Dib watched Zim curiously as he saw the irken remove his wig for only a brief moment to massage his antennae before looking around and quickly putting it back on. No one seemed to have noticed; no one except a certain black-haired kid.
Dib lowered his binoculars and leaned back against the trunk of the tree he was perched in. It was recess and he was doing his usual spying on Zim. They were in Hi-Skool by now and Zim hadn’t managed to take over Earth yet. Not that anyone really expected him to. He’s shown his incompetency so many times Dib stopped worrying about him long ago. He just liked observing the many odd quirks the alien had.
His curiosity was piqued slightly. What function did the antennae serve? As long as he’s known Zim and he’s never really figured it out. He assumed they were for hearing and expressing emotion, as they often shot straight up when their owner was surprised or laid down flat when he was angry. But was that all they were for?
“Look at the Dib-monkey up there in the tree,” Zim said mockingly.
Dib nearly dropped his binoculars; he hadn’t even noticed Zim walking to stand under him.
“Does the Dib-monkey want a banana?” Zim teased, imitating a monkey. He scratched his head and made a stupid face.
“I like the view up here,” Dib said defensively.
“Oh really? How great could it possibly be?” Zim looked around cautiously, then extended two spiderlegs and hooked them around the tree branch Dib was sitting on, pulling himself up. He sat next to the human and gazed across the small field. There wasn’t a playground like when they were in elementary Skool. They were much too old for that now. Instead kids played football, tag, or just walked around talking. “Hmm. I’ll admit it is a good view.”
“Yeah, I usually climb up here when I want to be alone. So go away.”
Zim smirked and moved closer to him instead. “No. I’m going to bother you for no reason.”
“Come on Zim. I’m not really in the mood to deal with you.” Dib was somewhat friendlier to the irken now than he used to be; he couldn’t capture him, after all. Zim might have very bad judgment and planning skills, but he certainly knew how to avoid being caught. And he didn’t have any reason to hate him since it was so obvious he couldn’t take over a pile of dirt, let alone the entire planet. So he just tolerates the alien.
Until said alien decides he isn’t going to just be blown off like that. Zim grabbed Dib’s arm. “Quit ignoring me! Talk to me!”
“Talk to you about what?” Dib asked, startled.
“I don’t know! Anything! I’m bored!” Zim has also changed his attitude about his enemy. Even he’s figured out that he’s pretty bad at what he’s supposed to be doing and Dib isn’t really the problem. So he decided that he might as well talk to the boy in a friendlier manner and maybe learn valuable secrets about Earth from him. Plus the Dib was kind of interesting. He was smarter than the other humans and much more perceptive. He was the only one in their entire class (and the whole planet, really) that knew he was an alien. One could count his sister Gaz, perhaps, but she could honestly care less. She doesn’t think he could take over Earth either, because in her words, “He’s so bad at it.”
Zim has a bit of contempt toward her because of that even though he knows it to be true.
“Okay, I guess we can talk,” Dib said slowly. He’s used to having random conversations with Zim, who absolutely hates anything quiet and peaceful. “Um… so what are your antennae for?”
Zim took his wig off so that the two stalks could stretch out. They twitched a few times to get used to their freedom. “I use them for hearing. Duh.”
“Anything else? Because I've seen them perk straight up or lay down flat, and sometimes one of them twitches for no apparent reason. What’s that all about?” Dib noticed one of them twitched at his words.
“Well, one of them twitching is sort of equivalent to a human raising an eyebrow at another’s words. They show emotions.” He perked them up. “This would mean I’m interested in what you have to say. Or perhaps I’m surprised.” He lowered them to their normal position. “This is just a neutral position. Like a blank face.” Finally, he flattened them down. “If I do this, that means I’m very annoyed and angry and likely to attack you. Those are some of the easiest ones for a pitiful hyuman to understand, but you’d have to be irken to understand the more subtle movements they make.”
Dib thought about all of that. “Hmm. That’s pretty cool how they show emotions like that… What do they feel like?” He reached a hand toward one.
It jerked away and Zim hissed. Dib froze and let his hand drop. The hissing stopped abruptly and Zim glared at him. “Never touch an irken’s antennae. EVER.”
Dib didn’t reply; he was still surprised by the hissing. He didn’t even know Zim could make a sound like that. It was very threatening and hostile, way more than a warning hiss from a cat or snake. It was nearly impossible to describe, but it made his blood run cold.
Irritated by Dib’s silence, Zim grabbed his shirt and shook him. “Did you understand that?!”
Dib snapped back to the present. “Wha- I heard you! Stop shaking me, you’re going to make me fall!” He grabbed the limb with both hands to keep from falling backwards out of the tree.
Zim sat down on his lap, smirking. “That would be funny.”
“Get off my lap.” It was almost amusing on one level; Zim was still so small while Dib had grown to be almost as tall as his father. The Membrane family has always produced very tall people. It was kinda like a cat plopping down on its owner’s lap for the plain reason that it would annoy him. On the other level… “You’re creeping me out.”
“That’s the idea.” Zim intentionally didn’t move, knowing he was annoying the human. He’s developed almost a fondness for him, enjoying lightly tormenting him and poking fun at him. He wouldn’t hurt him very badly, but he loved pulling on his hair at random moments or tripping him in the hall. Humans may grow to be pretty tall by irken standards… but that just made it so much more satisfying when they’re pushed down a flight of stairs.
Dib glared down at the irken invading his personal space. “Zim, I’m warning you…”
“What are you going to do about it?” Zim laughed and his antennae bounced along to his laughing. Dib’s eyes followed them and he decided to take a huge risk. He grabbed the tip of one of the stalks.
Zim instantly went still. “DIB! WHAT DID I JUST S-” Suddenly, he stopped talking, eyes growing wide. Dib massaged the antenna between his fingers, noting how soft it was.
A distinct purr came from the irken, causing Dib to stop what he was doing. He stared at the antenna with surprise. How sensitive was it? How could simply touching it elicit such a response?
“Dib… do that again,” Zim ordered, just as curious now as Dib was. Irkens tended not to touch their own antennae that much; from smeethood they’re taught that they’re very sensitive and touching them is bad. They never really got an answer as to why but listened to what they were told. Never touch another’s antennae without permission became a very important rule. And it wasn’t exactly encouraged to give permission or even think about it in the first place. Now it seemed he was learning why.
Dib shrugged, very interested now. He ran his thumb from the base to the tip of the captured stalk, which had gone limp in his hold. The irken squirmed and tried to repress the moan of enjoyment that threatened to escape him. Each pass of the human’s finger sent waves of pleasure down his spine, waves that seemed to branch out into every limb and every nerve until he was craving more. Why was antennae touching such a taboo? It felt… wonderful. There was really no other word to describe it.
“So what does it feel like?” Dib asked.
“Dib-stink… you have no idea…” Zim sighed, hating to admit to the human that he was enjoying it. “But it’s amazing… If only you were irken and could experience it for yourself… but you’re not.”
“You know, I think I like you like this. You’re just so…” Dare he say it? “Cute.”
Zim had been closing his eyes in bliss; now they flew open and he pulled his antenna free. He turned around so that he was facing Dib and spread his claws. “What did you just call me?”
Dib held his hands up innocently. “Um… cute?”
Zim stood up, still on Dib’s lap, and put a claw in his face. For such a small alien he was looking rather threatening. “Zim is not cute! Zim is a mighty irken soldier and should be treated as such!”
Dib rolled his eyes at Zim’s ranting and took hold of the antenna again, massaging it delicately. Zim’s eyelids fluttered and the claw lowered. He sank down and found himself nestling against Dib’s stomach, claws bunching into the fabric of the boy’s blue shirt. He hummed contentedly.
“That was easy,” Dib commented. “Mighty irken soldier, huh?”
“Shut up,” Zim said tiredly.
“Well that’s not very nice.” Dib wondered what would happen if he were to give the other antenna the same treatment as this one and decided to give it a try. He was rather enjoying how much Zim calmed down and looked totally helpless when the one was touched.
As soon as Zim felt two fingers lightly pinch the base of the other antenna, he completely lost it. “Oohhh… D-Dib…” he moaned, claws tightening into the human’s shirt. One small part of him hated how his body responded to the touches with such delight… the other part absolutely loved it. For some reason he loved the attention he was being given. After living for nearly sixteen Earth decades, this treatment of his rather neglected antennae filled him with ecstasy. “That f-feels good…”
Dib’s surprise only grew. He’s enjoying this way too much… This is so disturbing… but I don’t want to stop. He liked making Zim act like this. He liked getting to be the one in charge for once. With a smirk, he said, “So I guess you like that, huh?” He quickened the speed of his fingers, running them up and down the thin appendages with forceful strokes.
Zim shuddered, letting out what sounded like a purr and nuzzling closer to Dib. He buried his face against the human’s stomach and closed his eyes, focusing entirely on the waves of pure pleasure he was experiencing, which were so much stronger now that both antennae were being caressed.
His usual dominant attitude had disappeared completely. There wasn’t a single thought about taking control of the situation and reminding Dib who was the lowlier life form here. He just wanted this amazing relaxing feeling to go on forever.
Dib pulled his hands back as he realized just how submissive Zim was becoming. It just wasn’t normal and he was getting a little freaked out. He checked the time on his watch and gave Zim a small shake. “Zim, recess is over in two minutes.”
It took Zim a few moments to register the fact that Dib was no longer touching his antennae. When he did realize it, though, he shook his head and climbed off of Dib’s lap, finding his wig and putting it back on. He was in a cheerful mood as he made sure his antennae were tucked carefully away and out of sight. “Well that was interesting. Now I understand why they didn’t want us touching them. It’s such a distraction.”
“You were totally enjoying that.”
“Eh…” Zim wanted to deny it but knew it was totally true. So he compromised. “YOU LIE!”
“Admit it. You liked that.”
“Maybe a little.”
Dib fought back a smile and started to climb down from the tree. A hand grabbed the back of his trench coat and spun him around, pulling him down so that he was sprawled across the limb on his stomach.
Zim knelt down in front of him. “All right. I’ll admit I liked it.” Then he pressed his lips to the human’s before he could change his mind.
Dib let out a muffled, startled sound and tried to escape, but Zim didn’t let him. The irken laid down on the branch and pulled Dib’s head closer to him, pushing his tongue unceremoniously into the other’s mouth. He found the human’s tongue and took hold of it, binding it tightly.
Dib wrapped his arms around Zim and sat up, pulling the irken up with him and holding him up as he gave in and kissed back.
When they pulled apart, Zim wiped his mouth off and said, “You humans and your strange love gestures are so gross. But somehow they’re pretty enjoyable. You know what? I guess I don’t really hate you…”
Dib wiped his mouth off too. “Really? That’s cool. I don’t really hate you either. You’re pretty cool. And you’re so cute when your antennae are touched…”
“Aargh! Stop calling me that!”
Dib jumped down from the tree and looked up at Zim. “You’re cute!”
Zim started to leap down. “You’re going to pay for that one.”
“You have to catch me first!” Dib took off running toward the school, weaving through the crowd of other students that were grudgingly heading back to class.
Zim couldn’t help but laugh at the challenge. “You’re on!” He gave chase.
In just a few minutes so many things had changed between them. And all it had taken were touches to a very sensitive pair of antennae and the natural curiosity both humans and irkens shared.