KrysOfDeath: BWAH HAH HA! I procrastinate even more on my Tokyo Mew Mew fics to make an INVADER ZIM fanfic! ((insert evil laughter here))
Kish: Psh. Lazy bum. ((sighs and shakes head))
KrysOfDeath: Whatever. ((shoves Kish out of the authoress notes)) Anyways, just a 'tiny' little humor fanfic me and mah friends thought up. It's full of insanity. I hope you can all handle it. ((sweatdrops))
DISCLAIMER! (Dontcha just LOVE these?) Invader Zim is not belonging to me. I'm merely borrowing the characters for a while, and hoping that I keep them relatively in-character. ((derisive laugh)) I tried to make the fic seem as much like a normal episode as I could. …I probably failed. NOW WITNESS THE FAILURE! ((laughs evilly))
NOTES! This fic centers mainly around Zim and Dib, thus, I'm going to find a way to stuff in some parodies of ZADR somewhere in the fic. Don't get me wrong, I like the pairing (oddly enough), but it's just SO fun to laugh at sometimes. ((another derisive laugh)) Secondly, I've never driven a car in my life, but I hope to pass my driver's license test eventually. This fic is sort of to test my knowledge. Which is rather limited. ((chuckles)) Also, if you can't handle various faults of the human civilization being pointed out every once in a while, you might not want to read this fic. I have a very cynical attitude towards the whole of the human race and it tends to show sometimes…
Another note: …This fic is LONG. Like…'almost thirty freaking pages' kind of long. o.o I kinda went on a giant tangent somewhere in the middle due to lack of ideas and not wanting to go through writing all the rules of the road. But really…who doesn't love a nice long road trip filled to the brim with pandemonium? ((giggles madly in a Gir-like fashion))SHORT DRIVE TO INSANITY
We begin with an average day in…whatever city it is in which Zim set up his base. The sun was shining brightly, there were few clouds to be seen, and on the whole, it was just a nice day out. And, as usual on nice days, or any days for that matter, Zim and Dib were arguing. Zim, as he often did, was standing up on a table ranting as loudly as he possibly could at the human, not noticing (or most likely just not caring) that his arch-nemesis had stuck his fingers in his ears to wait for the Irken to finish his screaming fit.
This particular scene, of course, was considered a completely normal occurrence and thus went unnoticed by their classmates, who thought they were freaks anyway and didn't care (or pay attention to) whatever it was that they yelled at each other about. Besides that, skool was out for the week and the other children could go home where it was safe from the two, who were considered massively faggy by the majority of the male students, and at least half of the female ones.
When Zim had finally finished screaming, or rather, was cut off by the realization that his throat was suddenly very sore, Dib gave him a nasty look and proceeded to reply in a relatively demeaning tone. "Zim, if you don't do it, everyone will realize you're an alien. EVERYONE we know has done it so far. Even I have. It's just…normal." The human shrugged wearily.
"I'm normal," Zim retorted sharply, drawing out the word 'normal' slightly to accentuate its utmost importance. After all, he had to appear normal on this planet if he wanted to succeed in his 'mission'; he had yet to realize there wasn't really any mission in the first place, save to stay as far away as possible from the Tallests and the rest of the Irken society. Dib scoffed, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Sure. Whatever, Spaceboy. If you really are normal, you can pass a driving test and get a driver's license no problem, right? All of our classmates have been able to do it so far. …Though probably due to some freak wormhole spitting out the test answers into their seemingly empty heads," Dib muttered, shaking his head with a sigh. "Anyhow, if you don't get one…" With an evil smirk, the boy pointed accusingly at his nemesis. "I'll have undeniable proof that you're an alien! Everyone will have to believe me! I mean, really; not having a driver's license is definitely inhuman."
The words hit Zim fairly hard, and a frightening scene played out in his mind. A group of scientists surrounded a glass tube filled with bubbly purple gel, in which the Invader himself floated. The scientists were speaking to a large crowd, who seemed very excited at the capture of the alien. One reporter shoved her way forward, holding up a large microphone to who appeared to be the lead scientist. "Congratulations on discovering the grotesque space monster! Tell us: how did you know he was an alien?"
To which the lead scientist responded, "Well, we noticed he had no driver's license." The image vanished, and Zim allowed himself a moment of confusion at the seemingly familiar scene. (In actuality, the Irken had had a similar daydream around the time that Keef had tried to befriend him, but of course, he'd completely forgotten all about it.)
Scowling his darkest and most EVIL scowl, Zim turned on his heel and promptly fell off the table he'd been standing on. He then jumped up and walked off in his usual arrogant way, as though it hadn't happened. Shaking his head, Dib followed, jamming his hands into his trenchcoat pockets. "You know," he said in an almost conversational way, "Considering how you screw almost everything else up, there's no way you'll manage to get a driver's license."
Zim whirled around, glaring. "Oh, is that so, you filthy stink-creature? Well, you won't be laughing when you've been proven wrong! I, the great ZIM, will take this pathetic Earth test, and I WILL pass it, mark my words, DIB." The alien spat the name out in a condescending manner, as though it was covered in a very unpleasant slime. Dib, however, was hardly offended, as he'd gotten quite used to Zim saying his name in that particular tone of voice, which seemed to be reserved especially for him.
After a tense length of time in which the two enemies walked almost next to each other, exchanging dark looks that seemed to get deadlier with every passing minute, the Irken's base finally came into view. Zim broke into a run, shooting a dark glare back at his nemesis as he passed the security gnomes. He then yanked open the men's door and, in a dramatically immature way, slammed it closed once he was safely inside. To this, Dib merely rolled his eyes skyward and continued towards his own home, muttering to himself in an exasperated tone.
Now safe in his base, Zim looked around wildly, suddenly panicked. "GIR! I am in dire need of assistance!" He ran into the kitchen in search of the robot, then back into the living room. "WHERE ARE YOU?" he screeched. A shuffling from under the couch quickly answered the Irken's question.
Having heard his master's voice, Gir poked his head out from under the couch, his tongue sticking out of his mouth cutely. "Yeeees, master?" Not bothering to ask the deranged robot exactly why he was under the couch, Zim got straight to the point.
"I have to take some sort of test to prove that I am indeed normal. This…test seems to be for some sort of license. All of the other worm-children in my class have gotten theirs, so I must get one or they'll suspect what I am!" he exclaimed. Gir merely stared at him blankly before retreating back under the couch, giggling madly as he made an incredibly not-at-all-intelligent remark about pink elephants with hats. The Irken scowled. "Then I must find some other means to pass this pathetic test! COMPUTER!"
After a moment of silence in which the computer mentally cursed its bad luck at being landed with Zim, the voice responded wearily. "WHAT…"
"Bring up all information on 'driver's license tests'! It is of utmost importance and I need it NOW!" Zim demanded. The computer grumbled to itself, but obediently searched through its data banks as its master paced irritably around the room.
A screen lowered from the ceiling, Irken text scrolling across it quickly. Zim continued his pacing, not noticing. "Um…Zim? Are you going to read the information I've gathered after a painstaking search, or-"
Zim interrupted, annoyance evident in his tone. "Just read it out loud!"
"Erm…okay… 'Once a teenager reaches the age of fifteen and a half, they may take a test to obtain a learner's permit in order to be allowed to…well…drive. To do so, they must have an understanding of the rules of the road, and also an understanding of how a car is operated'. After a specified amount of time, they may take a hands-on test to prove their knowledge and will receive a driver's license if they meet the standards required," the computer recited blandly.
The recital was acknowledged with a blank look, followed by a confused one. "Car?" Zim questioned. "…That is…one of those loud, irritating things that dirt-humans use on their filthy streets, yes?" The computer responded with a mumble that sounded vaguely like an affirmation. "So all I have to do is learn how to operate one, and then take some test-things to prove that I can? SIMPLE! It's simplicity is almost insulting to the superiority of ZIM'S intelligence!" he scoffed.
Silence descended upon the room.
"Erm…computer?" the Irken began, looking somewhat bemused. "…How do I…get a car? If I must learn how to use one, I must have one in my possession…" For the first time in a long time, Gir jumped in to offer some advice (and at the same time managed to relocate the family of dust bunnies under the couch to the living room floor).
"Mister Big-Head has a car! He uses it sometimes to come over here so's I can stare at him through the window! I LIKE HIS BIG HEAD!" the robot screeched gleefully.
Wincing at Gir's grating voice, Zim replied nastily, "Absolutely NOT, Gir. There is NO way the great ZIM will rely on that…tch…hyuuuman for assistance!"
"You've done it before," the computer grumbled.
"SILENCE!" Growling lowly, the Irken fell back onto the couch, staring up at the ceiling thoughtfully. He then sat up straight, grinning. His deranged sense of logic had given him an idea, one that anyone else would consider slightly…bad. "Ah, yes… I just remembered! The Dib-human's father unit! HE has a car as well! I'll just order him to teach me how to operate this…CAR-thing…so that I may pass these tests!"
Which brings Zim to Dib's house on a perfectly nice day, a day in which Dib usually liked to spend his time watching reruns of Mysterious Mysteries. Sadly, he was forced to get up from his quite comfortable armchair to answer the door, which was being banged on in the rude way he usually associated with Zim. Thus, he wasn't at all surprised to see the horribly-disguised alien himself standing on his doorstep. "What do you want, Zim?" he asked jadedly.
"I must speak with your parental unit! It is an urgent matter and I am afraid it cannot wait. Where is he? TELL ME." Dib raised an eyebrow.
"Is this about the driver's license thing?" he questioned, sarcasm lacing his tone.
With an obviously fake laugh, Zim responded, "No! No, of course not!" As though it would help convince Dib at all, the alien added blandly, "…What gave you that idea?" Deciding it would be better to just humor Zim, rather than to risk setting off a very loud and irritating tantrum (which would most likely invoke Gaz's wrath), Dib sighed resignedly and pointed to a plain-looking metal door.
"Dad's in his lab. He's probably working on something that'll explode, just to let you know." The human then sank back into his armchair, looking somewhat hopeful that his father was working on an experiment that had a high probability of exploding; if the Irken got caught in the middle of it, maybe he'd finally have some peace from the egotistical moron. Not noticing Dib's hopeful expression at the prospect of a Zim-free future, the alien pulled the heavy door open and rushed down into Professor Membrane's personal lab, quickly finding the man prodding something suspiciously.
"Eh… Membrane?" The scientist waved a hand behind him quickly, motioning to Zim that he was quite busy.
"Tch-tch-tch! Hold on! I've got radioactive toast here, and it isn't happy!" Zim took a moment to look slightly disturbed, but waited as patiently as he possibly could, ignoring the sudden horrified screaming from Professor Membrane as the radioactive toast attacked his hand.
This was followed by a minor explosion (which Zim found rather amusing) and once the smoke had cleared, the alien found the world-renowned scientist in front of him, brushing the remnants of toast off his labcoat. "Ah, yes, Dib's little foreign friend. And what can I do for you?"
Frowning slightly at being called Dib's 'friend', Zim stated rather plainly, "I need you to teach me how to operate a car so that I may pass the 'driver's license test'." Professor Membrane stared down at him, a tad perplexed, before chuckling.
"Well, as much as I'd like to, I'm quite a busy man. What with my continuous donations to the field of science and all. You could always ask my son, though, he's already passed his license test!" And before Zim could protest, the scientist began shooing him back up to the living room, where Dib was still seated in his comfortable armchair.
The boy looked over at the two with a bored expression. Just as his father opened his mouth to speak, Dib interrupted. "No, no, let me guess. You're too busy to help Zim with whatever it is he needs help with, so you're dumping him on me, right?"
Professor Membrane laughed. "Now if only you'd apply that ingenuity to REAL science rather than your usual Para-science. Now, son, he is your friend, so I think it would be best if you helped him out."
"Zim's not my friend!" Dib snapped. Zim nodded frantically in agreement. "We've hated each other since day ONE!"
"I'm sorry, son, but I'm far too busy. So you're just going to have to set aside your differences. That said… I have some radioactive toast to deal with! The second batch started attempting communication just before your little foreign friend came in!" With that, Professor Membrane vanished into his lab for the remainder of the day.
"Aww, that's just great! You know, just once, I'd like to have a nice, normal day where I could just sit and watch TV like any other kid my age would! But NO, you always have to mess things up for me, don't you, ZIM? Do you know how many episodes of Mysterious Mysteries I've missed because of you? Huh?" Dib spat irritably, sinking farther into his armchair and crossing his arms in the perfect sulking gesture.
The alien looked hardly offended, if even that much, and retorted loudly, "Well, if you had been stupid just like all the other humans, I wouldn't have to deal with you, and wouldn't have to mess things up for you!"
Dib jumped up from the armchair to glare at Zim. "Oh, so it's MY fault now, is it?"
A voice from the kitchen, grating with dark annoyance, stopped the argument short. "SHUT UP! Your voices disgust me! Go away before I make you regret ever opening your stupid mouths!" Zim scowled, his expression stating something along the lines of 'stupid bossy girl-creature and her bossy-ness'. Glancing over at Dib, the Irken grinned evilly, a sure sign that he'd thought of some relatively stupid and immature way to make the human's life miserable (or at least slightly miserable).
"DIB STARTED IT!" The alien then stuck his tongue out at Dib and hurried for the door, but unfortunately, didn't make it out in time to avoid Gaz's pissed-off entrance. Even before he had reached for the doorknob, the demon-girl had grabbed both Dib and himself and was hauling them towards the garage.
Glaring at the two of them through slitted eyes, Gaz hissed darkly, "I don't care who started it. I'm finishing it." The garage door flew open of its own accord, or possibly to Gaz's silent command, and the boys were thrown into the darkened room beyond. The lights flicked on suddenly, but were unable to penetrate the sudden dark aura surrounding Dib's sister. "Dib, you are going to teach Zim how to drive. If you don't, he'll NEVER shut up about it, and if he doesn't shut up about it, he'll ANNOY ME. And if Zim annoys me, I'll make the BOTH of you wish I was never born, because I will plunge your pathetic souls into a nightmare world from which there is no return. Do you understand?" she growled lowly, one fist raised threateningly.
The two boys exchanged nervous glances before nodding hesitantly. Instantly, the gloom surrounding Gaz dissipated, and she turned on her heel to return to whatever she had been doing. As soon as she was gone, Dib turned to Zim. "Nice going, you moron," he muttered. "Well…I suppose I could turn this to my advantage," Dib grumbled lowly, knowing that his unwanted companion wouldn't be paying attention. "It's not like Zim knows you have to have a learner's permit to drive in the first place, so maybe I could get him arrested or something… At least if he's in jail he won't be able to take over the Earth. That's…some kinda victory, I guess."
"What are you mumbling about, stupid dirt-thing? You're wasting Zim's precious time! ZIM-time!" Zim snapped as he got to his feet, crossing his arms over his chest and tapping his foot against the floor impatiently.
Getting up and brushing himself off, the human opened the garage, revealing the car itself parked on the driveway. "All right, fine. Since I apparently have no CHOICE in the matter…let's get this over with."
And so, moments later, Zim was seated behind the wheel of Dib's car, staring at all the odd gizmos with a perplexed expression. Dib pointed out the seatbelt. "First thing you want to do is put on your seatbelt. If you get into the habit of not doing that whenever you drive a car, you'll probably get into a lot of trouble if a policeman sees you. …Not that I particularly care." Dib buckled his seatbelt, bracing himself for any and all accidents Zim could cause.
Zim stared at the safety device suspiciously. "What is it FOR, exactly?"
"To keep you safe from bodily harm in case of an accident. People are generally stupid when they're in a car. I guess they think being behind the wheel makes them invincible or something. You'll see people eating, putting on make-up, talking on cel-phones…all sorts of things that they shouldn't do when they're driving," Dib explained.
The alien scoffed in response to this, raising an 'eyebrow' and glaring down at the safety belt as though it had personally offended him. "Irkens don't need things like this! Injuries are NOTHING to a superior soldier such as Zim!"
Dib put a hand over his face, grumbling to himself. "Zim, you have to put the seatbelt on."
"WHY?" Zim shot back. All of a sudden, a mechanized voice issued forth from the speakers.
"SCANNING FOR BUTT. BUTT FOUND. PUT ON YOUR SEATBELT."
Zim jumped, startled, and looked around the interior of the car in a paranoid fashion. "Who dares give orders to ZIM?" The message merely repeated itself. "You ignore ZIM? Oh, yeah, well I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE! I'll DESTROY YOOOOOU!" the alien screeched back at the mechanical voice.
"Zim! Calm down!" Dib snapped. "Just put on the seatbelt! As a security precaution, and because he thinks I'm crazy and will get into all kinds of crazy accidents, my dad fixed the car so that it won't start unless all passengers are wearing their seatbelts, so just…put the freakin' seatbelt on!"
"Oh, I can't start the car without it? Why didn't you just say that earlier?" Zim asked irritably, pulling the device across his chest and into its buckle, glaring at it all the while. "All right then. TO BEGIN! Car, engage." Dib blinked, bemused. Zim looked around, a similar expression on his face. "CAR! ENGAGE!"
Dib cleared his throat. "Um…Zim? What are you trying to do?"
"Start up the car! Apparently the voice command line is broken. Pitiful contraption!" the Irken spat. "And just what the heck is THIS?" He stared pointedly at the steering wheel.
Giving an irritated groan, Dib replied as patiently as he could. "First off, cars don't have 'voice command lines' as you call them. Secondly, that's the steering wheel. It's how you make the car go in the direction you want it to." Inserting the keys into the ignition, Dib motioned to them. "To start the car, turn the keys and press on the gas pedal."
"Gas pedal?" Zim looked over at him, one eye narrowed in confusion. Dib pointed down at the three pedals on the car floor. "Eh? What are those for?"
"The far left one is the emergency brake, and…well…I don't feel like explaining that at the moment. The other two are the brake and the gas pedal. They make the car stop and go."
Zim sputtered indignantly. "Well, goodness, isn't that just cute. 'Makes the car stop and go'," he mocked sarcastically. "This 'car' is utterly pathetic compared to IRKEN vehicles!"
Irritated, the human retorted nastily, "Well, I'm sorry, but you're gonna gave to deal with us 'pitiful Earth-creatures' not having advanced methods of transportation! So just…shut up." Grumbling in annoyance, Zim turned the keys, pressed down on the specified pedal, and was rewarded with the rumble of the engine as the car started…and promptly backfired.
"What the heck was THAT?" Zim shrieked, looking around in deranged paranoia after the sudden loud noise that had issued from the Dib's vehicle faded. Had it been about to explode or something?
"It's nothing to worry about, you just pressed on the gas pedal for too long. My car hasn't been tuned up in a while, so doing that made it backfire, that's all."
"Tuned…? So this car is also a musical instrument?"
Dib sighed again, already feeling a headache forming. "Nnnno. Look, it's nothing to worry about. Really. Now-" He stopped, frowning at Zim, who had begun pulling on the gear shift experimentally. "Don't do that."
The alien looked up at him, an almost innocent expression on his face. "Why not?"
"Well, for one thing, you don't even know what it does yet, and… GAH! ZIM! You've got the car in reverse and it's starting to roll back into the street! Hit the brake before we end up halfway through someone's garage door!" Zim peered down at the pedals hesitantly, then back up at Dib, as if to say he had no idea which one was the brake. "…The left one, you idiot."
Once that little bit of trouble was over with and the car was safely parked on the driveway (courtesy of Dib getting out to push it), Zim set about familiarizing himself with the various doohickeys littering the car interior. The first thing the alien had to learn about, Dib firmly stated, was the gear-shift. "P means park, R means reverse, N means neutral, D means drive, and 1 and 2 are separate gears used in maneuvering through certain terrains, so you don't really have to deal with those as of right now. Any questions?"
"What's the neutral thing for? Seems pretty pointless," Zim said blandly as he played with a couple of levers next to the steering wheel, which apparently did nothing. "Is it meant for ending war?"
"Well…sadly, no. If the car is in neutral, and you're on a downward slope, the car will basically just roll down. I guess it saves gas or something, but other than that, I have no idea. I've never bothered with it, so it does seem pretty pointless… As for that lever you're toying with, it controls the strength level of the headlights."
Zim turned to give Dib an interested look. "Can you blind anyone with them?" he questioned, looking hopeful.
The human blinked, then replied slowly, "I suppose if…they were looking directly into the headlights… …Yeah. Maybe. I don't think so, though." His companion seemed rather put-out, and continued his exploration of the car interior. "Anyhow, in this particular car, pulling the lever up will turn on the high beams, which you usually only have to use if it's close to pitch-black outside. Pulling it down just turns the headlights on."
In an amazing show of not-paying-attention, Zim changed the subject completely. "You say this dirt-mobile is for transportation, yes?" Dib nodded. "Well, there seem to be a whole bunch of other useless things in it. Like this thingy here…" Zim pushed on one of the buttons on the steering wheel, causing the horn to go off. "What on Irk…? That has no useful purpose in transportation, it seems to be merely for amusement! What can this thing really accomplish when going somewhere?" He then pressed the button a few more times, which brought the attention of several peeved neighbors. Dib groaned irritably and hid his face with a hand.
Pulling Zim's hand away from the horn, the human set to explaining it. "Okay. Zim, what do you do if a person driving in front of you is going really slow and you need to get somewhere quickly?"
"Run them over," Zim replied, as if it were the most obvious thing in the universe.
"Wha… …No. …No! You'd get arrested for that! You press that button, which makes the horn go off, and then the person in front of you knows they should speed up. Now, what do you do if someone isn't paying attention and almost rams into the side of your car?"
"Scream obscenities at them," Zim responded simply.
"…Well…yeah… But other than that, what do you do?"
The Irken pondered for a few moments before stating, "Chase after them and shoot them with painful death lasers?" He seemed almost hopeful at this concept.
Giving a frustrated groan, Dib shook his head. "…No, Zim. You'd get arrested for that, too. If a person almost hits your car, you press the button that makes the horn go off, and that lets the person know they're being a jerk and that they need to pay attention to what they're doing. You get it?" Zim shrugged noncommittally.
"What's this do?" The windshield wipers suddenly activated, and Dib slapped a hand to his forehead. "Ah…some sort of distress signal, apparently."
"Those are the windshield wipers, you MORON! You use them when it's raining outside! Geez…you're so clueless!" Reaching over, the human flipped the switch off, deactivating the wipers. The radio abruptly turned on as soon as the windshield wipers had been turned off; Zim had pressed a few more buttons out of a mixture of curiosity and animosity towards Dib. "Oh, for crying out loud. I don't have to do this, you know. I could just leave you here to figure everything out for yourself, and let you get yourself killed or something! I could care less about the car, really!" the human snapped.
Zim, however, wasn't listening, but was paying close attention to the radio, which was playing a lovely mix of static. "Transmission for ZIM?"
Dib scoffed and turned the radio off. "Don't be stupid. Most radio stations just play music and such, others just have Earth news that you'd never be interested in." Scowling slightly, Zim turned the radio back on, and began twiddling the tuning dial, which resulted in a cacophony of horrible sounds. Dib couldn't help but wince.
Once a station had finally been settled on, a rather irritating rap song with too-loud bass pumped through the speakers. Zim snarled at it, flipping to another station. "I've never understood that pathetic Earth music. I've seen better 'wrapping' at pig-smelly birthday parties!" Zim continued fiddling with the tuning dial, coming upon an emo heavy-metal station, which contained 'music' composed mainly of screaming and loud drumming. "Do you humans find amusement in broadcasting the sounds of fellow humans being painfully slaughtered? Because that's what this sounds like."
Dib shrugged. "I never liked that kind of music anyways." The alien gave an unconcerned grunt and flipped the tuning dial further, setting the radio to a station consisting of nothing but annoying pop songs that mostly revolved around sex and drugs. Finally, the Irken tired of toying with the radio, and flipped it back to what seemed to be his favorite – the static channel.
Shaking his head, Dib turned the radio back off. "Okay, you're never going to learn how to drive if you're just playing around with everything. The best place to practice is in that big parking lot near skool, by the Mall-Mart and Sam's Place." Quietly, he added, "Plenty of police officers patrolling the place, too." He then unbuckled his seatbelt and opened his door, getting out. "I'll drive us there, and then we'll switch places once we're at the parking lot so you can give it a try, all right?"
Zim shrugged noncommittally and unbuckled his seatbelt as well, scooting into the passenger's seat as Dib got in on the other side and pulled the door closed. "Make sure to put your seatbelt on," he reminded the Irken, who stuck his tongue out immaturely, but pulled the safety device on obediently, then leaned over to shut the passenger door.
"How do I know you won't just try to turn me in or something?" Zim asked suspiciously.
Dib snorted as he buckled his seatbelt. "And risk invoking Gaz's wrath when all of her favorite weekend TV programs are interrupted to show the news of your capture? I don't think so." With a quick turn of the key in the ignition and a press of the gas pedal, the car started easily this time, with no backfire. "All right, Zim, pay attention to how I drive. It's pretty simple once you actually know how to do it." Zim nodded in understanding.
Here's how Zim's thought process went as Dib backed the car down the driveway and towards the exit of the housing complex: 'Move a random lever thingy, move the sticky thingy that Zim got yelled at for moving… Go backwards…okay…my Tallest, this is stupid. Move the sticky thingy again… Hey! Why are we going forward all of a sudden? I don't get it! How'd he do that? He must be cheating! Stupid cheaty Dib-pig… Ehhh…Oh right, Zim's supposed to pay attention, huh? …Move some sort of hidden switch, which makes an apparently useless clicky noise… Now he's stopping the car…for no apparent reason…' It took Zim a moment to realize that Dib was pointing out the nearby stop sign and explaining what it was for. In fact, he missed the explanation completely. "Hey, Dib?"
"Why aren't you using the jets?" Dib glanced over at Zim, perplexed, as he turned the car onto a wider, slightly busier street, and merely repeated 'jets?' in a confused tone. "Yes. Jets. How can this thing move if there aren't any jets?"
Dib barely managed to contain an irritated groan. "Zim, I told you, Earth vehicles aren't as advanced as Irken ones are. We don't have things like jet-cars and…uh…Zim. Stop it." The Irken had begun toying with the buttons on the window, and was watching the window as it rolled down, up, and then back down, with a slightly amused expression.
The alien then pointed up at a small hook above the window. "What's that doohickey for?"
Zim looked over at Dib in disbelief. "Why do you need to hang LAUNDRY in a CAR?"
"I DON'T KNOW. Are you happy now? You found something I don't know. Now shut up. You're distracting me!" Dib complained, slowing for a red light.
"Why do you keep stopping for no reason?"
The human turned to give his companion a rather nasty glare. "Didn't you listen when I explained the whole 'stop sign and stop light' thing to you?" Zim shook his head, a blank smile on his face as he did so. Dib sighed. "Of course not. Why do I bother? Anyways, like I said before, you have to stop your car for a stop sign. Same thing with a stop light if it's on the red color. Green means go, Yellow means slow down, and Red means…well…stop. …Stop it, Zim. I mean it."
Looking up from his search through the glove compartment, Zim blinked innocently. "Zim heard your incessant monkey-babbling, don't worry! Hey, where's the snack dispenser?"
"For the LAST TIME, Zim, Earth vehicles don't HAVE those sort of things!"
Five rather exasperating minutes later, Dib parked the car in an almost completely empty section of the parking lot, housed between Mall-Mart and Sam's Place (two stores with almost the EXACT same merchandise, but one required a member's card…FOR SOME REASON). He then turned to Zim, a strict expression on his face. "Okay, I have a couple of ground rules for you-" Dib paused to swat the Irken's hand before he turned on the radio again. "-And I want you to follow them." Zim nodded offhandedly. "ZIM! I mean it!"
"Yes, yes, fine! Zim shall follow your stupid rules!"
"All right, first rule: No trying to crash into things just to get me killed or something equally bad."
"Second: No attempting to run over innocent bystanders."
"Third: You have to turn yourself in to the authorities after this."
"ZIM! You're not listening!" Dib snapped. The Irken blinked at him, surprised, giving him a look that plainly stated 'I was too paying attention, don't yell at me, I'm innocent…sorta'. "I just told you to turn yourself into the authorities after you practice driving, and since you agreed, I'm guessing you weren't listening at all. Am I right?"
His reply was an indignant snort and an irritated glare. "So," Dib continued. "Three rules – No trying to crash into anything purposely, no running over of innocent bystanders, and you have to listen to any other rules that I might come up with. You got it?"
"Yes, yes! Now let Zim drive this stupid archaic creation so I can get my driver's license and be accepted as normal! This is a waste of my time!" Zim exclaimed.
The driving practice, as Dib had expected it would be, was a total disaster. Within the duration of the practice (which had been a grand total of five minutes), Zim had proved, without a doubt, that he was a worse driver than he was a pilot of his own Voot Cruiser. "Okay… Seriously, Zim… How in the hell do you crash into the GROUND?" the human exclaimed as he stared bitterly at the almost-but-not-quite-ruins of his car. Zim only shrugged.
"It's not ZIM'S fault this thing is so…pathetic. I mean…it can't go sideways or up! What kind of vehicle can't go sideways or up? And it hardly has any buttons or levers whatsoever! What kind of vehicle doesn't have a whole bunch of buttons and levers like any other NORMAL vehicle would?" Zim snapped.
"EARTH vehicles, okay? Just…shut up about that! It's not my fault Earth vehicles aren't advanced enough for you!" Dib retorted.
Scoffing, Zim replied nastily, "Nothing on this pitiful planet is advanced enough! You humans still think digital watches are a neat idea!" Dib sputtered indignantly, then groaned, jammed his hands into his pockets, and headed off towards the Sam's Place. "Hey!" Zim shouted after him. "What do you think you're doing?"
Glancing over his shoulder at the alien, Dib replied, "I'm going to get something to eat. Being subjected to trying to teach you something that's obviously beyond your comprehension level is getting on my nerves, and I really need some unhealthy food right about now." That said, the human continued towards the store.
The Irken hurried to catch up. "But…what about ZIM? Zim is not going to wait for some pathetic dirt-creature to eat only to be yelled at about not hitting innocent bystanders and whatnot afterwards!"
"Well, that was your fault, I TOLD you not to try and hit them," Dib muttered.
"THEY were getting in my way!" Zim retaliated defensively, his patented death glare focused on its usual target. Unfortunately for the Irken, Dib did not, as hoped, drop dead after being subjected to said death glare. Seeing Dib searching his trenchcoat pockets, the Irken narrowed his eyes suspiciously at him. "What are you doing? Getting your alien sleep-cuffs that DON'T WORK?" he hissed.
Dib looked over at him, blinking in surprise. "No, actually. I was getting my wallet so I can get out my Sam's Place member's card. …Well, technically it's my dad's, but no one ever checks them closely anyways…" He held up the card as the two of them walked through the doors, and the man at the door waved them in blandly. "See?" Zim merely shook his head, mumbling something about pathetic human security.
Upon reaching the snack bar, Zim growled lowly at having to smell the usual Earth-food stench. "How can you eat that trash?" he asked incredulously as he followed Dib into the snack bar line, covering his mouth as he dramatized his utter disgust at the odor.
"You only think it's bad because you aren't human," the teen responded simply with a raise of his eyebrow at Zim's antics. "How much human food have you tried, anyways? There might be something you'd actually like." The Irken gave an exasperated snort, as though affronted by the suggestion.
Once at the start of the line, the cashier, a short sickly-green-looking girl with messy blonde hair and a too-loud voice, took Dib's order, then asked for Zim's order, only to receive an annoyed glare. "Uh…Zim, how about you try a soda or something?" Dib nodded to the girl behind the counter, who rang it up on the register with a bland 'that'll be this much, thank you, enjoy your meal' with an air suggesting she'd said the same thing fifty times in the past hour.
The Irken took a moment to look offended when the cashier tried to hand the cup of soda to him. "Soda has horrible pollute-y water in it." The girl rolled her eyes and forced him to take the cup anyways, then handed Dib his order.
"Well, you'll just have to live with it, won't you?" Dib asked innocently, giving Zim a cheerful smile as he led him to an unoccupied table. The Irken growled darkly in reply as they sat down, then began poking at his drink hesitantly. "Aren't you going to try it, Spaceboy?"
"You're kidding, right?"
"Not at all. I think you owe me, anyways. After all, I am teaching you how to drive…" Zim cursed inwardly. Oh, how he hated being in someone else's debt, especially if they could exploit him in this way. The smug grin on Dib's face didn't make it any better.
Nervously, Zim took a small sip, fully expecting it to burn horridly. When it didn't, he looked down at it in surprise. "Hey…this isn't that bad…" Dib seemed a tad bit disappointed, but said nothing as he proceeded to eat. "Soda normally burns Irken skin, yes? So why does this soda not?"
"Don't ask me, I don't have a clue as to why. I'm not the alien here." Dib gave a slight smirk at that. "All I can say for sure is that it's probably not Poop Cola. That stuff'll burn just about anyone…"
Frowning slightly in confusion, Zim stared down at his drink, then shrugged. "…I don't like it anymore." Dib merely sighed and shook his head, poking at his meal. A sudden squeak attracted his attention, and he glanced up to see Zim toying with the straw of his drink, causing it to make relatively annoying squeaky noises.
Apparently, the Irken was enjoying himself immensely at having discovered the squeaky quality of soda cup lids and their matching straws, as he began a vastly irritating squeak melody. This, of course, made several people eating nearby to look over and glare at the two. "Zim, stop that," Dib hissed lowly. Zim glanced up at him, pulling the straw out of the lid slowly to make a very long and bothersome squeak, followed by several shorter – and even more annoying – squeaks.
"Stop what?" Squeak. Squeak. Squeeeeeeeak. The human barely managed to repress the urge to strangle the alien with his own pak connectors, one eye twitching in annoyance as he began focusing on ignoring the incessant squeaking. Of course, focusing on ignoring it just made it worse.
"ZIM! Will you STOP THAT?" Dib snapped, reaching for Zim's cup, only to receive a slapped hand for his troubles.
The alien put on a mock-innocent face. "Zim does not know what you are talking about." He then glanced around to where the other people were sitting, finally noticing that they were staring at him irritably. "Hey! Stop your staring with your squishy heads and mind your own business, ugly worms! Zim does NOTHING!" This was promptly followed up with several more squeaks from the straw.
Dib hid his face with a hand as he stabbed irritably at his food. "I don't know you."
"Who is 'Sam'?" Zim asked suddenly, the ceaseless squeaks coming to an end at last as the alien was distracted by something else. Dib barely managed to repress a sigh of relief.
"The person who founded the chain of Sam's Place stores, I'm guessing," the human replied wearily. Little did Dib know that Sam was actually an exiled Irken who had decided to start an Irken-safe line of food on Earth to make life on the planet a little more pleasant for the others that had been exiled there. This, of course, really has no importance to this particular story, and thus, the plot advances. (And somewhere, a fourth wall fell.)
Zim was once again sitting behind the wheel of Dib's car, which, due to that fourth wall being broken just moments ago, was perfectly okay, even after crashing into the ground a few times (do NOT try that at home, kids, your car WILL be damaged beyond all repair). "Okay…" Dib sighed as he set the drinks they'd bought at Sam's Place into cupholders. "Let's try this again. Start up the car, turn off the parking brake with that lever there, put the car into 'drive' – NOT with the windshield wiper switch, use the gear shift – and press down on the gas pedal carefully. Do NOT floor it like you did the last twenty-eight times. …CAREFULLY, Zim!"
Grumbling lowly, Zim's patience was tested as the Irken tried to do something carefully for a change, and he was rewarded when the car moved easily forward. Dib nodded approvingly. "Now, keep your hands on the steering wheel. When you want to turn, you use that switch on the left side. Press it down for a left turn, and pull it up for a right turn."
The Irken scowled at what he deemed to be too complicated of instructions, and thus continued driving forward, which he at least seemed to be somewhat good at. 'Stupid human,' Zim thought to himself irritably as he drove. 'With his stupid telling-to-do's and his HEAD. It makes me so…so…something. But wait…I have this weird warm feeling in my squeedlyspooch. …Oh, hold on, that's indigestion from that nasty soda. Never mind, then. Thank the Tallests, I guess I really am just irritated by his overall existence. Would've been really really wrong if it had been something else. Heh. Stupid squishy emotiony-things. So weak and unworthy of the amazingness that is ZIIIM. Yes, loveless is Zim…WHOO!'
With an aggravated twitch, Zim realized that the Dib was interrupting his superior thoughts and gave a half-assed attempt to actually pay attention for once, just in case it was important. "Hey, Zim…you're heading for the exit."
"So?" Zim snapped, annoyed that he had wasted some of his attention span to listen to something so utterly pointless. He should've just kept thinking to himself. Yyyyyep. Time to think again. 'Stupid pig-smelly, with his useless squealing from his disgusting mouth-part of DIRT…'
Meanwhile, Dib was under the unfortunate impression that Zim was actually listening to him. "Well, it's an intersection. You have to stop at intersections, unless there isn't a stop sign. And there IS one. So stop before we get mowed down by oncoming traffic." Seeing that the car wasn't stopping, the human glanced over at Zim worriedly. "…Zim, stop. …Stop the car… Stop… …ZIM! STOP THE CAR!"
Thankfully for both of them, the teen had managed to grab Zim's attention, and the car swiftly screeched to a halt right at the intersection as the Irken slammed his foot irritably onto the brake, and Dib was quite glad that he was wearing his seatbelt, else his face would have been embedded into the dashboard (all thanks to inertia!). "You don't need to slam on the brakes like that!" Dib exclaimed, scowling over at Zim, who merely directed an infuriating smirk at him.
For the next two minutes or so, Zim set about confusing other drivers by playing around with the turn signals, obviously enjoying himself immensely as he did so. Dib could only sigh for what seemed like the hundredth time that day as he waited for the alien to make up his mind. Finally, Zim settled on the left turn signal, and promptly turned the car right. "ZIM!"
The Irken looked over at him innocently. "What?" he asked blankly.
"You're not supposed to do things like that!" Dib snapped, glaring at his companion. Zim snorted in exasperation, but didn't reply, as he was trying to figure out exactly why the other cars seemed to be going in the wrong direction. The reason was (as poor, abused Dib would soon realize) that Zim had turned just a little too wide, and had ended up on the wrong side of the street, right in the middle of oncoming traffic. "ZIM! Go to the right! Get into that lane over there! OMIGOD WE'RE GONNA DIE!" the human shrieked, desperately trying to grab hold of the steering wheel. "Go back into the parking lot where it's safe! PLEASE, Zim!"
Zim merely slapped the human's hands away, scoffing. "It's fine. See? The other cars are all moving out of Zim's way!" he replied cheerfully.
The distressed teenager barely managed to hold in a scream of utmost vexation. "That's because they're somehow smart enough to know that THEY DON'T WANT TO CRASH! Now GO TO THE RIGHT!"
"Oh, FINE!" Zim yanked the steering wheel to the right, nearly plowing into an old lady's Cadillac as he changed lanes. "There! Are ya happy now? You miserable DIRT-child, ordering Zim around with your stupid HEAD!" Dib didn't respond, as he was busy frantically waving an apologetic gesture in the old lady's direction (the gestures, of course, were mistaken as a desperate plea for rescue from a maniacal driver, and thus, the police were called).
Minutes later, in which Dib had finally convinced Zim that going back into the parking lot to practice would be a lot better (not to mention smarter), a police cruiser ambled up next to Dib's miraculously still-in-one-piece car, the officer inside motioning for Zim to pull over. "Uh…what does he want?"
"I'm pretty sure he wants you to pull over." To which the Irken responded in a tragically confused tone, 'Pull over…?' "Yes, Zim. He wants you stop the car."
"Well, why didn't you say that in the first place? My Tallest, you humans use such odd phrases… …Wait, why must Zim 'pull over' anyways?"
Dib smirked at him. "Probably because of that little stunt you pulled where you nearly mowed over an innocent old woman in a red Cadillac," he chuckled as the car slowed to a stop. "Well, considering you don't have a learner's permit or anything, and you were driving on a busy street, you'll probably get arrested. Great job, Zim!" the human said cheerfully.
The alien's disguised eyes widened and he was just about to stomp onto the gas pedal to escape when Dib reached over to set the gear shift to 'park' and yank the keys out of the ignition. "Oh, you ROTTEN-" Before Zim could launch into a very long and loud rant at his nemesis, the police officer (who looked somewhat apprehensive) tapped on the window. Staring blankly at the man, the Irken decided to use the knowledge of the window-opening that he'd somehow retained, rather than opening the door. How the window was able to open without the car being on, however, shall forever remain a mystery. "WHAT?" he snapped once the window was open. "Zim was busy getting ready to yell at this bothersome large-headed boy-"
"Hey! I grew in to my head! Shut up!"
Somewhat perplexed, the officer cleared his throat nervously. "Ah…well… Y-you see, we got a little call about said large-headed boy being trapped in a car with a maniacal lunatic, so…erm…" He fretfully glanced over at Dib, who was grumbling irritably to himself, then over to Zim, who couldn't be more confused about the issue at hand. "The…the person who called supposed it was a…a…kidnapping or something…" The edgy man nearly jumped a foot in the air when Zim laughed.
"Kidnapping? Don't be ridiculous, worm-creature! The Dib is merely giving instructions to Zim as to how a car is driven. Because I forced him to."
Dib raised an eyebrow. "Well…technically, Gaz was the one who-"
"BE QUIET!" Zim yelled at him, causing the apparently paranoid officer to back a foot or two away as quickly as he possibly could. "Anyhow… Yes, the Dib is perfectly safe, so…uh…you can go. Now." The Irken made a little shooing gesture. Looking exceedingly relieved, the officer darted back to his cruiser and practically threw himself into it, driving off at incredible speeds to put as much distance between himself and the insane Irken as he could.
"Considering you're the one driving, Zim, I'm not safe at all," Dib muttered, crossing his arms and sinking back into his seat, disappointed that his plan to get Zim arrested hadn't worked quite as well as he'd hoped.
The alien growled at him as he snatched the keys back to restart the car, then pulling the gear shift into the drive position and maneuvering the car over a nearby unoccupied sidewalk to relieve some frustration. "Silence your noise-making, worm-creature!" he snapped.
The human raised an eyebrow at his companion. "…Grammar, Zim?"
"I don't want to!"
"You don't…want to…grammar…" Dib shook his head, thankful that he was at least slightly used to the alien's odd way of talking, or else he'd be extremely confused by this point. "Maybe you should worry about studying English rather than studying to get a driver's licen-LOOK OUT FOR THAT DOG!"
The car screeched to a halt inches away from a rather disturbing chihuahua. One look at said disturbing chihuahua sent Zim into a fit of horrified screams. The Irken then pulled the car into reverse and slammed onto the gas pedal, causing Dib's abused car to go careening backwards through the parking lot. "Zim! Stop it! The dog is gone now! ZIM! Pedestrians! Stop! Please…"
Amazingly, the car barely missed the frantic group of pedestrians running across the street, but succeeded in mowing down a stop sign and a shopping cart as Zim finally let up on the gas pedal and the vehicle ambled to a slow stop. "…You…idiot…" Dib growled. "Nearly gave me a heart attack…" Zim merely stared blankly at the steering wheel, then looked up at his human companion.
"I…" The Irken seemed to be in shock.
"What, Zim? Is something wrong?"
"I'm going to do that again!" Zim exclaimed in an oddly Gir-like fashion.
"…Please don't," Dib groaned, hiding his face in his hands as the car began to move forward. "Geez… This is just so utterly ridiculous it's not even funny." Zim gave an amused humming noise, but otherwise didn't reply. "I don't know why I'm even doing this anymore, now that Gaz isn't here to threaten my life and all. And I especially don't know why I'm even bothering to say this. I guess I'm just talking to myself like I always do, since you're definitely not listening." The bland 'uh-huh' from the Irken proved that Zim was, in fact, not listening in the least.
Suddenly not hearing any crashing noises, Dib glanced up. "…Oh, hey. You're not causing an utter disaster. …Amazing," he stated blandly.
"Yes, yes, I am amazing," Zim replied, having judged that comment worthy of his attention. "So now that I have mastered this driving thing, Zim can take that stupid pitiful Earth-test, right?"
"…Not really. I mean…you're only driving forward. You still have to learn about all the rules you have to follow while driving, like street signs, speed limits, turn lanes… Speaking of turn lanes, you still haven't mastered turning. At ALL. And don't even get me started with going in reverse, especially after that incident," Dib muttered tersely.
Obviously surprised, the Irken directed a scrutinizing look at him. "…Are there that many rules? You humans hardly seem to follow most of them anyways, if there are a lot of rules to drive," he drawled imperiously, tapping his claw-like fingers on the steering wheel before slowing the car to a stop, thinking for a moment, then turning into a nearby drive-through lane.
Dib scoffed lowly at Zim's statement. "Well, of course there's a lot of rules. They're there for safety. And what matters to most people is that they know the rules, they could care less about actually following them. And would you care to tell me exactly why we're in the MacMeaty's drive-through?"
"You said Zim had to master turning, and there's turns in this drive-through." Zim shot a glare at the worker manning the register, who had just opened his mouth to attempt asking the Irken what he wanted, and continued to slowly maneuver the car out of the narrow aisle, leaving the fast-food employee relatively confused.
"Couldn't you have just…practiced in the empty section of the parking lot?" Dib asked, his expression similar to that of the fast-food employee.
Indignant, Zim whipped around to scowl at his companion, vexed that his patented death glare was again failing to fell its target. "You dare question Zim's superior methods?"
Rolling his eyes, Dib replied blandly with sarcasm obvious in his tone, "Of course not, oh great and powerful alien master. How could a lowly human like myself possibly understand your incredible genius?" The Irken stared at him blankly before smirking.
"It's about time you acknowledged my supremacy! You may bow to Zim later." Zim nodded his approval. The teen accompanying him started to open his mouth to explain the meaning of 'sarcasm' to the megalomaniac, but thought better of it and merely sat back with a sigh. "Hey! That clown over there…he's the one that looked at me funny on the bus a few years ago!"
Dib glanced over at the alien, raising an eyebrow. "What does that have to do with anything?" he asked wearily, putting a hand over his forehead in an attempt to soothe the sudden headache he felt coming on.
"Well, I was just thinking of running him over," Zim responded simply as he turned the car, narrowing his eyes as he took aim at the offending clown, grinning evilly all the while. There was a mumbled 'Oh, okay, whatever' from his companion, which the Irken took no notice of.
A sudden quiet filled the car's interior. Then, as though just realizing what Zim had said, Dib sat up sharply, eyes wide. "Wait, Zim-!" Before he could so much as turn to stop him, the Irken had stomped down on the gas pedal, and the car shot forward through the parking lot towards the unsuspecting clown, tires screeching against the pavement. Inertia forced the human back against the seat, winding him slightly, and he could only cling to the armrest and hope for a miracle as they careened down the parking aisle towards a mostly innocent victim.
In a bizarre twist of luck, which wasn't entirely in Dib's favor, another car turned into that particular parking aisle at just the right time. Zim gasped, swerving to avoid having the other driver slam into his side of the car, and ending up driving right past the clown…straight into the entrance of the Mall-Mart directly behind him. The automatic glass doors, not having the time to open, were easily bypassed with a swift plowing-through of Dib's already abused vehicle, sending glass fragments everywhere. Zim couldn't help but let out a maniacal laugh at the frightened expressions of the surrounding humans, not noticing the similar look on Dib's slowly-paling face as the car careened over the smooth tile of Mall-Mart's floor, causing nearby humans to dart out of the way with terrified shrieks.
Cackling madly, Zim bounced in his seat gleefully as he maneuvered the car past or over merchandise and people alike, infinitely amused by the way the pathetic humans reacted to this sudden chaotic development. "Pitiful stink-creatures!" he exclaimed, positively beside himself with laughter. A sudden slap over the head brought him back to his senses, and he whipped around to glare at his human companion, who, unlike Zim, was nowhere near amused.
"I hope you have a way out of this mess you've gotten us both into, Zim," Dib stated coolly, a dark expression rivaling that of Gaz's on his face. Zim blinked, unaware of exactly what he meant, then looked around as though seeing it all for the first time.
Finally letting up on the gas, the Irken peered this way and that, almost shocked. "Guess I got a little ahead of myself with the whole…destroying thing, yes?" The look of utter vexation on Dib's face answered that question with painstaking clarity, and the alien gave a hesitant grin. "Zim was just…overenthusiastic. Mm-hmm. Not like it can't all be fixed, right? No harm done!" The car rolled to a slow stop just as it finished annihilating a shelf of lingerie while the Irken took a moment to stare around at all the 'repairable' damage he'd done (which included crashing through the ceramic decorations aisle, demolishing the fabric's section by adding tire-track patterns to almost every brand of textile, and positively decimating the aisle dedicated solely to Playboy magazines by reducing the entire collection to shreds).
"Hmm…those 'security' guys don't look very friendly," Zim laughed nervously, reaching for the gear shift and tapping one claw-like finger on it in thought, apparently trying to find some way out of the situation.
Dib's scowl deepened. "Well…yeah. In a grand total of two minutes, you only destroyed half of the merchandise in the entire freakin' store. Of course they don't look very friendly! And thanks to you, I'm going to end up in trouble too, just through association! I hope you're happy, you idiot!"
There was a weak chuckle from the alien, who glanced over at Dib. "There is one thing we could do…" he drawled, turning his gaze back to the security guards, who were approaching the vehicle apprehensively with weapons drawn. The human raised an eyebrow.
"Let me guess. Run screaming and hope they don't catch us?" Dib replied sarcastically. "News flash, Zim: none of your plans ever work. Besides, they'd catch us before we got three feet. Face it, Spaceboy; there's no way out of this. At least I got what I wanted, even if it didn't go exactly as planned."
Zim narrowed one eye. "What do you mean?"
The human gave a frustrated noise, glaring over at his alien companion. "What, you haven't figured it out yet? I've been trying to get you arrested ever since I let you get behind the wheel of my car! Before you ask how, I'll tell you: You need a learner's permit to even be allowed to drive in the first place!"
"Well, that explains a lot," the Irken muttered. "Well, if I'm going to end up getting arrested no matter what I do, I might as well go through with my original plan and hope I'm not caught." Zim pulled the gear shift into reverse. "And you'd better hope we make it out of it alive, stink-creature, so I can liquefy your organs for betraying the almighty Zim." He turned to grin at Dib, his zipper-like teeth flashing. "We're going to leave, and we're going the way we came in whether these stupid filthies like it or not." The human stared at him in shock.
"You don't mean…?" The revving engine immediately answered that question, and the car shot backwards, the security guards scattering in panic. "Zim, you're crazy! This'll never work! Why get us into even more trouble?" Dib screeched. Zim paid no heed to his companion's shouts and spun the steering wheel sharply to the right, the car spinning around in a backwards u-turn until it was facing the store's exit, its tires squealing loudly against the tile floors. The human squeaked in terror, shrinking down into his seat and clinging to the door handle as Zim floored the gas, sending the car forward at insane speeds.
The car sped easily over the path of destruction it had originally left, racing through the glass-littered entryway and turning in a abrupt left before shooting towards the nearest exit of the parking lot. Dib shot a crazed look in Zim's direction. "How'd you learn to do that?" he exclaimed incredulously.
Zim blinked. "How'd I learn to do what?" The car promptly smashed headfirst into a nearby telephone pole. Oh, right…Zim has luck that's just about as insane as he is, Dib remembered with a half-exasperated, half-terrified noise. "Oh, for Irk's sake…" Zim muttered irritably, pulling the gear shift back into reverse and directing the car away from the now severely-mangled pole. Hearing approaching sirens, the Irken glanced over at his companion apprehensively. "Now what?"
"What do you mean 'now what'?" Dib spat, slamming his fists down against the armrests. "You're the one that got us into this mess, so you can get us out of it!" With that, the teenager slumped against the seat and crossed his arms stubbornly.
"So…back to your house, then." The car was somehow able to venture forward and into the street, a look of intense concentration on Zim's face as he maneuvered through the traffic admirably.
Disbelief flashed across Dib's face. "Wait, what? My house? If Dad finds out about this, I'll be landed in the Crazy House for sure! Besides that, we've got the police after us! The police, Zim!" he ranted, making a frustrated gesture with his hands as though to accentuate his point.
The Irken was most obviously not listening, as he pointed excitedly at an approaching crosswalk. "Hey, there's that clown again!" he squealed cheerfully.
"NO, Zim!" Dib yelled, lunging for the steering wheel in order to keep Zim from swerving to hit the unsuspecting man. "We're in enough trouble already, in case you hadn't noticed!" He motioned to the rear-view mirror, in which flashing red and blue lights were visible.
Zim stared up at it blandly, adjusting it carefully with his right hand to see better. "Oh, hey. …Police," he stated blankly, as though just now realizing that the police were following them. "Defense capabilities; minimal. Explodes on contact with giant weenie," he recited, getting an odd look from his human companion. "TO THE HOT DOG STAND!" This was accentuated with a dramatic point in the supposed direction of said hot dog stand. He then made a wild turn onto another street, causing several other drivers to honk at him and others to make vulgar gestures.
Thanks yet again to inertia, Dib found himself being slammed up against the door, which he clung to subconsciously. "Hot dog stand?" he repeated skeptically as he stared at Zim. "We've got the police after us, and you want to get a freakin' hot dog? Somehow that leads me to believe that you seriously need to get your priorities straightened out!" The car swerved again, banging Dib's shoulder against the door handle. "Are you even listening to me?"
"Nope," Zim replied gleefully, flicking on the turn signal and hardly giving the nearby drivers any time to slow down to admit him before he changed lanes. Another few honks of agitation were heard.
Dib raised an eyebrow. "What, and now you're suddenly remembering that there's rules for driving? It's a little late for rules, Zim!" he snapped, then gasped when he realized where Zim was headed. " Zim, wait! You're nowhere near skilled enough to drive on the freeway! Plus you're insane! You'll get someone killed! Namely us! …I'm too young to die!" he wailed, covering his head with his hands as though it would protect him.
If it was even possible, the vehicle sped up, swerving easily past car after car as though Zim had been doing such things his entire life, which was probably true (although admittedly not with an actual car). The Irken glanced in the rear-view mirror, grating his teeth irritably when he saw that the patrol cars were still following. He then smirked evilly, envisioning the utter destruction that would befall them once the weenies were unleashed…
Gaz sat in front of the television blandly, GameSlave2 in hand and a bowl of popcorn at her side. She was feeling rather accomplished today, having brutally slaughtered the final boss of Advanced Kicky Fighter 5 in a paltry two minutes, and thus was enjoying her Dib-free time by watching her favorite Friday afternoon soap opera (which she usually taped before watching in order to keep anyone from knowing that she watched it in the first place). "Why, Eric? Why?" she asked the man on TV, looking almost saddened now that there was no one around to see it. She then shook her head, the saddened look immediately vanishing for her usual PMS-ing one. "Why are you so pathetic and stupid? I hope your soul rots and your flesh is eaten away by zombie slugs! It's a good thing I'm recording this episode, so I can laugh at it some more later."
Scoffing, the demon-girl stood up as the commercials came on, brushing popcorn bits off of her dress and contemplating going to the kitchen for a soda. She half paid attention to some news flash that suddenly preempted the advertisements, before a few key phrases (namely the descriptions) caught her interest. "This just in: Police have begun chasing down a beat-up Tord P.O.S. down the I-337 after it mowed down 3 cars and 14 pedestrians. The driver seems to be an odd green-skinned boy, and in the car with him is a Caucasian male with a…rather…disturbingly large head… We urge drivers to avoid this area, and we'll be back with more in a few minutes. This has been Sky-Cam 69."
Once the newscast had ended, Gaz found herself staring in surprise at the television. "I…can't believe I actually got that on tape… Dib, I swear…I will never let you live this down," she chuckled darkly. And to think that she had caused all this in the first place…
"Zim…please…just pull over…" Dib groaned, looking rather sick. Experiencing several near-death experiences hadn't exactly agreed with the poor boy's stomach, and every time Zim made another wild turn, he was forced to swallow back bile.
The Irken merely gave a sort of half-giggle as he turned onto an overhead pass. "You'll live, you pitiful human. With Zim at the wheel, nothing can go wrong!" he cackled, swerving around another few cars and giving a cheer when one of them spun out of control and smashed into the median.
Dib choked back another wave of nausea and shot a glare at his companion. "I think everything's already gone wrong! What else could happen? HUH? I mean, really!" he hissed, livid. Zim glanced over to smirk at him, and Dib gasped, pointing spastically at an approaching turn in the overhead pass. "ZIM! KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD!"
"Wha-?" Zim turned back, far too late to stop the car from barreling through the railing and into the air. Dib's eyes nearly bugged out of his head and he clung desperately to the fabric of his seat. "Oh, hey, is the flight control finally working?"
"No," Dib replied weakly, too panicked by now to be anything but weary of Zim's apparent obliviousness to their dire situation. "We're just about to crash and die, is all." He gave a feeble laugh as he glanced out the window and down at the approaching pavement. "It's been nice knowing you, Zim. …Well…not really."
In an miraculous stroke of luck, the car somehow landed perfectly in an empty lane of the street below, its tires screeching defiantly but amazingly not blowing out. Zim looked rather proud at this, and that he even went so far as to keep the vehicle from spinning out of control. "There, ya see? With Zim at the wheel, there's nothing to worry about!" he exclaimed, absentmindedly patting Dib on the shoulder before realizing what he'd done. He then promptly rubbed his hand on the seat, looking disgusted.
Noticing that Dib wasn't responding, the Irken glanced over, curious. "Sleeping?" Zim snapped. "You Earth monkeys are so pathetic!" In truth, Dib had fainted from utter panic, but Zim probably wouldn't have cared either way. The alien shook his head with a scoff. "Now, where's that hot dog stand…?"
Dib opened his eyes blearily, giving a pained groan. What had happened…? Oh, right, he forced himself to remember. ZIM had happened. Everything was so dark and blurry… Was he dead? He shook his head to try and clear it, then realized that the blurriness was due to his glasses being missing. He felt around hazily. Why was it so dark and quiet? Had it all been a dream? He felt the cool wire frames of his glasses being slipped into his hand, and he sighed in relief as he put them on. The sigh of relief quickly died away.
He was still in the passenger seat of his car. Zim was still in the driver's seat. It was nighttime. And to top it all off…he had no clue where they were. "Zim…? Where are we?" he asked hesitantly, sitting up to look out the window at the desert-like scenery.
"No idea," Zim replied simply, turning a large piece of paper this way and that and glaring at it. "I can't make heads or tails of these stupid human location-showers." He handed it over to Dib, who adjusted his glasses and peered at it, squinting to read it in the dark.
As he examined the large paper, Dib suddenly realized what he was looking at. "Zim, this is a map."
He heard a scoff from the alien. "No, really? Zim had no idea," Zim retorted, sarcasm thick in his tone. "You human smellies seem to love pointing out the painstakingly obvious." Dib frowned slightly, but didn't say anything. "Anyways, I got it from that store-thing over there." The Irken pointed, and his companion noticed a small, dimly lit gas station; a lone figure on the long stretch of highway surrounded by a veritable ocean of sand.
"…Weren't we being chased by the police?" Dib asked, staring down the seemingly infinite length of road.
"Eh, I took care of that," Zim replied, shrugging. He didn't elaborate, and Dib didn't bother trying to make him. Instead, the human reached up to turn on the overhead light, peering at the map intently.
Sighing, he realized one of Zim's main mistakes: The map was turned sideways. Secondly… He squinted, as though skeptical of the map. He turned to the alien, who had slouched down low in his seat and was studying the steering wheel as though it was the most interesting thing in the universe. "Uh…Zim…? This is a map of Mexico," Dib stated carefully.
When the Irken only shrugged again in reply, Dib sighed and unbuckled his seatbelt, getting out of the car and tossing the map onto the dashboard. Zim glanced at him questioningly. "I'm going to talk to the people working at the station. Maybe they'll tell me where we are so I can get a map that we can actually use. Wait here, okay?" Hearing an uninterested grunt, Dib took it as an affirmation and headed towards the gas station, digging out his wallet as he went. Might as well buy some gas, just in case.
Meanwhile, Zim sat up, resting his chin on the steering wheel and watching the human walk into the station with a bored expression. It had been ridiculously exhausting getting away from those moronic patrol-people… So many hours of driving…SO MANY! Not that Zim was tired, oh no, of course not. He subconsciously nibbled on the steering wheel cover, tapping one booted foot against the floor of the car and blandly pointing out each and every one of Dib's flaws in his mind as he stared at the gas station, waiting as patiently as was possible for him.
Upon Dib's exit, the Irken immediately noticed the excessively perplexed expression on the boy's face, and gave him another questioning glance when he got back into the car. "…I didn't understand a word that man said," Dib groaned, covering his face with a hand. "Zim…do you even have a vague idea of where we are? At all?"
Before answering, the Irken rested his forehead against the steering wheel, glaring half-heartedly down at the floor. "The guy said something about Zihuatanejo," Zim replied blandly.
Dib looked up sharply. "Zihuatanejo? …But that's… We ARE in Mexico! What in the-? Zim, how did we end up in Mexico?" he exclaimed. The Irken gave an unconcerned noise followed by another shrug. "Furthermore…how did you even understand that guy enough to know where we are?"
Zim turned towards his companion slightly so that the side of his face was pressed up against the steering wheel, then gave Dib an exasperated look. "Pak translator, of course. What, you think I can actually speak your pathetic languages? That's insulting to Zim's amazing intelligence," he responded spitefully, scowling.
"Gh…Whatever, Zim. I need to you to come with me. At least you can understand that guy. I need you to tell him we need gas," Dib said, reaching over to unbuckle the alien's seatbelt and pushing gently on his arm. "Come on." The Irken sighed harshly at the prospect of being the interpreter, but got out of the car in a surprising show of cooperation (although hours on end of driving might have had something to do with Zim's suddenly compliant behavior).
And so, three minutes later, the two found themselves being jabbered to in another language by an elderly man who (by the look on Zim's face) apparently had no idea what he was talking about. Zim struggled to piece together what the man was saying, nodding hesitantly a few times during the aged human's speech, and once he was done, Zim summed up the oration by stating firmly, "He's absolutely insane."
The teenager couldn't help but slap a hand to his forehead, thoroughly vexed. "But what did he say?" he hissed. Zim shrugged, then turned back to the elderly man and spouted a few sentences that were completely unintelligible to Dib, save for a few words which he was able to determine as NOT being Spanish. The old man screwed up his face, looking unbelievably confused, but replied in a similar, incomprehensible fashion. Dib felt a slight rush of sympathy; if the aged man's expression was any indication, Zim was just as confusing in Spanish as he was in English.
Finally, Zim looked over at Dib. "He says that, yes, the closest city is Zihuatanejo. He also says that if you want to buy gas, you're going to have to pay him."
"I was going to pay him," Dib retorted, exasperated. He dug out his wallet again, pulling out his check card (which had been something his father had gotten for him in return for promising that he would take at least one 'real science' course in colledge). "Can I use this here?" he asked, glancing over at Zim.
"How am I supposed to know?" Zim scoffed with a roll of his eyes. Seeing the agitated look on the teen's face, he stared at him for a moment before realizing. "Oh, right. Translating." He again turned to the old man, who looked slightly terrified at the prospect of having to listen to yet more nonsense from the strange green boy. In fact, Dib noted, it looked like the man was getting pretty close to a heart attack by this point. By the time Zim had finished speaking, the elderly human was visibly shaking, but he still managed to nod emphatically before practically dashing to the register, as though utterly thrilled to have gotten his point across to the Irken so that he wouldn't have to speak with him anymore. Which was probably true.
Dib cleared his throat. "…And?"
"You say that as though you can't tell what the answer was," Zim replied, raising an 'eyebrow' and motioning towards the man now patiently waiting at the register (the man was also shooting nervous glances in the green boy's direction, seemingly terrified). "Now, while you purchase your pathetic flatulence-" Dib winced, but didn't bother to correct the Irken on the meaning of the particular gas he was purchasing. "-Zim is going back to the car. So hurry up!" the Irken snapped imperiously before striding outside.
So much for Zim being cooperative, Dib thought to himself irritably. Seeing as he was in the middle of Mexico (well, to be more accurate, they were closer to Central America than anything else), he might as well get something to eat on the way back. Assuming, of course, that they could even find their way back. He pondered getting something for Zim as he wandered through the snack aisle, but then remembered the Irken's adversity to human food. Oh, well. He could starve, then. His loss, really.
Once Dib had gathered the snacks and drinks he figured he'd needed and paid for them and the gas, he half-turned to give the elderly man an inquisitive look. "Why the heck did you get a job way out here?" he asked incredulously, not caring if he could understand him or not.
The man only stared at him blankly before pulling a face that effortlessly crossed language barriers: the 'I have NO clue what you just said' face. Dib sighed, shook his head, and walked back out to the car. Zim was half-heartedly glaring at him from the driver's seat, absentmindedly turning the steering wheel this way and that as the human deposited his purchases in the back seat. "What took you so long, stink-meat?" the Irken asked disparagingly.
"Well, unlike you, I have to eat every once in a while," Dib replied scathingly. "Now if you don't mind, oh great and powerful alien master, I'm going to fill up the car with some 'flatulence' so we can get out of here." The Irken squinted one eye, unsure as to why the other's statement had been metaphorically dripping with sarcasm.
Sitting back with an unconcerned expression, Zim glanced out the window at the human, who was currently impaling the side of the car with a strange-looking instrument (or at least, that's what it looked like). A short while later, the Irken tapped the window button, waiting for the glass to slide all the way down before drawling, "Can Zim get his driver's license now?"
There was a slamming noise from the gas-dispenser, followed by another as Dib irritably slammed the cover of the tank shut. The human then leaned on the edge of the driver's side window, glaring into the car at Zim. "NO. So far we've just been lucky that you haven't gotten us into an accident. And after that incident with the police…you're going to have to do a lot to convince me that you're capable, and trustworthy, enough to drive before I let you take any sort of driving test," he snapped.
"Who said Zim had to listen to you anyways?" Zim shot back, glaring. "I could just go and take that stupid test when you're not expecting me to! You can't stop me, I'm much too smart for you! Cuz I'm amazing."
Dib suppressed a smirk at the proud expression on Zim's face. "So, you know where you have to go to take the test, right?" he inquired, a kind of derisive sweetness evident in his tone. The Irken started to reply, but all that came out was a series of unintelligible stutters as he realized that…no, he really didn't know where to go. "Your reaction is very reassuring," Dib stated, directing a mocking smile at Zim.
"Ehh…of course I know where to go!" the alien retorted. "You don't know what you're talking about. Shut your stupid mouth-part and get in the car! We're going home!"
Crossing his arms over his chest, Dib replied, "Oh, no. You're not driving."
Zim looked severely affronted. "I drove us here in the first place, so I can get us back! Besides, you're the only one here who can read those stupid pig-smelly map-things!" This time it was Dib who couldn't think of a response.
After a moment of thought, the human asked hesitantly, "Is that the only reason you haven't left without me?"
The reply didn't even take Zim a moment of thought. "Yep." He smirked at Dib, who shook his head with a sigh and headed over to the passenger side, getting in and slamming the door in vexation before yanking his seatbelt on. "Isn't it sad to know that the only use you are to your amazing slave-master is that of a map-reader?" Zim drawled lazily as he started the car. Dib merely rolled his eyes and plucked the map off the dashboard, opening it back up right-side-up and glaring at it as though it had insulted his head.
"Well…at the moment, there's only one way to go," the human said, pointing in a northerly direction as the car rumbled to life. With surprising ease, Zim backed the car out of the parking lot and onto the empty highway (on the correct side, amazingly enough).
After a relatively quiet half an hour, in which Dib had gotten bored and taken to snacking, a slight buzzing noise filled the car. Zim narrowed an eye, glaring irritably in the human's direction as the teen slid back his trenchcoat sleeve to reveal his watch/communicator. Gaz's pale face appeared on the tiny screen. "Hey, Dib. Where are you?"
"Somewhere in Mexico," Dib replied blandly.
"Yeah, yeah, very funny. Look, Dib, if you're not gonna come home, then you could at least-" Gaz stopped short, one slitted eye opening ever-so-slightly as she directed a scrutinizing stare at her sibling. "…Oh…you're serious? You're really in Mexico right now?" Her brother nodded, a frown painstakingly clear on his face. "I'm guessing you won't be home for dinner, then," Gaz stated mildly, apparently trying to hide her amusement at the situation.
Zim gave a little half-giggle at the observation, ignoring the dark look Dib sent his way. "Look, Gaz, this really isn't a time to be making jokes. I'm stuck in the middle of Mexico with a megalomanic alien who's been trying to kill me for the past, oh I don't know, five years or so maybe? And the only reason he hasn't actually offed me yet is because he doesn't know how to read a freakin' map. So tell me, Gaz, do you really find this funny?" Dib rambled, resisting the urge to flail around dramatically.
There was a short silence on the other end before Gaz replied simply, "Yeah." Her 'insane' brother had to hold in an agitated scream. "Anyways, Dib, do me a favor while you're on your little date."
At the word 'date', and the thought of all the things it insinuated, Dib was hard-pressed to not simply cut the transmission and barely managed to suppress the persuasive urge. "What is it?" he hissed darkly, trying not to look at the smug grin on his sister's face.
"I need you to get me the Spanish version of Doom Unleashed 7. There's an extra world in it that wasn't released in the American version, and I want it. So make sure that you can keep from making out with your little boyfriend long enough to remember to get that game, or else I'll have to rain misery upon your soul if you come home without it," Gaz warned, cutting the transmission before Dib could shout anything about not being gay OR a xenophile.
With an incredibly bored look on his face, Zim glanced over at his companion. "What was that all about?" he asked, even though it was more than obvious that he didn't care.
"NOTHING," Dib replied firmly, tossing the snack he had been eating aside. Gaz's sadistic little joke had completely ruined his appetite. The alien merely shrugged before turning back to glare at the seemingly thousands of miles left of the highway. "Wake me up when we get to the end of the highway," Dib muttered, turning towards the window and trying to get comfortable.
Silence was the only reply, but Dib wasn't about to repeat himself. Instead, he pulled his glasses off and set them aside carefully, rubbing his forehead with a sigh. Then, he curled up as best he could and closed his eyes, the soothing noises and motions of the car lulling him to sleep.
Dib awoke to yet more utter madness. It didn't seem like it at first, as it started out with the usual stretching, yawning, and fumbling for glasses. The first thing he did once his glasses were on was look around. The surrounding scenery outside was completely different from when he was last awake; tall buildings and billboards everywhere, and a surprising amount of Asians. This last observation, however, failed to kick-start Dib's tired mind. Instead, he peered over at Zim, who was quite literally buried in large maps. "Stupid…location finding things!" the Irken snarled, turning the map he was currently reading this way and that in an attempt to figure it out. He was quite obviously failing miserably.
Sighing, his human companion reached for a few of the maps, relocating them to the glove compartment. "Didn't I tell you to wake me up when we got to the end of the highway?" he asked tiredly, taking the map Zim was presently glaring at. Dib took one look at the map before sighing. "Zim, why did you get this map? This country isn't even on our side of the world."
The observation from before slammed its way into Dib's consciousness. "Wait a minute… ASIANS?" He scrabbled for his seatbelt, pulling it off and practically diving outside, looking around wildly. "How are we-? How is this even-? Zim, wha-?" He whipped around, a look of desperate confusion on his face. "We're in JAPAN! How did we even get across the ocean? HOW?"
"Ocean? …Oh, I was wondering what that big blue thing was," Zim replied unconcernedly as he reclaimed his map and began an intense staring match with it as though that would help him decipher it.
Dib stared at him in open shock, then stumbled away. "I…I've got to go find someone relatively sane… Look, just…please. Don't go anywhere, and do not…I repeat: do NOT…DRIVE anywhere," he pleaded. Zim shrugged blandly, humming to himself as Dib flagged down a passing schoolgirl, who stopped politely and gave a hesitant smile. "Um, excuse me, but do you speak English at all?"
The schoolgirl apparently didn't, and looked sufficiently horrified. She stuttered for a moment before dashing away, wailing in terror. Dib sighed, putting a hand to his forehead to calm his sudden raging headache. This had to be a nightmare, cuz it really shouldn't have been possible in the first place. He leaned back against the side of his car, glancing in at Zim. "Hey…Can you speak any Japanese?"
To which the Irken promptly replied in a sing-song voice, "Translator, translator! I've got one and you don't! You're a stupid human!" Dib grimaced, grating his teeth at the obnoxious behavior.
"Okay, okay, I get the point. Now can you translate for me or what?" he snapped. The Irken merely continued his taunting, looking excessively satisfied. "You know what…FINE. I'll just find someone who can speak English, and then we'll see who has the last laugh, you stupid alien!"
Dib trying to prove he could get something done in a foreign country without Zim's help deteriorated into him standing at the side of his car, holding up a sign with the words 'Need English, Will Pay' written in bold letters on it. The fact that Zim had joined the little game wasn't helping, as the Irken had taken to holding up a little sign with the Japanese kanji for 'crazy' on it and an arrow underneath it pointing to Dib. Not that the human knew what the kanji meant, so he was stuck trying to figure out why anyone nearby would take great pains to avoid his general area. All in all a frustrating experience.
Finally, two people who apparently didn't mind crazy approached them. "Do you need some help?" the younger of the two asked as his sister (who, oddly enough, had bright red hair) directed a seemingly exasperated look at Zim for some unknown reason.
Sighing in relief at finding some English-speakers, Dib replied hastily, "I need to find a phone so I can call my dad and tell him I somehow ended up in Japan when teaching my…uh…'friend' how to drive." He shot an irritated glance at the Irken, who merely smirked back, then turned back to the other two teenagers. "Hopefully he'll be able to pull himself away from his precious 'real science' long enough to get me."
"Eh? Just you? …What about ZIM?"
Dib didn't even spare him a glance, merely rolling his eyes. "You can get your own freakin' ride, Spaceboy. And since you apparently had no problem somehow driving over the Pacific Ocean, I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard for you to drive back."
The red-headed girl snickered and shook her head in mock-sympathy for Zim, her pigtails swishing. "Here, you can use my cel phone." She pulled it from her bookbag, handing it over to Dib, who gave a quick thanks before dialing for his father.
Sadly, the person who picked up was not his father, but Gaz. "What do you want, Dib?" she complained. "It's like…two in the morning…"
"Not where I am. Look, Gaz, I need you to call Dad and see if he can take a quick trip to pick me up."
"…Where are you now?" Gaz asked, a hint of incredulity in her voice.
"You're probably not going to believe me, but I'm in Japan at the moment," Dib replied irritably. "And before you ask, no, I couldn't get that game for you, cuz I fell asleep and then ended up waking up all the way across the ocean. So if there's anything you want in Japan, you'd better tell me now while I'm here. And you'd better not doom me or anything, cuz it's not my fault."
There was a sigh from the other end before Gaz said anything. "Just get the Japanese version of Doom Unleashed 7, it's got the same extra world thing. And about Dad…he went on a business trip. I have no idea where he is right now." Her tone changed from tiredly annoyed to slightly amused. "But I could ask Gir if he could get you two."
"I think I'll pass on that," Dib said immediately, not willing to deal with any more insanity than he had to. "Well…I'll figure something out, and hopefully that something won't involve having to let Zim drive. So…yeah. I'll be home soon. …I think." There was a mumbled 'whatever' from Gaz before she hung up, and he handed the cel phone back over to its proper owner, who began dragging her brother away after shooting an apprehensive look in Zim's direction.
The younger teen waved at them as he was pulled away, his sister snapping something to the effect of 'Fuyuki, you need to stop talking to people just cuz they're around an alien! It's not normal!' Fortunately, neither Dib nor Zim heard this, as an annoyed reader had just shot the authoress for making references to a relatively vague anime, and the gunshots were pretty loud. Meanwhile, yet another fourth wall fell. And yes, there's more than one fourth wall. Wow, I'm not even trying to decently write this paragraph anymore…
And so, Dib and Zim find themselves stranded in Japan…somehow. "Just great," Dib muttered, leaning back against the car. "This is all your fault, Zim." The Irken hardly looked offended. "Give me the map, I'm going to try to find an airport. At this point, I don't even care about what happens to the car, I just want to get home."
Without a word, Zim tossed the map in Dib's general direction, missing rather badly and causing the mentally exhausted teenager to have to chase after it when a dog got a hold of it. Finally, the human returned with the (slightly drooled on) map and dropped heavily into the passenger seat, opening it up and examining the pages.
After a few minutes of silence, all of which the teenager spent poring over the map, Zim decided to speak. "Can I drive there?"
The rather extensively-traveled car ambled into an airport parking space, Dib turning to his sulking companion with a stern expression. "And that, Zim, is the compilation of reasons why you shouldn't be allowed to drive."
"Couldn't you have spent the drive here telling Zim the rules of the road instead?" the Irken whined, pouting almost cutely. The other half of the conversation simply glared at him before shoving his keys into his pocket and getting out of the car. Seeing that the discussion was over, Zim sighed harshly and got out as well, a relatively mopey look on his face as he trudged after Dib.
Throughout the entire walk into the airport, the two walked in completely silence, Zim glaring at the human in front of him, who in turn glared at the ground in front of him in some kind of pathetic cycle of hate. Finally, when outside the ticket line, Dib turned to speak with the Irken, who wasn't paying attention and thus slammed into him, sending them to the floor in a fairly amusing heap of extremities (if that even made sense at all). "ZIM! Can you pay attention to your surroundings for once in your life?" the human spat, shoving him off before any of the surrounding people would get any disturbing ideas about the two of them.
Landing somewhat ungracefully on his rear with a squeak, Zim directed a half-hearted glare at Dib before replying with equal agitation, "It's your fault you stopped without warning! You dare blame ZIM?"
With a slight growl, Dib massaged his temples, his headache coming back in full force. Why did Zim have to be so headache-inducing? "Look… We need to get airplane tickets. If you have any money, you'd better pay up now, cuz I really don't want to have to pay for you unless you plan on doing something in return," Dib explained, giving a small frown as he got up.
"Of course Zim has pathetic Earth-monies! Cuz…ya know…Zim is normal," the alien stated mildly, nodding at his normalcy. Dib merely raised an eyebrow as he impatiently pulled his companion to his feet, wanting to get out of this place as soon as he could. He just wanted to go home, dammit!
"In case you didn't know, a plane ticket from Japan to home is probably about five hundred dollars, possibly more, possibly less," he informed the Irken, who gave a surprised squeak.
Stuttering for a moment, Zim repeated in shock, "F-five hundred? …Maybe…more? Ehh…but Zim never carries around that much!" He reached back into his pak, pulling out a wad of bills and staring at them for a moment before looking up at Dib hopelessly. "I don't know how much I carry around anyways. Zim just carries around whatever Gir doesn't use."
The teenager sighed resignedly. "Whatever, Zim. Just…hand it over and I'll get the tickets."
Before Zim could do so, a familiar voice called out from somewhere in the terminal. Dib whipped around, an expression of disbelief on his face, then gave a sound that could have ranged from anywhere between overjoyed to confused. "DAD?"
And indeed, Professor Membrane stood before them in all his scientific, lab-coated glory. Simmons trailed behind him, looking from the Professor to his son to the strange green child in bemusement. "And just how did you get here, son?" Membrane asked, the stern expression apparent even with the ever-present goggles and collar concealing most of his face. "I thought you were teaching your little foreign friend to drive."
"I was!" Dib cried defensively. "But Zim almost got us into a car wreck, and I just got so panicked that I fainted, and then when I came to, we were in Mexico! MEXICO! And then a few hours later, somehow we ended up here! I don't know how, but it's true! You've gotta believe me, Dad!"
Professor Membrane glanced over at Zim, who was nervously inching away as though the three humans would explode at any moment. Then he chuckled, looking rather impressed (the expression was again somehow noticeable through his goggles). "Well, well, Dib. Your little friend must be an incredibly skilled driver to make it all the way here! And he tested the experimental hovercraft capabilities I installed in your vehicle for me! An incredibly daring accomplishment!" the Professor exclaimed dramatically, patting Zim on the shoulder in congratulations. The Irken could only manage an immensely perplexed expression.
Dib stared at his father for a moment, mouth open in shock, before asking hesitantly, "…Uh…hovercraft capabilities?" Simmons stepped forward to explain.
"Your car is an ingenious work of engineering! Precise turning, incredible handling, and state-of-the-art acceleration and braking, along with the added features of hovercraft and weapons capabilities, and if activated, flight control!" the man rambled, looking excited. "Not to mention the amazing security features and gas mileage! And JETS!"
Zim smirked over at his nemesis before quietly saying, "Those weapons were pretty useful against those flashy cars of the law. Nice and explodey. Much better than giant weenies. And I told you your car had flight control."
"You never actually used the flight control, though. You just drove us off an overhead pass cuz you're crazy," Dib muttered back, glaring.
Looking pleased with himself, and not paying the least bit of attention to the boys' bantering, Professor Membrane added to the description. "Along with all of that…it's safe. And no matter how many times you crash it, it will rebuild itself within minutes!" The Professor gave a contented sigh. "It really is a good thing I exist."
"Indeed, sir. Without a doubt, it'll revolutionize the automobile industry!" Simmons exclaimed. Zim merely scoffed; human technology…so pathetic. And stinky, too.
Dib rolled his eyes at the exchange between the Professor and his coworker. "Yeah, that's all well and good, Dad, but what are you doing here?"
Membrane glanced down at his supposedly-insane child. "How long have you been with me, son? I don't remember taking you with me on this trip." Dib's eye twitched as he stared up at his father in irritable disbelief. "…Oh, right." The Professor cleared his throat. "I'm here for a business meeting with Japan's leaders to discuss a cheaper importation and exportation program. I was thinking teleporters…" he pondered, going off on a tangent. "Simple, quick, and once the teleporters are completed, cheap!" Simmons nodded his agreement emphatically as his employer began to list the pros and cons.
Amazingly noticing the growing irritation on the boys' faces, Membrane managed to divert his attention away from his precious science in order to speak with them. "Now, boys, to deal with this situation. Due to raising gas prices, I'd rather you didn't drive home…" Dib looked incredibly relieved at this, though Zim seemed rather disappointed. "So instead, I'll call for a private jet. One large enough to carry the car as well. But in the meantime, I have to get to that meeting, so you'll have to come with me unless you want to be left behind. And the two of you had better behave. That means no spouting off nonsense about aliens and whatnot," the Professor stated firmly. Now it was Dib's turn to look disappointed.
"Speaking of meeting, sir, you're going to be late," Simmons stated matter-of-factly.
"Ah, you're right! We'd better be off!" With that, Membrane began walking briskly to the entrance of the airport terminal, the two boys almost having to jog to keep up. Simmons hurried ahead to speak with a few official-looking men who were apparently waiting for them. "Well, Dib… Since your friend seems to have done such an impressive job at learning to drive-" Dib didn't even have to turn to look at the Irken to know that he had a smug grin on his face. "-He doesn't even really need to prove his knowledge, does he? And what with my connections and all, I'll see what I can do about getting him a driver's license."
The horrified look on Dib's face was priceless, and if possible, Zim's grin grew even more smug. The only thought that managed to fully manifest itself in Dib's world-weary mind was this: This has GOT to be a nightmare.
And so, the unexpected and insane road-trip came to an end. Dib sighed in relief as his father's car pulled up in front of his house, getting out of the vehicle as quickly as he could. Zim followed, the smug look still plastered on his face (it had been really irritating on the plane ride home, Dib noted for the hundredth time).
The reason for Zim's smug expression was painstakingly obvious. The Irken now held between his claws a small, square-ish card…a driver's license. Proof that Membrane's connections were useful, indeed. He waved the card in Dib's face, smirking. "You have done well, Dib-stink, in helping Zim further add to his collection of normalcy proof! Try proving I'm an alien NOW! HA!"
Dib stared at him blankly before stating, "Ya know…it's not like anyone's going to care that you have a driver's license, Zim. I only said otherwise cuz it's fun to watch you panic." He opened the door to his house, grinning at the Irken. "See ya at school, Zim!" he cooed mockingly before shutting the door. Score one for Dib, score nothing for Zim, he thought proudly.
Upon turning around, he found Gaz's hand raised expectantly in front of his face. "Huh? Gaz?"
"My game, Dib?"
Oh, right…that's why it seemed like he was forgetting something… Gasping in horror, Dib backed up against the door, fumbling for the handle. "Uh…well…I, uh…I can get it from eBuy or something! I'M SORRY!" he shrieked, diving outside and running after Zim, who was stomping irritably towards his base. "ZIM! YA GOTTA HELP ME!"
Zim whipped around, glaring. "Why should I help you?" he snapped. "You, stupid filthy Dib-thing, made me waste my superior Zim-time on some menial task which ended up being of no use to me! So you can help yourself!" With that, the Irken turned on his heel, 'nose' in the air as he stalked away.
Panicked, Dib glanced over his shoulder, seeing Gaz storming towards him with an aura of pure doom surrounding her. Squeaking in terror, he choked down his pride and pleaded with the Irken. "Wait! But…you'll…you'll need a driver's license later in life to seem normal! Yeah! As an ID and stuff! So you owe me!" He glanced back at his approaching sibling again, his fear doubling at the enraged look on her face. "OMIGOD HELP SHE'S GONNA KILL ME!"
"Oh, fine!" Zim yelled, stomping over to a nearby car and yanking its apparently unlocked driver door open. "Get in and stop your pig-squealing!"
Dib stared at him oddly. "But that's someone else's car…"
"Do you want Gaz to doom you or what?" the Irken retorted, raising an 'eyebrow' and motioning behind Dib. The human glanced over his shoulder, gave another terrified squeak, and dove into the car, squirming into the passenger's side. Zim got into his seat in a much calmer fashion, closing the door mildly before putting on his seatbelt.
Apparently the owner of the car knew nothing of car thieves, as the keys were dangling from the ignition. The Irken scoffed as he started the car and put it in gear, nearly running over some nearby garbage cans as he turned into the street and sped up, leaving a very pissed-off Gaz behind.
From his seat in the car, Dib could hear his sister yelling after him, "You'd better be going back to Mexico to get my game!" Shivering in terror, he glanced back at Gaz through the side mirror, then over at Zim, who was most definitely the lesser of two evils. Dib sank down in his seat, sighing in defeat.
How did he get himself into these messes anyways?END
KrysOfDeath: …Wow. 27 pages. Longest one-shot I've ever done. …Actually, besides my crappy old script-format fics, this is probably the longest fanfic I've ever done, much less finished. O.o Anyways, I was originally going to have Zim find out that the driver's license wasn't really of any use to him in school. But…I vetoed that cuz it would add a load of unnecessary length to the fanfic. Besides that, I just couldn't be bothered to write anymore. I'm a lazy bum… I did do a piece of dialogue for it, though. So…here ya go.
REVISED SCENE, WHOO!
"Zim? An alien?" the disguised 'Invader' gasped in shock at Dib's claim. "Nonsense! I'm as normal as normal can be! And here's the proof!" He whipped out a small rectangular card, which the students could all easily recognize. "I have a driver's license!"
Zita, from her spot behind Zim, merely raised an eyebrow and scoffed. "So what? It's just a driver's license. Even an idiot can get one of those." She, of course, failed to realize that she had just implicated her own idiocy.
Confused, Zim looked over at Dib, who was smirking at him from across the room. It only took a moment before the Irken put two and two together and realized that the driver's license…really wasn't of any help at all. Completely changing the subject, the Invader jumped up onto his desk, pointing spastically at Dib. "CURSE YOU, DIIIIIB! CURSE YOOOOOOOU!"
END OF SCENE
Krys: Another problem with that particular scene was that I couldn't figure out any kind of amusing way to end it at all, unless I just left it at that. But…whatever. ((shrugs)) There was another scene that I was going to include, but I ended up not because I forgot about it until I was half-finished, and by then, I was already happy with the paragraph order at that part. So…here's another scene thing for you. Part of it is from the actual fanfic to show where the removed scene was supposed to be.
REMOVED SCENE, LAWL
Indignant, Zim whipped around to scowl at his companion, vexed that his patented death glare was again failing to fell its target. "You dare question Zim's superior methods?"
Rolling his eyes, Dib replied blandly with sarcasm obvious in his tone, "Of course not, oh great and powerful alien master. How could a lowly human like myself possibly understand your incredible genius?" The Irken stared at him blankly before smirking.
"It's about time you acknowledged my supremacy! You may bow to Zim later." Zim nodded his approval. The teen accompanying him started to open his mouth to explain the meaning of 'sarcasm' to the megalomaniac, but thought better of it and merely sat back with a sigh. "In the meantime, praise Zim some more!" Dib looked over at him, giving a confused 'what?' as though he hadn't heard correctly.
Zim glared over at him. "You heard your master! Praise Zim!"
Thinking for a moment, Dib rolled his eyes and stated sarcastically, "You're not horrible and heartless at all. You're a saint." Zim nodded for him to continue, and continue he did, his tone metaphorically drowning in sarcasm. "You're also not ignorant, and you're definitely responsible. Nowhere near obnoxious and uncaring, either!"
"Yes, yes, I am truly incredible," Zim sighed happily, not noticing the sarcasm in the least. "Continue."
Dib frowned slightly. "Uh… Yay for Zim. …I dunno, I can't think of anything." He slouched down in his seat, scoffing lowly as he did so.
The Irken gave him a strange look. "How can you not think of simple praise for the amazing ZIM?" he asked incredulously, not noticing as he ran over yet another shopping cart.
"Haven't I already slandere-I mean…glorified you enough?" Dib replied irritably.
Zim snorted indignantly, not catching Dib's near-mistake. "One can never glorify Zim enough! Now PRAISE ZIM!" he snapped.
There was a moment of silence, in which Dib examined the alien. Then, Dib said blandly, "You're very green." (Strangely enough, Zim seemed to accept this 'incredible' observation as a compliment.)
Krys: Anyways…yeah. That's a wrap. I hope you all liked the fic. I know I had fun writing it. Cuz…well…I don't have a life. xD Thanks for reading and whatnot. Review or…don't. I guess. Doesn't matter either way, really.