By: Emo Fox
Today shouldn't have been an unusual day.
It really shouldn't have.
It should have been a boring run of the mill day.
Zim and Dib had developed a sort of routine over the years; not really a friendship but they weren't really trying to murder each other anymore and Zim wasn't planning on ruling the world.
Details didn't truly matter.
The whole point was that today was supposed to be normal, normal by every use of that mundane silly word.
But, today wasn't normal.
Even though Dib had burst through the door shouting the usual, "I'm going to defeat you today alien scum!" His tone deeper than that of his youth but that didn't make it strange, Zim was used to that by now; it had been fours years or so since his voice went through the hideous change.
No, no, no, something else caught his eye, his attention and it confused and disgusted and enraged him.
Sticking out of Dib's face, ears, and Zim caught that same shine of metal when Dib shouted his usual shouts; something attached to his tongue.
Zim couldn't help but stare trying to think of an accurate response, not even aware of Gir shouting something useless and stupid off in the distance of the kitchen.
Zim didn't stir, continuing to just stare at the human standing in his doorway. Watching as Dib itched his ear – causing those metal things to shift and glance here and there almost nervously.
Zim hadn't seen Dib in a while.
Not a few weeks at best.
Then here he is, acting like everything was normal.
It was supposed to be normal.
But it wasn't.
It was far from normal.
The human was standing in his doorway with those, those, those metal things in his face.
Did he not notice?
Was he not aware?
"Zim?" Dib coughed, "Zim? What's wrong?" His tone almost dipped into concern but was quickly curbed into something a little more irritated to cover up anything he might've felt towards his enemy.
Zim seemed to finally catch his mind, his rampant thoughts and he stormed up to the tall teenager, grabbing his coat and yanking him down to his level his bright red eyes near furious and Dib couldn't help but shrink away. "What is the meaning of this?!"
Dib didn't understand the outburst, it was a little out of the norm and in all honesty he didn't know how to respond. "What?" He said numbly, his hands on Zim's shoulders as if he could really shove the alien away if he tried anything.
They learned long ago Zim was stronger than Dib; even though he wasn't as weak and lanky as he had been in youth he still wasn't a match for the alien if he really got pissed and forgot the ground they had made for themselves.
Zim eyed Dib a long moment, his look scrutinizing. He thought a long hard moment buying in to the ripe confusion dusting over Dib's slack face. "Hm," Zim clicked his tongue slowly releasing the human. "You've been tagged Dib-thing, were you not aware?"
To think another species landed on the planet and tagged Dib.
Zim was furious, his blood was boiling but there wasn't much conscious thought behind it.
Irkens had no room for feelings other than the ones needed to fuel the need to conquer; the basic needs to survive. There was nothing behind Zim's rage and possession other than what it was.
Irkens claimed, took, they were selfish creatures that only understood their own wants. It wouldn't matter if protests were made if an Irken had already had it in their head that something was theirs.
It was theirs.
Until the end of their want of it, or if the thing died or got destroyed.
No one else could have it.
Someone claiming something of an Irken's was just not done.
It was suicide.
Zim wanted to know who was foolish enough to tag his human.
Dib had tried to process what Zim had said, his brows furrowing as he tried to figure out what he had said, what he wanted to hear. Then it hit him. Dib laughed and Zim looked even more displeased. "God Zim," Dib choked, "You scared me."
Zim frowned, "I don't get what's so funny." One of the Irken's antennae twitched, his arms folded and he glared hard at the brunette.
"They're called piercings." Dib murmured pointing to his ears then to the stud in his eye brow. "I wasn't tagged by anybody."
Zim kept his frown clearly not understanding.
"I had it done to myself." Dib said trying to get a more usual expression out of the alien. "It's nothing. No one tagged me or anything, no other aliens." He tried not to laugh again knowing it wouldn't be appreciated.
"Why?" Zim asked lifting his chin in an irritated manner.
"Uh," Dib faltered shrugging slightly, "Because. It's just, sometimes humans do it. It's nothing big. It's like wearing clothes. It's just something we do." Dib was going to talk about fashion but knew Zim wouldn't understand, so instead just dumbed it down a bit so Zim would get it.
Zim continued to stare hard at Dib as his mind began to work, making connections, plotting.
Dib knew that look, it wasn't a good look and it was made even worse when Zim grinned that infuriating grin of his.
"So," Zim kept looking at Dib slowly advancing on him again.
Dib had a mind to step out back out of Zim's house, knowing the alien wouldn't just follow him without his disguise but he didn't have the chance when Zim grabbed his coat.
"You won't notice another one then, hm?"
Dib swallowed thickly, "Another?"
"You seem so fond of these tag things," He glanced to the metal piercings, "Zim wants to give you another."
"Uh, Zim, but," Dib tried to find words, "I don't, there's nothing, I don't need another one." There just, well, there wasn't room. No more room where he would want another piercing anyway. He already had one in his left eye brow, his tongue, both ears had too many where there wouldn't be room for another.
"I don't want any other aliens getting the wrong idea."
"Wrong idea?" He found himself asking.
"You are Irken property Dib-thing," Zim grinned widely, "I want to make sure no one else tags you." He waved his hand, "After you did this hideous thing to yourself who knows what everyone else will think." Zim started to tug Dib towards the depths of his home, Gir ran by screaming about getting something from the gas station.
"Irken property?" Dib gaped, "Everyone else will think?" The door slammed behind them as he was tugged into the kitchen nearly thrown into the elevator as he braced himself against the wall of it.
Zim kept his nearly sadistic grin, his arms tucked neatly behind his back as his red eyes glinted with a malicious intent. "Don't worry."
"Worry?" Dib's tone cracked, "Of course I'm worrying! I don't know what you have in that weird alien head of yours but I'm not anyone's property!" Dib added quickly, "Especially not yours Zim!"
Zim chuckled, the elevator opened and he shoved the human out into his lab. Dib stumbled trying to regain some form of control when Zim's Pak legs extended and caused the human to pale.
Zim didn't use his metal limbs in their battle.
They had agreed it wasn't fair.
That, and when he was younger he almost died when Zim had used them in a fit of rage. Since then they had a sort of understanding since neither wanted the other to die – least of all by accident.
"Zim—" Dib swallowed, "Zim, you know it isn't fair, you know—"
"It won't hurt a bit." Zim said in an unusually calm tone, "You won't feel a thing."
Just a little one-shot. It was birthed from all the fan art showing Dib with piercings. I don't know if there had been a story before that addressed this common fandom occurrence but I decided to write about it. I leave it up to your imagination of what happened next and where Zim decided to pierce Dib. Haha. Leave a review if you liked it.