When I came to, I could feel my lungs burning. I sat up and threw up water, coughing and gasping for air. I opened my fuzzy eyes to see that I was on the beach of the lake, and next to me was-
He was on his knees, coughing and retching, and I could see big white blisters and welts on his green skin.
"Filthy… Dib… worm…" he managed to say.
I looked around. I was alive?
"Did… did you save me?" I asked him.
"Yes, it was I, ZIM!" he gasped in his dramatic voice before coughing some more.
"Why?" I asked, utterly confused. But then it hit me, and I got angry.
"You only saved me so you could kill me yourself, didn't you?" I accused him.
"No, you FOOL!" he cried, startling me, "I need you! I need you alive!"
"For what?" I shot back, "Some kind of weird alien experimentation?"
"No, you stupid Earth baby!" Zim spat, "I need you to be my reason to be... here…"
An awkward silence followed.
"What… do you mean by that, Zim?" I asked him without realizing how softly I said it.
"We all need a reason to live, Dib," he replied, just using my plain name, "We all need a person to live for. Or else, what is the point of anything?"
I blinked, and then got my thoughts together.
"Well, I don't have anyone like that! That's why I want to die!" I snapped.
He frowned, then said quietly, "I could be your reason. After all, you are Zim's reason."
And then something strange happened.
He walked over to me and pressed his lips to mine. I was so shocked, I couldn't move.
When he pulled away, he said, "I believe that is the appropriate Earth gesture for "I need you in my life." Is it not?"
I couldn't even comprehend what had just happened.
I somehow managed to say, "I thought Invaders needed no one…"
"We thought wrong," he replied.
I came back to my senses enough to slap him for kissing me. He glared back at me, rubbing his cheek, and I began to laugh. I couldn't stop, and my sides began to ache. It was just so funny, so ironic!
I thought no one needed me, but this whole time, I was needed desperately by my own worst enemy!
I knew things wouldn't be the same between us after that day.
The chase had definitely ended, and something new had begun.