Talk To Spooky!
Chapter One: Merrily Falling Backwards - Why Family Trees Suck

Dib had been a mere five years old when the seed, as it was said, had been planted in his head. His mother had died when he was only three years in age, amidst giving birth to his younger sister Gaz, so he had absolutely no recollection of her at all. The one time he had asked his father about his mother, he had been given a brief, quick sentence: "She looked like your sister." Even at the age of two, his younger sister was the scariest being he had ever come into contact with, so that simple answer had scared him off of the topic for a suitably long time. Say, oh, ten years.

In any case, the seed was planted. Sure, it disturbed him for quite a few years, but it told him something. He would need to find out about her on his own.

He assumed that had something to do with why exactly he was stuck on a bus from hell, with two suitcases of personal belongings and his beloved, battered laptop happily perched on his thighs, suitcases in the overhead bin. There was something to be said about traveling at night; his thin person was the only one on the bus, discounting the bus driver, and he was beginning to worry she might fall asleep at the wheel. The woman looked as if she'd been given a sugar high, then force-fed caffeine and deprived of rest for ninety-six hours straight. Leaning forward a little, he squinted through his large, thin glasses, trying to make sure she wasn't already dozing off at the wheel. No, he determined after a bit, she was still fighting it, but he didn't want to take any chances. Besides, it was 1:53 AM according to his watch, and even if he was an insomniac, he needed to sleep at least twenty-four hours a week. Maybe more, if he could find the time.

Reaching up, he pulled the 'brake' wire, and an obnoxiously loud bell exploded with sound in the front of the bus. The bus driver started up, cursed, swerved for no apparent reason other than seeking cruel revenge by nearly throwing him from one side of the bus to the other, and finally braked abruptly. His chin slammed into the seat in front of him, his suitcases both fell out of the overhead bin, and he thanked God that his laptop hadn't hit anything. "Thou shalt not piss off tired bus drivers," he muttered to himself, tucking his laptop under his arm and grabbing a suitcase handle in each hand. Plastering a false smile on his face, he nodded a good-bye to the driver, and slowly eased his way off of the bus; the split second his feet touched pavement, the bus took off at an unholy speed, and he was nearly tipped over onto his face. As it was, his laptop, saved mysteriously on the bus from destruction, slipped from under his arm and clattered noisily on the sidewalk. "Aw, shit," Dib sighed, dropping his suitcases carelessly and snatching up his laptop. "I should've driven myself."

After a few minutes of careful, worried checking of his laptop's well being, he regretfully fastened it around his neck and once more picked up his suitcases. He really hoped he could find an apartment here...his recent encounters with the public transportation system had been rather harrowing, and he didn't really want to move for a month. Just rent some apartment room, crash there for a week or five...


"Don't be silly, Spooky!" Tenna giggled, her spiky black hair gelled up vertically. "Of course I'll let you watch 'Mysterious Mysteries' with me!" She smiled happily at the tiny, chubby skeleton rubber toy she held in her hand, squeezing it two quick times.


"Yeah, I think they need a new host, too. That guy's getting kinda old for it." Prancing up the stairs, the dark-skinned girl turned to her left blithely, a silly grin on her face. Upon turning, she ran straight into the slender back of a tall man with black hair in a unique, scythe-like hairstyle.

However, considering she bounced right off of his back and landed painfully on her rear end, she was not in a position to note this. The force of her running into him sent the man face first into the blue-painted wood of the door he was standing in front of, his black laptop falling to the carpeted floor with a 'thud.' "Not my laptop!" he wailed, after prying his face from the door.

Indignant, Tenna sat up, squeezing Spooky angrily. The result was a high-pitched |squeeek!!| that startled the man and echoed her sentiments. "Big-headed man, watch where you're going!" she yelled, clutching her toy to her chest defensively. "You could have crushed Spooky with your enormous cranium if you had fallen the other way!"

Slowly, he turned to look at her, his face contorted in an odd expression. "My head," he hissed, still staring at her, "is not...big!"

She tilted her head to one side and considered his reply. "Yes, it is," she finally said, nodding affirmatively. "Such a big head you have, blade-hair-man."

He blinked. "What?"

"Do you like ramen noodles?" she asked out of nowhere, head still tilted to one side.

He blinked again, harder, his eyebrows wrinkling together in confusion. "Yeah...I guess."

"Oh, good!" Tenna clapped her hands together, forgetting she was still holding Spooky. A soft |squeek| sounded and she patted the toy's head reassuringly. "Do you like taco sauce?"

This time, his eyes twitched once. "Yes..."

"That's nice! Have a good sleep, big-headed-blade-hair-man!" With that, she stood up, waved, and bounced down the hallway, humming cheerfully.

Dib Membrane stared at the spot she had been sitting on and opened his mouth, closed it, then opened it again. "What the hell?" he questioned the air, brown eyes decidedly bewildered behind his glasses. He was silent, then whirled around, his black trenchcoat flapping a bit. "My head isn't big!" he snarled. "And what does taco sauce have to do with anything?!"

The door next to his just-rented apartment flew open, and an irate middle-aged woman stuck her head out and yelled a horrible expletive at him. His eyes bugged and his jaw dropped as the woman glared, her face covered in some horrid, frightening green goo. "Why can't you people move in quietly?!" She slammed the door and he blinked once again.

"This is way too early for this kind of crap," he groaned, fishing the key out of his pocket and unlocking his apartment door, kicking his suitcases inside the room. With much more care, he grasped his laptop and entered himself, closing the door behind him.

"Spooky and I met our new neighbor last night!" Tenna said with a bright smile, and Spooky made an affirming noise when she squeezed its tiny rubber stomach. Devi paused in her painting just for a moment, looking curiously at her rather...unique friend. "He's cute, but he's really rude. He was standing in the middle of the hallway, where anybody could run right into him!" Devi rolled her eyes and resumed painting. Tenna twirled Spooky between her fingers, smiling still. "He likes ramen noodles and taco sauce." She nodded to herself. "He told me so, right before he yelled that he didn't have a big head."

Devi paused again. "Gee, Tenna," she remarked dryly, "you just make friends everywhere you go, don't you?" Seeing her open her mouth to actually answer, the artist quickly interjected, "It's a rhetorical question, Tenna! You don't answer it!"

"Then why did you ask it?" Tenna replied with a 'you're-so-silly' tone of voice. "Questions are s'posed to be answered!" She smiled to herself and happily squeezed Spooky several times, nodding her head reflectively. "Yeah, isn't Devi so silly?"

It's not worth hitting her, Devi reminded herself. It's not worth it, it's not worth it, it's not worth it...

"Whatcha painting, Devi?" Tenna's voice spooked her, and she almost smeared her paintbrush across the figure she was slowly defining. "Is it someone you know?" she continued, pulling her legs up on the stool she was sitting on, tucking her feet under her calves. "'Cause it looks really good and all."

Devi, for the first time, actually focused on the painting; she hadn't really thought of what she was creating on the canvas, having just started with some vague, shadowed image in her head. A certain amount of self-directed anger swelled up as she realized exactly what it was: her greatest, worst date, Johnny C. "Oh, God," she muttered, dropping her paintbrush in disgust and smacking her forehead, accidentally streaking blue paint all over her face as she dragged her hand down. "Why is he haunting me?" she whispered quietly, not wanting the other woman to overhear. He'd tried to cut her open, and she kicked his psychotic ass, and now she was painting him! Damn! She bit her lip angrily and glared at the half-finished portrait as if it was its fault.

Tenna, in complete contrast, fell off the stool cackling, Spooky falling beside her. Her foot knocked the stool and it creaked ominously before catching Devi's own stool, dragging her down as well. "Smurfette!" howled Tenna, kicking her legs happily in the air. "Devi's a Smurfette!"

The unappreciative Devi propped herself up, pushing the stools off of her shins. "Go away, Tenna," she scowled. "And stop doing that!"

"But your face is bluuuuue, like Smurfette, and Papa Smurf, and all the other Smurf people!"

"Go away!" Devi shrieked, waving her arms at her best friend, face livid behind the blue paint. "Please! Go...bug the new guy or something!"

"Fine," sniffed Tenna, standing up with a haughty air as she cradled Spooky. "If you don't want me around," she pressed dramatically, "then I'll just leave." She beamed suddenly. "'Bye!" With that, she skipped out of the apartment, vanishing into the hallway.

Devi groaned and dropped her head with a dull 'thunk.'

He was having the most wonderful dream. Zim was tied up to an examination table, and his father was actually talking to him...Gaz was being sweet and a tall feminine figure with dark purple hair was standing next to her...their mother? He was accepting some huge science-y award he couldn't remember the name of in the haze of sleepiness, and there was an annoying voice singing right outside his apartment door...

"Shut-up!" Dib grabbed his pillow, smashed it over his head, and proceeded to growl as the obliviously happy voice continued singing. "Shut the hell up!" he half-whined, half-roared.

"Youuuuuu have got to have the bluuuuest eyes I've ever seeeeen," the voice warbled, switching songs, "and when I wake from dreamin', I am screamin' out yo' naaaame!"

Several more minutes passed as the voice continued singing and Dib attempted to destroy his hearing before he lost it in a more painful manner. Finally, he sat up and moved to stand up on the floor by the bed; his legs, unfortunately, were wrapped up in the sheets. He tripped, became intimately acquainted with the floor, and somehow managed to stumble to the door. Upon reaching it, he unlocked the deadbolt and threw the door open, not caring that the sheets were still stubbornly tangled about his legs. Peering through the fog of sleepiness and lack of glasses, he tried to appear as foreboding and dangerous as he could.

This illusion was quickly shattered as a very female whistle came admiringly from the petite, grinning dark girl standing before him. "Ooo, you have a yummy chest!" she remarked quite cheerfully and carelessly, hugging her rubber toy skeleton to her chest. "Wish I'd gotten to see that last night!"

"You!" he gasped, and then slipped on the sheets, falling gracelessly on his back. His already red face turned an even brighter shade of crimson as the girl-woman giggled, batting her eyelashes at him. "You're a demon!"

"No," she said, shaking her head with a frown. "I'm your neighbor!" She thrust her hand out at him as he tried to unknot the sheets from around his legs. "Hi! I'm Tenna, and this," with her other hand, she jabbed the rubber skeleton into his face, bending over so she was closer to him, "is Spooky!"


"Spooky says hi!"

"Well, hello, Spooky, I'm Dib," he greeted sardonically. "I don't suppose you have a pair of earplugs?"

Tenna blinked cutely. "Earplugs? Why would you need earplugs?"

"Figure it out," he sighed, standing up and stiffly turning around, walking back into his apartment, praying that she could take a hint and would leave...

"You've got lots of trenchcoats," she remarked right behind him, and he gritted his teeth, turning to see, fuzzily, that she was bending over his half-unpacked suitcases. "And lots of black pants, and boots, and cool black shirts...with alien faces!" He squeezed his eyes shut tightly, prayed for patience for his nerve endings, and despairingly trudged over to the bed, plucking his glasses up from the bedside table and putting them on quickly. To his absolute horror, he did so at the exact moment she tossed Spooky at him; the toy caught him square in the gut, and he was startled at the force the damn thing had hit him. As if to top it off, or mock him in some twisted way, she unfolded one of his shirts and tucked it between her knees, stripping her own shirt off. Sudden blood flow to his head caused unexpected dizziness and he was more than a little thankful that she was wearing a brassiere. Spooky squeeked knowingly and Dib didn't even think on how it had done that without being squished. Shock was quickly replaced by outrage as she tugged HIS shirt over her head. "Alien!" she told him happily, pointing to the little face.

"That's my shirt!" he protested, tossing her toy back to her.

"Spooky!" she yelped, diving forward to catch it. "You're evil! You threw poor Spooky!" He blinked several times as she petted the toy's head, making what he thought were cooing sounds.

"So did you," he finally pointed out, grabbing the trenchcoat he had discarded by the bed the night before, slipping it on and buttoning it up quickly.

"That's completely different," she whimpered, continuing to pet it.

Dib exhaled, exasperated, and stood up again, walking to his laptop where it was resting on the floor. Sitting on the carpet before it, he shifted his weight a few times, placing a long leg on each side of the laptop, knees bent up. "Could you leave?" he asked absently, attitude quickly switching. "I'm working."

"On what?" she asked right back, and he started. When had she gotten right behind him?

"Uh," he stared at her, "...stuff..." Was she an alien? He could almost swear she had teleported.

"Aliens?" Tenna wrinkled her eyebrows, clutching Spooky protectively. "Bigfoot? Whassat about?"

"I'm a paranormal investigator," he sighed, not for the first time, and steeled his self for the mockery and laughter.

"Cool!" She clapped her hands together. "Do you get to talk to ghosts and stuff like that? Are you here 'cause a giant alien worm is slowly eating the brainmeats of the mayor? Are we on the verge of a horrible, doomy doom-like apocalypse-type thingy?"

He stared. "...No. I'm trying to find information about my mother," he answered slowly.

"Oh." Tenna almost sounded disappointed, and even Spooky seemed to droop a bit in the crook of her arm; she sighed, very slowly. "I wish there was a giant alien worm slowly eating the brainmeats of the mayor," she confessed in a confidential tone. "He's mean and he spits when he talks."

"That's...nice," Dib said, one eye widening a little. "So, why are you still here?"

"Oh, yeah!" she brightened, grabbing his collar and jerking him to his feet, all but dragging him out of his apartment. "I'm giving you a tour of the city!"

"W-what?" he squeaked. "Don't I get a say in this?"

She thought for a moment. "" Tenna hauled him off.

[Heh. There's the first chapter, folks, and I realize it isn't that good. But keep in mind that it all it's doing is setting up the premise for the story! I have to do this, you know. Anyway, I wrote this in Comic Sans MS, size 10, and the chapter was seven pages long. Whoo. So, I hope you'll stick around for more, as I plan to update this quickly. There are four more chapters planned, and I'd really like it if I could get some reviews on this. After all, I'm not subscribed to the advanced author thing right now, so I can't see how many people are reading my fics. Please review?

I know Dib was OOC, but this is a prelude-like chapter-thingy. Yeah. Next one will be about 20 pages with the same font&size, so that should be a good size for everyone. Don't thank me all at once! *winks* I'm designing a webpage for this fic and its planned sequel (I already have a sequel planned! *screams*), so it'll look better on the webpage once I get it up. Mmm-hmm.

Once again, please review! Pleasepleaseplease? Oh, and my Nny plushie says hi. He's getting calmer now that I've taken away his knives.

Next chappy: While Dib, Tenna, and, uh, Spooky are out, they run into everyone's favorite Irken, his slightly unhinged robot, and Dib's intimidating sister. Nny decides to show up for undetermined reasons, and the writer is trying to figure it all out without losing the bits and pieces of her remaining sanity.

First chapter needs editing...but review anyway!]

[EDIT ONE: Okay, so, once I finished writing the fourth chapter and posted it, I went back to reread Chappy the First. Found an age error. I listed Dib as being one when his mother died and three when he asked about her; in Chappy the Fourth, I stated that Dib was three when his mother died. Therefore, I changed the stuff in this chappy so that it fit Chapter 4. And I suppose Gaz is just a genius, if she's a grade under Dib and she's three years younger than he. *winks* I mean, hey, she told Devi she's earning a master's in physics and chemistry in Ch.4!]