It was the first real time he came in contact, meeting first hand, the violence of Earth and it's people. How one human could cause so much chaos was beyond him... How one human could cause so much despair, panic, fear and worry.
He wouldn't admit it, but he was one of the worried ones.
The fire alarms blared out throughout his High Skool. Police sirens rang in the distance, and the other people he ran past in the hall ran along with him, as police and paramedics ran past them in the direction of the center of the chaos. He didn't look back even though he knew what was at stake; his best friend was in a different class at the time the first of the gunfire rang out, echoing throughout every part of the High Skool. And he had wanted to go and check, not familiar with the sounds of Earth gunfire. Irk used different hand-held weaponry; their guns used lasers that could pierce through every part of the skin and bone like acid on contact. Zim didn't know what bullets were until a classmate told him.
And he had stayed seated at his desk, confused, as his Algebra teacher locked the door, shut the window blinds and ordered everyone to get under their seats. The gunfire, the screaming a few classes down could still be heard over the panicked whispering of his classmates as they huddled under their desks. Zim had however continued sitting at his desk, ignoring the commands of his teacher, instead realizing that his best friend's class was in the direction of the shooting. Even with his wig placed tightly over his scalp, his antenna could easily pick up the source of the sounds and the direction they came from, and that was when the actual worry for his friend's well being hit him. But after a moment of contemplating the possibilities, he had finally complied with his teacher's orders and quickly slid under his desk, listening for a seemingly long time as the shots and screams droned on...
And now there he was, running to safety, though it wasn't his safety he worried for to begin with. He hoped that maybe when he made it out of the High Skool, that he'd find Dib in the crowds outside... But when he burst through the High Skool's front doors, he didn't initially see Dib anywhere in the crowd. But once he was fully outside and able to visually focus on his surroundings, he froze completely, taking in the scene before him with a different view on something he never experience before.
The few humans from where he suspected was the center of the gunfire were littered along the High Skool's concrete walls, mostly with bullet wounds in the arms and legs, with paramedics and some police asking questions and attempting to lift the ones with bullets in their legs up. He could now see the crimson stains along the few stair steps before the front doors he had just ran down, and the long trail of it leading to the spot along the wall where those few humans were seated. By the sound of their horrible, agonizing screams and low moans of pain, he could tell that the wounds, however not as serious as ones in the stomach, neck or head, were still painful. The sounds of their loud moans made him cringe. For once in his life he felt like he was in a war-zone, with the few injured escaping, and the seriously injured still lying in wait as their lives slowly ebbed out of them. Waiting for help and waiting for the pain to end. Armed police and prepared paramedics continued pouring into the High Skool, while non-injured students came pouring out in a state of pure terror, while the distant sound of helicopters overhead added to the alarming reality of what was happening.
Trying to ignore the sounds of the pained moans of the injured, Zim turned and went in search of Dib, looking through the crowds in hopes of seeing his human friend's signature hairstyle peaking up from somewhere in the crowd. "Dib!" He glanced around wildly, now running through the crowd calling for his friend. "Dib-stink! Come out now!" No reply from whom he hoped to hear. "If you're hiding, Dib, this isn't funny! I'm not laughing!"
For a second, one second he hoped it was Dib calling his name, but quickly realized that it was a female calling his name. Zim turned and noticed Gaz running toward him. For the first time in the longest time he's known her, she seemed... genuinely worried. And he knew that meant she hadn't found her brother.
And once Gaz was standing before Zim, taking in account that he wasn't injured and noticeably confused by the situation, she knew too, that he hadn't found her brother either. "You couldn't find him?"
Zim shook his head, and opened his mouth to speak, but couldn't find any words. The only word that came to mind was 'why', and the only sentence that came to mind was 'what's happening'. He decided to go with the second option. "What's happening?"
"Some depressed, angry kid brought a gun I'm guessing," Gaz uttered angrily. "That's usually who brings guns to schools and starts shooting up everyone. Depressed, angry kids." She could understand the angry part: she hated a lot of people and a lot of things. Society was definitely not her best friend. But even her hatred toward anyone and everyone wouldn't cause her to shoot at random people. Especially when one of those people... Could very well be her brother. She tried not to think so negatively like she always did, but this time she couldn't shake that horrible feeling in her gut. And though her brother irritated her to the point where she would like to kill him, she wouldn't actually go through with it. She used threats and now, looking back, she realized she never meant them. She and Dib were still siblings despite the constant arguing on her part.
"Has this happened before?"
"Never here," Gaz answered simply, still glancing around in hopes of catching sight of her brother wandering around somewhere. "This doesn't happen in cities. This usually happens in small towns where people think they're safe." She paused to catch glimpse of the worried students around her, calling their parents on cell phones, asking around for missing friends still inside their High Skool, and the lucky ones holding onto each other as they watched the front doors and waited for something, anything to happen. "But this just proves that no one is safe... Anywhere." She left it at that, because she felt it was the truth.
They continued to search around for an hour, and still no trace of Dib was found, but they refused to resort to worry completely and fear the worst: for Gaz, it was because she wasn't used to feeling such a heavy emotion like fear and worry and wouldn't give in, but having it be her brother possibly one of the victims became a slight exception despite her trying hard to hide what she felt; and for Zim it was also because he wasn't used to any emotion he saw as weak at all rather than anger or pride, but being the fact that Dib,-who was once his hated enemy in Elementary Skool and Middle School-, was now his best friend in their sophomore year at High School, it made an exception. And Zim wasn't used to this feeling of concern for one of his only friends (the other being Gaz, though they never really talked much or hung out). His best friend could be dead, and deep down it did frighten him. But having never felt this type of anxiety for another well being, he tried to ignore it best he could.
Another half an hour passed and all Zim and Gaz could do now amongst the chaos happening outside was stand in silence, watch the front doors of the High Skool and wait. They didn't even brother to go around to the other students to ask questions, to ask what happened, because to Gaz it was obvious what happened, and to Zim who was new to this type of Earth violence, she was able to make him understand what was happening.
Parents came and picked up their children, embracing, sobbing aloud, while the parents whose children they couldn't find were forced to also wait, asking around for where their children were... And Gaz could easily tell that those were the parents of the seriously injured and possibly dead students still inside... However many there were.
Dib might be one of them. The thought came so quick that she didn't have time to block it out, and that thought entered her mind and quickly left just as the first of the seriously injured were taken out of the High Skool on gurneys, being carried down the small flight of steps. As the parents who waited for answers immediately rushed over to see which of the seriously injured was their children, Gaz and Zim waited until they were sure one of the injured was Dib. And for once they hoped he was on one of those gurneys and not the ones who would later be carried out while covered with a crimson-stained sheet. Gaz was determined though, despite how powerless she was to decide who lived or died: her brother would be injured, but not dead and covered with a sheet. She wouldn't let it happen.
Sure enough, after the first ten seriously injured in gurneys came pouring out, carried by paramedics, they spotted a figure with that signature lightening-strike hairstyle lying on one of the gurneys.
Gaz and Zim were over in that direction in a matter of seconds, and their suspicions were confirmed.
Dib's skin seemed much more pale than it ever had before, his signature blue shirt stained with dark crimson. He was only shot once, Gaz realized, and she felt relieved... Though that quickly faded away when she noticed that his eyes were closed. Shut tight. And they didn't open.
"Where was he shot?" Zim demanded, not able to get a good view of Dib as he was carried away to a nearby ambulance because of his height. Though he grown drastically in height from nearly 3 feet to an almost 5 feet, he was still relatively shorter than most human males in his High Skool. And now he never hated it more than in that moment. All he could catch glimpses of were Dib's eyes shut tightly. And it worried him.
"Entry wound in the lower right abdomen," one of the paramedics answered as Dib was loaded up into the back of the ambulance.
"Is that in the stomach?"
"Of course it is, you idiot!" Gaz snapped, already hopping inside the back of the ambulance despite not having permission to.
Another paramedic took notice and went to grab Gaz's arm. "Miss, I'm sorry, but you can't-"
"He's my brother," Gaz hissed venomously, shaking off the woman paramedic's hold on her arm. "And I am staying with him. If you make me leave it'll be the last living act you ever do."
Her arm was immediately released, with the paramedic backing off.
Zim watched Gaz with confused eyes. "Should I go in with you?"
"Do you have another ride?"
"Then get in," Gaz ordered, taking a seat beside Dib's gurney.
He hesitated briefly, turning to take one last glance at the worried parents whose kids were still not found, at the other students crying and holding onto one another, and at the police still rushing inside the High Skool. After a moment, he climbed inside the back of the ambulance, silently taking a seat beside Gaz. As two paramedics also climbed inside, Zim couldn't help but still watch the scene outside through the open doors.
The last image Zim saw before the ambulance doors slammed shut, were the first of many dead bodies being carried out of the High School.
A/N: I've been wanting to write a fanfic for some time of what the IZ characters would do in the event of a shooting happening, and I just watched some coverage of the Aurora Theater shooting and decided to write this. Honestly my opinion on this... well, mainly on the shooter, I don't know what I think of him. Most shooters are mentally disturbed and can violently outburst from the outcome of anything that pisses or sets them off. That shooting was the most random I've ever heard in my life. Now I love going to the movies, and I can't imagine that happening at a movie. Ironically my friend and I were at the movies a few months before the shooting in Aurora happened, and we spoke about how... A movie theater would be a perfect place for a shooter to well... Shoot people. It didn't occur to us. If you're in a theater, it's basically blocked off by the giant wall and the only exits are down by the screen, and on the other side of that giant wall. That's it. But you don't expect someone to actually bring a gun and start shooting people at a movie theater. I'm more worried about it happening at my school than at a theater. Because most shootings happen at schools or malls or work places... Never a movie theater.
It just proves that we're not safe anywhere, and to always be prepared for the most unthinkable act.
Anyway, this will probably be a two-shot or a three-shot. Depending. And no, this is not a ZADR nor a ZAGR. I don't write for those pairings. This is all purely ZADF and slight ZAGF. And plus this is completely AU and isn't part of any of my other IZ stories. This is ALL AU.
Please review if you can and tell me what you think.
RIP to all the victims of the Aurora shooting. And my deepest condolences and prayers go out to the victims' families and to the survivors. Stay strong everyone.