"Call me crazy, slit my throat, the voices say it's fine, you'll get yours, enjoy the fun! 'Cause sure as hell, I'll get mine" - Desdemona, Club Crazy

Thank you, Thank you! - to my fabulous beta, I am tempted to call her "co-writer" but then, that's not quite right... Shall we say "Best-beta-ever".

Aiming at DATR, I found myself tossing in hints that only I would understand. I'm sorry, I have failed you. But try to enjoy it anyways.


"Pain"

Out in the back yard smog hid the sky, while the stars struggled for a glimpse of the planet's surface, then recoiled in disgust. A boy, raven-haired, and amber-eyed, was up to his elbows in metal junk and machinery, muttering to himself as he knelt over the something metallic that he was apparently trying to fix.

A voice from the doorway, "Dib, get your stupid butt inside this house! I'm not going to wait on you!"

Pain, without love

"Just a minute Gaz! I just have to attach this cord…" he yelled back, without looking up, clearly too engrossed in his project to grant his little sister the courtesy of eye-contact. If he kept on like that, his glasses would fall off, then where would he be?

"I'm leaving without you!" Came the girl's voice, quivering with ill suppressed rage, as she violently slammed the screen door.

"Whatever…" mumbled the boy. "No stupid dinner is more important than the ship it took me months to salvage."

Dib looked around the yard. "But it is awful quiet…"

CRACK!

Pain, I can't get enough

"Who's there!?!" he yelled jumping up.

His eyes darted towards the left corner of the house, dark, but still barely visible. A shadow separated itself from the night.

"Just little old me" came the reply. That deep, female voice, with the barest suggestion of an English accent, he knew that voice. "I believe you have what's left of my ship?"

Pain, I like it rough

"Tak!" He pointed a shaking finger at the humanoid silhouette "We- I thought you were dead!"

"Well, I'm so sorry to disappoint you," she drawled sarcastically. "But I'm here for my ship."

"Hey! You can't take this from me! I spent months collecting the pieces that fell into the septic thingy- let me tell you, it's not as easy as it sounds." Dib shuttered at the memory "so you can take your treacherous, alien plans elsewhere"

'Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all

"It was my ship to begin with! I need that to… to…"

"To do what?" taunted the human. "You don't look very happy for someone about to take out an enemy." he had a hunch, from what he'd noticed before, and her expression now…

"No…" she agreed hesitantly "I suppose I don't feel much at all." the anger went out of her and she walked over to where Dib was standing.

You're sick of feeling numb

"Emotionally drained?" he inquired. She gave him a look.

"Not exactly. Irkens don't have 'emotions' you should know that by now."

She sat down as if she had no strength to stand, but refused to fall. "More like… I can't find anything to bring out the feelings. Nothing touches me. I'm…"

"Numb?" he finished for her.

"You're not the only one," he added, when she gave a nod.

"When you wear yourself out, trying to accomplish something that can't be accomplished… you often lose the thing that got you going in the first place."

"Um… yeah." She conceded, looking more than a little perplexed at the socially inept human's sudden insightfulness.

I'll take you by the hand

"And you're sick of it, right?" he asked in a knowing way.

"Who wouldn't be?"

And I'll show you a world that you can understand

The boy tilted his head "Do you mind a bit of advice?"

"No, I suppose not," she answered "but don't expect me to follow it."

This life is filled with hurt

The moon was hidden behind the clouds and the only light left was the lamp in Dib's living room.

" Let's face it, 'shit happens' as they say here on earth. So sometimes, when you can't feel happiness, and you don't see the point of life, there's nothing to look forward to…."

When happiness doesn't work

"…The only thing that can keep you going is hatred. The purpose you have, especially revenge, is really the best feeling when it's all you can feel. Y'see?"

Trust me and take my hand

"More or less…" She said with a twinge of suspicion.

When the lights go out you will understand

"I know what I'm talking about here," He added firmly.

Tak peered over at him appraisingly for a moment, then said matter-of-factly, "You don't look like the sort at first glance."

Pain, without love
Pain, I can't get enough
Pain, I like it rough
'Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all

"Looks are deceiving, you of all… well not 'people' but you know what I mean, you should know." A bit nastily, sourly remembering her disguise from over a year ago.

Pain, without love
Pain, I can't get enough
Pain, I like it rough
'Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all

"Yes but… you always seemed so content." the alien noted

"I was, for a bit, I just burned out eventually. 'Burned out'… that says it all, doesn't it?" He let out a derisive laugh.

Anger and agony
are better than misery

"But after a while, I found something that worked. I hated Zim, hated him for what he did to me, and what he planned to do to my planet." He fists clenched spasmodically and he gritted his teeth.

"The anger when I was away, the pain- even agony- of our battles kept me… alive."

Trust me I've got a plan
when the lights go up you will understand

"The same could work for you," he said without even looking at the Irken to his right.

Pain, without love

She jerked her head towards the human, she'd figured he was to far gone to even remember her, and now he was advising her.

"If you can't love, can't feel joy…" He whispered, still staring into nothing

Pain, I can't get enough

"The pain," he continued, "becomes almost addictive..."

Pain, I like it rough

She finished for him "...and the worse, the better… I see what you mean."

'Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all

"It's better than nothing," He said as he stood.

She stood too. The sky was even darker than before- of course that didn't bother an invader with ocular implants, but Dib was another story

Pain, without love
Pain, I can't get enough
Pain, I like it rough
'Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing
Rather feel pain...

"Your anger… who are you angry with?" The human asked hesitantly.

"Zim… Red, Purple, the whole bloody empire!" She fumed.

I know (I know I know I know I know)
that you're wounded

"I know that has to hurt… your people turning on you like that…" He gave her the proverbial nudge. Maybe it seemed a little mean but…

You know (You know you know you know you know)
That I'm here to save you

Now she was the one staring off into space. "Hnnnn…" was all she could say.

You know (You know you know you know you know)
I'm always here for you

"If you ever need anything… I'm always here. That's something you can count on, just as much as pain and the bastards who will always hurt you." another nudge, but still the truth- on both accounts. At least the way Dib saw it.

I know (I know I know I know I know)
that you'll thank me later

"Yeah… I'll remember that." She said, "I'll remember you."

She, Tak, turned slowly and headed around the corner of the house.

Without love
Pain, can't get enough

"Wait! Don't you need the ship?" Dib called after her.

Pain; I like it rough
'Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all

"I got here, didn't I?" she replied mysteriously, and faded into the shadows of her entrance. Then the boy was once again alone.

Rather feel pain than nothing at all
rather feel pain…

Dib looked around at the now empty yard, and the cruelly beautiful sky where stars twinkled mockingly. All his pain, all his hate, all of it, their fault. So lovely, so revolting.

"What a beautiful night" he whispered, sarcastically.

"I think I'll kill myself." Dib mused, half joking.


Wow, this turned out a lot darker than i intended. Well, that's life in the fast lane i suppose. Note the subtle hints of Dib/Tak, they were supposed to be more obvious but they are there.

And Dib means well, he's just too twisted to be of any sane use.. Tak doesn't care though, she's desparate. I think that after a while of being called crazy, you'd eventualy start to believe it, no?

"It was in the early hours of the morning when I stumbled on to a phone call; believing I had supernatural powers, I slamed into a brick wall" -Paul Simon, Gumboots