Dib trudged through his morning routine, wanting to delay his plans to go see Zim as much as possible. He took his time in the bathroom, much to his sister's displeasure, and allowed her to beat on him when he finally exited. He dressed himself and decided to make his own breakfast instead of a quick bowl of cereal, and ate it as though he was enjoying every bite. …Although that was difficult to do with burnt eggs and oily bacon.
Gaz eyed her brother oddly as she took notice of his sluggish behavior. Normally, he did everything as quickly as possible in order to 'save the world', but today he seemed like he was forcing himself to move forward.
"Quit acting stupid," she grumbled between bites of her toast. "You're starting to annoy me."
Dib sighed, and grabbed his house key. "I'm going out Gaz. Don't touch the stove."
Gaz watched her brother plod out the door like a guilty man to his execution, and simply shrugged and returned to her meal.
Dib didn't want to go, but at the same time he felt obligated. He had to get this over with. His relationship with Zim was a strange one, but it was the only one he had. He needed to know everything was still the same as it was before, that they were still rivals. That whatever happened in that lab wasn't a big deal- hell, Dib still had the slight hope nothing did happen. But that was unlikely. There was proof all over his body, his clothes… He shuddered out of disgust. He suddenly felt like taking another bath, but he was already at Zim's base. He wished he didn't live so closely to the little creep.
He walked up to the door and knocked on it meekly. Gir answered him, looking ecstatic that he had a visitor. "Mary!" He screamed happily. "You came!"
Dib smiled. Gir was acting normal as usual. "Gir, where is Zim?" he asked.
Gir seemed to sadden a bit. "Mast'a sleepin'. I'm not'a loud to see 'im. Dunno whhhhy…" He said, antenna dropping a bit. But then he livened up a little. "But you can see me! Wanna play?"
"No thanks Gir," Dib said as he entered the base. "Maybe after I see Zim, okay?"
"B-But he's sleepin'!" Gir cried, looking frantic. "Mast'a not feel good, he has'ta sleep! He has'ta get better and my mast'a again!"
Dib hesitated. Was Zim really that hurt? He felt a throbbing pain in his head, as he ignored the little robots pleas. He rushed down the entrance to the lower levels. Gir stayed behind in the living room, still crying out desperately.
'I'm not worried… I just want him to be okay, so we can get back to fighting as usual!' Dib thought furiously to himself. He ran down the dark hallways till he reached the medical room. He threw open the door, eyes frantic for the slightest glimpse of the Irken. "Zim?" he cried out.
No one was in the room. It was empty save for the bed Dib had last seen Zim on and some odd looking machines.
"Master is in another room." The computer announced.
Dib looked up at the ceiling. "Then where? I need to see him!"
"He can't fight today, come back later." The computer replied, sounding annoyed.
"I'm not here to fight! I just need to talk to him!" He yelled, sounding angry. "I don't remember what happened yesterday, and I need him to explain."
The base seemed to sigh, despite the lack of lungs. "Very well... But if Master gives the order, I will destroy you." The boy gulped, but nodded. The computer paused for a moment before speaking again. "Master is in lab 29HJ."
Dib nodded in thanks and quickly sprinted out the room and down the hall. After a dozen or so turns, he finally reached the lab. He's seen this lab before when he was planting cameras, but Zim quickly spotted it and destroyed it.
Good times… good times…
He enters the lab, this time in a much less dramatic fashion. The room was much bigger and was filled with large glass chambers and twisting purple pipes. He doesn't see Zim at first over all the lab tables and strange machines that were throbbing with energy, but eventually after a moment of innocent wandering he sees a rather unique looking sleeping capsule tucked away in the corner of the room.
Dib walked up to it cautiously, taking in the sight of the peacefully sleeping Irken. He looked better than he did yesterday- obviously, but he still seemed weak. His skin color was still faint, and his arms were hooked up to several little plastic tubes, filled with a purplish liquid
"Um, Computer? What exactly what was wrong with him?" Dib asked, not feeling all too willing to wake up Zim.
"Massive internal bleeding. He was nearly burned to death from the inside." Computer explained lazily. "Ya know… with your water."
Dib gulped. That seemed to confirm what had happened. He wasn't sure what to think about it. He never wanted to touch Zim in that way. Ever.
Zim seemed to stir slightly with all the noise around him. "Mmph… Computer, shut up…" He babbled slightly, voice laced with exhaustion. His eyes cracked opened a tiny, as the capsule's lid lifted open automatically at Zim's movements.
Dib back stepped lightly, knowing Zim had no idea he was in the room. He watched Zim push himself into a sitting position, and visibly flinched when his red eyes finally discovered the human in the room. They widen in surprise, and confusion and no words came out of his throat.
"Zim?" Dib greeted with a weak smile. "Um… look, I don't remember what happened yesterday… But…" He found himself at a loss for words what do people say in these situations? He approached the frozen Zim, for no other reason other than speaking to him at a closer range.
This was a bad move.
Zim lost control of himself as he shuffled back away from Dib, shaking feverously. "G-Go away! Don't touch me!" He cried out.
Dib stopped advancing, and looked at Zim curiously. "Zim, please, I didn't-" His pleading was cut short by Zim activating his PAK's robotic legs. They plunged forward in a stabbing motion, and Dib was forced to dive out of the way.
"I'm sorry!" Dib yelled out, scrambling to his feet. His heart was beating hard, not expecting that sudden attack.
Zim wasn't willing to listen to Dib's words. "Computer!" He screamed. And at his masters calling, robotic arms plunged at the boy. Dib screamed and ran as quickly as he could, dodging the crushing grip of those metallic claws. He made it as far as to the elevator, and at the sight of it, a wave of relief rushed over him.
But it was too soon to celebrate. The arms finally caught their prey, wrapping themselves around the boy's chest and lifting him into the air. For a moment, he swore he was going to be torn limb from limb but instead they carried him up the elevator shaft at an alarming speed. Dib was carried up and out the trash can in the kitchen, through the living room and a very confused Gir, and finally at the lawn where the human was thrown like a dirty rag into the street.
Dib hit the pavement hard and rolled for a few feet. Groaning, he pushed himself to his feet. "That could have gone better…" He muttered. Zim didn't even give him a chance to speak, and in a way Dib couldn't blame him. He just wished that somehow he wouldn't take it so hard, like a human. Zim was always so strong, and now he was reduced to cowering in a corner.
He looked at the oddly shaped house sadly. Maybe things won't go back- no. What was he saying? Zim still had his mission. He still had to take over Earth- it was why his leaders sent him here. Dib frowned. They would be forced to fight again, despite this. Only now, things will be far more awkward.
"Zim might actually try to kill me now, instead of just toying with me." Dib realized. "Or move to a different part of the planet… I have to set things right!"
But at that very moment, the base seemed to go into lock down as the windows and doors were replaced with steel walls, and gnome's eyes buzzed red and ready to strike.
Dib looked down at his feet- he'll have to wait to set things right when Zim decided to come out the base himself.
Zim hugged his knees to his chest, threatening to tear his stitches as he tried to get over his little panic attack. Seeing that boy's face made him lose all common sense, made him think that he was going to attack again… But knowing Dib, he probably was going to attack again. Just… not like that…
"It was the pheromones… That all, the human has no interest in…" Zim muttered to himself soothingly. His eyes narrowed angrily. All because that human refused to listen to him… If he had just listened, none of this would have happened! He needed revenge. He lay back down, mentally willing himself to get better, as if that would quicken the process.
At the same time, he couldn't help but wonder if he had been forgetting something…