Twenty-Nine - Epilogue - Omniscient POV

When the campus woke that morning and prepared for the day, no one knew anything but their dreams - or their own nightly activity - had taken place. Desmond returned to his dorm after a night of running around, distracting a group of heavily armed aliens so another alien could escape them, and found that his dorm, and the building, bore no signs of having been broken into or signs of having suffered being shot. Similarly, when Zim, Dib, and Gaz went to retrace their steps to make sure nothing had been missed, they found nothing. No blood, no scorch marks from plasma bullets, no broken concrete, absolute nothing. Even the body of the Puuraki that Gaz had killed was gone. The only real sign that anything out of the ordinary had happened was that two students were dropping out, and two students had gotten together seemingly overnight. Even the bloody scene outside the physics building had been cleaned up so expertly that there wasn't even a microscopic piece of Irken entrails left in the tiniest crack of concrete.

Gaz had returned with Zim and Dib to Dib's dorm room, followed by Lyse and Seerah. Whatever had taken place between them, Aevnir, and the King was kept between those three, though Seerah was happy to tell Zim that the Puuraki would no longer try to kill him or destroy the planet or try to kill anyone he cared about. Then came the news that shocked them all.

"You're dropping out?" Dib asked, watching Lyse pack his things as Seerah, Zim, and Gaz looked on.

"That's part of the deal we made." Lyse said with a shrug. "Aevnir promised to leave you guys alone if we would return home. And dad, not wanting a crisis on his hands, retracted the kill order he'd issued, and agreed to put Zim on a no-kill list, as well as the rest of you and the planet. The catch was, we'd have to go back home and never return to Earth again."

"That's a little excessive, don't you think?" Gaz asked.

"Not really." Seerah said. "Excessive would've been extracting us without telling anyone and leaving all of our things behind. He's letting us go through the motions of dropping out and packing up our stuff to take with us. And Aevnir will wait for our call, and then he'll come get us."

"In his ship?" Dib asked.

"No. A car. We got dropped off the same way any college kid without a driver's license or a car gets dropped off. The ship's in orbit, and when we get to a safe and secure location, it'll come get us."

"I'd like to see that."

"Well," says Seerah, "unfortunately, you can't, part of the deal was that you can't see or experience any more of our people's tech than you already have."

Zim snorted. "Seems only fair."

Seerah looked at him. "Are you going to be okay without your PAK?"

"I'll be fine. I won't be able to do much of what I used to, and I won't have access to the computer that was stored in there, but it's not really as important as it was. I'll just end up sleeping more, that's all."

She nodded, though she was still studying him. Zim frowned, his eyes narrowing the longer she stared at him. Then she shrugged and turned to look at Gaz. "You take care of those two, okay? I won't be around to put Zim back together."

Gaz smirked. "Don't worry. I'll keep them in line. And I don't think Dib will let Zim do anything dangerous."

"Damn right." Dib muttered.

When Lyse finished packing his things, they helped him carry the boxes and bins to the curb, then Gaz and Seerah went to Seerah's dorm to pack up the things there. Dib folded his arms over his chest and sighed. Lyse smiled and looked at him. "It's not that bad."

"I still feel like something isn't right." Dib said. "Like we're getting off too easy."

"Well, yeah, you kinda are." Lyse replied. "It's rare for my dad to take anything back, but whatever Seerah said to him changed his mind. She's persuasive like that. And my dad's the only one Aevnir really listens to. Going home is a small price to pay for keeping you guys alive."

"And you're okay with not coming back?" Zim asked.

"No, not really. I mean, I really liked it here. Earth's a nice place, for the most part. One of the prettier places in the universe. But Seerah always finds a way to bend the rules in her favor, so I wouldn't be surprised if she finds a way to come back one day."

"I wouldn't be surprised either." Zim grumbled. Dib looked at him and reached to put his arm around Zim's shoulders, leaning down to brush his lips against Zim's ear. Lyse couldn't hear what Dib whispered, but whatever it was, it made Zim shiver.

Finally, the women returned, carrying Seerah's things. They set the boxes on the curb with Lyse's, and smiled at the men. Zim frowned at her when she smiled at him, though he said nothing. Even Gaz's smile told him that she knew something he didn't, and he hated not knowing. But maybe he didn't need to know, he decided. His life had already changed so much, it wasn't like he needed it to change any more.

"So, Aevnir will be here soon for us. After that, we're history to this place." Seerah said at last.

"Your done with all the paperwork?" Dib asked.

"Not yet, but we'll take care of it before we leave Earth entirely. We just need to get our things moved before we go take care of silly things like paperwork. Besides, no one's going to remember us anyway. Except you guys, of course."

"Well, that's comforting," Zim muttered.

"Isn't it?" Seerah said brightly.

The conversation after that dwindled to things about what Seerah and Lyse would do when they returned home to their planet. The same questions were posed to Dib and Zim, asking if they would finish out the semester. Since neither could really bring himself to separate fully from the other (and Zim rather liked learning the things he'd been learning) it was pretty much a given that they'd stay at the school, and probably try to room together now that Dib was roommate-less and Zim wasn't sure that his roommate would want him there, considering Desmond learned that Zim wasn't exact human. That wasn't to say that Desmond couldn't be trusted, but you never knew, and considering all things, Zim didn't want to take chances. So he would move, which would make their lives easier, because then they wouldn't have to worry about sneaking around to try and see each other.

It also made their love life less complicated.

Finally there was a soft roar of an engine, and a sleek black pickup truck rolled into view. In the driver's seat sat a man in his late twenties, with jet black hair, tanned skin, and brown eyes. He looked like an older version of Lyse, if it weren't for the fact his skin was a darker shade. Zim clenched his fists and stared at Aevnir, and Aevnir stared back, his face expressionless.

"Don't worry about him." Seerah said with a smile. "He's upset because he got yelled at."

"He doesn't look upset to me." Zim grumbled lowly.

"Yeah, I know, but trust me. He is." Seerah moved to put her things in the truck's bed, helping Lyse do the same. When they were loaded up, Dib helped them pull a tarp over their things, then tie it down. Zim and Gaz stood watching, mostly because Zim refused to get anywhere near Aevnir and Gaz figured she'd probably have an unexplained fit of violence if she were to even touch something Aevnir was touching. Obviously, neither had forgiven the warrior for what he'd done to them.

"All set." Seerah said with a smile. She looked at Lyse. "Go ahead and get in. There's one more thing I have to do."

"Okay, but don't take too long." Lyse said. "You know how antsy Aevnir gets when you make him wait. Especially when dad's given him orders."

"I know. It'll take like five minutes, if that." Seerah moved over to Zim and Dib, and pulled them both aside. Not that she really needed to, since she'd already told Gaz what she was going to tell them. But it was a kindness, mostly because Dib didn't need the embarrassment of knowing his sister already knew. "So there's something I have to tell you guys."

Dib and Zim exchanged a look, then looked at her. "What?" Zim asked curtly, clearly annoyed. Dib shared his expression.

"Well, first let me reiterate that I used Puuraki parts to put you back together, Zim." Seerah said.

"Yeah, and?"

"And I put you back together the way you were meant to be."

"Yeah, and?"

"Well," Seerah looked at Dib, then focused on Zim. "It means your insides match your blueprint for the Irken you were cloned from."

"Okay?" Zim looked confused, even a little worried. "And? What about the Irken I was cloned from?"

Seerah took a moment to answer, choosing her words very carefully. "I discovered what went wrong, to make you defective. Besides you having independent thought, of course."

"Seerah, what are you getting at?" Dib asked. "What's wrong with Zim?"

"Nothing's wrong, per se, just..." She reached out her hand and placed it on Zim's lower stomach, looking him right in the eyes. "The Irken you were cloned from was female, Zim. During your cloning, or creation, if you will, the code for her DNA was interrupted somehow. On the outside, you're male. Always have been, always will be. But inside, you're female."

Zim went a little pale. Dib stared, unsure if he was hearing all this right. Zim raised his hand and put it over Seerah's. "Are you saying-?"

"Well!" Seerah pulled back, leaving Zim touching his own stomach. She grinned as she took a step toward the truck. "If you need any help, Gaz has my number and a device to reach me. Good luck!"

Before either of them could recover from what they'd been told - and what had been insinuated - Seerah was gone. Just an empty space was left where the truck had been. Zim stared into the distance for a long while before looking up at Dib. Dib looked down at him, wondering if his expression matched the one Zim had on his face.

"Dib?"

"Yeah, Zim?"

"Did she just say we're gonna have a baby?"

-end-