And you would fight for Zim out of loyalty?" Zim questioned finally. It was a strange thought; all these years of fighting each other, why would Dib fight for Zim out of loyalty?
Dutifully, Dib scooped out the vanilla cream and plopped it onto the cone before handing it over to the alien menace. "Here, your majesty. I hope you enjoy. I lost a leg while getting it for you but, it was worth it." Once the ice cream was handed off, the teen walked over to the register to pay for their cones, wondering if the old man recognized him. From the dimness in his expression, Dib guessed 'no'. Somehow it was both a relief and a disappointment
Zim rolled his eyes at Dib. He liked the idea of Dib being his faithful knight, but the human's obvious sarcastic tone was ruining the imagery.
Hesitantly the alien tasted the plain white treat, this time not being surprised by the frostiness. This one was a much more subtle sweetness; it was creamy and surprisingly good.
The Irken's lavender eyes lit up and he gave another, much greedier, lick as he waited for Dib to pay the dim-looking man behind the counter.
Frowning only slightly, he strode back over to Zim. "How is it? Approve? Disapprove?"
When the human was beside again, he gave an approving nod.
"Much better," Was his final conclusion. "I told you; there's nothing wrong with the treats I chose." He stated simply.
"Uh huh." Dib agreed, dryly before grabbing the irken by his wrist and dragging him over towards the booth, biting his lip the whole time. It felt wrong to sit here but, honestly he didn't think he would be able to sit anywhere else. "Your taste is impeccable honestly."
Releasing Zim, he slid into the semi circle seat and suddenly felt as if he was being shoved back into his past where Membrane sat at the right side of the table with his neat bowl of plain vanilla, watching his children in between texts to work, while Gaz babbled about her most recent video game, shoveling down the triple chocolate ice cream covered in marshmallows, sprinkles, brownie bites, and caramel. Dib remembered watching it all, his feet hardly able to touch the floor, eating anything that might've tipped his fancy that weekend.
Zim only watched as Dib dragged him to the corner of the shop, still annoyed at the fact that the human was so lax about leading him around, but enjoying his treat too much to cause a scene.
He slid into the other side of the seat, trying not to touch the seat or the table with his bare hands, resulting in the alien scooting/bouncing awkwardly to the middle. He licked contently at his frozen treat in silence for a moment, until he looked up at Dib.
The expression on the boy's face was far away, and a bit troubled. But then again, Zim always had a hard time telling. Those large lenses that rested in front of those golden eyes always seemed to mask their intent so well.
Giving up on trying to read him, Zim finally took the dessert from his lips long enough to ask, "What is it?"
Blinking himself out of his stupor, Dib glanced over at the irken and noticed how the ice cream had gathered at the corners of his lips. It made his mouth twitch with the effort to repress a smile. "Oh. Nothing. Just
remembering some stuff from my childhood."
Dib tilted his head to the side, putting one elbow on the table, so he could look at Zim whilst holding his ice cream in the other, licking it casually. "You like it, eh? You're getting it everywhere. It's kind of cute." And it was in a messy, moronic, green alien kind of way.
Zim could only stare at Dib blankly, who looked at him with a strange expression on his face. It was soft, and yet those intense golden orbs were shooting straight through him.
Zim quickly wiped his mouth with his hand, now being all too aware of the sticky mess that had covered his lips.
"Sh-shut up, Dib-stink! Zim is not cute, and neither is the way he eats treats!" Zim stuck his tongue out at him before turning away to resume eating his ice cream, now suddenly feeling self conscious, with Dib watching him.
The human could've cared less if Zim felt uncomfortable; in fact it was rather fun making the alien feel awkward since a good percentage of the time that's ALL that Dib was. He smirked and licked his ice cream slowly, eyes lingering on Zim's neck, lips and arms. "It is cute. You're cute, Zim. You can't deny it. It's law now."
Dib nodded somberly, biting into the side of his cone. "And what I say goes." He felt very playful and kind of odd. It was the mixture of the last few days' weirdness, the delicious ice cream, how sunny it was outside and the way his stupid hormones kept sucker punching him upside the head.
Zim was just very
fun now. He was annoying as ever of course, but he was also nicer and Dib couldn't help but watch as Zim's long, long tounge licked at the ice cream greedily. It made him remember the times when that tounge was in his mouth and on his body
.Dib coughed and turned away, determined to finish his ice cream and get them on the road.
Zim growled at Dib's persistence to make him uncomfortable. Zim knew what he was doing, and he tried not to let the human get under his skin, but there was something about his tone that rubbed the alien the wrong way.
It was so
teasing and somewhat alluring.
"No, of course not! We've already established that I am your ruler and you are my loyal stink-human knight." Zim referred to Dib's sarcasm with sincerity, knowing there was an underlying truth to his words, even if Dib didn't want to admit it.
"So what ZIM says is law." He turned back to the human to meet his gaze.
Leaning back in his seat, Dib looked at the irken dryly, wondering if he understood the meaning of sarcasm. Images of Zim in a high throne, regal and kingly had him nearly snickering. But, imagining himself in a knight's armor, destroying and conquering lands for his king
well that was both weird and kind of awesome. It gave him a fluttery feeling in his stomach that was probably the beginnings of a tumor.
"I could try to argue with you but, I'm fairly certain you'd turn it back around on me." The human bit down on his bottom lip, deciding for a moment before he leaned over and licked once at Zim's ice cream cone. "Hmm. Not bad. Good choice. Want some of mine? I promise it's good."
Zim jumped as Dib bent down and stole some of his treat, nearly pushing the ice cream into the human's face. He glared at the boy as he leaned in close to Zim, feeling suddenly very aware of his body heat.
He watched as the Dib's flat tongue smoothed out the surface of his creamy dessert, images running briskly back to when that tongue had explored the skin of Zim's neck.
He cleared his throat as Dib pulled away, fighting the flush that was forming on his cheeks. He glanced at Dib's ice cream, which was a very unappealing light-orange color. But in his very small experience with ice cream, he's already found that the dull colors seemed to be more promising.
"I have absolutely no faith in your taste, Dib-thing. But Zim will try it if it'll keep you from eating any more of mine."
He leaned across Dib and quickly flicked his tongue across the surface of his frozen dessert. He smacked his lips a few times, taking in the flavor. It wasn't as bad as the red kind, but still not as good as his 'Vanilla crème.'
"Once again my tastes seem to best yours." He said flatly as he returned to his own cone.
Watching Zim's stupid tounge flick across his ice cream was hypnotizing to the point where even after the irken had drawn away, Dib was still blinking in hormonal awe.
" Finally coming back to himself, he snatched his ice cream away, snobbishly and much more hungrily ate it. "Well, screw you. I have five fingers. And I'm the knight. Knights see more action than Kings do. You just sit on your throne all day and get fat, while I am out fighting great battles for you, destroying our enemies."
Dib winced, wishing now that he hadn't eaten quite so fast. The brain freeze lasted for several agonizing seconds in which he inwardly cursed.
Zim squinted his eyes at the human, not bothering to lower his ice cream, which was now nearly gone. He nibbled a little at the cone, deciding that it was too bland to be edible, and then using his tongue to fish out the rest of the now half-melted ice cream.
"Well as King I have to make sure my Knight knows his place, now don't I? And you may have more fingers, but at least ZIM knows how to use that ones he has." He held up his green fingers and wiggled them to show off his claws. "Your claws are pathetic, and would never do any real harm." He took Dib's hand and held his fingers to inspect the nail-bitten fingers.
The edges were a bit jagged from being chewed on, but other than that they weren't very impressive. "Nope. These are useless. Only good for one thing." He laced their digits together to demonstrate.
Dib stared down at their hands, corneas burned in with the image of Zim trying to get the last bits of ice cream from the bottom of his cone. The human swallowed hard before quickly finishing the rest of his treat and staring off out the window. "Knights may be loyal. But, they are because they chose to be." He softly reminded, tightening his grip on Zim's hand for a moment to emphasize his point.
"My hands are fine and your claws are stupid
though oddly enough they fit together just fine even though we have a different amount of fingers." It was something he'd noticed a long time ago that still made Dib curious. How else would they fit together perfectly?
Zim set his cone down on the table after feeling satisfied that he had gotten all the ice cream. He listened to Dib carefully and felt his cheeks flush at the feel of the human squeezing his hand.He looked at their hands, Zim's fingers wrapped around Dib's middle digit comfortably. The human's hand was warm, as always, and Zim was grateful for the first time today that he wasn't wearing gloves.
"And you would fight for Zim out of loyalty?" Zim questioned finally. It was a strange thought; all these years of fighting each other, why would Dib fight for Zim out of loyalty?
The thought of Dib standing by Zim, just as Zim would stand by his Tallest, made his gut turn nervously. Would Dib really be devoted to Zim in such a way? Zim had to doubt it; there was no way the human would put aside his stubborn ways for him.
The teen tilted his head, realizing that yeah, he had said that. "Well," golden eyes trailed up from their intertwined hands to Zim's shoulder, neck, face and eyes. "I'm not going to kill you. I don't hate you anymore
if someone was trying to attack you, or hurt you
I'd probably get pretty pissed and," His eyes flickered away from the irken's probing stare. " fight for you. But," His tone took on something more, something serious. "Zim
I still can't let you take over Earth. It's still my home and these are my people
Dib's brows furrowed, the thought of them becoming nothing but enemies and all the hate that had brewed between them again was a very daunting idea. "I'm loyal. But, to a point."
For some reason hearing that Dib would stick up for Zim made him grin. But he felt the grin vanish almost immediately after Dib had stopped speaking.
He had known all along that there was that problem for their friendship; Zim was here to invade Earth, and Dib was always going to protect it.
Though why he would want to, was way beyond Zim.
Zim sighed and slid his hand out from Dib's, bringing it to his chin as he rested his elbow on the table. The alien stared out the window for a moment before finally speaking.
"I'm here on a mission, Dib. A very important mission given to me by my leaders, because they have high expectations of me and trust me to get the job done. As an Irken Invader, letting them down is not an option." Finally he looked at Dib, his expression one of sincerity and his eyes soft with regret.
"I can't let a friendship get in the way of that
.." No matter how badly he wanted it to. He looked out the window once more, not being able to hold his gaze with Dib.
"And, this planet has nothing to offer me, anyway." He felt something pulling him down, his 'spooch feeling incredibly heavy in his chest. He wanted to be friends with Dib, almost more than anything. But he would have to make sacrifices. Sacrifices he wasn't sure he'd be able to make.
The human's breath hitched up in his throat as Zim pulled away. His hand felt cold and empty before he drew it back and shoved it into his pocket, looking anywhere but at Zim, jaw clenched with the cold truth; Zim was an Invader, an invader of worlds. His world. And he would be on the side of the enemy. They were still enemies
and that wouldn't
couldn't change. Not as long as Dib was fighting for Earth and Zim for Irk.
He shook his head, feeling his chest cave in on itself. "Nothing? At all?" His voice sounded far away and harder than he remembered it being. "What can they give you? Honor? Glory? All the things that a great Irken Elite needs right? Everything they need and will ever need. Because you need no one, right? No one to hold your hand or fight for you. To race you or be your friend."
Dib slid out of the booth, wondering if this was what heart break was like. It was awfully numb. And how had he even managed to have his heart involved anyway? How stupid was he to have fallen into this mess? Pathetic. "You need no one to kiss you or buy you ice cream or shield you from the fucking rain. Or hold you when you wake up crying at night."
Zim sat up as Dib slid out of the booth, watching him with wide, hurt eyes. He didn't know how this had happened; the day had started off so well. He figured it had been inevitable after all. But as he watched Dib leave him, he didn't want it to happen.
Zim had never known what it was like to depend on anybody else, for anything. Gir was next to useless and never really helped him, and he had never had any friends.
No friends to help him, and comfort him when things were new and strange for Zim. Dib had been there for him, even after all this time as enemies. And even if Zim had expected him to, Dib hadn't turned around and used this newfound weakness against him. Now that he had a friend, he couldn't imagine what he would do without one. And Dib was the only friend he wanted.
Zim scrambled to get out of the booth to catch up with Dib, feeling panicked. He shot up and grabbed on to Dib's sleeve.
"Not yet!" He yelled, the panic he was feeling clear in his voice. He took in a deep breath. "I don't want this to end yet
" He buried his face into Dib's chest, his gut turning and making his feel sick at what he was about to say. Sick because he knew it was true. Sick because he was afraid that he had ruined his only friendship already. "
I do need you." He whispered finally. He knew that what they had couldn't last forever. But he wanted desperately to have as much time as possible to be blissfully unaware of that fact.
Dib swallowed back the stupid lump lodged in his throat, feeling such a feeling of overwhelming relief washing over him that it made his entire body want to turn boneless. Instead, he wrapped one arm around Zim's waist, the other hand coming up to cup the back of the irken's neck, pulling him closer.
This entire thing between them, from day one, had been life altering. Dib's first enemy, his first fist fight, first person who had cared enough to pay attention to him, if only because of caution, his first kiss and first friend. Someone who wanted to know him. The only person who knew him.
Dib sighed shakily, his thumb stroking the back of Zim's neck. 'He needs me'. And that was his undoing. If Dib had been a foot away from the ledge, from falling and avoiding breaking into a million pieces
now he was centimeters from it, staring down into the abyss that was Zim and his stupid personality, stupid smile, stupid everything.
" But one day. One day it would kill him. Dib didn't really care just then. Only that Zim hadn't let him walk away. He let his mouth curve into a sad smile, dropping his arms and intertwining their fingers together again. Perfect. The way it should be and the way it could never be.