Dib woke up from his nap, Zim had told him to take. He now found all of his belongings in the room, that used to be Zim’s bedroom.
He first of all wondered how it all got there, in such a short time span. Then he realized that, even if Zim was very small, and dependant on him, he was still about ten times stronger than most humans.
Secondly he realized that Zim, was not present. Dib shrugged, then walked from the room, into the kitchen, for a bite to eat.
Instead though, he noticed Zim, asleep against the wall. He was simply shocked by the sight, and realized how wearing it was to move so much in just one day.
Something now had changed in Dib, as he picked up Zim, bridal style.
He then carried Zim, to his new room. From there, he placed the sleeping Irken on the bed, and tucked him in carefully.
Dib now took this time to examine Zim’s face, and bare arms. The sight unsettled him, deeply.
Zim’s face, was covered in ghosts of burses, still a bit purple. Scars lined his arms, along with new lacerations, which seemed to be fresh. Dib could tell also, that Zim must’ve cried a lot in the past month, maybe longer.
He had never seen Zim like this, he had never imagined Zim like this. Even now, Zim had dark circles around his eyes, which signified not only a need for sleep, but a need for love.
Dib sighed, halfheartedly, “I’ll never leave you like that. I will never allow you to feel so much pain.”
A smile stretched across Zim’s face, “Do you really mean it?”
Dib’s eyes widened, he thought Zim was asleep, and had not meant for him to hear that, “I- uh. . .”
Zim turned away from Dib, on his side, “Thank you, my Tallest.” Then he fell right back to his deep sleep, back into the bliss of no pain.
Dib stood there a moment, silence falling into itself. He was wondering, what had happened to the arrogant Zim he used to know, and would he ever come back?
He had no answers to these questions. However he knew, once Zim was awake, he would press the point, and dress his wounds, if possible, hopefully he would learn, what happened to him.
Zim watched as Dib gobbled down a tray of Chinese food, before tying some himself. Actually he enjoyed stir-fry.
Dib fished first, and watched Zim eat for awhile. Finally Dib’s curiosity became overwhelming, “Where did all of those scars come from?”
“Well Zim, uh-” Zim felt ashamed, and it was not custom for Irkens to talk about their punishments, “they were part of my punishment.”
“Punishment? How about the new ones? The lacerations?” Asked Dib, not getting that Zim felt uncomfortable.
“Another part of my punishment.” Zim sighed, as he hugged himself for support.
“So the punishment will never end? They will keep punishing you?” Dib was utterly in awe.
“Yes, it will never end.” Zim’s eyes were now, glued to the floor.
Dib suddenly had a wave of guilt, wash over him. He never realized how harsh, and unforgiving a monarchy, like Irk’s could be. Yet as a child, he had made Zim’s life a living Hell, not allowing the Irken to have a break, not allowing him to ever really be free from punishment.
“Zim, was it my fault? Did I play part in you banishment?” Asked Dib, worriedly.
“No, Zim did it. It was all his fault.” Zim sighed, eyes still on the floor.
Dib sensed and overwhelming sense of discomfort, and sadness from Zim. So, he changed the subject, “Hey Zim, I need help with my uh- homework.”
“Can you do one thing for Zim first?” Zim finally had his eyes on Dib, waiting for a response.
“What do you need?” Asked Dib, shocked by the fact that Zim was asking for help, instead of demanding it.
“I, Zim, need for you to repair my PAK. I think something was knocked lose, and Zim needs it repaired, before it starts issues with my personality.” Zim requested.
Dib’s eyes widened, “What kind of issues?”
Zim looked up at him sadly.