The walk to Zim's house was so magical that Dib completely forgot why he was going. He just smiled at the world, thinking to himself that there was nothing that could possibly make this day any better. Despite the fact that he was probably fired and would most likely lose the ring and necklace that proved how much he loved Zim, and despite the fact that his lover was probably up to something, which was why he'd insisted he come over that day. There was nothing in Dib's mind except how amazing it felt to finally hold Zim's small hand and cradle those three fingers in his the way he should have been able to do their entire two year relationship.

Once he saw the oddly placed, oddly shaped green house approaching, however, he snapped out of the rather intense daze he'd been in. He blinked and looked over at Zim, who was staring at his house with great intensity. He didn't look back at the human, though he had no idea if it was because he was ignoring him or hadn't noticed the stare. Dib narrowed one eye a tiny bit in mild suspicion, if only because Zim was infamous for causing trouble.

"So, uh, Zim, what's the big surprise?" he asked without really thinking about how the alien might react to it. He flinched when Zim gripped his hand and slowed to a stop just outside the fence around his house. He shifted those false eyes to the gold ones of his lover. There was no anger, no rage, nothing in those beautiful, if fake, eyes that gave Dib any reason to think he was up to something, least of all something involving the Earth in any sort of way.

"Isn't it custom on your planet to wait to be surprised by the surprise?" was Zim's casual answer, complete with a flick of his free wrist and a roll of his eyes. When he was looking back at the human, Dib shrugged. It received another eye roll and a sigh. "It's an anniversary present."

"Oh. Really?" Dib gleefully exclaimed, letting a rather wide smile consume his face. Zim gave a small one in return, nodding his head and gesturing to the house. Dib could barely control his joy as they headed up the pathway to the green house. After two years, he was finally going to get a present from Zim. He had finally convinced the alien that he truly loved him. There was nothing in the world that could ruin this day.

As he stepped into the living room after Zim, a thought occurred to him. If Zim was giving him a present today, did that mean he thought their anniversary was today? He narrowed his eyes, watching as the Irken strolled to the middle of the living room, leaving him to shut the door. He pulled out that device he was always messing with and breaking, his organizer.

"Wait, Zim, do you---"

He never got to finish his sentence. Because at that moment, something hard slammed into the back of his head and everything went black.

What the fuck?

The question floated around in his mind along with a string of words he didn't understand. They were loud, harsh, and so strange that they couldn't be English. He knew it was Zim talking in Irken, but he still tried to make sense of them. He'd heard a few of them before, directed usually at him. Perhaps they were referring to him. Or they were swear words. Either way, Dib listened to the sound of his lover's voice swim through his head as he started to come to, mixed in with the question 'what the fuck'. The more he came to, the more often that particular question came to mind. What had happened? Why was he on the floor? Why did his head hurt to damn much?

"Dib? Dib? Hey! Hey! Hey! Dib! DIB!" came a voice in the distance, sounding so fuzzy and so very loud. It was followed shortly by a rush of pain in the side of his head that brought him completely back to reality.

Dib let out a soft moan, rolling his head from one side to the other. He felt all sorts of pain in the back and on one side. It hurt, but he didn't worry about it. He just felt for his glasses as he slowly opened his eyes. The first thing he saw were the pink orbs of Zim's eyes as the alien leaned back. He grinned that devilish grin of his, waving with two of his tree fingers. He moaned, closing his eyes again. He could only assume that Zim had punched or slapped him to try and wake him up, and hadn't bothered to pull his punch.

"What happened?" he asked as he moved around on the ground. Zim moved back as he pushed himself into a sitting position. When he reopened his eyes, he scanned over his fiancee, but it gave him no clue whatsoever about what had knocked him unconscious. Of course, when Zim gave him that signature look, with one eye narrowed and the other wide, Dib figured it could have only been one thing. "Gir."

"I was starting to think you would never wake up, silly Dib-human. And what a waste that would be," Zim replied as though he hadn't heard a single word the human had said. He got to his feet, dusting off his pants and straightening his shirt. He gave Dib one glance before leaving him there. The human watched him leave before he heard the clanking of his boots on metal floors and realized they weren't in Zim's living room.

His eyes widened as he looked around. He could see metal twisting around in familiar Irken fashion, in shades of purple and pink. There were controls and glass tubes that looked strangely familiar. In fact, everything looked familiar. A little too familiar. Dib hurried to his feet, causing his head to swim for a few seconds. He rubbed the back of it as he followed his lover down the hall. He looked around, but still couldn't figure out what part of the lab they were in, or why they were there at all.

"Um. . .Zim. . . Where are we?" he asked as he stumbled into the room Zim was standing in. He glanced over with bored eyes before turning back to the device in his hands. Dib narrowed his eyes in sheer anger, opening his mouth to demand an answer, when he found no reason to.

Behind Zim were more controls. And glass, or something that looked like glass, windows that showed where they were. There was nothing but the darkness of space, filled with stars and planets. He stared at the planet right in front of him, with its blue oceans and green lands. He saw the white clouds, feeling as though he could see them moving as the planet slowly rotated.


"Happy anniversary, Dib," Zim cooed out in a falsely sweet voice, strolling over to where he stood still, frozen by the sight of his home planet. Zim gave him a look, tilting his head to the side. Dib turned away from it, turning back to his lover. He narrowed his eyes in an accusing sort of way, so much so that Zim's smile faltered a little bit. "What? You don't like your present?"

"Um. . . Well, I mean. . .It's nice and all, but it's not the first time I've been in space," he replied, motioning towards the earth with one hand. Zim's smile widened as he tilted his head down a little bit. The human slowly lowered his hand back to his side, looking from the sight before him to the Irken. "What?"

"Would you push this button for Zim? It will complete the surprise and our anniversary will be the most wonderful," he asked, thrusting his organizer into both of his hands. Dib stared at it, seeing so many Irken symbols and things he didn't understand. But the longer he stared at it, the more he realized that it would set off fireworks, judging by the images. Fireworks that would be seen all over the world, and perhaps further in space.

Zim tapped the air over the button he wanted Dib to push. And he did, pressing his finger firmly against it, though he held his breath in case something horrible happened. When the space station shook a little, Dib gave his lover a wicked look, but Zim merely motioned for him to look out the glass windows. When he did, he saw the sky lighting up with fireworks. They were green and pink and purple, so bright and so amazing that everyone all over the world must have been able to see them. He smiled widely, reaching over and taking hold of Zim's small hand as they set off in the most beautiful sort of way.

Then, as suddenly as he was smacked in the back of the head, something changed. The fireworks started into the finale, drawing closer and closer to the planet he called home. When he heard Zim's wicked laughter ringing up next to him, his eyes widened and he slowly opened his mouth. He jerked his hand from Zim's and went to grab the device in his hand. But the Irken merely wagged a finger at him and pointed towards the earth. Dib watched in horror as the fireworks drew so close that he could feel it happening.

There was a large explosion of pink in the form of the Irken symbol and just like that, it was all over. The lights from the fireworks faded and he saw nothing but smoke and debris from where his home had been.

Earth was gone.

"NO! NO! NNNOOO! WHAT DID YOU DO?!" Dib screamed, jerking towards his wicked lover. Zim gave him a look and chuckled a little bit. Before he could gloat, however, Dib cleared the few feet between him and grabbed the device from his hands. Zim didn't fight him for it as he threw it on the ground, shattering it into a dozen or so pieces. "WHY DID YOU DO THAT?! HOW COULD YOU?!"

"My mission since the beginning has been to destroy Earth," was the simple answer he received, as though it should have been common knowledge. Dib glared death at the Irken and received only a shrug in return.

"So, it was all just lies, then? You lied about everything! It was all just a plot to destroy the earth?!" he spat out, shaking with the sheer anger of having been a fool to believe Zim. He waited for the laughter, but it never came. Instead, he gave him a sharp look, gesturing with one hand as he spoke.

"ZIM lied about nothing. If I didn't love you, I would never have saved you. I was merely testing your love to see if you felt the same," Zim hissed through clenched teeth. The two stood there for a brief moment, sharing a glare that burned with the hatred they have once felt for each other.

"You used me. You blew up the Earth! You blew up my family! How can you possibly stand there acting like you didn't do anything wrong?!" Dib screamed back, stepping on the broken device. Zim drew in a deep breath, looking away from him for a moment. He straightened his shirt as he tried not to just scream at the human or through him out into space or something along those lines, Dib was certain. Then he shook his head, turning those orbs back to him.

"I didn't destroy your family. They are with Tak. As for the planet, well, you didn't seem to like it anymore than I did. I did you a favor, Dib-human. Now you have nothing to stop you from seeing the universe. With Zim, of course," he replied, motioning between the two of them as he slowly walked over. He grinned wickedly, tilting his head to the side as he held out his arms. "Gimme."

Dib looked from Zim's face to his outstretched arms. The word 'gimme' floated in his head the way it always had. Zim had been up to something the whole time. He had been planning to destroy the planet and he knew that he would be stopped unless he distracted him. He had started with human affection because he'd seen it work on other humans and because he knew he wanted to touch him so badly. And it'd worked. Dib had let him control him in a sense. He'd been wrapped around one of those small fingers so easily it stunned even him. And he'd lost the war because of it.

I failed. I failed to protect the earth. I failed.

He shook his head a little when Zim stepped closer. He saw those arms shake a little the way they had the first time. Only this time, the IRKEN INVADER didn't look confused as to why he wasn't getting some sort of reaction. He looked pleased with himself and sure that he would receive a hug in return. Dib closed his eyes and let out a sigh.

There was nothing he could say now. Zim had beat him once and for all. He had successfully destroyed the Earth. But he had saved him and his family. When he thought about how he wouldn't be teased by his classmates or fired from his job or told he was foolish by society or ignored by the Swollen Eyeballs, he had to admit that it didn't seem quite so terrible.

He raised his eyes to that smiling face. Zim grinned and reached out a little more. Dib stepped forward, feeling the device crunching under his feet, and wrapped his arms around the Irken. Zim happily hugged him, pulling him close. Dib held onto him tightly, closing his eyes.

The End. Hope you enjoyed it.

Thanks to all the fans that have stuck with this story despite how long it's taken me to finish it. You guys have been great.