Excuse me while I hang my head in shame during these author's notes.

This chapter has been written for ages, but I've been having a really tough beginning half of the year. I've had family pass away, school which I barely passed for this semester, I FINALLY got a job that paid but it was seasonal and I finally just NOW got a job that isn't seasonal! It's all been a little overwhelming and I've had NO motivation to update this, or any, of my works. Just started reading some of the older fictions that originally inspired my fan fiction so it's helped me get a little more into the swing of things and I'm hoping I can stay motivated now, because it's a really calming past time.

Also, I'm considering creating an all new account for my stories. Get a nice, clean, fresh start with my re-writes, maybe even go back over them and improve on them even further. I'd love to have something professional grade to look back on and think, "Wow, I wrote that." I don't really have any interest in becoming a writer professionally, but I'd still like to be proud enough in my fan works to be able to confidently point people in the direction of them, as apposed to having to stifle to need to yell, "NO DON'T LOOK!" Every time someone asks me about my fanfiction.

So keep a look out here for any possible notices about new accounts. I will prolly keep posting the first drafts here to get a good feel of how people are digging the vibe of my stories. Could really help in making the final drafts something really entertaining.

Credit to both me and my partner for the initial idea and writing. Credit to me for the revisions.

Zim hung out in his room for a while before coming downstairs so find Dib asleep on the couch.

"Fuhhing falfine's nay," The human mumbled into the couch cushion as he drooled.

Zim walked over, looking at the human with a confused expression. He poked Dib in the cheek and whispered, "Dib, hey, Dib, wake up."

"Fuhhing falien… fuhhing nah worhing." Dib mumbled, something falling out of his hand and onto the floor.

Zim growled in annoyance, picking the device up which was beeping high and in quick succession. "Dib, wake up and shut this thing off!" Zim shouted, holding the thing to Dib's ear.

"No! I wohn go geh hilhren... sex is oferraheh…" The human mumbled as he turned over.

Zim huffed, his irritation level sky rocketing. He dropped the device back to the floor and gave Dib a hard slap to the face.

Dib gasped, bolting upright and yelling as he put his hand to the cheek, "Zim! What the Hell was that for!"

"You were babbling… and that stupid thing won't stop beeping!" Zim yelled, pointing at the thing on the floor.

"I wasn't… babbling?" Dib said, thought sounded unsure. "I was asleep… and what… the thing!" Dib dove for the device, picking it up and dusting it off to check for damage. "I hope nothing broke."

"You were so," Zim said quietly, under his breath. "Now tell me what it is."

"Don't worry about it, Zim." Dib said, pulling something out from inside it that successfully stopped the beeping.

Zim glared before looking down nad sntaching the thing from Dib's hands and asking, "What does it do?"

Dib rolled his eyes and snatched it back, saying, "I've been trying to invent something that can read a person's mental stability. You know, determine a person's stress level, a general idea of what they're thinking, and stuff like that."

"Fascinating." Zim said sarcastically before asking, "So what were you dreaming about? By your mumbling it had something to do with me and sex."

"I- I really talk in my sleep?" Dib wondered out loud. "Oh, um, I don't know what that has to do with anything… but I do recall in my dream I was smashing Dad's head open with an iron mallet…"

"That sounds like fun." Zim said, looking back at the device in Dib's hand, trying very hard not to voice his question.

Dib began to take his device apart and examine the parts as he mumbled, "Was a nightmare, actually."

Zim wasn't even paying attention anymore, more curious about what Dib was doing. Finally, he couldn't hold back anymore and picked up one of the chips that Dib had set aside and began looking it over himself.

Dib watched Zim for a while before asking, "What are you doing?"

"Nothing," Zim said, looking up at Dib with a truly innocent look.

Dib paused in consideration. He finally sighed and said, "Fine, just don't break anything."

Zim pouted before snatching each thing up as it hit the table when Dib was done with it. He put things together and took them apart again, and before long he had every piece and was tinkering with the entire thing while Dib watched.

Zim looked so calm, Dib noticed. He was concentrating so hard on fixing this thing that Dib was working on and seemed like a completely different alien.

Dib scooted closer to look at what Zim was doing and the alien didn't even seem to notice that. In fact, once he was done he turned to give Dib the device and jumped.

"What are you doing?" Zim asked, brows knitted.

"Watching." Dib said simply.

Zim gave Dib an annoyed look before passing the human the device. "Here."

Dib turned the entire thing over in his hand, examining it. It wasn't beeping anymore.

He put the thing up to his mouth and spoke into a speaker, saying, "Diagnose."

The device gave three beeps before flashing something on the screen that said, "Mood- Nervous, Brain-Wandering, Stress- Medium."

"It… It worked! You did it!" Dib looked up, smiling at Zim before quickly going over and hugging him tightly and spontaneously.

Zim tensed, his first reaction was to scratch Dib again, but quickly felt that there was no skin contact, and so allowed the hug reluctantly.

"Of course I did it. I am ZIM. This is mere child's play compared to the work I use to do." He said as if getting tired of the sound of his own voice.

"I've been working on this thing on and off since I was twelve," Dib mumbled, pulling back marveling at his device. "This is great! Thank you!"

The human then got up and took the device to his room, leaving Zim sitting there, somewhat confused.

Zim felt he deserved better than a simple thanks, not that he didn't like working on things like that, but he used to get PAID for it.

Dib came back, sitting back down on the couch and saying, "I didn't know you were good at fixing things. I thought you just broke things."

"Nonsense," Zim said, waving a hand, although smiling in eagerness that he got to do a little bragging. "Zim used to be an inventor for the irken empire. It wasn't until later that I became a mighty destroyer of worlds!"

Dib rolled his eyes, but couldn't help but smile at the little alien's ego. "Well, if you want to we could always work on something together, I have myself a little lab in the basement where I create most of my paranormal equipment. Might be fun."

Zim couldn't help but smile at the thought of getting his hands on something to tinker with, although, as usual, the smile was more creepy than heart warming and made Dib quick change the subject.

"You know, when I started that invention of mine I was actually aiming for a project that would help me read minds, but I thought I'd start small and work with the basic stuff… it was the best I had at the time... and… well… it's SUCH a pointless machine… but I wanted to understand it first… before I went to mind-reading..." Dib smiled to himself, remembering when he started it, he was going to use it to predict what Zim was going to do. "Have you ever wondered about that? What others are thinking?"

"Not so much," Zim said, crossing his arms. "No one's thoughts have ever mattered to me but my own… although…." He gave Dib a pointed stare.

Dib didn't seem fazed, asking, "What are YOU thinking right now?"

"Wouldn't you like to know, Dib-stink?" Zim asked, smirking and trying to look mysterious.

Dib frowned a little, face twisting up in contemplation, wondering just what that smirk meant.

"Yeah, I would, actually."

"Well," Zim said, turning and smugly throwing his chin out. "You are not allowed to know. Zim's thoughts belong to ZIM!"

"You know that just makes me want to know all the more." Dib pointed out, unfazed by the alien's show.

Zim waved at Dib as though waving him away, saying, "Yes, I am fascinating, but your puny human mind could not possibly comprehend the superior thoughts going on in my superior mind."

Dib pouted, saying, "You know, this attitude of yours is probably why no one has wanted to marry you before now."

"And just how would you know of such things?" Zim asked, looking back at the human, offended.

"Wait, someone HAS?" Dib asked, looking genuinely surprised. "I don't know, I've always assumed not since I've never spied you calling any other irkens besides your leaders before, and you've never mentioned it before either."

"It happened much too long ago for it to have come up in conversation… and why would I talk to you about it anyway?" Zim asked, one eye narrowing in confusion.

"Alright, you have a point." Dib said, rolling his eyes. "So what happened, did you say 'no' or something?"

"If you MUST know," Zim said, exasperated. "I agreed."

Dib deadpanned in shock. "You- what happened? Did you go through with it? Did something happen? Are… am I marrying a married Irken?" Dib pulled closer, unable to help his curiosity.

Zim leaned away, answering, "Almost, yes, something did happen, and no, I'm not married."

Dib looked sad then, pulling back and asking, "What happened?"

Zim face screwed up, and suddenly he could understand how Dib had felt when Zim had questioned him about his mother.

"She's dead."

Dib sat fully back now, unsure of anything to say other than, "I'm sorry." He reached a hand up, brushing his fingers over Zim's clothed arm, wanting to offer support, should the alien want it, but not wanting to push it either. It felt weird to him to offer, so he was sure it would feel weird for the other to accept it.

Zim's fists balled up for a moment, relaxing though when he felt the human's touch and looked down at it curiously. He didn't know what to do in regards to the gesture, so he did nothing, instead looking up at the human and saying, "It's nothing. It happened a long time ago."

"That's… good then… I mean, that you're over it." Dib said, taking his hand back, but still trying to give Zim a reassuring look.

"I am going to go make myself something to eat." Zim said, standing suddenly, sounding smug once more, as though it should be some kind of honor for Dib that someone like Zim should want to eat his food.

"You do that." Dib said, disappointed that he'd seen a much more sensitive side of the alien and that it was now gone.

Zim went to the kitchen, contemplating the information he had just shared with Dib, and wondering why he'd done so. He supposed it didn't really matter though. It was out there now, and he just hoped Dib wouldn't be able to find a way to use it against him.

Dib heard Zim make himself some toast, and decided to get up and make sure Zim really was okay. When he found Zim just going about, buttering the now toasted bread he said, "Hey, Zim?"

The alien looked up curiously, one eye narrowed.

"You know, if I'm too much of a jerk, feel free to punch me, alright? I won't shock you for it or anything." Dib offered, figuring it would be more comforting than the touch he gave just a few minutes ago.

Zim looked surprised for a moment before smirking and saying, "As if I need you permission, human."

Dib couldn't help but give a small laugh, knowing full well that Zim really would just take it upon himself. "Just wanted to let you know."

Zim sat down to eat his toast and Dib sat down across from him at the kitchen table, asking, "Do you think… when this is all over… that we could ever be friends, and the threats would all just be teasing?"

Zim took the time to chew and swallow, allowing himself to actually think about it before saying, "Who knows?"

"Maybe we could try it now?" Dib asked, looking at Zim seriously. "Like… a temporary truce?"

The alien gave Dib an unsure look, asking, "Like… pretend to be friends?"

"No, more like… a trial friendship." Dib said, nodding in agreement with himself.

"I… guess." Zim said, giving Dib a lopsided frown.

"Truce then." Dib said, holding his hand out for Zim.

Zim hesitated.

"Truce." The alien shook it.