By: Emo Fox
Dib didn't know how he made it home, but somehow he managed.
It was nearly three in the morning when he had wandered back from Zim's lab.
He stumbled into the dark kitchen, feeling blindly for the light switch, "C'mon," He hissed, finally snapping the switch and illuminating the small space. He squinted to the light, stumbling towards the sink as he sunk down to rummage through the cabinets.
He shoved over bottles of cleaning supplies, some sponges, a box of soap until he finally found the first aid kit. Dib fell back onto the tiles, his weak legs unable to hold him in a squatting position much longer, he knocked over a can of bug spray and it stuttered across the floor with a jarring metal sound.
He couldn't be bothered with trying to stop the noise, instead his bloodied fingers fumbled with the latches of the white medical box, flipping the lid open and groping for the right items he'd need—
"Ew," Gaz's voice stung his ears, "You're going to get blood on everything." Her nose scrunched as she leaned against the framing of the kitchen.
Dib winced, shifting straighter against the cabinets as he tried to turn to see his sister. She was glowering at him from the doorway, still in her night gown, the sheer piece of purple silk almost scandalous, "So?"
Gaz quirked a brow, normally Dib wasn't the type to snap back at her, but obviously he was in a mood. A quick glance at him and it was obvious he had been fighting with Zim. His left shoulder had a deep gash, which was probably why he wasn't using that hand to sift through the first aid box, and he had a few cuts through his coat and a noticeable one right down the middle of the neutral face on his shirt. Gaz flicked her eyes further up and she noticed the bite mark on Dib's neck, the wound had scabbed, but the dried blood looked heinous, it was probably the cause of his loss of color, why his skin looked all sticky; and beyond that, a split lip and a cut over his right eye, his damaged glasses were stuffed into his mess of hair, which probably meant he was also suffering from a migraine since he couldn't see shit without them.
All in all, he looked like hell, and Gaz could forgive Dib's poor attitude, just this once.
"Just stop," She rolled her eyes as she walked through the kitchen, kneeling beside her brother as she forcefully snatched the box from him, "I'll help," She ground out the last word, but Dib looked pathetic and there was a good chance he'd pass out before he could really help himself and she just didn't want to explain to dad why her brother was dead on the kitchen floor. "Just take off your coat and sit still."
Dib let out the breath he was holding, his body sagging, the pain flowering fresh through his muscles; but he was grateful to Gaz, he didn't think he could really manage on his own, not right now, "Thanks." He murmured as he shrugged out of his coat, letting the heavy fabric fall in a heap around his hips.
Gaz began to daub the blood from her brother's neck, mindful of the mildly open wound, before she applied an anti-bacteria cream and then started to wrap the fresh gauze. She glanced to Dib's concentrated expression then down to his hands that he was currently cleaning with a disinfecting wipe from the box; she noticed the superficial cuts on his wrists and arms, as well as the white of old scars that looked glossy on his pasty skin.
Dib had been coming home more beaten than usual, and also later in the morning, sometimes close to six or seven; normally he'd crash in the kitchen after patching himself up, or on rare days, stumble upstairs to actually sleep in his own bed for a few hours.
He never mentioned exactly what had been going on, why everything seemed to have gotten worse between him and Zim; and Gaz finally couldn't take not knowing anymore. Curiosity(as well as a little sisterly concern, not that she'd admit) had finally gnawed her resolve down and she was determined to get the bottom of what was really going on.
Dib hissed as she started to clean the minor cuts on his face, wincing as she pressed the sponge against his split lip, "Aren't you and Zim trying to kill each other?" She asked casually, gently pressing the disinfecting sponge against the cut in his eyebrow.
"Yeah." He murmured, sounding a little reluctant.
"It looks to me like Zim could have killed you by now." Gaz stated seriously, giving her brother a look before she tossed the soiled sponge to the side; plucking out a band-aid and sticking the beige bandage to Dib's split eyebrow.
Dib didn't respond, staring at the white box next to his leg with disinterest.
Gaz sat back, gesturing towards Dib's torso, "Take off your shirt." His shoulder might need stitches; she had already fished out the needle and thread as well as a wash cloth to clean the drying and fresh blood.
Dib complied, grunting with effort to remove his shirt before he sank back against the cabinets, wincing to the tightness of his shoulder; the wound still tender, and even that little movement aggravated it enough to cause it to bleed again, fresh red bubbled through the rust-colored scab.
Gaz wetted the cloth and pressed tenderly against his collar, over the rise of his shoulder, and back again in light strokes until it was clean enough to work. She threaded the needle, and Dib closed his eyes, concentrating beyond what she was about to do. She positioned Dib towards her as she focused on his shoulder, stabbing the needle into his skin and ignoring his flinch of pain as she drew it in and out in a precise pattern; sealing up the raw wound with primitive black thread.
"I just don't understand why you two haven't killed each other yet," She yanked on the thread, tightening the seal, "It's not that hard. You keep coming back broken, but not dead." As she finished she wiped down the cut again before she was satisfied; deciding whatever scratches and bruises he had on his arms and torso weren't deep enough to bother with medical attention, "You could easily bomb Zim's base, kill him with water, shoot a bullet into his Pak. So, why haven't you?"
Dib let out the breath he had been holding, reaching up to touch the fresh stitching before he gathered up his shirt and coat, heaping them in his lap as he drew his gaze back on his sister, "Why are you so interested all of a sudden?" He asked, his tone hollow.
Gaz shrugged, packing up the first aid box, her violet hair bobbing into her face with each quick movement, "For enemies, you two aren't doing a very good job of ridding yourselves of each other."
Dib finally forced himself up, holding the counter for support as he got himself to his feet, "Well—"
"I want to know what's going on Dib." Gaz said, her tone serious as she flicked her amber gaze to his, clipping the lid closed on the medical box.
Dib gingerly reached down to gather his soiled coat and shirt, bundling them in his arms as he began the tentative trek out of the kitchen, "Nothing is going on." He said in a hollow tone, staring out of the kitchen towards the living room, avoiding his sister.
Gaz didn't get up, just stared at Dib with hard eyes, "Something is."
He didn't respond, leaning against the threshold before he continued towards the living room, nearly out of ear-shot of Gaz as he relied on the railing for support as he slowly climbed the stairs.
Gaz got to her feet, leaning against the counter, her amber glare following her brother's every movement, "It better be worth it Dib."
Dib pretended like he didn't hear her, but he had, and the words stung.
Was this worth the world, all of humanity?
There was nothing to covet; he was just deluding himself, failing the human race because his feelings had decided to get in the way. There shouldn't be any feelings.
Dib stumbled into the bathroom, throwing his clothing on the floor as he went to un-buckle his belt; he absently kicked the door shut, the movement shocked his glasses back down on his nose, vision returned he glanced in the mirror.
He didn't like what he saw.
He ran his fingers along the deep gouging in his side, to the bite marks along his collar to the bandaged mark on his neck. He fingered the stitching in his shoulder and the burn marks on his hips.
He was letting this get out of control.
Gaz was right, he should be taking a step back, he should be looking at this from her perspective. What was going on?
Dib started to hate himself.
But, he knew he'd always hate Zim more.
This is just… something. It's going to be a two shot, or possibly a three shot depending on how it goes. Next chapter has Dib/Zim interaction. It's going to be a bit dark and sadistic, despite how dry this chapter seems(at least to me). I'm working on the second part so it should be out soon.
Sorry I haven't written in forever, I've just been really blocked which is why I just wanted to throw this out there. I am still writing, it's just very slow going.