A/N: Okay, I wrote this cause I was extremely bored. Yeah. I don't own Invader Zim, but Jhonen Vasquez has that pleasure. Meh.

Warning: ZaDR, mentions of abuse, and I think that's pretty much it.

Smoke and Mirrors

I came into the house late that night. I laid down in bed and turned to the sleeping form next to me, all of the sharp features blurred. I rubbed my brown eyes without the obstruction of my glasses, which sat on the bedside table. I wrapped an arm around the green figure next to me, and he opened his magenta eyes.

"You smell like smoke," he told me quietly, frowning. "Have you been sitting around the fire pit again?"

I smiled thinly in the dark and stroked the alien's antennae slowly. "Yeah… But I can't help it; I was trying to find your stupid robot and it got cold." I grumbled, frowning and closing my eyes. He just chuckled and started purring lightly. I smiled a little and, before drifting off to sleep, I felt something touch my forehead gently. "G'night, Zim…" I mumbled, though it came out slurred.

The next morning I stood in front of the mirror, the sunlight reflecting feebly through the window behind me. My eyes were squinted behind my black-framed glasses, and I turned away. It was 7:30, and Zim was downstairs cooking. I sighed and fixed my hair dully, still feeling rather tired. After standing blankly for a second, staring at my reflection, I drifted down the stairs, grabbing my trench coat off of the floor. How it got there was beyond me; I had it on when I went upstairs last night.

"G'morning Zim…" I mumbled, but it came out weird and instead ended up sounding like "Gmornizinm." He turned and looked at me, confused, before cracking up at what I assumed was my general appearance.

"Whaaat?" I moaned in a high-pitched voice, stumbling over to the kitchen table. I plopped down into a chair and jumped up a second later with a yelp; Gir had left a rubber piggy in the chair a long while ago, and it had felt rather awkward sitting on it. I tossed the pig to the side, wondering why I had never noticed it before, and laid my head down on the table.

Zim just laughed a little and shook his head, then turned to continue staring at the toaster in utmost concentration. I closed my eyes, only to have them snap open a second later to the feeling of a cold, sharp blade on the back of my neck. I turned my head slightly to glare up at Zim, who was staring down at me with a small, satisfied smirk. "You know what's coming next, don't you Dib-filth?" he hissed. I didn't want him to have the satisfaction of knowing that I couldn't help but feel fear, so I nodded curtly and turned my face away. He roughly grabbed my scythe-shaped lock of hair, and I felt the bladed spider leg remove itself from my neck. Zim pulled my head up and forced me to face him, his dark magenta eyes narrowed dangerously.

"I asked if you knew what was coming next, Dib-filth." He snarled. "Answer me."

I nodded, and he pulled at my hair. I let out a soft cry and spat out, "Yes!" He smirked, seeming satisfied, and I steeled myself for what would happen next. I was out after the second beating to the head.

I woke up in our bed – my bed, darn it, my bed – and peered up at the ceiling. Everything was blurry, and I automatically reached for my glasses. My hand roamed around the top of the bedside table, and after a while I finally found my glasses. I put them on my face and sat up, gasping sharply. I grabbed my middle and closed my eyes tightly, clenching my left fist. "Dammit, Zim…" I snarled, laying back down against the pillow. I turned my face away from his side of the bed and sighed miserably.

"Our relationship is nothing but smoke and mirrors, isn't it."

It wasn't a question, but I nodded slightly, then jumped slightly and sat up quickly. I yelped and held my middle again, but managed to throw a filthy glare at the figure standing in the doorway. "No shit." I snapped at him, fighting back the urge to flip him off. He just chuckled and stepped forward. I grabbed the nearest solid object and chucked it at his head. It turned out to be a drinking glass half-full of water, which ended up hitting his back when he turned to dodge it. I cursed under my breath; it was inches short of hitting his PAK. He screeched in pain, then turned and jumped at me suddenly, still hissing in agony. I rolled out of the way, onto his side of the bed, and got caught in the sheets. I cried out and clawed at the air as Zim pulled me towards him, claws digging into my flesh.

"Z-Zim, stop!" I cried out. He just pulled me closer, forcing me down harder onto the bed. His claws were shoving hard on my shoulders, and his knees at either side of my waist. I cried out as his claws dug further into my skin, and scratched feebly at his arms.

"FILTH!" Zim screeched at me, removing one hand from my shoulders to smack my face. "FILTH! NEVER do that to ZIM AGAIN!" Small drops of gold formed at the edges of his crimson eyes, and some of the water that had gotten on him rolled down his back and dripped down on me. We stared at each other for the longest time, his claws still firmly stuck in my shoulders and my hands still scratching uselessly at his arms. Finally, I spoke.

"I'm sorry." I murmured in a low voice, and turned away to face the wall. I felt one claw release my shoulder, and the warmth of my crimson blood ran down the back of my shoulder. I tried not to cry out. I could feel Zim's claw gently stroking my hair, and then the alien leaned close to me and kissed from my ear and down my jaw-line gently. He stopped at my chin, gently turned my head, and stared straight into my eyes.

"Smoke and mirrors, Dib-human. But we still love each other."