A/N: And so the uphill battle persists...

Hey, you guys. Sorry for the ridiculously long wait on this next chapter. As stated already, it's been quite the uphill battle to find time for working on this story. When I have had time to work on it, it's been cut short by the social pressures of my everyday life. If my time for writing isn't being eaten up by work, then it's being consumed by other people around me, not that that's much of an excuse. I honestly just have a very difficult time telling people "no," even when I'm teetering back and forth on the brink of insanity for not having enough time to myself. As such, I've slowly been stringing this chapter together between slow moments at work and lunch breaks. And even though this chapter I'm posting is relatively short, I hope you guys will at least be able to appreciate the effort I put into writing it.

Revision has never been one of my strong points in writing, but I'm sure as hell trying to put more focus into that a I continue writing out my roleplays, both here and in other places on FF/the web. So I hope you guys enjoy this quick chapter update as I struggle to bring this story to some sort of completion in the future. My greatest desire for this story is to complete it so I can return to the beginning and work on a proper revision of the entire story. But until then, please bear with me. I WILL one day learn to tell other people "no" so I can maintain a more healthy work-life balance. As things stand currently though, I'll do what I can, just a little bit at a time.

To say the very least, it would help if drama and negative energies weren't constantly surrounding me during nearly all social interactions I have with other people. I want to disconnect myself from the world for a while and focus wholeheartedly on my writing. If only life would allow for such an easy separation though. *Sigh* Oh well...XD Still, I'll keep working at it. Sometimes I think that's half the battle of becoming a successful writer. ;D Motivation and writer's block can be overcome with a little creative effort on the part of the writer, but finding time and separating oneself from all the other distractions life has to throw at you is what really trips me up under most circumstances. The ideas are definitely there. Just not the proper mindset/formula for putting myself in the right mood at any given moment. I'll need to take up some writing exercises for overcoming that. I can't let my mood effect my writing to such a degree if I plan on completing any of my current WIP stories.

Sorry for the bit of rambling, you guys. I guess I tend to do that too when I haven't posted in a long while. In any case though, thank you as always for all your continued support here. I appreciate every fave, every comment, and every watch I receive for this story. It keeps this story fresh in my mind even when I'm not actively working on it. But I promise to try harder updating and such so long as I continue to have readers. So happy reading, you guys~ :)

ZADR Orange Chapter 192

Warnings: Extreme OOCness

Rating: M for later chapters

Disclaimer: We do not own Invader Zim, nor any of the characters from it. We do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Zim: Notgonnadie

Dib: Me

Enjoy. =3

Returning to the office shortly following his earlier withdrawal, Dib entered the room with an involuntary falter to his step, the slight change in his composure immediately drawing Zim's attention to him. He was pale and currently stood with a single arm wrapped about his abdomen. "Sorry..." he apologized as he took a seat next to Zim again, his free hand remaining loosely placed over his mouth.

Staring at Dib worriedly, Zim placed an arm around him comfortingly when he wobbled his way back over to the couch. "Eed oo ow uh?" Did you throw up? he asked in a muffled voice to the other.

Dib nodded his head slowly, another shiver running down his spine at the contact. "J-Just a little...I'll be fine though..." he said, intentionally keeping his weary gaze fixed on his lap for the time being.

Looking at Dib guiltily, Zim pulled him in closer and hugged him to his body tightly, all the while trying to suppress the slightly regretful feeling he had building up inside him for having gotten the other pregnant in the first place.

Sighing out contently when the other let him rest against him, Dib nuzzled himself into Zim's chest comfortably. "...Are we almost done here...?" he finally addressed the therapist, just wanting to leave and head back to the house with Jack and Rose. Staying awake seemed to be becoming more and more difficult for him by the day.

Zim rubbed his back and glanced at the therapist questioningly. "Ah oow ow...Es er an eh eesh ee an oo?" I don't know...Is there any thing else we can do? he asked, feeling rather on edge at this point despite Dib's currently fatigued demeanor.

"Well, like I said, there's not much else that can be done for Deb unless she wants and is willing to help herself." Jade glanced at Dib expectantly, hopeful that he might drop his guard enough to expose even a fraction of his inner demons to her.

Dib's antennae fell back stubbornly. "...There's nothing wrong with me..." he said, looking away as a small hint of irritation began to trickle into his voice again.

Jade sighed. "We're not trying to say that there is, Deb. But if anything, anything at all, is bothering you, we just want you to know that you're not you're dealing with, you don't have to go through alone. There are people who care about you and just want the very best for you."

Nodding his head in agreement, Zim rubbed at Dib's arm reassuringly, hoping the gradual up and down motion might erode away the hybrid's stubbornness in the process.

"There's nothing wrong with me!" Dib pulled away with a shout, glaring icily at both Zim and Jade now. "I don't even know why I'm here..." he then spoke in a muted voice, a sudden flutter in his stomach reminding him that getting worked up would only make this therapy session all the more unbearable.

"...Aa ash ooe aaou oo..." ...I was worried about you...

"Why?! Why, why, why, why, WHY?! Why can't you all just accept that I'm happy with you already?! There's NOTHING wrong with me! I'm happy with you! I'm happy with the smeets! I'm happy with Jack and Rose! Hell, I'm even happy with Gaz and Tak at this point! You've all accepted our relationship! You've all supported it even! So then why?! Wh-Why...? Why am I crying about this...?" Dib's voice shook as he brought up two wrists to wipe at his aching eyes, not knowing why this was making his heart hurt so much and a part of him bothered by how susceptible he'd become to such emotions in recent months.

"Eebh...Ees esh aaut ee aw eeyin oo eeu ouu..." Deb...This is what we're trying to figure out...

His antennae shuddering and tears coming like a flood now, Dib sank to his knees on the floor, trying his hardest to calm himself back down before he appeared too unseemly while still in the presence of the therapist. He couldn't get them to stop though, and this conversation was only serving to upset him even more in the long run. "...I-I'm happy...I know I am...S-So then why do I still feel this way...?" he clutched at his heart almost desperately, the pain only worsening the more he attempted to reason it out to himself.

"Debh! Eebh, eesh ooaay. Eebh?" Dib! Dib, it's okay. Dib? Zim moved to the floor next to him and pulled Dib close, holding him tight and trying to shush away the tears with excessive determination to put his hybrid back at ease.

Turning to hide his face away in Zim's chest, Dib clung to the Irken fiercely, a sermon of muffled 'I love you's and 'I'm sorry's falling from his lips in that moment. "I love you...I-I love you...Y-You believe me, right?" he lifted up his teary-eyed gaze to stare Zim directly in the eyes, the all too fragile expression on his face shaking the Irken to the core and nearly destroying what was left of his self-confidence.

"Au oosh ah oo, Eebh...Ah ooe oo oo." Of course I do, Dib. I love you too.

Sniffling wetly, Dib then pressed one of his wet cheeks to the other's shirt, calming just a bit at that answer before curving an all too embarrassed look in Jade's direction, his earlier arrogance suddenly taking a back seat to his previously concealed feelings. "...I don't know what's wrong with me...I don't know what's wrong with me...I'm not insane though..." he squeezed his eyes tightly shut.

"Oo, Eebh, ou ot eeae. Ou us esse ou. Eh Ooay." No, Dib, you're not insane. You're just stressed out. It's okay.

"Why would you be concerned with whether people think you're insane or not? Has anybody ever CALLED YOU insane?" Jade then interjected, adjusting her seat slightly to better face Dib, thinking that perhaps they may finally be getting somewhere with him.

Feeling an almost crippling pressure in the pit of his spooch at the question being asked of Dib, Zim sighed and nodded his head in defeat, guilt suddenly seeping in again as even HE had referred to Dib as 'crazy' in the past, just the same as everybody else. "Aww eh him..." All the time... he admitted, hoping the quiet confession wouldn't knock Dib's confidence too much.

Sitting up straighter at that response, Jade blinked at them somewhat surprised as she hadn't been expecting such an answer. "Oh...W-Well, can you tell me who has said that to you in the past? And why they might have said it? I mean...Are you sure they weren't just joking around with you?" she asked, finding Zim's response just a little unsettling.

Dib merely shook his head slowly though, as though to confirm the other's words. "E-Everybody...Classmates, teachers, parents, school councilors, other therapists, complete strangers...my dad...Everybody has said it at least once, if not more..." he then glanced at Zim, his antennae drooping. "Zim doesn't, but he used to...back when we first met...I-I'm not really sure what he thinks of me any longer..." his eyelids fell half-lidded almost tiredly. "He might still secretly be thinking it...It's the only reason I can think of for why he'd want me to come here...E-Even if he won't admit that's the reason..."

"Wah?! Oo, oo! Ah oov oo, Eebh! Ah own eenk oo azeh!" What?! No, no! I love you, Dib! I don't think you're crazy!

Dib's antennae could only droop even more at that outburst, a part of him unable to help but feel as though the other were only tolerating him on some level despite their current relationship. "I-I know that...I just..." he looked up at Zim with very little conviction left on his face. "I'm sorry..." he then looked away, about ready to begin panicking as his body trembled where he sat.

Worried that he might have said something wrong now, Zim bit down on his bottom lip nervously. Perhaps he had chosen the wrong way to go about addressing Dib's ever-increasing anxieties. He was once again being backed into a corner and he didn't know what to do about it. The helplessness he felt in that moment was almost enough to crush him completely, nightmarish memories of the moment just before he'd been taken aboard the Massive swarming his very being relentlessly. He hated feeling so powerless to do anything for his mate.

Glancing longingly between the door to the therapist's office and the floor, Dib ran his thumb back and forth over the tiny diamond adorning the engagement ring Zim had purchased for him, half tempted to gun it for the exit before his anxiety caused him to disclose any further details about his life that he didn't intend to reveal during the course of this therapy session. It was the only thing keeping him from standing back up to pace the room.

Perceptibly aware of Dib's rising restlessness, Zim nuzzled him sadly, wishing there was more he could do to put his hybrid at ease.

Finding Zim's chest again, Dib simply hid his face away in it, his throat running dry and struggling to swallow down the horde of unpleasant emotions that kept threatening to consume him.

"Deb..." Jade then began slowly and quietly so as not to get him all worked up again. "Deb, I don't think Zim thinks you're crazy...In fact, you're pretty lucky to have him here with you. All he wants is for you to get better. So please...Can you tell me what kind of relationship you have with your father? And why you'd think he'd say you're insane?" she asked, having caught the temporary pause in Dib's voice when he had been listing off people who had called him insane in the past.

Dib tensed at the mention of his father, his antennae falling back uncomfortably at the memory of how quick the professor had been to dispose of him and his sister from his life.

Flinching at the question himself, Zim tightened his grip on Dib as though that alone might protect the other from the appropriately unwanted memories. "Ee oon all ao eem..." We don't talk about him... he then spoke in a quiet voice, praying his conversation wouldn't stray too much farther into the territory of such a touchy subject.

A/N: And there you have it for Chapter 192. Until next time~