Author's Notes: This will never be completed. It probably won't have any more chapters. The entire reason I wrote it was because something I'm curious about is the idea of Zim somewhat more competent (not very evident in this chapter/story) and in a position of authority over Dib. The story would have been over a lot earlier, anyway, if that was the case.

AU. Dib is one year younger. You can assume this is Impending Doom I instead of II, in which Zim didn't raze his own planet to the ground like an idiot.

&

Dib was kind of infamous for being crazy. He believed in Bigfoot, for starters. Who believed in Bigfoot!? Crazy people, that's who. And there was that time six months ago when he came into the skoolroom raving about aliens coming to earth. Aliens were okay in that kind of nebulous Teevee kind of way, but actually coming to earth, that was crazy talk. Everybody knew Dib wasn't totally raving nuts, but he was going that way.

So when the new teacher showed up at skool, nobody listened to him.

&

"Class your teacher Mr. Greenie has suddenly run away with his mistress so instead you will have Mister - what is your name again?"

Principal Serene said this with hardly a breath and the biggest fake smile the world had ever seen. She smiled like that all the time, like she couldn't help it, and it showed off big sharp canine teeth. Dib had once suspected her of being a vampire that fed on children but then they had the outside skool assembly and that theory had gone out the window.

"That is Mister ZIIIM to you, human earth-stink," the new teacher snarled.

Dib's jaw dropped open.

Mister ZIIIM was tall, thin, wore glasses, and had a thick thatch of red hair on his head. He also had no nose. And, upon further examination, no ears.

He made a 'shoo'ing motion with his hands at the principal. "Now go away, I have ... perfectly NORMAL earth-things to teach to these ... child-thingies. I AM NORMAL!"

The principal smiled indulgently. "Mr. Zim has Asperger's syndrome so if he says anything funny don't be surprised he can't help it! Now be good to your new teacher, students! Goodbye now!" She waved and sailed out the door, slamming it shut behind her.

Mr. Zim goose-stepped to a position behind the desk, 'hmmnnn'ing and 'uh-huh'ing to himself as if congratulating himself on a job well done.

Dib pointed, struck speechless with shock. No NOSE! No EARS! Calling humans EARTH-STINK!

"He's an alien!" Dib shouted.

Mr. Zim's head snapped around to look directly at Dib. "LYING sack of - of POTATOES!"

"... potatoes?" Dib tilted his head in confusion, one eyebrow dropping quizzically.

"I am a PERFECTLY NORMAL EARTHEN INSTRUCTIONAL UNIT, and you - y-you have detention!"

"Detention!?" the boy yelped.

"Don't mind Dib," Zita said, rolling her eyes from her seat in the middle of the classroom. It was generally agreed she was the cutest girl in the fourth grade, according to the girls, although most of the boys were still convinced girls had cooties. (Dib had disproved that myth when he was still in second grade.) "He's crazy."

"But Mr. Zim IS kinda weird," Todd voted from the back of the classroom.

"Didn't you hear the principal? He has Asperger's," Zita pointed out. "He can't help shouting weird things."

"That's not Aspeger's syndrome! And even if it was, does Asperger's make you have NO NOSE!?" Dib demanded, pounding his fist on the desk. "And no EARS!? Look at him! That's not normal! How can he even hear us if he doesn't have EARS!?"

"He probably lost them in the war," Zita said smugly.

"B-but then he'd have HOLES there, at lea--" Dib started, but Mr. Zim spoke over him.

"Yes. The war," he said sadly. "Lost them. So sad."

There was a murmur of sympathy from the class. Dib smacked his palm against his forehead in frustration.

"Now then, idotic HUMANS, to-day you will discuss how best to annihilate your entire HORRIBLE race from your puny, stinky planet," Mr. Zim continued.

"How does he know we stink if he doesn't have a nose," Dib mumbled to himself, slouching in his seat, even as the other students raised their hands to please their new, bizarre teacher.

&

By the end of the day, Dib was glad to have detention - not because he particularly liked staying after class, but because it would give him an oppurtunity to investigate this potential alien in peace. In his notebook he had listed the aspects of Mr. Zim that made him a particularly likely specimen:

1) He has no nose. Or EARS!
2) The way he talks is WEIRD! And why does he keep calling us 'humans'? Because he's NOT one! That's why!
3) How does he know humans are stinky if he has no nose!?
4) How do his glasses stay on his face?

5) Everything today was about how to annihilate our race! (
Like Mrs. Bitters of 5th grade? REMEMBER TO INVESTIGATE MRS. BITTERS)
6) He's wearing a spotty pink EGG on his back!

This last one he had tried to point out to the class when Mr. Zim had turned to the blackboard and Dib saw it for the first time, but everyone had shouted at him to shut up and pelted him with balled-up notebook paper. One day they'll ALL see, Dib thought darkly, And then they'll be sorry. Well, hopefully not THAT sorry, because that would mean that this ALIEN succeeded.

He kicked his legs back and forth idly under his chair and watched Mr. Zim mumble and snicker to himself at his desk. Eventually the alien seemed to notice Dib was still in the classroom. "What are you still doing here, earth-smeet? Go back to your smelly home."

Dib blinked. "Um ... I have detention?" he said.

"Huh? Oh, YES! That's right. Huh." Mr. Zim thought this over for a moment, rubbing his finger under his lip. "What to do with you during this ... 'detention'." He grinned, and Dib noticed that his teeth were in perfect, even, square-shaped zipper rows. Nobody's teeth were that perfectly misshapen.

"I know you're an alien," Dib told him. "And I'm going to PROVE IT! I heard your transmission six months ago - I'm onto you!"

"Eh? Transmission? What transmission?" Mr. Zim looked genuinely confused. "What was in this 'transmission' that you speak of!?"

Dib's cheeks colored. "S-something about curly fries," he admitted.

Mr. Zim 'hmm'ed to himself and nodded absently. "Mmhn. Mmhn. Well ... Dib, was it? Dib-stink." He stood up and came around his desk to stand directly over Dib's. "I never thought anyone would see through my PERFECT disguise so quickly."

Dib's jaw fell open again. Was ... was Mr. Zim admitting to being an alien? And--"What do you mean, perfect disguise!? You don't have a nose! Or ears! And that pink thing on your back!"

"It's enough to fool the rest of you pathetic stink-creatures," Mr. Zim smirked. "I can't believe the Tallest made me come to this mud-planet. Your very stench makes my squeedly-spooch dance a dance of doomy doom. But no matter what you do, human, you will NEVER stop me! The almighty Invader ZIIIM!"

Dib clapped his hands over his ears at the volume of Zim's voice. Abrubtly he wished he had brought his tape recorder to skool. Who could mistake these words for anyone's except that of an alien!? "I won't let you get away with this," Dib swore. "I'll - I'll capture you and stop you and --"

"And what?" Zim slapped his hands down on the desk and leaned over Dib; Dib leaned back accordingly, eyes wide. "I have the might of the great Irken Armada awaiting my imminent triumph. As if a pathetic human smeet could stop me or expose ME--! Hahaha!" The alien drew a heavy breath; Dib got a quick look at a tongue shaped like a worm. "I'm telling you this because it amuses me to watch you squirm like a tiny squirmy thing. Your fellow sacks of smelly meat think you are crazy, Dib-stink. And from here, you will only get crazier. What will you do if no-one believes you? NOTHING!"

"Ow!" Dib groaned, pinching his ears shut. "You don't have to shout in my face about it! Geez!"

Zim looked consternated for a moment, as if Dib's response wasn't exactly what he was looking for after that dramatic speech. He stood back up. "Hmph. Well, perhaps I will show you my MIGHTY true form, but some other time, when you least expect it. It will shock you so much your skeege might stop!"

"... I-I don't have a skeege," Dib said timidly.

"WHATEVER!" Zim waved his hand dismissively. "Now, detention is OVER! Run back home and scream about aliens some more, foolish human! I LAUGH at your pathetic attempts! Laugh!"

Dib packed his things. He didn't have anything he could do to the alien today, anyway. "There's other people besides this class, Zim," Dib said darkly as he tossed his backpack over his shoulder. "More IMPORTANT people. Somebody will believe me. You'll be exposed and your plan will fail, and I'll be the savior of the Earth!"

Zim lifted his chin. "As if being the savior of this horrible planet is something to be proud of," he snorted.

"And that's MISTER Zim to you!" he added belatedly as Dib slammed the door shut behind him.

fin