I feel like a lazy bum here. DX I know I promised to work on 'My Tallest'... Yeah, not working out. I actually was very pleased with the last chapter of it, which is rare for me because I'm a perfectionist. Now I feel like I can't do it justice, or even find an interesting point to start up again. I'll probably be mostly on hiatus for a while longer, then get back to more regular submissions. Maybe I'll go right back to 'Prisoner of Nightmares.' *shrugs*
Anyway, for those who don't give a crap/know nothing about my other stories, this right here is just something that popped into my head. I may continue it, but if I do, it'll probably be random scenes- whatever interesting instances of ZADR I can think of- that's what this is.
This current chapter is rated K-K+. It is likely to go up to teen for romance/suggestive stuff, violence, mild swearing, darkness, and possible vague descriptions of Irken anatomy-nothing too 'private' though I think. There will be warnings about such content before chapters.
CONTAINS ZADR. DON'T LIKE? DON'T READ!
Constructive criticism/any review except angry, rude flames, HIGHLY encouraged. Please tell me what you think!
There was sweat on Dib's face, dripping down, and not entirely from the summer heat. His heart pounded, as hard as it could, the boy felt like it was exploding inside him. He was walking down the concrete sidewalk, slowly, hesitantly. Each collision between his feet and the ground sounded like sharp blows of metal in his ears, his inner musings were blocking out everything else. His surroundings, the people around him, didn't matter. Right now it was just him, his destination, and the precious bunch of things he had hidden, tucked inside his trench coat.
He was more nervous every moment. Should he really bring those? He just felt like an idiot. He didn't know what he was doing, he just needed to do it. He needed to get an answer.
This wouldn't work out. He could just imagine the look the little green alien would give him, the ridicule... At the very least though, he still had to try.
If Zim did accept, even on some small level, it would be beyond Dib's wildest hopes, it would be heaven.
-he really expected a very flat no-
No matter how much doubt he had, the human wanted this. He had to try. He was going to Zim's base, putting himself in a vulnerable position, in an attempt to create a small sense of trust- hopefully.
No matter how afraid he was of the possible upcoming hurt, he needed to know how things were set out. If he had even the slightest chance he would not neglect it.
At the very least, he couldn't let emotions get in the way of his work of protecting earth, if things did turn out to be the same as they ever were.
Dib's mouth was dry as he swallowed.
For the third time, the boy stopped as 'maybe some other time' came back into his mind to pester and urge him to turn back. He couldn't change his mind now though. He'd never do this if he gave in to the idea of waiting until another day. He was close now, just a couple more blocks. He forced himself to start walking again.
Frozen, Dib stood staring ahead. He was peering over the fence, chin and hands resting on the top, standing on tip-toes. There was the greenish house, disproportional and unnatural in shape so it looked possessed, or something, leering at him. A distressed noise bubbled out of Dib's throat. How dire would the circumstances of his actions be?
He didn't want Zim to capture him, or have the lawn gnomes beat him up, obviously, but that never usually stopped him. He was afraid of the change he was going to make.
No matter how Zim answered, what he was about to say would change everything, maybe forever, unforgivably.
"Last chance to turn back..."
He whispered to himself.
Dib stood there for another empty five minutes, unnoticed, too worried to go any further.
Heart pounding, thoughts argumentative, feet hesitant and uncooperative, body sweating. He'd never even considered anything like this. Never tried anything like this before.
How could he have the courage to stand up to giant lazer weasels, but be unable to just ask Zim if...
'another day maybe...'
Dib sighed out heavily, and turned around. He started walking back home, defeated.
He just couldn't make himself do it. It was too frightening, too new, too difficult, he had no experience with anything like this. He'd usually been too busy to even think about this stuff.
It would cause too much change. It was a stupid, bad idea. Better to leave things like they were.
'but then I'd never know. What if there's a chance? Even just one, tiny little chance?'
Dib had gone about twenty steps before he changed his mind again and ran all the way back to the fence to stare over it again, longingly, but panicking.
This wasn't fair. How could something as simple as a question be so difficult?
Well, he couldn't just change his mind over and over. He either did it, or didn't do it. No. He was going to. He was doing it. Right now.
The boy forced himself to move, dragging his feet, onward, up the walk. The gnomes followed him with their eyes, but didn't raise their arms to fire lazers. Good, at least that seemed to indicate Zim wasn't in a paranoid mood today, or Dib probably wouldn't have been able to set foot inside the fence without getting second degree burns.
Keep walking. Up to the door.
"Zim must know I'm here by now, his computer usually tells him as soon as it detects anyone."
Dib stood several feet back from the door, expecting the Irken to slam it open and start screaming at him at any second now.
"Please tell me I won't have to ring the doorbell..."
If he did that, after he did, the decision would be made, no going back. It would be him starting the conversation, and Zim would immediately want to know why the boy was there.
It was far too hard to lift his finger. Far to hard to stare at the button, hesitate, argue back and forth with himself, then, push down.
He stood holding his breath.
"Here goes everything... I really hope he doesn't kill me..."
Seconds passed and nothing happened.
"Where is he? Didn't he hear the doorbell? Is it broken? Is this just fated not to happen or something? Maybe I really should just go home..."
When the door finally slammed open, Dib jumped with a startled 'meep!', heart missing a beat.
The alien looked angry, and blackened in places, like something had exploded at him recently. "WHAT?" He spat.
Dib flinched, face turning reddish. Maybe this was a bad time. He looked off to the side, mind flailing for something to say.
Zim growled at the awkward silence and narrowed his eyes. He was impatient and angry. He didn't have time for this! What was this? The Dib-talk-monkey had nothing to say for once? Why did he bother him then? The fool... Stupid, smelly Dib... By the tallest! Did he ever reek of fear hormones... What was going on here?
Dib fidgeted from foot to foot and opened his mouth to speak.
He fidgeted just right for Zim to see that he had something rather large hidden inside his jacket.
The compulsive Irken had already been having a bad day. He wasn't interested in dealing with whatever Dib intended to try, assuming that whatever Dib had was a weapon. Without warning Zim snarled and leapt forward.
Dib felt Zim slam into him and squeaked again, startled, just before his head smacked back against the hard walk. Giving a pained noise, he just lay there tensed for a moment before opening his eyes to shoot an automatic glare at Zim. That really hurt... And the irken was sitting on him now.
All the motion had happened so fast that the boy hadn't completely noticed everything. He didn't understand how, exactly, Zim had suddenly wound up straddled over his upper-waist. He also didn't understand how Zim had gotten his hands on what the human had hidden inside his jacket. Now the glare fell off Dib's face in place of blank terror in anticipation of the irken's reaction.
Zim's expression went as blank as Dib's, as he analyzed what his nemesis had been hiding.
Cocking his head to the side, Zim narrowed one eye, turning the bouquet of flowers over in his black gloved hands.
It definitely wasn't from a flower shop, clearly unprofessional, but not a single piece in it was... well... At least none were MORE then half-wilted. Many of the flowers did look nice though. It was a good assortment too, pretty colors, the boy must have spent a couple hours getting the right flora and everything. Dib certainly hadn't just thrown together weeds and dandelions, that was for sure.
Zim calmed right down into a state of simple curiosity. His eyes widened a bit, as he turned the whole thing over and over, poking at it, wondering why Dib brought it here, since it had no weapons or spying devises in it. What was its purpose?
Dib eyed the overdone clump of wildflowers and felt more depressed and embarrassed then ever. It was ugly. It was a failure. It was a poor excuse for a bouquet of any kind. Dib looked away sadly, struggling to get Zim off him, so he could stand up, face reddened. He felt like running away to hide, crawling in a hole, or at least just acting indignant and upset and being stubborn about... Whatever...
However the Irken had no intention of moving. With a warning growl, Zim shifted where he sat on Dib's waist, mechanical tentacle appendages with clawed ends shooting out of his pak to pin the human's wrists to the grass. Dib made an uncomfortable noise, but gave up struggling for now, growing more fearful at what Zim might do to him. But the Irken just kept checking out his prize, poking and pulling and turning it over in a funny, awed curiosity. His antenna perked forward. The strange, colorful plants didn't smell too bad either.
"What is this?" The Irken finally questioned, never looking away from what he held.
Dib responded stupidly, in a quiet voice; "Flowers."
"I can see THAT, idiot worm-baby! What is the meaning of bringing them here?"
Dib flinched when he was yelled at, Zim glaring at him and starting to fall back into his previous bad mood.
Hesitating, Dib drew in a slow breath, stareing up at the sky. He regretted his decision to start this whole scenario. This was it.
"They're..." He swallowed, and stuttered out shyly, "They're for-for you... They're... It's... A-a gift."
Zim still seemed confused, but went back to his flower-examining.
"Hmm, yes, a gift to bribe me into a peace treaty perhaps?"
"Well, uh, sort of. Not exactly."
Zim frowned. "You speak nonsense pig, explain yourself."
The alien poked Dib's nose and the boy couldn't help but smile and blush, finding Zim's current antics cute. The human tried to sit up a little, braced on his elbows, to make their positioning at least a LITTLE less awkward.
He needed to start explaining now. His eyes searched Zim's face. He saw the usual disdain, but not much of it. Mostly Zim was just sort of pouting in confusion, and wide eyed with curiosity. The alien was practically hugging the gift he'd been given- he decided he liked the heap of colorful thingamajiggies, a worthy gift for Zim- and continually poked at the flowers.
Zim didn't look like he'd bite Dib's head off, not now, just as long as he didn't say anything stupid. Finally, the human began.
"Er, you know Zim, it's been... we've known each other for like, five years now... We, at least, I'm... Not a kid anymore you know. And... Uhm... See..." Dib stopped to think, and decided to start a different way. Flustered, he shook his head. "We haven't fought much lately-"
Zim interrupted, suddenly appearing to have been angered.
"My planning has been slow lately because... The Irken empire... Is just... Having some... Temporary problems... With conquest... So supplies are hard to get. It will all be over soon I assure you! Then everything will go back to normal,"
The alien frowned, looking off to the side.
"Zim is not losing his edge I assure you."
Dib broke in loudly. "I don't want to fight anymore though."
The boy finally blurted out something close to his full intension of communication now. Zim was startled and whipped his head back to stare incredulously.
"WHAT? What do you mean?"
Suspiciously, the contact covered eyes narrowed. Dib bit his lip nervously.
"Zim, I NEED to talk to you, civilly, just, as another living being right now, not as enemies within our little 'game.'"
This really was it. Zim looked suspicious as all get out and was pinning Dib's hands harder. Despite the warning growls, Dib continued. He had to.
"Zim, whether you care or not, at the very least I need you to understand something.
Do you know the REAL meaning of 'insane' Zim?"
The alien made a face and shook his head, shifting on Dib's waist.
"Your pak works like a human's 'brain', if I understand correctly, and, insane means that a human's brain doesn't function correctly. It means the human's brain is... A little... broken."
"Like, defective?" Zim broke in again, looking a little more interested now that he could understand a bit.
"Uhm, I guess. But, a human can go insane if certain needs aren't met, especially social stuff. Humans have a need to feel accepted, and generally liked by others, like we're worth something, we need to be... Loved, really... Do you understand that?"
Zim cocked his head. Dib felt unspeakably grateful that for once, Zim was sitting quietly and attentively. The Irken was actually listening to him. "Ehhh, Zim thinks Zim understands... Your brain will stop working right if you feel you have no worth and are unappreciated?"
"Yeah, sort of." Dib tried to make eye contact as he slowly drew closer to his dangerous point, laying on the ground with Zim still on top of him.
"It's worse if others treat you badly, if they're... 'mean', or try to hurt you, if they act hatefully. If someone is treated really badly, often enough, it can be damaging to their... mental health."
Dib drew in a deep breath. "In case you haven't noticed... No one really... Likes me... At all... Ever.
No one. The people who don't hate me don't care, and that's even true with my own family.
No one... No one would notice... Even if I went and killed myself, I don't think anyone would care... Except... Maybe... You?"
Dib bit his lip so hard it hurt, trying to look into Zim's eyes, hopeful. Zim just looked confused, and fidgeted to get more comfortable, still pinning his nemesis.
"Eh? Well...Yes... I suppose it WOULD affect my daily life quite a bit... I WOULD miss our interactions."
Dib felt a greater intensity and nervousness tying itself up inside him, hope beating harder in his heart. Zim would miss their interactions. Was that enough to work with? He could try.
"I really wasn't doing too good, when you'd first come here. I hadn't had anyone else to have intelligent conversation with in a very long time, and even if we were enemies, you LISTENED to me, we did stuff together. It... Helped. You actually... Fixed my mind, a lot.
You were the closest thing to the first friend I ever had, and I'm sure you know that I've kind of... Obsessed, over you. You're really important to me... Without you I wouldn't be doing too well...
But if I wanna stay sane... It's still not... Enough. We fight, do our best to sabotage each other's lives, it's not... It's not right... I... Really need... Someone I can trust, and have fun with, and... I... I LIKE you Zim."
There. Dib had dropped the bomb. Hopefully Zim wouldn't explode from it. Now that he'd gotten this far, words were finally streaming into his head and the boy needed to say them, even though his heart was pounding fearfully. His voice was meek and cautious, but clear.
"I REALLY like you Zim. Everything about you. I've watched you for a long time, I know so much about you, and I really... want... I've... I-I've started to feel differently about you. I don't hate you anymore. I just, don't wanna be your enemy anymore... I wanna BE WITH YOU."
Dib finally forced himself to shut up, getting scared from the look Zim was giving him. The Irken was suspicious, still confused, maybe even worried, sitting a little more stiffly on his captive.
After several seconds he responded.
"What EXACTLY are you trying to say?"
The Irken did his best to fake ignorance. Hopefully Dib would realize the horrible decision he was making and take it back. Zim didn't want to deal with this.
"I'm saying I want to be with you, I want to be... your... I... I don't know... I want to try us being friends, but I want MORE then that... I want to be in a relationship with you... Everything I do is centered around you, I need to be near you or I feel like I'm losing it, Don't you understand?"
Zim frowned. He opened his mouth to shout back some angry yet 'innocent minded' response, but then stopped himself. A look of solemn comprehension flowed over the alien's features. He DID understand.
He understood. At the very least Zim understood what Dib was saying, maybe even what he was feeling. Dib tried not to laugh out of nervous relief. At least that was something. He could see it on the irken's face.
"You mean you want to have a mate-ship relationship with Zim?"
The irken's voice was strangely flat. Dib was unsure what that meant.
"I suppose that's a good way to put it."
Zim had lost interest in the flowers. He decided he didn't like them as much anymore.
Suddenly, he released the grip his mechanical legs had on the boy's wrists, and stood. Dib felt a strange lightness where Zim had been sitting on him before. Scrambling to stand, Dib looked after Zim, feeling worry settle into his stommach. The invader had his back to Dib, stubbornly marching back towards his house.
The Irken stopped and drew in a rather sharp breath while Dib brushed off his clothes.
"You should leave now human"
Dib felt his heart drop. He didn't answer. Zim stayed with his back towards Dib.
"You... You want me to... Leave?"
Dib parroted, hesitantly.
"Will you at least try it? Give the idea a chance?"
Dib felt like his chest was being squeezed. A voice in the back of his mind was saying 'I told you so,' but it still hurt.
The Irken whirled around, putting on a disdainful expression.
"There is nothing to be 'tried'. I know this is a trick of your smelly head of smell. You mean only to lure Zim in with love candies then capture me for autopsy!"
That really hurt.
"HAVEN'T YOU HEARD A WORD I'VE SAID? AREN'T YOU PAYING ANY ATTENTION AT ALL?" Dib had lost it and Zim flinched at the yelling.
"I came to you here, so you'd be in your comfort zone and wouldn't feel threatened Zim! I put myself in danger to show you could trust me on this! Don't you understand? I can't kill you anymore! I wouldn't be able to do it because I lov-... I... Zim..."
Why was that tingling spreading through his face? He wasn't going to cry was he? In front of his enemy? He couldn't...
Luckily Zim had his back to him once again.
"If you are really telling the truth, then you don't know what your talking about Dib. I'm an Irken. I don't feel. You'll only hurt your primitive, sensitive 'feelings'."
It was probably the wrong thing to do but Dib continued to try, to press the issue.
"But I know you feel Zim, you feel as much as I do."
"You speak lies."
"I watch you constantly Zim, because I need you, it's an addiction, don't act like you don't know this.
I know you Zim, I know you feel."
"Zim feels nothing and the Dib needs to leave." The Irken's voice was getting quiet and robotic, but Dib thought Zim sounded oddly sad. His tones shook slightly. Something was wrong. Dib tried to speak soothingly.
"I've had spy cameras in your base Zim. I don't know what it's about, but I've seen you crying at night lately."
Wrong thing to say. Zim whipped around, eyes wide and terrified. Dib had seen. He knew. How much did he know though? Did he know the reason?
Either way, that didn't matter. Dib had seen. Zim almost chocked on air.
No normal Irken cried, ever. They simply weren't capable. Seeing an irken cry meant something to irkens.
Dib saw him cry.
That filthy little...
In several quick, measured steps, Zim flew forward.
Dib felt the two sharp claws dig into the flesh of his cheek and slice forward, when Zim swung out to slap him, creating deep scratches that immediately leaked out blood. Dib gave a pained cry, and jumped back, holding the injured side of his face.
"Zim, I-I'm sorry, I didn't mean,"
Zim was seething, shaking, hands in fists, glaring down at his feet.
"Zim's answer is no! You're just stupid! I am an Irken. I recieve joy from causing pain. The only touch I've ever experianced was painful. You would never be able to so much as sit next to me without me goring you out of simple suspicion. There would be no gentleness or 'love'. If I agreed to what you've asked Zim for, it would be to use you. If you really knew what you were asking for you wouldnt want it. You're the one who doesn't understand. Leave. Now. LEAVE."
Irate, the alien snarled, and started towards Dib, ready to tear him limb from limb, but it was unnecessary.
Dib looked regretfully down at his boots, nodded, turned around in a hurry, and started walking back the way he'd come.
"Alright. Goodbye then Zim... Sorry to bother you."
And that was that. Dib walked away without looking back. He wouldn't allow Zim any possible satisfaction from his disappointment, shame, and hurt. He knew he'd be turned down, really, but he still had wanted to try. The rejection wasn't worth the worry. It stung.
Zim watched, motionless, until the boy was out of sight. The alien's expression was mostly unreadable, but something in him was concentrated, troubled, conflicted.
Stupid Dib-beast. Of all the things he could have come over to do and say, it had to be that... And why NOW? Of all times why now?
Why when Zim was troubled over every aspect of the only life he'd ever known? Why when he was beginning to understand and feel human emotions, and was confused, and frightened, and might actually CONSIDER it, even for a moment- why now?
Nonsense. It was all stupidity. Ridiculous. Invaders needed no... Comfort.
Zim tried to huff in contempt, but it came out as a slow, exhausted, sigh; an almost shaky sigh.
The alien walked back into his house. It was getting late, and he had much to do. So much to do. He wondered how much Dib knew from those filthy spy cameras of his... Did he know how badly the irken's life was in shambles right now?
By the time he finally could take a break from all he had to do, Zim found himself laying on his couch, sobbing his squiddily spooch out. Curled into a miserable, trembling ball, he clutched a pillow to his chest and simply wailed. He didn't know how to handle this anymore. It was too much. The empire was dying. The empire, the Irken empire as a whole, was all any Irken knew. They were brainwashed. Without that, what were they?
He was short. Tallers took out their frustration on shorters.
And Zim was a defective. He could feel. That only made it worse.
If only he still had Gir, to hold, to cuddle.
If only the empire wasn't so frantic that they'd started demanding even SIRs be turned in and melted down for bullets.
The loss of his only freind and companion was what hurt the worst.
"Gir... Zim misses you..."
Slowly, tears still streaming, Zim lifted his head off the couch. Swelled, red eyes fell on the flowers, where he'd left them, dropped in the middle of his 'living room' floor, and he started to think.
How much did Dib really know though?
Could he... maybe... be kind enough to help? At least make Zim feel a little better? Comfort? Humans were supposed to be good at comforting, being more aquatinted with emotions. The sad little Irken sniffled, and he couldn't help but think that would be nice... To have a confident and freind... And consolement.
The next day, Zim didn't show up for any classes at school. He must have run down there at some point though, because when a certain depressed, raven-haired human; who had failed to get any sleep the previous night, opened his locker, there was a small note waiting for him, signed with a scribbled, vicious looking smiley face.
~ From Zim to the Dib-monkey'