I started writing this about a week ago on a whim after finding some fanart on deviantART. I stayed up all night writing it, then got bored and quit. I have no idea what's possessing me now, maybe it's the fact I've had no internet for the past four days, but I am going to finish this. Please be gentle, it's my first time.
Zim stared into the monitor, struggling to grasp exactly what he was looking at. He reached out to touch his reflection, and then back to his head. There was no denying it, he was growing hair.
He pulled his glove off and ran his hand across his once smooth scalp. He'd only realised what has happening this morning when he'd gone to put his wig on for skool, it was a perfect fit usually, but not today. He plucked a hair out and winced. It was short, black and rather spiky at the moment.
He hopped down off the chair he had been sitting on, allowing himself a brief moment of satisfaction at how he'd grown over the past few days. Before only his antenna would have risen above the control pad, now the top of his head was reflecting back at him. He was progressing exactly as predicted. Excellent.
He rode the elevator up into the house, cleaning his lenses of dust before pushing them back into his eye sockets. His wig however was more uncomfortable than usual, causing his scalp to itch horrifically. No today he would just have to hope that what little he'd grown would be enough to fool the smelly worm-babies at skool.
GIR was making French toast when he reached the top. He could smell the stench of melting plastic mixed with that of chilli and raw eggs.
"GIR!" Zim shrieked, "I'm going to skool now, and whilst I am gone you are to feed the filthy human Nick."
"Uh huh." GIR continued with the task of melting various items onto slices of bread.
"You remember Nick don't you? Neural Experiment 231?"
"Oh yeah...he got a big smiley face!" The little robot grinned inanely as if to illustrate the point.
"Yes, he does. Also you should clean out the quantum-powered spider cage; they started eating each other last week and now it stinks down there."
"I hope da smiley man likes mah toast!" GIR dropped a Game Slave into a bubbling pot, bursting into fits of giggles as Zim left the room muttering about how he didn't deserve this.
Zim was definitely getting taller, of that Dib had no doubt. If he had to guess he'd put him at roughly a foot taller than the day before, maybe more. Whatever Zim was planning now, he knew that it was going to be bad.
"See Gaz," he hissed at his little sister, leaning over her seat to push his binoculars into her face and in between her and her Game Slave. "Look at him; he's got a new wig too. Oh that's crafty, but not crafty enough to fool me!"
Gaz took the binoculars and snapped them in half, throwing them out the bus window as it pulled up outside Zims house. Then without a word, she returned to Vampire Piggy Hunter.
Zim marched onto the bus with his usual show of arrogance and disdain, receiving only cursory glances from his school-mates. There were only two free seats, one beside Dib and the other beside Gaz, both left unoccupied for very different reasons.
After a minute of angry muttering, gesticulating and general silent rage he sat down on the very edge of Gazs seat, as far away from her as possible. Her eye twitched as she realised who had invaded her space, and for a second it looked like she was about to physically attack Zim, but the bus started again, and as he was making no move to speak to her she decided to let it go.
"So Zim," Dib said leaning across towards him, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "You're looking pretty sharp there."
Zim of course, failed to pick up on that. "Why thank you for finally noticing by superiority pathetic Dib-stink-creature."
"Yeah, I mean just look at you. Your boots are so shiny, and I don't think I've ever seen your skin so green."
"Ha, yes I have been looking after myself lately it is true."
"And say, is that a...new wig!?" Dib made a lunge at Zims head, managing to grab a handful of the short prickly hairs.
"Agh! Get this filthy pig monster away from my perfectly normal head! Normal, I'm NORMAL!" Zim screamed, reeling forwards. His antenna, which he had kept flat against his head so far immediately shot up out of shock. Dib managed to get hold of them and was pulled forward as Zim left his seat, only to end up losing his grip and falling face first onto the floor, his head getting stuck in an old puddle of spilled Poop Cola.
After a minute of cowering, Zim suddenly realised that the whole bus was staring at them. Smoothing his antenna back as though they were nothing more than two errant hairs, he confidently strode towards Dib, still caught in the sticky poop.
"So, Dib. Once again your GINORMOUS CRANIUM will prove to be your downfall!"
"My head is normal!" Dib cried, trying to pull his it out of the sticky patch, only to be smacked into the floor as they went over a pothole, "Ouch, damnit!" he yelled.
"That is where you are wrong stupid head-boy. And now..." Zim stepped forward. "Victory shall me mine."
Grabbing Dib by his huge, scythe-like hair, Zim hopped up onto the seat again, pulling the bus window down and raising Dib above his head in triumph. "Now, DIE!" he threw Dib out the window where he was crushed under the wheels of the oncoming traffic...
Or at least that was what he had expected, however it did not turn out exactly as planned. Dibs head merely smacked against window, too large to get through.
"Ow! God damnit Zim!"
"WHAT! What is the meaning of this?" Zim swung him against the window again, and again, and again. He pushed him through feet first, punching at Dibs planetoid sized head in a futile attempt to force it through the tiny window.
Gaz finally drew her attention away from her game. "His head's too big you idiot. You're not gonna get it through."
"SILENCE! I am Zim!" he kicked Dib in the head.
"Ahh! Why won't anybody help me?"
Gaz sighed, grabbing both Zim and Dib and dragging them to the fire escape at the back of the bus. She opened it, handing Dib back to Zim by his hair. "Try not to kill him; my dad would be really upset."
Momentarily stunned by the assistance, Zim only stared at Gaz, confused beyond words. Fortunately, she was able to kick Dib in the stomach before he could get lose.
"Well?" she asked. "Are you gonna do this or will I do it for you?"
"Yes I shall, Zim needs no help from smelly purple sister-humans!" He raised Dib above his head once more. "ZIM!"
Maybe it was the look Gaz gave him, maybe it was that much ignored voice of honour finally breaking through, or maybe it was the fact that murdering his classmate on a public school bus would only draw the attentions of the Earth authorities. Whatever it was, Zim did not throw Dib into the truck driving behind them. Instead he tied him to the door by his hair and left him flapping behind the bus like a flag. A flag with an enormous head. The rest of the bus erupted into cheering as he sat back down.
Gaz was watching Dib crying for help, the ghost of a smile playing across her face. Zim took Dibs seat behind her.
"Hey," she turned around in her seat to face him, "I just want to say thanks for that, like hurting Dib and everything. It was funny."
"Yes it was pretty funny wasn't it?" Zim turned around to look at Dib as well, waving at him.
"Yeah but I mean..." She stopped and thought for a minute before climbing over the seat to sit beside him. "I don't like Dib either. He's such a creep. Everyone hates him, you know how it is in skool, but I have to put up with it all the time. Dad does too I guess but he just ignores us."
"Uh huh." Zim was eating a candy bar he had just stolen out of Dibs backpack.
"I can't remember when he wasn't obsessed with all that paranormal crap, it's like his whole life. He just goes on and on and on! I don't have anyone to talk to, Dad's always busy, Dib's a freak, all the losers here are scared of me...Zim, what the hell are you doing?"
He was rummaging through Dibs bag, looking for more snacks.
Gaz sighed and handed him a bag of chips from her own pack.
"WEENIE FLAVOUR!" Zim tore them open, gorging on the pork flavoured potato snacks. He looked up at Gaz, glaring at him once more. He swallowed. "Ugh, thank you for the delicious pork offering female Dib...thing." He tried to add a smile, it didn't help.
She sighed. "My name, it's Gaz. Not female Dib, or purple pork monster, or skull demon child or whatever the hell you call. Although that last one does sound pretty cool."
Zim crunched on the last chip and belched. "To be perfectly honest Dib is the only one of your filthy race whose name I ever bothered to learn. The rest of you are all so boring."
"We're not all the same you know Zim. I don't know how things work on your planet, whether you're all born the same or whatever, but here on earth we're all different. That's why Dib is a freak and everyone else on this bus is a retard."
He scratched his chin thoughtfully. "What does that make you then?"
Gaz shrugged, and went back to her game.
GIR smiled at the TV, he had been watching all day though Zims spy cameras. "Aww, Zimmy made a friend. What choo think of that smiley boy?" He turned to Nick, strapped to his dolly, Happiness Probe protruding from his forehead, eye twitching every minute as he was zapped with waves of endorphins.
"I love it!" he cried. "It just…it just makes me so HAPPY!" He struggled against his restraints a little, trying to break free.
"Yeah, it's nice to see Master talkin' to someone other than Dib. NOW HERE COMES THE CHOO-CHOO!" Producing what looked like a half melted hi-fi, covered with eggs, baking powder and candy wrappers, GIR proceeded to try and force it into Nicks mouth through his lock jaw grin. "YOU GOTTA EAT YOUR BREAKFAST!" GIR screamed.
"Ow! It's delicious, ow! I love this so much, ow! I never wanna leave!"
"Hey Dibster!" called Louie from their usual table, far away from everyone else. Beside him were sat Gordy and Josh. Dib sighed and tried once again to readjust his hair to its usual position; it flopped down in front of his face. Just another thing Zim would have to pay for.
"Hey team." he replied with all the enthusiasm he could muster. He sat beside Louie and looked them over. His comrades, the men he relied upon in his war against the alien threat against the world.
Louie was new, he'd only arrived in hi skool the year before and so far he was the closest thing Dib had to a best friend. Tanned from his years on the west coast, bleached blond hair, perfect teeth and a winning personality, he would have been cool if it hadn't been for an unfortunate encounter when he had first arrived. Partnered with Dib in a science project, he had been dragged to Zims house as soon as humanly possible. One capture, escape and epic space battle later, there was no denying that the weird green guy was definitely an alien. In many ways he reminded Dib of himself when he'd first been introduced to the paranormal, only with a smaller head and an even smaller IQ. The guy could hardly work a video camera, never mind a cloaking jacket or hover-helmet. But his enthusiasm was one of the only things that kept Dib going sometimes.
Josh was just another reject washed into hi skool from some backwater corner of the state. Bad acne and worse social skills had isolated him from every other group in the skool, even the other nerds looked down on him as an outcast. To his dismay, he was quickly taken under the wing of Dib after he had foolishly mentioned a slight interest in the paranormal when they had first met. But friends were friends, so he tried not to look as enthusiastic as he could, plus the whole "saving the world from the alien threat" thing, and maybe the prospect of impressing some girls was an incentive.
No one could pronounce Gordys real name, only a few teachers even knew what country he was originally from. Born with a rare genetic disorder, he was completely paralysed save his left hand. Confined to a wheel chair for movement and a ridiculously old language programme for communication, everyone took the word that sounded like "We" to mean "Yes". As yet they had not been able to decipher "No". Dib had managed to upgrade his chair somewhat; extra seats could emerge for transporting the rest of the team, monitors for following various tracking devices, picking up signals, and an extra-large cup-holder. Whether these improvements were consensual remains a mystery even to Dib.
Together, they were the "Junior Swollen Eyeballs Command Unit of the North American Continent." Although the original Swollen Eyeballs threatened to sue Dib for unlicensed affiliation, so they usually settled for the "Junior Eyeballs".
"Shit bro, you look pretty beat up." Louie turned to inspect him, poking his limp hair. "Was your little sis wailing on you again?"
Josh guffawed, spitting out his retainer. He liked Gaz, a lot. So did Louie for that matter, though he was somewhat more discreet on the subject of his attraction to his best friends psychotic little sister. Gordys feelings on Gaz were unknown.
"I'm fine Lou," Dib muttered, pushing him back. "It was Zim, the bastard tried to kill me on the bus this morning. I know something's up, this is the closest he's come to killing me since he tried to turn me inside-out, and I'm sure he's getting taller, see?" He produced some photos from his coat pocket, they looked like they'd come from the buses security cameras. The first one showed Zim the week before, around four foot tall by Dibs reckoning, a midget compared to the rest of the school. The second showed the one from that morning.
Louie held the picture up to the light, examining it before passing it in to Josh. "You're right," he flicked a magnifying lens down over his spectacles. "I would put it at exactly fourteen inches taller than the previous week." He held the photo up to Gordys line of sight for a second.
"That's it!" Dib slammed his fist into the table, only succeeding in hurting his wrist. "Gentlemen, I hate to say this but I think he need to bring preparations for Operation Cobalt forward if we're going to have any chance of stopping whatever Zim is planning. It is imperative..."
"He's coming!" Louie cried, pointing to the lunch line that Zim was now leaving, and heading right in their direction.
"Assume the position!" Dib yelled.
Zim glanced out of the corner of his eye as he marched past Dib and his pathetic "friends". They seemed to be talking about embroidery today. He didn't even pause to wonder why; they were always talking about something random like this, no doubt a cover for their laughable excuses for meetings. He continued on to his usual table at the other end of the cafeteria.
Dib sighed in relief. That had been much too close. He sat up and glared at Zim as he experimentally prodded his pizza (as they were calling the triangle of charcoal they had been served) with his spork. He turned around and saw Gaz leaving the line as well.
"Hey Gaz!" Josh called, waving sheepishly and patting the seat beside him.
"Get fucked four-eyes." she growled, walking straight past them to the other side of cafeteria, sitting down right beside Zim.
He looked up from what he was told was Jell-O. For the second time that day too surprised to react. Gaz merely bit off a chunk of pizza.
It was probably the most awkward minute of Zims 174 years.
Eventually Gaz stopped chewing and spat the burnt pizza mush onto the floor, having extracted whatever flavour she could from it. She looked up at Zim, holding his gaze.
"Ughh..." he began.
Gaz cut in straight away. "My brother and his boyfriends are planning on breaking into your base." She pulled a file from her backpack and slid it across the table towards him. "I overheard them talking about it last night."
Zim glanced down at the file, then back up to Gaz. "Wha..."
She cut in again. "I liked seeing you beat the crap out of Dib today. Now I want you to hurt his creepy-ass friends too, and I'm gonna help you."