Hey all! It's been a while since I wrote an Invader Zim fic. And since I literally finished my last final last night, I thought I would celebrate by exercising my fingers in a new fic.
I was watching the Mopiness of Doom someone had animated, and while listening to the Hamilton Soundtrack an idea clicked in me that I needed to write down. The friend/enemy relationship that Zim and Dib share reminded me of the one that Hamilton and Burr possessed, almost. I decided to write my own take on it and I hope you all like it.
Please don't expect this to be verbatim to Hamilton due to the Zim and Dib dynamic. This is set in the Revolutionary Era. Thank you! Please read and review!
Chapter One: The Meeting
The pub was filled with hearty chuckles and the sounds of glass pint mugs clinking. It didn't matter where you came from. The pub was an open invitation for a man to enjoy himself after a long day with a pretty woman to serve you was an added bonus. Tonight, so happened to be thriving.
Shifting his satchel strap from across his shoulder, a young man stood outside of the pub's outside door, beside him was his younger sister who had decided to venture with him. Inside this drunken cesspool, he would find what or, rather who, he was searching for. This young man sought out freedom and truth, something not many were interested in. No matter what, he had to try. Someday, one day, the people would thank him for all he had done for them. So, he entered.
Initially, the bar quieted when he swung the door open. It was stuffy from the amount of bodies within, which was perfect for the climbing of sales. Many heads turned to face him, this scrappy young man, whose hair curled into a scythe atop. His black jacket was torn, shoes beyond a shine's repair and yet he held his head high. His eyes scanned the room, noticing the patrons slowly turning their heads away from him.
The further inside, he could see the animal heads mounted like trophies over the fire place that was out for the spring and summer seasons. Nails in the wooden columns, the tables needing a new coat of varnish, even the benches had splinters, so he would have to take caution when he sat. A hand motioned away from gripping the satchel so tightly and trailed upwards to stretch his collar, feeling the sweat and heat accumulate around his neck.
I'll see what I can find and get out of here, he thought to himself, however, was snatched away from his thoughts by a new voice.
"What can we do you for, stranger?" The bars tender leaned forward on the counter and waited for the newcomer to make a purchase. If no purchase was to be made, then he would send the young man back where he came from: on the streets.
"I've come to deliver a message," he began after clearing his throat.
"A messenger boy, then?"
"No, not a messenger boy. Well, maybe, of sorts. I…" he looked around at the patrons. He would need to gain their attention, needing every voice imaginable. But right now was not the time, he realized and shook his head. "Never mind."
The young traveler frowned and reached down into his pocket for his money purse. He didn't come here with much, having arrived in the city today with his younger sister in tow, who had parted from her brother to sit down herself and withdraw a pack of playing cards, shuffling the deck to pass the time. She was never one to pass up a game, and gambling was how she won their fare. As much as her brother held a generic distaste for it, he wasn't complaining when it fed them. These were hard times.
"Two pints," his sister replied in her raspy voice and slammed several coins down on the bar, glancing up at him as part of her bang covered her hazel eyes. She was in her gaming mode; her emotionless face was hard to read, but her tone carried all proceedings with warning.
"And Dib? Don't embarrass me."
The man called Dib frowned.
"I'm the one carrying us through this wallowing hell hole," she continued. "The least you can do is just talk with your hands and let them respond by putting money into it when they're done talking to you. That's the way of the world's communication. Got it? If we want to eat-"
"Gaz, I got it." Dib winced at his sister's acerbic, biting words that often left him feeling guilt ridden. He had a message no one wished to hear and his preaching often got the duo thrown out. It hadn't been the first time and if he continued up as he were, it wouldn't be his last. His stomach felt raw from giving his sister the last of the beans on the ship, making certain she was full and well.
Gaz rolled her eyes, snatched her pint, and walked away; her violet hair bounced against her shoulders. Her cards in one hand, the pint in the other, and her eyes searched for someone to bet against her so she could take their money and they move onward. That was why they came, to work towards a new life. Certainly, it left Dib feeling completely useless and Gaz, to a degree, wanted her brother to wake up from whatever dream he was in.
She found herself at a table with three men whose eyes drank her in with curiosity. One of the men was tall, scraggly, and wore a bad red haircut with a matching mustache. The man beside him was short, stout, and had little to no hair. And the third sat back with straight shoulders, his hair neatly fashioned and slicked to the back of his head- jet black with hungry violet eyes. Each of these men wore a black cloak to hide the black gloves that they wore, and she took that as her cue, these men seemed like suckers. "So, the game's Poker..." She trailed off, the sound of shuffling from the old and worn deck drowning her voice further.
Dib sighed and took this opportunity to take a sip of the ale, feeling the fermented liquid fall down into his empty belly. He promised to stop neglecting it when they had enough money for at least a loaf of bread and honey.
"Is she your wife?" The bar tender inquired to strike up conversation.
"Younger sister," Dib sighed his reply, receiving the usual quizzical eyebrow to how a man could allow his younger sister to run him the way his did. There were times Dib had the thought of parting ways with Gaz, but, she was the only family he had left and he couldn't find it within himself to do it.
"Did you hear about what's happening in this war? A messenger boy came by today and updated everyone on what's transpiring. They're saying it's an all out alien invasion." The statement ended with a hearty chuckle.
The men from the table Gaz was sitting at picked their heads up to listen in further. In the light, beneath their hats, each man sitting there possessed an opaque, sickly green complexion. Dib glanced over their way, feeling the eyes lingering upon his frame as he could have sworn that was what he saw before the image flickered to a healthy, peachy tone. He blinked. He must have been tired from the voyage and pinched the bridge of his nose as the chuckling of the bar tender drilled into him.
Dib swallowed, this was what Gaz had warned him to not intervene with and the message he was desperate to convey. Although Dib had heard much of the same in his travels. But none of it was taken as anything serious. It was all a joke, to mock their enemy. The Green Coats. Enemies painted in the rivalry colors of envy, which is what they were against the Blue Coats, which was the home team. The enemy wanted their land, and upon Dib's research, it was much more than a mere scrap of land to call their own. He was thinking more along the lines of world domination.
"You…you don't say?" He chuckled nervously in return before taking another occupying sip of the ale and raised the pint before walking away. He was trying with all of his might to keep his composure.
There were actually two things that Dib had come here to accomplish, the first was to become the town crier and warn them about the evidence he had found, words that normally fell on deaf ears and aggravated his sister to no end, and the second was that he was on the hunt for someone about a job. Dib remembered clearly at school's graduation, how there was opportunity outside of their sickly borders. There was a man named Zim who could assist in job placement…for a whack job like him. Dib wound up striking the man in the end for insulting him.
Gaz threatened and reminded him time and time again to keep his mouth shut; and his sister, for the most part, was right. She wanted to survive, and Dib could hardly blame her. They had nothing back home, all family taken from them by plague. They, somehow, had managed to survive. Dib mentioned an entity watching over them, to which Gaz had simply scoffed. She didn't believe in there being a higher power.
"I'm actually looking for someone I was told would be here," Dib piped up. "I'm looking for Zim. Has anyone seen a Zim?"
The stranger at his sister's card table picked his head up. The one Dib could have sworn his complexion changed with the mention of aliens.
"I am Zim." His eyes were piercing. A sharp violet, which was unusual to say about such eyes. No one had eyes like that. This pair of unfamiliar eyes tore into Dib and left him feeling less than comfortable. But, this was the man who would point him in the right direction.
"It's nice to meet you. My name is Dib; I'm told you had connections to a job. I just came from-"
"Zim cares not where you came from." He cut Dib off, which was slightly off putting. His arched a perfectly sculpted brow and eyed the human. Dib recognized this as an intimidation factor. Zim's other cronies cleared their throats to grab his attention.
"The more you have on your side, the better," the plump one uttered. "I-I think we should take him in. He doesn't stutter or slur. He can write letters."
"Are you crazy?" A gruff one inquired. "He'll ruin everything. Keep your eyes on the prize, Zim." The hiss caused Dib to internally cringe slightly at the jab. Perhaps it was his nerves that made him appear inexperienced, but Dib was more educated than anyone bargained for.
"I graduated Colonial College," Dib piped up in his defense, beginning to puff his chest with pride. "I graduated with honors. I also had a run in with a friend of yours, Mr. Zim. Who recommended I come see you."
"A friend of Zim?" Zim whipped his head in Dib's direction.
"Yes. I…actually came to blows with him." This comment caught Zim's attention, the boy did not appear as though he could bear to pick his hands up to another. That showed he had moxie and Zim liked things with a little fire in them. He decided to listen in further to what the boy had to say. "He managed the financials. He doubted my honor, and rather than come to a duel, we-"
"You struck him?" Zim asked cautiously, slowly, picking each word carefully to see how the young man would reply next.
"Well, yes. But, that it to say-" Zim interrupted again. He felt his lips curl into a smirk. Yes, indeed, this boy would be useful for something or another. He almost had to have him around.
"Zim shall give you a job. Zim shall take you under his wing, but allow Zim to give you some advice. Shut that big head of yours."
"Wh-what?" Dib was caught off guard, but found his heart in his throat. He would be able to provide for himself and Gaz. His education would come in handy.
"Talk less. It'll get you places. That large head can be more trouble than it's worth."
Dib would have countered that comment, but instead, he sighed. "I don't think my head is that large," he grumbled before realizing he was harshly insulted. "It's not that big!"
"Oh, but it is," Zim retorted. "Good for….eh….we'll find you something useful to do. Meet me at base- I mean, meet me at the…the office in the morning."
"Eh? Who said anything about a base!? No normal office worker has a base!" Zim quickly replied. "I said meet me at the office in the morning."
Everyone at the table picked their heads up, including Gaz. Gaz's scowl softened that Dib managed to keep his mouth shut long enough to not rave about his obsessions and get a job to bring some income. It seemed these loser saps did not carry much on them this evening, even though she knew she was close to winning the hand. With the draw of another card, her brown eyes perked up with delight that her predictions were correct.
"I win." Gaz presented her royal flush, to which the other men studied her hand incredulously. They were skeptical that she had cheated and as they opened their mouths, Gaz spoke again.
"Pay up." The sternness in her voice caused them to weakly jump in their seats before their black gloved hands stuffed themselves in their pockets to retrieve their money pouches. With a whine of protest, Gaz snatched them and took her winnings.
"Weaklings," Gaz sneered. "Come on, Dib. Let's find lodging."
Dib cleared his throat, paid his respects to his new employer after being informed where the office was, and began to turn away. In the pit of his stomach, it felt raw and odd. Something was churning, and nothing that read good to him. Gaz counted her earnings in her own silk money pouch. While the siblings exited the vicinity, passed the bar stools and men falling off of them drunk, the stout male turned to the one called Zim.
"So, you took him in after all?"
"It's as you say, Skooge. The more we have on our side the better we stand." Now, he placed his hands upon his hips. "If we have any chance of successfully invading this planet, we'd best gain their trust."
"Stick to your own, Zim," another kin, Madge, picked his eyes up to him, the man donning the bad haircut and mustache. "That human will be trouble."
"Nonsense, Zim has excellent judgment. The boy will be nothing more than a pawn, a messenger boy. He'll deliver the humans to me with his own two hands." The other two could tell Zim was formulating a plot, one that would either bring them glory of destruction. They had yet to tell which.
"His sister scares me," Skooge squeaked, Zim rolled his eyes and Madge placed his palm to his face and groaned.