A/N: This fic came to me randomly so I had to get it down on paper. :P Hope you guys enjoy it. :) I don't normally do this (I'm actually kind of against it) but these chapters are probably going to be huge. I haven't got time to do it 1,000 to 2,000 words at a time, so there will probably be no more than 3 giant chapters.
Title: Much Has Changed
Summary: "I wouldn't expect anything less from you. Human pig-scum." Dib froze at the familiar insult. He finally met the man's steely eyes. The man smiled. "Let's talk." After many years, Zim seeks out Dib. But for what purpose?
Word Count: 1,532
Pairing(s): Zim/Dib, ZaDR
Warnings: AU, future-verse, slash, language, themes
Soundtrack: Reprobate Romance by WhitewidoW
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Zim, Dib, and all related belong to Jhonen Vasquez and Nickelodeon.
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Dib let his head meet his desk with a thump. Another day, another 8 hours of sitting behind his desk. It was ridiculous. This was not the future he had imagined for himself.
Turning his head to the side, he sighed and stared at the old picture that sat atop his desk. His father, Gaz, and his younger self stared back. Allowing himself a small smile, he sat back up and went back to finishing his report. He was mildly aware of his office door opening so he finished the last sentence before he looked up.
Standing in front of his desk was an extremely tall man in a swanky business suit; all black except for the shirt, which was a dark red. His jet black hair was all swept back in gentle spikes with a few pieces on his forehead. All the dark colors on him complimented his pale skin. His hands were in his pockets as he observed Dib with a certain air of authority.
"Can I help you?" Dib asked. The man cocked his head slightly, a small smile playing on his thin lips.
"Perhaps." The man replied. Dib waited for him to continue. When he didn't, Dib swallowed nervously.
"Okay. Uhm what can I help you with?" He said, attempting a smile and hoping it didn't look fake. The man tucked his chin slightly, looking down the length of his nose at Dib.
"You don't recognize me do you." The man's smooth tenor voice had an odd cadence to it. Dib struggled to keep his smile steady.
The man cocked his head again, still eying Dib.
"We went to school together. Many years ago."
"I'm sorry but. I don't remember you." He pressed 'print' and turned his chair around to retrieve his report. He missed the smile the man shot at him.
"I wouldn't expect anything less from you. Human pig-scum."
Dib froze, feeling his blood run cold at the long-since forgotten insult. Slowly, almost hesitantly, he rotated his chair back around. He finally met the man's steel-colored eyes and all of his memories coming rushing back. A nervous feeling fluttered in his stomach. The man smiled slowly, showing a few zipper-shaped teeth, and inclined his head towards the door.
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Dib tugged his long black coat closer around himself, feeling a little chilly but enjoying the crisp November air nonetheless. He glanced at the man walking next to him. Zim had gotten so tall. He used to be so abnormally short. If Dib had to take a guess, he would say Zim was at least 6'5". That was tall regardless, but compared to Dib's own height of 5'9"? It was ridiculous.
The pair sat down at a table at a small café, ordering coffee. Dib stared as Zim took a slow drink, not even flinching or screaming. The alien noticed him staring and smiled.
"Much has changed since we last saw each other." He commented, watching Dib as carefully as Dib was watching him. The human nodded and took a sip of his own coffee.
"How long has it been?" Zim asked casually, looking at the traffic passing them on the street.
"I don't really know. 18 years maybe?" Dib answered. He almost cringed when Zim's steely eyes snapped to his face.
"18 years, 4 months, and 32 days to be exact." Zim said tightly, a little bit of his younger self showing through in the form of the hard look he was giving Dib. Dib raised an eyebrow.
"Wow. That long, huh." He said softly, ignoring Zim's obvious mistake, as he was still a bit wary of the alien seated in front of him.
"Indeed." Zim said simply, holding his coffee cup with both hands, eyes never leaving Dib. Dib swallowed and glanced away, taking a steadying breath.
"It doesn't seem that long to me." He said, his brow creasing slightly when he realized he was right. It hardly felt like 18 some-odd years. It seemed like just yesterday he and Zim were battling for control of the Earth. Being 11 at the time, Dib had considered himself the sole protector of Earth, but now that he was older, he realized that Zim was never really a threat. At least, not when he was younger.
He cast another glance at the man sitting across from him. It was like Zim was a totally different person. His physical appearance, the way he spoke, the way he walked and held himself, the way he dressed; this was most definitely not the alien from his childhood. What could have had happened to cause all this change?
Zim stared at him calculatingly. Dib felt like a goldfish in a bowl with the way Zim was watching him.
"So." He began awkwardly. "I thought I had fallen off the grid. How did you find me?" He asked. Zim blinked slowly before looking out into the traffic again.
"Like I said before, much has changed." He looked back at Dib, noticing the way the human was intently watching his every move. He could have smirked, but he restrained himself.
"As Irkens mature, they acquire different abilities that would be useful in battle. One of the many I gained over the years was the ability to find people based on brain wave signatures." At the shocked look that crossed Dib's face, he allowed himself a smirk.
"You weren't hard to find. I simply had to find someone who believed they were superior to most other people, with an almost unhealthy interest in anything related to the paranormal and with some possible repressed aggression and illusions of grandeur."
Dib snorted, feeling relief wash over him. If Zim was insulting him, then maybe things weren't so different… aside from Zim's ultra-articulate way of speaking.
"Is that what you think of me?" He said, taking another drink of his coffee, relishing the warm feeling that slithered into his stomach. Zim raised an eyebrow, an extremely human gesture that almost threw Dib off for a moment.
"In a way. Those were the more dominant traits you had that I could count on still being active this far down the road." Dib nodded. A small silence fell over them, during which they simply observed one another, analyzing.
"You know I still remember the first day of High School…" Dib said, breaking the silence. Zim looked at him, the same calculating expression on his face. Dib chuckled airily, shaking his head slightly.
"I was so ready to move on and get to the real stuff I needed to know. Most of all I was ready for you. I was prepared to handle whatever you were gonna throw at me." Dib then frowned slightly.
"But the first day rolled around and I didn't see you. I thought we might not have had any classes together, but freshmen lunch started and you still weren't there." The human shrugged.
"I didn't think about it too much. I was still ready the next day. And the day after that… and the day after that… and the next week." He chuckled humorlessly.
"After a month and a half I pretty much accepted the fact that you were not going to come, and that you were possibly gone for good." He glanced up. Zim still had the same cool expression on his face but something in his eyes had changed, making them more open and inviting. The alien sighed and sat further back in his chair.
"I never completed school after the middle school we attended together." He locked eyes with Dib, seemingly looking into his very soul.
"I didn't come here just for nostalgia's sake, Dib. I came to tell you the truth." Dib held his breath.
"I am not a real Invader."
Dib choked on his coffee, widening his eyes as he set the cup down.
"You're kidding right? I mean you've been after the Earth—" He stopped when Zim began shaking his head.
"The Tallest finally told me the truth behind my mission that summer before high school. I was never supposed to find this planet. The Tallest sent me out with the intent of me just floating aimlessly through space until I perished."
Dib stared openly. Zim wasn't an Invader…
"In all seriousness I am lucky to have found this place. After some calculations I figured out that, if I had arrived in this quadrant a week later, I would have missed Earth completely." Zim heaved a sigh.
"It took a little while for it to sink in." He admitted.
"It wasn't until a week later that it finally hit me. They sent me out there to banish me, with hopes of me dying. I snapped." Zim looked down into his coffee, a frown tugging at his lips.
"What do you mean?" Dib asked, almost afraid to hear the answer. Zim finished his coffee and stood, placing the money on the table.
"This is not an appropriate place for such a conversation. Come." He said, leaving the café and looking at Dib expectantly before hailing a taxi. Curiosity won Dib over so he followed the tall alien into the cab.
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A/N: I'm gonna stop here. :) Think I should continue it?