Dib's breath came in short, painful gasps as he slid down the dew strewn hill at four in the morning. Right behind him was a laughing Zim, shooting at the teen randomly and cackling as each shot got closer and closer to his target. "Dammit!" Dib hissed and skidded a little to the left and turned around, leveling his own gun that he 'borrowed' from his dad's lab. He had absolutely no idea what the hell it did, but if ever there was a time to find out, this was it.

He aimed sloppily and fired off a shot before he was forced kiss the ground in an effort to not get shot by Zim. Somewhere above him he heard a cry of anger and frustration and he smiled into the grass as he realized that he hit something with his Hail Mary pass. Wincing at the stiffness in his muscles as he pushed himself off the ground, Dib quickly got up and looked around to see Zim on the ground, his own Pak sparking randomly as the Irken hissed in pain.

Dib looked at the gun in his hand and whistled. "Electro magnetic impulse weapon, nice," he said with a grin. "I forgot dad made these."

Zim got up shakily and aimed his gun at Dib's head, his red eyes glowing dangerously in the fading moonlight. "This isn't over, worm-baby," he growled. "I ZIM am far from being defeated by the likes of you with your enormously large head that does not know the meaning of win."

"I have no idea what you just said," Dib admitted to his nemesis as he leveled his own gun at Zim's now useless spider legs. "So, you ready to be defeated, space boy?"

Zim sneered at Dib, firing a shot from his gun that went whizzing by the teen's head. Dib looked unfazed as the shot hissed by his ear, missing his own brain by mere inches. "If my head's so big, then why can't you hit it?" he taunted his own grip on his gun tightening.

Zim shut his eyes tightly and fired off another shot that flew over Dib's head. This time it missed by whole feet. "Shut your noise tube, filthy dirt brat child," Zim said quietly.

"Shoot me dammit!" Dib yelled, firing his own warning shot at Zim's Pak. He wanted things to go back to the way they were. Here they were at the ultimate confrontation and they couldn't even off one another. How pathetic.

Zim's red eyes met Dib's own brown ones and they stared each other down for what seemed like hours. The sun began to rise slightly and Dib could see angry dark green marks on Zim's arms, face and legs where he had fallen into the dew. The angry alien didn't seem fazed by this, however. He seemed more interested in the idea of blowing Dib's brain out.

"What happened?" Dib asked finally, his own shaking voice betraying the ounce of concern that he had for his worst enemy of seven years.

Zim sneered and kept his gun aimed right at Dib's head. "What happened?" he asked. "You know what happened, stink-human. I know you monitor my transmissions when you can."

Dib bit his lower lip and frowned. "Well…I…" he shook his head. Why should he feel guilty about spying on Zim? Zim was trying to take over the world for god's sake! "Damn right I do!" he said resolutely. "I stopped though," he admitted. "Halfway through…"

Zim snorted. "Why? Couldn't bear to watch the rest?" he asked. "Was the sight of my powerful race too much for your puny mind to comprehend?"

"They tried to kill you!" Dib blurted out. He instantly regretted it as he saw Zim's antennae lower slightly and the alien turn a dark shade of green. "I…I mean… Zim." Dib sighed and lowered his weapon.

"You're right," Zim replied in a tone that Dib had never heard before. Dib glanced sharply at the homicidal Irken and frowned. "They do want me dead. They've wanted me dead for a long time now. Not that it matters," he laughed. It was a cold laugh, with none of Zim's usual spark or charisma. "If I let anyone know that I'm alive, I'd be hunted down and deactivated for the betterment of the Irken empire."

Dib sucked in a deep breath and looked at the gun that Zim still had pointed at him. "Why come after me then?" he asked. "I didn't do it."

"I need something!" Zim yelled. "I need a reason…"

"To what?" Dib asked. "Exist?"

Zim's red eyes became empty as he finally lowered his gun. "Yes," he replied. His antennae dropped behind his head and his spider legs finally received the signal to retract into the Pak.

Dib opened his mouth, then closed it. He had absolutely no idea what to say to that. "I…"

"You have no idea what it's like, filthy monkey brained trash," Zim cut him off. "I've been conditioned for nearly two hundred of your years to be the perfect soldier, with no need to PITIFUL things like emotion or personality. I have been given one goal, like all other Irkens to be the ideal follower. Then to be told that because you can't fulfill that one simple task that your life is void and therefore should be taken away? How would you understand that," Zim narrowed his eyes.

Dib stood there silently as the rays of the sun came out and evaporated the dew into an early morning mist. "I don't," he admitted. "I won't pretend to. Zim, you've lived on this planet for seven years. We're in the same college for chrissakes! We probably spend more time worrying about our next class then fighting at this point. You even have a major! Why are you so upset?"

"I did all that so I could take over this planet!" Zim yelled. "I did it to fulfill MY duty to MY people."

"What happened to your superiority?" Dib asked. "What happened to your being better then anyone in the universe, huh?"

Zim gave Dib a halfhearted grin for his offhanded efforts to get Zim to snap out of it. "Why do you care, stink beast?" he asked.

Dib sighed. "I couldn't call myself human if I didn't," he replied.

Zim's antennae raised a little. "That makes no sense," he said finally.

"It wouldn't, to you," Dib said haughtily. "I'm human and you're Irken. I care because I'm human. I don't exactly like you, but… damn Zim, you were just outcast by your own race. I mean, anyone with an ounce of humanity would feel something."

Zim threw his gun at the ground. "I wish I didn't," he hissed bitterly. "I am ZIM! I'm supposed to be…"

"Annoying as hell?" Dib asked, raising an eyebrow.

"You're amazingly no help at all, filth," Zim sniffed.

"I'm not trying to be," Dib laughed. "You would never accept my help anyways," he pointed out. "We hate each other, remember?"

"Then why couldn't you finish me off?" Zim asked with a wicked grin. "Is your need to be the hero too great to finish off the 'pathetic' Irken?"

"You wish," Dib snorted. "I could ask you the same question. Why didn't you finish me off?"

Zim was quiet as the birds began to chirp loudly. He crossed his arms and gave Dib a hard glare.

"We both know the answer," Dib said softly. "We can't help it, can we? You try and take over the world, I stop you, neither one of us really wins and we go home and do it again. It's what we live for at this point, isn't it?"

Zim snorted rudely. "I did it for my Tallest," he hissed.

"You stayed here for seven years trying to take over this planet for the sake of your leaders who were three thousand light years away at any given time?" Dib asked. "Or did it ever cross your mind that you did this for your own enjoyment."

Zim opened his mouth, then closed it. "Your earth logic hurts my brain, human," he said simply.

Dib put his gun into his backpack and stuck his hands in his pockets, looking highly amused. "You're burning you know," he said suddenly, nodding at Zim's wounds.

Zim looked down at his arms and winced as he felt his tender face. "It's your fault," Zim growled.

"I know," Dib said happily. "Somehow that makes me feel better about all this. Want to get cleaned up?" he offered.

"Where, at your house?" Zim asked. "Why would I…"

"You're wet, it's 5:00 in the morning and I figure after the really shitty past few days you've had, you deserve it," Dib said. "I mean, we've known each other for seven years Zim. We should at least be past the 'I don't understand why you said this' stage."

Zim grinned in spite of himself at Dib. "It doesn't mean I like you," he said, picking up his gun and pocketing it. "But, I don't really feel like going home just yet."

"I figured," Dib sighed. "Come on, you don't even have that horrible thing you call a disguise on."

"Hey! I am far superior then you, why should I have to hide it!" Zim said cockily. "Besides, the lenses hurt my eyes."

Dib shook his head and led Zim down to where his car sat, waiting to take him home.

They arrived at Dib's apartment at about 5:30, an early hour when no sane human was out of bed and the insane ones were doing weird things like jogging or reading. Dib looked around uneasily for any all night students or those actually crazy enough to wake up at 5:30 before letting Zim out of his car and leading him into the apartment.

It was a small thing. Three and a half rooms. One bedroom, one living room, one bathroom and a small kitchen for making food. It was messy, with papers, books, badly taken pictures with things like 'snow monster' scribbled in the corners and electronic pieces strewn all over the floor. Obviously Dib didn't really care about how messy things got as long as they were there.

Zim and Dib themselves were different. Dib was tall, 6 feet 2 inches and wore black as he always did. His head was still big but somehow he had grown into it over the years. Zim on the other hand was about 4 feet 10 inches high and still looked like he was maybe… twelve years old, thirteen at the most. This annoyed Zim to no end as he walked around on campus getting odd looks and questions from the professors along the lines of 'shouldn't you be in 6th grade?'

Dib rooted around in a badly concealed closet that was supposed to blend in with the wall and threw a dark grey towel at Zim. It hit the Irken full in the face and fell to the floor with a dull thud. "Thanks," Zim said dryly and picked it up.

"So, now what are you going to do?" Dib asked finally as Zim began to dry himself off.

The Irken looked thoughtful while he got the horrid water off his skin and clothes. "I don't know, can you bring yourself to fight me, Dib-monkey?"

"Always," Dib said with a snide grin.

"Then," Zim said with a flourish. "I will TAKE OVER this PATHETIC dirt bag you call your home planet."

Yeah, this was written while on heavy painkillers for my knees. I probably won't even remember writing this in the morning. Er... later in the morning that is. It's about 3 am here XD Anyways, some Zim and Dib offhanded friendship, kinda sorta... ish. I don't know, I actually had this desire to see if I could write them in a plausible romance just to see if I could (yeah, see, I write things because they're weird or/and challenging. I'm weird like that) but that obviously didn't happen here. I actually am quite pleased with how this turned out.

Unsure as to whether I should leave it a one shot, or continue. I dunno. You tell me. Anywho, I'm going off to bed. I'm tired.