Yes, I'll add to Prisoner of Nightmares next... Probably. I also need to write up a Portal-Chelly fic that's been in my head for a while.

Rating: T; if you read the last chapter you should know why. It does not go above T to M yet though. Not yet. ;)

Read, enjoy, review! ^^


Dib opened his mouth to protest, couldn't find words, closed it, opened it again, closed it again... he was floundering, expression clearly showing distress while Zim just waited, almost patiently, with a hint of amused confusion at the earthling's seemingly panicked response.

Dib wanted to just say no. He wanted to walk out, he wanted to take back his suggestion of changing into something cooler so the subject would never have gone here.

No, just no. It... It was so wrong... That... That was just... He couldn't...

The problem was, he was dealing with Zim. And he had a relationship with Zim. A not-very-secure relationship that he knew he would have to pour into. He understood that. Yes. Fine. Woop de do.

The problem was that he'd do anything for his former nemesis, be the knight in shining armor or simply the helpful sidekick, even the obedient slave! He needed Zim.

But this was... Zim had no idea of human modesty, clearly.

They'd just gotten together, and the invader wanted him to undress for his amusement.


People just didn't ASK this of someone else! Definitely not someone who'd feel as trapped in NEEDING to do anything asked of them as Dib felt towards Zim!


He wasn't getting out.

There had to be some positive aspect to this. Find it. Focus on that, he told himself.

Swallowing heavily, Dib looked away from the invader, widened eyes pleading with the inanimate objects of the room... And resting on...

His whole countenance changed instantly. How had he missed that until now?

That was extravagantly wonderful! It was... It was...

A VERY good sign.

He had a hard time trying not to smile.

There, on the table beside the door, sitting next to the telephone, was a new and expensive and beautiful looking vase. In the vase were the flowers he'd given Zim.

Quite a few were wilting and whatever Zim had put in with them wasn't water, but rather some glowing alien liquid that looked like stereotypical toxic waste. Perhaps drawing 'nutrition' from that had caused the weird bulbous growths all over the plants; the boy was quite certain they didn't have that when he'd handed them off to their new caregiver.

But whether Zim fully comprehended the 'romantic' gift of flowers or not, the usually practical invader had taken Dib's useless bunch of flora and put it on a pedestal of sorts. He valued it somehow. He valued what Dib gave him.

"What are you waiting for?"

Annoyed impatience seasoned the other's voice and Dib looked back at Zim, feeling his heart plummet again, though at least not quite as far.

Lovely. The invader appreciated his flowers. Great.

He was still demanding that his new 'slave' take off his clothes.





Not without shakiness, Dib looked away, took the edge of his shirt, and pulled it up over his head, his jacket falling to the floor also.

Sometimes the easiest way for a person to make up their mind, was for them to stop thinking. That was harder for Dib then it was for Zim though... His hands trembled. He'd never thought the next traumatic episode of his life would be like this...

He did not want...

Glee permeated Zim's entire being on seeing Dib's obedience and he perked right up, fidgeting on the couch, antennas lifted, eyes seeming enlarged with rapt attention, his hands playing with the edge of the couch seat.

For the first time in his life that he actually bothered to care about any such thing, Dib was glad he was a guy, in other words, that he had nothing culturally considered too 'private' on his chest for Zim to be staring at. A glance at the Irken though showed Dib that there was something for him to stare at, the boy still being a mammal, and his cheeks went red. Zim wasn't even going to be nice and keep silent about it was he?

"You've got red things on your chest." He announced dumbly while Dib turned to pull a thinner shirt out of his backpack.

"Yeah, I know."

"What are they for?"


"...Real nothing or suspicious nothing that's not really nothing at all but is actually something?" The Irken narrowed his eyes and Dib had to pause to translate what he said.

"... They... Really don't do anything. At all."

"Oh." Zim sounded unsure whether to be relieved or disappointed. Mammals were so strange...

Quickly, the male shook out his shirt and started pulling it on. No way he was staying topless and exposed. He'd never been comfortable doing that in his own house, and he certainly wasn't going to do it around Zim. Maybe he was being silly, but with low self worth came the idea that his body was practically a hideous mass of flesh to be covered up. At least, that was how he would be best described in comparing him to those who would happily reveal themselves and strut about to attract attention to their self-supposed gorgeousness. That might be how Zim looked at himself but it was basically the opposite of Dib at this point in his life.

The earthling wouldn't consider himself shy. When he was young he'd jump up on tables yelling and screaming like someone with turret syndrome. But as he'd gotten older... He'd given that up. It never got him the attention he wanted, so he just went quiet and... Perhaps with age... He HAD become shy. A shy kid who still longed for attention with everything in him; paradoxical.

Or maybe just 'emo' to borrow a term from the high-school halls.

Well, he was certainly getting attention NOW.

... Was Zim... The... The irken's cheeks were... Darker. Was he blushing? Could irkens blush?... Zim was blushing from looking at HIM? Well... That seemed like a desirable response. Maybe he was worrying too much. Maybe this wasn't TOO terrible...

Zim had never seen that much of Dib's skin before...

The human was always pale. He never seemed to tan, or burn either, the lucky human. His face and hands were always a rather milky white, so much so that it made him stand out a little in school, especially during summer. His chest was the same, the Irken saw.

Pale skin, ribcage showing and stomach very slim due to half-self-imposed malnutrition; he was always too busy to eat or sleep. The slight outlines of muscles showed a warning of the male's strength, much of it gained from chasing and fighting him, Zim would like to think.

There were some things though that he KNEW were his doing, showing on Dib...


Those long pale marks from where claws had torn fragile skin... Ohhhh yesssss. Zim felt himself shiver all over.

He would very much like to do more of that... The mental image was just a flash, but for the duration of that flash, his eyes glazed over.

To hold Dib down and not just grip and claw him but to... Bite... Down... The neck yes... Get a fierce, controlling grip there... Taste the blood... Feel Dib squirming... Under him... Hear his whimpers... Just like... With the touching... But more... More... Squirming... More force... More friction and noises...

It was such a delicious feeling that had infected him... He wanted more.

Zim's tongue flicked out to lick his lips, jarred with a wave of desire, before being distracted by the upsetting realization that Dib's chest was covered again. He'd gotten a new shirt on before Zim had even realized, the alien having been lost in musings.

The garment was baby-blue and shortsleeved, with a UFO on the front. How cute. Zim could definitely make up his mind that he preferred Dib's chest bare though.

Well, he was half done. Now came the terrible part.

Dib looked down, glanced up at Zim... Felt his own cheeks burning, the alien object of his complete affection... Trailing his eyes all over the human's body, and then he looked back down and...

No no no no no...

He... He felt dizzy... He didn't want to... He didn't feel well.

Was this how Zim felt when he'd touched him earlier? If so was he ever sorry...

Maybe he could still get out of this... He had to TRY to get out of it.. He COULDN'T... The thought of the shame in revealing himself like that, the potential ridicule from the Irken... It would make him TOO vulnerable... Zim wouldn't understand. He WOULDN'T. And Dib would be subject to teasing towards the most private part of himself, he just KNEW...

Dib knew almost nothing about Irken anatomy but he did know Zim certainly didn't have anything outward and obvious. The other night's spying episode had shown him that. He seemed quite sensitive to being kicked in the area, during their fights, but...

He just wouldn't understand. It would be TOO awkward.


He had to get out of this!

"There... Are you happy now-"

"That was only your shirt! You have to do the other half now!"

Dib looked wretched and Zim seemed... Quite a few things at once.

He was stubborn that Dib WOULD carry through with this, and, 'entertain' him... And he looked very entertained. Not in terms of scientific curiosity entirely either. More like... A very human reaction to the prospect of seeing another undress.

Dib didn't even know what he felt at the realization that the Irken seemed... Turned on, but whatever feeling shot through him, it was rather intense, and it consisted heavily of the butterflies in his stomach suddenly multiplying exponentially.

Okay, well... One thing was for sure. He would have to change his boxers later. If Zim felt the need to question his chest, he could only imagine what would happen in revealing his crotch to the alien. No. Not happening. No no no no no. His face burned at the mere thought, even more then it had a minute ago.

Okay, so if he didn't have to be entirely in the nude, maybe this wasn't so bad.

Taking a deep breath and trying so hard not to think about what he was doing, a very pale Dib shakily undid his belt buckle and shook out of his pants.

The only thought left in his head was a pounding scream that he couldn't believe he was doing this. WHY was he doing this? What was wrong with him? What was he expecting to get out of this? It was sick! It was horrible. What kind of path would his life go down thanks to this one situation? This just wasn't something he'd ever considered doing at any point in his life. He was very plainly stripping for another's amusement. If Zim could make him do this then how much more...

But he looked up and saw Zim staring blatantly with a desiring sort of look, face darkened in blush, antennas perked up and forward, twitching with clear interest, and... It shot him. The feeling of the whole situation was terrifying. The feeling brought on by the way Zim looked at him was good. And he was just able to recognize that. He was... ... Wanted.

In some way, something about him was desirable to someone.

If it took removing almost all his clothes in front of an alien for this fact to make itself known... So be it, he felt, with a sense of absolution.

His face was so very red, and his heart was thumping so hard in his chest as he quickly grabbed his dark-blue pajama shorts out of his backpack, and pulled them on and up.



He'd freaking done it...

He couldn't believe himself. Half of his reaction felt like shame numbed by a sort of trauma, and the other half was yet undecided but a lot of possibilities were starting to swirl into nausea.

Zim said something but... Dib didn't hear it. The very fact that the Irken had spoken at all was only noticed belatedly.

Something was wrong. Dib suddenly felt lost. He'd forced himself through what was asked of him, now what? All he knew was his head felt funny and he suddenly knew, very simply, that he was going to sit down now. So he turned and fell back into the couch to stare at the ceiling for a long time. Ringing in his ears drowned the irken's voice but he knew Zim was talking to him when the alien was suddenly in his face, looking upset. Slowly, Dib began coming back into himself... Only to drift back and forth. He felt shaken.

Something was wrong. It was too much. Something was wrong...

Had he fainted?... No, he almost did he thought, but it didn't quite seem so.

"Why aren't you answering me pig-monkey-dog-slug-"

Oh lovely. Zim was so very happy and enthusiastic and such a lovely person in general. So very caring and sweet was he. Such a gentle quiet nature...

Dib almost laughed at his disoriented thoughts, especially when an increasingly irritated little sweet-and-gentle invader slapped him across the face, screaming at him and... Did Zim just call him a bitch? Seriously?

Ouch. Wow. Poor alien had seen too much high school. Dib was too estranged of his own mind right there to get overly emotional about being sworn at and slapped though, or to give a very normal reaction at all.

So he started to laugh.

At first it was a snort, then a giggle, and it developed and quickly became louder and more full.

And he laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

He fell back into the couch a bit with tears rolling down his cheeks. He didn't even know what was so funny but he couldn't stop laughing. Oh it felt good. So much better then crying or screaming with anger or just bottling his emotions and ignoring them.

Two thoughts wormed in through all else.

Something was wrong in his brain, this reaction was wrong, it was disturbing to Zim.


Zim got up off the couch, and backed off out of sight, walking away from him to leave him.

Zim got up.

And Zim left him.

He left him and seconds passed and he didn't come back.

Dib just kept laughing.


The young human had not expected Zim to say yes.

He had expected rejection.

Because that was all he got, because he was treated like that was all he deserved, and because he was coming to believe that was all he deserved, because he knew he was damaged.

He'd been to the therapists, got all kinds of demeaning diagnosis, been given all sorts of terrible drugs; he hated them. He never took them. They just made him feel and act stupid and get beat up and ridiculed ever more. He refused drugs, and over time, he refused any treatment at all. They never seemed to help, they just made him hate himself more. He gave up on outward help. And he gave up on himself, on his betterment. On the idea he could be fixed.

The fact was his brain wasn't right. Too much neglect. Too much abuse. He didn't sleep. He rarely ate, and what he did eat was centered around what would give him the most energy, purely to fight Zim. Carbs and protein. It was not what his body needed to be a healthy individual physically.

It was all Zim. Because Zim was all he had and he needed him for the entirety of his mentality.

He was desperate. And he couldn't think right. All he knew, all that mattered, was that Zim was Zim. That was why he bent to his will even when it was so horrifying to him.

This last bit had been too much. Too traumatizing. He'd almost fainted. He managed not to.

Instead he entirely lost it.

Too much bottled emotion. Too much... Too much... Too much...

He lay there laughing for a long time, until finally, as if a switch had been flipped, he calmed down rather suddenly. He went from hysterics, to horrendous, terrified sobbing.

What happened? He couldn't stop shaking! What happened?

... What had he done?

Where was Zim?

No... No...

Oh what had he DONE?

Zim had left.

The Irken was gone. Dib had slipped. He showed his weakness. The Irken didn't like it. Dib couldn't remember where Zim had gone or how long ago, everything was fuzzy.

All he knew was he'd disturbed Zim. Upset him. Shown himself unworthy.

Zim left... He left... Wanted nothing more to do with him. He was too damaged. Too weird. Too pathetic. And not good enough.

He was disturbing and disgusting and not good enough for anyone.

His head was pounding. Something was wrong. He didn't know what. Everything was spinny and hurting and he didn't feel well.

His heart ached. He wanted... He wanted Zim. And for nothing less innocent then to simply be with, maybe even to hold. He needed that. Needed it. right. now. He was crumbling. Breaking.

Probably not for the first or last time either.

After a while, and his crying had died down, he was vaguely aware of movement within the room but he didn't look up. Everything was too dark and heavy.

It hung near him for a longish while, then moved again.

Dib was cold, but then something was over him, and he felt warmer. Something tenderly heated pressed down on him from above. The human sniffled, shifting slightly to get comfortable, and the thing on him tensed badly, then slowly relaxed again.

He thought he heard... Underwater noises, but they were... Too far, and he was... Drifting further... Away... So... Tired...


It takes talent to turn a strip scene into this. *nods* LOL... How did that happen? Oh well. At least the plot bunnies are back and multiplying healthy-like. *pets them*