard not to groan.
“Trying to get me undressed, moron? I can do that.” With a small grunt of effort, he reached down and grabbed the hem of his shirt, tugging it off his body, it caught on his head for a second before he was throwing it across the room. The second time in the same day he was shirtless with the alien in the same room.
With shaky fingers he grabbed Zim’s wrist and stared at his hand, observing the hard, tips and long digits. His hand was paler than his face but whether that was natural or because of the glove, Dib had no idea. Curiously, Dib ran his own finger up and down each of Zim’s, feeling the texture and bumps of knuckles, old scars. “Do you use lotion, Space-boy?” He asked, teasingly, finally looking away from his work on the aliens hand back at Zim.
Zim grunted at the half-hearted insult that Dib threw his way, but it was easily forgotten once he caught a glimpse of his bare chest. Zim was never quite use to the odd hue of human skin, but somehow seeing Db’s bare chest made it oddly compelling.
He felt something twist inside of him as Dib carefully examined his digits. He held his hand up for him, though, and did not protest. He suddenly wondered what holding his hand felt like without his gloves in the way, and after Dib had finished scrutinizing over his fingers, he gingerly laced his fingers in-between Dib’s in an all-too-familiar way.
Zim looked at Dib questioningly; what the heck was lotion? This human almost never made any sense to Zim, and he wondered why he was being so patient with him in the first place. Finally he shook his head and glared at the human. “Shut your noise tube and continue with the kissing thing already.” Zim demanded impatiently.
Golden eyes were glued to their hands, fingers so different in color, size, shape but fitting so perfectly. It kind of kicked him in the gut to see. Dib shook his head and removed his hand from the irken’s grasp, trying to return to what he’d been planning on doing to Zim. “Tsk. Tsk. Invader. No patience.”
The human grinned predatory like, quickly placing both hands on either side of Zim’s head and kissing the moron passionately for several minutes as he let their mouths, tounge and breathing intertwine. Dust motes fell lazily from the nearly gone sun, as it painted his room a red hue that set the mood. A few more open mouthed kisses before he shoved the irken down, twisting his head to the side to get at his neck, biting and sucking. He was adding more hickies, redoing and replacing the ones from before.
Zim’s skin was just as soft as before. Indescribable. It made thoughts wander in his mind. tHoughts like what he would feel like all over. Taste like all over. The same or different in the crook of his elbow, the back of his knee, along his spine…?
Dib groaned and bit so hard, he think he drew blood but that didn’t stop him from moving onto a new location as he ground against the body below him.
Zim moaned from underneath the human, writhing and grinding against Dib as waves of white-hot pleasure crashed over him. Each nibble, lick, and kiss sent shivers down to the alien’s curled toes. He greedily gripped Dib close to him, needing to be impossibly close to him. The groin of his pants were unbearably tight as Dib ground against them, sending more strange, but very welcome, sensations coursing through Zim’s body.
Instinctively, he lifted up and hooked his legs around Dib’s hips, allowing him more access to the sensitive spot between his legs. He didn’t quite understand what was happening, but he understood the demanding instinct of wanting more, wanting Dib to keep making him feel this good, and even wanting to make Dib feel the same level of pleasure—if not, more. He didn’t dare question it, but rather let himself give into it.
His breathing was quick as he moaned and gasped, craning his neck to expose his skin for his human, giving in to his dominance without question.
Everything was fire and ice and Dib just wanted all the stupid barriers gone. With shaky hands, he grabbed the bottom of Zim’s pink dress thing and tugged as hard as he could. It came off surprisingly easy, sliding up around the PAK and being thrown to the floor without another thought.
The human placed another sloppy kiss on the alien’s collar bone before he leaned back and studied his figure; the bones were prominent, stretched jade skin over each piece. Skinny. Too skinny. It bothered him on some level but, before he could decode it he noticed how Zim was breathing, sending his slim stomach up and down. Chest rising and falling. Everywhere flushed.
Another hot wave of raw heat tore him to shreds. Dib let out a animalistic growl, kneeled and bit at the smooth skin. Desperate to mar it up a bit. Make scars where there were none. Where Zim had made some on him. Repaying the favor.
His hands slipped under the irken’s hips, palms on his butt as he ground them closer together since it seemed like there was still some room there. A centimeter. A millimeter maybe. Too much. And he couldn’t bear it. “Zim~” He hissed, squeezing his eyes closed. Colors waxed and waned behind his eye lids.
Zim’s wig had been taken with his tunic as it was forcefully brought over his head, and his antennae perked gratefully at their new freedom.
Zim pressed their bare chests together, never being able to have enough of the human’s warm skin against him. A loud purr rolled up Zim’s throat and escaped from his lips as Dib kneaded his ass in his palms, sending an almost tingling sensation to shoot through his groin in unsteady waves.
He could feel something hard pressing up against him from inside Dib’s pants, and a sense of recognition made something in his chest twist. He could feel his PAK begin to heat up as he was suddenly aware of just how far the situation had gone. A low steady hum filled the heavy air around them as Zim’s PAK began trying to process what to do. Zim’s instincts had completely taken over his body, wanting more of the human and not caring what it entailed; but his PAK whirled in confusion as it battled with the Irken’s hormones.
And even though Zim was hissing into Dib’s ear, begging him for more, his PAK was at the end of its rope, finally not being able to handle any of the new information his body was giving it.
There was an audible click, and then a hum much deeper than one it had emitted before grew in intensity and volume around them before stopping suddenly. Then, a loud electrical crackling sound as Zim was suddenly engulfed in pain, electricity shooting through him, sending his back in an arch and his claws gripping onto Dib as he yelled out in pain. His muscles stiffened as the excruciating heat of electricity continued to grip him.
The human’s jaw clenched in agony, but he was frozen in the grip of a surprise attack. Dib’s mind was one big tornado of emotions and feelings; pain, desire and fear. The bolts escaped from Zim’s body and up into him, setting them both on chain reaction of stifled yelling.
With a final, defeated sounding ‘thud’, Zim pak finally stopped shocking them. The human fell limp with the alien’s claws still in his skin, drawing blood. He didn’t really give a crap. Everywhere on his body, hair stood on end, mocking his cowlick.
For a few seconds he focused on recuperating full vision and some sense of orientation before slowly sitting up, mentally checking for injuries and relived that aside from Zim’s claws still in his back, there was none. But, his skin had goose bumps and he felt horribly twitchy.
A few drops of blood were dripping from his nose but, that was also expected. Blinking a few more times to get his mind in gear, he focused on Zim. “Are you o—“ He shook his head. Of course the moron was okay. Zim was indestructible. A freak of nature. “What the hell was that?” He decided to ask instead, feeling the dredges of the close call leaking away; drying sweat, his pants not-so-tight anymore and mind clearer.
Zim was limp on the bed, his breath coming out in one long, pained sigh. He blinked in confusion, his muscles aching still as he trembled violently. He didn’t notice that he was still gripping Dib, his claws sinking into his flesh as he shook underneath him. His mind was blank for a few moments, his mouth open with a dumbfounded, far-away look on his face.
Finally, he suddenly snapped back into reality, not sure of where he had been just a moment before. He looked around, as if to confirm that he was still where he last remembered himself to be. His mind reeled quickly, noting now how he trembled, but not being able to stop it.
“I-I’m not sure…” Zim finally answered weakly, his voice cracking faintly. He finally retracted his claws and rubbed his eyes as he felt painted tears stinging the edges of his eyes.
He tried to make sense of what just happened; his PAK had been malfunctioning on him before, sure, but never that bad. He suddenly felt embarrassed about it; now, surely, Dib was aware of Zim’s faulty PAK—a fact he would have rather Dib not known.
The shame gripped his chest, causing his lips to tug down at the corners, and he covered his face in humiliation.
“I-I don’t know. I don’t…” He stammered as more tears were forcing their way out from behind Zim’s lenses.
He looked up at Dib when he felt something wet hit his bare chest, letting out a small yelp at the sight of Dib’s blood. He had made Dib bleed without meaning to, and he was surprised to feel a bit…ashamed of that.
“Dib-stink, you’re…” He trailed off as he carefully wiped the substance off Dib’s upper lip with his thumb, holding it up to him to show him, the red contrasting horrifyingly against the Irken’s ivory skin.
“Oh fu—“ The sight of blood, though unsurprising, still bothered him. Dib rubbed a arm over his nose even though he knew it wouldn’t do anything other than just make a bigger mess. “It’s fine. Had worse than that before. Must’ve been because of the shock.” Leaning over the bed, a hand groped around until he found an old towel, shoving it to his face and taking deep breaths as the aftermaths of pain settled over him.
A tiny pink tounge flicked out and licked chapped lips, tasting the dripping blood before the paranormal investigator focused on his worst enemy, confused and curious. “There was that humming noise again…before in my room with the spoon and…” He didn’t say ‘when you were almost crying’ for obvious reasons. “Then in the Office. And now this?” A free hand gestured at Zim’s uncovered body which was shaking.
Shaking. Damn. Yeah it had hurt like a bitch but, maybe it had hurt the irken more since the source had been his very life source. What the hell was he talking about? Of course it had. Dib knew that Zim was freaked out. He could tell. Just as the human could tell when he was angry or planning world conquest or feeling ill.
Dib sniffed a bit to test the waters. No more blood seemed to spring forward. “Um. I’m going to go…clean off.” He said, getting off his bed carefully and shuffling towards his bathroom. There really was no need to clean up since Zim didn’t care and Dib didn’t really either. Blood had never bothered him. But, when it came to the irken showing weaknesses…well he figured that he would give the alien some space to gather his wits.
Dib knew he wouldn’t want to show anything like this in front of his…nemesis. With a scoff, he shut the door and tried to wash some of the blood off his face.
Zim only nodded as he watched Dib walk out of the room, although he didn’t want to be left alone. He waiting until the door was closed before he sat up, peeling his lenses off and setting them Dib’s nightstand. His fingers were still trembling as he scooped up his uniform and fished his wig out of the fabric before pulling it over his head. He crossed arms in an attempt to still his shivering body.
Chapter 11: A Contest
“You say that as if you actually believe I would break before you would.”
“Why had that happened? Why now--here, of all places?” His tone was dripping with frustration as he asked the empty room. “For Irk’s sake….Dib shouldn’t know about my PAK; he could use it against me!” Although he was already aware of all the other ways Dib had some control over him. He ran a hand over his neck, surprised to find a smudge of violet on his hand as he looked it over. “DAMN IT!” He shouted in surprise. “He did it to me again!” He growled.
“I can’t believe I gave into him…” He scolded himself. He was an invader! What was he thinking letting Dib have so much control of him? Dib should be under ZIM, not the other way around!
He huffed as he tried to take his mind off it. Instead he focused on his PAK, trying to decide how to lie to Dib about it. As far as Dib knew, this could’ve been normal for the Irken. How much did the human know about his PAK, anyway? Zim began to feel a little better. But that still didn’t hide the fact that it had happened in the first place.
He felt powerless as he was suddenly engulfed in rage, grunting and stammering as he kicked over Dib’s night-side table, which had Zim’s lenses on it. He found that he didn’t care, and only sat down on the bed reluctantly. He took in a deep breath.
“I just need to call prisoner 777; he should be able to get me some new parts. Then this whole nightmare can be done and over with.” He nodded, feeling a bit better. “Then I can go back to focusing on my mission.”
He sat in silence then, mulling over what to say to Dib when he came back; how best to describe the situation without giving out any important information that could later be used against him.
Because they were enemies. And that’s what enemies did; they tried to best each other. No amount of kissing or grinding or hand-holding could hide the fact that Dib was Zim’s enemy.
“It’s how it should be.” Zim tried telling himself out loud, but hearing the words himself didn’t make him feel any better.
The sound of something being knocked over and lots of grumbling wasn’t a cause for alarm. In fact it was almost a relief. Zim was back to being Zim; bad tempered and impatient. The water in the sink was turning a light pink and finally, Dib whipped the last of the blood off, applied some bandages to the claw marks on his back and nonchalantly opened the door.
A quick glance showed that the victim of the bang had been his nightstand. Hmm. Was there anything important on that? Dib came up blank and so decided it wasn’t something worth getting angry over, so he gave it a single glance before walking over to his computer chair and sitting in it, swinging it around to face Zim.
It was only then that he realized there was a horrendous smudge all over his left lens. With a puff of exasperation, Dib ripped the glasses off and rubbed them on his pants, knowing it wouldn’t do much good but, trying any way before shoving them back on. A bit better.
“So…” A bit more shifting before he was comfortable. “Whose gonna start the awkward questions that eventually makes one of us start yelling?” Well, that was a question. So him apparently. Dib leaned back in the squeaky chair and stared at the alien who was shirtless, body bruised with teeth marks, hickies and the faintest whisker burn. Tiny smudges of lavender across the jade and over his pillows.
Eww. Alien blood on his pillows. Both his eyebrows raised. Oh my god. They’d nearly…done stuff. On his bed. ON HIS BED. Dib pursed his lips, left eye twitching as he mentally freaked out and tried to keep his cool. What was he going to do? He’d have to clean it right? Isn’t it like parents have some sort of sixth sense where they can smell it?
Well, even if his father did find out it wasn’t like they’d have to have the ‘talk’. Aids didn’t seem to be much of an issue since he’d never…before and as far as he knew Zim was well…an alien. Oh my god. Who knows—a-and well, pregnancy. Dib wouldn’t be able to get a guy pregnant. But, an alien guy? He had no idea.
A whole flood of questions was consuming him and Dib needed Zim to say something even if it was yelling because his own brain was doing that thing where it tore him to a billion pieces and left only curiosity and fear.
Zim’s magenta eyes slanted slightly at the human as he stared at him from across the small room. He was certain that he was going to start bombarding him with inquiries about his faulty PAK; wondering if it made him vulnerable and weak.
“No,” Zim answered the non-existent questions Dib didn’t ask. “For your information, Dib-BEAST, it’s perfectly normal, and any assumption that it is not is a filthy LIE.” His tone was defensive and as he sat across from the human, he put his arms behind him as if to protect his PAK—somewhat expecting Dib to try and examine it.
‘Just try!’ Zim seemed to say with his eyes. ‘Come near me and I’ll scratch your eyes out!’
The human’s mind jumped tracks so quickly it took him a few seconds to understand what Zim was talking about and then he did, he felt like a moron. Of course that’s what the irken was worried about. It should be what you are worried about too! A hand ran down the back of his neck, wincing when he accidently hit some scratch marks.
Zim was doing that thing where his very eyes reflected death. Dib knew it was mainly a defensive maneuver but one that was hardly ever used. Only when Zim was actually frightened or in genuine danger. The wannabe paranormal investigator blinked, brow furrowing.
“Um. Normal. You mean the dreadful whirling, the magnetification, the emotional imbalances or the horrible, painful shocks?
Zim felt himself being backed into a corner, and he growled defensively. Why was he questioning him? Didn’t Dib learn that Zim never made mistakes, or was ever wrong or faulty? Surely he isn’t still questioning his overall superiority? Even now, when Dib seemed more enthralled by the alien than ever?
The only way out of this was to deny anything, Zim deduced. So he quickly relied on his favorite line of reasoning: “You’re LYING!”
None of that ever happened, and he can’t prove anything.
Still, Zim could feel himself begin to sweat as those serious golden orbs stared right at him accusingly. They always seemed to get into Zim’s head when they were searching for the truth, and he hated Dib for that. He hated Dib for many reasons though.
He was a human, after all. A gross, dumb, arrogant, ugly, oddly good-smelling, warm, comfortable, sometimes surprisingly gentle….and those honey-colored eyes…
‘Whoa!’ Zim shook his head, shaking those thoughts away. A gross, stinking human! That’s what he was, and he was in the way of Zim’s victory! So what if Dib knew how to elicit pleasure from Zim? It didn’t matter.
The mere fact that Zim was obviously beginning to panic was enough to make Dib want to push it, to satiate his curiosity and find out why the irken was acting the way he was. But, an internal voice was ringing some kind of warning bell; if he pressed this now there was a good chance that he could irreparable damage. To what he didn’t know.
So instead of talking as he wanted to do so badly, Dib instead ran a hand down his face, feeling the light scuffle of two days of not shaving before slumping back in his chair. The human stared back at the silently seething Irken menace that was still half naked. They both were. And bruised, bloody, hot. Not from a fight as was normally the case but, from whatever that stuff before had been.
Dib wasn’t an idiot. He knew that enemies didn’t do that. Knew that kind of stuff was reserved for couples and people who had free lives and time to do whatever they wanted with their bodies. Not like him who had a world to save, or a career to build or a little sister to take care of.
But, here, in his messy room, the blinds drawn with the last of the evening sun fading behind the horizon and their half naked selves…well, it felt intimate. Way too much, way too soon. Suddenly, he felt embarrassed by his pale, skinny frame.
Nonchalantly, he scooped up the t-shirt nearest him and tugged it on before kicking Zim’s Invader uniform in his direction from where it was by his feet. “Here.” The boy murmured, effectively shattering the tense silence that had built up.
Zim scooped up his uniform with a displeased scowl on his face, his eyes never leaving Dib’s. He grumbled something about the human’s dirty feet, but was otherwise surprisingly quiet. He pulled the cherry fabric over his head, huffing and fixing his wig when his head emerged.
He crossed his arms over his chest, keeping his back straight as possible to appear taller. What was Dib planning? He was unusually quiet; Zim could tell that this was pure gold to the paranormal investigator, and yet he didn’t pursue the issue. He could see the curiosity burning in those warm eyes of his, but something was holding him back. What could it be?
Finally, Zim figured it would be useless to try and figure it out himself; he was admittedly not as good as reading the human as he was at reading Zim.
He tugged at the collar of his uniform, which rubbed uncomfortably against his sore neck.
“What?” Zim finally barked impatiently. He wasn’t able to tell what the human was thinking, but he was able to tell when he was troubled.
Not that Zim cared, particularly….
Dib raised an eyebrow at the irken’s grumbling, chewing on the inside of his lip. “Um. Nothing. Nothing at all. I’m just…” A hand motioned to the chair. “Sitting here. Being a human. Yanno. Being dirty, lying…normal stuff that we humans do.”
Said human picked off an bit of imaginary lint from the chair arm before looking back at Zim, expectantly. “Why, Zim? Was there something you wanted to tell me? Or are we going to talk? Or oh, I know, we can glare at each other until one of us breaks.”
The alien looked uncomfortable where he was. Why? Because it was Dib’s bed? Because of all the questions? Or—Uncomfortable? Zim was uncomfortable. Huh. And he’d also been sad. Weird. Maybe hell had finally frozen over. More likely this was some kind of evil ploy or Zim was just being more of a moron than usual. Any of the options could work.
Zim took in a deep breath, letting his chest puff out before letting it all out in one quick huff, turning his head with an annoyed look on his face.
“Tell YOU, Dib-thing? What is there to tell you that you don’t already know?” He waved a hand as if to dismiss the awkward air around him. “We are enemies, and it is clear that we disgust each other. Any notion that there is something more is just naturally laughable.”
Even though he knew this was true, he still couldn’t manage even a quick glance towards the human. He shifted on the bed, crossing and uncrossing his legs and pretending to take an interest in something on the floor. He hated the human more than anything, he hated that he thought he knew what Zim was thinking. What did the human know about Zim, anyway?
He hated the way Dib could read him, but even so…it was better than being ignored.
“And we both know you would break first anyway, so why even bother challenging Zim?” He said with a small growl.
The declaration of their enemy hood was…expected. If Zim hadn’t said it then Dib would’ve eventually still…a white hot jab of pain stuck itself in his middle and twisted and all he could think was, ‘why the hell did that hurt so bad? Are you stupid? Maybe that big head is full of hot air?’
His nostrils flared and a shaky hand ran its way through messy black hair. Dib snorted before leaning back in his chair, where he’d unconsciously leaned forward to hear Zim’s response and crossed his arms. “Ha. You’re funny.”
Dib tried to shut himself down, pull himself away from the situation as he’d been taught by his father but, it was difficult because Dib was such a hot head. His emotions wanted to explode and words, questions, insults wanted to pour from his throat and attack anyone unfortunate enough to be standing too close.
“You say that as if you actually believe I would break before you would.”
Zim’s head snapped forward and glared at Dib, and was immediately speechless with what he saw. Was that a pang of…disappointment in the human’s face? Or was it pain? Zim shook his head, not wanting to believe that Dib could actually be hurt by something Zim said. He’d always been good at shrugging off insults. They had been going at it for years, after all. Could anything Zim say really get through to Dib? Zim found it hard to believe.
And even so, Zim should feel proud about being able to hurt Dib. This was his greatest enemy after all.
So why did he feel so…hollow?
Zim huffed and shoved those thoughts to the back of his head, the best that he could anyway, and fixed his glare on the tired looking boy in front of him.
“Is that a challenge, Stink-boy?”
The human’s lips curled up into a bitter smile, although it almost seemed more of a grimace. His right foot tapped itself repeatedly against the floor, a rhythm. “Sure. Why not? I could use something to keep me entertained for a bit.” The boy looked at his nails and buffed them before glancing back up at Zim out of the corner of his eye. There.
He could’ve sworn that Zim was glancing at him too, checking for something, gauging his reactions maybe? A game of cat and mouse. Just as it had always been. Only which one of them was the cat? Maybe it was like Tom and Jerry? What had they been talking about?
Oh yeah. A competition. Of what exactly though? “Heh. So what are we going to do, just glare at each other until one of us breaks or did you have something in mind?”
Zim straightened up; peering at the human as he seemingly challenged him. “You don’t think Zim could do it? Zim could beat you at anything, worm-baby, even something as trivial as a…glaring contest.”
He uncrossed his arms and set himself at the edge of the bed, leaning toward the human with his eyes intent on winning.
Although what he was trying to win, he wasn’t sure. All he knew was that he needed to beat Dib at anything he could; it had always been this way, and he wasn’t seeing anything changing any time soon.
The human blinked a couple times, obviously confused before shrugging it off and forcing himself to concentrate by clamping town on his jaw, hands clutching the chair arms as he put all his anger, frustration and confusion into his glare.
People became uncomfortable whenever he looked at them; Dib didn’t know if it was because of his eye color which was nearly gold and eerie on occasions or if he just had too much edginess around him that caused people to think he was insane. Maybe both.
How many times? How many time had he been drawn into the irken’s gaze, hypnotized by magen—“Take out your contacts. You’re still wearing them.” Zim’s eyes were so much better when they were real instead of the fake, blue color. Like a doll’s eyes.
Dib hated dolls.
Chapter 12: What's Left
Did this mean that their fighting was over? What was left for them?
Zim blinked a couple times before sitting up straight. Why did that bother him? He eyed Dib over a few moments before finally peeling his lenses off, his eyes glistening in what little light there was, relieved to be free from behind his suffocating lenses.
He suddenly felt embarrassed as his eyes met Dib’s; those honey orbs meeting his own magenta ones for the first time in what seemed like forever. He felt exposed all of a sudden. Why did that matter? Dib had seen him out of his disguise plenty of times. And yet…there just seemed to be a different type of air around them lately.
Hesitantly, in a gesture to try and hide his nervousness, Zim slipped off his wig and set it on the bed next to his contacts. His antennae perked up in the fresh air.
“There, now stop your insolent complaining, Dib-Stink.”
Dib got the really childish urge to mock the irken by mimicking his words with his hand but decided against it. This was serious, for some reason that he didn’t yet understand and now that Zim’s eyes were real…open and exposed…they always did that, glimmered. Well, maybe not so much glimmered as shimmered? Any speck of light bounced of them wetly, reflecting the whole universe inside those bloody orbs.
He could see himself, see his own eyes staring back at him from the irken’s eyes. Zim’s entire tone and body sparked something within Dib, just as it always had and probably always would. No barrier between them now to break the glare.
Through it he spoke, thinking his questions and hoping they somehow got across to the moron. ‘What is a matter with you? What’s going on here? What do you want from me? What do you feel for me? Really? Am I just an enemy? JUST an enemy? I don’t know about you, Zim but on my planet, we don’t kiss our enemies. Unless you do that all the time. With your other enemies. Huh? What the hell is this between us? Why do you care? I thought all you did was hate? Destroy? Fuck you for making me think that maybe you might be more…’
Zim felt uneasy, and shifted constantly on the bed, but never lifting his gaze from those piercing golden eyes. Those golden eyes that seemed to be digging into Zim’s very skull and driving him insane.
They seemed even more intent and dangerous than usual. They seemed to be screaming at Zim, trying to tell him or ask him something. Zim felt something inside him lurch as he peered into those warm eyes, feeling himself go dizzy.
What had the human done to him? Was this some sort of trap? Zim felt like he had been poisoned, almost. It was as if Dib was intoxicating him; he couldn’t keep his grip on reality with those dangerous eyes ripping through him.
He growled lightly, narrowing his eyes slightly. “Stop it!” He barked. “Just tell Zim what’s going through the giant head of yours!”
He couldn’t stand that look any longer; that look of pain and confused that bedded itself deep in those tortured eyes. He felt like he was being toyed with, and nobody toys with Zim.
Dib recoiled and sneered at the alien before him, baring his teeth and practically growling, “Why? Why should I tell you anything? What good will it do me? What will it change? Will it make you stop trying to take over the world? Will it make it so I don’t have to care about these people? No. No it won’t. I don’t have to tell you anything, Zim! You’re an alien and a stupid, arrogant one at that!”
Both hands dove into his hair and tugged at the follicles in frustration. “We’re enemies, right? Only enemies and nothing more. One of us will kill the other one day and it’ll all be over. This,” Quick, jerkily he gestured between them. “will never have mattered. Just the result of a dead nemesis on the floor to pick up and dispose of. A body and the scars we have. That’s all we have Zim.”
Dib clenched his left fist so hard that his knuckles popped, before he yelled and knocked over a big thing of pens and pencils on his desk just because he could and because they were there. They spilled across the floor, some flying and twisting to scatter themselves.
“So, why even bother kissing or talking about anything? Why even stop me from thinking you were fake? You hate me, disgusted by me.” His lips curled again, speaking the words as if they left a bitter taste in his mouth.
“So again, I ask you, why? Why should I tell you what’s going on in my mind?”
Zim flinched, bringing his feet up on the bed to keep from being hit by the writing utensils that were flying across the floor. He stared up at Dib, frozen in shock as he let his anger out on the room around them. He had never seen Dib explode with such ferocity before, and he honestly didn’t know how to react. It was genuinely frightening; and it took a lot to scare Zim. At first Zim was angry with Dib for using such a tone with him, but those words struck something within him.
Dib was speaking the truth; why did they even bother putting up with each other if they were enemies? Why hold hands and kiss and share sweet earth desserts? Zim wanted to destroy him, and Dib wanted the same, right? There had been so many opportunities today, alone. So why didn’t either of them take it?
Nothing would change, and Zim knew that. But somehow Zim didn’t seem to care. He only wanted Dib to stop looking like that; like a hurt pup of some sort, and like it was all Zim’s fault.
Zim didn’t know how to answer him; he didn’t know why he wanted to know what was going on in the giant head of his. He’d never been exactly able to tell, and it bothered him. But Zim had his own questions that he wanted answers to.
“I’m not so sure that’s accurate!” Zim finally protested, sitting up on the bed. “If you truly wanted to destroy Zim, then why not do it? There have been plenty of chances today! And yet you did not take advantage of any of them! So you tell ME, Dib-stink; what is your plan, exactly? What is it YOU want with ZIM? Zim is in your base, after all! So if you truly want to destroy me, your greatest enemy, then do so!”
He felt something within his churn; would Dib really try something now? There was no reason to believe that he wouldn’t. Still, Zim felt somewhat…hopeful. For what, though, he wasn’t sure…
Shoving off from his chair, Dib growled and began to pace, tearing at his hair feeling like a giant ball of pent up frustration. Things flew out of his way as he kicked through his room; clothes, old inventions, the pens and pencils… suddenly he whirled on Zim, reaching out and grabbing the irken by his collar and shoved, shoved him up against the wall, lifting up and up.
Zim yelped as he was suddenly up against the wall, holding onto Dib’s wrists. His eyes were wide as Dib yelled at him, and Zim was frozen in a panic.
“I want to do everything to you; destroy you, turn you in, dissect you, kiss you, kill you, hate you, make peace with you but, you make it so damn fucking difficult to do anything! You’re frustrating and stupid, short, twisted, way too loud for your own good, arrogant, sadistic, and…” His grip on Zim’s collar loosened. “and…”Realization sunk in and it sunk in fast, hard. A rock falling down to the bottom of the ocean. “I don’t…hate…you…” He let go of Zim entirely. “I don’t hate you.”
Then it was over, just as quickly as it had started, Zim’s feet were back on the floor, and Dib had let him go. A thousand thoughts ran through Zim’s mind, and he didn’t even know where to begin.
He had never imagined those words coming out of Dib’s mouth, of all people. He was even wondering if he had even imagined it. Zim stood again the wall, trying to recompose himself.
What did he say? What did he do? His initial reaction was to laugh, to tell the human to stop lying. They were enemies! Of course Dib hated Zim! It was suppose to be that way. And Zim hated Dib.
Even if he was acting strangely. Acting….somewhat gentle…and the look on his face; that pained look. Zim shook his head. No, he hated humans. ALL humans. No exceptions.
No matter how much he wanted to do the kissing thing with them, and hold their hand, and be close to them. He hated them.
He chewed his lip as he contemplated. “Well…” He started softly. He needed to know…“What is there..if we don’t hate each other?” His voice was small, and sounded pathetic, even to the Irken, but for some reason, it was all he could manage.
Dib was sitting on the side of his bed, face buried in his palms, feeling like his entire world had just tilted off its axis. He was now living in a universe where he kissed Zim and didn’t even hate him anymore. What was next? Picking out china patterns? He shuddered at that idea.
When the irken spoke, the boy lifted his head out of his hands and sighed shakily, licking his lips. “I-I…don’t know. I mean…if you try to take over…I’m going to stop you. At every turn. Just as it’s always been…but,” With furrowed brows, Dib finally looked back at the place where he’d left Zim. “I don’t think I can kill you.” Saying it aloud made it all the more real.
Zim was an integral part of his own identity now. Had been for years. IN fact, the irken had helped make him the way he was today, shaped him into someone who fought for humanity and had claw shaped scars…this had perhaps been coming for a long, long time yet. Perhaps, even it had begun to show itself during the whole REAL SCIENCE thing…when they had come back together despite everything.
Zim stood awkwardly for a moment, not sure what to do or say at this point. He wanted to hate Dib, he NEEDED to; it was vital to his mission. And after all, his mission was first, his leaders trusted him. But somehow when he saw the pain in the human’s eyes, it made his world turn upside down. He couldn’t bring himself to think about destroying him.
But what did he say? He didn’t know how to go about….whatever situation this was. He coughed awkwardly and spoke into his balled fist. “I guess...it’s a mutual feeling…ahem…Stink-Boy.”
He crossed his arms over his chest and looked around the room, avoiding the human. He could feel the heat in his cheeks rise as he stood uncomfortably, all too aware of those dangerous honey colored irises on him.
“Now stop sulking; it’s pathetic.” He mumbled.
Dib froze, in the midst of said sulking, blinked once…twice and then turned his head to look back at the flushing irken with a look of pure astonishment on his face. “What?”
Was it real? Was he dreaming? Had it all been a dream? Or was Zim being cruel again? Would only make sense…the moron did like to play with people’s emotions. Dib’s were probably like prime meat.
Zim blinked and looked at the surprised human. “I said stop sulking; it doesn’t suit you.” He stated flatly.
The human waved the words away, flailing his hands in the air like he could make them go away that way, slowly standing up from the bed which squeaked obnoxiously before slowly making his way towards Zim. “No. Not that part, moron. I meant…’I guess it’s a mutual feeling,’ followed by some obscure insult to my hygiene.”
With two more long legged steps, he was in front of the irken again, staring down at the slightly flushed face, noting the tiniest scars and every miniscule imperfection; the scar where Dib had whipped Zim upside the head with a wet towel, some stray scratch marks from where the wig had itched and the irken had found it impossible to resist, and the exposed antenna…one which was shorter than the other. Not that Zim would ever admit that.
Zim’s antennae flattened against his scalp as the human approached rapidly. Zim stood his ground and puffed out his chest, eyes locked onto Dib’s. Although this façade quickly melted away once Zim tried to explain himself.
“Not to say that I care for you, you stinking Human. Only that things wouldn’t exactly…well…be the same if you were…not around.” He waved his hands around as he tried to make sense of everything. “Granted it would be more quiet. Only…I don’t know if I want that.
Or…I don’t know if I’d have it in me to….err…well…destroy you? I guess. I mean I COULD if I wanted to! I AM an Invader after all! A hardened soldier! Zim could destroy you EASILY!“
Zim’s voice constantly fluctuated in volume as he tried explaining himself.
‘What am I saying? Get yourself together Zim! You are babbling like an earth monkey!’
Zim growled in frustration. “What’s it matter to you anyway? Huh! Stop asking questions, Fool-boy! Maybe Zim just likes being around you, ALRIGHT? NOT A BIG DEAL!” He threw his hands up one more time before falling silent.
Bubbles. Little tiny bubbles of joy were floating around in his chest. And when they popped the gas they let lose must’ve gone to his head because Dib was smiling like a fool, all teeth, taking up most of his face. With a lot of effort he managed to get himself under control, coughing into his fist.
“Um. Yeah. I’m sure you could.” The left side of the human’s mouth quirked up, the smile still fighting to get through. “Destroy me, that is. And um,” He felt the corners of his mouth twitch and finally he just gave up, grinning. “Despite the fact that you’re a moron with a serious chip on his shoulder…I like being around you too.” The bubbles bounced and bounced and Dib felt seriously dizzy on all the happiness that was surrounding him. He simply was not used to such endorphins.
Zim put his arms down, staring up at the human as he grinned down at him. Something from within him was beating so hard it shook his whole person. He tried to keep his composure, but could feel the heat in his face giving him away.
The dangerous look in Dib’s eyes was still there, only now it had a softened edge to it, and Zim didn’t know quite what to expect from him. He seemed so happy, now. Had Zim made him feel happy?
Zim had never made anything happy before, except maybe Gir, but he was happy about everything.
And more importantly, Zim CARED that he was happy. Those ridiculously golden eyes shone brightly, regardless of the darkness that had consumed the room as the last hours of day finally passed. Light freckles on the human’s pale skin scrunched up under his eyes as his mouth stretched impossibly wide.
And Zim cared.
This was truly frightening to him. But somehow, he welcomed it at the same time.
No longer able to look at Dib in the eyes, the Irken lowered his gaze to his hands, still free from their gloves.
“Stop grinning like that; you look like an idiot.”
With a sudden burst of enthusiasm, Dib snorted and bent down a bit until his forehead was touching the Irken’s, eye to eye, a swirl of gold and harsh magenta. A wide smile had seemed to permanently imbed itself on his face, foolishly and despite Zim’s declaration. “You’re an idiot.” Dib countered half-heartedly.
Had anyone ever wanted him around? Never. Never ever in the history of his entire existence had another person called out to him to ask him to wait, or to sit next to them or just to talk. No one wanted him around. Dib was annoying, crazy.
Something was hitting him very hard in his throat and chest; it was the realization from earlier and the beginnings of a new one now. Zim had known him longer than anyone else had ever wanted to.
Zim had seen all his faults, his weaknesses and stupid moments…and he was still here. Standing like a fish out of water amongst pictures of himself, saying with stuttering words and shifty glances that above all odds the alien wanted Dib around. Didn’t want him dead.
It was…beautiful. Something tight was wrapping itself around his chest, compressing and squeezing his internal organs. It hurt so bad, and felt so good that his nose faintly tickled and brown eyes watered.
Zim watched as Dib continued to grin like an idiot, leaning forward and pressing their foreheads together. He was a bit surprised at himself for not pressing the human away; even after the events that transpired throughout the day.
Was the human really so happy to find that Zim didn’t hate him as much as the other humans? Granted, being blessed by Zim’s good grace was reason enough to be overjoyed, but the Dib human didn’t seem like he would enjoy the alien’s company, regardless; considering all the years of hating him.
Knowing that he did, however, filled Zim with a strange sensation. He felt relieved—happy, almost. Did this mean that their fighting was over? What was left for them?
Chapter 13: Mirror Image
“Aww, be quiet. It’s a good thing, alright.” Now, Dib was just getting frustrated with his own body and how easily it betrayed him. “It’s just…well, humans sometimes get emotional and I’m human and uh,” was that his voice that sounded so…weird and gruff? “happy tears okay?”
Could they do this “friendship” thing? Was that even possible? Would this affect the “kissing” thing they did? Zim didn’t know what questions to ask first, or if he would understand if he even asked.
But still, he had to admit that it was nice to be close to the human and not being fighting him. Having those amber eyes so close to him…
He watched as those amber eyes pushed a single tear down the human’s warm cheek.
He thought Dib was happy? Why was he leaking?
“Why are you leaking, Dib-stink? Zim has accepted you as an equal; you should feel honored.”
Maybe once upon a time, Dib might’ve had difficulties figuring out what Zim meant but, years of experience and that fact that he felt the stupid…tear drop its way down his cheek well…it wasn’t that hard to figure out. He shook his head, their foreheads rubbing together; black hair intertwining with two antenna. It was strangely intimate and weird and Dib liked it.
“’M not leaking, Space-Boy. I’m crying…” With an annoyed hand, Dib rubbed at his betraying eyes, blinking a few times to get himself under control. How embarrassing. “I’m fine. Just being human, eh? No big deal.” But it was. Horribly so. This entire thing was too much for the emotionally stunted teenager who was used to being numb.
And in one day he’d experienced depression, disbelief, hormonal urges, desire, laughter, anger and now he was about as happy as he’d ever felt before. It was overwhelming, making him slightly hysterical. Another warm drop spilled past despite his best efforts. A hand dashed that one away too, quickly before Zim could see and think him weak.
Zim’s antennae twitched at the feel of Dib’s hair against them; the scent of the human’s shampoo was strong, along with the night air that lingered from their walk home. The strands stuck to his stalks magnetically as they retained some discharge from the shock administered by Zim’s PAK. He found this annoying, but decided to ignore it due to the circumstances.
Crying, he said? According to Zim’s research (and experience) people only cried when they were upset, so why was Dib crying? Hadn’t Zim made the human’s life marginally better by accepting his truce and thus putting a stop to, what was sure to be, a humiliating defeat for Dib?
Zim’s eyes narrowed as he inspected Dib’s face as more reluctant tears were swiped away.
“Well, then, why are you crying? I thought me not hating you was a good thing?” Zim asked cautiously. How could it be a bad thing, honestly?
“Aww, be quiet. It’s a good thing, alright.” Now, Dib was just getting frustrated with his own body and how easily it betrayed him. “It’s just…well, humans sometimes get emotional and I’m human and uh,” was that his voice that sounded so…weird and gruff? “happy tears okay?”
Another pitiful sounding sniffle followed before Dib finally got the guts to put his hands down to look back down at Zim who looked deeply perplexed about the whole thing which honestly, the human couldn’t blame him. He, himself, was confused.
“I’m happy because you, oh-so-mighty Zim have blessed me with your friendship.” It was supposed to be sarcastic but, sounded pretty god damn serious coming from a tear choked voice. “And I’m—I’ve never…no ones ever—“
Why was this so hard? Decidedly, he pushed away from the irken and sat back down on his bed which had seen a lot tonight, burying his head in his hands, and forcing himself to concentrate on stomping down the bizarre emotional episode Dib was currently suffering. The bands around his chest and throat only tightened when his forehead still felt warm from Zim’s.
Happy tears? That was…a thing?
Zim stared at Dib, confused, as he sat down on his bed. He had never seen Dib so pathetic looking, and yet he didn’t feel as disgusted as he might have a few weeks ago. He could only think of how he, himself, might’ve looked doubled over in the library, sobbing grossly.
How would Dib have reacted upon seeing that? Would he have laughed then? Or was he this kind, much gentler Dib he knew today, even then? The idea was a bit surprising; was Dib always like this, and Zim just failed to see it?
Zim stood silent for a bit, fiddling with his fingers, which seemed to be shaking slightly, as he tried to figure out what to do.
He found himself sympathizing with the human; he knew how difficult the situation was, and he was just realizing that it must’ve been difficult for Dib, as well.
He walked over, slowly, and after a moment of hesitation, gently placed a clawed hand on the boy’s shoulder.
“Stop your sniffling, Dib-sti-…er...human…” It was meant as a command, but was surprised at how gentle it sounded.
Dib’s throat only closed up more when he heard the alien shuffle towards him. “God damn it.” With gritted teeth, he forced himself to look up just in time to watch as his old nemesis, the one who he’d hated and fought and kissed and now had made what seemed to be a truce with, placed his claws on Dib’s shoulder. It was followed by a command. Only the command was kind. Gentle.
And it broke him. The damn burst, the full on flood of emotions spilling into his lap. Zim’s touch was the catalyst that caused hot, salty tears to come pouring down the pale teen’s face. But, the worst and potentially humiliating thing was the sounds; harsh, choked noises tore themselves from Dib’s throat. Oxygen was hard to find and the internal plea to make it all stop came from his lungs.
Ashamed, overjoyed, broken and fixed, Dib curled himself into a ball and let himself do the one thing he hadn’t done since he was a child, ever since he’d thought monsters lived inside the closest; sob.
Zim was surprised and stood motionless as he watched his nemesis break down, watching the boy shake and sob below him. Zim didn’t understand fully why the human was sobbing, but he decided that now was the wrong time to be asking; he probably wouldn’t even get a coherent answer.
Once again, Zim found himself looking at a mirror image of himself in that musty library, and although he wanted to be angry with Dib for putting him in this awkward position, he found himself feeling sympathy and…some other emotion that gripped him.
A strange emotion that seemed to grow stronger with each sob and painful gasp that tore its way out of the human, sending a painful sensation to Zim’s chest and making his PAK let out that annoying and familiar hum.
He wanted Dib to stop crying, he could no longer stand to hear him in so much pain, or to see that twisted expression on his face.
Awkwardly, the alien sat on the bed next to Dib, saying nothing as he did so. He wrapped an arm around the boy’s shoulders, pulling him close. He leaned his head close to the human’s and let his antennae softly entangle themselves in Dib’s hair.
Zim had never tried to console anybody before, so he didn’t exactly know how to go about it, so he could only sit there and hope that he was helping. Even in a small way.
The human’s air hitched itself in the back of his tight throat, the second he felt Zim curl around him. The irken’s warmth, his embrace and the soft brushes of antenna through his hair sent shivers of some foreign emotion through him. Another one to deal with among the onslaught but, this one…he didn’t mind trying to untangle himself. In fact, Dib let it go, not bothering to analyze or think.
Instead, the teenager turned his head into the crook of Zim’s neck, biting down on his bottom lip to stop the majority of the loud sobs. The alien smelt like heated sugar. Kettle corn, milk shakes, sunshine. It was soothing in a way that he’d had no idea something could be.
Eventually, the violent shudders that racked his thin frame calmed to slight quivers and the horrible sobbing was all but hiccups. A film of cotton hung itself over Dib’s mind, blocking him from being angry just yet.
Nearly ten years had passed since he’d let himself cry and now that he had…it would take a bit to recover. Which was fine, because Dib was recovering in the arms of someone who cared. Dib was in the arms of a friend that could maybe be more one day. Such fanciful thoughts seemed possible right now.
So, Dib, lover of logic, just let himself believe them. For now.
Chapter 14: Aftermath
Was this friendship? Was this what was in store for them?
Zim said nothing as the human’s sobs slowly silenced, though he was glad they had finally come to an end. For once, the alien didn’t KNOW what to say; what did he say to his ex-enemy who had broken down in front of him? Never once had Zim seen somebody cry, and care enough to try and comfort them.
They were both exposed, and Zim had a feeling that it was alright. There was something in the air that made Zim feel safe, that there was no need to worry about being vulnerable around each other anymore.
Was this friendship? Was this what was in store for them?
Zim smiled to himself a little at the thought, and lowered his head to check that Dib had indeed stopped crying. A few stray tears were making their way down the human’s face, but he was quiet now.
And the silence was heavy.
He needed to say something to let the human know that it was alright; that Zim was okay with this.
He cleared his throat before starting, “Are you done now?”
‘Hm,’ Zim thought as soon as the words left his mouth. ‘Maybe not the best way to approach the situation.’
With a weak laugh, Dib rubbed his arm over his eyes and nodded. “Yeah.” Sniffle. “I’m done now.” Maybe that was a cue to pull away from the irken and try to straighten all this out now that his stupid mental break down was over. But, it was warm and nice. Dib was very, very reluctant to move even an inch from Zim’s form of comfort, feeling pleasantly high on the release of tears and the faint sweet smell that the irken radiated.
From his position, face in Zim’s neck, he could feel the slight pulse of a squeedely spooch. Unlike hearts that went ‘Bum-Bum’, the squeedely spooch went twice as fast even while Zim was calm. It was fascinating and lulling but, it also began to make Dib aware of the fact that it was uncomfortably silent.
With a sigh, Dib reluctantly forced himself away from Zim’s body and fell backwards against the mattress. A sharp exhalation before, “Um…thanks. For…you know?” Dull, white teeth worried his bottom lip. “Not making fun of me…” He smiled softly. “yet anyways.”
Zim pulled his legs up onto the bed, sitting on them as he looked over at Dib. He wiped at his neck as he felt a familiar stinging sensation as Dib’s tears soaked through the collar of his uniform. He wiped the wetness on Dib’s bed, looking down as he did so.
“Yeah well,” he huffed. “Consider us even, then.” He retorted, thinking of how he had shed a few of his own tears in the very same room, earlier. He didn’t even know if Dib had noticed, and had only assumed not since he didn’t say anything about it. Zim mentally slapped himself for even bringing it up.
“Erm,” He quickly started again to hopefully distract Dib from the statement. “Is that something…friends do, anyway?” He asked, fully serious as he brought his gaze back to Dib.
His usually dangerous eyes were now sad, and rimmed with red, Zim noticed. He wondered if Dib was still upset, and if he should still comfort him. He decided against it, however, as he didn’t want to make the situation more awkward than it already was.
The Dib-human blinked, surprised. Even? Oh…a few days ago when Zim had almost—“Eh? Oh um. What part do you mean?” Long, pale fingers picked at his UFO sheets, flicking an invisible piece of lint. “The not making fun of each other thing? Or the awkward consoling?”
Damn, now his eyes were a bit sore from the force of his crying. Dib fought the urge to rub at them. Instead, he just looked up from his fingers, under his damp lashes at the alien who seemed just as confused as Dib was. Magenta eyes were shifty and avoided any contact. Zim was tense, uncertain of his current standing. It was a rare state to see the irken in.
But, then again, given the circumstances it really wasn’t. The evil alien had reached out and comforted him. Held him in the stupid emotional aftermath of so many years of holding it all inside. This was probably about as foreign as it got for Zim. Caring for something other than himself…a cause for alarm on both their ends.
Zim cared. About him. And that—that was just another piece of evidence that his nemesis was so much more than what Dib had once thought.
“Well…um…both, I guess.” The alien answered quietly. Zim looked back down at the sheets of Dib’s bed, noticing for the first time how inviting the ridiculously patterned fabric seemed. Everything seemed to be slowing down all of a sudden, and he panicked inwardly as his eyelids began to grow heavy.
‘Oh no!’ He screamed in his head. ‘That shock must’ve depleted my PAK’s energy cells! I’ll need to get home and charge!’ But as he was beginning to give into the weight of his own body, he knew that there was no way he could get to his base before collapsing. ‘I’ll need to wait until the energy builds up manually…’ He realized reluctantly as he lay down on the bed. He tried to stay awake for as long as he could, trying to focusing on the human next to him.
With a long suffering sigh, Dib ran a hand down his face, oblivious to what was happening as he stared at the wall ahead of him. He heard Zim move to lie down on his bed and cocked an eyebrow. “Both, eh? Well, yeah sure. As far as I know…friends do both those things.” At least, he thought so. It wasn’t as if Dib had vast amounts of knowledge about friendship. But, from what he’d seen, it seemed they were doing it right.
With every blink it became harder for his eyes to open again, until finally he let the grey wings of sleep cover him.
He only hoped that he could trust the human enough not to do any experiments on him while he was out. But somehow, as he was slipping into a deep sleep, he knew that he could.
Zim was lying on his bed, stunningly quiet with that obnoxious humming sound coming from his PAK. A quick glance at the window showed him that all light was gone from outside and an even quicker one at the clock showed it was nearly ten o’ clock.
Quirking a smile, the teen finally turned his head to look back at his companion. “It’s late. Are you spending th—“ He cut himself off when he saw that Zim’s eyes were closed, lips parted with steady breaths. Dib blinked, stunned that the irken had managed to fall asleep in the last few minutes, as well as the fact that he trusted Dib enough to sleep in his company without fear of being hurt.
That made the smile return to his face, though it was softer and kind of curious. He’d never seen Zim sleep before; the alien’s back was slightly arched from the PAK beneath him, arms splayed and muscles relaxed. It was like watching someone else sleep; someone who was younger, innocent and different.
Zim looked at peace. A loud snore cut off his musings. Though Dib’s smile grew ever larger. Even in the Invader’s sleep, he was loud. The springs squeaked obnoxiously as he shoved himself off the bed to go and turn off the lights, before returning to the bed, grabbing a pillow and laying on the opposite side from Zim to try and catch his own nightly ‘Z’s.
Chapter 15: A Nightmare
The vulnerability of this being that had such a position in his life…had finally sent something home to him; it didn’t matter what they were. Enemies, friends, lovers because no word, no label could describe what Zim meant to him and what they had.
The air was different from last night, Zim noticed as he stood in the center of Dib’s room. Everything seemed so hazy, as if a veil covered Zim’s eyes. There was also something that made the alien uneasy; the light coming from the window was skewed by blinds, casting strange shadows across the small room—figures and shapes danced around him menacingly.
He tried to run out the door, but his legs were numb underneath him and no matter how hard he tried to lift them, they seemed to hold their place, stubbornly. He could only look with a panicked expression in his disguised eyes, sweat beading his forehead, trying to find a way out.
And just before Zim tried to call out, he could see a familiar figure emerging from the shadows—its eyes lighting up dangerously in what little light wasn’t eaten up by the shadows. A flash of brilliant gold and then the glint of clean lenses before Dib finally stepped into view, an unreadable expression on his face.
Zim’s breath escaped his body as he was immediately overcome with a sense of relief. He tried to speak out to his new friend, but couldn’t find his voice. Dib stepped closer to Zim, his expression never faltering as he did so.
“Your lenses...” Dib began in a soft, raspy whisper. His voice sent shivers through the alien, and he felt his gut begin to shift as that feeling of panic was rising again. Something wasn’t right, but Zim but put his finger on it. He could only watch as Dib stood in arm’s length from Zim, making him feel so small.
“You’re still wearing them.” Dib continued, and now there was a sense of frustration within the human’s voice. “Take them OFF!”
And suddenly Dib was clawing at Zim’s face, a twisted face of anger on his face. Zim struggled as he felt those dull nails scratching and grabbing at him, finally finding their place on the edges of his eyes, digging under his lenses violently. He felt his blood spilling down his cheeks as his lenses were brutally torn out of his eyes, his blood sending a sick color of violet across the room as Dib threw them away.
Zim felt himself begin to sob, more so from the act than the pain. He could hear his voice, a somewhat distant plea as he muttered in between his broken cries.
“Why are you doing this? I thought we were friends?”
Dib caressed Zim’s cheek, his expression unreadable again, as he spoke softly to the alien.
“We are friends, Zim.” Dib pushed against Zim, and for the first time Zim could feel himself actually moving. He hit the wall with some force, and stared up at Dib, who was now glaring down at him, his golden eyes now burning fiercely.
“And you know what friends do for each other?” He asked, and suddenly Zim noticed that Dib was holding something. The human held it up for him to see, and the light caught on it beautifully, making Zim feel sick. Dib held the scalpel close as he yelled, “They show them their insides!”
Zim tried to scream as the scalpel was plunged into his gut, but his voice only failed him. He still could not find his voice as the utensil was dragged up Zim’s abdomen, his blood spilling out in pools over their boots.
With his skin peeled back to reveal his innards, Zim could only gasp as he tried to ask Dib why he was doing this, tears and blood streaking down the alien’s pale face.
“‘Why’?” Dib asked, his voice dripping with hatred. “Why would you ever think we could be friends? How could you think that I could ever care for a monster like you?”
Zim couldn’t believe what he was hearing; it was a lie the whole time…
“I hate you.” Dib muttered, finally.
The words crashed through Zim, and he could finally scream out loud as the words tore his squeedily-spooch—the muscles giving away with sick snapping sounds.
He fought to break free, thrashing and squirming, until finally he was sitting up in Dib’s bed, tears thick as they fell down his cheeks in uncontrollable bursts. He sobbed loudly as he tried to make sense of what just happened. He was in Dib’s bed, where he had fallen asleep last night…
Dib was jerked from sleep when the entire bed shook violently, blinking back the remnants of foggy dreams and sitting up with a head rush, he suddenly froze; not because Zim was in his bed, or because of any real shock about yesterday but, because his nemesis was crying. Crying wasn’t really the proper word for it though. Agony was being torn from Zim’s throat and up through his mouth into the stagnant air.
Blindedly, Dib reached to the floor and shoved his glasses on before kicking the covers aside and crawling over to where Zim was. The irken was shaking violently, magenta eyes darting blindly as those horrible noises poured from him. The human’s first instinct was to ask questions; “Zim? Hey. What’s wrong? Are you okay? What happened? How can I help?”
Second, was to check over his alien companion for any visible signs of injury. There was none which led him to believe that it must be emotional, mental…both of which were uncomfortable subjects, as was proof by his own stupid break down the day before.
Finally, the full force of what was happening before him, really sunk in; Zim was crying. That was just about as natural as water on fire. Or the dead coming back to life. Irkens didn’t care, didn’t cry. Irkens needed no one and they were brutal, they had PAKS on their backs that were perfect, better than silly humans. Very simple facts that had always seemed constant and were now being obliterated before his eyes.
Shock made him numb but, not numb enough to stop him from doing the very epitome of humanity and reaching out, touching and trying to make the pain stop. Thin fingers wrapped, gently around Zim’s shoulder, steadily tightening to let Zim know he was there and that the nightmare was over. Whatever had haunted his mind had disappeared, leaving him with reality. “Hey, Space-Boy. You’re okay. It’s all fine.” He murmured, unsure.
Zim flinched when he felt a warm hand on his shoulder, and he turned only to be greeted by a horrible memory. Dib’s face didn’t hold the comfort it usually did, even though it was painted by worry and honest concern.
Zim could only see that sadistic smile as his skin was torn open, and his guts spilled on the floor.
Zim yelped in surprise, and without thinking, he was throwing punches.
“Stay away!” He screamed. “Don’t touch me!” He tried to defend himself, but his own strength was failing him. His arms felt heavy as more sobs broke out of him.
The edges of the dream had begun to fog, and soon it was nothing more than a blurred image, leaving nothing but the raw emotion behind. Leaving Zim feel even more confused about why he was feeling this way.
The human was caught between covering himself from the steadily decreasing blows of alien fists and staying steadily connected to Zim. He went with the latter, now taking both hands and placing them on opposite shoulders, waiting out the storm as painful as it was.
“Calm down, Zim. I’m not gonna hurt you. You had a bad dream.” Dib’s ears suddenly caught onto a muffled shuffling as it came across from the hallway. He grimaced. Gaz was on the verge of waking up. That wouldn’t be pretty if she did. It never was. Best to end this now.
“Come on, you moron. Come back to me. You’re fine. Safe and sound, annoyingly loud and tiny as always.” Maybe some anger or indignity would knock Zim back into reality. Something wet splashed into the side of his hand. It sizzled softly, but didn’t hurt. Itched a bit. Realization hit him; tears. Zim’s tears.
Dib’s gut clenched, his chest constrained with iron bands. Who knew that Irkens could cry? Not him. There had been those few moments days ago…but, he had brushed it off. This, this horrible event could never be brushed off.
Zim slowly went still as Dib’s words sunk in. A bad dream. Had it really only been a dream? It was so vivid…
Overwhelmed, Zim stared at the human, searching his eyes for a hint of that danger he had sensed in his dream. Only concern and warmth could be found in his tired eyes, still a bit swollen from his crying fit he had last night. Relieved, Zim collapsed into the human’s chest, gripping him tightly, as if to make sure he was really real.
It really had been a dream—a stupid dream. Zim didn’t want to believe it; he had reacted so childishly over something that wasn’t even real. He was ashamed of himself.
“It seemed so real…” He muttered weakly to himself, a few last tears making their way down his flushed cheeks.
And suddenly, Dib had his arms full of alien. Natural instinct demanded of him that he freak out and get uncomfortable or shove Zim away. Contact with humans was something he had no experience with. But, this was Zim, who was an irken and who was in pain.
Without a second thought, Dib’s arms were responding and wrapping themselves around his long time enemy, becoming soaked with warmth and angst in the dark of his bedroom where so many things had already happened in such a short time.
“Well, it wasn’t.” Curiosity was practically weeping. What had the dream been about? Why had Zim fought him? Did that mean that Dib was in it? Since when did Irkens dream? Why was Zim crying? But, he determinedly tamped down the questions for now in favor of returning to Zim the favor of consolation, of comfort. “And you’re safe.” In the arms of your worst enemy, who was your friend and someone you kept kissing. Damn. They were confusing weren’t they?
Zim sniffed again, forehead against the human’s chest, which still felt tight with sympathy. He felt the alien tremble and it sent shockwaves through him. The vulnerability of this being that had such a position in his life…had finally sent something home to him; it didn’t matter what they were. Enemies, friends, lovers because no word, no label could describe what Zim meant to him and what they had.
Dib let out a sigh of relief, and laid his head on top of Zim’s, careful of his antenna.
Zim nestled himself into the comfort of Dib’s arms, grateful that he had not been pushed away as he half expected. Something in his chest pounded hard as Dib draped his arms over him, and he felt overheated as he was pressed against Dib’s chest. But he didn’t complain, only squeezed himself tighter against him.
It was astonishing to Zim how much comfort he found in Dib, when not even a few weeks ago he could safely say he hated him. How did things change so quickly? He didn’t think it would ever come to this; weeping into his chest like a smeet while the human so gently rested his head against him.
Then again, Zim couldn’t really say that he would change how things were now (other than the crying, of course). He liked being able to trust Dib, and even liked being able to be close to him; his warmth was always welcome to Zim.
How must Dib see Zim, now? He wondered. The almighty Zim, reduced to a sniffling mess. He couldn’t even look up at Dib as he wiped his cheeks dry.
He murmured into the boy’s chest with a slight scowl on his face.
“Zim is not tiny…”
The human chuckled hoarsely, eyes closed. “Yeah you are. Itty bitty and adorable.” It was relaxing in an odd sort of way to just sit here, being able to hold onto someone in the middle of the night. Hearing the continued sniffling, Dib opened his eyes and leaned back a bit to try and look into the irken’s eyes. They glistened more than ever with the tears, seemingly like wet rubies. Dib pulled his hand back into his sleeve and reached out to help wipe away the final tears.
“Are you better now?” He asked softly, knowing they needed to be quiet unless they wanted to invoke the wrath of his sister.
Zim growled at the human’s teasing, but had to admit that he felt better knowing that things were back to normal. Well, as normal as things could get with them, anyway. Zim sighed and leaned into Dib’s covered hand as it softly brushed his cheek.
“Zim is fine…” He reassured. “Not tiny, or adorable, but fine.”
The human raised an eyebrow when Zim leaned into his hand but, said nothing about it as the last of the tears were swept away. “Hmm. Good.” A vicious yawn overtook Dib, making his jaw crack and eyes feel a bit heavier. He was overly warm and very comfortable. “Can you go back to sleep or…” He let his question trail off, unsure of what the ‘or’ was but assumed that Zim would fill it in.
Zim paused, thinking for a bit. He didn’t feel tired, nor did he WANT to sleep after what had happened. He shook his head. “I doubt sleep will come easily after that…” He admitted slowly. “But if you really are weak enough to still need to sleep, then you may.”
It was easy to see that humans weren’t really well-functioning when they were sleep deprived—and he had done plenty of experiments in his lab on the subject.
‘My lab! My base!’ Zim suddenly remembered; he had fallen asleep here unintentionally last night. He had left GIR unattended in his base, and the robot was bound to be getting lonely and bored (which meant all sorts of awful things) by now.
But Zim couldn’t help but feel reluctant as he looked at the drowsy human, his eyes drooping and his face seemingly content. Zim’s chest tightened and he could help but smile a little.
‘I’m sure GIR will be fine…’ He reassured himself.
Dib was uncertain. Should he sleep or stay awake with the irken? A second obnoxious yawn answered that question for him. Blinking sleepily, Dib smiled softly and pulled Zim back down to the bed so they were lying down with Zim on top.
The pillow was so soft, he mentally complained and the irken’s eyes were like individual galaxies. “I’ll try to stay awake as long as I can. But, as you said, Space-Boy, I’m horribly weak.” He chuckled softly; feeling enthused with affection in this lazy state for the alien above him. They shared body warmth and Dib was worried about Zim’s nightmare. It must’ve been terrible.
But, they had tomorrow for those questions.
Right now, covered under the blanket of night, and acceptance of what they had, Dib was okay with waiting. There was no consideration of consequences when he lifted his head slightly only to press their lips together chastely, softly. “Good night. You’re safe with me, you monster.” He whispered affectionately.
Zim gave a small smile, his eyes half-lidded in response to the human’s affectionate gesture. The act of kissing still confused Zim a little, but it didn’t take much for him to know that he enjoyed it. The small kiss had somehow reassured him that, even after the crazy night they had, everything was fine.
Zim reached out and carefully took Dib’s glasses by the bridge and lifted them off of his face, setting them on the bed next to his head. He layered his hands on the boy’s chest and rested his chin on them as he watched Dib fight the sleep that was inevitably taking over him.
“I know…” He whispered softly into the air between them, the soft smile never leaving his lips.
Dib returned the smile, obnoxious warm fuzzies covering his skin, heart full and the world felt right in a way it never had before. The only thought that went through his mind just before he fell over the edge into the darkness of sleep was, ‘I’m falling into those eyes and I think that’s okay.’
Chapter 16: Bored
For a few seconds, Dib was worthless, gaping and feeling the day he'd mentally planned swirl down the drain. Then it was on to angry exasperation. With a face palm, the teen growled, "What the hell is a matter with you? I said find something edible not empty all of my food out on the floor!"
Zim sighed as Dib was soon asleep underneath him. At first he thought that he would be fine laying there, watching the human in his sleep, but he found very quickly that he had no patience for that sort of thing. He huffed before sliding off of Dib and out from the covers, standing in the center of the room and looking down at the sleeping human to make sure he didn't disturb him.
Satisfied, he turned his attention to the mess that was Dib's room. He had really only skimmed the room earlier; now he had a chance to do some serious snooper 'research'. He looked through the computer as much as he could without knowing any of the passwords Dib used to keep his files secure. After that he moved on to the human's closet, only to become bored with his wardrobe quickly and moving on to more of the boy's sketches.
'These aren't THAT impressive.' Zim thought to himself as he strung the papers about (worse than they already were). 'Zim could do this, easily.'
Determined, Zim scrounged up a pen and began scrawling on the back of one of Dib's drawings. Ten minutes of fierce concentration later and Zim was left with a horrible rendition of the human he now called his friend. The head was much too big, and the limbs were all different sizes, not to mention Dib's cowlick was a bit askew. Zim only nodded, pleased with his work, and sighed as he was left with nothing else to do.
He had tried to distract himself long enough to keep the memories of his emotional bursts at bay until Dib had woken up, but now sat in the darkness with nothing but his memories to keep him company.
He had managed to keep himself composed until just this night, when that dream had caught him by surprise. He had been reduced to a sniffling mess, shivering and sobbing. And if that wasn't bad enoughbecause he had been experiencing that a lot as of latehe had broken down right in front of Dib! Zim was suppose to be strong, and show no signs of weakness; he was an invader, after all! The elite of the elite of the Irken army! Now Dib was going to view him as nothing but a smeet.
Zim growled and slouched in the computer chair. This was unacceptable; he had to do something about this PAK, and SOON. He couldn't afford any more slip ups.
Especially not in front of Dib
Sleep was a wonderful thing. The human's frail body needed lots of it to make up for all the strain of that evening and it was interspersed with various dreams about flying, aliens and rivers of sweet tears. Despite all the horrible noise that Zim was making, Dib didn't wake up until the streams of light coming through his blinds hit pale lavender eyelids. He squeezed them shut for a few seconds longer before sighing and relenting, opening his eyes and
A sketch of Zim that Dib had drawn several years ago was dangled above him, clutched in the hands of said green menace who looked lost in his own pride, a pencil in the other hand. The human blinked, wondering if maybe it was worth it asking. However, curiosity got the better of him and he sat up a bit, leaning over to get a good look at what was on the other side of the paper.
It seemed to be some sort of bizarre blob. With a horn and many flailing limbs. Zim didn't seem to notice him. Day dreaming? Did Irkens day dream? They dreamed so why not? "Good morning, Picasso."
Zim nearly hissed in surprise at the sound of the human waking, and his instinct told him to bolt out the window before he got pummeled for trespassing. It took him a tense moment to remember that he was a welcome guest in Dib's room, and he relaxed as he did. He had crumpled the paper slightly in his moment of surprise and attempted to smooth it out as he made his way over to Dib's bed.
"Shut your noise -hole, Dib-beast, and behold!" He shoved the paper at Dib, a proud grin on his face. "I have created a likeness of you on paper, as you did me, proving again that Irkens can match and out-match any human at anything, ever!" He gave a triumphant laugh as he grinned down at the human.
Zim was proud of his drawing, of course, but he had mostly wanted to make sure that the topic of his dream didn't come up right away, if at all. He wasn't ready to admit that it had even happened, much less explain to Dib that it was about him and that's why it had such an impact on Zim.
He was sure that Dib wouldn't understandbecause, well, Zim didn't fully understand it himself. Then again, Zim didn't really understand a lot of what was happening to him lately. Like how he was so excited to see that Dib was awake and how his chest tightened at the fact that Dib looked so helpless in the morning, with his hair awry and his eyes soft with grogginess.
No, Zim wasn't ready to confront those feelings yet. And he begged inwardly for Dib not to make him.
The human was startled, leaning back so as to not have to go cross eyed as he was forced to admire the scrawling on the paper. A bubble of surprise and laughter worked itself up his throat. "That's me?!" He exclaimed, and then realized that Zim might not know just how horrible it was, considering the alien's expression was just oh-so-smug that seemed likely. "Um, I mean. Yeah. Of course that's me. It's eh great, Zim."
Smiling encouragingly, Dib threw his legs out from beneath the bed covers and to the floor, stretching for a second and grabbing his glasses before maneuvering his way across his room and to the bathroom.
After a second, Dib called over his shoulder, "Just give me a second and we'll go downstairs to hustle up something for breakfa oh yeah." Pausing, the human ran a hand through his overly messy hair. God. A shower was needed soon or else Gaz would take it upon herself and throw a bucket of water on him like she had last time. "You don't eat human food."
Dib leaned against the doorway, feeling gritty from sleep and awkward because Zim was in his room and hadn't tried to kill him while he was helpless. There was so much to consider, to think about. So many questions to spend hours answering.
Zim watched as Dib maneuvered around him, a scrutinizing expression on his face. He didn't seem all that impressed by Zim's drawing after all the work Zim had put into it. He felt himself beginning to get flustered, then remembered that Dib's eyes weren't exactly 'grade-A', and shrugged it off. He dropped the paper to the bed before crossing his arms over his chest and looking back up at Dib, who stood awkwardly in the doorway.
"If you could even call that stuff FOOD." He grumbled. Though he had to admit that he wouldn't mind another one of those 'milkshake' things.
"And what are you going to do?" Zim pointed accusingly at the human, squinting his eyes at him. "Leave me alone here? I've been bored out of my mind waiting for you to wake up!"
'Waiting for you to wake up'. Why did that sound so .strange to Zim? He didn't HAVE to wait here, he could've (should've) gone back to his base. Why did he stay when he was obviously bored out of his skull?
Zim wished now that he hadn't said anything, and could only stand and hope that Dib didn't over-think it.
Luckily for everyone involved, Dib was mainly focused on essential human drabble like hygiene and nourishment so he didn't catch onto any of Zim's mental worrying. "Well, unless you want my sister to come in here and hose me down I'm going to shower, brush my teeth and become a working person again. If you're so bored you can work on your lack luster drawing skills or go downstairs and raid my poor kitchen for anything that might be semi-eatable for you. Unless you have any better ideas?"
Though he highly doubted it, Zim wasn't exactly known for his genius moments. Besides this was trivial stuff, not like they were deciding on how to save or destroy the world. The irken could just deal with being bored a little bit longer. Dib wasn't his monkey slave in charge of keeping him entertained.
"Besides you didn't have to stay here." Unawares, the human hit on exactly what Zim didn't want, pointing it out in the process of yawning.
Zim flinched a bit as Dib came to the same realization. But lucky for him, Dib didn't seem particularly hung-up on the subject, so Zim tried to play it off as if it were nothing. Because that's what it was, after allnothing. It didn't mean anything; they were friends now and friends did that sort of thing? He had no idea, but it sounded like it could hold up in an argument.
"Fine!" Zim barked, maybe a bit more bitter-sounding than it needed to be. He quickly dug around the room for his disguise and put it on hastily, shoving past Dib as he marched out the door.
"Zim will search your pathetic kitchen for something to eat. Take your time BECAUSE I DON'T CARE." He tried to sound as nonchalant as possible, but as he shouted the last bit while descending the stairs he couldn't help but detect some hurt in his tone.
He didn't care, honestly. Why should he care if he was in Dib's house, by himself, with the purple-haired girl stalking about?
He didn't even care that even though he had waited half the night for Dib to wake up so he wouldn't have to be alone, Dib was blowing him off to go play in some water.
The human raised an eyebrow as he watched Zim practically destroy his room in search of his disguise, throwing it on and begin stalking out the door. Then the Irken was yelling and his ears were sensitive in the morning. A hand went up to cup his poor ear, as Dib flinched.
"You're such a diva!" He yelled after the alien menace who was being sulky and stupid as always. Whatever. It wasn't like it would kill the little drama queen to wait for a few more minutes. Besides it would decrease germs and that was one of Zim's things right? With gold eyes rolling heaven ward, Dib shut the bathroom door and stripped. Off came the glasses again as he turned the nozzle on the shower and waited for the water to heat up.
Gaz was sitting on the couch, as was custom, with her head bent over a video consol, still in fuzzy purple pajamas. The tv was flashing images of morning cartoons and the kitchen smelt like Pancakes, eggs and bacon. The sound of two boys yelling was irritating but, wasn't quite enough to yank her from her cocoon of calm. Especially not when faced with a glorious new video game and a tummy full of good food. No. She'd let them live for now.
Zim stormed into the kitchen, grunting and growling, but was instantly thrown backwards by the scent of food in the air. He made a few sickly noises before regaining his composure. Honestly, the thought that Dib assumed he could find anything eatable in this place was insulting. He looked around the living room, not wanting to go into the kitchen again, but was compelled to after noticing the tussle of purple on the couch. He stared, wide-eyed for a moment, before silently backing into the kitchen.
He'd take human food over Dib's creepy sister any day. He examined the mess on the stove for a bit before moving to the fridge, his face scrunched up in disgust. He rummaged around noisily, pushing things around in curiosity.
There were a few brightly colored packages that he was interested in, and he pulled them out in an armful, placing them on the table before examining them closely. He opened some up and spilled their contents out on the table to inspect them. He pushed them around the table and eyeballed them, but never actually ate anything. He was actually quite amused by some of them, and played with them in his hands a bitespecially that gelatinous goop in the small plastic cups. 'Jell-o' it said on the package. The color was quite interesting to him, as well as the texture. He pushed it around some before it plopped on the floor and he lost interest, moving onto another package.
Clean, awake and fully clothed, Dib finally skipped down the stairs, taking them two at a time and landing at the bottom with a curious glance around. Spying his sister on the couch, Dib raised an eyebrow. In response (how she could tell he was communicating with her, only God knew), she raised an arm and waved it in the direction of the kitchen. "I made breakfast. Your freaky pet is in there."
"Thanks Gaz." A grunt was received in response but, Dib didn't really pay any attention anyways as he strode into the entry way of his kitchen, stomach rumbling at the smell of food. "Hey Zim did yo what the hell did y" The good mood that he'd been in was effectively zapped away when all he could see was open and discarded packages of jello, pudding cups, cans of fruit, cereal boxes, soup cans, crackers and what seemed like the entire contents of his pantry.
For a few seconds, Dib was worthless, gaping and feeling the day he'd mentally planned swirl down the drain. Then it was on to angry exasperation. With a face palm, the teen growled, "What the hell is a matter with you? I said find something edible not empty all of my food out on the floor!"
Stomping across the room, Dib dug into the hall closet and yanked out a broom, a mop and the trash can. "But, what did I really expect you to do? Be nice and patient while I took a shower. How stupid am I? You're not capable of that. Of course this was going to happen. It's my fault actually." Viciously he attacked the cereal flakes, sweeping them up into the dust pan before dumping it all in the trash can.
Zim perked up at the sound of the human coming into the kitchen. Standing up quickly, he knocked over the box of noodles he had just opened, but he didn't seem to take any notice to it. He watched quietly and listened to Dib as he swept up the mess on the floor.
"Well, I'm glad you can admit to your mistakes, Dib." Zim said with a grin. "If you hadn't abandoned Zim, this wouldn't have happened." He sat at the table, legs crossed, as he watched the human clean up. But it wasn't long until Zim was bored again, and he let out a drastic sigh.
"Could we hurry this up? There is much to do today!" He flicked some noodles off the table as he waited. "Zim is still hungry, by the way. I will need to go to the base to get some real food " He thought out loud to himself. "I hope Gir is doing ok; I didn't give him anything to do yesterday to keep him preoccupied." He drabbled on indifferently, not being bothered to help Dib clean up his mess.
Dib's left eye twitched, as he watched the noodles bounces as they hit the floor and before he could really understand what was happening he'd brought the broom down over Zim's head, sweeping the crap out of him. "How do like it huh? Enjoy all the germs that have gathered between all those bristles, especially from all the food you made me pick up!"
Zim yelped and brought his hands up to try and defend himself.
"Dib-stink! Get that filth away from ZIM!" He yelled desperately as the grimy bristles ran across his face and head, knocking back his wig. Antennae perked angrily as Zim tried to push the broom away.
Finally Zim manage to grab hold of the broom, tugging it to get it from his so-called-friend.
"Do you have any idea what sorts of germs have collected themselves in this disgusting cleaning utensil?! I could get sick! You've soiled Zim's perfect skin!" He coughed and sputtered. "Uhg, they were on my mouth!" He wiped his face savagely on his sleeve, still holding the broom in his other hand.
Dib crossed his arms smugly. "You deserved it. You were being a jerk. See, now you understand the importance of cleanliness. There are some wet wipes in the drawer over there." Moving quickly, the human snatched the broom and finished getting all the dry stuff into the trash. Now to mop, or rather Swiffer Sweeper the jello and soup up.
"Once I'm done cleaning up YOUR mess, we can check up on GIR then um, go get a soda or something." Now that his fiendish rage was over, Dib felt a bit bad for attacking Zim like that. Just a bit though. The alien didn't know any better. Still it sucked to have to clean it.
Zim growled and glared at Dib as he passed him to get the 'wet wipes' from where Dib had pointed. He grumbled something about Dib being no-good and opened the drawer forcefully, rummaging through it needlessly loud out of spite.
He pulled out what he assumed were the wet-wipes, feeling pleased with himself when he opened the package up to see the small towels. Eagerly, he scooped up a handful and massaged his face with them, letting out a sigh of relief as he could practically feel the germs being scrubbed away.
Chapter 17: Pink Goo
Was Dib going to let Zim push away the hurt? Gold eyes flew to the wig that lay abandoned on the table. With a noise that was half sigh, half exasperated groan Dib grabbed the wig. Yeah. He was. For now.
After a while, Zim felt satisfied that he wasn’t going to be catching the plague anytime soon, so he discarded the towels to the counter and turned to Dib, a scowl still on his freshly-washed face. He stood with his arms crossed for a moment until he felt he had Dib’s attention.
“Are you crazy?! You could’ve killed me!”
With a victorious hum, Dib dropped the filthy Swiffer Sweeper pad into the trash, putting all his stuff away and brushing past Zim to wash his hands. “Nag, nag, nag.” He mocked, feeling pleasant once again but, still annoyed enough to be unable to resist arguing with the irken. “I’m done now. Let’s go. Unless you want to sit around here all day?”
Letting that thought sink in, Dib grabbed a couple strips of bacon and proceeded to chew on them hungrily. Yum, food. Leaning against the counter, he got a good view of the irritated alien. His uniform was wrinkled from the many times it had been dropped on the floor, thrown across rooms and picked up.
Zim looked just plain haggard. Maybe it was the fact that he’d woken up from a nightmare, sobbing or maybe Irkens just responded really badly to boredom. Either way, Dib decided he should give his companion a bit of leeway to do what he wanted for a little bit.
Maybe treat him to a milk shake since he seemed to like that so much yesterday.
Zim felt himself begin to tense up in anger. He didn’t WANT to get angry; he wanted to go home and get food and get sodas with Dib. But he couldn’t help it—Dib just stood there, eating his disgusting meat, while Zim was having a very real (to him) brush with death or, at the very least, a very serious sickness.
Zim tried to let it go, he wanted to, but he felt something click within him, and suddenly he was seeing red. Dib knew how much he hated germs, but blatantly disregarded that fact when he assaulted Zim with that disgusting broom.He marched up to Dib, his eyes dark behind his lenses, and shoved him brutally in the chest.
“You idiot!” Zim fumed. “How dare you act so nonchalant after what you just did!?” He grunted and growled, not knowing what to say, but being too angry to keep quiet. His antennae pressed themselves flat against Zim’s head in his frenzy. He poked Dib hard in the chest, speaking between clenched teeth.
“How dare you call yourself Zim’s friend after that?! You no good, smelly, idiotic human!” It was as if Zim was outside his body, watching and not being able to control anything. He could tell that he was maybe over reacting a little, but he was powerless against his emotions.
It only got worse when images of being pinned to a wall with a scalpel digging into his gut flooded his mind. Fear and rage gripped his chest, confusion being birthed from the two. He groaned and cupped his face in his hands. “I knew this wasn’t going to work; first the scalpel and now this…”
It was hard to tell what was most prominent; pain, anger or annoyance. How dare Zim yell at Dib after all the mess he’d created? So he hit the little bastard with a broom? Big deal. But, the alien was acting like it was a serious threat to their impromptu friendship and that was…difficult to hear.
Dib didn’t want to lose his only friend. Not after feeling what it was like to have one. At least Zim’s version of friendship. And if something as stupid as this could set Zim off, even if they did make up, would it happen again in the future?
Suddenly, he wasn’t so hungry anymore. The bacon dropped into the trash and Dib crossed his arms over his chest, brows furrowed as he listened to Zim rant, waiting for the eventual pause, so he could say his piec—
“Wait. Scalpel? What are you talking about?” As soon as he asked the question though, the answer seemed obvious; Zim’s nightmare. So it HAD had something to do with Dib. And something bad too. A scalpel…oh crap.
Zim jerked upwards when he heard Dib questioning him. Had he mentioned the scalpel out loud? Well, crap.
Instantly Zim’s anger melted away, and he was left only with a cold feeling it left behind. He was regretful of attacking Dib like he had, but at the moment he was only focused on changing the subject. He didn’t want to talk about his dream—he didn’t want to talk about how in it, Dib’s words had hurt him more than being gutted. He didn’t want to talk about what that meant, and he didn’t want Dib to know.
“What? Nothing. You silly humans and your ears.” He tried to chuckle, but it only came out a dry sounding squeak. He cleared his throat and tried again. A little better, but it still didn’t sound convincing to him. He had to get out of here, fast.
“Well, we’d better go, right? Lots to do—lots to do, indeed.” He began to march past Dib, leaving his wig behind in his haste to get out of the awkward situation he had put himself in.
Dib’s throat was tight as he watched Zim strut past him nonchalantly, knowing that the little moron was shoving away the conversation because of pride and because he was unwilling to dredge up all that pain. It was a concept that Dib was familiar with because up until his own break down last night he’d done the exact same thing.
Zim was anxious as he strutted by, wondering if Dib was going to be letting him go. Then worried that Dib WOULD let him go, but wouldn’t follow.
Was Dib going to let Zim push away the hurt? Gold eyes flew to the wig that lay abandoned on the table. With a noise that was half sigh, half exasperated groan Dib grabbed the wig. Yeah. He was. For now. The human jogged into the living room and smacked the wig down on Zim’s head, the way one might do a hat to a small child.
“Yeah we do have lots to do today, don’t we? Your house first…then want to go get a milk shake or something?” A quick glance at Gaz ensured his little sister had eyes only for her video game. The Dib licked his lips anxiously and opened the door to reveal the obnoxiously sunny morning.
He jumped a bit, but breathed a sigh of relief as Dib planted his wig on him. He adjusted it as he walked close to Dib, smiling a little at the sound of getting a milkshake. He didn’t even care that Gaz was practically in beating distance as they walked past; he was just grateful that things were ok for him and Dib, for now at least.
“Yes; I need to make sure that Gir hasn’t destroyed anything in my absence.” He said as he shielded his eyes from the morning sun with his hand, only to realize that he had forgotten his gloves. He contemplated going back, but didn’t want to chance getting on Gaz’s bad side, so he quickly crossed his arms and tucked his claws under them.
“Heh. Yeah. That little robot does get into some shenanigans.” Just before Dib closed the door he called out to his sister that they were leaving just in case she was in her own little world with her video game. In response she flipped him off. The teen smirked and the front door closed with a resounding click before turning back to the alien with a slight smile, shoving both hands in his pockets and ducking his head against the bright sun. “Alrighty, Space-boy, lead the way to victory.”
“Always!” Zim said with a beaming smile, turning to walk down the familiar road to his base. The streets were still covered in mud and dirt from their last ‘battle’, but Zim didn’t seem to take any notice. He march past—blissfully unaware—the angry car owners who were hosing down their dirt encrusted vehicles.
Dib had already gone around and personally apologized to each neighbor in turn before hiding out in his room several days for the humiliation to die down. Although it never really had, the human had a thing with guilt; it ate him up inside and out, constantly preying on his waking mind until it eventually infused his dreaming one. Dib hid further behind his trench coats collar, hoping the neighbors didn’t recognize him and throw him glares that would only further the guilt.
With a tremendous sigh, he chanced a sideways glance at his companion and couldn’t tear his gaze away. Why now? Why did Zim have to suddenly decide to rescue him from horrible therapists? Why was he being so freaking friendly, that it was almost nice? If Dib hadn’t seen the irken’s tears last night, seen for himself the weird change these last few days…he would’ve thought it was a new evil scheme.
And Dib had to admit if it had been one, he would’ve been killed hours ago because it was too effective. Hadn’t he already proclaimed Zim unkillable and brushed all hate under the proverbial rug? He’d let the alien, who for years was his greatest (and most amazing) enemy, sleep in his bed, touch him and perhaps most shockingly ( at least for him) kiss him.
It was all a giant mess and although Dib had already decided he wasn’t going to try to reason if they were enemies, friends or lovers, the very new effect was still outstanding and he couldn’t help but try to clear some questions about timing up in his head. What had caused this sudden new element between them? Or was it just…the time? Maybe they’d been heading down this road for a long time, unable to see or distinguish the signs.
Dib watched Zim ‘walk’ down the side walk as if it was a battle field, shoulders back and eyes constantly pealed for any threat of danger, tense. It was odd not to have that wariness directed at him but, at everything else.
Being a passenger in Zim’s less than tentative take on life, instead of the unmoving object that he was driving at. And from this point of view he could see the irken’s fake hair as it hardly moved in the wind, see his uniform bunch and stretch as he strutted with an arrogance that was unsurprising but, kind of amusing.
From his seat he could feel the wild recklessness that was Zim, pulling him in, in , in. The suction of boundless energy mixed in with stupidity that both seemed to dull his mind and awaken it to a whole realm of possibilities that would seem crazy with anyone else.
Dib smirked, feeling a bit ridiculous, navel gazing while they were nearly to Zim’s base.
So much for observant paranormal investigator.
Zim strutted by proudly, his chest out and his shoulders back, trying to make himself as tall as possible, though it was obvious that he was no match for the human that walked so casually behind him. He wanted to be mad at Dib for outgrowing him so much, but when he looked over his shoulder at the black haired boy, he couldn’t help but notice how much the extra height seemed to suite him. Dib had definitely grown in the time that Zim had been on earth, and he had matured to a state where no matter what Zim did, Dib could always make him feel like a child.
And Zim hated that.
But still, he found that he could no longer harbor ill feelings towards the human, even if he wanted to. Those intense hazel eyes always seemed to wash over him and consume him, making him forget how to hate the stupid human. Those eyes that always seemed to look at Zim with a sense of knowing, like he could always tell what he was thinking. It was another thing he wanted to hate about Dib, but found that he couldn’t.
He cleared his throat, as if trying to clear away those thoughts, and turned forward again, only to find his base was right in front of him.
“Oh,” He gave out in surprise, feeling foolish to have been lost in his thoughts again.“Well, let’s check the damage…” He gave a small sigh before opening the door to his base.
Toast, Dib thought fairly confused but, not all that surprised. Well, toast and some kind of pink goo. It was strewn throughout the living room, lying in fairly large globs on the sofa, the television, while slices of bread seemed dispersed at random. There was also a pig. Also, not new.
Gir was laying face down in a giant puddle of the mystery substance, blowing bubbles and giggling fairly manically. He seemed to be giving lessons to the pig on how to swim. Dib took a step back away from the door, and waited for Zim’s reaction. Depending on what it was it seemed likely that the day he’d mentally planned could be thrown out the window in favor of sitting alone at home or being forced to help pick up more mess.
Zim had expected something bad, but this was almost too much to bear. He stared with a forlorn expression on his face, not even knowing where to begin. The pink slime on his beautiful walls, the toast strewn about wildly, the wild animal running around and screeching.
But Gir was the sight that sent Zim overboard. The way he lay face down in what he couldn’t even name, those bubbles rising and popping with a sickly squelch sound. The robot’s maniacal, muffled giggling hanging in the air, ringing faintly against the dirty walls.
There was a small moment of frozen confusion until an audible click was heard from Zim’s PAK, and he was suddenly engulfed in laughter.
He honestly didn’t understand why it was so funny; what did he expect from Gir? He had left him home alone, knowing full well that the robot didn’t handle being alone very well.
The laughter grew in intensity and shook the alien’s small frame and he had to double over, gasping. Finally he shot up and closed the door, his laughter finally dying down.
He looked back at Dib with a serious expression.
“He’s fine. Let’s go.”
“Uh. What?” Dib asked blankly, staring at Zim’s face which was perfectly straight and not filled with the rage of a thousand suns that he’d expected to see and it wasn’t pinched up with laughter, as if the whole thing was hysterical. That was…disturbing.
It was as if a switch had been thrown in Zim and the longer that the mad giggles had worn on the more perturbed Dib had become, fighting the very tempting urge to inch away.
Wide, gold eyes flickered to the closed doorway, knowing behind it laid catastrophe that usually sent the little moron over the edge into obsessive compulsive, germaphobe. “Are you uh, sure you don’t want to you know?”
So stunned was he by the whole event that Dib really couldn’t force his tounge around the word, it was there…what was the word? So instead, he lifted his hand and made a gesture like squeezing a cleaning bottle handle.
“Nope, nope; everything’s fine.” His lavender irises stared dead ahead as he marched down his front steps, reaching back and grabbing Dib by the sleeve. He needed to leave the vicinity as soon as possible, and he wasn’t going to let the human slow him down.
“Where do we get those milky-shake-y thingies?” Zim said as they reached the end of his yard, twiddling his green fingers in the air. He needed a distraction; anything to get those terrible images of toast and goop littering his base.
He didn’t even want to think about the pig.
Chapter 18: A King and His Knight
But he couldn’t help but smirk at the imagery of Dib’s statement; Zim being ruler with Dib as a faithful knight.
The idea was appealing to him for more than one reason.
What choice did he have but to follow the alien? A hand ran, well…not so much ran as did a relay race, through his already messy black hair, making it ten times more disastrous as he attempted to catch up. “Um okay…if you’re sure.” He himself wasn’t convinced of Zim’s supposed fineness but, figured that eventually the Irken would snap and it would be best if that was handled in a timely fashion. “Milk shakes…uh, at the uh-“ he scratched his nose. “one diner place we went yesterday.”
Then Dib remembered all the grease and how Zim was clearly repelled by that sort of deliciousness. Crazy alien. “But, there’s other places we can go to. If you want variety.”
Zim thought for a moment, his face scrunching up at the thought of that terrible eatery and that wretched cow-lady. A shiver ripped through his at the memory, and he shook his head, fighting off the urge to gag.
“No, never. I am never going back there again.” He stated simply, turning to look back at Dib. Those intense golden eyes were worried as they were fixed on the small alien, causing his gut to turn nervously.
“Erm…where else can we go?” He asked, looking back down the street, not being able to meet powerfully bright eyes.
Dib rubbed a hand down his neck before getting an idea that made him smile. “Well, there’s this really good place that had a whole buffet where you can chose what kind of ice cream and toppings and stuff you can put on it. You can get cones, sundaes, and milkshakes of course.” The human sped up a bit so he was in front of Zim, walking backwards to look at him.
“My family and I go there sometimes.” But not recently…in fact, now that he thought of it they hadn’t gone to Sofie’s since his 12th birthday. That kind of…sucked. A lot. But, it was just another thing that was different now and days. He diverted his attention back to the alien. “It’s clean and they have pretty much any flavor you can imagine. And probably some you don’t want to.”
He smiled at the memory of trying all sorts of the weird ones like pickle and Nutella, daring Gaz to try others and essentially getting so sick from all the sugar they went home sickly and sticky, their father lecturing them on health whilst trying not to laugh.
Zim could sense that there was something more to what Dib was saying, in the way his features softened while speaking about this ‘buffet’ place. But Zim thought that it was best not to ask, as there was just the slightest hint of sadness in those hazel orbs.
The alien followed closely behind Dib, honestly intrigued by the sound of this strange place.
“Any flavor?” He asked excitedly, his eyes lighting up. “Do they have Giovlon?” He thought quickly of the chilled Irken dessert—its sweet flavor complemented by its smooth texture—and felt his mouth begin to water.
He thought briskly of the last time he had some Giovlon, and felt his stomach sink as he realized it was when the Tallests had served it at the gathering for the first Operation Impending Doom.
Dib blinks, confused and drawn from his musings by Zim’s enthusiastic question. “Um. I have no idea what that is, but if it’s some alien thing I’m fairly sure they won’t. But, you never know at Sofie’s.” He shrugged, wishing that he could understand what the alien spoke about even though he knew he never would.
“It’s not that far from here. Just a few blocks.” The morning sun was quickly turning to an afternoon sun, blazing above them. Luckily bright white clouds had moved in to block most of it, innocently floating like clouds tend to do.
The back of his boots scraped the sidewalk as he kept walking backwards, in order to keep Zim in sight. In case the irken suddenly snapped, Dib would…uh, Dib would…do something useful. The irken’s face was creased with lines from thinking, from frowning so hard.
What was the little moron thinking now? About this Giovlon stuff? About his base? It didn’t really matter what it was. It made those lines appear on Zim’s face and Dib felt some sort of odd duty to make them go away. To distract his irken enemy like he had a million times before.
Zim frowned in honest disappointment. Of course they didn’t have it; why would they?
“Oh. Well. Just another reason to despise this planet, I guess.” He said with a huff, folding his arms over his chest.
He looked up at Dib, those amber orbs veiled by worry once more. The sight made his gut churn; what was Dib concerned about? Zim didn’t need him to be worried about him.
Not to mention that it was still strange to see any expression other than disdain for him on Dib’s face. It sent a surge of discomfort and embarrassment to course through the alien.
“Stop looking at Zim like that, Dib-beast.” He demanded.
“Looking at you like what?” The human asked, doing his best to make his face look confused and innocent. Probably failing miserably. “This is my face, Zim. Beside—“ He opened his mouth to speak but, stopped because well, he had an idea. Dib’s lips curled up at the corners as he snatched Zim’s hand and yanked him close enough until their bodies barley touched. He took a second to notice the irken’s gloveless hands and passed it off as forgetfulness which would bother him later, before lifting Zim’s chin and directing it in the general direction of Sofie’s.
Dib’s attempt at covering his emotions was honestly laughable. Zim opened his mouth to tell him this, but his breath was caught in his throat as Dib was suddenly pulling him close.
The feel of Dib’s hand on his chin was a sudden, but welcome one. Zim felt his cheeks flare up, and he could barely register what the human was saying as he watched his lips move, just inches from him.
It was in the middle of a nearly empty parking lot. Most of the other stores around here had closed up as time had gone on. “There it is…” He whispered, slyly, stroking Zim’s chin with his thumb. “And guess what?”
Dib pulled away quickly, a large smile on his face. “I’ll race you to it and WIN!”
Zim watched the human, his eyes half-lidded, as he whispered into the air between them.
Time seemed to speed back up as Dib pulled away, a cocky grin on his face as he issued his challenge.
Zim stood, blinking for a moment, before growling and taking off from his spot.
“Beat Zim?! Impossible!” Zim laughed at the thought.
Dib cackles at the challenge and is running, running before he can respond, jumping the parking barrier and hopping over an old trash can, dodging a few old cars with the wind in his ears, bright sun in his eyes, the feeling of pursuit behind him and the promise of a good day in front of him.
The human is afraid to glance back because who knows where Zim is, and a sideways glance proves that the head start he’d gotten wasn’t doing him much good because behind the billowing of his cloak there’s the irken, a wide grin and determination in his eyes. They were both horribly competitive and it had been a while since they’d raced or done something to test their skills. Maybe they should do that more often.
Zim cursed Dib’s long legs as he barreled after the human in pursuit. It was strange to see Dib running away from Zim, as usually it had been Dib running after the alien. The thought amused Zim, though he wasn’t exactly sure why, and he let out a small laugh as he pumped his legs.
Jumping onto a parked car, he hopped from hood to hood until he was arm-and-arm with Dib. Leaping off, his boots skidded across the pavement with a plume of dust following.
They were nearing their destination, the ice cream parlor looming over them. A tinge of panic rose in Zim as he ran, still just behind Dib.
Reaching out, Zim grabbed Dib by the shoulder and pulled, pushing past the human victoriously.
“HA!” He laughed triumphantly as he placed his palm against the door to the parlor.
“Oof!” Dib was snatched by the shoulder and shoved backwards. Despite his best attempts at balance, the human fell backwards, landing on his ass just inches away from the door. He was stunned for a few seconds, before crossing his arms and raising an eyebrow.
“You cheated, genius.” Dib complained, the corners of his mouth twitching as the human fought back a smile. Of course Zim cheated. What else would he do? Play fair? Never in a million years. “Now come help me up. Because of you I am in pain. And before you make some smart comment or abandon me, remember I am the one paying for your milkshake.”
Zim rested his hands on his hips as he stood over Dib.
“Zim doesn’t cheat! I just do what is necessary to win.” He stated simply, grinning down at the human. He looked so helpless sitting on the ground, making Zim to help him up. Of course, Zim knew this wasn’t exactly the case.
“My fault?” He sneered. “It’s not my fault you are a clumsy worm-baby.” He sighed, but extended his hand out to him, not being able to fight off his grin.
It was exhilarating to be able to race Dib and not have to worry about being caught and dissected. It was probably the most fun he’d had in a long time. He wondered if this was what having a friend was like—and if so, then he was really looking forward to it.
“Get off the ground; you look like a child.” Zim teased.
The human scowled as he took Zim’s hand and pulled himself up to stand. “Oh, says the pipsqueak. You do realize that there are some elementary kids that are taller than you right?” Now, he was having fun.
The insults were always fun and now that he didn’t have to worry about being murdered or saving the world…well, maybe he did, but for now it seem that the whole taking over thing was on hold, he could just enjoy Zim’s company.
Dib grabbed the handle of the ice scream parlor, which was of course in the shape of an ice cream cone and threw it open, knowing full well that he still had Zim’s hand before dragging him inside.
Zim huffed at Dib’s insult, but gripped his hand anyway. It seemed to become something he did without even thinking about it, but he honestly didn’t mind.
“Zim is no pipsqueak!” He retorted. “And I could destroy those smeets easily, anyway! I doubt they could say the same!”
Zim grinned triumphantly, but was quickly distracted by the thick, sweet smell in the air. The inside of the store was inviting enough; brightly lit and decorated with all sorts of bright colors and depictions of strange cartoon ice cream cones. It was much better than the grease-pit Dib had dragged Zim into yesterday.
His eyes lit up with excitement at the sight.
The human glanced around the air-conditioned shop, feeling strong nostalgia well up in him. He turned to look at Zim who was obviously eager to begin their sugar expedition. “You say that now. Just wait until you’re in a room full of ‘em. Those ‘smeets’ can be vicious.”
He dragged Zim over to the ice cream bar where all the flavors were labeled and lined up by color. “Take your pick, Space-Boy.” Pulling his hand from Zim’s grasp, Dib grabbed a waffle cone for himself, biting on his bottom lip for a moment as he thought. Finally, the Peach Tea ice cream was scooped up and plopped down on top of the cone, ready to be devoured.
Zim leaned over the bar to get a look at all the strangely colored options of the strange substance before him. It was almost overwhelming to the alien; some of the colors looked rather disgusting to him, not to mention that he didn’t understand any of the labels.
He about asked Dib for his opinion, but remembered what the human’s tastes were like; the image of that greasy meat-stink eatery came to mind. After a while of mulling it over, tapping his chin with his finger and eyeing the bar intently, he finally pointed at one that seemed promising.
“That one!” The color of the ice cream was an obnoxious pink color, and while the label read “wild strawberry”, Zim didn’t seem to know what it was, exactly.
But his instincts were never wrong, of course. He didn’t need a label to tell him which one he would like.
Raising en eyebrow at Zim’s choice, the human smiled. “Alright. Do you want a cone, or a bowl to go with it?” Odds are that the Irken would randomly pick one and then be unhappy about it later, then proceed to blame Dib. He held up his ice cream.
“I got a cone because you can eat it too, unlike the bowl.” While the human waited for his companion’s decision, he leaned against the counter and licked at his treat, surveying the place; it was the same as he remembered, cold, clean, and painted in the hues of his childhood. The booth in the corner was where they always sat at.
The thought made him ridiculously depressed so, he turned his head to look at Zim, eyeing him up and down.
Zim didn’t really need to put much thought into his decision; he doubted very much that he would even finish the ice cream, so he wasn’t entirely worried about what it came in.
“A cone will suffice.” He opted for what sounded most convenient. He crossed his arms across his chest, hoping honestly that the human didn’t expect him to scoop it himself. He had forgotten his gloves at Dib’s house, and he didn’t want to touch something countless humans had touched before him. He squinted his eyes at the boy, who stood watching him. ‘What is he looking at?’ He thought to himself, a bit irritated, though he didn’t really know why.
Dib glanced from Zim to the ice cream scooper, confused for a half a second before rolling his eyes and stepping up to the plate as he so very often did. “You’re very difficult, Yanno?” One scoop, two scoop into the waffle cone before he handed it to the irken.
“Here, your majesty. I traveled very far to gather this for you, and it was a real feat to have to actually lift my hand to scoop it into a cone.” Eye roll. Dib’s sarcasm had increased in its complexity these last few years.
Zim took the cone from Dib with a scowl on his face. He scoffed before looking at the strange treat, noting now the small red chunks that seemed to float in the pink muck.
Maybe this wasn’t such a great idea.He brought the treat closer to his face for closer inspection, stalling before the dreaded moment of truth.
With a weak sigh, the Irken finally parted his lips and let his serpentine tongue brush the frozen strawberry dessert.
At first Zim had to cringe; it was much colder than he anticipated, and was initially unpleasant. But after he let the flavor set on his tongue for a moment, he smacked his lips and looked thoughtfully at the cone. He wasn’t sure if it was bad or good, really. There was tartness to the flavor that would otherwise be sweet, and made Zim’s face scrunch up.
“Erm…” He cleared his throat. He couldn’t admit to Dib that he had chosen a flavor that he didn’t like. “It’s good! I like it.”
Dib scrutinized the irken and knew within seconds that Zim had made a mistake. It was written all over his expression and he was half tempted to just let the irken suffer but, figured he was paying for it so might as well let them both get some pleasure out of it. Sighing, as if filled with infinite patience, Dib grabbed the cone and slyly threw it away.
“Pick something else, Genius. There’s tons of sweet stuff over here. Caramel, coffee, rocky road, chocolate mint, vanilla crème…”He shrugged, handing Zim another cone. “Just tell me what you want and I’ll go slay it for you and bring it back like the loyal knight I am.”
Zim huffed when the cone was snatched out of his hands.
“Hey! There was nothing wrong with what I chose!” Zim defended his poor choice in ice cream, puffing out his chest. He grumbled impatiently and pointed at a more neutral color, thinking that maybe it would mean a less sharp-tasting flavor. The label said ‘vanilla crème’, but once again that meant nothing to Zim.
“Just….shut your noise-hole and get Zim his treat, Dib-thing.” Zim huffed again, setting his hands on his hips.
But he couldn’t help but smirk at the imagery of Dib’s statement; Zim being ruler with Dib as a faithful knight.
The idea was appealing to him for more than one reason.
Chapter 19: Loyalty
And you would fight for Zim out of loyalty?" Zim questioned finally. It was a strange thought; all these years of fighting each other, why would Dib fight for Zim out of loyalty?
Dutifully, Dib scooped out the vanilla cream and plopped it onto the cone before handing it over to the alien menace. "Here, your majesty. I hope you enjoy. I lost a leg while getting it for you but, it was worth it." Once the ice cream was handed off, the teen walked over to the register to pay for their cones, wondering if the old man recognized him. From the dimness in his expression, Dib guessed 'no'. Somehow it was both a relief and a disappointment…
Zim rolled his eyes at Dib. He liked the idea of Dib being his faithful knight, but the human's obvious sarcastic tone was ruining the imagery.
Hesitantly the alien tasted the plain white treat, this time not being surprised by the frostiness. This one was a much more subtle sweetness; it was creamy and surprisingly good.
The Irken's lavender eyes lit up and he gave another, much greedier, lick as he waited for Dib to pay the dim-looking man behind the counter.
Frowning only slightly, he strode back over to Zim. "How is it? Approve? Disapprove?"
When the human was beside again, he gave an approving nod.
"Much better," Was his final conclusion. "I told you; there's nothing wrong with the treats I chose." He stated simply.
"Uh huh." Dib agreed, dryly before grabbing the irken by his wrist and dragging him over towards the booth, biting his lip the whole time. It felt wrong to sit here but, honestly he didn't think he would be able to sit anywhere else. "Your taste is impeccable honestly."
Releasing Zim, he slid into the semi circle seat and suddenly felt as if he was being shoved back into his past where Membrane sat at the right side of the table with his neat bowl of plain vanilla, watching his children in between texts to work, while Gaz babbled about her most recent video game, shoveling down the triple chocolate ice cream covered in marshmallows, sprinkles, brownie bites, and caramel. Dib remembered watching it all, his feet hardly able to touch the floor, eating anything that might've tipped his fancy that weekend.
Zim only watched as Dib dragged him to the corner of the shop, still annoyed at the fact that the human was so lax about leading him around, but enjoying his treat too much to cause a scene.
He slid into the other side of the seat, trying not to touch the seat or the table with his bare hands, resulting in the alien scooting/bouncing awkwardly to the middle. He licked contently at his frozen treat in silence for a moment, until he looked up at Dib.
The expression on the boy's face was far away, and a bit troubled. But then again, Zim always had a hard time telling. Those large lenses that rested in front of those golden eyes always seemed to mask their intent so well.
Giving up on trying to read him, Zim finally took the dessert from his lips long enough to ask, "What is it?"
Blinking himself out of his stupor, Dib glanced over at the irken and noticed how the ice cream had gathered at the corners of his lips. It made his mouth twitch with the effort to repress a smile. "Oh. Nothing. Just…remembering some stuff from my childhood."
Dib tilted his head to the side, putting one elbow on the table, so he could look at Zim whilst holding his ice cream in the other, licking it casually. "You like it, eh? You're getting it everywhere. It's kind of cute." And it was in a messy, moronic, green alien kind of way.
Zim could only stare at Dib blankly, who looked at him with a strange expression on his face. It was soft, and yet those intense golden orbs were shooting straight through him.
Zim quickly wiped his mouth with his hand, now being all too aware of the sticky mess that had covered his lips.
"Sh-shut up, Dib-stink! Zim is not cute, and neither is the way he eats treats!" Zim stuck his tongue out at him before turning away to resume eating his ice cream, now suddenly feeling self conscious, with Dib watching him.
The human could've cared less if Zim felt uncomfortable; in fact it was rather fun making the alien feel awkward since a good percentage of the time that's ALL that Dib was. He smirked and licked his ice cream slowly, eyes lingering on Zim's neck, lips and arms. "It is cute. You're cute, Zim. You can't deny it. It's law now."
Dib nodded somberly, biting into the side of his cone. "And what I say goes." He felt very playful and kind of odd. It was the mixture of the last few days' weirdness, the delicious ice cream, how sunny it was outside and the way his stupid hormones kept sucker punching him upside the head.
Zim was just very…fun now. He was annoying as ever of course, but he was also nicer and Dib couldn't help but watch as Zim's long, long tounge licked at the ice cream greedily. It made him remember the times when that tounge was in his mouth and on his body….Dib coughed and turned away, determined to finish his ice cream and get them on the road.
Zim growled at Dib's persistence to make him uncomfortable. Zim knew what he was doing, and he tried not to let the human get under his skin, but there was something about his tone that rubbed the alien the wrong way.
It was so…teasing and somewhat alluring.
"No, of course not! We've already established that I am your ruler and you are my loyal stink-human knight." Zim referred to Dib's sarcasm with sincerity, knowing there was an underlying truth to his words, even if Dib didn't want to admit it.
"So what ZIM says is law." He turned back to the human to meet his gaze.
Leaning back in his seat, Dib looked at the irken dryly, wondering if he understood the meaning of sarcasm. Images of Zim in a high throne, regal and kingly had him nearly snickering. But, imagining himself in a knight's armor, destroying and conquering lands for his king…well that was both weird and kind of awesome. It gave him a fluttery feeling in his stomach that was probably the beginnings of a tumor.
"I could try to argue with you but, I'm fairly certain you'd turn it back around on me." The human bit down on his bottom lip, deciding for a moment before he leaned over and licked once at Zim's ice cream cone. "Hmm. Not bad. Good choice. Want some of mine? I promise it's good."
Zim jumped as Dib bent down and stole some of his treat, nearly pushing the ice cream into the human's face. He glared at the boy as he leaned in close to Zim, feeling suddenly very aware of his body heat.
He watched as the Dib's flat tongue smoothed out the surface of his creamy dessert, images running briskly back to when that tongue had explored the skin of Zim's neck.
He cleared his throat as Dib pulled away, fighting the flush that was forming on his cheeks. He glanced at Dib's ice cream, which was a very unappealing light-orange color. But in his very small experience with ice cream, he's already found that the dull colors seemed to be more promising.
"I have absolutely no faith in your taste, Dib-thing. But Zim will try it if it'll keep you from eating any more of mine."
He leaned across Dib and quickly flicked his tongue across the surface of his frozen dessert. He smacked his lips a few times, taking in the flavor. It wasn't as bad as the red kind, but still not as good as his 'Vanilla crème.'
"Once again my tastes seem to best yours." He said flatly as he returned to his own cone.
Watching Zim's stupid tounge flick across his ice cream was hypnotizing to the point where even after the irken had drawn away, Dib was still blinking in hormonal awe.
"Um…" Finally coming back to himself, he snatched his ice cream away, snobbishly and much more hungrily ate it. "Well, screw you. I have five fingers. And I'm the knight. Knights see more action than Kings do. You just sit on your throne all day and get fat, while I am out fighting great battles for you, destroying our enemies."
Dib winced, wishing now that he hadn't eaten quite so fast. The brain freeze lasted for several agonizing seconds in which he inwardly cursed.
Zim squinted his eyes at the human, not bothering to lower his ice cream, which was now nearly gone. He nibbled a little at the cone, deciding that it was too bland to be edible, and then using his tongue to fish out the rest of the now half-melted ice cream.
"Well as King I have to make sure my Knight knows his place, now don't I? And you may have more fingers, but at least ZIM knows how to use that ones he has." He held up his green fingers and wiggled them to show off his claws. "Your claws are pathetic, and would never do any real harm." He took Dib's hand and held his fingers to inspect the nail-bitten fingers.
The edges were a bit jagged from being chewed on, but other than that they weren't very impressive. "Nope. These are useless. Only good for one thing." He laced their digits together to demonstrate.
Dib stared down at their hands, corneas burned in with the image of Zim trying to get the last bits of ice cream from the bottom of his cone. The human swallowed hard before quickly finishing the rest of his treat and staring off out the window. "Knights may be loyal. But, they are because they chose to be." He softly reminded, tightening his grip on Zim's hand for a moment to emphasize his point.
"My hands are fine and your claws are stupid…though oddly enough they fit together just fine even though we have a different amount of fingers." It was something he'd noticed a long time ago that still made Dib curious. How else would they fit together perfectly?
Zim set his cone down on the table after feeling satisfied that he had gotten all the ice cream. He listened to Dib carefully and felt his cheeks flush at the feel of the human squeezing his hand.He looked at their hands, Zim's fingers wrapped around Dib's middle digit comfortably. The human's hand was warm, as always, and Zim was grateful for the first time today that he wasn't wearing gloves.
"And you would fight for Zim out of loyalty?" Zim questioned finally. It was a strange thought; all these years of fighting each other, why would Dib fight for Zim out of loyalty?
The thought of Dib standing by Zim, just as Zim would stand by his Tallest, made his gut turn nervously. Would Dib really be devoted to Zim in such a way? Zim had to doubt it; there was no way the human would put aside his stubborn ways for him.
The teen tilted his head, realizing that yeah, he had said that. "Well," golden eyes trailed up from their intertwined hands to Zim's shoulder, neck, face and eyes. "I'm not going to kill you. I don't hate you anymore…if someone was trying to attack you, or hurt you…I'd probably get pretty pissed and," His eyes flickered away from the irken's probing stare. " fight for you. But," His tone took on something more, something serious. "Zim…I still can't let you take over Earth. It's still my home and these are my people…"
Dib's brows furrowed, the thought of them becoming nothing but enemies and all the hate that had brewed between them again was a very daunting idea. "I'm loyal. But, to a point."
For some reason hearing that Dib would stick up for Zim made him grin. But he felt the grin vanish almost immediately after Dib had stopped speaking.
He had known all along that there was that problem for their friendship; Zim was here to invade Earth, and Dib was always going to protect it.
Though why he would want to, was way beyond Zim.
Zim sighed and slid his hand out from Dib's, bringing it to his chin as he rested his elbow on the table. The alien stared out the window for a moment before finally speaking.
"I'm here on a mission, Dib. A very important mission given to me by my leaders, because they have high expectations of me and trust me to get the job done. As an Irken Invader, letting them down is not an option." Finally he looked at Dib, his expression one of sincerity and his eyes soft with regret.
"I can't let a friendship get in the way of that….." No matter how badly he wanted it to. He looked out the window once more, not being able to hold his gaze with Dib.
"And, this planet has nothing to offer me, anyway." He felt something pulling him down, his 'spooch feeling incredibly heavy in his chest. He wanted to be friends with Dib, almost more than anything. But he would have to make sacrifices. Sacrifices he wasn't sure he'd be able to make.
The human's breath hitched up in his throat as Zim pulled away. His hand felt cold and empty before he drew it back and shoved it into his pocket, looking anywhere but at Zim, jaw clenched with the cold truth; Zim was an Invader, an invader of worlds. His world. And he would be on the side of the enemy. They were still enemies…and that wouldn't…couldn't change. Not as long as Dib was fighting for Earth and Zim for Irk.
He shook his head, feeling his chest cave in on itself. "Nothing? At all?" His voice sounded far away and harder than he remembered it being. "What can they give you? Honor? Glory? All the things that a great Irken Elite needs right? Everything they need and will ever need. Because you need no one, right? No one to hold your hand or fight for you. To race you or be your friend."
Dib slid out of the booth, wondering if this was what heart break was like. It was awfully numb. And how had he even managed to have his heart involved anyway? How stupid was he to have fallen into this mess? Pathetic. "You need no one to kiss you or buy you ice cream or shield you from the fucking rain. Or hold you when you wake up crying at night."
Zim sat up as Dib slid out of the booth, watching him with wide, hurt eyes. He didn't know how this had happened; the day had started off so well. He figured it had been inevitable after all. But as he watched Dib leave him, he didn't want it to happen.
Zim had never known what it was like to depend on anybody else, for anything. Gir was next to useless and never really helped him, and he had never had any friends.
No friends to help him, and comfort him when things were new and strange for Zim. Dib had been there for him, even after all this time as enemies. And even if Zim had expected him to, Dib hadn't turned around and used this newfound weakness against him. Now that he had a friend, he couldn't imagine what he would do without one. And Dib was the only friend he wanted.
Zim scrambled to get out of the booth to catch up with Dib, feeling panicked. He shot up and grabbed on to Dib's sleeve.
"Not yet!" He yelled, the panic he was feeling clear in his voice. He took in a deep breath. "I don't want this to end yet…" He buried his face into Dib's chest, his gut turning and making his feel sick at what he was about to say. Sick because he knew it was true. Sick because he was afraid that he had ruined his only friendship already. "…I do need you." He whispered finally. He knew that what they had couldn't last forever. But he wanted desperately to have as much time as possible to be blissfully unaware of that fact.
Dib swallowed back the stupid lump lodged in his throat, feeling such a feeling of overwhelming relief washing over him that it made his entire body want to turn boneless. Instead, he wrapped one arm around Zim's waist, the other hand coming up to cup the back of the irken's neck, pulling him closer.
This entire thing between them, from day one, had been life altering. Dib's first enemy, his first fist fight, first person who had cared enough to pay attention to him, if only because of caution, his first kiss and first friend. Someone who wanted to know him. The only person who knew him.
Dib sighed shakily, his thumb stroking the back of Zim's neck. 'He needs me'. And that was his undoing. If Dib had been a foot away from the ledge, from falling and avoiding breaking into a million pieces…now he was centimeters from it, staring down into the abyss that was Zim and his stupid personality, stupid smile, stupid everything.
"Not yet…" But one day. One day it would kill him. Dib didn't really care just then. Only that Zim hadn't let him walk away. He let his mouth curve into a sad smile, dropping his arms and intertwining their fingers together again. Perfect. The way it should be and the way it could never be.
Chapter 20: Space
Several stars glittered, flying across the inky blackness. Being here felt like a dream. Floating in nothingness and yet the most of anything ever, flying like no human ever had before…holding onto the most important person in his life.
“Let’s go…do something.”
Zim clutched onto Dib as he felt those arms bring him in close, grateful that Dib hadn’t decided to give up right then. His breath came out shakily as his ‘spooch beat so hard that it shook the small frame of the alien.
At this moment, Zim was only aware of the human that held him. It didn’t matter that he had his wig on, and his antennae were hindered by the fabric; Zim knew that even without it, he would only be able to sense Dib. Enveloped by his warmth and scent, Zim couldn’t think of anyplace he’d rather be.
He frowned a bit when Dib pulled away, but gladly took his hand.
He sighed a bit. “Do what? There’s nothing to do around here, really. We’d have better luck finding something to do in space.” Zim pouted a bit.
Dib pushed open the door to the ice cream shop, only thinking about the old guy at the register for a half a second, wondering if he’d noticed their little emotional thing before promptly forgetting in favor of cringing at the bright sunlight of the afternoon. It was too hot for black trench coats.
“Well, then let’s go to space.” He said nonchalantly, not really expecting anything to come of it. Maybe they could go to the park and hide under the trees for shade. Just sit there and talk, watch the clouds. Or go back to his house and play video games.
Zim shrugged and tugged Dib in the direction to his base.
“Fine.” He agreed. “The voot cruiser shouldn’t have too much trouble carrying your freakishly large head out of the atmosphere.” He dared a tease.
Going out into space actually didn’t seem like a bad idea. The only times that Zim could think of that Dib might have been in off his planet was when they were fighting, of course. It would be an interesting experience to be sharing the voot cruiser and not be ripping each other’s throats out. But anything they did together these days was an ‘interesting experience’ to Zim.
Still, it would take their minds off of what had just happened, and that’s really all Zim asked for.
Dib scowled but, it was a fake scowl, that he hid behind twitching lips. The head joke was almost a relief actually. It meant a bit of normality had been restored. But, all at once he realized what Zim had said about outer space and was confused as well as excited and frightened.
“Wait. We’re actually going into space?” Dib had been off earth before. Just once when they had both been piloting the planets. But, that had been many, many years ago. They’d both still been in elementary then.
Zim turned and dared a glance at the human, who was obviously excited by the thought of going into space for the sheer sake of it. “Have you any better ideas?” He asked, knowing full well the answer would be ‘no’. His talons gripped the boy’s hand as he continued to lead him to his base, when all of a sudden he felt his gut turn.
He had forgotten about the mess, and he doubted very much that Gir had decided to clean up after himself. He turned back to Dib with a stern expression on his face. “Now, Dib-thing, when we go into the house, you have to cover my eyes…” He wasn’t quite ready to face that disaster, not after having his little scare with the Dib.
Zim felt like he should be used to things blowing up around him and facing such calamities, and not be affected by it. That’s what he had been trained for, anyway. But lately he had felt too drained to be able to deal with so much, especially with his mind focused on securing his new friendship.
Blinking uncomprehendingly for a few seconds, Dib looked from Zim to the luminescent base before he shook his head and smiled. “Sure, sure. I’ll do that. And you’ll have to trust me not to lead you into the piles of goo.”
They reached the door and beyond it he could hear Gir’s high pitched wailing/singing along with the television. Some commercial for the Crazy Taco, it seemed. Dib raised an eyebrow, mentally cringing before turning and leaning against the door jam. “So what’s the game plan? Where am I leading you, whilst I am covering your eyes?”
Zim cringed at the thought of that goo covering his beautiful walls and floors. He gulped hard as they neared the door and he could hear Gir’s demented squealing. “Just get me to the center of the living room; the computer can take us to the Voot room from there via lift.” Zim took in a deep breath and grabbed Dib’s hands, placing them over his eyes before opening the door, preparing himself for an assault from his small robot minion.
The human let his hands be man handled to the irken’s face, licking his lips in ridiculous nervousness at how soft Zim’s skin was. They stumbled in through the door and Dib nearly choked on his tounge, because oh my god, it had gotten worse.
The goo seemed to be spreading and Gir had created robot angels in the muck. Shuddering, he maneuvered them into the center of the living room, watching the tiny android warily. Luckily Gir seemed distracted by the television and didn’t notice them at all.
“Okay. We’re here. Standing in some of the stuff. But, here.”
Goosebumps rose in a storm across Zim’s skin as he was walked through his base; the sickly squelching sound of their feet marching through the goo was a good indicator that things had gotten worse. He inwardly cursed Dib for telling him that they were standing in it. Luckily for them both, though, Gir seems to be disinterested by their presence, and Zim let out a grateful sigh.
“Computer!” He barked. “Activate the lift to take us up to the Voot Cruiser!”
Without hesitation, a ring formed under the two, and the floor gave way from the house, lifting them upwards. The ceiling parted above them noiselessly, allowing them to access, what might have been in a normal house, the attic. The lift joined together seamlessly with the floor of the attic as they finally reached their ascending destination, the Voot parked in front of them in the dark room.
Dib fought the urge to squeal like a girl when they started moving without him expecting it. After a few seconds it was just plain awesome, but that was nothing compared to seeing the roof open up to show the Voot cruiser in all its Irken glory. The human finally let go of Zim’s head and sprinted over to the ship, finally able to see it up close and person.
It was one thing to mess around with Tak’s handmade ship that still had some dents in it from the long fall it had taken. Quite another to be up close and personal with real irken technology. Reverently, he ran his hand along the smooth, metal side. Able to see himself in the glimmering pink surface. “Dude. This is freaking epic.”
Zim quietly discarded his disguise as Dib pranced about, not bothering to hide his excitement. He watched Dib for a moment longer before finally walked past him and hopping into the cockpit.
“Yes, Irken technology tends to be awe-inspiring.” He said, proudly. He fiddled with the controls a bit, getting everything set up for their small journey, before looking around the Voot a tad nervously. He looked down at Dib for a moment before hopping out.
“The Voot is, generally, a one person vehicle, I’m afraid. So we’ll have to do some…compromising. With that in mind, get in.” He gently tapped Dib’s arm to coax him into the Voot. He watched as Dib scrambled in and waited for the Boy to get situated before climbing in after him. He took his seat in the boy’s lap a bit nervously, as he was a bit uncertain as to how this would affect his steering capabilities, and closed the Voot.
“Not a very fitting throne, but it’ll have to do.”
‘Zim is sitting on my lap,’ Dib thought to himself, unable to quite believe it even as the Irken shifted about to prepare for takeoff. It had all been fine and dandy up until that moment. Dib hadn’t thought about what was happening between them. Or at least anything more than friendship any way. But, now…
He could feel Zim’s warmth roll off of his body in waves, sneaking below his shirt. He could smell the light scent of vanilla crème and chemicals and had imbedded itself in his skin. ‘Oh boy…’ Biting down on his bottom lip, Dib left his hands awkwardly hanging at his side, unsure of what to do with them as Zim flicked the final switch to take them into the air.
“It’s gonna have to—um, excuse me. That’s my body you are speaking of, Space-Boy. Not a throne. I am human. Not a chair. And you are an obnoxious alien fiend, not a mighty king.”
Zim only glanced over his shoulder at the human as the roof split open to allow for takeoff. He looked back at his controls and the Voot began to lift itself from the house.
“Zim is sitting on you, therefore you are a chair.” Zim snickered a bit as he thrust the Voot forward, sending them into the sky with ease.
The neighborhood shrank below them as they continued to ascend, until the earth below them was masked in fluffy grey clouds. For a moment or two, their world was enveloped by said clouds, until finally they broke free, and in front of them was only vast openness.
As they broke free from the Earth’s atmosphere, things seemed to slow down. They were suddenly suspended in an endless, slow reality as the earth shrank in the distance. Zim looked back over his shoulder to peek at the human.
Whenever Dib came into Space, it was like he was being transported, set back into place. Everything that was off kilter was suddenly right. Space was open and filled with so many possibilities. It was wild and unpredictable. Beautiful and harsh. Kind of like a certain Irken who was sitting in his lap, all warm and squishy.
Several stars glittered, flying across the inky blackness. Being here felt like a dream. Floating in nothingness and yet the most of anything ever, flying like no human ever had before…holding onto the most important person in his life.
Because that’s what Zim was. Odd as it may be, from the moment that the moron had stalked into that classroom nearly seven years ago, Dib had been off kilter. His life had changed and so had he. Often it had seemed like it was for the worse but, now he could see it was the best thing that had happened to him. Without it, he wouldn’t be here. With a friend, with a partner.
When Zim turned his head to peek back at Dib, the teen took the advantage and kissed Zim right where a nose might’ve been if he’d had one.
Zim’s antennae perked as the human pecked him lightly on the center of his face. He felt ridiculous with how much his chest fluttered at the small, affectionate gesture. He suddenly felt self-conscious, as if the human knew that the Irken’s ‘spooch was racing.
He was sure he knew; those golden eyes always seemed to see right through Zim, always able to get to the very core of the alien’s motives. Those eyes that were peering through the alien at this very moment—but not looking past him. It was a dangerous idea that the human could look right at Zim’s very being, but for some reason this brought comfort to the alien. He didn’t need to hide from Dib like he did all the other humans, and hiding was rather exhausting when you’d rather be out destroying.
And as they floated in the vast emptiness that was space, the stars being their only audience, it was as if they truly were alone in the entire universe.
Alone with Dib, his only friend.
It seemed fitting, as even if they were on Earth, surrounded by all the inferior humans, Zim truly was alone. Dib was the only creature that knew Zim—that spent time with him.
Zim shifted on Dib’s lap to sit sideways across him, now looking at him directly.
“What was that for?” He asked softly.
Dib stared back into Zim’s eyes. Like each time before that he could see every bit of the irken’s past in them. All the places he’d been. The explosions he’d created and seen from afar while laughing manically. History in scarlet orbs.
Awkwardly, the boy shrugged, leaning back into the seat further, feeling like an idiot. “I guess I just wanted to.” He raised a fist and coughed into it to help clear his throat. It felt dry. “Um. Thanks for bringing me out here. Space is just...awesome.” It was one of the things he had in common with his dad and something that had used to bring him comfort as a child on lonely nights.
Zim shrugged a bit and looked out into the inky void that blanketed them. Space was nothing new, or very special, to Zim. He had seen it a hundred times before and probably will see it a thousand times more. But Dib seemed to enjoy it, and that was enough for him.
And Dib was thanking him for bringing him out here. He was a little surprised by the sound of it. All this friendly demeanor that Dib had managed to keep from Zim was still only beginning to surface, it seemed.
Zim felt silly for having been thanked for something as simple as going to space. If anything, Zim should have been thanking Dib, for everything.
Especially last night.
Zim sighed and turned back to Dib. “No need to thank me, Dib. Just consider us even.” Not wanting to give the human any chances to ask questions, he leaned against him and planted a soft kiss on his lips.
When the irken’s lips met his, Dib’s eyelids fluttered shut as he took in the sensation of connection with another being. With Zim. For a few seconds it remained chaste, just their lips touching, twitching slightly, brushing and retreating, learning and relearning.
Chapter 21: Sensation
It beat frantically against his cheek, echoing in his ears and connecting to him in a way that seeped through all the holes and cracks that weren’t tainted by Zim, ruining and fixing them. He was suddenly desperate to claim…to be claimed…to have that steady rhythm under him and over him. All around him
With a mellow sigh that would’ve embarrassed him, had Dib even noticed he’d done it, he leaned forward a bit to put more pressure into the embrace. His hands curled into the sides of the pilot’s chair, nails scratching against the fabric.
Zim was a bit surprised at the sudden enthusiasm within the kiss, but relaxed after a bit and welcomed it. He couldn’t help but smile a bit into the kiss as he draped his arms over Dib’s shoulders. The alien pressed himself against the human, longing to be close and to feel his warmth. His bare hands running through Dib’s unruly hair softly, caressing and petting involuntarily.
Each breath the human let out against Zim’s skin sent his ‘spooch fluttering against his chest; he was much more aware of the human than the previous times they had been together like this. He had to pull back a bit and take a deep breath.
“It feels like my squeedily-spooch is going to burst out of my chest…” Zim whispered nervously, putting a hand to his chest, as if to hold it in. This was such a strange new feeling to Zim, he didn’t know if he should be worried or not—though was feeling a little worried anyway. He felt that he could handle it better if he just knew why he was feeling this way.
‘I’m shaking.’ Dib thought distantly, licking his lips to taste more of Zim. More vanilla crème. More danger and stubborn alien on his tounge. Running on instinct, he trailed his hands up Zim’s arms, grabbing his wrists and pulling them away from his chest. A few seconds of debate before Dib ran his lips along the irken’s forearm, tugging the sleeve up with his teeth till he reached the crook of a jade elbow, placing a small kiss there.
The alien’s pulse thumped erratically against his mouth. “I—“ Golden eyes seemed foggy and distant as if there was too much going on inside. “Me too.”
It was true. He could hear the erythematic thud of it in his ears. It beat against his chest, too fast, pumping too much blood that it made Dib flushed and overheated. This was…ridiculous. Or would’ve been. Should’ve been. If only it was…
If only it was so simple as to be a mistake, to be a collapse of judgment due to alcohol or a moment of temporary insanity. But, Dib knew exactly what he was doing and the more that he stared at all that jade skin, into those giant crimson eyes…the more he was sure of what he wanted.
The feel of those soft lips trailing up his arm sent shivers through the alien, turning his violet face away in slight embarrassment. What was happening to him? Why was he feeling this way? He didn’t understand it, but as Dib murmured into Zim’s elbow, he gave up hope in fighting it.
Dib was feeling this way too, and even though it was surprising to hear, Zim felt like he always knew this. And maybe it was ok to not understand. He knew that Dib was with him and that they were sharing this moment, and that’s all he needed.
Pulling away for a moment, Zim turned his body to fully embrace the human, setting his legs on either side of Dib—straddling him. He cupped Dib’s face in his clawed fingers and gave him a soft, affectionate kiss before trailing down to his neck, planting small kisses against the warm, exposed skin.
Hissing in shock, Dib blinked too much, his head falling backwards to let the irken have easier access to more skin. Unclenching them from the seat, his hands flew up to Zim’s waist, gripping it tightly. Half out of out of frantic desire, the urge to have something to ground himself and half out of fear of what was happening between them.
“Z-Zim…” The irken’s name finally worked itself past the teen’s tight throat. The tiny kisses against his sensitive skin sent shivers all the way down to his toes and with each new one, his breath hitched up in his throat.
Dib bit down on his bottom lip, feeling nervous energy working its wicked way up his spine and he began to massage his companion’s hips, slowly working the long dress-like uniform up Zim’s lithe form.
Hearing his name come from the human under him made new desires to rise within him. He wanted desperately to make the boy say his name again, in that desperate, pleading tone—to make him beg and whine for more, which Zim was all too glad to give.
Zim gently nibbled the sensitive skin, licking between each teasing bite to soothe the spot before nipping again. The human’s flavor lingered long after he pulled away to help Dib pull off his uniform. For the third time, Zim was half naked in front of Dib, hickies still fresh and vibrant against his jade skin.
Swallowing back a moan at the sight, Dib reached out and ran a hand down the irken’s body, fingers tracing each hickey and bruise. Mentally remembering each little scar that marred emerald skin. It was hard to breathe, but he panted and leaned forward, placing a wet kiss against the alien’s collar bone where a hickey stood out sharply, a sapphire amongst the emerald.
“You’re…” The dim, hardly there glow of the distant stars, the sun and the tiny shimmers of Earth’s billions of lights all left the alien bathed in a smoldering kaleidoscope of colors. “horrible…” You’re beautiful. Exotic and unlike anyone on Earth. Unlike anyone in the entire universe.
Zim inhaled sharply as Dib planted the kiss against his collar bone, running a hand through his hair roughly as he did so. Dib was so close now…closer now than he had ever been, it felt like. And yet it seemed that there was still some distance that could be closed between them, and Zim couldn’t stand it.
Dib’s breath was hot against his neck as he spoke, and he could only chuckle dryly, not sure if he could remember how to speak.
“You don’t seem to mind.” Zim whispered as he snaked a hand underneath the human’s shirt, running the palm of his bare hand against his skin.
“Maybe…” Dib cleared his throat because it sounded like he was being choked only to nearly actually choke on his tounge when Zim’s slightly chilly fingers brushed so teasingly against his stomach. “it’s because I’m used to it.” Or because you’re addictive…you stupid, stupid creature.
Dib’s hands connected behind the irken’s back and pulled Zim closer, feeling the need to bring Zim as close as physically possible. To eat him up and keep him locked away, to never let go and be kept. Ridiculous thoughts just seemed to keep pouring into his slowing thought process, as the human leaned his head against his friend’s chest to listen for the squeedely spooch he’d imagined a million times.
It beat frantically against his cheek, echoing in his ears and connecting to him in a way that seeped through all the holes and cracks that weren’t tainted by Zim, ruining and fixing them. He was suddenly desperate to claim…to be claimed…to have that steady rhythm under him and over him. All around him.
He bit down on the bruise already forming just slightly above the irken’s collarbone, not hard enough to draw blood but, definitely enough to make a mark. Then Dib soothed the hurt with his tounge, eyebrows drawn in concentration.
Zim didn’t need to press any farther, as he knew that what Dib claimed wasn’t exactly true. He knew Dib was feeling what he was; the need to be close, the need to belong to the other, and the need to know each other. To know what was behind those burning eyes, and to claim it—to hold it close and protect it from the crushing world that sought to extinguish it.
And even if Zim had wanted to press farther, he found that he wasn’t able to. It was all he could do to keep breathing as the human nipped at his already bruised skin, eliciting a small moan from the alien.
He brought his legs up and hitched them around the human, bringing their lower halves closer, and successfully imprisoning the human against him. His hand ran upwards against Dib’s chest, taking in the texture of the impossibly warm skin and bringing up his shirt as he did so. His claws lingered over each scar that stood out, running the pads of his fingers over them softly. He hissed softly against Dib’s ear before whispering his name longingly.
The human was hanging on the edge of control when Zim wrapped his short but skinny legs around his waist, clinging to the last of his sanity, holding himself together by a string.
“Dib…”His name, without a horrid suffix. His name wrung from the lips of the usually hot headed and stubborn alien all but shattered him. It was violent, this snapping of control and Dib let out a groan, hands slipping back over the irken’s chest and down to his hips, digging blunt fingertips into the jade flesh before he thrust upward, forcing friction between their clothed lower bodies.
Sparks. Pure electricity and it should’ve felt so wrong but, it felt so right with Zim above him. The teenager’s mind was racing with too many thoughts, all of them revolving around the alien he rutted against mindlessly.
Zim’s back arched as a moan ripped itself from his throat; the human’s desire erupted from underneath him and sent Zim over the edge. Those ravenous hands that gripped his hips as Dib thrust against him was the only thing that seemed to keep him grounded.
Zim’s hands fumbled with Dib’s shirt until he finally managed to tear it off the human’s frame, tossing it aside. He leaned forward and licked hungrily at the newly exposed skin, his hands roaming anxiously as he did so. His tongue trailed against Dib’s chest wetly, lingering slightly over his nipples until his hands reached Dib’s hips, claws digging themselves under the band of his pants, curiously.He sat up a bit and looked down at Dib’s pants, both eager and nervous.
Gasping for air, Dib wrapped a hand around the back of Zim’s neck and brought him down for a hungry kiss, flicking his own tounge across the irken’s sweet lips, teasing his mouth open and twining their tongues in a heated dance before pulling away and nodding faintly. With grunts of frustration, the human undid the seemingly infinite amount of buttons and buckles and zippers until they were down around his ankles.
Left only in his boots, socks and nerdy UFO boxers, Dib shivered. They were in space after all. Impatient, he hooked his thumbs into the waistband of Zim’s leggings, raising an eyebrow, silently asking for mercy and permission. But, mostly mercy.
Zim watched eagerly as the human undressed in front of him. Only to realize that he had even more clothes underneath. Zim gave a small huff of frustration, but sat up as the human tugged suggestively at his own clothes.
Zim bit his lip, but nodded in return. He helped Dib pull down his leggings, which slid off effortlessly, taking the boots with them as they went. Unlike the human, Zim was not equipped with underwear, and he sat exposed on his lap.
Zim had experienced erections before in the past, but they were always fleeting and went away on their own. Now as he sat, naked on his friend’s lap, he felt a tad embarrassed at how his body was reacting. The magenta skin of his member was moist, and glistened readily as Zim panted heavily, not sure what was going to happen next.
Swallowing back the huge lump of nervousness that had suddenly lodged itself in his throat, Dib’s eyes flickered from Zim’s member to the large ruby eyes that seemed to beg for something. For release, for guidance. Well, Dib wasn’t exactly an expert. This was his first time doing anything like this with anyone…let alone a guy or an alien.
Biting down on his bottom lip, the human mustered up all that bravery he kept stored up, kissing Zim lightly on his chin before tentatively reaching out and running the very tips of his finger tips along the sides. The sensation was beyond anything he’d expected.
Not that he’d known what to expect. It was ridged kind of like Zim’s tounge, soft but…also hard. Dib nearly choked on his tounge again, wanting to pull away because THIS WAS HAPPENING but, wanting to throw himself into everything because he wanted THIS more than anything he could remember.
Zim’s body quivered at the feel of those warm fingers against him. He felt everything melt under Dib’s touch, and everything seemed so impossibly strange, but felt so right to the alien. He didn’t want to think about it; he didn’t want to think about how he still was quite uncertain of what was happening, or that his instincts were telling him that because Dib was a male he wasn’t quite sure how this was going to happen, whatever THIS was.
All he wanted to think about was the human in front of him. He wanted Dib to consume him and leave little else in this world for him. And the more Zim thought about it, the more it drove him crazy. He panted softly and let out Dib’s name in a soft pleading tone.
That tone encouraged Dib to take the leap and wrap his entire hand around the irken, stroking up and down in a steady rhythm, eyes glued to Zim’s expressions. He hungrily ate up any small noise, any differentiation in the alien’s expressive face.
Bringing Zim pleasure brought him pleasure, every hitch in breath, every soft sigh. And Zim was squirming everywhere, which was dangerous considering they were in a space ship. But, that thought was fleeting, as he was distracted by his name rolling off an long, prehensile tounge. ‘More’, was his instant instinct.
Zim squirmed on Dib’s lap, his legs moving with him as he thrust instinctively against the palm of the human’s hand. Nothing seemed to make sense anymore; his body screamed for more while also begging for a release. His breath came out in moans and whimpers as Dib worked him, occasionally breathing a word of approval. He clutched onto the human for support, as he could no longer sense the Voot around them, and felt as though they were suspended in space and would drift apart if he let go.
“Perfect…beautiful…” Dib whispered unable to help himself, his unoccupied hand pressing down on Zim chest to shove him backwards, leaning against the control panel. The entire universe seemed to be spinning, revolving around them. This moment that he never would’ve thought in a billion years would happen a few months ago.
Removing his hand, Dib kissed his way up the inside of the irken’s thigh, eyes alert for any sign of surrender. Zim was always so dominant. So commanding and high strung…this was like a drug to have control. To wring helpless sighs and whimpers, to hear his name as it hissed from in between clenched teeth.
Zim couldn’t help but utter a small purr as he felt those lips move up against the sensitive skin, closer and closer…He looked down at Dib, a puzzled expression on his face. He didn’t want Dib to stop, and his member throbbed at the sudden abandonment.
“Don’t stop, Dib…” He commanded softly. He had to gain back control, somehow, and he knew it. He felt so lost, and Dib seemed to know the motions to go through, but Zim couldn’t help but feel a bit reluctant to let the human dominate him so easily.
“ ‘M not. Be patient.” Smirking nervously, Dib tilted his head to the side, biting down on his bottom lip and staring at the daunting task before him. This was obviously not something he’d ever practiced before..or spent much time researching. But, the whole idea seemed easy enough, even though there might be some sort of different species thing to factor in.
Shaking his head, Dib licked his lips threw all contemplation out the window. He started slowly at first. AS he had with his hand. Except instead of finger tips it was the tip of his tounge, testing, tasting. Of course he was sweet there too. He was sweet everywhere…
Zim’s brow furrowed and he gasped; the feel of Dib’s tongue on his member sending waves of white hot pleasure to ripple through him. His toes curled as he brought a hand to Dib’s head, encouraging him to continue. He spread his legs to allow his friend more access to as much of the sensitive area as possible, his breath leaving him in heavy, loud moans.
It was encouraging to have Zim practically melting beneath him. Sharp claws curled into his hair, scraping his scalp and Dib didn’t mind, taking a deep breath before setting more of his mouth over the irken’s member. He ran his tounge up and down the soft ridges.
Experimenting with different kinds of suction and head movements, enjoying taking apart the irken’s hard control as much as Zim was obviously enjoying it if the ankles digging into his back were any confirmation.
Zim clutched onto a patch of Dib’s hair as his head bobbed between his legs, the Irken squirming and thrusting before below him. His whole body flushed as his ‘spooch pumped harder with each second, moaning and whimpering for the human.
He could feel it start to build up, and it was beginning to become too much for him. He almost asked Dib to stop, but he couldn’t bear the idea at the same time. He was going mad until finally the alien released himself.
The pleasure gripped him, his whole body tense and quaking as he climaxed.
Zim let out a few more fading whimpers, then went limp across the control panel, panting heavily, his chest rising and falling dramatically.
Despite the fact that Dib expected it to happen, he still nearly reeled backwards when the sweet fluid flooded his mouth. Still he managed to get most of it, swallowing it wondering if that had been a smart idea and deciding that he would find out later if his body agreed with it or not. Wiping a drop from his chin, the human sat back in the chair, feeling as if he’d done something monumental.
Zim looked burnt out, eyes wide and his chest finally starting to slow to a even breathing pace. Dib shifted in the chair, uncomfortable in his stupid boxers. Stupid hormones. Stupid Zim…being all obnoxious and fucking edible.
Zim propped himself up on his elbows to look at Dib, still reeling from what had just happened. What HAD just happened? He wasn’t quite sure, to be honest. None of his training had prepared him for something like that. Hormones buzzed around in the air, making it hard for the Irken to focus. He watched Dib for a moment before crawling back over to him and setting himself back down on his lap.
He cleared his throat nervously. His skin was still flushed and warm, and he seemed a bit uncomfortable as a bead of sweat that had form rolled down the side of his head.
“So…” He began tentatively. “Did…did we…?” He could hardly even bring himself to say the word. How did he ask his friend if they had just mated? He knew what mating entailed, but what went into it exactly was sort of a grey area of the alien.
Grunting, Dib worked to shift Zim on his lap so that it wasn’t painful. But the irken’s question threw him off guard. He chuckled very softly before nipping his chin. “No. That was…what some people call foreplay. I think. Um, sex happens differently than that. Or at least that’s not what the ‘main event’ is supposed to be. I-I don’t know.” At least the last time he checked in with his Health class it had.
Dib couldn’t help but feel completely distracted. By everything at the current moment; Zim’s slightly blue flushes face, the stars outside the steamed up ship but, mostly how uncomfortable his erection was. Dib was teenage boy. Of course he’d had one. Many of them on different horrible occasions all caused from stupid things. It was a natural if humiliating experience. But, this was different. This was expectant and caused by something that wasn’t a dream or his pants.
Zim shifted on Dib’s lap uncomfortably, having a hard time finding a comfortable position to sit in. “Sex?” He questioned. Was that what they called mating on Earth? He opened his mouth to say something, but only growled when he felt Dib’s erection poking at him again. He leaned back to get a closer look at the culprit, examining the tightness of the human’s boxers.
Hesitantly, he reached down and softly prodded the erection through Dib’s underwear.
Dib opened his mouth to answer the irken’s question. Or at least the silent obvious one. Only to nearly shriek, lifting his knee up a bit to create a tiny barrier. “Um. Yes. Sex and that is kind of like what you have.” The human gestured to Zim still protruding member.
“Only it doesn’t conveniently fold up like yours seems to be able to do…but then again I am just a pathetic human…” He was babbling. He did that when he felt awkward.
Zim jumped back at the sudden, unexpected yelp that Dib let out.
‘Like what I have?’ Zim thought, curious. He leaned forward again, pushing away Dib’s knee despite the obvious reason that he had put it up in the first place. He had now forgotten his previous question about sex, as he had found something a bit more interesting. He had to admit that he had always been a bit curious about human anatomy. Not to mention that Zim was stark naked while Dib hid behind his garments, and that just wasn’t fair at all.
“Yes, you are…” Zim agreed absentmindedly as he crawled over Dib, slowly, and reaching out to pull back the band on his boxers.
“I’m what?” Having totally forgotten what he had said in the sudden wake of Irken curiosity, Dib let it happen, but bit down on his lip. It was one thing to expose Zim and explore him. Quite another to allow another to do it to him. Showing himself off…Dib covered up as much of his body as often as possible…this was weird.
Once Zim had the boxers off, Dib shivered and his blush increased nearly tenfold, covering his neck and shoulders as he stared anywhere but directly at Zim. He was hard as a rock, and who could blame him?
Zim was a little surprised by how much it actually resembled his own, but was still taken aback by the sight of it. It was oddly…erotic. Zim felt his face flush as he examined it, but more so at the way Dib was acting so bashful by it.
There was a moment of hesitation as Zim tried to figure out the best way to approach the situation. Finally he slowly brought his hand down and gently caressed the skin with the pads of his fingers. The skin was dry, but oddly soft, while the member itself was firm. Zim couldn’t help but flush even more as he touched it. He looked up at Dib, only to see that he had bitten through his lip.He huffed and flicked his tongue across the human’s wounded lip, licking up most of the blood.
Shuddering in surrender at the gentle touches, Dib all but stopped himself from cumming right then and there, furrowing his brows and curling his hands into the arms of the pilot chair as he let Zim explore. There was a flick of an irken tounge against his lips, licking up the blood he’d unwittingly drawn and it in turn drew a approving groan.
“Z-Zim…” Breathlessly Dib squirmed, opening his eyes to watch, gulping back big lungfuls of recycled air and not caring. At first he’s been apprehensive of Zim’s reaction…but, the irken seemed to enjoy…looking at him and touching him. Which was currently his problem.
The human’s toes curled helplessly against the cool metal floor.
Zim purred softly at the sound of Dib’s approving moans, coaxing him to explore a bit farther. He wanted to make Dib feel what he felt earlier, to make him beg for mercy until he erupted.
The Irken wrapped his fingers around Dib’s throbbing member, being careful not to get his claws involved, and gently stroked him in a slow rhythm. He watched Dib’s face with half-lidded eyes, wanting to see the human’s flush face as he uttered each moan. He wanted to see Dib’s face as he called out to Zim.
Breathing got harder the longer the delicious torture continued, Dib was unable to do anything but give into the sensations and hope he didn’t die. Against his will and better judgment, pitiful whimpers and moans that seemed to have come from the very pit of his being were torn from his throat.
Swallowing back a scream, instead he ground out the Invader’s name, cursing it and praying to God. “Oh God, Zim!” The sensations kept bubbling up, never allowed a respite. His head thrashed from side to side, his body writhed and he wanted to pull away because it was all too much. But, it was never enough and he wanted more.
So much more. Of this. Of Zim. Of them…
Chapter 22: Surrender
But if there was more, he would gladly give it to him, because he knew he would ask the same of Dib. He wanted him, ALL of him. He wanted Dib to be his own, to protect him and to soothe him when he was hurt. He wanted to leave nothing else of the boy for anybody else to claim.
Dib's eyes shot open, head thrown back against the chair, mouth open in a silent scream as the pressure came to a final solid peak, ecstasy seemed to seep through his veins because even as he shattered into a million pieces he was at peace. It seemed to last forever and was probably only a few seconds.
Swallowing back the awe, Dib went limp against the chair, panting heavily. His body quaked from the after effects and he felt too warm, too sticky.
Zim watched, pleased, as Dib writhed underneath him, his moans and whimpers sending cascades of desire through him. Zim hardly noticed that he was hard again, though, as Dib's moans grew in intensity; his whole world at that moment revolved around making Dib moan, making him say his name, making him erupt.
Until finally he did, and Zim worked himharduntil his member had ceased pumping the white, sticky mess everywhere. Smiling, Zim leaned over and gave the human a wet kiss, almost as if to congratulate him on a job well done.
Pulling back, he couldn't help but address some of the strange juices that had gotten on his hand. Curious, he lapped some up with his tongue, only to recoil almost instantly at the sheer bitterness.
"Dib! Your juices are disgusting!" He said, flicking the stuff to the floor.
Limp and exhausted, it was all that Dib could to but to respond to the kiss. "Huh?" The sound of the Zim's loud voice jolted him a bit. Blinking he stared down at the mess all along his stomach and Zim's hands and now the floor. The human frowned. "Sorry? I don't exactly have the ability to change how it appears. And we can't all have insanely sweet bodily fluids."
Dib looked around and grabbed his boxers, wiping up the stuff as best as he could, grabbing Zim's hand and cleaning that too. "There. My offending juices are off of you." Your majesty, he mentally completed. He flopped back in the chair, blinking rather sleepily and wondering when the magnitude of what they just did would kick in.
It wasn't like they'd had intercourse or anything but still. This was like a whole new rung on the ladder. Dib ran a hand through his hair, wincing when he disturbed the shallow cuts from Zim's claws. Damn. That irken pulled hard.
Zim narrowed his eyes at the human until finally he laid his head down on his chest with a sigh. So now they had done foreplay, whatever that meant. He wondered if that was something friends did, normally. He wouldn't mind it at all, if it was. He definitely wouldn't mind doing it again, and as he looked down at himself it was easy to see that his body agreed.
He looked up at Dib with a questioning look on his face, finally remembering what they had been talking about before. "So, what about sex?" He asked. He didn't mean for it to sound like a proposition, rather, he was mostly just curious as to what sex entailed.
"Whu-what?" Having relaxed at last, Dib's body went taught at the question. For something to do during this awkward conversation, he snatched his glasses off his nose and began to clean them. They were still kind of foggy. Plus, whenever Zim talked, or yelled (pretty much the same thing), he always got little spittle marks on them. It wasn't gross anymore. It was rather normal for him now.
"W-what about sex?"
Zim's face scrunched up at the repeat of his question. What was so hard about what he was asking? Didn't the human understand what he said? Or was he as oblivious to the subject as Zim was? He sat up a little to look at the human directly. He looked tired, but content, if not somewhat awkward. His hair was in even more disarray than it was before, which made Zim want to snicker. He really did look like some kind of beast with his hair sticking out in all direction like that, not to mention his cow-lick.
But Zim's face was stern as he looked down at his friend. "Yes, that's what I asked."
"No." Ugh. He shoved his glasses back on his face, clean as they could get given their current whereabouts. "What ABOUT it? What do you want to know?" Dib flailed his arms around a bit for emphasis, before they fell back to his sides. His naked sides. He was still naked they both were. It was stupid to blush now. After all that had just happened. But, Dib's body ignored his brain, making another pink flush break out.
Zim looked around, thoughtfully. Well, he couldn't remember why he was interested. Maybe it was something they should do, now they were friends? He didn't know exactly, but that's why he had been asking in the first place.
His brows furrowed as he looked back down at Dib, who was flushed again. Zim couldn't help but snicker; he enjoyed watching Dib blush like that. He was such a mess when he got all flustered. He really was uselessbut Zim was fond of him anyway.
Zim cursed inwardly. 'Now I've lost my train of thought.' He huffed and resorted to leaning down and kissing Dib's flushed cheek in hopes that it would distract him from what they were talking about.
Well, it distracted Dib. His adam's apple bobbed up and down though he covered any stupidness on his half by rolling his eyes at the gesture. "Are you going to answer me? Or just do that thing you do where you try to distract me from whatever we were talking about by doing something outrageous?"
Still he felt an obnoxious little flutter in his chest at the kiss. Relenting to himself, Dib reached up and cupped Zim's face, bringing him down for a chaste one, though it quickly turned into more than that. Their lips and teeth clashed, his bitten lip re opened. When the human pulled away he was heavy lidded and breathing heavy. "Because right now would be the time to distract me "
Zim grinned widely down at the human below him. So easily distracted, but in this moment that was, of course, a good thing. The alien's antennae perked at the taste of the human's blood on his tongue, a flavor he was getting used to as of late.
Zim pressed himself close to the flushed human, his hardened member sandwiched between the warm skin of their underbellies. His magenta eyes dark with lust as he ran his serpentine tongue along Dib's cut lip in an attempt to soothe, while also wanting desperately to taste.
Dib's eyelids fluttered shut as the irken swept his tounge along his hurt lip. Air seemed heavy, going in and out too slowly, weighing itself in his lungs. Not daring to think anymore, he reached up and curled his fingers around the back of Zim's neck, effectively pulling him closer, closer. Their bodies rubbed together, friction and sparks.
All Dib wanted was to devour this jerk, sliding his tounge along the other's ridged one. Zim's saliva was like a drug, he couldn't get enough. When he pulled away for some much needed air, sweat glistened on his forehead. "G-Good job."
Electricity swept through the alien as his tongue was met by Dib's. He could never get enough of that wide tongue; its strange texture and exotic flavor. The human's breath was hot and moist against Zim's lips, a very welcome sensation to the alien. He panted softly as they broke away, not relenting on the pressure he was inflicting on their lower halves.
He grinned widely, his eyes heavy lidded. "Always." He whispered proudly.
And Dib couldn't help but, smile right back. "Arrogant bastard." He murmured affectionately, slowly running his hands down the irken's smooth skin, mapping all the tiny imperfection that Zim would never admit existed. Leaning forward, Dib bit softly on the irken's neck, while tender hands worked on getting any knots of tension out of Zim's body.
"I want you." He murmured, wet lipped, drowsy against his friend's skin, while basking in the taste, in the sensations that being so close to someone entailed. Dib had never had much human contact before. Not that he'd wanted to. But, aside from wedgies, noogies, shoves, kicks he'd never touched someone kindly. Gently. With the objective to bring pleasure, instead of pain. And even greater he'd never felt that before either. Zim had claimed another first from Dib. He was quickly running out of firsts left to give.
Zim gasped at the familiar feel of those dull teeth against his skin; no matter how many times he had been bitten by the human, it always managed to send a chill down his spine.
His antennae twitched at the sound of Dib's voice; rough and desperate sounding.
Zim didn't really understand; didn't Dib already have him? He was in Dib's arms at this very moment, but maybe that wasn't enough. What more could there possible be to claim? Dib had already invaded the alien's mind, and currently, his person, as far as he knew.
But if there was more, he would gladly give it to him, because he knew he would ask the same of Dib. He wanted him, ALL of him. He wanted Dib to be his own, to protect him and to soothe him when he was hurt. He wanted to leave nothing else of the boy for anybody else to claim.
"You can have me
" Zim began in a low whisper. "But only if I can have you, in return."
Dib raised an eyebrow. It was like some cheesy line of a romantic comedy. And it should've been ridiculous coming from Zim. But, it wasn't. In fact it was so the opposite of ridiculous that it made his stomach hurt.
Suddenly, he was thinking about a quote from some long dead guy that they had learned about in literature class. There were moments in life when you just knew that things would change. When this moronic alien stepped into the classroom when they kissed for the first time but, now, this was something that should've never been and yet, Dib found himself gently caressing Zim's cheek, staring back into scarlet eyes that echoed a violent past and an uncertain future.
"I " What could he say? Dib swallowed to get rid of the dryness. Unsuccessfully. To be able to have Zim to keep him well, it made his blood pump with adrenaline. To fight and hate. To laugh and dream with. To kiss and touch. All his. And all that it cost was himself.
Maybe other couples, well normal people rather, could've said yes in a heart beat. They didn't have to seriously think of anything. But, they weren't normal. And to submit to either of them used to mean humiliation at the least and death at the most.
Gold eyes flickered from the naked alien in front of him, back to the swirling blue planet that lay beyond the safety of the voot cruiser, the back to Zim. "You've had me. " Since day one. Hooked and obsessed.
Zim nuzzled his cheek into the warm palm of Dib's hand. So that was it then, they were truly surrendering themselves to each other. A month ago the very thought would have sent Zim into a frenzy, and yet here he was.
He only nodded in return, his antennae pressed flat against his scalp and his face flushed with anticipation. His gut turned nervously as he waited for what to do next, reluctantly giving the human permission to take the lead.
Chapter 23: Heart
But, it didn’t hurt enough to make him move, in fact the exact opposite. Dib wanted to stay there for the rest of his existence, let himself be kept by an alien and release all the worries that a boy his age shouldn’t have. Let go of everything but this feeling of relaxation at the hands of Zim.
Dib wasn't exactly well versed in any of…this but, he figured he knew enough to make it a decent experience. For both of them. Still the very idea had his heart beating so fast he felt like it would come out of his chest. Fear and anxiety worked its way slowly through his veins even as Dib tried valiantly to shove it down.
Licking his lips, the teenager curled his arms under Zim’s knees, forcing the irken to wrap his legs around Dib’s waist in order to keep from falling as he switched their positions in the cramped vessel so that Zim’s back was against the chair and Dib was above him.
“I-I’m new at this too…” Or at least he figured that Zim was new at this. The alien was a germaphobe…it didn’t seem likely that he’d done anything with anyone before. Not even his own species…but, what did Dib know?
Zim maneuvered easily around Dib as he was positioned below him. Anxiety began to build up in the alien at the sudden intimacy of their position. His magenta eyes were wide with curiosity and apprehension, but still very much consenting.
He kept his legs hitched around the human’s waist and placed his hands carefully on his shoulders, feeling very unnatural with being below him. Which was silly, considering this was the second time in the span of only a couple days that he found himself in this position. Only now he was naked.
Zim wasn’t exactly sure what was going to happen, but the anticipation of it was causing the adrenaline in his small frame to overload. His hands shook nervously as he nodded at Dib, telling him that it was alright.
Dib tamped his nervousness down, before leaning over the irken’s body and pressing their lips together in a wet kiss, determined to wipe that apprehensive look from Zim’s face. And though he had intended to do it just for Zim, he found himself losing the battle on his own control, his own nervousness slowly fading away. In the heat of what they were and what was happening between them.
First times were supposedly always awkward. Dib expected this. But, he hadn’t expected the nervous jumping in his pulse. The near terror and overwhelming desire. It was liquid fire in his veins, feeding on the irken’s eyes and body, his skin color and breathy suppressed whimpers.
Dib pulled away from their kiss, licking his lips for a final taste. “I-You…do you trust m-me?” He asked, quivering with some crazy mixture of anticipation and dread. His arms held him just above the alien, hard member positioned millimeters away from Zim’s opening. An idea occurred to him…maybe...
Zim was taken aback by the question at first; why did he feel the need to ask? They had been through so much in the past couple days, but Zim didn’t really feel the need to think about it too much.
He was surprised to find that, after all these years, he DID trust Dib. When did that happen? But as he lay under Dib, the human’s hands roaming over him again, he found he was actually quite comfortable.
Zim face flushed as he came to the realization. He trusted Dib with his whole being, and had even agreed to give himself completely over to the human. For only a split second he had to wonder what he was getting himself into. But he brushed that thought away with a soft smile.
Dib removed a hand from the chair and slid it down his companion’s body.
“Yes, Dib-thing. I trust you..”
“Good…thank you..” Dib whispered, eyes heated and face flushed. Biting down on his bottom lip, the human found Zim’s opening and pressed his fingers inside, testing the waters and wanting this to be nice for the irken. Not painful as he’d heard it could be. And it was tight…how was he…going to fit? Maybe it was better if Zim took him… The teenager scissored his fingers, stretching the inside of his friend. Gold eyes flickered to check for Zim’s reaction.
The sensation of those long fingers inside of him caused Zim’s breath to leave him all at once. His eyes screwed shut as Dib spread him open, gripping the human’s shoulders and spread his legs to give his friend better access.
“Ahh…!” He moaned softly.
“I-is it okay?” Dib murmured, eyelids falling heavy with each small sound the irken made. Unconsciously, he matched the rhythm with his fingers, pulling in and out, in and out. With each movement Zim grew slicker and Dib wanted to replace everything with himself. The air that Zim breathed was him and the way he arched was because of him and the fingers sliding in and out was his cock.
Dib put both hands above the irken on the chair, placed his hips between Zim’s thighs, forcing his legs up and over Dib’s shoulders. Something animalistic was taking over…something he couldn’t contain.
Zim nodded eagerly at Dib’s question. It was more than ok, Zim thought. His body was calling out for more, and he could feel it. He panted and gripped the sides of the chair as his hips left the seat, being pulled upwards with his legs hooked over Dib’s shoulders.
His wet opening quivered in anticipation and longing as the human positioned his member over it. Zim’s eyes screamed for the human to give him more, to fill him up and make him over-flow.
With a desperate thrust, Dib pushed himself all the way up until their hips connected and he could still feel that there was more space to move. A groan was torn from his throat, hands clenching at the chair. “Ahhh.” It was so tight. A drop of sweat rolled down his back. Taking a moment to let Zim adjust, the human lightly pulled backward, until he was nearly out before throwing himself back in. Gold eyes rolled back in his head as the pleasure, unlike any he’d ever felt before washed over him.
A surge of deep, potent pleasure ran though the Irken’s small frame as Dib’s member pounded into his sweet-spot. His mouth flew open as a loud moan escaped his throat, arching his back as the human pulled out. It was unlike anything he had experienced before; not as immediate as Dib’s mouth around his member, but much more deep and gripping. Much more powerful.
The human gasped for air as wave after wave of sensation seemed to assail him. There was the animalistic drive again, as if it had ever left, taking over, pulling his limbs. Forcing him into a rhythm that was as old as time. He rocked their bodies back and forth, the exertion barely noticeable at first.
Dib reached down and grabbed Zim’s chin, tilting the irken’s head up so he could see into those bright, ruby eyes…all the emotions. The power and strength. The hazy look that screamed submission. Their skin slapped together in the vastness of space, the Voot windows became foggy.
“Ahh..Zim…” The longer they stayed like this, the longer they remained together, the more that Dib began to fill as if he was twisting into a tense knot. The pleasure was too much. Unlike in the irken’s hands…he was in control and Zim gripped him so differently this way.
Zim’s skin was soon glistening with sweat as the human pumped his member into him mercilessly. His antennae pressed flat against his scalp as his mouth hung open in a silent scream. The pressure of the human pushing against his inner walls forcing more whimpers out of his throat as he clutched the human close, not knowing how much more he could take. Each time he thought he would have to ask the human to stop, the pleasure would ebb away and give him a chance to breath before washing over him once more.
“Dib….Dib…” He whispered in a pleading tone as Dib filled him up past his breaking point, and continued to push. He wanted to moan, but beg him to stop at the same time. He gripped him tighter as his eyes began to glisten with moisture and spill over his hot cheeks.
The breath hitched up in the back of Dib’s throat, staying there for a good few seconds.
He had to try and remember how to breathe. But, it was hard when you were impaling yourself upon an alien. “Z-Zim…” He moaned, finally opening his eyes to see another reaction, catch another glimpse of this once in a life time opportunity. Seeing Zim open and—crying. Crying?
Ice ran through his veins. “ZIM?” He dared not move anymore, though the pressure kept building and building inside of him. The urge to move and keep moving until he reached completion. But, above everything, Zim had to be okay. He couldn’t be responsible for hurting the little jerk. Not now. After all this time.. all this effort.
“Hey,” Dib panted, running a thumb shakily under the alien’s eye. “Are you…okay?”
Zim panted and gasped at the sudden release of pressure, feeling as though a weight had been lifted off his chest. But now that it was gone, he longed for it to return; to consume and control him. His body ached for it.“I’m fine…” He reassured in a breathless whisper. “D-don’t stop…” He whined as he buried his face in the nook of the human’s neck.
Dib was unsure, gold eyes falling over his friend’s face, their connected bodies. The urges to move was strong and finally he gave in, thrusting animalisticlly towards the end they both desired. His hands curled gently under the irken’s forearms as something to grab onto, to hold him to the moment when he felt like he was flying apart. Sweat dripped down his back as he gave up all constraint and stared into giant magenta eyes, magenta eyes that watered, tears falling in a continuous stream.
Though Zim thrust up into him, mouth open with unbidden pleasure, the little sounds he made, assured Dib, if only a little bit that he wasn’t the only one enjoying this.
Zim bit his lips at the feel of the pressure building up inside of him, his breathing coming out in gasps when he wasn’t holding it. He could sense the human taking over him completely; filling the air he breathed, the space he occupied, even his own body. It frightened the Irken to think of how content he was with this…
He threw his head back as the white-hot claws of pleasure continued to grip him. The pressure seemed to build relentlessly until Zim felt ready to burst. His whole body tensed as he writhed under the human, clawing at the seat for some form of support, something solid he could hold on to as he felt the world around him melt away. It happened so suddenly, it knocked the air out of him. His shuddered as all the pressure that had built up in him was finally released, his eyes screw shut as it left him.
The irken clenched around Dib and his eyes flew open when he hadn’t noticed they’d drifted shut. The pleasure was building and building, pushing him to the brink. Seeing Zim’s face, lightly flushed body tense and his entire expression one of bliss…it sent Dib over the edge.
His toes curled into the floor, unthinkingly he thrust once, twice more before he was ripped apart by the seams, taken by six claws and torn apart. His lips formed the aliens name unknowingly, a high keening wail. It was all Dib could do but to grab Zim’s hands and hold on.
Spent, he collapsed, pulling out of Zim before falling to his knees, head on the invader’s stomach that fell up and down rapidly. His breath fought to catch up with his pounding heart.
Zim’s muscles finally let go, allowing him to finally rest against the seat, which was now sticky with a healthy coating of sweat. He took a gulp of much needed air—however stuffy it seemed to be—feeling as though it had been years since his last breath. His head spun as he felt his companion droop, feeling somewhat relieved.
He placed a hand on Dib’s head, petting his hair absentmindedly. He sat in silence, not wanting to address the situation quite yet, as he knew there would be many questions that neither of them would be able to answer. For now, he wanted to enjoy the peace that developed around them, no worries about what this or that meant, what that made them, and when they’d have to return to earth.
Finally feeling in control of himself, Zim wanted to enjoy his friend’s company in the vastness of space, where their worries couldn’t reach them.
The teen’s heart beat in his ears, but there was another sound. Zim’s spooch against his ear as well. And the feel of soft claws through his hair, playing with it. Dib let his eyes stay shut, just relaxing and forcing all thoughts of implications away because Zim…his enemy and friend was still here.
They floated in the ‘emptiness’ of space, together and he’d never felt safer. His eye brows furrowed because suddenly there was pain in his chest. It felt like his entire rib cage was caving in, clenching on his heart. Dib’s throat seemed to rebel and his eyes felt hot.
But, it didn’t hurt enough to make him move, in fact the exact opposite. Dib wanted to stay there for the rest of his existence, let himself be kept by an alien and release all the worries that a boy his age shouldn’t have. Let go of everything but this feeling of relaxation at the hands of Zim.
And that’s what finally had him moving. Dib sat up, feeling claws slip away from his messy hair and the warmth from an alien stomach disappear to be replaced with cold recycled air. He gasped in said air, wanting the bitter sweet pain to fade.
This wasn’t healthy…whatever it was.
Chapter 24: Time to Think (Again)
He cursed Dib for making him this way, though he wouldn't admit that it would partly his own fault as well. He let the human burrow under his skin, welcomed it, even. Hell, Zim practically invited him in and took his coat, offering him a beverage while he was at it.
Zim groaned at the sudden, unwelcome movement, opening his eyes to look down at the one who disrupted the stillness. His eyes were greeted with a weary-looking companion, and his 'Spooch leapt uncomfortably.
Suddenly self conscious of what he could have done to cause this, Zim softly trailed his claw down the human's chest in an effort to comfort him. Had he already messed up his only friendship?
"What is it, Dib-thing?" Zim asked, his hoarse voice making himself cringe slightly.
The human's eyelids fluttered shut at the soft touch. God damn it. When had he turned into such a pansy? Dib forced his eyes open again. He grabbed the irken's hand and held it, staring at the three fingers, the exposed palm that was startlingly soft from being covered almost indefinitely.
Dib stroked his thumb across it. "Nothing….it's…I feel weird." Gold eyes rose to stare back at Zim. He looked lazy and flushed. Ivy skin dewed, reflecting the lights from earth and stars. His heart skipped a beat, the pain increasing.
Dib let Zim's hand go, reaching for his boxers and yanking them on. "We should….go back. My dad's probably wondering where the hell I am." Lie. Dad could not have cared less. He was probably at his lab still, working on some cure that would save all man kind.
Zim grunted in disapproval, but did little else to stop the human. Displeased, the Irken reached for his garments as well. He wasn't sure what to say to Dib—not sure what could be said after what they had just experienced. The human seemed almost unhappy with the situation, and it left his mind wandering into dark corners. Had he done something to overstep the already foggy boundaries of their odd relationship?
Unsure, Zim cleared his throat in an attempt to disrupt the suddenly awkward silence as they pulled on their clothes. The silence that only a moment ago was more than welcome, but now seemed to loom over Zim heavily.
Zim turned back and watched Dib dress for a moment, contemplating what to do. He hovered his hand over his companion's shoulder in hesitance before finally patting him softly.
"Eh…that was…that was good. Good work."
Dib froze, shocked not so much by the touch but, by Zim's words. He looked over his shoulder at the fully dressed irken. "Um," Dib was unsure how to respond. "Thanks?" He threw his shirt on over his head and sighed, realizing how close they were in the tiny space.
"Are you going to drive us home…?" He half stood, the size of the 'ceiling' forcing him to be bent awkwardly, unsure if he should make Zim move so the irken could sit on his lap again….or just continue to stand there like a loser.
Zim's antennae drooped as his compliment went seemingly underappreciated. He stood up, his head barely touching the top of the Voot Cruiser, to give Dib his seat. He could see that he was set on going back to Earth and no amount of scoffing and sighing was going to deter him.
"Yes, as I seriously doubt YOU could pilot the Voot." Zim stated as he motioned for Dib to take his seat. Once seated, Zim took his place on Dib's lap, taking over the controls and beginning the reluctant cruise back to Earth.
Dib stuck his tounge out at Zim before flopping down in the chair. It squeaked at him, making him cringe because the sound was familiar. It had filled the air not too long ago, caused by the vigor of two bodies rocking back and fort—
"Yeah. Just…drive." He didn't even have it in him to properly return the insult. Not when this aching pain just kept getting worse. It didn't help when Zim sat on his lap. The alien was warm and surprisingly soft despite how fucking boney he was. Dib gulped and looked out the window, though his sudden movements caused Zim's antenna to brush his chin.
The human yelped and threw his head back as far as it could against the chair. His chin tickled and—Dib shuddered. This was just too much. He needed to get home and sleep for a few days, brood and just…think about all of this. He needed to figure out why he was so twisted inside out. Why did touching Zim make the pain increase? Why was this whole thing…suddenly the most beautiful thing that had ever happened to him?
And he needed to freak out about the fact that he'd lost his virginity to an alien. Oh, a male alien. An male alien who was his mortal enemy. Sort of.
Zim welcomed the feel of Dib's warmth against his back, but jumped a bit at every movement the human made. He hated how ultra-aware he was of the teen, suddenly; always knowing where his hands were, and every movement making him jittery. He cursed Dib for making him this way, though he wouldn't admit that it would partly his own fault as well. He let the human burrow under his skin, welcomed it, even. Hell, Zim practically invited him in and took his coat, offering him a beverage while he was at it.
But at the same time, he didn't completely hate it.
He jerked a bit when Dib yelped, causing the Voot to veer off a bit.
"What is your problem back there?!" He barked, steering the Voot back on course.
"Y-your anten—nothing. Nothing. I'm fine. Just…not used to space travel yet, is all." Dib responded, arching away from the irken, all but shaking with the desire to touch Zim and also the desire to be as far away from him as possible. But, that idea also made the pain worse.
Dib tried to distract himself with the idea that Zim didn't feel when his antenna touched his chin. So they were sensitive but, not that sensitive…then it led to more thoughts about experiments he could perform and Dib had to cut himself off, biting down on his bottom lip.
Zim narrowed his eyes, but didn't press the issue. He wondered if Dib's odd behavior was an effect of what they had done earlier, and suddenly began to regret it. Once again, he was forced to ask himself if he had messed up their newfound friendship.
He slumped over the controls as he thought about it, suddenly feeling uneasy.
It wasn't long until they were slowing down over the cul-de-sac and easing into Zim's base. The roof closed over them with a metallic grinding noise, sealing them away from outside securely.
"Here we are, back on your precious planet." Zim said with a venomous tone, opening the cockpit and climbing out.
Dib followed, stumbling out onto the metal floor. He ran his hand through his hair, sighing. "Yeah. Here we are." A sideways glance showed that the irken was scowling. Not that it wasn't a normal look for Zim but, Dib didn't feel easy knowing he'd put it there. Or at least he thought he did.
"Look…Zim…I just, I just need to..think. What we did, I mean, I don't regret it. Okay?" He licked his lips and started towards the door. He needed to go home. To do that he needed to get through the maze that was the invader's house. Oh yeah…and the mess that Gir made was probably still there.
Zim looked at his hands, suddenly realizing how bare they were. He crossed his arms over her chest, tucking his hands in to hide them.
"Yeah, well…." Zim started, but didn't know how to go on. What could he say? He couldn't ask Dib to stay, could he? "I'm going to be pretty busy anyway….got a lot of cleaning up to do." He shuddered at the thought of that mess, regretting leaving it there to fester.
"Computer, take us down to the house." Zim ordered, though not in his usual bark. The floor gave way once more and they descended into Zim's living room, still in the disrepair they had left it in.
Dib felt relieved that Zim wasn't going to try to keep him there, as he'd half expected/hoped. The living room was as bad as he remembered. Except worse. It seemed to have spread, as if some tiny robot had rolled around in it and then rolled everywhere else all at once. He felt kind of bad that he was leaving Zim here on his own to deal with this but, the pain was increasing at the thought of staying to watch the irken work and freak out about all of this. Just more things that Dib seemed to find…likable about Zim.
Zim nearly gagged at the sight of his poor base. He looked to Dib, almost willing to beg him to stay, but was able to swallow that urge down before making a fool himself. Instead he looked back down at his feet, shuffling them slightly.
"Will you be disappearing for days, again?" He asked, really wondering when the next time they were going to see each other.
Dib too looked down at his feet before replying. "Uh. Maybe…"Sigh. "Probably." He ran a hand down his neck and before he could let himself think, grabbed Zim's chin and kissed him quickly, so quickly that it might've not even happened.
With that he tiptoed across the room, avoiding the stuff the best he could, grabbing the door handle. "But, not as long as last time…and I know for a fact that you exist." There would be no denying it ever again. Especially, when even the thought of going back to what they used to be left a hole the size of Texas in his gut. "So…bye."
Zim watched with glazed over eyes as Dib left his base, feeling all too alone when the door finally closed behind him. He sighed and looked around him with a heavy feeling in his gut.
"Computer, initiate standard clean up procedures. On second thought, make that extreme clean up procedures."
Chapter 25: Realization
His sister’s shrill voice cut through his panic attack. “Dib! Get your alien-loving ass out here! I made dinner and you better eat it.”
The sun was hanging on the edge of the horizon, its rosy fingers receding into the night and shrouding over the messy apartment of Evette. She hardly seemed to notice, though, as she sat on her couch with her legs pressed against her chest. Her eyes were tired looking, with heavy bags resting under them. They fixated themselves onto the many papers that were displayed on the rickety coffee table, rather hastily.
The air in the room was stagnant, and seemed to move with her as Evette inched herself closer to the papers, her cheap skirt creaking as the fabric stretched. Her pale lips parted slightly as she reached out and snatched a paper up, crinkling it in her bony fingers. Her lips twitched into a growl as she stared at it, at the hastily drawn figure.
The round eyes, the sharp teeth, and bug-like antennae. This figure that had been haunting her dreams and waking thoughts since the moment it barged into her office. Since she woke to the sight of it and that…wretched boy on her couch.
That boy…..that boy who had been right all along. Right about everything, and she tried to convince him it was all in his head. But now that she knew about it, about it and that boy, things were different. She hadn’t been able to leave her apartment since then—she was out of sick days. She had been sitting, brewing in her thoughts of that monster.
Her eyes followed the several sketches of that monster that she had laid out before her, each one growing farther from Zim’s likeness and twisting into a truly frightening beast.
She couldn’t let this thing be running around on earth, and she was positive that boy would be on its side.
Of course, they were fucking after all, weren’t they? She saw it.
She balled the paper up in her hands, her chipped nail polish contrasting the destroyed paper as she clenched it in her fist.
She was going to have to take care of this herself.
Almost three days passed before Dib could force himself from his room. And that was only to sneak more snacks. He’d been laying on his bed, prone and pathetic ever since he’d returned home. And all that time images of what he’d done stewed in his mind, replaying themselves over and over again.
Zim who used to be his greatest enemy and then his reluctant friend and now…this. What had he done? What had changed? And how so quickly? They’d had sex in his voot cruiser and the thoughts that kept coming back, of Zim’s eyes and how they darkened when he moaned. His skin, how soft it was under his gloves and his tunic. It fairly glistened against the rays of their sun and the earth’s reflection.
There were the noises he’d made; whimpers and shouts. And Zim had cried. That was something he couldn’t comprehend. Of course he’d seen it before…those few times. But, those had been because of sadness. He hadn’t thought the Irken could cry.
But, when those tears had rolled down his cheek they had been accompanied by begging, pants for more and Dib felt in his gut that they weren’t from sadness or pain.
He groaned and tugged a pillow over his head as the images kept bombarding him. Three days and not once had the pain in his chest eased. In fact, it had seemed to worsen. All around him the picture of Zim, of his crappy sketches and stalker photos, notes scribbled and even an old scrap of the alien’s tunic all pinned to his wall, haunting him.
He was obsessed, had always been obsessed. This he’d known. But, the extent was only just starting to make itself known. A minute couldn’t go by without him thinking of Zim. And Dib’s dreams were composed of green skin and giant ruby eyes.
There was no escaping the irken.
Dib punched his pillow, fighting back tears. What was wrong with him? Somehow this felt like it had been coming to a peak for a long, long time. As if this was unavoidable. But, what was it? Why did mischievous smiles and laughter that used to be manic now turned humorous make him shudder?
What was so great about naïve comments, feet that hardly reached the floor when he sat down, that tiny line on his forehead when he thought too hard? And…destructive habits, sharp and soft claws, puzzled looks…neat freakiness…determined fucking bastard…and…the way he’d held Dib afterwards…stroking his hair, just being with him…
Dib was hyperventilating, hands to his temples…His sister’s shrill voice cut through his panic attack. “Dib! Get your alien-loving ass out here! I made dinner and you better eat it.” He rolled his eyes, relieved for the moment.
“Okay Gaz, I’ll be right ther---“ Dib’s voice trailed off as he slowly began to…realize.
“Oh fuck.” He jumped up from his bed, hands curling into his hair as he stormed over to the picture of Zim on the other side of his room. “I…no, that can’t be right. Right?”
But what else could it be. It all began to make sense and fall into place, and yet the entire world seemed to be falling apart. A block castle knocked to the ground by carless hands. His heart kicked up double time and he sank to his knees, suddenly breathless.
“I love Zim.”
And that was that.
Chapter 26: A Declaration
Dib took a deep breath, shoving said shaking hands into his pockets, clenching them into fists. “Well…something. I guess. I mean, I thought a lot, Zim. About everything. From our friendship, to when we were enemies…to Space. And, well I…” God, could he say it? He had to or it would kill him. “I love you.”
Zim sank into the couch, a hard day’s work spelled out as sweat on his brow. He had finally managed to get the crusted goop out of the crooks and nannies of his base. It still wasn’t quite where he’d like it to be, but at least it was tolerable.
He was trying to force Gir to help him to clean, as punishment, but that had died away shortly after the robot tried to gurgle the cleaning agent, so instead sent him out of a few ‘errands’.
Zim looked at the clock on the wall, hardly phased by its cold face. Had it been three days, already?
“I wonder what the Dib is doing…” He asked the detergent-scented air in a soft voice. He sat up, peeling off the large yellow rubber gloved from his claws and dropping them into the bucket of mucky water. He had been cleaning almost non-stop since that day, but it didn’t occur to Zim that he had only been keeping himself busy so he wouldn’t think about Dib.
Every time that human crossed his mind, Zim couldn’t help but feel…flustered. He felt almost angry at Dib, but mostly for not being here, with him. He hated that he couldn’t stand the distance between them, suddenly. What happened? What changed?
A month ago, Dib’s very presence would have infuriated Zim to his very core, but now…it seems to shake him in a way he’d never experienced before. His hands tremble and long to be entangled in that dark hair, to feel his oddly hued skin, to nest between his large hands.
Zim cupped his face in his hands as he thought about it, hunched over in his seat. He thought he had come to terms that they were no longer enemies, that they would get along from now on, but there seemed to be something underlining that Zim couldn’t quite grasp. There was something else there, something new to the both of them.
Maybe if he could see Dib, it would spell itself out. No, no that wouldn’t work. Imagining Dib’s face in his mind’s eye, Zim knew that it would only make things worse. Those strange, amber eyes would only tear through him and make this feeling worse, more tangible but just out of Zim’s reach.
Even knowing this, he still ached for the human’s company. To hear that still somewhat childish voice babble on in excitement over gross food and strange sciences. Zim’s eyes fluttered shut as he could practically hear Dib’s voice now, calling out to him and calling him a jerk. He opened his eyes again and looked down at his hands, still bare. His gloves were still at the human’s house. His eyes lit up and Zim shot up out of his seat.
“That’s right! I need my gloves, don’t I? A proper Invader always needs his gloves.” The perfect excuse. Zim fished his disguise out of his PAK as he made his way to the door. Just as Dib was about to ring the door bell. His fingertip brushed the button, the human caught between insecurities and excitement, just as the door flew inwards revealing the Irken all dressed in his disguise.
This morning Dib had woken up feeling brand new. After his realization he’d kind of fainted, curled up in a ball and just let it sink in. But, now that he knew…it was like the sun was shining down just for him and when he’d walked down the street, he practically skipped.
But, now…face to face with Zim well that confidence was slipping. What if…what if Zim thought it was stupid and kicked him out or—Dib internally shook himself.
Seeing the alien for the first time in days was wonderful. Gold eyes flickered all over Zim, admiring and soaking in his presence. Finally, the teen spoke, sounding breathless. “Hiya.”
Zim nearly ran into the human in his rush to get out the door. He let out a small squeak as he stumbled backwards, holding onto the door for support.
“Dib!” He yelped in surprise.
After composing himself for a moment, he cleared his throat and set his hands on his hips, trying to hide his obvious excitement. He had been hoping to see Dib, but now that he was here, Zim found himself in the center of a whirlwind of conflicting emotions.
The way Dib lit up when he saw Zim, so obvious and not even trying to hide it, shot through Zim and made his gut turn.
Was he here solely to confuse him? Because it was working.
“What are you doing here? Finally decide to leave your cave?”
The human smirked lightly then it fell away in confusion. “Yes? No. Wait it’s not a cave. Just uh…” He shrugged. “I uh wanted to see you. I thought and well, I’m done thinking...” He cleared his throat, and shoved his hands in his pockets so he didn’t touch the alien. “Can I uh, come in?” Please.
Zim stood for a moment, hesitant, before stepping aside to let the human enter. It was a surreal moment; after all these year of trying to keep Dib out, he was literally inviting him in. He wondered just how many levels this held true.
“Thinking, eh?” He finally asked after closing the door.
Dib spun around a bit taking in the fresh, wonderfully clean room. He nodded in approval. “Uh yeah. Thinking. And I thought and now…I’m back.” Not even a spot of that horrid goop left. Zim was nothing but thorough. The teen finally forced himself to look at the reason he’d came here.
“You’re in your disguise…”
Zim stood with his hands on his hips, as if waiting for something. Although he wasn’t sure what, exactly. He rolled his eyes slightly before discarding his wig and contacts, though he was relieved to be out of his disguise, he still didn’t fully understand why Dib hated it so much.
“Back for what, exactly?” Zim asked. He was delighted to see Dib, of course, but he held himself back, as he was still uncertain as to what to expect from the human. At this point, anything could happen. Zim was treading on unexplored territory, and he was terribly lost.
But Dib looked anxious, and it set Zim on edge.
Dib felt a buzz of pleasure when the hated disguise disappeared. Granted Zim looked attractive all the time…but without it..well, he was stunning. And that sounded so stupid that he was glad it was only in his head. “Well, I just…” Should he just come out and say it…or wait a bit? Fuck it, being away from him this long kind of made him crazed.
And being in close proximity now was driving Dib wild. “One moment.” The human took a step towards Zim, cupped the back of his neck and kissed him, letting himself linger and bask in the truth that they were together before stepping back again and letting out all the air he’d been holding these last three days.
How long had it been since Zim felt the warm embrace of Dib’s lips? It had been ages, right? Surely at least a year had passed. He hadn’t really noticed how long it had been until he felt their lips mash together in this moment, and he felt lost in it. He had to close his eyes and catch his breath after they had parted, but worry set in once he regained his composure.
“What’s this all about, Dib?” He asked, his tone thick with suspicion.
“Nothing.” Dib replied, hands shaking without his permission. Damn hands. Fine. Might as well get it over with. Rip off the band aid, now that he’d gotten a kiss. Maybe his last one. Because he’d already made up his mind about Zim, and about this whole stupid love thing.
Zim was it. The one for him. And if he…well, if he didn’t love him back. Well that was okay. He kind of assumed already that that would be the case. Irkens couldn’t love right? They could feel affection, happiness and obviously lust…but, Zim had told him before that Irkens needed no one.
Though Zim HAD said he wanted Dib around and that he needed him. But, was that true? What did Zim know about need? And so it had gone for several hours. Around and around, his mind played nasty tricks until Dib had finally sucked it up and gone to see his alien.
Dib took a deep breath, shoving said shaking hands into his pockets, clenching them into fists. “Well…something. I guess. I mean, I thought a lot, Zim. About everything. From our friendship, to when we were enemies…to Space. And, well I…” God, could he say it? He had to or it would kill him. “I love you.”
Zim stood in silence. What had he just heard? Did his antennae pick that up, correctly? His face twisted into confusion as he thought about it. No, he had heard the human; he told Zim he loved him.
Well, that was something the Irken was not expecting. But of course, what HAD he been expecting? He wasn’t sure—but definitely not THAT.
Zim was familiar with the term ‘love’, of course. He loved his Tallest, and he still had fond feelings for that robot-arm. But that was normal; normal instances of love. Whatever was happening here, whatever the human was confessing, was NOT normal. Not for them, anyway.
No, he could tell this feeling was much different than how he felt for the Tallest. He didn’t even know how to describe how it felt to him. With the Tallest, that love was more out of respect, and it was much softer. This feeling was…sharper. It was more dangerous.
He could tell by the look the human was giving him was desperate. Desperate for something, something Zim was not sure he could give. But his chest pained at the sight of that longing expression, and Zim wanted to fill whatever desire the human was asking for.
Dib had given Zim so much in the last few weeks, so much that he was grateful for—even if he didn’t fully understand it.
A claw ran across his lips as he thought, his brow furrowed as he glared at the ground, no longer able to make eye contact with Dib. His PAK whirred loudly as he tried to decipher the situation.
Dib was confessing his feelings for Zim, that much Zim could identify with. But the extent of said feelings went over his head. His gut churned nervously.
“What,” Zim began, but had to clear his throat and start over. “What do you mean? How…?”
Dib worried his bottom lip, watching as the alien went from confused to shocked and then…what what that look? What was it? He’d sworn he could read pretty much all of Zim’s expressions. Seven years of obsession did that. And these last few weeks he’d begun to see new ones, softer ones that made that ache grow larger.
He nearly choked on his tongue. “W-what do you mean how? I do. I love you. I’ve been obsessed with you since day one. And maybe I used to hate you but, then that went out the window. Or maybe it just twisted itself into some new form of devotion. I mean, Zim…do you know how long it’s been since I HAVEN’T thought about you?”
Gold eyes searched for something in ruby orbs. “I don’t know. Because it’s been too long. Seven years maybe? And god, being around you, seeing new sides of you…and then in space…afterwards when you just, just held me—“ His head shook violently. “This pain just started in my chest. Or maybe it had just made itself known…it wouldn’t go away and it kept growing and growing the more I thought of you. And it was so bitter sweet. “
Hands, hands that were scarred and bitten and shaky ran through tangled black hair. “We were enemies for so long that it marked me.” Truth. He had the scars to prove it. “Then being your friend made me realize that all along you were what I needed. And then Space..kissing you, touching you…I’ve never felt so alive.”
Dib paced back and forth, stopping to look out the window and then back at Zim. “You’re always there. And you’ve owned me heart, body and mind since you walked into that class room. And I don’t expect you say anything like this back, Zim. I know how it is for Irkens…but, I wanted to let you know because I don’t think it’ll ever go away. It’s not a crush. Or lust. Or any of those things that I was praying it was…”
“I love you. And…I know I always will.”
Zim listened with a thoughtful expression, taking in this somewhat new information with as much of an open mind as he could possibly muster in this situation. After a moment, Zim took in a deep breath, looking around his base as if something were lying around that could help him.
“Dib-thing, I don’t know what to say. I’ve been…somewhat lost in these recent events.” He admitted, not being able to meet the human’s eyes. Whatever was happening here, it was affecting Zim physically. He could feel the weight of it on his chest, and he knew that it would kill him if something wasn’t said, or done.
But what could Zim say? Dib was giving him everything, here, and Zim could recognize that. But was he allowed to hold himself back from Dib any longer? They had said they would give each other up while they were in the Voot, and it was clear Dib had laid out everything on the field for Zim.
He sighed with the realization that he was willing to accept anything Dib gave him, greedily. He wanted Dib, ALL of Dib. And he wanted to give Dib all of him, as well.
“I already said that I’d give myself to you, and Zim meant it.” He started slowly, looking down at his claws, fiddling with them nervously as his gut turned. “But…when I said it, I was still hesitant to do so. But now…seeing you here, having you in my base after days of not seeing you, I realize that there’s no reason to be...” He swallowed hard and screwed his eyes shut.
“I told you I need you, and that was something I had meant, as well.” He still wasn’t sure what he was trying to say, exactly. But he kept talking, hoping it would lead somewhere…to some sort of revelation.
“ I've always needed you, even as an enemy. You are the only reason Zim feels…purposeful. But now that we aren't enemies anymore…it feels…better? Almost, but worse at the same time. Because now it doesn't ever feel like enough.” His mouth turned into a grimace as he talked, almost as if he was going to start crying.
“Before, everything felt solid. But now…everything’s fuzzy. The only thing I’m sure of now is….that I can’t go a moment without you near me. I need to know that I can reach out and grab you whenever I need to. Because without you being near me, I feel lost…” He finally cracked his eyes open, braving a glance at the human for the first time since he had begun his pace around the living room.
“Is that…love?” He asked in a desperate tone, feeling pathetic and vulnerable.
Dib felt on the verge of laughing and crying. It was all at once the most horrible and the most wonderful sensation in the entire universe. So he let it go, and it came out in a burst a strange little laugh that sounded soaked with unleashed tears. Joy.
Dib grabbed Zim’s arms and tugged him as close as possible, till everything touched. “It can be. If you want it to be. Because I don’t need those words, Zim. I just need you.” He murmured, pressing his forehead against the Irken’s.
Chapter 27: Repairs
But he had no choice but to trust in his abilities. He gave Dib a small glance before letting the smooth cables of his PAK slide into their sockets along his spine. He noted how drained he looked, how his appearance mirrored how Zim felt. And yet he had stuck by Zim's side unquestioningly, like a true knight. The thought made Zim smirk a bit.
Zim's PAK vibrated softly against his back as it hummed, though the Irken was able to ignore this as he nestled happily in the arms of his human. He knew something was wrong with him, but at this moment he didn't care, because he was where he felt he was meant to be. He felt oddly at peace just being close to Dib, and while it still frightened him, he gave up on questioning it. He decided to just go with it, because that was when he felt the happiest.
And it seemed to make Dib happy as well, and that only encouraged the Irken more.
And Dib could see all that on the irken's face, it resonated within him and suddenly he just couldn't stop smiling. Not that it mattered because Dib was the happiest moron in the entire world and that happiness must've ruptured his sanity (not that he ever had much) because suddenly he was lifting Zim up with the strength of one stupidly in love teenage boy, and spinning the alien in his arms before kissing him madly.
It was practically movie like, and so cheesy. But, Dib didn't care. Obviously. He nipped Zim's bottom lip, letting words of adoration bubble up from his very core and spill out into the world, into his lover's mouth. "I love you, stupid. And you're just perfectly imperfect and I want you forever and I need to hear you laugh and yell and whine my name again, Zim—"
"And Zim loves you, you annoying worm-baby." Zim smirked, running his claws through the mess that was Dib's hair. He stood on his toes in order to keep their foreheads pressed together, his smirk morphing into a wide grin, one of which Zim had never worn before. Utter happiness radiated off of his small frame as he allowed himself to be engulfed by the human's presence.
He was happy to be lost at this moment. Lost in the world that consisted solely of what was in front of him now—a very annoying, clever human that had managed to steal what was most important to Zim and get away with it; himself. He was happy to be lost, and suddenly became weary as he felt something familiar on the fringes of reality begin to tug him away.
Zim's PAK hummed and chirped loudly in protest, sending waves of heat against the Irken's back, causing him to grimace. But before Zim had a chance to pull away from Dib to inspect the issue, his PAK clicked a warning and then let loose a shockwave of electricity. Zim's muscled tensed and clenched around the human tightly, destroying any hope for Dib to be able to escape a second shock.
Dib noticed when the alien began to freeze. And when the ominous clicking and whirling sounds began, a memory jumped to the forefront of his mind; laying in bed with the irken seconds before those same sounds began to break the air.
He didn't have time to freak out or pull away because suddenly electricity was corseting its way through his arms and everything was white with specks of black and the irken under his finger tips, frozen in time, a second that seemed to go on forever as pain, sharp and indescribable tore him open.
Suddenly, he was released from the void, falling backwards and to the floor where he couldn't move but twitched involuntarily. Small sounds of disbelief worked their way up his throat and finally Dib blinked, feeling some sort of control working its way back into his body. "Z-Zim?"
Zim's head was swimming as the world spun around him, white spots clouding his vision as he fell backwards onto the pungent lemon-scented floor. He felt boxed in as his world continued to toss and turn; his senses failing him as he desperately tried to grasp at something solid. Sounds were muffled, but he could recognize his name as it reached him from outside of the fringes of his twisting reality. He tried to call back, but his own voice failed to reach even himself.
Then, all too suddenly, things snapped back into place; his vision finally setting on his hands as he frantically tried to hold himself up. Sounds came back into clarity so suddenly he felt nauseous.
He coughed and sputtered as he finally seemed to get a firm grasp on where he was, and chanced a look around the room.
"Aaaahh…what on Irk…."
Dib groaned and sat up with much effort, crawling the short distance to Zim and leaning over him. "What. The.hell.just.happened, Space-boy? Your PAK electrified us. Again." He ran a hand through his hair, panting and looking around as if that would give him the answer before staring back down at a flustered Zim.
"Is there something wrong with your PAK?" Black brows furrowed, as suddenly several memories assaulted him. "Now that I think of it, Zim, your PAK has been acting weird for a while now. There was the spoon and the weird buzzing…does your crying have anything to do with this?" Gosh, that would answer so many questions.
Zim attempted to pull himself up to dismiss the absurd accusation that he was being faced with, but stumbled and fell on his ass, still a bit dizzy.
"Zim's PAK? Malfunctioning?!" Though he was already aware that this was indeed the case, he couldn't let the Dib know that. He could let ANYBODY know that. How could he admit that something about him wasn't in perfect, conquering condition? He scooted away from the human, as if the accusation was a tangible object that he was holding, and that Zim could somehow get away from it.
"You're loony! Your sad, crazy little mind is playing tricks on you."
The human's concerned face melted into disbelief. He stared at Zim for a second before shaking his head. "Okay, so we just got electrically shocked by that little pod on your back and you want to pretend that I'm crazy? Well, Zim, I must say that this isn't surprising." He grabbed the irken's hand and yanked them both to their feet.
"Now, stop being stupid and tell me what is going on. You know I care about you right? Hell, I just told you that I love you." Ripples of shock and happiness traveled through him at that fact. "So, don't you think you can trust me with things now?"
A wave of panic and worry rippled under Zim's skin as he was hauled to his feet. There was no doubt at this point about his trust in Dib; he had already exposed himself to the human, and yet there were no scientists ripping his to shreds, so that was obviously a good sign.
But the underlying fear that Dib would no longer appreciate Zim if he found out that he wasn't as perfect as he made himself out to be was still lingering. How did he admit out loud that he was flawed?
Raised in a culture where everything was based on how well you met those high standards, and lived up to being perfect, how did the Irken admit that something was wrong with him? That he wasn't working properly, that he wasn't perfect? And more importantly, how could he do so to the only being in his life that he wanted to keep constant? To the only person on this otherwise uninhabitable planet that could truly reject him?
The sheen that dressed his ruby eyes shuddered as he searched the room for something, anything to make this moment end. But, not surprisingly, to no avail. He took in as much air as he could and let it out slowly, dragging out the moment before his confession for as long as possible.
"There may be a…SLIGHT…issue." He waved his hand in the air. "Nothing that can't be fixed, of course! Especially with ZIM'S higher intellect, it's hardly even a problem at all!"
Those years of obsessively observing Zim's every move made Dib aware almost immediately that the alien was hiding something. And the longer that the silence drag on, giant ruby eyes flickering from place to place, everywhere but meeting Dib's…he knew that it must be something horrible. Not only that but…was that fear on Zim's face? Why on Earth would that be there?
His back straightened and he was immediately on the defensive, wondering how he could help. When Zim managed to mess things up, he did it in the most spectacular way possible.
Thousands of possibilities ran through his over active mind; had Zim been experimenting on himself? He had some sort of virus, or a part was broken and missing…or Zim was dying.
Panic gripped Dib in a vise that nearly choked him, but he fought it down the best he could. 'Gather data before hypothesizing.' His father's voice whispered.
"Zim." Dib put on his most reassuring face, speaking calmly. "If it can be fixed so easily, you can tell me. We can do it together. You know we always work better together than apart, right?"
Zim was actually a little more than surprised at any reaction the Dib gave that wasn't blatant disgust at this new information. He blinked a couple times, his eyes perfectly oval as they stared as wide as they could at the human before him.
Then again, he shouldn't be as surprised as he was; the humans' expectations for anything were quite pathetic. At this point Zim could be the epitome of what a defective Irken would look like, and STILL be superior to the humans. His face scrunched up a bit as he stared, a bit disbelieving at Dib, who seemed to be nothing but sincere, honey colored eyes warm behind those lenses.
"You would….help me repair my PAK?" His face lit up and he all but leapt into Dib's arms.
"PERFECT! Yes! It's brilliant! With some assistance, assuming you don't muck anything up with you...." Being human. "Well. Anyway. It should be no problem at all! COME." He barked before turning on his heel and striding into the kitchen.
Dib had arms full of Irken and then he didn't. Confusion worked its way into the onslaught of information before he turned to follow the enthusiastic weirdo. "Um. First of all, thanks for that." Referring to 'mucking' things up and the not-so-silent 'being human' that had lingered in the air.
"And yes, of course, I'll help you Zim. Oh and you're welcome by the way." He added sarcastically, stepping over the kitchen tile and into the elevator that led them to the lab. He worked on fixing his hair which was sticking up everywhere from the shock. Oh and his nose was bleeding. Just like the last time. How long had it been doing that?
Dib sent a small glare the irken's way. Moron hadn't told him. "So, how do we start fixing your PAK? More importantly, what exactly is wrong with it? It would help me and by extension you, if you tell me what's wrong EXACTLY so we can do this right the first time."
Zim seemed eager to get this over with; he shifted constantly in his spot as they descended into the very bowels of his base. "Oh, um. Nothing major, really." He fidgeted as it was brought into light. Unfortunately, as was usually the case, the Dib had a point. He would only be in the way if he didn't know what he was trying to fix.
He took in a deep breath again, not facing his companion. "Just been experiencing some…..moodswingsandfailuretofilterZim'semotions," He named them off quickly, mashing them into one long word, hoping that Dib would nod and let it go. "Oh, and the magnetized thing, as well."
He looked up at the human out of the corner of his eyes, and was forced to do a double-take. "Christ—" a phrase he had learned during his years on Earth, though he still wasn't sure what it meant exactly. "—you're a mess." He reached up to smooth out Dib's hair, hoping that he had successfully changed the topic as they reached the bottom level, and the elevator doors opened.
Zim's problems spilled across Dib's mind and he opened his mouth to respond with proper confusion and inquisitiveness before being side tracked by many things. Zim's hands messing around with his hair and his use of the word, "Christ. Did you just say Chri—"He shook his head.
"Stop trying to distract me, little freak." They strode out into the heavily conditioned lab area. Of course Dib had seen it several times before. All in the course of their enemy ship. And so, he'd often been forced to leave before any real exploring could go on, or before he could blow it up as his younger self had seemed to think was a good idea. So, he looked around with a bit of a awe struck expression at all the wonderful equipment.
"What do you mean, Zim? I mean, I kind of got the mood swing thing. And actually I can see the failure to um, filter emotions. I guess. You have been on edge and you've even cried and freaked out a lot…what's making it do that?" He looked at one of the lab tables, staring at tons of chemicals, wondering what each of them did. Dib licked his lips, practically bubbling with curiosity.
Zim rushed after the human, growling a bit at the remark and watching him pace around the base with careful eyes. "Don't go touching things I don't tell you to." Zim ordered as he took his eyes away from the lanky teen in order to approach his workbench. He carefully detached his PAK and set it in front of him. He cupped his hands against the warm metal surface, his gut tightening a bit as it always did when he was working with his PAK.
Dib mocked Zim with his hands but obeyed, pushing away his adamant curiosity. Dib turned around just in time to see Zim take off his PAK entirely which he hadn't seen detached since…gosh since he'd done it himself those many years ago. And that had nearly ended very, very badly. But, he assumed that since the Irken was doing it himself it would be okay.
"That's just it, Dib-thing; I'm not sure. It must be a problem with the neuron-output, what usually stops these certain things from getting through. I suspect some form of water damage…" Zim stroked his chin thoughtfully. He had to pause a bit before turning back to Dib, his expression pensive.
"Once we get this fixed…." He began, but had to turn back to his PAK. "I'm not sure what will happen."
Dib ran a hand down his neck and walked closer. "Well…that sounds…difficult." He replied truthfully. "What do you want me to do? Hold it for you? Shine the light in there so you can do it yourself? Sit in the corner and play dramatic music whilst you work?"
"Music would not help the situation," Zim said idly, waving a hand in Dib's generally direction before hunching over his PAK, running his claws along the fine seams and prying off the cover, carefully. His antennae pressed themselves close to his scalp in concentration as he looked over the delicate guts of his life force.
"I want you to do as you're told." Zim said softly, "When I need your assistance, I'll inform you."
And so it went. Zim hunched over the mechanism, occasionally calling on Dib to move things around the workbench, adjust the lighting and hand him tools. Zim tinkered and prodded—his face inches away from the pod, his brow furrowed in absorption.
Occasionally he would stand up straight to stretch his back, letting out an exasperated sigh before delving back into it.
And Dib did it all without complaint. On any other day, he would've surely moaned and groaned about being bored while Zim worked but this…felt important. Because it was Zim in that PAK. That PAK contained his alien. So, Dib kept his mouth shut, following orders; adjusting lighting, handing Zim strange tools that he wanted to know the point behind, licking his lips nervously..ect.
Though it was a bit interesting to see the irken work. To see Zim's determination, his single minded absorption that Dib had always admired, even from the beginning. Watching the long green claws as they worked with delicate wires, welding and sliding tiny pieces into place…it was…well it was distracting to say the least.
And if Dib was less of a gentlemen, he would've said it was a 'turn-on'. But, as it was the very thought never crossed his mind. Several hours of this went by and though his stomach rumbled at him obnoxiously, the human stayed loyally by Zim's side until with a soft whirl, the final piece fit into place.
Zim rested his weary head on the bench for a moment before standing up and wiping his brow against his sleeve.
"I think that should do it." Zim said, feeling proud of his handiwork. He carefully pressed the cover back on, running his claws against its now cool surface once more.
A sudden wave of apprehension struck him as he turned; he won't know effect his efforts at repairing his PAK were until he connects to it. And if something had gone wrong, then he won't know until it's too late.
But he had no choice but to trust in his abilities. He gave Dib a small glance before letting the smooth cables of his PAK slide into their sockets along his spine. He noted how drained he looked, how his appearance mirrored how Zim felt. And yet he had stuck by Zim's side unquestioningly, like a true knight. The thought made Zim smirk a bit.
There was a small rush in the Irken as the pod settled into its familiar spot between his shoulder blades. Zim pressed his fingers to his temples, feeling a bit light headed for a moment.
"Oh," He breathed. But then everything settled, and he felt….fine. "I think….I think that did it." He said, his voice tinted with optimism.
Chapter 28: Numb
Now those memories were hazy, and felt like they had been just dreams.
Dib’s breath was held, not because he doubted Zim’s abilities (he knew the irken could do anything if he REALLY set his mind to it), but because Zim’s face was anxious. But, when the PAK finally slid into place, Zim’s expression went from anxious to blank and then relieved which of course made a wave of the stuff wash over Dib.
A smile spread on his face, as he rushed over. “That’s wonderful, Space-Boy!” He grabbed Zim’s hand, holding like he had a billion times before. Another obstacle down. Just something else that they had over come together. And he knew they could do it to anything else that rose up to fight them.
They stood together, stronger than they were apart.
Zim turned to Dib, feeling a bit surprised by the sudden contact. His once relieved expression melted away, leaving nothing behind. He found himself searching the human’s face for…something. He didn’t understand, but something suddenly felt like it was missing. Wasn’t this the same face he had looked into just hours before? When his gut fluttered, and his hands shook?
Dib’s delight lit up those amber eyes, but fell flat before reaching the Irken. Nothing stirred in him, and when he looked down at their interlocked hands, the same held true. He remembered thinking how strange it was how well their hands fit together, but now all he could see was the empty space Dib’s extra digits left.
Feeling uneasy, Zim wiggled his hand free from Dib’s, turned away took a few paces away from him, rubbing the back of his neck.“Yes, well. I suppose I should thank you for helping.” Zim grumbled distractedly.
“Um, yes. I suppose you should.” Dib responded, smiling though it was slowly fading into a confused smirk. A little alarm bell had gone up when Zim’s hand slipped from his. That had NEVER happened in these last few days that they had been holding hands. They hadn’t let go unless it was to open a door or scoop ice cream…
But, Dib shrugged it off. Zim’s PAK was fixed. Maybe he needed a second to reorient himself with everything. “But, then again, I am your faithful knight, so apparently I do all that stuff out of loyalty. Yanno, fixing PAKs, slaying dragons…that sort of stuff.”
He took a step closer to Zim, but kept a decent distance, aware of the expression on Zim’s face that seemed like confusion.
Zim smirked a little, but it was quickly replaced with a more thoughtful expression.
“Well, in that case, Zim doesn’t have to worry about it.” He couldn’t chance a glance at the human behind him. He didn’t want to acknowledge the piece that seemed to be missing.
He wanted to pretend that everything was like it was before they came down here, when he felt at home in Dib’s arms. He wanted to pretend that he could hold onto that feeling a bit longer. But he knew he was only kidding himself. The PAK was doing what it was supposed to be doing.
He made his way quickly to the elevator without saying another word or looking back at Dib. He didn’t know what he was planning on doing; it wasn’t like he expected Dib to just hang out in his lab.
But how could he look at him? How could he look at Dib when he could remember those feelings, just barely on the cusp of his mind, but feel nothing when faced with those strange eyes. Those feelings which had been taken away from him so suddenly, there one moment and gone the next. If he had known this was going to happen, he would have savored that last glance he gave the human before putting his PAK on.
Dib worried his bottom lip, slightly confused but, determined not to let it show as he followed. There was something about the set of Zim’s shoulders, his stiff posture and the way he’d spoke before. They rode up in the elevator together. Gold eyes flickered to the irken, sighing before he gave into curiosity.
“Hey. Is everything okay? It’s working now right? You’re not like, holding in all the weirdness so you can look like big, macho Invader, right?” And he had to fight the urge to lift his hand and chew on his already ragged nails, instead he shoved both hands in his pockets.
“And if you’re not being big, macho Invader…we can go to Sophie’s again. I’m freaking starving and though I know you’re loathe to hear it they have the best fries there. You don’t have to have any fries though because I know you hate that. So, you can just get more vanilla crème…or maybe try something else this time. Hey, I know you like variety.”
And he was rambling. Dib did that when he was unsure and awkward. Which was pretty much always. But, for a while there he hadn’t felt either of those things around Zim.
Zim’s shoulders sagged as he listened to Dib ramble on, though the human’s words didn’t truly reach him.
“You know, Dib-thing,” It even felt strange to say his name. It felt…foreign. Even though he had remembered a time when he was rendered incapable of muttering anything but.
Now those memories were hazy, and felt like they had been just dreams. Did those moments really happen, at all? How could he find himself so on edge around somebody that used to mean the universe to him? Zim felt himself sinking into a warm, comforting depression as he thought about it.
“It’s been a long night; Zim would like to just get some rest.” Though this wasn’t not true, Zim still couldn’t stomach a look in the human’s direction.
They reached the house level, and Zim made his way to the door, silently.
“Oh.” Dib replied, feeling a shudder of un-ease once again work it’s wicked way through him. He shrugged that off too. Zim was just tired. Working on the PAK drained him, and maybe the updates to it needed to be registered…or something. He ran a hand down the back of his neck. “Okay.”
The human lifted his chin, straightening his back. “Rain check then.” They reached the ominous door that used to scare the crap out of him. And when Zim went to open it, Dib grabbed his hand and pulled him in for a chaste kiss.
Zim couldn’t help it—he really didn’t want to, or maybe he did. At this point, he wasn’t sure what he wanted. But he turned his head, anyway, those warm lips falling on his cheek. It wasn’t an unpleasant feeling, and Zim still enjoyed the feel of the boy’s warmth.
But it wasn’t the same. He didn’t find himself melting at the sensation of Dib pulling him close, his eyes didn’t flutter shut when the boy kissed him. It all seemed so…far away.He could sense those feelings were still in him, somewhere. But when they were just on the cusp of emerging, they ebbed away, leaving Zim with only frustration.
“Mm.” He gave Dib a small smile, though it didn’t touch his eyes, as he pulled away. He opened the door for him and nodded, not having anything else to say.
Dib returned the smile, and said nothing else as he walked out the door, keeping his eyes ahead until the door closed behind him with a very final sounding ‘snap’. That snap reverberated through his mind, his body and his heart. Because suddenly everything was off kilter. But, he forced it back into place.
Heavy booted feet pushed him in the direction of his house which he had left at in such a hurry this morning that he hadn’t even put his trench coat on. The sun was falling into evening. And Dib panicked. “Everything is fine. Everything is fine.” He repeated.
There was a giant part of him that yearned to go back to that green house and bang on the door, demand answers and a proper fucking kiss because damn it just this morning they’d said they’d loved each other. Of course, there was another part of him that rebelled.
It was the stubborn little boy who refused to budge and somehow outweighed everything. He would NOT go crawling back there. He was NOT some alien’s chew toy. And he was NOT a desperate whiny…moron.
So, Dib kept walking even though he wasn’t even thinking about putting one foot in front of the other. And before he knew it he was home, climbing the stairs and slinking into his house without a word to Gaz, slumping up the stairs and numbly shucking his clothes before jumping in the shower.
Once there he leaned his forehead against the cold tile, hotter than necessary water streaming down his back. Black hair lay limp as he stared at the drops that slid down the white backdrop.
Zim pressed his back against the door, sliding down as he felt the weariness finally catch up with him. Cupping his head in his hands, he let out a shaky sigh, feeling frustration well up inside of him. He had to force himself not to throw the door open and call Dib back. But what would he even say to the human? There was nothing he could say that could smooth over the situation.
He would just have to wait. Wait and see if this whole thing didn’t resolve itself. Maybe he was just tired. Maybe those feelings would return to him after some sleep.
But he knew he was only lying to himself. He knew they wouldn’t.
Slender, shaking fingers snatched up the phone with a resound confidence, after several failures to do so. She finally had it all mapped out; what had to be done. What had to be said so that the boy knew she meant to bring them both down—him and his alien boyfriend.
There weren’t many recent calls, so his number was easy enough to find in the caller-ID.
The phone was pressed against pasty skin as the tone sounded. Evette’s heart thumped unsteadily in her chest, until finally the recorded voice recited its wonderfully dull message. A year seemed to pass before the obnoxious beep finally signaled.
“Hello,” She began shakily. How long had it been since she had heard her own voice? Was it always that crackly? “This is Dib’s therapist, Dr. Evette Burnstein. I was just calling to apologize about not being in these last couple days. Anyway, I wanted to make sure we were still on for this Wednesday, the 9th.”
A small pause. “Because, you know, you are still required to come; I haven’t cleared you yet.” Because I can either clear you or destroy you, you little shit. “But I think you are close. I can tell; I’ve seen it in our last session.” You know, when it tied me up and you tried to fuck it on my office couch. “So, I look forward to seeing you there, then!” Because you don’t have a choice, do you?
And she hung up, her hands shaking even more as she set the phone back down. A wicked grin spread across her face, her pale lips cracking at the unfamiliar exercise.
Wednesday couldn’t come soon enough.
Chapter 29: Warped
The doctor sat up and the more she moved forward, the more Dib leaned backwards. Suddenly, her face was contorted into something familiar, something ugly; desperation, insanity…and a thirst for recognition. To destroy and fix the chaos that was suddenly everywhere.
Three days. It took Dib three days to do many things; to force himself out of his room, to realize he should stop mooning like a moron and that he had a voice mail on his rarely used cell phone.
Once he had a sandwich and a ton of chips in him, Dib punched in his four digit password and pressed the phone to his ear while sipping on his soda, staring out the window at the pinkish skyline. Only when the voice made any sense, did the fizzy substance start to go up his nose and down the wrong pipe.
Dib coughed, his soda spilling everywhere. When he’d finally cleaned it all up, he pushed ‘1’ to replay the message. “Hello. This is Dib’s therapist, Dr. Evette Burnstein. I was just calling to apologize about not being in these last couple days. Anyway, I wanted to make sure we were still on for this Wednesday, the 9th...Because, you know, you are still required to come; I haven’t cleared you yet…But I think you are close. I can tell; I’ve seen it in our last session.” That was about the part when Dib began to panic, and was wondering where his inhaler had gone.
“So, I look forward to seeing you there, then!” Then the robotic voice told him his options. But, Dib wasn’t listening. He was only thinking that she had all the power, the power to destroy him…to lock him up forever. A hand went to his mouth, forcing the terror down. And the sad fact was that only one face, one name came into his mind; Zim. He had to tell Zim, talk to him, warn him and figure this whole thing out…
But, Zim didn’t want to see him. Did he? Or he would’ve been here? Zim always took things into his own hands…or maybe these three days had given them both time to think…Dib knew what he wanted. It was the same now, as it was then. Maybe it had changed for Zim…but they needed to talk about that.
He bit his lip and shoved his bare feet into his old tennis shoes, forcing a hand through his hair to try and make it look ‘decent’ before busting out his front door and sprinting down the street. She had called three days ago…Sunday. Tomorrow was Wednesday.He couldn’t go. Not when she could potentially ruin everything.
The house looked the same, though he hadn’t known what to expect…And he slowed considerably when he got to the edge of the lawn. Panting, the Dib-Human trudged up the pathway, robot gnomes following his every move, and with a moment of hesitation…he rung the doorbell.
Dib took a step back, straightened himself and tried not to look eager for a glance of green skin and cherry eyes. The seconds felt like minutes, and his heart was doing double time…and still the door stayed shut. Finally, Dib conceded that the minutes…were really just minutes and Zim was not answering.
He scowled, feeling bereft and suddenly realizing it was chilly outside. Goosebumps had broken out on his uncovered skin…the sun was falling behind the sky. And Zim, well Zim had done what Dib had feared would happen all along; he’d come to his senses.
Yet, another lurch of pain cut him deep. Dib was no moron. This had been inevitable…still, he loved the dick. And the ache of heart break was hard to just shove away. The strong hero needed a break. He needed to come to terms with being no one’s nothing again. He backed away from the door and ran, ran.
Well…he had nothing to lose. No lover, no friend. Maybe not even an enemy. Just a bunch of broken memories and the ‘what-if’s that had floated in his mind for three days. Maybe, Dib should see her…spill his secrets. What did he really have that she could use against him?
Dib had always been crazy in the eyes of society…maybe now that someone knew the truth…they’d listen. Maybe talking to someone, would actually help.
He tried to ignore the heat of the first tear as it burned his eyes and fell down his cheeks, tried to cover it up by running, and never looking back.
It had been a long three days for her, but Evette managed to drag herself around her dark apartment long enough for Wednesday to roll around. With a fresh coat of make-up, and her dark, wild hair tamed enough to be pulled back; she was ready to face the day. And all it entailed.
She paced around, restless in her office as the minutes ticked past. She moved some things around, trying her best to disguise the room from the one that haunted her sleepless nights. She all but collapsed in the doorway when she laid eyes on that couch. She could still picture what had happened…
She switched the couch from one side of the room to the other, the couch not being as heavy as it looked. It was better, although still not quite as different as she would have liked. But she didn’t have time to muck around; her guest was going to be arriving any second now.
Evette pulled her seat from her desk and sat in front of the couch. She crossed her legs, her cheap pantyhose nearly ripping from under her skirt. The pen she held never rested as she twirled it in her fingers, mapping out the conversation that would unfold in just a few moments.
When she heard the knock at her door, a garish light lit up her face from somewhere in her damaged mind.
“Come in, please!” She answered in a sing-song voice.
Dib’s hands shook, embarrassingly as he knocked though as soon as he opened the door they were shoved into his pockets. The first thing that hit him was that the room was different; she’d rearranged everything. Down to the couch. Confusion rippled but he didn’t let it surface. Instead, he turned to the woman who sat in the chair, legs crossed and face bright.
Only…that smile was wrong. He couldn’t put his finger on it. But, everything about the doctor seemed…off. But, Dib pushed that to the side, lifting his chin. “You called me.” After everything, he’d figured she would’ve crawled off of the face of the world.
Not everyone could handle alien encounters. Maybe she was one of the ones who could…maybe.
Thinking of aliens made him think of Zim and thinking of Zim brought up a whole slew of unwelcome emotions so, he strode across the room and flopped into the sofa, eyes suspiciously flickering everywhere.
Evette tried to laugh, but it was dry and humorless. “Oh yes, yes I did. It’s important for you to keep up with sessions, and it’s my responsibility to see that you do.” She twirled the pen in her long, bony fingers, smiling at Dib as he sat on the couch.
It was then that she realized that it didn’t matter where the couch was; as long as he was on it, she could see that green thing on top of him, mauling him. She stared hard at him, trying to see the flicker of recognition on his face. She needed him to acknowledge that it happened, that it tied her up and tried to fuck him on her couch. Right in front of her unconscious body.
Her smile stayed present as she tilted her head. “So let’s talk, then. How have you been?” It was scary how natural it felt. It had been so long since she had left her apartment; she was afraid that maybe she would have forgotten how to interact with people. Although it seemed to her that things were going fairly smooth.
She could tell by the way he held himself that something wasn’t right; something was upsetting him. Good. She hoped his life was in ruins; it made things so much easier for her.
Dib tilted his head to the side, frowning. “I’m…fine.” Lies. Just saying it brought a whole swarm of denial to the forefront. He tore his hand from the denim encasing of his pocket to bite at his nails only to force himself to stop. Then he brushed the leather of the couch…
Oh god. He knew what had happened last time he was here. But, Dib had been trying so hard not to think, not to remember when they had fallen backwards onto this…and it had been their first kiss, hadn’t it? When the years of tension and hate, passion and tamped down desire had exploded, when they’d given in without knowing what they were giving up.
Dib yanked his hand away from the sofa and shoved it back into his pocket. “Perfectly fine. Why do I have to be here…I’m sane. You KNOW I’m sane.” She had seen the object of his ‘delusions’. He wasn’t crazy.
And there it was, the recognition she had been waiting for. She could see his eyes glaze over as he went back to that day, the day he and his alien had ruined her life. Her lower jaw jerked back and forth thoughtfully as he returned—the light from her facade fading.
“Sane? Well…I don’t know about THAT.” She uncrossed her legs, sitting up in her seat, clutching her pen tight enough to turn her knuckles a creamy white. “I don’t know what’s so sane about tying someone up and eating an alien’s face right in front of them.” Her lips curled into a snarl as she talked, her pale features twisting as she attempted to keep her voice down.
“The ‘sane’ thing to do would be to turn that monster in. You know that, right Dib? That’s what you had wanted to do, but now you have proof.” She nodded slowly as she talked, her eyes widening as a grin stretched across her face. “A witness.”
The doctor sat up and the more she moved forward, the more Dib leaned backwards. Suddenly, her face was contorted into something familiar, something ugly; desperation, insanity…and a thirst for recognition. To destroy and fix the chaos that was suddenly everywhere.
Dib had seen that look in the mirror, tons of times after a particularly horrible fight.
But, it had been absent for so long that he’d nearly forgotten what it looked like. Gold eyes searched the woman’s pale face for any sign of that detached, cool professional that had convinced him two times that Zim wasn’t real.
“I…I’ve changed my mind since then. Zim is…an ally now. And I was wrong. He’s just a moron with a skin condition.” Dib responded, carefully.
Evette’s eyes nearly shot out of her skull, the tiny blood vessels nearly popping at the strain. The pen in her grip bent before the plastic gave way, sending ink to spray out between her fingers.
“Allies! Yes, I do believe I saw a bit of that action, myself!” She cackled, her first real laugh in what seemed like decades, and it was shrill and bitter. Her whole body shook as it left her, leaving her breathless in her seat. Finally, she wiped her eyes, smudging her mascara a bit.
And suddenly, her face was dark as she turned her attention back to Dib. Ink dripped down her arm and onto the seat.
“Don’t lie to me, you little shit.”
His pupils dilated from fear, though he repressed it, hands pressed to the couch as he pulled himself away from her. The ink explosion had a drop falling and hitting his cheek. He tried to scrub it away, eyes flying to the door before falling back on his doctor. Dib sucked in a big breath of air. “I-I’m not lying to you. Look, what you saw…that was a uh onetime thing.”
His nails curled into the leather. “Zim uh, Zim and I aren’t—“ His breath caught in his throat. “Anything. We’re nothing. And that’s—he’s not an alien. You must’ve been tired. He is a dick. And I’m sorry he tied you up. He wasn’t supposed to do that. I never told him to. And he’s kind of a moron so he doesn’t understand social situations. He was only trying to help.”
Dib scooted off the couch, back to the wall as he’d learned to do so many times when confronted with Zim, sliding along the wall.
Evette sprang to her feet, her jerky movements almost causing her to stumble a bit as she did so. Slamming her ink stained hand against the wall, the black smearing an ugly stain onto the beige wall.
“I AM tired, Dib. Tired of that monster haunting my every waking moment, tired of YOU jerking me around!” Her voice slowly grew in volume and intensity as her face neared Dib’s in her rant.
“Tired of always being on edge because I never know when that demon is going to be coming back for me! Tired of not being able to trust anybody, because I don’t know whose FUCKING aliens!!” A strand of wavy, dark hair fell loose from its confined pony-tail and across Evette’s face.
“Now,” She breathed. “I want you to tell me the truth this time. About WHAT Zim is.”
The breath caught in his throat and stayed there. Dib had been afraid of little during his short life. On occasions (or at least at the beginning) Zim had made him uneasy. And there had been a few times when the Earth was about to be destroyed that he’d panicked. But, seeing the crazed look in Ms. Burnstein’s eyes brought a wave of terror. It was what he’d always imagined terror felt like.
There was someone who actually wanted to do him harm. And not only that but, someone who wanted to hurt Zim. And might have the power and rage to do so. “I-he’s…nothing! A normal human. A human with a skin condition and…and he’s just kind of stupid.”
The door wasn’t that far away. He could make it. Run for his life and try to get to Zim. He had to warn him. The teen swallowed his fear and made a break for it, hand reaching out for the door knob.
Evette couldn’t even muster a coherent reply before Dib was making a break for it.
No. She wasn’t letting him go, not after what he put her through. She had managed to step back into the horrid room after what happened, and she wasn’t going to let that be in vain. She was too close, now.
With a feral screech, she was lunging at the teen, clutching his shoulders with her long, acrylic nails. She forced herself up onto his back, putting all of her weight into him. With the combined force and all one-hundred and twenty pounds of herself, she was able to bring the boy down.
“You will NOT GET AWAY WITH THIS!” She screamed as she straddled his back, taking a handful of his black hair into her stained hand. She let out all of her breath in another scream as she lifted up his head and brought it back down to the carpeted floor with as much strength as she could muster.
Dib knew what was going to happen just before his face was slamming into the floor. He felt his brain rattle around in his skull and red, white, black dots swarmed before his eyes. A snap sounded. He felt disconnected from it though, warm stickiness began rolling down his lips and chin. “Gah! Stop!” He cried, trying to struggle, to break away. She was strong. Stronger than he expected. Than she should be.
Dib’s arms flailed, as he reached up and tried to pry her hands from the grip her sharp nails had on his hair. When he screamed, he tasted blood and the more he tried to shove her off, to make her stop the more her nails seemed to dig in. So...pitiful..
And his head went down again, to the floor and this time the dots stayed longer. And the blood flowed thicker. “P-Please! Stop!” Violently, the teen thrashed against this mad woman who had him in her grip. Can't...break...free.
The third time his head hit the floor instead of red dots…it was green. Green and magenta and they formed Him. Zim rose up before his very eyes, warping between the irken who had held him in his arms and that cold mask of the monster he’d used to know.
“I—“ His lips wanted to form the words that haunted him. I love you, Zim. I love you. Then and now and if you hate me, I love you and if you want me dead, I’ll fight you and I love you. And if I die right now…I love you.
His struggles grew weaker and when Doctor Burnstein slammed his head down on the carpet again…he lost the hold on the colors. Zim laughed and the blackness swarmed up, echoing her screaming.
Chapter 30: Vindication
There was a stunned silence from the phone, and Evette braced herself for some verbal bashing. She couldn’t help but smirk, though, as she heard the line go dead. “Well, you don’t fuck around, do you Mister Alien?” She cackled into the dead conversation.
The adrenaline finally ebbed away, leaving Dr. Burnstein’s fingers tingling and arms numb. She panted and rolled off of the now unconscious teen, who muttered a bit before finally letting go. She looked down at her hands, trembling with a few horrid looking scratches Dib had left in his struggle.
She wiped her mouth, still trying to wrap her damaged mind around what she had just done. She could practically feel herself begin to tear as she stretched herself farther than she was ever meant to be stretched.
She couldn’t help but laugh at the thought; she couldn’t let herself fall apart now, she was the last hope for Earth, if she remembered correctly. All this time Dib had been right—Zim really was an alien, and it was really intent on destroying the planet.She ran her shaky hands through her hair, which had freed itself from the pony-tail in their little spat.
“Ok, ok. Ok ok ok ok.” She breathed. “I know what to do. I got this. It’s simple!” She got on her knees and looked over the unconscious teen. “Yeah, it’s not so fun, is it?” She sneered as she patted him down. She dug through his pockets until she pulled out the object of her search; his cell phone. She cradled it in her long fingers a bit before pushing the button to bring it to life.
The background elicited a bitter scoff from the doctor; a generic alien face, staring straight at her with black eyes. She was half expecting the name to not be in there, but to her pleasant surprise, the last contact stuck out in bold lettering like a beacon of impending doom.
The phone didn’t ring long before it was answered by an unpleasant “what.”
“Hello, Zim.” She breathed with more confidence than she actually felt. “You might not remember me, but we met a while ago in my office. When you knocked me out and tied me up?” She grinned at the breath of recognition she received from the other line. “Yes. Well, as it is, I have your boyfriend here with me. He’s bleeding all over my carpet, currently.”
There was a stunned silence from the phone, and Evette braced herself for some verbal bashing. She couldn’t help but smirk, though, as she heard the line go dead. “Well, you don’t fuck around, do you Mister Alien?” She cackled into the dead conversation.
Zim flew; his legs pumping harder than they’d ever pumped before. He couldn’t even feel his feet hit the pavement as he made his way to the Doctor’s office, his wig nearly flying off. His gut twisted and turned at the thought of what was happening to Dib; though he couldn’t fully grab hold of his feelings for the human, he could still say that he cared for him. He cursed and panted as he pushed people out of his way, storming in to the building. He skipped the elevator and took the steps two at a time.
‘Please be ok, please be ok, please be ok.’ He thought to himself in a panicked frenzy. ‘You idiot human, what have you gotten yourself into this time?’
He kicked open the door, time screeching to a halt as he was greeted by intense dark eyes. Dib was already tied up on the floor, bleeding. His vision tunneled at the sight of the red substance, and he didn’t even feel himself kneel next to him. His breath caught up to him when he saw that he was alright, mostly; just unconscious.
“Dib…” He breathed in relief.
“Well, well. Zim, it’s nice to see you again.” Evette cooed from behind her desk.
Zim’s lavender eyes narrowed at the mess of a woman behind the desk. He could see the cracks in her façade; it was in her eyes. They screamed, but what Zim couldn’t say. His lips curled up in a growl.
“What do you want with the Dib?” He asked, standing up and straightening his posture and puffing out his chest.
Evette laughed a bit and then cackled loudly, throwing her head back. “You stupid creature! It’s not your little fuck-buddy I’m interested in!” She pounded her fists on her desk. “I know what you are, Zim! I’ve seen it, and you can’t deny me what I saw with my own eyes!”
Zim’s expression smoothed out a bit. Now where had he heard this before? He glanced down at his injured friend at his feet.
Dib twitched, fighting the darkness. From deep inside his mind he could hear the irken’s voice; that high pitched, accented voice that always rubbed his nerves the wrong way and exactly the right way. It called to him and right along side of it was her voice. Shrill and filled with that insanity. The child in him cowered.
He struggled against the darkness, to see if these demented fantasies were right. And when he finally opened his eyes, everything was blurry. Where were his glasses?
But, then that didn’t matter because even if he’d been blind he would’ve been able to sense Zim. His raw anger and there was the small buzzing of his PAK, the growl in the back of his throat. “Mmph!” The teen tried to call out, but some sort of fabric shoved in his mouth stopped him.
Pain. His head hurt. She’d banged it against the ground until he’d fallen unconscious. Was his nose broken? How did Zim know he was here? Why couldn’t he move?
And struggling proved that his hands and legs were tied. Just like she had been.
“So what do you plan to do, earth-worm? You have Zim here, what was your plan?” Zim asked, humoring the female. “What could a human like you possibly have as leverage against a soldier such as myself?” He sneered at her, sizing her up. There was no way she could possibly be a threat to him; she was next to nothing at all.
“Well,” She pressed a finger to her chapped lips thoughtfully. “I have him.” She pointed to the awakening figure on the ground. “Or rather, I have power OVER him. I have the power to send him away for the rest of his life. He’ll be locked up for the rest of his rotten life, and die in a filthy hole.”
“Unless?” Zim asked, pressing his fingertips together.
“Unless….you give yourself up, of course.” Evette stated in a fatter-of-fact way. She shrugged a bit, giving a sly smile to the invader. She was grateful that he was wearing a disguise; she wouldn’t be able to take a glance from those burning orbs. She would crumble; her last bit of whatever was holding her together disintegrating under the heat of those magenta eyes.
“I see. Not even offering to let me leave Earth?” He nodded a bit, taking a stride closer to the female. “And, just out of curiosity, what is exactly keeping me from killing you right now?” Because he wanted to. He wanted to tear her apart, limb from limb, for ever having laid a hand on his Dib. For having the gal to threaten him, and using his human as leverage. No, this woman didn’t deserve to live, in Zim’s eyes.
“Oh,” The Doctor pretended to be surprised as she looked around her desk. “I guess nothing,” She pulled open a drawer and extracted a small gun. She had brought it with her for the occasion, of course. She knew she was going to be dealing with heavy stuff, and even in her broken mind, she knew not to come unprepared.
She had cradled it close to her before putting it in her drawer, moments before moving the couch. She stroked it gingerly, taking in every detail of the weapon, steeling her mind for the moment she would have to use it. And here she was, just as she had imagined the moment to be. Her heart raced in anticipation, wanting to spill the demon’s blood more than anything. She wondered what color his blood would be; if it would match nicely with the small pool of red from his lover.
“Just this.” She smiled, her face nearly cracking from the exercise her face was getting today.
Zim only scoffed. “Play things!” He waved a hand dismissively.
Play things? Dib could hear everything they said over the pain in his head, and none of it sounded good. He turned his head and the good doctor was blurry (where WERE his glasses?) but, he could easily tell what she had in her hand. Fuck. A whole stream of curse words ran through his head, some of them forming on his lips though they just sounded muffled.
He’d been tied up like this before. Zim had tied him up a loooong time ago, because he’d realized no amount of fake prisons and/or robot guards could hold him. The younger paranormal investigator had managed to get out of his binds then and…
He struggled with the rope, trying to loosen them. He HAD to do so now.
Zim didn’t look down at the struggling human, though it was hard to ignore his muffled cries. He was just glad that he was ok, but at the moment it wasn’t his main concern.
‘Just hold on,’ Zim commanded, inwardly.
Evette stood, pushing her seat away from her as she did so and not taking her eyes away from the alien. She held the gun out in front of her, holding her arms so straight that her elbows turned inward slightly.
“Or maybe I’ll just kill you,” Evette mused out loud. “Do what that kid didn’t have the guts to.” The thought roused another laugh from her dry throat. “Yes, and then I’ll kill him, too.” She shifted her whole body to point the gun at the writhing boy on the ground. The light in her wide eyes danced flippantly as her finger caressed the trigger. “Or even better, I’ll kill him first, and then you! I’ll let you watch him die!”
Zim was in the air before she was able to finish her sentence, but it was too late. The shot echoed through the room, and made Zim’s head reel as he grabbed an armful of the female and brought her down. She yelped loudly as the gun flew from her hand, her head hitting the wall with a hollow THUMP.
Dib jerked, eyes wide and a scream muffled by the fabric in his mouth. Suddenly the pain in his head was nothing compared to the fire in his shoulder. It was indescribable. Burning and being stabbed. And he couldn’t feel anything but agony. His fingers grew warm in their confines, sticky with blood.
The human screwed his eyes shut, trying to think clearly over the pain. And failing. The ropes were looser now which was good, but trying to do any more only worsened—No. Stop thinking about it. “Mmph!” He called out to Zim. The thunk sounded bad. It better be that stupid bitch and not his alien or there was going to be hell to pay.
Getting up into a crouching position, Zim pulled out his transmitter from his PAK, hastily grabbing at it in his bare claws.
“GIR!” He barked into the receiver, only a slight hint of panic in his town. “Get down here, bring the Voot Cruiser!”
The doctor groaned and tried to sit up, receiving a swift, clenched fist to her cheek. A sick crack was heard from her weak jaw at the impact before she collapsed onto the carpet.
Zim shook his hand, grimacing a bit.
“Dib!” He stood up and jumped across the desk, kneeling next to the injured human. Slender claws worked swiftly to get him out of his bonds, the blood having soaked the rope and floor around him.
Zim panted as the panic rose in his chest, the pressure beginning to push tears out from behind his eyes. He turned the blood-soaked teen onto his back, supporting the pale face in his hands.
“Dib, tell Zim you’re ok!” He commanded, his lips tugging down hard at the corners.
The human moaned from being moved around so much, reaching up and pulling the fabric from his mouth and dropping it weakly on the floor beside them. His face was held between Zim’s soft claws and they felt so warm compared to how cold he’d been feeling.
“I-“ He started, wincing from the agony that just wouldn’t recede. He’d felt a million kinds of pain in his life. From broken bones to 2nd degree burns…but being shot in the shoulder was the worst one yet. Black dots flashed before his eyes but, Dib didn’t want to pass out again. Not when Zim was here and finally talking to him.
“I-I’m fine.” His own voice sounded far away and too nasal. “I just…damn it my shoulder hurts.” He tried to smile a little bit but it fell flat when fire began to worm its way up from the bullet hole down to the rest of his arm. He hissed with the sensation.
“How are you? Are you okay? Is she…?” Knocked out? Dead?
Finally hearing Dib’s voice, even in its weakened state, was too much for Zim to bear. The pressure building up in him finally seemed to burst, causing something inside of him to snap. A thick sob escaped his throat and he rested his forehead on Dib’s chest, his body shaking softly. He didn’t care anymore; his human was alright, and that’s all that mattered to him.
“You’re alright…” He breathed, his voice bathed in relief. After a moment, he finally felt his composure returning to him. He sat up again. “She’s out, and GIR’s on his way with the Voot Cruiser. We’ll get this mess cleaned up.”
And even though they were both covered in Dib’s blood, Zim still couldn’t help but smile. He felt the emotions that had been repressed the last couple of days cascade over him. He thought he had lost Dib for good, this time. He bent forward and gave the human a tender kiss on his cheek. “Everything is going to be fine…” He whispered affectionately.
Dib’s lids fluttered closed for a million reasons and all of them were Zim. Relief that that woman was knocked out, that kiss on his cheek, the feeling of being cared for again and waves upon waves of bitter sweet adoration rocked him. When he breathed it ached and shuddered. And when he finally opened his eyes again, Zim was blurry not just because he couldn’t see but because hot tears swarmed along with the dark dots.
“Good. Um, Zim? I can’t feel my arm and I think I’m going to…” He lost the fight with the darkness, giving in now that everything was okay. The blood kept leaking as he let himself float away, at last feeling the pain ebb.
Chapter 31: Rage, Pity and Guilt
The young paranormal investigator slid off his make shift table, his good hand holding his numb arm and shuffled across the room. He looked down at her and felt rage. She had hurt him and had planned to hurt Zim. He looked down at her and felt pity. She was on the edge of sanity, holding on by her broken nails. But, mostly Dib looked down on her and felt...guilt.
Gir didn't know what the hell he was doing. Not that he ever knew what the hell he was doing only now he didn't know what the hell he was doing whilst flying a rather sizable irken ship. Manic giggles escaped from his metal mouth, effectively drowning out any sound of the ship hitting buildings and people and on one occasion a low flying bird.
All he really understood was that 1. Master had called him. And 2. Everything was so bright and happy and omg was that a taco shaped umbrella! Woo! Everything is wonderrrrful!
And the first one was more often than not shoved to the back burner of his em, brain. The building was up ahead. Gir knew that. And from here he could feel his Master's PAK signature. And it was inside the building.
No thought was spared to how he was going to get in because the ship was already spiraling, very conspicuously towards the nice wall which gave way at the impact. The voot cruiser knocked the couch out of the way and skidded to a stop about a centimeter away from his master and the unconscious teenager.
Gir jumped out and waved frantically. "HIYA!"
Rubble was sent flying across the room, and Zim had to hunch over his unconscious human, wrapping his arms around him protectively. Once the smoke cleared, he sat up with a scowl for his robot minion. He wanted to chastise him for, surely, blowing their cover on his trip over here. But he knew he didn't have time; there were more pressing matters at hand.
"Good work, GIR." Was all he had time for, unfortunately. He worked swiftly to get the two bodies into the compact space of the Voot's cockpit. Shoving Evette to the floor, wrapped awkwardly around the seat, while Dib was gingerly placed on the floor in front of the Irken, propped between his legs.
Zim rode back to his base with more stealth in mind than his minion, but he wondered if--at this point--it even mattered. The lingering scent of their time in space was slowly being replaced by the rusting-copper scent of blood, which only urged Zim to get to the base faster. Trying to be gentle due to his injured friend, Zim eased the Cruiser into the base, cursing at how slow things seemed to be moving.
Claws drummed along the control panel as the Voot was carried down into the lower levels of his base, via lift. "Come on, you stupid thing." Zim mumbled, impatiently.
Once they came to a halt in Zim's lab, he popped the window open and jumped out, running over to his examination table to prepare the metal restraints.
Evette was fairly easy to drag around; she wasn't much taller than the Irken, nor did she have much weight on her. Her heels were abandoned on the way from the Voot to the table, causing the stocking on her heels to rip, though it wouldn't matter.
Zim had strapped up many victims to this table, one of which being Dib on several occasions. He had to admit; it was much easier when they were unconscious. Once he was sure the female was secure, he sprinted back to the Voot for his friend.
Dib was much harder to get out and around, and if it weren't for the fact that he was so scrawny, Zim might not have been able to do it. The human's head bobbed about as Zim shuffled across the room, the Irken's arms wrapped around his chest under the arms.
"Damn it, Dib-stink..." He grunted as he swiped his arm across his work-bench, sending all of his tools to the ground and nearly dropping the human in the process. He heaved the human onto the make-shift examination table, trying to be careful of his wounds. He peeled Dib's jacket off before working on cleaning and dressing the bullet wound.
Unfortunately, Dib came to at pretty much the worst time possible; when Zim poured anti-septic over his wounds. His eyelids had been fluttering in response to gentle touches but, then a flash of agony spread and his other arm jerked upwards, grabbing onto Zim's hand tightly to still anymore movement. The human hissed through his teeth, adrenaline gone now. He could feel everything.
The bruises on his forehead, the sickening agony of his nose and the raging head ache from being slammed into the floor many, many times. (Did he have a concussion?) The chafe marks on his hands from being bound. And perhaps most obviously was the bullet wound that shot new shards of gut wrenching pain up his shoulder. He tasted blood.
"Gah." Everything stayed blurry and white for a moment until it cleared and he could see a blurry version of..."Zim." The word was infused with relief and joy. It hadn't been a nightmare. Or a dream. It was real and Dib didn't know if he was grateful for that or not. His fingers, curled around the irken's arm, tightening in a grip of pain and selfish self-assurance that his alien was here.
Zim jumped in surprise, sending the anti-septic all over his uniform. He nearly cursed, but let the frustration go in a sigh once he saw the pain on Dib's face."You must hold still, Dib-thing." He commanded softly, taking Dib's hand into his own and giving it a light squeeze. He set his hand down next to him as he extracted some gauze from nearby. He took Dib's arm gently, trying his best not to move it more than what was necessary and cause Dib discomfort.
"You frightened Zim," He spoke softly as he wrapped the gauze around the wounded flesh, gently. The skin looked tender; red and swollen, which was nothing new to Zim. But seeing such a gruesome sight on his dearest friend made his gut tighten. "Zim thought it was over, for sure..."
A soft groaning emanated from behind Zim as, for the second time, Evette began to wake up in restraints. Her head lolled back and forth as she came too, desperate for a grasp on consciousness. A string of curses left her mouth as her vision faded into clarity.
"Wha...where am I?" Her voice was small, but panicked as she struggled against her restraints.
"The TIKI ROOM!" The tiny robot squealed, over excited about having a guest. He hopped up on the table, smiling gigantically and sat on the nice lady's stomach. A small squeak managed its way out of Evette's dry throat, her eyes wide at the sight of the tiny robot.
"Wh-what is that thing?!" She finally managed to screech as she cringed from the robot at much as she could. Dib's head snapped to the side when he heard her, and he instantly regretted it. It felt like his brain was shaking about in his head. The human groaned.
"Are you going to--" Replace her brain with a squid's? Kill her? Keep her as your lab rat? He left the question un answered. Zim rolled his eyes a bit at the sound of the female's voice.
"And Zim thought the DIB was annoying..." He grumbled, holding on to Dib and trying to sit him up. "Can you sit, Dib-thing?" He hadn't actually given much thought into what he was going to do with the Doctor; only that she needed to be taken care of. Brain-replacement was definitely his preferred solution; though it had been his fall-back and it was starting to bore him, he knew this was not the time for experimentation.
"Zim has no use for this clearly broken earth-beast. Her brain will most likely be replaced."
"WHAT!" A horrified scream escaped from the doctor, and she struggled further against her restraints, regardless of her headache. Tears formed in her blood-shot eyes and rolled down her pale cheeks.
Dib struggled to sit up, wincing the whole time. His left arm felt numb. Biting down on his bottom lip, Dib assumed that Zim had given him a pain killer to fight against the majority of the agony. With his legs tucked underneath him, he finally turned to look at the bound woman across the room. She kept struggling, trying to butt the giggling GIR off, trying to free herself. The tears kept coming and Dib felt something rise up in him.
That same stupid emotion that had kept him trying to save the Earth for years. It was his greatest feature and also his greatest downfall; compassion. A love for humanity despite how corrupt they may seem.
The young paranormal investigator slid off his make shift table, his good hand holding his numb arm and shuffled across the room. He looked down at her and felt rage. She had hurt him and had planned to hurt Zim. He looked down at her and felt pity. She was on the edge of sanity, holding on by her broken nails. But, mostly Dib looked down on her and felt...guilt.
They had done this, hadn't they? It was HIS fault, for falling for her tricks and dragging Zim into it. He turned his ashen face away, unable to look at her anymore and instead looked to his irken who stood in the center of the darkened lab, haggard, magenta eyes glowing softly. His uniform was bloody and Dib could see the emotion that was smeared all across his face.
And it was beautiful. Zim was beautiful. Dib bit his bottom lip and hobbled to Zim till he stood right in front of him. "Look. We have a lot to talk about...but first thing is first. The doctor's brain...I don't know if I want to replace it. She's nuts. And I've been saying the exact same thing for years and no one has believed me. Why don't we wrap her up nice and pretty and give her to the local asylum?"
This way Dib didn't feel the guilt of making someone 'lose' their mind. Literally.
Zim scrunched up his face in protest. How could Dib take so much pity on such a lowly creature? One of which tried to kill him, which Zim would never forgive. His lips curled up as he thought about it.
"That never worked; a couple weeks later you were back in my base, making things difficult." He reminded, waving a hand in the air in mention of his base. "Do you honestly believe she won't give up on this?"
Dib straightened his back, and lifted his chin. Years of experience and he knew that the only way to stand up to Zim was to be firm and not show any chink in your armor, to show you knew what you wanted and how to get it. "I always had someone bail me out. Dad sometimes got me...or you. She...has no one. If she had someone they would've helped her or already sent her there or even stopped this whole thing." He wanted to touch Zim, even if it was just something small. But, he held back because this had to be decided now.
Emotional reunions could happen later.
Zim narrowed his eyes at the sudden confidence in the human's stance. A chill ran through him and his antennae wilted at Dib's dominance. Keeping his back straight, however, Zim tried his best to look unaffected. "Fine, Dib-thing. We'll do it your way." He growled a little as he walked past the human. "But if she tries to kill you again, don't expect Zim to dress anymore of your wounds." He made his way over to the squirming female, who had fallen silent due to wearing out her voice. "Looks like you get to keep your brain, after all, stink-beast." Zim informed her, bitterly.
Evette's eyes danced back and forth from the Irken to Dib. "I don't need your fucking pity," She spat out in a raspy voice, finally. "Just kill me and get it over with."
Zim sighed and looked over his shoulder at Dib, before shrugging and turning back to the doctor. "Unfortunately, mercy isn't on our agenda today. How did you put it, before? Rot in a hole, right?"
Another shot of pain rolled its way through his shoulder and a few streaks swept his arm as well. Dib gritted his teeth. "Will you stop with the witty, vengeful banter and just...knock her out? Please?" He wanted this over with. The nightmare done and thrown out the window. Then he could focus on the green dork who had saved his life in more ways than one.
Zim's shoulders slumped and he sighed heavily. "Fine."
The sound of flesh hitting flesh echoed against the metal walls as Zim's fist met the female's jaw for the second time. She only had time for a small yelp before the grey wings of unconsciousness wrapped around her again. Her head drooped and Zim released the metal clasps that held her down.
The human's jaw hung open for a second, gold eyes flying back and forth between Zim and the now unconscious doctor. "Um. I was thinking we could just put her out with some sort of drug but, that works too...I guess." He limped back over to the table and hopped up on it, cradling his arm. Dib licked his lips and grimaced. They tasted like his blood which in turn reminded him from the terrible ache in his nose and then...he remembered it was broken. Ugh. Resetting it would be a bitch.
"Do you need help? Should I come with you?" Dib's voice echoed in the dark space, contemplating. Zim knew he could have given her a sedative, but what was the fun in that? She had knocked Dib out brutally, as evidence of the human's face, so why did she deserve any better? He grunted and rolled the woman off the table, dragging her along as he did before.
"Erg...there isn't much you can do in your current state, Dib-thing. But you should come along to direct me to this 'a-sigh-lum' place." Of course he knew how to fine the place; he had broken Dib out before. But with the way things had gone today, he didn't feel comfortable with Dib not being at his side. He tossed the woman back into his Voot, letting her lie on the floor, awkwardly.
"Are you up for tagging along?" He turned back to Dib, a hopeful expression on his face.
A lie. And it was obvious. Zim had burst him out of the A-sigh--uh...Asylum, more times than Dib felt comfortable counting. But, then that meant that Zim just wanted him to come and the hopeful expression that arose on the alien's face was even more proof of that.
Dib felt his chest do that expanding thing, where it felt like it was filling up with warmth and happiness. He let himself smile and nod, scampering across the lab and climbing into the voot cruiser and waiting for Zim to get on his lap.
Zim followed suit, taking his place on Dib's lap, not being able to suppress a small smile. It was as if these feelings had never left him; Dib was here by his side and Zim was just as happy to see him as ever. He felt as if they were starting over; what did Zim say to him? He had damaged his only friendship, and he could tell by the hurt he had seen in Dib's face that day they had fixed Zim's PAK. Did he apologize?
These were the things he thought about as the Voot ascended through all the levels of Zim's base and finally escaping through the roof. "How's your nose?" He finally asked as they flew over the city.
"Broken." Dib replied as casually as possible, staring out the window down at all the people he'd been saving these last seven years. When golden eyes flew back to the irken he noted how open Zim now seemed, like he had been.
Dib still didn't fully understand what had happened but, he could guess. It wasn't Zim's fault that he'd suddenly just...stopped caring. It was something within the PAK. And that led to even more questions that Dib wasn't sure he wanted to start asking. Instead he leaned forward, putting his chest against Zim's back and laid his chin in the curve of the alien's shoulder.
Zim couldn't help but rest his head against Dib's for a moment, hoping to convey as much as he could through this small gesture; 'I still love you, I'm sorry for hurting you, I won't do it again'. He wondered if Dib would truly ever forgive him, but he figured that he was relentless enough to get Dib to come around, eventually. As for right now; things seemed to be alright for them.
Chapter 32: Rest
He let the warm water wash away these last few days of hurt and anger, blood and grime. Dib sighed and smiled softly. The danger was gone and all that was left to do was heal.
Zim stopped the Voot over the dark asylum building, letting it hover there before turning to Dib.“Alright, so someone will have to admit her, correct?”
The boy shrugged. “I assume so. I’ve had doctors and counselors and even our teacher submit me. So…I’m not sure. We could probably keep her tied up, and leave a note on her forehead about her being insane and thinking aliens are real. They’d probably lock her up in a heart beat.” Dib said bitterly. It was dark outside now and the only light came from the Asylum windows, the faint shine of the control panel and Zim’s eyes which always seemed to glow ethereally.
Dib glanced down at the irken’s lips and leaned forward, till they were only millimeters away. He looked into those giant ruby orbs that always seemed to draw him in, burning into his soul. “I love you.” He whispered, brows furrowed.
“And like I said before…I don’t need you to say it back, Zim. So, you don’t ever need to. Just...don’t push me away again. You were so cold. And it felt- it felt like the old days again.” He shook his head, feeling his throat closing up and the pain in his head increasing because he was stupid for shaking his head after having it slammed into the ground. “I don’t want that. Ever.”
Zim cupped his human’s face in his hands, gently, as he spoke; wanting to make sure he had Dib’s full, undivided attention. “Zim loves you, Dib.” He assured, his brow furrowing as he stared into those strange amber eyes. They seemed so vulnerable without the glare of his lenses to hide behind.
“Zim has always loved you.” He gently pressed their lips together, gingerly working around Dib’s crooked nose. He cringed away a bit, Dib’s blood being something he never wanted to taste. Maybe once upon a time, before all this happened—but no longer.
“This is not the time, however.” He sighed and turned back to the control panel. The Voot hummed softly as it was eased into the alley next to the asylum, And Zim popped out with a determined look on his face, making sure nobody could see them. He motioned for Dib to get out so he could fetch the doctor.
Dib obeyed, hoping out of the Cruiser and wobbling a bit. He caught himself against the vessel before he could fall over. Closing his eyes, he fought off the dizziness and thought of the kiss. It had felt like the first one in forever. It had only been three days since the last one and yet, Dib’s entire being yearned to continue. And Zim had said he still loved him. Unbidden, a whole rush of giddiness rose up. The first pleasant thing he’d felt these last couple days. It felt too good to be true. And Dib wanted to bounce up and down with joy.
But, Zim was right. They had to get this problem out of the way before anything else could go down. He pushed himself away from the cruiser, minding his shoulder and opened his eyes to see the cool darkness. “Do you need any help?” Knowing Zim, the little irken had probably already done most of the work. But, Dib wanted to help out in any way possible. To show he wasn’t weak despite his injuries.
Zim shook his head a bit as he dragged the female out of the Cruiser, grunting as her legs slid out of the cockpit and hit the concrete with a solid THUNK. He looked up at the human, whose expression was tinged with joy despite the situation. Zim couldn’t help but smirk, wondering if the human enjoyed this a little bit, or if he really was just happy for Zim’s affection. Either way, Zim had to suppress his grin as he laid the doctor across the cold ground.
A piece of paper was easy enough to find in the disgusting alley way; a crumpled, grease stained burger wrapper had jammed itself between the lid of a nearby dumpster. Zim had to keep his mind off of the fact that he was handling the germ riddled piece of garbage with his bare hands as he snatched it up. He rummaged around the alley for a writing utensil, even going so far as to search Evette’s body.
But when he turned up short, he turned to Dib. He gave the human an apologetic glance before gently wiping some of the fresh blood from under the human’s nose with his finger. After a few moments of scribbling, the Irken managed to smear his make-shift ink into the word “crazy” across the wrapper.
“That should do it.” He nodded in approval at his handiwork before tucking it lightly into the female’s shirt pocket. “Now, let’s end this.” He nodded to Dib before grabbing Evette’s hands and dragging her around the front of the building. “Let’s be fast; the last thing we need is for another human seeing me.” The plopped her down near the doorway.
“Agreed.” Dib had the sudden urge to lift Zim up and carry him into the cruiser, over his shoulder and make the little moron yell and—but, alas he knew he would probably injure himself horribly so instead settled for grabbing Zim’s hand with his non-numb one and dragging him towards the ship. He hopped up inside of it and pulled the irken down on his lap.
A rush of relief and excitement rushed over the small alien as they made their way off in the Voot; it was over, finally. The wretched woman was out of their lives—forever, presumably. A rage still built up in his gut whenever he thought about her, and still wished desperately that Dib had let him carry out his original plan.But this way worked too, and it seemed to sit well with his human; which in the end was what mattered most.
“Away!” Dib cried stupidly once they were up in the air again, flying fast away from the Asylum. There was a low rumbling noise which after a second Dib realized was his stomach. “Oh. I should probably…eat. And shower and other human stuff.” Though he loathed actually being apart from Zim he figured the irken wouldn’t want to be around his gross human food or the toxic water of doom. “You can drop me off at my house if you want.”
“Zim must retrieve his gloves.” Zim reminded him, holding up a hand and wiggling his claws in the thick, blood-stained air. He was thankful for this, however, as he would have not have had another excuse to stay with Dib longer. Even if it meant that he had almost died, surely, in the over-exposure to the Earth’s ghastly elements.
Leaves flurried about in the Membrane household’s backyard as Zim eased the Voot into the fenced-off space. “I’ll make it quick so you can do what you need to…” Zim said, with some hesitance.
Running a hand down the back of his neck, Dib shrugged with his good shoulder. “Well, it could take a while. I mean, you can come in if you really WANT to. I think your gloves are somewhere in my messy room.”
“If they are in your room, I might be stuck in there for a while. Hours, even.” Zim grumbled, but he couldn’t hide the grin that was forming across his face.
Dib bit his bottom lip, to stop the smile. “Yeah. So maybe you should just stay the night. We can look for them together after I’m clean and stuff.” He didn’t know why he needed an excuse to keep the irken around. It didn’t seem necessary anymore. And now he could tell that Zim was just looking for one. But, it was fun to play along.
Zim pretended to think about it before giving a small nod, grinning as he popped open the cockpit and Jumping out onto the cool grass. The Membrane house was a sight for sore eyes, after the events that had just transpired. “I guess Zim could spend the night—to find my gloves, of course.” He turned and held out a hand to help Dib out.
“Yeah. Of course.” He hoped out and led them to his backdoor, digging for the keys in his pocket and typing in the passcode all at once. With a small beep, the door opened for them and they slipped inside the dim kitchen. The soft glow from the light above his sink, allowed them to see without flipping any switches.
Dib shuffled to his fridge and pulled out two cokes, sliding one to Zim. Then he grabbed a microwave meal and popped it in. “Let me see…” Sometimes dad kept vitamins and other nifty things in the drawers that could help him heal faster. He rustled through them and pulled out a few bottles; pain killers, vitamins and his dad’s invention that knocked healing time in two with only minor side effects.
Popping the tab on his soda and the lids to the pills he downed them all and washed the taste away with the fizzy drink. By that time the microwave beeped and he took out the meal of mac and cheese, grabbed a fork and shuffled back to the table. “After I finish eating, will you come with me to look at my nose?…I’m kind of afraid of what I’ll see. I might be horribly deformed. Then I’ll be ugly and have to wear a paper bag over my head.” Not that Dib actually gave a crap.
Zim sat across from Dib, watching him with curious, wide eyes. He hadn’t been sure if he should have given him any sort of medicine, due to now knowing what would affect him in which way. Watching Dib now, he felt a bit ashamed for not giving him anything; he must have been in a great deal of pain this whole time and Zim hadn’t known. Of course he should have assumed, but Dib didn’t even say anything. He sipped at his drink eagerly, not knowing how thirsty he had been until finally having something to quench his parched throat.
“Look worse than you already do? Is that possible?” He teased the human, giving him a wink before sipping at his soda again.
“Did you just wink at me?” Dib asked, fork stopping halfway to his mouth. He giggled before eating the warm, gooey stuff. It was microwaveable and that stuff normally sucked. But this…well he was so hungry it tasted divine. It disappeared quickly and he licked the fork before putting it in the sink, and throwing the box in the trash. He grabbed his soda and motioned for Zim to follow him up to his room.
Gaz was sitting on the cough , as per usual, head bent over her game and the tv glowing softly. “Hey Gaz.” Whoa. His voice sounded funny. It was nasal because of his broken nose. Dib winced. She actually paused her game and turned around to lean against the cushions.
Squinting, she surveyed her brother’s bloody clothes, the gauze on his shoulder, and his face which was bruised and broken. “You look horrible.”
Dib smirked slightly. “Thanks. I try.”
“What happened?” Gaz’s gaze flickered towards Zim. “Did you guys get in a fight again? Or is there someone else who I have to go scare into submission?”
Zim opened his mouth to say something about how he could take care of his human, and Gaz didn’t need to worry, but he shut it before doing so. He figured after all the crap that they had been through tonight, the last thing he wanted to do was anger the sister-beast.
“No. it’s just…nothing. It’s taken care of. No need.” Her brother replied, already climbing the stairs. She shrugged and turned back to her game, ignoring them again.He followed Dib up the stairs quietly, getting a rush of déjà vu as they reached the top of the case.
He half expected Dib to slide across the floor, but wasn’t surprise when he didn’t. He carried his soda along into the bathroom, where the light was best, ushering Dib in with him. “Come here and let Zim look at your face.” He commanded, setting his drink on the counter.
The facet dripped a bit, making Zim feel uneasy, but was able to push it to the back of his mind upon seeing Dib’s nose. It was obviously broken—bent uncomfortably in the bridge, swollen and bruised. Zim grimaced a bit at the sight. “It isn’t….THAT bad.” He tried to reassure.
Raising an eyebrow, Dib turned and looked at himself in the mirror. He stared blankly for a second before grimacing. “Not that bad. Pfft.” Dark circles were forming under his eyes. Cautiously, he reached up and touched it, hissing and yanking his hand back almost instantly. It was fractured. The bleeding had stopped long ago and it wasn’t totally horrible. He’d seen worse before. There was nothing to do but, rest and heal.
There would probably be a permanent bump on the bridge of his nose. Stupid bitch.
Sighing, Dib grabbed a washcloth that hung from the towel rack and ran it under hot water before reaching back up and lightly dabbing at the area. It stung but, eventually he got most of the blood off. Down the towel went into the little shoot under his cabinet which led to the laundry room down stairs. He grabbed his soda with his left hand and frowned. He was able to move it and little shards of pain echoed but, other than that no feeling came to his finger tips. Dib knew the soda was cold. But, he couldn’t feel it.
“Eh. Hey Zim…did you give me any anesthesia for my arm?”
Zim watched Dib with curious eyes, trying to take in as much as he could in case this sort of thing ever happened again—though he was going to make sure it never did. “No, there was not enough time.” He answered, a worried expression on his face. “Zim had to work fast to fight infection. You humans are prone to things like that, and your whole arm could have fallen off!”
Zim waved his hands a bit frantically, reciting what he had learned from various medical sources. He took Dib’s hand into his own, tracing the pattern along the palm with his claws, softly. “How does it feel?”
Panic welled up in his chest. “Um.” Oh god. Then that meant that…”I can’t feel it at all.” There was nerve damage. He could still move it, though. So that was definitely a plus. But, not being able to feel…Dib’s breath caught in his throat.
Zim could see the panic in Dib’s face as it the color drained away from his cheeks. He ushered the human to sit on the toilet, stroking his hair softly.“It’s alright; give it time.” He urged Dib. He didn’t know what else to do but to tell him that it would be alright, and to try his best to comfort him.
“Don’t worry too much; you’ve been through enough already.” He had already seen a demonstration of how fragile the human mind was; the last thing he needed was for Dib to end up like the doctor.
Dib shook his head and breathed. “Yeah. I’m fine. It’s just…weird.” He moved his fingers experimentally and winced when he still felt nothing. Oh well. Either it would come back, or it wouldn’t. He would just have to get used to it.
Straightening his shoulder and nodding to himself, the detective stood and tugged the irken along to his room. Which was of course, a mess. He laughed softly. “Okay. They’re in here somewhere if you want to look. I’m going to take a shower.”
Zim gave Dib a double take, his face incredulous at the sight of the teen’s room. He had remembered it being bad, but it seemed to have gotten worse in the short time it had been since he had last stepped foot here.
“You honestly expect me to find anything in this?” He asked, throwing his hands up in exasperation. The papers on the ground crumpled underneath each other, among clothes and old food wrappers. The sight made Zim cringe. He had recalled Dib rushing to get things picked up before Zim came in; what had happened to that? Was there a way to get that back? He guessed by the human’s wry grin that it wasn’t going to happen.
Zim waved a hand at Dib, smacking his chest lightly. “Go, then.” He huffed before beginning his search. He rooted around the floor, tossing papers into the air in frustration. He paused a bit upon discovering the portrait of Dib he had drawn and smiled at it fondly. He took a moment to pin it up on Dib’s wall before resigning back to his search.
The human giggled as he shut himself in his bathroom, carefully stripping. He dug under the sink and pulled out a plastic bag that he’d used when he’d broken his arm a few years ago. He slipped it over his shoulder and climbed into the shower. It was a bit hard to do everything with only one hand, as moving the other one hurt horribly, but he managed.
As he stood under the spray, several things began to sink in; he’d been shot today. The doctor was finally gone, out of their lives. And perhaps most importantly, that Zim was back in his room, everything normal again. Or at least, normal for them.
He let the warm water wash away these last few days of hurt and anger, blood and grime. Dib sighed and smiled softly. The danger was gone and all that was left to do was heal. He shut the water off and carefully climbed out, drying off and then remembering that he hadn’t brought clothes in with him.
Mentally Dib face palmed before wrapping the towel around his waist and peeking his head out of the door to see Zim wading around his room, searching with a vaguely disgusted look on his face. “Hey, uh, Zim?”
Zim perked up, throwing his arms in the air with gloves in hand. “Aha!” He shouted gleefully into the cluttered room.He loped across the room while tugging them on, feeling ecstatic to finally have them back. The familiar feel of the fabric against his hands was a welcome one. He vowed to never take them off, ever again.He held his hands up excitedly for Dib to see. “Found ‘em!” He gleamed, wiggling his fingers.
His eyes widened and Dib smiled, seeing how glad Zim was. It was pretty cute. And that was when he knew that he really was in deep. “That’s great, Zim. Now could you do me a uh, favor and grab me some clothes? There should be some clean ones in that basket.” He pointed towards the bed.
Zim narrowed his eyes at the human, wondering what he was doing behind the door that was stopping him from getting his own clothes. He crossed his arms are he sauntered over to the basket and grabbed a handful of material, not really sure what the human had in mind.
Still, it was nice to know that not everything in this room was covered in trash; the clothes had a lingering soap scent that was a nice change of pace for all the various scents Zim had been exposed to today. He gave them a small whiff as he walked back to the human and sighed a bit. They smelled like Dib.
“Here,” He grunted, shoving the clothes in through the door. “Hurry up and get out here.”
Rolling his eyes, Dib grabbed the clothes shoved at him. “Yes, your majesty.” Closing the door, he looked down at the items he’d been given and sighed. At least one of them was boxers.
So, he put those on and decided that he didn’t need to put on one sock and his ninja outfit. After that he changed his gauze with some difficulty. Stepping out into his room he, dropped the clothes back into his basket and turned towards Zim who stood in the center of his room. A few weeks ago he might’ve seemed terribly out of place. Now however…he fit. Dib bit his bottom lip and sat on his bed, yawning.
Zim looked up at Dib as he emerged from the steam filled bathroom, his gloved claws cupping his face as he savored the feel of the material for the first time in a long time. His eyes narrowed once more; he was sure he had given the human more clothes than that. But, of course, he didn’t complain.He leaned forward and examined the wrapping on Dib’s arm a bit; he seemed to have done a well-enough job of dressing the wound.
“Does it still hurt?” He asked, running a gentle finger along the edge of the dressing.
“Just the actual wound. I’m sure with the help of dad’s pills I’ll be better in no time.” Smiling, he lay back on the bed and looked up at the irken who’d done so much for him. Who seemed to care despite everything and whose eyes glowed faintly, reminding him of pictures he’d seen of nebulas. “Hey. I’m…exhausted. You can stay if you want…or go. I don’t mind either way.”
Zim felt a bit ashamed that the human would even need to ask at this point. He thought he had made his intentions clear. He sighed a bit and gave his friend a soft smile, his magenta eyes lighting up as the smile touched them.“Zim wants to stay.” He admitted as he lay down, resting his head on Dib’s bare chest.
“After everything that happened, do you honestly believe I would leave you alone?” He closed his eyes and felt the steady beat of the human’s heart from within his breast. He let the day’s course reply in his mind; this morning he had woken up with bogged down emotions, and now he was lying next to his friend after being shot at with overwhelming feelings of adoration.“Nope, if you think I’m leaving, you’re sorely mistaken.” He stated, defiantly.
Would these strange bursts of joy ever go away? They made his chest hurt and yet, they made Dib smile. “No…I was just giving you an out, you know. Just in case.” Now that Zim was lying next to him, well everything seemed okay. Everything was complete. He…he was complete. After everything they’d gone through…everything from stupid arguments to facing death, they did it. They survived and it was because they worked together and nothing could ever defeat them.
He closed his eyes. “Thanks, Zim.”
Zim gave a soft hum in reply, nestling his head against Dib’s warm skin. He breathed in his scent, taking everything in as the day sunk in, physically. His gut churned uncomfortably as he thought about it, and he just wanted to lay with his human and forget it had ever happened.
“That’s what friends are for, right?” He asked in a sleepy tone. He thought about it and he realized—he didn’t care if that’s what friends did. Because that’s what THEY did. They always found their way back to each other, somehow, whether they were enemies or friends. Even if Zim didn’t know what they were, exactly, or what that meant; they were together. And to Zim, that was all he wanted, and all that mattered.
“Heh. Yeah. “ Dib chuckled softly, sighing as he felt himself drift more and more into sleep. He knew he wouldn’t have a nightmare tonight. Not after being so exhausted, not when Zim slept so close and was so warm.
Dib knew that there were so many things to think about. So many questions to ask. Things to worry about and wonder; could this thing between them last, would that evil bitch really stay put, what exactly had happened with Zim’s PAK, was this an ‘official’ truce between them? Dib wanted to know everything about Zim and spend time with him, learn him. Learn them.
But, there was tomorrow for that. Hell. There was the rest of their lives for that.
“Goodnight, Dib-thing.” The content Irken purred, already half asleep. He let his mind wander too far off places before finally giving in to the sleep that tugged at his conscious mind. He wasn’t entirely sure why, but as his last coherent thought before surrendering to sleep left him craving ice cream.
He snored softly, his lips parted and curled slightly upwards at the corners as he slept.
Ta-daaaaah~ All done. I hope you all enjoyed reading it just as much as Lil-Banshee and I had writing it. Thanks for all the lovely comments and favorites. It means the world to us.
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