GIR slowly crept into the living room, where Zim was leaning back on the couch with his head propped up on his hand, watching TV. His eyelids were flickering, but he refused to go to sleep. Sleep was a useless distraction for an Invader such as himself.
GIR ignored the TV for once; it was on the military channel, and something about big guns blowing actual people to bits instead of special effects on paid actors depressed him. Instead, he climbed up next to Zim and pulled on his sleeve. "Mastah?"
With a slightly irritated twitch of the antenna, Zim looked down at him. "What now, GIR?"
" GIR fiddled nervously with the book in his hands before saying, "Will you read me a bedtime story?"
"Read it to yourself," Zim replied.
GIR had expected that, but he was persistent. "Please? I want you to read it to me. Just one time. Please, Master?" He waved the book in front of Zim's face.
With a sigh, Zim stood up, scooping GIR up into an arm. "All right, fine. But only because I'm bored."
Happy at being picked up like this, GIR hugged him affectionately. "Aw, you so nice! Thanks!"
"Eh. Don't mention it." Zim carried him into the elevator and down to a lower level of the base before stepping out into a small hallway with one door at the end. A decorative plaque made out of scrap metal from Zim's base read out, "GIR's Room!" in cheerful letters. The letters were done using glitter.
Zim's never really been in GIR's room before. He generally avoided it when he could. A small trail of mud led to it; probably from the numerous visits of his pig friends.
"Computer, can you clean up the carpet?" he called.
" With a sigh, the computer extended several tubes and sprayed a cleaning chemical up and down the hallway. As Zim opened the door and walked in, the computer reached down with brushes to start scrubbing up the mud.
Zim looked around the room as he entered. It was smaller than his, but not by much. His base had plenty of room, after all; there was no reason not to give his servant a decent-sized room. No, what made it so crowded was the abundance of stuff in here.
The bed, which was a blue race car bed GIR found at a dump, was shoved into a corner. A large bookcase filled with picture books and science fiction was next to it. A few of the longer books were dog-eared or bookmarked; he had begun reading them, but his short attention span didn't let him finish.
Another corner of the room was filled with drawings, pencils, pens, crayons, and markers. Another corner had a few toys, mostly broken; most of GIR's possessions had been found lying around town or in garbage bins, but always resourceful, he hadn't hesitated to take them home and try to fix them.
Various posters and drawings covered the walls, making the room even more colorful than it already was.
Curious about some of them, Zim put the small robot on the bed and said, "Hold on a second, I want to look at something." He walked over to a wall to look at the drawings. Some were animals: pigs, moose, bees, and even a cat that looked suspiciously like MiMi, the disguised form of Tak's SIR unit. A few others were self-portraits of GIR; both with his dog disguise on and without it. Yet others
"You know, these aren't too bad." He was looking at a drawing of himself with a few pink hearts around it and, 'I love you Master!' written across the top.
"Oh, I was gonna give you that for Christmas, but I didn't think you'd like it," GIR said sadly.
"Well I think it's very nice. Um
how long have you been drawing?" Zim moved around the room, looking at a few other drawings. Some of them were of both GIR and him. He found himself smiling at one of GIR saluting him while the Tallest floated nearby; that was when he first met him.
"I draw all the time. I like drawing." GIR got off the bed and took the picture of Zim with the hearts around it off the wall. He plucked the tape from it and handed it to him. "Here, you can put this in your room."
Feeling a strange emotion threaten to overwhelm him as he accepted the drawing, he put it aside and leaned down to give the robot a tight hug. "Thanks. I
I love it. I'm sorry for all the mean things I say to you
I really do think you're the best servant ever
GIR grinned about as wide as he could, eagerly hugging back. "Aw! I think you're the best master ever!"
What was this strange emotion? Zim didn't really understand it, but it felt weird. It felt like his heart was clenching, yet at the same time, he felt warm and almost happy. After a few seconds, he separated and said, "Now, what did you want me to read you?"
GIR grabbed his hand and led him back over to the bed, climbing onto it and snuggling under the covers. He poked his upper body out and grabbed the book. "It's called, 'The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears!' Look, there's a picture of three bears on the front! And this little girl with the yellow hair, she's so pretty!"
Zim sat down next to him and took the book. "Hmm. Well, it looks interesting
GIR cuddled up against his side, putting his arms around him and resting his head on his shoulder. "It's a good book."
Surprised at GIR's sudden closeness, Zim considered telling him to get away, but he just couldn't bring himself to do it. He was sitting on top of the covers, so he decided to pull them over his legs so GIR could get more comfortable next to him. Then he opened the book and started to read.
"Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks. She went for a walk in the forest. Pretty soon, she came upon a house. She knocked, and when no one answered, she walked right in." Zim stopped to reread that part. "Well, that's rude to just walk into someone's house uninvited. I hate it when people do that."
"Look, there's a picture," GIR said, pointing at a picture of the girl walking through the woods and seeing the house ahead.
"Yes, so it is. Let's see what happens next." Zim turned the page. "At the table, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry. She tasted the porridge from the first bowl. 'This porridge is too hot!' she exclaimed. So she tasted the porridge from the second bowl. 'This porridge is too cold,' she said. So she tasted the last bowl of porridge. 'Ah, this porridge is just right,' she said happily, and ate it all up."
"I love this story," GIR commented, looking at the picture of the little girl as she tried the porridge.
"What is porridge?" Zim wondered.
GIR shrugged. "There's a picture of it."
"It looks like oatmeal. Disgusting." Zim shook his head and turned the page, reading again. "After she'd eaten the three bears' breakfasts, she was feeling a little tired. So she walked into the living room and saw three chairs. She sat on the first to rest her feet. 'This chair is too big!' she exclaimed. So she sat in the second chair. 'This chair is too big too!' she whined. So she tried the last and smallest chair. 'Ah, this chair is just right,' she sighed. But just as she settled down into the chair to rest, it broke into pieces!"
"Oh no!" GIR shouted. "She's gonna get in trouble for breaking it!"
"How much longer is this story?" Zim flipped through the rest of the book and found that it was about half done. "Huh. Okay then." He went back to where he left off. "Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom. She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard. Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft. Then she lay down in the third bed and it was just right. Goldilocks fell asleep. As she was sleeping, the three bears came home."
"Ooh, they're gonna be mad," GIR said quietly. "Oh, can you do the Papa bear voice all deep and growly? And the Mama bear high-pitched and sweet? And maybe the little Baby bear can be all cute and little?"
Zim sighed but did as GIR asked. "'Someone's been eating my porridge,' growled the Papa bear. 'Someone's been eating my porridge,' said the Mama bear. 'Someone's been eating my porridge and they ate it all up!' cried the Baby bear."
"Aw, poor Baby bear," GIR said. He pointed at the picture of the three bears looking at their bowls of porridge. The baby bear was crying.
Zim turned the page. "'Someone's been sitting in my chair,' growled the Papa bear. 'Someone's been sitting in my chair,' said the Mama bear. 'Someone's been sitting in my chair and they've broken it to pieces!' cried the Baby bear." He was starting to like this story. Something about an upset little kid made him smile.
they have to buy a new chair for Baby bear
" GIR yawned, but he didn't want to fall asleep until the story was over.
Sensing that the robot was starting to nod off, Zim decided to wrap this up. "It's almost over. They decided to look around some more and when they got upstairs to the bedroom, Papa bear growled, 'Someone's been sleeping in my bed.' 'Someone's been sleeping in my bed too,' Mama bear said. 'Someone's been sleeping in my bed, and she's still there!' Baby bear cried. Just then, Goldilocks woke up and saw the three bears. She screamed, 'Help!' And she jumped up and ran out of the room. Goldilocks ran down the stairs, opened the door, and ran away into the forest. And she never returned to the home of the three bears. The end." Zim closed the book and looked down to see if GIR had anything to say.
The robot simply yawned. "I love that story
" Then he pulled Zim down next to him and fell asleep with his head nestled into the irken's chest. Zim tried to get him away, but the robot's hands were clenched tightly into the fabric of his shirt, holding him close.
After trying to get GIR away from him, Zim decided it was hopeless and gave up, dropping his arms to let them rest around the small, metal body. With a PAK leg, he returned the book to its place on the bookcase. Trying to get more comfortable, he pulled a pillow over and rested his head on it, eyes watching nothing in particular as he tried to stay awake. He was facing toward the wall, but he couldn't see much of it from this position. What he could see of it was blank metal.
GIR shifted in his sleep, moving closer and wrapping his arms a little more around his master. "Hmm
I love you, Master
Zim could only stare down at him for several moments before smiling. "I
I love you too, GIR. I can't help it
you're just too sweet
" He sighed and let his eyes drift closed. He'll rest for a few moments before getting up and working on his latest experiment
Next thing he knew, he was in just as deep asleep as GIR.