15. Body Language

Gaz let out a grunt as she began coming to. For a moment she wasn't sure where she was, but that was quickly remedied. "Good morning little-Gaz," Zim said affectionately. Gaz grunted again, burying her face against him in order to hide the fact that she was blushing. Falling asleep on him, how pathetic was that? Stupid Zim and his stupid emotion-inducing e-mails, if Gaz hadn't been so relieved to be held by him she would never have shown such weakness; emotions were just so draining.

"Sorry for falling asleep on you," Gaz apologized coldly, sitting up when Zim kissed her forehead.

"Zim is pleased to be an acceptable pillow for his human female."

"It isn't unbecoming for an Irken soldier to have his enemy fall asleep on him?"

Zim flinched, his eyes flashing dangerously. Gaz shouldn't have said it. Zim apparently hadn't thought of it that way. Now she'd gone and put the implication in his head. "When the time comes to end this disgusting planet, you intend on stopping Zim?" his grip around her waist tightened.


"Then we are not enemies." Zim's grip did not lighten. He pulled Gaz tighter against his chest, his eyes dark and dangerous.

When the time came… Zim had been too focused on wooing the Gaz-human to focus on his mission. When the time came Zim would not let Gaz be hurt. His grip tightened as he thought of it; his mate lying lifeless among the culled.

"Zim?" Gaz called his name and the Irken seemed to shake off whatever he'd been so absorbed by. "You said you needed to talk."

"Yes," Zim threaded his fingers through Gaz's, locking his gaze with hers, "although I am pleased that Gaz makes use of the base for whatever she requires, Zim requires touch and speaking to feel connected to the epitome of loveliness that is Gaz."

"I need both hands to play my games."

"Zim makes no protest against the insulating layers, but Zim is still disallowed from touching."

"It's distracting," Gaz turned away from his ardent gaze.

"Yes, I spoke the intention to distract you when integrating your game system with my computers, if you do not want to be distracted from gaming then other activities must be put in place to fulfill these relational requirements."

"Relational requirements? I thought I was the authority on earth relationships here," Gaz sat up slightly, poking Zim in the face menacingly.

"Is touching not a fundamental aspect of human bonding? Are speech centers not linked to emotional processing?"

"This relationship will progress at whatever speed suits me Zim," Gaz crossed he arms, leaning fully away from the Irken, "You have to work for it, right now your work is sit still and keep quiet."

"Stagnation is not progress, it is moving backwards. Zim does not wish to move backwards in the relationship with Gaz. How can Zim work to further the relationship if Gaz allows Zim to do nothing? You wanted initiative, if you require something else then articulate it before Zim is forced to pull out own antennae in frustration!"


"Is this really what you want from Zim? Sitting still and being silent? Zim cannot amuse you by doing nothing!"

"Who said you needed to amuse me?"

"You did," Zim huffed in exasperation, leaning back onto the couch and mirroring Gaz's crossed arms.

Gaz felt a wriggle of guilt in her stomach. How did Zim do that? No one made her feel guilty about anything. She didn't care if someone was wrongly maimed. She never cared when something was her fault, even the previously mentioned maiming. It was just so… frustrating.

"Fine," Gaz snipped back, before she climbed across Zim's knees. She seated herself in his lap with her back turned to him, "From now on, this is how I will play my video games. You won't be able to run off even if you want to. Is that an acceptable alternative, Zim?" she spat his name and glared at the distant wall.

"Yes," Zim squeaked gently behind her, resting his forehead against her back.

Gaz flushed, her entire body screaming that Zim was too close, and simultaneously not close enough. What the hell had she been thinking?! Their little yelling match had fully woken her, and so now Zim's sweet little gestures were riling her up again. There was no chance of her playing any sort of video game to distract herself in this manner.

"You're trembling," Zim whispered, the jet of warmth spilling through Gaz's shirt which only made it worse. "Are you…" Zim wasn't sure which word to choose to diffuse the negatives, "full of filthy earth parasites?"

Gaz started laughing, it was soft at first, barely indiscernible from the trembling in her muscles, then she had to double over, holding her stomach as a laugh rippled through the air. It didn't answer Zim's question, but he was pleased with the affect. It seemed like he had chosen good words, playing off his earlier misunderstanding.

"Yes," Gaz said gently once she had finished refilling her lungs. "And I'm scared… I'm not that experienced with parasites."

Zim didn't know what to say to that either, especially since he was still trying to figure his own wriggly emotions. He leaned back looking at the ceiling, even though his fingers itched to reach around her and curl her back towards him. "I do know that desensitization usually involves increasing levels of exposure."

Gaz torqued around and slapped him in the arm, "You're not allowed to be clever Zim," Gaz said, wrestling with a smile, and losing.

"You wish for Zim to be dumb like Gir?"

Gaz flinched at the prospect, "You're not allowed to be clever when it makes me do things I don't want to!"

"I thought you were trying to desensitize because you do want to," Zim smiled in response, looking surprising sinister until Gaz slapped him again.

The slapping seemed to be an improvement upon punching… somehow. Zim could see her wrestling with that splendid smile of hers. Which only made him wonder, how could he get her to slap him again?

"You can't be comfortable assaulting Zim from the angle," he noted, making Gaz turn herself fully towards him and slap him for a third time.

Now, facing him, Zim gathered his courage. The act would either greatly ease his mate's internal struggle or put them back at odds with one another for a long while. Zim leaned forward, catching Gaz's lips with his.

Gaz practically melted into the gesture, throwing her arms around his neck and relaxing her tensed back muscles until Zim was solely responsible for managing their combined weight. Though, he'd proven himself up to the task a few hours before but that was when Gaz was too tired to fight him. This trust was simply because she wanted to, despite her behavior towards the contrary.

Zim was convinced that he would show what he wanted. 'Ignoring' Gaz had worked so abysmally anyway. Zim wrapped on arm around her waist, and the other around her shoulders, easily tangling a strand of hair which his fingers had become rather enamored of while Gaz was sleeping. He used his strength to pull Gaz in tighter, reveling in the warmth of her breast moving in heated rhythm to her breathing. Perhaps he was beginning to understand why the sacks of fluids had remained prevalent on human anatomy when alternative feeding methods became readily available.

49.034 seconds, certainly Zim's best time so far.

Letting out one of those odd little purrs Zim's grip relaxed. "Feeling better, Gaz?" he asked with gentle concern.

How could he do that? How could he care so much? Gaz looked at her boyfriend practically stupefied. How could an alien, with such limited emotional scope, do that? Even ignoring the mechanical removal of interfering emotions, Zim was completely vain, and normally so out-of-tune with the emotions of others. Except for hers. Despite himself Zim seemed to tune in to her needs like she was the only creature in the universe. One antennae rose in confusion as she continued to stare at him.

"I haven't decided yet," Gaz responded to the question, "maybe we should try again."

Another purr from the Irken. Gaz leaned against him while his fingers thoroughly appropriated the back of her head as his new territory. The hand on her back was itching with curiosity. Where on the little human female required further exploration? Zim pondered the possibilities to himself, until a squeeze of Gaz's legs as she readjusted her seat. Zim had not attempted to touch Gaz's legs since their first date, and certainly they seemed to be getting along better. Starting along the outside seem Zim's right hand followed the line of her jeans, climbing from her ankle to her hip without any word of protest from his precocious mate. Zim's curious touch firmed as he started to backtrack, feeling taut muscles and power that was uniquely Gaz. Hummed encouragements buzzed from her lips as his fingers slowed around the curve of her knee. Carefully Zim shifted his focus towards the inside seem, and Gaz's knees tightened around him like a second set of arms. Zim trembled at the sensation, abruptly cutting off the intense kiss.

For a moment Zim blinked in confusion. They'd just been over the minute mark when the grip of Gaz's legs made him lose track, though the kiss itself had ended so shortly after that it was hardly worth calculating the difference. Gaz's golden eyes regarded him coldly, making him want to worm away from the fact that he'd made her angry… again.

"Are you cold?" Gaz asked flatly, leaning as far back as she could while maintaining her sense of balance. She knew it was a ridiculous question. Zim didn't get cold. He was perfectly comfortable planning to blow up the science lab in winter while she had been wearing his lab coat. Not to mention the fact that the space between them was almost visibly steaming from the heat. Zim wasn't afraid, at least not before she had decided to confront him about it. There was only one other thing that made Zim tremble, disgust. Like the grease on the Bloaty's arcade games she had made Zim tremble in disgust.

Gaz looked angry, though, she wasn't mad at him per se. She was mad at that wall. She'd hit it, just like she'd been expecting to. She just hadn't been expecting to now. How dare he put it up now! Right when their relationship was just starting to feel real. Only minutes after he'd been so concerned and caring, his barriers for intimacy were showing themselves.

"Zim is not cold," Zim said, his red globes searching her eyes very carefully, "It was… filthy earth parasites in Zim's belly."

"Liar," Gaz crossed her arms, "I know Irken biology better than that Zim, and you have no sex drive and no organs to make use of even if you did."

"Why would Zim lie? Zim's mouth speaks no lies!"

"Stop it," Gaz looked away from him, she could tell when he was lying, but right now she refused to believe that it wasn't just what she wished to see. "You only asked me out because you wanted to prove that you were superior to any human boyfriend. Well you did that already. Mission successful; good job soldier. It doesn't mean you get to play me for a fool.""

"I may not know why the chemicals for reproduction are present within Zim, but they are indeed present, and tend to spike when interacting with you." Zim watched Gaz's anger ripple away leaving behind what was likely the true source of her anxiety. She was frightened… again. Was is the same reason as before or the same reason she trembled during their encounter with Dredge? Were those even different from one another? "You have access to all of Zim's files if you want to confirm it yourself, but I do not hold emotions in such high regard that I would give them merit where they are not involved."

"You actually like me," Gaz looked at him.

"Have I not found appropriate monikers for the epitome of loveliness that is Gaz?"

"But you actually… like me, like me."

"You are the one who says I am a bad liar. Am I lying to you Gaz?"

Gaz blinked, staring at the alien, whom she was still sitting upon. He wasn't lying Zim could not will that combination of shame and longing onto his face if he was acting. She could barely process everything that had come to light with that last sentence. What he'd whispered in her ear, the giddy touches, pathetic attempts at flattery, scatterbrained, over protective, possessive gestures, every moment he surrendered to her whims what she had thought toying with her by accepting every desperately possessive move she made were in fact simply expressions of honest regard.

For a second Gaz let out a gasp, Zim moved in an instant, one hand to balance her, the other to wipe away the tear that dared to escape. And Gaz had an idea, a deliciously satisfying reversal.

"Tremble for me."

"What?" Zim's brow line quirked upwards in confusion.

"I want you," Gaz leaned a little closer, "to tremble for me."

End Mission Log

A/N: THAT FLIPPING TREMBLE! It's finally out! Do you want to know when Zim was originally supposed to tremble? The third chapter! The original appearance of Dredge was going to be in the third chapter, but then after Dredge's incident change the tremble didn't happen. Zim's shirt was supposed to get cut, which gave him bare-skinned contact with Gaz. He was supposed to tremble and Gaz was supposed to echo his original titular line. Instead that's now ALL THE WAY OVER HERE!

And on that note, we bring Tremble for Me full circle. I am officially calling this monstrosity complete. Though, as some of you may have gathered, I still have more plot bunnies relating to this continuity. Therefore I intend on creating a sequel: Lie With Me.