Song: In the Next Room
Artist: Neon Trees
Pairing: Eh, more of a humor story, but . . . Zim/Gaz are already together in this. Possibly. Maybe you can consider it another MHNY in-between story.
Category: Humor/Friendship/Romance(ish)

This was actually inspired by this song montaging in the background while I chased my puppy around the house.

Strange things happen within the confines of my home when I'm there alone.

God I need help. -_- Can't even watch my dog without getting a story idea.

Enjoy.


Chapter 5
"The Misadventures of Little Shit"

"Gir!" Zim barked, glaring down at his minion with a furious gaze. "What is . . . that thing you have there?"

"We gotsa puppy! Like me!" Gir said, shoving the brown, fuzzy creature towards his face. "Someone left you a present!"

"Eh?" Red eyes shot to a basket on the floor, a few feet behind where Gir stood. He began his lecture as he walked towards it. "Gir, you are not an Earth-Pet, you are an elite Irken utensil of mass destruction!"

"PUPPY"

A pitiful whimpering noise emanated from the strange brown creature in Gir's arms, leaning away from the robot's screeching. Zim's antennae rose at it, but he otherwise made no move to assist it. Not that he even knew it needed assistance anyways. He was an Irken Invader, not a dog whisperer. A note that Gir had either missed or didn't deam edible-looking enough for him to eat rested in the corner of the basket, a violet blanket lining the bottom. Most likely for the creature's comfort.

"Dear Stranger," he monotoned. "I found this poor puppy on the street, but don't have the means, nor the resources to care for it. I hope that you can do a better job than I could. Sincerely, Not-A-Dog-Owner? . . . This is stupid! We do not have time to take care of some furry creature of filth and drool! Gir! Dispose of this 'puppy' immediately!"

"Aw, but master!" Gir whined. "It's so cute!"

"Poor, naive Gir," Zim rolled his eyes, shaking his head. "It will die anyways. As an Irken Invader, I believe we should at least give the pitiful Earth-monster a fighting chance in the streets." (1)

Gir's antennae wilted.

And then the face began.

Zim's eyes narrowed. "Gir."

It continued. Big eyes, the lower lip jutting out. The puppy looked around in confusion, oblivious to the fact that his very life was on the line.

"Gir, stop that."

He did not. It got worse.

"Gir, I order you this instant, as your master, stop making that insufferable face!"

The tears started appearing.

"Aw, Gir!" Zim groaned, his resolve cracking. (2) "We do not even know how to take care of this . . . dog . . . puppy . . . thing!"

Gir's antennae shot up, immediately cheerful once again now that he'd gotten his way. "But I know some-peoples who does!" He sang.

Zim's eyes narrowed suspiciously. "And whose that?"


DING! DONG!

"Dib!" Gaz snapped. "Door!"

"Why can't you get it?" He demanded, from the kitchen.

DING! DONG!"

"Dib!"

"Ugh, fine!" He shouted back, exasperated.

The annoying thing was really that Gaz was just sitting in the front room, a few feet away from the door. But she was lying down, staring at the ceiling, and apparently couldn't be bothered to move. Dib rolled his eyes, passing her to answer the door.

He swung the door opened, irritated and ready to snap at someone selling things.

Unfortunately, he never got the chance.

"What do you-! Zim?"

"Zim?" Gaz sat up, looking at the door in confusion. "What are you doing here?"

Zim looked tired, like he'd been doing something tedious all day and needed a break. Suddenly Gir appeared, having latching himself onto Zim's PAK, a surprising object in hand.

"We found a puppy!" He squealed, leaping down from his master's head and meandering over to where Gaz was. "Hiya, Mistress! Lookit my puppy!"

Dib shot Zim a look of disbelief. "You got him a puppy? You do realize he's probably going to kill it, right? I doubt Gir could keep a cactus alive, let alone a dog."

"I didn't get him the puppy, stupid Dib-stink," Zim snapped, walking into the house, ignoring the fact he hadn't been invited in yet. "Some insane human placed it in a basket on Zim's door and left nothing but this to suffice for information."

Dib caught the card that was thrown his face, feeling thankful he hadn't got a papercut as he scanned quickly over the short letter. "Oh. So someone couldn't take care of it. How sad-."

"Yes, yes, all of your kind is pitiful and sad," Zim interrupted, impatiently. "The point is, Zim cannot take care of this dog either."

"And what?" Gaz questioned. Gir had plopped the dog on her lap several minutes ago, and it was now trying to fall asleep on her. "You expect us to?"

"It is Gir's intention to keep the dog," Zim explained, sitting next to her, eying the sleeping creature with disaste. "However, that is obviously impossible. Zim has no knowledge of how to take care of a dog whatsoever and obviously, neither does he. And as I also have no idea what I'm supposed to do with said dog in this situation, I came to you two for help."

"Aw, what a cute little guy," Dib said, taking the puppy off his sister's lap and sitting on the floor, cross legged, in front of them. It whined at having been moved, but soon, as Dib adjusted him into his own lap, it relaxed and fell back to sleep. "Poor thing. No one wants him anywhere."

"Oh, look," Gaz said, sarcastically, eying her brother with a sneer tugging at the corner of her mouth. "They're bonding."

"Shut up, Gaz," her brother replied, automatically, ignoring her in favor of the dog. "So, I mean, that's great that you have so much faith in us and all, Zim, but, the last puppy that we had was either killed or eaten."

Zim's brow rose, looking to Gaz. "You do not know?"

She shrugged. "We kind of forgot about it." (2)

He laughed. Gir, despite not knowing why, did the same, moving to snuggle with the puppy on Dib's lap. To another person, this might have been considered quite adorable. But unfortunately, no one was in the room to appreciate the cuteness.

"Regardless," Zim finally said, finishing with a few chuckles. "You have more knowledge of Earth-pets than Zim does."

"We could always take him to a shelter," Dib suggested, smirking as the little dog yawned. "I'm sure he'd be snatched up in a minute."

"Shelter?" Zim questioned.

"Yeah, it's a place that takes care of dogs." Gaz explained, pulling out her phone. "Hold on a sec. Let me look up a shelter nearby."

"Any idea what his name is?" Dib asked, scratching the dog in between the ears. It gently readjusted itself to be in the position to lick his wrist, eyes still closed.

Zim gave him a look. "You saw the note, Dib-stink. Besides, I'm sure its brain is far too puny to even remember a name yet at all."

Gaz swore, catching both of their attention. She sighed, flipping the screen so they could see the giant notice in red. "The only shelter in town is closed until Tuesday for renovations."

"Meaning?"

"Meaning it's not accepting anymore pets for three days, Zim," Dib said, groaning. "Crap."

"Speaking of which," Gaz said, eying Dib's leg purposefully.

Everyone looked down.

A unanimous shout of disgust rang out, and Dib resisted the urge not to leap away. Zim threw back his head in laughter, clutching his stomach with pain as he gasped for air. Gaz got up and retrieved the rubber gloves from under the sink, as well as a roll of paper towels, before reentering the room.

"Ugh, go change, Dib!" She ordered, plugging her nose with an ungloved hand. "You smell like baby shit!"

"I wonder why!" He retorted, irritated, placing the dog on the ground where Gaz had laid a few paper towels.

Gir complained as he too was then forced to move before noticing that there was something staining his uniform. His expression brightened considerably. "Aw, doggie left me a treat!"

Zim's eyes widened. Gaz face-palmed.

Gir pawed at it.

"GIR, DON'T EAT THAT!"


"How old do you think it is?" Dib asked as they sat in the backyard, he now in a fresh change of clothes that were free of any fecal matter.

"If he's already separated from his mom, he's probably eight weeks," Gaz said, phone still in hand, feeding her information. Zim had taken Gir twenty minutes ago and left, temporarily, with the intention of getting "puppy chow", as well as remove Gir's disguise and incinerate it. Several times. The only one who had objected- specifically, Gir -had been ignored.

"He's awfully small," Dib noted, watching as the puppy carefully walked around and sniffed every inch of the backyard. "I wonder what breed he is."

"He looks like a mutt," Gaz stated plainly. "Like something between a terrier, a boxer, and a chocolate lab."

"Since when do you know so much about dogs?"

She gave him a look and pointed to her phone before scrolling down some more. "If the pads of his paws are big, he's probably going to be a big dog. Here, hold this for a second while I look." Dib caught the phone, watching as his sister got off of the extremely old picnic table they were sitting on and slapped her thighs. "Come here, Little Shit! Come here!"

"Gaz!" He shouted, apalled. "You can't call him that!"

"Why not?" She demanded, as the dog came racing towards her, jumping up and barely reeching her knees. She pointed accusingly at him. "He answers to it!"

"That's still not nice!"

"What's not nice?" Zim questioned, a small bag slung over his shoulder and a brown paper-bag in his other hand. Gir was nowhere to be found, but they had doubted he was going to bring him back anyways.

Gaz eyed the bags, nodding at the appropriate amount of food to last for three days. Puppies were apparently supposed to only eat about twice a day, six servings, maybe more. She nodded at the other brown bag. "What's in the little one?"

"The lady at the counter informed Zim I would need treats for the furry monster," Zim explained. "As well as a couple small toys, which she gave me for free."

"Well, that was nice of her," Dib replied, brow rising.

Zim shook his head, "I doubt it. They did not appear to be selling, anyways. I am sure she only did so to get rid of them."

"How nice of her," Gaz mocked, shooting Dib a grin. "He already peed, so you don't have to worry about him crapping on you like he did Dib. Speaking of which, I should get the Little Shit a water bowl."

"Stop calling him that!" Dib shouted after her. She ignored him entirely, walking back into the house in search of some small form of tubaware.

"I think it's an entirely appropriate name," Zim commented as the dog scratched at the door, where Gaz had disappeared. "He's small, brown, and he smells. What other requirements are there?"

Dib's head leaned back until it hit the side of the house, eyes staring up at the sky. "You two are impossible."

"Thank you."

The dog whined and they looked down. He was now in front of the picnic table, attempting to get up on the table where they sat. Dib lifted him reluctantly onto his lap, still wary from being pooped on once already. Pleased at the attention, it quickly began jumping around, licking at anything that it could get close enough to. Including Zim's face.

"Gah!" He shouted, swiping at the dog. "Get away! Refrain from licking the glorious face of Zim!"

"Aw, he likes you!" Dib laughed.

Despite the blanket unwelcome attention, the puppy was now very persistant to make Zim accept his affection, and continued trying. It was this situation Gaz walked out into, small bowl of water in hand, as well as an empty one for the food. She went unnoticed, as Dib was too busy laughing and Zim furiously trying to avoid the dog, and took a few minutes to appreciate the situation before putting both bowls down and walking over to them both.

"You are such a spaz," she said, removing the dog and situating it comfortably in her arms. "He doesn't have cooties."

"Yeah, Zim," Dib mock-scolded, wiping a tear from his eyes. "Don't you know that dog's have cleaner mouths than humans?"

"That does not make them clean!" Zim spat, wiping off the spit on his face. (3)

Gaz noticed the thing beginning to fall asleep on her chest, and resigned herself to find a bed for him. "At any rate, Little Shit here is getting tired again. So where do we want to hole him up for a nap?"

Dib gave her a bland look, "You're not going to stop calling him that, are you?"

"Nope."


"Ugh!" Zim groaned, burying his face in a couch cushion. "Make it stop that insufferable noise!"

"He won't stop crying!" Dib said defensively, handing it to his sister's outstretched hands. "Geez, this thing is like a baby!"

"Little Shit is just temperamental," Gaz corrected, as it began to calm and fall asleep on her. She smirked at them. "See? It just doesn't like you is all."

Dib's eyes narrowed. "He really is just a Little Shit."

"And you thought his name was offensive," Zim sneered, having lifted his head from the couch.

"It is offensive," Dib insisted. "But it's alsoappropriate."

"I wonder if he's going to be one of those dogs on the news that kills or attacks people." Gaz monotoned, scratching him on his forehead almost fondly. "We could be housing a murderer right now."

"Well he's already been in contact with you for over several hours." Zim grinned at her. "He's sure to be affected by your bad influence by the end of the weekend."

"Then maybe it would be better to kill him before he does something awful." She suggested casually. And suddenly the sleeping creature looked more vulnerable and helpless than innocent and useless.

Dib's eyes shifted between the two of them. ". . . The hell is wrong with you guys?"


"Zim, grab it!"

"Eh?"

Suddenly a brown blur darted past, temporarily solidifying into the shape of Little Shit as he spun around to growl at them. Gaz and Dib paused warily, waiting for the rambunctious monster to take off again.

Zim then saw it. "What is in his mouth?"

Gaz's eyes rolled to the roof. "Dib left the door to my dad's labs open."

"You're father keeps dead rabbits in his labs?" Zim demanded, lip curling in disgust.

"Failed experiments," Dib corrected, though his tone suggested he believed he too believed this was disturbing. "A reminder that he's made progress."

"And it seems that Little Shit here has taken a liking to them." Gaz hissed, bringing the attention back to situation at hand. "And he won't let it go!"

"He's a small housepet!" Zim snorted, in disbelief, eying the creature that was still eying them all warily. "What challenge could he pose?"

"You try to catch him then!" Gaz snapped, irritated with his belittiling attitude.

Zim's brow rose, and as if realizing the shift in power here, the dog began slowly backing away from Zim. Careful not to make any sudden movements, Zim reached into his PAK, pulling out a far too familiar object and dangling it in the air. You could practically see the dog's eyes dialate.

"See the ball, mangy little earth-monster?" Zim baited, monotonously. He let it move back and forth, and resisted a smirk of triumph as he saw its jaw slacken slightly on the dead animal in its clutches. "Do you want it?" It continued staring.

He bounced it once on the floor.

Hard.

And suddenly the dog had dropped its dead toy, making noises that sounded pitifull close to barking as it leapt at the object once again in Zim's grasp, held well away from where it could be obtained.

"I don't think I've ever hated you more than I do now, Zim," Dib informed him dully, coming back into the room with the appropriate means to dispose of the disgusting thing.

Zim simply shot him a smug sneer.

Gaz rolled her eyes. "You are such an asshole."


"Look at them sleep," Zim cooed, mockingly.

"Leave them alone," she replied quietly, though not for lack of emphasis on her warning.

Dib was, in fact, quite asleep on the couch. And some time later after the couple came inside with said infuriating pooch, he had discovered the sleeping boy and quickly made himself at home lying beside him. It might've been cute to someone if it was Gaz asleep, but considering it was none other than Dib, no one found it endearing in the least. In fact, Zim was secretly hoping the dog would readjust himself to place his backside in Dib's face and then fart, so he could see his reaction when he woke up.

Hearing his quiet snickers, Gaz shot him another look. "Zim."

"What?" He demanded, feigning innocence. "Zim was doing nothing of consequence!"

"Shhh!" She hissed, eyes darting quickly to her brother and the dog before looking back to him. "You're so stupid sometimes. Look; the longer they stay asleep, the less we have to deal with them. And if you even wake one of them up, the other is inevetably going to wake up too. So please try and gain some form of self-control before I beat you, okay?"

Zim crossed his arms, obviously pouting. "Zim never gets to have any fun."

Gaz's hand went to her face. "Un-frickin-believable sometimes . . ."


They were taking him back today.

Gaz was carrying the dog for two reasons. Firstly, Zim refused to even touch the thing after it had slobbered all over his shoes, and secondly, she didn't want to hear them bitching and monologueing about how carrying a small brown puppy was anything but manly. And thus, she was holding him securely against her chest, ignoring him and leaning her face away from his excitable tongue. Really, he seemed to just want to put that slimy thing everywhere, didn't he?

"Ugh, as much fun as this weekend has been Little Shit, I can't say I'm entirely sorry to see you go," she intoned, stroking his head to distract him and keep his tongue inside his damned mouth.

"Aw, don't be like that, Gaz," Dib scolded humorously, scratching the dog under its chin. It yipped, not quite ready to bark yet, apparently, obviously pleased. "He wasn't that bad! And at any rate, he doesn't know better yet anyways."

Zim snorted, holding the door open for her as she passed before letting it close behind them. Dib was already talking to the secretary.

"As if that's an excuse," he muttered to Gaz. Said girl smiled slightly at him before Dib waved them over, gesturing to the dog when they approached.

The woman at the counter was plain, wearing a dark polo with the pound's insignia on it. She smiled affectionately at the puppy, even more so when it yipped at her again. Clearly, this was a woman who loved her job. "What a cute little puppy! Are you here to register it, then?"

Dib shook his head. It went without saying that he should be the one to handle interaction with the staff, as Gaz and Zim would've probably called this woman an idiot by now and have been kicked out several seconds ago.

"Uh, no, actually," he said, politely, but quickly becoming uncomfortable as the woman's facial expression changed. "We're here to give the dog to the pound."

". . . Oh," she said, obviously dejected. "Well, that's too bad . . ."

Zim's eyes narrowed immediately. He was well aware of what these people tried to do, on a daily basis. Humans were easily manipulated if they felt guilty about something. And it was exactly these sorts of peoples' jobs to exploit that guilt in the attempt to adopt out as many animals as possible, regardless of whether or not it was a suitable home that could provide for the dog.

He hated public facilities.

"You know," She began, in a way that seemed both genuinely upset and practiced in the mirror at home. "If a dog isn't adopted here, it gets put down. And the more animals here, the more likely it is that animals will overcrowd the facility, and eventually be put down out of necessity. Isn't that sad?"

Dib was caving, awkwardly. "Well, I mean, yeah, we found it, but we know nothing about taking care of a dog, let alone a puppy."

"Our last one disappeared," Gaz offered, helpfully, tired of the situation and knowing that without her intervention, they'd be registering the dog instead of giving it up. "We think our dad used it some sort of experiment."

At that moment, Dib decided that Earth would be a wonderful place if instead of being there, he could be in a dark hole somewhere, dying, and away from the less than ideal situation now currently in front of them.

The woman's reaction could only be expected, really. No one blamed her for it.

Well, maybe a little.

"SECURITY!"


(1) Mercy, Invader Zim style.

(2) A reference to an episode I can't quite remember at the moment regarding the fact Dib and Gaz's puppy apparently disappeared, forgotten about, until their father sent a transmission about "feeding the puppy."

(3) I SAY THIS ALL THE TIME. CLEANER. NOT. CLEAN. Puppy mouths are gross! They eat everything! I've watched my sister pull shit out of my dog's mouth! Tell me his mouth is cleaner than mine now!

I got bored.

Well, I mean, you see how it ends, obviously. I didn't really need to write anything else, did I?

Till the next time.