BECAUSE WE UNDERSTAND
DEDICATED TO VIKKI AND KATY
Who both fuelled my love for Invader Zim and ZADR
I often wonder what goes through Dib's mind as he stares at Zim in skool and one day I started typing randomly, thus thisoneshot was born. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own IZ or any of the characters because sadly I do not have Johnen's genius.
BECAUSE WE UNDERSTAND
I'm not quite sure how it happened. I don't even know when it happened. I feel like I don't know anything at the moment, it's all so confusing. One minute I knew who I was, what I stood for and where I stood in the world. Now I'm not so sure. It all started a few days ago when I was sitting in skool. I was staring at him as usual, trying to spot a flaw that would give him away, searching for a weakness I could use, one they couldn't ignore, something he couldn't excuse pass off as some weird disease or condition. That's what I was doing, watching him, that's all, just watching him. I couldn't look away, there's nothing unusual there, I normally stare at him obsessively for hours. But this time, what was different, was that I noticed that I do. I realised I couldn't have looked away even if I'd tried. He fascinated me, entranced me, hypnotised me. He glanced over in my direction, eyes narrowed suspiciously, trying to read my mind. I think he saw something odd in my eyes, because my face held its normal expression of distrust and hate. I think he saw my surprise and confusion because he looked surprised himself at seeing the loathing replaced by something else.
I don't actually hate him, I never really did. I know that now. I thought I did because I knew no other word for it. He was a stranger in my world, a world I had to protect. He wanted to destroy it, control it, use it to gain glory and respect. I suppose that I understand that, I suffer from the same longing. After all, why else would I be so desperate to expose the supernatural? We have a lot in common really. We have the same ambitions and the same commitment that our superiors call stubbornness. We both see beyond what others see, our minds are open to the impossible and are willing to sacrifice everything to achieve it. That's why he has his stupid plans and I have my stupid plans. And none of them ever work because we equal each other out every time. We are equal in intelligence, in drive and strength. He always underestimates my determination but I always underestimate his. You could say that's our biggest weakness. I don't know why I came to realise all this but it really changed the way I looked at him. I didn't pity him, I just understood him, just as he wouldn't pity but understand me.
We had our usual scene in the cafeteria at lunch but my heart wasn't in it. He clambered onto the table yelling his name was Zim and seemed to think that an adequate reason as to why I couldn't defeat him. It was nonsense really. He knew that as well as I did but I yelled back because it's what we do. He yells, I yell, I accuse, he defends, he insults, I look at him oddly and walk away… the usual routine but this time something wasn't right and I knew what it was.
I still can't stop thinking about him, often wondering what his next plan will involve. Those thoughts occupy a lot of my daydreams, him coming up with a plan and me foiling it. Only now I know that's it's not because I actually care about saving the world it's because I enjoy the challenge. I love the thrill of the battle. It's a war and there's no other I would rather face. It means that we talk, well, we yell really but that's when we learn most about each other. I suppose I just like to be near him. And when we get angry and argue it's exhilarating. We take out our frustration on each other, his anger at his leaders and my anger at the whole stupid world. I'm just an outlet of anger to him but he's more than that to me.
It's a constant struggle, a battle to find the place where we belong. We're both insecure, both searching for something beyond our understanding and we'll do anything to find it because we've got nothing to lose. At least I never had anything until I met him. And this is what I realised, sitting there in skool. I can't survive without him. He sets me free, he makes me feel alive, he is all that keeps me holding on to reality. Without him I have nothing. Let the world burn, it's not worth saving anyway. A stupid planet full of stupid people who pretend that those who see the truth are crazy because it makes them feel safe and secure and they can sleep easy at night. Let them die. I can lose the world as long as I don't lose him.
x x x x
He's been acting strange recently. He pretends everything's still the same, still makes the effort to yell at me in skool, the usual threats, the usual insults… but something isn't right. I saw it in his eyes. I saw it there so clearly, as though he'd shouted it aloud. He'd realised something and he was surprised, shocked even. And since then he's looked at me differently. A sudden thought rushed through my mind; what if he'd lost interest in me? He still looks at me with the same hatred but I can tell it's fake, as if he's trying to fool everybody except himself. He can't lose interest in me, I am amazing, I am Zim, the greatest Irken Invader ever! It's impossible! I don't think he's lost interest in me. No, he definitely hasn't because he's headed toward me now. The hall is empty, just the two of us, perfect, another chance for a battle of words. He walks over to me, eyes narrowed.
He moves closer to me and my breath catches in my chest. I should push him away. It's dangerous to let the enemy get so close. But I can't move. I'm frozen, my skin is tingling and I can't seem to do anything. I'm powerless and I hate it. I can feel the warmth radiating from his body and his face is only centimetres from mine. He's looking into my eyes, challenging me to push him away. Looking into his eyes something in that expression makes me tingle even more. But my eyes don't betray me, they manage to find the emotions within, register the one called hate and toss it up to lurk in their depths. I glare at him but neither of us move. I don't think he wants to. I want him to. I want him to move away, far, far away or… move closer. I can't tell which I want more. I push these treacherous thoughts away but they keep trying to resurface. My eyes flicker uncertainly for a moment and that's it. Game over. He senses something is different and draws back a little but that's all I need. I leap away pointing accusingly.
"You would dare invade the personal space of ZIM!" It's a pathetic comeback to the assault on my senses and dignity I know, but I'm still shaken.
The Dib laughs at me but I don't think he knows why I'm so angry. He never will either. And I will pretend it never happened and never will think thoughts like that again. Never ever again.
I finally arrive back at my base and after yelling at GIR to make myself feel better I head down to the lab. I need to research intimidation tactics. The computer throws up a large number of techniques. I know most of them but a good Invader should know them all and I am, after all, the best. Several catch my eye; pretending you know something your opponent doesn't. Stupid, I know lots of things the Dib doesn't! Fierce, unrelenting eye contact. I already knew that one. Disarming technique: pretending to be harmless then suddenly turning violent or malicious. I smile to myself. Then I set off for the Dib's house. I have a plan and he won't like it. I'm going to make him wriggle inside the way he made me. And I might even be cruel and make him physically uncomfortable too. Pain. I'm not afraid of receiving it and I'm not afraid f inflicting it. Not even on the Dib. I banish those thoughts that threaten to surface again and knock on the door. His horrible human sister opens it and lets me in without questioning why I am here.
"Up the stairs, first door on the left. You can't miss it, it's the one covered in stupid posters of aliens and monsters and stupid stuff like that."
I creak up the stairs and open the door without knocking. He's lying on his bed, staring up at the ceiling and now he looks up, startled.
"Hello Dib," I spit his name contemptuously then grin at him. He sits up slowly and I lock the door to cut off his escape. Then I draw my laser and pointing it at his chest I force him to sit down again. Then I put my plan into action.
x x x x
What's he doing here? How did he get in? Surely Gaz wouldn't let him in? No way, she knows how dangerous letting an alien into the house would be… then again, would she care? Hey! He's pointing a laser at me!
"What do you want, Zim?" I eye his weapon nervously. His eyes go wide and innocent and he puts on a hurt expression. I don't know who he's trying to fool, I can see he's trying not to grin.
"I want to talk."
"You want to what?"
"Talk, human-filth. Talk. Communicate verbally. Converse. Use words to express thoughts."
"I know what talking is, Zim! But if you just want to talk then why have you locked my door and why are you pointing a laser at me?"
"Eh? Oh, you need to sit down."
"Because it's good manners Dib Stink; it's what humans do when they have a conversation with someone isn't it?"
"Zim, you aren't human!"
I sigh, too tired to argue that old issue. I don't want to sit down but I want to hear what he has to say. He pulls off his disguise and suddenly I need to sit. The shock of seeing him do that in front of me when I could so easily activate a surveillance camera makes me realise he's serious. He sits down next to me but at a distance. I can't help but wish he was a little nearer. I resist the urge to move closer and fiddle with my hands instead, wondering why I'd forgotten that Ms. Bitters had set us a project and that we need to work in pairs. Zim clearly hasn't but why he wants to work with me is beyond reason. I'm curious and that is why I accept. But not before I ask why.
"Because I want to get good grades stupid human so that I can rise in rank among your stupid society. And since you know the most about this particular topic I selected you to be my partner. Feel honoured!"
"Zim, what topic are you talking about?"
"I am talking about technology. You have used Irken technology and are good at using human technology so you know more about it than the other worm babies."
"The project is about technology?"
"Weren't you listening in class when the teacher human was droning on about how life is pointless but that we should do horrible projects anyway?"
No. I was lost in thought, thinking about him.
"I wasn't paying attention."
"Yes, Dib, the project is about technology. You have to work in pairs to design and make a piece of futuristic technology."
"Isn't that a little advanced?"
Zim shrugs, a strange glint in his eye. I get a fleeting feeling that the reason I forget about this project was because I had forgotten it. But even so, this could be a wonderful opportunity to study more alien technology. I sigh.
"Alright, I'll work with you."
He looks pleased. I look at him, confused. I'm not afraid of him. He sees that and I don't think he likes it. I think he can read what's passing through my mind too and I don't think he likes that either. He tenses suddenly and I wonder if he's going to yell but instead he leaps at me. He grasps my wrists and I topple backwards, caught off-balance. He lands on top of me, face an inch away from mine, eyes glaring into my own. He holds me down and I struggle but soon I have to stop, the sensations of feeling him on top of me as I wriggle are making me giddy. I stop squirming and look up at him. I want to yell at him to get off me but I can't. A burning in those strange crimson eyes makes me breathless. My whole body is tense. Does he know what he's doing to me? No, there's no way he can. I'm still squirming inside. The look in his eyes changes and suddenly he looks a little lost and frightened. I feel my body relaxing and I know the expression in my eyes gives me away but I don't care any more. He looks so helpless and yet I'm the one overpowered. He knows I could push him off now but I don't. His eyes flicker with doubt and then still uncertainly, he moves closer.
x x x x
I don't know what to do. I have this strange feeling, a strange desire that I want to do something but I don't know what it is. My body seems to know, it's moving me closer and the feeling intensifies and it feels good. The Dib just stares at me, that look I've been seeing all week suddenly magnified and more powerful, telling me that he's feeling exactly the same. This isn't what I planned, I meant to make him feel vulnerable and weak. I know I have achieved that but I feel that way too so there is no victory for me. He gazes up at me, flushed and strangely beautiful. I never saw him that was before, something beautiful and to be desired. A worthy adversary; yes, a challenging enemy; yes, one who understands me and will never truly betray me; yes. But now he's something else and I know that all those things combine and bring to the surface a hidden desire that I never knew existed.
I move closer and without quite knowing what I'm doing my mouth closes over his and he is powerless. But I am too. I think the humans call this a kiss. It feels wonderful, it feels right. I'm half afraid that he'll push me away, reject me and humiliate me. But I really know he can't, he feels just as weak as I do. He opens his mouth under mine and I deepen the kiss. He shudders underneath me with pleasure. I love this feeling, this feeling of control and dominance as my kiss changes from unsure and nervous to deep and passionate. I have complete control over him. He's trembling and I can feel his heart beating wildly. It feels so good to have him in may power, to be able to make him feel this way.
In the past I've tried to expose his weaknesses through pain and fear but now I find pleasure is a much more enjoyable tactic. And more effective. Because now I know his weakness; desire. And it's desire for me. I can feel my body burning hot as we pull each other closer, trying to press each other as close as possible. I know there's something else I want to do but this time my body is confused. It makes up for it by pressing into him, trying to feel every little bit of him. My hands explore his body which yields readily to my touch. He makes a few tentative explorations himself and as he hesitates my body suddenly knows where it wants to go and what it wants to do. It's acting for me as my mind succumbs to the sheer joy of this situation, he is at my mercy and my senses are enjoying this kiss.
He breaks away for air but before he can turn away from me I force him down again kissing harder and more passionately than before. He's trembling, gasping, making odd little noises like moans. I know he wants me to do something, his body tells me so and my body knows what it is but I know I shouldn't. I can use this. Use this desire to defeat him and conquer him and at the same time experience pleasures I never knew existed. I let him breathe again and look down at him, his face is flushed, his eyes are bright but confused and I know I have him where I want him. I smile tantalisingly at him and slip off the bed. He is still shivering.
"See you in skool, Dib."
And then I unlock the door and go down the stairs, leave the house and head home, triumphant and exhilarated. I know I've started something and I know that in the future, when I look back and wonder when it all began, I'll remember that moment when I showed weakness in front of him and then took control of him. I was on fire, burning with something I had tried to keep hidden from him ever since I had realised I was obsessed with him. But he had brought it out of me and there was no denying that he was burning just as much as I was. I wonder what it all means. I went there to intimidate and dominate him and I did but I also did much more. I provoked a feeling within the both of us that we had pretended didn't exist. We had vented our passion through fights but now we have another way to release it, the way it always should have been.
I know that what I'm feeling is forbidden back on Irk but I don't care. Forget the mission, forget the Tallest, forget it all. I know what I want and I know that I can have it. I can have it all because all I want is him and I know now what I should have seen right from the start. That we are meant to be and that he sees it too. I know he loves me, with all the care and passion that I feel for him. I don't know why it took me so long to see it. I don't know why it took a moment of being vulnerable before him but for whatever reason, it did and I know exactly what lies ahead of us. A battle of denial, pretending that we don't care, that it's all a game to intimidate the other. But eventually he'll drag it out of me and I'll still be wild but he'll guide me I the way my fallen idols never did. I need him the way I never needed them. I don't have to try and earn his respect because I already have it. We understand each other and we know each other and that's why I love him. And that's why he loves me.
Reviews would be greatly appreciated :)