Worth Living

Summary: Dib finds Zim alone, broken, and forgotten by his people. He helps Zim find a reason to live. But, is it all worth it?

Warning: Very angsty at the end. You can definitely count this as a ZADR, but it can also be taken as just a brotherly/friendship bond between them.


Dib was laying down in his bedroom on the floor looking at the ceiling covered with posters of aliens and random sketches of his alien nemesis Zim. The sketches, ranging from back when he was ten, were stuck to the ceiling by little daggers and other pointed objects that had been thrown up there. Some sketches were drawn with Zim cut in half. Other featured the egomaniac alien on fire or shot. Dib's blank eyes scanned each sketch till he found the one that had recently been drawn. A simple little doodle of Zim standing over the ruins of Earth looking triumphant in his victory.

He didn't know what had made him draw that particular sketch. But, ever since Zim had stop coming to Skool, Dib's life had suddenly grown severely dull. It had been a week since he had even seen the alien. He never wanted to admit it aloud, but he missed foiling the random schemes to destroy Earth. It gave him something to do. He was only fifteen now. He wasn't old enough to drive. He never even thought about trying to go on a date. He most certainly wasn't gonna risk looking in on his terrifying sister, Gaz.

A heavy sigh escaped his lips. Dib finally sat up from the wooden floor and stretched out cracking his neck and spine a little. He stood up straight in his black jeans and dark blue shirt. Opening the door to his bedroom, he grabbed his signature black trench coat and throwing it on quickly before exiting.

He walked down the stairs to find his sister sitting on the couch and playing on the latest Game Slave 7, somehow seeing through her long purple bangs. She didn't even look up when he walked past and opened the front door before walking outside.

The sun was shining brightly outside as Dib began walking along the road. He thought of taking off his trench coat, but decided against it when he saw a few jocks from his school roar past in a brand new car. He rolled his eyes and continued walking passing by a few neighbors who looked at him nervously and some with even disgust in their eyes. But, he ignored them and continued along the road till he was standing in front of Zim's so called house.

Dib stood there for several minutes contemplating what he was about to do. But, he shrugged his shoulders and walked over to the front door. Knocking softly, he didn't really expect any answer. But, he knocked a little louder starting to hope for something. When nothing was heard, his eyes narrowed and he knocked even louder till he heard a small squeak.

His hand dropped when the door slowly opened and a sad looking GIR was standing there in the doorway without any dog costume. It's eyes were a dark blue showing its sadness with it's long frown. It finally looked up at Dib almost smiling before saying, "Master isn't feeling too good..."

Dib's eyes widened before asking, "Zim? What's wrong with him?"

"I don't know..." GIR replied before bursting into loud sobs that could be heard throughout the neighborhood.

Dib panicked and gently pushed the small robot back inside the house closing the door behind them. He looked around at the strange inside of the room. He looked down at GIR again before asking, "Can you take me to him?"

GIR nodded slowly before walking over to the toilet in the kitchen. It stepped inside the bowl motioning for Dib to join it. Dib winced whispering, "You gotta be kidding me..."

But, he stepped in the small bowl as well. GIR pulled on the handle sucking the water and them down the pipe and into a large empty room. Dib landed hard on his behind yelping in pain as he tried to shake off some of the water.

Suddenly, a dark voice echoed through the room, "What do you want, Dib-stink?"

Dib looked over to see a very tall Zim sitting on the metal floor with his undisguised head laying in his arms. His green head raised itself and turned to stare at Dib with blank red eyes. Dib stared at his nemesis sitting there with dark green bruises on his face and body, his clothes torn and bloody.

Silence rang in the room till he finally replied in a hushed voice, "I...I was wondering where you've been..."

"Pathetic..." Zim whispered looking away from him and instead looking at the broken computer in front of him still shooting out sparks from its cracked screen.

Dib's eyes narrowed slightly standing up from the floor and walking over to Zim and asking, "What's happened to you?"

"Like you care..." Zim whispered burying his head back inside his gloved hands.

Dib's eyes narrowed further grabbing Zim by the arm and shouting, "It doesn't matter. Just tell me!"

But, Zim's eyes widened and screamed in pain as Dib's wet hand made in contact with his already bruised skin making the human let go and jump back. Zim fell to his knees holding his burnt arm hissing lightly in pain. Dib was silent till he took off his trench coat and ran to GIR saying, "Can you bring me a towel or some clothes?"

GIR saluted instantly and zoomed off with his rockets blaring. Soon enough, it came back with a few of Zim's shirts. Dib took one and ran over to Zim tearing it in half and wrapping one around his arm. The alien was in too much pain to resist merely closing his eyes as Dib dried himself off even putting on one of shirts.

Zim cracked one eye open smirking and whispering, "Not a good color for you, human."

"Yeah, well, it's the only thing I can wear that isn't soaked in toilet water," Dib replied almost laughing. But, he looked at the torn body of his so called nemesis and whispered, "What happened to you, Zim?"

Zim lowered his gaze till he looked to the computer screen and finally whispered, "They abandoned me here..."

"What do you mean?"

"My Tallest...last week they 'accidentaley' revealed to me that I was just an embarrassment to the Irken empire. I was never sent here to conquer Earth. They...just wanted me out of the way."

Dib was silent for a long minute till he placed a hand on Zim's back feeling the alien tense immediately, but replied, "Who cares what they say?"

"I do!" Zim suddenly shouted pushing him away angrily and glaring at him. "My Tallest and my empire are everything to me! What is the point in living if I cannot serve my life for my people? Why live when I am nothing but an embarrassment?"

They both sat there in silence for quite some time. Dib finally sighed heavily and asked Zim, "Do you have a first aid kit or anything in here?"

Zim's glare froze before the alien replied angrily, "What are you talking about you filthy human?"

Dib's eyes narrowed and grabbed Zim by the arm again pulling him to his feet and into the transport to take them back to the top floor. He winced but ignored when Zim slashed at his shoulder with his claws. Warm blood dripped down his back, but he didn't notice. The door opened and he pulled Zim into the living room sitting him down on the couch.

Before Zim could say anything, Dib said sternly, "Rest. I'll get you something to eat and get some bandages."

"But-"

"Rest!" Dib yelled glaring at Zim with a determined look.

Zim's eyes widened before he glared and laid down on the couch. He watched Dib walk into the kitchen and almost smirked. A human in his house? How...convenient...


Hours later, Dib had managed to get Zim bandaged up and fed after he had rested. A question still rang in Dib's head that he had yet gotten the courage to ask as he watched the alien finish his small meal. The cut on his shoulder was burning in pain, but he continued ignoring it. Zim threw his plate to the ground stretching and yawning loudly. The alien looked at Dib who had just been staring at him for the past five minutes.

Dib's gaze lowered before he stretched out his hand touching the bruised green cheek as he finally asked, "Zim...did you do all this to yourself?"

Zim's eyes widened, but he frowned before replying, "Yes, Dib-stink. I tried to take my own life, but found myself to be even too much of a coward to do the right thing."

Dib glared slightly at the alien in front of him, but his gaze softened as he sighed lightly, "Zim...you could make yourself a life here on Earth if you actually tried."

"Like you have?" Zim asked chuckling. "To be an intellectually insane human going to school, being bullied, and living to merely make an existance that will make it's own mark in humanity's history? I don't think so."

"Why not?" Dib asked even though he could already count five different reasons not to.

"Because in order for Zim to have a chance at this meager life of yours, Zim would need to team up with Dib-stink. The only way either of us could survive is if we stick together for the rest of our lives."

Dib looked at Zim with a surprised look on his face till he grinned slightly whispering, "As if you'd allow us to stick together for the rest of our lives."

"It would be for merely a survival technique," Zim replied with a serious frown.

Dib placed a hand on his shoulder sighing heavily, "If you say so..."

Suddenly, Zim's own claws were placed on his hand. A light blush formed on Dib's cheek before the claws moved his hand out of the way and felt around the deep cut in his shoulder. Zim looked at Dib saying, "Take off your shirt."

"What?"

"Take it off."

Even though he did it nervously, Dib took off his shirt showing the blood dripping down his back. Zim took some of the bandages that Dib had gotten and wiped away the blood with his glove before bandaging the wound tightly.

Dib was silent till he gripped his shirt tightly in his hands whispering, "Thanks..."

He saw a smirk come onto Zim's face as the alien whispered, "Don't mention it...human."

A Month Later

Dib and Zim were laying down on a grassy hill outside the town joking and laughing while looking up into the starry sky. Zim had begun going to skool again, this time actually trying. His grades were going up with the help of Dib. Even the bullying had become minimum. With human and alien as a team, they could take on any bully in the skool. Though there were of course the rumors going around about the sudden friendship between the two. But, both just ignored it all and continued on with their lives.

"I can't believe you rejected Zita!" Dib exclaimed laughing so hard tears were dotting in his eyes. "She looked so heart broken!"

"Oh please! That filthy human female had no right to ask out the mighty Zim!" Zim exclaimed grinning proudly looking down at his small watch. "It's her fault for falling in love with me in the first place."

"I think it was just to see if you would actually sleep with her," Dib said sitting up. "I could hear all of her friends in the background talking about it."

"Sleep? You mean the female wished to sleep beside Zim while he rested?"

"Not exactly..." Dib whispered rolling his eyes and chuckling.

Zim sat up as well taking off his black wig for a second to scratch his head, "All humans are so stupid."

With a look from Dib, Zim sighed a little saying while he glanced again at his watch, "Well...not ALL humans, I suppose..."

Dib smiled and looked into the dark horizon whispering, "I wonder what ever happened to Dwicky..."

"Huh? You mean that pathetic human counselor that you befriended and was taken away by those other aliens?"

"Yeah, him..."

"You'd be surprised. But, he was more than likely experimented on for a couple years and then thrown in a dumpster on Foodcourtia."

"You serious?" Dib asked suddenly grinning big.

"Yes," Zim replied. "The Pleukesians are really quite sadistic. They usually prey on planets similiar to Earth and use any creatures they find to use for their experiments."

"That's...so cool," Dib replied laughing loudly. "He deserved anything he got."

"Why did you trust that man so much?" Zim asked while Dib was still laughing.

Dib grew silent for a minute or so before he replied softly, "Why? Because he was the first person in years who even tried to believe me. I was so needy for someone to be there for me. That when he came around, I was willing to do anything to get him to believe me. When he left...I was so crushed..."

"That's when you vanished for a couple weeks," Zim whispered remembering those weeks he had searched for Dib.

"Yeah...just the thought of my only ally...my only friend...betraying me like that..." Dib whispered frowning. "I just couldn't believe it."

"I see..." Zim whispered looking down at his watch as they sat in silence.

Breaking their long silence, Dib looked over at Zim and asked, "Hey, Zim? Could you really see yourself staying here on Earth for the rest of your life?"

"I don't know, Dib-stink. Can you?" Zim replied looking back at his new ally.

Dib smirked before looking back up at the stars, "No way."

"So, what's the plan?" Zim asked smirking and sitting up.

"We could probably build a nice ship in a couple months from the stuff still in your lab. And, I can steal anything we need from my dad's lab."

"Where would we go?" Zim asked.

"I don't know...You're the alien," Dib said chuckling loudly.

They both sat there for a long time in silence as Zim checked his watch once again. Dib noticed and asked, "Why do you keep checking your watch, Zim?"

Zim was silent with a grim expression before he looked up to the stars, "Because in exactly five minutes...the Earth is going to be destroyed."

Dib's eyes widened greatly at Zim's words almost wanting to laugh. But, the grim expression on the alien's face made him realize it wasn't a joke.

"What...what are you talking about?"

"A month ago...before you came to rescue me, my Tallest had called me. They told me that the Earth was set for destruction. The Armada was to leave in a matter of days to destroy this entire planet. They deactivated all of my equipment telling me I was to die with the humans of Earth. Then you came...but, I couldn't do anything to stop them."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Dib shouted grabbing Zim's shoulder and shaking him frantically as his body almost froze in pure fear.

"Because isn't it better that I allowed our time together to be pleasant and worth living for?" Zim said calmly. "If I had told you, you would have panicked. Our entire time together would have been spent trying to stop something that we cannot stop."

Suddenly, the dark sky above them lit up with an eerie light as gusts of wind blew across the land. But, Dib and Zim's eyes never left each other, staring into each others soul as the entire Irken Armada appeared in the sky with their weapons already out and ready to fire.

"I don't want to die, Zim!" Dib shouted as tears fell from his eyes. "We just became friends! We just planned to travel the universe together! I don't want to die!"

He was silence when Zim took off his gloves and wiped away his tears wincing at the sting, but he took Dib's glasses and threw them to the ground. He took off his own wig again and his contacts throwing them away as well.

"Zim...I-" Dib stuttered out as more tears fell from his eyes. He grabbed Zim's claws in a desperate clutch as more ships arrived in the sky and the eerie light drew darker. The sounds of people screaming and panicking tore through the night as the two sat there.

"I'm sorry, Dib..." Zim whispered pulling Dib into an embrace. "But, our time together...you gave me a reason to live. You also gave me a reason to die for you."

Dib leaned back still crying with his heart beating painfully in his chest. They both could hear the weapons of the Armada being fired as the two leaned their foreheads against each other.

"Zim...I..." Dib stared into Zim's eyes for the last seconds of their lives before smiling through the tears running down his face. "Thank you..."

"I know...Dib," Zim whispered before he pulled the boy into his arms as the weapons of the Armada struck the Earth killing millions instantly. Explosions erupted everywhere on the small planet, destroying any and everything in its path. Humanity was instantly erased from existance. But, the days that had led to the destruction of mankind were at least...worthy of living.