The Spooky Mulder
Disclaimer: I don't own Zenon, or Proto Zoa (drat!). PLEASE read the author's note at the end.
Proto Zoa paced around his magnificent home at Nova Linda Cove, contemplating the reason his career was quickly going down the proverbial waste receptacle. Proto Zoa's adoring fans didn't know (yet) that, because Proto Zoa was depressed (again), Microbe hadn't done anything in the past month. They weren't even discussing future plans or writing new songs. The band didn't want to admit it, but without Proto Zoa they were nothing.
But back to our down-in-the-dumps rock star. He knew that eventually there would be a news vid about his absence, and since Zenon knew where his getaway was…but Proto Zoa didn't want to think about Zenon, or to be found by her. Somewhere deep inside he knew that Zenon was the cause of his problems, and he wasn't sure if seeing her would hurt or help. Ever since I met her I've been in overdrive, and when we're apart I go into a funk…but I'm sure that's a coincidence, the Australian star thought. Proto Zoa stopped pacing and gazed out of his window. He knew that Zenon was up there in her Spay-Stay, probably not missing him at all. Not like he missed her. Who are you kidding, Zoa? he told himself. You miss Zenon. But just as your friend. Another voice that usually stayed hidden added, your only friend. She's the only one who doesn't become a babbling moron in your presence, and she treats you like a real person.Without even realizing it Proto Zoa had made a decision. "Right. Better get packed, PZ. You're going to space."
Life was inky to the extreme. Upon later reflection, Zenon would say that it started the morning she woke up to a news vid about Proto Zoa having pulled another disappearing act. Her friend, idol, and crush of five years was depressed. Again. And the worst part was that Zenon couldn't do anything about it. She had been letting her grades slip for a while, and was grounded (not to Earth) until they came up. That meant no zap pad unless it was her mom and dad, no hanging out with Nebula or Margie, and not contact with Proto Zoa. Zenon had a suspicion that he wouldn't talk to her even if she could call, anyway. But back to current matters.
"Cetus-Lupeedus," she muttered. "I can't figure out why I need to know what x equals. It's just a stupid letter." She threw her homework pad down and laid her head on the bed. "This is useless." Zenon got that determined look that everyone who knew her feared. "New mission: get zap pad from parents and contact someone on the outside world who isn't grounded." Zenon grinned to herself, reveling in the feeling of doing something against the rules. She stealthily left her room and entered her parents' quarters. "Guess I'm lucky they had to work late tonight." Zenon glanced around just to be sure, and then pushed the button that opened the doors. Knowing all of her parents' secret hiding spaces by heart, Zenon went to the most likely one- a tiny hole underneath her mom's side of the bed that was just the right size and shape for a zap pad. Sure enough, there it was. "Lunarious! On my first try, too." Zenon pulled it out and pushed the power button. She was about to zap Nebula when she heard the sound of an automatic door opening. "Cetus-Lupeedus!" Zenon shoved the zap pad underneath her shirt and bolted out of her parents' room, only to come face-to face with said persons. "Hi, Mom, Dad!" she said cheerily. "I hope you had a stellar time at work. I'm just going to go do my homework-"
"Zenon," Astrid Karr interrupted her mischievous daughter. "The pad." She held her hand out expectantly. Zenon's fake innocence disappeared immediately. "Mom, I really, really, really need to zap Neb! It's an issue extreme."
Always the more lenient one, Mark Karr was willing to hear Zenon out. "What's so major that you had to break rules when you're grounded?"
Zenon took a deep breath, prepared to argue her case extremely fast. Astrid rolled her eyes. "Okay, the thing is that Proto Zoa has disappeared again, and I'm sure I know where he is and that I can convince him to come out of hiding, but I can't exactly do that without my zap pad and it would be totally stellar if you let me use it to call him."
Mark gave a pleading look to his wife, knowing how much the rock star meant to Zenon. "Fine, but don't take too long, Zenon. I know you haven't finished your homework yet."
"Thanks Mom!" Zenon placed a kiss on her mom's cheek, and then on her dad's.
She rushed to her room and pushed the button that instantly called Proto Zoa. Immediately the message saying, "this caller is out of reach of service" came on, making Zenon's stomach clench. Where could he be that his zap pad didn't work? After trying two more times, Zenon decided to wait an hour or so before trying again. She dejectedly went back to her algebra. In no time at all, however, it was time for dinner. Zee walked with her parents to the mess hall and got the "food" they were served. She found Nebula at a booth with Margie and joined her two friends. "Hey, Zee!" Nebula said cheerily. When she noticed Zenon's gloomy look, she instantly became worried. "What's wrong? Has something extreme happened?"
Zenon nodded her head. "You've seen the news by now, right?" Margie and Nebula exchanged glances. "No, we haven't. What's going on?" Zenon sighed. "Proto Zoa's pulled the disappearing act again, and when I tried to zap him it said that his pad was out of range."
"Vega omega," Nebula said. "Do you think he's okay?" Zee shrugged. "I don't know and that's what worries me. I would have thought that he would zap me, but he hasn't. Not in a month at least."
"Did you ever think that he was too busy being the galaxy's most stellar rock star?" Margie asked with her usual bluntness. Zenon got her "stubborn look".
"He would still call me."
Proto Zoa was disembarking from the shuttle at the exact moment that Zenon was defending him. He had large sunglasses on, and a retro jacket with huge lapels in an effort to conceal his identity. It worked for a few minutes, too. As the group of teenage hormone-bombs ran toward him he thought, I guess I'm just too famous and gorgeous to be inconspicuous. After signing the first ten autographs and flashing his dazzling smile, Proto Zoa began to walk at a fast pace toward the mess hall, where he knew everyone else was. That most likely meant that Zenon was there too, even though the possibility of her doing something against the rules was plausible. And just as his luck would have it, the swarm of girls around him was making enough of a disturbance that everyone within twenty feet rushed over to see what was causing such a ruckus. Including Zenon.
When she noticed everyone orbiting around one person that appeared to be desperately coming her way, she guessed (and hoped) that it was her favorite Australian singer by the name of Proto Zoa. She guessed correctly, and plunged into the mass of people wondering why he was there. "Zoa!" she yelled over the din. His head snapped in her direction and a look of relief graced his features. "Zenon, love! I could use some rescuing just about now." She winked at him. "Leave it to me. Everyone, back away! Proto Zoa has…the flu! He's very contagious!" Everyone backed away like he had the Black Plague. Zenon grabbed his arm and quickly took him to her family's housing quarters. "You space people and your fear of germs," he said once they were safely inside. He was grinning like a maniac and he had only been in Zenon's presence for five minutes. Coming to visit her was definitely the right decision. Unfortunately for him he didn't predict that she'd be upset. "Vega omega, Zoa!" she yelled, poking him in the chest. "You had me on the freak-out extreme!" Proto Zoa had the sense to look ashamed. "Sorry, love," he said. "I just had to get away." He was surprised, to say the least, when she rushed forward and hugged him tightly. When she finally pulled away, she was wiping a stray tear off of her cheek. "Cetus-Lupeedus, Proto Zoa! You had me worried major! I'm just glad you're okay."
Proto Zoa frowned. "Zenon, why wouldn't I be okay?"
Without answering, she turned and went down the spiral stairs to her room. Proto Zoa wordlessly followed. When he got there she was already sitting on her bed. He took a seat next to her, waiting for an answer. "You hadn't data zapped me in a month, and then it was on the news that no one had heard from you, so I went against my punishment and sneaked my zap pad out of my parents' room, only to be told that you were out of range and couldn't receive a message." She said all of this with one breath, and inhaled deeply after finishing. "Oh, Zee," Proto Zoa said, not realizing that he had put her through that much stress. "I didn't think-"
"What?" Zenon erupted. "You didn't think to call your best friend to let her know what was going on? Honestly, Zoa, if you're going to have an annual 'vanish and pretend like no one cares' ritual, I want to know now so I can-"
Proto Zoa interrupted her with a hug. "Zenon, darling, I'm sorry," he whispered into her hair. "I wasn't feeling very stellar and I couldn't figure out why, so I came here to see you. I didn't think about calling you first." Zenon, who had been stiff at first, relaxed into his hug. "You know, Zoa, you can't just act like you're the most lunarious rock star in the galaxy, or something," she said, teasing him. He pulled back and faked a pout. "Who's pretending, darling?"
Zenon laughed. "I'm glad you came, but why didn't you just zap me?" Proto Zoa took his eyes off hers and suddenly became fidgety. "I was just down and I thought seeing you would cheer me up a bit." He was looking at his hands and avoiding her gaze. Zenon raised an eyebrow but decided to let it slide. "As if you need an excuse. So, were you holed up at Nova Linda like last time?" Proto Zoa nodded. Zee sighed and lay back on her bed. "So what was it this time? Did you just want to shut the world out or something more major?"
"I'm afraid it's something a bit more major this time, love." Zenon sat up. "Cetus-Lupeedus, Zoa, what?"
"I'm afraid our discs aren't selling so well, darling."
Zee looked half relieved and half afraid. If Microbe lost some of its fame, that wasn't too major, but on the other hand, Proto Zoa was so used to being the most famous person alive. Who knows what losing all of that would do to him emotionally? "Vega omega! Why aren't they selling?" she asked, putting her hand on his shoulder. He put his head in his hands. "Because of me! I haven't been able to write a single song worth anything for months! I went away like last time, hoping something would happen to inspire me, but so far…" he let his sentence hang, sure that Zenon was aware that Microbe hadn't released any new songs for a while. She bit her lip. "Do you even know what inspires you?"
He looked up at her. It was now or never. "I'm pretty sure it's you, love."
Zenon was surprised, to say the least. She knew that she was mega lucky to even be friends with Proto Zoa, but for him to think that she was his inspiration…that was extreme in a stellar way. It also explained why he went into a funk every time he had just been around her. Things would be lunarious for a few months, and then suddenly they wouldn't.
When Zenon snapped out of her thoughts she became aware of Proto Zoa looking at her pleadingly. "I need your help, Zenon," he said.
Let me explain something. Proto Zoa asking for help, on purpose, is like the universe shifting and the sun suddenly orbiting around the Earth instead of vice versa. No matter how much he'd grown as a person since he'd first met Zenon, Proto Zoa was still the overconfident rock star that he had been.
When he uttered those five words, Zenon knew she had to help her friend. She would have done it in a heartbeat anyway, but when he was actually asking- that put her into "take charge" mode immediately. "Don't worry, Zoa. You can stay here."
His eyebrow arched, and Zenon couldn't help but think how much more gorgeous it made him. "Here, love? On the Spay-Stay?"
Zenon nodded. "Uh-huh," she said cheerily. "In fact, we have an extra bed that you can use." This time both eyebrows went up. "And your parents would feel how about this?" Zee's face fell. She had neglected to think of that. "Well," she began, and Proto Zoa could tell from the tone of her voice that she was planning something that would no doubt get both of them in trouble. "You could stay, and they could just find out…eventually."
"Come now, darling. You know that wouldn't be right." Zenon shrugged. "Trouble is no stranger. I don't think they'd be too angry extreme, anyway. I'll go get the bed!"
The "bed" turned out to be an extra old-fashioned air up mattress that the Karr's had in a closet somewhere, that Proto Zoa ended up blowing up manually. "I don't know how I got myself into this," he panted after the job was done. Zenon grinned. "Don't complain. You're the one that desperately needed my help." Proto Zoa got a defensive look on his face. "Hang on, I never said I was desperate."
"Oh, please. You were begging."
"I was not!"
"Yes you were." Zenon stuck her tongue out. Without warning, Proto Zoa grabbed a pillow and whacked Zenon in the head. "Hey!" she exclaimed, grabbing a weapon of her own. The two proceeded to have a pillow war that lasted for an hour and a half. By the time they were both willing to surrender, the two were exhausted. "Let's watch a Vchip or something," Zenon suggested. Proto Zoa winked at her. "Stellar," he said. Rolling her eyes, Zenon went over to her collection and picked one at random. "Looks like we're watching 'Wing Commander'. Huh. Must be my Dad's."
Halfway through the movie, Proto Zoa and Zenon were snoozing away. Zoa was spread out on the mattress on his back, with Zenon up against his right side.
Nebula and Margie were dying to know why Proto Zoa had up and come to the Spay-Stay, but they decided to wait awhile and let he and Zenon talk it out. Well, Margie wanted to follow them the minute they separated from the crowd, but Nebula had insisted they give their friends some privacy. Not like she wasn't dying to know what was up, either. "Nebula! It's been three and a half hours! I think that's enough time," Margie said, losing all the patience that was left within her (which wasn't much to begin with). Neb rolled her eyes. "Okay, we'll go and see what the problem is." The two marched down the corridor toward Zenon's quarters. The let themselves in when it was obvious her parents weren't there, and followed a trail of overturned furniture to Zenon's room. Nebula hesitated at the door, trying to give Zee one last minute of privacy with her friend, but Margie strode forward and pushed the button. When the door slid open, both girls were surprised at what they saw.
A/N: Okay! There's chapter one! This is my first Zenon fic, so I'd like to know what you think! I'd also like to point a couple of things out. One: As you read this, keep in mind that you're supposed to see the ORIGINAL Proto Zoa, not that new guy in the third one. Bleh. Two: No one seems to realize that he is Australian, not British. There is a difference.
On a different note, I think Zee and Zoa make such a cute couple! Yay! Thanks for reading and reviewing (you better, because I'll know how many people read it without reviewing!).
The Spooky Mulder