Author's Notice:

I'm so excited everyone likes the story so far! This was/is my baby project, and let me tell you, it will be a long, long story. But, hopefully a good one.

I enjoy drama, action, and plenty of twists and turns, so yeah.

Anywho. In this chapter you finally see Auntie Gaz! Enjoy.

"Red Velvet"

'Chapter Seven'

It didn't take too long to make it to the big city, but it did take a while to find parking in close proximity to Gaz's apartment complex. Why she chose to live in the shittiest part of town, Dib hadn't a clue. Walking up the crooked steps and to apartment number seventy-two, Dib kept Cyan closely held against his leg as he knocked on the decrepit door.

In a moment the door had flung open and a very bed-mussed Gaz appeared in the doorway. She was wearing a purple silk robe, tied messily on one side and apparently nothing else.

"Gaz, put some clothes on." Dib said almost automatically, squeamish at the sight of his sister's exposed legs and cleavage.

"Oh yeah, I'm supposed to just be psychic and know you were coming." Gaz rolled her eyes, "Not like I'm ever busy or something."

"Hi auntie." Cyan chirped, smiling up at the woman.

Gaz flicked her gaze in Cyan's direction a moment, a scowl pulling on her lips, "Hey kid." She murmured before tilting her head back up to Dib, "Suppose I'm babysitting?"

Dib slumped a little, "Well, there's a lot of things."

Gaz heaved a sigh, "When isn't there?" She stepped from the doorway, "Fine, come in, but this isn't going to be some therapy session, got it?"

Dib didn't respond, instead just urged Cyan forward and the duo stepped into the living space of the small apartment. Despite the bad neighborhood, Gaz's place didn't look half-bad, the theme of furniture and colors were dark, almost gothic, but it worked for the tiny space.

Gaz double-locked the door and sauntered towards the kitchen, picking up her glass of half-drunk wine before turning back to her brother. Dib arranged Cyan on the couch, set her backpack on the floor, and turned on a cartoon show for his daughter before he stepped over to where his sister stood.

Dib frowned at the glass, "Did you have company or something?"

"What's it to you?"

"I'd like to know the person, especially if Cyan is staying here."

Gaz snorted, "God Dib, you're such a mom."

Dib bristled, "It's about safety."

"Mhm," Gaz sipped her wine, "Don't worry yourself, they don't come around when other people are here."

Dib frowned slightly, but then noticed the half-eaten plated of food on the kitchen table and a matching wine glass off in the corner of the kitchen—empty, but it had a lipstick stain on the rim.

Lipstick?

His sister noticed his realization, or at least that he was making some connection in his brain the way his brow furrowed comically but she didn't care to elaborate. Her love life was her own; even though Dib decided to tell her every detail of his life, that wasn't her problem, she wasn't ever going to open up hers. "So, what is all the stuff you were mentioning earlier?" She drawled, merely to get him off his current train of thought.

"Was someone just here?"

Gaz slammed her glass on the table, Cyan's antennae twitched back, "Stop prying."

Dib moved further into the kitchen, nearly bypassing his sister as he stared at the glass across the room—the lipstick was purple, or a lilac, a light obscure shade. "Are you seeing a woman?" He asked, though his tone was hushed, as if it were something taboo.

"Says the man seeing an alien." Gaz snapped, "Get the hell out of my life, alright? You want me to give a shit about you, start talking and stop nosing around, got it?"

Cyan shifted on the couch, turning up the volume on her cartoons. She could barely hear her mother and his sister, but she knew when adults needed to be alone; if that was one thing she learned in her young life, never interfere with fights.

Dib leaned back against the counter, trying to calm himself down. It really wasn't that he cared who Gaz saw, it were just an outlet to ignore what was going on in his life. He used to do it when he was younger, and obviously he hadn't broken the habit. "Sorry." He murmured, pinching the bridge of his nose as he tried to take hold of himself.

Gaz eyed Dib a moment before she was satisfied. She crossed her arms over her chest, "So, spit it out already."

Dib took a deep breath and recalled everything he knew, about Zim, about his plans, about Cyan this evening and how everything smelled so very fishy. Paranoia maybe, but he couldn't help feeling something was wrong, and he vented all his upset and frustration at his sister.

Gaz listened, impatient, the finished glass set in the sink as she leaned up against the counter. "He never does it." She murmured, "Destroy the world, I mean."

"He's serious." Dib blurted out, unable to stop himself, "Somehow, somehow I know he's serious this time." He wanted to ignore it, pray Zim had a little common sense, but he could feel it, feel it in his bones, Zim was going to do it this time.

"Stop him then."

"I can't."

Gaz laughed, it was low and mirthless, "Wasn't that what you wanted to do? In the beginning, before you started fuckin—"

"Gaz!" Dib hissed, waving a hand in the direction of his daughter, but she was no longer paying attention to them, ignoring them like a good little girl.

She rolled her eyes, "Whatever. Can't you just sabotage him? I mean, you live together, how hard could it be?"

Dib rubbed the back of his neck, feeling deflated, nervous, sore, all at the same time. "I'm going to try."

"But, it won't be enough." It wasn't a question.

Dib didn't say anything, the silence spoke for itself, his hands now on the counter, his lanky body leaning forward slightly, his head down.

Gaz clucked her tongue, "He's already got you beat."

Dib flushed, "I don't know what you want from me." He said in an uneven tone, emotional, "What am I supposed to do? Kill him? He's not going to stop."

"Then you'll have to deal with all that guilt." Gaz said easily, as if talking about the weather or something else unimportant, "You know, when everyone dies, it's going to be your fault."

"Thanks for that." Dib said flatly.

"I told you this wasn't going to be a therapy session." Gaz shrugged, "It's true, you know, when it's over, can you deal with that?" It was as close as she'd come to literally asking how he was, how he'd deal, of being concerned for him.

"He's going to put us in danger, Cyan in danger."

Gaz let her gaze fall on the mess of black curls peaking over the couch, "So, there's no way out, huh?" Her tone was quiet.

"I'm going to try, but," Dib sighed, frustrated, "I just know it this time, I know something is going to happen, and I know I won't be able to forgive him—" Dib pushed up his glasses, "I'm going to try and save Earth—"

"To ease your guilt."

Dib swallowed thickly, his sister knew just where to hit him where it hurt. "I'm sorry."

"For what?" Gaz snorted, "For not being a super hero? I knew you'd never win, from the first day you started defending Earth, you'd never win."

Dib's brows furrowed, "How could you know that?"

Gaz lifted her gaze, the amber of her eyes hard and unyielding, "You were always in love with him Dib, maybe not Zim exactly, but aliens, and then one landed right in front of you." She shook her head, "I knew you wouldn't be able to do it."

Dib didn't know if his sister was trying to rile him up on purpose, get him to counter her, get him to fight—

It wasn't working, it just made him feel more useless and weak; she was right, he had already lost.

"So," Gaz said, folding her arms over her chest as she rounded out of the kitchen, near the couch before she turned back to him, "See you tomorrow, then?"

Dib didn't know if he wanted the subject to change so quickly, but he wasn't sure he was strong enough to keep talking about his failure, "Yeah."

Gaz turned her back on him, gaze either on Cyan or the TV, Dib couldn't tell, "Bye."

That was her way of ending a conversation, but Dib stayed put, standing awkwardly in the kitchen until the cartoon was over and the ending credits started to play. "Gaz, will you be alright?"

"Exploding on Earth, or taking care of Cyan?" Gaz snapped back, annoyed, "I'm fine." She finished before her brother could apologize again, before he started sniveling about his problems again; leaving them in some endless loop.

Dib decided it was best not to answer, he leaned over the couch, kissed Cyan, "I'll be back tomorrow, okay?"

Cyan looked up at her mother, her eyes bright and trusting, that look was enough to break Dib's heart all over again. "Okay." She kissed her mother's chin before she focused back on the TV.

Dib took one last lingering look at his sister's apartment, at Gaz's strong back, and Cyan's curly head. Quietly he showed himself out, the door clicking with finality behind him as he started on his way back home.

Now he had to deal with Zim.