And The Chorus Swells!

(AKA: Invader Zim - the Musical)

Disclaimers: The show Invader Zim and its characters do not belong to me - I'm not making any money, etc, etc

Notes: No worries folks, I'm still working on the final chapter of TTBU (as well as its sidestory TLT). I just thought perhaps a little break from the seriousness would do me good. This fic was based on and inspired by a roleplay session with Future Ruler ZIM - who is so utterly awesome that words fail me. She deserves a lot of credit for this idea, and most of the blame for getting me to write it at all.

More Notes: This fic contains slash - albeit very silly slash. Specifically, it contains ZADR and RAPR (as well as one of my favorites LASR - Sincere congratulations if you can guess it and you don't know me personally.) If you don't like slash, or these pairings, then don't bother going any further.

Dedication: This is dedicated to Future Ruler Zim - who puts up with my angst and weirdness with admirable patience (and sometimes admirable impatience). My heartfelt thanks also go out to Goat (Capra hircus, here on for beta-reading this for me and encouraging me in the writing of it. Go read her stuff too! It rocks! Also, I'd like to extend thanks to Senri for telling me how much she wanted to see IZ: The Musical as a fanfic. (Subliminal message: Pelt THEM with the rotten fruit and not me!)

Even More Notes: Kudos if you know the reference made in the title!

Chapter One

It was just one of those mornings... Dib didn't want to get out of bed. It wasn't because he was particularly tired - he just had a sense that if he got up and went about his day, he was going to wish he'd just stayed in bed. He didn't know why, but he usually trusted these niggling feelings. Unfortunately for his gut feelings, his father sent Gaz up to fetch him down to the table - or else he would have remained under the covers throughout everything that was to follow.

Breakfast consisted of the broken fragments at the bottom of an old box of Breakfast Chunks - never Dib's favorite choice of morning meal anyway, and made worse by the lack of milk. Noticing the dark look on his sister's face, he didn't comment on the fact that she'd taken both the last of the CocoSplodies and the last of the milk. He just sat across from her in a silence so complete it was rather unnerving.

When he tried to break it with small talk, he didn't even manage to get a single word out before Gaz cut him off, her voice so quiet it was barely audible through a few clipped words. "Don't even think it." He did what any person with half a brain would have done in that situation - he filled his mouth full of cereal that was somehow both soggy and as hard as a rock at the same time. The effort of forcing it down his throat brought tears of very real pain to his eyes. So it was no surprise that when he finally headed out the door towards the Skool, he was in a bit of a foul mood.

He hadn't even gotten halfway there, when out of nowhere came a beat, beginning as a light tapping then getting louder. A bass entered, followed by a violin solo, and... and, what amazingly enough, sounded like techno.

"Ha ha ha ha!" Evil laughter followed the music, flowing out rhythmically - smoothly, almost operatic and yet somehow suited to the music perfectly; Then, coming out behind the trees around a tall wooden fence was none other than ZIM! The Invader was perched on a monstrous looking robot, looming dramatically over Dib. This mech, like the last one, had chicken legs.

"All you dirty, filthy humans!

Prepare yourselves for doom!

It is I, ZIM! Watch as I make that go boom!"

A laser flew out of the robot's fist of fury, striking a small building, and blowing it to smithereens. Yet despite this display of destruction, Zim growled and pulled at his antennae, obviously realizing what he was doing and not seeming unduly pleased by it. The giant deadly robot was no big deal, of course, that was always handy (and fun!) to have. It was something else that bothered him - the nature of the problem became clear with the first unsung words Dib heard from the alien.

"No! Gah! I can't stop singing! Where is that music coming from?" The Irken glared all around, unable to find the source. Obviously frustrated, he got back to business, bringing the robot's lasers to bear on another building. This one also went up with a cloud of smoke and an ear shattering crash, pieces of concrete and metal flying.

Below, Dib stared up at this display with a mixture of disgust and concern - then he backed-pedaled rapidly as a huge fragment of burning iron came plummeting downward. It slammed into the laser-arm of the giant robot, pinning it to the ground. The young paranormal investigator could hear the alien screaming what sounded like curses, before Zim vaulted out of the cockpit and landed on the ground, scuttling for shelter. Dib needed to see no more than that - dashing for the nearest tree and crouching behind it, hands covering his head.

The explosion wasn't as loud as he'd expected, or else his ear drums were still damaged from the building blowing up. Either way, he only stood and emerged from behind the tree when things fell silent again. Well... mostly silent. There was still the sound of drums and various other instruments that made him wonder again if perhaps he'd damaged his ears somehow. Except that they'd been there even before the explosions, so his theory was shot out of the water.

Zim was left standing there on the sidewalk, looking perhaps a little singed, and staring in disgust at the fragmented remains of his death robot; "Aw." His gaze traveled to Dib, and he immediately pulled himself up to his full height, trying to be intimidating.

Dib shook his head, wondering what the heck Zim had babbling on about - but the presence of that odd music was just startling to him as it obviously had been to his mortal enemy. And Zim singing at him had just been undeniably freaky. Definitely not an image he wanted in his head. He was about to comment, something snide, when the music changed, becoming something a little less out there - a medley of synch and darker bass notes with a repeating series of notes that started out slow and gained speed to a chorus that swelled with a sense of triumph. He found that his own voice was being dragged along for the ride, and there was no way to stem the words that were pouring fourth from his throat.

"Today's just another lousy day

Wasting my life, just to get by

And you - you think you've got this round

And they're fooled by all your lies

But no, you're not gonna win this time

No - Not gonna make a fool of me

And now you won't get another chance

To add on to all my misery

I've got you! You're going down this time

There's no way you can get away

Take you, catch you, make you pay

You're finished, just face it you're gonna be mine -

You're gonna be mine this time

Gonna be mine

This time!"

The music died down almost immediately, becoming sort of a low background noise, while Dib blinked in bewilderment. For a moment he was unable to form words, partially afraid that anything he tried to say would again come out as music. But the odd compulsion seemed to be gone, so he dared to speak, his voice rising and rather shrill with something suspiciously like panic. "What the hell was that?"

Zim had just flinched a few times as Dib seemed to be about to confront him. Then the feared invader could only stare at him, agape, as he began singing at him, rather confidently, before realizing exactly what he was doing. There was an awkward pause, a very brief silence as the alien stared at him, and then suddenly it seemed that it was Zim's turn, and the alien was falling in key -- well, sort of -- as though he had no control over himself.

"Hah! You fool, you think you can beat me?

When I'm the greatest Invader, in all history!

I may have had some trouble, but it's all been sheer luck!

You'll never stop me this time, cuz you wormbabies suck!

Dib turned his head as Zim wandered around him smugly, tapping at his shoulder, still singing, although now with the tone of one who is sharing a juicy secret.

"My ultra-doomer's gone, that was just part of the plan

Go on and gloat - you'll see what a genius I am

Zim whipped out a small remote, the music blaring loudly and dramatically as he displayed it for his mortal enemy.

"The bombs that I've planted are spread wide and far

You can't stop them all, not the way that you are

There's no helping it, not with my genius unfurled

The planet is doomed, and I'll soon rule the world!"

And Zim rose up as victoriously, as though he had already pushed the button, and earth was already his. But of course, he was getting ahead of himself, pushing the button was something he should have gone ahead and done instead of waiting around and using the robot at all. Dib didn't wait for him to stop gloating and use the thing, launching himself at the alien and trying to wrest the remote from his grip.

He didn't quite manage - although in the tussle, he did twist it out of Zim's hand. It hit the ground, bounced, flipped, then landed with a soft thud in the grass. He stared, half on top of Zim, with the alien not quite pinned beneath him. The music had died down again - nearly silent with only the soft noise of a flute wafting to them from somewhere in the distance. He reached for it - Zim reached for it. Their hands scrabbled, occasionally slapping each other aside as they vied for control of the remote.

It was a battle that proved ultimately futile. The flute trilled, some horns joined in for a little intro-like piece, then the semblance of seriousness gave way to a bubbly little ditty, odd little beeps and static noises punctuating the melody at random intervals. Dib didn't have to look to know who this must be for. He groaned.


GIR's high pitched voice pierced his skull like a hot nail, and he desperately wished he wasn't tangled up with Zim. Not for the remote - just so he could cover his ears in anticipation of the horror that he knew was about to come. From the corner of his eye, he could see a similar realization dawning on the alien's face - the magenta eyes widening in horror. He had an inkling that their expressions must be remarkably alike at the moment, and then the little robot in a green dog suit opened his mouth and warbled, obviously much less perturbed by the presence of odd, song-inducing music.

"I wanna taco! I wanna cupcake!

Wanna have muffins that I'll make!

Wanna turkey sammich just for me

And lunch with piggy! Piggy! PIGGY!"

Dib groaned, at least Zim had been fairly close to being on-key, and his rhymes had made some sort of sense. This was just ridiculous. Worst of all, the little robot was dancing a little too, his tongue sticking out as he made his way towards the two enemies. A blue sombrero was perched lopsidedly on his head, and he was wearing long black boots for some reason that the human didn't even want to strain his mind trying to figure out.

"GIR! Stop that singing! Give me my remote! I must destroy these pathetic earth monkeys!"

"Monkeys?" Apparently that was the wrong tactic to use on GIR, as the robot only giggled and sang again, a different song entirely, but somehow he crammed it into the same tune.

"Five little monkeys jumpin on the bed

Master came 'n now they're dead

Got me some pickles in a cookie tin

Now we can bring 'em all back again!"

The robot paused, his eyes widening as his gaze fixed on the remote, and then he pounced on it with a squeal. "Scary Monkey Show!" To Dib's horror (and apparently Zim's dismay, from the cursing the alien was doing loudly and unashamedly), the SIR unit did not turn over the remote to either of them - instead clutching it to his chest and dashing down the street with a happy squeal.

"...This is not good."

He could feel the disdain at those words radiating off of Zim in waves, as the alien stared at him for a moment through narrowed magenta eyes. "Your big head is full of hot air human Dib! Sleep peacefully while you still can, because when I get my hands on that remote, you won't have a head left to sleep with!"

"But... I'm not sleeping..."

"Silence!" Zim scrambled to his feet and ran down the street, leaving Dib sprawled there for a moment, gaping. It took only a moment for him to push himself upright and follow as fast as his legs could carry him. GIR with the remote in his hands was a greater danger to the earth than Zim could ever have hoped to be!

End Chapter 1