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Zim was no longer shouting.

Dib noticed this one Friday afternoon. The seats had been changed in class so that Zim was moved a seat behind Dib. Neither of them asked for this. It happened when Ms. Bitters noticed Zim had a blank sheet. Zim usually never did his work, so it was kind of expected. Dib remembered rolling his eyes at it. “I passed this out approximately twelve minutes ago, what have you been doing?” asked the teacher. “Absolutely nothing,” responded Zim, quietly.Ms. Bitters continued to ramble on and on. Looking behind him, Dib noticed that Zim was sitting there expressionlessly, taking in everything. 

Zim was no longer shouting. 

It’d been a day since Zim found out the truth. The truth that his mission was a lie. It was simply just a way to dispose of him. He found out over a butt dial. At first, Zim reacted with complete and total rage. He destroyed his lab, almost destroyed Gir, and then once he tired himself out, he passed out on the floor.

The next day so far wasn’t any easier. Sitting there, Zim had been remembering everything the Tallest had said. 

“I can’t believe it was that easy.”

”And he didn’t try to kill us! Just like... the last ones.” 

“Whatever, we’ve disposed of him. It’s just another defective soldier out of the system. If he even does conquer that disgusting planet, we can just obliterate him afterwards and call it a day.”

There was a ringing in Zim’s head as he thought about all of it. He was so deep into thought, he didn’t even realize the time that had gone by.

Before he knew it, Zim was being lectured. Again. 

Zim had barely noticed the look of concern Dib had shown. But once the lecture was done, the class had ended. As Zim collected all his books, the room erupted into chaos as usual. Zim was oblivious to anything going on until Dib turned around to face the alien. “Can we talk after school?” asked Dib, cautiously. Dib tried to make eye contact with Zim, but the only response he got to that was Zim scanning him. “It’s not an paranormal shenanigans, it’s serious,” sighed Dib. “I’m leaving early today. Meet me at my liar ASAP,” responded Zim, with the same tone he had earlier. 

Dib was determined to get to the bottom of this. As Dib arrived at the walkway of the house, he noticed there were no more garden gnomes. The security was down. Despite this, Dib proceeded with caution. When he arrived at the doorstep, he noticed the door was open a crack. Dib invited himself inside, when he was greeted by Zim's weird robot thing. "MARY!" the robot exclaimed. "Actually my name is-" "Dib!" Zim called. Zim had just exited his lab to go and look for the pathetic human. "Gir, next time WARN me when a human walks through the door!" sighed Zim. Gir simply smiled at Zim. "Okay!" his assistant responded. Zim sighed, glaring at Dib. "What's been wrong with you lately? You haven't been... annoying. And I know I should be happy about this, I'm trying to be. But it's just so off, especially for you," asked Dib.

Zim was wondering if it was wise to tell this human what had happened the previous day. Zim was still trying to process and understand how he felt and what to do. "I'm afraid if I tell you something might happen," Zim admitted. Dib, being a foot and a half taller than Zim, crouched down to his level. "Zim, every now and then we need someone to talk to. Even if we do hate each other, it seems like everyone else doesn't care or is too stupid to understand us. So even if we hate each other, we're the only people who really understand each other," rambled Dib. Zim blinked for a moment. "I don't know if I should be offended or surprised by this." thought Zim, his face contorted awkwardly. "That was really gay, wasn't it?" sighed Dib. "I don't know what it means, but sure," responded Zim. Zim stepped forward towards Dib. Dib responded to this with a confused expression. "I don't know where you get off all insightful, but... next time tell me you actually have more to offer than being such a nuisance all the time," Zim retorted. Dib snickered at this, which caused Zim to not so lightly punch Dib's knee, which caused Dib to get off balance, then fall onto the ground after trying to regain said balance. Zim just stared for a moment, looking at the crack he dented into Dib's glasses. Then, he laughed. 

Looking up at Zim, laughing hysterically for the first time in a while, Dib dragged him down onto the ground with him. And then, they both erupted into laughter. "Truce?" asked Dib. "Zim doesn't DO truces. But I will agree, we are on somewhat good terms," responded Zim. "So I guess we're frenemies or something?" suggested Dib, a small chuckle hidden behind those words. "Absolutely not," replied Zim, punching Dib, a lot more lightly this time. "That's really all you needed help with, stupid?" asked Dib. "Well since you asked, I could use some help rebuilding my entire lab. There was a um... accident," answered Dib, vaguely. The strange robot waddled up to the two, still collapsed onto the floor. "But Master, I saw you wreck the whole place! I HELPED!" said the robot. "That explains a lot," said Dib, quirking a brow. "HE SPEAKS LIES!" exclaimed Zim. "Uh huh," said Dib, getting up from off the floor. 

Zim led the way to the lab, anxiety brimming inside him. "I'm going to maim Gir later for this mess..." thought Zim, enraged. "You might want to prepare yourself for the wreckage. There's lots of broken glass and wires that could hurt your sensitive human skin," stated Zim. "Awe, you care about me!" teased Dib. "I'm not listening to your whining if you get electrocuted," Zim shot back. "Alright, alright, it was a joke," responded Dib. The doors from the elevator to the lab opened, revealing the major wreckage. The computer was completely shattered, which caused the computer and everything inside the lab, and the security, to be inactive. Zim noticed Dib looking around in awe. "Don't get any ideas to do anything sneaky like last time," Zim quickly spoke. "I'm not doing anything I'm just... shocked," said Dib. "Shocked about what?" asked Zim, confusedly. "You're so tiny, you and your robot, how did you do this much damage?" asked Dib, still in a lot of obvious shock. "I'm an Irken soldier with years of training! I could've done much worse things to your knee, but I was feeling merciful," responded Zim, tugging at Dib's coat hard, causing him to lose balance again. 

As Dib attempted to regain his balance, Dib noticed Zim's eyes on him. "What's that look for?" asked Dib, wobbling slightly. "From your lack of balance and reflexes, it seems like you haven't been getting much sleep," observed Zim. "Okay, that's creepy," thought Dib, shooting Zim a disturbed look. "I meant to do that thing you did earlier, I meant to..." Zim sighed before finish his sentence. "I meant to show 'concern'." Zim said rather quickly. Dib blinked at Zim. "Why does me getting sleep have anything to do with this? I mean, whatever's going on with you is obviously much more important," Dib responded, nervously. "Well I mean, you CAN talk about it while you help me clean this up," suggested Zim, smirking. Dib's jaw dropped. "I'm not helping you clean up this mess! You made it!" exclaimed Dib. "You said you wanted to help~" grinned Zim. Dib groaned childishly. "You better brace yourself, because I get really annoying when I'm venting," said Dib. "You're always annoying, stupid human," replied Zim, in a reassuring tone. "Wow, thanks," sighed Dib. 

"So, what's your problem, human?"

"I don't know if you know what this means, but I got daddy issues," Dib started. "Computer what does-" Zim trailed off, but stopped when he remembered the computer was down. "Um... Dib, what are daddy issues?" sighed Zim. "Well I mean, I feel like my dad doesn't really... appreciate me? Respect me?" responded Dib, almost as if he were questioning everything up until now. "You mean the tall science man?" asked Zim. Dib nodded in response, cleaning up broken glass. It was obvious whoever this "dad" figured seemed to be was one of athourity. Zim thought of how he'd go about this with the Tallest, at least, before the incident. Dib wouldn't know what it was like to feel betrayed by athourity. "Of course he doesn't respect you! He's tall! He has athourity over you! Isn't your whole purpose dedicated to serve him?" asked Zim. "Not exactly, I mean, it's kind of expected from teenagers to go against parent's wishes, but I haven't been smoking or drinking or doing drugs or listening to horrible music or- the point is, I'm not a bad kid! I'm just... following my dreams and he doesn't want me to!" exclaimed Dib. Gir waddled into the room, picking up a large heap of garbage and throwing it into his head. "Sometimes it be like that," said Gir. Dib sighed. "Yikes, it really do," responded Dib, sadness in his voice. 

Dib continued to reluctantly pick up after Zim's apparent rampage as he complained. He wasn't sure why he was venting this out to Zim of all people. Maybe it was because neither his dad nor Gaz would listen to this. Or maybe he was taking this new frenemies thing seriously. Either way, it was new. New and confusing. "Anyways uh, I feel like my dad doesn't pay attention to me. Gaz has always been the obvious favorite, but I haven't really confronted either of them about it," confessed Dib. Zim looked at Dib, almost understandingly. "You mean you can only watch other people do apparently good things while you remain underappreciated?" asked Zim. Dib nodded. "I didn't expect to relate to something so inferior," sighed Zim. "How could you possibly know how I feel? You don't even have parents, you weird alien," asked Dib. "I don't, fool! But I do look up to my Tallest, and they just think I'm a joke. They wanted to get rid of me so... they sent me here," sighed Zim. Dib stared at Zim for a good few seconds, then down at the floor. "That's why he's so emotional now? I mean, I guess it makes sense but... woah. The last thing I expected from Zim was this. I thought this was all just some sick joke," thought Dib. "I can tell you're doubting me, and I don't blame you. But actually believe me for once when I say that all of this happened yesterday. I can understand if your feeble human mind can't comprehend the fact that I too have emotions," rambled Zim. Dib sighed. "There he is."

"I do believe you, it's just... unexpected, I guess?" said Dib, smiling nervously. "Also, you know you can take your contacts off, I know what you really look like," snickered Dib. "I refuse!" exclaimed Zim. Looking around, Zim noticed the entire lab was almost clean. "Your help here has been... a benefit, at best. I guess I'll keep you," shrugged Zim. Dib seemed to be taken aback by these words, as he had looked at Zim right in the eyes. "What do you mean, keep me?" asked Dib. Zim thought for a moment. "Like that thing you said earlier. Not a truce, but well... I don't hate you as much as I thought I did," admitted Zim. "YOU CARE ABOUT ME!" exclaimed Dib, the same tone of voice he had earlier. "Or, I could take it back," retorted Zim. "Too late~" cooed Dib. "Not like this planet is going away anytime soon," 

They were back upstairs, and Dib still had a question he was itching to ask. But he had to ask at the right moment, or things could go terribly wrong. Dib was just sitting there, with the weird robot next to him in the weird green dog costume. Zim was on the other side of the couch. The entire room was silent besides the sound of the robot giggling and the television. Dib's phone vibrated, and he guessed it was a text from his dad. Again. 

"Come home this instant or I get the last slices of pizza."

What a surprise. It was Gaz this time. Dib got up from the couch. Zim looked at him. "Where are you going?" asked Zim, almost disappointed. "Home, stupid," chuckled Dib. "Alright, I'll be seeing you, idiot," responded Zim. "But before I go, I just have a question," sighed Dib. Zim looked over at Dib. "Eh?" responded Zim. "Well, I know it's stupid, but are you still planning on destroying Earth?" asked Dib. 

Zim turned around, looking at his new human "frenemy." Zim still wasn't sure if he really wanted to destroy the Earth. "I mean, sure. It'd be fun, but what's the point?" Zim thought for a bit and only smiled at Dib. "Maybe," 

Dib smirked at Zim. "Fucking alien," Dib chuckled. "Insolent fool boy," Zim retorted. Dib was on his way out, when he heard something that made his day. "BYE, STUPID!" shouted Zim. 

Zim was shouting again.