Disclaimer: I own no Zim-ness.

Author's Note: This came to me and was written up in less than half an hour, so please forgive its horribleness and enjoy. XD

Oh, and as for the title—don't ask. Just don't ask. (sweatdrop)


This was it. After years of fighting, cursing, scheming, planning—it all came down to this. This one moment. . .

The pair glared at one another from across the way: eyes flashing, mouths dry, fingers set. A blanket of tense apprehension covered the small, dark room. . . Blood red orbs glittered in the dim light.

"How does it feel to be facing your demise, Dib-monster?" Zim cackled quietly, never looking away from his opponent. Both firmed their stances, not wanting to show fear. "This one last battle. . . So sad that it all has to end so soon."

"I'm not the one who will be losing, Spaceboy," the child spat; the air felt cold inside the damp enclosure. He stiffened in place—all of his senses were running haywire, adrenaline pumping furiously through his veins. "So you can start packing all of your alien junk and make plans to leave this planet—for good!"

"Oh. . . ?" The Irken chortled manically, leaning closer. "Big talk from a big head. . ." he hissed with a smirk, "but do you have the big balls to back up that claim?" Savoring Dib's expression of mixed shock, anxiety, and confidence, he extended the 'tools of war.' "Time to choose, Earth boy."


A drop of sweat slid down the human's temple; the fate of the world depended on him—on this choice. . . Could he do it?

"I can smell your fear, Dib-beast," Zim cooed, sadistically sweet. "And I sympathize. If it would be easier, you can simply surrender. . . "

"Never!" Dib snarled, the Invader's words pushing him over the edge. With an animalistic cry, he whipped out a decisive hand and snatching away— "I will be triumphant! I know I will! Planet Earth will be safe fro— from. . . . oh. . . . shit. . ."

The boy's face fell as the alien's mouth cracked into the widest grin he'd ever seen. But that meant—! He looked down. Oh, no . . . !

"VICTORY!" Zim screamed, breaking into joyous peals of laughter as he leapt upon the table. "Sweet, sweet victory for ZIM!" Pointing a gloved finger towards the loser with evident glee, the Irken sang: "How does it feel to have lost so utterly to your mighty ruler? BOW DOWN IN REMORSE!"

Growling angrily, Dib glowered, leaning back in his chair with fury on his features. "But— how could this be? I chose the old maid last time!" he pouted, waving the card angrily back and forth. "I can't have lost again, you must have cheated!"

"Irkens don't NEED to cheat, pig smelly," the alien said smugly, settling back down. Still savoring his championship, he began idly shuffling the cards. "So that's Tak's ship, your subscription to Crop Circles Magazine, and the Earth I've won from you." A horribly confident sneer grew on his green lips. "I'd say that's all she wrote."

"Never!" the child roared a second time, throwing back the joker. "I'll never surrender to you until the Earth is safe!"

(. . . The pair faltered; a pause. Did that even make sense. . . ?

Oh well.)

Dib continued vehemently, shaking an adamant fist. "Name your terms, Zim—I insist we play again."

A nonexistent eyebrow cocked. "Insist . . . ?" the alien echoed lightly, amused. "Oh, I wouldn't throw such words around so lightly, stink beast, as I am the one holding the cards." He laughed quietly at his own pun—then grew suddenly serious. "But because I pity your pathetic quest, I'll give you one last chance."

The human waited—he could sense a catch.

He was not disappointed.

"However," Zim continued in a lilting tone, "I grow tired of this perpetual game. If I am to reconsider the fate of this revolting planet, I say I should be allowed to choose a new one."

The boy's brow furrowed; a knot tightened in the pit of his stomach. He didn't like this. . . "What game?"

Zim's smile lengthened three teeth on either side. "Strip poker."

. . . the name reverberated off of the walls, the ceiling; no one spoke for nearly five minutes. Meanwhile, Dib's face both paled and darkened simultaneously; he had a hard time breathing. Still, after a moment, he nonchalantly cleared his throat and proclaimed: ". . . For the planet Earth."

The Irken leered evilly, snake-like tongue curling in delight. "Yessss. . . for the planet Earth."