A/N: Man I am so sorry for the long hiatus. I knew/know exactly how this story is going to end, but I just couldn't find the words in order to complete it, and then I've moved fandoms so fucking much I just… It's been a while and I apologize for that.
Thanks to those of you who stuck around during the hiatus. If my writing style has changed, that's because it's been 2 whole years.
Soundtrack: Pacific Rim Main Theme (on constant repeat because yeah, favorite action song); Fire and Water (Ryan Amon; Elysium OST)
Kiri continued to smirk in Zim's face. Dib figured it was because he knew who (and what) Zim really was, because if he had seen Zim go that still while staring at him, he would have run for his life in the other direction. Kiri and his crew however had no such knowledge, and just kept smiling.
"So." Kiri said. "How about it? You got my money, Zayn?" His hold on Dib tightened to the point of almost choking him, so Dib shifted around with a glare.
"Hey, I'd like to keep air in my lungs if you don't mind." He snapped, inhaling sharply when the gun was pressed harder to his head.
"If you want to keep your brains in your head, you'll be quiet." Kiri snarled. Dib caught Zim's eyes again. He looked murderous.
"Kiri." The alien said in a low voice. "Getting your money from me is the last thing you should be worrying about right now."
Dib heard the barely-controlled tremor in Zim's voice and started to get uneasy. Zim may care about him, but if he got angry enough, he might just forget about it. New Zealand and Hawaii kept popping to the forefront of his mind and he swallowed hard. Kiri however scoffed.
"Just give me my money and I'll let your boy toy here go. It doesn't have to be difficult."
"Oh but it does." Zim's voice was smooth once again as he tucked his chin to his chest. Dib could have groaned out loud. Things were about to get very ugly.
"You see, not only have you insulted me by coming into my home unannounced, but you have also threatened me repeatedly for money that I do not owe you, and now you have taken Dib hostage." He tsked quietly, smirking. "I cannot allow these actions to go unpunished."
Kiri opened his mouth to reply when he stopped. Everyone stopped. Zim seemed to be getting taller… Dib realized what was happening before anyone else, and found himself stuck between being amazed and being terrified out of his mind.
As it turned out, Zim had apparently not only managed to make his PAK device smaller, but he had somehow grafted his PAK's spider legs to his actual body. They tore through the back of his jacket and started to lift him up, making the humans in front of him shrink back.
"Christ, Zayn," Mika exclaimed, his eyes wide. "What are you, some kind of cyborg?"
Zim removed his wig, revealing his antennae to several gasps, and then his contacts. Dib stared up at him, still not sure whether he was supposed to be afraid or completely beside himself with excitement.
"My name is not Zayn." Zim said. He switched his holographic disguise off, leaving him towering over them in all his alien glory. He grinned, his zipper teeth looking more dangerous than usual in the shadow of the apartment complex.
"I am Zim, and I am an Irken Invader."
The reaction was instantaneous. There was no beat of silence, no awkward moment where no one knew what to do. Kiri let go of Dib and started running, his men following his lead. They didn't get very far before Zim leapt and landed in front of them, blocking their exit. The men fell over with varying degrees of horror. Dib scrambled to his feet, massaging his shoulder that felt sore after Kiri had dropped him.
"You're a monster." Kiri rasped, holding his arm out like he could stop Zim from reaching him. Zim's grin remained as he cocked his head.
"You have no idea." He said, sounding especially smug.
Now there's the Zim that Dib remembered. He subconsciously smiled at the sight. Zim moved his spider legs so that they caged the humans in, seeming delighted with the pleas they were making.
"Be quiet." Zim said, and to Dib's surprise, all the pleading stopped, leaving the men shaking on the ground.
"I have two options now. One, I could kill you and disintegrate your bodies so that no one would ever find you." Someone whimpered.
"Or," he continued, mockingly tapping his chin in thought, "I could just wipe your memories of this meeting, and hope that you never bother me again." His gaze returned to the humans at his feet.
"There is of course, a third option…" He leaned down so he was almost level with them. "I could wipe your brains completely of every mention of me, leaving just a hint of fear at the mention of the name Zayn, so that every time you hear it, your first instinct is to keep as far away as possible."
Dib jumped when arcs of electricity flew from Zim's body, embedding themselves in the men below him, making them cry out and spasm. Zim gritted his teeth, making him look absolutely feral as flashes of blue and white flew across his face. Dib had to shield his eyes when it got too bright, only lowering his hand when the light disappeared.
Zim still stood suspended over Kiri and his men, but the humans were motionless. Dib was worried for a moment that Zim had actually killed them until he saw their chests were moving. Slowly he approached, keeping an eye on Zim. The Irken was breathing heavily, his eyes unfocused.
"Zim?" Dib said gently, jumping when Zim's eyes snapped to him, full of anger. The anger settled seconds later, replaced with what looked to be relief. The spider legs lowered Zim back down to the ground, folding away and leaving him to support himself. Zim swayed and fell to his knees, a sigh escaping him. He was exhausted. Dib went to his side quickly, kneeling next to him.
"Zim, are you okay?" He asked, noting the slight tremor in Zim's arms. The Irken smiled up at him.
"I am okay, Dib-thing." The usually insulting name sounded endearing that time and Dib smiled back.
"Come on, let's get inside before someone sees us." Dib said, hooking an arm under Zim's and helping him to his feet. It was slow going but they made it to the elevator eventually. Zim slumped against the wall, closing his eyes and exhaling deeply. The door ping'd open, and Dib stuck his head out. Seeing no one else in the hall, he led Zim to his penthouse, opening the door and helping him inside.
Once the door was shut and locked, Zim collapsed in his armchair, sighing again.
"So what exactly just happened?" Dib asked, thinking back to the lightning that came from Zim himself.
"You recall how I told you that mature Irkens develop abilities that will help them in battle. Along with my skill of finding people through brainwaves, I also learned that I could generate an electrical force from within myself, and use it however I pleased. I found it especially helpful with erasing memories, made possible by rearranging synapse clusters in the cerebrum." He smirked.
"I've used it on a few of my neighbors. They used to like to walk in unannounced before I got a new lock. Apparently the old owners of this apartment believed in the 'open house, open home, neighbors are family' philosophy."
Dib chuckled and sat down on the couch.
"I can't imagine that was pleasant."
Zim simply shook his head, his eyes sliding closed again.
"So… that conversation we were going to have." Dib started.
"Can wait until I can remain conscious for more than 30 seconds." Zim finished, his voice soft. Dib smiled and sat back against the couch, watching over the sleeping Irken.
A/N: I believe there's one more chapter? Maybe two? We'll see. Hopefully this update is satisfactory for everyone. :) I've missed you!