Author's Note: There's a website called "Room With a Moose and Gir" which has a bunch of fantastic wallpapers. There was one, however, that I disliked—it was the silhouette of Dib and Zim, with Zim lying on the floor in a puddle and Dib standing above him with a smoking gun. The words "Zim Is Dead" frame the image.
Ironically enough, that horrible picture is the inspiration for this ficlet.
PS. If you guys haven't checked out the roomwithamoose(dot)com website, you really have to. It's AMAZING.
PSS. Wasn't sure about the title; I was having some trouble coming up with one. I think I sorta like this one, though—'even in the end, Zim won' is what I think of when I read it, but there are other ways to interpret it, too. So. . . yeah.
Even in the End
"I suppose. . . this is it."
The breathy words shatter the surreal silence; cut into the scarlet sunset like a knife. I nod, unsure of what else to do.
My hands are shaking. And hot. Sticky.
He doesn't say anything else for a moment: all the screams and curses have since left him. He used them up a while ago. . . he now has nothing to add. But he wants to continue talking—to feel the air on his lips and the curl of his tongue while the sensations are still tangible.
Circuits crackle, spitting blue stars into the night.
A thick teal fluid licks my boot.
"What. . . will you do now?" he suddenly inquires, a hint of his old self in the words; spite, fury, pride, hatred. "What will you do NOW?"
I hesitate, trembling, before murmuring: "Probably go to jail."
"Tsh," the small form hisses, voice growing weaker, gaze glassing over. The unfamiliar elements that compose the bullet are slowly eating away at his flesh and muscle. I thank the new moon; I don't want to see his rotting body. I don't want to see that strength disintegrate before my eyes. "Stupid bastard. . . That's not what I mean. What will you do. . . without ME? Without the monsters under your bed. . . the ghosts in your closet. . . the fear that you love? You'll miss it, won't you. . . ? You'll crave it, won't you? You'll NEED it, won't you? But they'll be no one to satisfy you. . ."
He chuckles slyly, as if this was his true plan all along— as if this entire scenario was his doing. And maybe it was.
Maybe it was.
The laughter dies, giving way to horrible coughing; heavy panting; strained vomiting. I'm not sure what noise was whose. Then, finally, with a loud, sizzling pop, his PAK surrenders its futile attempt at repairs. His brain shuts down, too damaged to even give him 10 minutes.
And as I watch him slip away, I feel a cold chill race down my spine. The gun falls through my fingers, worthless. Just like me.
Why? Why. . . If I just saved the world; if I just won. . .
Why do I feel like I've lost?