So, Gaz woke up! And I do make amends with her for her OOC-ness, however slight.

"Can you hit people with the axe?"
"YES! And the butterfly net, actually."
"I'd rather hit them with the axe."
"Okay. But I think the butterfly net actually does more."
-My sister's friend and I playing Animal Crossings and torturing the citizens.

Enjoy. Also, my apologies if Gaz's speech to Dib sounds rather strange or articulate. I was watching Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl while writing this and I tend to sponge what I feel like and squeeze the remains into my writing.

Chapter 19
"Being Gaz"

Zim killed the transmission, snickering at his own plan. He hadn't felt like this since he'd first been assigned to the mission here, on Earth.

Who knew banishment would lead to such unspoken respect from his Tallest?

"You look awfully pleased with yourself."

Zim nodded, turning to face her, who had been out of view, in the chair beside him.

Gaz had woken up a half hour before he had planned on calling the Queen and the Tallest, and insisted on seeing the transaction for herself. Dib had actually been asleep by that time, so he was unaware she had even left the house. Zim had actually waited downstairs, until Dib had fallen victim to his sleep-needs, before going upstairs and watching Gaz. It was really more of him sort of petting her in her sleep, reassuring himself she was fine, until she'd woken up moments before he had left the house to wait for the Valkians to notice what he'd done to their systems. Zim had electronically sent for the cruiser and half-awake as she was at the time, Zim had once again ended up carrying her, as she refused to be left behind to miss the "show".

"I've- how do you say it?- murdered two birds with one stone." Zim replied, cheerfully, leaning back and crossing his arms behind his head. "Not only have I left a last, positive impression on the Tallest, but I've also prevented the Valkians from returning for revenge for my revenge."

"I'm sure you feel very clever," Gaz replied, stretching as she lifted her arms behind her. "Now I should probably get back home before Dib wakes up and strangles you."

"Oh, yes," Zim said, sitting up. "Apparently, your brother caught on to our relationship without either of us telling him. He actually approved of it, for the time being. However, I believe you are correct in deciding not to take any chances. We'll both probably be getting a 'talking to' when he wakes up."

Gaz scowled, standing up. "Stupid Dib."

"That's the second time you've said that," Zim pointed out as he too stood. Then he held out his arms again, inquiring. "Do you still need to be carried?"

Gaz made a face. "I hate being carried."

Zim smirked, viciously. "Good. I'll do it anyways."

Before she could object he had picked her up, bent over his shoulder, needing only one arm around her leg. Gaz attempted to kick him in the face only to find that Zim was holding her tightly, restraining her from kicking him. Finding this, Gaz sat up a little and smacked him on the back of the head, hard.

Zim flinched, rubbing the sore spot, but did not let her down. "Someone's a bit violent this morning."

As it was, in fact, now early in the morning.

Gaz huffed, crossing her arms. "I didn't get all my fight out last night because of you."

"Me?" Zim demanded, entering the elevator. "What did I do?"

"You saved me!" Gaz snapped back, as if it was the most horrible thing he could've done. Secondary to holding her as he was, of course. "If I had escaped on my own I would be fine but no, you had to play hero-alien-negotiator or what not."

He snorted in disgust, his voice wreaking with sarcasm, "My apologies for doing things the easy and most cunning way then, Gaz."

Her reply was another grunt of irritation, crossing her arms.

Zim chuckled at it. "You know, if you really do want to burn off some fight, I can think of far more appealing ways to do so."

"I'm mad at you. Why would you possibly think I'd agree to that?" Gaz retorted, glaring at his back.

"Despite the fact that you use your strength rather cunningly, in a way that tricks people into thinking you are stronger then you are, I am, in fact, stronger then you, Gaz." Zim informed her arrogantly. He then reached his free hand up to gently stroke her backside. "I could pin you until I persuade you- my way- otherwise."

Furious, Gaz found a sudden burst of strength in her left leg, and it shot up and kicked Zim in the face. He stumbled a bit and she sneered, even if he still kept his hold on her. "I think I prefer cunning strength over brute strength."

Zim growled at her as they entered the roof, opening the cruiser and setting her down. And once again he felt that intensity, the need to remind himself she was okay. He glanced over her before locking eyes with her. Gaz gave him a confused expression, a look that questioned his sanity. He lifted a hand, running it through her hair and cupping her cheek with a relieved sigh of content.

"Safe," He assured himself, rubbing his thumb on her cheekbone before moving to sit in the drivers seat, releasing her as he started the car, like nothing had happened.

Gaz's expression didn't change as she peered at him. "You're kind of insane, huh, Zim?"

A slow sneer appeared on his face as he glanced at her, the roof opening. "Isn't everyone?"

"I prefer the term 'enlightened'," Gaz replied, leaning back into the chair as she made herself comfortable. Then she was reminded of something. "Oh, hey, what's a sahlm? Everyone kept saying that around me. About me," she corrected. Zim bit his lip. Her eyes narrowed and she spoke in a warning tone, "Zim?"

"It . . . has a few meanings," He admitted, reluctantly. "The way they meant it and the way I meant it were probably different, though. I meant it as 'girlfriend' or 'significant other' while they probably meant it as 'sex-slave' or 'mate'."

Gaz was quiet. Worried, Zim looked over to see her hands curled into fists against her legs, but otherwise unaffected. This only made him all the more uncomfortable. Even if Gaz wasn't showing it, Zim sort of knew she was pissed. It surprised him how well he already knew her when they had technically only been dating 2 days now. He wondered if it was just the living together or that he was just extremely observant, but either way, he knew.

Lost in thoughts of punishment that would never get to happen (as the guilty were light-years away and probably dead already), Gaz jumped a little as Zim's hand suddenly gripped hers in his, firmly. She looked down to see his fingers had intertwined with hers and trailed the arm up to his face, that wasn't looking at her. He was hitting buttons with the other hand every once in a while but otherwise kept his eyes on the sky.

"You really care, don't you?" Gaz said, before she could stop herself.

Zim, however, already knew what she meant, no surprised expression necessary. His hand tightened ever so slightly on hers, so little that a less observant person would not have noticed, but of course, Gaz did notice.

"More then I understand," He murmured.

Gaz wasn't able to respond to that but she understood it. Looking at Zim, she couldn't say why she wanted him either. Eventually though, she turned and wrapped her arms around Zim's chest in a moment of uncharacteristic emotion. "I know."

Zim's hand found its way around her back, pressing her to him just a bit tighter. "No. You don't."

She didn't reply this time, closing her eyes instead. Gaz took deep breaths, recollecting herself as she came to terms with what had happened. Unlike normal humans who go into shock, Gaz failed to shake, vomit, or even cry. Instead her mind simply retold what happened, quicker, explaining things that didn't make sense, absolving herself of guilt. A psychologist would have been baffled at the progress that Gaz made in that short ride that sometimes took others years. By the time Zim landed in her backyard, and she reopened her eyes to see his looking at her curiously, Gaz was once again herself.

Back to normal. She almost sighed in relief but that was too unlike her.

"I thought you'd fallen asleep again," Zim informed her. Then he smirked cheekily. "Shall I ca-?"

Gaz punched him in the face, stepping over his body that was knocked out of the cruiser with ease and disregard to Zim's pain. When he rolled back onto his stomach he glared up at her with a hint of a smirk tugging at his mouth. "She's back."

As if hearing him, and needing to prove this statement, Gaz turned as she reached the back door to her house. "Are you coming, or are you just going to lie there all day?"

Zim snorted smugly as he got to his feet. As much as he enjoyed protecting Gaz, by all means, he was really wondering when she was going to get her spine back and stop making so many mistakes and being so rebellious when it was a bad idea. The Gaz looking at him with contempt now made him almost believe her making any such screw up was impossible and should he attempt to say so not only would he look stupid, he'd also end up buried ten feet under.

Gaz opened the door, nearly shutting it in his face, but he caught it in time, chuckling as he entered. "I didn't know that I was allowed to-."

He stopped, as Gaz had, arms crossed. Zim looked at her, confused, before looking up in surprise to see a single chair. Zim rolled his eyes as it turned around, dramatically, Dib inside of it as he scowled at both of them.

"And where have you two been?" Dib demanded, as if he had any authority.

Gaz replied back, plainly, "Watching aliens fall into your stupid trap. Where else would I be?" She demanded, as if he'd accused her of something. Technically, in all fairness, he hadn't, but he was insinuating an accusation.

Dib paled, losing some of his resolve as he stuttered, fiddling with his hands. "Well, I just thought that-."

"While we're talking about people," Gaz continued, approaching Dib dangerously slow with menacing, threatening eyes. Behind her, Zim hid a smirk at the true return of the creature who so vexed and possessed him. "Let's talk about you, Dib. And while we're talking about you, let me ask you a question: What nerve have you suddenly grown that gave you the impression that I was required to answer any questions of yours?"

Dib stared at his intimidating sister, who was glaring at him in his chair. He wondered (as she seemed to tower over him) if sitting down had been such a great idea for her and Zim's entrance to the house.

"That's what I thought," Gaz finished, patting her brother on the head as she leaned forward, hands on her knees to become eye-level with him. She spoke quietly, too quietly for Zim to hear, much to his extreme irritation. "And let me tell you this, Dib. Should you choose to even attempt to form another question about myself, or the person standing behind me, who shall not be named in privacy of this spoken contract, I will send you into the likes of a world whose horrors you couldn't even imagine. Do I make myself clear, Dib?" She finished, locking intense eyes with her brother.

Dib swallowed, nervously, before nodding vigorously. "C-Crystal, Gaz!"

She allowed him a fake, insincere smile. "Good boy."

Gaz then began walking past the chair to reveal Zim, snickering quietly at Dib's obvious discomfort. Eventually, with Gaz their unity mark, they would have to figure out a way to get along but for now that bond didn't apply. So Zim was still freely enjoying his once arch-nemesis in paralyzing fear. Even if Zim hadn't done that, still, he was partners with the one that had.

"Zim," Gaz said, sharply, looking at him from the stairs as she waited. "Are you coming or not?"

He quickly hurried off after her, shooting one last smug look at a stunned Dib, who was unable to react. Zim followed Gaz up the stairs and into her bedroom, where she shut the door behind them. Gaz then tossed her luggage onto her bed and unzipped them, going through her things so she could put her clothes away.

She snorted upon seeing the neatly folded piles, picking up a piece of clothing with a single finger. "This is neater then how I do it."

"My machinery is advanced enough to fold clothes," Zim replied, sitting on her desk chair as he watched her. "It's the easiest way to pack them in."

"So tell me," Gaz asked, opening her drawers and laying the already folded (and organized) clothes inside of it. "How much of your plan was actually planned out, and how much was winging it?"

Zim considered this. "Well, Dib's piece of the mission was entirely guess-work. I had no idea if the device I had him implant into the Valkian's systems would work in disguising my corrupt data until the opportune moment, or at least until they were out of the vicinity. There was also the matter of if the Queen was quite as stupid as I remembered, a real pity. Did I mention it was her fault her husband was killed in the war?"

"No, actually, you didn't." Gaz replied, fixing the clothes to fit better into the drawer. "How did that come about?"

"It was her idea that he fight," Zim insisted, picking things up off her desk and scrutinizing each one carefully and meticulously. "Despite the extreme danger that if he was lost, so would the chance of succession in their race, but she insisted that he wasn't worthy of kingship if he wasn't willing to fight. And with that attitude he went and got himself killed."

"A stupid idea if I ever heard one," Gaz insisted, her nails drumming against her necklace for a moment before going back to the task at hand.

Zim eyed her carefully before going back to look at the watch he'd given her, which he'd brought back for her. Just because she wasn't in immediate danger anymore didn't meant that maybe one day Gaz would need him, for whatever. And it was a way for him to check on her, keep tabs on the thing he couldn't afford to lose.

"You'll be surprised what a man will do to prove himself to the woman he wants," Zim replied back, cryptically.

Gaz paused to look up at him, but he was lost in his own thoughts. She shut the drawer and opened another one, restarting the whole process. "So, you're whole plan in rescuing me was based off of a bug my brother placed? Not exactly air-tight."

"No," Zim agreed. "But if it wasn't reliable enough to me, I wouldn't have risked your life on it."

"It's your life too," Gaz reminded him. "The Queen could've just decided to kill you in her Chambers."

"My life would've been an example of a failure if you'd have died because of my incompetence," Zim said with a shrug. "It would've been shortly after ended."

Gaz snorted as she shook her head, "How very cliche of you."

"You say an awful lot of things that Zim does not understand," He pointed out, plainly.

Gaz shoved the second of three empty suitcases under her bed, unzipping the third and final of them with difficulty. Gaz growled at the stuck zipper, jerking it with failure to open. Zim watched with amused interest as the jerks became more and more violent.

The purple-haired vixen was on the verge of beating the bag when a chest pressed against her back, arms draped over hers, moving her hands aside and unzipping the luggage case with such ease Gaz had to be suspicious that it hated her. The black gloved hand unzipped it open gracefully and slowly, as if trying to impress her by doing so. Gaz didn't move, choosing to simply scowl at the rebellion against her.

"Stupid bag," She hissed, when Zim had finished doing it for her.

"Maybe it just doesn't respond to violence," Zim suggested, pressing more against her, breathing his words in her ear. "Maybe you just need to act a bit more gently sometimes."

Gaz's brow rose, eyes peering in his direction, without moving her head. "Coddling something can make it weak."

"Or build up it's motivation to succeed," Zim suggested. "If something feels weak, it can push through. However that only happens if it has the right . . . motivation." At this growl of a word, Zim's hand slid itself up her hip, slowly, nails grazing her through her pants. He sneered when her felt her muscles tense. "You still owe me."

"I thought we were done with the whole 'payment' thing," Gaz replied back, eyes focused on the luggage case.

Zim snorted against her skin. "You will always be a treat to me, little Gaz."

She scowled, irritated. "I'm not little, Zim. Why do you insist on treating me like I am?"

"Because it makes you angry," He replied, casually. "And you're rather intriguing when you're angry."

And Gaz couldn't make any opinion about what she wanted then, as Zim very much convinced and decided for her there afterwords what she wanted.

Three hours later, however, when coming downstairs, they were amused to find Dib still sitting in the same chair he had been in, still staring at the wall. It took a rather unfriendly wake-up from Zim (aka, tipping over the chair) to startle Dib out of his comatose state before he jumped up, stared at them (Gaz with fear and Zim with a contained loathing), and then ran downstairs to hide in his lab.

"So, a question," Zim said, after the insolent boy had disappeared. "Am I allowed to kill the Dib-creature at any time?"

Gaz considered this. ". . . No. If Dib dies, it's by my hand."

Snarling his displeasure, Zim proceeded to pout as he then followed her into the living room to watch TV.

Sorry about the wait guys, but in between studying for my finals/STAR tests, this is all I could come up with on such short notice.

The kissing was supposed to be in detail, but, allas, I feel I've kept you waiting too long already and unless you want me to turn into more of an insomniac then I already am, you'll have to be satisfied with this for now.

And, as this is the last chapter, how about I make it up to you with . . .



INTRODUCING: My Hostage, Not Yours Sequel:

My Hostage, Not Yours 2: The Revenge of Player 2