Part 2

Even under the wig tightly encasing his head, his antenna caught the vibration of a loud 'bang' near by. Though muffled by the classroom walls, the sound was quite loud and actually startled him. Suddenly a muffled scream rang out, followed by another, and another.

In a split second the class was interrupted by the sound. Zim's Algebra teacher stopped his lesson, and the other students ended their secret and quiet side conversations. Everyone froze from the first shot, and some could hear the screams that followed the sound.

"Is that...?"

Zim wasn't sure who began to ask this question, for another loud 'bang' followed the initial one. More screams, then another 'bang', and another, and another...

Zim sat there listening, confused, while everyone else in the class caught on to what was happening. His Algebra teacher immediately shot over to the front door, pulling out a key and appearing to lock it, before rushing over toward the large window on the other side of the classroom, shutting the blinds which left the room a bit darkened.

"Everyone get under your desks!" he commanded, "I think someone's shooting up the Skool!"

A few shrill cries from the female students followed from their teacher's comment. He basically confirmed their suspicions. This was real.

Everyone complied, shooting under their desks quickly, while panicked whispers erupted.

"Oh my God..."

"Could it be...?"

"...right down the hall...!"

"What if they come here?"

"Who's coming?" Zim asked, still seated at his desk. The 'bangs' and screams continued on down the hall, and he could clearly hear it all. The screams sounded distressed and frightened, but he didn't understand what was happening. All he knew was that something was wrong. "What's going on?"

"Zim, get under your desk!" His Algebra teacher commanded, on his knees preparing to crawl under his front desk. "Now!"

Zim couldn't hear him. The 'bangs' and screams grew louder as he focused solely on those sounds alone.

Finally he had to ask again. "What's happening?"

"Someone's firing a gun!" Came the sudden reply from one of his classmates.

"A gun?" He was familiar with guns. Irk used them, but they were large and shot lasers. And he highly doubted that Earth had laser guns... At least not yet, anyway. "With what? Rocks?"

"No, bullets," Another classmate retorted hysterically.

Bullets? He knew what they were, but didn't expect Earth to still use bullet guns. Those caused much damage, that much he knew, but not as much pain as from a laser gun.

"He's shooting a people!"

"Who?"

"I don't know: Someone!"

"Everyone be quiet!" The teacher commanded again, before turning back toward Zim. "Zim, get under your desk before I give you detention for the next month!"

Shooting people. Someone was shooting people? Right down the hall? Wait a sec, isn't Dib-stink's class right down the...

That was when he realized something: Dib. His best friend was in the area and direction the sounds of the gun firing and screams were coming from.

His squeedly-spooch lurched painfully in his stomach, though it was more emotional and mental feeling than physical. It was like the pit of his gut dropped inside him as he thought of Dib. His only real friend. His best friend.

This was new to him. This odd feeling of... concern. But when his mind reverted back to the realization that Dib's class was right down the hall where the sounds were coming from... The feeling only intensified, like a wildfire accelerated with gasoline.

"Zim!"

After a few long moments, Zim came out of his thoughts. The shots still rang out, and the screams continued. "Huh?

"Get under your desk! This is your last warning!"

With the muffled sound of the shots still going on nearby, Zim couldn't do much expect comply with his teacher's orders. Despite how much he wanted to leave the room and go and check where the sounds were exactly coming from, Zim quickly slid under his desk, the sounds of gunfire continuing on...


"Zim? Hey, moron, wake up."

Someone was nudging him in the side. He was roused awake quickly, stirring back into reality. The white walls and other humans,-some reading newspapers and magazines while others stared off into the distance, seemingly worried-, around reminded him of where he currently was.

Rubbing his eyes, he glanced over at Gaz, who gazed angrily at the carpet under her feet, her mind somewhere else. "Did I fall asleep?"

"Yeah, for like three hours," she replied, not giving any eye contact as she spoke.

"Three hours?" He was sure he had only closed his eyes for just a second, and even if he did fall asleep, that dream recreating what happened earlier that day seemed to only last a few minutes. "What time is it now?"

"It's seven." He noticed Gaz narrow her eyes slightly. "Dib should be out of surgery soon."

Maybe that was why he fell asleep. Zim was never the most patient Irken, even sitting through a couple of minutes waiting for something seemed like an impossible task. That would explain why he fell asleep: to subconsciously pass time as they waited for Dib to make it through surgery. If the bullet was successfully removed and whatever damage was done might hopefully be repaired. He couldn't wait, he never could.

Now the inner battle would begin again. "When will they tell us?" It seemed more like a demand than a question.

Lucky for him, Gaz wasn't phased by his abrupt tone. "Hopefully soon. Just shut up and wait."

I already tried that, he thought to himself, but instead he grumbled angrily and did as she told. Even he knew Gaz was not one to annoy in the slightest.

After two seemingly long minutes, he glanced over at the human girl beside him, realizing something. Something strange and out of the ordinary that didn't seem to fit into Gaz's personal criteria.

Her GameSlave.

Not once did he see it. Not while in the back of the ambulance, not once in the waiting room, and not now. It wasn't like Gaz to put that gaming device away, even if for only a few minutes. Even in class she was notorious for playing it under the desk, against the teachers' requests. She always had that GameSlave, always at hand, always playing it. Now she wasn't, and it rather frightened him.

"Your gaming device..." he said slowly.

Slowly, she turned her head toward him, arching an eyebrow. "Yeah, so?"

"You don't have it out..."

"What's your point?"

He didn't answer, but the look on his face and the silence he let follow her question seemed to imply what she had spent the last seven hours contemplating and denying: The reason as to why her GameSlave wasn't out in her hand, and why she refused herself to take it out while waiting during those last seven hours; during the initial lockdown, during the ambulance with Dib, and during those last three hours of waiting. Because there was a strong possibility that she might leave that hospital an only child, and though Dib irritated her to no end, she would not lose another family member. Even she found that it would be cruel of herself to play her GameSlave while her brother was in surgery. It wouldn't seem right. Even to her.

She tightened her hands into fists, her fingers pressing hard into her palms as she turned away from Zim, glaring hatefully at the floor like she had been doing for the past three hours. I will not lose someone else.

Her mother was long gone and now her brother might leave as well. She suddenly found herself hating the world more than she had before. It just wasn't fair that this had to happen twice to her. Maybe her father wouldn't care, but she would.

"Don't you think it'd be wrong if I were playing my GameSlave?" she found herself asking him, more so demanding, angered by the fact Zim would even think she'd be even thinking about playing video games at a time like this. "I know I'm evil but even I wouldn't do that."

"Cause it'd be wrong?" He questioned.

"Exactly." She left it at that, going silent once again.

Those new few minutes went by painfully slow, but when it was over (judging by the head surgeon walking into the waiting room still wearing his scrubs), Zim counted his blessings... However many there were.

He nudged Gaz, who nearly whacked him over the head for touching her, but when she turned toward him and noticed him motioning toward something, she glanced up in the direction where he motioned her to look. There the familiar face of the head surgeon was staring back at her, with an unreadable look in his eyes.


Dib's eyelids were slightly dropping over his eyes as he watched two blurred figures walk into the room. Judging by the pink he could see on one figure and the other figure almost all green made his smile wider. "Heeeeyyy... It's you guys. How are you guys doing?"

"How are we doing?" Zim questioned loudly, "How are YOU doing? You were the one who was shot! Are you okay?"

"Chill out, Mufasa, I'm doing just fiiine," Dib slurred, waving a weak hand at his green friend. "I'm feeling high as a kite but other than that, I'm smooth as pie."

Zim blinked. "Mufasa?"

"The doctors hooked him up to drugs that'll wear off his pain," Gaz explained to Zim, almost impatiently. "So he's kinda high."

Zim gave a nod. "Right, I knew that." He let out a relieved breath, "Thank Irk you're not dead."

Dib gave a sigh as well, "Well, I'll try not to get shot next time."

"Yes, PLEASE don't get shot next time!"

"Zim..." Gaz pulled Zim off to the side momentarily. "Can you... wait outside?"

"Why?"

"I need to have a word with my idiot brother."

Zim almost protested, just barely, but the threatening glint in Gaz's brown eyes made him quickly reconsider. "Uh, y-yeah, sure..." He slowly made his way toward the door. "I'll just, uhh... Be going now." He gave a small wave to Dib, "I'll see you later."

Dib grinned widely, giving a wave in the completely opposite direction. "Peace out, homie!"

The door slammed shut.

"I saw mom, you know..."

He still sounded tired, high and out of it as he spoke those words that made Gaz freeze in place.

"Right after Tyler shot everyone in class... I blacked out and saw Mom." He smiled. The drugs prevented him from completely remembering just how serious and dire that day had been. His understanding of the shooting wasn't there at the moment, but Gaz knew that once the drugs wore off, he'd be reeling from the memory in a completely different way.

"You do know that half your class was just shot dead today, right?" Gaz demanded, tightening her hands into fists.

Dib waved his sister off with a free hand, letting it fall limp beside him. "I don't wanna think about it. Gosh I'm so sleepy..."

Dib's failure to understand aggravated his sister. "They're saying it's one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history! Doesn't that matter?"

"Who's the 'they're' you're talking about?"

"The news!"

Dib rolled his eyes. "You watch to much of that negative stuff."

Gaz glared at him. "You're starting to sound like Dad."

"Cause I look like him," Dib responded tiredly, "And you look a lot like mom."

Gaz's eyes flashed dangerously. "I don't want to think about that."

"Why? It's not bad thing."

"Whatever," Gaz scoffed, turning to leave. "Those drugs won't protect you forever. You're going to remember everything that happened today, and when you do, don't come crying to me." Her hand gripped the doorknob, ready to turn it and walk out of that room.

"You were right, you know."

Gaz's hand froze around the doorknob as she paused and waited for her brother to continue on with what he meant.

"I don't think Mom left us... If I saw her after being shot, that obviously means she's-"

"-Been dead for many years," Gaz finished, slowly turning back toward where her brother lay. "It took you getting shot today to finally realize that I've been right all along? You really are an idiot."

"She was wearing the same clothes we last saw her in," Dib went on, ignoring his sister's comment. "That means you were right." Again, another faint smile appeared. "You were right."

Gaz turned away, staring hard at the far wall, glaring hatefully, thinking over everything, remembering, reminiscing. "Bad things always happen to good people. We already lost mom to some psychopath, and then today..." She bit the inside of her cheek, drawing blood before going on, "...You were shot. Almost killed by yet another psycho."

"Tyler wasn't psychotic," Dib said thoughtfully, "He was upset. Depressed. He was bullied, you know."

"You're bullied too, but you didn't snap and decide to shoot up everyone in class," Gaz snapped in protest.

Dib didn't have an answer for that. Sure, he was neglected often by family and always bullied, but even he wouldn't want to actually hurt anyone. Even in his drugged up state, he had to admit it: Gaz was right about that too. So far she seemed to be right about everything.

Except for one thing.

"The world is an evil place..." Dib said quietly, "But only if you believe it to be that way."

Gaz didn't have a response for that. Instead, after a long moment of silence, she turned and headed toward the door. But as she left, she wondered if the drugs given to the injured boy by the doctors were starting to wear off by how serious Dib's words were.

It meant that he was beginning to understand... beginning to remember what had happened. After all, those drugs couldn't protect Dib's mind forever.


A/N: Sorry for the long wait, but I hope this long part makes up for it! Might make a part 3, I'm not sure. And yeah, the kid who shot Dib was named Tyler.

I want to say more, but I'm not even sure what to say. XD Please review!