By: Emo Fox
Dib's silhouette was harsh against the backdrop of orange, red, and yellows all around him. The teenager was sitting on his roof in a casual pose, his glossy gold eyes taking in the sight of the world before him.
Buildings were on fire, cars, even people.
Screams, alarms, all blending into the glorious sound of chaos all around him.
He didn't feel anything, he felt numb, just staring at the state of the world.
He had lost, he had lost a long time ago and finally everything on the outside reflected exactly how he felt on the inside.
'The world will burn.'
Dib hadn't believed him then, but he sure as hell believed him now.
Smoke filled the air around him, the sky a dark jet black with hints of gray where the smoke trailed to fill in the gaps in the clouds. There was no sunlight, nothing but the flickering light of the fires.
Dib's skin felt warm, sweat glistening on his forehead but he didn't remove his coat. He heard glass breaking, more screaming, heard the snap of electricity as the whole town went black.
There was nothing that could be done now.
It was all over.
The end of the world, but he didn't feel anything, nothing at all.
He should be screaming and running for his life like everyone down below him but he had no mind to get off his roof.
Not that he had any energy to do it anyway.
He felt so tired and weak, ever since…
Dib cut off thought as he just kept staring down below him wondering if his house might be on fire. It probably was – maybe that was why he started to feel so hot all of a sudden.
…but then, he knew why he felt hot.
He just didn't want to think about it.
Zim's mission had come first, and his mission was finally completed now.
Dib heard footsteps but he didn't turn to the sound. His head still craned up to the dark sky, still breathing in the sulfurous smoke and still feeling overly hot. Dib caught sight of the green-skinned creature out of the corner of his eye and finally he lowered his gaze to flick over to the Irken.
Zim's face was expressionless as he sank down next to the human, one leg up the other down, his arm resting over his knee as he leaned back into a comfortable placement.
Dib watched the alien's profile before he finally decided to speak, "There's no stars." Dib murmured, "I can't see any."
Zim merely smirked, his red eyes half-lidded as he looked down to the destruction he had caused. "Don't worry," Zim started, "There will be plenty of stars where we're going."
Dib lay back on the roof, his arms laying at his sides as he looked up at the smoke clogged sky. His lungs hurt, his skin burned, he felt so uncomfortable yet relaxed all at the same time. "Promise?"
Zim laughed that hollow laugh of his, his dark eyes turning to the human, "Zim always keeps his promises."
"You'll kill me then?" Dib murmured still watching the sky.
Zim turned back to the flames down below, noticing as they licked the side of Dib's home, knowing it wouldn't be too much longer before the house would engulf and begin to collapse. "Of course." The Irken said easily, "But not today."
"Not today." Dib repeated, almost in a daze, feeling sick from all the fumes.
"I promised I'd take over your filthy planet, and I did." Zim murmured, "I promised I'd kill you and I will." He turned his eyes back on the human, noticing his pale complexion and the sticky sweat that clung to his skin. "I promised I'd take you to the stars and I will."
"Then," Dib said softly, "Then what?"
Zim waved his hand, "Not everything needs to be decided right now."
"Why not now?"
Zim was quiet a moment, "I want to watch the world burn."
"After that I'll take you to the stars."
Dib watched Zim's profile, noticing his pinched almost pained expression and trying to make sense of it.
They both had planned this out.
Why was it so hard for him to say what was next?
"After that," Dib started for him, "After that you'll kill me."
They had made this plan long before, when they first discovered what was wrong with Dib.
Dib had tried to keep his ailment from his enemy, had tried his best but the line from enemy and friend started to blur and beyond that the line of lover and Dib could no longer hide it.
He contracted some unknown illness, some hybrid disease spawned from the fact that he was a clone. He hadn't been a perfect specimen at 'birth' and finally he was showing he was just a botched experiment. The signs had been slow at first; almost like a harsh flu until finally Dib's temperature could never go down, his muscles sometimes refused to work, and he found himself hacking up blood every time he coughed.
His father had tried to fix him, he had. But, nothing worked and finally his father gave up and threw himself in his work, leaving Dib alone with his illness.
Once Zim learned of it the alien had kidnapped him; preformed countless experiments but despite all his efforts it just got worse and worse.
Dib's time was drawing near; they both knew that, but neither wanted to admit it.
Zim had promised he'd take him to the stars, promised they'd find a cure on Irk.
But, Zim had to finish his mission before he could be granted permission to come back to his home planet. Once he took over the Earth they could make the flight to Irk and he could pass Dib as his prisoner that merely needed medical attention.
The plan would work, if Dib could make it.
Their alternate agreement was that if Dib got bad enough on the ship, if he was in pain, if he was about to die anyway that Zim would kill him.
Zim promised he wouldn't let him suffer.
Zim was silent, not responding to Dib's words, still staring at the madness before him. He felt no pleasure from it, not like he thought he would. He assumed it was partially because Dib wouldn't stop distracting him, talking to him about things he didn't feel like talking about right now.
Zim finally got to his feet, reaching to yank the human to his own as well without so much of a look to Dib. "Get in." He nearly growled as he shoved the gangly teenager towards the ship parked on the roof.
Dib did as he was told, feeling tired and sore as he climbed into the small vehicle sitting snug against the side of the ship.
Zim got in soon after, closing the door and manning the controls. Fresh air began to whistle inside of the ship, expelling the scent of smoke as the craft hovered above Dib's home. The house collapsed in a rush of fire and debris just as the voot cruiser shot up towards the darkness looming above them.
Dib's head was tilted on the window, gratefully drinking in the clean air as he gazed down at Earth as it started to loose definition. Soon he couldn't see his house, the town, the city, the country which he lived. Soon it was smaller than he could see anymore, just another dot amongst the shroud of space.
"Look," Zim pointed so Dib could see his finger, "Look at your stars human." He said in a rough voice.
Dib smiled softly as he turned his bright eyes towards the expanse of space around him. He felt tired and hot despite the chilly air coming in from the vents in the ceiling. Dib was feeling sick, he just wanted to close his eyes but at the same time he forced them to stay open. He kept staring at the twinkling expanse around him, wanting to stare long and hard at it to force it to stick in his memory. He always loved the stars, ever since he was a child. Dib's forehead was pressed against the glass, his breathing ragged and fogging up the bulbous window. "Thank you." Dib murmured tiredly, his eyes half-shut.
Zim glanced to the human that was losing color, looking almost as white as the stars outside. "Dib," Zim didn't add an insult but the snap of the name was just as harsh, "Don't go to sleep."
Dib groaned in the back of his throat, trying to reach up and rub his eyes, force himself to wake up but he couldn't. He just felt so weak, tired, "I'm tired Zim."
"I mean it." Zim growled turning his eyes from the teenager as he stared ahead of him, his gloved fingers working quickly as he mapped out their path. "Don't go to sleep." He repeated finally enlisting the auto pilot so he could look back at the sickly male.
"I can't," Dib swallowed thickly, still staring out the window but his eyes were glassy and soft almost like they weren't looking at anything at all, "I'm tired."
Zim studied the human a moment before he reached out, grabbing him, shaking him hard and causing Dib to moan in protest. "I mean it!" Zim snarled, "I didn't take you from your planet for you to just give up!"
"I'm n-not…" Dib's voice trailed, his body limp in the grasp of Zim's angry hands, "I…I don't…mean to…" He offered, unable to say he wasn't giving up, because maybe that was what he was finally doing.
The planet was gone.
His family was gone.
All humans were gone.
Maybe it was just his time to finally give in, give up, let himself fade like the rest of them.
There was no fighting this disease, they both knew that.
All of Zim's efforts in the past had failed; he had said there was better technology on Irk, better doctors, better everything on Irk and they could fix Dib – they could get rid of it.
Dib couldn't make it.
It would take six months to get there; Zim had tried to think of everything to make the trip quicker, less trying and stressful on the human, he had even gotten rid of Gir in hopes to save Dib from the trauma the robot might expose him to when stuck in the tiny cockpit together.
"Dib!" Zim hissed his brow furrowing as emotion spasmed on his face but Dib couldn't focus long enough to figure out what it was. "I mean it!" Zim snapped, "You're not sleeping! You'll be fine!"
Dib closed his eyes, his breathing labored, his body leaning forward and falling against the Irken's and Zim didn't push him away. His head tilted on the alien's shoulder, his cheek against his neck; Zim's skin was so smooth, it made Dib smile.
"Dib…" Zim's voice wavered, his body leaning up against the seat as he accommodated the larger being, holding him best he could against his figure. Slowly he drew his claws up the back of Dib's neck towards his hair, gently running his fingers through it in an attempt at soothing him.
"Thank you for showing me the stars." Dib murmured, his voice soft, "I mean it."
Zim closed his eyes, his lips tugged into a pained frown trying to ignore the emotion as it bubbled up threatening to consume him. His antennae pulled back, his muscles tight under his skin as he tried his hardest not to break down.
There was nothing left to do.
They had to wait to get to Irk.
Dib didn't have the time to wait.
His fingers started to shake, trying to go through the motions of running through Dib's hair but they faltered -- their movements quick and shaky. "Stop it."
Dib's hand fisted in the fabric bunched at Zim's middle, trying to flex his fingers, trying to find strength but he just didn't have it. He felt over-heated, and breathing was getting more and more painful. "My…" Dib swallowed hard, gasping on a breath, "My lungs hurt."
"You'll be fine." Zim murmured more to himself than Dib, "You'll be fine."
"Zim." Dib said as loud as he could, ending in a fit of coughing as he shrank into Zim's side, coughing into his shoulder.
Zim took in a shaky breath as he felt the warmth of liquid on his shoulder – blood.
"I-I'm…" Dib panted, "I'm sorry."
Zim opened his eyes, staring out the front window, watching space pass them by; stars winking at him.
Zim had promised he wouldn't let Dib suffer.
Dib was the one thing he valued over all else; over Irk, his Tallest, and he was letting his human suffer because he was too selfish to kill him.
Zim's eyes were glassy, wet, his breathing uneven as emotion stung every fiber of his being.
Dib tilted his head back on Zim's shoulder, his lips dotted with blood, the red substance smeared on his cheek. He stared up at Zim's profile with distant eyes, his body loosing all tension, unable to even hold onto Zim's shirt anymore. "I…" Dib murmured trying his hardest to keep his eyes open, "I…love…"
The first tears started to fall as the Irken lost composure, "Stop." Zim growled, "Stop!"
"Love…" Dib tried again, his lips moving but sound no longer came out, trying to catch Zim's attention but the Irken avoided his eyes. Dib felt a warm splatter of a stray tear as it ran down his cheek.
Zim tried to find composure, something, anything to grasp onto but he couldn't. He couldn't stop the silent tears, couldn't look at his dying lover, trying to ignore it as if it wasn't happening but it was happening and there was nothing he could do about it.
Zim had no control; there was no way they were getting to Irk, no way Dib was going to get better.
"Zim…" Dib panted, trying his best to speak, garbled words coming every now and again between labored breaths.
Zim finally reached to his side, finding the concealed weapon, knowing there was no way around it.
He had control of one thing right now; he could stop Dib's suffering.
Zim turned to Dib, looking at him with the same pained expression, wishing there was something else to be done but there wasn't. He held Dib around his waist with one arm, letting the rest of him lay back against the seat as Zim took place in front of him. Slowly he brought the small weapon to Dib's chest, resting over his heart, knowing the ray blast would go through the soft tissue of his human but wouldn't be able to get through the hard shell of the ship.
Dib understood what was going on, what was about to happen. His eyes met Zim's bright tear-filled ones and he offered him a soft tired smile. He mouthed 'I love you', a tear finally finding its way down his own cheek.
Zim leaned in, taking Dib's lips as his own, kissing the human with all that he was worth trying to tell him without words how much he meant to him – how much this was going to kill him inside.
Dib's hand finally found its way to Zim's wrist, weak fingers trying to wrap around it, steady as the barrel of the gun pressed against the fabric over his chest.
Zim drew out the kiss, his fingers shaking, his nerve beginning to crumble until finally in a spasm of effort he pulled the trigger and Dib's body jolted.
Zim pulled away from his human, the gun dropped to the floor as he scooped him up in his arms, his head buried under Dib's chin, his claws fisted in the fabric of Dib's coat as he crushed him to himself. His body shook with sobs, words unintelligible as he nuzzled his head hard into Dib's collarbone; blood seeping into his clothing but he didn't care.
'I'll fix this.'
'Once we get to Irk.'
'Whatever you say Zim.'
Shit man. This is what happens when I listen to too much sad music. I was crying as I was writing this, how pathetic am I? Please leave a review if you liked it or hated it. I just felt like writing angst so hopefully it didn't fail too bad. Thanks for reading.