Disclaimer: Own not, do I, Invader Zim
For Johnen Vasquez created him.
Author's note: After five long years it felt good to type that disclaimer again, lemme tell ya. I feel the need to apologize here, more than on any other fic I'm writing. A five year hiatus with no explanation is just... well, it's not fair to you, the readers. I always knew where I was going with this story, but had trouble getting there. Five years ago, I believed I had written myself into a corner. Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. But now? Now I know what I'm doing. Thanks to a good friend of mine giving me a deadline to update all of the fics I needed to update (a whopping total of nine) I was able to sit down and force myself to work. And, lucky you. I am going to have to update much more regularly (weekly at best) if I am to keep up my end of a second bargain I made with my friend. You may thank her, if you wish, in any comments you leave on this chapter. Without further ado, on with the show!
It was Friday. Friday, Zim had decided long ago, was indeed a good day. It was the end of the week, and he was able to leave Skool for two days without fear of any reprisals. However, it was the worst part of Friday. It was morning. Class had just started.
Zim looked over at Dib, who was busy staring daggers back at Zim. Zim narrowed his eyes at Dib momentarily, but then turned his attention to Ms. Bitters. He was once again diligently taking notes. It got tedious at times, because occasionally he would look down and realize he had transcribed every instance of the word "doom" in her lectures.
The day dragged on and on, it seemed. It got to the point that Zim jumped in surprise when the lunch bell rang. He got up and gathered his things, preparing to head to the cafeteria.
"S'matter, Zim?" asked a certain spiky headed human behind him. "You seem awfully jumpy today. Seems a little suspicious."
'You think everything I do is suspicious,' thought Zim. However, vocally, he took a slightly different approach. "Eh? Zim is up to nothing, Dib-human."
"I doubt that," said Dib, narrowing his eyes. "I'll see you in the cafeteria."
"Then I will see you seeing me in the cafeteria," answered Zim, grabbing his bag and marching towards his locker. He put his backpack and books away and grabbed his lunch. He had taken to studying the Skool's menus beforehand, and knew that today was bean day. He shuddered. He was not looking forward to the aftermath of the dreaded bean.
He took his lunch to the cafeteria and sat down. It was the first day he'd sat inside in a few days. But, Gaz had insisted. In fact, as he thought about his partner he noticed her traversing the cafeteria, coming straight towards him.
"Plan all in place?" she asked.
"Absolutely," answered Zim with dead seriousness. They looked each other dead in the eye, and with the utmost seriousness, they opened their lunch boxes and launched their ingenious plan into action... by eating lunch.
Zim was fairly pleased with his sandwich. He had made it himself (after getting a few pointers from Gaz and Skoodge about what would and would not be acceptable as part of an earth child's lunch) and it tasted quite good. Also, as an added bonus, it was not actively burning into his mouth! It was then that Gaz initiated the first step of her side of the plan. She... struck up a conversation.
"So Zim," she began, taking a bite of her sandwich, "what did you wanna do tomorrow anyway?"
"The same thing we do everyday, Gaz," said Zim, "try to take over the world!"
"No but seriously, what did you want to do?" she asked, adding, 'Numbskull,' in thought.
"I was just kidding," said Zim, with a wave of his hand, adding, 'Sort of,' in thought. "I was instead thinking maybe we could go and see a movie?"
"Which one?" asked Gaz.
"There is a film currently playing about a rag tag group of Earth-primates who wish to take their place as the rulers of the Earth," said Zim. "That is the movie that I had in mind."
"Really?" asked Gaz. Zim nodded, perfectly serious. Gaz smirked. "Yeah, cause I'm sure watching a movie about a bunch of monkeys taking over the Earth can give you a few pointers." They both laughed.
"But I think that after that we can-"
"WHAT IN THE SAM HILL IS GOING ON HERE!" a voice loudly cried out. Much of the cafeteria's attention suddenly shifted to the source of the voice. It was Dib.
"Oh, hello Dib," said Zim. "I told you that I would see you seeing me in the cafeteria. Why do you act so surprised?"
"What are you doing with my sister!" demanded Dib. Much of the cafeteria had shifted attention back to their lunch. The open feud between Dib and Zim was obviously well documented by the Skool children. Half of them were mostly bored with the antics, and many others simply did not want to get involved. The remaining, however, were entertained.
"Huh?" asked Zim. "Oh, right, the Gaz is your sister. I forget sometimes, as she is a much more balanced individual than you." Dib hadn't expected the sudden personal attack, but he didn't let it distract him.
"You know perfectly well who she is, Zim," said Dib. "Now I ask again, what are you doing?"
"Um, eating?" Zim offered. "Also engaging in conversation."
"What's it to you anyway, Dib?" asked Gaz. "I can hang out with whoever I want, you know." Dib looked atunned for a moment, but then he looked angry.
"Not with Zim!" he exclaimed. "I can't let my little sister hang out with my mortal enemy! It doesn't work that way!" Gaz growled at him.
"You can't tell me who I can and can't hang out with, Dib!" she shot back. "If I wanna be friends with Zim, I will be. There is nothing you can do to stop me either. And you know what? He and I are gonna hang out tomorrow too. So there!"
"I can't let you do that, Gaz!" declared Dib. Gaz stood up at this, and slammed her hands down on the table.
"Do Not Drag Me Into Your Personal War," she said, emphasizing each word. "If I say he's my friend, then he is my friend. So back OFF!" The cafeteria went quiet. The situation had gone from entertaining to fairly serious, and some of the kids felt awkward listening in now. But then one kid spoke up.
"Hey, yeah," said a kid sitting not too far away. "What business is it of yours? They can be friends if they want."
"It's none of your business," Dib responded.
"None of yours either," said another kid.
"Now hang on just a second-" Dib tried saying.
"Yeah, Dib!" another kid put in. "Leave 'em alone!"
"You can't say that they can't be friends!" Soon, the whole cafeteria was in a mild uproar, just about everyone voicing their opinion against Dib's interference.
Dib felt more ostracized than ever. Sure, the kids would likely forget all about it soon enough, but it still really hurt. He hung his head in defeat, and walked away, leaving the cafeteria. A small cheer went up from the kids, but then they all fell back to their lunch as if nothing had happened.
Zim grinned. His plan had worked better than expected, and Dib was temporarily defeated. However, his grin faded when he looked back at Gaz. She still looked very, very angry.
She had sat down, and had put her head down between her crossed arms. "Gaz?" asked Zim.
"What?" she snapped. Zim flinched, the tone in her voice having been linked with pain in the past.
"What is wrong?" asked Zim. "We have won."
"Don't you get it?" asked Gaz. Zim looked at her blankly. "Everything I said was true."
"Oh," said Zim. Then he got it. "Oooooooh. So you weren't acting angry. You were actually angry."
"Yes," said Gaz. "... I need to ask you something."
"Yes Gaz?" asked Zim, feeling a little concerned (though for who or what, he could not tell).
"Aren't you doing the same thing?" she asked.
"Dragging me into your fight with Dib," said Gaz. "You basically did the exact same thing. That's the only reason we're hanging out." Zim was quiet for a minute before answering.
"That's not true," said Zim. Gaz looked up at him. For once, Zim seemed really sincere and honest. "The reason we are hanging out is not just so I can use you against your brother. Sure, that's a bonus, but it's not the reason."
"Then what is?" asked Gaz.
"Gaz," he said, putting his hand on her arm, and concealing a flinch when her eyebrow raised in response, "we are hanging out so that we can take over the world." She just stared at him, trying to figure out if this was supposed to make her feel any better. "Gaz you are the only human I can trust, the only reliable person I know. You are the one person I'd want to have by my side ruling this planet."
"Really?" asked Gaz.
"Of course," said Zim. "Sure, there's Skoodge, and Minimoose, Gir, and Computer, but those are mere underlings. You? You are co-ruler material. And I mean that." Gaz smiled, despite herself. She was still upset, but something about the little green man in front of her had actually cheered her up.
"Thanks," said Gaz.
"Any time," said Zim.
"I still think you're an idiot," said Gaz. She almost laughed at his reaction, his eyes lowering and his bottom lip sticking out in a manner that said "I quite disagree with you, madam." She smirked. "Oh get over it, Zim. I'm just messing with you."
"I know," he said. "I was, er, playing along. Yeah, that's it, that's what I was doing." Gaz rolled her eyes.
The rest of the day had gone without incident. After the final bell, Gaz and Zim had confirmed their schedule for tomorrow and parted ways. Dib, however, was quite upset.
It wasn't every day that he was so totally humiliated in front of the whole school. Sure, it happened most days, but not every day. And today had hurt especially because the blow had been delivered by his sister. He felt a bit selfish.
Zim was a dangerous alien, and his mortal enemy. But did he really have the right to interfere with her social life? Sure, he was her big brother, and it was his job to protect her, but still. He felt like a jerk today, and he wasn't quite sure what to do about it.
Gaz, meanwhile, felt considerably better than she had at lunch. Things with Dib had gone farther than she'd thought, but it was still a success. And it had kind of cleared the air a little. She had been feeling like Zim was just using her to get back at her brother. But, for once, Zim had shown some legitimate honesty. Not honesty about hatching schemes, because that was a totally different kind of honesty. He was being honest about his feelings, which had been a pleasant surprise.
She decided that she may as well prep herself for the movie by watching the trailer again tonight. As she watched it, she actually found herself interested. Maybe Zim had actually picked out a good movie. Maybe he was learning.
In his lab, Zim was studying. He decided that he needed to look up the typical movie going experience. He needed to know what to expect.
"Hmm," he muttered to himself, taking notes, "popcorn and soda... possibly candy and other confectionaries... why have I never gone to the movies before?"
Gir, meanwhile, was watching him study. 'What a waste of time,' thought Gir, his eye twitching as he performed a menial household task. 'He should be studying Earth's weaknesses, not planning a day out.' All of this only served to further cement Gir's plan. He would take care of both Zim and Gaz tomorrow. He could complete the mission himself. He could be a thousand times the invader Zim was
And he would prove it.
Dun dun duuuuuuuuuun!
Gotta say, it felt great to work on this again. Important to note, yeah that was a reference to Rise of the Planet of the Apes I put in there. It is actually a great movie. Go see it. Add that to your list of things to do.
The next chapter has a scene I've been waiting to write for a good long time. I'm just sorry it took so long.
Til next time, stay tuned!